NARADA'S COUNSEL TO YUDHISHTIRA
ON DHARMARAJA POLITY
After Arjuna had saved him from the burning Khandava forest, the sculptor, Maya told him that he was working as an architect for the feudal lords and would like to help him with his skill. But Arjuna would not accept any object from him in return but might ask Krshna whether he would like to be helped. Krshna suggested that Maya might construct a hall (sabha) that would meet the expectations of the nobles and the feudal lords and the commoners and would be acceptable to Dharmaraja (Yudhishtira).
It was a period when animosities and rivalries between the nobles (devas) and the feudal lords (asuras) had subsided substantially with many of both ranks having been absorbed in the new governing elite of the expanded core society. Krshna however would not allow the intransigent elements among the feudal lords and the plutocrats being treated on par with the liberal nobles (devas) and given the status of devatas.
With the permission of Yudhishtira and Krshna and the Pandavas, Maya who had served the feudal lords and the plutocrats earlier began to draw the plan for a huge hall that would be beautiful like that of the nobles (devasabha). (Ch.1 Sabhaparva) Krshna stayed for a few days in Khandavaprasta and then after taking leave of the Pandavas, Draupadi, Subhadra, Kunti, Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna and Subhadra, and Dhoumya and others returned to Dwaraka. (Ch.2 Sabhaparva)
Maya told Arjuna that he proposed to construct for him a hall for the assembly of nobles that would be famous in all the three social worlds and would surprise the commoners (manushyas). He wanted to bring if still available, the costly articles that were made by him for the feudal lord (asura), Vrshaparva who never wavered from the laws based on truth (satya) and which were at Bindusaras. With them he would construct an unusual (vichitra) hall for Dharmaraja (Yudhishtira who was committed to rule in accordance with the principles of the social laws, dharma). He would also bring for Bhimasena, the powerful mace used by Mamdhata, son of Yuvanasva, and for Arjuna, the great conch, Devadatta, given to Varuna by the nobles (devas).
Bhagiratha had stayed on the banks of the lake, Bindusaras (which was beyond Kailasa in the Himalayas) for pursuing his endeavour (tapas) to discover the source of Ganga. Samara, who was the charismatic benevolent leader (Isvara) of all the discrete individuals (bhutas) of the social periphery, had pursued his project there. Indra who had a thousand observers (chakshus) attained perfect knowledge (siddhi) through scrutiny of his hundred exploits to determine whether they were necessary and whether they were just. It was there that Brahma, the head of the academy of jurists, had organised all the social worlds (lokas) and provided security for the persons and beings (pranis) at the level of bare survival.
The sages, Nara and Narayana, Brahma, Manu Vaivasvata (Yama) and Sthanu (one of the Rudras), who were also social organisers had gone to the academy there to worship the highest intellectual, Parabrahma, who knew what was the correct thing to be done, but as a stoic did not directly interfere in the work of the activists. The chronicler says that Vishnu who wanted to institute sasvata dharma, the social laws that would be valid for all times and prevail forever, had been there at the academy of scholars to participate in a prolonged session. Vaishampayana is seen to have treated Narayana, Vishnu and Krshna as distinct thinkers and activists who however had common objectives. He did not treat Krshna as an incarnation of either Narayana or Vishnu.
Maya brought the stones needed for the construction of his hall and the conch and mace from that secluded enclave of Vrshaparva and also some kinkaras, guards who were in charge of them. (Yayati had married a daughter of Vrshaparva who was a sober person though a powerful feudal lord.) The materials brought from the hall of the feudal lord were used to construct one where not only the nobles (devas) but also the intellectuals of the expanded commonalty headed by Agni, administrators and generals headed by Surya and sober intellectuals of the frontier society headed by Soma could meet and conduct their proceedings. The rich hall was also fitted with devices that created illusions and these misled many visitors. (Ch.3 Sabhaparva)
Dharmaraja (Yudhishtira) entertained and honoured numerous scholars-cum-jurists (Brahmans) as he occupied the hall and conducted his administration from there. Many sages and kings too came to honour him. Asita, Devala, Sumitra, Maitreya, Sunaka, Vyasa, his disciples, Jaimini, Paila, Vaishampayana, Romaharshana and his son, Yajnavalkya, Dhoumya, Animandavya, Markandeya, Parvata, Bhrgu, Kakshivan, Galava, Gautama, Sandilya and other scholars narrated their experiences and entertained and instructed the guests who attended the inaugural session of that royal assembly. These scholars were on the scene when the feuds between the Kauravas and the Pandavas reached a climax.
