Radhakrishnan Pillai invokes Chanakya in You

“If you look at Chanakya as a person he can be applied anywhere and everywhere that is the beauty of Chanakya”- he says. ‘Chanakya in You’ is his third book in total his fifth book. He wrote his first book ‘The Corporate Chanakya’, this was modified by the publishers in to two more books, the management and the leadership. The second book was Chanakya’s Seven Secrets of Leadership. Corporate Chanakya is all about applications of Chanakya’s business. The second is all about how policeman applies Chanakya, which is a case study approach. He is been a teacher, possessed his PhD in Arthashastra. He studied Arthashastra and he is been applying Arthashastra in his life and felt that everybody can. Fascinated by the life and works of Chanakya, he wanted to think like Chanakya, he once asked his Guru (Great Scholar Dr. Gangadharan Nayak) who thought him 6000 Sutras of Arthashastra, “Is it true that we can think like Chanakya? The reply was simple “There is a Chanakya already in you”- Interesting isn’t it? He is a person who found Chanakya in himself, he is Radhakrishnan Pillai.


Radhakrishnan Pillai doesn’t like triologies. He believes that each book is complete by itself giving one dimension of Chanakya. After studying 6000sutras of Arthashastra the author realised that Chanakya is multi-faceted and multi-dimensioned, if a person is put into a different roles he can think differently as so is Chanakya. “When I started looking Chanakya as a Leadership Guru, I found a different dimension and a huge dimension by itself. When I started looking at him as a Management Guru, I started looking at the management aspects”- he once stated.

He had mentioned that our scriptures are for the classes, the scholar, the academicians and also for the masses. Books like Ramayana and in Tamil Nadu Tirukural which is very famous and lot of people have done PhD on it have failed to understand it completely because of various dimensions. But Tirukural can also be quoted and understood by the illiterate person, he may not have studied it but a Tirukural verse can help him. When we look at Ramayana it has Vedanta in it but if a child looks at Ramayana he is fascinated by monkey god called Hanuman.

When Mr. Pillai started looking at Chanakya initially, he realised that there is a lot of respect for him and there is lot of fear to Chanakya. “Respect and fear put together becomes a reverence”. If you respect a person you revere a person, you love that person but there is always a distance. The author then thought of bringing him down (in an acceptable manner).

While studying Arthashastra the author realised that, the people who have studied and done research have glorified Chanakya to a greater extent. In 1920’s there was great wave where more than 100 books were bought out in the Arthashastra by the scholars like Shama Shastry, which were translated into German in 1926. But these books were good for the academic libraries, he felt. Therefore the author decided to write a story something that can be related to common man and every stage of life. This initiated the idea of Chanakya in You.

The story goes in this way, a small boy goes to his native where he meets his grandfather, and his grandfather inspires that boy to study Arthashastra at a young age. His grandfather dies and later on in his stage of life he stars recollecting the insights of Arthashastra, studies it and applies it at various stages of his life, also including how to choose a career, which the youngsters are always worried about. It’s not just about career but it’s about marriages, it’s about being ‘grahasta’ the prime duty is to earn money for yourself and your family.

The author has beautifully showcased the boy being guided towards Arthashastra, not just about getting married but it also brings in responsibility with spiritual base, which we call it as spiritual marriage. Later on he gets in to a business to become world’s richest man, and then guides his children to choose their own path and finally he becoming a grandfather and guiding his grand children.

‘Chanakya in You’ tells 30% about the author, how he studied Arthashastra and applied it in his life. “75% of the book is not about me it’s about you”- he says.

As a reader of this book I felt that, ‘Chanakya in you’ is a modern story; the uniqueness lies in the fact that though the book is in first person but it is still not a biography. The characters are not named. The book is fictional based on some instances and experiences of problems faced by the society and how Chanakya can give some breakthroughs and thinking.

There is one situation in the book where the character is questioned, what do you do? To which he answers I want to do something which I love to do.The author studied the psychology of current youth and discovered that most of them talk about the passion therefore he wanted to convey this message.

The readers can relate to the book from various points, it can be related with fights in the houses where there is an argument between different people who have different views of looking at the same thing. “In differences lies the strength not in similarities”- he wants to convey. It helps to create family culture where everybody has the freedom to give their opinion.

It is a free flowing book, the best part is the chapters are very small but every chapter ends with the continuity of the next chapter. The book is fictional and most of the things can be applied to the real life and hence named as ‘Chanakya in you’.

The author was inspired by the Chanakya, Arthashastra, the fact that the youth reads a lot, situations and experiences and the belief that ‘Chanakya is in you’ and one needs to invocate him, made him to write ‘Chanakya in You’. What inspired you to write? Share your story with us……

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