Saint Vaisampayana told Janamejaya the story of Mahabharata.
On hearing that Abhimanyu was killed in the battle field, Dhritarashtra was very much distressed. “Sanjaya! How my grand child, a warrior of great prowess, a virtuous personality, was killed by our wretched warriors in Kourava Army. Kindly tell me in detail” asked Dhritarashtra. Sanjaya explained in detail about Padmavyooha and about the killing of Abhimanyu by all Kourava warriors.
“O King Dhritarashra! on the third day, Drona arrayed his troops in the form of Padma vyooha(Lotus flower). It is also called Chakravyooha. In that Padmavyooha, all the Kings and their sons of different kingdoms stood as petals. Karna, Dussaasana along with their respective armies stood inside the Louts flower. In their middle, stood Suyodhana, with his army. Saindhava, Asvathaama, Kripacharya, Sakuni, Kritavarma, Bhoorisravasa, Sala, Salya, all your sons, and grand sons occupied their respective places.
In Pandava troops, Bhimasena, Satyaki, Dhrishta- dyumna, Kuntibhoja, Chekitana, Kshatradharma, Kshatra-varma, Dhritaketu, Nakula, Sahadeva, Uttamouja, Sikhandi, Yudhaamanyu, Ghatotkacha, King Virata, King Drupada, sons of Droupadi, Kekaya Kings, Srunjayas, all at a time rushed against Drona. Drona did not care for them. He showered innumerable arrows on all of them. Unable to withold the prowess of Drona, all the Pandava warriors fled away.
None of them could penetrate into Padmavyooha. Dharmaja thought that none except Abhimanyu can break Padmavyooha. He drove his chariot towards Abhimanyu and spoke to him thus:
“Abhimanyu! Drona arrayed his troops in the form of Padmavyooha. Except yourself, Arjuna, Krishna and Pradyumna, none can break this Vyooha. Is it possible for you to rush into Padmavyooha?” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! My father, Arjuna, taught me how to enter into Padmavyooha.I do not know how to retreat. I can enter and massacre the Kourava troops.” said Abhimanyu.
“That much is enough, Abhimanyu. Soon after you break that vyooha and make way into it, myself, Bheema, Nakula, Sahadeva, Dhrushtadyumna and other Pandava troops will penetrate into Padmavyooha and will stand by your side. What all we desire is to break and make way into that vyooha, which we do not know.” requested Dharmaja.
Bhimasena also supported Dharmaja. “Abhimanyu! you need not worry. We are by your side. You just break Padmavyooha and make way for us. Myself, Dhrishta-dyumna, Drupada, Virata, Satyaki will enter Padmavyooha and massacre Kourava troops.” said Bhimasena.
“O Uncle Bhimasena! Why you are plelading like this. I am ready to enter Padmavyooha and win the appreciation of Drona who created this. I will kill all the Kourava warriors and keep the word of Dharmaja. I will show my prowess. My parents will certainly praise me. All should wonder how a youth of my age is combatting with great heroes of Kourava troops. My uncle Sri Krishna also will appreciate my vigour and valour. You do not worry.” said Abhimanyu.
Dharmaja offered his blessings to his son, Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu asked his charioteer, Sumitra, to drive his chariot towards Drona. Sumitra cautioned Abhimanyu thus:
“Abhimanyu! You are an infant before the great warrior, Drona. They are not only great warriors but also more cruel. They will never die at the hands of others. Think before entering into Padmavyooha.” said Sumitra.
“Sumitra! Even if Devendra along with his celestial army, Parama Siva with his divine forces, my father, Arjuna and my uncle Sri Krishna, stand against me, I will conquer them. Don’t doubt by prowess. Proceed against Drona.” said Abhimanyu.
With several doubts lingering in his mind, Sumitra drove the chariot against Kourava army. Beholding this, all the chief warriors in Kourava Army rushed against Abhimanyu.
There was a fierce battle between them. As a thunder bolt, Abhimanyu forcefully entered into Padmavyooha. Having entered Padmavyooha, Abhimanyu, enraged with wrath, like wild fire in a dried up forest, was massacring the Kourava troops. He was breaking the chariots, killing the steeds, destroying the foot soldiers, cutting the flags and bows, and sending the charioteers to the abode of Yama. He was planting most cruel shafts on the bodies of Kourava soldiers. Entire battle field was filled with dead bodies of humans and animals. Kourava troops were scattered and fleeing away.
Looking at this horribel situation, Suyodhana, along with his army, rushed against Abhimanyu. Drona observed this from a distance. He gathered mighty warriors in Kourava army. “Look! Suyodhana is rushing against Abhimanyu. Proceed to that spot and help Suyodhana” said Drona.
Kripacharya, Asvathaama, Kritavarma, Karna, Sala, Pourava, Vrushasena all rushed towards Suyodhana. All of them at a time showered arrows incessantly on Abhimanyu. Enraged with great wrath, Abhimanyu showered sharp shafts against them. Unable to attack Abhimanyu, Kourava troops again fled away.
Having seen this, Drona drove his chariot against Ahimanyu and showered most cruel arrows against Abhimanyu. Kourava troops also joined Drona and were fighting with Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu, was skilfully breaking those arrows into pieces in the middle and in return pierced most cruel shafts into the bodies of all the Kourava heroes. Suyodhana calling his warriors by name and requested them not to flee away.
Suyodhana, Kripacharya, Bhoorisravasa, Drona, Vivimsati, Asvathaama, Brahadbala, Salya, Kritavarma, Sakuni, Dussaasana, Dussaha, surrounded Abhimanyu and shot numerous arrows against Abhimanyu at a time. Abhimanyu broke all those shafts into pieces and shot each of them with three arrows into their bodies.
He cut the flag of Asmaka and broke his bow. With another arrow, Abhimanyu cut the head of Asmaka. Having seen the death of Asmaka, Kourava troops, with great fear, fled away. Drona was shouting with encouraging words and tried to rally the kourava troops. He gathered all the remaining Kouravas and shot numerous Astras against Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu, without any fear, cut those shafts in the middle.
Then, Abhimanyu drove his chariot against Karna. Abhimanyu broke the coat of mail of Karna and planted most cruel shafts into the chest cavity of Karna. With that blow, Karna fainted and fell down on his chariot. Abhimanhu drove away all your sons from the battle field.
In the meanwhile, Salya attacked Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu shot most cruel shafts against Salya. Salya also fell down and fainted. Abhimanyu roared like a lion.
Without heeding the words of Drona, Kourava troops were running away. Salya’s brother attacked Abhimanyu and shot ten narachas against Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu cut them in the middle, and broke his chariot and killed the horses. Abhimanyu cut the hands of the brother of Salya and cut his head with another arrow. Beholding this. all were frightened.
Drona, Kripacharya, Asvathaama, Kritavarma, Brihad-bala, Karna, and other mighty warriors, were calling each other, encouraging themselves, and surrounded Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu roared like a lion.
