"After Bhishma attaining divinity and laid on the arrow bed, what had happened. Kindly tell me" asked Janamejaya.
Vaisampayana continued to tell Janamejaya, the story of Mahabharata.
On hearing from Sanjaya about the fall of Bhishma in the battle field, Dhritarashtra was very much distressed.
"Sanjaya! Immediately you go back to the battle field, find out what had happened after the fall of Bhishma and tell me.." asked Dhritarashtra.
As per the orders of King Dhritarashtra, Sanjaya proceeded to Kurushetra. With the blessings of Veda Vyasa, Sanjaya could see and observe personally every detail in the subsequent days of war. Then he returned to Hastinapura and immediately proceeded to the Palace of Dhritarashtra. Dhritarashtra welcomed him and offered him a suitable seat.
"Sanjaya! After the fall of my father Bhishma, with whose help, my sons continued the war. Who was appointed as Commander-in-Chief. How the war proceeded and in which direction. Kindly tell me in detail." anxiously asked Dhritarashtra. Sanjaya continued to say:
"O King Dhritarastra! I have so far told you about the fall of Bhishma in the battle field, and the arrival of both Pandavas and Kouravas to the place where Bhishma was lying on arrow bed. Bhishma reiterated his desire to your son Suyodhana about amicable settlement with Pandavas, even at that stage, so that the remaining Kouravas and other Kings and their armedforces, will survive. But your son, Suyodhana, as usual, paid a deaf ear and left that place with anger.
As per your orders, I proceeded to Kurushetra and reached the battle field at the time of dawn. Arragnements were being made for the next day war. All army troops were preparing themselves for war. But the faces of Kourava soldiers and their commanders were gloomy. They were looking at one another.
At that time all were waiting for the arrival of Karna, the saviour. All the car-warriors proceeded to Suyodhana and said: "O King Suyodhana! All our army, deprived of your Grandsire, Bhishma, is looking like a wife without husband and fertile land without crop. Pandava armies are enraging. At this juncture, only Karna should come and save us. Suyodhana, you know that Karna abstained from war all these ten days, only on account of the remarks passed by Bhishma, counting him as Ardha Radha. Now we are all waiting for Karna." said those kings.
In the meanwhile Karna arrived there. Suyodhana and other kings accorded him a warm welcome. Karna addressed the kings thus:
"O Kings of great prowess! Bhishma, who possessed firmness, intelligence, prowess, vigour, truth, self-restraint, humility, modesty, freedom from malice, is now lying on an arrow bed in the battle field. Without his leadership, what is the use of having so many Akshouhinis' army. With the fall of Bhishma, Suyodhana lost everything" said Karna with choked voice.
Karna continued: "The fall of Bhishna happened while you were all present in the battle field. Bhishma fell like a mountain. Dont worry. I will save you and your forces. I will attack Arjuna. I will vanquish Pandavas and the entire pandava forces and enthrone Suyodhana as the King and Emperor of this entire universe. If I fail to do so, I will enjoy the heavenly pleasures. I will meet Bhishma in heaven. This is my promise" said Karna with a firm voice.
Suyodhana was very happy with the words of Karna. Then Karna proceeded to the place where Bhishma was lying on an arrow bed. He saw Bhishma who was looking like a driedup ocean. He got down from hic chariot at a distance and walked over to Bhishma. Karna touched the feet of Bhishma:
"O Grandsire Bhishma! I am Radheya. Kindly open your eyes and bless me. A valiant Hero like you, lying on an arrow bed, is nothing but fate which nobody can avoid. With your blessings, I am taking part in the war from today on wards" said Karna.
Bhishma opened his eyes. Karna bowed before him. "O Grandsire, I will conquer Arjuna and the other Pandavas and their forces. Bless me" requested Karna.
Bhishma blessed him and said these words: "O Karna! with your support and help only, Suyodhana and his brothers are happy. You are being treated as one among his brothers. Friendship is more greater and thicker than relationship attained by birth.You bear the entire burden of this Kuru Dynasty. There is no difference between Suyodhana and yourself. You both are equal to me. Command the Kourava forces and acquire victory to Suyodhana." said Bhishma.
Karna once again bowed before the feet of Bhishma and left that place. He went near the Kourava forces. He gathered all the car warriors, cavalry, elephant warriors and foot soldiers. He encouraged them with his tactful speech. Kourava forces aplauded Karna. Suyodhana priased Karna:
"Karna! my friend! with your arrival in the battle field, joy and happiness is seen in the faces of our troops and their commanders. Our troops are ready for war. What is our present task? asked Suyodhana.
"Suyodhana! you are our King. Your decision is final. You have to decide the future course of action" said Karna.
After thinking for a while, Suyodhana said: "Karna! Hiherto, Bhishma was our Commander-in-Chief. Now he is on arrow bed. Now we want another Commander-in-Chief. We have to find out some suitable and proper person who is fit to hold that position" asked Suyodhana.
"Suyodhana! All our commanders in our warriors are suitable to hold that position. All of them are endued with prowess and intelligence, possessed of wisdom and unretreating from battle. But all cannot be leaders at the same time. Only one should be selected as Commander-in-Chief. If one among them is selected, others will be dissatisfied and they may not cooperate with the leader. If we make our Preceptor, Drona, as the leader of the army, nobody can object as he is liked by all. He is our preceptor, revered, Brahmin, wellversed in all sorts of warfare. Though he is older in age, he is more powerful. Hence, you may instal him as our Commander-in-Chief." said Karna.
Suyodhana entirely agreed with Karna. Immediatley, Suyodhana, along with his brothers and other Kings went to Drona and said: "By virtue of your superiority of birth, for your nobility, for your learning, intelligence, your prowess, skill, invincibility, knowledge of wordly affairs, and also for your ascetic austerities, all of us have decided to make you as our leader. So far our Grandsire Bhishma was our leader. From today onwards you will be our leader. We all will abide by your words. You have to lead us as Kartikeya led celestlials in the battle with Asuras. This is our wish" said Suyodhana.
