The Mahabharata 8
Category: Hindu
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The Mahābhārata is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Rāmāyaṇa. It narrates the struggle between two groups of cousins in the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes and their succession. Along with the Rāmāyaṇa, it forms the Hindu Itihasa.

The Mahabharata

Book 8: Karna Parva

Kisari Mohan Ganguli, tr.

Section I

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and unto that most exalted of male beings, Nara, and unto the goddess Sarasvati also, must the word Jaya be uttered.

Vaishampayana said, "After Drona had been slain, O monarch, the royal warriors (of the Kaurava army) headed by Duryodhana, with hearts filled with great anxiety, all repaired to Drona's son. Lamenting the loss of Drona, and deprived of energy in consequence of their cheerlessness, they sat around the son of Sharadvata's daughter, afflicted with grief. Comforted for a little while by considerations founded upon the scriptures, when night came, those rulers of Earth proceeded to their respective tents. Those lords of Earth, however, O thou of Kuru's race, could feel no happiness in their abodes. Thinking of that immense slaughter, they could not also sleep. The Suta's son (Karna), and king Suyodhana and Duhshasana and Shakuni, in special, could not compose themselves to sleep. Those four passed that night together in Duryodhana's tent, reflecting upon the woes they had inflicted upon the high-souled Pandavas. Formerly they had brought Draupadi, plunged into woe on account of the match at dice, into the assembly. Recollecting it they experienced great regret, their hearts being filled with anxiety. Thinking of those sufferings inflicted (upon the Pandavas) in consequence of the gambling match they passed that night in sorrow, O king, as if it were really a hundred years. Then when morning came, observing the dictates of the ordinance, all of them duly went through the customary rites. Having gone through these customary rites, and comforted to some extent, O Bharata, they ordered their troops to be arrayed, and then came out for battle, having made Karna their generalissimo by tying the auspicious thread round his wrists, and having caused many foremost of brahmanas, by presents of vessels of curds, clarified butter, akshatas, coins of gold, kine, jewels and gems, and costly robes, to pray for their victory, and having caused heralds and musicians, and panegyrists to adore them with hymns about victory. The Pandavas also, O king, having gone through their morning rites, issued from their camp, resolved on battle. Then commenced a fierce battle, making the hair to stand on end, between the Kurus and the Pandavas, each desirous of vanquishing the other. During the commandership of Karna, the battle that took place between the Kuru and the Pandava troops was exceedingly fierce and lasted for two days. Then Vrisha (Karna) having made an immense slaughter of his enemies in battle, was at last slain in the sight of the Dhartarashtras, by Arjuna. Then Sanjaya, repairing to Hastinapura told Dhritarashtra all that had happened at Kurujangala."

Janamejaya said, "Having heard of the fall of Bhishma and that other mighty car-warrior, Drona, the old king Dhritarashtra the son of Ambika had been afflicted with great grief. How, O foremost of brahmanas, could he, plunged into grief, support his life having heard of the death of Karna, that well-wisher of Duryodhana? How indeed, could that descendant of Kuru support his life when he, upon whom that monarch had rested the hope of his sons' victory, had fallen? When the king did not lay down his life even after hearing of Karna's death, I think that it is very difficult for men to yield up life even under circumstances of great grief! O brahmana, when the king did not yield up his life after hearing of the fall of the venerable son of Shantanu, of Bahlika and Drona and Somadatta and Bhurishrava, as also other friends and his sons and grandsons, I think, O regenerate one, that the act of yielding up one's life is exceedingly difficult! Tell me all these in detail and as they actually happened! I am not satiated with hearing the high achievements of my ancestors!"

Section II

Vaishampayana said, "Upon the fall of Karna, O monarch, the son of Gavalgana, with a cheerless heart, set out that night for Nagapura, on steeds that rivalled the wind in speed. Arrived at Hastinapura, with a heart filled with deep anxiety, he proceeded to Dhritarashtra's abode which no longer teemed with kinsmen and friends. Beholding the king deprived of all energy by grief, joining his hands he worshipped, with a bend of his head, the monarch's feet. Having duly worshipped king Dhritarashtra, he uttered an exclamation of woe and then began, 'I am Sanjaya, O lord of Earth! Art thou not happy? I hope thou art not stupefied, having through thy own faults fallen into such distress? Counsels for thy good had been uttered by Vidura and Ganga's son and Keshava. I hope thou feelest no pain now, remembering thy rejection of those counsels? Counsels for thy good had also been uttered in the assembly by Rama and Narada and Kanwa and others. I hope thou feelest no pain now, remembering their rejection by thee? I hope thou feelest no pain, remembering the slaughter in battle, by the foe, of Bhishma and Drona and others, those friends that were ever engaged in thy good?' Unto the Suta's son who with joined hands was telling him so, the monarch afflicted with grief and drawing a long and hot breath, said these words.

"Dhritarashtra said, 'Hearing, O Sanjaya, of the fall of the heroic son of Ganga, that warrior of all celestial weapons, as also of the fall of that foremost of all bowmen, Drona, my heart feeleth great pain! That hero endued with great energy and born of the Vasus themselves, who slew every day 10,000 car-warriors clad in mail, that high-souled one unto whom Bhrigu's son had given the highest weapons, that warrior who in his childhood had been trained in the science of the bow by Rama, alas, even he hath been slain by Yajnasena's son Shikhandi protected by the Pandavas! At this my heart is greatly pained! That hero through whose grace those mighty car-warriors, the royal sons of Kunti, as also many other lords of Earth, have become maharathas, alas, hearing of the slaughter of that great bowman of sure aim, Drona, by Dhrishtadyumna, my heart is exceedingly pained! Those two had not in the world a person equal to them in (knowledge and use of) the four kinds of weapons! Alas, hearing of the slaughter of these two, Bhishma and Drona, in battle my heart is exceedingly pained! That warrior who had not in the three worlds a person equal to him in knowledge of weapons, alas, hearing of the slaughter of that hero, Drona, what did the people of my side do? After the high-souled son of Pandu, Dhananjaya, exerting himself with prowess, had despatched unto Yama's abode the strong force of the samsaptakas, after the Narayana weapon of the intelligent son of Drona had been baffled, and after the (Kaurava) divisions had begun to fly away, what, indeed, did the people of my side do? I think that, after Drona's death my troops, flying away and sinking in an ocean of grief, resembled shipwrecked mariners struggling on the bosom of the vast deep. What also, O Sanjaya, became the colour of the faces of Duryodhana, and Karna, and Kritavarma the chief of the Bhojas and Shalya, the ruler of the Madras, and of my remaining sons, and of the others, when the Kuru divisions fled away from the field? Tell me all this as it truly happened in battle, O son of Gavalgana, and describe to me the prowess put forth by the Pandavas and the warriors of my side!"

"Sanjaya said, 'O sire, hearing all that has happened unto the Kauravas through thy fault, thou shouldst not feel any anguish! He that is wise never feeleth any pain at what Destiny bringeth! And since Destiny is unconquerable, human purposes may or may not become attainable. Hence, he that is wise never feeleth pain on the acquisition or the reverse of the objects cherished by him.

"Dhritarashtra said, 'I do not feel great pain, O Sanjaya! I regard all this to be the result of Destiny! Tell me all that thou wishest!'"

