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Chapter 130

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I regard Bhimasena’s prowess to be exceedinglywonderful, inasmuch as he succeeded in battling with Karna of singularactivity and energy. Indeed, O Sanjaya, tell me why that Karna, who iscapable of resisting in battle the very celestials with the Yakshas andAsuras and men, armed with all kinds of weapons, could not vanquish inbattle Pandu’s son Bhima blazing with resplendence? O tell me, how thatbattle took place between them in which each staked his very life. Ithink that in an encounter between the two, success is within reach ofboth as, indeed, both are liable to defeat.[156] O Suta, obtaining Karnain battle, my son Suyodhana always ventures to vanquish the sons ofPritha with Govinda and the Satwatas. Hearing, however, of the repeateddefeat in battle of Karna by Bhimasena of terrible deeds, a swoon seemsto come upon me, I think, the Kauravas to be already slain, inconsequence of evil policy of my son. Karna will never succeed, OSanjaya, in vanquishing those mighty bowmen, viz., the sons of Pritha. Inall the battles that Karna has fought with the sons of Pandu, the latterhave invariably defeated him on the field. Indeed, O son, the Pandavasare incapable of being vanquished by the very gods with Vasava at theirhead. Alas, my wicked son Duryodhana knoweth it not. Having robbedPritha’s son, who is like the Lord of the treasures himself, of hiswealth, my son of little intelligence seeth not the fall like a searcherof honey (in the mountains). Conversant with deceit, he regardeth it tobe irrevocably his and always insulteth the Pandavas. Myself also, ofunrefined soul, overcome with affection for my children, scrupled not todespise the high-souled sons of Pandu that are observant of morality.Yudhishthira, the son of Pritha, of great foresight, always showedhimself desirous of peace. My sons, however, regarding him incapable,despised him. Bearing in mind all those woes and all the wrongs(sustained by the Pandavas), the mighty-armed Bhimasena battled with theSuta’s son. Tell me, therefore, O Sanjaya, how Bhima and Karna, those twoforemost of warriors, fought with each other, desirous of taking eachother’s life!’

`Sanjaya said, ‘Hear, O king, how the battle took place between Karna andBhima which resembled an encounter between two elephants in the forest,desirous of slaying each other. The son of Vikartana, O king, excitedwith rage and putting forth his prowess, pierced that chastiser of foes,viz., the angry Bhima of great prowess with thirty shafts. Indeed, Ochief of Bharata’s race, Vikartana’s son struck Bhima with many arrows ofkeen points, decked with gold, and endued with great impetuosity. Bhima,however, with three sharp shafts cut off the bow of Karna, as the latterwas engaged in striking him. And with a broad-headed arrow, the son ofPandu then felled on the earth Karna’s charioteer from his niche in thecar. The son of Vikartana, then desirous of slaying Bhimasena, seized adart whose shaft was adorned with gold and stones of lapis lazuli.Grasping that fierce dart, which resembled a second dart of death, anduplifting and aiming it, the mighty son of Radha hurled it at Bhimasenawith a force sufficient to take away Bhima’s life. Hurling that dart,like Purandara hurling the thunderbolt, Radha’s son of great strengthuttered a loud roar. Hearing that roar thy sons became filled withdelight. Bhima, however, with seven swift arrows, cut off in the welkinthat dart endued with the effulgence of the sun or fire, hurled from thehands of Karna. Cutting off that dart, resembling a snake just freed fromits slough, Bhima, O sire, as if on the lookout for taking thelife-breath of the Suta’s son, sped, in great wrath, many shafts in thatbattle that were equipped with peacock-feathers and golden wings and eachof which, whetted of’ stone, resembled the rod of Yama. Karna also ofgreat energy, taking up another formidable bow, the back of whose staffwas adorned with gold, and drawing it with force, shot many shafts. Theson of Pandu, however, cut off all those arrows with nine straight arrowsof his own. Having cut off, O ruler of men those mighty shafts shot byVasushena, Bhima, O monarch, uttered a loud roar like that of a lion.Roaring at each other like two mighty bulls for the sake of a cow inseason, or like two tigers for the sake of the same piece of meat, theyendeavoured to strike each other, each being desirous of finding theother’s laches. At times they looked at each other with angry eyes, liketwo mighty bulls in a cow-pen. Then like two huge elephants striking eachother with the points of their tusks, they encountered each other withshafts shot from their bows drawn to the fullest stretch. Scorching eachother, O king, with their arrowy showers, they put forth their prowessupon each other, eyeing each other in great wrath. Sometimes laughing ateach other, and sometimes rebuking each other, and sometimes blowingtheir conchs, they continued to fight with each other. Then Bhima oncemore cut Karna’s bow at the handle, O sire, and despatched by means ofhis shafts the latter’s steeds, white as conchs, to the abode of Yama,and the son of Pandu also felled his enemy’s charioteer from his niche inthe car. Then Karna, the son of Vikartana, made steedless and driverless,and covered in that battle (with shafts), became plunged into greatanxiety. Stupefied by Bhima with his arrowy showers, he knew not what todo. Beholding Karna placed in the distressful plight, king Duryodhana,trembling with wrath, commended (his brother) Durjaya, saying, ‘Go, ODurjaya! There the son of Pandu is about to devour the son of Radha! Slaythat beardless Bhima soon, and infuse strength into Karna!’ Thusaddressed, the son Durjaya, saying unto Duryodhana, ‘So be it’, rushedtowards Bhimasena engaged (with Karna) and covered him with arrows. AndDurjaya struck Bhima with nine shafts, his steeds with eight, his driverwith six, his standard with three, and once more Bhima himself withseven. Then Bhimasena, excited with wrath, piercing with his shafts thevery vitals of Durjaya, and his steeds and driver, despatched them ofYama’s abode. Then Karna, weeping in grief, circumambulated that son ofthine, who, adorned with ornaments, lay on the earth, writhing like asnake. Bhima then, having made that deadly foe of his, viz., Karna,carless, smiling by covered him with shafts and made him look like aSataghni with numberless spikes on it. The Atiratha Karna, however, thatchastiser of foes, though thus pierced with arrows, did not yet avoid theenraged Bhima in battle.'”

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