"Sanjaya said, 'Phalguni's son once more pierced Karna in the car with a barbed arrow, and for angering him still further, he pierced him with fifty other shafts. The son of Radha pierced Abhimanyu in return with as many shafts. Covered all over with arrows, Abhimanyu, then, O sire, looked exceedingly beautiful. Filled with rage, he caused Karna also to be bathed in blood. Mangled with arrows and covered with blood, the brave Karna also shone greatly. 2 Both of them pierced with arrows, both bathed in blood, those illustrious warriors then resembled a couple of flowering Kinsukas. The son of Subhadra then slew six of Karna's brave counsellors, conversant with all modes of warfare, with their steeds and charioteers and cars. As regards other great bowmen Abhimanyu fearlessly pierced each of them in return, with ten arrows. That feat of his seemed highly wonderful. Slaying next the son of the ruler of the Magadhas, Abhimanyu, with six straight shafts, slew the youthful Aswaketu with his four steeds and charioteer. Then slaying, with a sharp razor-headed arrow, the Bhoja prince of Martikavata, bearing the device of an elephant (on his banner), the son of Arjuna uttered a loud shout and began to scatter his shafts on all sides. Then the son of Duhsasana pierced the four steeds of Abhimanyu with four shafts, his charioteer with one and Abhimanyu himself with ten. The son of Arjuna, then, piercing Duhsasana's son with ten fleet shafts, addressed him in a loud tone and with eyes red in wrath, said, 'Abandoning the battle, thy sire hath fled like a coward. It is well thou knowest how to fight. Thou shalt not, however, escape today with life.' Saying these words unto him, Abhimanyu sped a long arrow, well polished by smith's hand, at his foe. The son of Drona cut that arrow with three shafts of his own. Leaving Aswatthaman alone, Arjuna's son struck Salya, in return, fearlessly pierced him in the chest with highly nine shafts, equipped with vulture's feathers. That feat seemed highly wonderful. The son of Arjuna then cut off Salya's bow and slew both his Parshni charioteers. Abhimanyu then pierced Salya himself with six shafts made wholly of iron. Thereupon, the latter, leaving that steedless car, mounted another. Abhimanyu then slew five warriors., named Satrunjaya, and Chandraketu, and Mahamegba, and
[paragraph continues] Suvarchas, and Suryabhasa. He then pierced Suvala's son. The latter piercing Abhimanyu with three arrows, said unto Duryodhana, 'Let us all together grind this one, else, fighting singly with us he will slay us all. O king, think of the means of slaying this one, taking counsel with Drona and Kripa and others.' The Karna, the son of Vikartana, said unto Drona, 'Abhimanyu grindeth us all. Tell us the means by which we may slay him.' Thus addressed, the mighty bowman, Drona, addressing them all, said, 'Observing him with vigilance, have any of you been able to detect any defeat in this youth? He is careening in all directions. Yet have any of you been able to detect today the least hole in him? Behold the lightness of hand and quickness of motion of this lion among men, this son of Arjuna. In the track of his car, only his bow drawn to a circle can be seen, so quickly is he aiming his shafts and so quickly is he letting them off. Indeed, this slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Subhadra, gratifieth me although he afflicteth my vital breath and stupefieth me with shafts. Even the mightiest car-warriors, filled with wrath, are unable to detect any flaw in him. The son of Subhadra, therefore, careering on the field of battle, gratifieth me greatly. I do not see that in battle there is any difference between the wielder of Gandiva himself and this one of great lightness of hand, filling all the points of the horizon with his mighty shafts.' Hearing these words, Karna, afflicted with the shafts of Arjuna's son, once more said unto Drona, 'Exceedingly afflicted with the shafts of Abhimanyu, I am staying in battle, only because (as a warrior) I should stay here. Indeed, the arrows of this south of great energy are exceedingly fierce. Terrible as they are and possessed of the energy of fire, these arrows are weakening my heart.' The preceptor then, slowly and with a smile, said unto Karna, 'Abhimanyu is young, his prowess is great. His coat of mail is impenetrable. This one's father had been taught by me the method of wearing defensive armour. This subjugator of hostile towns assuredly knoweth the entire science (of wearing armour). With shafts well shot, you can, however, cut off his bow, bow-string, the reins of his steeds, the steeds themselves, and two Parshni charioteers. O mighty bowman, O son of Radha, if competent, do this. Making him turn back from the fight (by this means), strike him then. With his bow in hand he is incapable of being vanquished by the very gods and the Asuras together. If you wish, deprive him of his car, and divest him of his bow.'. Hearing these words of the preceptor, Vikartana's son Karna quickly cut off, by means of his shafts, the bow of Abhimanyu, as the latter was shooting with great activity. He, of Bhoja's race (viz., Kritavarman) then slew his steeds, and Kripa slew his two Parshni charioteers. The others covered him with showers of arrows after he had been divested of his bow. Those six great car-warriors, with great speed, when speed was so necessary, ruthlessly covered that carless youth, fighting single-handed with them, with showers of arrows. Bowless and carless, with an eye, however, to his duty (as a warrior), handsome Abhimanyu, taking up a sword and a shield, jumped into the sky. Displaying great strength and great activity,
and describing the tracks called Kausika and others, the son of Arjuna fiercely coursed through the sky, like the prince of winged creatures (viz., Garuda.). 'He may fall upon me sword in hand,' with such thoughts, those mighty bowmen, were on the lookout for the laches of Abhimanyu, and began to pierce him in that battle, with their gaze turned upwards. Then Drona of mighty energy, that conqueror of foes with a sharp arrow quickly cut off the hilt, decked with gems, of Abhimanyu's sword. Radha's son Karna, with sharp shafts, cut off his excellent shield. Deprived of his sword and shield thus, he came down, with sound limbs, from the welkin upon the earth. Then taking up a car-wheel, he rushed in wrath against Drona. His body bright with the dust of car-wheels, and himself holding the car-wheel in his upraised arms, Abhimanyu looked exceedingly beautiful, and imitating Vasudeva (with his discus), became awfully fierce for a while in that battle. His robes dyed with the blood flowing (from his wounds), his brow formidable with the wrinkles visible thereon, himself uttering loud leonine roars, lord Abhimanyu of immeasurable might, staying in the midst of those kings, looked exceedingly resplendent on the field of battle.'"
101:2 In the first fine of 3, the correct reading is Karnanchapy akarot kradha, etc., the reading in the Bengal text is vicious and unmeaning.