Saint Vaisampaayana told Janamejaya, the story of Maha Bharata.
Upon the fall of Karna, Sanjaya, arrived at Hastinapura, with a heart filled with deep anxiety. He proceeded to the abode of Dhritarashtra. Sanjaya sent word to Dhritarashtra about his arrival.
Immediately, Dhritarasthra, who was in his inner apartnment, invited Sanjaya inside. Sanjaya went inside and occupied a suitable seat offered by Dhritarashtra.
“O King Dhritarashtra! I have seen the war for the last two days and come here to tell you about it. After the death of Drona, Karna was made the Commander of the entire Kourava army. Karna fought with Pandavas with great vigour and valour and massacred the Pandava Army. Karna fought vigorously for two days but succumbed to the prowess of Arjuna and lost his life. Pandavas took revenge on Karna for his mis deeds.
There is one more sad news for you, O King Dhritarashtra! Your son Dussaasana was killed by Bhimasena. Bhimasena broke the chest of Dussaasana and tasted his blood and discharged his promise made in the open assembly. O King Dhritarashtra! Instead of enjoying your own share of kingdom, you have grabbed the kingdom of Pandavas by means of wicked dice game. Now you are reaping the consequences” said Sanjaya.
On hearing that his son Dussaasana was killed, Dhritarashtra thought that Suyodhana also was killed. His body was trembled and exceedingly agitated. He fainted. Vidura who arrived there, with the help of other attendants, lifted him and made him to lie down on a soft bed and sprinkleld some cool water on his face.
After some time, Dhritarashtra regained consciousness. He cursed the fate. He scolded Sakuni who is responsible for all this disastour. He cursed himself for not bringing up his sons in proper order. He applauded Pandavas for their virtues.
“Sanjaya! I did not hear you properly What about Suyodhana! Is he alive or dead?” asked Dhritarashtra.
“O King Dhritarashtra! during these two days, Karna, his sons and brothers were killed. Bhimasena killed your son, Dussaasana and broke his chest and tasted his blood” said Sanjaya.
“Stop Sanjaya! Stop! I cannot hear you any more.” said Dhritarashtra.
All are silent for a while. Slowly Dhritarasthra began to speak.
“Sanjaya! All this is happening due to my wicked policy and the foolishness of my son, Suyodhana. Sanjaya! I do not find any way to annhilate this grief. Kindly tell me in detail who are alive and who are dead on both sides.” asked Dhritarasthra.
Sanjaya said thus: “O King Dhritarasthra! On our side, Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Vikarna, Vrishasena, Dussaasana, Lakshmana are dead. On the side of Pandavas, King Virata, Sataaneeka, Drupada, Ghatotkacha, Abhimanyu, Kings of Pandya are dead. For the present, on Kourava side, Asvathama, Kritavarma, Salya, Sakuni, Kripacharya and few of your sons and sons of Karna are alive. With the help of these remaining warriors, your son. Suyodhana, is attempting to conquer Pandavas.” said Sanjaya.
“Sanjaya! Karna is like a mighty bull. How he was killed by Arjuna? Karna never cares for Arjuna or Krishna, at any time. Alas! he was killed by Arjuna. Sanjaya! Depending upon the prowess of Karna, Suyodhana developed animosity with Pandavas. Now he is dead. Where is the life for Suyodhana? How can he fight with Pandavas tomorrow? In my view, continuing war from tomorrow is sheer waste.
Sanjaya! Even after all these things, my heart is still in tact without breaking into pieces. Sanjaya! see how tragic my life is? Having heard that my sons are dead, I am still alive as a huge rock. No. I have to die. I will die. Give me some poison. Or let me strangle my neck” Dhritarasthra attempted to commit suicide.
Sanjaya stopped him and said: “O King Dhritarasthra! are you mad! You are wise and learned. How can you speak like this like a weak heart? Be brave. Remember your greatness and your vigour and valour.” consoled Sanjaya.
“Sanjaya! On hearing that Karna is dead, I am in great disaster. I am sure we will be defeated. I do not how Suyodhana will continue war with Pandavas? With whose support, he will fight with Pandavas? Sanjaya! I will not die so soon. My heart would have been broken into pieces soon after the hearing of the death of Karna. Dont worry. This wretch is blessed with long life. Once I was honoured by one and all as a great King and Emperor. Now everybody is pitying me.
How can I withstand the grief caused by the deaths of Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Dussaasana, one by one. Amongst all, the death of Karna is like a thunderbolt.
Now Suyodhana lost all his hopes on war. How can Suyodhana will fight from tomorrow and with whose support? Even after the death of Karna, if Suyodhana thinks that he will conquer Pandavas, it is as good as a lame man running speedily.
Even after receiving a message from Yudhishtira requesting me to restore peace, I paid a deaf year. Now I am reaping the consequences.When Bhishma, from his arrowy bed, requested for water, Arjuna pierced the earth and brought out the underground water. Beholding the prowess of Arjuna, Bhishma requested Suyodhana to make peace with Pandavas. Had my son heard those words, today I would not have been in this pitiable position.
