VIDURA NITI

Sleeplessness Vidura said: Sleeplessness overtakes thief, a lustful person, him that has lost all his wealth, him that has failed to achieve success, and him also that is weak and has 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 you words that are beneficial and fraught with high morality. In this race of royal Rishis thou alone are reverenced by the wise. Vidura replied: King Yudhishthira, graced with every virtue, is worthy of being the sovereign of the three worlds; yet, O Dhritarashtra, however worthy of being kept by thy side, he was exiled by thee. Thou art, however, possessed of qualities which are thy very reverse of those possessed by him. Although virtuous and versed in morality, thou hast yet no right to share in the kingdom owing to thy loss of sight. [Note: King Dhritarashtra was blind]. In consequence of his inoffensiveness and kindness, his righteousness, love of truth and energy, and his remembering the reverence that is due to thee, Yuthishthira patiently bears innumerable wrongs. Having bestowed on Duryodhana and Suvala’s son and Karna, and Dussasana the management of the empire, how canst thou hope for prosperity? Mark of Wisdom He that is not served from the high ends of life by the aid of self-knowledge, exertion, forbearance and steadiness in virtue, is called wise. These again are the marks of a wise man, viz., adherence to acts, worthy of praise and rejection of what is blameable, faith, and reverence. He whom neither anger nor joy, nor pride, nor false modesty, nor stupefaction, nor vanity, 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 considered wise. He whose proposed actions are never obstructed by heat or cold, fear of attachment, prosperity or adversity, is considered wise. He whose judgment dissociated from desire, follows both virtue and profit, and who disregarding pleasure chooses such ends as are serviceable in both worlds, is considered wise. They that exert to the best of their might, and act also to the best of their might, and disregard nothing as insignificant, are called wise. He that understands quickly, listens patiently, pursues his objects with judgment and not from desire and spends not his breath on the affairs of others without being asked, is said to possess the foremost mark of wisdom. They that do not strive for objects that are unattainable, that do not grieve for what is lost and gone, that do not suffer their minds to be clouded amid calamities, are regarded to possess intellects endued with wisdom.

He who strives, having commenced anything, till it is completed. Who never wastes his time, and who has his soul under control, is regarded wise. They that are wise, O bull of the Bharata race, always delight in honest deeds, do what tends to their happiness and prosperity, and never sneer at what is good. He who exults not at honours, and grieves not at slights, and remains cool and unagitated like a lake in the course of Ganga (Ganges), is reckoned as wise. That man who knows the nature of all creatures (viz., that everything is subject to destruction), who is cognisant also of the connections of all acts, and who is proficient in the knowledge of the means that man may resort to (for attaining their objects), is reckoned as wise. He who speaks boldly, can converse on various subjects, knows the science of argumentation, possesses genius, and can interpret the meaning of what is writ in books, is reckoned as wise. He whose studies are regulated by reason, and whose reason follows the scriptures, and who never abstains from paying respect to those that are good, is called a wise man.

The Foolish He, on the other hand, who is ignorant of scriptures yet vain, poor yet proud, and who resorts to unfair means for the acquisition of his objects, is a fool. He who, forsaking his own, concerns himself with the objects of others, and who practises deceitful means for serving his friends, is called a fool. He, who wishes for those things that should not be desired, and forsakes those that may legitimately be desired, and who bears malice to those that are powerful, is regarded to be a foolish soul. He who regards his foe as his friend, who hates and bears malice to his friend, and who commits wicked deeds, is said to be a person of foolish soul. O bull of the Bharata race, he who divulges his projects, doubts in all things, and spends a long time in doing what requires a short time, is a fool. He who does not perform the Sraddha for the Pitris (oblations offered to the manes), nor worships the deities, nor acquires nobleminded friends, is said to be a person of foolish soul. That worst of men who enters a place uninvited, and talks much without being asked, and reposes trust on untrustworthy wights, is a fool. That man who being himself guilty casts the blame on others, and who though impotent gives vent to anger, is the most foolish of men. That man, without knowing his own strength and dissociated from both virtue and profit, desires an object difficult of acquisition, without again adopting adequate means, is said to be destitute of intelligence. O king, he who punishes one that is undeserving of punishment, pays homage to persons without their knowledge, and waits upon misers, is said to be of little sense. But he that, having attained immense wealth and prosperity or acquired (vast) learning, does not bear himself haughtily, is reckoned as wise. Heartless Who again, is more heartless than he, who, though possessed of affluence, eats himself and wears excellent robes himself without distributing his wealth among his dependents? While one person commits sins, many reap the advantage resulting there from; (yet in the end) it is the doer alone to whom the sin attaches while those that enjoy the fruit escape unhurt. When a bowman shoots an arrow, he may or may not succeed in slaying even a single person, but when an intelligent individual applies his intelligence (viciously), it may destroy an entire kingdom with the king. Discriminating the two by means of the one, bring under thy subjection the three by means of four, and also conquering the five and knowing the six, and abstaining from the seven, be happy. The One

knowledge is one supreme contentment. on the other hand. always lead an unskilful driver to destruction in the course of the journey. and the way to heaven. and not take it up on a sudden impulse. therefore. he that is wise. or controlled his soul. wicked counsels. what is for the good of the Kurus. and not another. even like a boat in the ocean. hateful or pleasing. whether his words be good or bad. say. for forgiveness is a great power. one should consider the competence of the agent. He who wishes to control his counsellors before controlling his own self. O king. He. He. O king. cannot retain his kingdom long. population. treasury. or to subdue his adversaries before controlling his counsellors. and benevolence. one sole happiness. or who is capable of punishing all offenders. and a weapon also but one. And unforgiving individual defiles himself with many enormities. pleasantly performs the journey of life. can retain his kingdom. gain. therefore. who is acquainted with the measures of these as prescribed in treatises. the soul within is the driver. and the senses are its steeds (horses). uncontrolled. Before one engages in an act. the nature of the act itself. which ever lead him towards various acts. Acts Vidura said: Even if unasked. hopes to extract evil from good and good from evil. what is there that forgiveness cannot achieve? What can a wicked person do unto him who carries the sabre of forgiveness in his hand? Fire falling on a grassless ground is extinguished of itself. I shall. never fails to subdue his counsellors and adversaries at last. and punishment. Forgiveness is a virtue of the weak. That defect however. A man of intelligence must not grieve if any purpose of his does not succeed. notwithstanding the application of fair and proper means. thou has not been able to comprehend. Righteousness is the one highest good. nor alone remain awake among sleeping companions. and forgiveness is the one supreme peace. One’s body. He that is wise should either do an act or desist from it fully considering his own ability. That Being who is One without a second. forsaking religion and profit. follows the lead of his . Like the moon during the lighted fortnight. set the heart upon means of success that are unjust and improper. The king who knows not the proportion or measure as regards territory. O king. being necessarily possessed of the knowledge of religion and profit. and the consequence also of success. and whom. when they are directed. Drawn by those excellent steeds. Listen to me. when well trained. is one’s car. O Bharata. Great prosperity waits upon him who has subdued his senses. for all acts are dependent on these. nor alone reflect on concerns of profit. I shall say what is both beneficial and consistent with morality. so is this world affected by the senses.Poison slays but one person. The horses that are unbroken and incapable of being controlled. or who acts with judgment or who is blessed with patience. calamities increase in respect of him who is vanquished by the five senses in their natural state. and awake in peace. and its purpose. that defect is that people take a forgiving person to be weak. lead only to destruction The inexperienced wight. one should speak truly. necessarily confounds misery with happiness. however. who. is Truth’s self. so one’s senses. led by this unsubdued senses. should not be taken into consideration. the nature of the act. unsubdued. unto him whose defeat one does not wish. at last succumbs deprived of strength. loss. Forgiveness subdues (all) in this world. who first subdues his own self regarding it as a foe. nor alone go upon a journey. to their respective objects. Forgiveness There is one only defect in forgiving persons. Subdue the Senses As the stars are affected by the planets. Alone one should not partake of any savoury viand. and an ornament of the strong. Considering these one should begin an act. Do not. He who. destroy an entire kingdom with king and subject.

