Mahabharata – Sabha Parva – Sabhakhayana Parva – 5-12
– 5 –
Lokapala Sabhakhayana Parva
The history of Lokapalas
1Vaishampayana said: O descendant of Bharata, when the illustrious Pandavas were seated in it (their assembly-hall) with the chief Gandharvas, there came Narada.
2The celestials Rishi who was learned in the Vedas and the Upanishad’s, who was worshipped by the celestials, who was learned in the histories and the Puranas, who was well versed in all that had happened in old Kalpas.
3Who was well-skilled in Nyaya, and in the truths of moral science, who was the possessor of the complete knowledge of the Angas, and a perfect master of reconciling contradictory taxes.
4Who was eloquent, resolute, intelligent, learned, possessor of powerful memory, learned in the science of morality and politics, proficient in distinguishing inferior things from the superior.
5Skilled in drawing inference from evidence, competent to judge of correctness or incorrectness of syllogistic statements consisting of five propositions, capable of answering successfully (the queries) of Brihaspati.
6-7Who was a man with definite conclusions properly framed about Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha (Salvation), who was a man with a great soul seeing the universe about, below, and around as if it were present before his eyes, who was a master of Sankhya and Yoga (Philosophies), and who was ever desirous of humbling the Devas and the Asuras by fomenting quarrels amongst them.
8Who was learned in the science of war and treaty, proficient in making disposition of things by guesses, the teacher of six sciences (of treaty, war, march, defending military posts, stratagem by ambuscade and) and learned in all the Shastras.
9-10Who was fond of war and music, and incapable of being repulsed by any science of learning. Possessed of these and many other accomplishments, the greatly effulgent Rishi Narada with many other Rishis, after having traveled over all the world, came (at last) to the assembly-hall.
11O king, the celestials Rishi of immeasurable effulgence was accompanied by Parijata, the intelligent Raivatga, Saumya and Sumukha.
12The Rishi who moved about with the speed of mind was filled with joy on seeing the assembly-hall of the Pandavas. The Brahmana (Narada) wishing him victory uttered blessings on Dharmaraja (Yudhishthira).
13Seeing the Rishi Narada arrived (in the assembly-hall), that best of the Pandavas (Yudhishthira) learned in all religious precepts, soon stood up with his brothers.
14Bowing low with humility, he saluted him with joy, and hither offered him with due ceremonies, a befitting seat.
15The virtuous (king) offered him kine, Arghya and Madhuparka (a preparation of honey). He worshipped him with gems and jewels and with his whole heart.
16He (Narada) was gratified by receiving the worship from Yudhishthira in proper form. Having been thus worshipped by all the Pandavas, the great Rishi, learned in the Vedas, spoke to Yudhishthira the following words on Dharma, Artha and Kama.
17Narada said: Is the wealth you are earning spent in proper objects? Dopes you mind take pleasure in virtue? Does not your mind sink under their weight?
18O chief of men, do you continue in the noble conduct consistent with Dharma and Artha with respect to the three classes (good, bad and indifferent) of your subjects as practiced by your ancestors?
19Do you injure religion (Dharma) for the sake of profit (Artha), or profit for the sake of religion, or both religion and profit for the sake of pleasures which easily tempts men?
20O foremost of pious men, O (king) learned in the timeliness (of everything), do you dividing your time judiciously follow religion, profit and pleasures?
21O sinless one, do you attend with the six attributes of kings, to the seven means? Do you examine after surveying your own strength and weakness and the fourteen possessions (of your enemies)?
22O foremost of pious men, O descendant of Bharata, do you attend to the eight occupations, having surveyed your own and your enemy’s means and also having made peace (with your enemies)?
23O best of the Bharata race, have your seven chief officers of state been tempted by your enemies? Have they become idle for the wealth they have earned? Are they all attached to you?
24Your counsels are not surely divulged by your trusted and disguised spies, or by yourself or by your ministers.
25Do you ascertain what your friends, your enemies and the ascetics are doing? Do you make war and peace at the proper time?
26-27Do you observe neutrality towards the ascetics and towards those that show neutrality towards you? O hero, have you appointed as your ministers men like yourself, men who are old and pious, who are capable of understanding what should be done and what should not be done, who are nobly born and who are attached to you? O descendant of Bharata, the ministers are the basis of the victories of kings.
28O child, is your kingdom protected by ministers, learned in the Shastras, men who are keeping all counsels secret? The enemies are surely not destroying it (the kingdom).
29You have not (surely) become a slave to sleep. Do you get up from sleep at the proper time? O king learned in (the mysteries of) Artha, do you think at the dead of night what you should do and what should no do?
