Salya Parva
First Chapter.

Saint Sooti told Saint Sounaka and other sages and saints gathered at Naimisaranya, on the occasion of Satra Yaga, the story of Maha Bharata, as was told by Saint Vaisampayana to Janamejaya.

The seventeenth day of Maha Bharata war was concluded. Dussaasana and Karna were killed. Accompanied by the remaining warriors, Suyodhana retired to his place of stay. Salya was appointed as the Commander in Chief of the Kourava Army.

Both armies gathered at Kurukshetra for 18th day war. By noon time, Dharmaja killed Salya. All the great warriors, fighting on behalf of Suyodhana were killed, one by one. Suyodhana concluded the war and went away alone. He went underground, by hiding himself in a great pond. Pandavas went in search of Suyodhana, found him in the waters of a pond. Pandavas provoked Suyodhana to have a dual fight with any one of them.

There was a dual fight between Suyodhana and Bhimasena. In that dual fight, Bhimasena struck Suyodhana with a mace, below his waist, on his thighs. Suyodhana fell down. His thighs were broken. The Maha Bharata war came to an end.

On that mid night, while the sons of Pandavas and other Pandava warriors were in deep sleep, Asvathama, accompanied by Kripacharya and Kritavarma, entered the tents of Pandava warriors and killed all of them including the sons of Pandavas, Panchala warriors, Prabhadraka and Matsya warriors along with their remaining troops, by severing their heads from their bodies.

Beholding this mass massacre, Sanjaya returned back to Hastina Pura to explain the position in detail to King Dhritarashtra. He entered the inner apartments of King Dhritarashtra. King Dhritarashtra, his wife, his daughters-in-law were waiting eagerly to hear the final developments of war. Sanjaya could not control his grief. He began to weep loudly and said:

“O King Dhritarashtra! King Salya, Ulooka, Samsaptakas, King of Kambhoja, Sataaneeka, all Yavana Kings, all Kings of Hills and Plains, all mlecha troops, and all the Kings who have come to help Suyodhana from all the four corners, were killed. All the sons of Karna were killed. Your son, Suyodhana, was beaten by Bhimasena with his mace below his waist. Suyodhana body is rolling on the banks of river Sarasvati, on the hard surface, unattended and uncared for.

Besdies that, on the side of Pandavas, Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi, Uttamouja, Yudhamanyu and other Panchala Kings, Chedi, Matsya, Prabhadraka kings and their troops, Prativindhya and other sons of Droupadi, all the remaining chariots, horses, elephant forces have perished in the battle. Even on pandava side, except females, no male is found.

Asvathama, Kripacharya and Kritavarma alone remain on our side. Five Pandavas, Sri Krishna, Satyaki, your son Yuyutsa only remain on the side of Pandavas.18 Akshouhini strong army perished in this 18 days long battle.” said Sanjaya to Dhritarashtra. On hearing this, King Dhritarasthra, Gandhari and their daughters-in-law fainted. Dhritarashtra regained consciousness.

“Vidura! Have you heard what Sanjaya said. I lost all my sons. I have become an orphan. The only relative remains is yourself. Vidura! My mind is not under my control. I do not know what to do. Please send all the womenfolk to their respective places.” said Dhritarashtra.

Vidura made arrangements to dispatch all the ladies to their respective places.

“Vidura! all my sons are dead. Not even a single son of King Pandu is dead. It is amazing. Even after hearing about the death of all the one hundred sons of mine, my heart is still beating. As I was born blind, I could not enjoy the childhood activities of my sons. Now I am lamenting for the death of all my sons.

O my son Suyodhana! where are you? Your beloved mother, Gandhari, is calling you. Where have you gone leaving your old parents! While the sun is setting our lives, where have you gone? Where is the love and affection expressed by you upon us, so far? How you are lying on the hard surface unattended by servants, without the praises of Vandi and Magadhas. O my son Suyodhana! Have you forgotten those words spoken to by you: “O My father! I got Bhishma, Drona, Kripacharya, Karna, Asvathama on our side. They will kill Pandavas in no time. Besides, Bahlika, Somadatta, Sakuni, Bhoorisravasa, Salya and Sindu Kings are on our side. We all will vanquish Pandavas”. But to day, all of you have been killed by Pandavas .

No...... Arjuna is a great warrior. He killed Bhishma, keeping Sikhandi before him. Even Drona was killed by Arjuna. What about my son in law, Jayadhradha. Only with one single arrow, he was killed by Arjuna. Vidura! Is it not fate? O my son Suyodhana! you believed Karna blindly. He never killed at least one in Pandavas. Is it believable? The great warrior, Salya also could not kill any warrior, worth the name. O Suyodhana! you promised that you will kill all Pandavas with the help of your brothers. But all your brothers were killed by Pandavas.

Suyodhana! I am an unfortunate one. How can I acquire fortunes. Vidura! all my sons are dead. For whose sake, I have to remain in this world. How can I remain in this palace, bearing the arrow like stinkers uttered by Bhimasena, daily. Vidura! I wish to spend the rest of my life in forests. Kindly make arrangements.

