After Yudhiṣṭhira ascended the throne, he had a long conversation with Bhīṣma, who was lying on his bed of arrows. This discourse concerning Rājadharma is described covering several chapters in Śāntiparva of Mahābhārata. While discussing the finest ideas of Rājadharma, Bhīṣma said, “O Yudhiṣṭhira! Let me tell you what Uthatya, son of Aṅgirā, greatest among the Veda-knowing ones, gave as advice to Māndhātā, regarding the dharma of Kṣatriya(s). This discourse concerning the duties of a king, as stated by sage Utathya, is known as Utathyagītā.
The king is lokasya rakṣitā. This notion of the establishment and protection of dharma, comes repeatedly in Utathyagītā. The path of thid dharma is not the worship of God. It is a summing up of the king’s duties to the people belonging to every varṇa or vṛtti, in a social system divided into varṇa(s), or rather, what should be the proper way of administration.
Brahmā created dharma for the benefit of the world, and sages made the king as the protector of that dharma. So in the scripture of politics, the king has been called the representative of God. And Utathya says, the four Yuga(s) emerge from the king, the king is the cause of Yuga(s).
Though he has given a divine status to the king, Utathya also makes it clear– if the king the path of dharma, only then he may attain a godlike status, become the ruler of the world, otherise, an unrighteous king is doomed to hell.
In the Caturvarṇa-system-bound society, everyone has a definity duty. Sūdra(s) will serve the other two jāti(s), the Vaiśya will do farming, Kṣatriya(s) will perform Daṇḍanīti (administrative work), Brāhmaṇa(s) will do tapasyā and so on. Uathya’s advice to the king is to protect all the people belonging to all these categories, for example, to protect the merchant as his son, not to burden the farmer with taxes, to appoint the Amātya(s) in administration and war, and the like.
He has especially mentioned the Brāhmaṇa(s)–
dharmasya brāhmaṇo yonistasmān pūjayet sadā.
Brāhmaṇa(s) are the cause of dharma, so they are always worthy of worship. It is the king’s duty is to satisfy their desires, withot any hostility. The king should perform many yajña(s) with sufficient dakṣiṇā, and he shuld never disrespect the Ṛtvik, Purohita and Ācharya.
In this context, citing ancient lores, Utathya has said that Viricana, son of Vali, showed disrespect to the Brāhmaṇa(s), and as a result, Rājalakṣmī left him. If the king does injustice in administration, the caturvarṇa-system of society, the four Veda and Caturāśrama-system gets destabilised. From the decision of Utathya it is clear that the king is chiefly an epitome of Caturvarṇa, Caturāśrama and social justice, as it is found in Manusaṃhitā–
caturṇāmāśramāñca dharmasya pratibhūḥ smṛtaḥ.
Besides, the king’s duty is to distribute good food, give due respect to the servants and work-associates, serving the guests, to see that the destitutes and old people may not suffer, to give away lands, to protect the ones who have taken shelter under the king, help in the improvement of the friends and dominate over the enemies– which is said in the sayings of Utathya.