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Content and style[edit]

This is a very flimsy article. If you compare it to the Machiavelli piece - which links to it - it's disgracefully thin on Chanakya's philosophy and writings. I'm no expert, sadly, but can anyone make it slightly more intellectually credible? -- TinaSparkle 19:31, 15 September 2006 (UTC)


Where does the second paragraph come from? It seems like somebody got carried away with the whole Chanakya thing.

Subject:- Chanakya is like "Indian Machiavelli" What do you mean by that. The great chanakya borned much earlier than Machiavelli (not even heard). The work , the culture Chanakya followed and his contribution to Bharat (India) is much much important and greater than Machiavelli.

Request you to modify this word in this article.


His name is Vishnu Gupta, he was called 'Chanakya' as his father's name was Chanak. 'Kautaliya' was derived from 'Kutil' which in english would translate to shrewd.

Nehru's description of Chanakya[edit]

Even though Nehru's desciption of Chanakya is mentioned, the text following is very different from what Nehru has written.

The timing mentioned about Sun-Tzu in this article, around 3-century BC, is different from that mentioned in the article ... some other books say Sun-Tzu is around 6-century BC... please correct.

Amar Chitra Katha[edit]

The Amar chitra KAtha series has a book on Chanakya's story more accurate and interesting than the one provided. I will try to revamp section soon.Bakaman Bakatalk 02:06, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

It would be more encyclopedic to detail the differences between various versions of the Chanakya legend as they appear in different primary sources (i.e. the Parishista Parvan version, the Pali version, etc.) instead of presenting a single version from, well, a comic book.
My source was Thomas Trautmann's Kautilya and the Arthashastra. He gives fairly complete accounts of the Parishista Parvan version and the Pali version, a very different Kashmiri version, and the Mudrarakshasa.
Hemachandra and the Pali version give two different birthplaces and the Wikipedia article initially gave another. The article must acknowledge the differing versions rather than pretend they all agree.
CiteCop 02:44, 29 August 2006 (UTC)


No where in this article does it reference where he lived, was born or what nationality he is. Maybe this would be good to put in the introduction NinjaKid 15:20, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Magadha Rajya, India

He was definitely from India. An acquaintance from India tells me that he lived in the time of the Macedonian Alexander's invasion, and at least attempted to unite India against that invasion. If this is true, the article needs some more editing.

Date of death - article contradicts itself[edit]

The date of his death is mentioned as 283 BC at the beginning and 293 BC somewhere in between. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:44, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 03:50, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Eurocentric sobriquets for Indian entities[edit]

Telugu: The Italian of the East
Chanakya: The Indian Machiavelli
Samudragupta: The Napolean of India

We don't need such nonsensical Euro chauvinist sobriquets and titles for our entities. What about calling Italian as the 'Telugu of the West'? Maquahuitltalk! 09:17, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I have changed the language.--ÆN↑Þƺ§®»Ŧ 16:47, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
And By the way, while the term "Indian Machiavelli" has a reference as the title of a book, I have kept it. The other two: "The Italian of the East" and "Napolean of India" are just idiotic and ridiculous.--ÆN↑Þƺ§®»Ŧ 16:47, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Correct Spelling[edit]

We need to switch to the correct spelling of "Arthaśāstra." Lotus (talk) 17:20, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Anachronistic language[edit]

Please try and avoid anachronistic language and remove words such as "professor" and "university". Though these serve to describe it its not historio-ideographically correct and undermines the objectivity of an elsewise very intesting article. Scholar, for example, is also an honorific and positive-laden term whereas professor(see wikipedia article under same name) is connected with a concerete historical and institutional development.

Thesaurus of Chanakya[edit]

Chanakya wrote two thesaurus in his life time. The first one is the "Chanakya Niti Sutra" which contains one or two lines sayings which means the people and the king should behave in that particular manor. n. The another was "Kautilya Arth-Shastra" in that he described how to run an empire,in that he explained briefly about cabinet and its members, rolls of them and how to track all them. If a person wants to succeed in politics must have to study it.In that he described how to divert mass in our favor.


