In Naimisaaranya, Saint Ugrasravasa (sooti) told Saint Sounaka and other great sages and saints the story of Maha Bharata as told by Vaisampayana to Janamejaya.
Suyodhana addressed Karna: “O Karna! I expect you to achieve the feat of killing Pandavas, which could not be achieved by Bhishma and Drona. Atleast, capture Dharmaja as hostage and vanquish the entire Pandava army. I will feel happy.” said Suyodhana.
Karna smiled and asked Salya to proceed. The chariot was running. Karna told Salya:
“O Salya! Pandavas will be afraid of my arrowy showers. Divine bodies will acclaim my prowess. I will also make you to appreciate my strength and vigour.” said karna.
Salya smiled and said: “O Karna! Pandavas are
virtuous and truthful. They are endued with great might. They are all
great bowmen, acquainted with all kinds of weapons. They are unretreating
and invincible. They are capable of inspiring fear in the heart of Indira
himself. When you hear the twang of Gandiva in battle, you will become
speechless. Beholding Bhimasena killing the elephants and horses and
breaking the chariots with his mighty mace: beholding Dharmaja, Nakula
and Sahadeva massacring your troops, if you stand before them with courage,
then I will believe your words.” said Salya.
Salya smiled at Karna. “Karna! why are you wasting your breath by boasting yourself. You will become a laughing stock. You are no match to Arjuna. Everybody knows this. In which way you are greater than Gandharva King, Chitraradha who abducted Suyodhana and held him as hostage and Parama Siva who fought with Arjuna under the guise of Kirata. Have you forgotten the defeat meted out by all of you at the time of capturing cows at the northern end of Matsya kingdom. Do you mean to say that the sharp edged arrows of Arjuna are rusted out.You said that you will fight with Arjuna until your death. That may become true.In that way, you may keep your word.” said Salya.
With the words of Salya, Karna was enraged with great wrath but controlled himself. “Salya! It seems that you have no other job except boasting Arjuna. Behold my dual fight with Arjuna and then talk as you like. Till then shut up your mouth and drive the chariot.” said Karna.
Salya was driving the chariot. Karna addressed the great warriors of Kourava army.
“O great warriors! Where is Arjuna? Show me.
Show me his chariot. Tell me his whereabouts. I will give them presentations
in abundance.” said Karna.
“Salya! I am not afraid of your words. Even Indra cannot stop me from killing Arjuna. First drive the chariot.” said Karna.
Salya wanted to dishearten Karna further. “Karna! My words will never reach your ears. You can hear only the twang sound of Gandeeva. You may become wiser with the arrowy showers of Arjuna. Is it an ordinary thing combatting with Arjuna? It is nothing but a deer fighting with Lion, a hare with elephant, a dog with tiger and a snake with eagle. Do you have such strength, courage and prowess to combat with Arjuna?” Salya expressed his doubt.
“Salya! stop! stop your unnecessary nonsensical talk! You are a charcterless fellow. How can you assess the mighty strength, courage and prowess of a warrior like me. I know about Arjuna much better than you. I got a divine weapon, “Sarpamukha Astra”. None can escape from its wrath, leave alone Arjuna and Krishna. If it fails, I will kill Arjuna with Bhargava Astra. Hence I said that the death of Arjuna is imminent. I am never afraid of Kapi Dhwaja and Gandeeva. Even if 1000 Krishnas and 10,000 Arjunas come against me, I will fight with them singlehanded. Stop that nonsensical talk. Otherwise, your life will be out of your body.” warned Karna.
While Salya tried to talk something more, Karna said: “Salya! You are a sinner. You are a wretch. You will never entertain noble ideas. All the people of Madra kingdom are wrong doers, sinners and scroundals.You are one amongst them. I heard that in your kingdom, people have incestuous relations and you treat it as scrupulous which was considered as unscrupulous by the rest of the world. You consume liquor instead of mother’s milk. You do not know to whom you were born. How can you speak about character, conduct and virtues as you are always under the influence of intoxicated drinks. I know you are the well wisher of Pandavas. I do not care for death as I will attain higher regions if I die in battle. None can stop me. If you speak a word more, I will break your head with my mighty mace. Shut up your mouth and drive the chariot.” said Karna with great wrath.
“O Karna! why you are saying like that. I am your well wisher. I am driving your chariot as per the wish of Suyodhana. I will be adivising you in my own way. Do you know about the charactersitics of a charioteer. He must be wise and learned. He should know about the strength of his horses and also about his Radhika. He also should be wellversed with the launching of all kinds of Astras and Sastras and also the skill of warfare. As I am wellversed in all these techniques, I am advising you. Even If you dont like it, I will never stop advising you in my own way as it is the duty of a charioteer.What wrong I committed for breaking my head with your mace.
Karna! I am your well wisher. I will tell you one small anecdote. After hearing that, you can do as you like. In the ancient times, there was an island in a sea. In that island there was a vysya. He was a peaceful and virtuous person. He performed many penances. He got many children. A crow was living on a tree in his back yard. The crow was consuming the sumptuous food left by the children. It was becoming fat day by day. The crow was not caring the other crows and birds.
