Chapter 145

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, When such was the condition of battle, between thoseheroes of their side and mine, what did Bhima then do? Tell me all, OSanjaya!’

“Sanjaya said, ‘After Bhimasena had been made carless, that hero,afflicted with the wordy darts of Karna and filled with rage, addressedPhalguna and said, ‘In thy very sight, O Dhananjaya, Karna hathrepeatedly said to me, ‘Eunuch, fool, glutton, unskilled in weapons, donot fight, child, unable to bear the burden of battle!’ He that wouldtell me so would be slain by me. Karna hath told me those words, OBharata! O mighty-armed one, thou knowest the vow which I have madejointly with thee. Remember the words that were then spoken by me. Oforemost of men, act in such a way that that vow of mine, O son of Kunti,as also thy own vow, may not be falsified. O Dhananjaya, do that by whichthat vow of mine may be made true.’ Hearing these words of Bhima, Arjunaof immeasurable prowess, getting near Karna in that battle, told him, ‘OKarna, thou art of false fight. O son of a Suta, thou applaudest thy ownself. Of wicked understanding, listen now to what I tell thee. Heroesmeet with either of these two things in battle, viz., victory or defeat.Both of these are uncertain, O son of Radha! The case is not otherwisewhen Indra himself is engaged in battle. Made carless by Yuyudhana, withthy senses no longer under thy control, thou wert almost at the point ofdeath. Remembering, however, that I had vowed to slay thee, that herodismissed thee without taking thy life. It is true thou hadst succeededin depriving Bhimasena of his car. Thy abuse, however, O son of Radha, ofthat hero was sinful. Those bulls among men that are truly righteous andbrave, having vanquished a foe, never boast, nor speak ill of anybody.Thy knowledge, however, is little. It is for this, O son of a Suta, thatthou indulged in such speeches. Then, again the abusive epithets thoudidst apply to the battling Bhimasena, endued with great prowess andheroism and devoted to the practices of the righteous, were notconsistent with truth. In the very sight of all the troops, of Kesava, asalso of myself, thou wert many a time made carless by Bhimasena inbattle. That son of Pandu, however, did not call thee a single harshword. Since, however, thou hast addressed Vrikodara in many harshspeeches, and since thou with others hast slain the son of Subhadra outof my sight, therefore, this very day obtain the fruit of those offencesof thine. It was for thy own destruction, O wicked wight, that thou didstthen cut off Abhimanyu’s bow; for that, O thou of little understanding,thou shalt be slain by me, with all thy followers, forces, and animals.Accomplish now all those acts which thou shouldst do, for a greatcalamity is impending over thee. I will slay Vrishasena in thy very sightin battle. All those other kings, again, that will fully advance againstme, I will despatch unto Yama’s abode. I say this truly, laying my handon my weapon. A fool as thou art, without wisdom and full of vanity, Isay that beholding thee lying on the field of battle the wickedDuryodhana will indulge in bitter lamentations.’ After Arjuna had vowedthe slaughter of Karna’s son, a loud and tremendous uproar arose amongstthe car-warriors. At that frightful time when confusion was everywhere,the thousand-rayed sun, dimming his rays, entered the Asta hill. Then, Oking, Hrishikesa, stationed in the van of battle embracing Arjuna who hadaccomplished his vow, told him these words, By good luck, O Jishnu, thygreat vow hath been accomplished. By good luck, that Vriddhakshatra hathbeen slain along with his son. The celestial generalissimo himself, O-Bharata, encountering the Dhartarashtra force, would, in battle, OJishnu, lose his senses. There is no doubt of this. Except thee, O tigeramong men, I do not even in thought see the person in the three worldsthat could fight with this host. Many royal warriors endued with greatprowess, equal to thee or superior have been united together atDuryodhana’s command. Clad in mail, they could not approach thee,encountering thy angry self in battle. Thy energy and might are equal tothat of Rudra or the Destroyer himself. None else is capable of puttingforth such prowess in battle as thou, O scorcher of foes, alone andunsupported, didst today put forth. Thus shall I applaud thee again afterKarna of wicked soul has been slain along with his followers. Thus shallI glorify thee when that foe of thine shall have been vanquished andslain.’ Unto him Arjuna replied, ‘Through thy grace, O Madhava, this vowthat even the gods could with difficulty accomplish, hath beenaccomplished by me. Their victory is not at all a matter of wonder thathave thee, O Kesava, for their lord. Through thy grace, Yudhishthira willobtain the whole earth. All this is due to thy power, O thou of Vrishni’srace! This is thy victory, O lord! Our prosperity is thy victory, O lord!Our prosperity is thy care and we are thy servants, O slayer of Madhu!’Thus addressed, Krishna smiled softly, and slowly urged the steeds. Andhe showed unto Partha, as they came, the field of battle abounding withcruel sights.