seeks to acquire the means of success. In malice lies the strength of the wicked. Know the intellect as the charioteer. in fact. that by this they take upon themselves the sins of the wise. He who. – these are never the attributes of the wicked. can be easily extracted from the body. purity and contentment. has his self for a friend. and senses. so a sinless man is punished equally with the sinful in consequence of constant association with the latter. it is one’s own foe. and the body as the chariot. the strength of kings. O king. who is the master of riches but not of his senses. Friendship with the sinful should be avoided As fuel that is wet burns with that which is dry. i. but one’s heart wounded and censured by ill-spoken words never recovers.3 & I. A forest pierced by arrows. for one’s self is ever one’s friend or foe.) The discriminating people call that Self the enjoyer when It is associated with the body. bullets and bearded darts. let him not lower himself. are forgiven. wealth and wife. is said to be most difficult. Smitten by them one grieves day and night. (Translation by Swami Shivananda. senses. Therefore. and in forgiveness that of the virtuous.senses.4. Weapons such as arrows. (know) the objects as the ways.e. That man. The self is the friend of the self for him who has conquered himself by the Self. in criminal code. from ignorance. O king. is overwhelmed by calamities. certainly loses his riches in consequence of his want of mastery over his senses [Note: Compare Katha Upanishad. truth and steadiness.” Vidura continued: One should seek to know one’s self by means of one’s own self. in check) “They call the senses the horses. the senses having been imagined as horses. competence to keep counsels and charity. but to the unconquered self. He who in this world regarding both religion and profit. is the cause of evil. Mayavati “Know the (individual) self as the master of the chariot. The consequence is.iii. or cut down by hatchets may again grow."] Desire and Anger Desire and anger. in attentions of the weak and of women. indeed. occasioned by the lust of territory. intellect. controlling one’s mind. Fools seek to injure the wise by false reproaches and evil speeches. Guilelessness and simplicity. Wordy arrows are shot from the mouth. O Bharata. wishes to vanquish other adversaries.] Translation by Swami Gambhirananda. sweetness of speech and self-restraint. [Note: Compare Bhagavad Gita. and mind. having five distinct objects. (The mind is like the reins. for do they not touch the very vitals of others? When defeat is ordained .iii. wins happiness. He." (5). without subduing his five inner foes of mental origin. friendship with the sinful should be avoided. and ill-spoken speech. He that. for this self alone is the friend of oneself and this self alone is the enemy of oneself. O king.. It is not easy to hold a long conversation uttering words full of meaning and delightful to the hearers. freed from their sins. Chapter 6. the understanding or intellect to hold the horses. overpowered by the latter. break through wisdom. just as a large fish breaks through a net of thin cords. which enable the charioteer. life. It is seen that many evil minded kings. while the latter. viz. and the mind verily the bridle”. A learned man should not discharge such arrows. Speech To control speech. are ruined by acts of their own. patience and devotion to virtue. owing to want of mastery over their senses. for one’s self is one’s friend as. I. never exist in inferior men. possessing all he had sought. this self stands in the position of the enemy like the (external) foe. (The road is the world of objects over which the senses move.. – these. Rishikesh) The Blessed Lord said: "Let a man lift himself by his own Self alone. verses 5 & 6. but a wordy dagger plunged deep into the heart is incapable of being taken out. who has conquered self by means of self. the senses. fails to control his five greedy foes. Self-knowledge and steadiness. The Divine Life Society. loses without delay prosperity. Well-spoken speech is productive of many beneficial results. is. Advaita Ashrama.

for by that winning great fame in this world. Who are the gods. to whom the gods ordain defeat. I touch your excellent golden seat. and let me see both of you sitting together. You do not. O Bull of the Bharata race. or are the sons of Diti superior? And why also should not Sudhanawan sit on the sofa? Virochanan said: Sprung from Prajapati himself. Virochana was waiting with Kesini. Bel leaf. Virochana said: O amiable and timid girl. or a mat of grass or straw. O Kesini. are fit for you. What thou sayest is charming! Vidura said: Ablution in all the holy places and kindness to all creatures. suffer myself to be regarded as your equal. Vidura continued: When the night had passed away and the solar disc had risen. rising up from hers. unrivalled for beauty. O Sudhanwan. Let him. In this connection is cited an old story about the conversation between Virochana and Sudhanwan. You do not. has his senses taken away. As long as man’s good deeds are spoken of in this world. can seat together on the same seat. Beholding that chief of the Daityas. looking like right. I will do what you say. an animal skin. that clouded intellect has now possessed thy sons in consequence of their hostility to the Pandavas. O Dhritarashtra. or a mat of grass or straw.He. I cannot. Brahmanas of the same age and equal learning. stay here in this very pavilion. two Kshatriyas. Sudhanwan said: Father and son. flower. consistent with religion and profit. My thirst for hearing them is not quenched. Dhritarashtra said: O thou of great intelligence. are the best and at the top of all creatures.] And asked by Virochana (to share his seat) Sudhanwan said: O son of Prahlad. And Sudhanwan saw there both Prahlad’s son and Kesini. Virochana said: A piece of wooden plank. firmly strikes to the heart. and this world is ours without doubt. or puja. You will behold Sudhanwan and myself met together in the morning. to the exclusion of all thy sons. and who are the Brahmanas? Kesini said: Well. is he glorified in heaven. [Note: Swayamvara means self chosen husband from amongst an assembly of suitors. and it is for this that he stoops to ignoble deeds. went to that spot. Yudhishthira is obedient to thy commands. Kesini. Perhaps. Sudhanwan. two Vaisyas and two Sudras. and Arghya. Virochana said: A piece of wooden plank. no other can seat together. show kindness unto all thy sons. O master. [Note: Arghya is a respectful offering to the deity in Hindu ritual worship. there was a maiden of the name of Kesini. O king of kings. And beholding the Brahmana arrived. Thou dost not clearly see it. however. sandal paste. Moved by the desire of obtaining a good husband. has. deserve the same seat with me. however. – these only. When the intellect becomes dim and destruction is near. Endued with energy and wisdom. You are a child brought up in every luxury at home and you understand nothing. – these only. Endued with every auspicious mark and deserving to rule the three worlds. . Yudhishthira is the foremost of all thy heirs. thou wilt have heaven hereafter. Durva grass. saying: Are Brahmanas superior. and sit on it with you. O bull of Bharata race. Story about the conversation between Virochana and Sudhanwan Once on a time. rule the earth. rice. Virochana by name. and acquainted with the truths of religion and profit. an animal skin. O maser. Kesini addressed him. desirous of obtaining the maiden. Your father used to pay regards to me. kindness to all creatures surpasses the former. are fit for you. she resolved to choose her lord in Swayamvara. – these two are equal. both suitors for Kesini’s hand. taking a seat lower than that occupied by me.] Then one of the sons of Diti. offered him a seat. O king. however. Sudhanawan will come here on the morrow. that foremost of righteous men. O Virochana. we. Except these. O tiger among men. deserve the same seat with me. Yudhishthira. O best of kings. so long. wrong. consisting of water. suffered much misery out of kindness and sympathy. O Sudhanwan. tell me again words such as these. in order to preserve thy reputation. water to wash his feet. came to that palace where. O Virochana.

O wise one. do not answer it untruly! Prahlad said: Let water. or is Virochana superior? Prahlad said: O Brahmana. So here is your son Virochana. Vidura continued: For these reasons. have been presented to me on my way here. Sushanwan said: Water and honey and curds. O prahlad. Prahlad. starving outside the city gates. therefore. O chief of the Asuras. kine. both moved by rage. Therefore. hasten not to destruction. And beholding them together. Virochana and Sudhanwan. and Sudhanwan is superior to you. restored by me to you. Sudhanwan said: Having wagered our lives. it behoveth thee not to say an untruth for the sake of land. we will approach your father. let us. I shall ask you a question. but. you should declare the truth when we two are disputing about it. a question that is put to him? I ask you this. This Sudhanwan is now the master of your life. proceeded to that place where Prahlad was. the downfall of a thousand of one’s sires of the ascending order. casts down from heaven five of his sires of the ascending order. O Brahmana. He that speaks a lie on account of an animal. O king. He shall. with all thy children and counsellors.Virochana said: Staking all the gold. said an untruth. O Prahlad. O Virochana? Making our lives forfeited. O Sudhanwan. Sudhanwan said: The person that misuses his tongue suffers like the deserted wife. into which his admission is barred. Prahlad said: Angiras is superior to myself. kine (cows). and heroes. On the other hand. and honey and curds. taking up clubs in their hands after the manner of herdsmen. horses. Indeed. The Vedas never rescue . Vidura continued: Having thus laid a wager. Sudhanwan said: Let alone your gold. A lie on account of a horse causes the fall down of a hundred. are now seen together coming here by the same road. unto those. Such a man has also to stay. You deserve our worship. But. A white and fat cow is ready for you. O Sudhanwan. has there been friendship between you and Sudhanwan? Virochana said: There is no friendship between Sudhawan and me. The gods do not protect men. Prahlad. O Sudhanwan. never speak an untruth for the sake of land. I grant your son his life that is dear to you. Have you now become companions. for he. How can one like us answer a question about which you two have quarrelled? Sudhanwan said: Give unto your son kine and other precious wealth that you may have. O Virochana. you who were never companions before? I ask you. beholding her husband sleeping in the arms of a co-wife. O Virochana. I wish that you should grant Virochana his life. who answers not truly but falsely. however. and every other kind of wealth that we have among the Asuras. An untruth on account of gold ruins the members of one’s race both born and unborn. have to wash my feet in the presence of the maiden Kesini. Virochana said: Wagering our lives where shall we go? I will not appear before any of the gods and never before any among men. this one is my only son. who pines at night. while an untruth for the sake of land ruins everything. Sudhanwan has defeated you Virochana. O king of kings. we have both wagered our lives. Mother also of Sudhanwan is superior to your mother. Sudhanwan said: Since. he that gives false evidence is destined to always find his foes. we will ask them this question that are competent. be brought for Sudhanwan. There is no doubt that one’s objects meet with success in proportion to the attention he directs to righteousness and morality. however. Prahlad said: How does that misuser of his tongue suffer. they wish to protect. like a person who has lost at dice. or who is weighted down with an unbearable load of anxieties. answer it truly! Are Brahmanas superior. I shall ask you a question. like two angry snakes. you have preferred virtue and have not from temptation. they grant intelligence. and a lie on account of a human being. You also are present here in person. ask them this question that are able to answer. Prahlad said: These two who had never before been companions. will never say an untruth even for the sake of his son. Saying an untruth from affection of thy son. He that speaks a lie on account of a cow casts down from heaven ten of his ancestors.

