Copyright
Pratap Chandra Roy.

The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) online

. (page 19 of 42)
Online LibraryPratap Chandra RoyThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) → online text (page 19 of 42)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


on that hero like a mass of clouds showering a heavy down-
pour. Overwhelmed with that arrowy shower, Arjuna looked
like the sun covered by a cloud.^" That foremost son of Pandu,
in the midst of that cloud of arrows, resembled a bird in the
midst of an iron cage, O Bharata I*^ Seeing the son of Kunti
thus a^icted with shafts, cries of oh and alas were uttered by
the three worlds and the Sun himself became shorn of his
splendour.'* Then, O king, a terrible wind began to blow,
and Rilhu swallowed up both the Sun and the Moon at the
same time.'^ Many meteors struck the solar disc and then
shot in different directions. The prince of mountains, viz,,
Kailasa, began to tronible.*" The .seven (celestial) Kishis, as
also the other Rishis of Heaven, penetrated with fear, and
afflicted with grief and sorrow, breathed hot sighs.'' Piercin*-
through the welkin, those meteors fell on the lunar disc as
well. All the points of the compass became filled with smoke



Parva.] acwamedha parva. 193

and assumed a strange aspect. ^^ Rdddish clouds, with flashes
of lightning playing in their midst and the bow of Indra
measuring them from side to side, suddenly covered the welkin
and poured flesh and bloods on the Earth." Even such was
the aspect which all nature assumed when that hero was over-
whelmed with showers of shafts. Indeed, when Phalguna,
that foremost one among the Bharatas, was thus attlicted,
those marvels were seen.^° Overwhelmed by that dense cloud
of arrows, Arjuna became stupefied. His bow, Gandiva, fell
down from his relaxed grip and his leathern fence also slipped
down.^^ When Dhananjaya became stupefied, the Saindhava
warriors once more shot at that senseless warrior, without loss
of time, innumerable other shafts.^^ Understanding that the
son of Pritha was deprived of consciousness, the deities, with
hearts penetrated by fear, began to seek his welfare by utter-
ing diverse benedictions.^^ Then the celestial Rishis, the
seven Rishis, and the regenerate Rishis, became engaged in
silent rev;itations from desire of giving victory to Pritha's son
of great intelligence.^* When at last the energy of Partha
blazed forth through tho?e acts of the denizens of Heaven,
that hero, who was conversant with celestial weapons of high
efficacy, stood immovable like a hill.-^ The delighter of the
Kurus then drew his celestial bow. And as he repeatedly
stretched the bowstring, the twang that followed resembled the
loud sound of some mighty machine.^" Like Purandara pour-
ing rain, the puissant Arjuna then, with that bow of his, poured
incessant showers of shafts on his foes.^^ Pierced by those
shafts the Saindhava warriors with their chiefs became invisi-
ble like trees when covered with locusts.^^ They were fright-
ened at the very sound of Gandiva, and afliiicted by fear they
fled away. In grief of heart they shed tears and uttered loud
lamentations."'* The mighty warrior moved amidst that host
of foes with the celerity of a fiery wheel, all the time piercing
those warriors with his arrows. ^^ Like the great Indra, the
wielder of the thunder-bolt, that slayer of foes, viz., Arjuna,
shot from his bow in every direction that shower of arrows
which resembled a sight produced by magic (instead of any
human agency ).^^ The Kaurava hero, piercing the hostile

[ 25 ]



194 mahabharata! [Anugitd

host with showers of arrows looked resplendent like the autum-
nal Sun when he disperses the clouds with his powerful rays."^'



Section LXXVIII.

