Pratap Chandra Roy.

The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 5) online

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agreeable to Drona's son, those two set fire to the Pandava
camp in three places." 8 When the camp was lighted, Ac,wat-
thaman, that delighter of his sires, O monarch, careered, sword
in hand and smiting his foes with great skill. 1 " Some of his
brave foes rushed towards him and some ran hither and thither.
That foremost of regenerate ones, with his sword, deprived all
of them of their lives. 107 The valiant son of Drona, filled
with rage, felled some of the warriors, cutting them in twain
with his sword as if they wore sessame stalks. 108 The Earth,
bull of Bharata's race, became strewn with the fallen bodies
of foremost of men and steeds and elephants mingled together
and uttering woful wails and cries." 9 When thousands of men
had fallen down deprived of life, innumerable headless trunks
stood up and fell down. 110 Acwatthaman, Bharata, cut off
arms adorned with Angadas and holding weapons in grasp, and
heads, and thighs resembling trunks of elephants, and hands,
and feet. 111 The illustrious son of Drona mangled the backs
of some, cut off the heads of some, and caused some to turn
away from the fight. 11 * And he cut off some at the middle, and
lopped off the ears of others, and struck others on the should-
ers, and pressed down the heads of some into their trunks." 8
As Acwatthaman careered in this way, slaughtering thou-
sands of men, the deep night became more terrible in conse-
quence of the darkness that set in. 1 " The Earth became terri-
ble to behold, strewn with thousands of human beings dead
and dying and innumerable steeds and elephants." 1 Cut ©rY


by the enraged son of Drona, his foes fell down on the
Earth that was then crowded with Yakshas and Eakshasas
and frightful with (broken) cars and slain steeds and ele-
phants. 11 * Some called upon their bothers, some upon their
sires, and some upon their sons. And some said, — The Dharta-
rashtras in rage could never accomplish such feats in battle
as these which Rctkshasas of wicked deeds are achieving upon
us during the hour of sleep ! It is only in consequence of the
absence of the Parbhas that this great slaughter is going
on I 117 " 1 * That son of Kunti, who hath Janarddana for his
protector, is incapable of being vanquished by gods, Asuras,
Gandharvas, Yakshas, and Eakshasas /"' Devoted to Brah-
ma, truthful in speech, self-restrained, and compassionate
towards all creatures, that son of Pritha, called Dhananjaya
never slaughters one that is asleep, or one that is heedless, or
one that has laid aside his weapons, or one that has joined his
hands in supplication, or one that is retreating, or one whose
locks have been dishevelled !"° Alas, they are Eakshasas of
wicked deeds who are perpetrating such terrible acts upon
ourselves ! — Uttering such words, many laid themselves down. 1 "
The loud din caused by the cries and groans of human beings
died away within a short space of time.'" The Earth being
drenched with blood, O king, that thick and frightful dust
soon disappeared.'" Thousands of men moving in agony, over-
whelmed with anxiety, and overcome with despair, were slain
by Acwatthaman like Rudra slaying living creatures !'" Many
who laid themselves down on the ground clasping one another,
and many who sought to fly away, and many who sought to
hide themselves, and many who struggled in battle, were all
slain by the son of Drona. 1 " Burnt by the raging flames and
Blaugnbered by Acwatthaman, the men, losing their senses,
slew one another. 1 " Before half the night was over, the son of
Drona, monarch, despatched the large host of the Pandavas
unto Yama's abode. 1 " That night, so terrible and destructive
unto human beings and elephants and steeds filled with joy
all creatures that wander in the dark 1 " Many Rdkshasas and
Pigachaa of various tribes were seen there, gorging upon
human flesh and quaffing the blood that Jay on the ground, 1 "