by his deportment. enmity with large numbers of men. an administerer of poison. study. are indications of heaven. Prosperity takes its birth in good deeds. gift. an enemy. Decrepitude destroys beauty. prosperity. charity. envy. a reviler of the Vedas. he that is self-controlled. modesty. gift to the extent of one’s power. One that sets fire to a dwelling house. there is one endowment which alone can cause all these attributes to come together. Wisdom. acquaintance with the scriptures. On the other hand. and abstention from injury to all. lust. are sacrifice. But. A brave man is tested during a season of panic. in times of calamity and danger. in the world of men. internal dissensions. the fact is. Gold is tested by fire. and acquires stability owing to self-control. a well-born person. a vendor of the Soma juice. it is said. asceticism.from sin a deceitful person living by falsehood. all connections with connubial disputes. Those eight. anger. one that injures friends. an atheist. one that secretly slays cattle. a raker of old sores. the royal favour can cause all these attributes to shed their lustre (on the favourite). one whose investiture with the sacred thread has been delayed beyond the prescribed age. and takers of bribes. a friend and a minstrel. one that is sharp-speeched. good lineage. and four others are always followed by the good. are self-restraint. an honest man. simplicity. a maker of arrows. study and asceticism. but the last four can exist only in those that are truly noble. truth. The eight different paths of righteousness Sacrifice. – theses eight qualities shed a lustre upon their possessor. one that causes abortion. an adulterer. an astrologer. a pander. righteousness. in times of poverty. a violator of his preceptor’s bed. mercy. drives its roots deep in consequence of skill. and severance of relationship between husband and wife. absence of garrulity. Of the eight (mentioned below) four are inseparably connected. The first four which are inseparably connected with the good. be avoided. they forsake him while he is on his deathbed. The first four of these may be practised from motives of pride. a thief turned into a merchant. and contentment constitute the eight different paths of righteousness. Theses eight qualities shed a lustre upon their possessor. and pride destroys everything. Drinking. a physician. A palmist. death destroys life. a Brahmana (Brahmin) addicted to drink. O king. like newly fledged birds forsaking their nests. by his conduct. forgiveness. while the other four that are always followed by the good. truth. and gratefulness. – these are all reckoned as equal in moral turpitude as the slayers of Brahmanas. O sire. companionship with the low. quarrels. prowess. with the good. Assembly . growth in consequence of activity. and one who slays him who prays for protection. – these and all paths that are sinful. disloyalty to the king. self-control. good behaviour. when the king honours a particular person. a fowler. and friends and foes. these seven are incompetent as witness These are all reckoned as equal in moral turpitude as the slayers of Brahmanas. ambitious hopes destroy patience.

these ten are of heavenly origin. those accomplished by arms. and on karna. These cannot be ascertained The greatness of Rishis. Therefore. . Sin repeatedly perpetrated. bravery. knowledge. he that is devoted to the worship of Brahmanas. succeeds in attaining to happiness. Do that during the day. and capacity for varied talk. by always doing what is good. Reposing the care of thy kingdom on Duryodhana. and the cause of woman’s wickedness. he that is cruel. depend on thee as their father. destroys intelligence. while the latter was wandering in the guise of one depending on eleemosynary charity for livelihood. reaps great happiness. – these three are always able to gather flowers of gold from the earth. repose thou on them as on thy sons! Vidura said: In this connection is cited the old story of the discourse between the son of Atri and the deities called Sadhyas is as heard by us. by practising virtue. remains uncovered. beauty. he that constantly quarrels. Therefore. high birth. which is fraught with deceit. never meets with great misery. second. firmly resolved. while they that sin secretly have their controller in Yama. enhances intelligence. should abstain from sin. Of acts. [Note: India has four months of rainy season known as the Monsoon. that hero who is victorious and that ascetic whose efforts have been crowned with success. a man. is overtaken by evil consequences. goes to regions of blessedness. Virtue Virtue repeatedly practised. and do that during thy whole life here which may enable thee to live happily hereafter. [Note: Yama is the god of death]. soon meets with great misery for practising these sins. and the man whose intelligence has increased. on Sakuni. O. which may ensure a happy old age. The wise prize that food which is easily digested. The preceptor controls them whose souls are under their own control. He that draws wisdom from them that are wise is really learned and wise. I days of old. rigidly resolved. the son of Vivaswat. on the other hand. on foolish Dussasana. repeatedly commits sin. He that is not envious and is possessed of wisdom. of high-souled men. Sin A sinful person. he that behaves righteously towards his relatives. cannot be ascertained. and the man who has lost intelligence. the king controls persons that are wicked. And he that is wise. wealth. and do that during eight months of the year. he shines everywhere. by committing sin. he that is deceitful. he that gives away. rule the earth for ever. by practising virtue. he that is possessed of learning. He that is possessed of bravery. and the Kshatriya that behaves nobly. The gap that is sought to be filled by wealth acquired wrongfully. are the very worst. those by the thighs.] Do that during youth. The virtuous man. that wife whose youth has passed away. those accomplished by intelligence are first. and those by bearing weights upon the head. good behaviour. the deities known by the name of Sadhyas questioned the highly wise and great Rishi of rigid vows (the son of Atri). the Pandavas. which may enable thee to pass the night in happiness. He that is envious. a man should. Truth.That is no assembly where there are no old men. These rule the earth for ever O king. by attending to both virtue and profit. strength. acquaintance with the scriptures. A virtuous man. practise virtue. of rivers. and they are not old who do not declare what morality is. he that injures others deeply. of riverbanks. how canst thou hope for prosperity? Possessed of every virtue. and he that knows how to protect others. and that is not truth. That is not morality which is separated from truth. and the man whose intelligence has increased repeatedly practises virtue. O bull of the Bharata race. enhances intelligence. which may enable thee to pass the season of rains happily. while new ones appear in other places.

and who wishes not the slightest injury to him that injures him.. and should ever be regarded as a dispenser of misery to men. that is virtuous. He that waits upon one that is good or upon one that is wicked. sharp pointed and smarting like fire or the sun. and who keeps an eye over the weakness of others. who is suspicious of his own self. heart. liability to be afflicted by dangers. These. by intelligence. Such a man neither vanquishes others. He too is the worst of men. and if one abstains from everything he has not to suffer even the least misery. however. who. If truth is to be said. but never upon them that are bad. is better than speech. and he that bears. he. it is better to say what is agreeable. Silence and Truth Silence. Company A man becomes exactly like him with whom he lives. by putting forth his strength. Be not arrogant and ignoble in conduct. succeeds also appropriating the virtues of the slanderer. it is true. If speak you must. are the indications of a bad man. and observance of true religion. stung with reproach. O great Rishi. even if deeply wounded and burning with pain. One should not return the slanders or reproaches of others for the pain that is felt by him who bears silently. should wait upon them that are good. nor can he acquire the virtues and manners of high families (in any of which he may be born). It. should always abstain from harsh and angry words. therefore. and if what is agreeable is to be said. Quarrel not with friends. returns if not himself nor causes others to return it. or who being struck does not himself return the blow nor causes others to do it. or like him whom he regards. incapacity to be controlled. who gives having promised. who is truthful in speech.The Sadhyas said: We are. or like that which he wishes to be. It seems to us. soon takes the colour from that companion of his. Indulge not in slanders and reproaches. He is unmoved by praise or blame. That man is regarded as a mediocre in goodness who never consoles others by saying what is not true. proneness to give way to wrath. it has been heard by me that by untying all the knots in the heart by the aid of tranquillity. Therefore. inability to become another’s friend. then it is better to say the truth. like a cloth from the dye in which it is soaked. That worst of men is of harsh and wrathful speech that pierces the vitals of others with wordy thorns. and at times upon them that are indifferent. Avoid words that are harsh and fraught with anger. The very gods desire his company. Do not humiliate and insult others. and the very sources of the life of men. by constant effort. Harsh words burn and scorch the very vitals. behoveth thee to discourse to us in magnanimous words fraught with learning. He never injures nor opposes others. but he can never win honest fame. Abstain from companionship with those that are vile and low. He that desires prosperity to himself. and wickedness of heart. Slanders and reproaches The mendicant Rishi answered: Ye immortals. ungratefulness. humble in behaviour. High Families . and by mastery over all the passions. and by prowess. we are unable to guess who thou art. nor is vanquished by others. and who drives away from himself all his true friends. upon one that is possessed of ascetic merit or upon one that is a thief. pierced by another’s wordy arrows. one should regard both the agreeable and the disagreeable like his own self. bears hell in his tongue. it is said. deities known as Sadhyas. One is freed from those things from which one abstains. The man that is wise. He that is wicked earns wealth. that thou art possessed of intelligence and self-control in consequence of acquaintance with the scriptures. Beholding thee. viz. and has all his passions under control. bones. consumes the slanderer. bear them patiently remembering that the slanderer’s merits become his. That man is regarded as the first of his species who wishes for the prosperity of all and never sets his heart on the misery of others. however. who is dissatisfied with any good that may come to him from others. should. He neither grieves nor exalts in joy. then it is better to say what is consistent with morality.

