Karna parva has 96 chapters and 5175 slokas in it.
After the slaughter of Dronacharya, distressed Duryodhana and others kings went to Asvatthama.
While consoling grief-stricken Asvatthama, they suggested him to follow the system of science.
Later, they returned back to their camps at the time of sun set. Though they were at their camps, they did not get their sleep during night and with a great difficulty, they spent their night.
Next day, early in the morning, before they go to do their regular rituals, Duryodhana made the great warrior Karna as their commander-in-chief.
Similarly, Pandavas too, having completed their daily rituals of morning, came out of their camps to fight in the battle.
Later a terrific fight took place between Pandavas and Kauravas. Under the leadership of Karna, a fierce battle took place for about two days, after which, Arjuna killed Karna in the presence of Dhrutarashtra’s sons.
Sanjay narrated this incident of Kurukshetra to Dhrtarashtra. This is the brief summary of Karna Parva.
After the death of Dronacharya Sanjay went to Dhrtarashtra’s home with a distressed mind, and saluted the feet of apathetic king.
The king was very much distressed with slaughter of Ganga’s son Bhishma and the great archer Drona.
He said, ‘I being experiencing a deep sorrow feel that the entire Kauravas’ army might have flown away by the death of Dronacharya.’ Having said thus, he wanted to listen to the description of the battle in detail.
Then Sanjay said, ‘O king! Do not be sorrowful for this adversity that is obtained by fortune. When the great archer Dronacharya was killed, the faces of your sons faded. Having seen your grief-stricken sons, even the army was struck by grief. Later many bad omens too aroused. Having seen the distressed and dull army, Duryodhana said, ‘I have started the battle with Pandavas, only by seeing your imperishable strength. You all seem to be distressed by the death of Dronacharya. (Cover image – Karna in Kurukshetra, Wikipedia)
But, there is no wonder, as a warrior may obtain victory or death in the battle field. So, follow the great warrior Karna and wander freely in the battle field and fight with your divine weapons.’
Due to slaughter of the great archer Dronacharya, when the army of Kauravas’ started fleeing away from the battle field, Duryodhana made a great endeavor to stabilize it.
Then in the evening, Kauravas’ army returned to their camps and started thinking about their welfare. Then king Duryodhana spoke thus peacefully the best and pleasing words with the great archers, ‘O the best among the great warriors! You tell me your opinion fast about the plan of war.’
Later, Asvatthama, son of Drona said thus, while seeing the face of splendorous Duryodhana, ‘Scholars specified four means for a king to acquire a desired object. Of which, first is devotion towards one’s master, second is to obtain profit by thinking right place and time, the third is to work with strength and the fourth is to get benefited by moral thinking.
But these four means depend only on fate. Now, valorous and popular warriors or our army were killed. But, we shouldn’t forego the hope of victory, as fortune favors moral endeavors.
Thus, having made Karna, who is the best among the human beings and the one endowed with all virtues, as our commander-in-chief, let us destroy all our enemies.’
Having heard the pleasing and the words of welfare from Asvatthama, Duryodhana spoke thus to Karna, the son of Radha, ‘O great warrior! earlier, Bhishma and Drona were our commanders-in-chief. But they both were old and had care towards Arjuna. Hence, they were killed. O Radheya! You are stronger than them. So, you become our commander-in- chief. Having considered Pandavas his grand sons, Bhishma has protected them for ten days. Preceptor Dronacharya too, protected them in the battle field by considering them as his disciples. You are capable of handling the army as a leader. Hence, you may be crowned as our commander-in-chief.’
Having, listened to the provoking words of Duryodhana, Karna said thus, ‘O son of Gandhari! I told you earlier that I alone would win over all the Pandavas, including Janardana.’ Having heard the words of Karna, Duryodhana, along with other kings, crowned Karna as commander-in-chief, by following the traditional scriptures.
Thus, when Karna was crowned as commander-in-chief, he was praised by all the people. Having made Karna as commander-in-chief, Duryodhana thought that he was blessed.’ Sanjay further said, ‘O king! When Karna has become the commander-in-chief, as soon as the sun roused, he ordered every one to get ready for the battle.
Thereafter, by blowing his conch, Karna ordered all the warriors to assemble for war. In a view to kill Pandavas, through the deployment of crocodile, he marched ahead.
