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Chapter 19

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding those Samsaptakas once more return to thefield, Arjuna addressed the high-souled Vasudeva, saying, ‘Urge thesteeds, O Hrishikesa, towards the Samsaptakas. They will not give up thebattle alive. This is what I think. Today thou shalt witness the terriblemight of my arms as also of my bow. Today I shall slay all these, likeRudra slaying creatures (at the end of the Yuga).’ Hearing these words,the invincible Krishna smiled, and gladdening him with auspiciousspeeches, conveyed Arjuna to those places whither the latter desired togo. While borne in battle by those white steeds, that car lookedexceedingly resplendent like a celestial car borne along the firmament.And like Sakra’s car, O king, in the battle between the gods and theAsuras in days of old, it displayed circular, forward, backward, anddiverse other kinds of motion. Then the Narayanas, excited with wrath andarmed with diverse weapons, surrounded Dhananjaya, covering him withshowers of arrows. And, O bull of Bharata’s race, they soon made Kunti’sson, Dhananjaya, together with Krishna, entirely invisible in thatbattle. Then Phalguni, excited with wrath, doubled his energy, andquickly rubbing its string, grasped Gandiva, (firmly) in the battle.Causing wrinkles to form themselves on his brow, sure indications ofwrath, the son of Pandu blew his prodigious conch, called Devadatta, andthen he shot the weapon called Tvashtra that is capable of slaying largebodies of foes together. Thereupon, thousands of separate forms startedinto existence there (of Arjuna himself and of Vasudeva). Confounded bythose diverse images after the form of Arjuna, the troops began to strikeeach other, each regarding the other as Arjuna’s self.’ ‘This is Arjuna!”This is Govinda!’ ‘They are Pandu’s son and he is of Yadu’s race!’Uttering such exclamations, and deprived of their senses, they slew oneanother in that battle. Deprived of their senses by that mighty weapon,they slew one another. Indeed, those warriors (while striking oneanother) looked beautiful like blossoming Kinsukas. Consuming thosethousands of arrows shot by them, that (mighty) weapon despatched thoseheroes to Yama’s abode. Then Vibhatsu, laughing, crushed with his arrowsthe Lalithya, the Malava, the Mavellaka, and the Trigarta warriors. Whilethose Kshatriyas, urged by fate, were thus slaughtered by that hero, theyshot at Partha showers of diverse kinds of arrows. Overwhelmed with thoseterrible showers of arrows, neither Arjuna, nor his car, nor Kesava,could any longer be seen. Seeing their arrows strike the aim, theyuttered joyous shouts. And regarding the two Krishnas as already slain,they joyously waved their garments in the air. And those heroes also blewtheir conchs and beat their drums and cymbals by thousands, and utteredmany leonine shouts, O sire! Then Krishna, covered with sweat, and muchweakened, addressed Arjuna, saying, ‘Where art thou, O Partha! I do notsee thee. Art thou alive, O slayer of foes?’ Hearing those words of his,Dhananjaya with great speed dispelled, by means of the Vayavya weapon,that arrowy downpour shot by his foes. Then the illustrious Vayu (thepresiding deity of that mighty weapon) bore away crowds of Samsaptakaswith steeds and elephants and cars and weapons, as if these were dryleaves of trees. Borne away by the wind, O king, they looked highlybeautiful, like flights of birds, O monarch, flying away from trees. ThenDhananjaya, having afflicted them thus, with great speed struck hundredsand thousands of them with sharp shafts. And he cut off their heads andalso hands with weapons in their grasp, by means of his broad-headedarrows. And he felled on the ground, with his shafts, their thighs,resembling the trunks of elephants. And some were wounded on their backs,arms and eyes. And thus Dhananjaya deprived his foes of diverse limbs,and cars decked and equipped according to rule, and looking like thevapour edifices in the welkin, he cut off into fragments, by means of hisarrows, their riders and steeds and elephants. And in many places crowdsof cars, whose standards had been cut off, looked like forests ofheadless palmyras. And elephants with excellent weapons, banners, hooks,and standards fell down like wooded mountains, split with Sakra’sthunder. Graced with tails, looking like those of the yak, and coveredwith coats of mail, and with their entrails and eyes dragged out, steedsalong with their riders, rolled on the ground, slain by means of Partha’sshafts. No longer holding in their grasp the swords that had served fortheir nails, with their coats of mail tom, and the joints of their bonesbroken, foot-soldiers with their vital limbs cut open, helplessly laidthemselves down on the field, slain by means of Arjuna’s arrows. And thefield of battle assumed an awful aspect in consequence of those warriorsslain, or in the course of being slaughtered, falling and fallen,standing or in course of being whirled along. And the air was purified ofthe dust that had arisen, by means of the showers of blood (caused byArjuna’s arrows). And the earth, strewn with hundreds of headless trunks,became impassable. And the car of Vibhatsu in that battle shone fiercelylike the car of Rudra himself, while engaged at the end of the Yuga indestroying all creatures. While slaughtered by Partha thus, thosewarriors, with their steeds and cars and elephants in great distress,ceased not to rush against him; though, deprived of life one afteranother, they had to become the guests of Sakra. Then the field ofbattle, O chief of the Bharatas, strewn with mighty car-warriors deprivedof life, looked dreadful like Yama’s domains, abounding with the spiritsof the departed creatures. Meanwhile, when Arjuna was furiously engaged(with the Samsaptakas), Drona, at the head of his forces arrayed forbattle, rushed against Yudhishthira, and many warriors, accomplished insmiting and properly arrayed, followed him, actuated by the desire ofseizing Yudhishthira. The battle then that ensued became exceedinglyfierce.'”

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