Sama, Dana, Bheda, Danda, Maya, Upeksha and Indrajala are the seven techniques used by Kings to rule their Kingdoms. This is a political methodology to approach a given situation. Start with conciliation or gentle persuasion (Sama). If that does not help, offer money/material wealth (Dana). If that still does not change the status quo, use threat or cause dissension (Bheda). Use punishment or violence (Danda) to resolve the situation where the previous three fail. Use of illusions or deceit (Maya), deliberately ignoring people (Upeksha), use of jugglery (Indrajala) are also suggested to resolve any situation.

1) Sama – It is the best means to attract and convert others to one’s side. It consists in winning people with sweet words and looks. People who are friendly by temperament and straightforward may be brought round by Sama. ‘Sama’ can be deployed in four ways.

1. Praising the merits: This can be done by flattering a person on the basis of his personal qualities, occupation, good nature, learning or wealth.

2. Linkage: Emphasizing relationship with the concerned person.

3. Mutual benefits: Explaining how solving the conflict can benefit the two parties.

4. Awards and honors: To award an internal enemy and give him honors to tame his warring tendency.

2) Dana – There are five kinds or varieties of dana (gift) viz. pritidana, dravyadana, svayarhgraha, deya and pratimoksa. If a person gets help from another and acknowledges help by reward that reward is called pritidana. The miser and the poor should be brought round by pritidana. Military captains, heroes and citizens should be won over by this dana. Those who fall at feet should be honoured by dana. The gifts can be of many kinds: giving up demand on what is owed, return something received, donate something, allowing to keep something from the enemy, etc. are some of them.

3) Bheda – Bhedopaya is of three kinds: to destroy or end the friendship between people, to create dissension and to make the parties quarrel with each other. First step is to identify the persons who can be influenced by this technique. He who is falsely criticized, he who has been invited to come and then insulted, the angry one, the unreasonably forsaken one, he who harbors hatred in his mind, he who has not been respected though deserving of respect, etc. are some of the kind of people one can influence to create dissention in the enemy camp. 

4) Danda – Dandopaya is of three kinds, viz, killing, denuding of wealth, and inflicting pain on the body or torture. Danda has two other forms, prakasa (open) and aprakasa (secret). Those who have become objects of hatred to all people should be subjected to ‘prakasa’ danda. People, whose killing the world will detest, should not be killed openly, but only secretly. The King, who possesses the three powers (of wealth, army and people’s support) and is fully conscious of the time and environmental factors should annihilate enemies by the instrument of danda. Evil people should be defeated by danda itself.

5) Maya – Maya means practicing deception by magic or other yogic powers. The powers can be acquired by practice. People who employ this go about at night in various disguises. They disguise themselves as beautiful women or even as animals. They also deceive people by creating illusions of clouds, fire or lightning. For instance, Bhima killed Kicaka by going to him in the guise of a woman.

6) Upeksa – Not to dissuade people who indulge in unjustifiable grief, war etc. is the principal aim of the upaya called upeksa

7) Indrajalopaya (magic) – To scare the enemy is the aim of lndrajala.  By magic one can create illusions of clouds, darkness, rain, fire, etc. in order to instil fear among troops of the enemy etc.

Successful Managers and Sales persons employ these techniques every day in their life. Personal and organizational success hinges on how well you persuade people to willingly follow your directions. Your boss may give you specific powers, but execution and results come from successfully influencing others. Most of us try to persuade by using our best arguments, best data, logical flow charts and rationality to generate the thinking, decisions and actions we seek. But science says that most decisions are emotional.

Every leader or manager depends on getting things done through others. Let us evaluate how we can apply the principle of ‘Saptopaya’ (7 techniques) in our day to day life.

Sama – Winning people with motivational and sweet words, showing the benefit of doing things in a particular way, skill development training, counselling, etc. are all part of Sama technique.

Dana – Incentive schemes are a great motivator for superior performance. Higher increments, promotion, awards and rewards are all techniques employed by organizations to persuade employees achieve higher performance in their organizations.

Bheda – differentiating people based on performance and behavior is very common in organizations. High performers are given more financial rewards, faster promotions, better performance ratings and rankings in during annual performance reviews and included in select clubs etc. to differentiate them from average or below performers.

Danda – warning letters, salary cuts, demotions and finally terminations are some of the method employed by Managers.

These four methods are the most popular ones. Maya is employing deception. Making calls to your offices to check how people are responding, visiting incognito to stores or offices to gauge employee performance and response, etc. are part of Maya. Ignoring people by not wishing them, not inviting them for company meetings, not copying them on important internal communications, etc. are some kind of Upeksa.

An outstanding sales person also employs these techniques every day. Can you think of few instances and respond to this article?


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