The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding those feats of the Satwata hero, Duryodhana and others, filled with rage, quickly encompassed the grandson of Sini on all sides. Kripa and Karna, of also thy sorts, O sire, in that battle, quickly approaching the grandson of Sini, began to strike him with keen arrows. Then king Yudhishthira, and the two other Pandavas, viz., the two sons of Madri and Bhimasena of great might surrounded Satyaki (for protecting him). Karna, and the mighty car-warrior Kripa, and Duryodhana and others, all resisted Satyaki, pouring showers of arrows on him. The grand
son of Sini, however, contending with all those car-warriors, baffled, O monarch, that terrible downpour of arrows, so suddenly created by his foes. Indeed, in that dreadful battle, Satyaki, by means of his own celestial weapons, duly resisted all those celestial weapons aimed at him by those illustrious warriors. The field of battle became full of many cruel sights upon that encounter of those royal combatants, resembling that scene of yore when Rudra, filled with rage, had destroyed all creatures. Human arms and heads and bows, O Bharata, and umbrellas displaced (from cars), and yak-tails, were seen lying in heaps on the field of battle. The earth became quickly strewn with broken wheels and cars, and massive arms lopped off from trunks, and brave horsemen deprived of life. And, O foremost one among the Kurus, large number of warriors, mangled with falling arrows, were seen in that great battle to roll and writhe on the ground in agony of the last spasms of death. During the progress of that terrible battle, resembling the encounter in days of old between the celestials and the Asuras, king Yudhishthira the just, addressing his warriors, said, Putting forth all your vigour, rush, ye great car-warriors, against the Pot-born! Yonder the heroic son of Prishata is engaged with Drona! He is endeavouring to the utmost of his might, to slay the son of Bharadwaja. Judging from the aspect he is presenting in this great battle, it is evident that filled with rage, he will today overthrow Drona. Uniting together, all of you fight with the Pot-born.' Thus ordered by Yudhishthira, the mighty car-warriors of the Srinjayas all rushed with great vigour to slay the son of Bharadwaja. That mighty car-warrior, viz., Bharadwaja's son, quickly rushed against those advancing warriors, knowing for certain that he would die. When Drona, of sure aim, thus proceeded, the earth trembled violently. Fierce winds began to blow, inspiring the (hostile) ranks with fear. Large meteors fell, seemingly issuing out of the sun, blazing fiercely as they fell and foreboding great terrors. The weapons of Drona, O sire, seemed to blaze forth. Cars seemed to produce loud rattles, and steeds to shed tears. The mighty car-warrior, Drona, seemed to be divested of his energy, His left eye and left hand began to twitch. Beholding Prishata's son, again, before him, and bearing in mind the words of the Rishis about his leaving the world for heaven, he became cheerless. He then desired to give up life by fighting fairly. Encompassed on all sides by the troops of Drupada's son, Drona began to career in battle, consuming large numbers of Kshatriyas. That grinder of foes, having slain four and twenty thousand Kshatriyas, then despatched to Yama's abode ten times ten thousand, by means of his shafts of keen points. Exerting himself with care, he seemed to stand in that battle like a smokeless fire. For the extermination of the Kshatriya race, he then had recourse to the Brahma weapon. Then the mighty Bhima, beholding the illustrious and irresistible prince of the Panchalas carless and weaponless, quickly proceeded towards him. Beholding him striking at Drona from a near point, that grinder of foes took up Dhrishtadyumna on his own car and said unto him, 'Save thee there is no other man that can
venture to fight with the preceptor. Be quick to slay him. The burden of his slaughter rests upon thee.' Thus addressed by Bhima, the mighty-armed Dhrishtadyumna speedily took up a strong, a new and a superb bow capable of bearing a great strain. Filled with rage, and shooting his arrows in that battle at the irresistible Drona, Dhrishtadyumna covered the preceptor, desirous of withstanding him. Those two ornaments of battle then, both foremost of fighters and both filled with rage, invoked into existence the Brahma and diverse other celestial weapons. Indeed, O king, Dhrishtadyumna covered Drona with many mighty weapons in that encounter. Destroying all the weapons of Bharadwaja's son, the Panchala prince, that warrior of unfading glory, began to slay the Vasatis, the Sivis, the Valhikas and the Kurus, that is, them, who protected Drona in that battle. Indeed, O king, shooting showers of arrows on all sides, Dhrishtadyumna at that time looked resplendent like the sun himself shedding his thousands of rays. Drona, however, once more cut off the prince's bow and pierced the vitals of the prince himself with many arrows. Thus pierced, the prince felt great pain. Then Bhima, of great wrath, holding the car of Drona, O monarch, slowly said these words unto him: If wretches amongst Brahmanas, discontented with the avocations of their own order, but well-versed in arms, did not fight, the Kshatriya order then would not have been thus exterminated. Abstention from injury to all creatures hath been said to be the highest of all virtues. The Brahmana is the root of that virtue. As regards thyself, again, thou art the foremost of all persons acquainted with Brahma. Slaying all those Mlecchas and other warriors, who, however, are all engaged in the proper avocations of their order, moved thereto by ignorance and folly, O Brahmana, and by the desire of wealth for benefiting sons and wives; indeed, for the sake of an only son, why dost thou not feel ashamed? He for whom thou hast taken up weapons, and for whom thou livest, he, deprived of life, lieth today on the field of battle, unknown to thee and behind thy back. King Yudhishthira the just hath told thee this. It behoveth thee not to doubt this fact.' Thus addressed by Bhima, Drona laid aside his bow. Desirous of laying aside all his weapons also, Bharadwaja's son of virtuous soul said aloud, 'O Karna, Karna, O great bowman, O Kripa, O Duryodhana, I tell you repeatedly, exert yourselves carefully in battle. Let no injury happen to you from the Pandayas. As regards myself, I lay aside my weapons.' Saying these words, he began loudly to take the name of Aswatthaman. Laying aside his weapons then in that battle, and sitting down on the terrace of his car, he devoted himself to Yoga and assured all creatures, dispelling their fears. Beholding that opportunity, Dhrishtadyumna mustered all his energy. Laying down on the car his formidable bow, with arrow fixed on the bow-string, he took up a sword, and jumping down from his vehicle, rushed quickly against Drona. All creatures, human beings and others, uttered exclamation of woe, beholding Drona thus brought under Dhrishtadyumna's power. Loud cries of Oh and Alas were uttered, as also those of Oh and Fie. As regards Drona himself,
