“Vaisampayana said, ‘King Dhritarashtra endued with great wisdom (then)said to the orderly-in-waiting, ‘I desire to see Vidura. Bring him herewithout delay.’ Despatched by Dhritarashtra, the messenger went toKshatri and said, ‘O thou of great wisdom, our lord the mighty kingdesireth to see thee.’ Thus addressed, Vidura (set out and) coming to thepalace, spoke unto the orderly, ‘Apprise Dhritarashtra of my arrival.’Thereupon the orderly went to Dhritarashtra, and said, O, foremost ofkings, Vidura is here at thy command. He wisheth to behold thy feet.Command me as to what he is to do.’ Thereupon Dhritarashtra said, ‘LetVidura of great wisdom and foresight enter. I am never unwilling orunprepared to see Vidura.’ The orderly then went out and spoke untoVidura, ‘O Kshatri, enter the inner apartments of the wise king. The kingsays that he is never unwilling to see thee.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having entered Dhritarashtra’s chamber, Vidurasaid with joined hands unto that ruler of men who was then plunged inthought, ‘O thou of great wisdom, I am Vidura, arrived here at thycommand. If there is anything to be done, here I am, command me!’
“Dhritarashtra said, ‘O Vidura, Sanjaya hath come back. He hath gone awayafter rebuking me. Tomorrow he will deliver, in the midst of the court,Ajatasatru’s message. I have not been able today to ascertain what themessage is of the Kuru hero. Therefore, my body is burning, and that hathproduced sleeplessness. Tell us what may be good for a person that issleepless and burning. Thou art, O child, versed in both religion andprofit. Ever since, Sanjaya hath returned from the Pandavas, my heartknoweth no peace. Filled with anxiety about what he may deliver, all mysenses have been disordered’.
“Vidura said, ‘Sleeplessness overtaketh thief, a lustful person, him thathath lost all his wealth, him that hath failed to achieve success, andhim also that is weak and hath been attacked by a strong person. I hope,O king, that none of these grave calamities have overtaken thee. I hope,thou dost not grieve, coveting the wealth of others.’
“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I desire to hear from thee words that arebeneficial and fraught with high morality. In this race of royal Rishisthou alone art reverenced by the wise.’ Vidura replied, ‘King(Yudhishthira), graced with every virtue, is worthy of being thesovereign of the three worlds; yet, O Dhritarashtra, however worthy ofbeing kept by thy side, he was exiled by thee. Thou art, however,possessed of qualities which are thy very reverse of those possessed byhim. Although virtuous and versed in morality, thou hast yet no right toa share in the kingdom owing to thy loss of sight. In consequence of hisinoffensiveness and kindness, his righteousness, love of truth andenergy, and his remembering the reverence that is due to thee,Yudhishthira patiently bears innumerable wrongs. Having bestowed onDuryodhana and Suvala’s son and Karna, and Dussasana the management ofthe empire, how canst thou hope for prosperity? He that is not servedfrom the high ends of life by the aid of self-knowledge, exertion,forbearance and steadiness in virtue, is called wise. These again are themarks of a wise man, viz., adherence to acts, worthy of praise andrejection of what is blamable, faith, and reverence. He whom neitheranger nor joy, nor pride, nor false modesty, nor stupefaction, norvanity, can draw away from the high ends of life, is considered as wise.He whose intended acts, and proposed counsels remain concealed from foes,and whose acts become known only after they have been done, is consideredwise. He whose proposed actions are never obstructed by heat or cold,fear of attachment, prosperity or adversity, is considered wise. He whosejudgment dissociated from desire, followeth both virtue and profit, andwho disregarding pleasure chooseth such ends as are serviceable in bothworlds, is considered wise. They that exert to the best of their might,and act also to the best of their might, and disregard nothing asinsignificant, are called wise. He that understandeth quickly, listenethpatiently, pursueth his objects with judgment and not from desire andspendeth not his breath on the affairs of others without being asked, issaid to possess the foremost mark of wisdom. They that do not strive forobjects that are unattainable, that do not grieve for what is lost andgone, that do not suffer their minds to be clouded amid calamities, areregarded to possess intellects endued with wisdom. He who striveth,having commenced anything, till it is completed, who never wasteth histime, and who hath his soul under control, is regarded wise. They thatare wise, O bull of the Bharata race, always delight in honest deeds, dowhat tendeth to their happiness and prosperity, and never sneer at whatis good. He who exulteth not at honours, and grieveth not at slights, andremaineth cool and unagitated like a lake in the course of Ganga, isreckoned as wise. That man who knoweth the nature of all creatures (viz.,that everything is subject to destruction), who is cognisant also of theconnections of all acts, and who is proficient in the knowledge of themeans that men may resort to (for attaining their objects), is reckonedas wise. He who speaketh boldly, can converse on various subjects,knoweth the science of argumentation, possesseth genius, and caninterpret the meaning of