Kautilya, Chanakya or Visnugupta is considered as one of the most able politician and minister in the Indian history. He was a philosopher and a statesman of outstanding class and his classic compilation on material success and polity- ‘Arthasashtra’ is valued even today. Kautilya had a great influence behind the rise of Chandra Gupta Maurya, the commencer of the great Mauryan dynasty.
Born to a Brahmin family during the third century BC, Kautilya studied in Taxila, one of the famous centers of education at that time. His father Rishi Canak was a teacher himself. Kautilya was attracted towards political studies from an early age and with his education and experience he developed into a great political strategist.
After completing his education, Kautilya started teaching in Taxila but left for Pataliputra, a very important and prosperous city. Pataliputra at that time was ruled by Dhanananda. Kautilya became the President of Sungha or Trust which controlled the Royal charity. Dhanananda removed Kautilya from the post without any reasons and utterly insulted- he promised to dethrone him. At this juncture he met Chandra Gupta a bright young man of royal blood. Under the guidance of Kautilya, Chandra Gupta defeated the Nanda King and established the famous Maurya empire.
Kautilya was a shrewd politician and an excellent strategist. His policy of using spies to destroy enemies proved useful in successful running of the kingdom. Apart from politics and religion, he had an interest in economics. He wrote ‘Nitisashtra’ to teach the ideal way of life.