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Chapter 163

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Bhuri, O king, in that battle, resisted that foremost ofcar-warriors, viz., the grandson of Sini, who advanced like an elephanttowards a lake full of water. The Satyaki, excited with wrath, piercedhis foe in chest with five keen shafts. At this, the latter’s blood beganto flow. The Kuru warrior in that encounter similarly pierced with greatspeed the grandson of Sini, that hero difficult of defeat in battle, withten shafts in the chest. Those warriors, drawing their bows to theirfullest stretch, and with eyes red in wrath, began, O king, to mangleeach other in that combat. The arrowy downpours of those two warriors,both, excited with rage and resembling Death himself or the sunscattering his rays, were exceedingly terrible. Shrouding each other withshafts, each stayed before the other in that battle. For a short whilethat battle proceeded equally. Then, O king, the grandson of Sini,excited with rage and smiling the while, cut off the bow of theillustrious Kuru warrior in that battle. Having cut off his bow, Satyakiquickly pierced him in the chest with nine keen arrows and addressinghim, said, ‘Wait! Wait!’ That scorcher of foes deeply pierced his mightyfoe, quickly took up another bow and pierced the Satwata warrior inreturn. Having pierced the Satwata hero with three shafts, O monarch,Bhuri, then, smiling the while, cut off his foe’s bow with a sharp andbroad-headed shaft. His bow being cut off, Satyaki, O king, maddened withrage, hurled an impetuous dart at the broad chest of Bhuri. Pierced withthat dart, Bhuri fell down from his excellent car, covered with blood,like the sun dropping down from the firmament. Beholding him thus slain,the mighty car-warrior Aswatthaman, O Bharata, rushed impetuously againstgrandson of Sini. Having addressed Satyaki, O king, saying, ‘Wait, Wait,’he shrouded him with showers of shafts, like the clouds pouring torrentsof rain on the crest of Merit. Beholding him rushing towards the car ofSini’s grandson, the mighty car-warrior Ghatotkacha, O king, uttering aloud roar, addressed saying, Wait, Wait, O son of Drona! Thou shalt notescape from me with life. I will presently slay thee like the six-faced(Karttikeya) slaying (the Asura) Mahisha. I shall today, on the field,purge thy heart of all desire of battle.’ Having said these words, thatslayer of hostile heroes, viz., the Rakshasa (Ghatotkacha), with eyes redlike copper in wrath, rushed furiously against the son of Drona, like alion rushing against a prince of elephants. And Ghatotkacha sped at hisfoe shafts of the measure of the Aksha of a car, and covered that bullamong car-warriors therewith, like clouds pouring torrents of rain. Withhis own shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison, Drona’s son,however, in that battle, quickly dispelled that arrowy shower before itcould reach him. He then pierced that chastiser of foes, viz.,Ghatotkacha, that prince of the Rakshasas, with hundreds of keen andswift-coursing arrows, all capable of penetrating into the very vitals.Thus pierced with those shafts by Aswatthaman, that Rakshasas, on thefield of battle, looked beautiful, O monarch, like a porcupine withquills erect on its body. Then the valiant son of Bhimasena, filled withrage, mangled the son of Drona with many fierce arrows, whizzing throughthe air with the roar of thunder. And he rained on Aswatthaman a perfectshower of arrows of diverse kinds; some, equipped with heads like razors;some, shaped as the crescent; some, only pointed; some, frog-faced; some,with heads resembling the boar’s ear; some, barbed; and some of otherspecies.[221] Like the wind dispersing mighty masses of clouds, Drona’sson, O king, without his senses being agitated, destroyed with his ownterrible arrows, inspired by mantras with the force of celestial weapons,that fierce, unbearable and unrivalled shower of weapons, whose soundresembled the roar of thunder, and which fell incessantly upon him. Itseemed then that another encounter was taking place in the welkin betweenweapons (as the combatants), which was terrible, and which, O king,filled the warriors with awe. With the sparks all around, generated bythe clash of the weapons, shot by those two warriors, the welkin lookedbeautiful as illumined by myriads of fire-flies in the evening. Drona’sson then, filling all the points of the compass with his shafts, shroudedthe Rakshasa himself, for doing what was agreeable to thy sons. Thencommenced a battle once more between Drona’s son and the Rakshasa on thatnight of thick darkness, which resembled the encounter between Sakra andPrahlada. Then Ghatotkacha, filled with rage, struck Drona’s son, in thatbattle, on the chest with ten shafts, each resembling the Yuga-fire,Deeply pierced the Rakshasa, the mighty son of Drona began to tremble inthat battle like a tall tree shaken by the wind. Supporting himself byholding the flagstaff, he swooned away. Then all thy troops, O king,uttered cries of Oh and Alas. Indeed, O monarch, all thy warriors thenregarded Drona’s son as slain. Beholding Aswatthaman in that plight, thePanchalas and the Srinjayas in that battle uttered leonine roars. Thenthat crusher of foes, viz., the mighty car-warrior Aswatthaman,recovering his senses, forcibly drawing the bow with his left hand,stretching the bowstring to his ear, quickly shot a terrible shaftresembling the rod of Yama himself, aiming at Ghatotkacha. That excellentshafts, fierce and equipped with golden wings, piercing through the chestof the Rakshasa, entered the earth, O king. Deeply pierced, O monarch, byDrona’s son who was proud of his prowess in battle, that prince ofRakshasas, endued with great strength, sat down on the terrace of hiscar. Beholding Hidimva’s son deprived of his senses, his charioteer,inspired with fear, speedily removed him from the field, bearing him awayfrom the presence of Drona’s son. Having pierced that prince ofRakshasas, viz., Ghatotkacha, in that encounter thus, Drona’s son, thatmighty car-warrior, uttered a loud roar. Worshipped by thy sons as alsoby all thy warriors, O Bharata, Aswatthaman’s body blazed up like themidday sun.

