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, ’A king should never desire to subjugate the earth by unrighteous means, even if such subjugation would make him the sovereign of the whole earth.  What king is there that would rejoice after obtaining victory by unfair means?  A victory stained by unrighteousness is uncertain and never leads to heaven.  Such a victory, O bull of Bharata’s race, weakens both the king and the earth.  A warrior whose armour has fallen off, or who begs for quarter, saying, ‘I am thine’ or joining his hands, or who has laid aside his weapon, may simply be seized but never slain.  If a hostile king be vanquished by the troops of the invader, the latter should not himself fight his vanquished foe.  On the other hand, he should bring him to his palace and persuade him for a whole year to say, ‘I am thy slave!’ Whether he says or does not say this, the vanquished foe, by living for a year in the house of his victor, gains a new lease of life.[282] If a king succeeds in bringing by force a maiden from the house of his vanquished foe, he should keep her for a year and ask her whether she would wed him or any one else.  If she does not agree, she should then be sent back.  He should behave similarly in respect of all other kinds of wealth (such as slave) that are acquired by force.  The king should never appropriate the wealth confiscated from thieves and others awaiting execution.  The kine taken front the enemy by force should be given away to the Brahmanas so that they may drink the milk of those animals.  The bulls taken from the enemy should be set to agriculture work or returned to the enemy.[283] It is laid down that a king should fight one that is a king.  One that is not a king should never strike one that is a king.  If a Brahmana, desirous of peace, fearlessly goes between two contending armies, both should immediately abstain from fight.  He would break an eternal rule that would slay or wound a Brahmana.  If any Kshatriya breaks that rule, he would become a wretch of his order.  In addition to this, that Kshatriya who destroys righteousness and transgresses all wholesome barriers does not deserve to be reckoned as a Kshatriya and should be driven from society.  A king desirous of obtaining victory should never follow such conduct.  What gain can be greater than victory won righteously?  The excitable classes (of a kingdom recently conquered) should, without delay, be conciliated with soothing speeches and gifts.  This is a good policy for the king to adopt.  If instead of doing this, these men be sought to be governed with impolicy, they would then leave the kingdom and side with (the victor’s) foes and wait for the accession of calamities (in order that they may then make head against the victor).  Discontented men, watching for the calamities of the king, promptly side with the latter’s foes.  O monarch, in times of danger.  An enemy should not be deceived by unfair means, nor should be wounded mortally.  For, if struck mortally, his very life

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