Chanakya – Earliest renowned Machiavellian

Chanakya was born a Jain to Jain parents (converts) – Chanin and Chaneshvari, in 375 BCE in Central India region, according to Jain scriptures. His parents were not from a Jain caste but had taken up Jainism, and Jain monks frequented his house since his childhood. There is scope for disagreement on him being born a Jain or converting at some time in his lifetime. He is the earliest recorded well known Machiavelli in world history and is accepted as a great philosopher and diplomat in India.

Chanakya’s name is incomplete without Chandragupta Maurya. He was the guide to Chandragupta Maurya who converted to Jainism after being influenced by Chanakya, and both together created the largest empire to have ever existed in the Indian sub continent. Chandragupta appointed primarily Jain monks as his counsellors after having been patronizing non-Jain monks before and being made convinced by Chanakya to do so. Not all, but many of Chanakya’s teachings are immortal wisdom that has been left behind, in which Jain influences can be felt in his way of thinking sharpened by Jainism. True to the Jain spirit of non – discrimination based on caste, Chanakya believed that a man is great by deeds and not by birth. Later they both took up Jain practice of renunciation and lived as Jain monks to their end.

Chandragupta’s son Ashoka followed Buddhism and his grand son – Samprati followed Jainism.

Samprati who ruled around 200 B.C and who was also a Jain from his mother’s family side, can be understood as the last well known Jain king in Indian history.

©2020 by CosmicWheelOfTime

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