times). As animals and other things are necessary
for sacrifices, as sacrifices are for purifying the
heart, and as animals, sacrifices, and purity of the
heart are all for final emancipation, even so policy
and chastisement exist for the treasury, the treasury
exists for the army, and policy and treasury and army
all the three exist for vanquishing foes and protecting
or enlarging the kingdom. I shall here cite an
example illustrating the true ways of morality.
A large tree is cut down for making of it a sacrificial
stake. In cutting it, other trees that stand
in its way have also to be cut down. These also,
in falling down, kill others standing on the spot.
Even so they that stand in the way of making a well-filled
treasury must have to be slain. I do not see how
else success can be had. By wealth, both the
., this and the other, can be had,
as also Truth and religious merit. A person without
wealth is more dead than alive. Wealth for the
performance of sacrifices should be acquired by every
means. The demerit that attaches to an act done
in a season of distress is not equal to that which
attaches to the same act if done at other times, O
Bharata! The acquisition of wealth and its abandonment
cannot both be possibly seen in the same person, O
king! I do not see a rich man in the forest.
With respect to every wealth that is seen in this
world, every one contends with every one else, saying,
’This shall be mine,’ ‘This shall
be mine!’ This is nothing, O scorcher of foes,
that is so meritorious for a king as the possession
of a kingdom. It is sinful for a king to oppress
his subjects with heavy impositions at ordinary times.
In a season, however, of distress, it is quite different.
Some acquire wealth by gifts and sacrifices; some who
have a liking for penances acquire wealth by penances;
some acquire it by the aid of their intelligence and
cleverness. A person without wealth is said to
be weak, while he that has wealth become powerful.
A man of wealth may acquire everything. A king
that has well-filled treasury succeeds in accomplishing
everything. By his treasury a king may earn religious
merit, gratify his desire for pleasure, obtain the
next world, and this also. The treasury, however,
should be filled by the aid of righteousness and never
by unrighteous practices, such, that is, as pass for
righteous in times of distress.
“Yudhishthira said, ’What, besides this,
should be done by a king that is weak and procrastinating,
that does not engage in battle from anxiety for the
lives of his friends, that is always under the influence
of fear, and that cannot keep his counsels secret?
What, indeed, should that king do whose cities and
kingdom have been partitioned and appropriated by foes,
who is divested of wealth, who is incapable (through
such poverty) of honouring his friends and attaching
them to himself, whose ministers are disunited or
bought over by his enemies, who is obliged to stand
in the face of foes, whose army has dwindled away,
and whose heart has been agitated by some strong enemy?’