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Section I

Rajadharmanusasana Parva

OM! HAVING BOWED down to Narayana, and Nara, the foremost of male beings, and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having offered oblations, of water unto all their friends and kinsmen, the sons of Pandu, and Vidura, and Dhritarashtra, and all the Bharata ladies, continued to dwell there (on the banks of the sacred stream). The high-souled sons of Pandu desired to pass the period of mourning, which extended for a month, outside the Kuru city. After king Yudhishthira the just had performed the water-rites, many high-souled sages crowned with ascetic success and many foremost of regenerate Rishis came there to see the monarch. Among them were the Island-born (Vyasa), and Narada, and the great Rishi Devala, and Devasthana, and Kanwa. They were all accompanied by best of their pupils. Many other members of the regenerate order, possessed of wisdom and accomplished in the Vedas, leading lives of domesticity or belonging to the Snataka class, came to behold the Kuru king. Those high-souled ones, as they came, were duly worshipped by Yudhishthira. The great Rishis then took their seats on costly carpets. Accepting the worship suited to that period (of mourning and impurity) that was offered them, they sat in due order around the king. Thousands of Brahmanas offered consolation and comfort to that king of kings residing on the sacred banks of the Bhagirathi with heart exceedingly agitated by grief. Then Narada, after having accosted the Rishis with the Island-born for their first, in due time, addressed Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, saying, ‘Through the might of thy arms and the grace of Madhava, the whole Earth, O Yudhishthira, hath been righteously won by thee. By good luck, thou hast escaped with life from this dreadful battle. Observant as thou art o f the duties of a Kshatriya, dost thou not rejoice, O son of Pandu? Having slain all thy foes, shalt thou not gratify thy friends, O king? Having obtained this prosperity, I hope, grief doth not afflict thee still.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Indeed the whole Earth hath been subjugated by me through my reliance on the might of Krishna’s arms, through the grace of the Brahmanas, and through the strength of Bhima and Arjuna. This heavy grief, however, is always sitting in my heart, viz., that through covetousness

I have caused this dreadful carnage of kinsmen. Having caused the death of the dear son of Subhadra, and of the sons of Draupadi, this victory, O holy one, appears to me in the light of a defeat. What wilt Subhadra of Vrishni’s race, that sister-in-law of mine, say unto me? What also will the people residing in Dwaraka say unto the slayer of Madhu when he goes thither from this place? This Draupadi, again, who is ever engaged in doing what is agreeable to us, bereaved of sons and kinsmen, is paining me exceedingly. This is another topic, O holy Narada, about which I will speak to thee. In consequence of Kunti having kept her counsels close in respect of a very important matter, great has been my grief. That hero who had the strength of ten thousand elephants, who in this world was an unrivalled car-warrior, who was possessed of leonine pride and gait, who was endued with great intelligence and compassion, whose liberality was very great, who practised many high vows, who was the refuge of the Dhartarashtras, who was sensitive about his honour, whose prowess was irresistible, who was ready to pay off all injuries and was always wrathful (in battle), who overthrew us in repeated encounters, who was quick in the use of weapons, conversant with every mode of warfare, possessed of great skill, and endued with wonderful valour (that Karna) was a son of Kunti, born secretly of her, and therefore, a uterine brother of ours. Whilst we were offering oblations of water unto the dead, Kunti spoke of him as the son of Surya. Possessed of every virtue, that child had been cast into the water. Having placed him in a basket made of light materials, Kunti committed him to the current of Ganga. He who was regarded by the world as a Suta’s child born of Radha, was really the eldest son of Kunti and, therefore, our uterine brother. Covetous of kingdom, alas, I have unwittingly caused that brother of mine to be slain. It is this that is burning my limbs like a fire burning a heap of cotton. The white-steeded Arjuna knew him not for a brother. Neither I, nor Bhima, nor the twins, knew him for such. He, however, of excellent bow, knew us (for his brothers). We have heard that on one occasion Pritha went to him for seeking our good and addressed him, saying, ‘Thou art my son!’ That illustrious hero, however, refused to obey Pritha’s wishes. Subsequently, we are informed, he said unto his mother these words, ‘I am unable to desert Duryodhana in battle! If I do so, it would be a dishonourable, cruel, and ungrateful act. If, yielding to thy wishes, I make peace with Yudhishthira, people will say that I am afraid of the white-steeded Arjuna. Having vanquished Arjuna with Kesava, therefore, in battle, I will subsequently make peace with Dharma’s son.’ Even these were his words as we have heard. Thus answered, Pritha once more addressed her son of broad chest and said, ‘Fight Phalguna then, but spare my four other sons.’ The intelligent Karna, with joined hands, then replied unto his trembling mother, saying, ‘If I get thy four other sons even under my power, I will not slay them. Without doubt, O goddess, thou shalt continue to have five sons. If Karna be slain with Arjuna, thou shalt have five! If, on the other hand, Arjuna be slain, thou shalt have five, numbering me.’ Desirous of the good of her children, his mother once more said unto him, ‘Go, O Karna, do good unto those brothers of thine whose good thou always seekest.’ Having said these words, Pritha took his leave and came back to her abode. That hero has been slain by Arjuna,–the uterine brother by the brother! Neither Pritha, nor he, had ever disclosed the secret, O lord! That hero and great bowman was therefore slain by Arjuna in battle. Subsequently I have come to know, O best of regenerate ones, that he was my uterine brother. Indeed, at Pritha’s words I have come to know that Karna was the eldest born! Having caused my brother to be slain, my heart is burning exceedingly. If I had both Karna and Arjuna for aiding me, I could have vanquished Vasudeva himself. Whilst I was tortured in the midst of the assembly by the wicked-souled sons of Dhritarashtra, my wrath, suddenly provoked, became cooled at sight of Karna. Even while listening to the harsh and bitter words of Karna himself on that occasion of our match at dice, to the words, that Karna uttered from desire of doing what was agreeable to Duryodhana, my wrath became cooled at sight of Karna’s feet. It seemed to me that Karna’s feet resembled the feet of our mother Kunti. Desirous of finding out the reason of that resemblance between him and our mother, I reflected for a long time. With even my best exertions I failed to find the cause. Why, indeed, did the earth swallow up the wheels of his car at the time of battle? Why was my brother cursed? It behoveth thee to recite all this to me. I desire to hear everything from thee, O holy one! Thou art acquainted with everything in this world and thou knowest both the past and the future!’

Section II

“Vaisampayana said, ‘That foremost of speakers, the sage Narada, thus questioned, narrated everything about the manner in which he who was believed to be a Suta’s son had been cursed (in former days).’

“Narada said, ‘It is even so, O mighty armed one, as thou sayest, O Bharata! Nothing could resist Karna and Arjuna in battle. This, O sinless one, that I am about to tell thee is unknown to the very gods. Listen to me, O mighty-armed one, as it befell in former days. How all the Kshatriyas, cleansed by weapons should attain to regions of bliss, was the question. For this, a child was conceived by Kunti in her maidenhood, capable of provoking a general war. Endued with great energy, that child came to have the status of a Suta. He subsequently acquired the science of weapons from the preceptor (Drona), that foremost descendant of Angirasa’s race. Thinking of the might of Bhimasena, the quickness of Arjuna in the use of weapons, the intelligence of thyself, O king, the humility of the twins, the friendship, from earliest years, between Vasudeva and the wielder of Gandiva, and the affection of the people for you all, that young man burnt with envy. In early age he made friends with king Duryodhana, led by an accident and his own nature and the hate he bore towards you all. Beholding that Dhananjaya was superior to every one in the science of weapons, Karna. one day approached Drona in private and said these words unto him, ‘I desire to be acquainted with the Brahma weapon, with all its mantras and the power of withdrawing it, for I desire to fight Arjuna. Without doubt, the affection thou bearest to every one of thy pupils is equal to what thou bearest to thy own son. I pray that all the masters of the science of weapons may, through thy grace, regard me as one accomplished in weapons!’ Thus addressed by him, Drona, from partiality for Phalguna, as also from his knowledge of the wickedness of Karna, said, ‘None but a Brahmana, who has duly observed all vows, should be acquainted with the Brahma weapon, or a Kshatriya that has practised austere penances, and no other.’ When Drona had answered thus, Karna, having worshipped him, obtained his leave, and proceeded without delay to Rama then residing on the Mahendra mountains. Approaching Rama, he bent his head unto him and said, ‘I am a Brahmana of Bhrigu’s race.’ This procured honour for him. With this knowledge about his birth and family, Rama received him kindly and said, ‘Thou art welcome!’ at which Karna became highly glad. While residing on the Mahendra mountains that resembled heaven itself, Karna met and mixed with many Gandharvas, Yakshas, and gods. Residing there he acquired all the weapons duly, and became a great favourite of the gods, the Gandharvas, and the Rakshasas. One day he roved on the sea-coast by the side of that asylum. Indeed, Surya’s son, armed with bow and sword, wandered alone, While thus employed, O Partha, he inadvertently slew, without witting it, the Homa cow of a certain utterer of Brahma who daily performed his Agnihotra rite. Knowing that he had perpetrated that act from inadvertence, he informed the Brahmana of it. Indeed Karna, for the object of gratifying the owner, repeatedly said, ‘O holy one, I have killed this thy cow without wilting it. Forgive me the act!’ Filled with wrath, the Brahmana, rebuking him, said these words, ‘O thou of wicked conduct, thou deservest to be killed. Let the fruit of this act be thine, O thou of wicked soul. While fighting him, O wretch whom thou always challengest, and for whose sake thou strivest so much every day, the earth shall swallow the wheel of thy car! And while the wheel of thy car shall thus be swallowed up by the earth, thy foe, putting forth his prowess, will cut off thy head, thyself being stupefied the while! Leave me, O vile man! As thou hast heedlessly slain this my cow, even so wilt thy foe cut off thy head while thou shalt be heedless!’ Though cursed, Karna still sought to gratify that foremost of Brahmanas by offering him kine and wealth and gems. The latter, however, once more answered him, ‘All the words will not succeed in falsifying the words spoken by me! Go hence or remain, do whatever thou likest.’ Thus addressed by the Brahmana, Karna, hanging down his head from cheerlessness, returned timidly to Rama, reflecting on that matter.’

Section III

“Narada said, ‘That tiger of Bhrigu’s race (viz., Rama), was well-pleased with the might of Karna’s arms, his affection (for him), his self-restraint, and the services he did unto his preceptor. Observant of ascetic penances, Rama cheerfully communicated, with due forms, unto his penance-observing disciple, everything about the Brahma weapon with the mantras for withdrawing it. Having acquired a knowledge of that weapon, Karna began to pass his days happily in Bhrigu’s retreat, and endued with wonderful prowess, he devoted himself with great ardour to the science of weapons. One day Rama of great intelligence, while roving with Karna in the vicinity or his retreat, felt very weak in consequence of the fasts he had undergone. From affection begotten by confidence, the tired son of Jamadagni placing his head on Karna’s lap, slept soundly, White his preceptor was thus sleeping (with head) on his lap, a frightful worm, whose bite was very painful and which subsisted on phlegm and fat and flesh and blood, approached the presence of Karna. That blood-sucking worm, approaching Karna’s thigh, began to pierce it. Through fear of (awaking) his preceptor, Karna became unable to either throw away or kill that worm. Though his limb was bored through by that worm, O Bharata, the son of Surya, lest his preceptor should awake, suffered it to do its pleasure. Though the pain was intolerable, Karna bore it with heroic patience, and continued to hold Bhrigu’s son on his lap, without quivering in the least and without manifesting any sign of pain. When at last Karna’s blood touched the body of Rama of great energy, the latter awoke and said these words in fear, ‘Alas, I have been made impure! What is this that thou art doing, Tell me, casting off all fear, what is the truth of this matter!’ Then Karna informed him of that worm’s bite. Rama saw that worm which resembled a hog in shape. It had eight feet and very keen teeth, and it was covered with bristles that were all pointed like needles. Called by the name of Alarka, its limbs were then shrunk (with fear). As soon as Rama cast his, eyes on it, the worm gave up its life-breath, melting in that blood which it had drawn. All this seemed wonderful. Then in the welkin was seen a Rakshasa of terrible form, dark in hue, of a red neck, capable of assuming any form at wilt, and staying on the clouds,–his object fulfilled, the Rakshasa, with joined hands, addressed Rama, saying, ‘O best of ascetics, thou hast rescued me from this hell! Blessed be thou, I adore thee, thou hast done me good!’ Possessed of great energy, the mighty-armed son of Jamadagni said unto him, ‘Who art thou? And why also didst thou fall into hell? Tell me all about it.’ He answered, ‘Formerly I was a great Asura of the name of Dansa. In the Krita period, O sire, I was of the same age with Bhrigu. I ravished the dearly-loved spouse of that sage. Through his curse I felt down on the earth in the form of a worm. In anger thy ancestors said unto me, ‘Subsisting on urine and phlegm, O wretch, thou shalt lead a life of hell.’ I then besought him, saying, ‘When, O Brahmana, shall this curse end?’ Bhrigu replied unto me, saying. ‘This curse shall end through Rama of my race. It was for this that I had obtained such a course of life like one of uncleansed soul. O righteous one, by thee, however, I have been rescued from that sinful life.’ Having said these words, the great Asura, bending his head unto Rama went away. Then Rama wrathfully addressed Karna, saying, ‘O fool, no Brahmana could endure such agony. Thy patience is like that of a Kshatriya. Tell me the truth, without fear.’ Thus asked, Karna, fearing to be cursed, and seeking to gratify him, said these words, ‘O thou of Bhrigu’s race, know me for a Suta, a race that has sprung from the intermixture of Brahmanas with Kshatriyas. People call me Karna the son of Radha. O thou of Bhrigu’s race, be gratified with my poor self that has acted from the desire of obtaining weapons. There is no doubt in this that a reverend preceptor in the Vedas and other branches of knowledge is one’s father. It was for this that I introduced myself to thee as a person of thy own race.’ Unto the cheerless and trembling Karna, prostrated with joined hands upon earth, that foremost one of Bhrigu’s race, smiling though filled with wrath, answered, ‘Since thou hast, from avarice of weapons, behaved here with falsehood, therefore, O wretch, this Brahma weapon shalt not dwell in thy remembrance . Since thou art not a Brahmana, truly this Brahma weapon shall not, up to the time of thy death, dwell in thee when thou shalt be engaged with a warrior equal to thyself! Go hence, this is no place for a person of such false behaviour as thou! On earth, no Kshatriya will be thy equal in battle.’ Thus addressed by Rama, Karna came away, having duty taken his leave. Arriving then before Duryodhana, he informed him, saying, ‘I have mastered all weapons!’”

Section IV

“Narada said, ‘Having thus obtained weapons from him of Bhrigu’s race, Karna began to pass his days in great joy, in the company of Duryodhana, O bull of Bharata’s race! Once on a time, O monarch, many kings repaired to a self-choice at the capital of Chitrangada, the ruler of the country of the Kalingas. The city, O Bharata, full of opulence, was known by the name of Rajapura. Hundreds of rulers repaired thither for obtaining the hand of the maiden. Hearing that diverse kings had assembled there, Duryodhana. also, on his golden car, proceeded thither, accompanied by Karna. When the festivities commenced in that self-choice, diverse rulers, O best of kings, came thither for the hand of the maiden. There were amongst them Sisupala and Jarasandha and Bhishmaka and Vakra, and Kapotaroman and Nila and Rukmi of steady prowess, and Sringa who was ruler of the kingdom females, and Asoka and Satadhanwan and the heroic ruler of the Bhojas. Besides these, many others who dwelt in the countries of the South, and many preceptors (in arms) of the mlechcha tribes, and many rulers from the East and the North, O Bharata, came there. All of them were adorned with golden Angadas, and possessed of the splendour of pure gold. Of effulgent bodies, they were like tigers of fierce might. After all those kings had taken their seats, O Bharata, the maiden entered the arena, accompanied by her nurse and a guard of eunuchs. Whilst being informed of the names of the kings (as she made her round), that maiden of the fairest complexion passed by the son of Dhritarashtra (as she had passed others before him). Duryodhana, however, of Kuru’s race, could not tolerate that rejection of himself. Disregarding all the kings, he commanded the maiden to stop. Intoxicated with the pride of energy, and relying upon Bhishma and Drona, king Duryodhana, taking up that maiden on his car, abducted her with force. Armed with sword, clad in mail, and his fingers cased in leathern fences, Karna, that foremost of all wielders of weapons riding on his car, proceeded along Duryodhana’s rear. A great uproar then took place among the kings, all of whom were actuated by the desire for fight, ‘Put on your coats of mail! Let the cars be made ready!’ (These were the sounds that were heard). Filled with wrath, they pursued Karna and Duryodhana, showering their arrows upon them like masses of clouds pouring rain upon a couple of hills. As they thus pursued them, Karna felled their bows and arrows on the ground, each with a single arrow. Amongst them some became bowless, some rushed bow in hand, some were on the point of shooting their shafts, and some pursued them, armed with darts and maces. Possessed of great lightness of hands, Karna, that foremost of all smiters, afflicted them all. He deprived many kings of their drivers and thus vanquished all those lords of earth. They then themselves took up the reins of their steeds, and saying, ‘Go away, go away’, turned away from the battle with cheerless hearts. Protected by Karna, Duryodhana also came away, with a joyous heart, bringing with him the maiden to the city called after the elephant.’”

Section V

“Narada said, ‘Hearing of the fame of Karna’s might, the ruler of the Magadhas, king Jarasandha, challenged him to a single combat. Both conversant with the celestial weapons, a fierce battle took place between them in which they struck each other with diverse kinds of arms. At last when their arrows were exhausted and bows and swords were broken and they both became carless, they began, possessed of might as they were, to fight with bare arms. While engaged with him in mortal combat with bare arms, Karna was about to sever the two portions of his antagonist’s body that had been united together by Jara. The king (of Magadha), then after feeling himself very much pained, cast off all desire of hostility and addressed Karna, saying, ‘I am gratified.’ From friendship he then gave unto Karna the town Malini. Before this, that tiger among men and subjugator of all foes (viz., Karna) had been king of the Angas only, but from that time the grinder of hostile forces began to rule over Champa also, agreeably to the wishes of Duryodhana, as thou knowest. Thus Karna became famous on earth for the valour of his arms. When, for thy good, the Lord of the celestials begged of him his (natural) coat of mail and ear-rings, stupefied by celestial illusion, he gave away those precious possessions. Deprived of his car-rings and divested of his natural armour, he was slain by Arjuna in Vasudeva’s presence. In consequence of a Brahmana’s curse, as also of the curse of the illustrious Rama, of the boon granted to Kunti and the illusion practised on him by Indra, of his depreciation by Bhishma as only half a car-warrior, at the tale of Rathas and Atirathas, of the destruction of his energy caused by Salya (with his keen speeches), of Vasudeva’s policy, and, lastly of the celestial weapons obtained by Arjuna from Rudra and Indra and Yama and Varuna and Kuvera and Drona and the illustrious Kripa, the wielder of Gandiva succeeded in slaying Vikartana’s son Karna of effulgence like that of Surya himself. Even thus had thy brother been cursed and beguiled by many. As, however, he has fallen in battle, thou shouldst not grieve for that tiger among men!’”

Section VI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having said these words, the celestial Rishi Narada became silent. The royal sage Yudhishthira, filled with grief, became plunged in meditation. Beholding that hero cheerless and unmanned by sorrow, sighing like a snake and shedding copious tears, Kunti, herself filled with grief and almost deprived of her senses by sorrow, addressed him in these sweet words of grave import and well-suited to the occasion, ‘O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, it behoveth thee not to give way to sorrow thus. O thou of great wisdom, kill this grief of thine, and listen to what I say. I tried in past times to apprise Karna of his brothership with thee. The god Surya also, O foremost of all righteous persons, did the same. All that a well-wishing friend, from desire of good, should say unto one, was said unto Karna by that god in a dream and once more in my presence. Neither by affliction nor by reasons could Surya or myself succeed in pacifying him or inducing him to unite himself with thee. Succumbing to the influence of Time, he became resolved upon wreaking his enmity on thee. As he was bent upon doing injuries upon you all, I myself gave up the attempt.’ Thus addressed by his mother, king Yudhishthira, with tearful eyes and heart agitated by grief, said these words, ‘In consequence of thyself having concealed thy counsels, this great affliction has overtaken me!’ Possessed of great energy, the righteous king, then, in sorrow, cursed all the women of the world, saying, ‘Henceforth no woman shall succeed in keeping a secret.’ The king, then, recollecting his sons and grandsons and kinsmen and friends, became filled with anxiety and grief. Afflicted with sorrow, the intelligent king, resembling a fire covered with smoke, became overwhelmed with despair.”

Section VII

Vaisampayana said, “The righteous-souled Yudhishthira, with an agitated heart and burning with sorrow, began to grieve for that mighty car-warrior Karna. Sighing repeatedly, he addressed Arjuna, saying, ‘If, O Arjuna, we had led a life of mendicancy in the cities of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas, then this miserable end would not have been ours in consequence of having exterminated our kinsmen. Our foes, the Kurus, have gained in prosperity, while we have become divested of all the objects of life, for what fruits of righteousness can be ours when we have been guilty of self-slaughter? Fie on the usages of Kshatriyas, fie on might and valour, and fie on wrath, since through these such a calamity hath overtaken us. Blessed are forgiveness, and self-restraint, and purity, with renunciation and humility, and abstention from injury, and truthfulness of speech on all occasions, which are all practised by forest-recluses. Full of pride and arrogance, ourselves, however, through covetousness and folly and from desire of enjoying the sweets of sovereignty, have fallen into this plight. Beholding those kinsmen of ours that were bent on acquiring the sovereignty of the world slain on the field of battle, such grief hath been ours that one cannot gladden us by giving the sovereignty of even the three worlds. Alas, having slain, for the sake of the earth, such lords of earth as deserved not to be slain by us, we are bearing the weight of existence, deprived of friends and reft of the very objects of life. Like a pack of dogs fighting one another for a piece of meat, a great disaster has overtaken us! That piece of meat is no longer dear to us. On the other hand, it shall be thrown aside. They that have been slain should not have been slain for the sake of even the whole earth or mountains of gold, or all the horses and kine in this world. Filled with envy and a hankering for all earthly objects, and influenced by wrath and pleasure, all of them, betaking themselves to the highway of Death, have repaired to the regions of Yama. Practising asceticism and Brahmacharya and truth and renunciation, sires wish for sons endued with every kind of prosperity. Similarly, by fasts and sacrifices and vows and sacred rites and auspicious ceremonies mothers conceive. They then hold the foetus for ten months. Passing their time in misery and in expectation of fruit, they

always ask themselves in anxiety, ‘Shall these come out of the womb safely? Shall these live after birth? Shall they grow in might and be objects of regard on earth? Shall they be able to give us happiness in this and the other world?’ Alas, since their sons, youthful in years and resplendent with ear-rings, have been slain, therefore, those expectations of theirs rendered fruitless, have been abandoned by them. Without having enjoyed the pleasure of this world, and without having paid off the debts they owed to their sires and the gods, they have repaired to Yama’s abode. Alas, O mother, those kings have been slain just at that time when their parents expected to reap the fruits of their might and wealth. They were always fitted with envy and a hankering after earthly objects, and were exceedingly subject to anger and joy. For this, they could not be expected to enjoy at any time or any place the fruits of victory. I think that they among the Panchalas and the Kurus that have fallen (in this battle) have been lost, otherwise he that has slain would, by that act of his, obtain all regions of bliss. We are regarded as the cause of the destruction that has overtaken the world. The fault, however, is really ascribable to the sons of Dhritarashtra. Duryodhana’s heart was always set upon guile. Always cherishing malice, he was addicted to deception. Although we never offended him, yet he always behaved falsely towards us. We have not gained our object, nor have they gained theirs. We have not vanquished them, nor have they vanquished us. The Dhartarashtras could not enjoy this earth, nor could they enjoy women and music. They did not listen to the counsels of ministers and friends and men learned in the scriptures. They could not, indeed, enjoy their costly gems and well-filled treasury and vast territories. Burning with the hate they bore us, they could not obtain happiness and peace. Beholding our aggrandisement, Duryodhana became colourless, pale and emaciated. Suvala’s son informed king Dhritarashtra of this. As a father full of affection for his son, Dhritarashtra tolerated the evil policy his son pursued. Without doubt, by disregarding Vidura and the high-souled son of Ganga, and in consequence of his neglect in restraining his wicked and covetous son, entirely governed by his passions, the king has met with destruction like my poor self. Without doubt, Suyodhana, having caused his uterine brothers to be slain and having east this couple into burning grief, hath fallen off from his blazing fame. Burning with the hate he bore to us Duryodhana was always of a sinful heart. What other kinsman of high birth could use such language towards kinsmen as he, from desire of battle, actually used in the presence of Krishna? We also have, through Duryodhana’s fault, been lost for eternity, like suns burning everything around them with their own energy. That wicked-souled wight,

that embodiment of hostility, was our evil star. Alas, for Duryodhana’s acts alone, this race of ours has been exterminated. Having slain those whom we should never have slain, we have incurred the censures of the world. King Dhritarashtra, having installed that wicked-souled prince of sinful deeds, that exterminator of his race, in the sovereignty, is obliged to grieve today. Our heroic foes have been slain. We have committed sin. His possessions and kingdom are gone. Having slain them, our wrath has been pacified. But grief is stupefying me. O Dhananjaya, a perpetrated sin is expiated by auspicious acts, by publishing it wildly, by repentance, by alms-giving, by penances, by trips to tirthas after renunciation of everything, by constant meditation on the scriptures. Of all these, he that has practised renunciation is believed to be incapable of committing sins anew. The Srutis declare that he that practises renunciation escapes from birth and death, and obtaining the right rood, that person of fixed soul attains to Brahma. I shall, therefore, O Dhananjaya, go to the woods, with your leave, O scorcher of foes, disregarding all the pairs of opposites, adopting the vow of taciturnity, and walking in the way pointed out by knowledge. O slayer of foes, the Srutis declare it and I myself have seen it with my eyes, that one who is wedded to this earth can never obtain every kind Of religious merit. Desirous of obtaining the things of this earth, I have committed sin, through which, as the Srutis declare, birth and death are brought about. Abandoning the whole of my kingdom, therefore, and the things of this earth, I shall go to the woods, escaping from the ties of the world, freed from grief, and without affection for anything. Do thou govern this earth, on which peace has been restored, and which has been divested of all its thorns. O best of Kuru’s race, I have no need for kingdom or for pleasure.’ Having said these words, king Yudhishthira the just stopped. His younger brother Arjuna then addressed him in the following words.

Section VIII

Vaisampayana said, “Like a person unwilling to forgive an insult, Arjuna of keen speech and prowess, and possessed of energy, betraying great fierceness and licking the Corners of his mouth, said these words of grave import, smiling the while: ‘Oh, how painful, how distressing! I grieve to see this great agitation of thy heart, since having achieved such a superhuman feat, thou art bent upon forsaking this great prosperity. Having slain thy foes, and having acquired the sovereignty of the earth which has been won through observance of the duties of thy own order, why shouldst thou abandon everything through fickleness of heart? Where on earth hath a eunuch or a person of procrastination ever acquired sovereignty? Why then didst thou, insensate with rage, slay all the kings of the earth? He that would live by mendicancy, cannot, by any act of his, enjoy the good things of the earth. Divested of prosperity and without resources, he can never win fame on earth or acquire sons and animals. If, O king, abandoning this swelling kingdom, thou livest in the observance of the wretched mode of life led by a mendicant, what will the world say of thee? Why dost thou say that abandoning all the good things of the earth, divested of prosperity, and reft of resources, thou wilt lead a life of mendicancy like a vulgar person? Thou art born in this race of kings. Having won by conquest the whole earth, wishest thou from folly to live in the woods after abandoning everything of virtue and profit? If thou retirest into the woods, in thy absence, dishonest men will destroy sacrifices. That sin will certainly pollute thee. King Nahusha, having done many wicked acts in a state of poverty, cried fie on that state and said that poverty is for recluses. Making no provision for the morrow is a practice that suits Rishis. Thou knowest this well. That, however, which has been called the religion of royalty depends entirely on wealth. One who robs another of wealth, robs him of his religion as well. Who amongst us, therefore, O king, would forgive an act of spoliation that is practised on us? It is seen that a poor man, even when he stands near, is accused falsely. Poverty is a state of sinfulness. It behoveth thee not to applaud poverty, therefore. The man that is fallen, O king, grieveth, as also he that is poor. I do not see the difference between a fallen man and a poor man. All kinds of meritorious acts flow from the possession of great wealth like a mountain. From wealth spring all religious acts, all pleasures, and heaven itself, O king! Without wealth, a man cannot find the very means of sustaining his life. The acts of a person who, possessed of little intelligence, suffers himself to be divested of wealth, are all dried up like shallow streams in the summer season. He that has wealth has friends. He that has wealth has kinsmen. He that has wealth is regarded as a true man in the world. He that has wealth is regarded as a learned man. If a person who hath no wealth desires to achieve a particular purpose, he meets with failure. Wealth brings about accessions of wealth, like elephants capturing (wild) elephants. Religious acts, pleasures, joy, courage, wrath, learning, and sense of dignity, all these proceed from wealth, O king! From wealth one acquires family honour. From wealth, one’s religious merit increases. He that is without wealth hath neither this world, nor the next, O best of men! The man that hath no wealth succeeds not in performing religious acts, for these latter spring from wealth, like rivers from a mountain. He that is lean in respect of (his possession of) steeds and kine and servants and guests, is truly lean and not he whose limbs alone are so. Judge truly, O king, and look at the conduct of the gods and the Danavas. O king, do the gods ever wish for anything else than the slaughter of their kinsmen (the Asuras)? If the appropriation of wealth belonging to others be not regarded as righteous, how, O monarch, will kings practise virtue on this earth? Learned men have, in the Vedas, laid down this conclusion. The

learned have laid it down that kings should live, reciting every day the three Vedas, seeking to acquire wealth, and carefully performing sacrifices with the wealth thus acquired. The gods, through internecine quarrels, have obtained footing in heaven. When, the very gods have won their prosperity through internecine quarrels, what fault can there be in such quarrels? The gods, thou seest, act in this way. The eternal precepts of the Vedas also sanction it. To learn, teach, sacrifice, and assist at other’s sacrifices,–these are our principal duties. The wealth that kings take from others becomes the means of their prosperity. We never see wealth that has been earned without doing some injury to others. It is even thus that kings conquer this world. Having conquered, they call that wealth theirs, just as sons speak of the wealth of their sires as their own. The royal sages that have gone to heaven have declared this to be the duty of kings. Like water flowing on every direction from a swollen ocean, that wealth runs on every direction from the treasuries of kings. This earth formerly belonged to king Dilipa, Nahusha, Amvarisha, and Mandhatri. She now belongs to thee! A great sacrifice, therefore, with profuse presents of every kind and requiring a vast heap of the earth’s produce, awaits thee. If thou dost not perform that sacrifice, O king, then the sins of this kingdom shall all be thine. Those subjects whose king performs a horse-sacrifice with profuse presents, become all cleansed and sanctified by beholding the ablutions at the end of the sacrifice. Mahadeva himself, of universal form, in a great sacrifice requiring libations of all kinds of flesh, poured all creatures as sacrificial libations and then his own self. Eternal is this auspicious path. Its fruits are never destroyed. This is the great path called Dasaratha. Abandoning it, O king, to what other path wouldst thou betake thyself?’

Section IX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘For a little while, O Arjuna, concentrate thy attention and fix thy mind and hearing on thy inner soul. If thou listenest to my words in such a frame of mind, they will meet with thy approbation. Abandoning all worldly pleasures, I shall betake myself to that path which is trod by the righteous. I shall not, for thy sake, tread along the path thou recommendest. If thou askest me what path is auspicious that one should tread alone, I shall tell thee. If thou dost not desire to ask me, I shall yet, unasked by thee, tell thee of it. Abandoning the pleasures and observance of men of the world, engaged in performing the austerest of penances, I shall wander in the forest, with the animals that have their home there, living on fruit and roots. Pouring libations on the: fire at due hours, and performing ablutions at morn and eve, I shall thin myself by reduced diet, and covering myself with skins, bear matted locks on my head. Enduring cold, wind, and heat as also hunger and thirst and toil, I shall emaciate my body by penances as laid down in the ordinance. Charming to the heart and the ear, I shall daily listen to the clear strains of, cheerful birds and animals residing in the woods. I shall enjoy the fragrance of flower-burthened trees and creepers, and see diverse kinds of charming products that grow in the forest. I shall also see many excellent recluses of the forest. I shall not do the slightest injury to any creature, what need be said then of those that dwell in villages and towns? Leading a retired life and devoting myself to contemplation, I shall live upon ripe and unripe fruits and gratify the Pitris and the deities with offerings of wild fruits and spring water and grateful hymns. Observing in this way the austere regulations of a forest life, I shall pass my days, calmly awaiting the dissolution of my body. Or, living alone and observing the vow of taciturnity, with my head shaved clean, I shall derive my sustenance by begging each day of only one tree. Smearing my body with ashes, and availing of the shelter of abandoned houses, or lying at the foot of trees, I shall live, casting off all things dear or hateful. Without indulging in grief or joy, and regarding censure and applause, hope and affliction, equally, and prevailing over every couple of opposites, I shall live casting off all the things of the world. Without conversing with anybody, I shall assume the outward form of a blind and deaf idiot, while living in contentment and deriving happiness from my own soul. Without doing the least injury to the four kinds of movable and immovable creatures, I shall behave equally towards all creatures whether mindful of their duties or following only the dictates of the senses. I shall not jeer at any one, nor shall I frown at anybody. Restraining all my senses, I shall always be of a cheerful face. Without asking anybody about the way, proceeding along any route that I may happen to meet with, I shall go on, without taking note of the country or the point of the compass to which or towards which I may go. Regardless of whither I may proceed, I shall not look behind. Divesting myself of desire and wrath, and turning my gaze inwards, I shall go on, casting off pride of soul and body. Nature always walks ahead; hence, food and drink will somehow be accomplished. I shall not think of those pairs of opposites that stand in the way of such a life. If pure food in even a small measure be not obtainable in the first house (to which I may go), I shalt get it by going to other houses. If I fail to procure it by even such a round, I shall proceed to seven houses in succession and fill my craving. When the smoke of houses will cease, their hearth-fires having been extinguished, when husking-rods will be kept aside, and all the inmates will have taken their food, when mendicants and guests Will cease to wander, I shall select a moment for my round of mendicancy and solicit alms at two, three, or five houses at the most. I shall wander over the earth, after breaking the bonds of desire. Preserving equability in success and failure, I shall earn great ascetic merit. I shall behave neither like one that is fond of life nor like one that is about to die.

I shall not manifest any liking for life or dislike for death. If one strikes off one arm of mine and another smears the other arm with sandal-paste, I shall not wish evil to the one or good to the other. Discarding all those acts conducive to prosperity that one can do in life, the only acts I shall perform will be to open and shut my eyes and take as much food and drink as will barely keep up life. Without ever being attached to action, and always restraining the functions of the senses, I shall give up all desires and purify the soul of all impurities. Freed from all attachments and tearing off all bonds and ties, I shall live free as the wind. Living in such freedom from affections, everlasting contentment will be mine. Through desire, I have, from ignorance, committed great sins. A certain class of men, doing both auspicious and inauspicious acts here, maintain their wives, children, and kinsmen, all bound to them in relations of cause and effect. When the period of their life runs out, casting off their weakened bodies, they take upon themselves all the effects of their sinful acts, for none but the actor is burdened with the consequences of his acts. Even thus, endued with actions, creatures come into this wheel of life that is continually turning like the wheel of a car, and even thus, coming thither, they meet with their fellow-creatures. He, however, who abandons the worldly course of life, which is really a fleeting illusion although it looks eternal, and which is afflicted by birth, death, decrepitude, disease, and pain, is sure to obtain happiness. When again, the very gods fall down from heaven and great Rishis from their respective positions of eminence who, that is acquainted with truths of causes (and effects) would wish to have even heavenly prosperity? Insignificant kings, having performed diverse acts relating to the diverse means of kingcraft (known by the means of conciliation, gift, &c.) often slay a king through some contrivance. Reflecting on these circumstances, this nectar of wisdom hath come to me. Having attained it, I desire to get a permanent, eternal, and unchangeable place (for myself). Always (conducting myself) with such wisdom and acting in this way, I shall, by betaking myself to that fearless path of life, terminate this physical frame that is subject to birth, death, decrepitude, disease, and pain.’”

Section X

Bhimasena said, “Thy understanding, O king, has become blind to the truth, like that of a foolish and unintelligent reciter of the Veda in consequence of his repeated recitation of those scriptures. If censuring the duties of kings thou wouldst lead a life of idleness, then, O bull of Bharata’s race, this destruction of the Dhartarashtras was perfectly uncalled for. Are forgiveness and compassion and pity and abstention from injury not to be found in anybody walking along the path of Kshatriya duties? If we Knew that this was thy intention, we would then have never taken up arms and slain a single creature. We would then have lived by mendicancy till the destruction of this body. This terrible battle between the rulers of the earth would also have never taken place. The learned have said this all that we see is food for the strong. Indeed, this mobile and immobile world is our object of enjoyment for the person that is strong. Wise men acquainted with Kshatriya duties have declared that they who stand in the way of the person taking the sovereignty of the earth, should be slain. Guilty of that fault, those that stood as enemies of our kingdom have all been slain by us. Having slain them, O Yudhishthira, righteously govern this earth. This our act (in refusing the kingdom) is like that of a person who having dug a well stops in his work before obtaining water and comes up smutted with mire. Or, this our act is like that of a person who having climbed up a tall tree and taken honey there from meets with death before tasting it. Or, it is like that of a person who having set out on a long way comes back in despair without having reached his destination. Or, it is like that of a person who having slain all his foes, O thou of Kuru’s race, at last Falls by his own hand. Or, it is like that of a person afflicted with hunger, who having obtained food, refuses to take it, or of a person under the influence of desire, who having obtained a woman reciprocating his passion, refuses to meet with her. We have become objects of censure, O Bharata, because, O king, we follow thee that art of feeble understanding, in consequence of thyself being our eldest brother. We are possessed of mighty arms; we are accomplished in knowledge and endued with great energy. Yet we are obedient to the words of a eunuch as if we were entirely helpless. We are the refuge of all helpless persons. Yet, when people see us so, why would they not say that in respect of the acquisition of our objects we are entirely powerless? Reflect on this that I say. It has been laid down that (a life of) renunciation should be adopted, only in times of distress, by kings overcome with decrepitude or defeated by foes. Men of wisdom, therefore, do not applaud renunciation as the duty of a Kshatriya. On the other hand, they that are of clear sight think that the adoption of that course of life (by a Kshatriya) involves even the loss of virtue. How can those that have sprung from that order, that are devoted to the practices of that order, and that have refuge in them, censure those duties? Indeed, if those duties be censurable, then why should not the Supreme Ordainer be censured? It is only those persons that are reft of prosperity and wealth and that are infidels in faith, that have promulgated this precept of the Vedas (about the propriety of a Kshatriya’s adoption of

a life of renunciation) as the truth. In reality, however, it is never proper for a Kshatriya to do so. He who is competent to support life by prowess, he who can support himself by his own exertions, does not live, but really falls away from his duty, by the hypocritical externals of a life of renunciation. That man only is capable of leading a solitary life of happiness in the woods who is unable to support sons and grandsons and the deities and Rishis and guests and Pitris. As the deer and boars and birds (though they lead a forest life) cannot attain to heaven, even so those Kshatriyas that are not bereft of prowess yet not given to doing good turns cannot attain to heaven by leading only a forest life. They should acquire religious merit by other ways. If, O king, anybody were to obtain success from renunciation, then mountains and trees would surely obtain it! These latter are always seen to lead lives of renunciation. They do not injure any one. They are, again, always aloof from a life of worldliness and are all Brahmacharins. If it be the truth that a person’s success depends upon his own lot in life and not upon that of other, then (as a person born in the Kshatriya order) thou shouldst betake thyself to action. He that is reft of action can never have success. If they that fill only their own stomachs could attain to success, then all aquatic creatures would obtain it, for these have none else to support save their own selves. Behold, the world moves on, with every creature on it employed in acts proper to its nature. Therefore, one should betake oneself to action. The man reft of action can never obtain success.’”

Section XI

“Arjuna said, ‘In this connection an old history is cited, viz., the discourse between certain ascetics and Sakra, O bull of Bharata’s race! A number of well-born Brahmana youth of little understanding, without the hirsute honours of manhood, abandoning their homes, came to the woods for leading a forest life. Regarding that to be virtue, those youths of abundant resources became desirous of living as Brahmacharins, having abandoned their brothers and sires. It so happened that Indra became compassionate towards them. Assuming the form of a golden bird, the holy Sakra addressed them, saying, ‘That which is done by persons that eat the remnants of a sacrifice is the most difficult of acts that men can achieve. Such an act is highly meritorious. The lives of such men are worthy of every praise. Having attained the object of life, those men, devoted to virtue obtain the highest end.’ Hearing these words, the Rishis said, ‘Lo, this bird applauds those that subsist upon the remnants of

sacrifices. He informs us of it, for we live upon such remnants.’ The bird then said, ‘I do not applaud you.’ Ye are stationed with mire and very impure. Living upon offals, ye are wicked. Ye are not persons subsisting upon the remnants of sacrifice.’

“The Rishis said, ‘We regard this our course of life to be highly blessed. Tell us, O bird, what is for our good. Thy words inspire us with great faith.’

“The bird said, ‘If you do not refuse me your faith by arraying yourselves against your better selves, then I shall tell you words that are true and beneficial.’

“The Rishis said, ‘We shall listen to thy words, O sire, for the different paths are all known to thee. O thou of righteous soul, we desire also to obey thy commands. Instruct us now.’

“The bird said, ‘Among quadrupeds the cow is the foremost. Of metals, gold is the foremost. Of words, mantras, and of bipeds, the Brahmanas, are the foremost. These mantras regulate all the rites of a Brahmana’s life beginning with those appertaining to birth and the period after it, and ending with those appertaining to death and the crematorium. These Vedic rites are his heaven, path, and foremost of sacrifices. If it were otherwise, how could I find the acts (of persons in quest of heaven) become successful through mantras? He who, in this world, adores his soul, firmly regarding it to be a deity of a particular kind, obtains success consistent with the nature of that particular deity. The seasons measured by half the months lead to the Sun, the Moon, or the Stars. These three kinds of success, depending upon action are desired by every creature. The domestic mode of life is very superior and sacred and is called the field (for the cultivation) of success. By what path do those men go that censure action? Of little understanding and deprived of wealth, they incur sin. And since those men of little understanding live by abandoning the eternal paths of the gods, the paths of the Rishis, and the paths of Brahma, therefore, they attain to paths disapproved of by the Srutis. There is an ordinance in the mantras which says, ‘Ye sacrificer, perform the sacrifice represented by gifts of valuable things. I wilt give thee happiness represented by sons, animals, and heaven!’–To live, therefore, in accordance with ordinance is said to be the highest asceticism of the ascetics. Therefore, ye should perform such sacrifices and such penances in the shape of gifts. The due performance of

these eternal duties, viz., the worship of the gods, the study of the Vedas, and the gratification of the Pitris, as also regardful services unto the preceptors–these are called the austerest of penances. The gods, by performing such exceedingly difficult penances, have obtained the highest glory and power. I, therefore, tell you to bear the very heavy burthen of the duties of domesticity. Without doubt, penances are the foremost of all things and are the root of all creatures. Asceticism, however, is to be obtained by leading a life of domesticity, upon which depends everything. They that eat the remnants of feasts, after duly apportioning the food morning and evening among kinsmen, attain to ends that are exceedingly difficult of attainment. They are called eater of the remnants of feasts who eat after having served guests and gods and Rishis and kinsmen. Therefore, those persons that are observant of their own duties, that practise excellent vows and are truthful in speech, become objects of great respect in the world, with their own faith exceedingly strengthened. Free from pride, those achievers of the most difficult feats attain to heaven and live for unending time in the regions of Sakra.’

“Arjuna continued, ‘Those ascetics then, hearing these words that were beneficial and fraught with righteousness, abandoned the religion of renunciation, saying, ‘There is nothing in it,’ and betook themselves to a life of domesticity. Therefore, O thou that are conversant with righteousness, calling to thy aid that eternal wisdom, rule the wide world, O monarch that is now destitute of foes.’

Section XII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing these words of Arjuna, O chastiser of foes, Nakula of mighty arms and a broad chest, temperate in speech and possessed of great wisdom, with face whose colour then resembled that of copper, looked at the king, that foremost of all righteous persons, and spoke these words, besieging his brother’s heart (with reason).’

“Nakula said, ‘The very gods had established their fires in the region called Visakha-yupa. Know, therefore, O king, that the gods themselves depend upon the fruits of action. The Pitris, that support (by rain) the lives of even all disbelievers, observing the ordinances (of the Creator as declared in the Vedas), are, O king, engaged in action. Know them for downright atheists that reject the declaration of the Vedas (which inculcate action). The person that is learned in the Vedas, by following their declarations in all his acts, attains, O Bharata, to the highest region of heaven by the way of the deities.

This (domestic mode of life again) has been said by all persons acquainted with Vedic truths to be superior to all the (other) modes of life. Knowing this, O king, that the person who in sacrifices gives away his righteously acquired wealth unto those Brahmanas that are well conversant with the Vedas, and restrains his soul, is, O monarch, regarded as the true renouncer. He, however, who, disregarding (a life of domesticity, that is) the source of much happiness, jumps to the next mode of life,–that renouncer of his own self, O monarch, is a renouncer labouring under the quality of darkness. That man who is homeless, who roves over the world (in his mendicant rounds), who has the foot of a tree for his shelter, who observes the vow of taciturnity, never cooks for himself, and seeks to restrain all the functions of his senses, is, O Partha, a renouncer in the observance of the vow of mendicancy. That Brahmana who, disregarding wrath and joy, and especially deceitfulness, always employs his time in the study of the Vedas, is a renouncer in the observance of the vow of mendicancy. The four different modes of life were at one time weighed in the balance. The wise have said, O king, that when domesticity was placed on one scale, it required the three others to be placed on the other for balancing it. Beholding the result of this examination by scales, O Partha, and seeing further, O Bharata, that domesticity alone contained both heaven and pleasure, that became the way of the great Rishis and the refuge of all persons conversant with the ways of the world. He, therefore, O bull of Bharata’s race, who betakes himself to this mode of life, thinking it to be his duty and abandoning all desire for fruit, is a real renouncer, and not that man of clouded understanding who goes to the woods, abandoning home and its surroundings. A person, again, who under the hypocritical garb of righteousness, fails to forget his desires (even while living in the woods), is bound by the grim King of death with his deadly fetters round the neck. Those acts that are done from vanity, are said to be unproductive of fruit. Those acts, on the other hand, O monarch I that are done from a spirit of renunciation, always bear abundant fruits. Tranquillity, self-restraint, fortitude, truth, purity, simplicity, sacrifices, perseverance, and righteousness,–these are always regarded as virtues recommended by the Rishis. In domesticity, it is said, are acts intended for Pitris, gods, guests. In this mode of life alone, O monarch, are the threefold aims to be attained. The renouncer that rigidly adheres to this mode of life, in which one is free to do all acts, has not to encounter ruin either here or hereafter. The sinless Lord of all creatures, of righteous soul, created creatures,

with the intention that they would adore him by sacrifices with profuse presents. Creepers and trees and deciduous herbs, and animals that are clean, and clarified butter, were created as ingredients of sacrifice. For one in the observance of domesticity the performance of sacrifice is fraught with impediments. For this, that mode of life has been said to be exceedingly difficult and unattainable. Those persons, therefore, in the observance of the domestic mode of life, who, possessed of wealth and corn and animals, do not perform sacrifices, earn, O monarch, eternal sin. Amongst Rishis, there are some that regard the study of the Vedas to be a sacrifice: and some that regard contemplation to be a great sacrifice which they perform in their minds. The very gods, O monarch, covet the companionship of a regenerate person like this, who in consequence of his treading along such a way which consists in the concentration of the mind, has become equal to Brahma. By refusing to spend in sacrifice the diverse kinds of wealth that thou hast taken from thy foes, thou art only displaying thy want of faith. I have never seen, O monarch, a king in the observance of a life of domesticity renouncing his wealth in any other way except in the Rajasuya, the Astwamedha, and other kinds of sacrifice. Like Sakra, the chief of the celestial, O sire, perform those other sacrifices that are praised by the Brahmanas. That king, through whose heedlessness the subjects are plunged by robbers, and who does not offer protection to those whom he is called upon to govern, is said to be the very embodiment of Kati. If, without giving away steeds, and kine, and female slaves, and elephants adorned with trappings, and villages, and populous regions, and fields, and houses, unto Brahmanas, we retire into the woods with hearts not harbouring friendly feeling towards kinsmen, even we shall be, O monarch, such Kalis of the kingly order. Those members of the kingly order that do not practise charity and give protection (to others), incur sin. Woe is their portion hereafter and not bliss. If, O lord, without performing great sacrifices and the rites in honour of thy deceased ancestors, and it, without bathing in sacred waters, thou betakest thyself to a wandering life, thou shalt then meet with destruction like a small cloud separated from a mass and dashed by the winds. Thou shalt then fall off from both worlds and have to take thy birth in the Pisacha order. A person becomes a true renouncer by casting off every internal and external attachment, and not simply by abandoning home for dwelling in the woods. A Brahmana that lives in the observance of these ordinances in which there are no impediments, does not fall off from this or the other world. Observant of the duties of one’s own order,–duties respected by the ancients and practised by the best of men, who is there, O Partha, that would grieve, O king, for having in a trice stain in battle his foes that swelled with prosperity, like Sakra slaying the forces of the Daityas? Having in the observance of Kshatriya duties subjugated the world by the aid of thy prowess, and having made presents unto persons conversant with the Vedas, thou canst, O monarch, go to regions higher than heaven. It behoves thee not, O Partha, to indulge in grief.”

Section XIII

“Sahadeva said, ‘By casting off all external objects only, O Bharata, one does not attain to success. By casting off even mental attachments, the attainment of success is doubtful. Let that religious merit and that happiness which are his who has cast off external objects but whose mind still internally covets them, be the portion of our foes! On the other hand, let that religious merit and that happiness which are his who governs the earth, having cast off all internal attachments also, be the portion of our friends. The word mama (mine), consisting of two letters, is Death’s self; white the opposite word na-mama (not mine), consisting of three letters, is eternal Brahma. Brahma and death, O king, entering invisibly into every soul, without doubt, cause all creatures to act. If this being, O Bharata, that is called Soul, be not ever subject to destruction, then by destroying the bodies of creatures one cannot be guilty of slaughter. If, on the other hand, the soul and the body of a being are born or destroyed together, so that when the body is destroyed the soul also is destroyed, then the way (prescribed in the scriptures) of rites and acts would be futile. Therefore, driving away all doubts about the immortality of the soul, the man of intelligence should adopt that path which has been trodden by the righteous of old and older times. The life of that king is certainly fruitless who having acquired the entire earth with her mobile and immobile creatures, does not enjoy her. As regards the man again who lives in the forest upon wild fruits and roots, but whose attachment to things of the earth has not ceased, such a one, O king, lives within the jaws of Death. Behold, O Bharata, the hearts and the outward forms of all creatures to be but manifestations of thy own. They that look upon all creatures as their own selves escape from the great fear (of destruction). Thou art my sire, thou art my protector, thou art my brother, and thou art my senior and preceptor. It behoveth thee, therefore, to forgive these incoherent utterances in sorrow of a woe-stricken person. True or false, this that has been uttered by are, O lord of earth, has been uttered from a due regard for thee, O best of Bharatas, that I entertain!”

Section XIV

Vaisampayana said, “When Kunti’s son, king Yudhishthira the just, remained speechless after listening to his brothers who were telling these truths of the Vedas, that foremost of women, viz., Draupadi, of large eyes and great beauty, and noble descent, O monarch, said these words unto that bull among kings seated in the midst of his brothers that resembled so many lions and tigers, and like the leader in the midst of a herd of elephants. Ever expectant of loving regards from all her husbands but especially from Yudhishthira, she was always treated with affection and indulgence by the king. Conversant with duties and observant of them in practice, that lady of large hips, casting her eyes on her lord, desired his attention in shooting and sweet words and said as follows.

“Draupadi said, These thy brothers, O Partha, are crying and drying their palates like chatakas but thou dost not gladden them.. O monarch, gladden these thy brothers, that resemble infuriated elephants (in prowess), with proper words,–these heroes that have always drunk of the cup of misery. Why, O king, while living by the side of the Dwaita lake, didst thou say unto these thy brothers then residing with thee, and suffering from cold and wind and sun, even these words, viz.,–’ rushing to battle from. desire of victory, we will slay Duryodhana and enjoy the earth that is capable of granting every wish. Depriving great car-warriors of their cars and slaying huge elephants, and strewing the field of battle with the bodies of car-warriors and horsemen and heroes, ye chastisers of foes, ye will perform great sacrifices of diverse kinds with presents in profusion. All these sufferings, due to a life of exile in the woods, will then end in happiness.’ O foremost of all practisers of virtue, having thyself said these words unto thy brothers then, why, O hero, dost thou depress our hearts now? A eunuch can never enjoy wealth. A eunuch can never have children even as there can be no fish in a mire (destitute of water). A Kshatriya without the rod of chastisement can never shine. A Kshatriya without the rod of chastisement can never enjoy the earth. The subjects of a king that is without the rod of chastisement can never have happiness. Friendship for all creatures, charity, study of the Vedas, penances,–these constitute the duties of a Brahmana and not of a king, O best of kings! Restraining the wicked, cherishing the honest, and never retreating from battle,–these are the highest duties of kings. He is said to be conversant with duties in whom are forgiveness and wrath, giving and taking, terrors and fearlessness, and chastisement and reward. It was not by study, or gift, or mendicancy, that thou hast acquired the earth. That force of the enemy, O hero, ready to burst upon thee with all its might, abounding with elephants and horse and cars, strong with three kinds of strength protected by Drona

and Karna and Aswatthaman and Kripa, has been defeated and slain by thee, O hero! It is for this that I ask thee to enjoy the earth. Formerly, O puissant one, thou hadst, O monarch, swayed with might, the region called Jambu, O tiger among men, abounding with populous districts. Thou hadst also, O ruler of men, swayed with might that other region called Kraunchadwipa situate on the west of the great Meru and equal unto Jambu-dwipa itself. Thou hadst swayed with might, O king, that other region called Sakadwipa on the east of the great Meru and equal to Krauncha-dwipa itself. The region called Bhadraswa, on the north of the great Meru and equal to Sakadwipa was also swayed by thee, O tiger, among men! Thou hadst even penetrated the ocean and swayed with might other regions, too, O hero, and the very islands begirt by the sea and containing many populous provinces. Having, O Bharata, achieved such immeasurable feats, and having obtained (through them) the adorations of the Brahmanas, how is it that thy soul is not gratified? Seeing these brothers of thine before thee, O Bharata,–these heroes swelling with might and resembling bulls or infuriated elephants (in prowess),–why dost thou not address them in delightful words? All of you are like celestials. All of you are capable of resisting foes. All of you are competent to scorch your enemies. If only one of you had become my husband, my happiness would even then have been very great. What need I say then, O tiger among men, when all of you, numbering five, are my husbands (and look after me) like the five senses inspiring the physical frame? The words of my mother-in-law who is possessed of great knowledge and great foresight, cannot be untrue. Addressing me, she said, ‘O princess of Panchala, Yudhishthira will ever keep you in happiness, O excellent lady! Having slain many thousands of kings possessed of active prowess, I see, O monarch, that through thy folly thou art about to make that feat futile. They whose eldest brother becomes mad, have all to follow him in madness. Through thy madness, O king, all the Pandavas are about to become mad. If, O monarch, these thy brothers were in their senses, they would then have immured thee with all unbelievers (in a prison) and taken upon themselves the government of the earth. That person who from dullness of intellect acts in this way never succeeds in winning prosperity. The man that treads along the path of madness should be subjected to medical treatment by the aid of incense and collyrium, of drugs applied through the nose, and of other medicines. O best of the Bharatas, I am the worst of all my sex, since I desire to live on even though I am bereaved of my children. Thou shouldst not disregard the words spoken by me and by these brothers of thine that are endeavouring thus (to dissuade thee from thy purpose). Indeed, abandoning the whole earth, thou art inviting adversity and danger to come upon thee. Thou shinest now, O monarch, even as those two best of kings, viz., Mandhatri and Amvarisha, regarded by all the lords of earth, did in former days. Protecting thy subjects righteously, govern the goddess Earth with her mountains and forests and islands. Do not, O king, become cheerless. Adore the gods in diverse sacrifices. Fight thy foes. Make gifts of

wealth and clothes and other objects of enjoyment unto the Brahmanas, O best of kings!’

Section XV

Vaisampayana said, “Hearing these words of Yajnasena’s daughter, Arjuna once more spoke, showing proper regard for his mighty-armed eldest brother of unfading glory.

“Arjuna said, ‘The man armed with the rod of chastisement governs all subjects and protects them. The rod of chastisement is awake when all else is sleep. For this, the wise have characterised the rod of chastisement to be Righteousness itself. The rod of chastisement protects Righteousness and Profit. It protects also, O king! For this, the rod of chastisement is identified with the triple objects of life. Corn and wealth are both protected by the rod of chastisement. Knowing this, O thou that art possessed of learning, take up the rod of chastisement and observe the course of the world. One class of sinful men desist from sin through fear of the rod of chastisement in the king’s bands. Another class desist from similar acts through fear of Yama’s rod, and yet another from fear of the next world. Another class of persons desist from sinful acts through fear of society. Thus, O king, in this world, whose course is such, everything is, dependent on the rod of chastisement. There is a class of persons who are restrained by only the rod of chastisement from devouring one another. If the rod of chastisement did not protect people, they would have sunk in the darkness of hell. The rod of chastisement (danda) has been so named by the wise because it restrains the ungovernable and punishes the wicked, The chastisement of Brahmanas should be by word of mouth; of Kshatriyas, by giving them only that much of food as would suffice for the support of life; of Vaisyas, by the imposition of fines and forfeitures of property, while for Sudras there is no punishment. For keeping men awake (to their duties) and for the protection of property, ordinances, O king, have been established in the world, under the name of chastisement (or punitive legislation). Thither where chastisement, of dark complexion and red eyes, stands in an attitude of readiness (to grapple with every offender) and the king is of righteous vision, the subjects never forget themselves. The Brahmacharin and the house-holder, the recluse in the forest and the religious mendicant, all these walk in their respective ways through fear of chastisement alone. He

that is without any fear, O king, never performs a sacrifice. He that is without fear never giveth away. The man that is without any fear never desires to adhere to any engagement or compact. Without piercing the vitals of others, without achieving the most difficult feats and without staying creatures like a fisherman (slaying fish), no person can obtain great prosperity. Without slaughter, no man has been able to achieve fame in this world or acquire wealth or subjects. Indra himself, by the slaughter of Vritra, became the great Indra. Those amongst the gods that are given to slaughtering others are adored much more by men. Rudra, Skanda, Sakra, Agni, Varuna, are all slaughterers. Kala and Mrityu and Vayu and Kuvera and Surya, the Vasus, the Maruts, the Sadhyas, and the Viswadevas, O Bharata, are all slaughterers. Humbled by their prowess, all people bend to those gods, but not to Brahman or Dhatri or Pushan at any time. Only a few men that are noble of disposition adore in all their acts those among the gods that are equally disposed towards all creatures and that are self-restrained and peaceful. I do not behold the creature in this world that supports life without doing any act of injury to others. Animals live upon animals, the stronger upon the weaker. The mongoose devours mice; the cat devours the mongoose; the dog devours the cat; the dog again is devoured by the spotted leopard. Behold all things again are devoured by the Destroyer when he comes! This mobile and immobile universe is food for living creatures. This has, been ordained by the gods. The man of knowledge, therefore, is never stupefied at it. It behoveth thee, O great king, to become that which thou art by birth. Foolish (Kshatriyas) alone, restraining wrath and joy take refuge in the woods. The very ascetics cannot support their lives without killing creatures. In water, on earth, and fruits, there are innumerable creatures. It is not true that one does not slaughter them. What higher duty is there than supporting one’s life? There are many creatures that are so minute that their existence can only be inferred. With the failing of the eyelids alone, they are destroyed. There are men who subduing wrath and pride betake themselves to ascetic courses of life and leaving village and towns repair to the woods. Arrived there, those men may be seen to be so stupefied as to adopt the domestic mode of life once more. Others may be seen, who (in the observance of domesticity) tilling the soil, uprooting herbs, cutting off trees and killing birds and animals, perform sacrifices and at last attain to heaven. O son of Kunti, I have no doubt in this that the acts of all creatures become crowned with success only when the policy of chastisement is properly applied. If chastisement were abolished from the world, creatures wood soon be destroyed. Like fishes in the water, stronger animals prey on the weaker. This truth was formerly spoken by Brahmana himself, viz., that chastisement, properly applied upholds creatures. Behold, the very fires, when extinguished, blaze up again, in fright, when blown. This is due to the fear of force or chastisement. If there were no chastisement in the world distinguishing the good from the bad, then the whole world would have been

enveloped in utter darkness and all things would have been confounded. Even they that are breakers of rules, that are atheists and scoffers of the Vedas, afflicted by chastisement, soon become disposed to observe rules and restrictions. Everyone in this world is kept straight by chastisement. A person naturally pure and righteous is scarce. Yielding to the fear of chastisement, man becomes disposed to observe rules and restraints. Chastisement was ordained by the Creator himself for protecting religion and profit, for the happiness of all the four orders, and for making them righteous and modest. If chastisement could not inspire fear, then ravens and beasts of prey would have eaten up all other animals and men and the clarified butter intended for sacrifice. If chastisement did not uphold and protect, then nobody would have studied the Vedas, nobody would have milked a milch cow, and no maiden would have married. If chastisement did not uphold and protect, then ravage and confusion would have set in on every side, and all barriers would have been swept away, and the idea of property would have disappeared. If chastisement did not uphold and protect, people could never duly perform annual sacrifices with large presents. If chastisement did not uphold and protect, no one, to whatever mode of life he might belong, would observe the duties of that mode as declared (in the scriptures), and no one would have succeeded in acquiring knowledge. Neither camels, nor oxen, nor horses, nor mules, nor asses, would, even if yoked thereto, drag cars and carriages, if chastisement did not uphold and protect. Upon chastisement depend all creatures. The learned, therefore, say that chastisement is the root of everything. Upon chastisement rests the heaven that men desire, and upon it rests this world also. Thither where foe-destroying chastisement is well applied, no sin, no deception, and no wickedness, is to be seen. If the rod of ‘chastisement be not uplifted, the dog will lick the sacrificial butter. The crow also would take away the first (sacrificial) offering, if that rod were not kept uplifted. Righteously or unrighteously, this kingdom hath now become ours. Our duty now is to abandon grief. Do thou, therefore, enjoy it and perform sacrifices. Men that are fortunate, living with their dear wives (and children), eat good food, wear excellent clothes, and cheerfully acquire virtue. All our acts, without doubt, are dependent on wealth; that wealth again is dependent on chastisement. Behold, therefore, the importance of chastisement. Duties have been declared for only the maintenance of the relations of the world. There are two things here, viz., abstention from injury and injury prompted by righteous motives. Of these, two, that is superior by which righteousness may be acquired. There is no act that is wholly meritorious, nor any that is wholly

wicked. Right or wrong, in all acts, something of both is seen. Subjecting animals to castration, their horns again are cut off. They are then made to bear weights, are tethered, and chastised. In this world that is unsubstantial and rotten with abuses and rendered painful, O monarch, do thou practise the ancient customs of men, following the rules and analogies cited above. Perform sacrifices, give alms, protect thy subjects, and practise righteousness. Slay thy foes, O son of Kunti, and protect thy friends. Let no cheerlessness be thine. O king, while slaying foes. He that does it, O Bharata, does not incur the slightest sin. He that takes up a weapon and slays an armed foe advancing against him, does not incur the sin of killing a foetus, for it is the wrath of the advancing foe that provokes the wrath of the slayer. The inner soul of every creature is incapable of being slain. When the soul is incapable of being slain, how then can one be slain by another? As a person enters a new house, even so a creature enters successive bodies. Abandoning forms that are worn out, a creature acquires new forms. People capable of seeing the truth regard this transformation to be death.’”

Section XVI

Vaisampayana said, “After the conclusion of Arjuna’s speech, Bhimasena of great wrath and energy, mustering all his patience, said these words unto his eldest brother, ‘Thou art, O monarch, conversant with all duties. There is nothing unknown to thee. We always wish to imitate thy conduct, but, alas, we cannot do it!–“I will not say anything! I will not say anything–! Even this is what I had wished! Impelled, however, by great grief I am constrained to say something. Listen to these words of mine, O ruler of men! Through the stupefaction of thy faculties, everything is endangered, and ourselves are being made cheerless and weak. How is it that thou that art the ruler of the world, thou that art conversant with all branches of knowledge, sufferest thy understanding to be clouded, in consequence of cheerlessness, like a coward? The righteous and unrighteous paths of the world are known to thee. There is nothing belonging either to the future or the present that is also unknown to thee, O puissant one! When such is the case, O monarch, I will indicate, O ruler of men, the reasons in favour of your assuming sovereignty. Listen to me with undivided attention. There are two kinds of diseases, viz., physical and mental. Each springs from the other. None of them can be seen existing independently. Without doubt, mental diseases spring from physical ones. Similarly physical diseases spring from mental ones. This is the truth. He that indulgeth in regrets on account of past physical or mental woes, reapeth woe from woe and suffereth double woe. Cold, heat, and wind,–these three are the attributes of the body. Their existence in harmony is the sign of health. If one of the three prevails over the rest, remedies have been laid down. Cold is checked by heat, and heat is checked by cold. Goodness, passion, and darkness are the three attributes of the mind. The existence of these three in harmony is the sign of (mental) health. If one of these prevails over the rest, remedies have been prescribed. Grief is checked by joy, and joy is checked by grief. One, living in the present enjoyment of this, wishes to recollect his past woes. Another, living in the present suffering of woe, wishes to recollect his past bliss. Thou, however, wert never sad in grief or glad in bliss. Thou, shouldst not, therefore, use thy memory for becoming sad during times of bliss, or glad during times of woe. It seems that Destiny is all-powerful. Or, if it be thy nature, in consequence of which thou art thus afflicted, how is it that it does not behove thee to recollect the sight thou sawest before, viz., the scantily-clad Krishna dragged, while in her season, before the assembly. Why does it not behove thee to recollect our expulsion from the (Kuru) city and our exile (into the woods) dressed in deerskins, as also our living in the great forests? Why hast thou forgotten the woes inflicted by Jatasura, the battle with Chitrasena, and the distress suffered at the hands of the Sindhu king? Why hast thou forgotten the kick received by the princess Draupadi from Kichaka white we were living in concealment? A fierce battle, O chastiser of foes, like that which thou hast fought with Bhishma and Drona is now before thee, to be fought (however) with thy mind alone. In deed, that battle is now before thee in which there is no need of arrows, of friends, of relatives and kinsmen, but which will have to be fought with thy mind alone. If thou givest up thy life-breath before conquering in this battle, then, assuming another body, thou shalt have to fight these very foes again. Therefore, fight that battle this very day, O bull of Bharata’s race, disregarding the concerns of thy body, and aided by thy own acts, conquer and identify with thy mind’s foe. If thou canst not win that battle, what wilt be thy condition?

On the other hand, by winning it, O monarch, thou shalt have attained the great end of life. Applying thy intellect to this, and ascertaining the right and the wrong paths of creatures, follow thou the course adopted by thy sire before thee and govern properly thy kingdom. By good luck, O king, the sinful Duryodhana hath been stain with all his followers. By good luck, thou too hast attained to the condition of Draupadi’s locks. Perform with due rites and profuse presents the horse-sacrifice. We, are thy servants, O son of Pritha, as also Vasudeva of great energy!’”

Section XVII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Discontent, heedless attachment to earthly goods, the absence of tranquillity, might, folly, vanity, and anxiety,–affected by these sins, O Bhima, thou covetest sovereignty. Freed from desire, prevailing over joy and grief and attaining to tranquillity, strive thou to be happy. That peerless monarch who will govern this unbounded earth, will have but one stomach. Why dost thou then applaud this course of life? One’s desires, O bull of Bharata’s race, are incapable of being filled in a day, or in many months. Desire, which is incapable of gratification, cannot, indeed, be fitted in course of one’s whole life. Fire, when fed with fuel, blazeth forth; when not so fed, it is extinguished. Do thou, therefore, extinguish with little food the fire in thy stomach when it appears. He that is bereft of wisdom seeks much food for his stomach. Conquer thy stomach first. (Thou shalt then be able to conquer the Earth). The earth being conquered, that which is for thy permanent good will then be won by thee. Thou applaudest desires and enjoyments and prosperity. They, however, that have renounced all enjoyments and reduced their bodies by penances, attain to regions of beatitude. The acquisition and preservation of kingdom is attended with both righteousness and unrighteousness. The desire for them exists in thee. Free thyself, however, from thy great burthens, and adopt renunciation. The tiger, for filling one stomach of his, slaughters many animals. Other animals destitute of strength and moved by covetousness live upon the tiger’s prey. If kings, accepting earthly

possessions, practise renunciation, they can never have contentment. Behold the loss of understanding that is noticeable in them. As a matter of fact, however, they who subsist on leaves of trees, or use two stones only or their teeth alone for husking their grain, or live upon water only or air alone, succeed in conquering hell. That king who rules this wide unbounded earth, and that person who regards gold and pebbles equally, amongst these two, the latter is said to have attained the object of his life and not the former. Depending, therefore, upon that which is the eternal refuge of joy both here and hereafter, cease thou to act and hope with respect to thy wishes and cease to bear attachment to them. They that have given up desire and enjoyment have never to grieve. Thou, however, grievest for enjoyments. Discarding desire and enjoyment, thou mayst succeed in liberating thyself from false speech. There are two well-known paths (for us), viz., the path of the Pitris and the path of the gods. They that perform sacrifices go by the Pitri-path, while they that are for salvation, go by the god-path. By penances, by Brahmacharya, by study (of the Vedas), the great Rishis, casting off their bodies, proceeded to regions that are above the power of Death. Worldly enjoyments have been styled as bonds, They have also been called Action. Liberated from those two sins (viz., bonds and action), one attains to the highest end. Mention is made of a verse sung (of old) by Janaka who was freed from the pairs of opposites, liberated from desire and enjoyments, and observant of the religion of Moksha. That verse runs thus: ‘My treasures are immense, yet I have nothing! If again the whole of Mithila were burnt and reduced to ashes, nothing of mine will be burnt!’ As a person on the hill-top looketh down upon men on the plain below, so he that has got up on the top of the mansion of knowledge, seeth people grieving for things that do not call for grief. He, however, that is of foolish understanding, does not see this. He who, casting his eyes on visible things, really seeth them, is said to have eyes and understanding. The faculty called understanding is so called because of the knowledge and comprehension it gives of unknown and incomprehensible things. He who is acquainted with the words of persons that are learned, that are of cleansed souls, and that have attained to a state of Brahma, succeeds in obtaining great honours. When one seeth creatures of infinite diversity to be all one and the same and to be but diversified emanations from the same essence, one is then said to have attained Brahma. Those who reach this high

state of culture attain to that supreme and blissful end, and not they who are without knowledge, or they who are of little and narrow souls, or they who are bereft of understanding, or they who are without penances. Indeed, everything rests on the (cultivated) understanding!’”

Section XVIII

Vaisampayana said, “When Yudhishthira, after saying these words, became silent, Arjuna, afflicted by that speech of the king, and burning with sorrow and grief, once more addressed his eldest brother, saying, ‘People recite this old history, O Bharata, about the discourse between the ruler of the Videhas and his queen. That history has reference to the words which the grief-stricken spouse of the ruler of the Videhas had said to her lord when the latter, abandoning his kingdom, had resolved to lead a life of mendicancy. Casting off wealth and children and wives and precious possessions of various kinds and the established path for acquiring religious merit and fire itself. King Janaka shaved his head (and assumed the garb of a mendicant). His dear spouse beheld him deprived of wealth, installed in the observance of the vow of mendicancy, resolved to abstain from inflicting any kind of injury on others, free from vanity of every kind, and prepared to subsist upon a handful of barley fallen off from the stalk and to be got by picking the grains from crevices in the field. Approaching her lord at a time when no one was with him, the queen, endued with great strength of mind, fearlessly and in wrath, told him these words fraught with reason: ‘Why hast thou adopted a life of mendicancy, abandoning thy kingdom full of wealth and corn? A handful of fallen off barley cannot be proper for thee. Thy resolution tallies not with thy acts, since abandoning thy large kingdom thou covetest, O king, a handful of grain! With this handful of barley, O king, wilt thou succeed in gratifying thy guests, gods. Rishis and Pitris? This thy labour, therefore, is bootless. Alas, abandoned by all these, viz., gods, guest and Pitris, thou leadest a life, of wandering mendicancy, O king, having cast off all action. Thou wert, before this, the supporter of thousands of Brahmanas versed in the three Vedas and of many more besides. How canst thou desire to beg of them thy own food today? Abandoning thy blazing prosperity, thou castest thy eyes around like a dog (for his food). Thy mother hath today been made sonless by thee, and thy spouse, the princess of Kosala, a widow. These helpless Kshatriyas, expectant of fruit and religious merit, wait upon thee,

placing all their hopes on thee. By killing those hopes of theirs, to what regions shalt thou go, O king, especially when salvation is doubtful and creatures are dependent on actions? Sinful as thou art, thou hast neither this world nor the other, since thou wishest to live, having cast off thy wedded wife? Why, indeed, dost thou lead a life of wandering mendicancy, abstaining from all actions, after having abandoned garlands and perfumes and ornaments and robes of diverse kinds? Having been, as it were, a large and sacred take unto all creatures, having been a mighty tree worthy of adoration and granting its shelter unto all, alas, how canst thou wait upon and worship others? If even an elephant desists from all work, carnivorous creatures coming in packs and innumerable worms would eat it up. What need be said of thyself that art so powerless? How couldst thy heart be set on that mode of life which recommends an earthen pot, and a triple-headed stick, and which forces one to abandon his very clothes and which permits the acceptance of only a handful of barley after abandonment of everything? If, again, thou sayest that kingdom and a handful of barley are the same to thee, then why dost thou abandon the former! If, again, a handful of barley becomes an object of attachment with thee, then, thy original resolution (of abandoning everything) falls to the ground, If, again, thou canst act up to thy resolution of abandoning everything! then who am I to thee, who art thou to me, and what can be thy grace to me? If thou beest inclined to grace, rule then this Earth! They that are desirous of happiness but are very poor and indigent and abandoned by friends may adopt renunciation. But he who imitates those men by abandoning palatial mansions and beds and vehicles and robes and ornaments, acts improperly, indeed. One always accepts gifts made by others; another always makes gifts. Thou knowest the difference between the two. Who, indeed, of these two shouldst be regarded the superior? If a gift be made to one who always accepts gifts, or to one that is possessed of pride, that gift becomes bootless like the clarified butter that is poured upon a forest-conflagration. As a fire, O king, never dies till it has consumed all that has been thrown into it, even so a beggar can never be silenced tilt he receives a donative. In this world, the food that is given by a charitable person is the sure support of the pious. If, therefore, the king does not give (food) where will the pious that are desirous

of salvation go? They that have food (in their houses) are house-holders. Mendicants are supported by them. Life flows from food. Therefore, the giver of food is the giver of life. Coming out from among those that lead a domestic mode of life, mendicants depend upon those very persons from whom they come. Those self-restrained men, by doing this, acquire and enjoy fame and power. One is not to be called a mendicant for his having only renounced his possessions, or for his having only adopted a life of dependence on eleemosynary charity. He who renounces the possessions and pleasures of the world in a sincere frame of mind is to be regarded a true mendicant. Unattached at heart, though attached in outward show, standing aloof from the world, having broken all his bonds, and regarding friend and foe equally, such a man, O king, is regarded to be emancipated! Having shaved their heads clean and adopted the brown robe, men may be seen to betake themselves to a life of wandering mendicancy, though bound by various ties and though ever on the lookout for bootless wealth. They who, casting off the three Vedas, their usual occupations, and children, adopt a life or mendicancy by taking up the triple-headed crutch and the brown robe, are really persons of little understanding. Without having cast off anger and other faults, the adoption of only the brown robe, know, O king, is due to the desire of earning the means of sustenance. Those persons of clean-shaven heads that have set up the banner of virtue, have this only (viz., the acquisition of sustenance) for their object in life. Therefore, O king, keeping thy passions under control, do thou win regions of bliss hereafter by supporting them that are truly pious amongst men of matted locks or clean-shaven heads, naked or clad in rags, or skins or brown robes. Who is there that is more virtuous than he who maintains his sacred fire, who performs sacrifices with presents of animals and Dakshina, and who practises charity day and night?’

“Arjuna continued, ‘King Janaka is regarded to have been a truth-knowing person in this world. Even he, in this matter (viz., the ascertainment of duty) had become stupefied. Do not yield to stupefaction! Even thus the duties of Domesticity are observed by persons practising charity. By abstaining from injuries of all kinds, by casting off desire and wrath, by being engaged in protecting all creatures, by observing the excellent duty of charity, and lastly by cherishing superiors and persons of age, we shall succeed in attaining such regions of bliss as we like. By duly gratifying gods, guests, and all creatures, by worshipping Brahmanas, and by truthfulness of speech, we shall certainly attain to desirable regions of bliss.’”

Section XIX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘I am conversant with both the Vedas and the scriptures that lead to the attainment of Brahma. In the Vedas there are precepts of both kinds, viz., those that inculcate action and those that inculcate renouncement of action. The scriptures are confounding and their conclusions are based upon reasons. The truth, however, that is in the Mantras, is duly known to me. Thou art conversant only with weapons and observant of the practices of heroes. Thou art unable to understand truly the sense of the scriptures. If thou wert really acquainted with duty, then thou couldst have understood that words such as these ought not to have been addressed to me by even one possessed of the clearest insight into the meaning of the scriptures and acquainted with the truths of religion. That, however, which thou hast said unto me, induced by fraternal affection, has been fit and proper, O son of Kunti! I am, for that, pleased with thee, O Arjuna! There is no one equal to thee in the three worlds in all duties connected with battle and in skill in respect of diverse kinds of acts. Thou mayst, therefore, speak of the subtleties connected with those subjects,–subtleties, that is, that are impenetrable by others. It behoveth thee not, however, O Dhananjaya, to doubt my intelligence. Thou art conversant with the science of battle, but thou hast never waited upon the aged. Thou knowest not the conclusions arrived at by those that have studied the subject in brief and detail. Even this is the conclusion of intelligent men whose understanding are bent on achieving salvation, viz., that amongst ascetic penances, renunciation, and knowledge of Brahma, the second is superior to the first, and the third is superior to the second. This, however, that thou thinkest, viz., that there is nothing superior to wealth, is an error. I will convince thee of it, so that wealth may not again appear to thee in that light. All men that are righteous are seen to be devoted to ascetic penances and the study of the Vedas. The Rishis also, that have many eternal regions for them, have the merit of penances. Others possessed of tranquillity of soul, having no enemies, and dwelling in the woods, have, through penances and study of the Vedas, proceeded to heaven. Pious men, by restraining desire for worldly possessions, and casting off that darkness which is born of folly, proceed northward (i.e., by luminous paths) to the regions reserved for practisers of renunciation. The path that lies to the south and that leads to regions of light (i.e., lunar regions), are reserved for men devoted to action. These are attained by persons subject to birth and death. That end, however, which persons desirous of salvation have before their eyes, is indescribable. Yoga is the best means for attaining to it. It is not easy to explain it (to thee). Those that are learned live, reflecting on the scriptures from desire of finding what is unreal. They are, however, often led away to this and to that in the belief that the object of their search exists in this and that. Having mastered, however, the Vedas, the Aranyakas, and the other scriptures, they miss the real, like men failing to find solid timber in an uprooted banana plant. Some there are who., disbelieving in its unity, regard the Soul, that dwells in this physical frame consisting of the five elements, to be possessed of the attributes of desire and aversion (and others). Incapable of being seen by the eye, exceedingly subtle, and inexpressible by words, it revolves in a round (of re-births) among the creatures of the earth, keeping before it that which is the root of action. Having made the Soul advance towards itself which is the spring of every kind of blessedness, having restrained all desires of the mind, and having cast off all kinds of action, one may become perfectly independent and happy. When there is such a path that is trod by the righteous and that is attainable by Knowledge, why, O Arjuna, dost thou applaud wealth which is full of every kind of calamity? Men of olden times that were conversant with the scriptures, O Bharata,–men that were always engaged in gifts and sacrifice and action, were of this opinion. O Bharata! There are some fools who, accomplished in the science of argumentation, deny the existence of the Soul, in consequence of the strength of their convictions of a previous life. It is very difficult to make them accept this truth about final emancipation. Those wicked men, though possessed of great learning, travel all over the earth, making speeches in assemblies, and deprecating the true doctrine about emancipation. O Partha, who else will succeed in understanding that which we do not understand?’ Indeed, (as those men cannot understand the true meaning of the scriptures), similarly they cannot succeed in knowing those wise and pious persons that are truly great and that have deep acquaintance with the scriptures. O son of Kunti, men acquainted with truth obtain Brahma by asceticism and intelligence, and great happiness by renunciation.’

Section XX

Vaisampayana said, “After Yudhishthira had stopped, the great ascetic Devasthana, possessed of eloquence, said these words, fraught with reason, unto the king.”

“Devasthana said, ‘Phalguna has told thee that there is nothing superior to wealth. I shall discourse to thee on that subject. Listen to me with undivided attention, O Ajatasatru, thou hast righteously won the earth. Having won her, it behoves thee not, O king, to abandon her without cause. Four modes of life are indicated in the Vedas. Do thou, O king, duly pass through them, one after another. At present thou shouldst, therefore, perform great sacrifices with profuse presents. Amongst the very Rishis, some are engaged in the sacrifice represented by Vedic study, and some in that presented by knowledge. Therefore, O Bharata, thou must know that the very ascetics also are addicted to action. The Vaikhanasas, however, are said to preach that he who does not seek for wealth is superior to him that seeks for it. I think that he who would follow that precept would incur many faults. Men collect together diverse things (for the performance of sacrifices) simply because of the (Vedic) ordinance. He who, tainted by his own understanding, giveth away wealth to an undeserving person without giving it to the deserving, doth not know that he incurs the sin of killing a foetus. The exercise of the duty of charity after discriminating the deserving from the undeserving is not easy. The Supreme Ordainer created wealth for sacrifice, and He created man also for taking care of that wealth and for performing sacrifice. For this reason the whole of one’s wealth should be applied to sacrifice. Pleasure would follow from it as a natural consequence. Possessed of abundant energy, Indra, by the performance of diverse sacrifices with profuse gifts of valuables, surpassed all the gods. Having got their chiefship by that means, he shineth in heaven. Therefore, everything should be applied to sacrifices. Clad in deer-skins, the high-souled Mahadeva, having poured his own self as a libation in the sacrifice called Sarva, became the first of gods, and surpassing all creatures in the universe and prevailing over them by means of that achievement, shines in resplendence. King Marutta, the son of Avikshit, by the profusion of his wealth, vanquished Sakra himself, the chief of the gods. In the great sacrifice he performed, all the vessels were of gold, and Sree herself came in person. Thou hast heard that the great king Harischandra, having performed sacrifices, earned great merit and great happiness. Though a man, he nevertheless vanquished Sakra by his wealth. For this reason everything should be applied to sacrifice.’”

Section XXI

“Devasthana said, ‘In this connection is cited an old history, viz., the discourse that Vrihaspati, asked by Indra, delivered unto him. Vrihaspati said, ‘Contentment is the highest heaven, contentment is the highest bliss. There is nothing higher than contentment. Contentment stands as the highest. When one draws away all his desires like a tortoise drawing in all it limbs, then the natural resplendence of his soul soon manifests itself. When one does not fear any creature, nor any creature is frightened at one, when one conquers one’s desire and aversion, then is one said to behold one’s soul. When one, indeed, in word and thought, seeks to injure nobody and cherishes no desire, one is said to attain to Brahma. Thus, O son of Kunti, whatever religion is followed by creatures, they obtain corresponding fruits. Awaken thyself by this consideration, O Bharata! Some praise Peacefulness, some praise Exertion; some there are that praise Contemplation; and some praise both Peacefulness and Exertion. Some praise sacrifice; others, renunciation. Some praise gifts; others, acceptance. Some, abandoning everything, live in silent meditation. Some praise sovereignty and the cherishing, of subjects, after slaving, cutting and piercing (foes). Some are for passing their days in retirement. Observing all this, the conclusion of the learned is that that religion which consists in not injuring any creature is worthy of the approbation of the righteous. Abstention from injury, truthfulness of speech, justice, compassion, self-restraint, procreation (of offspring) upon one’s own wives, amiability, modesty, patience,–the practice of these is the best of a religions as said by the self-create Manu himself. Therefore, O son of Kunti, do thou observe this religion with care. That Kshatriya, who, conversant with the truths or royal duties, takes sovereignty upon himself, restraining his soul at all times, equally regarding that which is dear and that which is not, and subsisting upon the remains of sacrificial feasts, who is engaged in restraining the wicked and cherishing the righteous, who obliges his subjects to tread in the path of virtue and who himself treads in that path, who at last transmits his crown to his son and betakes himself to the woods, there to live on the products of the wilderness and act according to the ordinances or the Vedas after having cast off all idleness, that Kshatriya who conducts himself thus, conforming in everything to the well-known duties of kings, is sure to obtain excellent fruits in both this world and the next. That final emancipation, of which thou speakest, is exceedingly difficult to obtain, and its pursuit is attended with many impediments. They that adopt such duties and practise

charity and ascetic penances, that are possessed of the quality of compassion and are freed from desire and wrath, that are engaged in ruling their subjects with righteousness and fighting for the sake of kine and Brahmanas, attain hereafter to a high end. For the Rudras with the Vasus and the Adityas, O scorcher of foes, and the Sadhyas and hosts of kings adopt this religion. Practising without heedlessness the duties inculcated by that religion, they attain to heaven through those acts of theirs.’”

Section XXII

Vaisampayana said, “After this, Arjuna once more addressed his eldest brother of unfading glory, viz., king Yudhishthira of cheerless heart, and said these words: ‘O thou that art conversant with every kind of duty, having by the practice of Kshatriya duties obtained sovereignty that is so very difficult of acquisition, and having conquered all thy foes, why dost thou burn in grief? O king, as regards Kshatriyas, death in battle is regarded more meritorious for them than the performance of diverse sacrifices. It is so declared in the ordinance that lays down the duties of Kshatriyas. Penances and Renunciation are the duties of Brahmanas. Even this is the ordinance (affecting the two orders) about the next world. Indeed, O puissant one, death in battle is laid down for Kshatriyas. The duties of Kshatriyas are exceedingly fierce and are always connected with the use of weapons, and it has been laid down, O chief of the Bharatas, that they should, when the time comes, perish by weapons on the field of battle. The life of even a Brahmana, O king, that lives in the observance of Kshatriya duties, is not censurable, for Kshatriyas also have sprung from Brahmana. Neither Renunciation, nor Sacrifice, nor Penances, nor dependence on the wealth of others, O ruler of men, has been ordained for Kshatriyas. Thou art acquainted with all duties, and thou art of righteous soul, O bull of Bharata’s race! Thou art a wise king, skilled in all acts. Thou canst distinguish what is right in this world from what is wrong. Casting off this cheerlessness by repentance, address thyself with a strong will to action. The heart of a Kshatriya especially is hard as thunder. Having by the exercise of Kshatriya duties vanquished thy foes and acquired empire without a thorn in its side, conquer thy soul, O ruler of men, and be engaged in the performance of sacrifices and the practice of charity. Indra himself, though a Brahmana, became a Kshatriya in his acts, and battled with his sinful kinsfolk for eight hundred and ten times. Those acts of his, O monarch, are adorable and worthy of praise. Through them he obtained, as we have heard, the chiefship of the gods. Do thou, therefore, O monarch, perform sacrifices with profuse presents even as Indra did, O ruler of men, and thereby free thyself from thy fever. Do not, O bull among Kshatriyas, grieve thus for what is past. They that have been slain have attained to the highest end, sanctified by weapons and agreeably to the ordinances of the Kshatriya religion. That which has happened was ordained to happen. Destiny, O tiger among kings, is incapable of being resisted.’”

Section XXIII

Vaisampayana said, “Thus addressed by Arjuna of curly hair, the Kuru king born of Kunti remained speechless. Then the island-born (Vyasa) said these words.

“Vyasa said, ‘The words of Arjuna, O amiable Yudhishthira, are true. The highest religion, as declared by the scriptures, depends on the duties of domesticity. Thou art acquainted with all duties. Do thou then duly practise the duties prescribed for thee (viz., the duties of domesticity). A life of retirement in the woods, casting off the duties of domesticity, has not been laid down for thee. The gods, Pitris, guests, and servants, all depend (for their sustenance) upon the person leading a life of domesticity. Do thou then support all these, O lord of the earth! Birds and animals and various other creatures, O ruler of men, are supported by men leading domestic lives. He, therefore, that belongs to that mode of life is superior (to all others). A life of domesticity is the most difficult of all the four modes of life. Do thou practise that mode of life then, O Partha, which is difficult of being practised by persons of unrestrained sense. Thou hast a good knowledge of all the Vedas. Thou hast earned great ascetic merit. It behoveth thee, therefore, to bear like an ox the burthen of thy ancestral kingdom. Penances, sacrifices, forgiveness, learning, mendicancy, keeping the senses under control, contemplation, living in solitude, contentment, and knowledge (of Brahma), should, O king, be striven after by Brahmanas to the best of their ability for the attainment of success. I shall now tell thee the duties of Kshatriyas. They are not unknown to thee. Sacrifice, learning, exertion, ambition, wielding ‘the rod of punishment,’ fierceness, protection of subjects., knowledge of the Vedas, practise of all kinds of penances, goodness of conduct, acquisition of wealth, and gifts to deserving persons,–these, O king, well performed and acquired by persons of the royal order, secure for them both this world and the next, as heard by us. Amongst these, O son of Kunti, wielding the rod of chastisement has been said to be the foremost. Strength must always reside in a Kshatriya, and upon strength depends chastisement. Those duties that I have mentioned are, O king, the principal ones for Kshatriyas and contribute greatly to their success. Vrihaspati, in this connection, sang this verse: ‘Like a snake devouring a mouse, the Earth devours a king that is inclined to peace and a Brahmana that is exceedingly attached to a life of domesticity.’ It is heard

again that the royal sage Sudyumna, only by wielding the rod of chastisement, obtained the highest success, like Daksha himself, the son of Prachetas.’

Yudhishthira said, ‘O holy one, by what acts did Sudyumna, that lord of the earth, obtain the highest success? I desire to hear the history of that king!’

“Vyasa said, ‘In this connection is cited this old history. There were two brothers, viz., Sankha and Likhita, of rigid vows. The two brothers had two separate dwellings both of which were beautiful. Situate by the bank of the stream called Vahuda, both of those residences were adorned with trees that were always burthened with flowers and fruits. Once on a time Likhita came to the residence of his brother Sankha. At that time, however, Sankha had gone out of his asylum on no fixed purpose. Arrived at the asylum of his brother, Likhita plucked many ripe fruits. Obtaining them the regenerate Likhita began to eat them without any qualms of conscience. While still employed in the act of eating, Sankha came back to his retreat. Beholding him eating, Sankha addressed his brother, saying, ‘Whence have these fruits been obtained and for what reason art thou eating them?’ Approaching his elder brother and saluting him, Likhita smilingly replied, saying, ‘I have taken them even from this retreat.’ Filled with great rage, Sankha said unto him, ‘Thou hast committed theft by thyself taking these fruits. Go and approaching the king confess to him what thou hast done. Tell him, O best of kings, I have committed the offence of approaching what was not given to me. Knowing me for a thief and observing the duty of thy order, do thou soon inflict upon me, O ruler of men, the punishment of a thief.’ Thus addressed, the highly blessed Likhita of rigid vows, at the command of his brother, proceeded to king Sudyumna. Hearing from his gate-keepers that Likhita had come, king Sudyumna, with his counsellors, advanced (for receiving the sage). Meeting him, the king addressed that foremost of all persons conversant with duties, saying, ‘Tell me, O revered one, the reason of thy coming. Regard it as already accomplished.’ Thus questioned, that regenerate sage said unto Sudyumna, ‘Do thou promise first that thou wilt achieve it. It will then behove thee, after hearing me, to accomplish that promise. O bull among men, I ate some fruits that had not been given me by my elder brother. Do thou, O monarch, punish me for it without delay.’ Sudyumna answered, ‘If the king be regarded as competent to wield the rod of chastisement, he should be regarded, O bull among Brahmanas, as equally competent to pardon. Purified in respect of thy act, O thou of high vows, consider thyself as pardoned. Tell me now what other wishes thou hast. I shall certainly accomplish those commands of thine!’

“Vyasa continued, ‘Thus honoured by the high-souled king, the regenerate sage Likhita, however, did not solicit him for any other favour. Then that ruler of the earth caused the two hands of the high-souled Likhita to be cut off, whereupon the latter, bearing the punishment, went away. Returning to his brother Sankha, Likhita, in great affection, said, ‘It behoveth thee now to pardon this wretch that hath been duly punished (for what he did).’ Sankha said, I am not angry with thee, nor hast thou injured me, O foremost of all persons conversant with duties. Thy virtue, however, had suffered a shock. I have rescued thee from that plight. Proceed without delay to the river Vahuda and gratify duly, with oblations of water, the gods, Rishis and the Pitris, and never again set thy heart on sin.’ Hearing these words of Sankha, Likhita performed his ablutions in the sacred stream and set about for commencing the water-rite. Upon this, two hands, resembling two lotuses, appeared at the extremities of his stumps. Filled with wonder he came back to his brother and showed him the two hands. Sankha said unto him, ‘All this has been accomplished by me through my penances. Do not be surprised at it. Providence hath been the instrument here.’ Likhita answered, ‘O thou of great splendour, why didst thou not purify me at first, when, O best of regenerate ones, such was the energy of thy penances?’ Sankha, said, ‘I should not have acted otherwise. I am not thy chastiser. The ruler (who has punished thee) has been himself purified, as also thyself, along with the Pitris!’

“Vyasa continued, ‘That king, O eldest son of Pandu, became eminent by this act and obtained the highest success like the lord Daksha himself! Even this is the duty of Kshatriyas, viz., the ruling of subjects. Any other, O monarch, would be regarded as a wrong path for them. Do not give way to grief. O best of all persons conversant with duty, listen to the beneficial words of this thy brother. Wielding the rod of chastisement, O king, is the duty of kings and not the shaving of the head.’”

Section XXIV

Vaisampayana said, “Once more the great sage Krishna-Dwaipayana said these words unto Ajatasatru, the son of Kunti: ‘Let these great car-warriors of abundant energy of mind, O monarch, let these brothers of thine, O Yudhishthira, the chief of the Bharatas, obtain those wishes of theirs that they cherished while dwelling in the woods. Rule thou the earth, O son of Pritha, like (another) Yayati, the son of Nahusha. Before now misery was yours while ye dwelt in the woods in the observance of ascetic penances. That misery is ended, O tiger among men! Enjoy happiness, therefore, for some time. Having O Bharata, earned and enjoyed religious merit and wealth and pleasure for some time with thy brothers, thou mayst then, O king, retire into the woods. Be freed first, O Bharata, from the debt thou owest to persons that may beg of thee, to the Pitris, and to the gods. Thou mayst then, O son of Kunti, practise all the other modes of life (that come afterwards). Do thou, O son of Kuru’s race, perform the sacrifices of Sarvamedha and Aswamedha. Thou shalt then attain, O monarch, to the highest end hereafter. Installing thy brothers also in great sacrifices with plentiful presents (to the Brahmanas), thou shalt, O son of Pandu, acquire great fame. There is a saying, O tiger among men and best of the Kurus! Listen to it, for by acting according to it, O king, thou shalt not swerve from virtue. Those men only, O Yudhishthira, whose practices resemble those of robbers, cause a king by their counsels to take to a career of war and victory. That king who, guided by considerations of place and time and moved by an understanding dependent on the scriptures, pardons even a number of robbers, incurs no sin. That king who, realising his tribute of a sixth, doth not protect his kingdom, taketh a fourth part of the sins of his kingdom. Listen also to that by which a king may not swerve from virtue. By transgressing the scriptures (one incurs sill), while by obeying them one may live fearlessly. That king who, guided by an understanding based upon the scriptures and disregarding lust and wrath, behaves impartially, like a father, towards all his subjects, never incurs sin. O thou of great splendour, if a king, afflicted by destiny, fails to accomplish an act which he should, such failure would not be called a trespass. By force and policy should the king put down his foes. He must not suffer sin to be perpetrated in his kingdom but should cause virtue to be practised. Brave men, those that are respectable in their practices, they that are virtuous in their acts, they that are possessed of learning, O Yudhishthira, Brahmanas conversant with Vedic texts and rites, and men of wealth, should especially be protected. In determining suits and accomplishing religious acts, they that are possessed of great learning should alone be employed. A prudent king will never repose his confidence upon one individual, however accomplished. That king who does not protect his subjects, whose passions are ungovernable, who is full of vanity, who is stained with haughtiness and malice, incurs sin and earns the reproach of tyranny. If the subjects of a king, O monarch, waste away from want of protection and are afflicted by the gods and ground down by robbers, the sin of all this stains the king himself. There is no sin, O Yudhishthira, in doing an act with heartiness, after full deliberation, and consultation with men capable of offering good advice. Our tasks fail or succeed through destiny. If exertion, however, be applied, sin would not touch the king. I shall recite to thee, O tiger among kings, the story of what happened to an ancient king of the name of Hayagriva, O son of Pandu,–the story, viz., of the heroic Hayagriva of unstained deeds, who after having slain a large number of his foes in battle, was himself defeated and slain while without a follower by his side. Having achieved all that should be done for keeping foes under check and adopted all those foremost of means by which men may be protected. Hayagriva acquired great fame from the battles he fought and is now enjoying great bliss in heaven. Mangled by robbers with weapons, boldly fighting with them, and casting off his life in battle, the high-souled Hayagriva, ever attentive to his (kingly) duties, achieved the object of his life and is now enjoying great bliss in heaven. The bow was his (sacrificial) stake and the bowstring was the cord for tying the victims. Shafts constituted the smaller ladle and the sword the large one, and blood was the clarified butter that he poured.

