Copyright
Pratap Chandra Roy.

The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) online

. (page 26 of 42)
Online LibraryPratap Chandra RoyThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) → online text (page 26 of 42)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


has been asked for by Yuyutsu and Sanjaya, I shall accomplish
with speed. All these are worthy of my respect, for all of
them are well-wishers of our race."^ This, however, king,
I beg of thee by bending my head ! Do thou first eat and
afterwards go to thy forest retreat !' "-^



Section V.



Vai^arapayana said, — " Having received the king's perr
mission, king Dhritarashtra of great energy then proceeded
to his own palace, followed by Gandhari.^ With weakened
strength and slow motion, that king of great intelligence



14 MAHABHARATA. [Atra^iiavasa

walked with difficulty, like the leader, worn out with age, of
an elephantine herd.'' He was followed by Vidura of great
learning, and his charioteer Sanjaya, as also that mighty bow-
man Kripa the son of Caradwata.^ Entering his mansion,
king, he went through the morning rites and after gratify-
ing many foremost of Brahmanas he took some food.* Gan-
dhari conversant with every duty, as also Kunti of great in-
telligence, worshipped with offers of various articles by their
daughters-in-law, then took some food, Bharata.® After
Dhritarashtra had eaten, and Vidura also and others had
done the same, the Pandavas, having finished their meals,
approached and sat around the old king.^ Then the son of
Amvika, O monarch, addressing Kunti's son who was seated
near him and touching his back with his hand, said,^ — 'Thou
shouldst always, delighter of the Kurus, act without heed-
lessness as regards everything connected with thy kingdom
consisting of eight limbs, foremost of rulers, and in which
the claims of righteousness should ever be kept foremost.**
Thou art possessed, son of Kunti, of intelligence and learn-
ing. Listen to me, king, as I tell thee what the means
are by which, son of Pandu, the kingdom is capable of
being righteously protected.^ Thou shouldst always, O Yu-
dhishthira, honour those persons that are old in learning.
Thou shouldst listen to what they would say, and act accord-
ingly without any scruple.^'* Rising at dawn, king, wor-
ship them with due rites, and when the time comes for action,
thou shouldst consult them about thy (intended) acts." When,
led by the desire of knowing what would be beneficial to thee
in respect of thy measures, thou honourest them, they will,
O son, always declare what is for thy good, O Bharata.^^
Thou shouldst always keep thy senses as thou keepest thy
horses. They will then prove beneficial to thee, like wealth
that is not wasted.^^ Thou shouldst employ only such minis-
ters as have passed the tests of honesty, {i. e., as are possessed
of loyalty, disinterestedness, continence, and courage), as are

* The eight limbs of a kingdom are the law, the judge, the assessors^
the scribe, the astrologer, gold, fire, and water. — T.



Farva.] acramavasika pahva? 15

hereditary officers of state, possessed of pure conduct, self-
restrained, clever in the discharge of business, and endued
with righteous conduct.^* Thou shouldst always collect inr
formation through spies in diverse diguises, whose faithfulness
have been tasted, who are natives of thy kingdom, and who
should not be known to thy foes.^" Thy citadel should be pro-
perly protected with strong walls and arched gates. On every
side the walls, with watch-towers on them standing close to
one another, should be such as to admit of six persons walk-
ing side by side on their top.*^® The gates should all be large
and sufficiently strong. Kept in proper places, those gates
should be carefully guarded.^^ Let thy purposes be accomplish-
ed through men whose families and conduct are well known'.
Thou shouldst always protect thy person also with care, in
matters connected with thy food, Bharata,^^ as also in the
hours of sport and eating and in matters connected with the
garlands thou wearest and the beds thou liest upon. The
ladies of thy household should be properly protected, looked
over by aged and trusted servitors, of good behaviour, well-
born, and possessed of learning, Yudhishthira.'^ Thou
shouldst make ministers of Brahmanas possessed of learning,
endued with humility, well-born, conversant with religion and
wealth, and adorned wdth simplicity of behaviour.-'^ Thou
shouldst hold consultations with them. Thou shouldst not,
however, admit many persons into thy consultations. On par-
ticular occasions thou mayst consult with the whole of thy
council or with a portion of it."^ Entering a chamber or spot
that is well protected (from intruders) thou shouldst hold thy
consultations. Thou mayst hold thy consultation in a forest
that is divested of grass. Thou shouldst never consult at night
time.f^^ Apes and birds and other animals that can imitate
human beings should all be excluded from the council chamber,
as also idiots and lame and palsied individuals.''*'^ I think that



* 'Atta' is explained by Nilakantlia as the space kept for the soldiers
to tread upon. — T.