Every body was frightened as if Arjuna was before them. While Abhimanyu was shooting shafts from his bow, the bow remained in a circular form always. That was the speed with which Abhimanyu was shooting incessantly shafts from his bow. Abhimanyu was shooting Bhallas, Anjalakas, Kshurapas, Koormanakhas etc. (various kinds of arrows) against Kourava army. Unable to withhold the vigour and valour of Abhimanyu, Kourava warriors were running away with fear. Abhimanyu was chasing them, making rounds, around them on his chariot.
With this great massacre caused by Abhimanyu, the entire battle field was filled with dead bodies. Beholding the prowess exhibited by Abhimanyu, Drona was very much delighted. He told Kripacharya:
“Acharya! Look at that boy, a son of my student, Arjuna. See how he is fighting with our great warriors. He is killing thousands of horses, elephants. None in our army is able to stand before him even for a moment. How great he is!” said Drona.
Suyodhana, overhearing these words, told Bhoori-sravasa, Karna and Salya and others, with a wicked smile on his lips, thus: “Have you heard the words of our great preceptor, Drona. He is a preceptor for all those who can hold a bow. Such a great preceptor is now praising a kid but does not try to kill him. As Drona always favours Arjuna, how can he kill Abhimanyu? Not knowing about the soft corner of Drona, Abhimanyu is thinking that it is all due to his prowess. Let us all rush against Abhimanyu at a time and kill him. Come on..... proceed” provoked Suyodhana.
Dussaasana intervened and said: “ Brother Suyodhana! for this small task, am I not sufficient? I will kill Abhimanyu before your eyes, in a moment. Having heard that his son is dead, Arjuna and Krishna will also die with great distress. The war will come to an end” Dussaasana boasted himself and rushed against Abhimanyu.
Abhimanyu cut all those arrows shot by Dussaasana. Abhimanyu shot 26 most cruel shafts against Dussaasana. Abhimanyu cut the bow of Dussaasana and shot Bhalla arrows through his entire body.
With a smile Abhimanyu said: “O Dussaasana! On that day, in the open assembly, you have insulted my parents. I will take reveange today. Stand there for a while. I will cut your head and keep it before the feet of my mother, Droupadi.” so saying Abhimanyu shot two sharp edged arrows piercing into the chest of Dussaasana. Dussaasana fainted and fell on his chariot as if he was dead. His charioteer drove the chariot to a safe place.
Having seen the fate of Dussaasana, Suyodhana reuqested Karna to attack Abhimanyu. Karna, with his army rushed against Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu did not care for the arrows shot by Karna and broke them into pieces in the middle. Abhimanyu shot Karna with numerous arrows until he is tired.
In between, Karna’s brother intervened and showered arrows on the horses and charioteer. Abhimanyu, cut his head, with only one arrow.
Having seen the death of his brother, Karna tried to run away. Abhimanyu chased Karna and his army. With the fear of life, Karna ran away from the battle field. Behind him, Kourava army also fled away.
Drona was very much worried about this. He began to shout: “O Kripacharya, O Karna. stop there. Dont run away. If great warriors like you will run away, who else will fight with Abhimanyu. O Bahlika! O Suyodhana! it is time for you to exhibit your prowess. Stop there. Fight with Abhimanyu” Drona was shouting aloud. Inspite of his shouts, they were running away.
Unable to withold the onslaught of Abhimanyu, the entire Kourava army was fleeing away. Abhimanyu was roaring like a lion. He was blowing his conche. Abhimanyu was incessantly showering arrows on Kourava army and was massacring them. There were none to attack him. The entire battle field was filled with the dead bodies of horses, elephants, soldiers, heaps of broken chariots. Broken limbs of horses, elephants and soldiers are scattered everywhere. Broken flags, umbrellas, bows were heaped up. Abhimanyu was shining like a second sun.” said Sanjaya to Dhritarashtra.
“Sanjaya! you have been telling that only Abhimanyu alone was fighting with our troops. What happened to Pandavas, Virata, Drupada and other warriors on Pandavas side. Why they have not accompanied Abhimanyu to the battle field. What happened to them?” asked Dhritarashtra. Sanjaya continued to say:
“ OKing Dhritarashtra! with a view to help Abhimanyu, all Pandavas, Drupada, Virata, Satyaki and other warriors along with their armies rushed into Padmavyooha along with Abhimanyu. They were fighting with Kourava army and massacring them. Kings of Panchala, yadava, Pandya, Kekaya, Matsya and other great warriors along with their respective armies were standing by the side of Dharmaja and were fighting vigorously. At that time, Saindhava restrained all the Pandava armies from proceeding further.” said Sanjaya.
King Dhritarashtra was very much astonished. “What is this? He may be a great warrior. But how can he restrain the entire Pandava army and great warriors like Dharmaja, Virata, Drupada, Satyaki etc. How he attained such power?” asked Dhritarastra. Sanjaya continued to say:
“O King Dhritarashtra! while Pandavas were living in forests, one day Saindhava molested Droupadi. Bhimasena caught him and insulted him. Unable to bear that insult, Saindhava went to forests and did penance. Lord Siva appeared before him and asked him about his desire. Saindhava requested Lord Siva to bless him with the power to conquer all Pandavas. Lord Siva said that it was impossible. But Lord Siva blessed him that he can restrain all Pandavas except Arjuna, only one day. With the power of that boon only , Saindhava could restrain all the Pandavas on that day.
Soon after Abhimanyu entered Padmavyooha, Dharmaja along with other warriors tried to enter Padma-vyooha. With the power of the boon of Lord Siva, Saindhava restrained Dhamaja and other warriors from entering the Padmavyooha. Hence, Abhimanyu was left alone in Padmavyooha.
Saindhaya shot Satyaki with three shafts, Dhrishtadyumna
with eight arrows, Virata with twenty arrows, Sikhandi with ten arrows,
Drupada with seven arrows, all the sons of Drouadi with 15 arrows, and
Kekaya kings with 25 arrows and Dharmaja with 75 arrows.
With the encouragement given by Drona, Kourava army returned back and surrounded the chariot of Abhimanyu and poured arrow showers on Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu, with renewed vigour, killed all of them on the spot and created terror in the hearts of Kourava army.
At that time, one Vrishasena along with his army attacked Abhimanyu and shot many cruel shafts against Abhimanyu. Enraged with great wrath, Abhimanyu cut his flag, injured his horses and shot many sharp shafts into his body. Vrishasena fainted. The injured horses tied to his chariot, dragged the chariot sideways.
In the meanwhile, one Vasapati shot Abhimanyu with six shafts. With one arrow, Abhimanyu killed Vasapati. Beholding the death of Vasapati, Kourava warriors, with their armies, rushed against Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu massacred them like insects falling in fire. Rest of the kourava army fled away.
