VERSE 2-67-32 : BOOK 2, CHAPTER 67, VERSE 32
yehi sambhinna maryaadaa
naastikahaa chinna samshayaaha |
te api bhaavaaya kalpante
raaja dand`a nipiid`itaha.
Context: King Dasaratha died, unable to bear the pangs of separation from Rama.
The courtiers assembled to coronate Bharata as King, after getting him from his maternal grand-father's place.
The entire chapter describes the characteristics of anarchic (without a monarch) State.
(The courtiers said to Vasisht`ha, the Preceptor of the King)
The King used to punish atheists. They were, in the past, they used to hesitate to come out. They now come out and act with their old temperament, as the King was dead.
Why the courtiers and the King were enimical to atheists? Were the atheists criminals?