Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 26: Part 5

  • 161) Since Karna had informed Kunti that he would not hurl the Shakti weapon against anyone but Arjuna, he did not use the weapon given by Indra against Bhima. Even through that Shakti, Bhima was always indestructible.
  • 162) Even when the Narayana-astra fell on his head and remained there for a long time, it did not burn even his hair. What then could Indra’s Shakti do to him? Similarly, what could other great astras and weapons do to him?
    • Note: The episode involving the Narayana astra will be narrated subsequently in this adhyaya.
  • 163) Knowing Sri Krishna’s sankalpa that the Shakti should become the reason for Ghatotkacha’s death, Bhima did not desire to pick it up even when he had climbed Karna’s chariot.
  • 164-166) Later Karna climbed another chariot and went after Arjuna. Due to Sri Krishna’s control of his mind, he feared Arjuna would take away his divine chariot and bows and hence brought with him only the Shakti weapon, to battle and kill Arjuna. He would never bring the (divine) chariot, bow and Shakti weapon together. His thinking was that even if one of them was taken away, he would still possess the others. Due to the strategy of Sri Krishna, the one with unlimited radiance, he always remained in fear.
  • 167) At the time of his death, he had decided to die and hence he climbed that chariot. Before that, he knew that his time of death had not yet arrived.
  • 168) Noticing the presence of the Shakti in his chariot, Sri Krishna stopped Arjuna and, after granting him his own chariot and the necessary strength, ordered Satyaki to fight Karna.
  • 169) “Arjuna has sent his incapable student to fight me” – interpreting thus, Karna fought Satyaki in battle with a sense of competition. Satyaki, who was riding Sri Krishna’s chariot, in turn rendered Karna chariot-less.
  • 170) No one seated in Sri Krishna’s chariot could get defeated. Hence Satyaki was not defeated by Karna then.
  • 171) Sri Parashurama, who had established the art of archery, had established a rule that princes must undertake a vrata at the time of learning weapons.
  • 172-173) Such a vrata must facilitate the destruction of enemies. It must be something not done by others, secretive, unopposed to Dharma, pleasing to Sri Parashurama and not against the welfare of the world. Therefore Lord Bhima had undertaken a secret vrata that he would kill anyone who would call him toobara.
    • Note: The word toobara means a person who hasn’t developed beard or a moustache. It was used as an insult in those days.
  • 174) Knowing that it would never cause harm to the world, Bhima thought no one would call him a toobara since he had a lush beard and moustache and thus undertaken that vow. He had once mentioned the same to Arjuna out of affection, when they were alone.
  • 175) Arjuna’s vow was to kill anyone who would ask him to hand over the Gandiva to someone else. He had learnt in advance from Sage Narada that he would get the Gandiva. Apart from Bhima, none else knew about it (the secret vow).
  • 176) When Bhima was mentioning his secret vow to Arjuna, Duryodhana had overheard it and he had informed Karna of the same.
  • 177) When Karna called him a toobara to enrage him, even when he was not, Bhima told Arjuna thus.
  • 178-179) “You are aware of my vow. Similarly, I too know about your oath. Karna has now become fit for killing by me. As per my directions, an oath about his killing has been taken by you too. Therefore, right now, either of us has to kill him”.
  • 180) When Bhima spoke thus, Arjuna requested – “I shall kill him. Since I am yours, me doing this is equivalent to you doing it as well”.
    • Note: The younger brother fulfilling an oath is equivalent to an older one doing it, as per Shastras. The phrase “I am yours” (tvadeeyaH ahaM) means “I am your family, your younger one”.
  • 181) “However, what you perform does not count as done by me. Aren’t you the elder one? Therefore it shall be me who will kill him” – saying thus he then addressed Karna.
  • 182) “Even as Sri Krishna was listening, you have used filthy words against Bhima. Similarly, all of you got together and killed Abhimanyu, who was alone”.
  • 183) “Therefore I shall kill you. I shall also kill your son in front of you” – when Arjuna spoke thus, Karna climbed another chariot and proceeded to protect Jayadratha.
  • 184) Arjuna could not kill Jayadratha who was being protected by Ashwathama and Karna. Ashwathama then increased his efforts to stop Arjuna.
  • 185) In spite of a lot of effort, Arjuna could not get past Ashwathama. An exciting, contained, duel took place between them for a long time.
  • 186) Bhagavan Sri Krishna noticed it. He saw the Sun turn red. Ashwathama did not look like losing. Jayadratha’s slaying was not yet done. Therefore, desiring victory for Arjuna, Sri Krishna created deep darkness.
  • 187) When the entire sky was engulfed with darkness, all of them including Drona thought that the Sun had set and relaxed. Saindhava too considered Arjuna as having failed in his vow and approached him to see his (defeated) face.
  • 188) Then, as per Sri Krishna’s orders, the son of Indra acted as if he was about to enter a fire (to give up his life) and cut off Jayadratha’s head with an arrow. Sri Krishna then told him.
  • 189) “Do not allow his head to fall on the ground” – when Sri Krishna said thus, Arjuna, using the power of the Pashupatastra, created a stream of arrows back to back and held the head in the sky. Sri Garudadhwaja again said.
  • 190) “Make this fall on his father’s hands. He has previously given him a boon – ‘Whosoever causes your decapitated head to fall on the ground will have his own head broken into a thousand pieces'”
    • Note: Jayadratha’s father’s name was Vruddhakshatra.
  • 191) “Therefore it is required to kill his father as well” – when Sri Krishna said thus, Arjuna immediately made Jayadratha’s head fall on the lap of his father who was doing his sandhyavandana. Out of shock, he threw the head on the ground.
  • 192) His (Vruddhakshatra’s) head burst into a thousand pieces. Sri Krishna then destroyed the darkness. When the Sun again became visible to all, there was a huge commotion in the Kaurava army.
  • 193) Bhimasena then defeated Shalya, Duryodhana, Krupa and the others and let out a huge roar in order to assist Arjuna. Satyaki became extremely pleased with Jayadratha’s death.
  • 194) Sri Krishna blew the Panchajanya. With great joy, Arjuna blew his Devadatta. Hearing the sounds of the Panchajanya along with the roar of Bhima, Dharmaraja gathered Jayadratha had been slain and became very pleased. Duryodhana experienced great sorrow.
  • 195) Then Bhimasena faced the army that was commandeered by Ashwathama. Arjuna took on the remaining army that was being led by Karna. After that, the armies of Ashwathama and Karna lost.
  • 196) Dhrishtadyumna and the others entered  the midst of that scattered army. They arrived at the place where Bhima and Arjuna were present.
  • 197) The Pandavas and Panchalas, having been united, started chasing away the enemies. Overcome by fear, they (Kauravas) started running in all directions.
  • 198) Seeing his army being chased away in that fashion, Duryodhana, angered due to Jayadratha’s killing, pounced on the enemies.
  • 199) Showering Bhimasena, Dhananjaya, Yudhishthira, the sons of Madri, Dhristhadyumna, Satyaki and the sons of Draupadi with clusters of arrows, he faced them all alone.
  • 200) They hit back at him with many arrows. Discounting that attack, he cut off a number of different types of bows belonging to many of those great warriors. He rendered Nakula-Sahadeva chariot-less.

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