abandoning his weapons, he was then in a supremely tranquil state. Having said those words he had devoted himself to Yoga. Endued with great effulgence and possessed of high ascetic merit, he had fixed his heart on that Supreme and Ancient Being, viz., Vishnu. Bending his face slightly down, and heaving his breast forward, and closing his eyes, and resting ort the quality of goodness, and disposing his heart to contemplation, and thinking on the monosyllable Om, representing. Brahma, and remembering the puissant, supreme, and indestructible God of gods, the radiant Drona or high ascetic merit, the preceptor (of the Kurus and the Pandavas) repaired to heaven that is so difficult of being attained even by the pious. Indeed, when Drona thus proceeded to heaven it seemed to us that there were then two suns in the firmament. The whole welkin was ablaze and seemed to be one vast expanse of equal light when the sun-like Bharadwaja, of solar effulgence, disappeared. Confused sounds of joy were heard, uttered by the delighted celestials. When Drona thus repaired to the region of Brahman, Dhrishtadyumna stood, unconscious of it all, beside him. Only we five amongst men beheld the high-souled Drona rapt in Yoga proceed to the highest region of blessedness. These five were myself, Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, and Drona's son, Aswatthaman, and Vasudeva of Vrishni's race, and king Yudhishthira the just, the son of Pandu. Nobody else, O king, could see that glory of the wise Drona, devoted to Yoga, while passing out of the world. In fact, all human beings were unconscious of the fact that the preceptor attained to the supreme region of Brahman, a region mysterious to the very gods, and one that is the highest of all. Indeed, none of them could see the preceptor, that chastiser of foes, proceed to the region of Brahman, devoted to Yoga in the company of the foremost of Rishis, his body mangled with arrows and bathed in blood, after he had laid aside his weapons. As regards Prishata's son, though everybody cried fie on him, yet casting his eyes on the lifeless Drona's head, he began to drag it. With his sword, then, he lopped off from his foe's trunk that head,--his foe remained speechless the while. Having slain Bharadwaja's son. Dhrishtadyumna was filled with great joy, and uttered leonine shouts, whirling his sword. Of a dark complexion, with white locks hanging down to his ears, that old man of five and eighty years of age, used, for thy sake only, to career on the field of battle with the activity of a youth of sixteen. The mighty-armed Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, (before Drona's head was cut off) had said, 'O son of Drupada, bring the preceptor alive, do not slay him. He should not be slain.' Even thus all the troops also had cried out. Arjuna, in particular, melted with pity, had cried out repeatedly. Disregarding, however, the cries of Arjuna as also these of all the kings, Dhrishtadyumna stew Drona, that bull among men, on the terrace of his car. Covered with Drona's blood, Dhrishtadyumna then Jumped from the car down upon the ground. Looking red like the sun, he then seemed to be exceedingly fierce. Thy troops beheld Drona slain even thus in that battle. Then Dhrishtadyumna. that great bowman, O king, threw down
that large head of Bharadwaja's son before the warriors of thy army. Thy soldiers, O monarch, beholding the head of Bharadwaja's son, set their hearts on flight and ran away in all directions. Meanwhile Drona, ascending the skies, entered the stellar path. Through the grace of the Rishis Krishna (Dwaipayana), the son of Satyavati, I witnessed, O king, the (true circumstances about the) death of Drona. I beheld that illustrious one proceeding, after he had ascended the sky, like a smokeless brand of blazing splendour. Upon the fall of Drona, the Kurus, the Pandavas and the Srinjayas, all became cheerless and ran away with great speed. The army then broke up. Many had been slain, and many wounded by means of keen shafts. Thy warriors (in particular), upon the fall of Drona, seemed to be deprived of life. Having sustained a defeat, and being inspired with fear about the future, the Kurus regarded themselves deprived of both the worlds. Indeed, they lost all self-control. 1 Searching for the body of Bharadwaja's, son, O monarch, on the field covered with thousands of headless trunks, the kings could not find it. The Pandavas, having gained the victory and great prospects of renown in the future, began to make loud sounds with their arrows and conchs and uttered loud leonine roars. Then Bhimasena, O king, and Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Prishata, were seen in the midst of the (Pandava) host to embrace each other. Addressing the son of Prishata, that scorcher of foes, viz., Bhima said, 'I will again embrace thee, O son of Prishata, as one crowned with victory, when that wretch of a Suta's son shall be slain in battle, as also that other wretch, viz., Duryodhana.' Having said these words, Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, filled with transports of joy, caused the earth to tremble with slaps on his armpits. Terrified by that sound, thy troops ran away from battle, forgetting the duties of the Kshatriyas and setting their hearts on flight. The Pandavas, having become victors, became very glad, O monarch, and they felt great happiness, derived from the destruction of their foes in battle.'"
453:1 Deprived of both the worlds, having sustained a defeat, they lost this world, and flying away from the field, they committed a sin and lost the next world.
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