“As regards Bhimasena who was battling in from of Drona’s cal kingDuryodhana himself pierced him with many whetted shafts. Bhimasena,however, O Bharata, pierced him in return with nine arrows. Duryodhana,then, pierced Bhimasena with twenty arrows. Covered with each other’sarrows on the field of battle, those two warriors looked like the sun andthe moon covered with clouds in the firmament. Then king Duryodhana, Ochief of Bharatas, pierced Bhima with five winged arrows and said, ‘Wait!Wait!’ Bhima then, cutting off his bow as also his standard with keenshafts, pierced the Kuru king himself with ninety straight arrows. Then,Duryodhana filled with rage, taking up a more formidable bow, O chief ofthe Bharatas, afflicted Bhimasena, at the van of battle, with manywhetted shafts, in the very sight of all the bowmen. Baffling thoseshafts shot from Duryodhana’s bow, Bhima pierced the Kuru king with fiveand twenty short arrows. Duryodhana then, O sire, excited with wrath, cutoff Bhimasena’s bow with a razor-faced arrow and pierced Bhima himselfwith ten shafts in return. Then the mighty Bhimasena, taking up anotherbow, quickly pierced the king with seven keen shafts. Displaying greatlightness of hand, Duryodhana cut off even that bow of Bhima. The second,the third, the fourth, and the fifth, bow that Bhima took up weresimilarly cut off. Indeed, O king, thy son, proud of his prowess anddesirous of victory, cut off Bhima’s bow as soon as the latter took upone. Seeing his bows repeatedly cut off, Bhima then hurled, in thatbattle, a dart made wholly of iron and hard as the thunder. That dartblazing as a flame of fire, resembled the sister of Death. The Kuru king,however, in the very sight of all the warriors and before the eyes ofBhima himself, cut in three fragments that dart, which coursed towardshim through the welkin with the splendour of fire and dividing it, as itwere by a straight line such as is visible on the head of a woman partingher tresses. Then Bhima, O king, whirling his heavy and blazing mace,hurled it with great force at the car of Duryodhana. That heavy macespeedily crushed the steeds, the driver, and the car also, of thy son inthat encounter. Thy son, then, O monarch, afraid of Bhima and shrinkingwithin the narrowest compass, ascended another car, viz., that of theillustrious Nandaka. Then Bhima, regarding Suyodhana to have been slainamid the darkness of that night, uttered a loud leonine roar challengingthe Kauravas. Thy warriors regarded the king to be slain. All of themuttered loud cries of Oh and Alas. Hearing the wails of the affrightedwarriors and the roars of the high souled Bhima, O king, kingYudhishthira also regarded Suyodhana to have been slain. And the eldestson of Pandu, thereupon, rushed quickly to the spot where Vrikodara, theson of Pritha, was. And the Panchalas, the Srinjayas, the Matsyas, theKaikeyas, and the Chedis, speedily advanced, with all their might againstDrona from desire of slaying him. There also occurred a dreadful battlebetween Drona and the enemy. And the combatants of both sides wereenveloped in thick gloom and struck and slew one another’.”

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