Seven Ways to Greet a Neighbor

Excerpts from Arthasatra


This excerpt comes from Arthasastra, a fourth century B.C.E. Indian treatise on government. It offers advice on how a ruler should handle neighboring states.

  1. Saman: Appeasement, sweet talk, soothing words, conciliatory conduct, such things as non-aggression pacts;
  2. Danda: Power, military might, punishment, violence, being well-armed, aggression of whatever kind;
  3. Dana: a bribe or gift, a donation, an agreement to share the spoils;
  4. Bheda: Divide and opposition so as to defeat them, splitting, cause a breach in the opposition, sow dissension in the enemy's party, use treachery, treason;
  5. Maya: Deceit, illusion, fraud, a diplomatic feat (for example the Japanese mission to Washington offering appeasement as their bombers were readying for the attack on Pearl Harbor);
  6. Upeksa: Overlooking, taking no notice, ignoring the enemy until you have decided on the proper course of action;
  7. Indrajala: Military maya, creating an appearance of power when you have none.

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