Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chanakya - Essential Precepts

CHANAKYA was undoubtedly ancient India's finest Political Strategist and Thinker. The Teaching of Chanakya are the real nourishment of life.

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.

INVALUABLE ADVICE: A man who opens his heart to others, will meet a tragic end. If one is concerned about one's welfare, then one should take care never to reveal one's heart. It would be wise to act upon such invaluable advice. He, who pays little heed to such counsel, will die as miserably as a snake trapped in its hole. One who acts upon such guidance, will remain invulnerable and invincible.

OSTENTATION: Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should not stop hissing under any circumstance. The snake will have only its hiss to ward off human beings and protect itself. Without this protective pretense, even a little child could stone it to death. 

A little ostentation is necessary in this world. Without the minimum of ostentation, a man's worth will remain unrecognized.

INCORRIGIBILITY: An incorrigible man cannot be converted into a saint, unless he has a powerful yearning to become one. However thoroughly an anus is cleansed, it will always remain an unsanctified anus.

THE CLOUD VISION: A man can be possessed by various kinds of blindness. Some, unfortunately, are born blind. There are others who have been blessed with vision, but owing to various reasons, they are blind to life around them. Such men are not blind- they are blindfolded.

Others are blinded by sex, greed and inebriety. These people are so blinded by their vices, that they are incapable of seeing things as they are. Their perception is clouded to such an extent, that they seem oblivious to the hell they have created for themselves. They stumble through life like blind men.

EXPLOITATION: If one wishes to fulfill one's ends. It is important to keep the likes, dislikes, prejudices, inclinations and weaknesses of others in mind. Flash money before the greedy man, be respectful to the egoist; keep up a pretense of truthfulness before the wise man; and allow the imbecile to behave as he wishes to.

If one behaves in the above-mentioned ways, one's prey becomes vulnerable to exploitation

FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED: One should stay at least thousand feet away from an elephant, a hundred feet away from a horse, and ten feet away from any animal with horns. If one keeps a distance from the above-mentioned animals, one can learn a great deal about their intentions and their aggression.

If one should encounter a wicked person, then one must immediately talk to one's heels. A villain can attack from any distance. Moreover, such a man will never reveal his true intentions to anyone.

THE CONDUCT MERITS THE TREATMENT: An elephant must be controlled using an Ankush (iron hook); a horse using a whip; and a horned animal, with the aid of a cudgel. But an evil man must never be spared the sword, he must have rigorous punishment enforced on him. This is the only way to keep him under control. Therefore the saying, "the conduct merits the treatment."

DAMNED ONES: If a man is hostile towards his own friends and brothers; if his anger is uncontrollable, and his speech is fiery, then he will be condemned to eternal hell. Such antagonistic and fiendish people will experience hell on earth.

THE WAY OF LIVING: In the lion's den, one can find an elephant's skull and pieces of flesh.

In a jackal's lair, one can find the torn-out tail of a calf, along with a donkey's skin.

If one is careful to observe the things scattered around in a house, one can roughly guess the nature of the man who dwells there. One's house mirrors one's way of living, and the inner quality of one's being.

EMINENCE OVER AFFLUENCE: Mean-spirited men, born into inferior families, constantly hanker after money. For such men, wealth is the most precious thing in the world.

Men of average intelligence seek wealth, and simultaneously strive to attain honor and social respectability.

Men, who hail from families, boasting of a noble and distinguished lineage, desire only respect and glory. Such men give immense weight age to dignity and notability, and little importance to worldly riches.

ELIGIBILITY: Money must be given away only to men of virtue. They are the only ones who truly deserve it. The sea only lends its water to the clouds. The clouds transform this water into ambrosia. It rains down on earth and sea, replenishing life, and providing subsistence. It is also a refreshing stimulus for the creatures of the earth. One must think carefully before giving away even a single paisa. Always take into account whom it is being given it.

PATRONAGE: Knowledge cannot be attained without diligence. Idleness will devastate the tree of knowledge, and once that occurs we will witness the annihilation of humanity.
In the absence of the General, the army is shorn of its invincibility. After the death of the husband, life ceases to hold any charm for the wife. Her life stagnates like a pool of water. Similarly, in the absence of tutelage, life loses all it's meaning.

MISFORTUNE: There are innumerable moments of misfortune in one's life. But the death of one's wife in old age; seizure of one's ancestral property by one's brothers; insecurity about the availability of food; and dependence on others, are without doubt, the most unfortunate situations.

THE USE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF VIRTUE: Beauty has no significance unless it is accompanied by virtue. The magnificence of an ancestry, lies in the modesty and amiability of its members. The splendor of education lies in original thought, accomplishment and perfection. The value of money lies in its use.

Even an absolutely bewitching woman, will look quite contemptible, if she is devoid of virtue. Though a person may hail from a renowned ancestry, if he is devoid of modesty and congeniality, then he will be a despicable specimen. A superior education will be a no avail, if it fails to make one an accomplished person. And finally, money will lose all its meaning if it is locked away in an iron safe. Money is useless in the hands of a miser.

