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Chapter 77

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “Thou hast, O king, in consequence of thy own fault, beenovertaken by this calamity. O bull of Bharata’s race, the faults whichthou, O monarch, hadst seen in that unrighteous course of conduct(towards the Pandavas), were not seen by Duryodhana. It was through thyfault, O king, that the match at dice had taken place. And it is throughthy fault that this battle hath taken place with the Pandavas. Havingcommitted a sin, do thou, therefore, reap the fruit of that sin of thine.One reapeth the fruit of acts perpetrated by one’s own self. Do thou,therefore, O king, reap the fruit of thy own acts both here andhereafter. Therefore, O monarch, though overtaken by this calamity, becalm still, and listen, O sire, to the (account of the) battle as Irecite it.

“The heroic Bhimasena, having with his sharp shafts broken thy mightyarray, then came upon all the younger brothers of Duryodhana. The mightyBhima, beholding Dussasana and Durvisaha and Dussaha and Durmada andJaya, and Jayasena and Vikarna and Chitrasena and Sudarsana, andCharuchitra and Suvarman and Duskarna and Karna, and many other mightycar-warriors, excited with rage, of the Dhartarashtra host near enough tohimself, penetrated into (thy) mighty array that was protected by Bhishmain that battle. Then, beholding him in their midst, all those warriorssaid, ‘Ye kings, let us take this one’s life’!–Thereupon that son ofPritha was surrounded by those cousins of his who were firmly resolved(to take his life). And Bhima then resembled Surya himself of fiercesplendour surrounded by the mighty planets of evil nature, at the time ofthe universal destruction. And although the son of Pandu was there in thevery midst of the (Kaurava) array, yet fear entered not his heart, as itdid not that of Indra while surrounded by the Danavas in the fiercebattle of old between the celestials and the Asuras. Then thousands ofcar-warriors armed with all weapons and fully prepared for battleoverwhelmed his single self with terrible shafts. Thereupon the heroicBhima, disregarding the sons of Dhritarashtra, slew in that conflict manyforemost warriors (of the Kaurava army) fighting from cars or upon theback of elephants and steeds. And ascertaining the purpose harboured bythose cousins of his who were bent upon his destruction, the mighty Bhimaset his heart upon slaying them all. Then leaving his car and taking uphis mace, the son of Pandu began to smite that very sea of Dhartarashtratroops.

