The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,984 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2.

“Hearing these words of his, Vikartana’s. son Karna, reverentially saluting Bhishma’s feet, (bade him farewell) and came to that spot where all the Kaurava bowmen were.  Viewing that wide and unparalleled encampment of the vast host, he began to cherish (by words of encouragement) those well-armed and broad-chested warriors.  And all the Kauravas headed by Duryodhana were filled with joy.  And beholding the mighty-armed and high-souled Karna come to the field and station himself at the head of the whole army, for battle, the Kauravas received him with loud shouts and slapping of arm-pits and leonine roars and twang of bows and diverse other kinds of noise.’”

SECTION V

“Sanjaya said, ’Beholding that tiger among men, viz., Karna, mounted on his car, Duryodhana, O king, filled with joy, said these words, ’This host, protected by thee, hath now, I think, got a proper leader.  Let that, however, be settled now which is proper and within our power.’

’Karna said, ’Tell us thyself, O tiger among men, for thou art the wisest of kings.  Another can never see so well what should be done as one seeth it whose concern it is.  Those kings are all desirous of listening to what thou mayst have to say.  I am sure that no improper words will be uttered by thee.’

“Duryodhana, said, ’Bhishma was our commander possessed (as he was) of years, prowess, and learning and supported by all our warriors.  That high-souled one, O Karna, achieving great glory and slaying large numbers of my enemies protected us by fair fight for ten days.  He achieved the most difficult of feats.  But now that he is about to ascend to heaven, whom, O Karna, dost thou think fit to our commander after him?  Without a leader, an army cannot stay in battle for even a short while.  Thou art foremost in battle, like a boat without a helmsman in the waters.  Indeed, as a boat without a helmsman, or a car without a driver, would go anywhere, so would the plight be of a host that is without a leader.  Like a merchant who falleth into every kind of distress when he is unacquainted with the ways of the country he visits, an army that is without a leader is exposed to every kind of distress.  Look thou, therefore, among all the high-souled warriors of our army and find out a proper leader who may succeed the son of Santanu.  Him whom thou wouldst regard as a fit leader in battle, him, all of us, without doubt, will together make our leader.’

“Karna said, ’All these foremost of men are high-souled persons.  Every one of them deserveth to be our leader.  There is no need of any minute examination.  All of them are conversant with noble genealogies and with the art of smiting; all of them are endued with prowess and intelligence, all of them are attentive and acquainted with the scriptures, possessed of wisdom, and unretreating from battle.[8] All, however, cannot be leaders at the same time.  Only one

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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