Chanakya and the Art of War-Excerpt

Each and every one of us wants to become successful. We aim to fight and win in businesses, careers, relationships and, ultimately, in life. However, most of us fail to reach our full potential because of various speed breakers.

In Chanakya and the Art of War, Radhakrishnan Pillai decodes the war secrets of Chanakya as relevant to our personal and professional lives. Be it an army fighting enemy soldiers across the border, the police encountering internal challenges, a politician who wants to win an election, or the common man fighting for survival, Chanakya has a plan for every situation. In the game of life, Chanakya teaches you the winning strategies by putting into practice the Art of War.

Here is an excerpt from the book:


We are constantly at war.

It may be an external war—at our workplaces, our homes, amongst friends, relatives and/or with the government and its systems.

It may be an internal war—inside our heads, with time, with decisions, with what is right and what is wrong.

This is unavoidable when we live in a world full of different people and different views. From the day we are born to the day we die, the external or internal wars will continue. From womb to tomb, we will always face difficult choices.

After a point, everyone realizes that they cannot walk away from such wars. Everyone has to fight—some win, some lose. This is where the difference in our attitude towards the war becomes known. We either accept defeat, or fight on to emerge a winner.

Most of us often compromise and give up. It is a good feeling, although temporary, that there was no bloodshed, that we avoided facing an extreme situation. But later, when we sit down and analyse, we realize that we have actually lost the war in the name of compromise.

The problem continues to exist. Sooner than later, it re-emerges in a different way. The quick-fix of compromise is temporary in nature because we have not fixed the leak. The tooth now requires an extraction. That one rotten apple has already spoilt the whole bunch.

We must make sure we win the war once and for all, rather than be under the illusion that a compromise has closed the issue.

The art of winning a war can be learnt by understanding some rules and then applying them in a practical manner to real-life situations. There are various formulae and techniques. Just because we have never been exposed to a war does not mean the ‘art of war’ is not meant for us.

Swami Tejomayanandaji, the spiritual giant from Chinmaya Mission, says: ‘If you don’t stand up for something, you will fall for everything.’

True that.

Are we all just living a life of compromise and adjustment? Have we become so weak that we cannot even voice our views? Have we forgotten the skills of negotiations and strategy?

Let us not simply allow life to happen to us, let us make life happen according to our wishes. We can decide what we want, and yes, we can emerge a winner. The good news is that there is a method and a system to do this.

It starts with building some basic leadership qualities. Yes, the answer lies here.

Leaders are strong men and women who stood up with conviction, squared their shoulders and faced the challenges that came their way. They were the only hope when others around them felt hopeless. They had nothing else but tremendous will power. World history is never complete without the stories of such great leaders from various nations and backgrounds. Initially, they were ordinary people, but their extraordinary leadership qualities made them shine in situations that were challenging and difficult.

Today, the life stories of such leaders guide us. They inspire us. They bring hope and possibilities. They are the guiding beacons of societies. Their stories must be told to our children. They should be discussed at dinner tables, their books should be read by all, and more research should be done on these great men and women.

Emerging as a winner in war is not just the work of the military and armed forces. It can be part of our basic nature. If every individual is taught the art of war, she/ he will be better equipped to focus on the means and the ends towards which they are working so hard. Winning a war requires many skills. Studying our opponent, understanding human psychology, the right timing and place, keeping motivation levels up—all these and more.

If we master the art of war, we can be successful in every field of life.


Chanakya and the Art of War  draws upon lessons from the great teacher, philosopher and strategist Chanakya’s masterpiece, Arthashastra, which can help us overcome those speed breakers to become innovative and influential and realize our true potential. AVAILABLE NOW.

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