In Nikaya, it is said that wheel turning king runs the country without using stick or sword, since that term is quite abstract, what does it mean?
Some of my interpretations:
1/ Without waging war, since stick and sword are the symbol of weapon. But then what is the role of military, or how can he protect his people when needed?
2/ Runs the country without punishment. I don't see this as an realistic option, as even the sangha has offenses for monks, and managing the world without punishment is impossible.
3/ Without violent punishment. For example, jail is not violent but torture, beating or cutting hand of robber are violence. I see this as the most realistic interpretation, but I am not sure.
So what does it mean? Reference in Nikaya is appreciated.