41) When Bhima destroyed that weapon called Prasa, Duryodhana, who had no vehicle either, picked up a big mace and went away. Having left in that manner, he entered a big pond called Dvaipayana.
42) In this way, six akshouhinis of the Kaurava army was destroyed by Bhimasena. Apart from half-akshouhini of the Kalinga army, Arjuna destroyed half of the total army.
Note: Bhima destroyed six akshouhinis while Arjuna destroyed five.
43) Out of the total army of eleven akshouhinis, the left over ones were destroyed by the others. Four akshouhinis of the Pandava army was destroyed by Ashwathama.
44) The remainder of the Pandava army was killed by the others. Out of these, Drona, Karna, Bhishma, Duryodhana and Bhagadatta were the main destroyers in that order.
45) When the noble Pandavas obtained victory and were celebrating by letting out roars, Duryodhana started chanting mantras after getting into Jalastambhana.
Note: Jalastambhana is a Yogic technique in which a person can stay inside water for as long as he desires.
46) Those mantras, granted to him by Sage Durvasa, could bring back life into those dead. If Duryodhana chanted those mantras remaining in water for seven days, all those dead (on his side) would come back to life and they could not be killed thereafter.
47) Knowing Duryodhana to possess such knowledge of mantras, the Pandavas started searching for him. From a few fishermen they got to know that he was hiding in the lake.
48) They proceeded towards the sarovara under Sri Krishna’s leadership. They then saw Duryodhana, who had come out of the water, discussing with Ashwathama, Krupa and Krutavarma. As soon as the Pandavas saw them, they (the three of them) ran away.
49) Duryodhana entered the sarovara again. Seeing him, Yudhishthira, under the orders of Sri Krishna, berated him with sharp words and called him to come out.
50) Duryodhana then, provoked (by those words), and like a snake that hisses when hit by a stick, spoke deceitfully – “I shall proceed to the forest for Tapas. You can rule the whole world”.
51-53) Dharmaraja then replied to him – “When Sri Krishna had come, you had refused to give even a needle’s tip worth of land to us. And now you are wishing to give the whole Earth after having gotten Bhishma, Drona and the others killed. But, we shall not accept it without killing you. Come and be firm in war. Being born in the Kuru clan, it is not worthy of you to have entered water out of fear”.
54) Listening to these and more tough words, an angry Duryodhana came out of the Jalastambhana like a hissing serpent.
55) Duryodhana said – “I am alone. Without a headgear or kavacha. You are many and possess kavacha and headgear”.
56) “In spite of this, if you consider it appropriate to battle me, then I shall fight all of you together or any one of you. I have no fear”.
57) When Duryodhana spoke thus, Dharmaraja, the personification of Dharma, said – “We shall give you kavacha and other accessories. Amongst the five, you may choose any one of us to engage in battle”.
58) “If you kill one of us then you can rule the Kingdom and the other four of us will proceed to a forest. If you get killed by him, we shall rule the entire world. You may choose whichever weapon you desire to win against enemies”.
59) When he said thus, Duryodhana replied – “I shall not engage with the four of you including yourself, for you are weak, or with Arjuna. I shall fight Bhima with a mace. Gada is my favorite weapon at all times. I cannot touch any other weapon”.
60) Listening to those words, the brave Vrikodara picked up a gada that was one and a half times heavier than his (Duryodhana’s) and got up, letting out a roar and intending to battle.
61-62) Sri Krishna, the primordial Lord Narayana, then said to Dharmaraja – “You did wrong. If this King Duryodhana stands wielding a mace even the Suras and Asuras cannot win against him. He can certainly kill the four of you including Arjuna. Bhimasena can somehow kill him in battle. There is none equal to Bhima in strength. But Duryodhana is powerful and he is also industrious”.
