The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“Vaisampayanacontinued, ’Arjuna, after this, deeming himself disgraced, said unto Karna stationed amidst the brothers like unto a cliff, ’That path which the unwelcome intruder and the uninvited talker cometh to, shall be thine, O Karna, for thou shall be slain by me.’  Karna replied, ’This arena is meant for all, not for thee alone, O Phalguna!  They are kings who are superior in energy; and verily the Kshatriya regardeth might and might alone.  What need of altercation which is the exercise of the weak?  O Bharata, speak then in arrows until with arrows I strike off thy head today before the preceptor himself!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Hastily embraced by his brothers, Partha that subduer of hostile cities, with the permission of Drona, advanced for the combat.  On the other side, Karna, having been embraced by Duryodhana with his brothers, taking up his bow and arrows, stood ready for the fight.  Then the firmament became enveloped in clouds emitting flashes of lightning, and the coloured bow of Indra appeared shedding its effulgent rays.  And the clouds seemed to laugh on account of the rows of white cranes that were then on the wing.  And seeing Indra thus viewing the arena from affection (for his son), the sun too dispersed the clouds from over his own offspring.  And Phalguna remained deep hid under cover of the clouds, while Karna remained visible, being surrounded by the rays of the Sun.  And the son of Dhritarashtra stood by Karna, and Bharadwaja and Kripa and Bhishma remained with Partha.  And the assembly was divided, as also the female spectators.  And knowing the state of things, Kunti the daughter of Bhoja, swooned away.  And by the help of female attendants, Vidura, versed in the lore of all duties, revived the insensible Kunti by sprinkling sandal-paste and water on her person.  On being restored to consciousness, Kunti, seeing her two sons clad in mail, was seized with fear, but she could do nothing (to protect them).  And beholding both the warriors with bows strung in their hands the son of Saradwat, viz., Kripa, knowing all duties and cognisant of the rules regulating duels, addressed Karna, saying ’This Pandava, who is the youngest son of Kunti, belongeth to the Kaurava race:  he will engage in combat with thee.  But, O mighty-armed one, thou too must tell us thy lineage and the names of thy father and mother and the royal line of which thou art the ornament.  Learning all this, Partha will fight with thee or not (as he will think fit).  Sons of kings never fight with men of inglorious lineage.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’When he was thus addressed by Kripa, Karna’s countenance became like unto a lotus pale and torn with the pelting showers in the rainy season.  Duryodhana said, ’O preceptor, verily the scriptures have it that three classes of persons can lay claim to royalty, viz., persons of the blood royal, heroes, and lastly, those that lead armies.  If Phalguna is unwilling to fight with one who is not a king, I will install Karna as king of Anga.’

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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