The Mahabharata Home
"Vamadeva said, 'The king should win victories without battles. Victories achieved by battles are not spoken of highly. O monarch, by the wise. When the sovereign's own power has not been confirmed, he should not seek to make new acquisitions. It is not proper that a king whose power has not been consolidated should seek to make such acquisitions. The power of that king whose dominions are wide and abound with wealth, whose subjects are loyal and contented, and who has a large number of officers, is said to be confirmed. That king whose soldiery are contented, gratified (with pay and prize), and competent to deceive foes can with even a small force subjugate the whole earth. The power of that king whose subjects, whether belonging to the cities or the provinces, have compassion for all creatures, and possessed of wealth and grain, is said to be confirmed. When the king thinks that his power is greater than that of a foe, he should then, aided by his intelligence, seek to acquire the latter's territories and wealth. A king whose resources are increasing, who is compassionate unto all creatures, who never loses any time by procrastination, and who is careful in protecting, his own self, succeeds in earning advancement. That king who behaves deceitfully towards his own people
that have not been guilty of any fault, shears his own self like a person cutting down a forest with an axe. If the king does not always attend to the task of slaying his foes, the latter do not diminish. That king, again, who knows how to kill his own temper finds no enemies. If the king be possessed of wisdom, he would never do any act that is disapproved by good men. He would, on the other hand, always engage himself in such acts as would lead to his own benefit and that of others. That king who, having accomplished all his duties, becomes happy in the approbation of his own conscience, has never to incur the reproach of others and indulge in regrets. That king who observes such conduct towards men succeeds in subjugating both the worlds and enjoy the fruits of victory.'
"Bhishma continued, 'Thus addressed by Vamadeva, king Vasumana did as he was directed. Without doubt, thyself also, following these counsels, shalt succeed in conquering both the worlds.'"
Next: Section XCV