MAHABHARATA-ARJUNA DISPLAYS HIS ARCHERY SKILLS, KARNA’S RIVALRY AND HIS CROWNING AS KING OF ANGAS

THE MAHABHARATA
                                 CONDENSED IN
THE POET’S OWN WORDS
                                    By PANDIT
A. M. SRINIVASACHARIAR
         Translated By Dr V, Raghavan M.A.,
Ph.D. & Published By G.A. Natesan & Co., Madras
                                                      
॥    आदिपर्व   ॥
  Arjuna displays his archery skills, Karna
competes with him, crowned king of Angas by Duryodhana
            कृतास्त्रान् धार्तराष्ट्रांश्च
पाण्डुपुत्रांश्च [भारत]
            दृष्ट्वा द्रोणोऽब्रवीद् [राजन्] धृतराष्ट्रं
जनेश्वरम् ॥
Seeing the sons of Dhritarashtra and the sons of Pandu trained well in
missiles, Drona told king Dhritarashtra:
           ‘राजन् संप्राप्तविद्यास्ते
कुमाराः कुरुसत्तम।
            ते दर्शयेयुस्स्वां शिक्षां [राजन्] अनुमते तव ॥
“ King, your sons have become fully educated; O best of the Kurus! with
your permission, they would exhibit what they have learnt.””    
           ततो राजानमामन्त्र्य विदुरानुमतोऽपि
हि।
           भारद्वाजो महाप्राज्ञो मापयामास
मेदिनीम् ॥
Taking then the permission of the king
and permitted by Vidrura also, the very wise Drona laid out the ground (for the
tournament)
        
अवघुष्टं पुरं चापि तदर्थं [भरतर्षभ]।
        
प्रेक्षागारं सुविहितं चक्रुस्ते तस्य शिल्पिनः ॥
There was proclamation in the city for that
purpose.  The architects of Dhritarashtra
built (on the ground) a well planned amphitheatre.
        
तस्मिंस्ततोऽहनि प्राप्ते राजा ससचिवस्तदा |
         शातकुंभमयं दिव्यं प्रेक्षागारमुपागमत् ॥
Then, when the day of the tournament came
off, king Dhritarashtra, accompanied by his ministers, came to that excellent
golden amphitheatre.
        
स्त्रियश्च राज्ञस्सर्वास्तास्सप्रेष्यास्सपरिच्छदाः।
        
हर्षादारुरुहुर्मञ्चान् मेरुं देवस्त्रियो यथा॥
And all the ladies of the court, with their
servants and retinue, ascended the galleries with joy, like celestial damsels
ascending Mount Meru.
       
प्रवादितैश्च वादित्रैर्जनकौतूहलेन च ।
       
महार्णव इव क्षुब्धस्समाजस्सोऽभवत्तदा॥
What with the musical instruments played
and what with the eagerness of the people, the congregation on that occasion
was tumultuous like a great ocean.
       
ततश्शुक्लाम्बरधरः शुक्लयज्ञोपवीतवान्।
       
रङ्गमध्यं तदाचार्यस्सपुत्रः प्रविवेश ह ।|
Then, clad in white cloth and wearing a
white upper garment left to right across the body, the preceptor entered into
the centre of the arena along with his son.
      
ततो बद्धाङ्गुलित्राणा विविशुर्भरतर्षभाः।
     
 चक्रुः पूजां यथान्यायं
द्रोणस्य च कृपस्य च ॥
With finger-bands, the heroes of the
Bharata race then entered.  In accordance
with propriety, they worshipped Drona and Kripa.
      
द्रोणेन समनुज्ञाता गृह्य शस्त्रं परन्तपाः।
      
ज्याघोषं तलघोषं च कृत्वा भूतान्यमोहयत्॥
Permitted by Drona, the valorous boys took
their arms and stupefied all beings with the twang of their bow-strings and the
sound of their palm-beats on their bodies. 
      
अनुज्येष्ठं च ते तत्र युधिष्ठिरपुरोगमाः।
      
चक्रुरस्त्रं महावीर्याः कुमाराः परमाद्भुतम् ॥
In the order of their age, those very
heroic youths headed by Yudhishthira performed great wonders with their weapons
in the arena there.
     
लाघवं सौष्ठवं शोभां स्थिरत्वं दृढमुष्टिताम्।
     
ददृशुस्तत्र सर्वेषां प्रयोगं खड्गचर्मणोः ॥
People witnessed there the agility, skill,
beauty, firmness, grip, and the actions of the swords and shields of all the
princes.
      