Section III

"Sanjaya said, 'Upon the fall of the great bowman Drona, thy sons, those mighty car-warriors, became pale and deprived of their senses. Armed with weapons, all of them, O monarch, hung down their heads. Afflicted with grief and without looking at one another, they stood perfectly silent. Beholding them with such afflicted countenances, thy troops, O Bharata, themselves perturbed by grief, vacantly gazed upwards. Seeing Drona slain in battle, the weapons of many of them, O king, dyed with blood, dropped from their hands. Innumerable weapons, again, O Bharata, still retained in the grasp of the soldiers, seemed in their pendent attitude, to resemble falling meteors in the sky. Then king Duryodhana, O monarch, beholding that army of thine thus standing as if paralysed and lifeless, said, "Relying upon the might of your army I have summoned the Pandavas to battle and caused this passage-at-arms to commence! Upon the fall of Drona, however, the prospect seems to be cheerless. Warriors engaged in battle all die in battle. Engaged in battle, a warrior may have either victory or death. What can be strange then in this (viz., the death of Drona)? Fight ye with faces turned towards every direction. Behold now the high-souled Karna, the son of Vikartana, that great bowman of mighty strength, careering in battle, using his celestial weapons! Through fear of that warrior in battle, that coward, viz., Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, always turns back like a small deer at the sight of a lion! It is he who, by the ordinary methods of human battle, brought the mighty Bhimasena endued with the strength of 10,000 elephants to that plight! It is he who, uttering a loud roar, slew with his invincible dart the brave Ghatotkaca of a 1,000 illusions and well-acquainted with celestial weapons! Behold today the inexhaustible might of arms of that intelligent warrior of sure aim and invincible energy! Let the sons of Pandu behold today the prowess of both Ashvatthama and Karna resembling that of Vishnu and Vasava! All of you are singly able to slay the sons of Pandu with their troops in battle! How much more then are you capable, when united together, of that feat! Endued with great energy and accomplished in weapons, you will today behold one another engaged in the achievement of mighty tasks!'"

"Sanjaya continued, 'Having said these words, O sinless one, thy son Duryodhana, with his brothers, made Karna the generalissimo (of the Kuru army). Obtaining the command, the mighty car-warrior Karna, so fierce in battle, uttered loud roars and fought with the foe. He caused, O sire, a great carnage among the Srinjayas, the Pancalas, the Kekayas, and the Videhas. From his bow issued innumerable lines of arrows, one close behind the wings of another, like flights of bees. Having afflicted the Pancalas and the Pandavas endued with great activity, and slain thousands of warriors, he was at last slain by Arjuna!"

Section IV

Vaishampayana said, "Hearing this intelligence, O monarch, Dhritarashtra the son of Ambika, feeling the acme of grief, regarded Suyodhana to be already dead. Exceedingly agitated, the king fell down on the Earth like an elephant deprived of its senses. When that foremost of the monarchs, greatly agitated, fell down on the Earth, loud wails were uttered, O best of the Bharatas, by the ladies (of the royal household). That noise was so loud that it seemed to fill the entire Earth. Immersed in a deep ocean of woe, the Bharata ladies, with hearts exceedingly agitated and scorched by grief, wept aloud. Approaching the king, Gandhari, O bull of Bharata's race, and the other ladies of the household, all fell down on the earth, deprived of their senses. Then Sanjaya, O king, began to comfort those ladies stricken with grief, bathed in tears, and reft of consciousness. Comforted (by Sanjaya), those ladies began to tremble repeatedly like a plantain grove shaken by the wind. Vidura also, sprinkling that descendant of Kuru with water, began to comfort the puissant monarch who had knowledge only for his eye. Slowly restored to consciousness, and understanding that the ladies of the household were there, the king, O monarch, remained perfectly silent for some time like one reft of reason. Having reflected then for some time, and repeatedly drawn long breaths, the king censured his own sons and applauded the Pandavas. Censuring also his own intelligence and that of Shakuni the son of Subala, the king, having reflected for a long time, began to tremble repeatedly. Controlling his mind once more, the king, with sufficient fortitude, questioned his charioteer Sanjaya the son of Gavalgana.

"Dhritarashtra said, 'I have heard, O Sanjaya, all that thou hast said. Hath my son Duryodhana, O Suta, who is ever desirous of victory, already gone to Yama's abode, despairing of success? Tell me truly, O Sanjaya, all this even if thou wilt have to repeat it!'"

Vaishampayana continued, "Thus addressed by the king, O Janamejaya, the Suta said unto him, 'The mighty car-warrior Vaikartana, O monarch, hath been slain with his sons and brothers, and other Suta warriors, all of whom were mighty bowmen ready to lay down their lives in battle! Duhshasana also hath been slain by the renowned son of Pandu. Indeed, his blood also hath been, from wrath, drunk by Bhimasena in battle!'"

Section V

Vaishampayana said, "Hearing these words, O monarch, Ambika's son Dhritarashtra, with heart agitated by grief, addressed his driver Sanjaya, saying, 'Though the evil policy, O sire, of my son of little foresight, Vikartana's son hath been slain! This intelligence is cutting the very core of my heart! I am desirous of crossing this sea of grief! Remove my doubts, therefore, by telling me who are still alive and who are dead amongst the Kurus and the Pandavas!'

“Sauti answered, ‘By me hath been acquired all that was formerly studied by the high-souled Brahmanas including Vaisampayana and repeated by them; by me hath been acquired all that had been studied by my father. O descendant of the Bhrigu race, attend then to so much as relateth to the exalted race of Bhrigu, revered by Indra and all the gods, by the tribes of Rishis and Maruts (Winds). O great Muni, I shall first properly recount the story of this family, as told in the Puranas.

Section VI

"Dhritarashtra said, 'Thou hast, O son, mentioned the names of those of my side that have been slain in battle by the Pandavas. Tell me now, O Sanjaya, the names of those amongst the Pandavas that have been slain by the people of my side!'