The car was the altar and the wrath he felt in battle was the fire, and the four foremost of steeds yoked unto his vehicle were the four Hotris. Having poured upon that sacrificial fire his foes as libations and then his own life-breaths at the completion of the sacrifice, that vigorous lion among kings, viz., Hayagriva, became freed from sin and is now sporting in the regions of the gods. Having protected his kingdom with policy and intelligence, the high-souled Hayagriva of resigned self and great strength of mind and accustomed to the performance of sacrifices filled all the worlds with his fame and is now sporting in the region of the gods. 1 Having obtained the merit dependent on the performance of sacrifices as also every kind of merit that is connected with human affairs, he wielded the rod of chastisement and ruled the Earth with vigour and without pride. For this the virtuous and high-souled Hayagriva is sporting in the region of the gods. 2 Possessed of learning, practising renunciation, actuated by faith, and full of gratitude, that king, having performed diverse acts, left this world of men and won the regions that are reserved for the intelligent and the wise and those that are of approved usages and behaviour and prepared to cast off their lives in battle. Having studied the Vedas well and the other scriptures also, having ruled his kingdom properly and caused all the four orders to adhere to their respective duties, the high-souled Hayagriva is sporting in joy the regions of the gods. Having won many battles and cherished his subjects, having drunk the Soma juice in sacrifices and gratified the foremost of Brahmanas with presents and judiciously wielded the rod of chastisement over those placed under his sway and at last cast off his life in battle, that king is living happily in heaven. His life was worthy of every praise. Learned and honest men applaud it, deserving as it is of every applause. Having won heaven and acquired the regions reserved for heroes, that high-souled monarch of virtuous deeds became crowned with success.’

Section XXV

Vaisampayana said, “Hearing the words of the Island-born Rishi and seeing Dhananjaya angry, Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, saluted Vyasa and made the following answer.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘This earthly sovereignty and the diverse enjoyments (appertaining thereto) fail to give any joy to my heart. On the other hand, this poignant grief (consequent upon the loss of my kinsmen) is eating away its core. Hearing the lamentations of these women who have lost their heroic husbands and children, I fail to attain peace, O sage!’”

Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed, the virtuous Vyasa that foremost of all persons conversant with Yoga, possessed of great wisdom and intimately acquainted with the Vedas, said unto Yudhisthira (the following words).

“Vyasa said, ‘No man can acquire anything by his own acts or by sacrifices and worship. No man can give anything to a fellow man. Man acquires everything through Time. The Supreme Ordainer has made the course of Time the means of acquisition. By mere intelligence or study of the scriptures, men, if Time be unfavourable, cannot acquire any earthly possession. Sometimes an ignorant fool may succeed in winning wealth. Time is the efficacious means for the accomplishment of all acts. During times of adversity, neither science, nor incantations, nor drugs, yield any fruits. In times, however, of prosperity, those very things, properly applied, become efficacious and bear success. By Time the winds blow violently: by Time the clouds become rain-charged; by Time tanks become adorned with lotuses of different kinds; by Time trees in the forest become decked with flowers. By Time nights become dark or lighted. By Time the Moon becomes full. If the Time for it does not come, trees do not bear flowers and fruits. If the Time for it does not come, the currents of rivers do not become fierce. Birds and snakes and deer and elephants and other animals never become excited when the Time for it does not come. If the Time for it does not come, women do not conceive. It is with Time that winter, and summer, and the rainy season come. If the Time for it does not come, no one is born and no one dies. If the Time does not come, the infant does not acquire power of speech. If the Time does not come, one does not acquire youth. It is with Time that the seed sown puts forth its sprouts. If the Time does not come, the Sun does not appear above the horizon, nor, when the Time for it does not come, does he repair to the Asta hills. If the Time for it does not come, the Moon does not wax nor wane, nor the ocean, with its high billows, rise and ebb. In this connection is instanced the old story recited, O Yudhishthira, by king Senajit in grief. The irresistible course of Time affects all mortals. All earthly things, ripened by Time, suffer destruction. Some, O king, slay some men. The slayers, again, are slain by others. This is the language of the world. Really, however, no one stays and no one is slain. Some one thinks men slay (their fellow-men). Another thinks men do not slay. The truth is that the birth and destruction of all creatures have been ordained to happen in consequence of their very nature. Upon the loss of one’s wealth or the death of one’s wife or son or sire, one cries out, saying ‘Alas, what grief!’ and dwelling upon that sorrow always enhances it. Why do you, like a foolish person, indulge in grief? Why do you grieve for them that are subject to grief? Behold, grief is increased by indulgence as fear is by yielding to. This body even is not mine. Nothing in this earth is mine. Or, the things of this earth belong as much to others as to me. The wise, seeing, this, do not suffer themselves to be deluded. There are thousands of causes for sorrow, and hundreds of causes for joy. These

every day affect the ignorant only, but not him that is wise. These, in course of Time. become objects of affection or aversion, and appearing as bliss or woe revolve (as if in a wheel) for affecting living creatures. There is only sorrow in this world but no happiness. It is for this that sorrow only is felt. Indeed, sorrow springs from that affliction called desire, and happiness springs from the affliction called sorrow. Sorrow comes after happiness, and happiness after sorrow. One does not always suffer sorrow or always enjoy happiness. Happiness always ends in sorrow, and sometimes proceeds from sorrow itself. He, therefore, that desires eternal happiness must abandon both. When sorrow must arise upon the expiration of happiness, and happiness upon the expiration of sorrow, one should, for that, cast off, like a (snake-bit) limb of one’s body, that from which one experiences sorrow or that heart-burning which is nurtured by sorrow or that which is the root of his anxiety. Be it happiness or sorrow, be it agreeable or disagreeable, whatever comes should be borne with an unaffected heart. O amiable one, if thou abstainest, in even a slight measure, from doing what is agreeable to your wives and children, thou shalt then know who is whose and why so and for what. They that are highly stupid and they that are masters of their souls enjoy happiness here. They however, that occupy an intermediate place suffer misery. This, O Yudhishthira, is what Senajit of great wisdom said, that person who was conversant with what is good or bad in this world, with duties, and with happiness and misery. He who is grieved at other people’s griefs can never be happy. There is no end of grief, and grief arises from happiness itself. Happiness and misery, prosperity and adversity, gain and loss, death and life, in their turn, wait upon all creatures. For this reason the wise man of tranquil soul should neither be elated with joy nor be depressed with sorrow. To be engaged in battle has been said to be the Sacrifice for a king; a due observance of the science of chastisement is his Yoga; and the gift of wealth in sacrifices in the form of Dakshina is his Renunciation. All these should be regarded as acts that sanctify him. By governing the kingdom with intelligence and policy, casting off pride, performing sacrifices, and looking at everything and all persons with kindness and impartiality, a high-souled king, after death, sports in the region of the gods. By winning battles, protecting his kingdom, drinking the Soma juice, advancing his subjects, wielding judiciously the rod of Chastisement, and casting off his body at last in fight, a king enjoys happiness in heaven. Having studied all the Vedas and the other scriptures duty, having protected the kingdom properly, and having caused all the four orders to adhere to their respective duties, a king becomes sanctified and finally sports in heaven. He is the best of kings whose conduct, even after his death, is applauded by the inhabitants of city and country and by his counsellors and friends.”

Section XXVI

Vaisampayana said, “In this connection, the high-souled Yudhishthira said unto Arjuna these words fraught with reason. ‘Thou thinkest, O Partha, that there is nothing superior to wealth, and that the poor man can neither have heaven, nor happiness, nor the acquisition of his wishes. This, however, is not true. Many persons are seen that have been crowned with success through sacrifice in the shape of Vedic study. Many sages are seen by devotion to penances to have acquired eternal regions of bliss. They, O Dhananjaya, who always observe the practices of the Rishis by betaking themselves to Brahmacharya and who become acquainted with all duties, are regarded by the gods as Brahmanas. O Dhananjaya, thou shouldst always regard those Rishis that are devoted to the study of the Vedas and those that are devoted to the pursuit of true knowledge as persons that are truly virtuous. O son of Pandu, all our acts depend upon those that are devoted to the acquisition of true knowledge. We know this to be the opinion of the Vaikhanasas, O puissant one! The Ajas, the Prishnis, the Sikatas, O Bharata, the Arunas, and the Kitavas, have all gone to heaven through the merit of Vedic study. By performing those acts, O Dhananjaya, that are indicated in the Vedas, viz., battle, study of the Vedas, sacrifices, the restraint of passion that is so difficult, one goes to heaven by the southern path of the Sun (Dakshinayana). I have, before this, told thee that those very regions belong to persons that are observant of (Vedic) acts. Thou shalt see, however, that the northern path (Uttarayana) is travelled by those that are devoted to Yoga penances. Those eternal and bright regions to which that path leads belong to men of Yoga. Of these two, the northern path is much applauded by those conversant with the Puranas. Thou shouldst know that one acquires heaven through contentment. From contentment springs great happiness. There is nothing higher than contentment. Unto the Yogin who has controlled wrath and joy, contentment is his high praise and success. In this connection is cited the discourse by Yayati of old. Listening to that discourse one may succeed in withdrawing all his desires like a tortoise drawing in all his limbs. When one cherishes no fear of anything, when one is not feared by anything, when one cherishes no desire, when one bears no hate, then is one said to have attained to the state of Brahma. When one does not bear sinfully towards any creature, in act, thought, or word, one is then said to have attained to Brahma. When one has controlled his pride and folly, and withdrawn himself from all attachments, it is then that that pious man of irradiated soul becomes fit for attaining to that salvation which consists in the annihilation of separate existence. Listen now to me with concentrated attention, O son of Pritha, as I say it unto thee. Some desire virtue; some, good conduct; and some wealth. One may desire wealth ( as a means for the acquisition of virtue). The abandonment,

however, of such desire would be better for him. There are many faults attached to wealth and consequently to those religious acts that are performed with wealth. We have seen it with our own eyes. It behoveth thee also to see this. He that desires wealth finds it very difficult to abandon that which should by every means be abandoned. Good deeds are very rare in those that amass riches. It is said that wealth can never be acquired without injuring others, and that, when earned, it brings numerous troubles. A person of narrow heart, setting at naught the fear of repentance, commits acts of aggression towards others, tempted by even a little wealth, unconscious all the while of the sin of Brahmanicide that he incurs by his acts. Obtaining wealth which is so difficult of acquisition, one burns with grief if one has to give a portion of it to one’s servants,–with grief, that is, which is equal to what one would feet if one is actually robbed by depredators. If, on the other hand, one does not part with one’s wealth, obloquy becomes one’s share. One, however, that has no wealth, never becomes the subject of censure. Withdrawn from all attachments, such a person can become happy in all respects by supporting life upon what little he may obtain as alms. No one, however, can be happy by the acquisition of wealth. In this connection certain verses relating to sacrifices are recited by persons conversant with ancient scriptures. Wealth was created by the Creator for the sake of sacrifices, and man was created by him for protecting that wealth and performing sacrifices. For this, all wealth should be applied to sacrifices. It is not proper that it should be spent for the gratification of desire of enjoyment. The Creator then confers wealth upon mortals for the sake of sacrifices. Know this, O son of Kunti, thou that art the foremost of all wealthy persons! It is for this that the wise think that wealth, without doubt, is nobody’s on earth. One should perform sacrifices with it and give it away with a trustful heart. One should spend (in gift) what one has acquired, and not waste or spend it in gratifying one’s desire of enjoyment. What use is there in amassing wealth when such proper objects exist in which to spend it? Those persons of little understanding that give away (wealth) unto men that have swerved from the duties of their order, have to subsist hereafter for a hundred years on ordure and dirt. That men give unto the undeserving and refrain from giving unto the deserving is due to inability to discriminate between the deserving and the undeserving. For this reason the practice of even the virtue of charity is difficult. These are the two faults connected with wealth even when acquired, viz., gift to an undeserving person and abstaining from giving unto him that is deserving.’”

Section XXVII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘In consequence of the fall Abhimanyu of tender years, of the sons of Draupadi, of Dhrishtadyumna, of Virata, of king Drupada, of Vasusena conversant with every duty, of the royal Dhrishtaketu, and of diverse other kings hailing from diverse regions, in battle, grief does not forsake my wretched self that am a slayer of kinsmen. Indeed, I am inordinately covetous of kingdom and am an exterminator of my own race. He upon whose breast and limbs I used to roll in sport, alas, that Ganga’s son has been slain by me in battle through lust of sovereignty. When I beheld that lion among men, viz., our grandsire, assailed by Sikhandin and trembling and reeling in consequence of Partha’s shafts that resembled thunder-bolts in energy, when I beheld his tall form pierced all over with blazing arrows and himself become weak like an aged lion, my heart was deeply pained. When I beheld that afflictor of hostile cars reel like a mountain summit and fall down strengthless on the terrace of his own vehicle with his face turned towards the east, my senses were stupefied. That scion of Kuru’s race who with bow and shaft in hand had contended in fierce battle for many days with Rama himself of Bhrigu’s line on the field sanctified by Kuru, that son of Ganga, that hero, who, at Baranasi, for the sake of brides, had, on a single car, challenged to battle the assembled Kshatriyas of the world, he who had burnt by the energy of his weapons that irresistible and foremost of kings, viz., Ugrayudha, alas, that hero has been caused by me to be slain in battle. Knowing full well that Sikhandin the prince of Panchala was his destroyer, that hero still refrained from slaying the prince with his shafts. Alas, such a magnanimous warrior was slain by Arjuna. O best of sages, at that moment when I beheld the grandsire stretched on the earth and covered with blood, a violent fever afflicted my heart. He who had protected and reared us when we were children, alas, he was caused to be slain by my sinful self that am covetous of kingdom, that am a slayer of reverend seniors, and a perfect fool, for the sake of sovereignty that would last but a few days. Our preceptor, the great archer Drona, adored by all the kings, was approached by me and addressed falsely in respect of his son. The memory of that act of mine is burning all my limbs. The preceptor said unto me, ‘Tell me truly, O king, whether my son liveth still. Expecting truth from me, the Brahmana asked me of all others. By silently uttering the word elephant, I behaved falsely towards him. Sinful that I am exceedingly covetous of kingdom, and a slayer of my reverend seniors, I behaved even thus towards my preceptor in battle, throwing off the garb of truth (which I was believed to wear), for I said unto him that Aswatthaman had been killed when, in fact, an elephant of that name had been slain. To what regions shall I go (thereafter), having perpetrated such infamous deeds? I caused also my eldest brother Karna to be slain, that terrible warrior who never retreated from battle. Who is there more sinful than I? Through covetousness I caused Abhimanyu of tender years, that hero who resembled a lion born in the hills, to penetrate into the array that was protected by Drona himself. I am like one guilty of infanticide. Sinful as I am, I have not since then, been able to look Arjuna or the lotus-eyed Krishna in the face. I grieve also few Draupadi who is bereft of her five sons like the Earth bereft of her five mountains. I am a great offender, a great sinner, and a destroyer of the earth! Without rising from this seat that I now occupy, I will weaken my body (by starvation) and meet with death. Know me who am the slayer of my preceptor as one that has sat down here in the observance of the Praya vow. An exterminator of my race, I must do so in order that I may not he reborn in any of other orders of beings! I shall forgo all food and drink, and without moving from this place, O great ascetic, shall dry up my life-breaths that are so dear. I pray you with humility, grant me permission in this and go whithersoever you please. Let every one grant me permission. I shall cast off this body of mine.’

Vaisampayana continued, “Restraining Pritha’s son who, stupefied by sorrow on account of his kinsmen, uttered such words, Vyasa, that best of ascetics, spoke as follows, first telling him, ‘This can not be!’

“Vyasa said, ‘It behoveth thee not, O monarch, to indulge in such poignant grief. I shall repeat what I have once said. All this is Destiny, O puissant one! Without doubt, all creatures that are born display at first a union (of diverse materials and forces). Dissolution. however, overtakes them at the end. Like bubbles in the water they rise and disappear. All things massed together are sure to crumble away and all things that rise must fall down. Union ends in dissolution and life ends in death. Idleness, though temporarily agreeable, ends in misery, and labour with skill, though temporarily painful, ends in happiness. Affluence, Prosperity, Modesty, Contentment, and Fame dwell in labour and skill but not in idleness. Friends are not competent to bestow happiness, nor foes competent to inflict misery. Similarly wisdom does not bring wealth nor does wealth bring happiness. Since, O son of Kunti, thou hast been created by the Maker to engage thyself in Work. Success springs from Work. Thou art not fit, O king, to avoid Work.’”

Section XXVIII

Vaisampayana said, “Vyasa then dispelled the grief of the eldest son of Pandu., who, burning with sorrow on account of the slaughter of his kinsmen, had resolved to make an end of himself.”

Vyasa said, ‘In this connection is cited the old story, O tiger among men, that is known by the name of Asma’s discourse. Listen to it, O Yudhishthira! Janaka the ruler of the Videhas, O king, filled with sorrow and grief, questioned a wise Brahmana of the name of Asma for the resolution of his doubts.’ “Janaka said, ‘How should a man desirous of his own good behave upon occasions of the accession and the destruction of both kinsmen and wealth?’

“Asma said, ‘Immediately after the formation of a man’s body, joys and griefs attach themselves to it. Although there is a possibility of either of the two overtaking the person, yet whichever actually overtakes him quickly robs him of his reason like the wind driving away gathering clouds. (In times of prosperity) one thinks in this strain, viz., ‘I am of high birth! I can do whatever I like!–I am not an ordinary man!’ His mind becomes soaked with such triple vanity. Addicted to all earthly enjoyments, he begins to waste the wealth hoarded by his ancestors. Impoverished in course of time, he regards the appropriation of what belongs to others as even laudable. Like a hunter piercing a deer with his shafts, the king then punishes that wicked wight that robber of other people’s possessions, that transgressor of law and rule. Without attaining to a hundred years (the usual period of human life), such men scarcely live beyond twenty or thirty years. Carefully observing the behaviour of all creatures, a king should, by the exercise of his intelligence, apply remedies for alleviating the great sorrows of his subjects. The causes of all mental sorrow are two, viz., delusion of the mind and the accession of distress. No third cause exists. All these diverse kinds of woe as also those arising from attachment to earthly enjoyments, that overtake man, are even such. Decrepitude and Death, like a pair of wolves, devour all creatures, strong or weak, short or tall. No man can escape decrepitude and death, not even the subjugator of the whole earth girt by the sea. Be it happiness or be it sorrow that comes upon creatures., it should be enjoyed or borne without elation or depression. There is no method of escape from them. The evils of life, O king, overtake one in early or middle or old age. They can never he avoided, while those (sources of bliss) that are coveted never come. The absence, of what is agreeable, the presence of what is disagreeable, good and evil, bliss and woe, follow Destiny. Similarly, the birth of creatures and their death, and the accessions of gain and loss, are all pre-ordained. Even as scent, colour, taste, and touch spring naturally, happiness and misery arise from what has been pre-ordained. Seats and beds and vehicles, prosperity and drink and food, ever approach leaving creatures according to Time’s course. Physicians even get ill. The strong become weak. They that are in the enjoyment of prosperity lose all and become indigent. The course of Time is very wonderful. High birth, health, beauty, prosperity, and objects of enjoyment, are all won through Destiny. The indigent, although they may not desire it, have many children. The affluent again are seen to be childless. Wonderful is the course of Destiny. The evils caused by disease, fire, water, weapons, hunger, poison, fever, and death, and falls from high places, overtake a man according to the Destiny under which he is born. It is seen in this world that somebody without sinning, suffers diverse ills, while another, having sinned, is not borne down by the weight of calamity. It is seen that somebody in the enjoyment of wealth perishes in youth; while some one that is poor drags on his existence, borne down by decrepitude, for a hundred years. One borne in an ignoble race may have a very long life, while one sprung from a noble line perishes soon like an insect. In this world, it is very common that persons in affluent circumstances have no appetite, while they that are indigent can digest chips of wood. Impelled by destiny, whatever sins the man of wicked soul, discontented with his condition, commits, saying, ‘I am the doer,’ he regards to be all for his good. Hunting, dice, women, wine, brawls, these are censured by the wise. Many persons, however, possessed of even extensive knowledge of the scriptures are seen to be addicted to them. Objects, whether coveted or otherwise, come upon creatures in consequence of Time’s course. No other cause can be traced. Air, space, fire, moon, sun, day, night, the luminous bodies (in the firmament), rivers, and mountains,–who makes them and who supports them? Cold, and heat, and rain, come one after another in consequence of Time’s course. It is even so, O bull among men, with the happiness and the misery of mankind. Neither medicines, nor incantations, can rescue the man assailed by decrepitude or overtaken by death. As two logs of wood floating on the great ocean, come together and are again (when the time comes) separated, even so creatures come together and are again (when the time comes) separated. Time acts equally towards those men that (are in affluent circumstances and that) enjoy the pleasures of song and dance in the company of women and those helpless men that live upon the food that others supply. In this world a thousand kinds of relationship are contracted, such as mother and father and son and wife. In reality, however, whose are they and whose are we? No one can become anyone’s own, nor can anyone become anybody else’s own. Our union herewith wives and kinsfolk and well-wishers is like that of travellers at a road-side inn. Where am I? Where shall go? Who am I? How come I here! What for and whom I grieve? Reflecting on these questions one obtains tranquillity. Life and its environments are constantly revolving like a wheel, and the companionship of those that are dear is transitory. The union with brother, mother, father, and friend is like that of travellers in an inn. Men of knowledge behold, as if with corporeal eyes, the next world that is unseen. Without disregarding the scriptures, one desirous of knowledge should have faith. One possessed of knowledge should perform the rites laid down in respect of the Pitris and the gods, practise all religious duties, perform sacrifices, judiciously pursue virtue, profit, and pleasure. Alas, no one understands that the world is sinking on the ocean of Time that is so very deep and that is infested with those huge crocodiles called decrepitude and death. Many physicians may be seen afflicted with all the members of their families, although they have carefully studied the science of Medicine. Taking bitters and diverse kinds of oily drugs, these succeed not in escaping death, like ocean in transcending its continents. Men well-versed in chemistry, notwithstanding chemical compounds applied

judiciously, are seen to be broken down by decrepitude like trees broken down by elephants. Similarly, persons possessed of ascetic merit, devoted to study of the Vedas, practising charity, and frequently performing sacrifices, succeed not in escaping decrepitude and death. As regards all creatures that have taken birth, neither years, nor months, nor fortnights, nor days, nor nights, that have once passed, do ever return. Man, whose existence is so transitory, is forced, in course of Time, whether he will or not, to come upon this inevitable and broad path that has to be trodden by every creature. Whether the body springs from the creature or the creature springs from the body, one’s union however, with wives and other friends is like that of travellers in an inn. one cannot obtain a lasting companionship with anyone. One cannot obtain such companionship with one’s own body. How then it can be had with anyone else? Where, O king, is thy sire today and where thy grandsire? Thou beholdst them not today and they do not behold thee. O sinless one! No person can see either heaven or hell. The scriptures, however, are the eyes of the virtuous. O king, frame thy conduct according to the scriptures. What pure heart, one should practise first the vow of Brahmacharya and then beget children and then perform sacrifices, for paying off the debt one owes to the Pitris, the gods, and men. Performing sacrifices and engaged in procreating (children), after having first observed the vow of Brahmacharya, one who bath wisdom for his eyes, casting off all anxiety of heart, should pay court to heaven, this world, and his own soul. That king bent upon the practice of virtue who strives judiciously for acquiring Heaven and Earth and who takes of earthly goods just what is ordained (as the king’s share) in the scriptures, wins a reputation that spread over all the worlds and among all creatures, mobile and immobile. The ruler of the Videhas, of clear understanding, having heard these words full of reason, become freed from grief, and taking Asma’s leave proceeded towards his abode, O thou of unfading glory, cast off thy grief and rise up. Thou art equal to Sakra himself. Suffer thy soul to be gladdened. The earth has been won by thee in the exercise of Kshatriya duties. Enjoy her, O son of Kunti, and do not disregard my words.’”

Section XXIX

Vaisampayana said, “The foremost of kings, viz., Yudhishthira the son of Dharma, still remaining speechless, Pandu’s son Arjuna addressed Krishna and spoke as follows:

“Arjuna said, ‘This scorcher of foes, viz., Dharma’s son, is burning with grief on account of his (slaughtered) kinsfolk. Comfort him, O Madhava I Once more, O Janardana, all of us have fallen into great danger. It behoveth thee! O mighty-armed one, to dispel his grief.’”

Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed by the high-souled Arjuna, the lotus-eyed Govinda of unfading glory turned his face towards the king. Kesava could not by any means be disregarded by Yudhishthira. From the earliest years Govinda was dearer to Yudhishthira than Arjuna himself. Taking up the king’s hand adorned with sandal-paste and looking like a column of marble, the mighty-armed Saurin began to speak, gladdening (the hearts of all who listened to him). His face, adorned with teeth and eyes that were very beautiful, shone brightly like a full-blown lotus at sunrise.

“Vasudeva said, “Do not, O tiger among men, indulge in such grief that emaciates thy body. They who have been slain in this battle will on no account be got back. Those Kshatriyas, O king, that have fallen in this great battle, are even, like objects that one acquires in one’s dreams and that vanish when one awakes. All of them were heroes and ornaments of battle. They were vanquished while rushing with faces towards their foes. No one amongst them was slain with wounds on the back or while flying away. All of them, having contended with heroes in great battle and having cast off their life-breaths then, have, sanctified by weapons, proceeded to heaven. It behoveth thee not to grieve for them. Devoted to the duties of Kshatriyas, possessed of courage, perfectly conversant with the Vedas and their branches, all of them have attained to that blissful end which is obtainable by heroes. It behoveth thee not to grieve for them after hearing of those high-souled lords of the earth, of ancient days, that departed from this world. In this connection is cited the old discourse of Narada before Srinjaya when the latter was deeply afflicted with grief on account of the death of his son. (Narada said),–Subject to happiness and misery, myself, thyself and all creatures, O Srinjaya, shall have to die. What cause then is there for sorrow. Listen to me as I recite the great blessedness of (some) ancient king. Hear me with concentrated attention. Thou shalt then, O king, cast off thy grief. Listening to the story of those high-souled lords of the earth, abate thy sorrow. O, hear me as I recite their stories to thee in detail. By listening to the charming and delightful history of those kings of ancient times, malignant stars may be propitiated and the period of one’s life be increased. We hear, O Srinjaya, that there was a king of the name of Marutta who was the son of Avikshit. Even he fell a prey to death. The gods with Indra and Varuna and Vrihaspati at their head came to sacrifice, called Viswasrij, performed by that high-souled monarch. Challenging Sakra, the chief of the gods, that king vanquished him in battle. The learned Vrihaspati, from desire of doing good unto Indra, had refused to officiate at Marutta’s sacrifice. Thereupon Samvarta, the younger brother

of Vrihaspati, acceded to the king’s request. During the rule of that king, O best of monarchs, the earth yielded crops without being tilled and was adorned with diverse kinds of ornaments. In the sacrifice of that king, the Viswedevas sat as courtiers, the Maruts acted as distributors (of food and presents) and the high-souled Sadhyas were also present. In that sacrifice of Marutta, the Maruts drank Soma. The sacrificial presents the king made surpassed (in value) those ever made by the gods, the Gandharvas, and men. When even that king, O Srinjaya, who transcended thee in religious merit, knowledge, renunciation, and affluence, and who was purer than thy son, felt a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son. There was another king of the name of Suhotra the son of Atithi. We hear, O Srinjaya, that even he fell a prey to death. During his rule, Maghavat showered gold for one whole year upon his kingdom. Obtaining that king for her lord, the earth became in reality (and not in name only as before) Vasumati. The rivers, during the sway of that king, bore golden tortoises, crabs, alligators, sharks, and porpoises, for the adorable Indra, O king, had showered these upon them. Beholding those golden fishes and sharks and tortoises in hundreds and thousands, Atithi’s son became filled with wonder. Collecting that vast wealth of gold that covered the earth, Suhotra performed a sacrifice at Kurujangala and gave it away unto the Brahmanas, When that king, O Srinjaya, who transcended thee in the four attributes of religious merit, knowledge, renunciation, and affluence, and who was purer than thy son, felt a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son (that is dead). Thy son never performed a sacrifice and never made gifts. Knowing this, pacify thy mind and do not give away to grief. We hear also, O Srinjaya, that Vrihadratha the king of the Angas, fell a prey to death. He gave away I hundred thousand steeds. A hundred thousand maidens also, adorned with golden ornaments, he gave away as presents in a sacrifice he performed. A hundred thousand elephants also of the best breed, he gave away as presents in another sacrifice performed by him. A hundred millions also of bulls, adorned with golden chains, with thousands of kine accompanying them, he gave away as sacrificial presents. While the king of Anga performed his sacrifice by the hill called Vishnupada, Indra became intoxicated with the Soma he drank, and the Brahmanas with the presents they received. In the sacrifices, O monarch, numbering by hundreds, that this king performed of old, the presents he made far surpassed those ever made by the gods, the Gandharvas, and men. No other man was born, or will ever be born, that gave or will give away so much wealth as was given away by the king of the Angas in the seven sacrifices he performed, each of which was characterised by the consecration of the Soma. When, O Srinjaya, this Vrihadratha even, who was thy superior in the four attributes and who was

purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear also, O Srinjaya, that Sivi, the son of Usinara, fell a prey to death. That king swayed the whole earth as one sways the leathern shield in his hand. Riding on a single car that proved victorious in every battle, king Sivi caused the whole earth to resound with the rattle of his wheels and subjugated all monarchs. Usinara’s son Sivi gave away, in a sacrifice, all the kine and horses he had, both domestic and wild. The Creator himself thought that no one amongst the kings of the past or the future had or would have the ability to bear the burthen, O Srinjaya, that Usinara’s son Sivi, that foremost of kings, that hero who was possessed of prowess equal to that of Indra himself, bore. Do not, therefore, grieve or thy son who never performed any sacrifice nor made any gift. Indeed, O Srinjaya, when Sivi, who was far superior to thee in the four attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that the high-souled Bharata also, the son of Dushmanta and Sakuntala, who had a vast and well-filled treasury, fell a prey to death. Devoting three hundred horses unto the gods on the banks of the Yamuna, twenty on the banks of the Saraswati, and fourteen on the banks of Ganga, that king of great energy, in days of old, performed (in this order) a thousand Horse-sacrifices and a hundred Rajasuyas. No one amongst the kings of the earth can imitate the great deeds of Bharata, even as no man can, by the might of his arms, soar into the welkin. Erecting numerous sacrificial altars, he gave away innumerable horses and untold wealth unto the sage Kanwa. When even he, O Srinjaya, who was far superior to thee in the four attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that Rama also, the son of Dasaratha, fell a prey to death. He always cherished his subjects as if they were the sons of his own loins. In his dominions there were no widows and none that was helpless. Indeed, Rama in governing his kingdom always acted like his father Dasaratha. The clouds, yielding showers season ably, caused the crops to grow abundantly. During the period of his rule, food was always abundant in his kingdom. No death occurred by drowning or by fire. As long as Rama governed it, there was no fear in his kingdom of any disease. Every man lived for a thousand years, and every man was blessed with a thousand children. During the period of Rama’s sway, all men were whole and all men attained the fruition of their wishes. The very women did not quarrel with one another, what need then be said of the men? During his rule his subjects were always devoted to virtue. Contented, crowned with fruition in respect of all the objects of their desire, fearless, free, and wedded to the vow of truth, were all the people when Rama governed the kingdom. The trees always bore flowers and fruit and were subject to no accidents. Every cow yielded milk filling a drona to the brim. Having dwelt, in the observance of severe penances,

for four and ten years in the woods, Rama performed ten Horse-sacrifices of great splendour and to them the freest access was given to all. Possessed of youth, of a dark complexion, with red eyes, he looked like the leader of an elephantine herd. With aims stretching down to his knees and of handsome face, his shoulders were like those of a lion and the might of his arms great. Ascending upon the throne of Ayodhya, he ruled for ten thousand and ten hundred years. When, he O Srinjaya, who transcended thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that king Bhagiratha also died. In one of the sacrifices of that king, intoxicated with the Soma he had drunk, Indra, the adorable chastiser of Paka and the chief of the gods, vanquished, by putting forth the might of his arms, many thousands of Asuras. King Bhagiratha, in one of the sacrifices he performed, gave away a million of maidens adorned with ornaments of gold. Each of those maidens sat upon a car and unto each car were attached four steeds. With each car were a hundred elephants, all of the foremost breed and decked with chains of gold. Behind each elephant were a thousand steeds, and behind each steed a thousand kine, and behind each cow a thousand goats and sheep. (The river-goddess) Ganga, named (from before) Bhagirathi, sat upon the lap of this king dwelling near (her stream), and from this incident she came to be called Urvasi. The triple-coursed Ganga had agreed to be the daughter of Bhagiratha of Ikshvaku’s race, that monarch ever engaged in the performance of sacrifices with presents in profusion unto the Brahmanas. When he, O Srinjaya, who transcended thee in respect of the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son. We hear, O Srinjaya, that the high-souled Dilipa also fell a prey to death. The Brahmanas love to recite his innumerable deeds. In one of his great sacrifices that king, with heart fully assenting, gave away the entire earth, abounding with wealth, unto the Brahmanas. In each sacrifice performed by him, the chief priest received as sacrificial fee a thousand elephants made of gold. In one of his sacrifices, the stake (set up for slaughtering the victims) was made of gold and looked exceedingly beautiful. Discharging the duties assigned to them, the gods having Sakra for their chief, used to seek the protection of that king. Upon that golden stake possessed of great effulgence and decked with a ring, six thousand Gods and Gandharvas danced in joy, and Viswavasu himself, in their midst played on his Vina the seven notes according to the rules that regulate their combinations. Such was the character of Viswavasu’s music that every creature

(whatever he might be) thought that the great Gandharva was playing to him alone. No other monarch could imitate this achievement of king Dilipa. The elephants of that king, intoxicated and adorned with housings of gold, used to lie down on the roads. Those men proceeded to heaven that succeeded in obtaining a sight even of the high-souled king Dilipa who was ever truthful in speech and whose bow could bear a hundred foes equal in energy to a hundred Anantas. These three sounds never ceased in Dilipa’s abode, viz., the voice of Vedic recitations, the twang of bows, and cries of Let it be given. When he, O Srinjaya, who transcended thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. Yuvanaswa’s son Mandhatri also, O Sanjaya, we have heard, fell a prey to death. The deities named Maruts extracted that child from his sire’s stomach through one of its sides. Sprung from a quantity of clarified butter that had been sanctified by mantras (and that had by mistake been quaffed by his sire instead of his sire’s spouse) Mandhatri was born in the stomach of the high-souled Yuvanaswa. Possessed of great prosperity, king Mandhatri conquered the three worlds. Beholding that child of celestial beauty lying on the lap of his sire, the God asked one another, ‘From whom shall this child obtain suck?’ Then Indra approached him, saying, ‘He shall obtain stick even from me!’ From this circumstance, the chief of the deities came to call the child by the name of Mandhatri. From the nourishment of that high-souled child of Yuvanaswa, the finger of Indra, placed in his mouth, began to yield a jet of milk. Sucking Indra’s finger, he grew up into a stout youth in a hundred days, In twelve days he looked like one of twelve years. The whole earth in one day came under the sway of that high-souled and virtuous and brave king who resembled Indra himself for prowess in battle. He vanquished king Angada, Marutta, Asita, Gaya, and Vrihadratha the king of the Angas. When Yuvanaswa’s son fought in battle with Angada, the Gods thought that the firmament was breaking with the twang of his how. The whole earth from where the Sun rises to where he sets is said to be the field of Mandhatri. Having performed Horse-sacrifices and a hundred Rajasuyas, he gave unto the Brahmanas many Rohita fishes. Those fishes were each ten Yojanas in length and one in breadth. Those that remained after gratifying the Brahmanas were divided amongst themselves by the other classes. When he, O Srinjaya, who transcended thee in respect of the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear, O Sanjaya, that Yayati, the son of Nahusha, also fell a prey to death. Having subjugated

the whole world with its seas, he journeyed through it, decking it with successive sacrificial altars the intervals between which were measured by throws of a heavy piece of wood. Indeed, he reached the very shores of the sea as he proceeded performing great sacrifices (on those altars along his way). Having performed a thousand sacrifices and a hundred Vajapeyas, he gratified the foremost of Brahmanas with three mountains of gold. Having slain many Daityas and Danavas duly arrayed in battle, Nahusha’s son, Yayati, divided the whole earth (among his children). At last discarding his other sons headed by Yadu and Drahyu, he installed (his youngest son) Puru on his throne and then entered the woods accompanied by his wife, When he, O Srinjaya, who far surpassed thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that Amvarisha also, the son of Nabhaga, fell a prey to death. That protector (of the world) and foremost of kings was regarded by his subjects as the embodiment of virtue. That monarch, in one of his sacrifices, assigned to the Brahmanas, for waiting upon them, a million of kings who had themselves performed thousands of sacrifices each. Men of piety praised Amvarisha, the son of Nabhaga, saying that such feats had never been achieved before nor would their like be achieved in the future. Those hundreds upon hundreds and thousands upon thousands of kings (that had at the command of Amvarisha waited at his sacrifices upon the Brahmanas that came there) became (through Amvarisha’s merits) crowned with the fruits of the Horse-sacrifice, and followed their lord by the Southern-path (to regions or brightness and bliss). When he, O Srinjaya, who far surpassed thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy child that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that Sasavindu also, the son of Chitrasena, felt a prey to death. That high-souled king had a hundred thousand wives, and million of sorts. All of them used to wear golden armour and all of them were excellent bowmen. Each of those princes married a hundred princesses, and each princess brought a hundred elephants. With each of those elephants were a hundred cars. With each car were a hundred steeds, all of good breed and all decked with trappings of gold. With each steed were a hundred kine, and with each cow were a hundred sheep and goats. This countless wealth, O monarch, Sasavindu gave away, in a Horse-sacrifice, unto the Brahmanas. When he, O Srinjaya, who far surpassed thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy child that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that Gaya also, the son of Amurtarayas, fell a prey to death. For a hundred years, that king subsisted upon the remains of sacrificial food. (Pleased with such devotion) Agni desired to give him boons. The boons solicited by Gaya were, ‘Let

my wealth be inexhaustible even if I give ceaselessly. Let my regard for virtue exist for ever. Let my heart ever take pleasure in Truth, through thy grace, O cater of sacrificial libations.’ It hath been heard by us that king Gaya obtained all those wishes from Agni. On days of the new moon, on those of the full moon, and on every fourth month, for a thousand years, Gaya repeatedly performed the Horse-sacrifice. Rising (at the completion of every sacrifice) he gave away a hundred thousand kine and hundreds of mules (unto the Brahmanas) during this period. That bull among men gratified the gods with Soma, the Brahmanas with wealth, the Pitris with Swadha, and the women with the accomplishment of all their wishes. In his great Horse-sacrifice, king Gaya caused a golden ground to be made, measuring a hundred cubits in length and fifty in breadth, and gave it away as the sacrificial fee. That foremost of men, viz., Gaya, the son of Amurtarayas, gave away as many kine as there are sand grains, O king, in the river Ganga. When he, O Srinjaya, who far surpassed thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that Sankriti’s son Rantideva also fell a prey to death. Having undergone the austerest of penances and adored him with great reverence, he obtained these boons from Sakra, having solicited them, saying ‘Let us have abundant food and numerous guests. Let not my faith sustain any diminution, and let us not have to ask anything of any person.’ The animals, both domestic and wild, slaughtered in his sacrifice, used to come to him, viz., the high-souled Rantideva of rigid vows and great fame, of their own accord. The secretions that flowed from the skins of the animals (slaughtered in his sacrifices), produced a mighty and celebrated river which to this day is known by the name of Charmanwati. King Rantideva used to make gifts unto the Brahmanas in an extensive enclosure. When the king said, ‘Unto thee I give a hundred nishkas! Unto thee I give a hundred,’ the Brahmanas (without accepting what was offered) made a noise (expressive of refusal). When, however, the king would say, ‘I give a thousand nishkas,’ the gifts were all accepted. All the vessels and plates, in Rantideva’s palace, for holding food and other articles, all the jugs and pots, the pans and plates and cups, were of gold. On those nights during which the guests used to live in Rantideva’s abode, twenty thousand and one hundred kine had to be slaughtered. Yet even on such occasions, the cooks, decked in ear-rings, used to proclaim (amongst those that sat down to supper): ‘There is abundant soup, take as much as ye wish; but of flesh we have not as much today as on former occasions.’ When he, O Srinjaya, who far surpassed thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that the high-souled Sagara also fell a prey to death. He was of Ikshvaku’s race, a tiger among men, and of superhuman prowess. Sixty thousand sons used to walk behind him, like myriads upon myriads of stars waiting upon the Moon in the cloudless firmament of autumn. His sway extended over the whole of this earth. He gratified the gods by performing

a thousand Horse-sacrifices. He gave away unto deserving Brahmanas palatial mansions with columns of gold and (other parts) made entirely of that precious metal, containing costly beds and bevies of beautiful ladies with eyes resembling petals of the lotus, and diverse other kinds of valuable objects. At his command, the Brahmanas divided those gifts among themselves. Through anger that king caused the earth to be excavated whereupon she came to have the ocean on her bosom, and for this, the ocean has come to be called Sagara after his name. When he, O Srinjaya, who far surpassed thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. We hear, O Srinjaya, that king Prithu also, the son of Vena, fell a prey to death. The great Rishis, assembling together in the great forest, installed him in the sovereignty of the earth. And because it was thought that he would advance all mankind, he was, for that reason, called Prithu (the advancer). And because also he protected people from injuries (Kshata), he was, for that reason, called a Kshatriya (protector from injuries). Beholding Prithu the son of Vena, all the creatures of the earth exclaimed, ‘We have been lovingly attached to him.’ From this circumstance of the loving attachment (to him of all creatures), he came to be called a Raja (one that can inspire attachment). The earth, during his sway, yielded crops without being tilled, every leaf that the trees had bore honey; and every cow yielded a jugful of milk. All men were hale and all their wishes used to be crowned with fruition. They had no fear of any kind. They used to live, as they pleased, in fields or in (sheltered) houses. When Prithu desired to go over the sea, the waters became solidified. The rivers also never swelled up when he had to cross them but remained perfectly calm. The standard on his car moved freely everywhere (without being obstructed by any impediment). King Prithu, in one of his grand Horse-sacrifices, gave away unto the Brahman as one and twenty mountains of gold, each measuring three nalwas. When he, O Srinjaya, who far surpassed thee in the four principal attributes and who was purer than thy son, fell a prey to death, do not grieve for thy son that is dead. Upon what, O Srinjaya, dost thou reflect in silence? It seems, O king, that thou hearest not these words of mine. If thou hast not heard them, then this discourse of mine has been a fruitless rhapsody, like medicine or diet, to a person on the point of death.’

“Srinjaya said, ‘I am attending, O Narada, to this discourse of thine, of excellent import and perfumed like a garland of flowers,–this discourse upon the conduct of high-souled royal sages of meritorious deeds and great fame, that can certainly dispel grief. Thy discourse, O great sage, has not been a fruitless rhapsody. I have been freed from grief at thy very sight. Like one never satiated with drinking nectar, I am not satiated with thy words. O thou of true sight, if thou, O lord, be inclined to show thy grace towards this person burning on account of the death of his son, then that son, through that grace of thine, is sure to be revived and to mingle once more with me (in this life).

“Narada said, ‘I will give back to thee that son of thine, named Suvarnashthivin, whom Parvata gave thee and who has been bereft of life. Of the splendour of gold, that child shall have a thousand years.’”

Section XXX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How did the son of Srinjaya become Suvarnashthivin? Why also did Parvata give Srinjaya that child? And why did he die? When the lives of all men in those days extended for a thousand years, why did Srinjaya’s son die in infancy? Or, was he in name only Suvarnashthivin? How also did he come to be so? I desire to know all this.’

“Krishna said, “I will recite to thee, O king, the facts as they happened. There are two Rishis, the foremost ones in the world, named Narada and Parvata. Narada is the maternal uncle and Parvata is his sister’s son. With cheerful hearts, the uncle Narada and the nephew Parvata had, in days of old, O king, left heaven for a pleasant ramble on earth for tasting clarified butter and rice. Both of them, possessed of great ascetic merit, wandered over the earth, subsisting on food taken by human beings. Filled with joy and entertaining great affection for each other, they entered into a compact that, whatever wish, good or bad, would be entertained by one should be disclosed to the other, but on the event of one of them acting otherwise, he should be subject to the other’s curse. Agreeing to that understanding, those two great Rishis, adored of all the worlds, repaired to king Srinjaya, the son of Sitya and said unto him, ‘We two, for thy good, shall dwell with thee for a few days. O lord of earth, do thou attend to all our wants duly.’ The king, saying, So be it, set himself to attend upon them hospitably. After a while, one day, the king filled with joy, introduced to those illustrious ascetics his daughter of the fairest complexion, saying, ‘This my daughter will wait upon you both. Bright as the filaments of the lotus, she is beautiful and of faultless limbs, accomplished and of sweet manners, and is called Sukumari by name.’ ‘Very well,’ said the Rishis in reply, upon which the king directed his daughter, telling her, ‘O child, attend upon these two Brahmanas as thou wouldst upon the gods or thy sire.’ The virtuous princess, saying, ‘So be it’ began to attend upon them in obedience to her father’s behest. Her dutiful services and her unrivalled beauty very soon inspired Narada with a tender flame towards her. That tender sentiment began to grow in the heart of the illustrious saint like the moon gradually waxing on the accession of the lighted fortnight. The virtuous Narada, however, overwhelmed by shame, could not disclose that burning attachment to his sister’s son, the high-souled Parvata. By his ascetic power, as also by signs, Parvata understood all. Inflamed with rage, the latter thereupon resolved

to curse the love-afflicted Narada. And he said, ‘Having of thy own accord made a compact with me that, whatever wish, good or bad, would be cherished by either of us should be disclosed to the other, thou hast violated it. These were thy own words. O Brahmana! It is for this that I shall curse thee. Thou didst not tell me before that thy heart has been pierced by the charms of the maiden Sukumari! It is for this that I shall curse thee. Thou art a Brahmacharin. Thou art my preceptor. Thou art an ascetic and a Brahmana. Yet hast thou broken the compact thou hadst made with me. Fitted with rage I shall, for this, curse even thee. Listen to me. This Sukumari shall, without doubt, become thy wife. From the time of thy marriage, however, O puissant one, both she and all men shall behold thee an ape, for thy true features having disappeared, an ape shalt thou appear unto all.’ Hearing these words of his, the uncle Narada, filled with wrath, cursed his nephew Parvata in return, saying, ‘Although thou hast ascetic merit and Brahmacharya and truth and self-restraint, and although thou art ever devoted to virtue, thou shalt not yet succeed in proceeding to heaven.’ Filled with rage and desire of vengeance, they thus cursed and flamed against each other like a couple of infuriated elephants. From that time the high-souled Parvata began to wander over the earth, respected as he deserved, O Bharata, for his own energy. Narada then, that foremost of Brahmanas, obtained according to due rites the hand of Srinjaya’s daughter, the faultless Sukumari. The princess, however, beheld Narada exactly as the curse had said. Indeed, just after the last of the wedding mantras had been recited, Sukumari beheld the celestial Rishi to have a face like that of an ape. She, however, did not on that account, disregard her lord. On the other hand, she dedicated her love to him. Indeed, the princess, chaste as she was, devoted herself entirely to her lord and did not in her heart even desire any one else among the gods, Munis, and Yakshas for a husband. One day, as the illustrious Parvata, in course of his wanderings, entered a solitary forest, he beheld Narada there. Saluting him, Parvata said, ‘Show thy grace unto me by permitting me, O puissant one, to co to heaven.’ Seeing the cheerless Parvata kneeling before him with joined hands, Narada, himself mere cheerless, said unto him, ‘Thou hadst cursed me first, saying, ‘Be thou an ape!’ After thou hadst said so unto me, I cursed thee from anger, saying, ‘From this day thou shalt not dwell in heaven!’ It was not well of thee, since thou art like a son unto me.’ The two saints then freed each other from their mutual curses. Beholding her husband possessed of celestial form and blazing with beauty, Sukumari fled from him, taking him to be somebody other than her lord. Seeing the beautiful princess flying away from her lord, Parvata addressed her, saying, ‘This one is even thy husband. Do not entertain any scruple. This one is the illustrious and puissant Rishi Narada, that foremost of virtuous persons. He is thy lord, of one soul with thee. Do not have any doubt.’ Assured in diverse ways by the high Parvata and formed also of the curse on her lord, the princess regained her equanimity. Then Parvata proceeded to heaven and Narada to his home.”

“Vasudeva continued, ‘The illustrious Rishi Narada, who was himself an actor in this matter, is here. O best of men, asked by thee, he will tell thee everything that happened.’”

Section XXXI

Vaisampayana said, “The royal son of Pandu then addressed Narada, saying, ‘O holy one, I desire to hear of the birth of the child whose excreta were gold.’ Thus addressed by king Yudhishthira the just, the sage Narada began to narrate to him all that had occurred in connection with that child of golden excreta.

“Narada said, ‘It is even so, O thou of mighty arms, as Kesava here hath said. Asked by thee I shall now recite the portion that remains of this story. Myself, and my sister’s son, the great ascetic Parvata, came (on one occasion) unto Srinjaya that foremost of all victorious kings, for dwelling with him. Honoured by him with due rites, and with every wish of ours gratified, we took up our residence in his abode. After the season of rains had gone, and when the time came for our own departure, Parvata said unto me those words of grave import suitable to the hour: ‘We have, O Brahmana, dwelt in the abode of this king for some time, highly honoured by him. Think of what return we should make.’ I then, O monarch, addressed Parvata of blessed aspect, saying, ‘O nephew, this becomes thee, and, O thou of great power, all this depends upon thyself. Through thy boons let the king be made happy and let him obtain his wishes. Or, if thou choosest, let him be crowned with success through the ascetic merits of both of us.’ After this, Parvata having called king Srinjaya, that foremost of victorious persons, said unto him these words O bull of Kuru’s race, ‘We have been exceedingly gratified, O king, with thy hospitable attentions given to us with every sincerity. With our permission, O foremost of men, think of the boon thou shouldst solicit. Let the boon, however, be such that it may not imply enmity to the gods or destruction to men! Accept then, O king, a boon, for thou deservest one as we think.’ Hearing these words, Srinjaya replied, ‘If ye have been gratified with me, my object then has been gained, for that of itself has been my greatest gain and that is regarded by me as the fruition of all my desire.’ Unto Srinjaya who said so, Parvata again said, ‘Solicit, O king, the fruition of that wish which thou art cherishing in thy heart, for a long time.’ Srinjaya answered, ‘I desire a son that shall be heroic and possessed of great energy, firm in his vows and of long life, highly blessed and possessed of splendour equal to that of the Chief himself of the deities.’ At this, Parvata said, ‘This thy desire shall be fulfilled. Thy child, however, shall not be long-lived, for thy wish for such a son is even for prevailing over the Chief of the gods. Thy son shall be known by the name of Suvarnashthivin. He shall be possessed of splendour like that of the Chief of the gods but take care to protect him always from that deity.’ Hearing these words of the high-souled Parvata, Srinjaya began to beseech that saint for ordaining otherwise, saying, ‘Let my son be long-lived, O Muni, through thy ascetic merit.’ Parvata, however, said nothing, through partiality for Indra. Beholding the king very cheerless, I said unto him, ‘Think of me, O king, (in thy distress), and I shall promise to come when thought of by thee. Do not grieve, O lord of earth! I will give thee back thy beloved child, even if he be dead, in his living form.’ Having said so unto that monarch, both of us left his presence for coming to where we wished, and Srinjaya returned to his abode as he pleased. After some time had elapsed, the royal sage Srinjaya had born unto him a son of great prowess and blazing forth with energy. The child grew up like a large lotus in a lake, and became Suvarnashthivin in reality as in name. This extraordinary fact, O best of the Kurus, soon became widely known over the world. The Chief of the gods also came to know it as the result of Parvata’s boon. Fearing humiliation (at the hands of the child when he would grow up), the slayer of Vala and Vritra began to watch for the laches of the prince. He commanded his celestial weapon Thunder, standing before him in embodied shape, saying, ‘Go, O puissant one, and assuming the form of a tiger slay this prince. When grown up, this child of Srinjaya may, by his achievements, humiliate me, O Thunder, as Parvata said.’ Thus addressed by Sakra, the celestial weapon Thunder, that subjugator of hostile towns, began from that day to continually watch for the laches of the prince. Srinjaya, meanwhile, having obtained that child whose splendour resembled that of Indra himself, became filled with joy. The king, accompanied by his wives, and the other ladies of his household, took up his residence in the midst of a forest. One day, on the shores of the Bhagirathi, the boy, accompanied by his nurse, ran hither and thither in play. Though only five years of age, his prowess, even then, resembled that of a mighty elephant. While thus employed, the child met a powerful tiger that came upon him suddenly. The infant prince trembled violently as he was being crushed by the tiger and soon fell down lifeless on the earth. At this sight the nurse uttered loud cries of grief. Having slain the prince, the tiger, through Indra’s powers of delusion, vanished there and then. Hearing the voice of the crying nurse, the king, in great anxiety, ran to the spot. He beheld his son there, his blood quaffed off, and lying lifeless on the ground like the moon dropped from the firmament. Taking up on his lap the boy covered with blood, the king, with heart stricken by grief, began to lament piteously. The royal ladies then, afflicted with grief and crying, quickly ran to the spot where king Srinjaya was. In that situation the king thought of me with concentrated attention. Knowing that the king was thinking of me I appeared before him. Stricken with grief as the king was, I recited to him all those stories, O monarch, that hero of Yadu’s race has already recited to thee. I brought Srinjaya’s child back to life, with Indra’s permission. That which is ordained must occur. It is impossible that it should be otherwise. After this, prince Suvarnashthivin of great fame and energy began to delight the hearts of his parents. Of great prowess, he ascended the throne of his father after the latter had repaired to heaven, and ruled for a period of one thousand and one hundred years. He worshipped the gods in many great sacrifices characterised by profuse presents. Possessed of great splendour, he gratified the gods and the Pitris. Having procreated many sons, all of whom by their issues multiplied the race, he went the way of all nature, O king, after many years. Do thou, O foremost of kings dispel this grief born in thy heart, even as Kesava has counselled thee, as also Vyasa of austere penances. Rise up, O king, and bear the burthen of this thy ancestral kingdom, and perform high and great sacrifices so that thou mayst obtain (hereafter) whatever regions may be desired by thee!’”

Section XXXII

Vaisampayana said, “Unto king Yudhishthira who still remained speechless and plunged in grief, the island-born Vyasa, that great ascetic, conversant with truths of religion, spoke again.”

“Vyasa said, ‘O thou of eyes like lotus petals, the protection of subjects is the duty of kings. Those men that are always observant of duty regard duty to be all powerful. Do thou, therefore, O king, walk in the steps of thy ancestors. With. Brahmanas, penances are a duty. This is the eternal ordinance of the Vedas. Penances, therefore, O bull of Bharata’s race, constitute the eternal duty of Brahmanas. A Kshatriya is the protector of all persons in respect of their duties. That man who, addicted to earthly possessions, transgresses wholesome restraints, that offender against social harmony, should be chastised with a strong hand. That insensate person who seeks to transgress authority, be he an attendant, a son, or even a saint, indeed,–all men of such sinful nature, should by every means be chastised or even killed. That king who conducts himself otherwise incurs sin. He who does not protect morality when it is being disregarded is himself a trespasser against morality. The Kauravas were trespassers against morality. They have, with their followers, been slain by thee. Thou hast been observant of the duties of thy own order. Why then, O son of Pandu, dost thou indulge in such grief? The king should slay those that deserve death, make gifts to persons deserving of charity, and protect his subjects according to the ordinance.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘I do not doubt the words that fall from thy lips, O thou of great ascetic merit! Everything appertaining to morality and duty is well known to thee, O foremost of all persons conversant with morality and duty! I have, however, for the sake of kingdom, caused many persons to be slain! Those deeds, O Brahmana, are burning and consuming me!’

“Vyasa said, ‘O Bharata, is the Supreme Being the doer, or is man the

doer? Is everything the result of Chance in the world, or are the fruits that we enjoy or suffer, the results of (previous) action? If man, O Bharata, does all acts, good or bad, being urged thereto by the Supreme Being, then the fruits of those acts should attach to the Supreme being himself. If a person cuts down, with an axe, a tree in forest, it is the person that incurs the sin and not the axe by any means. Or, if it be said that, the axe being only the material cause, the consequence of the act (of cutting) should attach to the animate agent (and not to the inanimate tool), then the sin may be said to belong to the person that has made the axe. This, however, can scarcely be true. If this be not reasonable, O son of Kunti, that one man should incur the consequence of an act done by another, then, guided by this, thou shouldst throw all responsibility upon the Supreme Being. If, again, man be himself the agent of all his acts virtuous and sinful, then Supreme Director there is none, and, therefore, whatever thou hast done cannot bring evil consequences on thee. No one, O king, can ever turn away from that which is destined. If, again, Destiny be the result of the acts of former lives, then no sin can attach to one in this life even as the sin of cutting down a tree cannot touch the maker of the axe. If thou thinkest it is chance only that acts in the world, then such an act of destruction could never happen nor will ever happen. If it is necessary to ascertain what is good and what is evil in the world, attend to the scriptures. In those scriptures it has been laid down that kings should stand with the rod of chastisement uplifted in their hands. I think, O Bharata, that acts, good and bad, are continually revolving here as a wheel, and men obtain the fruits of those acts, good or bad, that they do. One sinful act proceeds from another. Therefore, O tiger among kings, avoid all evil acts and do not thus set thy heart upon grief. Thou shouldst adhere, O Bharata, to the duties, even if reproachable, of thy own order. This self-destruction, O king, does not look well in thee. Expiations, O king, have been ordained for (evil) acts. He that is alive can perform them, but he that dies fails in their performance. Therefore, O king without laying down thy life, perform those expiatory acts. If thou dost not perform them thou mayst have to repent in the next world.’

Section XXXIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Sons and grandsons and brothers and sires and fathers-in-law and preceptors and maternal uncles and grandsires, many high-souled Kshatriyas, many relatives (by marriage), friends, companions, sister’s sons, and kinsmen, O grandsire, and many foremost of men coming from diverse countries, have fallen. All these, O grandsire, have been caused to be slain by myself alone, from desire of kingdom. Having caused so many heroic kings who were always devoted to righteousness and all of whom had quaffed Soma in sacrifices, what end shall I attain, O great ascetic! Thinking that this earth has been bereft of many lions among kings, all of whom were in the enjoyment of great prosperity, I burn continually to this day. Having witnessed this slaughter of kinsmen and millions of other men, I burn with grief, O grandsire! Oh, what will be the plight of those foremost of ladies who have been deprived of sons, of husbands, and of brothers. Reproaching the Pandavas and the Vrishnis as cruel murderers, those ladies, with emaciated features and plunged in grief, will throw themselves on the earth! Not beholding their sires and brothers and husbands and sons, those ladies, through affliction, casting off their life-breath, will go to the abode of Yama, O foremost of Brahmanas! I have no doubt of this. The course of morality is very subtle. It is plain that we shall be stained with the guilt of slaughtering women for this. Having slain our kinsmen and friends and thereby committed an inexpiable sin, we shall have to fall into hell with heads downwards. O best of men, we shall, therefore, waste our limbs with the austerest of penances. Tell me, O grandsire, to what mode of life I should betake myself then.’”

Vaisampayana continued, “Hearing these words of Yudhishthira, the Island-born Rishi, having reflected keenly for some time, addressed the son of Pandu as follows:

“Vyasa said, ‘Remembering the duties of a Kshatriya, O king, do not give way to grief. All those Kshatriyas, O bull among Kshatriyas, have fallen in the observance of their proper duties. In the pursuit of great prosperity and of great fame on earth, those foremost of men, all of whom were liable to death, have perished through the influence of Time. Thou hast not been their slayer, nor this Bhima, nor Arjuna, nor the twins. It is Time that took away their life-breaths according to the great law of change. Time hath neither mother, nor father, nor anybody for whom he is disposed to show any favour. He is the witness of the acts of all creatures. By him have they been taken away. This battle, O bull of Bharata’s race, was only an occasion ordained by him. He causes creatures to be slain through the instrumentality of creatures. This is the manner in which it puts forth its irresistible power. Know that Time (in his dealings with creatures) is dependent upon the bond of action and is the witness of all actions good and bad. It is Time that brings about the fruits, fraught with bliss or woe, of our actions. Think, O mighty-armed one, of the acts of those Kshatriyas that have fallen. Those acts were the causes of their destruction and it is in consequence of them that they have perished. Think also of thy own acts consisting of observances of vows with

restrained soul. And think also how thou hast been forced by the Supreme Ordainer to do such an act (as the slaughter of so many human beings). As a weapon made by a smith or carpenter is under the control of the person that is handling it, and moves as he moves it, similarly this universe, controlled by actions done in Time, moves as those actions move it. Seeing that the births and deaths of creatures take place without any (assignable) cause and in perfect wantonness, grief and joy are perfectly needless. Although this entanglement of thy heart is a mere delusion, still, if it pleaseth thee, O king, perform expiatory rites (for washing thyself free of thy so-called sin). It is heard, O Partha, that the gods and the Asuras fought against each other. The Asuras were the elder, and the gods the younger brothers. Covetous of prosperity, fierce was the battle fought between them. The fight lasted for two and thirty thousand years. Making the earth one vast expanse of blood, the gods slew the Daityas and gained possession of heaven. Having obtained possession of the earth, a (large) number of Brahmanas, conversant with the Vedas, armed themselves, stupefied with pride, with the Danavas for giving them help in the fight. They were known by the name of Salavrika and numbered eight and eighty thousand. All of them, however, were slain by the gods. Those wicked-souled persons who desire the extinction of virtue and who set sinfulness agoing deserve to be slain even as the furious Daityas were slain by the gods. If by slaying a single individual a family may be saved, or, if by slaying a single family the whole kingdom may be saved, such an act of slaughter will not be a transgression. Sin, O king, sometimes assumes the form of virtue, and virtue sometimes assumes the form of sin. They, however, that are learned, know which is which. Therefore, console thyself, O son of Pandu, for thou art well versed in the scriptures. Thou hast, O Bharata, only followed the path formerly trodden by the very gods. Men like yourselves never go to hell, O bull of Pandu’s race! Comfort these thy brothers and all thy friends, O scorcher of foes! He who deliberately engages himself in sinful acts, and committing sinful acts feels no shame but continues the same as before, is called (in the scripture) a great sinner. There is no expiation for him and his sins know no diminution. Thou art born in noble race. Forced by the faults of others, thou hast most unwillingly done this, and having done this thou repentest of it. The Horse-sacrifice, that grand rite, has been indicated as an expiation for thee. Make preparations for that sacrifice, O monarch, and thou shalt be freed from thy sins. The divine chastiser of Paka, having vanquished his foes with the assistance of the Maruts, gradually performed a hundred sacrifices and became Satakratu. Freed from sin, possessed of heaven, and having obtained many regions of bliss and great happiness and prosperity, Sakra, surrounded by the Maruts, is shining in beauty, and illuminating all the quarters with his splendour. The lord of Sachi is adored in the heavens by the Apsaras. The Rishis and the other gods all worship him with reverence. Thou hast got the earth through thy prowess. All the kings have been vanquished by thee, O sinless one, through thy prowess.

Proceeding with thy friends to their kingdom, O king, install their brothers, sons, or grandsons on their thrones. Behaving with kindness towards even the children in the womb, make thy subjects glad and happy, and rule the earth. Install on their thrones the daughters of those that have no sons. Women are fond of pleasure and power. Through this means they will castoff their sorrows and become happy. Having comforted the whole empire in this way, O Bharata, adore the gods in a Horse-sacrifice as the virtuous Indra did in days of old. It is not proper for us to grieve for those high-souled Kshatriyas, O bull of thy order (that have fallen in battle). Stupefied by the power of the destroyer, they have perished in the observance of the duties of their own order. Thou hast discharged the duties of a Kshatriya and obtained the earth without a thorn in it. Observe thy own duties, O son of Kunti, for then, O Bharata, thou shalt be able to obtain happiness in the other world.’”


“Yudhishthira said, ‘After doing what acts does a man become liable to perform expiation? And what are those acts which he must do for being freed from sin? Tell me this, O grandsire.’

“Vyasa said, ‘Having omitted to do those acts that have been ordained, and done those that have been interdicted, and having behaved deceitfully, a man becomes liable to perform expiation. The person in the observance of the Brahmacharya vow, who rises from bed after the sun has risen or goes to bed while the sun is setting, one who has a rotten nail or black teeth, one whose younger brother weds first, one who weds before his elder brother is wedded, one who has been guilty of the slaughter of a Brahmana, one who speaks ill of others, one who weds a younger sister before the elder sister has been wedded, one who weds an elder sister after having wedded a younger one, one who falls away from a vow, one who slays any one of the regenerate classes, one who imparts a knowledge of the Vedas to a person unworthy of it, one who does not impart a knowledge thereof to a person that is worthy of it, one who takes many lives, one who sells flesh, one who has abandoned his (sacred) fire, one who sells a knowledge of the Vedas, one who slays his preceptor or a woman, one born in a sinful family, one who slays an animal wilfully, one who sets fire to a dwelling house, one who lives by deceit, one who acts in opposition to his preceptor, and one who has violated a compact,–these all are guilty of sins requiring expiation. I shall now mention other acts that men should not do, viz., acts that are interdicted by both the world and the Vedas. Listen to me with concentrated attention. The rejection of

one’s own creed, the practice of other people’s creed, assisting at the sacrifice or the religious rites of one that is not worthy of such assistance, eating of food that is forbidden, deserting one that craves protection, neglect in maintaining servants and dependants, selling salt and treacle (and similar other substances), killing of birds and animals, refusal, though competent, to procreate upon a soliciting woman, omission to present the daily gifts (of handfuls of grass to kine and the like), omission to present the dakshina, humiliating a Brahmana,–these all have been pronounced by persons conversant with duty to be acts that no one should do. The son that quarrels with the father, the person that violates the bed of his preceptor, one that neglects to produce offspring in one’s wedded wife, are all sinful, O tiger among men! I have now declared to thee, in brief as also in detail, those acts and omissions by which a man becomes liable to perform expiation. Listen now to the circumstances under which men, by even committing these acts, do not become stained with sin. If a Brahmana well acquainted with the Vedas takes up arms and rushes against thee in battle for killing thee, thou mayst proceed against him for taking his life. By such an act the slayer does not become guilty of the slaughter of a Brahmana. There is a mantra in the Vedas, O son of Kunti, that lays this down, I declare unto thee only those practices that are sanctioned by the authority of the Vedas. One who slays a Brahmana that has fallen away from his own duties and that advances, weapon in hand, with intent to slaughter, does not truly become the slayer of a Brahmana. In such a case it is the wrath of the slayer that proceeds against the wrath of the slain. A person by drinking alcoholic stimulants in ignorance or upon the advice of a virtuous physician when his life is at peril, should have the regenerating ceremonies performed once more in his case. All that I have told thee, O son of Kunti, about the eating of interdicted food, may be cleansed by such expiatory rites. Connection with the preceptor’s wife at the preceptor’s command does not stain the pupil. The sage Uddalaka caused his son Swetaketu to be begotten by a disciple. A person by committing theft for the sake of his preceptor in a season of distress is not stained with sin. One, however, that takes to thieving for procuring enjoyments for himself becomes stained. One is not stained by stealing from other than Brahmanas (in a season of distress and for the sake of one’s preceptor). Only one that steals under such circumstances without himself appropriating any portion thereof is untouched by sin. A falsehood may be spoken for saving one’s own life or that of another, or for the sake of one’s preceptor, or for gratifying a woman, or for bringing about a marriage. One’s vow of Brahmacharya is not broken by having wet dreams. In such cases the expiation laid down consists in the pouring of libations of clarified butter on the blazing fire. If the elder brother be fallen or has renounced the world, the younger brother does not incur sin by marrying. Solicited by a woman, connection with her is not destructive of virtue. One should not slay or cause to be slain an animal except in a sacrifice. Animals have become sacred (fit for sacrifice) through the kindness manifested towards them by

the Creator himself in the ordinance laid down by him. By making a gift in ignorance to an undeserving Brahmana one does not incur sin. The omission (through ignorance) to behave with liberality towards a deserving person does not lead to sin. By casting off an adulterous wife one does not incur sin. By such treatment the woman herself may be purged while the husband may avoid sin. One who knows the true use of the Soma juice, does not incur sin by selling it. By dismissing a servant who is incompetent to render service one is not touched by sin. I have now said unto thee those acts by doing which one does not incur sin. I shall now speak to thee of expiation in detail.’”

Section XXXVI

“Vyasa said, ‘By penances, religious rites, and gifts, O Bharata, a man may wash off his sins if he does not commit them again. By subsisting upon only one meal a day, and that procured by mendicancy, by doing all his acts himself (without relying on the aid of a servant), by making his round of mendicancy with a human skull in one hand and a khattanga in another, by becoming a Brahmacharin and always ready for exertion, by casting off all malice, by sleeping on the bare ground, by publishing his offence to the world, by doing all this for full twelve years, a person can cleanse himself from the sin of having slain a Brahmana. By perishing upon the weapon of a person living by the use of arms, of one’s own will and upon the advice of persons learned in the scriptures, or by throwing one’s self down, for three times, with head downwards, upon a blazing fire, or by walking a hundred Yojanas all the while reciting the Vedas, or by giving away one’s whole property to a Brahmana conversant with the Vedas, or at least so much as would secure to him a competence for life, or a house properly furnished, and by protecting kine and Brahmanas, one may be cleansed of the sin of having slain a Brahmana. By living upon the scantiest meal every day for a space of six years, a person may be cleansed of that sin. By observing a harder vow with regard to food one may be cleansed in three years. By living upon one meal a month, one may be cleansed in course of only a year. By observing, again, an absolute fast, one may be cleansed within a very short time. There is no doubt again that: one is cleansed by a Horse-sacrifice. Men that have been guilty of having slain

a Brahmana and that have succeeded in taking the final bath at the completion of the Horse-sacrifice, become cleansed of all their sins. This is an injunction of great authority in the Srutis. One again, by slaying down his life in a battle undertaken for the sake of a Brahmana, becomes cleansed of the sin of having slain a Brahmana. By giving away a hundred thousand kine unto persons deserving of gifts, one becomes cleansed of the sin of having slain a Brahmana as also, indeed, of all his sins. One that gives away five and twenty thousand kine of the Kapila species and while all of them have calved, becomes cleansed of all his sins. One who, at the point of death, gives away a thousand kine with calves unto poor but deserving persons, becomes freed from sin. That man, O king, who gives away a hundred steeds of the Kamvoja breed unto Brahmanas of regulated behaviour, becomes freed from sin. That man. O Bharata, who gives unto even one person all that he asks for, and who, having given it, does not speak of his act to any one, becomes freed from sin. If a person who has once taken alcohol drinks (as expiation) hot liquor, he sanctifies himself both here and hereafter. By falling from the summit of a mountain or entering a blazing fire, or by going on an everlasting journey after renouncing the world, one is freed from all sins. By performing the sacrifice laid down by Vrihaspati, a Brahmana who drinks alcoholic liquors may succeed in attaining to the region of Brahman. This has been said by Brahman himself. If a person, after having drunk alcoholic liquor, becomes humble and makes a gift of land, and abstains from it ever afterwards, he becomes sanctified and cleansed. The person that has violated his preceptor’s bed, should lie down on a sheet of iron having heated it, and having cut off the emblem of his sex should leave the world for a life in the woods, with eyes always turned upwards. By casting off one’s body, one becomes cleansed of all his evil acts. Women, by leading a regulated life for one year, become cleansed of all their sins. The person who observes a very rigid vow, or gives away the whole of his wealth, or perishes in a battle fought for the sake of his preceptor, becomes cleansed of all his sins. One who uses falsehood before one’s preceptor or acts in opposition to him, becomes cleansed of that sin by doing something agreeable to one’s preceptor. One who has fallen off from the vow (of Brahmacharya ), may become cleansed of that sin by wearing the hide of a cow for six months and observing the penances laid down in the case of the slaughter of a Brahmana. One who has been guilty of adultery, or of theft, may become cleansed by observing rigid vows for a year. When one steals another’s property, one should, by every means in his power, return to that other property of the value of what has been stolen. One may then be cleansed of the sin (of theft). The younger brother who has married before the marriage of the elder brother, as also the elder brother whose Younger brother has married before him, becomes cleansed by observing a rigid vow, with collected soul, for twelve nights. The younger brother, however, should wed again for rescuing his deceased ancestors. Upon such second wedding, the first wife becomes cleansed and her husband himself would not incur sin by taking her. Men conversant with the scriptures declare that women may be cleansed of even the greatest sins by observing the vow of chaturmasya, all the while living upon scanty and cleansing food. Persons conversant with the scriptures do not take into account the sins that women may commit at heart. Whatever their sins (of this description), they are cleansed by their menstrual course like a metallic plate that is scoured with ashes. Plates (made of the alloy of brass and copper) stained by a Sudra eating off it, or a vessel of the same metal that has been smelt by a cow, or stained by a Brahmana’s Gandusha, may be cleansed by means of the ten purifying substances. It has been laid down that a Brahmana should acquire and practise the full measure of virtue. For a person at the kingly order it has been laid down that he should acquire and practise a measure of virtue less by a fourth part. So, a Vaisya should acquire a measure less (than a Kshatriya’s) by a fourth and a Sudra less (than a Vaisya’s) by a fourth. The heaviness or lightness of sins (for purposes of expiation) of each of the four orders, should be determined upon this principle. Having slain a bird or an animal, or cut down living trees, a person should publish his sin and fast for three nights. By having intercourse with one with whom intercourse is prohibited, the expiation for one is wandering in wet clothes and sleeping on a bed of ashes. These, O king, are the expiations for sinful acts, according to precedent and reason and scriptures and the ordinances. A Brahmana may be cleansed of all sins by reciting the Gayatri in a sacred place, all the while living upon frugal fare, casting off malice, abandoning wrath and hate, unmoved by praise and blame, and abstaining from speech. He should during the day-time be under shelter of the sky and should lie down at night even at such a place. Thrice during the day, and thrice during the night, he should also plunge with his clothes into a stream or lake for performing his ablutions. Observant of rigid vows, he should abstain from speech with women, Sudras, and fallen persons. A Brahmana by observing such regulations may be cleansed of all sins unconsciously committed by him. A person obtains in the other world the fruits, good or bad, of his acts here which are all witnessed by the elements. Be it virtue or be it vice, according to the true measure that one acquires of either, one enjoys or suffers the consequences (even here). By knowledge, by penances, and by righteous acts, therefore, one enhances his weal (even here). One, therefore may similarly enhance his misery by committing unrighteous acts. One should, therefore, always achieve acts that are righteous and abstain altogether from those that are unrighteous. I have now indicated what the expiations are of the sins that have been mentioned. There is expiation for every sin except those that are called Mahapatakas (highly heinous sins). As regards sins in respect of unclean food and the like, and improper speeches, etc., they are of two classes, viz., those committed consciously and those that are committed unconsciously. All sins that are committed consciously are grave, while those that are committed unconsciously are trivial or light. There is expiation for both. Indeed sin is capable of being washed away by (observance of) the ordinances spoken of. Those ordinances, however, have been laid down only for believers (in God) and those that have faith. They

are not for atheists or those that have no faith, or those in whom pride and malice predominate. A person, O tiger among men, that is desirous of weal both here and hereafter, should, O foremost of virtuous men, have recourse to righteous behaviour, to (the counsels of) men that are righteous, and to the duties that have been ordained for him. Therefore, for the reasons already advanced (by me), thou, O king, shalt be cleansed of all thy sins for thou hast slain thy foes in the discharge of thy duties as a king and for the protection of thy life-breath and thy inheritance. Or, if not withstanding this, thou still regardest thyself to be sinful, perform expiation. Do not cast away thy life in consequence of such grief that is not becoming a wise man.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed by the holy Rishi, king Yudhishthira the just, having reflected for a short while, said these words unto the sage.’”

Section XXXVII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grandfather, what food is clean and what unclean, what gift is praiseworthy, and who should be considered deserving and who undeserving (of gifts).’

“Vyasa said, ‘In this connection is cited the old account of a discourse between the ascetics and that lord of creation, viz., Manu. In the Krita age, an assembly of Rishis, of rigid vows, having approached the great and puissant lord of creation, Manu, while seated at his ease, solicited him to discourse on duties, saying, ‘What food should be taken, who is to be regarded a deserving person (for gifts), what gifts should be made, how should a person study, and what penances should one perform and how, and what acts should be done and what acts should not be done, O lord of creation, tell us everything about all this.’ Thus addressed by them, the divine and self-born Manu said unto them, ‘Listen to me as I expound the duties in brief and in detail. In regions which have not been interdicted, silent recitation (of sacred mantras, homa), fasts, knowledge of self, sacred rivers, regions inhabited by men devoted to this pious acts,–these have been laid down as acts and objects that are cleansing. Certain mountains also are cleansing, as also the eating of gold and bathing in waters into which have been dipped gems and precious stones. Sojourn to holy places, and eating of sanctified butter–these also, without doubt speedily cleanse a man. No man would ever be called wise if he is indulged in pride. If he wishes to be long-lived, he should for three nights drink hot water (as an expiation for having indulged in pride). Refusal to appropriate what is not given, gift, study (of scriptures), penance, abstention from injury, truth, freedom from wrath, and worship of the gods in sacrifices,–these are the characteristics of virtue. That again which is virtue may, according to time and place, be sin. Thus appropriation (of what belongs to others), untruth, and injury and killing, may under special circumstances, become virtue. With respect to persons capable of judging, acts are of two kinds, viz., virtuous and sinful. From the worldly and the Vedic points of view again, virtue and sin are good or bad (according to their consequences). From the Vedic point of view, virtue and sin (i.e., everything a man may do or not do), would be classed under action and inaction. Inaction (i.e., abstention from Vedic rites and adoption of a life of contemplation) leads to emancipation (from rebirth); while the consequences of action (i.e., practice of Vedic rites) are repeated death and rebirth. From the worldly point of view, acts that are evil lead to evil and those that are good to consequences that are good. From the worldly point of view, therefore, virtue and sin are to be distinguished by the good and the evil character of their consequences. Acts that are (apparently) evil, when undertaken from considerations connected with the gods, the scriptures, life itself, and the means by which life is sustained, produce consequences that are good. When an act is undertaken from the expectation, however doubtful, that it will produce mischief (to some one) in the future, or when an act is done whose consequence is visibly mischievous, expiation has been laid down. When an act is done from wrath or clouded judgment, then expiation should be performed by giving pain to the body, guided by precedent, by scriptures, and by reason. When anything, again, is done for pleasing or displeasing the mind, the sin arising therefrom may be cleansed by sanctified food and recitation of mantras. The king who lays aside (in a particular case) the rod of chastisement, should fast for one night. The priest who (in a particular case) abstains from advising the king to inflict punishment, should fast for three nights as an expiation. The person who, from grief, attempts to commit suicide by means of weapons, should fast for three nights. There is no expiation for them that cast off the duties and practices of their order and class, country, and family, and that abandon their very creed. When an occasion for doubt respecting what should be done arises, that should be regarded as the injunction of the scriptures which ten persons versed in Vedic scriptures or three of those that frequently recite them may declare. The bull, earth, little ants, worms generated in dirt, and poison, should not be eaten by Brahmanas. They should not also eat fishes that have no scales, and four-footed aquatic animals like frogs and others, except the tortoise. Water-fowls called Bhasas, ducks, Suparnas, Chakravakas, diving ducks, cranes, crows, shags, vultures, hawks, owls, as also all four-footed animals that are carnivorous and that have sharp and long teeth, and birds, and animals having two teeth and those having four teeth, as also the milk of the sheep, the she-ass, the she-camel, the newly-calved cow, woman and deer, should not be taken by a Brahmana.

Besides this, the food that has been offered to the man, that which has been cooked by a woman who has recently brought forth a child, and food cooked by an unknown person, should not be eaten. The milk also of a cow that has recently calved should not be taken. If a Brahmana takes food that has been cooked by a Kshatriya, it diminishes his energy; if he takes the food provided by a Sudra, it dims his Brahmanic lustre; and if he takes the food provided by a goldsmith or a woman who has neither husband nor children it lessens the period of his life. The food provided by a usurer is equivalent to dirt, while that provided by a woman living by prostitution is equivalent to semen. The food also provided by persons that tolerate the unchastity of their wives, and by persons that are ruled by their spouses, is forbidden. The food provided by a person selected (for receiving gifts) at a certain stage of a sacrifice, by one who does not enjoy his wealth or make any gifts, that provided by one who sells Soma, or one who is a shoe-maker, by an unchaste woman, by a washerman, by a physician, by persons serving as watchmen, by a multitude of persons, by one who is pointed at by a whole village, by one deriving his support from keep of dancing girls, by persons wedding before their elder brothers are wedded, by professional panegyrists and bards, and by those that are gamblers, the food also which is brought with the left hand or which is stale, the food which is mixed with alcohol, the food a portion of which has been already tasted, and the food that forms the remnant of a feast, should not be taken (by a Brahmana). Cakes, sugarcanes, potherbs, and rice boiled in sugared milk, if they have lost their relish, should not be taken. The powder of fried barley and of other kinds of fried grain, mixed with curds, if become stale with age, should not be taken. Rice boiled in sugared milk, food mixed with the tila seed, meat, and cakes, that have not been dedicated to the gods, should not be taken by Brahmanas leading a domestic mode of life, Having first gratified the gods, Rishis, guests, Pitris, and the household deities, a Brahmana leading a domestic mode of life should then take his food. A householder by living thus in his own house becomes like a person of the Bhikshu order that has renounced the world. A man of such behaviour, living with his wives in domesticity, earns great religious merit. No one should make a gift for the sake of acquiring fame, or from fear (of censure and the like) or unto a benefactor. A virtuous man would not make gifts unto persons living by singing and dancing or unto those that are professional jesters, or unto a person that is intoxicated, or unto one that is insane, or unto a thief, or unto a slanderer, or unto an idiot, or unto one that is pale of hue, or unto one that is defective of a limb, or unto a dwarf, or unto a wicked person, or unto one born in a low and wicked family, or unto one that has not been sanctified by the observance of vows. No gift should be made to a Brahmana destitute of knowledge of the Vedas. Gifts should be made unto him only that is a Srotriya. An improper gift and an improper acceptance produce evil consequences unto both the giver and the acceptor. As a person who seeks to cross the ocean with the aid of a rock or a mass of catechu sinks along with his support, even so the giver

and the acceptor (in such a case) both sink together. As a fire that is covered with wet fuel does not blaze forth, even so the acceptor of a gift who is bereft of penances and study and piety cannot confer any benefit (upon the giver). As water in a (human skull) and milk in a bag made of dog-skin become unclean in consequence of the uncleanliness of the vessels in which they are kept even so the Vedas become fruitless in a person who is not of good behaviour. One may give from compassion unto a low Brahmana who is without mantras and vows, who is ignorant of the scriptures and who harbours envy. One may, from compassion, give unto a person that is poor or afflicted or ill. But he should not give unto such a person in the belief that he would derive any (spiritual) benefit from it or that he would earn any religious merit by it. There is no doubt that a gift made to Brahmana bereft of the Vedas becomes perfectly fruitless in consequence of the fault of the recipient. As an elephant made of wood or an antelope made of leather, even so is a Brahmana that has not studied the Vedas. All the three have nothing but names. As a eunuch is unproductive with women, as a cow is unproductive with a cow, as a bird lives in vain that is featherless, even so is a Brahmana that is without mantras. As grain without kernel, as a well without water, as libations poured on ashes, even so is a gift to a Brahmana void of learning. An unlearned Brahmana is an enemy (to all) and is the destroyer of the food that is presented to the gods and Pitris. A gift made to such a person goes for nothing. He is, therefore, like unto a robber (of other people’s wealth). He can never succeed in acquiring regions of bliss hereafter. I have now told thee in brief, O Yudhishthira, all that was said (by Manu on that occasion). This high discourse should be listened to by all, O bull of Bharata’s race.’”


“Yudhishthira said, ‘O holy and great ascetic, I desire to hear in detail what the duties of kings are and what the duties, in full, of all the four orders. I desire also to hear, O foremost of Brahmanas, what behaviour should be adopted in seasons of distress, and how I may subjugate the world by treading along the path of morality. This discourse on expiation, treating (at the same time) of fasts and capable of exciting great curiosity, fills me with joy. The practice of virtue and the discharge of kingly duties are always inconsistent with each other. For always thinking of how one may reconcile the two, my mind is constantly stupefied.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then Vyasa, O monarch, that foremost of all persons conversant with the Vedas, casting his eyes upon that ancient and all-knowing person, viz., Narada, said, If, O king, thou wishest to hear of duties and morality in full, then ask Bhishma, O mighty-armed one, that old grandsire of the Kurus. Conversant with all duties and possessed of universal knowledge, that son of Bhagirathi will remove all the doubts in thy heart on the difficult subject of duties. That goddess, viz., the genius of the celestial river of three courses brought him forth. He saw with his physical eyes all the gods with Indra at their head. Having gratified with his dutiful services the celestial Rishis having Vrihaspati at their head, he acquired a knowledge of the duties of kings. That foremost one among the Kurus obtained a knowledge also of that science, with its interpretations, with Usanas and that regenerate one who is the preceptor of the celestials know. Having practised rigid vows, that mighty-armed one acquired a knowledge of all the Vedas and their branches, from Vasishtha and from Chyavana of Bhrigu’s race. In olden days he studied under the eldest-born son of the Grandsire himself, viz., Sanatkumara of blazing splendour, well conversant with the truths of mental and spiritual science. He learnt the duties in full of the Yatis from the lips of Markandeya. The bull among men obtained all weapons from Rama and Sakra. Although born among human beings, his death itself is still under his own control. Although childless, yet he has many regions of bliss hereafter as heard by us. Regenerate Rishis of great merit were always his courtiers. There is nothing among objects that should be known that is unknown to him. Conversant with all duties and acquainted with all the subtle truths of morality, even he will discourse to thee upon duty and morality. Go unto him before he abandons his life breath. Thus addressed by him, the high-souled son of Kunti, of great wisdom, said the following words unto Satyavati’s son Vyasa, that first of eloquent men.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Having caused a great and horrid slaughter of kinsmen, I have become an offender against all and a destroyer of the earth. Having caused that Bhishma himself, that warrior who always fought fairly, to be slain by the aid of deceit, how shall I approach him for asking him (about duties and morality)?’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Moved by the desire of benefiting all the four orders, the mighty armed and high-souled chief of Yadu’s race once more addressed that foremost of kings (in the following words).’

“Vasudeva said, ‘It behoveth thee not to show such pertinacity in grief. Do that, O best of kings, which the holy Vyasa has said. The Brahmanas, O mighty-armed one, and these thy brothers of great energy, stand before thee beseechingly like persons beseeching the deity of the clouds at the close of summer. The unslain remnant of the assembled kings, and the people belonging to all the four orders of thy kingdom of Kurujangala, O king, are here. For the sake of doing what is agreeable to these high-souled Brahmanas, in obedience also to the command of thy revered senior Vyasa of immeasurable energy, and at the request of out-selves that are thy well-wishers, and of Draupadi, O scorcher of foes, do what is agreeable to us, O slayer of foes, and what is beneficial to the world.’

“Vaisampayana continued. ‘Thus addressed by Krishna, the high-souled king (Yudhishthira) of eyes like lotus petals, rose from his seat for the good of the whole world. The tiger among men, viz., Yudhishthira of great fame, besought by Krishna himself, by the Island-born (Vyasa), by Devasthana, by Jishnu, by these and many others, cast off his grief and anxiety. Fully conversant with the declarations of the Srutis, with the science that treats of the interpretation of those declarations, and with all that men usually hear and all that deserve to be heard, the son of Pandu obtained peace of mind and resolved upon that he should next do. Surrounded by all of them like the moon by the stars, the king, placing Dhritarashtra at the head of the train, set out for entering the city. Desirous of entering the city, Kunti’s son Yudhishthira, conversant with every duty, offered worship unto the gods and thousands of Brahmanas. He then ascended a new and white car covered with blankets and deerskins, and unto which were yoked sixteen white bullocks possessed of auspicious marks, and which had been sanctified with Vedic mantras. Adored by panegyrists and bards, the king mounted upon that car like Soma riding upon his own ambrosial vehicle. His brother Bhima of terrible prowess took the reins. Arjuna held over his head a white umbrella of great effulgence. That white umbrella held upon the car looked beautiful like a star-decked white cloud in the firmament. The two heroic sons of Madri, viz., Nakula and Sahadeva, took up two yak-tails white as the rays of the moon and adorned with gems for fanning the king. The five brothers decked with ornaments, having ascended the car, O king, looked like the five elements (that enter into the composition of everybody). Riding upon another white car unto which were yoked steeds fleet as thought, Yuyutsu, O king, followed the eldest son of Pandu behind. Upon his own brilliant car of gold unto which were yoked Saivya and Sugriva, Krishna, with Satyaki, followed the Kurus. The eldest uncle of Pritha’s son, O Bharata, accompanied by Gandhari, proceeded at the head of the train, upon a vehicle borne on the shoulders of men. The other ladies of the Kuru household, as also Kunti and Krishna, all proceeded on excellent vehicles, headed by Vidura. Behind followed a large number of cars and elephants decked with ornaments, and foot-soldiers and steeds. His praises chanted by sweet-voiced panegyrists and bards, the king proceeded towards the city called after the elephant. The progress, O mighty-armed one, of king Yudhishthira, became so beautiful that its like had never been on earth. Teeming with healthy and cheerful men, thy busy hum of innumerable voices was heard there. During the progress of Pritha’s son, the city and its streets were adorned with gay citizens (all of whom had come out for honouring the king). The spot through which the king passed had been decked with festoons of flowers and innumerable banners. The streets of the city were perfumed with incense. The place was overlaid with powdered perfumes and flowers and fragrant plants, and hung over with garlands and wreaths. New metallic jars, full of water to the brim, were kept at the door of every house, and bevies of beautiful maidens of the fairest complexion stood at the particular spots. Accompanied by his friends, the son of Pandu, adored with sweet speeches, entered the city through its well-adorned gate.’”

Section XXXIX

“Vaisampayana said, ‘At the time the Parthas entered the city, thousands upon thousands of the citizens came out to behold the sight. The well-adorned squares and streets, with crowd swelling at each moment looked beautiful like the ocean swelling at the rise of the moon. The large mansions that stood on the street-sides, decked with every ornament and full of ladies, seemed to shake, O Bharata, with their weight. With soft and modest voices they uttered the praises of Yudhishthira, of Bhima and Arjuna, and of the two sons of Madri. And they said, ‘Worthy of all praise art thou. O blessed princess of Panchala, that waitest by the side of those foremost of men even like Gautami by the side of the (seven) Rishis. Thy acts and vows have borne their fruits, O lady!’ In this strain, O monarch, the ladies praised the princess Krishna. In consequence of those praises, O Bharata, and their speeches with one another, and the shouts of joy (uttered by the men’ ), the city became filled with a loud uproar. Having passed through the streets with such behaviour as befitted him, Yudhishthira then entered the beautiful palace (of the Kurus) adorned with every ornament. The people belonging to the city and the provinces, approaching the palace, uttered speeches that were agreeable to his ears, ‘By good luck, O foremost of kings, thou hast vanquished thy enemies, O slayer of foes! By good luck, thou hast recovered thy kingdom through virtue and prowess. Be, O foremost of kings, our monarch for a hundred years, and protect thy subjects virtuously like Indra protecting the denizens of heaven.’ Thus adored at the palace-gate with blessed speeches, and accepting the benedictions uttered by the Brahmanas from every side, the king, graced with victory and the blessings of the people, entered the palace that resembled the mansion of Indra himself, and then descended from his car. Entering the apartments, blessed Yudhishthira approached the household gods and worshipped them with gems and scents and floral wreaths. Possessed of great fame and prosperity, the king came out once more and beheld a number of Brahmanas waiting with auspicious articles in their hands (for pronouncing benedictions on him). Surrounded by those Brahmanas desirous of uttering benedictions on him, the king looked beautiful like the spotless moon in the midst of the stars. Accompanied by his priest Dhaumya and his eldest uncle, the son of Kunti cheerfully worshipped, with due rites, those Brahmanas with (gift of) sweets, gems, and gold in profusion, and kine and robes, O monarch, and with diverse other articles that each desired. Then loud shouts of ‘This is a blessed day’ arose, filling the entire welkin, O Bharata. Sweet to the ear, that sacred sound was highly gratifying to the friends and well-wishers (of the Pandavas). The king heard that sound uttered by those learned Brahmanas and that was as loud and clear as the sound of a flock of swans. He listened also to the speeches, fraught with melodious words and grave import, of those persons well conversant with the Vedas. Then, O king, the peal of drums and the delightful blare of conchs, indicative of triumph, arose. A little while after when the Brahmanas had become silent, a Rakshasa of the name of Charvaka, who had disguised himself as a Brahmana, addressed the king. He was a friend of Duryodhana and stood therein the garb of a religious mendicant. With a rosary, with a tuft of hair on his head, and with the triple staff in his hand, he stood proudly and fearlessly in the midst of all those Brahmanas that had come there for pronouncing benedictions (upon the king), numbering by thousands, O king, and all of whom were devoted to penances and vows. That wicked wight, desirous of evil unto the high-souled Pandavas and without having consulted those Brahmanas, said these words unto the king.’

“Charvaka said, ‘All these Brahmanas, making me their spokesman, are saying, ‘Fie on thee! Thou art a wicked king. Thou art a slayer of kinsmen. What shalt thou gain, O son of Kunti, by having thus exterminated thy race? Having slain also thy superiors and preceptor, it is proper for thee to cast away thy life.’ Hearing these words of that wicked Rakshasa the Brahmanas there became deeply agitated. Stung by that speech, they made a loud uproar. And all of them, with king Yudhishthira. O monarch, became speechless from anxiety and shame.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘I bow down to you and beseech you humbly, be gratified with me. It doth not behove you to cry fie on me. I shall soon lay down my life.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then all those Brahmanas, O king, loudly said, ‘These are not our words. Prosperity to thee, O monarch!’ Those high-souled persons, conversant with the Vedas, with understanding rendered clear by penances, then penetrated the disguise of the speaker by means of their spiritual sight.’ And they said, ‘This is the Rakshasa Charvaka, the friend of Duryodhana. Having put on the garb of a religious mendicant, he seeks the good of his friend Duryodhana. We have not, O thou of righteous soul, said anything of the kind. Let this anxiety of thine be dispelled. Let prosperity attend upon thee with thy brothers.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘These Brahmanas then, insensate with rage, uttered the sound Hun. Cleansed of all sins, they censured the sinful Rakshasa and slew him there (with that very sound). Consumed by the energy of those utterers of Brahma, Charvaka fell down dead, like a tree with all its sprouts blasted by the thunder of Indra. Duly worshipped, the Brahmanas went away, having gladdened the king with their benedictions. The royal son of Pandu also, with all his friends, felt great happiness.

Section XL

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then Devaki’s son Janardana of universal knowledge addressed king Yudhishthira who stood there with his brothers, saying, ‘In this world, O sire, Brahmanas are always the objects of worship with me. They are gods on earth having poison in their speech, and are exceedingly easy to gratify. Formerly, in the Krita age, O king, a Rakshasa of the name of Charvaka, O mighty-armed one, performed austere penances for many years in Vadari. Brahman repeatedly solicited him to ask for boons. At last the Rakshasa solicited the boon, O Bharata, of immunity from fear at the hand of every being in the universe. The Lord of the universe gave that high boon of immunity from fear at the hands of all creatures, subject to the only limitation that he should be careful of how he offended the Brahmanas. Having obtained that boon, the sinful and mighty Rakshasa of fierce deeds and great prowess began to give pain to the gods. The gods, persecuted by the might of the Rakshasa, assembling together, approached Brahman, for compassing their foe’s destruction. The eternal and unchangeable god answered them, O Bharata, saying, ‘I have already arranged the means by which the death of this Rakshasa may soon be brought about. There will be a king of the name of Duryodhana. Among men, he will be the friend of this wight. Bound by affection towards him, the Rakshasa will insult the Brahmanas. Stung by the wrong he will inflict upon them, the Brahmanas, whose might consists in speech, will in wrath censure him at which he will meet with destruction. Even that Rakshasa Charvaka, O foremost of kings, slain by the curse of the Brahmanas, lies there deprived of life. Do not, O bull of Bharata’s race, give way to grief. The kinsmen, O king, have all perished in the observance of Kshatriya duties. Those butts among Kshatriyas, those high-souled heroes, have all gone to heaven. Do thou attend to thy duties now. O thou of unfading glory, let no grief be thine. Stay thy foes, protect thy subjects, and worship the Brahmanas.’”

Section XLI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘The royal son of Kunti, freed from grief and the fever of his heart, took his seat, with face eastwards, on excellent seat made of gold. On another seat, beautiful and blazing and made of gold, sat with face directed towards him, those two chastisers of foes, viz., Satyaki and Vasudeva. Placing the king in their midst, on his two sides sat Bhima and Arjuna upon two beautiful seats adorned with gems. Upon a white throne of ivory, decked with gold, sat Pritha with Sahadeva and Nakula. Sudharman,

and Vidura, and Dhaumya, and the Kuru king Dhritarashtra, each sat separately on separate seats that blazed with the effulgence of fire. Yuyutsu and Sanjaya and Gandhari of great fame, all sat down where king Dhritarashtra had taken his seat. The righteous-souled king, seated there, touched the beautiful white flowers, Swastikas, vessels full of diverse articles, earth, gold, silver, and gems, (that were placed before him). Then all the subjects, headed by the priest, came to see king Yudhishthira, bringing with them diverse kinds of auspicious articles. Then earth, and gold, and many kinds of gems, and all the things in profusion that were necessary for the performance of the coronation rite, were brought there. There were golden jars full to the brim (with water), and those made of copper and silver and earth, and flowers, and fried paddy, and Kusa grass, and cow’s milk, and (sacrificial) fuel consisting of the wood of Sami, Pippala, and Palasa, and honey and clarified butter and (sacrificial) ladles made of Udumvara, and conches adorned with gold. Then the priest Dhaumya, at the request of Krishna, constructed, according to rule, an altar gradually inclining towards the cast and the north. Causing the high-souled Yudhishthira then, with Krishna the daughter of Drupada, to be seated upon a handsome seat, called Sarvatobhadra, with firm feet and covered with tiger-skin and blazing with effulgence, began to pour libations of clarified butter (upon the sacrificial fire) with proper mantras. Then he of Dasaratha’s race, rising from his seat, took up the sanctified conch, poured the water it contained upon the head of that lord of earth, viz., Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti. The royal sage Dhritarashtra and all the subjects also did the same at the request of Krishna. The son of Pandu then, with his brothers, thus bathed with the sanctified water of the conch, looked exceedingly beautiful. Then Panavas and Anakas and drums were beaten. King Yudhishthira the just duly accepted the gifts made unto him by the subjects. Always giving away presents in profusion in all his sacrifices, the king honoured his subjects in return. He gave a thousand nishkas unto the Brahmanas that uttered (especial) benedictions on him. All of them had studied the Vedas and were endued with wisdom and good behaviour. Gratified (with gifts), the Brahmanas, O king, wished him prosperity and victory, and with voice melodious like that of swans, uttered his praises, saying, ‘O Yudhishthira of mighty arms, by good luck, O son of Pandu, victory has been thine. By good luck, O thou of great splendour, thou hast recovered thy position through prowess. By good luck, the wielder of Gandiva, and Bhimasena, and thyself, O king, and the two sons of Madri, are all well, having slain your foes and escaped with life from the battle, so destructive of heroes. Do thou, O Bharata, attend without delay to those acts that should next be done.’ Thus adored by those pious men, king Yudhishthira the just, with his friends, became installed on the throne of a large kingdom, O Bharata!’”