O Sanjaya! I do not understand why and how and with whose support, Suyodhana continued the war, even after the death of Bhishma, Drona and Karna. Is it not foolishness on his part? Vidura told me earlier. “Your son is a fool. Leave him.” I did not heed his words. Now, I am repenting.

Sanjaya! tell me the details of war. After the death of Karna, who was the commander for the remaining army? How Kritavarma, Kripacharya and Asvathama escaped death? How Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi, Panchala warriors, Chedi, Matsya, Prabhadraka warriors, sons of Droupadi and others on Pandava side were killed? How Arjuna and Srikrishna remained unhurt. Tell me in detail.” asked Dhritarashtra.

Sanjaya continued to say the 18th day war details.

“O King Dhritarashtra! On hearing about the death of Karna through Salya, Suyodhana cried aloud and retired to his place. Along with his close associates, he proceeded to an open place. He stopped lamenting for the death of Karna and Dussaasana and started to discus with the remaining warriors, about the future course of action.

At that time, Kripacharya gave his opinion thus: “O Suyodhana! I know war is the prime virtue of a Kshatriya. But I am a Brahmin. Against the Kshatriya dharma, I will speak few words. Bhishma, Drona and Karna are great warriors, endowed with divine power. Such powerful warriors were perished at the hands of Arjuna. While Arjuna is wild fire, Krishna is the wind. If both fire and wind join together, there will be a great disaster. Such is the present position. For the present, all our troups are tired. Whoever be the Commander, it would be very difficult to conquer Pandavas, with our troops, small in number.

At this juncture, it is highly desirable to have a mediation. Dont be angry upon me. Shed anger towards Pandavas. This war arose out of your unreasonable wrath and unnecessary rivalry with Pandavs. Had you shown some tact, the entire war would have been avoided. It is always desirable to have a war with enemy, when we are fully equipped, both in strength and arms. When we have become weak, it is not desirable to continue the war. The best solution is to have peace. This is one of the war principles.

Suyodhana! Why for you are continuing this war? To grab the kingdom of Pandavas and rule it and enjoy royal and sensual pleasures. Can you accomplish your desire with this small army. If we are alive only, we can enjoy royal and sensual plealsures. Therefore, Suyodhana, live and let others live. I know Dharmaja. He gis an embodiment of Dharma. He will certainly agree for restoration of peace. Sri Krishna never oppose this proposal. Whatever be the decision taken by Dharmaja and Krishna, it will be followed by the other Pandavas. If you agree, there will be a successful mediation and eternal peace. Therefore, proceed one step down and try for a mediation.” said Kripacharya.

Suyodhana patiently heard, with great attention, what has been told by Kripacharya. “Kripacharya! As you are my well wisher, you told me like this. But they are not acceptable for me.

I got the wicked dice game played and grabbed their kingdom and drove them to forests.

We insulted Droupadi in open assembly.

We tried to imprison Krishna who had come to mediate between us.

I have seen the deaths of Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Saindhava with my own eyes.

We all surrounded a young boy, Abhimanyu, and killed him mercilessly.

Today, I have seen Bhimasena, breaking the chest of Dussaasana and drinking his blood, like a beast.

Having seen all these things, simply because Bhimasena will kill me by striking on my thighs, how can I agree for a mediation. What others will think about me?

Besides that, I cannot enjoy royal plealsures got at the mercy of others. Instead, I will prefer to die in the war and enjoy heavenly pleasures.

Therefore, at this juncture, making peace with the enemy is impossible. Let us continue the war.” said Suyodhana.

Then Asvathama told Suyodhana thus: “Suyodhana! it is not safe for us to remain here. Pandavas are in jubilant mood.They may fell upon us during mid night and kill all of us, while we are in deep sleep. Such possibility is there. Hence, we will move to the banks of River Sarasvati and spend the rest of the night in open place.” suggested Asvthama .

Suyodhana was very happy with this suggestion. Suyodhana along with his friends, relatives, troops moved to the banks of river Sarasvati. All of them had a cold bath in the pure waters of River Sarasvti. They took their dinner. All were taking rest. Suyodhana and other warriors were discussing about the next Commander.

Suyodhana asked Asvathama to suggest a suitable warrior to command the forces. Asvathama said :

“Suyodhana! in this critical moment, Salya, King of Madra Kingdom, is the only person who can command our forces. He is well versed in warfare and is equipped with divine astras and Sastras. Instal him as the future Commander of Kourava forces.” said Asvathama.

All have unanimously agreed for that proposal. Suyodhana requested Salya to lead the Kourava forces. Salya accepted his request.

By sprinkling the holy waters of River Sarasvati, Salya, King of Madra, was installed as the Leader of Kourava Forces. Kourava army blew their conches and beat trumpets. They praised Salya about his heroic deeds.
Dharmaja learnt about it through his spies. He told Krishna thus: “Krishna! Have you heard that Salya was made the commander of Kourava forces. What would be our next move?” asked Dharmaja.

