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Vedic Personal Politics

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There are four remedies for political problems: agree (sāma), seduce (dāna), ostracise (bheda), punish (daṇḍa).

When someone is a problem for a leader, the first attempt to fix the problem should be to seek agreement (sāma). This means we should try to explain ourselves and understand the other person, so that both parties give up their disagreement and cooperate. Each side may change their stance or opinion slightly to facilitate the agreement.

If this proves impossible, the next resort is seduction or bribery (dāna). This means we should give the person something they want and need, in exchange for them agreeing to cooperate.

If this still proves impossible, the third resort is to ostricize or exile (bheda). This means we try to get rid of the person, either by forcing them to leave our team or community – or, if necessary, by leaving their team or community.

If this is also impossible, the fourth and last resort is punishment (daṇḍa). This will result in them being killed, or fleeing and accepting the third resort, or accepting a meager version of the second resort – the “bribe” being your offer to stop the punishment. Of course it may also backfire – you may wind up dead, exiled, or forced into slavery as a result.



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