Kautilya’s Arthashastra on Personal Financial Security

A significant amount of people invest their energy today in building their careers, and organizations, in the hope to achieve a financially secure future. Starting from their schooling, college education until professional skill development, they invest heavily to achieve this end. And yet their lives are marred by insecurities and they often live overwhelmed by stress and anxieties. All the promises of “great jobs” of academia and “a promising future” of the employers tend to fall short and they eventually succumb to ideas such as “Life is unfair” and that “Financial security is a mirage.”  But, will that be an accurate assessment? Is there no way to earn financial security? Are they destined to suffer for want of adequate financial income? Such thoughts often end up yielding a sense of hopelessness, which in turn makes way for chaos in. They even doom people into thinking that things are “beyond reproach.”

There’s a saying in Kautilya’s Arthashastra:

When people are without hope, it is not because someone has snatched hope away from them. But because they have chosen hopelessness – albeit unconsciously.


A mind which was hopeless in the past has created hopelessness in the present. But a mind that embraces hope in the present will ensure a prosperous future.

But given the fact such assumptions and presumptions have become an overwhelming aspect of our lives, how are we to hold on hope?

To answer this, we must understand the nature of hope and fear.

Be that Hope or Fear. They are simply a figment of your imagination. Their chance of becoming a reality is always 50-50. However, if you chose to hope, your mind would be much relaxed. A relaxed mind will tend to give you a significant edge in identifying, utilizing, and benefiting from any situation.

But if you chose Fear, your mind becomes unstable. You cannot possibly understand the gravity of any situation effectively with a restless mind. As a result, even an opportunity will turn into a threat, and you will think and act in a detrimental way destroying your prospects.

A mind infested with Fear is a Hopeless mind. A mind that is with Hope is the mind that lives and begets happiness.

If you can understand the underlying nature of the mind, you can most certainly create a blissful present and a great future one with greater financial stability.

For example: Let’s assume that you are having financial issues. The first thing most people do is to worry and become overwhelmed by fear and resultant anxiety, this is detrimental. It cripples your ability to think and act clearly. What is therefore important is that you think about solutions.

The first thing, therefore, is to appreciate things you have. So, identify your strengths. Be it your health, relationships, skills or knowledge. It is the nontangible things which help you achieve tangible results and even success.

If you are not able to think straight. It helps to distract your mind from the impending issues for at least a while. Clear your mind and then start the thinking process again. If the fear and anxiety still persist it simply means that your approach to thinking isn’t working. Try changing the variables in your plans. Try thinking outside the box. And until when you have a plan that makes you comfortable and appears practical.

Always remember that no matter how difficult a situation in life you may find yourself. It is only you who can get out of it. Others can give perspectives and give certain help. And you can never find yourself out of the problem with the same mindset which got you into it. Change your perspective, habits and thought process.

The mind is phenomenal. The mind is ultimate judge, jury and executioner of your life. Make that mind your friend by calming it every time it is agitated. A calm mind will help you through anything and everything in life. Be that your financial mess or your relationships issue. Without the right frame of mind, life with the finest of wealth is prone to be hell.

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