“King Dharmaja! Salya is a great warrior, endowed both with physical and divine power. He excels Bhishma, Drona and Karna in warfare. If Salya enters the battle field, you are the only person who can attack him and none else. Therefore, find a way to kill Salya tomorrow. Salya, being the brother of Maadri, is the maternal uncle of Nakula and Sahadeva. You may have respect and affection towards him. But he is now fighting on behalf of your enemy. Hence, dont be lenient towards him. Kill him mercilessly and acquire victory.” said Krishna.

“Krishna! I will do as you said. Triumph is our motto but not relationship” said Dharmaja.

Next day morning, the forces on both sides entered the battle field. While Salya was in the forefront, Kourava troops marched into the battle field. Pandava forces also entered the battle field, while all Pandavas were moving in the fore front.” said Sanjaya to Dhritarashtra.

“Sanjaya! why you are dragging on the matter. Tell me how Salya and my son, Suyodhana, were killed.Dont waste time.” said Dhritarashtra.

Sanjaya smiled and said: “O King Dhritarashtra! are you still in a position to hear such ghastly news. Let me tell in detail. Any how, at the end, you have to hear about their deaths. Dont be in hurry.” Sanjaya continued to say.

“Your son, Suyodhana, entered the battle field with a fond of hope that atleast on the 18th day of war, he will kill all Pandavas and grab the entire Kuru kingdom. Salya arrayed his troops into Sarvatobhadra Vyooha. Salya, accompanied by the sons of Karna, stood at the main entrance of the vyooha. On his right side, Kripacharya stood. On his left side, Kritavarma along with Trigarta warriors stood. On the backside, Asvathama, accompanied by the kings of Kambhoja stood. In the middle, Suyodhana stood along with his elephant forces.

Pandavas arrayed their troops into Trimukha Vyooha (Vyooha with three faces). Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi and Satyaki stood at the entrance of each face. Bhimasena and Arjuna stood on either side of Dharmaja.”

Meanwhile Dhritarashtra intervened and asked Sanjaya: “Sanjaya! After the 17days war, what were the remaining forces on either side. Kindly tell.”asked Dhritarashtra.

Sajnaya explained thus: “ On our side, only 11,000 chariots, 10,700 elephants, 2,00,000 horses, three crores of foot soldiers remained. On the side of Pandavas, there were 6,000 chariots, 3000 elephants, one lakh horses and one crore foot soldiers .” said Sanjaya.

Next day, Sun rose as usual. In the great battle of Kurukshetra, the last day battle started. Sounds of Blowing of conches, beating of trumpets and drums on both sides rose to the sky. Both forces attacked each other. The battle was fierce from the beginning.

Chariots were broken. Dead bodies of Horses and elephants were formed into huge heaps. The foot soldiers were rolling on the ground, with broken hands and legs. Blood was flowing into canals. Still both sides were fighting with great vigour and valour.

Chitrasena, grand son of Karna, broke the bow of Nakula and planted three most sharp arrows on the forehead of Nakula. Chitrasena cut the flag and killed the chrioteer of Nakula. Nakula took his long sword and sheild and rushed towards the chariot of Chitrasena. Nakula jumped upon the chariot of Chitrasena and cut the head of Chitrasena with his sword.

Beholding the death of Chitrasena, his brothers, Satyasena and Sushena attacked Nakula. Nakula boarded another chriot. Satyasena and Sushena hurled long spears towards Nakula. Nakula killed the horses of their chariots. Satyasena boarded another chariot. He broke the bow of Nakula. Nakula picked up another bow and cut the flag of Sushena and also his bow. Both Sushena and Satyasena killed the charioteer of Nakula and cut his bow. Nakula hurled a weapon, Sakti, towards Satyasena. Satyasena’s head was cut.

Beholding this, Sushena poured arrowy showers on Nakula. Nakula mounted the chariot of Srutasoma, son of Bhimasena. Nakula picked upo another bow and showered arrows on Sushena With an arrow in the shape of crescent moon, Nakula cut the head of Sushena. The troops of Suyodhana fled away.

Salya, roaring like a lion, arrived there and rallied Kourava troops by provoking them for war. Kourava troops attacked Pandava troops. Bhimasena, Satyaki, Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi, Upa Pandavas, Nakula and Sahadeva were standing like a wall to protect Dharmaja. Salya was fighting with them.

Meanwhile, Panchala Warriors and Prabhadraka warriors surrounded Salya. Salya incessantly poured arrowy showers upon them and sent all of them to the abode of Yama.

Dharmaja attacked Salya. Salya with one Naracha arrow, shot Dharmaja, breaking his armour. Dharmaja was severely wounded. Beholding this, Bhimasena shot 7 arrows, Sahadeva 5 arrows, Nakula 9 arrows, Upa Pandavas numerous arrows, upon Salya. Meanwhile, Kripacharya, Kritavarma, Sakuni and his son Ulooka arrived there to help Salya.

