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Chapter 172

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding the mighty-armed Ghatotkacha, O king,proceeding towards the car of Suta’s son, Karna for slaughtering him inbattle, thy son Duryodhana addressing Duhsasana, said these words, ‘TheRakshasa, seeing the prowess of Karna in battle, is speedily advancingagainst him. Resist that mighty car-warrior. Surrounded by a mighty forceproceed to that spot where the mighty Karna, the son of Vikartana, iscontending with the Rakshasa in battle. O giver of honours, surrounded bytroops and exerting thyself vigorously, protect Karna in battle. Let notthe terrible Rakshasa slay Karna in consequence of our carelessness.Meanwhile, O king, Jatasura’s mighty son, that foremost of smiters,approaching Duryodhana, said unto him, ‘O Duryodhana, commanded by thee,I desire to slay, with their followers, thy foes of celebrity, viz., thePandavas, those warriors incapable of being easily defeated in battle. Myfather was mighty Jatasura, that foremost of Rakshasa. Formerly, havingperformed some Rakshasa slaying incantations, the despicable sons ofPritha slew him. I desire to worship my dead sire by offering him theblood of his foes, and their flesh, O monarch! it behoveth thee to grantme permission.’ The king, thus addressed, became exceedingly delightedand said unto him repeatedly, ‘Aided by Drona and Karna and others, I amquite competent to vanquish my foes. Commanded, however, by me, ORakshasa, go thou to battle and slay Ghatotkacha in the fight–thatRakshasa of fierce deeds, born of man, ever devoted to the welfare of thePandavas, and always slaying our elephants and steeds and car-warriors inbattle, himself all the while staying in the welkin, O, despatch him toYama’s abode.’ Saying, ‘so be it,’ and summoning Ghatotkacha to thefight, Jatasura’s son shrouded the son of Bhimasena with diverse kinds ofweapons. The son of Hidimva, however, alone and unsupported began, togrind Alamvusha and Karna and the vast Kuru host, like the tempestcrushing a mass of clouds. Seeing then the power of (Ghatotkacha’s)illusion, the Rakshasa Alamvusha covered Ghatotkacha with showers ofdiverse kinds of arrows. Having pierced Bhimasena’s son with many shafts,Alamvusha, without losing any time, began to afflict the Pandava hostwith his arrows. Thus afflicted by him, O Bharata, the Pandava troops, atdead of night, broke and fled away like clouds dispersed by a tempest.Similarly, thy host also, mingled with the shafts of Ghatotkacha, fledaway at dead of night, O king, in thousands, throwing down their torches.Alamvusha then, excited with great wrath, struck Bhimasena’s son in thatdreadful battle with many shafts, like a driver striking an elephant.Then Ghatotkacha cut off into minute fragments the car, the driver, andall the weapons of his foe and laughed frightfully. Then, like the cloudspouring torrents of rain on the mountains of Meru, Ghatotkacha pouredshowers of arrows on Karna, Alamvusha and all the Kurus. Afflicted by theRakshasa, the Kuru host became exceedingly agitated. The four kinds offorces, of which thy army consisted, began to press and crush oneanother. Then Jatasura’s son, carless and driverless, wrathfully struckGhatotkacha, in that battle, with his fists. Thus struck, Ghatotkachatrembled like a mountain with its trees and creepers and grass at thetime of an earthquake. Then Bhimasena’s son, mad with rage, raising hisown foe-slaying arm that resembled a spiked mace, dealt a severe blow onJatasura’s son. Crushing him then in rage, Hidimva’s son quickly threwhim down, and seizing him with his two arms he began to press him withgreat force upon the earth. Then Jatasura’s son freeing himself fromGhatotkacha, rose up and assailed Ghatotkacha with great impetuosity.Alamvusha also, dragging and throwing down the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, inthat battle, began to crush him in rage on the surface of the earth. Thebattle then that took place between those two roaring and giganticwarriors, viz., Ghatotkacha and Alamvusha, became exceedingly fierce andmade the hair stand on end. Endeavouring to prevail over each other bymeans of their powers of illusion, those two proud warriors, endued withgreat energy, fought with each other like Indra and Virochana’s son.Becoming fire and ocean, and, once more, Garuda and Takshaka, and onceagain, a cloud and a tempest, and then thunder and a large mountain, andonce again, an elephant and then Rahu and the sun, they thus displayed ahundred different kinds of illusion, solicitous of destroying each other.Indeed, Alamvusha and Ghatotkacha fought most wonderfully, striking eachother with spiked clubs and maces and lances and mallets and axes andshort clubs and mountain-cliffs. Riding on horseback or on elephants, onfoot or on car, those foremost of Rakshasas, both endued with largepowers of illusion, fought with each other in battle. Then Ghatotkacha, Oking, desiring to slay Alamvusha, roared aloft in rage and then alightedwith great quickness like a hawk. Seizing then that gigantic prince ofRakshasas, viz., Alamvusha, who thus struggled with him, he pressed himdown on the earth, like Vishnu slaying (the Asura) Maya in battle. Takinga scimitar of wonderful appearance, Ghatotkacha, of immeasurable prowess,then cut off from his trunk, O king, his fierce and mighty foe’s terriblehead that was still uttering awful roars. Seizing that blood-dyed head bythe hair, Ghatotkacha quickly proceeded towards Duryodhana’s car.Approaching (the Kuru king), the mighty-armed Rakshasa, smiling thewhile, threw upon Duryodhana’s car that head with frightful face andhair. Uttering then a fierce roar, deep as that of the clouds in theseason of rains, he addressed Duryodhana, O king, and said, ‘This thyally is now slain, he, that is, whose prowess thou hadst beheld! Thoushalt see the slaughter of Karna again, and then thy own. One that isobservant of these three, viz., morality, profit and pleasure, shouldnever see with empty hands a king, a Brahmana, or a woman.[230] Livecheerfully till that time when I slay Karna.’ Having said these words, hethen, O king, proceeded towards Karna, shooting hundreds of keen arrowsupon the head of Karna. The battle then that took place between thathuman warrior and that Rakshasa, was fierce and terrible, O king, andexceedingly wonderful.'”

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Chapter 173
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