Legacy YM

Chapter 61 - Non-Cooperation

212

IT was the day before the commencement of the great battle. The grandsire, now the Kaurava Generalissimo, was with Duryodhana seeking to inspire him with his own heroic spirit and cheerfulness.

Bhishma spoke of the strength, skill and prowess of the warriors ranged on the Kauravas' side. Duryodhana was cheered up. Presently, Karna became the subject of their talk.

"Karna has earned your affection," said Bhishma, "but I do not think much of him. I do not like his great hatred of the Pandavas, and he is too boastful. There is no limit to his arrogance and he is much given to disparaging others. I would not place him in the highest rank among the warriors of the land. Besides, he has given away the divine armor with which he was born. He is not therefore likely to be of great help to me in this battle. The curse of Parasurama is on him too. His command of supernatural weapons will fail him in his hour of need, for he will not be able to remember the mantras. And the battle that will ensue between him and Arjuna will prove fatal for Karna."

Thus spoke Bhishma without mincing matters, and this was exceedingly unpalatable to Duryodhana and Karna. To make matters worse, Drona agreed with the grandsire and said:

"Karna is full of pride and overconfidence, which will cause him to be neglectful of the finer points of strategy, and through carelessness, he will suffer defeat."

Enraged by these harsh words, Karna turned to the grandsire with flaming eyes. "You sir," said he, "have always slighted me through mere dislike and envy and have never neglected an opportunity of humiliating me, though I gave you no reason. I bore all your taunts and thrusts for the sake of Duryodhana. You have said that I would not be of much help in the impending war. Let me tell you my settled conviction, it is you, not I, who will fail the Kauravas. Why hide your real feelings? The fact of the matter is that you have no genuine affection for Duryodhana, but he does not know it. Hating me you seek to come between me and Duryodhana and poison his mind against me. And in furtherance of your wicked design, you have been belittling my strength and running me down. You have stooped to behavior unworthy of a kshatriya. Age alone does not confer a title to honor and respect among warriors, but prowess does. Desist from poisoning our relations."

213

Turning then to Duryodhana, Karna said:

"Illustrious warrior, think well and look to your own good. Do not place too great a reliance on the grandsire. He is trying to sow dissension in our ranks. His appraisement of me will injure your cause. By running me down, he seeks to dampen my enthusiasm. He has become senile and his time is up. His arrogance does not let him have regard for anyone else. Age must be respected and experience is useful but, as the sastras warn us, there is a point when age becomes senility and ripeness falls into rottenness and decay. You have made Bhishma your Generalissimo who will, I have no doubt, earn some fame from the heroic deeds of others. But I will not bear arms while he is in command. Only after he has fallen will I do so."

The arrogant man is never conscious of his own arrogance. When accused of it, he charges the accuser with that very fault. His judgment is warped and he considers it a crime on the part of anyone to point out his defect. This is well illustrated in this episode.

Controlling his anger, Bhishma replied: "Son of Surya, we are in a crisis and that is why you have not ceased to live this moment. You have been the evil genius of the Kauravas." Duryodhana was in distress.

"Son of Ganga, I need the help of you both," he said. "You will both do deeds of great heroism, I have no doubt. At the break of dawn, the battle joins. Let there be no fighting among friends, with the foe in full force before us!"

But Karna was adamant in that he would not take up arms so long as Bhishma was in supreme command. Duryodhana eventually yielded to Karna and suffered him to carry out his threat.

Karna kept out during the first ten days of the battle, though all his men participated in it. At the end of the tenth day, when the great Bhishma lay on the battlefield covered all over with arrows, Karna went to him and bowed reverently and asked for forgiveness and blessings, which he received.

214

Thereafter, Karna cooperated and himself proposed Drona for the command of the Kaurava forces in succession to Bhishma. When Drona also fell, Karna took over the command and led the Kaurava forces.


