PANDAVAS AND LIFE IN EXILE
Janamejaya wanted to know how the sons of Prtha (Kunti) and their wife, Draupadi spent their life in the forest. Vaishampayana told him that many citizens hurt by the conduct of the Kauravas and the failure of Bhishma, Drona, Krpa and other elders to be assertive preferred to follow the Pandavas to the forest leaving their lands and homes. They said that the Pandavas had individually and collectively all the good traits that made the people (jana) desire to reside amidst them. But Yudhishtira thanked them for their affection and consoled them and advised them to go back. They stayed under a banyan tree that night. Many Brahmans with their families and some unmarried scholars (snatakas) had followed them. They were studying the Vedic hymns that enlightened the people like Agni, the chief of the intelligentsia. (Ch.1 Vanaparva)
These Brahmans lived on alms. But the Pandavas and Draupadi were sad that they could not entertain them. Yudhishtira told them of their plight and requested them to go back. But the Brahmans said that they would not be a burden on them and would earn their own livelihood and live on the fruits, leaves and vegetables and nuts and roots that the trees and plants yielded. This saddened Yudhishtira and he requested them to go back to Dhrtarashtra or to Pancala.
Saunaka's Counsel to the Pandavas
Meanwhile Saunaka, a great scholar (Brahman) and an expert in Vedanta and Yoga and Samkhya counselled Yudhishtira on how an intellectual could overcome sorrows. As the present essay aims to highlight the features of the social polity of the Vedic and early post-Vedic times we would not go deep into the highly beneficial counsel on how to become a true scholar (pandita) who could cure the mind of its ailments and become a perfect intellectual. He taught Yudhishtira how to become truly stoical. One has to remove the sorrows in the mind through knowledge. If the sorrows of the mind are removed those of the body would become less.
Desire is the root cause of mental sorrows. Every living being (prani), especially the one at the level of the subaltern is impelled by desire and hence he gets associated with sorrows. This attachment is the cause of other faults and weaknesses like fear, pessimism and despair and pain. As a result of this attachment one also shows compassion and love for others. It also causes jealousy among the peoples (jana). Both lead to harm. Of these, friendship is very influential in leading one to take wrong steps, Saunaka hinted.
Though one may desire only petty benefits, it would mar one who wants to follow dharma. Saunaka explained that there is nothing to renounce when one had no attachments to worldly things (vishayas). Only one who notices the faults when the attachments crop up and gets rid of them may be said to be a tyagi, one who has renounced. Saunaka was resorting to Samkhya dialectics to explain how one could become impartial.
Only one who has renounced all attachments to those (objects or persons) favourable to him can become a vairagi, one who does not dislike any one (or any object). A vairagi is not attached to those who dislike his opponents, that is, does not develop counter-attachments. Hence he should keep out attachment to kinsmen, friends and objects. He should also keep out love for his (physical as well as social) body through intellect (buddhi).
Those who have this (true) knowledge (jnana) and exert in this direction of remaining unattached (yoga) and know the science (sastra) (of impartial conduct) are like the lotus leaf that does not absorb the water (in which it stands). One who has raga, longing for pleasure is attracted by kama desire for sex. He desires to obtain what gives him pleasure. That leads to discontent with what he has. Some are unable to leave discontent even when they are old and decrepit. Only one who gives up the disease of discontent can become happy.
The discontent in the minds of the commoners (manushyas) destroys them even as its own heat burns out the burning iron-rod reducing them (who had means of livelihood and individuality) to the level of beings (pranis) at the subaltern (struggling to survive and lacking individuality), Saunaka pointed out. Greed ruins one who does not restrain his mind. Saunaka treats greed as a natural propensity. He points out that the wealthy always faced threat from kings, floods, fire, theft, kinsmen, alms-seekers and death. Both the wealthy and the poor who were at the bare subsistence level (were pranis) were afraid of death. But the poor did not face threat from other sources.
The rich were always sponged on, even as birds in the sky, wild animals on the earth and fish in the sea live on meat. But Saunaka did not hold brief for the rich. They were bound to be victims of the needy. It was not possible to protect them. Saunaka noticed a vexing enigma in the call for protection of personal property. Right to acquisition and possession of wealth resulted in the economic ruin (anartha) for some commoners (manushyas), he pointed out.
He was drawing attention to the drawbacks in free economy. A commoner who tried to attain a higher status, free from social and civil and civic restraints, though he used his wealth for noble religious causes (jyotishtoma) that made him be perceived as a virtuous man, would not secure freedom (moksham) from his social obligations, Saunaka warned. [He implied that only those who were vairagis and did not yearn for wealth could have real freedom.]
All economic acquisitions only increased the stupor of the mind, he said. The intellectuals knew that the commoners (manushyas) suffered from pitiable misery (karpanya), egotism (ahamkara), fear (bhaya) and mental anxiety because of wealth (that they wanted to acquire or had acquired). Search for wealth was painful and protection of wealth acquired too was painful. Loss of wealth was painful and spending of wealth too was painful. Murders took place because of wealth. Abandoning the wealth acquired was painful. If wealth was protected it became a threat to ones life. Wealth was acquired only through pain. Saunaka was decrying the concept of an economic society. One should not worry about loss or destruction of wealth, he said.
Those who were not content with what they had were fools, he claimed. The scholars (panditas) [who stayed in the forest amidst its flora and fauna and studied their nature] could attain happiness because they knew that there was no limit to desires. Satisfaction was the greatest happiness. In the social world of the forest the panditas regarded satisfaction as the best objective and way of life. [Saunaka was the head of a huge academy located in the Naimisha forest.] Saunaka pointed out to the Pandavas the impermanence of beauty, form, and means of livelihood, jewellery, wealth and association with desired property. A scholar (pandita) should not desire for these, he said. Hence one should give up all aspects of artha. He should tolerate all worldly occupations that led to distress of mind (klesa), he said. Saunaka was against treating any of the recommendations of the politico-economic code, arthasastra, as a desirable one.
Saunaka was for a non-economic society. He argued that no wealthy person was seen to be free from difficulties. Was Saunaka against the concept of four purusharthas (dharma, artha, kama and moksha) that every dynamic individual was advised to attend to in building his social personality? Saunaka said that the wealth that social leaders (purushas) who were devoted to the principles of dharma acquired without their desiring it was praiseworthy. He was not against the concept of a holistic personality, which required that one should pursue all the four aspects. He was however for giving dharma the highest importance. Arthasastra was construed to have paid attention to the best ways of earning wealth and underplayed the importance of morals and ethics, that is, of dharma.
