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Chapter 40

Mahabharata English - KARNA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Thus rebuked by Shalya of immeasurable energy, the son ofRadha, feeling the propriety of his rebuker’s name in consequence of hiswordy darts, and becoming filled with rage, answered him thus:

“‘Karna said, “The merits of meritorious men, O Shalya, are known to themthat are themselves meritorious but not to them that are destitute ofmerit. Thou, however, art destitute of every merit. How then canst thoujudge of merit and demerit? The mighty weapons of Arjuna, his wrath, hisenergy, his bow, his shafts and the prowess also of that high-souled heroare, O Shalya, well known to me. So also, O Shalya, thou dost not know,so as well as I myself, the greatness of Krishna, that bull among thelords of Earth. But knowing my own energy as also that of Pandu’s son, Ichallenge him to battle, O Shalya, I do not act like an insect in respectof a blazing fire. I have this shaft, O Shalya, of keen mouth,blood-drinking, lying alone within one quiver, equipped with wings,well-steeped in oil and well-adorned. It lieth amid sandal dust,worshipped by me for long years. Partaking of the nature and form of asnake, it is poisonous and fierce and capable of killing large numbers ofmen and steeds and elephants of terrible form, and exceedingly awful, itis capable of piercing coats of mail and bones. Inspired with wrath, Imay pierce even the mighty mountains of Meru with it. That shaft I willnever shoot at any other person save Phalguna or Krishna, the son ofDevaki. In this I tell thee the truth. Listen to it. With that shaft, OShalya, I will, inspired with rage, fight with Vasudeva and Dhananjaya.That would be a feat worthy of me. Of all the heroes in the Vrishni race,it is Krishna in whom Prosperity is always established. Among all thesons of Pandu, it is Partha in whom Victory is always established. Thosetwo tigers among men, stationed together on the same car, will advanceagainst my single self for battle. Thou shalt, O Shalya, behold today thenobility of my lineage. Those two cousins, one of whom is the son of theaunt and the other the son of the maternal uncle, those two invinciblewarriors, thou shalt see, will be slain by me (with one shaft) and willlook like two pearls strung together in the same string. Arjuna’s gandivaand the ape-bearing banner, and Krishna’s discus and the Garuda-bearingbanner, inspire with fear only those that are timid. To me, however, OShalya, they are causes of delight. Thou art a fool, of evil disposition,and unskilled in the ways of great battle. Overcome with terror, thouutterest these ravings. Or, thou art praising them for some reason notknown to me. Having slain those two first, I shall then slay thee todaywith all thy kinsmen. Born in a sinful country thou art wicked-souled andmean, and a wretch amongst kshatriyas. Being a friend, why dost thou,like an enemy, frighten me with these praises of the two Krishnas? Eitherthey two will slay me today or I will slay them two. Knowing as I do myown might, I do not cherish any fear of the two Krishnas. A 1,000Vasudevas and hundreds of Phalgunas, I shall, single-handed, slay. Holdthy tongue, O thou that art born in a sinful country. Hear from me, OShalya, the sayings, already passed into proverbs, that men, young andold, and women, and persons arrived in course of their listlesswanderings, generally utter, as if those sayings formed part of theirstudies, about the wicked Madrakas. brahmanas also duly narrated the samethings formerly in the courts of kings. Listening to those sayingsattentively, O fool, thou mayst forgive or rejoin. The Madraka is alwaysa hater of friends. He that hateth us is a Madraka. There is nofriendship in the Madraka who is mean in speech and is the lowest ofmankind. The Madraka is always a person of wicked soul, is alwaysuntruthful and crooked. It hath been heard by us that till the moment ofdeath the Madrakas are wicked. (Amongst the Madrakas) the sire, the son,the mother, the mother-in-law, the brother, the grand-son, and otherkinsmen, companions, strangers arrived at their homes, slaves male andfemale, mingle together. The women of the Madrakas mingle, at their ownwill, with men known and unknown. Of unrighteous conduct, and subsistingupon fried and powdered corn and fish, in their homes, they laugh and cryhaving drunk spirits and eaten beef. They sing incoherent songs andmingle lustfully with one another, indulging the while in the freestspeeches. How then can virtue have