Kings, ministers and generals from different parts of the country attended it. Notable among them was Sisupala of Cedi and Drupada of Pancala but none came from Hastinapura. Arjunas friend, Tumburu a gandharva, was in charge of the musical performance in which kinnaras who were experts in folk songs took part along with gandharvas and apsarases who were interested in classical music (devagana) and were directed by Chitrasena, another gandharva. (Ch.4 Sabhaparva)
While the Pandavas sat in the new hall with elders and members of the free intelligentsia (gandharvas), Narada, the great scholar arrived. Vaishampayana took pains to describe to Janamejaya how Narada had mastered different fields of discipline. He knew Vedas, Upanishads, Itihasas (records of contemporary events), different rules concerning performance of rites like yajna, interpretation of formulae, etymology, phonetics, rhetoric, alphabets and words, history of earlier eras (kalpas), and pre-history. He also knew perfectly the kalpasutras, the formulae that pertained to the social regulations of the (then) current era. He stuck to his vow of celibacy and knew what new practices could be adopted and what existing ones were to be abandoned. He knew dance and music too.
He was a treasury of the eighteen disciplines of study, four Vedas, six branches of Vedas, logic (tarkasastra), locating the inner meaning (mimamsa), chronicles (puranas), socio-cultural laws (dharmasastra), science of medicine (ayurveda), science of archery (dhanurveda), science of aesthetics (gandharvaveda) and science of political policy (rajaniti). He knew jurisprudence (nyayasastra) and subtleties of the social laws (dharma). None knew better than Narada the six ancillaries of the Vedas. He knew the (natural) common features and the diversities, the newly created social systems and the new additions to existing (social) structures. He knew the techniques (tantra) and excelled in intuition like a legislator (kavi). He knew the direct and obvious evidences as well as the indirect and inferred ones. He knew the five aspects of a valid judgement and could answer the queries and objections raised even by Brhaspati.
Narada knew all the four values or purposes of life of a man (social leader, purusha), purusharthas, dharma, artha, kama and moksha. He was a great intellectual who had seen all the social worlds and strata (lokas), high and low and middle. He had mastered the sciences of samkhya and yoga. He could pit the liberal nobles (devas) and the feudal lords (asuras) against each other.
He knew the truth about treaty of peace (samdhi) and hostility (vigraha), the two aspects of inter-state relations valued by the traditional school of polity and also the six-fold policy (shadguna) adopted by the more advanced and pragmatic school of Arthasastra. He knew the niceties of diplomacy and adopted shadguna with great caution. He was an expert in all codes (sastras) and was known to delight in creating conflict. He liked music and moved freely in all social worlds (lokas) and was a devarshi, a sage who had the status of a noble. Narada, a jurist (Brahmana) and his associates who were devarshis entered Dharmarajas (Yudhishtiras) assembly (sabha) and wished him success. Yudhishtira was the son of an official who in the Vedic polity looked after the administration of social laws (dharma) and he knew the dharmas, rights and duties of members of all social groups.
Along with his brothers, Dharmaraja in his capacity as a king who adhered to the principles of dharma and governed his subjects in accordance with those principles, received the sage and jurist who was also a member of the house of nobles, with the respect due to him and as per the rules prescribed in the code. Then the sage enquired the king about certain aspects of the three (of the four) values of his life (purusharthas), dharma, artha and kama.
