MAHABHARATA – KARNA PARVA

THE MAHABHARATA
CONDENSED IN THE POET’S OWN WORDS
By PANDIT A. M. SRINIVASACHARIAR
                                   
                          || कर्णपर्व ||
                         KARNA PARVA
    
                 ततोऽभिषिषिचुः कर्णं राजानो विजयैषिणः॥
Then,
desirous of victory, the kings (Duryodhana and others) anointed Karna (as
commander).
                 स शल्यसंगृहीताश्वे
रथे कर्णस्स्थितो बभौ॥
Standing on
the chariot (the reins of) whose horses Salya was holding, Karna shone forth.
                  ततः पुनस्समाजग्मुरभीताः
कुरुपाण्डवाः।
                  रराज लोहितेनोर्वी
संसिक्ता बहुधा भृशम्॥
Then again,
the fearless Kauravas and the Pandavas attacked each other. The earth shone
very much, profusely besprinkled with blood.
                  विष्फार्य गाण्डिवमथोग्रघोषम्।
                      रौद्रे मुहूर्तेऽभ्यपतत्
किरीटी॥
Drawing the
string of the Gandiva bow of formidable noise, Arjuna attacked at a terrible
moment.
                  तं भीमसेनोऽनुययौ
रथेन
                     पृष्ठे रक्षन्
पाण्डवमेकवीरः।
                   तौ राजपुत्रौ त्वरितौ
रथाभ्यां
                     कर्णाय यातावरिभिर्विषक्तौ॥
The
unequalled warrior Bhimasena followed Arjuna in his chariot, guarding Arjuna
from the rear. The two princes, come into close contact with their enemies,
quickly went against Karna in their chariot.
              
                    तथागतं भीममभीस्तवात्मजः
                        ससार राजावरजः
किरञ्शरैः ॥
Dhritarashtra’s
son and Duryodhana’s brother, Dussasana, fearlessly faced
Bhima who
was thus advancing and covered him over with arrows.
                    भीमः-
                    ’दिष्ट्याऽसि दुश्शासन
अद्य दृष्टः
                       ऋणं प्रतीच्छे
सहवृद्धि मूलम्।
                     चिरोदितं यन्मया
ते सभायां
                       कृष्णाभिमर्शेन
गृहाण मत्तः॥
Bhima-
“Dussasana, luckily have you been seen now; 
I will pay you back the principal with the interest in a minute; what I
vowed against you long ago in the court-hall as a consequence of your laying
your hands on Draupadi, receive that from me,”
               ततः क्रोधाद्भीमसेनः
कृतानि
                      सर्वाणि दुःखान्यनुसंस्मरन्वै।
               प्रगृह्य वज्राशनितुल्यवेगां
                      गदां करेणाथ
वृकोदरो रुषा।
               निपातयित्वा पृथिवीतले
भृशं
                      स ताडयामास वृकोदरो
बली।
               अतीव सन्ताडितभिन्नगात्रो
                      दुश्शासनो वै
निपपात भूमौ ॥
Then,
recalling with anger all the woes caused to them, and taking in his hand his
mace mighty like the thunderbolt, the strong Bhima forcibly threw Dussasana on
the ground in anger and struck him; with limbs severely beaten and broken,
Dussasana fell down.
                उत्क्षिप्य चोत्पिक्ष्य
च तूर्णमेनं।
                भूमौ तदा निष्पिपेषाथ
(वीर)॥
Rapidly
lifting him up again and again, Bhima crushed Dussasana on the ground at that
time.
                तत्राह दुश्शासनमेकवीर-
                     स्सुयोधनस्याधिरथेस्समक्षम्।
                ’ये राजसूयावभृथे पवित्रा
                     जाताः कचा याज्ञसेन्या
दुरात्मन्।
                 ते पाणिना कतरेणावकृष्टा-
                     स्तद्ब्रूहि त्वां
पृच्छसि भीमसेनः।’
                 उवाच ’यस्यास्ति बलं स रक्ष्-
                     त्वसौ भवेदद्य
निरस्तबाहुः’॥
In
the presence of Duryodhana and Karna, Bhima, the unrivalled warrior, said to
Dussasana at that spot: “Evil-minded fellow ! Answer, Bhima asks you, with
which arm were dragged the locks of Draupadi which were sanctified on the
occasion of the auspicious bath at the close of the Rajasuya sacrifice?”  Bhima said (again):  “Let him who has strength protect (him); this
Dussasana would lose his arm now.”
                    एवं क्रुद्धो भीमसेनः
करेण
                         उत्पाटयामास
भुजं महात्मा॥
Infuriated
thus, the great Bhima plucked out Dussasana’s arm with his hand.               
                   विदार्य वक्षश्च
महारथस्य
                      दुश्शासनस्य
पतितस्य भूमौ ।
                   ततोऽपिबच्छोणितमस्य
कोष्ण-
                      मास्वाद्य चास्वाद्य
च वीक्षमाणः॥
Tearing
open the heart of the warrrior Dussasana who had fallen on the ground, Bhima
drank his warm blood, enjoying its taste and looking (around).
                   भीमः-
                   ’दुश्शासने यादृशं
संश्रुतं नः
                       तदवाप्तं पाण्डवैस्सर्वमेव।
                    अत्रैवमाप्स्याम्यपरं
द्वितीयं
                        दुर्योधनं
यज्ञपशुं विशस्य॥
Bhima-
“What
was vowed against Dussasana, all that has been achieved by the Pandavas; even
so, in this battle-field here, I will accomplish that other and second vow by
butchering the sacrificial animal Duryodhana.”
                   एतावदुक्त्वा वचनं
प्रहृष्टो
                      ननर्त चैवातिबलो
महात्मा॥
Saying
so much, the great Bhima of excelling strength danced in joy.
                   ततः कर्णं
[महाराज] प्रविवेश महद्भयम्।
                   दृष्ट्वा भीमस्य
विक्रान्तमन्तकस्य प्रजास्विव॥
Seeing
the might of Bhima, like that of the god of Death among men, great fear took
hold of karna then.
                   शल्यः-
                   ’मा व्यथां कुरु
राधेय नैतत्त्वय्युपपद्यते।
                    दुर्योधनश्च संमूढो
भ्रातृव्यसनकर्शितः।
                    उपासते त्वामेते
हि हतशेषास्सहोदराः।
                    क्षत्रधर्मं पुरस्कृत्य प्रत्युद्याहि
धनञ्जयम्।
                    भारो हि धार्तराष्ट्रेण
त्वयि सर्वस्समाहितः।
                    जये स्याद्विपुला
कीर्तिर्ध्रुवस्स्वर्गः पराजये॥’
Salya
said to karna:
“Karna,
don’t be affected; this does not become you. 
Duryodhana also is perplexed, affected very much as he is with his
brother Dussasana’s death; the surviving brothers look up to you (only);
proceed against Arjuna, abiding by a kshatriya’s duty; all the burden (of this
war) has been laid on you by Duryodhana; in case of victory, there will be
wide-spread fame; in defeat heaven is certain.”
                     एतच्छ्रुत्वा
तु वचनं जगामाभिमुखो रिपुम्।
                     युद्धायामर्षताम्राक्षस्समाहूय
धनञ्जयम्॥
                            
