- Book Genre: Classics, Non-Fiction
"An extraordinary detailed manual on statecraft and the science of living by one of classical India's greatest minds; Kautilya; also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta; wrote the Arthashastra not later than 150 AD though the date has not been conclusively established. Legend has it that he was either a Brahmin from Kerala or from north India; however; it is certain that Kautilya was the man who destroyed the Nanda dynasty and installed Chandragupta Maurya as the King of Magadha. A master strategist who was well-versed in the Vedas and adept at creating intrigues and devising political stratagems; Kautilya's genius is reflected in his Arthashastra which is the most comprehensive treatise of statecraft of classical times. The text contains fifteen books which cover numerous topics viz.; the King; a complete code of law; foreign policy; secret and occult practices and so on. The Arthashastra is written mainly in prose but also incorporates 380 shlokas. Artha; literally wealth; is one of four supreme aims prescribed by Hindu tradition. However; it has a much wider significance and the material well-being of individuals is just a part of it. In accordance with this; Kautilya's Arthashastra maintains that the state or government of a country has a vital role to play in maintaining the material status of both the nation and its people. Therefore; a significant part of the Arthashastra has to do with the science of economics. When it deals with the science of politics; the Arthashastra describes in detail the art of government in its widest sense—the maintenance of law and order as also of an efficient administrative machinery."
Book Pages : 872
Kautilya, also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta, wrote the Arthashastra in the second century AD though the date has not been conclusively established. A master stategist who was well-versed in the Vedas and adept at creating intrigues and devising political stratagems, Kautilya was the man who destroyed the Nanda dynasty and installed Chandragupta Maurya as the king of Magadha.