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Chapter 57

Mahabharata English - KARNA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Then Duryodhana, O chief of Bharatas, repairing to Karna,said unto him as also unto the ruler of the Madras and the other lords ofEarth present there, these words, “Without seeking hath this occasionarrived, when the gates of heaven have become wide open. Happy are thoseKshatriyas, O Karna, that obtain such a battle. Brave heroes fighting inbattle with brave Kshatriyas equal to them in might and prowess, obtaingreat good, O son of Radha. The occasion that hath come is even such.Either let these brave Kshatriyas, slaying the Pandavas in battle, obtainthe broad Earth, or let them, slain in battle by the foe, win the blessedregion reserved for heroes.” Hearing these words of Duryodhana, thosebulls among Kshatriyas cheerfully uttered loud shouts and beat and blewtheir musical instruments. When Duryodhana’s force became thus filledwith joy, the son of Drona, gladdening all thy warriors further said, “Inthe very sight of all the troops, and before the eyes of you all, myfather after he had laid aside his weapons, was slain by Dhrishtadyumna.By that wrath which such an act might kindle, and for the sake also of myfriend, ye kings, I swear truly before you all. Listen then to that oathof mine. Without slaying Dhrishtadyumna I shall not doff my armour. Ifthis vow of mine be not fulfilled, let me not go to heaven. Be it Arjuna,be it Bhimasena, or be it anybody else, whoever will come against me Iwill crush him or all of them. There is no doubt in this.” AfterAshvatthama had uttered these words, the entire Bharata army, unitedtogether, rushed against the Pandavas, and the latter also rushed againstthe former. The collision of brave leaders of car-divisions, O Bharata,became exceedingly awful. A destruction of life then set in at the van ofthe Kurus and the Srinjayas, that resembled what takes place at the lastgreat universal dissolution. Upon the commencement of thatpassage-at-arms, various (superior) beings, with the gods, came thereaccompanied by the Apsaras, for beholding those foremost of men. Filledwith joy, the Apsaras began to cover those foremost of men devoted to theduties of their order, with celestial garlands, with diverse kinds ofcelestial perfumes, and with diverse species of gems. Soft winds borethose excellent odours to the nostrils of all the foremost of warriors.Having smelt those perfumes in consequence of the action of the wind, thewarriors once more engaged in battle, and striking one another began tofall down on the Earth. Strewn with celestial flowers, with beautifulshafts equipped with wings of gold, and with many foremost of warriors,the Earth looked beautiful like the firmament bespangled with myriads ofstars. Then in consequence of cheers coming from the welkin and the noiseof musical instruments, the furious passage-at-arms distinguished bytwang of bows and clatter of car-wheels and shouts of warriors becameexceedingly fierce.'”

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