The Kshatriya’s Way

wealthymattersThere are seven techniques/upayas at the disposal of Kshatriyas to carry out their duties:

1. Sama – “The Art of Gentle Persuasion”

2. Dana – The Art of Generous Donations to achieve one’s purpose”

3. Bheda – “The Art of aggravating dissension amongst parties opposed to each other”

4. Danda –  “The Art of Punishment”

5. Maya – “The Art of Illusions or deceit”

6. Upeksha – “The Art of deliberately ignoring people so as to achieve one’s purpose”

7. Indrajala – “The Art of Jugglery”

Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda are the 4 political methodologies prescribed by the Hindu scriptures to approach any given situation.The remaining 3 are from the Arthashastra. Start with conciliation or gentle persuasion (Sama).The best is a perfect meeting of minds. Sama also means equality.Give the other person  respect and a fair share during negotiations.If that does not help, offer money/material wealth (Dana) or bribery in case of the Arthashastra. Titles,marriage alliances etc are included.Basically see if a political sacrifice would work.At this stage you might have to give up more than what seems a fair share.If that still does not change the status quo, use  a threat that something unwanted may happen if proper steps are not taken to bring about a conciliation, else cause dissension (Bheda) among the opposing parties so that you don’t have to face their combined might. Bheda also means discrimination. Start treating the other person differently while you warn them that there is a limit to anything.Lastly,use punishment or violence (Danda) to resolve the situation where the previous three fail.But where you really or metaphorically speaking,take an iron rod and beat your opponent on the head in a way that he would never again be able to get up to continue the conflict be very careful about one thing,he also may have an iron rod with him.If you go for the second option first you risk having to give away more than you have to.Also you will be taken for granted.If you go straight to the third one,the conflict will take a different route and there is always the danger that you will needlessly provoke someone to set out to teach you a lesson.If you choose the fourth option straight away,you will lose your reputation and set anarchy in motion.Sooner or later you will be expelled from the system by the same means. Fighting wastes resources and diminishes the productive capacity so to try to avoid needless conflicts.

Use of illusions or deceit (Maya), deliberately ignoring people (Upeksha), use of jugglery (Indrajala) are additionally suggested by the Arthashastra to resolve situations.

Usually Sama is advised to be used on Brahmanas for they accept truth even if they are in trouble,Dana on Vaisyas where some privileges or monopoly is given to them,Bheda on Sudres as they are neither intelligent nor brave nor motivated by money,Dhanda is for Kshatriyas for it is believed that they will not accept truth,nor can they be influenced by money or threatened.

The upayas are still in use today.
Sama -promises are made by politicians
Dana – Governments sanction reservations, grant permissions etc
Bheda – Bureaucrats and politicians frighten to extract money
Dhanda – Punishments are handed down by cancelling licenses,withdrawing privileges etc.


About Keerthika Singaravel

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