<p style=”text-align: justify;”>Chanakya was an Indian teacher, economist and a political consultant. He played a key role within the establishment of the Maurya dynasty. He’s also known as Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta. Chanakya was a Brahmin and he got his education from the ancient university Takshashila. Later he also became a lecturer there. Chanakya is the author of Arthashastra and Chanakya-Niti. Arthashastra is a book on economic science. The policies mentioned in the book are still relevant.
Chanakya-Niti is a collection of aphorisms. His books ‘Arthashastra’ and ‘Nitishashtra’ cover subjects starting with economics to ethics and philosophy to Politics. Though he tried to present his views on numerous topics, his theories of administration are one of the best. It’s not necessary that a great thinker is usually right regarding everything. Acharya Chanakya was undoubtedly a great economist and revolutionary.
His works of wisdom are over 2000 years old, still several of his teachings are relevant and useful in today’s world. The earliest record of Chanakya is found in the 8th-century Prakrit drama mudra Rakshasha that was written by Vishakhadatta. During this drama, political activity of Chanakya but there’s no details concerning his personal life provided. The drama is said to have been written about 1200 years after Chandragupta’s reign (but then again there’s lots of dispute over the Gupta timeline).
Though the character of Chanakya has been well graven in this drama, but his details such as birth, parentage, lineage, family or death isn’t mentioned here. As Western records are getting a rising need to confirm the existence of any historical figure (in this case it is absent), so several have termed Chanakya as a myth. However, several Indian texts carry details about his life. Recent speculation from a number of the contemporary Jain texts shows that Chanakya was not a Hindu, he was rather a Jain by religion.
Jain literature Evidence :-
There are several evidences that suggest he was a Jain. He is mentioned many times in Jain literature. There are details about his life found in such literatures. According to these texts Chanakya was born to Chanak who was a devout Jainist. When Chanakya was born, he had a teeth in his mouth. It’s said when a Jain monk came across the doorsteps of Chanak inquiring for alms he predicted that the baby would one day become an excellent King. Chanukah instantly removed the teeth from baby’s mouth. Upon that the monk predicted now the baby will be a King maker. As a baby he was a considered student who had extraordinary educational capabilities. He was stubborn.
When he grew young, he wasn’t a good looking boy and so couldn’t find any bride. Later he married to a poor woman named Yashomati. His association and influence upon Chandragupta Maurya understood to all. Just like Chandragupta he became a Jain monk once retiring from Ministership. He died of a fireplace that was set within the jungle, where he was mediating with another. The jungle was set on fire by a minister of Bidusara (who was the son of Chandragupta). This fire killed the master statesman.
But why is Chanakya not mentioned in Indica? There’s one clear reason. May be Chanakya never belonged to Chandragupta’s period, perhaps he came later. As far as we all know of Chandragupta he was extraordinarily intelligent and could have carried out the administration single-handed. There is a high probability that Chanakya came at a later date. His character was further elevated by the contemporary writers by making him the Godfather of Chandragupta Maurya.