What Saunaka disapproved was not wealth per se but the desire for wealth. A person (a king) who aimed at doing good deeds that were prescribed in dharmasastra as his duties might desire to get wealth for that purpose. It was not wrong. But he should not be attached to it. He pointed out that men (manushyas, commoners) should better not touch the mud (of wealth) than cleanse oneself of that mud.
Dharmarajya cannot be an economic state
He was advising Yudhishtira who had headed for some time a dharmarajya that floundered on the rock of desire for more wealth that led him to gamble (that is, to adopt the methods of speculative economy, acquiring wealth without constructive work and without destructive war). Saunaka exhorted him not to be attached to wealth. If he found that he could do some constructive work by following the code of dharma, he should give up his desire for wealth (artha) and the methods recommended by the code of artha. An economic state could not be a state committed to ethics and justice, a dharmarajya.
Thereupon Yudhishtira clarified that he did not entertain the thought of acquiring wealth out of liking for sense experiences. He wanted to entertain and feed the intellectuals (brahmans). He needed wealth for this purpose. He was not greedy for wealth. How could one like him who was in the householder stage (grhastha asrama) not feed and protect those who followed them?
In the sacrifices offered, all persons at the level of the subaltern (pranis) who had no means of livelihood and struggled for even bare existence had a share, he pointed out. Similarly a householder should feed the ascetics (sanyasis) and others who did not cook food. In the houses of the pious the seats of grass, accommodation, water and true and kind words for these guests would never cease to be. This has been a very old traditional practice (dharma).
According to the views expressed in discussions on examination of civil laws (in agnihotra), the bull (rshabha that represented the principle of procreation and continuation of the species), kinsmen of the wives (jnatis), guests, relatives, offspring, wives and servants had to be fed and honoured. Else they would make the life of the householder miserable. One should not cook only for oneself. He should not eat alone. It was not proper to offer one any gift or food that was debarred. [The note that cows should not be killed without reason is an unwarranted later interpolation. The suggestion that cows were killed at sacrifices, yajnas, is unacceptable. Consumption of beef was prohibited.]
Vaisvadevam, orientation propagated by Visvedevas, upper crust of the commonalty
Yudhishtira who was ruing his inability to feed the Brahmans who followed him said that social laws had prescribed that some food should be kept on the earth for the consumption of the svas who were not members of any social group and went about on their own (as freely as the nobles, devas did) and svapakas who ate only what they cooked and for the birds. This was considered to be vaisva devam, the orientation propagated by the visvedevas, members of the upper crust of the vis, commonalty, who had been admitted to the nobility as its associate members. They took into account the needs of these sections of the larger society that were not engaged in economic activities nor had the advantage of protection by social groups.
Affluent life for everone of the larger society
This orientation called for enabling every one of the larger society, to enjoy an affluent life, as indicated by the concepts of overflowing ladle (vikasa) and rich nectar (amrta). What remained after feeding the guests was called vikasa and what remained after the (five) sacrifices or assistance to the non-economic sections of the society was called amrta. [Amrta did not imply nectar that made its partaker immortal.]
Yudhishtira said that an act of sacrifice required that one must see the recipient of the act, think of him, speak to him sincere and true words and the latter must follow the donor and the latter must give him what he needs. One would be doing a beneficial act when he gives joyously food to an unknown tired traveller. Yudhishtira asked Saunaka whether he agreed that these acts of those who were in the householder stage were deemed to be great acts of dharma. He was defending his position that the wealth he aspired was intended to meet the duties he had as a householder to offer sacrifices and feed the needy.
Saunaka was not carried away by this claim. Saunaka felt that the social world of commonalty was acting against its own interests. The mind of the commoner was after pleasures of the senses and hence his activities were tuned to fulfilment of desires. He got involved in the wheel of worldly life and was unable to get free from the cycle of births and deaths, Saunaka pointed out. This was the way of the ignorant (ajnani), he said. The persons who had the correct knowledge (jnana) did their worldly duties (karma) but renounced their fruits, as counselled in the Vedas. Saunaka was referring to the counsel that Krshna gave his students of the academy that he had taken over. The duties that Dharmaputra referred to were not to be performed with pride as ones that one was required to perform by virtue of his membership of a particular social cadre.
Saunaka pointed out that the duties of performance of sacrifices (yajnas), studying (of vedas), offering gifts (danam) and strenuous endeavour for achieving certain high goals (tapas) led one along the path that would give him the status of a retired elder member of the family (pitr). These duties were to be performed without a sense of pride. The observance of the duties of abiding by the principles of truth (satya), forbearance, restraining the five senses and absence of desire led one to the status of a noble (deva). The pious (sadhus) should always perform these duties, he said. Only one who followed all the eight duties would be treated as a pure siddha, Saunaka pointed out.
Dealing with issues that pertained to the administration of the social polity, he enumerated these duties as control over the holistic cycle of change of functions (samkalpa), control of the state organs (indriyas), the specialities of the commitments (vratas), serving the teacher (guru, socio-political guide), eating healthy food, studying (vedas), retirement from service (karmasanyasa), controlling the mind (chittam) and conquest (of the cycle) of births and deaths. Only for the fulfilment of these duties the executives performed their deeds (karma). The judges (Brahmanas) who were free from likes and dislikes, and the rich nobles, Rudras, Saddhyas, Adityas and Asvinidevas protected the subjects (prajas) who had wealth by adherence to the science of yoga, that is, the principles of exertion. [The idle could not become rich.]
Status of a perfect administrator yogasiddhi
Saunaka advised Yudhishtira to obtain total control over his mind like these persons through concentrated effort (tapas) and attain the status of perfect administrator (yogasiddhi). Yudhishtira had obtained from his parents certain traits, which along with the duties (karma) that he had performed well had made him attain perfection (siddhi). By devotion to the chief, devata, of the forest society in which he found himself he should attain success (yasa) in his objective of protection of the scholars (Brahmans) who had accompanied him to the forest. Saunaka said that whatever the siddhas, those who had attained perfection, desired to do they did them through great endeavour (tapas).
Saunaka advised Yudhishtira to complete what he wanted to do by his devotion to the devata (the benevolent chief of the forest society). The commoners of the plains (prthvi) who were householders were required to entertain and provide the daily food and other needs of the nobles (devas) and sages (rshis) and elders (pitrs, pitaras) associated with their families and clans. The residents of the forests including those commoners who had retired from their economic and social activities to their forest abodes were required to similarly honour and entertain the nobles (devatas) of those areas, the sages resident there and their elders (pitaras).
