Originally a professor of economics and political science at the ancient Takshashila University, Chanakya managed the first Maurya emperor Chandragupta’s rise to power at a young age. He is widely credited for having played an important role in the establishment of the Maurya Empire, which was the first empire in archaeologically recorded history to rule most of the Indian subcontinent. Chanakya served as the chief advisor to both Chandragupta and his son Bindusara.

Chanakya is traditionally identified as Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise called Arthasastra (Economics).As such, he is considered as the pioneer of the field of economics and political science in India, and his work is thought of as an important precursor to classical economics.

Two books are attributed to Chanakya: Arthashastra and ChanakyaNiti, also known as ChanakyaNeeti-shastra.

The Arthashastra discusses monetary and fiscal policies, welfare, international relations, and war strategies in detail. The text also outlines the duties of a ruler. Some scholars believe that Arthashastra is actually a compilation of a number of earlier texts written by various authors, and Chanakya might have been one of these authors (see above).

ChanakyaNiti is a collection of aphorisms, said to be selected by Chanakya from the various shastras

Chanakya is regarded as a great thinker and diplomat in India. Many Indian nationalists regard him as one of the earliest people who envisaged the united India spanning the entire subcontinent. India’s National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon praised Chanakya’s Arthashastra for its clear and precise rules which apply even today. Furthermore, he recommended reading of the book for broadening the vision on strategic issues.

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