He wanted to know whether his political and administrative activities were going along the proper lines, whether his mind was attached to dharma and whether he and others were experiencing the desirable comforts. Narada did not expect the king to be one who denied joy to himself or one who swam in excessive joys. Narada wanted to know whether he was able to get his objectives fulfilled without obstruction. He advised the king not to give up adherence to the principles of the socio-cultural (dharma) and politico-economic (artha) codes. Narada indirectly advised him not to give importance to the pursuit of the third purpose, kama.
He asked whether Yudhishtira continued to carry on the great project that his ancestors (dayadas) were engaged in. Narada did not want the king to depart from the high traditions set up by the ancestors or give up their noble projects. The new regime has to continue the old ways and not discard them as obsolete, undesirable or useless. He advised the king to ensure that (relentless) pursuit of wealth (artha) did not hamper adherence to social and moral laws, dharma and adherence to dharma did not hamper the pursuit of desirable economic power, artha.
He warned the king against yielding to sexual and other low pleasures (kama) that please the mind for they harmed the other two pursuits, dharma and artha. The king must know which was the appropriate time to give importance to dharma, artha and kama respectively and observe the rules with respect to those pursuits.
Narada pointed out that in interstate relations, besides paying attention to the six-fold policy (shadguna), treaty of peace (samdhi), open war (vigraha), marching towards the border (yana), (asana), dual policy of talks and assault (dvaidhibhava) and seeking protection of an equal (samasraya), the king should pay attention to the seven means that might be adopted by him and the seven that the enemy too might adopt. These were secret counsel (mantra), curative measure (aushadi), influence of the nobility (headed by Indra) that is not involved in the quarrels among the commoners and their rulers (indrajala), pacification (sama), gift (dana), rift among the ranks of the opponent (bheda) and finally threat of use of force (danda). [Indrajala is not to be interpreted as magic.]
Narada would add the first three means to the other four traditional means of settling disputes and give these three means, precedence over others. He would advise the king to resort to war only after the other six means were tried and had failed. The king should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each of these means for him and for his opponent. He would advise Yudhishtira to invariably enter into treaties of peace (samdhi) with those who were strong, after examining his and the others strength (bala).
The treaty of peace should enable him to carry out his eight duties as king, looking after agriculture, trade and fort, constructing dams, capturing elephants, digging for hidden treasure, mining for gems and gold, and settling people in uninhabited areas. Narada said that like his ancestor, Bharata, Yudhishtira should adopt this policy to expand his empire. Bharata did not depend only on his troops and personal valour to become a chakravarti.
Narada asked Yudhishtira whether all the seven organs (angas) of his state (rajya) remained unimpaired. In Naradas view the traditional state had the head (svami, raja) of the state, amatya (minister), associate (mitra, companion), treasury, country (desa, especially the rural areas), fort and army as its organs. The king should ensure that both the rich and the poor loved him. Narada did not approve patronising only one of the two strata to the disadvantage of the other. The king should ensure that neither he nor any of his ministers or envoys or other trusted men gave out counsel given in secret deliberations.
He must be in the know of what the other rulers, whether friends or enemies or intermediate (madhyasta) kings, planned to do. It may be noted that Narada treated the ally, mitra, to be next in importance only to the amatyas, secretaries of state. He considered treasury to be more important than the rural areas (desa) and the fortified capital. His was a politico-economic state rather than an economic state that Arthasastra advocated.
He advised the king to enter into a treaty of peace (samdhi) or go to war (vigraha) only at the appropriate time. Narada did take into account the presence of the udastita, the distant and indifferent king. But he did not note that this king had the capacity to tilt the balance of power in the circle of states (mandala). In fact, Narada did not visualise the paradigm of a circle of states comprising, the conqueror, and the enemy on his border, the ally who was the enemys enemy, the intermediate king and the distant indifferent king. He however noted the presence of kings who remained neutral and friendly (madhyama) both to the king and to his enemy (though they were in the immediate vicinity of the theatre of power struggle). Narada advised the king not to mar the economy and livelihood of the peoples of these two rulers, ally and the neutral.