One day, some swans visited that island. The vysya boys showed those swans to the crow and said: “Look at those swans. They are flying in the air so happily. Can you compete and defeat them?”
The crow agreed for that proposal. The crow went near the swans and challenged them: “Is there anybody who can compete with me in flying?” Those swans laughed at the crow and said. “We have come here from Manasarovar, Himalayas. We can fly upto any extent untiringly. You cannot compete with us in flying. Sofar, no crow was born on the earth who can compete with any swan”.
The crow could not control his anger. “I can fly directly into sky and come down straight to earth. I can defeat any swan.” said the crow.
One swan came forward and said: “Come on. fly with me” the swan challenged the crow. The crow accepted the challenge. Both the crow and swan flew into the sky. The crow was flying vigorously whereas the swan was flying in slow motion. The crow was going too far and coming back and again going ahead of swan. The swan was flying slowly and steadily.
After some time, the crow was very much tired and could not fly even an inch further. But the swan was steadily flying and had overtaken the crow. The crow tried to land on the ground. As it was flying on the sea, it could not land on the ground. If the crow lands on the sea, the sea animals will consume it.
The swan told the crow: “It is not your original strength. You have become fat by consuming the sumptuous food given by those vysya boys and is trying to compete even with Garuda. You might have realised by this time how powerful I am in flying.” so saying, the swan caught the crow with its claws and brough it to the ground.
O Karna! have you heard this story. You are no better than that crow. You have consumed sumptuous food given by Suyodhana and is boasting yourself and trying to fight with Arjuna. You have forgotten the recent past. Where were you when Arjuna killed your brother at the outskirts of Matsya kingdom? Why you have fled away, leaving Suyodhana to his fate, when Chitraradha caught him as hostage. Have you not heard the words of great sages and saints in the open assembly when Krishna arrived there as an emissary of Pandavas. Inspite of the words of Bhishma and Drona, you are provoking Arjuna for dual combat. Hence my sincere advise is not to fight with Arjuna. You better seek warriors equal to your status and strength and fight with them.” said Salya.
“Salya! do you mean to say that I am going to fight with Arjuna, without knowing his vigour and valour. I will certainly fight with Arjuna. You need not entertain any doubt. Either Arjuna should remain or I should remain on this earth.” said Karna.
“Salya! I am well aware of my lapses also. I am very much afraid of the anger of my Guru, Parasurama and the curses of a brahmin. Othersise, I would not have cared for Arjuna.
When I approached Parasurama for learning divine Astras and Sastras, he enquired me about my whereabouts. Unless I am brahmin, I could not learn Barhma Astra from him. Hence I told Parasurama that I was born as Brahmin. He believed my words and taught me several archery skills, diving astras including Brahma Astra. Parasurama cautioned me not to launch Brahma Astra, except for self defence.
One day, when myself and Parasurama went to a nearby forest for collecting fuel for daily rituals, it was midday. My Guru, Parasurama took rest by keeping his head on my lap. While he was in deep sleep, one large insect was biting my lap and blood was coming out. By feeling the wetness of my blood, Parasurama woke up and observed the profuse bleeding from my body. He asked me what had happened. I told about the biting of the insect on my lap. He was surprised about my courge and patience.
“Tell me who are you? Are you really a brahmin. This kind of courage and patience is very rare in brahmins.” said Parasurama.
I was verymuch afraid and told him that I was not a brahmin. Parasurama grew angry. He cursed me “Karna! you acquired Brahma Astra by telling falsehood. You cannot memorise Brahma Astra while you are in trouble. But you will remember it at the time of your death. But you will l never memorise Bhargava Astra under any circumstances.”
The curse of my Guru, Parasurama, is haunting me. Besides this, I got another curse from a brahmin. While I was learning archery skills, one sharp arrow relesased from my bow, by mistake, hit a calf and killed it. The owner of that calf was a brahmin. He cursed me: “As you killed my calf, mercilessly, you will be killed mercilessly, in a war. Your chariot wheels will sink in the earth. You will be killed by a warrior for whose sake you are acquiring all these divine astras.”
On hearing the words of that Brahmin, I was very much afraid. I offered him 1000 cows, 600 oxen, 1000 chariots, one hundred beautiful young unmarried ladies and 700 elephants, as compensation for the calf killed by me. But he did not agree.
“Karna! I cannot retreat my word. But this will not be a hindrance for you to attain higher regions, after your death.” said the Brahmin.
“O Salya! I am only afraid of the curse of my Guru and this Brahmin but not for the vigour and valour of Arjuna and Krishna. The Brahma Astra is well in my memory. Drive our chariot towards Arjuna. I will kill him with my Brahma Astra.” said Karna.
Salya was very much satisfied for discharging his word given to Dharmaja by making Karna mentally disturbed and weakened.
