Drona Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 01 Apr 2010 04:21 and updated at 01 Apr 2010 04:21


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Section 90

XCII Sanjaya said, Upon the fall of Sudakshina and of the heroic Srutayudha, O monarch, thy warriors, filled with wrath, rushed with speed at Partha. The Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, the Vasatis began, O king, to scatter their arrowy showers on Dhananjaya. The son of Pandu then consumed by means of his arrows six hundred of them at once. Thereupon, those warriors, terrified, fled away like smaller animals from a tiger. Rallying, they once more surrounded Partha, who was slaying his foes and vanquishing them in battle. Dhananjaya then, with shafts sped from Gandiva, speedily felled the heads and arms of the combatants thus rushing upon him. Not an inch of the field of battle was unstrewn with fallen heads, and the flights of crows and vultures and ravens that hovered over the field seemed to form a cloudy canopy. Seeing their men thus exterminated, Srutayus and Achyutayus were both filled with wrath. And they continued to contend vigorously with Dhananjaya.

Endued with great might, proud, heroic, of noble lineage, and possessed of strength of arms, those two bowmen, O king, solicitous of winning great fame and desirous, for the sake of thy son, to compass the destruction of Arjuna, quickly showered upon the latter their arrowy downpours at once from his right and left. Those angry heroes, with a thousand straight shafts, covered Arjuna like two masses of clouds filling a lake. Then that foremost of car-warriors viz, Srutayus filled with wrath, struck Dhananjaya with a well-tempered lance. That crusher of foes viz, Arjuna, then, deeply pierced by his mighty foe, swooned away in that battle, stupefying Kesava also by that act. Meanwhile, the mighty car-warrior Achyutayus forcibly struck the son of Pandu with a keen-pointed spear. By the act he seemed to pour an acid upon the wound of the high-souled son of Pandu. Deeply pierced therewith, Partha supported himself by seizing the flag-staff. Then a leonine shout was sent forth by all the troops, O monarch, in the belief that Dhananjaya was deprived of life. And Krishna also was scorched with grief upon beholding Partha senseless. Then Kesava comforted Dhananjaya with soothing words.

Then those foremost of car-warriors, viz, Srutayus and Achyutayus, of true aim, pouring their arrowy showers on all sides, in that battle, made Dhananjaya and Vasudeva of Vrishni's race invisible with their car and car-wheels and Kuvaras, their steeds and flagstaff and banner. And all this seemed wonderful. Meanwhile, O Bharata, Vibhatsu slowly regained his senses, like one come back from the very abode of the king of the dead. Beholding his car with Kesava overwhelmed with arrows and seeing also those two antagonists of his staying before him like two blazing fires, the mighty car-warriors Partha then invoked into existence the weapon named after Sakra. From that weapon flowed thousands of straight shafts. And those shafts struck Srutayus and Achyutayus, those mighty bowmen. And the arrows shot by the latter, pierced by those of Partha, coursed through the welkin. And the son of Pandu quickly baffling those arrows by the force of his own arrows, began to career over the field, encountering mighty car-warriors. Meanwhile Srutayus and Achyutayus were, by Arjuna's arrowy showers, deprived of their arms and heads.

And they fell down on the earth, like a couple of tall trees broken by the wind. And the death of Srutayus and slaughter of Achyutayus created surprise equal to what men would feel at the sight of the ocean becoming dry. Then slaying fifty car-warriors amongst the followers of those two princes, Partha proceeded against the Bharata army, slaying many foremost of warriors. Beholding both Srutayus and Achyutayus slain, their sons, those foremost of men, viz, Niyatayus and Dirghayus, O Bharata, both filled with rage, rushed against the son of Kunti, scattering shafts of diverse kinds, and much pained by the calamity that had happened to their sires. Arjuna, excited with rage, in a moment despatched them both towards Yama's abode, by means of straight shafts. And those bulls among Kshatriyas that were in the Kuru army were unable to resist Partha who agitated the Dhartarashtra ranks, like an elephant agitating the waters of a lake filled with lotuses. Then thousands of trained elephant-riders amongst the Angas, O monarch, filled with rage, surrounded the son of Pandu with their elephant-force. Urged by Duryodhana, many kings also of the west and the south, and many others headed by the ruler of the Kalingas, also surrounded Arjuna, with their elephants huge as hills. Partha however, with shafts sped from Gandiva, quickly cut off the heads and arms, decked with ornaments, of those advancing combatants. The field of battle, strewn with those heads and arms decked with Angadas, looked like golden stones entwined by snakes.