Narada then advised Yudhishtira on how to select his ministers and have deliberations with them. The counsellors should be equal to him in status but elder to him and should have been tested and found to be not greedy. They should be capable of giving him advice and belong to higher clans (kulas) and be kind to him. Narada did not refer to from which class (varna) of the society the ministers should be selected. He pointed out that the victory of the king depended on counsel given by the ministers. As a friend, he asked Yudhishtira whether his state was protected from enemies by ministers who would not leak state secrets and who were experts in all codes (sastras). He hoped the king was not given to sleeping and that he woke at the proper hour and contemplated about his duties and projects late in the night.
The king should not deliberate on his state projects either alone or with many, Narada advised. The king should ensure that news of his deliberations with his ministers did not spread throughout the country (desa). He should examine and select projects that required small means and would be productive of huge benefits and should ensure that they did not face any obstruction and should commence them without delay.
He should personally look into the projects whose success was doubtful. After looking into them the king should re-entrust them to his subordinates. Narada did not envisage the king as one burdened permanently with specific duties or as a master with no duties whatsoever. It was beneficial for the king to personally take part in these state activities and projects.
Narada advised Yudhishtira to ensure that the executives of these activities were persons who were desirable and were not greedy and belonged to clans that were traditionally associated with them. He was not for selecting the executives from a general pool. He was pragmatic and not an idealist who thought of a classless society. The king should ensure that others knew of his projects only after they were completed or were about to be completed. He should also ensure that none knew about the projects that had not yet been completed. This would ensure that his enemies did not frustrate his moves. Narada was not for a state that kept every one in dark forever about its projects. But he also did not favour throwing all activities to public gaze and scrutiny at every stage.
Narada asked Yudhishtira whether he had arranged for the training of the princes and other warriors by competent teachers in social laws (dharmas) and in all codes (sastras). Did he secure the services of such scholars who were very few and difficult to get at? One who was really learned would be of great help in tiding over dilemmas that might arise while executing a project, Narada pointed out emphasizing the importance of securing the services of experienced scholars. He enquired whether all the forts had been provided with necessary wealth, grains, arms and water, instruments, artisans and archers.
Narada said that only a minister who was an intellectual and was also brave and who restrained his senses would enable the king and the prince to secure huge wealth. The king should hence be particular in securing the services of such ministers. The king should appoint three observers (charanas) each for observing the activities of each of the eighteen departments of the other side (parapaksha) and the fifteen on his side (svapaksha). Narada who was personally an observer constantly on the move knew the importance of the institution of spies (cakshus and charanas).
Narada would ask the king to note that his opponent might not be necessarily the ruler of another state. He might be even a rival located within his state and having his men in every one of the state bureaus (tirthas). In either case, every bureau of the opponent was to be kept under surveillance by three persons. The king must arrive at a conclusion only if three independent observers reported a particular move. The king should ensure that his opponents did not learn his real motives and movements. They should be made to trust him. At the same time without relaxing his efforts he should learn the moves and motives of all his enemies.
But within ones state the king should not set spies on the three highest bureaus, the king (and his sons and queens), the prime minister and the political counsellor, Rajapurohita. These three were exempt from the jurisdiction of the institution of spies. Narada did not want this system to be disturbed. He was putting forth the Rajarshi constitution, which entrusted sovereign power in the three authorities, Rajarshi, Rajapurohita and Head of the Council of Ministers. The Rajapurohita must be a highly learned person with no flaw in his character and be one who continues to learn and belong to a higher clan (kula). Narada did not insist on this counsellor having been born in a Brahman family.
The purohita was not an ordinary priest attached to the kings family. He was aware of the rules prescribed in the codes (sastras) (socio-cultural and politico-economic) and had insight and was what he appeared to be. The Rajapurohita was required to actively participate in the kings duties as a civil judge and head of the council of intellectuals (a post held in the Vedic polity by the official designated as Agni). Narada did not however envisage the Rajapurohita as the head of this council (samiti) or as the civil judge (Agni). Dharmaraja himself held these positions but he was to be assisted by his purohita.
