Friday, October 31, 2014

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 42

Every time Arjuna had Jayadraratha in his eye sight, one of the six Kaurava warriors surrounding Arjuna would attack Arjuna. The trick here was fairly simple. None of the Kaurava warriors were trying to kill Arjuna. They were just trying to delay him.
And Arjuna also showed the Kaurava warriors all that he could do. He darkened the skies, hoping to confuse the warriors as Krishna plodded through the battlefield driving towards Jayadratha.
Drona, Ashwattaman, Kripa, Shalya and Karna who were around Arjuna had their job cut out for them. No matter how much close Krishna got to Jayadratha, the warriors made sure that Arjuna was distracted by the other warriors and could not fight Jayadratha.
Watching the skies as darkened by Arjuna, Krishna knew that it was time that he took matters into his own hands.
Partha, there is something that I should tell you,” Krishna said gravely, making sure Arjuna was the only person who heard him.
Firing arrows almost by throngs, Arjuna nodded as Krishna continued, “Two things – first you must know about King Vriddhaksha.” Krishna said, steering the chariot towards Jayadratha as Kripa had just interfered with another arrow, which Arjuna had fired at Jayadratha.
King Vriddhaksha is the father of Jayadratha. What of him, my Lord?” Arjuna asked as he had hit Karna with thirty two arrows and had pushed Karna back.
King Vriddhaksha’s only son is Jayadratha and as soon as Jayadratha was born, a heavenly voice proclaimed that Jayadratha would be good warrior among both the solar and the lunar clans. But, the heavenly voice also proclaimed one more thing,” Krishna gave Arjuna a knowing glance as he continued. “The heavenly voice said that a great warrior would kill Jayadratha by beheading him in the battle.
Arjuna frowned. He had just pierced Drona with fifty arrows and Vrishasena with three arrows as he realized that Krishna’s story was very important and nodded his head, arrows still flying thick from his hands.
As soon as Vriddhaksha heard this, he was filled with remorse. Vriddhaksha loved his son so much that he could bear the destiny which was written for his son. Vriddhaksha let out a curse that any person who let his son’s head roll on the ground, would himself die the minute his son’s head fell on the ground.
Now Arjuna was troubled as he fired nine arrows at Kripa. He realized that when he had decided to kill Jayadratha, he was courting death. And Arjuna realized that whether he succeeded or failed, he could die because of it.
What can I do, Krishna?” Arjuna asked as Krishna veered the chariot sharply towards the right trying to reach Jayadratha, as Krishna realized that he had very little time.
When Vriddhaksha heard his son’s destiny, he gave up his throne to his son and went to the forests to meditate for his son. In fact, right now Vriddhaksha is performing penance just near the battlefield.” Krishna finished.
Now Arjuna nodded smiling grimly, as he let his arrows fly sharper. “The second thing, my Lord?” Arjuna asked immediately.
The Kauravas do not have to stop you my friend,” Krishna said with a sad smile. “They just have to delay you. And they are delaying you.”
Arjuna frowned as Krishna nodded. “I am a yogi and I have immense powers of my own. I intend to use it for you.” Krishna said simply.
Arjuna frowned again as Krishna gave him a cryptic smile. “Just do not believe that the sun has set. Not just yet.” Krishna said as he closed his eyes, stopping the chariot where all the warriors including Jayadratha were around Arjuna attacking him.
And then the impossible happened.
The Kaurava army watched with bated breath as the red sun set suddenly and plunged the entire battlefield in darkness. Arjuna’s had affixed his arrow straight on Jayadratha’s head when the darkness spread over them.
For a huge second Arjuna faltered. He had failed...He had....And in the surrounding the Kaurava soldiers were jeering in joy.
The sun has set.” One of the warriors cried in joy.
Arjuna has failed to keep his vow.” Another one screamed.
Arjuna heard the whoop of shout coming from Jayadratha and things were getting a little hazy for Arjuna and that was when Krishna’s words came to him.
And Arjuna in a flash, hit all the warriors of the Kaurava army, and in the end pulled out a fiery arrow, made specially for killing Jayadratha and in the darkness, pointed it at Jayadratha and let the arrow fly.