what is writ in books, is reckoned as wise. Hewhose studies are regulated by reason, and whose reason followeth thescriptures, and who never abstaineth from paying respect to those thatare good, is called a wise man. He, on the other hand, who is ignorant ofscripture yet vain, poor yet proud, and who resorteth to unfair means forthe acquisition of his objects, is a fool. He who, forsaking his own,concerneth himself with the objects of others, and who practisethdeceitful means for serving his friends, is called a fool. He who wishethfor those things that should not be desired, and forsaketh those that maylegitimately be desired, and who beareth malice to those that arepowerful, is regarded to be a foolish soul. He who regardeth his foe ashis friend, who hateth and beareth malice to his friend, and whocommitteth wicked deeds, is said to be a person of foolish soul. O bullof the Bharata race, he who divulgeth his projects, doubteth in allthings, and spendeth a long time in doing what requireth a short time, isa fool. He who doth not perform the Sraddha for the Pitris, norworshippeth the deities, nor acquireth noble-minded friends, is said tobe a person of foolish soul. That worst of men who entereth a placeuninvited, and talketh much without being asked, and reposeth trust onuntrustworthy wights, is a fool. That man who being himself guiltycasteth the blame on others, and who though impotent giveth vent toanger, is the most foolish of men. That man, who, without knowing his ownstrength and dissociated from both virtue and profit, desireth an objectdifficult of acquisition, without again adopting adequate means, is saidto be destitute of intelligence. O king, he who punisheth one that isundeserving of punishment, payeth homage to persons without theirknowledge, and waiteth upon misers, is said to be of little sense. But hethat, having attained immense wealth and prosperity or acquired (vast)learning, doth not bear himself haughtily, is reckoned as wise. Who,again, is more heartless than he, who, though possessed of affluence,eateth himself and weareth excellent robes himself without distributinghis wealth among his dependents? While one person committeth sins, manyreap the advantage resulting therefrom; (yet in the end) it is the doeralone to whom the sin attacheth while those that enjoy the fruit escapeunhurt. When a bowman shooteth an arrow, he may or may not succeed inslaying even a single person, but when an intelligent individual appliethhis intelligence (viciously); it may destroy an entire kingdom with theking. Discriminating the two by means of the one, bring under thysubjection the three by means of four, and also conquering the five andknowing the six, and abstaining from the seven, be happy. Poison slayethbut one person, and a weapon also but one; wicked counsels, however,destroy an entire kingdom with king and subject. Alone one should notpartake of any savoury viand, nor alone reflect on concerns of profit,nor alone go upon a journey, nor alone remain awake among sleepingcompanions. That Being who is One without a second, and whom, O king,thou hast not been able to comprehend, is Truth’s self, and the Way toheaven, even like a boat in the ocean. There is one only defect inforgiving persons, and not another; that defect is that people take aforgiving person to be weak. That defect, however, should not be takeninto consideration, for forgiveness is a great power. Forgiveness is avirtue of the weak, and an ornament of the strong. Forgiveness subdueth(all) in this world; what is there that forgiveness cannot achieve? Whatcan a wicked person do unto him who carrieth the sabre of forgiveness inhis hand? Fire falling on a grassless ground is extinguished of itself.And unforgiving individual defileth himself with many enormities.Righteousness is the one highest good; and forgiveness is the one supremepeace; knowledge is one supreme contentment; and benevolence, one solehappiness. Even as a serpent devoureth animals living in holes, the earthdevoureth these two, viz., a king who is incompetent to fight, and aBrahmana who doth not sojourn to holy places. A man may attain renown inthis world by doing two things, viz., by refraining from harsh speech,and by disregarding those that are wicked. O tiger among men, these twohave not a will of their own, viz., those women who covet men simplybecause the latter are coveted by others of their sex, and that personwho worships another simply because the latter is worshipped by others.These two are like sharp thorns afflicting the body, viz., the desires ofa poor man, and the anger of the impotent. These two persons never shinebecause of their incompatible acts, viz., a householder without exertion,and a beggar busied in schemes. These two, O king, live (as it were) in aregion higher than heaven itself, viz., a man of power endued withforgiveness, and poor man that is charitable. Of things honestly got,these two must be looked upon as misuse, viz., making gifts to theunworthy and refusing the worthy. These two should be thrown into thewater, tightly binding weights to their necks, viz., a wealthy man thatdoth not give away, and a poor man that is proud. These two, O tigeramong men, can pierce the orb itself of the sun, viz., a mendicantaccomplished in yoga, and a warrior that hath fallen in open fight. Obull of the Bharata race, persons versed in the Vedas have said thatmen’s means