a place amongst the Madrakas who arearrogant and notorious for all kinds of evil acts? No one should makefriends with a Madraka or provoke hostilities with him. In the Madrakaland there is no friendship. The Madraka is always the dirt of humanity.Amongst the Madrakas all acts of friendship are lost as purity amongstthe Gandharakas and the libations poured in a sacrifice in which the kingis himself the sacrificer and priest. Then again, it is truly seen thatwise men treat a person bit by a scorpion and affected by its poison,even with these words: ‘As a brahmana that assists at the religiousceremonies of a Shudra suffereth degradation, as one that hatethbrahmanas always suffereth degradation, even so a person by making analliance with the Madrakas becometh fallen. As there is no friendship inthe Madraka, so, O scorpion, thy poison is nought.’ With these mantras ofthe Atharvan I have duly performed the rite of exorcism. Knowing this, Olearned one, hold thy tongue, or listen to something further that I willsay. Those women that, intoxicated by spirits, cast off their robes anddance, those women that are not attached (to particular individuals) inthe matter of intercourse and that they do as they please without owningany restrictions, I say, that being as thou art the child of one of thosewomen, how canst thou, O Madraka, be a fit person for declaring theduties of men? Those women that live and answer calls of nature likecamels and asses, being as thou art the child of one of those sinful andshameless creatures, how canst thou wish to declare the duties of men?When a Madraka woman is solicited for the gift of a little quantity ofvinegar, she scratches her hips and without being desirous of giving it,says these cruel words, ‘Let no man ask any vinegar of me that is so dearto me. I would give him my son, I would give him my husband, but vinegarI would not give.’ The young Madraka maidens, we hear, are generally veryshameless and hairy and gluttonous and impure. These and many otherthings of a like nature, in respect of all their acts, from the crown oftheir heads to the tip of their toes, are capable of being asserted ofthem by myself and others. How, indeed, would the Madrakas and theSindhu-Sauviras know anything of duty, being born, as they are, in asinful country, being mlecchas in their practices, and being totallyregardless of all duties? It hath been heard by us that even this is thehighest duty of a kshatriya, viz., that slain in battle, he should liedown on the Earth, applauded by the righteous. That I should lay down (mylife) in this clash of arms is my foremost wish, desirous as I am ofheaven through Death. I am also the dear friend of the intelligent son ofDhritarashtra. For his sake are my life-breaths and whatever wealth Ihave! As regards thyself, O thou that art born in a sinful country, it isevident that thou hast been tampered with by the Pandavas, since thoubehavest towards us in everything like a foe. Like a righteous man thatis incapable of being led astray by atheists, surely I am incapable ofbeing dissuaded from this battle by hundreds of persons like thee. Like adeer, covered with sweat, thou art at liberty to weep or thirst.Observant as I am of the duties of a kshatriya, I am incapable of beingfrightened by thee. I recall to my mind the end, declared unto me in pasttimes by my preceptor Rama, of those lions among men, those unreturningheroes, that laid down their lives in battle. Prepared for rescuing theKauravas and slaying our foes, know that I am now determined to imitatethe excellent behaviour of Pururavas. I do not, O ruler of the Madrakas,behold the person in the three worlds that can, I think, dissuade me fromthis purpose. Forbear to speak, knowing all this. Why dost thou rave insuch a way from fear? O wretch amongst the Madrakas, I shall not now slaythee and present thy carcase as an offering to carnivorous creatures.From regard for a friend, O Shalya, for the sake of Dhritarashtra’s son,and for avoiding blame, for these three reasons, thou still livest. If, Oruler of the Madras, thou speakest such words again, I shall then crushthy head with my mace that is as hard as the thunder. People will todaysee or hear, O thou that art born in a sinful country, either that thetwo Krishnas have slain Karna or that Karna has slain the two Krishnas.”Having said these words, the son of Radha, O monarch, once more addressedthe king of the Madras, fearlessly saying, “Proceed, proceed.'”

FOLLOW US ON:
Chapter 39
Chapter 41
🙏 धर्म और आध्यात्म को जन-जन तक पहुँचाने में हमारा साथ दें| 🙏