“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed by Duryodhana, Karna said, ‘It dothnot seem to me, O Duryodhana, that thy reasoning is well-founded. Operpetuator of the Kuru race, no method will succeed against thePandavas.
O brave prince, thou hast before, by various subtle means,striven to carry out thy wishes. But ever hast thou failed to slay thyfoes. They were then living near thee, O king! They were then unfledgedand of tender years, but thou couldst not injure them then. They are nowliving at a distance, grown up, full-fledged. The sons of Kunti, O thouof firm resolution, cannot now be injured by any subtle contrivances ofthine. This is my opinion. As they are aided by the very Fates, and asthey are desirous of regaining their ancestral kingdom, we can neversucceed in injuring them by any means in our power. It is impossible tocreate disunion amongst them. They can never be disunited who have alltaken to a common wife. Nor can we succeed in estranging Krishna from thePandavas by any spies of ours. She chose them as her lords when they werein adversity. Will she abandon them now that they are in prosperity?Besides women always like to have many husbands, Krishna hath obtainedher wish. She can never be estranged from the Pandavas. The king ofPanchala is honest and virtuous; he is not avaricious. Even if we offerhim our whole kingdom he will not abandon the Pandavas. Drupada’s sonalso possesseth every accomplishment, and is attached to the Pandavas.Therefore, I do not think that the Pandavas can now be injured by anysubtle means in thy power. But, O bull amongst men, this is what is goodand advisable for us now, viz., to attack and smite them till they areexterminated. Let this course recommend itself to thee. As long as ourparty is strong and that of the king of the Panchalas is weak, so longstrike them without any scruple. O son of Gandhari, as long as theirinnumerable vehicles and animals, friends, and friendly tribes are notmustered together, continue, O king, to exhibit thy prowess. As long asthe king of the Panchalas together with his sons gifted with greatprowess, setteth not his heart upon fighting with us, so long, O king,exhibit thy prowess. And, O king, exert thy prowess before he of theVrishni race (Krishna) cometh with the Yadava host into the city ofDrupada, carrying everything before him, to restore the Pandavas to theirpaternal kingdom. Wealth, every article of enjoyment, kingdom, there isnothing that Krishna may not sacrifice for the sake of the Pandavas. Theillustrious Bharata had acquired the whole earth by his prowess alone.Indra hath acquired sovereignty of the three worlds by prowess alone. Oking, prowess is always applauded by the Kshatriyas. O bull amongstKshatriyas, prowess is the cardinal virtue of the brave. Let us,therefore, O monarch, with our large army consisting of four kinds offorces, grind Drupada without loss of time, and bring hither thePandavas. Indeed, the Pandavas are incapable of being discomfited by anypolicy of conciliation, of gift, of wealth and bribery, or of disunion.Vanquish them, therefore, by thy prowess. And vanquishing them by thyprowess, rule thou this wide earth. O monarch, I see not any other meansby which we may accomplish our end.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of Radheya, Dhritarashtra,endued with great strength, applauded him highly. The monarch thenaddressed him and said, ‘Thou, O son of a Suta, art gifted with greatwisdom and accomplished in arms. This speech, therefore, favouring theexhibition of prowess suiteth thee well. But let Bhishma, and Drona, andVidura, and you two, take counsel together and adopt that proposal whichmay lead to our benefit.’
Vaisampayana continued, “‘Then king Dhritarashtra called unto him, allthose celebrated ministers and took counsel with them.'”