Section XLII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having heard those words, suitable to time and place, of his subjects, king Yudhishthira answered them in the following words, ‘Great must be the sons of Pandu, in sooth, whose merits, true or false, are thus recited by such foremost of Brahmanas assembled together. Without doubt, we are all objects of favour with you since you so freely describe us to be possessed of such attributes. King Dhritarashtra, however, is our father and god. If ye desire to do what is agreeable to me, always render your obedience to him and what is agreeable to him. Having slaughtered all my kinsmen, I live for him alone. My great duty is to always serve him in every respect with watchfulness. If ye, as also my friends, think that I should be an object of favour with you and them, let me then request you all to show the same behaviour towards Dhritarashtra as ye used to show before. He is the lord of the world, of yourselves, and of myself. The whole world, with the Pandavas, belongs to him. Ye should always bear these words of mine in your minds.’ The king then told them to go whithersoever they liked. Having dismissed the citizens and the people of the provinces, the delighter of the Kurus appointed his brother Bhimasena as Yuvaraja. And he cheerfully appointed Vidura of great intelligence for assisting him with his deliberations and for overlooking the sixfold requirements of the state. And he appointed Sanjaya of mature years and possessed of every accomplishment, as general director and supervisor of the finances. And the king appointed Nakula for keeping the register of the forces, for giving them food and pay and for supervising other affairs of the army. And king Yudhishthira appointed Phalguna for resisting hostile forces and chastising the wicked. And he appointed Dhaumya, the foremost of priests, to attend daily to the Brahmanas and all rites in honour of the gods and other acts of a religious kind. And he appointed Sahadeva to always remain by his side, for the king thought, O monarch, that he should under all circumstances be protected by that brother of his. And the king cheerfully employed others in other acts according as he deemed them fit. That slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the righteous-souled king Yudhishthira, ever devoted to virtue, commanded Vidura and the high-souled Yuyutsu, saying, ‘You should always with alacrity and attention do everything that my royal father Dhritarashthra wishes. Whatever also should be done in respect of the citizens and the residents of the provinces should be accomplished by you in your respective departments, after taking the king’s permission.’”

Section XLIII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After this king Yudhishthira of magnanimous soul caused the Sraddha rites to be performed of every one of his kinsmen slain in battle. King Dhritarashtra also of great fame, gave away, for the good of his sons in the other world, excellent food, and kine, and much wealth, and many beautiful and costly gems (unto the Brahmanas). Yudhishthira accompanied by Draupadi, gave much wealth for the sake of Drona and the high-souled Karna, of Dhrishtadyumna and Abhimanyu, of the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, the son of Hidimva, and of Virata, and his other well-wishers that had served him loyally, and of Drupada and the five sons of Draupadi. For the sake of each of these, the king gratified thousands of Brahmanas with gifts of wealth and gems, and kine and clothes. The king performed the Sraddha rite for the good in the next world, of every one of those kings also who had fallen in the battle without leaving kinsmen or friends behind. And the king also, for the good of the souls of all his friends, caused houses to be founded for the distribution of food, and places for the distribution of water, and tanks to be excavated in their names. Thus paying off the debt he owed to them and avoiding the chance of censure in the world, the king became happy and continued to protect his subjects religiously. He showed due honour, as before, unto Dhritarashtra, and Gandhari, and Vidura, and unto all the superior Kauravas and unto all the officers. Full of kindness, the Kuru king honoured and protected all those ladies also who had, in consequence of the battle, been deprived of their heroic husbands and sons. The puissant king, with great compassion, extended his favours to the destitute and the blind and the helpless by giving them food, clothes and shelter. Freed from foes and having conquered the whole Earth, king Yudhishthira began to enjoy great happiness.’”

Section XLIV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having got back the kingdom, king Yudhishthira of great wisdom and purity, after the ceremony of installation had been over, joining his hands together, addressed the lotus-eyed Krishna of Dasarha’s race, saying, ‘Through thy grace, O Krishna, through thy policy and might and intelligence and prowess, O tiger among the Yadus, I have got back this ancestral kingdom of mine. O thou of eyes like lotus leaves, I repeatedly bow to thee, O chastiser of foes! Thou hast been called the One only Being. Thou hast been said to be the refuge of all worshippers. The regenerate ones adore thee under innumerable names. Salutations to thee, O Creator of the Universe! Thou art the soul of the Universe and the Universe hath sprung from thee. Thou art Vishnu, thou art Jishnu, thou art Hari, thou art Krishna, thou art Vaikuntha, and thou art the foremost of all beings. Thou hast, as said in the Puranas, taken thy birth seven times in the womb of Aditi. It was thou that tookest birth in the womb of Prishni. The learned say that thou art the three Yugas. All thy achievements are sacred. Thou art the lord of our senses. Thou art the great Lord worshipped in sacrifices. Thou art called the great swan. Thou art three-eyed Sambhu. Thou art One, though known as Vibhu and Damodara. Thou art the great Boar, thou art Fire, thou art the Sun, thou hast the bull for the device on thy banner, and thou hast Garuda also as thy device. Thou art the grinder of hostile hosts, thou art the Being that pervadest every form in the universe and thou art of irresistible prowess. Thou art the foremost of all things, thou art fierce, thou art the generalissimo in battle, thou art the Truth, thou art the giver of food, and thou art Guha (the celestial generalissimo); Thyself unfading, thou causest thy foes to fade and waste. Thou art the Brahmana of pure blood, and thou art those that have sprung from intermixture. Thou art great. Thou walkest on high, thou art the mountains, and thou art called Vrishadarbha and Vrishakapi. Thou art the Ocean, thou art without attributes, thou hast three humps, thou hast three abodes, and thou takest human forms on earth, descending from heaven. Thou art Emperor, thou art Virat, and thou art Swarat. Thou art the Chief of the celestials, and thou art the cause whence the Universe has sprung. Thou art Almighty, thou art existence in every form, thou art without form, thou art Krishna, and thou art fire. Thou art the Creator, thou art the sire of the celestial physicians, thou art (the sage) Kapila, and thou art the Dwarf. Thou art Sacrifice embodied, thou art Dhruva, thou art Garuda, and thou art called Yajnasena. Thou art Sikhandin, thou art Nahusha, and thou art Vabhru. Thou art the constellation Punarvasu extended in the firmament, Thou art exceedingly tawny in hue, thou art the sacrifice known by the name of Uktha, thou art Sushena, thou art the drum (that sends forth its sound on every side). The track of thy car-wheels is light. Thou art the lotus of Prosperity, thou art the cloud called Pushkara, and thou art decked with floral wreaths. Thou art affluent, thou art puissant, thou art the most subtle, and it is thou whom the Vedas describe. Thou art the great receptacle of waters, thou art Brahman, thou art the sacred refuge, and thou knowest the abodes of all. Thou art called Hiranyagarbha, thou art the sacred mantras swadha

and swaha, thou art Kesava. Thou art the cause whence all this hath sprung, and thou art its dissolution. In the beginning it is thou that createst the universe. This universe is under thy control, O Creator of the universe! Salutations to thee, O wielder of Sarnga, discus and sword!’ Thus hymned by king Yudhishthira the just in the midst of the court, the lotus-eyed Krishna became pleased. That foremost one of the Yadavas then began to gladden the eldest son of Pandu with many agreeable speeches.”

Section XLV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘The king dismissed all his subjects, who, commanded by the monarch, returned to their respective homes. Comforting his brothers, Yudhishthira, blazing with beauty, then addressed his brothers Bhima of terrible prowess and Arjuna and the twins, saying, ‘Your bodies have, in the great battle, been mangled with diverse kinds of weapons by the foe. Ye are greatly fatigued, grief and anger have scorched your hearts. Through my fault, ye bulls of Bharata’s race, ye have suffered the miseries of an exile in the forests like vulgar men. In delight and in happy ease enjoy this victory (that ye have won). After resting yourselves and regaining the full use of your faculties, meet me again in the morning.’ After this, the mighty-armed Vrikodara like Maghavat entering his own beautiful fane, entered the palace of Duryodhana, that was adorned with many excellent buildings and rooms, that adorned with gems of diverse kinds, that teemed with servants, male and female, and that Yudhishthira assigned to him with the approval of Dhritarashtra. The mighty-armed Arjuna also, at the command of the king, obtained the palace of Dussasana which was not inferior to Duryodhana’s and which consisted of many excellent structures and was adorned with a gate-way of gold, and which abounded in wealth and was full of attendants of both sexes. The palace of Durmarshana was even superior to that of Dussasana. Looking like the mansion of Kuvera himself, it was adorned with gold and every kind of gem. King Yudhishthira gladly gave it to Nakula who deserved it best and who had been emaciated (with the miseries of a life) in the great forest. The foremost of palaces belonging to Durmukha was exceedingly beautiful and adorned with gold. It abounded in beds and beautiful women, with eyes like lotus-petals. The king gave it unto Sahadeva who was ever employed in doing what was agreeable to him. Obtaining it, Sahadeva became delighted as the Lord of treasures upon obtaining Kailasa. Yuyutsu and Vidura and Sanjaya, O monarch, and Sudharman and Dhaumya, proceeded to the abodes they had owned before. Like a tiger entering his cave in the hills, that tiger among

men, viz., Saurin, accompanied by Satyaki, entered the palace of Arjuna. Feasting on the viands and drinks (that had been kept ready for them), the princes passed the night happily. Awaking in the morning with well pleased hearts, they presented themselves before king Yudhishthira.’”

Section XLVI

“Janamejaya said, ‘It behoveth thee, O learned Brahmana, to tell me what was next done by Yudhishthira the mighty-armed son of Dharma after he had regained his kingdom. It behoveth thee to tell me also, O Rishi, what the heroic Hrishikesa, the supreme master of the three worlds did after this.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Listen to me, O king, as I narrate in detail, O sinless one, what the Pandavas, headed by Vasudeva, did after this. Having obtained his kingdom, O monarch, Kunti’s son Yudhishthira appointed each of the four orders of men to their respective duties. The (eldest) son of Pandu gave unto a thousand high-souled Brahmanas of the Snataka order a thousand Nishkas each. He then gratified the servants that were dependant on him and the guests that came to him, including persons that were undeserving and those that held heterodox views, by fulfilling their wishes. Unto his priest Dhaumya he gave kine in thousands and much wealth and gold and silver and robes of diverse kinds. Towards Kripa, O monarch, the king behaved in the way one should towards one’s preceptor. Observant of vows, the king continued to honour Vidura greatly. That foremost of charitable men gratified all persons with gifts of food and drink and robes of diverse kinds and beds and seats. Having restored peace to his kingdom, the king, O best of monarchs, possessed of great fame, paid due honour unto Yuyutsu and Dhritarashtra. Placing his kingdom, at the disposal of Dhritarashtra, of Gandhari, and of Vidura, king Yudhishthira continued to pass his days happily. Having gratified everybody, including the citizens, in this way, Yudhishthira, O bull of Bharata’s race, then proceeded with joined hands to the presence of the high-souled Vasudeva. He beheld Krishna, of the hue of a blue cloud, seated on a large sofa adorned with gold and gems. Attired in yellow robes of silk and decked with celestial ornaments, his person blazed with splendour like a Jewel set on gold. His bosom adorned with the Kaustubha gem, he looked like the Udaya mountain that decked the rising Sun. So beautiful did he look that there is no simile in the three worlds. Approaching the high-souled one who was Vishnu himself in incarnate form, king Yudhishthira addressed him sweetly and smilingly, saying, ‘O foremost of intelligent men, hast thou passed the night happily? O thou of unfading glory, are all thy faculties in their full vigour? O foremost of intelligent persons, is it all right with thy understanding? We have got back our kingdom and the whole earth has come under our control, O divine lord, through thy grace, O refuge of the three worlds and, O thou of three steps, 1 through thy grace have we won victory and obtained great fame and have not fallen away from the duties of our order!’ Unto that chastiser of foes, viz., king Yudhishthira the just who addressed him in that strain the divine Krishna said not a word, for he was then rapt in meditation.”

Section XLVII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How wonderful is this, O thou of immeasurable prowess, that thou art rapt in meditation! O great refuge of the universe, is it all right with the three worlds? When thou hast, O God, withdrawn thyself (from the world), having, O bull among men, adopted the fourth, state, my mind has been filled with wonder. The five life-breaths that act within the body have been controlled by thee into stillness. Thy delighted senses thou hast concentrated within thy mind. Both speech and mind, O Govinda, have been concentrated within thy understanding. All thy senses, indeed, have been withdrawn into thy soul. The hair on thy body stands erect. Thy mind and understanding are both still. Thou art as immobile now, O Madhava, as a wooden post or a stone. O illustrious God, thou art as still as the flame of a lamp burning in a place where there is no wind. Thou art as immobile as a mass of rock. If I am fit to hear the cause, if it is no secret of thine, dispel, O god, my doubt for I beg of thee and solicit it as a favour. Thou art the Creator and thou art the Destroyer. Thou art destructible and thou art indestructible. Thou art without beginning and thou art without end. Thou art the first and the foremost of Beings. O foremost of righteous persons, tell me the cause of this (Yoga) abstraction. I solicit thy favour, and am thy devoted worshipper, and bow to thee, bending my head.’ Thus addressed, the illustrious younger brother of Vasava, recalling his mind, understanding, and the senses to their usual sphere, said these words with a soft smile.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘That tiger among men, Bhishma, who is now lying on a bed of arrows, and who is now like unto a fire that is about to go out, is thinking of me. Hence my mind also was concentrated on him. My mind

was concentrated upon him, the twang of whose bowstring and the sound of whose palms Indra himself was unable to bear. I was thinking of him who having vanquished in a trice all the assembled kings (at the Self-choice of the daughters of the king of Kasi) abducted the three princesses for the marriage of his brother Vichitravirya. I was thinking of him who fought continually for three and twenty days with Rama himself of Bhrigu’s race and whom Rama was unable to overcome. Collecting all his senses and concentrating his mind by the aid of his understanding, he sought my refuge (by thinking of me). It was for this that I had centered my mind upon him. I was thinking of him whom Ganga conceived and brought forth according to ordinary human laws and whom Vasishtha took as a pupil. I was thinking of that hero of mighty energy and great intelligence who possesses a knowledge of all the celestial weapons as also of the four Vedas with all their branches. I was thinking of him, O son of Pandu, who is the favourite disciple of Rama, the son of Jamadagni, and who is the receptacle of the sciences. I was thinking of that foremost of all persons conversant with morality and duty, of him, O bull of Bharata’s race, who knows the Past, the Future, and the Present. After that tiger among kings shall have, in consequences of his own achievements, ascended to heaven, the earth, O son of Pritha, will look like a moonless night. Therefore, O Yudhishthira, submissively approaching Ganga’s son, viz., Bhishma of terrible prowess, question him about what thou mayst desire to learn. O lord of the earth, enquire of him about the four branches of knowledge (in respect of morality, profit., pleasure and salvation), about the sacrifices and the rites laid down for the four orders, about the four modes of life, and about the kingly duties in full. When Bhishma, that foremost one of Kuru’s race, will disappear from the world, every kind of knowledge will disappear with him. It is for this that I urge thee (to go to him now).’ Hearing these beneficial words of high import from Vasudeva, the righteous Yudhishthira, with voice choked in tears, answered Janardana, saying, ‘What thou hast said, O Madhava, about the eminence of Bhishma, is perfectly true. I have not the slightest doubt regarding it. Indeed, I had heard of the high blessedness, as also the greatness, of the illustrious Bhishma from high-souled Brahmanas discoursing upon it. Thou, O slayer of foes, art the Creator of all the worlds. There cannot, therefore, O delighter of the Yadavas, be the slightest doubt in what thou sayest. If thy heart be inclined to show grace, O Madhava, then we shall go unto Bhishma with thyself at our head. When the divine Surya shall have turned towards the north, Bhishma will leave (this world), for those regions of bliss that he has won. That descendant of Kuru’s race, therefore, O mighty-armed one, deserves to have a sight of thee. (If thou grantest my prayer), Bhishma will then obtain a sight of thee that art the first of Gods, of thee that art destructible and indestructible. Indeed, O lord, thou it is that art the vast receptacle of Brahma.’”

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of king Yudhishthira the just, the slayer of Madhu addressed Satyaki who was sitting beside him, saying, ‘Let my car be yoked.’ At this, Satyaki quickly left Kesava’s presence and going out, commanded Daruka, saying, ‘Let Krishna’s car be made ready.’ Hearing the words of Satyaki, Daruka speedily yoked Krishna’s car. That foremost of vehicles, adorned with gold, decked with a profusion of emeralds, and moon-gems and sun-gems, furnished with wheels covered with gold, possessed of effulgence, fleet as the wind, set in the middle with diverse other kinds of jewels, beautiful as the morning sun, equipped with a beautiful standard topped by Garuda, and gay with numerous banners, had those foremost of steeds, fleet as thought, viz., Sugriva and Saivya and the other two, in trappings of gold, yoked unto it. Having yoked it, O tiger, among kings, Daruka, with joined hands, informed Krishna of the fact.’

Section XLVIII

“Janamejaya said, ‘How did the grandsire of the Bharatas, who lay on a bed of arrows, cast off his body and what kind of Yoga did he adopt?’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Listen, O king, with pure heart and concentrated attention, as to how, O tiger among the Kurus, the high-souled Bhishma cast off his body. As soon as the Sun, passing the solstitial point, entered in his northerly course, Bhishma, with concentrated attention, caused his soul (as connected with and independent of the body) to enter his soul (in its independent and absolute state). Surrounded by many foremost of Brahmanas, that hero, his body pierced with innumerable arrows, blazed forth in great beauty like Surya himself with his innumerable rays. Surrounded by Vyasa conversant with the Vedas by the celestial Rishi Narada, by Devasthana, by Asmaka Sumantu, by Jaimini, by the high-souled Paila, by Sandilya, by Devarata, by Maitreya of great intelligence, by Asita and Vasishtha and the high-souled Kausika, by Harita and Lomasa and Atri’s son of great intelligence, by Vrihaspati and Sukra and the great sage Chyavana, by Sanatkumara and Kapila and Valmiki and Tumvuru and Kuru, by Maudgalya and Rama of Bhrigu’s race, and the great sage Trinavindu, by Pippalada and Vayu and Samvarta and Pulaha and Katha, by Kasyapa and Pulastya and Kratu and Daksha and Parasara, by Marichi and Angiras and Kasmya and Gautama and the sage Galava, by Dhaumya and Vibhanda and Mandavya and Dhaumra and Krishnanubhautika, by Uluka, that foremost of Brahmanas and the great sage Markandeya, by Bhaskari and Purana and Krishna and Suta,–that foremost of virtuous persons, surrounded by these and many other highly-blessed sages of great souls and possessed of faith and self-restraint and tranquillity of mind, the Kuru hero looked like the Moon in the midst of the planets and the stars. Stretched on his bed of arrows, that tiger among men, Bhishma, with pure heart and joined palms, thought of Krishna in mind, word, and act. With a cheerful and strong voice he hymned the praise of the slayer of Madhu, that master of yoga, with the lotus in his navel, that lord of the universe, called Vishnu and Jishnu. With joined hands, that foremost of eloquent men, that puissant one, viz., Bhishma of highly virtuous soul, thus praised Vasudeva.

“Bhishma said, ‘O Krishna, O foremost of Beings, be thou pleased with these words which I utter, in brief and in detail, from desire of hymning thy praises. Thou art pure and purity’s self. Thou transcendest all. Thou art what people say to be THAT. Thou art the Supreme Lord. With my whole heart I seek thy refuge, O universal Soul and Lord of all creatures! Thou art without beginning and without end. Thou art the highest of the high and Brahma. Neither the gods nor the Rishis know thee. The divine Creator, called Narayana or Hari, alone knows thee. Through Narayana, the Rishis, the Siddhas, the great Nagas, the gods, and the celestial Rishis know a little of thee. Thou art the highest of the high and knowest no deterioration. The gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Pannagas, do not know who thou art and whence art thou. All the worlds and all created things live in thee, and enter thee (when the dissolution comes). Like gems strung together in a thread, all things that have attributes reside in thee, the Supreme Lord.’ Having the universe for thy work and the universe for thy limbs, this universe consisting of mind and matter resides in thy eternal and all-pervading soul like a number of flowers strung together in a strong thread. Thou art called Hari, of a thousand heads, a thousand feet, a thousand eyes, a thousand arms, a thousand crowns, and a thousand faces of great splendour. Thou art called Narayana, divinity, and the refuge of the universe. Thou art the subtlest of the subtle, grossest of the gross, the heaviest of the heavy and the highest of the high. In the Vaks, the Anuvaks, the Nishads, and Upanishads, thou art regarded as the Supreme Being of irresistible force. In the Samans also, whose declarations are always true, thou art regarded as Truth’s self! Thou art of quadruple soul. Thou art displayed in only the understanding (of all creatures). Thou art the Lord of those that are bound to thee in faith. O God, thou art adored (by the faithful) under four excellent, high, and secret names. Penances are ever present in thee. Performed (by other creatures for gratifying thee), penances live in thy form. Thou art the Universal Soul. Thou art of universal knowledge. Thou art the universe. Thou art omniscient.

Thou art the creator of everything in the universe. Like a couple of sticks generating a blazing fire, thou hast been born of the divine Devaki and Vasudeva for the protection of Brahma on earth. For this eternal salvation, the devout worshipper, with mind withdrawn from everything else and casting off all desires, beholds thee, O Govinda, that art the pure Soul, in his own soul. Thou transcendest Surya in glory. Thou art beyond the ken of the senses and the understanding. O Lord of all creatures, I place myself in thy hands. In the Puranas thou hast been spoken as Purusha (all-pervading spirit). On occasions of the commencement of the Yugas, thou art said to be Brahma, while on occasions of universal dissolution thou art spoken of as Sankarshana. Adorable thou art, and therefore I adore thee. Though one, thou hast yet been born in innumerable forms. Thou hast thy passions under complete control. Thy devout worshippers, faithfully performing the rites laid down in the scriptures, sacrifice to thee, O giver of every wish! Thou art called the sheath within which the universe lies. All created things live in thee. Like swans and ducks swimming on the water, all the worlds that we see float in thee. Thou art Truth. Thou art One and undeteriorating. Thou art Brahma, Thou art That which is beyond Mind and Matter. Thou art without beginning, middle, and end. Neither the gods nor the Rishis know thee. The gods, the Asuras, the Gandharvas, the Siddhas, the Rishis, and the great Uragas with concentrated souls, always adore thee. Thou art the great panacea for all sorrow. Thou art without birth and death. Thou art Divine. Thou art self-created. Thou art eternal. Thou art invisible and beyond ken. Thou art called Hari and Narayana, O puissant one. The Vedas declare thee to be the Creator of the universe and the Lord of everything existing in the universe. Thou art the Supreme protector of the universe. Thou knowest no deterioration and thou art that which is called the highest. Thou art of the complexion of gold. Thou art the slayer of Asuras. Though One, Aditi brought thee forth in twelve forms. Salutations to thee that art the soul of the Sun. Salutations to thee in thy form of Soma that is spoken of as the chief of all the regenerate ones and that gratifies with nectar the gods in the lighted fortnight and the Pitris in the dark fortnight. Thou art the One Being of transcendent effulgence dwelling on the other side of thick darkness. Knowing thee one ceases to have any fear of death. Salutations to thee in that form which is an object of knowledge. In the grand Uktha sacrifice, the Brahmanas adore thee as the great Rich. In the great fire-sacrifice, they sing thee as the chief Adhyaryu (priest). Thou

art the soul of the Vedas. Salutations to thee. The Richs, the Yajus, and the Samans are thy abode. Thou art the five kinds of sanctified libations (used in sacrifices). Thou art the seven woofs used in the Vedas. Salutations to thee in thy form of Sacrifice. Libations are poured on the Homa fire in accompaniment with the seventeen monosyllabic sounds. Thou art the soul of the Homa. Salutations to thee! Thou art that Purusha whom the Vedas sing. Thy name is Yajus. The Vedic metres are thy limbs. The sacrifices laid down in the three Vedas are thy three heads. The great sacrifice called Rathantara is thy voice expressive of gratification. Salutation to thee in thy form of sacred hymns! Thou art the Rishi that hadst appeared in the great sacrifice extending for a thousand years performed by the creators of the universe. Thou art the great swan with wings of gold. Salutations to thee in thy form of a swan. Roots with all kinds of affixes and suffixes are thy limbs. The Sandhis are thy joints. The consonants and the vowels are thy ornaments. The Vedas have declared thee to be the divine word. Salutations to thee in thy form as the word! Assuming the form of a boar whose limbs were constituted by sacrifice, thou hadst raised the submerged earth for the benefit of the three worlds. Salutations to thee in thy form of infinite prowess! Thou sleepest in Yoga on thy snake-decked sofa constituted by the thousand hoods (of the Naga). Salutations to thee in thy form of sleep! Thou buildest the bridge for the good (to cross the sea of life) with Truth, with those means by which emancipation may be obtained, and with the means by which the senses may be controlled. Salutations to thee in thy form of Truth! Men practising diverse creeds, actuated by desire of diverse fruits worship thee with diverse rites. Salutations to thee in thy form of Creed! From thee have all things sprung. It is thou that excitest all creatures having physical frames containing the principle of desire. Salutations to thee in thy form of Excitement. The great Rishis seek thy unmanifest self within the manifest. Called Kshetrajna, thou sittest in Kshetra. Salutations to thee in thy form of Kshetra! Thou always conscious and present in self, the Sankhyas still describe thee as existing in the three states of wakefulness, dream, and sound sleep. They further speak of thee as possessed of sixteen attributes and representing the number seventeen. Salutations to thy form as conceived by the Sankhyas! Casting off sleep, restraining

breath, withdrawn into their own selves, Yogins of restrained senses behold thee as eternal light. Salutations to thee in thy Yoga form! Peaceful Sannyasins, freed from fear of rebirth in consequence of the destruction of all their sins and merits, obtain thee. Salutations to thee in thy form of emancipation! At the end of a thousand Yugas, thou assumest the form of a fire with blazing flames and consumest all creatures. Salutations to thee in thy form of fierceness! Having consumed all creatures and making the universe one vast expanse of water, thou sleepest on the waters in the form of a child. Salutations to thee in thy form as Maya (illusion)! From the navel of the Self-born of eyes like lotus leaves, sprang a lotus. On that lotus is established this universe. Salutations to thee in thy form as lotus! Thou hast a thousand heads. Thou pervadest everything. Thou art of immeasurable soul. Thou hast subjugated the four kinds of desire that are as vast as the four oceans. Salutations to thee in thy form of Yoga-sleep! The clouds are in the hair of thy head. The rivers are in the several joints of thy limbs. The four oceans are in thy stomach. Salutations to thee in thy form as water! Birth and the change represented by death spring from thee. All things, again, at the universal dissolution dissolve away in thee. Salutations to thy form as cause! Thou sleepest not in the night. Thou art occupied in day time also. Thou observest the good and the bad actions (of all). Salutations to thee in thy form of (universal) observer! There is no act which thou canst not do. Thou art, again, ever ready to accomplish acts that are righteous. Salutations to thee in thy form of Work, the form, viz., which is called Vaikuntha! In wrath thou hadst, in battle, exterminated thrice seven times the Kshatriyas who had trampled virtue and authority under their feet. Salutations to thee in thy form of Cruelty! Dividing thyself into five portions thou hast become the five vital breaths that act within everybody and cause every living creature to move. Salutations to thee in thy form of air! Thou appearest in every Yuga in the form called month and season and half-year and year, and art the cause of both creation and dissolution. Salutations to thee in thy form of Time! Brahmanas are thy mouth, Kshatriyas are thy two arms, Vaisyas are thy stomach and thighs, and Sudras live in thy feet. Salutations to thee in thy form of caste! Fire constitute thy mouth. The heavens are the crown of thy head. The sky is thy navel. The earth is thy feet. The Sun is thy eye. The points of the compass are thy ears. Salutations to thee in thy form as the (three) worlds! Thou art superior to Time. Thou art superior to Sacrifice. Thou art higher than the highest. Thyself without origin, thou art the origin of the universe. Salutations to thee in thy form as Universe! Men of the world, according to the attributes ascribed to thee by the Vaiseshika theory, regard thee as the Protector of the world. Salutations to thee in thy form of Protector! Assuming the forms of food, drink, and fuel, thou increasest the humours and the life-breaths of creatures and upholdest their existence. Salutations to thee in thy

form of life! For supporting the life-breaths thou eatest the four kinds of food. Assuming also the form of Agni within the stomach, thou digestest that food. Salutations to thee in the form of digesting heat! Assuming the form of half-man and half-lion, with tawny eyes and tawny manes, with teeth and claws for thy weapons, thou hadst taken the life of the chief of the Asuras. Salutations to thee in thy form of swelling might! Neither the gods, nor the Gandharvas, nor the Daityas, nor the Danavas, know thee truly. Salutations to thy form of exceeding subtility! Assuming the form of the handsome, illustrious, and puissant Ananta in the nether region, thou upholdest the world. Salutations to thy form of Might! Thou stupefiest all creatures by the bonds of affection and love for the continuance of the creation. Salutations to thee in thy form of stupefaction. Regarding that knowledge which is conversant with the five elements to be the true Self-knowledge (for which yogins strive), people approach thee by knowledge! Salutations to thee in thy form of Knowledge! Thy body is immeasurable. Thy understanding and eyes are devoted to everything. Thou art infinite, being beyond all measures. Salutations to thee in thy form of vastness! Thou hadst assumed the form of a recluse with matted locks on head, staff in hand, a long stomach, and having thy begging bowl for thy quiver. Salutations to thee in thy form of Brahma. Thou bearest the trident, thou art the lord of the celestials, thou hast three eyes, and thou art high-souled. Thy body is always besmeared with ashes, and thy phallic emblem is always turned upwards. Salutations to thee in thy form of Rudra! The half-moon forms the ornament of thy forehead. Thou hast snakes for the holy thread circling thy neck. Thou art armed with Pinaka and trident. Salutations to thy form of Fierceness! Thou art the soul of all creatures. Thou art the Creator and the Destroyer of all creatures. Thou art without wrath, without enmity, without affection. Salutations to thee in thy form of Peace! Everything is in thee. Everything is from thee. Thyself art Everything. Everywhere art thou. Thou art always the All. Salutations to thee in thy form as Everything! Salutations to thee whose work is the universe, to thee that art the soul of the universe, to thee from whom hath sprung the universe, to thee that art the dissolution of all things, to thee that are beyond the five (elements that constitute all things)! Salutations to thee that art the three worlds, to thee that art above the three worlds! Salutations to thee that art all the directions! Thou art all and thou art the one receptacle of All. Salutations to thee, O divine Lord, O Vishnu, and O eternal origin of all the worlds! Thou, O Hrishikesa, art the Creator, thou art the Destroyer, and thou art invincible. I cannot behold that heavenly form in which thou art displayed in the Past, Present, and the Future. I can, however, behold truly thy eternal form (as manifest in thy works). Thou hast filled heaven with thy head, and the earth

with thy feet: with thy prowess thou hast filled the three worlds. Thou art Eternal and thou pervadest everything in the universe. The directions are thy arms, the Sun is thy eye, and prowess is thy vital fluid. Thou art the lord of all creatures. Thou standest, shutting up the seven paths of the Wind whose energy is immeasurable. They are freed from all feats that worship thee, O Govinda of unfading prowess, thee that art attired in yellow robes of the colour of the Atasi flower. Even one bending of the head unto thee, O Krishna, is equal to the completion of ten Horse-sacrifices. The man that has performed ten Horse-sacrifices is not freed from the obligation of rebirth. The man, however, that bows to Krishna escapes rebirth. They that have Krishna for their vow, they that think of Krishna in the night, and upon rising from sleep, may be said to have Krishna for their body. Those people (after death) enter Krishna’s self even as libations of clarified butter sanctified with mantras enter the blazing fire. Salutations to thee that dispellest the fear of hell, to thee, O Vishnu, that art a boat unto them that are plunged amid the eddies of the ocean represented by worldly life! Salutations to thee, O God, that art the Brahmana’s self, to thee that art the benefactor of Brahmanas and kine, to thee that art the benefactor of the universe, to thee that art Krishna and Govinda! The two syllables Hari constitute the pecuniary stock of those that sojourn through the wilderness of life and the medicine that effectually cures all worldly, predilections, besides being the means that alleviate sorrow and grief. As truth is full of Vishnu, as the universe is full of Vishnu, as everything is full of Vishnu, so let my soul be full of Vishnu and my sins be destroyed! I seek thy protection and am devoted to thee, desirous of obtaining a happy end O thou of eyes like lotus petals, O best of gods, do thou think of what will be for my good! Thyself without origin, O Vishnu, thou art the origin of Knowledge and Penances. Thus art thou praised! O Janardana, thus worshipped by me in the Sacrifice constituted by speech (alone), be, O god, gratified with me! The Vedas are devoted to Narayana. Penances are devoted to Narayana. The gods are devoted to Narayana. Everything is always Narayana!’”

Vaisampayana continued, “Having uttered these words, Bhishma, with mind concentrated upon Krishna, said, ‘Salutations to Krishna!’ and bowed unto him. Learning by his Yoga prowess of the devotion of Bhishma, Madhava, otherwise called Hari, (entering his body) bestowed upon him heavenly knowledge compassing the Past, the Present, and the Future, and went away. When Bhishma became silent, those utterers of Brahma (that sat around him), with voices choked in tears, adored that high-souled chief of the Kurus in excellent words. Those foremost of Brahmanas uttered the praises of Krishna also, that first of Beings, and then continued in soft voices to commend Bhishma repeatedly. Learning (by his Yoga powers) of the devotion of Bhishma towards him, that foremost of Beings, viz., Madhava, suddenly

rose from his seat and ascended on his car, Kesava and Satyaki proceeded on one car. On another proceeded those two illustrious princes, viz., Yudhishthira and Dhananjaya. Bhimasena and the twins rode on a third; while those bulls among men, Kripa and Yuyutsu, and that scorcher of foes, Sanjaya of the Suta caste, proceeded on their respective cars, each of which looked like a town. And all of them proceeded, causing the earth to tremble with the rattle of their chariot-wheels. That foremost of men, as he proceeded, cheerfully listened to the speeches, fraught with his praise, that were uttered by the Brahmanas. The slayer of Kesi, with gladdened heart, saluted the people that waited (along the streets) with joined hands and bent heads.”

Section XLIX

Vaisampayana said, “Then Hrishikesa and king Yudhishthira, and all those persons headed by Kripa, and the four Pandavas, riding on those cars looking like fortified cities and decked with standards and banners, speedily proceeded to Kurukshetra with the aid of their fleet steeds. They descended on that field which was covered with hair and marrow and bones and where millions of high-souled Kshatriyas had cast away their bodies. It abounded also with many a hill formed of the bodies and bones of elephants and steeds, and human heads and skulls lay stretched over it like conch-shells. Variegated with thousands of funeral pyres and teeming with heaps of armour and weapons, the vast plain looked like the drinking garden of the Destroyer himself used and abandoned recently. The mighty car-warriors quickly proceeded, viewing the field of battle haunted by crowds of spirits and thronged with Rakshasas. While proceeding, the mighty-armed Kesava, that delighter of all the Yadavas, spoke unto Yudhishthira about the prowess of Jamadagni’s son, ‘Yonder, at a distance, O Partha, are seen the five lakes of Rama! There Rama offered oblations of Kshatriya blood unto the manes of his ancestors. It was hither that the puissant Rama, having freed the earth of Kshatriya for thrice seven times, gave up his task.”

“Yudhishthira said,–‘I have great doubts in what thou sayest about Rama’s having thrice seven times exterminated the Kshatriyas in days of old. When the very Kshatriya seed was burnt by Rama, O bull among the Yadus, how was the Kshatriya order revived, O thou of immeasurable prowess? How, O bull of the Yadus, was the Kshatriya order exterminated by the illustrious and high-souled Rama, and how did it again grow? In frightful car-encounters millions of Kshatriyas were slain. The earth, O foremost of eloquent men, was strewn with the corpses of Kshatriyas. For what reason was the Kshatriya order thus exterminated in days of yore by Rama, the high-souled descendant of Bhrigu, O tiger among the Yadus? O thou of Vrishni’s race, remove this doubt of mine, O bird-bannered hero! O Krishna, O younger brother of Baladeva, the highest knowledge is from thee.’”

Vaisampayana said,–“The puissant elder brother of Gada then narrated unto Yudhishthira of incomparable prowess everything that happened, in full detail, as to how the earth had become filled with Kshatriyas.”

Section L

“Vasudeva said, ‘Listen, O son of Kunti, to the story of Rama’s energy and powers and birth as heard by me from great Rishis discoursing upon the subject. Listen to the story of how millions of Kshatriyas were slain by Jamadagni’s son and how those that sprung again in the diverse royal. races in Bharata were again slaughtered. Jadu had a son named Rajas. Rajas had a son named Valakaswa. King Valakaswa had a son named Kusika of righteous behaviour. Resembling the thousand-eyed Indra on earth, Kusika underwent the austerest of penances from desire of attaining the chief of the three worlds for a son. Beholding him engaged in the austerest of penances and competent to beget a son, the thousand-eyed Purandara himself inspired the king (with his force). The great lord of the three worlds, the chastiser of Paka, O king, then became Kusika’s son known by the name of Gadhi. Gadhi had a daughter, O monarch, of the name of Satyavati. The puissant Gadhi gave her (for wife) unto Richika, a descendant of Bhrigu. Her lord of Bhrigu’s race, O delighter of the Kurus, became highly gratified with her for the purity of her behaviour. He cooked the sacrificial food consisting of milk and rice for giving unto Gadhi (her sire) a son. Calling his wife, Richika of Bhrigu’s race said, ‘This portion of the sanctified food should be taken by thee, and this (other) portion by thy mother. A son will be born of her that will blaze with energy and be a bull among Kshatriyas. Invincible by Kshatriyas on earth, he will be the slayer of the foremost of Kshatriyas. As regards thee, O blessed lady, this portion of the food will give thee a son of great wisdom, an embodiment of tranquillity, endued with ascetic penances, and the foremost of Brahmanas. Having said these words unto his wife, the blessed Richika of Bhrigu’s race, setting his heart on penances, proceeded to the woods. About this time, king Gadhi, resolved upon a pilgrimage to the holy waters, arrived with his queen at the retreat, of Richika. Satyavati, upon this, O king, taking the two portions of the sanctified food, cheerfully and in great haste, represented the worlds of her lord unto her mother. The queen-mother, O son of Kunti, gave the portion intended for herself unto her daughter, and herself took from ignorance the portion intended for the latter. Upon this, Satyavati, her body blazing with lustre, conceived a child of terrible form intended to become the exterminator of the Kshatriyas. Beholding a Brahmana child lying within her womb, that tiger among the Bhrigus said unto his wife of celestial beauty these words: ‘Thou hast been deceived by the, mother, O blessed lady, in consequence of the substitution of the sanctified morsels. Thy son will become a person of cruel deeds and vindictive heart. Thy brother again (born of thy mother) will be a Brahmana devoted to ascetic penances. Into the sanctified food intended for thee had been placed the seed of the supreme and universal Brahma, while into that intended for thy mother had been placed the sum total of Kshatriya energy. In consequence, however, of the substitution of the two portions, O blessed lady, that which had been intended will not happen. Thy mother will obtain a Brahmana child while thou wilt obtain a son that will become a Kshatriya.’ Thus addressed by her lord, the highly blessed Satyavati prostrated herself and placing her head at his feet, trembling, said, ‘It behoveth thee not, O holy one, to speak such words unto me, viz., ‘Thou shalt obtain a wretch among Brahmanas (for thy son).’

“Richika said, ‘This was not intended by me, O blessed lady, in respect of thee. A son of fierce deeds has been conceived by thee simply in consequence of the substitution of the sanctified morsels.’

“Satyavati replied saying, ‘If thou wishest, O sage, thou canst create other worlds, what need then be said of a child? It behoveth thee, O puissant one, to give me a son that shall be righteous and devoted to peace.’

“Richika said, ‘Never was falsehood spoken by me before, O blessed lady, even in jest. What need then be said of (such a solemn occasion as) preparing sanctified food with the aid of Vedic formulae after igniting t. fire? It was ordained of yore by Destiny, O amiable one! I have ascertained it all by my penances. All the descendants of thy father will be possessed of Brahmanic virtues.’

“Satyavati said, ‘O puissant one, let our grandson be such, but, O foremost of ascetics, let me have a son of tranquil pursuits.’

“Richika said, ‘O thou of the fairest complexion, there is no distinction, I conceive, between a son and a grandson. It will be, O amiable one, as thou sayest.’

“Vasudeva continued, ‘Then Satyavati brought forth a son in Bhrigu’s race who was devoted to penances and characterised by tranquil pursuits, viz., Jamadagni of regulated vows. Kusika’s son Gadhi begot a son named Viswamitra. Possessed of every attribute of a Brahmana, that son (though born in the Kshatriya order) was equal to a Brahmana. Richika (thus) begot Jamadagni, that ocean of penances. Jamadagni begot a son of fierce deeds. The foremost of men, that son mastered the sciences, including the science of arms. Like unto a blazing fire, that son was Rama, the exterminator of the Kshatriyas. Having gratified Mahadeva on the mountains of Gandhamadana, he begged weapons of that great god, especially the axe of fierce energy in his hands. In consequence of that unrivalled axe of fiery splendour and irresistible sharpness, he became unrivalled on earth. Meanwhile the mighty son of Kritavirya, viz., Arjuna of the Kshatriya order and ruler of the Haihayas, endued with great energy, highly virtuous in behaviour, and possessed of a thousand arms through the grace of (the great Rishi) Dattatreya, having subjugated in battle, by the might of his own arms, the whole earth with her mountains and seven islands, became a very powerful emperor and (at last) gave away the earth unto the Brahmanas in a horse-sacrifice. On a certain occasion, solicited by the thirsty god of fire, O son of Kunti, the thousand-armed monarch of great prowess gave alms unto that deity. Springing from the point of his shafts, the god of fire, possessed of great energy, desirous of consuming (what was offered), burnt villages and towns and kingdoms and hamlets of cowherds. Through the prowess of that foremost of men, viz., Kritavirya of great energy, the god of fire burnt mountains and great forests. Assisted by the king of the Haihayas, the god of fire, caused by the wind to blaze forth with energy consumed the uninhabited but delightful retreat of the high-souled Apava. Possessed of great energy, Apava, O mighty-armed king, seeing his retreat consumed by the powerful Kshatriya, cursed that monarch in wrath, saying, ‘Since, O Arjuna, without excepting these my specious woods, thou hast burnt them, therefore, Rama (of Bhrigu’s race) will lop off thy (thousand) arm. The mighty Arjuna, however, of great prowess, always devoted to peace, ever regardful of Brahmanas and disposed to grant protection (unto all class), and charitable and brave, O Bharata, did not think of that curse denounced on him by that high-souled Rishis. His powerful sons, always haughty and cruel, in consequence of that course, became the indirect cause of his death. The princes, O bull of Bharata’s race, seize and brought away the calf of Jamadagni’s homa cow, without the knowledge of Kritavirya, the ruler of the Haihayas. For this reason a dispute took place between the high-souled Jamadagni (and the Haihayas). The puissant Rama, the son of Jamadagni, filled with wrath, lopped off the arms of Arjuna and brought back, O monarch, his sire’s calf which was wandering within the inner enclosures of the king’s palace. Then the foolish son of Arjuna, repairing together to the retreat of the high-souled Jamadagni, felled with the points of their lances, O king, the head of the Rishi from off his trunk while the celebrated Rama was out for fetching sacred fuel and grass. Inflamed with wrath at the death of his father and inspired with vengeance, Rama vowed to free the earth of Kshatriyas and took up arms. Then that tiger among the Bhrigus, possessed of great energy, putting forth his prowess, speedily slaughtered all the sons and grandsons of Kritavirya. Slaughtering thousands of Haihayas in rage, the descendent of Bhrigu, O king, made the earth miry with blood. Possessed of great energy, he quickly reft the earth of all Kshatriyas. Filled then with compassion, he retired into the woods. Afterwards, when some thousands of years had passed away, the puissant Rama, who was wrathful by nature, had imputations cast upon him (of cowardice). The grandson of Viswamitra and son of Raivya, possessed of great ascetic merit, named Paravasu, O monarch, began to cast imputations on Rama in public, saying, ‘O Rama, were not those righteous men, viz., Pratardana and others, who were assembled at a sacrifice at the time of Yayati’s fall, Kshatriyas by birth? Thou art not of true vows, O Rama! Thine is an empty boast among people. Through fear of Kshatriya heroes thou hast betaken thyself to the mountains. The descendant of Bhrigu, hearing these words of Paravasu, once more took up arms and once more strewed the earth with hundreds of Kshatriya bodies. Those Kshatriyas, however, O king, counting by hundreds, that were spared by Rama, multiplied (in time) and became mighty monarchs on earth. Rama once more slaughtered them quickly, not sparing the very children, O king! Indeed, the earth became once more strewn with the bodies of Kshatriya children of premature birth. As soon as Kshatriya children were born, Rama slaughtered them. Some Kshatriya ladies, however, succeeded in protecting their children (from Rama’s wrath). Having made the earth destitute of Kshatriyas for thrice seven times, the puissant Bhargava, at the completion of a horse-sacrifice, gave away the earth as sacrificial present unto Kasyapa. For preserving the remnant of the Kshatriyas, Kasyapa, O king, pointing with his hand that still held the sacrificial ladle, said these words, O great sage, repair to the shores of the southern ocean. It behoveth thee not, O Rama, to reside within (what is) my dominion.’ At these words, Ocean suddenly created for Jamadagni’s son, on his other shore, a region called Surparaka. Kasyapa also, O monarch, having accepted the earth in gift, and made a present of it unto the Brahmanas, entered the great forest. Then Sudras and Vaisyas, acting most wilfully, began to unite themselves, O bull of Bharata’s race, with the wives of Brahmanas. When anarchy sets in on earth, the weak are oppressed by the strong, and no man is master of his own property. Unprotected duly by Kshatriyas observant of virtue, and oppressed by the wicked in consequence of that disorder, the earth quickly sank to the lowest depths. Beholding the earth sinking from fear, the high-souled Kasyapa held her on his lap; and since the great Rishi held her on his lap (uru) therefore is the earth known by the name of Urvi. The goddess earth, for protection’s sake, gratified Kasyapa and begged of him a king.

“The Earth said, ‘There are, O, regenerate one, some foremost of Kshatriyas concealed by me among women. They were born in the race of Haihayas. Let them, O sage, protect me. There is another person of Puru’s race, viz., Viduratha’s son, O puissant one, who has been brought up among bears in the Rikshavat mountains. Another, viz., the son of Saudasa, has been protected, through compassion, by Parasara of immeasurable energy and ever engaged in sacrifices. Though born in one of the regenerate orders, yet like a Sudra he does everything for that Rishi and has, therefore, been named Sarvakarman (servant of all work). Sivi’s son of great energy, viz., Gopati by name, has been brought up in the forest among kine. Let him, O sage, protect me. Pratardana’s son, named Vatsa of great might, has been brought up among calves in a cowpen. Let that one of the royal order protect me. Dadhivahana’s grandson and Diviratha’s son was concealed and protected on the banks of Ganga by the sage Gautama. His name is Vrihadratha. Possessed of great energy and adorned with numerous blessed qualities, that blessed prince has been protected by wolves and the mountains of Gridhrakuta. Many Kshatriyas belonging to the race of Maratta have been protected. Equal unto the lord of Maruts in energy, they have been brought up by Ocean. These children of the Kshatriya order have been heard of as existing in different places. They are living among artisans and goldsmiths. If they protect me I shall then stay unmoved. Their sires and grandsires have been slain for my sake by Rama Of great prowess. It is my duty, O great sage, to see that their funeral rites are duly performed. I do not desire that I should be protected by my present rulers. Do thou, O sage, speedily make such arrangements that I may exist (as before).’

“Vasudeva continued, ‘The sage Kasyapa then, seeking out those Kshatriyas of great energy whom the goddess had indicated, installed them duly as kings (for protecting her). Those Kshatriya races that are now extent are the progeny of those princes. That which thou hast questioned me, O son of Panda, happened in days of yore even thus.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Conversing thus with Yudhishthira, that foremost of righteous persons, the high-souled Yadava hero proceeded quickly on that car, illumining all the points of the compass like the divine Surya himself.’”

Section LI

“Vaisampayana said, ‘King Yudhishthira, hearing of those feats of Rama, became filled with wonder and said unto Janardana, O thou of Vrishni’s race, the prowess of the high-souled Rama, who in wrath had freed the earth of Kshatriyas, was like that of Sakra himself. The scions of Kshatriyas, troubled with the fear of Rama, were concealed (and brought up) by kine, Ocean, leopards, bears and apes. Worthy of every praise is this world of men and fortunate are they that reside in it where a feat, that, was again so righteous, was accomplished by a. Brahmana.’ After this discourse was ended, those two illustrious persons, viz., Krishna of unfading glory and Yudhishthira proceeded thither where the puissant son of Ganga lay on his bed of arrows. They then beheld Bhishma stretched on his arrowy bed and resembling in splendour the evening San covered with his own rays. The Kuru hero was surrounded by many ascetics like he of a hundred sacrifices by the deities of heaven. The spot on which he lay was highly sacred, being situate on the banks of the river Oghavati. Beholding him from a distance, Krishna and Dharma’s royal son, and the four Pandavas, and the other headed by Saradwat, alighted from their vehicles and collecting their restless minds and concentrating all their senses, approached the great Rishis. Saluting those foremost of Rishis headed by Vyasa. Govinda and Satyaki and the others approached the son of Ganga. Beholding Ganga’s son of great ascetic merit, the Yadu and Kuru princes, those foremost of men, took their seats, surrounding him. Seeing Bhishma looking like a fire about to die out, Kesava with a rather cheerless heart addressed him as follows.’

“Kesava said, ‘Are thy perceptions now as clear as before? I hope thy understanding, O foremost of eloquent men, is not clouded. I hope thy limbs are not tortured by the pain arising from the wounds by shafts. From mental grief also the body becomes weak. In consequences of the boon granted to thee by thy sire, the righteous Santanu, thy death, O puissant hero, depends on thy own will. I myself have not that merit in consequence of which thou hast obtained this boon. The minutest pin (inserted) within the body produces pain. What need then be said, O king, of hundreds of arrows that have pierced thee? Surely, pain cannot be said to afflict thee. Thou art competent, O Bharata, to instruct the very gods regarding the origin and dissolution of living creatures. Possessed of great knowledge, everything belonging to the Past, the Future, and the Present, is well known to thee. The dissolution of created beings and the reward of righteousness are well known to thee, O thou of great wisdom, for thou art an ocean of virtue and duty. While living in the enjoyment of swelling sovereignty, I beheld thee forgo female intercourse though sound of limbs and perfectly hale and though surrounded by female companions. Except Santanu’s son Bhishma of great energy and firmly devoted to righteousness, possessed of heroism and having virtue for the only object of his pursuit, we have never heard of any other person in the three worlds that could, by his ascetic power, though lying on a bed of arrows and at the point of death, still have such a complete mastery over death (as to keep it thus at bay). We have never heard of anybody else that was so devoted to truth, to penances, to gifts, to the performances of sacrifices, to the science of arms, to the Vedas, and to the protection of persons soliciting protection, and that was so harmless to all creatures, so pure in behaviour, so self-restrained, and so bent upon the good of all creatures, and that was also so great a car-warrior as thee. Without doubt, thou art competent to subjugate, on a single car, the gods, Gandharvas, Asuras, Yakshas, and Rakshasas. O mighty-armed Bhishma, thou art always spoken of by the Brahmanas as the ninth of the Vasus. By thy virtues, however, thou hast surpassed them all and art equal unto Vasava himself. I know, O best of persons, that thou art celebrated for thy prowess, O foremost of beings, among even the very gods. Among men on earth, O foremost of men, we have never seen nor heard of any one possessed of such attributes as thee. O thou of the royal order, thou surpassest the gods themselves in respect of every attribute. By thy ascetic power thou canst create a universe of mobile and immobile creatures. What need then be said of thy having acquired many blessed regions by means of thy foremost of virtues? Dispel now the grief of the eldest son of Panda who is burning with sorrow on account of the slaughter of his kinsmen. All the duties that have been declared in respect of the four orders about the four modes of life are well known to thee. Everything again that is indicated in the four branches of knowledge, in the four Hotras, O Bharata, as also those eternal duties that are laid down in Yoga and Sankhya philosophy, the duties too of the four orders and these duties that are not inconsistent with their declared practices,–all these, along with their interpretations, O son of Ganga, are known to thee. The duties that have been laid down for those sprang from an intermixture of the four orders and those laid down for particular countries and tribes and families, and those declared by the Vedas and by men of wisdom, are all well known to thee. The subjects of histories and the Puranas are all known to thee. All the scriptures treating of duty and practice dwell in thy mind. Save thee, O bull among men, there is no other person that can remove the doubts that may arise in respect of those subjects of knowledge that are studied in the world. With the aid of thy intelligence, do thou, O prince of men, drive the sorrow felt by the son of Pandu. Persons possessed of so great and such varied knowledge live only for comforting men whose minds have been stupefied.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing those words of Vasudeva of great intelligence, Bhishma, raising his head a little, said these words with joined hands.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Salutations to thee, O divine Krishna! Thou art the origin and thou art the dissolution of all the worlds. Thou art the Creator and thou art the Destroyer. Thou, O Hrishikesa, art incapable of being vanquished by any one. The universe is the handiwork. Thou art the soul of the universe and the universe hath sprung from thee. Salutations to thee! Thou art the end of all created things. Thou art above the five elements. Salutations to thee that art the three worlds and that art again above the three worlds. O lord of Yogins, salutations to thee that art the refuge of everything. O foremost of beings, those words which thou hast said regarding me have enabled me to behold thy divine attributes as manifest in the three worlds. (In consequence of that kindness), O Govinda, I also behold thy eternal form. Thou standest shutting up the seven paths of the Wind possessed of immeasurable energy. The firmament is occupied by thy head, and the earth by thy feet. The points of the compass are thy two arms, and the Sun is thy eye, and Sakra constitutes thy prowess. O thou of unfading glory, thy Person, attired in yellow robes that resemble the hue of the Atasi flower, seem to us to be like a cloud charged with flashing of lightning. Think of that, O best of gods, which would be good, O thou of lotus eyes, for my humble self, that am devoted to thee, that seek thy protection, and that am desirous of obtaining a blissful end.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘Since, O bull among men, thy devotion to me is very great, for this, O prince, I have displayed my celestial form to thee. I do not, O foremost of kings, display myself unto one that is not devoted to me, or unto a devotee that is not sincere, or unto one, O Bharata, that is not of restrained soul. Thou art devoted to me and art always observant of righteousness. Of a pure heart, thou art always self-restrained and ever observant of penances and gifts. Through thy own penances, O Bhishma, thou art competent to behold me. Those regions, O king, are ready for thee whence there is no return. Six and fifty days, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, still remain for thee to live! Casting off thy body, thou shalt then, O Bhishma, obtain the blessed reward of thy acts. Behold, those deities and the Vasus, all endued with forms of fiery splendour, riding on their cars, are waiting for thee invisibly till the moment of the sun’s entering on northerly course. Subject to universal time, when the divine Surya turns to his northerly course, thou, O foremost of men, shalt go to those regions whence no man of knowledge ever returns to this earth! When thou, O Bhishma, wilt leave this world for that, all Knowledge,

O hero, will expire with thee. It is for this, that all these persons, assembled together, have approached thee for listening to discourses on duty and morality. Do thou then speak words of truth, fraught with morality and Yoga, unto Yudhishthira who as firm in truth but whose learning has been clouded by grief on account of the slaughter of his kinsmen, and do thou, by this, quickly dispel that grief of his!’

Section LII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing these words of Krishna fraught with Morality and profit, Santanu’s Bhishma, answered him in the following words.

“Bhishma said, ‘O master of all the worlds, O mighty-armed one, O Siva, O Narayana, O thou of unfading glory, hearing the words spoken by thee I have been filled with joy. But what words (of instruction), O master of speech, can I say in thy presence, when especially in all the subjects of speech have been dealt with in the speech? Whatever in either world should be done or is done, proceeds from thy intelligent self, O god! That person who is competent to discourse on the subject of heaven in the presence of the chief of the gods himself is competent to discourse on the interpretation of morality and pleasure and profit and salvation in thy presence. My mind, O slayer of Madhu, is exceedingly agitated by the pain of arrow-wounds. My limbs are weak. My understanding is not clear. I am so afflicted, O Govinda, by these shafts resembling poison or fire that I have not power to utter anything. My strength is abandoning me. My life-breaths are hastening to leave me. The very vitals of my body are burning. My understanding is clouded. From weakness my utterance is becoming indistinct. How then can I venture to speak? O enhancer of (the glory of) Dasarha’s race, be gratified with me. O mighty-armed one, I will not say anything. Pardon me (for my unwillingness). The very master of speech (Vrihaspati), in speaking in thy presence, will be overcome by hesitation. I cannot any longer distinguish the points of the compass, nor the sky from the earth! Through thy energy, O slayer of Madhu, I am only barely alive. Do thou, therefore, thyself speak for the good of king Yudhishthira the just, for thou art the ordainer of all the ordinances. How, O Krishna, when thou, the eternal creator of the universe, art present, can one like me speak (on such subjects) like a disciple in the presence of the preceptor?’

“Vasudeva said, ‘The words spoken by thee are worthy of thee that art the foremost one of Kuru’s race, thee that art endued with great energy, thee that art of great soul, and thee that art possessed of great patience and

conversant with every subject. Regarding what hast thou said unto me about the pain of thy arrow-wounds, receive, O Bhishma, this boon that I grant thee, O puissant one, from my grace. Discomfort and stupefaction and burning and pain and hunger and thirst shall not, O son of Ganga, overcome thee, O thou of unfading glory! Thy perceptions and memory, O sinless one, shall be unclouded. The understanding shall not fail thee. The mind, O Bhishma, freed from the qualities of passion and darkness, will always be subject to the quality of goodness, like the moon emerged from the clouds. Thy understanding will penetrate whatever subject connected with duty, morality, or profit, thou wilt think upon. O tiger among kings, obtaining celestial vision, thou wilt, O thou of immeasurable prowess, succeed in beholding the four orders of created things. Endued with the eye of knowledge, thou wilt, O Bhishma, behold, like fishes in a limpid stream, all created things that thou mayst endeavour to recollect!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then those great Rishis, with Vyasa amongst them, adored Krishna with hymns from the Richs, the Yajuses, and the Samans. A celestial shower of flowers belonging to every season fell on that spot where he of Vrishni’s race, with Ganga’s son and the son of Pandu were. Celestial instruments of every kind played in the welkin and the tribes of Apsaras began to sing. Nothing of evil and no portent of any evil kind were seen there. An auspicious, pleasant, and pure breeze, bearing every kind of fragrance, began to blow. All the points of the compass became clear and quiet, and all the animals and birds began to rove in peace. Soon after, like a fire at the extremity of a great forest, the divine Surya of a thousand rays was seen to descend to the west. The great Rishis then, rising up, saluted Janardana and Bhishma and king Yudhishthira. Upon this, Kesava, and the sons of Pandu, and Satyaki, and Sanjaya, and Saradwata’s son Kripa, bowed in reverence to those sages. Devoted to the practice of righteousness, those sages, thus worshipped by Kesava and others, speedily proceeded to their respective abodes, saying, ‘We will return tomorrow.’ After this, Kesava and the Pandavas, saluting Bhishma and circumambulating him, ascended their handsome cars. Those heroes then proceeded, accompanied by many other cars decked with golden Kuvaras, and infuriated elephants looking like mountains and steeds fleet as Garudas, and foot-soldiers armed with bows and weapons. That army, moving with great speed, proceeded in two divisions, one in the van and the other in the rear of those princes. The scene resembled the two currents of the great river Narmada at the point where it is divided by the Rikshavat mountains standing across it. Gladdening that great host, the divine Chandramas rose before it in the firmament, once more inspiring with moisture, by his own force, the terrestrial herbs and plants whose juice had been sucked up by the Sun. Then that bull of Yadu’s race and the sons of Pandu, entering the (Kuru) city whose splendour resembled that of the city of Indra itself, proceeded

to their respective mansions like tired lions seeking their caves.’”

Section LIII

“Vaisampayana said, ‘The slayer of Madhu, retiring to his bed, slept happily. Awaking when half a Yama was wanting to usher in the day, he addressed himself to contemplation. Fixing all his senses, he meditated on the eternal Brahma. Then a batch of well-trained and sweet-voiced persons, conversant with hymns and the Puranas, began to utter the praises of Vasudeva, that lord of all creatures and creator of the universe. Others, marking time by clapping of hands, began to recite sweet hymns, and vocalists began to sing. Conch-shells and drums were blown and beaten by thousands. The delightful sound of Vinas, Panavas, and bamboo flutes was heard. The spacious mansion of Krishna, in consequence thereof, seemed to laugh with music. In the palace of king Yudhishthira also sweet voices were heard, uttering auspicious wishes, and the sound of songs too and musical instruments. Then he of Dasarha’s race performed his ablutions. Joining his hands, the mighty-armed hero of unfading glory silently recited his secret mantras, and kindling a fire poured libations of clarified butter upon it. Giving away a thousand kine unto a thousand Brahmanas all of whom were fully conversant with the four Vedas, he caused them to utter benedictions upon him. Touching next diverse kinds of auspicious articles and beholding himself in a clear mirror, Krishna addressed Satyaki, saying, ‘Go, O descendant of Sini, and repairing to Yudhishthira’s abode, ascertain whether that king of great energy is dressed for visiting Bhishma.’ At these words of Krishna, Satyaki, proceeding quickly to the royal son of Pandu, said unto him, ‘The foremost of cars, belonging to Vasudeva of great intelligence, stands ready, O king, for Janardana will go to see Ganga’s son. O righteous king of great splendour, he is waiting for thee. It behoveth thee now to do what should be done next.’ Thus addressed, Dharma’s son Yudhishthira answered as follows.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O Phalguna of unrivalled splendour, let my foremost of cars be made ready. We should not be accompanied (today) by the soldiers, but we shall proceed ourselves. That foremost of righteous persons, Bhishma, should not be vexed. Let the guards, therefore, O Dhananjaya, stop today. From this day Ganga’s son will speak of things that are great mysteries. I do not therefore, O son of Kunti, wish that there should be a miscellaneous gathering (in Bhishma’s presence).’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of the king, Kunti’s son Dhananjaya, that foremost of men (went out and coming back) represented unto him that his best of cars stood harnessed for him. King Yudhishthira, and the twins, and Bhima and Arjuna, the five resembling the five elements, then proceeded towards Krishna’s abode. While the high-souled Pandavas were coming, Krishna of great intelligence, accompanied by the grandson of Sini, mounted on his car. Saluting one another from their cars and each enquiring of the other whether the night had been passed happily by him, those bulls among men proceeded, without stopping on those foremost of cars whose rattle resembled the roar of the clouds. Krishna’s steeds, viz., Valahaka and Meghapushpa and Saivya and Sugriva were urged by Daruka. The animals, urged by him, O king, proceeded, indenting the earth with their hoofs. Endued with great strength and great speed, they flew onwards, devouring the very skies. Traversing the sacred field of Kuru, the princes proceeded to that spot where the puissant Bhishma on his bed of arrows was lying, surrounded by those great Rishis, like Brahman himself in the midst of the gods. Then Govinda and Yudhishthira and Bhima and the wielder of Gandiva and the twins and Satyaki, alighting from their vehicles, saluted the Rishis by raising their right hands. Surrounded by them, king Yudhishthira like the moon in the midst of the stars approached Ganga’s son like Vasava proceeding towards Brahman. Overcome with fear, the king timidly cast his eyes on the mighty-armed hero lying on his bed of arrows like the Sun himself dropped from the firmament.’”

Section LIV

“Janamejaya said, ‘When that tiger among men, of righteous soul and great energy, firmly adhering to truth and with passions under complete control, viz., the son of Santanu and Ganga, named Devavrata or Bhishma of unfading glory, lay on a hero’s bed with the sons of Pandu sitting around him, tell me, O great sage, what converse ensued in that meeting of heroes after the slaughter of the troops.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘When Bhishma that chief of the Kurus, lay on his bed of arrows, many Rishis and Siddhas, O king, headed by Narada, came to that spot. The unslain remnant of the (assembled) kings with Yudhishthira at their head, and Dhritarashtra and Krishna and Bhima and Arjuna and the twins also came there. Those high-souled persons, approaching the grandsire of the Bharatas who looked like the Sun himself dropped from the firmament, indulged in lamentations for him. Then Narada of godlike features reflecting for a short while, addressed all the Pandavas and the unslain remnant of the kings saying, ‘The time, I think, has come for you to question Bhishma (on subject of morality and religion), for Ganga’s son is about to expire like the Sun that is on the point of setting. He is about to cast off his life-breaths. Do you all, therefore, solicit him to discourse to you? He is acquainted with the varied duties of all the four orders. Old in years, after abandoning his body he will obtain high regions of bliss. Solicit him, therefore, without delay, to clear the doubts that exists in your minds.’ Thus addressed by Narada, those princes approached Bhishma, but unable to ask him anything, looked at one another. Then Yudhishthira the son of Pandu, addressing Hrishikesa said, “There is no one else than Devaki’s son that can question the grandsire. O foremost one of Yadu’s race, do thou, therefore, O slayer of Madhu, speak first. Thou, O sire, art the foremost of us all and thou art conversant with every duty and practice.” Thus addressed by the son of Pandu, the illustrious Kesava of unfading glory, approaching the unconquerable Bhishma, spoke unto him as follows.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘Hast thou, O best of kings, passed the night happily? Has thy understanding become unclouded? Does thy knowledge, O sinless one, shine in thee by inward light? I hope thy heart no longer feels pain and thy mind is no longer agitated.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Burning, stupefaction, fatigue, exhaustion, illness, and pain, through thy grace, O thou of Vrishni’s race, have all left me in a single day. O thou of incomparable splendour, all that is past, all that is future, and all that is present, I behold as clearly as a fruit placed in my hands. All the duties declared in the Vedas, all those laid down in the Vedantas, I behold clearly, O thou of unfading glory, in consequence of the boon thou hast granted to me. The duties that have been declared by persons of learning and righteous behaviour, dwell in my remembrance. I am conversant also, O Janardana, with the duties and practices prevailing in particular countries and among particular tribes and families. Everything relating again to the four modes of life has come back to my recollection. I am acquainted also, O Kesava, with the duties that relate to king-craft. Whatever should at whatever time be said, I would say, O Janardana! Through thy grace, I have acquired an auspicious understanding. Strengthened by meditation on thee, feel as if I have become a young man again. Through thy favour, O Janardana, I have become competent to discourse on what is beneficial (for the world). Why, however, O holy one, dost thou not thyself discourse to Pandu’s son upon all that is good? What explanation hast thou to give in respect of this? Tell me quickly, O Madhava!’

“Vasudeva said, ‘Know, O thou of Kuru’s race, that I am the root of fame and of everything that leads to good. All things, good or bad, proceed from me. Who on earth will wonder if the moon be said to be of cool rays? Similarly, who will wonder if I were described as one possessed of the full measure of fame? I have, however, resolved to enhance thy fame, O thou of great splendour! It is for this, O Bhishma, that I have just inspired thee with great intelligence. As long, O lord of earth, as the earth will last, so long will thy fame travel with undiminished lustre through all the worlds. Whatever, O Bhishma, thou wilt say unto the inquiring son of Pandu, will be regarded on earth to be as authoritative as the declarations of that Vedas. That person who will conduct himself here according to the authority of thy declarations, will obtain hereafter the reward of every meritorious act. For

this reason, O Bhishma, I have imparted to thee celestial understanding so that thy fame maybe enhanced on earth. As long as a man’s fame lasts in the world, so long are his achievements said to live. The unslain remnant of the (assembled) kings are sitting around thee, desirous of listening to thy discourses on morality and duty. Do thou speak unto them, O Bharata! Thou art old in years and thy behaviour is consistent with the ordinance of the Srutis. Thou art well conversant with the duties of kings and with every other science of duty. No one has ever noticed the slightest transgression in thee from thy every birth. All the kings know thee to be conversant with all the sciences of morality and duty. Like a sire unto his sons do thou, therefore, O king, discourse unto them of high morality. Thou hast always worshipped the Rishis and the gods. It is obligatory on thee to discourse on these subjects in detail unto persons desirous of listening to discourse on morality and duty. A learned person, especially when solicited by the righteous, should discourse on the same. The sages have declared this to be a duty. O puissant one, if thou dost not speak on such subjects, thou wilt incur sin. Therefore, questioned by thy sons and grandsons, O learned one, about the eternal duties (of men), do thou, O bull among the Bharatas, discourse upon them on the subject.’”

Section LV

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Endued with great energy, the delighter of the Kurus (viz., Bhishma), said, ‘I shall discourse on the subject of duty. My speech and mind have become steady, through thy grace, O Govinda, since thou art the eternal soul of every being. Let the righteous-souled Yudhishthira question me about morality and duty. I shall then be much gratified and shall speak of all duties. Let the son of Pandu, that royal sage of virtuous and great soul, upon whose birth all the Vrishnis were filled with joy, question me. Let the son of Pandu, who has no equal among all the Kurus, among all persons of righteous behaviour, and among men of great celebrity, put questions to me. Let the son of Pandu, in whom are intelligence, self-restraint, Brahmacharya, forgiveness, righteousness, mental vigour and energy, put questions to me. Let the son of Pandu, who always by his good offices honours his relatives and guests and servants and others that are dependent on him, put questions to me. Let the son of Pandu, in whom are truth and charity and penances, heroism, peacefulness, cleverness, and fearlessness, put questions to me. Let the righteous-souled son of Pandu, who would never commit a sin influenced by desire of Pleasure or Profit or from fear put questions to me. Let the son of Pandu, who is ever devoted to truth, to forgiveness, to knowledge and to guests, and who always makes gifts unto the righteous, put questions to me. Let the son of Pandu, who is ever engaged in sacrifices and study of the Vedas and the practice of morality and duty who is ever peaceful and who has heard all mysteries, put questions to me.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘King Yudhishthira the just, overcome with great shame and fearful of (thy) curse, does not venture to approach thee. That lord of earth, O monarch, having caused a great slaughter, ventures not to approach thee from fear of (thy) curse. Having pierced with shafts those that deserved his worship, those that were devoted to him, those that were his preceptors, those that were his relatives and kinsmen and those that were worthy of his highest regard, he ventures not to approach thee.’

“Bhishma said, ‘As the duty of the Brahmanas consists of the practice of charity, study, and penances, so the duty of Kshatriyas is to cast away their bodies, O Krishna, in battle. A Kshatriya should stay sires and grandsires and brothers and preceptors and relatives and kinsmen that may engage with him in unjust battle. This is their declared duty. That Kshatriya, O Kesava, is said to be acquainted with his duty who slays in battle his very preceptors if they happen to be sinful and covetous and disregardful of restraints and vows. That Kshatriya is said to be acquainted with his duty who slays in battle the person that from covetousness disregards the eternal barriers of virtue. 1 That Kshatriya is said to be acquainted with duty who in battle makes the earth a lake of blood, having the hair of slain warriors for the grass and straw floating on it, and having elephants for its rocks, and standards for the trees on its banks. A Kshatriya, when challenged, should always fight in battle, since Manu has said that a righteous battle (in the case of a Kshatriya) leads to both heaven and fame on earth.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘After Bhishma had spoken thus, Dharma’s son Yudhishthira, with great humility, approached the Kuru hero and stood in his sight. He seized the feet of Bhishma who in return gladdened him with affectionate words. Smelling his head, Bhishma asked Yudhishthira to take his seat. Then Ganga’s son, that foremost of bowmen, addressed Yudhishthira, saying, ‘Do not fear, O best of the Kurus! Ask me, O child, without any anxiety.’”

Section LVI

Vaisampayana said, ‘Having bowed unto Hrishikesa, and saluted Bhishma, and taken the permission of all the seniors assembled there, Yudhishthira began to put questions unto Bhishma.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Persons conversant with duty and morality say that kingly duties constitute the highest science of duty. I also think that the burden of those duties is exceedingly onerous. Do thou, therefore, O king, discourse on those duties. O grandsire, do thou speak in detail on the duties

of kings. The science of kingly duties is the refuge of the whole world of life. O thou of Kuru’s race, Morality, Profit, and Pleasure are dependent on kingly duties. It is also clear that the practices that lead to emancipation are equally dependent on them. As the reins are in respect of the steed or the iron hook in respect of the elephant, even so the science of kingly duties constitutes the reins for checking the world. If one becomes stupefied in respect of the duties observed by royal sages, disorder would set in on the earth and everything will become confused. As the Sun, rising, dispels inauspicious darkness, so this science destroys every kind of evil consequence in respect of the world. Therefore, O grandsire, do thou, for my sake, discourse on kingly duties in the first instance, for thou, O chief of the Bharatas, art the foremost of all persons conversant with duties. O scorcher of foes, Vasudeva regards thee as the first of all intelligent persons. Therefore, all of us expect the highest knowledge from thee.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Bowing unto Dharma who is Supreme, unto Krishna who is Brahma in full, and unto the Brahmanas, I shall discourse on the eternal duties (of men). Hear from me, O Yudhishthira, with concentrated attention, the whole range of kingly duties described with accurate details, and other duties that you mayst desire to know. In the first place, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, the king should, from desire of pleasing (his subjects), wait with humility upon the gods and the Brahmanas, always bearing himself agreeably to the ordinance. By worshipping the deities and the Brahmanas, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, the king pays off his debt to duty and morality, and receives the respect of his subjects. O son, thou shouldst always exert with promptitude, O Yudhishthira, for without promptitude of exertion mere destiny never accomplishes the objects cherished by kings. These two, viz., exertion and destiny, are equal (in their operation). Of them, I regard exertion to be superior, for destiny is ascertained from the results of what is begun with exertion. Do not indulge in grief if what is commenced ends disastrously, for thou shouldst then exert thyself in the same act with redoubled attention. This is the high duty of kings. There is nothing which contributes so much to the success of kings as Truth. The king who is devoted to Truth finds happiness both here and hereafter. As regards Rishis also, O king, Truth is their great wealth. Similarly, as regards kings, there is nothing that so much inspires confidence in them as Truth. The king that is possessed of every accomplishment and good behaviour, that is self-restrained, humble, and righteous, that has his passions under control, that is of handsome features and not too enquiring, never loses prosperity. By administering justice, by attending to these three, viz., concealment of his own weaknesses, ascertainment of the weaknesses of foes, and keeping his own counsels, as also by the observance of conduct that is straightforward, the king, O delighter of the Kurus, obtains prosperity. If the king becomes mild, everybody disregards him On the other hand, if he becomes fierce, his subjects then become troubled.

Therefore, do thou observe both kinds of behaviour. O foremost of liberal men, the Brahmanas should never be punished by thee, for the Brahmana, O son of Pandu, is the foremost of beings on the Earth. The high-souled Manu, O king of kings, that sung two Slokas. In respect of thy duties, O thou of Kuru’s race, thou shouldst always bear them in mind. Fire hath sprung from water, the Kshatriya from the Brahmana, and iron from stone. The three (viz., fire, Kshatriya and iron) can exert their force on every other thing, but coming into contact with their respective progenitors, their force becomes neutralised. When iron strikes stone, or fire battles with water, or Kshatriya cherishes enmity towards Brahmana, these three soon become weak. When this is so, O monarch, (you will see that) the Brahmanas are worthy of worship. They that are foremost among the Brahmanas are gods on earth. Duly worshipped, they uphold the Vedas and the Sacrifices. But they, O tiger among kings, that desire to have such honour however much they may be impediments to the three worlds, should ever be repressed by the might of thy arms. The great Rishi Usanas, O son, sang two Slokas in days of old. Listen to them, O king, with concentrated attention. The righteous Kshatriya, mindful of his duties, should chastise a Brahmana that may be a very master of the Vedas if he rushes to battle with an uplifted weapon. The Kshatriya, conversant with duties, that upholds righteousness when it is trespassed against, does not, by that act, become a sinner, for the wrath of the assailant justifies the wrath of the chastiser. Subject to these restrictions, O tiger among kings, the Brahmanas should be protected. If they become offenders, they should then be exiled beyond thy dominions. Even when deserving of punishment, thou shouldst, O kings, show them compassion. If a Brahmana becomes guilty of Brahmanicide, or of violating the bed of his preceptor or other revered senior, or of causing miscarriage, or of treason against the king, his punishment should be banishment from thy dominions. No corporal chastisement is laid down for them. Those persons that show respect towards the Brahmanas should be favoured by thee (with offices in the state). There is no treasure more valuable to kings than that which consists in the selection and assemblage of servants. Among the six kinds of citadels indicated in the scriptures, indeed among every kind of citadel, that which consists of (the ready service and the love of the) subjects is the most impregnable. Therefore, the king who is possessed of wisdom should always show compassion towards the four orders of his subjects. The king who is of righteous soul and truthful speech succeeds in gratifying his subjects. Thou must not, however, O son always behave with forgiveness towards everybody, for the king that is mild is regarded as the worst of his kind like an elephant that is reft of fierceness. In the scriptures composed by Vrihaspati, a Sloka was in days of old applicable to the present matter. Hear it, O king as I recite it. ‘If the king happens to be always forgiving, the lowest of persons prevails over him, even as the driver who sits on the head of the elephant he guides.’ The king, therefore, should not always be mild. Nor should he always be fierce. He should be like the vernal Sun, neither cold nor so hot as to produce perspiration. By the direct evidence of the senses, by conjecture, by comparisons, and by the canons, of the scriptures O monarch, the king should Study friends and foes. O thou of great liberality, thou shouldst avoid all those evil practices that are called Vyasanas. It is not necessary that thou shouldst never indulge in them. What, however, is needed is that thou shouldst not be attached to them. He that is attached to those practices is prevailed over by everyone. The king who cherishes no love for his people inspires the latter with anxiety. The king should always bear himself towards his subjects as a mother towards the child of her womb. Hear, O monarch, the reason why this becomes desirable. As the mother, disregarding those objects that are most cherished by her, seeks the good of her child alone, even so, without doubt, should kings conduct themselves (towards their subjects). The king that is righteous, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, should always behave in such a manner as to a old what is dear to him, for the sake of doing that which would benefit his people. Thou shouldst not ever, O son of Pandu, abandon fortitude. The king that is possessed of fortitude and who is known to inflict chastisement on wrong-doers, has no cause of fear. O foremost of speakers, thou shouldst not indulge in jests with thy servants. O tiger among kings, listen to the faults of such conduct. If the master mingles too freely with them, dependents begin to disregard him. They forget their own position and most truly transcend that of the master. Ordered to do a thing, they hesitate, and divulge the master’s secrets. They ask for things that should not be asked for, and take the food that is intended for the master. They go to the length of displaying their wrath and seek to outshine the master. They even seek to predominate over the king, and accepting bribes and practising deceit, obstruct the business of the state. They cause the state to rot with abuses by falsifications and forgeries. They make love with the female guards of the palace and dress in the same style as their master. They become so shameless as to indulge in eructations and the like, and expectorate in the very presence of their master, O tiger among kings, and they do not fear to even speak of him with levity before others. If the king becomes mild and disposed to jest, his servants, disregarding him, ride on steeds and elephants and cars as good as the king’s. His counsellors, assembled in court, openly indulge in such speeches as: ‘This is beyond thy power. This is a wicked attempt.’ If the king becomes angry, they laugh; nor are they gladdened if favours be bestowed upon them, though they may express joy for other reasons. They disclose the secret counsels of their master and bruit his evil acts. Without the least anxiety they set at naught the king’s commands. If the king’s jewels, or food, or the necessaries of his bath, or unguents, be not forthcoming, the servants, in his very presence, do not show the least anxiety. They do not take what rightfully belongs to them. On the other hand, without being content with what has been assigned to them, they appropriate what belongs to the king. They wish to sport with the king as with a bird tied with a string, And always give the people to understand that the king is very intimate with them and loves them dearly. If the king becomes mild and disposed to jest, O Yudhishthira, these and many other

evils spring from it.’”

Section LVII

“Bhishma said, ‘The king, O Yudhishthira, should always be ready for action. That king is not worth of praise who, like a woman, is destitute of exertion. In this connection, the holy Usanas has sting a Sloka, O monarch. Listen to it with attention, O king, as I recite it to thee: ‘Like a snake swallowing up mice, the earth swallows tip these two, the king that is averse to battle and the Brahmana that is exceedingly attached to wives and children. It behoveth thee, O tiger among kings, to bear this always in thy heart. Make peace with those foes with whom (according to the ordinance) peace should be made, and wage war with them with whom war should be waged. Be he thy preceptor or be he thy friend, he that acts inimically towards thy kingdom consisting of seven limbs, should be slain. There is an ancient Sloka sung by king Marutta, agreeable to Vrihaspati’s opinion, O monarch, about the duty of kings. According to the eternal provision, there is punishment for even the preceptor if he becomes haughty and disregardful of what should be done and what should not, and if he transgresses all restraints. Jadu’s son, king Sagara, of great intelligence, from desire of doing good to the citizens, exiled his own eldest son Asamanjas. Asamanjas, O king, used to drown the children of the citizens in the Sarayu. His sire, therefore, rebuked him and sent him to exile. The Rishi Uddalaka cast off his favourite son Swetaketu (afterwards) of rigid penances, because the latter used to invite Brahmanas with deceptive promises of entertainment. The happiness of their subjects, observance of truth, and sincerity of behaviour are the eternal duty of kings. The king should not covet the wealth of others. He should in time give what should be given, If the king becomes possessed of prowess, truthful in speech, and forgiving in temper, he would never fall away from prosperity. With soul cleansed of vices, the king should be able to govern his wrath, and all his conclusions should be conformable to the scriptures. He should also always pursue morality and profit and pleasure and salvation (judiciously). The king should always conceal his counsels in respect of these three, (viz., morality, profit, and pleasure). No greater evil can befall the king than the disclosure of his counsels. Kings should protect the four orders in the discharge of their duties. It is the eternal duty of kings to prevent a confusion of duties in respect of the different orders. The king should not repose confidence (on others than his own servants), nor should he repose full confidence (on even his servants).

He should, by his own intelligence, took after the merits and defects of the six essential requisites of sovereignty. The king who is observant of the laches of his foes, and judicious in the pursuit of morality, profit, and pleasure, who sets clever spies for ascertaining secrets and seeks to wean away the officers of his enemies by presents of wealth, deserves applause. The king should administer justice like Yama and amass wealth like Kuvera. He should also be observant of the merits and defects of his own acquisitions and losses and of his own dominions. He should feed those that have not been fed, and enquire after those that have been fed. Possessed of sweet speech, he could speak with a smiling (and not with a sour) countenance. He should always wait upon those that are old in years and repress procrastination. He should never covet what belongs to others. He should firmly follow the behaviour of the righteous and, therefore, observe that behaviour carefully. He should never take wealth from those that are righteous. Taking the wealth of those that are not righteous he should give it unto them that are righteous. The king should himself be skilful in smiting. He should practise liberality. He Should have his soul under control. He should dress himself with splendour. He should make gifts in season and regular in his meals. He should also be of good behaviour. The king desirous of obtaining prosperity should always bind to his service men that are brave, devoted, incapable of being deceived by foes, well-born, healthy, well-behaved, and connected with families that are well-behaved, respectable, never inclined to insult others, conversant with all the sciences, possessing a knowledge of the world and its affairs, unmindful of the future state of existence, always observant of their duties, honest, and steadfast like mountains. There should be no difference between him and them as regards objects of enjoyment. The only distinction should consist in his umbrella and his power or passing orders. His conduct towards them, before or behind, should be the same. The king who behaves in this way never comes to grief. That crooked and covetous king who suspects everybody and who taxes his subjects heavily, is soon deprived of life by his own servants and relatives. That king, however, who is of righteous behaviour and who is ever engaged in attracting the hearts of his people, never sinks when attacked by foes. If overcome, he soon regains his position. If the king is not wrathful, if he is not addicted to evil practices and not severe in his punishments, if he succeeds in keeping his passions under control, he then becomes an object of confidence unto all like the Himavat mountains (unto all creatures). He is the best of kings who hath wisdom, who is possessed of liberality, who is ready to take advantage of the laches of foes, who has agreeable features, who is conversant with what is bad for each of the four orders of his subjects, who is prompt in action, who has his wrath under control, who

is not vindictive, who is high-minded, who is not irascible by disposition, who is equal engaged in sacrifices and other religious acts, who is not given to boasting, and who vigorously prosecutes to completion all works commenced by him. He is the best of kings in whose dominions men live fearlessly like sons in the house of their sire. He is the best of kings whose subjects have not to hide their wealth and are conversant with what is good and what is bad for them. He, indeed, is a king whose subjects are engaged in their respective duties and do not fear to cast off their bodies when duty calls for it; whose people, protected duly, are all of peaceful behaviour, obedient, docile, tractable, unwilling to be engaged in disputes, and inclined to liberality. That king earns eternal merit in whose dominions there is no wickedness and dissimulation and deception and envy. That king truly deserves to rule who honours knowledge, who is devoted to the scriptures and the good of his people, who treads in the path of the righteous, and who is liberal. That king deserves to rule, whose spies and counsels and acts, accomplished and unaccomplished, remain unknown to his enemies. The following verse was sung in days of old by Usanas of Bhrigu’s race, in the narrative called Ramacharita, on the subject, O Bharata, of kingly duties: ‘One should first select a king (in whose dominions to live). Then should he select a wife, and then earn wealth. If there be no king, what would become of his wife and acquisition’?’ Regarding those that are desirous of kingdom, there is no other eternal duty more obligatory than the protection (of subjects). The protection the king grants to his subjects upholds the world. Manu, the son of Prachetas, sang these two verses respecting the duties of kings. Listen to them with attention: ‘These six persons should be avoided like a leaky boat on the sea, viz., a preceptor that does not speak, a priest that has not studied the scriptures, a king that does not grant protection, a wife that utters what is disagreeable, a cow-herd that likes to rove within the village, and a barber that is desirous of going to the woods.’”

Section LVIII

“Bhishma said, ‘Protection of the subject, O Yudhishthira, is the very cheese of kingly duties. The divine Vrihaspati does not applaud any other duty (so much as this one). The divine Kavi (Usanas) of large eyes and austere penances, the thousand-eyed Indra, and Manu the son of Prachetas, the divine Bharadwaja, and the saga Gaurasiras, all devoted to Brahma and utterers of Brahma, have composed treatises on the duties of kings. All of them praise the duty of protection, O foremost of virtuous persons, in respect of kings. O thou of eyes like lotus leaves and of the hue of copper, listen to the means by which protection may be secured. Those means consist of the employment of spies and servants, giving them their just dues without haughtiness, the realisation of taxes with considerateness, never taking anything (from the subject) capriciously and without cause, O Yudhishthira, the selection of honest men (for the discharge of administrative functions), heroism, skill, and cleverness (in the transaction of business), truth, seeking the good of the people, producing discord and disunion among the enemy by fair or unfair means, the repair of buildings that are old or on the point of falling away, the infliction of corporal punishments and fines regulated by observance of the occasion, never abandoning the honest, granting employment and protection to persons of respectable birth, the storing of what should be stored, companionship with persons of intelligence, always gratifying the soldiery, supervision over the subjects, steadiness in the transaction of business, filling the treasury, absence of blind confidence on the guards of the city, producing disloyalty among the citizens of a hostile town, carefully looking after the friends and allies living in the midst of the enemy’s country, strictly watching the servants and officers of the state, personal observation of the city, distrust of servants, comforting the enemy with assurances, steadily observing the dictates of policy, readiness for action, never disregarding an enemy, and casting off those that are wicked. Readiness for exertion in kings is the root of kingly duties. This has been said by Vrihaspati. Listen to the verses sung by him: ‘By exertion the amrita was obtained; by exertion the Asuras were slain, by exertion Indra himself obtained sovereignty in heaven and on earth. The hero of exertion is superior to the heroes of speech. The heroes of speech gratify and worship the heroes of exertion. ‘ The king that is destitute of exertion, even if possessed of intelligence, is always overcome by foes like a snake that is bereft of poison. The king, even if possessed of strength, should not disregard a foe, however weak. A spark of fire can produce a conflagration and a particle of poison can kill. With only one kind of force, an enemy from within a fort, can afflict the whole country of even a powerful and prosperous king. The secret speeches of a king, the amassing of troops for obtaining victory, the crooked purposes in his heart, similar intents for accomplishing particular objects, and the wrong acts he does or intends to do, should be concealed by putting on an appearance of candour. He should act righteously for keeping his people under subjection. Persons of crooked minds cannot bear the burden of extensive empire. A king who is mild cannot obtain superior rank, the acquisition of which depends upon labour.

A kingdom, coveted by all like meat, can never be protected by candour and simplicity. A king, O Yudhishthira, should, therefore, always conduct himself with both candour and crookedness. If in protecting his subjects a king falls into danger, he earns great merit. Even such should be the conduct of kings. I have now told thee a portion only of the duties of kings. Tell me, O best of the Kurus, what more you wish to know.”

Vaisampayana continued, “The illustrious Vyasa and Devasthana and Aswa, and Vasudeva and Kripa and Satyaki and Sanjaya, filled with joy, and with faces resembling full-blown flowers, said, ‘Excellent! Excellent!’ and hymned the praises of that tiger among men, viz., Bhishma, that foremost of virtuous persons. Then Yudhishthira, that chief of Kuru’s race, with a cheerless heart and eyes bathed in tears, gently touched Bhishma’s feet and said, ‘O grandsire, I shall to-morrow enquire after those points about which I have my doubts, for today, the sun, having sucked the moisture of all terrestrial objects, is about to set.’ Then Kesava and Kripa and Yudhishthira and others, saluting the Brahmanas (assembled there) and circumambulating the son of the great river, cheerfully ascended their cars. All of them observant of excellent vows then bathed in the current of the Drishadwati. Having offered oblations of water unto their ancestors and silently recited the sacred mantras and done other auspicious acts, and having performed the evening prayer with due rites, those scorchers of foes entered the city called after the elephant.”

Section LIX

Vaisampayana said, “Rising from their beds the next day and performing the morning rites laid down in the scriptures, the Pandavas and the Yadavas set out (for the spot where Bhishma lay) on their cars resembling fortified towns. Proceeding to the field of Kuru and approaching the sinless Bhishma, they enquired of that foremost of car-warriors if he had passed the night happily. Saluting all the Rishis, and blessed by them in return, the princes took their seats around Bhishma. Then king Yudhishthira the just possessed of great energy, having worshipped Bhishma duly, said these words with joined hands.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Whence arose the word Rajan (King), that is used, O Bharata, on earth? Tell me this, O scorcher of foes! Possessed of hands and arms and neck like others, having understanding and senses like those of others, subject like others to the same kinds of joy and grief, endued with back, mouth, and stomach similar to those of the rest of the world, having vital fluids and bones and marrow and flesh and blood similar to those of, the rest of the world, inhaling and exhaling breaths like others, possessed of life-breaths and bodies like other men, resembling others in birth and death, in fact, similar to others in respect of all attributes of humanity, for what reason does one man, viz., the king, govern the rest of the world numbering many men possessed of great intelligence and bravery? Whence is it that one man rules the wide world teeming with brave and energetic and high-born men of good behaviour? Why do all men seek to obtain his favour? Why is it that if one man becomes delighted, the whole world becomes delighted, and if that one man is troubled, the whole world becomes troubled? I desire to hear this in detail, O bull of Bharata’s race! O foremost of speakers, discourse to me on this fully. O king, there cannot but be a grave reason for all this since it is seen that the whole world bows down to one man as to a god.

“Bhishma said, ‘With concentrated attention, O tiger among kings, listen to it in detail as to how in the Krita age sovereignty first began. At first there was no sovereignty, no king, no chastisement, and no chastiser. All men used to protect one another righteously. As they thus lived, O Bharata, righteously protecting one another, they found the task (after some time) to be painful. Error then began to assail their hearts. Having become subject to error, the perceptions of men, O prince, came to be clouded, and thence their virtue began to decline. When their perceptions were dimmed and when men became subject to error, all of them became covetous. O chief of the Bharatas! And because men sought to obtain objects, which they did not possess, another passion called lust (of acquisition) got hold of them. When they became subject to lust, another passion, named anger, soon soiled them. Once subject to wrath, they lost all consideration of what should be done and what should not. Unrestrained sexual indulgence set in. Men began to utter what they chose. All distinctions between food that is clean and unclean and between virtue and vice disappeared. When this confusion set in amongst men, the Vedas disappeared. Upon the disappearance of the Vedas, Righteousness was lost. When both the Vedas and righteousness were lost, the gods were possessed by fear. Overcome with fear, O tiger among men, they sought the protection of Brahmana. Having gratified the divine Grandsire of the universe, the gods, afflicted with grief, said unto him, with joined hands, ‘O god, the eternal Vedas have been afflicted in the world of men by covetousness and error. For this, we have been struck with fear. Through loss of the Vedas, O Supreme Lord, righteousness also has been lost. For this, O Lord of the three worlds, we are about to descend to the level of human beings. Men used to pour libations upwards while we used to pour rain downwards. In consequence, however, of the cessation of all pious rites among men, great distress will be our lot. Do thou then, O Grandsire, think of that which would benefit us, so that the universe, created by thy power, may not meet with destruction.’ Thus addressed, the Self-born and divine Lord said unto them, ‘I shall think of what will do good to all. Ye foremost of gods, let your fears be

dispelled!’ The Grandsire then composed by his own intelligence a treatise consisting of a hundred thousand chapters. In it were treated the subject of Virtue, Profit, and Pleasure. Which the Self-born designated as the triple aggregate. He treated of a fourth subject called Emancipation with opposite meaning and attributes. The triple aggregate in respect of emancipation, viz., to the attributes of Goodness, Passion, and Darkness, and another, (a fourth, viz., the practice of duty without hope of bliss or reward in this or the other world), were treated in it. Another triple aggregate connected with Chastisement, viz., Conversation, Growth, and Destruction, was treated in it. Another aggregate of six consisting of the hearts of men, place, time, means, overt acts, and alliances, and causes, were treated in it. The religious rites laid down in the three Vedas, knowledge, and the acts necessary for the support of life, (viz., agriculture, trade, &c.), O bull of Bharata’s race, and the very extensive branch of learning called punitive legislation, were laid down in it. The subjects also of behaviour towards counsellors, of spies, the indications of princes, of secret agents possessed of diverse means, of envoys and agents of other kinds, conciliation, fomenting discord, gifts, and chastisement, O king, with toleration as the fifth, were fully treated therein. Deliberation of all kinds, counsels for producing disunion, the errors of deliberation, the results of the success or failure of counsels, treaties of three kinds, viz., bad, middling, and good, made through fear, good offices, and gifts of wealth, were described in detail. The four kinds of time for making journeys, the details of the aggregate of three, the three kinds of victory, viz., that secured righteously, that won by wealth, and that obtained by deceitful ways, were described in detail. The three kinds of attributes, viz., bad, middling, and good, of the aggregate of five (viz., counsellors, kingdom, fort, army, and treasury,) were also treated in it. Chastisements of two kinds, viz., open and secret, were indicated. The eight kinds of open chastisement, as also the eight kinds of secret chastisement, were dealt with in detail. Cars, elephants, horses, and foot-soldiers, O son of Pandu, impressed labourers, crews, and paid attendants (of armies), and guides taken from the country which is the seat of war, these are the eight instruments, O Kauravya, of open chastisement or forces acting openly. The use and administration of movable and immovable poison were also mentioned in respect of the three kinds of things, viz., wearing apparel, food, and incantations. Enemies, allies, and neutrals,–these also were described. The diverse characteristics of roads (to be taken, as dependent on stars and planets, etc.), the attributes of the soil (on which to encamp), protection of self, superintendence of the construction of cars and other utensils of war and use, the diverse means for protecting and improving men, elephants, cars, and steeds, the diverse kinds of battle array, strategies, and manoeuvres in war, planetary conjunctions foreboding evil, calamitous visitations (such

as earthquakes), skilful methods of warfare and retreat, knowledge of weapons and their proper keep, the disorders of troops and how to get rid of them, the means of inspiring the army with joy and confidence, diseases, times of distress and danger, knowledge of guiding foot-soldiers in battle, the methods of sounding alarms and notifying orders, inspiring the enemy with fear by display of standards, the diverse methods of afflicting the enemy’s kingdom by means of robbers and fierce wild-tribes, and fire-raisers and poisoners and forgers by producing disunion among the chief officers of hostile armies, by cutting down crops and plants, by destroying the efficiency of the enemy’s elephants, by producing alarms, by honouring those among the enemy’s subjects that are well disposed towards the invader, and by inspiring the enemy with confidence, the waste, growth, and harmony of the seven essential requisites of sovereignty, capacity for (projected) works, the means for accomplishing them, the methods of extending the kingdom, the means of winning over persons residing in the enemy’s territory, the chastisement and destruction of those that are strong, the exact administration of justice, the extermination of the wicked, wrestling, shooting and throwing and hurling of weapons, the methods of making presents and of storing requisite things, feeding the unfed and supervision over those that have been fed, gifts of wealth in season, freedom from the vices called Vyasanas, the attributes of kings, the qualifications of military officers, the sources of the aggregate of three and its merits and faults, the diverse kinds of evil intents, the behaviour of dependents, suspicion against every one, the avoidance of heedlessness, the acquisition of objects unattained, the improving of objects already acquired, gifts to deserving persons of what has thus been improved, expenditure of wealth for pious purposes, for acquiring objects of desire, and for dispelling danger and distress, were all treated in that work. The fierce vices, O chief of the Kurus, born of temper, and those born of lust, in all of ten kinds, were mentioned in that treatise. The four kinds of vices which the learned say are born of lust, viz., hunting, gambling, drinking, and sexual indulgence, were mentioned by the Self-born in that work. Rudeness of speech, fierceness, severity of chastisement, infliction of pain on the body, suicide, and frustrating one’s own objects, these are the six kinds of faults born of wrath, that have also been mentioned. Diverse kinds of machines and their actions have been described there. Devastation of the enemy’s territories, attacks upon foes, the destruction and removal of landmarks and other indications, the cutting down of large trees (for depriving the enemy and the enemy’s subjects of their refreshing shade), siege of forts, supervision of agriculture and other useful operations, the storage of necessaries, robes and attire (of troops), and the best means of manufacturing them, were all described. The characteristics and uses of Panavas, Anakas, conchs, and drums. O Yudhishthira, the six kinds of articles (viz., gems, animals, lands, robes, female slaves, and gold) and the means of acquiring them (for one’s one self) and of destroying them (for injuring the foe), pacification of newly acquired territories, honouring the good, cultivating friendship with the learned, knowledge of the rules in respect of gifts and religious rites such as homa, the touch of auspicious articles, attention to the adornment of the body, the manner of preparing and using food, piety of behaviour, the attainment of prosperity by following in one path, truthfulness of speech, sweetness of speech, observance of acts done on occasions of festivity and social gatherings and those done within the household, the open and secret acts of persons in all places of meeting, the constant supervision of the behaviour of men, the immunity of Brahmanas from punishment, the reasonable infliction of punishment, honours paid to dependants in consideration of kinship and merit, the protection of subjects and the means of extending the kingdom, the counsels that a king who lives in the midst of a dozen of kings, should pursue in respect of the four kinds of foes, the four kinds of allies, and the four kinds of neutrals, the two and seventy acts laid down in medical works about the protection, exercise, and improvements of the body, and the practices of particular countries, tribes, and families, were all duty treated in that work. Virtue, Profit, and Pleasure, and Emancipation, were also described in it. The diverse means of acquisition, the desire for diverse kinds of wealth. O giver of profuse presents, the methods of agriculture and other operations that form the chief source of the revenue, and the various means for producing and applying illusions, the methods by which stagnant water is rendered foul, were laid down in it. All those means, O tiger among kings, by which men might be prevented from deviating from the path of righteousness and honesty, were all described in it. Having composed that highly beneficial treatise, the divine Lord cheerfully said unto the deities having Indra for their head, those words: ‘For the good of the world and for establishing the triple aggregate (viz., Virtue, Profit, and Pleasure), I have composed this science representing the very cheese of speech. Assisted by chastisement, this science will protect the world. Dealing rewards and punishments, this science will operate among men. And because men are led (to the acquisition of the objects of their existence) by chastisement, or, in other words, chastisement leads or governs everything, therefore will this science be known in the three worlds as Dandaniti (science of chastisement). Containing the essence of all the attributes of the aggregate of six, this science will always be much regarded by all high-souled persons. Virtue, Profit, Pleasure, and Salvation have all been treated in it.’ After this, the lord of Uma,–the divine and multiform Siva of large eyes, the Source of all blessings, first studied and mastered it. In view, however, of the gradual decrease of the period of life of human beings, the divine Siva abridged that science of grave import compiled by Brahman. The abridgment, called Vaisalakasha, consisting of ten thousand lessons, was then received by Indra devoted to Brahman

and endued with great ascetic merit. The divine Indra also abridged it into a treatise consisting of five thousand lessons and called it Vahudantaka. Afterwards the puissant Vrihaspati, by his intelligence, further abridged the work into a treatise consisting of three thousand lessons and called it Varhaspatya. Next, that preceptor of Yoga, of great celebrity, viz., Kavi of immeasurable wisdom, reduced it further into a work of a thousand lessons. In view of the period of men’s lives and the general decrease (of everything), great Rishis did thus, for benefiting the world, abridge that science. The gods then, approaching that lord of creatures, viz., Vishnu, said unto him, ‘Indicate, O god, that one among mortals who deserves to have superiority over the rest.’ The divine and puissant Narayana, reflecting a little, created, by a fiat of his will, a son born of his energy, named Virajas. The highly blessed Virajas, however, did not desire sovereignty on earth. His mind, O son of Pandu, inclined to a life of renunciation. Virajas had a son named Krittimat. He too renounced pleasure and enjoyment. Krittimat had a son named Kardama. Kardama also practised severe austerities. The lord of creatures, Kardama, begot a son named Ananga. Ananga became a protector of creatures, pious in behaviour, and fully conversant with the science of chastisement. Ananga begot a son named Ativala, well versed in policy. Obtaining extensive empire after the demise of his sire, he became a slave of his passions. Mrityu, O king, had a daughter born of his mind, named Sunita and celebrated over the three worlds. She was married to Ativala and gave birth to a son named Vena. Vena, a slave of wrath and malice, became unrighteous in his conduct towards all creatures. The Rishis, those utterers of Brahma, slew him with Kusa blades (as their weapon) inspired with mantras. Uttering mantras the while, those Rishis pierced the right thigh of Vena. Thereupon, from that thigh, came out a short-limbed person on earth, resembling a charred brand, with blood-red eyes and black hair. Those utterers of Brahma said unto him, ‘Nishida (sit) here!’ From him have sprung the Nishadas, viz., those wicked tribes that have the hills and the forests for their abode, as also those hundreds and thousands of others called Mlechchhas, residing on the Vindhya mountains. The great Rishis then pierced the right arm of Vena. Thence sprang a person who was a second Indra in form. Clad in mail, armed with scimitars, bows, and arrows, and well-versed in the science of weapons, he was fully acquainted with the Vedas and their branches. All the ordinances of the science of chastisement, O king, (in their embodied forms) came to that best of men. The son of Vena then, with joined hands, said unto those great Rishis, ‘I have attained an understanding that is very keen and that is observant of righteousness. Tell me in detail what I shall do with it. That useful task which you will be pleased to indicate, I shall accomplish without hesitation.’ Thus addressed, the gods that were present there, as also the Rishis, said unto him. ‘Do thou fearlessly accomplish all those tasks in which righteousness even resides.

