Chanakya Niti is a book written by Chanakya, who was the advisor of Great Indian King, Chandragupta Maurya and lived in India during 350–283BC.
While most books from that era talk about the spiritual side of things, Chanakya Niti (Niti-Sastra i.e. science of common sense) is all about the practical side; from advising a king on how to run his country to advising commoners on what their conduct should be and in turn, what sort of conduct should they expect from their kings!
I first read Chanakya Niti, when I was quite young and unable to understand and comprehend most of the things in it, but was left impressed nonetheless. However as time progressed, I forgot most of the things which I had read and somewhat understood and thus I started thinking of reading it once again and today, thanks to this free eBook on Chanakya Niti, I managed to realize my goal and I am now thinking of digging up the old Hindi copy of Chanakya Niti, which we still have in our home and re-reading it again, just for fun.
Coming back to Chanakya Niti, it mainly consists of sayings which hold practical value and are extremely insightful to say the least, at times some of them seem to contradict each other, till you realize that this is exactly what the author wanted to do, since practicality isn’t about sticking to a few defined rules, written in stone; it is about choosing the appropriate one, based on the situation!
And this is where you have to marvel at the author’s knowledge and insightfulness, which for the most part, is still relevant in today’s world! Even though at times it might appear as rather cruel and at times, even crude!
However, this is to be expected, from a book written by a shrewd yet extremely intelligent man, who managed to give India, one of its most powerful Kings and a dynasty, in which King Ashoka was born, a king still revered by Indians, thousands of years down the line!
While the above free eBook might not be the most accurate translation of the sayings of Chanakya and is indeed missing a few of them, it is still a worthy read, more so in this day and age, where most of us seem lost and directionless.