The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'After Karna had thus been slain and the Kaurava troops had fled away, he of Dasharha's race, embracing Partha from joy, said unto him these words: "Vritra was slain by thee. Men will talk (in the same breath) of the slaughter of Vritra and Karna in awful battle. Vritra was slain in battle by the deity of great energy with his thunder. Karna hath been slain by thee with bow and sharp arrows. Go, O son of Kunti, and represent, O Bharata, unto king Yudhishthira the just, this prowess of thine that is capable of procuring thee great fame and that hath become well-known in the world. Having represented unto king Yudhishthira the just, this slaughter of Karna in battle for compassing which thou hadst been endeavouring for a long course of years, thou wilt be freed from the debt thou owest to the king. During the progress of the battle between thyself and Karna, the son of Dharma once came for beholding the field. Having, however, been deeply and exceedingly pierced (with arrows), he could not stay in battle. The king, that bull among men, then went back to his tent." Partha answered Keshava, that bull of Yadu's race, saying, "So be it!' The latter then cheerfully caused the car of that foremost of car-warriors to turn back. Having said these words unto Arjuna, Krishna addressed the soldiers, saying, "Blessed be ye, stand all of you carefully, facing the foe!" Unto Dhrishtadyumna and Yudhamanyu and the twin sons of Madri and Vrikodara and Yuyudhana, Govinda said, "Ye kings, until we come back having informed the king of Karna's slaughter by Arjuna, stand ye here with care." Having received the permission of these heroes, he then set out for the quarters of the king. With Partha in his company, Govinda beheld Yudhishthira, that tiger among kings, lying on an excellent bed of gold. Both of them then, with great joy, touched the feet of the king. Beholding their joy and the extraordinary wounds on their bodies, Yudhishthira regarded the son of Radha to be dead and rose quickly from his bed. That chastiser of foes, the mighty-armed monarch, having risen from his bed, repeatedly embraced Vasudeva and Arjuna with affection. That descendant of Kuru's race then asked Vasudeva (the particulars of Karna's death). Then the sweet-speeched Vasudeva that descendant of the Yadu race, spoke to him of Karna's death exactly as it had happened. Smiling then, Krishna, otherwise called Acyuta, joined his palms and addressed king Yudhishthira whose foes had been killed saying, "By good luck, the wielder of Gandiva, and Vrikodara, the son of Pandu, and thyself, and the two sons of Madri, are all safe, having been freed from this battle that has been so destructive of heroes and that made the very hair of the body to stand on end. Do thou those acts, O son of Pandu, which should next be done. The Suta's son Karna, possessed of great might and otherwise called Vaikartana, hath been slain. By good luck, victory hath become thine, O king of kings. By good luck, thou growest, O son of Pandu! The Earth drinketh today the blood of that Suta's son, that wretch among men, who had laughed at the dice-won Krishna. That foe of thine, O bull of Kuru's race, lieth today on the bare ground, pierced all over with arrows. Behold that tiger among men, pierced and mangled with shafts. O thou of mighty arms, rule now, with care, this earth that is divested of all thy foes, and enjoy with us, all kinds of enjoyable articles!'"