dries up the body. Grief. Virtuous men devoted to the practice of righteous acts. As the Sandal tree. water (to wash the feet and face) and fourthly sweet words. is a true friend. this question. as regards wealth. a real refuge. repeatedly they wither away and grow. wealth and kine (cows). abandonment of the Vedas.Dhritarashtra said: The gods. High families fall off and become low owing to their members disregarding or speaking ill of Brahmanas. even though unconnected by birth of blood. – those families in which these seven exist or are practised duly. He that bears himself as a friend. should good manners and good conduct be maintained with care. Be thou poor or be thou rich. express a liking for high families. and makes one’s foes glad. Those families that are possessed of members. repeatedly they ask others for help. He. show ingratitude to the latter. and a protector. He. and who avoid every kind of falsehood. when desirous of entertaining (guests). Therefore. in our race. are regarded as high. so they that belong to high families are always able to bear the weight of great cares which ordinary men cannot. none steal the wealth of others. Men repeatedly die and are reborn. sorrow kills strength. for. and they that are possessed of great learning. knowledge of the Vedas. none be deceitful or false in behaviour. does not deserve to mix with us. whose heart is unsteady. I ask thee. they that regard both virtue and profit without swerving from either. none serve a king as minister. O king. He that is wanting in wealth is not really wanting. or who is to be waited upon with fear. Families that are high fall down and become low owing to the absence of sacrifices. or entertains feelings of aversion towards them. or to the misappropriation. He. O Vidura. sacrifices. impure marriages. Straw (for a seat). Therefore. and insults offered to Brahmanas (Brahmins). or who has no control over his mind. Other friendships are nominal connection. and none eat before serving the Rishis. instead of helping the acquisition of his object. none provoke intestine dissensions. thou should honour thy friends. There are high families who deviate not from the right course whose deceased ancestors are never pained (by witnessing the wrong-doings of their descendants). The very birds of prey abstain from touching the dead bodies of those who having been served and benefited by friends. Let none in our race be a fomenter of quarrels. while families wanting in wealth but distinguished by manners and good conduct are regarded as such and win great reputation. is competent to bear weights which timbers of other trees (much thicker) cannot. sorrow kills the understanding. however. and gifts of food. on whom one can repose confidence as on a father. pure marriages. or impedes or otherwise injures agriculture. He is not friend whose anger inspires fear. have these things ready for being offered with reverence. it comes or goes. Until some service is asked. but he that is wanting in manners and conduct is really in want. do not yield to grief. – these are never wanting in the houses of the good. are not regarded as families if they be wanting in good manners and conduct. who cheerfully practise all the virtues. though thin. and they themselves are asked for help. and sorrow brings on disease. O Bharata of what had been deposited with them by others. – what are those families that are called high? Vidura said: Asceticism. the sincerity or otherwise of friends cannot be known. or who is of a restless disposition cannot make friends. . who slays Brahmanas. who desire to enhance the pure fame of the line in which they are born. the gods and guests. self-restraint. Those families that abound in kine and other cattle and in the produce of the field are not really worthy of regard or fame if they were wanting in manners and conduct. like swans forsaking a water tank whose waters have dried up. is a true friend. They that are of weak minds suddenly give way to anger and are gratified without sufficient cause. or who is a slave of his senses. repeatedly they lament and are lamented. ground for sitting upon. Success (in the attainment of objects) forsakes the person whose heart is unsteady. or who does not wait upon the aged. Sorrow Sorrow kills beauty. they are like clouds that are so inconstant.

relatives. The case is even so with relatives that are good. The case is even so. is regarded by foes as capable of being vanquished like an isolated tree by the wind. The happiness that may be derived from a judicious course of study. Honours can never be theirs. the constant rolling of the shuttlecock over them. in consequence of mutual dependence and mutual aid. Relatives. gain and loss. collected together. life and death. he that is self-controlled should neither exult in joy nor repine in sorrow. women relatives. Therefore. or the laudatory hymns of bards and eulogists. O Dhritarashtra. from ascetic austerities performed rigidly. Numerous thin threads of equal length. by asceticism one wins what is great and valuable. in nothing else than complete abandonment of avarice. however. like lotus stalks in a lake. endowed with all the virtues. are competent to bear from the strength of numbers.. And the tree that stands singly. O king. by waiting upon superiors learning is acquired. viz. always increases at the end. so fear is possible from relatives. separated from one another. Health .Happiness and misery. freed from anger and aversion. like fruits that are ripe. Counsels that are for their benefit please them not. has its trunk soon smashed and twisted by a mighty wind. like water from a pot through its holes. and those also that yield by asking for protection. Those trees. do I see thy good. however. with relatives. nor succeed in retaining what they have. Vidura said: O sinless one. in nothing else than knowledge and asceticism. Thus he that is single. Fear is dispelled by self-knowledge. nor do they. Strength in unity As milk is possible in kine (cows). do not sojourn through life. O king. They that desire salvation without having acquired the merit attainable by gifts. Through the most predominant one amongst them one’s understanding escapes in proportion to the strength it assumes. derive any pleasure from women. those whose food is eaten. from a battle fought virtuously. children. O bull of the Bharata race. Brahmanas. and peace is gained by self-restraint. are shared by all in due order. in nothing else than restraining the senses. that grow in close compact are competent owing to mutual dependence to resist winds more violent still. Burning bran produce only smoke but brought together they blaze forth into a powerful flame. Such persons can never practise virtue. who tyrannise over Brahmanas. The six senses are always restless. there is no other end for such men save destruction. or that which is attainable by practising the ritual of the Vedas. kine. grow together. and kine. plenty and want. Happiness can never be theirs in this world. These must never be slain. asceticism in Brahmanas. O Dhritarashtra. and peace has no charm for them. They. and inconstancy in women. again. women. obtain no sleep even if they have recourse to well made beds. Relatives (1) They that are no longer in peace with their relatives. soon fall off their stalks. though gigantic and strong and deep rooted. They never acquire what they have not.

stop Duryodhana!” Thou did not. 2. They all. today. . O sire. Beholding Draupadi won at dice. O king. strength mixed with softness constitutes true policy. On the other hand. O king. anger is a kind of bitter. 4. He who humbly pays court to enemies. which depends on both strength and softness. or desire to catch the intangible rays of the sun. Do thou. is dependent on thee. live together in happiness and prosperity.O king. 3. painful in its consequences. however. and hot drink. act according to my words. thy sons cherish the Pandavas. That is no strength. withdraw Duryodhana from his evil ways. That prosperity. Let therefore. which should ever be pursued. 3. swallow it up and obtain peace. know not what happiness is or what the enjoyments of wealth are. filled with sorrow. the refuge of the sons of Kuru. you can achieve your good. If. without wealth no good quality can show itself in a person. The sick. I told thee before. however. as those that strike empty space with their fists. for he is dead who is unhealthy and ill. Anger O king. 1. Manu the son of the Self-created. nor do they desire any happiness from wealth. descends to sons and grandsons intact. which is opposed to softness. cherish thou the children of Pandu. He who seeks to restrain women’s frailty. They that are tortured by disease have no liking for enjoyments. 2. it is a kind of headache not born of any physical illness. O king. afflicted as they are with the sufferings of exile. however. however. O king. These seven and ten kinds of foolish men are as follows: 1. acrid. the race of Kuru. He who asks him for gifts who should never be asked. O king. Indeed. and they that are unwise can never digest it. preserving thy fame unsullied. has. Let not thy foes discover thy holes. 5. He who seeks to control a person that is incapable of being controlled. Thou art. Prosperity That prosperity which is dependent on crookedness alone is destined to be destroyed. Vidura said: O son of Vichitravirya. let the Kurus and the Pandavas. 5. are devoted to truth. 4. or seek to bend the vapoury bow of Indra in the sky. pungent. these words: “They that are honest avoid deceit in play. O Ajamida. O descendant of Kuru. both having same friend and same foes. O god among men. you are in health. spoken of the following seven and ten kinds of men. He who is content with small gains. make peace with the sons of Pandu. and the Pandavas also cherish thy sons. O king of men. Therefore.

