Saturday, December 6, 2014

Lessons Inspired By Chanakya

Lessons Inspired By Chanakya was originally published as an article in LinkedIn

It amazes me how much culturally rich India is and how much we can learn from our glorious history. Chanakya was a renowned Indian scholar, who served as a teacher, philosopher and royal advisor. Other day I was fortunate enough to watch a youtube video of TV serial Chanakya, which used to be telecast on national television in India during early 1990's. In this episode, there is an interesting Q&A session which takes place in the court of king DhanaNanda (last ruler of Nanda dynasty) involving his court priest and Chanakya's student from Takshashila University. Q&A session goes like this

Court Priest: Who is greatest enemy
Chanakya's student: Pride

Court Priest: What is wealth of the poor 
Chanakya's student: Knowledge

Court Priest: Who is a honorable man
Chanakya's student: One who is benevolent

Court Priest: A woman's virtue
Chanakya's student: Her modesty

Court Priest: Who is the most heroic man 
Chanakya's student: A generous person

Court Priest: Against whom we should protect wealth
Chanakya's student: From thieves and state officials

Court Priest: What is the root of happiness
Chanakya's student: Religion

Court Priest: What is the basis of religion 
Chanakya's student: Economy

Court Priest: What is the basis of economy
Chanakya's student: State

Court Priest: What is the basis of state
Chanakya's student: Conquering the senses

Court Priest: What is the basis of conquering the senses 
Chanakya's student: Humility

Court Priest: What is the basis of humility
Chanakya's student: Serving the weak

Court Priest: Where does the King's welfare lie
Chanakya's student: In the welfare of his subjects

Listening to this Q&A session, it makes me feel that answers given by the student are so righteous and relevant even today. So what lessons did I learn from this

#1. Always be humble in life. John Wooden quoted "Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful."

#2. Be respectful to one and all. One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what others have to say.

#3. Your team's success is your success and their failure is your responsibility. 

#4. Somebody can steal your money but nobody can steal your knowledge. So share your knowledge as the more you share, the more you gain. 

#5. Integrity is the most important quality. Samuel Johnson quoted "Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."

#6. Happiness is in thoughts and not in things. Charles Spurgeon quoted "It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.

#7. Serve others. John Holmes quoted “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.


What are your thoughts? Please share your comments.