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Chapter 119

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Duhsasana’s car staying near his, the son ofBharadwaja, addressing Duhsasana, said these words, ‘Why, O Duhsasana,are all these cars flying away? Is the king well? Is the ruler of theSindhus yet alive? Thou art a prince. Thou art a brother of the king.Thou art a mighty car-warrior. Why dost thou fly away from battle?(Securing the throne to thy brother), become thou that Prince-Regent.Thou hadst formerly said unto Draupadi, ‘Thou art our slave, having beenwon by us at dice. Without being confined to thy husbands, cast aside thychastity. Be thou a bearer of robes to the king, my eldest brother. Thyhusbands are all dead. They are as worthless as grains of sesamum withoutkernel.’ Having said these words then, why, O Duhsasana, dost thou flyfrom battle now? Having thyself provoked such fierce hostilities with thePanchalas and the Pandavas, why art thou afraid in battle in the presenceof Satyaki alone? Taking up the dice on the occasion of the gamblingmatch, couldst thou not divine that those dice then handled by thee wouldsoon transform themselves into fierce shafts resembling snakes ofvirulent poison? It was thou that hadst formerly applied diverse abusiveepithets towards the Pandavas. The woes of Draupadi have thee for theirroot. Where now is that pride, that insolence, that brag of thine? Whydost thou fly, having angered the Pandavas, those terrible snakes ofvirulent poison? When thou that art a brave brother of Suyodhana, areintent on flight, without doubt, O hero, thou shouldst today protect,relying on the energy of thy own arms, this routed and panic-strickenKaurava host. Without doing this, thou, however, forsakest the battle infear and enhancest the joy of thy foes. O slayer of foes, when thou thatart the leader of thy host, fliest away thus, who else will stay inbattle? When thou, its refuge, art frightened, who is there that will notbe frightened? Fighting with a single warrior of the Satwata race, thyheart is inclined towards flight from battle. What, however, O Kaurava,wilt thou do when thou wilt see the wielder of Gandiva in battle, orBhimasena, or the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva)? The shafts of Satyaki,frightened by which thou seekest safety in flight, are scarcely equal tothose of Phalguna in battle that resemble the sun or fire in splendour.If thy heart is firmly bent on flight, let the sovereignty of the earththen, upon the conclusion of peace, be given to king Yudhishthira theJust. Before the shafts of Phalguna, resembling snakes freed from theirsloughs, enter thy body, make peace with the Pandavas. Before thehigh-souled Parthas, slaying thy hundred brothers in battle, wrest theearth by force, make peace with the Pandavas. Before king Yudhishthira isenraged, and Krishna also, that delighter in battle, makes peace with thePandavas. Before the mighty-armed Bhima, penetrating into this vast host,seizes thy brothers, make peace with the Pandavas. Bhishma formerly toldthy brother Suyodhana, ‘The Pandavas are unconquerable in battle. Oamiable one, make peace with them.’ Thy wicked brother Suyodhana however,did not do it. Therefore, setting thy heart firmly on battle, fightvigorously with the Pandavas. Go quickly on thy car to the spot whereSatyaki is. Without thee, O Bharata, this host will fly away. For thesake of thy own self, fight in battle with Satyaki, of prowess incapableof being baffled.’ Thus addressed (by Drona), thy son said not a word inreply. Feigning not to have heard the words (of Bharadwaja’s son),Duhsasana proceeded to the place where Satyaki was. Accompanied by alarge force of unretreating Mlecchas, and coming upon Satyaki in battle,Duhsasana fought vigorously with that hero. Drona also, that foremost ofcar-warriors, excited with wrath, rushed against the Panchalas and thePandavas, with moderate speed. Penetrating into the midst of the Pandavahost in that battle, Drona began to crush their warriors by hundreds andthousands. And Drona, O king, proclaiming his name in that battle, causeda great carnage among the Pandavas, the Panchalas, and the Matsyas. Theillustrious Viraketu, the son of the ruler of the Panchalas, rushedagainst the son of Bharadwaja who thus engaged in vanquishing the Pandavaranks. Piercing Drona with five straight shafts, that prince then piercedDrona’s standard with one shaft, and then his charioteer with seven. Thesight that I then beheld, O monarch, in that battle, was exceedinglywonderful, inasmuch as Drona, though exerting himself vigorously couldnot approach the prince of the Panchalas. Then, O sire, the Panchalas,beholding Drona checked in battle, surrounded the latter on all sides, Oking, from desire of king Yudhishthira’s victory. And those warriors thencovered Drona along with showers of fiery shafts and strong lances andvarious other kinds of weapons, O king! Baffling then those dense showersof weapons by means of his own numerous shafts like the wind driving awayfrom the welkin masses of clouds, Drona looked exceedingly resplendent.Then that slayer of hostile heroes (the son of Bharadwaja), aimed afierce