Sanjaya! past is past. Tell me how Karna was killed by Arjuna. Was he killed in straight fight or with a wicked plan, as in the case of Bhishma and Drona? Did our army not try to save him? Have they left Karna alone? Sanjaya! Karna is not an ordinary warrior. He acquired Brahma Astra from Parasu Rama. He knows Sarpa Mukha Astra. (an astra with serpant face). Besides this, he got many more divine astras.
He is wise and well-planned. He killed great warrior like Abhimanyu and insulted Bhimasena. He left Sahadeva with life. He killed the Asura warrior, Ghatotkacha with his Sakti. What happened to his prowess? What happened to his divine astras. .Whether all of them have become useless. Something might have happened. Either his chariot might have been broken or his Divine Astras might have become useless. Otherwise, even Indra cannot vanquish Karna.
Sanjaya! you told me that Madra King was his chariot driver. While Arjuna was killing Karna, did Asvathama, Kripacharya and Sakuni not come to his rescue. Suyodhana used to regard Kritavarma as a great warrior. Atleast he would have come tothe rescue of Karna.
What happened to my son Suyodhana? Why did he not go to his help? What they were all doing? While Asvathama, Kripacharya, Sakuni, Kritavarma were riding behind him, how Karna was killed by Arjuna without any reason? Sanjaya! how Karna was attacked by Arjuna? How Arjuna escaped from the wrath of Sarpa Mukha Astra? How other Pandavas fought with Karna? Tell me in detail about the two days war” asked Dhritarashtra.
Sanjaya said thus: “O King Dhritarashtra! after the fall of Drona, Asvathama closed the war for that day. In the camp of Suyodhana, Asvathama, Karna, Dussasana and other Kourava warriors assembled and discussed about the future course of action. Suyodhana consulted Asvathama about the next Commander in Chief for Kourava Army.
Asvathama told Suyodhana that Karna will be the suitable person to be the Leader of Kourava Army. Suyodhana was very happy. Immediately he sent for sacred waters and a throne. Suyodhana told Karna: “Karna! After Bhishma and Drona, you are equal to them. So far, Bhishma and Drona were having partisan attitude towards Pandavas. Hence they could not kill them. Had you been the Leader of our army, Pandavas would have been killed long back and the war would have ended in our favour. That is why, I am making you as the Leader of our army. Conquer Pandavas and be triumph.” said Suyodhana.
Karna was very happy. “Suyodhana! I have already given you word that I will conquer all Pandavas and their friends and relatives. Now I discharge my promise. I will enthrone you as the Emperor of the entire Kuru Kingdom. I alone will fight and win the war. You just stand by my side and enjoy the victory.” said Karna with great proud.
Meanwhile, sacred waters from all holy rivers arrived. Suyodhana made Karna to sit on a throne and proclaimed him as the Commander of Kourava Army. On that happy occasion, Karna told Suyodhana! “O my friend Suyodhana! on that day, you made me the king of Anga kingdom and seated me on an highest pedestal. Now, you installed me as your Commander. What can I do for you except killing all Pandavas and installing you as the Emperor of this entire Universe.” said Karna.
Then all have departed to their places of stay. After that ceremony, I returned back to Hastinapura and told you about the killing of Drona. Again I have gone back to the battle field by the next day morning.
Next day morning, Karna, being the Commander of Kourava army entered the battle field. He arrayed Kourava troops in the form of Makara vyooha (in the shape of crocodile). Karna stood at the mouth part of crocodile. Sakuni and his son Ulooka stood at the places of both eyes. Asvathama stood at the head. Remaining brothers of Suyodhana stood at the neck. Kritavarma and Kripacharya stood at the feet of crocodile.Suydohana stood at the stomache. Salya and Sushena along with their army stood at the hind legs. Chitra and Chitrasena along with their army formed as the tail of crocodile. The rest of the troops stood around the vyooha. In this manner, Karna arrayed the kourava troops into Makara Vyooha.
Yudhishtira along with his allies also entered the war field. He observed Karna as the Army Chief of Kourava Army. Previously, Yudhishtira was afraid of Karna. Now Karna is deprived of his Indra Sakti as well as his natural Kavacha and Kundalas. Drona is not there to come to his rescue. So Karna can easily be conquered, Yudhishtira thought.
Yudhishtira addressed Arjuna: “Arjuna! Behold Karna. He is now the Chief of Kourava Army. He is the sole cause for all our woes in forests for twelve years. Take revenge on him. Now he is the only warrior in Kourava army who can fight with us. If you kill him, we can defeat Kouravas easily. Karna arrayed his troops in Makara vyooha. You array a suitable vyooha.” said Yudhishtira.
Accordingly, Arjuna arrayed his troops into half-moon form (Ardha Chandra Vyooha). Arjuna along with his army stood in the middle of the half moon. On the left edge stood Bhimasena and right edge stood Dhrushtadyumna. Dharmaja, Nakula and Sahadeva stood behind the vyooha. Yudhamanyu and Uttamouja stood as the chariot protectors of Arjuna. Both sides arrayed their troops in vyoohas and were ready for war.
