"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding the grandsire, viz., the venerable Bhishma, that destroyer of all the Kshatriyas, that hero of righteous soul and immeasurable energy, that great bowman thrown down (from his car) by Savyasachin with his celestial weapons, lying on a bed of arrows, and looking like the vast ocean dried up by mighty winds, the hope of thy
sons for victory had disappeared along with their coats of mail and peace of mind. Beholding him who was always an island unto persons sinking in the fathomless ocean in their endeavours to cross it, beholding that hero covered with arrows that had coursed in a stream as continuous as that of Yamuna, that hero who looked like Mainaka of unbearable energy thrown down on the earth by the great Indra, that warrior lying prostrate on the earth like the Sun dropped down from the firmament, that one who looked like the inconceivable Indra himself after his defeat of old by Vritra, that depriver of all warriors of their senses, that foremost of all combatants, that signal of all bowmen, beholding that hero and bull among men, viz., thy sire Bhishma of high vows, that grandsire of the Bharatas thrown down in battle and lying covered with Arjuna's shafts, on a hero's bed. Adhiratha's son (Karna) alighted from his car, in great affliction, filled with grief, and almost senseless. Afflicted (with sorrow), and with eyes troubled with tears, he proceeded on foot. Saluting him with joined palms, and addressing him reverentially, he said, 'I am Karna! Blessed be thou! Speak to me, O Bharata, in sacred and auspicious words, and look at me, opening thy eyes. No man certainly enjoyeth in this world the fruits of his pious deeds, since thou, reverend in years and devoted to virtue, liest slain on the ground. O thou that art the foremost one amongst the Kurus, I do not see that there is any one else among them, who is competent (like thee) in filling the treasury, in counsels, in the matter of disposing the troops in battle array, and in the use of weapons, Alas, he that was endued with a righteous understanding, he that always protected the Kurus from every danger, alas, he, having slain numberless warriors, proceedeth to the region of the Pitris. From this day, O chief of the Bharatas, the Pandavas, excited with wrath, will slaughter the Kurus like tigers slaying deer. Today the Kauravas, acquainted with the force of Gandiva's twang, will regard Savyasachin, like the Asuras regarding the wielder of the thunder-bolt, with terror. Today the noise, resembling that of heaven's thunder, of the arrows shot from Gandiva, will inspire the Kurus and other kings with great terror. Today, O hero, like a raging conflagration of fierce flames consuming a forest, the shafts of Kiritin will consume the Dhartarashtras. In those parts of the forest through which fire and wind march together, they burn all plants and creepers and trees. Without doubt, Partha is even like a surging fire, and, without doubt, O tiger among men, Krishna is like the wind. Hearing the blare of Panchajanya and the twang of Gandiva all the Kaurava troops, O Bharata, will be filled with fear. O hero, without thee, the kings will never be able to bear the rattle of the ape-bannered car belonging to that grinder of foes, when he will advance (upon them). Who amongst the kings, save thyself, is competent to battle with that Arjuna whose feats, as described by the wise, are all superhuman? Superhuman was the battle that he fought with the high-souled (Mahadeva) of three eyes. From him he obtained a boon that is unattainable by persons of unsanctified souls. Delighted in battle, that son
of Pandu is protected by Madhava. Who is there that is competent to vanquish him who could not be vanquished by thee before, although thou, endued with great energy, hadst vanquished Rama himself in battle, that fierce destroyer of the Kshatriya race, worshipped, besides, by the gods and the Danavas? Incapable of putting up with that son of Pandu, that foremost of heroes in battle, even I, with thy permission, am competent to slay, with the force of my weapons, that brave and fierce warrior who resembleth a snake of virulent poison and who slayeth his foes with his glances alone!'"