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Chapter 124

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Bhima said, That car which formerly bore Brahma and Isana and Indra andVaruna (to battle), mounting upon that car, have two Krishnas gone. Theycan have no fear of danger, Taking, however, thy command on MY head, lo,I am going. Do not grieve. Meeting with those tigers among men, I shallsend thee intelligence.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Having said those words, the mighty Bhima began toprepare for setting out, repeatedly making over Yudhishthira toDhrishtadyumna and the other friends (of the Pandava cause). Indeed,Bhimasena of mighty strength addressing Dhrishtadyumna, said, ‘It isknown to thee, O thou of mighty arms, how the mighty car-warrior Drona isalways on the alert to seize king Yudhishthira the Just by all means inhis power. Indeed, O son of Prishata, I should never place my going (toArjuna and Satyaki) above my duty of protecting the king. KingYudhishthira, however, hath commanded me to go, I dare not contradicthim. I shall go thither where the ruler of the Sindhus stayeth, at thepoint of death. I should, in complete truthfulness, act according to thewords of my brother (Arjuna) and of Satyaki endued with greatintelligence. Thou shouldst, therefore, vigorously resolved on fight,protect Yudhishthira the son of Pritha today. Of all tasks, this is thyhighest duty in battle.’ Thus addressed by Vrikodara, O monarch,Dhrishtadyumna replied, ‘I shall do what thou wishest. Go, O son ofPritha, without any anxiety of the kind. Without slaying Dhrishtadyumnain battle, Drona will never be able to humiliate king Yudhishthira in thefight.’ Thus making the royal son of Pandu over to Dhrishtadyumna, andsaluting his elder brother, Bhimasena, proceeded towards the spot wherePhalguna was. Before dismissing him, however, king Yudhishthira the Just,O Bharata, embraced Bhimasena and smelt his head and pronouncedauspicious blessings upon him. After circumambulating a number ofBrahmanas, gratified with worship and presents, and touching the eightkinds of auspicious articles, and quaffing Kairataka honey, that hero,the corners of whose eyes had become red in intoxication, felt his mightto be doubled. The Brahmanas performed propitiatory ceremonies for him.Various omens, indicative of success, greeted him. Beholding them, hefelt the delight of anticipated victory. Favourable winds began to blowand indicate his success. Then the mighty-armed Bhimasena, the foremostof car-warriors, clad in mail, decked with earrings and Angadas, and hishands cased in leathern fences, mounted on his own excellent car. Hiscostly coat of mail, made of black steel and decked with gold, lookedlike a cloud charged with lightning. His body Was beautifully coveredwith yellow and red and black and white robes. Wearing a coloured cuirassthat protected also his neck, Bhimasena looked resplendent like a clouddecked with a rainbow.