O King Dhritarashtra! your son, Suyodhana was very happy that on the first day of war, Krishna and Arjuna will be vanquished at the hands of Karna. Yudhshtira also was of the strong desire that Karna will be killed on that day by Arjuna.
Having received the signals from their respective Army Chiefs, both sides began to fight. Elephants, horses, food soldiers were being massacred ruthlessly. The broken chariots are formed into heaps. Karna and Arjuna were engaged in dual fight. The foot soldiers were being crushed under the feet of elephants and the chariot wheels.
Satyaki, Dhrishtadyumna, Chekitana, Upa Pandavas were fighting with Prabhadraka, Chedi, Pandya, Chola, Magadha, Vanga Kings and their troops. Bhimasena was moving on his elephant and crushing the kourava soldiers under the feet of his elephant.
Meanwhile, Kshemadhoorti, King of Kuloota, riding on his elephant, attacked Bhimasena. The troops of Kshemadurti surrounded Bhimasena. Bhimasena and Kshemadhurti were hurling sharp spears on each other. One cut the bow of the other. Their elephants were moving around each other. Kshemadurti pierced one spear into the chest of Bhiamsena. Kshemadurti was cutting the spears hurled by Bhimasena in the middle. Kshemadhurti shot 60 sharp arrows piercing into the body of Bhimasena. Bhimasena pierced most powerful arrows into the body of the elephant of Kshemadhurti. Unable the bear the pain, the elephant of Kshemadurti ran away, carrying Kshemadurthi.
After controlling his elephant, Kshemadurti returned to the battle field and again shot most powerful arrows on Bhimasena and his elephant. The elephant of Bhimasena fell down. Bhimasena got down his elephant, took up his mace and with a single blow delivered by him, the elephant of Kshemadurti fell down. Kshemadurti jumped down and took out a big sword. Bhimasena delivered a blow with his mace on the head of Kshemadurthi, as a result, he fell down and died.
Beholding the death of his leader, Kshemadurthi, his troops fled away. Bhimasena roared like a lion and proceeded towards Karna. At that time, Karna was breaking the heads of the elephants in Pandava army. Nakula was fighting with Karna. Bhimasena was fighting with Asvathama; Satyaki with Kekaya kings and Vinda and Anuva;Chitrasena with Srutavarma; Prativindhya with Chitra; Yudhishtira with Suyodhana; Arjuna with Samsaptakas; Dhrishtadyumna with Kripacharya; Sikhandi with Kritavarma, Srutakeerti with Salya and Sahadeva with Dussaasana. There was a fiercest battle between both the troops.
Satyaki cut the bows of Vinda and Anuvinda and pierced their bodies with most sharp arrows. Vinda and Anuvinda took up another bow and launched most powerful astras against Satyaki. Satyaki with a sharp edged arrow, cut the head of Anuvinda. Beholding the death of his brother, Vinda shot numerous arrows against Satyaki. They both killed their chariot drivers and broke their chariots.
Both of them got down from their broken chariots and were fighting with swords. In that dual sword fight, Satyaki cut the head of Vinda. Satyaki got into the chariot of Udhamanyu and left that place..
King Chitrasena was fighting with Srutakarma son of Sahadeva. Chitrasena shot five sharp arrows against Srutakarma. In retaliation, Srutakarma beat Chitrasena till he fainted. After regaining consciousness, Chitrasena broke the bow of Srutakarma. Srutakarma took up another bow and cut the head of Chitrasena with a sharp edged arrow. Beholding the fall of their King, his troops rushed against Srutakarma. Srutakarma with his vigour and valour, drove them away.
Prativindya was fighting with Chitra. Pravivindya
shot three arrows piercing into the chest of his charioteer and also
cut his flag and bow. He also cut the spears hurled by Chitra into pieces.
Chitra hurled his mace, killing the horses and the charioteer of Prativindya.
Prativindya hurled a Tomara weapon upon Chitra which broke the chest
of Chitra. Chitra fell down and died. Unable to attack Prativindya,
kourava troops fled away.
Srutakeerti son of Arjuna was fighting with Salya. Salya broke the bow of Srutakeerti and shot seven sharp arrows piercing into his body. Srutakeerti picked up another bow and shot 64 powerful arrows upon Salya. In retaliation, Salya shot 90 sharp edged arrows against Srutakeerti and broke his bow.
Srutakeerti took his mace. Salya broke that mace into pieces and also killed the charioteer of Srutakeerti. As there was no charioteer, the horses dragged the chariot of Srutakeerti to a long distance. Then Salya penetrated into the army of Dharmaja and was massacring them.
At another front, Sahadeva and Dussaasana were fighting with each other. Dussaasana shot sharp edged arrows piercing into the chest of Sahadeva. Sahadeva, in retaliation, shot Dussaasana with 70 powerful arrows. Dussaasana broke the bow of Sahadeva. Sahadeva took out a sword and cut the bow of Dussaasana. Dussaasana hurled a sword against Sahadeva. Sahadeva cut that sword into two pieces.
