without indulging in brag is the duty of good men.
Ever roaring aloud, O Suta’s son like the dry
clouds of autumn, thou showest thyself, O Karna to
be without substance. The king, however, does
not understand it. Thou roarest, O son of Radha,
as long as thou seest not the son of Pritha.
These thy roars disappear when thou seest Partha near.
Indeed, thou roarest as long as thou art out of the
range of Phalguna’s shafts. Those roars
of thine disappear when thou art pierced with Partha’s
shafts. Kshatriyas evince their eminence by means
of their arms; Brahmanas, by means of speech; Arjuna
evinces his by means of the bow; but Karna, by the
castles he builds in the air. Who is there that
will resist that Partha who gratified Rudra himself
(in battle)?’ Thus railed at by Saradwat’s
son, Karna, that foremost of smiters, answered Kripa
in the following strain, ’Heroes always roar
like clouds in the season of rains, and like steeds
put in the soil, quickly yield fruits. I do not
see any fault in heroes that take great burdens on
their shoulders, indulging in boastful speeches on
the field of battle. When a person mentally resolves
to bear a burden, Destiny itself aids him in the execution.
Wishing in my heart bear a great burden, I always summon
sufficient resolution. If, slaying the sons of
Pandu with Krishna and Satwatas in battle, I indulge
in such roars, what is it to thee, O Brahmana?
They that are heroes never roar fruitlessly like autumnal
clouds. Conscious of their own might, the wise
indulge in roars! In my heart I am determined
to vanquish in battle today Krishna and Partha united
together and fighting with resolution! It is for
this that I roar, O son of Gotama! Behold the
fruit of these my roars, O Brahmana! Slaying
the son of Pandu in battle, with all their followers,
Krishna and Satwatas, I will bestow on Duryodhana
the whole earth without a thorn in it.’
“Kripa said, ’Little do I reckon, O Suta’s
son, these delirious saying of thine discovering thy
thoughts, not deeds. Thou always speakest in
depreciation of the two Krishnas and king Yudhishthira
the just. He, O Karna, is certain, to have the
victory who hath on his side those two heroes skilled
in battle. Indeed, Krishna and Arjuna are incapable
of being defeated by the celestials, the Gandharvas,
the Yakshas, human beings, the Nagas, and the birds,
all clad in mail. Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma
is devoted to the Brahmanas. He is truthful in
speech and self-restrained. He reverences the
Pitris and the deities. He is devoted to the
practice of truth and righteousness. He is, again,
skilled in weapons. Possessed of great intelligence,
he is also grateful. His brothers are all endued
with great might and well-practised in all weapons.
They are devoted to the service of their seniors.
Possessed of wisdom and fame, they are also righteous
in their practices. Their kinsmen and relatives
are all endued with the prowess of Indra. Effectual
smiters, they are all exceedingly devoted to the Pandavas.