47. PROMISE FULFILLED
After that, he attacked and defeated Drona. Seeing Drona standing spent with fatigue, Aswatthama joined in the fight and attacked Arjuna, which gave Arjuna an opportunity of letting Drona withdraw from the field. Then, there ensued a bitter struggle between Aswatthama and Arjuna. When Aswatthama grew weary, Kripa relieved him and maintained the attack against Arjuna. But Kripa also sustained defeat and the whole army was routed and fled in fear. Though rallied and brought back to the attack by Bhishma, Drona and others, there was no fight left in them. Finally, they left the field, after a glorious fight between Bhishma and Arjuna, which, it is said, the gods themselves came to see. The attempt to head off Arjuna’s pursuit of Duryodhana thus failed and soon Arjuna came up with Duryodhana and strongly attacked him. Duryodhana was defeated and fled from the battlefield, but not far, because, when Arjuna taunted him with cowardice, he turned round like a serpent and resumed the fight. Bhishma and others surrounded and protected him. Arjuna fought and finally, he employed a magic weapon that made them all fall down unconscious on the battlefield. While they were in that condition he snatched away their garments. The seizure of the clothes of the enemy was the sign of decisive victory in those days. When Duryodhana came, Bhishma sent him back to the city. The whole army returned to Hastinapura after this humiliating defeat. Arjuna said: "O Uttara, turn back the horses. Our cows have been regained. Our enemies have fled. O prince, return to your kingdom, adorning your person with sandal paste and decked with flowers." On the way back, Arjuna deposited the weapons as before on the tree and dressed himself once more as Brihannala. He sent messengers in advance to proclaim in the city that Uttara had won a glorious victory.