Dussaasana took up another bow and shot 64 sharp edged
arrows against Sahadeva. Sahadeva cut them in the middle and shot 100
Sileemukhas against Dussaasana. Dussaasana cut them with three arrows.
Sahadeva launched one Divya Astra upon Dussaasana by which the armour
of Dussaasana was broken. Dussaasana fainted. His charioteer drove the
Beholding the furious Nakula, Karna said: “O Nakula! You are a prince. You are learned, having learnt many Sastras. You are right in saying like that. But dont waste your breath. Let us fight and decide our fate” said Karna.
Karna shot 73 arrows, covering Nakula. Nakula rataliated with 70 sharp arrows. Karna broke the bow of Nakula. Nakula picked up another bow and shot 70 arrows piercing the entire body of Karna. With another arrow, he cut the bow of Karna. Nakula shot 300 powerful arrows, covering the chariot of Karna. Karna picked up another bow and pierced five sharp arrows into the chest of Nakula. Nakula with seven arrows cut the bow of Karna. Karna picked up another bow. In this manner, both Karna and Nakula were fighting with each other, with equal vigour.
Meanwhile, Drupada forces came to help Nakula. Karna shot most cruel arrows massacring the Drupada forces. Again Karna broke the bow of Nakula, cut his flag and killed his steeds. Nakula’s wheel protectors were also killed by Karna. Nakula picked up his mace. Karna broke that mace also. Nakula took his sword and shield, which were also broken by Karna into fragments. Then Karna shot most powerful arrows, piercing into the vital parts of the body of Nakula. Nakula ran away. Karna chased him and caught him.
“Nakula! You scolded me unnecessarily. Is it not wrong? You should know with whom you are talking, how much you have to talk and how to talk. Atleast you realised now that you are no match to me. Before entering into dual fight, you better assess your enemy’s strength and then fight. Dont fight with those who are more powerful than you and finally run away. You are much younger than me. Hence I do not kill you. You can go and join your brother Arjuna.” said Karna.
(Nakula was left alive by Karna as per the word given by Karna to Kunti.)
With a shameful face, Nakula left that place and boarded the chariot of Yudhishtira.
It was midday at that time. Karna was massacring the pandava troops ruthlessly. He was killing the charioteers, horses and elephants. He was cutting the heads of foot soldiers which were flying in air.
At that time, Yuyutsa opposed Ulooka. Ulooka cut the
bow and flag of Yuyutsa. Yuyutsa picked up another bow and pierced five
sharp arrows into the chest of Ulooka. Ulooka, in return, killed the
charioteer of Yuyutsa with one arrow and also the steeds. Yuyutsa jumped
down his chariot and climbed another chariot. Ulooka drove his chriot
against the Panchala army.
Srutasoma, son of Bhimawas fighting with Sakuni. Srutasoma launched numerous astras against Sakuni which were broken into pieces by Sakuni. Sakuni broke the chariot and flag of Srutasoma with most powerful arrows and killed steeds. Srutasoma jumed down from his chariot and was fighting with Sakuni. Sakuni with a powerful arrow cut the bow of Srutasoma. Srutasoma picked up a long sword and was cutting the arrows shot by Sakuni. Sakuni cut the sword of Nakula with only one arrow. Srutasoma hurled that broken sword upon Sakuni and broke his bow. He ran away on the chariot of Srutakeerti. Sakuni picked up another bow and was massacring the pandava troops.
At another front, Dhrushtadyumna was fighting with Kripacharya. Kripacharya was trying to take revenge upon Dhrushtadyumna, for killing his own brother in law, Drona. Kripacharya shot sharp edged arrows upon Dhrishtadyumna. His charioteer and steeds were injured. Then the charioteer of Dhrishtadyumna said: “O Dhrishtadyumna! this Brahmin warrior is most powerful and of great strength, well-versed in several astras and sastras. You cannot kill him. For the present stop fighting with him.” Dhrishtadyumna also agreed with his charioteer. The charioteer drove the chariot to otherside, avoiding Kripacharya. Kripacharya blew his conche and roared like a lion. He was massacring the Panchala troops mercilessly.
Meanwhile, Sikhandi attacked Kritavarma and shot five arrows aiming at the chest of Kritavarma. Kritavarma pierced 60 arrows throughout his body and broke his bow. Kritavarma took another bow and shot 70 arrows upon the body of Sikhandi. Sikhandi shot three most powerful arrows. Kritavarma shot most powerful iron edged arrows against Sikhandi. Sikhandi fell down and fainted. His charioteer drove the chariot to other side, avoiding Kritavarma. The troops of Sikhandi fled away.
Arjuna was fighting with the King of Trigartha. King Sibi and forces of Salva and Samsapataka were helping the King of Trigarta. His brothers, Satyasena, Chandradeva, Mitradeva, Mitravarma, Sousruti, Suvarma, Susarma were also accompanying him. All of them incessantly showering arrows upon Arjuna. Arjuna also poured arrowy showers on all of them. With five arrows, Arjuna killed Sousruti. With 8 arrows, he killed Chandradeva. Arjuna killed Satrudeva with a Sileemukha.