Disregarding what is dear and what not so, look upon all creatures with an equal eye. Castoff at a distance Just and wrath and covetousness and honour, and, always observing the dictates of righteousness, do thou punish with thy own hands the man, whoever he may be, that deviates from the path of duty. Do thou also swear that thou wouldst, in thought, word, and deed, always maintain the religion inculcated on earth by the Vedas. Do thou further swear that thou wouldst fearlessly maintain the duties laid down in the Vedas with the aid of the science of chastisement, and that thou wouldst never act with caprice. O puissant one, know that Brahmanas are exempt from chastisement, and pledge further that thou wouldst protect the world from an intermixture of castes.’ Thus addressed, Vena’s son replied unto the deities headed by the Rishis, saying, ‘Those bulls among men, viz., the highly blessed Brahmanas, shall ever be worshipped by me.’ Those utterers of Brahma then said unto him, ‘Let it be so!’ Then Sukra, that vast receptacle of Brahma, became his priest. The Valakhilyas became his counsellors, and the Saraswatas his companions. The great and illustrious Rishi Garga became his astrologer. This high declaration of the Srutis is current among men that Prithu is the eighth from Vishnu. A little before, the two persons named Suta and Magadha had come into existence. They became his bards and panegyrists. Gratified, Prithu, the royal son of Vena, possessed of great prowess, gave unto Suta the land lying on the sea-coast, and unto Magadha the country since known as Magadha. We have heard that the surface of the earth had before been very uneven. It was Prithu who made the terrestrial surface level. In every Manwantara, the earth becomes uneven. Vena’s son removed the rocks and rocky masses lying all around, O monarch, with the horn of his bow. By this means the hills and mountains became enlarged. Then Vishnu, and the deities of Indra, and the Rishis, and the Regents of the world, and the Brahmanas, assembled together for crowning Prithu (as the king of the world). The earth herself, O son of Pandu, in her embodied form, came to him, with a tribute of gems and jewels. Ocean, that lord of rivers, and Himavat, the king of mountains, and Sakra, O Yudhishthira, bestowed upon him inexhaustible wealth. The great Meru, that mountain of gold, gave unto him heaps of that precious metal. The divine Kuvera, borne on the shoulders of human beings, that lord of Yakshas and Rakshasas, gave him wealth enough for gratifying the needs of religion, profit, and pleasure. Steeds, cars, elephants, and men, by millions, O son of Pandu, started into life as soon as Vena’s son thought of them. At that time there was neither decrepitude, nor famine, nor calamity, nor disease (on earth). In consequence of the protection afforded by that king, nobody had any fear from reptiles and thieves or from any other source. When he proceeded to the sea, the waters used to be solidified. The mountains gave him way, and his standard was never obstructed anywhere. He drew from the earth, as a milcher from a cow, seven and ten kinds of crops for the food of Yakshas, and Rakshasas, and Nagas, and

other creatures. That high-souled king caused all creatures to regard righteousness as the foremost of all things; and because he gratified all the people, therefore, was he called Rajan (king). And because he also healed the wounds of Brahmanas, therefore, he earned the name of Kshatriya. And because the earth (in his region) became celebrated for the practice of virtue, therefore, she came to be called by many as Prithvi. The eternal Vishnu himself, O Bharata, confirmed his power, telling him, ‘No one, O king, shall transcend thee.’ The divine Vishnu entered the body of that monarch in consequence of his penances. For this reason, the entire universe offered divine worship unto Prithu, numbered among human gods. O king, thy kingdom should always be protected by the aid of the science of chastisement. Thou shouldst also, by careful observation made through the movements of thy spies, protect it in such a way that no one may be able to injure it. All good acts, O king, lead to the good (of the monarch). The conduct of a king should be regulated by his own intelligence, as also by the opportunities and means that may offer themselves. What other cause is there in consequence of which the multitude live in obedience to one, save the divinity of the monarch? At that time a golden lotus was born from Vishnu’s brow. The goddess Sree was born of that lotus. She became the spouse of Dharma of great intelligence upon Sree, O son of Pandu, Dharma begot Artha. All the three, viz., Dharma, and Artha and Sree, were established in sovereignty. A person upon the exhaustion of his merit, comes down from heaven to earth, and takes birth as a king conversant with the science of chastisement. Such a person becomes endued with greatness and is really a portion of Vishnu on earth. He becomes possessed of great intelligence and obtains superiority over others. Established by the gods, no one transcends him. It is for this reason that everybody acts in obedience to one, and it is for this that the world cannot command him. Good acts, O king, lead to good. It is for this that the multitude obey his words of command, though he belongs to the same world and is possessed of similar limbs. He who once beheld Prithu’s amiable face became obedient to him. Thenceforth he began to regard him as handsome, wealthy, and highly blessed. In consequence of the might of his sceptre, the practice of morality and just behaviour became so visible on earth. It is through that reason that the earth became overspread with virtue.’

“Thus, O Yudhishthira, the histories of all past events, the origin of the

great Rishis, the holy waters, the planets and stars and asterisms, the duties in respect of the four modes of life, the four kinds of Homa, the characteristics of the four orders of men, and the four branches of learning, were all treated of in that work (of the Grandsire). Whatever objects or things, O son of Pandu, there are on earth, were all included in that treatise of the Grandsire. Histories and the Vedas and the science of Nyaya were all treated in it, as also penances, knowledge, abstention from injury in respect of all creatures, truth, falsehood, and high morality. Worship of persons old in years, gifts, purity of behaviour, readiness for exertion, and compassion towards all creatures, were very fully described in it. There is no doubt in this. Since that time, O monarch, the learned have begun to say that there is no difference between a god and a king. I have now told thee everything about the greatness of kings. What other subject is there, O chief of the Bharatas, upon which I shall next have to discourse?”

Section LX

Vaisampayana said, “After this, Yudhishthira, saluted his grandsire, viz. the son of Ganga, and with joined hands and concentrated attention, once more asked him, saying, ‘What are the general duties of the four orders of men, and what the special duties of each order? What mode of life should be adopted by which order? What duties are especially called the duties of kings? By what means does a kingdom grow, and what are those means by which the king himself grows? How also, O bull of Bharata’s race, do the citizens and the servants of the king grow? What sorts of treasuries, punishments, forts, allies, counsellors, priests, and preceptors, should a king avoid? Whom should the king trust in what kinds of distress and danger? From what evils should the king guard himself firmly? Tell me all this, O grandsire!’

“Bhishma said, ‘I bow down to Dharma who is great, and to Krishna who is Brahma. Having bowed down also unto the Brahmanas (assembled here), I shall discourse on duties that are eternal. The suppression of wrath, truthfulness of speech, justice, forgiveness, begetting children upon one’s own wedded wives, purity of conduct, avoidance of quarrel, simplicity, and maintenance of dependants, these nine duties belong to all the four orders (equally). Those duties, however, which belong exclusively to Brahmanas, I shall now tell thee. Self-restraint, O king, has been declared to be the first duty of Brahmanas. Study of the Vedas, and patience in undergoing austerities, (are also their other duties). By practising these two, all their acts are

accomplished. If while engaged in the observance of his own duties, without doing any improper act, wealth comes to a peaceful Brahmana possessed of knowledge, he should then marry and seek to beget children and should also practise charity and perform sacrifices. It has been declared by the wise that wealth thus obtained should be enjoyed by distributing it (among deserving persons and relatives). By his study of the Vedas all the pious acts (laid down for the Brahmana) are accomplished. Whether he does or does not achieve anything else, if he devotes himself to the study of the Vedas, he becomes (by that) known as a Brahmana or the friend of all creatures. I shall also tell thee, O Bharata, what the duties are of a Kshatriya. A Kshatriya, O king, should give but not beg, should himself perform sacrifices but not officiate as a priest in the sacrifices of others. He should never teach (the Vedas) but study (them with a Brahmana preceptor). He should protect the people. Always exerting himself for the destruction of robbers and wicked people, he should put forth his prowess in battle. Those among Kshatriya rulers who perform great sacrifices, who are possessed of a knowledge of the Vedas, and who gain victories in battle, become foremost of those that acquire many blessed regions hereafter by their merit. Persons conversant with the old scriptures do not applaud that Kshatriya who returns unwounded from battle. This has been declared to be the conduct of a wretched Kshatriya. There is no higher duty for him than the suppression of robbers. Gifts, study, and sacrifices, bring prosperity to kings. Therefore, a king who desires to acquire religious merit should engage in battle. Establishing all his subjects in the observance of their respective duties, it king should cause all of them to do everything according to the dictates of righteousness. Whether he does or does not do any other act, if only he protects his subjects, he is regarded to accomplish all religious acts and is called a Kshatriya and the foremost of men. I shall now tell thee, O Yudhishthira, what the eternal duties of the Vaisya are. A Vaisya should make gifts, study the Vedas, perform sacrifices, and acquire wealth by fair means. With proper attention he should also protect and rear all (domestic) animals as a sire protecting his sons. Anything else that he will do will be regarded as improper for him. By protecting the (domestic) animals, he would obtain great happiness. The Creator, having created the (domestic) animals, bestowed their care upon the Vaisya. Upon the Brahmana and the Kshatriya he conferred (the care of) all creatures. I shall tell thee what the Vaisya’s profession is and how he is to earn the means of his sustenance. If he keeps (for others) six kine, he may take the milk of one cow as his remuneration; and if he keeps (for others) a hundred kine, he may take a single pair as such fee. If he trades with other’s wealth, he may take a seventh part of the profits (as his share). A seventh also is his share in the profits arising from the trade in horns, but he should take a sixteenth if the trade

be in hoofs. If he engages in cultivation with seeds supplied by others, he may take a seventh part of the yield. This should be his annual remuneration. A Vaisya should never desire that he should not tend cattle. If a Vaisya desires to tend cattle, no one else should be employed in that task. I should tell thee, O Bharata, what the duties of a Sudra are. The Creator intended the Sudra to become the servant of the other three orders. For this, the service of the three other classes is the duty of Sudra. By such service of the other three, a Sudra may obtain great happiness. He should wait upon the three other classes according to their order of seniority. A Sudra should never amass wealth, lest, by his wealth, he makes the members of the three superior classes obedient to him. By this he would incur sin. With the king’s permission, however, a Sudra, for performing religious acts, may earn wealth. I shall now tell thee the profession he should follow and the means by which he may earn his livelihood. It is said that Sudras should certainly be maintained by the (three) other orders. Worn-out umbrellas, turbans, beds and seats, shoes, and fans, should be given to the Sudra servants. Torn clothes which are no longer fit for wear, should be given away by the regenerate classes unto the Sudra. These are the latter’s lawful acquisitions. Men conversant with morality say that if the Sudra approaches any one belonging to the three regenerate orders from desire of doing menial service, the latter should assign him proper work. Unto the sonless Sudra his master should offer the funeral cake. The weak and the old amongst them should be maintained. The Sudra should never abandon his master, whatever the nature or degree of the distress into which the latter may fall. If the master loses his wealth, he should with excessive zeal be supported by the Sudra servant. A Sudra cannot have any wealth that is his own. Whatever he possesses belongs lawfully to his master. Sacrifice has been laid down as a duty of the three other orders. It has been ordained for the Sudra also, O Bharata! A Sudra, however, is not competent to titter swaha and swadha or any other Vedic mantra. For this reason, the Sudra, without observing the vows laid down in the Vedas, should worship the gods in minor sacrifices called Paka-yajnas. The gift called Purna-patra is declared to be the Dakshina of such sacrifices. It has been heard by us that in days of old a Sudra of the name of Paijavana gave a Dakshina (in one of his sacrifices) consisting of a hundred thousand

Purnapatras, according to the ordinance called Aindragni. Sacrifice (as has been already said), is as much laid down for the Sudra as for the three other classes. Of all sacrifices, devotion has been laid down to be the foremost. Devotion is a high deity. It cleanses all sacrificers. Then again Brahmanas are the foremost of gods unto their respective Sudra attendants. They worship the gods in sacrifices, for obtaining the fruition of various wishes. The members of the three other classes have all sprung from the Brahmanas. The Brahmanas are the gods of the very gods. Whatever they would say would be for thy great good. Therefore, all kinds of sacrifices naturally appertain to all the four orders. The obligation is not one whose discharge is optional. The Brahmana, who is conversant with Richs, Yajuses, and Samans, should always be worshipped as a god. The Sudra, who is without Richs and Yajuses and Samans, has Prajapati for his god. Mental sacrifice. O sire, is laid down for all the orders, O Bharata! It is not true that the gods and other (Superior) persons do not manifest a desire to share the offerings in such sacrifices of even the Sudra. For, this reason, the sacrifice that consists in devotion is laid down for all the classes. The Brahmana is the foremost of gods. It is not true that they that belong to that order do not perform the sacrifices of the other orders. The fire called Vitana, though procured from Vaisyas and inspired with mantras, is still inferior. The Brahmana is the performer or the sacrifices of the three other orders. For this reason all the four orders are holy. All the orders bear towards one another to relation of consanguinity, through the intermediate classes. They have all sprung from Brahmanas. In ascertaining (the priority or subsequence of men in respect of their creation) it will appear that amongst all the orders the Brahmana was created first. Originally Saman

was one; Yajus was one, and Rich was one. In this connection, persons conversant with ancient histories cite a verse, O king, sung in praise of sacrifice by the Vaikhanasa Munis on the occasion of performing a sacrifice of theirs. Before or after sunrise a person of subdued senses, with heart filled with devotion, poureth libations on the (sacrificial) fire according to the ordinance. Devotion is a mighty agent. With regard to homas again, that variety which is called skanna is the initial one, while that which is called askanna is the last (but foremost in point of merit). Sacrifices are multifarious. Their rites and fruits again are multifarious. The Brahmana possessed of devotion who, endued with scriptural learning, who is acquainted with them all, is competent to perform sacrifices. That person who desires to perform a sacrifice is regarded as righteous even if he happens to be a thief, a sinner, or the worst of sinners. The Rishis applaud such a man. Without doubt they are right. This then is the conclusion that all the orders should always and by every means in their power perform sacrifices. There is nothing in the three worlds equal to sacrifice. Therefore, it has been said that every one with heart free from malice, should perform sacrifices, aided by devotion which is sacred, to the best of his power and according as he pleases.’”

Section LXI

“Bhishma said, ‘O mighty-armed one, listen now to me, O thou of prowess incapable of being baffled, as I mention the names of the four modes of life and the duties in respect of each. The four modes are Vanaprastha, Bhaikshya, Garhasthya of great merit, and Brahmacharya which is adopted by Brahmanas. Undergoing the purificatory rite in respect of bearing matted locks, after having gone through the rite of regeneration and performed for some time the rites in respect of the sacred fire and studied the Vedas, one should, with cleansed soul and senses under restraint, having first carefully performed all the duties of the mode called Garhasthya, proceed, with or without his wife, to the woods for adoption of the mode called Vanaprastha. Having studied the scriptures called Aranyakas, having drawn up his vital fluid and having retired from all worldly affairs, the virtuous recluse may then attain to an absorption with the eternal Soul knowing no decay. These are the indications of Munis that have drawn up their vital fluid. A learned Brahmana, O king, should first practise and perform them. The Brahmana, O king, that is desirous of emancipation, it is well known, is competent to adopt the Bhaikshya mode after having gone through the mode called Brahmacharya. Sleeping at that place (in the course of the wanderings) where evening overtakes him, without desire of bettering his situation, without a home, subsisting on whatever food is obtained (in charity), given to contemplation, practising self-restraint, with the senses under control, without desire, regarding all creatures equally, without enjoyments, without dislike to anything, the Brahmana possessed of learning, by adopting this mode of life, attains to absorption with the eternal Soul that knows no decay. The person leading the Garhasthya mode of life should, after studying the Vedas, accomplish all the religious acts laid down for him. He should beget children and enjoy pleasures and comforts. With careful attention he should accomplish all the duties of this mode of life that is applauded by ascetics and that is extremely difficult to go through (without transgressions). He should be satisfied with his own wedded wife and should never approach her except her season. He should observe the ordinances of the scriptures, should not be cunning and deceitful. He should be abstemious in diet, devoted to the gods, grateful, mild, destitute of cruelty, and forgiving. He should be of a tranquil heart, tractable and attentive in making offerings to the gods and the Pitris. He should always be hospitable to the Brahmanas. He should be without pride, and his charity should not be confined to any one sect. He should also be always devoted to the performance of the Vedic rites. In this connection, the illustrious and great Rishis cite a verse sung by Narayana himself, of grave import and endued with high ascetic merit. Listen to me as I repeat it.–‘By truth, simplicity, worship of guests, acquisition of morality and profit, and enjoyment of one’s own wedded wives, one should enjoy diverse kinds of happiness both here and hereafter.’ The great Rishis have said that support of sons and wives, and study of the Vedas, form the duties of those that lead this high mode of life. That Brahmana who, always engaged in the performance of sacrifices, duly goes through this mode of life and properly discharges all its duties, obtains blessed rewards in heaven. Upon his death, the rewards desired by him became deathless. Indeed, these wait upon him for eternity like menials ever on the alert to execute the commands of their master. Always attending to the Vedas, silently reciting the mantras obtained from his preceptor, worshipping all the deities, O Yudhishthira, dutifully waiting upon and serving his preceptor with his own body smeared with clay and filth, the person leading the Brahmacharya mode of life should always observe rigid vows and, with senses under control, should always pay attention to the instructions he has received. Reflecting on the Vedas and discharging all the duties (in respect of contemplation and overt acts), he should live, dutifully waiting upon his preceptor and always bowing unto him. Unengaged in the six kinds of work (such as officiating in the sacrifices of others), and never engaged with attachment to any kind of acts, never showing favour or disfavour to any one, doing good even unto his enemies, these, O sire, are the duties laid down for a Brahmacharin!’

Section LXII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell his those duties in respect of persons like ourselves which are auspicious, productive of happiness in the future, benevolent, approved by all, pleasant, and agreeable.’

“Bhishma said, ‘The four modes of life, O puissant one, have been laid down for the Brahmana. The other three orders do not adopt them, O best of the Bharatas! Many acts, O king, leading to heaven and especially fit for the kingly order, have already been declared. Those, however, cannot be referred to in reply to thy present query, for all of them have been duly laid down for such Kshatriyas as are not disinclined to pitilessness. The Brahmana who is addicted to the practices of Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras, incurs censure in this world as a person of wicked soul and goes to hell in the next world. Those names which are applied among men to slaves and dogs and wolves and (other) beasts, are applied, O son of Pandu, to the Brahmana who is engaged in pursuits that are improper for him. That Brahmana who, in all the four modes of life. is duly engaged in the six-fold acts (of regulating the breath, contemplation, etc.), who performs all his duties, who is not restless, who has his passions under control, whose heart is pure and who is ever engaged in penances, who has no desire of bettering his prospects, and who is charitable, has inexhaustible regions of bliss in the other world. Everyone derives his own nature from the nature of his acts, in respect of their circumstances, place, and means and motives. Thou shouldst, therefore, O king, regard the study of the Vedas, which is fraught with such high merit, to be equal with the exertion of kingly power, or the pursuits of agriculture, trade, and hunting. The world is set agoing by Time. Its operations are settled by the course of Time. Man does all his acts, good, bad, and indifferent, entirely influenced by Time. Those amongst the good acts of a man’s past life that exert the greatest influence on the next, are liable to be exhausted. Men, however, are always engaged in those acts to which their propensities lead. Those propensities, again, lead a living being to every direction.’”

Section LXIII

“Bhishma said, ‘Drawing the bow-string, destruction of foes, agriculture, trade, tending cattle, and serving others for wealth, these are improper for a Brahmana. An intelligent Brahmana, leading a domestic mode of life, should duly perform the six Vedic acts. The retirement of a Brahmana into the woods, after having duly discharged all the duties of the domestic mode of life, is applauded. A Brahmana should avoid service of the king, wealth obtained by agriculture, sustenance derived from trade, all kinds of crooked behaviour, companionship with any but his wedded wives, and usury. That wretched Brahmana who falls away from his duties and whose behaviour becomes wicked, becomes, O king, a Sudra. The Brahmana who weds a Sudra woman, who becomes vile in conduct or a dancer or a village servant or does other improper acts, becomes a Sudra. Whether he recites the Vedas or not, O king, if he does such improper acts, he becomes equal to a Sudra and on occasions of feeding he should be assigned a place amongst Sudras. Such Brahmanas become equal to Sudras, O king, and should be discarded on occasions of worshipping the Gods. Whatever presents of food dedicated to the gods and the Pitris are made unto Brahmanas that have transgressed all restraints or become impure in behaviour or addicted to wicked pursuits and cruel acts or fallen away from their legitimate duties, confer no merit (on the giver). For this reason, O king, self-restraint and purity and simplicity have been laid down as the duties of a Brahmana. Besides these, O monarch, all the four modes, of life were laid down by Brahman For him. He that is self-restrained, has drunk the Soma in sacrifices, is of good behaviour, has compassion for all creatures and patience to bear everything, has no desire of bettering his position by acquisition of wealth, is frank and simple, mild, free from cruelty, and forgiving, is truly a Brahmana and not he that is sinful in acts. Men desirous of acquiring virtue, seek the assistance, O king, of Sudras and Vaisyas and Kshatriyas. If, therefore, the members of these (three) orders do not adopt peaceful duties (so as to be able to assist others in the acquisition of virtue), Vishnu, O son of Pandu, never extends his grace to them. If Vishnu be not pleased, the happiness of all men in heaven, the merit arising from the duties laid down for the four orders, the declarations of the Vedas, all kinds of sacrifices, and all other religious acts of men, and all the duties in respect of the several modes of life, become lost.

“‘Listen now, O son of Pandu, to those duties that should be observed in the four modes of life. These should be known by the Kshatriya who desires the members of the three (other) orders (in his kingdom) to strictly adhere to the respective duties of those modes. For a Sudra who is desirous of hearing (Such scriptures as are not forbidden in his case), who has accomplished his duties, who has begotten a son, between whom and the superior orders there is not Much difference in consequence of the purity of his conduct, all the modes of life have been laid down excepting the observance of universal peacefulness and self-restraint (which are not necessary for

him). For a Sudra practising all these duties as also for a Vaisya, O king, and a Kshatriya, the Bhikshu mode of life has been laid down. Having discharged the duties of his order, and having also served the kin, a Vaisya of venerable years, with the king’s permission, may betake himself to another mode of life. Having studied the Vedas duly and the treatises on the duties of kings, O sinless one, having begotten children and performed other acts of a like nature, having quaffed the Soma and ruled over and protected all his subjects righteously, O foremost of speakers, having performed the Rajasuya, the horse sacrifice, and other great sacrifices, having invited learned Brahmanas for reciting the scriptures and made presents unto them according to their desires, having obtained victories small or great in battle, having placed on his throne the son of his loins or some Kshatriya of good birth for the protection of subjects, having worshipped the Pitris by performing with due rites the sacrifices laid down for honouring them, having attentively worshipped the gods by performing sacrifices and the Rishis by studying the Vedas, the Kshatriya, who in old age desires another mode of life, may, O king, adopt it by leaving that one which immediately precedes it, and by that means he is sure to obtain (ascetic) success. A Kshatriya, for leading the life of a Rishi, O king, may adopt the Bhikshu mode of life; but he should never do so for the sake of enjoying the pleasures of the world. Having left the domestic mode of life, he may adopt the life of mendicancy by begging, what would barely support his life. A life of mendicancy is not obligatory upon the three orders (viz. Kshatriyas, Vaisyas. and Sudras), O giver of profuse presents! Inasmuch, however, as they can adopt it if they choose, this mode of life, therefore, is open to the four orders. Amongst men, the highest duties are those which are practised by Kshatriyas. The whole world is subject to the might of their arms. All the duties, principal and subordinate, of the three other orders, are dependent (for their observance) upon the duties of the Kshatriya. The Vedas have declared this. Know that as the footprints of all other animals are engulfed in those of the elephant, even so all the duties of the other orders, under every circumstance, are engulfed, in those of the Kshatriya. Men conversant with the scriptures say that the duties of the other three orders afford small relief or protection, and produce small rewards. The learned have said that the duties of the Kshatriya afford great relief and produce great rewards. All duties have kingly duties for their foremost. All the orders are protected by them. Every kind of renunciation occurs in kingly duties, O monarch, and renunciation has been said to be in eternal virtue and the foremost of all. If the science of chastisement disappears, the Vedas will disappear. All those scriptures also that inculcate the duties of men become lost. Indeed, if these ancient duties belonging to the Kshatriyas be abandoned, all the duties in respect of all the modes of life, become lost. All kinds of renunciation are seen in

kingly duties: all kinds or initiation occur in them; all kinds of learning are connected with them; and all kinds of worldly behaviour enter into them. As animals, if slaughtered by the vulgar, become the means of destroying the virtue and the religious acts of the slaughterers, even so all other duties, if deprived of the protection given by kingly duties, become liable to attack and destruction, and men, full of anxiety, disregard the practices laid down for them.’”

Section LXIV

“Bhishma said, ‘The duties in respect of all the four modes of life, those of yatis, O son of Pandu, and the customs relating to the conduct of men in general, are all included in kingly duties. All these acts, O chief of the Bharatas, occur in Kshatriya duties. If the functions of royalty are disturbed, all creatures are overtaken by evil. The duties of men are not obvious. They have, again, many outlets. Led by many (false) systems, their eternal nature is sometimes offended against. Others who pin their faith to the conclusions arrived at by men, without really knowing anything about the truths of duties (as declared in the scriptures), find themselves at last landed and confounded on faiths whose ultimate ends are unknown. The duties imposed upon Kshatriyas are plain, productive of great happiness, evident in respect of their results, free from deceit, and beneficial to the whole world. As the duties of the three orders, as also of Brahmanas and of those that have retired from the world, O Yudhishthira, have before this been said to be all included within those of that sacred mode of life (called Garhasthya), even so, the whole world, with all good actions, are subject to kingly duties. I have told thee, O monarch, how many brave kings had, in days of old, repaired to that lord of all creatures, viz., the divine and puissant Vishnu of great prowess, for resolving their doubts about the science of chastisement. Those kings, mindful of the declarations of the scriptures enforced by examples, waited in days of old upon Narayana, after having weighed each of their acts against the duties of each of the modes of life. Those deities, viz., the Sadhyas, the Vasus, the Aswins, the Rudras, the Viswas, the Maruts, and the Siddhas, created in days of old by the first of gods, are all observant of Kshatriya duties. I shall now recite to thee a history fraught with the conclusions of both morality and profit. In days of old when the Danavas had multiplied and swept away all barriers and distinctions the powerful Mandhatri, O monarch, became

king. That ruler of the earth, viz., king Mandhatri, performed a great sacrifice from desire of beholding the puissant Narayana, that god of gods, without beginning, middle, and end. In that sacrifice he worshipped with humility the great Vishnu. The Supreme Lord, assuming the form of Indra, showed himself unto him. Accompanied by many good kings he offered his adorations to that puissant deity. The high discourse took place between that lion among kings and that illustrious god in the form of Indra, touching Vishnu of great effulgence.’

“Indra said, ‘What is your object, O foremost of virtuous persons, in thus seeking to behold that Ancient and First of gods, viz., Narayana, of inconceivable energy, and infinite illusions? Neither myself, nor Brahman himself, can obtain a sight of that god of universal form. I shall grant thee what other objects may be in thy heart, for thou art the foremost of mortals. Thy soul abides in peace; thou art devoted to righteousness; thou hast thy senses under control; and thou art possessed of heroism. Thou seekest unflinchingly to do what is agreeable to the gods. For the sake also of thy intelligence, devotion, and high faith, I shall grant thee whatsoever boons may be desired by thee.’

“Mandhatri said, I bend my head for gratifying thee. Without doubt, however, I desire to see the first of gods. O divine Lord! Casting off all (earthly) desires, I wish to earn religious merit, and to lead the foremost mode of life, that path of the good, highly regarded by all. By exercising the high duties of a Kshatriya, I have earned many regions of inexhaustible merit in the other world, and I have also, through those duties, spread my fame. I do not, however, know how to discharge those duties, the foremost in the world, that have flowed from the first of gods.’

“Indra said, ‘They that are not kings, however observant they may be of their duties, cannot easily attain the highest rewards of duty. Kingly duties first flowed from the original god. Other duties flowed afterwards from his body. Infinite were the other duties, with those of the Vanaprastha mode of life, that were created afterwards. The fruits of all those are exhaustible. Kingly duties, however, are distinguished above them. In them are included all other duties. For this reason Kshatriya duties are said to be the foremost of all. In days of old, Vishnu, by acting according to Kshatriya duties, forcibly suppressed and destroyed his foes and thereby afforded relief to the gods and the Rishis of immeasurable energy. If the divine Vishnu of inconceivable energy had not slain all his foes among the Asuras, then the Brahmanas, and (Brahman) the Creator of the worlds and Kshatriya duties, and the duties that first flowed from the Supreme deity, would all have been destroyed. If that first and foremost of gods had not, by putting forth his prowess, subjugated the earth with all her Asuras, then all the duties, of the four orders and all the duties in respect of the four modes of life would all have been destroyed in consequence of the destruction of Brahmanas. The eternal

duties (of men) had all suffered destruction. It was by the exercise of Kshatriya duties that they were revived. In every Yuga, the duties of Brahmanas in respect of attaining to Brahma first set in. These, however, are all protected by kingly duties. The latter, on this account, are regarded as the foremost. Casting away life in battle, compassion for all creatures, knowledge of the affairs of the world, protection of men, rescuing them from danger, relieving the distressed and the oppressed, all these occur among Kshatriya duties practised by Kings. Persons that do not regard wholesome restraints and that are governed by lust and wrath, do not commit overt acts of sin from fear of kings. Others that are docile and of righteous behaviour succeed, in consequence of the same influence, in performing all their duties. For this reason Kshatriya duties are regarded to be righteous. Without doubt, all creatures live happily in the world, protected by kings exercising Kshatriya duties like children protected by their parents. Kshatriya duties are the foremost of all duties. Those eternal duties, regarded as the first in the world, embrace the protection of every creature. Themselves eternal, they lead to eternal emancipation.’”

Section LXV

“Indra said, ‘Kshatriya duties, O king, which are possessed of such energy, which include in their exercise all other duties, and which are the foremost of all duties, should be observed by persons that are, like thee, so high-souled and so employed in seeking the good of the world. If those duties are not properly discharged, all creatures would be overtaken by ruin. The kings possessed of compassion for all creatures, should regard these to be the foremost of his duties, reclaiming the land for cultivation and fertilizing it, performance of great sacrifices for cleansing himself, a disregard for begging, and protection of subjects. Abandonment (gift) is said by the sages to be the foremost of virtues. Of all kinds of abandonment, again, that of the body in battle, is the foremost. Thou hast seen with thy eyes how the rulers of the earth, ever observant of Kshatriya duties, having duly waited upon their preceptors and acquired great learning, at last cast off their bodies, engaged in battle with one another. The Kshatriya, desirous of acquiring religious merit, should, after having gone through the Brahmacharya mode, should lead a life of domesticity which is always meritorious. In adjudicating upon ordinary questions of right (between his subjects), he should be thoroughly impartial. For causing all the orders to be observant of their respective duties, for the protection they afford to all, for the diverse contrivances and means and the prowess and exertion (with which they seek the accomplishment of their objects). Kshatriya duties, which include all other duties within their scope, are said to be the foremost. The other orders are able to observe their respective duties in consequence of kingly duties. For this reason the former are said to be dependent upon the latter in respect of the merit they produce. Those men who disregard all wholesome restraints and who are too much attached to the pursuit of worldly objects are said to be of the nature of brutes. They are compelled to act with justice by the exercise of kingly duties. Those duties, therefore, are said to be the foremost of all. That course of conduct which has been prescribed for Brahmanas who follow the three Vedas, and those modes of life that have been laid down for Brahmanas, should, before everything else, be observed by every Brahmana. If a Brahmana acts otherwise, he should be punished like a Sudra. The duties of the four modes of life and the ritual prescribed in the Vedas, O king, should ever be followed by a Brahmana. Know that he has no other duties. For a Brahmana acting otherwise, a Kshatriya should not make any arrangement for sustenance. His religious merit grows in consequence of his acts. A Brahmana, indeed, is like Dharma’s self. That Brahmana who is employed in acts that are not laid down for him, deserves no respect. If not engaged in his proper acts, he should not be trusted. These are the duties that appertain to the several orders. Kshatriyas should take care of them so that their observance may be improved. Even these are the duties of Kshatriyas. For these reasons also, kingly duties and no other, are the foremost of all. They are, as I believe, the duties of heroes, and they that are heroes are foremost in practising them.’

“Mandhatri said, ‘What duties should be performed by the Yavanas, the Kiratas, the Gandharvas, the Chinas, the Savaras, the Barbaras, the Sakas, the Tusharas, the Kankas, the Pathavas, the Andhras, the Madrakas, the Paundras, the Pulindas, the Ramathas, the Kamvojas, the several castes that have sprung Lip from Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, the Vaisyas, and the Sudras, that reside in the dominions of (Arya) kings? What are those duties again to the observance of which kings like ourselves should force those tribes that subsist by robbery? I desire to hear all this. O illustrious god, instruct me. O chief of all the deities, thou art the friend of us Kshatriyas.’

“Indra said, ‘All the robber tribes should serve their mothers and fathers, their preceptors and other seniors, and recluses living in the woods. All the robber tribes should also serve their kings. The duties and rites inculcated in the Vedas should also be followed by them. They should perform sacrifices in honour of the Pitris, dig wells, (and dedicate them to universal service), give water to thirsty travellers, give away beds and make other seasonable presents unto Brahmanas. Abstention from injury, truth, suppression of wrath, supporting Brahmanas and kinsmen by giving them their dues, maintenance of wives and children, purity, peacefulness, making presents to Brahmanas at sacrifices of every kind, are duties that should be practised by every person of this class who desire his own prosperity. Such a person should also perform all kinds of Paka-yajnas with costly presents of food and wealth. These and

similar duties, O sinless one, were laid down in olden days for persons of this class. All these acts which have been laid down for all others should be done by persons of also the robber class, O king.’

“Mandhatri said, ‘In the world of men, such wicked men may be seen living in disguise among all the four orders and in all the four modes of life.’

“Indra said, ‘Upon the disappearance of kingly duties and of the science of chastisement, all creatures became exceedingly afflicted, O sinless one, in consequence of the tyranny of kings. After the expiry of this the Krita age, a confusion will set in, regarding the different modes of life, and innumerable Bhikshus will appear with sectarian marks of different kinds. Disregarding the Puranas and the high truths of religion, men, urged by lust and wrath, will deviate into Wrong paths. When sinful men are rest rained (from wicked acts) by high-souled persons with the aid of the science of chastisement, then religion, which is superior to everything and eternal, and which is the source of everything good, becomes firmly established. The gifts, and libations, and offerings to the Pitris of the man that disregards the king who is superior to every one, become fruitless. The very gods do not disregard a virtuous king who is truly an eternal god. The divine Lord of all creatures, having created the universe, intended the Kshatriya to rule men regarding their inclinations and disinclinations in respect of duties. I respect and worship that person who, aided by his understanding, watches the course of the duties performed by men. Upon such supervision rest Kshatriya duties.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Having said these words, the divine and puissant Narayana in the form of Indra, accompanied by the Maruts, repaired to his eternal abode of inexhaustible felicity. When, O sinless one, duties as practised by the good had such a course in days of old, what man of cleansed soul and learning is there that would disregard the Kshatriya? Like blind men lost on the way, creatures acting and abstaining unrighteously meet with destruction. O tiger among men, do thou adhere to that circle (of duties) that was first set agoing and to which the ancients had recourse. I know, O sinless one, that thou art quite competent to do this.’

Section LXVI

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast spoken to me about the four modes of human life. I desire to know more of-them. Do thou discourse on them in detail.’

“Bhishma said, ‘O Yudhishthira of mighty arms, all the duties that are practised in this world by the righteous are known to thee as they are known to me. O foremost of virtuous persons, listen now to me about what thou askest, viz. the merit (that a king acquires) in consequence of the duties practised by others leading other modes of life. All the merits, O son of Kunti, that belong to persons practising the duties of the four modes of life, attach, O foremost of men, to righteous kings. A king who is not governed by lust and hate, who rules with the aid of the science of chastisement, and who looks equally on all creatures, O Yudhishthira, attains to the object of the Bhaikshya mode of life. That king who is possessed of knowledge, who makes gifts to deserving persons on proper occasions, who knows how to favour and punish, who conducts himself in all things according to the injunctions of the scriptures, and who has tranquillity of soul, attains to the object of the Garhasthya mode of life. That king who always worships those that are deserving of worship by giving them their due, completely attains, O son of Kunti, to the object of the Bhaikshya mode of life. That king, O Yudhishthira, who rescues from distress, to the best of his power, his kinsmen and relatives and friends, attains to the object of the Vanaprashtha mode of life. That king who on every occasion honours those that are foremost among men and those that are foremost among Yatis, attains, O son of Kunti, to the object of the Vanaprashtha mode of life. That king, O Partha, who daily makes offerings unto the Pitris and large offerings unto all living creatures including men, attains to the object of the same mode of life. That king, O tiger among men, who grinds the kingdoms of others for protecting the righteous, attains to the object of the same mode of life. In consequence of the protection of all creatures as also of the proper protection of his own kingdom, a king earns the merit of as many sacrifices as the number of creatures protected, and accordingly attains to the object of the Sannyasa mode of life. Study of the Vedas every day, forgiveness, and worship of preceptors, and services rendered to one’s own teacher, lead to the attainment of the object of Brahmacharya. That king who silently recites his mantras every day and who always worships the gods according to the ordinance, attains, O tiger among men, to the object of the Garhasthya mode of life. That king who engages in battle with the resolve of protecting his kingdom or meeting with death, attains to the object of the Vanaprastha mode of life. That king who gives unto persons leading a Vanaprastha mode of life and unto Brahmanas versed in the three Vedas attains to the object of the Vanaprastha mode of life. That king who displays compassion towards all creatures and abstains entirely from cruelty, attains to the objects of all the modes of life. That king, O Yudhishthira, who shows compassion to the young and the old, O son of Kunti, under every circumstance, attains to the objects of every mode of life. That king, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, who affords relief to all oppressed people that seek his protection, attains to the object of the Garhasthya mode of life. That king who protects all creatures mobile and immobile, and honours them is they deserve, attains to the object of the Garhasthya mode of life. Bestowing favours and inflicting

punishments upon the wives and brothers, elder and younger, and upon their sons and grandsons, are the domestic duties of a king and these constitute his best penances. By honouring those that are righteous and deserving of worship and protecting those that have (by their penances) acquired it knowledge of self, a king, O tiger among men, attains to the object of the Garhasthya mode of life. Inviting to this home, O Bharata, persons that have betaken themselves to that Vanaprastha and other modes of life, and treating them with food, constitute the domestic duties of a king. That king who duly adheres to the duties laid down by the Creator, obtains the blessed merits of all the modes of life. That king, O son of Kunti, in whom no virtue is wanting, that foremost of men, O Yudhishthira, is said by the learned to be a person in the observance of the Vanaprastha and all the other modes of life. That king who duly honours the office or rank which deserves honour, the race or family which deserves honour, and those old men that deserve honour is said, O Yudhishthira, to live in all the modes of life. A king, O son of Kunti, by observing the duties of his country and those of his family, acquires, O tiger among men, the merits of all the modes of life. That king who at proper seasons bestows upon righteous persons affluence or gifts of value, earns the merits, O king, of all the modes of life. That king, O son of Kunti, who while overcome with danger and fear still keeps his eye on the duties of all men, earns the merits of all the modes of life. The king obtains a share of the merits earned under his protection by righteous people in his dominions. On the other hand, if kings, O tiger among men, do not protect the righteous people within their dominions, they then take the sins of the latter (of omission and commission). Those men also, O Yudhishthira. who assist kings (in protecting their subjects), become equally entitled, O sinless one, to a share of the merits earned by others (in consequence of that protection). The learned say that the Garhasthya, which we have adopted, is superior to all the other modes of life. The conclusions in respect of it are very clear. It is certainly sacred, O tiger among men. That man who regards all creatures to be like his own self, who never does any harm and has his wrath under control, obtains great happiness both here and hereafter. A king can easily cross the ocean of the world, with kingly duties as his boat passed of great speed, urged on by the breeze of gifts, having the scriptures for its tackle and intelligence for the strength of its helmsman, and kept afloat by the power of righteousness. When the principle of desire in his heart is withdrawn from every earthly object, he is then regarded as one resting on his understanding alone. In this state he soon attains to Brahma. Becoming cheerful by meditation and by restraining desire and other passions of the heart, O tiger among men, it

king, engaged in discharging the dully of protection, succeeds in obtaining great merit. Do thou, therefore, O Yudhishthira, exert thyself carefully in protecting Brahmanas of pious deeds and devoted to the study of the Vedas, as also all other men. By exercising the duty of protection only, O Bharata, the king earns merit that is a hundred times greater than what is earned by recluses in their asylums within the wood.’

“I have now described, O eldest son of Pandu, the diverse duties of men. Do thou adhere to kingly duties that are eternal and that have been practised by great men since days of old. If thou employest thyself with concentrated attention to the duty of protecting (thy subjects), O tiger among men, thou mayst then, O son of Pandu, obtain the merits of all the four modes of life and of all the four orders of men!”

Section LXVII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast said what the duties are of the four modes of the life and the four orders. Tell me now, O grandsire, what are the principal duties of a kingdom.’

“Bhishma said, ‘The (election and) coronation of a king is the first duty of a kingdom. A kingdom in which anarchy prevails becomes weak and is soon afflicted by robbers. In kingdoms torn by anarchy, righteousness cannot dwell. The inhabitants devour one another. An anarchy is the worst possible of states. The Srutis declare that in crowning a king, it is Indra that is crowned (in the person of the king). A person who is desirous of prosperity should worship the king as he should worship Indra himself. No one should dwell in kingdoms torn by anarchy. Agni does not convey (to the gods) the libations that are poured upon him in kingdoms where anarchy prevails. If a powerful king approaches kingdoms weakened by anarchy, from desire of annexing them to his dominions, the people should go forward and receive the invader with respect. Some conduct would be consistent with wise counsels. There is no evil greater than anarchy. If the powerful invader be inclined to equity, everything will be right. If, on the other hand, he be engaged, he may exterminate all. That cow which cannot be easily milked has to suffer much torture. On the other hand, that cow which is capable of being easily milked, has not to suffer any torture whatever. The wood that bends easily does not require to be heated. The tree that bends easily, has not to suffer any torture (at the hands of the gardener). Guided by these instances, O hero, men should bend before those that are powerful. The man that bends his head to a powerful person really bends his head to Indra. For

these reasons, men desirous of prosperity should (elect and) crown some person as their king. They who live in countries where anarchy prevails cannot enjoy their wealth and wives. During times of anarchy, the sinful man derive great pleasure by robbing the wealth of other people. When, however, his (ill-got) wealth is snatched by others, he wishes for a king. It is evident, therefore, that in times of anarchy the very wicked even cannot be happy. The wealth of one is snatched away by two. That of those two is snatched away by many acting together. He who is not a slave is made a slave. Women, again, are forcibly abducted. For these reasons the gods created kings for protecting the people. If there were no king on earth for wielding the rod of chastisement, the strong would then have preyed on the weak after the manner of fishes in the water. In hath been heard by us that men, in days of old, in consequence of anarchy, met with destruction, devouring one another like stronger fishes devouring the weaker ones in the water. It hath been heard by us that a few amongst them then, assembling together, made certain compacts, saying, ‘He who becomes harsh in speech, or violent in temper, he who seduces or abducts other people’s wives or robs the wealth that belongs to others, should be cast off by us.’ For inspiring confidence among all classes of the people, they made such a compact and lived for some time. Assembling after some time they proceeded in affliction to the Grandsire, saying, ‘Without a king, O divine lord, we are going to destruction. Appoint some one as our king. All of us shall worship him and he shall protect us.’ Thus solicited, the Grandsire asked Manu. Manu, however, did not assent to the proposal.

“Manu said, ‘I fear all sinful acts. To govern a kingdom is exceedingly difficult, especially among men who are always false and deceitful in their behaviour.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘The inhabitants of the earth then said unto him, ‘Do not fear. The sins that men commit will touch those only that commit them (without staining thee in the least). For the increase of thy treasury, we will give thee a fiftieth part of our animals and precious metals and a tenth part of our grain. When our maidens also will become desirous of wedding, we shall, when the question comes up, give thee the most beautiful ones among them. Those amongst men who will become the foremost of all in the use of weapons and in riding animals and driving vehicles, shall proceed behind thee like the deities behind Indra. With thy strength enhanced in this way, and becoming invincible and possessed of great prowess, thou wilt be our king and protect us happily like Kuvera protecting the Yakshas and the Rakshasas. A fourth part of the merit which men will earn under thy protection will be thine. Strengthened by that merit so easily obtained by thee, do thou protect us, O king, like He of a hundred sacrifices protecting the deities. Like the Sun scorching everything with his rays, go out for winning victories. Crush the pride of foes and let righteousness always triumph (in the world).’ Thus addressed by those inhabitants of the earth, Manu, possessed of great energy, proceeded, accompanied by a large force. Of high descent, he seemed then to blaze with prowess. Beholding the might of Manu, like the gods eyeing the might of Indra, the inhabitants of the earth became inspired with fear and set their hearts upon their respective duties. Manu then made his round through the world, checking everywhere all acts of wickedness and setting all men to their respective duties, like a rain-charged cloud (in its mission of beneficence).’

“Those, O Yudhishthira, those men on earth who desire prosperity should first elect and crown a king for the protection of all. Like disciples humbling themselves in the presence of the preceptors or the gods in the presence of Indra, all men should humble themselves before the king. One that is honoured by his own people becomes an object of regard with his foes also, while one that is disregarded by his own is overridden by foes. If the king be overridden by his foes, all his subjects become unhappy. Therefore, umbrellas and vehicles and outward ornaments, and viands, and drinks, and mansions, and seats, and beds, and all utensils for use and show, should be assigned to the king. By such means the king will succeed in discharging his duties of protection (the better) and become irresistible. He should speak with smiles. Addressed sweetly by others, he should address others sweetly. Grateful (to those that serve him), firmly devoted (to those that deserve his respect), and with passions under control, he should give unto others their due. Looked upon by others he should look at them mildly, sweetly, and handsomely.’

Section LXVIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Why, O bull of Bharata’s race, have the Brahmanas said that the king, that ruler of men, is a god?’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection, is cited the old story, O Bharata, of the discourse of Vrihaspati unto Vasumanas. There was a king of Kosala possessed of great intelligence, named Vasumanas. On a certain occasion he questioned the great sage Vrihaspati of much wisdom. Conversant with the requirements of humility, king Vasumanas, ever devoted to the welfare of all, having observed the proper humilities and having circumambulated the great sage and bowed unto him duly, enquired of the virtuous Vrihaspati about the ordinances in respect of a kingdom, moved by the desire of securing the happiness of men.’

“Vasumanas said, ‘By what means do creatures grow and by what are they destroyed? O thou of great wisdom, by adoring whom do they succeed in obtaining eternal happiness?’ Thus questioned by the Kosala king of immeasurable energy, Vrihaspati of great wisdom discoursed unto him coolly about the respect that should be paid to kings.

“Vrihaspati said, ‘The duties of all men, O thou of great wisdom, may be seen to have their root in the king. It is through fear of the king only that men do not devour one another. It is the king that brings peace on earth, through due observance of duties, by checking all disregard for wholesome restraints and all kinds of lust. Achieving this, he shines in glory. As, O king, all creatures become unable to see one another and sink in utter darkness if the sun and the moon do not rise, as fishes in shallow water and birds in a spot safe from danger dart and rove as they please (for a time) and repeatedly attack and grind one another with force and then meet with certain destruction even so men sink in utter darkness and meet with destruction if they have no king to protect them, like a herd of cattle without the herdsman to look after them. If the king did not exercise the duty of protection, the strong would forcibly appropriate the possessions of the weak, and if the latter refused to surrender them with ease, their very lives would be taken. Nobody then, with reference to any article in his possession, would be able to say ‘This is mine.’ Wives, sons, food, and other kinds of property, would not then exist. Ruin would overtake everything if the king did not exercise the duty of protection. Wicked men would forcibly appropriate the vehicles and robes and ornaments and precious stones and other kinds of property belonging to others, if the king did not protect. In the absence of protection by the king, diverse kinds of weapons would fall upon those that are righteous in their practices, and unrighteousness would be adopted by all. In the absence of royal protection men would disregard or even injure their very mothers and fathers if aged, their very preceptors and guests and seniors. If the king did not protect, all persons possessed of wealth would have to encounter death, confinement, and persecution, and the very idea of property would disappear. If the king did not protect, everything would be exterminated prematurely, and every part of the country would be overrun by robbers, and everybody would fall into terrible hell. If the king did not protect, all restrictions about marriage and intercourse (due to consanguinity and other kinds of relationship) would cease; all affairs relating to agricultures and trade would fall into confusion, morality would sink and be lost; and the three Vedas would disappear. Sacrifices, duly completed with presents according to the ordinance, would no longer be performed; no marriage would take place; society itself would cease to exist, if the king did not exercise the duty of protection. The very bulls would not cover cows and milk-jars would not be churned, and men living by rearing kine would meet with destruction, if the king did not exercise the duty of protection. In the absence of royal protection, all things, inspired with fear and anxiety and becoming senseless and uttering cries of woe, would meet with destruction in no time. No sacrifices extending for a year and completed with presents according to the ordinances would occur if the king did not exercise the duty of protection. In the absence of royal protection Brahmanas would never study the four Vedas or undergo austerities or be cleansed by knowledge and rigid vows. In the absence of royal protection, the slayer of a person guilty of the slaughter of a Brahmana would not obtain any reward; on the other hand the person guilty of Brahmanicide would enjoy perfect immunity. In the absence of royal protection, men would snatch other people’s wealth from their very hands, and all wholesome barriers would be swept away, and everybody, inspired with fear, would seek safety in flight. In the absence of royal protection, all kinds of injustice would set in; an intermixture of castes would take place; and famine would ravage the kingdom. In consequence again of royal protection, men can everywhere sleep fearlessly and at their case without shutting their houses and doors with bolts and bars. Nobody would hear the evil speeches of others, far less actual assaults, if the king did not righteously protect the earth. If the king exercises the duty of protection, women decked with ornament may fearlessly wander everywhere without male relatives to attend upon them. Men become righteous and without injuring serve one another because the king exercises the duty of protection. In consequence of royal protection the members of the three orders are enabled to perform high sacrifices and devote themselves to the acquisition of learning with attention, The world depends upon agriculture and trade and is protected by the Vedas. All these again are duly protected by the king exercising his principal duty. Since the king, taking a heavy load upon himself, protects his subjects with the aid of a mighty force, it is for this that the people are able to live in happiness. Who is there that will not worship him in whose existence the people exist and in whose destruction the people are destroyed? That person who does what is agreeable and beneficial to the king and who bears (a share of) the burden of kingly duties that strike every caste with fear, conquers both this and the other world. That man who even thinks of doing an injury to the king, without doubt meets with grief here and goes to hell hereafter. No one should disregard the king by taking him for a man, for he is really a high divinity in human form. The king assumes five different forms according to five different occasions. He becomes Agni, Aditya, Mrityu, Vaisravana, and Yama. When the king, deceived by falsehood, burns with his fierce energy the sinful offenders before him, he is then said to assume the form of Agni. When he observes through his spies the acts of all persons and does what is for the general good, he is then said to assume the form of Aditya. When he destroys in wrath hundreds of wicked men with their sons, grandsons, and relatives, he is then said to assume the form of the Destroyer. When he restrains the wicked by inflicting upon them severe punishments and favours the righteous by bestowing rewards upon them, he is then said to assume the form of Yama. When he gratifies with profuse gifts of wealth those that have rendered him valuable services, and snatches away the wealth and precious stones of those that have offended him, indeed, when he bestows prosperity upon some and takes it away from others, he is then, O king, said to assume the form of Kuvera on earth. No person who is possessed of cleverness, who is capable of work, who desires the acquisition of virtue, and who is free from malice, should ever spread evil reports about the king. No man, by acting against the king, can ever make himself happy, even if he happens to be the king’s son or brother or companion or one whom the king regards as his second self. Fire, having the wind for his urger, blazing forth (among articles that are inflammable),

may leave a remnant. The wrath of the king, however, leaves not anything to the person that incurs it. Whatever belongs to the king should be avoided from distance. One should turn away from what belongs to the king as he would from death itself. A person by appropriating what belongs to the king speedily meets with destruction like a deer upon touching poison. The man of intelligence should protect as his own what belongs to the kin.. They that appropriate wealth belonging to the king sink senseless into a deep hell of eternal gloom and infamy. Who is there that will not worship the king who is adored by such terms as delighter of the people, giver of happiness, possessor of prosperity, the foremost of all, healer of injuries, lord of earth, and protector of men? That man, therefore, who desires his own prosperity, who observes all wholesome restraints, who has his soul under control, who is the master of his passions, who is possessed of intelligence and memory, and who is clever (in the transaction of business), should always be attached to the king. The king should duly honour the minister who is grateful, endued with wisdom, large-hearted, loyal, possessed of mastery over his senses, virtuous, and observant of the dictates of policy. The king should entertain the man who is loyal, grateful, virtuous, possessed of self-control, brave, magnanimous in his acts, and competent to accomplish tasks without the assistance of others. Knowledge makes men proud. The king makes men humble. The man who is afflicted by the king can never obtain happiness. On the other hand, the man who is favoured by the king becomes happy. The king is the heart of his people; he is their great refuge; he is their glory; and he is their highest happiness. Those men, O monarch, who are attached to the king, succeed in conquering both this and the other world. Having governed the earth with the aid of the qualities of self-restraint, truth, and friendship, and having adored the gods by great sacrifices, the king, earning great glory, obtains an eternal abode in heaven.’ That best of monarchs, viz., the heroic Vasumanas, ruler of Kosala, thus instructed by Vrihaspati the son of Angiras, began thenceforth to protect his subjects.”

Section LXIX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘What other special duties remain for the king to discharge? How should he protect his kingdom and how subdue his foes? How should he employ his spies? How should he inspire confidence in the four orders of his subjects, his own servants, wives, and sons, O Bharata?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen, O monarch, with attention to the diverse duties of kings,–to those acts which the king or one that is in the position of a king should first do. The king should first subdue himself and then seek to subdue his foes. How should a king who has not been able to conquer his own self be able to conquer his foes? The conquest of these, viz., the aggregate of five, is regarded as the conquest of self. The king that has succeeded in subduing his senses is competent to resist his foes. He should place bodies of foot-soldiers in his forts, frontiers, towns, parks, and pleasure gardens, O delighter of the Kurus, as also in all places where he himself goes, and within his own palace, O tiger among men! He should employ as spies men looking like idiots or like those that are blind and deaf. Those should all be persons who have been thoroughly examined (in respect of their ability), who are possessed of wisdom, and who are able to endure hunger and thirst. With proper attention, the king should set his spies upon all his counsellors and friends and sons, in his city and the provinces, and in dominions of the chiefs under him. His spies should be so employed that they may not know one another. He should also, O bull of Bharata’s race, know the spies of his foes by himself setting spies in shops and places of amusement, and concourses of people, among beggars, in his pleasure gardens and parks, in meetings and conclaves of the learned, in the country, in public places, in places where he holds his own court, and in the houses of the citizens. The king possessed of intelligence may thus ascertain the spies despatched by his foes. If these be known, the king may derive much benefit, O son of Pandu! When the king, by a survey of his own, finds himself weak, he should then, consulting with his counsellors make peace with a foe that is stronger. The king that is wise should speedily make peace with a foe, even when he knows that he is not weak, if any advantage is to be derived from it. Engaged in protecting his kingdom with righteousness, the king should make peace with those that are possessed of every accomplishment, capable of great exertion, virtuous, and honest. When the king finds himself threatened with danger and about to be overtaken by ruin, he should slay all offenders whom he had overlooked before and all such persons as are pointed at by the people. A king should have nothing to do with that person who can neither benefit nor injure him, or with one who cannot rescue himself from distress. As regards military operations a king who is confident of his own strength, should, at the head of a large force, cheerfully and with courage give the order to march, without proclaiming his destination against one destitute of allies and friends or already at war with another and (therefore) heedless (of danger from other quarters), or one weaker than himself, having first made arrangements for the protection of his own capital. A king should not for ever live in subjection to another possessed of greater prowess. Though weak, he should seek to afflict the stronger, and resolved upon this, continue to rule his own. He should afflict the kingdom of the stronger one by means of weapons, fire and application

of poison. He should also cause dissensions amongst his counsellors and servants. Vrihaspati has said that a king possessed of intelligence should always avoid war for acquisition of territory. The acquisition of dominion should be made by the three well-known means (of conciliation, gift, and disunion). The king that is possessed of wisdom should be gratified with those acquisition that are made by means of conciliation, gift, and disunion. The king, O delighter of the Kurus, should take a sixth of the incomes of his subjects as tribute for meeting the expenses of protecting them. He should also forcibly take away wealth, much or little (as the case may require), from the ten kinds of offenders mentioned in the scriptures, for the protection of his subjects. A king should, without doubt, look upon his subjects as his own children. In determining their disputes, however, he should not show compassion. For hearing the complaints and answers of disputants in judicial suits, the king should always appoint persons possessed of wisdom and a knowledge of the affairs of the world, for the state really rests upon a proper administration of justice. The king should set honest and trustworthy men over his mines, salt, grain, ferries, and elephant corps. The king who always wields with propriety the rod of chastisement earns great merit. The proper regulation of chastisement is the high duty of kings and deserves great applause. The king should be conversant with the Vedas and their branches, possessed of wisdom, engaged in penances, charitable, and devoted to the performance of sacrifices. All these qualities should permanently reside in a king. If the king fails to administer justice, he can neither have heaven nor fame. If a king be afflicted by a stronger one, the former, if possessed of intelligence, should seek refuge in a fort. Assembling his friends for consultation, he should devise proper means. Adopting the policy of conciliation and of producing dissensions, he should devise means for waging war with the assailant. He should set the inhabitants of the woods on the high roads, and, if necessary, cause whole villages to be removed, transplanting all the inhabitants to minor towns or the outskirts of great cities. Repeatedly assuring his wealthy subjects and the principal officers of the army, he should cause the inhabitants of the open country to take refuge in such forts as are well-protected. He should himself withdraw all stores of grain (from the open country into his forts). If that becomes impossible, he should destroy them completely by fire. He should set men for destroying the crops on the fields of the enemy (by producing disunion among the enemy’s subjects). Failing to do this, he should destroy those crops by means of his own troops. He should destroy all the bridges over the rivers in his kingdom. He should bale out the waters of all the tanks in his dominions, or, if incapable of baling them out, cause them to be poisoned. Disregarding the duty of protecting his friends, he should, in view of both present and future circumstances, seek the protection of the ruler of another kingdom who may happen to be the foe of his foe and who may be competent to deal with his foe on the field of battle. He should destroy all the smaller forts in his kingdom. He should also cut

down all the smaller trees excepting those that are called Chaitya. He should cause the branches of all the larger trees to be lopped off, but he should not touch the very leaves of those called Chaitya. He should raise outer ramparts round his forts, with enclosures in them, and fill his trenches with water, driving pointed stakes at their bottom and filling them with crocodiles and sharks. He should keep small openings in his walls for making sallies from his fort, and carefully make arrangements for their defence like that of the greater gates. In all his gates he should plant destructive engines. He should plant on the ramparts (of his forts) Sataghnis and other weapons. He should store wood for fuel and dig and repair wells for supply of water to the garrison. He should cause all houses made of grass and straw to be plastered over with mud, and if it is the summer month, he should, from fear of fire, withdraw (into a place of safety) all the stores of grass and straw. He should order all food to be cooked at night. No fire should be ignited during the day, except for the daily homa. Particular care should be taken of the fires in smithies and lying-in rooms. Fires kept within the houses of the inhabitants should be well covered. For the effectual protection of the city, it should be proclaimed that condign punishment will overtake the person who lights fires by the day time. During such times, all beggars, eunuchs, lunatics, and mimes, should, O foremost of men, be driven out of the town, for if they are permitted to remain, evil will follow. In places of public resort, in tirthas, in assemblies, and in the houses of the citizens, the king should set competent spies. The king should cause wide roads to be constructed and order shops, and places for the distribution of water, to be opened at proper stations. Depots (of diverse necessaries), arsenals, camps and quarters for soldiers, stations for the keeping of horses and elephants, encampments of soldiers, trenches, streets and bypaths, houses and gardens for retirement and pleasure, should be so ordered that their sites may not be known to others, O Yudhishthira. A king who is afflicted by a hostile army should gather wealth, and store oil and fat and honey, and clarified butter, and medicines of all kinds, and charcoal and munja grass, leaves, arrows, scribes and draftsmen, grass, fuel, poisoned arrows, weapons of every kind such as darts, swords, lances, and others. The king should store such articles. He should especially keep ready drugs of every kind, roots and fruits, the four kinds of physicians, actors and dancers, athletes, and persons capable of assuming diverse disguises. He should decorate his capital and gladden all his subjects. The king should lose no time in bringing under his control such persons as may happen to inspire him with fear, be they his servants or counsellors or citizens or neighbouring monarchs. After any task of the king has been accomplished, he should reward that those that have aided in its accomplishment with wealth and other proportionate gifts and thankful speeches. It has been laid down in the scriptures, O delighter

of the Kurus, that a king pays off his debt when he discomfits his foe or slays him outright. A king should take care of seven things. Listen to me as I recite them. They are his own self, his counsellors, his treasury, his machinery for awarding punishments, his friends, his provinces, and his capital. He should with care protect his kingdom which consists of these seven limbs. That king, O tiger among men, who is conversant with the aggregate of six, the triple aggregate, and the high aggregate of three, succeeds in winning the sovereignty of the whole earth. Listen, O Yudhishthira, to what has been called the aggregate of six. These are ruling in peace after concluding a treaty (with the foe), marching to battle, producing disunion among the foe, concentration of forces, for inspiring the foe with fear, preparedness for war with readiness for peace, and alliance with others. Listen now with attention to what has been called the triple aggregate. They are decrease, maintenance of what is, and growth. The high aggregate of three consists of Virtue, Profit and Pleasure. These should be pursued judiciously. By the aid of virtue, a king succeeds in ruling the earth for ever. Touching this matter, Angirasa’s son: Vrihaspati himself has sung two verses. Blessed be thou, O son of Devaki, it behoveth thee to hear them. ‘Having discharged all his duties and having protected the earth, and having also protected his cities, a king attains to great happiness in heaven. What are penances to that king, and what need has he of sacrifices who protects his people properly? Such a king should be regarded as one conversant with every virtue!’

Yudhishthira said, ‘There is the science of chastisement, there is the king, and there are the subjects. Tell me, O grandsire, what advantage is derived by one of these from the others.’

Bhishma said, ‘Listen to me, O king, as I describe, O Bharata, the great blessedness of the science of chastisement, in sacred words of grave import. The science of chastisement forces all men to the observance of the duties of their respective orders. Duly administered, it forces people to virtuous acts. When the four orders attend to their respective duties, when all wholesome barriers are maintained, when peace and happiness are made to flow from the science of chastisement, when the people become freed from all fear, and the three higher orders endeavour, according to their respective duties, to maintain harmony, know that men become truly happy at such times. Whether it is the king that makes the age, or, it is the age that makes the king, is a question about which thou shouldst not entertain any doubt. The truth is that the king makes the age. When, the king rules with a complete and strict reliance on the science of chastisement, the foremost of ages called Krita is then said to set in. Righteousness sets in the Krita age. Nothing of unrighteousness exists then. The hearts of men belonging to all the four orders do not take any pleasure in unrighteousness. Without doubt, all men succeed in acquiring the objects

they desire and preserving those that have been acquired. All the Vedic rites become productive of merit. All the seasons become delightful and free from evil. The voice, pronunciation, and minds of all men become clear and cheerful. Diseases disappear and all men become long-lived. Wives do not become widows, and no person becomes a miser. The earth yields crops without being tilled, and herbs and plants grow in luxuriance. Barks, leaves, fruits, and roots, become vigorous and abundant. No unrighteousness is seen. Nothing but righteousness exists. Know these to be the characteristics, O Yudhishthira, of the Krita age. When the king relies upon only three of the four parts of the science of chastisement leaving out a fourth, the age called Treta sets in. A fourth part of unrighteousness follows in the train of such observance (of the great science) by three-fourths. The earth yields crops but waits for tillage. The herbs and plants grow (depending upon tillage). When the king observes the great science by only a half, leaving out the other half, then the age that sets in is called Dwapara. A moiety of unrighteousness follows in the train of such observance of the great science by half. The earth requires tillage and yields crops by half. When the king, abandoning the great science totally, oppresses his subjects by evil means of diverse kinds, the age that sets in is called Kali. During the age called Kali, unrighteousness becomes full and nothing of righteousness is seen. The hearts of men, of all the orders, fall away from their respective duties. Sudras live by adopting lives of mendicancy, and Brahmanas live by serving others. Men fail to acquire the objects they desire and preserve those already acquired. Intermixture of the four orders takes place. Vedic rites fail to produce fruits. All the seasons cease to be delightful and become fraught with evil. The voice, pronunciation, and minds of men lose vigour. Diseases appear, and men die prematurely. Wives become widows, and many cruel men are seen. The clouds do not pour seasonably, and crops fail. All kinds of moisture also fail, when the king does not, with proper attention to the great science, protect the subjects. The king is the creator of the Krita age, of the Treta, and of the Dwapara. The king is the cause of the fourth age (called Kali). If he causes the Krita age, he attains to everlasting heaven. If he causes the Treta age, he acquires heaven for a period that is limited. If he causes the Dwapara, he attains to blessedness in heaven according to the measure of his merits. By causing the Kali age, the king incurs a heavy load of sin. Stained by wickedness, he rots in hell for innumerable years, for sinking in the sins of his subjects, he incurs great sin and infamy himself. Keeping the great science in his view, the Kshatriya possessed of learning should strive to acquire those objects which he desires and protect those that have been already acquired. The science of chastisement, which establishes all men in the observance of their respective duties, which is the groundwork of all wholesome distinctions, and which truly upholds the world and sets it agoing, if properly administered, protects all men like the mother and the father protecting their children. Know, O bull among men, that the very lives of creatures depend upon it. The highest merit a king can acquire is acquaintance with the science of chastisement and administering it properly. Therefore, O thou of Kuru’s race, protect thy subjects righteously, with the aid of that great science. By protecting the subjects and adopting such a conduct, thou wilt surely attain to such blessedness in heaven as is difficult of acquisition.”

Section LXX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘By adopting that conduct, O thou that art conversant with every kind of behaviour, can a king succeed in easily acquiring, both here and hereafter, objects productive of happiness in the end?’

“Bhishma said, ‘There are these thirty-six virtues (which a king should observe). They are connected with thirty-six others. A virtuous person, by attending to those qualities, can certainly acquire great merit. The king should observe his duties without wrath and malice. He should not abandon kindness. He should have faith. He should acquire wealth without persecution and cruelty. He should pursue pleasure without attachments. He should, with cheerfulness, utter what is the agreeable, and be brave without brag. He should be liberal but should not make gifts to persons that are unobserving. He should have prowess without cruelty. He should make alliance, avoiding those that are wicked. He should not act with hostility towards friends. He should never employ persons not devoted to him as his spies and secret agents. He should never accomplish his objects by persecution. He should never, disclose his purposes before persons that are wicked. He should speak of the merits of others but never his own. He should take wealth from his subjects but never from those that are good. He should never employ or take the assistance of persons that are wicked. He should never inflict punishment without careful enquiry. He should never disclose his counsels. He should give away, but not to persons that are covetous. He should repose confidence on others but never on those that have injured him. He should not cherish malice. He should protect his wedded wives. He should be pure and should not always be melted by compassion. He should not indulge much in female companionship. He should take food that is wholesome and never that which is otherwise. He should without pride pay regards to those that deserve them, and serve his preceptors and seniors with sincerity. He should worship the gods without pride. He should seek prosperity, but never do anything that brings infamy. He should wait (upon his seniors) with humility. He should be clever in business but should always wait for the proper time. He should comfort men and never send them away with empty speeches. Having favoured a person, he should not abandon him. He should never strike in ignorance. Having slain his foe he should never indulge in sorrow. He should display temper, but should never do so when there is no occasion. He should be mild, but never to those that have offended. Conduct thyself thus while ruling thy kingdom if thou wishest to have prosperity. The king that behaves otherwise incurs great danger. That king who observes all these virtues that I have mentioned, reaps many blessings on earth and great rewards in heaven.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Santanu’s son, king Yudhishthira, docile in receiving instructions, possessed of great intelligence, and protected by Bhima and others, then worshipped his grandsire and from that time began to rule according to that teaching.’”

Section LXXI

Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grand sire, in what way should the king protect his subjects so as to be able to avoid grief and so as not to offend against righteousness?’

“Bhishma said, ‘I shall recite, O king, those eternal duties in brief, for if I were to mention them in detail, I would never attain to their end. Thou shouldst worship those Brahmanas that are devoted to their duties, possessed of learning, regular in worshipping the gods, observant of high vows, and endued with other accomplishments, when they come to thy abode, and employ them in officiating in thy sacrifices. With thy priest accompanying thee, thou shouldst rise up when they approach, and touch and worship their feet, and do every other act that is necessary. Doing these acts of piety and discharging other acts that are for thy own good, thou shouldst (by presents) cause those Brahmanas to utter benedictions on thee for the success of thy purposes. Endued with sincerity, and wisdom and intelligence, O Bharata, thou shouldst adopt truth and avoid lust and wrath. That foolish king who pursues Profit without driving away lust and wrath, fails to acquire virtue and ultimately sacrifices Profit as well. Never employ those that are covetous and foolish in matters connected with Pleasure and Profit. Thou shouldst always employ in all thy acts those that are free from covetousness and possessed of intelligence. Stained with lust and wrath and unskilled in the transaction of business foolish persons, if vested with authority in matters of Profit, always oppress the people by diverse contrivances productive of mischief. With a sixth part upon fair calculation, of the yield of the soil as his tribute, with fines and forfeitures levied upon offenders, with the imposts, according to the scriptures, upon merchants and traders in return for the protection granted to them, a king should fill his treasury. Realising this just tribute and governing the kingdom properly the king should, with heedfulness, act in such a way that his subjects may not feel the pressure of want. Men become deeply devoted to that king who discharges the duty of protection properly, who is endued with liberality, who is steady in the observance of righteousness, who is vigilant, and who is free from Just and hate. Never

desire to fill thy treasury by acting unrighteously or from covetousness. That king who does not act in accordance with the scriptures fails to earn wealth and religious merit. That king who is mindful only of the means of acquiring wealth, never succeeds in acquiring both religious merit and wealth. The wealth again that he acquires (by such means) is seen to be lavished on unworthy objects. That avaricious king who through folly oppresses his subjects by levying taxes not sanctioned by the scriptures, is said to wrong his own self. As a person desirous of milk never obtains any by cutting off the udders of a cow, similarly a kingdom afflicted by improper means, never yields any profit to the king. He who treats a milch cow with tenderness always obtains milk from it. Similarly, the king who rules his kingdom by the aid of proper means, reaps much fruit from it. By protecting a kingdom properly and ruling it by the aid of judicious means, a king, O Yudhishthira, may succeed in always obtaining much wealth. The earth, well protected by the king, yields crops and gold (to the ruler and the ruled) even like a gratified mother yielding milk to her child. Imitate the example, O king, of the flowerman and not of the charcoal-maker. Becoming such and discharging, the duty of protection, thou mayst be able to enjoy the earth for ever. If in attacking an enemy’s kingdom thy treasury becomes exhausted, thou mayst refill it by taking wealth from all except Brahmanas. Let not thy heart be moved, even when thou art in great distress, upon seeing Brahmanas possessed of wealth. I need not speak then of what thou shouldst do when thou art in affluence. Thou shouldst give them wealth to the best of thy power and as they deserve and protect them, comforting them on all occasions. By conducting thyself in this way, thou mayst acquire such regions hereafter as are most difficult of acquisition. Adopting such virtuous behaviour, do thou protect thy subjects. Thou mayst then obtain, O delighter of the Kurus, fame that is everlasting, high, and pure. Protect thy subjects righteously, O son of Pandu, for no regret or pain will then be thine. Protection of the subject is the highest duty of the king, since compassion to all creatures and protecting them from injury has been said to be the highest merit. Persons conversant with duties regard that to be the highest merit of the king, when, engaged in protecting all creatures, the king displays compassion towards them. The sin a king incurs by neglecting for a single day to protect his subjects from fear is such that he does not attain to end of his sufferings (for it) in hell till after a thousand years. The merit a king earns by protecting his subjects righteously for a single day is such that he enjoys its reward in heaven for ten thousand years. All those regions that are acquired by persons leading duly the Garhasthya, the Brahmacharya, and the Vanaprastha modes of life, are soon acquired by a king by only protecting his subjects righteously.

Do thou, O son of Kunti, observe with great care this duty (of protection). Thou shalt then obtain the reward of righteousness and no grief and pain will be thine. Thou shalt, O son of Pandu, obtain great prosperity in heaven. Merit like this is impossible to be acquired by persons that are not kings. A person, therefore, who is a king, and no other, can succeed in earning such reward of virtue. Possessed of intelligence, thou hast obtained a kingdom. Do thou protect thy subjects righteously. Gratify Indra with offerings of Soma and the friends and well-wishers with the objects of their wishes.’”

Section LXXII

“Bhishma said, ‘That person, O king, who would protect the good and punish the wicked, should be appointed as his priest by the king. In this connection is cited the old story about the discourse between Pururavas, the son of Aila and Matariswan.’

“Pururavas said, ‘Whence has the Brahmana sprung and whence the three other orders? For what reason also has the Brahmana become the foremost? It behoveth thee to tell me all this.’

“Matariswan answered, ‘The Brahmana, O best of kings, has sprung from the mouth of Brahman. The Kshatriya has sprung from his two arms, and the Vaisya from his two thighs. For waiting upon these three orders, O ruler of men, a fourth order, viz., the Sudra, sprung into life, being created from the feet (of Brahman). Originally created thus, the Brahmana takes birth on earth as the lord of all creatures, his duty being the keep of the Vedas and the other scriptures. Then, for ruling the earth and wielding the rod of chastisement and protecting all creatures, the second order, viz., the Kshatriya was created. The Vaisya was created for supporting the two other orders and himself by cultivation and trade, and finally, it was ordained by Brahman that the Sudra should serve the three orders as a menial.’

“Pururavas said, ‘Tell me truly, O god of Winds, to whom, this earth righteously belong. Does it belong to the Brahmana or to the Kshatriya?’

“The god of Winds said, ‘Everything that exists in the universe belongs to the Brahmana in consequence of his birth and precedence. Persons conversant with morality say this. What the Brahmana eats is his own. The place he inhabits is his own. What he gives away is his own. He deserves the veneration of all the (other) orders. He is the first-born and the foremost. As a woman, in the absence of her husband, accepts his younger brother for him, even so the earth, in consequence of the refusal of the Brahmana, has accepted his next-born, viz., the Kshatriya, for her lord. This is the first rule. In times, however, of distress, there is an exception of this. If thou seekest to

discharge the duties of the order and wishest to obtain the highest place in heaven, then give unto the Brahmana all the land thou mayst succeed in conquering, unto him that is possessed of learning and virtuous conduct, that is conversant with duties and observant of penances, that is satisfied with the duties of his order and not covetous of wealth. The well-born Brahmana, possessed of wisdom and humility, guides the king in every matter by his own great intelligence. By means of sound counsels he causes the king to earn prosperity. The Brahmana points out to the king the duties the latter is to observe. As long as a wise king, observant of the duties of his order, and bereft of pride, is desirous of listening to the instructions of the Brahmana, so long is he honoured and so long does he enjoy fame. The priest of the king, therefore, has a share in the merit that the king acquires. When the king behaves himself thus, all his subjects, relying upon him, become virtuous in their behaviour, attentive to their duties, and freed from every fear. The king obtains a fourth part of those righteous acts which his subjects, properly protected by him, perform in his kingdom. The gods, men, Pitris, Gandharvas, Uragas, and Rakshasas, all depend upon sacrifices for their support. In a country destitute of a king, there can be no sacrifice. The gods and the Pitris subsist on the offerings made in sacrifices. Sacrifice, however, depends upon the king. In the season of summer, men desire comfort from the shade of trees, cool water, and cool breezes. In the season of winter they derive comfort from fire, warm clothes, and the sun. The heart of man may find pleasure in sound, touch, taste, vision, and scent. The man, however, who is inspired with fear, finds no pleasure in all these things. That person who dispels the fears of men obtains great merit. There is no gift so valuable in the three worlds as the gift of life. The king is Indra. The king is Yama. The king is Dharma. The king assumes different forms. The king sustains and supports everything.’”

Section LXXIII

“Bhishma said, ‘The king, with an eye to both religious merit and profit whose considerations are often very intricate, should, without delay, appoint a priest possessed of learning and intimate acquaintance with the Vedas and the (other) scriptures. Those kings that have priests possessed of virtuous souls and conversant with policy, and that are themselves possessed of such attributes, enjoy prosperity in every direction. Both the priest and the king should have such qualities as are worthy of regard and should be observant of vows and penances. They would then succeed in supporting and aggrandising the subjects and the deities, the Pitris and the children. It is laid down

that they should be possessed of similar hearts and should be each other’s friends. In consequence of such friendship between Brahmana and Kshatriya, the subjects become happy. If they do not regard each other, destruction would overtake the people. The Brahmana and the Kshatriya are said to be the progenitors of all men. In this connection is cited the old story about the discourse between Aila’s son and Kasyapa. Listen to it, O Yudhishthira.’

“Aila said, ‘When the Brahmana forsakes the Kshatriya or the Kshatriya forsakes the Brahmana, who amongst them should be regarded superior and upon whom do the other orders rely and maintain themselves?’

“Kasyapa said, ‘Ruin overtakes the kingdom of the Kshatriya when the Brahmana and Kshatriya contend with each other. Robbers infest that kingdom in which confusion prevails, and all good men regard the ruler to be a Mlechcha. Their oxen do not thrive, nor their children. Their pots (of milk) are not churned, and no sacrifices are performed there. The children do not study the Vedas in kingdoms where Brahmanas abandon Kshatriyas. In their houses wealth does not increase. Their children do not become good and do not study the scriptures and perform sacrifices. Those Kshatriyas that abandon Brahmanas become impure in blood and assume the nature of robbers. The Brahmana and the Kshatriya are connected with each other naturally, and each protects the other. The Kshatriya is the cause of the Brahmana’s growth and the Brahmana is the cause of the Kshatriya’s growth. When each helps the other, both attain to great prosperity. If their friendship, existing from days of old, breaks, a confusion sets over everything. No person desirous of crossing the ocean of life succeeds in his task even as a small boat floating on the bosom of the sea. The four orders of men become confounded and destruction overtakes all. If the Brahmana. who is like a tree is protected, gold and honey are showered. If, on the other hand, he is not protected, it then tears and sins are showered, When Brahmanas fall away from the Vedas and (in the absence of a Kshatriya ruler) seek protection from the scriptures, then Indra does not pour rain seasonably and diverse kinds of calamities ceaselessly afflict the kingdom. When a sinful wretch having slain a woman or a Brahmana does not incur obloquy in assemblies of fellowmen and has not to stand in fear of the king, then danger threatens the Kshatriya ruler. In consequence of the sins perpetrated by sinful men, the god Rudra appears in the kingdom. Indeed, the sinful by their sins bring upon them that god of vengeance. He then destroys all, the honest and the wicked alike (without making any distinction).’

“Aila said, ‘Whence does Rudra spring? What also is his form? Creatures are seen to be destroyed by creatures. Tell me all this, O Kasyapa! Whence does the god Rudra spring?’

“Kasyapa said, ‘Rudra exists in the hearts of men. He destroys the bodies themselves in which he dwells as also the bodies of others. Rudra has been said to be like atmospheric visitations and his form is like that of the wind-gods.’

“Aila said, ‘The Wind does not, by blowing, visibly destroy men on all occasions, nor does the deity of the clouds do so by pouring rain. On the other hand, it is seen among men that they lose their senses and are slain through lust and malice.’

“Kasyapa said, ‘Fire, blazing forth in one house, burneth a whole quarter or an entire village. Similarly, this deity stupefies the senses of some one and then that stupefaction touches all, the honest and the wicked alike, without any distinction.’

“Aila said, ‘If chastisement touches all viz., the honest and the wicked alike, in consequence of the sins perpetrated by the sinful, why should men, in that case, do acts that are good? Indeed, why should they not perform wicked acts?’

“Kasyapa said, ‘By avoiding all connection with the sinful, one becomes pure and stainless. In consequence, however, of their being mixed with the sinful, the sinless are overtaken by chastisement. Wood that is wet, if mixed with wood that is dry, is consumed by fire in consequence of such co-existence. The sinless, therefore, should never mingle with the sinful.’

“Aila said, ‘The earth holds the honest and the wicked. The sun warms the honest and the wicked. The wind blows equally for them. Water cleanses them equally.’

“Kasyapa said, ‘Such, indeed, is the course of this world, O prince! It is not so, however, hereafter. In the other world, there is great difference of condition between the person that acts righteously and him that acts sinfully. The regions that meritorious men acquire are full of honey and possessed of the splendour of gold or of a fire upon which clarified butter has been poured. Those regions also are likened to the navel of ambrosia. The meritorious person enjoys great felicity there. Death, decrepitude, and sorrow, are not there. The region for the sinful is hell. Darkness and ceaseless pain are there, and it is full of sorrow. Sinking in infamy, the man of sinful deeds wrung with remorse there for many years. In consequence of a disunion between Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, unbearable griefs afflict the people. Knowing this, a king should appoint a (Brahmana) priest possessed of experience and wide knowledge. A king should first install the priest in his office, and then cause his own coronation. This has been laid down in the ordinance. The ordinances declare that the Brahmana is the foremost of all creatures. Men acquainted with the Vedas say that the Brahmana was created first. In consequence of the precedence of his birth, all things that are good in this world are vested in him. The rightful owner of all the best things that have flowed from the Creator, the Brahmana is also, for such precedence, worthy of the respect and the worship of all creatures. A king, however powerful, should, according to the dictates of the scriptures, bestow upon the Brahmana whatever is best and distinguished above others. The Brahmana contributes to the aggrandisement of the Kshatriya, and the Kshatriya to the aggrandisement of the Brahmana. Brahmanas should, therefore, be especially and always worshipped by kings.’”

Section LXXIV

“Bhishma said, ‘It is said that the preservation and growth of the kingdom rest upon the king. The preservation and growth of the king rest upon the king’s priest. That kingdom enjoys true felicity where the invisible fears of the subjects are dispelled by the Brahmana and all visible fears are dispelled by the king with the might of his arms. In this connection is cited the old narrative of the discourse between king Muchukunda and Vaisravana. King Muchukunda, having subjugated the whole earth, repaired to the lord of Alaka for testing his strength. King Vaisravana created (by ascetic power) a large force of Rakshasas. These ground the forces led by Muchukunda. Beholding the slaughter of his army, king Muchukunda, O chastiser of foes, began to rebuke his own learned priest (Vasishtha). Thereupon that foremost of righteous persons viz., Vasishtha, underwent very severe penances and, causing those Rakshasas to be slain, ascertained the true course upon which Muchukunda was bent. When king Vaisravana’s troops were being slaughtered, he showed himself unto Muchukunda and said these words.’

“The Lord of treasures said, ‘Many kings of old, more powerful than thou art, aided by their priests, had never approached me thus? All of them were skilled in weapons and all of them were possessed of might. Regarding me as the grantor of weal and woe, they approached me for offering worship. In truth, if thou hast might of arms, it behoves thee to display it. Why dost thou act so proudly, aided by Brahmana might?’ Enraged at these words, Muchukunda, without pride and fear, said unto the lord of treasures these words fraught with reason and justice, ‘The self-born Brahman created the Brahmana and the Kshatriya. They have a common origin. If they apply their forces separately, they would never be able to uphold the world. The power of penances and mantras was bestowed upon Brahmanas; the might of arms and of weapons was bestowed upon Kshatriyas. Aggrandised by both kinds of might, kings should protect their subjects. I am acting in that way. Why dost thou, O lord of Alaka, rebuke me then?’ Thus addressed, Vaisravana said unto Muchukunda and his priest, ‘I never, without being ordered by the (self-created) bestow sovereignty upon any one. Nor do I ever, without being ordered, take it away from any one. Know this, O king! Do thou rule then the whole earth without bounds.’ Thus addressed, king Muchukunda replied, saying, ‘I do not, O king, desire to enjoy sovereignty obtained as gift from thee! I desire to enjoy sovereignty obtained by the might of my own arms.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘At these words of Muchukunda, Vaisravana, seeing the king fearless in the observance of Kshatriya duties, became filled with surprise. King Muchukunda, devoted to Kshatriya duties, continued to rule the entire earth obtained by the might of his own arms. That virtuous king who rules his kingdom, aided by and yielding precedence to the Brahmana, succeeds in subjugating the whole earth and achieving great fame. The Brahmana should every day perform his religious rites and the Kshatriya should always be armed with weapons. Between them they are the rightful owners of everything in the universe.’”

Section LXXV

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grandsire, that conduct by which a king succeeds in aggrandising his subjects and earning regions of felicity in the other world.’

“Bhishma said, ‘The king should be liberal and should perform sacrifices, O Bharata! He should be observant of vows and penances, and should be devoted to the duty of protecting his subjects. Righteously protecting all his subjects, he should honour all righteous persons by standing up when they come and by making gifts unto them. If the king regards it, righteousness becomes regarded everywhere. Whatever acts and things are liked by the king are liked by his subjects. Unto his foes the king should always be like Death, with the rod of chastisement uplifted in his hands. He should exterminate robbers everywhere in his kingdom and never pardon any one from caprice. The king, O Bharata, earns a fourth part of the merit that his subjects earn under his protection. By only protecting his subjects the king acquires a fourth part of the merit that his subjects acquire by study, by gifts, by pouring libations, and by worshipping the gods. The king acquires a fourth part also of the sin that his subjects commit in consequence of any distress in the kingdom arising from the king’s neglect in discharging the duty of protection. Some say that the king earns a moiety, and some say the full measure, of whatever sin is caused by his becoming cruel and untruthful in speech. Listen now to the means by which the king may be cleansed of such sins. If the king fails to restore to a subject the wealth that has been stolen away by thieves, he should then compensate the injured from his own treasury, or, in case of inability, with wealth obtained from his dependents. All the orders should protect the wealth of a Brahmana even as they should the Brahmana’s boy or life. The person that offends against Brahmanas should be exiled from the kingdom. Everything is protected by protecting the Brahmana’s wealth. Through the grace of the Brahmana, which may thus be secured, the king becomes crowned with success. Men seek the protection of a competent king like creatures seeking relief from the clouds or birds seeking refuge in a large tree. A cruel and covetous king, with lustful soul and ever seeking the gratification of his desire never succeeds in protecting his subjects.’

“Yudhishthira, said, ‘I do not, for a moment, desire the happiness that sovereignty bestows or sovereignty itself for its own sake. I desire it, however, for the sake of the merit one may acquire from it. It seems to me that no merit is attached to it. No need for sovereignty then by which no merit can be acquired. I shall, therefore, retire into the woods from desire of earning merit. Laying aside the rod of chastisement, and subduing my senses, I shall go to the woods which are sacred and seek to acquire the merit of righteousness by becoming an ascetic subsisting upon fruit and roots.’

“Bhishma said, ‘I know, O Yudhishthira, what the nature of thy heart is, and how inoffensive is thy disposition. Thou wilt not, however, by inoffensiveness alone, succeed in ruling thy kingdom. Thy heart is inclined to mildness, thou art compassionate, and thou art exceedingly righteous. Thou art without energy, and thou art virtuous and full of mercy. People, therefore, do not regard thee much. Follow the conduct of thy sire and grandsire. Kings should never adopt that conduct which thou desirest to adopt. Never be touched by such anxiety (after doing thy duty), and never adopt such inoffensiveness of conduct. By becoming so, thou wouldst not succeed in earning that merit of righteousness which arises from protecting subjects. The behaviour thou wishest to adopt, impelled by thy own intelligence and wisdom, is not consistent with those blessings which thy sire Pandu or thy mother Kunti used to solicit for thee. Thy sire always solicited for thee courage, might, and truth. Kunti always solicited for thee high-mindedness and liberality. The offerings with Swaha and Swadha in Sraddhas and sacrifices are always asked from children by the Pitris and the deities. Whether gifts and study and sacrifices and the protection of subjects be meritorious or sinful, thou hast been born to practise and perform them. The fame, O son of Kunti, is never tarnished of men that even fail in bearing the burdens which are placed on them and unto which they are yoked in life. Even a horse, if properly trained, succeeds in bearing, without falling down, a burden. (What need then be said of thee that art a human being?) One incurs no censure if only one’s acts and words be proper, for success is said to depend upon acts (and words). No person, be he a man virtuously following the domestic mode of life, or be he a king, or be he a Brahmacharin, has ever succeeded in conducting himself without tripping. It is better to do an act which is good and in which there is small merit than to totally abstain from all acts, for total abstention from acts is very sinful. When a high-born and righteous person succeeds in obtaining affluence, the king then succeeds in obtaining prosperity in all his affairs. A virtuous king, having obtained a kingdom, should seek to subdue some by gifts, some by force, and some by sweet words. There is no one more virtuous than he upon whom high-born and learned persons rely from fear of losing their means of sustenance and depending upon whom they live in contentment.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘What acts, O sire, are conductive to heaven? What is the nature of the great felicity that is derived from them? What also is the high prosperity that may be obtained thence? Tell me all this, if thou knowest.,

“Bhishma said, ‘That man from whom a person afflicted with fear obtains relief even for a moment, is the most worthy of heaven amongst us. This that I tell thee is very true. Be thou cheerfully the king of the Kurus, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, acquire heaven, protect the good and slay the wicked. Let thy friends, together with all honest men, derive their support from thee, like all creatures from the deity of the clouds and like birds from a large tree with delicious fruits. Men seek the protection of that person who is dignified, courageous, capable of smiting, compassionate, with senses under control, affectionate towards all, and equitable, and just.’”

Section LXXVI

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O grandsire, amongst Brahmanas some are engaged in the duties proper to their order, while others are engaged in other duties. Tell me the difference between these two classes!’

“Bhishma said, ‘Those Brahmanas, O king, that are possessed of learning and beneficent features, and that look upon all creatures with an equal eye, are said to be equal to Brahma. They that are conversant with the Riches, the Yajuses and the Samans, and who are devoted to the practices of their order, are, O king, equal to the very gods. Those, however, amongst them that are not well-born and not devoted to the duties of their order, and are, besides wedded to evil practices, are like Sudras. A virtuous king should realise tribute from and impress without pay into the public service those Brahmanas that are not possessed of Vedic lore and that have not their own fires to worship. They that are employed in courts of justice for summoning people, they that perform worship for others for a fee, they that perform the sacrifices of Vaisyas and Sudras, they that officiate in sacrifices on behalf of a whole village, and they that make voyages on the ocean,–these five are regarded as Chandalas among Brahmanas. They amongst them that become Ritwikas, Purohitas, counsellors, envoys, and messengers, become, O king, equal to Kshatriyas. They amongst them that ride horses or elephants or cars or become foot-soldiers, become, O king, equal to Vaisyas. If the king’s treasury is not full, he may realise tribute from these. In realising tribute, the king, however, should exclude those Brahmanas that are (for their conduct) equal to the gods or Brahma. The Vedas say that the king is the lord of the wealth belonging to all the orders except Brahmanas. He can take the wealth of those Brahmanas also that have fallen away from their legitimate duties. The king should never be indifferent towards those Brahmanas that are not observant of their duties. For the sake of making his people virtuous, he should punish and separate them from their superiors. That king, O monarch, in whose territories a Brahmana becomes a thief, is

regarded by the learned to be the author of that misdeed. Persons conversant with the Vedas declare that if a Brahmana versed in the Vedas and observant of vows becomes, through want of sustenance, a thief, it is the duty of the king to provide for his support. If, after provision has been made for his support, he does not abstain from theft he should then, O scorcher of foes be banished from the kingdom with all his kinsmen.’”’

Section LXXVII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Of whose wealth, O bull of Bharata’s race, is the king regarded to be the lord? And what conduct also should the king adopt? Discourse to me on this, O grandsire.’

“Bhishma said, ‘The Vedas declare that the king is the lord of the wealth that belongs to all persons except Brahmanas, as also of those Brahmanas that are not observant of their proper duties. The king should not spare those Brahmanas that are not observant of their duties. The righteous say that this is the ancient custom of kings. That king, O monarch, in whose dominion a Brahmana becomes a thief, is regarded to be the author of that misdeed. It is the king that becomes sinful on that account. In consequence of such a circumstance, kings regard themselves to be worthy of reproach. All righteous kings, therefore, provide Brahmanas with the means of support. In this connection is cited the old narrative of the speech made by the king of the Kaikeyas unto a Rakshasa while the latter was about to abduct him away. Of rigid vows and possessed of Vedic lore, the king of the Kaikeyas, O monarch, while living in the woods, was forcibly seized on a certain occasion by a Rakshasa.’