Hearing
these words, Karna, with eyes red with anger, went against his enemy, calling
Arjuna to a fight.
                      अथाब्रवीद् द्रोणसुतस्तवात्मजं
                          करं करेण
प्रतिपीड्य सान्त्वयन्।
                      ’प्रसीद दुर्योधन
शाम्य पाण्डवै-
                          रलं विरोधेन
धिगस्तु विग्रहम्’ ॥         

Then, clasping his hand, and pacifying Duryodhana, Aswathaman said; “Please,
Duryodhana, make peace with the Pandavas; enough of enmity; fie upon war.”
                   दुर्योधनः-
                   ’निहत्य दुश्शासनमुक्तवान्बहु
                       प्रहस्य शार्दूलवदेष
दुर्मतिः।
                    वृकोदरस्तद्धृदये
मम स्थितं
                       न तत्परोक्षं
भवतः कुतश्शमः॥’
Duryodhana-
“What
that wicked Bhima, laughing, like a leopard, spoke at length after killing
Dussasana, remains fixed in my heart; that was not said in your absence; how
can there be peace?”
                   तमेवमुक्त्वाऽप्यनुशास्ति
सैनिकान्
                      ’ द्रुतं घ्नताभिद्रवताहितानिमान्’
Having
told Ashwathaman so, Duryodhana ordered his soldiers: “Strike quickly, attack
these enemies.”
                   