+ Grass may conceal the spies of foes. The darkness of night aho
may do the same. — T.



16 M.\TiAT?TTAUATAr Acrcimavam

the evils that flow from the divulgence of the counsels of kings
are such that they cannot be remedied.''* Thou shouldst re-
peatedly refer, in the midst of thy counsellors, to the evils that
arise from the divulgence of counsels, chastiser of foes, and
to the merits that flow from counsels properly kept."^ Thou
shouldst, Yudhishthina, act in such a manner as to ascer-
tain the merits and faults of the inhabitants of thy city and
the province^."" Let thy laws, O king, be always administered
by trusted judges placed in charge thereof, who should also be
contented and of good behaviour. Their acts shonld also be
ascertained by thee through spies.-^ Let thy judicial offif^ers,
O Yudhishtliira, inHict punishments, according to the law, on
offenders after careful ascertainment of the gravity of the
offences.''^ They that are disposed to take bribes, they that
are the violatcrs of the chastity of other people's wives, they
that inflict heavy punishments, they that are utterers of false
speeches, they that are revilers, they that are stained by cupi-
dity, they that are murderers, they that are doers of rash
deeds,-'* they that are disturbers of assemblies and the sports of
others, and they that bring about a confusion of castes, should,
ac^reeably to considerations of time and place, be punished with
either fines or death. *^^ In the morning thou shouldst see those
that are employed in making thy disbursements. After that
thou shouldst look to thy toilet and then to thy food.^^ Thou
shouldst next supervise thy forces, gladdening them on every
occasion. Thy evenings should be set apart for envoys and
spies.^^ The latter end of the night should be devoted by thee
to settle what acts should be done by thee in the day. Mid-
nights and mid days should be devoted to thy amusements aiid
sports. At all times, however, thou shouldst think of the
means for accomplishing thy purposes.^*^ At the proper time,
adorning thy pers)n, thou shouldst sit. prepared to make gifts



* 'Adniianichi' is a very civil way of iiidicatiiij; currnpt officials and
thieves. Iiillictors of severe punishnieiits were looked upon as tyrants
deserving of beiiifj put, down. Heavy fines wfre at one time interdicted
in England. 'Salia.sapriya' is a dooer of rasli deeds, such as culpnble
homicide not amounting to niuriler, to adopt the terminology of the
Indian Penal Code.— T.



Parva.] acrAxMavasika parva. I7

in profusion. The turns for different acts, son, ceaselessly
revolve like wheels.^^ Thou shouldst always exert thyself to
fill thy treasuries of various kinds by lawful means. Thou
shouldst avoid all unlawful means towards that end.^^ Ascer-
taining through thy spies who thy foes are that are bent on
finding out thy laches, thou shouldst, through trusted agents,
cause them to be destroyed from a distance,^* Examining
their conduct, thou shouldst, perpetuater of Kuru's race,
appoint thy servants. Thou shouldst cause all thy acts to be
accomplished through thy servitors whether they are appointed
for those acts or not.^^ The commandant of thy forces should
be of firm conduct, courageous, capable of bearing hardships,
loyal, and devoted to thy gcod.^^ Artizans and mechanics, O
son of P.lndu, dwelling in thy provinces, should always do thy
acts like kine and assess.*^" Thou shouldst always, Yudhish-
thira, be careful to ascertain thy own laches as also those of
thy foes. The laches also of thy own men as also of the
men of thy foes should equally be ascertained."** Those men
of thy kingdom, that are well skilled in their respective
vocations, aiid are devoted to thy good, should be favoured by
thee with adequate means of support.** A wise king, ruler
of men. should always see that the accomplishments of his
accomplished subjects might be kept up. They would then
be firmly devoted to thee, seeing that they did not fall away
from their skill.' ""



Section VI.

"Dhritarashtra .said,— 'Thou shouldst always ascertain the
Mandalas that belong to thee, to thy foes, to neutrals, and to
tho^e that are disposed equally towards thee and thy foes, O
Bharata.fi The Mandalas also of the four kinds of foes,' of

* /. e., content to work on receiving their food only. Their wa^ea
should not be higher than what is needed to feed them.— T.

f The word Mandnla has been explained below in Ver.se 5. The dia-
tmction between 'Udasinas' and 'Madhyasthas,' as explained by Nila-
kantha, 13 that the former are neutrals, while the latter are those who
cherish equal sentiments towards both the parties.— T.

t 3 ]