Vai^ampayana said, — "The irresistible wielder of Gandiva,
addresfc for battle, stood immovable on the field like Himavat
himself.* The Saindhava warriors, once more rallying, shower-
ed in great wrath repeated down-pours of shafts on him.^
The mighty-armed hero, laughing at his foes, who had once
more rallied but who were on the point of death, addressed
them in these soft words,^ — 'Do ye fight to the best of your
power and do ye endeavour to vanquish me. Do ye,, hoAvever,
accomplish all necessary acts, for a great danger awaits you
all '.* See, I fight all of you, baffling your clouds of arrows !
Bent as you are on battle, tarry a little. I shall soon quell
your pride !'^ The wielder of Gandiva, having said these
words in wrath, recollected, however, the words, O Bharata,
of his eldest brother.® Those words were, — 'Thou shouldst not,

child, slay those Kshatriyas Avho will come against thee for
battle ! They shouM, however, be vanquished by thee !' That
foremost of men, Phalguna, had been thus addressed by king
Yudhishthira the just, of great soul. He, therefore, began to
reflect in this strain. 'Even thus was I commissioned by my
brother. Warriors advancing against me should not be slain. ''"^

1 must act in such a way as not to falsify the words of king
Yudhishthira the just !'® Having arrived at this conclusion,
Phalguna, that foremost of men, then said unto those Sain-
dhavas who were all fierce in battle, these words :*° — 'I say
what is for your benefit. Though staying before me, I do not
wish to slay you. He amongst you who will say unto me that
he has been vanquished by me and that he is mine, will be
spared by me.** Having heard these words of mine, act to-
wards me in that way which may best conduce to your benefit !
By acting in a different way you will place yourselves in a
situation of great fear and danger.'*- Having said these Avords
unto those heroic Avarriors, the chief of the Kurus began to
fight them. Arjuna Avas inflamed with Avrath. His foes, de-



Parva.] acwamedha parva! 195

sirous of victory, were equally enraged,** The Saindhavas
then, O king, shot hundreds and thousands of straight arrows
at the wielder of Gandiva.** Dhananjaya, with his own
whetted shafts, cut off those arrows of sharp and terrible
points, resembling snakes of virulent poision, before they could
come up to him.*® Having cut off tho?e sharp arrows equipt
with Kanka-feathers, Arjuna pierced each of the warriors
opposed to him with a whetted shaft." The Saindhava Ksha-
triyas, recollecting that it was Dhananjaya who had slain their
king Jayadratha, then hurled at him darts and javelins with
great force.*'' The diadem-decked Dhananjaya of great might
baffled their intent by cutting off all those weapons before any
of them could reach him. At length the son of Pandu be-
came highly angry.*^ With many straight and broad-headed
arrows, he felled the heads of many of those warriors who
were rushing at him from desire of victory.*^ Many fled,
many rushed at Arjuna; many moved not; all of them, how-
ever, uttered such a loud noise (of wrath and grief ) that it
resembled the roar of the ocean. ^^ As they were slain by
Partha of immeasurable might, they fought him, each accord-
ing to his strength and prowess.^* Their animals being all
exhausted, Partha succeeded in depriving a large number of
those warriors of their senses by means of his sharpest shafts
in that battle.^^ Then Dus9ala, their queen, the daughter of
Dhritarashtra, knowing that they were rendered cheerless by
Arjuna, took her grandson in her arms and repaired to Arjuna.^*
The child was the son of Suratha (the son of Jayadratha).
The brave prince proceeded to his maternal uncle on his car
for the safety of all the Saindhava warriors.^* The queen,
arrived at the presence of Dhananjaya, began to weep in
sorrow. The ]3uissant Dhananjaya, seeing her, cast off his
bow.^® Abandoning his bow, Partha duly received his sister
and enquired of her as to what he could do for her. The
queen replied unto him, saying,^® — O chief of the Bharatas,
this child is the son of thy sister's son ! He salutes thee, O
Partha ! Look at him, O foremost of men l"''^ Thus address-
ed by her, Partha enquired after his son (Suratha), saying. —
'Where is he ?'f Dusgala then answered him, saying,— 'Burn-



