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Chapter 140

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Beholding the Pandavas and the son ofDhritarashtra accomplished in arms, Drona thought the time had come whenhe could demand the preceptorial fee.

And, O king, assembling his pupilsone day together, the preceptor Drona asked of them the fee, saying,’Seize Drupada, the king of Panchala in battle and bring him unto me.That shall be the most acceptable fee.’ Those warriors then answering,’So be it’, speedily mounted up on their chariots, and for bestowing upontheir preceptor the fee he had demanded, marched out, accompanied by him.Those bulls among men, smiting the Panchalas on their way, laid siege tothe capital of the great Drupada. And Duryodhana and Karna and the mightyYuyutsu, and Duhsasana and Vikarna and Jalasandha and Sulochana,–theseand many other foremost of Kshatriya princes of great prowess, vied withone another in becoming the foremost in the attack. And the princes,riding in first class chariots and following the cavalry, entered thehostile capital, and proceeded along the streets.

“Meanwhile, the king of Panchala, beholding that mighty force and hearingits loud clamour, came out of his palace, accompanied by his brothers.Though king Yajnasena was well-armed, the Kuru army assailed him with ashower of arrows, uttering their war-cry. Yajnasena, however, not easy tobe subdued in battle, approaching the Kurus upon his white chariot, beganto rain his fierce arrows around.

“Before the battle commenced, Arjuna, beholding the pride of prowessdisplayed by the princes, addressed his preceptor, that best ofBrahmanas, Drona, and said, ‘We shall exert ourselves after these havedisplayed their prowess. The king of Panchala can never be taken on thefield of the battle by any of these. Having said this, the sinless son ofKunti surrounded by his brothers, waited outside the town at a distanceof a mile from it. Meanwhile Drupada beholding the Kuru host, rushedforward and pouring a fierce shower of arrows around, terribly afflictedthe Kuru ranks. And such was his lightness of motion on the field ofbattle that, though he was fighting unsupported on a single chariot, theKurus from panic supposed that there were many Drupadas opposed to them.And the fierce arrows of that monarch fell fast on all sides, till conchsand trumpets and drums by thousands began to be sounded by the Panchalasfrom their houses (giving the alarm). Then there arose from the mightyPanchala host a roar terrible as that of the lion, while the twang oftheir bow-strings seemed to rend the very heavens. Then Duryodhana andVikarna, Suvahu and Dirghalochana and Duhsasana becoming furious, beganto shower their arrows upon the enemy. But the mighty bowman, Prishata’sson, invincible in battle, though very much pierced with the arrows ofthe enemy, instantly began, O Bharata, to afflict the hostile ranks withgreater vigour. And careering over the field of battle like a fierywheel, king Drupada with his arrows smote Duryodhana and Vikarna and eventhe mighty Karna and many other heroic princes and numberless warriors,and slaked their thirst for battle. Then all the citizens showered uponthe Kurus various missiles like clouds showering rain-drops upon theearth. Young and old, they all rushed to battle, assailing the Kurus withvigour. The Kauravas, then, O Bharata, beholding the battle becomefrightful, broke and fled wailing towards the Pandavas.

“The Pandavas, hearing the terrible wail of the beaten host,reverentially saluted Drona and ascended their chariots. Then Arjunahastily bidding Yudhishthira not to engage in the fight, rushed forward,appointing the sons of Madri (Nakula and Sahadeva) the protectors of hischariot-wheels, while Bhimasena ever fighting in the van, mace in hand,ran ahead. The sinless Arjuna, thus accompanied by his brothers, hearingthe shouts of the enemy, advanced towards them, filling the whole regionwith the rattle of his chariot-wheels. And like a Makara entering thesea, the mighty-armed Bhima, resembling a second Yama, mace in hand,entered the Panchala ranks, fiercely roaring like the ocean in a tempest.And Bhima, mace in hand, first rushed towards the array of elephants inthe hostile force, while Arjuna, proficient in battle, assailed thatforce with the prowess of his arms. And Bhima, like the great Destroyerhimself, began to slay those elephants with his mace. Those huge animals,like unto mountains, struck with Bhima’s mace, had their heads brokeninto pieces. Covered with stream of blood, they began to fall upon theground like cliffs loosened by thunder. And the Pandavas prostrated onthe ground elephants and horses and cars by thousands and slew manyfoot-soldiers and many car-warriors. Indeed, as a herdsman in the woodsdriveth before him with his staff countless cattle with ease, so didVrikodara drive before him the chariots and elephants of the hostileforce.

