SRIMAD MAHABHARATA > AADI PARVA > SANGRAAHA PARVA > CHAPTER 2(E)
(BRIEF OF KARNA PARVA)
“Then comes the most wonderful Parva called Karna. In this is narrated the appointment of the wise king of Madra (Shalya) as (Karna’s) charioteer. Then the history of the fall of the Asur a Tripura. Then the exchange of harsh words by Karna and Shalya to each on their setting out for the (battle)field, then the story of the swan and the crow recited in insulting reference; then the death of Paandya at the hands of the high-souled Ashwatthaama; then the death of Dandasena; then that of Darda; then Yudhishthira’s forthcoming risk in single combat with Karna in the presence of all warriors; then the mutual anger of Yudhishthira and Arjuna; then (Sri) Krishna’s pacification of Arjuna. In this Parva, Bhima, in fulfilment of his vow, having teared open Duhshaasana’s chest in battle drank the blood of his heart. Then Arjuna slew the great Karna in single combat.
“Readers of the (Maha)Bharata call this the eighth Parva. The number of sections in this is sixty-nine (69) and the number of shlokas is four thousand, nine hundred and sixty-four (4,964).
(BRIEF OF SHALYA PARVA)
“Then has been recited the wonderful Parva called Shalya. After all the great warriors had been slain, the king of Madra (Shalya) became the leader of the (Kauravaa) army. The encounters one after another, of charioteers, have been here described. Then comes the fall of the great Shalya at the hands of Dharmaraja Yudhishthira. Here also is the death of Shakuni in battle at the hands of Sahadeva. Upon only a small number of troops remaining alive after the immense slaughter, Duryodhana went to the lake and creating for himself room within its waters lay stretched there for some time.
“Then is narrated the receiving of this intelligence (about Duryodhana residing in lake) by Bhima from hunters; then is narrated how, moved by the insulting speeches of the intelligent Yudhishthira, Duryodhana ever unable to bear insults, came out of the waters. Then comes the encounter with clubs (Gada in Sanskrit), between Duryodhana and Bhima; then the arrival, at the time of such encounter, of Balarama: then is described the sacredness of Saraswati; then the progress of the encounter with clubs (Gada in Sanskrit); then the fracture of Duryodhana’s thighs in battle by Bhima with (a terrific hurl of) his mace (Gada in Sanskrit).
“These all have been described in the wonderful ninth Parva. In this the number of sections is fifty-nine (59) and the number of shlokas composed by the great Vyaasa–the spreader of the fame of Kauravaas–is three thousand, two hundred and twenty (3,220).