a lion should swell with the might of a lion; a tiger
should be placed in the position of a tiger; and a
leopard should be placed as a leopard. Servants
should, according to the ordinance, be appointed to
offices for which each is fit. If thou wishest
to achieve success, thou shouldst never appoint servants
in situations higher than what they deserve.
That foolish king who, transgressing precedent, appoints
servants to offices for which they are not fit, fails
to gratify his people. A king that desires to
possess accomplished servants should never appoint
persons that are destitute of intelligence, that are
low-minded, that are without wisdom, that are not masters
of their senses, and that are not of high birth.
Men that are honest, possessed of high birth, brave,
learned, destitute of malice and envy, high-minded,
pure in behaviour, and clever in the transaction of
business, deserve to be appointed as ministers.
Persons that are possessed of humility, ready in the
performance of their duties, tranquil in disposition,
pure in mind, adorned with diverse other gifts of
nature and are never the objects of calumny in respect
of the offices they hold should be the intimate associates
of the king. A lion should always make a companion
of a lion. If one that is not a lion becomes
the companion of a lion, one earns all the advantages
that belong to a lion. That lion, however who,
while engaged in discharging the duties of a lion,
has a pack of dogs only for his associates, never
succeeds in consequence of such companionship, in
accomplishing those duties. Even thus, O ruler
of men, may a king succeed in subjugating the whole
earth if he has for his ministers men possessed of
courage, wisdom, great learning, and high birth.
O foremost of royal masters, kings should never entertain
a servant that is destitute of learning and sincerity
and wisdom and great wealth. These men that are
devoted to the services of their master are never
slopped by any impediments. Kings should always
speak in soothing terms unto those servants that are
always engaged in doing good to their masters.
Kings should always, with great care, look after their
treasuries. Indeed, kings have their roots in
their treasuries. A king should always seek to
swell his treasury. Let thy barns, O king, be
fitted with corn. And let their keep be entrusted
to honest servants. Do thou seek to increase
thy wealth and corn. Let thy servants, skilled
in battle, be always attentive to their duties.
It is desirable that they should be skilful in the
management of steeds. O delighter of the Kurus,
attend to the wants of thy kinsmen and friends.
Be thou surrounded with friends and relatives.
Seek thou the good of thy city. By citing the
precedent of the dog I have instructed thee about the
duties thou shouldst adopt towards thy subjects.
What further dost thou wish to hear?’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’Thou hast, O Bharata,
discoursed upon the many duties of king-craft that
were observed and laid down in days of old by persons
of ancient times conversant with kingly duties.
Thou hast, indeed, spoken in detail of those duties
as approved by the wise. Do thou, however, O
bull of Bharata’s race, speak of them in such
a way that one may succeed in retaining them in memory."