They were fierce, tawny in hue, terrible, of adamantine teeth,
and dyed with blood. With matted locks on their heads, their
thighs were long and massive ; endued with five feet, their
stomachs were large. 189 Their fingers were set backwards.
Of harsh temper and ugly features, their voice was loud and
terrible. They had rows of tinkling bells tied to their bodies.
Possessed of blue throats, they looked very frightful." 1
Exceedingly cruel and incapable of being looked at without
fear, and without abhorrence for anything, they came thero
with their children and wives. Indeed, diverse were the forma
seen there of the Rakshasas that came.' 8 * Quaffing the blood
that ran in streams, they became filled with joy and began
to dance in separate bands. — This is excellent ! — This is pure !
— This is very sweet ! — these were the words they uttered. 1 "
Other carnivorous creatures, subsisting upon animal food,
having gorged upon fat and marrow and bones and blood,
^egan to eat the delicate parts of corpses. 1 ! * Others, drink-
ing the fat that flowed in streams, ran naked over the field.
Possessed of diverse kinds of faces, other carnivorous beings
of great ferocity, and living upon dead flesh, 18 ' came there in
tens of thousands and millions. Grim and gigantic Edkshasas
also of wicked deeds, came there in bands as numerous. ,, •
Other ghostly beings, filled with joy and gorged to satiety,
O king, also came there and were seen in the midst of thatj
dreadful carnage. 1 " When morning dawned, Ac,watthaman
desired to leave the camp. 188 He was then bathed in human
blood, and the hilt of his sword so firmly adhered in his grasp
that his hand and sword, king, became one ! 188 Having
walked in that path that is never trod (by good warriors),
Ac^watbhaman, after that slaughter, looked like the blazing
fire at the end of the Yiif/a after it has consumed all croaturea
into ashes. 1 * Having perpetrated that feat agreeably to his
vow, and having trod in that untrodden way, Drona's son,
O lord, forgot his grief for the slaughter of his sire. 1 * 1 The
Pandava camp, in consequence of the sleep in which all
within it were buried, w c as perfectly still when Drona's son had
entered it in the night. After the nocturnal slaughter, when
all became once more quiet, Ac,watth5xran issued fritt it, 14 *


Having issued from the camp, the valiant Acwatthaman met
his two compassions and, filled with joy, told them his feat,
gladdening them, O king, by the intelligence. 14 ' Those two,
in return, devoted as they were to his good, gave him the
agreeable intelligence of how they also had slaughtered thou-
sands of Panchalas and Srinjayas (at the gates). 144 Even thus
did that night prove terribly destructive to the Somakas who
had been heedless and buried in sleep. 14 ' The course of time,
without doubt, is irresistible. Those who had exterminated
us were themselves exterminated now !! 146

"Dhritarashtra said,— 'Why is it that that mighty car-
warrior, viz., the son of Drona, did not achieve such a feat
before although he had resolutely exerted for bestowing vic-
tory upon Duryodhana ? 147 For what reason did that great
bowman do this after the slaughter of the wretched Duryo-
dhana ? It behoveth thee to tell me this !' 14g

' Sanjaya said,— 'Through fear of the Parthas, son 0/
Kuru's race, Acwatthaman could not achieve »uch a feat then !
It was owing to the absence of the Parthas and the intelligent
Kecava as also of Satyaki, that Drona's son could accomplish
it ! 149 Who is there, the lord Indra unexcepted, that is compe-
tent to slay them in the presence of these heroes ? Besides,
O king, Acwatthaman succeeded in accomplishing the feat
only because the men were all asleep! 1 ' Having caused
that vast slaughter of the Pandava forces, those three great
car-warriors (viz., Acwatthaman and Kripa and Kritavarman),
meeting together, exclaimed,— Good luck ! U1 — His two com-
panions congratulated Acwatthaman, and the latter was also
embraced by them. In great joy the latter uttered these
words :"*— All the Panchalas have been slain as also all the
sons of Draupadi ! All the Somakas also, as well as all that
remained of the Matsyas, have been slaughtered by me I 1 "
Crowned with success, let us without delay go there where the
king is! If the king be still alive, we will give him this joy-
ful intelligence !— ' " m

Section IX.

"Sanjaya said, — 'Having slain all the Panchiilas and the
sons of Draupadi, the three Kuru heroes together came to
that spot where Duryodhana lay, struck down by the foe. 1
Arrived there, they beheld that life had not been wholly
extinct in the king. Jumping down from their cars, they sur-
rounded thy son.* The Kuru king, O monarch, was lying
there with broken thighs. Almost senseless, hi3 life was
about to ebb away. He was vomiting blood at intervals, with
down-cast eyes. 8 He was then surrounded by a large number
of carnivorous animals of terrible forms, and by wolves and
hyenas, that awaited at no great distance for feeding upon his
body.* With great difficulty the king was keeping off those
beasts of prey that stood in expectation of feasting upon him.
He was writhing on the Earth in great agony.* Beholding him
thus lying on the Earth, bathed in his own blood, the three
heroes who were the sole survivors of his army, viz., Acwat-
thaman and Kripa and Kritavarman, became afflicted with
grief and sat surrounding him. 6 Encompassed by those three-
mighty car-warriors who were covered with blood and who
breathed hot sighs, the Kuru king looked like a sacrificial
altar surrounded by three fires. 7 Beholding the king lying in
that highly undeserving plight, the three heroes wept in un-
endurable sorrow. 8 Wiping the blood from off his face with
their hands, they uttered these piteous lamentations in the
hearing of the king lying on the field of battle.'

