Bhima Karna Yudha – Part 3

The battle between Bhimasena and Karna continued on the 14th day even as Karna kept getting defeated repeatedly and one of the sons of Dhritharashtra got caught in the cross-fire.

Karna, having lost his chariot at the fall of Durjaya, climbed another one and resumed his duel with Bhima. Through a cluster of arrows, Karna hit Bhima in the chest repeatedly. The two of them repeatedly exchanged a number of arrows against each other, sometimes nine each and at other times sixty three arrows.

Then Karna released a special arrow that had strange feathers attached to it.

स निर्भिद्य रणे पार्थं सूतपुत्रधनुश्च्युतः |
आगच्छद् दारयन् भूमिं चित्रपुङ्खं शिलीमुखः ||

Possessing strange feathers, that special arrows released by Karna pierced the son of Prithu (Bhima) and entered the earth splitting the same.

Angered by the injury due to the arrow, Bhima hurled a gada that was weighing four kishkus at Karna. The mace killed all the horses of Karna’s chariot. Through a stream of arrows, Karna’s flag and the charioteer were also destroyed.

Seeing the pathetic state of Karna, Duryodhana called his brother Durmukha and asked him to supply Karna with a chariot. Instead of only aiding Karna as instructed by his elder brother, Durmukha foolishly challenged Bhimasena. The glee of Bhima knew no bounds and he welcomed Durmukha by grinding his teeth.

Nine straight arrows were dispatched by Vrikodara and in turn those arrows dispatched Durmukha to the abode of Yama.

तस्मिन् क्षणे महाराज नवभिर्नतपर्वभिः |
सुपुङ्खैर्दुर्मुखं भीमः शरैर्निन्ये यमक्षयम् ||

O Maharaja! Bhima shot nine sharp arrows that had good feathers and were bent at the edges against Durmukha and in that very moment he was sent to Yama’s abode.

Seeing the dead corpse of his dear friend’s brother, Karna was stunned and could not move in his chariot for a while. Soon, the battle between him and Bhima resumed.

Fourteen narachas that were released by Bhima pierced Karna and he started bleeding profusely. In turn, Karna shot an equal number of narachas and they pierced through Vrikodara and hit the ground.

Bhima hit Karna repeatedly at this stage, and with seven sharp arrows injured his charioteer. Karna’s response was typical of him.

स विह्वलो महाराज कर्णो भीमबलार्दितः |
प्राद्रवज्जवनरश्वै रणं हित्वा महायशाः ||

O Maharaja! The famous Karna was troubled immensely by Bhima’s strength and, leaving the battlefield, he fled away along with this speedy horses.

Karna fled the scene.

Seeing Karna panicking and fleeing the battlefield, five brothers of Duryodhana – Durmarshana, Dusshaha, Durmada, Durdhara and Jaya – could not bear the insult. They rushed towards Bhima and challenged him.

They surrounded him from all sides and attacked the second son of Kunti simultaneously. Seeing the Kaurava princes stepping in, the defeated Karna now felt insulted and returned to battle. He too joined the five brothers and showered many arrows on Bhimasena.

But Bhima’s prowess was limitless that day. All it took was twenty-five arrows to kill all five of the Kaurava brothers. The five of them fell down like trees felled by a gusty wind. Their charioteers too met the same fate. Karna looked at Bhima helplessly.

तं भीमन्सेनः संरम्भात् क्रोधसंरक्तलोचनः |
विस्फार्य सुमहच्छापं मुहुः कर्णमवैक्षत ||

Bhimasena too stared again at Karna with eyes that were red due to anger, while twanging his bow.

Thus the attempt of Karna in challenging Bhima once again resulted in his own fleeing from the battlefield and the death of six Kauravas.

Sri Krishnarpanamastu

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