Chanakya was one of the greatest Indian teacher, philosopher, economist, jurist and royal advisor who was regarded as the most intelligent man in his times. He was a great strategist, analyst and a master mind who saved India several times during the invasion of Alexander.
His contribution to the field of Economics, Politics and Philosophy are some of the master pieces which are valued and applied even today. He was the author of the famous ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra (the principles of Economics) and Chanakya Niti (Chanakya’s Secrets of Statecraft). He is considered the pioneer of the field of political science and economics in India, and his work is thought of as an important precursor to classical economics.
He was the man who molded one of India’s most famous King Chandra Gupta, which resulted in the emergence of the Mauryan empire. Chanakya had picked a boy from the streets and transformed him into one of the most able Kings in order to avenge the humility he suffered in the court of Nandas. Chanakya’s un-matched patriotism and love for the country made him galvanise various Kings in India during the time of crisis and stood for the building of the Hindu rashtra. He always stressed the importance of unity among Indians and how RashtraNiti (Nationalism) was important than RajNiti (Politics). Chandra Gupta Maurya under the guidance of his guru Chanakya proved to be an able administrator and a true Nation builder.
Chanakya’s preaching and ideologies have today become Vedas for many people and they try to follow his footsteps. Every detail of his teachings is available today which are most valued by all economists and politicians. But there is one mystery which remains untold even today, that is the death of Chanakya.
Nobody knows the real truth about Chanakya’s death. Although there are 2 conspiracy theories which surrounds the death mystery of Chanakya, there is no clear evidence to show what exactly happened.
After Chandra Gupta’s son Bindusara took over the Mauryan empire, Chanakya still continued to be his mentor and the chief advisor of the King. They developed a special bond and Bindusara respected Chanakya more than anyone. But somehow the rapport between the two was not tolerated by many in the Kingdom. In order to break the bond between Chanakya and Bindusara a terrible plot was planned. The master mind behind this plot was Subandhu, the minister of Bindusara.
Subandhu made Bindusara believe that it was Chanakya who killed his mother in a treacherous manner. This created a severe contempt in Bindusara for Chanakya. Chanakya was deeply hurt by the behaviour of Bindusara who questioned the motive behind him being in the Kingdom.
Unable to bear the humiliation, it is said that Chanakya had left the Kingdom and sat starving until death. But a nurse who was with Bindusara’s mother Dhurdha, explains the real truth of his mother’s death relieving Chanakya from the guilt.
The nurse explained Bindusara that “When Chandra Gupta was ruling the Kingdom, Chanakya was secretly adding little amount of poison in his food every day in order to make him strong and immune even to the worst poison, so that he shall not be killed by his enemies or conspirators. But the queen who was unaware of this, consumed the food which was reserved for Chandra Gupta. The queen was pregnant when the incident happened. Unable to bear the strong poison, the queen had collapsed and was nearing death. Chanakya in an effort to save the baby, had therefore cut open the womb of the mother and rescued the baby from poison and named him as Bindusara. In the process, the Queen succumbed to death.”
When Bindusara heard the story he realized the grave mistake he had committed by questioning the motives of Chanakya. It is said that Bindusara tried to convince Chanakya many times, but despite his efforts, Chanakya refused to come back to the court and remained silent and starved to death in 283 BC in Pataliputra.
But some people also believe that utilizing this situation, Bindusara’s minister Subandhu had burnt Chanakya alive. Later Bindusara is said to have avenged the death of his guru Chanakya by killing Subandhu for his evil intent.