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Chapter 169

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Then all those kings of thy army, incapable of beingeasily defeated in battle, angrily proceeded against Yuyudhana’s car,unable to brook (his feats). Mounting on their well-equipped cars, Oking, that were decked with gold and jewels, and accompanied also bycavalry and elephants, they encompassed the Satwata hero. Hemming him onall sides those mighty car-warriors, challenging that hero, uttered loudleonine roars. Those great heroes, desirous of slaying him of Madhu’srace, poured their keen arrows on Satyaki of invincible prowess.Beholding them thus advancing with speed towards him, that slayer ofhostile hosts, viz., the mighty-armed grandson of Sini, took up and shotmany shafts. The heroic and great bowman Satyaki, invincible in battle,cut off many heads with his fierce and straight arrows. And he of Madhu’srace also cut off the trunks of many elephants, the necks of many seeds,and arms decked with Angadas of many warriors, by means of razor-facedarrows. With the fallen yak-tails and white umbrellas, O Bharata, thefield of battle became almost full, and resembled the firmament, O lord,with stars. The wails of the host thus slaughtered in battle, O Bharata,by Yuyudhana, became as loud as those of shrieking ghosts (in hell). Withthat loud uproar the earth became filled, and the night became fiercerand more terrible. Beholding his host, afflicted with Yuyudhana’s arrowsbreaking, and hearing that tremendous uproar at dead of night making thehair stand on end, thy son, that mighty car-warrior, addressing hisdriver, repeatedly said, ‘Urge the steeds to that spot whence this uproarcometh.’ Then king Duryodhana, that firm bowman, above all modes ofwarfare, rushed against Yuyudhana. Madhava pierced Duryodhana with adozen blood-drinking shafts, sped from his bow drawn to its fulleststretch. Thus afflicted with arrows by Yuyudhana first, Duryodhana,excited with rage, pierced the grandson of Sini in return with tenarrows. Meanwhile, the battle that raged between the Panchalas and allthy troops presented an exceedingly wonderful sight. Then the grandson ofSini, excited with rage in that battle, pierced thy son, that mightycar-warrior, with eighty shafts, in the chest. He then, with othershafts, despatched Duryodhana’s steeds to Yama’s abode. And that slayerof foes then quickly felled his antagonist’s driver from the car. Thyson, O monarch, staying on that steedless car, shot many keen arrowstowards Satyaki’s car. The grandson of Sini, however, displaying greatlightness of hand, O king, cut off those fifty shafts sped in that battleby thy son. Then Madhava, with a broad-headed shafts suddenly cut off inthat encounter the formidable bow of thy son in the handle, Deprived ofboth his car and bow, that puissant ruler of men then mounted quicklyupon the bright car of Kritavarman. Upon Duryodhana’s retreat, thegrandson of Sini, O monarch, afflicted and routed thy army at dead ofnight.

“Sakuni, meanwhile, O king, encompassing Arjuna on all sides with manythousands of cars and several thousands of elephants, and many thousandsof steeds, began to fight desperately. Many of them hurled towards Arjunacelestial weapons of great power. Indeed, those Kshatriyas fought withArjuna, incurring the certitude of death. Arjuna, however, excited withrage, checked those thousands of cars and elephants and steeds, andultimately caused those foes to turn back. Then Suvala’s son, with eyesred as copper with rage, deeply pierced Arjuna, that slayer of foes, withtwenty shafts. And once more shooting a hundred shafts, he checked theprogress of Partha’s great car. Then Arjuna, O Bharata, pierced Sakuniwith twenty arrows in that battle. And he pierced each of the greatbowmen with three arrows. Checking all of them with his arrows, O king,Dhananjaya slew those warriors of thy army with excellent shafts, enduedwith the force of thunder.[227] Strewn with lopped off arrows, O monarch,and (dead) bodies by thousands, the earth looked as if covered withflowers. Indeed, strewn with the heads of Kshatriyas, heads that weredecked with diadems and handsome noses and beautiful ear-rings and(nether) lips bit in rage and wide open eyes,–heads that were gracedwith collars and crowned also with gems, and which, while life was inthem, spoke sweet words,–the earth looked resplendent as if strewn withhillocks overspread with Champaka flowers. Having achieved that fiercefeat, and pierced Sakuni once more, struck Uluka with an arrow in thatbattle. Piercing Uluka thus in the sight of his sire, viz., Suvala’s son,Arjuna uttered a loud roar, filling the earth therewith. Then the son ofIndra cut off Sakuni’s bow. And then he despatched his four steeds toYama’s abode. Then Suvala’s son, O bull of Bharata’s race, jumping downfrom his car, quickly ascended the car of Uluka. Then those two mightycar-warriors, viz., sire and son, both riding on the same car, showeredtheir arrows on Partha like two risen clouds pouring torrents of rain ona mountain. The son of Pandu then piercing both those warriors with keenshafts, afflicted and caused thy troops to fly away in hundreds andthousands. Like a mighty mass of clouds dispersed on all sides by thewind, that army of thine, O monarch, was dispersed on all sides. Indeed,that host, O chief of the Bharatas, thus slaughtered on the night, fledaway in all directions, afflicted with fear and in the very sight (oftheir leaders). Many abandoning the animals they rode, other urging theiranimals to their greatest speed, turned back from the battle, inspiredwith fear, during that fierce hour of darkness. Having vanquished thywarriors thus, O bull of Bharata’s race, Vasudeva and Dhananjayacheerfully blew their conchs.

“Dhrishtadyumna, O monarch, piercing Drona with three arrows, quickly cutoff the latter’s bowstring with a sharp arrow. Throwing down that bow onthe earth, heroic Drona, that grinder of Kshatriyas, took up another thatwas exceedingly tough and strong. Piercing Dhrishtadyumna then with fivearrows, Drona pierced his driver also, O bull of Bharata’s race, withfive arrows. Checking Drona with his arrows, the mighty car-warriorDhrishtadyumna began to destroy the Kaurava host, like Maghavatdestroying the Asura army. During the slaughter of thy son’s army, Osire, a terrible river, having blood for its current, began to flow. Andit ran between the two hosts, bearing away men and steeds and elephantsalong its current. And it resembled, O king, the Vaitarani that flows, Olord, towards the domains of Yama. Agitating and routing thy army, thevaliant Dhrishtadyumna, endued with great energy, blazed forth like Sakrain the midst of the celestials. Then Dhrishtadyumna and Sikhandin blewtheir large conchs, as also the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva), andVrikodara, the son of Pandu. Thus those fierce warriors, vanquishedthousands of kings; on thy side that were endued with great energy, atthe sight of thy Son and of Karna and the heroic Drona and Drona’s son, Omonarch!'”

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