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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
can rule, expecting victory.  A king should provide for the observance of morality by the aid of his understanding and guided by knowledge derived from various sources.  The duties of a king can never be discharged by rules drawn from a morality that is one-sided.  A weak-minded king can never display wisdom (in the discharge of his duties) in consequence of his not having drawn any wisdom from the examples before him.  Righteousness sometimes takes the shape of unrighteousness.  The latter also sometimes takes the shape of the former.  He who does not know this, becomes confounded when confronted by an actual instance of the kind.  Before the occasion comes, one should, O Bharata, comprehend the circumstances under which righteousness and its reverse become confused.  Having acquired this knowledge, a wise king should, when the occasion comes, act accordingly, aided by his judgment.  The acts he does at such a time are misunderstood by ordinary people.  Some persons are possessed of true knowledge.  Some persons have false knowledge.  Truly ascertaining the nature of each kind of knowledge, a wise king derives knowledge from them that are regarded as good.  They that are really breakers of morality find fault with the scriptures.  They that have themselves no wealth proclaim the inconsistencies of the treatises on the acquisition of wealth.  Those who seek to acquire knowledge for the object only of carrying their sustenance by it, O king, are sinful besides being enemies of morality.  Wicked men, of immature understandings, can never know things truly, even as persons unconversant with scriptures are unable in all their acts to be guided by reason.  With eyes directed to the faults of the scriptures, they decry the scriptures.  Even if they understand the true meaning of the scriptures, they are still in the habit of proclaiming that scriptural injunctions are unsound.  Such men, by decrying the knowledge of others proclaim the superiority of their own knowledge.  They have words for their weapons and words for their arrows and speak as if they are real masters of their sciences.  Know, O Bharata, that they are traders in learning and Rakshasas among men.  By the aid of mere pretexts they cast off that morality which has been established by good and wise men.  It has been heard by us that the texts of morality are not to be understood by either discussion or one’s own intelligence.  Indra. himself has said that this is the opinion of the sage Vrihaspati.  Some are of opinion that no scriptural text has been laid down without a reason.  Others again, even if they properly understand the scriptures, never act according to them.  One class of wise men declare that morality is nothing else than the approved course of the world.  The man of true knowledge should find out for himself the morality laid down for the good.  If even a wise man speaks of morality under the influence of wrath or confusion of understanding or ignorance, his deliverances go for nothing. 
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