63-65) Bhima needed to break the thighs of that enemy Duryodhana in order to keep up his vow. However, those knowledgeable stood to call it as Adharma the act of him hitting below the navel. Therefore, in order to remove the stain of worldly condemnation, and to let everyone know that it was Apadharma, Sri Krishna said that Bhima would kill him ‘somehow’. But, in order to also convey that Bhima can kill him with certainty and without any excuses, he also said that Bhima’s strength was unparalleled.
Note: In the moola Mahabharata, it appears Sri Krishna makes a case for Bhima in this incident by saying that it was a time of great crisis and hence what was done would pass the test of “Apat Dharma”. Sri Madhwacharya explains here the rationale behind those words of Sri Krishna.
66) Bhima too possessed complete skill in wielding the mace. Duryodhana would put more effort in it. Since Bhima was all-capable, not putting much effort was a positive quality in him than a deficiency.
67-68) Sri Krishna and Vrikodara both knew that keeping one’s vow, especially one made against evil, was special Dharma. This was a Dharma-rahasya which others did not know. Therefore, in order to clear condemnation from the public, they make it appear like a danger even when they (in reality) do not have any danger.
69) Later Bhima, in order to show the path of Dharma to the whole world, said – “As per my vow, I shall break both of your thighs. Let there be no doubt about this”.
70) When Bhima said thus, Duryodhana proceeded to battle with him. A big fight started to take place. In order to show the world the nature of great souls, Bhima at first fought mildly.
Note: It is not wise to start off any fight or argument with full aggression. It rules out any possibility of an alternate solution. To teach such a lesson, Bhima started off mildly.
71) The two of them started showing awe-inspiring moves and variations in that mace-fight. At that time, Balarama came there. He tried to stop them.
72) Even as he tried to stop them, the two of them did not give up on the battle. After that, Balarama, having been accorded respect by Sri Krishna and the others, started watching that duel.
73-74) Bhima and Duryodhana, endowed with knowledge and strength, fought with each other showing different moves of mace-fighting. Then, in order to deceive Bhima, Duryodhana performed a somersault with his head down and legs in the air. Obtaining Sri Krishna’s agreement, Bhima at that very moment hit him at the base of his back. It was neither above the navel nor below and still fulfilling his vow. Duryodhana fell down, his thighs having been broken.
75) In order to maintain the rules of Gada-yuddha, and to keep his victory clean, Vrikodara hit him at the center and not below the navel. In keeping with both his vows, he had broken both of his thighs.
Note: Bhima had taken a vow to break one thigh of Duryodhana when the latter had shown his thigh to Draupadi in the hall of dice. A little later, when they were moving out of the hall and into the forest, Bhima undertook a second oath to break the other thigh of Duryodhana when he mocked at the Pandavas.
76) Duryodhana had asked, during the game of dice, that Sri Krishna be kept as stake. Bhimasena, as per his vow at that time, crushed Duryodhana’s head with his foot. He realized the ‘rishabham maa samananam’ sukta.
Note: Duryodhana had committed the greatest of sins demanding Sri Krishna, the Paramatma, be kept as a stake for a game of dice. Bhima had vowed that he would crush his head for committing this sin. While fulfilling this vow, Bhima also had realization of the ‘Rishabha Sukta’ of the Rig Veda (Mandala 10 Sukta 166)
77) Bhima, by crushing his head in that manner, took away all the punya he had earned and also all of his knowledge. He ensured that all of them would reach Tamas.
78) He reminded him of all the evil things he had done. Reminding him that he had contemplated arresting Sri Krishna, he crushed his head once again with his foot.
Note: When Sri Krishna had visited Hastinapura just prior to the war, Duryodhana and the others had hatched a plan to arrest him.
79) Watching Bhima do it again and again, the wielder of the pestle (Balarama) became very angry. He lifted both his arms and shouted that it was not Dharma.
80) Full of anger, and with red eyes, Balarama lifted his pestle and plough and rushed against Bhima. Vrikodara did not flinch.