Episode # 250 – Six important qualities that a king should exhibit – Sage Narada explains!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Naarada giving a grand entry into Yudishtra’s Indraprastha, and Yudishtra on his part welcomed Sage Naarada with all the due respects as per the “Raaja-Dharma”. As Sage Naarada settles down on his seat, he asks a few questions to Yudishtra that are extremely important with regards to executing the “Raaja-Dharma”. Sage Naarada commences with the four important pillars of our “Sanaatana Dharma” namely, “Dharma”, “Artha”, “Kaama” and “Moksha”. Keeping aside “Moksha” for a while, Sage Naarada stressed upon the other three and asked Yudishtra whether he ensured a balance between them. For instance, too much focus on “Dharma” and leaving behind the “Artha” and “Kaama” is also disastrous for the kingdom. This means that the king only keeps talking rules and regulations and does nothing on the ground! Similarly, if “Kaama” goes high, the king would only be interested in filling up his coffers with all the wealth possible and will not spend anything for the people’s welfare (“Dharma”). Thus, Sage Naarada asked Yudishtra whether he was able to maintain this balance correctly or not. 

Of course, it is known to all of us that Yudishtra himself is an embodiment of “Dharma”, and also that Yudishtra has just taken over as the king of Indraprastha. Yet, Sage Naarada asks as if Yudishtra is on the throne for years together! Why is this so? It is only to remind Yudishtra of these important aspects of Raaja-Dharma”, and also to educate people like us who do not know anything of these, Sage Naarada is highlighting all these important points. Moving on further, Sage Naarada asks the next question thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Now that we’re discussing the “Artha”, “Dharma” and “Kaama”, are you allocating separate timings during the day for all these three aspects? For instance, are you allocating your morning time of the day for the aspect of “Dharma”? In the afternoon time, are you dedicating your time for earning wealth (“Artha”)? Similarly, are you dedicating your evening and night for “Kaama”?” 

Thus, whatever Sage Naarada is asking here, is represented in the Vedas under the “Daksha-Smriti”. The Vedas clearly allocates three different parts of the day for three different things to be done by us. This is exactly what Sage Naarada is invoking here. Moreover, Sage Naarada asks Yudishtra whether he is exhibiting six important characteristics that are prescribed by the Vedas, and whether is he employing seven important “Upaayams” (Methodologies) to execute his administrative affairs. Moreover, Sage Naarada asks Yudishtra whether he is testing the strength (“Bhalam”) of a set of fourteen types of people. Thus, as Sage Naarada asks these questions one by one whether Yudishtra knows these six, seven, fourteen, etc., Yudishtra thought within himself thus, “Oh Wow! What is Sage Naarada talking about? Why is he giving all these numbers to me? Is he here for teaching me some lessons in Mathematics or is he wanting to teach me the “Dharma-Shaastra”?” Thus, we shall understand what these numbers are all about! 

We shall witness these numbers now in detail and what is the intention behind Sage Naarada asking such questions. We’ll first begin with the first number – 6. Sage Naarada had asked Yudishtra whether he is exhibiting six important characteristics, isn’t it? The first of the six is “Vyaakyaana-Shakti” – If someone is explaining something to a king, it is the duty of the king to understand the in-depth meaning of what that person is telling. The king shouldn’t understand things in a vague way like how we do today! 🙂 The king should be able to analyze the content and extract the real underlying meaning behind every word that the other person is saying. For instance, we’ve witnessed this earlier – When Duryodhana wanted the Paandava brothers to enter into the “Laaksha Griha” (Wax Palace), Vidura gave a warning to Yudishtra in the “Mlecha-Bhaasha” (Secretive coded language). Vidura was telling Yudishtra that he should be careful while living in the new place, and “walls would have ears”! He was also saying that walls might be inflammable too! Readers might remember this very well. If we would have been in Yudishtra’s position, we would have left it off as some meek words of advice! However, Yudishtra understood the deeper meaning of what Vidura was trying to explain. This is called “Vyaakarna-Shakti”. 

Second charactiersitc is “Pragalbatha”, which can also be equated to “Vinayam”. When we talk to someone, we should not show arrogance in our tone, voice, accent of language and the words that we employ. We should always exhibit humility in whatever we talk and whatever we do in action. Thus, Sage Naarada explains how important it is to exhibit humility as a king. Third one is “Kushalaha” – If you’re debating a subject with your people and if they come up with valid arguments against your points, are you able to retaliate with counter narratives that can answer their concerns? In other words, when a ruler proposes certain welfare schemes for the people, not all of them would sink with them. Some people would raise concerns which might be genuine in nature. For these points, how is the ruler able to give a counter narrative and ensure that their concerns are also listened to, as well as duly addressed? This is a very important characteristic of a king! 

So for today, let us understand these points clearly as per what Sage Naarada explains. We shall continue this discussion in the next episode as well and witness the remaining three characteristics. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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