Udyoga Parva - 4
Kunti then decided to meet Karna. She met him on the banks of the river Bhagirathi when he was performing his evening rituals. Karna greeted her, and she told him he was her son. She asked him to join hands with the Pandavas so he and Arjuna can be like Balarama and Krishna.
Even Surya spoke to Karna and told him to listen to his mother. Karna said that even though he was born a Kshatriya, he did not get the status of a Kshatriya. Karna told Kunti that she ignored him as a mother earlier and came now only to save the lives of her sons. He told her he would kill Arjuna in battle, but spare the other Pandavas. Karna promised her she would have five sons left after the war and one of them would be either Arjuna or Karna. Kunti then embraced her son and left.
Krishna then recounted what happened in Hastinapura before Yudhishtira. He narrated how he asked for only five villages to be given to the Pandavas and that they did not desire the entire kingdom. He told Yudhishtira that war was now imminent.
The Pandavas then met to discuss who should command the forces. The names of Virata, Shikandi, and others were discussed. Krishna selected Dhrishtadyumna, since he was born from the fire. Yudhishtira appointed Dhrishtadyumna as the commander. The Pandavas then took leave of Draupadi and proceeded to the Kurukshetra battlefield.
They set up camp there. There were tents to store food, weapons, armoury, and also a medical tent. Armoured elephants and chariots were ready, waiting for their masters. The Kauravas also set up camp. There were ten elephants for every chariot. Ten horses were lined up for each elephant. There were ten infantry soldiers for each horse.
There were fifty elephants as a reserve for each horse and hundred horses for each elephant. For every horse, there were seven men. Five hundred elephants and five hundred chariots formed a sena. Ten senas were a pritana and ten pritanas made an akshauhini.
The Kauravas installed Bheeshma as their commander and the Pandavas anointed Dhristadyumna as their commander. Balarama visited the Pandava camp. He told them he considered both Duryodhana and Bheema as his students. He therefore announced that he would go on a sacred pilgrimage and Pradyumna would accompany him.
Meanwhile Rukmi, the brother of Krishna’s wife Rukmini who had been previously humiliated by Krishna came there. He told Arjuna that he would defeat the Kauravas and hand them over to him. Arjuna laughed and told him that neither he nor the Pandavas needed Rukmi’s help as they could well fight the war themselves.
After being rebuffed even by Duryodhana, Rukmi returned to his kingdom. Meanwhile, Dhritarashtra asked Sanjaya to describe what was happening. Sanjaya described the arrangement of soldiers and the preparation for the war.… to be continued