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Chapter 122

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘In the afternoon of that day, O king, a dreadful battle,characterised by roars, deep as those of the clouds, once more occurredbetween Drona and the Somakas.That foremost of men, Drona, mounted onhis car of red steeds, and intent on battle rushed against the Pandavas,with moderate speed. The valiant son of Bharadwaja, that great bowmanendued with mighty strength, that hero born in an excellent pot, engagedin doing what was agreeable to thee, O king, and striking down, OBharata, many foremost of warriors with his whetted arrows, equipped withbeautiful wings, seemed to sport in that battle. Then that mightycar-warrior of the Kaikeyas, Vrihatkshatra, irresistible in battle, andthe eldest of five brothers, rushed against him. Shooting many keenshafts, he greatly afflicted the preceptor, like a mighty mass of cloudspouring torrents of rain on the mountain of Gandhamadana. Then Drona, Oking, excited with wrath sped at him five and ten shafts whetted on stoneand equipped with wings of gold. The prince of the Kekayas, however,cheerfully cut off every one of those shafts shot by Drona, and whichresembled angry snakes of virulent poison, with five shafts of his own.Beholding that lightness of hand displayed by him that bull amongBrahmanas, then, sped at him eight straight shafts. Seeing those shaftsshot from Drona’s bow, swiftly coursing towards him, Vrihatkshatra inthat battle resisted them with as many sharp shafts of his. Beholdingthat exceedingly difficult feat achieved by Vrihatkshatra, thy troops, Oking, were filled with amazement. Then Drona, O monarch, applaudingVrihatkshatra, invoked into existence the irresistible and celestialweapon called Brahma in that battle. The prince of the Kekayas, seeing itshot by Drona in battle, baffled that Brahma weapon, O monarch, by aBrahma weapon of his own. After that weapon had been thus baffled,Vrihatkshatra, O Bharata, pierced the Brahmana with sixty shafts whettedon stone and equipped with wings of gold. Then Drona, that foremost ofmen, pierced the prince of the Kekayas with a powerful shaft which,penetrating through the latter’s armour, (passed through his body and)entered the earth. As a black cobra, O best of kings, pierces through anant-hill, even so did that shafts enter the earth, having pierced throughthe body of the Kekaya prince in that battle. Deeply pierced, O monarch,with the shafts of Drona, the prince of the Kekayas, filled with rage,and rolling his beautiful eyes, pierced Drona with seventy arrows whettedon stone and equipped with wings of gold. And with another arrow hegreatly afflicted Drona’s charioteer in this very vitals. Pierced byVrihatkshatra, O sire, with arrows, Drona shot showers of keen shafts atthe car of the Prince of the Kekayas. Depriving the mighty car-warrior,Vrihatkshatra, of his coolness, Drona then, with four-winged arrows, slewthe four steeds of the former. With another arrow he felledVrihatkshatra’s charioteer from his niche in the car. And felling on theearth, with two other arrows, his enemy’s standard and umbrella, thatbull among Brahmanas, with a third shaft well-shot from his bow, piercedVrihatkshatra himself in the chest. Thereupon, the latter, thus struck inthe chest, fell down from his car.

“Upon the slaughter, O king, of Vrihatkshatra, that mighty car-warrioramong the Kaikeyas, the son of Sisupala, filled with rage, addressed hischarioteer, saying, ‘O charioteer, proceed to the spot where Dronastayeth, clad in armour and engaged in slaying the Kaikeya and thePanchala hosts.’ Hearing these words of his, the charioteer soon tookthat foremost of car-warriors unto Drona, by means of those fleet steedsof the Kamvoja breed. Then Dhrishtaketu, that bull among the Chedis,swelling with might, rushed towards Drona for his own destruction like aninsect upon a blazing fire. Soon he pierced Drona and his steeds and carand standard with sixty shafts. And once more he struck him with manyother keen shafts like a man rousing a sleeping tiger. Then Drona, with asharp razor-faced arrow winged with vulturine feathers, cut off themiddle of the bow of that mighty warrior struggling in battle. Then thatpowerful car-warrior, viz., the son of Sisupala, taking up another bow,pierced Drona with many shafts winged with the feathers of Kankas andpeacocks. Drona then, slaying with four shafts the four steeds ofDhrishtaketu, smilingly cut off the head of the latter’s charioteer fromhis trunk. And then he pierced Dhrishtaketu himself with five and twentyarrows. The prince of the Chedis then, quickly jumping down from his car,took up a mace, and hurled it at the son of Bharadwaja like an angrysnake. Beholding that heavy mace, endued with the strength of adamant anddecked with gold, coursing towards him like Death, the son of Bharadwajacut it off with many thousands of whetted arrows. That mace, cut off byBharadwaja’s son, O sire, with many shafts, fell down, O Kaurava, makingthe earth echo with its noise. Beholding his mace baffled, the wrathfuland brave Dhrishtaketu hurled a lance and then a dart decked with gold.Cutting off that lance with five shafts, Drona cut off that dart alsowith five arrows. Both those missiles, thus cut off, fell down on theearth, like a couple of snakes mangled and torn by Garuda. The valiantson of Bharadwaja then, in that battle, sped for his destruction a keenshaft at Dhrishtaketu who was battling for the destruction of Bharadwajahimself. That shaft, piercing through the armour and breast ofDhrishtaketu of immeasurable energy, entered the earth, like a swandiving into a lake overgrown with lotuses. As a hungry jay seizes anddevours a little insect, even so did the heroic Drona swallows upDhrishtaketu in that great battle. Upon the slaughter of the ruler of theChedis, his son who was conversant with the highest weapons, excited withwrath, sought to bear the burthen of his sire. Him also, Drona, smiling,despatched to the abode of Yama by means of his shafts, like a huge andmighty tiger in the deep woods slaying an infant deer.