While Karna stood on its face part, great warrior Sakuni and Ulooka on its eyes, Dronacharya’s son Asvatthama on its head, brothers of Duryodhana on its head, Duryodhana along with huge army on its belly, Krtavarma on its left leg, Krpacharya on its right leg, Salya and Sushena stood on the back of its both the legs and Chitrasena and others stood at its tail end in the phase of battle.
After seeing the deployment made by Karna, the commander-in- chief of Kauravas, Yudhishtira said thus to Arjuna, ‘O Partha! This army of Kauravas is now devoid of warriors. Now, only one warrior is left over. Our victory is certain with the death of Karna. Hence, create a deployment and become victorious.
As a result, uplift Salya, who is the bestower of sorrow, since twelve years.’ Having heard the words of his elder brother Yudhishtira, Arjuna, the bearer of white vehicle, created a deployment of half-moon against Kauravas.
While Bhimasena stood to its left, great archer Dhrushtadyumna stood to its right, Arjuna on its midst, Yudhishthira, Nakula and Sahadeva stood at its back. Thus, both the teams created their deployments. Thereafter, after the blow of various conches and with different drum beats, a fierce battle started among the great warriors, their elephants, horses, charioteers. Having stood on an elephant and by taking a javelin and a noose in his hand, Bhimasena started scorching the army of enemies like the sun at midday. Kshemadhoorti, who too was standing on an elephant, attacked Bhimasena.
Both their elephants too attacked each other. While piercing and roaring at each other both the warriors were fighting like the rays of sun, while holding javelins in their hands.
They both killed each other’s elephants and continued fighting on foot. When Kshemadhoorti attacked Bhimasena with a sword, Bhimasena killed him by attacking with his mace.
When Kshemadhoorti, a popular hero of Kulootha was killed, the army of Kauravas started fleeing away.
Then the great archer, valor and warrior Karna, with his sharp arrows started killing the army of Pandavas.
Even Pandavas also started destroying the army of Kauravas. Thus, Nakula was fighting with Karna, Bhimasena with Asvatthama, Satyaki with Vinda and Anuvinda, Yudhishtira with Duryodhana, Dhanunjaya with the group of Samspatakas, Dhrshtadyumna with Krpacharya, Sikhandi with Krtavarma and Sahadeva with Dussasana.
Later Satyaki attacked Vinda and Anuvinda with his arrows. They both too, attacked Satyaki with their sharp arrows. While obstructing their arrows, Satyaki pierced their bows. Later those warriors showered the rain of arrows and covered the entire sky because of which, darkness was spread everywhere. Further, they both too, pierced the bow of Satyaki. Thereafter, angry Satyaki took another bow and with his sharp arrow pierced the head of Anuvinda.
With the demise of his brother, Vinda threw many arrows on Satyaki that were as if blazing fire on Satyaki’s hands and heart. Having shattered thus, Saatyaki pierced the chariot, horse, and charioteer and bow of Vinds and later pierced his head with his sword.
As a result the body of Vinda has falled down and he obtained death. Thus having killed Vinda and Anuvinda, the lords of Kekaya, Satyaki made their army flew from the battle field.
There was a dual fight between the army of Prativindhya and Chitrasena. Having attacked on Chitrasena, Prativindhya pierced his charioteer, horse and banner. Chitrasena too attacked him with a weapon called ‘Sakti’. But, Prativindhya could break it in two parts.
Later, Chitrasena with his mace pierced Prativindhya’s chariot and killed his charioteer and horses. Having got down from his chariot, Prativindhya angrily attacked him with a javelin, because of which, Chitrasena fell on the earth from his chariot and obtained death.
The army of Kauravas’ flew away due to the death of Chitrasena.
Asvatthama fought with Bhimasena. Asvatthama conquered Bhima with his arrows. Bhima too attacked Asvatthama with his arrows. Thus, both the warriors showered rain of arrows on each other and wrenched each other.
Even the gods were amazed to see their battle and having gathered in the sky they started discussing about the battle of those two. Gods said, ‘these two are endowed with knowledge and this kind of battle can never be seen in future.
Though, they belong to different castes they are courageous and valorous. Their battle, courage and valor are admirable. In the battle field these two are adorned like Yama, the death giver.’ Thus the gods praised Asvatthama and Bhima.
At last, both the warriors, while taking rest from the battle, stood behind their chariots.
When his charioteer saw Asvatthama lying fainted, he took his chariot far from the battle field. The charioteer of Bhima also took him on his chariot to his camp.
