Sabha Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 29 Mar 2010 11:27 and updated at 31 May 2010 10:44


<<<< Previous Section Current Parva All Parvas Next Section >>>>

Section 5

V Lokapala Sabhakhayana Parva Vaisampayana said, While the illustrious Pandavas were seated in that Sabha along with the principal Gandharvas, there came, O Bharata, unto that assembly the celestial Rishi Narada, conversant with the Vedas and Upanishadas, worshipped by the celestials acquainted with histories and Puranas, well-versed in all that occurred in ancient kalpas cycles, conversant with Nyaya logic and the truth of moral science, possessing a complete knowledge of the six Angas viz, pronunciation, grammar, prosody, explanation of basic terms, description of religious rites, and astronomy. He was a perfect master in reconciling contradictory texts and differentiating in applying general principles to particular cases, as also in interpreting contraries by reference to differences in situation, eloquent, resolute, intelligent, possessed of powerful memory. He was acquainted with the science of morals and politics, learned, proficient in distinguishing inferior things from superior ones, skilled in drawing inference from evidence, competent to judge of the correctness or incorrectness of syllogistic statements consisting of five propositions. He was capable of answering successively Vrihaspati himself while arguing, with definite conclusions properly framed about religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation, of great soul and beholding this whole universe, above, below, and around, as if it were present before his eyes. He was master of both the Sankhya and Yoga systems of philosophy, ever desirous of humbling the celestials and Asuras by fomenting quarrels among them, conversant with the sciences of war and treaty, proficient in drawing conclusions by judging of things not within direct ken, as also in the six sciences of treaty, war, military campaigns, maintenance of posts against the enemy and stratagems by ambuscades and reserves. He was a thorough master of every branch of learning, fond of war and music, incapable of being repulsed by any science or any course, of action, and possessed of these and numberless other accomplishments. The Rishi, having wandered over the different worlds, came into that Sabha.

And the celestial Rishi of immeasurable splendour, endued with great energy was accompanied, O monarch, by Parijata and the intelligent Raivata and Saumya and Sumukha. Possessing the speed of the mind, the Rishi came thither and was filled with gladness upon beholding the Pandavas. The Brahmana, on arriving there, paid homage unto Yudhishthira by uttering blessings on him and wishing him victory. Beholding the learned Rishi arrive, the eldest of the Pandavas, conversant with all rules of duty, quickly stood up with his younger brothers. Bending low with humility, the monarch cheerfully saluted the Rishi, and gave with due ceremonies a befitting seat unto him. The king also gave him kine and the usual offerings of the Arghya including honey and the other ingredients. Conversant with every duty the monarch also worshipped the Rishi with gems and jewels with a whole heart. Receiving that worship from Yudhishthira in proper form, the Rishi became gratified. Thus worshipped by the Pandavas and the great Rishis, Narada possessing a complete mastery over the Vedas, said unto Yudhishthira the following words bearing upon religion, wealth, pleasures and salvation. Narada said, Is the wealth thou art earning being spent on proper objects?

Doth thy mind take pleasure in virtue? Art thou enjoying the pleasures of life? Doth not thy mind sink under their weight? O chief of men, continuest thou in the noble conduct consistent with religion and wealth practised by thy ancestors towards the three classes of subjects, viz, good, indifferent, and bad? Never injurest thou religion for the sake of wealth, or both religion and wealth for the sake of pleasure that easily seduces? O thou foremost of victorious men ever devoted to the good of all, conversant as thou art with the timeliness of everything, followest thou religion, wealth, pleasure and salvation dividing thy time judiciously? O sinless one, with the six attributes of kings viz, cleverness of speech, readiness in providing means, intelligence in dealing with the foe, memory, and acquaintance with morals and politics, dost thou attend to the seven means viz, sowing dissensions, chastisement, conciliation, gifts, incantations, medicine and magic? Examinest thou also, after a survey of thy own strength and weakness, the fourteen possessions of thy foes? These are the country, forts, cars, elephants, cavalry, foot-soldiers, the principal officials of state, the zenana, food supply, computations of the army and income, the religious treatises in force, the accounts of state, the revenue, wine-shops and other secret enemies. Attendest thou to the eight occupations of agriculture, trade, c, having examined, O thou foremost of victorious monarchs, thy own and thy enemy's means, and having made peace with thy enemies?

