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p. 447


"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding Drona filled with great anxiety and almost deprived of his senses by grief, Dhrishtadyumna, the son of the Panchala king, rushed at him. That hero had, for the destruction of Drona, been obtained by Drupada, that ruler of men, at a great sacrifice, from the Bearer of sacrificial libations. Desirous of slaying Drona, he now took up a victory-giving and formidable bow whose twang resembled the roll of the clouds, whose string was possessed of great strength, and which was irrefragable and celestial. And he fixed on it a fierce arrow, resembling a snake of virulent poison and possessed of the splendour of fire. That arrow, resembling a fire of fierce flame, while within the circle of his bow, looked like the autumnal sun of great splendour within a radiant circle. Beholding that blazing bow bent with force by Prishata's son, the troops regarded that to be the last hour (of the world). Seeing that arrow aimed at him, the valiant son of Bharadwaja thought that the last hour of his body had come. The preceptor prepared with care to baffle that shaft. The weapons, however, of that high-souled one, O monarch, no longer appeared at his bidding. 1 His weapons had not been exhausted although he had shot them ceaselessly for four days and one night. On the expiry, however, of the third part of that of the fifth day, his arrows became exhausted. Seeing the exhaustion of his arrows and afflicted with grief on account of his son's death, and in consequence also of the unwillingness of the celestial weapons to appear at his bidding, he desired to lay aside his weapons, as requested by the words of the Rishis also. Though filled with great energy, he could not however, fight as before. Then taking up another celestial bow that Angiras had given him, and certain arrows that resembled a Brahmana's curse, he continued to fight with Dhrishtadyumna. He covered the Panchala prince with a thick shower of arrows, and filled with rage, mangled his angry antagonist. With his own keen shafts he cut off in a hundred fragments those of the prince as also the latter's standard and bow. He then his antagonist's driver. Then Dhrishtadyumna, smiling, took up another bow, and pierced Drona with a keen shaft in the centre of the chest. Deeply pierced therewith and losing his self-possession in that encounter, that mighty bowman, then, with a sharp and broad-headed arrow, once more cut off Dhrishtadyumna's bow. Indeed, the invincible Drona then cut off all the weapons, O king, and all the bows that his antagonist had, with the exception only of his mace and sword. Filled with rage, he then pierced the angry Dhrishtadyumna, O chastiser of foes, nine keen arrows, capable of taking the life of every foe. Then the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, of immeasurable soul, invoking into existence the Brahma weapon, caused the steeds of his own car to be mingled with those of his foes. Endued with the speed of

