Chanakya Neeti was written by the great strategist, scholar, teacher, advisor, and economist of ancient India Chanakya (also known as Kautilya). It is largely considered as one of the greatest works of Chanakya and followed by many great rulers, leaders and famous personalities.
Chanakya was the mastermind behind the success of Maurya Dynasty.
The book Chanakya neeti has 17 chapters and it entails all the important quotes, strategies and lessons to lead a happier and successful life. From the book, we have selected most important lessons or quotes that can have a huge impact on our lives.
We have selected best quotes from all the chapter of the book “chanakya Neeti” which was originally written by Chanakya himself.
Chapter 1 (Best quotes from Chanakya Neeti)
“It is imprudent to advise a fool, care for a woman with bad character and to be in the company of a lethargic and unhappy person.” – Chanakya Neeti Chapter 1
A man shouldn’t live in a place where people are not afraid of the law, are shameless, and there is no clever man, where people lack in kindness, and where exists no creativity or art.”- Chanakya Neeti Chapter 1
“Do not spend even a single day where you can not find five things: Successful businessmen, educated brahmins, soldiers, a river and a doctor” – Chanakya Neeti Chapter 1
“Test your wife when your wealth is lost, a friend in need, relatives at the time of crises, and your servant after allocating him an important duty.” – Chanakya Neeti Chapter 1
“Whoever helps you at the time of illness, misfortune, famines and invasion is your true brother in the real sense.” – Chanakya Neeti Chapter 1
“A person who cannot decide his goal, simply cannot win.” – Chanakya Neeti Chapter 1)
“A true son is obedient, a true father is loving, and a true friend is honest”
Chanakya suggests that a person must stay away from the people who act as flatterer in front of you but speak ill behind your back. They cause you irreparable damage. Such friendship is like poisonous milk. One must simply stay away from such people.
Also read 23 Best Chanakya Quotes About Life
Always keep your biggest plans as a secret. The simplest suggestion is to continue the task without grabbing much attention.
A man must act as per the situation instead of day dreaming (assuming what may happen). Chanakya advises not to trust everyone
A wise person grooms his child carefully because only an educated person with high morale is given true respect in society.
Chanakya advises not to overindulge with your child, pupil, and students. It will spoil them
He emphasizes that the destruction is inevitable for:
A tree standing on the bank of a river
A woman in house of a stranger
A king with stupid advisor
Of a scholar lies in his knowledge
Of a king lies in his army
Of a trader lies in his money
Of a servant is in his service.
People leave a weak king, a prostitute deserts her improvised customer, and birds leave a withered tree. In the same manner, the guests must leave the house of host after eating.
End is near for anyone who befriends a person of bad character or lives in the company of an evil fellow;
You can guess the origin of a person through his behaviour, his native place via his tone, and his food intake by looking at size of his belly.
If you have an evil person on one side and a snake on the other; better opt for the snake as it will bite only for self-defence but the wicked person will not spare any chance of hurting you.
A young person, with a beautiful face and of a higher origin, however, uneducated is always ignored like a scentless flower.
A hard working person cannot remain poor, a person who continuously remembers God is unlikely to perform a sin, a person with peace cannot quarrel. Similarly, a vigilant person has no fears.
Excess of beauty resulted in the kidnapping of Sita, extreme ego of Ravana got him killed, and unnecessary charity caused massive trouble to Raja Bali. Extremes are never good!
Just like a tree laden with scented flowers spreads fragrance in the whole forest. Similarly, a worthy son brings glory to the whole family, community, and the country.
A dried tree, when catches fire, burns the whole forest; so does a bad son born in a family.
When faced with natural disasters, famine and unstoppable enemy invasion; one must run away and the save life. Don’t worry, You would get another opportunity.
The best place to live is where fools are not honored, grains are preserved, where husband and wife don’t quarrel. Goddess Laxmi (Goddess of wealth) resides at such locations.
Knowledge is like holy kamdhenu and is like a tree that bears fruit in every season. In unknown territories, it provides protection and brings you rewards.
A king orders once, a great scholar speaks once, and daughters are married once. Therefore, one must be very careful regarding those.
Meditation is performed best when alone, education by two, singing by three, traveling with four persons, farming with five, and battle with as many possible.
