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Chapter 121

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Were there, O Sanjaya, no mighty car-warriors inthat army of mine who could slay or resist that Satyaki while heproceeded (towards Arjuna)? Of prowess incapable of being baffled, andendued with might equal to that of Sakra himself, alone he achieved featsin battle like the great Indra amidst the Danavas! Or, perhaps, the trackby which Satyaki proceeded was empty? Alas, possessed of true prowess,alone he hath crushed numberless warriors! Tell me, O Sanjaya, how thegrandson of Sini, alone as he was, passed through that vast forcestruggling with him in battle?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘O king, the fierce exertions and the uproar made by thyhost which abounded with cars and elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers,resembled what is seen at the end of the yuga. O giver of honours, whenthy assembled host was (daily) mustered, it seemed to me that anotherassemblage like that of thy army had never been on earth. The gods andthe Charanas, who came there said, ‘This muster will be the last of itskind on earth.’ Indeed, O king, never had such an array been formedbefore as that which was formed by Drona on the day of Jayadratha’sslaughter. The uproar made by those vast bodies of soldiers rushing atone another in battle resembled that of the ocean itself lashed into furyby the tempest. In that host of thine, as also in that of the Pandavas,there were hundreds and thousands of kings, O best of men. The noise madeby those angry heroes of fierce deeds while engaged in battle wastremendous and made the hair-stand on end. Then Bhimasena andDhrishtadyumna, O sire, and Nakula and Sahadeva and king Yudhishthira theJust, loudly shouted, ‘Come, Strike, Rush! The brave Madhava and Arjunahave entered the hostile army! Do that quickly by which they may easilygo to where Jayadratha’s car is.’ Saying this, they urged their soldiers.And they continued, ‘If Satyaki and Arjuna be slain, Kurus will haveachieved their objects, and ourselves shall be defeated. All of you,therefore, uniting together, quickly agitate this ocean-like army (of thefoe) like impetuous winds agitating the deep.’ The warriors, O king, thusurged by Bhimasena and the prince of the Panchalas, smothered theKauravas, becoming reckless of their very lives. Endued with greatenergy, all of them, desiring death in battle, at the point or the edgeof weapons in expectation of heaven, showed not the least regard fortheir lives in fighting for their friends. Similarly, thy warriors, Oking, desirous of great renown, and nobly resolved upon battle, stood onthe field, determined to fight. In that fierce and terrible battle,Satyaki having vanquished all the combatants proceeded towards Arjuna.The rays of the sun being reflected from the bright armour of thewarriors, the combatants were obliged to withdraw their eyes from those.Duryodhana also, O king, penetrated the mighty host of the high-souledPandavas vigorously struggling in battle. The encounter that took placebetween him on the one side and them on the other, was exceedinglyfierce, and great was the carnage that occurred there on the occasion.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘When the Pandava host was thus proceeding tobattle, Duryodhana, in penetrating it, must have been placed in greatdistress. I hope, he did not turn his back upon the field, O Suta! Thatencounter between one and the many in dreadful battle, the one, again,being a king, seems to me to have been very unequal. Besides, Duryodhanahath been brought up in great luxury, in wealth and possessions, he is aking of men. Alone encountering many, I hope he did not turn back fromfight.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Listen to me, O king, as I describe, O Bharata, thatwonderful battle fought by thy son, that encounter between one and themany. Indeed, the Pandava army was agitated by Duryodhana in that battle,like an assemblage of lotus-stalks in a lake by an elephant. Seeing thenthat army thus smitten by thy son, O king, the Panchalas headed byBhimasena rushed at them. Then Duryodhana pierced Bhimasena with tenarrows and each of the twins with three and king Yudhishthira with seven.And he pierced Virata and Drupada with six arrows, and Sikhandin with ahundred. And piercing Dhrishtadyumna with twenty arrows, he struck eachof the five sons of Draupadi with three arrows. With his fierce shafts hecut off hundreds of other combatants in that battle, including elephantsand car-warriors, like the Destroyer himself in wrath exterminatingcreatures. In consequence of his skill cultured by practice and of thepower of his weapons, he seemed, as he was engaged in striking down hisfoes, to bend his bow incessantly drawn to a circle whether when aimingor letting off his shafts. Indeed, that formidable bow of his, the backof whose staff was decked with gold, was seen by people to be drawn intoa perpetual circle as he was employed in slaying his enemies. Then kingYudhishthira, with a couple of broad-headed shafts, cut off the bow ofthy son, O thou of Kuru’s race, as the latter struggled in fight. AndYudhishthira also pierced him deeply with ten excellent and foremost ofshafts. Those arrows, however, touching the armour of Duryodhana, quicklybroke into pieces. Then the Parthas, filled with delight surroundedYudhishthira, like the celestials and great Rishis in days of oldsurrounding Sakra on the occasion of the slaughter of Vritra. Thy valiantson then, taking up another bow, addressed king Yudhishthira, the son ofPandu, saying, ‘Wait, Wait,’ and rushed against him. Beholding thy sonthus advancing in great battle, the Panchalas, cheerfully and with hopesof victory, advanced to receive him. Then Drona, desirous of rescuing the(Kuru) king, received the rushing Panchalas, like a mountain receivingmasses of rain-charged clouds driven by tempest. The battle then, O king,that took place there was exceedingly fierce, making the hair stand onend, between the Pandavas, O thou of mighty arms, and thy warriors.Dreadful was the carnage of all creatures that then took place,resembling the sport of Rudra himself (at the end of the Yuga). Thenthere arose a loud uproar at the place where Dhananjaya was. And thatuproar, O lord, making the hair stand on end, rose above all othersounds. Thus, O mighty-armed one, progressed the battle between Arjunaand thy bowmen. Thus progressed the battle between Satyaki and thy men inthe midst of thy army. And thus continued the fight between Drona and hisenemies at the gate of the array. Thus, indeed, O lord of the earth,continued that carnage on the earth, when Arjuna and Drona and the mightycar-warrior Satyaki were all excited with wrath.'”

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