CHANKAYA's brand of wisdom is ageless and immutable. Chanakya expounds his views with amazing foresight and charity. It has a large smattering of pity observations on Women, Family Life, Human Relationships, Moral Conduct and Spirituality. His startling prophecies, meaningful reflections on everyday living and heard headed axioms.
1. If a town is inhabited by fools, who do not know how to respect others, then one must forsake it. Also, if a town offers no source of livelihood or friendship; if there is no institution that imparts education; if there are neither doctors, nor men of learning or affluence; then it should be abandoned, as a town not worthy of settling in.
2. Knowledge in a man, born into an inferior family, and cultured manners in a girl, with an infamous ancestors, should be accepted be accepted, as unhesitatingly, as poison found in elixir, or gold discovered in an unsanctified place.
3. One must be secretive. Take the utmost care not to reveal one's heart to others. One must always act, after having carefully pondered over the blunders one has committed in the past. To succeed in this world of competition and rivalry, the virtue of secretiveness has to be acquired.
4. An astute man marries his daughter into a family with a noble, and illustrious ancestry. He provides his son with the best education, religionizes his friend, and entangles his enemy in a messy situation. A man who fulfills all these duties, can be assured of a happy and meritorious life.
5. Diligence puts an end to one's penury. The company of noble men and saints keeps one away from sin. Taciturnity helps one avoid unnecessary hostility. Constant alertness enables one to overcome fear.
6. How am I passing my time? who are my friends and enemies? which country an I a citizen of ? which clan do I owe allegiance to ? what are my gains or losses in my endeavours? A man must always ponder over these questions, for in their answers lies his destiny, and his key to worldly success.
7. A prudent man is always on the alert for problems that may manifest themselves in the future. As a result, he is always equipped to meet them. The simpleton who behaves without any foresight, is forced to suffer the consequences.
8. One should not be alarmed at the sight of misfortune on a distant horizon. Should one see calamity approaching swiftly, then one must face it fearlessly.
9. An affluent man's relatives will constantly flock around him. Nobody will approach a pauper. A prosperous man must always take care to avoid those relatives, who are conniving with each other to rob him of his wealth. An affluent man is always befooled by others into believing that he is a wise man. He should always be conscious of people's attempts to deceive him. He should save his money, and refrain from extravagance.
10. The lion, king of the animals has one outstanding virtue. He puts his heart into every activity he undertakes. Whatever he does, he does with vigour. Every deed is executed with total commitments, devotion and single minded intensity.
11. A dog is content with whatever he gets. He is complacent, even when he begins to experience the pangs of hunger. He is brave and faithful. A dog is alert even in sleep. These are his outstanding virtues.
12. If a man makes sincere efforts to amass knowledge; unhesitatingly interchanges food and money; and firmly believes in mutual give and take, then he will always be happy.
13. A man who constantly hankers after wealth, will never attain the happiness of the man, who is content with what he has.
14. One must always be content with one's wife, one's supply of food and one's wealth.
15. Initially, one's enemy should be handled in accordance with the ethical code. He should be approached submissively, and every effort must be made to appease his animosity. Yet, if despite sincere efforts at conciliation, the evil enemy maintains his hostile stance, then one should prepare to handle him with the necessary cunning. He must be crushed ruthlessly.
16. If one drinks water, after one has digested one's food, then water will have the quality of ambrosia. But, if one drinks water before digesting one's meal. then water will have a toxic effect. Drinking water immediately after a meal could prove to be injurious to health.
17. Anything that Man does independently, indicates his superiority. If one makes one's own beaded garland, rubs one's own sandal paste, and composes one's own hymns, they will be a class apart. They will also bring one immense joy and gratification. Dependence makes a man inferior in his own eyes. All kinds of dependence should be discouraged. One must be self-reliant.
18. Soil, sugar-cane, sesamum, sandal wood and gold will exhibit their inherent worthy, only when they are crushed and ground repeatedly.
19. With patience and diligence, even poverty can be transformed into affluence. Brisk, vigorous cleaning will remove dirt, and successfully transform an unsightly home into a beautiful one. This is similar to cooking raw vegetables to lend them flavor and spice.
20. One must always remember to give careful consideration to each deed. Each step must be taken with great caution. One must take care to behave sagaciously in the society of men; speak as instructed in the scriptures; and drink only filtered water.
21. Knowledge and wisdom will forsake the one who pursues worldly pleasure, luxury, and sensuality. One who aspires to acquire scriptural knowledge, must not attach any weight to such frivolous things. The convergence of the worldly and saintly life is as illusory as the convergence of the earth and sky on the horizon.
22. Knowledge can be attained, only after a laborious and persistent effort.
23. One, who is magnanimous with his family; sympathetic to others; rigidly opposed to the wicked; and respectful and humble in the company of saints and savants, is the wisest of men. One who is brave before his enemies; complacent before his elders; astute with women; and self-centred in his dealings with the crafty and cunning, will always be happy. He will never trespass the limits of decency.
