from great perils. If, however, the two be compared,
Power will appear to be superior to Righteousness.
It is from Power that Righteousness springs.
Righteousness rests upon Power as all immobile things
upon the earth. As smoke depends upon the wind
(for its motion), even so Righteousness depends upon
Power. Righteousness which is the weaker of the
two depends for its support upon a tree. Righteousness
is dependent on them that are powerful even as pleasure
is dependent upon them that are given to enjoyment.
There is nothing that powerful men cannot do.
Everything is pure with them that are powerful.
A powerless man, by committing evil acts can never
escape. Men feel alarmed at his conduct even
as they are alarmed at the appearance of a wolf.
One fallen away from a state of affluence leads a
life of humiliation and sorrow. A life of humiliation
and reproach is like death itself The learned have
said that when in consequence of one’s sinful
conduct one is cast off by friends and companions,
one is pierced repeatedly by the wordy darts of others
and one has to burn with grief on that account.
Professors of scriptures have said with respect to
the expiation of sinfulness that one should (if stained
with sinfulness) study the three Vedas, wait upon and
worship the Brahmanas, gratify all men by looks, words,
and acts, cast off all meanness, marry in high families,
proclaim the praises of others while confessing one’s
own worthlessness, recite mantras, perform the usual
water-rites, assume a mildness of behaviour, and abstain
from speaking much, and perform austere penances,
seek the refuge of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas.
Indeed, one who has committed many evil acts, should
do all this, without being angry at the reproaches
uttered by men. By conducting one’s self
in this way, one may soon become cleansed of all his
sins and regain the regard of the world. Indeed,
one wins great respect in this world and great rewards
in the next, and enjoys diverse kinds of happiness
here by following such conduct and by sharing his
wealth with others.’”
“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is
cited the old story of a robber who having in this
would been observant of restraints did not meet with
destruction in the next. There was a robber of
the name of Kayavya, born of a Kshatriya father and
a Nishada mother. Kayavya was a practiser of
Kshatriya duties. Capable of smiting, possessed
of intelligence and courage, conversant with the scriptures,
destitute of cruelty, devoted to the Brahmanas, and
worshipping his seniors and preceptors with reverence,
he protected the ascetics in the observance of their
practices. Though a robber, he still succeeded
in winning felicity in heaven. Morning and evening
he used to excite the wrath of the deer by chasing
them. He was well conversant with all the practices
of the Nishadas as also of all animals living in the
forest. Well acquainted with the requirements