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Chapter 175

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Alayudha of terrible deeds come to battle, allthe Kauravas became filled with delight. Similarly, thy sons havingDuryodhana for their head, (were filled with delight) like raftless mendesirous of crossing the ocean when they meet with a raft. Indeed, theIcings in the Kuru army then regarded themselves as persons reborn afterdeath.[236] They all offered a respectful welcome to Alayudha, During theprogress of that terrible and superhuman battle between Karna and theRakshasa at night,–a battle which though fierce was yet delightful tobehold,–the Panchalas, with all the other Kshatriyas, smilingly lookedon as spectators. Meanwhile, thy soldiers, O king, though protected (bytheir leaders) all over the field and Drona and Drona’s son and Kripa andothers, uttered loud wails, saying, ‘All is lost!’ Indeed, beholdingthose feats of Hidimva’s son on the field of battle, all thy warriorswere agitated with fear, and uttering cries of woe became almost deprivedof their senses. Thy troops, O king, became hopeless of Karna’s life.Then Duryodhana, beholding Karna fallen into great distress, summonedAlayudha and said unto him, ‘Yonder Vikartana’s son, Karna, is engagedwith the son of Hidimva, and is accomplishing such feats in battle as areworthy of his might and prowess. Behold those brave kings slain by theson of Bhimasena, struck with diverse kinds of weapons (and lying on thefield) like trees broken by an elephant. Amongst all my royal warriors,let this be thy share in battle, allotted by me, with thy permission, Ohero, displaying thy prowess, slay thou this Rakshasa. O crusher of foes,see that this wretch viz., Ghatotkacha, may not, relying on his powers ofillusion, slay Karna, the son of Vikarana, before thou finishest him.’Thus addressed by the king, that Rakshasa of fierce prowess and mightyarms, saying, ‘So be it,’ rushed against Ghatotkacha. Then Bhimasena’sson, O lord, abandoning Karna, began to grind his advancing foe witharrows. The battle that took place then between those angry Rakshasaprinces, resembled that between two infuriated elephants in the forest,fighting for the sake of the same she-elephant in her season. Freed thenfrom the Rakshasa, Karna, that foremost of car-warriors, rushed againstBhimasena, riding on his car of solar effulgence. Beholding Ghatotkachaengaged with Alayudha in battle and afflicted like the leader of a bovineherd when engaged with a lion, Bhima, that foremost of smiters,disregarding the advancing Karna, rushed towards Alayudha, riding on hiscar of solar effulgence and scattering clouds of shafts. Seeing Bhimaadvance, Alayudha, O lord, abandoning Ghatotkacha, proceeded againstBhima himself. Then Bhima, that exterminator of Rakshasas, impetuouslyrushed towards him, O lord, and covered that prince of the Rakshasas withshafts. Similarly, Alayudha, that chastiser of foes, repeatedly coveredthe son of Kunti with straight shafts whetted on stone. All the otherRakshasas also, of terrible forms and armed with diverse weaponssolicitous for the victory of thy sons, rushed against Bhimasena. Themighty Bhimasena, thus assailed by them, pierced each of them with fivewhetted shafts. Then those Rakshasas of wicked understanding, thusreceived by Bhimasena, uttered loud wails and fled away on all sides. Themighty Rakshasa, beholding his followers frightened by Bhima, rushedimpetuously against Bhima and covered him with shafts. Then Bhimasena, inthat battle, weakened his foe by means of many keen-pointed arrows.Amongst those arrows sped at him by Bhima, Alayudha speedily cut off someand seized others in that battle. Then Bhima of terrible prowess, lookingsteadily at that prince of the Rakshasas, hurled at him with great forcea mace endued with the impetuosity of thunder. That mace, coursed towardshim like a flame of fire, and the cannibal struck it with a mace of hisown, where-upon the latter (baffling the former) proceeded towards Bhima.Then, the son of Kunti covered that prince of Rakshasas, with showers ofshafts. The Rakshasa, with his own keen shafts, baffled all those shaftsof Bhima. Then all those Rakshasa warriors, of terrible forms, rallyingand returning to battle, at the command of their leader, began to slaythe elephants (of Bhima’s force). The Panchalas and the Srinjayas, thesteeds and huge elephants (of Bhima’s army), exceedingly afflicted by theRakshasas, became much agitated. Beholding that terrible battle (foughtbetween Bhima and the Rakshasa), Vasudeva, that foremost of menaddressing Dhananjaya, said these words, ‘Behold, the mighty-armed Bhimais succumbing to that prince of Rakshasas. Quickly proceed in Bhima’swake, without thinking of anything else, O son of Pandu. Meanwhile, letDhrishtadyumna and Sikhandin, and Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas, these mightycar-warriors, uniting with the son of Draupadi, proceed against Karna.Let Nakula and Sahadeva and the valiant Yuyudhana, O son of Pandu, at thycommand, slay the other Rakshasas! As regards thyself, O mighty armedone, do thou resist this division having Drona at its head. O thou ofmighty arms, great is the danger that threatens us now.’ After Krishnahad said so, those foremost of car-warriors, as commanded, proceededagainst Karna, the son of Vikartana, and against the other Rakshasas(fighting for the Kurus). Then with some shafts resembling snakes ofvirulent poison and sped from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, thevaliant prince of the Rakshasas cut off Bhima’s bow. The mighty cannibalnext, in the very sight of Bhima, O Bharata, slew the latter’s steeds anddriver with some whetted shafts. Steedless and driverless, Bhima,descending from the terrace of his car, uttered a loud roar and hurled aheavy mace at his foe. That heavy mace, as it coursed impetuously towardshim with a terrible sound, the mighty cannibal baffled with a mace of hisown. The latter then uttered a loud roar. Beholding that mighty andterrible feat of that prince of Rakshasas, Bhimasena filled with joy,seized another fierce mace. The battle then that took place between thathuman warrior and that Rakshasa, became dreadful. With the clash of theirdescending maces, the earth trembled violently. Casting aside theirmaces, they once more encountered each other. They struck each other withtheir clenched fists, failing with the sound of thunder. Excited withrage, they encountered each other with car-wheels, and yokes, and Akshasand Adhishthanas, and Upaskaras, in fact, with anything that came intheir way. Encountering each other thus and both covered with blood, theylooked like a couple of infuriated elephants of gigantic size. Then,Hrishikesa, ever devoted to the good of the Pandavas, beholding thatcombat, despatched Hidimva’s son for protecting Bhimasena.'”

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