How many Chanakya Niti are there ?

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Chanakya whose earlier name was Vishnu Gupta  and also known as Kautilya wrote a book which is Widely known as “  Arthashastra “ all over the world and this book describes the Chanakya Niti which he used to build the prosperity in the state and how to deal with enemy .

He was the king maker and a great philosopher , Economist and a law -maker . Before delving into the Niti of Chanakya let us  have some background .


The Chandragupta era was started  during  the period of  321- 296 B.C. Chanakya who was born as a Brahmin got humiliated for his appearance by the King Nanda ,  he was determined to overthrow the Nanda dynasty and establish a king who would be more dynamic and loyal towards  him .

And finally he got Chandragupta Maurya who was eligible to become the king of Patliputra .

The political , economical and social conditions which are described in  ArthaShastra  are more advanced than other kingdoms . Let us discuss the most advanced Chanakya Niti which had made Chandragupta Maurya Empire , the strongest one  in every field at that period of time . 

Arthshashtra of Chanakya
Rishi Chanakya
  • Economic development
  •   Taxation
  •  Mining
  • Agriculture
  • The law of debt and deposit
  • Rules regulating labour and trade
  •  building of forts
  • Institution of Spies
  • Protection of princess
  •  Duties  of a king 
  •  Formation of villages
  • Dandaniti ( Punishment for inhumane act )

Let us throw some light on some of the above mention list .

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 Duties of a King

  • He Should be well educated and must  have Knowledge of every field and have the capabilities of taking the right decision .
  • Completely dedicated to providing good governance to his Kingdom.
  • No Mercy for the person who was Involved in a mischievous  act .
  • It was the duty of a king to Construct reservoirs and provide enough materials for the construction of reservoirs to the  farmers .
  • King was responsible for the maintenance of the Forest . Forest could have been a very good source of commodities .
Chanakya as a great economist
Arthshashtra of Chanakya

Economic development

To have economic development , a country must have an idea of manufacturing ,categorization of the sectors  , Distribution and  consumption of food and services .  So , the Arthashastra written by Chanakya  gives us an extraordinary Perspective  to deal with it .

  • To have a better idea of economic development ,  the administration should have vital information about their citizens . Like – Census work Should be done to know exactly how many people are from which Varna , the number of male , female , child , farmers , merchants and so on .It Gives a basic idea to the Administration and fiscal management of “ how to take action “.
  • Roads were made to get access to the forest for economic purposes . The commodities which were available in the forest were big money making deals .  


Agriculture is the most Important factor to lead a country . Ignoring agriculture is like ignoring the fundamental part of  life .

 Chanakya knew it very well, so he systematically  classified agricultural land .

  • Land which was in  direct  supervision of the Superintendent of agriculture was known as Crown land . The superintendent of agriculture must have the knowledge of tree plantation and its statistics . This was done to ensure  the profit and Actual cost of production . 
  • Irrigation facilities were given to  every farmer .
  • Before sowing seeds , he believed to perform some Dharmic rituals which indicates that he never forgot to take the blessings of the motherland who provides food to the people .
  • Had the proper arrangements of godowns on elevated areas .
  • Chanakya had the expertise in seeds of grains .  He knew very well that seeds need to be exposed to the heat  and mist for certain days which can finally give them high yield .  


  • Most senior officers had been posted for the supervision of mining operations .
  • He Should be in charge of keeping an eye on production of ores and metals .  He  must have the expertise in dealing Gold ,copper ,  silver  and other metals .
  • Licences were provided to those private persons  who wanted to  do the mining business with limitations 
  • The  superintendent of metals  had been given the responsibility of Manufacturing the ironwares . Irons were largely  used in armed forces so , from the perspective of protection of the kingdom , iron played a vital role . 

Institution of Spies

According to Chanakya’s Arthshastra , there should be an espionage system which keeps an eye on everyone whether they are going through compliance or not . Are they loyal to the Administration or not ?  Any citizen doing any unethical act ? Following are the lists  which need to be spied upon .

  • Whether subjects (citizens) are fulfilling the duties of paying taxes and the payment of  land revenue as per directed or not .
  • There is a chance that people working for the administration , especially people Who are  in the post of Regulating commodities and  trade and Commerce are functioning properly or not .
  •  Special groups of spies are appointed to keep an eye on other spies whether they are loyal to the King and administration or not .
  • Spies  appointed  to keep an eye on the management of finance , law and order and Army .


 The whole society was based on the varna system . Brahman ,  kshatriya ,  Vaishya and  Shudra . The way we understand the varna system today is not the same as the varna system which was followed by people who lived centuries ago . It was completely based on self – realisation . 

  • Anyone who tries to kill  or  instigate someone against the king and tries to dismantle the power of the Army ,  then  that person will be burnt alive from head to foot .

        Drowning Consist of unbearable  physical torture was also one 

               of the punishment for the same act .

  • No Mercy for the person who  is in the act of killing his son ,daughter ,  his parents ,brothers or sisters  .
  • A person who is involved in manufacturing counterfeit coins ,  will be punished with a charge of 1000 Panas .
  • One-eighth Pana would be charged if someone threw his /her dust on the street . 
  •  When someone tries to provide a prohibited  drink  to Brahman , then that person has to charge 500 to 1000 Panas ( fine amount ) . And when he tried to do the same act with Kshatriya ,Then that person would be charged with 200 to 500 Panas and 48 to 96 Panas for Vaishya and 26 for Shudra .

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FAQ ( Frequently asked questions )

How many sutras are there in Chanakya Neeti?

There are 572 sutras in Sanskrit language and each Sutra gives us a deep understanding of how a King should act and what responsibilities he should carry to provide the best administration to the kingdom .

Who wrote the book Chanakya Niti Darpan ?

Pandit Mihirchandra Sharma .

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