                   ततो विमर्दस्सुमहान्बभूव
                        तत्रार्जुनस्याधिरथेश्च
[राजन्]॥
Then
there was a very great encounter there between Arjuna and Karna.
                    ततो विमर्दस्सुमहान्बभूव
                           तत्रार्जुनस्याधिरथेश्च
[राजन्]॥
Then
there was a very great encounter there between Arjuna and Karna.
                     ततो रिपुघ्नं
समधत्त कर्ण-
                          स्सुसञ्चितं
सर्पमुखं ज्वलन्तम्।
                     रौद्रं शरं सन्नतमुग्रधौतं
                          शिरो जिहीर्षुर्युधि
सव्यसाचिनः॥
Wishing
to cut off Arjuna’s head in that fight, Karna then aimed the blazing and
terrible serpent-faced arrow which was fatal to the enemies, which had been
reserved carefully (for that occasion), and which was smooth and burnished into
a fierce appearance.
                     तमापतन्तं ज्वलितं
निरीक्ष्य
                            वियद्गतं
वृष्णिकुलप्रवीरः।
                     रथस्य चक्रं सहसा
निपीड्य
                            पञ्चाङ्गुलं
मज्जयति स्म वीरः॥
Seeing
that flaming serpent missile flying towards them along the sky, the hero of
Vrishni race, Krishna, pressed down the chariot’s wheel at once, and sent it
five inches into the ground.            
        
                      ततः किरीटं तपनीयचित्रं
                            पार्थोत्तमाङ्गादहरत्तरस्वी॥
As
a result of this, the powerful serpent-missile took off from Arjuna’s head his
crown wonderfully wrought in gold.   

                    ततोऽग्निसदृशं घोरं
शरं सर्पविषोपमम्।
                    रौद्रमस्त्रं समाधाय
क्षेप्तुकामः किरीटिने॥
Then,
setting on the bow-string the divine missile presided over by Rudra, an arrow
resembling fire, terrible and similar to a serpent’s poison, Karna wanted to
shoot it at Arjuna.
           ततोऽग्रसन्मही चक्रं राधेयस्य
तदा [नृप]
           ग्रस्तचक्रस्तु राधेय इदं
चचनमब्रवीत् ॥

At that time then, the wheel of Karna’s chariot was caught in the ground; with
the wheel stuck, Karna said:
            ‘भो भो पार्थ महेष्वास
मुहूर्तं परिपालय।
             यावच्चक्रमिदं ग्रस्तमुद्धरामि
महीतलात्।
             त्वं च शूरतमो लोके साधुवृत्तश्च
पाण्डव।
             अभिज्ञो युद्धधर्माणां
तस्मात्क्षम मुहूर्तकम्’
“Oh
great archer, Arjuna, son of Kunti, wait for a moment till I lift up from the
ground the wheel which has gone in; son of Pandu, you are the greatest warrior
in the world and you are righteous in conduct; you know the principles of
righteous warfare; therefore bear for a while.”
            अथाब्रवीद्वासुदेवो महात्मा
                 ’राधेय दिष्ट्या स्मरसीह
धर्मम्।
            कृष्णां सभां कर्ण यदेकवस्त्रा-
                  मानीतवांस्त्वं च
सुयोधनश्च ।
          दुश्शासनश्शकुनिस्सौबलश्च    
                  धर्मस्तदा ते रुचितो
न कस्मात् ॥
The
great Krishna said then: “Karna, fortunately you remember Dharma on the
battle-field here, when you are in difficulty! Karna, why was it that Dharma
was not to your liking, when you, Duryodhana, Dussasana and Sakuni brought into
the assembly hall Draupadi who had on but a single garment?
                यदा सभायां राजानमक्षनज्ञं
युधिष्ठिरम्।
                आनीय जितवन्तो वै क्व
ते धर्मस्तदा गतः॥
Where
had your Dharma gone when you brought to the gambling hall king Yudhishthira
who was ignorant of dice and conquered him?
                वनवासे व्यतीते च कर्ण
वर्षे त्रयोदशे।
                न प्रयच्छसि यद्राज्यं
क्व ते धर्मस्तदा गतः॥
“When
the forest life had come to an end and also the thirteenth year, you did not
give the kingdom? Where had your Dharma gone then?
               ‘यद् भीमसेनं सर्पैश्च
विषयुक्तैश्च भोजनैः।
               आचरत्त्वन्मते राजा
क्व ते धर्मस्तदा गतः॥
“With
your consent, Duryodhana treated Bhima to serpents and poisoned foods! Where
had your Dharma gone then?
               ‘यद् वारणावते पार्थान्सुप्ताञ्जतुगृहे
तदा।
                हन्तुकामास्तदा यूयं
क्व ते धर्मस्तदा गतः॥
“You
wanted to kill then the sons of Kunti sleeping in the lac house in Varanavata?
Where had your Dharma gone then?”
               ‘यदा रजस्वलां कृष्णां
दुश्शासनवशे स्थिताम्।
                सभायां प्राहसः कर्ण
क्व ते धर्मस्तदा गतः॥
‘When
you, Karna, in the assembly, laughed aloud at Draupadi, who was unwell and who
had fallen into the hands of Dussasana, where had your Dharma gone then?’
                ‘यदाऽनार्यैः पुरा
कृष्णां क्लिश्यमानामनागसम्।
                 उपप्रेक्षसि राधेय क्व ते धर्मस्तदा
गतः॥
“You
once sat by and witnessed innocent Draupadi being harassed by ignoble persons!  Where had your Dharma gone then?”
                ‘पतिमन्यं वृणीष्व’
इति वदंस्त्वं गजगामिनीम्।
                उपप्रेक्षसि राधेय
क्व ते धर्मस्तदा गतः॥
“Karna,
you told that Draupadi of majestic gait to ‘choose another husband’ and stood
by looking at her! Where had your Dharma gone then?
                 ‘राज्यलुब्धः पुनः
कर्ण समाह्वयसि पाण्डवान्।
                 यदा शकुनिमाश्रित्य
क्व ते धर्मस्तदा गतः॥
“Covetous
of the kingdom and resorting to Sakuni for help, you, Karna, called the
Pandavas for gambling again? Where had your Dharma gone then?
                 ‘यदाऽभिमन्युं बहवो
युद्धे जघ्नुर्महारथाः।
                  परिवार्य रणे बालं
क्व ते धर्मस्तदा गतः॥
“Numbers
of you, great warriors, surrounded in the battle and killed Abhimanyu, a lad!
Where had your Dharma gone then?”
                  एवमुक्तस्तदा कर्णो
वासुदेवेन [भारत]
                  लज्जयाऽवनतो भूत्वा
नोत्तरं किञ्चिदुक्तवान्॥
So
told by Krishna, Karna cast down with shame, made no answer.
                     
