FOR ALL AGES

75 Great Chanakya Quotes From The Inspiring Indian Teacher

Chanakya is known as one of the earliest economists of ancient India.

Chanakya, also called Kautilya, was a royal advisor, economist, and teacher during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya.

He was well educated at the time and is also known for his written text titled 'Arthashatra'. The text was like an instruction manual to guide the upcoming young king Chandragupta to teach him effective ruling.  

The word 'Arthashastra' translates to 'Artha' which refers to the meaning and 'shastra' meaning a work of sacred scripture. The text was inspired by the philosophical school of Charvaka. Post the reign of Ashoka The Great; Chandragupta's grandson, the text disappeared since Ashoka converted to Buddhism and Chandragupta converted to follow Jainism. It wasn't until 1950 CE that the text was rediscovered by a scholar named Rudragupta Shamasastry. The scholar later translated the text to English and published it in 1915 CE. The Arthashastra was prominent and greatly influenced the Mauryan Empire. In this article, we have some of the best Chanakya quotes inspired by his life and work. If you like this article, please have a look at [Sadhguru quotes] and [Sai Baba quotes].

Best Chanakya Quotes

Here are the best Chanakya quotes. These Chanakya quotes show his wisdom.

Legends suggest that Chanakya maintained an army of females known as Vaishakanyas.

1."One who can't determine his goals; cannot win."

-Chanakya

2."A man is born alone and dies alone, and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone, and he goes alone to hell or the supreme abode."

-Chanakya

3."Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution."

-Chanakya

4."Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness."

-Chanakya

5."He who is overly attached to his family members experiences fear and sorrow, for the root of all grief is attachment. Thus one should discard attachment to be happy."

-Chanakya  

6."The world's biggest power is the beauty and the youth of a woman."

-Chanakya

7."There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth."

-Chanakya

8."It's better to die than to preserve this life by incurring disgrace."

-Chanakya

9."He who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far away, but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be nearby."

-Chanakya  

10."The loss of life causes but a moment's grief, but disgrace brings grief every day of one's life."

-Chanakya  

11."Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends."

-Chanakya

12."No one can defeat a powerful mind."

-Chanakya

13."Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous."

-Chanakya

14. "Wealth, a friend, a wife, and a kingdom may be regained, but this body when lost may never be acquired again."

-Chanakya

15."As a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to burn, so does a rascal son destroy a whole family."

-Chanakya  

16."Accumulated wealth is saved by spending just as incoming fresh water is saved by letting out stagnant water."

-Chanakya  

17."The life of an uneducated man is as useless as the tail of a dog which neither covers its rear end nor protects it from bites of insects."

-Chanakya  

18."A wise man should restrain his senses like the crane and accomplish his purpose with due knowledge of his place, time, and ability."

-Chanakya  

19."The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep."

-Chanakya  

Chanakya Niti Quotes

Let's take a look at quotes from Chankya's 'Niti'. Below are the English translations of these Chanakya quotes in Hindi. Have a read of these Chanakya quotes.

20."The one excellent thing that can be learned from a lion is that whatever a man intends doing should be done by him with a whole-hearted and strenuous effort."

-Chanakya

21."Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and of a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform."

-Chanakya  

22."Drop the idea that love and attachment are one thing. They are enemies. It is attachment that destroys all love."

-Chanakya

23."One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in the possession of others can use neither knowledge nor wealth to carry it into execution."

-Chanakya

24."There is poison in the fang of a serpent, in the mouth of a fly, and in the sting of a scorpion; but the wicked man is saturated with it."

-Chanakya  

25."We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment."  

-Chanakya  

26."The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions."

-Chanakya  

27."Never reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution."

-Chanakya  

28."The earth is supported by the power of truth; it is the power of truth that makes the sun shine and the winds blow; indeed all things rest upon truth."

-Chanakya

29."God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple."

-Chanakya

Chanakya Quotes From Arthashastra

Below are some Chanakya quotes from his famous text 'Arthashastra'. These are Chanakya quotes in Hindi, but we have listed the English translations. Take a look at the Chanakya quotes below.

Chanakya possessed knowledge in fields like medicine and astrology.

30."Every neighboring state is an enemy and the enemy's enemy is a friend."

-Kautilya

31."Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions-  Why am I doing it, what are the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions..."

- Kautilya

32."...It is possible that this designation is a retention from earlier texts and, in the Arthashastra, is used only to represent a higher grade for salary and..."

