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Chapter 107

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Tell me, O Sanjaya, how Yuyudhana rushed againstthe son of Bharadwaja in battle. I feel a great curiosity to hear it.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Listen, O thou of great wisdom, to the account of thatbattle, that makes the hair stand on end, between Drona and the Pandayasheaded by Yuyudhana. Beholding the (Kuru) army slaughtered, O sire, byYuyudhana, Drona himself rushed towards that warrior of unbaffledprowess, called also by the name of Satyaki. Satyaki pierced that mightycar-warrior, viz., the son of Bharadwaja, thus advancing against him,with five and twenty small arrows. Drona also, possessed of great prowessin battle, with deliberate aim, quickly pierced Yuyudhana, with fivewhetted arrows, equipped with wings of gold. Those arrows, piercing thehard mount of the foe and drinking his life-blood, entered the earth, Oking, like hissing snakes. The long-armed Satyaki then, inflamed withrage like an elephant struck with the hook, pierced Drona with fifty longarrows that resembled flames of fire. Then Bharadwaja’s son, thus quicklypierced in battle by Yuyudhana, pierced carefully exerting Satyaki inreturn with many arrows. Then that great bowman, endued with great might,and filled with rage, once more afflicted that hero of the Satwata racewith many straight shafts. Thus struck in that battle by the son ofBharadwaja, Satyaki, O monarch, knew not what to do. Then, O king,Yuyudhana’s face became cheerless, seeing the son of Bharadwaja shootcountless keen arrows. Beholding Satyaki thus situated, thy sons andtroops, O king, becoming exceedingly cheerful, repeatedly uttered leonineroars. Hearing that terrible uproar and beholding that hero of Madhu’srace thus afflicted, king Yudhishthira, O monarch, addressing all hissoldiers, said, ‘That foremost one among the Vrishnis, viz., the braveSatyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled, is about to be devouredby the heroic Drona, like the sun by Rahu. Go and rush ye to the spotwhere Satyaki is battling.’ The king, addressing Dhrishtadyumna. of thePanchala race, said, Rush thou with speed at Drona. Why dost thou tarry,O son of Prishata! Seest thou not the great danger to ourselves that hasalready arisen from Drona? Drona is a great bowman. He is sporting withYuyudhana, in battle, like a boy with a bird bound in a string. Let allof you, headed by Bhimasena, and accompanied by others proceed thitherwhere Satyaki’s car is. Behind you I will follow with my troops. RescueSatyaki today who is already within the jaws of the Destroyer.’ Havingsaid these words, O Bharata, king Yudhishthira with all his troops rushedtowards Drona for the sake of Yuyudhana. Blessed be thou, great was theuproar made there by the Pandavas and the Srinjayas all fighting withDrona only. Together approaching, O tiger among men, that mightycar-warrior, viz., the son of Bharadwaja, they covered with showers ofkeen arrows equipped with the feathers of Kankas and peacocks. Drona,however, received all those heroes smilingly, like a householderreceiving guests arrived of their own will, with seats and water. Withthe shafts of Bharadwaja’s bow-wielding son, those heroes werewell-gratified like guest, O king, with the hospitality they receive inthe houses (of good hosts). And none of them, O lord, could even gaze atthe son of Bharadwaja who then resembled the thousand-rayed sun atmidday. Indeed, Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, scorchedall those great bowmen with showers of arrows like the sun scorching(everything below) with his burning rays. Thus struck, O king, by Drona,the Pandavas and the Srinjayas beheld no protector, like elephants sunkin a morass. The mighty arrows of Drona, as they coursed (through thewelkin), looked like the rays of the sun blasting everything around. Inthat encounter, five and twenty warriors among the Panchalas were slainby Drona, who were all regarded as Maharathas and all approved (as such)by Dhrishtadyumna. And amongst all the troops of the Pandavas and thePanchalas, men quietly beheld brave Drona slaying the foremost ofwarriors in succession. Having slain a hundred warriors amongst theKekayas and routing them on all sides, Drona stood, O monarch, like theDestroyer himself with wide-open mouth. The mighty-armed Drona vanquishedthe Panchalas, the Srinjayas, the Matsyas and the Kekayas, O monarch, byhundreds and thousands. Pierced by the arrows of Drona, the clamour madeby them resembled that made in the woods by the denizens of the forestwhen encompassed by a conflagration. The gods, Gandharvas, and thePitris, said, ‘Behold, the Panchalas, and the Pandavas, with all theirtroops, are flying away.’ Indeed, when Drona was thus engaged inslaughtering the Somakas in battle, none ventured to advance against himand none succeeded in piercing him. And while that dreadful encounter, sodestructive of great heroes, continued, Pritha’s son (Yudhishthira)suddenly heard the blare of Panchajanya. Blown by Vasudeva, that best ofconchs gave loud blasts. Indeed, while the heroic protectors of the rulerof the Sindhus were fighting, and while the Dhartarashtras were roaringin front of Arjuna’s car, the twang of Gandiva could not be heard. Theroyal son of Pandu repeatedly swooned, and thought, ‘Without doubt, allis not well with Partha, since that prince of conchs (Panchajanya) isyielding such blasts and since the Kauravas also, filled with joy, areincessantly uttering such shouts.’ Thinking in this way, with an anxiousheart, Ajatasatru, the son of Kunti, said unto him of the Satwata race(viz., Satyaki) these words in a voice choked with tears. Thoughrepeatedly stupefied, king Yudhishthira, however, did not lose sight ofwhat was to be done next. Addressing Sini’s grandson, that bull of hisclan, (Yudhishthira said), ‘O grandson of Sini, the time for that eternalduty which the righteous ones of old have indicated (for friends) towardsfriends in seasons of distress, hath now come. O bull amongst the Sinis,reflecting within myself, I do not, O Satyaki, see amongst all mywarriors one who is a greater well wisher to us than thou art. He who isalways well-affected, he who is always obedient, I think, he should beappointed to a grave commission in times of distress. As Kesava is everthe refuge of the Pandavas even, so art thou, O thou of Vrishni’s race,who art like Kesava in prowess. I will, therefore, lay a burthen on thee.It behoveth thee not to frustrate my purpose. Arjuna is thy brother,friend, and preceptor, O bull among men, in this battle render him aid intime of distress. Thou art devoted to truth. Thou art a hero. Thou artthe dispeller of the fears of friends. Thou art celebrated in the world,in consequence of thy acts, O hero, as one that is truthful in speech.He, O grandson of Sini, who casteth away his body while fighting inbattle for friends, is equal to him who giveth away to Brahmanas thewhole earth. We have heard of various kings gone to heaven, having givenaway the whole of this earth unto Brahmanas with due rites. O thou ofvirtuous soul, I beg of thee, with joined hands, even this viz., that, Olord, attain thou the fruit of giving away (unto Brahmanas) the wholeearth, or something higher than that by incurring danger to thy lifeitself for helping Arjuna. There is one, viz., Krishna, that dispeller ofthe fears of friends, who is ever willing to cast away his life in battle(for the sake of friends). Thou, O Satyaki, art the second. None but ahero can render aid unto a hero, exerting valorously in battle, fromdesire of fame. An ordinary person cannot do so. In this matter, here isnone else but thee who can protect Arjuna. On one occasion, whileapplauding thy numerous feats, Arjuna, giving me great pleasurerepeatedly recited them. He said of thee that thou art endued withextreme lightness of hand, that thou art conversant with all modes ofwarfare, that thou art possessed of great activity and great prowess. Hesaid, ‘Satyaki is endued with great wisdom, is acquainted with everyweapon, is a hero, and is never stupefied in battle. Of broad neck andbroad chest, of mighty arms and broad cheeks, or great strength and greatprowess, Satyaki is a high-souled Maharatha. He is my disciple andfriend; I am dear to him and he is dear to me. Becoming my ally,Yuyudhana will crush the Kauravas. Even if Kesava and Rama, andAniruddha, and the mighty car-warrior Pradyumna, and Gada, and Sarana,and Samva, with all the Vrishnis, case themselves in mail for assistingus, O king, in the field of battle, I shall yet appoint that tiger amongmen viz., Satyaki of unbaffled prowess, for our aid, since there is noneequal to him.’ Even this is what Dhananjaya told me in the Dwaita woods,in thy absence, while truly describing thy merits in an assembly ofrighteous persons. It behoveth thee not, O thou of the Vrishni race, tofalsify that expectation of Dhananjaya, and also of myself and Bhima!When, returning from various tirthas, I proceeded to Dwaraka; there Iwitnessed thy reverence for Arjuna. While we were at Upaplavya I did notmark anybody else, O grandson of Sini, who showed us such affection asthou didst. Thou art of noble lineage and feelest reverence for us. Forshowing kindness, therefore, to one who is thy friend and preceptor, itbehoveth thee, O thou of mighty arms, to act in a way deserving, O greatbowman, of thy friendship and prowess and noble parentage andtruthfulness. O thou of Madhu’s race! Suyodhana, cased in armour by Dronahimself, hath suddenly gone, following Arjuna! The other greatcar-warriors of Kauravas have, before that followed Arjuna. Loud uproarsare being heard against Arjuna’s car. O grandson of Sini, it behoveththee, O giver of honours, to go thither quickly. Bhimasena