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Chapter 103

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘After Arjuna had got the ruler of the Sindhuswithin sight, what, O Sanjaya, did the Panchalas, attacked byBharadwaja’s son, do, encountering the Kurus?’

“Sanjaya said, In the afternoon of that day, O monarch, in the battlethat took place between the Panchalas and the Kurus, Drona became, as itwere, the stake (for which each fought on to win or lose). The Panchalas,O sire, desirous of slaying Drona, cheerfully uttered loud roars and shotdense showers of arrows. Indeed, that encounter between the Panchalas andthe Kurus, fierce, awful, and highly wonderful as it was, resembled thatin days of yore between the gods and the Asuras. Indeed, all thePanchalas with the Pandavas, obtaining Drona’s car (within reach) usedmany mighty weapons, desirous of piercing through his array. Car-warriorsstationed on their cars, causing the earth to shake under them, andshowering their arrowy downpours, rushed towards Drona’s car, withoutmuch speed. Then that mighty car-warrior among the Kaikeyas, viz.,Vrihatkshatra, incessantly scattering keen shafts that resembled thethunder in force, proceeded towards Drona. Then Kshemadhurti of greatfame quickly rushed against Vrihatkshatra, shooting keen arrows bythousands. Beholding this, that bull among the Chedis, viz.,Dhrishtaketu, endued with great might, quickly proceeded againstKshemadhurti, like Mahendra proceeding against the Asura Samvara. Seeinghim rush with great impetuosity, like the Destroyer himself withwide-open mouth, that mighty bowman viz., Viradhanwan, proceeded againsthim with great speed. King Yudhishthira staying there at the head of hisdivision from desire of victory, was resisted by valiant Drona himself.Thy son Vikarna, O lord, endued with great prowess, proceeded against therushing Nakula of great prowess, that warrior accomplished in battle.That scorcher of foes, viz., Durmukha, covered the advancing Sahadevawith many thousands of swiftly-coursing shafts. The heroic Vyughradattaresisted that tiger among men, viz., Satyaki making him repeatedlytremble by means of his sharp and keen-pointed shafts. The son ofSomadatta resisted the (five) sons of Draupadi, those tigers among men,those great car-warriors, wrathfully shooting mighty shafts. That mightycar-warrior, viz., Rishyasringa’s fierce son (the Rakshasa Alamvusha), ofawful mien, resisted the advancing Bhimasena filled with wrath. Theencounter that then took place between that man and Rakshasa resembled, Oking, the battle in days of yore between Rama, and Ravana. Then, OBharata, Yudhishthira, that chief of the Bharatas, struck Drona withninety straight shafts in all his vital parts. Enraged by the famous sonof Kunti, Drona struck him in return, O chief of the Bharatas, in thecentre of the chest with five and twenty shafts. And once more, in thevery sight of all the bowmen, Drona struck him, with his steeds,charioteer, and standard, with twenty shafts. Pandu’s son, of virtuoussoul, displaying great lightness of hand, baffled with his own arrowyshowers those arrows shot by Drona, Then that great bowman Drona, filledwith rage, cut off the bow of the high souled king Yudhishthira the just.Then that great car-warrior (viz., the son of Bharadwaja) speedilycovered the bowless Yudhishthira with many thousands of shafts. Beholdingthe king made invisible by the shafts of Bharadwaja’s son, all thoughtthat Yudhishthira was dead, and some thought that the king had fledbefore Drona. And many cried out, O king, saying, ‘Alas the king hathbeen slain by the high-souled Brahmana.’ Then, king Yudhishthira thejust, fallen into great distress, having laid aside that bow cut off byBharadwaja’s son in battle took up another excellent, bright and tougherbow. And that hero then cut off in that encounter all those shafts shotin thousands by Drona. All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. Having cutoff those shafts, O king, Yudhishthira, with eyes red in wrath, took upin that battle a dart, capable of riving even a mountain. Equipped with agolden staff, of awful mien, having eight bells attached to it, andexceedingly terrible, the mighty Yudhishthira, taking it up, uttered aloud roar. And with that roar, O Bharata, the son of Pandu inspired allcreatures with fear. Beholding that dart upraised by king Yudhishthirathe just, all creatures, as if with one accord, said, ‘Good be to Drona!’Hurled from the king’s arms, that dart resembling a snake just freed fromits slough, coursed towards Drona, illumining the welkin and all thedirections cardinal and subsidiary, like a she-snake with fiery mouth,Beholding it coursing towards him impetuously, O king, Drona, thatforemost of all persons acquainted with weapons invoked into existencethe weapon called Brahma. That weapon, reducing that dart of terriblemien into dust, coursed towards the car of the illustrious son of Pandu.Then, O sire, king Yudhishthira of’ great wisdom baffled that weapon ofDrona, thus coursing towards him by himself invoking the Brahma weapon.And then piercing Drona himself in that battle with five straight shafts,he cut off, with a sharp razor-faced shaft, the large bow of Drona. ThenDrona, that grinder of Kshatriyas, throwing aside that broken bow, hurledwith great force, O sire, a mace at the son of Dharma. Beholding thatmace impetuously coursing towards him, Yudhishthira, O chastiser of foes,filled with rage, took up a mace. Then those two maces, both hurled withgreat force, encountering each other in mid-air, produced by theircollision sparks of fire and then fell down on the earth. Then Drona,filled with fury, slew, O sire, the steeds of Yudhishthira, with fourexcellent shafts of keen points. And with another broad-headed shaft hecut off he king’s bow resembling a pole erected to the honour of Indra.And with another shaft he cut off the standard of Yudhishthira, and withthree he afflicted the Pandava himself. Then king Yudhishthira, speedilyjumping down from that steedless car, stood weaponless and with armsupraised, O bull of Bharata’s race! Beholding him carless, and especiallyweaponless, Drona, O lord, stupefied his foes, rather the whole army.Firmly adhering to his vow, and endued with great lightness of hands,Drona shot showers of sharp shafts and rushed towards the king, like afurious lion towards a deer. Beholding Drona, that slayer of foes, rushtowards him, cries of Oh and Alas suddenly rose from the Pandava army.’And many cried out, saying, ‘The king is slain by Bharadwaja’s son.’ Loudwails of this kind were heard, O Bharata, among the Pandava troops.Meanwhile, king Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, getting up on the car ofSahadeva, retreated from the field, borne away by swift steeds.'”

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