反客为主

 
fǎn kè wéi zhǔ (fan ke wei zhu)
reverse the position of the host and the guest (gain an opponents trust to discover their weakness)

Defeat the enemy from within by infiltrating the enemy's camp under the guise of cooperation, surrender, or peace treaties. In this way you can discover his weakness and then, when the enemy's guard is relaxed, strike directly at the source of his strength.

Japanese Folk Tale

In feudal Japan there lived a venerable Kendo master who decided to test his three highest-ranking students. He brought them one by one to an old temple in the nearby mountains where he told each student the following: "You have studied with me many years, now lets see if my teaching has been in vain. There within the temple awaits your test, pass and you will have graduated."

Within the dimly lit temple the Master had hidden four Samurai armed with clubs and instructions to jump anyone who entered the temple. The first student entered the temple and before his eyes could adjust to the light, was surprised and beaten by the Samurai."I am sorry, you have failed." Said the master.

The second student entered the temple and sensed the attackers. He was able to deftly evade their attack and defeat them. The student came out of the temple triumphant, but again the master said, "I am sorry, you have failed'

Finally the third student was brought to the temple and told about the test. The student replied, "But venerable master, protocol dictates that when entering a temple the master must always precede the student, so if you please, I shall follow you in." To which the master replied, "You rascal, you have learned all I can teach you."

Northern Song Dynasty

Whenever there is a chance, enter into the decision-making body of your ally and extend your influence skilfully step by step. Eventually, put it under your control.

During the Northern Song dynasty, general Cao Wei led his troops to fight the Tibetan Dangxiang tribe which set up the Xia Kingdom.

The Dangxiang army suffered a setback. Instead of pursuing the Dangxiang troops, Cao Wei ordered his men to take the Dangxiang's cattle and return slowly. He reminded his soldiers often not to hurry but to take their time.

When he Dangxiang heard of this, the commander thought that the Song army was in disarray. The Dangxiang hurried to catch up with the Song forces. Cao Wei told the Dangxiang commander, "You must be tired. We won't take advantage of you, get some rest before we fight again."

After the interval, Cao Wei's men charged into battle and the Dangxiang army was soundly beaten.

Cao Wei later explained, "When they retreated, I pretended to be burdened by their cattle. This encouraged them to return to fight us and having traveled so far, they must be exhausted."

"If we fought immediately, when their fighting spirit had not died down, it would not have been easy to win. After traveling a long distance, when a person gets the chance to rest, he'll feel that his legs are numb and his body will ache. His will to fight would be dissipated."

Meaning: 客人反过来成为主人。比喻变被动为主动。

Context: 明·罗贯中《三国演义》第七十一回:“拔寨前进,步步为营,诱渊来战而擒之,此乃反客为主之法。”

Example: 心里正在为难,只听得那女子~,让着说道:“尊客,请屋里坐。” ◎清·文康《儿女英雄传》第四回

Synonyms: 喧宾夺主

Grammar: 连动式;作谓语、定语;比喻变被动为主动

乘隙插足,扼其主机①,渐之进也②。

【注释】

①乘隙插足,扼其主机:把准时机插足进去,掌握他的要害关节之处。

②渐之进也:语出《易经.渐》卦。(渐卦解释见前计②)本卦《彖》辞:“渐之进也。”意为渐就是渐进的意思。

此计运用此理,是说乘隙插足,扼其主机。《易经.渐》卦上说的就是这个意思,要循序渐进。

【按语】

为人驱使者为奴,为人尊处者为客,不能立足者为暂客,能立足者为久客,客久而不能主事者为贱客,能主事则可渐握机要,而为主矣。故反客为主之局:第—步须争客位;第二步须乘隙;第三步须插足;第四足须握机;第五乃为主。为主,则并人之军矣;此渐进之阴谋也。如李渊书尊李密,密卒以败;汉高视势未敌项羽之先,卑事项羽。使其见信,而渐以侵其势,至垓下—役,—亡举之。

【解析】

客有多种:暂客、久客、贱客,这些都还是真正的“客”,可是一到渐渐掌握了主入的机要之处的话,就已经反客为主了。按语中将这个过程分为五步:争客位,乘隙,插足,握机,成功。概括地讲,就是变被动为主动,把主动权慢慢地掌握到自己手中来。分成五步,强调循序渐进,不可急躁莽撞,泄露机密,只会把事情搞坏。用在军事上,就要把别人的军队拿过来,控制指挥权。按语称此计为“渐进之阴谋”,既是“阴谋”,又必须“渐进”,才能奏效。李渊在夺得天下之前,写信恭维李密,后来还是把李密消灭了。刘邦在兵力不能与项羽抗衡的时候,很尊敬项羽,鸿门宴上,以屈求伸,对项羽谦卑到了极点。后来他力量扩大,由弱变强,垓下一战,终于将项羽逼死乌江。