Salya killed the steeds of Bhimasena. Bhimasena took his mace, got down the chariot and was massacring the Kourava troops. Sahadeva incessantly poured arrowy showers upn Salya. Salya killed the steeds of Sahadeva.

Rukmangada son of Salya attacked Sahadeva. Sahadeva, armed with a knife, got down from his chariot and rushed towards Rukmangada. Sahadeva jumped into his chariot and cut his head with the knife. Beholding the death of his own son, Salya could not control his wrath. He was massacring the Pandava troops. Salya shot most cruel shafts upon Dharmaja.

Bhimasena, armed with his huge mace, jumped out of his chariot and killed the horses of Salya. Salya hurled a Tomara upon Bhimasena. That Tomara weapon pierced into the chest of Bhimasena. Bhimasena pulled out that Tomara from his chest and beat the charioteer of Salya with that Tomara. With that blow, the charioteer of Salya died. Salya took his Mudgara and jumped down his chariot.

Both Bhimasena Salya were engaged in a dual fight. The troops on both sides suspended the war for a while and witnessed their dual fight. Bhimasena and Salya were fighting like two elephants. There was a profuse bleeding from their bodies. At one time both of them fell down and fainted. Kripacharya bodily carried away Salya on his chariot. Bhimasena regained consciousness and roared like a lion. He was searching for Salya.

Pandava troops under the leadership of Chekitana arrived there to help Bhimasena. Suyodhana hurled a sharp edged spear against Chekitana. Chekitana’s head was cut. Meanwhile, Salya regained consciousness and arrived there. Salya attacked Dharmaja; Suyodhana attacked Dhrishtadyumna; Asvathama attacked Arjuna. Trigarta troops arrived there to help Asvathama.

Salya was shooting most powerful arrows upon Dharmaja. Dharmaja pierced 14 sharp edged arrows into the body of Salya. In return, Salya pierced one most powerful arrow into the chest of Dharmaja. Dharmaja killed the Chakra Rakshaka of Salya and killed his charioteer with nine arrows.

Satyaki and Bhimasena were showering arrows upon Salya. Meanwhile Nakula and Sahadeva attacked Salya. Salya shot numerous arrows into the bodies of Nakula and Sahadeva. Salya cut those arrows and in retaliation shot numerous arrows against Bhimasena, Nakula, Sahadeva and Satyaki. Sahadeva shot most cruel arrows against his maternal uncle, Salya.

Bhimasena, Satyaki, Dharmaja surrounded Salya and covered him with arrows. There was a profuse bleeding from the body of Salya. But the vigour of Salya was not diminished. Salya cut the bow of Dharmaja. Dharmaja took another bow and killed the horses and charioteer of Salya. Enraged with great wrath, Salya shot numerous arrows against Dharmaja. Dharmaja fainted. Satyaki intervened and attacked Salya. Salya cut the bow of Satyaki. Salya shot each three arrows upon Nakula, Bhimasena and Sahadeva.

Meanwhile, Dharmaja regained consciousness. He beat Salya with a mudgara. At the same time, Bhima hurled one spear, Nakula hurled a weapon called Sakti, Sahadeva hurled one huge mace against Salya at a time. With great wrath, Salya hit all those weapons with his powerful arrows. All of them lost consciousness. All others thought that they are dead.

But Nakula and Satyaki regained consciousness and again fought with Salya. Meanwhile, Dharmaja killed the other Chakra Raksha of Salya. Salya was fighting with Dharmaja, without Chakra Rakshakas. Again Salya injured all of them severely.

Beholding this, Dharmaja got disressed. “Srikrishna spoke the truth. Even Bhimasena could not resist the irresistible Salya. I have to kill Salya.” thought Dharmaja. Dharmaja gathered all his troops at one place. Meanwhile, Salya shrouded Bhima, Nakula, Sahadeva, Satyaki, Dhrishtadyumna and Dharmaja with showers of arrows.
At another front, under the leadership of Asvathama, Samsaptakas were fighting with Arjuna. Arjuna was enraged with great wrath. Arjuna was massacring Samsaptaka troops by killing their horses, cutting their flags, breaking their bows and smashing their armours. In this manner, Arjuna killed 2,000 samsaptakas.

Beholding this, Asvathama attacked Arjuna. Asvathama shot 12 arrows against Arjuna and 10 arrows against Krishna. Arjuna thought for a while. Arjuna saluted Asvathama in mind, with great respect, because he is a brahmin and the son of his preceptor, Drona. Then Arjuna killed the horses tied to the chariot of Asvathama and also his charioteer. Asvathama hurled one Musalam and Parigha against Arjuna. Arjuna smashed them into small fragments. Arjuna shot most powerful arrows piercing into the body of Asvathama. Beholding this, Samsaptakas attacked Arjuna.
Meanwhile, a Panchala King called Suradha, attacked Asvathama. With only one sharp arrow, Asvathama cut the head of Suradha. Again he attacked Arjuna. Suyodhana attacked Dhrishtadyumna and shot five sharp shafts against him. In retaliation, Dhrishtadyumna shot 70 powerful arrows against Suyodhana.