“The king said, ‘There is no thief in my territories, nor any person of wicked behaviour, nor any one that drinks alcohol. There is no one in my dominions who has not his sacred fire or who does not perform sacrifices. How then hast thou been able to possess my heart? There is no Brahmana in my dominions who is not possessed of learning or who is not observant of vows or who has not drunk Soma. There is no one who has not his sacred fire or who does not perform sacrifices. How then hast thou been able to possess my soul? In my dominions no sacrifice has been performed without completing it by Dakshina. No one in my dominions studies the Vedas who is not observant of vows. How then hast thou been able to possess my soul? The Brahmanas in my kingdom teach, study, sacrifice, officiate at other’s sacrifices, give, and receive gifts. All of them are observant of those six acts. The Brahmanas in my kingdom are all devoted to the performance of the duties of their order. Worshipped and provided for, they are mild, and truthful in speech. How then hast thou been able to possess my soul? The Kshatriyas in my kingdom are all devoted to the duties or their order. They never beg but give, and are conversant with truth and virtue. They never teach but study, and perform sacrifices but never officiate at the sacrifices of others. They protect the Brahmanas and never fly from battle. How then hast thou been able to possess my soul? The Vaisyas in my dominion are all observant of the duties of their order. With simplicity and without deceit they derive their sustenance from agriculture, cattle-keeping, and trade. They are all heedful, observant of religious rites and excellent vows, and truthful in speech. They give to guests what is their due, and self-restrained, and pure, and attached to their relative and kinsmen. How then hast thou been able to possess my heart? The Sudras in my kingdom, observant of the duties of their order, humbly and duly serve and wait upon the other three orders without entertaining any malice towards them. How then hast thou been able to possess my heart? I support the helpless and the old, the weak, the ill, and women (without guardians), by supplying them with all their necessaries. How then hast thou been able to possess my heart? I am never an exterminator of the special customs of families and of countries existing duly from days of old. How then hast thou been able to possess my heart? The ascetics in my kingdom are protected and worshipped. They are always honoured and entertained with food. How then hast thou been able to possess my heart? I never eat without feeding others from my dishes. I never go to other people’s wives. I never sport or recreate alone. How then hast thou been able to possess my heart? No one in my kingdom who is not a Brahmacharin begs his food, and no one who leads the Bhikshu mode of life desires to be a Brahmacharin. No one who is not a Ritwij pours libations (of clarified butter) upon the sacrificial fire. How then hast thou been able to possess my soul? I never disregard the learned or the old or those that are engaged in penances. When the whole population sleeps, I keep myself awake (for watching and protecting). How then hast thou been able to possess my heart? My priest possesses knowledge of self. He is given to penances, and is conversant with all duties. Possessed of great intelligence, he has the fullest power over my kingdom. By gifts I desire to acquire knowledge, and by truth and the protection of Brahmanas, I desire to attain regions of blessedness in heaven. By service I attach myself to my preceptors, I have no fear of Rakshasas. In my kingdom there are no widows, no wicked Brahmanas, no Brahmana that has fallen away from his duties, no deceitful person, no thief, no Brahmana that officiates in the sacrifices of people for whom he should never officiate, and no perpetrator of sinful deeds. I have no fear of Rakshasas. There is no space in my body, of even two fingers’ breadth, that does not bear the scar of a weapon-wound. I always fight for the sake of righteousness. How hast thou been able to possess my heart? The people of my kingdom always invoke blessings upon me in order that I may always be able to protect kine and Brahmanas and perform sacrifices. How then hast thou been able to possess me?’

“The Rakshasa said, ‘Since thou art observant of the duties under all circumstances, therefore, O king of the Kaikeyas, go back to thy abode. Blessed be thou, I leave thee. They, O king of the Kaikeyas, who protect kine and Brahmanas and all their subjects, have nothing to fear from Rakshasas, and much less from sinful persons. Those kings that give the lead to Brahmanas and whose might depends upon that of the Brahmanas, and whose subjects discharge the duties of hospitality, always succeeds in acquiring heaven.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Thou shouldst, therefore, protect the Brahmanas. Protected by thee, they will protect thee in return. Their blessings, O king, would surely descend upon kings of righteous behaviour. For the sake of righteousness, those Brahmanas that are not observant of the duties of their order should be chastised and separated (into a distinct class) from their superiors. A king who conducts himself in this way towards the people of his city and the provinces, obtains prosperity here and residence in heaven with Indra.’”


“Yudhishthira said, ‘It has been said that in seasons of distress a Brahmana may support himself by the practice of Kshatriya duties. Can he, however, at any time, support himself by the practice of the duties laid down for the Vaisyas?’

“Bhishma said, ‘When a Brahmana loses his means of support and falls into distress, he may certainly betake himself to the practices of a Vaisya and derive his support by agriculture and keeping cattle, if, of course, he is incompetent for Kshatriya duties.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘If a Brahmana, O bull of Bharata’s race, betakes himself to the duties of a Vaisya, what articles may he sell without losing his prospect of heaven?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Wines, salt, sesamum seeds, animals having manes, bulls, honey, meat, and cooked food, O Yudhishthira, under all circumstances, a Brahmana should avoid. A Brahmana, by selling these, would sink into hell. A Brahmana, by selling a goat, incurs the sin of selling the god of fire; by selling a sheep, the sin of selling the god of water; by selling a horse, the sin of selling the god of the sun; by selling cooked food, the sin of selling land; and by selling a cow, the sin of selling sacrifice and the Soma juice. These, therefore, should not be sold (by a Brahmana). They that are good do not applaud the purchase of uncooked food by giving cooked food in exchange. Uncooked food, however, may be given for procuring cooked food, O Bharata! ‘We will eat this cooked food of thine. Thou mayst cook these raw things (that we give in exchange).’–In a compact of this kind there is no sin. Listen, O Yudhishthira, I shall speak to thee of the eternal practice, existing from days of old, of persons conducting themselves according to

approved usages. ‘I give thee this. Give me this other thing in return.’ Exchange by such agreement is righteous. To take things by force, however, is sinful. Even such is the course of the usage followed by the Rishis and others. Without doubt, this is righteous.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘When, O sire, all the orders, giving up their respective duties, take up arms against the king, then, of course, the power of the king decreases.–By what means should the king then become the protector and refuge of the people? Resolve this doubt of mine, O king, by speaking to me in detail.’

“Bhishma said, ‘By gifts, by penances, by sacrifices, by peacefulness, and by self-restraint, all the orders headed by the Brahmanas should, on such occasions, seek their own good. Those amongst them that are endued with Vedic strength, should rise up on every side and like the gods strengthening Indra contribute (by Vedic rites) to enhancing the strength of the king. Brahmanas are said to be the refuge of the king while his power suffers decay. A wise king seeks the enhancement of his power by means of the power of the Brahmanas. When the king, crowned with victory, seeks the re-establishment of peace, all the orders then betake themselves to their respective duties. When robbers, breaking through all restraints, spread devastation around, all the orders may take up arms. By so doing they incur no sin, O Yudhishthira!’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘If all the Kshatriyas become hostile towards the Brahmanas, who then will protect the Brahmanas and their Vedas? What then should be the duty of the Brahmanas and who will be their refuge?’

“Bhishma said, ‘By penances, by Brahmacharya, by weapons, and by (physical) might, applied with or without the aid of deceit, the Kshatriyas should be subjugated. If the Kshatriya misconducts himself, especially towards Brahmanas, the Vedas themselves will subjugate them. The Kshatriyas have sprung from the Brahmanas. Fire has sprung from water; the Kshatriya from the Brahmana; and iron from stone. The energy of fire, the Kshatriya, and iron, are irresistible. But when these come into contact with the sources of their origin, their force becomes neutralised. When iron strikes stone, or fire battles with water, or the Kshatriya becomes hostile to the Brahmana, then the strength of each of those three becomes destroyed. Thus, O Yudhishthira, the energy and might, howsoever great and irresistible, of Kshatriyas become quelled as soon as they are directed against the Brahmanas. When the energy of the Brahmanas becomes mild, when Kshatriya energy becomes weak, when all men misbehave themselves towards the Brahmanas, they that engage in battle then, casting off all fear of death, for protecting the Brahmanas, morality, and their own selves,–those persons, moved by righteous indignation and possessed of great strength of mind, succeed in winning high regions of bliss hereafter. All persons should take up arms for the sake of Brahmanas. Those brave persons that fight for Brahmanas attain to those felicitous region in heaven that are reserved for persons that have always studied the Vedas with attention, that have performed the austerest of penances, and that have, after fasting, cast off their bodies into blazing fires. The Brahmana, by taking up arms for the three orders, does not incur sin. People say that there is no higher duty than casting off life under such circumstances. I bow to them and blessed be they that thus lay down their lives in seeking to chastise the enemies of Brahmanas. Let us attain to that region which is intended for them. Manu himself has said that those heroes repair to the region of Brahman. As persons become cleansed of all their sins by undergoing the final bath on a horse-sacrifice even so they that die at the edge of weapons while fighting wicked people, become cleansed of their sins. Righteousness becomes unrighteousness, and unrighteousness becomes righteousness, according to place and time. Such is the power of place and time (in determining the character of human acts). The friends of humanity, by doing even acts of cruelty, have attained to high heaven. Righteous Kshatriyas, by doing even sinful acts, have attained to blessed ends. The Brahmana, by taking up arms on these three occasions, does not incur sin, viz., for protecting himself, for compelling the other orders to betake themselves to their duties, and for chastising robbers.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘If when robbers raise their heads and an inter-mixture of the orders begins to take place in consequence of confusion, and Kshatriyas become incompetent, some powerful person other than a Kshatriya seeks to subdue those robbers for the sake of protecting the people, indeed, O best of kings, if that powerful person happens to be a Brahmana or a Vaisya or a Sudra, and if he succeeds in protecting the people by righteously wielding the rod of chastisement is he justified in doing what he does or is he restrained by the ordinances from accomplishing that duty? It seems that others, when the Kshatriyas prove so wretched, should take up weapons.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Be he a Sudra or be he the member of any other orders, he that becomes a raft on a raftless current, or a means of crossing where means there are none, certainly deserves respect in every way. That person, O king, relying upon whom helpless men, oppressed and made miserable by robbers, live happily, deserve to be lovingly worshipped by all as if he were a near kinsman. The person, O thou of Kuru’s race, that dispels the fears of others, always deserves respect. What use is there of bulls that would not bear burthens, or of kine that would not yield milk, or of a wife that is barren? Similarly, what need is there for a king that is not competent to grant protection? As an elephant made of wood, or a deer made of leather, as a person without wealth, or one that is a eunuch, or a field that is sterile, even so is a Brahmana that is void of Vedic lore and a king incapable of granting protection? Both of them are like a cloud that does not pour rain. That person who always protects the good and restrains the wicked deserves to become a king and to govern the world.’”

Section LXXIX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘What, O grandsire, should be the acts and what the behaviour of persons employed as priests in our sacrifices? What sort of persons should they be, O king? Tell me all this, O foremost of speakers.’

“Bhishma said, ‘It is laid down from those Brahmanas that are eligible as priests that they should be conversant with the Chhandas including the Samans, and all the rites inculcated in the Srutis, and that they should be able to perform all such religious acts as lead to the prosperity of the king. They should be devotedly loyal and utter agreeable speeches in addressing kings. They should also be friendly towards one another, and cast equal eyes on all. They should be devoid of cruelty, and truthful in speech. They should never be usurers, and should always be simple and sincere. One that is peaceful in temper, destitute of vanity, modest, charitable, self-restrained, and contented, possessed of intelligence, truthful, observant of vows, and harmless to all creatures, without lust and malice, and endued with the three excellent qualities, devoid of envy and possessed of knowledge, deserves the seat of Brahman himself. Persons with such qualities, O sire, are the best of priests and deserve every respect.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘There are Vedic texts about the gift of Dakshina in sacrifices. There is no ordinance, however, which lays down that so much should be given. This ordinance (about the gift of Dakshina) has not proceeded from motives connected with the distribution of wealth. The command of the ordinance, in consequence of the provision in cases of incapacity, is terrible. That command is blind to the competence of the sacrificer. The audition occurs in the Vedas that a person should, with devotion, perform a sacrifice. But what can devotion do when the sacrificer is stained by falsehood?

“Bhishma said, ‘No man acquires blessedness or merit by disregarding the Vedas or by deceit or falsehood. Never think that it is otherwise. Dakshina constitutes one of the limbs of sacrifice and conduces to the nourishment of the Vedas. A sacrifice without Dakshina can never lead to salvation. The efficacy, however, of a single Purnapatra is equal to that of any Dakshina, however rich. Therefore, O sire, everyone belonging to the three orders should perform sacrifices. The Vedas have settled that Soma is as the king himself

to the Brahmanas. Yet they desire to sell it for the sake of performing sacrifices, though they never wish to sell it for gaining a livelihood. Rishis of righteous behaviour have declared, agreeably to the dictates of morality, that a sacrifice performed with the proceeds of the sale of Soma serves to extend sacrifices. These three, viz., a person, a sacrifice and Soma, must be of good character. A person that is of bad character is neither for this nor for the other world. This audition has been heard by us that the sacrifice which high-souled Brahmanas perform by wealth earned by excessive physical labour, is not productive of great merit. There is a declaration in the Vedas that penances are higher than sacrifices. I shall now speak to thee of penances. O learned prince, listen to me. Abstention from injury, truthfulness of speech, benevolence, compassion,–these are regarded as penances by the wise and not the emaciation of the body. Disregard of the Vedas, disobedience to the dictates of the scriptures, and violation of all wholesome restraints, are productive of self-destruction. Listen, O son of Pritha, to what has been laid down by those that pour ten libations upon the fire at ten times of the day.–For them that perform the sacrifice of penance, the Yoga they endeavour to effect with Brahma is their ladle; the heart is their clarified butter; and high knowledge constitutes their Pavitra. All kinds of crookedness mean death, and all kinds of sincerity are called Brahma. This constitutes the subject of knowledge. The rhapsodies of system-builders cannot affect this.–’”

Section LXXX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘The most trifling act, O grandsire, cannot be accomplished by any man if unaided. What then need be said of the king (who has to govern a kingdom)? What should be the behaviour and what the acts of the king’s minister? Upon whom should the king repose confidence and upon whom should he not?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Kings, O monarch, have four kinds of friends. They are he that has the same object, he that is devoted, he that is related by birth, and he that has been won over (by gifts and kindness). A person of righteous soul, who would serve one and not both sides, is the fifth in the enumeration of the king’s friends. Such a person adopts that side on which righteousness is, and accordingly acts righteously. With respect to such a person, the king should never disclose such purposes of his as would not enlist his sympathy. Kings desirous of success are obliged to adopt both kinds of paths, righteous and unrighteous. Of the four kinds of friends, the second and the third are superior, while the first and the fourth should ever be regarded with suspicion. In view, however, of those acts which the king should do in person, he should always regard with suspicion all the four. The king should never act heedlessly in the matter of watching his friends. A king that is heedless is always overpowered by others. A wicked man assumes the garb of honesty, and he that is honest becomes otherwise. A foe may become a friend and a friend may become a foe. A man cannot always be of the same mind. Who is there that would trust him completely? All the chief acts, therefore, of a king he should accomplish in his own presence. A complete reliance (on his ministers) is destructive of both morality and profit. A want of trust again in respect of all is worse than death. Trustfulness is premature death. One incurs danger by truthfulness. If one trusts another completely, he is said to live by the sufferance of the trusted person. For this reason every one should be trusted as also mistrusted. This eternal rule of policy, O sire, should be kept in view. One should always mistrust that person who would, upon one’s desire, obtain one’s wealth. The wise declare such a person to be one’s enemy. A person whose joy knows no bounds upon beholding the aggrandisement of the king and who feels miserable upon seeing the king’s decay, furnishes the indications of one of the best friends of the king. He whose fall would be brought about by thy fall, should be trusted by thee completely even as thou shouldst trust thy sire. Thou shouldst, to the best of thy power, aggrandise him as thou winnest aggrandisement for thyself. One who, in even thy religious rites, seeks to rescue thee from harm, would seek to rescue thee from harm’s way in every other business. Such a one should be regarded as thy best friend. They, on the other hand, that wish one harm are one’s foes. That friend is said to be like thy own self who is inspired with fear when calamity overtakes thee and with joy when prosperity shines on thee. A person possessed of beauty, fair complexion, excellent voice, liberality, benevolence, and good birth, cannot be such a friend. That person who is possessed of intelligence and memory, who is clever in the transaction of business, who is naturally averse from cruelty, who never indulges in wrath, and who, whether regarded or disregarded is never dissatisfied, be he thy priest or preceptor or honoured friend should always receive thy worship if he accepts the office of thy counsellor and resides in thy abode. Such a person may be informed of thy most secret counsels and the true state of all thy affairs religious or pertaining to matters of profit. Thou mayst confide in him as in thy own sire. One person should be appointed to one task, and not two or three. Those may not tolerate each other. It is always seen that several persons, if set to one task, disagree with one another. That person who achieves celebrity, who observes all restraints, who never feels jealous of others that are able and competent, who never does any evil act, who never abandons righteousness from lust or fear or covetousness or wrath, who is clever in the transaction of business, and who is possessed of wise and weighty speech, should be thy foremost of ministers. Persons possessed of good birth and good behaviour, who are liberal and who never indulge in brag, who are brave and respectable, and learned and full of resources, should be appointed as ministers for supervising all thy affairs. Honoured by thee and gratified with wealth, they would act for thy good and be of great help to thee. Appointed to offices connected with profit and other important matters they always bring about great prosperity. Moved by a feeling of healthy rivalry, they discharge all duties connected with profit, holding consultations with one another when necessary. Thou shouldst fear thy kinsmen as thou shouldst death itself. A kinsman can never bear a kinsman’s prosperity even as a feudatory chief cannot bear to see the prosperity of his overlord. None but a kinsman can feel joy at the destruction of a kinsman adorned with sincerity, mildness, liberality, modesty, and truthfulness of speech. They, again, that have no kinsmen, cannot be happy. No men can be more contemptible than they that are destitute of kinsmen. A person that has no kinsmen is easily overridden by foes. Kinsmen constitute the refuge of one that is afflicted by other men, for kinsmen can never bear to see a kinsman afflicted by other people. When a kinsman is persecuted by even his friends, every kinsman of the persecuted regards the injury to be inflicted upon himself. In kinsmen, therefore, there are both merits and faults. A person destitute of kinsmen never shows favours to any one nor humbles himself to any one. In kinsmen, therefore both merit and demerit may be marked. One should, for this reason, always honour and worship his kinsmen in words and acts, and do them agreeable offices without injuring them at any time. Mistrusting them at heart, one should behave towards them as if he trusted them completely. Reflecting upon their nature, it seems that they have neither faults nor merits. A person who heedfully conducts himself in this way finds his very foes disarmed of hostility and converted into friends. One who always conducts himself in this way amid kinsmen and relatives and bears himself thus towards friends and foes, succeeds in winning everlasting fame.’”

Section LXXXI

“Yudhishthira said, ‘If one does not succeed in winning over one’s kinsmen and relatives (by this course), they that are intended for becoming friends become foes. How should one, then, conduct one’s self so that the hearts of both friends and foes may be won?’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the old history of a discourse between Vasudeva and the celestial sage Narada. On a certain occasion Vasudeva said, ‘Neither an illiterate and foolish friend, nor a learned friend of fickle soul, deserves, O Narada, to know one’s secret counsels. Relying on thy friendship for me, I shall say something to thee, O sage! O thou that canst go to heaven at thy pleasure, one should speak to another if one be convinced of the intelligence of that other. I never behave with slavish obsequiousness towards my kinsmen by flattering speeches about their prosperity. I give them half of what I have, and forgive their evil speeches. As a fire-stick is grinded by a person desirous of obtaining fire, even so my heart is ground by my kinsmen with their cruel speeches. Indeed, O celestial Rishi, those cruel speeches burn my heart every day. Might resides in Sankarshana; mildness in Gada; and as regards Pradyumna, he surpasses even myself in beauty of person. (Although I have all these on my side) yet I am helpless, O Narada! Many others among the Andhakas and the Vrishnis are possessed of great prosperity and might, and during courage and constant perseverance. He on whose side they do not range themselves meets with destruction. He, on the other hand, on whose side they do range themselves, achieves everything. Dissuaded (in turns) by both (viz., Ahuka and Akrura,) I do not side either of them. What can be more painful for a person than to have both Ahuka and Akrura on his side? What, again, can be more painful for one than not to have both of them on his side? I am like the mother of two brothers gambling against each other, invoking victory to both. I am thus, O Narada, afflicted by both. It behoveth thee to tell me that which is for the good of both myself and my kinsmen.’

“Narada said, ‘Calamities, O Krishna, are of two kinds, viz., external and internal. They arise, O thou of Vrishni’s race, from one’s own acts or from the acts of others. The calamity that has now overtaken thee is an internal one and is born of thy own acts. Valadeva and others of the Bhoja race are partisans of Akrura, and have taken up his side either for the sake of wealth, or mere caprice, or moved by words or by hate. As regards thyself, thou hast given away wealth obtained by thee to another. Though possessed of men who should be your friends, thou hast, however, by thy own act, brought calamity over thy head. Thou canst not take back that wealth, even as one cannot swallow again the food that he has vomited himself. The kingdom cannot be taken back from Babhu and Ugrasena (unto whom it has been given). Thyself, O Krishna, cannot, in particular, take it back (from them) from fear of producing intestine dissensions. Supposing the endeavour succeeds, it will do so after much trouble and after the accomplishment of the most difficult feats. A great slaughter and a great loss of wealth will ensue, perhaps, even total destruction. Use then a weapon that is not made of steel, that is very mild and yet capable of piercing all hearts. Sharpening and resharpening that weapon correct the tongues of thy kinsmen.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘What is that weapon, O sage, which is not made of steel, which is mild, which still pierces all hearts, and which I must use for correcting the tongues of my kinsmen?’

“Narada said, ‘The giving of food to the best of thy power, forgiveness,

sincerity, mildness, and honour to whom honour is due, these constitute a weapon that is not made of steel. With soft words alone turn away the anger of kinsmen about the utter cruel speeches, and mollify their hearts and minds and slanderous tongues. None who is not a great man with cleansed soul and possessed of accomplishments and friends can bear a heavy burthen. Take up this great weight (of governing the Vrishnis) and bear it on thy shoulders. All oxen can bear heavy burthens on a level road. The stronger ones only among them can bear such burthens on a difficult road. From disunion destruction will spring and overtake all the Bhojas and the Vrishnis. Thou, O Kesava, art the foremost one among them. Do thou act in such a manner that the Bhojas and the Vrishnis may not meet with destruction. Nothing but intelligence and forgiveness, restraint of the senses, and liberality are present in a person of wisdom. Advancing one’s own race is always praiseworthy and glorious and conducive to long life. Do thou, O Krishna, act in such a way that destruction may not overtake thy kinsmen. There is nothing unknown to thee in respect of policy and the art of war, O Lord! The Yadavas, the Kukuras, the Bhojas, the Andhakas, and the Vrishnis, are all dependent on thee even as all the worlds and all the regents of those worlds, O mighty-armed one! The Rishis, O Madhava, always pray for thy advancement. Thou art the lord of all creatures. Thou knowest the past, the present, and the future. Thou art the foremost one among all the Yadavas. Relying on thee, they expect to live in happiness.’”

Section LXXXII

“Bhishma said, ‘This that I have told thee constitutes the first means. Listen now, O Bharata to the second means. That man who seeks to advance the interests of the king should always be protected by the king. If a person, O Yudhishthira, that is paid or unpaid, comes to thee for telling thee of the damage done to thy treasury when its resources are being embezzled by a minister, thou shouldst grant him an audience in private and protect him also from the (impeached) minister. The ministers guilty of peculation seek, O Bharata, to slay such informants. They who plunder the royal treasury combine together for opposing the person who seeks to protect it, and if the latter be left unprotected, he is sure to be ruined. In this connection also an old story is cited of what the sage Kalakavrikshiya had said unto the king of Kosala. It hath been heard by us that once on a time the sage Kalakavrikshiya came to Kshemadarsin who had ascended the throne of the kingdom of Kosala. Desirous of examining the conduct of all the officers of Kshemadarsin, the sage, with a crow kept within a cage in his hand, repeatedly travelled through every part of that king’s dominions. And he spoke unto all the men and said, ‘Study, ye the corvine science. The crows tell me the present, the past, and the future.’ Proclaiming this in the kingdom, the sage, accompanied by a large number of men, began to observe the misdeeds of all the officers of the king. Having ascertained all the affairs in respect of that kingdom, and having learnt that all the officers appointed by the king were guilty of malversation, the sage, with his crow, came to see the king. Of rigid vows, he said unto the king, ‘I know everything (about thy kingdom).’ Arrived at the presence of the king, he said unto his minister adorned with the insignia of his office that he had been informed by his crow that the minister had done such a misdeed in such a place, and that such and such persons know that he had plundered the royal treasury. ‘My crow tells me this. Admit or prove the falsehood of the accusation quickly.’ The sage then proclaimed the names of other officers who had similarly been guilty of embezzlement, adding, ‘My crow never says anything that is false.’ Thus accused and injured by the sage, all the officers of the king, O thou of Kuru’s race, (united together and) pierced his crow, while the sage slept, at night. Beholding his crow pierced with a shaft within the cage, the regenerate Rishi, repairing to Kshemadarsin in the morning said unto him, ‘O king, I seek thy protection. Thou art all-powerful and thou art the master of the lives and wealth of all. If I receive thy command I can then say what is for thy good. Grieved on account of thee whom I regard as a friend have come to thee, impelled by my devotion and ready to serve thee with my whole heart. Thou art being robbed of thy wealth, I have come to thee for disclosing it without showing any consideration for the robbers. Like a driver that urges a good steed, I have come hither for awakening thee whom I regard as a friend. A friend who is alive to his own interests and desirous of his own prosperity and aggrandisement, should forgive a friend that intrudes himself forcibly, impelled by devotion and wrath, for doing what is beneficial.’ The king replied unto him, saying, ‘Why should I not bear anything thou wilt say, since I am not blind to what is for my good? I grant thee permission, O regenerate one! Tell me what thou pleasest, I shall certainly obey the instructions thou wilt give me, O Brahman,’

“The sage said, ‘Ascertaining the merits and faults of thy servants, as also the: dangers thou incurrest at their hands, I have come to thee, impelled by my devotion, for representing everything to thee. The teachers (of mankind) have of old declared what the curses are, O king, of those that serve others. The lot of those that serve the king is very painful and wretched. He who has any connection with kings is to have connection with snakes of virulent poison. Kings have many friends as also many enemies. They that serve kings have to fear all of them. Every moment, again, they have fear from the king himself, O monarch. A person serving the king cannot (with impunity) be guilty of heedlessness in doing the king’s work. Indeed, a servant who desires to win prosperity should never display heedlessness in the discharge of his duties. His heedlessness may move the king to wrath, and such wrath may bring down destruction (on the servant). Carefully learning how to behave himself, one should sit in the presence of the king as he should in the presence of a blazing fire. Prepared to lay down life itself at every moment, one should serve the king attentively, for the king is all-powerful and master of the lives and the wealth of all, and therefore, like unto a snake of virulent poison. He should always fear to indulge in evil speeches before the king, or to sit cheerlessly or in irreverent postures, or to wait in attitudes of disrespect or to walk disdainfully or display insolent gestures and disrespectful motions of the limbs. If the king becomes gratified, he can shower prosperity like god. If he becomes enraged, he can consume to the very roots like a blazing fire. This, O king, was said by Yama. Its truth is seen in the affairs of the world. I shall now (acting according to these precepts) do that which would enhance thy prosperity. Friends like ourselves can give unto friends like thee the aid of their intelligence in seasons of peril. This crow of mine, O king, has been slain for doing thy business. I cannot, however, blame thee for this. Thou art not loved by those (that have slain this bird). Ascertain who are thy friends and who thy foes. Do everything thyself without surrendering thy intelligence to others. They who are on thy establishment are all peculators. They do not desire the good of thy subjects. I have incurred their hostility. Conspiring with those servants that have constant access to thee they covet the kingdom after thee by compassing thy destruction. Their plans, however, do not succeed in consequence of unforeseen circumstances. Through fear of those men, O king, I shall leave this kingdom for some other asylum. I have no worldly desire, yet those persons of deceitful intentions have shot this shaft at my crow, and have, O lord, despatched the bird to Yama’s abode. I have seen this, O king, with eyes whose vision has been improved by penances. With the assistance of this single crow I have crossed this kingdom of thine that is like a river abounding with alligators and sharks and crocodiles and whales. Indeed, with the assistance of that bird, I have passed through thy dominions like unto a Himalayan valley, impenetrable and inaccessible in consequence of trunks of (fallen) trees and scattered rocks and thorny shrubs and lions and tigers and other beasts of prey. The learned say that a region inaccessible in consequence of gloom can be passed through with the aid of a light, and a river that is unfordable can be crossed by means of a boat. No means, however, exist for penetrating or passing through the labyrinth of kingly affairs. Thy kingdom is like an inaccessible forest enveloped with gloom. Thou (that art the lord of it) canst not trust it. How then can I? Good and evil are regarded here in the same light. Residence here cannot, therefore, be safe. Here a person of righteous deeds meets with death, while one of unrighteous deeds incurs no danger. According to the requirements of justice, a person of unrighteous deeds should be slain but never one who is righteous in his acts. It is not proper, therefore, for one to stay in this kingdom long. A man of sense should leave this country soon. There is a river, O king, of the name of Sita. Boats sink in it. This thy kingdom is like that river. An all-destructive net seems to have been cast around it. Thou art like the fall that awaits collectors of honey, or like attractive food containing poison. Thy nature now resembles that of dishonest men and not that of the good. Thou art like a pit, O king, abounding with snakes of virulent poison. Thou resemblest, O king, a river full of sweet water but exceedingly difficult of access, With steep banks overgrown with Kariras and thorny canes. Thou art like a swan in the midst of dogs, vultures and jackals. Grassy parasites, deriving their sustenance from a mighty tree, swell into luxuriant growth, and at last covering the tree itself overshadow it completely. A forest conflagration sets in, and catching those grassy plants first, consumes the lordly tree with them. Thy ministers, O king, resemble those grassy parasites of which I speak. Do thou check and correct them. They have been nourished by thee. But conspiring against thee, they are destroying thy prosperity. Concealing (from thee) the faults of thy servants, I am living in thy abode in constant dread of danger, even like a person living in a room with a snake within it or like the lover of a hero’s wife. My object is to ascertain the behaviour of the king who is my fellow-lodger. I wish to know whether the king has his passions under control, whether his servants are obedient to him, whether he is loved by them, and whether he loves his subjects. For the object of ascertaining all these points, O best of kings, I have come to thee. Like food to a hungry person, thou hast become dear to me. I dislike thy ministers, however, as a person whose thirst has been slaked dislikes drink. They have found fault with me because I seek thy good. I have no doubt that there is no other cause for that hostility of theirs to me. I do not cherish any hostile intentions towards them. I am engaged in only marking their faults. As one should fear a wounded snake, every one should fear a foe of wicked heart!’

“The king said, ‘Reside in my palace, O Brahmana! I shall always treat thee with respect and honour, and always worship thee. They that will dislike thee shall not dwell with me. Do thou thyself do what should be done next unto those persons (of whom thou hast spoken). Do thou see, O holy one, that the rod of chastisement is wielded properly and that everything is done well in my kingdom. Reflecting upon everything, do thou guide me in such a way that I may obtain prosperity.’

“The sage said, ‘Shutting thy eyes in the first instance to this offence of theirs (viz., the slaughter of the crow), do thou weaken them one by one. Prove their faults then and strike them one after another. When many persons become guilty of the same offence, they can, by acting together, soften the very points of thorns. Lest thy ministers (being suspected, act against thee and) disclose thy secret counsels, I advise thee to proceed with such caution. As regards ourselves, we are Brahmanas, naturally compassionate and unwilling to give pain to any one. We desire thy good as also the good of others, even as we wish the good of ourselves. I speak of myself, O king! I am thy friend. I am known as the sage Kalakavrikshiya. I always adhere to truth. Thy sire regarded me lovingly as his friend. When distress overtook this kingdom during the region of thy sire, O king, I performed many penances (for driving it off), abandoning every other business. From my affection for thee I say this unto thee so that thou mayst not again commit the fault (of reposing confidence on undeserving persons). Thou hast obtained a kingdom without

trouble. Reflect upon everything connected with its weal and woe. Thou hast ministers in thy kingdom. But why, O king, shouldst thou be guilty of heedlessness?’ After this, the king of Kosala took a minister from the Kshatriya order, and appointed that bull among Brahmanas (viz., the sage Kalakavrikshiya) as his Purohita. After these changes had been effected, the king of Kosala subjugated the whole earth and acquired great fame. The sage Kalakavrikshiya worshipped the gods in many grand sacrifices performed for the king. Having listened to his beneficial counsels, the king of Kosala conquered the whole earth and conducted himself in every respect as the sage directed.’”


“Yudhishthira said, ‘What should be the characteristics, O grandsire, of the legislators, the ministers of war, the courtiers, the generalissimos, and the counsellors of a king!’

“Bhishma said, ‘Such persons as are possessed of modesty, self-restraint, truth, sincerity, and courage to say what is proper, should be thy legislators. They that are always by thy side, that are possessed of great courage, that are of the regenerate caste, possessed of great learning, well pleased with thee, and endued with perseverance in all acts, should, O son of Kunti, be desired by thee for becoming thy ministers of war at all seasons of distress, O Bharata! One who is of high descent, who, treated with honour by thee, always exerts his powers to the utmost on thy behalf, and who will never abandon thee in weal or woe, illness or death, should be entertained by thee as a courtier. They that are of high birth, that are born in thy kingdom, that have wisdom, beauty of form and features, great learning, and dignity of behaviour, and that are, besides, devoted to thee, should be employed as officers of thy army. Persons of tow descent and covetous dispositions, who are cruet and shameless would court thee, O sire, as long as their hands would remain wet. They that are of good birth and good behaviour, that can read all signs and gestures, that are destitute of cruelty, that know what the requirements are of place and time, that always seek the good of their master in all acts, should be appointed as ministers by the king in all his affairs. They that have been won over with gifts of wealth, honours, regardful receptions, and means of procuring felicity, and who on that account may be regarded by thee as persons inclined to benefit thee in all thy affairs, should always be made sharers of thy happiness. They that are unchangeable in conduct, possessed of learning and good behaviour, observant of excellent vows, large-hearted, and truthful in speech, will always be attentive to thy affairs and will never abandon thee, They, on the other

hand, that are disrespectable, that are not observant of restraints, that are of wicked souls, and that have fallen away from good practices, should always be compelled by thee to observe all wholesome restraints. When the question is which of two sides should be adopted, thou shouldst not abandon the many for adopting the side of one. When, however, that one person transcends the many in consequence of the possession of many accomplishments, then thou shouldst, for that one, abandon the many. These are regarded as marks of superiority, viz., prowess, devotion to pursuits that bring fame, and observance of wholesome restraints. He, again, that honours all persons possessed of ability, that never indulges in feelings of rivalry with persons possessed of no merit, that never abandons righteousness from lust or fear or wrath or covetousness, that is adorned with humility, that is truthful in speech and forgiving in temper, that has his soul under control, that has a sense of dignity, and that has been tried in every situation, should be employed by thee as thy counsellor. High descent, purity of blood, forgiveness, cleverness, and purity of soul, bravery, gratefulness, and truth, are, O son of Pritha marks of superiority and goodness. A wise man who conducts himself in this way, succeeds in disarming his very foes of their hostility and converting them into friend. A king that has his soul under restraint, that is possessed of wisdom, and that is desirous of prosperity, should carefully examine the merits and demerits of his ministers. A king desirous of prosperity and of shining in the midst of his contemporaries, should have for ministers persons connected with his trusted friends, possessed of high birth born in his own kingdom, incapable of being corrupted, unstained by adultery and similar vices, well tested, belonging to good families, possessed of learning, sprung from sires and grandsires that held similar offices, and adorned with humility. The king should employ five such persons to look after his affairs as are possessed of intelligence unstained by pride, a disposition that is good, energy, patience, forgiveness, purity, loyalty, firmness, and courage, whose merits and faults have been well tested, who are of mature years, who are capable of bearing burthens, and who are free from deceit. Men that are wise in speech, that are possessed of heroism, that are full of resources under difficulties, that are of high birth, that are truthful, that can read signs, that are free from cruelty, that are conversant with the requirements of place and time, and that desire the good of their masters, should be employed by the king as his ministers in all affairs of the kingdom. One who is bereft of energy and who has been abandoned by friends can never work with perseverance. Such a man, if employed, fails in almost every business. A minister possessed of little learning, even if blessed with high birth and attentive to virtue, profit, and pleasure, becomes incompetent in choosing proper courses of action. Similarly, a person of low descent, even if possessed of great learning, always errs, like a blind man without a guide, in all acts requiring dexterity and foresight. A person, again, who is of infirm purposes, even if possessed of intelligence and learning, and even if conversant with means,

cannot long act with success. A man of wicked heart and possessed of no learning may set his hand to work but he fails to ascertain what the results will be of his work. A king should never repose trust on a minister that is not devoted to him. He should, therefore, never disclose his counsels to a minister that is not devoted to him. Such a wicked minister, combining with the other ministers of the king, may ruin his master, like a fire consuming a tree by entering its entrails through the holes in its body with the aid of the wind. Giving way to wrath, a master may one day pull down a servant from his office or reprove him, from rage, in harsh words, and restore him to power again. None but a servant devoted to the master can bear and forgive such treatment. Ministers also become sometime highly offended with their royal masters. That one, however, amongst them, who subdues his wrath from desire of doing good to his master,–that person who is a sharer with the king of his weal and woe,–should be consulted by the king in all his affairs. A person who is of crooked heart, even if he be devoted to his master and possessed of wisdom and adorned with. numerous virtues, should never be consulted by the king. One who is allied with foes and who does not regard the interests of the king’s subjects, should be known as an enemy. The king should never consult with him. One who is possessed of no learning, who is not pure, who is stained with pride, who pays court to the king’s enemies, who indulges in brag, who is unfriendly, wrathful, and covetous should not be consulted by the king. One who is a stranger, even if he be devoted to the king and possessed of great learning, may be honoured by the king and gratified with assignment of the means of sustenance, but the king should never consult him in his affairs. A person whose sire was unjustly banished by royal edict should not be consulted by the king even if the king may have subsequently bestowed honours upon him and assigned to him the means of sustenance. A well-wisher whose property was once confiscated for a slight transgression, even if he be possessed of every accomplishment should not still be consulted by the king. A person possessed of wisdom, intelligence, and learning, who is born within the kingdom, who is pure and righteous in all his acts, deserves to be consulted by the king. One who is endued with knowledge and wisdom, who is acquainted with the dispositions of his friends and foes, who is such a friend of the king as to be his second self, deserves to be consulted. One who is truthful in speech and modest and mild and who is a hereditary servant of the king, deserves to be consulted. One who is contented and honoured, who is truthful and dignified, who hates wickedness and wicked men, who is conversant with policy and the requirements of time, and who is courageous, deserves to be consulted by the king. One who is competent to win over all men by conciliation should be consulted, O monarch, by the king that is desirous of ruling according to the dictates of the science of chastisement. One upon whom the inhabitants of both the capital and the provinces repose confidence for his righteous conduct, who is competent to fight and conversant with the rules of policy, deserves to be consulted by the king. Therefore, men possessed of such qualities, men conversant with the dispositions of all and desirous of achieving high acts, should be honoured by the king and made his ministers. Their number also should not be less than three. Ministers should be employed in observing the laches of their masters, of themselves, of the subjects, and of the foes of their master. The kingdom has its root in the counsels of policy that flow from ministers, and its growth proceeds from the same source. Ministers should act in such a way that the enemies of their master may not be able to detect his laches. On the other hand, when their laches become visible, they should then be assailed. Like the tortoise protecting its limbs by withdrawing them within its shell, ministers should protect their own counsels. They should, even thus, conceal their own laches. Those ministers of a kingdom that succeed in concealing their counsels are said to be possessed of wisdom. Counsels constitute the armour of a king, and the limbs of his subjects and officers. A kingdom is said to have its roots in spies and secret agents, and its strength is said to lie in counsels of policy. If masters and ministers follow each other for deriving support from each other, subduing pride and wrath, and vanity and envy, they may then both become happy. A king should also consult with such ministers as are free from the five kinds of deceit. Ascertaining well, in the first instance, the different opinions of the three amongst them whom he has consulted, the king should, for subsequent deliberation, repair to his preceptor for informing him of those opinions and his own. His preceptor should be a Brahmana well versed in all matters of virtue, profit, and pleasure. Repairing, for such subsequent deliberation, to him, the king should, with collected mind, ask his opinion. When a decision is arrived at after deliberation with him, the king should then, without attachment, carry it out into practice. They that are conversant with the conclusions of the science of consultation say that kings should always hold consultation in this way. Having settled counsels in this way, they should then be reduced to practice, for then they will be able to win over all the subjects. There should be no dwarfs, no humpbacked persons, no one of an emaciated constitution, no one who is lame or blind, no one who is an idiot, no woman, and no eunuch, at the spot where the king holds his consultations. Nothing should move there before or behind, above or below, or in transverse directions. Getting up on a boat, or repairing to an open space destitute of grass or grassy bushes and whence the surrounding land may be clearly seen, the king should hold consultations at the proper time, avoiding faults of speech and gestures.’”

Section LXXXIV

“‘Bhishma said, ‘In this connection, O Yudhishthira, the old account of a conversation between Vrihaspati and Sakra is cited.’ “Sakra said, ‘What is that one act, O regenerate one, by accomplishing which with care, a person may become the object of regard with all creatures and acquire great celebrity?’

“Vrihaspati said, ‘Agreeableness of speech, O Sakra, is the one thing by practising which a person may become an object of regard with all creatures and acquire great celebrity. This is the one thing, O Sakra, which gives happiness to all. By practising it, one may always obtain the love of all creatures. The person who does not speak a word and whose face is always furrowed with frowns, becomes an object of hatred with all creatures. Abstention from agreeable speeches makes him so. That person who, upon beholding others, addresses them first and does so with smiles succeeds in making everyone gratified with him. Even gifts, if not made with agreeable speeches, do not delight the recipients, like rice without curry. If even the possessions of men, O Sakra, be taken away with sweet speeches, such sweetness of behaviour succeeds in reconciling the robbed. A king, therefore, that is desirous of even inflicting chastisement should utter sweet words. Sweetness of speech never fails of its purpose, while, at the same time it never pains any heart. A person of good acts and good, agreeable, and sweet speeches, has no equal.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Thus addressed by his priest, Sakra began to act according to those instructions. Do thou also, O son of Kunti, practise this virtue.”’

Section LXXXV

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O foremost of kings, what is that method by which a king ruling his subjects may, in consequence of it, obtain great blessedness and eternal fame?’

“Bhishma said, ‘A king of cleansed soul and attentive to the duty of protecting his subjects earns merit and fame, both here and hereafter, by conducting himself righteously.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘With whom should the king behave in what way? Asked by me, O thou of great wisdom, it behoveth thee to tell me everything duly. Those virtues of which thou hast already spoken with respect to a person, cannot, it is my belief, be found to exist in any single individual.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Thou art endued with great intelligence, O Yudhishthira! It is even so as thou sayest. The person is very rare who is possessed of all those good qualities. To be brief, conduct like this (viz., the presence of all the virtues spoken of), is very difficult to be met with even upon careful search. I shall, however, tell thee what kinds of ministers should be appointed by thee. Four Brahmanas, learned in the Vedas, possessed of a sense of dignity, belonging to the Snataka order, and of pure behaviour, and eight Kshatriyas, all of whom should be possessed of physical strength and capable of wielding weapons, and one and twenty Vaisyas, all of whom should be possessed of wealth, and three Sudras, everyone of whom should be humble and of pure conduct and devoted to his daily duties, and one man of the Suta caste, possessed of a knowledge of the Puranas and the eight cardinal virtues, should be thy ministers. Every one of them should be fifty years of age, possessed of a sense of dignity, free from envy, conversant with the Srutis and the Smritis, humble, impartial, competent to readily decide in the midst of disputants urging different courses of action, free from covetousness, and from the seven dreadful vices called Vyasanas. The king should consult with those eight ministers and hold the lead among them. He should then publish in his kingdom, for the information of his subjects, the results of such deliberation. Thou shouldst always, adopting such a conduct, watch over thy people. Thou shouldst never confiscate what is deposited with thee or appropriate as thine the thing about whose ownership two persons may dispute. Conduct such as this would spoil the administration of justice. If the administration of justice be thus injured, sin will afflict thee, and afflict thy kingdom as well, and inspire thy people with fear as little birds at the sight of the hawk. Thy kingdom will then melt away like a boat wrecked on the sea. If a king governs his subjects with unrighteousness, fear takes possession of his heart and the door of heaven is closed against him. A kingdom, O bull among men, has its root in righteousness. That minister, or king’s son, who acts unrighteously, occupying the seat of justice, and those officers who having accepted the charge of affairs, act unjustly, moved by self-interest, all sink in hell along with the king himself. Those helpless men who are oppressed by the powerful and who indulge on that account in piteous and copious lamentations, have their protector in the king. In cases of dispute between two parties the decision should be based upon the evidence of witnesses. If one of the disputants has no witnesses and is helpless, the king should give the case his best consideration. The king should cause chastisement to be meted out to offenders according to the measure of their offences. They that are wealthy should be punished with fines and confiscations; they that are poor, with loss of liberty. Those that are of very wicked conduct should be chastised by the king with even corporal inflictions. The king should cherish all good men with agreeable speeches and gifts of wealth. He who seeks to compass the death of the king should be punished with death to be effected by diverse means. The same should be the punishment of one who becomes guilty of arson or theft or such co-habitation with women as may lead to a confusion of castes. A king, O monarch, who inflicts punishments duly and conformably to the dictates of the science of chastisement, incurs no sin by the act. On the other hand, he earns merit that is eternal. That foolish king who inflicts punishments capriciously, earns infamy here and sinks into hell hereafter. One should not be punished for the fault of another, Reflecting well upon the (criminal) code, a person should be convicted or acquitted. A king should never slay an envoy under any circumstances. That king who slays art envoy sinks into hell with all his ministers. That king observant of Kshatriya practices who slays an envoy that faithfully utters the message with which he is charged, causes the manes of his deceased ancestors to be stained with the sin of killing a foetus. An envoy should possess these seven accomplishments, viz., he should be high-born, of a good family, eloquent, clever, sweet-speeched, faithful in delivering the message with which he is charged, and endued with a good memory. The aid-de-camp of the king that protects his person should be endued with similar qualities. The officer also that guards his capital or citadel should possess the same accomplishments. The king’s minister should be conversant with the conclusions of the scriptures and competent in directing wars and making treaties. He should, further, be intelligent, possessed of courage, modest, and capable of keeping secrets. He should also be of high birth endued with strength of mind, and pure in conduct. If possessed of these qualities, he should be regarded worthy. The commander of the king’s forces should be possessed of similar accomplishments. He should also be conversant with the different kinds of battle array and with the uses of engines and weapons. He should be able to bear exposure to rain, cold, heat, and wind, and watchful of the laches of foes. The king, O monarch, should be able to lull his foes into a sense of security. He should not, however, himself trust anyone. The reposing of confidence on even his own son is not to be approved of. I have now, O sinless one, declared to thee what the conclusions of the scriptures are. Refusal to trust anyone has been said to be one of the highest mysteries of king-craft.’”

Section LXXXVI

“Yudhishthira said, ‘What should be the kind of city within which the king should himself dwell? Should he select one already made or should he cause one to be especially constructed? Tell me this O grandsire!’

“Bhishma said, ‘It is proper, O Bharata, to enquire about the conduct that should be followed and the defences that should be adopted with respect to the city in which, O son of Kunti, a king should reside. I shall, therefore, discourse to thee on the subject, referring especially to the defences of citadels. Having listened to me, thou shouldst make the arrangements required and conduct thyself attentively as directed. Keeping his eye on the six different kinds of citadels, the king should build his cities containing every kind of affluence and every other article of use in abundance. Those six varieties are water-citadels, earth-citadels, hill-citadels, human-citadels, mud-citadels, and forest-citadels. The king, with his ministers and the army thoroughly loyal to him, should reside in that city which is defended by a citadel which contains an abundant stock of rice and weapons,–which is protected with impenetrable walls and a trench, which teems with elephants and steeds and

cars, which is inhabited by men possessed of learning and versed in the mechanical arts, where provisions of every kind have been well stored, whose population is virtuous in conduct and clever in business and consists of strong and energetic men and animals, which is adorned with many open squares and rows of shops, where the behaviour of all persons is righteous, where peace prevails, where no danger exists, which blazes with beauty and resounds with music and songs, where the houses are all spacious, were the residents number among them many brave and wealthy individuals, which echoes with the chant of Vedic hymns, where festivities and rejoicings frequently take place, and where the deities are always worshipped. Residing there, the king should be employed in filling his treasury, increasing his forces, enhancing the number of his friends, and establishing courts of justice. He should cheek all abuses and evils in both his cities and his provinces. He should be employed in collecting provisions of every kind and in filling his arsenals with care. He should also increase his stores of rice and other grain, and strengthen his counsels (with wisdom). He should further, enhance his stores of fuel, iron, chaff, charcoal, timber, horns, bones, bamboos, marrow, oils and ghee, fat, honey, medicines, flax, resinous exudations, rice, weapons, shafts, leather catgut (for bow-strings), caries, and strings and cords made of munja grass and other plants and creepers. He should also increase the number of tanks and well, containing large quantities of water, and should protect all juicy trees. He should entertain with honour and attention preceptors (of different sciences), Ritwijas, and priests, mighty bowmen, persons skilled in architecture, astronomers and astrologers, and physicians, as also all men possessed of wisdom and intelligence and self-restraint and cleverness and courage and learning and high birth and energy of mind, and capable of close application to all kinds of work. The king should honour the righteous and chastise the unrighteous. He should, acting with resolution, set the several orders to their respective duties. Ascertaining properly, by means of spies, the outward behaviour and the state of mind of the inhabitants of his city and provinces, he should adopt those measures that may be required. The king should himself supervise his spies and counsels, his treasury, and the agencies for inflicting chastisements. Upon these everything may be said to depend. With spies constituting his sight, the king should ascertain all the acts and intentions of his foes, friends, and neutrals. He should then, with heedfulness, devise his own measures, honouring those that are loyal to him and punishing those that are hostile. The king should always adore the gods in sacrifices and make gifts without giving pain to anybody. He should protect his subjects, never doing anything that may obstruct or thwart righteousness. He should always maintain and protect the helpless, the masterless, and the old, and women that are widows. The king should always honour the ascetics and make unto them gifts, at proper seasons of cloths and vessels and food. The king should, with attentive care, inform the

ascetics (within his dominions) of the state of his own self, of all his measures, and of the kingdom, and should always behave with humility in their presence. When he sees ascetics of high birth and great learning that have abandoned all earthly objects, he should honour them with gifts of beds and seats and food. Whatever the nature of the distress into which he may fall, he should confide in an ascetic. The very robbers repose confidence upon persons of that character. The king should place his wealth in charge of an ascetic and should take wisdom from him. He should not, however, always wait upon them or worship them on all occasions. From among those residing in his own kingdom, he should select one for friendship. Similarly, he should select another from among those that reside in the kingdom of his foe. He should select a third from among those residing in the forests, and a fourth from among those dwelling in the kingdoms paying tribute to him. He should show hospitality towards and bestow honours upon them and assign them the means of sustenance. He should behave towards the ascetics dwelling in the kingdoms of foes and in the forests in the same way as towards those that reside in his own kingdom. Engaged in penances and of rigid vows they would, if calamity overtakes the king and if he solicits protection, grant him what he wants. I have now told thee in brief the indications of the city in which the king should reside.’”


“Yudhishthira said, ‘How, O king, may a kingdom be consolidated, and how should it be protected? I desire to know this. Tell me all this, O bull of Bharata’s race!’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen to me with concentrated attention. I shall tell thee how a kingdom may be consolidated, and how also it may be protected. A headman should be selected for each village. Over ten villages (or ten headmen) there should be cone superintendent. Over two such superintendents there should be one officer (having the control, therefore, of twenty villages). Above the latter should be appointed persons under each of whom should be a century of villages; and above the last kind of officers, should be appointed men each of whom should have a thousand villages under his control. The headman should ascertain the characteristics of every person in the village and all the faults also that need correction. He should report everything to the officer (who is above him and is) in charge of ten villages. The latter, again, should report the same to the officer (who is above him and is) in charge of twenty villages. The latter, in his turn, should report the conduct of all the persons within his dominion to the officer (who is above him and is) in charge of a hundred villages. The village headman should have control over all the produce and the possessions of the village. Every headman should contribute his share for maintaining the lord of ten villages, and the latter should do the same for supporting the lord of twenty villages. The lord of a hundred villages should receive every honour from the king and should have for his support a large village, O chief of the Bharatas, populous and teeming with wealth. Such a village, so assigned to a lord of hundred villages, should be, however, within the control of the lord of a thousand villages. That high officer, again, viz., the lord of a thousand villages, should have a minor town for his support. He should enjoy the grain and gold and other possessions derivable from it. He should perform all the duties of its wars and other internal affairs pertaining to it. Some virtuous minister, with wrathfulness should exercise supervision over the administration affairs and mutual relations of those officers. In every town, again, there should be an officer for attending to every matter relating to his jurisdiction. Like some planet of dreadful form moving above all the asterisms below, the officer (with plenary powers) mentioned last should move and act above all the officers subordinate to him. Such an officer should ascertain the conduct of those under him through his spies. Such high officers should protect the people from all persons of murderous disposition, all men of wicked deeds, all who rob other people of their wealth, and all who are full of deceit, and all of whom are regarded to be possessed by the devil. Taking note of the sales and the purchases, the state of the roads, the food and dress, and the stocks and profits of those that are engaged in trade, the king should levy taxes on them. Ascertaining on all occasions the extent of the manufactures, the receipts and expenses of those that are engaged in them, and the state of the arts, the king should levy taxes upon the artisans in respect of the arts they follow. The king, O Yudhishthira, may take high taxes, but he should never levy such taxes as would emasculate his people. No tax should be levied without ascertaining the outturn and the amount of labour that has been necessary to produce it. Nobody would work or seek for outturns without sufficient cause. The king should, after reflection, levy taxes in such a way that he and the person who labours to produce the article taxed may both share the value. The king should not, by his thirst, destroy his own foundations as also those of others. He should always avoid those acts in consequence of which he may become an object of hatred to his people. Indeed, by acting in this way he may succeed in winning popularity. The subjects hate that king who earns a notoriety for voraciousness of appetite (in the matter of taxes and imposts). Whence can a king who becomes an object of hatred have prosperity? Such a king can never acquire what is for his good. A king who is possessed of sound intelligence should milk his kingdom after the analogy of (men acting in the matter of) calves. If the calf be permitted to suck, it grows

strong, O Bharata, and bears heavy burthens. If, on the other hand, O Yudhishthira, the cow be milked too much, the calf becomes lean and fails to do much service to the owner. Similarly, if the kingdom be drained much, the subjects fail to achieve any act that is great. That king who protects his kingdom himself and shows favour to his subjects (in the matter of taxes and imposts) and supports himself upon what is easily obtained, succeeds in earning many grand results. Does not the king then obtain wealth sufficient for enabling him to cope with his wants? The entire kingdom, in that case, becomes to him his treasury, while that which is his treasury becomes his bed chamber. If the inhabitants of the cities and the provinces be poor, the king should, whether they depend upon him immediately or mediately, show them compassion to the best of his power. Chastising all robbers that infest the outskirts, the king should protect the people of his villages and make them happy. The subjects, in the case, becoming sharers of the king’s weal and woe, feel exceedingly gratified with him. Thinking, in the first instance, of collecting wealth, the king should repair to the chief centres of his kingdom one after another and endeavour to inspire his people with fright. He should say unto them, ‘Here, calamity threatens us. A great danger has arisen in consequence of the acts of the foe. There is every reason, however, to hope that the danger will pass away, for the enemy, like a bamboo that has flowered, will very soon meet with destruction. Many foes of mine, having risen up and combined with a large number of robbers, desire to put our kingdom into difficulties, for meeting with destruction themselves. In view of this great calamity fraught with dreadful danger, I solicit your wealth for devising the means of your protection. When the danger passes away, I will give you what I now take. Our foes, however, will not give back what they (if unopposed) will take from you by force. On the other hand (if unopposed), they will even slay all your relatives beginning with your very spouses. You certainly desire wealth for the sake of your children and wives. I am glad at your prosperity, and I beseech you as I would my own children. I shall take from you what it may be within your power to give me. I do not wish to give pain to any one. In seasons of calamity, you should, like strong bulls, bear such burthens. In seasons of distress, wealth should not be so dear to you. A king conversant with the considerations relating to Time should, with such agreeable, sweet, and complimentary words, send his agents and collect imposts from his people. Pointing out to them the necessity of repairing his fortifications and of defraying the expenses of his establishment and other heads, inspiring them with the fear of foreign invasion, and impressing them with the necessity that exists for protecting them and enabling them to ensure the means of living in peace, the king should levy imposts upon the Vaisyas of his realm. If the king disregards the Vaisyas, they become lost to him, and abandoning his dominions remove themselves to the woods. The king should, therefore, behave with leniency towards them. The king, O son of Pritha, should always conciliate

and protect the Vaisyas, adopt measures for inspiring them with a sense of security and for ensuring them in the enjoyment of what they possess, and always do what is agreeable to them. The king, O Bharata, should always act in such a way towards the Vaisyas that their productive powers may be enhanced. The Vaisyas increase the strength of a kingdom, improve its agriculture, and develop its trade. A wise king, therefore, should always gratify them. Acting with heedfulness and leniency, he should levy mild imposts upon them. It is always easy to behave with goodness towards the Vaisyas. There is nothing productive of greater good to a kingdom, O Yudhishthira, then the adoption of such behaviour towards the Vaisyas of the realm.’”


“Yudhishthira said: ‘Tell me, O grandsire, how should the king should behave if, notwithstanding his great wealth, he desires for more.’

“Bhishma said, ‘A king, desirous of earning religious merit, should devote himself to the good of his subjects and protect them according to considerations of place and time and to the best of his intelligence and power. He should, in his dominions, adopt all such measures as would in his estimation secure their good as also his own. A king should milk his kingdom like a bee gathering honey from plants. He should act like the keeper of a cow who draws milk from her without boring her udders and without starving the calf. The king should (in the matter of taxes) act like the leech drawing blood mildly. He should conduct himself towards his subjects like a tigress in the matter of carrying her cubs, touching them with her teeth but never piercing them therewith. He should behave like a mouse which though possessed of sharp and pointed teeth still cuts the feet of sleeping animals in such a manner that they do not at all become conscious of it. A little by little should be taken from a growing subject and by this means should he be shorn. The demand should then be increased gradually till what is taken assumes a fair proportion. The king should enhance the burthens of his subjects gradually like a person gradually increasing the burthens of a young bullock. Acting with care and mildness, he should at last put the reins on them. If the reins are thus put, they would not become intractable. Indeed, adequate measures should be employed for making them obedient. Mere entreaties to reduce them to subjection would not do. It is impossible to behave equally towards all men. Conciliating those that are foremost, the common people should be reduced to obedience. Producing disunion (through the agency of their leaders) among the common people who are to bear the burthens, the king should himself come forward to conciliate them and then enjoy in happiness what he will succeed in drawing from them. The king should never impose taxes unseasonably and on persons

unable to bear them. He should impose them gradually and with conciliation, in proper season and according to due forms. These contrivances that I declare unto thee are legitimate means of king-craft. They are not reckoned as methods fraught with deceit. One who seeks to govern steeds by improper methods only makes them furious. Drinking-shops, public women, pimps, actors, gamblers and keepers of gaining houses, and other persons of this kind, who are sources of disorder to the state, should all be checked. Residing within the realm, these afflict and injure the better classes of the subjects. Nobody should ask anything of anyone when there is no distress. Manu himself in days of old has laid down this injunction in respect of all men. If all men were to live by asking or begging and abstain from work, the world would doubtless come to an end. The king alone is competent to restrain and check. That king who does not restrain his subjects (from sin) earns a fourth part of the sins committed by his people (in consequence of the absence of royal protection). This is the declaration of the Srutis. Since the king shares the sins of his subjects like their merits, he should, therefore, O monarch, restrain those subjects of his that are sinful. The king that neglects to restrain them becomes himself sinful. He earns (as already said) a fourth part of their sins as he does a fourth part of their merits. The following faults of which I speak should be checked. They are such as impoverish everyone. What wicked act is there that a person governed by passion would not do? A person governed by passion indulges in stimulants and meat, and appropriates the wives and the wealth of other people, and sets a bad example (for imitation by others). They that do not live upon alms may beg in seasons of distress. The king should, observant of righteousness, make gifts unto them from compassion but not from fear. Let there be no beggars in thy kingdom, nor robbers. It is the robbers (and not virtuous men) that give unto beggars. Such givers are not real benefactors of men. Let such men reside in thy dominions as advance the interests of others and do them good, but not such as exterminate others. Those officers, O king, that take from the subjects more than what is due should be punished. Thou shouldst then appoint others so that these will take only what is due. Agriculture, rearing of cattle, trade and other acts of a similar nature, should be caused to be carried on by many persons on the principle of division of labour. If a person engaged in agriculture, cattle-rearing, or trade, becomes inspired with a sense of insecurity (in consequence of thieves and tyrannical officers), the king, as a consequence, incurs infamy. The king should always honour those subjects of his that are rich and should say unto them, ‘Do ye, with me, advance the interest of the people.’ In every kingdom, they that are wealthy constitute an estate in the realm. Without

doubt, a wealthy person is the foremost of men. He that is wise, or courageous, or wealthy or influential, or righteous, or engaged in penances, or truthful in speech, or gifted with intelligence, assists in protecting (his fellow subjects).

For these reasons, O monarch, do thou love all creatures, and display the qualities of truth, sincerity, absence of wrath, and abstention from injury! Thou shouldst thus wield the rod of chastisement, and enhance thy treasury and support thy friends and consolidate thy kingdom thus, practising the qualities of truthfulness and sincerity and supported by thy friends, treasury and forces!’”

Section LXXXIX

“Bhishma said, ‘Let not such trees as yield edible fruits be cut down in thy dominions. Fruits and roots constitute the property of the Brahmanas. The sages have declared this to be an ordinance of religion. The surplus, after supporting the Brahmanas, should go to the support of other people. Nobody should take anything by doing an injury to the Brahmanas. If a Brahmana, afflicted for want of support, desires to abandon a kingdom for obtaining livelihood (elsewhere), the king, O monarch, should, with affection and respect, assign unto him the means of sustenance. If he does not still abstain (from leaving the kingdom), the king should repair to an assembly of Brahmanas and say, ‘Such a Brahmana is leaving the kingdom. In whom shall my people then find an authority for guiding them?’ If after this, he does not give up his intention of leaving, and says anything, the king should say unto him, ‘Forget the past.’ This, O son of Kunti, is the eternal way of royal duty. The king should further say unto him, ‘Indeed, O Brahmana, people say that that only should be assigned to a Brahmana which would be just sufficient for maintaining him. I, however, do not accept that opinion. On the other hand, I think that if a Brahmana seeks to leave a kingdom for the king’s neglect in providing him with means of support, such means should be assigned to him, and, further, if he intends to take that step for procuring the means of luxury, he should still be requested to stay and supplied with ever

those means. Agriculture, cattle-rearing, and trade, provide all men with the means of living. A knowledge of the Vedas, however, provide them with the means of obtaining heaven. They, therefore, that obstruct the study of the Vedas and the cause of Vedic practices, are to be regarded as enemies of society. It is for the extermination of these that Brahman created Kshatriyas. Subdue thy foes, protect thy subjects, worship the deities in sacrifices, and fight battles with courage, O delighter of the Kurus! A king should protect those that deserve protection. The king who does this is the best of rulers. Those kings that do not exercise the duty of protection live a vain life. For the benefit of all his subjects the king should always seek to ascertain the acts and thoughts of all, O Yudhishthira; and for that reason fie should set spies and secret agents. Protecting others from thy own, and thy own from others, as also others from others, and thy own from thy own, do thou always cherish thy people. Protecting his own self first from every one, the king should protect the earth. Men of knowledge have said that everything has its root in self. The king should always reflect upon these, viz., What are his laches, to what evil habits he is addicted, what are the sources of his weakness, and what are the sources of his faults. The king should cause secret and trusted agents to wander through the kingdom for ascertaining whether his conduct as displayed on the previous day has or has not met with the approbation of the people. Indeed, he should ascertain whether his conduct is or is not generally praised, or, is or is not acceptable to the people of the provinces, and whether he has or has not succeeded in earning a good name in his kingdom. Amongst those that are virtuous and possessed of wisdom, those that never retreat from battle, and those that do not reside in thy kingdom, those that are dependent on thee, and those that are thy ministers, as well as those that are independent of party, they that praise or blame thee should never be objects of disregard with thee, O Yudhishthira! No man, O sire, can succeed in earning the good opinion of all persons in the world. All persons have friends, foes, and neutrals, O Bharata!’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Among persons all of whom are equal in might of arms and accomplishments, whence does one acquire superiority over all the rest, and whence does that one succeed in ruling over them?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Creatures that are mobile devour things that are immobile; animals again that have teeth devour those that have no teeth; wrathful snakes of virulent poison devour smaller ones of their own species. (Upon this principle), among human beings also, the king, who is strong, preys upon those that are weak. The king, O Yudhishthira, should always be heedful of his subjects as also of his foes. If he becomes heedless, they fall upon him like

vultures (on carrion). Take care, O king, that the traders in thy kingdom who purchase articles at prices high and low (for sale), and who in course of their journeys have to sleep or take rest in forest and inaccessible regions, be not afflicted by the imposition of heavy taxes. Let not the agriculturists in thy kingdom leave it through oppression; they, who bear the burthens of the king, support the other residents also of the kingdom. The gifts made by thee in this world support the gods, Pitris, men, Nagas, Rakshasas, birds, and animals. These, O Bharata, are the means of governing a kingdom and protecting its rulers. I shall again discourse to thee on the subject, O son of Pandu!’”

Section XC

“Bhishma said, ‘That foremost of all persons conversant with the Vedas, viz., Utathya of Angirasa’s race, discoursed cheerfully (on former occasion) unto Yuvanaswa’s son Mandhatri. I shall now, O Yudhishthira, recite to thee everything that Utathya, that foremost of all persons conversant with the Vedas, had said unto that king.’

“Utathya said, ‘One becomes a king for acting in the interests of righteousness and not for conducting himself capriciously. Know this, O Mandhatri; the king is, indeed, the protector of the world. If the king acts righteously, he attains to the position of a god. On the other hand, if fie acts unrighteously, he sinks into hell. All creatures rest upon righteousness. Righteousness, in its turn, rests upon the king. That king, therefore, who upholds righteousness, is truly a king. That king who is endued with a righteous soul and with every kind of grace is said to be an embodiment of virtue. If a king fails to chastise unrighteousness, the gods desert his mansion and he incurs obloquy among men. The efforts of men who are observant of their own duties are always crowned with success. For this reason all men seek to obey the dictates of righteousness which are productive of prosperity. When sinfulness is not restrained, righteous behaviour comes to an end and unrighteous behaviour increases greatly. When sinfulness is not restrained, no one can, according to the rights of property as laid down in the scriptures, say, ‘This thing is mine and this is not mine.’ When sinfulness prevails in the world, men cannot own and enjoy their own wives and animals and fields and houses. The deities receive no worship, the Pitris no offerings in Sraddhas, and guests no hospitality, when sinfulness is not restrained. The regenerate classes do not study the Vedas, or observe high vows, or spread out sacrifices, when sinfulness is not restrained.

The minds of men, O king, become weak and confounded like those of persons wounded with weapons, when sinfulness is not restrained. Casting their eyes on both the worlds, the Rishis made the king, that superior being, intending that he should be the embodiment of righteousness on earth. He is called Rajan in whom righteousness shines. That king, again in whom there is no righteousness, is called a Vrishala. The divine Dharma (righteousness) has another name, viz., Vrisha. He who weakens Vrisha is called by the name of Vrishala. A king should, therefore, advance the cause of righteousness. All creatures grow in the growth of righteousness, and decay with its decay. Righteousness, therefore, should never be permitted to decay. Righteousness is called Dharma because it aids the acquisition and preservation of wealth (Dhana). The sages, O king, have declared that Dharma restrains and set bounds to all evil acts of men. The self-born (Brahman) created Dharma for the advancement and growth of creatures. For this reason, a king should act according to the dictates of Dharma for benefiting his subjects. For this reason also, O tiger among kings, Dharma has been said to be the foremost of all things. That foremost of men who rules his subjects righteously is called a king. Disregarding lust and wrath, observe thou the dictates of righteousness. Among all things, O chief of Bharata’s race, that conduce to the prosperity of kings, righteousness is the foremost. Dharma, again, has sprung from the Brahmana. For this reason, the Brahmana should always be worshipped. Thou shouldst, O Mandhatri, gratify with humility the wishes of Brahmanas. By neglecting to gratify the wishes of Brahmanas, the king brings danger on himself. In consequence of such neglect, he fails to obtain any accession of friends while his foes increase in number. In consequence of malice towards the Brahmanas springing from his folly, the goddess of prosperity who had formerly dwelt with him became enraged and deserted the Asura Vali, the son of Virochana. Deserting the Asura she repaired to Indra, the chief of the deities. Beholding the goddess living with Purandara, Vali indulged in many vain regrets. This, O puissant one, is the results of malice and pride. Be thou awakened, O Mandhatri, so that the goddess of prosperity may not in wrath desert thee. The Srutis declare that Unrighteousness begat a son named Pride upon the goddess of prosperity. This Pride, O king, led many among the gods and the Asuras to ruin. Many royal sages also have suffered destruction on his account. Do thou, therefore, awaken, O king! He who succeeds in conquering him becomes a king. He, on the other hand, who suffers himself to be conquered by him, becomes a slave. If, O Mandhatri, thou wishest for an eternal life (of felicity), live as a king should that does not indulge in these two, viz., Pride and Unrighteousness! Abstain from companionship with him that is intoxicated (with pride), him that is heedless (of the dictates of

honesty), him that is scoffer of religion, him that is insensate, and forbear to pay court to all of them when united. Keep thy self aloof from the company of ministers whom thou hast once punished and especially of women, as also from mountains and uneven lands and inaccessible fastnesses and elephants and horses and (noxious) reptiles. Thou shouldst also give up wandering in the night, and avoid the faults of stinginess and vanity and boastfulness and wrath. Thou shouldst never have intercourse with unknown women, or those of equivocal sex, or those that are lewd, or those that are the wives of other men, or those that are virgins. When the king does not restrain vice, a confusion of castes follows, and sinful Rakshasas, and persons of neutral sex, and children destitute of limbs or possessed of thick tongues, and idiots, begin to take birth in even respectable families. Therefore, the king should take particular care to act righteously, for the benefit of his subjects. If a king acts heedlessly, a great evil becomes the consequence. Unrighteousness increases causing a confusion of castes. Cold sets in during the summer months, and disappears when its proper season comes. Drought and flood and pestilence afflict the people. Ominous stars arise and awful comets appear on such occasions. Diverse other portents, indicating destruction of the kingdom, make their appearance. If the king does not take measures for his own safety and does not protect his subjects, the latter first meet with destruction and then destruction seizes the king himself. Two persons combining together snatch the wealth of one, and many acting in concert rob the two. Maidens are deflowered. Such a state of things is said to arise from the king’s faults. All rights of property come to an end among men, when the king, abandoning righteousness, acts heedlessly.’”

Section XCI

“Utathya said, ‘If the deity of the clouds pours rain seasonably and the king acts virtuously, the prosperity that ensues maintain the subjects in felicity. That washerman who does not know how to wash away the filth of cloth without taking away its dye, is very unskilful in his profession. That person among Brahmanas or Kshatriyas or Vaisyas who, having fallen away from the proper duties of his order, has become a Sudra, is truly to be compared to such a washerman. Menial service attaches to the Sudra; agriculture to the Vaisya; the science of chastisement to the Kshatriya, and Brahmacharya, penances, mantras, and truth, attach, to the Brahmana. That Kshatriya who knows how to correct the faults of behaviour of the other orders and to wash them clean like a washerman is really their father and deserve to be their king. The respective ages called Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali, O bull of Bharata’s race, are all dependent on the conduct of the king. It is the king who constitutes the age. The four orders, the Vedas and the duties in respect of the four modes of life, all become confused and weakened when the king becomes heedless. The three kinds of Fire, the three Vedas, and sacrifices with Dakshina, all become lost when the king becomes heedless. The king is the creator of all creatures, and the king is their destroyer. That king who is of righteous soul is regarded as the creator, while he that is sinful is regarded as the destroyer. The king’s wives, sons, kinsmen, and friends, all become unhappy and grieve when the king becomes heedless. Elephants and steeds and kine and camels and mules and asses and other animals all lose their vigour when the king becomes unrighteous. It is said, O Mandhatri, that the Creator created Power (represented by the king) for the object of protecting Weakness. Weakness is, indeed, a great being, for everything depends upon it. All creatures worship the king. All creatures are the children of the king. If, therefore, O monarch, the king becomes unrighteous, all creatures come to grief. The eyes of the weak, of the Muni, and of the snake of virulent poison, should be regarded as unbearable. Do not, therefore, come into (hostile) contact with the weak. Thou shouldst regard the weak as always subject to humiliation. Take care that the eyes of the weak do not burn thee with thy kinsmen. In a race scorched by the eyes of the weak, no children take birth. Such eyes burn the race to its very roots. Do not, therefore, come into (hostile) contact with the weak. Weakness is more powerful than even the greatest Power, for that Power which is scorched by Weakness becomes totally exterminated. If a person, who has been humiliated or struck, fails, while shrieking for assistance, to obtain a protector, divine chastisement overtakes the king and brings about his destruction. Do not, O sire, while in enjoyment of Power, take wealth from those that are Weak. Take care that that the eyes of the Weak do not burn thee like a blazing fire. The tears shed by weeping men afflicted with falsehood slay the children and animals of those that have uttered those falsehoods. Like a cow a sinful act perpetrated does not produce immediate fruits. If the fruit is not seen in the perpetrator himself, it is seen in his son or in his son’s son, or daughter’s son. When a weak person fails to find a rescuer, the great rod of divine chastisement falls (upon the king). When all subjects of a king (are obliged by distress to) live like Brahmanas, by mendicancy, such mendicancy brings destruction upon the king. When all the officers of the king posted in the provinces unite together and act with injustice, the king is then said to bring about a state of unmixed evil upon his kingdom. When the officers of the king extort wealth, by unjust means or acting from lust or avarice, from persons piteously soliciting mercy, a great

destruction then is sure to overtake the king. A mighty tree, first starting into life, grows into large proportions. Numerous creatures then come and seek its shelter. When, however, it is cut down or consumed in a conflagration, those that, had recourse to it for shelter all become homeless. When the residents of a kingdom perform acts of righteousness and all religious rites, and applaud the good qualities of the king, the latter reaps an accession of affluence. When, on the other hand, the residents, moved by ignorance, abandon righteousness and act unrighteously, the king becomes overtaken by misery. When sinful men whose acts are known are allowed to move among the righteous (without being punished for their misdeeds), Kali then overtakes the rulers of those realms. When the king causes chastisement to overtake all wicked people, his kingdom thrives in prosperity. The kingdom of that king certainly thrives who pays proper honours to his ministers and employs them in measures of policy and in battles. Such a ruler enjoys the wide earth for ever. That king who duly honours all good acts and good speeches succeeds in earning great merit. The enjoyment of good things after sharing them with others, paying proper honours to the ministers, and subjugation or persons intoxicated with strength, are said to constitute the great duty of a king. Protecting all men by words, body, and deeds, and never forgiving his son himself (if he has offended), constitute the great duty of the king. The maintenance of those that are weak by sharing with them the things he has, and thereby increasing their strength constitute the duty of the king. Protection of the kingdom, extermination of robbers, and conquering in battle, constitute the duty of the king. Never to forgive a person however dear, if he has committed an offence by act or word, constitutes the duty of the king. Protecting those that solicit shelter, as he would protect his own children, and never depriving one of the honours to which he is entitled constitute the duty of the king. Adoring the deities, with a devoted heart, in sacrifices completed by presents, and subduing lust and envy, constitute the duty of the king. Wiping the tears of the distressed, the helpless, and the old, and inspiring them with joy, constitute the duty of the king. Aggrandising friends, weakening foes, and honouring the good, constitute the duty of the king. Cheerfully observing the obligations of truth, always making gifts of land, entertaining guests, and supporting dependents, constitute the duty of the king. That king who favours those that deserve favours and chastises those that deserve chastisement earns great merit both here and hereafter. The king is Yama himself. He is, O Mandhatri, the god (incarnate) unto all that are righteous. By subduing his senses he succeeds in acquiring great affluence. By not subduing them he incurs sin.

Paying proper honours unto Ritwijas and priests and preceptors, and doing good offices unto them constitute the duty of the king. Yama governs all creatures without observing distinctions. The king should imitate him in his behaviour by restraining all his subjects duly. The king is said to resemble the Thousand-eyed (Indra) in every respect. That, O bull among men, should be regarded as righteousness which is regarded as such by him. Thou shouldst, without being heedless, cultivate forgiveness, intelligence, patience, and the, love of all creatures. Thou shouldst also ascertain the strength and weakness of all men and learn to distinguish between right and wrong. Thou shouldst conduct thyself with propriety towards all creatures, make gifts, and utter agreeable and sweet words. Thou shouldst maintain the residents of thy city and the provinces in happiness. A king who is not clever, never succeeds in protecting his subjects. Sovereignty, O sire, is a very happy burthen to bear. Only that king who is possessed of wisdom and courage, and who is conversant with the science of chastisement, can protect a kingdom. He, on the other hand, who is without energy and intelligence, and who is not versed in the great science, is incompetent to bear the burthen of sovereignty. Aided by ministers of handsome features and good birth, clever in business, devoted to their master, and possessed of great learning, thou shouldst examine the hearts and acts of all men including the very ascetics in the forests. Conducting thyself thus, thou wilt be able to learn the duties of all orders of men. That will aid thee in observing thy own duties, whether when thou art in thy country or when thou repairest to other realms. Amongst these three objects, viz., Virtue, Profit, and Pleasure, Virtue is the foremost. He that is of virtuous soul obtains great happiness both here and hereafter. If men be treated with honour, they can abandon (for the sake of the honour thou mayst give them) their very wives and sons. By attaching good men to himself (by doing good offices unto them), by gifts, sweet words, heedfulness and purity of behaviour, a king may win great prosperity. Do not, therefore, O Mandhatri, be heedless to these qualities and acts. The king should never be heedless in looking after his own laches, as also after those of his foes. He should act in such a way that his foes may not be able to detect his laches, and he should himself assail them when theirs are visible. This is the way in which Vasava, and Yama, and Varuna, and all the great royal sages have acted. Do thou observe the same conduct. Do thou, O great king, adopt this behaviour which was followed by those royal sages. Do thou soon, O bull of Bharata’s race, adept this heavenly road. The gods, the Rishis, the Pitris, and the Gandharvas, possessed of great energy, sing the praises, both here and hereafter, of that king whose conduct is righteous.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Thus addressed by Utathya, O Bharata, Mandhatri, unhesitatingly did as he was directed, and became the sole lord of the wide earth. Do thou also, O king, act righteously like Mandhatri. Thou wilt then, after ruling the earth, obtain an abode in heaven.’”

Section XCII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How should a righteous king, who is desirous of adhering to a course of righteousness, behave? I ask thee this, O foremost of men! Answer me, O Grandsire!’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the old story of what Vamadeva gifted with great intelligence and acquainted with the true import of everything sang in ancient time. Once upon a time, king Vasumanas, possessed of knowledge and fortitude and purity of behaviour, asked the great Rishi Vamadeva of high ascetic merit, saying, ‘Instruct me, O holy one, in words fraught with righteousness and of grave impart, as to the conduct to be observed by me so that I may not fall away from the duties prescribed for me.’ Unto him of a golden complexion and seated at his ease like Yayati, son of Nahusha, that foremost of ascetics, viz., Vamadeva, of great energy, said as follows:

“Vamadeva said, ‘Do thou act righteously. There is nothing superior to righteousness. Those kings that are observant of righteousness, succeed in conquering the whole earth. That king who regards righteousness to be the most efficacious means for accomplishing his objects, and who acts according to the counsels of those that are righteous, blazes forth with righteousness. That king who disregards righteousness and desires to act with brute force, soon falls away from righteousness and loses both Righteousness and Profit. That king who acts according to the counsels of a vicious and sinful minister becomes a destroyer of righteousness and deserves to be slain by his subjects with all his family. Indeed, he very soon meets with destruction. That king who is incompetent to discharge the duties of state-craft, who is governed by caprice in all his acts, and who indulges in brag, soon meets with destruction even if he happens to be ruler of the whole earth. That king, on the other hand, who is desirous of prosperity, who is free from malice, who has his senses under control, and who is gifted with intelligence, thrives in affluence like the ocean swelling with the waters discharged into it by a hundred streams. He should never consider himself to have a sufficiency of virtue, enjoyments, wealth, intelligence, and friends. Upon these depends the conduct of the world. By listening to these counsels, a king obtains fame’, achievements, prosperity, and subjects. Devoted to virtue, that king who seeks the acquisition of virtue and wealth by such means, and who begins all his measures after reflecting upon their objects, succeeds in obtaining great prosperity. That king who is illiberal, and without affection, who afflicts his subjects by undue chastisements, and who is rash in his acts, soon meets with destruction. That king who is not gifted with intelligence fails to see his own faults. Covered with infamy here, he sinks into hell hereafter. If the king gives proper honour to them that deserve it, makes gifts, and recognises the value of sweet speeches by himself uttering them on all occasions, his subjects then dispel the calamities that overtake him, as if these had fallen upon themselves. That king who has no instructor in the ways of righteousness and who never asks others for counsels, and who seeks to acquire wealth by means that caprice suggests, never succeeds in enjoying happiness long. That king, on the other hand, who listens to the instructions of his preceptors in matters connected with virtue, who supervises the affairs of his kingdom himself, and who in all his acquisitions is guided by considerations of virtue, succeed in enjoying happiness for a long time.’”

Section XCIII

“Vamadeva continued, ‘When the king, who is powerful, acts unrighteously towards the weak, they who take their birth in his race imitate the same conduct. Others, again, imitate that wretch who sets sin agoing. Such imitation of the man ungoverned by restraints soon brings destruction upon the kingdom. The conduct of a king who is observant of his proper duties, is accepted by men in general as a model for imitation. The conduct, however, of a king who falls away from his duties, is not tolerated by his very kinsfolk. That rash king who, disregarding the injunctions laid down in the scriptures, acts with highhandedness in his kingdom, very soon meets with destruction. That Kshatriya who does not follow the conduct observed from days of old by other Kshatriyas. conquered or unconquered, is said to fall away from Kshatriya duties. Having seized in battle a royal foe that did some good to the conqueror on a former occasion, that king who does not, actuated by malice, pay him honours, is said to fall away from Kshatriya duties. The king should display his power, live cheerfully, and do what is necessary in seasons of danger. Such a ruler becomes the beloved of all creatures and never falls away from prosperity. If thou doest disservice to any person, thou shouldst, when the turn comes, do him service. One who is not loved becomes an object of love, if he does what is agreeable. Untruthful speeches should be avoided. Thou shouldst do good to others without being solicited. Thou shouldst never abandon righteousness from lust or wrath or malice. Do not give harsh answers when questioned by anybody. Do not utter undignified speeches. Never be in a hurry to do anything. Never indulge in malice. By such means is a foe won over. Do not give way to exclusive joy when anything agreeable occurs, nor suffer thyself to be overwhelmed with sorrow when anything disagreeable occurs. Never indulge in grief when thy pecuniary resources are exhausted, and always remember the duty of doing good to thy subjects. That king who always does what is agreeable by virtue of his disposition achieves success in all his measures and is never shorn of prosperity. The king should always, with heedfulness, cherish that devoted servant who abstains from doing what is injurious to his master and who always does what is for his good. He should appoint in all great affairs persons that have subjugated their senses, that are devotedly loyal and of pure behaviour, and that are possessed of ability. That person, who by the possession of such qualifications pleases the king and who is never heedless in taking care of the interests of his master should be appointed by the king in the affairs of his kingdom. On the other hand, the king becomes divested of prosperity by appointing to important offices men that are fools and slaves of their senses, that are covetous and of disrespectable conduct, that are deceitful and hypocritical, that are malicious, wicked-souled, and ignorant, that are low-minded, and addicted to drink, gambling, women, and hunting. That king, who, first protecting his own self, protects others that deserve protection, feels the satisfaction of finding his subjects growing in prosperity. Such a king succeeds also in obtaining greatness. A king should, by secret agents that are devoted to him, watch the conduct and acts of other kings. By such means can he obtain superiority. Having injured a powerful king, one should not comfort himself with the thought that he (the injurer) lives at a great distance from the injured. Such a king when injured falls upon the injurer like the hawk swooping down upon its prey, in moments of heedlessness. A king whose power has been consolidated and who is confident of his own strength, should assail a neighbour who is weaker than himself but never one that is stronger. A king who is devoted to virtue, having acquired the sovereignty of the earth by prowess, should protect his subjects righteously and slaughter foes in battle. Everything belonging to this world is destined to destruction. Nothing here is durable. For this reason, the king, adhering to righteousness, should protect his subjects righteously. The defence of forts, battle, administration of justice, consultations on questions of policy, and keeping the subjects in happiness, these five acts contribute to enlarge the dominions of a king. That king who takes proper care of these is regarded to be the best of kings. By always attending to these, a king succeeds in protecting his kingdom. It is impossible, however, for one man to supervise all these matters at all times. Making over such supervision to his ministers, a King may govern the earth for ever. The people make such a person their king who is liberal, who shares all objects of enjoyment with others, who is possessed of a mild disposition, who is of pure behaviour, and who will never abandon his subjects. He is obeyed in the world who, having listened to counsels of wisdom, accepts them, abandoning his own opinions. That king who does not tolerate the counsels of a well-wisher in consequence of their opposition to his own views, who listens with inattention to what is said unto him in opposition to his views, and who does not always follow the conduct of high and noble persons conquered or unconquered, is said to fall away from the duties of Kshatriyas. From ministers that have once been chastised, from women in especial, from mountains and inaccessible regions, from elephants and horses and reptiles, the king should always, with heedfulness, protect his own self. That king who, abandoning his chief ministers, makes favourites

of low persons, soon falls into distress, and never succeeds in compassing the (intended) ends of his measures. That king of infirm soul, who, yielding to the influence of wrath and malice, does not love and honour those amongst his kinsmen that are possessed of good qualities, is said to live on the very verge of destruction. That king, who attaches to himself accomplished persons by doing good to them even though he may not like them at heart, succeeds in enjoying fame for ever. Thou shouldst never impose taxes unseasonably. Thou shouldst not be grieved at the occurrence of anything disagreeable, nor rejoice exceedingly at anything agreeable. Thou shouldst always set thyself to the accomplishment of good acts. Who amongst the dependent kings is truly devoted to thee, and who is loyal to thee from fear, and who amongst them has faults, should always be ascertained by thee. The king, even if he be powerful, should trust them that are weak, for in moments of heedlessness the weak may assail the powerful like a flock of vultures seizing their prey. A man of sinful soul seeks to injure his master even if the latter be sweet-speeched and possessed of every accomplishment. Do not, therefore, place thy confidence upon such men. Nahusha’s son Yayati, in declaring the mysteries of king-craft, said that a person engaged in ruling men should slay even foes that are contemptible.’”

Section XCIV

“Vamadeva said, ‘The king should win victories without battles. Victories achieved by battles are not spoken of highly. O monarch, by the wise. When the sovereign’s own power has not been confirmed, he should not seek to make new acquisitions. It is not proper that a king whose power has not been consolidated should seek to make such acquisitions. The power of that king whose dominions are wide and abound with wealth, whose subjects are loyal and contented, and who has a large number of officers, is said to be confirmed. That king whose soldiery are contented, gratified (with pay and prize), and competent to deceive foes can with even a small force subjugate the whole earth. The power of that king whose subjects, whether belonging to the cities or the provinces, have compassion for all creatures, and possessed of wealth and grain, is said to be confirmed. When the king thinks that his power is greater than that of a foe, he should then, aided by his intelligence, seek to acquire the latter’s territories and wealth. A king whose resources are increasing, who is compassionate unto all creatures, who never loses any time by procrastination, and who is careful in protecting, his own self, succeeds in earning advancement. That king who behaves deceitfully towards his own people that have not been guilty of any fault, shears his own self like a person cutting down a forest with an axe. If the king does not always attend to the task of slaying his foes, the latter do not diminish. That king, again, who knows how to kill his own temper finds no enemies. If the king be possessed of wisdom, he would never do any act that is disapproved by good men. He would, on the other hand, always engage himself in such acts as would lead to his own benefit and that of others. That king who, having accomplished all his duties, becomes happy in the approbation of his own conscience, has never to incur the reproach of others and indulge in regrets. That king who observes such conduct towards men succeeds in subjugating both the worlds and enjoy the fruits of victory.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Thus addressed by Vamadeva, king Vasumana did as he was directed. Without doubt, thyself also, following these counsels, shalt succeed in conquering both the worlds.’”

Section XCV

“Yudhishthira said, ‘If a Kshatriya desires to subjugate another Kshatriya in battle, how should the former act in the matter of that victory? Questioned by me, do thou answer it.’

“Bhishma said, ‘The king, with or without an army at his back, entering the dominions of the king he would subjugate, should say unto all the people, ‘I am your king. I shall always protect you. Give me the just tribute or encounter me in battle.’ If the people accept him for their king, there need not be any fighting. If, without being Kshatriyas by birth, they show signs of hostility, they should then, observant as they are of practices not laid down for them, be sought to be restrained by every means. People of the other orders do take up arms (for resisting the invader) if they behold the Kshatriya unarmed for fight, incapable of protecting himself, and making too much of the enemy.’

“Yudhishthira said ‘Tell me, O grandsire, how that Kshatriya king should conduct himself in fight who advances against another Kshatriya king.’

“Bhishma said, ‘A Kshatriya must not put on armour for fighting a Kshatriya unclad in mail. One should fight one, and abandon the opponent when the latter becomes disabled. If the enemy comes clad in mail, his

opponent also should put on mail. If the enemy advances backed by an army, one should, backed by an army, challenge him to battle. If the enemy fights aided by deceit, he should be met with the aid of deceit. If, on the other hand, he fights fairly, he should be resisted with fair means. One should not on horseback proceed against a car-warrior. A car-warrior should proceed against a car-warrior. When an antagonist has fallen into distress, he should not be struck; nor should one that has been frightened, nor one that has been vanquished. Neither poisoned nor barbed arrows should be used. These are the weapons of the wicked. One should fight righteously, without yielding to wrath or desiring to slay. A weak or wounded man should not be slain, or one that is sonless; or one whose weapon has been broken; or one that has fallen into distress; or one whose bow-string has been cut; or one that has lost his vehicle. A wounded opponent should either be sent to his own home, or, if brought to the victor’s quarters, should have his wounds attended to by skilful surgeons. When in consequence of a quarrel between righteous kings, a righteous warrior falls into distress, (his wounds should be attended to and) when cured he should be set at liberty. This is the eternal duty. Manu himself, the son of the Self-born (Brahman), has said that battles should be fought fairly. The righteous should always act righteously towards those that are righteous. They should adhere to righteousness without destroying it. If a Kshatriya, whose duty it is to fight righteously, wins a victory by unrighteous means, he becomes sinful. Of deceitful conduct, such a person is said to slay his own self. Such is the practice of those that are wicked. Even he that is wicked should be subdued by fair means. It is better to lay down life itself in the observance of righteousness than to win victory by sinful means. Like a cow, O king, perpetrated sin does not immediately produce its fruits. That sin overwhelms the perpetrator after consuming his roots and branches. A sinful person, acquiring wealth by sinful means, rejoices greatly. But the sinner, gaining advancement by sinful ways, becomes wedded to sin. Thinking that virtue has no efficacy, he jeers at men of righteous behaviour. Disbelieving in virtue, he at last meets with destruction. Though enmeshed in the noose of Varuna, he still regards himself immortal. Like unto a large leathern bag puffed up with wind, the sinner dissociates himself entirely from virtue. Soon, however, he disappears like a tree on the riverside washed away with its very roots. Then people, beholding him resemble an earthen pot broken on a stony surface, speak of him as he deserves. The king should, therefore, seek both victory and the enhancement of his resources, by righteous means.’”

Section XCVI

“Bhishma said, ‘A king should never desire to subjugate the earth by unrighteous means, even if such subjugation would make him the sovereign of the whole earth. What king is there that would rejoice after obtaining victory by unfair means? A victory stained by unrighteousness is uncertain and never leads to heaven. Such a victory, O bull of Bharata’s race, weakens both the king and the earth. A warrior whose armour has fallen off, or who begs for quarter, saying, ‘I am thine’ or joining his hands, or who has laid aside his weapon, may simply be seized but never slain. If a hostile king be vanquished by the troops of the invader, the latter should not himself fight his vanquished foe. On the other hand, he should bring him to his palace and persuade him for a whole year to say, ‘I am thy slave!’ Whether he says or does not say this, the vanquished foe, by living for a year in the house of his victor, gains a new lease of life. If a king succeeds in bringing by force a maiden from the house of his vanquished foe, he should keep her for a year and ask her whether she would wed him or any one else. If she does not agree, she should then be sent back. He should behave similarly in respect of all other kinds of wealth (such as slave) that are acquired by force. The king should never appropriate the wealth confiscated from thieves and others awaiting execution. The kine taken front the enemy by force should be given away to the Brahmanas so that they may drink the milk of those animals. The bulls taken from the enemy should be set to agriculture work or returned to the enemy. It is laid down that a king should fight one that is a king. One that is not a king should never strike one that is a king. If a Brahmana, desirous of peace, fearlessly goes between two contending armies, both should immediately abstain from fight. He would break an eternal rule that would slay or wound a Brahmana. If any Kshatriya breaks that rule, he would become a wretch of his order. In addition to this, that Kshatriya who destroys righteousness and transgresses all wholesome barriers does not deserve to be reckoned as a Kshatriya and should be driven from society. A king desirous of obtaining victory should never follow such conduct. What gain can be greater than victory won righteously? The excitable classes (of a kingdom recently conquered) should, without delay, be conciliated with soothing speeches and gifts. This is a good policy for the king to adopt. If instead of doing this, these men be sought to be governed with impolicy, they would then leave the kingdom and side with (the victor’s) foes and wait for the accession of calamities (in order that they may then make head against the victor). Discontented men, watching for the calamities of the king, promptly side with the latter’s foes. O monarch, in times of danger. An enemy should not be deceived by unfair means, nor should be wounded mortally. For, if struck mortally,

his very life may pass away. If a king possessed of little resources be gratified therewith, he would regard life alone to be much. That king whose dominions are extensive and full of wealth, whose subjects are loyal, whose servants and officers are all contented, is said to have his roots firm. That king whose Ritwijas and priests and preceptors and others about him that are well-versed in all scriptures and deserving of honours are duly respected, is said to be conversant with the ways of the world. It was by such behaviour that Indra got the sovereignty of the world. It is by this behaviour that earthly kings succeed in obtaining the status of Indra. King Pratardana, subjugating his foes in a great battle, took all their wealth, including their very grain and medicinal herbs, but left their land untouched. King Divodasa, after subjugating his foes, brought away the very remnants of their sacrificial fires, their clarified butter (intended for libations), and their food. For this reason he was deprived of the merit of his conquests. King Nabhaga (after his conquests) gave away whole kingdoms with their rulers as sacrificial presents unto the Brahmanas, excepting the wealth of learned Brahmanas and ascetics. The behaviour, O Yudhishthira, of all the righteous kings of old, was excellent, and I approve of it wholly. That king who desires his own prosperity should seek for conquests by the aid of every kind of excellence but never with that of deceit or with pride.’”

Section XCVII

“Yudhishthira said. ‘There are no practices, O king, more sinful than those of the Kshatriyas. In marching or in battle, the king slays large multitudes. By what acts then does the king win regions of felicity? O bull of Bharata’s race, tell this, O learned one, unto me that desire to know.’

“Bhishma said, ‘By chastising the wicked, by attaching and cherishing the good, by sacrifices and gifts, kings become pure and cleansed. It is true, kings desirous of victory afflict many creatures, but after victory they advance and aggrandise all. By the power of gifts, sacrifices, and penances, they destroy

their sins, and their merit increases in order that they may be able to do good to all creatures. The reclaimer of a field, for reclaiming it, takes up both paddy-blades and weeds. His action, however, instead of destroying the blades or paddy, makes them grow more vigorously. They that wield weapons, destroy many that deserve destruction. Such extensive destruction, however, causes the growth and advancement of those that remain. He who protects people from plunder, slaughter, and affliction, in consequence of thus protecting their lives from robbers, comes to be regarded as the giver of wealth, of life, and of food. The king, therefore, by thus adoring the deities by means of a union of all sacrifices whose Dakshina is the dispelling of everybody’s fear, enjoys every kind of felicity here and attains to a residence in Indra’s heaven hereafter. That king who, going out, fights his foes in battles that have arisen for the sake of Brahmanas and lays down his life, comes to be regarded as the embodiment of a sacrifice with illimitable presents. If a king, with his quivers full of shafts, shoots them fearlessly at his foes, the very gods do not see anyone on earth that is superior to him. In such a case, equal to the number of shafts with which he pierces the bodies of his enemies, is the number of regions that he enjoys, eternal and capable of granting every wish. The blood that flows from his body cleanses him of All his sins along with the very pain that he feels on the occasion. Persons conversant with the scriptures say that the pains a Kshatriya suffers in battle operate as penances for enhancing his merit. Righteous persons, inspired with fear, stay in the rear, soliciting life from heroes that have rushed to battle, even as men solicit rain from the clouds. If those heroes, without permitting the beseechers to incur the dangers of battle, keep them in the rear by themselves facing those dangers and defend them at that time of fear, great becomes their merit. If, again, those timid p sons, appreciating that deed of bravery, always respect those defenders, they do what is proper and just. By acting otherwise they cannot free themselves from fear. There is great difference between men apparently equal. Some rush to battle, amid its terrible din, against armed ranks of foes. Indeed, the hero rushes against crowds of foes, adopting the road to heaven. He, however, who is inspired with dastardly fear, seeks safety in flight, deserting his comrades in danger. Let not such wretches among men be born in thy race. The very gods with Indra at their head send calamities unto them that desert their comrades in battle and come with unwounded limbs. He who desires to save his own life-breaths by deserting his comrades, should be slain with sticks or stones or rolled in a mat of dry grass for being burnt to death. Those amongst the Kshatriyas that would be guilty of such conduct should be killed after the manner of killing animals. Death on a bed of repose, after ejecting phlegm and urine and uttering piteous cries, is sinful for a Kshatriya. Persons acquainted with the scriptures do not applaud the death which a Kshatriya encounters with unwounded body. The death of a Kshatriya,

O sire, at home is not praiseworthy. They are heroes. Any unheroic act of theirs is sinful and inglorious. In disease, one may be heard to cry, saying, ‘What sorrow! How painful! I must be a great sinner.’ With face emaciated and stench issuing fro in his body and clothes, the sick man plunges his relatives into grief. Coveting the condition of those that are hale, such a man (amidst his tortures) repeatedly desires for death itself. One that is a hero, having dignity and pride, does not deserve such in inglorious death. Surrounded by kinsmen and slaughtering his foes in battle, a Kshatriya should die at the edge of keen weapons. Moved by desire of enjoyment and filled with rage, a hero fights furiously and does not feel the wounds inflicted on his limbs by foes. Encountering death in battle, he earns that high merit fraught with fame and respect of the world which belongs to his or her and ultimately obtains a residence in Indra’s heaven. The hero, by not showing his back in fight and contending by every means in his power, in utter recklessness of life itself, at the van of battle, obtains the companionship of Indra. Wherever the hero encountered death in the midst, of foes without displaying ignoble fear or cheerlessness, he has succeeded in earning regions hereafter of eternal bliss.’”

Section XCVIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grand-sire, what regions are earned by unreturning heroes by encountering death in battle.”

“Bhishma, said, ‘In this connection, O Yudhishthira, is cited the old story of the discourse between Amvarisha and Indra. Amvarisha, the son of Nabhaga, having repaired to heaven that is so difficult of acquisition, beheld his own generalissimo in those celestial regions in the company of Indra. The king saw his puissant general blazing with every kind of energy, endued with celestial form, seated on a very beautiful car, and journeying (in that vehicle) up and up towards still higher regions. Beholding the prosperity of his general Sudeva, and observing how he traversed regions that were still higher, the high-souled Amvarisha, filled with surprise, addressed Vasava, in the following words.’

