Quick Summary: Chanakya Neeti lays down many life-lessons that people should live by. It contains various Shlokas with their essence.
Who Should Read The Chanakya Neeti PDF Summary, And Why?
Those who love consuming old and traditional concepts in Sanskrit will find themselves in for a treat.
Especially those who have read Indian Vedas and scriptures will enjoy this book.
This doesn’t mean that people who don’t read ancient scriptures won’t enjoy it.
Most people never read ancient scriptures. They’re boring and demand a hell lot of effort, right?
And that’s where this book excels in.
There are many easy-to-consume nuggets of wisdom in this book, which I believe, everyone should learn and practice.
This book would also help you balance both your personal and professional life.
And at the same time, it’ll make you realize the value and importance of morality and culture.
Who Was Chanakya?
Here are a few essential things that you must know about Chanakya before you start reading the summary:
Note: Not much is known about Chanakya’s background, so I’d recommend that you check the Wikipedia page (click the above button) and gather more information about him.
Chanakya Neeti PDF Summary
This summary shares the best ideas or lessons from the book.
Let’s not waste any more time and get started.
1. A Man Has To Have Some Sort Of Power
No. You’re not supposed to become a superman.
You don’t need power so that you could shoot laser beams whenever you want. Pun intended.
The power here could be in terms of wealth, status, etc.
A man needs power like money to fight battles in life.
You must have at least some kind of power to face challenges that life throws at you.
2. Prepare For The Worst
Shit can happen anytime.
Tsunamis come, earthquakes hit, lightning strikes. And so many natural disasters happen without any warning or signs.
Chanakya advises that a man must prepare himself for any crisis.
That means when there is no crisis, you must not slouch in your sofa and enjoy Netflix.
Instead, you should think of ways to amass wealth for the worst circumstances because money can help you a lot in terrible times.
Again, amassing a lot of wealth doesn’t guarantee that you’ll avert the crisis.
For example, the recent Corona Virus Crisis affected billions of people. Even rich people were affected.
Therefore, thinking that wealth can help you prevent a crisis is a bad idea, and it’s also an impractical approach.
You can’t control what happens in the world.
The only thing that you can control is yourself.
The alarming thing about crises is that they don’t send you emails or mobile notifications before they arrive. They just happen.
So prepare in the good times.
The quote below perfectly concludes the above-discussed point:
The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.
3. Learn To Extract Gold From Impure Metals
By “gold,” Chanakya means value.
A man must extract value from any person despite his age, caste, gender, or status.
That’s because “value” can be found anywhere. You just have to look for it.
People often have beliefs that hold them back from attaining learning that is worth its weight in gold.
For example, you are more likely to avoid lessons about life from a potter.
But a potter can teach you how shaping and making a pot is a lot like shaping our lives.
Another example is that a person who has made terrible mistakes in life might teach you how to live a life without regret. Although it sounds quite funny, it’s true.
Even the people who are least expected to have wisdom, if you know what I mean, can give you lessons of the lifetime.
Putting simply, you must not judge the carrier of the value every time.
If you find value anywhere, extract it without any delay, instead of judging.
There are certain caveats, though. So don’t go mindlessly asking anyone for advice.
4. Guests Must Not Stay Long At Your Home
We all sometimes have guests.
In India, guests are given the same respect as given to Gods.
But Chanakya says that guests mustn’t stay long.
Why? Because if a guest stays long at your home, he/she might cause trouble.
If I guess, Chanakya had this opinion because guests sometimes interfere in the family matters and make them worse.
Also, a lot of time is invested in taking care of them. Like you have to offer them delicious food and provide them with things that give comfort and relief.
It’s always better to have a few guests, having too many guests might also create problems in your personal life.
The biggest problem is to manage them. If a guest stays for an extended period, it becomes a liability.
In this book, Chanakya has a hard opinion regarding this matter. He even compares them to birds who leave a tree leafless after sitting on them.
5. Choose Your Company Wisely
The word “company” here refers to your friends.
Chanakya advises that you choose your friends wisely.
This world is filled with morons. (Don’t mind. You aren’t one since you are reading this.)
So it becomes essential that you carefully choose the people you’ll spend your time with.
The best part:
You don’t require a Ph.D. to spot morons.
Chanakya had the opinion that only intelligent people suffer in the company of foolish people.
I can explain why this is so true:
When you enter into a company of foolish people, there is no one in your circle to validate and understand the depth of your wise ideas.
Even the most brilliant ideas would fall flat among the foolish people.
So keep one eye on the people who accompany you most of the time.
Stay away from foolish people.
If you stay in the company of illiterate and foolish people, you’ll eventually become like them.
I admit that this advice might hurt many people’s sentiment, but after all, it’s just an opinion.
This is no rule that you must stick to always. Just consider it a wise opinion.
6. Suffering Is Inevitable
No matter where you go, one thing stays the same—wondering what? Suffering.
Suffering has always been here and will always be.
There is no man alive who hasn’t suffered at least once in his life.
Suffering might come in many forms and can have different meanings depending on the perspective of a person.
Pandemics happen. People die. Corruption happens. Life throws melons at you.
Who knows, even aliens could come tomorrow and dominate this planet.
Suffering is ubiquitous though the form is different.
Sometimes, suffering gets covered in the blanket of shiny aspects of life. But it’s still there.
The worst part:
No one knows why do people suffer.
So you better learn how to deal with it.
7. Parents Shape Children Like A Potter Shapes A Pot
Parenting is an art.
Just as a pot needs the artistic touch of a potter to attain an almost perfect shape, children need parents’ guidance to grow into well-mannered and respectable adults.
Chanakya warns that an ill-mannered and immoral kid can destroy families.
Parents are better without kids rather than having kids that would cause life-long trouble.