Arjuna had almost destroyed the army of Samsaptakas. He pricked up the heads and shoulders of innumerable warriors, elephants and horses. Thus after seeing the terrible destruction of Samsaptakas, the group of Siddhas and sages praised Krishna and Arjuna.
Both of them were showered with rain of flowers from the sky, and a divine voice from sky said thus, ‘this Kesava and Arjuna are endowed with strength of the brilliance of the Moon, the Fire, the Wind and the Sun. These two are invincible and are the
incarnation of the two divine sages Nara and Narayana.’
The preceptor’s son Asvatthama was very much surprised by seeing this and he desired to fight with Arjuna. He approached Arjuna and said, ‘O Partha! Through your conscious, if you consider me as your guest then you fight with me.’ Thus hearing the words of Asvatthama, Arjuna left the battle with Samsaptakas and got ready to fight with Asvatthama.
Asvatthama attacked Srikrishna and Arjuna with his sharp arrows. Then Arjuna too counter attacked Asvatthama by throwing three sharp arrows on him, because of which, his bow was cut into pieces. Thereafter, Asvatthama threw many divine weapons on Arjuna.
But, Arjuna could obstruct them by using his divine arrows. Further, Asvatthama attacked Arjuna and his charioteer with his sharp arrows.
Once again, Arjuna too obstructed those arrows of Asvatthama and later destroyed his chariot and charioteer.
Encouraged by Srikrishna, Arjuna hit Asvatthama’s furtive part and destroyed his horses of chariot too. As a result, he led Asvatthama far from the battle field. Having thus wedged with the sharp arrows of Arjuna, Asvatthama never tried again to fight with Arjuna and went and joined back again in the army of Karna.
Nakula greatly fought with Karna. Both of them threw arrows in such a way that, the sky was strewed fully with arrows.
Having fought thus, Karna destroyed the army of Pandavas, while Nakula the army of Kauravas.
Later, having hacked the bow of Nakula, Karna killed his charioteer. Though Nakula tried to attack Karna with his weapon, Karna pierced even that.
Later, having caught Nakula, Karna said, ‘you never fight with the strong army of Kauravas. Go back to your camp or else, stay with Krishna and Arjuna.’
Having said thus and while recollecting the promise given to Kunti, Karna left the defeated Nakula.
When Dandadhara destroyed Pandavas’ army very much, Krishna drove the chariot of Arjuna towards him and instructed him to first kill Dandadhar and later the elephants of Samsaptakas.
Having followed the instruction of Srikrishna, Arjun fought a fierce fight with Dandadhara and at last pierced his head by throwing the arrow of half-moon.
Thereafter, the victorious Arjuna having turned his chariot came towards the army of Samsaptakas and terribly fought with it.
Then Krishna said, ‘O Arjuna! Quickly you destroy these Samsaptakas and start planning to kill Karna.’ Then Arjuna destroyed Samsaptakas by attacking them with sharp arrows. He also threw the weapon called Aindra on the left over army of Samsaptakas.
As a result, by all means the army of Samsaptakas was destroyed. Having seen the destruction caused by Arjuna, the remaining army flew away from the battle field. Thus, having destroyed Samsaptakas, Arjuna was very much rejoiced.
Thus, a terrific and horrible war took place between the two armies. The fight between Duryodhana and Yudhishthira was also quite attractive.
Duryodhana pierced the bow of Yudhishthira with a javelin. Both threw many weapons on each other.
When Duryodhana threw a weapon called Sakti on Yudhishthira, having obstructed that weapon, he too threw many sharp arrows on Duryodhana.
When Duryodhana saw that his weapon called Sakti had failed, he further threw javelin on Yudhishthira. Thereafter, Yudhishthira threw a mesh of arrows on Duryohana, because of which, he was fainted.
Later, when he regained his conscious he attacked Yudhishthira with a mace. Tormented by that attack, Dharmaraja counter attacked him with a weapon called Sakti.
As a result, Duryodhana fell down from his chariot and once again fainted. Krtavarma took that fainted Duryodhana from the battle field to his camp.
Thus under the leadership of Karna, Duryodhana, Asvatthama, Krupacharya, Dussasana and others fought terribly with Satyaki, Bhima, Arjuna respectively.
In the battle field, the army of Kauravas got scared when Arjuna was throwing a mesh of arrows on them.
In the evening, Pandavas with the joy of victory returned to their camps happily.
During night, when the entire army has slept, the important warriors of Kauravas’ army assembled at a place and started discussing.