O bull of the Bharata race, thy seven principal officers of state viz, the governor of the citadel, the commander of forces, the chief judge, the general in interior command, the chief priest, the chief physician, and the chief astrologer, have not, I hope, succumbed to the influence of thy foes, nor have they, I hope, become idle in consequence of the wealth they have earned? They are, I hope, all obedient to thee. Thy counsels, I hope, are never divulged by thy trusted spies in disguise, by thyself or by thy ministers? Thou ascertainest, I hope, what thy friends, foes and strangers are about? Makest thou peace and makest thou war at proper times? Observest thou neutrality towards strangers and persons that are neutral towards thee? And, O hero, hast thou made persons like thyself, persons that are old, continent in behaviour, capable of understanding what should be done and what should not, pure as regards birth and blood, and devoted to thee, thy ministers? O Bharata, the victories of kings can be attributed to good counsels. O child, is thy kingdom protected by ministers learned in Sastras, keeping their counsels close? Are thy foes unable to injure it?

Thou hast not become the slave of sleep? Wakest thou at the proper time? Conversant with pursuits yielding profit, thinkest thou, during the small hours of night, as to what thou shouldst do and what thou shouldst not do the next day? Thou settlest nothing alone, nor takest counsels with many? The counsels thou hast resolved upon, do not become known all over thy kingdom? Commencest thou soon to accomplish measures of great utility that are easy of accomplishment? Such measures are never obstructed? Keepest thou the agriculturists not out of thy sight? They do not fear to approach thee? Achievest thou thy measures through persons that are trusted incorruptible, and possessed of practical experience?

And, O brave king. I hope, people only know the measures already accomplished by thee and those that have been partially accomplished and are awaiting completion, but not those that are only in contemplation and uncommenced? Have experienced teachers capable of explaining the causes of things and learned in the science of morals and every branch of learning, been appointed to instruct the princes and the chiefs of the army? Buyest thou a single learned man by giving in exchange a thousand ignorant individuals? The man that is learned conferreth the greatest benefit in seasons of distress. Are thy forts always filled with treasure, food, weapons, water, engines and instruments, as also with engineers and bowmen? Even a single minister that is intelligent, brave, with his passions under complete control, and possessed of wisdom and judgment, is capable of conferring the highest prosperity on a king or a king's son. I ask thee, therefore, whether there is even one such minister with thee? Seekest thou to know everything about the eighteen Tirthas of the foe and fifteen of thy own by means of three and three spies all unacquainted with one another? O slayer of all foes, watchest thou all thy enemies with care and attention, and unknown to them?

Is the priest thou honourest, possessed of humility, and purity of blood, and renown, and without jealousy and illiberality? Hath any well-behaved, intelligent, and guileless Brahmana, well-up in the ordinance, been employed by thee in the performance of thy daily rites before the sacred fire, and doth he remind thee in proper time as to when thy homa should be performed? Is the astrologer thou hast employed skilled in reading physiognomy, capable of interpreting omens, and competent to neutralise the effect of the disturbances of nature? Have respectable servants been employed by thee in offices that are respectable, indifferent ones in indifferent offices, and low ones in offices that are low? Hast thou appointed to high offices ministers that are guileless and of well conduct for generations and above the common run? Oppressest thou not thy people with cruel and severe punishment? And, O bull of the Bharata race, do thy ministers rule thy kingdom under thy orders? Do thy ministers ever slight thee like sacrificial priests slighting men that are fallen and incapable of performing any more sacrifices or like wives slighting husbands that are proud and incontinent in their behaviour? Is the commander of thy forces possessed of sufficient confidence, brave, intelligent, patient, well-conducted, of good birth, devoted to thee, and competent? Treatest thou with consideration and regard the chief officers of thy army that are skilled in every kind of welfare, are forward, well-behaved, and endued with prowess?