Vriddhaksha was in the forest meditating, and through his powers, he saw the happenings in the Kurukshetra battle. And Krishna’s Maya was powerful. Even Vriddhaksha believed that the sun had set and sighed in relief, thinking that his son was safe.
Vriddhaksha closed his eyes and Vriddhaksha meditated thanking the Gods for sparing his son's life. The sage-king was lost in his meditation and did not notice that Arjuna’s arrow had found its mark and Arjuna, the warrior of great prowess had done the impossible. Arjuna had cheated death, despite killing Vriddhaksha's son.
Because Arjuna fired the arrow such that, the arrow made off with Jayadratha’s head and flew straight and landed on the lap of Vriddhaksha, who was meditating.
Vriddhaksha opened his eyes and got up when the head in his lap rolled to the ground. Unfortunately, Vriddhaksha became the reason for his son’s head to fall on the ground and Vriddhaksha died because of his own curse.
Arjuna shouted hoarsely, as soon he killed Jayadratha. It was over. The entire day was over....
The Kaurava soldiers were confused because none of them could believe what Arjuna had just done. Arjuna had killed Jayadratha after the sun had set.
But before the Kauravas could understand, something even more terrifying happened. The sudden darkness surrounding the field had disappeared. The sun appeared in the sky like always, looking like it had just about to set.
Arjuna and Krishna both pulled out their conches and blew loudly on it.
Bhima saw what had happened and let out a loud roar, loud enough to reach Yudhishtara who was on the other side of the battlefield.
Yudhishtara smiled without meaning to as he realized that all this meant only one thing.

Arjuna had kept his vow.

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 41

Once Bhurishravas fell, Arjuna turned his attention to Krishna. “Krishna, we can have no more diversions. I need to get to Jayadratha. The sun is going to set.”
Krishna nodded and the three warriors – Arjuna, Bheema and Satyaki hurried towards Jayadratha, who was still in the centre of the army.
Duryodhana saw this and turned to Karna. “Your time has come, my friend. You are the only one who can stop Arjuna. If you stop Arjuna today, then Arjuna would not be able to kill Jayadratha and Arjuna would kill himself. None of the Pandavas can live without each other. So if Arjuna goes, the other brothers would kill themselves and the war would be over.”
Karna let out a shuddering breathe nodding. Karna’s entire body was covered with blood from the day’s battle. “I will fight Arjuna till I can and as long as I keep shooting arrows at him, I can stop Arjuna.” Karna said resolutely. “But victory is something that only destiny can decide.” Karna said ominously driving towards Arjuna.
And so, Ashwattaman, Karna, Vrishasena, Duryodhana, Shalya and Kripa attacked the three warriors from the Pandava army.
And that battle was a gory sight.
The three people from the Pandava army and the august warriors from the Kaurava army. And leading the charge for the Kauravas was Karna.
Karna was fighting with Arjuna in a spirited fashion and doing his level best to stop Arjuna. But then Arjuna was not alone. He was here with two of the best warriors from the Pandava army. And Bheema and Satyaki supported Arjuna more than ably.
And soon it was Karna alone on one side against the three Pandava warriors and Karna was able to keep the three warriors at bay. Arjuna pulled out an arrow with all the power of the Sun and was about to fire it at Karna. If fired, the arrow would have burnt Karna to a crisp. But Ashwattaman fired the crescent shaped arrow at Arjuna, at the last minute, breaking the arrow just as soon as the arrow left Arjuna’s bow. It was said that the broken arrow broke fell through the earth burning the portions that it fell on.
Arjuna wanted to finish the battle quickly and killed Karna’s four horses and also killed Karna’s charioteer.
Karna was in the battlefield without his horses and his charioteer when Duryodhana yelled at Ashwattaman pointing him at Karna. Ashwattaman drove furiously at Karna and Karna got on Ashwattaman’s chariot and the Kaurava warriors attacked Arjuna together.
Arjuna first tried the Varuna astra – the weapon of water, to push the Kaurava warriors back. But unfortunately for Arjuna, though he was able to invoke the weapon, the Varuna astra did not stop the Kauravas. Despite the water, the Kaurava warriors still attacked Arjuna.
Arjuna then pulled out the weapon and darkened the skies around the Kauravas.
And then Arjuna took his entire fighting to another level. Using all the astras in his command, Arjuna soon fired an astra which confused the enemy. The Kauravas soon started seeing Arjuna all around them. And in the confusion, the real Arjuna pulled out his weapon with such light handedness that the soldiers did not know when they were hit and from which which direction.
The Kaurava soldiers just kept falling.
And Arjuna pulled out the Aindra astra immediately afterwards. The Aindra astra brought out the fiery burst from the skies like meteors hurling on the Kauravas. And as the Kaurava soldiers were screaming under the glare, Arjuna made the entire battlefield dark again and killed off the confused soldiers.
And all the devastation paid off.

