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Chapter 16

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding that army of thine exceedingly broken, thevaliant Vrishasena, single-handed, began to protect it, O king,displaying the illusion of his weapons. Shot by Vrishasena in thatbattle, thousands of arrows coursed in all directions, piercing throughmen and steeds and cars and elephants. Mighty arrows, of blazingeffulgence, shot by him, coursed in thousands, like the rays, O monarch,of the sun, in the summer season. Afflicted and crushed therewith, Oking, car-warriors and horse-men, suddenly fell down on the earth, liketrees broken by the wind. The mighty car-warrior Vrishasena, O king,felled large bodies of steeds, of cars and of elephants, in that battle,by thousands. Beholding that single warrior coursing fearlessly on thefield, all the kings (of the Pandava army) uniting together, surroundedhim on all sides. Nakula’s son, Satanika, rushed at Vrishasena andpierced him with ten arrows capable of penetrating into the vitals. Theson of Karna, however, cutting off his bow, felled then his standard.Thereupon, the other sons of Draupadi, desirous of rescuing that brotherof theirs, rushed at him. And soon they made Karna’s son invisible bymeans of their arrowy showers. Against them thus smiting (the son ofKarna), many car-warriors headed by Drona’s son (Aswatthama) rushed. Andthose, O monarch, quickly covered those mighty car-warriors, viz., thesons of Draupadi, with diverse kinds of arrows like clouds pouring rainon mountain breasts. Thereupon, the Pandavas, from affection for theirsons, quickly encountered those assailants. The battle then that tookplace between thy troops and those of the Pandavas, was exceedinglyfierce and made the hairs stand on their ends, resembling as it did thatbetween the Gods and the Danavas. Even thus did the heroic Kauravas andthe Pandavas, excited with rage, fight, eyeing one another (furiously)and having incurred one another’s animosity for past offences. The bodiesof those heroes of immeasurable energy then seemed, in consequence of(the) wrath (that inspired them), to resemble those of Garuda and(mighty) Nagas battling in the sky. And with Bhima and Karna and Kripaand Drona and Drona’s son and Prishata’s son and Satyaki, the field ofbattle looked resplendent like the all-destructive sun that rises at theend of the Yuga. The battle that took place between those mighty menengaged with mighty antagonists and all smiting one another was fierce inthe extreme, resembling that (of yore) between the Danavas and the gods.Then Yudhishthira’s host, uttering a shout, loud as that of the surgingsea, began to slaughter thy troops, the great car-warriors of thy armyhaving fled away. Beholding the (Kaurava) host broken and excessivelymangled by the foe, Drona said, ‘Ye heroes, ye need not fly away.’ Thenhe (Drona) owning red steeds, excited with wrath and resembling a(fierce) elephant with four tusks, penetrated into the Pandava host andrushed against Yudhishthira. Then Yudhishthira pierced the preceptor withmany whetted arrows equipped with Kanka feathers; Drona, however, cuttingoff Yudhishthira’s bow, rushed impetuously at him. Then the protector ofYudhishthira’s car-wheels, Kumara, the renowned prince of the Panchalas,received the advancing Drona, like the continent receiving the surgingsea. Beholding Drona, that bull among Brahmanas, held in check by Kumara,loud leonine shouts were heard there with cries of ‘Excellent,Excellent!’ Kumara then, in that great battle, excited with rage, piercedDrona with an arrow in the chest and uttered many leonine shouts. Havingchecked Drona in battle, the mighty Kumara, endued with great lightnessof hand, and above all fatigue, pierced him with many thousands ofarrows. Then that bull among men (Drona) slew that protector ofYudhishthira’s car-wheels, Kumara, that hero observant of virtuous vowsand accomplished in both mantras and weapons. And then penetrating intothe midst of the (Pandava) host and careering in all directions, thatbull among men, Bharadwaja’s son, became the protector of thy troops. Andpiercing Sikhandin with twelve arrows, and Uttamaujas with twenty, andNakula with five, and Sahadeva with seven, and Yudhishthira with twelve,and