Written by Dr Arundhati Govind Hoskeri on 22 September 2017
Acharya Chanakya also known as Pandit Vishnugupt Sharma or Kaoutilya was a great scholar, thinker, philosopher and a teacher towards 4th century BC. He was responsible for erecting and establishing Mouryan Empire by grooming the first king of Mouryan dynasty Chandragupta. He served as a chief advisor / Prime minister to Chandragupta and also to his son Bindusar.
Chanakya was a great strategic planner and a noted economist of ancient India. His works Arthshastra and Neeti Shastra are famous and are relevant to this date. His Arthshastra is a treatise on economics, fiscal policies, taxes to be paid, saving habits, welfare of society, strategies of war, relation with neighbouring countries and is valued even today after thousands of years.
His Neeti Shastra embellishes the nuances of desirable code of conduct depicting Chanakya’s compendious as well as protean knowledge of ways of life in general and Indian ways of life in particular. I am a great fan of Acharya ChaNakya and reflect on his every word that I come across.
To quote a couple of pearls of his wisdom from his Neetishashtra,
विद्वत्त्वं च नृपत्वं च न एव तुल्ये कदाचन |
स्वदेशे पूज्यते राजा विद्वान् सर्वत्र पूज्यते |
Vidwatwam cha nrupatwam cha naiva tulyam kadaachan
Swadeshe poojyate raaja vidwaan sarvatra poojyate.
The meaning to the above shloka (verse) is very simple. Scholarship and Kingship can never be compared or treated on par with each other. A king is revered and valued in his own country while the scholar is valued and revered everywhere.
We all are living in an information age that is technologically so very advanced. TODAY KNOWLEDGE IS the POWER! Does this sound familiar? Yes it does, it is not just familiar but equally convincing. There are so many opportunities and avenues available to seek mastery into the desired field but mere accumulation of knowledge will not make anybody a scholar, it is the application of that knowledge for personal, societal and universal growth that makes one a true scholar. This is what Chanakya means when he says Vidwan sarvatra pujate. Knowledge is the only wealth that enhances as you share. Just observe the next shloka (Verse)
न चोरहार्यं न च राजहार्यं न भ्रातृभाज्यम न च भारकारी |
व्यये कृते वर्धत एव नित्यं विद्याधनं सर्वधनप्रधानं ||
Na chorharyam nacha rajaharyam na bhratrabhajam nacha bharkaaree
Vyaye krute vardhat eva nityam vidyadhanam sarvadhana pradhanam.
Knowledge is the only wealth that cannot be stolen by any thief, nor confiscated by any king, nor demanded by any sibling for division and knowledge is the only wealth that increases as you spend (share) and therefore knowledge (education) is the best of all the riches / assets in the world.
This is so true, knowledge is power and you can achieve anything if you focus and use that knowledge in the right direction and with right intent. We are lucky to be born in India with such a rich cultural backdrop. Sanskrit –mother of all eastern or western languages is a store house of wisdom and each one of us must make our own best efforts to learn, understand and share knowledge and wisdom with others.