Mahabharata Drona Parva Chapter 1:2

Mahabharata Drona Parva (Dronabhisheka Parva) Chapter 1:2

Then by the blare of trumpets and the beat of drums, the divisions of thy army as also those of the foe, marched out. After the fall of Ganga's son, O king, when the best part of the day had passed away, yielding to the influence of wrath, with hearts afflicted by fate, and disregarding the words, worthy of acceptance, of the high-souled Bhishma, those foremost ones of Bharata's race went out with great speed, armed with weapons. In consequence of thy folly and of thy son's and of the slaughter of Santanu's son, the Kauravas with all the kings seemed to be summoned by Death himself. The Kurus, deprived of Devavrata, were filled with great anxiety, and resembled a herd of goats and sheep without a herdsman, in a forest abounding with beasts of prey. Indeed, after the fall of that foremost one of Bharata's race, the Kuru host looked like the firmament divested of stars, or like the sky without the atmosphere, or like the earth with blasted crops, or like an oration disfigured by bad grammar,[1] or like the Asura host of old after Vali had been smitten down, or like a beautiful damsel deprived of husband,[2] or like a river whose waters have been dried up, or like a roe deprived of her mate and encompassed in the woods by wolves; or like a spacious mountain cave with its lion killed by a Sarabha.[3] Indeed, O chief of the Bharatas, the Bharata host, on the fall of Ganga's son, became like a frail boat on the bosom of the ocean, tossed by a tempest blowing from every side. Exceedingly afflicted by the mighty and heroic Pandavas of sure aim, the Kaurava host, with its steeds, car-warriors and elephants much troubled, became exceedingly distressed, helpless, and panic-stricken. And the frightened kings and the common soldiers, no longer relying upon one another, of that army, deprived of Devavrata, seemed to sink into the nethermost region of the world.

Then the Kauravas remembered Karna, who indeed, was equal to Devavrata himself. All hearts turned to that foremost of all wielders of arms, that one resembling a guest resplendent (with learning and ascetic austerities). And all hearts turned to him, as the heart of a man in distress turneth to a friend capable of relieving that distress. And, O Bharata, the kings then cried out saying, "Karna! Karna! The son of Radha, our friend, the son of a Suta, that one who is ever prepared to lay down his life in battle! Endued with great fame, Karna, with his followers and friends, did not fight for these ten days. O, summon him soon!" The mighty-armed hero, in the presence of all the Kshatriyas, during the mention of valiant and mighty car-warriors, was by Bhishma classed as an Ardha-ratha, although that bull among men is equal to two Maharathas! Even thus was he classed during the counting of Rathas and Atirathas, he that is the foremost (of all Rathas and Atirathas), he that is respected by all heroes, he that would venture to fight even with Yama, Kuvera, Varuna, and Indra.



  1. Literally, like an oration teeming with unrefined expressions.
  2. i.e., deprived of robes and ornaments because of her widowhood.
  3. A Sarabha is a fabulous animal of eight legs supposed to be stronger than the lion.