A different kind of profit and loss

“Even a wicked-minded enemy, if he with folded palms and a poor heart craves for your shelter, should not be slain.  If an enemy, proud or terrified, seeks shelter in fear, he should be saved by a great man even at the risk of his own life.  One who from fear, ignorance, or willfulness does not protect him who seeks his shelter perpetrates a mighty iniquity and is blamed by all.  When a person is slain before him  whose shelter he has taken, he takes away all the virtues of his protector.  So great is the sin in not affording shelter unto those who seek it; it stands in the way of going to heaven, bringing in calumny and destroying strength and prowess.” — Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddhakanda Sarga 18

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