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Chapter 134

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing the twang of Bhimasena’s bow and the sound of hispalms, the son of Radha could not brook it, like an infuriated elephantincapable of brooking the roars of an infuriated rival. Returning for amoment from before Bhimasena, Karna cast his eyes upon those sons ofthine that had been slain by Bhimasena, Beholding them, O best of men,Karna became cheerless and plunged in grief. Breathing hot and longsighs, he, once more, proceeded against the son of Pandu. With eyes redas copper, and sighing in wrath like a mighty snake, Karna then, as heshot his arrows, looked resplendent like the sun scattering hisrays.[159] Indeed, O bull of Bharata’s race, Vrikodara was then coveredwith the arrows, resembling the spreading rays of the sun that were shotfrom Karna’s bow. The beautiful shafts, equipped with peacock-feathers,shot from Karna’s bow, penetrated into every part of Bhima’s body, likebirds into a tree for roosting there. Indeed, the arrows, equipped withwings of gold, shot from Karna’s bow falling incessantly, resembledcontinuous rows of cranes. So numerous were the shafts shot byAdhiratha’s son that, these seemed to issue not from his bow alone butfrom his standard, his umbrella, and the shaft and yoke and bottom of hiscar also. Indeed, Adhiratha’s son shot his sky-ranging shafts ofimpetuous energy, decked with gold and equipped with vulturine feathers,in such a way as to fill the entire welkin with them. Beholding him(thus) excited with fury and rushing towards him like the Destroyerhimself, Vrikodara, becoming utterly reckless of his life and prevailingover his foe, pierced him with nine shafts.[160] Beholding theirresistible impetuosity of Karna as also that dense shower of arrows,Bhima, endued as he was with great prowess, quailed not in fear. The sonof Pandu then counteracting that arrowy downpour of Adhiratha’s son,pierced Karna himself with twenty other sharp shafts. Indeed, as Pritha’sson himself had before been shrouded by the Suta’s son, even so was thelatter now shrouded by the former in that battle. Beholding the prowessof Bhimasena in battle, thy warriors, as also the Gharanas, filled withjoy; applauded him. Bhurisravas, and Kripa, and Drona’s son, and theruler of the Madras, and Uttamaujas and Yudhamanyu, and Kesava, andArjuna,–these great car-warriors: O king, among both the Kurus and thePandavas,–loudly cheered Bhima, saying, ‘Excellent, Excellent,’ anduttered leonine roars. When that fierce uproar, making the hair stand onend rose, thy son Duryodhana, O king, quickly said unto all the kings andprinces and particularly his uterine brothers, these words, ‘Blessed beye, proceed towards Karna for rescuing him from Vrikodara, else theshafts shot from Bhima’s bow will slay the son of Radha. Ye mightybowmen, strive ye to protect the Suta’s son.’ Thus commanded byDuryodhana, seven of his uterine brothers, O sire, rushing in wrathtowards Bhimasena, encompassed him on all sides. Approaching the son ofKunti they covered him with showers of arrows, like clouds pouringtorrents of rain on the mountain-breast in the season of rains. Excitedwith wrath, those seven great car-warriors began to afflict Bhimasena, Oking, like the seven planets afflicting the moon at the hour of theuniversal dissolution. The son of Kunti, then, O monarch, drawing hisbeautiful bow with great force and firm grasp, and knowing that his foeswere but men, aimed seven shafts. And lord Bhima in great rage sped atthem those shafts, effulgent as solar rays. Indeed, Bhimasenarecollecting his former wrongs, shot those shafts as if for extractingthe life from out of the bodies of those sons of thine. Those arrows, OBharata, whetted on stone and equipped with wings of gold, shot byBhimasena, piercing through the bodies of those Bharata princes, flewinto the sky. Indeed, those arrows winged with gold, piercing through thehearts of thy sons, looked beautiful, O monarch, as they passed into thesky, like birds of excellent plumage. Decked with gold and covered allover with blood, those arrows, O king, drinking the blood of thy sonspassed out of their body. Pierced in their vital limbs by means of thosearrows, they fell down on the earth from their cars, like tall treesgrowing on mountain precipices, broken by an elephant. The seven sons ofthine that were thus slain were Satrunjaya, and Satrusaha, and Chitra,and Chitrayudha, and Dridha, and Chitrasena and Vikarna. Amongst all thysons thus slain, Vrikodara, the son of Pandu, grieved bitterly fromsorrow for Vikarna who was dear to him. And Bhima said, ‘Even thus wasthe vow made by me, viz., that all of you should be slain by me inbattle. It is for that, O Vikarna, that thou hast been slain. My vow hathbeen accomplished. O hero, thou camest to battle, bearing in mind theduties of a Kshatriya. Thou wert ever engaged in our good, and especiallyin that of the king (our eldest brother). It is scarcely proper,therefore, for me to grieve for thy illustrious self.’ Having slain thoseprinces, O king, in the very sight of Radha’s son, the son of Panduuttered a terrible leonine roar. That loud shout of the heroic Bhima, OBharata, informed king Yudhishthira the Just that the victory in thatbattle was his. Indeed, hearing that tremendous shout of Bhima armed withthe bow, king Yudhishthira felt great joy in the midst of that battle.The gladdened son of Pandu, then, O king, received that leonine shout ofhis brother with sounds and other musical instruments. And afterVrikodara, had sent him that message by the sign agreed upon,Yudhishthira, that foremost of persons acquainted with weapons, filledwith joy, rushed against Drona in battle. On the other hand, O king,beholding one and thirty of thy sons slain, Duryodhana recollected thewords of Vidura.-Those beneficial words spoken by Vidura are nowrealised! Thinking even so, king Duryodhana was unable to do what heshould. All that, during the match at dice, thy foolish and wicked son,with Karna (on his side), said unto the princes of Panchala causing herto be brought into the assembly, all the harsh words, again, that Karnasaid unto Krishna, in the same place, before thyself, O king, and thesons of Pandu, in thy hearing and that of all the Kurus, viz., O Krishna,the Pandavas are lost and have sunk into eternal hell, therefore, choosethou other husbands,–alas, the fruit of all that is now manifestingitself. Then, again, O thou of Kuru’s race, diverse harsh speeches, suchas sesamum seeds without kernel, etc., were applied by the wrathful sonsto those high-souled ones, viz., the sons of Pandu. Bhimasena, vomitingforth the fire of wrath (which these enraged) and which he had restrainedfor thirteen years, is now compassing the destruction of thy sons.Indulging in copious lamentations, Viduara failed to persuade theetowards peace. O chief of the Bharatas, suffer the fruit of all that withthy sons. Thou art old, patient, and capable of foreseeing theconsequences of all acts. Being so, when thou didst yet refuse to followthe counsels of thy well-wishers, it seems that all this is the result ofdestiny. Do not grieve, O tiger among men! All this is thy great fault.In my opinion, thou art thyself the cause of the destruction of thy sons.O monarch, Vikarna hath fallen, and Chitrasena also of great prowess.Many other mighty car-warriors and foremost ones among thy sons have alsofallen. Others, again, among thy sons whom Bhima saw come within therange of his vision, O mighty-armed one, he slew in a trice. It is forthee only that I had to see our array scorched in thousands by means ofthe arrows shot by Pandu’s son, Bhima and Vrisha (Karna)!'”

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