“‘Narada said, By listening to such scriptures as are blessed, as bringabout tranquillity, as dispel grief, and as are productive of happiness,one attains to (a pure) understanding, and having attained to it obtainsto high ‘felicity.
“Janamejaya said, ‘When that tiger among men, of righteous soul and greatenergy, firmly adhering to truth and with passions under completecontrol, viz., the son of Santanu and Ganga, named Devavrata or Bhishmaof unfading glory, lay on a hero’s bed with the sons of Pandu sittingaround him,
“Bhishma said, ‘Protection of the subject, O Yudhishthira, is the verycheese of kingly duties. The divine Vrihaspati does not applaud any otherduty (so much as this one).
“Yudhishthira said, ‘I think, O grandsire, that thou art acquainted witheverything, O thou that art conversant with duties. I desire to hear theediscourse to me, O sinless one, of the ordinances about conduct.’
“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell his those duties in respect of persons likeourselves which are auspicious, productive of happiness in the future,benevolent, approved by all, pleasant, and agreeable.’
“Bhishma said, ‘Drawing the bow-string, destruction of foes, agriculture,trade, tending cattle, and serving others for wealth, these are improperfor a Brahmana.
“Bhishma said, ‘The duties in respect of all the four modes of life,those of yatis, O son of Pandu, and the customs relating to the conductof men in general, are all included in kingly duties.
“Indra said, ‘Kshatriya duties, O king, which are possessed of suchenergy, which include in their exercise all other duties, and which arethe foremost of all duties, should be observed by persons that are, likethee, so high-souled and so employed in seeking the good of the world.
“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast spoken to me about the four modes of humanlife. I desire to know more of-them. Do thou discourse on them in detail.’
“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast said what the duties are of the four modesof the life and the four orders. Tell me now, O grandsire, what are theprincipal duties of a kingdom.’