commit a sin by saying an untruth, if that untruth
be said to save the wealth and prosperity of others
or for the religious purposes. Having promised
to pay, one becomes bound to fulfil his promise.
Upon failure, let the self-appropriator be forcibly
enslaved. If a person without fulfilling a righteous
engagement acts with impropriety, he should certainly
be afflicted with the rod of chastisement for having
adopted such behaviour. A deceitful person, falling
away from all duties and abandoning those of his own
order, always wishes to betake himself to the practices
of Asuras for supporting life. Such a sinful
wretch living by deceit should be slain by every means.
Such sinful men think that there is nothing in this
world higher than wealth. Such men should never
be tolerated. No one should eat with them.
They should be regarded to have fallen down in consequence
of their sins. Indeed, fallen away from the condition
of humanity and shut out from the grace of the gods,
they are even like evil genii. Without sacrifices
and without penances as they are, forbear from their
companionship. If their wealth be lost, they commit
even suicide which is exceedingly pitiable. Among
those sinful men there is no one to whom thou canst
say, ‘This is thy duty. Let thy heart turn
to it.’ Their settled convictions are that
there is nothing in this world that is equal to wealth.
The person that would slay such a creature would incur
no sin. He who kills him kills one that has been
already killed by his own acts. If slain, it
is the dead that is slain. He who vows to destroy
those persons of lost senses should keep his vows.
Such sinners are, like the crow and the vulture, dependent
on deceit for their living. After the dissolution
of their (human) bodies, they take rebirth as crows
and vultures. One should, in any matter, behave
towards another as that other behaves in that matter.
He who practises deceit should be resisted with deceit
while one that is honest should be treated with honesty.’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’Creatures are seen
to be afflicted by diverse means and almost continually.
Tell me, O grandsire, in what way can one overcome
all those difficulties.’
“Bhishma said, ’Those members of the regenerate
class that duly practise, with restrained souls, the
duties that have been laid down in the scriptures
for the several modes of life, succeed in overcoming
all these difficulties. They that never practise
deceit, they whose behaviour is restrained by salutary
restrictions, and they that control all worldly desires,
succeed in overcoming all difficulties. They that
do not speak when, addressed in evil language, they
that do not injure others when themselves injured,
they that give but do not take, succeed in overcoming
all difficulties. They that always give hospitable
shelter to guests, they that do not indulge in malice,
they that are constantly engaged in the study of the