(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'After this, with his sheet loosely hanging down, Adhiratha entered the lists, perspiring and trembling, and supporting himself on a staff.
"Seeing him, Karna left his bow and impelled by filial regard bowed down his head still wet with the water of inauguration. And them the charioteer, hurriedly covering his feet with the end of his sheet, addressed Karna crowned with success as his son. And the charioteer embraced Karna and from excess of affection bedewed his head with tears, that head still wet with the water sprinkled over it on account of the coronation as king of Anga. Seeing the charioteer, the Pandava Bhimasena took Karna for a charioteer's son, and said by way of ridicule, 'O son of a charioteer, thou dost not deserve death in fight at the hands of Partha. As befits thy race take thou anon the whip. And, O worst of mortals, surely thou art not worthy to sway the
kingdom of Anga, even as a dog doth not deserve the butter placed before the sacrificial fire.' Karna, thus addressed, with slightly quivering lips fetched a deep sigh, looked at the God of the day in the skies. And even as a mad elephant riseth from an assemblage of lotuses, the mighty Duryodhana rose in wrath from among his brothers, and addressed that performer of dreadful deeds, Bhimasena, present there, 'O Vrikodara, it behoveth thee not to speak such words. Might is the cardinal virtue of a Kshatriya, and even a Kshatriya of inferior birth deserveth to be fought with. The lineage of heroes, like the sources of a lordly river, is ever unknown. The fire that covereth the whole world riseth from the waters. The thunder that slayeth the Danavas was made of a bone of (a mortal named) Dadhichi. The illustrious deity Guha, who combines in his composition the portions of all the other deities is of a lineage unknown. Some call him the offspring of Agni; some, of Krittika, some, of Rudra, and some of Ganga. It hath been heard by us that persons born in the Kashatriya order have become Brahmanas. Viswamitra and others (born Kshatriyas) have obtained the eternal Brahma. The foremost of all wielders of weapons, the preceptor Drona hath been born in a waterpot and Kripa of the race of Gotama hath sprung from a clump of heath. Your own births, ye Pandava princes, are known to me. Can a she-deer bring forth a tiger (like Karna), of the splendour of the Sun, and endued with every auspicious mark, and born also with a natural mail and ear-rings? This prince among men deserveth the sovereignty of the world, not of Anga only, in consequence of the might of his arm and my swearing to obey him in everything. If there be anybody here to whom all that I have done unto Karna hath become intolerable, let him ascend his chariot and bend his bow with the help of his feet.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then there arose a confused murmur amongst the spectators approving of Duryodhana's speech. The sun, however, went down, but prince Duryodhana taking Karna's hand led him out of the arena lighted with countless lamps. And, O king, the Pandavas also, accompanied by Drona and Kripa and Bhishma, returned to their abodes. And the people, too, came away, some naming Arjuna, some Karna, and some Duryodhana (as the victor of the day). And Kunti, recognising her son in Karna by the various auspicious marks on his person and beholding him installed in the sovereignty of Anga, was from motherly affection, very pleased. And Duryodhana, O monarch, having obtained Karna (in this way), banished his fears arising out of Arjuna's proficiency in arms. And the heroic Karna, accomplished in arms, began to gratify Duryodhana by sweet speeches, while Yudhishthira was impressed with the belief that there was no warrior on earth like unto Karna.'"