30You do not surely settle any thing alone or take advice of many. Counsels received fro the ministers surely do not spread all over your Kingdom.
31Do you without procrastination accomplish measures of great utility that can be easily accomplished? Such measures are surely never obstructed (in your Kingdom).
32Do the ends of all works come to your sight? Are they all fearlessly examined? Once commencing any work are they given up and begun again? Do they fall into confusion at the commencement?
33-34O king, do you accomplish your works by men that are trusted and incorruptible and that possess of practical experience? O hero, people surely know only the measures that have been accomplished or partially accomplished, and surely they can not know those that are, merely in contemplation. Have you appointed teachers, learned in all the Shastras and religious precepts, for the princes and for the chief warriors?
35Do you purchase one single learned man in exchanges of one thousand ignorant men? The learned man confers the greatest good at the time of distress.
36Are all your forts always kept filled with treasure, food, weapons, water, engines, and instruments, and are they protected by artisans and bowmen?
37Even one single minister who is intelligent, heroic, self-controlled, and discriminating confers the greatest good on a king of on a king’s son.
38Do you ascertain by means of three and three, spies who are all unaccounted with one another everything about the eighteen Tirthas of the enemy and fifteen of your own means?
39O slayer of foes, do you watch your enemies with all possible care and attention and do you accomplish this unknown to them?
40-42Does your honored priest possess humility and purity of blood? Is he without jealousy and illiberality? Is he renowned? Has some well- behaved, intelligent and simple Brahmana learned in the ordinances been employed by you to perform your daily rites before the sacred fire? Does he always rites before the sacred fire? Does he always remind you in proper time as to when your Homa (sacrifice) has been performed and when it should be performed (again)? Is the astrologer you have employed competent in reading physiognomy and interpreting omens and in neutralizing the disturbance of Nature?
43Have you appointed respectable servants in respectable posts, indifferent ones in indifferent posts and low ones in low posts?
44Have you appointed in high posts ministers who are guileless and well conducted from generations to generations, and who are above the common people?
45O best of the Bharata race, your subjects are not (sorely) oppressed by your severe rule. Do your ministers govern your kingdom always receiving all orders from you?
46Do they ever slight you as the sacrificial priests slight men that are fallen (from religious path), or as wives slight their husbands who are proud and who are debauches?
47Is your commander-in-chief brave, intelligent, patient, well-conducted, nobly bom, competent, devoted to you and a man of confidence?
48Do you treat with respect and regard the chiefs (generals) of your army, who are experts in every kind of warfare, who are pushing, who are well-behaved and endued with great prowess?
49Do you give to your soldiers they proper rations and pay at (the appointed) time? Surely you do not oppress them by withholding from them (their rations and pay).
50Are you aware that the misery caused by the arrears of pay and the irregularity of the issue of rations creates mutiny amongst the soldiers? The learned men call it the greatest of all mischief.
51Are all the chief men (of your kingdom) nobly bom? Are they all attached to you? Are they ready to give their lives cheerfully for you on the field of battle?
52Surely (in your kingdom) a man who is beyond all control does not out. of desire rule at pleasure over things pertaining military affairs.
53Does a man who shows exceptional merit in an act get from you more regard, and also an increase of rations and pay?
54Surely you reward by bestowing wealth and proper honors on men of learning and humility, and men who are skilled in every kind of knowledge.
55O best of the Bharata race, do you support the wives and children of those that have given their lives for you, and those that have fallen into distress for you?
56O son of Pritha, do you cherish as your sons the enemy who having been vanquished in battle, comes to you from fear, who has become weak and who has sought your protection?
57O lord of earth, do the people of all the world consider you an embodiment of impartiality? Can they come to you fearlessly as if you are their mother and father?
58O best of the Bharata race, do you reflecting well upon the three kinds of force, (at once) march, against your enemy when you hear that he is in distress?
59-60O chastiser of foes, when the (proper) time comes, taking into your consideration all the omens you might see and having been convinced that the resolutions you have formed and their unsuccesses depend on the twelve Mandalas and having paid your troops their pays do you begin your march? O great king, O chastiser of foes, do you have gems and jewels to the chief officers of the enemy as they (each of them) deserve without the knowledge of the enemy?
61O son of Pritha, do you try to conquer your angry enemies who are slaves to their passions? Do you do it by conquering your own soul and getting mastery over your own passions?
62Before you march against your enemy do you properly employ the four arts of conciliation, gift of wealth, production of disunion and the application of strength?