An important verse of chanakya neeti compares following with poison:
a person whose knowledge is confined to books
a meal without an appetizer
living life in a community of poor people
an old man marrying a young woman
Infatuation is the biggest disease, greed is the worst enemy of an individual, Anger is the endless fire and among all possessions, knowledge is supreme.
The test for purity of gold is performed by rubbing, heating, pounding and cutting. Similarly, the true characteristic of a person is revealed at the time of intense trouble. His manners, voice, and actions will reveal a lot about him.
After execution of the commander, his army becomes ineffective.
For a person with absolute knowledge, heaven is of least significance. A true warrior gives a little importance to his life. For a true sage woman is of no use, and for a person with control of his desires, the whole world loses its significance.
Raining over the ocean, helping the capable, and lightening a lamp in daylight are nothing but useless acts.
A brass pot is purified by treating it with ash and copper by citric. A woman after her periods and rivers gets purified after passing through rapids.
A person born blind is unable to see things nor do people in love. An alcoholic cannot differentiate good and bad. Similarly, a selfish person gets blinded by his selfish goals.
You can win a greedy by offering money, a proud person by pretending your devotion, you can win a fool by agreeing with him, and you can win a scholar by truth and only truth.
It is better not to have a kingdom than having it in a bad state. Similarly, it is better to have no friends, pupils, and wife than having bad ones.
Chanakya compared and advised to learn from the following:
Lion teaches us to perform actions wholeheartedly and not to relax until the completion of the task.
Crane teaches a man to focus and concentrate on the task and act instantaneously upon requirement.
Cock to rise early in the morning, being ready to defend and attack, grabbing one’s share and sharing with other.
Crow makes love privately, does not get scared easily, collects things for use in future. is always alert and never trusts anyone.
Dog It can go without food for a while but when finds can overeat in moments. Is alert even in sleep and wakes with the slightest sound. It is loyal and fights ferociously when defending his master.
Donkey: It works tirelessly and even in tough weather conditions
If you are facing loss in business or your heart is broken: don’t share such information with others, One must not discuss scandals of family and incidents of insult. People often try to exploit your weaknesses. Beware!
You should be shameless while learning, negotiating in business, and having food.
A relaxed mind is the happiest, running after money all the times is simply foolish.
One must be satisfied with whatever he has as wife, wealth, and income. But, one must never get satisfied with the knowledge and acts of charity.
Just like it is not safe to put yourself between a plow & oxen. Similarly, one must never come between two scholars, fire, husband & wife, and master & servant.
A Brahman becomes happy with the tasty food, a peacock on listening rumble of clouds, a person with good soul becomes happy with the happiness of others, while an evil person gains happiness from misfortunes of others.
The power of a king lies in his sword, of a scholar in his knowledge, and that of a woman in her beauty.
Money earned must be circulated and put to good use as the water of a pond with inflow and outflow system is clean. whereas, the water logged in a pond is always dirty.
A tail of a dog cannot protect its shame nor does it offer any effective protection against ticks and flies. So is the condition of a man with little knowledge.
“There is No blessing bigger than peace, No joy bigger than contentment and There is no religion bigger than mercy. For a man, greed is the worst disease.”
“Everyone respects wise men. They are rewarded with honor and money. A person can attain everything through knowledge. It is worshiped everywhere”
“The Earth is in great pains as it is being crushed by animals (humans) like drunkards, idiots and uneducated.”
“Any person aiming at deliverance must quit his bad habits and addictions as if they are poison. One must develop qualities like tolerance, forgiveness, patience, kindness, and trust as nectar.”
“A student, servant, guard, starving person and a traveler must be woken up when they are on duty.”
“One must never disturb them while sleeping. They are the tiger, king, child, others dog, serpent, and pig. Let them sleep.”
“A man without money is not poor in comparison to a man without knowledge.”
“A crow can eat anything, a poet is capable of imagining anything, a woman can do anything, and a drunkard can say anything.”
“You must give up the hope of finding comfort, If you are looking for knowledge”
“Fate plays a significant role in the life of a person. It can turn a king to beggar and vice-versa.”
Chapter 11 (Best quotes from Chanakya Neeti)
“A person who leaves his community to join another one is likely to face quick destruction. Same will be the case with king who doesn’t care for his kingdom”
“If the mind of a person is filled with evil thoughts then any number of pilgrimages won’t remove his/her sins.”
“A true student refrains himself from love, flattery, anger, infatuations, entertainment, and oversleeping.”