INVALUABLE ADVICE: A man who opens his heart to others, will meet a tragic end. If one is concerned about one's welfare, then one should take care never to reveal one's heart. It would be wise to act upon such invaluable advice. He, who pays little heed to such counsel, will die as miserably as a snake trapped in its hole. One who acts upon such guidance, will remain invaluable and invincible.

SIGNIFICANCE OF KNOWLEDGE: A scholar is universally adored. He is admired by people, irrespective of whether he is in his own country or not. Knowledge is a powerful asset in his hands, and it confers universal adulation upon him. A knowledgeable and erudite man can achieve anything.

ON IDLE GOSSIP: One should not waste one's time, and dissipate one's energy, gossiping with gamblers, bandits and women. If one wishes to reach the pinnacle of earthy success, it is absolutely necessary to observe taciturnity. Curbing loose talk is a sure key to success.

A CRY IN THE WILDERNESS: It would be foolish of an instructor to advise one who lacked depth and seriousness. Such shallow men are like the snakes who have their abode on Malachal Hills. The snakes are impervious to the heady fragrance of sandalwood in the Malachal hills. Even the hills on which the sandalwood grows, remain uninfluenced by its fragrance. One must understand that, there is little point in advising those who are not earnest and receptive. The exercise is as futile as crying in the wilderness. Good advice is always wasted on frivolous souls, who refuse to take life seriously.

CHARITY: To live as a pauper, at the mercy of one's kith and kin, is the singularly most unpleasant experience, that any individual could have. It is far better to live in seclusion in a dense forest, , in the company of tigers, lions, snakes and other wild animals. Living an isolated and austere life, is far more gratifying than a life of penury at the mercy of relatives. It is far better to eat off a plate of leaves, than eat off a plate of gold, that was given to one as charity.

CONDITIONING: Wickedness is ingrained in certain men. Such men can never give up their villainous ways. Even if one feeds milk to a snake, it will continue to spew venom. Similarly, no amount of sugar cane juice poured at the root of the margosa tree, can sweeten its essence. The margosa tree is quintessentially bitter. Nothing can remove its pungent sourness.

INSATIABLE GREED: Man's thirst for life, sex, money and food are insatiable. As far as these things are concerned, he is never content with what he has. There is always a frantic greed for more. Sadly the more he gets, the more intense his discontentment is.

INAUSPICIOUS ACTS: Gazing at one's own reflection in the water, shaving off one's hair at a barber's dwelling, and using sandal that has been rubbed on stone, are all considered to be inauspicious acts. 

Going to another house as an uninvited guest, interrupting a conversation between two people, and indiscriminately giving away one's belongings, are considered to be signs of stupidity.

HYPOCRISY: The teeth that the elephant uses to chew his food are always obscured from view. There are few people on earth, who are not hypocrites. Man is a two-faced creature. He does not hesitate to reveals his respectable front to the world. The darker aspects of his personality always remains hidden from public view.

COMPATIBILITY: Just as oil and ghee (clarified butter made from the milk of cows or buffaloes.) will never mix with water, it is not possible for two individuals with dramatically opposite natures, to rub shoulders with each other.

THE FORCE OF TIME: Time is an unstoppable force. It moves on relentlessly. A man who understands the value of time is assured of success in life. Always avoid procrastination! Remain vigilant, and honor time.

WINE AND WOMEN: Women allure one with false shows of love.Wine entraps one with promises of pleasure.Oh imbecile, do you know the consequences of

giving into such pleasure? You will die the death of a worm. Wine and women will creep into your life to rob you of you wealth and talent. Beware of them-or you will have to atone for your sinful ways.

EXCRUCIATING COMPANY: A wise man always by passes a mad man, a beautiful young woman, a leper, and a rogue masquerading as a sadhu. It is distressing to be in their company. One should always salute them from afar, and walk away.

EFFORT: Luck always involves a minimum of diligence. One cannot lie idle beneath a mango tree, and expect a ripe mango to fall into one's hands. Luck will always elude one, who is unwilling to take pains to achieve his aims.

SLAVES OF HABIT: A snake's body will wind and curve as it slithers along; a dog's tail will always be twisted; a donkey will always take pride in displaying the strength of his legs; and flies and black ants will always return to familiar surroundings. 

In a similar way, man is also a slave to his habits. Human beings are totally enslaved by their habits and addictions.

ERUDITION: Even though the cow eats a variety of things, it continues to provide us with milk. Is there anything that cannot be made out of milk? It gives us curd, whey, butter, ghee and cheese. 

Similarly, whatever the learned man does, he does with a purpose. His actions are truly worthy of imitation. Only a wise man can comprehend the utility and worth of the actions of other wise men.

FUTILITY OF OUTER APPEARANCE: How can ant ever compare to an elephant? Yet in-spite of the disparity in their sizes, both co-exist peacefully. on this planet. 

It is important not be taken in by the forms and figures of living beings. Instead, one must learn to appreciate their actions, merits and virtues. 

The outer appearance is nothing but a mere superficial detail. What is significant is wisdom, strength and inner beauty.