"Sanjaya said, 'The Kuntis possessed of great prowess in battle, endued with great energy and great might, have been slain in fight by Bhishma, with all their kinsmen and advisers. The Narayanas, the Valabhadras, and hundreds of other heroes, all devoted (to the Pandavas) have been slain in battle by the heroic Bhishma. Satyajit, who was equal to the diadem-decked Arjuna himself in battle as regards energy and might, hath been slain in battle by Drona of sure aim. Many mighty bowmen among the Pancalas, all of whom were skilled in battle, encountering Drona, have repaired to Yama's abode. So the two kings Virata and Drupada, both venerable in years, who exerted themselves with great prowess for their ally, have, with their sons, been slain in battle by Drona. That invincible hero, viz., Abhimanyu, who, though a child in years, was still equal in battle to Arjuna or Keshava or Baladeva, O lord, that, warrior who was highly accomplished in battle, after making an immense slaughter of the foe, was at last encompassed by six foremost of car-warriors and slain by them. Unable to resist Arjuna himself, they thus slew Arjuna's son! Deprived of his car, that hero, viz., the son of Subhadra, still stayed in battle, remembering the duties of a Kshatriya. At last, O king, Duhshasana's son slew him on the field. The slayer of the Patachchatras, viz., the handsome son of Amvashtha, surrounded by a large force, had put forth all his prowess for the sake of his allies. Having made a great slaughter among the foe, he was encountered by Duryodhana's son, the brave Lakshmana, in battle and despatched to Yama's abode. The mighty bowman Vrihanta, accomplished in arms and invincible in battle, hath been despatched to Yama's abode by Duhshasana, exerting himself with great prowess. The two kings Manimat and Dandadhara, both of whom were invincible in battle and had put forth their prowess for their allies, have been slain by Drona. Ansumat the ruler of the Bhojas, that mighty car-warrior at the head of his own forces, hath been despatched to Yama's abode by Drona exerting himself with great prowess. Citrasena, the ruler of the sea-coast, with his son, O Bharata, hath been forcibly despatched by Samudrasena to Yama's abode. Another ruler of a maritime country, viz., Nila, and Vyaghradatta of great energy, have both, O king, been despatched to Yama's abode by Ashvatthama. Citrayudha and Citrayodhin, after making a great slaughter, have both been slain in battle by Vikarna exerting himself with great prowess and displaying diverse manoeuvres of his car. The chief of the Kaikeyas, who was equal to Vrikodara himself in battle and surrounded by Kaikeya warriors, has been slain by Kaikeya, the brother by the brother. Janamejaya of the hilly country, endued with great prowess and accomplished in encounters with the mace, hath, O king, been slain by thy son Durmukha. Those two foremost of men, viz., the brothers Rochamana, like two brilliant planets, have together been despatched to heaven by Drona with his shafts. Many other kings, O monarch, endued with great prowess, have fought (for the Pandavas) Having achieved the most difficult feats, all of them have gone to Yama's abode. Purujit and Kuntibhoja, the two maternal uncles of Savyasaci, have been despatched by Drona with shafts to such regions as are attained by death in battle. Abhibhu the Kasis, at the head of many of his followers, hath been obliged by Vasudana's son to lay down his life in battle. Yudhamanyu of immeasurable prowess, and Uttamauja of great energy, after slaying hundreds of heroic warriors, have themselves been slain by our men. The Pancala prince Mitravarman, O Bharata, those two foremost of bowmen, have been despatched to Yama's abode by Drona. Shikhandi's son Kshatradeva, that foremost of warriors, possessed of great bravery, hath, O king, been slain by thy grandson Lakshmana, O sire! The two heroes Sucitra and Citravarman, who were sire and son and endued with great might, and who careered fearlessly in battle, have been slain by Drona. Vardhakshemi, O monarch, who was like the ocean at full tide, having had his weapons exhausted in battle, hath at last obtained undisturbed peace. That foremost of Sutas, viz., Senavindu, having consumed many foes in battle, hath, at last, O king been slain by Bahlika. Dhrishtaketu, O monarch, that foremost of car-warriors among the Cedis, after accomplishing the most difficult feats, hath repaired to the abode of Yama. Similarly, the heroic Satyadhriti, endued with great prowess, having made a great slaughter in battle for the sake of the Pandavas, has been despatched to Yama's abode. That lord of Earth, viz., Suketu, the son of Shishupala, having slain many foes, hath at last been slain by Drona in battle. Virata's son Sankha, as also Uttara of great strength, having accomplished the most difficult feats, have repaired to Yama's abode. Similarly, Satyadhriti of the Matsyas, and Madiraswa of great energy, and Suryadatta possessed of great prowess, have all been slain by Drona with his shafts. Srenimat also, O monarch, having fought with great prowess and accomplished the most difficult feats, hath repaired to Yama's abode. Similarly, the chief of the Magadhas, that slayer of hostile heroes, endued with great energy and acquainted with the highest weapons, sleepeth on the field of battle, slain by Bhishma. Vasudana also, having made an immense carnage in battle, has been despatched to Yama's abode by Bharadwaja's son exerting himself with great prowess. These and many other mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas have been slain by Drona exerting himself with great energy. I have now told them all that thou hadst asked me.'"

Section VII

"Dhritarashtra said, 'When all the foremost of my warriors, O Sanjaya have perished, I do not think that the remnant of my army will not perish! When those two heroes, those two mighty bowmen, those two foremost of the Kurus, Bhishma and Drona, have been slain, what use can I any longer have with life? I cannot also brook the death of Radha's son, that ornament of battle, the might of whose arms was as great as that of 10,000 elephants! O foremost of speakers, tell me now, O Suta, who are yet alive in my army after the death of all the foremost heroes! Thou hast told me the names of those that have fallen. It seems, however, to me that those who are still alive are almost all dead!'

"Sanjaya said, 'That hero O king, to whom Drona, that foremost of brahmanas, imparted many blazing, celestial, and mighty weapons of the four kinds, that mighty car-warrior, possessed of skill and lightness of hands, that hero of firm grasp, strong weapons, and powerful shafts, that high-souled son of Drona, capable of shooting to a great distance, is still on the field, desirous of battling for thy sake. That dweller of the Anarta country, that son of Hridika, that mighty car-warrior, that foremost one among the Satwatas, that chief of the Bhojas, Kritavarma, accomplished in arms, is on the field, desirous of battle. Artayana's son, dauntless in battle, that first of warriors, that foremost of all yet on thy side, he, that abandoned his own sister's sons, the Pandavas, for making his own words true, that hero endued with great activity who promised in the presence of Yudhishthira that he would in battle depress the proud spirit of Karna, that invincible Shalya, who is equal unto Sakra himself in energy, is still on the field, desirous of battling for thy sake. Accompanied by his own force consisting of Ajaneyas, Saindhavas, mountaineers, dwellers of riparian regions, Kambojas, and Vanayus, the king of the Gandharas stayeth on the field, desirous of battling for thy sake. Sharadvata's son called Gautama, O king, endued with mighty arms and capable of fighting with diverse weapons in diverse beautiful ways, taking up a beautiful and large bow capable of bearing great strain, stayeth on the field, desirous of battle. That mighty car-warrior, the son of the ruler of the Kaikeyas, riding on a goodly car equipped with standard and goodly steeds, stayeth on the field, O chief of Kuru's race, for battling for thy sake. Thy son also, that foremost of heroes in Kuru's race, Purumitra, O king, riding on his car possessed of the effulgence of fire or the Sun, stayeth on the field, like the Sun himself shining brilliantly in the cloudless firmament. Duryodhana also, endued with great energy, in the midst of an elephant force and accompanied by many foremost of combatants, stayeth on his car adorned with gold, desirous of engaging in battle. In the midst of many kings, that foremost of men, possessed of the splendour of a lotus, looked resplendent in his beautiful armour of gold like a fire with little smoke or the Sun emerged from the clouds. So also thy sons Sushena, armed with sword and shield, and the heroic Satyasena, are staying with Citrasena, their hearts full of joy and themselves desirous of battle. Endued with modesty, the Bharata princes Citrayudha, Srutavarman, and Jaya, Dala, and Satyavrata, and Dussala, all of whom are possessed of great might, stay on the field, desirous of battle. The ruler of the Kaitavyas, that prince proud of his courage, and capable of fearlessly careering in battle and slaying his foes, possessing foot-soldiers and cavalry, and elephants and cars, stayeth on the field, desirous of battling for thy sake. The heroic Srutayu and Srutayudha, and Citrangada and Citravarman, those foremost of men, those proud warriors capable of smiting effectually and possessed of sureness of aim, stay on the field, desirous of battle. The high-souled Satyasandha, the son of Karna, stayeth on the field, desirous of battle. Two other sons of Karna, possessing a knowledge of high weapons and endued with great lightness of hands, are both staying, O king, at the head of forces that are large and incapable of being pierced by warriors of little energy, desirous of battling for thy sake. Accompanied by these heroes and by many other foremost of warriors, O king, that are possessed of immeasurable might, the Kuru king (Duryodhana) is staying like a second Indra in the midst of his elephant division in expectation of victory!'