The nobles (devas and devatas), the sages (rshis) and the elders (pitrs and pitaras) were non-economic cadres and were not engaged in productive economy. Both the residents of towns and villages and those of the forests were expected to entertain their guests also. The devatas who were mainly from the cadres of plutocrats (yakshas) and technocrats (nagas) ranked lower than the cultural aristocrats (devas). It is unsound to describe devas and devatas as gods and demigods and pitrs as the insatiate souls of the deceased ancestors. Many of the pitrs were former feudal lords (asuras, daityas). (Ch.2 Vanaparva)
After hearing the advice of Saunaka, the head of the Naimisha forest academy to seek the help of a devata, Yudhishtira and his brothers requested Dhoumya to guide them on how to procure food for the Vedic Brahmans who followed them. Dhoumya drew their attention to an episode pertaining to an earlier occasion when the living beings (pranis) in the south faced starvation on account of drought. They had to wait for six months until scorching heat of the sun evaporated all the water of the land and clouds were formed and it rained to enable the plants to grow. It was an economy dependent purely on rains. What we see as plants are but a transformation of the heat of the sun, Dhoumya interpreted.
Dhoumya advised Yudhishtira to seek the favours of Surya, the protector of all living beings (pranis). Dhoumya implied that kings protected all their subjects who were engaged fully in strenuous efforts (tapas) and were born in their areas or had become acceptable as citizens (prajas) by virtue of their useful work. They however neglected the poor who belonged to the social periphery and were not engaged in any productive work, he noticed.
The official, Surya, looked after the people of the subaltern who were born poor and had no talents and were dependent purely on the generosity of nature and who belonged not to the organised social world (loka) of commoners but to the unorganised and unsettled mobile population of jagat, social universe. [It is necessary to distinguish between the two terms, loka and jagat and the concepts behind them.] The intelligentsia of the forest (represented by Soma) had prevailed on this administrator, Surya, who belonged to the nobility to look after the weaker sections of the population who had no homes and no work and were not protected either by clans or by the state headed by the king.
Dhoumya noted that rulers like Bhouma, Kartavirya Arjuna, Prthu, son of Vena and Nahusha protected the residents of the expanded state covering the plains, the moors and the forests. Recognised as prajas they were protected from catastrophe. Bhouma who was a retired king and overlord was a great thinker who advocated that the areas assigned to the mobile populations like gandharvas, kimpurushas and kinnaras did not come under the jurisdiction of the nobles and rulers of the commonalty or the plutocrats and technocrats of the forest society. He declared them as eligible for several immunities. Kartavirya, though Parasurama condemned him, observed restraints and did not go to war with those who were not his equals and claimed that natural economic resources were meant for all sections of the population. Nahusha asserted the rights of the artisans and technocrats to the privileges that the cultural elite (devas) had. Prthu, a champion of agro-pastoral economy brought all untilled lands under the plough.
Principles of governance applicable to both the commonalty of the plains and the forest society
Dhoumya implied that the principles of governance applicable to the commonalty of the plains could be applied to the forest society also. He advised Yudhishtira who was perplexed on how to introduce in the forest area an agrarian economy without violating the rights of its native population to its natural resources, to become pure in his deeds (karma) by following the principles of the social laws, dharma.
He implied that introduction of agricultural economy would not be treated as exploitation of the protected resources of the forests if the benefits were not used for speculative capitalist economy and was meant to meet the genuine needs of those who were not permitted by the commonalty to live in its midst as an economic liability. The social laws, dharma, directed the king to protect the intelligentsia (Brahmans) and not require them to be manual workers. [Nahusha resorted to coercion of the scholars when the nobles withdrew support to him.] Yudhishtira should provide for maintenance of the cadre of Vedic Brahmans, who took refuge in the forests.
Yudhishtira then requested Dhoumya to enlighten him on how to secure the benefits of all the four purposes (purusharthas), dharma, artha, kama and moksha that a social leader (purusha) was required to pursue. Dhoumya recommended the eight-syllable prayer to Surya, saying that those who were experiencing sorrows in the world (samsara) found solace in it. Dharmaputra resorted to strenuous endeavour (tapas) to please Surya and procure food for the intellectuals (Brahmans) who had followed him. [This prayer recounts several features of the later Vedic social polity.]
Bhanu who occupied the position of Surya in the political economy described by Dhoumya to Yudhishtira was the cynosure (eye) of the social universe (jagat) to which populations not engaged in productive economy belonged. He is the soul (atma) of all beings (jivas) that are at the base of this social universe. Jivatma indicated the person who just existed as an animate being and was not much different from the inanimate beings. (Philosophers of the medieval times referred to the soul of man as jivatma and to God as paramatma.)
Surya (and not Vayu, according to Dhoumya) looked after the interests of the sparsely populated open space (akasa) and also the discrete individuals (bhutas) of the social periphery who were not organised groups. He also looked after those persons who were engaged in performance of prescribed duties (karmas), that is, who were members of socio-economic communities. Both intellectuals (jnanis) and activists (yogis) looked to him (Surya) for support and protection. The realm of Surya was the refuge of all those who wanted freedom from all restraints. In other words, the open society that valued total freedom (moksha) to think and act looked to this great official for sustenance. Mumukshus were a cadre of ascetics who wanted to be free from all labour and devote themselves to final liberation (moksha) but they were not allowed even to die. They had to work. These mumukshus too looked to Surya for freedom, moksha, last of the four pursuits.
Dhoumya envisaged a socio-economic system which would require the commoners to work only if they opted for the life of householders that would meet their needs only if they pursued a prescribed vocation. That system also recognised that every one should be allowed to give up such a life of toil whenever he desired to move to his forest abode on completion of his domestic obligations or give up all desires and be totally free from all bonds. Dhoumya would not approve direct or indirect coercion that would deny for the worker the right to pursue goals other than artha and kama, acquiring wealth and enjoying sex.
The sage extolled Surya for supporting the social world (loka), for making it prosper, for protecting it without expecting anything return. He implied that the earlier relations between the governing elite and the commonalty were characterised by the concept of contract and mutual assistance. During the Vedic times, sages (rshis) and scholars (brahmans) worshipped Surya. Various cadres of intellectuals like siddhas (who were experts in herbal medicine), charanas (who were roving scouts), gandharvas (free intelligentsia and independent warriors), yakshas (plutocrats), guhyakas (who were miners) and pannagas (who were divers) looked up to this official, Surya for encouragement.