shaft endued with the effulgence of the sun or the fire, at thecar of Viraketu. The shaft, O monarch, piercing through the prince ofPanchala, quickly entered the earth, bathed in blood and blazing like aflame of fire. Then the prince of the Panchalas quickly fell down fromhis car, like a Champaka tree uprooted by the wind, falling down from amountain summit. Upon the fall of that great bowman, that prince enduedwith great might, the Panchalas speedily encompassed Drona on every side.Then Chitraketu, and Sudhanwan, and Chitravarman, O Bharata, andChitraratha also, all afflicted with grief on account of their (slain)brother, together rushed against the son of Bharadwaja, desirous ofbattling with him, and shooting shafts (at him) like the clouds (pouring)at the end of summer. Struck from all sides by those mighty car-warriorsof royal lineage, that bull among Brahmanas mustered all his energy andwrath for their destruction. Then Drona, shot showers of shafts at them.Struck with those shafts of Drona shot from his bow to its fulleststretch those princess. O best of monarchs, became confounded and knownot what to do. The angry Drona, O Bharata, beholding those princesstupefied, smilingly deprived them of their steeds and charioteers andcars in that battle. Then the illustrious son of Bharadwaja, by means ofhis sharp arrows and broad-headed shafts, cut off their heads, like aperson plucking flowers from a tree. Deprived of life, those princesthere, O king of great splendour, fell down from their cars on the earth,like the (slain) Daityas and Danavas in the battle between the gods andthe Asuras in days of old. Having slain them in battle, O king, thevaliant son of Bharadwaja shook his invincible bow, the back of whosestaff was decked with gold. Beholding those mighty car-warriors,resembling the very celestials among the Panchalas slain, Dhrishtadyumnainflamed with rage, shed tears in that battle. Excited with wrath, herushed, in that encounter, against Drona’s car. Then, O king, cries ofwoe suddenly arose there at the sight of Drona covered with arrows by theprince of Panchala. Completely shrouded by the high-souled son ofPrishata, Drona, however, suffered no pain. On the other hand, hecontinued to fight, smiling the while. The prince of the Panchalas then,furious with rage, struck Drona in the chest with many straight shafts.Deeply pierced by that mighty warrior, the illustrious son Of Bharadwajasat down on the terrace of his car and fell into a swoon. Beholding himin that condition, Dhrishtadyumna endued with great Prowess and energy,laid aside his bow and quickly took up a sword. That mighty car-warriorthen, speedily jumping down from his own car, Mounted that of Bharadwaja,O ‘sire, in no time, his eyes red in wrath and impelled by the desire ofcutting Drona’s head from off his trunk. Meanwhile, the valiant Drona,regaining his senses, took up his bow and seeing Dhrishtadyumna arrivedso near him from desire of slaughter, began to pierce that mightycar-warrior with shafts measuring a span only in length and therefore,fit to be used in close fight. Those arrows of the measure of a span andfit to be used in close fight, were known to Drona, O king! And with themhe succeeded in weakening Dhrishtadyumna. The mighty Dhrishtadyumna,struck with a large number of those arrows, quickly jumped down fromDrona’s car. Then, that hero of great prowess, his impetuosity baffled,mounted upon his own car and once more took up his large bow. And themighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna once more began to pierce Drona in thatbattle. And Drona also, O monarch, began to pierce the son of Prishatawith his arrows. There. upon, the battle that took place between Dronaand the prince of the Panchalas was wonderful in the extreme, like thatbetween Indra and Prahlada, both desirous of the sovereignty of the threeworlds. Both conversant with the ways of battle, they careered over thefield, displaying diverse motions of their cars and mangling each otherwith their shafts, And Drona and Prishata’s son, stupefying the mind ofthe warriors, shot showers of shafts like two mighty clouds (pouringtorrents of rain) in the rainy season. And those illustrious warriorsshrouded with their shafts the welkin, the points of the compass, and theearth. And all creatures, viz., the Kshatriyas, O king, and all the othercombatants there, highly applauded that battle between them. And thePanchalas, O king, loudly exclaimed, ‘Without doubt, Drona, havingencountered Dhrishtadyumna in battle, will succumb to us. Then Drona, inthat battle, quickly cut off the head of Dhristadyumna’s charioteer likea person plucking a ripe fruit from a tree. Then the steeds, O king, ofthe high-souled Dhrishtadyumna ran away and after those steeds hadcarried away Dhrishtadyumna from the field, Drona, endued with greatprowess, began to rout the Panchalas and the Srinjayas in that battle.Having vanquished the Pandus and the Panchalas, Bharadwaja’s son of greatprowess, that chastiser of foes, once more took up his station in themidst of his own array. And the Pandavas, O lord, ventured not tovanquish him in battle.’

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