Then, all the Kings of different countries, gathered at one place, attacked Abhimanyu at a time. Abhimanyu, filled with wrath, jumped upon them like a tiger on the herd of deers and killed all of them. With their broken limbs, pieces of meat, dead bodies of horses and elephants the battle field was seen dreadful. Abhimanyu was sending Kourava soldiers to the abode of Yama incessantly.None was dare to stand before him. The Kourava army was fleeing away in all directions.
At that time, Rukmaradha, son of Salya, came forward
and challenged Abhimanyu. He pierced nine arrows on the right arm, left
arm and chest of Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu shot only one single arrow and cut
his head. Beholding the death of Rukmaradha, many princely friends of
Rukmaradha, stretching their bows, surrounded Abhimanyu and poured their
arrowy showers upon him. On seeing Abhimanyu covered with showers of arrows,
Suyodhana rejoiced greatly and regarded Abhimanyu as guest of Yama.
Beholding this, Suyodhana was filled with fear. Collecting his courage, Suyodhana attacked Abhimanyu but afflicted with Abhimanyu’s arrows, was mad e to turn back from the fight.” said Sanjaya.
On hearing the deeds of prowess of Abhimanyu, Dhritarashtra amazingly said: “O Sanjaya! Is it true that Abhimanyu, a boy, killed so many car warriors? I cannot believe? It is amazing and incredible. Because he is righteous, he is unconquerable.” thought Dhritarashtra. Sanjaya continued to say:
“Beholding the mass massacre of all the kings and princes and fleeing away of Suyodhana, rest of your sons were frightened. Their mouths became dry and sweat covered their bodies. Suyodhana mustered Asvathaama, Krupa, Karna, Kritavarma, Brihadbala and Sakuni and others and rushed in wrath against Abhimanyu. They were all beaten back by Abhimanyu.
At that time, Lakshmana, son of Suyodhana, rushed against Abhimanyu and incessantly showered arrows upon him. Unable to leave his son alone, Suyodhana also was fighting along with his son.Abhimanyu, in return, began to crush all of them. Abhimanyu, with only one sharp arrow, cut the head of Lakshmana.
Beholding the death of Lakshmana before his eyes, Suyodhana
became filled with rage. He loudly shouted “Kill him, Cut his head”
roared like a lion.Then Drona, Kritavarma, Kripacharya, Asvathaama, Karna,
Brihadbala -- six warriors -- encompassed Abhimanyu and showered arrows
upon him. Abhimanyu pierced sharp arrows and beat them off. Abhimanyu
drove his chariot towards Saindhava.
There, Saindhaya was restraining Pandava warriors from proceeding further into Padmavyooham. Abhimanyu shot 50 arrows on Drona, 80 arrows on Kritavarma, 10 arrows on Asvathaama, one arrow on Karna and pained them. Abhimanyu broke the chariot of Kripacharya. Abhimanyu pierced the body of Brihadbala with thirty arrows and killed all the armed forces accompanied him.
Abhimanyu killed Krodhalipta and Brindaraka by cutting their heads. Kripacharya boarded another chariot. In the meanwhile. Brihadbala rushed forward and attacked Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu killed the charioteer and the steeds of Brihadbala, broke his bow , and cut his flag. Brihadbala took his sword and shield, jumped down and began to fight with Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu, with only one Bhalla arrow, cut the head of Brihadbala.
Beholding the killing of Kosala King, Brihadbala, all his friends and relatives, rushed against Abhimanyu, all at a time. In no time, Abhimanyu consigned all of them to the abode of Yama. Then he turned his chariot towards Karna. There was a terrible fight between Karna and Abhimanyu. Both their bodies were drenched with blood. At that time, six army commanders of Karna, attacked Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu killed all of them, each with one arrow.
Then, one Asmantaka, son of Magadha King, with great courage, attacked Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu did not care for him, killed his charioteer, steeds and then cut the head of Asmantaka with one arrow. Abhimanyu roared like a lion.
The son of Dussaasana could not tolerate this. He rushed foward and killed the horses tied to the chariot of Abhimanyu and shot numerous sharp shafts against the charioteer. Abhimanyu laughed at him: “Your father, ran away unable to stand before him. Now you have come. Stand there and taste my prowess.” so saying Abhimanyu shot one sharp edged shaft against the chest of the son of Dussaasana. Asvathaama cut that arrow before it touched Dussaasana’s son, and saved him. Abhimanyu, without even looking at Asvathaama, killed the charioteer and broke the bow of the son of Dussaasana. He shot six arrows aiming at the chest of the son of Dussaasana. Unable to withhold the prowess of Abhimanyu, son of Dussaasana ran away. It was after noon then.
At that time, Satrumjaya, Chandraketu, Suvarchasa, Sooryabhana, Meghavega and others surrounded Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu drove all of them far away. Now it was the turn of Sakuni to attack Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu pained Sakuni with his powerful arrows and then turned towards Suyodhana.
Beholding this Karna told Drona: “O Great Preceptor Drona! Look at Abhimanyu. After defeating all of us, he is proceeding towards Suyodhana. Why you are keeping quiet? Do some thing to slain Abhimanyu.”
So saying, Karna went to help Suyodhana. Drona addressed all the other mighty warriors thus: “Though Abhimanuyu is younger than all of us, he is fighting equal to his father, Arjuna. He killed several mighty warriors in our army. We cannot ignore him any more. Letus all attack him at a time.” told Drona. By that time, Karna, afflicted with the shafts of Abhimanyu, returned back.
“Drona! Look at me, how Abhimanyu beat me with his sharp arrows. I will remain here as there is no other safest place. I heard much about the prowess of Arjuna. But his son is more than his father.” said Karna.
Then Drona said Karna thus: “Karna! I told Arjuna, an excellent method of warfare, called ‘Kavacha Dharana’.(wearing defensive armour). Arjuna told that method of warfare to his son Abhimanyu. Now he is under the cover of Kavachadharana. None can pierce his body with any arrow. We have to kill him by some wicked and deceitful means. First, one should break his bow. Immediately, another should kill his steeds. Then his charioteer. At the same time, one should break his chariot. All these should happen at a time without any gap. As long as Abhimanyu was holding his bow on his chariot, none can stand before him with life. If you are capable, kill him in this wicked and deceiptful manner” said Drona.
Karna thought for a while. He gathered all mighty warriors in Kourava army.All of them at a time attacked Abhimanyu. First, some of them broke his bow. Next moment, Drona killed the horses tied to the chariot. From the other side, Kripacharya killed the driver of the chariot. Abhimanyu remained unarmed, without chariot. Sakuni, Kritavarma, Sala, Bahlika, Asvathaama and others, surrounded him from all sides, incessantly showered arrows on Abhimanyu.
Abhimanyu took outhis sword and shield, jumped down from his chariot and was massacring the Kourava troops. He was jumping into air and was cutting the heads of the kourava warriors. Drona took out a spear and cut the sword of Abhimanyu. Next moment, Karna also broke the shield. Ahimanyu took out his Chakrayudha (a weapon in the form of a disc). He was killing the Kourava forces like a whirldwind and roaring like a lion. His entire body was drenched with blood. Massacring the Kouravas with his disc weapon, Abhimanyu was proceeding towards Drona.