"Dhritarashtra said, 'Thou hast told me duly all that are alive both amongst us and the foe. From this I plainly see on which side the victory will be. Indeed, it may be inferred from the facts.'"

Vaishampayana continued, "While saying this, Dhritarashtra the son of Ambika, having learnt that only a small portion of his army was alive, for all his foremost of warriors had died, felt his heart to be exceedingly agitated by grief. The king swooned away. Partially restored to his senses, he addressed Sanjaya, saying, 'Wait for a moment!' And the king said, 'O son, having heard of this dire calamity, my heart is greatly agitated. My senses are being stupefied, and my limbs are about to be paralysed!' Having said these words, Dhritarashtra the son of Ambika, that lord of earth, lost his senses and fell down on the earth."

Section VIII

Janamejaya said, "Having heard of Karna's fall and the slaughter of his sons, what, O foremost of regenerate ones, did the king say, after he had been a little comforted? Indeed, poignant was the grief that he experienced, arising from the calamity that befell his sons! Tell me, I ask thee, all that the king said on that occasion!"

Vaishampayana said, "Hearing of the slaughter of Karna that was incredible and astounding, that was dreadful and capable of paralysing the senses of all creatures, that looked like the downfall of Meru, or a never-to-be-believed clouding of the intellect of the wise Shukra, or the defeat of Indra of terrible feats at the hands of his foes, or the falling down on the Earth of the resplendent Sun from the firmament, or a scarcely-to-be-comprehended drying up of the ocean, that receptacle of inexhaustible waters, or the annihilation, perfectly astounding, of the earth, the firmament, the points of the compass, and the waters, or the fruitlessness of acts both virtuous and sinful, king Dhritarashtra, having earnestly reflected for some time on it, thought that his army had been annihilated. Thinking that other creatures also, as unslayable as Karna, would meet with a similar fate, king Dhritarashtra the son of Ambika, scorched with grief and sighing like a snake, with limbs almost palsied, long breaths, highly cheerless, and filled with melancholy, began to lament, saying, 'Oh!' and 'Alas!' And the king said, 'O Sanjaya, the heroic son of Adhiratha was endued with the prowess of the lion or the elephant! His neck was as thick as that of a bull, and his eyes, gait, and voice were like the bull's! Of limbs as hard as the thunderbolt, that young man, like a bull never flying away from a bull, never desisted from battle even if his foe happened to be the great Indra himself! At the sound of his bow-string and palms and at the whizz of his arrowy showers men and steeds and cars and elephants fled away from battle. Relying upon that mighty-armed one, that slayer of large bands of foes, that warrior of unfading glory, Duryodhana had provoked hostilities with those mighty car-warriors, the sons of Pandu! How then could Karna, that foremost of car-warriors, that tiger among men, that hero of irresistible onset, be forcibly slain by Partha in battle? Relying on the might of his own arms, he always disregarded Keshava of unfading glory, and Dhananjaya, and the Vrishnis, and all other foes! Often did he use to say unto the foolish, avaricious crestfallen, kingdom-coveting, and afflicted Duryodhana even such words as these, "Alone, I shall, in battle, throw down from their foremost of cars, those two invincible warriors united together, the wielder of sarnga and the wielder of gandiva!" He had subjugated many invincible and mighty foes--the Gandharas, the Madrakas, the Matsyas, the Trigartas, the Tanganas, the Khasas, the Pancalas, the Videhas, the Kulindas, the Kasi-kosalas, the Suhmas, the Angas, the Nishadhas, the Pundras, the Kichakas, the Vatsas, the Kalingas, the Taralas, the Asmakas, and the Rishikas. Subjugating all these brave races, by means of his keen and whetted arrows equipped with kanka feathers, that foremost of car-warriors, Radha's son, had caused all of them to pay tribute to us for the aggrandisement of Duryodhana. Alas, how could that warrior acquainted with celestial weapons, that protector of armies, Karna the son of Vikartana, called also Vrisha, of mighty energy, be slain in battle by his foes, the heroic and mighty sons of Pandu? As Indra is the foremost of gods, Karna was the foremost of men. In the three worlds no third person has been heard of by us to be like them. Amongst steeds, Uccaisravas is the foremost; amongst Yakshas, Vaishravana is the foremost; amongst celestials, Indra is the foremost; amongst smiters, Karna was the foremost. Unvanquished by even the most heroic and the mightiest of monarchs, he had, Duryodhana's aggrandisement, subjugated the whole earth. The ruler of Magadha, having by conciliation and honours obtained Karna for a friend, had challenged all the Kshatriyas of the world, except the Kauravas and the Yadavas, to battle. Hearing that Karna hath been slain by Savyasaci in single combat, I am plunged in an ocean of woe like a wrecked vessel in the vast deep! Indeed, hearing that that foremost of men, that best of car-warriors, hath been slain in single combat, I am sinking in an ocean of grief like a person without a raft in the sea! When, O Sanjaya, I do not die of such grief, I think my heart is impenetrable and made of something harder than the thunderbolt. Hearing of the defeat and humiliation of kinsmen and relatives and allies, who else in the world, O Suta, save my wretched self, would not yield up his life? I desire to have poison or fire or a fall from the summit of a mountain, I am unable, O Sanjaya, to bear this heavy load of grief!'"

Section IX

"Sanjaya said, 'The world regards thee to be equal to Yayati the son of Nahusha, in beauty, birth, fame, asceticism, and learning! Indeed, in learning, thou art, O king, like a great rishi, highly accomplished and crowned with success! Summon thy fortitude! Do not yield to grief!'

