The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'In that fierce and terrible battle, Dhrishtadyumna, O king, proceeded against Drona. Holding his formidable bow and repeatedly stretching his bowstring, the Panchala prince rushed towards Drona's car decked with gold. And as Dhrishtadyumna proceeded for accomplishing the destruction of Drona, the Panchalas and the Pandavas, O king, surrounded him. Beholding Drona, that foremost of preceptors, thus assailed, thy son, resolutely contending in battle, protected Drona on all sides. Then those two oceans of troops encountered each other on that night, looked like two terrible oceans lashed into fury by tempest, with all living creatures within them exceedingly agitated. Then the prince of the Panchalas, O king, quickly pierced Drona in the chest with five arrows and uttered a leonine roar. Drona, however, O Bharata, piercing his foe in return with five and twenty arrows in that battle, cut off, with another broad-headed arrow, his bright bow. Forcibly pierced by Drona, O bull of Bharata's race, Dhrishtadyumna, quickly casting aside his bow, bit his (nether) lip in rage. Indeed, O monarch, the valiant Dhrishtadyumna, excited with wrath, took up another formidable bow for accomplishing the destruction of Drona. That slayer of hostile heroes, that warrior endued with great beauty, stretching that formidable bow to his ear, shot a terrible shaft capable of taking Drona's life. That shaft, thus sped by the mighty prince in that fierce and dreadful battle, illumined the whole army like the risen sun. Beholding that terrible shaft, the gods, the Gandharvas, and the Danavas. said these words, O king, viz.,
[paragraph continues] 'Prosperity to Drona!' Karna, however, O king, displaying great lightness of hand cut off into dozen fragments that shaft as it coursed towards the preceptor's car. Thus cut off into many fragments, O king, that shaft of Dhrishtadyumna, O sire, quickly fell down on the earth like a snake without poison. Having cut off with his own straight shafts those of Dhrishtadyumna in that battle, Karna then pierced Dhrishtadyumna himself with many sharp arrows. And Drona's son pierced him with five, and Drona himself with five, and Salya pierced him with nine, and Duhsasana with three. And Duryodhana pierced him with twenty arrows and Sakuni with five. Indeed, all those mighty car-warriors quickly pierced the prince of the Panchalas. Thus was he pierced by these seven heroes in that battle exerting themselves for the rescue of Drona. The prince of the Panchalas, however, pierced every one of these heroes with three arrows. Indeed, O king, Dhrishtadyumna, in that dreadful battle, quickly pierced Drona himself, and Karna, and Drona's son, and thy son. Thus pierced by that bowman, those warriors, fighting together, pierced Dhrishtadyumna again in that encounter, uttering loud roars the while. Then Drumasena, excited with wrath, O king, pierced the Panchala prince with a winged arrow, and once again quickly with three other arrows. And addressing the prince, he said, 'Wait! Wait!' Dhrishtadyumna then pierced Drumasena in return with three straight arrows, in the encounter, which were equipped with wings of gold, steeped in oil, and capable of taking the life of him at whom they are sped. With another broad-headed shaft, the prince of the Panchalas then, in that battle, cut off from Drumasena's trunk the latter's head decked with bright ear-rings of gold. That head, with (the lower) lip bit (in rage), fell on the ground like a ripe palmyra fruit separated from the stalk by the action of a strong wind. Once again, piercing all those warriors with keen shafts, that hero, with some broad-headed shafts, cut off the bow of Radha's son, that warrior conversant with all modes of warfare. Karna could not book that cutting off of his bow, like a fierce lion incapable of brooking the cutting off of his tail. Taking up another bow, Karna, with eyes red in rage, and breathing hard, covered mighty Dhrishtadyumna with clouds of arrows. Beholding Karna excited with rage, those heroes, viz., those six bulls among car-warriors, quickly encompassed the prince of the Panchalas from desire of slaying him. Seeing the latter in front of those six foremost warriors of thy side, all thy troops, O lord, regarded him to be already within the jaws of the Destroyer. Meanwhile, Satyaki, of the Dasarha race, scattering his shafts as he proceeded, reached the spot where, the valiant Dhrishtadyumna was battling. Beholding that invincible warrior of the Satwata race advancing, Radha's son pierced him in that battle with ten arrows. Satyaki, then, O king, pierced Karna with ten shafts in the very sight of all those heroes, and addressing him, said, 'Do not fly away but stay before me.' The encounter then, that took place between mighty Satyaki and the industrious Karna, resembled, O king, that between Vali and Vasava (in