Satyasena hurled a spear which hit the elbow of Krishna and injured him. Beholding this, Arjuna was enraged with wrath. With only one arrow, he cut the head of Satyasena. With another arrow, he cut the head of Mitravarma. Beholding the deaths of their kings, the Trigartha forces surrounded Arjuna. But Arjuna scattered them with his powerful arrows. With an arrow fitted with silver head, Arjuna cut the head of Mitrasena. With another arrow fitted with iron head, he pierced the chest of Suvarma.
Meanwhile, Samsaptakas surrounded Arjuna and shot numerous arrows and astras upon him. Arjuna smiled and launched Indra Astra upon them. From out of that Indra Astra, several Bhallas, Anjalikas came out and massacred the Samsapataka forces. Chariots were broken. Flags were cut. Charioteers were killed. The battle field was filled with the dead bodies of elephants, horses and soldiers. Blood was flowing into streams. Unable to withhold the power of Indra Astra launched by Arjuna, Samsaptaka forces fled away.
At another front, Suyodhana was fighting with Dharmaja. Suyodhana shot nine arrows against Dharmaja. Dharmaja killed the charioteer and steeds of Suyodhana and broke his flag. Dharmaja also broke the sword taken by Suyodhana. Suyodhana jumed down his chariot and fled away.
Beholding this, Asvathama, Karna, Kripacharya came to the rescue of Suyodhana. Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva also arrived there for the help of Yudhishtira. It was afternoon at that time. As all the Athi Radhas and Maharadhas on both sides gathered there, there was a fiercest battle between them.” said Sanjaya.
At that time Dhritarashtra intervened and asked Sanjaya: “O Sanjaya! What happened to my son Suyodhana! Where has he gone! tell me.” Sanjaya said: “O King Dhritarashtra! Suyodhana did not run away from the battle field. As his chariot was broken, he got into some other chariot and returned to the battle field. He directed his charioteer to take his chariot against Dharmaja.
Beholding this Dharmaja also directed his charioteer to take his chariot against Suyodhana. Now, Suyodhana and Dharmaja were standing in opposite directions. Suyodhana with his powerful steeds broke the bow of Yudhishtira. Yudhishtira picked up another bow and cut the bow of Suyodhana. Suyodhana picked up another bow and shot powerful arrows against Yudhishtira. They were showering arrows one upon another. Both were injured severely.
Suyodhana hurled one spear against Dharmaja. Dharmaja cut it in the middle and shot one sharp arrow piercing the chest of Suyodhana. Dharmaja shot one Silimukha, tearing the body of Suyodhana. Suyodhana took his mace, got down his chriot, and rushed against Yudhishtira. Dharmaja launched Sakti against Suyodhana. Suyodhana turned back and got into his chariot and was fighting with Dharmaja with arrows. As there was heavy bleeding, Suyodhana fainted.
Beholding this, Kritavarma intervened between Suyodhana
and Dharmaja. Bhimasena attacked Kritavarma. Kourava forces arrived
there to help Kritavarma.
Arjuna cut the bow of Asvathama and killed his horses. Kripacharya attacked Arjuna. Arjuna cut the bow of Kripacharya. Kritavarma came to the rescue of Kripacharya. Arjuna cut the bow of Kritavarma and cut his flag and killed his steeds. Meanwhile Dussaasana intervened and attacked Arjuna. Arjuna cut his bow into two pieces.
Then Arjuna drove his chariot against Karna. Karna shot three arrows against Arjuna and 20 arrows against Krishna, tearing their bodies. Till then, Karna was fighting with Satyaki. Even after the arrival of Arjuna, Karna continued to fight with Satyaki. Karna, with 100 Sili mukhas hit the charioteer, steeds and flag of Satyaki.
Beholding this, Yudhamanyu, Sikhandi, sons of Droupadi, Uttamouja, Yuyutsa, Nakula, Sahadeva, Dhrishtadyumna, Chekitana, Prabhadraka, Kings of Chedi, Karoosa, Maatsya, Kekaya arrived there to help Arjuna. All of them surrounded Karna and showered most powerful steep arrows against Karna. But, Karna, with great skill, smashed those arrows and massacred the Pandava forces . Arjuna also nullified all the Astras launched by Karna and scattered the Kourava army with his Silimukha arrows.
By that time, it was sunset and darkness plunged in from all sides. Both sides closed the war for that day and returned to their camps . Karna’s first day war ended in that manner” said Sanjaya to King Dhritarashtra.