Dhoumya held that the thirty-three nobles (devas and devatas) of the integrated elite of the expanded social polity and the elite groups (ganas) who moved unchecked in their high vehicles (vimanas) and Indra and his deputy, Upendra, obtained fulfilment of their objectives because of the support they had of Surya, administrator of the larger society. The best of the young scholars, vidyadharas, honoured Surya and got their immediate desires fulfilled and became his followers. Worship of Surya (often interpreted as worship of Sun) came into vogue during the early post-Vedic times.
The new system enforced after Surya replaced Indra
Technocrats (guhyakas) who had been admitted to the aristocracy (devaloka) and the seven senior cadres (pitrs) that were associated with both the nobles (devas) and the commoners (manushyas) accepted the polity that Surya headed. Every one of the council of seven sages who assisted the Manus was expected to with the help of his disciples function as a bridge between the nobles and the commoners. This new system came into existence with Surya (Aditya) replacing Indra as the head of the ruling elite by the end of the Vedic era under the post-Vedic socio-political constitution (Brahma) as dwelt on in the Upanishads.
By accepting the leadership of Aditya (Surya), the other cadres of the nobility like Vasus, Maruts, Rudras, Saddhyas and Maricipas and sages like Valakhilyas became the best of the living beings (pranis). The teacher said that there was none in all the seven social worlds (brahma or satya, tapas, maha, jana, sva, bhuva and bhu) and also in the social worlds of the other society (of forests and mountains) who was superior to Surya. Dhoumya did not visualise Surya as God. He acknowledged that there were other living beings (pranis) that were more powerful and larger (more widespread) than this authority but they did not have as much influence and greatness as Surya had.
Surya headed the early post-Vedic integrated social polity
This official (Surya) who headed the early post-Vedic integrated social polity looked after the interests of the peoples of the plains (bhumi), of the littoral regions (apa), the liberal nobility (deyu), of the moors (vayu) and the open space (akasa). He looked after the intellectuals (buddhi) and spread of gentleness (sattva) adherence to social laws (dharma), acquisition of knowledge (jnana), absence of attachments and enmity (vairagyam) and protection of wealth (aisvaryam). While he alone (among the many officials) looked after the welfare of all the three social worlds (nobility, commonalty and the frontier society, divam, prthvi and antariksham), his presence was imperative for directing the affairs of the commonalty.
Surya made the intellectuals guide the people on issues pertaining to dharma, artha and kama. It was with his support the three higher social classes, Brahmans, Kshatriyas and Vaisyas carried out the activities (karya) pertaining to civil laws (agnihotra), protection of cattle, fulfilment of personal desires (ishti), counsel (mantra), sacrifices (yajna) and concentrated endeavour to find out new means (tapas). Dhoumya said that Surya was the charismatic benevolent leader (isvara) of the Manus, their offspring, prajas (that is, the Manavas who followed the codes prescribed by them), the social universes (jagats) of peoples other than the commoners (manushyas) and all the peoples over whom the Manus had influence during their respective tenures (manvantaras) and the charismatic leaders (isvaras) among them. We would pass over the rest of the eulogy of Surya, much of which is later addenda.
The new social polity to which Yudhishtira was introduced had placed Surya in charge of the common and minimum needs of all peoples, food. Yudhishtira, the king in exile, who felt it difficult to perform his duty of providing food for his Brahman followers prayed to Surya to come to his rescue. He offered homage also to Matara, Aruna and Danda who were assistants and followers of Surya (that is, the new social polity headed by Surya). He also saluted Kshupa and Maitri, leading women who had the status of members of the nobility (devatas) of the forest society, besides the mothers among the members (bhutas) of the social periphery amidst whom Yudhishtira was stationed then after his exile from Hastinapura. Surya was pleased with his humility and earnestness and assured him that he would arrange for all the food that was required by him for the next twelve years and gave Draupadi, a utensil (akshayapatra) in token of it.
It would appear that over a hundred persons had the status of Surya (Aditya). [Later these hundred and eight names were treated to be the names of God Surya.] Dhoumya had learnt these names from Narada who had been briefed on these persons by Indra. Introducing these names to Yudhishtira, Dhoumya asked him to be devoted to Surya whom nobles (devas), former authoritarian chiefs (pitrs) and plutocrats (yakshas) (the three sections of the integrated elite) bowed to and whom even the feudal chieftains (asuras) and the militants (rakshasas) who did not have access to the core society obeyed. The chronicler told Janamejaya that one who chanted the hymn eulogising Surya (Aditya) would secure all the benefits that he prayed for. (Ch.3 Vanaparva)
Vidura; Dharma as the cause of Dharma, Artha and Kama and as the root of the state (rajya)
Dhrtarashtra cast all the blame for the events leading to the exile of the Pandavas on his brother-in-law, Sakuni, and tried to exonerate his sons. He was afraid that the discontent among the people of the city might snowball and asked Vidura to suggest ways for offsetting it. Vidura pointed out that dharma was the cause of the three pursuits, dharma, artha and kama and that dharma was the root of the state (rajya). He gave primacy to the principles of socio-cultural laws, dharma that was characterised by ethics and high moral standards. He advised the king to stick to dharma and protect all his sons and those of Kunti.
Vidura reiterated that Yudhishtira who stood by satya was defeated through deceit in dice. He advised Dhrtarashtra to restore the Pandavas their wealth lest they should go to war. Yudhishtira should be reinstated as king, and Duryodhana and others should apologise to Draupadi and Bhima, Vidura said. But Dhrtarashtra refused to withdraw his protection for his sons and asked him to leave. Vidura then went to meet the Parthas (sons of Kunti who was known as Prtha). (Ch.4 Vanaparva) The Pandavas went through the forests of the Kuru country and reached the Kamyaka forest on the banks of Sarasvati (which had dried up by then) where Vidura met them. He told Yudhishtira how Dhrtarashtra had refused to think over his counsel and dismissed him from service as his counsellor. Vidura advised Yudhishtira to bear in mind his earlier counsel to him and the one he was offering then.
Vidura and Brhaspati on satya and economy
One who had been harassed by enemies and waited with patience for the appropriate time would enjoy the realm (bhumi, agrarian plains) alone. In other words, he need not seek assistance from allies, which would result in his sharing his gains with them. In the case of one whose wealth was common to him and his companions, they too would have a share in his sorrows.
