On the 14th day of the Mahabharata war, Bhimasena is ordered by Yudhisthira to go look for Arjuna after Satyaki fails to report Arjuna’s well-being on time. Bhima immediately obeys his brother’s orders and heads out.
He is stopped by Drona twice and challenged to a duel. Both times, Bhima hands Drona a resounding defeat and moves ahead. Soon, he spots Arjuna fighting with the Trigartas and others. Bhima lets out a leonine roar and informs Yudhisthira of the third Pandava’s safety.
Hearing the loud roar of Vrikodara the Kaurava camp becomes very scared. They are unable to bear the loudness of Bhima’s shout. Seeing the desperate state of the troops, Karna decides to engage with Bhima to try and stop his march.
A fierce fight breaks out between the two powerful warriors.
The sounds made by the palms of Bhima and Karna, in the process of releasing arrows, brought fear into the minds of nearby warriors.
Bhima let go of another roar. Many warriors nearby lost the grip on their bows due to this sound.
पुनर्घोरेण नादेन पाण्डवस्य महात्मनः |
समरे सर्वयोधानां धनूंष्यभ्यपतन् क्षितौ ||
Due to the terrifying sound let out by the noble son of Pandava, the bows from the hands of all the warriors slipped and fell on to the ground.
Elephants and horses passed out due to fear. Many evil portents were noticed when the fight began.
Karna released 20 sharp arrows at Bhima and simultaneously fired 5 arrows at Vishoka, Bhima’s charioteer. In return, Karna was showered with 64 arrows by Vrikodara.
Karna then fired 4 long and thick arrows. Even before they reached Bhima’s chariot, the middle Pandava shot them down by breaking each one of them into 4 parts. Karna’s response was a barrage of short arrows. In return, one sharp stinging arrow from Bhima’s bow cut his bow at the neck. Karna quickly picked up another bow.
तस्य भीमो भृशं कृद्धस्त्रीन् शरान् नतपर्वणः |
निचखानोरसि तदा सूतपुत्रस्य वेगितः ||
Bhima, who got extremely agitated, shot arrows that were bent at the tip; These arrows pierced the chest of Karna, the son of the Suta.
Karna was getting hurt very badly. He was bleeding all over. Still, he did not give up and started firing arrows by the hundreds.
Bhima let out a big smile, along with a sharp arrow, and the latter broke Karna’s bow once again. He picked up an immense bhalla and released it at Karna’s charioteer who quickly reached Yama’s abode. The next 4 arrows from Bhima’s quiver sent the 4 horses of Karna to where his charioteer had just reached.
It was time for Karna to escape!
हताश्वात्तु रथात्कर्णः समाप्लुत्य विशांपते |
स्यन्दनं वृषसेनस्य समारोहन्महारथः ||
O King! Karna jumped from his chariot whose horses were killed and reached the chariot of Vrushasena.
Karna left the battle scene and Bhima celebrated his victory. The Pandavas blew their conches to indicate victory. Arjuna saw all of this from a distance and celebrated by twanging his Gandiva repeatedly. Sri Krishna too blew the Panchajanya in joy!
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