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Chapter 127

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

-Sanjaya said, ‘After that army had (thus) been routed, and Arjuna andBhimasena had all gone after the ruler of the Sindhus, thy son(Duryodhana) proceeded towards Drona. And Duryodhana went to thepreceptor, on his single car, thinking, by the way, of diverse duties.That car of thy son, endued with the speed of the wind or thought,proceeded with great celerity towards Drona. With eyes red in wrath, thyson addressed the preceptor and said, ‘O grinder of foes, Arjuna andBhimasena, and unvanquished Satyaki, and many mighty car-warriors,defeating all our troops, have succeeded in approaching the ruler of theSindhus. Indeed, those mighty car-warriors, who vanquished all thetroops, themselves unvanquished, are fighting even there. O giver ofhonours, how hast thou been transgressed by both Satyaki and Bhima? Oforemost of Brahmanas, this thy defeat at the hands of Satwata, ofArjuna, and of Bhimasena, is like the drying of the ocean, exceedinglywonderful in this world. People are loudly asking, ‘How, indeed, couldDrona, that master of the science of arms, be vanquished?’ Even thus allthe warriors are speaking in depreciation of thee. Destruction is certainfor my luckless self in battle, when three car-warriors, O tiger amongmen, have if, succession transgressed thee. When, however, all this hathhappened, tell us what thou hast to say on the business that awaits us.What hath happened, is past. O giver of honours, think now of what isremaining. Say quickly what should next be done for the ruler of theSindhus on the present occasion, and let what thou sayest be quickly andproperly carried out.’

“Drona said, ‘Listen, O great king, to what I, having reflected much, sayunto thee about what should now be done. As yet only three greatcar-warriors among the Pandavas have transgressed us. We have as much tofear behind those three as we have to dread before them.[154] There,however, where Krishna and Dhananjaya are, our fear must be greater. TheBharata army hath been attacked both on the front and from behind. Inthis pass, I think, the protection of the ruler of the Sindhus is ourfirst duty. Jayadratha, afraid of Dhananjaya, deserves of everything elseto be protected by us. The heroic Yuyudhana and Vrikodara have both goneagainst the ruler of the Sindhus. All this that hath come is the fruit ofthat match at dice conceived by Sakuni’s intellect. Neither victory nordefeat took place in the (gaming) assembly. Now that we are engaged inthis sport, there will be victory or defeat. Those innocent things withwhich Sakuni had formerly played in the Kuru assembly and which heregarded as dice, were, in reality, invincible shafts. Truly, therewhere, O sire, the Kauravas were congregated, they were not dice butterrible arrows capable of mangling your bodies. At present, however, Oking, know the combatants for players, these shafts for dice, and theruler of the Sindhus, without doubt, O monarch, as the stake, in thisgame of battle. Indeed, Jayadratha is the great stake about which we areplaying today with the enemy. Under the circumstances, therefore, Omonarch, all of us becoming reckless of our very lives, should make duearrangements for the protection of the ruler of the Sindhus in battle.Engaged as we are in our present sport, it is here that we shall havevictory or defeat, here, that is, where those great bowmen are protectingthe ruler of the Sindhus. Go thither, therefore, with speed, and protectthose protectors (of Jayadratha). As regards myself, I will stay here,for despatching others (to the presence of Jayadratha) and checking thePanchalas, the Pandus and the Srinjayas united together. Thus commandedby the preceptor, Duryodhana quickly proceeded (to the place indicated)with his followers, resolutely setting himself to (the accomplishment of)a fierce task. The two protectors of the wheels of Arjuna’s car, viz.,the Panchala princes, Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas, were at that timeproceeding towards Savyasachin by the skirts of the Kuru array. Thoumayest remember, O king, that formerly while Arjuna penetrated thy hostfrom desire of battle, those two princes, O monarch, had been checked intheir progress by Kritavarman. Now, the Kuru king beheld them proceedingby the skirts of his host. The mighty Duryodhana of Bharata’s race lostno time in engaging in a fierce battle with those two brothers thusrushing furiously. Those two foremost of Kshatriyas, reputed as mightycar-warriors, then rushed in that battle at Duryodhana, with outstretchedbows. Yudhamanyu pierced Duryodhana with twenty, and his four steeds withfour shafts. Duryodhana, however, with a single shaft, cut offYudhamanyu’s standard. And thy son then cut off the former’s bow alsowith another shaft. And then with a broad-headed arrow, the Kuru kingfelled Yudhamanyu’s charioteer from his niche in the car. And then hepierced the four steeds of the latter with four shafts. Then Yudhamanyu,excited with wrath, quickly sped, in that battle, thirty shafts at thecentre of thy son’s chest. Then Uttamaujas also, excited with wrath,pierced Duryodhana’s charioteer with shafts decked with gold, anddespatched him to Yama’s abode. Duryodhana also, O monarch, then slew thefour steeds as also the two Parshni charioteers of Uttamaujas, the princeof Panchalas. Then Uttamaujas, in that battle, becoming steedless anddriverless, quickly ascended the car of his brother, Yudhamanyu.Ascending on the car of his brother, he struck Duryodhana’s steeds withmany shafts. Slain therewith, those steeds fell down on the earth. Uponthe fall of his steeds, the valiant Yudhamanyu then, by a mighty weapon,quickly cut off Duryodhana’s bow and then (with another shaft), hisleathern fence. That bull among men then, viz., thy son, jumping downfrom that steedless and driverless car, took up a mace and proceededagainst the two princes of Panchala. Beholding that subjugator of hostiletown, thus advancing in wrath, both Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas jumped downfrom the terrace of their car. Then Duryodhana armed as he was with amace, pressed down into the earth with that mace that foremost of carsfurnished with gold, with steeds and driver and standard. Thy son then,that scorcher of foes, having thus crushed that car, steedless anddriverless as he himself was, quickly ascended the car of the king of theMadras. Meanwhile, those two mighty car-warriors, viz., those twoforemost Panchala princes, ascending on two other cars, proceeded towardsArjuna.'”

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