63O king, do you march against your enemy, after first strengthening your own kingdom? Having marched against them, do you try your best to obtain victory over them? Having conquered them with your might do (afterwards) you protect them?
64Are your Chamus consisting of four kinds of troops, each furnished with eight limbs (wings) after having been well-trained by superior officers led out against your enemy?
65O chastiser of foes, O great king, in having to the kingdom of your enemy you surely do not kill your enemies without regarding seasons of reaping or famine (raging).
66Do the various servants in your own kingdom and those of your enemies continue to carry on their respective duties? Do they continue to protect one another?
67O great king, you have surely appointed trusted servants to look after the food you eat,
the robes you wear and the perfume you use.
68-69O king, are your treasury, banks stables, arsenals, and female apartments well-guarded by servants who are ever devoted to you and who always seek your welfare? You no doubt first protect yourself from your domestic and public servants and you then protect those servants from your relatives and last of all you no doubt protect all of them from one another.
70Can anybody know in the forenoon any of your extravagance in drink, in sports (gambling) and in women?
71-72Is your expense always covered by a half, a third of fourth part of your income? Do you always cherish with food and wealth your relatives, superiors, merchants, the old, the helpless, the protected and the distressed?
73Do you accountants and clerks employ in looking after your income and expenditure always inform you in the forenoon all about your income and expenditure?
74You surely do not dismiss without fault servants who are able in work, who are popular and who are always devoted to your welfare.
75O descendant of Bharata, do you appoint after duly examining them (all the three classes of men, namely) the good, indifferent and the bad in posts to which they are respectively fit to the appointed?
76O king, do you appoint men who are thievish, who are open to temptation, who are underage?
77Do you oppress (the people of) your kingdom by the help of thievish men or by men who are open to temptation or by minors or by women? Are the peasants of your kingdom contented?
78Are large tanks dug in your kingdom at proper distance, for which agriculture is not in your realm entirely dependent on rains?
79Are the agriculturists in your kingdom in want of food or seed? Do you kindly advance them loan (of seed grain) taken only a fourth part over every hundred (seer, mound etc.)?
80O child, do the four kings of Bharata (agriculture, trade, cattle rearing and lending in interest) are carried on (in your kingdom) by honest men? O child, upon these depend the happiness of your subjects.
81O king, do the five wise and brave men employed in the five chief ports, (namely that of protecting the city, fort, the merchant and the agriculturists and of punishing the criminals) always do good to your kingdom by working in unison?
82Have the villages been made (by you) like towns and the outskirts of towns like villages for the protection of your city? Are they ail under your supervision and away?
83Are the thieves and the robbers that steal in your city and loot your towns pursued by your soldiers over even and uneven grounds?
84Do you console and protect the women? You surely do not place any confidence on them, or divulge any secret before any of them?
85O king, hearing of any danger, and even reflecting over it, do you lie in the inner- apartments and enjoy luxury there?
86-87O king, O son of Pandu, having slept during the second and the third divisions of the night, do you reflect over Dharma and Artha (in the last division of the night)? Do your accompanied by your ministers, feared in the mystery of Time, show your self well-adorned to your people after waking at the proper time?
88O chastiser of foes, do men attired in purple clothes, armed with swords and adorned with ornaments, stand by you to protect your person?
89O king, do you conduct yourself like Yama (the God of justice) in meting out proper punishments to those that deserve it, and also proper worship to those that deserve it? Do you do this equally to those that are dear to you and to those that you do not like?
90O son of Pritha, do you take care of your bodily ailments by taking medicines and also taking recourse to fasts and regularity of diet and of your mental illness by taking advice of the old men?
91The physicians that have been appointed by you to look after your health are surely learned in the eight divisions (of the science of treatment)? They are surely all attached to you and devoted to you?
92O king, out of covetousnes.s, or folly or pride you surely never fail to decide the case between the plaintiff and the defendant who come to you?
93Do you, out of covetousness of folly, deprive of the pensions of the men that have come to you for protection out of trustfulness or love?
94Do the citizens and the people of your kingdom, being bought by your enemies (with bribe), try to create a quarrel with you by forming into an united party?
95Are your enemies, especially those that are weak, always repressed by you with the help of your troops? Are those that are strong repressed with the help of both good counsel and troops?
96Are all your principal (tributary chiefs) rules of land attached to you? Are they ready to give their lives for you, if they are commanded by you?
97Do you worship Brahmanas and wise men according to their respective merits as regards their knowledge in all the branches of learning? Such worship is undoubtedly beneficial to you.
