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Chapter 139

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Satwata, invincible in battle coming (towardsArjuna), Bhurisravas, in rage, O king, suddenly advanced towards him. Heof Kuru’s race, then, O king, addressing that bull of Sini’s race, said,’By luck it, is thou that hast today come within the range of my vision.Today in this; battle, I obtain the wish I had always cherished. If thoudost not flee away from battle, thou wilt not escape me with life.Slaying thee today in fight, thou that art ever proud of thy heroism, Iwill, O thou of Dasarha’s race, gladden the Kuru king Suyodhana. Thoseheroes, viz., Kesava and Arjuna, will today together behold thee lying onthe field of battle, scorched with my arrows. Hearing that thou hast beenslain by me, the royal son of Dharma, who caused thee to penetrate intothis host, will today be covered with shame. Pritha’s son, Dhananjaya,will today behold my prowess when he sees thee slain and lying on theearth, covered with gore. This encounter with thee hath always beendesired by me, like the encounter of Sakra with Vali in the battlebetween the gods and the Asuras in days of old. Today I will give theedreadful battle, O Satwata! Thou shalt thence truly understand (themeasure of) my energy, might, and manliness. Slain by me in battle, thoushalt today proceed to the abode of Yama, like Ravana’s son (Indrajit)slain by Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama. Today, Krishna andPartha and king Yudhishthira the Just, O thou of Madhu’s race, witnessingthy slaughter will, without doubt, be overcome with despondency and willgive up battle. Causing thy death today, O Madhava, with keen shafts, Iwill gladden the wives of all those that have been slain by thee inbattle. Having come within the scope of my vision, thou shalt not escape,like a small deer from within the range of a lion’s vision.’ Hearingthese words of his, Yuyudhana, O king, answered him with a laugh, saying,’O thou of Kuru’s race, I am never inspired with fear in battle. Thoushalt not succeed in terrifying me with thy words only. He will slay mein battle who will succeed in disarming me. He that will slay me inbattle will slay (foes) for all time to come.[167] What is the use ofsuch idle and long-winded boast in words? Accomplish in deed what thousayest. Thy words seem to be as fruitless as the roar of autumnal clouds.Hearing, O hero, these roars of thine, I cannot restrain my laughter. Letthat encounter, O thou of Kuru’s race, which has been desired by thee solong, take place today. My heart, O sire, inspired as it is with thedesire of an encounter with thee, cannot brook any delay. Before slayingthee, I shall not abstain from the fight, O wretch.’ Rebuking each otherin such words, those two bulls among men, both excited with great wrath,struck each other in battle, each being desirous of taking the other’slife. Those great bowmen both endued with great might, encountered eachother in battle, each challenging the other, like two wrathful elephantsin rut for the sake of a she-elephant in her season. And those twochastisers of foes, viz., Bhurisravas and Satyaki, poured upon each otherdense showers of arrows like two masses of clouds. Then Somadatta’s son,having shrouded the grandson of Sini with swift coursing shafts, oncemore pierced the latter, O chief of the Bharatas, with many keen shafts,from desire of slaying him. Having pierced Satyaki with ten shafts,Somadatta’s son sped many other keen shafts at that bull amongst theSinis, from a desire of compassing his destruction. Satyaki, however, Olord, cut off, with the power of his weapons, all those keen shafts ofBhurisravas, O king, in the welkin, before, in fact, any of them couldreach him. Those two heroes, those two warriors that enhanced the fame ofthe Kurus and the Vrishnis respectively, both of noble lineage, thuspoured upon each other their arrowy showers. Like two tigers fightingwith their claws or two huge elephants with their tusks they mangled eachother with shafts and darts, such as car-warriors may use. Mangling eachother’s limbs, and with blood issuing out of their wounds, those twowarriors engaged in a gambling match in which their lives were at thestake, checked and confounded each other. Those heroes of excellentfeats, those enhancers of the fame of the Kurus and the Vrishnis, thusfought with each other, like two leaders of elephantine herds. Indeed,those warriors, both coveting the highest region, both cherishing thedesire of very soon attaining the region of Brahman, thus roared at eachother. Indeed, Satyaki and Somadatta’s son continued to cover each otherwith their arrowy showers in the sight of the Dhartarashtras filled withjoy. And the people there witnessed that encounter between those twoforemost of warriors who were fighting like two leaders of elephantineherds for the sake of a she-elephant in her season. Then each slaying theother’s steeds and cutting off the other’s bow, those car-less combatantsencountered each other with swords in a dreadful fight. Taking up twobeautiful and large and bright shields made of bull’s hide, and two nakedswords, they careered on the field. Stalking in circles and in diverseother kinds of courses duly, those grinders of foes excited with rage,frequently struck each other. Armed with swords, clad in bright armour,decked with cuirass and Angadas, those two famous warriors showed diversekinds of motion. They wheeled about on high and made side-thrusts, andran about, and rushed forward and rushed upwards. And those chastisers offoes began to strike each other with their swords. And each of themlooked eagerly for the dereliction of the other. And both of those heroesleapt beautifully and both showed their skill in that battle, began alsoto make skilful passes at each other, and having struck each other, Oking, those heroes took rest for a moment in the sight of all the troops.Having with their swords cut in pieces each other’s beautiful shield, Oking, decked with a hundred moons, those tigers among men, engagedthemselves in a wrestling encounter. Both having broad chests, bothhaving long arms, both well-skilled in wrestling, they encountered eachother with their arms of iron that resembled spiked maces. And theystruck each other with their arms, and seized each other’s arms, and eachseized with his arms the other’s neck. And the skill they had acquired byexercise, contributed to the joy of all the warriors that stood asspectators of the encounter. And as those heroes fought with each other,O king, in that battle, loud and terrible were the sounds produced bythem, resembling the fall of the thunder upon the mountain breast. Liketwo elephants encountering each other with the end of their tusks, orlike two bulls with their horns, those two illustrious and foremostwarriors of the Kuru and the Satwata races, fought with each other,sometimes binding each other with their arms, sometimes striking eachother with their heads, sometimes intertwining each other’s legs,sometimes slapping their armpits, sometimes pinching each other withtheir nails, sometimes clasping each other tightly, sometimes twiningtheir legs round each other’s loins, sometimes rolling on the ground,sometimes advancing, sometimes receding, sometimes rising up, andsometimes leaping up. Indeed, those two and thirty kinds of separatemanoeuvres that characterise encounters of that kind.

