Have you heard these words anywhere? I recently heard them on a television movie. Though I have heard these words many times before, I was tempted to contemplate more about them this time.
In any conflict, you should go in the same order, they say. Sama first, which means equality. Give the other person equal share or respect during negotiations. If that doesn't work, go for the next one - Dhana. Dhana means giving. Giving little more share... not giving up everything! If that also doesn't work, go for Bedha. Bedha means discrimination or warning. Start treating the other person differently and warn them that there is a limit to anything. When none of these work, what you should do is Dhanda. What is that? Take an iron rod and beat him on the head in a way that he would never be able to get up - to continue the conflict. But, be very careful about one thing - he also may have an iron rod with him.
What if I go for the second one straight? People would love to have me with them. I would be called a nice guy. I won't know that nice guys finish last until I am finished. I will be taken for granted. When I realize what I lost, it will be too late. What if I go straight to the third one? It means I am an arrogant bugger and there are some lessons that I have to learn. Soon someone will come to teach me them. Not only that, the conflict will take a different route if I get into such an act directly. Fourth? If I choose the fourth option straight away, I will be called a goon or thug. When I do that to someone, I can write in my diary that some day I will also be killed with another Dhanda - sooner or later.
Not only with enemies, some people even say that you have to follow these prescriptions even with kids. Some people say that India should be following this approach with terrorists. Some say that India should go with this approach even with Pakistan. The Sri Lankan Tamils say that they went with the fourth one only after all the other three options were tried unsuccessfully. Anyways, looks like it is a good conflict resolution model to try with anyone that has problem with us.
All these are Sanskrit words and are believed to be the techniques taught by Chanakya. In Mahabharata, they say, Pandavas went to war because their enemies didn't listen when they tried with all the other options. Not sure if Chanakya lived before Mahabharata or if he learnt this lesson from that. If there is someone who has more information on this, please throw some light.
PS: Some people say that Chanakya was a South Indian brahmin by birth. Any further information on that?