The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Hearing these words of the righteous king who had been filled with anger, that high-souled atiratha, Jishnu of infinite energy, replied unto the invincible Yudhishthira of great might, saying, "While battling with the samsaptakas today, Drona's son who always proceedeth at the head of the Kuru troops, O king, suddenly came before me, shooting shafts that resembled snakes of virulent poison. Beholding my car, of rattle deep as the roar of clouds, all the troops began to encompass it. Slaying full five hundred of those, I then, O foremost of kings, proceeded against Drona's son. Approaching me, O king, that hero with great resolution rushed against me like a prince of elephants against a lion, and desired to rescue, O monarch, the Kaurava car-warriors that were being slaughtered by me. Then, in that battle, O Bharata, the preceptor's son, that foremost of heroes among the Kurus, incapable of being made to tremble, began to afflict me and Janardana with whetted shafts resembling poison or fire. While engaged in battle with me, eight carts, each drawn by eight bullocks, carried his hundreds of arrows. He shot them all at me, but like a wind destroying the clouds I destroyed with my shafts that arrowy shower of his. He then shot at me, with skill and force and resolution, thousands of other arrows, all sped from his bow-string stretched to his very ear, even like a black cloud in the season of rains pouring in torrents the water with which it is charged. So quickly did Drona's son career in that battle that we could not discern from which side, the left or the right, he shot his arrows, nor could we notice when he took up his arrows and when he let them off. Indeed, the bow of Drona's son was seen by us to be incessantly drawn to a circle. At last, the son of Drona pierced me with five whetted arrows and Vasudeva also with five whetted arrows. Within the twinkling of an eye, however, I afflicted him with the force of thunderbolts. Exceedingly afflicted with those shafts sped by me, he soon assumed the form of a porcupine. All his limbs became bathed in blood. Beholding his troops, those foremost of warriors all covered with blood and overwhelmed by me, he then entered the car-division of the Suta's son. Seeing the troops overwhelmed by me in battle, and struck with fear, and beholding the elephants and steeds flying away, that grinder (of hostile hosts), viz., Karna approached me quickly with fifty great carwarriors. Slaying them all and avoiding Karna, I have quickly come hither for seeing thee. All the Pancalas are afflicted with fear at sight of Karna like kine at the scent of a lion. The Prabhadrakas also, O king, having approached Karna, are like persons that have entered the wide open jaws of Death. Karna has already despatched to Yama's abode full seventeen hundred of those distressed car-warriors. Indeed, O king, the Suta's son did not become cheerless till he had a sight of us. Thou hadst first been engaged with Ashvatthama and exceedingly mangled by him. I heard that after that thou wert seen by Karna. O thou of inconceivable feats, I thought that thou must have, O king, been enjoying rest (in the camp), having come away from the cruel Karna. I have seen, O son of Pandu, the great and wonderful (Bhargava) weapon of Karna displayed in the van of battle. There is now no other warrior among the Srinjayas that is able to resist the mighty car-warrior Karna. Let Sini's grandson Satyaki and Dhrishtadyumna, O king, be the protectors of my car-wheels. Let the heroic princes Yudhamanyu and Uttamauja protect my rear. O thou of great glory, encountering that heroic and invincible car-warrior, viz., the Suta's son, staying in the hostile army, like Sakra encountering Vritra, O foremost of kings, I will, O Bharata, fight with the Suta's son if he can be found in this battle today. Come and behold me and the Suta's son contending with each other in battle for victory. There, the Prabhadrakas are rushing towards the face of a mighty bull. There, O Bharata, 6,000 princes are sacrificing themselves in battle today, for the sake of heaven. If, putting forth my strength, I do not, O king, slay Karna today with all his relatives while engaged in battle with him, then that end will be mine, O lion among kings, which is his that does not accomplish a vow taken by him. I beg of thee, bless me, saying that victory will be mine in battle. Yonder, the Dhartarashtras are about to devour Bhima. I will, O lion among kings, slay the Suta's son and his troops and all our foes!"'"
Next: Section 68