Chapter 116

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Then that bull of Vrishni’s race, viz., the high-souledSatyaki of great intelligence, having slain Sudarsana, once moreaddressed his driver, saying, Having forded through the almost unfordableocean of Drona’s division, teeming with cars and steeds and elephants,whose waves are constituted by arrows and darts, fishes by swords andscimitars and alligators by maces, which roar with the whiz of shafts andthe clash of diverse weapons,–an ocean that is fierce and destructive oflife, and resounds with the noise of diverse musical instruments, whosetouch is unpleasant and unbearable to warriors of victory, and whosemargin is infested with fierce cannibals represented by the force ofJalasandha.–I think, the portion of the array that remains may easily beforded like a poor stream of shallow water. Urge thou the steeds,therefore, without fear. I think, I am very near to Savyasachin. Havingvanquished in battle the invincible Drona with his followers, and thatforemost of warriors, viz., the son of Hridika, I think, I cannot bedistant from Dhananjaya. Fear never comes to my heart even if I beholdcountless foes before me. These to me are like a heap of straw and grassto a blazing conflagration in the woods. Behold, the track by which thediadem-decked (Arjuna), that foremost one among the Pandavas, hath gone,is rendered uneven with large bodies of foot-soldiers and steeds andcar-warriors and elephants lying slain on the ground. Behold, routed bythat high-souled warrior, the Kaurava army is flying away. Behold, Ocharioteer, a dark brown dust is raised by those retreating cars andelephants and steeds. I think, I am very near to Arjuna of white steedshaving Krishna for his charioteer. Hark, the well-known twang of Gandivaof immeasurable energy is being heard. From the character of the omensthat appear to my view, I am sure that Arjuna will slay the ruler of theSindhus before the sun sets. Without causing their strength to be spent,urge the steeds slowly to where those hostile ranks are staying, that is,to where yonder warriors headed by Duryodhana, their hands cased inleathern fences, and yonder Kamvojas of fierce deeds, clad in mail anddifficult of being defeated in battle, and those Yavanas armed with bowand arrows and skilled in smiting, and under Sakas and Daradas andBarbaras and Tamraliptakas, and other countless Mlecchas, armed withdiverse weapons, are,–to the spot (I repeat) where, indeed, yonderwarriors headed by Duryodhana, their hands cased in leathern fences,–arewaiting with their faces turned towards me and inspired with theresolution of battling with me. Regard me to have already passed throughthis fierce fastness, O Suta, having slain in battle all these combatantswith cars and elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers that are amongstthem.’

“The charioteer, thus addressed, said, ‘O thou of Vrishni’s race, fear Ihave none, O thou of prowess that cannot be baffled! If thou hast beforethe Jamadagni’s son himself in wrath, or Drona, that foremost ofcar-warriors, or the ruler of the Madras himself, even then fear doth notenter my heart, O thou of mighty arms, as long as I am under the shadowOf thy protection, O slayer of foes, countless Kamvojas, clad in mail, offierce deeds, and difficult to defeat in battle, have already beenvanquished by thee, as also many Yavanas armed with bow and arrows andaccomplished in smiting, including Sakas and Daradas and Tamraliptakas,and many other Mlecchas armed with various weapons. Never before did Iexperience fear in any battle. Why shall I, therefore, O thou of greatcourage, experience any fear in this miserable fray? O thou that artblessed with length of days, by which way shall I take thee to whereDhananjaya is? With whom hast thou been angry, O thou of Vrishni’s race?Who are they that will fly away from battle, beholding thee endued withsuch a prowess, resembling the Destroyer himself as he appears at the endof the Yuga, and putting forth that prowess of thine (against thy foes)?O thou of mighty arms, who are they of whom king Vaivaswata is thinkingtoday?’

“Satyaki said, ‘Like Vasava destroying the Danavas, I shall slay thesewarriors with shaved heads. By slaying these Kamvojas I will fulfil myvow. Bear me thither. Causing a great carnage amongst these, I shalltoday repair to the dear son of Pandu. The Kauravas, with Suyodhana attheir head, will today behold my prowess, when this division of Mlecchas,of shaved heads, will have been exterminated and the whole Kaurava armyput to the greatest distress. Hearing the loud wails of the Kaurava host,today, mangled and broken by me in battle Suyodhana will be inspired withgrief. Today, I shall show unto my preceptor, the high-souled Pandava, ofwhite steeds, the skill in weapons acquired by me from him. Beholdingtoday thousands of foremost warriors slain with my arrows, kingDuryodhana will be plunged into great grief. The Kauravas will todaybehold the bow in my hands to resemble a circle of fire when,light-handed, I will stretch the bowstring for shooting my host ofshafts. Beholding the incessant slaughter of his troops today, theirbodies covered with blood and pierced all over with my shafts, Suyodhanawill be filled with grief. While I shall slay in wrath the foremost ofKuru warriors, Suyodhana will today behold to count two Arjunas.Beholding thousands of kings slain by me in battle, king Duryodhana willbe filled with grief in today’s great battle. Slaying thousands of kingstoday, I will show my love and devotion to those high-souled ones, viz.,the royal sons of Pandu. The Kauravas will know today the measure of mymight and energy, and my gratefulness (to the Pandavas).’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus addressed, the charioteer urged to their utmostspeed those well-trained coursers of delightful pace and of the hue ofthe moon. Those excellent animals, endued with the speed of the wind orthought, proceeded, devouring the very skies, and bore Yuyudhana to thespot where those Yavanas were. Thereupon, the Yavanas, many in number andendued with lightness of hands, approaching unretreating Satyaki, coveredhim with showers of arrows. The rushing Satyaki, however, O king, cut offby means of his own straight arrows, all those shafts and weapons of theYavanas. Inflamed with wrath, Yuyudhana. then, with his straight shaftsof great sharpness, winged with gold and vulture’s feathers, cut off theheads and arms of those Yavanas. Many of those arrows, again, piercingthrough their coats of mail, made of iron and brass, entered the earth.Struck by the brave Satyaki in that battle, the Mlecchas began to falldown on the earth in hundreds, deprived of life. With his arrows shot incontinuous lines from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, that herobegan to slay five, six, seven, or eight Yavanas at a time. Thousands ofKamvojas, and Sakas, and Barbaras, were similarly slain by Satyaki.Indeed, the grandson of Sini, causing a great carnage among thy troops,made the earth impassable and miry with flesh and blood. The field ofbattle was strewn with the head-gears of those robbers and their shavedheads too that looked, in consequence of their long beards, likefeatherless birds. Indeed, the field of battle covered with headlesstrunks dyed all over with blood, looked beautiful like the welkin coveredwith coppery clouds. Slain by Satwata by means of his straight shaftswhose touch resembled that of Indra’s thunder, the Yavanas covered thesurface of the earth. The small remnant of those mail-clad troopsvanquished in battle, O king, by Satwata, becoming cheerless, their liveson the point of being taken, broke and urging their steeds with goads andwhips to their utmost speed, fled from fear in all directions. Routingthe invincible Kamvoja host in battle, O Bharata, as also that host ofthe Yavanas and that large force of the Sakas, that tiger among men whohad penetrated into thy army, viz., Satyaki, of prowess incapable ofbeing baffled, crowned with victory, urged his charioteer, saying,’Proceed!’ Beholding that feat of his in battle, never before achieved byany one else, the Charanas and the Gandharvas applauded him highly.Indeed, O king, the Charanas, as also thy warriors, beholding Yuyudhanathus proceeded for aiding Arjuna, became filled with delight (at hisheroism).’

Chapter 117
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