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Chanakya Quotes : Lessons on Life and Management to get Success

Lesson of Life by Chanakya


Chanakya Quotes : Lessons on Life and Management to get Success

Chanakya Quotes : Chanakya was an Indian teacher, economist and a political adviser. He played a key role in the establishment of the Maurya dynasty. He is also known as Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta. Chanakya was born in ancient India, 350 BC. His birth place is a subject of controversy. Some believes he was born in Taxila and some says he was born in South India. His father was Canin (or Chanak) and his mother was Canesvari. His name was derived from the name of his father. Chanakya was a Brahmin and he got his education from the ancient university Takshashila. Later he also became a teacher there. Chanakya is the author of Arthashastra and Chanakya-Niti. Arthashastra is a book on Economics. The policies discussed in the book are still relevant. Chanakya-Niti is a collection of aphorisms. 

Quotes by Chanakya

Chanakya Quotes on Integrity

Chanakya Quotes on Integrity

  1. A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.

  2. Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions: why I am doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.

  3. Once you start working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.

  4. The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. If you cannot keep a secret with you, do not expect that others will keep it? It will destroy you.

  5. The king shall lose no time when the opportunity waited for arrives.

  6. If a king is energetic, his subjects will be equally energetic. If he is reckless, they will not only be reckless likewise, but also eat into his works.

  7. The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind but the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.

  8. A man is great by deeds, not by birth.

  9. One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in the possession of others can use neither knowledge nor wealth when the need for them arises.

  10. Time perfects men as well as destroys them.

  11. We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment.

  12. There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind, and there is no happiness equal to contentment; there is no disease like covetousness, and no virtue like mercy

Chanakya Quotes on Education

Chanakya Quotes on Education

  1. Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.

  2. Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.

  3. He who is overly attached to his family members experiences fear and sorrow, for the root of all grief is attachment. Thus one should discard attachment to be happy.

  4. A man is born alone and dies alone; and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he goes alone to hell or the Supreme abode.

  5. Do not be very upright in your dealings for you would see by going to the forest that straight trees are cut down while crooked ones are left standing.

  6. The wise man should restrain his senses like the crane and accomplish his purpose with due knowledge of his place, time and ability.

  7. Purity of speech,of the mind,of the senses, and of a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.

  8. He who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far away;but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be nearby.

  9. The happiness and peace attained by those satisfied by the nectar of spiritual tranquility is not attained by greedy persons restlessly moving here and there.

  10. There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.

  11. The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.

  12. The earth is supported by the power of truth;it is the power of truth tht makes the sun shine and the winds blow; indeed all things rest upon truth.

  13. The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.

  14. Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and of a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.

  15. He who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far away; but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be nearby.

Chanakya Quotes on Religion

Chanakya Quotes on Religion

  1. God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.

  2. Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution.

  3. As a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to burn, so does a rascal son destroy a whole family.

  4. A man is born alone and dies alone;and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone;and he goes alone to hell or the Supreme abode.

  5. He who nurtures benevolence for all creatures within his heart overcomes all difficulties and will be the recipient of all types of riches at every step.

  6. All the creatures are pleased by loving words; and therefore we should address words that are pleasing to all, for there is no lack of sweet words.

  7. A man attains greatness by his merits, not simply by occupying an exalted seat. Can we call a crow an eagle (garuda) simply because he sits on the top of a tall building.

  8. Sinfully acquired wealth may remain for ten years; in the eleventh year it disappears with even the original stock.

  9. He who wears unclean garments, has dirty teeth, is a glutton, speaks unkindly and sleeps after sunrise – although he may be the greatest personality — will lose the favor of Lakshmi.

  10. Eschew wicked company and associate with saintly persons. Acquire virtue day and night, and always meditate on that which is eternal forgetting that which is temporary.

  11. We should always speak what would please the man of whom we expect a favor,like the hunter who sings sweetly when he desires to shoot a deer.

  12. He who is prepared for the future and he who deals cleverly with any situation that may arise are both happy; but the fatalistic man who wholly depends on luck is ruined.

  13. Even as the unborn babe is in the womb of his mother, these five are fixed as his life destiny: his life span, his activities, his acquisition of wealth and knowledge, and his time of death.

Chanakya Quotes on Wisdom

Chanakya qoutes on Wisdom

  1. The man who remains a fool even in advanced age is really a fool, just as the Indra-Varuna fruit does not become sweet no matter how ripe it might become.

  2. The cuckoos remain silent for a long time (for several seasons)until they are able to sing sweetly(in the Spring)so as to give joy to all.

  3. We should not feel pride in our charity, austerity, valor, scriptural knowledge, modesty and morality for the world is full of the rarest gems.