Then Karna said thus to Duryodhana, ‘By nature Arjuna is strong, courageous and peaceful. Apart from this, he has Krishna on his side, who very often suggests him by giving him various instructions. Hence today, having used so many weapons, Arjuna could defeat us.
But, O King! Tomorrow at any cost, I would certainly make all their ideas fail.’ Having got delighted with the words of Karna, Duryodhana asked all the warriors to go back to their camps and sleep peacefully.
Thus, when the night passed away, early in the morning, Karna approached Duryodhana and said thus, ‘O friend! Today we will fight with Arjuna, popular son of Pandu. Today either I will kill him or he would kill me. I swear that I would not return from the battle field without killing Arjuna. O lord! You may now please listen to the words of welfare.
Arjuna and I have got the strength of divine weapons with us. I have got a weapon called Vijaya, which is the best than that of Arjuna’s Gandeeva. But, Arjuna has got Srikrishna, the respectable, as his charioteer. Hence, he became stronger than me. If I too have an able charioteer with me, then your victory is certain.
O King! If Salya, the king of Madra becomes my charioteer, then your victory is certain. Thus, you have to go and request Salya.’
Having heard the words of Karna, Duryodhana appealed Salya to become the charioteer of Karna.
Having heard the request of Duryodhana, Salya said thus, ‘O king! You are insulting us. I cannot consider Karna. He is not a warrior like us.’ While praising the self-respect Salya further said thus, ‘I can never become a charioteer of a son of Suta. Instead, I would go back to my country without indulging in the battle.’
Thus having seen the anger of Salya, Duryodhana further spoke peacefully with him, ‘O King! We all know your valor and greatness. But, by keeping the protection of Karna and my victory in mind, you please accept my request.
You are stronger than Karna. Karna is better than Arjuna in the art of archery. Moreover, you are better than Krishna in the knowledge of horses.
Hence, I am requesting you to become the charioteer of Karna. Don’t consider my words otherwise. Salya was convinced by the ethical words of Duryodhana and said thus, ‘O king! I am very much pleased that you have considered me as better than Srikrishna.
So, having regard to your words, I will become the charioteer of Karna. But, in the battlefield, by keeping his welfare in my mind, if I use any harsh or delicate words on Karna, you both should bear with me.’ Thus, having received the acceptance of Salya, Duryodhana approached Karna and said thus, ‘Salya accepted to become your charioteer and undoubtedly, he is stronger than Krishna.’
Karna said to Salya, ‘Though death may come and protect Arjuna, I would certainly kill him today. Similarly, if the gods like Indra, Varuna, Yama, Kubera may come and protect Arjun, but, I would certainly kill him.’ Salya could not tolerate the arrogance of Karna.
So, he said thus, ‘O Karna! Why do you dishonor Pandavas? All the Pandavas are great archers and great warriors and have knowledge of all the weapons.
They never flee from the battle field. Indeed, no one can win over them. They are really valorous. Those great are indeed capable of creating fear in the mind of Indra.’
Though Salya became the charioteer of Karna, as they were lacking unity, the argument thus went on between both of them. Karna, while praising himself said thus, ‘today I would kill Arjuna. Duryodhana will obtain victory. All the Pandavas will be defeated.’
Further, while dishonoring the self praise of Karna, Salya praised the strength and valor of Arjuna. Thus, Salya’s denial of Karna was frequently apparent.
When the battle was started, Bhima destroyed the army of Kauravas, in a group fight.
In the meanwhile, Karna came there and started fighting with Bhima. Karna struck Bhima with his iron arrows and Bhima too struck him with his nine arrows.
Karna pierced Bhima’s bow, but Bhima took a new bow and threw sharp arrows on Karna. But, Karna once again struck Bhima with his iron arrows.
As a result, the angry Bhima targeted Karna and threw an arrow that could even turn a mountain into pieces. Struck by that arrow, Karna became helpless and sat down behind his chariot.
Later, his charioteer took him from the battle field to a secluded place.
While encouraging his army Duryodhana said to them, ‘fortunately, we get this kind of opportunity to battle. You will either win over the enemies and obtain a flawless kingdom or may obtain death and reach heaven.’
Having thus heard the encouraging words of Duryodhana, his army was delighted and started fighting. After seeing the gathering of those kings, Asvatthama said, ‘I take a vow that I would certainly slay Drshtadyumna, the leader of Pandavas’ army, for killing my father who was weaponless.