Karna was very angry with Salya for comparing him with a crow. “You dirty fellow Salya! Is it proper on your part to compare me with a dirty crow. You are a wretch and unscrupulous. Hence you are getting only unscrupulous and dirty ideas. Have I ever asked you to narrate about the prowess of Arjuna. Why you are unnecessarily praising Arjuna in my presence? You are breaching our trust and friendship. People who praises enemy shall never be pardoned. As you are deputed by my friend Suyodhana,with the responsibility of driving my chariot, I am keeping quiet. Myself and Suyodhana are best friends. But you are my bitter enemy. If my chariot wheels do not sink in the earth, I will certainly kill Arjuna.” said Karna.
“Karna! why you are wasting your time by speaking these waste words. Even if thousand Karnas come togher, they will never kill Arjuna.” said Salya.
Karna could not control himself. “Salya! Listen. One day. a brahin who hailed from your region scolded that the people of Bahlika kingdom are drunkards, meat-eaters and observe public nudity. He also said that your people of Madra are corrupt, cheaters and wrong doers. You are the king of that Madra Kingdom. How can you get better ideas. Therefore, shut up your mouth and keep quiet” Karna rebuked Salya.
“Karna! why you are saying like that. Dont you know about yourself? Bhishma declared you as an useless Ardha Radha. I heard that the people of your Anga Kingdom are experts in women trafficking and flesh trade. You are the king of such kingdom. You first realise your fault and then point out others’ faults. In every country and kingdom, there are good and bad. It is quite common. You cannot treat all of them alike. You have to first assess the good and bad of others and then talk. You should not talk foolishly like this.” Salya chastised Karna.
Having overheard the conversation between Salya and Karna, Suyodhana intervened and pacified both of them. Salya drove the chariot towards Arjuna.
Unable to control his mouth, Salya began to say: “Karna!
Karna! Look at that side. The Kapi Dhwaja of Arjuna is seen there. Arjuna
is massacring the Trigarta army. Karna! dont say loudly that you will
kill Arjuna. Let it be between ourselves. Othersise your prestige will
be lost. Because, both of us know pretty well that even Devendra cannot
vanquish Arjuna. Karna! Karna! look at that tide. Bhimasena, Dharmaja,
Nakula, Sahadeva and their sons are massacring our troops. What a splendid
combat it is? Marvellous. Because Pandavas are virtuous, they are always
winning.” said Salya to Karna looking at his face. Karna did not
give any reply, ignoring his scornful words.
Asvathama said: “Suyodhana! I wont remove my armour today without killing Dhrushtadyumna who ruthlessly killed my father.” said Asvathama.
There was a firecest fight between Kouravas and Pandavas. Suyoudhana, mounted his elephant and rushed against Bhima. His elephant troops followed him. Karna attacked Dharmaja.
Dharmaja called Arjuna to his side and said: “Arjuna! you attack Karna. Bhima will attack Suyodhana. Nakula will fight with Vrishasena, Sahadeva with Sakuni, Sataaneeka with Dussaasana, Satyaki with Kritavarma, Dhrushtadyumna with Asvathama, Our sons and Sikhandi will fight with the rest of the sons of Dhritarashtra. I will fight with Kripacharya.” declared Dharmaja.
But nobody stuck up to the words of Dharmaja. Everybody fought as they like. Arjuna fought with Karna. From other side, Samsaptakas attacked Arjuna. Arjuna left Karna and began to massacre Samsaptakas. Samsaptakas surrounded the chariot of Arjuna.Arjuna was mercilessly killing Samsaptakas.
Kripacharya, Sakuni, Kritavarma were fighting with Pandavas. Blood was flowing into canals. Chariots were broken. Elephants and Horses were falling on the ground. The battle was so fiercest.
Both Suyodhana and Karna were fighting with Panchala Army. Chedi army joined Panchala Army. Karna was chasing both Chedi and Panchala troops. Karna was consigning most of the Panchala and Chedi troops as guests to Yama.
From otherside, Prabharakas attacked Karna. Karna killed all of them with seven sharp edged arrows. Beholding this, panchalas attacked Karna. Karna killed all of them with 25 arrows. Five Panchala Kings viz., Bhanudeva, Chitrasena, Senabindu, Tapana and Soorasena attacked Karna. Karna killed all of them in no time.
Sushena, Satyasena and Vrishasena, sons of Karna, were helping Karna. Bhimasena, Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi, Janamejaya, Satyaki, Nakula, Sahadeva, sons of Pandavas, Kekaya kings, Matsya kings, attacked Karna and his sons joined together and poured arrowy showers on Karna and his sons.
Beholding this, Suyodhana, Dussaasana and their sons arrived theire with their elephant forces. They all attacked Bhimasena. Suyodhana showered powerful arrows on Bhimasena. Bhimasena smashed them and showered sharp edged arrows on Suyodhana. The troops of Suyodhana could not stand before Bhimasena. Elephants and horses were killed by Bhimasena.