Dronacharya was very happy with the words of King Suyodhana. "Suyodhana! I am a Brahmin, well versed in Vedas and Upanishads. But I am lacking in courage and prowess which charactersitics are must for a Kshatriya. Still, as you are all requesting me, I am accepting your request. I will lead the Kourava troops, fight with pandavas and acquire victory to you." said Drona.
Suyodhana was very much satisfied with the words of Drona. He immediately sent for the Purohits and sacred waters from River Ganges. After following the usual rituals, Drona was made as Commander in Chief of all the Kourava forces. All the commanders in the Kourava army blew their conches. The sound of trumpets and the loud blare of conches reached the sky. The entire Kourava forces were ready for battle.
O King Dhritarashtra! Drona fought with Pandava forces for five days. He killed about one Akshouhini army. Several car warriors could not even stand before him and look at him. After fighting vigirously for five days, Drona was killed by Dhrushtadyumna and attained divinity." said Sanjaya.
On hearing the news of the death of Drona, Dhritarashtra's eyes filled with tears. He was in great grief.
"Sanjaya! Drona was very much wellversed in the
skills of archery and was a man of great prowess. How he was killed by
Pandavas? Whether his bow was broken by Panchalas? or whether his chariot
was broken? Have they killed the charioteer of Drona? Or when Drona was
very much tired, that wretched Dhrushtadyumna killed Acharya cruelly?
Sanjaya! even afer hearing about the death of Drona, my heart is in tact.
Mine is not a human heart. It is a stone." Dhritarashtra, afflicted
with excessive grief, fell down on the ground and fainted. After regaining
consciousness, he told Sanjaya:
Sanjaya! I will tell you one more thing. As a saviour of the entire universe, Sri Krishna was born in Yadava clan at Vrepalle. Even during his childhood, he showed several miracles and killed many Asuras. He also killed his uncle, Kamsa. He got Parijatha plant from heaven to earth. He destroyed bad elements and saved the virtutous people. Pandavas are those who gained the favour of Sri Krishna. Therefore, they are invincible. Besides that, the soul of Sri Krishna is Arjuna. Though they are separate in bodies, their souls are one. Sri Krishna and Arjuna are two eyes to Dharmaja, a man of virtues. Therefore, Pandavas are unconquerable. Worst days are ahead of Kouravas. Sanjaya! What is the use of thinking about past. I want to hear how Drona fought with Pandavas. Tell me the war details." asked Dhritarashtra.
Sanjaya continued to tell about the first day war of Drona.
" Having been installed as the Commander-in-Chief and leader of the entire Kourava Army, Drona was very happy. He told Suyodhana thus:
"Suyodhana! After Bhishma, you regarded me as an equivalent warrior to Bhishma and made me as your leader. I am very happy. Choose anything you like. I will accomplish your desire." said Drona.
Suyodhana, after consulting with Karna and Dussasana,
told Drona thus: "O our great precept!
Drona was astonished. "Suyodhana! what is this? How strange it is? Without asking me to kill Dharmaja, why you asked me to catch him alive? What is the reason behind it? Do you want to give back his half share in the Kuru kingdom! If I handover Dharmaja to you alive, what will you do/" asked Drona.
Suyodhana, with a wicked smile, said thus: "O Drona! What is the use of killing Dharmaja? If we kill Dharmaja, several untoward things may happen. If we kill Dharmaja, Arjuna never keeps quiet. He will massacre the entire Kuru army and take revenge against us. Even if we kill all the Pandavas and their army, Sri Krishna will never keep quiet. He will kill all of us with his Sudarsana Chakra and destroy the entire Kuru clan and handover the entire Kuru Kingdom even to Kunti, as the last heir. Suppose if we catch Dharmaja alive, I will, with the help of Sakuni, play again Dice Game with Dharmaja, defeat him and send him back to forests, throughout his life. He will spend the rest of his life, along with his wife and children, in forests. I will become the King and Emperor of the entire Kuru Kingdom. In that event, even Krishna could not do anything." said Suyodhana.
Drona repented for giving such a boon to Suyodhana. He wanted to make it worthless by putting some conditions.
"Suyodhana! your desire is just and proper. But there is one difficulty. As long as Arjuna is by the side of Dharmaja, even celestial bodies cannot look at Dharmaja. It is a well known fact. Therefore, you have to make arrangements for keeping Arjuna away from Dharmaja. Then I will catch Dharmaja and hand him over to you." said Drona.
On hearing the words of Drona, your sons were very happy. They were jubilant as if Dharmaja was caught alive.This was made known to all the commanders in Kourava Army. They roared like lions. Trumpets were blown.
Dharmaja was came to know of all these facts through his spies. Immediately he called for a meeting with his brothers and Sri Krishna.
"Arjuna! Have you heard the promise given by Drona to Suyodhana. He gave word that he will catch and hand me over to Suyodhana alive. You have to undo that promise. You have to be by my side alwlays and protect me from our preceptor." requested Dharmaja.
Having heard those words from Dharmaja, Arjuna said: "Brother Dharmaja! Leaving you alone in battle field is impossible. It is equivalent to killing my preceptor. I will never resort to such a dreadful sin. I will always be by your side and protect you. It is nothing but the greediness of Kouravas. As long as I am by your side, not only Drona but the entire universe cannot look at you." said Arjuna firmly. Dharmaja was very happy. Pandavas along with their forces moved to the battle field, while trumpets and conches and horns were blowing as a sign of victory.
Pandavas arrayed their troops into Krouncha Vyooha.(Krouncha is one kind of bird). Arjuna along with his forces stood at the point of beak. Dhrushtadyumna stood by his side. Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva, Abhimanyu, son of Droupadi, King of Panchala, and other prominent warriors in Pandava Army stood in their respective places alloted to them. Yudhishtira stood in the middle of Vyooha.