The Rajapurohita ensured that the king performed his duties according to schedule. The ministers could not do so as they were the kings subordinates unlike the Rajapurohita who was an independent socio-political authority. [But it was not a theocratic state.] The Rajapurohita was expected to be an expert in the Vedangas, branches of the Vedas and know the movements of the satellite kingdoms and the unarmed sections of the population who were directly under the supervision of the nobles.
Though the king as Dharmaraja or Rajarshi enjoyed considerable freedom in the exercise of authority over the commonalty of his core state he did not have such freedom with respect to the above autonomous political and civil authorities. They might at times perform acts that could prove harmful to his interests. Remedial steps had to be taken then. It was the duty of the Rajapurohita who was not interested in gaining power to step in and ensure that the king who wanted to increase his power did not suffer. He was in charge of remedial measures. Narada did not envisage him as a royal astrologer or even as an astronomer. [Stereotypes need to be discarded as they hamper a rational interpretation of the ancient works on laws and polity.]
Naradas appreciation of the requirements of good governance may not be as thorough as Kautilyas but it was definitely not rudimentary. He wanted the king to ensure that the executives (subordinates) were appointed for duties (karma) in accord with their abilities. The king should appoint for important projects capable ministers who had been tested for their purity in matters pertaining to wealth and economic activities (artha) and whose ancestors had been ministers. He was not for placing state affairs connected with finance and economy in the hands of unknown persons. Narada was not for either a soft state or for a harsh one. The king should ensure that his subjects (prajas) were not threatened with severe punishments.
It was an expanded state and many of the subjects were not locally born. There was an unwritten contract between the king and his subjects. Ministers and government officials often ignored this to the detriment of the relations between the king and his subjects. Narada did not envisage the ministry as a mere consultative body. It had to be entrusted with the responsibility to govern the country and it should function as a governing council, he insisted. The king was not directly involved as an executive nor was he more than the head of this governing body. Narada was drawing attention to its duties rather than to its powers. The ministry was not superior to the king. Narada would advise the king to assert his authority over them. The king had to ensure that the ministers did not insult him openly or indirectly. If he was free from misdeeds while performing his duties and from lust he would not be insulted, Narada counselled.
Narada asked Yudhishtira to ensure that the chief of his army was an enthusiastic and brave warrior with a sharp intellect and was incorrupt and friendly. The head of the army, senapati, must have been born in a high family (kula), he insisted. The captains were expected to be experts in all types of war, fearless, pure and valorous. The king should honour them with rewards. Narada was particular that the food and wages for the troops were paid according to their ranks and at the prescribed time. There should be no cut or delay in payment of these, he warned. Else poverty and sufferings would turn the troops against the king and it would lead to a major political and economic chaos and disaster (anartha), he said.
Were all the princes appointed to be chiefs (pradhana) of the districts or provinces (desa) kind and loyal to the king? Were they prepared to die in battle for him? Narada advised the king to ensure that none of these princes or ministers acted on his own or disobeyed the kings orders and joined hands with other ministers and refrained from carrying out highly productive activities. [Many of the administrators flaunted the designation, raja, though they were not born in royal families.]
There were individuals in the commonalty who by their own efforts corrected the defects in or improved the state projects carried out by the bureaucracy. Such individuals should be honoured with higher wages and more food, Narada suggested. Those individuals of the commonalty who were trained in different skills and were intelligent need to be rewarded with wealth according to their traits (gunas), he said. The king should protect the families of those who died or had suffered loss while executing state work.
He advised the king to protect the enemy who had surrendered out of fear or out of loss of power or after having been defeated, as he would treat his son with sympathy. The king should be both mother and father to the entire world and be impartial and trusted by all. He should march against the enemy when the latter is afflicted by the ailments (vyasana) of lust, gambling and hunting. He should attack only after examining the three aspects of his strength (bala), political (mantra, ministry), economic (kosa, treasury) and military (sena, army). [Kautilya recommended the concept of three saktis, mantra, prabhu and utsahacounsel, economic and political, enthusiasm and charisma.]
