Markandeya Puranam

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JARA (INERT) said: – Thus comforted by his mother every day the one named Alarka grew up in years and intelligence. (1) On his attaining to youth and being invested with sacred thread the wise son of Hritadhwaja, bowing to his mother, said: -(2) “Speak to me all who am bowing to you as to what I should do leading to happiness both here and hereafter.” (3)

Madalasa said: – O my child, being installed on the throne, a king, without infringing the duties of his own order, should endeavour to please his subjects. (4) Abandoning evils1 which strike at the seven roots2 a king by keeping his counsels, should protect himself from his enemies. (5) As from a car of strong wheels one meets with death in eight ways, so does, forsooth, a king, by giving out counsels. (6) He should ascertain whether his enemies have corrupted his courtiers or not; and through careful spies he should make himself acquainted with the ways of his enemies. (7) A king should not confide in his friends, adherents and kinsmen; and when the necessity comes he should confide even in his enemies. (8) Not influenced by lust a king should acquire the knowledge of place, increase and decrease and possess the six attributes. (9) First controlling his self, next the ministers, next the servants, next the citizens he should enter into hostilities with his enemies. (10) The king of uncontrolled self, who, without first subjugating all these, desires to defeat his enemies, on being defeated by his courtiers, is brought under the control of his enemies. (11) Therefore, my child, desires should be conquered first by a king; on them being brought under control success surely attends a king; but if he is conquered by them he meets with destruction. (12) The enemies are lust, anger, covetousness, pride, idea of self and joy, and they bring on the ruin of kings.

(13) Thinking that Pandu was deprived of his life through lust, that Anirudda was deprived of his son through anger, that Aila was deprived of his life through covetousness that Vena was killed by the twice-born through his arrogance, that Anusua’s son Vali was destroyed through his over weening self conceit and that Puranjaya was killed through excess of joy, one should throw off these passions. (14-15) Conquering those the high-souled Marutta subdued the entire earth. Remembering this a king should cast off all these short-comings. (16) A king should take his lessons from the crows, Kokilas, the black-bees, the harts, the serpents, the peacocks, the swans, the cocks and the iron.3 A king should act like worms towards his enemies and in season, O king, should show the diligence of acts. (18) He should spread like the scintillations of fire or like the seeds of the cotton tree. And governing the earth like the sun and the moon a king should learn wisdom from the prostitute, the lotus, the Sarava the Sutika, the breast of a woman big with child and the milk-woman.4 (19-20) For governing (his subjects) a king should act like Indra, the king of gods, the sun, Yama, the Moon and the wind-god. (21) As Indra pleases the creatures of the earth with showers for four months so the king should satisfy his subjects with self-sacrifice. (22) As the sun with his rays draws up the

1 Hunting, gambling, sleep during the day, calumny, concupiscence, dancing, singing, sporting, useless walking, drinking, violence, creating malice, ill-will, deceit, cruelty and vilifying others. 2 Lordship, counsellors, friends, treasury, punishment, kingdom and capital. 3 As charity from a crow, perfection from a Kokila, the habit of accumulation from a bee, the habit of not easily going to the clutches of an enemy from the hart; how to bring down a big enemy with a small expedient from a serpent. He should take the good thing and leave off the bad thing as a swan drinks the milk out of water mixed with it. He should learn how to rise early from a cock and should be hard and useful like iron. 4 He should learn from the prostitute how to please many; like lotus he should not only be beautiful of person but be accomplished also. The Sarava is a strong animal. Like Sutika be should entirely kill his enemy. As milk is created in the breast of a woman for the future child so the king should make preparations for the future. As a milk woman can make many things out of milk so the king should do many things.

water for eight months so the king, with minute means, should collect his revenue. (23) As Yama metes out punishment both to those whom he likes and to those whom he hates when the proper time comes, so the king should impartially deal with those whom he loves and whom he dislikes – the good and the wicked. (24) That king truly behaves like the Moon in whose regime all the subjects are happy and experience delight like what persons derive from seeing the full moon. (25) As the air secretly goes through all creatures so the king, with spies, should read his citizens, courtiers and friends. (26) The king, whose mind is not possessed by lust, the desire for wealth, or any other thing, repairs to the celestial region, O my son. (27) The king, who brings back to the pale of their own religion those foolish persons who stay away from right paths and fall off from their duties, goes to the celestial region. (28) The king, in whose kingdom, O my child, the duties of the various orders and Asramas do not suffer deterioration, attains eternal happiness both in this world and in the next. (29) To establish persons in their own religion which is being disturbed by wicked people constitutes the paramount duty of a king and leads to his success. (30) By governing his subjects a king accomplishes his end – and by governing them well and assiduously he is entitled to a portion of their piety. (31) A king, who protects the four orders, attains to happiness and ranges with Sakra in his own region. (32)