The Mahabharata Home
"Narada said, 'Having thus obtained weapons from him of Bhrigu's race, Karna began to pass his days in great joy, in the company of Duryodhana, O bull of Bharata's race! Once on a time, O monarch, many kings repaired to a self-choice at the capital of Chitrangada, the ruler of the country of the Kalingas. The city, O Bharata, full of opulence, was known by the name of Rajapura. Hundreds of rulers repaired thither for obtaining the hand of the maiden. Hearing that diverse kings had assembled there, Duryodhana. also, on his golden car, proceeded thither, accompanied by Karna. When the festivities commenced in that self-choice, diverse rulers, O best of kings, came thither for the hand of the maiden. There were amongst them Sisupala and Jarasandha and Bhishmaka and Vakra, and Kapotaroman and Nila and Rukmi of steady prowess, and Sringa who was ruler of the kingdom females, and Asoka and Satadhanwan and the heroic ruler of the Bhojas.
[paragraph continues] Besides these, many others who dwelt in the countries of the South, and many preceptors (in arms) of the mlechcha tribes, and many rulers from the East and the North, O Bharata, came there. All of them were adorned with golden Angadas, and possessed of the splendour of pure gold. Of effulgent bodies, they were like tigers of fierce might. After all those kings had taken their seats, O Bharata, the maiden entered the arena, accompanied by her nurse and a guard of eunuchs. Whilst being informed of the names of the kings (as she made her round), that maiden of the fairest complexion passed by the son of Dhritarashtra (as she had passed others before him). Duryodhana, however, of Kuru's race, could not tolerate that rejection of himself. Disregarding all the kings, he commanded the maiden to stop. Intoxicated with the pride of energy, and relying upon Bhishma and Drona, king Duryodhana, taking up that maiden on his car, abducted her with force. Armed with sword, clad in mail, and his fingers cased in leathern fences, Karna, that foremost of all wielders of weapons riding on his car, proceeded along Duryodhana's rear. A great uproar then took place among the kings, all of whom were actuated by the desire for fight, 'Put on your coats of mail! Let the cars be made ready!' (These were the sounds that were heard). Filled with wrath, they pursued Karna and Duryodhana, showering their arrows upon them like masses of clouds pouring rain upon a couple of hills. As they thus pursued them, Karna felled their bows and arrows on the ground, each with a single arrow. Amongst them some became bowless, some rushed bow in hand, some were on the point of shooting their shafts, and some pursued them, armed with darts and maces. Possessed of great lightness of hands, Karna, that foremost of all smiters, afflicted them all. He deprived many kings of their drivers and thus vanquished all those lords of earth. They then themselves took up the reins of their steeds, and saying, 'Go away, go away', turned away from the battle with cheerless hearts. Protected by Karna, Duryodhana also came away, with a joyous heart, bringing with him the maiden to the city called after the elephant.'"
Next: Section V