The simple answer is that it is both. It is a complete package that covers almost all aspects of life. Be it religious, social, political, or personal. 

Social Aspect:

The Ideas includes, but are not restricted to:

  • The basic ideology is to uproot any favoritism in society. Points towards delegation of responsibilities to the capable person.
  • How society should be and how should an individual must present him in that society.
  • It even prescribes the code of conduct for the authorities and the ruler as well.

Personal Aspect:

The Ideas includes but is not restricted to:

  • Importance of education
  • Importance of character
  • Controlling oneself
  • Unleashing oneself

Dharma?

The interesting part is that Chanakya Neeti a compilation of verses from different Shastras (Religious texts). This means that whatever is being conveyed is being conveyed in the light of Dharma.

The word ‘Dharma‘ when translated to English comes out as ‘Religion,’ but the dharma about which Chanakya talks has a much-much deeper meaning to it. Its association with Hinduism is simply a failed attempt to access its boundaries. More appropriately, the Sanatan Dharma (The eternal never-ending Religion) is the right term to use. It’s progressive, humanitarian, and lively.

I doubt whether the word Hindu even existed at the time of Chanakya. Neither existed Islam nor Christianity. (Correct me if I am wrong)

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The whole talk about religion, social, or political text is useless. You must have heard the story of blind men trying to figure out the shape and size of an elephant.

  • One who grabbed the trunk declared it a huge snake.
  • One who grabbed the leg declared it as a pillar.
  • One who touched the belly declared it to be wall like creature
  • One who grabbed its ears said as if it was like a fan.

What we need is to understand one simple fact. All things are interconnected, and therefore a holistic approach is necessary.

This Chanakya Quote in itself contains the answer. 

The knowledge in holy scriptures is like a huge sea. For a man with a busy life, it will not be possible to read and understand everything. He must act like a swan i.e. attain what is useful and leave the rest. 

Use it if you find it useful otherwise leave it.