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Chapter 100

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Saying these words, king Duryodhana pierced Arjuna withthree shafts of great impetuosity and capable of penetrating into thevery vitals. And with four others he pierced the four steeds of his foe.And he pierced Vasudeva in the centre of the chest with ten shafts, andcutting off, with a broad-headed arrow, the whip in the latter’s hands,he felled it on the ground. Then Partha, coolly and without losing amoment, shot at him four and ten shafts whetted on stone and equippedwith beautiful feathers. All those shafts, however, were repelled byDuryodhana’s armour. Beholding their fruitlessness, Partha once more spedat him nine and five arrows of keen points. But these too were repelledby Duryodhana’s armour. Seeing eight and twenty arrows of his becomeabortive, that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., Krishna said unto Arjuna,these words: ‘I see a sight never before witnessed by me, like themovements of the hills. Shafts sped by thee, O Partha, are becomingabortive. O bull of Bharata’s race, hath thy Gandiva decayed in power?Have the might of thy grasp and the power of thy arms become less thanwhat they were. Is not this to be thy last meeting with Duryodhana? Tellme, O Partha, for I ask thee. Great hath been my amazement, O Partha,upon seeing all these shafts of thine fall towards Duryodhana’s car,without producing the slightest effect. Alas, what misfortune is thisthat these terrible shafts of thine that are endued with the might of thethunder and that always pierce the bodies of foes, fail in producing anyeffect.’

“Arjuna said, ‘I think, O Krishna, that this armour hath been put onDuryodhana’s body by Drona. This armour, tied as it hath been, isimpenetrable to my weapons. In this armour, O Krishna, inhereth the mightof the three worlds. Only Drona knoweth it, and from that best of men Ialso have learnt. This armour is not capable of being pierced by myweapons. Maghavat himself, O Govinda, cannot pierce it with his thunder.Knowing it all, O Krishna, why seekest thou to confound me? That whichoccurred in the three worlds, that which, O Kesava, exists now, and whichis in the womb of futurity, are all known to thee. Indeed, O slayer ofMadhu, no one else knoweth this better than thou dost. This Duryodhana, OKrishna, cased by Drona in this armours, is staying fearlessly in battle,wearing this coat of mail. That however, which one wearing such armourshould do, is not known to him, O Madhava! He weareth it only like awoman. Behold now, O Janardana, the might of my arms and that of my bowtoo. Though protected by such a coat of mail, I will still vanquish theKuru prince. The chief of the celestials gave this effulgent armour toAngiras. From the latter it was obtained by Vrihaspati. And fromVrihaspati it was got by Purandara. The Lord of the celestials once moregave it to me with the mantras to be uttered in wearing it. Even if thisarmour were divine, if it were created by Brahma himself, still thewretch, Duryodhana, struck with my arrows, shall not be protected by it.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Having said these words, Arjuna inspired some arrowswith mantras, and began to draw them on the bow-string. And while he wasthus drawing them on the bow-string, the son of Drona cut them off with aweapon that was capable of baffling every weapon. Beholding those shaftsof his thus frustrated from a distance by that utterer of Brahma(Aswatthaman), Arjuna, owning white steeds, filled with amazementrepresented unto Kesava, saying, ‘I cannot, Janardana, twice use thisweapon, for if do so, it will slay my own self and my own troops.Meanwhile, Duryodhana, O king, pierced each of the Krishnas in thatbattle with nine shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison. And oncemore the Kuru king showered his shafts on Krishna and the son of Pandu.Beholding these showers of arrows (shot by their king), thy warriors werefilled with joy. They beat their musical instrument and uttered leonineroar. Then Partha, excited with rage in that battle, licked the cornersof his mouth. Casting his eyes on his enemy’s body, he saw not any partthat was not well-covered with that impenetrable armour. With somesharp-pointed shafts then, well-shot from his bow, and each of whichresembled Death himself, Arjuna slew his antagonist’s steeds and then histwo Parshni charioteers. And soon also the valiant Partha cut offDuryodhana’s bow and the leathern fence of his fingers. Then, Savyasachincommenced to cut off his enemy’s car in fragments. And with a couple ofkeen arrows he made Duryodhana carless. And then Arjuna pierced both thepalms of the Kuru king. Beholding that great bowman afflicted with theshafts of Dhananjaya and fallen into great distress, many warriors rushedto the spot, desirous of rescuing him. These, with many thousands ofcars, well-equipped elephants and horses, as also with large bodies offoot-soldiers, excited with wrath, encompassed by large bodies of men,neither that car of theirs nor of Arjuna and Govinda could any longer beseen. Then Arjuna, by the might of his weapons, began to slaughter thathost. And car-warriors and elephants, by hundreds, deprived of limbs,fell fast on the field. Slain, or in the act of being slain, those failedto reach the excellent car. Indeed, the car on which Arjuna rode, stoodmotionless full two miles from the besieging force on every side. Thenthe Vrishni hero (Krishna), without taking any time, said unto Arjunathese words: Draw thy bow quickly and with great force, for I will blowmy conch.’ Thus addressed, Arjuna drawing his bow Gandiva with greatforce, began to slaughter the foe, shooting dense showers of shafts andmaking a loud noise by stretching the bowstring with his fingers. Kesavameanwhile forcibly and very loudly blew his conch Panchajanya, his facecovered with dust. In consequence of the blare of that conch and of thetwang of Gandiva, the Kuru warriors, strong or weak, all fell down on theground. The car of Arjuna then freed from that press, looked resplendentlike a cloud driven by the wind. (Beholding Arjuna) the protectors ofJayadratha, with their followers, became filled with rage. Indeed, thosemighty bowmen, the protectors of the ruler of Sindhus, suddenly beholdingPartha, uttered loud shouts, filling the earth with that noise. The whizof their arrows were mingled with other fierce noises and the loud blareof their conchs. Those high-souled warriors uttered leonine shouts.Hearing that awful uproar raised by thy troops, Vasudeva and Dhananjayablew their conchs. With their loud blare (of their conchs), the wholeearth, with her mountains and seas and islands and the nether regions, Omonarch, seemed to be filled. Indeed, that blare, O best of Bharatas,filled all the points of the compass, and was echoed back by both thearmies. Then thy car-warriors, beholding Krishna and Dhananjaya, becamevery much frightened. Soon, however, they recovered and put forth theiractivity. Indeed, the great car-warriors of thy host, beholding the twoKrishnas, those highly blessed persons, cased in mail rushed towards. Thesight thus presented became a wonderful one.'”

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