This was the best method of gathering supporters. If one gained companions he would gain the land (bhumi), it was said, underlining the value of allies, according to Vidura. Vidura advised the Pandavas that only those economic activities (varta), which were not meant for personal benefit, were sincere ones, according to the laws based on satya (truth). He was expounding the views of the school of Brhaspati who emphasized satya while dealing with economy. [It is too nave to accept the view that Brhaspati was materialistic in outlook and overlooked ethics.] While keeping company with the allies, he should not cease to be assertive and in the position of leadership, Vidura counselled. (Ch.5 Vanaparva)
On realising that Vidura who was an expert in matters pertaining to peace and war (the two aspects of international relations dealt with the policy science, nitisastra) had gone over to the side of the Pandavas, Dhrtarashtra realised his mistake and sent his confidante, Sanjaya, to bring him back. [Nitisastra was older than Arthasastra, which dealt with the six-fold policy, samdhi, vigraha, yana, asana, dvaidibhava and asraya, that had to be applied while dealing with conquests. It was rather elementary compared to Kautilyan Arthasastra.] Sanjaya conveyed to Vidura, Dhrtarashtras message and requested him to return and save the king. Vidura returned to Hastinapura with Yudhishtiras permission without giving him further instruction in polity and methods of regaining his lands and wealth.
Dhrtarashtra expressed his regrets for having dismissed him. The (house of) nobles (devas) had taken the decision that Vidura should be recalled. It was because of that decision Vidura thought of saving the king and returned. [It is unsound to translate this as a divine act.] Dhrtarashtra said that he did not find anything wrong in Viduras counsel or action. Vidura explained that he treated the sons of Dhrtarashtra and those of Pandu on the same footing. The two brothers, Dhrtarashtra and Vidura, came to terms. [It is interesting to note that after the Pandavas were sent away Vidura repeatedly addressed Dhrtarashtra as Narendra. He was indicating that the latter was functioning as the head of cadre free men, naras, who did not feel themselves bound by loyalty to the codes of their clans.] (Ch.6 Vanaparva)
Duryodhana, Duhsasana, Karna and Sakuni did not appreciate Viduras return and planned to kill the Pandavas. But Vyasa who learnt about their plan from the spies (drshti) who owed loyalty to the house of nobles (daivam) and whom the social world (loka) of commoners held in high reverence stopped them and went to meet Dhrtarashtra. (Ch.7 Vanaparva) He asked the king to pacify his son, Duryodhana, and warned that the latter would lose his life if he tried to kill the Pandavas who were in the forest.
Vyasa urged the king to act as he, Vidura, Bhishma, Krpa and Drona advised. He advised the king not to do anything that was against dharma for that would bring him infamy. It would prove harmful to neglect the considered views of Vidura in the matter of the Pandavas, he told the king. If he wanted Duryodhana to become a friend of the Pandavas he might go alone but it had an element of risk. He urged the king not to commit the state to Duryodhanas misadventure. He wanted to know what the king, Bhishma, Vidura and Drona thought about his proposal. (Ch.8 Vanaparva)
Dhrtarashtra confessed that though like Bhishma, Vidura, Drona, he and his wife, Gandhari did not approve the gambling, he agreed to it because of his love for his son, Duryodhana. Vyasa agreed that there was nothing higher than ones son. He cited the episode where Kamadhenu told Indra that she did not consider the others whose contributions were economically (artha) beneficial as more important than ones son. The mother and guardian of the cattle (who had a special place in the ranks of the nobility) wept that her young and weak child was being harassed and work extracted from him (by the nobles).
Vyasa's Counsel to Dhrtarashtra
Vyasa addressed Dhrtarashtra as the chief of the native people (jana). Vyasa implied that the latter could no longer claim to have control over the population of the forest areas and that his state had lost the traits of an expanded social polity with the latter who had the status of prajas, domiciles and citizens having aligned themselves with the Pandavas who had been exiled to the forest.
Indra asked why she did not weep for her other sons who were made to carry huge loads by the commoners. Kamadhenu replied that for her, all her sons whether they worked for commoners or for nobles were equal. But she pitied the suffering one more, she said. This spokeswoman of the commonalty held that the lower rungs (shudras) of the commonalty (manushyas) who worked for the rich (vaisyas) among the latter and the servants (dasas) who worked for the aristocrats (devas) were on par and should be given equal treatment. Both deserved sympathy. Vyasa told Dhrtarashtra that he should sympathise with (show krpa for) all his sons equally but should sympathise more with the ones (that is, with the Pandavas) who were suffering. For Vyasa, both Dhrtarashtra and Pandu were equal. Vyasa too advised Dhrtarashtra that Duryodhana should make peace with the Pandavas. (Ch.9 Vanaparva)
Dhrtarashtra deputed Vyasa and Maitreya, a sage, to impress on Duryodhana the need to come to terms with the Pandavas. Maitreya (a friend and guide who belonged to the lower middle class of independent artisans) warned Duryodhana about the prowess of the Pandavas and of Krshna and the sons of Drupada who were related to them. He also referred to how they killed rakshasas like Kirmira. But Duryodhana insulted Maitreya and made him give up his attempt and withdraw. (Ch.10 Vanaparva)
Dhrtarashtra was curious to know more about the Kirmira episode. Vidura told him that Kirmira, a ferocious forest guard (rakshasa) was capable of creating illusions (maya) and terrify the people. Sometimes he would appear as a simpleton. The Pandavas were misled by his words. He threatened to take revenge on Bhima who had earlier killed Hidimba and Baka. In a fierce battle, Bhima overcame Kirmira, Vidura said. This narration of what he had heard from the Brahmans about how the Pandavas made the forest secure from such enemies made Dhrtarashtra nervous. (Ch.11 Vanaparva)
Krshna calls on the Pandavas in the forest
Vaishampayana then presented an account of the meeting between Krshna and the Pandavas when the Bhojas, Vrshnis, Antakas and Kekayas visited the latter in their forest camp. Consoling Yudhishtira, Vasudeva Krshna said that according to the rules of the ancient (sanatana) dharma, Duryodhana, Duhsasana, Sakuni and Karna deserved to be killed, as they were guilty of following the path of deceit, and that they would certainly shed their blood on the ground and would be killed in war and that Yudhishtira would be ordained again as Dharmaraja. The ancient laws were for retributive justice and did not take into account the value of repentance and that of pardon. These laws, sanatana dharma were later replaced by the more accommodative laws that were adopted by the sages nominated by Manu Svayambhuva. The latter laws are referred to as permanent laws, sasvata dharma.
