Why is Chanakya the Greatest Genius of Modern Time?

When we thought to write about a leader from history to remember his contributions and what we can learn from his teachings even today, there was only one name came first in mind - Chanakya. The teachings of the greatest genius of our time still holds relevance for our personal well being and social, economic and political reasons!

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Why is Chanakya the Greatest Genius of Modern Time?

We take inspiration from our rich history. History which is full of legendary figures have since ages inspired and motivated us with their exemplary works. It feels good to read about leaders who played important roles in their times. But what if when a person single-handedly shaped the history. A man with various arrows in his quiver, highly regarded and his every word holds same significance as it was centuries before. A universal genius whose areas of expertise included an wide array as a teacher, philosopher, economist, jurist, royal advisor and above all a kingmaker – he can only be Chanakya also known as Kautilya and Vishnugupta.

The Political Guru

A man who is said to be so affluent that he transformed a street boy into the emperor of India. This might have lost significance today but his teachings still hold a meaning and especially when India has been victim of frequent political upheaval. It seems ironical that the country which was unified centuries back single-handedly by a genius is facing mutiny from within. The pacifist nature of the present government reminds me the words of Chanakya – the author of Arthshastra, “Books are as useful to the stupid as a mirror is useful to a blind person.” We frequently complain about the rising prominence of foreign powers in our internal affairs deteriorating the stability of our country. The very basic treatise of diplomacy by Chanakya seems more than appropriate. The golden words of Chanakya Every neighboring state is an enemy and the enemy’s enemy is a friend” tells the secret of foreign policy. Pakistan or China presents classic case of the same with whom we had to fight wars at the cost of millions of lives. His words “As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it” teaches us the first step of success.

Wise Words of Wisdom

Indeed! If Chanakya transformed the face of politics and economics through his Arthshastra, he has also outlined measures to improve lives of common citizens by his wise words of Chanakya Neeti. As there has been a destructive manipulation of religion in our common life by the self-proclaimed Babas, his words “God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple” seems a guiding force. As our society face common epidemic of distorting relations, his these words comes as precautionary step  “Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness” as one should know There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth” At this juncture of time  when people are running in the rat race of success, find themselves getting away from family and friends, these words seems to be the guiding force, Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead”.

The words the of this exemplary genius holds true in our life even today. The time ripe to be on the path of knowledge and self-assessment as he himself says, “One should learn from other’s mistakes as life is short for experimenting with yourself”.

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Nitish Raj is an MBA dropout from a renowned management institute of India. Reading novels is his passion and so is writing opinion-editorials and non-fiction articles on social issues related to women empowerment, gender equality, caste system, social transformation. His favourite books are The White Tiger, Eleven Minutes, The Da Vinci Code, Animal Farm amongst many others. Some of his favourite authors are Paulo Coelho, Dan Brown, Munshi Premchand, Franz Kafka, Charles Dickens, etc. Though not a movie freak by fashion, he loves analysing and interpreting Bollywood movie themes and connecting them with real life issues. Notes On A Scandal, Paycheck, Arth, Dil Se, etc. are some of his favourite movies. He has won about 12 awards for academic excellence, other quiz and scholarship competitions and winner of Corporate Quiz Contest, Inter- College Competition, State-Level Quiz Contest and star achiever in organization during the project completion among many others. He is also working on a couple of fiction books on women empowerment and other women issues.