At that time, Sakuni, Kritavarma, Kripacharya, Salya conspired together. They surrounded Abhimanyu from all sides. They all broke the Chakrayudha into pieces. Then Abhimanyu took out a mace from his chariot and jumped on Asvathama. Beholding the mace upraised, Asvathama jumed down from his chariot and hid behind his chariot. Abhimanyu killed the charioteer and the horses of Asvathama and broke his chariot with his mighty mace.
Then Abhimanyu rushed against Sakuni. 27 Gandharva warriors stood before him protecting Sakuni. Abhimanyu killed all of them with his mace. Abhimanyu killed all the Kekaya kings. Then, the son of Dussaasana attacked Abhimanyu and poured arrowy showers on him. Abhimanu smashed all those arrows with his mace and killed his horses and charioteer. The son of Dussaasana got down from his chariot, took out his mace and attacked Abhimanyu.
There was fiercest dual fight between Abhimanyu and son of Dussaasana. Both Pandava forces and Kourava forces stooped fighting for a while and were witnessing their dual fight. Each of them struck with the other’s maces, fell down on the earth. Dussasana’s son rose first, struck Abhimanyu with the mace on his head. With the violence caused by that stroke, as also with the fatigue he had undergone, Abhimanyu fell down on earth and died.
Thus, O King Dhritarashtra, Abhimanyu was slain by many in battle. The fallen hero was then surrounded by the Kourava warriors. Abhimanyu was looked like an elephant killed by several hunters. The sun was set. Abhimanyu ascended to heaven. Kourava troops repeatedly uttered leionine shouts. They were in transports of joy while tears fell from the eyes of Pandava troops. Even invisible ghosts cried aloud: “Alas! Abhimanyu was killed by many kourava warriors headed byDrona and Karna, unrighteously.”
Beholding the death of Abhimanyu, all the Pandava troops fled away. Having seen Abhimanyu being killed by many kourava warriors, Dharamaja said: “Our great hero Abhimanyu gained entry into the invincible Padmavyooha, killed innumerable elephants, horses, soldeirs, many car warriors, fightened many Athiradha and Maharadhas, and assended to the heavenly abode. We need not feel sorry for the death of this mighty hero.” said Dharmaja.
As the darkness plunged in, the war ended for that day. Both the troops retired to their respective camps. Your sons with glorious faces returned back to their camps while Pandavas returned back filled with grief.
Dharmaja, overwhelmed with grief, sat in his camp and indulged in lamentations: “Why should I send Abhimanyu to break Padmavyooha arrayed and protected by Drona and other great warriors. Why should Abhimanyu, only to satisfy me, penetrate into Padmavyooha. Can it be possible for a boy like Abhimanyu to conquer Kourava warriors like Dussaasana and Karna and kill so many great warriors. If Arjuna comes and enquires about his son, what should I tell? If Krishna asks about his niece what will be my reply? Alas! Abhimanyu is a small and tender boy who does not know about the skills in warfare. Why should I send him to break Padmavyooha, which is not possible even for great warriors. Normally, elders will give children small gifts and eatables. But I sent him to war. I would have also been killed along with him. How can I see the grief stricken face of Arjuna. Arjuna will certainly take revenge upon those who killed his son, Abhimanyu. Even then his grief cannot be extinguished. Even the entire riches on this earth and the heavenly pleasures will not keep pace with the loving smiling face of Abhimanyu.” Dharmaja lamenting himself with great grief.
At that time, Bhagavan Veda Vyasa (Krishna Dwaipaayana) arrived there. Dharmaja received him with due honours. Dharmaja said: “O Saint Vyasa! I sent Abhimanyu to massacre the enemy troops. Abhimanyu entered Padmavyooha. We followed him. But in view of the power of the Siva’s boon , Saindhava obstructed us from entering Padmavyooha. Finding Abhimanyu alone in Padmavyooha, all the great warriors in Kourava Army surrounded him and killed him mercilessly. Will there be any sinner like me who sent his own son to war field alone? My mind is full of grief. What can I do?” said Dharmaja.
Then Vyasa told Dharmaja thus: “O Dharmaja! Dont feel grief. Is Abhimanyu, who killed several kourava warriors, an ordinary boy? Will enemy warriors will throw flowers on him in battle instead of arrows? Wisemen will never feel grief like you. Death is quite natural for all. Even Garuda, Uraga (snakes),Rakshasa can never escape death. After all, we are humans. Nobody can avoid fate. Be courageous. Think about future.” said Vyasa.
“O saint Vyasa! This earth was ruled by many kings, who were courageous with great vigour and valour. But none can escape death. What is the reason?” asked Dharmaja. Veda Vyasa replied thus:
“In the ancient past, there was a king called Akampana. Enemies came upon him and fought with him. They imprisoned Akampana. His son, Hari, attacked his enemies and conquered all of them and released his father from prison. Again Hari fought with his enemies and died. Though Akampana gained victory over his enemies, he lost his son. He was suffering with great grief on account of the death of his son.
Narada arrived there. Akampana honoured him and told him what had happened. “O Saint Narada! My son is a hero of great prowess. Though I gained victory, I am not happy with his grief. I heard that in this universe, none can escape death. Why so? I want to know about the birth of death and its influence on earth. Kindly tell me” asked Akampana.
Saint Narada said thus:”Akampana! At the inception, Prajapati Brahma created this universe and living and non living things, human beings etc. But he did not create death. As there was no decay and death for the human beings and living things, the earth became heavy and unbearable. Brahma could not find any reason for their death. He was thinking about it. Due to heat generated from his thoughts, flames came out of his body and began to destroy the entire universe.
As the entire creation is being destroyed, Lord Siva could not tolerate it .Lord Siva immediately proceeded to Bhrama Loka and prayed Brahma to stop destruction of the Universe.
“O Lord Siva! what is the reason for your arrival. I will accomplish your desire” said Brahma. “O Brahma Deva! You have created this Universe, living and non living being and human beings etc. Why you are again destroying them with your own hands? What is the reaon? Kindly stop this destruction and save the universe” requested Siva.
“O Lord Siva! I am neither angry nor desirious of anything. I created this universe and mankind. I have not created death. The burden of earth became heavy. Mother earth prayed for decreasing its burden. To decrease the same, I have resorted to this destructive act. I could not find anyother way except this. In view of this, my mind is filled with great wrath. In that wrathful fire, the entire creation is being reduced to ashes.” said Brahma.
“O Lord Brahma! You have created this universe and ordered me to protect it. As per your direction, I am protecting this universe. Now you are resorting to its destruction. Is it virtuous? Is such kind of anger desirous for you? Even so, in order to decrease the burden of earth, is it desirable to destroy the entire creation at a time? Why cannot you find some other solution, so that the act of destruction may be done in one order? O Brahma! control your wrath and protect this unviverse. Let not the creatures be exterminated like this.” prayed Lord Siva.