                   योधयामास वै पार्थं
महावेगपराक्रमः।
Exhibiting
his valour with great speed, Karna gave fight to Arjuna.
                    ततश्शरं महाघोरं
ज्वलन्तमिव पावकम्।
                    आददे पाण्डुपुत्रस्य
सूतपुत्रो जिघांसया॥
Then,
Karna took (and shot) a very terrible arrow resembling the blazing fire,
wishing to kill Arjuna.
                     स गाढविद्धस्समरे
महात्मा
                         चचाल बीभत्सुरमित्रमर्दनः॥
The
great Arjuna, the crusher of his foes, shook, hit hard as he was in that fight.
                  तदन्तरं प्राप्य
वृषो महारथो
                       रथाङ्गमुर्वीगतमुज्जिहीर्षुः।
                  रथादवप्लुत्य निगृह्य
दोर्भ्यां
                       शशाक दैवान्न
महाबलोऽपि॥
Taking
that opportunity, the strong warrior Karna, jumped down from the chariot
wishing to lift up the wheel that had gone into the ground, and tried, holding
it by both hands but could not (lift it) though he was of mighty strength,
because of fate.
                   ततोऽब्रवीद्वासुदेवोऽपि
पार्थं
                     छिन्ध्यस्य मूर्धानमरेश्शरेण।
                   तथैव संपूज्य स
तद्वचः प्रभोः
                     शिरोऽहरत्सूतपुत्रस्य
[राजन्]
Krishna
told Arjuna then: “ Cut off this enemy’s head with an arrow.” Accordinly,
giving respect to those words of the Lord, Arjuna cut off the head of Karna.
                     पाञ्चजन्यस्य
निर्घोषो देवदत्तस्य चोभयोः।
                     पृथिवीमन्तरिक्षं
च दिशश्च समपूरयत्॥
The
great noise of both the Panchajanya and the Devadatta, (the conches of Krishna
and Arjuna), filled the earth, the sky and the quarters.
                    हते वैकर्तने कर्णे
कुरवो भयपीडिताः।
                    वीक्षमाणा दिशस्सर्वाः
पलायन्त सहस्रशः॥
When
karna, son of the sun-god had been killed, the fear-stricken Kauravas turned to
all quarters and fled in their thousands.
                    || इति कर्णपर्व
समाप्तम् ॥
                    THUS ENDS THE KARNA
PARVA                      

Author Socials Follow me

1 Comment on MAHABHARATA – KARNA PARVA

  1. Most brilliant narration of karna parva I always wanted to read with original Sanskrit text .i thank you for such an elegant work. Indravadan Bhatt