Chapter 47

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘That joy of Vishnu’s sister (viz., Abhimanyu), thatAtiratha, decked with the weapons of Vishnu himself, looked exceedinglybeautiful on the field of battle and looked like a second Janardana. Withthe end of his locks waving in the air, with that supreme weapon upraisedin his hands, his body became incapable of being looked at by the verygods. The kings beholding it and the wheel in his hands, became filledwith anxiety, and cut that off in a hundred fragments. Then that greatcar-warrior, the son of Arjuna, took up a mighty mace. Deprived by themof his bow and car and sword, and divested also of his wheel by his foes,the mighty-armed Abhimanyu (mace in hand) rushed against Aswatthaman.Beholding that mace upraised, which looked like the blazing thunderbolt,Aswatthaman, that tiger among men, rapidly alighted from his car and tookthree (long) leaps (for avoiding Abhimanyu). Slaying Aswatthaman’s steedsand two Parshni charioteers with that mace of his, Subhadra’s son,pierced all over with arrows, looked like a porcupine. Then that heropressed Suvala’s son, Kalikeya, down into the earth, and stew seven andseventy Gandhara followers of the latter. Next, he slew ten car-warriorsof the Brahma-Vasatiya race, and then ten huge elephants. Proceeding nexttowards the car of Duhsasana’s son, he crushed the latter’s car andsteeds, pressing them down into the earth. The invincible son ofDuhsasan, then, O sire, taking up his mace, rushed at Abhimanyu. saying,’Wait, Wait!’ Then those cousins, those two heroes, with upraised maces,began to strike each other, desirous of achieving each other’s death,like three-eyed (Mahadeva) and (the Asura) Andhaka in the days of old. Iach of those chastisers of foes, struck with the other’s mace-ends felldown on the earth, like two uprooted standards erected to the honour ofIndra. Then Duhsasana’s son, that enhancer of the fame of the Kurus,rising up first, struck Abhimanyu with the mace on the crown of his head,as the latter, was on the point of rising. Stupefied with the violence ofthat stroke as also with the fatigue he had undergone, that slayer ofhostile hosts, viz., the son of Subhadra, fell on the earth, deprived ofhis senses. Thus, O king, was one slain by many in battle,–one who hadground the whole army, like an elephant grinding lotus-stalks in a lake.As he lay dead on the field, the heroic Abhimanyu looked like a wildelephant slain by the hunters, The fallen hero was then surrounded by thytroops. And he looked like an extinguished fire in the summer seasonafter (as it lies) having consumed a whole forest, or like a tempestdivested of its fury after having crushed mountain crests;[80] or likethe sun arrived at the western hills after having blasted with his heatthe Bharata host; or like Soma swallowed up by Rahu; or like the oceanreft of water. The mighty car-warriors of thy army beholding Abhimanyuwhose face had the splendour of the full moon, and whose eyes wererendered beautiful in consequence of lashes black as the feathers of theraven, lying prostrate on the bare earth, were filled with great joy. Andthey repeatedly uttered leonine shouts. Indeed, O monarch, thy troopswere in transports of joy, while tears fell fast from the eyes of thePandava heroes. Beholding the heroic Abhimanyu lying on the field ofbattle, like the moon dropped from the firmament, diverse creatures, Oking, in the welkin, said aloud, ‘Alas, this one lieth on the field,slain, while fighting singly, by six mighty car-warriors of theDhartarashtra army, headed by Drona and Karna. This act hath been, wehold, an unrighteous one.’ Upon the slaughter of that hero, the earthlooked exceedingly resplendent like the star-bespangled firmament withthe moon. Indeed, the earth was strewn with shafts equipped with wings ofgold, and covered with waves of blood. And strewn with the beautifulheads of heroes, decked with ear-rings and variegated turbans of greatvalue, and banner and yak-tails and beautiful blankets, and begemmedweapons of great efficacy, and the bright ornaments of cars and steeds,and men and elephants, and sharp and well-tempered swords, looking likesnakes freed from their sloughs, and bows, and broken shafts, and darts,and swords, and lances, and Kampanas, and diverse other kinds of weapons,she assumed a beautiful aspect. And in consequence of the steeds dead ordying, but all weltering in blood, with their riders (lying about them),felled by Subhadra’s son, the earth in many places became impassable. Andwith iron hooks, and elephants–huge as hills–equipped with shields andweapons and standards, lying about, crushed with shafts, with excellentcars deprived of steeds and charioteers and car-warriors, lying scatteredon the earth, crushed by elephants and looking like agitated lakes, withlarge bodies of foot-soldiers decked with diverse weapons and lying deadon the ground, the field of battle, wearing a terrible aspect, inspiredall timid hearts with terror.

“Beholding Abhimanyu, resplendent as the sun or the moon, lying on theground, thy troops were in transport of joy, while Pandavas were filledwith grief. When youthful Abhimanyu, yet in his minority, fell, thePandava divisions, O king, fled away in the very sight of kingYudhishthira. Beholding his army breaking upon the fall of Subhadra’sson, Yudhishthira addressed his brave warriors, slaying, ‘The heroicAbhimanyu, who without retreating from battle hath been slain, hathcertainly ascended to heaven. Stay then, and fear not, for we shall yetvanquish our foes.’ Endued with great energy and great splendour, kingYudhishthira the just, that foremost of warriors, saying such words untohis soldiers inspired with grief, endeavoured to dispel their stupor. Theking continued, ‘Having in the first instance, slain in battle hostileprinces, resembling snakes of virulent poison, the son of Arjuna haththen given up his life. Having slain ten thousand warriors, viz., theking of the Kosalas, Abhimanyu, who was even like Krishna or Arjunahimself, hath assuredly gone to the abode of Indra. Having destroyed carsand steeds and men and elephants by thousands, he was still not contentwith what he did. Performing as he did such meritorious feats, we shouldnot certainly grieve for him, he hath gone to the bright regions of therighteous, regions that men acquire by meritorious deeds.'”

Chapter 48
Chapter 46
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