The next task before Chanakya
and Chandragupta was to dethrone the Nanda Ring. The Nanda kings were ruling cruelly and
imposing taxes as they liked on the subjects, and had earned the hatred of the people.
People were praying for liberation from their oppression. Chanakya's fight against the
king was not merely because of personal insult, which had been meted out to him, but also
with a desire to free the people from unbridled taxation and the oppression.
But dethroning the Nanda king was not an easy task. The Nanda king had conquered
several kingdoms and built a vast empire. He had a powerful army. His army consisted of
two lake foot soldiers, twenty thousands horses, two thousand chariots and three thousand
Chanakya and Chandragupta had t contend with this mighty force.
Unfortunately, even about this great fig no historical details are available.
In the early stages they had to suffer defeat. Chandragupta began his fight in the
middle of the kingdom. He was defeated. Then he changed his strategy.
There is a story about this.
A spy of Chandragupta was functioning in a village. He happened to be in a hut where a
woman gave a chapati (wheat- cake) to her child. The boy ate the middle portion and threw
away the edges.
"You eat the chapati in the fashion of Chandragupta waging his war," said the
"How did Chandragupta wage the war?" the boy asked.
The spy now was all ears.
"You ate only the middle portion of the chapati and threw away the edges. Now
Chandragupta wants to be king. Instead of beginning his attack from the borders of the
kingdom and taking in the towns on the way, he has begun the fight in the central parts.
His army is encircled and beaten into bits," the mother explained.
The words reached Chanakya through the spy. He was impressed, and changed the method of
This is a story handed down from old days. It is difficult to say how much of it is