How A Village Woman Advised Chanakya on War Tactics

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Chanakya is renowned for his wise counsel to Chandragupta Maurya. 

He learned a valuable lesson in warfare from an uneducated village woman.

Chanakya's family wasn't rich, but his father Chani was smart and wise. 

Surprisingly, he was born with pearl-white teeth that amazed the astrologers.

They predicted he would be wealthy and powerful when he grew up.

They were expecting Chani to be happy. 

But they were taken aback when he said a king's life wasn't that great.

Most kings want to keep getting richer and more powerful. 

This leads them to do bad stuff like fight or act in an unfair manner.

Chani didn't want his son to live that kind of life.

So he broke the teeth of his infant son. 

But the astrologers laughed and said his action was not likely to change his son's destiny.


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Chanakya was incredibly smart and gifted in his studies due to the influence of his father.

He had a brilliant brain and an amazing memory.

Chanakya was smart but he still didn't have much money, just like his father.

He found it difficult to make ends meet.

Once, when his wife went to her father's place for a wedding, her sisters laughed at her.

She just had a plain dress and no jewelry.

They made fun of her calloused hands and the lack of oil in her hair.

They pretty much treated her like a servant and wouldn't even sit near her. 

Poor Chanakya's wife ended up coming home in tears.

Chanakya realized what had happened and decided to do something about it.

He had heard that King Nanda of Pataliputra respected wise men. 

He gave them a place in his court. 

So, he decided to go there.

Chanakya got to the palace.

He asked the doorkeepers if he could meet the king. 

They let him inside and told him to sit down and wait for the king's arrival.

Chanakya noticed that the king's empty throne was the best in the courtroom. 

His pride in his heritage and intelligence led him to take a seat on the throne.

When Nanda got there, he was livid.

There was someone in shabby clothes sitting on his throne.

He asked an attendant to get another seat for Chanakya.

At first, the attendant was polite.

But when it became clear that the man wasn't planning on getting up.

He just pushed Chanakya off the seat.

Chanakya was furious.

He promised that he'd get revenge by kicking Nanda out of his kingdom someday.

Chanakya recalled the astrologers’ prophecy.

He decided to seek out a suitable ruler who'd willingly accept his advice. 

He traveled to the foothills of the Himalayas and found the Mauryas tribe there.

Chanakya was resting under a tree one day when he saw some kids playing.

One boy pretended to be a king.

The others pretended to be soldiers in his army. 

The boy who pretended to be the king looked really smart and clever.

His name was Chandragupta.

Chanakya approached the boy and pleaded, 'I'm a poor Brahmin, Your Highness!”

“Could you please give me something?'

Chandragupta, the young kid, glanced at him and said, 'You can have all these cows here in this field.'

'Unfortunately, you don't own them so you can't just give them away,' Chanakya replied with a smile. 'What'll I do if the owners show up and start beating me?'

'If you don't stand up for your rights, you'll never really own anything,' Chandragupta said. 

You have to fight for what's yours in this world.

Chanakya was taken aback by the words of Chandragupta. 

He asked, 'Do you really want to be a ruler?'

'Absolutely!' was the reply.

Chanakya told him, 'Let's go, I'll make you a ruler.'

Chandragupta left home with Chanakya.

Chanakya used his brains to raise funds so he could form an army.

He taught the soldiers warfare and gave Chandragupta a crash course in being a ruler - teaching him about the responsibilities that come with the position.

Chanakya, recalling the disrespect he experienced from King Nanda, decided to attack him.

However, compared to Nanda's army, Chandragupta's army was small and inexperienced.

So they couldn't take on the challenge.

Chandragupta got badly defeated and had to run away with Chanakya.

Once, while roaming around through a small village, Chanakya came across a poor man's house.

He was hoping to find something to eat.

He could hear the kids screaming with joy as their mom dished out hot rice porridge.

All of a sudden, one kid started crying saying his fingers were burned.

'What did you think was going to happen?' he overheard the woman.

'Of course they'll get burned if you make decisions as Chanakya did.'

With a mix of intrigue and curiosity, Chanakya walked into the room. 

The mother of the children inquired, 'Who are you and what do you want?'

Chanakya said that he was surprised to hear a woman talking like that about him.

She said, 'I just told the kids to eat their food properly'.

'I had given them a hot rice porridge.”

“They should've figured that the middle of the porridge would be piping hot, so they should've started from the edges which cool off faster.”

“What does Chanakya's foolishness have anything to do with this?” Chanakya asked.

She had a huge grin on her face and said 'Everything!'

'Chanakya's plan of attack was pretty dumb.”

“He should have taken out all the weaker kingdoms around Patliputra first before going after Nanda.”

“He did just like this silly kid who tried to eat the scorching hot porridge in the middle!” 

That’s why he lost the battle and had to run away.

Chanakya told the woman, 'Thanks a lot, Mother. You just taught me such a great lesson on military tactics. I'll never make that mistake again!'

To expand their empire, Chandragupta and Chanakya came up with a new strategy, first conquering the smaller regions before moving on to the bigger ones.

After a lot of hard work, they eventually succeeded in driving Nanda away from Pataliputra. 

Nanda’s daughter and Chandragupta fell in love.

She decided to stay in her father’s kingdom and be the queen.



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