Kripacharya attacked Bhimasena. Dussaasana joined Kripacharya. The sons of Karna attacked Bhimasena. Sushena, son of Karna, cut the bow of Bhimasena and pierced seven sharp arrows into the chest of Bhimasena. Bhimasena took up another bow and cut the bow of Sushena. Bhimasena shot 14 arrows on Sushena, 73 arrows on Karna.
Matsyasena, son of Karna, attacked Bhimasena. Bhiamsena killed the charioteer of Matsyasena and cut his flalg. With another sharp edged arrow, Bhimasena cut the head of Matyasena. Then Bhimasena cut the bows of Kripacharya and Kritavarma and shot most sharp-edged arrows against them. Bhimasena shot 5 arrows against Dussaasana, 6 arrows against Sakuni. Bhimasena broke the chariots of Ulooka son of Sakuni.
Then Bhimasena attacked Sushena, son of Karna and shot five sharp edged arrows. Karna intervened and cut those arrows in middle and shot three most cruel arrows upon Bhimasena. Again Bhimasena showered arrows on Sushena but Karna cut all those arrows and protected his son. Karna shot 73 arrows against Bhimasena.
Meanwhile, Nakula arrived there and attacked Karna. Sushena poured arrowy showers on Nakula and cut his bow. Nakula picked up another bow and cut the bow of Sushena. Sushena, with another bow, shot 60 arrows against Nakula. Sahadeva arrived there for helping Nakula. Sushena shot 7 arrows against Sahadeva. Nakula and Sahadeva were fighting with Sushena.
Vrishasena, another son of Karna, attacked Satyaki. Satyaki shot 77 arrows against Vrishasena and killed his charioteer with three arrows. Satyaki cut the bow of Vrishasena , killed his steeds and cut the flag. Vrishasena took his sword and shield, got down his chariot and attacked Satyaki. Satyaki in turn cut the sword and smashed the shield. Dussaasana arrived there and picked up Vrishasena on his chariot.
Then Karna shot most powerful arrows on Satyaki and broke his chariot. Meanwhile, Upa Pandavas, Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi, Bhimasena and Nakula and Sahadeva came to the rescue of Satyaki. All of them showered arrows on Karna. Karna broke the chariots of all of them and jumped against Dharmaja. The troops of Chedi Kingdom arrived there to help Dharmaja. But Karna began to chase all of them.
Satyaki, Sikhandi and some other warriors arrived there and fought with karna. But they could not withhold the prowess of Karna. Karna cut the bow of Dharmaja. With 90 powerful arrows, Karna broke the armour of Dharmaja. Dharmaja launched Sakti on Karna. Karna cut that Sakti into fragments and shot steep edged arrows piercing into the body of Dharmaja. Karna cut the flag and killed the charioteer of Dharmaja. Karna broke the chariots of Satyaki and Sikhandi and broke their bows.
Unable to attack Karna, Dharmaja diverted his chariot to other front and skulked away from the battle field. But Karna did not leave Dharmaja. Karna chased him and caught him. “O Dharmaja! You were born in Kshatriya community and knew much about Dharma and Adharma. Is it just on your part to skulk away from battle field like a coward. Yes. You are a coward like a Brahmin. Go and perform Yajnas and Yagas and lead the rest of your life. Why you have come to battle field for fighting? I do not like to kill you. Get away from this place and save your life.” said Karna.
Here also, Karna kept his word given to his mother, Kunti, that he will never kill any of the Pandavas except Arjuna. Hence he left Dharmaja with life. Dharmaja left that place, lowering his head with great shame.
After leaving Dharmaja, Karna began to massacre Pandava troops mercilessly. Beholding this development, Pandava forces fled away. Kourava army had beaten trumpets and blew horns with great joy. Dharmaja tried to convince his forces and rallied them again for battle. Under the leadership of Bhimasena, Pandava army with renewed vigour attacked Kourava army.
Bhimasena, Satyaki and Dhrishtadyumna were massacring kourava troops. Unable to withhold their vigour and valour, Kourava army fled away.
Now it was the turn of Karna to rally the kourava forces for battle. Bhimasena told Satyaki and Dhrishtadyumna: “I am very much annoyed about my brother’s insult at the hands of Karna.You have to safeguard my brother Dharmaja. I will take revenge against Karna. Today either Karna or I should remain.” so saying Bhimasena rushed against Karna.
Beholding the furious Bhimasena rushing against Karna with great wrath, Salya told Karna: “O Karna! You insulted Dharmaja. Bhimasena is coming against you to take revenge. Attack him and show your prowess.” said Salya.
“Salya! After all, Bhimasena is no match to me. How can I get name and fame by killing Bhimasena. I wont kill Bhimasena. If I fight vigorously with Bhimasena, Arjuna will certainly come here to help him. Then I will kill Arjuna. Drive our chariot against Bhimasena.” said Karna.