This source looks like a good place to start Glenn, John; Howlett, Darryl A.; Poore, Stuart (2004-04). Neorealism versus strategic culture. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 89–. ISBN 9780754613794. Retrieved 20 August 2010.  .J8079s (talk) 20:02, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

reading a little more the contents (of "Arthaśāstra") need to be summarized better.J8079s (talk) 20:08, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
This page needs some work I want to tag it but I can't seem to find the right tag. sourceSingh, Upinder (2009-02-25). A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century. Pearson Education India. p. 323. ISBN 9788131711200. Retrieved 4 October 2010.  J8079s (talk) 20:47, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Photo of chanakya[edit]

this is a good photo of chankaya — Preceding unsigned comment added by Aujas Bandlish (talkcontribs) 14:50, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

File:Chanakya painting.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Buddhist version..?[edit]

It is true that Mahavamsa is written in Pali language. But I cannot accept Mahavamsa as a "Buddhist" source. Mahavamsa was written with a political interest in mind and it is a history book, not directly related to Buddhism. It is the history of Sinhalese nation, and there are strong ties with Buddhism in it. But Mahavamsa does not contain the Dharma of Buddhism.

Vishvax (talk) 17:10, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

Reliable source: H.V. Glasenapp[edit]

The source that I used to support my claim was Jainism by Helmuth Von Glasenapp publisher Motilal Banarasidass. As far as I know, it is a reliable source. My claim was reverted recently. I am changing it again. I request that it be pointed out why the source is being considered unreliable. Thanks Rahul Jain (talk) 14:42, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

I have added another source in support of the claim. This is Jainism: The world of conquerors by Natubhai Shah from the same publisher. I hope two published books would be sufficient for the claim. Rahul Jain (talk) 14:50, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Your surname 'Jain' suggest that WP:COI is involved in giving religion of Chanakya as Jainism. Sources given by you are not accessible and I never heard of these authors. Various sources claim different religions of Chanakya. this source claim his religion as Zoroastrianism and these [1][2][3][4] sources claim that he was born in Brahmin family and had studied Vedas of Hinduism. This very talkpage templates suggest that this article is part of Hinduism. Due to conflicting sources it is better to leave his religion field blank. neo (talk) 15:44, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
The sources I gave are published sources. Helmuth Von Glasenapp is a known west-German Indologist. He taught at the University of Königsberg and occupied the indological chair of the University of Tübingen. Motilal Banarasidass publishers is a leading Indian publishing house on Sanskrit and Indology. You point to online pages and blogs which clearly do not meet the criteria. The sources you provided were:
  •[5] This one is owned by Invis Multimedia Pvt. Ltd. which is a digital marketing and multimedia solutions company. What makes it a reliable source?
  •[6] This one is a college essay.
  •[7] A hinduism-propogating website.
  •[8] I would request you to go through this site once more.
  •[9]Not only its a self published blog, the only four lines it has does not deal with his religious identity.
Please see WP:RS, especially WP:SPS and provide reliable sources which conflicts the claim. If a conflict does exist, I have absolutely no problem giving each claim their due weight. Rahul Jain (talk) 18:31, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
You are clearly trying to push your religious agenda on wiki. I gave few sources just to point out conflicting nature of info. neo (talk) 19:06, 4 June 2013 (UTC)
As pointed out on WP:ANI in this thread, this government website says Chanakya was brahmin. this academic website says that Chanakya studied Vedas. this and this history authors says that Chanakya was brahmin. here Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is comparing brahmin caste with Chanakya. These are reliable sources to state his religion as 'Hindu' but I am not interested to stamp historical rulers with any religion. I will just leave religion field as blank. neo (talk) 09:20, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Not only the site you mention are unreliable, none of those sites mention that Chanakya was a hindu. Being a brahmin is not equivalent to being a follower of hindu religion. Neither is studying veda, various people read scriptures of other religion, it doesn't make them a follower of that religion. I am reverting your edits as of now. Rahuljain2307 (talk) 15:43, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Chanakya Hindu religion[edit]