Even if Bhima and Dananjaya help Drshtadyumna, those two will also certainly obtain death in my hands.’ When Asvatthama said thus, both the armies started fighting with each other.
Thus, with the terrific slaughter of so many people in the battle field, it was appearing as if it were the end of the eon. All the people and the groups of gods were seeing that terrific battle. Thus, after a terrific battle when Arjuna had won over Asvatthama, he looked for Yudhishthira. But, when he could not see Yudhishthira, he became panic and said thus to Vasudeva, ‘O Vasudeva! Dharmaraja Yudhishthira is not to be seen. No warrior of Duryodhana’s army is coming to me, to fight with. So, you take me to Dharmaraja. I would fight only after seeing him.’ After hearing Arjuna’s desire, Vasudeva said, ‘O Arjuna! The great destruction of Kshatriyas caused by Duryodhana is clearly visible. See the bows and arrows of the warriors. See various weapons that fell down on the battle field. See the dead bodies of the kings, their horses and their elephants.’ Having said thus, Krishna took him to a place where a fierce fight was going on between Duryodhana and Yudhishthira, where the former was being defeated. At that juncture, Karna came there and after rescuing Duryodhana he destroyed the army of Pandavas. He further attacked and hurt Yudhishthira with a javelin. Yudhishthira, who was wounded, tried to move out from there but, Kauravas obstructed him. Yudhishthira who was hurt by Karna fell sick. Meanwhile, a fight was going on between Bhima and Duyodhana. Bhima fought with Duryodhana with a great courage. As a result, Duryodhana’s condition too became pathetic. Meanwhile, Salya said to Karna, ‘Do you want to fight with Yudhishtira or Arjuna? If you fight with Arjuna you will be insulted. So, don’t fight with Arjuna. Having hit by Bhima, Duryodhana is very much tormented and he needs your protection. So to protect him go and fight with Bhima.’ Having heard the words of Salya, Karna went to fight with Bhima. In the meanwhile, Asvatthama wanted to fight with Arjuna, so he approached him. Then a terrific fight took place between both the warriors. Having won over Asvatthama, Dhanunjaya brought a great loss to the army of Kauravas. After seeing the great destruction of his army Duryodhana requested Karna for a help. Then Karna used a divine weapon called Bhaargava, because of which, the entire army of Kauravas was protected and the army of Pandavas became very much scared. Arjuna wanted to see Yudhishthira. So, he shouldered the responsibility of war on Bhima and went to see Dharmaraja. At that time, Dharmaraja was suffering a lot due to the hurt caused by Karna’s arrow. He was very much delighted when he saw Kesava and Arjuna approaching him and greeted both of them. Then Yudhishthira said to Krishna, ‘O Vasudeva! Karna has pierced my banner and killed my charioteer and horses. He won over me in front of Drshtadyumna and others. He not only struck me with his arrows but also used many harsh words. I did not receive such words even from the great warriors like Bhishma and Drona, but now I heard those from Karna. After defeated by Karna, I am visualizing Karna only everywhere. I am worried that how this Karna would be killed. He always abuses Pandavas and praises Kauravas. Thus, he always tries to do welfare of Duryodhana. He always wanders in the battle field with a pride and says that he would certainly kill Arjuna. O Vasudeva! You please, plan for the death of this mean human.’ Having heard the words of Yudhishthira, before Krishna would speak something, Arjuna started speaking thus, ‘When we were fighting with Samsaptakas, Asvatthama reached there while attacking me with his arrows. Then I had to fight with him for a long time and when he was defeated, he joined in the army of Karna. As soon as we came to know that you were hurt by Karna’s arrows we came here to see you. Thus after seeing you, I am moving ahead to kill Kana. I strongly believe that with your blessings I would certainly kill Karna. Thus, having killed Karna, I would certainly remove your sorrow. When Arjuna spoke thus, delighted Yudhishthira said, ‘O Arjuna! Karna pierced my armor, bow, arrows, horses etc. in front of every one. So, I experienced a great sorrow. If Karna won’t obtain death today, I would certainly sacrifice my life.’ Then Arjuna said, ‘O king! I make a true vow that, with your blessings, today, I would certainly kill Karna.’ When Arjuna took such a vow, then Krishna said thus, ‘O king! You are capable of consoling Arjuna. He is going to kill Karna. So bless him to become victorious and order him to kill Karna.’ When the lord said thus, Yudhishthira embraced Arjuna and ordered him to kill Karna. Dhanunjaya while offering salutations to him caught his feet. Then king Dharmaraja having taken him up, embraced him and having kissed him on his forehead said thus, ‘O Partha! I am very much honored by you. You may obtain victory.’ Then Arjuna said, ‘O brother! Today I will certainly kill that wicked Karna by whom you were very much troubled. Today, he will certainly obtain the fruits of his wicked deeds. O king! I would not return from the battle field without killing Karna. Having taken this kind of vow, I salute your feet.’ Then Yudhishtira asked him to make a move and said, ‘May the gods bless you by bestowing upon you prosperity as per my desire.’ Arjun further said that Yudhishthira, son of Kunti would be certainly delighted by the death of Karna.
