Duryodhana watched in despair as the tables turned right before his eyes. He had a simple plan, hardly anything devious. All he had wanted was for Abhimanyu to be alone inside the Chakravyuha, so that the Kauravas may be able to kill Abhimanyu.
But then the way Abhimanyu fought, it was almost as if, he had sworn to finish the battle singlehanded. Duryodhana looked at Jayadratha who was still preventing the other Pandavas from entering as a really horrible thought entered his mind….Instead of keeping the Pandavas out, was Jayadratha keeping the Kauravas sealed inside with Abhimanyu?
Angrily Duryodhana shook his head, wondering why he was thinking such useless thoughts. Abhimanyu was a warrior of the Pandavas and their youngest and probably least experiences one. If the others found it difficult to face him, then it was Duyodhana’s duty as king to finish off the young warrior. Without a word to anyone else, Duryodhana angrily commanded his charioteer to go towards Abhimanyu.
The minute he drove away, Dronacharya saw the foolishness of Duryodhana. In the wonderful form that Abhimanyu was exhibiting, Dronacharya realized that Duryodhana would last no more than a few seconds against the boy. He yelled loudly at Duryodhana, asking him to come back. Either Duryodhana did not hear him or did not care.
Dronacharya called on the other warriors. ‘PROTECT THE KING!’ He shouted loudly as he himself drove towards Duryodhana. Dronacharya was closely followed by Ashwattaman, Kripa, Karna, Kritavarman and a host of other warriors, as they tried to reach Duryodhana before he reached Abhimanyu.
Meanwhile Abhimanyu saw Duryodhana coming towards him and pulled out a gleaming arrow. He realized that Duryodhana was foolishly providing himself as an excellent target and pulled back the arrow. Abhimanyu let the arrow go, when the arrow was cut off. Abhimanyu angrily looked about and saw that Duryodhana was not alone. He was surrounded by all the warriors of the Kaurava army.
Duryodhana smiled smugly at the boy, as he realized that the young warrior was completely at his mercy….
That was when all hell broke loose….
Duryodhana was shocked as Karna - his best friend, the man whom he believed to be the best archer in the world, had an arrow whizzing towards him. Abhimanyu shot the arrow with so much force and accuracy that the arrow entered Karna’s body and passed out through the other end. Duryodhana yelled as he saw Karna fall down heavily on the chariot.
‘KARNA!’ Duryodhana’s shout was lost in the clamour of the bow twanging and swords clanging. Duryodhana did not even notice that the boy was far from done. Sushena, Drighalochana and Kundavedhin – three Kaurava warriors fell dead before Duryodhana could even register it.
But then Karna was a strong man. He got up from the chariot and tried his best to contain Abhimanyu. Karna was ably assisted by Ashwattaman and Kritivarman. Despite this, Abhimanyu not only countered them, he was even able to shoot Salya, the king of Madras. The shot pierced Salya very badly as Salya fainted away in the chariot. Luckily for Salya, his charioteer drove him away before the boy could actually kill him.
Duryodhana watched as Salya’s younger brother foolishly attacked Abhimanyu and lost his life almost immediately. And after that, Duryodhana was aghast as Abhimanyu pulled out the same kind of weapons that Arjuna had with him. Duryodhana did not know it, but Abhimanyu not only had the knowledge of weapons which Arjuna had given him. What Abhimanyu was using was more than that. Because Abhimanyu was also a student of Krishna…The Dark Lord had taught Abhimanyu a lot more than Arjuna ever could. And now Abhimanyu was putting almost each and every one in effect against the Kauravas, inside the Chakravyugha. With nowhere to run, the Kauravas were being systematically killed by Abhimanyu.
Dronacharya watched the boy and despite himself shook his head in wonder. He turned to Kripa. ‘That boy is greater than all his uncles put together! If he wants to, he can finish the war today! I do not think that there is any archer who is equal to him! I wonder what is stopping him from unleashing his true potential!’ Dronacharya mused almost helpless before the boy’s archery.
Unfortunately for Drona, his words were heard by the one person in the Kaurava army who already mistrusted him – Duryodhana.
Duryodhana looked around his group of warriors and angrily cursed Dronacharya. ‘I have heard that Dronacharya is one of the best warriors in the world!’ Duryodhana said sneering at Dronacharya. ‘I have heard that even the Devas themselves fear him! And he is here praising that young boy!’ Duryodhana angrily pointed at the young Abhimanyu who was hunting the Kaurava soldiers. ‘That boy is a nobody! He is as ordinary a warrior as anyone else! Dronacharya is not fighting the battle to the best of his abilities and is trying to make us believe that Abhimanyu is a great warrior!’ Duryodhana spat out angrily.
Dusshansana looked angrily at Abhimanyu and then turned to Duryodhana. ‘You speak the truth, brother! Watch what I do now!’ Without another word Dusshasana turned his chariot and drove towards the fierce Abhimanyu.
‘I will kill you!’ Dusshasana said angrily pulling out his arrow shooting at Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu studied the Kaurava prince as he was shouting loudly and shooting arrows.
‘You have come to me, yourself!’ Abhimanyu said with a quiet smile. ‘Mother Krishna, (As Draupadi had a dark complexion, she also had another name – Krishna) is dear to me like my own mother! Your vile hands disgraced her! Today…’ Abhimanyu said shooting arrows to counter all of Dusshasana’s arrows. ‘I will free myself of the debt I owe her, my father and my uncle Bheema!’ Abhimanyu watched as Dusshasana was lying helpless before him. ‘They will be happy to hear the news of your death!’ Abhimanyu said as he let the arrow go. The arrow went straight inside Dusshasana, who stared bleary eyed at Abhimanyu, completely helpless. Abhimanyu was about to shoot the next arrow, which could have killed Dusshasana when Dusshasana’s charioteer luckily drove the unconscious warrior away….
‘Dusshasana!’ Duryodhana whispered unable to believe what he was just seeing. He looked at Karna with glazed eyes. ‘My brother….’ Duryodhana said, unable to complete the sentence.
Karna took Duryodhana’s hands. ‘I am here, my friend!’ so saying Karna picked up his bow and was off to meet the young warrior.
The clash between Abhimanyu and Karna was a beautiful sight with neither giving an inch to the other. All the arrows never reached either side as they were broken almost as soon as they left the bow of the archer. It went on for a long time, when suddenly Karna gained a small advantage. His arrow pierced Abhimanyu’s defence.
It would have stopped any other warrior. But the only thing it did to Abhimanyu was make him more angry. Abhimanyu pulled out his next arrow and with great swiftness cut off Karna’s standard and bow, in one arrow.
Karna was almost defenceless before the young warrior when Karna’s younger brother charged ahead. Karna’s younger brother was unable to believe that Abhimanyu had been able to render his brother defenceless and charged angrily at the young boy, helping Karna get away.
But then, Karna’s brother’s act was in vain. Abhimanyu killed Karna’s younger brother in almost no time…..