On hearing this, Dhritarashtra asked Sanjaya: “O Sanjaya! Had Arjuna really intended to kill Kouravas, he would have killed all of them, in one day, inspte of Karna’s opposition; because, Arjuna was the son of Indra. After all, mortals like my son are no match to him. We all know that Arjuna is not an ordinary warrior. He vanquished Yadava warriors and abducted Subhadra. Arjuna opposed Indra and allowed Agni to consume Khandava forest. Arjuna fought with Parameswara and got Pasupathastra.When my son, Suyodhana was abducted by Gandharva, Arjuna saved him. Arjuna killed Kalakeyas single handedly. For such a great warrir, this battle is nothing. Therefore, we should not blame our army for being defeated at the hands of Arjuna. That defeat is an honour and glory for our army. Tell me what had happened later” asked Dhritarashtra. Sanjaya continued to say:
Suyodhana convened a meeting of all the Athi Radhas
and Maharadhas and was discussing about the first day war of Karna.
Karna told Suyodhana: “O King Suyodhana! We have to remember one
thing. Arjuna possesses more tacts than all. Besides that, Krishna is
there to give him timely valuable suggestions. When I preserved Indra
Astra for the sake of Arjuna, Krishna made it inevitable to launch it
against Ghatotkacha, and saved Arjuna. In this manner, Krishna deceived
me. We need not fear about it. Let us depend upon our own prowess and
strength. By launching the divine astras and sastras, I will kill Arjuna
and Krishna.” said Karna.
Next day, both sides assembled in the battle field
for next day’s war. Dharmaja arrayed his troops into a vyooha
which was arrayed by Brihaspati during Deva-asura war. Kourava troops
were waiting for the arrival of Karna.” said Sanjaya.
Sanjaya! Our woes started even from the date of dice game. It culminated into a great disaster. My son resorted to wicked deeds and he is reaping the consequences. Sanjaya! have you observed one thing. In all these 15 days, not even a single brother of Pandavas was killed. But Suyodhana lost many of his brothers. Bhishma and Drona fell down. Pandavas were playing joyously in the battle field. It is nothing but fate.” said Dhritarashtra.
“O King Dhritarashra! Why you are blaming Suyodhana alone? Are you not responsible for this catastrophe by knodding your head for all the wicked plans of Suyodhana and Sakuni. Had you paid heed to the words of Vidura and stopped the dice game, situation would have been different. Past is past. Listen the war details.
Karna arrived at the battle field and stopped his chariot by the side of Suyodhana. “Suyodhana! todays war will be between me and Arjuna. My target is Arjuna. Arjuna will attack me without fear as I am lacking in Indra Astra. Hence we have to find alternative ways and means to kill Arjuna. Let us assess our respective strength.
The Astras and Sastras available with me and Arjuna are equal. Arjuna is in no way greater than me. In swift movements in the battle field, I excel Arjuna. Arjuna is having Gaandeeva. I do not have such a bow. But I got another divine bow which was given bymy Guru, Parasurama.That bow was used by Indra during Deva- Asura war. With that bow, which is equivalent to Gandeeva, I will attack Arjuna today.
Next, we will come to Akshaya Tooneera. We can get over this, by carrying loads of arrows behind my chariot, in several carts. Next, Arjuna is having an unbreakable Divine chariot . I will also get over this by keeping numerous chariots, tied with excellent steeds, running behind my chariot for my use. Whenever I am deprived of my chariot, I will jump into another chriot and fight.
There is one more difference between me and Arjuna. Sri Krishna is driving the chariot of Arjuna. I also want a charioteer equivalent to Sri Krishna. There is only one charioteer in Kourava army who is an equal match to Krishna.He is no other than King Salya, King of Madra. He is more tactful than Krishna in driving chariot. If you are able to convince him to be my charioteer, Arjuna’s defeat is certain” said Karna.
“Karna! I will make all arrangements with regard to chariots, horses, and carts filled with most powerful arrows. Let us go to Salya. I will certainly convince him and make him your charioteer.” so saying Suyodhana took Karna to Salya. Both of them saluted Salya.
Suyodhana told Salya thus:”O King Salya! You speak always truth. You are one of our eldest and respected by all. I regard you equivalent to my father. In the presence of the great warriors in Kourava Army I am making a small request. I hope and trust that you will not reject it.
He is Karna, King of Anga Kingdom. For the present, he is the Chief of the entire Kourava Army. His avowed object is to kill Arjuna. Arjuna’s charioteer is Sri Krishna. An equivalent charioteer to Sri Krishna is no other than yourself. After the fall of Bhishma and Drona, with your support and with the support of Karna only I am continuing the war. If you accept to be the charioteer of Karna, fall of Arjuna is imminent. I hope you will never reject my offer.” said Suyodhana.
Salya was enraged with great wrath. “Suyodhana! (he shouted) Having known fully well about me and about my prowess, are you requesting me to be the charioteer of a soota. Dont you know the caste system. I am a Kshatriya. How dare you ask me to be the charioteer of a Soota. No. I cannot drive the chariot of a Soota. I have come to help you in the war. I will fight with anybody whom you like and kill whomever you want. If necessary, I will kill all of them. Karna is no match to me. I do not care even Arjuna and Krishna. If you ask me out of ignorance, it is allright. If you again ask me to be the chariotter of Karna,I will leave this place and go back to my kingdom.” said Salya, King of Madra.