"Sanjaya continued, 'Having heard these words of the high-souled Keshava, Yudhishthira, with great joy, worshipped in return that hero of Dasharha's race. "Good luck, Good luck!" were the words, O monarch, that he said. And he added, "It is not wonderful, O mighty-armed one, in thee, O son of Devaki, that Partha, having obtained thee for his charioteer, should achieve feats that are even super-human." Then that chief of Kuru's race, that righteous son of Pritha, taking hold of Keshava's right arm adorned with Angadas, and addressing both Keshava and Arjuna, said, "Narada told me that ye two are the gods Nara and Narayana, those ancient and best of Rishis, that are ever employed in the preservation of righteousness. Gifted with great intelligence, the master Krishna Dvaipayana, the highly blessed Vyasa, also hath repeatedly told me this celestial history. Through thy influence, O Krishna, this Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, facing his foes, hath vanquished them, without ever turning back from any of them. Victory, and not defeat, we are certain to have, since thou hast accepted the drivership of Partha in battle." Having said these words, king Yudhishthira the just, that tiger among men, mounting his car, adorned with gold and having steeds of ivory white and black tails and fleet as thought harnessed unto it, and surrounded by many Pandava troops, set out, conversing pleasantly with Krishna and Arjuna along the way, for beholding the field of battle on which thousands of incidents had taken place. Conversing with those two heroes, viz., Madhava and Phalguna, the king beheld Karna, that bull among men, lying on the field of battle. Indeed, king Yudhishthira beheld Karna pierced all over with arrows like a Kadamva flower with straight filaments all around its body. Yudhishthira beheld Karna illuminated by thousands of golden lamps filled with perfumed oil. Having beheld Karna with his son slain and mangled with shafts sped from Gandiva, king Yudhishthira repeatedly looked at him before he could believe his eyes. He then applauded those tigers among men, Madhava and Phalguna, saying, "O Govinda, today I have become king of the earth, with my brothers, in consequence of thyself of great wisdom having become my protector and lord. Hearing of the slaughter of that tiger among men, the proud son of Radha, the wicked-souled son of Dhritarashtra will be filled with despair, as regards both life and kingdom. Through thy grace, O bull among men, we have acquired our objects. By good luck, victory hath been thine, O Govinda! By good luck, the enemy hath been slain. By good luck, the wielder of Gandiva, the son of Pandu, hath been crowned with victory. Thirteen years we have passed in wakefulness and great sorrow. O thou of mighty arms, through thy grace, we will sleep happily this night." In this way, O ruler of men, king Yudhishthira the just, praised Janardana greatly as also Arjuna, O monarch!'
"Sanjaya continued, 'Beholding Karna with his son slain with Partha's shafts, that perpetuator of Kuru's race, Yudhishthira, regarded himself as reborn. The kings (in the Pandava army), great car-warriors--all filled with joy, approached Kunti's son Yudhishthira and gladdened him greatly. Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Vrikodara the son of Pandu, and Satyaki, O king, that foremost of car-warriors among the Vrishnis, and Dhrishtadyumna, and Shikhandi, and others among the Pandus, the Pancalas, and the Srinjayas, worshipped the son of Kunti at the slaughter of the Suta's son. Extolling king Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, those delighters in battle, those effectual smiters, those heroes possessed of sureness of aim and longing for victory, also praised those scorchers of foes, viz., the two Krishnas, with speeches fraught with panegyrics. Then those great car-warriors, filled with delight, proceeded towards their own camp. Thus occurred that great carnage, making the hair stand on end, in consequence, O king, of thy evil policy! Why dost thou grieve for it now?'"
Vaishampayana continued, "Hearing those evil tidings, the Kuru king Dhritarashtra suddenly fell down on the ground from his excellent seat. Similarly, the royal lady Gandhari of great foresight fell down. She indulged in diverse lamentations, for the slaughter of Karna in battle. Then Vidura and Sanjaya both raised the fallen monarch and began to console him. Similarly the Kuru ladies raised Gandhari. Thinking destiny and necessity to be all powerful, that royal ascetic, under that great grief, seemed to lose his senses. His heart filled with anxiety and sorrow, the king, however, did not again swoon away. Comforted by them, he remained silent, indulging in melancholy musing. He that reads of this great battle, which is like unto a sacrifice, between the high-souled Dhananjaya and Adhiratha's son, so also he that hears the account of this battle read, both obtain, O Bharata, the fruit of a great sacrifice duly performed. The learned say that the holy and the eternal Vishnu is Sacrifice, and each of those other gods, viz., Agni, Wind, Soma, and Surya, is so. Therefore, he that will, without malice, hear or recite this Parvan, will be happy and capable of attaining to every region of bliss. Filled with devotion, men always read this sacred and first of Samhitas. They that do, rejoice, obtaining wealth, and grain, and fame. A man must, therefore, ever hear it without malice. He that does so will obtain all kinds of happiness. With that foremost of persons, Vishnu, and the illustrious Self-born, and Bhava also, become pleased. A Brahmana, by reading it, would obtain the fruit of having studied the Vedas; a Kshatriya obtains strength and victory in battle; Vaishyas would obtain immense wealth, and Shudras would obtain health and freedom from disease. Then again the illustrious Vishnu is eternal. And since it is that god who hath been glorified in this Parvan, it is for this that the man reading or hearing it becometh happy and acquireth all the objects of his heart. These words of the great Rishi (Vyasa) can never the untrue! The merit that may be attained by listening to the recitation of the Karna Parvan is equal to his who giveth away unceasingly for a whole year good cows with calves."
The end of Karna Parva