Posts Tagged ‘Anvikshaki’


Kautilya, also called Chanakya or Vishnugupta (flourished 300 BCE), Hindu statesman and philosopher who wrote a classic treatise on polity, Artha-Shastra (“The Science of Material Gain”), a compilation of almost everything that had been written in India up to his time regarding artha (property, economics, or material success).

In the Arthashastra, Kautilya describes an education system for those wishing to learn the “Science of Material Gain.”

“ANVIKSHAKI, the triple Védas (Trayi), Várta (agriculture, cattle-breeding and trade), and Danda-Niti (science of government) are what are called the four sciences.

Anvikshaki comprises the Philosophy of Sankhya (Metaphysics), Yoga (Concentration), and Lokayata (Logic and debate).

Righteous and unrighteous acts (Dharmadharmau) are learnt from the triple Vedas; wealth and non-wealth from Varta; the expedient and the inexpedient (Nayanayau), as well as potency and impotency (Balabale) from the science of government.”
Kautilya, Arthashastra


In the West, Pythagoras and Plato developed a somewhat comparable system of education, Trivium (Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric) and Quadrivium (Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy) that was generally adopted during the Medieval period. It became the foundation for higher learning in the West until the middle of the Twentieth Century.

Kautilya’s system appears more practical, as it includes applied economics and politics. (Applied economics – get rich. Applied politics – kill your enemy.)

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