Karna incessantly showered arrows upon Bhimasena and cut his bow. Bhimasena took up another bow and shot against the chest of Karna. Karna in turn broke the armour of Bhimasena. Bhimasena hurled a spear against Karna. With that blow, Karna fell down on the chariot and fainted. Bhimasena took out a knife and jumed upon the chariot of Karna to cut his tongue which spoke ill of Dharmaja. Salya stopped Dharmaja.
“Bhimasena! Karna is still alive. He just fainted but not dead. But if you cut his tongue, he will die due to haemorrhage. Arjuna’s promise will not be accomplished. Hence leave him.” said Salya. Bhimasena realised his mistake. “Salya! you are right. Though Droupadi was dragged into the open assembly by holding her tuft, I suppressed my anger. Now I want to take revenge. As you rightly said if I now kill Karna, Arjuna’s promise cannot be accomplished. Hence, I leave Karna” said Bhimasena. Bhimasena jumped out of the chariot of Karna. and returned to his chariot. Salya drove the chariot away the battle field.
Beholding this situation, Suyodhana sent his brothers for the protection of Karna. Srutavarma and others surrounded Bhimasena. Bhimasena of great strength killed Srutavarma and his companions. Vikata, Sama, Nanda, Upananda, Gradha and other sons of Dhritarashtra were also killed by Bhimasena.
Meanwhile, Karna regained consciousness. Karna cut the bow of Bhimasena. Bhimasena hurled his mace upon Karna. Karna cut that mace and launched most powerful astras upon Bhimasena. Bhimasena shot one powerful arrow aiming at the chest of Karna which pierced into the chest of Karna. Karna broke the bow of Bhimasena and shot 25 arrows and killed his steeds.
Bhimasena took his mace and jumped down to earth. Bhimasena was killing all the elephants and horses coming on his way with his mace. He was breaking the chariots and killing the foot soldiers mercilessly. Bhimasena was wandering all over the battle field with his mace, massacring kourava troops. Meanwhile, 600 strong Gandhara force surrounded Bhimasena. Bhimasena smashed all of them with his mace and killed their charioteers, broke their flags and chariots.
Beholding this, Sakuni sent 3000 Yavana soldiers upon Bhimasena. As fire consumes the dry bamboo forest, Bhimasena massacred those 3000 yavana soldiers. Bhimasena mounted another chariot and began to slaughter the Pandava troops.
At another front, Karna was fighting with Dharmaja. Karna killed the charioteer of Dharmaja. Without a charioteer, the steeds dragged the chariot far away from that place. Beholding this, Bhimasena once again attacked Karna. In between them, Satyaki intervened. Both Karna and Sataki covered the sky with arrows.
Sun was shining in the middle of the sky. Kripacharya, Sakuni, Kritavarma and Asvathaqma along with their respective troops arrived there to help Karna. The battle became exceedingly fierce and awful. Blood was flowing into streams. Chariots were broken. The dead bodies of horses and elephants formed into heaps. Severed heads, broken hands and legs, fragments of bows, rolling crowns, broken flags, dead bodies of elephants, horses and soldiers, covered the entire battle field.
Susarma, king of Trigarta, shot ten arrows against Arjuna and three arrows against Krishna. The Kapi Dhwaja was cut. The Hanuman mounted on the Kapi Dhwaja roared like a lion. Most of the Samsaptaka army fainted on hearing those cries. Rest of the army surrounded the chariot of Arjuna. While Arjuna was shooting numerous arrows against Susarma, Krishna drove out the chariot from that mob. Arjuna launched Sarpa Astra and bound the legs of Samsapatakas with those serpants. Having bound by the serpants, Samsaptakas relelased the chariot of Arjuna. Meanwhile, Susarma launched Garudarstra and rescued them from the bondage of Sarpa Astra.
Susarma launched another Divine Astra upon Arjuna,
under the influence of which, Arjuna fell on the chariot and fainted.
Beholding the fall of Arjuna, Kourava troops loudly cried that Arjuna
was dead. The blare of conchs and peal of drums and sound of diverse
musical instruments and loud leonine shouts arose there. Meanwhile,
Arjuna regained consciousness and poured arrowy showers on Susarma.
Arjuna launched Indra Astra upon Trigarta troops. With the influence
of Indra Astra, several kinds of weapons sprouted from that Astra and
destroyed the Trigarta Army.
At another front, Kourava army was fleeing away, unable to withold the prowess of Pandava Army. Suyodhana, Kritavarma, Dussaasana and other kourava warriors were inspiring confidence in their army and were trying to rally them. Kripacharya were pouring arrowy showers on Panchala army. Kripacharya broke the chariot of Sikhandi and killed the horses and charioteer. Sikhandi jumped down from the broken chariot, took out a long sword and rushed against Kripacharya. Kripacharya was showering arrows on Sikhandi.
Meanwhile, Dhrishtadyumna attacked Kripacharya. In between them, Kritavarma intervened and attacked Dhrishtadyumna. Dharmaja along with Upa Pandavas attacked Asvathama, Nakula and Sahadeva attacked Suyodhana, Bhima sena attacked Karna, and they were engaged in dual combat. Kripacharya cut the shield of Sikhandi. Sikhandi, with his sword, attacked Kripacharya. Meanwhile Suketha intervened and attacked Kripacharya. Sikhandi left that place.