"Dhritarashtra said, 'I think destiny is supreme, and exertion fruitless since even Karna, who was like a shala tree, hath been slain in battle! Having slaughtered Yudhishthira's army and the large throngs of the Pancala car-warriors, having scorched all the points of the compass by means of his arrowy showers, having stupefied the Parthas in battle like the wielder of the thunderbolt stupefying the asuras, alas, how could that mighty car-warrior, slain by the foe, fall down on the earth like a large tree uprooted by the tempest? Indeed, I do not behold the end of my sorrows like a drowning man unable to see the end of the ocean. My anxieties are increasing, I do not desire to live, hearing of Karna's death and Phalguni's victory! Indeed O Sanjaya, I regard the slaughter of Karna to be highly incredible. Without doubt, this hard heart of mine is made of the essence of adamant, for it does not burst into a 1,000 fragments upon hearing of the fall of Karna! Without doubt, the gods ordained, before (my birth), a very long life for me, since sore distressed on hearing of the death of Karna, I do not die! Fie, O Sanjaya, on this life of one that is destitute of friends. Brought today, O Sanjaya, to this wretched plight, miserably shall I have to live, of foolish understanding that I am, pitied by all! Having formerly been the honoured of the whole world, how shall I, O Suta, live, overridden by foes? From pain to greater pain and calamity, have I come, O Sanjaya, in consequence of the fall of Bhishma and Drona and the high-souled Karna! I do not see that anyone (of my army) will escape with life when the Suta's son hath been slain in battle! He was the great raft, O Sanjaya, to my sons! That hero, having shot innumerable arrows, hath been slain in battle! What use have I of life, without that bull among men? Without doubt, the son of Adhiratha, afflicted with arrows, fell down from his car, like a mountain-peak riven by the fall of thunder! Without doubt, bathed in blood, he lieth, adorning the Earth, like an elephant slain by an infuriate prince of elephants! He who was the strength of the Dhartarashtras, he who was an object of fear to the sons of Pandu, alas, he viz., Karna, that pride of all bowman, hath been slain by Arjuna! He was a hero, a mighty bowman, the dispeller of the fears of my sons! Alas, that hero, reft of life, lieth (on the earth), like mountain struck down by Indra! The fulfilment of Duryodhana's wishes is even like locomotion to one that is lame, or the gratification of the poor man's desire, or stray drops of water to one that is thirsty! Planned in one way, our schemes end otherwise. Alas, destiny is all powerful, and time incapable of being transgressed! Was my son Duhshasana, O Suta, slain, while flying away from the field, humbled (to the dust), of cheerless soul, and destitute of all manliness? O son, O Sanjaya, I hope he did no dastardly act on that occasion? Did not that hero meet with his death like the other kshatriyas that have fallen? The foolish Duryodhana did not accept Yudhishthira's constant advice, wholesome as medicine, against the propriety of battle. Possessed of great renown, Partha, when begged for drink by Bhishma then lying on his arrowy bed, pierced the surface of the earth! Beholding the jet of water caused by the son of Pandu, the mighty-armed (Bhishma, addressing Duryodhana), said, "O sire, make peace with the Pandavas! Hostilities ceasing, peace will be thine! Let the war between thyself and thy cousins end with me! Enjoy the earth in brotherliness with the sons of Pandu!" Having disregarded those counsels, my child is certainly repenting now. That has now come to pass which Bhishma of great foresight said. As regards myself, O Sanjaya, I am destitute of counsellors and reft of sons! In consequence of gambling, I am fallen into great misery like a bird shorn of its wings! As children engaged in sport, O Sanjaya, having seized a bird and cut off its wings, merrily release it, but the creature cannot achieve locomotion in consequence of its winglessness; even so have I become, like a bird shorn of its wings! Weak, destitute of every resource, without kinsmen and deprived of relatives and friends, cheerless and overpowered by enemies, to which point of the compass shall I go? He who vanquished all the Kambojas and the Amvashthas with the Kaikeyas, that puissant one, who, having for the accomplishment of his purpose vanquished the Gandharas and the Videhas in battle, subjugated the whole Earth for the sake of Duryodhana's aggrandisement, alas, he hath been vanquished by the heroic and strong Pandavas endued with mighty arms! Upon the slaughter, in battle, of that mighty bowman, Karna, by the diadem-decked (Arjuna), tell me, O Sanjaya, who were these heroes that stayed (on the field)! I hope he was not alone and abandoned (by friends) when slain in battle by the Pandavas? Thou hast, O sire, told me, before this, how our brave warriors have fallen. With his powerful shafts Shikhandi felled in battle that foremost of all wielders of weapons, viz., Bhishma, who did nothing to repel the attack. Similarly, Sanjaya, Drupada's son Dhrishtadyumna, uplifting his scimitar, slew the mighty bowman Drona who, already pierced with many arrows, had laid aside his weapons in battle and devoted himself to Yoga. These two were both slain at a disadvantage and especially by deceit. Even this is what I have heard about the slaughter of Bhishma and Drona! Indeed, Bhishma and Drona, while contending in fight, were incapable of being slain in battle by the wielder of the thunderbolt himself by fair means. This that I tell thee is the truth! As regards Karna, how, indeed, could Death touch him, that hero equal unto Indra himself, while he was engaged in shooting his manifold celestial weapons? He unto whom in exchange for his earrings, Purandara had given that foe slaying, gold-decked, and celestial dart of the splendour of lightning,--he who had, lying (within his quiver) amid sandal-dust, that snake-mouthed celestial arrow decked with gold, equipped with goodly wings, and capable of slaying all foes, he who, disregarding those heroic and mighty car-warriors having Bhishma and Drona at their head, had acquired from Jamadagni's son the terrible brahmastra, that mighty-armed one, who, having seen the warriors with Drona at their head afflicted with arrows and turn away from the field, had cut off with his keen shafts the bow of Subhadra's son, he who, having in a trice deprived the invincible Bhimasena endued with the might of 10,000 elephants and the speed of the wind, of his car, had laughed at him,--he who, having vanquished Sahadeva by means of his straight shafts and made him carless, slew him not from compassion and considerations of virtue,--he who, with Shakra's dart, slew that prince of rakshasas, Ghatotkaca, who from desire of victory, had invoked a 1,000 kinds of illusions,--he whose feats in battle, filling Dhananjaya with fear, had made the latter for such a long period avoid a single combat with him,--alas, how could that hero be slain in battle? How could he be slain by foes unless one of these had happened to him viz., the destruction of his car, the snapping of his bow, and the exhaustion of his weapons? Who could vanquish that tiger among men, like a real tiger, endued with great impetuosity, Karna, while shaking his formidable bow and shooting therefrom his terrible shafts and celestial weapons in battle? Surely, his bow broke, or his car sank in the earth, or his weapons became exhausted, since thou tellest me that he is slain! I do not, indeed, see any other cause for (explaining) his slaughter! That high-souled one who had made the terrible vow "I will not wash my feet till I slay Phalguni," that warrior through whose fear that bull among men, king Yudhishthira the just, had not, in the wilderness, for thirteen years continuously, obtained a wink of sleep,--that high-souled hero of great prowess relying upon whose valour my son had forcibly dragged the wife of the Pandavas to the assembly, and there in the midst of that conclave, in the very sight of the Pandavas and in the presence of the Kurus, had addressed the princess of Pancala as the wife of slaves, that hero of the Suta caste, who in the midst of the assembly had addressed Krishna, saying, "All thy husbands, O Krishna, that are even like sesamum seeds without kernel, are no more, therefore, seek some other husband, O thou of the fairest complexion!" and in wrath had caused her to listen to other expressions equally harsh and rude, how was that hero slain by the foe? He who had said unto Duryodhana even these words, viz., "If Bhishma who boasteth of his prowess in battle or Drona who is invincible in fight, doth not, from partiality, slay the sons of Kunti, O Duryodhana, even I will slay them all, let the fever of thy heart be dispelled!" who also said, "What will (Arjuna's) gandiva and the two inexhaustible quivers do to that shaft of mine, smeared with cool sandal-paste, when it will course through the welkin?" alas, how could that warrior possessed of shoulders broad as those of the bull be slain by Arjuna? He who, disregarding the fierce touch of the arrows shot from gandiva had addressed Krishna, saying, "Thou hast no husbands now" and glared at the Pandavas, he who, O Sanjaya, relying on the might of his own arms, had entertained no fear, for even a moment, of the Parthas with their sons and Janardana,--he, I think, could not possibly meet with death at the hands of the very gods with Vasava at their head rushing against him in fury, what then need I say, O sire, of the Pandavas? The person could not be seen competent to stay before the son of Adhiratha, while the latter, putting on his fences, used to touch the bowstring! It was possible for the Earth to be destitute of the splendour of the Sun, of the Moon, or of fire, but the death of that foremost of men, who never retreated from battle, could not be possible. That foolish child of mine, of wicked understanding, who having got Karna, as also his brother Duhshasana, for his ally, had made up his mind for the rejection of Vasudeva's proposals, surely, that wight, beholding the slaughter of the bull-shouldered Karna and of Duhshasana, is now indulging in lamentations! Seeing Vikartana's son slain in single combat by Savyasaci, and the Pandavas crowned with victory, what indeed, did Duryodhana say? Seeing Durmarshana slain in battle and Vrishasena also, and seeing his host break when slaughtered by mighty car-warriors, beholding also the kings (of his army) turn back their faces, intent on flight, and his car-warriors already fled, I think that son of mine is now indulging in lamentations! Beholding his host dispirited, what, indeed, did the ungovernable, proud, and foolish Duryodhana, with passions not under control, say? Having himself provoked such fierce hostility though dissuaded by all his friends what, indeed, did Duryodhana, who has suffered a great loss in battle of friends and followers, say? Beholding his brother slain in battle by Bhimasena, and upon his blood being drunk, what indeed, did Duryodhana say? My son had, with the ruler of the gandharvas, said, "Karna will slay Arjuna in battle!" When he saw that Karna slain, what indeed, did he say? What, O sire, did Shakuni, the son of Subala, who had formerly been filled with joy after going through the match at dice and cheating the son of Pandu, say when he saw Karna slain? What did that mighty car-warrior among the Satwatas, that great bowman, Kritavarma the son of Hridika, say when he saw Vaikartana slain? Endued with youth, possessed of a handsome form, agreeable to the sight, and celebrated throughout the world, what, O Sanjaya, did Ashvatthama, the intelligent son of Drona, upon whom brahmanas and kshatriyas and vaishyas who are desirous of acquiring the science of arms wait, for protections, say when he saw Karna slain? What did Sharadvata's son Kripa, O sire, of Gotama's race, that foremost of car-warriors, that teacher of the science of arms, say when he saw Karna slain? What did the mighty leader of the Madras warriors, that king of the Madras, the great bowman Shalya of the Sauvira clan, that ornament of assemblies, that foremost of car-warriors (temporarily) engaged in driving the car, say when he saw Karna slain? What also did all the other warriors, difficult of defeat in battle, those lords of earth that came to fight, say, O Sanjaya, when they behold Vaikartana slain? After the fall of the heroic Drona, that tiger among car-warriors that bull among men, who, O Sanjaya, became the heads of the several division in their order? Tell me, O Sanjaya, how that foremost of car-warriors, Shalya the ruler of the Madras, became engaged in driving the car of Vaikartana! Who were they that guarded the right wheel of the Suta's son while the latter was engaged in fight, and who were they that guarded his left wheel, and who were they that stood at the rear of that hero? Who were those heroes that did not desert Karna, and who were those mean fellows that ran away? How was the mighty car-warrior Karna slain amidst your united selves? How also did those mighty car-warriors, the brave Pandavas, advance against him shooting showers of shafts like the clouds pouring torrents of rain? Tell me also, O Sanjaya, how that mighty shaft, celestial and foremost of its species, and equipped with a head like that of a serpent became futile! I do not, O Sanjaya, see the possibility of even a small remnant of my cheerless host being saved when its leaders have been crushed! Hearing of the slaughter of those two heroes, those two mighty bowmen, Bhishma and Drona, who were ever ready to lay down their lives for my sake, what use have I of life? Again and again I am unable to endure that Karna, the might of whose arms equalled that of 10,000 elephants, should be slain by the Pandavas! Tell me, O Sanjaya, all that occurred in the battle between the brave warriors of the Kauravas and their foes, after the death of Drona! Tell me also how the sons of Kunti fought the battle with Karna, and how that slayer of foes received his quietus in the fight!'"