Yours sons also arrayed Kourava Troops in the form of Sakata Vyooha. Kings of Sindhu, Kalinga, Vikarna stood on the southern side. By their side stood Sakuni along with his troops. Kritavarma, Vivimsati, Chitrasena, Dussaasana, stood on the northern side. Kings of Kambhoja, Saka, Yavana stood at their respective places. Kings of Trigartha, Madra, Surasena, along with their respective troops, formed into a protective ring to Suyodhana, in the middle. Karna with his troops stood in the forefront of the vyuha.
Looking at Karna at the forefront of the Kourava army, Kourava troops felt very happy. "All these days Bhishma fought with a partisan attitude. Now Karna has come to see the end of Pandavas. Karna is equivalent to Arjuna." Kouravas thought among themselves.
Under the leadership of Drona, our troops marched to the battle field. At that time, many bad omens were seen. But Suyodhana did not care for them. Both sides were very anxious to see the dual fight between Arjuna and Karna. Drona entered the battle and gave signal for war. Both sides started fighting with each other. The dust rose due to the movement of chariots, elephants, cavalry and foot soldiers covered the entire sky. Broken heads of elephants, the cut limbs of the horses, broken chariots, deadbodies of foot solders, streams of blood, are dreadfully seen everywhere.
Drona, moving speedily on his chariot in the battle field, shooting fierce shafts, began to crush the car warriors and horsemen, elephant warriors and foot soldiers along with elephants and horses. The dead bodies of horses were floating in the streams of blood. Broken chariots are seen everywhere. Unable to face Drona's wrath, Pandava forces were fleeing away.
Dharmaja was very much worried with this development.
He called Dhruhstadyumna and asked him to attack Drona. Dhrushtadyumna
along with his forces attacked Drona. Arjuna rallied the Pandava forces
and encouraged them to fight with Kourava troops. All of them surrounded
Drona from all sides. Though Drona was old in age, he was fighting like
Skandha.(youthful son of Lord Siva and commander of celestial forces).
Sakuni was fighting with Sahadeva. Sakuni killed the steeds of Sahadeva and broke his flag. Sahadeva in return broke the chariot of Sakuni and cut his flag. Sakuni took his mace and jumped to the ground and killed the chariot driver of Sahadeva. Sahadeva also jumed to the ground with his mace and fought with Sakuni.
Bhimasena was showering powerful shafts on Vivimsati. Vivimsati in return broke the bow of Bhimasena into two. Bhimasena along with his mace jumed to the ground and killed the steeds tied to the chariot of Vivimsati.
Bhoorisravasa attacked Dhrushtadyumna and pierced sharp arrows throughout his body. Beholding the position of his brother, Sikhandi intervened and attacked Bhoorisravasa.
Ghatotkacha and Alambasa were engaged in miracle war. Kshatradeva was fighting with Lakshmana. Chekitana was fighting with Anuvinda.
Salya was fighting with Nakula. Nakula broke the flag and the chariot of Salya. Dhrishtaketu was fighting with Kripacharya. Satyaki shot 70 sharp arrows aiming at the chest of Kritavarma. In return, Kritavarma shot 77 shafts against Satyaki.
Dhrishtadyumna was fighting with Susharma. Dhrishtadyumna shot powerful arrows on vital parts of Susharma. King Virata attacked Karna. There was a fiercest battle between the forces of Karna and Virata. Karna killed hundreds of elephants and horses in Virata army and broke many chariots.
Drupada and King of Trigartha were testing each others' vigour and valour.
Pourava king attacked Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu with great wrath broke the bow of PouravaKing. With five keen arrows, he hit the horses and charioteer. When Abhimanyu was about to cut the head of Pourava King with another steep arrow, Kritavarma intervened and cut the bow of Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu, armed with his sword , jumped to the ground and broke the chariot and dragged his charioteer to the ground. Abhimanyu caught hold of the neck of Pourava king to cut it. Meanwhile, Saindhava intervened and attacked Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu left Pourava King and fell upon Saindhaya and broke his sword and shield. Unable to fight with Abhimanyu, Saindhava fled away. Abhimanyu attacked the forces of Saindhaya and massacred them.
Beholding Saindhaya fleeing away from the battle field, other warriors rushed against Abhimanyu. The Madra King, Salya, launched a dreadful Sakti weapon on Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu caught that Sakti weapon with his hand and hurled it back which smashed the head of the charioteer of Salya.
At that time, Virata, Drupada, Dhrishtaketu, Yudhishtira,
Satyaki, Kekaya Kings, Bhimasena, Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi, Nakula and
Sahadeva, and sons of Droupadi, rushed to that spot in aid of Abhimanyu.
Beholding this, all your sons, at a time showered powerful arrows on Abhimanyu.
As his charioteer was killed, Salya jumped down from his chariot and rushed
against Abhimanyu with his mace. Abhimanyu also jumed from his chariot
and attcked Salya with his mace.
Beholding this, all your sons joined together and surrounded Bhimasena and launched all kinds of Astras and Sastras on Bhimasena. Nakula and Sahadeva joined Bhimasena and all the three Pandavas attacked your sons.
It was afternoon. Pandavas gained upperhand on that day. In Pandava troops, all the warriors were roaring like lions, acclaiming their victory.
At that time, Vrishasena, son of Karna, along with his troops, rushed into the Pandava troops and was massacring them. Pandava troops were unable to control him. The heads of horses and elephants were rolling on the ground. Charioteers were being slaughtered. Chariots were broken.The number of foot soldeirs was diminishing. Blood was flowing like a stream. None in Pandava troops were able to attack Vrishasena. .
Beholding this, Sataaneeka, son of Nakula, with great wrath, jumped against Vrishasena and shot ten sharp arrows against him. Vrishasena broke the bow of Sateeneeka and cut his flag. All the sons of Droupadi joined Sateeneeka and all of them attacked Vrishasena.