The king who seeks victory in war should commence the movement of the troops to the battlefront at the opportune time taking into account the strength of the army required to guard his state against the rear enemy, the forces required to be kept at the base within his country and the enthusiasm of his troops and people and after ensuring that the enemy would indeed be defeated. The king should first pay his troops and then secretly buy the leaders of the army of his enemy through costly goods in accordance with their worth. Narada did not treat the latter step as immoral and hence not to be resorted to. He was pragmatic in his approach. The king who wanted to conquer the enemy who had not restrained his senses should first restrain his own senses, Narada advised.
He also insisted that the king should have before marching against the enemy resorted to all the four means, sama, dana, bheda and danda, in a perfect manner as prescribed in the science of policy (nitisastra). Narada impressed on Yudhishtira to note that his jurisdiction as king was limited to the commonalty (manushyas). [He should not do anything that would offend the nobles, devas.] Nitisastra cautioned the king against embarking on conquests in violation of the procedures prescribed. Any violation of this rule might lead to his being indicted by the nobles and even deposed.
The nobles (devas) and sages (rshis) kept a watch over such violations of universal laws that protected the sovereignty of every state. A king should embark on conquest only after stabilising his control over his own country. After using his prowess to conquer others he had to protect them. Laws did not permit him to walk out after destroying or looting their country. [Kautilya calls the one who protects as dharmavijayi, the destroyer as asuravijayi and the robber as lobhavijayi.]
Narada asked the king whether he had ensured that the four-fold army (local standing troops, troops of the friends, hired troops and autonomous troops of the forest people) with its eight organs (angas, limbs) (chariots, elephants, cavalry, infantry, captains and other officers, servants, spies, leaders of the provincial troops) led by the chiefs of his army was able to deter the enemy. The king who harasses the enemy should destroy the kings of other countries without destroying the crops. No war should be launched when the seeds were sown and the crops were harvested.
The king had to ensure that his many officials looked after the projects in his country and in those of others simultaneously and together. In other words the same officer would be in charge of the activities within the state as well as outside it. The administration of the conquered territory was to be given the same attention as that of the conquerors country. The people of the conquered country were not to be denied the benefits and rights that the people of the conquerors country enjoyed. But it was not imposition of the culture of the conquerors country on that of the conquered. Narada insisted that the Dharmaraja should follow these rules in conquest, if he were to be regarded as a Dharmavijayi.
The king was asked to appoint trusted and loyal persons who had benefited from him, to protect his food, clothes, ornaments, fragrances, treasury, granary, vehicles, weapons, and income. Narada, reminding him again that he was ruler only over the commoners (manushyas), asked him to ensure that those around him or outsiders did not harm him. He must ensure in his own interests that his kinsmen did not harm them and that his kinsmen did not harm one another, lest the harmed should turn against him.
He should not let his accountants know what he had spent during night on drinking and gambling and on women. [These three and hunting were weaknesses of most princes and kings.] The king should spend not more than what he earned, preferably not more than one fourth. He should give donations to his kinsmen, teachers, elders, merchants and sculptors, and to those who approached him and to the poor. These aids were to be extended from his personal income.
The accountants appointed should record (report) the income and expenditure correctly every morning. The king should not remove from service the officials who were proficient in their work and who were his well wishers and who were his friends for a long time and were not guilty (of any act of omission or commission). He should identify the calibre, high or low or middle of persons and appoint them to the posts and functions suitable for them.
Narada was dealing with a society that had not yet been brought under the varna classification, it needs to be kept in mind. While appointing members of the lower executive no one was to be preferred because he belonged to a higher social class or community or clan. But while appointing ministers and generals, belongingness to a higher clan did matter. Narada asked the king to be cautious that greedy persons, thieves, enemies and untrained persons did not enter his executive. He should ensure that the thieves and those longing for wealth and princes in the control of women did not afflict his state.