When Salya was about to leave that place, Suyodhana stopped him. “O King Salya! I did not mean that. Not only Karna, none on the face of earth is no match to you. I do not mean that Karna is more powerful than you. There is strong reason behind my request. The only warrior available in our army to fight with Arjuna is no other than Karna. But Krishna is foiling all my plans. The only charioteer who can foil the plans of Sri Krishna is yourself. That is the reason why I am requesting you to be the charioteer of Karna. It is nothing but regarding you as an elderly person. This task can be accomplished by you only.” said Suyodhana.
Salya was overjoyous by the boastings of Suyodhana. “Suyodhana! I grew angry without knowing your mind. You praised me greater than Krishna. That is sufficient. I will accept to be the charioteer of Karna but on one condition. I am more talkative. I will be talking as I like. He should not object. Let him mind his own work.” said Salya.
Suyodhana readily agreed for his condition. Again Suyodhana said thus: “O Salya, King of Madra! One day, I overheard the conversation between my father, Dhritarasthra and Saint Markandeya. During the Deva Asura war, Takarasura was dead. He got three sons. Vidyunmaali, Tarakasha and Kamalaksha. Those three sons of Tarakasura did penance about Brahma. Brahma appeared and asked them about their desire. All of them, with one voice, prayed that they maybe blessed without death. Brahma denied their request as death is imminent for mortals and asuras.
As an alternative they prayed: “Please give us three flying cities. We will be flying in those cities whereever we like. Those cities shall not be destroyed either by Devatas, Danavas, Yakshas or Uragas etc.”
Brahma said: “I will bless you accordingly. But for every object which is created, there must be an end. Whenever those three cities meet together, they will be smashed by any strong personality. As long as they do not meet together, none can vanquish them. You can built three cities and equip them as you like. They will be more splendid as desired by you.” so saying Brahma disappeared.
Those three Daityas were very happy with the boons given by Brahma. They requested Mayaa to build three flying cities for their use. Maya accordingly built three cites, with gold, silver and iron. Tarakaasha had taken golden city; Kamalaksha had taken Silverl city and Vidyunmaali had taken Iron city. The Golden city was flying in heaven, the silver city was flying in welkin, and the iron city was set on earth. The three Daityas occupied heaven, earth and welkin and were ruling them ruthlessly harrassing divine bodies, sages and saints and human beings..
In this manner, crores of years have elapsed. Tarakaasha got a son by name Hari. He also did penance about Brahma. Brahma appeared before him. Hari asked Brahma a strange boon. “Let a lake be provided in the city so that persons killed by means of weapons, may, when thrown into it. come out with life, ten for one, with redoubled strength.” Brahma blessed Hari with such a boon.
Obtaining this boon, Hari created a lake in his city that was capable of reviving the dead. In whatever form and whatever guise a Daitya might have been killed, if thrown into that lake, he was restored to life, in the same form and guise. As a result of that boon, all the inhabitants of those three cities became immortals. Even if they are dead, the population was increasing ten times. Even the divine bodies are afraid of them and their strength. Filled with pride, those daityas are causing much hardship to all the three regions, Deva, Pitru and human. They have been harassing the sages and saints doing penance.
Though Indra declared war against them but was utterly defeated at their hands. Indra, along with divine bodies, sages and saints approached Brahma and sought for his adivce. Brahma told them thus: “an eminent personality shall destroy those three cities with only one arrow, while all of them were at one place. Only Rudra can do that and none else. Therefore, we have to approach Rudra. I will also accompany you.” said Brahma.
Devendra, Brahma, divine bodies, sages and saints and others approached Maha Siva and sought for his help. Devendra prayed Maheswara: “O Maheswara! You are omnipotent, omnipresent and all pervasive. Nothing is unknown to you. You alone should save us from these three Dasyas.”.
Then Brahma told Parameswara thus: “O Maheswara! I am the protector of all the three regions. I have given a boon to these Dasyas . With the power of that boon, they created three cities and have come immortals. They are harrassing divine bodies and sages and saints. We are unable to vanquish them. You alone are competnet. Kindly save them. Kill those three Dasyas and save the divine bodies” prayed Brahma.
“O Brahma! what you said is correct. They should be killed. But I shall not, however, kill them single handed. They are possessed of great might. Therefore, all of you, united together, kill them in battle, with half of my might.” said Maheswara.
“O Maheswara! Their might is twice the energy and might of ourselves. We have already been defeated at their hands. Besides, we will not be able to bear half of your energy. On the other hand, with half of our united might, do you kill those daityas.” said divine bodies.
“If you are unable to bear half of my might, then, endue me with half of your united energy, I will kill them. You provide me with a divine chariot, divine horses, one bow and arrow” said Mahasiva.
All the divine bodies have given half of their might to Parama Siva. They all requested Tvashta Prajapati to provide one divine chariot. Accordingly he assembled a divine chariot thus: The earth itself was the divine chariot. Sun and Moon were its wheels. The great oceans were axles. Himalaya Mountain, Vindhya Mountain and Asthaachala were the poles on four sides. The three agnis were the reins. Mountain Meru was the umbrella. Four vedas were four horses. Time was the bow. Maha Vishnu was the arrow. The cosmos was his armour. Vrishabha was the sign on his flag. Thus Mahadeva was provided with a divine chariot, bow and arrow.
