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Chapter 187

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘During that fearful carnage of men and steeds andelephants, Duhsasana, O king, encountered Dhrishtadyumna. Mounted uponhi, golden car and exceedingly afflicted with the shafts of Duhsasana,the Panchala prince wrathfully showered his shafts upon thy son’s steeds.Covered with the shafts of Prishata’s son, O king, Duhsasana’s car, withstandard and driver, soon became invisible. Afflicted with those showersof arrows, Duhsasana, O monarch, became unable to stay before theillustrious prince of the Panchalas. Forcing, by means of his shafts,Duhsasana to turn back Pritha’s son, scattering his arrows, proceededagainst Drona in that battle. At the time Hridika’s son, Kritavarman,with three of his uterine brothers, appeared on the scene and attemptedto oppose Dhrishtadyumna. Those bulls among men, however, viz., thetwins, Nakula and Sahadeva following in the wake of Dhrishtadyumna whowas thus proceeding like a blazing fire towards Drona, began to protecthim. Then, all those great car-warriors, endued with might and excitedwith rage, began to strike one another, making death their goal. Of puresouls and pure conduct, O king, and keeping heaven in view, they foughtaccording to righteous methods, desirous of vanquishing one another. Ofstainless lineage and stainless acts, and endued with great intelligence,those rulers of men, keeping heaven in view, fought fair battles withanother. There was nothing unfair in that fight and no weapon was usedthat was regarded as unfair. No barbed arrows, nor those called nalikas,nor those that are poisoned, nor those with heads, made of horns, northose equipped with many pointed heads, nor those made of the bones ofbulls and elephants, nor those having two heads, nor those having rustyheads, nor those that are not straight going, were used by any ofthem.[251] All of them used simple and fair weapons and desired to winboth fame and region of great blessedness by fighting fairly. Betweenthose four warriors of thy army and those three of the Pandava side, thebattle that took place was exceedingly dreadful but divested ofeverything unfair. Then Dhrishtadyumna, exceedingly quick in the use ofweapons, beholding those brave and mighty car warriors of thy armychecked by the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva), proceeded towards Drona.Checked by those two lions among men, those four heroic warriorsencountered the former like the wind assailing a couple of mountains(standing on their way). Each of the twins–those great car-warriors–wasengaged with a couple of arrows against Drona. Beholding the invincibleprince of the Panchalas proceeding against Drona, and those four heroes(of his own army) engaged with the twins, Duryodhana, O monarch, rushedto that spot, scattering showers of blood-drinking arrows. Seeing this,Satyaki quickly approached the Kuru king. Those two tigers among men,viz., the two descendants of Kuru and Madhu, approaching each other,became desirous of striking each other in battle. Recalling to mind theirbehaviour towards each other in childhood and reflecting with pleasure onthe same, they gazed at each other and smiled repeatedly. ‘Then kingDuryodhana (mentally), blaming his own conduct, addressed his ever dearfriend Satyaki, and said, ‘Fie on wrath, O friend, and fie onvindictiveness! Fie on Kshatriya usage, and fie on might and prowess,since thou aimest thy weapons at me, and I too am aiming at thee, O bullof Sini’s race! In those days thou wert dearer to me than life itself,and I also was such to thee! Alas, all those acts of childhood that Iremember, of both thyself and mine, became quite insignificant in thefield of battle! Alas, moved by wrath and convetousness, we are hereto-day for fighting against each other, O thou of the Satwata race!’ Untohim who said those words, O king, Satyaki, conversant with high weapons,taking up some keen arrows, smilingly replied, ‘This is no assembly, Oprince, nor the abode of our preceptor, where in former days we sportedtogether.’ Duryodhana answered, ‘Where have those sports of our childhoodgone, O bull of Sini’s race, and, alas, how has this battle now come uponus? It seems that the influence of Time is irresistible. (Urged though weare) by desire of wealth, what use, however, have we of wealth that,assembled together, we are now engaged in battle, moved by the avarice ofwealth.