Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya: Chapter 26: Part 8

  • 281-282) Drona himself had earlier told Dharmaraja that he would not be able to continue fighting the war after hearing about Ashwathama’s death. Therefore, he asked Yudhisthira – “Tell me the truth”. Dharmaraja replied – “It is the truth” but added the word “elephant” in an unclear voice. Drona underwent a lot of pain due to that (news).
    • Note: Dharmaraja said “AshwathamO hataH kunjaraH”. The word kunjara was uttered in a very unclear (low) voice by him, which Drona did not hear. Assuming that Dharmaraja was talking about his son, he became dejected.
  • 283-284) Bhima held the pole at the front end of Drona’s chariot and told him – “It doesn’t befit a noble person such as yourself to live doing what is not your natural Dharma”. The sages who had gathered in the skies invited him saying – “It is enough. Come back now”. Realizing all of this, Drona gave up his weapons.
  • 285) Drona submitted all his Karma performed till then to Sri Vasudeva. Sitting in yoga and meditating on Sri Krishna, the Lord of all, the one who is free from all defects and the best amongst all, Drona gave up his body and returned to his loka.
  • 286) Sri Krishna, the Pandavas and Krupa saw Drona returning back to his world through the skies. In spite of being stopped by the Pandavas, Dhrishtadyumna picked up his sword and shield and went where Drona was present.
    • Note: Drona had already left the world. Only his body remained, which Dhrishtadyumna approached.
  • 287) He beheaded him with his sword and quickly climbed his chariot again. Seeing this, Krupa became very scared and, having climbed his horse, ran away quickly from there.
  • 288) When Dhrishtadyumna cut Drona’s head thus, Arjuna and Yudhisthira condemned him. Satyaki too became very angry.
  • 289) Dhrishtadyumna asked both of them – “How did you kill Bhurishravas?”. This angered Satyaki a lot and he and attacked him, holding a mace in his hand.
  • 290) Without getting perturbed, Dhrishtadyumna invited Satyaki for a duel. Bhima then, having been prodded by Sri Krishna, held Satyaki. Bound by his love for Dhrishtadyumna, he got Arjuna to calm down.
  • 291) After being advised specially by Sri Krishna, all of them became friendly with each other like before. Holding their weapons, they became ready for battle and left. Then, Ashwathama arrived, holding his bow.
  • 292) Getting to know of his father’s killing, Ashwathama undertook an oath to kill all enemies sparing none. Enraged, he invoked the Narayana astra. Then, except Bhima, all of them became scared.
  • 293) Yudhishthira, with a heavy heart, said – “Let Satyaki and the others get away from here. I shall fall victim, along with my brothers, to the excellent astra of the son of Drona”. Sri Krishna then replied.
  • 294) “Bow down to the astra. Then you shall be released from it”. Immediately Arjuna and the others bowed down to it. Bhima did not do so. That astra fell on his head. He stood in the middle of the astra like a fire standing amidst another fire.
  • 295) When Bhima stood there like a fire that doesn’t get burnt by another fire, Arjuna, in order to show his affection, invoked the Varunastra to protect Bhima.
  • 296) When an astra falls in that manner on the body, sprinkling water from outside is of no use. Still, bound by his friendship (brotherly love), Arjuna attempted to provide protection through that astra.
  • 297) Conveying (to everyone) that his astra was unassailable and the fact that Bhima could never be killed, Sri Krishna climbed Bhima’s chariot along with Arjuna.
    • Note: The Narayana astra is Sri Vishnu’s weapon. Hence Sri Krishna is it’s owner.
  • 298-299) Because of the cover provided outside by the Varunastra, because of Sri Krishna’s company and because of Nara’s Avesha in him, the Narayana astra did not burn Arjuna. The astra became extinguished as the two of them (Sri Krishna and Arjuna) brought Bhima down from his chariot and took away his weapon.
  • 300) Vrikodara was the adherent of the pristine Bhagavata Dharma at all times. Hence, even when all others got down from their vehicles and prostrated before the astra, Bhima alone stayed in his chariot holding his weapon and fought that Narayana astra which even the most powerful Devatas could not tolerate.
  • 301) When the situation is such that one’s Swadharma is about to be harmed, it is duty to advise friends to not violate. Therefore, Bhima asked the others also to not bow down to the astra.
    • Note: Bhima asks all the warriors around him to not bow down to the astra. Since he followed the Bhagavata Dharma it was his duty to encourage his friends to follow the same path too. Hence his advice.
  • 302) Although the astra is worthy of worship, when it is released by an enemy in war, it is not appropriate to bow to it out of attachment over life. Therefore, Bhima did not bow down to it.
  • 303) Sri Vayu is the presiding deity of the Narayana astra while Sri Hari himself is the deity propagated by it. Therefore, since the astra was the very essence of Bhima, it did not burn him, just as a fire does not burn another fire.
    • Note: Every divine astra has a abhimani devata or presiding deity. This deity controls the astra. Every such astra also has a pratipadya devata or propagating deity. This is the Devata that is served by the astra.
  • 304) Bhimasena paid his respects to the astra and its Devata Sri Hari in his mind itself. However, in accordance with Kshatriya Dharma, he did not bend his head externally.
  • 305) Showing (to everyone) that his astra and Bhima were both unfailing, Sri Krishna, the omnipotent, started driving the horses once again.
  • 306) Duryodhana pleaded fervently with Ashwathama to invoke the astra once again. Saying that it was not possible, the son of Drona proceeded against Dhrishtadyumna.
  • 307) Seeing the son of Guru (Drona) approaching Dhrishtadyumna, Satyaki too joined the battle. Ashwathama hurt both of them with his arrows. The two of them fell down unconscious.
  • 308) Ashwathama chased away the horses of Bhima when he arrived there. Even as Bhima controlled the horses, Arjuna saw Ashwathama.
  • 309) Arjuna then came there to fight Ashwathama. Condemning him with cruel words, Ashwathama invoked the Agneyastra. That astra surrounded the Pandavas from all sides.
  • 310) One akshouhini sized army was then destroyed (by that astra). Sri Krishna protected Arjuna along with the chariot. Seeing Arjuna escaping alive, Ashwathama threw away his bow in anger and went away.
  • 311) Sri Vyasa, the one who composed the Brahmasutras and one whose body is verily the six auspicious attributes, arrived there and told him – “Do not leave. You are verily the Avatara of Girisha. To accomplish the task of the Devatas, you, the powerful one, have taken birth on Earth”.
  • 312-313) “I know that you need to accomplish a great task in future. Therefore undertake that soon” – when Sri Vyasa said thus Ashwathama said – “In the morning” and bowed to the propagator of the entire Vedas and left. Behind him, Duryodhana and the others too held their heads low out of sorrow and fear and went to their camps.
  • 314) All the Pandavas, being overjoyed, sang praises of Sri Krishna, the Supreme One, and went to their camps. There too, they remembered the auspicious qualities of Sri Hari at night, and felt great joy together.

|| End of chapter 26, known as ‘Narayana Astra Upashamana’, from the Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, composed by Srimadanandatirtha Bhagavatpada ||

|| Sri Krishnarpanamastu ||

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