are good, middling, and bad. Men also, O king, are good,indifferent, and bad. They should, therefore, be respectively employed inthat kind of work for which they may be fit. These three, O king, cannothave wealth of their own, viz., the wife, the slave, and the son, andwhatever may be earned by them would be his to whom they belong. Greatfear springeth from these three crimes, viz., theft of other’s property,outrage on other’s wives, and breach with friend. These three, besides,being destructive to one’s own self, are the gates of hell, viz., lust,anger, and covetousness. Therefore, every one should renounce them. Thesethree should never be forsaken even in imminent danger, viz., a follower,one who seeks protection, saying,–I am thine,–and lastly one who hathcome to your abode. Verily, O Bharata, liberating a foe from distress,alone amounteth in point of merit, to these three taken together, viz.,conferring a boon, acquiring a kingdom, and obtaining a son. Learned menhave declared that a king, although powerful, should never consult withthese four, viz., men of small sense, men that are procrastinating, menthat are indolent, and men that are flatterers. O sire, crowned withprosperity and leading the life of a householder, let these four dwellwith thee, viz., old consanguineous, relatives, high-born persons falleninto adversity, poor friends, and issueless sisters. On being asked bythe chief of the celestials, Vrihaspati, O mighty king declared fourthings capable of fructifying or occurring within a single day, viz., theresolve of the gods, the comprehensions of intelligent persons, thehumility of learned men, and the destruction of the sinful. These fourthat are calculated to remove fear, bring on fear when they areimproperly performed, viz., the Agni-hotra, the vow of silence, study,and sacrifice (in general). O bull of the Bharata race, these five fires,should be worshipped with regard by a person, viz., father, mother, fire(proper), soul and preceptor. By serving these five, men attain greatfame in this world, viz., the gods, the Pitris, men, beggars, and guests.These five follow thee wherever thou goest, viz., friends, foes, thosethat are indifferent, dependants, and those that are entitled tomaintenance. Of the five senses beholding to man, if one springeth aleak, then from that single hole runneth out all his intelligence, evenlike water running out from a perforated leathern vessel. The six faultsshould be avoided by a person who wisheth to attain prosperity, viz.,sleep, drowsiness, fear, anger, indolence and procrastination. These sixshould be renounced like a splitting vessel in the sea, viz., a preceptorthat cannot expound the scriptures, a priest that is illiterate, a kingthat is unable to protect, a wife that speaketh disagreeable words, acow-herd that doth not wish to go to the fields, and a barber thatwisheth to renounce a village for the woods. Verily, those six qualitiesshould never be forsaken by men, viz., truth, charity, diligence,benevolence, forgiveness and patience. These six are instantly destroyed,if neglected, viz., kine, service, agriculture, a wife, learning, and thewealth of a Sudra. These six forget those who have bestowed obligationson them, viz., educated disciples, their preceptors; married persons,their mothers; persons whose desires have been gratified, women; they whohave achieved success, they who had rendered aid; they who have crossed ariver, the boat (that carried them over); and patients that have beencured, their physicians. Health, unindebtedness, living at home,companionship with good men, certainty as regards the means oflivelihood, and living without fear, these six. O king, conduce to thehappiness of men. These six are always miserable, viz., the envious, themalicious, the discontented, the irascible, the ever-suspicious, andthose depending upon the fortunes of others. These six, O king, comprisethe happiness of men, viz., acquirement of wealth, uninterrupted health,a beloved and a sweet-speeched wife, an obedient son, and knowledge thatis lucrative. He that succeedeth in gaining the mastery over the six thatare always present in the human heart, being thus the master of hissenses, never committeth sin, and therefore suffereth calamity. These sixmay be seen to subsist upon other six, viz., thieves, upon persons thatare careless; physicians, on persons that are ailing; women, upon personssuffering from lust; priests, upon them that sacrifice; a king, uponpersons that quarrel; and lastly men of learning, upon them that arewithout it. A king should renounce these seven faults that are productiveof calamity, inasmuch as they are able to effect the ruin of evenmonarchs firmly established; these are women, dice, hunting, drinking,harshness of speech, severity of punishment, and misuse of wealth. Theseeight are the immediate indications of a man destined to destruction,viz., hating the Brahmanas, disputes with Brahmanas, appropriation of aBrahmana’s possessions, taking the life of Brahmana, taking a pleasure inreviling Brahmanas, grieving to hear the praises of Brahmanas, forgettingthem on ceremonious occasions, and giving vent to spite when they ask foranything. These transgressions a wise man should understand, andunderstanding, eschew. These eight, O Bharata, are the very cream ofhappiness, and these only are attainable here, viz., meeting withfriends, accession of immense