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.

“Bhishma said, ’Thou art endued with great intelligence, O Yudhishthira!  It is even so as thou sayest.  The person is very rare who is possessed of all those good qualities.  To be brief, conduct like this (viz., the presence of all the virtues spoken of), is very difficult to be met with even upon careful search.  I shall, however, tell thee what kinds of ministers should be appointed by thee.  Four Brahmanas, learned in the Vedas, possessed of a sense of dignity, belonging to the Snataka order, and of pure behaviour, and eight Kshatriyas, all of whom should be possessed of physical strength and capable of wielding weapons, and one and twenty Vaisyas, all of whom should be possessed of wealth, and three Sudras, everyone of whom should be humble and of pure conduct and devoted to his daily duties, and one man of the Suta caste, possessed of a knowledge of the Puranas and the eight cardinal virtues, should be thy ministers.  Every one of them should be fifty years of age, possessed of a sense of dignity, free from envy, conversant with the Srutis and the Smritis, humble, impartial, competent to readily decide in the midst of disputants urging different courses of action, free from covetousness, and from the seven dreadful vices called Vyasanas.  The king should consult with those eight ministers and hold the lead among them.  He should then publish in his kingdom, for the information of his subjects, the results of such deliberation.  Thou shouldst always, adopting such a conduct, watch over thy people.  Thou shouldst never confiscate what is deposited with thee or appropriate as thine the thing about whose ownership two persons may dispute.  Conduct such as this would spoil the administration of justice.  If the administration of justice be thus injured, sin will afflict thee, and afflict thy kingdom as well, and inspire thy people with fear as little birds at the sight of the hawk.  Thy kingdom will then melt away like a boat wrecked on the sea.  If a king governs his subjects with unrighteousness, fear takes possession of his heart and the door of heaven is closed against him.  A kingdom, O bull among men, has its root in righteousness.  That minister, or king’s son, who acts unrighteously, occupying the seat of justice, and those officers who having accepted the charge of affairs, act unjustly, moved by self-interest, all sink in hell along with the king himself.  Those helpless men who are oppressed by the powerful and who indulge on that account in piteous and copious lamentations, have their protector in the king.  In cases of dispute between two parties the decision should be based upon the evidence of witnesses.  If one of the disputants has no witnesses and is helpless, the king should give the case his best consideration.  The king should cause chastisement to be meted out to offenders according to the measure of their offences.  They that are wealthy should be punished with fines and confiscations; they that are poor, with loss of liberty. 

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