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Chapter 108

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘That bull amongst the Sinis, viz., Satyaki, hearing thesewords o, full affection, agreeable, fraught with sweet sounds, opportune,delightful, and equitable that were uttered by king Yudhishthira thejust, replied unto him, O chief of the Bharatas, saying, ‘O thou ofunfading glory, I have heard all the words thou hast said, words fraughtwith justice, delightful, and conducive to fame for the sake of Phalguna.At such a time, indeed, beholding one devoted (to thee) like me, itbehoveth thee, O king of kings, to command him as much, as thou canstcommand Partha himself. As regards myself, I am prepared to cast away mylife for the sake of Dhananjaya. Commanded, again, by thee, what is thereI would not do in great battle? What need I say of this weak(Dhritarashtra) force? Urged by thee, I am prepared, O best of men, tobattle with three worlds including the gods, the Asuras, and men. Today Iwill fight with the entire army of Suyodhana and vanquish it in battle.Truly do I say this unto thee, O king! Safely shall I reach Dhananjayahimself in safety, and after Jayadratha is slain, I shall, O king, comeback into thy presence. I must, however, O king, inform thee of the wordsof Vasudeva as also those of the intelligent Arjuna. I was strongly andrepeatedly solicited by Arjuna in the midst of all our warriors and inthe hearing also of Vasudeva (in these words), Today, O Madhava, noblyresolved in battle, protect thou the king carefully, till I slayJayadratha! Making over the monarch to thee, O mighty-armed one, or tothat great car-warrior Pradyumna, I can go with an easy heart towardsJayadratha. Thou knowest Drona in battle, that warrior who is regarded asthe foremost one among the Kurus. Thou knowest also the vow made by himin the presence of all, O lord! The son of Bharadwaja is always eager toseize the king. He is competent also in afflicting king Yudhishthira inbattle. Charging thee with the protection of that best of men, viz., kingYudhishthira the just, I will proceed today for the destruction of theruler of the Sindhus. Slaying Jayadratha, I shall soon come back, OMadhava! See that Drona may not succeed in forcibly seizing kingYudhishthira the just in battle. If Yudhishthira be seized byBharadwaja’s son, O Madhava, I shall not succeed in slaying Jayadratha,and great will be my grief. If that best of men, the truthful son ofPandu, be seized, it is evident that we shall have again to go intowoods. My success, therefore, over Jayadratha, it is plain, will beproductive of no benefit, if Drona, inflamed with rage, succeeds inseizing Yudhishthira in battle. O mighty-armed one, for doing what isagreeable to me, therefore, O Madhava, as also for the sake of my successand fame, protect the king in battle.’ Thou seest, therefore, O king,thou hast been made over to me as a trust by Savyasachin, O lord, inconsequence of his constant fear of Bharadwaja’s son. O mighty-armed one,I myself daily see, O lord, that there is none, save Rukmini’s son(Pradyumna), who can be a match for Drona in battle. I also am regardedto be a match for the intelligent son of Bharadwaja in battle. It isplain, therefore, I cannot dare falsify that reputation which I have, ordisregard the commands of my preceptor (Arjuna), or leave thee, O king!The preceptor (Drona), cased as he is in impenetrable mail, inconsequence of his lightness of arms, obtaining thee in battle, willsport with thee as a child with a little bird. If Krishna’s son, bearingthe Makara on his banner, were here, I could then have made over to him,for he would have protected thee as Arjuna himself. Thou shouldst protectthyself. When I am gone, who will protect thee, who that is, that willadvance against Drona while I proceed towards Arjuna? O king, let no fearbe thine today on Arjuna’s account. He never becomes cheerless under anyburden howsoever heavy. Those warriors that are opposed to him, viz., theSauvirakas, the Sindhava-Pauravas, they from the north, they from thesouth, and they, O king, headed by Karna, that are regarded as foremostof car-warriors, do not together come up to a sixteenth part of Arjuna.The whole earth rising against him, with the gods, the Asuras, and men,with all the tribes of Rakshasas, O king, with the Kinnaras, the greatsnakes, and in fact, all the mobile and the immobile creatures assembledtogether, is no match for Arjuna in battle. Knowing this, O king, let thyfear on Dhananjaya’s account be dispelled. There where those two heroesand great bowmen, viz., the two Krishnas, of prowess incapable of beingbaffled, are, there the slightest obstacle cannot happen to theirpurpose. Think of the celestial puissance, the accomplishment in weapons,the resourcefulness, the wrath in battle, the gratefulness, and thecompassion of thy brother. Think also, O king, of the wonderful knowledgeof weapons that Drona will display in battle when I leave this place forgoing to Arjuna. The preceptor, O monarch, is eagerly solicitous ofseizing thee. He is eagerly desirous also, O king, of making good hisvow, O Bharata! Be attentive, O king, to thy own protection. Who willprotect thee when I am gone, who is he that is, confiding on whom I maygo towards Pritha’s son, Phalguna? I tell thee truly, O great king, thatwithout making thee over to somebody in this great battle, I will notsurely go towards Arjuna, O thou of Kuru’s race! Reflecting on this, fromevery point of view, with the aid of thy intelligence, O foremost of allintelligent persons, and ascertaining with thy intelligence what is forthy highest good, command me, O king!’

“Yudhishthira hearing these words said, ‘It is even so, O mighty-armedone, as thou sayest, O Madhava! For all that, however, O sire, my heartdoth not become easy on Arjuna’s account. I shall take the greatestprecaution in protecting myself. Commanded by me, go thou thither whereDhananjaya hath gone. Weighing, with my judgment, my own protection inbattle with the necessity of your going towards Arjuna, the latter seemsto me preferable, Make thyself ready, therefore, to go thither whitherDhananjaya hath gone. The mighty Bhima will protect me. Prishata’s son,with all his uterine brothers, and all the mighty kings, and the sons ofDraupadi, will without doubt, protect me. The five Kekaya brothers, andthe Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, and Virata, and Drupada, and the mightycar-warrior Sikhandin and Dhrishtaketu of great strength, and Kuntibhoja,O sire, Nakula, and Sahadeva, and the Panchalas, and the Srinjayas,–allthese, O sire, will without doubt, very carefully protect me. Drona atthe head of his troops, and Kritavarman also, in battle, will not succeedin beating us or afflicting me. That scorcher of foes, viz.,Dhrishtadyumna, displaying his prowess, will resist the angry Drona, likethe continent resisting the sea. There where Prishata’s son, that slayerof hostile heroes, will remain, there Drona will never be able toforcibly transgress our troops. This Dhristadyumna sprang from the fire,for the destruction of Drona, clad in mail, armed with bow and arrows andsword, and decked with costly ornaments. Go, O grandson of Sini, with aneasy heart, do not be anxious on my account. Dhrishtadyumna will resistangry Drona in battle.'”

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