each of the (five) sons of Draupadi with three, and Satyaki withfive, and the ruler of Matsyas with ten arrows, and agitating the entirehost in that battle, he rushed against one after another of the foremostwarriors (of the Pandavas). And then he advanced against Kunti’s son,Yudhisthira, from a desire of seizing him. Then Yugandhara, O king,checked Bharadwaja’s son, that mighty car-warrior, filled with rage andresembling the very ocean lashed into fury by the tempest. Bharadwaja’sson, however, having pierced Yudhishthira with many straight arrows,felled Yugandhara with a broad-headed shaft from his niche in the car.Then, Virata and Drupada, and the Kaikeya princes, and Satyaki, and Sivi,and Vyaghradatta, the prince n the Panchalas, and the valiant Singhasena,these, and many others, desirous of rescuing Yudhishthira, surroundedDrona on all sides and impeded his way, scattering countless arrows.Vyaghradatta, the prince of the Panchalas, pierced Drona with fiftykeen-pointed arrows, at which, O king, the troops uttered loud shouts.Then Singhasena also, quickly piercing that mighty car-warrior, Drona,roared aloud in joy, striking terror into the hearts of mightycar-warriors; Drona then expanding his eyes and rubbing his bowstring andproducing loud sound of slaps by his palms, rushed against the latter.Then the mighty son of Bharadwaja, putting forth his prowess, cut offwith a couple of broad-headed arrows the heads decked with earrings fromthe trunks of both Singhasena and Vyaghradatta. And afflicting also, withhis arrowy showers, the other mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas, hestood in front of Yudhishthira’s car, like all-destroying Death himself.Then, O king, loud cries were heard among the warriors of Yudhishthira’sarmy to the effect, ‘The king is slain,’ when Bharadwaja’s son, ofregulated vows, thus, stood in his vicinity. And the warriors there allexclaimed, beholding Drona’s prowess, ‘Today the royal son ofDhritarashtra will be crowned with success. This very moment Drona havingseized Yudhishthira, will, filled, with joy, assuredly come to us andDuryodhana’s presence. While thy soldiers were indulging in such talks,Kunti’s son (Arjuna) quickly came there, filling (the welkin) with therattle of his car, and creating, as he came, owing to the carnage hecaused, a river whose waters were blood, and whose eddies were cars, andwhich abounded with the bones and bodies of brave warriors and which borecreatures away to where the spirits of the departed dwell. And the son ofPandu came there, routing the Kurus, and quickly crossing that riverwhose froth was constituted by showers of arrows and which abounded withfish in the form of lances and other weapons. And the diadem-decked(Arjuna) suddenly came upon Drona’s divisions, covering it with a thicknet-work of arrows and confounding the very sense (of those that followedDrona). Incessantly placing his arrows on the bow-string and quicklyshooting them, none could notice any lapse of time between these two actsof the renowned son of Kunti. Neither (four cardinal) directions, nor thefirmament above, nor the earth, O king, could any longer bedistinguished, for everything then became one dense mass of arrows.Indeed, O king, when the wielder of Gandiva caused that thick darkness bymeans of his arrows, nothing could be seen in that battle. Just then thesun also set, enveloped with a dusty cloud. Neither friend nor foe couldany longer be distinguished. Then Drona and Duryodhana and others causedthe withdrawal of their troops. And ascertaining the foe to be inspiredwith fear and unwilling to continue the fight, Vibhatsu also slowlycaused his troops to be withdrawn. Then the Pandavas and the Srinjayasand the Panchalas, filled with joy, praised Partha with delightfulspeeches like the Rishis praising the Sun. Having vanquished his foesthus, Dhananjaya then, filled with joy, retired to his tent, proceedingin the rear of the whole army, with Kesava as his companion. Andstationed on his beautiful car decked with the costliest specimens ofsapphires and rubies and gold and silver and diamonds and corals andcrystals, the son of Pandu looked resplendent like the moon in thefirmament bespangled with stars.'”

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