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"The highest merit a king (or the president and
The King makes the age
Bhishma said: Whether it is the king that makes the age, or it is the age that makes the king, is a question about whic you should not entertain any doubt. The truth is that the king makes the age. When the king rules with a complete and strict reliance on the science of chastisement, the foremost of ages called Krita is then said to set in. Righteousness sets in the Krita age. Nothing of unrighteousness exists then. The hearts of men belonging to all the four orders do not take any pleasure in unrighteousness. Without doubt, all men succeed in acquiring the objects they desire and preserving those that have been acquired. All the Vedic rites become productive of merit. All the seasons become delightful and free from evil. The voice, pronunciation, and minds of all men become clear and cheerful. Diseases disappear and all men become long-lived. Wives do not become widows, and no person becomes a miser. The earth yields crops without being tilled, and herbs and plants grow in luxuriance. Barks, leaves, fruits and roots become vigorous and abundant. No unrighteousness is seen. Nothing but righteousness exists. Know these to be the characteristics , O Yuthishthira, of the Krita age.
When the king relies upon only three of the four parts of the science of chastisement leaving out a fourth, the age called Treta sets in. A fourth part of unrighteousness follows in the train of such observance (of the great science of chastisement) by three-fourths. The earth yields crops but waits for tillage. The herbs and plants grow(depending upon tillage).
When the king observes the great science of chastisement by only a half, leaving out the other half, then the age that sets in is called Dwapara. A moiety of unrighteousness follows in the train of such observance of the great science by half. The earth requires tillage and yields crops by half.
When the king, abandoning the great science of chastisement totally, oppresses his subjects by evil means of diverse kinds, the age that sets in is called Kali. During the age called Kali, unrighteousness becomes full and nothing of righteousness is seen. The hearts of men, of all the four orders (Brahman,Kshatriya,Vaishya,Sudra), fall away from their respective duties.Sudras live by abandoning lives of mendicancy, and Brahmanas live by serving others.Men fail to acquire the objects they desire and preserve those already acquired. Intermixture of the four orders takes place. Vedic rites fail to produce fruits. All the seasons cease to be delightful and become fraught with evil. The voice, pronunciation, and minds of men lose vigour. Diseases appear and men die prematurely. Wives become widows and many cruel men are seen. The clouds do not pour seasonably, and crops fail.
Listen to me,O Yudhishthira, the great blessedness of the science of chastisement, in sacred words of great import. The science of chastisement forces all men to the observance of the duties of their respective orders. Duly administered, it forces people to virtuous acts. When the four orders (Brahman,Kshtriya,Vaishya,Sudra) attend to their respective duties, when all wholesome barriers are maintained, when peace and happiness are made to flow from the science of chastisement, when the people become freed from all fear, and the three higher orders endeavour, according to their respective duties to maintain harmony, know that people become truly happy at such times.
The science of chastisement, which establishes all men in the observance of their respective duties, which is the groundwork of all wholesome distinctions, and which truly upholds the world and sets it a going, if properly administered, protects all people like the mother and the father protecting their children. Know,O bull among men, that the very lives of creatures depend upon it. The highest merit a king can acquire is acquaintance with the science of chastisement and administering it properly. Therefore, O thou of Kuru's race, protect thy subjects righteously with the aid of that great science of chastisement. By protecting the subjects and adopting such a conduct, thou wilt surely attain to such blessedness in heaven as is difficult of acquisition.Top To top of this page
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From the Mahabharat-Santi Parva
From The Mahabharata,Santi Parva
Arjuna said: The man armed with the rod of chastisement governs all subjects and protects them. The rod of chastisement is awake when all else is sleep. For this, the wise have characterised the rod of chastisement to be Righteousness itself. The rod of chastisement protects Righteousness and Profit .It protects also.
One class of sinful men desist from sin through fear of the rod of chastisement in the king's hands. Another class desist from similar acts through fear of Yama's rod (death penalty), and yet another from fear of the next world. Another class of persons desist from sinful acts through fear of society. Thus, in this world, whose course is such, everything is dependent on the rod of chastisement.
There is a class of persons who are restrained by only the rod of chastisement from devouring one another. If the rod of chastisement did not protect people, they would have sunk in the darkness of hell. The rod of chastisement (danda) has been so named by the wise because it restrains the ungovernable and punishes the wicked.
For keeping men awake (to their duties) and for the protection of property, ordinances have been established in the world, under the name of chastisement (or punitive legislation). There, where chastisement, of dark complexion and red eyes, stands in an attitude of readyness(to grapple with every offender) and the king is of righteous vision, the subjects never forget themselves. The student and the householder, the recluse in the forest and the religious mendicant, all these walk in their respective ways through fear of chastisement alone. The acts of all creatures become crowned with success only when the policy of chastisement is properly applied.If chastisement were abolished from the world, creatures would soon be destroyed. like fishes in the water, stronger animals prey on the weaker. This truth was formerly spoken by Brahma himself, viz., the chastisement, properly applied upholds creatures.
If there were no chastisement in the world distinguishing the good from the bad, then
the whole world would have been enveloped in utter darkness and all things would have been
confounded. Even they that are breakers of rules, that are atheists and scoffers of the
Vedas, afflicted by chastisement, soon become disposed to observe rules and restrictions.
Everyone in this world is kept straight by chastisement. A person naturally pure and
righteous is scarce. Yielding to fear of chastisement, man becomes disposed to observe
rules and restraints. Chastisement was ordained by the Creator himself for protecting
religion and profit, for the happiness of all the four orders, and for making them
righteous and modest.
If chastisement did not uphold and protect, then ravage and confusion would have set in on every side, and all barriers would have been swept away, and the idea of property would have disappeared.
Upon chastisement depend all creatures. The learned, therefore, say that chastisement
is the root of everything. Upon chastisement rests the heaven that men desire,
and upon it rests this world also.There, where foe-destroying chastisement is well
applied, no sin, no deception, and no wickedness is to be seen. Men that are fortunate,
living with their dear wives and children, eat good food, wear excellent clothes, and
cheerfully acquire virtue. All our acts, without doubt, are dependent on wealth; that
wealth again is dependent on chastisement.Behold, therefore, the importance of
The Mahabharata, Santi Parva
One becomes a king for acting in the interests of righteousness and not for conducting himself capriciously. The king is indeed the protector of the world. All creatures rest upon righteousness. Righteousness, in its turn, rests upon the king. When sinfulness is not restrained, righteous behaviour comes to an end and unrighteous behaviour increases greatly. When sinfulness is not restrained, no one can, according to the rights of property as laid down in the scriptures, say, 'This thing is mine and this is not mine,' When sinfulness prevails in the world, men cannot own and enjoy their own wives and animals and fields and houses.The deities receive no worship, the Pitris no offerings in Sraddhas, and guests no hospitality, when sinfulness is not restrained. The minds of men become weak and confounded like those persons wounded with weapons, when sinfulness is not restrained.
Casting their eyes on both the worlds, the Rishis made the king, that superior being,
intending that he should be the embodiment of righteousness on earth.