“A wise men will never impure any type of water. Be it in a well, pond, river, garden, or temple.”
“Even the bees have to repent for storing too much honey which they collect after putting so much courage and hard work. In the same manner, the people who don’t do charity face heavy losses. The kings gain glory on helping the needy and their names survive till eternity.”
“Finding a green pasture is a festival for the cow, A brahmin’s festival is to receive an invitation for a meal, and recovery of her husband is the festival for a woman, but for me, the festival is to have faith in God.”
“A person who considers women of others as a mother, wealth of others as dirt, and one who sees his own soul in all living creatures; is the person who has really found the truth.”
“One must learn decency from the princess, speech from scholars, the art of bluffing from gamblers, and cunningness from a woman.”
“One who overspends money without planning, who provokes the stronger opponent, and one who desires a relationship with all kinds of women will definitely meet a quick destruction.”
“A pitcher can be filled drop-by-drop and so is the case with your wealth.”
“It is better to live a small life doing good deeds than living a sinful life of thousands of years. It is your acts that count, not your life span”
“One must not be afraid of future, nor shall regret upon the past. Wise men concentrate on utilizing the present to frame a brighter future.”
“The nature of noble people is quite strange i.e. instead of acting arrogant upon attaining wealth they bow down in humility and act more modestly and respectfully.”
“In the end, the mighty Sumeru mountain will be uprooted from its base and the land will be wiped away by the sea. Even then the superior people will be stand firm in their resolve to keep their promises.”
” Multiple straws reunite together to make a thatch to provide protection against rain. In the same manner, when men unite together to form an army they can easily conquer the enemy.”
“You can earn money after losing it, you can make new friends, and also you can get another wife, but this is not the case with the body”
“One becomes very enlightened and awake after listening to the religious talks, on attending some funeral, and on falling sick severely”
“Only a capable man who lives life as per principles of religion is alive in real senses. If not, then the person is living a life of no use.”
“A cuckoo bird will not sing until the arrival of spring i.e. there is a right time for performing every task.”
Chapter 15 (Best quotes from Chanakya Neeti)
“There are two ways to deal with thorns and wicked people. One is to crush them and the other, to stay away from it.”
“A wrong act done by a person with power is hailed and many times is justified. On the other hand, a good task done by a poor might not grab that much attention.”
“Even if a gem is placed on the foot and a mirror on the head, The gem will not lose its value.”
“Greed is the root of all evil. A black bee enjoys nectar from a lotus flower, but in search of more it goes to forests and paddy fields where it gets hurt by thorns.”
“The fragrance of sandalwood remains even after cutting/grinding it, a bull-elephant does not stop mating even in old age, and sugarcane tastes sweet on being crushed. Such is the nature of a high-class men that remains unchanged even in poverty.”
Chapter 16 (Best quotes from Chanakya Neeti)
“A foolish man easily falls in love with a whore and then becomes her toy. She will use him, betray him, trick him, and finally destroy him.
“A man might acquire some big position after putting few efforts, but that is not everything. A crow sitting on the steeple of a palace is not honored but an eagle is.”
“I am not interested in money earned by; bringing pain to others, anti-religious activities, and by begging before an enemy.”
“You cannot get satisfied with the money you have, with women, and tasty food. More you enjoy the desire grows even more. Hunger and thirst cannot be satisfied.”
“One must not act as miser when it comes to speaking politely. A polite talker is appreciated by all and speaking politely costs you nothing.”
“This world is like a tree with two life-giving fruits hanging from it. One is to speak politely and other is to be in the company of good people.”
“Like Money in hands of others is of no use. In same manner knowledge confined to books is also of no use to a person”
“A snake stores venom in his fang, a bee in its sting, a scorpion in its tail, but everything of an evil person is poisonous.”
“A man with good intention to help others receives a blessing at each step and his troubles get blown away.”
This marks an end to the list of famous quotes from CHANAKYA NEETI. Hope you enjoyed reading.
Disclaimer: We have translated it from the Hindi version of the book Chankaya Neeti. There may be some errors. Our intent is to share the best thoughts and quotes from Chankya Neeti and it may contain a few controversial quotes. (reader discretion is advised). We have tried to exclude the quotes those were controversial in nature.
Chanakya Neeti is one of the famous works of Chanakya and is admired, advocated and followed by many great leaders. Hope you learn from it and lead a better, successful and fulfilling life.