The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding the gigantic and roaring Karna, incapable of being resisted by the very gods, advancing like the surging sea, that bull amongst men, viz., he of Dasharha's race, addressed Arjuna, saying, "That car-warrior having white steeds and owning Shalya for his driver cometh hither with whom thou art to contend in battle. Therefore, O Dhananjaya, summon all thy coolness. Behold then, O son of Pandu, the well-equipped car of Karna. White steeds are yoked unto it and Radha's son himself is the warrior that stands upon it. Teeming with banners and decked with rows of bells, it looks like a celestial car borne along the welkin by steeds white in hue. Behold also the standard of the high-souled Karna, bearing the device of the elephant's rope, and looking like the bow of Indra himself that divides the firmament by a clear line. Behold Karna as he advanceth from desire of doing what is agreeable to Dhritarashtra's son, shooting showers of shafts like the clouds pouring torrents of rain. There the royal chief of the Madras, stationed on the fore-part of the car, guideth the steeds of Radha's son of immeasurable energy. Hear the peal of their drums and the fierce blare of their conchs. Hear, O son of Pandu, the diverse leonine roars coming from every side. Hear the terrible twang, silencing all other loud sounds, of the bow (Vijaya) stretched by Karna of immeasurable energy. There the mighty car-warriors among the Pancalas, with their followers, are breaking like a herd of deer in the great forest at the sight of an angry lion. It behoveth thee, O son of Kunti, to slay the Suta's son with every care. No other person save thee can venture to bear the shafts of Karna. It is well known to me that thou art competent to vanquish in battle the three worlds with all their mobile and immobile creatures including the very gods and the Gandharvas. What need be said about battling with that puissant one, when people are incapable of even gazing at him, viz., the fierce and terrible Isana, that great god, the three-eyed Sarva, otherwise called Kapardin? Thou, however, hadst, by battle, gratified that god of gods himself, that Siva who is the source of bliss unto all creatures, that deity called Sthanu. The other deities also have all given thee boons. Through the grace, O Partha, of that god of gods, that deity armed with a trident, slay Karna, O mighty-armed one, like Indra slaying the Asura Namuci. Let prosperity be ever with thee, O Partha, and do thou obtain victory in battle."
"'Arjuna said, "My victory, O Krishna, is, certain. There is no doubt in this, since thou, O slayer of Madhu, that art the master of all the worlds, art pleased with me. Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesha, and my car, O great car-warrior! Today Phalguna will not return from battle without slaying Karna. Behold Karna slain today and cut in pieces with my shafts. Or, O Govinda, thou wilt today behold me slain with (Karna's) arrows. That terrible battle, capable of stupefying the three words, is at hand. As long as the earth will last, people will speak of it." Saying these words unto Krishna who is never tired with exertion, Partha quickly proceeded on his car against Karna like an elephant against a rival elephant. Once more Partha of great energy said unto Krishna, that chastiser of foes, these words, "Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesha, for time passeth." Thus addressed by the high-souled son of Pandu, Keshava wished him victory and urged steeds as fleet as thought. Then that car of Pandu's son, possessed of great speed, soon reached the front of Karna's car.'"
Next: Section 87