18 MAHABHARATA. [Acramavasa

those called Atattyi.n>^, and of allies, and the allies of foes,
should be distinguished by thee, crusher of foes.*^ The
ministers of state, the people of the provinces, the garrisons
of forts, and the forces, foremost one of Kuru's race, may
'or may not be tampered with. (Thou shouldst, therefore, be-
have in such a manner that these may not be tampered with
by thy foes).^ The twelve (ennumerated above), O son of
Kunti, constitute the principal concerns of kings. These
twelve, as also the sixty, having Ministers for their foremost,
should be looked after by the king.f* Professors conversant
with the science of politics call these by the name of Man-
dala. Understand, O Yudhishthira, that the six incidents (of
peace, war, march, halt, sowing dissensions,, and conciliation)
depend upon these.^ Growth and diminution should also be
•understood, as also the condition of being .stationary. The
attributes of the sixfold incidents, O thou of mighty arms, as
resting on the two and seventy (already enumerated), .should
also be carefully understood.^ When one's own side has be-
come strong and the side of the foe has become weak, it is
then, son of Kunti, that the king should war against the foe
and strive to win victory .'' When the enemy is strong and one's
own side is weak, then the weak king, if possessed of intelli-
gence, should seek to make peace with the enemy.^ The king
should collect a large store of articles (for his commissariat).
When able to march out, he should on no account make
a delay, O Bharata.'' Besides, he should on that occasion set
his men to offices for which they are fit, without being moved
by any other consideration. (When obliged to yield a portion

* The four kinds of foes, as explained by the Commentator, are 1.

'foes proper, 2. allies of foes, 3. those that -wish victory to both sides,
and 4. those that wish defeat to both sides. As regards 'Atatayins,'

ithey are six, vu., 1. he that sets fire to one's house, 2. he that mixes
poison with OHe's food, 3. he that advances, weapon lin hand, with
hostile intent, 4. he that robs one of one's wealth, 5. he that invades
•one's fields, and G. lie that steals one's wife. — T.

t The .sixty are thus made up. Eight consi!^tillg of agriculture and
the rest ; twenty -eight consisting of forces and the rest ; fourteen con-
sisting of athiests and the rest ; and eighteen cousiting of counsels and
«be rest.— T.



Petrva.] acramavasika parva^ 19

©f his territories) he should give his foe only such land as does
not produce crops in abundance.^" (When obliged to give
wealth), he should give gold containing much base metal.
(When obliged to give a portion of his forces), he should give
such men as are not noted for strength. One that is skilled
in treaties should, when taking land or gold or men from the
foe, take what is possessed of attributes the reverse of this.***
In making treaties of peace, the son of the (defeated) king
should be demanded as a hostage, O chief of the Bharatas.
A contrar}' course of conduct would not be beneficial, son.
If a calamity comes over the king,*^ he should, with know-
ledge of means and counsels, strive to emancipate himself from
it.-f* The king, foremost of monarchs, should maintain the
cheerless and the destitute (such as the blind, the deaf and
dumb, and the diseased) among his people.^* Himself protect-
ing his own kingdom, the king, possessed of great might,
should direct all his efforts, either one after another or simul-
taneously, against his foes. He should afflict and obstruct
them and seek to drain their treasury.** The king that desires
his own growth should never injure the subordinate chieftains
that are under his sway. son of Kunti, thou shouldst never
seek to war with that king who desires to conquer the whole
Earth,*^ Thou shouldst seek to gain advantages by producing,,
with the aid of thy ministers, dissensions among his aristo-
cracy and subordinate chieftains. A powerful king should
never seek to exterminate weak kings, for these do good to the
world by cherishing the good and punishing the wicked. O
foremost of kings, thou shouldst live, adopting the behaviour
of the cane.t*^"" If a strong king advances against a weak,
©ne, the latter should make him desist, by adopting concilia-



* /. e., land that ib fertile, gold that is pure, and men that are
strong. — T.

+ The words 'Ka&yanchidapadi' should be construed with what
follows.— T.

X The cane yields when presure is directed towards it In the Canti
Parvan occurs the detailed conversation between the Ocean and the-
Rivers. The former enquired why, when the Rivers washed down ths-
largest trees, they could not wash into the Ocean a single cane. The
answer wa^.that the cane was yielding ; the trees were not :.o.— T.



