Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 26: Part 6

  • 201) All of them picked up different bows and rained a shower of arrows on Duryodhana. Disregarding all of those, he stopped them alone with arrows of his own.
  • 202) Seeing Duryodhana stuck in the midst of numerous enemies, Drona, Ashwathama, Krupa and the others picked up their bows and started protecting him with relentless arrows.
  • 203) Duryodhana said to Karna – “Kill this Bhima in battle”. Karna replied – “It is not possible even for Indra and the other Devatas to win against him”.
  • 204) “O King! Having been tormented by him, it is divine grace that I am still alive. Therefore let us try till our strength allows. Victory is left to providence”.
  • 205) Duryodhana then condemned Drona – “Due to your neglect Saindhava was killed by Arjuna. My army has been destroyed by Bhima and Satyaki”.
  • 206) “Out of love for the Pandavas, you have forsaken your vow” – when Duryodhana said thus, Drona got angry and once again made a vow.
  • 207) “From now on, I shall not return from battle, be it night or day. I shall not remove my kavacha under any circumstances”.
  • 208) “You should inform my son thus – ‘Do not spare any Panchala, including the grandsons from the daughter’s side'” – saying thus, Drona burst into the Pandava army even as nightfall occurred.
    • Note: Drona instructed Ashwathama to kill Draupadi’s sons as well. Draupadi’s sons were ‘dauhitra’ for the Panchala King Drupada.
  • 209) When he entered the enemy formation thus, Dhrishtadyumna immediately took him on. At the same time, Bhimasena rendered Ashwathama and Duryodhana chariot-less. Having done so, he chased them away, even as all the Kings were watching.
  • 210) By that time, seven akshouhinis had been killed in both the armies (together). Out of those Bhima had destroyed three and Arjuna had destroyed two.
    • Note: By the evening of day 14, 7 out of the total of 18 akshouhinis had been killed.
  • 211) Abhimanyu, Satyaki and the others had destroyed one sixteenth out of five akshouhinis. Ghatotkacha, Dhrishtadyumna and the others had destroyed one tenth out of three akshouhinis.
  • 212) Bhishma, Drona and Ashwathama had killed two akshouhinis of the Pandava army. The rest of them had killed a quarter of that number.
  • 213) Later that night, the Pandavas with their army of five akshouhinis and the Kauravas with their army of six akshouhinis formed their own vyuhas and engaged in the most terrible battle.
  • 214-215) Karna went against Bhima who was scattering away his army. In front of Karna himself, Bhima squashed Dushkarna and Karna, two brothers of Duryodhana, with his foot. The two of them vanished along with their chariots, horses, masts and charioteers.
    • Note: Duryodhana had a brother who too was named Karna.
  • 216) “You had rudely called him as empty-handed then. I was fully capable of killing you with my feet even without any weapons”.
  • 217) In order to give such an indication to Karna, Bhima killed the two of them with just his feet. He killed Kalinga with his fist.
  • 218) “Should I state separately that I can kill you with just my fist too? Still, I have spared you” – in order to indicate to him thus, the omnipotent Bhima crushed Kalinga with this fist, along with his horses, charioteer, mast and chariot.
  • 219) When Bhishma was the commander, Bhima had killed Ketuman, the father of Kalinga, in a sword fight, along with Shakradeva, Shrutayudha and an entire akshouhini army.
    • Note: In order to revenge the death of his father Ketuman, Kalinga had attacked Bhima. But he too was killed.
  • 220) In that night, Bhima killed many brothers of Karna including Dhruva. Understanding the signal given by Bhima, Karna hurled another Shakti weapon at him.
    • Note: This was not the Shakti given by Indra to Karna but another one.
  • 221) In order to tell Bhima – “I did not exercise the (Indra given) Shakti. Therefore you are still alive” – Karna did thus. Realizing this, Bhima jumped instantly to the sky, held the Shakti with his hand and hurled it back at Karna at great speed.
  • 222-223) “If you had used the Shakti back then, it would have killed you” – Bhima conveyed this message in return. Since he wanted to spare Karna, he threw the Shakti at Karna’s right shoulder. That Shakti pierced his shoulder and then pierced the ground and entered it. It delivered a message to Karna as well.
  • 224) Later Bhima returned to his chariot, picked up his bow and started scattering the enemies in all directions, right in front of Karna!
  • 225) Karna then tried to stop Bhima by hurling arrows having sharp and bent edges. Bhima threw his mace at Karna’s chariot with great speed.
  • 226) In order to hit Bhima’s mace, Karna invoked the Sthunakarna astra. The mace, being hit by that astra, returned to Bhima.
  • 227) Bhima then picked up that mace and climbed Karna’s chariot. He smashed the chariot’s yoke into pieces.
  • 228) “I can kill you too in this manner. However, I am deliberately sparing you” – conveying such a message through that act, he returned to his chariot.
  • 229) Once again, in front of Karna, Bhima started to kill numerous soldiers. Karna left him and proceeded towards Sahadeva.
  • 230) Rendering him chariot-less, Karna held Sahadeva’s neck with his bow and insulted him a lot. Sahadeva became very depressed.
  • 231) Reminding himself of the promise to Kunti, Karna did not wish to kill Sahadeva. Defeating him in battle, he started killing the Pandava army. 
  • 232) Ashwathama then started killing Arjuna’s army from all directions using many varieties of arrows. Being hit by that expert in warfare, the army could not find any respite like a fly on the verge of death.
  • 233) Noticing the army being destroyed in this manner by Ashwathama’s strength, Ghatotkacha invited him to battle. Ashwathama then said – “O Son! No. No. Being son-like, do not face me now”.
  • 234) When Ashwathama said thus, Ghatotkacha replied – “You are not father-like to me. However, it is true that you are a friend of my father. But you are my enemy (now) since you have joined the enemy’s camp”. Ashwathama then said – “If you consider me as your enemy then I shall surely behave like one”.
  • 235) Speaking thus, Ashwathama strung his bow that was radiant like Indra’s bow and rushed against Ghatotkacha at a frightening speed, flooding him with arrows. Ghatotkacha faced him with his army.
  • 236) The powerful Ghatotkacha, together with a lakh Rakshasas and many brave men, along with an army of one akshouhini, tormented Ashwathama, the Guru’s son, with arrows.
  • 237) Having been troubled greatly by Ghatotkacha’s numerous arrows, Ashwathama was hurt all over his body. He started bleeding everywhere. Rolling his eyes out of anger, he pulled his great bow and caused darkness with his arrows.
    • Note: Ashwathama fired so many arrows into the sky that it caused darkness in the battlefield.
  • 238) Firing large arrows in an instant, Ashwathama decimated the akshouhini sized army and all the Rakshasas. He also killed Ghatotkacha’s son called Nishtya. Earlier, Nishtya was known as Anjanavarma.
    • Note: In some recensions of the Mahabharata, Nishtya is known as Anjanavarma. Six generations had participated in the war. Anjanavarma belonged to the last generation.
  • 239) Seeing his army, along with his son, being killed, Ghatotkacha hit Ashwathama very deeply with an arrow. Hurt badly by that, Ashwathama rested against the flag(pole). He recovered very soon.
  • 240) Getting up, Ashwathama fixed an arrow that was like Yama’s danda into his bow and, pulling it greatly, released it at the Rakshasa. Ghatotkacha, hit badly by that arrow, fell down unconscious in his chariot.

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