Upayas (diplomacy)

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Upayas is a Sanskrit word that means "approaches", "to come into any state or condition" and "to come near or towards".[1] It also refers to methods of diplomacy found in Hinduism and Jainism texts.[2][unreliable source?]

Kautilya mentioned four Upayas - Sama, Dana, Behda and Danda.[2] Sama, the first step, means conciliation or alliances.[2] Dana, the second, means gifts or compensation.[2] Behda, the third, means rupture or divide and rule.[2] Danda refers to the last step, that is force or armaments.[2] An article on Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses website states that the 20th-century power-politics theoretician Hans J. Morgenthau suggests similar four methods in a struggle for balance of power: Divide and Rule; Compensation; Armaments; and Alliances.[2]

These four approaches are found in the Hindu Itihasa (epics) and the Dharmasastras, as well as the Jain text Nitivakyamitra.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Monier Monier-Williams (1899), Sanskrit English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, Reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120831056, Article on Upaya
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Understanding Kautilya’s Four Upayas