Homage to the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Fully Enlightened Ratna-kusuma-guna-sagara-vaidurya-kanaka-giri-suvarna-kanchana-prabhasa-shri.
Homage to the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Fully Enlightened Shakyamuni, whose body is adorned with hundreds of thousands of millions of virtues and who makes the light of this Dharma blaze forth.
Homage to the great goddess Shri, endowed with boundless virtue, grain and good fortune.
Homage to the great goddess Sarasvati, endowed with wisdom’s limitless qualities.
“Then at that time, at that moment, King Balendra-ketu said this to his son King Ruchira-ketu, whom he had enthroned and who had been not long in the royalty: ‘Son, there is a royal treatise called The Inviolable Commitments of Divine Kings which, not long after I was enthroned, I received from my father King Varendra-ketu. I reigned the kingdom for twenty thousand years according to that royal treatise, and I do not recollect being on the wrong side for even a single moment of thought. O son, what then is this royal treatise, The Inviolable Commitments of Divine Kings?’
“O noble goddess, at that time, at that moment, King Balendra-ketu clearly expounded The Inviolable Commitments of Divine Kings, the royal treatise, to his son King Ruchira-ketu in these verses:
I will explain the royal treatise which benefits all beings, cuts through misgiving and extinguishes every misdeed.
O kings, all, one by one, be in a state of delight! Listen with your hands folded in reverence to this entire Commitments of Divine Kings. Here at Vajrakara, the king of mountains, when the divine lords assembled, all the world protectors stood up to ask Brahma, the divine king:
‘O Brahma, you are the principal god; you are the deva king. May you cut through our qualms; may you dispel our doubt.
Why is a king born among humans called ‘divine’? For what reason is he called ‘divine son’? Born in the world of humans, he would be a human king; how do gods wield divine kingship among men?’
When the Lord Brahma was asked thus by the protectors of the world, Brahma, the chief of gods, replied in this way:
As the guardians of the world asked me thus, for the benefit of all beings I will reveal this sublime treatise. I will explain the origin of kings who are born in the realm of humans and by what means they become kings of their lands.
Blessed by divine kings they enter into their mother’s womb; being first blessed by gods, afterwards, they enter her womb.
Once born in the human world, they become kings of humans. From gods they are born; thus they are called ‘divine son.’
Granting them a share of royalty and saying, ‘You are the son of gods,’ the divine rulers of Thirty-Three create such human kings in this way in order to bring misconduct to an end, thwart what is against the Dharma and set beings in virtuous deeds so they may ascend to celestial abodes.
The kings of humans – be they gandharva, rakshasa, low-caste, human or god – bring the end of evil deeds. These human lords, blessed by devas to show actions’ ripening effects, are like parents to those who engage in virtue.
They are empowered by gods to show the fruition of deeds – of actions done well and wrongly done in this life.
When the lords overlook evil acts committed in their land and to those who are unlawful fail to mete out befitting revenge, through neglect of unlawful deeds that which is not Dharma will triumph.
Conflicts and clandestine acts will befall the region over and over again. The lords of gods will be enraged in the palatial dwelling of the Thirty-Three.
When a king overlooks the presence of evil doers in his region terrible clandestine acts will ruin and destroy that land.
Upon arrival of a foreign army, the country will utterly succumb. Resources and race too will fall away. Those who amassed wealth through trickery and deceit will rob each other entirely of means.
When a king does not perform the function for which kingship had been bestowed, he demolishes his own realm as the elephant lord destroys a lotus pond. Unfavorable winds will arise; unfavorable rains will fall; the sun and moon will be unfavorable, and likewise the planets and stars.
Where a king is negligent, famine will descend upon the land; seeds, crops, flowers and fruit will cease to grow and flourish.
When a king overlooks those who do wrong in his realm, unhappiness will befall the gods in their abodes.
The kings of gods will lament to each other: ‘Unlawful is this king, for he remains on the side of the lawless.’
Before long, the king will incur the wrath of the gods. When the gods reveal their rage, his kingdom will wither away.
Mayhem will prevail in the land; by weapons too it will give way. Covert acts, strife and disease of every variety will come to be.
Overcome by rage, the lords of gods and gods too will ignore him. That land will lie in ruin, anguish the sole company of that king. He will lose his beloved ones, brothers and even sons. From his beloved wife too he will part; his daughters will meet with death. Shooting stars will rain down; likewise, mock suns will shower. Fear of foreign armies and famine will greatly occur. His valued minister, beloved elephant and cherished camels will die too. People will pillage one another, seizing homes, resources and wealth. Region by region throughout the land, they will slay one another with arms.
