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Chapter 123

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘When the army of the Pandavas was thus agitated on allsides, the Parthas and the Panchalas and the Somakas, retreated to agreat distance. During the progress of that fierce battle, making thehair stand on end, and that universal carnage like to what happens, OBharata, at that end of the Yuga, when, indeed, Drona of great prowesswas repeatedly uttering leonine shouts, and when the Panchalas were beingweakened and the Pandavas slaughtered, king Yudhishthira the Just,failing in that battle to find any refuge in that distress, began, Oking, to think how the matter would end. Casting his eyes around inexpectation of seeing Savyasachin, Yudhishthira, however, saw neitherthat son of Pritha nor Madhava. Not seeing that tiger among men viz., theape-bannered Arjuna, and not hearing also the twang of Gandiva, themonarch became filled with anxiety, not seeing Satyaki also, thatforemost of car-warriors among the Vrishnis, king Yudhishthira the Justbecame equally anxious. Indeed, not seeing those two foremost of men,Yudhishthira knew no peace. The high-souled king Yudhishthira the Just,of mighty arms, fearing the evil opinion of the world, began to think ofSatyaki’s car. Sini’s grandson Satyaki, of true prowess, that dispellerof the fears of friends, hath been sent by me in the track of Phalguna. Ihad only one source of anxiety before, but now I have two. I should havetidings of both Satyaki and Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu. Havingdespatched Satyaki to follow in the track of Arjuna, whom shall I nowsend in the track of Satyaki? If by every means I endeavour to obtainintelligence of my brother only, without enquiring after Yuyudhana, theworld will reproach me. They will say that, ‘Yudhishthira, the son ofDharma, having enquired after his brother, leaves Satyaki of Vrishni’srace, that hero of unfailing prowess, to his fate!’ Fearing, as I do, thereproach of the world, I should therefore, send Vrikodara, the son ofPritha, in the track of the high-souled Madhava. The love I bear to theVrishni hero, to that invincible warrior of the Satwata race, (viz.,Satyaki), is not less than the love I bear to Arjuna, that slayer offoes. The delighter of the Sinis hath again, been set by me to a veryheavy task. That mighty warrior, however, hath, either for the sake of afriend’s request or for that of honour, penetrated into the Bharata armylike a Makara into the ocean. Loud is the noise I hear of unretreatingheroes, fighting together against that Vrishni hero of greatintelligence. Without doubt, they are too many for him. The time,therefore, is come when I should think of his rescue. It seems to me thatarmed with the bow, Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, should go there wherethose two mighty car-warriors are. There is nothing on earth that Bhimacannot bear. If he struggles with resolution, he is a match in battle forall the bowmen in the world. Depending on the might of his own arms, hecan stand against all foes. Relying on the strength of arms of thathigh-souled warrior, we have been able to come back from our exile in thewoods and we have never been vanquished in battle. If Bhimasena, the sonof Pandu, proceedeth hence to Satyaki, both Satyaki and Phalguna willderive real aid. Without doubt, I should not feel any anxiety for Satyakiand Phalguna. Both of them are accomplished in weapons, and Vasudevahimself is protecting them. (For all that, I feel anxious on theiraccount), I should certainly seek to remove my anxiety. I shall,therefore, set Bhima to follow in the wake of Satyaki. Having done this,I should regard my arrangements complete for the rescue of Satyaki.’Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, having settled this in his mind,addressed his charioteer and said, ‘Take me to Bhima.’ Hearing thecommand of king Yudhishthira the Just, the charioteer who was versed inhorse-lore, took that car decked with gold to where Bhima was. Arrived atthe presence of Bhima, the king, remembering the occasion, becameunmanned by grief, and pressed Bhima with diverse solicitations. Indeed,overwhelmed with grief, the monarch addressed Bhima. And these were thewords, O king, that Yudhishthira the son of Kunti then said unto him, ‘OBhima, I do not behold the standard of that Arjuna, who on a single carhad vanquished all the gods, the Gandharvas and Asuras!’ Then Bhimasena,addressing king Yudhishthira the Just who was in that plight, said,’Never before did I see, or hear thy ‘Words afflicted with suchcheerlessness. Indeed, formerly, when we were smitten with grief, it wasthou who hadst been our comforter. Rise, Rise, O king of kings, say whatI am to do for thee. O giver of honours, there is nothing that I cannotdo. Tell me what your commands are, O foremost one of Kuru’s race! Do notset your heart on grief.’ Unto Bhimasena then, the king with a sorrowfulface and with eyes bathed in tears, said, sighing the while like a blackcobra, ‘The blasts of the conch Panchajanya, wrathfully blown by Vasudevaof world-wide renown, are being heard. It seems, from this, that thybrother Dhananjaya lieth today on the field, deprived of life. Withoutdoubt, Arjuna having been slain, Janardana is fighting. That hero ofgreat might, relying on whose prowess the Pandavas are alive, he to whomwe always turn in times of fear like the celestials towards their chiefof a thousand eyes, that hero hath, in search after the ruler of Sindhus,penetrated into the Bharata host. I know this, O Bhima, viz., that hehath gone, but he hath not yet returned. Dark in complexion, youthful inyears, of curly locks, exceedingly handsome mighty car-warrior, of broadchest and long arms, possessed of the tread of an infuriated elephant, ofeyes of the colour of burnished copper and like those a chakra, thatbrother of thine enhances the fears of foes. Blessed be thou, even thisis the cause of my grief, O chastiser of foes! For Arjuna’s sake, O thouof mighty arms, as also for the sake of Satwata, my grief increaseth likea blazing fire fed with libations of clarified butter. I do not see hisstandard. For this am I stupefied with sorrow. Without doubt, he hathbeen slain, and Krishna, skilled in battle, is fighting. Know also thatthe tiger among men, that mighty car-warrior, Satwata is slain. Alas!Satyaki hath followed in the wake of that other mighty car-warrior, withthy brother. Without seeing Satyaki also, I am stupefied by grief.Therefore, O son of Kunti, go thither, where Dhananjaya is and Satyakialso of mighty energy, if, of course, thou thinkest it thy duty to obeymy words, O thou that art acquainted with duty.’ Remember that I am thyeldest brother. Thou shouldst think Satyaki to be dearer to thee thanArjuna himself. O son of Pritha, Satyaki hath gone, from desire of doinggood to me, in the track of Arjuna, a track that is incapable of beingtrod by persons of vile souls. Beholding the two Krishnas and Satyakialso of the Satwata race sound and whole, send me a message, O son ofPandu, by uttering a leonine roar.'”

Chapter 124
Chapter 122
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