Asvathaama was fighting with Pandava troops. Dharmaja, Kings of Kekaya, King Virata, King Drupada, with their respective armies were fighting with Asvathaama and Vrishasena. Bhima, Dhrushtadyumna and Virata on one side; Karna, Kripa, Drona and Asvathaama on the other side; were fighting with each other, as if Sun God was fighting in seven human forms. Unable to withstand the wrath of Pandava troops, our troops fled away.
Beholding this, Drona, excited with rage, tried to rally Kourava troops. Looking at his charioteer, Drona said: "Look at our troops. They are fleeing away. The face of Dharmaja is glowing with victory. Now we have to rush against Pandava troops and massacre them. Otherwise, we cannot restrain our troops from fleeing. Ofcourse, Dharmaja, Bhima, Satyaki, Virata, Drupada and his sons, could not stand before me even for a minute. It is me who taught archery skills to Arjuna. Now it is time to massacre Pandava troops. Drive our chariot against Pandava army" ordered Drona.
The charioteer of Drona was driving his chariot in different directions and thrusted into Pandavatroops. Drona was indiscriminately killing the Pandava troops. One Sukumara from the Pandava troops attacked Drona and shot sharp edged arrows against Drona. Drona, enraged with great wrath, cut the head of Sukumara, with only one steep arrow.
All the warriors on Pandava side surrounded Drona at a time. Drona shot Nakula with five arrows, Sahadeva with five arrows, King Virata with nine arrows, Satyaki with seven arrows, sons of Drouadi with three arrows each, Vimsati with twenty five arrows, Dharmaja and Sikhandi, each with twelve arrows. None, who attacked Drona, returned back alive.
King Yugandhara intervened between Dharmaja and Drona.
Drona killed Yugandhara by cutting his head. Beholding this, Kekaya kings,
King Drupada, Simhasena, Vyaghradatta and other great warriors attacked
Drona. Simhasena and Vyaghradatta shot powerful arrows against Drona.
With two sharp arrows, Drona cut the heads of Simhasena and Vyaghradatta.
Their respective troops fled away. Drona roared like a lion.
The sun was set and darkness spread all over the battle field. Both sides stopped war for that day and returned to their respective camps." said Sanjaya the first day war details of Drona, to Dhritarashtra.
Next day morning, both sides were ready for war. Drona told Suyodhana: "Suyodhana! yesterday, I could not keep up my word given to you. Arjuna did not leave Dharmaja even for a moment. At the end of the day, Arjuna enraged with wrath, massacred our troops. Therefore, depute some warriors to move Arjuna far away from war field. Otherwise, it is not possible to capture Dharmaja. If Arjuna is not by his side, Dharmaja will run away. I will chase him and catch hum. Make those arrangements" said Drona.
On hearing these words of Drona, Susarma said thus: "Suyodhana! Arjuna used to insult us always. We bore grudge against him. We are always waiting for an opportunity to take revenge against him. Today, in the battle field, either Arjuna should survive or Susarma should survive. We are in no way inferior to Arjuna in prowess." said Susarma.
Susarma along with his brothers, Satyavrata, Satya Karma, Satya Varma, boasted himself that he will easily conquer Arjuna. All the other warriors acclaimed their vigour and valour. Suyodhana felt very happy and approved their plan.
All the Trigartha Kings along with their 15 warriors, and their friends viz, Kings of Kerala, Malava, Silindra, and Magadha and other Cities, made arrangements for war against Arjuna. They took a vow before the sacred fire.
"We all will fight with Arjuna and kill him. If
we are defeated at the hands of Arjuna, we will be afflicted with a great
sin for commtting the wrongs, viz., killing of cows, killing of ladies,
killing of Brahmins, commiting adultery with preceptor's (teacher's) wife,
snatching the properties of Brahmins and others, causing harm to our preceptor,
not protecting those who sought refuge, telling lies, consuming intoxicated
drinks, not providing food for those who prayed for food, commtting arson.
If we are killed by Arjuna, we will attain the heavenly abode. This is
our solemn promise"
Kourava army was surging like an ocean. Bhagadatta mounting his huge elephant, Suprateeka, stood at the middle of Garuda Vyooha. The Kings of Trigartha, instead of standing as a part of Garuda vyooha, separated themselves and proceeded to the southern side of Pandava troops. From there, they provoked Arjuna for war.
Beholding this, Arjuna told Yudhishtira: "Brother
Dharmaja! Susarma and his brothers are inviting me for war. It is not
proper on my part to refuse their invitation for war. If you permit me,
I will go, fight with them and come back with victory. Nothing will happen
to you within this short time" said Arjuna, seeking the permission
"Brother Yudhishtira! If I refuse the invitation for war, the rest of the world will heckle me as coward. Therefore, I have to go and fight with Trigarthas. Look at this warrior. His name is Satyajit. A great warrior of Panchala Army. He will be guarding you. As along as he is by your side, you need not worry. In the event of his being killed, you have no other option but to retreat from the war. I hope such situation will never occur." said Arjuna.
Dharmaja gave permission to Arjuna to proceed against Samsaptakas. Arjuna, after taking permission from Dharmaja, rushed against Samsaptakas. Observing this development, Kouravas were in a jubilant mood. Looking at Dhrushtadyumna, Dharamaja said: "Drona arrayed Kourava forces in the form of Garuda Vyooha. As a counter move, array our troops in the form of Mandalardha vyooha." said Dharmaja.
As per the directions of Dharmaja, Dhrushtadyumna arrayed the Pandava troops in the shape of Mandalardha vyooha. In both the armies, the sounds of trumpets, horns, blowing of conches rose to the sky. Dharmaja told Dhrushtradyumna thus: "You have to guard me carefully from being captured by Drona. You must always be by my side. You have to show your prowess and control the Kourava army, not to proceed a step further." said Dharmaja.