Duryodhana said to his uncle Sakuni to kill Bhima in the battle field. Sakuni attacked Bhima with an arrow. Bhima who was hurt by Sakuni’s arrow struck him with a terrific arrow. The angry Sakuni, threw a javelin and killed Bhima’s charioteer and horses and pierced his banner. Further, Bhima attacked him with a weapon called Sakti. But, Sakuni could obstruct that and again attacked Bhima. As a result, Bhima got angry and killed Sakuni’s charioteer and horses. Later he pierced Sakuni’s bow and troubled him by throwing sharp arrows on him. Thus, being troubled, Sakuni fell on the ground. Duryodhana rescued him and made him to move from the battle field. Thus, when Sakuni, king of Saubala was defeated Duryodhana and others went away from the battle field and even the army of Kauravas was wandering here and there. Having seen thus, Karna scared the army of Pandavas. Further Bhima too frightened the army of Duryodhana. When Karna saw that Dhanunjaya was destroying his army, he went near him to fight with him. Dhanunjaya also saw Karna, who was well protected by Duryodhana and others. At that juncture, Bhima also reached there. Having spoken to Bhima, Dhanunjaya moved against Karna. By seeing the valor of Arjuna, Kauravas were distressed and they were very much worried about Karna.
Dussasana fought with Bhima. He pierced Bhima’s bow and struck his charioteer. Bhima too attacked him with a weapon called Sakti. But Dussasana had cut that with his arrows. As a result, Kauravas very much praised him. Further, Dussasana attacked Bhima with number of arrows. Thus, having got angry, Bhima attacked him with a mace. As a result, Dussasana fell on the ground and even his horses, chariot and charioteer were destroyed. When he fell on the ground, Bhima came there and recollected the mean deeds that were done by Dussasana in the royal court. Angry Bhima said to Duryodhana, Karna, Krpacharya and Asvatthama, ‘today I will kill this wicked Dussasana. You may protect him.’ Bhima took his mace in his hand and said to Dussasana, ‘O wicked! Recollect your wicked and sinful deeds. Now I am sending you to the world of Yama.’ Having said thus, he pierced Dussasana’s shoulders and forcefully hit his chest and then cut his head. Later, he drank the blood that was gushing out of Dussasana’s heart. Seeing this, the warriors who were present there were astonished and started fleeing away from the battle field. They were telling that Bhima was not a human being but was a demon, who drinks blood. Having thus killed Dussasana, Bhima took his blood in his hands and while roaring loudly spoke thus to the world popular warriors, ‘O mean among human beings! See I am drinking the blood of your throat. Even now, in this condition, you roar loudly while calling me.’ While recollecting all the bad deeds that were done by Dussasana in the past Bhima said thus to Krishna and Arjun, ‘O warriors! Today, in this battle field, I have fulfilled the vow that was taken by me in the past. In this same battle field, by piercing Duryodhana, I will fulfill my second promise, because of which, I will attain peace.’ When Bhima killed Dussasana, while attacking him with their arrows, his other ten valorous brothers captured Bhima. When Bhima was at once attacked by those ten i.e. Nishanki, Paashi, Kavachi, Dandadhara, Dhanurgraha, Alulupa, Sala, Sandha, Kathavega, Suvarcha and others, his eyes became red out of anger and angrily, at once, he had sent them to the world of Yama. By seeing the destruction caused by Bhima, in the presence of Karna only, the army of Bharata’s clan started fleeing away. Karna was also scared by seeing the destruction caused by Bhima. After seeing the facial expressions of Karna, his charioteer Salya spoke thus with him, ‘O son of Radha! Don’t be panic. Your appearance is not graceful. All the kings are running away by seeing the valor of Bhima. Duryodhana also became perplexed due to the death of his brothers. Now Arjuna and other Pandavas have set their target and they are marching ahead to fight with you. O lion like man! Duryodhana, son of Dhrtarashtra has shouldered the responsibility of war on you. So, having relied upon the four main objects of human life and by keeping in mind the duty of Kshatriyas, attack Arjuna.’ Having heard the words of the splendorous Salya, Karna stabilized his mind on war and got prepared for the battle.
