In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Sage Naarada’s explanation to King Yudishtra on the various aspects of “Raaja-Dharma”. As part of this detailed accord, Sage Naarada had narrated six important qualities that a leader should possess, fourteen important items that need to be under constant vigil and now, eight important aspects that are required for effective administration of the kingdom / country. We had witnessed this section in the last episode wherein Sage Naarada spoke in detail about “Krishi” (Farming and agriculture) , “Vanigam” (Trade / Business), “Durgam” (Building bridges and other connectivity constructions to enhance transport), “Kunjara-Bandhanam” (Building places to protect elephants), “Kanyaakaaram” (Creating mines for extracting precious metals like silver, gold, diamonds, etc.), “Karaadhaanam” (Taxes that are levied from people), “Shunyam” and “Nivechanam” (Some remote places which can be converted into beautiful residential areas). We had understood how these eight items are nothing but eight important pillars of administration and its applicability to the modern-day scenario as well.
Moving on thus, Sage Naarada explains the next number – “Seven”. He says that a king should never have any sort of enmity with these seven people. Now who are these seven people? Sage Naarada gives an accord thus – “Swami”, “Mantri”, “Mitra”, “Kosham”, “Raashtram”, “Durgam” and “Sena”. Of course, many of us might know the meaning of these common words. I shall just elucidate two or three important items and we shall move on further. For instance, a minister (Mantri) should always be kept in the “good looks” by the king – Simply because the minister is someone who would know the “intricacies” and “insider secrets” of the king’s administration. If the minister becomes the king’s enemy, all the kingdom’s secrets and the king’s weaknesses would be known to the outside world, which might become very dangerous for the king’s existence itself! Similarly, the “Kula-Guru” (Swami) should be of paramount importance. A king should respect his “Kula-Guru” in similar lines as he worships Bhagawan. We’ve witnessed during our previous Ramayana project as to how King Dasharata worshipped and obeyed Sage Vasishtaachaarya’s words. Sage Vasishtaachaarya was King Dasharata’s “Kula-Guru” and he obeyed each and every word of Sage Vasishtaachaarya. Hence, there shouldn’t be any enmity between the king and the Guru, because the Guru is the ultimate source of proper guidance.
Thirdly, a king should never forgo friendship with his good friend (Mitra). This is also very important. Friendships go a long way and they should be respected in the way it has to be. As the proverb says, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”, true friends are those who would always come to our rescue whenever we are amidst a problem. Moreover, the king should always have a good relationship with all his subjects, army men and commanders. This is also very important because these three are the support systems for an effective administrator. If people aren’t by your side, then what is the use of being a king or a leader? Whom are we going to lead, if we do not have anybody to support us? Also, if the leader doesn’t have a good rapport with his military, this also might lead the king towards danger. Thus, all these seven people should be under the good looks of the king / leader. There should be no enmity with any of them at any point in time. This leads to a good and an effective administration.
Moving on thus, Sage Naarada asks a few other questions to Yudishtra, which are also important for us to understand. He asks Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Do you have people around you who would work for you without raising unwanted questions to you? Moreover, are you having a group of ministers who analyze your points well and advise you based on that?” We can see here that Sage Naarada is asking two contrasting questions here. One set of people are the “Dhutas” (Servants or Executors) who shouldn’t keep asking questions to the king. Whereas, “Mantris” (Ministers) should not be this way. They should ask meaningful questions and raise meaningful deliberations to the king for whatever he says. On one hand, if the servant starts deliberating meaningfully, it would become a problem for you. No work would happen on the ground and the servant will only be deliberating day after day! Thus, the “Dhuta’s” job is only to execute whatever the king says and he is not the person who can ask questions or do deliberations. Whereas, the “Mantri” is a person who should ask meaningful questions to the king, if the king is seemingly deviating from the path of “Dharma”.
A classical example of this is Hanuman. As a “Rama-Dhuta”, Hanuman’s job was only to find the whereabouts of Mother Sita in Lanka and come back. He was not instructed by Bhagawan Rama to kill Ravana and bring back Mother Sita. Hence, even though Hanuman could have single-handedly achieved this feat, he came back to Kishkinta, explained the whereabouts of Mother Sita and took Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana to Lanka for waging the battle against Ravana. However, Sugriva on the other hand was a “Mantri” to Bhagawan Rama. Even though Sugtiva was the king of the Vaanaras, he wanted to be Bhagawan Rama’s Mantri. Hence, Sugriva had the authority to explain all the routes and whereabouts of Ravana and how should the Vaanaras go by in the searching process of Mother Sita. Thus, we can clearly understand here the key difference between the “Dhuta” and the “Mantri”. So for today, let us understand until this point and we shall wait till the next episode to witness this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