Mahabharata Santi Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section V

"Narada said, 'Hearing of the fame of Karna's might, the ruler of the Magadhas, king Jarasandha, challenged him to a single combat. Both conversant with the celestial weapons, a fierce battle took place between them in which they struck each other with diverse kinds of arms. At last when their arrows were exhausted and bows and swords were broken and they both became carless, they began, possessed of might as they were, to fight with bare arms. While engaged with him in mortal combat with bare arms, Karna was about to sever the two portions of his antagonist's body that had been united together by Jara. The king (of Magadha), then after feeling himself very much pained, cast off all desire of hostility and addressed Karna, saying, 'I am gratified.' From friendship he then gave unto Karna the town Malini. Before this, that tiger among men and subjugator of all foes (viz., Karna) had been king of the Angas only, but from that time the grinder of hostile forces began to rule over Champa also, agreeably to the wishes of Duryodhana, as thou knowest. Thus Karna became famous on earth for the valour of his arms. When, for thy good, the Lord of the celestials begged of him his (natural) coat of mail and ear-rings, stupefied by celestial illusion, he gave away those precious possessions. Deprived of his car-rings and divested of his natural armour, he was slain by Arjuna in Vasudeva's presence. In consequence of a Brahmana's curse, as also of the curse of the illustrious Rama, of the boon granted to Kunti and the illusion practised on him by Indra, of his depreciation by Bhishma as only half a car-warrior, at the tale of Rathas and Atirathas, of the destruction of his energy caused by Salya (with his keen speeches), of Vasudeva's policy, and, lastly of the celestial weapons obtained by Arjuna from Rudra and Indra and Yama and Varuna and Kuvera and Drona and the illustrious Kripa, the wielder of Gandiva succeeded in slaying Vikartana's son Karna of effulgence like that of Surya himself. Even thus had thy brother been cursed and beguiled by many. As, however, he has fallen in battle, thou shouldst not grieve for that tiger among men!'"