98Have you your faith in the religion based on the three (Vedas) and followed by men who have gone before you? Do you with care follow the practices practised by them?
99Are the accomplished Brahmanas entertained in your presence with delicious and nutritive food in your house? Do they get (proper) Dakshinas after the feast?
100With steadiness of mind and with complete self-possession, do you try to perform Vajpeya, Pundarikas and other sacrifices with all necessary rites?
101Do you bow your head to your relatives and to your superiors, to the gods, to the ascetics, to old men, to the large trees that are so beneficial (to men) and to the Brahmanas?
102O sinless one, you do not surely inspire anger or create grief in another person? Do men that are capable of granting you auspicious fruits always stand at your side?
103O sinless one, are your disposition and practice such as I have described, and such as always lengthen the period of life spread fame and help the cause of Dharma, Artha and Kama?
104He who conducts himself thus never finds
his kingdom distressed or afflicted. Such a king subjugates the whole earth and enjoys great happiness.
105-106O best of men, no well-beloved, pure- souled and respected person is surely deceived and his life is not taken in a false charge of theft by your ministers, who are ignorant of Shastras and who are covetous? Your ministers do surely never, out of covetousness, allow a real thief to escape, knowing him to be such and after arresting him with the booty on him?
107O descendant of Bharata, your ministers being bribed do never decide wrongly the disputes that arise between the poor and the rich?
108-110Do you keep yourself aloof from the fourteen vices of kings namely, atheism, untruthfulness, anger, carelessness, procrastination, non-visiting the wise, idleness, restlessness of mind, taking counsel with one man only, consultation with persons ignorant of the science of Artha, abandonment of a settled plain divulgence of counsels, unaccomplishment of beneficial projects and undertaking everything without reflection? O king, even those kings that are firmly seated on their thrones are ruined by these (vices).
111Has your study of the Vedas been successful? Have your wealth, the knowledge of Shastras and marriage been successful?
112Yudhishthira said: O Rishi, how do the study of the Vedas wealth, wife and the knowledge of Shastras become successful?
113Narada Said: The study of the Vedas is successful when he who studies it performs Agnihotra sacrifice. Wealth is successful when the possessor of wealth enjoys it himself and gives it away in charity. Marriage is successful when the wife is enjoyed and when she bears offspring. The knowledge of the Shastras is successful when it results in humility and good conduct.
114Vaishampayana said: Having told this the greatly ascetic Rishi Narada then again asked the virtuous minded Yudhishthira.
115-116Narada said: O king, do your officers who are paid from the taxes to be realized from merchandise, take only their just dues from the merchants that come from distant place (to your kingdom) with the desire of gain? Are the merchants and traders well-treated in your capital and kingdom? Are they capable of bringing their goods without being any way deceived?
117O child, do you daily listen to the words fraught with Dharma and Artha, the words of old men learned in the science of Artha and capable of pointing out the ways of (both) Dharma and Artha?
118Are Ghee and honey presented to Brahmanas for the increase of crops, kine fruits, flowers and virtue?
119Do you always give to the artizans employed in your works all the materials that are required for their construction and also their wages at periods (at least) not extending more than four months?
120O great king, do you examine the works done for you? Do you praise before good men those that are employed by you? Do you reward them after showing towards them due respect?
121O best of the Bharata race, O lord do you follow all the Sutras (aphorisms) of the sages, especially those in respect of elephants, horses and chariots.
122O best of the Bharata race, are the Sutras regarding the science of arms and also those regarding instruments so necessary for attacking fortified towns, carefully studied in your house?
123O sinless one, are you acquainted with all weapons all mysterious incantations and with all the secrets of poison destructive of all enemies?
124Do you protect your kingdom from the fear of fire, snakes, other carnivorous animals, diseases and Rakshasas?
125O (hero), learned in all virtuous precepts, do you cherish like a father the blind, the dumb, the lame, the deformed, the friendless, and also the homeless ascetics?
126O great king, have you banished from you the six evils (to which human flesh is heir to), namely sleep, fear, anger, weakness of mind and procrastination?
127Vaishampayana said: Having heard these words of that best of Brahmanas, the celestial-like Narada and having been pleased with what he heard, the best of the Kuril race, the high-souled king (Yudhishthira) bowed down to him and worshipped his feet.
128Yudhishthira said: I shall do what you have said. My knowledge has increased by your instructions. Having said this, the king did as he was directed and gained (the sovereignty of) the earth bounded by the belt of sea.
129Narada said: The king who is ever engaged in the protection of the four orders (the four chief casts) passes his days in happiness in this world and attains the region of Shakra (Indra) in the next (world).