20 MAHABHARA.TA. [Agramavasa

tion and other modes.^^ If unable to stop the invader in this
way, then he, as also those that are disposed to do him good,
should fall upon the foe for battling with him. Indeed, with
his ministers and treasury and citizens, he should thus adopt
force against the invader/^ If battling with the foe becomes
hopeless, then he should fall, sacrificing his resources one after
another. Casting off his life in this way, he will attain to
liberation from all sorrow.' "'^



Section VII,

"Dhritarashtra said, — "0 best of kings, thou shouldst also
reflect properly on war and peace. Each is of two kinds. The
means are various, and the circumstances also, under which
war or peace may be made, are various, Yudhishthira.**^
O thou of Kuru's race, thou shouldst, with coolness, reflect on
the two {viz., thy strength and weakness) with regard to thy-
self. Thou shouldst not suddenly march against a foe that is
possessed of contented and healthy soldiers, and that is endued
with intelligence. On the other hand, thou shouldst think
carefully of the means of vanquishing him.f - Thou shouldst
march against a foe that is not provided with contented and
healthy combatants. When everything is favourable, the foe
may be beaten. After that, however, the victor should retire
(and stay in a strong position),^ He should next cause the foe
to be plunged into various calamities, and sow dissensions
among his allies. He should afflict the foe and inspire terror
in his heart, and attacking him weaken his forces.* The king,
conversant with the scriptures, that marches against a foe,
should think of the three kinds of strength, and, indeed, re-
flect on his own strength and the strength of his foe.t^"' Only
that king, Bharata, who is endued with alacrity, discipline,



* War and peace are each of two kinds, i. e., war with a strong foe
and that with a weak foe : peace with a sti-onj^ foe and that with a weak
foe. The Bengal texts wrongly read 'dvividhopayam' or 'vividiiopa-
yam.' — T.

+ I expand this Verse a little, following the Commentator. — T.

I Strength is of three kinds, as explained iu the next Verse.-rrT.



Parva.] acramavasika parva. 21

and strength of counsels, should march against a foe. When
his position is otherwise, he should avoid offensive operations.*'
The king should provide himself with power of wealth, power
of allies, power of foresters, power of paid soldiery, and power
of the mechanical and trading classes, puissant oncf''
Among all these, power of allies and power of wealth are
superior to the rest. The power of classes and that of the
standing army are equal.^ The power of spies is regarded by
the king as equal in efficacy to either of the above, on many
occasions, when the time comes for applying each.^ Calamity,
O king, as it overtakes rulers, should be regarded as of many
forms. Listen, thou of Kuru's race, as to what those diverse
forms are.^^ Verily, of various kinds are calamities, son of
Pandu. Thou shouldst always count them, distinguishing
their forms, king, and strive to meet them by applying the
well-known ways of conciliation and the rest (without conceal-
ing them through idleness).^* The king should, when equipt
with a good force, march (out against a foe), S3orcher of ene-
mies. He should attend also to the considerations of time and
place, while preparing to march, as also to the forces he has
collected and his own merits (in other respects).^^ That king
who is attentive to his own growth and advancement should
march unless equipt with cheerful and healthy warrior?.
When strong, O son of Pandu, he may march in eten an un-
favourable season.^* The king should make a river having
quivers for its stones, steeds and cars for its current, and

«_ . — — ~ — ■ ■ —

* 'Ufcsaha' is readiness or alacrity, of the forces to attack the foe :
•prabhugakti' is the complete mastery of the king over his forces, i. c,
thorough discipline. By strength of coansels, in this connection, is
meant well-foi'med plans of attack and defence. — T.

t 'Maiilara' is explained as the strength of money. In modern war-
fare also, money is called 'the sinews of war.' 'Atavivala' or the force
consisting of foresters, was, perhaps, the body of Irregulars that sup-
ported a regular army of combatant". 'Bhritavala' implies the regular
army, drawing pay from the state at all times. In T^iJia, standing
armies have existed from remote times, 'Creni-vala' is, perhaps, the
force of artizans, mechanics, and engineers, who looked after the roads
and the transport, as also of traders who supplied the army with pro-
vision.— T.