Section X

"Sanjaya said, 'After the fall of the mighty bowman Drona on that day, O Bharata, and after the purpose had been baffled of that mighty car-warriors, viz., the son of Drona, and after the vasty army, O monarch, of the Kauravas had fled away, Partha, having arrayed his own troops, stayed on the field with his brothers. Perceiving him staying on the field, thy son, O bull of Bharata's race, seeing his own army running away, rallied them with great courage. Having caused his divisions to take up their stand, thy son, O Bharata, relying on the might of his arms, fought for a long time with his foes, the Pandavas, who, having gained their end, were filled with joy and had been struggling for hours together. On the approach there of the evening twilight, he caused the troops to be withdrawn. Having caused the withdrawal of their troops, and having entered their own encampment, the Kauravas held with one another a consultation about their own welfare, seated like the celestials on costly couches overlaid with rich coverlets, and on excellent seats and luxurious beds. Then king Duryodhana, addressing those mighty bowmen in agreeable and highly sweet expression, spoke the following words suited to the occasion.

"'Duryodhana said, "Ye foremost of intelligent men, declare all of you, without delay, your opinions! Under these circumstances, ye kings, what is necessary and what is still more necessary?'"

"Sanjaya continued, 'When that prince of men had spoken those words, those lions among men, seated on their thrones, made various gestures expressive of their desire of battle. Observing the indications of those who were all desirous of pouring their lives as libations on the battle-fire, and beholding the monarch's face radiant as morning Sun, the preceptor's son endued with intelligence and accomplished in speech, said these words: "Enthusiasm, opportunity, skill and policy,--these are the means declared by the learned, to be capable of accomplishing all ends. They are, however, dependent on destiny. Those foremost of men we had on our side, equal unto the celestials, mighty car-warriors all, possessed of policy, devoted, accomplished, and loyal, have been slain. For all that we should not despair of victory. If all these means be properly applied, even destiny may be made propitious. All of us, therefore, O Bharata, shall install Karna, that foremost of men, endued besides with every accomplishment, in the command of the army! Making Karna our commander, we shall crush our foes. This Karna is endued with great might; he is a hero, accomplished in weapons, and incapable of defeat in battle. Irresistible as Yama himself, he is quite competent to vanquish our foes in battle!" Hearing these words from the preceptor's son, O king, at that time, built great hopes on Karna. Cherishing the hope in his heart that after the fall of Bhishma and Drona, Karna would vanquish the Pandavas, and comforted (by it), O Bharata, Duryodhana then, filled with joy at having heard those words of Ashvatthama, steadying his mind and relying on the might of his arms, said unto Radha's son, O monarch, these words that were fraught with affection and regard, and that were true, delightful, and beneficial to himself: "O Karna, I know thy prowess, and the great friendship thou bearest to me! For all that, O mighty-armed one, I shall address the certain words that are for my good! Having heard them, O hero, do that which may appear desirable to thee! Thou art endued with great wisdom, and thou art even my supreme refuge! Those two Atirathas that were my Generals, viz., Bhishma and Drona, have been slain. Be thou my General, thou that art mightier than they! Both of those great bowmen were advanced in years. They were, besides, partial to Dhananjaya. Still both those heroes were respected by me, O son of Radha, at thy word! Viewing his relationship of grandsire unto them, the sons of Pandu, O sire, were spared in dreadful battle by Bhishma for ten successive days! Thyself also having laid aside thy weapons, the valiant Bhishma was slain in great battle by Phalguni with Shikhandi before him! After that great bowman had fallen and betaken himself to his bed of arrows, it was at thy word, O tiger among men, that Drona was made our leader! By him also were the sons of Pritha spared, in consequence, as I think, of their relationship unto him of pupils. That old man also has been slain by Dhrishtadyumna more speedily. I do not see, even on reflection, another warrior equal to thee in battle,--thee, that is, whose prowess could not be measured by even those two foremost of warriors that have been slain in the fight! Without doubt, thou alone today art competent to win victory for us! Before, in the middle, and later on, thou hast accordingly acted for our good. Therefore, like a leader, it behoveth thee, in this battle, to bear the burden thyself. Thyself install thy own self in the Generalship. Like the celestial generalissimo, the lord Skanda of unfading prowess, (supporting the celestial army), do thou support this Dhartarashtra host! Like Mahendra slaying the Danavas, destroy thou all the throngs of our foes! Beholding thee staying in battle, the Pandavas, those mighty car-warriors, will, with the Pancalas, fly away from battle, like the Danavas at sight of Vishnu. Do thou, therefore lead this vast force! When thou shalt stand resolved on the field, the Pandavas of wicked hearts, the Pancalas, and the Srinjayas, will all fly away with their friends. As the risen Sun, scorching everything by his energy, destroyeth the thick gloom, even so do thou destroy our foes!'"

