Chapter 58

Mahabharata English - KARNA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Thus raged that great battle between those lords of Earthwhen Arjuna and Karna and Bhimasena, the son of Pandu became angry.Having vanquished the son of Drona, and other great car-warriors, Arjuna,O king, addressing Vasudeva, said, “Behold, O Krishna of mighty arms, thePandava army is flying away. Behold, Karna is slaying our greatcar-warriors in this battle. I do not, O thou of Dasaratha’s race, seeking Yudhishthira the just. Nor is the standard of Dharma’s son, foremostof warriors, visible. The third part of the day still remaineth,Janardana. No one amongst the Dhartarashtras cometh against me for fight.For doing, therefore, what is agreeable to me, proceed to the spot whereYudhishthira is. Beholding Dharma’s son safe and sound with his youngerbrothers in battle, I will again fight with the foe, O thou of Vrishni’srace.” At these words of Vibhatsu, Hari (Krishna) quickly proceeded onthat car to that spot where king Yudhishthira, along with the mightySrinjaya car-warriors of great strength, were fighting with the foe,making death their goal. During the progress of that great carnage,Govinda, beholding the field of battle, addressed Savyasaci, saying,”Behold, O Partha, how great and awful is this carnage, O Bharata, ofKshatriyas on Earth for the sake of Duryodhana. Behold, O Bharata, thegold-backed bows of slain warriors, as also their costly quiversdisplaced from their shoulders. Behold those straight shafts equippedwith wings of gold, and those clothyard arrows washed with oil andlooking like snakes freed from their sloughs. Behold, O Bharata, thosescimitars, decked with gold, and having ivory handles, and thosedisplaced shields embossed with gold. Behold those lances decked withgold, those darts having golden ornaments, and those huge maces twinedround with gold. Behold those swords adorned with gold, those axes withgolden ornaments, and the heads of those battle-axes fallen off fromtheir golden handles. Behold those iron Kuntas, those short clubsexceedingly heavy, those beautiful rockets, those huge bludgeons withspiked heads, those discs displaced from the arms of their wielders, andthose spears (that have been used) in this dreadful battle. Endued (whileliving) with great activity, warriors that came to battle, having takenup diverse weapons, are lying, though deprived of life, as if stillalive. Behold, thousands of warriors lying on the field, with limbscrushed by means of maces, or heads broken by means of heavy clubs, ortorn and mangled by elephants and steeds and cars. The field of battle iscovered with shafts and darts and swords and axes and scimitars andspiked maces and lances and iron Kuntas and battle-axes, and the bodiesof men and steeds and elephants, hacked with many wounds and covered withstreams of blood and deprived of life, O slayer of foes. The Earth looksbeautiful, O Bharata, with arms smeared with sandal, decked with Angadasof gold and with Keyuras, and having their ends cased in leathern fences.With hands cased in leathern fences, with displaced ornaments, withsevered thighs looking like elephants’ trunks of many active warriors,with fallen heads, decked with costly gems and earrings, of heroes havinglarge expansive eyes, the Earth looks exceedingly beautiful. Withheadless trunks smeared all over with blood with severed limbs and headsand hips, the Earth looks, O best of the Bharatas, like an altar strewnwith extinguished fires. Behold those beautiful cars with rows of goldenbells, broken in diverse ways, and those slain steeds lying scattered onthe field, with arrows yet sticking to their bodies. Behold those bottomsof cars, those quivers, those banners, those diverse kinds of standards,those gigantic conchs of car-warriors, white in hue and scattered allover the field. Behold those elephants, huge as hills, lying on theEarth, with tongues lolling out, and those other elephants and steeds,deprived of life and decked with triumphal banners. Behold those housingsof elephants, and those skins and blankets, and those other beautiful andvariegated and torn blankets. Behold those rows of bells torn and brokenin diverse ways in consequence of falling elephants of gigantic size, andthose beautiful goads set with stones of lapis lazuli, and those hooksfalling upon the ground. Behold those whips, adorned with gold, andvariegated with gems, still in the grasp of (slain) horsemen, and thoseblankets and skins of the Ranku deer falling on the ground but which hadserved for seats on horse back. Behold those gems for adorning thediadems of kings, and those beautiful necklaces of gold, and thosedisplaced umbrellas and yak-tails for fanning. Behold the Earth, mirywith blood, strewn with the faces of heroes, decked with beautifulearrings and well-cut beards and possessed of the splendour of the moonand stars. Behold those wounded warriors in whom life is not yet extinctand who, lying all around, are uttering wails of woe. Their relatives, Oprince, casting aside their weapons are tending them, weepingincessantly. Having covered many warriors with arrows and deprived themof life, behold those combatants, endued with activity longing forvictory, and swelling with rage, are once more proceeding for battleagainst their antagonists. Others are running hither and thither on thefield. Being begged for water by fallen heroes, others related to themhave gone in quest of drink. Many, O Arjuna, are breathing their lastmeanwhile. Returning their brave relatives, seeing them become senselessare throwing down the water they brought and are running wildly, shoutingat one another. Behold, many have died after having slaked their thirst,and many, O Bharata, are dying while drinking. Others, thoughaffectionate towards relatives, are still seen to rush towards foes ingreat battle deserting their dear relatives. Others, again, O best ofmen, biting their nether lips, and with faces rendered terrible inconsequence of the contraction of their brows, are surveying the fieldall around.” While saying these words unto Arjuna, Vasudeva proceededtowards Yudhishthira. Arjuna also, beholding the king in that greatbattle, repeatedly urged Govinda, saying, “Proceed, Proceed.” Havingshown the field of battle to Partha, Madhava, while proceeding quickly,slowly said unto Partha once more, “Behold those kings rushing towardsking Yudhishthira. Behold Karna, who resembles a blazing fire, on thearena of the battle. Yonder the mighty-bowman Bhima is proceeding tobattle. They that are the foremost among the Pancalas, the Srinjayas, andthe Pandavas–they, that is, that have Dhrishtadyumna for their head, arefollowing Bhima. The vast army of the enemy is again broken by therushing Parthas. Behold, O Arjuna, Karna is trying to rally the flyingKauravas. Resembling the Destroyer himself in impetuosity and Indrahimself in prowess, yonder proceedeth Drona’s son, O thou of Kuru’s race,that hero who is the foremost of all wielders of weapons. The mightycarwarrior Dhrishtadyumna is rushing against that hero. The Srinjayas arefollowing the lead of Dhristadyumna. Behold, the Srinjayas are falling.”Thus did the invincible Vasudeva describe everything unto thediadem-decked Arjuna. Then, O king, commenced a terrible and awfulbattle. Loud leonine shouts arose as the two hosts encountered eachother, O monarch, making death their goal. Even thus, O king, inconsequence of thy evil counsels, did that destruction set in on Earth, Olord of Earth, of both thy warriors and those of the enemy.'”

Chapter 57
Chapter 59
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