Pacifying furious Krshna, Arjuna recalled how Vishnu, the chief of creators of social orders (srshti-kartas) and a great intellectual and guardian of the social world (loka) (of commonalty) and a social leader (purusha) had handled the feudal lords (asuras). [It is better to treat Vishnu as one of the Adityas who introduced a new social order devoid of the despicable feudal system and Krshna as an ideologue-cum-activist associated with the former.]
The eulogy recalls the leader of the pastoral people, Govinda, having once wandered in the northern mountains as an ascetic (muni) who observed silence about his purposes and his findings. He practised different methods of yoga in different centres including Pushkara and had participated in an academic session (satra) on the banks of Sarasvati. At Prabhasa (near Dwaraka) he was honoured by the punya-jana (gandharvas, siddhas, vidyadharas and other virtuous intellectuals) and had after concentrated effort (tapas) outlined the science of socio-economic activities of the people (loka-pravrtti). Arjuna had heard about these from Vyasa.
Vasudeva knew well the field with which he was associated (was kshetrajna) as he expounded this science at that academic centre of free intellectuals. He had mastered the science of yoga and had controlled his senses (indriyas) and had outlined the immortal science of samkhya dialectics. Krshna could be depended on to learn the principles of sanatana dharma advocated by the ancients, the concept of sila, personal regulation, all yogas and the code of social prescription (niyamas).
Social regulation needed
Krshna conceded that social regulation too was necessary and that voluntary personal regulation alone could not be depended on. Sanatana dharma as advocated by the Upanishadic sages, advocated development of good character through self-regulation rather than through social control. It did not envisage coercive steps by the state as imperative to maintain law and order. Yoga covered ideal methods of performing duties and personal undertakings. Sila was the trait to be developed as a cultured and civilised person.
Concept of Bhumiputra, Son of the soil
Krshna had propounded the concept of son of the soil, Bhumiputra, and approved the suggestion that even free men, naras, who unlike the commoners, manushyas, did not feel themselves bound by the codes of clans and communities, kuladharmas and jatidharmas, would be eligible for this status if their economic activities pertained to the earth. But he had to abandon this plan when things went awry and a nara (free man) behaved like a feudal lord (asura) and confiscated the property of others including that of the state. He had to be put down and sent to the level of the subaltern (naraka) as punishment and for repentance and reformation.
Under kuladharma, property, especially lands, belonged to the clan, and one who walked out of it as a free man (nara) had no claim to any portion of it. He was not allowed to pursue any vocation that was reserved for a given community. He might however serve the state as a member of the administration or follow one of the vocations not reserved for any community. The amendment to this system by which one could be bound by state laws, desadharma, also and own personal property and have access to means of livelihood as a son of the soil and not necessarily by the traditional laws of the clans and communities, did not succeed.
This event also resulted in the emergence of the practice of asvamedha sacrifice to establish the validity of conquest of a new territory without actual war, the weaker king accepting the authority of the mightier one and granting right of passage for his war-horse. Krshna who was the best among all the social worlds (lokas) and who had by this method conquered peacefully all the social worlds destroyed the daityas (asuras, feudal warlords who were denied a place in the ruling elite of the core society) and the danavas (plutocrats of the frontier society) who opposed him. After handing over the administration of all the social worlds (lokas) to Indra, the head of the cultural aristocracy (devas), Krshna began to take part in activities pertaining to the welfare of the commoners (manushyas).
Krshna, an activist of the school of Rshi Narayana, had played the roles of Hari (the representative of the peoples of the dark horizon, of the social periphery) and of Brahma (the head of the bench of the judiciary that interpreted and implemented the provisions of the Atharvan socio-political constitution, Brahma). He had also from time to time functioned in the capacities of the Vedic officials designated as Chandra, Surya, Dharma, Dhata, Yama, Agni, Vayu, Kubera, Rudra, Kala, Akasa and Bhumi and as protector of the provinces in the different directions. The rest of the eulogy recalls Krshnas different feats and tends to identify him with Vishnu and in that capacity as being superior to Siva and Brahma. This identification is attributed to Naradas account. Krshna appears to have discouraged this eulogising at the expense of the other two personages of the Trinity.
He also did not appreciate describing his childhood days and reference to his stay with Brahma of the state that followed the pattern of Vairaja, diffused state bordering anarchism, an experiment in the western region of the subcontinent under the aegis of Varuna, the ombudsman. Arjuna then ended his eulogy abruptly. Krshna assuring him total support said that Arjuna and he, Hari, were like the two sages, Nara and Narayana. (This comparison is an obsession with the later annotators.)
Draupadi on Krshna's status and roles
Draupadi noted that Krshna as Vishnu was said to be the younger brother of Indra (the head of the house of nobles, devas). In other words, the status of Vishnu was lower than that of Indra as he was only Upendra and could not act independently and was required to first get the approval of Indra before launching any action against undesirable elements. Vyasa had extolled him as Devadeva, an aristocrat who guided the aristocrats. The ancients while describing how the cadres of prajas, subjects of the state, were formed, had held him alone to be the chief of the people, Prajapati. Asita and Devala too had described him as the person who had constituted the different social worlds (lokas). [Description of Brahma as the Prajapati and as God of Creation seems to be of considerably later origin.] [As the Bhagavad-Gita indicates, Asita, Devala and Narada had more intimate access to Krshnas diverse roles than most other sages and personages of his times.]
Draupadi also drew attention to how Jamadagniya had described him as one who was sacrifice and the sacrificer and as a recipient who was satisfied with what was voluntarily sacrificed. The sages admired his patience and commitment to truth (satya). Kashyapa had described him as the sacrifice (yajna) born of the social laws and practices (of the middle Vedic era) based on truth (satya). The chronicler praised him as the supreme charismatic benevolent leader (isvara of isvaras) of the saddhyas (the perfect achievers who were stationed in inaccessible mountain terrains) and devas (nobles, who were stationed in exclusive urban areas)) and Rudras (a cadre of nobles located in the forests).
Narada extolled Krshna as one who had outlined the concept of organised social world (loka) and as one who was charismatic leader (isa) of that loka. Krshna did not abolish the scheme of lokas though a vast section of the population of the later Vedic times found it difficult to accept the laws and codes by which lokas were distinguished from one another. He was for organised social worlds (lokas).
