Mantra and Tantra were regarded by Kautilya as two crucial elements in the art and science of Vedic approach to politics – Rajaneeti. Without a plan and a strategy to execute it Shakti (read Power) is of no use. In Arthashastra, he declares “Power by itself is useless” and that “Person who seeks power without sound Mantra (objective) and Tantra (strategy) is verily consumed by it.”
The Kautilya Project
A unique Vedic Management Centre Initiative specially devised to rekindle the lost art and science of Vedic leadership for management, politics, and diplomacy
We live in a new era driven by fear at a global level and its resulting insecurity. Out of this emotional sense insecurity, we do many things – consciously and unconsciously – that can be detrimental not just for ourselves but for our society, nation, and world at large. Humanity faces many challenges today, political, social, economic and ecological. Such entrenched and extensive problems are solvable only through persistence and resilience according to insightful leadership. Yet, it appears that we possess neither the interest nor the willingness to do this. We lack the scope of vision to understand these vast and complicated problems and deal with them in an integral and comprehensive manner. We search for short term fixes rather than long term solutions.
Some two thousand years ago there was a dynamic individual of great influence and motivation who provided the type of leadership that we need today. Not much is known about his personal life, but there are many extraordinary legends about him. He was neither a warrior nor a ruler, nor a priest. He was an aware individual who formulated the main ancient Vedic treatise on politics and diplomacy – Artha Shastra. This profound treatise contains many significant principles of management, governance, and polity that can be used with great efficacy to the present day. It is an inspirational work that we at the Vedic Management Center believe provides keys to solving the many individuals and institutional problems threatening our new high-tech world order.
Although there are several translations of the Artha Shastra, most of its deep knowledge and wisdom is neither properly understood nor utilized. This is because those who could read Sanskrit didn’t understand the meaning. As a result, many of its secrets remain hidden. Decoding and propagating this crucial knowledge, awakening the world to its extraordinary insight is the prime objective of The Kautilya Project.
Kautilya a.k.a. Chanakya a.k.a. Vishnugupta is a legend on many levels. He didn’t care for his own personal recognition but left a legacy that was unparalleled. His compilation of the Artha Shastra provides an indisputable record of his unique genius. It can without a doubt inspire a new generation into building their characters and their societies for lasting world peace and prosperity.
As a part of The Kautilya Project we will be presenting a series of quotes, articles, commentaries, translations, lectures, and courses to will help you realize Kautilya’s keys to economic as well as spiritual prosperity in a sustainable manner for everyone.
We hold that the teachings of Kautilya, like all prime Vedic texts, are a world legacy. Artha Shastra is not the possession of a special few, it is extremely relevant for every sincere individual who wishes to build a better life for himself and his society. Therefore, we will endeavor to connect with aspirant leaders, innovators, and educators from across the entire planet, dialoguing with them as well as sharing our Vedic perspective.
We request your ongoing support and participation in this unique endeavor to spread the Vedic knowledge and wisdom of Kautilya and the Artha Shastra to bring about real change and transformation into our uncertain global situation today.
Project Insights, Articles & Blogs
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.”
Kautilya advises, “Wealth has only three ends – it’s either spent on deserving people or things, misspent on undeserving people and things or just rots away and falls into the hands of others (deserving or undeserving).” Stagnant wealth is of no utility.
Kautilya’s Arthashastra is also the world’s oldest book on management. It explains the intricate connection between individual happiness and institutional prosperity. It provides realistic ways to find one’s true potential and utilize it to ensure sustenance for oneself and one’s family. Understanding inflation and preparing for challenges of the economy. It has everything for everyone. For individuals desiring to live in peace with modest aspirations, it provides ideas to protect their interest from evil forces. For people in business aspiring profitability in the industry, it explains the dynamics of social, economic, and political factors and finding ways to protect their commercial interests as well as profitability. For leaders, it meticulously narrates the nature of power and techniques to achieve and sustain it. It is a book of practical wisdom for people desiring to live in peace while dealing with their trivial or complex challenges effectively.
