The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding Duhsasana's car staying near his, the son of Bharadwaja, addressing Duhsasana, said these words, 'Why, O Duhsasana, are all these cars flying away? Is the king well? Is the ruler of the Sindhus yet alive? Thou art a prince. Thou art a brother of the king. Thou art a mighty car-warrior. Why dost thou fly away from battle? (Securing the throne to thy brother), become thou that Prince-Regent. Thou hadst formerly said unto Draupadi, 'Thou art our slave, having been won by us at dice. Without being confined to thy husbands, cast aside thy chastity. Be thou a bearer of robes to the king, my eldest brother. Thy husbands are all dead. They are as worthless as grains of sesamum without kernel.' Having said these words then, why, O Duhsasana, dost thou fly from battle now? Having thyself provoked such fierce hostilities with the Panchalas and the Pandavas, why art thou afraid in battle in the presence of Satyaki alone? Taking up the dice on the occasion of the gambling match, couldst thou not divine that those dice then handled by thee would soon transform themselves into fierce shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison? It was thou that hadst formerly applied diverse abusive epithets towards the Pandavas. The woes of Draupadi have thee for their root. Where now is that pride, that insolence, that brag of thine? Why dost thou fly, having angered the Pandavas, those terrible snakes of virulent poison? When thou that art a brave brother of Suyodhana, are intent on flight, without doubt, O hero, thou shouldst
today protect, relying on the energy of thy own arms, this routed and panic-stricken Kaurava host. Without doing this, thou, however, forsakest the battle in fear and enhancest the joy of thy foes. O slayer of foes, when thou that art the leader of thy host, fliest away thus, who else will stay in battle? When thou, its refuge, art frightened, who is there that will not be frightened? Fighting with a single warrior of the Satwata race, thy heart is inclined towards flight from battle. What, however, O Kaurava, wilt thou do when thou wilt see the wielder of Gandiva in battle, or Bhimasena, or the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva)? The shafts of Satyaki, frightened by which thou seekest safety in flight, are scarcely equal to those of Phalguna in battle that resemble the sun or fire in splendour. If thy heart is firmly bent on flight, let the sovereignty of the earth then, upon the conclusion of peace, be given to king Yudhishthira the Just. Before the shafts of Phalguna, resembling snakes freed from their sloughs, enter thy body, make peace with the Pandavas. Before the high-souled Parthas, slaying thy hundred brothers in battle, wrest the earth by force, make peace with the Pandavas. Before king Yudhishthira is enraged, and Krishna also, that delighter in battle, makes peace with the Pandavas. Before the mighty-armed Bhima, penetrating into this vast host, seizes thy brothers, make peace with the Pandavas. Bhishma formerly told thy brother Suyodhana, 'The Pandavas are unconquerable in battle. O amiable one, make peace with them.' Thy wicked brother Suyodhana however, did not do it. Therefore, setting thy heart firmly on battle, fight vigorously with the Pandavas. Go quickly on thy car to the spot where Satyaki is. Without thee, O Bharata, this host will fly away. For the sake of thy own self, fight in battle with Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled.' Thus addressed (by Drona), thy son said not a word in reply. Feigning not to have heard the words (of Bharadwaja's son), Duhsasana proceeded to the place where Satyaki was. Accompanied by a large force of unretreating Mlecchas, and coming upon Satyaki in battle, Duhsasana fought vigorously with that hero. Drona also, that foremost of car-warriors, excited with wrath, rushed against the Panchalas and the Pandavas, with moderate speed. Penetrating into the midst of the Pandava host in that battle, Drona began to crush their warriors by hundreds and thousands. And Drona, O king, proclaiming his name in that battle, caused a great carnage among the Pandavas, the Panchalas, and the Matsyas. The illustrious Viraketu, the son of the ruler of the Panchalas, rushed against the son of Bharadwaja who thus engaged in vanquishing the Pandava ranks. Piercing Drona with five straight shafts, that prince then pierced Drona's standard with one shaft, and then his charioteer with seven. The sight that I then beheld, O monarch, in that battle, was exceedingly wonderful, inasmuch as Drona, though exerting himself vigorously could not approach the prince of the Panchalas. Then, O sire, the Panchalas, beholding Drona checked in battle, surrounded the latter on all sides, O king, from desire of king Yudhishthira's victory. And those warriors then covered Drona along with showers of fiery shafts
