Chanakya Quotes to Help Improve Your Life (81 of them!)

81 Chanakya Quotes Give You Best Advice On Life

Chanakya was a teacher, thinker, philosopher, and financial expert. This diplomat of India helped the first Mauryan ruler to his kingdom. He served as his chief adviser. Do you know, even after hundreds of years, the Chanakya quotes are still fitting in our lives?

Chanakya Quotes

He was born in the 4th Century BC in India. Although he was not a soldier, he helped the emperors to win using his insight. These Chanakya quotes on life, love, friendship, and success are sure to keep you one step ahead.

1. “The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.”

2. “The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.”

3. “Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.”

4. “Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.”

5. “A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”

6. “The one excellent thing that can be learned from a lion is that whatever a man intends doing should be done by him with a whole-hearted and strenuous effort.”

7. “The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep.”

8. “There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”

9. “There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind, and there is no happiness equal to contentment; there is no disease like covetousness, and no virtue like mercy.”

10. “A man is born alone and dies alone; and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he goes alone to hell or the Supreme abode.”

11. “Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.”

12. “Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.”

13. “Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”

14. “Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.”

15. “Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise counsel keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution.”

16. “He, who befriends a man whose conduct is vicious whose vision impure, and who is notoriously crooked, is rapidly ruined.”

17. “Just as a mirror reflects as a man’s face his personality is reflected in his choice of friends. One must always be careful in forming friendships and acquaintances, for one’s friends, are in a way, an extension of one’s inner inclinations and tendencies.”

18. “As long as your body is healthy and under control and death is distant try to save your soul; when death is imminent what can you do?”

19. “You can win over a greedy by offering money, a proud person by covering before him. You can win a foolish by agreeing with him and you can win a scholar by truth only.”

20. “There is no present and future of the lazy.”

21. “No one can defeat a powerful mind.”

22. “As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”

23. “We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment.”

24. “One whose knowledge is confined to books and whose wealth is in the possession of others can use neither knowledge nor wealth when the need for them arises.”

25. “The king shall lose no time when the opportunity waited for arrives.”

26. “Accumulated wealth is saved by spending just as incoming fresh water is saved by letting out stagnant water.”

27. “Those base men who speak of the secret faults of others destroy themselves like serpents that stray onto anthills.”

28. “Generosity, pleasing address, courage and propriety of conduct are not acquired, but are inbred qualities.”

29. “All the creatures are pleased by loving words; and therefore we should address words that are pleasing to all, for there is no lack of sweet words.”

30. “No messenger can travel about in the sky and no tidings come from there. The voice of its inhabitants as never heard, nor can any contact be established with them.”

31. “He, who is not shy in the acquisition of wealth, grain and knowledge, and in taking his meals, will be happy.”

32. “Even a pundit comes to grief by giving instruction to a foolish disciple, by maintaining a wicked wife, and by excessive familiarity with the miserable.”

33. “Time perfects men as well as destroys them.”

34. “O wise man! Give your wealth only to the worthy and never to others. The water of the sea received by the clouds is always sweet.”

35. “It is better to die than to preserve this life by disgrace. The loss of life causes but a moment’s grief but disgrace brings grief every day of one’s life.”

36. “The poor wish for wealth, animals for the faculty of speech, men for heaven and godly persons for liberation.”

37. “He who lives in our mind is near though he may be actually far away but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be nearby.”

38. “Foolishness is indeed painful, and verily so is youth, but more painful by far than either is being obliged in another person’s house.”

39. “Fate makes a beggar a king and a king a beggar. He makes a rich man poor and a poor man rich.”

40. “Those born blind cannot see; similarly blind are those in the grip of lust. Proud men have no perception of evil; and those bent on acquiring riches see no sin in their actions.”

41. “If a king is energetic, his subjects will be equally energetic. If he is reckless, they will not only be reckless likewise, but also eat into his works.”

42. “The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind but the goodness of a person spreads in all directions.”

43. “It is better to be without a king than to have a bad one.”

44. “The wise man should restrain his senses like the crane and accomplish his purpose with due knowledge of his place, time and ability.”

45. “Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and of a compassionate heart is needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.”

46. “As a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to burn, so does a rascal son destroy a whole family.”

47. “He who wears unclean garments, has dirty teeth, is a glutton, speaks unkindly and sleeps after sunrise – although he may be the greatest personality will lose the favor of Lakshmi.”

