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Chapter 37

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘My heart, O Sanjaya, is agitated with differentemotions, viz., shame and gratification, upon hearing that Subhadra’s sonsingly held in cheek the whole army of my son. O son of Gavalgana, ten meeverything once more in detail about the encounter of youthful Abhimanyu,which seems to have been pretty like Skanda’s encounter with the Asurahost.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘I will relate to thee that fearful encounter that fiercebattle, as it took place between one and the many. Mounted upon his car,Abhimanyu, with great daring, showered his arrows on the warriors of thyarmy mounted on their cars, all of whom were chastisers of foes, enduedwith great courage. Careering with great speed like a circle of fire, hepierced Drona and Karna, and Kripa, and Salya and Drona’s son, andKritavarman of the Bhoja race, and Vrihadvala, and Duryodhana, andSomadatta, and mighty Sakuni, and diverse kings and diverse princes anddiverse bodies of troops. While engaged in slaying his foes by means ofsuperior weapons, the valiant son of Subhadra, endued with mighty energy,seemed, O Bharata, to be present everywhere. Beholding that conduct ofSubhadra’s son of immeasurable energy, thy troops trembled repeatedly.Seeing that warrior of great proficiency in battle, Bharadwaja’s son ofgreat wisdom, with eyes expanded in joy, quickly came towards Kripa, andaddressing him said, as if crushing (by that speech of his) the veryvitals of thy son, O Bharata, the following words, ‘Yonder cometh theyouthful son of Subhadra at the head of the Parthas, delighting all hisfriends, and king Yudhishthira, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Bhimasena,the son of Pandu, and all his kinsmen, and relatives by marriage, and allwho are watching the battle as spectators without taking any part in it.I do not regard any bowman to be his equal in battle. If only heentertains the wish, he can slay this vast host. It seems, that for somereason or other, he doth not entertain that wish.’ Hearing these words ofDrona, so expressive of the gratification he felt, thy son, enraged withAbhimanyu, looked at Drona, faintly smiling the while. Indeed, Duryodhanasaid unto Karna and king Valhika and Duhsasana and the ruler of theMadras and the many other mighty car-warriors of his army, these words,’The preceptor of the entire order of the Kshatriyas,–he that is theforemost of all conversant with Brahma, doth not, from stupefaction, wishto slay this son of Arjuna. None can, in battle, escape the preceptorwith life, not even the Destroyer himself, if the latter advancethagainst the preceptor as a foe. What, O friend, shall we say then of anymortal? I say this truly. This one is the son of Arjuna, and Arjuna isthe preceptor’s disciple. It is for this that the preceptor protecteththis youth. Disciples and sons and their sons are always dear to thevirtuous people. Protected by Drona, the youthful son of Arjuna regardethhimself valourous. He is only a fool entertaining a high opinion ofhimself. Crush him, therefore, without delay.’ Thus addressed by the Kuruking, those warriors, O monarch, excited with rage and desirous ofslaying their foe, rushed, in the very sight of Drona at the son ofSubhadra that daughter of the Satwata race. Duhsasana, in particular,that tiger among the Kurus, hearing those words of Duryodhana, answeredthe latter, saying, ‘O monarch, I tell thee that even I will slay thisone in the very sight of the Pandavas and before the eyes of thePanchalas. I shall certainly devour the son of Subhadra today, like Rahuswallowing Surya (sun).’ And once more addressing the Kuru king loudly,Duhsasana said, ‘Hearing that Subhadra’s son hath been slain by me, thetwo Krishnas, who are exceedingly vain, will without doubt, go to theregion of the departed spirits, leaving this world of men. Hearing thenof the death of the two Krishnas, it is evident that the other sons bornof Pandu’s wives, with all their friends, will, in course of a singleday, cast away their lives from despair. It is evident, therefore, thatthis one foe of thine being slain, all thy foes will be slain. Wish mewell, O king, even I will slay this foe of thine.’ Having said thesewords, O king, thy son Duhsasana, filled with rage and uttering a loudroar, rushed against the son of Subhadra and covered him with showers ofarrows. Abhimanyu then, O chastiser of foes, received that son of thinethus advancing upon him wrathfully, with six and twenty arrows of sharppoints. Duhsasana, however, filled with rage, and looking like aninfuriated elephant, fought desperately with Abhimanyu, the son ofSubhadra in that battle. Both of them masters in car-fight, they foughton describing beautiful circles with their cars, one of them to the leftand other to the right. The warriors then, with their Panavas andMridangas and Dundubhis and Krakachas and great Anakas and Bheris andJharjaras, caused a deafening noise mingled with leonine roars, such asarise from the great receptacle of salt waters!”

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