Chapter 39

Mahabharata English - KARNA PARVA

“‘Shalya said, “Do not, O Suta’s son, give away to any man a golden carwith six bulls of elephantine proportions. Thou wilt obtain a sight ofDhananjaya today. From foolishness thou art giving away wealth as if thouwert the Lord of treasures. Without any trouble, however, O son of Radha,thou wilt behold Dhananjaya today. Thou art for giving away this wealthlike a senseless person; but thou seest not the demerits attaching tothose gifts that are made to undeserving persons. With that large wealthwhich thou art desirous of giving away, thou art certainly able toperform many sacrifices. Therefore, O Suta’s son, do thou perform thosesacrifices. As regards thy desire, entertained from folly, that is surelyvain. We have never heard of a couple of lions having been overthrown bya fox. Thou seekest what should never be sought by thee. It seems thatthou hast no friends for forbidding thee that art speedily falling into ablazing fire. Thou art unable to discriminate between what thou shouldstdo and what thou shouldst not. Without doubt thy period is full. What mandesirous of living would utter speeches that are so incoherent andundeserving of being listened to? This thy endeavour is like that of aperson desirous of crossing the ocean by the aid of only his two armsafter having attached to his neck a heavy stone, or of one desirous ofleaping down from the summit of a mountain. If thou art desirous ofwinning what is for thy good, fight with Dhananjaya, well protected fromwithin thy arrayed division, and aided by all thy warriors. I say this tothee for the good of Dhritarashtra’s son and not from any ill will tothee. If thou hast any wish for preserving thy life then accept the wordsspoken by me.”

“‘Karna said, “Relying on the might of my own arms I seek Arjuna inbattle. Thou, however, that art a foe with the face of a friend desirestto frighten me. No person shall deter me from this resolution, not evenIndra himself uplifting his thunder; what then need be said of a mortal?'”

“Sanjaya continued, ‘At the conclusion of these words of Karna, Shalya,the ruler of the Madras, desirous of provoking Karna exceedingly, saidthese words in reply, “When keen-pointed shafts winged with Kankafeathers, shot by Phalguna of mighty arms and impelled from hisbow-string and sped with all his energy will seek thee then wilt thoulament thy encounter with that hero. When Partha, called also Savyasaci,taking up his celestial bow, will scorch the (Kuru) army and afflict theeexceedingly with keen shafts, then, O Suta’s son, wilt thou repent (ofthy folly). As a child lying on the lap of its mother seeks to seize theMoon, even so dost thou from folly seek to vanquish the resplendentArjuna stationed on his car. In desiring, O Karna, to fight today withArjuna of keen-edged feats, thou art for rubbing all thy limbs againstthe keen edges of a trident. This thy challenge of Arjuna, O Suta’s son,is like that of a foolish young little deer of activity challenging ahuge lion excited with wrath. Do not, O Suta’s son, challenge that princeof mighty energy like a fox gratified with meat in the forest challengingthe maned monarch of the forest. Do not be destroyed, encounteringArjuna. Thou, O Karna, challengest Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, evenlike a hare challenging a mighty elephant with tusks large asplough-shafts, and with the juice issuing out of its mouth and rentcheeks. From folly thou art piercing, with a piece of wood, the blackcobra of virulent poison excited to fury within its hole, in desiring tofight with Partha. Endued with little understanding, thou, O Karna,disregarding that lion among men, viz., the son of Pandu, yellest at him,like a jackal that, disregarding a maned lion excited with wrath, yellsat him. As a snake, for its own destruction, challenges that foremost ofbirds, viz., Vinata’s son, possessed of beautiful plumage and greatactivity, even so dost thou, O Karna, challenge Dhananjaya the son ofPandu. Thou desirest to cross without a raft the terrible ocean, thereceptacle of all the waters, with its mountain waves and teeming withaquatic animals, when at its height at the rise of the Moon. O Karna,thou challengest Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, to battle even like acalf challenging a smiting bull of keen horns and neck thick as a drum.Like a frog croaking at a terrible and mighty cloud yielding copiousshowers of rain, thou croakest at Arjuna who is even like Parjanya amongmen. As a dog from within the precincts of the house of his master barksat a forest-roaming tiger, even so, O Karna, thou barkest at Dhananjaya,that tiger among men. A jackal, O Karna, residing in the forest in themidst of hares regardeth himself a lion till he actually sees a lion.Even so, O son of Radha, thou regardest thyself a lion, for thou dost notbehold that repressor of foes, that tiger among men, viz., Dhananjaya.Thou regardest thyself a lion till thou beholdest the two Krishnasstationed on the same car like Surya and Candramas. As long as thou dostnot hear the twang of Gandiva in great battle, so long art thou able todo what thou pleasest. Beholding Partha, causing the ten points of thecompass to resound with the roar of his car and the twang of his bow, andbeholding him roaring like a tiger, thou wilt become a jackal. Thou artalways a jackal, and Dhananjaya always a lion. O fool, in consequence ofthy envy and hatred for heroes, thou always, seemest to be like a jackal.As a mouse and a car are to each other in strength, or a dog and a tiger,a fox and a lion, or a hare and an elephant, as falsehood and truth, aspoison and nectar, even so art thou and Partha known to all by yourrespective deeds.'”

Chapter 38
Chapter 40
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