Chapter

The King as the Embodiment of Egotism

Karen C. Lang

in Four Illusions

Published in print March 2003 | ISBN: 9780195151138
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199870448 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195151135.003.0005
 The King as the Embodiment of Egotism

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The Mahābharata and the Rāmāyaṇa, as well as Indian legal and political treatises, support belief in the king's divinity. Buddhists regard kingship not as divinely inspired, but as an elective process. Legitimate moral authority and the right to govern belong only to righteous kings, who govern with generosity and compassion. Unrighteous kings, ruling in the age of discord (kali yuga), allow passion to dominate their behavior. They devastate the world through their exercise of war. Candrakiriti rejects both divine origins of kings and the notion that heaven is the reward for a royal warrior who dies in battle.

Keywords: age of discord; divinity of kings; elective kingship; kali yuga; righteous kings; unrighteous kings; war

Chapter.  10373 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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