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.

“Yudhishthira said, ’Among persons all of whom are equal in might of arms and accomplishments, whence does one acquire superiority over all the rest, and whence does that one succeed in ruling over them?’

“Bhishma said, ’Creatures that are mobile devour things that are immobile; animals again that have teeth devour those that have no teeth; wrathful snakes of virulent poison devour smaller ones of their own species. (Upon this principle), among human beings also, the king, who is strong, preys upon those that are weak.  The king, O Yudhishthira, should always be heedful of his subjects as also of his foes.  If he becomes heedless, they fall upon him like vultures (on carrion).  Take care, O king, that the traders in thy kingdom who purchase articles at prices high and low (for sale), and who in course of their journeys have to sleep or take rest in forest and inaccessible regions,[264] be not afflicted by the imposition of heavy taxes.  Let not the agriculturists in thy kingdom leave it through oppression; they, who bear the burthens of the king, support the other residents also of the kingdom.[265] The gifts made by thee in this world support the gods, Pitris, men, Nagas, Rakshasas, birds, and animals.  These, O Bharata, are the means of governing a kingdom and protecting its rulers.  I shall again discourse to thee on the subject, O son of Pandu!’”


“Bhishma said, ’That foremost of all persons conversant with the Vedas, viz., Utathya of Angirasa’s race, discoursed cheerfully (on former occasion) unto Yuvanaswa’s son Mandhatri.  I shall now, O Yudhishthira, recite to thee everything that Utathya, that foremost of all persons conversant with the Vedas, had said unto that king.’

“Utathya said, ’One becomes a king for acting in the interests of righteousness and not for conducting himself capriciously.  Know this, O Mandhatri; the king is, indeed, the protector of the world.  If the king acts righteously, he attains to the position of a god.[266] On the other hand, if fie acts unrighteously, he sinks into hell.  All creatures rest upon righteousness.  Righteousness, in its turn, rests upon the king.  That king, therefore, who upholds righteousness, is truly a king.  That king who is endued with a righteous soul and with every kind of grace is said to be an embodiment of virtue.  If a king fails to chastise unrighteousness, the gods desert his mansion and he incurs obloquy among men.  The efforts of men who are observant of their own duties are always crowned with success.  For this reason all men seek to obey the dictates of righteousness which are productive of prosperity.  When sinfulness is not restrained, righteous behaviour comes to an end and unrighteous behaviour increases greatly.  When sinfulness is not restrained, no one can, according to the rights of property as laid down in the scriptures, say, ‘This thing is mine and this is not mine.’ 

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