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Chapter 38

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Then the intelligent Abhimanyu, with limbs mangled witharrows, smilingly addressed his foe, Duhsasana, stationed before himsaying, ‘By good luck it is that I behold in battle that vain heroarrived before me, who is cruel, who hath cast away all righteousness,and who brawleth out lustily his own praises. In the assembly (for theKurus) and in the hearing of king Dhritarashtra, thou hadst, with thyharsh speeches, angered king Yudhishthira. Relying on the deception ofthe dice and the skill (therein) of Suvala’s son, thou hadst alsomaddened by success, addressed many delirious speech to Bhima![67] Inconsequence of the anger of those illustrious persons, thou art, at last,about to obtain the fruit of that conduct of thine![68]. O thou of wickedunderstanding, obtain thou without delay the fruit[69] of the robbery ofother people’s possessions, wrathfulness, of thy hatred of peace, ofavarice, of ignorance, of hostilities (with kinsmen), of injustice andpersecution, of depriving my sires–those fierce bowmen–of theirkingdom, and of thy own fierce temper. I shall today chastise thee withmy arrows in the sight of the whole army. Today, I shall in battledisburden myself of that wrath which I cherish against thee. I shalltoday free myself of the debt I owe to angry Krishna and to my sire whoalways craveth for an opportunity to chastise thee. O Kaurava, today Ishall free myself of the debt I owe to Bhima. With life thou shalt notescape me, if indeed, thou dost not abandon the battle.’ Having saidthese words, that mighty-armed warrior, that slayer of hostile heroes,aimed a shaft endued with the splendour of Yama or of Agni or of theWind-god, capable of despatching Duhsasana to the other world. Quicklyapproaching Duhsasana’s bosom, that shaft fell upon his shoulder-jointand penetrated into his body up to the very wings, like a snake into anant-hill. And soon Abhimanyu once more struck him with five and twentyarrows whose touch resembled that of fire, and which were sped from hisbow drawn to its fullest stretch, Deeply pierced and greatly pained,Duhsasana, sat down on the terrace of his car and was, O king, overtakenby a swoon. Afflicted thus by the arrows of Subhadra’s son and deprivedof his senses, Duhsasana. was speedily borne away from the midst of thefight by his charioteer. Beholding this, the Pandavas, the five sons ofDraupadi, Virata, the Panchalas, and the Kekayas, uttered leonine shouts.And the troops of the Pandavas, filled with joy, caused diverse kinds ofmusical instruments to be beat and blown. Beholding that feat ofSubhadra’s son they laughed with joy. Seeing that implacable and proudfoe of theirs thus vanquished, those mighty car-warriors, viz., the(five) sons of Draupadi, who had on their banners the images of Yama andMaruta and Sakra and the twin Aswins, and Satyaki, and Chekitana, andDhrishtadyumna, and Sikhandin, and the Kekayas, and Dhrishtaketu, and theMatsyas, Panchalas, and the Srinjayas, and the Pandavas headed byYudhishthira, were filled with joy. And all of them rushed with speed,desirous of piercing Drona’s array. Then a dreadful battle took placebetween the warriors and those of the foe, All of them were unretreatingheroes, and inspired by desire of victory. During the progress of thatdreadful encounter, Duryodhana, O monarch, addressing the son of Radha,said, ‘Behold, the heroic Duhsasana, who resembleth the scorching sun whowas hitherto slaying the foe in battle, hath at last himself succumbed toAbhimanyu. The Pandavas also, filled with rage and looking fierce likemighty lions, are rushing towards us, desirous of rescuing the son ofSubhadra.’ Thus addressed, Karna with rage and desirous of doing good tothy son, rained showers of sharp arrows on the invincible Abhimanyu. Andthe heroic Karna, as if in contempt of his antagonist, also pierced thelatter’s followers on the field of battle, with many excellent shafts ofgreat sharpness. The high-souled Abhimanyu, however, O king, desirous ofproceeding against Drona, quickly pierced Radha’s son with three andseventy shafts. No car-warrior of thy army succeeded at that time inobstructing the progress towards Drona, of Abhimanyu, who was the son ofIndra’s son and who was afflicting all the foremost car-warriors of theKaurava host. Then Karna, the most honoured of all bowmen, desirous ofobtaining victory, pierced the son of Subhadra with hundreds of arrows,displacing his best weapons. That foremost of all persons conversant withweapons, that valiant disciple of Rama, by means of his weapons, thusafflicted Abhimanyu who was incapable of being defeated by foes. Thoughafflicted in battle by Radha’s son with showers of weapons, stillSubhadra’s son who resembled a very celestial (for prowess) felt no pain.With his shafts whetted on stone and furnished with sharp points, the sonof Arjuna, cutting off the bows of many heroic warriors, began to afflictKarna in return. With shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison andshot from his bow drawn to a circle, Abhimanyu quickly cut off theumbrella, standard, the charioteer, and the steeds of Karna, smiling thewhile. Karna then shot five straight arrows at Abhimanyu. The son ofPhalguna, however, received them fearlessly. Endued with great valour andcourage, the latter then, in a moment, with only a single arrow, cut offKarna’s bow and standard and caused them to drop down on the ground.Beholding Karna in such distress, his younger brother, drawing the bowwith great force, speedily proceeded against the son of Subhadra. TheParthas then, and their followers uttered loud shouts and beat theirmusical instruments and applauded the son of Subhadra [for his heroism].'”

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