wealth, embracing a son, union forintercourse, conversation with friends in proper times, the advancementof persons belong to one’s own party, the acquisition of what had beenanticipated, and respect in society. These eight qualities glorify a man,viz., wisdom, high birth, self-restraint, learning, prowess, moderationin speech gift according to one’s power, and gratitude. This house hathnine doors, three pillars, and five witnesses. It is presided over by thesoul. That learned man who knoweth all this is truly wise. ODhritarashtra, these ten do not know what virtue is viz., theintoxicated, inattentive, the raving, the fatigued, the angry, thestarving, the hasty, the covetous, the frightened, and the lustful.Therefore, he that is wise must eschew the company of these. In thisconnection is cited the old story about what transpired between Suyodhanaand (Prahlada), the chief of the Asuras in relation to the latter’s son.That king who renounceth lust and anger, who bestoweth wealth upon properrecipients, and is discriminating, learned, and active, is regarded as anauthority of all men. Great prosperity attends upon that king who knowethhow to inspire confidence in others, who inflicteth punishment on thosewhose guilt hath been proved, who is acquainted with the proper measureof punishment, and who knoweth when mercy is to be shown. He is a wiseperson who doth not disregard even a weak foe; who proceeds withintelligence in respect of a foe, anxiously watching for an opportunity;who doth not desire hostilities with persons stronger than himself; andwho displayeth his prowess in season. That illustrious person who dothnot grieve when a calamity hath already come upon him, who exerteth withall his senses collected, and who patiently beareth misery in season, iscertainly the foremost of persons, and all his foes are vanquished. Hewho doth not live away from hope uselessly, who doth not make friendswith sinful persons, who never outrageth another’s wife, who neverbetrayeth arrogance, and who never committeth a theft or showethingratitude or indulgeth in drinking is always happy. He who neverboastfully striveth to attain the three objects of human pursuit, whowhen asked, telleth the truth, who quarreleth not even for the sake offriends, and who never becometh angry though slighted, is reckoned aswise. He who beareth not malice towards others but is kind to all, whobeing weak disputeth not with others, who speaketh not arrogantly, andforgeteth a quarrel, is praised everywhere. That man who never assumeth ahaughty mien, who never censureth others praising himself the while, andnever addresseth harsh words to others for getting himself, is ever lovedby all. He who raketh not up old hostilities, who behaveth neitherarrogantly nor with too much humility, and who even when distressed nevercommitteth an improper act, is considered by respectable men a person ofgood conduct. He who exulteth not at his own happiness, nor delighteth inanother’s misery, and who repenteth not after having made a gift, is saidto be a man of good nature and conduct. He who desireth to obtain aknowledge of the customs of different countries, and also the languagesof different nations, and of the usages of different orders of men,knoweth at once all that is high and low; and wherever he may go, he issure to gain an ascendancy over even those that are glad. The intelligentman who relinquisheth pride, folly, insolence, sinful acts, disloyaltytowards the king, crookedness of behaviour, enmity with many, and alsoquarrels with men that are drunk, mad and wicked, is the foremost of hisspecies. The very gods bestow prosperity upon him who daily practisethself-restraint, purification, auspicious rites, worship of the gods,expiatory ceremonies, and other rites of universal observance. The actsof that learned man are well-conceived, and well-applied who formethmatrimonial alliances with persons of equal positions and not with thosethat are inferior, who placeth those before him that are more qualified,and who talketh, behaveth and maketh friendships with persons of equalposition. He who eateth frugally after dividing the food amongst hisdependants, who sleepeth little after working much, and who, whensolicited giveth away even unto his foes, hath his soul under control,and calamities always keep themselves aloof from him. He whose counselsare well-kept and well-carried out into practice, and whose acts inconsequence thereof are never known by others to injure men, succeedethin securing even his most trifling objects. He who is intent uponabstaining from injury to all creatures, who is truthful, gentle,charitable, and pure in mind, shineth greatly among his kinsmen like aprecious gem of the purest ray having its origin in an excellent mine.That man who feeleth shame even though his faults be not known to anysave himself, is highly honoured among all men. Possessed of a pure heartand boundless energy and abstracted within himself, he shineth inconsequence of his energy like the very sun. King Pandu consumed by a(Brahmana’s) curse, had five sons born unto him in the woods that arelike five Indras. O son of Ambika, thou hast brought up those childrenand taught them everything. They are obedient to thy commands. Givingthem back their just share of the kingdom, O sire, filled with joy, bethou happy with thy sons. Then, O monarch, thou shalt inspire confidencein both the gods and men.'”