- Kautilya

33."Dharma is law in the widest sense -spiritual, moral, ethical, and temporal..."

-Kautilya

34."Every individual whether the ruler or the ruled is governed by his or her own dharma. To the extent that society respected dharma, society protected itself; to the extent, society offended it, society undermined..."

-Kautilya

35."Just as it is impossible to know when a swimming fish is drinking water, so it is impossible to find out when a government servant is stealing money."

-Kautilya

36."Whoever imposes severe punishment becomes repulsive to the people; while he who awards mild punishment becomes contemptible. But whoever imposes punishment as deserved becomes respectable."

-Kautilya

37."For every effect, there is a specific cause. Success is not an accident. Success is not based on chance.  Success is not a matter of luck. Success is the result of well thought out action."

-Kautilya  

38."Success needs action. Action needs initiative."

-Kautilya

39."He shall despise none, but hear the opinions of all. A wise man shall make use of even a child's sensible utterance."

-Kautilya

40."If a king is energetic, his subjects will be equally energetic. If he is reckless, they will not only be reckless likewise but also eat into his works."

-Kautilya

Best Chanakya Quotes On Life

Here are some of the best quotes from the philosopher about life and other topics. These Chanakya quotes will teach you great life lessons.

41."As soon as the fear approaches near; attack and destroy it."

-Chanakya

42."Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth."

-Chanakya

43."Books are useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person."

-Chanakya  

44."Knowledge is lost without putting it into practice; a man is lost due to ignorance; an army is lost without a commander; and a woman is lost without a husband."

-Chanakya  

45."O, wise man! Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet."

-Chanakya

46."Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher full of poison with milk on top."

-Chanakya

47."God does not dwell in the wooden, stony, or earthen idols. His abode is in our feelings, our thoughts."

-Chanakya  

48."A man is great by deeds, not by birth."

-Chanakya

49."Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune."

-Chanakya

50."The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you."

-Chanakya

51."Once you start working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest."

-Chanakya

52."Humbleness is at the root of self-control."

-Chanakya

53."Learn from other people's mistakes... you can't live long enough to make them all yourselves."

-Chanakya

54."A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first."

-Chanakya

55."There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind, and there is no happiness equal to contentment; there is no disease like covetousness and no virtue like mercy."

-Chanakya  

56."If one has a good disposition, what other virtue is needed? If a man has fame, what is the value of other ornamentation?"

-Chanakya  

57."The happiness and peace attained by those satisfied by the nectar of spiritual tranquility is not attained by greedy persons restlessly moving here and there."

-Chanakya  

58."As long as your body is healthy and under control and death is distant, try to save your soul; when death is immanent what can you do?"

-Chanakya  

59."Time perfects men as well as destroys them."

-Chanakya

60."All creatures are pleased by loving words, and therefore we should address words that are pleasing to all, for there is no lack of sweet words."

-Chanakya

61."Sinfully acquired wealth may remain for ten years; in the eleventh year it disappears when even the original stock."

-Chanakya

62."A man attains greatness by his merits, not simply by occupying an exalted seat. Can we call a crow an eagle simply because he sits on top of a building?"

-Chanakya

63."He who is prepared for the future and he who deals cleverly with any situation that may arise are both happy, but the fatalistic man who wholly depends on luck is ruined."

-Chanakya

64."We should always speak what would please the man of whom we expect a favor, like the hunter who sings sweetly when he desires to shoot a deer."

-Chanakya

65."We should not feel pride in our charity, austerity, valor, scriptural knowledge, modesty, and morality for the world is full of the rarest gems."

-Chanakya  

66."There are three gems upon this earth; food, water, and pleasing words - fools consider pieces of rocks as gems."

-Chanakya

67."Who realizes all the happiness that he desires? Everything is in the hands of God. Therefore one should learn contentment."

-Chanakya

68."A task in which an expedient is used is not difficult to achieve."

-Chanakya

69."He who forsakes his own community and joins another perishes as the king who embraces an unrighteous path."

-Chanakya

70."The weak should seek refuge in the strong."

-Chanakya

71."Power is the cause of alliances."

-Chanakya

72."If people are prosperous even a leaderless state can be governed.'

-Chanakya

73."Righteousness is the root of happiness.'

-Chanakya

74."Prosperity abandons one who is satisfied with wealth."

-Chanakya

75."By failing to plan, you are planning to fail. Every effective performance is based on thorough preparation."

-Chanakya

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Chanakya quotes then why not take a look at Sanskrit quotes, or Paramahansa Yogananda quotes.

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Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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