 Arjuna saw Jayadratha in his line of sight for the first time, since the battle had started. 

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 40

Princess Devaki, the princess of Mathura had chosen her husband. She had chosen to marry the handsome Vasudeva and she was thrilled with her choice.
She was about to go to Vasudeva, when there was a snarling noise and she turned and nearly quailed in fear to see King Somadatta, walking towards her.
Somadatta was about to catch the hands of Devaki and watched Vasudeva angrily. ‘This princess of Mathura is mine! I will marry her. NO ONE ELSE CAN!’ Somadatta said ferociously as he looked at the slightly aging Vasudeva.
All the people in the court turned to see King Sini pulling out his sword and walking towards Somadatta with utter hatred in his heart.
The princess has chosen!’ Sini said standing between Devaki and Somadatta, looking very dangerously at Somadatta. ‘And you cannot change it.’
And there was a glorious fight there in the kingdom of Mathura between Somadatta and Sini (who was fighting on behalf of Vasudeva), for princess Devaki. They fought for half of the day. And finally Sini threw Somadatta on the ground and at that time pulled the sword and hit Somadatta on the feet....As all the other kings come to the Swayamvara watched as Sini humiliated Somadatta there in Mathura....

I do not wish to kill you!’ Sini said angrily, as he walked away from there....


The swayamvara was over, but Somadatta’s anger was not. Not by a long stretch.

Wanting revenge for his treatment in the hands of Sini, Somadatta prayed to the three-eyed Shiva for a son and when Shiva appeared before him, Somadatta had but one boon. ‘I need a son, who will strike Sini’s son, as a thousand people watch it and who will strike Sini’s son in the foot! Just like Sini did to me....’
Right now in the war, Bhurisravas, could take it no more. He, the son was Somadatta was one of the protector of the Kaurava army. And Bhurisravas could just not take the fact that his army had been penetrated not once, but three times.....And it was the second time was the one which really really hurt Bhurisravas. Because the person who had come in was....Satyaki, the son of Sini....As far as Bhurisravas was concerened, the existence of Satyaki was an insult to Bhurisravas and his family....

Letting out a hoarse shout, Bhurisravas was watching expectedly as Satyaki came within his line of vision inside the Kaurava army.
It is my luck that you have come in front of me.’ Letting his arrow fire at Satyaki, Bhirusravas looked at Satyaki viciously. ‘Just like Lakshmana, the brother of Rama, killed Indrajit, I am going to kill you.’
Satyaki stopped the arrow effortlessly and snorted at Bhurisravas. ‘All you do is talk!’ Satyaki said. ‘Useless words.’ Satyaki fumed and he pulled his own arrow out.
The fight was long drawn and magnificent. Each killed the other’s horses and they even broke each other’s chariot.
Now having no charge, they pulled out their swords and metal caught metal caught in midair as the two warriors clashed...
But Satyaki was a tired man. He had just ploughed through the Kaurava army and he had exhausted most of his weapons.
And the inevitable happened. In the fight between Bhurisravas and Satyaki, Bhurisravas was slowly was gaining the upper hand.

