Chanakya’s Chant – by Ashwin Sanghi

I was up early as usual for cycle ride and saw one tweet from ‘Blogadda’  saying review “Chanakya’s chant – by Ashwin Sanghi”.

I was absolutely clueless about this program as well as who ‘Ashwin Sanghi’  is. But as usual the word ‘Free’  (Book) and the name “Chanakya’s Chant”  was too tempting to go ahead and signup for ‘Review books for free‘  program by Blogadda.

And let me tell you this is one of the best books I’ve read on political fiction as well as giving glimpses of ‘Kautilya niti’  by Chanakya.

Throughout our childhood we have heard stories of Chanakya’s famous oath –
‘I will not tie my tuft of hair until I uproot the whole Nanda dynasty and establish dharma in magadha. Rulers like you have spoiled Bharat. The tuft of hair which you arrogantly pull now will be like a serpent which comes back to bite you.’I started reading this book on the same note and wanted to know more and more about how exactly Chanakya went on to fulfill his oath.

Parallely, the novel also tells the brilliant fictional tale of Gangasagar Mishra, a brahmin from Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh),  who decides to mentor Chandni Gupta, a little slum girl from kanpur and groom her to become prime minister of India.


The modern age plot talks about time has come for ‘Shakti’ to rule the Bharat and how Gangasagar Mishra goes ahead and carry out his plans in Chanakya style.

Essentially two parallel stories are interwoven talking about how ‘Kingmakers’; Chanakya in 340 BC and GangaSagar Mishra in today’s India went on to carry out their plans and got their prodigy at the highest position in our country.
The similarities between 360 BC and 21st century has been carefully and beautifully woven. The transition from Chanakya’s time to the current time is fluent at almost all the times.

First story where the great strategist Chanakya plots akhanda bharatvarsha under one single umbrella, some of the brilliant strategies have been revealed. We all have hailed ‘King Pauras’ as one man who lost the battle against ‘The great alexander’ but won Sikandar’s heart by saying ‘Treat me like a King treats Another.’  This book actually speaks about what was the ambition of Pauras and how his ambition/ego was nurtured in a very systematic way by Chanakya to ultimately sideline him and make ‘Chandragupta Mourya’  as the king of the Magadha.

The story gives glimpses of brilliance employed by Chanakya to handle various kingdoms and their ambitions and how he ensured that everyone agrees to make ‘Chandragupta’ as king of Magadha. He deployed ‘Saam, Daam, Danda and Bheda’ neeti to get the approval from all others.

Saam   — Art of persuasion by reasoning
Daam  – Monetary allurement (i.e. playing with greed of people)
Danda — The principal of punishment to get an agreement
Bheda  –  Art of division/creating disrupt in enemy’s camp

Similar strategy is deployed by Pundit Gangasagar Mishra to throne Chandni Gupta as the prime minister of India.

Both stories also tell us that people have to make lot of sacrifices to achieve what they really want to achieve in life.

Sometimes I really really admire the way ‘we love sacrifices and we hail those who have sacrificed something’. Our obsession with sacrifices ……

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has interest in history and political fiction. Brilliantly written. On another note, I liked his style of writing and I’ve ordered ‘The Rozabal Line‘ by Ashwin Sanghi.

The central mantra of the book, the Shakti mantra, has been set to music by a very talented composer Ameya Naik and recited by Kushal Gopalka.
The music track can be listened to or download FREE as an MP3 at

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

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