It has been said that a king, seeking his own good, should select his servants from men of noble parentage and unimpeachable honesty and who would be capable of pleasing or winning over the people to the king's cause, if necessary. Hence it is evident that a king's minister should be a man of eloquence and confidence, strong in physique, possessing a good retentive memory, with all his passions and appetites put under a healthy check. He should be ingenuous, well-versed in the code of penalties and the different branches of fine arts, courageous enough to risk public censure for the good of his country, and full of resources and capable of remedying all evils of the state. He should keep a vigilant eye upon the affairs and doings of his neighbours and be a man who would fully understand the principles of war and treaty-making, able to read the secret counsels of the foreign courts, and capable of acting opportunely at an opportune time and place. Rather it can be said that a minister should be a man who would recognise talents as the only passport to the king's service, and pure in body and mind, he should prove himself worthy of his noble parentage, and see that the king's laws are obeyed and respected for their spirit of equity and justice throughout the realm.
Similarly as far as the royal priest is considered it has been stated that the royal priest should be a Brahmana, well versed in the-knowledge of three Vedas, such as the Rig, the Sama, and the Yajur, and who for the welfare and benefit of the king-should celebrate religious ceremonies and sacrifices according to the procedures laid down in the Atharva Veda in the company of other Brahmanas, his equals in virtue, knowledge and integrity of character.
A king should select for his kingdom a county which-does not depend on the perennial rains for its water supply, fertile, healthy and full of mineral resources wholesome to the cows, offering good pasturage, provided with abundant water supply, dotted over by the cities. The inhabitant of the provinces should live by agriculture, ready to resist the least of encroachment from a foreign king.
The fortresses of the king should be built on hills or in deserts and forests so as to cover a large area, guarded by deep moats and encircled by walls with gates or arches at interval. The friends or relations of the king should duly receive stipends settled upon them by his ancestors.
Lord Rama has said that authorities on criminal law hold that the officers who would execute the sentences of criminal courts, should be recruited mostly from the members of the Kshatriya caste, who had travelled in distant countries and proved their position in war and who would make no scruple at carrying out such orders, however severe.
A servant of the king should serve the king to the best of his ability, gentleness, perseverance, forbearance, hard work, endurance, contentment and honesty. A servant should dissuade his sovereign from doing evil deeds, and persuade him to works that would keep his memory sanctified for ever.
Finally towards the end of the adhyaya Lord Rama has said that a king should protect his subjects from these dangers and collect rents from them, as they would fall due. He should always guard his personal safety, as well that of his internal and external government. A king should punish the offenders, cautiously protect his own person and should never trust his wives and sons at the hands of his enemies.
|More Articles in Adhyayas in Agni Purana (93)|