Chapter1 - Ganapati
Chapter2 - Devavrata
Chapter3 - Bhishma's Vow
Chapter4 - Amba And Bhishma
Chapter5 - Devayani And Kacha
Chapter6 - The Marriage Of Devayani
Chapter7 - Yayati
Chapter8 - Vidura
Chapter9 - Kunti Devi
Chapter10 - Death Of Pandu
Chapter11 - Bhima
Chapter12 - Karna
Chapter13 - Drona
Chapter14 - The Wax Palace
Chapter15 - The Escape Of The Pandavas
Chapter16 - The Slaying Of Bakasura
Chapter17 - Draupadi's Swayamvaram
Chapter18 - Indraprastha
Chapter19 - The Saranga Birds
Chapter20 - Jarasandha
Chapter21 - The Slaying Of Jarasandha
Chapter22 - The First Honor
Chapter23 - Sakuni Comes In
Chapter24 - The Invitation
Chapter25 - The Wager
Chapter26 - Draupadi's Grief
Chapter27 - Dhritarashtra's Anxiety
Chapter28 - Krishna's Vow
Chapter29 - Pasupata
Chapter30 - Affliction Is Nothing New
Chapter31 - Agastya
Chapter32 - Rishyasringa
Chapter33 - Fruitless Penance
Chapter34 - Yavakrida's End
Chapter35 - Mere Learning Is Not Enough
Chapter36 - Ashtavakra
Chapter37 - Bhima And Hanuman
Chapter38 - I am No Crane
Chapter39 - Wicked Are Never Satisfied
Chapter40 - Duryodhana Disgraced
Chapter41 - Sri Krishna's Hunger
Chapter42 - The Enchanted Pool
Chapter43 - Domestic Service
Chapter44 - Virtue Vindicated
Chapter45 - Matsya Defended
Chapter46 - Prince Uttara
Chapter47 - Promise Fulfilled
Chapter48 - Virata's Delusion
Chapter49 - Taking Counsel
Chapter50 - Arjuna's Charioteer
Chapter51 - Salya Against His Nephews
Chapter52 - Vritra
Chapter53 - Nahusha
Chapter54 - Sanjaya's Mission
Chapter55 - Not a Needle-Point Of Territory
Chapter56 - Krishna's Mission
Chapter57 - Attachment and Duty
Chapter58 - The Pandava Generalissimo
Chapter59 - Balarama
Chapter60 - Rukmini
Chapter61 - Non-Cooperation
Chapter62 - Krishna Teaches
Chapter63 - Yudhishthira Seeks Benediction
Chapter64 - The First Day's Battle
Chapter65 - The Second Day
Chapter66 - The Third Day's Battle
Chapter67 - The Fourth Day
Chapter68 - The Fifth Day
Chapter69 - The Sixth Day
Chapter70 - The Seventh Day
Chapter71 - The Eighth Day
Chapter72 - The Ninth Day
Chapter73 - The Passing Of Bhishma
Chapter74 - Karna and the Grandsire
Chapter75 - Drona in Command
Chapter76 - To Seize Yudhishthira Alive
Chapter77 - The Twelfth Day
Chapter78 - Brave Bhagadatta
Chapter79 - Abhimanyu
Chapter80 - The Death Of Abhimanyu
Chapter81 - A Father's Grief
Chapter82 - The Sindhu King
Chapter83 - Borrowed Armor
Chapter84 - Yudhishthira's Misgivings
Chapter85 - Yudhishthira's Fond Hope
Chapter86 - Karna And Bhima
Chapter87 - Pledge Respected
Chapter88 - Somadatta's End
Chapter89 - Jayadratha Slain
Chapter90 - Drona Passes Away
Chapter91 - The Death Of Karna
Chapter92 - Duryodhana
Chapter93 - The Pandavas Reproached
Chapter94 - Aswatthama
Chapter95 - Avenged
Chapter96 - Who Can Give Solace?
Chapter97 - Yudhishthira's Anguish
Chapter98 - Yudhishthira Comforted
Chapter99 - Envy
Chapter100 - Utanga
Chapter101 - A Pound Of Flour
Chapter102 - Yudhishthira Rules
Chapter103 - Dhritarashtra
Chapter104 - The Passing Away Of The Three
Chapter105 - Krishna Passes Away
Chapter106 - Yudhishthira's Final Trial

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