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Chapter 186

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Then Duhsasana, filled with wrath, rushed againstSahadeva, causing the earth to tremble with the fierce speed of his car,O Madri’s son, however, that crusher of foes, with a broad-headed arrow,quickly cut of the head, decked with the head-gear of his rushingantagonist’s driver. From the celerity with which that act wasaccomplished by Sahadeva, neither Duhsasana nor any of the troops knewthat the driver’s head had been cut off. The reins being no longer heldby anybody, the steeds ran at their will. It was then that Duhsasana knewthat his driver had been slain. Conversant with the management of steeds,that foremost of car-warriors, himself restraining his steeds in thatbattle fought beautifully and with great activity and skill. That feat ofhis was applauded by friends and foes, since riding on that driverlesscar, he careered fearlessly in that battle. Then Sahadeva pierced thosesteeds with keen shafts. Afflicted with those shafts, they quickly ranaway, careering hither and thither. For catching hold of the reins, heonce laid aside his bow, and then he took up his bow for using it, lyingaside the reins. During those opportunities the son of Madri covered himwith arrows. Then Karna, desirous of rescuing thy son, rushed to thatspot. Thereupon, Vrikodara, with great care, pierced Karna in the chestand arms with three broad-headed shafts sped from his bow drawn to itsfullest stretch. Struck with those shafts like a snake with a stick,Karna stopped and began to resist Bhimasena, shooting keen shafts.Thereupon, a fierce battle took place between Bhima and Radha’s son. Bothof them roared like bulls, and the eyes of both were expanded (withrage). Excited with wrath, and rushing towards each other, with greatspeed, they roared at each other. Those two delighters, in battle werethen very close to each other. So near were they that they could noteasily shoot their shafts at each other. Thereupon, an encounter withmaces happened. Bhimasena speedily broke with his mace the Kuvara ofKarna’s car. That feat of his, O king, seemed highly wonderful. Then thevaliant son of Radha, taking up a mace, hurled it at Bhima’s car. Bhima,however, broke it with the mace of his own. Then taking up a heavy mace,once more, Bhima hurled it at Adhiratha’s son. Karna struck that macewith numerous shafts of beautiful wings, sped with great force, and onceagain with other shafts, Thus struck with Karna’s shafts, the mace turnedback towards Bhima, like a snake afflicted with incantations. With therebound of that mace, the huge standard of Bhima, broke and fell down.Struck with that same mace, Bhima’s driver also became deprived of hissenses. Then Bhima, mad with rage, sped eight shafts at Karna, and hisstandard and bow, and leathern fence, O Bharata. The mighty Bhimasena,that slayer of hostile heroes, with the greatest care, O Bharata, cutoff, with those keen shafts, the standards, the bow, and the leathernfence of Karna. The latter then, viz., the son of Radha, taking upanother invincible and gold-decked bow, shot a number of shafts, andquickly slew Bhima’s steeds of the hue of bears, and then his twodrivers. When his car was thus injured, Bhima, that chastiser of foes,quickly jumped into the car of Nakula like a lion jumping down upon amountain summit.’

“Meanwhile, Drona and Arjuna, those two foremost of car-warriors,preceptor and pupil, both skilled in weapon, O monarch, fought with eachother in battle, stupefying the eyes and minds of men with theirlightness in the use of weapons and the sureness of their aim, and withthe motions of their cars. Beholding that battle, the like of which hadnever been witnessed before, between preceptor and pupil, the otherwarriors abstained from fighting with each other and trembled. Each ofthose heroes, displaying beautiful revolutions of his car, wished toplace the other on his right. The warriors present there beheld theirprowess and became filled with wonder. Indeed, that great battle betweenDrona and the son of Pandu resembled that, O monarch, between a couple ofhawks in the welkin for the sake of a piece of meat. Whatever feats Dronaperformed for vanquishing the son of Kunti, were all counteracted byArjuna’s performing similar feats. When Drona failed to gain anyascendency over the son of Pandu, the son of Bharadwaja, that warrioracquainted with the course of all weapons, invoked into existence theAindra, the Pasupata, the Tvashtra, the Vayavya, and the Yamya weapons.As soon as those weapons, issued from Drona’s bow, Dhananjaya destroyedthem quickly. When his weapons were thus duly destroyed by Arjuna withhis own weapons, Drona shrouded the son of Pandu with the mightiest ofcelestial weapons. Every weapon, however, that Drona shot at Partha fromdesire of vanquishing the latter, was shot by Partha in return forbaffling it. Seeing all his weapons, even the celestial ones, dulybaffled by Arjuna, Drona applauded the latter in his heart. Thatchastiser of foes, O Bharata, regarded himself superior to every personin the world acquainted with weapons, in consequence of Arjuna havingbeen his pupil. Thus resisted by Partha in the midst of all thoseillustrious warriors, Drona, struggling with vigour, cheerfully resistedArjuna (in return), wondering all the while. Then the celestials andGandharvas in thousands, and Rishis and bodies of Siddhas, were seen onall sides in the welkin. Filled with (those as also with) Apsaras andYakshas and Rakshasas, it once more seemed that the welkin was darkenedby gathering clouds. An invisible voice, fraught with the praises ofDrona and the high-souled Partha, was heard to repeatedly course throughthe firmament. When in consequence of the weapons shot by Drona andPartha all sides seemed ablaze with light, the Siddhas and the Rishisthat were present, said, ‘This is no human nor Asura, nor Rakshasa, norcelestial, nor Gandharva battle. Without doubt this is a high Brahmaencounter. This battle is exceedingly beautiful and highly wonderful. Wehave never seen or heard of its like. Now, the preceptor prevails overthe son of Pandu, and then the son of Pandu prevails over Drona. No onecan find any difference between them. If Rudra, dividing his own selfinto two portions, fights, himself with himself, then may an instance behad to match this. Nowhere else can an instance be found to match it.Science, gathered in one place, exists in the preceptor; science andmeans are in the son of Pandu. Heroism, in one place, is in Drona;heroism and might are in the son of Pandu. None of these warriors can bewithstood by foes in battle. If they wish, both of them can destroy theuniverse with the gods. Beholding those two bulls among men, allinvisible and visible creatures said these words. The high-souled Dronathen, in that battle, invoked into existence the Brahma weapon,afflicting Partha and all invisible beings. Thereupon, the earth with themountains and waters and trees trembled. Fierce winds began to blow. Theseas swelled in agitation. The combatants of the Kurus and the Pandavaarmies, as also all other creatures, became inspired with fear, when thatillustrious warrior uplifted that weapon. The Partha, O monarch,fearlessly baffled that weapon by a Brahma weapon of his own, at whichall that agitation in nature was speedily pacified. At last, when none ofthem could vanquish his antagonist in combat, a general engagement tookplace between the hosts, causing a great confusion on the field. Duringthe progress of that dreadful battle between Drona and the son of Pandu(as also of that general engagement), once more, O king, nothing could bedistinguished. The welkin became covered with dense showers of shafts, asif with masses of clouds, and creatures ranging in the air could nolonger find a passage through their element.”

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