Sanjay said, ‘O the best among the kings! At this juncture, Vrushasena, son of the great warrior, attacked Bhimasena and both were terribly fighting like Yama, bearing the weapons. Having seen thus, popular warrior, Nakula troubled his enemy Vrushasena with his sharp arrows and attacked him furiously.
Having cut his banner, Nakula pierced his bow too by throwing a Javelin. Vrushasena, son of Karna, took another bow and struck Nakula. Vrushasena, knower of many divine weapons threw various weapons on Nakula. Thus, there was a terrific fight between those two. At last, being troubled by Vrushasena, Nakula climbed the chariot of Bhima. Following the instructions of Bhima, Arjuna immediately attacked Vrushasena. In the presence of Karna, Vrushasena attacked Arjuna with his arrows. He very often struck Krishna and Arjuna with his arrows. Later having decided to kill Vrushasena, son of Karna, Dhanunjaya spoke to the great warriors of Kauravas, ‘I am going to send Vrushasena to the world of Yama. You may protect him.’ Having said thus, Dhanunjaya threw ten arrows on Vrushasena and hit him on his vital parts. Later, he had cut his shoulders and head. Thus, being hit by the arrows of Dhanunjaya, Vrushasena fell down and died.
On seeing the death of his son, Karna fell in deep sorrow and tears rolled down from his eyes. Out of anger, he wanted to fight with Arjuna. So, he asked Salya to take his chariot towards Arjuna. Following his instructions, Salya took his chariot towards Arjuna. All the kings made a roar of lion, when they saw Karna and Arjun facing towards each other. All kinds of instrumental beats of war banged up. Even the conches were blown. Pandavas also blew their conches while praising Arjuna. Thus, when Karna and Arjuna got ready for the war, then the group of gods, demons, semi-gods, semi- demons, serpents took their part. _———- supported Karna while the earth supported Arjuna. The mountains, oceans, rivers, trees and herbs supported Arjuna. The demons and guhyakas supported Karna. While the sages, ascetics, yogis, gems, treasuries, Vedas and their sub-divisions, Upanishads, the earth, Wind, Saadhya, Rudra, Visvedevas, Aswin, The fire, Indu, Soma, Pavana, the lords of ten quarters etc., took the refuge of Arjuna, Adityas supported Karna. While Indra said, ‘May Arjun win’, the Sun said, ‘May Karna win.’ Thus, in the battle of Karna and Paartha the entire sky was covered with the arrows. When Duryodhana, Saubala, Krpacharya and other warriors showered rain of arrows on Arjuna, he could obstruct them without any effort. After seeing Arjuna’s expertise in the war, all the kings started fleeing away from the battle field. All the creatures were astonished by seeing that wonderful battle that was taking place in the presence of gods and human. Asvatthama, who was distressed with the battle, caught Duryodhana’s hand and said thus, ‘O king! Now you get realized. Forego the thought of fight and comprise with Pandavas. There is no purpose in enmity. Grandfather Bhishma and Dronacharya, who was a great scholar in the art of archery, were also killed in this battle. Since my uncle Krpacharya and I are invincible, we are left over. So, having joined with Pandavas, rule the kingdom for a long time. Pandavas do not support enmity. So, they can be easily pacified. O king of all men! If you don’t listen to my words, you will be certainly killed by the enemies in the battle. Then you will have lot of repentance. My words bestow welfare to the citizens, happiness to you all and are profitable to every one. They bestow good in future. Karna can never win over Arjuna, who is a tiger in the form of human. The valor that Arjuna, bearer of Divine Crown, has shown today has been witnessed by you along with Kauravas and the entire world.’ Having thus heard the welfare words of Asvatthama, Duryodhana said, ‘O friend! Whatever you have said is absolutely right. But the way the wicked Bhima killed Dussasana is really troubling my mind. As a result, I have become desperate. O friend! Now Arjuna is very much tired by making lot of effort. So, Karna will forcefully kill him.’ Further, Sanjaya said to Dhrtarashtra that his son Duryodhana rejected the words of Asvatthama. Later he questioned his soldiers as to why there were sitting calmly and asked them to attack the enemies and kill them.