and strong lances and various other kinds of weapons, O king! Baffling then those dense showers of weapons by means of his own numerous shafts like the wind driving away from the welkin masses of clouds, Drona looked exceedingly resplendent. Then that slayer of hostile heroes (the son of Bharadwaja), aimed a fierce shaft endued with the effulgence of the sun or the fire, at the car of Viraketu. The shaft, O monarch, piercing through the prince of Panchala, quickly entered the earth, bathed in blood and blazing like a flame of fire. Then the prince of the Panchalas quickly fell down from his car, like a Champaka tree uprooted by the wind, falling down from a mountain summit. Upon the fall of that great bowman, that prince endued with great might, the Panchalas speedily encompassed Drona on every side. Then Chitraketu, and Sudhanwan, and Chitravarman, O Bharata, and Chitraratha also, all afflicted with grief on account of their (slain) brother, together rushed against the son of Bharadwaja, desirous of battling with him, and shooting shafts (at him) like the clouds (pouring) at the end of summer. Struck from all sides by those mighty car-warriors of royal lineage, that bull among Brahmanas mustered all his energy and wrath for their destruction. Then Drona, shot showers of shafts at them. Struck with those shafts of Drona shot from his bow to its fullest stretch those princess. O best of monarchs, became confounded and know not what to do. The angry Drona, O Bharata, beholding those princes stupefied, smilingly deprived them of their steeds and charioteers and cars in that battle. Then the illustrious son of Bharadwaja, by means of his sharp arrows and broad-headed shafts, cut off their heads, like a person plucking flowers from a tree. Deprived of life, those princes there, O king of great splendour, fell down from their cars on the earth, like the (slain) Daityas and Danavas in the battle between the gods and the Asuras in days of old. Having slain them in battle, O king, the valiant son of Bharadwaja shook his invincible bow, the back of whose staff was decked with gold. Beholding those mighty car-warriors, resembling the very celestials among the Panchalas slain, Dhrishtadyumna inflamed with rage, shed tears in that battle. Excited with wrath, he rushed, in that encounter, against Drona's car. Then, O king, cries of woe suddenly arose there at the sight of Drona covered with arrows by the prince of Panchala. Completely shrouded by the high-souled son of Prishata, Drona, however, suffered no pain. On the other hand, he continued to fight, smiling the while. The prince of the Panchalas then, furious with rage, struck Drona in the chest with many straight shafts. Deeply pierced by that mighty warrior, the illustrious son Of Bharadwaja sat down on the terrace of his car and fell into a swoon. Beholding him in that condition, Dhrishtadyumna endued with great Prowess and energy, laid aside his bow and quickly took up a sword. That mighty car-warrior then, speedily jumping down from his own car, Mounted that of Bharadwaja, O 'sire, in no time, his eyes red in wrath and impelled by the desire of cutting Drona's head from off his trunk. Meanwhile, the valiant Drona, regaining his senses, took up his bow and
seeing Dhrishtadyumna arrived so near him from desire of slaughter, began to pierce that mighty car-warrior with shafts measuring a span only in length and therefore, fit to be used in close fight. Those arrows of the measure of a span and fit to be used in close fight, were known to Drona, O king! And with them he succeeded in weakening Dhrishtadyumna. The mighty Dhrishtadyumna, struck with a large number of those arrows, quickly jumped down from Drona's car. Then, that hero of great prowess, his impetuosity baffled, mounted upon his own car and once more took up his large bow. And the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna once more began to pierce Drona in that battle. And Drona also, O monarch, began to pierce the son of Prishata with his arrows. There. upon, the battle that took place between Drona and the prince of the Panchalas was wonderful in the extreme, like that between Indra and Prahlada, both desirous of the sovereignty of the three worlds. Both conversant with the ways of battle, they careered over the field, displaying diverse motions of their cars and mangling each other with their shafts, And Drona and Prishata's son, stupefying the mind of the warriors, shot showers of shafts like two mighty clouds (pouring torrents of rain) in the rainy season. And those illustrious warriors shrouded with their shafts the welkin, the points of the compass, and the earth. And all creatures, viz., the Kshatriyas, O king, and all the other combatants there, highly applauded that battle between them. And the Panchalas, O king, loudly exclaimed, 'Without doubt, Drona, having encountered Dhrishtadyumna in battle, will succumb to us. Then Drona, in that battle, quickly cut off the head of Dhristadyumna's charioteer like a person plucking a ripe fruit from a tree. Then the steeds, O king, of the high-souled Dhrishtadyumna ran away and after those steeds had carried away Dhrishtadyumna from the field, Drona, endued with great prowess, began to rout the Panchalas and the Srinjayas in that battle. Having vanquished the Pandus and the Panchalas, Bharadwaja's son of great prowess, that chastiser of foes, once more took up his station in the midst of his own array. And the Pandavas, O lord, ventured not to vanquish him in battle.'
Next: Section CXXII