As per these [10][11][12][13][14] sources Chanakya was Brahmin devotee of Lord Vishnu, scholar in Vedas. Hence I have stated his religion in infobox as Hindu (Brahmin). neo (talk) 09:26, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Please check WP:SOURCE. Also, provide full citation (name of the author, title of the article etc.) Here is the relevant information:

Base articles on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Source material must have been published (made available to the public in some form). Unpublished materials are not considered reliable. Use sources that directly support the material presented in an article and are appropriate to the claims made. The appropriateness of any source depends on the context. The best sources have a professional structure in place for checking or analyzing facts, legal issues, evidence, and arguments. The greater the degree of scrutiny given to these issues, the more reliable the source. Be especially careful when sourcing content related to living people or medicine.

Where available, academic and peer-reviewed publications are usually the most reliable sources, such as in history, medicine, and science.

Rahul Jain (talk) 10:57, 11 June 2013 (UTC)
Please explain how the websites you posted are reliable. Rahul Jain (talk) 04:50, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
There was either no mention of any religion in infobox or no infobox since date of creation of article (22 February 2004) until 19 May 2013. On 19 May you inserted Jain religion in infobox. Since very next day 5 users have reverted or removed your edit. 2 anon IPs (2 reverts), User:Gabriel Kielland (1 revert), User:Magadh11 (4 reverts) and me (5 reverts) eg [15] [16] [17] [18][19]. But you kept inserting Jain religion 12 times without discussing on talkpage. I proposed to leave religion field blank and maintain status quo as of 18 May 2013 but you consistenly refused. When I initially presented refs, you disputed their reliability. Then I presented refs from Government of India, Chanakya National Law University, Outlook (magazine), India Today, Bihar Chief Minister, writer, historian. Then you came up with weird argument that Chanakya being Brahmin, scholar/preacher of Hinduism sacred Vedas does not mean he was Hindu. Finally I presented ref that Chanakya himself has clearly written that he was devotee of Hindu God Vishnu. Then you reverted my edits only because of "bare refs". Now you have again gone back to reliability of sources and because they do not mention specific sentence you want i.e 'Chanakya was Hindu'. No source can mention it for technical correctness because 'Hindu' term came into existence after 15th-16th century, almost 2000 years after death of Chanakya. Now let other users decide whether Chanakya was Hindu or whether sources are reliable. But until dispute is resolved, you can't claim in infobox that Chanakya was Jain. I am going to maintain status quo as of 18 May 2013, i.e religion field in infobox should be blank until dispute resolution. neo (talk) 11:25, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

Section break[edit]

(for my further comments just in case section exceed 5000 chars. Edit box limit)

Neo, please learn to assume good faith. My edit said exactly what your content said:

  • Chanakya was born in a Brahmin family
  • He was a scholar of the Vedas and a devotee of Vishnu
  • According to Jain sources, both him and his father became a Jain later in life

Every single of those sentences is referenced. The changes that I made were:

  • Removed "religion" from the section header: this is unnecessary POV-pushing - religion is not an important part of the article or the "Birth" section. There is no need to make it look like an important controversy.
  • Replaced "some sources mention..." with "According to Jain sources..."; removed "Most of the sources". See Wikipedia:Avoid weasel words#Unsupported_attributions
  • Removed "Chanakya is seen as devotee of Lord Vishnu which implies that Chanakya was follower of Historical vedic religion". This is a classic example of original research.
  • Provided secondary source for the statement that Chanakya was a devotee of Vishnu.
  • Restored "authorship disputed" for Arthashastra, which is clearly mentioned in the article
  • Corrected misspelling: Chanakaya -> Chanakya

Please explain why you undid these changes. utcursch | talk 21:50, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

