Radhakrishnan Pillai is a management consultant and a renowned speaker. He holds a Master’s degree in Sanskrit and is an ardent follower and devotee of Chanakya. Pillai heads the leadership center at the University of Mumbai. He has made immense contribution to the research on the legend of Chanakya.

Inspired by Chanakya’s life and teachings, Pillai has authored several novels aimed at spreading Kautilya’s age-old wisdom. Corporate Chanakya, Chanakya’s 7 Secrets of Leadership, and Chanakya in You are some of his all-time bestsellers.


Katha Chanakya begins with the story of Dhana Nanda and Chanakya, wherein Chankya vows to dethrone the king. It follows Chanakya’s life as he mentors his disciple Chandragupta and makes a great emperor out of him.

Overall, the book puts forth the traditional, historical and imaginary tales revolving around the life of the master strategist, Chanakya. These stories contain interesting anecdotes from the life of this great teacher, advisor, and kingmaker. Each tale, or katha, addresses a specific dilemma faced by individuals and the society at large, with meaningful insights from the teachings of Kautilya. Every story delves deep into extensive subjects ranging from commitment and self-discipline to female employment and good governance.

The 242-page paperback is divided into three parts, consisting of ten stories each. Each part depicts different facets of the life of the prolific teacher that Chanakya was. His roles as a teacher, a guru, a mentor and a great acharya especially stand out. Every chapter begins with an Acharya Neeti summarizing the moral of the story to come, followed by the story itself, or the Acharya Katha. The author has offered valuable insights at the end of each story, providing readers with the key takeaways from the concerned story. The Your Learnings section allows readers to take note of whatever they have learned from a story and understand it from their own perspective.


The simple, straightforward narration makes Katha Chanakya an easy read for children and adults alike. The stories are short and crisp. Every story is peppered with incidents from the life of the great mystic, Chanakya, all in the context of the present day and age. The real-life examples make the kathas all the more interesting and easy to comprehend. To top things off, the colorful cover page makes for a good first impression.


The biggest strength of this book is arguably its biggest drawback as well – these stories are written for a mixed audience. The tales are oversimplified to make them relatable for readers of every age group. However, as is often the case with generalized texts, the stories lack the insight needed to make a lasting impression on the readers.


Stories are loved by children and the adults alike. Stories are the route to knowledge and wisdom.

Wisdom and knowledge are the only weapons that make you invincible. Cultivate them.


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Stories have their own way of casting us into the infinite. Every story has a moral, but they also contain something deeper – something that can touch our very core.

This prologue of Katha Chanakya just about sums up what a great book it is. The book’s stories can be a great source of inspiration and transformation for those willing to draw the right lessons from it.

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