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Chanakya (Kautilya): Arthashastra, Chanakya Niti, Chanakya Sutras: Full text Sanskrit, and translations

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Writings published well over 2000 years ago should be in the public domain, but it is hard to get Chankya's work in the original Sanskrit, particularly work that can be "cut and paste" into Word or to this blog.

This blog post is a placeholder. It consolidates all available material on Chanakya's work, here. Where possible, I've uploaded the material on my own server. If you come across any edition of Chanakya's work (or English translations of his work) that I've missed please let me know.

Some of the Sanskrit PDFs are not "cut-and-paste" ready, so if you find Devanagri OCR software let me know.



PDF (Download) Word (Download) Another version here. HTML (Wikisource)

Hindi translation

Ganapati Sastri (1924)

English translations

1) 1915 R. Shamasastry translation. This is available electronically and I've included it in the above version. [Source]

2) 1955 R. P. Kangle's translation (University of Bombay) [review by Nitin Pai | Sections can be read on google books]

3) 1992 LN Rangarajan's translation (Penguin) – available for $10 in "cut and paste" kindle edition. It can also be read (considerable portions) on google books

Chanakya Niti  (Rajanitisastra)


PDF (Download)

English translation

1981: Translation by Miles Davis & V. Badarayana Murthy: PDF (Download), Word (Download)

Note: I'm not clear whether this work was actually written by Chanakaya.

Chanakya Sutras


PDF (Download) Word [Partial] (Download)

English translation

Partial translation (90 verses) Word (Download)

Note: I'm not clear whether this work was actually written by Chanakaya.

The main book on Chanakya

The main book on Chanakya that I strong recommend is Balbir Sihag's Kautilya, the founder of Economics.

“Kautilya: The True Founder of Economics” – a book by Balbir Sihag, has just been published

Balbir Sihag’s book on Kautilya: the most important economics book in India since the Arthashastra

Scholarly articles on Chanakya

Most of these are downloadable. I'll provide links (and keep adding to this list) as time permits. This is only a very small list of scholarly articles available on Chanakya's work.


Balbir S. Sihag, Kautilya on Time Inconsistency Problem and Asymmetric Information, Indian Economic Review, New Series, Vol. 42, No. 1 (January-June 2007), pp. 45-55 Balbir S. Sihag, Kautilya on Moral and Material Incentives, and Effort.

Balbir S. Sihag, Kautilya on Public Goods and Taxation

Balbir S. Sihag, Kautilya on Moral and Material Incentives, and Effort

Balbir S. Sihag, Guest editorial on Chanakya, Humanomics, Volume 25, Issue 1. [See extracts here]

Balbir S. Sihag, (2009),"Kautilya on economics as a separate science", Humanomics, Vol. 25 Iss: 1 pp. 8 -36 [See extracts here]

Balbir S. Sihag, (2009),"Kautilya: a forerunner of neoclassical price theory", Humanomics, Vol. 25 Iss: 1 pp. 37 – 54

Balbir S. Sihag, (2009),"Kautilya on principles of taxation", Humanomics, Vol. 25 Iss: 1 pp. 55 – 67

Balbir S. Sihag, (2009),"Kautilya on international trade policies", Humanomics, Vol. 25 Iss: 1 pp. 68 – 74

Balbir S. Sihag, (2009),"Kautilya on law, economics and ethics", Humanomics, Vol. 25 Iss: 1 pp. 75 – 94

Sihag, B.S. (2005), “Kautilya on ethics and economics”, Humanomics, Vol. 21 Nos. 3-4, pp. 1-28.

Sihag, B.S. (2005), “Kautilya on public goods and taxation”, History of Political Economy, Winter, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 723-51.

Sihag, B.S. (2007), “Kautilya on administration of justice during the fourth century BCE”, Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 359-77. [Note: article will need to be purchased]

Sihag, B.S. (2007), “Kautilya on institutions, governance, knowledge, ethics and prosperity”, Humanomics, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 5-28.

Sihag, B.S. (2007), “Kautilya on moral and material incentives, and effort”, History of Political Economy, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 263-92.

Sihag, B.S. (2008), “Kautilya on management by wisdom during the fourth century BCE”, International Institute of Informatics and Systemics, Proceedings Vol. VII, pp. 256-62.

Sihag, B.S. (2008a), “Kautilya on moral, market and government failures”, International Journal of Hindu Studies, forthcoming.

Sihag, B.S. (2008b), “Kautilya on risk-return trade-off and diversification”, Indian Journal of Economics and Finance, forthcoming.

Balbir Sihag, Kautilya on Prudence, Protection and Prosperity, in The Oxford Handbook of Hindu Economics and Business, Edited by H. D. Vinod.

Sihag, Balbir S., Kautilya on famine, fairness and freedom, Indian Journal of Economics and Business, 06/01/2010

Other material on Chanakya

Class 12 notes on Chanakya

"Chanakya"- Greatest Politician and Economist ever born

Some of my blog posts on Chanakya

Chanakya would have been shocked at the quality of populist leaders democracy throws up

Be rich, get up and succeed! Chanakya’s exhortation to India.

Chanakya's well regulated system of prostitution in ancient India

Would Anna Hazare dare beat Chanakya with an army belt for promoting alcohol?

Sabhlokniti = Chanakyaniti + a little more liberty => FTI policy (?)

Chanakya: Pay your Ministers very heavily. But then hold them to account.

Hindu capitalism is Adam Smith's capitalism supercharged

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