Chanakya-Sutra: Patanjali edition by Acharya Balkrishna – Review

Post Category: Non-fiction
Chanakya Sutra Acharya Balakrishna Hindi Sanskrit

Patanjali has entered into publishing religious, spiritual and ancient Indian text recently and they have dawned their first publications, available on Patanjali stores across India. I have bought an edition which is translated by Acharya Balakrishna, a well-known scholar of Ayurveda as well as Indian ancient texts – Chanakya Sutra with Arthshastriya Subhasitani. This is a wonderful book for all those who want to understand the essential Chanakya’s philosophy, suggestions and policies. The book has been carefully prepared to offer the essential Sanskrit text as well as the explanations and translations by Acharya Balakrishna.

Chanakya’s philosophy often summarised as Chanakya Niti or Chanakya Sutras, are, almost, contrary to what we have traditionally been reading in our spiritual and religious texts. While ancient spiritual and religious texts focus on preparing a person to indulge in worldly life as little as possible, Chanakya’s philosophy inspires a person to be practical and live the life as it should be done – not against Dharma or Niti but well-lived and well-enjoyed. However, Chanakya never prompts a person to act against Dharma in any way!

उपकारोऽनार्येष्वकर्तव्य:। (399)
Chanakya’s intentions are very clear – one has to be practical in life. However, you cannot go on helping everyone who doesn’t even deserve your help – by money, by act or by emotions. A ‘dushta’ or an evil person may harm you in return for your favours. So, Chanakya forbids helping an evil person. Likewise, there are many practical lessons in the book that will come to rescue the readers whenever they find themselves in difficult situations.

स्वल्पमप्युपकारकृते प्रत्युपकार कर्तुमार्यो स्वपिति। (401)

On the contrary, Chanakya hints, a gentleman will never forget even the smallest contribution or help by someone and won’t rest until he has repaid the same – by any means possible. And this is what we all consciously or subconsciously see when we tend to help or deny helping someone. We always see whether the person is reputed enough to repay and remember the deeds done to him…

There are many examples in the book that we can see to understand how practical Chanakya Sutras are. Chanakya is often ascribed with the qualities of the finest policymakers in India, only next to Vidur, another great statesman from ancient India in the Mahabharat period. The translation in Hindi by Acharaya Balakrishna has been up to the mark in all these shlokas. You, as a reader, can see and experience the fine transfer of sense, meanings and ‘bhava’ or emotions. And Acharya Balakrishna is himself regarded as one of the greatest scholars of Indian texts in the modern period and that is why it has been one of the finest books on Chanakya Sutras…

You can get a copy of this book from any Patanjali store near you or order the book from Patanjali online website. All the best!


Review by Gunjan for Indian Book Critics

Chanakya-Sutra: Patanjali edition by Acharya Balkrishna
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Wonderfully translated… Acharya Chanakya’s wisdom, vision and philosophy are there to stay… as long as the civilisation will continue! Balakrishna Ji has done his part, wonderfully enough, in rendering the beautiful Sanskrit verses into Hindi.

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