The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,273 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“Vaisampayana continued, ’That best of Brahmanas, thus addressed by the king, freely answered him in these pointed words well-agreeing with the import of political science.”

“Listen to me, O sinless king, as I answer thee.  And, O best of Kuru kings, it behoveth thee not to be angry with me after hearing all I say.  Kings should ever be ready with uplifted maces (to strike when necessary), and they should ever increase their prowess.  Carefully avoiding all faults themselves they should ceaselessly watch over the faults of their foes and take advantage of them.  If the king is always ready to strike, everybody feareth him.  Therefore the king should ever have recourse to chastisement in all he doeth.  He should so conduct himself that, his foe may not detect any weak side in him.  But by means of the weakness he detecteth in his foe he should pursue him (to destruction).  He should always conceal, like the tortoise concealing its body, his means and ends, and he should always keep back his own weakness from, the sight of others.  And having begun a particular act, he should ever accomplish it thoroughly.  Behold, a thorn, if not extracted wholly, produceth a festering sore.  The slaughter of a foe who doeth thee evil is always praiseworthy.  If the foe be one of great prowess, one should always watch for the hour of his disaster and then kill him without any scruples.  If he should happen to be a great warrior, his hour of disaster also should be watched and he should then be induced to fly.  O sire, an enemy should never be scorned, however contemptible.  A spark of fire is capable of consuming an extensive forest if only it can spread from one object to another in proximity.  Kings should sometimes feign blindness and deafness, for if impotent to chastise, they should pretend not to notice the faults that call for chastisement.  On occasions, such as these, let them regard their bows as made of straw.  But they should be always on the alert like a herd of deer sleeping in the woods.  When thy foe is in thy power, destroy him by every means open or secret.  Do not show him any mercy, although he seeketh thy protection.  A foe, or one that hath once injured thee, should be destroyed by lavishing money, if necessary, for by killing him thou mayest be at thy ease.  The dead can never inspire fear.  Thou must destroy the three, five and seven (resources) of thy foes.  Thou must destroy thy foes root and branch.  Then shouldst thou destroy their allies and partisans.  The allies and partisans can never exist if the principal be destroyed.  If the root of the tree is torn up, the branches and twigs can never exist as before.  Carefully concealing thy own means and ends, thou shouldst always watch thy foes, always seeking their flaws.  Thou shouldst, O king, rule thy kingdom, always anxiously watching thy foes.  By maintaining the perpetual fire by sacrifices, by brown cloths, by matted locks, and by hides of animals for thy bedding, shouldst

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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