The chronicler implied that Krshna had defined the concept of naraloka, the community of free men who were earlier assertive members of the commonalty (manushyas) or belonged to the lower ranks of the free intelligentsia and independent warriors (gandharvas who later were constituted into the two classes, Brahmans and Kshatriyas). Krshna who joined the commonalty (manushyas) was one of the best of its free men (naras). The chronicler praised him as one who sported in the company of the nobles like Brahma, Samkara and Indra and thought like a noble while walking like a commoner. He was the best among the sages, Draupadi praised him. He was much sought after by brave Rajarshis, she noted.
This thinker described all those who were mortals, that is, who were not immune from death (sentence) as but those who lived at the base level as pranis, without any alleviating achievements to their credit. The nobles (devas) who had such achievements were immune from such death. He pointed out what social work (loka karya) would entitle one to such immunity. The Vedic core society had only two classes, commoners (manushyas) and nobles (devas). Both were treated as living beings, pranis. All human beings were brought under these two classes. Neither class had immunity from death. Krshna (Vishnu) was the charismatic benevolent leader (isvara) of both the classes, nobles and commoners.
The chronicler was dealing with a stage when the concept of the other society (itarajana) had not been introduced and so too the concept of blessed peoples (punyajana) who enjoyed unrestricted freedom of movement, action and pursuits was not yet envisaged. While narrating to Krshna her several experiences in the company of the Pandavas Draupadi was all praises for Bhima. She expected only Bhima, Arjuna and Krshna to take revenge on Duryodhana and his allies for offending her honour. (Ch.12 Vanaparva)
Krshna regretted that he could not come to the help of the Pandavas, as he was not aware of the developments in Hastinapura. He was away from Anarta and only after he returned to Dwaraka he learnt about them from Satyaki. If he had known, he would have told Bhishma, Drona, Krpa and Bahlika to explain to Dhrtarashtra, son of Vichitravirya, the evils of gambling by citing the example of Nala, son of Virasena, who was chased away from his kingdom after he lost in dice. Womanising, gambling, hunting and drinking were the causes that led to loss of wealth, he said. (Ch.13 Vanaparva)
Krshna versus Salva
Krshna told Yudhishtira that he had gone to destroy the capital of Salva who was angered by the killing of Sisupala. Salva was harassing and killing young Vrshnis and ruining the gardens of their capital. Krshna said that he challenged Salva to battle and killed him and his asura allies easily. (Ch 14 Vanaparva)
Salva had besieged the fortified city, Dwaraka while Krshna was stationed in his capital. Ugrasena, Uddhava and others who were in charge of Dwaraka during Krshnas absence had banned drinking lest the people might not remain alert against Salvas moves. Anarta was a state that gave free entry to musicians and dancers. Ugrasena directed them to leave so that defence mobilisation was not hampered. All traffic to the island was stopped and there were severe restrictions on movement of people from and into and inside the city. No new recruits were added to the trained and efficient army. (Ch.15 Vanaparva)
While describing the war between Salva and the Vrshnis, Krshna expressed great admiration for Pradyumna, son of Balarama, who refused to leave the field even when injured. Salva who entrenched himself in an island was flushed out and weakened with many of his supporters getting drowned. When Salva resorted to illusions Krshna too did so and overcame him. Salva created the illusion of severing Vasudeva in order to paralyse Govinda (Vasudeva Krshna). It was in his capacity as Govinda that Krshna ruled the pastoral lands. Krshna was confident that when Balarama, Pradyumna and Satyaki were alive none could kill Vasudeva. Krshna was however but a man and faltered for a moment but realised the truth and continued to battle and killed Salva. (Ch.16-21 Vanaparva)
Krshna had at one stage hid himself leading to his troops becoming desperate. His charioteer advised him not to ignore Salva though the latter had become soft. The enemy though weak and had fallen at ones feet had to be killed. Hence no quarters were to be shown to one who was still at war, the charioteer counselled Krshna (who later became Arjunas charioteer and counsellor). Parasurama had failed to tame Salva and it was opportune time for Krshna to kill that enemy who did not deserve leniency, he said.
Krshna used both Sudarsana wheel and Mahesvara missile to kill him. As Krshna had to go to Dwaraka and Anarta and please the people there, he could not reach Hastinapura in time to protect the Pandavas. After receiving due honours in the forest camp of the Pandavas, he left for Dwaraka along with Subhadra. The Yadavas and Kekayas too left for their homes. But the Brahmans and Vaisyas and others who had come from Hastinapura had to be persuaded with great difficulty to return. (Ch.22-23 Vanaparva)
Then the Pandavas and Draupadi moved to Dvaitavana with the intention to live there for a long time. Yudhishtira had taken the vow to abide by the laws based on the principles of truth (satya), which gave no scope for equivocation though he was devoted to the laws based on the principles of dharma, which were more accommodating than the former. He told his brothers that they were required to reside for twelve years in the forest where there was no native population (jana). It should be a holy place fit for the fortunate who had meritorious deeds (punya) to their credit. He was referring to the peoples called punyajana that included gandharvas and apsarases and the scholars of the academy of jurists (brahmaloka). The spot to be selected should be accessible to such mobile groups and also to the nobles (devas) but not to the members of the other society (itarajana). The jana were engaged in agro-pastoral economy and others (itarajana) in industrial economy.
From Kamyakavana to Dvaitavana
Arjuna had selected the dvaitavana and Yudhishtira accepted his selection. According to Arjuna, Yudhishtira worshipped the great sages (maharshis) who were legislators. Yudhishtira knew everything connected with the social world (loka) of the commoners (manushyas). He had worshipped Vyasa and other Brahmans who had mastered the Vedas, and Narada, a great tapasvi who had restrained his senses and had access to and moved among the social worlds of nobles (devaloka) and jurists (brahmaloka) and that of gandharvas and apsarases. He knew the views of the jurists (Brahmans) and the powers (sakti) of all.
Arjuna said dvaitavana was a place where the punyajana had lived. It was a forest and a beautiful bird sanctuary with a large lake. It had no native population (jana) engaged in economic activities but it was not without the presence of human beings. The Pandavas along with many Brahmans went towards that lake where several scholars of different cadres surrounded them. After receiving their honours due to a noble and to a king, Yudhishtira along with his brothers and Draupadi entered the forest. (Ch.24 Vanaparva)
Markandeya's Counsel to Yudhishtira
The princes entertained the ascetics (munis who observed silence and sanyasis who had given up all attachments) and the Brahmans who were scholars, with roots and fruits. Dhoumya functioned as their guide (purohita). The great sage, Markandeya, who was held in high esteem by nobles (devas) and sages (rshis) and commoners (manushyas), too visited the Pandavas and was received with due respect by Yudhishtira. This sage, a muni, who rarely spoke out what he knew, smiled in the midst of grim and sedate tapasvis (who were engaged in discovering new knowledge) on seeing Draupadi, Dharmaputra, Bhimasena and Arjuna, as he recalled Ramas exile. He told Yudhishtira that he had met Rama (son of Dasaratha) who had taken the vow to abide by truth (satya) while he was in exile with his brother, Lakshmana.