'"Kripa said, — There is nothing too difficult for Destiny
to bring about, since even this king Duryodhana who was the
lord of eleven Akshauhinis of troops sleepeth on the bare
ground, struck down by the foe and covered with blood !'•
Behold, fond as he was of the mace, that mace decked with
pure gold still lieth by the side of the king whose splendour
still resembles that of pure gold ! M In no battle did that mace
abandon this hero ! Even now, when he is about to ascend to
heaven, that weapon leaveth not this illustrious warrior !'"
Behold, that weapon, adorned with pure gold, still licth by the
side of this hero like a loving wife by the side of her lord


stretched on his bed in his chamber of sleep ! 18 Behold the
reverses brought about by Time ! This scorcher of foes that
used to walk at the head of all crowned kings, now eateth
the dust, struck down (by the foe) !'* He who had formerly
struck down many foes and caused them to lie on the bare
ground, alas, that king of the Kurus lieth today on the bare
ground, struck down by foes !' 5 He to whom hundreds of kings
used to bow down in fear, lieth today on the field of battle,
surrounded by beasts of prey ! 1S The Brahmanas formerly used
to wait upon this lord for wealth ! Alas, beasts of prey wait
upon him today for feeding upon his body ! — ' 17

"Sanjaya continued, — 'Beholding that chief of Kuru's race
lying on the ground, Acwatthaman, best of the Bharatas,
uttered these piteous lamentations : 1S — O tiger among kings,
all people indicated thee as the foremost of all bowmen !
People also said that (in encounters with the mace) thou, a
disciple of Cankarshana, wert like the Lord of treasures,
(viz., Kuvera), himself!' 9 How then, sinless one, could
Bhima notice any laches in thee ! Thou wert ever mighty
and possessed of skill ! He, on the other hand, king, is a
wicked-souled wight ! J0 Without doubt, O monarch, Time in
this world is mightier than everything else, for we behold
even thee struck down by Bhimasena in battle ! S1 Alas, how
could the wretched and mean Vrikodara unrighteously strike
thee down, thee that wert conversant with every rule of
righteousness ! Without doubt, Time is irresistible !* 8 Alas,
having summoned thee to a fair fight, Bhimasena, putting
forth his might, fractured thy thighs ! s8 Fie on that wretched
Yudhishthira who tolerated the head of one unrighteously
struck down in battle to be touched with the foot !"* In all
battles warriors will certainly reprobate Vrikodara as long as
the world will last. Without doubt, thou hast been struck
down unrighteously !*■ The valiant Rama of Yadu's race,
king, always used to say that there is no one equal to Duryo-
dhana in encounters with the mace !"• He of the Vrishni race,
O Bharata, used to boast of thee, lord, in every assembly,
saying, — Duryodhana of Kuru's race is a worthy disciple of
£n nQ jm — Thou hast obtained that end which great Rishi


have declared to be the high reward of a Kshatriya slain
in battle with his face toward? the foe ! ,s I do not, bull
among men, grieve for thee, Duryodhana ! I grieve only
for thy mother Gandhari and thy sire, childless as they now
are!" Afflicted with sorrow, they will have to wander over
the Earth, begging their food ' Fie on Krishna of Vrishni's
race, and on Arjuna of wicked understanding ! 80 They regard
themselves conversant with the duties of morality, yet both
of them stood indifferent whilst thou wert being slain ! How
will the other Panda vas, shameless though they be, king,
speak of the manner in which they have accomplished thy
death ? S1 Thou art highly fortunate, O son of Gandhari,
since thou hast been slain on the field of battle, O bull among
men, while advancing fairly against the foe ! 88 Alas, what
will be the plight of Gandhari who is now childless, and who
hath lost all her kinsmen and relatives ! What also will be the
plight of the blind king ! 88 Fie on Kritavarman, on myself,
as also on the mighty car-warrior Kripa, since we have not
yet gone to heaven with thy royal self before us ! Bl - Fie on us,
lowest of mortals, since we do not follow thee that wert the
grantor of all wishes, the protector of all men, and the bene-
factor of all thy subjects ! M Through thy power, the abodes of
Kripa, of myself, and of my sire, along with those of our
dependants, tiger among men, are full of wealth l n Through
thy grace, ourselves with our friends and relatives have per-
formed many foremost of sacrifices with a profusion of presents
to Brahmanas ! 87 Where shall such sinful persons as our-
selves now go, since thou hast gone to heaven, taking with thee
all the kings of the Earth ? s * Since we three, king, do not
follow thee that art about to obtain the highest end (of life),
it is for this that we aro indulging in such lamentations !"
Deprived of thy companionship, reft of wealth, our memories
painfully dwelling upon thy prosperity, alas, what will be
our lot since we do not go with thee ? i0 Without doubt, O
chief of Kuru's race, we shall have to wander in grief on the
Earth ! Deprived of thee, O king, where can we have peace
and where can we have happiness ? 41 Going from this world,
monarch, and meeting with those mighty car-warriors (that


