Mahabharata -Rajagopalachari 231

Mahabharata -Chakravarti Rajagopalachari


"I AM like a shipwrecked man seeking to save himself by swimming in a storm tossed ocean. I shall surely drown, overwhelmed in this sea of sorrow." Again and again, when Sanjaya related the happenings of the great battle, Dhritarashtra would thus lament, unable to bear his grief. "Bhima is going to kill all my sons," he said. "I do not believe there is anyone with prowess enough in our army to protect my sons from death. Did Bhishma, Drona, Kripa and Aswatthama look on unconcerned when our army fled in terror? What indeed is their plan? When and how are they going to help Duryodhana? How are my sons to escape from destruction?" Saying thus, the blind old king burst into tears. "Calm yourself, King," said Sanjaya. "The Pandavas rest on the strength of a just cause. So, they win. Your sons are brave but their thoughts are wicked. Therefore, luck does not favor them. They have done great injustice to the Pandavas, and they are reaping the harvest of their sins. The Pandavas are not winning by charms or magic incantations. They are fighting according to the practice of kshatriyas. Their cause being just, they have strength. Friends advised you, but you discarded wise counsel. Vidura, Bhishma, Drona and I tried to stop you in your unwise course, but you did not listen and you went on. Like a foolish sick man who refuses to drink bitter medicine, you obstinately refused to follow our advice, which would have saved your people, preferring to do as your foolish son desired. You are in distress now. Last night, Duryodhana asked Bhishma the same question as you put to me now. And Bhishma gave the same answer as I give you." When the fighting was stopped on the evening of the fourth day, Duryodhana went by himself to Bhishma's tent and, bowing reverently, said: "Grandsire, the world knows that you are a warrior who knows not fear. The same is the case with Drona, Kripa, Aswatthama, Kritavarma, Sudakshin, Bhurisravas, Vikarna and Bhagadatta. Death has no terror for these veterans. There is no doubt, the prowess of these great warriors is limitless, even like your own. All the Pandavas combined cannot defeat any one of you. What then is the mystery behind this daily defeat of our army at the hands of the sons of Kunti?" Bhishma replied: "Prince, listen to me. I have given you advice on every occasion and told you what was good for you. But, you have always refused to follow what your elders counselled you to do.
Again, I tell you that it is best for you to make peace with Pandu's sons. For your good as well as for that of the world, that is the only course that should be followed. Belonging to the same royal house, you can all enjoy this vast country as yours. I gave you this advice, but you disregarded it and have grievously wronged the Pandavas, the fruit of which you are now reaping. The Pandavas are protected by Krishna himself. How then can you hope for victory? Even now, it is not loo late for making peace and that is the way to rule your kingdom, making the Pandavas, your powerful brothers, friends instead of enemies. Destruction awaits you if you insult Dhananjaya and Krishna, who are none other than Nara and Narayana." Duryodhana took leave and went to his tent, but he could not sleep that night. The battle was resumed the next morning. Bhishma arrayed the Kaurava forces in a strong formation. So did Dhrishtadyumna for the Pandava army. Bhima stood at the head of the advance lines as usual. And Sikhandin, Dhrishtadyumna and Satyaki stood behind, securely guarding the main body, aided by other generals. Dharmaputra and the twin brothers held the rear. Bhishma bent his bow and discharged his shafts. The Pandava army suffered greatly under the grandsire's attack.

Dhananjaya saw this and retaliated by fierce shafts aimed at Bhishma. Duryodhana went to Drona and complained bitterly according to his custom. Drona upbraided him severely: "Obstinate prince, you talk without understanding. You are ignorant of the Pandavas' strength. We are doing our best." Drona's powerful attack on the Pandava army was too much for Satyaki who was meeting it and Bhima therefore turned his attentions to Drona. The battle grew fiercer still. Drona, Bhishma and Salya made a combined attack on Bhima. Sikhandin supported Bhima by pouring a shower of arrows on Bhishma. As soon as Sikhandin stepped in, Bhishma turned away. For Sikhandin was born a girl, and Bhishma's principles did not permit him to attack a woman. In the end, this same objection proved to be the cause of Bhishma's death. When Drona saw Bhishma turn away, he attacked Sikhandin fiercely and compelled him to withdraw. There was a promiscuous battle the whole of the morning of the fifth day, and the slaughter was terrific. In the after noon, Duryodhana sent a large force to oppose Satyaki. But Satyaki destroyed it completely and advanced to attack Bhurisravas. Bhurisravas, who was a powerful opponent, put Satyaki's men to fight, and pressed Satyaki himself so fiercely that he was in distress. Satyaki's ten sons saw their father's plight and sought to relieve him by launching an offensive against Bhurisravas, but Bhurisravas undaunted by numbers, opposed the combined attack and was not to be shaken.