Rama who had a status equal to that of Indra in the house of nobles (devas) of Kosala and was liberal had overruled the official, Yama, (who insisted on assessing the merits and demerits of every individual before passing death sentence) and killed the feudal lord, Namuci. This was not to the liking of Dasaratha and his house of nobles who exiled him to the forest. Rama who had the prowess of Indra and was invincible in battles wandered in the forests. Arrogance of might made Rama act in a way that was against the laws of dharma, according to the chronicler and sage, Markandeya.
While the laws based on truth (satya) did not tolerate any deviation from commitments, the new laws based on the principles of dharma called for tolerance of diversities in outlooks and practices. It was a period of transition but Rama who was committed to the laws based on satya failed to appreciate the value of the new laws that had been promulgated and that had granted immunity to the asura feudal lords who had laid down their arms and killed him. Markandeya noticed that resort to force was not appreciated by the laws based on dharma which tempered the laws based on truth (satya) with an equally if not more important commitment to harmlessness (ahimsa) that called for patience, tolerance, forgiveness and compassion.
The great chronicler appreciated Nabhaga and Bhagiratha for their commitment to truth (satya) that enabled them to conquer all the plains (bhumi) up to the seas. That won them also the approval of the higher social cadres (like nobles and sages). Alarka, ruler of Kasi and Karusa, though he lost his kingdom and wealth, did not deviate from his commitment (vrata) to truth, it was said. Markandeya repeatedly warned the Pandavas not to do what was against social laws, dharma, under the impression that they were mighty. He took care to address Yudhishtira as Narasreshta to impress on him that he was a prominent personage among free men, naras, but did not have the status of a social leader, purusha, nor was but a commoner, manushya.
Markandeya pointed out to Yudhishtira that the seven pious (sadhu) sages (members of the council of seven sages that assisted Manu, who had been given the status of guiding stars and were in the thinly populated open space, akasa) followed the (Brahma) Vedic prescriptions. The constitution incorporated in the Atharvaveda, Brahma, declared that pride in might and resort to force was against the principles of dharma. The huge and mighty elephants of the forests too followed the directions of their leader (isa), he pointed out. [He was referring to the Hastis, the ruling elite of Hastinapura.]
Yudhishtira had amongst the free men (naras) a status that Indra had amongst the nobles (devas). Markandeya told him that all living beings (pranis) (especially of the subaltern) always acted in accordance with the duties assigned to their communities (jati) and as directed by the charismatic leader, isa, (god, in common parlance). They did not choose their vocation on the basis of their natural propensities (svabhava). The commoners (manushyas), especially the lower ranks amongst them (the pranis), could not but do the duties assigned to them by their kind protector, unlike a nara, who was free to choose his vocation.
Markandeya told Yudhishtira, son of Prtha, that by following both the rigorous and puritanical Vedic laws based on truth (satya) and the more lenient and accommodative later Vedic laws (dharma) based on consensus and by his appropriate conduct and modesty, he had acquired fame and charismatic influence like Surya. This had made him superior to all living beings (pranis) (at the lower levels of the larger society). The sage advised him to live in the forest in accordance with his pledge and get back his wealth (lakshmi) from the Kauravas. (Ch.25 Vanaparva)
A scholar, belonging to the school of Dalbhya, met Yudhishtira, son of Kunti and a Dharmaraja, when the latter was in Dvaitavana. Dalbhya noted that followers of Bhrgu, Angirasa, Vasishta, Kashyapa, Agastya and Atri who were famous in the entire larger social world (loka) as jurists (Brahmanas) were staying under the protection of Yudhishtira and were engaged in examining civil laws. (During the Vedic times Agni was the civil judge and head of the intelligentsia). He advised the son of Kunti and his brothers to listen to his views. The two cadres, Kshatriyas and Brahmans (if granting of precedence to the executive of Kshatriyas was taken exception to, the community of Brahmans along with that of Kshatriyas) would together destroy the enemies even as fire and wind together burnt down forests.
The judiciary (Brahmanas) and the executive (Kshatriyas) should work together without raising the issue of who of the two was superior if the enemies were to be destroyed. Earlier, Agni and Vayu (fire and wind, in common parlance) who represented the peoples of the plains and the moors respectively came together to push back the forest society. The sage counselled that one who desired to conquer and to have influence over the social world (loka) of commonalty and the other world (loka) of nobles should not wish to remain non-associated with the judiciary and intellectuals (Brahmans). The king who was associated with a scholar (Brahman) who knew both the codes (sastras), dharma and artha, and was not unsure about the correct stand would be able to kill his enemies, he said.
Dalbhya said that even Bali did not find any better method than depending on a jurist (Brahmana) to perform the socio-cultural duty (dharma) that enabled one to attain freedom (moksha) from responsibilities of protecting his subjects (prajas). By association with that jurist (Usanas, a Brahman) the emperor, Bali, a feudal lord (asura) acquired the agro-pastoral plains (bhumi) and became rich. Neither his wealth nor property would decline. But as he harmed those jurists (Brahmans), he was ruined, Dalbhya said.
He warned that the agrarian plains (bhumi) along with sovereign authority (aisvarya) would not remain for long with a Kshatriya who was not associated with a Brahman counsellor. The later annotator takes pains to assert that Kshatriyas were second to Brahmans in the class (varna) system. The social world (loka) (of commonalty) bowed to a king who was under the direction of a Brahman (jurist) who had studied the policy sciences (nitisastras).
Dalbhya drew attention to the insight of the jurist (Brahman) and called upon him and the king (Kshatriya) to move about together so that the people (loka) were clear in their mind about what they intended to do. The king should seek counsel only from the scholar (Brahman) on how to obtain the wealth that he had not yet obtained and to improve what he had obtained. For both these economic purposes and for determining who deserved to be aided from the state wealth thus acquired, he should make a famous Vedic scholar (pandita) and a scholar (brahman) versed in many sciences stay with him. The panditas preferred to live in their forest abodes and the Brahmans in their academies. They had to be persuaded to stay in the palace. (Ch.26 Vanaparva)