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Chapter 168

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘In that fierce and terrible battle, Dhrishtadyumna, Oking, proceeded against Drona. Holding his formidable bow and repeatedlystretching his bowstring, the Panchala prince rushed towards Drona’s cardecked with gold. And as Dhrishtadyumna proceeded for accomplishing thedestruction of Drona, the Panchalas and the Pandavas, O king, surroundedhim. Beholding Drona, that foremost of preceptors, thus assailed, thyson, resolutely contending in battle, protected Drona on all sides. Thenthose two oceans of troops encountered each other on that night, lookedlike two terrible oceans lashed into fury by tempest, with all livingcreatures within them exceedingly agitated. Then the prince of thePanchalas, O king, quickly pierced Drona in the chest with five arrowsand uttered a leonine roar. Drona, however, O Bharata, piercing his foein return with five and twenty arrows in that battle, cut off, withanother broad-headed arrow, his bright bow. Forcibly pierced by Drona, Obull of Bharata’s race, Dhrishtadyumna, quickly casting aside his bow,bit his (nether) lip in rage. Indeed, O monarch, the valiantDhrishtadyumna, excited with wrath, took up another formidable bow foraccomplishing the destruction of Drona. That slayer of hostile heroes,that warrior endued with great beauty, stretching that formidable bow tohis ear, shot a terrible shaft capable of taking Drona’s life. Thatshaft, thus sped by the mighty prince in that fierce and dreadful battle,illumined the whole army like the risen sun. Beholding that terribleshaft, the gods, the Gandharvas, and the Danavas. said these words, Oking, viz., ‘Prosperity to Drona!’ Karna, however, O king, displayinggreat lightness of hand cut off into dozen fragments that shaft as itcoursed towards the preceptor’s car. Thus cut off into many fragments, Oking, that shaft of Dhrishtadyumna, O sire, quickly fell down on theearth like a snake without poison. Having cut off with his own straightshafts those of Dhrishtadyumna in that battle, Karna then piercedDhrishtadyumna himself with many sharp arrows. And Drona’s son piercedhim with five, and Drona himself with five, and Salya pierced him withnine, and Duhsasana with three. And Duryodhana pierced him with twentyarrows and Sakuni with five. Indeed, all those mighty car-warriorsquickly pierced the prince of the Panchalas. Thus was he pierced by theseseven heroes in that battle exerting themselves for the rescue of Drona.The prince of the Panchalas, however, pierced every one of these heroeswith three arrows. Indeed, O king, Dhrishtadyumna, in that dreadfulbattle, quickly pierced Drona himself, and Karna, and Drona’s son, andthy son. Thus pierced by that bowman, those warriors, fighting together,pierced Dhrishtadyumna again in that encounter, uttering loud roars thewhile. Then Drumasena, excited with wrath, O king, pierced the Panchalaprince with a winged arrow, and once again quickly with three otherarrows. And addressing the prince, he said, ‘Wait! Wait!’ Dhrishtadyumnathen pierced Drumasena in return with three straight arrows, in theencounter, which were equipped with wings of gold, steeped in oil, andcapable of taking the life of him at whom they are sped. With anotherbroad-headed shaft, the prince of the Panchalas then, in that battle, cutoff from Drumasena’s trunk the latter’s head decked with bright ear-ringsof gold. That head, with (the lower) lip bit (in rage), fell on theground like a ripe palmyra fruit separated from the stalk by the actionof a strong wind. Once again, piercing all those warriors with keenshafts, that hero, with some broad-headed shafts, cut off the bow ofRadha’s son, that warrior conversant with all modes of warfare. Karnacould not book that cutting off of his bow, like a fierce lion incapableof brooking the cutting off of his tail. Taking up another bow, Karna,with eyes red in rage, and breathing hard, covered mighty Dhrishtadyumnawith clouds of arrows. Beholding Karna excited with rage, those heroes,viz., those six bulls among car-warriors, quickly encompassed the princeof the Panchalas from desire of slaying him. Seeing the latter in frontof those six foremost warriors of thy side, all thy troops, O lord,regarded him to be already within the jaws of the Destroyer. Meanwhile,Satyaki, of the Dasarha race, scattering his shafts as he proceeded,reached the spot where, the valiant Dhrishtadyumna was battling.Beholding that invincible warrior of the Satwata race advancing, Radha’sson pierced him in that battle with ten arrows. Satyaki, then, O king,pierced Karna with ten shafts in the very sight of all those heroes, andaddressing him, said, ‘Do not fly away but stay before me.’ The encounterthen, that took place between mighty Satyaki and the industrious Karna,resembled, O king, that between Vali and Vasava (in the days of yore).That bull among Kshatriyas, viz., Satyaki, terrifying all the Kshatriyaswith the rattle of his car, pierced the lotus-eyed Karna in return (withmany arrows). Making the earth tremble with the twang of his bow, themighty son of the Suta, O monarch, contended with Satyaki. Indeed, Karnapierced the grandson of Sini in return with hundreds of long, and barbed,and pointed, and tall-toothed, and razor-headed arrows and diverse othershafts. Similarly, that foremost one of Vrishni’s race, Yuyudhana, inthat battle, shrouded Karna with his arrows. For a time that battleproceeded equally. Then thy son, O monarch, placing Karna at their head,all pierced Satyaki from every side with keen arrows. Resisting with hisown weapons those of them all and of Karna also, O lord, Satyaki quicklypierced Vrishasena in the centre of the chest. Pierced with that arrow,the valiant Vrishasena, of great splendour, quickly fell down on his car,casting aside his bow. Then Karna, believing that mighty car-warrior,viz., Vrishasena, slain, became scorched with grief on account of thedeath of his son and began to afflict Satyaki with great force. Thusafflicted by Karna, the mighty car-warrior Yuyudhana, with great speed,repeatedly pierced Karna with many shafts. Once more piercing Karna withten arrows, and Vrishasena with five, the Satwata hero cut off theleathern fences and the bows of both sire and son. Then those twowarriors, stringing two other bows, capable of inspiring enemies withterror, began to pierce Yuyudhana from every side with keen shafts.During the progress of that fierce conflict that was so destructive ofheroes the loud twang of Gandiva, O king, was heard over every othersound. Hearing then the rattle of Arjuna’s car as also that twang ofGandiva, the Suta’s son, O king, said these words unto Duryodhana,’Slaughtering our entire army and the foremost of heroic warriors andmany mighty bowmen among the Kauravas, Arjuna is loudly twanging his bow.The rattle also of his car is heard, resembling the roar of the thunder.It’s evident, the son of Pandu is achieving feats worthy of his own selfThis son of Pritha, O monarch, will grind our large host. Many of ourtroops are already breaking. No one stays in battle. Indeed, our army isbeing dispersed like a risen mass of clouds dispersed by the wind.Encountering Arjuna, our host breaks like a boat on the ocean. The loudwails, O king, of the foremost of warriors, O monarch, flying away fromthe field, or falling down in consequence of the arrows sped fromGandiva, are being heard. Hear, O tiger among car-warriors, the sound ofdrums and cymbals near Arjuna’s car at dead of night, resembling the deeproll of thunder in the welkin. Hear also the loud wails (of afflictedcombatants) and the tremendous leonine shouts, and diverse other noisesin the vicinity of Arjuna’s car. Here, however, this Satyaki, thisforemost one of the Satwata race, stayeth amid us. If this object of ouraim can be struck down, we can then vanquish all our foes. Similarly, theson of the Panchala king is engaged with Drona. He is encompassed on allsides by many heroic and foremost of car-warriors. If we can slay Satyakiand Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Prishata without doubt, O king, victorywill be ours. Surrounding these two heroes, these two mightycar-warriors, as we did the son of Subhadra we will strive, O king, toslay them, viz., this son of Vrishni’s race and this son of Prishata.Savyasachin, O Bharata, is before us, coming towards this division ofDrona, knowing that Satyaki is engaged here with many chief among theKurus. Let a large number of our foremost of car-warriors proceedthither, so that Partha may not be able to come to the rescue of Satyaki,now encompassed by many. Let these great heroes speedily shoot clouds ofshafts with great force, so that Satyaki of Madhu’s race may by speedilydespatched to Yama’s abode.’ Ascertaining this to be the opinion ofKarna, thy son, addressing Suvala’s son in the battle, like theillustrious Indra addressing Vishnu, said these words, Surrounded by tenthousand unretreating elephants and ten thousand cars also, proceedagainst Dhananjaya! Duhsasana and Durvishaha and Suvahu andDushpradharshana–these will follow thee, surrounded by a large number offoot-soldiers. O uncle, slay those great bowmen, viz., the two Krishnas,and Yudhishtira, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Bhima, the son of Pandu Myhope of victory resteth on thee, like that of the gods on their chiefIndra. O uncle, slay the son of Kunti, like (Kartikeya) slaying theAsuras.’ Thus addressed and urged by thy son, Sakuni, clad in mail,proceeded against the Parthas, accompanied by a large force as also bythy sons, in order to consume the sons of Pandu. Then commenced a greatbattle between the warriors of thy army and the foe. When Suvala’s son, Oking, (thus) proceeded against the Pandavas, the Suta’s son, accompaniedby a large force, quickly advanced against Satyaki, shooting manyhundreds of shafts. Indeed, thy warriors, combining together, encompassedSatyaki. Then Bharadwaja’s son, proceeding against the car ofDhrishtadyumna, fought a wonderful and fierce battle at dead of night, Obull of Bharata’s race, with the brave Dhrishtadyumna and the Panchalas.'”

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