“While Bhimasena was on the point of setting out against thy troops fromdesire of battle, the fierce blasts of Panchajanya were once more heard.Hearing those loud and terrible blasts, capable of filling the threeWorlds with fear, the son of Dharma once more addressed Bhimasena,saying, ‘There, the Vrishni hero is fiercely blowing his conch. Indeed,that Prince of conchs is filling the earth and the welkin with its sound.Without doubt, Savyasachin having fallen into great distress, the bearerof the discus and the mace is battling with all the Kurus. Without doubt,the venerable Kunti, and Draupadi, and Subhadra, are all, with theirrelatives and friends, beholding today exceedingly inauspicious omens.Therefore, O Bhima, go thither with speed where Dhananjaya is. All thepoints of the compass, O Partha, seem empty to my eyes in consequence ofmy (unsatisfied) desire to see Dhananjaya and owing also to Satwata.,Repeatedly urged by his superior to go, the valiant son of Pandu, viz.,Bhimasena, O king, casing his hands in leathern fence, took up his bow.Urged by his eldest brother, that brother, Bhimasena, who was devoted tohis brother’s good, caused drums to be beat. And Bhima forcibly blew hisconch also and uttering leonine roars, began to twang his bow. Dampingthe hearts of hostile heroes by those leonine roars, and assuming adreadful form, he rushed against his foes. Swift and well-broken steedsof the foremost breed neighing furiously, bore him. Endued with the speedof the wind or thought, their reins were held by Visoka. Then the son ofPritha, drawing the bowstring with great force, began to crush the headof the hostile array, mangling and piercing the combatants there. And asthat mighty-armed hero proceeded, the brave Panchalas and the Somakasfollowed him behind, like the celestials following Maghavat. Then thebrothers Duhsasana and Chitrasena. and Kundabhedin and Vivinsati, andDurmukha and Duhsaha and Sala, and Vinda and Anuvinda and Sumukha andDirghavahu and Sudarsana, and Suhasta and Sushena. and Dirghalochana, andAbhaya and Raudrakarman and Suvarman and Durvimochana, approaching,encompassed Bhimasena. These foremost of car-warriors, these heroes, alllooking resplendent, with their troops and followers, firmly resolvedupon battle, rushed against Bhimasena. That heroic and mightycar-warrior, viz., Kunti’s son Bhimasena of great prowess, thusencompassed, cast his eyes on them, and rushed against them with theimpetuosity of a lion against smaller animals. Those heroes, displayingcelestial and mighty weapons, covered Bhima with shafts, like cloudsshrouding the risen sun. Transgressing all those warriors withimpetuosity, Bhimasena rushed against Drona’s division, and covered theelephant-force before him with showers of arrows. The son of theWind-god, mangling with his shafts almost in no time that elephantdivision dispersed it in all directions. Indeed, like animals terrifiedin the forest at the roar of a Sarabha, those elephants all fled away,uttering frightful cries. Passing over that ground with speed, he thenapproached the division of Drona. Then the preceptor checked his course,like the continent resisting the surging sea. Smilingly, he struck theson of Pandu in his forehead with a shaft. Thereupon, the son of Pandulooked resplendent like the sun with upward rays. The preceptor thoughtthat Bhima would show him reverence as Phalguna had done before.Addressing Vrikodara, therefore, he said, ‘O Bhimasena, it is beyond thypower to enter into the hostile host, without vanquishing me, thy foe, inbattle, O thou of mighty strength! Although Krishna with thy youngerbrother hath penetrated this host with my permission, thyself, however,will never succeed in doing so.’ Hearing these words of the preceptor,the dauntless Bhima, excited with wrath, and his eyes red as blood orburnished copper, quickly replied unto Drona, saying, ‘O wretch of aBrahmana, it cannot be that Arjuna hath entered this host with thypermission. He is invisible. He would penetrate into the host commandedby Sakra himself. If he offered thee reverential worship, it was only forhonouring thee. But know, O Drona, that myself, I am not compassionatelike Arjuna. On the other hand, I am Bhimasena, thy foe. We regard theeas our father, preceptor, and friend. Ourselves we look upon as thy sons.Thinking so we always humble ourselves to thee. When, however, thou usestsuch words towards us today, it seems that all that is altered. If thouregardest thyself as our foe, let it be as thou thinkest. Being none elsethan Bhima, I will presently act towards thee as I should towards a foe.’Saying this, Bhima whirling a mace, like the Destroyer himself whirlinghis fatal rod, hurled it, O king, at Drona. Drona, however, had quicklyjumped down from his car, (and that proved his safety). For that macepressed down into the earth the car of Drona, with its steeds, driver,and standard. Then Bhima crushed numerous warriors like the tempestcrushing trees with its force. Then those sons of thine once moreencompassed that foremost of car-warriors. Meanwhile, Drona, thatforemost of smiters mounting another chariot, proceeded to the gate ofthe array and stayed there for battle. Then, O king, the angry Bhima ofgreat prowess, covered the car-division in his front with showers ofshafts. Then those mighty car-warriors, viz., thy sons, thus struck inbattle, endued as they were with great strength fought with Bhima fromdesire of victory. Then Duhsasana, excited with wrath, hurled atBhimasena a keen dart made entirely of iron, wishing to slay the son ofPandu. Bhima however, cut in twain that fierce dart hurled by thy son, asit coursed towards him. This feat seemed exceedingly wonderful. Themighty son of Pandu, then, with three other keen shafts, slew the threebrothers Kundabhedin and Sushena and Dirghanetra. And, again, amongstthose heroic sons of thine battling with him, Bhima slew heroicVrindaraka, that enhancer of the fame of the Kurus. And again, with threeother shafts, Bhima slew three other sons of thine, viz., Abhaya andRaudrakarman and Durvimochana. Thus slaughtered, O king, by that mightywarrior, thy sons surrounded, Bhima, that foremost of smiters on allsides. They then showered their arrows upon that son of Pandu, ofterrible deeds, like the cloud at the end of summer pouring torrents ofrain on the mountain-breast. That slayer of hosts, the heir of Pandu,received that arrowy shower, like a mountain receiving a shower ofstones. Indeed, the heroic Bhima felt no pain. Then the son of Kunti,smiling the while, despatched by means of his shafts thy son Vinda andAnuvinda and Suvarman to the abode of Yama. Then the son of Pandu, O bullof Bharata’s race, quickly pierced in that battle thy heroic sonSudarsan. The latter, thereupon, fell down and expired. Within a veryshort time, the son of Pandu, casting his glances on that car-forcecaused it by his shafts to fly away in all directions. Then like a herdof deer frightened at the clatter of car-wheels, or a loud shout, thysons, in that battle, O king, afflicted with the fear of Bhimasena,suddenly broke and fled. The son of Kunti, however, pursued that largeforce of thy sons, and began, O king, to pierce the Kauravas from everyside. Thy soldiers, O monarch, thus slaughtered by Bhimasena, fled awayfrom battle, avoiding the son of Pandu and urging their own excellentsteeds to their greatest speed. The mighty Bhimasena then, havingvanquished them in battle, uttered leonine roars and made a great noiseby slapping his armpits. And the mighty Bhima, having made also a fiercenoise with his palms, and thereby frightened that car-force and theforemost of warriors that were in it, passed towards the division ofDrona, transgressing that car-force (which he had vanquished.)’

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