43 Chanakya Quotes – Inspiring Quotes from Chanakya to Guide Your Life Decisions

In a world seeking guidance, the timeless Chanakya quotes offers a compass. His pragmatic teachings, cloaked in simplicity, bear the power to transform ordinary lives into extraordinary ones. If you’re ready to turn the pages of a unique philosophical journey, join us as we delve into the captivating world of Chanakya’s quotes.

So, who is Chanakya? Chanakya, also known as Kautilya or Vishnugupta, was a celebrated philosopher, teacher, and royal advisor born around 350 BCE in ancient India. His brilliance shone in the realm of politics and administration, contributing significantly to the establishment of the Mauryan Empire. Chanakya’s most well-known works include the ‘Arthashastra’, a treatise on statecraft, economic policy, and military strategy, and ‘Chanakya Niti’, a book of aphorisms on ethics and morality.

Chanakya’s philosophy is a blend of practical wisdom and shrewd strategy, addressing topics from political acumen to personal growth, relationships, and life principles. His teachings embody a pragmatic approach to life, underpinned by a keen understanding of human nature and societal dynamics. As we delve into his quotes, we will traverse a landscape of insights where wisdom meets strategy, ethics intertwine with pragmatism, and timeless truths resonate with contemporary relevance. So, let’s embark on this fascinating exploration of Chanakya’s wisdom, one quote at a time.

The Best Chanakya Quotes: Explore Philosophical Insights And Perspectives On Life

“The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.”  ~  Chanakya

“The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.”  ~  Chanakya

“There is poison in the fang of the serpent, in the mouth of the fly and in the sting of a scorpion; but the wicked man is saturated with it.”  ~  Chanakya

“The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.”  ~  Chanakya

“God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.”  ~  Chanakya

“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

“There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”  ~  Chanakya

“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

Leadership and Wisdom: Inspirational Quotes By Chanakya

“A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.”  ~  Chanakya

“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

“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

“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

“The wise man should restrain his senses like the crane and accomplish his purpose with due knowledge of his place, time and ability.”  ~  Chanakya

“Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.”  ~  Chanakya

“Whores don’t live in company of poor men, citizens never support a weak company and birds don’t build nests on a tree that doesn’t bear fruits.”  ~  Chanakya

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves.”  ~  Chanakya

“It is better to die than to preserve this life by incurring disgrace. The loss of life causes but a moment’s grief, but disgrace brings grief every day of one’s life.”  ~  Chanakya

“Do not be very upright in your dealings for you would see by going to the forest that straight trees are cut down while crooked ones are left standing.”  ~  Chanakya

“If one has a good disposition, what other virtue is needed? If a man has fame, what is the value of other ornamentation?”  ~  Chanakya

“Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.”  ~  Chanakya

“Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.”  ~  Chanakya

“A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”  ~  Chanakya

Deception and Strategy: Examine The Role Of Deception And Strategic Thinking In Various Situations

“One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in the possession of others, can use neither his knowledge nor wealth when the need for them arises.”  ~  Chanakya

“As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”  ~  Chanakya

“Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.”  ~  Chanakya

“As a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to burn, so does a rascal son destroy a whole family.”  ~  Chanakya

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

Self-Reflection and Growth: Discuss The Importance Of Self-Reflection And Personal Growth In Life

“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

“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

“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 the bites of insects.”  ~  Chanakya

“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.”  ~  Chanakya

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”  ~  Chanakya

“Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.”  ~  Chanakya

“The happiness and peace attained by those satisfied by the nectar of spiritual tranquillity is not attained by greedy persons restlessly moving here and there.” ~ Chanakya

Themes and Topics: What Are The Chanakya Quotes All About?

Chanakya’s quotes are a profound manifestation of wisdom, touching a wide range of themes, from personal growth and relationships to socio-political ideologies and life principles. At the core of his philosophy lies the principle of pragmatism, emphasized in quotes like, “A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.”

This is not an advocacy of dishonesty but a counsel for strategic discretion. Additionally, Chanakya talks about the power of knowledge, as seen in the quote, “Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere.”

What Can We Learn From these Chanakya Quotes?

Similar to Buddha, Chanakya’s teachings offer practical insights for different life situations. His quotes are a guide to personal development, emphasizing the importance of self-reliance, discretion, and the pursuit of knowledge.

For instance, “Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune,” teaches us the importance of understanding people’s true nature in different circumstances.

Another key lesson is the understanding of our transient existence, as he states, “A man is born alone and dies alone and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone…”

How Can We Apply Chanakya’s Wisdom In Our Own Lives?

To apply Chanakya’s wisdom, we must first embrace the pursuit of knowledge and self-improvement, as he advises, “An educated person is respected everywhere.” We should also be strategic and pragmatic in our dealings, as illustrated by the quote about straight trees being cut first.

His advice to “never share your secrets with anybody” can be interpreted as a reminder to maintain personal boundaries. Moreover, his emphasis on testing relationships in times of adversity teaches us to be discerning in choosing our close associates.

A Dark Side to Chanakya’s Quotes?

While Chanakya’s quotes are undeniably insightful, some may argue they propagate a pragmatic, somewhat cynical world view. For example, “There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth,” could be perceived as a bleak perspective on human relationships.

Similarly, his quote about not being “too honest” might seem to contradict widely-held moral principles. It’s important to remember that wisdom is subjective, and Chanakya’s teachings, like any philosophical doctrine, reflect the context of his time and should be interpreted with discretion.

Which Wise Owls Mirrored Chanakya’s Philosophy?

Chanakya’s ideas are often compared to those of various ancient philosophers, especially from the Western tradition. Here are a few that might be considered similar:

Sun Tzu: The ancient Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher, author of “The Art of War.” Both Chanakya and Sun Tzu emphasized strategy, practical wisdom, and pragmatism in dealing with political and military matters.

Machiavelli: Although not ancient, this Italian Renaissance political philosopher and author of “The Prince” is frequently compared to Chanakya. Both shared a pragmatic and sometimes cynical view of politics, emphasizing power, practicality, and realpolitik over ideals.

Plato: Plato, a classical Greek philosopher, shared with Chanakya a keen interest in politics, ethics, and the role of the leader (the philosopher-king in Plato’s terms). However, they differ quite significantly in many of their views, with Plato espousing more idealistic notions of governance.

Confucius: The ancient Chinese philosopher, like Chanakya, had a strong focus on ethics, morality, and proper conduct. However, Confucius’s philosophy generally tended towards a more benevolent view of leadership, compared to Chanakya’s realpolitik.

Aristotle: Aristotle, like Chanakya, wrote extensively on politics and ethics, exploring concepts like justice, the rule of law, and the forms of government. However, Aristotle’s approach is generally more theoretical and philosophical compared to Chanakya’s practical and strategic outlook.

While similarities can be found, it’s also important to note that these comparisons have limits. Each of these philosophers belonged to distinct historical and cultural contexts that shaped their views and philosophies.