Disclaimer – This short story is entirely a work of fiction. The scenes depicted are not a historical fact. Only the characters resemble the actual people from history.
Year – 336 B.C.
It was the year of a great calamity in the country Aryavarta. After the long years of warmth and summer, the cruel winter was approaching. At this era and time, the mighty country was divided into many smaller kingdoms knowned to world as Mahajanapadas and even among them, the kingdom of Takshasila and Magadha were in the centre of the events that were about to unfold in the coming future.
The kingdom of Takshasila was famous across the world for its university, the first of its kind, the renowned university of Takshasila, as it was called at time, housed more than a million scholars from all across the world. Its doors were open for anyone who seek knowledge and knowledge was all it offered.
In the coming era, this great university will produce many a great students and teachers alike who will shape the world and history as we know today but perhaps the name of the Chanakya- the author of Arthashastra is worth mentioning even among them.
At this period of time, Chanakya known to world as Vishnu gupta, an economics teacher in the university of Takshasila had already started to get a glimpse in the future, at the events that were about to unfold. He didn’t know the exact details but his keen instincts told him that something bad was about to happen, that a beast was approaching, ready to engulf this world in an era of darkness.
One day, Vishnu Gupta sat inside his room looking at the charts and maps of the various countries that were known to mankind at time. And from what his instincts told him, right about now somewhere in this map, something was happening. He wasn’t sure what but his intuition told him that the curtain on this era was about to fall..
At the very same time, inside the royal palace of country of Mecedonia, a youth drunk and confident sat on the Royal seat and looked bored as the court proceeded his ascendancy to the throne. The Alexander III of Macedonia, as he was called, the son of the great king Phillip II of Macedonia inherited throne on the year 336 BC after the assassination of his father.
He was only 20 at time but had many scars on his body, a testament to the fact that he had accompanied his father in great many battles from the very tender age. Now his father, a warrior of heaven, was gone leaving him alone in this mortal world with a kingdom to rule.
But this was never Alexander’s desire. Ruling a kingdom was what bored him. He was born a warrior. The battleground was his home. The warfare was his only love. And his true desire was not to rule a kingdom but to rule the entire world, to rule everything that ever existed on Earth, to bring every mortal being under his command and he would do everything to get what he wanted; for he wanted everything this world had to offer.
Sitting on the throne, he remembered his deceased father. The man he had followed in battles, the man who was a great warrior, the one who, he was afraid, had the ability to achieve everything this world had to offer. From a very young age Alexander was afraid of this idea, the idea of his father waging war on all countries and winning them all, leaving behind no glory for Alexander to achieve. But his father’s sudden death had saved his dream and now he, the great Alexander would wage war on this world and will bring the chaos upon it and will engulf it in an era of darkness and no one in this world whether man or God will be able to stop him. No man this world could decipher about what was about to unfold.
Sitting on the high chair as the priest bestowed him with the sword of the king, Alexander emitted an aura that could surpass even zeus and the courtiers looked in awe..
(And so the Alexander was right, no man could say at time that soon the whole world was about to be engulfed by a beast called Alexander the great, who will also be known to world as the king of Macedonia, the paroah of Egypt, the ruler of persia and the king of Asia…
No one but a man sitting thousands of miles away inside a small room in the university of Takshasila looking at the maps feeling uneasy, his intuition telling him that somewhere, something was happening that will soon shook the whole world upside down.
The King Dhana Nanda of Magadha, looked at the bald brahmin on his court, whose clothes resembled of a beggar and felt disgusted. He wouldn’t even have come here himself and given the brahmin an audience if the MudraRakshasa had not asked it himself. Now he felt angry at MudraRakshasa, his favourite courtier, for wasting his time on such a despicable man but he tried to keep his patience in front of court.
‘Welcome great brahmin,’ he greeted the bowing brahmin unwillingly. ‘What brings you today in the court of Magadha?’
The brahmin looked up and replied,’ oh great king of Magadha, I, Vishnu gupta, the teacher of economics in the university of Takshasila, came before you to hand over a task to you, a task that is essential at this time of era.’