It was an overwhelmingly agricultural economy. The king had to ensure that the peasants were satisfied. This required creating big lakes throughout the state so that the crops were not dependent only on rains. The peasants should not be allowed to lose their grains and seeds for want of water for irrigation. The king was asked to advance loans to every individual and help him. Narada was against extending free aid. The individuals would be required to return the loan with interest. It did not mean that Narada made the state practise usury.
While abolishing usury as a means of livelihood of the individual Narada would not neglect the commercial economy of the country (desa). He wanted the king to ensure suitable persons were appointed to manage it properly. The king had to realise that smooth development of the commonalty depended on trade.
Every district or province (desa) was placed under a committee of five officials. They were required to be bold administrators (kshatras) and experienced intellectuals and men of good conduct and were to be jointly in charge of social welfare activities and social security of the people of that predominantly rural area (desa).
Narada found that most kings paid attention to the protection of their capitals and neglected the villages. He advised Yudhishtira to ensure that steps were taken to keep every village a protected residential area with all facilities as in the case of a town. Even the peripheral areas round the village (where most of the poor lived) should be paid the same attention. Narada was against a polity that was based on urban-rural cleavage. He did not favour the pura-rashtra, paura-janapada dichotomy. He asked the king to ensure that the peripheral areas were really under his control and that there was no lack of administration there. Narada wanted that the police should move about in all areas, plains and moors and hills and towns to keep away the thieves. The army should stand by the police.
The sage asked the king whether he treated women with kindness and whether they were well protected. But he did not want the king to trust women with secrets. [This note should not be interpreted as a policy that discriminated against women.] He warned the king against whiling away his time with women without attending to his duties at the proper time. He had to rise early to attend to his socio-cultural (dharma) and politico-economic (artha) activities. He was required to give audience to the people in the morning. Armed men in red uniform should always guard him. This would restrain his enemies.
The king was asked to identify correctly who deserved to be punished and who to be worshipped and to be like Yama (the Vedic official in charge of justice) impartial between his friends and foes in their affairs. The king was asked to pay attention to his physical health by avoiding certain items of food and to his mental health by consulting elders on what troubled him. He should appoint trusted and capable physicians and surgeons who were experts in the eight branches of Ayurveda to look after his health.
While arbitrating economic disputes (vyavahara) brought to him, he should never do injustice to the plaintiff or to the respondent out of greed for their wealth or out of ignorance of laws or out of arrogance of power. He should not ruin the livelihood of his dependent out of greed or out of faith in others or out of friendship with another. The king should ensure that the people residing in his towns (pura) and rural areas (desa) were not purchased by his enemies and made to join them and turn against him.
He should ensure that after he had weakened by his prowess his foe the latter regained his strength in political counsel (mantra) and army (sena). As conquest did not permit annexation of the conquered countries, it was necessary that the defeated country obtained a good administration and that it was not demilitarised. Narada asked him to ensure that all the kings who were heads of bureaus or regions were loyal to him and would be prepared to even die for him in his cause when called.
The king was asked to give the respect due according to merit to the skilled in every field and to the Brahmans. He should for his own good revere the silent ascetics (munis). He should bestow on them permanent endowments (dakshina) that would help them to pursue their objective of attaining the level of the aristocracy (svargaloka) and salvation (moksha) (without being required to worry about meeting their requirements). The king was asked to continue to perform the duties prescribed in the Vedas whose merits could be understood only by reference to the Vedas and which were performed by his ancestors. He was warned against parting ways with family traditions (kuladharma).
He was asked to entertain Brahmans as his guests and honour them with food and dakshina. (It was not enough to give them alms.) He was asked to perform the domestic rites and sacrifices with sincerity and in full as prescribed. The king was asked to revere his kinsmen, teachers, elders, nobles, ascetics and the holy trees under which the village elders met to decide village disputes and the Brahmans (jurists). [He was not asked to worship trees or temple priests]
Narada advised the king to be flawless and not to cause harm to any one or anger him. He should ensure that the people were with him. He should examine and distinguish correctly among the three values of life, dharma, artha and kama and have the intellect that would give him a long life and fame. The kingdom of one with such wisdom would not be harmed while he would be able to conquer all the plains (bhumi) and become prosperous.
