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Chapter 170

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding his own army routed while being slaughtered bythose illustrious heroes, thy son, well-acquainted with words, O monarch,quickly repairing unto Karna and Drona, that foremost of all victors inbattle, wrathfully said these words, ‘This battle has been set on foot byyou two in rage, having seen the ruler of the Sindhus slain bySavyasachin. You are beholding with indifference the slaughter of my armyby the forces of the Pandavas, although you two are fully competent tovanquish those forces. If you two now abandon me, you should have, in thebeginning, told me of it, ‘We two shall vanquish the sons of Pandu inbattle.’ Even these were the words, ye givers of honours, that ye thensaid unto me. Hearing these words of yours, I sanctioned theseproceedings. I would never have provoked these hostilities with theParthas,–hostilities that are so destructive of heroic combatants (if yehad told me otherwise). If I do not deserve to be abandoned by you two,ye bulls among men, then fight according to the true measure of yourprowess, ye heroes endued with great prowess.’ Thus pierced by the goadof speech of thy son, those two heroes once more engaged in battle, liketwo snakes vexed with sticks. Then those two foremost of car-warriors,those two bowmen above all bowmen in the world, rushed with speed againstthe Parthas headed by the grandson of Sini and by others. Similarly, theParthas uniting together, and accompanied by all their troops, advancedagainst those two heroes, who were roaring repeatedly. Then the greatbowman, Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, excited withrage, quickly pierced (Satyaki), that bull amongst the Sinis, with tenarrows. And Karna pierced him with ten arrows, and thy son with seven,and Vrishasena pierced him with ten, and Suvala’s son with seven. In thatimpervious wall of Kauravas around the grandson of Sini, these alsostationed themselves, encompassing him. Beholding Drona slaughtering thePandava army in that battle, the Somakas quickly pierced him from everyside with showers of arrows. Then Drona began to take the lives ofKshatriyas, O monarch, like the sun destroying darkness around him by hisrays. We then heard, O monarch, a loud uproar amongst the Panchalas, whocalled upon one another, while they were being slaughtered by Drona. Someabandoning sons, some sires, some brothers, some uncles, some theirsister’s sons, some their relatives and kinsmen, fled away with speed,for saving their own lives. Some, again, deprived of their senses, ranagainst Drona himself. Indeed, many were the combatants of the Pandavaarmy that were then despatched to the other world. Thus afflicted by thatillustrious hero, the Pandava host, that night, O king, fled away,throwing down their blazing torches all around, in the very sight ofBhimasena and Arjuna and Krishna and the twins and Yudhishthira andPrishata’s son. The world being enveloped in darkness, nothing could beseen. In consequence of the light that was amongst the Katirava troops,the flight of the foe could be ascertained. Those mighty car-warriors,viz., Drona and Karna, O king, pursued the flying host, scatteringnumerous shafts. Seeing the Panchalas slaughtered and routed, Janardanabecoming cheerless, said these words unto Phalguna, ‘Dhrishtadyumna andSatyaki, accompanied by the Panchalas, had proceeded against those greatbowmen, viz., Drona and Karna, shooting many shafts. This large host ofours hath been broken and routed (by them) with showers of arrows. Thoughtheir flight is sought to be checked, they are still incapable of beingrallied, O son of Kunti!–Beholding the host fly away, through fear, yePandava warriors, cast away your fears! Accompanied by all the forces andarraying then, in good order, both of us, with uplifted weapons, are evennow proceeding against Drona and the Suta’s son for withstanding them.’Then Janardana beholding Vrikodara advancing, once more addressed Arjuna,the son of Pandu, as if for gladdening him, in these words, ‘YonderBhima, who taketh delight in battle, surrounded by the Somakas and thePandavas, is coming against those mighty car-warriors, viz., Drona andKarna. Supported by him, as also by the many mighty car-warriors amongthe Pandavas, fight now, O son of Pandu, for assuring all yourtroops.'[228] Then those two tigers among men, viz., the son of Pandu andhe of Madhu’s race, approaching Drona and Karna, took up their station atthe head of battle.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Then that vast force of Yudhishthira once morereturned to battle, proceeding to the place where Drona and Karna weregrinding their foes in battle. At dead of night, a fierce encounter tookplace, resembling that of two oceans swelling at moon-rise. Then thewarriors of thy army, throwing away from their hands the blazing lampsheld by them, fought with the Pandavas fearlessly and madly. On thatterrible night when the world was enveloped with gloom and dust, thecombatants fought with one another, guided only by the names theyuttered. The names uttered by the kings contending in battle, were heard,O monarch, there, like what happens, O king, at a Swayamvara orself-choice. Suddenly, a silence overspread the field of battle, andlasted for a moment. Then, again, a loud uproar was heard made by theangry combatants, victors and vanquished. Thither where blazing lampswere seen, O bull of Kuru’s race, thither rushed those heroes likeinsects (towards a blazing fire). And as the Pandavas, O king, and theKauravas, contended with each other in battle, the darkness of nightthickened around them.'”

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