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Mahabharata -Chakravarti Rajagopalachari
Chapter Chapter Name Page No.
1. Ganapati The Scribe Bhagwan Vyasa 1
2. Devavrata 4
3. Bhishma's Vow 7
4. Amba and Bhishma 9
5. Devayani and Kacha 13
6. The Marriage of Devayani 18
7. Yayati 24
8. Vidura 26
9. Kunti Devi 29
10. Death of Pandu 31
11. Bhima 32
12. Karna 34
13. Drona 37
14. The Wax Palace 40
15. The Escape of the Pandvas 44
16. The Slaying of Bakasura 48
17. Draupadi's Swayamvaram 54
18. Indraprastha 58
19. The Saranga Birds 64
20. Jarasandha 67
21. The Slaying of Jarasandha 70
22. The First Honor 73
23. Sakuni Comes In 76
24. The Invitation 79
25. The Wager 82
26. Draupadi's Grief 86
27. Dhritarashtra's Anxiety 90
28. Krishna's Vow 93
29. Pasupata 96
30. Affliction is Nothing New 101
31. Agastya 105
32. Rishyasringa 109
33. Fruitless Penance 113
34. Yavakrida's End 115
35. Mere Learning is Not Enough 118
36. Ashtavakra 120
37. Bhima and Hanuman 122
38. I am No Crane 127
39. The Wicked Are Never Satisfied 130
40. Duryodhna Disgraced 133
41. Shri Krishna's Hunger 136
42. The Enchanted Pool 140
43. Domestic Service 146
44. Virtue Vindicated 151
45. Matsya Defended 155
46. Prince Uttara 159
47. Promise Fulfilled 163
48. Virata's Delusion 167
49. Taking Counsel 171
50. Arjuna's Charioteer 176
51. Salya Against his Nephews 178
52. Vritra 180
53. Nahusha 183
54. Sanjaya's Mission 187
55. Not A Needle-Point of Territor 191
56. Krishna's Misssion 194
57. Attachment and Duty 199
58. The Pandava Generalissimo 202
59. Balarama 202
60. Rukmini 205
61. Non-Cooperation 210
62. Krishna Teaches 213
63. Yudhishthira Seeks Benediction 215
64. The First Day's Battle 217
65. The Second Day 220
66. The Third Day's Battle 223
67. The Fourth Day 227
68. The Fifth Day 231
69. The Sixth Day 233
70. The Seventh Day 236
71. The Eighth Day 239
72. The Ninth Day 242
73. The Passing Of Bhishma 244
74. Karna and the Grandsire 246
75. Drona in Command 248
76. To Seize Yudhishthira Alive 249
77. The Twelfth Day 252
78. Brave Bhagadatta 255
79. Abhimanyu 260
80. The Death Of Abhimanyu 264
81. A Father's Grief 267
82. The Sindhu King 271
83. Borrowed Armor 275
84. Yudhishthira's Misgivings 279
85. Yudhishthira's Fond Hope 283
86. Karna And Bhima 286
87. Pledge Respected 290
88. Somadatta's End 293
89. Jayadratha Slain 297
90. Drona Passes Away 299
91. The Death Of Karna 302
92. Duryodhana 305
93. The Pandavas Reproached 309
94. Aswatthama 313
95. Avenged 316
96. Who Can Give Solace? 318
97. Yudhishthira's Anguish 321
98. Yudhishthira Comforted 324
99. Envy 326
100. Utanga 329
101. A Pound Of Flour 332
102. Yudhishthira Rules 336
103. Dhritarashtra 338
104. The Passing Away Of The Three 341
105. Krishna Passes Away 342
106. Yudhishthira's Final Trial 345