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.
be followed.  He is said to be conversant with duty who knows duty as depending on all the four foundations.  It is difficult to find out the reasons on which duties stand even as it is difficult to find out the legs of the snake.[400] As a hunter of beasts discovers the track of a shaft-struck deer by observing spots of blood on the ground, even so should one seek to discover the reasons of duties.  This should a man tread with humility along the path trod by the good.  Such, indeed, was the conduct of the great royal sages of old, O Yudhishthira!’”

SECTION CXXXIII

“Bhishma said, ’The king should, by drawing wealth from his own kingdom as also from the kingdoms of his foes, fill his treasury.  From the treasury springs his religious merit, O son of Kunti, and it is in consequence of the treasury that the roots of his kingdom extend.  For these reasons the treasury must be filled; and when filled; it should be carefully protected (by putting a stop to all useless expenditure), and even sought to be increased.  This is the eternal practice.  The treasury cannot be filled by (acting with) purity and righteousness, nor by (acting with) heartless cruelty.  It should be filled by adopting a middle course.  How can a weak king have a treasury?  How again can a king who has no treasury have strength?  How can a weak man have kingdom?  Whence again can one without a kingdom obtain prosperity?  For a person of high rank, adversity is like death.  For this reason the king should always increase his treasury, and army, and allies and friends.  All men disregard a king with an empty treasury.  Without being gratified with the little that such a king can give, his servants never express any alacrity in his business.  In consequence of his affluence, the king succeeds in obtaining great honours.  Indeed, affluence conceals his very sins, like robes concealing such parts of a feminine form as should not be exposed to the view.  Those with whom the king has formerly quarrelled become filled with grief at the sight of his new affluence.  Like dogs they once more take service under him, and though they wait only for an opportunity to slay him, he takes to them as if nothing has happened.  How, O Bharata, can such a king obtain happiness?  The king should always exert for acquiring greatness.  He should never bend down in humility.[401] Exertion is manliness.  He should rather break at an unfavourable opportunity than bend before any one.  He should rather repair to the forest and live therewith the wild animals.  But he should not still live in the midst of ministers and officers who have like robbers broken through all restraints.  Even the robbers of the forest may furnish a large number of soldiers for the accomplishment of the fiercest of deeds.  O Bharata!  If the king transgresses all wholesome restraints, all people become filled with alarm.  The very robbers who know not what compassion is, dread such a king.[402]

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