"Sanjaya continued, 'Strong became that hope, O king, in the heart of thy son, viz., that where Bhishma and Drona had been slain, Karna would vanquish the Pandavas. Cherishing that hope within his heart, he said unto Karna, "O Suta's son, Partha never wishes to fight, standing before thee!" Karna said, "I have, O son of Gandhari, said before in thy presence, even these words, vanquish all the Pandavas with their sons and Janardana!' I shall become thy General. In this there is no doubt. Tranquilise thyself, O monarch I Consider the Pandavas to be already vanquished!'"

"Sanjaya continued, 'Thus addressed, O monarch, king Duryodhana then stood up with all the monarchs, like He of a hundred sacrifices with the gods, for honouring Karna with the command of the army, like the celestials for honouring Skanda. Then, O monarch, all the kings headed by Duryodhana, desirous of victory, installed Karna in the command, according to the rites enjoined by the ordinance. With golden and earthen jars filled to the brim with water and sanctified with mantras, with tusks of elephants and horns of rhinoceroses and mighty bulls, with other vessels decked with jewels and gems, with also fragrant herbs and plants, and with other articles collected in abundance, Karna, seated at his ease on a seat made of udumvara wood and overlaid with silken cloth, was invested with the command, according to the rites in the scriptures. Brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas, and respectable shudras, praised that high-souled one after he was bathed on that excellent seat. Thus installed in the command, O king, that slayer of foes, the son of Radha, caused, by presents of Niskas and kine and other wealth, many foremost of brahmanas to utter blessings on him. "Vanquish the Parthas with Govinda and all their followers," even these were the words that the eulogists and the brahmanas said (unto him), O bull among men! (And they also said) "Slay the Parthas and the Pancalas, O son of Radha, for our victory, like risen Sun ever destroying Darkness with his fierce rays! The son of Pandu with Keshava are not able to even look at the shafts shot by thee, like owls unable to gaze at the burning rays of the Sun! The Parthas with the Pancalas are incapable of standing before thee armed with weapons, like the danavas before Indra in battle!" Installed in the command, Radha's son of incomparable splendour looked resplendent in beauty and radiance like a second Sun. Having installed the son of Radha (thus) in the command of the army, thy son, urged on by Death, regarded himself as one who had his purpose accomplished. That chastiser of foes, Karna, also, O king, having obtained the command, ordered the troops to be arrayed, at the rise of the Sun. Surrounded by thy sons, O Bharata, Karna looked resplendent like Skanda surrounded by the celestials, in the battle having Saraka for its evil root.'"

Section XI

"Dhritarashtra said, 'After having obtained the command of the army, and after he had been addressed by the king himself in those sweet and brotherly words, and after he had ordered the troops to be arrayed at the hour of sunrise, tell me, O Sanjaya, what did Vikartana's son Karna do?'

"Sanjaya said, 'Having learnt Karna's wishes, thy sons, O bull of Bharata's race, ordered the troops to be arrayed with joyful music. While it still wanted a long period for the coming of the dawn, a loud noise of "Array, Array!" O king, suddenly arose among thy troops. And the uproar that arose, became tremendous and touched the very heavens, of foremost of elephants and fenced cars while under process of equipment, of foot-soldiers and steeds, O monarch, while putting on their armour or in course of being harnessed, and of combatants moving with activity and shouting unto one another! Then the Suta's son bearing a gold-backed bow appeared (on the field) in his car possessed of the splendour of the radiant Sun, crowned with many banners, equipped with a white standard, with steeds of the hue of cranes, bearing the device of the elephants' rope, filled with a hundred quivers, furnished with mace and wooden fence, freighted with shataghnis and rows of bells and darts and lances and spears, and supplied with many bows. And the Suta's son appeared on the field, blowing his conch, O king; decorated with a net-work of gold, and shaking his formidable bow adorned with pure gold. Beholding the mighty bowman Karna, that foremost of car-warriors, seated on his car, difficult of approach and resembling the risen Sun that destroys the gloom, none amongst the Kauravas, O tiger among men, recked, O sire, the loss of Bhishma or Drona or other men! Speeding the warriors, O sire, with the blasts of his conch, Karna caused the vast army of the Kauravas to be drawn out. Having arrayed the troops in the makara array, that mighty bowman, that scorcher of foes, viz., Karna, proceeded against the Pandavas from desire of victory. In the tip of the beak of that makara, O king, was stationed Karna himself. In the two eyes were the brave Shakuni and the mighty car-warrior Uluka. In the head was Drona's son and in the neck were all the uterine brothers. In the middle was king Duryodhana supported by a large force. In the left foot, O monarch, was stationed Kritavarma accompanied by the Narayana troops, and those invincible warriors, the gopalas. In the right foot, O king, was Gotama's son of prowess incapable of being baffled, surrounded by those mighty bowmen viz., the Trigartas and by the Southerners. In the left hind-foot was stationed Shalya with a large force raised in the country of Madras. In the right (hind-foot), O monarch, was Sushena of true vows, surrounded by a 1,000 cars and 300 elephants. In the tail were the two royal brothers of mighty energy, viz., Citra and Citrasena surrounded by a large force.

"'When, O great king, that foremost of men, Karna, thus came out, king Yudhishthira the just, casting his eyes on Arjuna, said these words: "Behold, O Partha, how the Dhartarashtra force, O hero, in this battle, protected by heroes and mighty car-warriors, hath been arrayed by Karna! This vast Dhartarashtra force hath lost its bravest warriors. They that remain, O mighty-armed one, are feeble, equal, as I think, to straw! Only one great bowman, viz., the Suta's son, shineth in it! That foremost of car-warriors is incapable of being vanquished by the three worlds with their mobile and immobile creatures, including the gods, Asuras and Gandharvas, and the Kinnaras and great serpents! If thou slayest him today, O mighty-armed one, the victory will be thine, O Phalguna! The thorn also which for twelve years hath been planted in my heart will then be plucked out! Knowing this, O thou of mighty arms, form thou the array that thou wishest!" Hearing those words of his brother, that Pandava of the white steeds disposed his army in counter array after the form of the half moon. On the left side was stationed Bhimasena, and on the right was stationed the great bowman Dhrishtadyumna. In the middle of the array were the king and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu. Nakula and Sahadeva were at the rear of king Yudhishthira the just. The two Pancala princes, Yudhamanyu and Uttamauja, became the protectors of (Arjuna's) car wheels. Protected by the diadem-decked Arjuna himself, they did not quit Arjuna for a moment. The remaining kings, possessed of great courage, clad in mail, stood in the array, each in the position assigned to him, according to the measure of his enthusiasm and resolution, O Bharata. Having thus formed their great array, O Bharata, the Pandavas, and the mighty bowmen of thy army set their hearts on battle. Beholding thy army disposed into battle array by the Suta's son in battle Duryodhana with all his brethren regarded the Pandavas to be already slain. Similarly Yudhishthira, O king, beholding the Pandava army disposed in array, regarded the Dhartarashtras with Karna to be already slain. Then conches, and kettle-drums, and tabours, and large drums, and cymbals, and Dindimas, and Jharjharas, were loudly blown and beaten on all sides! Indeed, those loud-sounding instruments were blown and beaten, O king, among both the armies. Leonine roars also arose, uttered by brave warriors for victory. And there also arose, O king, the noise of neighing steeds and grunting elephants, and the fierce clatter of car-wheels. None, O Bharata, (in the Kaurava army), at that time, felt the loss of Drona, seeing the great bowman Karna clad in mail and stationed at the head of the array. Both armies, O monarch, teeming with joyous men, stood, eager for battle and (ready) to destroy each other without delay. There, the two heroes, viz., Karna and the son of Pandu, excited with wrath at sight of each other, and both firmly resolved, stood or careered, O king, through their respective divisions. The two armies, as they advanced to meet each other, seemed to dance (in joy). From the wings and the side-wings of both, warriors desirous of battle came forth. Then commenced the battle, O monarch, of men, elephants, steeds, and cars, engaged in destroying one another.'"