“Amvarisha said, ‘Having duly governed the whole earth bounded by the seas, having from desire of earning religious merit practised all those duties that are common to the four orders as declared by the scriptures, having practised with rigid austerity all the duties of the Brahmacharya mode, having waited with dutiful obedience upon my preceptors and other reverend seniors, having studied with due observances the Vedas and the scriptures on kingly duties, having gratified guests with food and drink, the Pitris with offerings in Sraddhas, the Rishis with attentive study of the scriptures and with initiation (under proper forms into the mysteries of religion), and the gods with many excellent and high sacrifices, having duly observed Kshatriya duties according to the injunctions of the scriptures, having cast my eyes fearlessly upon hostile troops, I won many victories in battle, O Vasava! This Sudeva, O chief of the deities, was formerly the generalissimo of my forces. It is true. He was a warrior of tranquil soul. For what reason, however, has he succeeded in transcending me? He never worshipped the gods in high and great sacrifices. He never gratified the Brahmanas (by frequent and costly presents) according to the ordinance. For what reason, then, has he succeeded in transcending me?’

“Indra said, ‘Regarding this Sudeva, O sire, the great sacrifice of battle had often been spread out by him. The same becomes the case with every other man that engages in fight. Every warrior accoutred in armour, by advancing against foes in battle array, becomes installed in that sacrifice. Indeed, it is a settled conclusion that such a person, by acting in this way, comes to be regarded as the performer of the sacrifice of battle.’

“Amvarisha said, ‘What constitutes the libations in that sacrifice? What constitutes its liquid offerings? What is its Dakshina? Who, again, are regarded its Ritwijas? Tell me all this, O performer of a hundred sacrifices.’

“Indra said, ‘Elephants constitute the Ritwijas of that sacrifice, and steeds are its Audharyus. The flesh of foes constitutes ifs libations, and blood is its liquid offering. Jackals and vultures and ravens, as also winged shafts, constitute its Sadasyas. These drink the remnants left of the liquid offering in this sacrifice and eat the remnants of its libations. Heaps of lances and spears, of swords and darts and axes, blazing, sharp, and well-tempered, constitute the ladles of the sacrificer. Straight, sharp, and well-tempered arrows, with keen points and capable of piercing the bodies of foes, impelled from well-stretched bows, constitute its large double-mouthed ladles. Sheathed in scabbards made of tiger-skin and equipped with handles made of ivory, and capable of cutting off the elephant’s trunk, the swords form the Sphises of this sacrifice. The strokes inflicted with blazing and keen lances and darts and swords and axes, all made of hard iron, constitute its profuse wealth procured from the respectable people by agreement in respect of the amount and period. The blood that runs over the field in consequence of the fury of the attack, constitutes the final libation, fraught with great merit and capable of granting every wish, in the Homa of this sacrifice. Cut, Pierce, and such other sounds, that are heard in the front ranks of the array, constitute the Samans sung by its Vedic chanters in the abode of Yama. The front ranks of the enemy’s array constitute the vessel for the keep of its libations. The crowd of elephants and steeds and men equipped with shields are regarded to constitute the Syenachit fire of that sacrifice. The headless trunks that rise up after thousands have been slaughtered constitute the octagonal stake, made of Khadira wood, for the hero who performs that sacrifice. The shrieks that elephants utter when urged on with hooks, constitute its Ida mantras. The kettle-drums, with the slaps of palms forming the Vashats, O king, are its

Trisaman Udgatri. When the property or a Brahmana is being taken away, he who casts off his body that is so dear for protecting that property, does, by that act of self-devotion, acquire the merit or a sacrifice with infinite presents. That hero who, for the sake of his master, displays prowess at the van of the array and shows not his back through fear, earns those regions of felicity that are mine. He who strews the altar of the sacrifice constituted by battle, with swords cased in blue scabbards and severed arms resembling heavy bludgeons, succeeds in winning regions of felicity like mine. That warrior who, resolved upon obtaining victory, penetrates into the midst of the enemy’s ranks without waiting for any assistance, succeeds in winning regions of felicity like mine. That warrior who in battle, causes a river of blood to flow, terrible and difficult to cross, having kettle-drums for its frogs and tortoises, the bones of heroes for its sands, blood and flesh for its mire, swords and shields for its rafts, the hair of slain warriors for its floating weeds and moss, the crowds of steeds and elephants and cars for its bridges, standards and banners for its bushes of cane, the bodies or slain elephants for its boats and huge alligators, swords and scimitars for its larger vessels, vultures and Kankas and ravens for the rafts that float upon it, that warrior who causes such a river, difficult of being crossed by even those that are possessed of courage and power and which inspires all timid men with dread, is said to complete the sacrifice by performing the final ablutions. That hero whose altar (in such a sacrifice) is strewn over with the (severed) heads of foes, of steeds, and of elephants, obtains regions of felicity like mine. The sages have said that that warrior who regards the van of the hostile army as the chambers of his wives, who looks upon the van of his own army as the vessel for the keep of sacrificial offering, who takes the combatants standing to his south for his Sadasyas and those to his north as his Agnidhras, and who looks upon the hostile forces as his wedded wife, succeeds in winning all regions of felicity. The open space lying between two hosts drawn up for fight constitutes the altar of such a sacrificer, and the three Vedas are his three sacrificial fires. Upon that altar, aided by the recollection of the Vedas, he performs his sacrifice. The inglorious warrior who, turning away from the fight in fear, is slain by foes, sinks into hell. There is no doubt in this. That warrior, on the other hand, whose blood drenches the sacrificial altar already strewn with hair and flesh and bones, certainly succeeds in attaining a high end. That powerful warrior who, having slain the commander of the hostile army, mounts the vehicle of his fallen antagonist, comes to be regarded as possessed of the prowess of Vishnu himself and the intelligence of Vrihaspati, the preceptor of the celestials. That warrior who call seize alive the commander of the hostile army or his son or some other respected leader, succeeds in winning regions of felicity like mine. One should never grieve for a hero slain in battle. A slain hero, if nobody grieves for him, goes to heaven and earns the respect of its denizens. Men do not desire to dedicate (for his salvation) food and drink. Nor do they bathe (after receiving the intelligence),

nor go into mourning for him. Listen to me as I enumerate the felicity that is in store for such a person. Foremost of Apsaras, numbering by thousands, go out with great speed (for receiving the spirit of the slain hero) coveting him for their lord. That Kshatriya who duly observes his duty in battle, acquires by that act the merit of penances and of righteousness. Indeed, such conduct on his part conforms with the eternal path of duty. Such a man obtains the merits of all the four modes of life. The aged and the children should not be slain; nor one that is a woman; not one that is flying, away; nor one that holds a straw in his lips ; nor one that says. ‘I am thine.’ Having slain in battle Jambha, Vritra, Vala, Paka, Satamaya, Virochana, the irresistible Namuchi, Samvara of innumerable illusions, Viprachitti,–all these sons of Diti and Danu, as also Prahlada, I myself have become the chief of the celestials.’

‘Bhishma continued, ‘Hearing these words of Sakra and approving of them, king Amvarisha comprehended how warriors succeed, (by battle as their means) in compassing success for themselves (in respect of winning regions of beatitude in heaven).’”

Section XCIX

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the old story of the battle between Pratardana and the ruler of Mithila. The ruler of Mithila, viz., Janaka, after installation in the sacrifice of battle, gladdened all his troops (on the eve of fight). Listen to me, O as I recite the story. Janaka, the high souled king of Mithila, conversant with the truth of everything, showed both heaven and hell unto his own warriors. He addressed them, saying, ‘Behold, these are the regions, endued with great splendour, for those that fight fearlessly. Full of Gandharva girls, those regions are eternal and capable of granting every wish. There, on the other side, are the regions of hell, intended for those that fly away from battle. They would have to rot there for eternity in everlasting ingloriousness. Resolved upon casting away your very lives, do ye conquer your foes. Do not fall into inglorious hell. The laying down of life, (in battle) constitutes, in respect of heroes, their happy door of heaven.’ Thus addressed by their king, O subjugator of hostile towns, the warriors of Mithila, gladdening their rulers, vanquished their foes in battle. They that are of firm souls should take their stand in the van of battle. The car-warriors should be placed in the midst of elephants. Behind the car-warriors should stand the horsemen. Behind the last should be placed the foot-soldiers all accoutred in mail. That king who forms his array in this manner always succeeds in vanquishing his foes. Therefore, O Yudhishthira, the array of battle should always be thus formed. Filled with rage, heroes desire to will blessedness in heaven by fighting fairly. Like Makaras agitating the ocean, they agitate the ranks of the foe. Assuring one another, they should gladden those (amongst them) that are cheerless. The victor should protect the land newly conquered (from acts of aggression). He should not cause his troops to pursue too much the routed foe. The onset is irresistible of persons that rally after the rout and that, despairing of safety, assail their pursuers. For this reason, O king, thou shouldst not cause thy troops to pursue too much the routed roe. Warriors of courage do not wish to strike them that run away with speed. That is another reason why the routed foe should not be pursued hotly. Things that are immobile are devoured by those that are mobile; creatures that are toothless are devoured by those that have teeth; water is drunk by the thirsty; cowards are devoured by heroes. Cowards sustain defeat though they have, like the victors, similar backs and stomachs and arms and legs. They that are afflicted with fear bend their heads and joining their hands stay before those that are possessed of courage. This world rests on the arms of heroes like a son on those of his sire. He, therefore, that is a hero deserves respect under every circumstance. There is nothing higher in the three worlds than heroism. The hero protects and cherishes all, and all things depend upon the hero.’”

Section C

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grandsire, how kings desirous of victory should, O bull of Bharata’s race, lead their troops to battle even by offending slightly against the rules of righteousness!’

“Bhishma said: ‘Some say that righteousness is made stable by truth; some, by reasoning: so me, by good behaviour; and some, by the application of means and contrivances. I shall presently tell thee what the means and contrivances, productive of immediate fruit, are. Robbers, transgressing all wholesome bounds, very often become destroyers of property and religious merit. For resisting and restraining them. I shall tell thee what the contrivances are, as indicated in the scriptures. Listen to me as I speak of those means for the success of all acts. Both kinds of wisdom, straight and crooked, should be within call of the king. Though acquainted with it, he should not, however, apply that wisdom which is crooked (for injuring others). He may use it for

resisting the dangers that may overtake him. Enemies frequently injure a king by producing disunion (among his ministers or troops or allies or subjects). The king, conversant with deceit, may, by the aid of deceit, counteract those enemies. Leathern armour for protecting the bodies of elephants, armour of the same material for bovine bulls, bones, thorns, and keen-pointed weapons made of iron, coats of mail, yak-tails, sharp and well-tempered weapons, all kinds of armour, yellow and red, banners and standards of diverse hues, swords, and lances and scimitars of great sharpness and battle-axes, and spears and shields, should be manufactured and stored in abundance. The weapons should all be properly whetted. The soldiers should be inspired with courage and resolution. It is proper to set the troops in motion in the month of Chaitra or Agrahayana. The crops ripen about that time and water also does not become scarce. That time of the year, O Bharata, is neither very cold nor very hot. Troops should, therefore, be moved at that time. If the enemy, however, be overtaken by distress, troops should immediately be set in motion (without waiting for such a favourable time). These (two) are the best occasions for the motion of troops with a view to subjugate foes. That road which has abundance of water and grass along it, which is level and easy of march, should be adopted (in moving the troops). The regions lying near the road (on both its sides) should previously be well ascertained through spies possessed of skill and having an intimate knowledge of the woods. The troops must not, like animals, be marched through woody regions. Kings desirous of victory should, therefore, adopt good roads for marching their troops. In the van should be placed a division of brave men, endued with strength and high birth. As regards forts, that which has walls and a trench full of water on every side and only one entrance, is worthy of praise. In respect of invading foes, resistance may be offered from within it. In pitching the camp, a region lying near the woods is regarded as much better than one under the open sky by men conversant with war and possessed of military accomplishments. The camp should be pitched for the troops not far from such a wood. Pitching the camp at such a place, planting the foot-soldiers in a position of safety, and collision with the foe as soon as he comes, are the means for warding off danger and distress. Keeping the constellation called Ursa Major behind them, the troops should fight taking up their stand like hills. By this means, one may vanquish even foes that are irresistible. The troops should be placed in such a position that the wind, the sun, and the planet Sukra should blow and shine from behind them. As means for ensuing victory the wind is superior to the Sun, and the Sun is superior to Sukra, O Yudhishthira. Men conversant with war approve of a region that is not miry, not watery, not uneven, and not abounding with bricks and stone, as well-fitted for the operations of cavalry. A field that is free from mire and holes is fitted for car-warriors. A region that is overgrown with bushes and large trees and that is under water is fitted for elephant-warriors.

A region that has many inaccessible spots, that is overgrown with large trees and topes of cane bushes, as also a mountainous or woody tract, is well-fitted for the operations of infantry. An army, O Bharata, which has a large infantry force, is regarded very strong. An army in which cars and horsemen predominate is regarded to be very effective in a clear (unrainy) day. An army, again; in which footsoldiers and elephants predominate becomes effective in the rainy season. Having attended to these points (about the characters of the different kinds of forces and the manner of marching, quartering, and leading them), the king should turn his attention to the characteristics of place and time. That king, who having attended to all these considerations, sets out under a proper constellation and on an auspicious lunation, always succeeds in obtaining victory by properly leading his troops. No one should slay those that are asleep or thirsty or fatigued, or those whose accoutrements have fallen away, or one that has set his heart on final emancipation, or one that is flying away, or one that is walking (unprepared) along a road, or one engaged in drinking or eating, or one that is mad, or one that is insane, or one that has been wounded mortally, or one that has been exceedingly weakened by his wounds, or one that is staying trustfully, or one that has begun any task without having been able to complete it, or one that is skilled in some especial art (as mining, etc.), or one that is in grief, or one that goes out of the camp for procuring forage or fodder, or men who set up camps or are camp-followers, or those that wait at the gates of the king or of his ministers, or those that do menial services (unto the chiefs of the army), or those that are chiefs of such servants. Those amongst thy warriors that break the rank of foes, or rally thy retreating troops, should have their pay doubled and should be honoured by thee with food, drink, and seats equal to thy own. Those amongst such that are chiefs of ten soldiers should be made chiefs of a hundred. That heedful hero again (amongst them) who is the chief of a hundred soldiers should be made the chief of a thousand. Collecting together the principal warriors, they should be addressed, thus: ‘Let us swear to conquer, and never to desert one another. Let those that are inspired with fear stay here. Let those also stay here that would cause their chiefs to be slain by themselves neglecting to act heroically in the press of battle. Let such men come as would never break away from battle or cause their own comrades to be slain. Protecting their own selves as also their comrades, they are certain to slay the enemy in fight. The consequence of flying away from battle are loss of wealth, death, infamy, and reproach. Disagreeable and cutting speeches have to be heard by that man who flies away from battle, who loses his lips and teeth, who throws away all his weapons, or who suffers himself to be taken as a captive by the foe. Let such evil consequences always overtake the warriors of our foes. Those that fly away from battle are wretches among men. They simply swell the tale of

human beings on earth. For true manhood, however, they are neither here nor hereafter. Victorious foes, O sire, proceed cheerfully. Their praises recited the while by bards, in pursuit of the flying combatants. When enemies, coming to battle tarnish the fame of a person, the misery the latter feels is more poignant, I think, than that of death itself. Know that victory is the root of religious merit and of every kind of happiness. That which is regarded as the highest misery by cowards is cheerfully borne by those that are heroes. Resolved upon acquiring heaven, we should fight, regardless of life itself, and determined to conquer or die, attain a blessed end in heaven. Having taken such an oath, and prepared to throwaway life itself, heroes should courageously rush against the enemy’s ranks. In the van should be placed a division of men armed with swords and shields. In the rear should be placed the car-division. In the space intervening should be placed other classes of combatants. This should be the arrangement made for assailing the foe. Those combatants in the army that are veterans should fight in the van. They would protect their comrades behind them. Those amongst the army that would be regarded as foremost for strength and courage, should be placed in the van. The others should stand behind them. They that are inspired with fear should, with care, be comforted and encouraged. These weaker combatants should be placed on the field (without being withdrawn) for at least showing the number of the army (to the foe). If the troops are few, they should be drawn close together for the fight. At times, if their leader wishes, the close array may be extended wide. When a small number of troops is to fight with a great army, the array called Suchimukha should be formed. When a small force is engaged with a large one, the leader of the former may shake hands with his men and utter loud cries to effect, ‘The enemy has broken! The enemy has broken!’ Those among them that are endued with strength should resist the enemy, loudly unto their comrades, ‘Fresh friends have arrived! Fearlessly strike at your foes!’ Those that are in advance of the rest should utter loud shouts and make diverse kinds of noises, and should blow and beat Krakachas, cow-horns, drums, cymbals, and kettle-drums.’”

Section CI

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Of what disposition, of what behaviour, of what form, how acoutred, and how armed should the combatants be in order that they may be competent for battle?’ “Bhishma said, ‘It is proper that those weapons and vehicles should be adopted (by particular bodies of combatants) with which they have become familiar by use. Brave soldiers, adopting those weapons and vehicles, engage in battle. The Gandharvas, the Sindhus, and the Sauviras fight best with their nails and lances. They are brave and endued with great strength. Their armies are capable of vanquishing all forces, The Usinaras are possessed of great strength and skilled in all kinds of weapons. The Easterners are skilled in fighting from the backs of elephants and are conversant with all the ways of unfair fight. The Yavanas, the Kamvojas, and those that dwell around Mathura are well skilled in fighting with bare arms. The Southerners are skilled in fighting sword in hand. It is well-known that persons possessed of great strength and great courage are born in almost every country. Listen to me as I describe their indications. They that have voices and eyes like those of the lion or the tiger, they that have a gait like that of the lion and the tiger, and they that have eyes like those of the pigeon or the snake, are all heroes capable of grinding hostile ranks. They that have a voice like deer, and eyes like those of the leopard or the bull, are possessed of great activity. They whose voice resembles that of bells, are excitable, wicked, and wrathful. They that have a voice deep as that of the clouds, that have wrathful face, or faces like those of camels, they that have hooked noses and tongues, are possessed of great speed and can shoot or hurl their weapons to a great distance. They that have bodies curved like that of the cat, and thin hair and thin skin, become endued with great speed and restlessness and almost invincible in battle. Some that are possessed of eyes closed like those of the iguana, disposition that is mild, and speed and voice like the horses, are competent to fight all foes. They that are of well-knit and handsome and symmetrical frames, and broad chests, that become angry upon hearing the enemy’s drum or trumpet, that take delight in affrays of every kind, that have eyes indicative of gravity, or eyes that seem to shoot out, or eyes that are green, they that have faces darkened with frowns, or eyes like those of the mongoose, are all brave and capable of casting away their lives in battle. They that have crooked eyes and broad foreheads and cheek-bones not covered with flesh and arms strong as thunder-bolts and fingers bearing circular marks, and that are lean with arteries and nerves that are visible, rush with great speed when the collision of battle takes place. Resembling infuriated elephants, they become irresistible. They that have greenish hair ending in curls, that have flanks, cheeks, and faces fat and full of flesh, that have elevated shoulders and broad necks, that have fearful visages and fat calves, that are fiery like (Vasudeva’s horse) Sugriva or like the offspring of Garuda, the son of Vinata, that have round heads, large mouths, faces like those of cats, shrill voice and wrathful temper, that rush to battle, guided by its din, that are wicked in behaviour and full of haughtiness, that are of terrible countenances, and that live in the outlying districts, are all reckless of their lives and never flyaway from battle. Such troops should always be placed in the van. They always slay their foes in fight and suffer themselves to be slain without

retreating. Of wicked behaviour and outlandish manners, they regard soft speeches as indications of defeat. If treated with mildness, they always exhibit wrath against their sovereign.’”

Section CII

“Yudhishthira said. ‘What are the well-known indications, O bull of Bharata’s race, of the (future) success of an army? I desire to know them.’

“Bhishma said, ‘I shall tell thee, O bull of Bharata’s race, all the well-known indications of the (future) success of an army. When the gods become angry and inert are urged by fate, persons of learning, beholding everything with the eye of heavenly knowledge, perform diverse auspicious acts and expiatory rites including homa and the silent recitation of mantras, and thus allay all evils. That army in which the troops and the animals are all undepressed and cheerful. O Bharata, is sure to win a decided victory. The wind blows favourably from behind such troops. Rainbows appear in the sky. The clouds cast their shadows upon them and at times the sun shines upon them. The jackals become auspicious to them, and ravens and vultures as well. When these show such regard to the army, high success is sure to be won by it. Their (sacrificial) fires blaze up with a pure splendour, the light going upwards and the smokeless flames slightly bending towards the south. The libations poured thereon emit an agreeable fragrance. These have been said to be the indications of future success. The conchs and drums, blown and beat, send forth loud and deep peals. The combatants become filled with alacrity. These have been said to be the indications of future success. If deer and other quadrupeds be seen behind or to the left of those that have already set out for battle or of those that are about to set out, they are regarded auspicious. If they appear to the right of the warriors while about to engage in slaughter, that is regarded as an indication of success. If, however, they make their appearance in the van of such persons, they indicate disaster and defeat. If these birds, viz., swans and cranes and Satapatras and Chashas utter auspicious cries, and all the able-bodied combatants become cheerful, these are regarded as indications of future success. They whose array blazes forth with splendour and becomes terrible to look at in consequence of the sheen of their weapons, machines, armour, and standards as also of the radiant complexion of the faces of the vigorous men that stand within it, always succeed in vanquishing their foes. If the combatants of a host be of pure behaviour and modest deportment and attend to one another in loving-kindness, that is regarded as an indication of future

success. If agreeable sounds and orders and sensations of touch prevail, and if the combatants become inspired with gratitude and patience, that is regarded as the root of success. The crow on the left of a person engaged in battle and on the right of him who is about to engage in it, is regarded auspicious. Appearing at the back, it indicates non-fulfilment of the objects in view, while its appearance in the front forebodes danger. Even after enlisting a large army consisting of the four kinds of forces, thou shouldst, O Yudhishthira, first behave peacefully. If thy endeavours after peace fail, then mayst thou engage in battle. The victory, O Bharata, that one acquired by battle is very inferior. Victory in battle, it seems, is dependent on caprice or destiny. When a large army breaks and the troops begin to fly away, it is exceedingly difficult to check their flight. The impetuosity of the flight resembles that of a mighty current of water or of a frightened herd of deer. Some have broken. For this, without adequate cause, others break, even they that are brave and skilled in fight. A large army, consisting of even brave soldiers, is like a large herd of Ruru deer. Sometimes again it may be seen that even fifty men, resolute and relying upon one another, cheerful and prepared to lay down their lives, succeed in grinding enemies numerically much superior. Sometimes even five, or six, or seven men, resolute and standing close together, of high descent and enjoying the esteem of those that know them, vanquish foes much superior to them in number. The collision of battle is not desirable as long as it can be avoided. The policy of conciliation, or producing disunion, and making gifts should first be tried, the battle, it is said, should come after these. At the very sight of a (hostile) force, fear paralyses the timid, even as at the sight of the blazing bolt of heaven they ask, ‘Oh, upon what would it fall?’ Having ascertained that a battle is raging, the limbs of those that go to join it, as also of him that is conquering, perspire profusely. The entire country. O king, (that is the seat of war), becomes agitated and afflicted with all its mobile and immobile population. The very marrow of embodied creatures scorched with the heat of weapons, languishes with pain. A king should, therefore, on all occasions, apply the arts of conciliation, mixing them with measures of severity. When people are afflicted by foes, they always show a disposition to come to terms. Secret agents should be sent for producing disunion amongst the allies of the foe. Having produced disunion, it is very desirable that peace should then be

made with that king who happens to be more powerful than the foe (sought to be crushed). If the invader does not proceed in the way, he can never succeed in completely crushing his foe. In dealing with the foe, care should be taken for hemming him in from all sides. Forgiveness always comes to those that are good. It never comes to those that are bad. Listen now, O Partha, to the uses of forgiveness and of severity. The fame of a king who displays forgiveness after conquest spreads more widely. The very foes of a person that is of a forgiving disposition trust him even when he becomes guilty of a grave transgression. Samvara has said that having afflicted a foe first, forgiveness should be shown afterwards, for a wooden pole, if made straight without the application of heat in the first instance, very soon assumes its former state. Persons skilled in the scriptures do not, however, applaud this. Nor do they regard this as an indication of a good king. On the other hand, they say that a foe should be subdued and checked, like a sire subduing and checking a son, without anger and without destroying him. If, O Yudhishthira, a king becomes severe, he becomes an object of hatred with all creatures. If, on the other hand, he becomes mild, he becomes disregarded by all. Do thou, therefore, practise both severity and mildness. Before smiting, O Bharata, and while smiting, utter sweet words; and having smitten, show them compassion and let them understand that thou art grieving and weeping for them. Having vanquished an army, the kind should address the survivors saying, ‘I am not at all glad that so many have been slain by my troops. Alas, the latter, though repeatedly dissuaded by me, have not obeyed my direction. I wish they .(that are slain) were all alive. They do not deserve such death. They were all good men and true, and unretreating from battle. Such men, indeed, are rare. He that has slain such a hero in battle, has surely done that which is not agreeable to me.’ Having uttered such speeches before the survivors of the vanquished foe, the king should in secret honour those amongst his own troops that have bravely slain the foe. For soothing the wounded slayers for their sufferings at the hand of the foe, the king, desirous of attaching them to himself, should even weep, seizing their hands affectionately. The king should thus, under all circumstances, behave with conciliation. A king that is fearless and virtuous, becomes the beloved of all creatures. All creatures, also, O Bharata, trust such a ruler. Winning their trust, he succeeds in enjoying the earth as he pleases. The king should, therefore, by abandoning deceitfulness, seek to obtain the trust of all creatures. He should also seek to protect his subjects from all fears if he seek to enjoy the earth.’”

Section CIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grandsire, how a kin should behave towards foe that is mild, towards one that is fierce, and towards one that has many allies and a large force.’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited, O Yudhishthira. the old narrative of the discourse between Vrihaspati and Indra. Once on a time, that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., Vasava, the chief of the celestials, joining his palms, approached Vrihaspati, and saluting him, said these words.’

“Indra said. ‘How, O regenerate one, should I behave towards my foes? Row should I subdue them by means of contrivances, without exterminating them? In a collision between two armies, victory may be won by either side. In what way should I behave so that this blazing prosperity that I have won and that scorches all my enemies may not desert me?’ Thus addressed, Vrihaspati, skilled in Virtue, Profit, and Pleasure, possessed of a knowledge of kingly duties, and endued with great intelligence, answered Indra in the following words.’

“Vrihaspati said, ‘One should never wish to subdue one’s foes by quarrel. Excited with wrath and bereft of forgiveness, boys only seek quarrel. One that desires the destruction of a foe should not put that foe on his guard. On the other hand, one should never exhibit one’s ire or fear or joy. He should conceal these within his own bosom. Without trusting one’s foe in reality, one should behave towards him as if one trusted him completely. One should always speak sweet words unto one’s foes and never do anything that is disagreeable. One should abstain from fruitless acts of hostility as also from insolence of speech. As a fowler, carefully uttering cries similar to those of the birds he wishes to seize or kill. captures and brings them under his power, even so should a king, O Purandara, bring his foes under subjection and then slay them if he likes. Having overcome one’s foes, one should not sleep at ease. A foe that is wicked raises his head again like afire carelessly put out making its appearance again. When victory may be won by either side, a hostile collision of arms should be avoided. Having lulled a foe into security, one should reduce him into subjection and gain one’s object. Having consulted with his ministers and with intelligent persons conversant with policy, a foe that is disregarded and neglected, being all along unsubdued at heart, smites at the proper season, especially when the enemy makes a false step. By employing trusted agents of his own, such a foe would also render the other’s forces inefficient by producing disunion. Ascertaining the beginning, the middle and the end of his foes, a king should in secret cherish feelings of hostility towards them. He should corrupt the forces of his foe, ascertaining everything by positive proof, using the arts of producing disunion, making gifts, and applying poison. A king should never live in companionship with his foes. A king should wait long and then slay his foes. Indeed, he should wait, expecting the opportunity, so that he might come down upon his foe at a time when the latter would not expect him in the least. A king should never slay a large number of the troops of his foe, although he should certainly do that which would make his victory decisive. The king should never do such an injury to his foe as would rankle

in the latter’s heart. Nor should he cause wounds by wordy darts and shafts. If the opportunity comes, he should strike at him, without letting it slip. Such, O chief of the gods, should be the conduct of a king desirous of slaying his foes towards those that are his foes. If an opportunity, with respect to the man who waits for it, once passes away, it can never be had again by the person desirous of acting. Acting according to the opinions of the wise, a king should only break the strength of his foe. He should never, when the opportunity is not favourable, seek to accomplish his objects. Nor should he, when the opportunity is at hand, persecute his foe. Giving up lust and wrath and pride, the king should, acting with heedfulness, continually watch for the laches of his foes. His own mildness, the severity of his punishments, his inactivity and heedlessness, O chief of the gods, and the deceitful contrivances well applied (by his foes), ruin a foolish ruler. That king who can conquer these four faults and counteract the deceitful contrivances of his enemies succeeds, without doubt, in smiting them all. When only one minister (without needing any help) is competent to accomplish a secret object (of the king), the king should consult with that one minister only in respect of such object. Many ministers, if consulted, endeavour to throw the burden of the task upon one another’s shoulders and even give publicity to that object which should be kept secret. If consultation with one be not proper, then only should the king consult with many. When foes are unseen, divine chastisement should be invoked upon them; when seen, the army, consisting of four kinds of forces, should be moved. The king should first use the arts of producing disunion, as also those of conciliation. When the time for each particular means comes, that particular means should be applied. At times, the king should even prostrate himself before a powerful foe. It is again desirable that acting heedfully himself, he should seek to compass the victor’s destruction when the latter becomes heedless. By prostrating one’s self, by gift of tribute, by uttering sweet words, one should humble one’s self before a more powerful king. One should (when the occasion for such acts comes) never do anything that may arouse the suspicions of one’s powerful foe. The weaker ruler should, under such circumstances, carefully avoid every act that may awaken suspicion. A victorious king, again, should not trust his vanquished foes, for they that are vanquished always remain wakeful. There is nothing, O best of duties, that is more difficult of accomplishment than the acquisition of prosperity, O ruler of the immortals, by persons of a restless disposition. The very existence of persons of restless disposition is fraught with danger. Kings should, therefore, with close attention, ascertain their friends and foes. If a king becomes mild, he is disregarded.

If he becomes fierce, he inspires people with dread. Therefore, do not be fierce. Do, not, again, be mild. But be both fierce and mild. As a rapid current ceaselessly cats away the high bank and causes large landslips, even so heedlessness and error cause a kingdom to be ruined. Never attack many foes at the same time. By applying the arts of conciliation, or gift, or production of disunion, O Purandara, they should be ground one by one. As regards the remnant, (being few in number,) the victor may behave peacefully towards them. An intelligent king, even if competent for it, should not begin to crush all (his foes) at once. When a king happens to have a large army consisting of sixfold forces and teeming with horse, elephants, cars, foot, and engines, all devoted to him, when he thinks himself superior to his foe in many respects upon a fair comparison, then should he openly smite the foe without hesitation. If the foe be strong, the adoption of a policy of conciliation (towards him) is not worthy of approbation. On the other hand, chastisement by secret means is the policy that should be adopted. Nor should mildness of behaviour be adopted towards such foes, nor repeated expedition, for loss of crops, poisoning of wells and tanks, and suspicion in respect of the seven branches of administration, should be avoided. The king should, on such occasions, apply diverse kinds of deception, diverse contrivances for setting his foes against one another, and different kinds of hypocritical behaviour. He should also, through trusted agents, ascertain the doings of his foes in their cities and provinces. Kings, O slayer of Vala and Vritra, pursuing their foes and entering their towers, seize and appropriate the best things that are obtainable there, and devise proper measures of policy in their own cities and dominions. Making gifts of wealth unto them in private, and confiscating their possessions publicly, without, however, injuring them materially, and proclaiming that they are all wicked men that have suffered for their own misdeeds, kings should send their agents to the cities and provinces of their foes. At the same time, in their own cities, they should, through other persons conversant with the scriptures, adorned with every accomplishment, acquainted with the ordinances of the sacred books and possessed of learning cause incantations and foe-killing rites to be performed.’

“Indra said, ‘What are the indications, O best of regenerate ones, of a wicked person? Questioned by me, tell me how I am to know who is wicked.’

“Vrihaspati said, A wicked person is he who proclaims the faults of others at their back, who is inspired with envy at the accomplishments of others, and who remains silent when the merits of other people are proclaimed in his presence, feeling a reluctance to join in the chorus. Mere silence on such occasions is no indication of wickedness. A wicked person, however, at such

times breathe heavily, bites his lips, and shakes his head. Such a person always mixes in society and speaks irrelevantly. Such a man never does what he promises, when the eye of the person to whom he has given the assurance is not upon him. When the eye of the person assured is on him, the wicked man does not even allude to the subject. The wicked man eats by himself (and not with others on the same board), and finds fault with the food placed before him, saying, ‘All is not right today as on other days.’ His disposition shows itself in the circumstances connected with his sitting, lying, and riding. Sorrowing on occasions of sorrow and rejoicing on occasions of joy, are the indications of a friend. An opposite behaviour furnishes the indications of an enemy. Keep in thy heart these sayings, O ruler of the gods! The disposition of wicked men can never be concealed. I have now told thee, O foremost of deities, what the indications of a wicked person are. Having listened to the truths laid down in the scriptures, follow them duly, O ruler of the celestials!’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Having heard these words of Vrihaspati, Purandara, employed in subduing his foes, acted strictly according to them. Bent upon victory, that slayer of foes, when the opportunity came, obeyed these instructions and reduced all his enemies to subjection.’”

Section CIV

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How should a righteous king, who is opposed by his own officers, whose treasury and army are no longer under his control, and who has no wealth, conduct himself for acquiring happiness?’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection, the story of Kshemadarsin is often recited. I shall narrate that story to thee. Listen to it, O Yudhishthira! It has been heard by us that in days of old, when prince Kshemadarsin became weak in strength and fell into great distress, he repaired to the sage Kalakavrikshiya, and saluting him humbly, said unto him these words.’

“The king said, ‘What should a person like me who deserves wealth but who has, after repeated efforts, failed to recover his kingdom, do, O Brahmana, excepting suicide, thieving and robbery, acceptance of refuge with others, and other acts of meanness of a similar kind? O best of men, tell me this. One like thee that is conversant with morality and full of gratefulness is the refuge of a person afflicted by disease either mental or physical. Man should cast off his desires. By acting in that way, by abandoning joy and sorrow, and earning

the wealth of knowledge, he succeeds in obtaining felicity. I grieve for them that adhere to worldly happiness as dependent on wealth. All that, however, vanishes like a dream. They that can abandon vast wealth achieve a very difficult feat. As regards ourselves we are unable to abandon that wealth which is even no longer existent. I am divested of prosperity and have fallen into a miserable and joyless plight. Instruct me, O Brahmana, what happiness I may yet strive for.’ Thus addressed by the intelligent prince of Kosala, the sage Kalakavrikshiya of great splendour made the following answer.’

“The sage said, ‘Thou hast, it seems, already understood it. Possessed of knowledge as thou art, thou shouldst act as thou thinkest. Thy belief is right, viz., All this that I see is unstable, myself as also everything that I have. Know, O prince, that those things which thou regardest as existing are in reality non-existent. The man of wisdom knows this, and accordingly is never pained whatever the distress that may overwhelm him. Whatever has taken place and whatever will take place are all unreal. When thou wilt know this which should be known by all, thou shalt be freed from unrighteousness. Whatever things had been earned and acquired by those that came before, and whatever was earned and acquired by those that succeeded them, have all perished. Reflecting on this, who is there that will yield to grief? Things that were, are no more. Things that are, will again be (no more). Grief has no power to restore them. One should not, therefore, indulge in grief. Where, O king, is thy sire to-day, and where thy grandsire? Thou seest them not today, nor do they see thee now. Reflecting on thy own instability, who dost thou grieve for them? Reflect with the aid of thy intelligence, and thou wilt understand that verily thou shalt cease to be. Myself, thyself, O king, thy friends, and thy foes, shall, without doubt, cease to be. Indeed, everything will cease to be. Those men that are now of twenty or thirty years of age will, without doubt, all die within the next hundred years. If a man cannot have the heart to give up his vast possessions, he should then endeavour to think his possessions are not his own and by that means seek to do good to himself. Acquisitions that are future should be regarded by one as not one’s own. Acquisitions that have disappeared, should also be regarded by one as not one’s own. Destiny should be regarded as all powerful. They that think in this strain are said to be possessed of wisdom. Such a habit of looking at things is an attribute of the good. Many persons who are equal or superior to thee in intelligence and exertion, though deprived of wealth, are not only alive but are never ruling kingdoms. They are not, like thee. They do not indulge in grief like thee. Therefore, cease thou to grieve in this way. Art thou not Superior to those men, or at least equal to them in intelligence and exertion?’” The king said, ‘I regard the kingdom which I had with all its appendages to

have been won by me without any exertion. All-powerful Time, however, O regenerate one, has swept it away. The consequence, however, that I see, of my kingdom having been swept away by Time as by a stream, is that I am obliged to support upon whatever I obtain (by charity).’

“The sage said, ‘Moved by the knowledge of what is true (in life) one should never grieve for either the past or the future. Be thou of such a frame of mind. O prince of Kosala, in respect of every affair that may engage thy attention. Desiring to obtain only that which is obtainable and not that which is unobtainable, do thou enjoy thy present possessions and never grieved for that which is absent. Be thou delighted, O prince of Kosala, with whatever thou succeedest in winning with ease. Even if divested of prosperity, do not grieve for Abut seek to preserve a pure disposition. Only an unfortunate man who is of a foolish understanding, when deprived of former prosperity, censures the supreme Ordainer, without being contented with his present possessions. Such a person regards others, however undeserving, as men blessed with prosperity. For this reason, they that are possessed of malice and vanity and filled with a sense of their own importance, suffer more misery still. Thou however, O king, art not stained by such vices. Endure the prosperity of others although thou art thyself divested of prosperity. They that are possessed of dexterity succeed in enjoying that prosperity which is vested in others. Prosperity leaves the person that hates others. Men possessed of righteous behaviour and wisdom and conversant with the duties of Yoga renounce prosperity and sons and grandsons of their own accord. Others, regarding earthly wealth to be exceedingly unstable and unattainable, dependent as it is upon ceaseless action and effort, are also seen to renounce it. Thou seemest to be possessed of wisdom. Why dost thou then grieve so piteously, desiring things that should not be desired, that are unstable, and that are dependent on others? Thou desirest to enquire after that particular frame of mind (which would enable thee to enjoy felicity notwithstanding the loss of thy possessions). The advice I give thee is to renounce all those objects of desire. Objects that should be avoided appear in the guise of those that should be striven for, while those that should be striven for appear in the guise of objects that should be avoided. Some lose their wealth in the pursuit of wealth. Others regard wealth as the root of infinite happiness, and, therefore pursue it eagerly. Some again, delighted with wealth, think that there is nothing superior to it. In his eager desire for the acquisition of wealth, such a person loses all other objects of life. If, O prince of Kosala, a person loses that wealth which had been earned with difficulty and which had been proportionate to his desires, he then, overcome by the inactivity of despair, gives up all desire of wealth. Some persons of righteous souls and high birth betake themselves to the acquisition of virtue. These renounce every kind of worldly happiness from desire of winning felicity

in the other world. Some persons lay down life itself, moved by the desire of acquiring wealth. These do not think that life has any use if dissociated from wealth. Behold their pitiable condition. Behold their foolishness. When life is so short and uncertain, these men, moved by ignorance, set their eyes on wealth. Who is there that would set his heart upon hoarding when destruction is its end, upon life when death is its end, and upon union when separation is its end? sometimes man renounces wealth, and sometimes wealth renounces man. What man possessed of knowledge is there that would feel grieved at the loss of wealth? There are many other persons in the world that lose wealth and friends. Behold, O king, with thy intelligence, and thou wilt understand that the calamities which overtake men are all due to the conduct of men themselves. Do thou, therefore, (as a remedy), restrain thy senses and mind and speech. For, if those become weak and productive of evil there is no man who can keep himself free from temptation of external objects by which he is always surrounded. As no one can form an adequate idea of the past nor can foresee the future, there being many intervals of time and place, a person like thee who is possessed of such wisdom and such prowess, never indulges in grief for union and separation, for good or evil. A person of such mildness of disposition, well-restrained soul, and settled conclusions, and observant of Brahmacharya vows, never indulges in grief and never becomes restless from desire of acquiring or fear of losing anything of small value. It is not fit that such a man should adopt a deceitful life of mendicancy, a life that is sinful and wicked and cruel and worthy of only a wretch among men. Do thou repair to the great forest and lead a life of happiness there, all alone and subsisting upon fruit and roots, restraining speech and soul, and filled with compassion for all creatures. He that cheerfully leads such a life in the forest, with large-tusked elephants for companions, with no human being by his side, and contented with the produce of the wilderness, is said to act after the manner of the wise. A large lake when it becomes turbid, resumes its tranquillity of itself. Similarly, a man of wisdom, when disturbed in such matters, becomes tranquil of himself. I see that a person that has fallen into such a plight as thine may live happily even thus. When thy prosperity is almost impossible to recover, and when thou art without ministers and counsellors, such a course is open to thee. Dost thou hope to reap any benefit by depending upon destiny?’”

Section CV

“The sage said, ‘If, on the other hand, O Kshatriya, thou thinkest that thou hast any prowess still, I shall discourse to thee about that line of policy which thou mayst adopt for recovering thy kingdom. If thou canst follow that line of policy and seek to exert thyself, thou canst still recover thy prosperity. Listen attentively to all that I say unto thee in detail. If thou canst act according to those counsels, thou mayst yet obtain vast wealth, indeed, thy kingdom and kingly power and great prosperity. If thou likest it, O king, tell me, for then I shall speak to thee of that policy.’

“The king said, ‘Tell me, O holy one, what thou wishest to say. I am willing to hear and act according to thy counsels. Let this my meeting with thee today be fruitful of consequences (to myself).’

“The sage said, ‘Renouncing pride and desire and ire and joy and fear, wait upon thy very foes, humbling thyself and joining thy hands. Do thou serve Janaka the ruler of Mithila, always performing good and pure deeds. Firmly devoted to truth, the king of Videha will certainly give thee great wealth. Thou shalt then become the right arm of that king and obtain the trust of all persons. As a consequence of this, thou shalt then succeed in obtaining many allies possessed of courage and perseverance, pure in behaviour, and free from the seven principal faults. A person of restrained soul and having his senses under control, by adhering to his duties, succeeds in raising himself and gladdening others. Honoured by Janaka possessed of intelligence and prosperity, thou shalt certainly become the right arm of that ruler and enjoy the confidence of all. Having then mustered a large force and held consultations with good ministers, do thou cause disunion among thy foes and, setting them against one another, break them all like a person breaking a vilwa with a vilwa. Or, making peace with the foes of thy foe, destroy the latter’s power. Thou shalt then cause thy foe to be attached to such good things as are not easily attainable, to beautiful women and cloths, beds and seats and vehicles, all of very costly kinds, and houses, and birds and animals of diverse species, and juices and perfumes and fruits, so that thy foe may be ruined of himself. If one’s foe be thus managed, or if indifference is to be shown towards him, one that is desirous of acting according to good policy, should never suffer that foe to know it at all. Following the behaviour that is approved by the wise, do thou enjoy every kind of pleasure in the dominions of thy foe, and imitating the conduct of the dog, the deer, and the crow, behave, with apparent friendship, towards thy enemies. Cause them to undertake achievements that are mighty and difficult to accomplish. See also that they engage in hostilities with powerful enemies. Drawing their attention to pleasant gardens and costly beds and seats, do thou, by offering such objects of enjoyment, drain thy enemy’s treasury. Advising thy enemy to perform sacrifices and make gifts, do thou gratify the Brahmanas. The latter, (having received those presents through thy hands), will do good to thee in return (by performing penances and Vedic rites), and devour thy enemy like wolves. Without doubt, a person of righteous deeds obtains a high end. By such deeds men succeed in earning regions of the most felicity in heaven. If the treasury of thy foes be exhausted (by either righteous or unrighteous deeds), every one of them, O prince of Kosala, may be reduced to subjection. The treasury is the root of

felicity in heaven and victory on earth. It is in consequence of their treasuries that the foes enjoy such happiness. The treasury, therefore, should by every means be drained. Do not applaud Exertion in the presence of thy foe but speak highly of Destiny. Without doubt, the man who relies too much on acts appertaining to the worship of the gods soon meets with destruction. Cause thy enemy to perform the great sacrifice called Viswajit and divest him by that means of all his possessions. Through this thy object will be fulfilled. Thou mayst then inform thy enemy of the fact that the best men in his kingdom are being oppressed (with exactions for refilling the exhausted treasury), and indicate some eminent ascetic conversant with the duties of Yoga (who will wean thy foe from all earthly possessions). The enemy will then desire to adopt renunciation and retire into the woods, solicitous of salvation. Thou shall then, with the aid of drugs prepared by boiling highly efficacious herbs and plants, and of artificial salts, destroy the elephants and steeds and men (of thy enemy’s dominions). These and many other well-devised schemes are available, all connected with fraud. An intelligent person can thus destroy the population of a hostile kingdom with poison.’”

Section CVI

“The king said, ‘I do not desire, O Brahmana, to support life by deceit or fraud. I do not desire wealth, however great, which is to be earned by unrighteous means. At the very outset of our present discourse I excepted these means. By the adoption of only such means as would not lead to censure, of such means as would benefit me in every respect, by practising only such acts as are not harmful in their consequences, I desire to live in this world.. I am incapable of adopting these ways that thou pointest out to me. Indeed, these instructions do not become thee.’

“The sage said, ‘These words, O Kshatriya, that thou speakest indicate thee to be possessed of righteous feelings. Indeed, thou art righteous in disposition and understanding, O thou of great experience. I shall strive for the good of you both, viz., for thyself and him. I shall cause a union, eternal and incapable of breach, to be brought about between thee and that king. Who is there that would not like to have a minister like thee that art born of noble race, that abstainest from all acts of unrighteousness and cruelty, that art possessed of great learning, and that art well versed in the art of government and of conciliating all persons? I say this because, O Kshatriya, though divested of kingdom and plunged into great misery, thou still desirest to live adopting a behaviour that is righteous. The ruler of the Videhas, firmly adhering to truth, will come to my abode soon. Without doubt, he will do what I will urge to do.’

“Bhishma continued, “The sage, after this, inviting the ruler of the Videhas, said these words unto him: ‘This personage is of royal birth. I know his very heart. His soul is as pure as the surface of mirror or the disc of the autumnal moon. He has been examined by me in every way. I do not see any fault in him. Let there be friendship between him and thee. Do thou repose confidence on him as on myself. A king who is without a (competent) minister cannot govern his kingdom even for three days. The minister should be courageous as also possessed of great intelligence. By these two qualities one may conquer both the worlds. Behold, O king, these two qualities are necessary for ruling a kingdom. Righteous kings have no such refuge as a minister possessed of such attributes. The high-souled person is of royal descent. He walketh along, the path of the righteous. This one who always keeps righteousness in view has been a valuable acquisition. If treated by thee with honour, he will reduce all thy foes to subjection. If he engages in battle with thee, he will do what as a Kshatriya he should do. Indeed, if after the manner of his sires and grandsires he fights for conquering thee, it will be thy duty to fight him, observant as thou art of the Kshatriya duty of conquering antagonists. Without engaging in battle, however, do thou, at my command, employ him under thee from desire of benefiting thyself. Cast thy eyes on righteousness, giving up covetousness that is improper. It behoveth thee not to abandon the duties of thy order from lust or desire of battle. Victory O sire, is not certain. Defeat also is not certain. Remembering this, peace should be made with an enemy by giving him food and other articles of enjoyment. One may see victory and defeat in his own case. They that seek to exterminate a foe are sometimes exterminated themselves in course of their efforts.’ Thus addressed, king Janaka, properly saluting and honouring that bull among Brahmanas who deserved every honour, replied unto him, saying, ‘Thou art of great learning and great wisdom. That which thou hast said from desire of benefiting us, is certainly advantageous for both of us. Such a course of conduct is highly beneficial (to us). I have no hesitation in saying this. The ruler of Videha then, addressing the prince of Kosala, said these words: ‘In observance of Kshatriya duties as also with aid of Policy, I have conquered the world. I have, however, O best of kings, been conquered by thee with thy good qualities. Without cherishing any sense of humiliation (if thou remainest by my side), live thou with me as a victor. I honour thy intelligence, and I honour thy prowess. I do not disregard thee, saying that I have conquered thee. On the other hand, live thou with me as a victor. Honoured duly by me, O king, thou wilt go to my abode. Both the kings then worshipped that Brahmana, and trusting each other, proceeded to the capital of Mithila. The ruler of the Videhas, causing the prince of Kosala to enter his abode, honoured him, who deserved every honour, with offerings of water to wash his feet, honey and curds and the usual articles. King Janaka also bestowed upon his guest his own daughter and diverse kinds of gems and jewels. This

(the establishment of peace) is the high duty of kings; victory and defeat are both uncertain.’”

Section CVII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast, O scorcher of foes, described the course of duties, the general conduct, the means of livelihood, with their results, of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras. Thou hast discoursed also on the duties of kings, the subject of their treasuries, the means of filling them, and the topic of conquest and victory. Thou hast spoken also of the characteristics of ministers, the measures, that lead to the advancement of the subjects, the characteristics of the sixfold limbs of a kingdom, the qualities of armies, the means of distinguishing the wicked, and the marks of those that are good, the attributes of those that are equal, those that are inferior, and those that are superior, the behaviour which a king desirous of advancement should adopt towards the masses, and the manner in which the weak should be protected and cherished. Thou hast discoursed on all these subjects, O Bharata, laying down instructions that are plain according to what has been inculcated hi sacred treatise. Thou hast spoken also of the behaviour that should be adopted by kings desirous of conquering their foes. I desire now, O foremost of intelligent men, to listen to the behaviour that one should observe towards the multitude of courageous men that assemble round a king! I desire to hear how these may grow, how they may be attached to the king, O Bharata, how may they succeed in subjugating their foes and in acquiring friends. It seems to me that disunion alone can bring about their destruction. I think it is always difficult to keep counsels secret when many are concerned. I desire to hear all this in detail, O scorcher of foes! Tell me also, O king, the means by which they may be prevented from falling out with the king.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Between the aristocracy on the one side and the kings on the other, avarice and wrath, O monarch, are the causes that produce enmity. One of these parties (viz., the king,) yields to avarice. As a consequence, wrath takes possession of the other (the aristocracy). Each intent upon weakening and wasting the other, they both meet with destruction. By employing spies, contrivances of policy, and physical force, and adopting the arts of conciliation, gifts, and disunion and applying other methods for producing weakness, waste, and fear, the parties assail each other. The aristocracy of a kingdom, having the characteristics of a compact body, become dissociated from

the king if the latter seeks to take too much from them. Dissociated from the king, all of them become dissatisfied, and acting from fear, side with the enemies of their ruler. If again the aristocracy of a kingdom be disunited amongst themselves, they meet with destruction. Disunited, they fall an easy prey to foes. The nobles, therefore, should always act in concert. If they be united together, they may earn acquisitions of value by means of their strength and prowess. Indeed, when they are thus united, many outsiders seek their alliance. Men of knowledge applaud those nobles that art united with one another in bonds of love. If united in purpose, all of them can be happy. They can (by their example) establish righteous courses of conduct. By behaving properly, they advance in prosperity. By restraining their sons and brothers and teaching them their duties, and by behaving kindly towards all persons whose pride has been quelled by knowledge, the aristocracy advance in prosperity. By always attending to the duties of setting spies and devising means of policy, as also to the matter of filling their treasuries, the aristocracy, O thou of mighty arms, advance in prosperity. By showing proper reverence for them that are possessed of wisdom and courage and perseverance and that display steady prowess in all kinds of work, the aristocracy advance in prosperity. Possessed of wealth and resources, of knowledge of the scriptures and all arts and sciences, the aristocracy rescue the ignorant masses from every kind of distress and danger. Wrath (on the of part the king), rupture, terror, chastisement, persecution, oppression, and executions, O chief of the Bharatas, speedily cause the aristocracy to fall away from the king and side with the king’s enemies. They, therefore, that are the leaders of the aristocracy should be honoured by the king. The affairs of the kingdom, O king, depend to a great extent upon them. Consultations should be held with only those that are the leaders of the aristocracy, and secret agents should be placed, O crusher of foes, with them only. The king should not, O Bharata, consult with every member of the aristocracy. The king, acting in concert with the leaders, should do what is for the good of the whole order. When, however, the aristocracy becomes separated and disunited and destitute of leaders, other courses of action should be followed. If the members of the aristocracy quarrel with one another and act, each according to his own resources, without combination, their prosperity dwindles away and diverse kinds of evil occur. Those amongst them that are possessed of learning and wisdom should tread down a dispute as soon as it happens. Indeed, if the seniors of a race look on with indifference, quarrels break out amongst the members. Such quarrels bring about the destruction of a race and produce disunion among the (entire order of the) nobles. Protect thyself, O king, from all fears that arise from within. Fears, however, that arise from outside are of little consequence. The first kind of fear, O king, may cut thy roots in a single day. Persons that are equal to one another in family and blood, influenced by wrath or folly or covetousness arising from their very

natures, cease to speak with one another. This is an indication of defeat. It is not by courage, nor by intelligence, nor by beauty, nor by wealth, that enemies succeed in destroying the aristocracy. It is only by disunion and gifts that it can be reduced to subjugation. For this reason, combination has been said to be the great refuge of the aristocracy.’”

Section CVIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘The path of duty is long. It has also, O Bharata, many branches. What, however, according to thee, are those duties that most deserve to be practised? What acts, according to thee, are the most important among all duties, by the practice of which I may earn the highest merit both here and hereafter?’

“Bhishma said, ‘The worship of mother, father, and preceptor is most important according to me. The man who attends to that duty here, succeeds in acquiring great fame and many regions of felicity. Worshipped with respect by thee, whatever they will command thee, be it consistent with righteousness or in consistent with it, should be done unhesitatingly, O Yudhishthira! One should never do what they forbid. Without doubt, that which they command should always be done. They are the three worlds. They are the three modes of life. They are the three Vedas. They are the three sacred fires. The father is said to be the Garhapatya fire; the mother, the Dakshina fire, and the preceptor is that fire upon which libations are poured. These three fires are, of course, the most eminent. If thou attendest with heedfulness to these three fires, thou wilt succeed in conquering the three worlds. By serving the father with regularity, one may cross this world. By serving the mother in the same way, one may attain to regions of felicity in the next. By serving the preceptor with regularity one may obtain the region of Brahma. Behave properly towards these three, O Bharata, thou shalt then obtain great fame in the three worlds, and blessed be thou, great will be thy merit and reward. Never transgress them in any act. Never eat before they eat, nor eat anything that is better than what thy eat. Never impute any fault to them. One should always serve them with humility. That is an act of high merit. By acting in that way, O best of kings, thou mayst obtain fame, merit, honour, and regions of felicity hereafter. He who honours these three is honoured in all the worlds. He, on the other hand, who disregards these three, falls to obtain any merit from any of his acts. Such a man, O scorcher of foes, acquires merit neither in this world nor in the

next. He who always disregards these three seniors never obtains fame either here or hereafter. Such a man never earns any good in the next world. All that I have given away in honour of those three has become a hundredfold or a thousandfold of its actual measure. It is in consequence of that merit that even now, O Yudhishthira, the three worlds are clearly before my eyes. One Acharya is superior to ten Brahmanas learned in the Vedas. One Upadhyaya is again superior to ten Acharyas. The father, again, is superior to ten Upadhyayas. The mother again, is superior to ten fathers, or perhaps, the whole world, in importance. There is no one that deserves such reverence as the mother. In my opinion, however, the preceptor is worthy of greater reverence than the father or even the mother. The father and the mother are authors of one’s being. The father and the mother, O Bharata, only create the body. The life, on the other hand, that one obtains from one’s preceptor, is heavenly. That life is subject to no decay and is immortal. The father and the mother, however much they may offend, should never be slain. By not punishing a father and a mother, (even if they deserve punishment), one does not incur sin. Indeed, such reverend persons, by enjoying impunity, do not stain the king. The gods and the Rishis do not withhold their favours from such persons as strive to cherish even their sinful fathers with reverence. He who favours a person by imparting to him true instruction, by communicating the Vedas, and giving knowledge which is immortal, should be regarded as both a father and a mother. The disciple, in grateful recognition of what the instructor has done, should never do anything that would injure the latter. They that do not reverence their preceptors after receiving instruction from them by obeying them dutifully in thought and deed, incur the sin of killing a foetus. There is no sinner in this world like them. Preceptors always show great affection for their disciples. The latter should, therefore, show their preceptors commensurate reverence. He, therefore, that wishes to earn that high merit which has existed from ancient days, should worship and adore his preceptors and cheerfully share with them every object of enjoyment. With him who pleases his father is pleased Prajapati himself. He who pleases his mother gratifies the earth herself. He who pleases his preceptor gratifies Brahma by his act. For this reason, the preceptor is worthy of greater reverence than either the father or the mother. If preceptors are worshipped, the very Rishis, and the gods, together with the Pitris, are all pleased. Therefore, the preceptor is worthy of the highest reverence. The preceptor should never be disregarded in any manner by the disciple. Neither the mother nor the father deserves such regard as the preceptor. The father, the mother, and the preceptor, should never be insulted. No act of theirs should be found fault with. The gods and the great Rishis are pleased with him that behaves with reverence towards his preceptors. They that injure in thought and deed their preceptors, or fathers, or mothers, incur the sin of killing a foetus. There is no sinner in the world equal to them. That son of the sire’s loins and the mother’s womb,

who, being brought up by them and when he comes to age, does not support them in his turn, incurs the sin of killing a foetus. There is no sinner in the world like unto him. We have never heard that these four, viz., he who injures a friend, he who is ungrateful, he who slays a woman, and he who slays a preceptor, ever succeed in cleansing themselves. I have now told thee generally all that a person should do in this world. Besides those duties that I have indicated, there is nothing productive of greater felicity. Thinking of all duties, I have told thee their essence.’”

Section CIX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How, O Bharata, should a person act who desires to adhere to virtue? O bull of Bharata’s race, possessed as thou art of learning, tell me this, questioned by me. Truth and falsehood exist, covering all the worlds. Which of these two, O king, should a person adopt that is firm in virtue? What again is truth? What is falsehood? What, again, is eternal virtue? On what occasions should a person tell the truth, and on what occasions should he tell an untruth?’

“Bhishma said, ‘To tell the truth is consistent with righteousness. There is nothing higher than truth. I shall now, O Bharata, say unto thee that which is not generally known to men. There where falsehood would assume the aspect of truth, truth should not be said. There, again, where truth would assume the aspect of falsehood, even falsehood should be said. That ignorant person incurs sin who says truth which is dissociated from righteousness. That person is said to be conversant with duties who can distinguish truth from falsehood. Even a person that is disrespectable, that is of uncleansed soul, and that is very cruel, may succeed in earning great merit as the hunter Valaka by slaying the blind beast (that threatened to destroy all creatures). How extraordinary it is that a person of foolish understanding, though desirous of acquiring merit (by austere penances) still committed a sinful act! An owl again, on the banks of the Ganges, (by doing an unrighteous deed) obtained great merit. The question thou hast asked me is a difficult one, since it is

difficult to say what righteousness is. It is not easy to indicate it. No one in discoursing upon righteousness, can indicate it accurately. Righteousness was declared (by Brahman) for the advancement and growth of all creatures. Therefore, that which leads to advancement and growth is righteousness. Righteousness was declared for restraining creatures from injuring one another. Therefore, that is Righteousness which prevents injury to creatures. Righteousness (Dharma) is so called because it upholds all creatures. In fact, all creatures are upheld by righteousness. Therefore, that is righteousness which is capable of upholding all creatures. Some say that righteousness consists in what has been inculcated in the Srutis. Others do not agree to this. I would not censure them that say so. Everything, again, has not been laid down in the Srutis. Sometimes men (robbers), desirous of obtaining the wealth of some one, make enquiries (for facilitating the act of plunder). One should never answer such enquiries. That is a settled duty. If by maintaining silence, one succeeds in escaping, one should remain silent. If, on the other hand, one’s silence at a time when one must speak rouses suspicion, it would be better on such an occasion to say what is untrue than what is true. This is a settled conclusion. If one can escape from sinful men by even a (false) oath, one may take it without incurring sin. One should not, even if one be able, giveaway his wealth to sinful men. Wealth given to sinful men afflicts even the giver. If a creditor desires to make his debtor pay off the loan by rendering bodily service, the witnesses would all be liars, if, summoned by the creditor for establishing the truth of the contract, they did not say what should be said. When life is at risk, or on occasion of marriage, one may say an untruth. One that seeks for virtue, does not commit a sin by saying an untruth, if that untruth be said to save the wealth and prosperity of others or for the religious purposes. Having promised to pay, one becomes bound to fulfil his promise. Upon failure, let the self-appropriator be forcibly enslaved. If a person without fulfilling a righteous engagement acts with impropriety, he should certainly be afflicted with the rod of chastisement for having adopted such behaviour. A deceitful person, falling away from all duties and abandoning those of his own order, always wishes to betake himself to the practices of Asuras for supporting life. Such a sinful wretch living by deceit should be slain by every means. Such sinful men think that there is nothing in this world higher than wealth. Such men should never be tolerated. No one should eat with them. They should be regarded to have fallen down in consequence of their sins. Indeed, fallen away from the condition of humanity and shut out from the grace of the gods, they are even like evil genii. Without sacrifices and without penances as they are, forbear from their companionship. If their wealth be

lost, they commit even suicide which is exceedingly pitiable. Among those sinful men there is no one to whom thou canst say, ‘This is thy duty. Let thy heart turn to it.’ Their settled convictions are that there is nothing in this world that is equal to wealth. The person that would slay such a creature would incur no sin. He who kills him kills one that has been already killed by his own acts. If slain, it is the dead that is slain. He who vows to destroy those persons of lost senses should keep his vows. Such sinners are, like the crow and the vulture, dependent on deceit for their living. After the dissolution of their (human) bodies, they take rebirth as crows and vultures. One should, in any matter, behave towards another as that other behaves in that matter. He who practises deceit should be resisted with deceit while one that is honest should be treated with honesty.’”

Section CX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Creatures are seen to be afflicted by diverse means and almost continually. Tell me, O grandsire, in what way can one overcome all those difficulties.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Those members of the regenerate class that duly practise, with restrained souls, the duties that have been laid down in the scriptures for the several modes of life, succeed in overcoming all these difficulties. They that never practise deceit, they whose behaviour is restrained by salutary restrictions, and they that control all worldly desires, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that do not speak when, addressed in evil language, they that do not injure others when themselves injured, they that give but do not take, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that always give hospitable shelter to guests, they that do not indulge in malice, they that are constantly engaged in the study of the Vedas, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. Those persons who, being conversant with duties, adopt that behaviour towards parents which they should, they that abstain from sleeping during the day, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that do not commit any kind of sin in thought, word, and deed, they that never injure any creature, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. Those kings that do not, under the influence of passion and covetousness, levy oppressive taxes, and those that protect their own dominions, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that go to their own wedded wives in season without seeking the companionship of other women, they that are honest and attentive to their Agni-hotras, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that are possessed of courage and that, casting away all fear of death, engage in battle, desirous of victory by fair means, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that always speak truth in this world even when life is at stake, and that are exemplars for all creatures to imitate succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They whose acts never deceive, whose words are always agreeable, and whose wealth is always well spent, succeed in, overcoming all difficulties. Those Brahmanas that never study the Vedas at hours not intended for study, and that practise penances with devotion, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. Those Brahmanas that betake themselves to a life of celibacy and Brahmacharya, that perform penances, and that are cleansed by learning, Vedic knowledge, and proper vows, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that have checked all the qualities that appertain to Passion and Darkness, that are possessed of high souls, and that practise the qualities that are called Good, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They of whom no creature stands in fear and those that do not fear any creature themselves, they that look upon all creatures as their own selves, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. Those bulls among men that are good, that are never inspired with grief at the sight of other people’s prosperity, and that abstain from all kinds of ignoble behaviour, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that bow to all the gods, that listen to the doctrines of all creeds, that have faith, and that are endued with tranquil souls, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that do not desire honour for themselves, that give honours unto others, that bow down unto those that deserve their worship, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that perform Sraddhas on the proper lunar days, with pure minds, from desire of offspring, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that restrain their own wrath and pacify the wrath of others, and that never get angry with any creature, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that abstain, from their birth, from honey and meat and intoxicating drinks, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that eat for only supporting life, that seek the companionship of women for the sake only of offspring and that open their lips for only speaking what is true, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that worship with devotion the god Narayana, that Supreme Lord of all creatures, that origin and destruction of the universe, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. This Krishna here, of eyes red as the lotus, clad in yellow robes, endued with mighty arms,–this Krishna who is our well-wisher, brother, friend, and relative,–is Narayana of unfading glory. He covers all the worlds like a leathern case, at his own pleasure. He is the puissant Lord, of inconceivable soul. He is Govinda, the foremost of all beings. This Krishna who is ever engaged in doing what is agreeable and beneficial to Jishnu, as also to thee, O king, is that foremost of all beings, that irresistible one, that abode of eternal felicity. They that with devotion seek the refuge of this Narayana, called also Hari, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that read these verses about the overcoming of difficulties, that recite them to others, and that speak of them unto Brahmanas, succeed in overcoming all difficulties. I have now, O sinless one, told thee all those acts by which men may overcome all difficulties both here and hereafter.’”

Section CXI

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Many persons here that are not really of tranquil souls appear in outward form as men of tranquil souls. There are again others that are really of tranquil souls but that appear to be otherwise. How, O sire, shall we succeed in knowing these people?’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is recited the old story of the discourse between a tiger and a jackal. Listen to it, O Yudhishthira! In ancient times, in a city called Purika, full of affluence, there was a king named Paurika. That worst of beings was exceedingly cruel and took delight in injuring others. On the expiry of the period of his life he obtained an undesirable end. In fact, stained by the evil acts of his human life, he was reborn as a jackal. Remembering his former prosperity, he became filled with grief and abstained from meat even when brought before him by others. And he became compassionate unto all creatures, and truthful in speech, and firm in the observance of austere vows. At the appointed time he took food which consisted of fruit that had dropped from the trees. That jackal dwelt in a vast crematorium and liked to dwell there. And as it was his birth place, he never wished to change it for a finer locality. Unable to endure the purity of his behaviour, the other members of his species, endeavoured to make him alter his resolve by addressing him in the following words fraught with humility: ‘Though residing in this terrible crematorium, thou desirest yet to live in such purity of behaviour. Is not this a perversity of understanding on thy part, since thou art by nature an cater of carrion? Be thou our like. All of us will give thee food. Eat that which ought always to be thy food, abandoning such purity of conduct. Hearing these words of theirs, the jackal replied unto them, with rapt attention, in these sweet words fraught with reason and inculcating harmlessness to all: ‘My birth has been low. It is conduct, however, that determines the race. I desire to behave in such a way that my fame may spread. Although my habitation is this crematorium, yet listen to my vows in respect of behaviour. One’s own self is the cause of one’s acts. The mode of life to which one may betake oneself is not the cause of one’s religious acts. If one, while in the observance of a particular mode of life, slays a Brahmana, will not the sin of Brahmanicide attach to him? If, on the other hand, one gives away a cow while one is not in the observance of any particular mode of life, will that pious gift produce no merit? Moved by the desire of getting what is agreeable, ye are engaged in only filling your stomachs. Stupefied by folly ye do not see the three faults that are in the end. I do not like to adopt the life led by you, fraught as it is with evil both here and hereafter, and characterised as it is by such censurable loss of virtue occasioned by discontentment and temptation.’ A tiger, celebrated for prowess, happened to overhear this conversation, and accordingly,

taking the jackal for a learned person of pure behaviour, offered him such respectful worship as was suited to his own self and then expressed a wish for appointing him his minister.’

“The tiger said, ‘O righteous personage, I know what thou art. Do thou attend to the duties of government with myself. Enjoy whatever articles may be desired by thee, abandoning whatever may not suit thy taste. As regards ourselves, we are known to be of a fierce disposition. We inform thee beforehand of this. If thou behavest with mildness, thou wilt be benefited and reap advantages for thyself.’–Honouring these words of that high-souled lord of all animals, the jackal, hanging down his head a little, said these words fraught with humility.’

“The jackal said, ‘O king of beasts, these words of thine with reference to myself are such as befit thee. It is also worthy of thee that thou shouldst seek for ministers of pure behaviour and conversant with duties and worldly affairs. Thou canst not maintain thy greatness without a pious minister, O hero, or with a wicked minister that is on the look-out for putting an end to the very life. Thou shouldst, O highly blessed one, regard those amongst thy ministers that are devoted to thee, that are conversant with policy, that are independent of one another, desirous of crowning thee with victory, unstained by covetousness, free from deceit, possessed of wisdom ever engaged in thy good, and endued with great mental vigour, even as thou regardest thy preceptors or parents. But, O king of beasts, as I am perfectly contented with my present position, I do not desire to change it for anything else. I do not covet luxurious enjoyments or the happiness that arises from them. My conduct, again, may not agree with that of thy old servants. If they happen to be of wicked conduct, they will produce disunion between thee and me. Dependence upon another, even if that other happens to be possessed of splendour, is not desirable or praiseworthy. I am of cleansed soul, I am highly blessed. I am incapable of showing severity to even sinners. I am of great foresight. I have capacity for great exertion. I do not look at small things. I am possessed of great strength. I am successful in acts. I never act fruitlessly. I am adorned with every object of enjoyment. I am never satisfied with a little. I have never served another. I am, besides, unskilled in serving. I live according to my pleasure in the woods. All who live by the side of kings have to endure great pain in consequence of evil speeches against themselves. Those, however, that reside in the woods pass their days, fearlessly and without anxiety, in the observance of vows. The fear that arises in the heart of a person who is summoned by the king is unknown to persons passing their days contentedly in the woods, supporting life upon fruits and roots. Simple food and drink obtained without effort, and luxurious food procured with fear, widely differ from each other. Reflecting upon these two, I am of opinion that there is happiness where there is no anxiety. A few only amongst those that serve kings are justly punished for their offences. A large number of them, however, suffer death under false accusations. If, notwithstanding all this, thou appointest me, O king of

beasts, as thy minister, I wish to make a compact with thee in respect of the behaviour thou shouldst always adopt towards me. Those words that I shall speak for thy good should be listened to and regarded by thee. The provision which thou wilt make for me shall not be interfered with by thee. I shall never consult with thy other ministers. If I do, desirous of superiority as they are they will then impute diverse kinds of faults to me. Meeting with thee alone and in secret I shall say what is for thy good. In all matters connected with thy kinsmen, thou shalt not ask me what is for thy good or what is otherwise. Having consulted with me thou shalt not punish thy other ministers afterwards, yielding to rage thou shalt not punish my followers and dependants.’ Thus addressed by the jackal, the king of beasts answered him, saying, ‘Let it be so,’ and showed him every honour. The jackal then accepted the ministership of the tiger. Beholding the jackal treated with respect and honoured in all his acts, the old servants of the king, conspiring together, began ceaselessly to display their hatred towards him. Those wicked persons at first strove to gratify and win him over with friendly behaviour and make him tolerate the diverse abuses that existed in the taste. Despoilers of other people’s property, they had long lived in the enjoyment of their perquisites. Now, however, being ruled by the jackal, they were unable to appropriate anything belonging to others. Desirous of advancement and prosperity, they began to tempt him with sweet speeches. Indeed, large bribes even were offered to allure his heart. Possessed of great wisdom, the jackal showed no signs of yielding to those temptations. Then some amongst them, making a compact amongst themselves for effecting his destruction, took away the well-dressed meat that was intended for and much desired by the king of beasts, and placed it secretly in the house of the jackal. The jackal knew who had stolen the meat and who had conspired to do it. But though he knew everything, he tolerated it for a particular object. He had made a compact with the king at the time of his accepting the ministership, saying, ‘Thou desirest my friendship, but thou shalt not, O monarch, mistrust me without cause.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘When the king of beasts, feeling hungry, came to eat, he saw not the meat that was to have been kept ready for his dinner. The king then ordered, ‘Let the thief be found out.’ His deceitful ministers represented unto him that the meat kept for him had been stolen away by his learned minister, the jackal, that was so proud of his own wisdom. Rearing Of this injudicious act on the part of the jackal, the tiger became filled with rage. Indeed, the king, giving way to his wrath, ordered his minister to be slain. Beholding the opportunity, the former ministers addressed the king, saying, ‘The jackal is ever ready to take away from all of us the means of sustenance.’ Having represented this they once more spoke of the jackal’s act of robbing the king of his food. And they said, ‘Such then is his act! What is there that he would not venture to do? He is not as thou hadst heard. He is righteous in speech but his real disposition is sinful. A wretch in reality, he has disguised himself by putting on a garb of virtue. His behaviour is really sinful. For serving his own ends he had practised austerities in the matter of diet and of vows. If thou disbelievest this, we will give thee ocular proof.’ Having said this, they immediately caused that meat to be discovered by entering the jackal’s abode. Ascertaining that the meat was brought back from the jackal’s house and hearing all those representations of his old servants, the king ordered, saying, ‘Let the jackal be slain.’ Hearing these words of the tiger, his mother came to that spot for awakening son’s good sense with beneficial counsels. The venerable dame said, ‘O son, thou shouldst not accept this accusation fraught with deceit. Wicked individuals impute faults to even an honest person, moved by envy and rivalry. Enemies desirous of a quarrel cannot endure the elevation of an enemy brought about by his high feats. Faults are ascribed to even a person of pure soul engaged in penances. With respect to even an ascetic living in the woods and employed in his own (harmless) acts, are raised three parties, viz., friends, neutrals, and foes. They that are rapacious hate them that are pure. The idle hate the active. The unlearned hate the learned. The poor hate the rich. The unrighteous hate the righteous. The ugly hate the beautiful. Many amongst the learned, the unlearned, the rapacious, and the deceitful, would falsely accuse an innocent person even if the latter happens to be possessed of the virtues and intelligence of Vrihaspati himself. If meat had really been stolen from thy house in thy absence, remember, the jackal refuses to take any meat that is even given to him. Let this fact be well considered (in finding out the thief). Wicked persons sometimes put on the semblance of the good, and they that are good sometimes wear the semblance of the wicked. Diverse kinds of aspect are noticeable in creatures. It is, therefore, necessary to examine which is which. The firmament seems to be like the solid base of a vessel. The fire-fly seems to be like the actual spark of fire. In reality, however, the sky has no base and there is no fire in the fire-fly. You see, there is necessity. therefore, for scrutiny in respect of even such things as are addressed to the eye. If a person ascertains everything after scrutiny, he is never called upon to indulge in any kind of regret afterwards. It is not at all difficult, O son, for a master to put his servant to death. Forgiveness, however, in persons possessed of power, is always praiseworthy and productive of renown. Thou hadst made the jackal thy first minister. In consequence of that act, thou hadst earned great fame among all neighbouring chiefs. A good minister cannot be obtained easily. The jackal is thy well-wisher. Let him, therefore, be supported. The king who regards a really innocent person falsely accused by his enemies to be guilty, soon meets the destruction in consequence of the wicked ministers that lead him to that conviction.’ After the tiger’s mother had concluded her speech, a righteous agent of the jackal, stepping out of that phalanx of his foes, discovered everything about the manner in which that false accusation had been made. The jackal’s innocence being made manifest, he was acquitted and honoured by his master. The king of beasts affectionately embraced him again and again. The jackal, however, who was conversant with the science of policy, burning with grief, saluted the king of beasts and solicited his permission for throwing away his life by observing the Praya vow. The tiger, casting upon the virtuous jackal his eyes expanded with affection and honouring hit’ with reverential worship, sought to dissuade him from the accomplishment of his wishes. The jackal, beholding his master agitated with affection, bowed down to him and in a voice choked with tears said these words: ‘Honoured by thee first, I have afterwards been insulted by thee. Thy behaviour towards me is calculated to make me an enemy of thine. It is not proper therefore, that I should any longer dwell with thee. Servants that are discontented, that have been driven from their offices, or degraded from the honours that were theirs, that have brought destitution upon themselves, or have been ruined by their enemies (through the wrath of their master). that have been weakened, that are rapacious, or enraged, or alarmed, or deceived (in respect of their employers), that have suffered confiscation, that are proud and desirous of achieving great feats but deprived of the means or earning wealth, and that burn with grief or rage in consequence of any injury done to them, always wait for calamities to overtake their masters. Deceived, ‘they leave their masters and become effective instruments in the hands of foes. I have been insulted by thee and pulled down from my place. How wilt thou trust me again? How shall I (on my part) continue to dwell with thee? Thinking me to be competent thou tookest me, and having examined me thou hadst placed me in office. Violating the compact then made (between us) thou hast insulted me. If one speaks of a certain person before others as possessed of righteous behaviour, one should not, if desirous of maintaining one’s consistency. afterwards describe the same person as wicked. I who have thus been disregarded by thee cannot any longer enjoy thy confidence. On my part, when I shall see thee withdraw thy confidence from me, I shalt be filled with alarm and anxiety. Thyself suspicious and myself in alarm, our enemies will be on the look-out for opportunities for injuring us. Thy subjects will, as a consequence, become anxious and discontented. Such a state of things has many faults. The wise do not regard that situation happy in which there is honour first and dishonour afterwards. It is difficult to reunite the two that have been separated, as, indeed, it is difficult to separate the two that are united. If persons reunited after separation approach one another again, their behaviour cannot be affectionate. No servant is to be seen who is moved (in what he does) by only the desire of benefiting his master. Service proceeds from the motive of doing good to the master as also one’s own self. All acts are undertaken from selfish motives. Unselfish acts or motives are very rare. Those kings whose hearts are restless and unquiet cannot acquire a true knowledge of men. Only one in a hundred can be found who is either able or fearless. The prosperity of men, as also their fall, comes of itself. Prosperity and adversity, and greatness, all proceed from weakness of understanding.”

“Bhishma continued, ‘Having said these conciliatory words fraught with virtue, pleasure, and profit, and having gratified the king, the jackal retired to the forest. Without listening to the entreaties of the king of beasts, the intelligent jackal cast off his body by sitting in praya and proceeded to heaven (as the

reward of his good deeds on earth).’”

Section CXII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘What acts should be done by a king, and what are those acts by doing which a king may become happy? Tell me this in detail, O thou that art the foremost of all persons acquainted with duties.’

“Bhishma said, ‘I shall tell thee what thou wishest to know. Listen to the settled truth about what should be done in this world by a king and what those acts are by doing which a king may become happy. A king should not behave after the manner disclosed in the high history of a camel of which we have heard. Listen to that history then, O Yudhishthira! There was, in the Krita age, a huge camel who had recollection of all the acts of his former life. Observing the most rigid vows, that camel practised very severe austerities in the forest. Towards the conclusion of his penances, the puissant Brahman became gratified with him. The Grandsire, therefore, desired to grant him boons.’

“The camel said, ‘Let my neck, O holy one, become long through thy grace, so that, O puissant lord, I may be able to seize any food that may lie even at the end of even a hundred Yojanas.’ The high-souled giver of boons said, ‘Let it be so.’ The camel then, having obtained the boon, returned to his own forest. The foolish animal, from the day of obtaining the boon, became idle. Indeed, the wretch, stupefied by fate, did not from that day go out for grazing. One day, while extending his long neck of a hundred Yojanas, the animal was engaged in picking his food without any labour, a great storm arose. The camel, placing his head and a portion of the neck within the cave of a mountain, resolved to wait till the storm would be over. Meanwhile it began to pour in torrents, deluging the whole earth. A jackal, with his wife, drenched by the rain and shivering with cold, dragged himself with difficulty towards that very cave and entered it quickly for shelter. Living as he did upon meat, and exceedingly hungry and tired as he was, O bull of Bharata’s race, the jackal, seeing the camel’s neck, began to eat as much of it as he could. The camel, when he perceived that his neck was being eaten, strove in sorrow to shorten it. But as he moved it up and down, the jackal and his wife, without losing their hold of it, continued to eat it away. Within a short time the camel was deprived of life. The jackal then, having (thus) slain and eaten the camel, came out of the cave after the storm and shower had ceased. Thus did that foolish camel meet with his death. Behold, what a great evil followed in the train of idleness. As regards thyself, avoiding idleness and restraining thy senses, do everything in the world with proper means. Manu himself has said that victory depends upon intelligence. All acts that are accomplished with the aid of intelligence are regarded as the foremost, those achieved with the aid of arms are middling, those achieved with the aid of feet are inferior, while those done by carrying loads are the lowest. If the king is clever in the transaction of business and restrains his senses, his kingdom endures. Manu himself has said that it is with the aid of the intelligence that an ambitious person succeeds in achieving victories. In this world, O Yudhishthira, they who listen to wise counsels that are not generally known, that are, O sinless one, possessed of allies, and that act after proper scrutiny, succeed in achieving all their objects. A person possessed of such aids succeeds in ruling the entire earth. O thou that art possessed of prowess like that of Indra himself, this has been said by wise men of ancient times conversant with the ordinances laid down in the scriptures. I, also, with sight directed to the scriptures, have said the same to thee. Exercising thy intelligence, do thou act in this world, O king!’”

Section CXIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me O bull of Bharata’s race, how a king, without the usual aids, having obtained a kingdom that is so precious a possession, behave himself towards a powerful foe.’

“Bhishma said, In this connection is cited the old story of the discourse between the Ocean and the Rivers. In days of old, eternal Ocean, that lord of Rivers, that refuge of the foes of the celestials, asked all the Rivers for resolving this doubt that had arisen in his mind.’

“The Ocean said, ‘Ye Rivers, I see that all of you, with your full currents, bring away trees of large trunks, tearing them off with their roots and branches. Ye do not, however, ever bring to me a cane. The canes that grow on your banks are of mean stems and destitute of strength. Do you refuse to wash them down through contempt, or are they of any use to you? I desire, therefore, to hear what the motive is that inspires all of you. Indeed, why is it that canes are not washed down by any of you, uprooted from the banks where they grow?’ Thus addressed, the River Ganga, replied unto Ocean, that lord of all Rivers, in these words of grave import, fraught with reason, and, therefore, acceptable to all.’

“Ganga said, ‘Trees stand in one and the same place and are unyielding in respect of the spot where they stand. In consequence of this disposition of theirs to resist our currents, they are obliged to leave the place of their growth. Canes, however, act differently. The cane, beholding the advancing current, bends to it. The others do not act in that way. After the current has passed away, the cane resumes its former posture. The cane knows the virtues of Time and opportunity. It is docile and obedient. It is yielding, without being stiff. For these reasons, it stands where it grows, without having to come with us. Those plants, trees, and creepers that bend and rise before the force of wind and water, have never to suffer discomfiture (by being taken up by the roots).’ “Bhishma continued, ‘That person who does not yield to the power of a foe that has advanced in might and that is competent to imprison or kill, soon meets with destruction. That man of wisdom who acts after ascertaining fully the strength and weakness, the might and energy, of himself and his foe, has never to suffer discomfiture. An intelligent man, therefore, when he sees his enemy to be more powerful than himself, should adopt the behaviour of the cane. That is an indication of wisdom.’”

Section CXIV

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How, O Bharata, should a learned man adorned with modesty behave, O chastiser of foes, when assailed with harsh speeches in the midst of assemblies by an ignorant person swelling with conceit?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen, O lord of earth, how the subject has been treated of (in the scriptures), how a person of good soul should endure in this world the abusive speeches of persons of little intelligence. If a person, when abused by another, do not yield to wrath, he is then sure to take away (the merit of) all the good deeds that have been done by the abuser. The endurer, in such a case, communicates the demerit of all his own bad acts to the person who under the influence of wrath indulges in abuse. An intelligent man should disregard an abusive language who resembles, after all, only a Tittibha uttering dissonant cries. One who yields to hate is said to live in vain. A fool may often be heard to say, ‘Such a respectable man was addressed by me in such words amid such an assembly of men,’ and to even boast of that wicked act. He would add, ‘Abused by me, the man remained silent as if dead with shame. Even thus does a shameless man boast of an act about which no one should boast. Such a wretch among men should carefully be disregarded. The man of wisdom should endure everything that such a person of little intelligence may say. What can a vulgar fellow do by either his praise or his blame? He is even like a crow that caws uselessly in the woods. If those who accuse others by only their words could establish those accusations by such means, then, perhaps, their words would have been regarded to be of some value. As a fact, however, these words are as effective as those uttered by fools invoking death upon them with whom they quarrel. That man simply proclaims his bastardy who indulges in such conduct and words. Indeed, he is even like a peacock that

dances while showing such a part of his body as should be ever concealed from the view. A person of pure conduct should never even speak with that wight of sinful conduct who does not scruple to utter anything or do anything. That man who speak of one’s merits when one’s eye is upon him and who speaks ill of one when one’s eye is withdrawn from him, is really like a dog. Such a person loses all his regions in heaven and the fruits of any knowledge and virtue that he may have. The man who speaks ill of one when one’s eye is not upon him, loses without delay the fruits of all his libations on fire and of the gifts he may make unto even a hundred persons. A man of wisdom, therefore, should unhesitatingly avoid a person of such sinful heart who deserves to be avoided by all honest men, as he would avoid the flesh of the dog. That wicked-souled wretch who proclaims the faults of a high-souled person, really publishes (by that act) his own evil nature even as a snake displays his hood (when interfered with by others). The man of sense who seeks to counteract such a back-biter ever engaged in an occupation congenial to himself, finds himself in the painful condition of a stupid ass sunk in a heap of ashes. A man who is ever engaged in speaking ill of others should be avoided like a furious wolf, or an infuriated elephant roaring in madness, or a fierce dog. Fie on that sinful wretch who has betaken himself to the path of the foolish and has fallen away from all wholesome restraints and modesty, who is always engaged in doing what is injurious to others, and who is regardless of his own prosperity. If an honest man wishes to exchange words with such wretches when they seek to humiliate him, he should be counselled in these words: Do not suffer thyself to be afflicted. A wordy encounter between a high and a low person is always disapproved by persons of tranquil intelligence. A slanderous wretch, when enraged, may strike another with his palms, or throw dust or chaff at another, or frighten another by showing or grinding his teeth. All this is well known. That man who endures the reproaches and slanders of wicked-souled wights uttered in assemblies, or who reads frequently these instructions, never suffers any pain occasioned by speech.’

Section CXV

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O grandsire, O thou that art possessed of great wisdom, I have one great doubt that perplexes me. Thou shouldst, O king, resolve it. Thou art an advancer of our family. Thou hast discoursed to us upon the slanderous speeches uttered by wicked-souled wretches of bad conduct. I desire, however, to question thee further. That which is beneficial to a kingdom, that which is productive of the happiness of the royal line, that which is productive of good and advancement in the future and the present, that which is good in respect of food and drink and as regards also the body, are topics upon which I wish thee to discourse. How should a king who has been placed on the throne and who continues to occupy it, surrounded by friends, ministers, and servants gratify his people. That king who, led away by his affections and predilections, becomes devoted to evil associates, and who pays court to wicked men in consequence of his being enthralled by his senses, finds all servants of good birth and blood disaffected towards him. Such a king never succeeds in obtaining those objects the accomplishment of which depends upon one’s having a number of good servants about him. It behoveth thee that art equal to Vrihaspati himself in intelligence to discourse to me upon these duties of kings which are difficult to be ascertained and thereby remove my doubts. Thou, O tiger among men, art ever engaged in accomplishing the good of our race. For this reason thou always discoursest to us on the duties of king-craft. Kshatri (Vidura) also, possessed of great wisdom, always gives us valuable instruction. Hearing instructions from thee that are productive of good to our race and kingdom, I shall be able to pass my days in happiness like a person gratified with having quaffed the deathless Amrita. What classes of servants are to be regarded as inferior and what is possessed of every accomplishment? Aided by what class of servants or by servants of what kind of birth, is it advisable to discharge the duties of ruling? If the king choose to act alone and without servants, he can never succeed in protecting his people. All persons, however, of high birth covet the acquisition of sovereignty.’

“Bhishma said, ‘The king, O Bharata, cannot alone rule his kingdom. Without servants to aid him, he cannot succeed in accomplishing any object. Even if he succeeds in gaining any object, he cannot (if alone), retain it. That king whose servants are all possessed of knowledge and wisdom, who are all devoted to the good of their master, and who are of high birth and tranquil disposition, succeeds in enjoying the happiness connected with sovereignty. That king whose ministers are all well born, incapable of being weaned away from him (by means of bribes and other influences), who always live with him, who are engaged in giving advice to their master, who are possessed of wisdom and goodness, who have a knowledge of the relations of things, who can provide for future events and contingencies, who have a good knowledge of the virtues of time, and who never grieve for what is past, succeeds in enjoying the happiness that attaches to sovereignty. That king whose servants share with him his griefs and joys, who always do what is agreeable to him, who always direct their attention to the accomplishment of their master’s objects, and all of whom are faithful, succeeds in enjoying the happiness that attaches to sovereignty. The king whose subjects are always cheerful, and high minded, and who always tread in the path of the righteousness, succeeds in enjoying the happiness attached to sovereignty. He is the best of kings all the sources of whose income are managed and supervised by contented and trustworthy men well acquainted with the means of increasing the finances. That king succeeds in obtaining affluence and great merit whose repositories and barns are supervised by incorruptible, trust-worthy, devoted, and uncovetous servants always bent upon gathering. That king in whose city justice is administered properly with the result of such administration leading to the well known results of fining the plaintiff or the defendant if his case is untrue, and in which criminal laws are administered even after the manner of Sankha and Likhita, succeeds in earning the merit that attaches to sovereignty. That king who attaches his subjects to himself by kindness, who is conversant with the duties of kings, and who attends to the aggregate of six. succeeds in earning the merit that attaches to sovereignty.’”

Section CXVI

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the following history of olden times. That history is regarded as a high precedent amongst good and wise men. That history has connection with the present topic. I heard it in the hermitage of Rama, the son of Jamadagni, recited by many foremost of Rishis. In a certain large forest uninhabited by human beings, there lived an ascetic upon fruit and roots observing rigid vows, and with his senses under control. Observant also of stringent regulations and self-restraint, of tranquil and pure soul, always attentive to Vedic recitations, and of heart cleansed by fasts, he adopted a life of goodness towards all creatures. Possessed of great intelligence, as he sat on his seat, the goodness of his behaviour having been known to all the creatures that lived in that forest, they used to approach him with affection. Fierce lions and tigers, infuriated elephants of huge size, leopards, rhinoceroses, bears, and other animals of fierce aspect, subsisting upon blood, used to come to the Rishi and address him the usual questions of polite enquiry. Indeed, all of them behaved towards him like disciples and slaves and always did unto him what was agreeable. Coming to him they addressed the usual enquiries, and then went away to their respective quarters. One domestic animal, however, lived there permanently, never leaving the Muni at any time. He was devoted to the sage and exceedingly attached to him. Weak and emaciated with fasts, he subsisted upon fruit and roots and water, and was tranquil and Of inoffensive aspect. Lying at the feet of that high-souled Rishi as the latter sat, the dog, with a heart like that of a human being, became exceedingly attached to him in consequence of the affection with which he was treated. One day a leopard of great strength came there, subsisting upon blood. Of a cruel disposition and always filled with delight at the prospect of prey, the fierce animal looked like a second Yama. Licking the corners of his mouth With the tongue, and lashing his tail furiously, the leopard came there, hungry and thirsty, with wide open jaws, desirous of seizing the dog as his prey. Beholding that fierce beast coming, O king, the dog, in fear of his life, addressed the Muni in these words. Listen unto them, O monarch! ‘O holy one, this leopard is a foe of the dogs. It wishes to slay me. O great sage, do thou act in such a way that all my fears from this animal may be dispelled through thy grace. O thou of mighty arms, without doubt thou art possessed of omniscience.’ Acquainted with the thoughts of all creatures, the sage felt that the dog had ample cause for fear. Possessed of the six attributes and capable of reading the voices of all animals, the sage said the following words.’

“The sage said, ‘Thou shalt have no fear of death from leopards any longer. Let thy natural form disappear and be thou a leopard, O son!’ At these words, the dog was transformed into a leopard with skin bright as gold. With stripes on his body and with large teeth, thenceforth he began to live in that forest fearlessly. Meanwhile, the leopard, seeing before him an animal of his own species, immediately forsook all feelings of animosity towards it. Some time after, there came into the hermitage a fierce and hungry tiger with open mouth. Licking the corners of his mouth with the tongue, and eagerly desirous of drinking blood, that tiger began to approach towards the animal that had been transformed into a leopard. Beholding the hungry tiger of terrible teeth approach that forest, the (transformed) leopard sought the Rishi’s protection for saving his life. The sage, who showed great affection for the leopard in consequence of the latter’s living in the same place with him, forthwith transformed his leopard into a tiger powerful for all foes. The tiger seeing a beast of his own species did him no injury, O king. The dog, having in course of time been transformed into a powerful tiger subsisting upon flesh and blood, abstained from his former food which had consisted of fruit and roots. Indeed, from that time, O monarch, the transformed tiger lived, subsisting upon the other animals of the forest, like a true king of beasts.’

Section CXVII

“Bhishma said, ‘The dog transformed into a tiger, gratified with the flesh of slain beasts, slept at his ease. One day as he lay on the yard of the hermitage, an infuriated elephant came there, looking like a risen cloud. Of huge stature, with rent cheeks, having signs of the lotus on his body, and with broad frontal globes, the animal had long tusks and a voice deep as that of the clouds. Beholding that infuriated elephant, proud of his strength, approaching towards him, the tiger agitated with fear, sought the protection of the Rishi. That best of sages thereupon transformed the tiger into an elephant. The real elephant, seeing an individual of his own species, huge as mass of clouds, became terrified. The Rishi’s elephant then, freckled with the dust of lotus filaments, dived delightfully into lakes overgrown with lotuses and wandered by their banks indented with rabbit holes. A considerable time elapsed in this way. One day as the elephant was cheerfully striding along the vicinity of the hermitage, there came before him unto that spot a maned lion born in a mountain cave and accustomed to slay elephants. Beholding the lion coming, the Rishi’s elephant, from fear of life, began to tremble and sought the protection of the sage. The sage thereupon transformed that prince of elephants into a lion. As the wild lion was an animal of same species with himself, the Rishi’s lion no longer feared him. On the other hand, the wild lion seeing a stronger beast of his own species before him, became terrified. The Rishi’s lion began to dwell in that hermitage within the forest. Through fear of that animal, the other animals no longer ventured to approach the hermitage. Indeed, they all seemed to be inspired with fear about the safety of their lives. Some time after one day, a slayer of all animals, possessed of great strength inspiring all creatures with fright, having eight legs and eyes on the forehead, viz., a Sarabha, came to that spot. Indeed he came to that very hermitage for the object of slaying the Rishi’s lion. Seeing this, the sage transformed his lion into a Sarabha of great strength. The wild Sarabha, beholding the Rishi’s Sarabha before him to be fiercer and more powerful, quickly fled away, from that forest. Having been thus transformed into a Sarabha by the sage, the animal lived happily by the side of his transformer. All the animals then that dwelt in the vicinity became inspired with the fear of that Sarabha. Their fear and the desire of saving their lives led them all to fly away from that forest. Filled with delight, the Sarabha continued every day to slay animals for his food. Transformed into a carnivorous beast, he no longer affected fruit and roots upon which he had formerly lived. One day that ungrateful beast who had first been a dog but who was now transformed into a Sarabha, eagerly thirsting for blood, wished to slay the sage. The latter, by ascetic power, saw it all by his spiritual knowledge. Possessed of great wisdom, the sage, having ascertained the intentions of the beast, addressed him in these words.’

“The sage said, ‘O dog, thou wert first transformed into a leopard. From a leopard thou wert then made a tiger. From a tiger thou wert next transformed into an elephant with the temporal juice trickling down thy cheeks. Thy next transformation was into a lion. From a mighty lion thou wert then transformed into a Sarabha. Filled with affection for thee, it was I that transformed thee into these diverse shapes. Thou didst not, and dost not, belong by birth, to any of those species. Since, however, O sinful wretch, thou desirest to stay me who have done thee no injury, thou shalt return to thy own species and be a dog again.’ After this, that mean and foolish animal of wicked soul, transformed into a Sarabha once more assumed, in consequence of the Rishi’s curse, his own proper form of a dog.’”

Section CXVIII

“Bhishma said, ‘Having once more assumed his proper form, the dog became very cheerless. The Rishi, reproving him, drove the sinful creature from his hermitage. An intelligent king should, guided by this precedent, appoint servants, each fit for the office assigned to him, and exercise proper supervision over them, having first ascertained their qualifications in respect of truthfulness and purity, sincerity, general disposition, knowledge of the scripture, conduct, birth, self-restraint, compassion, strength, energy, dignity, and forgiveness. A king should never take a minister without first having examined him. If a king gathers round him persons of low birth, he can never be happy. A person of high birth, even if persecuted without any fault by his royal master, never sets his heart, in consequence of the respectability of his blood, upon injuring his master. An individual, however, that is mean and of low birth, having obtained even great affluence from his connection with some honest man, becomes an enemy of the latter if only he is reproached in words. A minister should be possessed of high birth and strength; he should be forgiving and self-restrained, and have all his sense under control; he should be free from the vice of rapacity, contented with his just acquisitions, delighted with the prosperity of his master and friends, conversant with the requirements of place and time, ever employed in attaching men to himself or his master by doing good offices to them, always attentive to his duties, desiring the good of his master, always heedful, faithful in the discharge of his own duties., a thorough master of the art of war and peace, conversant with the king’s requirements in respect of the great aggregate of three, beloved by both the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces, acquainted with all kinds of battle-array for piercing and breaking the enemy’s ranks, competent to inspire the forces of his master with cheerfulness and joy, capable of reading signs and gestures, acquainted with all requirements in respect of march, skilled in the art of training elephants, free from pride, confident of his own powers, clever in the transaction of business, always doing what is right, of righteous conduct, surrounded by righteous friends, of sweet speech, possessed of agreeable features, capable of leading men, well-versed in policy, possessed of accomplishments, energetic in action, active, possessed of ingenuity, of a sweet temper, modest in address, patient, brave, rich, and capable of adapting his measures to the requirement of place and time. That king who succeeds in obtaining such a minister can never be humiliated or overpowered by any one. Indeed, his kingdom gradually spreads over the earth like the light of the moon. A king, again, who is conversant with the scriptures, who regards righteousness to be superior to everything, who is always engaged in protecting his subjects, and who is possessed of the following virtues, obtains the love of all. He should be patient, forgiving, pure in conduct, severe when the occasion requires it acquainted with the efficacy of exertion, respectful in his behaviour towards all his seniors, possessed of a knowledge of the scriptures, ready to listen to the instructions and counsels of those that are competent to instruct and give counsel, capable of judging correctly amid different or opposite courses of

action suggested to him, intelligent, of a retentive memory, ready to do what is just, self-restrained, always sweet-speeched, forgiving even unto enemies, practising charity personally, possessed of faith, of agreeable features, ready to extend the hand of succour to persons plunged in distress, possessed of ministers that always seek his good, free from the fault of egoism, never without a wife, and undisposed to do anything with haste. He should always reward his ministers when they achieve anything signal. He should love those that are devoted to him. Avoiding idleness, he should always attract men to himself by doing good to them. His face should always be cheerful. He should always be attentive to the wants of his servants and never give way to wrath. He should, besides, be magnanimous. Without lying aside the lord of chastisement, he should wield it with propriety. He should make all men about him act righteously. Having spies for his eyes, he should always supervise the concerns of his subjects, and should be conversant in all matters connected with virtue and wealth. A king that is possessed of these hundred qualifications earns the love of all. Every ruler should strive to be such. The king should also, O monarch, search for good warriors (to enlist in his army) that should all be possessed of the necessary qualifications, for aiding him in protecting his kingdom. A king that desires his own advancement should never disregard his army. That king whose soldiers are brave in battle, grateful, and versed in the scriptures, whose army consists of foot-soldiers conversant with the treatises on religion and duty, whose elephant-warriors are fearless, whose car-warriors are skilled in their own mode of fighting and well-versed in shooting arrows and in wielding other weapons, succeeds in subjugating the whole earth. That king who is always employed in attaching all men to himself, who is ready for exertion, who is rich in friends and allies, becomes the foremost of rulers. A king who has succeeded in attaching all men unto himself, may, O Bharata, with the aid of even a thousand horsemen of courage, succeed in conquering the whole earth.’”

