The Nishadas and the Kalingas found themselves facing Abhimanyu. They really never had hope against him. But that was not the purpose of their counter attack. The Nishadas and Kalingas did exactly what Duryodhana wanted. They kept Abhimanyu occupied inside the Vyugha, so that he could not attack Jayadratha.
Abhimanyu laid waste to more than half the Kaurava army and had killed far too many Maharathas to even be counted. In one particular encounter, Abhimanyu killed five warriors – Satrunjaya, Chadraketu, Mahamegba, Suvarchas and Suryobhasa. And then Abhimanyu attacked the warrior standing next to them – who happened to be Shakuni. Barely surviving the attack, Shakuni galloped over to where Duryodhana was there. ‘We cannot attack this boy alone!’ he gasped. ’If each one of us attack him singly, he will take out all of us! We need to attack him together!'
Karna who heard this, drove his chariot to Drona. ‘If we don’t do something now, this boy is going to kill all of us! We would not even have people to fight the battle tomorrow! What can we do now?’ Karna demanded.
The teacher in Drona was actually aroused by Abhimanyu’s fighting technique. He realized that Abhimanyu was a far better warrior than many that he had taught. ‘I cannot detect a flaw in his fighting! I doubt anyone here has seen any flaw in Abhimanyu’s fighting technique! The time taken for him to draw the arrow and fire it….it is so quick that we see almost nothing!’ Drona said with an almost wondrous expression.
‘Acharya!’ Karna shouted trying to get the teacher’s attention. ‘This boy has attacked me and wounded me so badly that all I want to do is go back to my tent! It is only because I am required to fight that I am staying here! We need to stop him!’ Karna said fiercely.
Drona nodded absently. ‘His father has taught him to wear his armour such that weapons cannot pierce it!’
Karna was about to shout when Drona held up his hands. ‘As long as he has his bow, he cannot be defeated! Not you, not me, no one can defeat him! Attack him together if you wish to defeat him….’
Karna nodded as he looked at Abhimanyu who was attacking another warrior.
As Abhimanyu was attacking the other warrior, Karna shot at Abhimanyu and broke Abhimanyu’s bow. Abhimanyu was shocked that someone could attack him when he was fighting with some other warrior…and looked up angrily, when another shock hit him. Kritivarman killed Abhimanyu’s horses and Kripacharya killed Abhimanyu’s charioteer….
And so the young boy was right in the middle of the Vyugha without his chariot and even without his bow, facing six of the greatest warriors of the Kaurava army. That would have stopped many warriors, or atleast make them hesitate before they attacked. But apparently, Abhimanyu did not fall within that category of warriors.
After the initial shock, Abhimanyu pulled out his sword and mercilessly started attacking all those who had the misfortune of attacking him. Even with the sword Abhimanyu was getting quiet out of hand, when Dronacharya shot at Abhimanyu’s sword and broke it. At the same time, Karna shot at Abhimanyu’s shield repeatedly as the shield also lay broken in the middle of the battlefield.
The Kaurava warriors watched shocked as Abhimanyu lifted up a huge chariot wheel from the battlefield and twirled it around attacking everyone trying to make it towards Drona. Even at this time, the Kaurava soldiers were actually filled with fear of Abhimanyu that the boy was somehow going to be the death of them as they tried to stay away from him. Veda Vyasa in the Mahabharatha said that at time with the wheel in his hand, Abhimanyu looked like the second Krishna in the battlefield….
However the Kaurava Maharathas destroyed the wheel as it shattered into a hundred pieces. Abhimanyu stumbled around in the battlefield and he picked up the first thing which came to his hands, mostly out of self defence than anything else. The thing that Abhimanyu picked up happened to be a, mace belonging to one of the many who had lost their lives in the battlefield that day…
Using the mace, Abhimanyu attacked the person closest to him who was Ashwattaman. Ashwattaman was flabbergasted as he was unable to react as he saw the young boy swing the mace effortlessly, at him. Ashwattaman jumped back, almost running away from the scene, when the mace fell on Ashwattaman’s horses killing them and the charioteer almost immediately.
Probably Abhimanyu realized that his time was approaching real fast and that he had to make every second count…Because now the slew of arrows from the Kaurava soldiers pierced Abhimanyu causing real harm and injury to the young boy….With that and without his bow, and without his chariot, Abhimanyu went on to wreck havoc on the Kaurava army. It is said that Abhimanyu killed ten chariot warriors and ten huge elephants at this stage….And the next in Abhimanyu’s target was Dusshasana’s son.
Abhimanyu destroyed Dusshasana’s son’s chariot as Dusshasana’s son fell down hard on the battlefield.
Without wasting a second, Dusshasana’s son pulled out his own mace as the two warriors eyed each other…..
Abhimanyu’s mace caught Dusshasana’s son right in his chest as he fell down hard, but not before he was able to push Abhimanyu down. Both the warriors were on the ground, when Dusshasana’s son got up first and he hit Abhimanyu…..
For a second there was absolute silence in the entire battlefield. That the sun had set and the day’s battle was over was something that almost no one noticed. All that the Kaurava soldiers were wondering was why Abhimanyu was not getting up…..
The 13th day of the battle and Dronacharya’s promise to Duryodhana had taken its toll.
Arjuna and Subhadra had lost their sixteen year old boy to the Kurukshetra war…..