106 MAHABTLvnATA [Anugii3

iiig with grief on account of the slaughter of his sire, the
heroic father of tliis child died in great affliction of heart.
Listen to me as to how he met with his death.^° 'O Dhanan-
jaya, he had heard before that his sire Jayadratha had been
slain by thee, O sinless one ! Exceedingly afflicted with grief
at this, and hearing of thy arrival here as the follower and
protector of the sacrificial horse, he at once fell down and gave
up his life-breaths. Verily, deeply afflicted with grief as he
Avas, as soon as he heard of thy arrival, he gave up his life.
Seeing him prostrate on the Earth; O lord, I took his infant
son with me and have come to thee, desirous of thy protec-
tion.' Having said these words, the daughter of Dhritarashtra
began to lament in deep affliction. ^°''"* Arjuna stood before her
in great cheerlessness ©f heart. His face was turned towards
the Earth. The cheerless sister then said unto her brother,
Avho was equally cheerless, these words: 'Behold thy sister!
Behold the child of thy sister's son !** O perpetuater of Kuru's
race, O thou that art fully conversant with every duty, it
behooveth thee to show mercy to this child, forgetting the
Kuru prince (Duryodhana) and the wicked Jayadratha !^^
Even as that slayer of hostile heroes, Parikshit, has been born
of Abhimanyu, so has this mighty-armed child, my grandson,
sprung from Suratha !^® Taking him with me, O chief of
men, I have come to thee, desirous of the safety of all the
warriors ! Do thou listen to these word.s of mine l^'' This
child of that wicked foe of thine hath now come to thee, O
raighty-armed hero. It behooveth thee, therefore, to show
mercy to this infant !^® O chastiser of foes, this infant seeks
to gratify thee by bending his head. He solicits thee for
peace ! O mighty-armed hero, be inclined to make peace !^°
O thou that art conversant with every duty, be thou gratified
with the child whose friends and kinsmen have all been slain
and who himself knows nothing of what has happened ! Do
not yield to wrath l^° Forgetting his disreputable and cruel
grandfather, who offended against thee so highly, it behooveth
thee to show thy grace towards this child !'" Recollecting
queen Gandhari and king Dhritarashtra, Dhananjaya, afflicted
with "rief, addressed Dusc^ala who had said so unto him, and



Parva.] acwamedha p vrva. 197

answered her, censuring Kshatriya practices the while. *^ 'Fie
on Duryodhana, that mean wight, covetous of kingdom and
full of vanity ! Alas, it was for him that all my kinsmen
have been despatched by me to the abode of Yama !'*^ Hav-
ing said so, Dhananjaya comforted his sister and became in-
clined to make peace. Cheerfully he embraced her and then
dismissed her, telling her to return to her palace.** Dus'^ala
bade all her warriors disist from that great battle, and wor-
shiping Partha, she of beautiful face retraced her steps to-
wards her abode.*^ Having vanquished fhose heroes, viz., the
Saindhavas, thus, Dhananjaya began to follow that steed which
roved at its will.*^ The heroic Arjuna duly followed that sacri-
ficial horse even as the divine wielder of Pinaka had in days
of yore followed the deer through the firmament.**^ The
steed, at its will, wandered through various realms one after
another, enhancing the feats of Arjuna.*^ In course of time,
O chief of men, the horse, wandering at its pleasure, at last
arrived within the dominions of the ruler of Manipura, follow-
ed by the son of Pandu."*^



Section LXXTX.

Vaiqampayana said, — "The ruler of Manipura, Vabhruva-
hana, hearing that his sire Arjuna had arrived within his
dominions, went out with humility, with a number of Brah-
manas and some treasure in his van.-|-^ Remembering, how-
ever, the duties of Kshatriyas, Dhananjaya of great intelli-
gence, seeing the ruler of Manipura arrive in that guise, did
not approve of it.^ The righteous souled Phalguna angrily
said, — This conduct of thine is not becoming. Thou hast cer-
tainly fallen away from Kshatriya duties.^ I have come here
as the protector of Yudhishthira's sacrificial horse. Why, O
son, wilt thou not fight me, seeing that I have come within
thy dominions ?* Fie on thee, thou of foolish understanding,

* The allusion is to Mahadeva's pursuing sacrifice when the latter
fled from hira in the form of a deer. — T.

t The Brahmanas were to receive Arjuna duly and the treasure iwas
intended as a present or offering of respect. — T.