And the arms of warriors cut off therewith, while failing down, looked like birds dropping down from trees. And the elephants, pierced with thousands of arrows and shedding blood from their wounds, looked like hills in the season of rains with liquefied red chalk streaming down their sides. Others, slain by Partha with sharp shafts, lay prostrate on the field. And many Mlecchas on the backs of elephants, of diverse kinds of ugly forms, robed in diverse attires, O king, and armed with diverse kinds of weapons, and bathed in blood, looked resplendent as they lay on the field, deprived of life by means of diverse kinds of arrows. And thousands of elephants along with their riders and those on foot that urged them forward, struck with Partha's shafts, vomited blood, or uttered shrieks of agony, or fell down, or ran ungovernably in all directions. And many, exceedingly frightened, trod down and crushed their own men. And many which were kept as reserves and which were fierce as snakes of virulent poison, did the same. And many terrible Yavanas and Paradas and Sakas and Valhikas, and Mlecchas born of the cow belonging to Vasishtha, of fierce eyes, accomplished in smiting looking like messengers of Death, and all conversant with the deceptive powers of the Asuras and many Darvabhisaras and Daradas and Pundras numbering by thousands, of bands, and together forming a force that was countless, began to shower their sharp shafts upon the son of Pandu. Accomplished in various modes of warfare, those Mlecchas covered Arjuna with their arrows. Upon them, Dhananjaya also quickly poured his arrows.

And those arrows, shot from Gandiva, looked like flights of locusts, as they coursed through the welkin. Indeed. Dhananjaya, having by his arrows caused a shade over the troops like that of the clouds, slew, by the force of his weapons, all the Mlecchas, with heads completely shaved or half-shaved or covered with matted locks, impure in habits, and of crooked faces. Those dwellers of hills, pierced with arrows, those denizens of mountain-caves, fled away in fear. And ravens and Kankas and wolves, with great glee, drank the blood of those elephants and steeds and their Mleccha-riders overthrown on the field by Partha with his sharp shafts. Indeed, Arjuna caused a fierce river to flow there whose current consisted of blood. Slain foot-soldiers and steeds and cars and elephants constituted its embankments. The showers of shafts poured constituted its rafts and the hairs of the combatants formed its moss and weeds. And the fingers cut off from the arms of warriors, formed its little fishes. And that river was as awful as Death itself at the end of the Yuga.

And that river of blood flowed towards the region of Yama, and the bodies of stain elephants floating on it, obstructed its current. And the earth was covered all over with the blood of Kshatriyas and of elephants and steeds and their riders, and became one bloody expanse like to what is seen when Indra showers a heavy down-pour covering uplands and lowlands alike. And that bull among Kshatriyas despatched six thousand horsemen and again a thousand foremost of Kshatriyas in that battle into the jaws of death. Thousands of well-equipped elephants, pierced with arrows, lay prostrate on the field, like hills struck down by thunder. And Arjuna careered over the field, slaying steeds and car-warriors and elephants, like an elephant of rent temples crushing a forest a reeds. As a conflagration, urged by the wind, consumes a dense forest of trees and creepers and plants and dry wood and grass, even so did that fire, viz, Pandu's son Dhananjaya, having shafts for its flames and urged on by the Krishna-wind, angrily consume the forest of thy warriors. Making the terraces of cars empty, and causing the earth to be strewn, with human bodies, Dhananjaya seemed to dance bow in hand, in the midst of those vast masses of men. Deluging the earth with blood by means of his shafts, endued with the strength of the thunder, Dhananjaya, excited with wrath, penetrated into the Bharata host. While thus proceeding, Srutayus, the ruler of the Amvashthas, resisted him. Arjuna then, O sire, speedily felled with keen shafts equipped with Kanka feathers, the steeds of Srutayus struggling in battle.

And cutting off with other shafts, the bow also of his antagonist, Partha careered over the field. The ruler of the Amvashthas, then with eyes troubled in wrath, took up a mace and approached the mighty car-warrior Partha and Kesava also in that battle. Then that hero, uplifting his mace, stopped the progress of Arjuna's car by its strokes, and struck Kesava also therewith. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz, Arjuna, beholding Kesava struck with that mace, became filled with wrath. And, then, O Bharata, that hero, with his shafts, equipped with wings of gold, covered the ruler of the Amvashthas, that foremost or car-warriors, armed with mace, like clouds covering the risen sun. With other shafts, Partha then cut off the mace of that high-souled warrior in fragments, reducing it almost to dust. And all this seemed highly wonderful. Beholding that mace of his cut off in fragments, the ruler of the Amvashthas took up another huge mace, and repeatedly struck both Arjuna and Kesava therewith. Then, Arjuna with a couple of sharp broad-faced arrows, cut off the uplifted arms of Srutayus which held the mace, those arms that looked like a couple of Indra's standard, and with another winged arrow, he cut off the head of that warrior. Thus slain, Srutayus fell down, O king, filling the earth with a loud noise, like a tall standard of Indra when the strings, tying it to the engine on which it is set, are cut off.

Surrounded then on all sides by rounds of cars and by hundreds upon hundreds of elephants and cars, Partha became invisible like the sun covered with clouds

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