“Meanwhile, Phalguna, impelled by the desire of doing good untoBharadwaja’s son, assailed the son of Prishata with a shower of arrowsand felled him from the elephant on which he was seated. And, O monarch,Arjuna, like unto the terrible fire that consumeth all things at the endof the Yuga, began to prostrate on the ground horses and cars andelephants by thousands. The Panchalas and the Srinjayas, on the otherhand, thus assailed by the Pandava, met him with a perfect shower ofweapons of various kinds. And they sent up a loud shout and foughtdesperately with Arjuna. The battle became furious and terrible tobehold. Hearing the enemy’s shouts, the son of Indra was filled withwrath and assailing the hostile host with a thick shower of arrows,rushed towards it furiously afflicting it with renewed vigour. They whoobserved the illustrious Arjuna at that time could not mark any intervalbetween his fixing the arrows on the bowstring and letting them off. Loudwere the shouts that rose there, mingled with cheers of approval. Thenthe king of the Panchalas, accompanied by (the generalissimo of hisforces) Satyajit, rushed with speed at Arjuna like the Asura Samvararushing at the chief of the celestials (in days of yore). Then Arjunacovered the king of Panchala with a shower of arrows. Then there arose afrightful uproar among the Panchala host like unto the roar of a mightylion springing at the leader of a herd of elephants. And beholding Arjunarushing at the king of Panchala to seize him, Satyajit of great prowessrushed at him. And the two warriors, like unto Indra and the AsuraVirochana’s son (Vali), approaching each other for combat, began to grindeach other’s ranks. Then Arjuna with great force pierced Satyajit withten keen shafts at which feat the spectators were all amazed. ButSatyajit, without losing any time, assailed Arjuna with a hundred shafts.Then that mighty car-warrior, Arjuna, endued with remarkable lightness ofmotion, thus covered by that shower of arrows, rubbed his bow-string toincrease the force and velocity of his shafts. Then cutting in twain hisantagonist’s bow, Arjuna rushed at the king of the Panchalas, butSatyajit, quickly taking up a tougher bow, pierced with his arrowsPartha, his chariot, charioteer, and horses. Arjuna, thus assailed inbattle by the Panchala warrior, forgave not his foe. Eager to slay him atonce, he pierced with a number of arrows his antagonist’s horses, flags,bow, clenched (left) fist, charioteer, and the attendant at his back.Then Satyajit, finding his bows repeatedly cut in twain and his horsesslain, desisted from the fight.

“The king of the Panchalas, beholding his general thus discomfited in theencounter, himself began to shower his arrows upon the Pandava prince.Then Arjuna, that foremost of warriors, crowned with success, began tofight furiously, and quickly cutting his enemy’s bow in twain as also hisflagstaff which he caused to fall down, pierced his antagonist’s horses,and charioteer also with five arrows. Then throwing aside his bow Arjunatook his quiver, and taking out a scimitar and sending forth a loudshout, leaped from his own chariot upon that of his foe. And standingthere with perfect fearlessness he seized Drupada as Garuda seizeth ahuge snake after agitating the waters of the ocean. At the sight of this,the Panchala troops ran away in all directions.

“Then Dhananjaya, having thus exhibited the might of his arm in thepresence of both hosts, sent forth a loud shout and came out of thePanchala ranks. And beholding him returning (with his captive), theprinces began to lay waste Drupada’s capital. Addressing them Arjunasaid, ‘This best of monarchs, Drupada, is a relative of the Kuru heroes.Therefore, O Bhima, slay not his soldiers. Let us only give unto ourpreceptor his fee.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘O king, thus prevented by Arjuna, the mightyBhimasena, though unsatiated with the exercise of battle, refrained fromthe act of slaughter. And, O bull of the Bharata race, the princes then,taking Drupada with them after having seized him on the field of battlealong with his friends and counsellors, offered him unto Drona. And Dronabeholding Drupada thus brought under complete control–humiliated anddeprived of wealth–remembered that monarch’s former hostility andaddressing him said, ‘Thy kingdom and capital have been laid waste by me.But fear not for thy life, though it dependeth now on the will of thyfoe. Dost thou now desire to revive thy friendship (with me)?’ Havingsaid this, he smiled a little and again said, ‘Fear not for thy life,brave king! We, Brahmanas, are ever forgiving. And, O bull amongKshatriyas, my affection and love for thee have grown with me inconsequence of our having sported together in childhood in the hermitage.Therefore, O king, I ask for thy friendship again. And as a boon(unasked), I give thee half the kingdom (that was thine). Thou toldest mebefore that none who was not a king could be a king’s friend. Thereforeis it, O Yajnasena, that I retain half thy kingdom. Thou art the king ofall the territory lying on the southern side of the Bhagirathi, while Ibecome king of all the territory on the north of that river. And, OPanchala, if it pleaseth thee, know me hence for thy friend.’

“On hearing these words, Drupada answered, ‘Thou art of noble soul andgreat prowess. Therefore, O Brahmana, I am not surprised at what thoudoest. I am very much gratified with thee, and I desire thy eternalfriendship.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘After this, O Bharata, Drona released the kingof Panchala, and cheerfully performing the usual offices of regard,bestowed upon him half the kingdom. Thenceforth Drupada began to residesorrowfully in (the city of) Kampilya within (the province of) Makandi onthe banks of the Ganga filled with many towns and cities. And after hisdefeat by Drona, Drupada also ruled the southern Panchalas up to the bankof the Charmanwati river. And Drupada from that day was well-convincedthat he could not, by Kshatriya might alone, defeat Drona, being verymuch his inferior in Brahma (spiritual) power. And he, therefore, beganto wander over the whole earth to find out the means of obtaining a son(who would subjugate his Brahmana foe).

“Meanwhile Drona continued to reside in Ahicchatra. Thus, O king, was theterritory of Ahicchatra full of towns and cities, obtained by Arjuna, andbestowed upon Drona.’



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