The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.

“Bhishma said, ’The protection of all creatures is regarded as the highest duty of the Kshatriya.  Listen now to me, O king, as to how the duty of protection is to be exercised.  A king conversant with his duties should assume many forms even as the peacock puts forth plumes of diverse hues.  Keenness, crookedness, truth, and sincerity, are the qualities that should be present in him.  With thorough impartiality, he should practise the qualities of goodness if he is to earn felicity.  He must assume that particular hue or form which is beneficial in view of the particular object which he seeks to accomplish.[354] A king who can assume diverse forms succeeds in accomplishing even the most subtle objects.  Dumb like the peacock in autumn, he should conceal his counsel.  He should speak little, and the little he speaks should be sweet.  He should be of good features and well versed in the scriptures.  He should always be heedful in respect of those gates through which dangers may come and overtake him, like men taking care of breaks in embankments through which the waters of large tanks may rush and flood their fields and houses.  He should seek the refuge of Brahmanas crowned with ascetic success even as men seek the refuge or loudly rivers generated by the rain-water collected within mountain lakes.  That king who desires to amass wealth should act like religious hypocrites in the matter of keeping a coronal lock.[355] The king should always have the rod of chastisement uplifted in his hands.  He should always act heedfully (in the matter of levying his taxes) after examining the incomes and expenses of his subjects like men repairing to a full-grown palmyra for drawing its juice.[356] He should act equitably towards his own subjects; cause the crops of his enemies to be crushed by the tread of his cavalry, march against foes when his own wings have become strong; and observe all the sources of his own weakness.  He should proclaim the faults of his foes; crush those that are their partisans; and collect wealth from outside like a person plucking flowers from the woods.  He should destroy those foremost of monarchs that swell with might and stand with uplifted heads like mountains, by seeking the shelter of unknown shades[357] and by ambuscades and sudden attacks.  Like the peacock in the season of rains, he should enter his nightly quarters alone and unseen.  Indeed, he should enjoy, after the manner of the peacock, within his inner apartments, the companionship of his wives.  He should not put off his mail.  He should himself protect his own self, and avoid the nets spread out for him by the spies and secret agents of his foes.  He should also win over the affections of the spies of his enemies, but extirpate them when opportunity occurs.  Like the peacocks the king should kill his powerful and angry foes of crooked policy, and destroy their force and drive them away from home.  The king should also like the peacock do what is good to him, and

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