Strife, squabbles and deception will tear apart their land. Demons will enter into the region. Terrible diseases will plague them.
Even the venerable ones, their ministers and retinues too, will succumb to wickedness and deceit. When those devoid of virtue become venerated in the land, those law-abiding and virtuous ones will always be victimized.
When the wicked are honored and the virtuous persecuted, three things – stars, water and wind – will become calamitous there.
When the wicked are embraced, three things – the flavor, essence and power of the sublime Dharma, the strength of beings and quality of the earth – will utterly perish.
When the corrupt are esteemed and the sublime dishonored, three things – famine, thunderbolts and death – will occur in that place.
Fruit and crops will have no taste and no potency thereafter. Beings sickened with disease will fill those regions completely.
Large sweet fruit will shrivel, becoming bitter and sharp. Play, humor and fun – the pleasures of previous times now rife with infinite delusion – will lose the touch of joy. Fruits and crops will lose their succulence and force. They will cease to nourish body, elements or senses. Pale and lacking complexion, beings will become weak, feeble and without strength.
Though they may consume much food, they will remain unfulfilled. Their strength, prowess and energy will disappear. The country will become a mass of beings utterly without vitality.
Multitudes of beings will become afflicted by various illnesses. Due to various cannibalistic deeds, there will arise inauspicious planets and stars.
When the king is un-dharmic and on the side of those lacking virtue, the triple realms in the sphere of the three worlds will completely perish.
When the king is partisan, ignoring those who commit misdeeds, misfortunes such as these in their regions will come to be.
When he overlooks those evil doers, a king neglects to wield his kingship according to the role bestowed upon him by the lord of gods.
Those who perform virtuous actions will be reborn in the deva abodes. Those who commit negative deeds will be reborn among hungry ghosts, animals and hell beings.
When a king ignores those who carry out misdeeds in his realm, through those misdeeds, gods will fall from the Heaven of the Thirty-Three. When a king does not fulfill his duty, he is no longer his forefather’s son and the kings of gods will rain misfortune upon his kingdom.
When his lands are ravaged by rampant disorderly acts, he should quell these transgressions and encourage positive deeds. Thus have the lords of gods vested kingship upon him in the human realm.
It is he who effects fruition for beings in this life, for he demonstrates the ripened effects of deeds done well and wrongly done; for this reason he is called ‘king.’
For his own welfare and that of all others, for the sake of order in that land, he is blessed and approved by hosts of gods. In order to bring harmony to his kingdom, he should renounce life and sovereignty and subdue the wicked and sinful in his domain.
Should he tolerate lawlessness and wittingly ignore the unlawful, no other threat could be as terrible as this.
As evil and wickedness arise if those responsible are not indicted, the country will be overrun by utterly objectionable criminals; as elephants demolish great pools, so these regions will be destroyed.
As the abodes of the gods perish, the kings of gods become wrathful; then all things in that realm will be doomed to misfortune. Hence, those who commit misdeeds must be tamed according to their crime. In the realm protected in keeping with the Dharma, the king should not commit unlawful deeds.
Giving up even his life for the sake of justice, he should never succumb to bias. Should even once the king take the side of people related and unrelated or of any person in his realm, he will utterly fall into prejudice.
The fame and renown of that king who is virtuous in Dharma fills the triple worlds and makes the lords of gods happy in the dwelling of the Thirty-Three. Those gods will say: ‘Our son in Jambudvipa is such an honest king. Establishing beings in virtuous deeds, he rules his realm according to the Dharma. Through good deeds, this king helps beings arrive in our lands. He fills the abodes of gods with devas and their divine sons. As he rules his realm according to the Dharma, we kings of gods are indeed well pleased.’
Being pleased, the kings of gods will offer protection to this human king. The sun, the moon and likewise the stars will move well. The winds will arise in due time; in due time too rain will fall.
Prosperity will be ensured in the gods’ abodes and likewise in the realm of the king; gods and gods’ divine children will always abound in that place.
Hence, the king should forsake his own cherished life, but never give up the Dharma jewel. To ensure the welfare of the world, he should seek company with those sublime ones fully adorned with virtue, happy with their people and renounced from sinful deeds.
Protecting his realm according to the Dharma, teaching well the laws of the Dharma too, those engaged in virtue should be encouraged and he himself must refrain from evil deeds.
When those who do evil deeds are accordingly tamed, a year of abundance will ensue. Magnanimous will be the king possessed of renown and fame who reigns his subjects in peace.
Thus ends the twelfth chapter, the Chapter on the Royal Treatise entitled The Inviolable Commitments of Divine Kings from the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light.