अथ तौ नित्यसंहृष्टौ सुयोधनवृकोदरौ।
      
अवतीर्णौ गदाहस्तावेकशृङ्गाविवाचलौ।
       चेरतुर्मण्डलगतौ समदाविव कुञ्जरौ॥
Then, those two eternal rivals, Duryodhana
and Bhima, looking like two single-peaked mountains, entered with maces in
their hands.  Like rutting elephants,
they moved, wheeling round and round.
      
कुरुराजे हि रङ्गस्थे भीमे च बलिनां वरे।
      
पक्षपातकृतस्नेहस्स द्विधेवाभवज्जनः ॥
When Duryodhana, the king of the Kurus, and
Bhima, the greatest of men of strength, were in the arena, the people assembled
there became as if split in twain, with partisan attachment.
      
जय हे कुरुराजेति जय हे भीम इत्युत।
      
पुरुषाणां सुविपुलाः प्रणादास्सहसोत्थिताः॥
“victory to you, king of the Kurus! Victory
to you, Bhima!”: thus arose, all on a sudden, the very loud shouts of the
people.
      
ततस्तावुद्यतगदौ गुरुपुत्रेण वारितौ।
Those two, Duryodhana and Bhima, having
their maces uplifted, were then separated by Ashwatthaman, the son of their
teacher.
      
ततो रङ्गाङ्गणगतो द्रोणो वचनमब्रवीत्
      
यो मे पुत्रात्प्रियतरस्स पार्थो दृश्यतामिति ॥
Standing in the arena, Drona then spoke:
“Behold Arjuna, dearer to me than my son.”
      
आचार्यवचनेनाथ कृतस्वस्ययनो युवा ।
      
काञ्चनं कवचं बिभ्रत् प्रत्यदृश्यत फाल्गुनः।
      
ततस्सर्वस्य रङ्गस्य समुत्पिञ्जलकोऽभवत् ॥
Blessed with those words of his preceptor,
the youthful Arjuna appeared, wearing a golden armour; then there was a stir of
joy in the whole amphitheatre.
   
          
    
       
‘एष कुन्तीसुतश्श्रीमान् एष मध्यमपाण्डवः।
       
एषोस्त्रविदुषां श्रेष्ठ एष धर्मभृतां वरः।
       
इत्येवं तुमुलो वाचश्शुश्रुवुः प्रेक्षकेरिताः ॥
“This is the glorious son of Kunti; this is
the middle-born son of Pandu; he is the greatest of the masters of weapon, the
most eminent of those who uphold righteousness.”   Thus were heard the tumultuous voices of the
spectators.
       
दर्शयामास बीभत्सुराचार्यायास्त्रलाघवम् ।|
Arjuna exhibited to his teacher his
dexterity with the weapons.
       
ततस्समाप्तभूयिष्ठे तस्मिन् कर्मणि [भारत] ।
       
सहजं कवचं बिभ्रत्कुण्डलोद्योतिताननः ।
       
विवेश रङ्गं विस्तीर्णं कर्णः परपुरञ्जयः।
       
सधनुर्बद्धनिस्त्रिंशः पादचारीव पर्वतः ॥
Then, when Arjuna’s performance was almost
finished, there entered the spacious arena, like a mountain on feet, the
valorous Karna, wearing the armour with which he was born, his face lit by
ear-rings, with a bow (in his head) and a sword tied (to his waist).
  
       
स निरीक्ष्य महाबाहुस्सर्वतो रङ्गमण्डलम्।
       
प्रणामं द्रोणकृपयोर्नात्यादृतमिवाकरोत् ॥
Looking around the amphitheatre, that Karna
of mighty arm made a bow, as if not very respectfully, to Drona and Kripa.
          
स समाजजनस्सर्वो निश्चलस्थिरलोचनः।
          
कोऽयमित्यागतक्षोभः कौतूहलपरोऽभवत्॥
All the people assembled there became
motionless, looking steadfast, excited to know who he was and full of
curiosity.
          
सोऽब्रवीन्मेघगंभीरस्वरेण वदतां वरः।
          
’पार्थ यत्ते कृतं कर्म विशेषवदहं ततः।
          
करिष्ये पश्यतां नॄणां माऽऽत्मना विस्मयं गमः’॥
That excellent speaker, Karna, said in a
voice deep as thunder: “Arjuna! that which you have done, I shall do better
before these men; pride not thyself”
         
असमाप्ते ततस्तस्य वचने [वदतां वर]।
         
यन्त्रोत्क्षिप्त इवोत्तस्थौ क्षिप्रं वै सर्वतो जनः||
Then, before Karna’s speech was finished,
the people around rose up suddenly as if flung upwards by a machine.
        
प्रीतिश्च [मनुजव्याघ्र] दुर्योधनमुपाविशत्।
        
ह्रीश्च क्रोधश्च बीभत्सुं क्षणेनान्वाविवेश ह ॥
Delight filled Duryodhana, and
instantaneously shame and anger possessed Arjuna.
        