‘A task?,’ the King Dhana Nanda spoke bitterly. ‘You, a brahmin brought a task for the great king Dhana Nanda.’
‘Yes, your majesty,’ the brahmin spoke calmly, unmoved by the bitter words of king. ‘I believe an era of war is approaching. An era that no single Mahajanapada is capable of withstanding and this country of Aryavarta will may soon fall on its knees.’
‘Impossible,’ the MudraRakshasa intervened. ‘What are you stating Chanakya? No power in this world is capable of defeating all the Mahajanapadas in this great country of Aryavarta.’
‘You are right, Senior,’ replied vishnu gupta, ‘for now no such power exists but I believe in the nearing future such power will be known to the world.’
‘So what are you proposing brahmin,’ the king spoke harshly. ‘And what task do you bring for me?’
‘Your majesty,’ spoke chanakya, ‘I brought you a great task. The task of Unification of Aryavarta. I want you to defeat all the Mahajanapadas and become the emperor who is capable of withstanding any outer force that wishes harm to this great country and its people.’
These words of Chanakya made even the king Dhana Nanda gasp in fear. Waging war on all Mahajanapadas was surely a glorious task bound to make your name shine in history but it could also mean complete annihilation.
‘Impossible,’ shouted Dhana Nanda in disgust. ‘I have heard enough of you. You want me to wage war in all of Mahajanapadas so that I could stand against a force that doesn’t even exist.’
‘Your majesty, I believe…..
‘Enough,’ roared Dhana Nanda the king of Magadha, ‘you, a beggar had said enough. Clearly you want me to wage war and be destroyed. This is a time of peace. Magadha kingdom can’t afford to wage war against all the peace we have been provided by gods. Clearly you are a wicked man who intends for us to be destroyed.
‘But your majesty…. protested Chanakya. ‘This so called peace time is only a time of silence. And I believe this silence marks the upcoming of a great storm.’
‘Enough is enough.’ Shouted DhanaNanda. ‘from my understanding no King in this world is capable of conquering Aryavarta. And what storm you talk about. This is first time I’m hearing such cruel words. Clearly you have no good intentions for the kingdom of Magadha.’
‘Hear me, my lord.’ Said MudraRakshasa. ‘Even though it may sound like suicide, but not your majesty’s desire is to be the greatest king in the whole world. And what better way to become the greatest if not by bringing whole of Aryavarta under your command.’
‘MudraRakshasa,’ Dhana Nanda clinched his jaws in anger. ‘Weren’t you the one telling me tomorrow that an epidemic is plaguing our kingdom and many young ones have already died.’
‘That is true my lord.’ Bowed MudraRakshasa.
‘Than tell me, how could I go waging war in the country when my own kingdom is suffering.’
‘That is enough.’ Spoke Chanakya harshly. ‘Your kingdom is suffering from last year your majesty. And yet you have offered no relief to the people and despite that the tax has been increased by 50 percent. Is this how you are serving your kingdom.’
‘Watch your tongue,’roared Dhana Nanda in anger. ‘The very next words from your mouth may decide your future.’
‘I have no fear for my future your majesty,’ said Chanakya fearlessly. ‘I came to you thinking that Magadha king must be a capable man but all I saw was a coward who has no care for either his country or his kingdom.’
‘That does it.’ Screamed Dhana Nanda. ‘Soldiers beat this man and throw him out of this state where wild animals may feast upon him.’
And the Soldiers obeyed.
On the way down to her village, a woman named Mora saw a brahmin, limping, his clothes torn up, his face bleeding and offered him water.
The brahmin was thankful to the woman but felt anger boiling deep down inside him. How did this went wrong? He had never expected Dhana Nanda to be a good man but to have such a fool for a king, it was unbearable. Never in his life he had been humiliated so much.
‘Are you ok? Brahmin,’ the woman asked. ‘Who are you and who did this to you?’
‘It is a long story,’ said Chanakya, ‘I encountered a fool along the way.’
‘Hmmm,’ sighed the woman. ‘Who fool would beat a brahmin to this state, I wonder.’
‘Please, it’s getting dark,’ said Brahmin. ‘And I’m bleeding. Please give me a shelter to stay or I’ll become prey to the wild animals.’