The remaining brothers of Suyodhana arrived there to help his brother, Suyodhana. Dhrishtadyumna, with great wrath, shot most powerful arrows against the brothers of Suyodhana. Sikhandi and Prabhadrakas attacked Kripacharya and Kritavarma. Salya attacked Dharmaja, Bhimasena, Nakula and Sahadeva. Nakula shot ten arrows aiming at the chest of Salya. Salya broke the bow of Nakula. Nakula picked up another bow and attacked Salya. Suyodhana, along with his troops, arrived there to help Salya.

Krishna and Arjuna gathered all the Pandava troops at one place. Arjuna attacked Kripacharya and Kritavarma; Sahadeva attacked Sakuni; UpaPandavas attacked the other kings fighting on behalf of Suyodhana; Sikhandi attacked Asvathama; Bhimasena attacked Suyodhana. Dharmaja accompanied by Nakula attacked Salya. Salya, enraged with great wrath,was moving around the battle fieldll and was fighting with Pandavas.

It was noon at that time. Sun was shining in the middle of the sky, witnessing the last day war. Salya was fighting with Pandavas, resembling like the mid day sun. Unable to withhold the wrath of Salya, Pandava army was retreating . Beholding this, Dharmaja was waving his hand, encouraging his troops. Dharmaja called his brothers and said thus: “According to your vigour, valour and might, all of you have killed, Bhishma, Drona, Karna and others Kourava warriors. Today, I will kill Salya. I will tell you in detail. I will stand in the middle. On my right side Nakula and Satyaki; on my left side, Sahadeva and Dhrishtadyumna will stand protecting me from Salya. Arjuna will stand behind me. In the forefront, Bhimasena will stand. Look at that side. Kripacharya, Kritavarma, Sakuni and Asvathama are standing in front of Salya, protecting him.” said Dharmaja.

Dhrishtadyumna arrayed their troops as ordered by Dhjarmaja. Beholding this, Suyodhana also arrayed his troops, keeping Asvathama, Kripacharya Kritavarma and Sakuni as the protectors of Salya. Dharmaja attacked Salya. Suyodhana attacked Bhimasena and broke his bow and cut his flag. Bhimasena launched Sakti aiming at the chest of Suyodhana. Suyodhana fell down and lost consciousness. With another arrow, Bhimasena killed the charioteer of Suyodhana. The horses dragged away the chriot of Suyodhana.

Arjuna attacked Asvathama, Kripacharya and Kritavarma. The troops of Salya surrounded Dharmaja. Dharmaja was massacring the troops of Salya. Chariots were broken. Horses and elephants were killed.The entire battle was filled with the dead bodies of horses and elephants. Dharmaja and Salya blew their conches. Both were launching Astras and Sastras. Their bodies were drenched in blood. Salya broke the bow of Dharmaja. Dharmaja took another bow and broke the bow of Salya, and incessantly showered 300 arrows upon Salya and also killed the steeds. Dharmaja broke the flag of Salya. Salya sat down on his chriot.

Beholding this, Asvathama carried Salya to his chariot and drove away. Upon the fall of Salya, Dharmaja was roaring like a lion and was chasing Kourava Army. Meanwhile, Salya regained consciousness. He engaged another chariot and attacked Dharmaja. Dhrishtadyumna, Satyaki, Nakula and Sahadeva attacked Salya. Salya shot most sharp shafts against all of them.

Again he attacked Dharmaja. Dharmaja shot sharp edged arrows aiming at the chest of Salya. Suyodhana sent his troops to help Salya. Salya shot seven powerful arrows piercing into the body of Dharmaja. The troops of Suyodhana were fighting with Bhimasena. Dharmaja shot nine sharp arrows against Salya. In return Salya shot one powerful arrow aiming against the chest of Dharmaja. Dharmaja shot powerful arrows breaking the armour of Salya. Salya broke the bow of Dharmaja. Dharmaja took up another bow and filled the entire body of Salya with his arrows. Salya in return broke the armours of Dharmaja and Bhimasena.

Kripacharya killed the chrioteer and steeds of Dharmaja. Dharmaja was left without chariot. Dharmaja thought for himself: “Sri Krishna requested me to kill Salya. In the present circumstances, I may not accomplish his desire. What shall I do? Only Lord Siva should save me.”

With great devotion, Dharmaja prayed Lord siva: “O Lord Siva! You are omnipresent, omnipotent and all pervasive. You are the creator and destroyer. You are worshipped by all the regions. With great devotion I pray you to give more strength to accomplish the desire of Krishna.” prayed Dharmaja.

