Chapter 79

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘The ruler of Manipura, Vabhruvahana, hearing thathis sire Arjuna had arrived within his dominions, went out with humility,with a number of Brahmanas and some treasure in his van.[194]Remembering, however, the duties of Kshatriyas, Dhananjaya of greatintelligence, seeing the ruler of Manipura arrive in that guise, did notapprove of it. The righteous-souled Phalguna angrily said, ‘This conductof thine is not becoming. Thou hast certainly fallen away from Kshatriyaduties. I have come here as the protector of Yudhishthira’s sacrificialhorse. Why, O son, wilt thou not fight me, seeing that I have come withinthy dominions? Fie on thee, O thou of foolish understanding, fie on theethat hast fallen away from Kshatriya duties! Fie on thee that wouldreceive me peacefully, even though I have come here for battling withthee. In thus receiving me peacefully thou actest like a woman. O thou ofwretched understanding, if I had come to thee, leaving aside my arms,then would this behaviour of thine have been fit, O worst of men.’Learning that these words were addressed by her husband, the daughter ofthe Snake-king, viz., Ulupi unable to tolerate it, pierced through theEarth and came up to that spot.[195] She beheld her son standing thereperfectly cheerless and with face hanging down. Indeed, the prince wasrepeatedly rebuked by his sire who was desirous of battle with him, Omonarch. The daughter of the snake, with every limb possessed of beauty,viz., Ulupi, said these words consistent with righteousness and duty untothe prince who was conversant with righteousness and duty,–‘Know that Iam thy mother Ulupi that am the daughter of a snake. Do thou accomplishmy behest, O son, for thou wouldst then attain to great merit. Fight thyfather, this foremost one of Kuru’s race, this hero that is irresistiblein battle. Without doubt, he will then be gratified with thee.’ In thisway was king Vabhruvahana incited against his sire by his (step) mother.At last, endued as he was with great energy, he made up his mind, O chiefof the Bharata’s, to fight Dhananjaya. Putting on his armour of brightgold and his effulgent head-gear, he ascended an excellent car which hadhundreds of quivers ready on it. That car was equipt with necessaries forbattle and had steeds yoked to it that were endued with the speed of themind. It had excellent wheels and a strong Upashkara, and was adornedwith golden ornaments of every kind. Raising his standard which wasdecorated most beautifully and which bore the device of a lion in gold,the handsome prince Vabhruvahana proceeded against his sire for battle.Coining upon the sacrificial steed which was protected by Partha, theheroic prince caused it to be seized by persons well-versed inhorse-lore. Beholding the steed seized, Dhananjaya became filled withjoy. Standing on the Earth, that hero began to resist the advance of hisson who was on his car. The king afflicted the hero with repeated showersof shafts endued with whetted points and resembling snakes of virulentpoison. The battle that took, place between sire and son wasincomparable. It resembled the encounter between the deities and theAsuras of old. Each was gratified with obtaining the other for anantagonist. Then Vabhruvahana, laughing, pierced the diadem-deckedArjuna, that foremost of men, in the shoulder with a straight shaft.Equipt with feathers, that shaft penetrated Arjuna’s body like a snakepenetrating on an anthill. Piercing the son of Kunti through, the shaftwent deep into the Earth. Feeling acute pain, the intelligent Dhananjayarested awhile, supporting himself on his excellent bow. He stood, havingrecourse to his celestial energy and seemed to outward appearance likeone deprived of life. That foremost of men, then regaining consciousness,praised his son highly. Possessed of great splendour, the son of Sakrasaid, ‘Excellent, Excellent, O mighty-armed one, O son of Chitrangada! Oson, beholding this feat, so worthy of thee, I am highly gratified withthee. I shall now shoot these arrows at thee, O son. Stand for fight(without running away).’ Having said these words, that slayer of foesshot a shower of arrows on the prince. King Vabhruvahana, however, withhis own broad-headed shafts, cut all those arrows which were shot fromGandiva and which resembled the thunder-bolt of Indra in splendour, somein twain and some into three parts. Then the standard, decked with goldand resembling a golden palmyra, on the king’s car was cut off by Parthawith some excellent shafts of his. The son of Pandu, laughing, next slewthe king’s steeds endued with large size and great speed. Descending fromhis car, the king inflamed with rage, fought his sire on foot. Gratifiedwith the prowess of his son, that foremost one of the sons of Pritha,viz., the son of the wielder of the thunder-bolt, began to afflict himgreatly. The mighty Vabhruvahana, thinking that his father was no longerable to face him, again afflicted him with many shafts resembling snakesof virulent poison. From a spirit of boyishness he then vigorouslypierced his father in the breast with a whetted shaft equipt withexcellent wings. That shaft, O king, penetrated the body of Pandu’s sonand reaching his very vital caused him great pain. The delighter of theKurus, Dhananjaya, deeply pierced therewith by his son, then fell down ina swoon on the Earth, O king. When that hero, that bearer of the burthensof the Kuru’s fell down, the son of Chitrangada also became deprived ofhis senses. The latter’s swoon was due to his exertions in battle as alsoto his grief at seeing his sire slain. He had been pierced deeply byArjuna with clouds of arrows. He, therefore, fell down at the van ofbattle embracing the Earth. Rearing that her husband had been slain andthat her son had fallen down on the Earth, Chitrangada, in greatagitation of mind, repaired to the field of battle. Her heart burningwith sorrow, weeping piteously the while, and trembling all over, themother of the ruler of Manipura saw her slain husband.”‘

Chapter 80
Chapter 78
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