Mahabharata Drona Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section XXI

"Sanjaya continued, 'Then Drona, beholding Yudhishthira near him fearlessly received him with a thick shower of arrows. And there arose a loud noise among the troops of Yudhishthira's army like what is made by the elephants belonging to a herd when their leader is attacked by a mighty lion. Beholding Drona, the brave Satyajit, of prowess incapable of being baffled, rushed at the Preceptor who was desirous of seizing Yudhishthira. The Preceptor and the Panchala prince, both endued with great might, fought with each other, agitating each other's troops, like Indra and Vali. Then Satyajit, of prowess incapable of being baffled, invoking a mighty weapon, pierced Drona with keen-pointed arrows. And Satyajit shot at Drona's charioteer five arrows, fatal as snake-poison and each looking like Death himself. The charioteer, thus struck, became deprived of his senses. Then Satyajit quickly Pierced Drona's steeds with ten shafts; and filled with rage, he next pierced each of his Parshni drivers with ten shafts. And then he coursed at the head of his troops on his car in a circular motion. Excited with wrath, he cut off the standard of Drona, that crushers of foes Drona then, that chastiser of foes, beholding these feats of his foe in battle, mentally resolved to despatch him to the other world.  The Preceptor,

cutting off Satyajit's bow with arrow fixed thereon, quickly pierced him with ten arrows capable of penetrating into the very vitals. Thereupon, the valiant Satyajit, quickly taking up another bow, struck Drona, O king, with thirty arrows winged with the feathers of the Kanka bird. Beholding Drona (thus) encountered in battle by Satyajit, the Pandayas, O king, shouted in joy and waved their garments. Then the mighty Vrika, O king, excited with great wrath, pierced Drona in the centre of the chest with sixty arrows. That feat seemed highly wonderful., Then that mighty car-warrior, viz., Drona, of great impetuosity, covered with the arrowy showers (of his foes) opened his eyes wide and mustered all his energy. Then cutting off the bows of both Satyajit and Vrika, Drona, with six shafts slew Vrika with his charioteer and steeds. Then Satyajit, taking up another bow that was tougher, pierced Drona with his steeds, his charioteer, and his standard. Thus afflicted in battle by the prince of the Panchalas, Drona could not brook that act. For the destruction then of his foe, he quickly shot his arrows (at him). Drona then covered with incessant showers of arrows his antagonist's steeds and standards as also the handle of his bow, and both his Parshni drivers. But though his bows were (thus) repeatedly cut off, the prince of the Panchalas conversant with the highest weapons continued to battle with him of red steeds. Beholding Satyajit swell with energy in that dreadful combat, Drona cut off that illustrious warrior's head with a crescent-shaped arrow.  Upon the slaughter of that foremost of combatants, that mighty car-warrior among the Panchalas, Yudhishthira, from fear of Drona, fled away, (borne) by fleet steeds. Then the Panchalas, the Kekayas, the Matsyas, the Chedis, the Karushas and the Kosalas, seeing Drona, rushed at him, desirous of rescuing Yudhishthira. The Preceptor, however, that slayer of large numbers of foes, desirous of seizing Yudhishthira, began to consume those divisions, like fire consuming heaps of cotton. Then Satanika, the younger brother of the ruler of the Matsyas, rushed at Drona who was thus engaged in incessantly destroying those divisions (of the Pandava host). And Satanika, piercing Drona along with his driver and steeds with six shafts, bright as the rays of the sun and polished by his hands of their forger, uttered loud shouts. And engaged in a cruel act, and endeavouring to accomplish what was difficult of attainment, he covered Bharadwaja's son, that mighty car-warrior with showers of arrows.  Then Drona, with an arrow sharp as razor, quickly cut off from his trunk the head, decked with ear-rings of Satanika, shouting at him. Thereupon, the Matsya warriors all fled away. Having vanquished the Matsyas, the son of Bharadwaja then defeated the Chedis, the Karushas, the Kaikeyas, the Panchalas, the Srinjayas. and the Pandus repeatedly. Beholding that hero of the golden car, excited with rage and consuming their divisions, like a fire consuming a forest, the Srinjayas trembled (with fear). Endued with

