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.

“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.’”


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

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