Hearing the above words of Mahadeva, Brahma extinguished his fire of wrath. While that wrathful fire being extinguished, one lady who was dark and red, whose eyes were red and with red saree, was born out of his limbs. She smilingly looked at those two Lords of the universe and proceeded towards south. Brahma called her, by the name of Death.
“O Goddess of Mruthyu, where are you going? Come here.” ordered Brahma.
Goddess of Mruthyu returned back and stood before Brahma.
“O Goddess of Mruthyu! While I was desirous of destroying this universe, you were born. Kill all the creatures, good and bad, wicked and virtuous, without any discrimination, but in an order. As you are discharing your duty at my command, no sin will be attached to you.” said Lord Brahma.
Lord Siva consented for it. Goddess Mruthyu began to weep. Tears from her eyes were falling. Immediately, Lord Brahma caught them with his two hands. Lord Brahma tried to convince her. But she refused to do that job.
“O Lord Brahma! You have created me. But why you are commanding me to do this sinful act of destruction? How can I discharge this cruel evil and sinful act? I cannot hear the weeping and cries of the friends and relaltives in view of the death of their kith and kin. I cannot do this cruel, wicked act. Be kind towards me and permit me to do penance in Dhenukaashram.” prayed Goddess Mrutyu.
“O Goddess Mrutyu! I created you only for destruction of this mankind . You have to do this act. Dont feel unhappy in your mind. As per my command, commence destruction of mankind.” ordered Lord Brahma.
For the present, she agreed for the words of Brahma. Lord Brahma was very happy. The entire world also was very happy with this arrangement. As his desire has been accomplished, Lord Sive returned back to Kailas. Goddess Mrutyu bowed before Lord Brahma and proceeded to Dhenukashram.
On the banks of Nanda and Kousiki rivers, she performed many Vratas (rituals). She proceeded to Himalaya mountains and did great penance, about Lord Brahma. Having pleased with her penance, Lord Brahma appeared before her.
“O Goddess Mrutyu! Instead of obeying my command, why are you doing this penance? For what purpose?” asked Lord Brahma.
“O Lord Brahma! I cannot kill persons by strangling their necks. Kindly dont depute me for this act. Hence I did this penance. I am earnestly praying you.” prayed Goddess Mruthyu.
“O Goddess Mruthyu! Why doyou feel that this is a non-virtuous act. You are following my command. You are doing it under my control. It is a most virtuous act. Myself and Lord Siva will bless you that you are freed from sin, perfectly clensed and you may even acquire glory, by following my command.” said Lord Brahma.
“O Lord Brahma! I will accept your command. I will do as you like. But kindly do one thing. Let covetousness, wrath, malice, jealousy, quarrel, folly and other stern passions tear all the creatures.Then only I can discharge my duties effectively.” said Goddess Mruthyu.
“It will be done. Not only that. When you wept, I collected all the drops of your tears with my hands. Each and every drop of your tears will create one kind of disease to the creatures. They will suffer and die with those diseases. You duty will be just taking away their livesfrom their bodies. Therefore, no sin will afflict you. As you will simply take away their lives, it will be a virtuous act. I am your well wisher. All the lives of the creatures will be under your control. You have to take away their lives impartially and without any fear or favour. In this manner, you have to discharge your duties effectively. Wicked people will die with their own wicked acts. You need not worry about it.” said Lord Brahma.
With the fear of curse, Goddess Mrutyu accepted the command of Lord Brahma and started killing the creatures. As per the command of Lord Brahma, several passions, different kinds of diseases were inflicting the mankind and destroying them. At the end, Goddess Mrutyu was taking away their lives. The lives of the creatures were shifting from one body to another. In this manner, the burden of Mother earth was controlled.
Besides this, God Vayu is glorious, omnipresent , omnipotent and all pervasive. He is the root cause for the growth of the creatures. The entry and exit of lives into the bodies of the creatures is quite common. Your son is now in heaven enjoying heavenly plealsures. You need not feel sorrow. The entire world is full of sorrows. Your son has left this sorrowful world and attained heavenly pleasures. Wise people will never feel sorrow for the departed souls, because life and death is nothing but creation of Lord Brahma.”said Narada to Akampana about the creation of Brahma and the influence of Goddess Mruthyu on mandkind.
“O Narada! I have heard what all you said. My mind is stable now.” said Akampana. Then Narada went to Ashoka Vana. Therefore, O Dharmaja! Abhmanyu fought with his enemies and attained heavently pleasures. Your son attained name and fame in this world. Thereore, you need not feel sorry for his death” said Veda Vyasa, the story of Akampana, to Dharmaja.
Dharmaja thought in mind that death is quite common to all the creatures and warriors who die in war will attain heaven and pacified himself. Still some doubts were lingering in his mind. “O Saint Veda Vyasa! What were the penances done by the kings and emperors in the ancient past and what were the results they derived. Kindly tell me.” asked Dharmaja. Veda Vyasa continued to say:
“O Dharmaja! several sages and saints, kings and exmperors who have done great penance, meditation, tapas, charities have attained heavenly abodes. Likewise, great warriors like Abhimanyu who lost their lives in the warfield also attained even more highest regions.
In the ancient past, there was a king called Srunjaya. He was issueless. For the sake of children, he was worshipping Brahmins. Narada was his best friend. One day, Narada arrived to see Srunjaya. The brahmins who gathered there requested Narada to bless Srunjaya with children. Narada asked Srunjaya what he does he want?
“O friend Narada! I want a son, who is handsome, virtuous. His sweat, urine, stool,tears should be gold. Kindly bless me with such a son.” requested Srunjaya.
Narada smiled at him and blessed him with such a son. As a result, Srunjaya begot a son through his wife. He was named as Suvarnashteevi. The child was growing day by day and reserves of gold also were growing day by day. In his house, every thing was gold, including beds, tables, chairs, couches, houses, etc. Some miscreants observed this. One day, they kidnapped Suvarnashteevi and took him to the middle of a forest. They killed the boy and tore his stomache and searched for gold but in vain. They left the dead body in the forest and went away. Those miscreants subsequently quarrelled amongst themselves and died.
Srunjaya was searching for his son. At last, he found the dead body in the forest. He was suffering with great grief due to the death of his son, Suvarnashteevi. Narada arrived there and consoled Srunjaya.
“O Srunjaya! why are you suffering like this. Even if you suffer with grief, will your son come back. No. Not only your son, none will come back from heaven. Even the sixteen great kings and emperors viz., King Maruttu, King Suhora, King Anga, Emperor Sibi, Emperor Sri rama, King Bhagiradha, Emperor Dilip, King Maandhaatha, King Yayati, Emperor Ambareesha, King Sasibindu, King Gaya, King Ranti Deva, King Bharatha, King Prudhu, and Parasuraama. All these six teen Kings and Emperors have ruled this earth. They have performed great penances. They have given many charities to Brahmins. They fed the poor.They all ruled their people with utmost kindness. But, Where are they? Are they alive now.? Have they be permited to live on this earth eternally? No. In passing of time, all of them have died. So none can avoid death. So also your son. Wisemen should not feel grief for those who left this sinful world.” said Narada.