have preceded thee), show thy regards to them, at my request,
one after another, according to the order of their rank and
years !** Having offered worship to thy preceptor, that fore-
most of all wielders of bows, tell him, O king, that Dhrishta-
dyumna hath been slain by me ! 4S Embrace king Valhika,
that mighty car-warrior, as also the ruler of the Sindhus, and
Sjmadatta, and Bhuricravas, 44 and the other foremost of kings
that have preceded thee to heaven. At my request, embrace
all of them and enquire after their welfare ! — '*'

"Sanjaya continued, — 'Having said these words unto the
king deprived of his senses and lying with broken thighs,
Acwatthaman once more cast his eyes on him and uttered
these words : 46 — If, O Duryodhana, thou hast any life in thee
still, listen to these words that are so pleasant to hear ! On
the side of the Pandavas, only seven are alive, and among the
Dhartarashtras, only we three ! 47 The seven on their side
are the five brothers and Vasudeva and Satyaki ; on our side,
we three are myself and Kripa and Kritavarman ! 48 All the
sons of Draupadi have been slain, as also all the children
of Dhrishtadyumna ! All the Panchalas too have been slain
as also the remnant of the Matsyas, O Bharata! 49 Behold
the vengeance taken for what they had done ! The Pandavas
are now childless ! While buried in sleep, the men and animals
in their camp have all been slain !*° Penetrating into their
camp in the night, O king, I have slain Dhrishtadyumna,
that wight of sinful deeds, as one kills an animal !" — Duryo-
dhana then, having heard those words that were so agreeable
to his heart, regained his senses and said these words in
reply :** — That which neither Ganga's son, nor Kama, nor thy
sire, could achieve, hath at last been achieved by thee today,
accompanied by Kripa and Bhoja !" Thou hast slain that
low wretch (viz., Dhrishtaduymna) who was commander of
the Pandava forces, as also Cikhandin ! In consequence of
this I regard myself equal to Magavat himself! 14 Good be to
you all ! Let prosperity be yours ! All of us will again meet
together in heaven ! — Having said these words the high-souled
king of the Kurus became silent.** Casting off his griefs for
all his (slain) kinsmen, he then gave up his life-breaths, His


soul ascended to sacred heaven, while his body only remained
on Earth." Even thus, O king, thy son Duryodhana breathed
his last! Having provoked the battle first, he was slain by
his foes at last !" The three heroes repeatedly embraced the
king and gazed steadfastly on him. They then ascended
their cars." Having heard these piteous lamentations of
Drona's son, I came away at early dawn towards the city. 19
Even thus the armies of the Kurus and the Pandavas have
been destroyed ! Great and terrible have been that carnage,
O king, caused by thy evil policy ! e0 After thy son ascended
to heaven, I became afflicted with grief and the spiritual sight
which the Rishi gave hath been lost by me !' " 81

Vaic,ampayana continued, — "The king, hearing of his son's
death, breathed long and hot sighs, and became plunged into
great anxiety."'"

Section X.

Vaic,ampayana said, — "After that night had gone away, the
driver of Dhrishtadyumna's car gave intelligence to king
Yudhishthira of the great slaughter that had been caused
during the hour of sleep. 1

"The driver said, — "The sons of Draupadi, king, have
been slain, with all the children of Drupada himself, while
they were heedless and trustfully asleep in their own camp !"
During the night, O king, thy camp has been exterminated
by the cruel Kritavarman, and Kripa the son of Gotama, and
the sinful Ac,watthaman ! 8 Slaying thousands of men and
elephants and steeds with lances and darts and battle-axes,
those men have exterminated thy army !* While thy army
was being slaughtered like a forest cut down with axes, a loud
wail was heard rising from thy camp !' I am the sole survivor,
O monarch, of that vast force ! I have, O thou of virtuous
soul, escaped with difficulty from Kritavarman at a time when
he was heedless!'* — Hearing these evil tidings, Kuuti's son
Yudhishthira, however capable of bearing up (against foes),
fell down on the Earth, afflicted with grief at the loss of his
sons. 7 Advancing forward; Satyaki held the king in his