Krishna sensed something wrong long before he could see it and even without meaning to he started turning the chariot, away from Jayadratha.
Krishna?’ Arjuna asked confused, clutching the Gandiva in his hands tightly.
Satyaki!’ Krishna said grimly, as he turned the chariot and was driving at top speed towards Satyaki.
And as they reached the place, the two Krishnas met with a terrible sight.
Bhurisravas was toying with the tired Satyaki, who looked like he had reached the limits of his endurance. Bhurisravas hit Satyaki hard on the shoulder with the hilt of his sword and Satyaki stumbled as he fell on the ground. Clutching Satyaki’s hair, Bhurisravas savagely pulled Satyaki through the battlefield, hitting Satyaki again and again and finally struck Satyaki on the foot....
Kill him Partha!’ Krisha said as he watched Bhurisravas.
Arjuna needed no further call and though he found Bhurisravas’s fighting techniques far superior to that of his own disciple, without a second thought, Arjuna affixed his arrow to the bow and let it fly...
Bhurisravas was shocked when out of nowhere, the arrow came and pierced his hand....sharply..
Taking in a deep breath, Bhurisravas turned and looked angrily at Arjuna. ‘YOU?’ Bhurisravas said drawing another breath to control the pain. ‘You have committed a great sin today, Arjuna.’ Bhurisravas spat out angrily. ‘You fought with a man who did not challenge you in battle. My fight was with Satyaki....’ Bhurisravas spat angrily, watching the nearly unconscious Satyaki lying on the ground. ‘..And you interfered. Though you had no business to!’ Bhurisravas said angrily. ‘ARE THESE THE RULES OF BATTLE THAT YOU FOLLOW?’ Bhurisravas demanded angrily.
Satyaki is my disciple.’ Arjuna roared angrily. ‘Mine! Someone for me to protect. He is here fighting this war for my sake. I am responsible for him.’ Arjuna continued angrily. ‘And now that you want to behead him with your sword, what am I supposed to do? Let you do that?’ Arjuna demanded angrily.
Bhurisravas watched Arjuna with growing anger as Arjuna continued. ‘I am inside the Kaurava army. Deep inside it.’ Arjuna said savagely. ‘Every one I see here, is trying to kill me. And you think is such a situation it is possible for me to engage just one person in battle. There are so many arrows, so many swords and spears flying at me from everywhere and I am engaged in battle with all of them. I judged wrongly. I thought that you were also one of the warriors attacking me!’ Arjuna spat out angrily.
Arjuna watched Satyaki who was still lying barely conscious on the ground. ‘And you are one to talk about rules. If you had just killed Satyaki, I would probably have not have even interfered...But you tried to humiliate my student by dragging him through the battlefield.’ Arjuna fixed the next arrow in his bow. ‘That I cannot allow!’ Arjuna said pointing his arrow at Bhurisravas.
Strange though it may seem, on hearing Arjuna's words, Bhurisravas lost all the will to fight back. Bhurisravas felt that there was nothing more he could do....At that minute then and there, Bhurisravas gave it all up. Bhurisravas threw his weapons and watched Arjuna, with bleary eyes. Bhurisravas sat down on the battlefield, and started to meditate.
Though Arjuna lowered his bow and did not fire, he was angry as he watched Bhurisravas who was now beginning to meditate. 
And you cheered the man who killed my boy when when my son was all alone inside this very battlefield.’ A hurt Arjuna snarled as he told Bhurisravas. Arjuna watched the man and realizing that Bhurisravas had chosen his own manner of death was about to turn away as he watched Bhurisravas one last time. ‘I fought you because Krishna asked me to. Now under the very guidance of Krishna, go and enter the regions of heaven like your ancestors.’ Arjuna told his enemy who was now deep in meditation.

