“Vaisampayana said, ‘Without much minding Dhritarashtra, the son ofVichitravirya who was about to ask of Partha, Karna said untoDhritarashtra’s son these words, cheering up the spirit of the assembledKurus, ‘Coming to know of the false pretence under which I obtained theBrahma weapon of old from Rama, the latter told me,–When thy hour willcome thy memory will fail thee in respect of this weapon. Even for sogreat an offence I was cursed so lightly by that great Rishi, mypreceptor. That great Rishi of fierce energy is capable of consuming eventhe entire Earth with her seas. By attention and personal bravery, Iappeased his heart. I have that weapon with me still, and my period isnot yet run. I am, therefore, fully competent (to win victory) Let theresponsibility be mine. Having obtained the favour of that Rishi, I willslay within the twinkling of an eye the Panchalas, the Karushas, theMatsyas, and the sons of Pritha with their sons and grandsons, and bestowon thee numerous regions won by my weapons. Let the Grandsire and Dronaand all the kings stay with thee. I will slay the sons of Pritha,marching forth with the chief warriors of my army. Let that task bemine.’ Unto him speaking thus, Bhishma said, ‘What sayest thou, O Karna?Thy intellect is clouded at the approach of thy hour. Knowest thou not, OKarna, that when the chief is slain, the sons of Dhritarashtra will allbe slain? Having heard of the feat achieved by Dhananjaya, with Krishnaonly as his ally, at the burning of the Khandava forest, it behoveth theewith thy friends and relatives to restrain thy mind. The shaft that theillustrious and adorable chief of the celestials, the great Indra, gavethee, thou wilt see, will be broken and reduced to ashes when struck byKesava with his discus. That other shaft of serpentine mouth that shineth(in thy quiver) and is respectfully worshipped by thee with flowerygarlands, will, O Karna, when struck by the son of Pandu with his shafts,perish with thee. O Karna, the slayer of Vana and Bhumi’s son (Naraka),Vasudeva himself, who hath, in the thickest of battle, slain foes equaland even superior to thee, protecteth the diadem-decked Arjuna’.
“Karna said, ‘Without doubt, the chief of the Vrishnis is even so.Further, I admit, that that high-souled one is even more than that. Let,however, the Grandsire listen to the effect of the bit of harsh speechthat he hath uttered. I lay down my weapons. The Grandsire willhenceforth behold me in court only and not in battle. After thou hastbecome quiet, the rulers of the earth will behold my prowess in thisworld.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said this, that great bowman (Karna),leaving the court went to his own abode. Bhishma, however, O king,addressing Duryodhana in the midst of the Kurus, and laughing aloud,said, ‘How truly doth the Suta’s son keep his promise. Why havingrepeatedly given his pledge, saying,–The kings of Avanti and Kalinga,Jayadratha, and Chediddhaja and Valhika standing as spectators, I willslay hostile warriors by thousands and tens of thousands,–how will hedischarge that obligation? Having distributed his divisions incounter-array and scattering heads by thousands, behold the havoccommitted by Bhimasena. Indeed, that moment, when, representing himselfas a Brahmana unto the holy and blameless Rama, Vikartana’s son obtainedthat weapon, that vile wretch lost both his virtue and asceticism.’ Oking of kings, when Bhishma said this after Karna had gone away giving uphis weapons, Duryodhana, that foolish son of Vichitravirya’s son,addressed Santanu’s son in these words.'”