“Then when Bhimasena thus penetrated the Dhartarashtra host,Dhrishtadyumna the son of Prishata, forsaking Drona (with whom he hadbeen engaged), quickly proceeded to the spot where Suvala’s son wasstationed. That bull among men, baffling countless warriors of thy army,came upon the empty car of Bhimasena in that battle. And beholding inthat conflict Visoka, the charioteer of Bhimasena, Dhrishtadyumna, Oking, became exceedingly cheerless and almost deprived of his senses.With voice choked in tears, and sighing as he spoke, he asked Visoka, ingrief, saying, ‘Where is Bhima who is dear to me as my life itself?’Visoka then, joining his hands, replied unto Dhrishtadyumna saying, ‘Themighty son of Pandu, endued with great strength, ordering me to wait forhim here, hath alone penetrated into the Dhartarashtra host thatresembleth the very ocean. That tiger among men very cheerfully said untome these words–‘Wait for me, O charioteer, restraining the steeds for ashort space of time, that is, till I slay those that are bent upon mydestruction.–Beholding then the mighty Bhima rushing mace in hand, allour troops (that supported him) became filled with delight. Then in thisfierce and terrible battle, O prince, thy friend, breaking the mightyarray (of the foe), hath penetrated into it. Hearing these words ofVisoka, Prishata’s son Dhrishtadyumna, endued with great strength, saidunto the charioteer these words on the field of battle. ‘What need have Itoday of life itself, if forgetting my affection for the Pandavas, Iforsake Bhima in battle? If I return today without Bhima, what will theKshatriyas say of me? What will they say of me when they will learn thatwhile I was on the field Bhima penetrated alone into the hostile arraymaking a single opening in it? The gods with Indra at their head visithim with evil who, forsaking his comrades in battle, returneth homeunhurt! The mighty Bhima again is my friend and kinsman. He is devoted tome, and I also am devoted to that slayer of foes. Therefore, I will gothither, whither Bhima hath gone. Behold me slaying the foe like Vasavaslaying the Danavas.’ Having said this, the heroic Dhrishtadyumna, OBharata, proceeded through the midst of the foe, along the tracks openedby Bhimasena and marked by elephants crushed with his mace. He thenobtained sight of Bhimasena consuming the hostile ranks or fellingKshatriya warriors like the tempest devastating rows of trees. Andcar-warriors and horsemen and foot-soldiers and tuskers, while thusslaughtered by him, uttered loud cries of woe. And cries of ah and alasarose from thy troops, O sire, while they were slaughtered by thevictorious Bhima accomplished in all moods of warfare. Then the Kauravawarriors all accomplished in arms, surrounding Vrikodara on all sides,fearlessly poured upon him their arrowy showers at the same time. Thenthe mighty son of Prishata, beholding that foremost of all wielders ofweapons, that celebrated hero, viz., the son of Pandu, thus attacked onall sides by fierce ranks of foes in close array, mangled with shafts,treading the field on foot, and vomiting the poison of his wrath, mace inhand and looking like the Destroyer himself at the hour of the universaldissolution, quickly approached him and comforted him by his presence.And taking him upon his car, and plucking the arrows off from all hislimbs, and embracing him warmly, the high-souled son of Prishatacomforted Bhimasena in the very midst of the foe. Then thy son, in thatterrible conflict, quickly coming up to his brothers, said unto them,’This son of Drupada of wicked soul, is now united with Bhimasena. Let usall approach him together for slaying him. Let not the foe seek our ranks(for battle).’ Hearing these words, the Dhartarashtras, thus urged on bythe command of their eldest brother and unable to put up (with the foe),quickly rushed, with upraised weapons, for slaying Dhrishtadyumna likefierce comets at the hour of the universal dissolution. Taking up theirbeautiful bows, those heroes, making the very earth shiver with the twangof their bowstring and the rattle of their car-wheels, showered shafts onDrupada’s son, like the clouds covering the mountain-breast with torrentsof rain. But that hero conversant with all modes of warfare, though thusstruck with sharp arrows in that battle, did not waver. On the otherhand, that mighty car-warrior, the youthful son of Drupada, beholdingthose heroic sons of thine staying before him in battle and exertingthemselves to their utmost being desirous of slaying them applied thatfierce weapon called Pramohana and engaged with thy sons, O king, likeIndra with the Danavas in battle. Then those heroic warriors weredeprived of their senses, their minds and strength afflicted by thePramohana weapon. And the Kauravas fled away in all directions, withtheir steeds and elephants and cars, beholding those sons of thinedeprived of their senses in a swoon like those whose hours had come. Andat that time Drona, the foremost of all wielders of weapons, approachingDrupada, pierced him with three fierce shafts. And that monarch then, Oking, viz., Drupada, deeply pierced by Drona, left the battle, O Bharata,remembering his former hostility (with Bharadwaja’s son). Thereupon Dronaendued with great prowess having thus vanquished Drupada, blew his conch.And hearing the blare of his conch, all the Somakas were struck withfear. Then Drona, possessed of great energy, that foremost of allwielders of weapons, heard of thy sons being deprived of their senses inbattle with the Pramohana weapon. Then the son of Bharadwaja, desirous ofrescuing the princes, speedily left that part of the field where he wasand proceeded to the place where thy sons were. And that mighty bowmanviz., Bharadwaja’s son of great prowess, there beheld Dhrishtadyumna andBhima careering through the field in that dreadful conflict. And thatmighty car-warrior beheld thy sons deprived of their senses. Taking upthen the weapon called Prajna, he neutralised the Pramohana weapon (thatDhrishtadyumna had shot). Then thy sons those mighty car-warriors, whentheir senses returned, once more proceeded to battle with Bhima andPrishata’s son. Then Yudhishthira, addressing his own troops said, ‘Lettwelve brave car-warriors cased in mail and headed by Subhadra’s son,follow, to the utmost of their might, the track of Bhima and Prishata’sson in battle. Let intelligence be had (of those two warriors). My heartis very uneasy.’ Thus ordered by the king, those heroes possessed ofgreat prowess in battle and proud of their manliness, saying ‘Yes,’ allproceeded forward when the sun had reached the meridian. And thosechastisers of foes then, viz., the Kaikeyas and the sons of Draupadi, andDhrishtaketu of great prowess, supported by a large force and withAbhimanyu at their head, and disposing themselves in the array calledSuchimukha,[405] penetrated into that car-division of the Dhartarashtrasin battle. And thy troops, O king, struck with the fear of Bhimasena anddeprived of their senses by Dhrishtadyumna, were unable to resist (therush of) those mighty bowmen headed by Abhimanyu. And they were quitehelpless, like a lady in the streets. And those mighty bowmen withstandards variegated with gold cutting through (the Kaurava ranks),proceeded with great speed for rescuing Dhrishtadyumna and Vrikodara. Andthe latter, beholding those mighty bowmen headed by Abhimanyu, becamefilled with delight and continued to smite down thy ranks. And the heroicprince of Panchala, viz., the son of Prishata, seeing meanwhile hispreceptor advancing towards him with great speed, no longer wished tocompass the death of thy sons. Causing Vrikodara then to be taken up onthe car of the king of the Kaikeyas, he rushed in great wrath againstDrona accomplished in arrow and all weapons. And that slayer of foes,viz., the valiant son of Bharadwaja, excited with rage, cut off with abroad-headed shaft the bow of Prishata’s son who was rushing towards himwith impetuosity. And remembering the bread he had eaten of his masterand desirous of doing good to Duryodhana, he also sped hundreds of shaftsafter Prishata’s son. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the sonof Prishata, taking up another bow, pierced Drona with seventy shaftswhetted on stone and furnished with wings of gold. Then that grinder offoes, viz., Drona, once more cut off his bow, and despatched his foursteeds to Yama’s abode with four excellent arrows, and also slew hischarioteer, O Bharata, with a broad-headed shaft. Then that mightycar-warrior of strong arms, viz., Dhrishtadyumna, quickly descending fromthat car whose steeds had been slain, ascended the great car ofAbhimanyu. Then Drona caused the Pandava army consisting of cars,elephants, and steeds, to tremble, in the very sight of Bhimasena and theintelligent son of Prishata. Beholding then that army thus broken byDrona of immeasurable energy, all those mighty car-warriors wereincapable of checking its flight. And that army, thus slaughtered byDrona with his sharp shafts, began to move in eddies there, like theagitated sea. And beholding the (Pandava) army in that condition, thytroops were filled with delight. And seeing the preceptor excited withrage and thus consuming the ranks of the foe, all thy warriors, OBharata, set up loud shouts and uttered exclamations in praise of Drona.”

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