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.
cars, foot, and engines, all devoted to him, when he thinks himself superior to his foe in many respects upon a fair comparison, then should he openly smite the foe without hesitation.  If the foe be strong, the adoption of a policy of conciliation (towards him) is not worthy of approbation.  On the other hand, chastisement by secret means is the policy that should be adopted.  Nor should mildness of behaviour be adopted towards such foes, nor repeated expedition, for loss of crops, poisoning of wells and tanks, and suspicion in respect of the seven branches of administration, should be avoided.[315] The king should, on such occasions, apply diverse kinds of deception, diverse contrivances for setting his foes against one another, and different kinds of hypocritical behaviour.  He should also, through trusted agents, ascertain the doings of his foes in their cities and provinces.  Kings, O slayer of Vala and Vritra, pursuing their foes and entering their towers, seize and appropriate the best things that are obtainable there, and devise proper measures of policy in their own cities and dominions.  Making gifts of wealth unto them in private, and confiscating their possessions publicly, without, however, injuring them materially, and proclaiming that they are all wicked men that have suffered for their own misdeeds, kings should send their agents to the cities and provinces of their foes.  At the same time, in their own cities, they should, through other persons conversant with the scriptures, adorned with every accomplishment, acquainted with the ordinances of the sacred books and possessed of learning cause incantations and foe-killing rites to be performed.’

“Indra said, ’What are the indications, O best of regenerate ones, of a wicked person?  Questioned by me, tell me how I am to know who is wicked.’

“Vrihaspati said, A wicked person is he who proclaims the faults of others at their back, who is inspired with envy at the accomplishments of others, and who remains silent when the merits of other people are proclaimed in his presence, feeling a reluctance to join in the chorus.  Mere silence on such occasions is no indication of wickedness.  A wicked person, however, at such times breathe heavily, bites his lips, and shakes his head.  Such a person always mixes in society and speaks irrelevantly.[316] Such a man never does what he promises, when the eye of the person to whom he has given the assurance is not upon him.  When the eye of the person assured is on him, the wicked man does not even allude to the subject.  The wicked man eats by himself (and not with others on the same board), and finds fault with the food placed before him, saying, ‘All is not right today as on other days.’  His disposition shows itself in the circumstances connected with his sitting, lying, and riding.  Sorrowing on occasions of sorrow and rejoicing on occasions of joy, are the indications of a friend.  An opposite behaviour furnishes the indications of an enemy.  Keep in thy heart these sayings, O ruler of the gods!  The disposition of wicked men can never be concealed.  I have now told thee, O foremost of deities, what the indications of a wicked person are.  Having listened to the truths laid down in the scriptures, follow them duly, O ruler of the celestials!’

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