Chanakya death – Chanakya was held in high regard in ancient India for being the great philosopher, thinker and politician who influenced the field of economics and statecraft extensively. In fact, the highly cherished Indian books on Economics, namely Arthasashtra and Chanakya Neeti were attributed to him.
Chanakya lived between 275 BC to 350 BC and served King Chandragupta Maurya as a true confidante. He was staunchly called Kautilya which means shrewd because he had the acumen to make great kings by sheer brain. He pursued his education in Takshashila, the zenith educational institute back then and was born in high-caste, that is to say a Brahmin family.
While Chanakya was the person everyone turned to for life lessons, his own life was shrouded in mystery. The scholars however made several efforts to track down the real reason behind his death story which still seems partly unresolved. There are two assumptions that either he might have plotted his own murder or starved himself to death. Here under are the two probable reasons of Chanakya’s death as history depicts it:
Story behind Chanakya death –
1 – Chanakya continued to serve Chandragupta Maurya’s son Bindusara after his death and became very close to him. Driven by jealously, Bidusara’s minister Subandhu poisoned Bindusara’s mind against Chanakya and he even falsely accused Chanakya of Bindusara’s mother’s death. When a contemptuous Bindusara withdrew all his connections with Chanakya under this belief, Chanakya became heartbroken and starved himself to death. Later on, a nurse who treated Bindusara’s mother, named Durdha, revealed the true reason behind Bindusara’s mother’s death thereby relieving Chanakya’s image from the false guilt.
2 – Chanakya kept adding poison to Chandragupta Maurya’s food to immune him against the worst possible poisons his enemies can probably inflict upon him. While Chanakya did it sneakily without anyone’s knowledge, Chandragupta Maurya’s wife, the queen consumed the poisonous food while she was pregnant. Chanakya, then in pursuit of saving the heir to the throne, Bindusara, cut open her womb and saved the baby which lead to instantaneous death of the queen. The sly minister Subandhu who was envious to Chanakya’s popularity twisted this story against him to poison Bindusara’s mind when he grew up. Bindusara snapped ties with Chanakya driven by disgust and Subandhu exploited this chance to cleverly burn Chanakya alive.
These are the two stories about Chanakya death that our historians have so far been able to unearth.