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Chapter 106

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“The king said, ‘I do not desire, O Brahmana, to support life by deceitor fraud. I do not desire wealth, however great, which is to be earned byunrighteous means. At the very outset of our present discourse I exceptedthese means. By the adoption of only such means as would not lead tocensure, of such means as would benefit me in every respect, bypractising only such acts as are not harmful in their consequences, Idesire to live in this world.. I am incapable of adopting these ways thatthou pointest out to me. Indeed, these instructions do not become thee.’

“The sage said, ‘These words, O Kshatriya, that thou speakest indicatethee to be possessed of righteous feelings. Indeed, thou art righteous indisposition and understanding, O thou of great experience. I shall strivefor the good of you both, viz., for thyself and him.[325] I shall cause aunion, eternal and incapable of breach, to be brought about between theeand that king. Who is there that would not like to have a minister likethee that art born of noble race, that abstainest from all acts ofunrighteousness and cruelty, that art possessed of great learning, andthat art well versed in the art of government and of conciliating allpersons? I say this because, O Kshatriya, though divested of kingdom andplunged into great misery, thou still desirest to live adopting abehaviour that is righteous. The ruler of the Videhas, firmly adhering totruth, will come to my abode soon. Without doubt, he will do what I willurge to do.’

“Bhishma continued, “The sage, after this, inviting the ruler of theVidehas, said these words unto him: ‘This personage is of royal birth. Iknow his very heart. His soul is as pure as the surface of mirror or thedisc of the autumnal moon. He has been examined by me in every way. I donot see any fault in him. Let there be friendship between him and thee.Do thou repose confidence on him as on myself. A king who is without a(competent) minister cannot govern his kingdom even for three days. Theminister should be courageous as also possessed of great intelligence. Bythese two qualities one may conquer both the worlds. Behold, O king,these two qualities are necessary for ruling a kingdom. Righteous kingshave no such refuge as a minister possessed of such attributes. Thehigh-souled person is of royal descent. He walketh along, the path of therighteous. This one who always keeps righteousness in view has been avaluable acquisition. If treated by thee with honour, he will reduce allthy foes to subjection. If he engages in battle with thee, he will dowhat as a Kshatriya he should do. Indeed, if after the manner of hissires and grandsires he fights for conquering thee, it will be thy dutyto fight him, observant as thou art of the Kshatriya duty of conqueringantagonists. Without engaging in battle, however, do thou, at my command,employ him under thee from desire of benefiting thyself. Cast thy eyes onrighteousness, giving up covetousness that is improper. It behoveth theenot to abandon the duties of thy order from lust or desire of battle.Victory O sire, is not certain. Defeat also is not certain. Rememberingthis, peace should be made with an enemy by giving him food and otherarticles of enjoyment. One may see victory and defeat in his own case.They that seek to exterminate a foe are sometimes exterminated themselvesin course of their efforts.’ Thus addressed, king Janaka, properlysaluting and honouring that bull among Brahmanas who deserved everyhonour, replied unto him, saying, ‘Thou art of great learning and greatwisdom. That which thou hast said from desire of benefiting us, iscertainly advantageous for both of us. Such a course of conduct is highlybeneficial (to us). I have no hesitation in saying this. The ruler ofVideha then, addressing the prince of Kosala, said these words: ‘Inobservance of Kshatriya duties as also with aid of Policy, I haveconquered the world. I have, however, O best of kings, been conquered bythee with thy good qualities. Without cherishing any sense of humiliation(if thou remainest by my side), live thou with me as a victor.[326] Ihonour thy intelligence, and I honour thy prowess. I do not disregardthee, saying that I have conquered thee. On the other hand, live thouwith me as a victor. Honoured duly by me, O king, thou wilt go to myabode. Both the kings then worshipped that Brahmana, and trusting eachother, proceeded to the capital of Mithila. The ruler of the Videhas,causing the prince of Kosala to enter his abode, honoured him, whodeserved every honour, with offerings of water to wash his feet, honeyand curds and the usual articles. King Janaka also bestowed upon hisguest his own daughter and diverse kinds of gems and jewels. This (theestablishment of peace) is the high duty of kings; victory and defeat areboth uncertain.'”

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