Srunajya was convinced with his words. Then Narada asked Srunjaya:
“Srunjaya! choose whatever you like?” “O Narada! You are before me. I do not want anything more than this” replied Srunjaya. Narada was very happy.
“Srunjaya! your son was killed by some miscreants, though he is not destined to die. I will brink back your son.” said Narada. As per the boon given by Narada, Suvarnashteevi came back alive. Suvarnashteevi lived for long and died as usual. Therefore, Dharmaja! nobody can conquer his death. Your son, Abhimanyu adored Veera Svarga and is enjoying heavenly pleasures. You need not feel grief for his death. As you have heard about the Sixteen Kings and Emperors who ruled this earth, you stabilise your mind and think about the future course of action” said Veda Vyasa. Then Veda Vyasa departed from that place.
Though Dharmaja was freed from grief with the consolation of Veda Vyasa, he asked himself with a melancholy heart “What shall we say to Dhananjaya if he asks about his son” .
Then Dhritarashtra asked Sanjaya: “Sanjaya! Tell me the details of war between Arjuna and Samsaptakas. Who conveyed the message of death of Abhimanyu to Arjuna? Tell me in detail.” asked Dhritarashtra.
Sanjaya continued to say: “O King Dhritarashtra! With his great vigour and valour, Arjuna massacred the army of Samsaptakas and returned back. While coming back, several bad omens appeared.
“ Krishna! Such kind of bad omens appeared never before. I am very much worried. My body is trembling. Drona is not an ordinary warrior. I am apprehending some danger to my brother Dharmaja at his hands” said Arjuna.
“Arjuna! Either Dharmaja or his brothers will never land in trouble. If anything happens to anybody, it will be known shortly.” said Krishna.
Then Krishna and Arjuna entered their camps and found gloomy atmosphere.
“Krishna! beholding me, everybody is lowering their heads. Their faces are filled with sorrow. Jubilant atmosphere is not seen anywhere. Abhimanyu who always greets me on my arrival is not seen . What bad news I have to hear, I am afraid. Tell me Krishna. What would have happened.” persistently asked Arjuna.
Krishna did not give any reply. Arjuna entered the camp of Dharmaja. Except Abhimanyu, all are present there with cheerless faces. Arjuna’s legs were shivering.
“Brother Dharmaja! what happened. Why you are feeling sorrow. Abhimanyu is not seen anywhere. What happened to my son? Tell me.
Yes. Today Drona arrayed his troops in the form of Padmavyooha. I am the only warrior who knows how to enter Padmavyooha. If my apprehension is true, you might have sent him to break Padmavyooha. Is it not? Tell me.
Alas! Abhimanyu knows only how to enter but not to come back. As per your request, he might have entered Padmavyooha and lost his life at the hands of Kourava warriors. They would have killed my son with some wicked plan. Otherwise he is unconquerable. I cannot live in this world even for a moment without looking at his lovely face.
My son, Abhimanyu, who always sleeps on softest bed is now lying on the bare earth. His face which always shines brightly in the shades of white umbrellas, now is rolling in the dust. He who always has been attended by most beautiful ladies is now in the midst of cruel jackals. The grand son of Devendra and son of Arjuna is no more now.
The fate is so cruel. I am so unfortunate. I cannot have such a son like you any more. Even if those Samsaptakas challenged me for war, why should I go, leaving you alone. Oh my son Abhimanyu! Is it proper on your part to leave your mother Subhadra. Your uncle Sri Krishna is calling you. Come on. Talk to him. Your wife, Uttara is weeping. Console her.” Arjuna was indulged in diverse lamentations.
Then, Arjuna, afflicted with great grief, asked Yushishtira:
“Brother Yudhishtira! How it had happened? What happened to Bhimasena and Dhrushtadyumna? Have you sent them to any other front for fighting? What happened to great warriors like Drupada and Satyaki? Where is King Virata? Atleast why cannot you save my son? Where have you gone? Otherwise, my son would not have been killed in such a helpless situation!
Brother Yudhishtira! Tell me how my son was killed. Has he shown his prowess, vigour and valour before his death. While afflicted by Karna, Drona, Kripa and other kourava warriors with sharp shafts of diverse kinds, my son of little strength must have repeatedly thought: “My father will, in this situation, be my rescuer”, I think. No. It cannot be like that. My son is not such a coward. He is a warrior of great prowess. He will only fight till his death. He never seek any other’s help even in critical situations.
While killing my son, did they not think in mind about my Gandeevam and the power of Sudarsanam of Sri Krishna. Oh my son! Where are you lying in the midst of streams of blood. How can I pacify my wife Subhadra and Droupadi.”
Thus indulging in diverse lamentations, Arjuna was afflicted with great grief. After some time, Arjuna asked Yudhishtira:
“Brother Dharmaja! While I was fighting with Samsaptakas, I heard the leonine roars of Kourava warriors and the voice of Yuyutsu.
“Unable to fight with the son of Arjuna, you all killed him ruthlessly in a wicked manner. Are you rejoicing? Can you survive on this earth after causing such a harm to Arjuna and Krishna. With this wicked act, you are all afflicted with great sin. It will certainly destory you in near future.”
Myself and Krishna overheard these words. We never trust those words. Dharmaja! atleast had you informed me about this critical situation in an appropriate time, I would have come to the rescue of my son.”
Then Krishna consoling Arjuna who was afflicted with great grief on account of his son, said thus:
“O Arjuna! Are you mad? It is quite natural for a warrior to die in battle field. Your son, Abhimanyu, with great prowess, fought alone, with so many great warriors in Kourava army and died. Instead of rejoicing, you are suffering with grief. You have already learnt what ought to be learnt. Such a wise man like you should not feel grief like this. Look at your brothers and other relations. You have to console them. Shed your sorrow and be brave.” said Krishna.
“O brother Dharmaja! Dhrishtadyumna! Satyaki! tell me more about my son. Who killed my son so cruelly and mercilessly? I have to kill them. Kindly tell me about today’s war details! I know you are all endowed with great vigour and valour, equipped with powerful Astras and Sastras. When you are all around my son, how can they kill my son? By any stretch of imagination, it appears to be impossible.
Oh! Dharmaja! I trusted you. Knowing fully well that you have no such prowess to save my son, I would have tried otherwise to save my son. Any how, I lost my son. Tell me in detail. While you were penetrating into Padmavyooha, behind my son, who obstructed you without helping my son. Oh. I am mistaken. When you are deprived of your vigour, valour, courage etc. how can you save my son? There is no use of blaming useless warriors like you. Having known fully well that you are all cowards and afraid of war, I left my son in your hands and proceeded to fight with Samsaptakas. I have to blame myself. You all appear to be great warriors but in real you are not. Otherwise, you would have saved my son. All the weapons you wear are nothing but ornamental to you but not to fight.” told Arjuna with great grief, coupled with distress and anger.
