“Those, O Yudhishthira, those men on earth who desire prosperity should first elect and crown a king for the protection of all. Like disciples humbling themselves in the presence of the preceptors or the gods in the presence of Indra, all men should humble themselves before the king. One that is honoured by his own people becomes an object of regard with his foes also, while one that is disregarded by his own is overridden by foes. If the king be overridden by his foes, all his subjects become unhappy. Therefore, umbrellas and vehicles and outward ornaments, and viands, and drinks, and mansions, and seats, and beds, and all utensils for use and show, should be assigned to the king. By such means the king will succeed in discharging his duties of protection (the better) and become irresistible. He should speak with smiles. Addressed sweetly by others, he should address others sweetly. Grateful (to those that serve him), firmly devoted (to those that deserve his respect), and with passions under control, he should give unto others their due. Looked upon by others he should look at them mildly, sweetly, and handsomely.’
“Yudhishthira said, ’Why, O bull of Bharata’s race, have the Brahmanas said that the king, that ruler of men, is a god?’
“Bhishma said, ’In this connection, is cited the old story, O Bharata, of the discourse of Vrihaspati unto Vasumanas. There was a king of Kosala possessed of great intelligence, named Vasumanas. On a certain occasion he questioned the great sage Vrihaspati of much wisdom. Conversant with the requirements of humility, king Vasumanas, ever devoted to the welfare of all, having observed the proper humilities and having circumambulated the great sage and bowed unto him duly, enquired of the virtuous Vrihaspati about the ordinances in respect of a kingdom, moved by the desire of securing the happiness of men.’
“Vasumanas said, ’By what means do creatures grow and by what are they destroyed? O thou of great wisdom, by adoring whom do they succeed in obtaining eternal happiness?’ Thus questioned by the Kosala king of immeasurable energy, Vrihaspati of great wisdom discoursed unto him coolly about the respect that should be paid to kings.
“Vrihaspati said, ’The duties of all men, O thou of great wisdom, may be seen to have their root in the king. It is through fear of the king only that men do not devour one another. It is the king that brings peace on earth, through due observance of duties, by checking all disregard for wholesome restraints and all kinds of lust. Achieving this, he shines in glory. As, O king, all creatures become unable to see one another and sink in utter darkness if the sun and the moon do not rise, as fishes in shallow water and birds in a spot safe from danger dart and rove as they please (for a time) and repeatedly attack and grind one another with force and then meet