The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,886 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
fie on offenders was sufficient punishment.  After this came the punishment represented by harsh speeches or censures.  Then followed the punishment of fines and forfeitures.  In this age, however, the punishment of death has become current.  The measure of wickedness has increased to such an extent that by slaying one others cannot be restrained.[1218] The robber has no connection with men, with the deities, with the Gandharvas, and with the Pitris.  What is he to whom?  He is not anybody to any one.  This is the declaration of the Srutis.[1219] The robber takes away the ornaments of corpses from cemeteries, and swearing apparel from men afflicted by spirits (and, therefore, deprived of senses).  That man is a fool who would make any covenant with those miserable wretches or exact any oath from them (for relying upon it).’[1220]

“Satyavat said, ’If thou dost not succeed in making honest men of those rogues and in saving them by means unconnected with slaughter, do thou then exterminate them by performing some sacrifice.[1221] Kings practise severe austerities for the sake of enabling their subjects go on prosperously in their avocations.  When thieves and robbers multiply in their kingdoms they become ashamed..  They, therefore, betake themselves to penances for suppressing thefts and robberies and making their subjects live happily.  Subjects can be made honest by being only frightened (by the king).  Good kings never slay the wicked from motives of retribution. (On the other hand, if they slay, they slay in sacrifices, when the motive is to do good to the slain), Good kings abundantly succeed in ruling their subjects properly with the aid of good conduct (instead of cruel or punitive inflictions).  If the king acts properly, the superior subjects imitate him.  The inferior people, again in their turn, imitate their immediate superiors.  Men are so constituted that they imitate those whom they regard as their superiors.[1222] That king who, without restraining himself, seeks to restrain others (from evil ways) becomes an object of laughter with all men in consequence of his being engaged in the enjoyment of all worldly pleasures as a slave of his senses.  That man who, through arrogance or error of judgment, offends against the king in any way, should be restrained by every means.  It is by this way that he is prevented from committing offences anew.  The king should first restrain his own self if he desires to restrain others that offend.  He should punish heavily (if necessary) even friends and near relatives.  In that kingdom where a vile offender does not meet with heavy afflictions, offences increase and righteousness decreases without doubt.  Formerly, a Brahmana. endued with clemency and possessed of learning, taught me this.  Verily, to this effect, O sire, I have been instructed by also our grandsire of olden days, who gave such assurances of harmlessness to people, moved by pity.  Their words were, ’In the Krita age, kings should rule their

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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