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Chapter 126

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘While mighty Bhimasena was uttering those loudshouts deep as the roar of the clouds or peals of thunder, what heroes(of our side) surrounded him? I do not behold that warrior, O Sanjaya, inthe three worlds, who is capable of staying before the enraged Bhimasenain battle. I do not, O son, behold him that can stay on the field ofbattle before Bhimasena armed with mace and resembling Death himself. Whowill stand before that Bhima, not excepting Sakra himself, that destroysa car with a car and an elephant with an elephant?[153] Who, amongstthose devoted to Duryodhana’s welfare stood in battle before Bhimasenaexcited with rage and engaged in slaughtering my sons? Who were those menthat stood in battle in front of Bhimasena, engaged in consuming my sonslike a forest conflagration consuming dry leaves and straw? Who were theythat surrounded Bhima in battle, beholding my sons slain by him one afteranother like Death himself cutting off all creatures? I do not fearArjuna so much, or Krishna so much, or Satyaki so much, or him (viz.,Dhrishtadyumna) so much who was born of the sacrificial fire, as I fearBhima. Tell me, O Sanjaya, who were those heroes that rushed against thatblazing fire, represented by Bhima, which so consumed my sons?’

“Sanjaya, said, ‘While the mighty car-warriors Bhimasena was utteringthose roars, mighty Karna, unable to bear them, rushed at him with a loudshout, stretching his bow with great force. Indeed, the mighty Karna,desirous of battle, displayed his strength and checked Bhima’s courselike a tall tree withstanding tempest. The heroic Bhima also, beholdingVikartana’s son before him, suddenly blazed up in wrath and sped at himwith great force many shafts whetted on stone. Karna received all thoseshafts and sped many in return. At that encounter between Bhima andKarna, hearing the sounds of their palms, the limbs of all the strugglingcombatants, car-warriors, and horsemen, began to tremble. Indeed, hearingthe terrible roars of Bhimasena on the field of battle, even all theforemost of Kshatriyas regarded the whole earth and the welkin to befilled with that noise. And at the fierce peals uttered by thehigh-souled son of Pandu, the bows of all warriors in that battle droppedon the earth. And steeds and elephants, O king, dispirited, ejected urineand excreta. Various frightful omens of evil then made their appearance.The welkin was covered with flights of vultures and Kankas during thatterrific encounter between Bhima and Karna. Then Karna struck Bhima withtwenty arrows, and quickly pierced the latter’s charioteer also withfive. Smiling the while, the mighty and active Bhima then, in thatbattle, quickly sped at Karna four and sixty arrows. Then Karna, O king,sped four shafts at him. Bhima, by means of his straight shafts, cut theminto many fragments, O king, displaying his lightness of hand. Then Karnacovered him with dense showers of arrows. Thus covered by Karna, themighty son of Pandu, however, cut off Karna’s bow at the handle and thenpierced Karna with ten straight arrows. The Suta’s son then, that mightycar-warrior of terrible deeds, taking up another bow and stringing itquickly, pierced Bhima in that battle (with many shafts). Then Bhima,excited with rage, struck the Suta’s son with great force on the chestwith three straight shafts. With those arrows sticking at his breast,Karna looked beautiful, O bull of Bharata’s race, like a mountain withthree tall summits. Thus pierced with mighty shafts, blood began to flowfrom his wounds, like torrents of liquid red-chalk down the breast of amountain. Afflicted with those shafts shot with great force, Karna becameagitated a little. Fixing an arrow then on his bow, he pierced Bhima,again, O sire! And once more he began to shoot arrows by hundreds andthousands. Suddenly shrouded with shafts by that firm bowman, viz.,Karna, the son of Pandu, smiling the while, cut off Karna’s bow-string.And then with a broad-headed arrow, he despatched Karna’s charioteer tothe abode of Yama. And that mighty car-warrior, viz., Bhima, deprived thefour steeds also of Karna of their lives. The mighty car-warrior Karnathen speedily jumping down, O king, from his steedless car, mounted thecar of Vrishasena. The valiant Bhimasena then, having vanquished Karna inbattle, uttered a loud shout deep as the roar of the clouds. Hearing thatroar, O Bharata, Yudhishthira became highly gratified, knowing that Karnahad been vanquished by Bhimasena. And the combatants of the Pandava armyblew their conchs from every side, Their enemies, viz., thy warriors,hearing that noise, roared loudly. Arjuna stretched Gandiva, and Krishnablew Panchajanya. Drowning, however, all those sounds, the noise made bythe roaring Bhima, was, O king, heard by all the combatants, O sire! Thenthose two warriors, viz., Karna, and Bhima, each struck the other withstraight shafts. The son of Radha, however, shot shafts mildly, but theson of Pandu shot his with great force.'”

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