Chapter 82

Mahabharata English - KARNA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘After the Kurus, O king, had been put to flight by themighty car-warrior Arjuna of white steeds, the Suta’s son Karna began todestroy the sons of the Pancalas with his mighty shafts, like the tempestdestroying congregated masses of clouds. Felling Janamejaya’s driver withbroad-faced shafts called Anjalikas, he next slew the steeds of thatPancala warrior. With a number of broad-headed arrows he then piercedboth Satanika and Sutasoma and then cut off the bows of both thoseheroes. Next he pierced Dhrishtadyumna with six arrows, and then, withoutthe loss of a moment, he slew in that encounter the steeds of thatprince. Having slain next the steeds of Satyaki, the Suta’s son then slewVisoka, the son of the ruler of the Kaikayas. Upon the slaughter of theKaikaya prince, the commander of the Kaikaya division, Ugrakarman, rushedwith speed and striking Prasena, the son of Karna, with many shafts offierce impetuosity caused him to tremble. Then Karna, with threecrescent-shaped arrows, cut off the arms and the head of his son’sassailant, whereupon the latter, deprived of life, fell down upon theground from his car, like a Sala tree with its branches lopped off withan axe. Then Prasena, with many keen arrows of straight course, coveredthe steedless grandson of Sini, and seemed to dance upon his car. Soon,however, the son of Karna, struck by the grandson of Sini, fell down.Upon the slaughter of his son, Karna, with heart filled with rage,addressed that bull among the Sinis from desire of slaying him, saying,”Thou art slain, O grandson of Sini!’ and sped at him an arrow capable ofslaying all foes. Then Shikhandi cut off that arrow with three shafts ofhis, and struck Karna himself with three other shafts. The fierce son ofthe Suta then, cutting off with a couple of razor-faced arrows the bowand the standard of Shikhandi, struck and pierced Shikhandi himself withsix shafts, and then cut off the head of Dhrishtadyumna’s son. Thehigh-souled son of Adhiratha then pierced Sutasoma with a very keenshaft. During the progress of that fierce battle, and afterDhrishtadyumna’s son had been slain, Krishna, O lion among kings,addressed Partha, saying, “The Pancalas are being exterminated. Go, OPartha, and slay Karna.” Thus addressed the mighty-armed Arjuna, thatforemost of men, smiled and then proceeded on his car towards the car ofAdhiratha’s son desirous, on that occasion of terror, of rescuing thePancalas slaughtered by Karna, that leader of car-warriors. Stretchinghis Gandiva of loud twang and fiercely striking his palms with herbow-string, he suddenly created a darkness by means of his arrows anddestroyed large numbers of men and steeds and cars and standards. Theechoes (of that twang) travelled through the welkin. The birds, (nolonger finding room in their own element), took shelter in the caverns ofmountains. With his full-drawn bow, Arjuna looked resplendent. Indeed, asthe diadem-decked Partha, at that terrible moment, fell upon the foe,Bhimasena, that foremost of heroes, proceeded on his car behind that sonof Pandu, protecting his rear. Those two princes then, on their cars,proceeded with great speed towards Karna, encountering their foes alongthe way. During that interval, the Suta’s son fought fiercely, grindingthe Somakas. He slew a large number of car-warriors and steeds andelephants, and covered the ten points of the compass with his shafts.Then Uttamauja and Janamejaya, and the enraged Yudhamanyu and Shikhandi,uniting with Prishata’s son (Dhrishtadyumna) and uttering loud roars,pierced Karna with many shafts. Those five foremost of Pancalacar-warriors rushed against Karna otherwise called Vaikartana, but theycould not shake him off his car like the objects of the senses failing toshake off the person of purified soul from abstinence. Quickly cuttingoff their bows, standards, steeds, drivers and banners, with his shafts,Karna struck each of them with five arrows and then uttered a loud roarlike a lion, People then became exceedingly cheerless, thinking that thevery earth, with her mountains and trees, might split at the twang ofKarna’s bow while that hero, with shafts in hand touching the bow-string,was employed in shooting at his assailants and slaying his foes. Shootinghis shafts with that large and extended bow of his that resembled the bowof Sakra himself, the son of Adhiratha looked resplendent like the sun,with his multitude of blazing rays, within his corona. The Suta’s sonthen pierced Shikhandi with a dozen keen shafts, and Uttamauja with halfa dozen, and Yudhamanyu with three, and then each of the other two, viz.,Somaka (Janamejaya) and Prishata’s son (Dhrishtadyumna) with threeshafts. Vanquished in dreadful battle by the Suta’s son, O sire, thosefive mighty car-warriors then stood inactive, gladdening their foes, evenas the objects of the senses are vanquished by a person of purified soul.The five sons of Draupadi then, with other well-equipped cars, rescuedthose maternal uncles of theirs that were sinking in the Karna ocean,like persons rescuing from the depths of the ocean ship-wrecked merchantsin the sea by means of other vessels. Then that bull among the Sinis,cutting off with his own keen shafts the innumerable arrows sped byKarna, and piercing Karna himself with many keen arrows made entirely ofiron, pierced thy eldest son with eight shafts. Then Kripa, and the Bhojachief (Kritavarma), and thy son, and Karna himself, assailed Satyaki inreturn with keen shafts. That foremost one, however, of Yadu’s racefought with those four warriors like the chief of the Daityas fightingwith the Regents of the (four) quarters. With his twanging bow stretchedto its fullest limits, and from which shafts flowed incessantly, Satyakibecame exceedingly irresistible like the meridian Sun in the autumnalsky. Those scorchers of foes then, viz., the mighty car-warriors amongthe Pancalas, once more riding on their cars and clad in mail and unitedtogether, protected that foremost one among the Sinis, like the Marutsprotecting Sakra while engaged in afflicting his foes in battle. Thebattle fraught with the slaughter of men and steeds and elephants thatthen ensued between thy foes and the warriors of thy army, became sofierce that it resembled the encounter in days of old between the godsand the Asuras. Car-warriors and elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers,covered with showers of diverse weapons, began to move from one point toanother. Struck by one another, they reeled or uttered wails of woe inaffliction or fell down deprived of life. When such was the state ofaffairs, thy son Duhshasana, the younger brother of the king, fearlesslyadvanced against Bhima, shooting showers of shafts. Vrikodara also rushedimpetuously against him, like a lion springing towards a large Ruru deer.The encounter then that took place between those two heroes incensed witheach other and who engaged in battle’s sport making life itself thestake, became exceedingly fierce, resembled that between Samvara andSakra in days of old. They struck each other deeply with shafts possessedof great energy and capable of piercing each other’s body, like twomighty elephants excited with lust and with juicy secretions incessantlytrickling down their bodies, fighting with each other in the vicinity ofa she-elephant in her season. Vrikodara, with great speed, cut off, witha couple of razor-headed arrows, the bow and the standard of thy son.With another winged arrow he pierced his antagonist’s forehead and then(with a fourth) cut off from his trunk the head of the latter’s driver.Prince Duhshasana, taking up another bow, pierced Vrikodara with a dozenshafts. Himself holding the reins of his steeds, he once more poured overBhima a shower of straight arrows. Then Duhshasana sped a shaft bright asthe rays of the sun, decked with gold, diamonds, and other precious gems,capable of piercing the body of his assailant, and irresistible as thestroke of Indra’s thunder. His body pierced therewith, Vrikodara fell,with languid limbs and like one deprived of life and with outstretchedarms, upon his own excellent car. Recovering his senses, however, hebegan to roar like a lion.'”

Chapter 81
Chapter 83
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