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.
them, and the state of the arts, the king should levy taxes upon the artisans in respect of the arts they follow.  The king, O Yudhishthira, may take high taxes, but he should never levy such taxes as would emasculate his people.  No tax should be levied without ascertaining the outturn and the amount of labour that has been necessary to produce it.  Nobody would work or seek for outturns without sufficient cause.[251] The king should, after reflection, levy taxes in such a way that he and the person who labours to produce the article taxed may both share the value.  The king should not, by his thirst, destroy his own foundations as also those of others.  He should always avoid those acts in consequence of which he may become an object of hatred to his people.  Indeed, by acting in this way he may succeed in winning popularity.  The subjects hate that king who earns a notoriety for voraciousness of appetite (in the matter of taxes and imposts).  Whence can a king who becomes an object of hatred have prosperity?  Such a king can never acquire what is for his good.  A king who is possessed of sound intelligence should milk his kingdom after the analogy of (men acting in the matter of) calves.  If the calf be permitted to suck, it grows strong, O Bharata, and bears heavy burthens.  If, on the other hand, O Yudhishthira, the cow be milked too much, the calf becomes lean and fails to do much service to the owner.  Similarly, if the kingdom be drained much, the subjects fail to achieve any act that is great.  That king who protects his kingdom himself and shows favour to his subjects (in the matter of taxes and imposts) and supports himself upon what is easily obtained, succeeds in earning many grand results.  Does not the king then obtain wealth sufficient for enabling him to cope with his wants?[252] The entire kingdom, in that case, becomes to him his treasury, while that which is his treasury becomes his bed chamber.  If the inhabitants of the cities and the provinces be poor, the king should, whether they depend upon him immediately or mediately, show them compassion to the best of his power.  Chastising all robbers that infest the outskirts, the king should protect the people of his villages and make them happy.  The subjects, in the case, becoming sharers of the king’s weal and woe, feel exceedingly gratified with him.  Thinking, in the first instance, of collecting wealth, the king should repair to the chief centres of his kingdom one after another and endeavour to inspire his people with fright.  He should say unto them, ’Here, calamity threatens us.  A great danger has arisen in consequence of the acts of the foe.  There is every reason, however, to hope that the danger will pass away, for the enemy, like a bamboo that has flowered, will very soon meet with destruction.  Many foes of mine, having risen up and combined with a large number of robbers, desire to put our kingdom into difficulties, for meeting with destruction themselves.  In view
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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