the desire of enjoyment. companionship with the wicked. are six sharp swords that cut off the period of life allotted to creatures. who becomes the husband of a Sudra woman. He who speaks ill of his own wife. good behaviour. he who violates the bed of his preceptor. He who scatters his own seeds in another’s field. and intestine dissensions. the practice of virtue. He who boasts at having his alarms dispelled by his daughter-in-law. He who. He who having received anything from another says that he does not remember it. excess in speech. 15. anger. lust. For what reason then. boasts at home when asked to make good his words. 16. He who boasts having done anything. and he who takes the lives of those who yield asking for protection. Dhritarashtra said: Man has been spoken of in all the Vedas as having hundred years for the period of his life. He who talks to a person listening scoffingly. drag those persons to hell. having given away anything in words in holy places. Knowing this. He who being a father-in-law. do not all men attain the allotted period? Vidura said: Excess of pride. He who. which kill men. 8. – these. death kills life. modesty.One should behave towards another just as that other behaves towards him Even this is consistent with social polity. . O Bharata. with noose in hand. 6. 11. The Vedas declare that contact with these requires expiation. He who desires to have that which is unattainable. 12. he who commands Brahmanas or becomes their master. 10. Old age kills beauty. excess in eating. One may behave deceitfully towards him that behaves deceitfully. 7.6. 9. 13. And he who strives to prove the truth of what is false. 14. 8. and not death. or takes away the lands that support them. jests with his daughter-in-law. and pride kills everything. born in a high family. or drinks wines. anger. worldly enjoyments. The envoys of Yama (god of death). O king. patience hope. blessed be thou! Contact with these requires expiation He who appropriates to himself the wife of one who has confided in him. are all guilty of the sin of slaying Brahmanas. but honestly towards him that is honest in his behaviour. 9. prosperity. perpetrates an improper deed. He who being weak always wages hostilities with one that is powerful. 17. 7. It is these. that Brahmana.

he that is incapable of doing anything that injures others. a family may be sacrificed. a king should make proper alliances. But. he that envies none. Servants That master. should be regarded by the king as his second self. I told thee. and by both his wealth and wives one should protect his own self. of words that are disagreeable but medicinal. he that is grateful. says what is unpalatable. He that accepts the teaching of the wise. always tells what is for his master’s good. O son of Pratipa. he that is wise should not resort to it even in jest. O king that can always speak agreeable words. One should protect his wealth in view of the calamities that may overtake him. is rare. one should not seek to amass wealth. thou desirest to vanquish the sons of Pandu. he that is acquainted with the rules of morality. Forsaking lions thou art protecting jackals! O king. who are just as peacocks of variegated plumage. like medicine to a sick man. without regarding what is agreeable or disagreeable to his master but keeping virtue alone in view. when the time comes. and who is fully acquainted with the extent of his own might and with that also of those against whom he may be engaged. thou wilt have to grieve for all this. O son of Vichitravirya. and for the sake of one’s soul. turn against him and leave him (in distress). O king. however. . and who is respectable himself and devoted to his master. Therefore. but medicinal. who does not give vent to his displeasure with devoted servants zealously pursuing his good. by his wealth one should protect his wives. humble and learned. By confiscating the grants to one’s servants or stopping their pay.That man who.These succeed in attaining to heaven. as also the hearer. whereas thy sons are all as crows. the latter adhere to him even in distress. truly adds to the strength of the king. O king. those words of mine were not agreeable to thee. the whole earth may be sacrificed. truthful. he that eats having first dedicated the food to the gods and Pitris (departed ancestors). for there is nothing that cannot be accomplished by alliances. That officer who fully understanding the intentions of his royal master discharges all duties with alacrity. These may be sacrificed For the sake of the family a member may be sacrificed. – this is not proper. The speaker. Reflecting first on all intended acts and adjusting the wages and allowances of servants with his income and expenditure. for the sake of a kingdom. at the time of that gambling match. for even affectionate counsellors deprived of their means of life and enjoyment. They are abundant. a village nay be sacrificed. enlists the confidence of his servants. In fact. he that is liberal. for the sake of the village. O sire. Gambling From very olden times it has been seen that gambling provokes quarrels. succeeds in attaining to heaven.

Kindness 5. a widow having an infant son. Never tell him: ‘I do not believe thee’. Weightiness of speech One should not No man should confidently enter an enemy’s house after dusk even with notice. and 8. Ability 3. Self-restraint 5. nor should one seek to enjoy a woman to whom the king himself might make love. and one that has suffered great losses. Lending and borrowing money A king who is exceedingly merciful. however. proud as he is of his own intelligence and given to arguing against his master. who commanded by his master disregards the latter’s injunctions and who enjoined to do anything refuses to submit. a son. Incorruptibility 7. Moderation in speech . wisdom 2. 1. Cleanliness 6. should be got rid of without the least delay. These eight qualities shed a lustre on men: 1. Prowess 6. Never set thyself against the decisions to which a person has arrived who keeps low company and who is in the habit of consulting all he meets. should never be engaged in pecuniary transactions of lending or borrowing. Absence of procrastination 4. but assigning some reason send him away on a pretext. Men of learning say that a servant should be endued with these eight qualities. Acquaintance with scriptures 4. a brother. One should not at night lurk in the yard of another’s premises. Birth in a family free from the taint of disease. the servant of a king. High lineage 3. one serving in the army. Absence of pride 2. a woman of lewd character.That servant.

One that always acts improperly 2. One that is exceedingly deceitful . Nobody reproaches him for gluttony One should not give shelter to these in his house 1. Strength 2. Gift to the extent of one’s power 8. A clear voice 4. that incident (of royal favour) brings in all others and holds them together. When the king favours a person. His progeny also becomes healthy 5. are necessarily brought together by one only by gifts. Gratefulness These high qualities. O sire. He that performs ablutions wins these ten: 1. One that is hated by all 4. Long life 3. Cleanliness 8. Beauty 3. Delicacy of limbs 10. Ease 4. Beautiful women He that eats sparingly wins these 1. Gracefulness 9. One that eats too much 3. Fineness of scent 7.7. Delicacy of touch 6. Capacity to utter all the alphabetical sounds 5. Health 2.

on should retire to the woods. One that speaks ill of others 3.5. One that is unacquainted with the shastras (scriptures) 4. One that is wanting in devotion to the gods 5. One that always errs 3. One that habitually quarrel with others 9. Begetting sons and rendering them independent by making some provision for them. do that which is for the good of all creatures as also for his own happiness. and bestowing maiden daughters on eligible persons. A miser for alms 2. however distressed. . and desire to live as a Muni (a sage. One that dresses indecently A person. One that is ungrateful A person should never wait upon these six worst of men 1. One that regards himself competent to do everything One’s purposes depend (for their success) on means. again. so that success depends on both. They are intimately connected with each other. an austere person). on the nature of the purposes (sought to be accomplished by them). One that is ignorant of the proprieties of time and place 7. One that is a foe 2. A dweller in the woods 5. One should. One that does not regard persons worthy of regards 7. One that is cunning 6. One that is without affection 6. should never solicit these 1. and means are dependent. for it is this which is at the root of the success of all one’s objects. One that is cruel 8. One that is wedded to falsehood 4. for obtaining the favours of the Supreme Being. One that is cruel 6.

alacrity and perseverance? Behold the evils of a rupture with the Pandavas. nor any of the antidotes of poison. when brought out by friction. Cannot place trust on these Who that is wise that can place his trust on women. a life of continued anxiety 3. O king. which one naturally acquires from one’s sires and grandsires. nor auspicious ceremonies. are of any efficacy. These are: 1. enjoyments. 5. whose soul has been dissociated from sin and firmly fixed on virtue. He that restrains the force of both anger and joy. which would sadden the very gods with Sakra. strength. nor the Mantras of the Atharva Veda. Listen to me. profit and desire. O Bharata. one should not gather assurance from the thought that one lives at a distance from the other. a combination of all three. all of these are possessed of great power. and which is the foremost of all kinds of strength. That however. None of these should be disregarded Serpents. wins prosperity. He that desires the highest success in all matters connected with worldly profit should from the very beginning practise virtue. the joy of those that are thy enemies.What anxiety has he for a livelihood that has intelligence. by which all these are won. in proper seasons. The wise have said that the acquisition of wealth is the third kind of strength. Fire is a thing of great energy in this world. prowess. Men are said to have five different kinds of strength. And lastly. is called the strength of the intellect. 1. 2. serpents. First. both here and hereafter. his own master. should be disregarded by a man. the loss of the fair fame of the Kurus 4. In the case of such a person neither the Mantra of Homa (sacred fire ceremony). Thirdly. They that are sinful never seek so much to ascertain the good qualities of others as to ascertain their faults. He that follows virtue. Of these. fire. loses his senses under calamities. Blessed be thou. obtains. – none of these. Having provoked the hostility of a person who is capable of inflicting great injury on a fellow creature. It lurks in wood and never consumes it till it is ignited by others. and never. 4. energy. 3. O Bharata. The strength of birth. and consanguineous relatives. O king. kings. the strength of arms is regarded to be of the most inferior kind. and period of life? There are no physicians nor medicines for one that has been struck by the arrow of wisdom. enmity between them that are all thy sons 2. enemies. That very fire. is regarded as the fourth kind of strength. He. Secondly. lions. has understood all things in their natural and adventitious states. for true profit is never separated from heaven. O king. the acquisition of good counsellors is regarded as the second kind of strength. consumes by its .