Section CXIX

“Bhishma said, ‘That king who, guided by the lesson to be drawn from the story of the dog, appoints his servants to offices for which each is fit, succeeds in enjoying the happiness that is attached to sovereignty. A dog should not, with honours, be placed in a position above that for which he is fit. If a dog be placed above the situation which is fit for him, he becomes intoxicated with pride. Ministers should be appointed to offices for which they are fit and should possess such qualifications as are needed for their respective occupations. Appointments on unfit persons are not at all approved. That king who confers on his servants offices for which each is fit, succeeds, in consequence of such merit, to enjoy the happiness attaching to sovereignty. A Sarabha should occupy the position of a Sarabha; a lion should swell with the might of a lion; a tiger should be placed in the position of a tiger; and a leopard should be placed as a leopard. Servants should, according to the ordinance, be appointed to offices for which each is fit. If thou wishest to achieve success, thou shouldst never appoint servants in situations higher than what they deserve. That foolish king who, transgressing precedent, appoints servants to offices for which they are not fit, fails to gratify his people. A king that desires to possess accomplished servants should never appoint persons that are destitute of intelligence, that are low-minded, that are without wisdom, that are not masters of their senses, and that are not of high birth. Men that are honest, possessed of high birth, brave, learned, destitute of malice and envy, high-minded, pure in behaviour, and clever in the transaction of business, deserve to be appointed as ministers. Persons that are possessed of humility, ready in the performance of their duties, tranquil in disposition, pure in mind, adorned with diverse other gifts of nature and are never the objects of calumny in respect of the offices they hold should be the intimate associates of the king. A lion should always make a companion of a lion. If one that is not a lion becomes the companion of a lion, one earns all the advantages that belong to a lion. That lion, however who, while engaged in discharging the duties of a lion, has a pack of dogs only for his associates, never succeeds in consequence of such companionship, in accomplishing those duties. Even thus, O ruler of men, may a king succeed in subjugating the whole earth if he has for his ministers men possessed of courage, wisdom, great learning, and high birth. O foremost of royal masters, kings should never entertain a servant that is destitute of learning and sincerity and wisdom and great wealth. These men that are devoted to the services of their master are never slopped by any impediments. Kings should always speak in soothing terms unto those servants that are always engaged in doing good to their masters. Kings should always, with great care, look after their treasuries. Indeed, kings have their roots in their treasuries. A king should always seek to swell his treasury. Let thy barns, O king, be fitted with corn. And let their keep be entrusted to honest servants. Do thou seek to increase thy wealth and corn. Let thy servants, skilled in battle, be always attentive to their duties. It is desirable that they should be skilful in the management of steeds. O delighter of the Kurus, attend to the wants of thy kinsmen and friends. Be thou surrounded with friends and relatives. Seek thou the good of thy city. By citing the precedent of the dog I have instructed thee about the duties thou shouldst adopt towards thy subjects. What further dost thou wish to hear?’”

Section CXX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast, O Bharata, discoursed upon the many duties of king-craft that were observed and laid down in days of old by persons of ancient times conversant with kingly duties. Thou hast, indeed, spoken in detail of those duties as approved by the wise. Do thou, however, O bull of Bharata’s race, speak of them in such a way that one may succeed in retaining them in memory.”

“Bhishma said, ‘The protection of all creatures is regarded as the highest duty of the Kshatriya. Listen now to me, O king, as to how the duty of protection is to be exercised. A king conversant with his duties should assume many forms even as the peacock puts forth plumes of diverse hues. Keenness, crookedness, truth, and sincerity, are the qualities that should be present in him. With thorough impartiality, he should practise the qualities of goodness if he is to earn felicity. He must assume that particular hue or form which is beneficial in view of the particular object which he seeks to accomplish. A king who can assume diverse forms succeeds in accomplishing even the most subtle objects. Dumb like the peacock in autumn, he should conceal his counsel. He should speak little, and the little he speaks should be sweet. He should be of good features and well versed in the scriptures. He should always be heedful in respect of those gates through which dangers may come and overtake him, like men taking care of breaks in embankments through which the waters of large tanks may rush and flood their fields and houses. He should seek the refuge of Brahmanas crowned with ascetic success even as men seek the refuge or loudly rivers generated by the rain-water collected within mountain lakes. That king who desires to amass wealth should act like religious hypocrites in the matter of keeping a coronal lock. The king should always have the rod of chastisement uplifted in his hands. He should always act heedfully (in the matter of levying his taxes) after examining the incomes and expenses of his subjects like men repairing to a full-grown palmyra for drawing its juice. He should act equitably towards his own subjects; cause the crops of his enemies to be crushed by the tread of his cavalry, march against foes when his own wings have become strong; and observe all the sources of his own weakness. He should proclaim the faults of his foes; crush those that are their partisans; and collect wealth from outside like a person plucking flowers from the woods. He should destroy those foremost of monarchs that

swell with might and stand with uplifted heads like mountains, by seeking the shelter of unknown shades and by ambuscades and sudden attacks. Like the peacock in the season of rains, he should enter his nightly quarters alone and unseen. Indeed, he should enjoy, after the manner of the peacock, within his inner apartments, the companionship of his wives. He should not put off his mail. He should himself protect his own self, and avoid the nets spread out for him by the spies and secret agents of his foes. He should also win over the affections of the spies of his enemies, but extirpate them when opportunity occurs. Like the peacocks the king should kill his powerful and angry foes of crooked policy, and destroy their force and drive them away from home. The king should also like the peacock do what is good to him, and glean wisdom from everywhere as they collect insects even from the forest. A wise and peacock-like king should thus rule his kingdom and adopt a policy which is beneficial to him. By exercising his own intelligence, he should settle what he is to do. By consulting with others he should either abandon or confirm such resolution. Aided by that intelligence which is sharpened by the scriptures, one can settle his courses of action. In this consists the usefulness of the scriptures. By practising the arts of conciliation, he should inspire confidence in the hearts of his enemies. He should display his own strength. By judging of different courses of action in his own mind he should, by exercising his own intelligence, arrive at conclusions. The king should be well-versed in the arts of conciliatory policy, he should be possessed of wisdom; and should be able to do what should be done and avoid what should not. A person of wisdom and deep intelligence does not stand in need of counsels or instruction. A wise man who is possessed of intelligence like Vrihaspati, if he incurs obloquy, goon regains his disposition like heated iron dipped in water. A king should accomplish all objects, of his own or of others, according to the means laid down in the scriptures. A king conversant with the ways of acquiring wealth should always employ in his acts such men as are mild indisposition, possessed of wisdom and courage and great strength. Beholding his servants employed in acts for which each is fit, the king should act in conformity with all of them like the strings of a musical instrument, stretched to proper tension, according with their intended notes. The king should do good to all persons without transgressing the dictates of righteousness. That king stands immovable as a hill whom everybody regards–‘He is mine.’ Having set himself to the task of adjudicating between litigants, the king, without making any difference between persons that are liked and those that are disliked by him, should uphold justice. The king should appoint in all his offices such men as are conversant with the characteristics of particular families, of the masses of the people, and of different countries; as are mild in speech; as are of middle age; as have no faults; as are devoted to good act; as are never heedless; as are free from rapacity; as are possessed of learning and self-restraint; as are firm in virtue and always prepared to uphold the

interests of both virtue and profit. In this way, having ascertained the course of actions and their final objects the king should accomplish them heedfully; and instructed in all matters by his spies, he may live in cheerfulness. The king who never gives way to wrath and joy without sufficient cause, who supervises all his acts himself, and who looks after his income and expenditure with his own eyes, succeeds in obtaining great wealth from the earth. That king is said to be conversant with the duties of king-craft who rewards his officers and subjects publicly (for any good they do), who chastises those that deserve chastisement, who protects his own self, and who protects his kingdom from every evil. Like the Sun shedding his rays upon everything below, the king should always look after his kingdom himself, and aided by his intelligence he should supervise all his spies and officers. The king should take wealth from his subjects at the proper time. He should never proclaim what he does. Like an intelligent man milking his cow every day, the king should milk his kingdom every day. As the bee collects honey from flowers gradually, the king should draw wealth gradually from his kingdom for storing it. Having kept apart a sufficient portion, that which remains should be spent upon acquisition of religious merit and the gratification of the desire for pleasure. That king who is acquainted with duties and who is possessed of intelligence would never waste what has been stored. The king should never disregard any wealth for its littleness; he should never disregard foes for their powerlessness; he should, by exercising his own intelligence, examine his own self; he should never repose confidence upon persons destitute of intelligence. Steadiness, cleverness, self-restraint, intelligence, health, patience, bravery, and attention to the requirements of time and place,–these eight qualities lead to the increase of wealth, be it small or be it much. A little fire, fed with clarified butter, may blaze forth into a conflagration. A single seed may produce a thousand trees. A king, therefore, even when he hears that his income and expenditure are great, should not disregard the smaller items. A foe, whether he happens to be a child, a young man, or an aged one, succeeds in staying a person who is heedless. An insignificant foe, when he becomes powerful, may exterminate a king. A king, therefore, who is conversant with the requirements of time is the foremost of all rulers. A foe, strong or weak, guided by malice, may very soon destroy the fame of a king, obstruct the acquisition of religious merit by him; and deprive him of even his energy. Therefore, a king that is of regulated mind should never be heedless when he has a foe. If a king possessed of intelligence desire affluence and victory, he should, after surveying his expenditure, income, savings, and administration, make either peace or war. For this reason the king should seek the aid of an intelligent minister. Blazing intelligence weakens even a mighty person; by intelligence may power that is growing be protected; a growing foe is weakened by the aid of intelligence; therefore, every act that is undertaken conformably to the dictates of intelligence is deserving of praise. A king possessed of patience and without any fault, may, if he likes, obtain the fruition of all his wishes, with the aid of even a small force. That king, however, who wishes to be surrounded by a train of self-seeking flatterers, never succeeds in winning even the smallest benefit. For these reasons.. the king should act with mildness in taking wealth from his subjects. If a king continually oppresses his people, he meets with extinction like a flash of lightening that blazes forth only for a second. Learning, penances, vast wealth, indeed, everything, can be earned by exertion. Exertion, as it occurs in embodied creatures, is governed by intelligence. Exertion, therefore, should be regarded as the foremost of all things. The human body is the residence of many intelligent creatures of great energy, of Sakra, of Vishnu, of Saraswati, and of other beings. A man of knowledge, therefore, should never disregard the body. A covetous man should be subjugated by constant gifts. He that is covetous is never satiated with appropriating other people’s wealth. Every one, however, becomes covetous in the matter of enjoying happiness. If a person, therefore, becomes destitute of wealth, he becomes destitute of virtue and pleasure (which are objects attainable by wealth). A covetous man seeks to appropriate the wealth, the enjoyments, the sons and daughters, and the affluence of others. In covetous men every kind of fault may be seen. The king, therefore, should never take a covetous man for his minister or officer. A king (in the absence of proper agents) should despatch even a low person for ascertaining the disposition and acts of foes. A ruler possessed of wisdom should frustrate all the endeavours and objects of his enemies. That trustful and high-born king who seeks instruction from learned and virtuous Brahmanas and who is protected by his ministers, succeeds in keeping all his tributary chiefs under proper control. O prince of men, I have briefly discoursed to thee of all the duties laid down in the scriptures. Attend to them, aided by thy intelligence. That king who, in obedience to his preceptor, attends to these, succeeds in ruling the whole earth. That king who disregards the happiness that is derivable from policy and seeks for that which chance may bring, never succeeds in enjoying the happiness that attaches to sovereignty or in winning regions of bliss hereafter. A king that is heedful, by properly attending to the requirements of war and peace, succeeds in slaying even such foes as are eminent for wealth, worshipped for intelligence and good conduct, possessed of accomplishments, brave in battle, and ready for exertion. The king should discover those means which are furnished by different kinds of acts and measures. He should never depend upon destiny. One that sees faults in faultless persons never succeeds in winning prosperity and fame. When two friends engage in accomplishing one and the same act, a wise man always applauds him among the two that takes upon himself the heavier share of the work. Do thou practise these duties of kings that I have told thee. Set thy heart upon the duty of protecting men. Thou mayst then easily obtain the reward of virtue. All

the regions of felicity hereafter are dependent upon merit!’”

Section CXXI

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O grandsire, thou hast now finished thy discourse upon the duties of kings. From what thou hast said it seems that Chastisement occupies a high position and is the lord of everything for everything depends upon Chastisement. It seems, O puissant one, that Chastisement, which is possessed of great energy and which is present everywhere, is the foremost of all beings among either gods and Rishis and high-souled Pitris and Yakshas and Rakshasas and Pisachas and Sadhyas, or living beings in this world including beasts and birds. Thou hast said that the entire universe, mobile and immobile, including gods, Asuras, and men, may be seen to depend upon Chastisement. I now desire, O bull of Bharata’s race, to know truly who Chastisement is. Of what kind is he? What is his form? What is his disposition? Of what is he made? Whence is his origin? What are his features? What is his splendour? How does he remain wakeful among living creatures so heedfully? Who is he that remains eternally wakeful, protecting this universe? Who is he that is known to be the foremost of all things? Who, indeed, is that high personage called Chastisement? What is that upon which Chastisement depends? And what is his course?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen, O descendent of Kuru, who Chastisement is and why he is called also Vyavahara! That upon whom all things depend is called Chastisement. Chastisement is that by which righteousness is kept up. He is sometimes called Vyavahara. In order that the righteousness of a king that is heedfully awake may not suffer extinction (Chastisement has come to be called by that name). It is for this reason that the name Vyavahara becomes applicable to it. In olden days Manu, O king, declared first of all this truth, viz.,–‘He who protects all creatures, the loved and the odious equally, by impartially wielding the lord of Chastisement, is said to be the embodiment of righteousness.’–These words that I have said were, O king first, uttered in days of old by Manu. They represent the high words of Brahman. And because these words were spoken first, therefore, they are known as the first words. And since it is by Chastisement that the misappropriation of other people’s possessions is stopped, therefore Chastisement has come to be called by the name of Vyavahara. The aggregate of three always rests on well applied Chastisement. Chastisement is a great god. In form he looks

like a blazing fire. His complexion is dark like that of the petals of the blue lotus. He is equipt with four teeth, has four arms and eight legs and many eyes. His cars are pointed like shafts and his hair stands upright. He has matted locks and two tongues. His face has the hue of copper, and he is clad in a lion’s skin. That irresistible deity assumes such a fierce shape. Assuming again the form of the sword, the bow, the mace, the dart, the trident, the mallet, the arrow, the thick and short club, the battle-axe, the discus, the noose, the heavy bludgeon, the rapier, the lance, and in fact of every kind of weapon that exists on earth. Chastisement moves in the world. Indeed, Chastisement moves on earth, piercing and cutting and afflicting and lopping off and dividing and striking and slaying and rushing against its victims. These, O Yudhishthira, are some of the names which Chastisement bears, viz., Sword, Sabre, Righteousness, Fury, the Irresistible, the Parent of prosperity, Victory, Punisher, Checker, the Eternal, the Scriptures, Brahmana, Mantra, Avenger, the Foremost of first Legislators, Judge, the Undecaying, God, the individual whose course is irresistible, the Ever-agoing, the First. born, the individual without affections, the Soul of Rudra, the eldest Manu and the great Benefactor Chastisement is the holy Vishnu. He is the puissant Narayana. And because he always assumes a terrible form, therefore he is called Mahapurusha. His wife Morality is also known by the names of Brahmana’s Daughter, Lakshmi, Vriti, Saraswati, and Mother of the universe. Chastisement thus has many forms. Blessings and curse, pleasure and pain, righteousness and unrighteousness, strength and weakness, fortune and misfortune, merit and demerit, virtue and vice, desire and aversion, season and month, night and day, and hour, heedfulness and heedlessness, joy and anger, peace and self-restraint, destiny and exertion, salvation and condemnation, fear and fearlessness, injury and abstention from injury, penances and sacrifice and rigid abstinence, poison and healthy food, the beginning, the middle, and the end, the result of all murderous acts, insolence, insanity, arrogance, pride, patience, policy, impolicy, powerlessness and power, respect, disrespect, decay and stability, humility, charity, fitness of time and unfitness of time, falsehood, wisdom, truth, belief, disbelief, impotence, trade, profit, loss, success, defeat, fierceness, mildness, death, acquisition and non-acquisition, agreement and disagreement, that which should be done and that which should not be done, strength and weakness, malice and goodwill, righteousness and unrighteousness, shame and shamelessness, modesty, prosperity and adversity, energy, acts, learning, eloquence, keenness of Understanding,–all these, O Yudhishthira, are forms of Chastisement in this world. Hence, Chastisement is exceedingly multiform. If Chastisement had not existed, all creatures would have ground one another. Through fear of Chastisement. O Yudhisthira, living creatures do not slay one another. The subjects, O king, always protected by Chastisement, enhance the might of

their ruler. It is for this that Chastisement is regarded as the foremost refuge of all. Chastisement, O king, quickly sets the world on the path of righteousness. Dependent upon truth, righteousness exists in the Brahmanas. Endued with righteousness, foremost of Brahmanas became attached to the Vedas. From the Vedas the sacrifices flow. Sacrifices gratify the deities. The deities, being gratified, commend the denizens of the earth to Indra. For benefiting the denizens of the earth, Indra gives them food (in the form of rain without which crops and vegetation would fail). The life of all creatures depends upon food. From food creatures derive their support and growth. Chastisement (in the form of the Kshatriya ruler) remains wakeful amongst them. For serving this object, Chastisement assumes the form of a Kshatriya among men. Protecting men, he remains awake, always heedful and never decaying. Chastisement has again these other eight names, viz., God, Man, Life, Power, Heart, the Lord of all creatures, the Soul of all things, and the Living creature. God gave both affluence and the rod of chastisement to the king who is possessed of strength (in the form of military forces) and who is a combination of five ingredients. Nobility of blood, ministers of great wealth, knowledge, the different kinds of forces (such as strength of body, energy of mind, etc.), with the eight objects mentioned below, and the other force (viz., that which depends upon a well-filled treasury), should be sought for the king, O Yudhishthira. Those eight objects are elephants, horses, cars, foot soldiers, boats, impressed labourers (for following the camp and doing other work), increase of population, and cattle (such as sheep, etc.). Of the army equipped in mail and with other accoutrements, car-warriors, elephant-warriors, cavalry, Infantry, officers, and surgeons constitute the limbs. Beggars, principal judges, astrologers, performers of propitiatory and Atharvan rites, treasury, allies, grain, and all other requisites, constitute the body, composed of seven attributes and eight limbs, of a kingdom. Chastisement is another powerful limb of a kingdom. Chastisement (in the form of an army) is the author of a kingdom. God himself has, with great care, sent Chastisement for the use of the Kshatriya. This eternal universe is impartial Chastisement’s self. There is nothing more worthy of respect by kings than Chastisement by which the ways of Righteousness are pointed out. Brahman himself, for the protection of the world and for establishing the duties of different individuals, sent down (or created) Chastisement. There is another kind of Vyavahara arising out of the dispute of litigants which also has sprung from Brahman. Principally characterised by a belief in either of the two parties, that Vyavahara is seen to be productive of good. There is another kind of Vyavahara which has the Veda for its soul. It is also said to have the Veda for its cause. There is, O tiger, among kings, a (third) kind of Vyavahara which is connected with family customs but which is consistent with the scriptures. That Vyavahara which has, as above, been said to be characterised by a belief in either of two litigant

parties, should be known by us as inhering in the king. It should be also known by the name of Chastisement, as also by the name of Evidence. Although Chastisement is seen to be regulated by Evidence, yet it has been said to have its soul in Vyavahara. That which has been called Vyavahara is really based upon Vedic precepts. That Vyavahara which has been indicated to have the Vedas for its soul is Morality or duty. It is also productive of good unto persons believing in duty and morality, men of cleansed souls have spoken of that Vyavahara as they have done of ordinary law. The third kind of Vyavahara is also a preceptor of men, and it has also its roots in the Veda, O Yudhishthira! It upholds the three worlds. It has Truth for its soul and it is productive of prosperity. That which is Chastisement has been seen by us to be eternal Vyavahara. That which has been said to be Vyavahara is verily the Veda. That which is the Veda is morality, duty. That which is morality and duty is the path of Righteousness. This last it was which in the beginning had been Grandsire Brahman, that Lord of all creatures. Brahman is the Creator of the entire universe with the gods and Asura and Rakshasas and human beings and snakes, and of every other thing. Hence that Vyavahara which is characterised by a belief in either of two litigant parties has also flowed from him. For this reason He has laid down the following in respect of Vyavahara: Neither mother, nor father, nor brother, nor wife, nor priest, is unpunishable with that king who rules agreeably to his duty.

Section CXXII

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the old story that follows. There was among the Angas a king of great splendour, called Vasuhoma. That king was always engaged in acts of piety, and accompanied by his spouse he always practiced the most rigid penances. He repaired to the spot called Munjaprishtha held in high esteem by the Pitris and the celestial Rishis. There, on that peak of Himavat, near the golden mountains of Merit, (the great Brahmana here) Rama, sitting under the shade of a well-known banian, had tied his matted locks together. From that time, O monarch, the spot, which is a favourite haunt of Rudra, came to be called Munjaprishtha by Rishis of rigid vows. King Vasuhoma, residing in that spot, acquired many pious attributes and, having gained the esteem of the Brahmanas, came to be regarded as a celestial Rishi in holiness. One day, that crusher of foes, that friend of Sakra, viz., king Mandhatri of great soul, came to Vasuhoma on his mountain retreat. Arrived there, Mandhatri, beholding king Vasuhoma of austere penances stood before the latter in an attitude of humility. Vasuhoma offered unto his guest water to wash his feet, and the Arghya consisting of the usual articles, and enquired of him about the well-being or otherwise of his kingdom consisting of seven limbs. After this, Vasuhoma addressed his royal guest who faithfully followed the practices of the righteous men of old, saying, ‘What, O king, shall I do for thee?’ Thus addressed, O delighter of the Kurus, Mandhatri, that best of kings, highly gratified, answered Vasuhoma of great wisdom seated at his ease, in the following words.’

“Mandhatri said, ‘Thou hast, O king, studied all the doctrines of Vrihaspati. O best of men, the doctrines laid down by Usanas also are known to thee. I desire to know what is the origin of Chastisement. What was awake before Chastisement? What also is said to be its end? How came Chastisement to depend upon the Kshatriya? Tell me all this. O thou of great wisdom! I come to thee as a disciple ready to give thee the tutorial fee.’

“Vasuhoma said, ‘Listen, O king, as to how Chastisement, that upholder of the world, arose. The soul of righteousness, it is eternal, and was created for maintaining the due government of all creatures. It hath been heard by us that once upon a time, the Grandsire of all the worlds, viz., the divine Brahman desiring to perform a sacrifice, failed to find a priest possessed of qualifications like himself. For this reason he conceived in his brain and held the foetus there for many long years. After a thousand years had passed away, the great god sneezed. In that act, the foetus fell from his head. The divine being, O chastiser of foes, that thus took birth from Brahman was called by the name of Kshupa. Possessed of great powers, he became a lord of creatures. That Kshupa became the priest, O king, in the sacrifice of the high-souled Grandsire. Upon the commencement of that sacrifice, of Brahman, O best of kings. Chastisement disappeared in consequence of the visible form that the Grandsire was

then obliged to assume. Chastisement having disappeared, a great confusion set in among all creatures. There was no longer any distinction between what should be done and what should not. All distinction, again, between clean and unclean food ceased. Men ceased to distinguish between what drink was allowable and what drink was otherwise. All creatures began to injure one another. There were no restraints in the matter of the union of the sexes. All idea of property ceased. All creatures began to rob, and snatching meat from one another. The strong began to slay the weak. Nobody cherished the slightest consideration for his neighbour. The Grandsire then, having worshipped the divine and eternal Vishnu, addressed that great boon-giving god, saying, ‘It behoveth thee, O Kesava, to show mercy on the present occasion. Let it be so ordained by thee that the confusion that has occurred may disappear.’ Thus addressed, that foremost of deities, armed with an enormous Sula, having reflected long, created his ownself into the form of Chastisement. From that form, having Righteousness for its legs, the goddess Saraswati created Danda-niti (Science of Chastisement) which very soon became celebrated over the world. After this the great god armed with the enormous Sula, having again reflected for some time, appointed a few among the gods as the lords or rulers of their respective classes. It was then that he made the divine Indra of a thousand eyes the ruler of the deities. Yama the son of Vivaswat was made the lord of the Pitris. Kuvera was made the lord of treasures and of all the Rakshasas. Meru was made the king of the mountains, and Ocean was made the lord of the rivers. The puissant Varuna was installed into the sovereignty of the waters and the Asuras. Death was made the lord of life and all living things, and Fire was appointed as the lord of all things possessed of energy. The puissant Isana the high-souled and eternal Mahadeva, of three eyes, was made the lord of the Rudras. Vasishtha was made the lord of the Brahmanas, and Jatavedas was made the chief of the Vasus. Surya was made the lord of all luminous bodies, and Chandramas was made the king of Stars and constellations. Ansumat was made the lord of all herbs, and the puissant and foremost of deities, viz., Kumara or Skanda, of twelve arms, was made the chief of all the spirits and ghostly beings (that wait upon Mahadeva). Time, possessing the seeds of both destruction and growth, was made the sovereign of all creatures as also of the four portions of Death (viz., weapons, diseases, Yama, and acts) and lastly of grief and joy. The Srutis declare that the supreme god Mahadeva, that lord of lords, O king, armed with Sula, is the chief of the Rudras. The rod of chastisement was given to Brahmana’s son of subsequent birth, viz., Kshupa, that lord of all creatures and the foremost one of all virtuous persons. Upon the completion of that sacrifice according to due rites, Mahadeva, after doing proper reverence made over

Chastisement, that protector of Righteousness, unto Vishnu. Vishnu gave it to Angiras; and Angiras, that foremost of ascetics, made it over to Indra and Marichi. Marichi gave it to Bhrigu. Bhrigu gave that rod intended for the protection of righteousness, unto all the Rishis. The Rishis gave it unto the Regents of the world, and the Regents made it over again to Kshupa. Kshupa then made it over to Manu the son of Surya. The deity of Sraddhas (viz., Manu), gave it unto his sons for the sake of true righteousness and wealth. Chastisement should be inflicted with discrimination, guided by righteousness and not by caprice. It is intended for restraining the wicked. Fines and forfeitures are intended for striking alarm, and not for filling the king’s treasury. The maiming of one’s body or the infliction of death should not proceed from trivial causes. The infliction of physical pain by diverse means, hurling from tops of mountains, and banishment also, should not proceed from similar causes. Surya’s son Manu gave the rod of chastisement (to his sons) for the protection of the world. Chastisement, in the hands of successive holders, remains awake, protecting all creatures. At the top of the scale, the divine Indra is awake (with the rod of chastisement); after him, Agni of blazing flames; after him, Varuna; after Varuna, Prajapati; after Prajapati, Righteousness whose essence consists of restraint, after Righteousness the son of Brahman, viz., the eternal Law; after Law, Energy is awake, employed in the act of protection; after Energy, the herbs (offered in sacrifices for supporting the gods and used as food and medicines); after the herbs, the mountains; after the mountains, all kinds of juices and their attributes; after these, the goddess Niriti; after Niriti, the planets and the luminous bodies in heaven; after these, the Vedas; after the Vedas, the puissant form of Vishnu with equine head; after him, the almighty and eternal Grandsire, viz., Brahman; after the Grandsire, the divine and blessed Mahadeva; after Mahadeva, the Viswedevas; after them, the great Rishis; after the Rishis the divine Soma; after Soma, the deities who are all eternal; after the deities, know that the Brahmanas are awake. After the Brahmanas, the Kshatriyas are righteously protecting all creatures. The eternal universe, consisting of mobile and immobile creatures, is kept awake by the Kshatriyas. Creatures are kept awake in this world, and Chastisement is awake among them. Possessed of splendour resembling that of the Grandsire himself, Chastisement keeps together and upholds everything. Time, O Bharata, is always awake, in the beginning, the middle, and the end. The master of all the worlds, the lord of all creatures, the puissant and blessed Mahadeva, the god of gods, is always awake. He is called by these names also, viz., Kapardin, Sankara, Rudra, Bhava, Sthanu and the lord of Uma. Thus Chastisement also keeps awake in the beginning, the middle, and the end. A virtuous king should rule properly, guided by Chastisement.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘That person who listens to this teaching of Vasuhoma, and having listened to it conducts himself according to its tenure, is sure to obtain the fruition of all his wishes. I have now, O bull among men, told thee everything as to who Chastisement is, that restrainer of the universe which is governed by righteousness.’”

Section CXXIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘I wish, O sire, to hear the settled conclusions on the subject of Virtue, Wealth, and Pleasure. Depending upon which of these does the course of life proceed? What are the respective roots of Virtue, Wealth, and Pleasure? What are again the results of those three? They are sometimes see n to mingle with one another, and sometimes to exist separately and independently of one another.’

“Bhishma said, ‘When men in this world endeavour with good hearts to achieve Wealth with the aid of Virtue, then those three, viz., Virtue, Wealth, and Pleasure, may be seen to co-exist in a state of union in respect of time, cause, and action. Wealth has its root in Virtue, and Pleasure is said to be the fruit of Wealth. All the three again have their root in Will. Will is concerned with objects. All objects, again, in their entirety, exist for gratifying the desire of enjoyment. Upon these then does the aggregate of three depend. Entire abstraction from all objects is Emancipation. It is said that Virtue is sought for the protection of the body, and Wealth is for the acquisition of Virtue. Pleasure is only the gratification of the senses. All the three have, therefore, the quality of Passion. Virtue, Wealth, and Pleasure, when sought for the sake of heaven or such other rewards, are said to be remote because the rewards themselves are remote. When sought, however, for the sake of Knowledge of Self, they are said to be proximate. One should seek them when they are of such a character. One should not cast them off even mentally. If Virtue, Wealth, and Pleasure are to be abandoned, one should abandon them when one has freed one’s self by ascetic penances. The aim of the triple aggregate is towards emancipation.

Would that man could obtain it! One’s acts, undertaken and completed with eve tithe aid of intelligence may or may not lead to the expected results. Virtue is not always the root of Wealth, for other things than Virtue lead to Wealth (such as service, agriculture, &c). There is again a contrary opinion (for some say that Wealth is earned through chance or birth or like causes). In some instances, Wealth acquired has been productive of evil. Other things again that Wealth (such as fasts and vows) have led to the acquisition of Virtue. As regards this topic, therefore, a dullard whose understanding has been debased by ignorance, never succeeds in acquiring the highest aim of Virtue and Wealth, viz., Emancipation. Virtue’s dross consists in the desire of reward; the dross of Wealth consists in hoarding it; when purged of these impurities, they are productive of great results. In this connection is cited the narrative of the discourse that look place in days of old between Kamandaka and Angaristha. One day, king Angaristha, having waited for the opportunity, saluted the Rishi Kamandaka as he was seated at his ease and asked him the following questions, ‘If a king, forced by lust and folly, commits sin for which he afterwards repents, by what acts, O Rishi, can those sins be destroyed? If again a man impelled by ignorance, does what is sinful in the belief that he is acting righteously, how shall the king put a stop to that sin come into vogue among men?’

“Kamandaka said, ‘That man who, abandoning Virtue and Wealth pursues only Pleasure, reaps as the consequence of such conduct the destruction of his intelligence. The destruction of intelligence is followed by heedlessness that is at once destructive of both Virtue and Wealth. From such heedlessness proceed dire atheism and systematic wickedness of conduct. If the king does not restrain those wicked men of sinful conduct, all good subjects then live in fear of him like the inmate of a room within which a snake has concealed itself. The subjects do not follow such a king. Brahmanas and all pious persons also act in the same way. As a consequence the king incurs great danger, and ultimately the risk of destruction itself. Overtaken by infamy and insult, he has to drag on a miserable existence. A life of infamy, however, is equal to death. Men learned in the scriptures have indicated the following means for checking sin. The king should always devote himself to the study of the three Vedas. He should respect the Brahmanas and do good offices unto them. He should be devoted to righteousness. He should make alliance (of marriage) with high families. He should wait upon high-minded Brahmanas adorned with the virtue of forgiveness. He should perform ablutions and recite sacred mantras and thus pass his time happily. Banishing all wicked subjects from himself and his kingdom, he should seek the companionship of virtuous men. He should gratify all persons by speeches or good acts. He should say unto all–‘I am yours,’–proclaim the virtues of even his foes. By pursuing such conduct he may soon cleanse himself of his sins and win the high regard of all. Without doubt, by conduct such as this all his sins will be destroyed. Thou shouldst accomplish all those high duties which thy seniors and preceptors would indicate. Thou art sure to obtain great blessing through the grace of thy seniors and preceptors.’”

Section CXXIV

“Yudhishthira said, ‘All persons on earth, O foremost of men, applaud virtuous behaviour. I have, however, great doubts with respect to this object of their praise. If the topic be capable of being understood by us, O foremost of virtuous men, I desire to hear everything about the way in which virtuous behaviour can be acquired. How indeed, is that behaviour acquired, O Bharata! I desire to hear it. Tell me also, O foremost of speakers, what has been said to be the characteristics of that behaviour.’

“Bhishma said, Formerly, O giver of honours, Duryodhana while burning with grief at sight of that well-known prosperity belonging to thee and thy brothers at Indraprastha and for the jeers he received in consequence of his mistakes at the grand mansion, had asked his father Dhritarashtra the same question. Listen to what transpired on that occasion, O Bharata! Having seen that grand mansion of thine and that high prosperity of which thou wert master, Duryodhana, while sitting before his father, spake of what he had seen to the latter. Having heard the words of Duryodhana, Dhritarashtra, addressing his son and Karna, replied unto him as follows.

Dhritarashtra said, ‘Why dost thou grieve, O son! I desire to hear the cause in detail. If after ascertaining the reason they appear to be adequate, I shall then endeavour to instruct thee. O subjugator of hostile towns, thou too hast obtained great affluence. All thy brothers are ever obedient to thee, as also all thy friends and relatives. Thou coverest thy limbs with the best robes. Thou eatest the richest food. Steeds of the best kind bear thee. Why then hast thou become pale and emaciated?’

Duryodhana said, ‘Ten thousands of high-souled Snataka Brahmanas daily eat at Yudhishthira’s palace off plates of gold. Beholding his excellent mansion adorned with excellent flowers and fruit, his steeds of the Tittiri and the Kalmasha breeds, his robes of diverse kinds, indeed, beholding that high prosperity of my enemies viz., the sons of Pandu, a prosperity that resembles the high affluence of Vaisravana himself, I am burning with grief, O Bharata!’

Dhritarashtra said, ‘If thou wishest, O sire, to win prosperity like that of Yudhishthira or that which is even superior to it, do thou then, O son, endeavour to be of virtuous behaviour. Without doubt, one may, by behaviour alone, conquer the three worlds. There is nothing impossible of attainment by persons of virtuous behaviour. Mandhatri conquered the whole world in course of only one night, Janamejaya, in course of three; and Nabhaga, in course of seven. All these kings were possessed of compassion and of virtuous behaviour. For this reason the earth came to them of their own accord, won over by their virtue.

“Duryodhana said, ‘I desire to hear, O Bharata, how that behaviour may be acquired, that behaviour, viz., in consequence of which the earth was won so

speedily (by the kings named by thee).

“‘Dhritarashtra said, ‘In this connection, the following old narrative is cited. It was formerly recited by Narada on the subject of virtuous behaviour. In days of yore, the Daitya Prahlada, by the merit of his behaviour, snatched from the high-souled Indra his sovereignty and reduced the three worlds to subjection. Sukra then, with joined hands, approached Vrihaspati. Possessed of great wisdom, the chief of the celestials addressed the great preceptor, saying, ‘I desire thee to tell me what is the source of felicity. Thus addressed, Vrihaspati said unto him that Knowledge (leading to emancipation) is the source of the highest felicity. Indeed, Vrihaspati indicated Knowledge to be the source of supreme felicity. Indra, however, once more asked him as to whether there was anything higher than that.

“Vrihaspati said, ‘There is something, O son, that is still higher. The high-souled Bhargava (Usanas) will instruct thee better. Repair to him, blessed be thou, and enquire of him, O chief of the celestials!’ Possessed of great ascetic merit and endued with great splendour, the chief of the celestials then repaired to Bhargava and obtained from him with a ratified heart, a knowledge of what was for his great good. Obtaining the permission of the high-souled Bhargava, the performer of a hundred sacrifices once more asked the sage as to whether there was anything higher (as the means for the acquisition of felicity) than what the sage had already told him. The omniscient Bhargava said, ‘The high-souled Prahlada has better knowledge.’ Learning this, Indra became highly delighted. The chastiser of Paka, possessed of great intelligence, assumed the form of a Brahmana, and repairing to Prahlada, asked him, saying, ‘I desire to hear what conduces to felicity. Prahlada answered the Brahmana, saying, ‘O chief of regenerate ones, I have no time, being wholly occupied in the task of ruling the three worlds, I cannot, therefore, instruct thee.’ The Brahmana said, ‘O king, when thou mayst have leisure, I desire to listen to thy instructions about what course of conduct is productive of good. At this answer, king Prahlada. became delighted with that utterer of Brahma. Saying, ‘So be it!’ he availed of a favourable opportunity for imparting to the Brahmana the truths of knowledge. The Brahma na duly observed towards Prahlada the conduct which a disciple should observe towards his preceptor, and began with his whole heart to do what Prahlada desired. Many a time the Brahmana enquired, saying, ‘O chastiser of foes, by what means hast thou been able to win the sovereignty of the three worlds? Tell me, O righteous king, ‘What those means are.’ Prahlada, O monarch, answered the question the Brahmana asked.

“Prahlada said, ‘I do not, O regenerate one, feel any pride in consequence of my being a king, nor do I cherish any hostile feelings towards the Brahmanas. On the other hand, I accept and follow the counsels of policy they declare unto Me based upon the teachings of Sukra. In complete trustfulness they say unto me what they wish to say, and restrain me from courses that are unrighteous or improper. I am ever obedient to the teachings of Sukra. I wait upon and serve the Brahmanas and my seniors. I bear no malice. I am of righteous soul. I have conquered wrath. I am self-restrained, and all my senses are under my control. These regenerate ones that are my instructors pour beneficial instructions upon me like bees dropping honey into the cells of their comb. I taste the nectar dropped by those learned men, and like the Moon among the constellations I live among the members of my race. Even this is nectar on earth, even this is the clearest eye, viz., listening to the teaching of Sukra from the lips of Brahmanas and acting according to them. In these consists the good of a man.’ Thus said Prahlada unto that utterer of Brahma. Served dutifully by him, the chief of the Daityas once more said, ‘O foremost of regenerate ones, I am exceedingly gratified with thee in consequence of thy dutiful behaviour towards me. Ask of me the boon thou desirest, blessed be thou, for verily I shall grant thee what thou wilt ask. The Brahmana answered the chief of the Daityas saying, ‘Very well. I will obey thee.’ Prahlada, gratified with him, said, ‘Take what thou wishest.’

“The Brahmana said, ‘If, the king, thou hast been gratified with me and if thou wishest to do what is agreeable to me, I desire then to acquire thy behaviour. Even this is the boon that I solicit. At this, though delighted, Prahlada became filled with a great fear. Indeed, when this boon was indicated by the Brahmana, the Daitya chief thought the solicitor could not be a person of ordinary energy. Wondering much, Prahlada at last said, ‘Let it be so.’ Having, however, granted the boon, the Daitya chief became filled with grief. The Brahmana, having received the boon, went away, but Prahlada, O king, became penetrated by a deep anxiety and knew not what to do. While the Daitya chief sat brooding over the matter, a flame of light issued out of his body. It had a shadowy form of great splendour and huge proportions. Prahlada asked the form, saying, ‘Who art thou?’ The form answered, saying, ‘I am the embodiment of thy Behaviour. Cast off by thee I am going away. I shall henceforth, O king, dwell in that faultless and foremost of Brahmanas who had become thy devoted disciple.’ Having said these words, the form disappeared and soon after entered the body of Sakra. After the disappearance of that form, another of similar shape issued out of Prahlada’s body. The Daitya chief addressed it, saying, ‘Who art thou?’ The form answered, saying, ‘Know me, O Prahlada, for the embodiment of Righteousness. I shall go there where that foremost of Brahmanas is, for, O chief of the Daityas, I reside there where Behaviour dwells.’ Upon the disappearance of Righteousness, a third form, O monarch, blazing with splendour, issued out of the body of the high souled Prahlada. Asked by Prahlada as to who he was, that form possessed of great effulgence answered, saying, ‘Know, O chief of the Daityas, that I am Truth. I shall leave thee, following the way of Righteousness.’ After Truth had left Prahlada, following in the wake of Righteousness, another great person issued out of Prahlada’s body. Asked by the Daityas king, the mighty being answered, ‘I am the embodiment of Good deeds. Know, O Prahlada, that 1 live there where Truth lives.’ After this one had left Prahlada, another being

came out, uttering loud and deep cries. Addressed by Prahlada, he answered, ‘Know that I am Might. I dwell there where Good deeds are.’ ‘Having said these words, Might went away to that place whither Good deeds had gone. After this, a goddess of great effulgence issued out of Prahlada’s body. The Daitya chief asked her and she answered him saying that she was the embodiment of Prosperity, adding, ‘I dwelt in thee, O hero, O thou of prowess incapable of being baffled! Cast off by thee, I shall follow in the wake of Might.’ The high-souled Prahlada, penetrated, with great fear, once more asked the goddess, saying, ‘Where dost thou go, O goddess, O thou that dwellest amid lotuses? Thou art ever devoted to truth, O goddess, and thou art the first of deities. Who is that foremost of Brahmanas (who was my disciple)? I desire to know the truth.’

The goddess of Prosperity said, ‘Devoted to the vow of Brahmacharya, that Brahmana who was instructed by thee was Sukra. O puissant one, he robbed thee of that sovereignty which thou hadst over the three worlds. O righteous one, it was by thy behaviour that thou hadst reduced the three worlds to subjection. Knowing this, the chief of the celestials robbed thee of thy behaviour. Righteousness and Truth and Good deeds and Might and myself, O thou of great wisdom, all have our root verily in Behaviour.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Having said these words, the goddess of Prosperity went away, as also all the rest, O Yudhishthira! Duryodhana, once more addressing his father, said these words: ‘O delighter of the Kurus, I wish to know the truth about Behaviour. Tell me the means by which it may be acquired.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Those means were indicated by the high-souled Prahlada while discoursing unto Indra. Listen, however, O ruler of men, as how in brief Behaviour may be acquired. Abstention from injury, by act, thought, and word, in respect of all creatures, compassion, and gift, constitute behaviour that is worthy of praise. That act or exertion by which others are not benefited, or that act in consequence of which one has to feel shame, should never be done. That act, on the other hand, should be done in consequence of which o tie may win praise in society. O best of the Kurus, I have now told thee in brief as to what Behaviour is. If O king, persons of wicked behaviour do ever win prosperity, they do not enjoy it long, O son, and are seen to be exterminated by the root.’

“Dhritarashtra continued, ‘Knowing all this truly, do thou, O son, be of good behaviour, if thou desirest to obtain prosperity greater than that of Yudhishthira.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Even this was what king Dhritarashtra said unto his son. Do thou act according, to these instructions, O son of Kunti, and thou wilt then surely obtain their fruit.’”

Section CXXV

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast said, O grandsire, that behaviour is the first (of requisites for a man). Whence, however, does Hope arise? Tell me what it is. This great doubt has taken possession of my mind. There is no other person than thee, O subjugator of hostile towns, who can remove it. O grandsire, I had great hope in respect of Suyodhana that when, a battle was about to ensue (in consequence of his own obstinacy), he would, O lord, do what was proper. In every man hope is great. When that hope is destroyed, great is the grief that succeeds, and which, without doubt, is equal to almost death itself. Fool that I am, Dhritarashtra’s wicked-souled son, Duryodhana, destroyed the hope I had cherished. Behold, O king, the foolishness of my mind! I think that hope is vaster than a mountain with all its trees. Or, perhaps, it is vaster than the firmament itself. Or, perhaps, O king, it is really immeasurable. Hope, O chief of the Kurus, is exceedingly difficult of being understood and equally difficult of being subdued. Beholding this last attribute of Hope, I ask, what else is so unconquerable as this?’

“Bhishma said, ‘I shall narrate to thee, O Yudhishthira, in this connection, the discourse between Sumitra and Rishabha that took place in olden times. Listen to it. A royal sage of the Haihaya race, Sumitra by name, went out a hunting. He pursued a deer, having pierced it with a straight shaft. Possessed of great strength, the deer ran ahead, with the arrow sticking to him. The king was possessed of great strength, and accordingly pursued with great speed his prey. The animal, endued with fleetness, quickly cleared a low ground and then a level plain. The king, young, active and strong, and armed with bow and sword and cased in mail, still pursued it. Unaccompanied by anybody, in chasing the animal through the forest the king crossed many rivers and streams and lakes and copses. Endued with great speed, the animal, at its will, showing itself now and then to the king, ran on with great speed. Pierced with many shafts by the king, that denizen of wilderness, O monarch, as if in sport, repeatedly lessened the distance between itself and the pursuer. Repeatedly putting forth its speed and traversing one forest after another, it now and then showed itself to the king at a near point. At last that crusher of foes, taking a very superior shaft, sharp, terrible, and capable of penetrating into the very vitals, fixed it on his bowstring. The animal then, of huge proportions, as if laughing at the pursuer’s efforts suddenly distanced him by reaching a point full four miles ahead of the range of the shaft. That arrow of blazing splendour accordingly fell on the ground. The deer entered a large forest but the king still continued the chase.’”

Section CXXVI

“Bhishma said, ‘The king, having entered that large forest, came upon an asylum of ascetics. Fatigued with the toil he had undergone, he sat himself down for rest. Beholding him armed with bow, worn out with toil, and hungry, the ascetics approached him and honoured him in due form. Accepting the honours offered by the Rishis, the king enquired of them about the progress and advancement of their penances. Having duly answered the enquiries of the king, those Rishis endued with wealth of asceticism asked that tiger among rulers about the reason that led his steps to that retreat. And they said, ‘Blessed be thou, in pursuit of what delightful object hast thou, O king, come to this asylum, walking on foot and armed with sword and bow and arrows? We wish to hear whence thou art coming, O giver of honours. Tell us also in what race thou art born and what thy name is.’ Thus addressed, O bull among men, the king proceeded to duly give unto all those Brahmanas an account of himself, O Bharata, saying, ‘I am born in the race of the Haihayas. By name I am Sumitra, and I am the son of Mitra. I chase herds of deer, slaying them in thousands with my arrows. Accompanied by a large force and my ministers and the ladies of my household, I came out on a hunting expedition. I pierced a deer with an arrow, but the animal with the shaft sticking to his body ran with great speed. In chasing it I have, without a set purpose, arrived at this forest and find myself in your presence, shorn of splendour, toil-worn, and with hope disappointed. What can be more pitiable than this, viz., that I have arrived at this asylum, spent with fatigue, shorn of the signs of royalty, and disappointed of my hopes. I am not at all sorry, ye ascetics, at my being now shorn of the signs of royalty or at my being now at a distance from my capital. I feel, however, a poignant grief in consequence of my hope having been disappointed. The prince of mountains, viz., Himavat, and that vast receptacle of waters, viz., the ocean, cannot, for its vastness, measure the extent of the firmament. Ye ascetics, similarly, I also cannot discern the limit of hope. Ye that are endued with wealth of penances are omniscient. There is nothing unknown to you. You are also highly blessed. I therefore, solicit you for resolving my doubt. Hope as cherished by man, and the wide firmament, which of these two appears vaster to you? I desire to hear in detail what is so unconquerable to hope. If the topic be one upon which it is not improper for ye to discourse, then tell me all about it without delay. I do not wish, ye foremost of regenerate ones, to hear anything from You that may be a mystery improper to discourse upon. If again the discourse be injurious to your penances, I would not wish you to speak. If the question asked by me be a worthy topic of discourse, I would then wish to hear the cause in detail. Devoted to penances as ye are, do ye all instruct me on the subject.’”

Section CXXVII

“Bhishma said, ‘Then that best of Rishis, viz., the regenerate Rishabha, sitting in the midst of all those Rishis, smiled a little and said these words: ‘Formerly, O tiger among kings, while travelling among sacred places, I arrived, O lord, at the beautiful asylum of Nara and Narayana. There lies the delightful spot called Vadri, and there also is that lake in the firmament (whence the sacred Ganga takes her rise). There the sage Aswasiras, O king, (always) reads the eternal Vedas. Having performed my ablutions in that lake and offered with due rites oblations of water unto the Pitris and the dogs, I entered the asylum. Within that retreat the Rishis Nara and Narayana always pass their time in true pleasure. Not far from that spot I repaired to another retreat for taking up my abode. While seated there I beheld a very tall and emaciated Rishi, clad in rags and skins, approaching towards me. Possessed of the wealth of penances, he was named Tanu. Compared, O mighty-armed one, with other men, his height seemed to be eight times greater. As regards his leanness, O royal sage, I can say that I have never beheld its like. His body, O king, was as thin as one’s little finger. His neck and arms and legs and hair were all of extra-ordinary aspect. His head was proportionate to his body, and his cars and eyes also were the same. His speech, O best of kings, and his movements were exceedingly feeble. Beholding that exceedingly emaciated Brahmana I became very cheerless and frightened. Saluting his feet, I stood before him with joined hands. Having informed him of my name and family, and having told him also the name of my father, O bull among men, I slowly sat myself down on a seat that was indicated by him. Then, O monarch, that foremost of virtuous men, viz., Tanu, began to discourse in the midst of the Rishis dwelling in that asylum upon topics connected with Righteousness and Profit. While engaged in discourse, a king, possessed of eyes like lotus petals and accompanied by his forces and the ladies of his household, came to that spot on a car drawn by fleet steeds. The name of that king was Viradyumna. Of handsome features, he was possessed of great fame. His son’s name was Bhuridyumna. The child had been missing, and the sire, exceedingly cheerless, came there in course of his wanderings amid the forest in pursuit of the missing one. ‘I shall find my son here!’ ‘I shall find my son here!’ Dragged on by hope in this way, the king wandered through that forest in those days. Addressing the emaciated Rishi he said, ‘Without doubt that highly virtuous son of mine is exceedingly difficult to be traced by me. Alas he was my only child. He is lost and can nowhere be found! Though incapable of being found out, my hope, however, of finding him is very great. Filled with that hope (which is being constantly disappointed), I am verily on the point of death.’ Hearing these words of the

king, that foremost of Munis, viz., the holy Tanu, remained for a short while with head hanging down and himself buried in contemplation. Beholding him buried in contemplation, the king became exceedingly cheerless. In great grief he began to say slowly and softly, ‘What, O celestial Rishi, is unconquerable and what is greater than hope? O holy one, tell me this if I may hear it without impropriety.’

“The Muni said, ‘A holy and great Rishi had been insulted by thy son. He had done it through ill-luck, moved by his foolish understanding. The Rishi had asked thy son for a golden jar and vegetable barks. Thy son contemptuously refused to gratify the ascetic. Thus treated by thy son, the great sage became disappointed. Thus addressed, the king worshipped that ascetic who was worshipped by all the world. Of virtuous soul, Viradyumna sat there, spent with fatigue even as thou, O best of men, now art. The great Rishi, in return, offered the king according to the rites observed by the dwellers of the forests water to wash his feet and the usual ingredients that make up the Arghya. Then all the Rishis, O tiger among kings, sat there, surrounding that bull among men like the stars of the constellation of Ursa Major surrounding the Pole star. And they asked the unvanquished king as to the cause of his arrival at that asylum.’”


“The king said, ‘I am a king called by the name of Viradyumna. My fame has spread in all directions. My son Bhuridyumna hath been lost. It is in quest of him that I have come to this forest. Ye foremost of Brahmanas, that child was my only son and, ye sinless ones, he is of very tender years. He cannot, however, be found here. I am wandering everywhere for finding him out.’

“Rishabha continued, ‘After the king had said these words, the ascetic Tanu hung down his head. He remained perfectly silent, without uttering a single word in answer. In former days that Brahmana had not been much honoured by the king. In disappointment, O monarch, he had for that reason practised austere penances for a longtime, resolving in his mind that he should never accept anything in gift from either kings or members of any other order. And he said to himself, ‘Hope agitates every man of foolish understanding. I shall drive away hope from my mind.’ Even such had been his determination. Viradyumna once more questioned that foremost of ascetics in these words:

“The king said, ‘What is the measure of the thinness of Hope? What on earth is exceedingly difficult of acquisition? Tell me this, O holy one, for thou art well conversant with morality and profit.”

“Rishabha continued, ‘Himself recollecting all the past incidents (about his own disregard at the hands of the king) and calling them back to the recollection of the king also, that holy Brahmana of emaciated body addressed the king and said the following words:

“The sage said, ‘There is nothing, O king, that equals Hope in slenderness. I had solicited many kings and found that nothing is so difficult of acquisition as an image that Hope sets before the mind.’

“The king said, ‘At thy words, O Brahmana, I understand what is slender and what is not so. I understand also how difficult of acquisition are the images set by Hope before the mind. I regard these words of thine as utterances of Sruti. O thou of great wisdom, one doubt, however, has arisen in my-mind. It behoveth thee, O sage, to explain it in detail unto me that ask thee. What is more slender than thy body? Tell me this, O holy one, if, of course, O best of sages, the topic be one which may be discoursed upon without impropriety.’

“The emaciated sage said, ‘A contented applicant is exceedingly difficult to meet with. Perhaps, there is none such in the world. Something rarer still, O sire, is the person that never disregards an applicant. The hope that rests upon such persons as do not, after passing their promises, do good to others according to the best of their powers and according as the applicants deserve, is slenderer than even my body. The hope that rests upon an ungrateful man, or upon one that is cruel, or one that is idle, or one that injures others, is slenderer than even my body. The hope cherished by a sire that has but one son, of once more seeing that son after he has been lost or missed, is slenderer than even my body. The hope that old women entertain of bringing forth sons, O king, and that is cherished by rich men, is slenderer than even my body. The hope that springs up in the hearts of grown up maidens of marriage when they hear anybody only talk of it in their presence, is slenderer than even my body.’ Hearing these words, O monarch, king Viradyumna, and the ladies of his household, prostrated themselves before that bull among Brahmanas and touched his feet with their bent heads.’

“The king said, ‘I beg thy grace, O holy one! I wish to meet with my child. What thou hast said, O best of Brahmanas, is very true. There is no doubt of the truth of thy utterances.’

“Rishabha continued, ‘The holy Tanu, that foremost of virtuous persons, smiling, caused, by means of his learning and his penances the king’s son to be brought to that spot. Having caused the prince to be brought thither, the sage rebuked the king (his father). That foremost of virtuous persons then displayed himself to be the god of righteousness. Indeed, having displayed his own wonderful and celestial form, he entered an adjacent forest, with heart freed from wrath and the desire of revenge. I saw all this, O king, and heard the words I have said. Drive off thy hope, that is even slenderer (than any of

those which the sage indicated).’

“Bhishma continued ‘Thus addressed, O monarch, by the high-souled Rishabha, king Sumitra speedily cast off the hope that was in his heart and which was slenderer (than any of the kinds of hope indicated by the emaciated Rishi). Do thou also, O son of Kunti, hearing these words of mine, be calm and collected like Himavat. Overcome with distress, thou hast questioned me and heard my answer. Having heard it. O monarch, it behoves thee to dispel these regrets of thine!’

Section CXXIX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Like one that drinks nectar I am never satiated with listening to thee as thou speakest. As a person possessing a knowledge of self is never satiated with meditation, even so I am never satiated with hearing thee. Do thou, therefore, O grandsire, discourse once more upon morality. I am never satiated with drinking the nectar of thy discourse upon morality.’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the old narrative of the discourse between Gotama and the illustrious Yama. Gotama owned a wide retreat on the Paripatra hills. Listen to me as to how many years he dwelt in that abode. For sixty thousand years that sage underwent ascetic austerities in that asylum. One day, the Regent of the world, Yama, O tiger among men, repaired to that great sage of cleansed soul while he was engaged in the severest austerities. Yama beheld the great ascetic Gotama of rigid penances. The regenerate sage understanding that it was Yama who had come, speedily saluted him and sat with joined hands in an attentive attitude (waiting for his commands). The royal Dharma, beholding that bull among Brahmanas, duly saluted him (in return) and addressing him asked what he was to do for him.’

“Gotama said, “By doing what acts does one liberate one’s self from the debt One owes to one’s mother and father? How also does one succeed in winning regions of pure bliss that are so difficult of attainment?’

“Yama said, ‘Devoting one’s self to the duty of truth, and practising purity and penances one should ceaselessly worship one’s mother and father. One should also perform Horse-sacrifices with presents in profusion unto the Brahmanas. By such acts one wins many regions (of felicity) of wonderful aspect.’”

Section CXXX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘What course of conduct should be adopted by a king shorn of friends, having many enemies, possessed of an exhausted treasury, and destitute of troops, O Bharata! What, indeed, should be his conduct when he is surrounded by wicked ministers, when his counsels are all divulged, when he does not see his way clearly before him, when he assails another kingdom, when he is engaged in grinding a hostile kingdom, and when though weak he is at war with a stronger ruler? What, indeed, should be the conduct of a king the affairs of whose kingdom are ill-regulated, and who disregards the requirements of place and time, who is unable, in consequence of his oppressions, to bring about peace and cause disunion among his foes? Should he seek the acquisition of wealth by evil means, or should he lay down his life without seeking wealth?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Conversant as thou art with duties, thou hast, O bull of Bharata’s race, asked me a question relating to mystery (in connection with duties). Without being questioned, O Yudhishthira, I could not venture to discourse upon this duty. Morality is very subtle. One understands it, O bull of Bharata’s race, by the aid of the texts of scriptures. By remembering what one has heard and by practising good acts, some one in some place may become a righteous person. By acting with intelligence the king may or may not succeed in acquiring wealth. Aided by thy own intelligence do thou think what answer should be given to thy question on this head. Listen, O Bharata, to the means, fraught with great merit, by which kings may conduct themselves (during seasons of distress). For the sake of true morality, however, I would not call those means righteous. If the treasury be filled by oppression, conduct like this brings the king to the verge of destruction. Even this is the conclusion of all intelligent men who have thought upon the subject. The kind of scriptures or science which one always studies gives him the kind of knowledge which it is capable of giving. Such Knowledge verily becomes agreeable to him. Ignorance leads to barrenness of invention in respect of means. Contrivance of means, again, through the aid of knowledge, becomes the source of great felicity. Without entertaining any scruples and any malice, listen to these instructions. Through the decrease of the treasury, the king’s forces are decreased. The king should, therefore, fill his treasury (by any means) like to one creating water in a wilderness which is without water. Agreeably to this code of quasi-morality practised by the ancients, the king should, when the time for it comes, show compassion to his people. This is eternal duty. For men

that are able and competent, the duties are of one kind. In seasons of distress, however, one’s duties are of a different kind. Without wealth a king may (by penances and the like) acquire religious merit. Life, however, is much more important than religious merit. (And as life cannot be supported without wealth, no such merit should be sought which stands in the way of the acquisition of wealth). A king that is weak, by acquiring only religious merit, never succeeds in obtaining just and proper means for sustenance; and since he cannot, by even his best exertions, acquire power by the aid of only religious merit, therefore the practices in seasons of distress are sometimes regarded as not inconsistent with morality. The learned, however, are of opinion that those practices lead to sinfulness. After the season of distress is over, what should the Kshatriya do? He should (at such a time) conduct himself in such a way that his merit may not be destroyed. He should also act in such a way that he may not have to succumb to his enemies. Even these have been declared to be his duties. He should not sink in despondency. He should not (in times of distress) seek to rescue (from the peril of destruction) the merit of others or of himself. On the other hand, he should rescue his own self. This is the settled conclusion. There is this Sruti, viz., that it is settled that Brahmanas, who are conversant with duties, should have proficiency in respect of duties. Similarly, as regards the Kshatriya, his proficiency should consist in exertion, since might of arms is his great possession. When a Kshatriya’s means of support are gone, what should he not take excepting what belongs to ascetics and what is owned by Brahmanas? Even as a Brahmana in a season of distress may officiate at the sacrifice of a person for whom he should never officiate (at other and ordinary times) and eat forbidden food, so there is no doubt that a Kshatriya (in distress) may take wealth from every one except ascetics and Brahmanas. For one afflicted (by an enemy and seeking the means of escape) what can be an improper outlet? For a person immured (within a dungeon and seeking escape) what can be an improper path? When a person becomes afflicted, he escapes by even an improper outlet. For a Kshatriya that has, in consequence of the weakness of his treasury and army, become exceedingly humiliated, neither a life of mendicancy nor the profession of a Vaisya or that of a Sudra has been laid down. The profession ordained for a Kshatriya is the acquisition of wealth by battle and victory. He should never beg of a member of his own order. The person who supports himself at ordinary times by following the practices primarily laid for him, may in seasons of distress support himself by following the practices laid down in the alternative. In a season of distress, when ordinary practices cannot be followed, a Kshatriya may live by even unjust and improper means. The very Brahmanas, it is seen, do the same when

their means of living are destroyed. When the Brahmanas (at such times) conduct themselves thus, what doubt is there in respect of Kshatriyas? This is, indeed, settled. Without sinking into despondency and yielding to destruction, a Kshatriya may (by force) take what he can from persons that are rich. Know that the Kshatriya is the protector and the destroyer of the people, Therefore, a Kshatriya in distress should take (by force) what he can, with a view to (ultimately) protect the people. No person in this world, O king, can support life without injuring other creatures. The very ascetic leading a solitary life in the depths of the forest is no exception. A Kshatriya should not live, relying upon destiny, especially he, O chief of the Kurus, who is desirous of ruling. The king and the kingdom should always mutually protect each other. This is an eternal duty. As the king protects, by spending all his possessions, the kingdom when it sinks into distress, even so should the kingdom protect the king when he sinks into distress. The king even at the extremity of distress, should never give up his treasury, his machinery for chastising the wicked, his army, his friends and allies and other necessary institutions and the chiefs existing in his kingdom. Men conversant with duty say that one must keep one’s seeds, deducting them from one’s very food. This is a truth cited from the treatise of Samvara well-known for his great powers of illusion, Fie on the life of that king whose kingdom languishes. Fie on the life of that man who from want of means goes to a foreign country for a living. The king’s roots are his treasury and army. His army, again, has its roots in his treasury. His army is the root of all his religious merits. His religious merits, again are the root of his subjects. The treasury can never be filled without oppressing others. How ‘then can the army be kept without oppression? The king, therefore, in seasons of distress, incurs no fault by oppressing his subjects for filling the treasury. For performing sacrifices many improper acts are done. For this reason a king incurs no fault by doing improper acts (when the object is to fill his treasury in a season of distress). For the sake of wealth practices other than those which are proper are followed (in seasons of distress). If (at such times) such improper practices be not adopted, evil is certain to result. All those institutions that are kept up for working destruction and misery exist for the sake of collecting wealth. Guided by such considerations, all intelligent king should settle his course (at such times). As animals and other things are necessary for sacrifices, as sacrifices are for purifying the heart, and as animals, sacrifices, and purity of the heart are all for final emancipation, even so policy and chastisement exist for the treasury, the treasury exists for the army, and policy and treasury and army all the three exist for vanquishing foes and protecting or enlarging the kingdom. I shall here cite an example illustrating the true ways of morality. A large tree is cut down for making of it a sacrificial stake. In cutting it, other trees that stand in its way have also to be cut down. These also, in falling down, kill others standing on the spot.

Even so they that stand in the way of making a well-filled treasury must have to be slain. I do not see how else success can be had. By wealth, both the worlds, viz., this and the other, can be had, as also Truth and religious merit. A person without wealth is more dead than alive. Wealth for the performance of sacrifices should be acquired by every means. The demerit that attaches to an act done in a season of distress is not equal to that which attaches to the same act if done at other times, O Bharata! The acquisition of wealth and its abandonment cannot both be possibly seen in the same person, O king! I do not see a rich man in the forest. With respect to every wealth that is seen in this world, every one contends with every one else, saying, ‘This shall be mine,’ ‘This shall be mine!’ This is nothing, O scorcher of foes, that is so meritorious for a king as the possession of a kingdom. It is sinful for a king to oppress his subjects with heavy impositions at ordinary times. In a season, however, of distress, it is quite different. Some acquire wealth by gifts and sacrifices; some who have a liking for penances acquire wealth by penances; some acquire it by the aid of their intelligence and cleverness. A person without wealth is said to be weak, while he that has wealth become powerful. A man of wealth may acquire everything. A king that has well-filled treasury succeeds in accomplishing everything. By his treasury a king may earn religious merit, gratify his desire for pleasure, obtain the next world, and this also. The treasury, however, should be filled by the aid of righteousness and never by unrighteous practices, such, that is, as pass for righteous in times of distress.

Section CXXXI

(Apaddharmanusasana Parva)

“Yudhishthira said, ‘What, besides this, should be done by a king that is weak and procrastinating, that does not engage in battle from anxiety for the lives of his friends, that is always under the influence of fear, and that cannot keep his counsels secret? What, indeed, should that king do whose cities and kingdom have been partitioned and appropriated by foes, who is divested of wealth, who is incapable (through such poverty) of honouring his friends and attaching them to himself, whose ministers are disunited or bought over by his enemies, who is obliged to stand in the face of foes, whose army has dwindled away, and whose heart has been agitated by some strong enemy?’

“Bhishma said, ‘If the invading enemy be of pure heart and if he be conversant with both morality and profit, a king of the kind you have indicated should, with no loss of time, make peace with the invader and bring about the restoration of those portions of the kingdom that have already been conquered. If, again, the invader be strong and sinful and seek to obtain victory by unrighteous means, the king should make peace with him, too, by abandoning a portion of his territories. If the invader be unwilling to make peace, the king should then abandon his very capital and all his possessions for escaping from danger. If he can save his life he may hope for similar acquisitions in future. What man conversant with morality is there that would sacrifice his own self, which is a more valuable possession, for encountering that danger from which escape can be had by the abandonment of his treasury and army? A king should protect the ladies of his household. If these fall into the hands of the enemy, he should not show any compassion for them (by incurring the risk of his own arrest in delivering them). As long as it is in his power, he should never surrender his own self to the enemy.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘When his own people are dissatisfied with him, when he is oppressed by invaders, when his treasury is exhausted, and when his counsels are divulged, what should the king then do?’

“Bhishma said, ‘A king, under such circumstances, should (if his enemy be righteous) seek to make peace with him. If the enemy be unrighteous, he should then put forth his valour. He should, by such means, seek to cause the foe to withdraw from his kingdom; or fighting bravely, he should lay down his life and ascend to heaven. A king can conquer the whole earth with the help of even a small force if that force be loyal, cheerful, and devoted to his good. If slain in battle, he is sure to ascend to heaven. If he succeeds in slaying (his enemies), he is sure to enjoy the earth. By laying down one’s life in battle, one obtains the companionship of Indra himself.’”

Section CXXXII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘When practices fraught with high morality and beneficial to the world, (viz., those that appertain to righteous rule) disappear, when all the means and resources for the support of life fall into the hands of robbers, when, indeed, such a calamitous time sets in, by what means should a Brahmana, O grandsire, who from affection is unable to desert his sons and grandsons, subsist?’

“Bhishma said, ‘When such a time sets in, the Brahmana should live by the aid of knowledge. Everything in this world is for them that are good. Nothing here is for them that are wicked. He who making himself an instrument of acquisition, takes wealth from the wicked and gives it unto them that are good, is said to be conversant with the morality of adversity. Desirous of maintaining his rule, the king, O monarch, without driving his subjects to indignation and rebellion, may take what is not freely given by the owner, saying, ‘This is mine!’ That wise man who, cleansed by the possession of knowledge and might and of righteous conduct at other times, acts censurably in such season, does not really deserve to be censured. They who always support themselves by putting forth their might never like any other method of living. They that are endued with might, O Yudhishthira, always live by the aid of prowess. The ordinary scriptures, that exist (for seasons of distress) without exceptions of any kind, should be practised by a king (at such times). A king, however, that is endued with intelligence, while following those scriptures, would do something more. At such times, however, the king should not oppress, Ritwijas, and Purohitas and preceptors and Brahmanas, all of whom are honoured and held in high esteem. By oppressing them, even at such times, he incurs reproach and sin. This that I tell thee is regarded as an authority in the world. Indeed, this is the eternal eye (by which practices in seasons of distress are to be viewed). One should be guided by his authority. By this is to be judged whether a king is to be called good or wicked. It is seen that many persons residing in villages and towns, actuated by jealousy and wrath, accuse one another. The king should never, at their words, honour or punish anybody. Slander should never be spoken. If spoken, it should never be heard. When slanderous converse goes on, one should close one’s ears or leave the place outright. Slanderous converse is the characteristic of wicked men. It is an indication of depravity. They, on the other hand, O king, who speak of the virtues of others in assemblies of the good, are good men. As a pair of sweet-tempered bulls governable and well-broken and used to bear burthens, put their necks to the yoke and drag the cart willingly, even so should the king bear his burthens (in seasons of distress). Others say that a king (at such times) should conduct himself in such a way that he may succeed in gaining a large number of allies. Some regard ancient usage as the highest indication of righteousness. Others, viz., they that are in favour of the conduct pursued by Sankha, towards Likhita, do not hold this opinion. They do not advance such an opinion through either malice or covetousness . Examples are seen of even great Rishis who have laid down that even preceptors, if addicted to evil practices, should be punished. But approvable authority there is none for such a proposition. The gods may be left to punish such men when they happen to be vile and guilty of wicked practices. The king who fills his treasury by having recourse to fraudulent devices, certainly falls away from righteousness. The code of morality which is honoured in every respect by those that are good and in affluent circumstances, and which is approved by every honest heart,

should be followed. He is said to be conversant with duty who knows duty as depending on all the four foundations. It is difficult to find out the reasons on which duties stand even as it is difficult to find out the legs of the snake. As a hunter of beasts discovers the track of a shaft-struck deer by observing spots of blood on the ground, even so should one seek to discover the reasons of duties. This should a man tread with humility along the path trod by the good. Such, indeed, was the conduct of the great royal sages of old, O Yudhishthira!’”


“Bhishma said, ‘The king should, by drawing wealth from his own kingdom as also from the kingdoms of his foes, fill his treasury. From the treasury springs his religious merit, O son of Kunti, and it is in consequence of the treasury that the roots of his kingdom extend. For these reasons the treasury must be filled; and when filled; it should be carefully protected (by putting a stop to all useless expenditure), and even sought to be increased. This is the eternal practice. The treasury cannot be filled by (acting with) purity and righteousness, nor by (acting with) heartless cruelty. It should be filled by adopting a middle course. How can a weak king have a treasury? How again can a king who has no treasury have strength? How can a weak man have kingdom? Whence again can one without a kingdom obtain prosperity? For a person of high rank, adversity is like death. For this reason the king should always increase his treasury, and army, and allies and friends. All men disregard a king with an empty treasury. Without being gratified with the little that such a king can give, his servants never express any alacrity in his business. In consequence of his affluence, the king succeeds in obtaining great honours. Indeed, affluence conceals his very sins, like robes concealing such parts of a feminine form as should not be exposed to the view. Those with whom the king has formerly quarrelled become filled with grief at the sight of his new affluence. Like dogs they once more take service under him, and though they wait only for an opportunity to slay him, he takes to them as if nothing has happened. How, O Bharata, can such a king obtain happiness? The king should always exert for acquiring greatness. He should never bend down in humility. Exertion is manliness. He should rather break at an unfavourable opportunity than bend before any one. He should rather repair to the forest and live therewith the wild animals. But he should not still live in the midst of ministers and officers who have like robbers broken through all restraints.

Even the robbers of the forest may furnish a large number of soldiers for the accomplishment of the fiercest of deeds. O Bharata! If the king transgresses all wholesome restraints, all people become filled with alarm. The very robbers who know not what compassion is, dread such a king. For this reason, the king: should always establish rules and restraints for gladdening the hearts of his people. Rules in respect of even very trivial matters are hailed with delight by the people. There are men who think that this world is nothing and the future also is a myth. He that is an atheist of this type, though his heart is agitated by secret fears, should never be trusted. If the robbers of the forest, while observing other virtues, commit depredations in respect only of property, those depredations may be regarded as harmless. The lives of thousands of creatures are protected in consequence of robbers observing such restraints. Slaying an enemy who is flying away from battle, ravishment of wives, ingratitude, plundering the property of a Brahmana, depriving a person of the whole of his property, violation of maidens, continued occupation of villages and towns as their lawful lords, and adulterous congress with other people’s wives–these are regarded as wicked acts among even robbers, and robbers should always abstain from them. It is again certain that those kings who strive (by making peace) to inspire confidence upon themselves in the hearts of the robbers, succeed, after watching all their ins and outs, in exterminating them. For this reason, in dealing with robbers, it is necessary that they should not be exterminated outright. They should be sought to be brought under the king’s way. The king should never behave with cruelty towards them, thinking that he is more powerful than they. Those kings that do not exterminate them outright have no fear of extermination to themselves. They, however, that do exterminate them have always to live in fear in consequence of that act.’”

Section CXXXIV

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection, persons acquainted with the scriptures declare this text in respect of duty, viz., for a Kshatriya possessed of intelligence and knowledge, (the earning of) religious merit and (the acquisition of) wealth, constitute his obvious duties. He should not, by subtle discussions on duty and unseen consequences in respect of a future world, abstain from accomplishing those two duties. As it is useless to argue, upon seeing certain foot-prints on the ground, whether they are wolf’s or not, even so is all discussion upon the nature of righteousness and the reverse. Nobody in this world ever sees the fruits of righteousness and unrighteousness. A Kshatriya, therefore, should seek the acquisition of power. He that is powerful is master of everything. Wealth leads to the possession of an army. He that is powerful obtains intelligent advisers. He that is without wealth is truly fallen. A little (of anything in the world) is regarded as the dirty remnant of a feast. If a strong man does even many bad acts, nobody, through fear, says or does anything (for censuring or checking him). If righteousness and Power be associated with Truth, they can then rescue men from great perils. If, however, the two be compared, Power will appear to be superior to Righteousness. It is from Power that Righteousness springs. Righteousness rests upon Power as all immobile things upon the earth. As smoke depends upon the wind (for its motion), even so Righteousness depends upon Power. Righteousness which is the weaker of the two depends for its support upon a tree. Righteousness is dependent on them that are powerful even as pleasure is dependent upon them that are given to enjoyment. There is nothing that powerful men cannot do. Everything is pure with them that are powerful. A powerless man, by committing evil acts can never escape. Men feel alarmed at his conduct even as they are alarmed at the appearance of a wolf. One fallen away from a state of affluence leads a life of humiliation and sorrow. A life of humiliation and reproach is like death itself The learned have said that when in consequence of one’s sinful conduct one is cast off by friends and companions, one is pierced repeatedly by the wordy darts of others and one has to burn with grief on that account. Professors of scriptures have said with respect to the expiation of sinfulness that one should (if stained with sinfulness) study the three Vedas, wait upon and worship the Brahmanas, gratify all men by looks, words, and acts, cast off all meanness, marry in high families, proclaim the praises of others while confessing one’s own worthlessness, recite mantras, perform the usual water-rites, assume a mildness of behaviour, and abstain from speaking much, and perform austere penances, seek the refuge of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas. Indeed, one who has committed many evil acts, should do all this, without being angry at the reproaches uttered by men. By conducting one’s self in this way, one may soon become cleansed of all his sins and regain the regard of the world. Indeed, one wins great respect in this world and great rewards in the next, and enjoys diverse kinds of happiness here by following such conduct and by sharing his wealth with others.’”

Section CXXXV

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the old story of a robber who having in this would been observant of restraints did not meet with destruction in the next. There was a robber of the name of Kayavya, born of a Kshatriya father and a Nishada mother. Kayavya was a practiser of Kshatriya duties. Capable of smiting, possessed of intelligence and courage, conversant with the scriptures, destitute of cruelty, devoted to the Brahmanas, and worshipping his seniors and preceptors with reverence, he protected the ascetics in the observance of their practices. Though a robber, he still succeeded in winning felicity in heaven. Morning and evening he used to excite the wrath of the deer by chasing them. He was well conversant with all the practices of the Nishadas as also of all animals living in the forest. Well acquainted with the requirements of time and place, he roved over the mountains. Acquainted as he was with the habits of all animals, his arrows never missed their aim, and his weapons were strong. Alone, he could vanquish many hundreds of troops. He worshipped his old, blind, and deaf parents in the forest every day. With honey and flesh and fruits and roots and other kinds of excellent food, he hospitably entertained all persons deserving of honour and did them many good offices. He showed great respect for those Brahmanas that had retired from the world for taking up their residence in the woods. Killing the deer, he often took flesh to them. As regards those that were unwilling, from fear of others, to accept gifts from him because of the profession he followed, he used to go to their abodes before dawn and leave flesh at their doors. One day many thousands of robbers, destitute of compassion in their conduct and regardless of all restraints, desired to elect him as their leader.’

“The robbers said, ‘Thou art acquainted with the requirements of place and time. Thou hast wisdom and courage. Thy firmness also is great in everything thou undertakest. Be thou our foremost of leaders, respected by us all, We will do as thou wilt direct. Protect us duly, even as a father or mother.’

“Kayavya said, ‘Never kill ye a woman, or one that from fear keeps away from the fight, or one that is a child, or one that is an ascetic. One that abstains from fight should never be slain, nor should women be seized or brought away with force. None of you should ever slay a woman amongst all creatures. Let Brahmanas be always blessed and you should always fight for their good. Truth should never be sacrificed. The marriages of men should never be obstructed. No injury should be inflicted on those houses in which the deities, the Pitris, and guests are worshipped. Amongst creatures, Brahmanas deserve to be exempted by you in your plundering excursions. By giving away even your all, you should worship them. He who incurs the wrath of the Brahmanas, he for whose discomfiture they wish, fails to find a rescuer in the three worlds. He who speaks ill of the Brahmanas and wishes for their destruction, himself meets with destruction like darkness at sunrise. Residing here, ye shall acquire the fruits of your valour. Troops shall be sent against those that will refuse to give us our dues. The rod of chastisement is intended for the wicked. It is not intended for self-aggrandisement. They who oppress the god deserve death, it is said. They who seek to aggrandise their fortunes by afflicting kingdoms in

unscrupulous ways, very soon come to be regarded as vermin in a dead body. Those robbers again that would conduct themselves by conforming to these restraints of the scriptures, would soon win salvation although leading a plundering life.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Those robbers, thus addressed, obeyed all the commands of Kayavya. By desisting from sin, they obtained great prosperity. By behaving himself in such a way by thus doing good to the honest and by thus restraining the robbers from bad practices, Kayavya won great success (in the next world). He who always thinks of this narrative of Kayavya will not have any fear from the denizens of the forest, in fact, from any earthly creature. Such a man will have no fear from any creature, O Bharata! He will have no fear from wicked men. If such a man goes to the forest, he will be able to live there with the security of a king.’”

Section CXXXVI

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection, viz., the method by which a king should fill his treasury, persons acquainted with the scriptures of olden days cite the following verses sung by Brahman himself. The wealth of persons who are given to the performance of sacrifices, as also the wealth dedicated to the deities, should never be taken. A Kshatriya should take the wealth of such persons as never perform religious rites and sacrifices as are on that account regarded to be equal to robbers. All the creatures that inhabit the earth and all the enjoyments that appertain to sovereignty, O Bharata, belong to the Kshatriyas. All the wealth of the earth belongs to the Kshatriya, and not to any person else. That wealth the Kshatriya should use for keeping up his army and for the performance of sacrifice. Tearing up such creepers and plants as are not of any use, men burn them for cooking such vegetables as serve for food. Men conversant with duty have said that his wealth is useless who does not, with libations of clarified butter, feed the gods, the Pitris, and men. A virtuous ruler, O king, should take away such wealth. By that wealth a large number of good people can be gratified. He should not, however, hoard that wealth in his treasury. He who makes himself an instrument of acquisition and taking away wealth from the wicked gives them to those that are good is said to be conversant with the whole science of morality. A king should extend his conquests in the next world according to the measure of his power, and as gradually as vegetable products are seen to grow. As some ants are seen to grow from no adequate cause, even so sacrifice spring from no adequate

cause. As flies and gnats and ants are driven off from the bodies of kine and other domestic cattle (at the time of milking them), even so should persons who are averse to the performance of sacrifices should be similarly driven off from the kingdom. This is consistent with morality. As the dust that lies on the earth, if pounded between two stones, becomes finer and finer, even so questions of morality, the more they are reflected upon and discussed, become finer and finer.’”


“Bhishma said, ‘These two, viz., one that provides for the future, and one possessed of presence of mind, always enjoy happiness. The man of procrastination, however, is lost. In this connection, listen attentively to the following excellent story of a procrastinating person in the matter of settling his course of action. In a lake that was not very deep and which abounded with fishes, there lived three Sakula fishes that were friends and constant companions. Amongst those three one had much forethought and always liked to provide for what was coming. Another was possessed of great presence of mind. The third was procrastinating. One day certain fishermen coming to that lake began to bale out its waters to a lower ground through diverse outlets. Beholding the water of the lake gradually decreasing, the fish that had much foresight, addressing his two companions on that occasion of danger, said, ‘A great danger is about to overtake all the aquatic creatures living in this lake. Let us speedily go to some other place before our path becomes obstructed. He that resists future evil by the aid of good policy, never incurs serious danger. Let my counsels prevail with you. Let us all leave this place’ That one amongst the three who was procrastinating then answered, ‘It is well said. There is, however, no need of such haste. This is my deliberate opinion.’ Then the other fish, who was noted for presence of mind, addressed his procrastinating companion and said, ‘When the time for anything comes, I never fail to provide for it according to policy.’ Hearing the answers of his two companions, he of great forethought and considerable intelligence immediately set out by a current and reached another deep lake. The fishermen, Seeing that all the water had been baled out, shut in the fishes that remained, by diverse means. Then they began to agitate the little water that remained, and as they began to catch the fish, the procrastinating Sakula was caught with many others. When the fisherman began to tie to a long string the fishes they had caught, the Sakula who was noted for presence of mind thrust himself into the company of those that had been so tied and remained quietly among them, biting the string, for he thought that he should do it to give the appearance of being caught. The fishermen believed that all the fishes attached to the string had been caught. They then removed them to a piece of deep water for washing them. Just at that time the Sakula noted for presence of mind, leaving the string, quickly escaped. That fish, however, who had been procrastinating, foolish and senseless and without intelligence as he was, and, therefore, unable to escape, met with death.

“‘Thus every one meets with destruction, like the procrastinating fish, who from want of intelligence cannot divine the hour of danger. That man, again, who regarding himself clever does not seek his own good in proper time, incurs great danger like the Sakula who had presence of mind. Hence these two only, viz., he that has much forethought and he that has presence of mind, succeed in obtaining happiness. He, however, that is procrastinating meets with destruction. Diverse are the divisions of time, such as Kashtha, Kala, Muhurta, day, night, Lava, month, fortnight, the six seasons, Kalpa, year. The divisions of the earth are called place. Time cannot be seen. As regards the success of any object or purpose, it is achieved or not achieved according to the manner in which the mind is set to think of it. These two, viz., the person of forethought and the person of presence of mind, have been declared by the Rishis to be the foremost of men in all treatises on morality and profit and in those dealing with emancipation. One, however, that does everything after reflection and scrutiny, one that avails oneself of proper means for the accomplishment of one’s objects, always succeeds in achieving much. Those again that act with due regard to time and place succeed in winning results better than the mere man of foresight and the man of presence of mind.’”


“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast, O bull of Bharata’s race, said that that intelligence which provides against the future, as well as that which can meet present emergencies, is everywhere superior, while procrastination brings about destruction. I desire, O grandsire, to hear of that superior intelligence aided by which a king, conversant with the scriptures and well versed with morality and profit, may not be stupefied even when surrounded by many foes. I ask thee this, O chief of Kuru’s race! It behoveth thee to discourse to me on I his. I desire to hear everything, comfortable to what has been laid down in the scriptures, about the manner in which a king should conduct himself when he is assailed by many foes. When a king falls into distress, a large number of foes, provoked by his past acts, range themselves against him and seek to vanquish him. How may, a king, weak and alone, succeed in holding up his head when he is challenged on all sides by many powerful kings leagued together? How does a king at such times make friends and foes? How should he, O bull of Bharata’s race, behave at such a time towards both friends and foes? When those that have indications of friends really become his foes, what should the king then do if he is to obtain happiness? With whom should he make war and with whom should he make peace? Even if he be strong, how should he behave in the midst of foes? O scorcher of foes, this I regard to be the highest of all questions connected with the discharge of kingly duties. There are few men for listening to the answer of this question and none to answer it save Santanu’s son, Bhishma, firmly wedded to truth and having all his senses under control. O thou that art highly blessed reflect upon it and discourse to me on it!’

“Bhishma said, ‘O Yudhishthira, this question is certainly worthy of thee. Its answer is fraught with great happiness. Listen to me, O son, as I declare to thee, O Bharata, all the duties generally known that should be practised in seasons of distress. A foe becomes a friend and a friend also becomes a foe. The course of human actions, through the combination of circumstances, becomes very uncertain. As regards, therefore, what should be done and what should not, it is necessary that paying heed to the requirements of time and place, one should either trust one’s foes or make war. One should, even exerting, one’s self to one’s best, make friends with men of intelligence and knowledge that desire one’s welfare. One should make peace with even one’s foes, when, O Bharata, one’s life cannot otherwise be saved. That foolish man who never makes peace with foes, never succeeds in winning any gain or acquiring any of those fruits for which others endeavour. He again who makes peace with foes and quarrels with even friends after a full consideration of circumstances, succeeds in obtaining great fruits. In this connection is cited the old story of the discourse between a cat and a mouse at the foot of a banian.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘There was a large banian in the midst of an extensive forest. Covered with many kinds of creepers, it was the resort of diverse kinds of birds. It had a large trunk from which numerous branches extended in all directions. Delightful to look at, the shade it afforded was very refreshing. It stood in the midst of the forest, and animals of diverse species lived on it. A mouse of great wisdom, named Palita, lived at the foot of that tree, having made a hole there with a hundred outlets. On the branches of the tree there lived a cat, of the name of Lomasa, in great happiness, daily devouring a large number of birds. Some time after, a Chandala came into the forest and built a hut for himself. Every evening after sunset he spread his traps. Indeed, spreading his nets made of leathern strings he went back to his hut, and happily passing the night in sleep, returned to the spot at the dawn of day. Diverse kinds of animals fell into his traps every night. And it so happened that one day the cat, in a moment of heedlessness, was caught in the snare. O thou of great wisdom, when his foe the cat who was at all times an enemy of the mouse species was thus caught in the net, the mouse Palita came out of his hole and began to rove about fearlessly. While trustfully roving through the forest in search of food, the mouse after a little while saw the meat (that the Chandala had spread there as lure). Getting upon the trap, the little animal began to eat the flesh. Laughing mentally, he even got upon his enemy entangled helplessly in the net. Intent on eating the flesh, he did not mark his own danger, for as he suddenly cast his eyes he saw a terrible foe of his arrived at that spot. That foe was none else than a restless mongoose of coppery eyes, of the name of Harita. Living in underground holes, its body resembled the flower of a reed. Allured to that spot by the scent of the mouse, the animal came there with great speed for devouring his prey. And he stood on his haunches, with head upraised, licking the corners of his mouth with his tongue. The mouse beheld at the same time another foe living in the trees, then sitting on the branch of the banian. It was a night-prowling owl of the name of Chandraka of sharp beaks. Having become an object of sight with both the mongoose and the owl, the mouse, in great alarm, began to think in this strain: ‘At such a season of great danger, when death itself is staring me in the face, when there is fear on every side, how should one act that wishes for one’s good? Encompassed on all sides by danger, seeing fear in every direction, the mouse, filled with alarm for his safety, made a high resolution. Warding off even innumerable dangers by hundreds of means, one should always save one’s life. Danger, at the present moment, encompasses me on every side. If I were to descend from this trap on the ground, without adequate precautions, the mongoose will surely seize and devour me. If I remain on this trap, the owl will surely seize me. If, again, that cat succeeds in disentangling himself from the net, he also is certain to devour me. It is not proper, however, that a person of our intelligence should lose his wits. I shall, therefore, strive my best to save my life, aided by proper means and intelligence. A person possessed of intelligence and wisdom and conversant with the science of policy never sinks, however great and terrible the danger that threatens him. At present, however, I do not behold any other refuge than this cat. He is an enemy. But he is in distress. The service that I can do him is very great. Sought to be made a prey by three foes, how should I now act for saving my life? I should now seek the protection of one of those foes, viz., the cat. Taking the aid of the science of policy, let me counsel the cat for his good, so that I may, with my intelligence, escape from all the three. The cat is my great foe, but the distress into which he has fallen is very great. Let me try whether I can succeed in making this foolish creature understand his own interests. Having fallen into such distress, he may make peace with me. A person when afflicted by a stronger one should make peace with even an enemy. Professors of the science of policy say that even this should be the conduct of one who having fallen into distress seeks the safety of his life. It is better to have a learned person for an enemy than a fool for a friend. As regards myself, my life now rests entirely in the hands of my enemy the cat. I shall now address the cat on the subject of his own liberation. Perhaps, at this moment, it would not be wrong to take the cat for an intelligent and learned foe.’ Even thus did that mouse, surrounded by foes, pursue his reflections. Having reflected in this strain, the mouse, conversant with the science of Profit and well acquainted with occasions when war should be declared and peace made, gently addressed the cat, saying, ‘I address thee in friendship, O cat! Art thou alive? I wish thee to live! I desire the good of us both. O amiable one, thou hast no cause for fear. Thou shalt live in happiness. I shall rescue thee, if, indeed, thou dost not slay me. There is an excellent expedient in this case, which suggests itself to me, and by which you may obtain your escape and I may obtain great benefit. By reflecting earnestly I have hit upon that expedient for thy sake and for my sake, for it will benefit both of us. There are the mongoose and the owl, both waiting with evil intent. Only so long, O cat, as they do not attack me, is my life safe. There that wretched owl with restless glances and horrid cries is eyeing me from the branch of that tree. I am exceedingly frightened by it. Friendship, as regards the good, is seven-paced. Possessed of wisdom as thou art, thou art my friend. I, shall act towards thee as a friend. Thou needst have no fear now. Without my help, O cat, thou wilt not succeed in tearing the net. I, however, shall cut the net for serving thee, if thou abstain from killing me. Thou hast lived on this tree and I have lived at its foot. Both of us have dwelt here for many long years. All this is known to thee. He upon whom nobody places his trust, and he who never trusts another, are never applauded by the wise. Both of them are unhappy. For this reason, let our love for each other increase, and let there be union amongst us two. Men of wisdom never applaud the endeavour to do an act when its opportunity has passed away. Know that this is the proper time for such an understanding amongst us. I wish that thou shouldst live, and thou also wishest that I should live. A man crosses a deep and large river by a piece of wood. It is seen that the man takes the piece of wood to the other side, and the piece of wood also takes the man to the other side. Like this, our compact, also will bring happiness to both of us. I will rescue thee, and thou also wilt rescue me.’ Having said these words that were beneficial to both of them, that were fraught with reason and on that account highly acceptable, the mouse Palita waited in expectation of an answer.