“When Satwata’s weapons were exhausted during his engagement withBhurisravas, Vasudeva said unto Arjuna, ‘Behold that foremost of allbowmen, viz., Satyaki, engaged in battle, deprived of car. He hathentered the Bharata host, having pierced through it, following in thywake, O son of Pandu! He hath fought with all the Bharata warriors ofgreat energy. The giver of large sacrificial presents, viz., Bhurisravas,hath encountered that foremost of warriors while tired with fatigue.Desirous of battle, Bhurisravas is about to encounter. Then that warriorinvincible in battle, viz., Bhurisravas, excited with wrath, vigorouslystruck Satyaki, O king, like an infuriated elephant striking aninfuriated compeer. Those two foremost of warriors, both upon their cars,and both excited with wrath, fought on, king, Kesava, and Arjunawitnessing their encounter. Then the mighty-armed Krishna, addressingArjuna, said, ‘Behold, that tiger among the Vrishnis and the Andhakas hassuccumbed to Somadatta’s son. Having achieved the most difficult feats,exhausted with exertion, he hath been deprived of his car. O Arjuna,protect Satyaki, thy heroic disciple. See that foremost of men may not,for thy sake, O tiger among men, succumb to Bhurisravas, devoted tosacrifices. O puissant one, speedily do what is needed.’ Dhananjaya, witha cheerful heart addressing Vasudeva, said, ‘Behold, that bull amongstthe Rurus and that foremost one among the Vrishnis are sporting with eachother, like a huge elephant mad with rage sporting with a mighty lion inthe forest. While Dhananjaya the son of Pandu was thus speaking, loudcries of oh and alas arose among the troops, O bull of Bharata’s race,since the mighty-armed Bhurisravas, exerting vigorously struck Satyakiand brought him down upon the ground. And like a lion dragging anelephant, that foremost one of Kuru’s race, viz., Bhurisravas, that giverof profuse presents at sacrifices, dragging that foremost one amongst theSatwatas, looked resplendent in that battle. Then Bhurisravas in thatencounter, drawing his sword from the scabbard, seized Satyaki by thehair of his head and struck him at the chest with his feet. Bhurisravasthen was about to cut off from Satyaki’s trunk his head decked withear-rings. For sometime, the Satwata hero rapidly whirled his head withthe arm of Bhurisravas that held it by the hair, like a potter’s wheelwhirled round with the staff. Beholding Satwata thus dragged in battle byBhurisravas. Vasudeva once more, O king, addressed Arjuna and said,’Behold, that tiger among the Vrishnis and the Andhakas, that disciple ofthine, O mighty-armed one, not inferior to thee in bowmanship, hathsuccumbed to Somadatta’s son. O Partha, since Bhurisravas is thusprevailing over the Vrishni hero, Satyaki, of prowess incapable of beingbaffled, the very name of the latter is about to be falsified.[168] Thusaddressed by Vasudeva the mighty-armed son of Pandu, mentally worshippedBhurisravas in that battle, saying, ‘I am glad that, Bhurisravas, thatenhancer of the fame of the Kurus, is dragging Satyaki in battle, as ifin sport. Without slaying Satyaki that foremost one among the heroes ofthe Vrishni race, the Kuru warrior is only dragging him like a mightylion in the forest dragging a huge elephant.’ Mentally applauding theKuru warrior thus, O king, the mighty-armed Arjuna, the son of Pritha,replied unto Vasudeva, saying, ‘My eyes having rested upon of theSindhus, I could not, O Madhava, see Satyaki. I shall, however, for thesake of that Yadava warrior, achieve a most difficult feat.’ Having saidthese words, in obedience to Vasudeva, the son of Pandu, fixed on Gandivaa sharp razor-headed arrow. That arrow, shot by Partha’s hand andresembling a meteor flashing down from the firmament, cut off the Kuruwarrior’s arm with the sword in the grasp and decked with Angada.'”

FOLLOW US ON:
Chapter 140
Chapter 138
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