“Surya said, ’If O son, thou givest away thy ear-rings to the wielder of the thunder-bolt, O thou of mighty strength, thou shouldst also, for the purpose of securing victory, speak unto him, saying,—O thou of a hundred sacrifices, I shall give thee ear-rings under a condition.—Furnished with the ear-rings, thou art certainly incapable of being slain by any being. Therefore, it is, O son, that desirous of beholding thee slain in battle by Arjuna, the destroyer of the Danavas desireth to deprive thee of thy ear-rings. Repeatedly adoring with truthful words that lord of the celestials, viz., Purandara armed with weapons incapable of being frustrated, do thou also beseech him, saying, “Give me an infallible dart capable of slaying all foes, and I will, O thousand-eyed deity, give the ear-rings with the excellent coat of mail!” On this condition shouldst thou give the ear-rings unto Sakra. With that dart, O Karna, thou wilt slay foes in battle: for, O mighty-armed one, that dart of the chief of the celestials doth not return to the hand that hurleth it, without slaying enemies by hundreds and by thousands!’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Having said this, the thousand-rayed deity suddenly vanished away. The next day, after having told his prayers, Karna related his dream unto the Sun. And Vrisha related unto him the vision he had seen, and all that had passed between them in the night. Thereupon, having heard everything, that enemy of Swarbhanu, that lord, the resplendent and divine Surya, said unto him with a smile, ’It is even so!’ Then Radha’s son, that slayer of hostile heroes, knowing all about the matter, and desirous of obtaining the dart, remained in expectation of Vasava.”
Janamejaya said, “What was that secret which was not revealed to Karna by the deity of warm rays? Of what kind also were those ear-rings and of what sort was that coat of mail? Whence, too, was that mail and those ear-rings? All this, O best of men. I wish to hear! O thou possessed of the wealth of asceticism, do tell me all this!”
Vaisampayana said, “I will, O monarch, tell thee that secret which was not revealed by the deity possessed of the wealth of effulgence. I will also describe unto thee those ear-rings and that coat of mail. Once on a time, O king, there appeared before Kuntibhoja a Brahmana of fierce energy and tall stature, bearing a beard and matted locks, and carrying a staff in his hand. And, he was agreeable to the eye and of faultless limbs, and seemed to blaze forth in splendour. And he was possessed of a yellow-blue complexion like that of honey. And his speech was mellifluous, and he was adorned with ascetic merit and a knowledge of the Vedas. And that person of great ascetic merit, addressing king Kuntibhoja, said, ’O thou that are free from pride, I wish to live as a guest in thy house feeding on the food obtained as alms from thee!