Kripacharya cut the bow of Sukethu with six arrows. Suketha took up another bow which was also cut by Kripacharya. Suketha took another bow and cut the bow of Kripacharya. He also killed the steeds and charioteer of Kripacharya. Kripacharya took another bow and shot 30 sharp arrows against Suketha. With another arrow, Kripacharya cut the head of Suketha. Beholding the death of Suketha, his forces scattered away.
Dhrishtadyumna shot nine arrows aiming at the chest of Kritavarma. Dhrishtadyumna showered arrows upon Kritavarma shrouding his chariot, steeds, flag and the charioteer. Kritavarma got down his chariot and left that place. Dhrishtadyumna was searching for Kritavarma. Kritavarma was standing on the ground, took up another bow and resumed his fight with Dhrishtadyumna. Beholding this, a Kourava warrior dragged Kritavarma to his chariot and left that place. As Kritavarma escaped from his wrath, Dhrishtadyumna began to massacre the Kourava troops.
While Dharmaja was fighting with Asvathama, Satyaki arrived there to help Dharmaja. Asvathama covered them with his arrowy showers. Asvathama broke the bow of Dharmaja and shot sharp edged arrows. Meanwhile, Satyaki broke the bow of Asvathama. Asvathama killed the charioteer of Satyaki with a spear. The horses tied to the chariot of Satyaki dragged the chariot far away from that place.
Beholding this, Pandava troops showered arrows upon Asvathama. Enraged with great wrath, Asvathama massacred the Pandava troops. On hearing this, Suyodhana was overjoyous that Pandavas also might have been killed by Asvathama. Next moment, he was in a distressed mood on seeing that Dharmaja was chasing Asvathama. In this manner, the victory and defeat were playing hide and seek on that day.
Dharmaja accosted Asvathama: “O the son of my preceptor, Drona, you are learned and well versed in archery skills. You are a brahmin by birth. But you are not endowed with any qualities fit for brahmins viz., affection, gratitude etc. towards others. You have given up all rituals and penance, fit for a Brahmin. You are a brahmin in name only. Is it proper on your part to hold bow and arrows and fight like a Kshatriya instead performing rituals and penance fit for Brahmins..” said Dharmaja. Without heeding the words of Dharmaja, Asvathama showered arrows incessantly upon Dharmaja. Unable to withhold the wrath of Asvathama, Dharmaja fled away from the battle field.
Karna, who was fighting with Bhimasena, arrived there to help Kripacharya. Bhimasena was slaughtering the kourava troops. Suyodhana was fighting with Nakula and Sahadeva. Suyodhana cut the flalg of Sahadeva and broke the bows of Nakula and Sahadeva. Nakula and Sahadeva took up another bow and poured arrowy showers on Suyodhana. Enraged with wrath, Suyodhana shrouded them with his arrowy showers. At this juncture, Dhrishtaryumna arrived there with great speed and rescued both Nakula and Sahadeva.
Suyodhana shot most powerful arrows on Dhrishtadyumna and cut his bow. Dhrishtadyumna took up another bow and showered arrows on Suyodhana. Suyodhana again cut his bow and shot ten astras aiming at his forehead. Dhrishtadyumna was enraged with great wrath. He cut the bow and flag of Suyodnana and broke his chariot. Suyodhana also cut the spears, swords, flag, steeds, and armour of Dhrishtadyumna and killed his charioteer. Beholding this, the brother of Dhrishtadyumna dragged him to his chariot and left that place.
Karna who was fighting with Satyaki, left him and
began to chase Dhrishtadyumna. Satyaki also chased Karna. There was
a terrible fight between Karna and Dhrishtadyumna. Meanwhile, eight
Panchala Princes attacked Karna. Karna consigned all of them to the
abode of Yama. The troops of Chedi and Panchala surrounded Karna. Karna
massacred all of them.
At another front, Bhimasena was slaughtering Kourava troops mercilessly. None were dare enough to stand before Bhimasena. Arjuna killed all the Samsaptakas and was chasing Trigarta army. Trigarta army fled away. Arjuna requested Krishna to drive the chariot against Karna. Suyodhana encouraged Trigarta troops and rallied them for fight with Arjuna. Trigarta army along with Kambhoja troops again surrounded Arjuna. Arjuna cut the heads of all the Trigarta troops. The entire battle field was filled with the heads and dead bodies of Trigarta army personnel.
Meanwhile, brother of the King of Kambhoja attacked Arjuna. With only one arrow, Arjuna cut his hands. Beholding this, Yavana troops surrounded Arjuna but were killed in the next moment. While Krishna was driving his chariot, Arjuna was going round the battle field, appearing himself everywhere.
Meanwhile Asvathama accosted Arjuna: “Arjuna!
why you are avoiding me.Invite me as your guest for dual fight.”
