Bhishma Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 31 Mar 2010 12:53 and updated at 31 Mar 2010 14:01


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Section 53

LIII Dhritarashtra said, Tell me, O Sanjaya, how that great bowman Drona and the Panchala prince of Prishata's race encounter each other in battle, each striving his best. I regard destiny to be superior, O Sanjaya, to exertion, when Santanu's son Bhishma even could not escape Pandu's son in battle. Indeed, Bhishma, when enraged in battle could destroy all mobile and immobile creatures, why, O Sanjaya, could he not then by his prowess, escape the son of Pandu in battle Sanjaya said, Listen, O king, quietly to this terrific battle. The son of Pandu is incapable of being vanquished by the very gods with Vasava. Drona with diverse arrows pierced Dhrishtadyumna and felled the latter's charioteer from his niche in the car

And, O sire, the enraged hero also afflicted Dhrishtadyumna's four steeds with four excellent shafts. And the heroic Dhrishtadyumna too pierced Drona in the combat with nine sharp arrows and addressed him, saying, Wait, Wait. Then, again, Bharadwaja's son of great prowess and immeasurable soul, covered with his arrows the wrathful Dhrishtadyumna. And he took up a dreadful arrow for the destruction of Prishata's son whose force resembled that of Sakra's bolt and which was like a second rod of death. And beholding that arrow aimed by Bharadwaja in battle, loud cries of oh and alas arose, O Bharata, among all the combatants. And then we beheld the wonderful prowess of Dhrishtadyumna insomuch that the hero stood alone, immovable like a mountain. And he cut off that terrible and blazing arrow coming towards him like his own Death, and also showered an arrowy downpour on Bharadwaja's son. And beholding that difficult feat achieved by Dhrishtadyumna, the Panchalas with the Pandavas, filled with delight, set up loud shouts. And that prince, endued with great prowess, desirous of slaying Drona hurled at him a dart of great impetuosity, decked with gold and stones of lapis lazuli. Thereupon the son of Bharadwaja, smiling the while, cut off into three fragments that dart decked with gold that was coming towards him impetuously.

Beholding his dart thus baffled, Dhrishtadyumna of great prowess rained arrowy downpours on Drona, O king. Then that mighty car-warrior Drona, baffling that arrowy shower, cut off when the opportunity presented, the bow of Drupada's son. His bow thus cut off in the combat, that mighty warrior of great fame hurled at Drona a heavy mace endued with the strength of the mountain. And hurled from his hands, that mace coursed through the air for Drona's destruction. And then we beheld the wonderful prowess of Bharadwaja's son. By the lightness of his car's motion, he baffled that mace decked with gold, and having baffled it, he shot at Prishata's son many shafts of sharp edge, well-tempered, furnished with golden wings, and whetted on stone. And these, penetrating through Prishata's coat of mail, drank his blood in that battle. Then the high-souled Dhrishtadyumna, taking up another bow, and putting forth his prowess pierced Drona in that encounter with five shafts. And then those two bulls among men, both covered with blood, looked beautiful like two blossoming Kinsukas in spring variegated with flowers. Then, O king, excited with wrath and putting forth his prowess at the head of his division, Drona once more cut off the bow of Drupada's son.

And then that hero of immeasurable soul covered that warrior whose bow was cut off, with innumerable straight arrows like the clouds showering rain on a mountain. And he also felled his foe's charioteer from his niche in the car. And his four steeds, too, with four sharp arrows, Drona felled in that combat that set up a leonine roar. And with another shaft he cut off the leathern fence that cased Dhrishtadyumna's hand. His bow cut off, deprived of car, his steeds slain, and charioteer overthrown, the prince of Panchala alighted from his car, mace in hand, displaying great prowess. But before he could come down from his car, O Bharata, Drona with his shafts cut off that mace into fragments. This feat seemed wonderful to us. And then the mighty prince of the Panchalas of strong arms, taking a large and beautiful shield decked with a hundred moons, and a large scimitar of beautiful make, rushed impetuously from desire of slaying Drona, like a hungry lion in the forest towards an infuriate elephant. Then wonderful was the prowess that we behold of Bharadwaja's son, and his lightness of hand in the use of weapons, as also the strength of his arms, O Bharata, in as much as, alone, he checked Prishata's son with a shower of arrows. And although possessed of great might in battle, he was unable to proceed further.

And we behold the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna staying where he did and warding off those clouds of arrows with his shield, using his arms with great dexterity. Then the mighty-armed Bhima endued with great strength quickly came there, desirous of aiding in battle the high-souled son of Prishata. And he pierced Drona, O king, with seven sharp-pointed arrows, and speedily caused Prishata's son to be taken up on another car. Then king Duryodhana urged the ruler of the Kalingas supported by a large division, for the protection of Bharadwaja's son. Then that terrible and mighty division of the Kalingas, O ruler of men, rushed against Bhima at the command of thy son. And Drona then, that foremost of car-warriors, abandoning the prince of Panchala, encountered Virata and Drupada together. And Dhrishtadyumna also proceeded to support king Yudhishthira in battle. And then commenced a fierce battle, making the hair stand on end, between the Kalingas and the high-souled Bhima, a battle that was destructive of the universe, terrific, and awful

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