None of the kings, emperors, relatives, friends assembled there dare not approach Arjuna and console him. At that time, collecting his courage, Dharmaja told Arjuna thus:
“Arjuna! When you are engaged in war with Samsaptakas,
Drona arrayed his troops in the form of Padmavyooha. Inspite of our great
efforts, we were unable to penetrate into Padmavyooha. I know that Abhimanyu
only knows about the skill to enter padmavyooha. Hence I approached Abhimanyu
and requested him to enter padmavyooha and we will follow him. Abhimanyu
accepted my request and entered Padmavyooha. He was massacring the kourava
troops. Along with him, we all tried to enter padmavyooha. But Saindhava
obstructed us and restrained us from entering Padmavyooha. Sandhava got
such a power from Lord Siva to restrain all of us only one day. With that
power, he restrained all of us from entering padmavyooha. Unable to attack
Saindhaya, we all remained outside.
Having known the details of the death of his son, Arjuna was inflicted with great wrath. “Listen carefully. This is my vow. By tomorrow evening sunset, I will kill Saindhava. I do not spare him even if he implores my protection, protection of my brother Dharamaja or even the protection of Sri Krishna, unless he flees away turning his back to me. Even if the entire Kourava army try to save him, I do not leave him. If I fail to do so, I will become a sinner who commits murder of brahmins and consuming intoxicated drinks. Even if all heavenly bodies, asuras, kimpurushas, gandharvas and others come to his rescue, I will kill him by tomorrow sun set. Otherwise, I will enter the blazing fire and immolate myself. This is my oath” said Arjuna.
Arjuna sent for his Gandeevam and worshipped it. Sri Krishna blew his conche, Panchajanya. Arjuna blew Devadatta. Sounds of Trumpets, Drums, horns etc. in Pandava army rose to the sky. Pandava warriors were making leonine roars.
“Brother Arjuna! I am by your side. Kill that wretch, Saindhava. The hearts of Kourava warriors will break on hearing our leonine roars and sounds of trumpets and drums. It is certain.” said Bhimasena.
The sudden blowing of conches, Panchajanya and Devadatta, the leonine roars of Pandava army and the sounds of trumpets and drums and horns, were heard by the Kourava warriors. They were informed by their spies, about the serious vow taken by Arjuna. Saindhava also heard about this. His body was shivering. Shamelessly, he ran to Suyodhana.
“Suyodhana! Have you heard the oath of Arjuna. As if I am the only person who caused harm to him, he promised to kill me. When you are all rejoicing, why should I suffer with distress. I will hide myself somewhere else. Suyodhana! If Drona, Kripa, Karna, Salya, Bahlika etc. think seriously, they will even bring back the souls taken out by Yama. I think they are not seriously thinking about my life. God only should save me.” Saindhava wetting his dried lips with his tongue. His legs were trembling and was unable to stand. “Suyodhana! I take leave and search for a place where I can hide, out of the reach of Arjuna. I will meet you tomorrow after sunset, if I am alive.” Saindhava tried to go away.
Suyodhana stopped him and said: “Saindhaya! Are you mad? How can you imagine that we all leave you to your fate? Dont you know about the prowess, vigour and valour, courage and archery skills of Drona, Sakuni, Somadatta, Sala and Asvathaama. Will they leave you helpless? Trust me. Dont be afraid. Myself and all my brothers will always be behind you and protect you.” said Suyodhana.
Then Suyodhana, along with Saindhava, went to Drona. Saindhava asked Drona about the difference between him and Arjuna, in archery skills.
“Saindhava! you all learnt archery under me. I also taught all the archery skills to all of you equally, without showing any favour to anybody. But Arjuna learnt all the skills, with great pains and sufferings and he did many new experiments in archery. Therefore he is more efficient than all of you. Still, you need not worry about his prowess. As long as you are under my protection, even the heavenly bodies do not stare at you. Tomorrow, I will array our troops in a different vyooha, half Padmavyooha and half in the shape of a Sakata(cart), which is not known even to Arjuna. You fight as usual as a valiant Kshatriya.
Besides that, O Saindhava! you have learnt four Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas and Sastras. You performed many Yajnas and Yagas. Still you are afraid of death. Dont you know that death is certain for all living beings? Do you mean to say that these Yadavas, Pandavas, Kouravas and others will remain on this earth eternally. All are destined to die. No exception. Just time difference. Soon after their time is over, all have to leave this earth. Why you are afraid of this natural event? The warriors who die in war will attain the highest regions, attainable by those sages and saints who performed many Yajnas and Yagas, great Tapas etc. Therefore, do your duty. Dont be afraid of death.” said Drona.
Then Suyodhana and Saindhava returned back to their respective camps. The army on both sides were making preparations for next day’s war. Deliberations were going on in Suyodhana’s camp about next day warfare.
Dharmaja also assembled the Kings of Panchala, Matsya, Pandya, Yadava, Kekaya kings and discussed with them about arrangements for the next day war.
Krishna spoke to Arjuna thus: “Arjuna! Without considering the pros and cons, and without even informing me, you have taken a terrible oath. How disastrous it is, do you know? If for any reason, you are unable to discharge that oath, what would be our fate and hardship? Having learnt about your vow, Saindhava shamelessly approached Suyodhana and told him that none can save him from your wrath and he will go somewhere else for safety. Then Drona, Kripacharya, Kritavarma, Asvathaama, Karna, Salya and others consoled him and assured him of his safety. Drona is arraying his troops in an unbreakable vyooha. If Saindhaya is hidden in the midst of that vyooha, how can you kill him. Think about it with your close associates.” said Krishna.
“Krishna! I know pretty well about the prowess of Kourava warriors. They also know about me. Without your help, none can save Saindhava from my wrath. While killing Saindhava, if any body comes in my way, he will be no more. The Astras and Sastras acquired by all the Kourava warriors are not at all equivalent to Astras and Sastras acquired by me. Krihsna! in the presence of Drona and others, I will cut the head of Saindhaya tomorrow. Not only the troops of Suyodhana, but even the entire universe comes against me, I will kill Saindhava. I take this oath, on my Gandeeva, on you, on me, and on all my divine Astras and Sastras.
It is certain that the head of Saindhaya will be cut. For that purpose, the instrument is Gandeevam. My charioteer is Sri Krishna. The killer is Arjuna. Even Lord Siva cannot save Saindhava. Krishna! When you are by my side, who else will stand before me. Kindly extend your cooperation and assistance in achieving this object.” prayed Arjuna.
“Arjuna! your oath will be discharged. Keep your mind steady and sleep well.” said Krishna. Arjuna returned back to his camp. Krishna accompanied him. There, in the camp of Arjuna, Subhadra and Droupadi were waiting for his arrival. Beholding Arjuna, their grief exceeded its bounds. Krishna consoled Subhadra.
