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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
danger.  Even after enlisting a large army consisting of the four kinds of forces, thou shouldst, O Yudhishthira, first behave peacefully.  If thy endeavours after peace fail, then mayst thou engage in battle.  The victory, O Bharata, that one acquired by battle is very inferior.  Victory in battle, it seems, is dependent on caprice or destiny.  When a large army breaks and the troops begin to fly away, it is exceedingly difficult to check their flight.  The impetuosity of the flight resembles that of a mighty current of water or of a frightened herd of deer.  Some have broken.  For this, without adequate cause, others break, even they that are brave and skilled in fight.  A large army, consisting of even brave soldiers, is like a large herd of Ruru deer.[305] Sometimes again it may be seen that even fifty men, resolute and relying upon one another, cheerful and prepared to lay down their lives, succeed in grinding enemies numerically much superior.  Sometimes even five, or six, or seven men, resolute and standing close together, of high descent and enjoying the esteem of those that know them, vanquish foes much superior to them in number.  The collision of battle is not desirable as long as it can be avoided.  The policy of conciliation, or producing disunion, and making gifts should first be tried, the battle, it is said, should come after these.  At the very sight of a (hostile) force, fear paralyses the timid, even as at the sight of the blazing bolt of heaven they ask, ’Oh, upon what would it fall?’[306] Having ascertained that a battle is raging, the limbs of those that go to join it, as also of him that is conquering, perspire profusely.[307] The entire country.  O king, (that is the seat of war), becomes agitated and afflicted with all its mobile and immobile population.  The very marrow of embodied creatures scorched with the heat of weapons, languishes with pain.  A king should, therefore, on all occasions, apply the arts of conciliation, mixing them with measures of severity.  When people are afflicted by foes, they always show a disposition to come to terms.[308] Secret agents should be sent for producing disunion amongst the allies of the foe.  Having produced disunion, it is very desirable that peace should then be made with that king who happens to be more powerful than the foe (sought to be crushed).  If the invader does not proceed in the way, he can never succeed in completely crushing his foe.  In dealing with the foe, care should be taken for hemming him in from all sides.  Forgiveness always comes to those that are good.  It never comes to those that are bad.  Listen now, O Partha, to the uses of forgiveness and of severity.  The fame of a king who displays forgiveness after conquest spreads more widely.  The very foes of a person that is of a forgiving disposition trust him even when he becomes guilty of a grave transgression.  Samvara has said that having afflicted a foe first, forgiveness should be shown afterwards, for a wooden
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