Chapter 21

Mahabharata English - STRI PARVA

“Gandhari said, Then the mighty Karna, that great bowman, lieth on theground! In battle he was like a blazing fire! That fire, however, hathnow been extinguished by the energy of Partha. Behold, Vikartanas sonKarna, after having slain many atirathas, has been prostrated on the bareground, and is drenched with blood. Wrathful and possessed of greatenergy, he was a great bowman and a mighty car-warrior. Slain in battleby the wielder of gandiva, that hero now sleepeth on the ground. My sons,those mighty car-warriors, from fear of the Pandavas, fought, placingKarna at their head, like a herd of elephants with its leader to thefore. Alas, like a tiger slain by a lion, or an elephant by an infuriatedelephant, that warrior hath been slain in battle by Savyasaci. Assembledtogether, O tiger among men, the wives of that warrior, with dishevelledtresses and loud wails of grief, are sitting around that fallen hero!Filled with anxiety caused by the thoughts of that warrior, kingYudhishthira the just could not, for thirteen years, obtain a wink ofsleep! Incapable of being checked by foes in battle like Maghavat himselfwho is invincible by enemies, Karna was like the all-destroying fire offierce flames at the end of the yuga, and immovable like Himavat himself!That hero became the protector of Dhritarashtras son, O Madhava! Alas,deprived of life, he now lieth on the bare ground, like a tree prostratedby the wind! Behold, the wife of Karna and mother of Vrishasena, isindulging in piteous lamentations and crying and weeping and falling uponthe ground! Even now she exclaims, “Without doubt, thy preceptors cursehath pursued thee! When the wheel of thy car was swallowed up by theEarth, the cruel Dhananjaya cut off thy head with an arrow! Alas, fie (onthe heroism and skill)!” That lady, the mother of Sushena, exceedinglyafflicted and uttering cries of woe, is falling down, deprived of hersenses, at the sight of the mighty-armed and brave Karna prostrated onthe earth, with his waist still encircled with a belt of gold.Carnivorous creatures, feeding on the body of that illustrious hero, havereduced it to very small dimensions. The sight is not gladdening, likethat of the moon on the fourteenth night of the dark fortnight. Fallingdown on the earth, the cheerless dame is rising up again. Burning withgrief on account of the death of her son also, she cometh and smelleththe face of her lord!”

Chapter 27
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