तत: सचिवपौराप्तकरीन्द्रानस्य कण्टकान् ॥ ३ ॥
एवं क्रमेण जेष्याम: पृथ्वीं सागरमेखलाम् ।
इत्याशाबद्धहृदया न पश्यन्त्यन्तिकेऽन्तकम् ॥ ४ ॥
karīndrān asya kaṇṭakān
na paśyanty antike ’ntakam
pūrvam — first of all; nirjitya — conquering; ṣaṭ-vargam — the five senses and the mind; jeṣyāmaḥ — we will conquer; rāja-mantriṇaḥ — the royal ministers; tataḥ — then; saciva — the personal secretaries; paura — the citizens of the capital; āpta — the friends; kari-indrān — the elephant keepers; asya — ridding ourselves of; kaṇṭakān — the thorns; evam — in this way; krameṇa — gradually; jeṣyāmaḥ — we shall conquer; pṛthvīm — the earth; sāgara — the ocean; mekhalām — whose girdle; iti — thus thinking; āśā — by hopes; baddha — bound up; hṛdayāḥ — their hearts; na paśyanti — they do not see; antike — nearby; antakam — their own end.
“Kings and politicians imagine: ‘First I will conquer my senses and mind; then I will subdue my chief ministers and rid myself of the thorn-pricks of my advisors, citizens, friends and relatives, as well as the keepers of my elephants. In this way I will gradually conquer the entire earth.’ Because the hearts of these leaders are bound by great expectations, they fail to see death waiting nearby.
To satisfy their greed for power, determined politicians, dictators and military leaders undergo severe austerities and sacrifice, with much self-discipline. Then they lead their great nations in a struggle to control the sea, land, air and space. Although the politicians and their followers will soon be dead — since birth and death are all inevitable in this world — they persist in their frenetic struggle for ephemeral glory.