ततो द्रोणाभ्यनुज्ञातः कर्णः प्रियरणस्सदा ।
        
यत्कृतं तत्र पार्थेन तच्चकार महाबलः ॥
Permitted by Drona, that mighty Karna, the
eternal lover of war, performed what Arjuna had done in the tournament.
       
अथ दुर्योधनस्तत्र भ्रातृभिस्सह [भारत]।
       
कर्णं परिष्वज्य मुदा ततो वचनमब्रवीत् ॥
 
Accompanied by his brothers, Duryodhana
embraced Karna there in exultation and then said:
       
‘स्वागतं ते महाबाहो दिष्ट्या प्राप्तोऽसि मानद।
       
भुङ्क्ष्व भोगान्मया सार्धं बन्धूनां प्रियकृद्भव ।
       
दुर्हृदां कुरु सर्वेषां मूर्ध्नि पादमरिन्दम ॥’
“Welcome to you, O warrior of mighty arm!
You who have given us prestige!  It is
fortunate that you have come.  Enjoy
pleasures with me and be doing good to my kinsmen.  You subduer of enemies! Place your foot on
the heads of all foes.”
       
ततः क्षिप्तमिवात्मानं मत्वा पार्थोऽभ्यभाषत।
       
’अनाहूतोपसृष्टानामनाहूतोपजल्पिनाम्।
       
ये लोकास्तान् हतः कर्ण मया त्वं प्रतिपद्यसे ॥
Thinking himself insulted, Arjuna then
spoke: “The worlds of those who come uninvited and speak uninvited, you, Karna,
slain by me, shall reach.
       
ततो द्रोणाभ्यनुज्ञातः पार्थः परपुरञ्जयः।
       
भ्रातृभिस्त्वरयाश्लिष्टो रणायोपजगाम तम् ॥
Permitted then by Drona , Arjuna, the conqueror
of enemies’ cities, hastily embraced by his brothers, approached Karna for a
fight.
       
ततो दुर्योधनेनापि सभ्रात्रा समरोद्यतः।
       
परिष्वक्तस्स्थितः कर्णः प्रगृह्य सशरं धनुः ॥
Then, Karna, embraced by Duryodhana along
with his brothers, stood ready for fight, taking the bow with the arrow.
       
धार्तराष्ट्रा यतः कर्णस्तस्मिन्देशे व्यवस्थिताः।
       
भारद्वाजः कृपो भीष्मो यतः पार्थस्ततोऽभवन् ॥
Where Karna was, there the sons of
Dhritarashtra stood; where Arjuna was, there Drona, Kripa and Bhishma.
       
द्विधा रङ्गस्समभवत् स्त्रीणां द्वैधमजायत ॥ 
The stadium became divided into two;
division came among the ladies.   
       
तावुद्यतमहाचापौ कृपश्शारद्वतोऽब्रवीत् ॥
Kripa, son of Saradvat, addressed those
two, Arjuna and Karna, who had taken up their great bows.
  
      
‘अयं पृथायास्तनयः कनीयान्पाण्डुनन्दनः।
      
कौरवो भवता सार्धं द्वन्द्वयुद्धं करिष्यति ॥‘
“(Karna!), this younger son of Pandu, born
of Kunti and the scion of the Kuru line, shall fight a duel with you.
      
‘त्वमप्येवं महाबाहो मातरं पितरं कुलम्।
      
कथयस्व नरेन्द्राणां येषां त्वं कुलभूषणम् ।
      
ततो विदित्वा पार्थस्त्वां प्रतियोत्स्यति वा न वा॥
“ O Karna of mighty arm, you also announce
in the same manner your mother, father, lineage and those kings of whose
dynasty you are the ornament.  Learning
these, Arjuna will then either fight with you or not”.
      
ततो राजानमामन्त्र्य गाङ्गेयं च पितामहम्।
      
अर्होऽयमङ्गराज्यस्येत्यभिषिक्तो महाबलः ॥
Then after consulting king Dhritarashtra
and (their) grandfather Bhishma, Duryodhana said: “ This Karna deserves the
kingdom of the Angas”; the mighty warrior (Karna) was (then) crowned (as the
king of the Angas).
      
उवाच कौरवं [राजन्] वचनं स वृषस्तदा।
      
’अस्य राज्यप्रदानस्य सदृशं किं ददानि ते’
At that time, Karna told Duryodhana; “What
shall I give you to equal this gift of a kingdom?”
     
