Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 19: Part 7

  • 121) “O brave Kings! Draupadi shall follow the person who, using this excellent bow, shall hit and bring down the fish located on top of the wood above by looking into its reflection in the water (below) with these five arrows”.
  • 122) As soon as Dhrishtadyumna said thus, all the princes got up. They had immense ego due to their strengths. When they got up their ear-rings started rolling. Thinking that their knowledge of astras and strength were both natural, the princes, who were all well dressed, got down to competing with each other.
  • 123) Some of them saw it (from close) and gave up. A few others tried to shake it and gave up the challenge. At that time Shishupala, that great warrior, came near it and got into the effort of trying to bend it and tying the thread.
  • 124) He started pulling the edge of the bow. When the distance between the thread and the edge of the bow was only the width of a black gram the bow sprang back and hit him. The boon of Shiva that none other than Arjuna shall be able (to tie it) was the reason. The defeated Shishupala got back.
  • 125) Shalya, the King of Madra, came next. Although old, he wanted to show his strength. Coming near it, he managed to bend it a little more than the King of Chedi. When the distance (between the thread and the edge of the bow) was only a width of a green gram the bow hit him back. Realizing that it was not possible for him, he returned. The other Kings became depressed (after seeing this).
  • 126) When the Kings calmed down, Jarasandha rushed towards the bow. Bloated with ego due to his strength and capabilities, he started pulling it with contempt. His limbs started shivering. But when the distance was that of a mustard seed, the bow hit him badly.
  • 127) Although his leg slipped, he tried hard to remain standing out of his arrogance. But his knees sank into the ground. When the boon of Shiva (regarding Arjuna) led to his current state of immobility he got up and returned to his country without even looking at the faces of the assembled Kings.
  • 128) Along with him, the other Kings also soon went out of contention. Then, Karna bent the bow for the sake of Duryodhana. Due to the result of the excellent education given by Sri Parashurama, he managed to bend it till the distance was only that of a strand of hair.
  • 129) When Karna too failed after getting hit by the bow, Bhima and Arjuna, who were seated amidst the Brahmanas and who were shining like the Sun and Moon, got up. Out of fear, the Brahmanas started to stop them.
  • 130) Some Brahmanas said – “This is very appropriate. The two of them are brave like the Devatas. Then, the two of them, the best amongst the powerful, saw the lotus-like face of Sri Krishna and proceeded close to the bow.
  • 131) There, Arjuna took the permission of his dear Bhimasena. He bowed to Sri Krishna, the one without a beginning, in his manas. Without any effort, he easily tied the bow. Through the hole in the middle of the instrument, he hit the target with five arrows.
  • 132) When that happened, Draupadi put a new lotus garland on him. Placing her in their midst, the princes Bhima and Arjuna bowed to Sri Krishna and started from there. The ocean of Kings, who were upset, rushed towards them.
  • 133) Sri Krishna had instructed the Yadavas that they were going to the Swayamvara only to watch it and not for the bride and that therefore none of them should touch the bow. Therefore none of the Yadavas had any desire to complete the bow and win (the bet).
  • 134) When Bhima saw the groups of Kings attacking them, he plucked a tree that was ten yojanas tall and stood in front of them. As soon as they saw it, most of the Kings ran away.
  • 135) At that moment, Sri Krishna pointed towards them and said to Balarama – “This is Bhima. This is Arjuna. These are the other Pandavas”. Seeing them, Balarama was greatly joyed. Satyaki, the grandson of Shini, was so happy that he held a sword in his hand and started dancing.
  • 136) The Yadavas became happy. Duryodhana and the other Kings saw Bhima and ran away from there. Karna faced Arjuna, the son of Indra. Shalya, the King of Madra, rushed against Bhima.
  • 137) The Brahmanas gathered there became angry and started hitting them with their staff, cloth, darbha, krishnajina and other things. Drupada, fearing that their angst against Kshatriyas may end the world, pleaded with Sri Krishna and the Brahmanas. Bhima went against Shalya.
  • 138) Bhimasena placed the tree back in its original place and lifted Shalya with both his hands and threw him into the air. Before he fell down, Bhima held him softly as he was their relative. Getting to know his true strength, Shalya started (his return journey) towards his capital.
  • 139) Arjuna engaged with Karna with that bow itself. Karna too displayed his skill with the astras and his strength. The two unparalleled archers fought against each other for a long time. Getting frustrated, Karna said thus.
  • 140) “You must be Arjuna, Indra or verily the personification of the tapas of Brahmanas. None else are capable of standing in front of me”. Arjuna replied – “How does it matter who I am? If you are capable, release arrows. Otherwise, return from the battle”.

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