The pandava troops raised hue and cry. Krishna said: “O Arjuna! what a wonder it is! Are you defeated by Asvathama! Has your prowess been vanquished. Has your Gandeeva lost its vigour. Are you showing mercy towards Asvathama because he is the son of your preceptor! Or are you afraid of Asvathama?” spoke Krishna sarcastically.
With the above words of Krishna, Arjuna was enraged with great wrath. Arjuna cut the bow of Asvathama and broke his flag. Asvathama took up a long spear. Arjuna also cut that spear. Asvathama was now unarmed. beholding this, Samsaptakas surrounded Arujuna. Arjuna massacred them in no time, broke their chariots, killed their horses and elephants.
Meanwhile, the troops of Anga, Vanga, Nishaada, and Kalinga surrounded Arjuna. Asvathama got into another chariot and attacked Arjuna. Asvathama shot most cruel arrows against Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna shot numerous arrows aiming at the head, neck, hands, chest and legs of Asvathama. Arjuna cut the reigns of the horses. The horses lost control and dragged the chariot of Asvathama sideways. Asvathama controlled his horses and drove his chariot towards Karna. To vanquish the remaining Samsaptakas, Arjuna went upon them.
Meanwhile, Dandadhara, king of Magadha, mounted his
elephant, intruded into the Pandava troops and was smashing them. The
pandava troops were being crushed under the feet of his elephant forces.
“Arjuna! look at that side. Kill that Dandadhara and save our
troops” said Krishna and drove the chariot towards Dandadhara.
Dandadhara also moved his elephant against Krishna. Dandadhara showered
most powerful arrows upon Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna tactfully cut both
the hands of Dandadhara with one arrow. Arjuna killed his elephant with
Meanwhile, Suyodhana joined Karna along with his troops. The troops of both Suyodhana and Karna surrounded Pandava troops. The troops of Pulinda, Bahlika, Andhra, Bhoja also joined Suyodhana. With that mighty army, Suyodhana and Karna surrounded Pandava army. Unable to withold their prowess, Pandava army fled away.
Meanwhile, Malayadhwaja, King of Pandya was massacring the kourava troops. Asvathama attacked Malayadhwaja. Both of them engaged in dual fight. Malayadhwaja cut the bow of Asvathama. Asvathama tookup another bow and showered arrows upon Malayadhwaja. Malayadhwaja launched Vayavya Astra and shattered all the arrows shot by Asvathama, cut his bow, broke his chariot and killed his wheel protectors. Asvathama was not afraid of Malayadhwaja.
Meanwhile, Malayadhwaja mounted upon a huge elephant and shot an arrow aiming at the crown of Asvathama. Asvathama was enraged with great wrath. Asvathama killed the elephant of Malayadhwaja and also his companions. With another Bhalla arrow, Asvathama cut the head of Malayadhwaja. Beholding the death of Malayadhwaja, Pandya armies fled away. Suyodhana praised Asvathama.
Aswathama along with Karna was massacring Pandava troops. Arjuna arrived there and attacked Asvathama and Karna. Meanwhile, Dhrishtadyumna joined Arjuna and attacked karna. Asvathama accosted Dhrishtadyumna thus: “O Killer of Brahmin! I will take revenge upon you for killing my father. Today your life has come to an end.” So saying, Asvathama jumed against Dhrishtadyumna.
In reply Dhrishtadyumna said: “O Asvathama! You are calling me as Brahmin-Killer. If you and your father are Brahmins, I will be a Brahmin Killer. Having relinquished your own Dharma and following Kshatriya Dharma and fighting a ruthless war, you are no mnore Brahmins. I will be afflicted with great sin if I kill a brahmin but not you and your father as you are not fit to be called as Brahmins. The sword which cut your father’s neck is eagerly waiting to taste your blood also.” Dhrishtadyumna rebuked Asvathama.
Dhrishtadyumna cut the bow of Asvathama. Asvathama took up another bow and cut the flag and bow and also killed the steeds and charioteer of Dhrishtadyumna. Dhrishtadyumna took up his mace. Asvathama broke it into fragments. Dhrishtadyumna took up his sword and shield. Asvathama broke them also. Asvathama took up a sword and jumped upon Dhrishtadyumna to cut his head.
Beholding this Krishna cautioned Arjuna: “Arjuna! Dhrishta-dyumna is in danger. Save him.” so saying Krishna drove the chariot towards Dhrishtadyumna. Arjuna shot sharp edged arrows upon Asvathama. Asvathama left Dhrishtadyumna and came back to his chariot. Sahadeva dragged Dhrishtadyumna to his charopt and left that place.