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Unto king Duryodhana who said so, Satyaki replied, ‘Thishas always been the usage of the Kshatriyas that they have to fight evenagainst their preceptors. If I am dear to thee, O king, then slay mewithout any delay. Through thee, O bull of Bharata’s race, I shall thenenter the region of the righteous. Exhibit, without delay, all thy mightand prowess. I do not desire to witness this great calamity of friends.’Having replied and reasoned thus, Satyaki, O monarch, fearlessly and inutter disregard of life, quickly advanced against Duryodhana. Beholdinghim advance, thy son received him; indeed, O king, thy son poured on himof Sini’s race a perfect shower of arrows. Then commenced a terriblebattle between those lions of Kuru’s and Madhu’s races, resembling anencounter between an elephant and a lion. Then Duryodhana, filled withwrath, pierced the invincible Satyaki with many keen arrows, shot fromhis bow drawn to its fullest stretch. Satyaki quickly pierced the Kuruprince in return with fifty keen shafts in that battle and once more withtwenty, and again with ten shafts. Then, in that encounter, O king, thyson, smiling the while, pierced Satyaki in return with thirty arrows shotfrom his bowstring drawn to his ear. Shooting then a razor-headed arrow,he cut off in twain the bow, with arrow fixed thereon, of Satyaki. Enduedwith great lightness of hand, the latter then, taking up a tougher bow,shot showers of shafts at thy son. As those lines of arrows advanced forcompassing the death of Duryodhana, the latter, O king, cut them inpieces, at which the troops shouted loudly. With great swiftness, theKuru king afflicted Satyaki with three and seventy shafts, equipped withwings of gold and steeped in oil and shot from his bow drawn to itsfullest stretch. All those arrows of Duryodhana, as also his bow, witharrow fixed thereon, Satyaki quickly cut off. The Satwata hero thenpoured showers of shafts on his antagonist. Deeply pierced by Satyaki andfeeling great pain, Duryodhana, O king, in great distress, sought shelterin another car. Having rested awhile and refreshed himself, thy son oncemore advanced against Satyaki, shooting showers of shafts at the latter’scar. Smilingly, O king, Satyaki ceaselessly shot multitudes of shafts atDuryodhana’s car. The shafts of both mingled with one another in thewelkin. In consequence of those arrows thus shot by both, falling fast onevery side, loud sounds, like those of a raging fire consuming a mightyforest, arose there. With thousands of arrows shot by both, the earth wasdensely covered. The welkin also became filled therewith. Beholding thenthat foremost of car-warriors, viz., that hero of Madhu’s race, to bemightier than Duryodhana, Karna rushed to that spot, desirous of rescuingthy son. Mighty Bhimasena, however, could not brook that attempt ofKarna. He, therefore, quickly proceeded against Karna, shootinginnumerable shafts. Cutting off all those shafts of Bhima with thegreatest ease, Karna cut off Bhima’s bow, arrows and driver also, withhis own shafts. Then, Pandu’s son, Bhima, filled with rage, took up amace and crushed the bow, standard, and driver of his antagonist in thatencounter. The mighty Bhima also broke one of the wheels of Karna’s car.Karna, however, stood on that car of his, which had one of his wheelsbroken, immovable as (Meru), the king of mountains. That beautiful car ofhis which had now only one wheel, was borne by his steeds, like thesingle wheeled car of Surya, drawn by the seven celestial steeds.Incapable of brooking the feats of Bhimasena, Karna continued to fightwith the latter, using diverse kinds of shafts in profusion and diversekinds of other weapons in that encounter. Bhimasena also filled withwrath, continued to fight with the Suta’s son. When the engagement becamegeneral ant confused, (Yudhishthira) the son of Dharma, addressing allthe foremost of warriors among the Panchalas and the Matsyas, said, ‘Theythat are our life, they that are our heads, they amongst us that areendued with great strength, those bulls among men are all engaged withthe Dhartarashtras. Why do ye then stand thus, as if stupefied anddeprived of your senses? Proceed thither where those car-warriors of myarmy are fighting. Driving away your fears and keeping in view the dutiesof Kshatriyas (engage in fight), for then conquering or slain ye willgain desirable goals. If you prove victors, you may perform diversesacrifices with profuse gifts to Brahmanas. If, on the other hand, youare slain, becoming then equals of the celestials, you will win manyregions of blessedness. Thus urged by the king, those heroic and mightycar-warriors engaged in battle, observant of Kshatriya duties, quicklyproceeded against Drona. The Panchalas then, from one side, assailedDrona with innumerable arrows, while others headed by Bhimasena began toresist him from another side. The Pandavas had three crooked-mindedmighty car-warriors amongst them. They were Bhimasena and the twins(Nakula and Sahadeva). These addressed Dhananjaya loudly and said, ‘Rush,O Arjuna, with speed and drive away the Kurus from Drona’s vicinity. Ifthe preceptor can be derived of his protectors, the Panchalas may thenslay him easily.’ Thus addressed, Partha suddenly rushed against theKauravas, while Drona rushed against the Panchalas headed byDhrishtadyumna. Indeed, on that the fifth day (of Drona’s command) thoseheroic combatants, O Bharata, were grounded and crushed withgreat-celerity (by Bharadwaja’s son.)”

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