Kautilya also known as chanakya flourished in 300 BCE as an Indian philosopher, statesman, counselor and chief advisor of Indian emperor Chandragupta. He was the first ruler of the Mauryan Empire who wrote classic treatise on property, material success and economics. Born into a priestly class family received education in Taxla was well knowledgeable in fields like medicine and astrology. His book which was Chandragupta’s guide had 15 sections in which each deals with a phase of government, he openly advises the use of a spy system that is elaborate and reaching all levels of the society and he encouraged political assassinations that were secret. He is alternately condemned for his trickery and ruthlessness and also praised for his wisdom in politics and knowledge of the nature in human being. To most it was because of kautilya that the Mauryan Empire under both Chandragupta and Ashoka become an example of efficient government.

The rise of the Mauryan dynasty

During the time of kautilya, India was majorly consisted of small states that were independent with the only exception of the Magadha kingdom. The fame and popularity of kautilya is owed to the roles he played in the rise of Mauryan dynasty to power and the fall of Magadha kingdom. By becoming a loyal servant to Chandragupta after being insulted by Nanda king, Kautilya was on his way of making his revenge. He raised a small army to take on Magadha throne directly, by use of kautilya intelligence network of his cunning strategies Chandragupta seized the throne that end Magadha kingdom and started the rise of Mauryan dynasty. Victories over Alexander the great in Gandhara and Chandragupta made the two popular and also helped them gain wide public support.

His death and legacy

Until today nobody knows how kautilya died but various accounts of his death have been explained. Some accounts his death as a result of starving himself to death something that was practice in Jainism. Other accounts say his death was due to a court conspiracy. But what is known about his death is that it occurred during the reign of Bindusara the second ruler of Mauryan Empire. His legacy of pioneering diplomacy and government administration still live on in India. His merit was not only to organize government advice in a logical and systematic fashion but also he come up with important practical advice for the government. His vision during Chandragupta reign became a reality at the time of Ashoka.


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