Chapter 86

Mahabharata English - KARNA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding the gigantic and roaring Karna, incapable ofbeing resisted by the very gods, advancing like the surging sea, thatbull amongst men, viz., he of Dasharha’s race, addressed Arjuna, saying,“That car-warrior having white steeds and owning Shalya for his drivercometh hither with whom thou art to contend in battle. Therefore, ODhananjaya, summon all thy coolness. Behold then, O son of Pandu, thewell-equipped car of Karna. White steeds are yoked unto it and Radha’sson himself is the warrior that stands upon it. Teeming with banners anddecked with rows of bells, it looks like a celestial car borne along thewelkin by steeds white in hue. Behold also the standard of thehigh-souled Karna, bearing the device of the elephant’s rope, and lookinglike the bow of Indra himself that divides the firmament by a clear line.Behold Karna as he advanceth from desire of doing what is agreeable toDhritarashtra’s son, shooting showers of shafts like the clouds pouringtorrents of rain. There the royal chief of the Madras, stationed on thefore-part of the car, guideth the steeds of Radha’s son of immeasurableenergy. Hear the peal of their drums and the fierce blare of theirconchs. Hear, O son of Pandu, the diverse leonine roars coming from everyside. Hear the terrible twang, silencing all other loud sounds, of thebow (Vijaya) stretched by Karna of immeasurable energy. There the mightycar-warriors among the Pancalas, with their followers, are breaking likea herd of deer in the great forest at the sight of an angry lion. Itbehoveth thee, O son of Kunti, to slay the Suta’s son with every care. Noother person save thee can venture to bear the shafts of Karna. It iswell known to me that thou art competent to vanquish in battle the threeworlds with all their mobile and immobile creatures including the verygods and the Gandharvas. What need be said about battling with thatpuissant one, when people are incapable of even gazing at him, viz., thefierce and terrible Isana, that great god, the three-eyed Sarva,otherwise called Kapardin? Thou, however, hadst, by battle, gratifiedthat god of gods himself, that Siva who is the source of bliss unto allcreatures, that deity called Sthanu. The other deities also have allgiven thee boons. Through the grace, O Partha, of that god of gods, thatdeity armed with a trident, slay Karna, O mighty-armed one, like Indraslaying the Asura Namuci. Let prosperity be ever with thee, O Partha, anddo thou obtain victory in battle.”

“‘Arjuna said, “My victory, O Krishna, is, certain. There is no doubt inthis, since thou, O slayer of Madhu, that art the master of all theworlds, art pleased with me. Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesha, and my car,O great car-warrior! Today Phalguna will not return from battle withoutslaying Karna. Behold Karna slain today and cut in pieces with my shafts.Or, O Govinda, thou wilt today behold me slain with (Karna’s) arrows.That terrible battle, capable of stupefying the three words, is at hand.As long as the earth will last, people will speak of it.” Saying thesewords unto Krishna who is never tired with exertion, Partha quicklyproceeded on his car against Karna like an elephant against a rivalelephant. Once more Partha of great energy said unto Krishna, thatchastiser of foes, these words, “Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesha, for timepasseth.” Thus addressed by the high-souled son of Pandu, Keshava wishedhim victory and urged steeds as fleet as thought. Then that car ofPandu’s son, possessed of great speed, soon reached the front of Karna’scar.'”

Chapter 85
Chapter 87
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