Givest thou to thy troops their sanctioned rations and pay in the appointed time? Thou dost not oppress them by withholding these? Knowest thou that the misery caused by arrears of pay and irregularity in the distribution of rations driveth the troops to mutiny, and that is called by the learned to be one of the greatest of mischiefs? Are all the principal high-born men devoted to thee, and ready with cheerfulness to lay down their lives in battle for thy sake? I hope no single individual of passions uncontrolled is ever permitted by thee to rule as he likes a number of concerns at the same time appertaining to the army? Is any servant of thine, who hath accomplished well a particular business by the employment of special ability, disappointed in obtaining from thee a little more regard, and an increase of food and pay? I hope thou rewardest persons of learning and humility, and skill in every kind of knowledge with gifts of wealth and honour proportionate to their qualifications. Dost thou support, O bull in the Bharata race, the wives and children of men that have given their lives for thee and have been distressed on thy account? Cherishest thou, O son of Pritha, with paternal affection the foe that hath been weakened, or him also that hath sought thy shelter, having been vanquished in battle? O lord of Earth, art thou equal unto all men, and can every one approach thee without fear, as if thou wert their mother and father?

And O bull of the Bharata race, marchest thou, without loss of time, and reflecting well upon three kinds of forces, against thy foe when thou hearest that he is in distress? O subjugator of all foes beginnest thou thy march when the time cometh, having taken into consideration all the omens you might see, the resolutions thou hast made, and that the ultimate victory depends upon the twelve mandalas such as reserves, ambuscades, c, and payment of pay to the troops in advance? And, O persecutor of all foes, givest thou gems and jewels, unto the principal officers of enemy, as they deserve, without thy enemy's knowledge? O son of Pritha, seekest thou to conquer thy incensed foes that are slaves to their passions, having first conquered thy own soul and obtained the mastery over thy own senses? Before thou marchest out against thy foes, dost thou properly employ the four arts of reconciliation, gift of wealth producing disunion, and application of force? O monarch, goest thou out against thy enemies, having first strengthened thy own kingdom? And having gone out against them, exertest thou to the utmost to obtain victory over them? And having conquered them, seekest thou to protect them with care? Are thy army consisting of four kinds of forces, viz, the regular troops, the allies, the mercenaries, and the irregulars, each furnished with the eight ingredients, viz, cars, elephants, horses, offices, infantry, camp-followers, spies possessing a thorough knowledge of the country, and ensigns led out against thy enemies after having been well trained by superior officers? O oppressor of all foes, O great king, I hope thou slayest thy foes without regarding their seasons of reaping and of famine?

O king, I hope thy servants and agents in thy own kingdom and in the kingdoms of thy foes continue to look after their respective duties and to protect one another. O monarch, I hope trusted servants have been employed by thee to look after thy food, the robes thou wearest and the perfumes thou usest. I hope, O king, thy treasury, barns, stables arsenals, and women's apartments, are all protected by servants devoted to thee and ever seeking thy welfare. I hope, O monarch, thou protectest first thyself from thy domestic and public servants, then from those servants of thy relatives and from one another. Do thy servants, O king, ever speak to thee in the forenoon regarding thy extravagant expenditure in respect of thy drinks, sports, and women? Is thy expenditure always covered by a fourth, a third or a half of thy income? Cherishest thou always, with food and wealth, relatives, superiors, merchants, the aged, and other proteges, and the distressed? Do the accountants and clerks employed by thee in looking after thy income and expenditure, always appraise thee every day in the forenoon of thy income and expenditure? Dismissest thou without fault servants accomplished in business and popular and devoted to thy welfare? O Bharata, dost thou employ superior, indifferent, and low men, after examining them well in offices they deserve?

