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.

“I have now described, O eldest son of Pandu, the diverse duties of men.  Do thou adhere to kingly duties that are eternal and that have been practised by great men since days of old.  If thou employest thyself with concentrated attention to the duty of protecting (thy subjects), O tiger among men, thou mayst then, O son of Pandu, obtain the merits of all the four modes of life and of all the four orders of men!”


“Yudhishthira said, ’Thou hast said what the duties are of the four modes of the life and the four orders.  Tell me now, O grandsire, what are the principal duties of a kingdom.’

“Bhishma said, ’The (election and) coronation of a king is the first duty of a kingdom.  A kingdom in which anarchy prevails becomes weak and is soon afflicted by robbers.[212] In kingdoms torn by anarchy, righteousness cannot dwell.  The inhabitants devour one another.  An anarchy is the worst possible of states.  The Srutis declare that in crowning a king, it is Indra that is crowned (in the person of the king).  A person who is desirous of prosperity should worship the king as he should worship Indra himself.  No one should dwell in kingdoms torn by anarchy.  Agni does not convey (to the gods) the libations that are poured upon him in kingdoms where anarchy prevails.  If a powerful king approaches kingdoms weakened by anarchy, from desire of annexing them to his dominions, the people should go forward and receive the invader with respect.  Some conduct would be consistent with wise counsels.  There is no evil greater than anarchy.  If the powerful invader be inclined to equity, everything will be right.  If, on the other hand, he be engaged, he may exterminate all.  That cow which cannot be easily milked has to suffer much torture.  On the other hand, that cow which is capable of being easily milked, has not to suffer any torture whatever.  The wood that bends easily does not require to be heated.  The tree that bends easily, has not to suffer any torture (at the hands of the gardener).  Guided by these instances, O hero, men should bend before those that are powerful.  The man that bends his head to a powerful person really bends his head to Indra.  For these reasons, men desirous of prosperity should (elect and) crown some person as their king.  They who live in countries where anarchy prevails cannot enjoy their wealth and wives.  During times of anarchy, the sinful man derive great pleasure by robbing the wealth of other people.  When, however, his (ill-got) wealth is snatched by others, he wishes for a king.  It is evident, therefore, that in times of anarchy the very wicked even cannot be happy.  The wealth of one is snatched away by two.  That of those two is snatched away by many acting together.  He who is not a slave is made a slave.  Women, again, are forcibly abducted.  For these reasons the gods created kings for protecting the people.  If there were no king on earth for

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