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 completely extinguished and exterminated.  Debt, which always grows, is certain to remain unless wholly extinguished.  The same is the cause with defeated foes and neglected maladies.  These always produce great feat. (One should, therefore, always eradicate them).  Every act should be done thoroughly One should be always heedful.  Such a minute thing as a thorn, if extracted badly, leads to obstinate gangrene.  By slaughtering its population, by tearing up its roads and otherwise injuring them, and by burning and pulling down its houses, a king should destroy a hostile kingdom.  A kings should be far-sighted like the vulture, motionless like a crane, vigilant like a dog, valiant like a lion, fearful like a crow, and penetrate the territories of his foes like a snake with ease and without anxiety.  A king should win over a hero by joining his palms, a coward by inspiring him with fear, and a covetous man by gifts of wealth while with an equal he should wage war.  He should be mindful of producing disunion among the leaders of sects and of conciliating those that are dear to him.  He should protect his ministers from disunion and destructions.  If the king becomes mild, the people disregard him.  If he becomes stern, the people feel it as an affliction.  The rule is that he should be stern when the occasion requires sternness, and mild when the occasion requires mildness.  By mildness should the mild be cut.  By mildness one may destroy that which is fierce.  There is nothing that mildness cannot effect.  For this reason, mildness is said to be sharper than fierceness.  That king who becomes mild when the occasion requires mildness and who becomes stern when sternness is required, succeeds in accomplishing all his objects, and in putting down his foes.  Having incurred the animosity of a person possessed of knowledge and wisdom, one should not draw comfort from the conviction that one is at a distance (from one’s foe).  Far-reaching are the arms of an intelligent man by which he injures when injured.  That should not be sought to be crossed which is really uncrossable.  That should not be snatched from the foe which the foe would be able to recover.  One should not seek to dig at all if by digging one would not succeed in getting at the root of the thing for which one digs.  One should never strike him whose head one would not cut off.  A king should not always act in this way.  This course of conduct that I have laid down should be pursued only in seasons of distress.  Inspired by the motive of doing thee good I have said this for instructing thee as to how thou shouldst bear thyself when assailed by foes.

“Bhishma continued, ’The ruler of the kingdom of the Sauviras, hearing these words spoken by that Brahmana inspired with the desire of doing him good, obeyed those instructions cheerfully and obtained with his kinsmen and friends blazing prosperity.’”

SECTION CXLI

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