‘You have no pride left, have you o brahmin.’ Mocked the Mora. ‘For asking a lonely woman to take you home at this time of night.’
I have no pride left. Thought chanakya but I am left with vengeance and I swear I’ll become the demise of Dhana Nanda.
‘Please I beg you,’ said Chanakya. ‘I want to survive.’
‘Ok Brahmin. You can stay at my home for tonight.’ Said Mora. ‘But beware I have a son and even though he’s young, He’s perfectly capable of killing you if your moral went astray at any time of night.’
‘That will do.’ The brahmin bowed his shaved head.’I thank you for your kindness.’
And so, the destiny of Chanakya gave him the fated encounter with Dhana Nanda but he was unknown to the fact that one more fated encounter was on its way to greet him.
Next morning, the chanakya woke up in a small hut but no one was home. He went out and saw a small lake and thought of bathing there.
As he entered the cold water he immediately realised something was wrong. The lake was full of alligators hiding in plain sight and before he could react, an alligator was moving towards him.
The Chanakya was shocked. He had no strength left in his body and the alligator was approaching fast.
‘So that’s how I die,’ thought chanakya. ‘What cruel fate I have.. for being humiliated first and then eaten alive here.’
But before Chanakya could conclude his life, he saw a young boy jumping in the way between him and the alligator. Chanakya screamed to the boy to get out of water. But his words fell to the empty ears.
The Chanakya saw in amazement as the boy fought the alligator and ripped it in two with bare hands while the water turned red by the blood of alligator.
‘You okay’ the boy asked as he carried Chanakya out of water.
‘Yes, yes I am.’ Said Chanakya. ‘But why did you save me?’
‘Why you ask,’ laughed young boy. ‘How could I let my guest die here of all places.’
‘Your guest.’ Said chanakya in surprise. ‘So you are the son of that woman.’
‘Yes, I’m Chandragupta,’ said the brave boy. ‘The son of Mora, my mother.’
‘Mora’ said Chanakya.
Chandragupta carried him home and tended to his wounds while Chanakya stared at the boy in amazement. Never he had seen in his life a boy brave enough to fight and kill an alligator and all that for a stranger. And suddenly an idea crawled in his mind and the future started to take shape.
‘Tell me boy.’ Said Chanakya. ‘Do you study and what do you think about this country.’
‘I can’t afford studies.’ Said the young boy with a genuine sadness in his voice. ‘And about the country. This country is divided into Mahajanapadas who keep fighting among themselves and have no regard for anything else.’
‘Well said boy.’ Smiled Chanakya. ‘Will you do it.?’
‘Will I do what?’ Asked the young Chandragupta.
‘Unify this country.’ Said the Chanakya. ‘Are you willing to become the first emperor of this great country if I taught you how?’
‘You will teach me?’ Asked chandragupta in amazement. ‘You will become my teacher. But I’m of low birth and has no right to learn.’
‘Well, then we will lie to this world about your birth.’ Replied Chanakya. ‘We will find you a surname fitting an emperor.’
‘You will lie for my sake.’ Asked Chandragupta. ‘But that is not befitting a brahmin.’
‘I do not care about that. ‘ said Chanakya. ‘There is no greater cause than unifying this country and my pride means nothing to me anymore.’
‘Well, if you are willing to go such extent,’ said chandragupta. ‘Then your student is here to obey your every command teacher. Let us unify this country together.’
This words of young boy made chanakya smile. ‘Well for your surname, how about maurya, the son of mora.’
Chandragupta maurya, smiled boy. Yes it sounds like the name of an emperor.
‘As from today on I will do everything it takes no matter how wicked it is to ensure that you become the emperor of Aryavarta’ declared Chanakya. ‘And I shall be known to this world as kautilya.. the strategist who bought the Mahajanapadas to their end and made you Chandragupta Maurya, the first emperor of this great Aryavarta.’
(While such things happened in the Aryavarta, the great Alexander waged war in all his neighbouring countries to begin his conquest of conquering the whole world. Soon, as Kautilya predicted the whole world was about to come to know his name.)