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• According to the Jain account, Chanakya was born to two lay Jains
(shravaka) named Chanin and Chaneshvari. His birthplace was
the Chanaka village in Golla vishaya
• Chanakya was born with a full set of teeth. According to the
monks, this was a sign that he would become a king in the future.
Chanin did not want his son to become haughty, so he broke
Chanakya’s teeth.
• It is estimated that Chanakya was born in 350 BC. There is little
purely historical information about Chanakya: most of it comes
from semi-legendary accounts.
• Thomas Trautmann believes that the Jain version is older and
more consistent than the Buddhist version of the legend.


• The monks then prophesized that the baby would go on to become a
power behind the throne. Chanakya grew up to be a learned shravaka,
and married a Brahmin woman. Her relatives mocked her for being
married to a poor man.
• This motivated Chanakya to visit Pataliputra, and seek donations from the
king Nanda, who was famous for his generosity towards Brahmins. While
waiting for the king at the royal court, Chanakya sat on the king’s throne.
• A dasi (servant girl) courteously offered Chanakya the next seat, but
Chanakya kept his kamandal (water pot) on it, while remaining seated on
the throne. The servant then offered him four more seats, but each time,
he kept his various items on the seats, refusing to budge from the throne.
• Finally, the annoyed servant kicked him off the throne. An enraged
Chanakya then vowed to uproot Nanda and his entire establishment,
like “a great wind uproots a tree”.


• According to the Buddhist legend, the Nanda kings who preceded
Chandragupta were robbers-turned-rulers. Chanakya was a
Brahmin from Takkāsila . He was well-versed in three Vedas
and politics. He had canine teeth, which were believed to be a
mark of royalty.
• His mother feared that he would neglect her after becoming a king.
To pacify her, Chanakya broke his teeth.Chanakya had an ugly
appearance, accentuated by his broken teeth and crooked feet.
• One day, the king Dhana Nanda organized an alms-giving
ceremony for Brahmins. Chanakya went to attend this ceremony.
Disgusted by his ugly appearance, the king ordered him to be
thrown out of the assembly. Chanakya then broke his sacred
thread in anger, and cursed the king.


• Chanakya knew that he was prophesied to become a power
behind the throne. So, he started searching for a person worthy
of being a king.
• When Chandragupta grew up, Chanakya came to his village and
saw him playing “king” among a group of boys. To test him,
Chanakya asked him for a donation. The boy told Chanakya to
take the cows nearby, declaring that nobody would disobey his
order. This display of power convinced Chanakya that
Chandragupta was the one worthy of being a king.


• According to Buddhist accounts, the boy Chandragupta was living in
Pataliputra in hardship and poverty, and was employed by a hunter to look
after his cattle.But while playing with other boys he showed extraordinary
intelligence. He held mock courts and delivered judgments like a learned
• He took the boy with him from Pataliputra to far-away Taxila to educate
and train him there for a big role in future with an aim at the destruction of
the Nanda dynasty. Thus that Chandragupta spent his youth in the
frontier city of Taxila, undergoing military training and acquiring
knowledge at that great centre of learning.
• Chandragupta was indeed a bold and brave man as Chanakya was
shrewd and crafty. Both Plutarch and Justin, the classical writers,
mention that the youthful Chandragupta came to the camp of
Alexander and met the Greek hero(not certain).


• Soon thereafter began the rapid rise of Chandragupta to power.
Alexander’s departure from India left the North West in political turmoil.
The presence of the Greek generals and garrisons did not create any fear
in Chandragupta’s mind. He could think of driving out the foreigners with
his own forces. In Magadha, by then, the Nanda monarch was so
oppressive and despotic that the people felt restless against his misrule.
• The time and situation were greatly favourable to Chandragupta to start a
vigorous military campaign to capture power. It is obvious, that he raised a
big fighting force with men from the heroic tribes of the north-west and the
Punjab, as well as from the fallen republican states of those areas.
• Chandragupta was powerful enough to defeat and drive out the
Greeks from the Indian soil. he extermination of the foreigners and
the liberation of the Punjab and the North-West were remarkable
achievements of Chandragupta Maurya.