"Dharmaja! as long as I am by your side, Drona will never touch you. You need not worry." said Dhrushtadyumna. The second day war began. Dhrushtadyuman rushed against Drona and stood before him. Drona does not want to face Dhrushtadyumna in the early hours of war. Hence he turned aside and began to fight with Panchala forces.
Like a hungry lion, Arjuna rushed against Samsaptakas. Samsaptakas arrayed their troops in the form of half-moon. Samsaptakas, with a leonine roar, jumped against Arjuna. Arjuna blew his conche, Devadatta. Samsaptakas surrounded Arjuna and shot sharp arrows against him. Arjuna cut them in the middle and massacred 15,000 car warriors with his sharp edged shafts.
Susarma, Subahu, Sudhanva and Suradha were fighting with Arjuna. Arjuna cut their flags. Arjuna killed the steeds of Sudhanva and broke his bow. With one sharp arrow, Arjuna cut the head of Sudhanva and blew his conche as a sign of victory. Unable to stand before Arjuna, the army of Samsaptakas fled away.
Susharma was very much annoyed. "Dont fear. We know much about Arjuna. Have you forgotten the word given to Suyodhana. If you flee like this, how can we show our face to Suyodhana." Susarma cried aloud and was trying to to rally the troops against Arjuna. On hearing the encouraging words of Susarma, the army returned back. All the warriors surrounded Arjuna.
Arjuna told Sri Krishna: "Krishna! These Trigartas will continue to fight as long as they are alive. Unless I consign them to the abode of Yama, my task cannot be accomplished. Drive our chariot towards them." said Arjuna. Accordingly, Krishna drove the chariot towards Samsaptakas.
At that time, army of Samsaptakas consists of ten thousand strong army named Narayana. They belong to Sri Krishna. They are enraged with wrath against Krishna and Arjuna. The reason being.......when Suyodhana and Arjuna approached Sri Krishna for army help, Arjuna chose Krishna instead of ten thousand strong army named Narayana. Hence they were made to fight on behalf of Suyodhana. Hence all of them bore grudge against Arjuna and Krishna.
Now they are fighting against Arjuna by showering numerous arrows against Krishna and Arjuna. Arjuna does not want to kill them. Hence Arjuna launched a divine Astra given to him by Tvashta Prajapati. Under the influecne of that Astra, thousands of separate forms of Arjuna started appearing before every Narayana soldier. Confounded by those diverse images of Arjuna, the Narayana troops began to strike each other, regarding the other as Arjuna. Deprived of their senses by that mighty weapon, they killed one another. Then the Astra remained peaceful and they returned to normalcy. Arjuna blew his conche Devadatta. By that time, many of them died.
The rest of the Narayana army along with the Kings of Magadha, Kerala, excited with wrath, surrounded Arjuna and shot most powerful shafts against Arjuna and Krishna. Arjuna cut those shafts into pieces and cut their heads with most powerful arrows. All the elephants, horses and foot soldiers in their army were massacred.
All the Trigartha kings, gathered their scattered army,
again surrounded Arjuna and showered sharp pointed shafts against Arjuna.
Some of them got down from their chariots and attacked Arjuna from ground.
From all sides they were showering arrows relentlessly. Their showers
of arrows covered the chariot of Arjuna.
Krishna shouted "Arjuna... Arjuna..... where are you.... what happened". But Arjuna was completely covered by the arrows showered by Samsapatakas. Arjuna thought that the situation is going out of control. Immediately, he launched Vaayavyaastra. With the influence of that Astra, Samsaptakas, their army, horses, elephants etc were thrown away like dry leaves to a long distance. Now the chariot of Arjuna was made visible to Pandava army. They had a sigh of relief.
Pandava army aplauded Arjuna for his prowess. Samsaptakas
again gathered their army together and again rushed against Arjuna all
at a time and showered numerous sharp arrows against Arjuna. Arjuna broke
them into pieces and again shot most cruel shafts against them. The heads
of Trigarta troops were rolling on the ground. Dead bodies, hands and
legs were scattered everywhere. Innumerable Elephants and horses were
killed. Chariots were broken. Still, the trigartha army was fighting with
Arjuna with renewed vigour. In this manner, Arjuna was fighting with Samsaptakas.
Drona was rushing against Yudhishtira along with his forces. Satyajit who was deputed by Arjuna to protect Dharmaja, attacked Drona. Drona cut his bow. Satyajit took up another bow and shot thirty most powerful arrows against Drona. Another Panchala King, Vrishaka also joined Satyajit. Vrishaka shot sixty arrows against Drona. Pandava forces acclaimed both of them.
Drona was excited with wrath. Drona showered keen shafts incessantly on Satyajit and Vrishaka. Both of them killed the charioteer of Drona, and also the horses tied to the chariot. They both struck the flag of Drona. Drona shot ten sharp edged arrows against Satyajit and broke his bow. Satyajit took up another bow and shot Silimukhas piercing the body of Drona. Again Drona cut the bow of Satyajit. Drona killed the horses and broke the chariot of Vrishaka. With another arrow, Drona cut the head of Vrishaka.
Satyajit took up another bow and incessantly showered arrows on Satyajit. Again Drona broke the bow of Satyajit. Drona was continuously breaking all the bows taken by Satyajit. With a half-moon arrow, Drona cut the head of Satyajit. Beholding the death of Satyajit, Dharmaja was very much worried. He remembered the words of Arjuna. Slowly he retreated from the battle field.
Drona was killing all those who have come across him and was vigorously searching for Dharmaja. Sooryadatta brother of King Virata, attacked Drona and shot most cruel arrows against Drona. Annoyed with his attack, Drona killed Sooryadatta with one arrow. Beholding the death of Sooryadatta, Virata forces fled away. Drona became uncontrollable. None was able to stand before him with life even for a moment. Drona was vigorously trying to catch Dharmaja on that day and fulfil his promise.
