Chanakya was the great king maker and author of a celebrated state craft book named Arthashastra. Chanakya was contemporary of Chandragupta Mourya (321 – 296 B.C). Chandraguptha was the founder of the Maurya empire of India. He seized the throne of Magadha Kingdom from the Nanda dynasty and extended their its boundaries to include many parts of northern India. Chanakya (Vishnuguptha), the author of Arthashastra, the state craft book, was his friend and guide. Chanakya was born in a poor Brahmin family of Taxila, now in Pakistan. His original name was Vishnugupta. He got his education at Taxila, a great educational centre in those times.
Chanakya is famous in the history of India. He helped in the establishment of the mighty Mauryan Empire. Once he was invited to the court of Nanda rulers of Magadha kingdom where he was insulted. There and then Chanakya took a oath to cause downfall of the Nanda dynasty. While wandering in the streets of the Kingdom he found a boy who was brave and active. The boy was born to a lady known as Mura. With the help of the brave boy Chanakya succeeded in fulfilling his vow. The boy was Chandragupta. Chanakya founded the new Mauryan dynasty in Magadha. He expelled the Greek invaders from India with Chandragupta’s help.
Chanakya is also known as ‘Kautilya’ because of his Kut – Niti or wicked diplomacy. He was a great diplomat. He is believed to be the author of Arthashastra or economics, the classical Indian treatise on statecraft, narrated how a state administration should be, Even today Kautilya’s ‘Arthashastra’ is a reference book for administrators. The Sanskrit play ‘Mudrarakshasa’ gives a brief account of Chanakya. He was wise, clever, farsighted, and a well read person. His sayings are better known as ‘Chanakya – Neeti’.