O monarch, employest thou in thy business persons that are thievish or open to temptation, or hostile, or minors? Persecutest thou thy kingdom by the help of thievish or covetous men, or minors, or women? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom contented. Are large tanks and lakes constructed all over thy kingdom at proper distances, without agriculture being in thy realm entirely dependent on the showers of heaven? Are the agriculturists in thy kingdom wanting in either seed or food? Grantest thou with kindness loans of seed-grains unto the tillers, taking only a fourth in excess of every measure by the hundred? O child, are the four professions of agriculture, trade, cattle-rearing, and lending at interest, carried on by honest men? Upon these O monarch, depends the happiness of thy people. O king, do the five brave and wise men, employed in the five offices of protecting the city, the citadel, the merchants, and the agriculturists, and punishing the criminals, always benefit thy kingdom by working in union with one another? For the protection of thy city, have the villages been made like towns, and the hamlets and outskirts of villages like villages?

Are all these entirely under thy supervision and sway? Are thieves and robbers that sack thy town pursued by thy police over the even and uneven parts of thy kingdom? Consolest thou women and are they protected in thy realm? I hope thou placest not any confidence in them, nor divulgest any secret before any of them? O monarch, having heard of any danger and having reflected on it also, liest thou in the inner apartments enjoying every agreeable object? Having slept during the second and the third divisions of the night, thinkest thou of religion and profit in the fourth division wakefully. O son of Pandu, rising from bed at the proper time and dressing thyself well, showest thou thyself to thy people, accompanied by ministers conversant with the auspiciousness or otherwise of moments? O represser of all foes, do men dressed in red and armed with swords and adorned with ornaments stand by thy side to protect thy person? O monarch! behavest thou like the god of justice himself unto those that deserve punishment and those that deserve worship, unto those that are dear to thee and those that thou likest not?

O son of Pritha, seekest thou to cure bodily diseases by medicines and fasts, and mental illness with the advice of the aged? I hope that the physicians engaged in looking after thy health are well conversant with the eight kinds of treatment and are all attached and devoted to thee. Happeneth it ever, O monarch, that from covetousness or folly or pride thou failest to decide between the plaintiff and the defendant who have come to thee? Deprivest thou, through covetousness or folly, of their pensions the proteges who have sought thy shelter from trustfulness or love? Do the people that inhabit thy realm, bought by thy foes, ever seek to raise disputes with thee, uniting themselves with one another? Are those amongst thy foes that are feeble always repressed by the help of troops that are strong, by the help of both counsels and troops? Are all the principal chieftains of thy empire all devoted to thee? Are they ready to lay down their lives for thy sake, commanded by thee? Dost thou worship Brahmanas and wise men according to their merits in respect of various branches of learning? I tell thee, such worship is without doubt, highly beneficial to thee.

Hast thou faith in the religion based on the three Vedas and practised by men who have gone before thee? Dost thou carefully follow the practices that were followed by them? Are accomplished Brahmanas entertained in thy house and in thy presence with nutritive and excellent food, and do they also obtain pecuniary gifts at the conclusion of those feasts? Dost thou, with passions under complete control and with singleness of mind, strive to perform the sacrifices called Vajapeya and Pundarika with their full complement of rites? Bowest thou unto thy relatives and superiors, the aged, the gods, the ascetics, the Brahmanas, and the tall trees banian in villages, that are of so much benefit to people? O sinless one, causest thou ever grief or anger in any one? Do priests capable of granting thee auspicious fruits ever stand by thy side? O sinless one, are thy inclinations and practices such as I have described them, and as always enhance the duration of life and spread one's renown and as always help the cause of religion, pleasure, and profit? He who conducteth himself according to this way, never findeth his kingdom distressed or afflicted; and that monarch, subjugating the whole earth, enjoyeth a high degree of felicity. O monarch, I hope, no well-behaved, pure-souled, and respected person is ever ruined and his life taken, on a false charge or theft, by thy ministers ignorant of Sastras and acting from greed?

