Duties of a Model King as prescribed by Queen Madalasa

After a lapse of time the Kuvalayaswa and Madalasa couple was blessed with three sons who were named Vikrant, Subahu and Shatrumardan which were typical Kshatriya names befitting Kingship. However as they were blessed with a fourth son, Madalasa requested her husband to name the boy as Alark and decided to bring him up as an ‘Atma Gyani’ (Knowledge of the Soul). As the boy grew up, his mother blessed him to unfold his personality as of a Rajarshi with ideal virtues. A model King should be able to conquer ‘Arishdvargas’, the Six Traditional Enemies viz. Kama (Desire), Krodha (Anger), Lobha (Avarice), Moha (Infatuation), Mada (Arrogance) and Matsarya (Jealousy) and overcome the Illusions of the unreal and ephemeral world. He should be able to control the ‘Panchendriyas’-the mind, tongue, nose and ears and eyes. He should endeavour to acquire fame and good will; be afraid of criticism of others and be objective; do firm up good relations among relatives in ‘Balya dasa’/ childhood, obey the instructions of parents in Kaumara Dasha or the Stage of the Youth, secure faith from wife during grihastha period as an House holder and enter into Vanaprasthya or forests life in Old age; and on assuming Kingship, Alark should obtain goodwill and happiness among associates, protect Sadhus (the Virtuous) and Brahmanas, organise Yagnas and other propitious tasks, destroy the enemy elements and ensure an ideal position in Para Lokas.

Prince Alark sought further explanation from his mother as to how to balance Effective Administration with the Objective of Attainment of Salvation. His mother said that the foremost responsibility would be ensure the welfare and contentment of the ‘Praja’ (Public) and in the process should go all out to destroy the forces inimical to the Public; while so doing the Six ways of dialogue would include: ‘Sandhi’(Treaty), ‘Vigraha’ (War), ‘Yana’ (marching against Enemy), ‘Asana’(detachment), ‘Samarasya’ (Seeking protection of a more powerful Agency) and ‘Dwaidhivibhava’ (Dual policy). As regards balancing the Effective Administration and Destruction of the Evil vis-à-vis the Control of Indrias and the ‘Arishtvargas’, the interrelationship of the Two is indeed clear: ‘Yudhishthar’was unable to ‘Kama’ and played the game of Chess and lost the Kingdom, Self, Wife and Brothers; it was ‘Krodha’ that Anuhlad’s father met with his end; it was due to ‘Lobha’ that Ila was destroyed; it was due to ‘Mada’ that the King Vena faced destruction to Bhu Devi’s curse that there would be no crops in his Kingdom due to famine and some of Brahmanas pulled out evil out of his thighs; it was ‘Moha’ of Puranjaya, Grandson of Ikshvaaku and son of Sadada who out of the Vamsa’s pride,agreed to take the form of a bull so that Indra sat on his hump and killed Asuras but got killed by the Demons in the battle; and the ‘Matsara’ of Abhiman, son of Anushka, which led to his end.

Thus explained Madalasa to Prince Alark patiently hearing to his mother in the context of Good Administration resulting from Self-Control of ‘Indriyas’. She also illustrated the examples of a crow known for its alertness, a cuckoo for its cleverness, a deer for its watchfulness in not getting caught, a serpent with the capability of killing even a mighty creature with a drop of poison, a peacock gifted of spreading its wings denoted as wealth and Kingdom, a swan able to filter good and bad qualities and a hen with the characteristics of waking up early and saving womenfolk by vigilant sounds. An ideal King should be cool like Moon, radiant and scorching like Sun and eveready to blaze and spread out like Fire.The Kingdom must be administered in a highly virtuous manner on the same lines as Indra, Surya, Yamaraja, Chandra and Vayu, ie.like Indra satisfies the people in the Universe by bestowing optimal rains for four months a year, a King should satisfy the Subjects with charities of money etc. for four months; like Surya absorbs water for eight months a year, the King should collect taxes in a manner that the Citizens are least hurt; like Yama takes away people from the World any body without distinction or exceptions, the King should treat the Subjects without favour on equal footing; like Chandra makes every one happy and peaceful, the King too ought to make everybody likewise; and like Vayudeva provides the vital breathing and wind, the King too must perform likewise.Dhramatma Raja should thus excellent governance, relief and contentment in a manner that the Varnashrama Dharma is followed by letter and spirit.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Kamakoti.org presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by
V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager,
India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi
Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India
The author can be contacted at raovdn@yahoo.co.in