Arjuna was fighting with Asvathama. Arjuna shot most powerful arrows aiming at Asvathama. Asvathama fainted. His charioteer took the chariot far away from that place. Pandava warriors acclaimed Arjuna. The sounds of trumpets and conches rose to sky. Beholding this, Karna attacked Arjuna. From other side, Trigarta warriors were provoking Arjuna to fight with them. Arjuna told Krishna:
“Krishna! Karna from one side and Trigarta warriors from other side are provoking me for war. If I attack Karna, I have to accept the defeat with Trigarthas. Hence, let us first fight with Trigarthas. Let our chariot be driven against Trigartas.” said Arjuna. Accordingly, Krishna drove the chariot against Trigarthas. Arjuna began to massacre Trigarta army.
At another front, Karna was fighting with Dharmaja. Karna was slaughtering the charioteers and the horses of Pandava troops. All the Panchala warriors, Nakula, Sahadeva, Upa Pandavas and Satyaki surrounded Karna. Karna alone was fighting with all the above warriors, shrouding them with thick showers of arrows. Meanwhile, Suyodhana arrived there with his elephant forces. Suyodhana instigated the elephant forces of Kalinga, Anga, Vanga, Magadha, Poundraka and Suhma kingdoms upon Pandava army. That mighty elephant forces intruded into the Pandava Army and were crushing the Pandava soldiers under its feet. Satyaki, daringly attacked them and killed the King of Vanga and his elephant forces.
Nakula attacked King Suhma, Sahadeva attacked King Poudraka and killed them and massacred their elephant forces. Beholding their death, the other kings with their elephant forces rushed against Pandavas. Sahadeva, with his sharp edged arrows, was slaughtering the elephant forces. Dhrishtadyumna and others also were killing the elephants.
The battle became exceedingly fierce and awful. Chariots
were broken. Heads, hands and legs were rolling on the ground. The deadbodies
of elephants were heaped into hillocks. Blood was flowing into streams.
Krishna told Arjuna: “O Arjuna! Karna is waiting for you. Go and kill him. If Karna is killed, Suyodhana will be left alone. You will be the King and Emperor of this Kourva Dynasty.” said Krishna.
Bhimasena along with Dhrishtadyumna and Satyaki was chasing Kourava troops. Nishadha Prince attacked Bhimasena. Bhimasena shot four sharp edged arrows and cut the head of Nishadha Prince and also the head of his elephant. Beholding this, Nishadha troops fled away. Bhima was going round the battle field with his mighty mace, slaughtering the Kourava troops. Suyodhan attacked Bhimasena. Karna killed the charioteer of Sikhandi and broke his flag. Sikhandi fled away.
Dussaasana was fighting with Dhrihtadyumna. Nakula cut the head of the charioteer of Vrishasena, son of Karna. Vrishasena mounted another chariot and again entered the battle field.
Sahadeva shot numerous arrows against Ulooka, son of Sakuni, throughout his body. Ulooka left the battle field.
Satyaki and Sakuni were engaged in dual combat. Satyaki killed the steeds of Sakuni. Sakuni got down the chariot and ran away.
Bhimasena killed the charioteer of Suyodhana and broke
his chariot. Suyodhana jumped into another chariot and left that place.
Asvathama attacked Arjuna. Asvathama showered sharp edged arrows incessantly upon Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna also launched numerous Astras and Sastras upon Asvathama.
Dharmaja attacked Chitrasena. Bhimasena, Nakula, Sahadeva, Dhrishtadyumna surrounded Suyodhana. Beholding this, Karna came to the help of Suyodhana. Karna shot one powerful arrow aiming at the chest of Dharmaja. Dharmaja fell down on the chariot. His charioteer drove the chariot far away from that spot. Kouravas chased the chariot of Dharmaja. The warriors of Kekaya and Panchala rescued Dharmaja.
Bhimasena was fighting with Suyodhana. Karna was fighting with Panchala and Kekaya warriors. Karna massacred them and then chased Dharmaja. Dharmaja turned back and again showered arrows upon Karna. Dharmaja killed the charioteer and the horses of Karna. Nakula and Sahadeva came to the rescue of Dharmaja and shrouded Karna with arrowy showers. Karna, enraged with wrath, killed the steeds tied to the chariot of Dharmaja. Dharmaja jumped down and mounted the chariot of Nakula.
Meanwhile Salya told Karna: “Karna! what is this! Show your prowess upon Arjuna not on Dharmaja. If for any reason, Dharmaja is killed by you, Arjuna will certainly kill you. Why you invite your death unnecessarily? Stop chasing Dharmaja. Oh. Karna. Look at that side. Your bosom friend, Suyodhana was caught by Bhimasena, unarmed. Go and save him. If Suyodhana is killed by Bhimasena, all your efforts will go in waste. Even if you kill all Pandavas, it is of no avail.” said Salya.
Accordingly, Karna left Dharmaja and proceeded towards Suyodhana. Left by Karna, Dharmaja, accompanied by Nakula and Sahadeva, proceeded towards his tent.” said Sanjaya to Dhritarashtra, the war details, under the leadership of Karna.
In this manner, Sooti told the story of Mahabharata to Saint Sounaka and other sages and saints in Naimisaranya as told by Saint Vaisampayana to Janamejaya.