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Chapter 184

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘When three-fourths of that night had worn away, thebattle, O king, once more commenced between the Kurus and the Pandavas.Both sides were elated with joy. Soon after, Aruna, the charioteer ofSurya, weakening the splendour of the moon, appeared, causing the welkinto assume a coppery hue. The east was soon reddened with the red rays ofthe sun that resembled a circular plate of gold. Then all the warriors ofthe Kuru and the Pandava hosts, alighting from cars and steeds andvehicles borne by men, stood, with joined hands, facing the sun, anduttered the prayers of the twilight of dawn. The Kuru army having beendivided into two bodies, Drona, with Duryodhana before him, proceeded(with one of those divisions) against the Somakas, the Pandavas, and thePanchalas. Beholding the Kuru host divided into two bodies, Madhavaaddressed Arjuna and said, ‘Keeping thy foes to thy left, place thisdivision (commanded by Drona) to thy right. Obedient to the counsels ofMadhava in respect of the Kurus, Dhananjaya moved to the left of thosetwo mighty bowmen, viz., Drona, and Karna. Understanding the intentionsof Krishna, that subjugator of hostile cities, viz., Bhimasena,addressing Partha who was then staying at the van of battle, said thesewords.

“Bhimasena said, ‘O Arjuna, O Vibhatsu, listen to these words of mine.The time for that object for which Kshatriya ladies bring forth sons hasnow come. If at such a time thou dost not strive to win prosperity, thoushalt then act meanly like a veritable wretch. Putting forth thy prowess,pay the debt thou owest to Truth, Prosperity, Virtue, and Fame! Oforemost of warriors, pierce this division, and keep these to thy right.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus urged by Bhima and Kesava, Savyasachinprevailing over Drona and Karna, began to resist the foe all round. Manyforemost of Kshatriyas (among the Kurus), putting forth all theirprowess, failed to withstand Arjuna who advanced at the very van of histroops, and who, like a raging conflagration, was consuming the foremostones among his foes. Then Duryodhana and Karna, and Sakuni, the son ofSuvala, covered Kunti’s son, Dhananjaya, with showers of shafts. Bafflingthe weapons of all those warriors, that foremost of all personswell-skilled in weapons, O monarch, covered them (in return) with hisshafts. Aiming at their weapons with his (and thus baffling them all),Arjuna, endued with great lightness of hand and possessing a completecontrol over his senses, pierced every one of those warriors with tenkeen-pointed shafts. The welkin was then covered with dust. Thick showersof arrows fell. Darkness set in, and a loud and terrible uproar arose.When such was the state of things, neither the welkin, nor the earth, northe points of the compass, could any longer be seen. Stupefied by thedust, all the troops became blind. Neither the foe, O king, nor we, coulddistinguish each other. For this reason, the kings began to fight, guidedby conjecture and the names they uttered. Deprived of their cars,car-warriors, O king, encountering one another, lost all order and becamea tangled mass. Their steeds killed and drivers slain, many of them,becoming inactive, preserved their lives and looked exceedinglyaffrighted. Slain steeds with riders deprived of lives were seen to lieon slain elephants as if stretched on mountain-breasts. Then Drona,moving away from that battle towards the north took up his stationthere., and seemed to resemble a smokeless fire. Beholding him move awayfrom the battle towards the north, the Pandava troops, O king, began totremble. Indeed, beholding Drona resplendent and handsome and blazingwith energy, the enemy, inspired with fright became pale and wavered onthe field, O Bharata! While summoning the hostile army to battle, andlooking like an elephant in rut, the enemy became perfectly hopeless ofvanquishing him, like the Danavas hopeless of vanquishing Vasava. Someamong them became perfectly cheerless, and some, endued with energy,became inspired with wrath. And some were filled with wonder, and somebecame incapable of brooking (the challenge). And some of the kingssqueezed their hands, and some deprived of their senses by rage, bittheir lips. And some whirled their weapons, and some rubbed their arms;and some, possessed of great energy and souls under complete control,rushed against Drona. The Panchalas particularly, afflicted with theshafts of Drona, O monarch, though suffering great pain, continued tocontend in battle.