The war began. As Suprem Commander
Bhishma fought against the Pandava army for ten days. He killed thousands of soldiers in
the Pandava army. Even the mighty Arjuna found it difficult to stop him. Having fought
like this for ten days, Bhishma fell, with arrows stickling all over his body.
True- ' Karna was angry with Bhishma because he had insulted him. But
when he saw Bhishma's valor his entire wrath evaporated. Such was his magnanimous nature.
He would recognize and admire whatever was good and noble even in enemies. Bhishma's
prowess won his admiration. He went to see Bhishma who was lying in a bed of arrows.
"Bhishma, I am Karna; I have come to pay my respects to You," so saying he
touched Bhishma's feet and saluted.
A flood of tears gushed out of Bhishma's eyes. He embraced Karna as a
father would embrace a son. "Karna, you think that I hate you, don't you? No child,
truly I have the slightest feeling of enmity towards you. I know you are a mighty warrior.
You are like a god. In valor and munificence there is nobody to excel you. In the art of
war you are the equal of Krishna and Arjuna. But you are very vain about your strength. I
used to speak to you harshly to check your vanity, that's all", said Bhishma.
When Karna heard this voice was choked with affection.
"Grandfather, if I have spoken to you harshly in anger or ignorance, please forgive
biess and me me," said Karna.
Bhishma told him that Karna was Kunti's son and said: "Karna, it
is not possible for the Kauravas to win this war. Join the Pandavas. Advise Duryodhana to
stop the war.
And let all of you live peacefully."
"It is impossible for me to join the Pandavas. Success or
failure-God will be done. I shall fight to the end on the side of Duryodhana; he trusts me
and relies on me." So saying, Karna again saluted Bhishma and returned.
After Bhishma, Drona became the Supreme Commander of the Kaurava army.
On the fourth day the battle was waged in the night in the light of torches. Bhima's son
Ghatotkacha fought fiercely that night. He was the son of demon Hidimba. He was very
valiant and also a wizard.
The Kaurava army reeled under Ghatotkacha's magic. Seeing this, Karna
faced him. He had a formidable weapon called Vaijayanti, Which he had kept by to kill
Arjuna. But now he used it against Ghatotkacha and cut him into two. The Kaurava army was
overjoyed at the valor of Karna. On, hearing that Karna had used up the Vaijayanti weapon
Krishna and Arjuna heaved a sigh of relief.