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Chapter 77

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Then lord Kesava, of eyes like lotus-petals, havingentered the unrivalled mansion of Arjuna, touched water, and spread (forArjuna) on the auspicious and even floor an excellent bed of Kusa bladesthat were of the hue of the lapis lazuli. And keeping excellent weaponsaround that bed, he adorned it duly with garlands of flowers and friedpaddy, perfumes and other auspicious articles. And after Partha (also)had touched water, meek and submissive attendants brought the usualnightly sacrifice to the Three-eyed (Mahadeva). Then Partha, with acheerful soul, having smeared Madhava with perfumes and adorned withfloral garlands, presented unto Mahadeva the nightly offering.[131] ThenGovinda, with a faint smile, addressed Partha, saying, ‘Blessed be thou,O Partha, lay thyself down, I leave thee.’ Placing door-keepers then, andalso sentinels well-armed, blessed Kesava, followed by (his charioteer)Daruka, repaired to his own tent. He then laid himself down on his whitebed, and thought of diverse measures to be adopted. And the illustriousone (Kesava) of eyes like lotus petals, began for Partha’s sake, to thinkof various means that would dispel (Partha’s) grief and anxiety andenhance his prowess and splendour. Of soul wrapt in yoga, that SupremeLord of all, viz., Vishnu of wide-spread fame, who always did what wasagreeable to Jishnu, desirous of benefiting (Arjuna), lapsed into yoga,and meditation. There was none in the Pandava camp who slept that night.Wakefulness possessed every one, O monarch. And everybody (in the Pandavacamp) thought of this, viz.,–The high-souled wielder of Gandiva, burningwith grief for the death of his son, hath suddenly vowed the slaughter ofthe Sindhus. How, indeed, will that slayer of hostile heroes, that son ofVasava, that mighty-armed warrior, accomplish his vow? The high-souledson of Pandu hath, indeed made a most difficult resolve. King Jayadrathais endued with mighty energy. Oh, let Arjuna succeed in fulfilling hisvow. Difficult is that vow which he, afflicted with grief on account ofhis son, hath made. Duryodhana’s brothers are all possessed of greatprowess. His forces also are countless. The son of Dhritarashtra hathassigned all these to Jayadratha (as his protectors). Oh, let Dhananjayacome back (to the camp), having slain the ruler of the Sindhus in battle.Vanquishing his foes, let Arjuna accomplish his vow. If he fails to slaythe ruler of the Sindhus tomorrow, he will certainly enter into blazingfire. Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, will not falsify his oath. If Arjunadies, how will the son of Dharma succeed in recovering his kingdom?Indeed, (Yudhishthira) the son of Pandu hath reposed (all his hopes of)victory of Arjuna. If we have achieved any (religious) merit, if we haveever poured libations of clarified butter into fire, let Savyasachin,aided by the fruits thereof, vanquish all his foes.’ Thus talking, Olord, with one another about the victory (of the morrow), that longnight, O king, of theirs, at last, passed away. In the middle of thenight, Janardana, having awaked, remembered Partha’s vow, and addressing(his charioteer) Daruka, said, ‘Arjuna, in grief for the death of hisson, hath vowed. O Daruka, that before tomorrow’s sun goes down he willslay Jayadratha. Hearing of this, Duryodhana will assuredly take counselwith his counsellors, about how Partha may fail to achieve his object.His several Akshauhinis of troops will protect Jayadratha. Fullyconversant with the ways of applying all weapons, Drona also, with hisson, will protect him. That matchless hero, the Thousand-eyed (Indrahimself), that crusher of the pride of Daityas and Danavas cannot ventureto slay him in battle who is protected by Drona. I, therefore, will dothat tomorrow by which Arjuna, the son of Kunti, may slay Jayadrathabefore the sun sets. My wives, my kinsmen, my relatives, non amongstthese is dearer to me than Arjuna. O Daruka, I shall not be able to castmy eyes, even for a single moment, on the earth bereft of Arjuna. I tellthee, the earth shall not be reft to Arjuna. Myself vanquishing them allwith their steeds and elephants by putting forth my strength for the sakeof Arjuna, I will slay them with Karna and Suyodhana. Let the threeworlds tomorrow behold my prowess in great battle, when I put forth myvalour, O Daruka, for Dhananjaya’s sake. Tomorrow thousands of kings andhundreds of princes, with their steeds and cars and elephants, will, ODaruka, fly away from battle. Thou shalt tomorrow, O Daruka, behold thatarmy of kings overthrown and crushed with my discus, by myself in wrathfor the sake of the son of Pandu. Tomorrow the (three) worlds with thegods, the Gandharvas, the Pisachas, the Snakes, and the Rakshasas, willknow me as a (true) friend of Savyasachin. He that hateth him, hateth me.He that followeth him, followeth me. Thou hast intelligence. Know thatArjuna is half of myself. When morning comes after the expiry of thisnight, thou, O Daruka, equipping my excellent car according to the rulesof military science, must bring it and follow me with it carefully,placing on it my celestial mace called Kaumodaki, my dart and discus, bowand arrows, and every other thing necessary. O Suta, making room on theterrace of my car for my standard and for the heroic Garuda thereon, thatadorns my umbrella, and yoking thereto my foremost of steeds namedValahaka and Meghapushpa and Saivya and Sugriva, having cased them ingolden mail of the splendour of the sun and fire, and thyself putting onthy armour, stay on it carefully. Upon hearing the loud and terribleblast of my conch Panchajanya emitting the shrill Rishava note,[132] thouwilt come quickly to me. In course of a single day, O Daruka, I shalldispel the wrath and the diverse woes of my cousin, the son of mypaternal aunt. By every means shall I strive so that Vibhatsu in battlemay slay Jayadratha in the very sight of the Dhartarashtras. Ocharioteer, I tell thee that Vibhatsu will certainly succeed in slayingall these for whose slaughter he will strive.’

“Daruka said, ‘He is certain to have victory whose charioteership, Otiger among men, hath been taken by thee. Whence, indeed, can defeat cometo him? As regards myself, I will do that which thou hast commanded me todo. This night will bring (on its train) the auspicious morn for Arjuna’svictory.'”

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