Few people have not heard the name Chanakya or Kautilya or Vishnugupta, the most preeminent philosopher statesmen in world history. The author of the acclaimed and timeless Arthashastra, the most comprehensive manual covering almost all aspects of administration, governance, statesmanship, and military strategy, Chanakya continues to enjoy an exalted status throughout the world. It is also appropriate to call him the Rajyashastra pitamaha or the progenitor of statecraft.
Chanakya remains widely studied and quoted and there are almost innumerable books and research papers and essays that continue to be written about him and his contributions. On the other hand, he is also one of the most misunderstood and misquoted stalwarts, largely due to the western precedent of equating him with Machiavelli. Few people know that Chanakya was a monk and a renunciate who lived a life of voluntary penury. The Arthashastra is also a manual of profound philosophy, which acts as an elevated moral, ethical and spiritual guide to the ruler.
In this podcast episode, author and writer Sandeep Balakrishna fleshes out these and a wealth of lesser known facets of Chanakya generally not discussed in the popular, public writings about him.
The Dharma Podcast is deeply grateful to Advaita Kala for sparing her valuable time to engage in this conversation and indebted to Atharva Forum which offered and facilitated the conversation.
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