nādaṇḍyaṁ daṇḍayaty eṣa
sutam ātma-dviṣām api
daṇḍayaty ātmajam api
daṇḍyaṁ dharma-pathe sthitaḥ
na—not; adaṇḍyam—not punishable; daṇḍayati—punishes; eṣaḥ—this King; sutam—the son; ātma-dviṣām—of his enemies; api—even; daṇḍayati—he punishes; ātma-jam—his own son; api—even; daṇḍyam—punishable; dharma-pathe—on the path of piety; sthitaḥ—being situated.
Since this King will always remain on the path of piety, he will be neutral to both his son and the son of his enemy. If the son of his enemy is not punishable, he will not punish him, but if his own son is punishable, he will immediately punish him.
These are the characteristics of an impartial ruler. It is the duty of a ruler to punish the criminal and give protection to the innocent. King Pṛthu was so neutral that if his own son were punishable, he would not hesitate to punish him. On the other hand, if the son of his enemy were innocent, he would not engage in some intrigue in order to punish him.
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