Chapter 44

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘That which thou tellest me, O Suta, about thebattle, fierce and terrible, between the one and the many, and thevictory of that illustrious one, that story of the prowess of Subhadra’sson is highly wonderful and almost incredible. I do not, however, regardit as a marvel that is absolutely beyond belief in the case of those thathave righteousness for their refuge. After Duryodhana was beaten back anda hundred princes slain, what course was pursued by the warriors of myarmy against the son of Subhadra?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Their mouths became dry, and eyes restless. Sweat coveredtheir bodies, and their hairs stood on their ends. Despairing ofvanquishing their foe, they became ready to leave the field. Abandoningtheir wounded brothers and sires and sons and friends and relatives bymarriage and kinsmen they fled, urging their steeds and elephants totheir utmost speed. Beholding them broken and routed, Drona and Drona’sson, and Vrihadvala, and Kripa, and Duryodhana, and Karna, andKritavarman, and Suvala’s son (Sakuni), rushed in great wrath against theunvanquished son of Subhadra. Almost all these, O king, were beaten backby thy grandson. Only one warrior then, viz., Lakshmana, brought up inluxury, accomplished in arrows, endued with great energy, and fearless inconsequence of inexperience and pride, proceeded against the son ofArjuna. Anxious about his son, his father (Duryodhana) turned back forfollowing him. Other mighty car warriors, turned back for followingDuryodhana. All of them then drenched Abhimanyu with showers of arrows,like clouds pouring rain on the mountain-breast. Abhimanyu, however,single-handed, began to crush them like the dry wind that blows in everydirection destroying gathering masses of clouds. Like one infuriatedelephant encountering another, Arjuna’s son then encountered thyinvincible grandson, Lakshmana, of great personal beauty, endued withgreat bravery, staying near his father with outstretched bow, brought upin every luxury, and resembling a second prince of the Yakshas[74].Encountering Lakshmana, that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son ofSubhadra, had his two arms and chest struck with his sharp shafts. Thygrandson, the mighty-armed Abhimanyu then, filled with rage like a snakestruck (with a rod), addressing, O king, thy (other) grandson, said,’Look well on this world, for thou shalt (soon) have to go to the other.In the very sight of all thy kinsmen, I will despatch thee to Yama’sabode.’ Saying thus that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the mighty-armedson of Subhadra, took out a broad-headed arrow that resembled a snakejust emerged from its slough. That shaft, sped by Abhimanyu’s arms, cutoff the beautiful head, decked with ear-rings, of Lakshmana, that wasgraced with a beautiful nose, beautiful eye-brows, and exceedinglygood-looking curls. Beholding Lakshmana slain, thy troops utteredexclamations of Oh and, Alas. Upon the slaughter of his dear son,Duryodhana became filled with rage. That bull among Kshatriyas thenloudly urged the Kshatriyas under him, saying, ‘Slay this one!’ ThenDrona, and Kripa, and Karna, and Drona’s son and Vrihadvala, andKritavarman, the son of Hridika,–these six car-warriors,—encompassedAbhimanyu. Piercing them with sharp arrows and beating them off from him,the son of Arjuna fell with great speed and fury upon the vast forces ofJayadratha. Thereupon, the Kalingas, the Nishadas, and the valiant son ofKratha, all clad in mail, cut off his path by encompassing him with theirelephant-division. The battle then that took place between Phalguni’s sonand those warriors was obstinate and fierce. Then the son of Arjuna beganto destroy that elephant-division as the wind coursing in every directiondestroys vast masses of gathering clouds in the welkin. Then Krathacovered the son of Arjuna with showers of arrows, while many othercar-warriors headed by Drona, having returned to the field, rushed athim, scattering sharp and mighty weapons. Checking all those weapons bymeans of his own arrows, the son of Arjuna began to afflict the son ofKratha with ceaseless showers of shafts, with great despatch and inspiredby the desire of slaying his antagonist. The latter’s bow and shafts, andbracelets, and arms, and head decked with diadem, and umbrella, andstandard, and charioteer, and steeds, were all cut off and felled byAbhimanyu. When Kratha’s son, possessed of nobility of lineage, goodbehaviour, acquaintance with the scriptures, great strength, fame, andpower of arms, was slain, the other heroic combatants almost all turnedaway from the fight.'”[75]

Chapter 45
Chapter 43
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