19S MAHARHARATA. [AniigltH

fie on thee that hast fallen away from Kshatriya duties !
Fie on thee that would receive me peacefully even though I
have come here for battling with thee !° In thus receiving me
peacefully thou actest like a woman. thou of wretched un-
derstanding, if I had come to thee, leaving aside my arms,*
then would this behaviour of thine have been fit, O worst of
men !' Learning that these words were addressed by her
husband, the daughter of the Snake-king, viz., Ulupi, unable
to talerate it, pierced through the Earth and came up to that
spot.* She beheld her son standing there perfectly cheerless
and with face hanging down.''"® Indeed, the prince was re-
peatedly rebuked by his sire who was desirous of battle with
him, O monarch ! The daughter of the snake, with every
limb possessed of beauty,' viz., Ulupi, said these words con-
sistent with righteousness and duty unto the prince who was
conversant with righteousness and duty. — 'Know that I am
thy mother Ulupi that am the daughter of a snake !^° Do
thou accomplish my behest, O son, for thou wouldst then
attain to great merit. Fight thy father, this foremost ore of
Kuru's race, this hero that is irresistible in battle !^^ Without
doubt, he will then be gratified with thee !' In this way was
king Vabhruvahana incited against his sire by his (step)
mother.^^ At last, endued as he was with great energy, he
made up his mind, O chief of the Bharatas, to fight Dhanan-
jaya. Putting on his armour of bright gold and his effulgent
head-gear,^^ he ascended an excellent car which had hundreds
of quivers ready on it. That car was equipt with necessaries
for battle and had steeds yoked to it that were endued with
the speed of the mind.^* It had excellent wheels and a strong
Upashkara, and was adorned with golden ornaments of every
kind. Raising his standard which was decorated most beauti-
fully and which bore the device of a lion in gold, the hand-
some prince Vabhruvahana proceeded against his sire for
battle.^^ Coniing upon the sacrificial steed which was protect-
ed by Partha, the heroic prince caused it to be seized by per-
sons well-versed in horse-lore.^^ Beholding the steed seized,

* Ulupi was one of the wives of Arjuna. She was, therefore, the
step -mother of Vabhruvahana,— T.



Parva.] acwamedha parva. 199

Dhananjaya became filled with joy. Standing on the Earth,
that hero began to resist the advance of his son who was on
his car." The king afflicted the hero with repeated showers
of shafts endued with whetted points and resembling snakes
of virulent poison.^^ The battle that took place between sire
and son was incomparable. It resembled the encounter be-
tween the deities and the Asuras of old. Each was gratified
with obtaining the other for an antagonist.^® Then Vabhru-
vahana, laughing, pierced the diadem- decked Arjuna, that
foremost of men, in the shoulder with a straight shaft."° Equipt
with feathers, that shaft penetrated Arjuna's body like a snake
penetrating on an anthill. Piercing the son of Kunti through,
the shaft, went deep into the Earth. ^^ Feeling acute pain,
the intelligent Dhananjaya rested awhile, supporting himself
on his excellent bow. He stood, having recourse to his celes-
tial energy and seemed to outward appearance like one depriv-
ed of life.^" That foremost of men, then regaining conscious-
ness, praised his son highly. Possessed of great splendour, the
son of Cakra said,"^ — Excellent, Excellent, mighty armed
one, O son of Chitrangada ! O son, beholding this feat, so
worthy of thee, I am highly gratified with thee !^* I shall
now shoot these arrows at thee, son ! Stand for fight (with-
out running away) !' Having said these words, that slayer of
foos shot a shower of arrows on the prince.^^ King Vabhru-
vahana, however, with his own broad-headed shafts, cut all
those arrows which were shot from Gandiva and which resem-
bled the thunder bolt of Indra in splendour, some in twain
and some into three parts.^® Then the standard, decked with
gold and resembling a golden palmyra, on the king's car was
cut off by Partha with some excellent shafts of his."^ The son
of Pandu, laughing, next slew the king's steeds endued with
large size and great speed.^® Descending from his car, the
king, inflamed with rage, fought his sire on foot.^® Gratified
with the prowess of his son, that foremost one of the sons of
Pritha, viz., the son of the wielder of the thunder- bolt, began
to afflict him greatly.^" The mighty Vabhruvahana, thinking
that his father was no longer able to face him, again afflicted
him with many shafts resenibling snakes of virulent poison.^^