embrace. Bhimasena and Arjuna and the two sons of Madri
also stretched forth their arms.* Having recovered his senses,
the son of Kunti lamented in great affliction, uttering these
words rendered indistinct by sorrow : 'Alas, having vanquish-
ed the foe, we have ourselves been vanquished in the end [■
The course of events is difficult to be ascertained even by per-
sons endued with spiritual sight ! The foe who were vanquished
have become victorious ! Ourselves, again, while victorious, are
vanquished!' Having slain brothers and friends and sires
and sons and well-wishers, and kinsmen, and counsellors, and
having vanquished them all, we ourselves are vanquished afc
last I 11 Misery looks like prosperity, and prosperity looks like
misery ! This our victory has assumed the shape of defeat.
Our victory, therefore, has ended in defeat ! 18 Having won the
victory, I am obliged to grieve as an afflicted wretch ! How,
then, can I regard it as a victory ? In reality, I have been
doubly defeated by the foe ! 1B They for whose sake we have
incurred the sin of victory by slaying our kinsmen and friends,
alas, they, after victory had crowned them, have been van-
quished by defeated foes that were heedful !'* Alas, through
heedlessness have they been slain that had escaped from even
Kama, that warrior who had barbed arrows and nalikas for his
teeth, the sword for his tongue, the bow for his gaping mouth,
and the twang of the bowstring and the sound of palms for
his roars, — that angry Kama who never retreated from battle,
and who was a very lion among men !""" Alas, those princes
that succeeded in crossing, by boats constituted by their own
excellent weapons, the great Drona-ocean having cars for its
deep lakes, showers of arrows for its waves, the ornaments of
warriors for its gems, car-steeds for its animals, darts and swords
for its fishes, elephants for its alligators, bows for its whirlpools,
mighty weapons for its foam, and the signal of battle for its
moonrise causing it to swell with energy, and the twang of
the bowstring and the sound of palms for its roar,— alas, even
those princes have from heedlessness been slain ! 17 "' 8 There is,
in this world, no more powerful cause of death, as regards men,
than heedlessness ! Prosperity abandons a heedless man from
every side, and every kind of misery overtakes him!" The


tall standard with excellent top that stood on his car was tho
wreath of smoke that infallibly indicated the Bhishma fire.
Shafts constituted its flames, and wrath was the wind 'hat
fanned it ! The twang of his formidable bow and the Bound
of his palms constituted tho roar of that fire. Armour and
diverse kinds of weapons were the homo, libations that
were p nired into it. The vast hostile army was the heap
of drv forest-grass that was assailed by that fire! Ala"',
even they that hid (mitred that firece fire whose terri'ole
enersry was represented by the mighty weap »ns in Bhishma'd
hands, have it la3b fallen through heedlessness! 80 "" A heed
less person can never acquire knowledge, asceticism pros-
perity, or great renown ! Behold, Indra has obtained great
happiness after slaying all his foes heedful ly !" Behold, the
few survivors among our foes have, through our heedlessness,
slain s) many sons and grandsons of kings eacli of whom was
really like Indra himself 1 Alas, they have perished like mer-
chants with rich freights perishiu? through carelessness in a
shallow stream after having crossed the great ocean !"■ Th«v
whose bodies are now lying on the bare ground, slain by
those vindictive wretches, have without doubt ascended to
heaven ! I grieve, however, for the princess Krishna ! Alas,
she will be plunged today in an ocean of grief!'* Hearing
of the slaughter of her brothers and sons and her venerablo
sire, the king of tho Panchalas, without doubt she will full
down senseless on tho Earth! Her body emaciated by grief,
she will not rise again!" Unable to bear the grief resulting
from such affliction, and worthy as she is of happiness, alas,
what will be her plight \ Cut to the quick by the slaughter < f
her sons and brothers, she will be like one scorched by fire ! ,,c
Hiving in deep affliction indulged in these lamentations, that
king of ivuru's race then addressed Nakula, saying. — G > and
bring the unfortunate princess Draupadi here along with all
her maternal relations!' 47 Obediently accepting that com-
mand of the king who equalled Yama himself in righteousness,
Nakula speedily proceeded on his car to the quarters of
Draupadi whore that princess resided with all the wives of
the Pauchala king,*' Having d^'patched the son jf 2iadri,


Yudhishthira, crushed by grief, proceeded, with tears in his
eyes and accompanied by those friends of his, to the field on
which bis sons had battled and which still teemed with diverse
kinds of creatures. 89 Having entered that cursed field abound-
ing with fierce sights, the king saw his sons, well-wishers, and
friends, all lying on the ground, covered with blood, their
bodies mangled, and heads separated from their trunks. 86 Be-

Online LibraryPratap Chandra RoyThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 5) → online text (page 65 of 67)