Chapter 27

Mahabharata English - SHALYA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Duryodhana, O king, and thy son Sudarsa, the only two ofthy children yet unslain, were at that time in the midst of the (Kaurava)cavalry. Beholding Duryodhana staying in the midst of the cavalry,Devaki’s son (Krishna) said unto Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, “A largenumber of our foes, kinsmen that had received our protection, have beenslain. There, that bull of Sini’s race is returning, having taken Sanjayacaptive! Both Nakula and Sahadeva, O Bharata, are fatigued, having foughtwith the wretched Dhartarashtras and their followers! Those three, Kripaand Kritavarma and the mighty car-warrior Ashvatthama, have leftDuryodhana’s side and taken up their position elsewhere! Having slainDuryodhana’s troops, the Pancala prince stayeth yonder, endued with greatbeauty, in the midst of the Prabhadrakas. There, O Partha, Duryodhanastayeth in the midst of his cavalry, with the umbrella held over his headand himself flinging his glances all around! Having rearrayed the(remnant of his) army, he stayeth in the midst of his forces. Slayingthis one with thy keen shafts, thou mayst achieve all thy objects! Aslong as these troops do not fly away beholding thee, in their midst andwitnessing also the destruction of their elephant-force, do thou, Ochastiser of foes, endeavour to slay Duryodhana! Let somebody go to thePancala prince and ask him to come hither. The (Kaurava) troops are alltired, O sire! The sinful Duryodhana will never succeed in escaping!Having slain a large number of thy troops in battle, the son ofDhritarashtra wears a proud aspect as if he believes that the Pandavashave been vanquished! Beholding his own troops afflicted and slain by thePandavas, the Kuru king will certainly come to battle for his owndestruction!” Thus addressed by Krishna, Phalguna replied unto him,saying. “Almost all the sons of Dhritarashtra, O giver of honours, havebeen slain by Bhima! Only these two are yet alive! They, however, OKrishna, shall also meet with destruction today! Bhishma hath been slain,Drona hath been slain, Karna, otherwise called Vaikartana, hath beenslain! Shalya, the king of the Madras, hath been slain, and Jayadrathaalso, O Krishna, hath been slain! Only five hundred horses from theremnant of the troops of Shakuni, the son of Subala, and of cars, onlytwo hundred still remain, O Janardana! Of elephants there remain only ahundred that are formidable, and of foot only 3,000! There remain alsoAshvatthama and Kripa and the ruler of the Trigartas and Uluka andKritavarma of the Satwata race. These, O Madhava, form the remnant ofDuryodhana’s force! Truly, there is no escape from death for anybody onEarth! Although such a tremendous carnage hast taken place, behold,Duryodhana is still alive! Today king Yudhishthira, however, will befreed from all his foes! None amongst the enemy will escape me, I ween!Even if they be more than men, O Krishna, I shall yet slay all thosewarriors today, however, furious in battle, if only they do not fly awayfrom the field! Filled with wrath in today’s battle, I shall, by slayingthe prince of Gandhara with my keen shafts, dispel that sleeplessnesswhich the king has suffered from for a long time! I shall win back allthose valuable possessions which Subala’s son, of wicked conduct, wonfrom us at the gambling match in the assembly! Hearing of the slaughterof their husbands and sons at the hands of the Pandavas in battle, allthe ladies of the city called after the elephant will utter loud wails!Today, O Krishna, our task will be ended! Today Duryodhana shall abandonall his blazing prosperity, as also his life-breath. Thou mayest take thefoolish son of Dhritarashtra to be dead, O thou of Vrishni’s race, if, OKrishna, he does not today fly away from the battle to be waged by me!Those steeds are incapable of enduring the twang of my bow and the slapsof my palms! Proceed thither, O Krishna, for I will slay them!” Thusaddressed by Pandu’s son of great force of mind, he of Dasarha’s raceurged his steeds, O king, towards the division of Duryodhana. Beholdingthat force (within which Duryodhana was), three mighty car-warriorsprepared themselves for assailing it, for Bhimasena and Arjuna andSahadeva, O sire, together proceeded against it with loud leonine roarsfrom desire of slaying Duryodhana. Beholding those three warriors rushingquickly together with uplifted bows, Subala’s son proceeded towards thatspot against those Pandava foes. Thy son Sudarsana rushed againstBhimasena. Susarman and Shakuni encountered Kiritin. Thy son Duryodhanaon horse-back proceeded against Sahadeva. Then thy son, O ruler of men,with great speed and care, forcibly struck Sahadeva’s head with a lance.Thus assailed by thy son, Sahadeva sat down on the terrace of his car,all his limbs bathed in blood and himself sighing like a snake. Regaininghis senses then, O king, Sahadeva, filled with rage, covered Duryodhanawith keen arrows. Kunti’s son, Dhananjaya, otherwise called Partha,putting forth his prowess, cut off the heads of many brave combatants onhorse-back. Indeed, Partha, with many arrows, destroyed that (cavalry)division. Having felled all the steeds, he then proceeded against thecars of the Trigartas. At this, the great car-warriors of the Trigartas,uniting together, covered Arjuna and Vasudeva with showers of shafts.Assailing Satyakarman with a razor-headed arrow, the son of Pandu,possessed of great fame, cut off his adversary’s car-shafts. With anotherrazor-headed arrow, O lord, whetted on stone, that celebrated hero,smiling the while, cut off his antagonist’s head adorned with brightgold. He next attacked Satyeshu in the sight of all the warriors, like ahungry lion, O king, in the forest, attacking a deer. Having slain him,Partha pierced Susarman with three arrows and then slew all thosecar-warriors adorned with ornaments of gold. He then proceeded againstSusarman the ruler of Prashthala with great speed, vomiting the virulentpoison of his wrath cherished for many long years. Covering him first, Obull of Bharata’s race, with a hundred arrows, Arjuna then slew all thesteeds of that bowman. Fixing then on his bowstring a mighty arrow thatresembled the rod of Yama, Partha, smiling the while, quickly sped it atSusarman, aiming it at him. Sped by that bowman blazing with wrath, thatarrow, reaching Susarman, pierced through his heart in that battle.Deprived of life, O monarch, Susarman fell down on the Earth, gladdeningall the Pandavas and paining all thy warriors. Having slain Susarman inthat battle, Partha then, with his shafts, despatched the five and thirtysons of that king, all of whom were great car-warriors, to Yama’s abode.Slaying next all the followers of Susarman with his keen arrows, themighty car-warrior, Arjuna, proceeded against the remnant of the Bharatahost. Bhima, in that battle, filled with rage, O ruler of men, made thyson Sudarsana invisible with his arrows, and smiling the while, cut offfrom his antagonist’s trunk his head with a razor-headed arrow of greatsharpness. Deprived of life, the prince fell down on the Earth. Upon thefall of that (Kuru) hero, his followers encompassed Bhima in that battle,shooting showers of whetted arrows at him. Vrikodara, however, with hiskeen arrows, whose touch resembled that of Indra’s thunder, covered thatforce around him. Within a very short time, Bhima slew them all, O bullof Bharata’s race! Whilst they were being thus exterminated, many Kauravaleaders of great might, O Bharata, approached Bhima and began to fightwith him. The son of Pandu, O king, covered all of them with his arrows.Similarly, thy warriors, O monarch, covered the great car-warriors of thePandavas with dense showers of arrows from every side. All the warriorsthen, of both sides, thus engaged in battle with one another, becameexceedingly agitated. Struck by one another, the combatants of botharmies, O king, began to fall down, wailing aloud for their (deceased)kinsmen.'”

Chapter 26
Chapter 28
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