The Mahabharata Home
"Dhritarashtra said, 'After all the Kaurava troops had been slain by the sons of Pandu on the field of battle, what did those survivors of my army, Kritavarma and Kripa and the valiant son of Drona do? What also did the wicked-souled king Duryodhana then do?'
"Sanjaya said, 'After the flight of the ladies of those high-souled Kshatriyas, and after the (Kaurava) camp had become entirely empty, the three car-warriors (thou hast mentioned) became filled with anxiety. Hearing the shouts of the victorious sons of Pandu, and beholding the camp deserted towards the evening, those three warriors of our side, desirous of rescuing the king, and unable to stay on the field, proceeded towards the lake. Yudhishthira, of virtuous soul, with his brothers in that battle, felt great joy and wandered over the field from desire of staying Duryodhana. Filled with wrath, the Pandavas, desirous of victory, searched for thy son. Though, however, they looked very carefully for him, they failed to discover the (Kuru) king. Mace in hand, he had fled with great speed from the field of battle and penetrated into that lake, having by the aid of his powers of illusion, solidified its waters. When at last the animals of the Pandavas became very much tired, the latter proceeded to their camp and rested there with their soldiers. After the Parthas had retired to their camp, Kripa and Drona's son and Kritavarma of the Satwata race, slowly proceeded towards that lake. Approaching the lake within which lay the king, they addressed that invincible ruler of men asleep within the water, saying, "Arise, O king, and fight with us against Yudhishthira! Either obtaining victory enjoy the earth, or, slain, proceed to heaven! The forces of the Pandavas also, O Duryodhana, have all been slain by thee! Those amongst them that are yet alive have been exceedingly mangled! They will not be able, O monarch, to bear thy impetuosity, especially when thou shalt be protected by us! Arise, therefore, O Bharata!"
"'Duryodhana said, "By good luck, I see you, ye bulls among men, come back with life from this destructive battle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas! After we have rested a while and dispelled our fatigue, we shall encounter the enemy and conquer him! Ye also are tired and I myself am exceedingly mangled! The army of the Pandavas is swelling with might! For these reasons, I do not like to fight now! These exhortations on your part, ye heroes, are not at all wonderful, for your hearts are noble! Your devotion also to me is great! This, however, is not the time for prowess! Resting for this one night, I shall, on the morrow, join you and fight with the foe! In this there is no doubt!"'
"Sanjaya continued, 'Thus addressed, the son of Drona replied unto the king, who was invincible in battle, saying, "Arise, O king, blessed be thou, we shall yet vanquish the foe! I swear by all my religious acts, by all the gifts I have made, by truth itself, and my silent meditations, O king, that I shall today slay the Somakas! Let me not obtain the delight resulting from the performance of sacrifices, that delight which is felt by all pious men, if this night passes away without my slaying the Pandavas in battle! Without slaying all the Pancalas, I will not, O lord, put off my armour! I tell thee this truly. Believe me, O ruler of men!" While they were thus conversing, a number of hunters came there. Fatigued with the weight of meat they carried, they came there, not of any set purpose, for slaking their thirst. Those huntsmen, O lord, used every day, to procure, with great regard, a basketful of meat for Bhimasena, O king! As they sat concealed on the banks of that lake, those men heard every word of that conversation between Duryodhana and those warriors. Finding the Kuru king unwilling to fight, those great bowmen, themselves desirous of battle, began to urge him greatly to adopt their counsels. Seeing those car-warriors of the Kaurava army, and understanding that the king, unwilling to fight, was staying within the waters, and hearing that conversation between those heroes and their master staying within the depths of the lake, indeed, O monarch, the huntsmen, clearly perceiving that it was Duryodhana who was staying within the lake, formed a resolution. A little while before, the son of Pandu, while searching for the king, had met those men and asked them about the whereabouts of Duryodhana. Recollecting the words that the son of Pandu had said, those hunters, O king, whisperingly said unto one another, "We will discover Duryodhana (unto the Pandavas). The son of Pandu will then give us wealth! It is evident to us that the celebrated king Duryodhana is here! Let us then, all of us, proceed to the spot where king Yudhishthira is, for telling him that the vindictive Duryodhana is concealed within the waters of this lake! Let us also, all of us, inform that great bowman, the intelligent Bhimasena, that the son of Dhritarashtra is concealed here within the waters of this lake! Gratified with us, he will give us much wealth! What need of fatiguing ourselves, day after day, with