“O my beloved Sister Subhadra! Why you are weeping like this? You are a Kshatriya lady. Death of warriors in battle field and attainment of heavenly pleasures is quite common. You need not feel grief about your son. He is a great hero and a brave warrior. He left this sinful world and attained highest regions. You need not worry about your son. The highest regions which will be attained by great sages and saints who performed penances and Tapas, have been attianed by your son, by simply dying in the battle field. Why should you feel sorry for it? Kshatriya ladies will beget great warriors as their children. It is quite natural for those warriors to die in war. You have to rejoice for giving birth to such a great warrior like Abhimanyu. However great warrior he may be, he has to leave this world some time or other. None can stay eternally in this world. Knowing fully well about this truth, why you are feeling grief like this. You are so courageous. You should not weep like this. Console your daughter in law, Uttara. Your husband, Arjuna, will kill Saindhava by tomorrow evening and and keep his head before your feet. Trust me and be brave.” consoled Sri Krishna.
Inspite of his consolations, Subhadhra was unable to control her grief. “O my son Abhimanyu! Though I have given birth to you, I could not enjoy your presence for a long time. Having killed so many great warriors in the battle field, you have met your death so cruelly. Our minds are very much disturbed. While you were a child, you slept by my side with half of your body on me. Now you are lying on hard soil, unattended. Daily you wake up from your bed with the praises of Vandi and Magadha. Now you are hearing the howls of jackals. There are several great warriors, Athi Radhas, Maharadhas like Bhima, Satyaki, Drupada, Virata in our army but none could save you from this disastour. O my son!Abhimanyu! without you, this entire universe is nothing but desert. Being the son of a great warrior Arjuna and the niece of Sri Krishna, yours being killed by others is nothing but a wonder. Look at your wife, Uttara. How she is weeping for you. Come on.... my son. Just console her..wipe her tears. wipe her tears........”Subhadra was suffering with an unended grief.
Draupadi, swallowing her grief for herslef, hugged Subhadra and Uttara and was silently weeping for her son and fainted. Sri Krishna consoled them. Then all of them retired to their respective places. Krishna along with Arjuna went back to their camps.
In the camp of Arjuna, Krishna spread a dharbhaasana (mat) and kept Gandeevam, Devadatta, Panchajanya, Sudarsana and other weapons on that mat and both of them worshipped those weapons with great devotion. Arjuna slept by the side of those weapons. Krishna retired to his camp.
Krishna tried to sleep but he did not get sleep. Not only Sri Krishna, every warrior in the Pandava camp did not get sleep on that night. Everybody was thinking only about one thing.
“Arjuna’s son was killed by Kouravas. Saindhava
was the root cause for this disastour. Arjuna took a oath to kill Saindhaya
by tomorrow evening. Kouravas will certainly foil that. In that case,
what will happen? Will Arjuna immolate himself? If so, what will happen
to other pandavas? What about our fate? So, Arjuna should kill Saindhava.”
Everybody prayed God to help Arjuna in fulfilling this task.
Daarukaa! Collect all my weapons and keep them in my chariot. Tie excellent steeds, Saibya and Sugreeva, to my chariot. Erect Garuda flag on my chariot. Be more vigilant. Observe me always from a distance. Soon after I blow my Panchajanya, immediately, with great speed, bring my chariot. Then I will leave the chariot of Arjuna, jump into my chariot and kill Saindhava. This is my plan ” said Krishna to his charioteer Daruka. .
“Yes Krishna! I will execute your orders meticulously. I will make ready our chariot and wait for your command. I hope there will not be any such necessity for you to fight. Still I will follow your instructions” said Daruka.
While Sri Krishna was talking with Daruka, Arjuna was in disturbed sleep. In that sleep, he got a dream. In that dream, Krishna came to Arjuna. Arjuna worshipped Sri Krishna with flowers and adorned him with garlands. Krishna spoke to Arjuna thus: “Arjuna! Dont agitate. Be brave. A warrior with agitated mind can never get triumph. How can you kill Saindhava by tomorrow evening? Think about it.” said Krishna.
“O Krishna! What remains for me except grief. I have taken oath to kill Saindhava by tomorrow evening. Drona also took a vow to save him at any cost. Saindhava will hide behind them till tomorrow evening. He will be out of my vision. What shall I do? Except grief, what remains for me?” said Arjuna.
“Arjuna! It is true. But we have to find a way out. You do one thing. Turn to east. Keep Lord Siva in mind. With staunch devotion, pray Lord Sive to bless you with Pasupatha Astra. It has already been given to you formally by Lord Siva. Now pray him to teach you about its Prayoga and Upasamhaara ( launching process). If Pasupatha is under your control, you can certainly kill Saindhava, whereever he is. That is the only way.” said Sri Krishna.
Arjuna took his bath, sat on Dharbhasana (special mat), thought Lord Siva in mind, and deeply meditated about Lord Siva. With the blessings of Lord Siva, Krishna and Arjuna were travelling in the sky towards north. They reached Kailash. They entered into a marvellous palace.
Surrounded by Nandi, Pramadha Ganas, Lord Siva was sitting along with his wife, Parvathi. Arjuna and Krishna prostrated before them. Lord Siva smiled at Nara and Narayana.
“Welcome to Nara and Narayana. What made you to come over here. I will certainly fulfil your desire.” said Lord Sive. Both of them praised Lord Siva in many ways.
Krishna spoke to Lord Siva: “O Lord Siva! you please initiate Pasupatha to Arjuna.”
Arjuna was staring at Lord Siva and became speechless. He was astonished. Because, all the garlands and flowers offered by Arjuna to Krishna, before they start to Kailash, are seen on the body of Lord Siva.
“Oh. There is no difference between Siva and Kesava.” thought Arjuna. (Sivaaya Vishnu roopaaya, Siva roopaaya Vishnave....Sandhyaa Vandanam).
Arjuna also prayed Lord Siva to bless him with Pasupatha Astra. Lord Siva spoke to Arjuna: “O Arjuna! look at that lotus pond. In the middle of the pond, there is a bow and arrow. Bring them here.”
Accordingly, Arjuna brought the bow and arrow. Arjuna saw a boy, with deep blue colour, standing by the side of Lord Siva. He took the bow and arrow from Arjuna and taught Arjuna the rituals, mantras and the procedure how to launch Pasupatha Astra. Arjuna, with great concentrationand devotion, learnt Prayoga and Upasamhaara of Pasupatha Astra. Then, Arjuna placed the bow and arrow in the middle of the lotus pond, as usual.
Though Pasupatha was formally given to Arjuna while he was in the forest, now Lord Siva taught him about Prayoga and Upasamhara and the related rituals and Mantras, of Pasupatha Astra. Again, Krishna and Arjuna prostrated before Lord Siva and returned back to their respective camps. That was the dream of Arjuna.” said Sanjaya to Dhritarashtra..
In this manner, Soota told Sounaka and other sages and saints, the story of Maha Bharata, assembled in Naimishaaranya.