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.

“Vrihaspati said, ’One should never wish to subdue one’s foes by quarrel.  Excited with wrath and bereft of forgiveness, boys only seek quarrel.  One that desires the destruction of a foe should not put that foe on his guard.  On the other hand, one should never exhibit one’s ire or fear or joy.  He should conceal these within his own bosom.  Without trusting one’s foe in reality, one should behave towards him as if one trusted him completely.  One should always speak sweet words unto one’s foes and never do anything that is disagreeable.  One should abstain from fruitless acts of hostility as also from insolence of speech.  As a fowler, carefully uttering cries similar to those of the birds he wishes to seize or kill. captures and brings them under his power, even so should a king, O Purandara, bring his foes under subjection and then slay them if he likes.  Having overcome one’s foes, one should not sleep at ease.  A foe that is wicked raises his head again like afire carelessly put out making its appearance again.  When victory may be won by either side, a hostile collision of arms should be avoided.  Having lulled a foe into security, one should reduce him into subjection and gain one’s object.  Having consulted with his ministers and with intelligent persons conversant with policy, a foe that is disregarded and neglected, being all along unsubdued at heart, smites at the proper season, especially when the enemy makes a false step.  By employing trusted agents of his own, such a foe would also render the other’s forces inefficient by producing disunion.  Ascertaining the beginning, the middle and the end of his foes,[309] a king should in secret cherish feelings of hostility towards them.  He should corrupt the forces of his foe, ascertaining everything by positive proof, using the arts of producing disunion, making gifts, and applying poison.  A king should never live in companionship with his foes.  A king should wait long and then slay his foes.  Indeed, he should wait, expecting the opportunity, so that he might come down upon his foe at a time when the latter would not expect him in the least.  A king should never slay a large number of the troops of his foe, although he should certainly do that which would make his victory decisive.  The king should never do such an injury to his foe as would rankle in the latter’s heart.[310] Nor should he cause wounds by wordy darts and shafts.  If the opportunity comes, he should strike at him, without letting it slip.  Such, O chief of the gods, should be the conduct of a king desirous of slaying his foes towards those that are his foes.  If an opportunity, with respect to the man who waits for it, once passes away, it can never be had again by the person desirous of acting.  Acting according to the opinions of the wise, a king should only break the strength of his foe.  He should never, when the opportunity is not favourable, seek to accomplish his objects.  Nor should he, when the opportunity is at hand, persecute his foe.[311] Giving up lust

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