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Chapter 159

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said ‘Beholding Somadatta shaking his large bow, Satyaki,addressing his driver, said, ‘Bear me towards Somadatta.I tell theetruely, O Suta, that I shall not return from battle today without havingslain that foe, viz., that worst of the Kurus, the son of Valhika’. Thusaddressed, the charioteer then urged to battle those fleet steeds of theSindhu breed, white as conch and capable of bearing every weapon. Thosesteeds endued with the speed of the wind or the mind, bore Yuyudhana tobattle like the steeds of Indra, O king, bearing the latter in days ofyore when he proceeded to quell the Danavas. Beholding the Satwata herothus advancing quickly in battle Somadatta, O king, fearlessly turnedtowards him. Scattering showers of shafts like the clouds pouringtorrents of rain, he covered the grandson of Sini like the cloudscovering the sun. Satyaki also, O bull of Bharata’s race, in thatencounter fearlessly covered that bull amongst the Kurus with showers ofshafts. Then Somadatta pierced that hero of Madhu’s race with sixtyshafts in the chest. Satyaki, in turn, O king, pierced Somadatta withmany whetted arrows. Mangled by each other with each-other’s shafts,those two warriors looked resplendent like a couple of flowering Kinsukasin the season of spring. Dyed all over with blood, those illustriouswarriors of the Kuru and the Vrishni races looked at each other withtheir glances. Riding on their cars that coursed in circles, thosegrinders of foes, of terrible countenances, resembled two clouds pouringtorrents of rain. Their bodies mangled and pierced all over with arrows,they looked, O king, like two porcupines. Pierced with countless shafts,equipped with wings of gold, the two warriors looked resplendent, Omonarch, like a couple of tall trees covered with fire-flies. Theirbodies looking bright with the blazing arrows sticking to them, those twomighty car-warriors looked in that battle like two angry elephants deckedwith burning torches. Then, O monarch, the mighty car-warrior, Somadatta,in that battle, cut off with a crescent-shaped arrow the large bow ofMadhava. With great speed also, at a time when speed was of the utmostconsequence, the Kuru hero then pierced Satyaki with five and twentyshafts, and once again with ten. Then Satyaki, taking up a tougher bow,quickly pierced Somadatta with five shafts. With another broad-headedarrow, Satyaki also, O king, smiling the while, cut off the goldenstandard of Valhika’s son. Somadatta, however, beholding his standard cutdown, fearlessly pierced the grandson of Sini with five and twentyarrows. Satwata also, excited with rage, cut off with a razor-faced arrowthe bow of Somadatta, in that encounter. And he also pierced Somadattawho then resembled a snake without fangs, with a hundred straight arrows,equipped with wings of gold. The mighty car-warrior Somadatta, then, whowas endued with great strength taking up another bow, began to coverSatyaki (with showers of shafts). Satyaki too, inflamed with rage,pierced Somadatta with many shafts. Somadatta, in return, afflictedSatyaki with his arrowy showers. Then Bhima coming to the encounter, andfighting on behalf of Satyaki, struck Valhika’s son with ten shafts.Somadatta, however, fearlessly struck Bhimasena with many whetted arrows.Then Satyaki, inflamed with rage, aiming at Somadatta’s chest, shot a newand terrible Parigha equipped with a golden staff and hard as thethunder. The Kuru warrior, however, smiling the while, cut off thatterrible Parigha advancing with speed against him in two parts. Thatformidable Parigha of iron, then, thus cut off into two fragments, felldown like so many crests of a mountain riven by thunder. Then Satyaki, Oking, with a broad-headed arrow, cut off in that encounter Somadatta’sbow, and then with five arrows, the leathern fence that cased hisfingers. Then, O Bharata, with four other shafts he speedily despatchedthe four excellent steeds of the Kuru warrior to Yama’s presence. Andthen that tiger among car-warriors with another straight shaft, smilingthe while, cut off from his trunk the head of Somadatta’s driver. Then hesought at Somadatta himself a terrible shaft of fiery effulgence, whettedon stone, steeped in oil, and equipped with wings of gold. That excellentand fierce shaft, shot by the mighty grandson of Sini, quickly fell likea hawk, O Lord, upon the chest of Somadatta. Deeply pierced by the mightySatwata, the great car-warrior Somadatta, O monarch, fell down (from hiscar) and expired. Beholding the great car-warrior Somadatta slain there,thy warriors with a large throng of cars rushed against Yuyudhana.Meanwhile, the Pandava also, O king, with all the Prabhadrakas andaccompanied by a large force, rushed against Drona’s army. ThenYudhishthira, excited with wrath, began, with his shafts, to strike androut the troops of Bharadwaja’s son at the very sight of the latter.Beholding Yudhishthira thus agitating his troops, Drona, with eyes red inwrath, furiously rushed against him. The preceptor, then pierced the sonof Pritha with seven keen arrows. Yudhishthira, in return, excited withwrath, pierced the preceptor with five arrows. Deeply pierced by the sonof Pandu, the mighty bowman (Drona), licking the corners of his mouth fora moment, cut off both the standard and the bow of Yudhishthira. Withgreat speed, at a time when speed was of the utmost consequence, thatbest of kings, whose bow had been cut off, took up another bow that wassufficiently tough and hard. The son of Pandu then pierced Drona with hissteeds, driver, standard, and car, with a thousand arrows. All thisseemed exceedingly wonderful. Afflicted with the strokes of those arrowsand feeling great pain, Drona, that bull among Brahmanas, sat down for awhile on the terrace of his car. Recovering his senses, sighing like asnake, and filled with great rage, the preceptor invoked into existencethe Vayavya weapon. The valiant son of Pritha, bow in hand, fearlesslybaffled that weapon with a similar weapon of his in that encounter. Andthe son of Pandu also cut in two fragments the large bow of the Brahmana.Then Drona, that grinder of Kshatriyas, took up another bow. That bull ofKuru’s race, Yudhishthira, cut off that bow also, with many keen shafts.Then Vasudeva, addressing Yudhishthira. the son of Kunti, said, ‘Listen,O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, to what I say. Cease, O best of theBharatas, to fight with Drona. Drona always striveth to seize thee inbattle. I do not think it fit that thou shouldst fight with him. He whohath been created for Drona’s destruction will, without doubt, slay him.Leaving the preceptor, go where king Suyodhana is. Kings should fightwith kings, they should not desire to fight with such as are not kings.Surrounded, therefore, by elephants and steeds and cars, repair thouthither, O son of Kunti, where Dhananjaya with myself, aided by a smallforce, and Bhima also, that tiger among men, are fighting with theKurus’. Hearing these words of Vasudeva, king Yudhishthira the just,reflecting for a moment, proceeded to that part of the field where thatslayer of foes, viz., Bhima, engaged in fierce battle, was slaughteringthy troops like the Destroyer himself with wide-open mouth. Making theearth resound with the loud rattle of his car, which resembled the roarof the clouds at the end of summer, king Yudhishthira the just, the(eldest) son of Pandu, took up the flank of Bhima, engaged in theslaughter of the foe. Drona also on that night, began to consume hisfoes, the Panchalas'”



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