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Chapter 53

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Dhritarashtra said, “Tell me, O Sanjaya, how that great bowman Drona andthe Panchala prince of Prishata’s race encounter each other in battle,each striving his best. I regard destiny to be superior, O Sanjaya, toexertion, when Santanu’s son Bhishma (even) could not escape Pandu’s sonin battle. Indeed, Bhishma, when enraged in battle could destroy allmobile and immobile creatures, why, O Sanjaya, could he not then by hisprowess, escape the son of Pandu in battle?”

Sanjaya said, ‘Listen, O king, quietly to this terrific battle. The sonof Pandu is incapable of being vanquished by the very gods with Vasava.Drona with diverse arrows pierced Dhrishtadyumna and felled the latter’scharioteer from his niche in the car.[362] And, O sire, the enraged heroalso afflicted Dhrishtadyumna’s four steeds with four excellent shafts.And the heroic Dhrishtadyumna too pierced Drona in the combat with ninesharp arrows and addressed him, saying, ‘Wait–Wait’. ‘Then, again,Bharadwaja’s son of great prowess and immeasurable soul, covered with hisarrows the wrathful Dhrishtadyumna. And he took up a dreadful arrow forthe destruction of Prishata’s son whose force resembled that of Sakra’sbolt and which was like a second rod of death. And beholding that arrowaimed by Bharadwaja in battle, loud cries of oh and alas arose, OBharata, among all the combatants. And then we beheld the wonderfulprowess of Dhrishtadyumna insomuch that the hero stood alone, immovablelike a mountain. And he cut off that terrible and blazing arrow comingtowards him like his own Death, and also showered an arrowy downpour onBharadwaja’s son. And beholding that difficult feat achieved byDhrishtadyumna, the Panchalas with the Pandavas, filled with delight, setup loud shouts. And that prince, endued with great prowess, desirous ofslaying Drona hurled at him a dart of great impetuosity, decked with goldand stones of lapis lazuli. Thereupon the son of Bharadwaja, smiling thewhile, cut off into three fragments that dart decked with gold that wascoming towards him impetuously. Beholding his dart thus baffled,Dhrishtadyumna of great prowess rained arrowy downpours on Drona, O king.Then that mighty car-warrior Drona, baffling that arrowy shower, cut offwhen the opportunity presented, the bow of Drupada’s son. His bow (thus)cut off in the combat, that mighty warrior of great fame hurled at Dronaa heavy mace endued with the strength of the mountain. And hurled fromhis hands, that mace coursed through the air for Drona’s destruction. Andthen we beheld the wonderful prowess of Bharadwaja’s son. By (the)lightness (of his car’s motion), he baffled that mace decked with gold,and having baffled it, he shot at Prishata’s son many shafts of sharpedge, well-tempered, furnished with golden wings, and whetted on stone.And these, penetrating through Prishata’s coat of mail, drank his bloodin that battle. Then the high-souled Dhrishtadyumna, taking up anotherbow, and putting forth his prowess pierced Drona in that encounter withfive shafts. And then those two bulls among men, both covered with blood,looked beautiful like two blossoming Kinsukas in spring variegated withflowers. Then, O king, excited with wrath and putting forth his prowessat the head of his division, Drona once more cut off the bow of Drupada’sson. And then that hero of immeasurable soul covered that warrior whosebow was cut off, with innumerable straight arrows like the cloudsshowering rain on a mountain. And he also felled his foe’s charioteerfrom his niche in the car. And his four steeds, too, with four sharparrows, Drona felled in that combat that set up a leonine roar. And withanother shaft he cut off the leathern fence that cased Dhrishtadyumna’shand. His bow cut off, deprived of car, his steeds slain, and charioteeroverthrown, the prince of Panchala alighted from his car, mace in hand,displaying great prowess. But before he could come down from his car, OBharata, Drona with his shafts cut off that mace into fragments. Thisfeat seemed wonderful to us. And then the mighty prince of the Panchalasof strong arms, taking a large and beautiful shield decked with a hundredmoons, and a large scimitar of beautiful make, rushed impetuously fromdesire of slaying Drona, like a hungry lion in the forest towards aninfuriate elephant. Then wonderful was the prowess that we behold ofBharadwaja’s son, and his lightness (of hand) in the use of weapons, asalso the strength of his arms, O Bharata, in as much as, alone, hechecked Prishata’s son with a shower of arrows. And although possessed ofgreat might in battle, he was unable to proceed further. And we beholdthe mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna staying where he did and wardingoff those clouds of arrows with his shield, using his arms with greatdexterity. Then the mighty-armed Bhima endued with great strength quicklycame there, desirous of aiding in battle the high-souled son of Prishata.And he pierced Drona, O king, with seven sharp-pointed arrows, andspeedily caused Prishata’s son to be taken up on another car. Then kingDuryodhana urged the ruler of the Kalingas supported by a large division,for the protection of Bharadwaja’s son. Then that terrible and mightydivision of the Kalingas, O ruler of men, rushed against Bhima at thecommand of thy son. And Drona then, that foremost of car-warriors,abandoning the prince of Panchala, encountered Virata and Drupadatogether. And Dhrishtadyumna also proceeded to support king Yudhishthirain battle. And then commenced a fierce battle, making the hair stand onend, between the Kalingas and the high-souled Bhima, a battle that wasdestructive of the universe, terrific, and awful.”

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