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Wealth, however, can be earned by intelligence directed by virtue. In thy case, O king, begging, which is successful with Brahmanas, hath been forbidden. Therefore, O bull amongst men, strive for the acquisition of wealth by exerting thy might and energy. Neither mendicancy, nor the life of a Sudra is what is proper for thee. Might and energy constitute the virtue of the Kshatriya in especial.

Such a Brahmana should accept the gift with due rites. None else, however, than a Kshatriya is competent to make gifts of earth. It behoves thee now to tell me what these objects are that persons of all classes are free to bestow if moved by the desire of earning merit. Thou shouldst also tell me what has been said in the Vedas on this subject."

On this refusal, Ravana goes forth after a brief dialogue with his queen Mandodari, who animates his drooping courage with the true spirit of the tribe to which she belongs. "Banish your sorrow, lord of Lanka, take one long and last embrace. We meet no more. Or give command, and by your side I march fearless to fight, for I too am a Kshatriya."

Breach of truth by a Kshatriya is never applauded in our treatises on religion. I shall soon tell thee, O Queen, what the established Kshatriya usage is to which recourse may be had to prevent Santanu's line becoming extinct on earth.

Because, again the Kshatriya is not equal in point of birth to the Brahmana wife, hence the son of the Brahmana wife takes one after another, all the best things, O Yudhishthira, among his father's possessions. Similarly, the Vaisya cannot be regarded as the equal of the Kshatriya in point of birth. Prosperity, kingdom, and treasury, O Yudhishthira, belong to the Kshatriya.

It hath been heard by us that persons born in the Kshatriya order have become Brahmanas. The foremost of all wielders of weapons, the preceptor Drona hath been born in a waterpot and Kripa of the race of Gotama hath sprung from a clump of heath. Your own births, ye Pandava princes, are known to me.

And severed heads, some with beautiful noses, some with upper lips deeply gashed, some decked with ear-rings, and some divided with wounds about the well-trimmed hair were seen rolling on the ground covered with dust. And soon the field of battle was overspread with the limbs of Kshatriya warriors, cut off by means of arrows and lying like trunks of Sala trees.

The earth, O foremost of eloquent men, was strewn with the corpses of Kshatriyas. For what reason was the Kshatriya order thus exterminated in days of yore by Rama, the high-souled descendant of Bhrigu, O tiger among the Yadus? O thou of Vrishni's race, remove this doubt of mine, O bird-bannered hero! O Krishna, O younger brother of Baladeva, the highest knowledge is from thee."

The king was summoned by the foe, and remembering the usage of the Kshatriyas, he played at dice against his will. That is certainly conducive to our great fame. 'Bhima said, 'If I had not known, O Dhananjaya, that the king had acted according to Kshatriya usage, then I would have, taking his hands together by sheer force, burnt them in a blazing fire."

This is not the eternal duty of a Kshatriya, staying away from battle! Flight from battle, O king, is not the practice of those that are honourable, nor does it lead to heaven!

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