The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

SECTION XXXIII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Which act, O grandsire, is the foremost of all those that have been laid down for a king?  What is that act by doing which a king succeeds in enjoying both this world and the next?’

“Bhishma said, ’Even this viz., the worship of the Brahmanas, is the foremost of all those act, O Bharata, which have been laid down for a king duly installed on the throne, if, indeed, he is desirous of obtaining great happiness.  Even this is what the foremost of all kings should do.  Know this well, O chief of Bharata’s race.  The king should always worship with reverence all righteous Brahmanas possessed of Vedic lore.[255] The king should, with bows and comforting speeches and gifts of all articles of enjoyment, worship all Brahmanas possessed of great learning who may dwell in his city or provinces.  This is the foremost of all acts laid down for the king.  Indeed, the king should always keep his eyes fixed on this.  He should protect and cherish these, even as he protects his own self or his own children.  The king should worship with greater reverence those amongst the Brahmanas that may be worthy of it (for their superior sanctity and learning).  When such men are freed from all anxiety, the whole kingdom blazes forth in beauty.  Such individuals are worthy of adoration.  Unto such the king should bow his head.  Verily, they should be honoured, even as one honours one’s sires and grandsires.  Upon them depends the course of conduct followed by men, even as the existence of all creatures depends upon Vasava.  Of prowess incapable of being baffled and endued with great energy, such men, if enraged, are capable of consuming the entire kingdom to ashes by only fiat of their will, or by acts of incantation, or by other means (derived from the power of penance).  I do not see anything that can destroy them.  Their power seems to be uncontrolled, being capable of reaching to the farthest end of the universe.  When angry, their glances fall upon men and things like a blazing flame of fire upon a forest.  The most courageous men are struck with fear at their men.  Their virtues and powers are extraordinary and immeasurable.  Some amongst them are like wells and pits with mouths covered by grass and creepers, while others resemble the firmament cleared of clouds and darkness.  Some amongst them are of fierce dispositions (like Durvasas and others of that stamp).  Some are as mild and soft in disposition as cotton (like Gautama and others).  Some amongst them are very cunning (like Agastya who devoured the Asura Vatapi, and Rishis of that class).  Some amongst them are devoted to the practice of penances.  Some amongst them are employed in agricultural pursuits (like the preceptor of Uddalaka).  Some amongst them are engaged in the keep of kine (as Upamanyu while attending his preceptor).  Some amongst them live upon eleemosynary alms.  Some amongst them are even thieves (like

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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