Parama Siva was very happy. Parama Siva got into the chariot and held his bow and arrow.
“Devendra! Who is my charioteer?” asked Parama Siva.
“You can choose any body” said Mahendra.
“Devendra! my charioteer must be a greater personality than me. Choose such personality to be my charioteer” asked Parama Siva.
Then all the divine bodies approached Brahma. “O God Brahma! Parama Siva accepted our request to kill the Tripurasuras. We provided him chariot, bow and arrow. Now we are in search of a suitable charioteer. You are capable of driving this divine chariot. Please accept our request.” prayed Mahendra and other divine bodies.
Accordingly, Brahma accepted to be the charioteer of Parama Siva. Parama Siva asked Brahma to drive the chariot towards Tripurasuras. Rudra launched his arrow, Pasupatha Astra, through his bow, targetting the three cities. As per his wish, all the three cities came in a line. Pasupatha destroyed those three cities. All the sages and saints, divine bodies, acclaimed Maha Siva for his heroic deed. In this manner, the Tripurasuras were killed. Parama Siva was called as Tripuranthaka.
O King Salya! As per the words of Parama Siva, the charioteer shall always be greater than the radhika. As you are greater than Karna, you can drive the chriot of Karna. You are equivalent to Lord Brahma . As Brahma drove the chariot of Maha Siva, you have to drive the chariot of Karna. Because, you are greater than Karna, Arjuna and Krishna. I humbly request you to kindly accept my request.” said Suyodhana.
Suyodhana continued to narrate another story overheard by him. “O King Salya! Rama was the son of a great saint Jamadagni. Rama did penance about Lord Siva. Lord Siva appeared before him. Rama prayed Lord Siva to bless him with several Divine Astras. Lord Siva said: “ These Divine Astras will destroy those who are not pure.Therefore, first attain purity and then come to me” said Parama Siva.
“O Maheswara! whenever you think that I am pure, you can bless me with those divine astras. Till then I will be serving you.” said Rama. Lord Siva blessed him accordingly. For number of years, Rama worshipped and served Lord Siva with great devotion. One day, Lord Siva told his wife, Parvati. “O Parvati! look at him. He is Rama my devotee. He is worshipping me with pure heart.” said Parama Siva.
At that time, all Devatas and saints came there and
prayed Maha Siva to save them from Daityas. Parama Siva directed Bhargava
Rama to kill the Daityas. “O Maha Deva! I am not equipped with
any kind of Astras or Sastras. Daityas are more mightier than me. How
can I vanquish them?” said Bhargava Rama.
Bhargava Rama went against Asuras and fought with Asuras. Bhargava Rama killed all those Asuras. But Bhargava Rama was seriously wounded. With the gentle touch of Parama Siva, all the wounds were healed.
“Rama! with my divine touch, you will never be injured by any kind of weapon. Now you are pure. I am giving you all kinds of divine astras”. said Parama Siva. Bhargava Rama received the divine astras from Parama Siva. Then Bhargava Rama returned back to his Ashram. Karna, after serving Bhargava Rama for a long time, got those divine Astras.
O King Salya! Bhargava Rama blessed Karna, because Karna was also a purest personality. Will any ordinary lady give birth to such a splendid personality like Karna with natural armour? Will a lion give birth to a deer? But Karna was blamed as the son of Soota. Therefore, O Salya, King of Madra, you have to drive the chariot of Karna, the beloved student of Bhargava Rama to whom Parama Siva was the preceptor, as Brahma drove the chariot of Parama Siva, because the charioteer shall always be greater than the radhika.” said Suyodhana tactfully.
Salya was very happy with the words of Suyodhana. He hugged Suyodhana. “Suyodhana! you recognised my vigour and valour. I am very happy. I will be the charioteer of Karna, but on one condition. I am a bit talkative. I will be talking as I like and will be giving advises to Karna. He should bear with me and hear me patiently. He should not get angry.” said Sarla.
On hearing these words of Salya, Karna said: “O
Salya, King of Madra! I know you are a great personality. As Brahma
drove the chariot of Parama Siva, as Krishna to Arjuna, kindly drive
my chariot.” prayed Karna.
“Karna! you are so fortunate that Salya has accepted to drive your chariot. Krishna is no match to Salya. Even Matali, the charioteer of Indra is no match to Salya. You will certainly defeat Arjuna in today’s war.” said Suyodhana.
A suitable chariot was arranged for Karna. All performed Pooja to that chariot. Karna went round that chriot three times and bowed before it. He saluted Soorya. Salya mounted the chariot and sat in the place of Charioteer. Karna also got into the chariot.
In this manner, Sanjaya explained to Dhritarashtra, how Salya was made as Charioteer of Karna.” said Ugrasravasa to Sounaka and other sages and Saints, in Naimisaaranya, as told by Vaisampaayana to Janamejaya.