Section XII

"Sanjaya said, 'Then those two vast armies, teeming with rejoicing men and steeds and elephants, resembling in splendour the celestial and the Asura hosts, meeting together, began to strike each other. Men, cars, steeds, elephants, and foot-soldiers of fierce prowess, made sturdy strokes destructive of bodies and sin. Lion-like men strewed the Earth with the heads of lion-like men, each resembling the full moon or the sun in splendour and the lotus in fragrance. Combatants cut off the heads of combatants, with crescent-shaped and broad-headed shafts and razor-faced arrows and axes, and battle-axes. The arms of men of long and massive arms, cut off by men of long and massive arms, falling upon the Earth, shone, decked with weapons and bracelets. With those writhing arms adorned with red fingers and palms, the Earth looked resplendent as if strewn with fierce five-headed snakes slain by Garuda. From elephants and cars and steeds, brave warriors fell down, struck by foes, like the denizens of heaven from their celestial cars on the exhaustion of their merits. Other brave warriors fell down by hundreds, crushed in that battle by brave combatants with heavy maces spiked clubs and short bludgeons. Cars also, in that tumultuous fight, were crushed by cars, and infuriate elephants by infuriate compeers, and horsemen by horsemen. Men destroyed by cars, and cars by elephants, and horsemen by foot-soldiers, and foot-soldiers by horsemen, dropped down on the field, as also cars and steeds and foot-soldiers destroyed by elephants and cars and steeds and elephants by foot-soldiers, and cars and foot-soldiers and elephants by steeds and men and elephants by cars. Great was the carnage made of car-warriors and steeds and elephants and men by men and steeds and elephants and car-warriors, using their hands and feet and weapons and cars. When that host was being thus struck and slain by heroic warriors the Parthas, headed by Vrikodara, advanced against us. They consisted of Dhrishtadyumna and Shikhandi and the five sons of Draupadi and the Prabhadrakas, and Satyaki and Chekitana with the Dravida forces, and the Pandyas, the Cholas, and the Keralas, surrounded by a mighty array, all possessed of broad chests, long arms, tall statures, and large eyes. Decked with ornaments, possessed of red teeth, endued with the prowess of infuriate elephants, attired in robes of diverse colours, smeared with powdered scents, armed with swords and nooses, capable of restraining mighty elephants, companions in death, and never deserting one another, equipped with quivers, bearing bows adorned with long locks, and agreeable in speech were the combatants of the infantry files led by Satyaki, belonging to the Andhra tribe, endued with fierce forms and great energy. Other brave warriors such as the Cedis, the Pancalas, the Kaikayas, the Karushas, the Kosalas, the Kanchis, and the Maghadhas, also rushed forward. Their cars and steeds and elephants, all of the foremost kind, and their fierce foot-soldiers, gladdened by the notes of diverse instruments, seemed to dance and laugh. In the midst of that vast force, came Vrikodara, riding on the neck of an elephant, and surrounded by many foremost of elephant-soldiers, advancing against thy army. That fierce and foremost of elephants, duly equipped, looked resplendent, like the stone-built mansion on the top of the Udaya mountain, crowned with the risen Sun. Its armour of iron, the foremost of its kind, studded with costly gems, was as resplendent as the autumnal firmament bespangled with stars. With a lance in his outstretched arm, his head decked with a beautiful diadem, and possessed of the splendour of the meridian Sun at autumn, Bhima began to burn his foes. Beholding that elephant from a distance, Kshemadhurti, himself on an elephant, challenging, rushed cheerfully towards Bhima who was more cheerful still. An encounter then took place between those two elephants of fierce forms resembling two huge hills topped with trees, each, fighting with the other as it liked. Those two heroes, then, whose elephants thus encountered each other, forcibly struck each other with lances endued with the splendour of solar rays, and uttered loud roars. Separating, they then careered in circles with their elephants, and each taking up a bow began to strike the other. Gladdening the people around with their loud roars and the slaps on their armpits and the whizz of this arrows, they continued to utter leonine shouts. Endued with great strength, both of them, accomplished in weapons, fought, using their elephants with upturned trunks and decked with banners floating on the wind. Then each cutting off the other's bow, they roared at each other, and rained on each other showers of darts and lances like two masses of clouds in the rainy season pouring torrents of rain. Then Kshemadhurti pierced Bhimasena in the centre of the chest with a lance endued with great impetuosity, and then with six others, and uttered a loud shout. With those lances sticking to his body, Bhimasena, whose form then blazed with wrath, looked resplendent like the cloud-covered Sun with his rays issuing through the interstices of that canopy. Then Bhima carefully hurled at his antagonist a lance bright as the rays of the Sun, coursing perfectly straight, and made entirely of iron. The ruler of the Kulutas then, drawing his bow, cut off that lance with ten shafts and then pierced the son of Pandu with sixty shafts. Then Bhima the son of Pandu, taking up a bow whose twang resembled the roar of the clouds, uttered a loud shout and deeply afflicted with his shafts the elephants of his antagonist. Thus afflicted in that battle by Bhimasena with his arrows, that elephant, though sought to be restrained, stayed not on the field like a wind-blown cloud. The fierce prince of elephants owned by Bhima then pursued his (flying) compeer, like a wind-blown mass of clouds pursuing another mass driven by the tempest. Restraining his own elephant valiant Kshemadhurti pierced with his shafts the pursuing elephant of Bhimasena. Then with a well-shot razor-headed arrow that was perfectly straight, Kshemadhurti cut off his antagonist's bow and then afflicted that hostile elephant. Filled with wrath, Kshemadhurti then, in that battle, pierced Bhima and struck his elephant with many long shafts in every vital part. That huge elephant of Bhima then fell down, O Bharata! Bhima, however, who had jumped down from his elephant and stood on the Earth before the fall of the beast, then crushed the elephant of his antagonist with his mace. And Vrikodara then struck Kshemadhurti also, who, jumped down from his crushed elephant, was advancing against him with uplifted weapon. Kshemadhurti, thus struck, fell down lifeless, with the sword in his arm, by the side of his elephant, like a lion struck down by thunder beside a thunder-riven hill. Beholding the celebrated king of the Kulutas slain, thy troops, O bull of Bharata's race exceedingly distressed, fled away.'"

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