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‘Who was Chanakya?’
‘He was one of the greatest thinkers India has produced. He was a master of many subjects. No, no…I correct myself… he was a master of all subjects.’
These were the words of the vice chancellor of a university when he was launching my book.
I had just then completed taking a series of lectures for about 300 students, on Chanakya and his ideas being applied in professional careers.
When the vice chancellor said those words, it hit me hard that there are few parallels in world history who could speak on so many subjects—philosophy, public administration, military, warfare, economics, politics, strategy, taxation, law, crime and control, punishments, duties of individuals, gemology, Ayurveda, Yoga, etc. The list goes on.
Even though in Arthashastra, Chanakya has written on 180 topics, there are many sub-topics within each topic. I have personally counted over 1000 topics that Chanakya had spoken and written about. But then, every time I think of any problem I always find a ‘Chanakya solution’ to it.
When I met Kapish Mehra of Rupa Publications for the first time and discussed the idea of this book, we brain-stormed on many themes.
Finally we decided the theme for this book—Chanakya in daily life.
For me it became easy to focus from that point on. Because when we look into the literature Chanakya had written, it is so vast (6000 sutras in Arthashastra and Chanakya Niti). So, that just narrowed it down well for me.
‘Who would be the readers of our book—the target audience?’ was my next question.
‘Anyone and everyone who wants to practise Chanakya in daily life—in simple, easy-to-practice steps,’ was our conclusion. Therefore, the book that you have in your hand is simple and profound. Now, anyone can benefit from the wisdom of the great master Chanakya
Chanakya in Daily Life is divided into 3 parts:
• Part 1—Chanakya in Personal life
• Part 2—Chanakya in Professional life
• Part 3– Chanakya in Family life
All of us play these roles simultaneously every day—we have a personal life (only known to us), professional life (involving our work) and family life (the part of our life where we get maximum happiness or sadness from, while dealing with our family members).
Chanakya has spoken on all these topics in detail, imparting knowledge that will put you on the path to a healthy and happy life. Balancing these three roles is a challenge to any individual.
At a personal level, one wants to exercise his freedom of choice. But not weighing the impact of his choices on his professional and family life can put him in trouble. He may be labelled a rebel. Individually, the person may be pathbreaker,but he might end-up being disharmonious while working with teams.
At a professional level, one may be super successful, have lots of money, power and position. But he may be frustrated and bogged down by the feeling that he could have done better. Probably, there is a sense of incompleteness.
Alternatively, he may think that by keeping his family financially well-off, he has done his duty towards them. And later on, he may realize that his wife and kids wanted was to spend more time with him only. But by then, it would probably be too late.
At a family level, one may be an excellent parent and family member. Yet, one might have thoughts like ‘What did I do for myself?’ There is a sense of frustration one might feel when he sees his siblings better off than himself. This person may have sacrificed his whole life for others, but instead of feeling fulfilled, he feels broken.
This book addresses all these three aspects of life, simultaneously. And it is possible that one can be successful in all these three roles.
This book gives you the practical route for the same.
Whether you are a student or a married person with responsibilities or a retired person, Chanakya has a message for you.
The most defining part of this book is that, along with giving you tips to improve your daily life, it slowly takes you towards the higher goal of life—spirituality.
While planning your life remember what a wise person said, ‘You are not a human being on a spiritual journey. You are a spiritual being on a human journey.’
All great Indian rishis (seers) had a life plan they could chalk out. Chanakya’s ‘grand plan’ for us is to be successful in this world and also the other world as well.
This science (of Arthashastra) brings into being and preserves spiritual good, material well-being and pleasures, and destroys spiritual evil, material loss and hatred (15.1.72)
If you follow Chanakya, when you look back, you will have no regrets. When you are in the midst of your life, you have gathered the required experience, but also have a sense of purpose. If you are still starting off your life, you have planned your life well and you have set a goal, made your roadmap and set towards your life with clarity.
If you have understood this book and its teachings well, you will be like Chanakya, who said, ‘Come any problem, in life—I am ready. Because, I know that no problem is a problem for a person who thinks with clarity and purpose.’
Note Follow these simple steps to get maximum benefit from this book:
• The best part is you can read the book from any chapter. Read one chapter or a few chapters in a day.
• Think and reflect over the ideas you have understood.
• Maintain a dairy and make notes of your progress on a daily basis.
• Discuss these ideas with your family or friends at workplace daily.
• If you are on social media–share your notes and thoughts on Chanakya with others on Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp etc. and spread the message
• Read the book a second time or a third time. Re-reading is encouraged.
• There are many ideas that are repeated in the book at different places. It is not by mistake. It is to make sure you understand the same idea in different contexts. Repetition makes knowledge perfect.