The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Hearing these beneficial and auspicious words of Kesava, Karna worshipped Krishna, the slayer of Madhu, and said these words,
[paragraph continues] 'Knowing (everything), why dost thou yet, O thou of mighty arms, seek to beguile me? The destruction of the whole earth that is at hand for its cause, Sakuni, and myself, and Dussasana, and king Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra. Without doubt, O Krishna, a great and fierce battle is at hand between the Pandavas and the Kurus which will cover the earth with bloody mire. All the kings and princes following the lead of Duryodhana, consumed by the fire of weapons will proceed to the abode of Yama. Diverse frightful visions are seen, O slayer of Madhu, and many terrible portents, and fierce disturbances also. All these omens, making the hairs (of the spectators) stand on their ends, indicate, O thou of Vrishni's race, the defeat of Dhritarashtra's son and the victory of Yudhishthira. That fierce planet of great effulgence, Sanaischara (Saturn), is afflicting the constellation called Rohini, in order to afflict greatly the creatures of the earth. The planet Angaraka (Mars), wheeling, O slayer of Madhu, towards the constellation Jeshthya, approacheth towards Anuradhas, indicating a great slaughter of friends. Without doubt, O Krishna, a terrible calamity approacheth the Kurus when specially, O thou of Vrishni's race, the planet Mahapat afflicteth the constellation Chitra. The spot on the lunar disc hath changed its position; and Rahu also approacheth towards the sun. Meteors are falling from the sky with loud noise and trembling motion. The elephants are sending forth frightful cries, while the steeds, O Madhava, are shedding tears, without taking any delight in food and drink. They say, O thou of mighty arms, that on the appearance of these portents, a terrible calamity approacheth, productive of a great slaughter. O Kesava, amongst the steeds, elephants and soldiers, in all the divisions of Duryodhana's army, it is seen, O slayer of Madhu, that while small is the food these take, ample is the excreta they evacuate. The wise have said that this is an indication of defect. The elephants and steeds of the Pandavas, O Krishna, all seem to be cheerful, while all the animals wheel along their right. This also is an indication of their success. The same animal, O Kesava, pass by the left side of Duryodhana's army, while incorporeal voices are constantly heard (over their heads). All this is an indication of defeat. All auspicious birds, such as peacocks, swans, cranes, Chatakas, Jivajivas, and large flights of Vakas, follow the Pandavas, while vultures, Kankas, hawks, Rakshasas, wolves and bees, in flights and herds, follow the Kauravas. The drums in the army of Dhritarashtra's son yield no sounds, while those of the Pandavas yield sounds without being struck. The wells in the midst of Duryodhana's encampment send forth loud roars like those of huge bulls. All this is an indication of defeat. The gods are showering flesh and blood, O Madhava, on Duryodhana's soldiers. Vapoury edifices of great effulgence with high walls, deep trenches, and handsome porches, are suddenly appearing in the skies (over the Kuru encampment). A black circle surrounding the solar disc appears to the view. Both twilights at sunrise and sunset indicate great terrors. The jackals yell hideously. All this
is an indication of defeat. Diverse birds, each having but one wing, one eye, and one leg, utter terrible cries. All this, O slayer of Madhu, indicates defeat. Fierce birds with black wings and red legs hover over the Kuru encampment at nightfall. All this is an indication of defeat. The soldiers of Duryodhana betray hatred for Brahmanas first, and then for their preceptors, and then for all their affectionate servants. The, eastern horizon of (Duryodhana's encampment) appeareth red; the southern of the hue of weapons; and western, O slayer of Madhu, of an earthy hue. All the quarters around Duryodhana's encampment seem, O Madhava, to be ablaze. In the appearance of all these portents, great is the danger that is indicated.
'I have in a vision, O Achyuta, beheld Yudhishthira ascending with his brothers a palace supported by a thousand columns. All of them appeared with white head-gears and in white robes. And all of them appeared to me to be seated on white seats. In the midst of the same vision, thou, O Janardana, wast beheld by me to be employed in enveloping the blood-dyed earth with weapons. Yudhishthira at the same time, of immeasurable energy, ascending upon a heap of bones, was gladly eating buttered payasa of a golden cup. I further beheld Yudhishthira to be employed in swallowing the earth handed over to him by thee. This indicates that he will verily rule the earth I beheld that tiger among men, Vrikodara, of fierce deeds, standing on the summit, mace in hand, and as if devouring this earth. This plainly indicates that he will slay all of us in fierce battle. It is known to me, O lord of the senses, that victory is there where righteousness is. I saw also Dhananjaya, the wielder of Gandiva, seated on the back of a white elephant, with thee, O lord of the senses, and blazing forth with great beauty. I have no doubt, O Krishna, that ye will slay in battle all the kings headed by Duryodhana. I saw Nakula and Sahadeva and that mighty car-warrior Satyaki, adorned with white bracelets, white cuirasses, white garlands, and white robes. This tiger among men were seated upon excellent vehicles borne on the shoulders of men. And I saw that umbrellas were held over the heads of all the three. Amongst the soldiers of Dhritarashtra's son, these three, O Janardana, were beheld by me decked with white head-gears. Know, O Kesava, that those three were Aswatthaman, Kripa, and Kritavarman of Satwata's race. All other kings, O Madhava, were seen by me to have blood-red head-ears. I saw also, O thou of mighty arms, that those mighty car-warriors Bhishma and Drona, ascending on a vehicle drawn by camels, and by myself, and Dhritarashtra's son, proceeded, O lord, to the quarter, O Janardana, ruled by Agastya. This indicates that we shall soon have to proceed to Yama's abode. I have no doubt that myself and the other kings, indeed, the entire assemblage of Kshatriyas shall have to enter into the Gandiva fire.'
"Krishna said, 'Indeed, the destruction of the earth is at hand when my words, O Karna, do not become acceptable to thy heart. O sire, when the destruction of all creatures approacheth, wrong assuming the semblance of right leaveth not the heart.'
"Karna said, 'If, O Krishna, we come out of this great battle that will be so destructive of heroic Kshatriyas, with life, then, O thou of mighty arms may we meet here again. Otherwise, O Krishna, we shall certainly meet in heaven. O sinless one, it seemeth to me now that there only it is possible for us to meet.'
"Sanjaya said, 'Having spoken these words, Karna closely pressed Madhava to his bosom. Dismissed by Kesava, he then descended from the car. And riding on his own car decked with gold, Radha's son greatly dejected, came back with us!'"
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