are contending earnestly in battle. Behold, the
Pandava host crushed at dead of night, like an extensive
forest of heath by a couple of infuriated elephants.
Disregarding the might of Bhimasena’s son, as
also the variety of weapon that Partha bears, the
Kauravas are putting forth their prowess, Yonder,
Drona and Karna and king Suyodhana, having slain the
Rakshasa in battle, are uttering loud roars.
How, O Janardana, when we are alive and thyself too,
could Hidimva’s son be slain while engaged with
the Suta’s son? Having caused a great slaughter
amongst us, and in the very sight of Savyasachin,
Karna, O Krishna, hath slain Bhimasena’s son
of great strength, the Rakshasa, Ghatotkacha.
When Abhimanyu was slain by the wicked Dhartarashtras,
the mighty car-warrior Savyasachin, O Krishna, was
not present in that battle. We also were all held
in check by the illustrious ruler of the Sindhus.
Drona, with his son (Aswatthaman), became the cause
of that act. The preceptor himself told Karna
the means of Abhimanyu’s slaughter. While
Abhimanyu was battling with the sword it was the preceptor
himself that cut off that weapon. And while fallen
into such distress, Kritavarman most cruelly slew
the steeds and the two Parshni drivers (of the boy).
Other great bowmen then despatched the son of Subhadra.
For a little offence, O Krishna, was the ruler of the
Sindhus slain by the wielder of Gandiva. O foremost
one among the Yadavas, that act did not give me great
joy. If the slaughter of foes is just and should
be achieved by the Pandavas, then Drona and Karna should
have been slain before this. This is what I think.
O bull among men, those two are the root of our woes.
Obtaining those two (as his allies) in battle, Suyodhana
has become confident. Indeed, when it was Drona
that should have been slain or the Suta’s son
with his followers, the mighty-armed Dhananjaya slew
the Sindhu king whose connection with the affair was
very remote. The punishment of the Suta’s
son should certainly by undertaken by me. I shall,
therefore, O hero, now fight for slaying the Suta’s
son. The mighty-armed Bhimasena is now engaged
with Drona’s division.’ Having said
these words, Yudhishthira quickly proceeded against
Karna, holding his formidable bow and blowing his conch
fiercely. Then, surrounded by a Panchala and
Prabhadraka force of a thousand cars, three hundred
elephants and five thousand horses,
Sikhandin speedily followed in the wake of the king.
Then the mail-clad Panchalas and the Pandavas headed
by Yudhishthira beat their drums and blew their conchs.
At this time Vasudeva of mighty arms, addressing Dhananjaya
said, ’Filled with wrath, yonder proceedeth Yudhishthira
with great speed from desire of slaying the Suta’s
son. It is not proper that thou shouldst rely
upon him in this.’ Having said these words,
Hrishikesa quickly urged the steeds. Indeed,
Janardana followed in the wake of the king who was
now at a distance. At that time, seeing Dharma’s
son, Yudhishthira, whose mind was afflicted by grief
and who seemed to be scorched as if by fire, rush
with speed from desire of slaying the Suta’s
son, Vyasa approached him and said these words.’