The Mahabharata Home
Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana and Nara, the most exalted of male beings, and the goddess Sarasvati, must the word Jaya be uttered.
Janamejaya said, "After Karna had thus been slain in battle by Savyasaci, what did the small (unslaughtered) remnant of the Kauravas do, O regenerate one? Beholding the army of the Pandavas swelling with might and energy, what behaviour did the Kuru prince Suyodhana adopt towards the Pandavas, thinking it suitable to the hour? I desire to hear all this. Tell me, O foremost of regenerate ones, I am never satiated with listening to the grand feats of my ancestors."
Vaishampayana said, "After the fall of Karna, O king, Dhritarashtra's son Suyodhana was plunged deep into an ocean of grief and saw despair on every side. Indulging in incessant lamentations, saying, 'Alas, oh Karna! Alas, oh Karna!' he proceeded with great difficulty to his camp, accompanied by the unslaughtered remnant of the kings on his side. Thinking of the slaughter of the Suta's son, he could not obtain peace of mind, though comforted by those kings with excellent reasons inculcated by the scriptures. Regarding destiny and necessity to be all-powerful, the Kuru king firmly resolved on battle. Having duly made Shalya the generalissimo of his forces, that bull among kings, O monarch, proceeded for battle, accompanied by that unslaughtered remnant of his forces. Then, O chief of Bharata's race, a terrible battle took place between the troops of the Kurus and those of the Pandavas, resembling that between the gods and the Asuras. Then Shalya, O monarch, having made a great carnage in battle at last lost a large number of his troops and was slain by Yudhishthira at midday. Then king Duryodhana, having lost all his friends and kinsmen, fled away from the field of battle and penetrated into the depths of a terrible lake from fear of his enemies. On the afternoon of that day, Bhimasena, causing the lake to be encompassed by many mighty car-warriors, summoned Duryodhana and having obliged him to come out, slew him speedily, putting forth his strength. After Duryodhana's slaughter, the three car-warriors (of the Kuru side) that were still unslain (Ashvatthama and Kripa and Kritavarma), filled with rage, O monarch, slaughtered the Pancala troops in the night. On the next morning Sanjaya, having set out from the camp, entered the city (the Kuru capital), cheerless and filled with grief and sorrow. Having entered the city, the Suta Sanjaya, raising his arms in grief, and with limbs trembling, entered the palace of the king. Filled with grief, O tiger among men, he wept aloud, saying, 'Alas, O king! Alas, all of us are ruined by the slaughter of that high-souled monarch. Alas, Time is all-powerful, and crooked in his course, since all our allies, endued with might equal to that of Shakra himself, have been slain by the Pandavas.' Seeing Sanjaya come back to the city, O king, in that distressful plight, all the people, O best of kings, filled with great anxiety, wept loudly, saying, 'Alas, O king! The whole city, O tiger among men, including the very children, hearing of Duryodhana's death, sent forth notes of lamentation from every side. We then beheld all the men and women running about, deeply afflicted with grief, their senses gone, and resembling people that are demented.' The Suta Sanjaya then, deeply agitated, entered the abode of the king and beheld that foremost of monarchs, that lord of men, having wisdom for his eyes. Beholding the sinless monarch, that chief of Bharata's race, seated, surrounded by his daughters-in-law and Gandhari and Vidura and by other friends and kinsmen that were always his well-wishers, and engaged in thinking on that very subject--the death of Karna--the Suta Sanjaya, with heart filled with grief, O Janamejaya, weepingly and in a voice choked with tears, said unto him, 'I am Sanjaya, O tiger among men. I bow to thee, O bull of Bharata's race. The ruler of the Madras, Shalya, hath been slain. Similarly, Subala's son Shakuni, and Uluka, O tiger among men, that valiant son of the gamester (Shakuni), have been slain. All the Samsaptakas, the Kambojas together with the Sakas, the Mlecchas, the Mountaineers, and the Yavanas, have also been slain. The Easterners have been slain, O monarch, and all the Southerners. The Northerners have all been slain, as also the Westerners, O ruler of men. All the kings and all the princes have been slain, O monarch. King Duryodhana also has been slain by the son of Pandu after the manner he had vowed. With his thighs broken, O monarch, he lieth now on the dust, covered with blood. Dhrishtadyumna also hath been slain, O king, as also the vanquished Shikhandi. Uttamauja and Yudhamanyu, O king, and the Prabhadrakas, and those tiger among men, the Pancalas, and the Cedis, have been destroyed. The sons have all been slain as also the (five) sons of Draupadi, O Bharata. The heroic and mighty son of Karna, Vrishasena, hath been slain. All the men that had been assembled have been slain. All the elephants have been destroyed. All the car-warriors, O tiger among men, and all the steeds, have fallen in battle. Very few are alive on thy side, O lord. In consequence of the Pandavas and the Kauravas having encountered each other, the world, stupefied by Time, now consists of only women. On the side of the Pandavas seven are alive, they are the five Pandava brothers, and Vasudeva, and Satyaki and amongst the Dhartarashtras three are so, Kripa, Kritavarma, and Drona's son, that foremost of victors. These three car-warriors, O monarch, are all that survive, O best of kings, of all the akshauhinis mustered on thy side, O ruler of men. These are the survivors, O monarch, the rest have perished. Making Duryodhana and his hostility (towards the Pandavas) the cause, the world, it seems, hath been destroyed, O bull of Bharata's race, by Time.'"
Vaishampayana continued, "Hearing these cruel words, Dhritarashtra, that ruler of men, fell down, O monarch, on the earth, deprived of his senses. As soon as the king fell down, Vidura also, of great fame, O monarch, afflicted with sorrow on account of the king's distress, fell down on the earth. Gandhari also, O best of kings, and all the Kuru ladies, suddenly fell down on the ground, hearing those cruel words. That entire conclave of royal persons remained lying on the ground, deprived of their senses and raving deliriously, like figures painted on a large piece of canvas. Then king Dhritarashtra, that lord of earth, afflicted with the calamity represented by the death of his sons, slowly and with difficulty regained his life-breaths. Having recovered his senses, the king, with trembling limbs and sorrowful heart, turned his face on every side, and said these words unto Kshattri (Vidura). 'O learned Kshattri, O thou of great wisdom, thou, O bull of Bharata's race, art now my refuge. I am lordless and destitute of all my sons.' Having said this, he once more fell down, deprived of his senses. Beholding him fallen, all his kinsmen that were present there sprinkled cold water over him and fanned him with fans. Comforted after a long while, that lord of earth, afflicted with sorrow on account of the death of his sons, remained silent, sighing heavily, O monarch, like a snake put into a jar. Sanjaya also wept aloud, beholding the king so afflicted. All the ladies too, with Gandhari of great celebrity, did the same. After a long while, O best of men, Dhritarashtra, having repeatedly swooned, addressed Vidura, saying, 'Let all the ladies retire, as also Gandhari of great fame, and all these friends. My mind hath become greatly unsettled.' Thus addressed, Vidura, repeatedly trembling, slowly dismissed the ladies, O bull of Bharata's race. All those ladies retired, O chief of the Bharatas, as also all those friends, beholding the king deeply afflicted. Then Sanjaya cheerlessly looked at the king, O scorcher of foes, who, having recovered his senses, was weeping in great affliction. With joined hands, Vidura then, in sweet words, comforted that ruler of men who was sighing incessantly.'"
Next: Section 2