Wisdom for Kings from the Vishnu Purana

Shri Parashara said :—

Being infatuated by their attachment to their mortal bodies, how many kings have lived blindly, thinking of conquest only !

They never pause to think that this world belongs to no human being, and that God alone is the Lord of all.

They have all died in despair, filled with anxiety and often assailed by ingratitude. How many of them have come and gone, how many are dying every year, and yet the present ones do not give up their greed for conquest.

O Maitreya, listen to the following verses spoken by the Earth, which in ancient times the Muni Asit gave to King Janaka :—

“ These kings think they are wise and yet they are blind to Truth ! They are convinced of the immortality of their body and the permanence of their power and glory, which is comparable to the bubbles on the surface of water. First they over-reach themselves in their desire to conquer others, and then they exercise their domination over their ministers, servants, citizens and foes. They would like to extend their conquest to the shores of the sea, while old age and death are at their heels. Even if they conquer the whole world, still they are not satisfied. It is self-conquest that gives lasting peace and satisfaction ”.

The Earth said to them :—

“ Your predecessors imagined they had conquered me but they have gone, and so will you one day. Why do you quarrel with others for my sake ? Why this slaughter of your fellow men ? Be wise and conquer yourselves ! ”

The Earth laughs at kings who organize great armies to soil her with the blood of their fellow men, for so many have attempted a solution to the same riddle in vain.

The wise, pity such men, who want to conquer the lands of others, for in the end they only make themselves ridiculous and miserable.

O Maitreya, the vanity of kings is an expression of their ignorance !

The wise should not hate them but try to enlighten them on the source of eternal peace, which is devotion to Shri Vishnu.

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