Narada advised the king to ensure that a pure and honest person when accused of theft was not killed by the officers out of greed without caring for the codes (sastras) that gave him protection. He should also ensure that they did not release out of greed the guilty who was caught.
Narada noticed that there were many dishonest and greedy persons in the executive. The king was required to get rid of them. Members of the court of justice (nyayasabha) should be prevented from favouring out of greed for wealth offered by the rich against the poor in the disputes between the two. The Dharmaraja had to ensure that the authority given to the open courts was not misused by the rich to corrupt the assessors and jury and deny justice to the poor.
The king was asked to give up the fourteen faults in a king (rajadosham), atheism (nastika), falsehood, rage, lack of zeal, indolence, procrastination, ignoring the acquaintances, indulgence in the five senses, deliberation by himself, deliberating with those who did not know the work, not carrying out the resolutions, not keeping counsel secret, not doing the auspicious rites and not going forward to receive others. Narada warned that even kings who had deep roots in their kingdoms were ruined because of these faults.
He asked Yudhishtira whether his knowledge of Vedas and his education and his wealth and wives were useful to him. Yudhishtira asked Narada to explain what he meant by this query. The knowledge of principles, rules and procedures provided by Vedas was put to use only when the Vedic official designated as Agni conducted the proceedings, Narada explained. A wife was useful for getting sexual pleasure and offspring, he said. Education was of use only when it made one humble and disciplined.
He told Yudhishtira that he should collect tolls from merchants who brought goods from abroad. He had to ensure that the respected members of the commonalty of his city and rural areas imported their goods without being conned (by middlemen or others). He advised him as a friend that he should always listen to the words of the elders who knew arthasastra and who made profits in accordance with the principles of dharma. Their words would be based on the two codes, dharma and artha. Narada did not want Yudhishtira who knew the socio-cultural laws to ignore the politico-economic code under the impression that it did not accord with ethics.
Narada advised that Brahmans should be given only agro-pastoral products for pursuing their socio-cultural activities (dharma). He said that the artisans should be given in advance at the appropriate time raw materials and implements needed for the next four months. They should not be kept on tenterhooks by the miserliness of the officers lest they should be forced to adopt other occupations, faced by uncertainties. He should notice the work done and praise the worker and reward him in the midst of those who knew that work. This would enthuse the artisans, he pointed out. He asked Yudhishtira whether he had read and mastered the best works on elephants, horses and chariots. [Works on these topics concerned with warfare were available then, it may be surmised.]
He expected the king and his brothers to have learnt thoroughly the formulae pertaining to science of archery (dhanursastra) and science of instruments needed for the fortified town. Narada insisted on practical training. Narada also expected the king to know the use of all the missiles. He must know also Brahmadanda, which meant final stage of political counsel (mantrasiddhi). Brahmadanda meant the power that was vested in the supreme judiciary by the socio-political constitution, Brahma. The king should know also how to use poison weapons to destroy the enemies.
He must also know how to save his entire country (rural areas, desa) from threats posed by fire and workers of forest (sarpas) and diseases and from the individuals on the periphery (bhutas) and the counter-intelligentsia (paisacas) who misguided the people. Narada advised the king who knew dharma to protect the blind and the dumb and the lame and the maimed and orphans and ascetics like a father.
He told the king to avoid the six harmful tendencies, sleeping, laziness, timidity, anger, softness and procrastination. The Kuru chieftain who was a Dharmaraja thanked the sage for his valuable counsel and paying homage to him assured him that he would act accordingly. [The remark attributed to Narada that a king who protected the four varnas would be happy in this life and would attain the world of Indra in the next life is a later addendum.] (Ch.5 Sabhaparva)