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Chanakya a.k.a. Kautilya on People and Trust

When the mind is objective, untouched by fear or uncertainties, that is mind you can trust. And with such a trustful mind, you will be able to assess your friends, enemies and, even, create a fighting plan to get out of any situation. Writes U Mahesh Prabhu...

One of the most significant challenges we face in our life is trust. It is never easy to trust an individual. It is by far the most daunting task of life to find someone you can trust.

When people are in trouble, owing to their fear and anxieties when their mind is disturbed, they are vulnerable to repose that trust on others to find a way out of their trouble. Thereby, not just, adding to the problems at hand but probably even worsening the situation at hand. When you doubt someone with their intentions, they will never like it. It can jeopardize your relationships. So, you can never ask people what you feel or think about them, particularly when your thoughts are not very kind or doubtful about them.

Chanakya a.k.a. Kautilya in Artha Sutras suggests that “One must never place excessive faith on one’s Dhana (Wealth), Jana (People) and Yauvana (Youthfulness).” That is because these three are the most transient in our lives – there today – gone tomorrow.

In any political circles, no matter in what part of the world, there is a saying, “You want a friend, get a dog.” Trust is by far the hardest thing, particularly when it comes to a position of influence and power. However, this is not to conclude that one must doubt everyone and never trust.

People have vested interests. Most people work for money, but there are also other objectives they tend to pursue. There are things they can do and cannot do; things they will do and will not do; depending upon their inherent values and principles.

Trust is a physical aspect of Chanakya a.k.a. Kautilya’s school of thought, never an absolute. That is because trust is often subjective to circumstances.

If what you are going to do, or have done, is something that is to hurt the sentiments of the person in whom you are trying to invest your trust, then it is quite obvious that the person will do everything to jeopardize your plans and interests.

Humans are complex beings; their character and behavior are often the product of their minds. To understand others’ perceptions says Kautilya, “One must first know and conquer one’s mind.”

Kautilya’s Arthashastra also states, “When the mind is known and conquered it is the greatest friend, when let by its own it becomes one’s worst enemy.” What we can also imply from this statement is that if our mind is under the impression of anxiety, stress or fear – anything that it does will yield a detrimental, long or short term, affect. But when our mind is calm, it can always find a solution to even the most complex problem.

But how are we to clam our mind and know whom to, or not to, trust?

When we are surprised by a problem, it is apparent that we are to have dreadful emotions. These emotions often worsen the situation at hand. Therefore, one must not allow one’s mind to sway by such sentiment; this can be possible only when, instead of detrimental thinking, we look at a situation, and all the players involved objectively.

The objectivity is when we assess strength and weakness in sync with opportunities and threats of all the individuals involved when we try and understand what each person intends to yield and trying to chalk a strategy that ends the situation.

Every individual has a specific objective to attain. Some goals are long and some short. These objectives are never easily known. One must listen, observe, and analyze that which you have understood without an ounce of emotions.

Indifference is key. And indifference can never be achieved unless you have let go of our innate detrimental qualities – Arishadvargas, which are Kama or lust, Krodha or anger, Lobha or greed, Moha or infatuation, Mada or ego, and Matsarya or Envy. These Arishadvargas form the crux of the problem.

So Chanakya, a.k.a. Kautilya always suggested that one must ever conquer these detrimental qualities before even trying to find solutions.

When you are untouched by Arishadvargas, your mind is without any baggage, it is agile, free, and its faculties will be able to work at the fullest potential. According to Chanakya, a.k.a. Kautilya, there are no problems, only the situation. According to him, every situation can either be alleviated or turned upside down, provided a mind is detached, objective, and at peace.

When the mind is objective, untouched by fear or uncertainties, that is mind you can trust. And with such a trustful mind, you will be able to assess your friends, enemies and, even, create a fighting plan to get out of any situation.

“If people you trust are the ones who are swayed by emotions, then they are of little or no use. If you have a mind that is bereft of emotions, fear, or anxieties, you can win the whole world,” says Chanakya, a.k.a. Kautilya in Arthashastra.

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