He slowly rose to his feet. Salya observed that Dharmaja has become weak and cannot fight vigorously.With renewed vigour, Salya shot most powerful arrows upon Dharmaja. Beholding this, Bhimasena intervened and cut the bow of Salya and killed his horses and charioteer. Salya is now deprived of his chariot. Salya armed with his sword and shield, rushed agaisnt Dharmaja. Dharmaja looked at Salya who was rushing against him by foot. Dharmaja gathered all his strength into his hands. “Sri Krishna desires to kill Salya. I have to kill Salya. I have to kill Salya” Dharmaja strongly intended to kill Salya.
There was a divine Astra, Sakti, in his pouch, given by Lord Siva. Dharmaja took that Astra and worshipped it. Dharmaja’s eyes were burning like fire balls. He was enraged with great wrath. He hurled that Sakti Astra, against Salya, who was rushing against him, with great speed. That Sakti was darted against Salya, sparkling flames. Sakti broke his armour, pierced into his chest and came out of his body and entered the earth. Salya fell down face downwards, like a banyan tree, struck by thunderbolt.

The last commander of Kourava army was killed by Dharmaja. Beholding the death of Salya, his brother was greatly enraged with wrath. He surrounded Dharmaja with his troops. Dharamaja hurled a sharp edged spear and cut his head. Looking at the deaths of Salya and his brother, Kourava troops fled away. Satyaki was chasing the Kourava troops.

Kritavarma attacked Satyaki. (Satyaki and Kritavarma are both Yadavas and are closely related to Sri Krishna.) Kritavarma broke the bow of Satyaki. Satyaki took another bow and killed his charioteer and the horses. Kripacharya picked up Kritavarma upon his chariot and drove away.

Unable to bear the prowess of Satyaki, Kourava army fled away. Pandava forces were chasing Kourava forces. Suyodhana alone remained in the battle field, to attack Pandava Army.

Dharmaja shot six powerful arrows against Kripacharya. Kripacharya also shot 16 arrows against Dharmaja. Suyodhana, mounted his elephant, and was moving in the battle field, rallying his troops, encouraging them to fight with Pandava troops. Emboldened with the encouraging words of Suyodhana, Kourava troops returned back to battle field to fight with Pandava army.

The relatives of Salya were trying to rush against Dharmaja.
But Suyuodhana advised them: “Dont be in haste. Please come behind me. We all will surround Dharmaja at a time” said Suyodhana. But they did not heed his words. They all rushed against Dharmaja. Meanwhile, Bhimasena, Nakula, Sahadeva, Upa Pandavas, Satyaki, Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi surrounded them with their respective troops.

Beholding this, Sakuni told Suyodhana: “Suyodhana! Pandava warriors are massacring the relatives of Salya. Please rush to their rescue”.

“Uncle Sakuni! I told them not to proceed against Pandavas hastily. They did not heed my words. What can I do? Let them meet their fate” said Suyodhana.

“Suyodhana! it is not correct. They have all come to fight on your behalf. It is your duty to protect them while they are in danger” said Sakuni.

“Uncle Sakuni! I am going. I will save them.” so saying Suyodhana rushed towards Pandavas. But it was too late. All the relatives of Salya and their troops were massacred by Satyaki, Bhimasena, Nakula and Sahadeva and other Pandava warriors. None remained alive. Again the troops of Suyodhana fled away.

The remaining Kourava army was in great distress. They thought that the fall of Suyodhana is imminent. Suyodhana realised this situation. He got down his elephant and mounted a chariot. He was moving amidst his army, met each and every commander and was telling encouraging words to them.

“O Soldiers! come back. We will certainly win the battle and get back our Kingdom. Otherwise we will enjoy heavenly pleasures. Dont run away like cowards. Pandava army will chase you and kill you mercilessly. Instead of meeting such a heinous and miserable death, fight like heroes and die in the battle field and attain heavenly pleasures. Our troops out-number Pandava troops. We will certainly conquer. Triumph is ours. Come back.” shouted Suyodhana.

With these these heroic words, Kourava army returned back to battle field with renewed vigour. All of them surrounded Bhimasena. Bhimasena, armed with his huge mace, mercilessly massacred the Kourava troops. He alone killed 21,000 soldiers. From otherside, Arjuna was chasing the Kourava forces. The Kourava forces were caught in between Bhimasena and Arjuna.

Nakula, Sahadeva and Satyaki attacked Sakuni. King Salva, mounting his elephant, rushed against the Pandava Troops and was scattering them. Salva rushed against Dhrishtadyumna. Dhrishtadyumna broke the head of Salva’s elephant. Salva’s elephant ran away. Salva controlled his elephant and again rushed against Dhrishtadyumna. The elephant lifted the chariot of Dhrishtadyumna with its trunk. Sharply, Dhrushtadyumna took his mace and jumped down. Bhimasena, Sikhandi and Satyaki attacked Salva. Dhrishtadyumna struck the head of the elephant with his mace. Salva’selephant fell down. Satyaki cut the head of Salva with a powerful arrow.

