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Chapter 4

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Narada said, ‘Having thus obtained weapons from him of Bhrigu’s race,Karna began to pass his days in great joy, in the company of Duryodhana,O bull of Bharata’s race! Once on a time, O monarch, many kings repairedto a self-choice at the capital of Chitrangada, the ruler of the countryof the Kalingas. The city, O Bharata, full of opulence, was known by thename of Rajapura. Hundreds of rulers repaired thither for obtaining thehand of the maiden. Hearing that diverse kings had assembled there,Duryodhana. also, on his golden car, proceeded thither, accompanied byKarna. When the festivities commenced in that self-choice, diverserulers, O best of kings, came thither for the hand of the maiden. Therewere amongst them Sisupala and Jarasandha and Bhishmaka and Vakra, andKapotaroman and Nila and Rukmi of steady prowess, and Sringa who wasruler of the kingdom females, and Asoka and Satadhanwan and the heroicruler of the Bhojas. Besides these, many others who dwelt in thecountries of the South, and many preceptors (in arms) of the mlechchatribes, and many rulers from the East and the North, O Bharata, camethere. All of them were adorned with golden Angadas, and possessed of thesplendour of pure gold. Of effulgent bodies, they were like tigers offierce might. After all those kings had taken their seats, O Bharata, themaiden entered the arena, accompanied by her nurse and a guard ofeunuchs. Whilst being informed of the names of the kings (as she made herround), that maiden of the fairest complexion passed by the son ofDhritarashtra (as she had passed others before him). Duryodhana, however,of Kuru’s race, could not tolerate that rejection of himself.Disregarding all the kings, he commanded the maiden to stop. Intoxicatedwith the pride of energy, and relying upon Bhishma and Drona, kingDuryodhana, taking up that maiden on his car, abducted her with force.Armed with sword, clad in mail, and his fingers cased in leathern fences,Karna, that foremost of all wielders of weapons riding on his car,proceeded along Duryodhana’s rear. A great uproar then took place amongthe kings, all of whom were actuated by the desire for fight, ‘Put onyour coats of mail! Let the cars be made ready!’ (These were the soundsthat were heard). Filled with wrath, they pursued Karna and Duryodhana,showering their arrows upon them like masses of clouds pouring rain upona couple of hills. As they thus pursued them, Karna felled their bows andarrows on the ground, each with a single arrow. Amongst them some becamebowless, some rushed bow in hand, some were on the point of shootingtheir shafts, and some pursued them, armed with darts and maces.Possessed of great lightness of hands, Karna, that foremost of allsmiters, afflicted them all. He deprived many kings of their drivers andthus vanquished all those lords of earth. They then themselves took upthe reins of their steeds, and saying, ‘Go away, go away’, turned awayfrom the battle with cheerless hearts. Protected by Karna, Duryodhanaalso came away, with a joyous heart, bringing with him the maiden to thecity called after the elephant.'”

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Chapter 182
Chapter 181
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