[247] Then Drupada and Virata proceeded, in thatbattle, against Drona, that invincible warrior, who was thus careering onthe field. Then, O king, the three grandsons of Drupada, and those mightybowmen, viz., the Chedis, also proceeded against Drona in that encounter.Drona, with three sharp shafts, took the lives of the three grandsons ofDrupada. Deprived of lives, the princes fell down on the earth. Dronanext vanquished in that battle the Chedis, the Kaikeyas, and theSrinjayas. That mighty car-warrior, viz., the son of Bharadwaja, thenvanquished all Matsyas. Then Drupada, filled with wrath, and Virata, inthat battle, shot showers of shafts, O king, at Drona. Baffling thatarrowy shower, Drona, that grinder of Kshatriyas, covered both Drupadaand Virata with his shafts. Shrouded by Drona, both those warriors, withrage, began to pierce him on the field of battle with their arrows. ThenDrona, O monarch, filled with wrath and desire of revenge, cut off, witha couple of broad-headed shafts, the bows of both his antagonists. ThenVirata, filled with wrath, sped in that encounter ten lances and tenshafts at Drona from desire of slaying him. And Drupada, in anger, hurledat Drona’s car a terrible dart made of iron and decked with gold andresembling a large snake. Drona cut off, with a number of sharp andbroad-headed arrows, those ten lances (of Virata), and with certain othershafts that dart (of Drupada) decked with gold and stones of lapislazuli. Then that grinder of foes, viz., the son of Bharadwaja, with acouple of well-tempered and broad-headed shafts, despatched both Drupadaand Virata unto the abode of Yama. Upon the fall of Virata and Drupada,and the slaughter of the Kshatriyas, the Chedis, the Matsyas, and thePanchalas, and upon the fall of those three heroes, viz., the threegrandsons of Drupada, the high-souled Dhrishtadyumna, beholding thosefeats of Drona, became filled with rage and grief, and swore in the midstof all the ear-warriors, saying, ‘Let me lose merits of all my religiousacts as also my Kshatriya and Brahma energy, if Drona escape me todaywith life, or if he succeed in vanquishing me!'[248] Having taken thatoath in the midst of all the bowmen, that slayer of hostile heroes, viz.,the prince of the Panchalas, supported by his own division, advancedagainst Drona. The Panchalas then began to strike Drona from one side,and Arjuna from another. Duryodhana, and Karna, and Sakuni, the son ofSuvala, and the uterine brothers of Duryodhana (stationed), according totheir precedence, began to protect Drona in battle. Drona being thusprotected in battle by those illustrious warriors, the Panchalas thoughstruggling vigorously, could not even gaze at him. Then Bhimasena, Osire, became highly angry with Dhrishtadyumna and, O bull among men, thatson of Pandu pierced Dhrishtadyumna with these fierce words:[249]

“Bhimasena said, ‘What man is there who being regarded as a Kshatriya andwho taking his birth in the race of Drupada and who being the foremost ofall persons possessing a knowledge of weapons, would only thus look athis foe stationed before him? What man having seen his sire and sonslain, and especially, having sworn such an oath in the midst of theking, would thus be indifferent to his enemy? Yonder stands Drona like afire swelling with its own energy. Indeed, with bow and arrowsconstituting his fuel, he is consuming with his energy all theKshatriyas. Soon will he annihilate the Pandava army. Stand ye (asspectators) and behold my feat. Against Drona himself will I proceed.Having said these words, Vrikodara, filled with rage, penetrated intoDrona’s array, began to afflict and rout that host. Then thePanchalaprince Dhrishtadyumna, also, penetrating into that large host,engaged himself with Drona in battle. The battle became furious. Such afierce encounter we had never seen or heard of before, O king, as thatwhich now took place at sunrise of that day. The cars, O sire, were seento be entangled with one another. The bodies of embodied creaturesdeprived of lives were scattered all over the field. Some, whileproceeding towards another part of the field, were, on the way, assailedby others. Some, while flying away, were struck on their backs, andothers on their sides. That general engagement continued to ragefiercely. Soon, however, the morning sun rose.’

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