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Great religious kings


SB Canto 1

SB 1.9.49, Translation and Purport:

After this, the great religious King, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, executed the royal power in the kingdom strictly according to the codes of royal principles approved by his uncle and confirmed by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira was not a mere tax collector. He was always conscious of his duty as a king, which is no less than that of a father or spiritual master. The king is to see to the welfare of the citizens from all angles of social, political, economic and spiritual upliftment. The king must know that human life is meant for liberating the encaged soul from the bondage of material conditions, and therefore his duty is to see that the citizens are properly looked after to attain this highest stage of perfection.

Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira followed these principles strictly, as will be seen from the next chapter. Not only did he follow the principles, but he also got approval from his old uncle, who was experienced in political affairs, and that was also confirmed by Lord Kṛṣṇa, the speaker of the philosophy of Bhagavad-gītā.

Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira is the ideal monarch, and monarchy under a trained king like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira is by far the most superior form of government, superior to modern republics or governments of the people, by the people. The mass of people, especially in this age of Kali, are all born śūdras, basically lowborn, ill-trained, unfortunate and badly associated. They themselves do not know the highest perfectional aim of life. Therefore, votes cast by them actually have no value, and thus persons elected by such irresponsible votes cannot be responsible representatives like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira.

SB Canto 9

SB 9.2.25, Translation:

The son of Viviṁśati was Rambha, whose son was the great and religious King Khanīnetra. O King, the son of Khanīnetra was King Karandhama.


Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Lecture on SB 1.9.49 -- Mayapura, June 15, 1973:

Pradyumna: (leads chanting, etc.)

pitrā cānumato rājā
cakāra rājyaṁ dharmeṇa
pitṛ-paitāmahaṁ vibhuḥ
(SB 1.9.49)

Translation: "After this, the great religious king, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, executed the royal power in the kingdom strictly according to the codes and royal principles approved by his uncle and confirmed by Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa."

Prabhupāda: This is very important verse: the king's duty and how a king is recognized. The first recognition was made by Dhṛtarāṣṭra, his uncle. Why? Because there was fight between two section of cousin-brothers, the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas. So the Kauravas were all killed. The Pāṇḍavas also, except the five brothers, their sons were all killed. So it is not that by force... There was force, but it was dharma-yuddha. Kṣatriyas, they would claim by strength, by fight, not by high-court judgment. By strength, by bodily strength.

So the Pāṇḍavas proved their bodily strength, and Dhṛtarāṣṭra was under the impression that because actually the kingdom belonged to him, but on account of his becoming blind, he could not inherit on the throne. Defective in the body. A king should be all complete. So not a blind man can be king. That is not possible. So after the death of his younger brother Pāṇḍu, he thought, actually the kingdom belonged to him. Now, after the death of his brother, his sons should inherit. That was the political conspiracy of the battle of Kurukṣetra. Now everything finished, decided by the battle. Dhṛtarāṣṭra accepted, "Yes, my dear nephews, you can become king now. We have tried our strength, and you have come out victorious. Therefore I also confirm that you become king." It is said, pitrā cānumataḥ. Not that against the will of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira accepted the throne. No. He took permission: "My dear uncle, now you decide whether we shall become king or you shall remain king." So he said, "No, you become king. Now your right is confirmed."

Then again, it was confirmed by Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva. Because a king is representative of God. King is not ordinary person. Just like spiritual master is representative of God, similarly, king is also representative of God. The father is also representative of God. These are the statements of the śāstras. Because they will guide. The king will guide. The spiritual master will guide. The father will guide. What is that guidance? That guidance is how one can become Kṛṣṇa conscious by education, by culture. This is guidance, not that to guide them how to become hippies. This is not guidance. This is misguidance. Guidance means... The whole system of human civilization is guide the people to become God conscious. This is the Vedic civilization, not to make them dog conscious, cat conscious, animal conscious. No. (aside:) Sleeping. You are feeling sleepy? Why not sleep? But don't make like that.

Page Title:Great religious kings
Compiler:Visnu Murti
Created:28 of Feb, 2012
Totals by Section:BG=0, SB=2, CC=0, OB=0, Lec=1, Con=0, Let=0
No. of Quotes:3