and ourselves,well-equipped and with all our forces, will resist Drona if he advancesagainst thee. Behold, O Grandson of Sini, the Bharata troops are flyingaway in battle, and as they are flying away, they are tittering loudwails. Like the very ocean at full tide agitated by a mighty tempest, theDhartarashtra host, O sire, is agitated by Savyasachin. Behold, inconsequence of countless cars and men and steeds moving quickly, theearthly dust raised is gradually spreading (over the field). See, thatslayer of hostile hosts, Phalguna, is encompassed by the Sindhu-Sauviras,armed with spikes and lances and adorned with many horses in their ranks.Without vanquishing this force it will not be possible to vanquishJayadratha. These warriors are prepared to lay down their lives for thesake of the ruler of the Sindhus. Behold the invincible Dhartarashtraforce, stationed there, that bristles with arrows and darts and tallstandards, and that teems with steeds and elephants. Hear the beat oftheir drums and the loud blare of their conchs, the tremendous leonineshouts uttered by them, and the rattle of their car-wheels. Hear thegrunt of their elephants, the heavy tread of their foot-soldiers, and thestamping of their rushing cavalry which all seem to shake the very earthitself. Before him is the division of Jayadratha, and behind is that ofDrona. So great is the number of the foes that he is capable ofafflicting the chief of the celestials himself. Sunk in the midst of thefathomless host, Arjuna may lose his life. If he be slain in battle, howcan one like me live? Is this calamity to befall me when thou art alive?Dark-blue in colour, young in years, of curled locks and exceedinglyhandsome is that son of Pandu. Active in the use of weapons, andconversant with every mode of warfare, the mighty-armed Arjuna hath, Osire, penetrated into the Bharata host at sunrise. The day is about toend. O thou of Vrishni’s race, I do not know whether he liveth or not.The vast Kuru host is like ocean. O sire, Vibhatsu hath penetrated intoit all alone. That army is incapable of being resisted by the very godsin battle. In today’s battle, I fail to keep my judgment clear. Dronaalso is, with great might, afflicting my forces! Thou seest, Omighty-armed one, how that regenerate one is careering in battle. Whenseveral tasks present themselves together, thou art well-skilled inselecting that which would be first attended to. It behoveth thee, Ogiver of honours, to accomplish with activity that task which is thegravest of all. Amongst all these tasks, I myself think, that this(aiding Arjuna) is the first that demands our attention. The rescue ofArjuna in battle should be first undertaken. I do not grieve for him ofDasarha’s race. He is the Protector and the Lord of the Universe. I tellthee truly that tiger among men, O sire, is able to vanquish in battlethe three worlds assembled together. What need I say, therefore, of thisweak Dhritarashtra host? Arjuna, however, O thou of Vrishni’s race, isbeing afflicted by countless odds in battle. He may yield up his life. Itis for this that I am so cheerless. O thou then go in his track, sincepersons like thee should follow a person like him, at such a season,urged on by one like me. Amongst the foremost ones of the Vrishni race,two are regarded as Atirathas. They are mighty-armed Pradyumna andthyself, O Satwata, that are so famous. In weapons, thou art equal toNarayana himself, and in strength to Sankarshana. In bravery, thou artequal to Dhananjaya, O tiger among men, and surpassest Bhishma and Dronaand every one accomplished in battle. O tiger among men, the wise speakof thee, saying. O Madhava, ‘There is nothing unachievable by Satyaki.’ Othou of great strength, do thou, therefore, that which I say unto thee,viz., obey the wishes of all here, of myself and of Arjuna. It behoveththee not, O mighty-armed one, to frustrate that wish. Reckless of thyvery life, career thou in battle like a hero. O grandson of Sini, thescions of Dasarha’s race never care to protect their lives in battle.Avoiding battle, or fighting from behind breast-works, or flying awayfrom battle,–those practices of cowards and wretches are never practisedby the Dasarhas. The virtuous-souled Arjuna is thy superior, O bull amongthe Sinis! Vasudeva is the superior of both thyself and intelligentArjuna, Casting my eyes on these two reasons, I say unto thee thesewords. Do not discard my words, I am the superior of thy superiors. Thatwhich I am saying unto thee is approved as also by Arjuna. I tell theethis truly. Go then to the spot where Dhananjaya is. Attending to thesewords of mine, O thou of prowess incapable of being baffled, penetrate inthis host of the wicked son of Dhritarashtra. Having penetrated into itduly, encounter the great car-warriors, and display, O Satwata, suchfeats as are worthy of thyself!'”

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