Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 26: Part 7

  • 241) Even as everyone was watching, his charioteer carried away the deeply unconscious Ghatotkacha far away from battle. Ashwathama started scattering the Pandava and Panchala armies with excellent sharp arrows.
  • 242) Having regained his consciousness, Ghatotkacha became furious and immediately entered the Kaurava formation. With a shower of arrows he chased them away. He shook many great warriors too.
  • 243) Noticing Karna arriving to battle with Arjuna, Sri Krishna, the lord of the world, then sent Ghatotkacha. His intention was to get the Shakti thrown against him in order to protect Partha.
  • 244) Ghatotkacha invited Karna and engaged with him in a duel. He also fought against Duryodhana, Drona and the others who had come with him (Karna) and stopped them single-handedly and troubled them excessively.
    • Note: Rakshasas get additional strength when dark. Hence Ghatotkacha had become very powerful on the 14th night.
  • 245) Having been hurt badly by that powerful one, all of them engaged with him, keeping Karna in front. In that battle, the great knower of astras Karna excelled with his abilities and continued fighting without losing hope.
  • 246) Bhima then stopped Guru-putra Ashwathama while the son of Indra stopped the Samshaptakas. At that time, a Rakshasa by name Alambala rushed at the son of Bhima, wanting to kill him.
  • 247) Ghatotkacha engaged in battle with him and, after bringing him down on the ground, beheaded him with a sword. He threw the head at Duryodhana. All the Kings (fighting on the Kaurava side) there were greatly dejected.
  • 248) A Rakshasa called Alayudha then rushed at Ghatotkacha, the terrible and valorous man-eating Rakshasa. Facing him, Ghatotkacha battled him for a muhurtha and then made him a yajna-pashu, felling him on the ground.
    • Note: In a yajna, a pashu or animal is sacrificed. Hence the word yajna-pashu here means Ghatotkacha killed Alayudha.
  • 249) After that, he cut his head and threw it angrily at Duryodhana’s chest. Duryodhana and the others were bewildered by this.
  • 250) Alayudha, who had been spared by Bhimasena although being capable of killing him so Ghatotkacha could express his strength, was slain by Bhaimasena.
    • Note: Bhaimasena means the son of Bhimasena.
  • 251) All of them started requesting Karna to use the Shakti against him. “If he dies then all of them are (effectively) dead. What can Arjuna then do to us?” – they said.
  • 252) Being repeatedly requested by the Kauravas who were tormented by Ghatotkacha, and because he himself was troubled greatly by him, Karna picked up the eminent Shakti that was agreeable to Indra.
  • 253) Karna hurled the Shakti, that was like the tongue of death himself and was shining in all directions, at Ghatotkacha who was like a mountain in the sky and incomparably valorous.
  • 254) With his chest torn apart by that Shakti, Ghatotkacha started falling down. Even though he was getting killed, he fell upon the enemy soldiers and crushed them. When he died, the Kauravas rejoiced. Jeering loudly, they tore up their clothes (in joy).
  • 255) Sri Krishna then started dancing. Hugging Arjuna tightly, he blew his conch and let out a leonine roar. He laughed with a loud voice.
  • 256) A sorrow-filled Gudakesha asked him – “O Lord! When our brave elder son has been killed why are you expressing joy in this manner?”
  • 257) Bhagavan Sri Krishna replied – “Arjuna! By divine providence, you have been spared. Karna utilized the Shakti preserved for you against the Rakshasa”.
  • 258) After that Yudhishthira started boiling with anger against Karna due to sorrow (of Ghatotkacha’s death). Then, the omnipotent Sri Vyasa arrived there and said.
  • 259) “Ghatotkacha has been killed by the Shakti which was supposed to kill Arjuna. Therefore, O King, do not mourn. Due to divine grace Arjuna is alive” – saying thus Sri Vyasa departed. The war continued.
  • 260) When the Kaurava army was destroyed by Bhima and Arjuna, and the Pandava soldiers were getting killed by the Kauravas, all of them, including those holding lamps and the fighters, came under the influence of sleep.
