Note : This Article is for those who love Mahabharata and/or are students of The Bhagavad Geeta. This series of articles focuses on War Tactics of Lord Shree Krishna – Just one dimension out of the infinite dimensions of his awe-inspiring personality. It is a small attempt from my side to compile these awesome incidents which are scattered across the pages of Geeta and to bring them at one place.
Before the war began, Duryodana requested Bhishma, the commander-in-chief of the Kauravas, to consider Karna under his leadership. Bhishma refused, saying that Karna had insulted his guru Parshuram by insulting Draupadi and nobody disrespecting his guru can fight under his leadership. Bhishma secretly knew about Karna’s true ancestary and did not want him to fight against his own brothers. Consequently, Karna entered the battlefield only on the eleventh day, after the fall of Bheeshma. On 13th day, Karna shot arrows from behind that broke Abhimanyu’s bow and the reins of his chariot, while the Kauravas overwhelmed him. The battle ended in Abhimanyu’s death.
Night of the fourteenth day:
Uncharacteristically, the battle next day extended into the hours of darkness. Ghatotkacha, the half-asura son of Bhima, began to destroy the Kaurava forces. It was a characteristic of the asuras that they became extraordinarily powerful at night. Duryodhana and Karna bravely stood and fought him. Finally, when it seemed that Ghatotkacha would destroy all the Kaurava forces that very night, having already badly-wounded Dronacharya, Duryodhana called upon Karna to use all means necessary. Karna engaged him in a ferocious duel, with every single warrior from both sides watching in silent awe. As Ghatotkacha began to use his skills of dark magic, Karna had to use the Vasava Shakti, which had been gifted to him by Lord Indra in return for his divine armour. Using this weapon, Karna killed the Asura Ghatotkacha. Although his death was a major disappointment to the Pandavas, there was a serene smile on Krishna’s face. Krishna knew that, because Karna had now expended this fearsome weapon, Arjuna was no longer vulnerable to it.