Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 27 DECEMBER 2017 


Time uploaded in London- 6-21 am



Post No. 4552

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks


The greatest statesman that India has ever produced is Chanakya. He was the man who established the mighty Magadha empire. Even the Greek king Alexander the Great returned to his homeland fearing the army of the Magadha empire. Though we don’t have any authentic report about the life history of Chanakya, we are able to piece together the materials that are available in dramas such as Mudra Rakshasa of Visakadatta and other word of mouth stories. One underlying thread in all these stories is that Chanakya was an astute politician. He did not hesitate to use Sama, Dana, Beda, Danda (peace, bribe, dissension and punish) to achieve his goal. He followed the policy of ‘tit for tat’ or tooth for tooth, blood for blood. He believed that diamond should be cut by a diamond and a thorn should be taken out by a thorn.


Here are few interesting stories: –


King Mahapadma Nanda had eight sons through his legal marriage and one son through his intimacy with a servant maid by name Mura. Her son was Maurya Chandra Gupta.


The rule of Nava/Nine Nandas was tyrannical. They were the embodiments of arrogance. They were against all the rituals and particularly Brahminical. Mahapadma Nanda was a modern Hiranyakasipu, the demon.


One day he went for a walk and stopped suddenly and laughed. A servant maid of the palace was coming in the opposite direction. Seeing the king laughing she also laughed. Nanda stopped her and asked the reason for her laugh. She was scared and dared not to answer his question. She told him that she would tell the reason later and ran away.


She wanted to give him a correct answer or an excuse and so she consulted lot of people; All her efforts were fruitless. She went to  minister Sakatara, who was in the jail. He helped her out. How?


Story of Minister Sakatara

Let us first read the story of Sakatara. He was a good minister but he was imprisoned on flimsy charges along with his wife and son. They were supplied meagre food in the prison and his wife and son died in course of time. He was waiting for an opportunity to take revenge upon the Nine Nandas.


To the maid who came to get his help he put two simple questions:

What was Mahapadma Nanda looking at when he laughed?

Where was he then?

The servant maid told Sakatara that the king was near a canal and he was looking at a big tree. Immediately Sakatara guessed the answer and told the lady the king was amused when he saw a tiny seed of that big tree floating in the water. He laughed at it thinking that how come a tiny seed could produce a big tree.


The maid was happy and went to see the king next day and gave him this answer. He was surprised to see that she got it right. But he knew that it was not the servant maid’s answer and wanted to find out who helped her. Through his spies he found out that this lady met Sakatara in the prison the previous day.


Now Mahapadma Nanda became soft and released the intelligent minister Sakatara. He was appointed the Head of the Department of Rituals.


One day Sakatara was walking along a village road and saw something strange. A Brahmin with a tuft was pouring sour buttermilk on some grass. As he was the head of rituals, he wanted to know what the Brahmin was doing. That Brahmin told Sakatara that he wanted to destroy the grass as it was made him to fall. Sakatara saw a point in his action and thought that this person would achieve his goal. He took him to Pataliputra (modern Patna in Bihar)  and used his service. There was a ceremony in the palace and this ‘no so good looking’ poor Brahmin was given a front seat.


Mahapadma Nada walked into the hall and saw an ugly Brahmin taking a seat in the front row. He pulled him out and threw him out of the hall. That Brahmin was Chanakya.

On that day Chanakya made a vow, “I wouldn’t tie my tuft of hair till I uproot this Nandas”.


Sakatara and Chanakya joined together and made big plans to uproot the Nandas. Nanda has a great minister by name Rakshasa. Chanakya spoiled all his efforts who tried to prop up the Nandas. Through a servant maid Chanakaya and Sakatara gave poisonous food to the Nine Nandas and all of them died at once. There was utter chaos in the kingdom.


Chanakya made a deal with the neighbouring kingdom of King Parvata. If he could capture Pataliputra he would get half the kingdom and the rest would be ruled by Chandragupta, the servant maid Mura’s son. When Parvata invaded the country with his son Malayaketu, Parvata was killed by foul means and Malayaketu ran for his life. Now Chanakya and Sakatara crowned Chandra Gupta as the king. Later Maurya Chandragupta became the emperor of mighty Magadha Kingdom. His grandson was the great Asoka.


Chanakya’s gift to India is his Niti Shastra (Didactic literature) and world’s first book on Economics ‘The Arthashastra’. His other gift was the biggest empire of ancient India. This covered most of India except Tamil Kingdoms. Chanakya became the symbol of good and able governance. His policy was ‘end justifies means’. To destroy Adharma, you can do anything, in other words, followed Krishna of Mahabharata.




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