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.
who supports himself at ordinary times by following the practices primarily laid for him, may in seasons of distress support himself by following the practices laid down in the alternative.  In a season of distress, when ordinary practices cannot be followed, a Kshatriya may live by even unjust and improper means.  The very Brahmanas, it is seen, do the same when their means of living are destroyed.  When the Brahmanas (at such times) conduct themselves thus, what doubt is there in respect of Kshatriyas?  This is, indeed, settled.  Without sinking into despondency and yielding to destruction, a Kshatriya may (by force) take what he can from persons that are rich.  Know that the Kshatriya is the protector and the destroyer of the people, Therefore, a Kshatriya in distress should take (by force) what he can, with a view to (ultimately) protect the people.  No person in this world, O king, can support life without injuring other creatures.  The very ascetic leading a solitary life in the depths of the forest is no exception.  A Kshatriya should not live, relying upon destiny,[395] especially he, O chief of the Kurus, who is desirous of ruling.  The king and the kingdom should always mutually protect each other.  This is an eternal duty.  As the king protects, by spending all his possessions, the kingdom when it sinks into distress, even so should the kingdom protect the king when he sinks into distress.  The king even at the extremity of distress, should never give up[396] his treasury, his machinery for chastising the wicked, his army, his friends and allies and other necessary institutions and the chiefs existing in his kingdom.  Men conversant with duty say that one must keep one’s seeds, deducting them from one’s very food.  This is a truth cited from the treatise of Samvara well-known for his great powers of illusion, Fie on the life of that king whose kingdom languishes.  Fie on the life of that man who from want of means goes to a foreign country for a living.  The king’s roots are his treasury and army.  His army, again, has its roots in his treasury.  His army is the root of all his religious merits.  His religious merits, again are the root of his subjects.  The treasury can never be filled without oppressing others.  How ’then can the army be kept without oppression?  The king, therefore, in seasons of distress, incurs no fault by oppressing his subjects for filling the treasury.  For performing sacrifices many improper acts are done.  For this reason a king incurs no fault by doing improper acts (when the object is to fill his treasury in a season of distress).  For the sake of wealth practices other than those which are proper are followed (in seasons of distress).  If (at such times) such improper practices be not adopted, evil is certain to result.  All those institutions that are kept up for working destruction and misery exist for the sake of collecting wealth.[397] Guided by such considerations, all intelligent king should settle his course (at such
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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