procuring meat and weakening ourselves with such toil?" Having said these words, those huntsmen, filled with joy and longing for wealth, took up their baskets of meat and proceeded towards the (Pandava) camp. Possessed of sure aim and skilled in smiting, the Pandavas, O monarch, not seeing in battle Duryodhana, who was then concealed, (were resting in their camp). Desirous of reaching the end of that sinful wight's evil policy, they had despatched spies in all directions on the field of battle. All the soldiers, however, that had been despatched on that mission returned to the camp together and informed king Yudhishthira the just that no trace could be found of king Duryodhana. Hearing these words of the returned messengers, O bull of Bharata's race, king Yudhishthira became filled with great anxiety and began to breathe heavily. While the Pandavas, O bull of Bharata's race, were staying in such cheerlessness, those huntsmen, O lord, having come with great speed from the banks of that lake, arrived at the camp, filled with joy at having discovered Duryodhana. Though forbidden, they still entered the camp, in the very sight of Bhimasena. Having approached that mighty son of Pandu, Bhimasena, they represented everything unto him about what they had seen and heard. Then Vrikodara, that scorcher of foes, O king, giving them much wealth, represented everything unto king Yudhishthira the just, saying, "Duryodhana, O king, hath been discovered by the huntsmen that supply me with meat! He, O king, for whom thou grievest now lies within a lake whose waters have been solidified by him!' Hearing these agreeable words of Bhimasena, O monarch, Kunti's son, Ajatasatru, became, with all his brothers, filled with joy. Having learnt that the mighty bowman Duryodhana had penetrated into the waters of a lake, the king proceeded thither with great speed, with Janardana at his head. Then a tumultuous noise arose, O monarch, from among the Pandavas and the Pancalas all of whom were filled with joy. The warriors uttered leonine roars, O bull of Bharata's race, and shouted loudly. All the Kshatriyas, O king, proceeded with great speed towards that lake called Dvaipayana. The rejoicing Somakas all around loudly and repeatedly exclaimed, "The sinful son of Dhritarashtra has been found!" The noise made by the cars of those impetuous warriors who proceeded with great speed, became very loud, O monarch, and touched the heavens. Although their animals were tired, all of them still proceeded with speed behind king Yudhishthira who was bent upon finding out Duryodhana. Arjuna, and Bhimasena, and the two sons of Madri by Pandu, and the Pancala prince Dhrishtadyumna, and the unvanquished Shikhandi, and Uttamaujas, and Yudhamanyu, and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki, and the (five) sons of Draupadi, and those amongst the Pancalas, O king, that were yet alive, and all the Pandavas, and all their elephants, and foot-soldiers by hundreds upon hundreds, all proceeded with Yudhishthira. Possessed of great valour, king Yudhishthira the just, O monarch, arrived at the lake known by the name of Dvaipayana within which Duryodhana then was. Wide as the ocean itself, its aspect was agreeable and its waters were cool and transparent. Solidifying the waters by means of his power of illusion, by, indeed, a wonderful method, thy son Duryodhana, O Bharata, happened to be within that lake. Indeed, within those waters lay, O lord, that king, armed with his mace, who, O ruler of men, could not be vanquished by any man! Staying within the waters of that lake, king Duryodhana heard that tumultuous noise (of the Pandava army) which resembled the very roar of the clouds. Yudhishthira then, O king, with his brothers repaired to that lake from desire of slaying Duryodhana. Raising a thick dust, the son of Pandu caused the earth to tremble with the sound of his car-wheels and the loud blare of his conch. Hearing the noise made by the army of Yudhishthira, those great car-warriors, Kritavarma and Kripa and the son of Drona, said these words unto the Kuru king, "Filled with joy and longing for victory, the Pandavas are coming hither! We will, therefore, leave this place. Let it be known to thee!" Hearing those words of these heroes endued with great activity, he answered them, saying, "So be it," and remained (as before) within the waters, having, O lord, solidified them by his powers of illusion. Those car-warriors headed by Kripa, filled with grief, took leave of the king, O monarch, and went away to a place far removed from that spot. Having proceeded far, they beheld a banyan, O sire, under whose shade they stopped, greatly tired, and exceedingly anxious about the king and indulging in such thoughts as these, "The mighty son of Dhritarashtra, having solidified the waters of the lake, lay stretched at the bottom. The Pandavas have reached that spot, from desire of battle. How will the battle take place? What will become of the king?' Thinking of these things, O king, those heroes, Kripa and the others, liberated their horses from their cars and prepared to rest there for some time.'"
Next: Section 31