22 MAHABHARATA. [Acramavasa

standards for the trees that cover its bank?, and which is miry
with foot-soldiers and elephants. Even such a river should the-
king apply for the destruction of his foe.^* Agreeably to the
science known to Uganas, arrays called ^akata, Padma, and
Vajra, should be formed, Bharata, for fighting the enemy.*^^
Knowing everything about the enemy's strength through spies,
and examining his own strength himself, the king should com-
mence war either within his own territories or within those-
of his foe.-j-" The king should always gratify his army, and
hurl all his strongest warriors (against the enemy). First as-
certaining the state of his kingdom, he should apply concilia-
tion or the other well-known means." By all means, king;
should the body be protected. One should do that which is
highly beneficial for one both here and hereafter.^^ The king^
O monarch, by behaving duly according to these ways, attains
to Heaven hereafter, after ruling his subjects righteously in
this world." foremost one of Kuru's race, it is even thus
that thou shouldst always seek the good of thy subjects for
attaining to both the worlds.]:^'* Thou hast been instructed
in all duties by Bhishma, by Krishna, and by Vidura, I
should also, best of kings, from the affection I bear thee,,
give thee these instructions,-^ giver of profuse presents in
sacrifices, thou shouldst do all this duly. Thou shalt, by con-
ducting thyself in this way, become dear to thy subjects and
attain to felicity in Heaven."^ That king who adores the-
deities in a hundred horse-sacrifices, and he who rules his sub-
jects righteously, acquire merit that is equal.' "^^



* A *§akata' array was an array after tlie form of a car. It is des-
cribed in Cukraniti fully, and occurs in the Drona Parvan, ante. The
*Padma' is a circular array with angular projections. It is the same
with what is row called the starry array ; many modern forts being con*
structed on this plan. The 'Vaira' is a wedge-like array. It penetrates
into the enemy's divisions like a wedge and goes out, routing the foe.
It is otherwise callel 'suchivyuha.'' — T.

+ /. e., meet the foe whether within his own kingdom or invade the
foe's realm and thus oblige the foe to fall back for resisting him
there.— T.

+ /. e., for obtaining fame here aiii felicity hereafter.— T.



Parva.]

Section VIII.

"Yudhishthira said, — '0 lord of Earth, I shall do as thou
biddest me. foremost of kings, I should be further instruct-
ed by thee.^ Bhishma has ascended to Heaven. The slayer
of Madhu has departed (for Dvvaraka). Vidura and Sanjaya
also (will accompany thee to the forest). Who else, therefore,
than thee will teach me ?^ Those instructions Avhich thou
imparted today, desirous of doing good to me, I shall cer-
tainly follow, O lord of Earth ! Be thou assured of this,
O king !' "3

Vai^ampayana continued, — "Thus addressed by king Yu-
dhishthira the just, of great intelligence, the royal sage, Dhri-
■tarashtra, chief of the Bharatas, wished to obtain the king's
permission (about his retirement to the forest).* And he said,
— 'Cease, son ! Great has been my toil !' Having said
these words, the old king entered the apartments of Gandhari.*
Unto that husband of hers who resembled a second Lord of all
creatures, while resting on a seat, Gandhari of righteous con-
duct, conversant with the opportuneness of everything, said
these words, the hour being suited to them,^ — 'Thou hast ob-
tained the permission of that great Rishi, viz., Vyasa himself.
When, however, wilt thou go to the forest, with the permission
of Yudhishthira V

'Dhritarashtra said, — '0 Gandhari, I have received the
permission of my high- soul ed sire. With the permission of
Yudhishthira (next obtained), I shall soon retire into the
woods !^ I desire, however, to give away some wealth capaMe
•of following the status of Freta, in respect of all tho'^e sons
of mine who were addicted to calamitous dice. Verily, I de-
sire to make those gifts, inviting all the people to my man-
sion !*' "»



* Those who die become at first what is called Preta. They remain
so for one year, till the Supindikarana Crdddha is performed. They
then become united with the Pitris. The gifts made in tlie first Craddha
as also in the monthly ones, have the virtue of rescuing the Preta or
bringing him an accession of merit. The gifts in annual Craddhas also
have the same efficacy. — T.



24 MAHABHARATA.' [Acramavasct

Vai^ampayana continued, — 'Having said so (to Gandhari),
Dliritarashtra sent for Yudhishthira. The latter, at his uncle's
command, brought all the articles necessarj-.^" Many Brah-
manas residing in Kurujangala, and many Kshatriyas, many
Vai(;yas, and many Cudras also, came to Dhritarashtra's man-
sion, with gratified hearts." The old king, coming out of
the inner apartments, beheld them all as also his subjects as-
sembled together.^'^ Beholding all those assembled citizens and
inhabitants of the provinces, and his well-wishers also thus
gathered together, and the large number of Brahmanas arrived
from diverse realms, king Dhritnrashtra of great intelligence,
O monarch, said these words,^^"^* — Ye all and the Kurus have
lived together for many long years, well-wishers of each other,
and each employed in doing good to the other !^^ What I
shall now say in view of the opportunity that has come, should
be accomplished by you all even as disciples accomplish the
biddings of their preceptors !^^ I have set my heart upon
retiring into the woods, along with Gandhari as my companion.



Online LibraryPratap Chandra RoyThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) → online text (page 26 of 42)