At that time, Yudhamanyu, Uttamouja, Vasudaana, Sikhandi, all at a time, surrounded Drona and shot five arrows each against Drona. Satyaki shot 12 arrows and Kshatradharma shot ten arrows against Drona. Dhrushtadyumna and Chekitana were protecting Dharmaja from the wrath of Drona.
With their help, Dharmaja again entered the war field and shot 12 sharp arrows againt Drona. Drona cut the head of Vasudana with one arrow and shot most cruel arrows against Uttamouja, Sikhandi and Satyaki and rushed against the chariot of Dharmaja. Beholding this, Dharmaja against left the battle field.
Unable to find Dharmaja, Drona was very much annoyed. With that anger, he was massacring the pandava troops. Chariots were broken. Elephants and horses were killed. Their heads were rolling on ground. Kourava troops were chasing Pandava troops. Collecting their troops, Vardhakshemi, Chitrasena, Senabindu, Suvarchasa, Dhrishtadyumna, Chekitana, Sikhandi, Satyaki, and Sumitra, surrounded Drona at a time.
Drona was driving his chariot in a circular form speedily and incessantly poured arrow showers on them. Drona killed Sumitra with one steep arrow. Beholding this, Kekaya kings, and Matsya kings along with their armies, fled away. Dhrishtadyumna, Satyaki and Senabindu and other prominent warriors in Pandava army were amazingly staring at Drona and remained motionless.
Suyodhana was very happy. He looked at Karna and said: "Karna! see that side. The entire pandava army fled away. None are there in the enemy troops who can withstand the wrath of Drona. Look at that side. Bheema is standing alone in a helpless condition and trying to flee away, relinquishing his desire for kingdom." wickedly laughed Suyodhana .
"Suyodhana! Dont under-estimate Pandava troops and Bhima. They are all great warriors. They retreated temporarily. I expect that they all will collect together in a short time and rush against Drona. We have to protect our preceptor, Drona. These words are coming from my heart. At this juncture, I cannot tell words only to please you. Dont think otherwise." said Karna.
The expectation of Karna turned to be true. Dharmaja rallied all his troops. He called Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva and asked them to stand in front of the troops. He arrayed Drupada, Matsya, Yadava warriors around the Pandava troops. Satyaki, Virata, Dripada and other great car-warriors were behind them.
All of them, at a time, charged against Drona with great speed. When all of them surrounded Drona, Drona's chariot was not visible to kourava troops. A rumour was spread that Drona was killed by Pandava troops. On hearing this, Suyodhana, along with his troops rushed to that spot and was fighting with Pandava forces.
There was a dual combat between:
While Pandava troops were trying to kill Drona, Kourava troops were trying to capture Dharmaja. There was a terrible, fierce, awful battle between both sides. One is cutting the flag of the other. Horses and elephants and charioteers were being killed. Chariots were broken. Bows were cut. Blood was flowing into streams. Sun was shining in the middle of the sky.
Drona was controlling Dhrishtadyumna with the showers of arrows. Your son, Suyodhana, entered the battle field along with his elephant forces. Bhima with his cruel arrows was indiscriminately killing those elephants. In the meanwhile, King of Vanga, mounting on his elephant, rushed against Bhimasena. Bhimasena killed the King of Vanga with only one arrow. The troops of Vanga King fled away.
Now entered Bhagadatta, son of Narakaasura, mounting
his divine elephant, called Suprateeka in the war field. The elephant,
Suprateeka was the divine elephant of Indra. Mounting that elephant only,
Indra fought with Danavas and killed them. When Narakasura invaded Devaloka
and conquered Indra, Naraka brought Suprateeka to his kingdom. After the
death of Naraka at the hands of Sri Krishna, Bhagadatta, son of Naraka,
succeeded to the kingdom of his father and the divine elephant Suprateeka.
Now Bhagadatta was fighting with Pandava troops mounting on that divine
elephant called Suprateeka.
Beholding this confusion, Dharmaja was very much agitated. He went round in the battle field proclaiming that "Bhimasena was safe" and rallied his troops. On hearing the words of Dharmaja, Pandava troops turned back and rushed against Kourava troops. Suprateeka elephant was crushing the Pandava forces under its feet. Hundreds and thousands of soldiers were crushed and killed under its feet.
King of Dasarna, mounting on his elephant, attacked Suprateeka. Enraged with wrath, Suprateeka pulled down the elephant of King of Dasarna. The King of Dasarna fell on the ground. Bhagadatta killed King of Dasarna with seven Tomaras. Pandava troops were stricken with fear.
Satyaki attacked Bhagadatta and showered steep edged arrows on Suprateeka. Suprateeka moved in a circular form and warded off those arrows. Then Suprateeka lifted the chariot of Satyaki into air and threw it down. Satyaki and his charioteer jumped out of the chariot.
In the meanwhile Bhima attacked Bhagadatta. Suprateeka rushed against Bhima. The steeds tied to the chariot dragged the chariot in another direction. Meanwhile, one Suparna attacked Suprateeka and was crushed under its feet. Beholding the death of Suparna, Abhimanyu, sons of Droupadi, Chekitana, Dhrishtaketu, Yuyutsu surrounded Suprateeka and incessantly poured arrow showers which were made futile. Enraged with great wrath, Suprateeka broke the chariots of all of them. It killed the charioteer of Yuyutsu. Yuyutsu mounted the chariot of Abhimanu. All the Astras shot against Suprateeka touched its body and fell down like flowers.
Bhagadatta was driving Suprateeka on four sides and massacring the Pandava troops. None could stand before it even for a moment. Pandava troops were fleeing away with great fear. Beholding this massacre from a distance, Arjuna told Krishna: "Krishna! Suprateeka, the elephant of Bhagadatta, is massacring our troops. Our troops are scattered. Nobody is able to resist it. In our absence, Dharmaja and Bheema might be suffering a lot. Please drive our chariot towards them" asked Arjuna. Krishna turned the chariot towards Pandava forces.
