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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.
of feet are inferior, while those done by carrying loads are the lowest.  If the king is clever in the transaction of business and restrains his senses, his kingdom endures.  Manu himself has said that it is with the aid of the intelligence that an ambitious person succeeds in achieving victories.  In this world, O Yudhishthira, they who listen to wise counsels that are not generally known, that are, O sinless one, possessed of allies, and that act after proper scrutiny, succeed in achieving all their objects.  A person possessed of such aids succeeds in ruling the entire earth.  O thou that art possessed of prowess like that of Indra himself, this has been said by wise men of ancient times conversant with the ordinances laid down in the scriptures.  I, also, with sight directed to the scriptures, have said the same to thee.  Exercising thy intelligence, do thou act in this world, O king!’”

SECTION CXIII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Tell me O bull of Bharata’s race, how a king, without the usual aids, having obtained a kingdom that is so precious a possession, behave himself towards a powerful foe.’

“Bhishma said, In this connection is cited the old story of the discourse between the Ocean and the Rivers.  In days of old, eternal Ocean, that lord of Rivers, that refuge of the foes of the celestials, asked all the Rivers for resolving this doubt that had arisen in his mind.’

“The Ocean said, ’Ye Rivers, I see that all of you, with your full currents, bring away trees of large trunks, tearing them off with their roots and branches.  Ye do not, however, ever bring to me a cane.  The canes that grow on your banks are of mean stems and destitute of strength.  Do you refuse to wash them down through contempt, or are they of any use to you?  I desire, therefore, to hear what the motive is that inspires all of you.  Indeed, why is it that canes are not washed down by any of you, uprooted from the banks where they grow?’ Thus addressed, the River Ganga, replied unto Ocean, that lord of all Rivers, in these words of grave import, fraught with reason, and, therefore, acceptable to all.’

“Ganga said, ’Trees stand in one and the same place and are unyielding in respect of the spot where they stand.  In consequence of this disposition of theirs to resist our currents, they are obliged to leave the place of their growth.  Canes, however, act differently.  The cane, beholding the advancing current, bends to it.  The others do not act in that way.  After the current has passed away, the cane resumes its former posture.  The cane knows the virtues of Time and opportunity.  It is docile and obedient.  It is yielding, without being stiff.  For these reasons, it stands where it grows, without having to come with us.  Those plants, trees, and creepers that bend and rise before the force of wind and water, have never to suffer discomfiture (by being taken up by the roots).’

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