and kine (cows) from fear of being unable to appropriate them. One should look after guests of the trader caste through his servants. even one that has given up the vow of Brahmacharya (celibacy) before it is complete.energy not only the wood in which it lurks. Fire lies concealed in wood without showing itself externally. Guests Vidura continued: The heart of a young man. O king.e. soars aloft. or from miserliness and unwillingness with which the gifts are made. the foremost of his brotherhood. Trust One should never put trust on him who should not be trusted. A physician. be protected particularly. thy son is as a forest. dyed clothes. nor put too much trust on him who should be trusted. but should never be their slave. and the sons of Pandu are regarded as Sala trees. roots. A creeper never grows unless there is large tree to twine round. and iron) can affect all things but is neutralised as soon as things come in contact with their progenitors. one should look over it himself. That virtuous ascetic who lives on rice growing wild. a crooked minded man. They should. when an aged and venerable person comes to his house (as a guest). King Craft Fire has its origin in water. do not betray any outward symptoms of what is within them. offer him food. fire. O sire. meat. Kshatriyas. on somebody he looks upon as his own self. protect one’s wives. and be agreeable in speech. a thief. and taking everything into consideration. curds. and he that stands aloof from both what is agreeable and disagreeable. Having wronged an intelligent personone should never gather assurance from the fact that one lives at a distance from the person wronged. or roots. and those of the Brahmana caste through his sons. who has his soul under control. is a real Yogi of the Bhikshu order. when arrived as a guest. And lions also are doomed to destruction without the forest (to shelter them). Thou. know that the Pandavas are the lions of that forest. By advancing forward and saluting him. first offering a seat. give to others what is their due. O son of Ambika. and iron in stone. and bringing water and causing his guest’s feet to be washed and making the usual enquiries of welcome. but also an entire forest and many other things. One should devolve the looking over of his inner apartments on his father. honey and curds. is indeed. or potherbs. therefore. worthy of worship and the ornaments of their homes. for the danger that arises from one’s having reposed trust on another cuts off one’s very roots. of the kine. and one that sells the Vedas. should then speak of his own affairs. he that is above grief. they betray no outward symptoms of wrath and are quiet like fire in wood. It has been said that wives that are highly blessed and virtuous. Men of high lineage are just like fire in energy. That . a Brahmana that drinks. Kshatriyas in Brahmanas. fruits. a maker of arrows. sesame. One should be sweet tongued and pleasant in his address as regards one’s wives. one that causes miscarriage. are really embodiments of domestic prosperity. with thy sons art possessed of the virtue of creepers. on his mother. oil. all kinds of perfumery. the offer of water should be regarded (by a householder) as exceedingly dear. and dwelling in the woods is always regardful of guests. he gets it back. milk. Endued with forgiveness. he that is no longer in need of friendship and quarrels. Without its lions the forest is doomed to destruction. He that never gives way to anger. honey. of cooked food. The energy of those (i. he that disregards both praise and blame. like one perfectly withdrawn from the world. ghee (clarified butter). A Brahmana should never be a seller of salt. O king. Long are the arms which intelligent persons have. One should renounce envy. by which they can return wrongs for wrongs done to them. He that is self-controlled. but as regards agriculture. who carefully keeps his fire for worship. of the kitchen. Good and forgiving men born of high families and endued with fiery energy. The wise have said that man lives in vain in whose dwelling a Brahmana (Brahmin) conversant with Mantras does not accept water. however undeserving he may be. potherbs. one that lives by serving in the army. and treacle.

and monarchs know monarchs. Let anything thou doest in respect of virtue. A foe that deserves death. grateful. and shameless. nor a learned friend who has no control over his senses. He whose anger and joy are productive of consequences. gift. Intelligence. devoid of wisdom. but who know the counsels of others through his spies. for. foultongued. Alone he should not appropriate everything. obtains friends. He should divide the wealth of the kingdom among these that serve him. kings. and not others. brings the whole earth under subjection to himself. he who looks over personally what should be done. he that is conversant with the six means and knows also his own self. nor is idleness the cause of adversity.king whose counsels cannot be known by either outsiders or those about him. old men. never make one thy minister without examining him well. O Bharata. but one should kill that foe as soon as one commands sufficient strength. He that from ignorance commits acts that are censurable. A Brahmana (Brahmin) knows a Brahmana. He that is wise should avoid unprofitable quarrels such as fools only engage in. O king. self-control. The king whose counsels are kept close. loses his very life in consequence of the untoward results of those acts. That king is the foremost of rulers. dangers soon arise from him. mature his counsels. purity. and servants. or proceeding to a wilderness devoid of trees and plants. the husband understands the wife. People never desire him for a master whose grace is fruitless and whose wrath goes for nothing. The man of wisdom only knows. profit and desire. brings the whole earth under subjection to himself. One should. profit and desire. and eminent in conduct and knowledge. enjoys his prosperity long. he who has his treasury under his own control. counsellors. observance of the established rules of intercourse. and guileless. even if the latter deserves death. decrease. Brahmanas. -these six are regarded as the fuel of prosperity’s flame. O king. in intelligence. like a person passing the night with a snake in the same room. O Bharata. be avoided. whose ministers know his acts in respect of virtue. Absence of deceitfulness. Omission to do such acts leads to repentance. As a Brahmana without having studied the Vedas is not fit to officiate at a Sraddha (in honour of the Pitris or ancestors). like women never desiring him for a husband who is a eunuch. O king. intelligent. with an effort. He that is without deceitfulness. The king should be content with the name he wins and the umbrella that is held over his head. and speech well controlled. when brought under subjection should never be set free. who is of wicked soul. wealth and lineage. so he that has not heard of the six (means for protecting a kingdom) deserves not to take part in political deliberations. Intelligence does not exist for the acquisition of wealth. and surplus. who is ungrateful. Let counsels be not divulged. Calamities soon come upon them that are of wicked disposition. By this one wins great fame in this world and avoids misery and unhappiness. always disregards those that are elderly in years. and those that are helpless. deserves to be a repository ofstate secrets. should. bring all creatures under subjection. he that is active. Ascending on the mountain top or on the terrace of a palace. if not killed. children. the king knows the minister. . he whose conduct is always applauded. The wretch who does not give to others their due. commands success. even if his treasury were empty. One should never speak of what one intends to do. be not known till it is done. absence of harsh speech and unwillingness to do anything disagreeable to friends. The fool. without doubt. The doing of acts that are praise-worthy is always attended with ease. The guilty person who provokes another about him that is innocent cannot sleep peacefully at night. he that has eye upon increase. one should. control his wrath against the gods. neither a friend who is without learning. If one were weak one should pay court to one’s foe that is stronger. for a king’s finances and the keeping of his counsels both depend on his minister. tranquillity of mind. only after they are done. in secrecy. and wrathful. the cause of the diversities of condition in this world. envious or sinful.

calculated to give pain to others. that are ever employed in speaking ill of others. and danger in making gifts to them. O king. careless persons. all come to an end. That gain should never be regarded highly which leads to loss. chapter 18. that are eminent in wealth but destitute of good qualities. thou hast. and if the loss they sustain be even very small. They that are competent in the general principles of work.. whose very sight is inauspicious and whose companionship is fraught with danger. which brings on gain. the beneficial result of that connection. and the happiness also derivable from it. soon see that swelling affluence fall off. He is like a wooden doll moved by strings. should always be propitiated like the very gods. the Creator has made man subject to Destiny. should be reckoned as loss. for their guide. should from a distance. abandon my son. as soon as Duryodhana was born I told thee. and are known as unrighteous. who have a woman. however. wherever there is Arjuna. Dhritarashtra said: Man is not the disposer of either his prosperity or adversity. One becomes agreeable by Vidura said: O Bharata. however. there are prosperity. others become so in consequence of wealth. [Note: Compare from the Bhagavad Gita. therefore. men that have fallen away from the duties of their caste. Those objects that depend upon women. shameless. O king. the son of Pandu. O Bharata. – thou shouldst abandon this one son. for by abandoning him thou wouldst secure the prosperity of thy hundred sons. though not in particular kinds of work are regarded by men as learned and wise for particular kinds of work. That is no loss. Friendship There is sin in accepting gifts from. O Bharata. which is certain to bring about greater losses still. a deceitful person. for all that they. their companionship should always be avoided. Some become eminent in consequence of good qualities. Go on telling me. however. examining everything carefully and reflecting well. He that is hated by another is never regarded by that other as honest or intelligent or wise. On the other hand. the Lord of Yoga. I dare not. Gain and Loss O king. always strive with activity quarrelling with one another and in all matters. They then strive to speak ill of their (late) friend and endeavour to inflict loss on him. deceitful. viz. They sink helplessly. or a child. Sanjaya said: "Wherever there is Krishna. One attributes everything good to him one loves. When the occasion that caused the friendship is over the friendship of those that are low. – and by keeping him. and everything evil to him one hates. avoid the friendship of vile and wicked minded persons such as these. like Vali fallen off from the three worlds. covetous. Indeed. a third by a force of incantation and drugs. They that are quarrelsome. They. mimes and women of ill fame.They. like a raft made of stone. the archer. It is well known that where there is righteousness there is victory. always remains so. That.Avoid them. the cares of a mighty empire. That man who is highly spoken of by swindlers. I am attentive to what thou sayest. that loss even should be regarded highly which would bring on gain. He that is learned. One should also avoid those men that are endued with similar faults of a grave nature."] Vidura said: He that is graced with every virtue and is endued with humility is never indifferent to even the minutest sufferings of living creatures. One becomes agreeable by gift. victory. such is my conviction. that is naturally agreeable. He. are subsidiary. destruction would overtake thy hundred sons. who upon being angry endanger one’s possessions and means of acquisition. by speaking words out of season even Vrihaspati (the Creator) himself incurs reproach and the charge of ignorance. happiness and firm policy. devolved on Duryodhana. are doubtful of success. Dhritarashtra said: All that you say is approved by the wise and is for my future good. from want of self-control. verse 78. Relatives (2) . O Dhritarashtra. is more dead than alive. Forsaking these mighty bowmen of immeasurable energy. and those that are wicked in disposition. however. fail to enjoy peace. another by sweet words. Thou shalt.

