The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Then the Kurus and the Srinjayas once more fearlessly encountered each other in battle, the Parthas being headed by Yudhishthira, and ourselves headed by the Suta's son. Then commenced a terrible battle, making the hair to stand on end, between Karna and the Pandavas, that increased the population of Yama's kingdom. After that furious battle, producing rivers of blood, had commenced, and when a remnant only of the brave samsaptakas, O Bharata, were left unslaughtered, Dhrishtadyumna, O monarch, with all the kings (on the Pandava side) and those mighty car-warriors--the Pandavas themselves, all rushed against Karna only. Like the mountain receiving a vast body of water, Karna, unaided by anyone, received in that battle all those advancing warriors filled with joy and longing for victory. Those mighty car-warriors encountering Karna, were beat off and broken like a mass of water, and beat back on all sides when it encounters a mountain. The battle, however, that took place between them and Karna made the hair stand on end. Then Dhrishtadyumna assailed the son of Radha with a straight shaft in that battle, and addressing him said, "Wait, Wait." The mighty car-warrior Karna, filled with rage, shook his foremost of bows called Vijaya, and cutting off the bow of Dhrishtadyumna, as also his arrows resembling snakes of virulent poison assailed Dhrishtadyumna himself with nine arrows. Those arrows, O sinless one, piercing through the gold-decked armour of the high-souled son of Prishata, became bathed in blood and looked beautiful like so many cochineal. The mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, casting aside that broken bow, took up another bow and a number of shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison. With those straight shafts numbering seventy, he pierced Karna. Similarly, O king, Karna, in that battle, covered Prishata's son, that scorcher of foes, with many shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison. The slayer of Drona, that great bowman, retaliated by piercing Karna with many keen shafts. Filled with rage, Karna then, O monarch, sped at his antagonist a gold-decked shaft that resembled a second rod of death. That terrible shaft, O monarch, as it coursed impetuously towards Prishata's son, the grandson of Sini, O king, cut off into seven fragments, displaying great lightness of hand. Beholding his shaft baffled by the arrows of Satyaki, O king, Karna resisted Satyaki with showers of arrows from every side. And he pierced Satyaki in that encounter with seven clothyard shafts. The grandson of Sini, however, pierced him in return with many arrows decked with gold. The battle then that took place, O king, between those two warriors was such as to fill both spectators and listeners with fear. Though awful, soon it became beautiful and deserving objects of sight. Beholding the feats, in that encounter, of Karna and the grandson of Sini, the hair of all the creatures there present seemed to stand on end. Meanwhile the mighty son of Drona rushed against Prishata's son, that chastiser of foes and queller of the prowess of all enemies. Filled with rage, Drona's son, that subjugator of hostile towns, addressing Dhrishtadyumna, said, "Wait, wait, O slayer of a Brahmana, thou shalt not escape me today with life." Having said these words, that mighty car-warrior of great lightness of hand striving resolutely, deeply pierced the brave son of Prishata, who also strove to the utmost of his prowess, with many keen and terrible shafts endued with great impetuosity. As Drona (while alive), beholding the son of Prishata, O sire, had become cheerless and regarded him as his death, even so the son of Prishata, that slayer of hostile heroes, beholding Drona's son in that battle, now regarded him as his death. Soon, however, remembering that he was unslayable in battle by means of weapons, he rushed with great speed against Drona's son, like the Destroyer running against the Destroyer at the time of the universal dissolution. Drona's heroic son, however, O monarch, beholding Dhrishtadyumna stationed before him, drew deep breaths, in wrath, and rushed towards him. Both of them were filled with great rage at the sight of each other. Endued with great activity, the valiant son of Drona then, O monarch, said these words unto Dhrishtadyumna staying not far from him, "O wretch amongst the Pancalas, I shall today despatch thee to Yama. The sin thou hast committed before by slaying Drona will fill thee today with regret, to thy great evil, if thou stayest in battle without being protected by Partha, or if thou dost not fly away, O fool, I tell thee truly." Thus addressed, the valiant Dhrishtadyumna replied, saying, "That same sword of mine which answered thy sire, resolutely engaged in battle, will today answer this speech of thine. If Drona could be slain by me, O thou that art a Brahmana in name only, why should I