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Chapter 132

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I think, Destiny is supreme. Fie on exertion whichis useless, inasmuch as the son of Adhiratha, though fighting resolutely,could not vanquish the son of Pandu. Karna boasts of his competency tovanquish in battle all the Parthas with Govinda amongst them. I do notsee in the world, another warrior like Karna! I often heard Duryodhanaspeak in this strain. Indeed, O Suta, the wretched Duryodhana used totell me formerly, ‘Karna is a mighty hero, a firm bowman, above allfatigue. If I have that Vasushena for my ally, the very gods will not bea match for me, what need be said, therefore, O monarch, of the sons ofPandu that are weak and heartless?’ Tell me therefore, O Sanjaya, whatDuryodhana said, beholding that Karna defeated and looking like a snakedeprived of its poison and flying away from battle. Alas, deprived of hissenses, Duryodhana despatched the unsupported Durmukha, unacquaintedthough he was with battle, into that fiery encounter, like an insect intothe blazing fire. O Sanjaya, even Aswatthaman and the ruler of the Madrasand Kripa, united together, could not stand before Bhimasena. Even theseknow the terrible might, equal to that of ten thousand elephants, ofBhima, endued with the energy of Marut himself, as also his cruelintents. Why did they provoke the fire in battle, of that hero of crueldeeds, that warrior resembling Yama himself as the latter becomes at theend of the Yuga? It seems that Suta’s son, the mighty armed Karna alone,relying on the prowess of his own arms, fought in battle with Bhimasena,disregarding the latter. That son of Pandu who vanquished Karna in battlelike Purandara vanquishing an Asura, is capable of being vanquished byanybody in fight. Who is there that would, hopeful of life, approach thatBhima who, in Arjuna’s quest, alone entered my host, having ground Dronahimself? Who, indeed, is there, O Sanjaya, that would dare stay in theface of Bhima? Who is there among the Asuras that would venture to staybefore the great Indra with the thunderbolt uplifted in his hand?[157] Aman may return having entered the abode of the dead, but none, however,can return having encountered Bhimasena! Those men of weak prowess, whosenselessly rushed against the angry Bhimasena were like insects fallingupon a blazing fire. Without doubt, reflecting upon what the angry andfierce Bhima had said in the assembly in the hearing of the Kurus aboutthe slaughter of my sons, and beholding the defeat of Karna, Duhsasanaand his brothers ceased to encounter Bhima from fear. That wicked sonalso of mine, O Sanjaya, who repeatedly said in the assembly (thesewords, viz.,) Karna and Duhsasana and I myself will vanquish the Pandavasin battle,’–without doubt, beholding Karna defeated and deprived of hiscar by Bhima, is consumed with grief in consequence of his rejection ofKrishna’s suit![158] Beholding his mail-clad brothers slain in battle byBhimasena, in consequence of his own fault, without doubt, my son isburning with grief. Who that is desirous of life will make a hostileadvance against Pandu’s son, Bhima, excited with wrath armed withterrible weapons and standing in battle like Death himself? A man mayescape from the very jaws of the Vadava fire. But it is my belief that noone can escape from before Bhima’s face. Indeed, neither Partha, nor thePanchalas, nor Kesava, nor Satyaki, when excited with wrath in battle,shows the least regard for (his) life. Alas, O Suta, the very lives of mysons are in danger.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Thou, O Kaurava, that art thus grieving in view of thepresent carnage, thou, without doubt, art the root of this destruction ofthe world! Obedient to the counsels of thy sons, thou hast thyselfprovoked this fierce hostility. Though urged (by well-wishers) thouacceptest not the proper medicine like a man fated to die. O monarch, Obest of men, having thyself drunk the fiercest and the most indigestiblepoison, take thou all its consequences now. The combatants are fightingto the best of their might, still thou speakest ill of them. Listen,however, to me as I describe to thee how the battle raged on.

“Beholding Karna defeated by Bhimasena, five of thy sons, those uterinebrothers that were great bowmen, could not, O sire, brook it. They wereDurmarshana and Duhsaha and Durmada and Durdhara and Jaya. Clad inbeautiful mail, all of them rushed against the son of Pandu. Encompassingthe mighty-armed Vrikodara, on all sides, they shrouded all the points ofthe compass with their shafts looking like flights of locusts. Bhimasena,however, in the battle, smilingly received those princes of celestialbeauty thus rushing suddenly against him. Beholding thy sons advancingagainst Bhimasena, Radha’s son, Karna rushed against that mighty warrior,shooting arrows of keen points that were equipped with golden wings andwhetted on stone. Bhima, however, quickly rushed against Karna, thoughresisted by thy sons. Then the Kurus, surrounding Karna, coveredBhimasena with showers of straight shafts. With five and twenty arrows, Oking, Bhima, armed with his formidable bow, despatched all those bullsamong men to Yama’s abode with their steeds and charioteers. Falling downfrom their cars along with their charioteers, their lifeless forms lookedlike large trees with their weight of variegated flowers uprooted by thetempest. The prowess that we then beheld of Bhimasena was exceedinglywonderful, inasmuch as, resisting Adhiratha’s son the while, he slewthose sons of thine. Resisted by Bhima with whetted arrows on all sides,the Suta’s son, O king, only looked at Bhima. Bhimasena also, with eyesred in wrath, began to cast angry glances on Karna, stretching hisformidable bow the while.'”

Chapter 133
Chapter 131
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