THE PATH TO SELF-REALIZATION: Wearing pretty bangles will not beautify one's hands; doing charitable deeds will. Smearing sandal paste over one's body will not cleanse it. as a bath will. Emancipation from worldly life can only be achieved through knowledge. One who lives a pretentious life, can never attain enlightenment. Contentment can be realized only by those who live a dignified life. As long as one fails to grasp this truth, one with drift aimlessly on the sea of worldly existence.

INTELLECTUAL-CHOICE: Excessive consumption of Kundru ( a creeper whose fruits are used as a vegetable), can blunt one's intellect; but when consumed indiscriminately, it can only sharpen it. The Almighty God often imbues the same thing with diametrically opposite qualities. How one uses particular things at particular times vastly depends on the intellect's discriminatory ability. Everything is available on earth. One can reach out to both vice and virtue. What one accepts or rejects, depends on one's intellect. The choice will reflect one's inner quality.

SANCTITY OF THE HEART: If God resides in a man's heart, then he has nothing to gain from rigorous and austere exercises. What further benefit can he derive from visiting sacred pilgrim centers? When a man is the very embodiment of honesty and integrity, his dwelling assumes the sanctity of a pilgrim center.

THE COMPANY OF THE IGNOBLE: How can on profit from the company of ignoble men? Subject derive little benefit from a king who is a reprobate and a tyrant. 

It does not profit one to be in the company of a friend who secretly nurse treacherous thoughts in his thoughts in his heart. He could tab one in the back at any moment. 

A wicked and insincere disciple cannot enhance the master's reputation in any way. A disciple who will veer from the path of truth, does not deserve to be initiated . He will never be able to expound his master's teachings. 

There is no satisfaction to be derived from entering into a marriage with a quarrelsome and adulterous woman. One's life will become a living hell, devoid of peace and harmony.

A life of seclusion is preferable to the company of ignoble men. A degenerate king, a treacherous friend, an insincere disciple, and an adulterous woman, can only get one into a scrap. There is little to be gained from their company.

ON INTERFERENCE: One must not intervene in other's affairs. Similarly, one must never come between a husband and wife, or a master and servant. It could result in profound embarrassment. 

Also, should one play with fire, or attempt to pass through the yoke of the oxen and plough- it could result in fatal injuries.

NO ONE IS WEAK: Almighty God has made each individual mighty. One who is conversant in the Vedas, and has consequently attained a realization of Self, is powerful in his own right. His power lies in his knowledge of the Scriptures and his Self-realization.

An enchantress has the power to bewitch people. She has the ability to charm and fascinate those she encounters.

Each individual is uniquely powerful and competent. No-one should be regarded as weak or powerless. When a suitable opportunity arises, a man could dazzle you with an unexpected display of skill and power. Therefore, even an apparently weak enemy should never be written off as easily conquerable.

MISFORTUNE: It is said that when misfortune appears, intuitive intelligence deserts one.

No one can claim to have seen a golden deer. Yet, prior to her preordained abduction. Sita swore she had seen one. At her behest, Rama frantically chased the golden deer to capture it. He only wished to fulfil his beloved wife's desire. It is in his absence that Sita was abducted by Ravana.

Misfortune is often preordained. One inevitably abandons rational thinking at such a time.

THRIFT: When a man is poor and destitute, then his family and friends are quick to desert him. But when he attains affluence, the very same people will mill around him. A man is judged not by his qualities, but by his wealth. Therefore, one should be closed-fisted, and avoid all extravagance.

A WISE MAN: A wise man is one whose speech is always perfectly suited to the situation. He fosters ties with those who have similar temperaments, and display his anger in a manner befitting his superior status. He is proficient in the scriptures and devoid of any vice.

CIRCUMSPECTION: One should always think twice before developing a close relationship with a woman, a preceptor and a king. Ideally, they should be kept at arms length, as a difference of opinion could arise at any time.

HANDLING THE KNAVE: Only corrupt means can be used to handle a knave. Only diamonds can cut diamonds. A thorn must be used to remove a thorn. Remember this eternal truth.

BEWARE OF THE KNAVE: A knave may utter "Ram Ram", and still hide a knife behind his back. When a favorable opportunity arises, he will withdraw his marvelous knife to stab one in the back. Just as the hunter traps the poor deer with his melodious song, the knave will use mellifluous speech to realize his selfish motives. He is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The adage "Those who are too courteous are bound to be far too crafty" is applicable to such a man.

BONDING OF THE SPIRIT: Love shortens all distances and bridges all gaps. If your companion does not have a place in your heart, then physical proximity is meaningless. He will be million miles away from you in spirit.

ENVY: Failure is the root cause of envy. When an unsuccessful man bears witness to the worldly accomplishments of another, his heart burns with envy. A man who is consumed by the flames of envy, suffers a loss of dignity and self-respect. He falls in his own eyes.

THE ROGUE: A hypocrite, who is envious of others, impedes the fulfillment of another's desires, desecrates the pond, garden, or temple, robs his master of his wealth, and enters into illicit relationships, to fulfill his selfish desires, can be labelled a perfect rogue. A man's actions will always reveal the true nature of his being.