Chanakya and the Art of Getting Rich: Review

Book: Chanakya and the Art of Getting Rich

Author: Radhakrishnan Pillai

Publisher: Penguin

Pages: 187

Price: Rs 299

Name and cover design of Radhakrishnan Pillai’s book are always fascinating and this book is no exception. Author has already written eight books on Chanakya and this is his ninth book on the great thinker. In the introduction of the book, the author asks readers to watch a particular video before reading the book. I have not seen the video, because one reads a book because he enjoys it and not because he wants to watch a video.

The first chapter talks about Aanvikshiki. Aanvikshiki is the science of decision making or establishing oneself in the method of right thinking. Aanvikshiki is also the first chapter of Arthashastra by Chanakya. In the second chapter ‘Thinking Your Way to Prosperity’ author says “If you want to be rich, think like a rich person. Develop the habits of the wealthy people. Soon you will find yourself in the company of rich. And one day, you will be rich.”

In the next paragraph the author clarifies, “I am not just telling you that to imagine and visualise is the process of becoming rich. And one day, you will be rich. Yet, to imagine and visualise is the first step to becoming wealthy.” A research paper ‘The Making of a Corporate Athlete’ by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in HBR talks about “Neuroscientist Ian Robertson of Trinity College, Dublin, author of Mind Sculpture, has found that visualisation can literally reprogram the neural circuitry of the brain, directly improving performance.” The point author is making has merit, but a practical example would have been ideal to demonstrate the point of ‘Thinking Your Way to Prosperity’, for example, how to get into the company of rich people…

The last chapter has 10 questions which will help one develop the quality thinking on money matters. The author has given lot of interesting examples, but most of them are of non-Indian. India was a rich nation and if one is talking about Chanakya then one expects Indian examples. Finding Coca Cola founder Robert Woodruff’s example in the book, was a surprise. Chanakya always talked about creating wealth based on ethics, while Coca Cola, not only as a product is known to have harmful effects on humans, but as an organisation has indulged in a lot of unethical practices. May be, an example of Dayal Singh Majithia would have been more appropriate.

Overall, the book gives an idea as to what were the policies in ancient India which made India the richest nation in the world. The author gets the credit for taking Chanakya to common man in simple, modern day language. It is not an easy task by any standard. The book definitely gives a hope and direction to an average person to get rich.

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