  • 261) Seeing all of them under the sway of sleep, Arjuna said – “All of you sleep till moonrise”. When he said thus they thanked him and slept in whatever condition they were in.
  • 262) Then, when the moon rose, all of them resumed battle, showering weapons and great astras. Somadatta and Bhuri faced Satyaki. He started fighting the two of them all by himself.
  • 263) Both of them fell down on the ground, slain by Satyaki. Then, Bahlika faced him in battle. The brave Bahlika rendered Satyaki chariot-less and released an arrow intending to kill him.
  • 264) Bhimasena cut that arrow released by Bahlika into three pieces. The latter then threw a weapon called Shataghni at Bhima. Bhima acted like he was jolted by it and hit Bahlika with his mace. Bahlika fell down dead.
  • 265) Bahlika had earlier affectionately requested – “Bhima! You alone should kill me in battle out of love for me. I shall then attain fame, punya and excellent lokas”.
  • 266) When Bahlika requested thus, Bhima told him – “You should cause me a lot of pain. Only then shall I slay you in battle. I will not do so otherwise. Causing such pain to me will only lead you to attain punya due to your service”. Thus, Bahlika was killed there by Bhimasena.
  • 267) When Bahlika was killed, Karna, Duryodhana and the other Kaurava heroes rushed against Bhimasena, keeping Ashwathama and Drona at the head. Dhrishtadyumna, joined by his brothers and Satyaki, faced Guru Drona.
  • 268) Arjuna engaged in battle with the Samshaptakas. That battle was extremely terrible and amazing. In that battle at night, an army of one akshouhini was killed by Bhima and Arjuna.
  • 269) Then, the Sun rose. Drona then performed the most dreadful task in the war. Entering the chariot formation of the Panchalas, he killed elephants, horses, chariots (chariot warriors) and foot-soldiers.
  • 270) Drona caused even great warriors to run away. In that darkness caused by arrows (of Drona), they couldn’t find any peace. Although aged, Drona, the most knowledgeable expert on astras and a terrifying archer, moved around in battle like a youngster.
  • 271) Twenty thousand chariot-warriors were killed by Drona, the battle-expert! A thousand times more foot-soldiers were killed. Horses numbering a tenth of the soldiers died while twenty thousand elephants too were slain.
  • 272) Similarly, with two arrows, Drona dispatched Virata and Drupada from the war-world to the other-world. After that, Bhimasena won against Guru-putra Ashwathama and others and engaged in protecting Dhrishtadyumna.
  • 273) Under the protection of Bhimasena, Dhrishtadyumna tried very hard to kill Drona. With a flood of arrows, Drona stopped Dhrishtadyumna forcefully, who then hit him very hard with an arrow. Drona fell unconscious due to that blow.
  • 274) Dhrishtadyumna quickly picked up a sword and shield and started climbing the excellent chariot of Drona. By that time, Drona, having regained consciousness, started hurting him with arrows that were yard-long in length.
  • 275) Pained by those arrows, Dhrishtadyumna returned and climbed his chariot. The two of them tried extremely hard and battled again, raining arrows at each other.
  • 276) Drona stopped Dhrishtadyumna with arrows and invoked the Brahmastra and burnt numerous Panchalas in that war. Purujit, Kuntibhoja and others were killed by him then.
  • 277) One after the other, Bhima, Arjuna and Satyaki stopped Ashwathama and his big army at a distance.
    • Note: By stopping Ashwathama in this manner, they made it possible for Dhrishtadyumna to challenge Drona to try and kill him.
  • 278) Bhima and Arjuna stopped Karna, Duryodhana and the others, including Shalya, Krutavarma and Krupa in that battle, through a flood of arrows.
  • 279) Bhima then destroyed an army of elephants and a King of Magadha named Jayatsena. He also destroyed a large contingent of chariots belonging to the Magadhas.
  • 280) At that time, seeing an elephant named Ashwathama, belonging to the King of Malava, being killed by Bhimasena, King Yudhisthira, provoked by Sri Krishna, said – “Ashwathama is dead”.

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