chanakya 1

Chanakya’s 3 questions v/s Aristotle’s First Principles

For some time now, I have been trying to find an answer to a question that has been on my mind. Which is more important- Chanakya’s 3 questions or Aristotle’s First principles?

For a brief understanding of these two scholars, Aristotle was born 384 B.C and Chanakya in 371 B.C, around the same time period. For more on Chanakya , read (

Both were in one way, or another, connected to King Alexander. Aristotle taught him and Chanakya strategized against him along with King Puru.

Aristotle taught on the basis of “first principles, as ‘the first basis from which a thing is known’. More simply, he strongly believed in searching for the core or going to the basics of everything.

Chanakya taught 3 questions –

  1. Kimartham karishyami,
  2. Kim pratiphalam,
  3. Aham saphalyam prapnomi?

The Sanskrit translation is as follows 

  1. Why am I doing it?
  2. What might the results be?
  3. Will I be successful?

Were they both trying come up with same process? Which one is better – First principles or 3 questions?

Leading to more questions…

Chanakya artistic depiction




Giri Devanur

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