great activity and slaughtering the foe ceaselessly, the twang of the bow-string, as he stretched his bow, was heard in all directions. Fierce arrows shot by that warrior endued with great lightness of hand, crushed elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers and car-warriors and elephant-riders. As a mighty mass of roaring clouds in summer with violent winds (blowing) poureth a shower of hail-stones, so did Drona pour his arrowy showers and inspired fear in the hearts of his foes. That mighty hero, that great bowman, that dispeller of the fears of his friends, careered in all directions (of the field) agitating the (hostile) host. The bow, decked with gold, of Drona of immeasurable energy, was seen in all directions like the flashes of lightning in the clouds. The beautiful altar on his banner, as he careered in battle, O Bharata, was seen to resemble a crest or Himavat. The slaughter that Drona caused among the Pandava troops was very great, resembling that caused by Vishnu himself, the adored of both the gods and Asuras, among the Daitya host. Heroic, truthful in speech, endued with great wisdom and might, and possessed of prowess incapable of being baffled, the illustrious Drona caused a river to flow there that was fierce and capable of striking the timid with fear. Coats of mail formed its waves, and standards its eddies. And it carried away (as it ran) large numbers of mortal creatures. And elephants and steeds constituted its great alligators, and swords formed its fishes. And it was incapable of being easily crossed over. The bones of brave warriors formed its pebbles, and drums and cymbals its tortoises. And shields and armour formed its boats, and the hair of warriors its floating moss and weeds. And arrows constituted its wavelets and bows its current. And the arms of the combatants formed its snakes.  And that river of fierce current, running over the field of battle, bore away both the Kurus and the Srinjayas. And the heads of human beings, constituted its stones, and their thighs its fishes. And maces constituted the rafts (by which many sought to cross it). And head-gears formed the forth that covered its surface, and the entrails (of animals) its reptiles. Awful (in mien), it bore away heroes (to the other world). And blood and flesh constituted its mire. And elephants formed its crocodiles, and standards, the trees (on its banks). Thousands of Kshatriyas sank in it. Fierce, clogged (dead) bodies, and having horse-soldiers and elephant-warriors for its sharks, it was extremely difficult to cross it. And that river ran towards the abode of Yama. And it abounded with Rakshasas and dogs and jackals. And it v as haunted by fierce cannibals all around.

"Then many Pandava warriors, headed by Kunti's son, rushing at Drona, that mighty car-warrior consuming their divisions like Death himself, surrounded him on all sides. Indeed, those brave warriors completely encompassed Drona who was scorching everything around him like the sun himself scorching the world with his rays. Then the

kings and the princes of thy army, with upraised weapons, all rushed for supporting that hero and great bowman. Then Sikhandin pierced Drona with five straight arrows. And Kshatradharman pierced him with twenty arrows, and Vasudeva with five. And Uttamaujas pierced him with three arrows, and Kshatradeva with five. And Satyaki pierced him in that battle with a hundred arrows, and Yudhamanyu with eight. And Yudhishthira pierced Drona with a dozen shafts, and Dhrishtadyumna pierced him with ten, and Chekitana with three. Then Drona, of unbaffled aim and resembling an elephant with rent temples, getting over the car-division (of the Pandavas), overthrew Dridhasena. Approaching then king Kshema who was battling fearlessly, he struck him with nine arrows. Thereupon, Kshema, deprived of life, fell down from his car. Getting then into the midst of the (hostile) troops, he careered in all directions, protecting others, but himself in no need of Protection. He then pierced Sikhandin with twelve arrows, and Uttamaujas with twenty. And he despatched Vasudeva with a broad-headed arrow to the abode of Yama. And he pierced Kshemavarman with eighty arrows, and Sudakshina with six and twenty. And he felled Kshatradeva with a broad-headed arrow from his niche in the car. And having pierced Yudhamanyu with sixty-four arrows and Satyaki with thirty, Drona, of the golden car, quickly approached Yudhishthira. Then Yudhishthira, that best of kings, quickly fled away from the preceptor, borne by his fleet steeds. Then Panchala rushed at Drona. Drona slew the prince, cutting off his bow, and felling his steeds and charioteer along with him. Deprived of life, the prince fell down on the earth from his car, like a luminary loosened from the firmament. Upon the fall of that illustrious prince of the Panchalas, loud cries were heard thereof, 'Slay Drona, Slay Drona!' The mighty Drona then began to crush and mangle the Panchalas, the Matsyas, the Kaikeyas, the Srinjayas, and the Pandavas, all excited with rage. And supported by the Kurus, Drona, then vanquished Satyaki and Chekitana's son, and Senavindu, and Suvarchas, all these and numerous other kings. Thy warriors, O king, having obtained the victory in that great battle, slew the Pandavas as they flew away in all directions. And the Panchalas, the Kaikeyas and the Matsyas, thus slaughtered on all sides like the Danavas by Indra, began to tremble (with fear).'"