He should not act with hostility towards friends.
He should never employ persons not devoted to him
as his spies and secret agents. He should never
accomplish his objects by persecution. He should
never, disclose his purposes before persons that are
wicked. He should speak of the merits of others
but never his own. He should take wealth from
his subjects but never from those that are good.
He should never employ or take the assistance of persons
that are wicked. He should never inflict punishment
without careful enquiry. He should never disclose
his counsels. He should give away, but not to
persons that are covetous. He should repose confidence
on others but never on those that have injured him.
He should not cherish malice. He should protect
his wedded wives. He should be pure and should
not always be melted by compassion. He should
not indulge much in female companionship. He
should take food that is wholesome and never that which
is otherwise. He should without pride pay regards
to those that deserve them, and serve his preceptors
and seniors with sincerity. He should worship
the gods without pride. He should seek prosperity,
but never do anything that brings infamy. He
should wait (upon his seniors) with humility.
He should be clever in business but should always wait
for the proper time. He should comfort men and
never send them away with empty speeches. Having
favoured a person, he should not abandon him.
He should never strike in ignorance. Having slain
his foe he should never indulge in sorrow. He
should display temper, but should never do so when
there is no occasion. He should be mild, but
never to those that have offended. Conduct thyself
thus while ruling thy kingdom if thou wishest to have
prosperity. The king that behaves otherwise incurs
great danger. That king who observes all these
virtues that I have mentioned, reaps many blessings
on earth and great rewards in heaven.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ’Hearing these
words of Santanu’s son, king Yudhishthira, docile
in receiving instructions, possessed of great intelligence,
and protected by Bhima and others, then worshipped
his grandsire and from that time began to rule according
to that teaching.’”
Yudhishthira said, ’Tell me, O grand sire, in
what way should the king protect his subjects so as
to be able to avoid grief and so as not to offend
“Bhishma said, ’I shall recite, O king,
those eternal duties in brief, for if I were to mention
them in detail, I would never attain to their end.
Thou shouldst worship those Brahmanas that are devoted
to their duties, possessed of learning, regular in
worshipping the gods, observant of high vows, and
endued with other accomplishments, when they come to
thy abode, and employ them in officiating in thy sacrifices.
With thy priest accompanying thee, thou shouldst rise
up when they approach, and touch and worship their