And that was when Satyaki slowly got up from the ground. Stumbling from the ground, Satyaki pulled up the sword and Satyaki did something impossible....Satyaki beheaded Bhurisravas.

All the soldiers watched Satyaki in disgust at the crime that Satyaki had committed. Satyaki had just killed a man who was not even fighting. That was unacceptable.
Satyaki looked at them angrily. ‘This man cheered the killer of Abhimanyu. That is why he deserved to die. And in the heat of battle, we all do things like this.’ Satyaki watched the body of Bhurisravas in anger. ‘I should have done this myself when Bhurisravas was dragging me in the mud....But Partha robbed me of this glory.’ Satyaki said feeling disgusted with himself, as he pulled out the weapons from the ground, getting ready for battle again....

And so as the Kaurava army watched, Bhurisravas lay dead in the battle, killed by Satyaki, the grandson of Sini....

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 39

Satyaki and Alamvusha were having a spirited face off in the battlefield. But today Satyaki was unbeatable. All the duals that he had faced had only two outcomes – either the person who faced him was killed mercilessly or they retreated from battle. The battle with Alamvusha was no different either. Satyaki killed the four horses of Alamvusha and angrily pushed passed Alamvusha, and that was when Satyaki met Dusshasana. And Dusshasana was not alone. Dusshasana’s entire division tried to attack Satyaki in the hopes of containing the man.
They might have as well tried containing a hurricane for all the effect it had.....
Satyaki ploughed through Dusshasana’s division like it was nothing and killed four of Dusshasana’s horses and drove from there....towards Arjuna and Krishna.
As Satyaki was approaching the two Krishnas, he was intercepted by Bhurisravas. Arjuna saw this when Krishna spoke. ‘Partha!’ It was the Dark Lord. ‘Satyaki is here!’ was all Krishna told Arjuna.
But then both Arjuna and Krishna knew what that meant and that was not good at all....
How could Yudhishtara do this?’ Arjuna asked grimly. ‘How could Satyaki do this? I have Satyaki and Bhima here with me inside the Vyugha!’
Krishna said nothing as Arjuna was getting more and more angry. ‘Yudhishtara is all alone! Bhurisravas is going to attack Satyaki and I have not yet reached Jayadratha!’ Arjuna watched the sun furiously. ‘And I have precious few hours of the day remaining!’ Arjuna looked at Krishna. ‘What should I do, Krishna!’
The way the battle between Karna and Bhima was going, it seemed almost certain that Kunti could have only five sons alive by the time the battle was over.
But Bhima had already run out of his weapons. So he did the next best thing – He almost challenged Karna to a fist fight. But there was a huge problem with that – Bhima was so strong that Karna could never survive a fist fight with Bhima. And Bhima remembering that Arjuan had vowed to kill this man, refrained from challenging Karna to a dual.
And so Karna had set his arrow on the practically unarmed Bhima and let his arrow go....
The arrow shot through and pierced Bhima and Bhima nearly fell unconscious.
Furiously, Karna remembered the promise that he had made to Kunti and angrily decided not to kill Bhima.
Instead of letting his arrow fly, Karna came close to Bhima and hit Bhima on the head with the horn of his bow. But that apparently was the wrong thing to do....Because Bhima was so angry with Karna that Bhima snatched Karna’s bow and hit Karna on the head with Karna’s own bow.
Karna was shocked and shouted angrily at Bhima. ‘Glutton fool! You have no weapons and nothing to me fight with! You have lived in the forest and that is your place. A battlefield is not a place for a person like you. You have no skills to fight in battle!’ Karna sneered angrily. Karna again pushed Bhima back with his bow. ‘You should fight others! Not with someone like me!’ Karna told Bhima angrily. ‘Go and the two Krishnas would protect you!’
Bhima actually had the audacity to laugh at Karna. There was not a shred of fear in Bhima’s eyes as he watched Karna. ‘How many times have you been defeated by me now, Karna?’ Bhima asked Karna softly. ‘And if you are really so desperate, why don’t you just fight with me with your bare hands!’ Bhima said his eyes nearly glowing with hatred. ‘Do you know Keechaka?’ Bhima finished. ‘After him...’ Bhima watched Karna almost with smiling insane eyes. ‘.....You.....I will just rip you apart as all these people watch!’ Bhima finished.
And that was when the two Krishnas came.
And it looked like Arjuna had really heard what Karna had been taunting Bhima with. Arjuna gave no respite to Karna and relentlessly fired into Karna.
Karna fell back and fell back hard.....
In fact Arjuna was so impossibly ferocious that Karna really did not have a choice and fled from the scene leaving Bhima.
Bhima nodded his thanks to his brother and he got on inside the craft of Satyaki who had also reached the place.
But Arjuna was not done with Karna. Not by a long way. Arjuna pulled his bow and fired at Karna, however, the arrow was again cut off by Ashwattama.
Snarling with anger, Arjuna saw Karna move away from the place and turned his attention to Ashwattama.