अत्यन्तं सख्यमिच्छामीत्याह तं स सुयोधनः।
     
हर्षाच्चोभौ समाश्लिष्य परां मुदमवापतुः ॥
“Friendship unto the very end, I would
have”, said Duryodhana to him.  Clasping
each other in glee, the two went into raptures. 
      ततस्स्रस्तोत्तरपटस्सप्रस्वेदस्सवेपथुः।
     
विवेशाधिरथो रङ्गं यष्टिप्राणो ह्वयन्निव ॥
Then, with the upper garment slipped, with
profuse perspiration and tremor, Adhiratha (Karna’s foster father) entered the
arena, supporting himself on a staff and as if calling (his son).
     
तमालोक्य धनुस्त्यक्त्वा पितृगौरवयन्त्रितः।
     
कर्णोऽभिषेकार्द्रशिराश्शिरसा समवन्दत ॥
On seeing him, Karna, bound by his respect
of his father, threw the bow and, with head wet with the coronation-water,
bowed 
     
तं दृष्ट्वा सूतपुत्रोऽयमिति सञ्चिन्त्य पाण्डवः।
     
भीमसेनस्तदा वाक्यमब्रवीत्प्रहसन्निव ॥
On seeing him(Adhiratha), Bhima, son of
Pandu, thought that Karna was the son of a charioteer and at that time spoke,
as if laughing (at him);
     
‘न त्वमर्हसि पार्थेन सूतपुत्र रणे वधम्।
     
कुलस्य सदृशस्तूर्णं प्रतोदो गृह्यतां त्वया॥
     
अङ्गराज्यं च नार्हस्त्वमुपभोक्तुं  नराधम ॥
“You, son of a charioteer,  you are not fit to be killed by Arjuna in a
fight; quick, take up the whip that is proper to your family.  Nor are you fit, you low man,  to enjoy the kingdom of the Angas.”
      
ततो दुर्योधनः कोपादुत्पपात महाबलः।
      
सोऽब्रवीद्भीमकर्माणं भीमसेनमवस्थितम् ॥
The mighty Duryodhana then jumped up in ire
and spoke to that Bhima, of terrible deeds,  standing there;
      
’ वृकोदर न युक्तं ते वचनं वक्तुमीदृशम्।
       
शूराणां च नदीनां च प्रभवो दुर्विभावनः।
       
भवतां च यथा जन्म तदप्यागमितं मया॥
“Bhima, it is not meet that you should talk
such words.  It is improper to enquire
into the origin of warriors and rivers. 
And the manner of your birth has also been learnt by me.
        
’सकुण्डलं सकवचं सर्वलक्षणलक्षितम्।
        
कथमादित्यसदृशं मृगो व्याघ्रं जनिष्यति ॥’
“How can a doe give birth to this tiger,
this Karna (born) with ear-rings and armour, marked with every mark of beauty
and equal to the sun?
       
’पृथिवीराज्यमर्होऽयं नाङ्गराज्यं नरेश्वरः
       
यस्य वा मनुजस्येदं न क्षान्तं मद्विचेष्टितम्।
       
रथमारुह्य पद्भ्यां स विनामयतु कार्मुकम् ॥
 
This ruler of men merits the kingdom of the
whole world, not the kingdom of the Angas only. 
And to whomsoever this act of mine is not bearable, let him mount the
chariot and, with his feet, bend his bow.”
        
ततस्सर्वस्य रङ्गस्य हाहाकारो महानभूत्।
        
साधुवादानुसंबद्धः सूर्यश्चास्तमुपागमत् ॥
Then, loud cries of “Hah, Hah” arose from
the whole amphitheatre.  And, close upon
the applause, the sun also set.
       
ततो दुर्योधनः कर्णमालम्ब्याग्रकरे नृपः।
       
दीपिकाभिः कृतालोकस्तस्माद्रङ्गाद्विनिर्ययौ॥
Taking Karna by the hand and (with his way)
lighted up by lamps, king Duryodhana then went out of the stadium.
       
पाण्डवाश्च सहद्रोणास्सकृपाश्च [विशांपते]।
       
भीष्मेण सहितास्सर्वे ययुस्स्वं स्वं निवेशनम् ॥
The Pandavas also, together with Drona,
Kripa and Bhishma, all went, each to his own above.
       
अर्जुनेति जनः कश्चित् कश्चित्कर्णेति [भारत]।
        कश्चिद्दुर्योधनेत्येवं ब्रुवन्तः प्रस्थितास्तदा
’Arjuna’ says one; ‘Karna’ says another;
‘Duryodhana’ says a third; so saying, the people then departed.
       
दुर्योधनस्यापि तदा कर्णमास्थाय [पार्थिव]।
       
भयमर्जुनसंप्राप्तं क्षिप्रमन्तरधीयत ॥
And obtaining then the support of Karna,
Duryodhana soon lost his fear of Arjuna.
      ARJUNA’S 

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