Book Recommendation: Chanakya Neeti: Strategies for Success by Radhakrishnan Pillai


Hi, beautiful people! How's life been treating you lately? It's been a month since the herald of 2021 and we hope you have already started afresh. But if you haven’t, cheer up because we have something in store for you to help you start afresh, to inspire you to attach varied life experiences as badges of honour on your life’s vest, and lead a meaningful life with a pristine vision. By setting your priorities right and focusing only on yourself, no one can stop you from living your life king-size! 

Did the few words sound so cliche but upon hearing the word 'king', what imagery did your brain first produce? If you ask me, it produced some image of historical figures from our history books and one name that strikes my mind instantly is Chandragupta Maurya and how can one forget his association with Chanakya, the robust support system behind each of his endeavors?

Chanakya, also known by the multitude as Vishnugupta and Kautilya, the greatest thinkers of all times and a teacher extraordinaire, is well known for his insights into the needs of both the privileged and the masses. He was indeed a sagacious philosopher, a prudent economist, and a master strategist in warfare who wrote a classic dissertation on polity: ‘Arthashastra’ i.e., “The Science of Material Gain”. He was the royal advisor to Chandragupta Maurya and his sons and by virtue of his foolproof policies, practical outlook, and sharp wittedness, he contributed significantly in establishing the Mauryan Empire.

His writings are deemed to be a guiding light for humanity. There are many arguments about the origins of Chanakya Neeti like who wrote it, when and where was it written, etc. Likewise, there are several books on the same written by a number of writers, but we strongly recommend reading the one penned by the nation's best-selling author, Radhakrishnan Pillai. In his book "Chanakya Neeti: Strategies for Success", he offers a modern interpretation of Chanakya's crisp and pragmatic pearls of wisdom. Through his fluid and elegant style of writing, he has impeccably cast the thousand-year-old brilliant verses in the form of a perfect mold that suits the needs of all generations in the 21st century.

Having said that, let us endorse what we just said. Dive into the reasons why ‘Chanakya Neeti’ by Radhakrishnan Pillai is a must-read for people from all walks of life:


The refined meanings attached to these verses possess the magical power to change your ingrained perceptions and prescribed outlook towards life

The book follows a set format of listing the verse first and then has the explanation for the same, presented in today’s context. Reading Pillai’s commentary on these verses with a modern take helps the reader understand them in a broader sense and exposes him/her to such nuances that he/she is forced to think beyond the realms of their lifelong impressions, preconceived notions, and everyday thoughts on how to lead one’s life.


It touches upon everything and anything for people belonging to every age group

            The book is divided into 12 parts under broad topics ranging from worldly wisdom, learning, and wealth to a comprehensive set of verses that espouse the Dos and Dont’s for leading a happy, peaceful, and content life. It also vividly covers the most important aspect of our lives,i.e., our relationship with our parents, teachers, friends, life partners, etc., and mentions terrific guidelines on how to nurture good interpersonal relationships with the most important people in our lives.


A go-to book whenever one feels stuck or overwhelmed by the daunting challenges thrown by life towards us

The book in its very essence addresses all the major day-to-day problems related to one’s personal and professional life at all levels, like the challenges one faces in different physical, mental, psychological, emotional, or social states. Imbibing the required values and traits as advised by Chanakya can help us progress in the correct direction. It contains several verses where he inspires us to look for life lessons that can be learned from our surroundings. He lists down the great virtues that can be learned from lions, cranes, cocks, dogs, and donkeys as well.


The book is a store of some mind-boggling analogies linked to certain historic episodes, mythological affairs, and some subtle events in nature to help one understand the nuances of a specific problem/scenario

The unlikely comparisons lead by analogies, similes, and metaphors are what keeps the reader deeply engaged, and one is surely taken aback by the staggering sense of awareness in the undiscovered multilayered intricacies of the subtle processes that take place around us and in our lives.


It uses witty elucidations for understanding the acquisition of knowledge and its application

Learning is a lifelong process, having far-reaching implications, and is not limited to books, facts, and figures. There are numerous verses that guide us on the practicalities associated with time management, the significance of acquiring education, and ways of achieving one’s innate desires and dreams.


It compels you to stop, exercise introspection and slow down a bit in chasing your materialistic endeavors  

While reading this book, you enter a space where you and your mind are the only two talking and you oft-times end up questioning yourself: Why do you do the things you do? Are you chasing things in life that are transient, when we are as temporary as them? What does it actually take to lead a fulfilling life? Don't our definitions of ‘life’, ‘death’, ‘wealth’, ‘success’, ‘love’, ‘education’ require a revamp? Reading these verses, miraculously illuminates the dim-lit tunnel of your mind and provides you with great solutions to all your issues, based on certain fundamental principles and values.


Okey-dokey, we know you cannot wait anymore to read the book but before you rush to buy it, let us leave you one of our favorite verses:


Like the drops of water falling slowly and steadily

Fill the pitcher

Knowledge, virtue and wealth

Are gathered in a similar way