“‘Hearing these well-chosen words, fraught with reason and highly acceptable, that the mouse said, the mouse’s foe possessed of judgment and forethought, viz., the cat spoke in reply. Endued with great intelligence, and possessed of eloquence, the cat, reflecting upon his own state, praised the Words of the speaker and honoured him by gentle words in return. Possessed of sharp foreteeth and having eyes that resembled the stones called lapis lazuli, the cat called Lomasa, gentle eyeing the mouse, answered as follows: I am delighted with thee, O amiable one! Blessed be thou that wishest me to live! Do that, without hesitation, which thou thinkest to be of beneficial consequences. I am certainly in great distress. Thou art, if possible, in greater distress still. Let there be a compact between us without delay. I will do that which is opportune and necessary for the accomplishment of our business, O Puissant one! If thou rescuest me, the service will go for nothing I place myself in thy hands. I am devoted to thee. I shall wait upon and serve thee like a disciple. I seek thy protection and shall always obey thy behests,’ Thus addressed, the mouse Palita, addressing in return the cat who was completely

under his control, said these words of grave import and high wisdom: ‘Thou hast spoken most magnanimously. It could scarcely be unexpected from one like thee. Listen to me as I disclose the expedient I have hit upon for benefiting both of us. I will crouch myself beneath thy body. I am exceedingly frightened at the mongoose. Do thou save me. Kill me not. I am competent to rescue thee. Protect me also from the owl, for that wretch too wishes to seize me for his prey. I shall cut the noose that entangles thee. I swear by Truth, O friend!’ Hearing these judicious words fraught with reason, Lomasa, filled with delight, cast his eyes upon Palita and applauded him with exclamations of welcome. Having applauded Palita, the cat, disposed to friendliness, reflected for a moment, and gladly said without losing any time, ‘Come quickly to me! Blessed be thou, thou art, indeed, a friend dear to me as life. O thou of great I wisdom, through thy grace I have almost got back my life. Whatever it is in my power to do for thee now, tell me and I shall do it. Let there be peace between us, O friend! Liberated from this danger, I shall, with all my friends and relatives, do all that may be agreeable and beneficial to thee. O amiable one, freed from this distress, I shall certainly seek to gladden thee, and worship and honour thee on every occasion in return for thy services. A person by doing even abundant services in return never becomes equal to the person that did him good in the first instance. The former does those services for the sake of services received. The latter, however, should be held to have acted without any such motive.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘The mouse, having thus made the cat understand his own interests, trustfully crouched beneath his enemy’s body. Possessed of learning, and thus assured by the cat, the mouse trustfully laid himself thus under the breast of the cat as if it were the lap of his father or mother. Beholding him thus ensconced within the body of the cat, the mongoose and the owl both became hopeless of seizing their prey. Indeed, seeing that close intimacy between the mouse and the cat, both Harita and Chandraka became alarmed and filled with wonder. Both of them had strength and intelligence. Clever in seizing their prey, though near, the mongoose and the owl felt unable to wean the mouse and the cat from that compact. Indeed, beholding the cat and the mouse make that covenant for accomplishing their mutual ends, the mongoose and the owl both left that spot and went away to their respective abodes. After this, the mouse Palita, conversant with the requirements of time and place, began, as he lay under the body of the cat, to cut strings of the noose slowly, waiting for the proper time to finish his work. Distressed by the strings that entangled him, the cat became impatient upon seeing the mouse slowly cutting away the noose. Beholding the mouse employed so slowly in the work, the cat wishing to expedite him in the task, said: ‘How is it, O amiable one, that thou dost not proceed with haste in thy work? Dost thou disregard me now, having thyself succeeded in thy object? O slayer of foes, do thou cut these strings quickly. The hunter will soon come here.’ Thus addressed by the cat who had become impatient, the mouse possessed of intelligence said these beneficial words fraught with his own good unto the cat who did not seem to possess much wisdom: ‘Wait in silence, O amiable one! Expedition is not necessary. Drive all thy fears. We know the requirements of time. We are not wasting time. When an act is begun at an improper time, it never becomes profitable when accomplished. That act, on the other hand, which is begun at the proper time, always produces splendid fruits. If thou be freed at an improper time, I shall have to stand in great fear of thee. Therefore, do thou wait for the proper time. Do not be impatient, O friend! When I shall see the hunter approach towards this spot armed with weapons, I shall cut the strings at that moment of fear to both of us. Freed then, thou wilt ascend the tree. At that time thou wilt not think of anything else save the safety of thy life. And when thou, O Lomasa, wilt fly away in fear, I shall enter my hole and thou wilt get upon the tree.’ Thus addressed by the mouse in words that were beneficial to him, the cat, possessed of intelligence and eloquence, and impatient of saving his life, replied unto the mouse in the following words. Indeed, the cat, who had quickly and properly done his own part of the covenant, addressing the mouse who was not expeditious in discharging his part, said, ‘I rescued thee from a great danger with considerable promptness. Alas! honest persons never do the business of their friends in this way. Filled with delight while doing it, they do it otherwise. Thou shouldst do what is for my good with greater expedition. O thou of great wisdom, do thou exert a little so that good may be done to both of us. If, on the other hand, remembering our former hostility thou art only suffering the time to slip away, know, O wicked wight, that the consequence of this act of thine will surely be to lessen the duration of thy own life! If I have ever, before this, unconsciously done thee any wrong, thou shouldst not bear it in remembrance. I beg thy forgiveness. Be gratified with me.’ After the cat had said these words, the mouse, possessed of intelligence and wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures, said these excellent words unto him: ‘I have, O cat, heard what thou hast said in furtherance of thy own object. Listen, however, to me as I tell thee what is consistent with my own objects. That friendship in which there is fear and which cannot be kept up without fear, should be maintained with great caution like the hand (of the snake-charmer) from the snake’s fangs. The person that does not protect himself after having made a covenant with a stronger individual, finds that covenant to be productive of injury instead of benefit. Nobody is anybody’s friend; nobody is anybody’s well-wisher; persons become friends or foes only from motives of interest. Interest enlists interest even as tame elephants catch wild individuals of their species. After, again, an act has been accomplished, the doer is scarcely regarded. For this reason, all acts should be so done that something may remain to be done. When I shall set thee free, thou wilt, afflicted by the fear of the hunter, fly away for thy life without ever thinking of seizing me. Behold, all the strings of this net have been cut by me. Only one remains to be cut. I will cut that also with haste. Be comforted, O Lomasa!’ While the mouse and the cat were thus talking with each other, both in serious danger, the night gradually wore away. A great fear, however,

penetrated the heart of the cat. When at last morning came, the Chandala, whose name was Parigha, appeared on the scene. His visage was frightful. His hair was black and tawny. His hips were very, large and his aspect was very fierce. Of a large mouth that extended from car to car, and exceedingly filthy, his ears were very long. Armed with weapons and accompanied by a pack of dogs, the grim-looking man appeared on the scene. Beholding the individual who resembled a messenger of Yama, the cat became filled with fear. Penetrated with fright, he addressed Palita and said, ‘What shalt thou do now?’ The mouse very quickly cut the remaining string that held fast the cat. Freed from the noose, the cat ran with speed and got upon the banian. Palita also, freed from that situation of danger and from the presence of a terrible foe, quickly fled and entered his hole. Lomasa meanwhile had climbed the high tree. The hunter, seeing everything, took tip his net. His hopes frustrated, he also quickly left that spot. Indeed, O bull of Bharata’s race, the Chandala returned to his abode. Liberated from that great peril, and having obtained back his life which is so very valuable, the cat from the branches of that tree addressed the mouse Palita then staying within the hole, and said, ‘Without having conversed with me, thou hast suddenly run away. I hope thou dost not suspect me of any evil intent. I am certainly grateful and thou hast done me a great service. Having inspired me with trustfulness and having given me my life, why dost thou not approach me at a time when friends should enjoy the sweetness of friendship? Having made friends, he that forgets them afterwards, is regarded a wicked person and never succeeds in obtaining friends at times of danger and need. I have been, O friend, honoured and served by thee to the best of thy power. It behoveth thee to enjoy the company of my poor self who has become thy friend. Like disciples worshipping their preceptor, all the friends I have, all my relatives and kinsmen, will honour and worship thee. I myself too shall worship thee with all thy friends and kinsmen. What grateful person is there that will not worship the giver of his life? Be thou the lord of both my body and home. Be thou the disposer of all my wealth and possessions. Be thou my honoured counsellor and do thou rule me like a father. I swear by my life that thou hast no fear from us. In intelligence thou art Usanas himself. By the power of thy understanding thou hast conquered us. Possessed of the strength of policy, thou hast given us our life.’ Addressed in such soothing words by the cat, the mouse, conversant with all that is productive of the highest good, replied in these sweet words that were beneficial to himself: ‘I have heard, O Lomasa, all that thou hast said. Listen now as I say what appears to me. Friends should be well examined. Foes also should be well studied. In this world, a task like this is regarded by even the learned as a difficult one depending upon acute intelligence. Friends assume the guise of foes, and foes assume the guise of friends. When compacts of friendship are formed, it is difficult for the parties to understand whether the other parties are really moved by lust and wrath. There is no such thing as a foe. There is no such thing in existence as a friend. It is force of circumstances that creates friends and foes. He who regards his own interests ensured as long as another person lives and thinks them endangered when that other person will cease to live, takes that other person for a friend and considers him so as long as those interests of his are not clashed against. There is no condition that deserves permanently the name either of friendship or hostility. Both friends and foes arise from considerations of interest and gain. Friendship becomes changed into enmity in the course of time. A foe also becomes a friend. Self-interest is very powerful. He who reposes blind trust on friends and always behaves with mistrust towards foes without paying any regard to considerations of policy, finds his life to be unsafe. He who, disregarding all considerations of policy, sets his heart upon an affectionate union with either friends or foes, comes to be regarded as a person whose understanding has been unhinged. One should not repose trust upon a person undeserving of trust, nor should one trust too much a person deserving of trust. The danger that arises from blind reposing of confidence is such that it cuts the very roots (of the person that reposes such confidence). The father, the mother, the son, the maternal uncle, the sister’s son, other relatives and kinsmen, are all guided by considerations of interest and profit. Father and mother may be seen to discard the dear son if fallen. People take care of their own selves. Behold the efficacy of self-interest. O thou that art possessed of great wisdom, his escape is very difficult who immediately after he is freed from danger seeks the means of his enemy’s happiness. Thou camest down from the tree-top to this very spot. Thou couldst not, from levity of understanding, ascertain that a net had been spread here. A person, possessed of levity of understanding, fails to protect his own self. How can he protect others? Such a person, without doubt, ruins all his acts. Thou tellest me in sweet words that I am very dear to thee. Hear me, however, O friend, the reasons that exist on my side. One becomes dear from an adequate cause. One becomes a foe from an adequate cause. This whole world of creatures is moved by the desire of gain (in some form or other). One never becomes dear to another (without cause). The friendship between two uterine brothers, the love between husband and wife, depends upon interest. I do not know any kind of affection between any persons that does not rest upon some motive of self-interest. If, as is sometimes seen, uterine brothers or husband and wife having quarrelled reunite together from a natural affection, such a thing is not to be seen in persons unconnected with one another. One becomes dear for one’s liberality. Another becomes dear for his sweet words. A third becomes so in consequence of his religious acts. Generally, a person becomes dear for the purpose he serves. The affection between us arose from a sufficient cause. That cause exists no longer. On the other hand, from adequate reason, that affection between us has come to an end. What is that reason, I ask, for which I have become so dear to thee, besides thy desire of making me thy prey? Thou shouldst know that I am not forgetful of this. Time spoils reasons. Thou seekest thy own interests. Others, however, Possessed of wisdom, understand their own interests. The world rests upon the example of the wise. Thou shouldst not address such words to a person possessed of learning and competent to understand his own interests. Thou

art powerful. The reason of this affection that thou showest for me now is ill-timed. Guided, however, by my own interests, I myself am firm in peace and war that are themselves very unstable. The circumstances under which peace is to be made or war declared are changed as quickly as the clouds change their form. This very day thou wert my foe. This very day, again, thou wert my friend. This very day thou hast once more become my enemy. Behold the levity of the considerations that move living creatures. There was friendship between us as long as there was reason for its existence. That reason, dependant upon time, has passed away. Without it, that friendship also has passed away. Thou art by nature my foe. From circumstances thou becomest my friend. That state of things has passed away. The old state of enmity that is natural has come back. Thoroughly conversant as I am with the dictates of policy that have been thus laid down, tell me, why I should enter today, for thy sake, the net that is spread for me. Through thy power I was freed from a great danger. Through my power thou hast been freed from a similar danger. Each of us has served the other. There is no need of uniting ourselves again in friendly intercourse. O amiable one, the object thou hadst hath been accomplished. The object I had has also been accomplished. Thou hast now no use for me except to make me your meal. I am thy food. Thou art the eater. I am weak. Thou art strong. There cannot be a friendly union between us when we are situated so unequally. I understand thy wisdom. Having been rescued from the net, thou applaudest me so that thou mayst succeed in easily making a meal of me. Thou wert entangled in the net for the sake of food. Thou hast been freed from it. Thou feelest now the pangs of hunger. Having recourse to that wisdom which arises from a study of the scriptures, thou seekest verily to eat me up today. I know that thou art hungry. I know that this is thy hour for taking food. Thou art seeking for thy prey, with thy eyes directed towards me. Thou hast sons and wives. Thou seekest still friendly union with me and wishest to treat me with affection and do me services. O friend, I am incapable of acceding to this proposal. Seeing me with thee, why will not thy dear spouse and thy loving children cheerfully eat me up? I shall not, therefore, unite with thee in friendship. The reason no longer exists for such a union. If, indeed, thou dost not forget my good offices, think of what will be beneficial to me and be comfortable. What person is there possessed of any wisdom that will place himself under the power of a foe that is not distinguished for righteousness, that is in pangs of hunger, and that is on the look-out for a prey? Be happy then, I will presently leave thee. I am filled with alarm even if I behold thee from a distance. I shall not mingle with thee, cease in thy attempts, O Lomasa! If thou thinkest that I have done thee a service, follow then the dictates of friendship when I may happen to rove trustfully or heedlessly. Even that will be gratitude in thee. A residence near a person possessed of strength and power is never applauded, even if the danger that existed be regarded to have passed away. I should always stand in fear of one more powerful than myself. If thou dost not seek thy own interests (of the kind indicated), tell me then what is there that I should do for thee. I shall certainly give thee everything except my life. For protecting one’s own self one should give up one’s very children, and kingdom, and jewels, and wealth. One should sacrifice one’s all for protecting one’s own self. If a person lives he can recover all the affluence that he may have to give unto foes for protecting his life. It is not desirable to give up life like one’s wealth. Indeed, one’s own self should always be protected by, as I have already said, giving up one’s wives and wealth. Persons who are mindful of protecting their own selves and who do all their acts after a proper consideration and survey, never incur danger as the consequence of their acts. They that are weak always know him for a foe who is possessed of greater strength. Their understanding, firm in the truths of the scriptures, never loses its steadiness.’

“Thus rebuked soundly by the mouse Palita, the cat, blushing with shame, addressed the mouse and said the following words.”

“Lomasa said, ‘Truly I swear by thee that to injure a friend is in my estimation very censurable. I know thy wisdom. I know also that thou art devoted to my good. Guided by the science of Profit, thou said that there is cause for a breach between thee and me. It doth not behove thee, however, O good friend, to take me for what I am not. I cherish a great friendship for thee in consequence of thy having granted me my life. I am, again, acquainted with duties. I am all appreciator of other people’s merits. I am very grateful for services received. I am devoted to the service of friends. I am, again, especially devoted to thee. For these reasons, O good friend, it behoveth thee to reunite thyself with me. If I am commanded by thee, I can, with all my kinsmen and relatives, lay down my very life. They that are possessed of learning and wisdom see ample reason for placing their trust in persons of such mental disposition as ourselves. O thou that art acquainted with the truths of morality, it behoveth thee not to cherish any suspicion in respect of me.’ Thus addressed by the cat, the mouse reflecting a little, said these words of grave import unto the former, ‘Thou art exceedingly good. I have heard all that thou hast said and am glad to hear thee. For all that, however, I cannot trust thee. It is impossible for thee, by such eulogies or by gifts of great wealth, to induce me to unite with thee again. I tell thee, O friend, that they who are possessed of wisdom never place themselves, when there is not sufficient reason, under the power of a foe. A weak person having made a compact with a stronger one when both are threatened by foes, should (when that common danger passes away) conduct himself heedfully and by considerations of policy. Having gained his object, the weaker of the two parties should not again repose confidence on the stronger. One, should never trust a person who does not deserve to be trusted. Nor should one repose blind confidence upon a person deserving of trust. One should always endeavour to inspire others with confidence in himself-. One should not, however, himself repose confidence in foes. For these reasons one should, under all circumstances, protect his own self. One’s possessions and children and everything are so long valuable as one is alive. In brief, the highest truth of all treatises on policy is mistrust. For this reason, mistrust of all is productive of the greatest good. However weak people may be, if they mistrust their foes, the latter, even if strong, never succeed in getting them under power. O cat, one like myself should always guard ones life from persons like thee. Do thou also protect thy own life from the Chandala whose rage has been excited.’ While the mouse thus spake, the cat, frightened at the mention of the hunter, hastily leaving the branch of the tree, ran away with great speed. Having thus displayed his power of understanding, the mouse Palita also, conversant with the truths of scripture and possessed of wisdom, entered another hole.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Even thus the mouse Palita, possessed of wisdom, though weak and alone, succeeded in baffling many powerful foes. One possessed of intelligence and learning should make peace with a powerful foe. The mouse and the cat owed their escape to their reliance upon each other’s services. I have thus pointed out to thee the course of Kshatriya duties at great length. Listen now to me in brief. When two persons who were once engaged in hostilities make peace with each other, it is certain that each of them has it in his heart to over-reach the other. In such a case he that is possessed of wisdom succeeds by the power of his understanding in over-reaching the other. He, on the other hand, who is destitute of wisdom suffers himself, in consequence of his heedlessness, to be over-reached by the wise. It is necessary, therefore, that, in fear one should seem to be fearless, and while really mistrusting others one should seem to be trustful. One who acts with such heedfulness never trips, or tripping, is never ruined. When the time comes for it, one should make peace with an enemy; and when the time comes, one should wage war with even a friend. Even thus should one conduct oneself, O king, as they have said that are conversant with the considerations of peace (and war). Knowing this, O monarch, and bearing the truths of scripture in mind, one should, with all his senses about one and without heedfulness, act like a person in fear before the cause of fear actually presents itself. One should, before the cause of fear has actually come, act like a person in fear, and make peace with foes. Such fear and heedfulness lead to keenness of understanding. If one acts like a man in fear before the cause of fear is at hand, one is never filled with fear when that cause is actually present. From the fear, however, of a person who always acts with fearlessness, very great fear is seen to arise. ‘Never cherish fear’–such a counsel should never be given to any one. The person that cherishes fear moved by a consciousness of his weakness, always seeks ‘the counsel of wise and experienced men. For these reasons, one should, when in fear, seem to be fearless, and when mistrusting (others) should seem to be trustful. One should not, in view of even the gravest acts, behave towards others with falsehood. Thus have I recited to thee, O Yudhishthira, the old story (of the mouse and the cat). Having listened to it, do thou act duly in the midst of thy friends and kinsmen. Deriving from that story a high understanding, and learning the difference between friend and foe and the proper time for war and peace, thou wilt discover means of escape when overwhelmed with danger. Making

peace, at a time of common danger, with one that is powerful, thou shouldst act with proper consideration in the matter of uniting thyself with the foe (when the common danger has passed away). Indeed, having gained thy object, thou shouldst not trust the foe again. This path of policy is consistent with the aggregate of three (viz., Virtue, Profit, and Pleasure), O king! Guided by this Sruti, do thou win prosperity by once more protecting thy subjects. O son of Pandu, always seek the companionship of Brahmanas in all thy acts. Brahmans constitute the great source of benefit both in this world and the next. They are teachers of duty and morality. They are always grateful, O puissant one! If worshipped, they are sure to do thee good. Therefore, O king, thou shouldst always worship them. Thou wilt then, O king, duly obtain kingdom, great good, fame, achievement’s and progeny in their proper order. With eyes directed to this history of peace and war between the mouse and the cat, this history couched in excellent words and capable of sharpening the intelligence, a king should always conduct himself in the midst of his foes.’”

Section CXXXIX

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast laid it down, O mighty one, that no trust should be placed upon foes. But how would the king maintain himself if he were not to trust anybody? From trust, O king, thou hast said, great danger arises to kings. But how, O monarch, can a king, without trusting others, conquer his foes? Kindly remove this doubt of mine. My mind has become confused, O grandsire, at what I have heard thee say on the subject of mistrust.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen, O king, to what happened at the abode of Brahmadatta, viz., the conversation between Pujani and king Brahmadatta. There was a bird named Pujani who lived for a long time with king Brahmadatta in the inner apartments of his palace at Kampilya. Like the bird Jivajivaka, Pujani could mimic the cries of all animals. Though a bird by birth, she had great knowledge and was conversant with every truth. While living there, she brought forth an offspring of great splendour. At the very same time the king also got by his queen a son. Pujani, who was grateful for the shelter of the king’s roof, used every day to go to the shores of the ocean and bring a couple of fruits for the nourishment of her own young one and the infant prince. One of those fruits she gave to her own child and the other she gave to the prince. The fruits she brought were sweet as nectar, and capable of increasing strength and energy. Every day she brought them and everyday she disposed of them in the same way. The infant prince derived great strength from the fruit of Pujani’s giving that he ate. One day the infant prince, while borne on the arms of his nurse, saw the little offspring of Pujani. Getting down from the nurse’s arms, the child ran towards the bird, and moved by childish impulse, began to Play with it, relishing the sport highly. At length, raising the bird which was of the same age with himself in his hands, the prince pressed out its young life and then came back to his nurse. The dam, O king, who had been out in her search after the accustomed fruits, returning to the palace, beheld her young one lying on the ground, killed by the prince. Beholding her son deprived of life, Pujani, with tears gushing down her cheeks, and heart burning with grief, wept bitterly and said, ‘Alas, nobody should live with a Kshatriya or make friends with him or take delight in any intercourse with him. When they have any object to serve, they behave with courtesy. When that object has been served they cast off the instrument. The Kshatriyas do evil unto all. They should never be trusted. Even after doing an injury they always seek to soothe and assure the injured for nothing. I shall certainly take due vengeance, for this act of hostility, upon this cruel and ungrateful betrayer of confidence. He has been guilty of a triple sin in taking the life of one that was horn on the same day with him and that was being reared with him in the same place, that used to eat with him, and that was dependent on him for protection.’ Having said these words unto herself, Pujani, with her talons, pierced the eyes of the prince, and deriving some comfort from that act of vengeance, once more said, ‘A sinful act, perpetrated deliberately, assails the doer without any loss of time. They. on the other hand, who avenge themselves of an injury, never lose their merit by such conduct. If the consequence of a sinful act be not seen in the perpetrator himself, they would certainly be seen, O king, in his sons or son’s sons or daughter’s sons. Brahmadatta, beholding his son blinded by Pujani and regarding the act to have been a proper vengeance for what his son had done, said these words unto Pujani.’

“Brahmadatta said, ‘An injury was done by us to thee. Thou hast avenged it by doing an injury in return. The account has been squared. Do not leave thy present abode. On the other hand, continue to dwell here, O Pujani.’

“Pujani said, ‘If a person having once injured another continues to reside with that other, they that are possessed of learning never applaud his conduct. Under such circumstances it is always better for the injurer to leave his old place. One should never place one’s trust upon the soothing assurances received from an injured party. The fool that trusts such assurances soon meets with destruction. Animosity is not quickly cooled. The very sons and grandsons of persons that have injured each other meet with destruction (in consequence of the quarrel descending like an inheritance). In consequence again of such destruction of their offspring, they lose the next world also. Amongst men that have injured one another, mistrust would be productive of happiness. One that has betrayed confidence should never be trusted in the least. One who is not deserving of trust should not be trusted; nor should too much trust be placed upon a person deserving of trust. The danger that arises from blind confidence brings about a destruction that is complete. One should seek to inspire others with confidence in one’s self. One, however, should never repose confidence on others. The father and the mother only are the foremost of friends. The wife is merely a vessel for drawing the seeds. The son is only one’s seed. The brother is a foe. The friend or companion requires to have his palms oiled if he is to remain so. One’s own self it is that enjoys or suffers one’s happiness or misery. Amongst persons that have injured one another, it is not advisable there should be (real) peace. The reasons no longer exists for which I lived here. The mind of a person who has once injured another becomes naturally filled with mistrust, if he sees the injured person worshipping him with gifts and honours. Such conduct, especially when displayed by those that are strong, always fills the weak with alarm. A person possessed of intelligence should leave that place where he first meets with honour in order to meet only with dishonour and injury next. In spite of any subsequent honour that he might obtain from his enemy, he should behave in this way. I have dwelt in thy abode for a longtime, all along honoured by thee. A cause of enmity, however, has at last arisen. I should, therefore, leave this place without any hesitation.’

“Brahmadatta said, ‘One who does an injury in return for an injury received is never regarded as offending. Indeed, the avenger squares his account by such conduct. Therefore, O Pujani, continue to reside here without leaving this place.’

“Pujani said, ‘No friendship can once more be cemented between a person that has injured and him that has inflicted an injury in return. The hearts of neither can forget what has happened.’

“Brahmadatta said, ‘It is necessary that a union should take place between an injurer and the avenger of that injury. Mutual animosity, upon such a union, has been seen to cool. No fresh injury also has followed in such cases.’

“Pujani said, ‘Animosity (springing from mutual injuries) can never die. The person injured should never trust his foes, thinking, ‘O, I have been soothed with assurances of goodwill.’ In this world, men frequently meet with destruction in consequence of (misplaced) confidence. For this reason it is necessary that we should no longer meet each other. They who cannot be reduced to subjection by the application of even force and sharp weapons, can be conquered by (insincere) conciliation like (wild) elephants through a (tame) she-elephant.’

“Brahmadatta said, ‘From the fact of two persons residing together, even if one inflicts upon the other deadly injury, an affection arises naturally between them, as also mutual trust as in the case, of the Chandala and the dog. Amongst persons that have injured one another, co-residence blunts the keenness of animosity. Indeed, that animosity does not last long, but disappears quickly like water poured upon the leaf of a lotus.’

“Pujani said, ‘Hostility springs from five causes. Persons possessed of learning know it. Those five causes are woman, land, harsh words, natural incompatibility, and injury. When the person with whom hostility occurs happens to be a man of liberality, he should never be slain, particularly by a Kshatriya, openly or by covert means. In such a case, the man’s fault should be properly

weighed. When hostility has arisen with even a friend, no further confidence should be reposed upon him. Feelings of animosity lie hid like fire in wood. Like the Aurvya fire within the waters of the ocean, the fire of animosity can never be extinguished by gifts of wealth, by display of prowess, by conciliation, or by scriptural learning. The fire of animosity, once ignited, the result of an injury once inflicted, is never extinguished, O king, without consuming out the right one of the parties. One, having injured a person, should never trust him again as one’s friend, even though one might have (after the infliction of the injury) worshipped him with wealth and honours. The fact of the injury inflicted fills the injurer with fear. I never injured thee. Thou also didst never do me an injury. For this reason I dwelt in thy abode. All that is changed, and at present I cannot trust thee.’

“Brahmadatta said, ‘It is Time that does every act, Acts are of diverse kinds, and all of them proceed from Time. Who, therefore, injures whom? Birth and Death happen in the same way. Creatures act (i.e., take birth and live) in consequence of Time, and it is in consequence also of Time that they cease to live. Some are seen to die at once. Some die one at a time. Some are seen to live for long periods. Like fire consuming the fuel, Time consumes all creatures. O blessed lady, I am, therefore, not the cause of your sorrow, nor art thou the cause of mine. It is Time that always ordains the weal and woe of embodied creatures. Do thou then continue to dwell here according to thy pleasure, with affection for me and without fear of any injury from me. What thou hast done has been forgiven by me. Do thou also forgive me, O Pujani!’

“Pujani said, ‘If Time, according to thee, be the cause of all acts, then of course nobody can cherish feelings of animosity towards anybody on earth. I ask, however, why friends and kinsmen, seek to avenge themselves the slain. Why also did the gods and the Asuras in days of your smite each other in battle? If it is Time that causes weal and woe and birth and death, why do physicians, then seek, to administer medicines to the sick? If it is Time that is moulding everything, what need is there of medicines? Why do people, deprived of their senses by grief, indulge in such delirious rhapsodies? If Time, according to thee, be the cause of acts, how can religious merit be acquired by persons performing religious acts? Thy son killed my child. I have injured him for that. I have by that act, O king, become liable to be slain by thee. Moved by grief for my son, I have done this injury to thy son. Listen now to the reason why I have become liable to be killed by thee. Men wish for birds either to kill them for food or to keep them in cages for sport. There is no third reason besides such slaughter or immurement for which men would seek individuals of our species. Birds, again, from fear of being either killed or immured by men seek safety in Right. Persons conversant with the Vedas have said that death and immurement are both painful. Life is dear unto all. All creatures are made miserable by grief and pain. All creatures wish for happiness. Misery

arises from various sources. Decrepitude, O Brahmadatta, is misery. The loss of wealth is misery. The adjacence of anything disagreeable or evil is misery. Separation or dissociation from friends and agreeable objects is misery. Misery arises from death and immurement. Misery arises from causes connected with women and from other natural causes. The misery that arises from the death of children alters and afflicts all creatures very greatly. Some foolish persons say that there is no misery in others’ misery. Only he who has not felt any misery himself can say so in the midst of men. He, however, that has felt sorrow and misery, would never venture to say so. One that has felt the pangs of every kind of misery feels the misery of others as one’s own. What I have done to thee, O king, and what thou has done to me, cannot be washed away by even a hundred years After what we have done to each other, there cannot be a reconciliation. As often as thou wilt happen to think of thy son, thy animosity towards me will become fresh. If a person after avenging oneself of an injury, desires to make peace with the injured, the parties cannot be properly reunited even like the fragments of an earthen vessel. Men conversant with scriptures have laid it down that trust never produces happiness Usanas himself sang two verses unto Prahlada in days of old. He who trusts the words, true or false, of a foe, meets with destruction like a seeker of honey, in a pit covered with dry grass. Animosities are seen to survive the very death of enemies, for persons would speak of the previous quarrels of their deceased sires before their surviving children. Kings extinguish animosities by having recourse to conciliation but, when the opportunity comes, break their foes into pieces like earthen jars full of water dashed upon stone. If the king does injury to any one, he should never trust him again. By trusting a person who has been injured, one has to suffer great misery.

“Brahmadatta said, ‘No man can obtain the fruition of any object by withholding his trust (from others). By cherishing fear one is always obliged to live as a dead person.’

“Pujani said, ‘He whose feet have become sore, certainly meets with a fall if he seeks to move, move he may howsoever cautiously. A man who has got sore eyes, by opening them against the wind, finds them exceedingly pained by the wind. He who, without knowing his own strength, sets foot on a wicked path and persists in walking along it, soon loses his very life as the consequence. The man who, destitute of exertion, tills his land, disregarding the season of rain, never succeeds in obtaining a harvest. He who takes every day food that is nutritive, be it bitter or astringent or palatable or sweet, enjoys a long life. He, on the other hand, who disregards wholesome food and takes that which is injurious without an eye to consequences, soon meets with death. Destiny and Exertion exist, depending upon each other. They that are of high souls achieve good and great feats, while eunuchs only pay court to Destiny. Be it harsh or mild, an act that is beneficial should be done.

The unfortunate man of inaction, however, is always overwhelmed by all sorts of calamity. Therefore, abandoning everything else, one should put forth his energy. Indeed, disregarding everything, men should do what is productive of good to themselves. Knowledge, courage, cleverness, strength, and patience are said to be one’s natural friends. They that are possessed of wisdom pass their lives in this world with the aid of these five. Houses, precious metals, land, wife, and friends,–these are said by the learned to be secondary sources of good. A man may obtain them everywhere. A person possessed of wisdom may be delighted everywhere. Such a man shines everywhere. He never inspires anybody with fear. If sought to be frightened, he never yields to fear himself. The wealth, however little, that is possessed at any time by an intelligent man is certain to increase. Such a man does every act with cleverness. In consequence of self-restraint, he succeeds in winning great fame. Home-keeping men of little understanding have to put up with termagant wives that eat up their flesh like the progeny of a crab eating up their dam. There are men who through loss of understanding become very cheerless at the prospect of leaving home. They say unto themselves,–These are our friends! This is our country! Alas, how shall we leave these?–One should certainly leave the country of one’s birth, if it be afflicted by plague or famine. One should live in one’s own country, respected by all, or repair to a foreign country for living there. I shall, for this reason, repair to some other region. I do not venture to live any longer in this place, for I have done a great wrong to thy child, O king, one should from a distance abandon a bad wife, a bad son, a bad king, a bad friend, a bad alliance, and a bad country. One should not place any trust on a bad son. What joy can one have in a bad wife? There cannot be any happiness in a bad kingdom. In a bad country one cannot hope to obtain a livelihood. There can be no lasting companionship with a bad friend whose attachment is very uncertain. In a bad alliance, when there is no necessity for it, there is disgrace. She indeed, is a wife who speaks only what is agreeable. He is a son who makes the sire happy. He is a friend in whom one can trust. That indeed, is one’s country where one earns one’s living. He is a king of strict rule who does not oppress, who cherishes the poor and in whose territories there is no fear. Wife, country, friends, son, kinsmen, and relatives, all these one can have if the king happens to be possessed of accomplishments and virtuous eyes. If the king happens to be sinful, his subjects, inconsequence of his oppressions, meet with destruction. The king is the root of one’s triple aggregate (i.e., Virtue, Wealth, and Pleasure). He should protect his subjects with heedfulness. Taking from his subjects a sixth share of their wealth, he should protect them all. That king who does not protect his subjects is truly a thief. That king who, after giving assurances of protection, does not, from rapacity, fulfil them,–that ruler of sinful soul,–takes upon himself the sins of all hi subjects and ultimately sinks into hell. That king, on the other hand, who, having given assurances of protection, fulfils them, comes to be regarded as a universal benefactor in consequence of protecting all his subjects. The lord of all creatures, viz., Manu, has said that the king has seven attributes: he is mother, father, preceptor, protector, fire, Vaisravana and Yama. The king by behaving with compassion towards his people is called their father. The subject that behaves falsely towards him takes birth in his next life as an animal or a bird. By doing good to them and by cherishing the poor, the king becomes a mother unto his people. By scorching the wicked he comes to be regarded as fire, and by restraining the sinful he comes to be called Yama. By making gifts of wealth unto those that are dear to him, the king comes to be regarded as Kuvera, the grantor of wishes. By giving instruction in morality and virtue, he becomes a preceptor, and by exercising the duty of protection he becomes the protector. That king who delights the people of his cities and provinces by means of his accomplishments, is never divested of his kingdom in consequence of such observance of duty. That king who knows how to honour his subjects never suffers misery either here or hereafter. That king whose subjects are always filled with anxiety or overburdened with taxes, and overwhelmed by evils of every kind, meets with defeat at the hands of his enemies. That king, on the other hand, whose subjects grow like a large lotus in a lake succeeds in obtaining every reward here and at last meets with honour in heaven. Hostility with a person that is powerful is, O king, never applauded. That king who has incurred the hostility of one more powerful than himself, loses both kingdom and happiness.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘The bird, having said these words, O monarch, unto king Brahmadatta, took the king’s leave and proceeded to the region she chose. I have thus recited to thee, O foremost of kings, the discourse between Brahmadatta and Pujani. What else dost thou wish to hear?’

Section CXL

“Yudhishthira said, ‘When both righteousness and men, O Bharata, decay in consequence of the gradual lapse of Yuga, and when the world becomes afflicted by robbers, how, O Grandsire, should a king then behave?’

“Bhishma said, ‘I shall tell thee, O Bharata, the policy the king should Pursue at such distressful times. I shall tell thee how he should bear himself at such a time, casting off compassion. In this connection is cited the old story of the discourse between Bharadwaja and king Satrunjaya. There was a king named Satrunjaya among the Sauviras. He was a great car-warrior. Repairing to Bharadwaja, he asked the Rishi about the truths of the science of Profit,–saying,–How can an unacquired object be acquired? How again, when acquired, can it be increased? How also, when increased, can it be protected? And how, when protected, should it be used?–Thus questioned about the truths of the science of Profit, the regenerate Rishi said the following words fraught with excellent reason unto that ruler for explaining those truths.

“The Rishi said, ‘The king should always stay with the rod of chastisement uplifted in his hand. He should always display his prowess. Himself without laches, he should mark the laches of his foes. Indeed, his eyes should ever be used for that purpose. At the sight of a king who has the rod of chastisement ever uplifted in his hand, every one is struck with fear. For this reason, the king should rule all creatures with the rod of chastisement. Men possessed of learning and knowledge of truth applaud Chastisement. Hence, of the four requisites of rule, viz., Conciliation, Gift, Disunion, and Chastisement, Chastisement is said to be the foremost. When the foundation of that which serves for a refuge is cut away, all the refugees perish. When the roots of a tree are cut away, how would the branches live? A king possessed of wisdom should cut away the very roots of his foe. He should then win over and bring under his sway the allies and partisans of that foe. When calamities overtake the king, he should without losing time, counsel wisely, display his prowess properly, fight with ability, and even retreat with wisdom. In speech only should the king exhibit his humility, but at heart he should be sharp as a razor. He should cast off lust and wrath, and speak sweetly and mildly. When the occasion comes for intercourse with an enemy, a king possessed of foresight should make peace, without reposing blind trust on him. When the business is over, he should quickly turn away from the new ally. One should conciliate a foe with sweet assurances as if he were a friend. One, however, should always stand in fear of that foe as living in a room within which there is a snake. He whose understanding is to be dominated by thee (with the aid of thine intellect) should be comforted by assurances given in the past. He who is of wicked understanding should be assured by promises of future good. The person, however, that is possessed of wisdom, should be assured by present services. The person who is desirous of achieving prosperity should join hands, swear, use sweet words, worship by bending down his head, and shed tears. One should bear one’s foe on one’s shoulders as long as time is unfavourable. When however, the opportunity has come, one should break him into fragments like an earthen jar on a stone. It is better, O monarch that a king should blaze up for a moment like charcoal of ebony-wood than that he should smoulder and smoke like chaff for many years. A man who has many purposes to serve should not scruple to deal with even an ungrateful person. If successful, one can enjoy happiness. If unsuccessful, one loses esteem. Therefore in accomplishing the acts of such persons, one should, without doing them completely, always keep something unfinished. A king should do what is for his good, imitating a cuckoo, a boar, the mountains of Meru, an empty chamber, an actor, and a devoted friend. The king should frequently, with

heedful application, repair to the houses of his foes, and even if calamities befall them, ask them about their good. They that are idle never win affluence; nor they that are destitute of manliness and exertion; nor they that are stained by vanity; nor they that fear unpopularity; nor they that are always procrastinating. The king should act in such a way that his foe may not succeed in detecting his laches. He should, however, himself mark the laches of his foes. He should imitate the tortoise which conceals its limbs. Indeed, he should always conceal his own holes. He should think of all matters connected with finance like a crane. He should put forth his prowess like a lion. He should lie in wait like a wolf and fall upon and pierce his foes like a shaft. Drink, dice, women, hunting, and music,–these he should enjoy judiciously. Addiction to these is productive of evil. He should make bows with bamboos, etc.; he should sleep cautiously like the deer; he should be blind when it is necessary that he should be so, or he should even be deaf when it is necessary to be deaf. The king possessed of wisdom should put forth his prowess, regardful of time and place. If these are not favourable, prowess becomes futile. Marking timeliness and untimeliness reflecting upon his own strength and weakness, and improving his own strength by comparing it with that of the enemy, the king should address himself to action. That king who does not crush a foe reduced to subjection by military force, provides for his own death like the crab when she conceives. A tree with beautiful blossoms may be lacking in strength. A tree carrying fruits may be difficult of climbing; and sometimes trees with unripe fruits look like trees with ripe fruits. Seeing all these facts a king should not allow himself to be depressed. If he conducts himself in such a way, then he would succeed in upholding himself against all foes. The king should first strengthen the hopes (of those that approach him as suitors). He should then put obstacles in the way of the fulfilment of those hopes. He should say that those obstacles are merely due to occasion. He should next represent that those occasions are really the results of grave causes. As long as the cause of fear does not actually come, the king should make all his arrangements like a person inspired with fear. When, however, the cause of fear comes upon him, he should smite fearlessly. No man can reap good without incurring danger. If, again, he succeeds in preserving his life amid danger, he is sure to earn great benefits. A king should ascertain all future dangers; when they are present, he should conquer them; and lest they grow again, he should, even after conquering them, think them to be unconquered. The abandonment of present happiness and the pursuit of that which is future, is never the policy of a person possessed Of intelligence. The king who having made peace with a foe sleeps happily in truthfulness is like a man who sleeping on the top of a tree awakes after a fall. When one falls into distress, one should raise one’s self by all means in one’s power, mild or stern; and after such rise, when competent, one should practise righteousness. The king should always honour the foes of his foes. He should take his own spies as agents employed by his foes. The king should

see that his own spies are not recognised by his foe. He should make spies of atheists and ascetics and send them to the territories of his enemies. Sinful thieves, who offend against the laws of righteousness and who are thorns in the side of every person, enter gardens and places of amusement and houses set up for giving drinking water to thirsty travellers and public inns and drinking spots and houses of ill fame and holy places and public assemblies. These should be recognised and arrested and put down. The king should not trust the person that does not deserve to be trusted nor should he trust too much the person that is deserving of trust. Danger springs from trust. Trust should never be placed without previous examination. Having by plausible reasons inspired confidence in the enemy, the king should smite him when he makes a false step. The king should fear him, from whom there is no fear; he should also always fear them that should be feared. Fear that arises from an unfeared one may lead to total extermination. By attention (to the acquisition of religious merit), by taciturnity, by the reddish garb of ascetics, and wearing matted locks and skins, one should inspire confidence in one’s foe, and then (when the opportunity comes) one should jump upon him like the wolf. A king desirous of prosperity should not scruple to slay son or brother or father or friend, if any of these seek to thwart his objects. The very preceptor, if he happens to be arrogant, ignorant of what should be done and, what should not, and a treader of unrighteous paths, deserves to be restrained by chastisement. Even as certain insects of sharp stings cut off all flowers and fruits of the trees on which they sit, the king should, after having inspired confidence in his foe by honours and salutations and gifts, turn against him and shear him of everything. Without piercing the very vitals of others, without accomplishing many stern deeds, without slaughtering living creatures after the manner of the fisherman, one cannot acquire great prosperity. There is no separate species of creatures called foes or friends. Persons become friends or foes according to the force of circumstances. The king should never allow his foe to escape even if the foe should indulge piteous lamentations. He should never be moved by these; on the other hand, it is his duty to destroy the person that has done him an injury. A king desirous of prosperity should take care to attach to himself as many men as he can, and to do them good. In behaving towards his subjects he should always be free from malice. He should also, with great care, punish and check the wicked and disaffected. When he intends to take wealth, he should say what is agreeable. Having taken wealth, he should say similar things. Having struck off one’s head with his sword, he should grieve and shed tears. A king desirous of prosperity should draw others unto himself by means of sweet words, honours, and gifts. Even thus should he bind men unto his service. The king should never engage in fruitless disputes. He should never cross a river with the aid only of his two arms. To eat cow-horns is fruitless and never invigorating. By, eating them one’s teeth are broken while the taste is not gratified. The triple aggregate has three disadvantages with three Inseparable adjuncts. Carefully considering those adjuncts, the disadvantages should be avoided. The unpaid balance of a debt, the unquenched remnant of a fire, and the unslain remnant of foes, repeatedly grow and increase. Therefore, all those should be completely extinguished and exterminated. Debt, which always grows, is certain to remain unless wholly extinguished. The same is the cause with defeated foes and neglected maladies. These always produce great feat. (One should, therefore, always eradicate them). Every act should be done thoroughly One should be always heedful. Such a minute thing as a thorn, if extracted badly, leads to obstinate gangrene. By slaughtering its population, by tearing up its roads and otherwise injuring them, and by burning and pulling down its houses, a king should destroy a hostile kingdom. A kings should be far-sighted like the vulture, motionless like a crane, vigilant like a dog, valiant like a lion, fearful like a crow, and penetrate the territories of his foes like a snake with ease and without anxiety. A king should win over a hero by joining his palms, a coward by inspiring him with fear, and a covetous man by gifts of wealth while with an equal he should wage war. He should be mindful of producing disunion among the leaders of sects and of conciliating those that are dear to him. He should protect his ministers from disunion and destructions. If the king becomes mild, the people disregard him. If he becomes stern, the people feel it as an affliction. The rule is that he should be stern when the occasion requires sternness, and mild when the occasion requires mildness. By mildness should the mild be cut. By mildness one may destroy that which is fierce. There is nothing that mildness cannot effect. For this reason, mildness is said to be sharper than fierceness. That king who becomes mild when the occasion requires mildness and who becomes stern when sternness is required, succeeds in accomplishing all his objects, and in putting down his foes. Having incurred the animosity of a person possessed of knowledge and wisdom, one should not draw comfort from the conviction that one is at a distance (from one’s foe). Far-reaching are the arms of an intelligent man by which he injures when injured. That should not be sought to be crossed which is really uncrossable. That should not be snatched from the foe which the foe would be able to recover. One should not seek to dig at all if by digging one would not succeed in getting at the root of the thing for which one digs. One should never strike him whose head one would not cut off. A king should not always act in this way. This course of conduct that I have laid down should be pursued only in seasons of distress. Inspired by the motive of doing thee good I have said this for instructing thee as to how thou shouldst bear thyself when assailed by foes.

“Bhishma continued, ‘The ruler of the kingdom of the Sauviras, hearing

these words spoken by that Brahmana inspired with the desire of doing him good, obeyed those instructions cheerfully and obtained with his kinsmen and friends blazing prosperity.’”

Section CXLI

“Yudhishthira said, ‘When the high righteousness suffers decay and is transgressed by all, when unrighteousness becomes righteousness, and righteousness assumes the form of its reverse, when all wholesome restraints disappear, and all truths in respect of righteousness are disturbed and confounded, when people are oppressed by kings and robbers, when men of all the four modes of life become stupefied in respect of their duties, and all acts lose their merit, when men see cause of fear on every direction in consequence of lust and covetousness and folly, when all creatures cease to trust one another, when they slay one another by deceitful means and deceive one another in their mutual dealings, when houses are burnt down throughout the country, when the Brahmanas become exceedingly afflicted, when the clouds do not pour a drop of rain, when every one’s hand is turned against every one’s neighbour, when all the necessaries of life fall under the power of robbers, when, indeed, such a season of terrible distress sets in, by what means should a Brahmana live who is unwilling to cast off compassion and his children? How, indeed, should a Brahmana maintain himself at such a time? Tell me this, O grandsire! How also should the king live at such a time when sinfulness overtakes the world? How, O scorcher of foes, should the king live so that he might not fall away from both righteousness and profit?’

“Bhishma said, ‘O mighty-armed one, the peace and prosperity of subjects, sufficiency and seasonableness of rain, disease, death and other fears, are all dependent on the king. I have no doubt also in this. O bull of Bharata’s race, that Krita, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali, as regards their setting in, are all dependent on the king’s conduct. When such a season of misery as has been described by thee sets in, the righteous should support life by the aid of judgment. In this connection is cited the old story of the discourse between Viswamitra and the Chandala in a hamlet inhabited by Chandalas. Towards the end of Treta and the beginning of Dwapara, a frightful drought occurred, extending over twelve years, in consequence of what the gods had ordained. At that time which was the end of Treta and the commencement of Dwapara, when the period came for many creatures superannuated by age to lay down

their lives, the thousand-eyed deity of heaven poured no rain. The planet Vrihaspati began to move in a retrograde course, and Soma abandoning his own orbit, receded towards the south. Not even could a dew-drop be seen, what need then be said of clouds gathering together? The rivers all shrank into narrow streamlets. Everywhere lakes and wells and springs disappeared and lost their beauty in consequence of that order of things which the gods brought about. Water having become scarce, the places set up by charity for its distribution became desolate. The Brahmanas abstained from sacrifices and recitation of the Vedas. They no longer uttered Vashats and performed other propitiatory rites. Agriculture and keep of cattle were given up. Markets and shops were abandoned. Stakes for tethering sacrificial animals disappeared. People no longer collected diverse kinds of articles for sacrifices. All festivals and amusements perished. Everywhere heaps of bones were visible and every place resounded with the shrill cries and yells of fierce creatures. The cities and towns of the earth became empty of inhabitants. Villages and hamlets were burnt down. Some afflicted by robbers, some by weapons, and some by bad kings, and in fear of one another, began to fly away. Temples and places of worship became desolate. They that were aged were forcibly turned out of their houses. Kine and goats and sheep and buffaloes fought (for food) and perished in large numbers. The Brahmanas began to die on all sides. Protection was at an end. Herbs and plants were dried up. The earth became shorn of all her beauty and exceedingly awful like the trees in a crematorium. In that period of terror, when righteousness was nowhere, O Yudhishthira, men in hunger lost their senses and began to eat one another. The very Rishis, giving up their vows and abandoning their fires and deities, and deserting their retreats in woods, began to wander hither and thither (in search of food). The holy and great Rishi Viswamitra, possessed of great intelligence, wandered homeless and afflicted with hunger. Leaving his wife and son in some place of shelter, the Rishi wandered, fireless and homeless, and regardless of food clean and unclean. One day he came upon a hamlet, in the midst of a forest, inhabited by cruel hunters addicted to the slaughter of living creatures. The little hamlet abounded with broken jars and pots made of earth. Dog-skins were spread here and there. Bones and skulls, gathered in heaps, of boars and asses, lay in different places. Cloths stripped from the dead lay here and there, and the huts were adorned with garlands of used up flowers. Many of the habitations again were filled with sloughs cast off by snakes. The place resounded with the loud crowing of cocks and hens and the dissonant bray of asses. Here and there the inhabitants disputed with one another, uttering harsh words in shrill voices. Here and there were temples of gods bearing devices of owls and

other birds. Resounding with the tinkle of iron bells, the hamlet abounded with canine packs standing or lying on every side. The great Rishi Viswamitra, urged by pangs of hunger and engaged in search after food, entered that hamlet and endeavoured his best to find something to eat. Though the son of Kusika begged repeatedly, yet he failed to obtain any meat or rice or fruit or root or any other kind of food. He then, exclaiming, ‘Alas, great is the distress that has overtaken me!’ fell down from weakness in that hamlet of the Chandalas. The sage began to reflect, saying to himself, ‘What is best for me to do now?’ Indeed, O best of kings, the thought that occupied him was of the means by which he could avoid immediate death. He beheld, O king, a large piece of flesh, of a dog that had recently been slain with a weapon, spread on the floor of a Chandala’s hut. The sage reflected and arrived at the conclusion that he should steal that meat. And he said unto himself, ‘I have no means now of sustaining life. Theft is allowable in a season of distress for even an eminent person. It will not detract from his glory. Even a Brahmana for saving his life may do it. This is certain. In the first place one should steal from a low person. Failing such a person one may steal from one’s equal. Failing an equal, one may steal from even an eminent and righteous man. I shall then, at this time when my life itself is ebbing away, steal this meat. I do not see demerit in such theft. I shall, therefore, rob this haunch of dog’s meat.’ Having formed this resolution, the great sage Viswamitra laid himself down for sleep in that place where the Chandala was. Seeing some time after that the night had advanced and that the whole Chandala hamlet had fallen asleep, the holy Viswamitra, quietly rising up, entered that hut. The Chandala who owned it, with eyes covered with phlegm, was lying like one asleep. Of disagreeable visage, he said these harsh words in a broken and dissonant voice.

“The Chandala said, ‘Who is there, engaged in undoing the latch? The whole Chandala hamlet is asleep. I, however, am awake and not asleep. Whoever thou art, thou art about to be slain.’ These were the harsh words that greeted the sage’s ears. Filled with fear, his face crimson with blushes of shame, and his heart agitated by anxiety caused by that act of theft which he had attempted, he answered, saying, ‘O thou that art blest with a long life, I am Viswamitra. I have come here oppressed by the pangs of hunger. O thou of righteous understanding, do not slay me, if thy sight be clear.’ Hearing these words of that great Rishi of cleansed soul, the Chandala rose up in terror from his bed and approached the sage. Joining his palms from reverence and with eyes bathed in tears, he addressed Kusika’s son, saying, ‘What do you seek here in the night, O Brahmana?’ Conciliating the Chandala, Viswamitra said, ‘I am exceedingly hungry and about to die of starvation. I desire to take away that haunch of dog’s meat. Being hungry, I have become sinful. One solicitous of food has no shame. It is hunger that is urging me to this misdeed. It is for this that I desire to take away that haunch of dog’s meat. My life-breaths are languishing. Hunger has destroyed my Vedic lore. I am weak and have lost my senses. I have no scruple about clean or unclean food. Although I know that it is sinful, still I wish to take away that haunch of dog’s meat. After I had filed to obtain any alms, having wandered from house to house in this your hamlet, I set my heart upon this sinful act of taking away this haunch of dog’s meat. Fire is the mouth of the gods. He is also their priest. He should, therefore, take nothing save things that are pure and clean. At times, however, that great god becomes a consumer of everything. Know that I have now become even like him in that respect.’ Hearing these words of the great Rishi, the Chandala answered him, saying, ‘Listen to me. Having heard the words of truth that I say, act in such a way that thy religious merit may not perish. Hear, O regenerate Rishi, what I say unto thee about thy duty. The wise say that a dog is less clean than a jackal. The haunch, again, of a dog is a much worse part than other parts of his body. This was not wisely resolved by thee, therefore, O great Rishi, this act that is inconsistent with righteousness, this theft of what belongs to a Chandala, this theft, besides, of food that is unclean. Blessed be thou, do thou look for some other means for preserving thy life. O great sage, let not thy penances suffer destruction in consequence of this thy strong desire for dog’s meat. Knowing as thou dost the duties laid down in the scriptures, thou shouldst not do an act whose consequence is a confusion of duties. Do not cast off righteousness, for thou art the foremost of all persons observant of righteousness.’ Thus addressed, O king, the great Rishi Viswamitra, afflicted by hunger, O bull of Bharata’s race, once more said, ‘A long time has passed away without my having taken any food. I do not see any means again for preserving my life. One should, when one is dying, preserve one’s life by any means in one’s power without judging of their character. Afterwards, when competent, one should seek the acquisition of merit. The Kshatriyas should observe the practices of Indra. It is the duty of the Brahmanas to behave like Agni. The Vedas are fire. They constitute my strength. I shall, therefore, eat even this unclean food for appeasing my hunger. That by which life may be preserved should certainly be accomplished without scruple. Life is better than death. Living, one may acquire virtue. Solicitous of preserving my life, I desire, with the full exercise of my understanding, to eat this unclean food. Let me receive thy permission. Continuing to live I shall seek the acquisition of virtue and shall destroy by penances and by knowledge the calamities consequent on my present conduct, like the luminaries of the firmament destroying even the thickest gloom.’

“The Chandala said, ‘By eating this food one (like thee) cannot obtain long life. Nor can one (like thee) obtain strength (from such food), nor that gratification which ambrosia offers. Do thou seek for some other kind of alms. Let not thy heart incline towards eating dog’s meat. The dog is certainly an unclean food to members of the regenerate classes.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘Any other kind of meat is not to be easily had during a famine like this. Besides, O Chandala, I have no wealth (wherewith to buy food). I am exceedingly hungry. I cannot move any longer. I am utterly hopeless. I think that all the six kinds of taste are to be found in that piece of dog’s meat.’

“The Chandala said, ‘Only the five kinds of five-clawed animals are clean food for Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, as laid down in the scriptures. Do not set thy heart upon what is unclean (for thee).’

“Viswamitra said, ‘The great Rishi Agastya, while hungry, ate up the Asura named Vatapi. I am fallen into distress. I am hungry. I shall therefore, eat that haunch of dog’s meat.’

“The Chandala said, ‘Do thou seek some other alms. It behoves thee not to do such a thing. Verily, such an act should never be done by thee. If however, it pleases thee, thou mayst take away this piece of dog’s meat.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘They that are called good are authorities in matters of duty. I am following their example. I now regard this dog’s haunch to be better food than anything that is highly pure.’

“The Chandala said, ‘That which is the act of an unrighteous person can never be regarded as an eternal practice. That which is an improper act can never be a proper one. Do not commit a sinful act by deception.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘A man who is a Rishi cannot do what is sinful. In the present case, deer and dog, I think, are same (both being animals). I shall, therefore, eat this dog’s haunch.’

“The Chandala said, “Solicited by the Brahmanas, the Rishi (Agastya) did that act. Under the circumstances it could not be a sin. That is righteousness in which there is no sin. Besides, the Brahmanas, who are the preceptors of three other orders, should be protected and preserved by every means.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘I am a Brahmana. This my body is a friend of mine. It is very dear to me and is worthy of the highest reverence from me. It is from the desire of sustaining the body that the wish is entertained by me of taking away that dog’s haunch. So eager have I become that I have no longer any fear of thee and thy fierce brethren.’

“The Chandala said, ‘Men lay down their lives but they still do not set their hearts on food that is unclean. They obtain the fruition of all their wishes even in this world by conquering hunger. Do thou also conquer thy hunger and obtain those rewards.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘As regards myself, I am observant of rigid vows and my heart is set on peace. For preserving the root of all religious merit, I shall eat food that is unclean. It is evident that such an act would be regarded as righteous in a person of cleansed soul. To a person, however, of uncleansed soul, the eating of dog’s flesh would appear sinful. Even if the conclusion to which I have arrived be wrong, (and if I eat this dog’s meat) I shall not, for that act, become one like thee.’

“The Chandala said, ‘It is my settled conclusion that I should endeavour my best to restrain thee from this sin. A Brahmana by doing a wicked act falls off from his high state. It is for this that I am reproving thee.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘Kine continue to drink, regardless of the croaking of the frogs. Thou canst lay no claim to what constitutes righteousness (and what not). Do not be a self-eulogiser.’

“The Chandala said, ‘I have become thy friend. For this reason only I am preaching to thee. Do what is beneficial. Do not, from temptation, do what is sinful.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘If thou be a friend desirous of my happiness, do thou then raise me up from this distress. In that case, relinquishing this dog’s haunch, I may consider myself saved by the aid of righteousness (and not by that of sinfulness).’

“The Chandala said, ‘I dare not make a present of this piece of meat to thee, nor can I quietly suffer thee to rob me of my own food. If I give thee this meat and if thou take it, thyself being a Brahmana, both of us will become liable to sink in regions of woe in the next world.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘By committing this sinful act today I shall certainly save my life which is very sacred. Having saved my life, I shall afterwards practise virtue and cleanse my soul. Tell me which of these two is preferable (to die without food, or save my life by taking this food that is unclean).’

“The Chandala said: ‘In discharging the duties that appertain to one’s order or race, one’s own self is the best judge (of its propriety or impropriety). Thou thyself knowest which of those two acts is sinful. He who would regard dog’s meat as clean food, I think, would in matters of food abstain from nothing!’

“Viswamitra said, ‘In accepting (an unclean present) or in eating (unclean food) there is sin. When one’s life, however, is in danger there is no sin in accepting such a present or eating such food. Besides, the eating of unclean food, when unaccompanied by slaughter and deception and when the act will provoke only mild rebuke, is not matter of much consequence.’

“The Chandala said, ‘If this be thy reason for eating unclean food, it is then clear thou dost not regard the Veda and Arya morality. Taught by what thou art going to do, I see, O foremost of Brahmanas, that there is no sin in disregarding the distinction between food that is clean and food that is unclean.’

“Viswamitra said, ‘It is not seen that a person incurs a grave sin by eating (forbidden food). That one becomes fallen by drinking wine is only a wordy precept (for restraining men from drinking). The other forbidden acts (of the same species), whatever they be, in fact, every sin, cannot destroy one’s merit.’

“The Chandala said, ‘That learned person who takes away dog’s meat from an unworthy place (like this), from an unclean wretch (like me), from one who (like me) leads such a wicked life, commits an act that is opposed to the behaviour of those that are called good. In consequence, again, of his connection with such a deed, he is certain to suffer the pangs of repentance.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘The Chandala, having said these words unto Kusika’s son, became silent. Viswamitra then, of cultivated understanding, took away that haunch of dog’s meat. The great ascetic having possessed himself of that piece of dog’s meat for saving his life, took it away into the woods and wished with his wife to eat it. He resolved that having first gratified the deities according to due rites, he should then eat that haunch of dog’s meat at his pleasure. Igniting a fire according to the Brahma rites, the ascetic, agreeably to those rites that go by the name of Aindragneya, began himself to cook that meat into sacrificial Charu. He then, O Bharata, began the ceremonies in honour of the gods and the Pitris, by dividing that Charu into as many portions as were necessary, according to the injunctions of the scriptures, and by invoking the gods with Indra at their head (for accepting their shares). Meanwhile, the chief of the celestials began to pour copiously. Reviving all creatures by those showers, he caused plants and herbs to grow once more. Viswamitra, however, having completed the rites in honour of the gods and the Pitris and having gratified them duly, himself ate that meat. Burning all his sins afterwards by his penances, the sage, after a long time, acquired the most wonderful (ascetic) success. Even thus, when the end in view is the preservation of life itself, should a high-souled person possessed of learning and acquainted with means rescue his own cheerless self, when fallen into distress, by all means in his power. By having recourse to such understanding one should always preserve one’s life. A person, if alive, can win religious merit and enjoy happiness and prosperity. For this reason, O son of Kunti, a person of cleansed soul and possessed of learning should live and act in this world, relying upon his own intelligence in discriminating between righteousness and its reverse.’”

Section CXLII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘If that which is so horrible and which like falsehood should never be an object of regard, be cited (as duty), then what act is there from which I should forbear? Why also should not robbers then be respected? I am stupefied! My heart is pained! All the ties that bind me to morality are loosened! I cannot tranquillise my mind and venture to act in the way suggested by you.’

“Bhishma said, ‘I do not instruct thee in respect of duty, taught by what I have heard from the Vedas alone. What I have told thee is the result of wisdom and experience. This is the honey that the learned have gathered. Kings should gather wisdom from various sources. One cannot accomplish his course through the world with the aid of a morality that is one-sided. Duty must spring from the understanding; and the practices of those that are good should always be ascertained, O son of Kuru! Attend to these words of mine. Only kings that are possessed of superior intelligence can rule, expecting victory. A king should provide for the observance of morality by the aid of his understanding and guided by knowledge derived from various sources. The duties of a king can never be discharged by rules drawn from a morality that is one-sided. A weak-minded king can never display wisdom (in the discharge of his duties) in consequence of his not having drawn any wisdom from the examples before him. Righteousness sometimes takes the shape of unrighteousness. The latter also sometimes takes the shape of the former. He who does not know this, becomes confounded when confronted by an actual instance of the kind. Before the occasion comes, one should, O Bharata, comprehend the circumstances under which righteousness and its reverse become confused. Having acquired this knowledge, a wise king should, when the occasion comes, act accordingly, aided by his judgment. The acts he does at such a time are misunderstood by ordinary people. Some persons are possessed of true knowledge. Some persons have false knowledge. Truly ascertaining the nature of each kind of knowledge, a wise king derives knowledge from them that are regarded as good. They that are really breakers of morality find fault with the scriptures. They that have themselves no wealth proclaim the inconsistencies of the treatises on the acquisition of wealth. Those who seek to acquire knowledge for the object only of carrying their sustenance by it, O king, are sinful besides being enemies of morality. Wicked men, of immature understandings, can never know things truly, even as persons unconversant with scriptures are unable in all their acts to be guided by reason. With eyes directed to the faults of the scriptures, they decry the scriptures. Even if they understand the true meaning of the scriptures, they are still in the habit of proclaiming that scriptural injunctions are unsound. Such men, by decrying the knowledge of others proclaim the superiority of their own knowledge. They have words for their weapons and words for their arrows and speak as if they are real masters of their sciences. Know, O Bharata, that they are traders in learning and Rakshasas among men. By the aid of mere pretexts they cast off that morality which has been established by good and wise men. It has been heard by us that the texts of morality are not to be understood by either discussion or one’s own intelligence. Indra. himself has said that this is the opinion of the sage Vrihaspati. Some are of opinion that no scriptural text has been laid down without a reason. Others again, even if they properly understand the scriptures, never act according to them. One class of wise men declare that morality is nothing else than the approved course of the world. The man of true knowledge should find out for himself the morality laid down for the good. If even a wise man speaks of morality under the influence of wrath or confusion of understanding or ignorance, his deliverances go for nothing. Discourses on morality made with the aid of an intelligence that is derived from the true letter and spirit of the scriptures, are worthy of praise and not those which are made with the help of anything else. Even the words heard from an ignorant person, if in themselves they be fraught with sense, come to be regarded as pious and wise. In days of old, Usanas said unto the Daityas this truth, which should remove all doubts, that scriptures are no scriptures if they cannot stand the test of reason. The possession or absence of knowledge that is mixed with doubts is the same thing. It behoves thee to drive off such knowledge after tearing it up by the roots. He who does not listen to these words of mine is to be regarded as one that has suffered himself to be misled. Dost thou not see that thou wert created for the accomplishment of fierce deeds? Behold me, O dear child, how, by betaking myself, to the duties of the order of my birth, I have despatched innumerable Kshatriyas to heaven! There are some that are not delighted with me for this. The goat, the horse and the Kshatriya were created by Brahman for a similar purpose (viz., for being useful to everybody). A Kshatriya, therefore, should incessantly seek the happiness of all creatures. The sin that attaches to killing a person that should not be killed is equal to that which is incurred by not killing one who deserves to be killed. Even such is the established order of things which a weak-minded king thinks of never attending to. Therefore, a king should display severity in making all his subjects observe their respective duties. If this is not done, they will prowl like wolves, devouring one another. He is a wretch among Kshatriyas in whose territories robbers go about plundering the property of other people like crows taking little fishes from water. Appointing high-born men possessed of Vedic knowledge as thy ministers, do thou govern the earth, protecting thy subjects righteously. That Kshatriya who, ignorant of the established customs and contrivances, improperly levies taxes upon his people, is regarded as a eunuch of his order. A king should be neither severe nor mild. If he rules righteously he deserves praise. A king should not cast off both the qualities; on the other hand, becoming severe (on occasions demanding severity), he should be mild when it is necessary to be so. Painful is the observance of Kshatriya duties. I bear a great love for thee. Thou art created for the accomplishment of severe acts. Therefore, do thou rule thy kingdom. Sakra possessed of great intelligence has said that in times of distress the great duty of a king is chastising the wicked and protecting the good.

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Is there any such rule (in respect of kingly duties) which should, under no circumstances, be violated? I ask thee this, O foremost of virtuous persons! Tell me, O grandsire!’

“Bhishma said, ‘One should always worship Brahmanas venerable for learning, devoted to penances, and rich in conduct conformable to the injunctions of the Vedas. This indeed, is a high and sacred duty. Let thy conduct towards the Brahmanas be always that which thou observest towards the gods. The Brahmanas, if enraged, can inflict diverse kinds of wrong, O king. If they be gratified, high fame will be thy share. If otherwise, great will be thy fear. If gratified, the Brahmanas become like nectar. If enraged, they become like poison.’”

Section CXLIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O grandsire, O thou of great wisdom, O thou that are conversant with every kind of scripture, tell me what the merit is of one who cherishes a suppliant that craves for protection.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Great is the merit, O monarch, in cherishing a suppliant. Thou art worthy, O best of the Bharatas, of asking such a question. Those high-souled kings of old, viz., Sivi and others, O king, attained to great bliss in heaven by having protected suppliants. It is heard that a pigeon received with respect a suppliant foe according to due rites and even fed him with his own flesh.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘How, indeed, did a pigeon in days of old feed a suppliant foe with his own flesh? What also was the end, O Bharata, that he won by such conduct?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen, O king, to this excellent story that cleanses the hearer of every sin, the story, viz., that Bhrigu’s son (Rama) had recited to king Muchukunda. This very question, O son of Pritha had been put to Bhrigu’s son by Muchukunda with due humility. Unto him desirous of listening with humility the son of Bhrigu narrated this story of how a pigeon, O monarch, won success (entitling him to the highest heavenly bliss).’

“The sage said, ‘O mighty-armed monarch, listen to me as I narrate to thee this story that is fraught with truths connected with Virtue, Profit, and Pleasure. A wicked and terrible fowler, resembling the Destroyer himself, used in days of old to wander through the great forest. He was black as a raven and his eyes were of a bloody hue. He looked like Yama himself. His legs were long, his feet short, his mouth large, and his cheeks protruding. He had no friend, no relative, no kinsman. He had been cast off by them all for the exceedingly cruel life he led. Indeed, a man of wicked conduct should be renounced from a distance by the wise, for he who injures his own self cannot be expected to do good to others. Those cruel and wicked-souled men that take the lives of other creatures are always like poisonous snakes, a source of trouble to all creatures. Taking his nets with him, and killing birds in the woods, he used to sell the meat of those winged creatures, O king (for livelihood). Following such conduct, the wicked-souled wretch lived for many long years without ever understanding the sinfulness of his life. Accustomed for many long years to sport with his wife in the forest in the pursuit of this profession, and stupefied by destiny, no other profession was liked by him. One day as he was wandering through the forest intent on his business, a great storm arose that shook the trees and seemed about to uproot them. In a moment dense clouds appeared on the sky, with flashes of lightning playing amidst them, presenting the aspect of a sea covered with merchants’ boats and vessels. He of a hundred sacrifices having entered the clouds with a large supply of rain, in a moment the earth became flooded with water. While yet the rain fell to torrents, the fowler lost his senses through fear. Trembling with cold and agitated with fear, he roved through the forest. The killer of birds failed to find any high spot (which was not under water). The paths of the forest were all submerged. Inconsequence of the force of the shower, many birds were deprived of life or dropped down on the ground. Lions and bears and other animals, availing themselves of some high spots they had found, lay down to rest. All the denizens of the forest were filled with fear in consequence of that frightful storm and shower. Frightened and hungry they roamed through the woods in packs, small and large. The fowler, however, with limbs stiffened by cold, could neither stop where he was nor move. While in this state he eyed a she-pigeon lying on the ground, stiffened with cold. The sinful wight, though himself in the same predicament, beholding the bird, picked her up and immured her in a cage. Himself overwhelmed with affliction, he scrupled not to overwhelm a fellow-creature with affliction. Indeed, the wretch, through force of habit alone, committed that sin even at such a time. He then beheld in the midst of that forest a lordly tree, blue as the clouds. It was the resort of myriads of birds desirous of shade and shelter. It seemed to have been placed there by the Creator for the good of all creatures like a good man in the world. Soon the sky cleared and became spangled with myriads of stars, presenting the aspect of a magnificent lake smiling with blooming lilies. Turning his eyes towards the clear firmament rich with stars, the fowler began to advance, still trembling with cold. Beholding the sky cleared of clouds, he cast his eyes on all sides and seeing that night was already upon him, he began to think, ‘My home is at great distance from where I am.’ He then resolved to pass the night under the shade of that tree. Bowing down to it with joined hands, he addressed that monarch of the forest, saying, ‘I am a suppliant for the shelter unto all the deities that have this tree for their resort.’ Having said these words, he spread some leaves for a bed, and laid himself down on it, resting his head on a stone. Though overwhelmed with affliction, the man soon fell asleep.’”

Section CXLIV

“Bhishma said, ‘In one of the branches of that tree, a pigeon with beautiful feathers, O king, lived for many years with his family. That morning his wife had gone out in search of food but had not yet returned. Seeing the night had come and his wife still unreturned, the bird began to indulge in lamentations: ‘Oh, great has been the storm and painful the shower that came today! Alas, thou has not yet returned, O dear wife! Woe is on me, what can be the cause that she has not yet comeback to us? Is every thing right with that dear spouse of mine in the forest? Separated from her, this my home appears to me empty! A house-holder’s home, even if filled with sons and grandsons and daughters-in-law and servants, is regarded empty if destitute of the housewife. One’s house is not one’s home; one’s wife only is one’s home. A house without the wife is as desolate as the wilderness. If that dear wife of mine, of eyes fringed with red, of variegated plumes, and of sweet voice, does not come back today, my life itself will cease to be of any value. Of excellent vows, she never eats before I eat, and never bathes before I bathe. She never sits before I sit down, and never lies before I lie down. She rejoices if I rejoice, and becomes sorry when I am sorry. When I am away she becomes cheerless, and when I am angry she ceases not to speak sweetly. Ever devoted to her lord and ever relying upon her lord, she was ever employed in doing what was agreeable to and beneficial for her lord. Worthy of praise is that person on earth who own such a spouse. That amiable creature knows that I am fatigued and hungry. Devoted to me and constant in her love, my famous spouse is exceedingly sweet-tempered and worships me devoutly. Even the foot of a tree is one’s home if one lives there with one’s spouse as a companion. Without one’s spouse, a very palace is truly a desolate wilderness. One’s spouse is one’s associate in all one’s acts of Virtue, Profit and Pleasure. When one sets out for a strange land one’s wife is one’s trusted companion. It is said that the wife is the richest possession of her lord. In this world the wife is the only associate of her lord in all the concerns of life. The wife is ever the best of medicines that one can have in sickness and woe. There is no friend like unto the wife. There is no refuge better than the wife. There is no better ally in the world than the wife in acts undertaken for the acquisition of religious merit. He that has not in his house a wife that is chaste and of agreeable speech, should go to the woods. For such a man there is no difference between home and wilderness.’”

Section CXLV

“Bhishma said, ‘Hearing those piteous lamentations of the pigeon on the tree, the she-pigeon seized by the fowler began to say to herself as follows.’

“The she-pigeon said, ‘Whether I have any merit or not, verily there is no limit to any good fortune when my dear lord thus speaks of me. She is no wife with whom her lord is not content. In the case of women, if their lords be gratified with them all the deities also become so. Since the marriage union takes place in the presence of fire, the husband is the wife’s highest deity. That wife with whom her husband is not pleased becomes consumed into ashes, even like a creeper adorned with bunches of flowers in a forest conflagration.’ Having reflected thus, the she-pigeon, afflicted with woe, and immured by the fowler within his cage, thus spoke unto her woe-stricken lord, ‘I shall say what is now beneficial for thee.’ Hearing me follow thou my counsel, O dear lord, be thou the rescuer of a suppliant. This fowler lies here by thy abode, afflicted with cold and hunger. Do him the duties of hospitality. The sin that a person commits by slaying a Brahmana or that mother of the world, viz., a cow, is equal to that which one incurs by suffering a suppliant to perish (from want of help). Thou art possessed of knowledge of self. It ever behoves one like thee, therefore, to follow that course which has been ordained for us as pigeons by the order of our birth. 1 It has been heard by us that the householder who practises virtue according to the measure of his abilities, wins hereafter inexhaustible regions of bliss. Thou hast sons. Thou hast progeny. O bird, casting off all kindness for thy own body, therefore, and for winning virtue and profit, offer worship to this fowler so that his heart may be pleased. Do not, O bird, indulge in any grief on my account. (See, how unimportant I am!) Thou mayst continue to live, taking other wives!’ The amiable she-pigeon, overcome with sorrow, and casting her eyes upon her lord from the fowler’s cage within which she had been immured, said these words unto him.’”

Section CXLVI

“Bhishma said, ‘Hearing these words fraught with morality and reason that were spoken by his wife, the pigeon became filled with great delight and his eyes were bathed in tears of joy. Beholding that fowler whose avocation was the slaughter of birds, the pigeon honoured him scrupulously according to the rites laid down in the ordinance. Addressing him, he said, ‘Thou art welcome today. Tell me, what I shall do for thee. Thou shouldst not repine. This is thy home. Tell me quickly what I am to do and what is thy pleasure. I ask thee this in affection, for thou hast solicited shelter at our hands. Hospitality should be shown to even one’s foe when he comes to one’s house. The tree withdraws not its shade from even the person that approaches it for cutting it down. One should, with scrupulous care, do the duties of hospitality towards a person that craves for shelter. Indeed, one is especially bound to do so if one happens to lead a life of domesticity that consists of the five sacrifices. If one, while leading a life of domesticity, does not, from want of judgment, perform the five sacrifices, one loses, according to the scriptures, both this and the next world. Tell me then trustfully and in intelligible words what thy, wishes are. I will accomplish them all. Do not set thy heart on grief.’ Hearing these words of the bird, the fowler replied unto him, saying, ‘I am stiff with cold. Let provision be made for warming me.’ Thus addressed, the bird gathered together a number of dry leaves on the ground, and taking a single leaf in his beak speedily went away for fetching fire. Proceeding to a spot where fire is kept, he obtained a little fire and came back to the spot. He then set fire to those dry leaves, and when they blazed forth into vigorous flames, he addressed his guest, saying, ‘Do thou trustfully and without fear warm thy

limbs.’ Thus addressed, the fowler said, ‘So be it.’ And he set himself to warm his stiffened limbs. Recovering (as it were) his life-breathes the fowler said unto his winged host, ‘Hunger is afflicting me. I wish thee to give me some food.’ Hearing his words the bird said, ‘I have no stores by which to appease thy hunger. We, denizens of the woods, always live upon what we get every day. Like the ascetics of the forest we never hoard for the morrow.’ Having said these words, the bird’s face became pale (from shame). He began to reflect silently as to what he should do and mentally deprecated his own method of living. Soon, however, his mind became clear. Addressing the slaughterer of his species, the bird said, ‘I shall gratify thee. Wait for a moment.’ Saying these words, he ignited a fire with the help of some dry leaves, and filled with joy, said, ‘I heard in former days from high-souled Rishis and gods and Pitris that there is great merit in honouring a guest. O amiable one, be kind to me. I tell thee truly that my heart is set upon honouring thee that art my guest.’ Having formed this resolution, the high-souled bird with a smiling face, thrice circumambulated that fire and then entered its flames. Beholding he bird enter that fire, the fowler began to think, and asked himself, ‘What have I done? Alas, dark and terrible will be my sin, without doubt in consequence of my own acts! I am exceedingly cruel and worthy of reprobation. Indeed, observing the bird lay down his life, the fowler, deprecating his own acts, began to indulge in copious lamentations like thee.’”

Section CXLVII

“Bhishma said, ‘The fowler, seeing the pigeon fall into the fire, became filled with compassion and once more said, ‘Alas, cruel and senseless that I am, what have I done! I ant certainly a mean wretch! Great will be my sin for everlasting years! Indulging in such self-reproaches he began to say, repeatedly, ‘I am unworthy of credit. My understanding is wicked. I am ever sinful in my resolves. Alas, abandoning all kinds of honourable occupation, I have become a fowler A cruel wretch that I am, without doubt, this high-souled pigeon, by laying down his own life, has read me a grave lesson. Abandoning wives and sons, I shall certainly cast off my very life-breaths that are so dear. The high-souled pigeon has taught me that duty. From this day, denying every comfort to my body, I shall wear it out even as a shallow tank in the season of summer. Capable of bearing hunger, thirst, and penances, reduced to emaciation, and covered with visible veins all over, I shall, by diverse kinds of practise such vows as have a reference to the other world. Alas, by giving up his body, the pigeon has shown the worship that should be paid to a guest. Taught by his example. I shall henceforth practise righteousness. Righteousness is the highest refuge (of all creatures). Indeed, I shall practise such righteousness as has been seen in the righteous pigeon, that foremost of all winged creatures.’ Having formed such a resolution and said these words, that fowler, once of fierce deeds, proceeded to make an unreturning tour of the world, observing for the while the most rigid vows. He threw away his stout staff, his sharp-pointed iron-stick, his nets and springes, and his iron cage, and set at liberty the she-pigeon that he had seized and immured.’”


“Bhishma said, ‘After the fowler had left that spot, the she-pigeon, remembering her husband and afflicted with grief on his account, wept copiously and indulged in these lamentations, ‘I cannot, O dear lord, recollect a single instance of thy having done me an injury! Widows, even if mothers of many children, are still miserable! Bereft of her husband, a woman becomes helpless and an object of pity with her friends. I was always cherished by thee, and in consequence of the great respect thou hadst for me I was always honoured by thee with sweet, agreeable, charming, and delightful words. I sported with thee in valleys, in springs of rivers, and on delightful tops of trees. I was also made happy by thee while roving with thee through the skies. I used to sport with thee before, O dear lord, but where are those joys now? Limited are the gifts of the father, of the brother, and of the son to a woman. The gifts that her husband alone makes to her are unlimited. What woman is there that would not, therefore, adore her lord? A woman has no protector like her lord, and no happiness like her lord. Abandoning all her wealth and possessions, a woman should take to her lord as her only refuge. Life here is of no use to me, O lord, now that I am separated from thee. What chaste woman is there that would, when deprived of her lord, venture to bear the burden of life?’ Filled with sorrow and indulging in such piteous lamentations, the she-pigeon, devoted to her lord, cast herself on the blazing fire. She then beheld her (deceased) husband adorned with bracelets, seated on a (celestial) car, and adored by many high-souled and meritorious beings standing around him. Indeed, there he was in the firmament, decked with fine garlands and attired in excellent robes, and adorned with every ornament. Around him were innumerable celestial cars ridden by beings who had acted meritoriously while in this world. Seated on his own celestial car, the bird ascended to heaven, and obtaining proper honours for his deeds in this world, continued to sport in joy, accompanied by his wife.’”

Section CXLIX

“Bhishma said, ‘The fowler, O king, happened to see that pair while seated on their celestial car. Beholding the couple he became filled with sorrow (at the thought of his own misfortune) and began to reflect upon the means of obtaining the same end. And he said to himself, ‘I must, by austerities like those of the pigeon, attain to such a high end!’ Having formed this resolution, the fowler, who had lived by the slaughter of birds, set out on an unreturning journey. Without any endeavour (for obtaining food) and living upon air alone, he cast off all affections from desire of acquiring heaven. After he had proceeded for some distance, he saw an extensive and delightful lake full of cool and pure water, and adorned with lotuses and teeming with diverse kinds of water-fowl. Without doubt, the very sight of such a lake is capable of slaking the desire for drink of a thirsty person. Emaciated with fasts, the fowler, however, O king, without casting his eyes upon it, gladly penetrated a forest inhabited by beasts of prey, having ascertained previously its wide extent. After he had entered the forest he became much afflicted by sharp pointed thorns. Lacerated and torn by prickles, and covered all over with blood, he began to wander in that forest destitute of men but abounding with animals of diverse species. Sometime after, inconsequence of the friction of some mighty trees caused by a powerful wind, a widespread bush fire arose. The raging element, displaying a splendour like to what it assumes at the end of the Yuga, began to consume that large forest teeming with tall trees and thick bushes and creepers. Indeed, with flames fanned by the wind and myriads of sparks flying about in all directions, the all-consuming deity began to burn that dense forest abounding with birds and beasts. The fowler, desirous of casting off his body, ran with a delighted heart towards that spreading conflagration. Consumed by that fire the fowler became cleansed of all his sins and attained, O best of the Bharatas, to high success. The fever of his heart dispelled, he at last beheld himself in heaven, shining in splendour like Indra in the midst of Yakshas and Gandharvas and persons crowned with ascetic success. Thus, indeed, the pigeon and his devoted spouse, with the fowler, ascended to heaven for their meritorious acts, The woman who thus follows her lord speedily ascends to heaven and shines in splendour there like the she-pigeon of whom I have spoken. Even this is the old history of the high-souled fowler and the pigeon. Even thus did they earn a highly meritorious end by their righteous acts. No evil befalls the persons who listens every day to this story or who recites it every day, even if error invades his mind. O Yudhisthira, O foremost of all righteous persons, the protection of a suppliant is truly a high act of merit. Even the slayer of a cow, by practising this duty, maybe cleansed of sin. That man, however, will never be cleansed who slays a suppliant. By listening to this sacred and sin-cleansing story one becomes freed from distress and

attains to heaven at last.’”

Section CL

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O best of the Bharatas, when a person commits sin from want of judgment, how may he be cleansed from it? Tell me everything about it.’

“Bhishma said, ‘I shall in this connection recite to thee the old narrative, applauded by the Rishis, of what the regenerate Indrota, the son of Sunaka, said unto Janamejaya. There was in days of yore, a king possessed of great energy, called Janamejaya, who was the son of Parikshit. That lord of earth on one occasion, from want of judgment became guilty of killing a Brahmana. Upon this, all the Brahmanas together with his priests abandoned him. Burning day and night with regret, the king retired into the woods. Deserted by his subjects too, he took this step for achieving high merit. Consumed by repentance, the monarch underwent the most rigid austerities. For washing himself of the sin of Brahmanicide he interrogated many Brahmanas, and wandered from country to country over the whole earth. I shall now tell thee the story of his expiation. Burning with the remembrance of his sinful act, Janamejaya wandered about. One day, in course of his wanderings, he met Indrota, the son of Sunaka, of rigid vows, and approaching him touched his feet. The sage, beholding the king before him, reproved him gravely, saying, ‘Thou hast committed a great sin. Thou hast been guilty of foeticide. Why has thou come here? What business hast thou with us? Do not touch me by any means! Go, go away! Thy presence does not give us pleasure. Thy person smells like blood. Thy appearance is like that of a corpse. Though impure, thou seemest to be pure, and though dead thou movest like a living! Dead within, thou art of impure soul, for thou art ever intent upon sin. Though thou sleepest and wakest, thy life, however, is passed in great misery. Thy life, O king, is useless. Thou livest most miserably. Thou hast been created for ignoble and sinful deeds. Sires wish for sons from desire of obtaining diverse kinds of blessings, and hoping they perform penances and sacrifices, worship the gods, and practise renunciation. Behold, the whole race of thy ancestors has fallen into hell in consequence of thy acts. All the hopes thy sires had placed upon thee have become fruitless. Thou livest in vain, for thou art always inspired with hatred and malice towards the Brahmanas–them, that is, by worshipping whom other men obtain long life, fame, and heaven. Leaving this world (when the time comes), thou shalt have to fall (into hell) with head downwards and remain in that posture for innumerable years in consequence of thy sinful deeds. There thou shalt be tortured by vultures and

peacocks having iron beaks. Returning thence into this world, thou shalt have to take birth in a wretched order of creatures. If thou thinkest, O king, that this world is nothing and that the next world is the shadow of a shadow, the myrmidons of Yama in the infernal regions will convince thee, dispelling thy unbelief.’”

Section CLI

“Bhishma said, ‘Thus addressed, Janamejaya replied unto the sage, saying, ‘Thou rebukest one that deserves to be rebuked. Thou censurest one that is deserving of censure. Thou upbraidest me and my acts. I implore thee to be graceful towards me. All my acts have been sinful. I burn, however, with repentance as if I am in the midst of blazing fire! My mind, in remembrance of my deeds, is exceedingly cheerless. Verily, I am much afraid of Yama. How can I bear to live without extracting that dart from my heart? O Saunaka, suppressing all thy wrath, instruct me now. Formerly I used to show regard for Brahmanas. I solemnly declare that I shall once more show the same regard for thee. Let not my line be extinct. Let not the race in which I am born sink into the dust. It is not proper that they who have wronged Brahmanas and have for that, in consequence of the injunctions of the Vedas, forfeited all claim to the respect of the world and to social intercourse with their fellowmen, should have any bearer of their names for continuing their races. I am overwhelmed with despair. I, therefore, repeat my resolves (about mending my conduct). I pray you to protect me like sages that do not accept gifts protecting the poor. Sinful wights abstaining from sacrifices never attain to heaven. Leaving (this world), they have to pass their time in the pits of hell like Pullindas and Khasas. Ignorant that I am, give me wisdom like a learned preceptor to his pupil or like a sire to his son. Be gratified with me, O Saunaka!’

“Saunaka said, ‘What wonder is there that a person destitute of wisdom should do many improper acts? Knowing this, a. person of real wisdom is never angry with creatures (when they become guilty of folly). By ascending upon the top of wisdom’s palace, one grieves for others, one’s own self being then too pure for becoming an object of other people’s grief. In consequence of one’s wisdom one surveys all creatures in the world like a person on a mountain-top surveying people below. The person who becomes an object of censure with good men, who hates good men and who hides himself from their view, never succeeds in obtaining any blessing and never understands the

propriety of acts. Thou knowest what the energy and the nobility of the Brahmana is as laid down in the Vedas and other scriptures. Act now in such a way that tranquillity of heart may be thine and let Brahmanas be thy refuge, If the Brahmanas cease to be angry with thee, that will ensure thy felicity in heaven. If, again, thou repentest in sin, thy sight will be clear and thou wilt succeed in beholding righteousness.’

“Janamejaya said, ‘I am repenting of my sins. I will never again seek to extinguish virtue. I desire to obtain blessedness. Be thou gratified with me.’

“Saunaka said, ‘Dispelling arrogance and pride, O king, I wish thee to show regard for me! Employ thyself in the good of all creatures, ever remembering the mandates of righteousness. I am not reproving thee from fear or narrowness of mind or covetousness. Listen now, with these Brahmanas here, to the words of truth I utter. I do not ask for anything. I shall, however, instruct thee in the ways of righteousness. All persons will croak and bray and cry fie on me (for what I am going to do). They will even call me sinful. My kinsmen and friends will discard me. Without doubt, however, my kinsmen and friends, hearing the words I speak, will succeed in vigorously crossing the difficulties of life. Some that are possessed of great wisdom will understand (my motives) rightly. Know, O child, what my views are, O Bharata, in respect of the Brahmanas. Do thou (after listening to me) act in such away that they may, through my efforts, obtain every blessing. Do thou also, O king, pledge thy word that thou wilt not again injure the Brahmanas.’

“Janamejaya said, ‘I swear, touching even thy feet, that I shall never again, in thought, word, or deed, injure the Brahmanas.’”

Section CLII

“Saunaka said, ‘I shall for these reasons discourse to thee of righteousness, to thee whose heart has been exceedingly agitated. Possessed of knowledge and great strength, and with a contented heart, thou seekest righteousness of thy own will. A king, first becoming exceedingly stern, then shows compassion and does good to all creatures by his acts. This is certainly very wonderful. People say that that king who commences with sternness burns the whole world. Thou wert stern before. But thou turnest thy eyes on righteousness now. Forsaking luxurious food and all articles of enjoyment, thou hast betaken thyself for a long time to rigid penances. All this, O Janamejaya, is certain to appear wonderful to those kings that are sunk in sin. That he who has affluence should become liberal, or that he who is endued with wealth of asceticism should become reluctant to spend it, is not at all wonderful. It has been said that the one does not live at a distance from the other. That which is ill-judged produces misery in abundance. That on the other hand, which is accomplished with the aid of sound judgment leads to excellent results. Sacrifice, gift, compassions, the Vedas, and truth, O lord of the earth–these five–are cleansing. The sixth is penance well-performed. This last, O Janamejaya, is highly cleansing for kings. By betaking thyself to it properly, thou art certain to earn great merit and blessedness. Visiting sacred spots has also been said to be highly cleansing. In this connection are cited the following verses sung by Yayati: ‘That mortal who would earn life and longevity should, after having performed sacrifices with devotion, renounce them (in old age) and practise penances.’ The field of Kuru has been said to be sacred. The river Saraswati has been said to be more so. The tirthas of the Saraswati are more sacred than the Saraswati herself; and the tirtha called Prithudaka is more sacred than all the tirthas of the Saraswati. One that has bathed in Prithudaka. and drunk its waters will not have to grieve for a premature death. Thou shouldst go to Mahasaras, to all the tirthas designated by the name of Pushkara, to Prabhasa, to the northern lake Manasa, and to Kalodaka. Thou shalt then regain life and acquire longevity. Lake Manasa is on the spot where the Saraswati and the Drisadwati mingle with each other. A person possessed of Vedic knowledge should bathe in these places. Manu has said that liberality is the best of all duties and that renunciation is better than liberality. In this connection is cited the following verse composed by Satyavat. (One should act) as a child full of simplicity and destitute of either merit or sin. As regards all creatures there is in this would neither misery nor happiness. (That which is called misery and that which is called happiness are the results of a distraught imagination.) Even this is the true nature of all living creatures. Of all creatures, their lives are superior who have betaken themselves to renunciation and abstained from acts both meritorious and sinful. I shall now tell thee those acts which are best for a king. By putting forth thy might and liberality do thou conquer heaven, O king! That man who possesses the attributes of might and energy succeeds in attaining to righteousness. Do thou rule the earth, O king, for the sake of the Brahmanas and for the sake of happiness. Thou usedst formerly to condemn the Brahmanas. Do thou gratify them now. Though they have cried fie on thee and though they have deserted thee, do thou still, guided by knowledge of self, solemnly pledge thyself never to injure them. Engaged in acts proper for thee, seek what is for thy highest good.

Amongst rulers some one becomes as cool as snow; some one, as fierce as fire; some one becomes like a plough (uprooting all enemies); and some one, again, becomes like a thunder-bolt (suddenly scorching his foes). He who wishes to prevent self-destruction should never mix with wicked wights for general or special reasons. From a sinful act committed only once, one may cleanse one’s self by repenting of it. From a sinful act committed twice, one may cleanse one’s self by vowing never to commit it again. From such an act committed thrice, one may cleanse one’s self by the resolution to bear one’s self righteously ever afterwards. By committing such an act repeatedly, one may cleanse one’s self by a trip to sacred places. One who is desirous of obtaining prosperity should do all that results in blessedness. They who live amidst fragrant odours themselves become fragrant in consequence. They, on the other hand, who live in the midst of foul stench themselves become foul. One devoted to the practice of ascetic penances is soon cleansed of all one’s sins. By worshipping the (homa) fire for a year, one stained by diverse sins becomes purified. One guilty of foeticide is cleansed by worshipping the fire for three years. One guilty of foeticide becomes cleansed at even a hundred Yojanas from Mahasaras, or the tirthas called Pushkara, or Prabhasa, or Manasa on the north, if only one gets out for any of them. A slayer of creatures is cleansed of his sins by saying from imminent peril as many creatures of that particular species as have been slain by him. Manu has said that by diving in water after thrice reciting the Aghamarshana mantras, one reaps the fruits of the final bath in a Horse-sacrifice. Such an act very soon cleanses one of all one’s sins, and one regains in consequence the esteem of the world. All creatures become obedient to such a person like helpless idiots (obedient to those that surround them). The gods and Asuras, in days of yore, approaching the celestial preceptor Vrihaspati, O king, humbly enquired of him, saying, ‘Thou knowest, O great Rishi, the fruits of virtue, as also the fruits of those other acts that lead to hell in the next world. Does not that person succeed in liberating himself from both merit and sin with whom the two (weal and woe) are equal? Tell us, O great Rishi, what the fruits of righteousness are, and how does a righteous person dispels his sins.’

“Vrihaspati answered, ‘If having committed sin through folly, one does meritorious acts understanding their nature, one succeeds, by such righteousness, in cleansing one’s self from sin even as a piece of dirty cloth is washed clean by means of some saline substance. One should not boast after having committed sin. By having recourse to faith and by freeing one’s self from malice, one succeeds in obtaining blessedness. That person who covers the

faults, even when exposed, of good men, obtains blessedness even after committing faults. As the sun rising at morn dispels darkness, one dispels all ones sins by acting righteously.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Indrota, the son of Sunaka, having said these words unto king Janamejaya, assisted him, by his ministrations, in the performance of the horse-sacrifice. The king, cleansed of his sins and regaining blessedness, shone with splendour like a blazing fire, and that slayer of foes then entered his kingdom like Soma in his full form entering heaven.’”

Section CLIII

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Hast thou, O grandsire, ever seen or heard of any mortal restored to life after having succumbed to death?’

“Bhishma said, ‘Listen, O king, to this story of the discourse between a vulture and a jackal as happened of old. Indeed, the occurrence took place in the forest of Naimisha. Once upon a time a Brahmana had, after great difficulties, obtained a son of large expansive eyes. The child died of infantile convulsions. Some (amongst his kinsmen), exceedingly agitated by grief and indulging in loud lamentations, took up the boy of tender years, that sole wealth of his family. Taking the deceased child they proceeded in the direction of the crematorium, Arrived there, they began to take the child from one another’s breast and cry more bitterly in grief. Recollecting with heavy hearts the former speeches of their darling again and again, they were unable to return home casting the body on the bare ground. Summoned by their cries, a vulture came there and said these words: ‘Go ye away and do not tarry, ye that have to cast off but one child. Kinsmen always go away leaving on this spot thousands of men and thousands of women brought here in course of time. Behold, the whole universe is subject to weal and woe. Union and disunion may be seen in turns. They that have come to the crematorium bringing with them the dead bodies of kinsmen, and they that sit by those bodies (from affection), themselves disappear from the world in consequence of their own acts when the allotted periods of their own lives run out. There is no need of your lingering in the crematorium, this horrible place, that is full of vultures and jackals and that abounds with skeletons and inspires every creature with dread. Whether friend or foe, no one ever comes back to life having once succumbed to the power of Time. Such, indeed, is the fate of all creatures, In this world of mortals, every one that is born is sure to die. Who shalt restore to life one that is dead and gone on the way ordained by the Destroyer? At this hour when men are about to close their daily toil, the Sun is retiring to the Asta hills. Go ye to your homes, casting off this affection for the child.’ Hearing these words of the vulture, the grief of the kinsmen seemed to abate, and placing the child on the bare ground they prepared to go away. Assuring themselves of the fact that the child had died and despairing of seeing him again, they began to retrace their steps, indulging in loud lamentations. Assured beyond doubt, and despairing of restoring the dead to life, they cast off that offspring of their race, and prepared to turn back from that spot. At this time a jackal, black as a raven, issued out of his hole and addressed those departing kinsmen, saying, ‘Surely, ye that are kinsmen of that deceased child have no affection. There the sun still shineth in the sky, ye fools! Indulge your feelings, without fear. Multifarious are the virtue of the hour. This one may come back to life! Spreading a few blades of Kusa grass on the ground and abandoning that dear child on the crematorium, why do ye go away with hearts of steel and casting off every affection for the darling? Surely, ye have no affection for that sweet-speeched child of tender years, whose words, as soon as they left his lips, used to gladden you greatly. Behold the affection that even birds and beasts bear towards their offspring. Theirs is no return for bringing up their young ones. Like the sacrifices of the Rishis (that are never undertaken from desire of fruit or rewards) the affection of quadrupeds of birds and insects, bears no reward in heaven. Though delighting in their children, they are never seen to derive any benefit from the latter either here or hereafter. ‘Yet they cherish their young ones with affection. Their children, growing up, never cherish them in age. Yet are not they grieved when they do not behold their little ones? Where, indeed, is affection to be seen in human beings that they would own the influence of grief? Where would you go leaving here this child who is the perpetuator of his race? Do you shed tears for him for some time, and do you look at him a little longer with affection? Objects so dear are, indeed, difficult to abandon. It is friends and not others that wait by the side of him that is weak, of him that is prosecuted in a court of law, of him that is borne towards the crematorium. Life-breaths are dear unto all, and all feel the influence of affection. Behold the affection that is cherished by even those that belong to the intermediate species! How, indeed, can you go away, casting off this boy of eyes large as the petals of the lotus, and handsome as a newly-married youth washed clean and adorned with floral garlands?’ Hearing these words of the jackal that had been indulging in such expressions of touching grief, the men turned back for the sake of the corpse.’

“The vulture said, ‘Alas, ye men destitute of strength of mind, why do ye turn back at the bidding of a cruel and mean jackal of little intelligence? Why do you mourn for that compound of five elements deserted by their presiding deities, no longer tenanted (by the soul), motionless, and stiff as a piece of wood? Why do you not grieve for your own selves? Do you practise austere penances by which you will succeed in cleansing yourselves from sin? Everything may be had by means of penances. What will lamentations do?

ill-luck is born with the body. It is in consequence of that ill-luck that this boy has departed, plunging you into infinite grief. Wealth, kine, gold, precious gems, children, all have their root in penances. Penances again are the results of yoga (union of the soul with Godhead). Amongst creatures, the measure of weal or woe is dependent on the acts of a previous life. Indeed, every creature comes into the world taking with him his own measure of weal and woe. The son is not bound by the acts of the sire, or the sire by those of the son. Bound by their own acts, good and bad, all have to travel by this common road. Duly practise all the duties, and abstain from acts of unrighteousness. Reverentially wait, according to the directions of the scriptures, upon the gods and the Brahmanas. Cast off sorrow and cheerlessness, and abstain from parental affection. Leave the child on this exposed ground, and go ye away without delay. The actor alone enjoys the fruit of acts, good or bad, that he does. What concern have kinsmen with them? Casting off a (deceased) kinsman, however dear, kinsmen leave this spot. With eyes bathed in tears, they go away, ceasing to display affection for the dead. Wise or ignorant, rich or poor, every one succumbs to Time, endued with acts, good and bad. What will you do by mourning? Why do you grieve for one that is dead? Time is the lord of all, and in obedience to his very nature he casts an equal eye on all things. In pride of youth or in helpless infancy bearing the weight of years or lying in the mother’s womb, every one is subject to be assailed by Death. Such indeed, is the course of the world.’

“The jackal said, ‘Alas, the affection cherished by your weeping selves that are overwhelmed with grief for your deceased child has been lessened by that light-brained vulture. Even this must be the case, since in consequence of his well-applied words fraught with tranquillity and capable of producing conviction, there that one goes back to the town, casting off affection that is so difficult to abandon. Alas, I had supposed that great is the grief felt by men indulging in loud lamentations for the death of a child and for the corpse on a crematorium, like that of kine bereft of calves. Today, however, I understand what the measure of grief is of human beings on earth. Witnessing their great affection I had shed tears myself. (It seems however, that their affection is not strong)! One should always exert oneself. Thence does one succeed through destiny. Exertion and destiny, joining together, produce fruit. One should always exert oneself with hopefulness. How can happiness be had from despondency? Objects of desire may be won by resolution. Why then do you go back so heartlessly? Where do you go, abandoning in the wilderness this son of your own loins, this perpetuator of the race of his sires? Stay here till the sun sets and the evening twilight comes. You may then take away this boy with yourselves or stay with him.’

“The vulture said, ‘I am, ye men, a full thousand years of age today, but I have never seen a dead creature, male or female or of ambiguous sex, revive after death. Some die in the womb; some die soon after birth; some die (in

infancy) while crawling (on all fours); some die in youth; and some in old age. The fortunes of all creatures, including even beasts and birds, are unstable. The periods of life of all mobile and immobile creatures are fixed beforehand. Bereaved of spouses and dear ones and filled with sorrow for (the death of) children, men leave this spot every day with agonised hearts for returning home. Leaving on this spot both friends and foes numbering by thousands, kinsmen afflicted with grief go back to their homes. Cast off this lifeless body with no longer any animal heat in it and which is as stiff as a piece of wood! Why then do you not go away, leaving the body of this child which has become like a piece of wood and whose life has entered a new body? This affection (which ye are displaying) is unmeaning and this hugging of the child is fruitless. He does not see with his eyes or hear with his ears. Leaving him here, go ye away without delay. Thus addressed by me in words which are apparently cruel but which in reality are fraught with reason and have a direct bearing with the high religion of emancipation, go ye back to your respective homes.’ Addressed thus by the vulture endued with wisdom and knowledge and capable of imparting intelligence and awakening the understanding, those men prepared themselves to turn their backs upon the crematorium. Grief, indeed, increaseth to twice its measure at sight of its object and at the remembrance of the acts of that object (in life). Having heard these words of the vulture, the men resolved to leave the spot. Just at that time the jackal, coming thither with quick steps, cast his eyes on the child lying in the sleep of death.’

“The jackal said, ‘Why, indeed, do you leave, at the vulture’s bidding, this child of golden complexion, adorned with ornaments, and capable of giving the obsequial cake to his ancestors? If you abandon him, your affection will not come to an end, nor these piteous lamentations. On the other hand, your grief will certainly be greater. It is heard that a Sudra named Samvuka having been slain and righteousness having been upheld by Rama of true prowess, a (dead) Brahmana child was restored to life. Similarly, the son of the royal sage Sweta died (prematurely). But the monarch, devoted to virtue, succeeded in reviving his dead child. After the same manner, in your case also, some sage or deity may be willing to grant your desire and show compassion to you that are crying so piteously.’ Thus addressed by the jackal, the men, afflicted with grief and full of affection for the child, retraced their steps, and placing the child’s head on their laps one after another, began to indulge in copious lamentations. Summoned by their cries, the vulture, coming to that spot, spoke unto them as follows.’

“The vulture said, ‘Why are you bathing this child with your tears? Why are you pressing him in this fashion with the touch of your palms? At the command of the grim king of justice the child has been sent to that sleep which knows no waking. Those that are endued with the merit of penances, those that are possessed of wealth, those that have great intelligence, in fact, all succumb to death. Even this is the place intended for the dead. It is always to be seen that kinsmen casting off thousands of kinsmen young and old, pass their nights and days in grief, rolling on the bare ground. Cease this ardour in putting on the trappings of woe. That this child would come back to life is what passes belief. He will not get back his life at the bidding of the jackal. If a person once dies and takes leave of his body, his body never regains animation. Hundreds of jackals, by laying down their own lives, will not succeed in reviving this child in hundreds of years. If, however, Rudra, or Kumara, or Brahman, or Vishnu, grant him a boon, then only may this child come back to life. Neither the shedding of tears, nor the drawing of long sighs, nor copious lamentations, will bring back this one to life. Myself, the jackal, you all, and all the kinsmen of this one, with all our merits and sins, are on the same road (that this one has taken). For this reason one possessed of wisdom should, from a distance, avoid behaviour that displeases others, harsh speeches, the infliction of injury on others, the enjoyment of other people’s wives, and sin and falsehood. Carefully seek righteousness, truth, the good of others, justice, compassion for all creatures, sincerity, and hone