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Chapter 152

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, “When the invincible Drona, of immeasurable energy,unable to bear (the slaughter of Jayadratha), Wrathfully entered into themidst of the Srinjayas, what did all of you think? When that warrior ofimmeasurable soul, having said those words unto my disobedient son,Duryodhana, so entered (the hostile ranks), what steps did Partha take?When after the fall of the heroic Jayadratha and of Bhurisravas, thatunvanquished warrior of great energy, that scorcher of foes, viz., theunconquerable Drona, proceeded against the Panchalas, what did Arjunathink? What also did Duryodhana think as the most seasonable step that hecould adopt? Who were they that followed that boon-giving hero, thatforemost of regenerated ones? Who were those heroes, O Suta, that stoodbehind that hero while engaged in ‘battle? Who fought in his van, whilehe was employed in slaughter? I think, all the Pandavas, afflicted withthe arrows of Bharadwaja’s son, were, O Suta, like lean kine tremblingunder a wintry sky. Having penetrated into the midst of the Panchalas howdid that great bowman, that scorcher of foes, that tiger among men, meetwith his death?[194] When on that night all the troops, united together,and all the great car-warriors combined were being separately ground (byDrona), who were those intelligent men amongst you that were presentthere? Thou sayest that my troops were slain or huddled together, orvanquished, and that my car-warriors were made carless in thoseencounters. While those combatants became cheerless and were being groundby the Pandavas, what did they think when they sank in such affliction onthat dark night? Thou sayest that the Pandavas were hearty andexceedingly hopeful, and that mine were melancholy and heartless andpanic-stricken. How, O Sanjaya, couldst thou mark the distinction on thatnight between the Kurus and the unretreating Parthas?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘During the progress, O king, of that fierce night-battle,the Pandavas along with the Somakas all rushed against Drona. Then Drona,with his swift-going shafts, despatched all the Kaikeyas and the sons ofDhrishtadyumna into the world of spirits. Indeed, all those mightycar-warriors, O king, that advanced right against Drona, all those lordsof the earth, were despatched (by him) into the region of the dead. Thenking Sivi, of great prowess, filled with rage, proceeded against thatmighty car-warrior, viz., the heroic son of Bharadwaja, while the latterwas thus employed in grinding (the hostile combatants). Beholding thatgreat car-warrior of the Pandavas advancing, Drona pierced him with tenshafts made entirely of iron. Sivi, however, pierced Drona in return withthirty shafts, winged with Kanka feathers. And smiling the while, healso, with a broad-headed shaft felled the driver of Drona’s car. Dronathen, slaying the steeds of the illustrious Sivi as also the driver ofhis car, cut off from his trunk Sivi’s head with head-gear on it. ThenDuryodhana quickly sent unto Drona a driver for his car. The reins of hissteeds having been taken up by the new man, Drona once more rushedagainst his foes. The sort of the ruler of the Kalingas, supported by theKalinga troops, rushed against Bhimasena, filled with rage at theslaughter of his sire by the latter, Having pierced Bhima with fiveshafts he once more pierced him with seven. And he struck Visoka (thedriver of Bhima’s car) with three shafts and the latter’s standard withone. The Vrikodara, filled with rage, leaping from his own car to that ofhis foe, slew with only his fists that angry hero of the Kalingas. Thebones of that prince thus slain in battle by the mighty son of Pandu withonly his fists, fell down on the earth separated from one another, Karnaand the brother of the slain prince, (and others), could not brook thatact of Bhima. All of them began to strike Bhimasena with keen shaftsresembling snakes of virulent poison. Abandoning then that car of the foe(upon which he stood), Bhima proceeded to the car of Dhruva,[195] andcrushed, by a blow of his fist, that prince who had been striking himincessantly. Thus struck by the mighty son of Pandu. Dhruva fell down.Having slain him, O king, Bhimasena of great strength, proceeding to thecar of Jayarata, began to roar repeatedly like a lion. Dragging Jayaratathen with his left arm, while, employed in roaring, he slew that warriorwith a slap of his palm in the very sight of Karna. Then Karna hurled atthe son of Pandu, a dart decked with gold. The Pandava, however, smilingthe while, seized with his hand that dart. And the invincible Vrikodarain that battle hurled that very dart back at Karna. Then Sakuni, with ashaft that had drunk oil, cut off that dart as it coursed towards Karna.Having achieved these mighty feats in battle, Bhima, of wonderfulprowess, came back to his own car and rushed against thy troops. Andwhile Bhima was thus advancing, slaughtering (thy troops) like theDestroyer himself in rage, thy sons, O monarch, attempted to resist thatmighty-armed hero. Indeed, those mighty car-warriors covered him with adense shower of arrows. Then Bhima, smiling the while, despatched in thatbattle, with his shafts, the driver and the steeds of Durmada unto theabode of Yama. Durmada, at this, quickly mounted upon the car ofDushkarna. Then those scorchers of foes, viz., the two brothers, ridingoh the same car, both rushed against Bhima in the front rank of battle,like the Regent of the waters and Surya rushing against Taraka, thatforemost of Daityas. Then thy sons, Durmada and Dushkarna, mounting onthe same car, pierced Bhima with shafts. Then in the very sight of Karna,of Aswatthaman, of Duryodhana, of Kripa, of Somadatta, and of Valhika,the son of Pandu, that chastiser of foes, by a stamp of his foot, causedthat car of the heroic Durmada and Dushkarna to sink into the earth.Filled with rage, Bhima struck with his fists those mighty and brave sonsof thine, viz., Durmada and Dushkarna, and crushed them therewith androared aloud. Then cries of Oh and Alas arose among the troops. And thekings, beholding Bhima said, ‘That is Rudra who is fighting in Bhima’sform among the Dhartarashtras.’ Saying these words, O Bharata, all thekings fled away, deprived of their senses and urging the animals theyrode to their greatest speed. Indeed, no two of them could be seenrunning together. Then, when on that night a great carnage had beencaused among the (Kaurava) army, the mighty Vrikodara, with eyesbeautiful as the full-blown lotus, highly applauded by many bulls amongkings, repairing unto Yudhishthira, paid his regards unto him. Then thetwins (Nakula and Sahadeva), and Drupada and Virata, and the Kaikeyas,and Yudhishthira also, felt great joy. And all of them paid theiradorations unto Vrikodara even as the celestials did unto Mahadeva afterAndhaka had been slain. Then thy sons, all equal unto the sons of Varuna,filled with rage and accompanied by the illustrious Preceptor and a largenumber of cars, foot-soldiers, and elephants encompassed Vrikodara on allsides from desire of fight. Then, O best of kings, on that terriblenight, when everything was enveloped in darkness, as thick as a cloud, adreadful battle took place between those illustrious warriors, delightfulto wolves and crows and vultures.'”

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