Later, a terrific fight started again between Karna and Arjuna. Karna attacked Partha with ten arrows. Arjuna too counter attacked him with ten arrows. Both of them could obstruct each other’s arrows. Then Arjuna used a weapon called Agneya while Karna obstructed that by using a weapon called Varuna. Then Arjuna attacked him with thousands of arrows those were equal to thunderbolt, because of which, Karna got severe pain. But very soon he became attentive and obstructed those weapons, by creating a weapon called Bhargava. Karna struck Panchalas with this weapon. After seeing the distress of Panchalas, Bhima asked Arjuna not to spare Karna and immediately kill him. Lord Krishna also supported Bhima. Then Arjuna used Brahmastra on Karna. But, Karna too, instantly used Brahmastra and could obstruct Arjuna’s weapon. By throwing divine weapons he struck Arjuna along with Srikrishna. Then at once, Arjuna too used his divine weapons and troubled Karna, Salya and other warriors. Karna too troubled Arjuna and other warriors. Then out of anger, Arjuna used very powerful arrows and troubled Karna and killed his body guards and scared the Kauravas, who were protecting Karna and made them to flee away from the battle field. Then Karna destroyed the weapons of Arjuna by using a divine weapon that was obtained by him from Parasurama. The sky was scattered by the arrows that were thrown by both the warriors. As the darkness was spread over, nothing was visible there. At this juncture, with a view to kill Arjuna, Karna used a terrific arrow, in which a serpent entered. When Srikrishna, a proficient charioteer, saw that a fire faceted arrow was approaching them he made his chariot go down the earth. As a result, it could touch only the crown of Arjun and it fell down on the earth. Karna asked the king of serpents, ‘who are you?’ Then that serpent replied, ‘I am an enemy of Arjuna. I want to kill him. So, I will help you.’ Then Karna told him clearly that he was not in need of any help and he would kill Arjuna, by using only his own strength. Having heard the reply of Karna, the king of serpents started fighting individually with Arjuna. But Arjuna killed that serpent. When Srikrishna was taking out the chariot that went into the ground, Karna attacked Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna attacked Karna by releasing ten arrows on him. Then Arjuna hit Karna’s vital parts by throwing various arrows on him. Later, he threw the arrows that were like thunderbolt into his chest. Thus, troubled Karna was standing on his chariot without any protection. At this juncture, Arjuna stopped attacking Karna. Following the instructions of Krishna, Arjuna showered the net of arrows on Karna’s chariot and charioteer. Karna courageously, struck once again Krishna and Arjuna. When Karna wanted to throw an arrow that could cause a great destruction, the earth stucked right the wheel of Karna’s chariot. As a result, Karna was very much distressed. At this moment, Arjuna attacked Karna with eleven weapons of Aindra. But Karna could obstruct them. Later when, Arjuna wanted to attack him with terrible weapons called Raudra, Karna, spoke to him thus, while lamenting ‘O Partha! As long as I won’t pull up the wheel of my chariot that has stuck in the ground, you cannot attack me. So, wait for a moment.’ Having heard the words of Karna, Janardana said, ‘O Karna! Where was the law when Draupadi, during her menstrual period was brought to the court by you, Dussasana, Sakuni and Duryodhana?’ After hearing the words of Kesava, Karna felt shy and again started fighting with Arjuna. Then Krishna instructed Arjuna to use divine weapons and kill Karna. Following the instructions of Krishna, when Arjuna threw the weapon of Brahma, Karna could obstruct that by using again the weapon of Brahma. Then in view to kill Arjuna, when Karna used a terrific
weapon, a tumult had spread every where. As a result, Arjuna lost his conscious. Later, having regained his conscious, without even climbing his chariot, he used a divine weapon called Anjalika and cut the head of Karna, which immediately, fell on the ground. Later, his body also fell on the ground. Hence, by the death of Karna, Pandavas joyfully blew the conches and praised Arjuna. Sorrow was spread in Kauravas’ army and as it was very much scared it flew away from the battle field.
Duryodhana tried to stop the army. Yudhishthira praised Arjuna a lot, for becoming victorious by killing Karna.’ Thus, having heard the narration of slaughter of Karna from Sanjaya, Dhrtarashtra fell in deep sorrow. Gandhari also started lamenting for the death of Karna. Then Sanjay tried to pacify Dhrutarashtra, while Gandhari was pacified by Vidura. As a result, Dhrtarashtra remained silent as if he was fainted.