he that engages in acts never loses fame. If Duryodhana inflicted these wrongs on the sons of Pandu. 4. In this world it is the relatives that rescue. with his relatives. do thou seek the growth of thy race. O king. then the prosperous relative has to take upon himself all the sins of the other. thou should therefore. therefore. Even relatives that are destitute of good qualities should be protected. that a just notion of consequence is present in all persons of intelligence. should they be protected that are endued with every virtue and are humbly expectant of thy favour? Favour thou the heroic sons of Pandu. He that is wise should ever keep in view the (following) six conduits by which counsels become divulged. thou would be unconquerable by thy foes. O giver of honours. while those that are unrighteous sink (their brethren). the author of the science of morality. By acting thus. O bull of the Bharata race. O king of men. 5. it is thy duty. 3. True it is that a person other than Bhargava. be cleansed of all thy sins and be. is what relatives should always do. fame will be thine in this world. O king. and to love one another. They are: 1.He that helps his poor and wretched and helpless relatives obtains children and animals and enjoys prosperity that knows no end. if thou behave well towards all thy relatives. 6. O bull of the Bharata race. be thou. 2. O monarch. righteous in thy conduct towards the sons of Pandu. If a relative shrinks in the presence of a prosperous relative. he that keeps them shut while pursuing the attainment of virtue. O sire. It is seen. Those amongst them that are righteous rescue. Thou art an aged scion of Kuru’s race. They that desire their own benefit should always succour their relatives. Know me as one that wishes well to thee. if understood. control thy sons. He that desires his own good should never quarrel. and the relatives that ruin (relatives). By every means. of wicked soul. To eat with one another. succeeds in standing over the heads of his foes. They should never quarrel. The knowledge imparted by even men of learning and skill is imperfect. in this world. however. set over one by another. profit. O think of all this. Reinstating them in their position. for that which is sought to be inculcated is ill understood. who from folly pursues his sinful course commenced before falls into a slough of deep mire. Without an acquaintance with the scriptures and without waiting upon the old. When life itself is unstable. repentance will be thine (for this thy inaction at present) when in future thou wilt hear of the death of either the Pandavas or thy sons. and he that desires success and a long dynasty should ever guard himself from those six. and desire. is not accomplished in practice. That learned person who never does an act. therefore. Thou art old. happiness should ever be enjoyed with one’s relatives. O monarch. One’s own demeanour as dependent on the working of one’s own heart Confidence reposed on a wicked counsellor Unskilful envoys. or. Intoxication Sleep Inattention to spies. O best of men. Reflecting on the well-spoken words of the wise according to their consequences. Surrounded by them. to talk with one another. always grows. I should say what is for thy good. to undo them all. like a deer at the sight of a hunter armed with arrows. and not without them. and a few villages be assigned to them for their maintenance. . how much more. the consequences of which are sin and misery. The person. is liable to commit actions that go against morality. O king of men. Prosperity will be thine. however. one should in the very beginning avoid that act in consequence of which one would have to indulge in regrets having entered the chamber of woe. neither virtue nor profit can be known (or won) by persons blessed even with the intelligence of Vrihaspati. Knowing these six doors (through which counsels are divulged). thou wilt. O king. an object of worship with even those that have their souls under control.

whose hearts. to whom the success or failure of his objects is the same. When an object of enjoyment is available. act like a fool by giving free indulgence to his senses. wins him for its own. He who with a firm resolution strives to accomplish by a virtuous policy purposes that have once been frustrated. and enjoys happiness that is unending. Their excessive indulgence again would ruin the very gods. ignorant. again. He that is possessed of power should show forgiveness from motives of virtue. and respect for friends. the learned have said. sweet speech. even that one who has attained emancipation is not unwilling to enjoy. of gain. lengthen life. and devoted. what. and frequent meetings with those that are good. Effort after securing what is good.A thing is lost if cast into the sea. Humility removes obloquy. and using his ears. however. and who could anticipate in the past how an act begun would end. He that is weak should forgive under all circumstances. and he that has his senses under control. truthful. the scriptures are lost on one that has not his soul under control. there is nothing more conducive of happiness and nothing more proper for a man of power and energy as forgiveness in every place and at all times. accord in every respect. virtuous. fierce. and judgment. friends. He that is endued with the intelligence makes friendships with those that are wise. for friendship with such a person can never last. and he. is endued with learning. . rash and fallen off from righteousness. Humility. Whether of low or high birth. having first examined by the aid of his intelligence. One’s lineage is tested by his objects of enjoyment. That pleasure the pursuit of which does not injure one’s virtue and profit should certainly be pursued to one’s fill. The friendship of those persons never cools. is really great. prosperity (and forgiveness) That man attains all his objects. acquaintance with the scriptures. He that is intelligent should avoid an ignorant person of wicked soul. prowess. failure. – these bring about prosperity. O sire. repeatedly searching by his understanding. need be said of him that is yet wedded to desire? A king should cherish a counsellor that worships persons of wisdom. like a pit whose mouth is covered with grass. love of all creatures. should be desired for a friend. who has an eye on virtue. secret pursuits. -these. and never forsakes a friend. and means. One should not. preserves his dignity. who is endued with humility and modesty. place of birth. and a good heart. activity. That which a man pursues in word. forgiveness always conquers anger. The withdrawal of the senses from their respective objects is equivalent to death itself. eyes. therefore. words are lost if addressed to one that listens not. and acquirements. one should always seek that which is for his good. and auspicious rites destroy all indications of evil. who is conversant with remedies to be applied in the future. who is firmly resolved in the present. Perseverance is the root of prosperity. straightforwardness. the properties of time. deed and thought. and of what is beneficial. he who does not transgress the rules of polite intercourse. and a libation of ghee (clarified butter) is lost if poured over the ashes left by a fire that is extinguished. The man of wisdom should never contract friendship with those that are proud. The man that pursues an object with perseverance and without giving it up in vexation. large-hearted. behaviour. is said to possess real manhood. is superior to a hundred persons of high birth. food and dress. virtue. and pleasures. place. He that is grateful. is naturally forgiving. house. agreeable appearance.

– these four always expand in the case of him that respectfully salutes his superiors and waits upon the old. Exertion. nor in one that is without any accomplishment. Prosperity never approaches from fear the person that is excessively liberal. in envy lies the strength of the wicked. skill.Blind. or at the command of a preceptor. prosperity resides with some one who is not remarkable. Other kinds of virtue there are. should never be applied in respect of another. and falsehood must be conquered by truth. and power. The fruits of women are the pleasures of intercourse and offspring. ghee (clarified butter). which cannot be acquired except by very painful exertion. Austerities constitute the strength of ascetics. or deep woods. . but these proceed from caprice. in consequence of the sinfulness of the acquisition (spent for the purpose). period of life. one that boasts of his own power. one that is fierce. The fruits of the Vedas are ceremonies performed before the (Homa) fire. amid all kinds of dangers and alarms or in view of deadly weapons upraised for striking him. In the midst of deserts. nor is she pleased with the total absence of all virtues. a thief. – know that these are the roots of prosperity. One should not place trust on a woman. that is possessed of extraordinary bravery. milk. carefulness. Briefly even this is virtue. She does not desire a combination of all the virtues. viz. who denies Godhead. he that has strength of mind entertains no fear. fame. who is addicted to evil ways. a coward. the miser must be conquered by liberality. self-control. These eight. and in forgiveness. an idle person. Prosperity does not reside in one that is highly accomplished. are not destructive of a vow. steadiness. the strength of the virtuous. Achievements. fruits. and who is divested of exertion. that gives away without measure. what is done at the desire of a Brahmana. memory and commencement of act after mature deliberation. like a mad cow. roots. water. and that is very proud of his wisdom. or by sacrificing righteousness. and an atheist. or by bowing down to an enemy. and who from humility is modest is regarded as weak and persecuted by persons of misdirected intelligence. a swindler. and the fruits of wealth are enjoyment and charity. who has not his senses under control. That which is antagonistic to one’s own self. who is idle. that practises the most rigid vows. an ungrateful person. the fruits of an acquaintance with the scriptures are goodness of disposition and conduct.Prosperity never resides in one who suffers himself to be tortured by a grief.. and the wicked must be conquered by honesty. and medicine. Anger must be conquered by forgiveness. or inaccessible fastness. The man that is humble. He that performs acts tending to secure his prosperity in the other world with wealth acquired sinfully never reaps the fruits of these acts in the other world. the Vedas are the strength of those conversant with them. Do not set thy heart after these objects.