p. 448

the wind, those steeds that were red and of the hue of pigeons, O bull of Bharata's race, thus mingled together, looked exceedingly beautiful. Indeed, O king, those steeds thus mingled together on the field of battle, looked beautiful like roaring clouds in the season of rains, charged with lightning. Then that twice-born one of immeasurable soul cut off the shaft-joints, the wheel-joints, and (other) car-joints of Dhrishtadyumna. Deprived of his bow, and made carless and steedless and driverless, the heroic Dhrishtadyumna, fallen into great distress, grasped a mace. Filled with rage, the mighty car-warrior, Drona, of unbaffled prowess, by means of a number of keen shafts, cut off that mace, while it was on the point of being hurled at him. Beholding his mace cut off by Drona with arrows, that tiger among men, (viz., the Panchala prince), took up a spotless sword and a bright shield decked with a hundred moons. Without doubt, under those circumstances, the Panchala prince determined to make an end of that foremost of preceptors, that high-souled warrior. Sometimes, sheltering himself in his car-box and sometimes riding on his car-shafts, the prince moved about, uplifting his swords and whirling his bright shield. The mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, desirous of achieving, from folly, a difficult feat, hoped to pierce the chest of Bharadwaja's son in that battle. Sometimes, he stayed upon the yoke, and sometimes under the haunches of Drona's red steeds. These movements of his were highly applauded by all the troops. Indeed, while he stayed amid the trappings of the yoke or behind those red steeds, Drona found no opportunity to strike him. All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. The movements of both Drona and Prishata's son in that battle resembled the fight of hawk careering through the welkin for a piece of meat. Then Drona, by means of a dart pierced the white steeds of his antagonist, one after another, not striking, however, the red ones amongst them (that belonged to himself) 1. Deprived of life, those steeds of Dhrishtadyumna fell down upon the earth. Thereupon, the red steeds of Drona himself, O king, where freed from the entanglements of Dhrishtadyumna's car. Beholding his steeds slain by that foremost of Brahmanas, Prishata's sons, that mighty car-warrior, that foremost of fighters, could not brook it. Though deprived of his car, still that foremost of all swordsmen, armed with his sword, sprang towards Drona, O monarch, like Vinata's son (Garuda) making a swoop at a snake. The form, O king, of Dhrishtadyumna at that time, when he sought to slay the son of Bharadwaja, resembled the form of Vishnu himself in days of yore when at the point of slaying Hiranyakasipu. He performed diverse evolutions, in fact. O Kauravya, the son of Prishata, careering in that battle, exhibited the well-known one and twenty different kinds of motion. Armed with the sword, and shield in hand, Prishata's son wheeled about and whirled his sword on high, and made side thrusts, and rushed forward, and ran sideways, and leapt high, and assailed the flanks of his antagonists and receded backwards, and closed with his foes, and pressed them hard. Having practised them well, he also showed the evolutions called Bharata, Kausika Satwata, as he careened

p. 449

in that battle for compassing the destruction of Drona, Beholding those beautiful evolutions of Dhrishtadyumna, as he careered on the field, sword and shield in hand, all the warriors, as also the celestials assembled there, were filled with wonder. The regenerate Drona then, shooting a thousand arrows in the thick of fight, cut off the sword of Dhrishtadyumna as also his shield, decked with a hundred moons. Those arrows that Drona shot, while fighting from such a near point, were of the length of a span. Such arrows are used only in close fight. None else have arrows of that kind, except Kripa, and Partha, and Aswatthaman and Karna, Pradyumna and Yuyudhana; Abhimanyu also had such arrows. Then the preceptor, desirous of slaying his disciple who was unto him even as his own son, fixed on his bow-string a shaft endued with great impetuosity. That shaft, however, Satyaki cut off by means of ten arrows, in the very sight of thy son as also of the high-souled Karna, as thus rescued Dhrishtadyumna who was on the point of succumbing to Drona. Then Kesava and Dhananjaya beheld Satyaki of prowess incapable of being baffled, who, O Bharata, was thus careering in the car-tracks (of the Kuru warriors) and within the range of the shafts of Drona and Karna and Kripa. Saying. 'Excellent, Excellent!' both of them loudly applauded Satyaki of unfading glory, who was thus destroying the celestial weapons of all those warriors. Then Kesava and Dhananjaya rushed towards the Kurus. Addressing Krishna, Dhananjaya said, 'Behold, O Kesava, that perpetuator of Madhu's race, viz., Satyaki of true prowess, sporting before the preceptor and those mighty car-warriors and gladdening me and the twins and Bhima and king Yudhishthira. With skill acquired by practice and without insolence, behold that enhancer of the fame of the Vrishnis, viz., Satyaki, careering in battle, sporting the while with those mighty car-warriors. All these troops, as also the Siddhas (in the welkin), beholding him invincible in battle, are filled with wonder, and applauding him, saying, 'Excellent, Excellent!' Indeed, O king, the warriors of both armies all applauded the Satwata hero, for his feats.'"


447:1 The celestial weapons were all living agents that appeared at the bidding of him who knew to invoke them. They abandoned, however, the person whose death was imminent, although invoked with the usual formulae.

448:1 I adopt the Bombay reading.

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