24. If a man spends extravagantly without foresight, and tends to be parasitic, quarrelsome, and ever ready to enter into a sexual relationship with women, irrespective of her caste, creed or religion, then he will surely meet with an untimely death.
25. If a man is always receptive to more knowledge and education; unhesitant in accepting food from others; and strongly inclined to share everything that he has, then he will live a calm, quit and fulfilling life.
26. One cannot change the past, but one can ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future. The past is irrevocable, and the future is totally unpredictable. Only the present exists, so one should think of today. If one treads the path of the present, then one will touch the peaks of happiness.
27. Blind attachment and infatuation will only cause suffering, pain, anxiety and fear. That is why, wise men never commit the folly of getting attached to people. Thus, they remain in a state of bliss.
28. If a man has the foresight and wisdom to seek the remedies for imminent hazards, and he is prepared to face the world squarely, then he will move fearlessly through life. A blunt fatalist, who believes that everything is governed by some unknown power called god, deadens himself before his death. His attitude deprives him of his brilliance and vitality, and renders him soulless.
29. If a man is fickle and indecisive, then he can never taste happiness. A life of isolation in a forest will make him crave for human company; a life in the society of men will baffle him. Neither of these alternatives can bring him lasting joy. Such a man will always be burdened by his discontent.
30. It is true that, as a man sows, so shall he reap. A man's destiny is governed solely by his actions. He, who is astute and perceptive, will always think carefully before carrying out an action.
31. It is only a knowledge of the world and self-awareness that distinguishes man from animal- for an animal too, eats, sleeps, copulates and feels fear. Therefore, a man without knowledge, is in no way superior to an animal.
32. If a man's heart is full of magnanimity and compassion towards his fellow human beings, he will attain worldly prosperity, as he moves through life. All his problems will be solved of their own accord.
33. A man must open-heartedly accept two things in life. Firstly, erudition, and secondly, the company of noble, virtuous people. Those men, who earnestly aspire to be happy and prosperous will always seek the company of noble ones.
34. In order to please others, one must always use mellifluous language. Speaking in a charming and pleasant manner does not cost one anything.
35. If one has earned money by adopting unjustified means, then it will remain with one for ten years. In the eleventh year, such undeserved wealth is not only destroyed, but also serves as one's nemesis. One must always keep this in view. Take care never to employ illegal measures to earn money!
36. Before doing any deed, one should always ponder over its consequences. If a deed should compel one to repent later, and atone for one's action, then it is not worth doing. Before carrying out any action ask yourself three questions!why am I doing this? what will be the consequences of this action? will this exercise be a success, or a fiasco? After questioning oneself, one should act according to the conclusion one arrives at. One should only trust oneself. often, trusting others is futile and dangerous. They will not hesitate to lead us straight into the pit of treachery. One should always have confidence in oneself.
37. Even that, which is unattainable through effort, is attainable through a life of austerity. A austere life is even mightier than a forceful effort.
38. Even if the Master has preached only a single word to his disciple, he deserves his reverence. The act of preaching or imparting knowledge is not only the noblest of all acts, but also a favour that can never be repaid.
39. Bereavement can bring about physical and psychological illness.
40. In the forest, only those trees with curved trunks escape the woodcutter's axe. The trees that stand straight and tall, fall to the ground. This only illustrates that it is not too advisable to live in this world as an innocent, modest man.
41. Betraying a friend; taking shelter in the enemy camp; and adopting illegal measures to obtain money, is not acceptable, even in days of adversity. The money earned employing illegal means is ignoble and contemptible.
42. If a man's heart is full of magnanimity and compassion towards his fellow human beings, he will attain worldly prosperity, as he moves through life. All his problems will be solved of their own accord.
43. When the earth is dug up with a hoe, the water gushes to the surface. Similarly, if the disciple serves his master with unconditional love and faith, he is sure to gain wisdom and knowledge of the self.
44. One's mind is responsible, both for one's worldly bondage, and liberation from material life. An attached mind is inclined towards earthly objects. A detached mind is indifferent to them. Bondage is when one's mind is enmeshed in worldly life. The ultimate emancipation, is when one's mind soars above earthly pleasures.
45. Milk lends one energy, ghee thickens one's semen, and meat fatten one's body.
46. One must bathe after copulating; massaging with oil; shaving off one's hair or beard; and inhaling the fumes from the funeral pyre. If one fails to do so, one remains unsanctified.
47. If a man makes sincere efforts to amass knowledge; unhesitatingly interchanges food and money; and firmly believes in mutual give and take, then he will always be happy.
48. The donkey works vigorously, even when his limbs are weary. He cultivates an indifference to the scorching summer heat, and this enables him to plod on relentless of his exhaustion. Come what may, he is always tranquil and content. This is an admirable quality.
49. If one makes a sincere attempt to acquire all the qualities narrated above, then success is inevitable.
50. The cock rises at the crack of dawn. He is always ready to fight and chase away his rivals. He also has the habit of snatching away other's food.