Beholding the death of Salva, Kourava troops again fled away.Satyaki shot eight powerful safts against Kritavarma. Kritavarma broke the bow of Satyaki. Satyaki took another bow and killed the charioteer and horses of Kritavarma. Being deprived of his chariot, Kritavarma took a spear and rushed against Satyaki. Meanwhile, Kripacharya came to the rescue of Kritavarma.
“O King Dhritarashtra! by that time, all the kourava troops were scattered. Your son, Suyoodhana alone attacked Pandavas. Pandava troops surrounded Suyodhana. Suyodhana was fighting with them with renewed vigour and valour. Suyodhana shot 100 shafts against Dharmaja, 70 shafts against Bhimasena, and broke the bow of Sahadeva. Sahadeva took another bow and attacked Suyodhana. Meanwhile, Sakuni killed the steeds of Dharmaja. Sahadeva came to the rescue of Dharmaja.

Dharmaja covered Sakuni and his chariot, with his arrowy showers. Ulooka, son of Sakuni, was fighting with Nakula. Satyaki was fighting with Kritavarma. Suyodhana broke the bow of Dhrishtadyumna. Dhrishtadyumna took another bow and shot most powerful shafts against Suyodhana. The five sons of Droupadi attacked Suyodhana. Dharmaja shot three powerful arrows upon Kripacharya, and killed the horses of Kritavarma with four arrows. Asvathama came to the rescue of Kritavarma.

Suyodhana, with 700 chariot warriors, surrounded Dharmaja. Beholding this, Sikhandi broke all those chariots with his powerful arrows. Sakuni attacked Dharmaja. Dharmaja told Sahadeva to fight with Sakuni. There was a fiercest fight between Sakuni and Sahadeva. On both sides, 5,300 horses were killed. The entire battle field was filled with the dead bodies of horses.

Sakuni fled away along with the remaining 700 horses. Sakuni rushed to Suyodhana and said:

“O Suyodhana! first we have to destroy the elephant forces and cavalry of Pandavas. Then we can massacre the foot soldiers.” said Sakuni. On hearing the words of Sakuni, Suyodhana gathered his elephant force and cavalry.

Beholding this Arjuna told Krishna: “Krishna! during the 18 days war, most of the Kourava army was smashed. Still greediness of Suyodhana has not come an end. If peace had been made after the fall of Bhishma, everything would have been well. The foolish Duryodhana of weak understanding, did not make peace. After Bhishma had been struck and thrown down, I do not know the reason why the battle was proceeded. Really, Suyodhana is foolish. Even beholding the deaths of Drona, Jayadhradha, Bhagadatta and other great warriors, his mind did not change. Even after witnessing the deaths of his own men, Dussaasana, Karna and Salya, still he is continuing the war. how foolish he is, I do not understand.

Hence, it is evident that as long as he remained alive, he will never part with the kingdom. Therefore, the death of Suyodhana is certain.” said Arjuna.

“Arjna! when I proceeded to the Kourava Assembly for effecting peace, Vidura told me: “Krishna! Why you have come here. Suyodhana is foolish, wicked and greedy. He will never part with the portion of Kingdom. Therefore, war is certain.”

Arjuna! not only that. When Suyodhana was born, several bad omens appeared. Great sages and saints, gathered there, told Dhritarashtra that the entire Kshatriya order will be exterminated because of that child. Those words of those sages have become true.” said Krishna.

“Krishna! you are right. His foolishness, greediness and selfishness will never cease until he dies. Hence he is continuing the war even after the massacre of his entire army.” said Arjuna.

Krishna drove the chriot towards Suyodhana. Arjuna was masaacring the remaining troops of Suyodhana. Unable to withhold the wrath of Arjuna, Kourava troops fled away. Suyodhana, as usual, was encouraging them to fight.

On the otherside, Dhrishtadyuna and Sataaneeka were fighting with Kourava troops. Suyodhana hit Dhrishtadyumna with a powerful arrow on his chest. In retaliation, Dhrishtadhyumna killed the horses and the charioteer of Suyodhana. Suyodhana got down from the chariot and mounted a horse. Suyodhana gathered his elephant forces and attacked Arjuna.

While Arjuna was showering arrows on Suyodhana’s forces , Bhimasena, was massacring the elephants with his huge mace. Dharmaja, Nakula, Sahadeva arrived there. Suyodhana was caught in between these five Pandavas. As Suyodhana was not seen anywhere, Asvathama and Kripacharya thought that Suyodhana might have been killed by Pandavas. While searching for Suyodhana, they have come nearer the chariot of Sakuni. The rest of Kourava warriors were under the impression that it was sheer waste to search for Suyodhana, as it does not make any difference, whether Suyodhana is alive or dead.

All the Kourava troops surrounded Bhimasena. Enraged with great wrath, Bhimasena struck them with his mace and killed 10,000 foot soldiers, 700 elephants, 800 horses and broke 500 chariots. Rest of the Kourava army was not dare enough to even look at Bhimasena. O King Dhritarashtra! Bhimasena killed all your sons including Durmarshana, Shrutaanta, Jaitra, Bhooribala, Jayatsena,Sujaata, Durviha, Durvimocana, Ariha, Dushpradharsha, Srutaparva and Mahabaahu. The only one remainrd was Sudarsana. With small army, Suyodhana and Sudarsana remained.

