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Chapter 189

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Drona filled with great anxiety and almostdeprived of his senses by grief, Dhrishtadyumna, the son of the Panchalaking, rushed at him. That hero had, for the destruction of Drona, beenobtained by Drupada, that ruler of men, at a great sacrifice, from theBearer of sacrificial libations. Desirous of slaying Drona, he now tookup a victory-giving and formidable bow whose twang resembled the roll ofthe clouds, whose string was possessed of great strength, and which wasirrefragable and celestial. And he fixed on it a fierce arrow, resemblinga snake of virulent poison and possessed of the splendour of fire. Thatarrow, resembling a fire of fierce flame, while within the circle of hisbow, looked like the autumnal sun of great splendour within a radiantcircle. Beholding that blazing bow bent with force by Prishata’s son, thetroops regarded that to be the last hour (of the world). Seeing thatarrow aimed at him, the valiant son of Bharadwaja thought that the lasthour of his body had come. The preceptor prepared with care to bafflethat shaft. The weapons, however, of that high-souled one, O monarch, nolonger appeared at his bidding.[253] His weapons had not been exhaustedalthough he had shot them ceaselessly for four days and one night. On theexpiry, however, of the third part of that of the fifth day, his arrowsbecame exhausted. Seeing the exhaustion of his arrows and afflicted withgrief on account of his son’s death, and in consequence also of theunwillingness of the celestial weapons to appear at his bidding, hedesired to lay aside his weapons, as requested by the words of the Rishisalso. Though filled with great energy, he could not however, fight asbefore. Then taking up another celestial bow that Angiras had given him,and certain arrows that resembled a Brahmana’s curse, he continued tofight with Dhrishtadyumna. He covered the Panchala prince with a thickshower of arrows, and filled with rage, mangled his angry antagonist.With his own keen shafts he cut off in a hundred fragments those of theprince as also the latter’s standard and bow. He then his antagonist’sdriver. Then Dhrishtadyumna, smiling, took up another bow, and piercedDrona with a keen shaft in the centre of the chest. Deeply piercedtherewith and losing his self-possession in that encounter, that mightybowman, then, with a sharp and broad-headed arrow, once more cut offDhrishtadyumna’s bow. Indeed, the invincible Drona then cut off all theweapons, O king, and all the bows that his antagonist had, with theexception only of his mace and sword. Filled with rage, he then piercedthe angry Dhrishtadyumna, O chastiser of foes, nine keen arrows, capableof taking the life of every foe. Then the mighty car-warriorDhrishtadyumna, of immeasurable soul, invoking into existence the Brahmaweapon, caused the steeds of his own car to be mingled with those of hisfoes. Endued with the speed of the wind, those steeds that were red andof the hue of pigeons, O bull of Bharata’s race, thus mingled together,looked exceedingly beautiful. Indeed, O king, those steeds thus mingledtogether on the field of battle, looked beautiful like roaring clouds inthe season of rains, charged with lightning. Then that twice-born one ofimmeasurable soul cut off the shaft-joints, the wheel-joints, and (other)car-joints of Dhrishtadyumna. Deprived of his bow, and made carless andsteedless and driverless, the heroic Dhrishtadyumna, fallen into greatdistress, grasped a mace. Filled with rage, the mighty car-warrior,Drona, of unbaffled prowess, by means of a number of keen shafts, cut offthat mace, while it was on the point of being hurled at him. Beholdinghis mace cut off by Drona with arrows, that tiger among men, (viz., thePanchala prince), took up a spotless sword and a bright shield deckedwith a hundred moons. Without doubt, under those circumstances, thePanchala prince determined to make an end of that foremost of preceptors,that high-souled warrior. Sometimes, sheltering himself in his car-boxand sometimes riding on his car-shafts, the prince moved about, upliftinghis swords and whirling his bright shield. The mighty car-warriorDhrishtadyumna, desirous