December 22, 2010


In India around 350 BC in Magadh, Chanakya was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, "Chanakya ji, do you know what I just heard about Pandit Haridas ?"

"Wait a moment," Chanakya replied, "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."

'Triple filter?" asked the acquaintance.

"That's right," Chanakya continued, "Before you talk to me about Pandit Haridas, let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say.

"The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"

"No," the man said, "Actually I just heard about it."

"All right," said Chanakya, "So you don't really know if it's true or not."

"Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Pandit Haridas something good?"

"No, on the contrary..."

"So," Chanakya continued, "You want to tell me something about Pandit Haridas that may be bad, even though you're not certain it's true?"

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Chanakya continued, "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Pandit Haridas going to be useful to me?"

"No, not really."

"Well," concluded Chanakya, "If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?"

The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Chanakya was a great politician and held in such high esteem.

Moral of the story: "Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you" - A Spanish Proverb