Then Kunti, O king, in a sudden paroxysm of grief, weepingly addressed her sons in these soft words,
- That hero and great bowman, that leader of leaders of car-divisions,
- that warrior distinguished by every mark of heroism, who hath been slain by Arjuna in battle,
- that warrior whom, ye sons of Pandu, ye took forth, Suta’s child born of Radha,
- that hero who shone in the midst of his forces like the lord Surya himself, who battled with all of you and your followers, who looked resplendent as he commanded the vast force of the Duryodhana, who had no equal on earth for energy,
- that hero who preferred glory to life, that unretiring warrior firm in truth and never fatigued with exertion, was your eldest brother. Offer oblations of water unto that eldest brother of yours who was born of me by the god of day.
- That hero was born with a pair of earrings and clad in armour, and resembled Surya himself in splendour!’
Then that tiger among men, the heroic Yudhishthira, sighing like a snake, asked his mother,
- who was like an ocean having shafts for his billows,
- his tall standard for his vortex,
- his own mighty arms for a couple of huge alligators,
- his large car for his deep lake, and
- the sound of his palms for his tempestuous roar, and
- whose impetuosity none could withstand save Dhananjaya,
His might of arms was always worshipped by the Dhartarashtras even as we always worship the might of the wielder of gandiva!
How was that foremost of mighty men, that first of car-warriors, who endured the united force of all lords of earth in battle, how was he a son of thine? Was that foremost of all wielders of weapons our eldest brother? How didst thou bring forth that child of wonderful prowess? Alas, in consequence of the concealment of this affair by thee, we have been undone! By the death of Karna, ourselves with all our friends have been exceedingly afflicted.
The grief I feel at Karna’s death is a hundred times greater than that which was caused by
- the death of Abhimanyu and
- the sons of Draupadi, and
- the destruction of the Pancalas and
- the Kurus.
The puissant monarch then offered oblations of water unto his deceased elder brother. Then all the ladies that crowded the shores of the river suddenly sent up a loud wail of grief. The intelligent king of the Kurus, Yudhishthira, caused the wives and members of Karna’s family to be brought before him. Of righteous soul, he performed, with them, the water-rite in honour of his eldest brother. Having finished the ceremony, the king with his senses exceedingly agitated, rose from the waters of Ganga."