"Sanjaya said, 'Hearing the twang of Bhimasena's bow and the sound of his palms, the son of Radha could not brook it, like an infuriated elephant incapable of brooking the roars of an infuriated rival. Returning for a moment from before Bhimasena, Karna cast his eyes upon those sons of thine that had been slain by Bhimasena, Beholding them, O best of men, Karna became cheerless and plunged in grief. Breathing hot and long sighs, he, once more, proceeded against the son of Pandu. With eyes red as copper, and sighing in wrath like a mighty snake, Karna then, as he shot his arrows, looked resplendent like the sun scattering his rays. 1 Indeed, O bull of Bharata's race, Vrikodara was then covered with the arrows, resembling the spreading rays of the sun that were shot from Karna's bow. The beautiful shafts, equipped with peacock-feathers, shot from Karna's bow, penetrated into every part of Bhima's body, like birds into a tree for roosting there. Indeed, the arrows, equipped with wings of gold, shot from Karna's bow falling incessantly, resembled continuous rows of cranes. So numerous were the shafts shot by Adhiratha's son that, these seemed to issue not from his bow alone but from his standard, his umbrella, and the shaft and yoke and bottom of his car also. Indeed, Adhiratha's son shot his sky-ranging shafts of impetuous energy, decked with gold and equipped with vulturine feathers, in such a way as to fill the entire welkin with them. Beholding him (thus) excited with fury and rushing towards him like the Destroyer himself, Vrikodara, becoming utterly reckless of his life and prevailing over his foe, pierced him with
nine shafts. 1 Beholding the irresistible impetuosity of Karna as also that dense shower of arrows, Bhima, endued as he was with great prowess, quailed not in fear. The son of Pandu then counteracting that arrowy downpour of Adhiratha's son, pierced Karna himself with twenty other sharp shafts. Indeed, as Pritha's son himself had before been shrouded by the Suta's son, even so was the latter now shrouded by the former in that battle. Beholding the prowess of Bhimasena in battle, thy warriors, as also the Gharanas, filled with joy; applauded him. Bhurisravas, and Kripa, and Drona's son, and the ruler of the Madras, and Uttamaujas and Yudhamanyu, and Kesava, and Arjuna,--these great car-warriors: O king, among both the Kurus and the Pandavas,--loudly cheered Bhima, saying, 'Excellent, Excellent,' and uttered leonine roars. When that fierce uproar, making the hair stand on end rose, thy son Duryodhana, O king, quickly said unto all the kings and princes and particularly his uterine brothers, these words, 'Blessed be ye, proceed towards Karna for rescuing him from Vrikodara, else the shafts shot from Bhima's bow will slay the son of Radha. Ye mighty bowmen, strive ye to protect the Suta's son.' Thus commanded by Duryodhana, seven of his uterine brothers, O sire, rushing in wrath towards Bhimasena, encompassed him on all sides. Approaching the son of Kunti they covered him with showers of arrows, like clouds pouring torrents of rain on the mountain-breast in the season of rains. Excited with wrath, those seven great car-warriors began to afflict Bhimasena, O king, like the seven planets afflicting the moon at the hour of the universal dissolution. The son of Kunti, then, O monarch, drawing his beautiful bow with great force and firm grasp, and knowing that his foes were but men, aimed seven shafts. And lord Bhima in great rage sped at them those shafts, effulgent as solar rays. Indeed, Bhimasena recollecting his former wrongs, shot those shafts as if for extracting the life from out of the bodies of those sons of thine. Those arrows, O Bharata, whetted on stone and equipped with wings of gold, shot by Bhimasena, piercing through the bodies of those Bharata princes, flew into the sky. Indeed, those arrows winged with gold, piercing through the hearts of thy sons, looked beautiful, O monarch, as they passed into the sky, like birds of excellent plumage. Decked with gold and covered all over with blood, those arrows, O king, drinking the blood of thy sons passed out of their body. Pierced in their vital limbs by means of those arrows, they fell down on the earth from their cars, like tall trees growing on mountain precipices, broken by an elephant. The seven sons of thine that were thus slain were Satrunjaya, and Satrusaha, and Chitra, and Chitrayudha, and Dridha, and Chitrasena and Vikarna. Amongst all thy sons thus slain, Vrikodara, the son of Pandu, grieved bitterly from sorrow for Vikarna who was dear to him. And Bhima said, 'Even thus was the vow made by me, viz., that all of you should be slain by me in battle.
[paragraph continues] It is for that, O Vikarna, that thou hast been slain. My vow hath been accomplished. O hero, thou camest to battle, bearing in mind the duties of a Kshatriya. Thou wert ever engaged in our good, and especially in that of the king (our eldest brother). It is scarcely proper, therefore, for me to grieve for thy illustrious self.' Having slain those princes, O king, in the very sight of Radha's son, the son of Pandu uttered a terrible leonine roar. That loud shout of the heroic Bhima, O Bharata, informed king Yudhishthira the Just that the victory in that battle was his. Indeed, hearing that tremendous shout of Bhima armed with the bow, king Yudhishthira felt great joy in the midst of that battle. The gladdened son of Pandu, then, O king, received that leonine shout of his brother with sounds and other musical instruments. And after Vrikodara, had sent him that message by the sign agreed upon, Yudhishthira, that foremost of persons acquainted with weapons, filled with joy, rushed against Drona in battle. On the other hand, O king, beholding one and thirty of thy sons slain, Duryodhana recollected the words of Vidura.-Those beneficial words spoken by Vidura are now realised! Thinking even so, king Duryodhana was unable to do what he should. All that, during the match at dice, thy foolish and wicked son, with Karna (on his side), said unto the princes of Panchala causing her to be brought into the assembly, all the harsh words, again, that Karna said unto Krishnâ, in the same place, before thyself, O king, and the sons of Pandu, in thy hearing and that of all the Kurus, viz., O Krishna, the Pandavas are lost and have sunk into eternal hell, therefore, choose thou other husbands,--alas, the fruit of all that is now manifesting itself. Then, again, O thou of Kuru's race, diverse harsh speeches, such as sesamum seeds without kernel, etc., were applied by the wrathful sons to those high-souled ones, viz., the sons of Pandu. Bhimasena, vomiting forth the fire of wrath (which these enraged) and which he had restrained for thirteen years, is now compassing the destruction of thy sons. Indulging in copious lamentations, Viduara failed to persuade thee towards peace. O chief of the Bharatas, suffer the fruit of all that with thy sons. Thou art old, patient, and capable of foreseeing the consequences of all acts. Being so, when thou didst yet refuse to follow the counsels of thy well-wishers, it seems that all this is the result of destiny. Do not grieve, O tiger among men! All this is thy great fault. In my opinion, thou art thyself the cause of the destruction of thy sons. O monarch, Vikarna hath fallen, and Chitrasena also of great prowess. Many other mighty car-warriors and foremost ones among thy sons have also fallen. Others, again, among thy sons whom Bhima saw come within the range of his vision, O mighty-armed one, he slew in a trice. It is for thee only that I had to see our array scorched in thousands by means of the arrows shot by Pandu's son, Bhima and Vrisha (Karna)!'"
291:1 The Bombay reading, which I adopt, seems to be better than the Bengal one.
292:1 I think that both Vrikodaram and nisitais in this verse as given in the Bombay text are incorrect. I read Vrikodaras and navavhis following the Bengal texts.