Therefore, parents must guide and nurture their kids properly to grow virtues like courage, honesty, etc. within them.
8. Your Personality Reflects Your Attitude
Who you are appears through your personality.
In simple words, your character reflects your attitude.
I won’t dive deeper into what makes a good personality.
We’ll try to get an idea of what your personality or character can tell about you through this lesson.
Just by looking at how you talk and listen, another person can judge many things about you like the state you belong to, your culture, habits, things you like, etc.
If you look at a person’s body language, you can tell about his day-to-day habits.
For example, if a person has a big belly, you can assess his bad eating habits and messed up routine.
By learning this insight about how your personality reflects so many things about you, you can work your way backward and fix those things that harm your character.
For instance, if your personality reflects that you don’t have general knowledge about the world, you can learn it and improve it by taking courses or reading books.
By fixing these little things and working on your attitude, you can improve your personality.
9. Choose Snake Bite Over An Evil Person
Chanakya shares a genius opinion:
If you’ve got an option to choose from two things: a poisonous snake bite or an evil friend, select the former.
But what does Chanakya want to convey through this?
Let me elaborate on this:
A snake bite will kill you only once, but a wicked or evil person will kill you repeatedly.
It shouldn’t take a genius to understand this.
Wicked people stay the same despite any circumstances. All they care about is themselves.
A snake is poisonous by nature, and so are the wicked people.
Wicked people won’t bite you, but they will hurt you time and time again.
So it’s better that you die of a snake bite, because that way, you’ll die once.
It’s better to die once rather than dying multiple times.
10. Education And Wisdom Are Of Utmost Importance
Education is one of those things that has the potential to change your life.
Most people just grow up, earn money, and enjoy their lives.
But they don’t understand why continuously attaining education is essential. And why they should never stop reading after they grow into an adult.
Chanakya says that all your possessions only look good when you have the right education that complements them.
That means your money, looks, status, power, etc. will be gone if you lack the right education to sustain it and nurture it for years.
The best thing is that an educated person always gets respect while an illiterate person, no matter how rich he is, doesn’t get the same respect as the educated one.
Also, education indirectly helps you improve your personality. Plus, it opens a lot of doors of opportunity for you.
It’s easy to spot the difference between a literate and an illiterate person just by observing his personality and behavior.
11. A Person’s Qualities Overshadow His Weaknesses
Every person on this planet has some kind of weaknesses or shortcomings.
And due to those weaknesses, people develop insecurities.
Even animals have a mixture of strengths and weaknesses.
For example, a cuckoo is black, and despite being black, she sings in a melodious voice.
I don’t mean that being black is a weakness. But to some people, it might be a big issue.
So if we look at nature, we find that there are things that compensate each other.
Let me explain:
For example, rich people amass a lot of wealth and still sometimes fail to attain peacefulness.
Or it’s observed that despite being poor, some people stay happy.
Why is this so? And what does it suggest?
It suggests that instead of focusing on your weaknesses, you must focus on your strengths.
Chanakya highlights the fact that one shouldn’t pursue fancy things like pretty women.
He says that an educated and ugly woman is far better than a gorgeous and characterless woman.
It’s because a gorgeous woman might not add any value to your life. It’s an educated and wise woman that would help you progress.
Just as a black cuckoo doesn’t give a damn about its color and sings melodiously, you should also not give a damn about what you lack.
You must focus on your most exceptional qualities.
If you go by this approach (as suggested by Chanakya), your qualities will soon overshadow your weaknesses.
12. Honest And Good People With Virtues Glitter Like Gold
This doesn’t mean that you’ll start emitting golden light from you if you become honest and kind.
It means that people with honesty and a pure heart are highly appreciated in society and provide hope to other people like the sun.
But it’s not easy at all, just as a bar of gold has to pass through tests like beating, honest people also face many challenges in life where their qualities are tested.
And once they pass those tests or challenges, they glitter even more.
Chanakya Neeti Quotes
Here are a few quotes that I found interesting:
“Only by constant practice, knowledge can be retained.”
“In the absence of the commander, the army can never win a war.”
“Even intelligent and wise men are ruined after some time if they remain in the company of immoral, sinful, wicked, or cruel-natured persons.”
“Knowledge ends a man’s stupidity and ignorance, whereas courtesy destroys a man’s fear.”
“Lust is a man’s most powerful enemy.”
- The book: Chanakya Neeti by R.P. Jain
Chanakya Neeti Review
This book is filled with Sanskrit Shlokas, each carrying lessons of wisdom.
I read the online version of this book in English on the Amazon Kindle. This book is also available in other languages like Hindi, Telugu, etc.
But I recommend that you read the Hindi version of this book since Sanskrit is close to Hindi.
The format of the book is similar to Bhagavad Gita.
In each chapter, there are 14-15 Shlokas.
Thankfully, the essence is given below each Shloka. So I didn’t have to go find a Sanskrit dictionary and decipher each one’s meaning.
If you know Sanskrit, it’s even better because it’ll make it much easier to understand each Shloka’s meaning deeply.
There are a few things that I didn’t like about this book:
First, some of the opinions are biased. But I can’t comment on it, because it’s wise Chanakya for you.
Second, not much context is provided after each Shloka. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the Shlokas properly.
Third, this book is best for Indian people. Although its learnings apply to almost all people, I feel that they are better suited to Indian people.
As is the case with most of the self-help books, you might not agree with many things said in this book.
Fourth, the same ideas get repeated again and again.
These are my honest opinion of this book.
But still, I highly recommend that you read this book at least once.
Want to Read more lessons?
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Now it’s your turn:
Which lesson did you like the most?
Do you agree with all the ideas? If you don’t, then let me know about it.
I’d appreciate your feedback.