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Chapter 131

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Then the carless Karna, thus once more completelydefeated by Bhima, mounted another car and speedily began to pierce theson of Pandu. Like two huge elephants encountering each other with thepoints of their tusks, they struck each other with shafts, shot fromtheir bows drawn to the fullest stretch. Then Karna, striking Bhimasenawith showers of shafts, uttered a loud roar, and once more pierced him inthe chest. Bhima, however, in return, pierced Karna with ten straightarrows and once more with twenty straight arrows. Then Karna, piercingBhima, O king, with nine arrows in the centre of the chest, struck thelatter’s standard with a sharp shaft. The son of Pritha then piercedKarna in return with three and sixty arrows, like a driver striking amighty elephant with the hook, or a rider striking a steed with a whip.Deeply pierced, O king, by the illustrious son of Pandu, the heroic Karnabegan to lick with his tongue the corners of his mouth, and his eyesbecame red in rage. Then, O monarch, Karna, sped at Bhimasena, for hisdestruction, a shaft capable of piercing everybody, like Indra hurlinghis thunderbolt. That shaft equipped with beautiful feathers sped fromthe bow of the Suta’s son, piercing Partha in that battle, sank deep intothe earth. Then the mighty-armed Bhima, with eyes red in wrath, hurledwithout a moment’s reflection, at the Suta’s son, a heavy six-sided mace,adorned with gold measuring full four cubits in length, and resemblingthe bolt of Indra in force. Indeed, like Indra slaying the Asuras withhis thunderbolt, that hero of Bharata’s race, excited with wrath, slewwith that mace the well-trained steeds of the foremost breed, ofAdhiratha’s son. Then, O bull of Bharata’s race, the mighty-armed Bhima,with a couple of razor-faced arrows, cut off the standard of Karna. Andthen he slew, with a number of shafts his enemy’s charioteer. Abandoningthat steedless and driverless and standardless car, Karna. O Bharata,cheerlessly stood on the earth, drawing his bow. The prowess that we thenbeheld of Radha’s son was extremely wonderful, inasmuch as that foremostof car-warriors, though deprived of car, continued to resist his foe.Beholding that foremost of men, viz., the son of Adhiratha, deprived ofhis car, Duryodhana, O monarch, said unto (his brother) Durmukha, ‘There,O Durmukha, the son of Radha hath been deprived of his car by Bhimasena.Furnish that foremost of men, that mighty car-warrior with a car.’Hearing these words of Duryodhana, thy son Durmukha, O Bharata, quicklyproceeded towards Karna and covered Bhima with his shafts. BeholdingDurmukha desirous of supporting the Suta’s son in that battle, the son ofthe Wind god was filled with delight and began to lick the corners of hismouth. Then resisting Karna the while with his shafts, the son of Panduquickly drove his car towards Durmukha. And in that moment, O king, withnine straight arrows of keen points, Bhima despatched Durmukha to Yama’sabode, Upon Durmukha’s slaughter, the son of Adhiratha mounted upon thecar of that prince and looked resplendent, O king, like the blazing sun.Beholding Durmukha lying prostrate on the field, his very vital pierced(with shafts) and his body bathed in blood, Karna with tearful eyesabstained for a moment from the fight. Circumambulating the fallen princeand leaving him there, the heroic Karna began to breathe long and hotbreaths and knew not what to do. Seizing that opportunity, O king,Bhimasena shot at the Suta’s son four and ten long shafts equipped withvulturine feathers. Those blood-drinking shafts of golden wings, enduedwith great force illuminating the ten points as they coursed through thewelkin, pierced the armour of the Suta’s son, and drank his life-blood, Oking, and passing through his body, sank into the earth and lookedresplendent like angry snakes, O monarch, urged on by Death himself, withhalf their bodies inserted within their holes. Then the son of Radha,without reflecting a moment, pierced Bhima in return with four and tenfierce shafts adorned with gold. Those fierce-winged arrows, piercingthrough Bhima’s right arms, entered the earth like birds entering a groveof trees. Striking against the earth, those arrows looked resplendent,like the blazing rays of the sun while proceeding towards the Asta hills.Pierced in that battle with those all-piercing arrows, Bhima began toshed copious streams of blood, like a mountain ejecting streams of water.Then Bhima pierced the Suta’s son in return with three shafts endued withthe impetuosity of Garuda and he pierced the latter’s charioteer alsowith seven. Then, O king, Karna thus afflicted by Bhima’s might, becameexceedingly distressed. And that illustrious warrior then fled, forsakingthe battle, borne away by his fleet steeds. The Atiratha Bhimasena,however, drawing his bow adorned with gold, stayed in battle, lookingresplendent like a blazing fire.'”

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