Chanakya Was Not Kautilya

Chanakya and Kautilya are considered as same person. While Chanakya is known as a political teacher of Chandragupt Maurya, the founder of Mauryan Dynasty, Kautilya was a great economist.

As Indians were never serious about documentation and writing contemporary history, there are lot of myths about every historical personality in India. Chanakya is not an exception to this.

One of the biggest myths about Chanakya is that he and Kautilya are the same personalities. But when we go into deep, we find that these two were different persons and later they were merged into one another by so called historians with a specific intention. This is happened not only with Chanakya, but also with Krishna. Actually, there were 3 great personalities named Krishna, which were merged into one another in later period.

Why Kautilya Can Not Be Chanakya?

There are two strong evidences which prove that Kautilya and Chanakya were two different personalities.

Kautilya has written Arthashastra, a Sanskrit book on economy. In this book, there is not a single reference to Mauryan empire, its Capital, Chandragupta Maurya or any contemporary personality. This sole thing asks the question, If Chankaya was Kautilya, and he wrote the book, why there are no references to the contemporary personalities, places and other things?

In early 70s, Thomas R. Trautmann, an American Indologist proved with using linguistic parameters that the Arthashastra of Kautilya was written in 3rd Century C.E. We know that Chanakya lived in 3rd Century B.C.E. So there is a gap of 6 centuries between Chanakya and Kautilya.

Both the evidences prove that Chanakya and Kautilya were not the same personalities. However, merging them in one another benefited both of them. It magnified their importance, as well as the importance of the specific people who did this.

I have written few words on Chanakya in my another article Who Was Chanakya.

-Mahavir Sanglikar

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LewSethics 5 years ago

This was a very pleasant article to read.

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