Who Kautilya was

Kautilya is the name of an historical figure from the 4th century B.C. (also called “Chanakya”, i.e. “the Cunning”. However it was not the historical figure but the myth around him, that inspired the founders of the Society. The myth narrates that Kautilya was a brahmin who rebuked a king and told in a public assembly that he was behaving without intelligence for the state and without ethical responsibility for the people. The king publicly offended Kautilya as an “talkative impotent” claiming that what gives real political power is the concrete force of the warriors not the abstract intellectualism of the brahmins. Kautilya challenged the king and in the public assembly he claimed he would have proved that intelligence and discipline are the source of all forms of power. He is generally represented with a long pony tail because he is believed to have promised not to cut his “choti” (pony tail) until he removed the king from the throne and put the crown to  someone not born in the Kshatriya (warriors) cast, who was ready to learn from Kautilya the art of governance. If Kautilya was really, as it is commonly believed in India, the guru of Chandragupta Maurya he really did it ! We liked the myth and the idea of knowledge as the real “empowering factor”. And we wanted a name that was referring the the classic culture of India without the used smoky connotations of asceticism and transcendentalism.

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