  4. Drop the idea that attachment and love are one thing. They are enemies. It is attachment that destroys all love.

  5. Wealth, a friend, a wife, and a kingdom may be regained; but this body when lost may never be acquired again.

  6. Poverty, disease, sorrow, imprisonment and other evils are the fruits borne by the tree of one’s own sins.

  7. There are three gems upon this earth; food, water, and pleasing words — fools (mudhas) consider pieces of rocks as gems.

  8. As a calf follows its mother among a thousand cows, so the (good or bad) deeds of a man follow him.

  9. Who realizes all the happiness he desires? Everything is in the hands of God. Therefore one should learn contentment.

  10. He who forsakes his own community and joins another perishes as the king who embraces an unrighteous path.

  11. Generosity, pleasing address, courage and propriety of conduct are not acquired, but are inbred qualities.

  12. A learned man is honored by the people.A learned man commands respect everywhere for his learning. Indeed,learning is honored everywhere.

  13. Beauty is spoiled by an immoral nature;noble birth by bad conduct; learning, without being perfected; and wealth by not being properly utilized.

  14. Moral excellence is an ornament for personal beauty;righteous conduct,for high birth; success for learning;and proper spending for wealth.

  15. Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.

  16. Our bodies are perishable,wealth is not at all permanent and death is always nearby.Therefore we must immediately engage in acts of merit.

  17. What good can the scriptures do to a man who has no sense of his own? Of what use is as mirror to a blind man?

  18. Those base men who speak of the secret faults of others destroy themselves like serpents that stray onto anthills.

  19. Beauty is spoiled by an immoral nature; noble birth by bad conduct;learning, without being perfected;and wealth by not being properly utilized.

  20. Low class men desire wealth;middle class men both wealth and respect;but the noble,honour only;hence honor is the noble man’s true wealth.

  21. He who has wealth has friends and relations; he alone survives and is respected as a man.

  22. Accumulated wealth is saved by spending just as incoming fresh water is saved by letting out stagnant water.

  23. Swans live wherever there is water, and leave the place where water dries up; let not a man act so — and comes and goes as he pleases.

  24. The power of a king lies in his mighty arms;that of a brahmana in his spiritual knowledge; and that of a woman in her beauty youth and sweet words.

  25. He who gives up shyness in monetary dealings, in acquiring knowledge, in eating and in business, becomes happy.

  26. Time perfects all living beings as well as kills them; it alone is awake when all others are asleep. Time is insurmountable.

  27. By means of hearing one understands dharma, malignity vanishes, knowledge is acquired, and liberation from material bondage is gained.

  28. The poor wish for wealth; animals for the faculty of speech; men wish for heaven; and godly persons for liberation.

  29. Learning is a friend on the journey; a wife in the house; medicine in sickness; and religious merit is the only friend after death.

  30. The learned are envied by the foolish; rich men by the poor; chaste women by adulteresses; and beautiful ladies by ugly ones

  31. A thing may be dreaded as long as it has not overtaken you, but once it has come upon you, try to get rid of it without hesitation.

  32. She is a true wife who is clean (suci), expert, chaste, pleasing to the husband, and truthful.

  33. When one is consumed by the sorrows of life, three things give him relief: offspring, a wife, and the company of the Lord’s devotees.

  34. Learning is like a cow of desire. It, like her, yields in all seasons. Like a mother, it feeds you on your journey. Therefore learning is a hidden treasure

  35. As long as your body is healthy and under control and death is distant, try to save your soul; when death is imminent what can you do?

  36. He who runs away from a fearful calamity, a foreign invasion, a terrible famine, and the companionship of wicked men is safe.

  37. Do not keep company with a fool for as we can see he is a two-legged beast.Like an unseen thorn he pierces the heart with his sharp words.

  38. At the time of the pralaya(universal destruction) the oceans are to exceed their limits and seek to change,but a saintly man never changes.

  39. He who befriends a man whose conduct is vicious, whose vision impure, and who is notoriously crooked, is rapidly ruined.

  40. Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher of poison with milk on top.

  41. Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.

  42. Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.

  43. As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.

  44. The earth is supported by the power of truth; it is the power of truth that makes the sun shine and the winds blow; indeed all things rest upon truth.

  45. The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.

  46. Purity of speech,of the mind, of the senses,and the of a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.


These are the Quotes by Guru Chanakya. Chanakya covers various topics of kingdom and management based on the aphorism.

See our next post on ‘Chanakya Arthshashtra’ 




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  4. amitkumar

    April 29, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Nice article pure informative and knowledgeble thanks for share it.

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