“Dhritarashtra said, ’Man hath been spoken of in all the Vedas as having hundred years for the period of his life. For what reason then, do not all men attain the allotted period?’
“Vidura said, ’Excess of pride, excess in speech, excess in eating, anger, the desire of enjoyment, and intestine dissensions,—these, O king, are six sharp swords that cut off the period of life allotted to creatures. It is these which kill men, and not death. Knowing this, blessed be thou!’
’He who appropriates to himself the wife of one who hath confided in him; he who violates the bed of his preceptor; that Brahmana, O Bharata, who becomes the husband of a Sudra woman, or drinks wines; he who commendeth Brahmanas or becometh their master, or taketh away the lands that support them; and he who taketh the lives of those who yield asking for protection, are all guilty of the sin of slaying Brahmanas. The Vedas declare that contact with these requires expiation. He that accepts the teaching of the wise; he that is acquainted with the rules of morality; he that is liberal; he that eateth having first dedicated the food to the gods and Pitris; he that envieth none; he that is incapable of doing anything that injureth others; he that is grateful, truthful, humble and learned, succeedeth in attaining to heaven.
’They are abundant, O king, that can always speak agreeable words. The speaker, however, is rare, as also the hearer, of words that are disagreeable but medicinal. That man who, without regarding what is agreeable or disagreeable to his master but keeping virtue alone in view, sayeth what is unpalatable, but medicinal, truly addeth to the strength of the king. For the sake of the family a member may be sacrificed; for the sake of the village, a family may be sacrificed; for the sake of a kingdom a village may be sacrificed; and for the sake of one’s soul, the whole earth may be sacrificed. One should protect his wealth in view of the calamities that may overtake him; by his wealth one should protect his wives, and by both his wealth and wives one should protect his own self. From very olden times it hath been seen that gambling provoketh quarrels. Therefore, he that is wise, should not resort to it even in jest. O son of Pratipa, at the time of that gambling match I told thee, O king—this is not proper. But, O son of Vichitravirya, like medicine to a sick man, those words of mine were not agreeable to thee. O king, thou desirest to vanquish the sons of Pandu, who are just as peacocks of variegated