Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 7:17-32

Book 1: Chapter 7

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 7: Verses 17-32
Aswatthama assassinates Draupadi s sons and Arjuna in his turn curbs his pride

Having thus consoled his wife in sweet and charming words, Arjuna, who had Sri Krsna for his friend and charioteer, put on his armour and, taking his fierce bow, rode in a chariot with an ensign bearing the figure of a monkey, in pursuit of Aswatthama (his preceptor's son). When Aswatthama, who was now sad at heart for his having assassinated young boys, saw from a distance that Arjuna was rushing towards him, he ran for life in a chariot as far as he could on earth, even as the sun-god fled for fear of Rudra.[1] When he saw that his horses were fatigued and that he had none to protect him, that son of a Brahmana thought of the missile presided over by Brahma (the Creator) as the only means to save his life. Even though he did not know how to withdraw the missile, he sipped a little water and, finding his life in peril, fitted the same to his bow with an attentive mind. A fierce flame blazed forth from the missile and enveloped all sides. When Arjuna saw the danger to his life, he addressed Visnu (Sri Krsna) as follows: Arjuna said : Krsna, Krsna, mighty of arm and the Allayer of devotees' fear, You are the only rescuer of those who are incessantly burning with the agony of transmigration. You are God Himself, the Primal Person, existing beyond Prakrti (Matter). Casting aside Maya by the power of Your wisdom,You stand in Your absolute Being. It is You who by virtue of Your own power confer Dharma (religious merit) and other forms of blessings on the soul whose mind is deluded by Your Maya. Even so this Avatara (manifestation) of Yours is intended to relieve the burden of the earth and to serve as an object of constant meditation for Your own people as well as for those who are exclusively devoted to You. O self-effulgent Lord, I know not what and whence this most frightful flame, which is enveloping me on all sides. Sri Bhagavan replied : It is no other than the missile presided over by Brahma and released by Aswatthama (the son of Drona) in extreme peril. You are aware he knows not how to call it back. There is no other missile that can overpower it. Therefore, quench the formidable flame of this weapon by a counter-flame of the same missile,expert as you are in the use of weapons.

Suta continued : On hearing the Lord's words, Arjuna, the exterminator of rival warriors, sipped a little water, went round the Lord in reverence and fitted a Brahmastra to repulse the Brahmastra (discharged by Aswatthama). The two flames, surrounded by arrows, joined each other and, filling the heavens as well as all the space between heaven and earth, swelled like the sun and the fire at the time of universal destruction. Perceiving the mighty flame of the two missiles, which was consuming all the three worlds, all the people, who were being scorched by their heat, thought it to be the fire of universal destruction. Seeing the distress of the people and the impending destruction of all the worlds, and finding the approval of Sri Krsna (the son of Vasudeva), Arjuna withdrew them both.



  1. When the sun-god routed the demon Vidyunmali, Bhagavan Rudra darted in fury against the sun-god, trident in hand. The sun-god, who ran before Rudra, toppled down at Kai; where he became known as Lolarka

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