of achieving, from folly, a difficult feat,hoped to pierce the chest of Bharadwaja’s son in that battle. Sometimes,he stayed upon the yoke, and sometimes under the haunches of Drona’s redsteeds. These movements of his were highly applauded by all the troops.Indeed, while he stayed amid the trappings of the yoke or behind thosered steeds, Drona found no opportunity to strike him. All this seemedexceedingly wonderful. The movements of both Drona and Prishata’s son inthat battle resembled the fight of hawk careering through the welkin fora piece of meat. Then Drona, by means of a dart pierced the white steedsof his antagonist, one after another, not striking, however, the red onesamongst them (that belonged to himself)[254]. Deprived of life, thosesteeds of Dhrishtadyumna fell down upon the earth. Thereupon, the redsteeds of Drona himself, O king, where freed from the entanglements ofDhrishtadyumna’s car. Beholding his steeds slain by that foremost ofBrahmanas, Prishata’s sons, that mighty car-warrior, that foremost offighters, could not brook it. Though deprived of his car, still thatforemost of all swordsmen, armed with his sword, sprang towards Drona, Omonarch, like Vinata’s son (Garuda) making a swoop at a snake. The form,O king, of Dhrishtadyumna at that time, when he sought to slay the son ofBharadwaja, resembled the form of Vishnu himself in days of yore when atthe point of slaying Hiranyakasipu. He performed diverse evolutions, infact. O Kauravya, the son of Prishata, careering in that battle,exhibited the well-known one and twenty different kinds of motion. Armedwith the sword, and shield in hand, Prishata’s son wheeled about andwhirled his sword on high, and made side thrusts, and rushed forward, andran sideways, and leapt high, and assailed the flanks of his antagonistsand receded backwards, and closed with his foes, and pressed them hard.Having practised them well, he also showed the evolutions called Bharata,Kausika Satwata, as he careened in that battle for compassing thedestruction of Drona, Beholding those beautiful evolutions ofDhrishtadyumna, as he careered on the field, sword and shield in hand,all the warriors, as also the celestials assembled there, were filledwith wonder. The regenerate Drona then, shooting a thousand arrows in thethick of fight, cut off the sword of Dhrishtadyumna as also his shield,decked with a hundred moons. Those arrows that Drona shot, while fightingfrom such a near point, were of the length of a span. Such arrows areused only in close fight. None else have arrows of that kind, exceptKripa, and Partha, and Aswatthaman and Karna, Pradyumna and Yuyudhana;Abhimanyu also had such arrows. Then the preceptor, desirous of slayinghis disciple who was unto him even as his own son, fixed on hisbow-string a shaft endued with great impetuosity. That shaft, however,Satyaki cut off by means of ten arrows, in the very sight of thy son asalso of the high-souled Karna, as thus rescued Dhrishtadyumna who was onthe point of succumbing to Drona. Then Kesava and Dhananjaya beheldSatyaki of prowess incapable of being baffled, who, O Bharata, was thuscareering in the car-tracks (of the Kuru warriors) and within the rangeof the shafts of Drona and Karna and Kripa. Saying. ‘Excellent,Excellent!’ both of them loudly applauded Satyaki of unfading glory, whowas thus destroying the celestial weapons of all those warriors. ThenKesava and Dhananjaya rushed towards the Kurus. Addressing Krishna,Dhananjaya said, ‘Behold, O Kesava, that perpetuator of Madhu’s race,viz., Satyaki of true prowess, sporting before the preceptor and thosemighty car-warriors and gladdening me and the twins and Bhima and kingYudhishthira. With skill acquired by practice and without insolence,behold that enhancer of the fame of the Vrishnis, viz., Satyaki,careering in battle, sporting the while with those mighty car-warriors.All these troops, as also the Siddhas (in the welkin), beholding himinvincible in battle, are filled with wonder, and applauding him, saying,’Excellent, Excellent!’ Indeed, O king, the warriors of both armies allapplauded the Satwata hero, for his feats.'”

FOLLOW US ON:
Chapter 190
Chapter 188
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