not then, putting forth my prowess, slay thee also in battle today?" Having said these words, the wrathful commander of the Pandava forces, viz., the son of Prishata, pierced Drona's son with a keen arrow. Then Drona's son filled with great rage, shrouded every side of Dhrishtadyumna, O king, in that battle, with straight arrows. Shrouded with thousands of arrows, neither the welkin, nor the points of the compass, nor the combatants all around, could, O monarch, be any longer seen. Similarly, the son of Prishata, O king, shrouded Drona's son, that ornament of battle, with arrows, in the very sight of Karna. The son of Radha, too, O monarch, singly resisted the Pancalas and the Pandavas and the (five) sons of Draupadi and Yudhamanyu and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki, in consequence of which feat he became the cynosure of all eyes. Then Dhrishtadyumna in that battle cut off the very tough and formidable bow of Drona's son, as also all his arrows resembling snakes of virulent poison. Drona's son, however, with his arrows, destroyed within the twinkling of an eye the bow, the dart, the mace, the standard, the steeds, the driver, and the car of Prishata's son. Bowless and carless and steedless and driverless, the son of Prishata then took up a huge scimitar and a blazing shield decked with a hundred moons. Endued with great lightness of hand, and possessed of mighty weapons, that mighty car-warrior, viz., the heroic son of Drona, O king, quickly cut off, in that battle, with many broad-headed arrows, those weapons also of Dhrishtadyumna before the latter could come down from his car. All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. The mighty car-warrior Ashvatthama, however, though struggling vigorously, could not, O chief of the Bharatas, slay the carless and steedless and bowless Dhrishtadyumna, although pierced and exceedingly mangled with many arrows. When, therefore, O king, the son of Drona found that he could not slay his enemy with arrows, he laid aside his bow and quickly proceeded towards the son of Prishata. The impetuosity of that high-souled one, as he rushed towards his foe, resembled that of Garuda swooping down for seizing a large snake. Meanwhile Madhava, addressing Arjuna, said, "Behold, O Partha, how the son of Drona is rushing with great speed towards the car of Prishata's son. Without doubt, he will slay the prince. O mighty-armed one, O crusher of foes, rescue the son of Prishata, who is now within the jaws of Drona's son as if within the jaws of Death himself." Having said these words, the valiant Vasudeva urged the steeds towards that spot where Drona's son was. Those steeds, of the splendour of the moon, urged by Keshava, proceeded towards the car of Drona's son, devouring the very skies. Beholding those two of great energy, viz., Krishna and Dhananjaya, coming towards him, the mighty Ashvatthama made great efforts for slaying Dhrishtadyumna soon. Seeing Dhrishtadyumna dragged, O ruler of men by his enemy, the mighty Partha sped many arrows at the son of Drona. Those arrows, decked with gold and sped from Gandiva, approached the son of Drona and pierced him deeply like snakes penetrating into an ant-hill. Thus pierced with those terrible arrows, the valiant son of Drona, O king, abandoned the Pancala prince of immeasurable energy. Indeed, the hero, thus afflicted with Dhananjaya's shafts, mounted on his car, and taking up his own excellent bow, began to pierce Partha with many shafts. Meanwhile, the heroic Sahadeva, O ruler of men, bore away on his car the son of Prishata, that scorcher of foes. Arjuna then, O king, pierced Drona's son with many arrows. Filled with rage, Drona's son struck Arjuna in the arms and the chest. Thus provoked, Partha, in that battle, sped at Drona's son, a long shaft that resembled a second rod of Death, or rather, Death himself. That arrow of great splendour fell upon the shoulder of the Brahmana hero. Exceedingly agitated, O monarch, in that battle, by the violence of the stroke, he sat down on the terrace of his car and swooned away. Then Karna, O monarch, shook his bow Vijaya and, filled with rage, repeatedly eyed Arjuna in that battle, desiring a single combat with him. Meanwhile the driver of Drona's son, beholding the latter senseless, quickly bore him away on his car from the field of battle. Beholding Prishata's son rescued and Drona's son afflicted, the Pancalas, O king, expectant of victory, began to utter loud shouts. Thousands of sweet instruments began to be sounded. Seeing such wonderful feats in battle, the combatants uttered leonine roars. Having achieved that feat, Partha addressed Vasudeva, saying "Proceed, O Krishna, towards the samsaptakas, for this is greatly desired by me." Hearing those words of Pandu's son, he of Dasharha's race proceeded on that car graced with many banners and whose speed resembled that of the wind or the mind.'"
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