The Mahabharata Home
"The sage said, 'If, on the other hand, O Kshatriya, thou thinkest that thou hast any prowess still, I shall discourse to thee about that line of policy which thou mayst adopt for recovering thy kingdom. If thou canst follow that line of policy and seek to exert thyself, thou canst still recover thy prosperity. Listen attentively to all that I say unto thee in detail. If thou canst act according
to those counsels, thou mayst yet obtain vast wealth, indeed, thy kingdom and kingly power and great prosperity. If thou likest it, O king, tell me, for then I shall speak to thee of that policy.'
"The king said, 'Tell me, O holy one, what thou wishest to say. I am willing to hear and act according to thy counsels. Let this my meeting with thee today be fruitful of consequences (to myself).'
"The sage said, 'Renouncing pride and desire and ire and joy and fear, wait upon thy very foes, humbling thyself and joining thy hands. Do thou serve Janaka the ruler of Mithila, always performing good and pure deeds. Firmly devoted to truth, the king of Videha will certainly give thee great wealth. Thou shalt then become the right arm of that king and obtain the trust of all persons. As a consequence of this, thou shalt then succeed in obtaining many allies possessed of courage and perseverance, pure in behaviour, and free from the seven principal faults. A person of restrained soul and having his senses under control, by adhering to his duties, succeeds in raising himself and gladdening others. Honoured by Janaka possessed of intelligence and prosperity, thou shalt certainly become the right arm of that ruler and enjoy the confidence of all. Having then mustered a large force and held consultations with good ministers, do thou cause disunion among thy foes and, setting them against one another, break them all like a person breaking a vilwa with a vilwa. Or, making peace with the foes of thy foe, destroy the latter's power. 1 Thou shalt then cause thy foe to be attached to such good things as are not easily attainable, to beautiful women and cloths, beds and seats and vehicles, all of very costly kinds, and houses, and birds and animals of diverse species, and juices and perfumes and fruits, so that thy foe may be ruined of himself. 2 If one's foe be thus managed, or if indifference is to be shown towards him, one that is desirous of acting according to good policy, should never suffer that foe to know it at all. Following the behaviour that is approved by the wise, do thou enjoy every kind of pleasure in the dominions of thy foe, and imitating the conduct of the dog, the deer, and the crow, behave, with apparent friendship, towards thy enemies. Cause them to undertake achievements that are mighty and difficult to accomplish. See also that they engage in hostilities with powerful enemies. Drawing their attention to pleasant gardens and costly beds and seats, do thou, by offering such objects of enjoyment, drain thy enemy's treasury. Advising thy enemy to perform sacrifices and make gifts, do thou gratify the Brahmanas. The latter, (having received those presents through thy hands), will do good to thee in return (by performing penances and Vedic rites), and devour thy enemy like wolves. Without doubt, a person of righteous deeds obtains a high end. By such deeds men succeed in earning regions of the most felicity in heaven. If the treasury of thy foes be exhausted (by either righteous or unrighteous deeds), every one of them, O prince of Kosala, may be reduced to subjection. The treasury is the root of
felicity in heaven and victory on earth. It is in consequence of their treasuries that the foes enjoy such happiness. The treasury, therefore, should by every means be drained. Do not applaud Exertion in the presence of thy foe but speak highly of Destiny. Without doubt, the man who relies too much on acts appertaining to the worship of the gods soon meets with destruction. Cause thy enemy to perform the great sacrifice called Viswajit and divest him by that means of all his possessions. Through this thy object will be fulfilled. Thou mayst then inform thy enemy of the fact that the best men in his kingdom are being oppressed (with exactions for refilling the exhausted treasury), and indicate some eminent ascetic conversant with the duties of Yoga (who will wean thy foe from all earthly possessions). The enemy will then desire to adopt renunciation and retire into the woods, solicitous of salvation. Thou shall then, with the aid of drugs prepared by boiling highly efficacious herbs and plants, and of artificial salts, destroy the elephants and steeds and men (of thy enemy's dominions). These and many other well-devised schemes are available, all connected with fraud. An intelligent person can thus destroy the population of a hostile kingdom with poison.'"
230:1 The Vilwa is the fruit of the Egle marmelos.
230:2 The sense seems to be that by causing thy foe to be attached to these things, the treasury of thy foe is likely to be exhausted. If this can be brought about, thy foe will soon be ruined.
Next: Section CVI