Lit, Soldiers that have sworn to conquer or die. A full Akshauhini of these soldiers was owned by Krishna, who gave them to Duryodhana to fight for him. The story of Krishna’s offering to Duryodhana the choice between these soldiers on the one side, and himself sworn not to fight but only to aid with his counsels on the other, is given in full in the Udyoga Parva. Duryodhana, from folly, accepted the former, who were all slain by Arjuna.
Vaisampayana continued, “Having addressed him thus, those Daityas embraced that elephant among kings, and those bulls among the Danavas cheered that irrepressible one like a son. And, O Bharata, pacifying his mind by soft speech, they permitted him to depart, saying, ’Go and attain victory!’ And when they had given leave to the mighty-armed one, that very goddess carried him back to the spot where he had sat down, intent upon putting an end to his life. And having set that hero down and paid him homage, the goddess vanished, taking the king’s permission. O Bharata, when she had gone, king Duryodhana considered all (that had happened) as a dream. He then thought within himself, ’I shall defeat the Pandavas in battle.’ And Suyodhana thought that Karna and the Samsaptaka army were both able (to destroy) and intent upon destroying that slayer of foes, Partha. Thus, O bull of the Bharata race, the hope was strengthened of the wicked minded son of Dhritarashtra, of conquering the Pandavas. And Karna also, his soul and faculties possessed by the inmost soul of Naraka, had at that time cruelly determined to slay Arjuna. And those heroes—the Samsaptakas also—having their sense possessed by the Rakshasas, and influenced by the qualities of emotion and darkness, were desirous of slaying Phalguna. And, O king, others with Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa at their head, having their faculties influenced by the Danavas, were not so affectionate towards the sons of Pandu as they had been. But king Suyodhana did not tell any one of this.
“When the night passed away, Karna, that offspring of the Sun, with joined hands, smilingly addressed these wise words to king Duryodhana, ’No dead man conquereth his foes: it is when he is alive that he can see his good. Where is the good of the dead person; and, O Kauravya, where is his victory? Therefore, this is no time for grief, or fear or death.’ And having, with his arms embraced that mighty-armed