Sama, Dhana, Bedha, Dhanda...

Sama, Dhana, Bedha, Dhanda...

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?


  1. I love Chanakya! I even love Indira Gandhi, no matter how these people survived, how cruel their approach may been. But, power is not everyone's play either. I am glad I met you through Sub's blog. I loved this article and I am one of those who jumps the gun too soon and argues without respecting :D

    I may not change, but it's good to know.

    And have you seen the movie Tiranga? Rajkumar and Nana Patekar have the same argument through out the movie :)


  2. Hmm... Interesting...

    Thanks, Chintan. Same here.

    Oh, no. I don't watch movies much. :(

  3. Chanakya is my fav along with Hitler :)
    I think he is from Bihar..3rd century BC, probably a century after Mahabharata was written down...amazing that the 2500yr old quote is still so valid in modern day :)


  4. Hmm... Chanakya, Indira Gandhi, Hitler,... Looks like I have got the subject for my next post... :)

    Yeah, most people say he is from Bihar. That's the official info also, I think. Bihar has been the birthplace of some all time greats. It's only in last thirty years things became bad, I guess.

    Yeah, I am tempted to read more of Chanakya now... :)

  5. There is one view that he is a Kerala Brahmin. But the popular belief is that he is a North Indian Brahmin, educated in Taxila (now in Afghanistan). Kautilya- Arthashastra by L N Rangarajan is a good book to read.

  6. Thanks for the comment, sir. Will buy that book if I get a chance.

  7. Chanakya-very few can be traced in the history who ruled the world the way they wanted...indeed a great leader he was!

    I think order is saam daam dand was also followed by my hero Shivaji :)

    Great blog (what can i call you? is Bharat-da alright?) I read few articles,and loved the simplicity of your writing and quality of the content. Looking ahead to more :)

  8. Thank you so much, Rohan!

    You may call me anything. People out here call me Bharathi. I know it sounds girlish! Just like Radhakrishnas being called Radha and Laxminarayans being called Laxmi... :)

  9. Hi, came across your blog via twitter where Chintan had shared your link. I am a big fan of Chanakya and his Arthashashtra. I am currently reading a book based on Chanakya called, "Chanakya's Chats". It traces Chanakya's life. Once I complete it, will be able to share about his life. I bought the book via online for Rs. 117. It's a nice book....:)

  10. @Prashanth, I have already visited your blog few times and even dropped my comment once on an interesting post by you. :)

    I haven't researched too much about Chanakya. I always see Chanakya Neeti in platform book stalls and I get tempted to buy it but I haven't done it yet. Will buy both his Neeti and Chats shortly. Happy reading!

  11. Chanakya was an interesting character in history...and he seems to be from the north as his father was Acharya Chanak in Pataliputra. I prefer to go give an equal chance to the other person while arguing. I think i need to read more on Chanakya as well.

    1. Thanks for reading and the comment, Ria.

      Yeah, he was from Pataliputra. Some people just say that he had his origin in the south. That also, some people say he is a Tamil brahmin whereas others say a Malayali brahmin. I just highlighted a statement made by some of my friends. I haven't done enough research to conclude on it yet. :)


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Classical Tamil?

Cricket, Population and Nation