• Chanakya then took Chandragupta to conquer Pataliputra, the
capital of Nanda. The army suffered a severe defeat, forcing
Chanakya and Chandragupta to flee the battlefield.
• Chanakya was convinced that Chandragupta would remain under
his influence even after becoming the king. He formed an alliance
with Parvataka, the king of a mountain kingdom called
Himavatkuta, offering him half of Nanda’s kingdom.
• After securing Parvataka’s help, Chanakya and Chandragupta
started sieging the towns other than Pataliputra. Gradually,
Chanakya and Chandragupta subdued all the regions outside the capital.


• Finally, they captured Pataliputra and Chandragupta became the king.
They allowed the king Nanda to go into exile, with all the goods he could
take on a cart. As Nanda and his family were leaving the city on a cart, his
daughter saw Chandragupta, and fell in love with the new king. She chose
him as her husband by svayamvara tradition.
• Meanwhile, Parvataka fell in love with one of Nanda’s visha kanyas (poison
girl). Chanakya approved the marriage, and Parvataka collapsed when he
touched the girl during the wedding. Chanakya asked Chandragupta not to
call a physician. Thus, Parvataka died and Chandragupta became the
sole ruler of Nanda’s territories
• Chanakya then started consolidating the power by eliminating Nanda’s
loyalists, who had been harassing people in various parts of the kingdom.
Chanakya learned about a weaver who would burn any part of his house
infested with cockroaches. Chanakya assigned the responsibility of crushing
the rebels to this weaver. Soon, the kingdom was free of insurgents.


• Chanakya used to mix small doses of poison in Chandragupta’s food to
make him immune to poisoning attempts. The king, unaware of this, once
shared his food with Queen Durdhara.
• Chanakya entered the room at the instant she died. He cut open the dead
queen’s belly and took out the baby. The baby, who had been touched by
a drop (“bindu”) of the poison, was named Bindusara.
• After Chandragupta abdicated the throne to become a Jain monk,
Chanakya anointed Bindusara as the new king. Chanakya asked
Bindusara to appoint a man named Subandhu as one of his ministers.
However, Subandhu wanted to become a higher minister and grew jealous
of Chanakya.
• So, he told Bindusara that Chanakya was responsible for the death of his
mother. Bindusara confirmed the allegations with the nurses, An enraged
Bindusara started hating Chanakya. As a result, Chanakya, who had grown
very old by this time, retired and decided to starve himself to death.


• However bindusara was convinced that Chanakya had not done that
and realised his mistake soon.
• Chanakya’s death is clouded with mystery and is not revealed exactly
so far despite several efforts by scholars. However, there are two
standpoints to it.
• It is said that Bindusara tried to convince Chanakya many times, but
despite his efforts, Chanakya refused to come back to the court and
remained silent and starved to death in 283 BC in Pataliputra.
• But some people also believe that utilizing this situation, Bindusara’s
minister Subandhu had burnt Chanakya alive. Later Bindusara is said
to have avenged the death of his guru Chanakya by killing Subandhu
for his evil intent.


• The Arthashastra is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic
policy and military strategy, written in Sanskrit written by Chanakya.
• Arthashastra was influential until the 12th century, when it disappeared. It
was rediscovered in 1905 by R. Shamasastry, who published it in 1909.
The first English translation was published in 1915.
• The title “Arthashastra” is often translated to “the science of politics”,but the
book Arthashastra has a broader scope. It includes books on the nature of
government, law, civil and criminal court systems, ethics, economics, markets
and trade, the methods for screening ministers, diplomacy, theories on war,
nature of peace, and the duties and obligations of a king.
• The text incorporates Hindu philosophy, includes ancient economic and
cultural details on agriculture, mineralogy, mining and metals, animal
husbandry, medicine, forests and wildlife.


Title English Title English
Raja King Yuvaraja Crown prince
Senapati Chief, armed
forces Parishad Council
Nagarika Town manager Pauravya vaharika City overseer
Mantri Minister Karmika Works officer
Samnidhatr Treasurer Karmantika Director, factories
Antapala Frontier
commander Antar vimsaka Head, guards
Dauvarika Chief guard Gopa Revenue officer
Purohita Chaplain Karanika Accounts officer
Prasastr Administrator Nayaka Commander
Upayukta Junior officer Pradeshtri Magistrate
Sunyapala Regent Adhyaksha Superintendent