所以古人说,主客之势常常发生变化,有的变客为主,有的变主为客。关键在于要变被动为主动,争取掌握主动权。

【探源】

反客为主,用在军事上,是指在战争中,要努力变被动为主动,争取掌握战争主动权的谋略。尽量想办法钻空子,插脚进去,控制它的首脑机关或者要害部位,抓住有利时机,兼并或者控制他人。古人使用本计,多是对于盟友的。往往是借援助盟军的机会,先站稳脚跟,然后步步为营,取而代之。

袁绍和韩馥,应当是一对盟友,当年曾经共同讨伐过董卓。后来,袁绍势力渐渐强大,总想不断扩张,他屯兵河内,缺少粮草,十分犯愁。老友韩馥知道情况之后,主动派人送去粮草,帮袁绍解决供应困难。

袁绍觉得等待别人送粮草,不能够解决根本问题。他听了谋士逢纪的劝告,决定夺取粮仓冀州。而当时的冀州牧正是老友韩馥,袁绍犯顾不了那么多了,马上下手,实施他的锦囊妙计。

他首先绘公孙瓒写了一封信,建议与他一起攻打冀州。公孙瓒早就想找个由头攻占冀州,这个建议,正中下怀。他立即下令,准备发兵攻打冀州。

袁绍又暗地派人去见韩馥,说:公孙瓒和袁绍联合攻打冀州,冀州难以自保。袁绍过去不是你的老朋友吗?最近你不是还给他送过粮草吗?你何不联合袁绍,对付公孙瓒呢?让袁绍进城,冀州不就保住了吗?
韩馥只得邀请袁绍带兵进入冀州。这位请来的客人,表面上尊重韩馥,实际上他逐渐将自己的部下一个一个似钉子扎进了冀州的要害部位,这时,韩馥清楚地知道,他这个“主”被“客”取而代之了。为了保全性命,他只得只身逃出冀州去了。

【故事】

唐朝有个叛将,名字叫仆固怀恩。他煽动吐蕃和回纥两国联合出兵,进犯中原。大兵三十万,一路连战连捷,直逼泾阳。泾阳的守将是唐朝著名将军郭子代,他是奉命前来平息叛乱的,这时他只有一万余名精兵。面对漫山遍野的敌人,郭子仪知道形势十分严竣。

正在这个时候,仆固怀恩病死了。吐蕃和回纥就失去了中间的联系和协调的人物。双方都想争夺指挥权,矛盾逐渐激化。两军各驻一地,互不联系往来。吐蕃驻扎东门外,回纥驻扎西门外。

郭子仪想到何不乘机分化这两支军队?他在安史之乱时,曾和回纥将领并肩作战,对付安禄山。这种老关系何不利用一下呢?他秘密派人前往回纥营中转达郭子仪想与过去并肩作战的老友叙叙情谊。回纥都督药葛罗,也是个重视旧情的人。听说郭子仪就在泾阳,十分高兴。但是,他说:“除非郭老令公亲自让我们见到,我们才会相信。” 郭子仪听到汇报,决定亲赴回纥营中,会见药葛罗,叙叙旧情,并乘机说服他们不要和吐蕃联合反唐。将士们深怕回纥有诈,不让郭子仪前去。郭子仪说:“为国家,我早已把生死置之度外!我去回纥营中,如果能谈得成,这—仗就打不起来了,天下从此太平,有什么不好?”他拒绝带卫队保卫,只带少数随从,到回纥营去。

药葛罗见真的是郭子仪来了,非常高兴。设宴招待郭子仪,谈得十分亲热。酒宿时,郭子仪说道:“大唐、回纥关系很好,回纥在平定安史之乱时立了大功,大唐也没有亏待你们呀!今天怎么会和吐蕃联合进犯大唐呢?吐蕃是想利用你们与大唐作战,他们好乘机得利。” 药葛罗愤然说道:“老令公说得有理,我们是被他们骗了!我们愿意和大唐一起,攻打吐蕃。”双方马上立誓联盟。

吐蕃得到报告,觉得形势骤变,与己不利,他们连夜准备,拔寨撤兵。郭子仪与回纥合兵追击,击败了吐蕃的十万大军。吐蕃大败,很长一段时期,边境无事。

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