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Chanakya Quotes and Sayings

Acharya Chanakya, also known as Kautilya, was an ancient Indian teacher, philosopher, economist, jurist and royal advisor. He was also known as Vishnu Gupta and authored the ancient political treatise, the Arthashastra. This is a collection of quotes and sayings of Chanakya.

Just as a good tree with scented flowers makes the entire forest perfumed and pleasant, so a good son enhances the glory of his family.

Just as a calf goes to its mother, seeking her out from among thousands of cows, so every action follows the doer.


Sugarcane does not give up its sweetness even when thrown into the crushing machine, similarly great ones do not give up their good qualities even when they are weakened.

No other wealth can equal food grains.

From the crow one should learn five things: sex in secrecy, secret action, catch in time, unruffled behavior and distrust of everyone.

Just as a pigeon which has life on the holy fig tree is a source of constant danger to the silk cotton tree, so a person who has come after living with the enemy is a source of constant danger.

The mirage looks like water. An enemy can look like a friend.

The enemy can be defeated by a combination of good people.

Persons of a particular type can be found out only by those of the same type.

That learning is called learning, from which a person learns righteousness and capacity to earn to live in society.

Opportunity comes to a man only once. It will not come a second time.

Success and failure are common on all paths

Power alters the mind.

Advancement and decay are dependent on oneself.

Without God’s grace, even excessive effort proves fruitless.

One who is not calm and collected cannot accomplish tasks.

Those who blindly believe in destiny do not achieve anything.

One who cannot control himself is destroyed by his anger.

Even after attaining great prosperity, the one without fortitude perishes.

Teaching wrong things is a great crime.

It is from learning that the intellect is formed, through the intellect skill in action (yoga) and from yoga self-control follows.

That course of action should be followed which will usher in prosperity.

Even one with a fourfold army is destroyed if he is a slave of the senses.

Sting of word is stronger that the burning of fire.

Whosoever is of reverse character, whoever has not his organs of sense under his control, will soon perish, even if he possesses the whole earth.

Success depends on how well a person can enforce control over lust, anger, greed, vanity, haughtiness and over joy.

Self praise is no recommendation.

Many tiny beings, when combined, vanquish even a big enemy. The collective strength of the infinitesimal straws prevents even the fierce rainwater from passing through them.

A mere trickle of the tiny drops of water can fill the pitcher. The same way we must keep on collecting knowledge, Dharma and money.

Chanakya on Restrain of Sense Organs

Restraint of the organs of sense, on which success in study and discipline depends, can be enforced by abandoning lust, anger, greed, vanity, haughtiness and over joy.

Absence of attachment in the perception of sound, touch, color, flavor, and scent by means of the ear, the skin, the eyes, the tongue and the nose, is what is meant by the restrain of the sense.

Whoever has not his organs of sense under his control, will soon perish, though possessed of the whole earth.

Ravana unwilling under the influence of vanity to restore a stranger’s wife perished along with his kingdom and relations.

The six enemies of a man are lust, anger, greed, vanity, haughtiness and over joy.