“While the Pandavas, O Bharata, were thus being thinned, the heroic, sonof Jarasandha rushed towards Drona. Like the clouds shrouding the sun, hequickly made the mighty-armed Drona invisible in that battle by means ofhis arrowy showers. Beholding that lightness of hand in him, Drona, thatgrinder of Kshatriyas, quickly shot his shafts by hundreds and thousands.Covering (with his arrows) in that battle that foremost of car-warriorsstationed on his car, Drona speedily slew the son Of Jarasandha in thevery sight of all bowmen. Indeed, Drona, resembling the Destroyerhimself, swallowing up every one who approached him then, like theDestroyer himself, swallowing up creatures when their hour arrives. ThenDrona, O monarch, proclaiming his name in that battle, covered thePandavas with many thousands of shafts. Those shafts shot by Drona,whetted on stone and engraved with his name, slew in that battle men andelephants and steeds by hundreds. Thus slaughtered by Drona, like theAsuras by Sakra, the Panchalas began to tremble like a herd of kineafflicted with cold. Indeed, O bull of Bharata’s race, when the Pandavaarmy was thus being slaughtered by Drona, there arose an awful wail ofwoe from it. Scorched by the sun and slaughtered by means of thosearrows, the Panchalas then became filled with anxiety. Stupefied byBharadwaja’s son with his arrowy showers in that battle the mightycar-warriors among the Panchalas felt like persons whose thighs had beenseized by alligators. Then, O king, the Chedis, the Srinjayas, the Kasis,and the Kosalas, rushed cheerfully against the son of Bharadwaja fromdesire of battle. And the Chedis, the Panchalas, and the Srinjayasaddressed one another, saying, ‘Drona is slain! Drona is slain!’ Sayingthese words, they rushed at that hero. Indeed, all these tigers among menfell with their utmost might upon the illustrious Drona, desirous ofdespatching him to the abode of Yama. Then the son of Bharadwaja, bymeans of his shafts, despatched those brave warriors strugglingvigorously in battle, especially those forest ones among the Chedis, intothe presence of the King of the dead. After those foremost ones among theChedis had been exterminated, the Panchalas, afflicted with the shafts ofDrona, began to tremble. Beholding, O sire, those feats of Drona, theyloudly called after Bhimasena and Dhrishtadyumna, O Bharata, and said,’This Brahmana hath, without doubt, practised the austerest of penancesand acquired great ascetic merit. Inflamed with rage in battle, heconsumeth the foremost of Kshatriyas. A Kshatriya’s duty is battle; aBrahmana’s, the highest asceticism. A Brahmana endued with ascetic meritand learning, is capable of burning everything by his glances only. Manyforemost of Kshatriyas, having approached the uncrossable and fierce fireof Drona’s weapons, have, O Bharata, been blasted and consumed. Theillustrious Drona, to the measure of his might, courage, andperseverance, stupefies all creatures and slays our troops!’ Hearingthese words of theirs, the mighty Kshatradharman, rightly observant ofthe duties of a Kshatriya, wrathfully cut off with a crescent-shapedarrow the bow of Drona with arrow fixed thereon. Then Drona, that grinderof Kshatriyas, becoming more angry still, took up another bright bow,tougher than the one he had laid aside. Fixing on it a keen arrow,destructive of hostile ranks, the preceptor, endued with great strength,sped it at the prince, drawing the bowstring to his ear. That arrow,slaying Kshatradharman entered the earth. His breast pierced through, hefell down from his vehicle on the earth. Upon the slaughter ofDhrishtadyumna’s son, the (Pandava) troops began to tremble. Then themighty Chekitana fell upon Drona, Piercing Drona with ten arrows, he oncemore pierced him with a shaft in the centre of his chest. And he piercedDrona’s charioteer with four arrows and his four steeds also with four.The Preceptor then pierced the right arm of Chekitana with sixteenarrows, and his standard with sixteen, and his charioteer with seven.Upon the charioteer being slain, Chekitana’s steeds fled away, draggingthe car after them. Beholding the steeds of Chekitana pierced with thearrows of Bharadwaja’s son, and his car also deprived of driver, thePanchalas and the Pandavas were filled with great fear. Drona then, Osire, routing on all sides the Panchalas and the Srinjayas unitedtogether in battle looked exceedingly resplendent. The venerable Drona,full five and eighty years of age, dark in hue and with white locksdescending to his cars, careered in battle like a youth of sixteen.Indeed, O king, enemies regarded the foe-slaying Drona, as he fearlesslycareered in battle, to be none else than Indra himself armed with thethunder. Then, O monarch, the mighty-armed Drupada of great intelligencesaid, ‘This one (Drona) is slaying the Kshatriyas like a hungry tigerslaying smaller animals. The sinful Duryodhana of wicked soul willassuredly obtain the most miserable regions (in the next world). It isthrough his covetousness that many foremost of the Kshatriyas, slain inbattle, lay prostrate on the field, like mangled bulls, weltering inblood and becoming the food of dogs and jackals.’ Saying these words, Omonarch, Drupada, that master of an Akshauhini of troops, placing theParthas at his head, rushed with speed towards Drona.'”

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