Chanakya was not a vengeful person, nor a ruthless and blood thirsty conspirator as it is wrongly believed. He wasn’t even “Prime Minister” of the Mauryan empire under Chandragupta Maurya. He was a wise sage who arduously studied, respected and followed the teachings and wisdom of the Vedas all his life. And the Vedas don’t endorse unwise qualities like vengeance. They are shunned beyond doubt.
Arthashastra, compiled, edited and commented by Kautilya a.k.a. Chanakya a.k.a. Vishnugupta, speaks more about administration, organization, clandestine operations, economy and diplomacy than war. Considering this, many political and diplomatic commentators often consider(ed) Arthashastra to be of lesser significance than the likes of The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Now, could that be considered logical? Does it make Arthashastra “less significant” in modern times?
“Kautilya” or “Chanakya” inspires a great many of his admirers even to this day. A legend who played a pivotal role in building a great empire that unified India under a single rule – is often compared with 16th century renaissance author Niccolo Machiavelli. Although it could be considered– Kautilya was a genius way ahead of his time and had a vision beyond the statesmanship of the western world. It becomes evident when we read his version of Artha Shastra.
Despite the significant transfer of power to people in most parts of the world through democracy, there isn’t a single school that can claim to teach politics. Even the greatest schools of politics either teach the history of politics or economics, at best. There’s no viable course available anywhere in modern academic establishments to prepare an individual for a political career, except Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
Decision making is a crucial element at individual as well as institutional level. What we are today is owing to our decisions of the past and what we are to be tomorrow will be determined by the decisions we take today. Our decisions are based on situation(s) and suggestion(s) –
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Understanding the Colossal Genius
Around two thousand years ago there was a person of great intellect, influence, and motivation. We don’t know much about his personal life, although there are many extraordinary legends about him. He was neither a warrior nor a ruler, nor a priest. He was a wise sage – a rishi – who rewrote two Vedic treatises, namely: Arthashastra and Artha Sutras. His name was Kautilya (a.k.a. Chanakya, Vishnu Gupta and Vishnu Sharma). Kautilya’s Arthashastra contains many vital principles of management, governance, and polity that can be used with high efficacy to the present day. They can provide keys to solving a great many problems threatening our new high–tech world order by nurturing responsible and effective leadership. Although there are several translations of Kautilya’s Arthashastra, most of its in-depth knowledge and wisdom is neither properly understood nor utilized for various reasons. Also, much of its secrets remain hidden. Presenting his time-tested knowledge and wisdom with incisive insight into contemporary leadership, politics, and diplomacy is this book.
Chanakya a.k.a. Kautilya’s Arthashastra is mostly about general political administration or Rajyam. The system of administration is what is known in Vedic context as Rajaneeti. Although it does speak of many aspects that are unknown to present leaders and thinkers of politics, authors of Arthashastra, including Bharadwaj, Shukracharya, Pishuna and the like prophesied that there are times when these knowledges are inadequate to address the challenges for those who are honorable and principled (Dharmic). There are times when people of destructive tendencies assume positions of power only to corrupt the system, and cause grave injustice. During times of upheaval a more formidable form of knowledge is needed; one that is discreet, shrewd, and effective besides adhering to the principles of Dharma. This form of knowledge is called Kootaneeti – an advanced art and science built upon the foundations of Rajaneeti. Its objective is to protect and uphold all that is Dharmic and work for the universal welfare of all beings. However, Kootaneeti is one step further. It does not hesitate to pursue a difficult path for the sake of upholding Dharma. In this second episode of Vedic Webinar Series, U Mahesh Prabhu will be presenting a brief perspective on the ideas and ideals of the lost art and science of Rajaneeti & Kootaneeti.
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U. Mahesh Prabhu,
Founder & Chairman,
Vedic Management at
mahesh at vedic-management dot com