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Chapter 40

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, A mere child in years, brought up in great luxury,proud of the strength of his arms, accomplished in battle, endued withgreat heroism, the perpetuator of his race, and prepared to lay down hislife–when Abhimanyu penetrated into the Katirava army, borne on histhree-years old steeds of spirited mettle, was there any of greatwarriors, in Yudhishthira’s army, that followed the son of Arjuna?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Yudhishthira and Bhimasena, and Sikhandin and Satyaki,and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva, and Dhrishtadyumna and Virata, andDrupada, and Kekaya, and Dhristaketu, all filled with wrath, and theMatsya warrior, rushed to battle. Indeed, Abhimanyu’s sires accompaniedby his maternal uncles, those smiters of foes, arrayed in order of battlerushed along the self-same path that Abhimanyu had created, desirous ofrescuing him.. Beholding those heroes rushing, thy troops turned awayfrom the fight. Seeing then that vast army of thy son turning away fromthe fight, the son-in-law of great energy rushed to rally them. Indeed,king Jayadratha, the son of the ruler of the Sindhus, checked, with alltheir followers, the Parthas, desirous of rescuing their son. That fierceand great bowman, viz. the son of Vriddhakshatra, invoking into existencecelestial weapons resisted the Pandavas, like an elephant sporting in alow land.'[70]

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I think, Sanjaya, that heavy was the burthen thrownupon the ruler of the Sindhus, inasmuch as alone he had to resist theangry Pandavas desirous of rescuing their son. Exceedingly wonderful, Ithink, was the might and heroism of the ruler of the Sindhus. Tell mewhat the high-souled warrior’s prowess was and how he accomplished thatforemost of feats. What gifts did he make, what libations had he poured,what sacrifices had he performed, what ascetic austerities had he wellundergone, in consequence of which, single-handed, he succeeded inchecking Parthas excited with wrath?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘On the occasion of his insult to Draupadi, Jayadratha wasvanquished by Bhimasena. From a keen sense of his humiliation, the kingpractised the severest of ascetic austerities, desirous of a boon.Restraining his senses from all objects dear to them, bearing hunger,thirst and heat, he reduced his body till his swollen veins becamevisible. Uttering the eternal words of the Veda, he paid his adoration tothe god Mahadeva. That illustrious Deity, always inspired with compassionfor his devotees, at last, became kind towards him. Indeed, Hara,appearing in a dream unto the ruler of the Sindhus, addressed him, saying’Solicit the boon thou desirest. I am gratified with thee, O Jayadratha!What dost thou desire?’ Thus addressed by Mahadeva, Jayadratha, the rulerof the Sindhus, bowed down unto him and said with joined palms andrestrained soul, ‘Alone, on a single car, I shall check in battle all thesons of Pandu, endued though they are with terrible energy and prowess.’Even this, O Bharata, was the boon he had solicited. Thus prayed to thatforemost of the deities said unto Jayadratha, ‘O amiable one, I grantthee the boon. Except Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, thou shalt in battlecheck the four other sons of Pandu.’ ‘So be it,’ said Jayadratha untothat Lord of the gods and then awoke, O monarch, from his slumber. Inconsequence of that boon which he had received and of the strength alsoof his celestial weapons, Jayadratha, single-handed, held in check theentire army of the Pandavas. The twang of his bow-string and the slaps ofhis palms inspired the hostile Kshatriyas with fear, filling thy troops,at the same time with delight. And the Kshatriyas (of the Kuru army),beholding that the burthen was taken up by the ruler of the Sindhus,rushed with loud shouts, O monarch, to that part of the field whereYudhishthira’s army was.'”

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