as impoverish everyone. What wicked act is there
that a person governed by passion would not do?
A person governed by passion indulges in stimulants
and meat, and appropriates the wives and the wealth
of other people, and sets a bad example (for imitation
by others). They that do not live upon alms may
beg in seasons of distress. The king should, observant
of righteousness, make gifts unto them from compassion
but not from fear. Let there be no beggars in
thy kingdom, nor robbers. It is the robbers (and
not virtuous men) that give unto beggars. Such
givers are not real benefactors of men. Let such
men reside in thy dominions as advance the interests
of others and do them good, but not such as exterminate
others. Those officers, O king, that take from
the subjects more than what is due should be punished.
Thou shouldst then appoint others so that these will
take only what is due. Agriculture, rearing of
cattle, trade and other acts of a similar nature,
should be caused to be carried on by many persons on
the principle of division of labour. If a person
engaged in agriculture, cattle-rearing, or trade,
becomes inspired with a sense of insecurity (in consequence
of thieves and tyrannical officers), the king, as a
consequence, incurs infamy. The king should always
honour those subjects of his that are rich and should
say unto them, ’Do ye, with me, advance the
interest of the people.’ In every kingdom,
they that are wealthy constitute an estate in the
realm. Without doubt, a wealthy person is the
foremost of men. He that is wise, or courageous,
or wealthy or influential, or righteous, or engaged
in penances, or truthful in speech, or gifted with
intelligence, assists in protecting (his fellow subjects).
For these reasons, O monarch, do thou love all creatures,
and display the qualities of truth, sincerity, absence
of wrath, and abstention from injury! Thou shouldst
thus wield the rod of chastisement, and enhance thy
treasury and support thy friends and consolidate thy
kingdom thus, practising the qualities of truthfulness
and sincerity and supported by thy friends, treasury
“Bhishma said, ’Let not such trees as
yield edible fruits be cut down in thy dominions.
Fruits and roots constitute the property of the Brahmanas.
The sages have declared this to be an ordinance of
religion. The surplus, after supporting the Brahmanas,
should go to the support of other people. Nobody
should take anything by doing an injury to the Brahmanas.
If a Brahmana, afflicted for want of support, desires
to abandon a kingdom for obtaining livelihood (elsewhere),
the king, O monarch, should, with affection and respect,
assign unto him the means of sustenance. If he
does not still abstain (from leaving the kingdom),
the king should repair to an assembly of Brahmanas
and say, ’Such a Brahmana is leaving the kingdom.
In whom shall my people then find an authority for