O king, is one of thy foremost of Rathas. Born
in Madhu’s race, that slayer of hostile heroes,
is prepared to cast away his very life in battle.
Skilled in battle, that mighty-armed warrior, scattering
the enemy’s ranks before him, will fight in battle
mounted on car or from the elephant’s back.
That best of kings, O monarch, is in my judgment,
a Ratha. He will, in fierce battle, cast away
for thy sake his very life with all, his troops possessed
of great prowess and acquainted with all the modes
of warfare, he will, O king, fight fearlessly with
thy foes in battle. Never retreating from battle,
brave, and resembling Yama himself, Vahlika, O king,
is in my judgment, an Atiratha. Rushing to the
encounter he never cometh back. Indeed, he will
slay hostile warriors in battle like the Wind-god
himself. That router of hostile car-ranks, that
car-warrior of wonderful feats in battle, commander
of thy forces, Satyavan is, O king, a Maharatha.
He never cherisheth grief at the prospect of battle.
Confounding those warriors that stand in the way of
his car, he falleth upon them. Always displaying
his prowess against the enemy, that best of men will,
for thy sake, in fierce press of battle, achieve all
that a good Kshatriya should. Thai chief of Rakshasas,
Alambhusha, of cruel deeds, is a Maharatha. Remembering
his old hostilities (with the Pandavas), he will commit
great execution among the foe. He is the best
of Rathas amongst all the Rakshasa-warriors.
Possessing powers of illusion, and firm in enmity,
he will wander fiercely on the field. The ruler
of Pragjyotisha, the brave Bhagadatta of exceeding
prowess, is the foremost of those holding the elephant
hook, and is skilled also in fighting from a car.
An encounter took place between him and the wielder
of Gandiva for days together, O king, each desirous
of victory over the other. Then Bhagadatta, O
son of Gandhari, who regarded Indra as his friend,
made friendship with (Indra’s son) the high-souled
Pandava. Skilled in fight from the elephant’s
neck, this king will fight in battle, like Vasava
among the celestials, fighting from his Airavata.’”
“Bhishma said, ’Both the brothers Achala
and Vrisha are Rathas. Invincible (in battle)
they will slay thy foes. Endued with great strength,
those tigers among men, those foremost of Gandharvas,
are firm in wrath. Young and handsome, they are
possessed of great strength. As regards this
thy ever dear friend, this one who is always boastful
of his skill in battle, this one who always urgeth
thee, O king, to fight with the Pandavas, this vile
braggart, Karna, the son of Surya, this one who is
thy counsellor, guide, and friend, this vain wight
who is destitute of sense, this Karna, is neither
a Ratha nor an Atiratha. Without sense, this
one hath been deprived of his natural coat of mail.
Always kind, he hath also been deprived of his celestial
ear-rings. In consequence of the curse of Rama