Samsaptakas, fourteen thousand in number, surrounded Arjuna and accosted him. "Krishna! let us first see the end of these Samsaptakas. It is our foremost task. We will think about our troops later. Drive our chariot against Samsaptakas" said Arjuna. Krishna drove the chariot against Samsaptakas. Arjuna twanged Gandeeva. Blew Devadatta. He shot divine astras against Samsaptakas. Flags were cut. Chariots were broken. Horses and elephants were killed. The heads of foot solders were flying like balls in air. The hands and legs were scattered everywhere. Krishna also praised the prowess of Arjuna. Arjuna massacred the forces of Samsaptakas.
"Krishna! The destructin of enemy forces is complete. Let us go back to protect our troops." said Arjuna. Sri Krishna turned the chariot towards Pandava troops. From behind, Susarma along with his brothers was roaring like a lion.
"Hey Arjuna! what is this? When we are inviting you for war, you are fleeing away. Cannot you fight with us? Are you a coward?" said Susarma.
"Krishna! Susarma is inviting me for war. But our troops are in a sad and critical position. I am unable to decide where to go. Kindly lead me in proper way" requested Arjuna.
Krishna smiled and drove the chariot towards Samsaptakas. Arjuna, excited with rage and desirous of vanquishing Susarma and his brothers along with his army, cut the bow and flag of Susarma and his brothers. Arjuna with sharp arrows cut the heads of all the brothers of Susarma in a moment. Beholding this, King of Trigartha fainted.
Meanwhile, Arjuna observed from a distance that Pandava troops were fleeing away from war field. "Krishna! look at that side. Unable to attack Suprateeka, our troops are fleeing away. That elephant, Suprateeka is chasing our troops. Kindly rush to that spot. Our people are in danger" requested Arjuna.
With great speed, Krishna drove the chariot towards Suprateeka. Arjuna blew his conche, Devadatta. He shot sharp edged arrows against Bhagadatta. Krishna staioned his chariot in front of Suprateeka. Bhagadatta shot numerous arrows against Arjuna. Arjuna with a smile cut them into pieces and showered arrows on Suprateeka. Suprateeka, enraged with great wrath, rushed against the chariot of Arjuna. There was a hue and cry in the pandava army. There was an uproar. "Arjuna and Krishna were crushed by Suprateeka." Krishna with great skill, just swerved his chariot suddently to otherside. Suprateeka, with that great speed, rushed against the Pandava troops. In that melee, several soldiers in Pandava troops were crushed under its feet.
Arjuna grew angry but swallowed it for himself. "Krishna! drive our chariot against Suprateeka" ordered Arjuna. Krishna again staioned his chariot in front of Suprateeka. Bhagadatta shot several keen edged shafts against Krishna, who killed his father, Naraka. Arjuna smashed them in between, and cut the bow of Bhagadatta. Arjuna pierced many cruel shafts into the body of Bhagadatta. With great wrath, Bhagadatta shot 14 tomaras against Arjuna. Arjuna cut them into pieces and broke the armour of Suprateeka.Bhagadatta launched Sakti Astra on Arjuna which was made futile by Arjuna. Bhagadatta hurled a Tomara aiming at the crown of Arjuna. Arjuna shot seven arrows against Bhagadatta.
Bhagadatta invoked Vaishnavastra on his Ankusa ( metal rod with a hook used for controlling elephant) and hurled it against Arjuna. That Vaishnavastra, with great speed, was dashing against Arjuna like a dart. At that moment, Krishna rose and stood on his chariot in between Vaishnavastra and Arjuna. Vaishnavastra, with great speed, hit against the chest of Krishna and fell down like a flower.
Arjuna could not control his anger. "Krishna! Out of great regard upon me, you have accepted to be the charioteer of mine in this battle. You have also promised not to fight or hold any weapon. Now you have taken part in the battle. Is it proper on your part? How other warriors will think about me? Will they not treat me as a coward? Why so many words. Drive the chariot against Bhagadatta" told Arjuna in a disgusted mood.
Krishna smiled and said: "Arjuna! I am your charioteer.
The duty of chariot driver is to protect the warrior standing on his chariot.
I discharged my duty. Besides that, you should know some thing about this
weapon, Vaishnavastra. When Sri Maha Vishnu woke up from his divine sleep,
goddess earth approached him and requested for sexual intercoruse with
him. Sri Maha Vishnu accepted her request. As a result, Narakasura was
born. Sri Maha Vishnu gave Vaishnava Astra, as a gift, to Goddess Earth.
She gave that Astra, to his son, Naraka. After the death of Naraka at
my hands, that Vaishnavastra passed on to his son, Bhagadatta. Now Bhagadatta
launched that Astra to kill you. Vaishnavastra is a powerful astra. None
can neutralise it except me. As I was born with the Amsa of Sri Maha Vishnu,
I can do it. Hence I kept my chest against it and neutralized it. I never
suspected your vigour and valour. You are great warrior . It is a well
known fact which need not be reiterated time and again. Now Bhagadatta
is in a distressed mood as his Vaishnavastra was made futile. Attack him
and kill him as I killed his father, Naraka." said Krishna.
Beholding the death of Bhagadatta, Sakuni and his brothers, Vrishaka and Achala rushed against Arjuna. Arjuna cut the flag of Vrushala and killed the horses and broke his chariot. Vrishaka mounted the chariot of his brother, Achala. Arjuna killed 500 car warriors in Gandhara army. With one arrow, Arjuna killed both Vrushala and Achala.
Looking at the death of his brothers, Sakuni enraged with great wrath. Sakuni attacked Arjuna. Sakuni started miracle war. He created miracles like showers of stones from sky, falling of huge trees from sky, dreadful snakes and tigers jumping on the soldiers etc. Arjuna, with his divine Astras, destroyed all those miracles and illusions, in a moment.