200 MAi[AB]TAU\TA [Anugltd

From a spirit of bo3ishiie.ss he then vigorously pierced his
f-ifcher in the bieist with a whetted shoft equipt with excellent
wings.^^ That shaft, king, penetrated the body of Pandu's
son and reaching his very vitals cau8ed him great pain. The
delighter of the Kurus, Dhananjaya, deeply pierced therewith
by his soii,'^* then fell down in a swoon on the Earth, king !
When that hero, that bearer of the biirthens of the Kurus,
fell down, the son of Chitrangada also became deprived of his
senses. The latter's swoon was dne to his exertions in battle
as also to his grief at seeing his sire slain. ^•'"^-'^ He had been
pierced deeply by Arjuna with clouds of arrows. He, there-
fore, fell down at ihe van of battle en.bracing the Earth.'^^
Hearing that her husband had been slain and that her son had
fallen down on the Earth, Chitrangada, in great agitation of
mind, repaired to the field of battle. ^^ Her heart burning
with sorrow, weeping piceously the while, and trembling all
over, tlie mother of the ruler of Manipura saw her slain hus-
ba-nd.''^*^



Section LXXX.

Vaitjamp.ayana said, — "That lady of eyes like lotus petal^^,
having indulged in copious lamentations, and burning with
grief, at last lost her senses and fell down on the Earth. ^ Re-
gaining consciousness and seeing Ulupi, the daughter of the
snake chief, queen Chitrangada endued with celestial beauty,
said unto her these words .•'^ — 'Behold, Ulupi, our ever-vic-
torious husband si lin in battle, through thee, by my son of
tender yeirs !'^ Art thou conversant with the practices of the
respectable ? Art thou a wife devoted to thy lord ? It is
through thy deed that tliy hu^ib^,nd is laid low, slain in battle '*
If Dhananjaya hath offended ag:iinst tliee in every respect,
do thou forgive him ! I solicit thee, do thou revive that hero !^
O righteous lady, thou ;irt conveisant with piety. Thou art,
O blessed one, known (for thy virtues) over the tliree worlds !
How is it that having; caused thy husband to be slain bv thv
son thou dost not indulge in grief ?" O daughter of the snake
chief, I do not grieve for my slain son ! I grieve for only my



Parva.] ACWAMEDHA PARVa! 201

husband who has received this hospitality from his son !'^
Having said these words unto the queenly Ulupi the daughter
of the snake chief, the illustrious Chitrangada proceeded to
where her husband lay on the Earth and addressing him,
said,^— 'Rise, dear lord, thou occupiest the foremost place in
the affections of the Kuru king (Yudhishthira) ! Here is
that steed of thine ! It has been set free by me !° Verily,
O puissant one, this sacrificial steed of king Yudhishthira the
just should be followed by thee ! Why then dost thou lies still
on the Earth ?^° My life-breaths depend on thee, O delighter
of the Kurus ! How is it that he who is the giver of other
people's life-breaths casts off his own life-breaths today ?^^
Behold, Ukipi, this goodly sight of thy husband lying pros-
trate on the ground 1 How is it that thou dost not grieve,
having caused him to be slain through thy son whom thou
didst excite with thy words ?'' It is fit that this boy should
succumb to the power of death and lie thus on the ground
beside his own sire ! Oh, let Vijaya, let him that is called
Gudake9a, let this hero with reddish eyes, come back to life !^'
O blessed lady, palygamy is no fault with men. Women only
incur fault by taking more than one husband. Do not, there-
fore, harbour such thoughts (of vengeance) !*" This relation-
ship was ordained by the Suprerae ordainer himself It is,
besides, an eternal and unchangeable one. Do thou attend
to that relationship. Let thy union (with Dhananjaya) be
made true !^^ If, having slain thy husband through thy son,
thou dosfc not revive him today before my eyes, I shall then
cast off my life-breaths '.'^ Without doubt, O reverend lady,
afflicted as I am with grief and deprived as I am of both
husband and son, I shall sit here today in frayi in thy very
si-^-ht !'^'' Havinc'- said so unto the daughter of the snake chief,
who was a co wife with her to Arjuna, the princess Chaitra-
vahini sat in Prdya, king, restraining speech. 'f^^

