Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.50

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ŚB 1.8.50

नैनो राज्ञ: प्रजाभर्तुर्धर्मयुद्धे वधो द्विषाम् ।
इति मे न तु बोधाय कल्पते शासनं वच: ॥ ५० ॥
naino rājñaḥ prajā-bhartur
dharma-yuddhe vadho dviṣām
iti me na tu bodhāya
kalpate śāsanaṁ vacaḥ


na — never; enaḥ — sins; rājñaḥ — of the king; prajābhartuḥ — of one who is engaged in the maintenance of the citizens; dharma — for the right cause; yuddhe — in the fight; vadhaḥ — killing; dviṣām — of the enemies; iti — all these; me — for me; na — never; tu — but; bodhāya — for satisfaction; kalpate — they are meant for administration; śāsanam — injunction; vacaḥ — words of.


There is no sin for a king who kills for the right cause, who is engaged in maintaining his citizens. But this injunction is not applicable to me.


Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira thought that although he was not actually involved in the administration of the kingdom, which was being carried on well by Duryodhana without harm to the citizens, he caused the killing of so many living beings only for his personal gain of the kingdom from the hands of Duryodhana. The killing was committed not in the course of administration but for the sake of self-aggrandizement, and as such he thought himself responsible for all the sins.

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