Beholding this situation, Krishna told Arjuna thus: “Arjuna! The entire Kourava Army is destroyed. Suyodhana, Sudarsana along with small army remain. The fall of Suyodhana alone is left. Finish off that job and attain great name and fame.”

“Krishna! Still Sakuni is alive. He got his own army consisting of 200 chariots, 100 elephants, 500 horses and 2000 foot soldiers. Besides that, the great warriors Kripacharya, Asvathama and Kritavarma also are not seen. Ofcourse, I can kill all of them in no time.” said Arjuna.

Krishna drove the chariot towards Suyodhana. Sahadeva and Bhimasena were coming from other side to kill Suyodhana. Sakuni and Susarma attacked Arjuna, Sudarsana attacked Bhimasena and Suyodhana attacked Sahadeva. Suyodhana darted a spear upon Sahadeva. Sahadeva fell on the chariot and fainted. But he soon regained consciousness and again shot most sharp edged arrows against Suyodhana. Kourava soldiers covered Arjuna with Tomara weapons. Enraged with great wrath, Arjuna cut the head of Gandhara soldiers with sharp edged spears.

Meanwhile, Trigarta soldiers surrounded Arjuna. Arjuna cut the head of Satya Karma, one of the Samsaptakas. Arjuna also killed Satyeshu, another Samsaptaka. Arjuna darted a sharp spear aiming at the chest of Susarma, the only remaining Samsaptaka. That spear killed Susarma. Arjuna also killed all the sons of Samsaptaka, each with three arrows. The Samsaptaka army fled away.

O Dhritarashtra! Bhimasena killed your son, Sudarsana. Your elder son, Suyodhana, alone remained in the battle field. Sakuni attacked Sahadeva and pierced ten sharp arrows into his body. Sahadeva lost consciousness. Beholding this, Bhimasena massacred the Gandhara soldiers mercilessly. The remaing Kourava army fled away. Suyodhana again rallied them back, by speaking encouraging words. Meanwhile, Sahadeva regained consciousness and shot ten most sharp arrows upon Sakuni and cut his bow. Sakuni took another bow and showered arrows upon Sahadeva.

Ulooka, son of Sakuni, incessantly showered arrows upon Sahadeva and Bhimasena. Enraged with wrath, Sahadeva threw one spear and cut the head of Ulooka. Beholding the death of his son Ulooka, Sakuni, with great wrath, shot three sharp arrows against Sahadeva. Sahadeva cut them into pieces and again cut his bow. Sakuni hurled his sword, mace and spear upon Sahadeva. Sahadeva cut all of them in the middle.

Beholding this, Sakuni along his army fled away. Sahadeva chased Sakuni and accosted him.

“O King of Gandhara! Is it just on the part of a Warrior of Kshatriya Order to leave the battle field abruptly. Why cannot you show your skills, shown by you while playing the wicked dice game. Have you seen the result of that wicked dice game. Total disaster and mass massacre. Have you tasted the power of flames burning in our hearts since the day of dice game. The result is visible. Suyodhana lost all his kith and kin and standing alone in the battle field. In his presence, I will cut your head ”

So saying, Sahadeva killed the horses of Sakuni and cut his flag and bow. Sakuni launched most powerful Sakti on Sahadeva. Sahadeva cut that Sakti with his spear into pieces. Sahadeva took two sharp spears in both hands and hurled them with great speed towards Sakuni. Those two spears together cut the head of Sakuni. Sakuni’s head was severed from his body. Sakuni, King of Gandhara, was killed by Sahadeva.

Beholding this, Pandava army acclaimed Sahadeva. Trumpets were beaten and conches were blown. Krishna blew Panchajanya, and Arjuna blew Devadatta. Those sounds rose to the sky. All the Gandhara troops rebelled against Sahadeva. Arjna, Bhimasena and Sahadeva together massacred those troops.

Suyodhana looked around. None remained in the battle field except himself. All are dead on his side. Pandavas and their armies were acclaiming and enjoying their victory by beating trumpets and blowing conches. Suyodhana determined to leave the battle field, accepting his defeat.” said Sanjaya to King Dhritarashtra.

“Sanjaya! at that time, what was the position of troops on both sides.” asked Dhritarashtra.

“O King Dhritarashtra! except Suyodhana, the entire 11 Akshouhini Kourava Army was destroyed. On the side of Pandavas, 2000 chariots, 700 elephants, 500 horses and 10,000 soldiers remained.

Suyodhana, keeping his mace on his shoulder, left the battle field to an unknown place.” said Sanjaya.

With the departure of Suyodhana, Maha Bharata War, fought for 18 days, in Kurukshetra which was Dharmakshetra, was concluded.