* 'Vahubliaryyata,' meaning polygamy in the first line, should, as
the noun of reference for Ttliah' be taken as 'vahunam bharyyata,' i-, e.,
palyandry, in the second line. — T.

t To sit in Pr'iya is to remain seated in a particular spot, abstain-
ing from food and drink, with a view to cast off one's life-breaths. — T.

I 20 ]



202 MaITabhauata. [Anugltii

Vai^ampayana continued, — "Ceasing to lament, the cheer-
less queen, taking upon her lap the f^et of her husband, sat
there, sighing heavily and wishing also the restoration of her
son to life.-'^ King Vabhruvahana then, regaining conscious-
ness, saw his mother seated in that guise on the field of battle.
Addressing her he said,"'' — 'What can be more painful than
the sight of my mother, who has been brought up in luxury,
lying on the bare ground beside her heroic husband stretched
thereon ?"^ Alas, this slayer of all foes, this foremost of all
wielders of weapons, hath been slain by me in battle ! It is
evident tUat men do not die till their hour comes !* - Oh,
the heart of this princess seems to be very hard since it does
not break even at the sight of her mighty-armed and broad-
chested husband lying dead on the ground !-^ It is evident
that one does not die till one's hour comes, since neither my-
self, nor my mother is deprived of life (at even such a sight) !"*
Alas, alas, the golden coat of mail of this foremost hero of
Kuru's race, slain by me, his son, knowingly, is lying on the
ground, cut off from his body !-^ Alas, ye Brahmanas, behold
my heroic sii'e lying prostrate on the Earth, on a hero's bed,
slain by his son !-^ What benefit is done to this hero, slain by
me in battle, by those Brahmanas who were commissioned to
attend upon this foremost one of Kuru's race engaged in
following the steed ?"' Let the Brahmanas direct what ex-
piation should now be undergone by me, a cruel and sinful
wretch, that has slain his own sire in battle '.-^ Having slain
n'iy own sire, I should, suffering every kind of misery, wander
over the Earth, cruel that I am, covering myself with his
skin l"^ Give me the two halves of my sire's head today, (so
that I may wander over the Earth with them for that period),
for there is no other expiation for me that have slain my own
sire !^° Behold, daughter of the foremost of snakes, thy
husband slain by me ! A^erily, by slaing Arjuna in battle I
have accomplished what is agreeable to thee '/'^ I shall today
follow in the track by which my sire has gone ! blessed



* The sense is, 'grief does not kill ; that one does not die till one's
hour conies If it were otherwise, I would have died, ^^o heavy is the
load of rov alHiction !'— T.



Parva.) acwamedha parvaI 203

one, I am unable to comfort myself !^- Be happy today, O
mother, seeing myself and the wielder of Gandiva both em-
brace death today. I swear to thee by truth itself (that I
shall cast off my life- breaths) !'^^ Having said these words»
the king, deeply afflicted with grief, monarch, touched
■water, and exclaimed in sorrow,^* — 'Let all creatures, mobile
and immobile, listen to me ! Do thou also listen to me,

mother ! I say the truth, O best of all daughters of the
snakes !^° If this best of men, Jaya, my sire, does not rise up,

1 shall emaciate my own body, sitting on the field of battle l'^'^
Having slain my sire, there is no rescue for me (from that
dire sin). Atflicted as I am with the sin of slaying my sire,
I shall without doubt have to sink in Hell.^^ By slaying a



Online LibraryPratap Chandra RoyThe Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 9) → online text (page 19 of 42)