The Mahabharata Home
"Gandhari said, Then the mighty Karna, that great bowman, lieth on the ground! In battle he was like a blazing fire! That fire, however, hath now been extinguished by the energy of Partha. Behold, Vikartanas son Karna, after having slain many atirathas, has been prostrated on the bare ground, and is drenched with blood. Wrathful and possessed of great energy, he was a great bowman and a mighty car-warrior. Slain in battle by the wielder of gandiva, that hero now sleepeth on the ground. My sons, those mighty car-warriors, from fear of the Pandavas, fought, placing Karna at their head, like a herd of elephants with its leader to the fore. Alas, like a tiger slain by a lion, or an elephant by an infuriated elephant, that warrior hath been slain in battle by Savyasaci. Assembled together, O tiger among men, the wives of that warrior, with dishevelled tresses and loud wails of grief, are sitting around that fallen hero! Filled with anxiety caused by the thoughts of that warrior, king Yudhishthira the just could not, for thirteen years, obtain a wink of sleep! Incapable of being checked by foes in battle like Maghavat himself who is invincible by enemies, Karna was like the all-destroying fire of fierce flames at the end of the yuga, and immovable like Himavat himself! That hero became the protector of Dhritarashtras son, O Madhava! Alas, deprived of life, he now lieth on the bare ground, like a tree prostrated by the wind! Behold, the wife of Karna and mother of Vrishasena, is indulging in piteous lamentations and crying and weeping and falling upon the ground! Even now she exclaims, "Without doubt, thy preceptors curse hath pursued thee! When the wheel of thy car was swallowed up by the Earth, the cruel Dhananjaya cut off thy head with an arrow! Alas, fie (on the heroism and skill)!" That lady, the mother of Sushena, exceedingly afflicted and uttering cries of woe, is falling down, deprived of her senses, at the sight of the mighty-armed and brave Karna prostrated on the earth, with his waist still encircled with a belt of gold. Carnivorous creatures, feeding on the body of that illustrious hero, have reduced it to very small dimensions. The sight is not gladdening, like that of the moon on the fourteenth night of the dark fortnight. Falling down on the earth, the cheerless dame is rising up again. Burning with grief on account of the death of her son also, she cometh and smelleth the face of her lord!"
Next: Section 22