War? Or flee?

Read the previous part here

“My dear king”, said Sanjeevin, “I don’t think that seeking an alliance with a stronger enemy is a good idea.”

“And why do you say that?”, asked MeghaVarna.

Sanjeevin replied…

It is said…

शत्रुणा न हि सन्दध्यात् सुश्लिष्टेनापि सन्धिना ।
सुतप्तम् अपि पानीयं शमयत्य् एव पावकम् ॥ २३ ॥

śatruṇā na hi sandadhyāt suśliṣṭenāpi sandhinā |
sutaptam api pānīyaṃ śamayaty eva pāvakam || 23 ||

One should not make friends with an enemy, even if he seeks a truce. Because, no matter how much heat is given to water, it ends up extinguishing the fire.

“Fire and water cannot meet as friends, nor can two enemies. Also, the king of owls is cruel, greedy and unethical. So you should not seek to make an alliance with such an enemy, at any cost.

सत्य-धर्म-विहीनेन न सन्दध्यात् कथञ्चन ।
सुगन्धितो ऽप्य् असाधुत्वाद् अचिराद् याति विक्रियाम् ॥ २४ ॥

satya-dharma-vihīnena na sandadhyāt kathañcana |
sugandhito ‘py asādhutvād acirād yāti vikriyām || 24 ||

One should never make an alliance with a person who is greedy, untruthful and unethical. Such an enemy, even if bound by an alliance, will end up breaking it anyway, due to his cruel nature.

“And so, it is better that we fight this enemy. It is said that an enemy who is dishonest. lazy, careless, afraid, untruthful, foolish and afraid of war is easy to defeat.”

“Besides”, continued Sanjeevin. “We have already been defeated by him. Now, if we approach him seeking an alliance, he will take affront to our proposal.”

चतुर्थोपाय-साध्ये तु रिपौ सान्त्वम् अपक्रिया ।
स्वेद्यम् आम-ज्वरं प्राज्ञः को ऽम्भसा परिषिञ्चति ॥ २६ ॥

caturthopāya-sādhye tu ripau sāntvam apakriyā |
svedyam āma-jvaraṃ prājñaḥ ko ‘mbhasā pariṣiñcati || 26 ||

When it is feasible to fight an enemy, seeking peace or an alliance is not the right course of action. A wise man does not sprinkle cold water on a person who has fever, when sweating can itself be the cure.

“And I also don’t agree to Ujjeevin’s statement when he said that “the enemy is very strong.” It has been said…

उत्साह-शक्ति-सम्पन्नो हन्याच् छत्रुं लघुर् गुरुम् ।
यथा कण्ठीरवो नागं भारद्वाजः प्रचक्षते ॥ २९ ॥

utsāha-śakti-sampanno hanyāc chatruṃ laghur gurum |
yathā kaṇṭhīravo nāgaṃ bhāradvājaḥ pracakṣate || 29 ||

An energetic king should kill all his enemies, be they strong, or weak. Just like an energetic lion establishes his hold on the jungle by killing even elephants.

मायया शत्रवो वध्या अवध्याः स्युर् बलेन ये…Those enemies who cannot be killed with strength, should be killed with deceit. Also, सर्वंसहं तु मन्यन्ते तृणाय रिपवश् च तम् – a forgiving king is regarded very lowly by his enemies, they consider him as insignificant as a piece of grass.”

“And so, dear king”, concluded Sanjeevin. “I recommend war as the best course of action.”

MeghaVarna thanked Sanjeevin for his advice, and respectfully led him out of the chamber. He then called Anujeevin inside.

“Tell me, respected Anujeevin”, said MeghaVarna, “what is your recommended course of action?”

Anujeevin replied “My dear king, our enemy is very strong, and very wicked. He is also untruthful and uncultured. Seeking peace, or waging a war – both will be wrong courses of action. In my opinion, we should go into hiding.”

to be continued…