48. “We should always speak what would please the man of whom we expect a favor, like the hunter who sings sweetly when he desires to shoot a deer.”

49. “He who is prepared for the future and he who deals cleverly with any situation that may arise are both happy; but the fatalistic man who wholly depends on luck is ruined.”

50. “A human being should strive for four things in life – Dharma (duty), Artha (money), Kama (pleasure) and Moksha (salvation). A person who hasn’t striven for even one of these things has wasted life.”

51. “Tongue is the source of poison or nectar.”

52. “A man who expects a flower, never waters a dry plant.”

53. “The life of an uneducated man is as useless as the tail of a dog which neither covers its rear end, nor protects it from the bites of insects.”

54. “One flaw can destroy many qualities.”

55. “As gold is tested on four ways like rubbing , cutting, heating, beating human will be tested by his renunciation, conduct, quality, action.”

56. “Wise men should never go to the country where there is no means to earn livelihood, People have not heard of anybody, no sense of shame, no intelligence, no charity disposition.”

57. “The happiness and peace attained by those satisfied by the nectar of spiritual tranquility is not attained by greedy persons restlessly moving here and there.”

58. “If you desire to be free from the cycle of birth and death, then abandon the objects of sense gratification as poison. Drink instead the nectar of forbearance, upright conduct, mercy, cleanliness and truth.”

59. “He should be considered to be living who is virtuous and pious, but the life of a man who is destitute of religion and virtues is void of any blessing.”

60. “The earth is supported by the power of truth; it is the power of truth that makes the sun shine and the winds blow; indeed all things rest upon truth.”

61. “People change with time. Do not be shocked when it happens.”

62. “Always be prepared for the worst and expect the unexpected.”

63. “War is permanent state of affairs. Peace is just an interlude. Use peaceful time to increase your strength to prepare to attack.”

64. “Treaties are just treaties, meant to be broken when one becomes strong enough.”

65. “With single minded dogged pursuit everything can be attained.”

66. “There is no disease so destructive as lust; no enemy like infatuation; no fire like wrath; and no happiness like spiritual knowledge.”

67. “When one is in an alien land, learning is a friend. When one is staying at home, one’s mother is a friend. For one suffering from illness, medicine is a friend. And for the departed souls, dharma is a friend.”

68. “What is the purpose of having a son who is neither learned nor devoted to God? It is useless to have a blind eye which will only result in eye-ache.”

69. “A scholar and a king can never be equated. A king is respected in his own kingdom, whereas a scholar is respected everywhere.”

70. “A wise man has all qualities in him. A fool has only faults. Therefore, a single wise person is better than a thousand fools.”

71. “We return evil for evil, in which there is no sin, for it is necessary to pay a wicked man in his own coin.”

72. “Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher full of poison with milk on top.”

73. “We have to make people soft who are hard, to attract those who are far, if they do bad for us then even considering our aim we should always love them.”

74. “Wealth, a friend, a wife, and a kingdom may be regained, but this body when lost may never be acquired again.”

75. “If you were to choose between an evil person and a snake to keep company with, opt for the snake. Because the snake will bite you only in self-defense but the evil person will put a bite for any reason and any time or always.”

76. “There are only two ways of dealing with the evil persons or thorns. Crush them under your boot or stay far away from them.”

77. “Too much beauty got Sita kidnapped, too much ego got Ravana killed and too much charity got Raja Bali in deep trouble. So too much of anything is bad. One should refrain from ‘too much.”

78. “Save your wealth against future calamity. Do not say – What fear has a rich man of calamity? Wealth sometimes vanishes away and large accumulations perish.”

79. “It is the mind of man alone that is the cause of his bondage or freedom.”

80. “The man who is praised by others is regarded as worthy though he may be really void of all merit. But the man who sings his own praises becomes disgraced though he might be Indra, the possessor of all Excellences.”

81. “He who has wealth has friends.”


From the childhood, Chanakya had the qualities of a leader. He had studied Vedas and also loved politics. His knowledge and wisdom were beyond the children of his age.

Chanakya was a very simple person. He lived for the country and established the idea of a united India as one country. He is well known as a commerce and economics expert.

He had written a few books on classic economics. Since centuries, all over the world, his words have inspired people. We hope that you will also get inspired from these Chanakya quotes. They are sure to lead you to a higher path.