The Mahabharata Home
"'Shalya said, "Do not, O Suta's son, give away to any man a golden car with six bulls of elephantine proportions. Thou wilt obtain a sight of Dhananjaya today. From foolishness thou art giving away wealth as if thou wert the Lord of treasures. Without any trouble, however, O son of Radha, thou wilt behold Dhananjaya today. Thou art for giving away this wealth like a senseless person; but thou seest not the demerits attaching to those gifts that are made to undeserving persons. With that large wealth which thou art desirous of giving away, thou art certainly able to perform many sacrifices. Therefore, O Suta's son, do thou perform those sacrifices. As regards thy desire, entertained from folly, that is surely vain. We have never heard of a couple of lions having been overthrown by a fox. Thou seekest what should never be sought by thee. It seems that thou hast no friends for forbidding thee that art speedily falling into a blazing fire. Thou art unable to discriminate between what thou shouldst do and what thou shouldst not. Without doubt thy period is full. What man desirous of living would utter speeches that are so incoherent and undeserving of being listened to? This thy endeavour is like that of a person desirous of crossing the ocean by the aid of only his two arms after having attached to his neck a heavy stone, or of one desirous of leaping down from the summit of a mountain. If thou art desirous of winning what is for thy good, fight with Dhananjaya, well protected from within thy arrayed division, and aided by all thy warriors. I say this to thee for the good of Dhritarashtra's son and not from any ill will to thee. If thou hast any wish for preserving thy life then accept the words spoken by me."
"'Karna said, "Relying on the might of my own arms I seek Arjuna in battle. Thou, however, that art a foe with the face of a friend desirest to frighten me. No person shall deter me from this resolution, not even Indra himself uplifting his thunder; what then need be said of a mortal?'"
"Sanjaya continued, 'At the conclusion of these words of Karna, Shalya, the ruler of the Madras, desirous of provoking Karna exceedingly, said these words in reply, "When keen-pointed shafts winged with Kanka feathers, shot by Phalguna of mighty arms and impelled from his bow-string and sped with all his energy will seek thee then wilt thou lament thy encounter with that hero. When Partha, called also Savyasaci, taking up his celestial bow, will scorch the (Kuru) army and afflict thee exceedingly with keen shafts, then, O Suta's son, wilt thou repent (of thy folly). As a child lying on the lap of its mother seeks to seize the Moon, even so dost thou from folly seek to vanquish the resplendent Arjuna stationed on his car. In desiring, O Karna, to fight today with Arjuna of keen-edged feats, thou art for rubbing all thy limbs against the keen edges of a trident. This thy challenge of Arjuna, O Suta's son, is like that of a foolish young little deer of activity challenging a huge lion excited with wrath. Do not, O Suta's son, challenge that prince of mighty energy like a fox gratified with meat in the forest challenging the maned monarch of the forest. Do not be destroyed, encountering Arjuna. Thou, O Karna, challengest Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, even like a hare challenging a mighty elephant with tusks large as plough-shafts, and with the juice issuing out of its mouth and rent cheeks. From folly thou art piercing, with a piece of wood, the black cobra of virulent poison excited to fury within its hole, in desiring to fight with Partha. Endued with little understanding, thou, O Karna, disregarding that lion among men, viz., the son of Pandu, yellest at him, like a jackal that, disregarding a maned lion excited with wrath, yells at him. As a snake, for its own destruction, challenges that foremost of birds, viz., Vinata's son, possessed of beautiful plumage and great activity, even so dost thou, O Karna, challenge Dhananjaya the son of Pandu. Thou desirest to cross without a raft the terrible ocean, the receptacle of all the waters, with its mountain waves and teeming with aquatic animals, when at its height at the rise of the Moon. O Karna, thou challengest Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, to battle even like a calf challenging a smiting bull of keen horns and neck thick as a drum. Like a frog croaking at a terrible and mighty cloud yielding copious showers of rain, thou croakest at Arjuna who is even like Parjanya among men. As a dog from within the precincts of the house of his master barks at a forest-roaming tiger, even so, O Karna, thou barkest at Dhananjaya, that tiger among men. A jackal, O Karna, residing in the forest in the midst of hares regardeth himself a lion till he actually sees a lion. Even so, O son of Radha, thou regardest thyself a lion, for thou dost not behold that repressor of foes, that tiger among men, viz., Dhananjaya. Thou regardest thyself a lion till thou beholdest the two Krishnas stationed on the same car like Surya and Candramas. As long as thou dost not hear the twang of Gandiva in great battle, so long art thou able to do what thou pleasest. Beholding Partha, causing the ten points of the compass to resound with the roar of his car and the twang of his bow, and beholding him roaring like a tiger, thou wilt become a jackal. Thou art always a jackal, and Dhananjaya always a lion. O fool, in consequence of thy envy and hatred for heroes, thou always, seemest to be like a jackal. As a mouse and a car are to each other in strength, or a dog and a tiger, a fox and a lion, or a hare and an elephant, as falsehood and truth, as poison and nectar, even so art thou and Partha known to all by your respective deeds.'"
Next: Section 40