You said Chanakya became Jain in old age but you started with "according to Jain accounts his father was bramhin who later became Jain" which is Jain POV and which implies that Chanakya was Jain since birth but still he was scholar in Vedas and devotee of Vishnu. Attempt to stamp him with Jainism religion since birth. User:Rahuljain2307 was saying same that he was bramhin, preacher of hindu religious texts, devotee of Vishnu but he was Jain. Yes, my 'historical vedic religion' sounds OR but that was to counter his argument that Chanakya had no religion except Jain. You can remove my 'most of the sources' sentence but fact remains that he is commonly referred as Hindu Brahmin even in Chanakya (TV series) telecasted by seculer Government of India. But you both are pushing only Jain POV. I am not trying to stamp him as Hindu. My arguments are just to stop your POV that he was Jain. neo (talk) 09:10, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I have changed my wording to remove possible OR. Some IP has added sources which was earlier in infobox. I can guess who this 'retired' user is using IP. neo (talk) 09:45, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm not a Jain, and none of my family members or relatives are Jain either. I was born in a Hindu family. So, you might want to stop using "you are pushing Jain POV" argument. Stating with a reference and attribution that Chanakya's father became a Jain monk later in his life is not POV. The concept of "religion" as we know today did not exist in Chanakya's India. It is perfectly possible for Chanakya to be born to a parent belonging to a particular religious order and turn into a monk of that religious order later in his age. This was esp. common with the monk-based religious orders. By the way, until the 19th century, when "Brahmin" became a dirty word due to anti-caste activism, the term "Jain Brahmin" was fairly common. utcursch | talk 11:18, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with your statement that 'The concept of "religion" as we know today did not exist in Chanakya's India'. But it exist now and stating that Chanakya's father was Jain will be automatically viewed by reader that Chanakya's religion was Jain until he became Jain monk in old age and hence he was Jain all his life. Info about his father is already given just before my sentence. No need to repeat it. neo (talk) 12:25, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Image removal of File:CHANAKYA.jpg[edit]

WP:NFCCP has "No free equivalent" criteria: Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created, that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose. Since there is "an artist's impression", any artist can create a similar painting. The claim in the fair use rationale that "Replaceable? No. The subject is dead 2296 years ago, so he will not be available for photo and hence free image can not be created." is absurd. This is not a photo of the individual which could be replaced. It is an artist's impression, which can be. --Redtigerxyz Talk 10:05, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

All the images in this category are also artist's impression and according to your logic 'anyone' can create such "artist's impressio". So why these images meet NFCC but not this Chanakya image? neo (talk) 11:29, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
You have what appears to be a major historical figure from a country from over 2000 years ago and there's no historical portrait of this figure (eg one that would have long fallen into the public domain)? I will note that many of the images coming up on Google Image search all seem to be based on one or two base images, so there's a lot of derivative works going on, and hard to tell the origin here, but I'm having a really hard time that no one in the past has tried to illustrate Chanakya before. --MASEM (t) 13:56, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
I was also amazed. Google search does not show any image of Chanakya and Chandragupta Maurya that can be in public domain. I have changed rational on image file. neo (talk) 14:20, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
My point is that unless there's a valid reason why Chanakya could not be illustrated (akin to the idea of why one is not support to create images of Mohammad), there is very likely existing, old art out there of Chanakya, but might require more than just Google Image searching, at least, starting from an English-speaking country. --MASEM (t) 14:21, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Looks that I got it. Please see this and this. Published in 1915. Copyrights expired long ago. But my browser is giving me trouble these days. Trying to upload on Commons since last 3 hours but couldn't upload. If possible, please upload. neo (talk) 22:21, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Chanakya Neeti?[edit]

Please include some references as to the authorship of this tract. This Wikipedia article is the only major source of the claim that Chanakya wrote something called “Neeti Shastra.” This seems to be a doubtful document boosted by the ISKCON cult, among others. Add any reliable, academic sources you can find (scholarly editions, non-ISKCON publications, peer-reviewed research papers, etc.). Until then, I’m marking this article. (talk) 07:26, 9 June 2014 (UTC)