86.KARNA AND BHIMA
ARJUNA had left Yudhishthira behind to
repel Drona's attacks and had gone to
make good his word that before sunset
Jayadratha would lie dead on the field of
battle. Jayadratha had been the main cause of
Abhimanyu's death. He it was who had
effectively prevented the relief of
Abhimanyu by the Pandavas, and thereby
caused Abhimanyu to be isolated,
overpowered and slain.
We have seen how Yudhishthira in his
anxiety sent first Satyaki and then Bhima
to join Arjuna in his battle against
Jayadratha. Bhima reached where Arjuna
was engaged and sounded his simhanada
(lion-roar). Dharmaputra heard the lionroar
of Bhima and knew that Arjuna was found
alive. It was the fourteenth day and the battle
raged fiercely at many points, between
Satyaki and Bhurisravas at one place,
between Bhima and Karna at another and
between Arjuna and Jayadratha at a third.
Drona remained at the main front resisting
the attack of the Panchalas and the
Pandavas, and leading a counter-offensive
Duryodhana arrived with his forces at the
sector where Arjuna attacked Jayadratha,
but was soon defeated and turned back.
The battle thus raged long and furiously
on more than one front. The armies were
so deployed that each side was exposed to
danger in its rear.
Duryodhana was speaking to Drona:
"Arjuna, Bhima and Satyaki have treated
us with contempt and proceeded
successfully to Jayadratha's sector and
they are pressing hard on the Sindhu king.
It is indeed strange that, under your
command, our battle array should have
been broken and our plans completely
foiled. Everyone asks how it is that the
great Drona with all his mastery of the
science of war has been so badly
outmaneuvered. What answer shall I
make? I have been betrayed by you."
Duryodhana thus, once again, bitterly
reproached Drona, who replied
"Duryodhana, your accusations are as
unworthy as they are contrary to truth.
There is nothing to be gained by talking
about what is past and beyond repair.
Think of what is to be done now."
"Sir, it is for you to advise me. Tell me
what should be done. Give your best
consideration to the difficulties of the
situation and decide and let us do it
quickly." Puzzled and perplexed, thus did
Drona replied: "My son, the situation is no
doubt serious. Three great generals have
advanced, outmanoeuvring us. But they
have as much reason to be anxious as we,
for their rear is now left as open to attack
as ours. We are on both sides of them and
their position is not therefore safe. Be
heartened, go up to Jayadratha again, and
do all you can to support him.