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Chapter 105

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“The sage said, ‘If, on the other hand, O Kshatriya, thou thinkest thatthou hast any prowess still, I shall discourse to thee about that line ofpolicy which thou mayst adopt for recovering thy kingdom. If thou canstfollow that line of policy and seek to exert thyself, thou canst stillrecover thy prosperity. Listen attentively to all that I say unto thee indetail. If thou canst act according to those counsels, thou mayst yetobtain vast wealth, indeed, thy kingdom and kingly power and greatprosperity. If thou likest it, O king, tell me, for then I shall speak tothee of that policy.’

“The king said, ‘Tell me, O holy one, what thou wishest to say. I amwilling to hear and act according to thy counsels. Let this my meetingwith thee today be fruitful of consequences (to myself).’

“The sage said, ‘Renouncing pride and desire and ire and joy and fear,wait upon thy very foes, humbling thyself and joining thy hands. Do thouserve Janaka the ruler of Mithila, always performing good and pure deeds.Firmly devoted to truth, the king of Videha will certainly give theegreat wealth. Thou shalt then become the right arm of that king andobtain the trust of all persons. As a consequence of this, thou shaltthen succeed in obtaining many allies possessed of courage andperseverance, pure in behaviour, and free from the seven principalfaults. A person of restrained soul and having his senses under control,by adhering to his duties, succeeds in raising himself and gladdeningothers. Honoured by Janaka possessed of intelligence and prosperity, thoushalt certainly become the right arm of that ruler and enjoy theconfidence of all. Having then mustered a large force and heldconsultations with good ministers, do thou cause disunion among thy foesand, setting them against one another, break them all like a personbreaking a vilwa with a vilwa. Or, making peace with the foes of thy foe,destroy the latter’s power.[323] Thou shalt then cause thy foe to beattached to such good things as are not easily attainable, to beautifulwomen and cloths, beds and seats and vehicles, all of very costly kinds,and houses, and birds and animals of diverse species, and juices andperfumes and fruits, so that thy foe may be ruined of himself.[324] Ifone’s foe be thus managed, or if indifference is to be shown towards him,one that is desirous of acting according to good policy, should neversuffer that foe to know it at all. Following the behaviour that isapproved by the wise, do thou enjoy every kind of pleasure in thedominions of thy foe, and imitating the conduct of the dog, the deer, andthe crow, behave, with apparent friendship, towards thy enemies. Causethem to undertake achievements that are mighty and difficult toaccomplish. See also that they engage in hostilities with powerfulenemies. Drawing their attention to pleasant gardens and costly beds andseats, do thou, by offering such objects of enjoyment, drain thy enemy’streasury. Advising thy enemy to perform sacrifices and make gifts, dothou gratify the Brahmanas. The latter, (having received those presentsthrough thy hands), will do good to thee in return (by performingpenances and Vedic rites), and devour thy enemy like wolves. Withoutdoubt, a person of righteous deeds obtains a high end. By such deeds mensucceed in earning regions of the most felicity in heaven. If thetreasury of thy foes be exhausted (by either righteous or unrighteousdeeds), every one of them, O prince of Kosala, may be reduced tosubjection. The treasury is the root of felicity in heaven and victory onearth. It is in consequence of their treasuries that the foes enjoy suchhappiness. The treasury, therefore, should by every means be drained. Donot applaud Exertion in the presence of thy foe but speak highly ofDestiny. Without doubt, the man who relies too much on acts appertainingto the worship of the gods soon meets with destruction. Cause thy enemyto perform the great sacrifice called Viswajit and divest him by thatmeans of all his possessions. Through this thy object will be fulfilled.Thou mayst then inform thy enemy of the fact that the best men in hiskingdom are being oppressed (with exactions for refilling the exhaustedtreasury), and indicate some eminent ascetic conversant with the dutiesof Yoga (who will wean thy foe from all earthly possessions). The enemywill then desire to adopt renunciation and retire into the woods,solicitous of salvation. Thou shall then, with the aid of drugs preparedby boiling highly efficacious herbs and plants, and of artificial salts,destroy the elephants and steeds and men (of thy enemy’s dominions).These and many other well-devised schemes are available, all connectedwith fraud. An intelligent person can thus destroy the population of ahostile kingdom with poison.'”

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