Looking at Sakuni, Arjuna said: "O Uncle, Sakuni! all your miracles and illusions ended with your dice game. This is war field. You cannot play dice games here. Here, only dreadful arrows will speak and play, not dice. Put an end to your miracles and illusions". So saying Arjuna shot many sharp edged shafts against Sakuni. Unable to attack Arjuna, Sakuni, along with his army, fled away.
Satyaki and Bhimasena stood by the side of Arjuna. All the three warriors rushed against Drona and Suyodhana. Kourava army divided into two parts and took shelter behind Suyodhana and Drona. Pandava soldiers were shouting "Catch Drona. Kill him. Cut his throat". Kourava forces surrounded Drona and was guarding him. There was a fierce and awful battle. Dhrushtadyumna was almost chasing Drona from all sides.
On one side Dharmaja and the other side Suyodhana were encouraging their forces for war. King Neela attacked Asvathaama. With only one shaft, Asvathaama killed King Neela. The forces of King Neela fled away. Pandava forces were taken aback.
In the meanwhile, Samsaptakas, rallying their remaining
forces, were shouting loudly from the southern side. "Arjuna! Have
we fled away from war field! Were we defeated! How can you leave us abruptly?
Where is Arjuna? Are you victorius by leaving us in the middle? Are you
hiding, having frightened? Come on. Fight with us". They were provoking
Arjuna for war. Immediately, Arjuna turned his chariot towards them.
All were fighting with Suyodhana and others. It was afternoon. Chariots were broken. Heads were rolling on the ground. Intestines are coming out from the dead bodies. Broken limbs are seen everywhere. Elephants were rolling on the ground. The warriors mounted on elephants were being crushed by those elephants. Even after the heads are cut, the trunks were fighting for a while, wielding their swords. The entire battle field was filled with dead bodies.
Dhrushtadyumna thought that that was the apt time to
kill Drona. He attacked Drona and shot many sharp pointed shafts against
Drona. After massacring Samsaptaka army completely, Arjuna again joined
Pandava army. Along with Dhrishtadyumna, Bhima and Arjuna also were fighting
with Drona and destroying the Kourava forces.
"Dont run away. Stop there. Dont fear" Karna was shouting loudly and rallying Kourava forces. Karna, to prove his prowess, launched Agneya Astra on Arjuna. Arjuna, in retaliation, launched Varunaastra, which made Agneyastra futile. Bheemasena, Satyaki, Dhrushtadyumna shot each three shafts piercing into the body of Karna. Karna also cut all the arrows shot by Arjuna. Karna broke the bows of Bhimasena, Satyaki and Dhrishtadyumna. All those three warriors launched Shakti arrows on Karna. They cut the heads of three brothers of Karna.
Bhimasena, with his mace on his shoulder, got down from his chariot, killed ten thousand soldiers in Karna army and again mounted his chariot. Bhimasena took up another bow and shot most sharp edged arrows throughout the body of Karna. Dhrushtadyumna, Satyaki killed the charioteer of Karna and broke the bow of Karna. Finding Karna in such a dangerous situation, Suyodhana, Drona, and Jayadhradha speedily removed Karna from that point.
The battle field became dreadful. Chariots were broken. Horses, elephants were killed. The heads of soldiers were rolling on the ground. Dead bodies were floating in the streams of blood. Heaps of intestines and flesh of human beings and beasts were seen everywhere. The battle became exceedingly awful and fraught with great carnage. Drona and Arjuna were fighting with each other.
By that time, Sun was set. Both sides stopped war for that day and returned to their respective camps.
While Pandava forces were in a jubilant and rejoicing mood, Kourava forces were afflicted with great distress. The warriors and soldiers on Kourava side were discussing about Drona, not fulfilling his promise even on that day; Arjuna, enraging with great prowess; and Krishna saving Arjuna from Vaishnavastra.
Beholding Drona, Suyodhana remarked: "O Great Preceptor! You have promised me to capture Dharmaja and handover him to me. Two days have elapsed. You are unable to fulfil your promise. Though Darmaja was within your reach on several occasions, you could not catch him. In the eyes of the people in the world, we both remained inefficient and uselss. What benefit you derive by cheating me with your wicked and useless promises. Is it desirable for a great preceptor like you to cheat me like this?" Suyodhana shot arrow like words against Drona.
Drona was very much annoyed with the pungeant remarks of Suyodhana but he remained peaceful. "Suyodhana! Knowing fully well about the prowess of Nara and the excellence of Narayana, can you speak like this. Yesterday and Today, both Arjuana and Krishna never left Dharmaja even for a moment. Today, you depute somebody to divert the attention of Arjuna and Krishna to some other front. For some reason or other, you are misunderstanding me. I never speak a lie even as a joke. I will keep up my word." said Drona.
At that time, Samsaptakas arrived there and overheard the conversation between Drona and Suyodhana. "Suyodhana! who else are there except me to divert the attention of Arjuna. Today, we will take Arjuna far away." said Samsaptakas.
"O King Dhritarashtra! In that manner, on the third day of war, Samsapatakas provoked Arjuna to fight with them. Arjuna, blew his conche Devadatta, and engaged in war with Samsaptakas. Here, Drona arrayed Kourava troops in the from of Lotus flower, called Padmavyooha. With the permission of Dharmaja, Abhimanyu entered Padmavyooha. Abhimanyu killed Brihadbala and Lakshmana and other princes, several in number. Abhimanyu was unable to come out of Padmavyooha. All the Kourava warriors surrounded Abhimanyu all at a time and killed him mercilessly. With the killing of Abhimanyu, Kourava troops were jubilant whereas Pandavas were in distressed mood having lost their beloved son." said Sanjaya, the summary of third day war.