“Then Krishna said, ‘Desirous of victory in battle or world-wide famemany heroic kings are lying on the earth, struck with thy shafts. Theirweapons and ornaments lay scattered, and their steeds, cars, andelephants are mangled and broken. With their coats of mail pierced or cutopen, they have come to the greatest grief. Some of them are yet alive,and some of them are dead. Those, however, that are dead, still seem tobe alive in consequence of the splendour with which they are endued.Behold the earth covered with their shafts equipped with golden wings,with their numerous other weapons of attack and defence, and with theiranimals (deprived of life). Indeed, the earth looks resplendent withcoats of mail and necklaces of gems, with their heads decked withearrings, and headgears and diadems, and floral wreaths and jewels wornon crowns, and Kanthasutras and Angadas, and collars of gold, and withdiverse other beautiful ornaments. Strewn with Anuskaras and quivers,with standards and banners, with Upaskaras and Adhishthanas, with shaftsand crests of cars, with broken wheels and beautiful Akshas in profusion,with yokes and trappings of steeds, with belts and bows and arrows, withelephants, housings, with spiked maces and hooks of iron, with darts andshort arrows, with spears and pikes, with Kundas and clubs, withSataghnis and Bhushandis, with scimitars and axes, with short and heavyclubs and mallets, with maces and Kunapas, with whips decked with gold, Obull of Bharata’s race, with the bells and diverse other ornaments ofmighty elephants, with floral garlands and various kinds of decorations,and with costly robes all loosened from the bodies of men and animals,the earth shines brilliantly, like the autumnal firmament with planetsand stars. The lords of the earth, slain for the sake of earth, areslumbering on the earth clasping with their limbs the earth like a dearwife. Like mountains shedding through their caves and fissures streams ofliquid chalk, these elephants, resembling Airavata himself and huge asmountains, are shedding profuse streams of blood through the openings intheir bodies caused by weapons. Behold, O hero, those huge creaturesafflicted with shafts lying on the ground in convulsions. Behold, thosesteeds also, lying on the ground, adorned with trappings of gold. Beholdalso, O Partha, those riderless and driverless cars that had at one timeresembled celestial vehicles or the vapoury forms in the evening sky, nowlying on the ground, with standards and banners and Akshas and yokes cutinto pieces, and with broken shafts and crests, O lord. Foot-soldiersalso, O hero, bearing bows and shields and slain in hundreds andthousands are lying on the ground, bathed in blood and clasping the earthwith every limb and their locks smeared with dust. Behold, O mighty-armedone, those warriors with bodies mangled with thy weapons. Behold theearth, strewn with Yak-tails and fans, and umbrellas and standards, andsteeds and cars and elephants, and with diverse kinds of blankets, andreins of steeds, and beautiful robes and costly Varuthas (of cars), look,as if overspread with embroidered tapestry. Many warriors fallen from thebacks of well-equipped elephants along with those creatures themselvesthat they had ridden, are looking like lions fallen from mountain summitsstruck down by thunder. Mingled with the steeds (they had ridden) and thebows (they had held), horsemen and foot-soldiers in large numbers, arelying on the field, covered with blood. Behold, O foremost of men, thesurface of the earth is frightful to look at, covered as it is with largenumber of slain elephants and steeds and car-warriors, and miry withblood, fat, and rotten flesh in profusion, and on which dogs and wolvesand Pisachas and diverse wanderers of the night are cantering with joy!This fame-enhancing and mighty feat on the field of battle is capable ofbeing achieved by thee only, O puissant one, or by that chief of thegods, viz., Indra himself, who in great battle slayeth the Daityas andthe Danavas.’

“Sanjaya continued, “Thus showing the field of battle unto thediadem-decked Arjuna, Krishna blew his conch Panchajanya with the gleefulsoldiers of the Pandava army (blowing their respective conchs). Havingshown the field of battle unto the diadem-decked hero, that slayer offoes viz., Janardana quickly proceeded towards Ajatasatru, the son ofPandu, and informed him of the slaying of Jayadratha.'”[177]

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