the days of yore). That bull among Kshatriyas, viz., Satyaki, terrifying all the Kshatriyas with the rattle of his car, pierced the lotus-eyed Karna in return (with many arrows). Making the earth tremble with the twang of his bow, the mighty son of the Suta, O monarch, contended with Satyaki. Indeed, Karna pierced the grandson of Sini in return with hundreds of long, and barbed, and pointed, and tall-toothed, and razor-headed arrows and diverse other shafts. Similarly, that foremost one of Vrishni's race, Yuyudhana, in that battle, shrouded Karna with his arrows. For a time that battle proceeded equally. Then thy son, O monarch, placing Karna at their head, all pierced Satyaki from every side with keen arrows. Resisting with his own weapons those of them all and of Karna also, O lord, Satyaki quickly pierced Vrishasena in the centre of the chest. Pierced with that arrow, the valiant Vrishasena, of great splendour, quickly fell down on his car, casting aside his bow. Then Karna, believing that mighty car-warrior, viz., Vrishasena, slain, became scorched with grief on account of the death of his son and began to afflict Satyaki with great force. Thus afflicted by Karna, the mighty car-warrior Yuyudhana, with great speed, repeatedly pierced Karna with many shafts. Once more piercing Karna with ten arrows, and Vrishasena with five, the Satwata hero cut off the leathern fences and the bows of both sire and son. Then those two warriors, stringing two other bows, capable of inspiring enemies with terror, began to pierce Yuyudhana from every side with keen shafts. During the progress of that fierce conflict that was so destructive of heroes the loud twang of Gandiva, O king, was heard over every other sound. Hearing then the rattle of Arjuna's car as also that twang of Gandiva, the Suta's son, O king, said these words unto Duryodhana, 'Slaughtering our entire army and the foremost of heroic warriors and many mighty bowmen among the Kauravas, Arjuna is loudly twanging his bow. The rattle also of his car is heard, resembling the roar of the thunder. It's evident, the son of Pandu is achieving feats worthy of his own self This son of Pritha, O monarch, will grind our large host. Many of our troops are already breaking. No one stays in battle. Indeed, our army is being dispersed like a risen mass of clouds dispersed by the wind. Encountering Arjuna, our host breaks like a boat on the ocean. The loud wails, O king, of the foremost of warriors, O monarch, flying away from the field, or falling down in consequence of the arrows sped from Gandiva, are being heard. Hear, O tiger among car-warriors, the sound of drums and cymbals near Arjuna's car at dead of night, resembling the deep roll of thunder in the welkin. Hear also the loud wails (of afflicted combatants) and the tremendous leonine shouts, and diverse other noises in the vicinity of Arjuna's car. Here, however, this Satyaki, this foremost one of the Satwata race, stayeth amid us. If this object of our aim can be struck down, we can then vanquish all our foes. Similarly, the son of the Panchala king is engaged with Drona. He is encompassed on all sides by many heroic and foremost of car-warriors. If we can slay Satyaki and Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Prishata without doubt, O king, victory will
be ours. Surrounding these two heroes, these two mighty car-warriors, as we did the son of Subhadra we will strive, O king, to slay them, viz., this son of Vrishni's race and this son of Prishata. Savyasachin, O Bharata, is before us, coming towards this division of Drona, knowing that Satyaki is engaged here with many chief among the Kurus. Let a large number of our foremost of car-warriors proceed thither, so that Partha may not be able to come to the rescue of Satyaki, now encompassed by many. Let these great heroes speedily shoot clouds of shafts with great force, so that Satyaki of Madhu's race may by speedily despatched to Yama's abode.' Ascertaining this to be the opinion of Karna, thy son, addressing Suvala's son in the battle, like the illustrious Indra addressing Vishnu, said these words, Surrounded by ten thousand unretreating elephants and ten thousand cars also, proceed against Dhananjaya! Duhsasana and Durvishaha and Suvahu and Dushpradharshana--these will follow thee, surrounded by a large number of foot-soldiers. O uncle, slay those great bowmen, viz., the two Krishnas, and Yudhishtira, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Bhima, the son of Pandu My hope of victory resteth on thee, like that of the gods on their chief Indra. O uncle, slay the son of Kunti, like (Kartikeya) slaying the Asuras.' Thus addressed and urged by thy son, Sakuni, clad in mail, proceeded against the Parthas, accompanied by a large force as also by thy sons, in order to consume the sons of Pandu. Then commenced a great battle between the warriors of thy army and the foe. When Suvala's son, O king, (thus) proceeded against the Pandavas, the Suta's son, accompanied by a large force, quickly advanced against Satyaki, shooting many hundreds of shafts. Indeed, thy warriors, combining together, encompassed Satyaki. Then Bharadwaja's son, proceeding against the car of Dhrishtadyumna, fought a wonderful and fierce battle at dead of night, O bull of Bharata's race, with the brave Dhrishtadyumna and the Panchalas.'"
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