And, O bull among men, I hope thy ministers never from covetousness set free a real thief, knowing him to be such and having apprehended him with the booty about him? O Bharata, I hope, thy ministers are never won over by bribes, nor do they wrongly decide the disputes that arise between the rich and the poor. Dost thou keep thyself free from the fourteen vices of kings, viz, atheism, untruthfulness, anger, incautiousness, procrastination, non-visit to the wise, idleness, restlessness of mind, taking counsels with only one man, consultation with persons unacquainted with the science of profit, abandonment of a settled plan, divulgence of counsels, non-accomplishment of beneficial projects, and undertaking everything without reflection? By these, O king, even monarchs firmly seated on their thrones are ruined. Hath thy study of the Vedas, thy wealth and knowledge of the Sastras and marriage been fruitful? Vaisampayana continued, After the Rishi had finished, Yudhishthira asked, How, O Rishi, do the Vedas, wealth, wife, and knowledge of the Sastras bear fruit The Rishi answered, The Vedas are said to bear fruit when he that hath studied them performeth the Agnihotra and other sacrifices. Wealth is said to bear fruit when he that hath it enjoyeth it himself and giveth it away in charity. A wife is said to bear fruit when she is useful and when she beareth children. Knowledge of the Sastras is said to bear fruit when it resulteth in humility and good behaviour

Vaisampayana continued, The great ascetic Narada, having answered Yudhishthira thus, again asked that just ruler-Do the officers of thy government, O king, that are paid from the taxes levied on the community, take only their just dues from the merchants that come to thy territories from distant lands impelled by the desire of gain? Are the merchants, O king, treated with consideration in thy capital and kingdom, capable of bringing their goods thither without being deceived by the false pretexts of both the buyers and the officers of government? Listenest thou always, O monarch, to the words, fraught with instructions in religion and wealth, of old men acquainted with economic doctrines? Are gifts of honey and clarified butter made to the Brahmanas intended for the increase of agricultural produce, of kine, of fruits and flowers, and for the sake of virtue? Givest thou always, O king, regularly unto all the artisans and artists employed by thee the materials of their works and their wages for periods not more than four months? Examinest thou the works executed by those that are employed by thee, and applaudest thou them before good men, and rewardest thou them, having shewn them proper respect? O bull of the Bharata race, followest thou the aphorisms of the sage in respect of every concern particularly those relating to elephants, horses, and cars? O bull of the Bharata race, are the aphorisms relating to the science of arms, as also those that relate to the practice of engines in warfare, so useful to towns and fortified places, studied in thy court? O sinless one, art thou acquainted with all mysterious incantations, and with the secrets of poisons destructive of all foes? Protectest thou thy kingdom from the fear of fire, of snakes and other animals destructive of life, of disease, and Rakshasas?

As acquainted thou art with every duty, cherishest thou like a father, the blind, the dumb, the lame, the deformed, the friendless, and ascetics that have no homes. Hast thou banished these six evils, O monarch, viz, sleep, idleness, fear, anger, weakness of mind, and procrastination' Vaisampayana continued, The illustrious bull among the Kurus, having heard these words of that best of Brahmanas, bowed down unto him and worshipped his feet. And gratified with everything he heard, the monarch said unto Narada of celestial form, I shall do all that thou hast directed, for my knowledge hath expanded under thy advice' Having said this the king acted conformably to that advice, and gained in time the whole Earth bounded by her belt of seas. Narada again spoke, saying, That king who is thus employed in the protection of four orders, Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras, passeth his days here happily and attaineth hereafter to the region of Sakra heaven

<<<< Previous Section Current Parva All Parvas Next Section >>>>

Share:- Facebook

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License