“Vaisampayana said, ‘After this, with his sheet loosely hanging down,Adhiratha entered the lists, perspiring and trembling, and supportinghimself on a staff.
“Seeing him, Karna left his bow and impelled by filial regard bowed downhis head still wet with the water of inauguration. And them thecharioteer, hurriedly covering his feet with the end of his sheet,addressed Karna crowned with success as his son. And the charioteerembraced Karna and from excess of affection bedewed his head with tears,that head still wet with the water sprinkled over it on account of thecoronation as king of Anga. Seeing the charioteer, the Pandava Bhimasenatook Karna for a charioteer’s son, and said by way of ridicule, ‘O son ofa charioteer, thou dost not deserve death in fight at the hands ofPartha. As befits thy race take thou anon the whip. And, O worst ofmortals, surely thou art not worthy to sway the kingdom of Anga, even asa dog doth not deserve the butter placed before the sacrificial fire.’Karna, thus addressed, with slightly quivering lips fetched a deep sigh,looked at the God of the day in the skies. And even as a mad elephantriseth from an assemblage of lotuses, the mighty Duryodhana rose in wrathfrom among his brothers, and addressed that performer of dreadful deeds,Bhimasena, present there, ‘O Vrikodara, it behoveth thee not to speaksuch words. Might is the cardinal virtue of a Kshatriya, and even aKshatriya of inferior birth deserveth to be fought with. The lineage ofheroes, like the sources of a lordly river, is ever unknown. The firethat covereth the whole world riseth from the waters. The thunder thatslayeth the Danavas was made of a bone of (a mortal named) Dadhichi. Theillustrious deity Guha, who combines in his composition the portions ofall the other deities is of a lineage unknown. Some call him theoffspring of Agni; some, of Krittika, some, of Rudra, and some of Ganga.It hath been heard by us that persons born in the Kashatriya order havebecome Brahmanas. Viswamitra and others (born Kshatriyas) have obtainedthe eternal Brahma. The foremost of all wielders of weapons, thepreceptor Drona hath been born in a waterpot and Kripa of the race ofGotama hath sprung from a clump of heath. Your own births, ye Pandavaprinces, are known to me. Can a she-deer bring forth a tiger (likeKarna), of the splendour of the Sun, and endued with every auspiciousmark, and born also with a natural mail and ear-rings? This prince amongmen deserveth the sovereignty of the world, not of Anga only, inconsequence of the might of his arm and my swearing to obey him ineverything. If there be anybody here to whom all that I have done untoKarna hath become intolerable, let him ascend his chariot and bend hisbow with the help of his feet.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then there arose a confused murmur amongst thespectators approving of Duryodhana’s speech. The sun, however, went down,but prince Duryodhana taking Karna’s hand led him out of the arenalighted with countless lamps. And, O king, the Pandavas also, accompaniedby Drona and Kripa and Bhishma, returned to their abodes. And the people,too, came away, some naming Arjuna, some Karna, and some Duryodhana (asthe victor of the day). And Kunti, recognising her son in Karna by thevarious auspicious marks on his person and beholding him installed in thesovereignty of Anga, was from motherly affection, very pleased. AndDuryodhana, O monarch, having obtained Karna (in this way), banished hisfears arising out of Arjuna’s proficiency in arms. And the heroic Karna,accomplished in arms, began to gratify Duryodhana by sweet speeches,while Yudhishthira was impressed with the belief that there was nowarrior on earth like unto Karna.'”