intelligent and learned ministers; but a king who
is addicted to vices, meeteth with defeat. Then
only is the order of the world secured, when the king
duly punisheth and conferreth favours. Therefore,
it is necessary to ascertain through spies the nature
of the hostile country, its fortified places and the
allied force of the enemy and their prosperity and
decay and the way in which they retain the adhesion
of the powers they have drawn to their side.
Spies are among the important auxiliaries of the king;
and tact, diplomacy, prowess, chastisement, favour
and cleverness lead to success. And success is
to be attained through these, either in separation,
or combined—namely, conciliation, gift,
sowing dissensions, chastisement, and sight.
And, O chief of the Bharatas, polity hath for its root
diplomacy; and diplomacy also is the main qualification
of spies. And polity, if well judged conferreth
success. Therefore, in matters of polity the
counsels of Brahmanas should be resorted to. And
in secret affairs, these should not be consulted,—namely,
a woman, a sot, a boy, a covetous person a mean-minded
individual, and he that betrayeth signs of insanity.
Wise men only should be consulted, and affairs are
to be despatched through officers that are able.
And polity must be executed through persons that are
friendly; but dunces should in all affairs be excluded.
In matters religious, pious men; and in matters of
gain, wise men; and in guarding families, eunuchs;
and in all crooked affairs, crooked men, must be employed.
And the propriety or impropriety of the resolution
of the enemy, as also their strength or weakness, must
be ascertained through one’s own as well as
hostile spies. Favour should be shown to honest
persons that have prudently sought protection; but
lawless and disobedient individuals should be punished.
And when the king justly punisheth and showeth favour,
the dignity of the law is well maintained, O son of
Pritha, thus have I expounded, unto thee the hard
duties of kings difficult to comprehend. Do thou
with equanimity observe these as prescribed for thy
order. The Brahmanas attain heaven through merit,
mortification of the senses, and sacrifice. The
Vaisyas attain excellent state through gifts, hospitality,
and religious acts. The Kshatriyas attain the
celestial regions by protecting and chastising the
subjects, uninfluenced by lust, malice, avarice and
anger. If kings justly punish (their subjects),
they go to the place whither repair meritorious persons.’
Vaisampayana said, “Then contracting that huge
body of his, which he had assumed at will, the monkey
with his arms again embraced Bhimasena. And O
Bharata, on Bhima being embraced by his brother, his
fatigue went off, and all (the powers of body) as
also his strength were restored. And having gained
great accession of strength, he thought that there
was none equal to him in physical power. And