like a snake that has cast off its slough. Carelessness in waiting upon preceptor.. decay of hills and mountains 2. of tin. it is said. and votaries of knowledge must give up pleasure. of the chaste woman. of Brahmanas. anguish of women 3. soon succeeds in winning fame. O king. wheat. Reflecting on this. -these seven constitute. There is none who cannot manage to live by some means or other. an act of intercourse that is not fruitful is to be pitied. adopt an equal conduct towards thy children. women by desire.A man without knowledge is to be pitied. his foes in battle. and boastfulness. of the earth. the Vahlikas. lead. Death is never gratified . animals. indeed. even a great object owing to its being fraught with unrighteousness. And wordy arrows. The scum of the Vedas is want of study. of the heart. gold. for they that are good. The scum of gold is silver. they. – these three are each equal to the sin of slaying a Brahmana. Thy paddy. untruth. when gratified with a person. haste. exile from home. inattention. and boastlessness. O Dhritarashtra. tin. He that forsakes. the faults of students in the pursuit of learning. Idleness. absence of vows. and insincerity of intentions expressed before the preceptor. How can they that desire pleasure have knowledge? Students. and wife by food and drink. and wine by drinking. Fire is never gratified with fuel (but can consume any measure thereof). deceitful conduct towards the king. are certainly competent to bestow happiness on him. of silver. and of lead. pride. gathering for killing time. gained by an untruth. confusion of the intellect. These constitute the source of pain and weakness to embodied creatures: 1. that good man who pursues his objects without out stepping the limits of his power. His life is. casting off all foes. cannot have pleasure. they that are wise never grieve for want of universal dominion. the people of a kingdom that are without food are to be pitied. who have hundreds. of his own accord. engaged in the pursuit of learning. One cannot conquer sleep by lying down. Vidura said: Worshipped by the good and abandoning pride. and a kingdom without a king is to be pitied.e. curiosity. A victory. Votaries of pleasure must give up knowledge. and covetousness. and women that are on earth all cannot satiate even one person. useless dross. I again tell thee. also live. are the causes of the destruction of prosperity. i. of man. forsake desire. Absence of enjoyment. towards the sons of Pandu and thy own sons. Students Excessive envy. of women. crowned with success that has won his friends by gifts. haughtiness. fire by fuel. restlessness. The great ocean is never gratified with the rivers it receives (but can receive any number of them). are the three enemies of knowledge. lives happily. The rains. they who have thousands live. again. death.

brass. He that is righteous purifies himself by a bath therein. should men carefully and gradually earn merit of righteousness. lyres. friends. O king. nay. and fear will not be thine here or hereafter. Others enjoy the deceased’s wealth. life is. mirrors. birds. while birds and fire feast on the elements of his body. Carefully listening to these words. Yama (god of death) kills growth. and sons retrace their steps. that those are regions where the senses of men are exceedingly afflicted. . and also in that below this. and guests. one angry Brahmana destroys a whole kingdom. have become the victims of the Universal Destroyer. Behold. viz. Throwing away the body. The person cast into the funeral pyre is followed only by his own acts. In the world above this. for all those objects are auspicious. O king. life is a river whose waters are the five senses. relatives. thou wilt obtain great fame in this world of men. miserliness kills fame. Oh. they then cast the body into the funeral pyre. A beautiful woman is never gratified with any number of men (she may have). Highest of all teachings O sire. cross thou its eddies which are represented by repeated births. leaving behind their kingdoms and vast sources of enjoyment. O sire. With the dishevelled hair and crying piteously. conch shells. its waves.. indeed. and men of high birth sunk in poverty. and the absence of desire is the highest merit. Virtue is everlasting. sandal. O Bharata. self-control. absence of tending kills cattle. if thou can act according to them.even with the entire living creatures. everlasting but its particular phases are transitory. and let contentment be thins. like birds abandoning trees without blossoms and fruits. bulls. betake thyself to that which is everlasting. or temptation. for contentment is the highest of all acquisitions. virtue should never be forsaken from desire. honey. Therefore. Brahmanas versed in the Vedas. O king. silver. Forsaking those which are transitory. nor for the sake of life itself. having ruled lands abounding with wealth and corn. which keep him company. anger kills prosperity. viz. his merits and his sins. and whose crocodiles and sharks are desire and anger. the soul is spoken of as a river. Let goats. as if it were a piece of wood. salagram (the stony image of Vishnu with gold within) and Goro-chana should always be kept in one’s house for the worship of the gods. pleasure and pain are transitory. iron. when dead. The son brought up with anxious care. let not any of those places to thine. is taken up and carried away by men (to the burning ground). With two only he goes to the other world. honey. I would impart to thee another sacred lesson productive of great fruits. truth. its banks. there are regions of great gloom and darkness. antidotes of poison. Know. kindness. for the soul is sacred. Making self-control thy raft. its water. And which is the highest of all teachings. be always present in thy house. ghee (clarified butter). Brahmanas. old relatives. copper. illustrious and mighty kings. religious merit constitutes its sacred baths.. Manu has said that goats. hope kills patience. fear. O Bharata.

and died on the field of battle. I think. say it then. That Brahmana who never omits to perform his ablutions. Kshatriyas. yet as soon as I come in contact with Duryodhana it turns off in a different way. Dhritarashtra said: It is even so as you always teach me. and his own dependents. Vidura said: O Dhritarashtra. protected subjects. is certain to take its course.Worshipping and gratifying friends that are eminent in wisdom. virtue. and having burnt his sins by gratifying them. my heart also inclines that very way of which you tell me. Place him. never falls off from the region of Brahma. Having properly worshipped Brahmanas. if indeed. thou hast that degree of wisdom. Having studied the Vedas. One should restrain one’s lust and stomach by patience. and years. indeed. Yudhishthira. From The Mahabharata Udyoga Parva (Sanat-sujata parva) Section XLI Dhritarashtra said: If there is anything still left unsaid by thee. he that asks their advice about what he should do and should not do. O king. charming. who always wears his sacred thread. therefore. performed sacrifices. and then peacefully casting off his body. Although. That foremost of all intelligent persons will expound to thee all the doubts in thy mind. Destiny. I incline in my mind towards the Pandavas even as you teach me to do. who tells the truth and performs acts in honour of his preceptor. Listen now to the reason of my speech as I discourse it. sanctified his soul by drawing weapons for protecting kine (cows) and Brahmanas. Dhritarashtra said: Do thou not know what that immortal Rishi will say unto me? O Vidura. learning. and one’s mind and words by one’s acts. is never misled. The duties of the four orders are thus set forth before thee. Kshatriyas. has said that there is no Death. and Vaisyas in due order. and inhaled the sanctified smoke of the three kinds of fires. who always avoids food that is unclean. is falling off from the duties of the Kshatriya order. No creature is able to avert fate. The discourse is. . as I am ready to listen to thee. who always attends to the study of the Vedas. in a position to discharge the duties of kings. O amiable one. O Vidura. one’s hands and feet by one’s eyes. one’s eyes and ears by one’s mind. do thou say it. poured libations into fire. the Sudra enjoys the bliss of heaven. the son of Pandu. the Kshatriya attains to heaven. O thou of the Bharata race. leading a life of perpetual celibacy. and distributed in proper time his wealth among Brahmnas. Individual exertion is futile. the Vaisya enjoys heavenly bliss in the other world. both expressed and unexpressed. however. that ancient and immortal Rishi Sanat-sujata who. Having studied the Vedas.

and decrease and increase may all be borne by him. dislike. It is for this alone that I do not discourse to thee. therefore. O Bharata. fright and jealousy. The understanding. the Rishi was seated at his ease. O Vidura. And knowing that he was thought of. lust and wrath. there is a doubt in Dhritarashtra’s mind which is incapable of being explained away by me. Dhritarashtra said: Tell me. hunger and thirst. by discoursing on even the profoundest mysteries. this chief of men may tide over all his sorrows. is regarded by me to be infinite. decrepitude and death. never incurs the censure of the gods. Vidura then received him with the rites prescribed by ordinance. pride and prosperity. sleep. of that Rishi. And then after having rested a while. do not venture to say more than what I have already said. It behoveth thee. therefore. so that listening to thy discourse. upon the subject. saying: O illustrious one. what is agreeable and what disagreeable. leading a life of celibacy. the Rishi. THE END . how with this body of mine I can meet with that ancient and immortal one (Sanat-sujata)? Vaisampayana said: Then Vidura began to think of that Rishi of rigid vows. to expound it. and to that gain and loss.Vidura said: I am born in the Sudra order and. Vidura addressed him. however. showed himself there. He that is a Brahmana by birth.

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