Having got the attention of Arjuna, Ashwattama now entered the division of the Kaurava army with plenty of elephants and chariots....As if that was going to stop the charging Arjuna....

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 38

As Karna was defeated by Bhima, five other of Duryodhana’s brothers – Durmarshana, Duhsala, Durmada Dudhara and Jaya, rushed against Bhima. And Karna also joined the five brothers. And as Bhima watched the six warriors coming towards him, he smiled…
Because Bhima remembered the vow he had made in the Kuru assembly when Duryodhana, this very vile Karna had humiliated his wife Draupadi. Bhima had promised that he was going to kill every single son of Dhirdarashtra, and right now five of them were coming towards him….
Bhima kept this word that day. Not only was Bhima able to resist Karna, he also killed the five sons of Dhirdarashtra who charged against him, trying to help Karna.

Karna was watching helplessly filled with guilt and shame that five warriors – people who were like his own brother were lying dead in front of him. All because they came to help him. They died because of him. Unable to control the hatred or the guilt he felt, Karna picked up his bow and this time knew that brother or not, this Pandava deserved to die….What Karna did not know that Bhima was fighting mad. Bhima could never forgive the haughty Karna and blamed Karna and Duryodhana for all the misfortunes that Bhima and his brothers faced.
The two warriors exchanged arrows almost as if they had both decided that only person was going to walk out of this fight alive. And impossibly, Bhima cut off Karna’s bow, again. Bhima was ruthless and killed Karna’s horses and charioteer.
Karna had almost reached his limit and desperately pulled he pulled the mace from his chariot. Bhima the mace warrior, stopped Karna’s mace with his arrows and sensing the desperation of the warrior before him, repeatedly fired more arrows into Karna. One of Bhima’s arrow even penetrated Karna’s armour….And Karna then realized that he could not defeat Bhima, not today. Karna ran away from the battlefield….
Duryodhana watched the entire scene and sent six more of his brothers – Chitra, Upachitra, Charuchitra, Sarasan Chitrayudha and Chitravarman. Duryodhana lost six of his brothers to Bhima that day.
Ridden with guilt and morose, Karna again tried to keep up the attack against Bhima and failed again.

During this battle, however the tide of the battle turned and Karna was able to break Bhima’s chariot. Uncaring, Bhima pulled out a sword from the chariot and attacked Karna. But Karna was too good for that and cut off the hilt of the sword. Karna knew that he could not give Bhima another chance and kept firing repeatedly. Bhima however rolled over as he managed to avoid most of the arrows and reached Karna’s chariot.

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 37

Thanks to both Arjuna and Satyaki who had entered the Vyugha before him, Bhima had a relatively easy time inside the Vyugha.
Bhima razed through the Bhoja division and after destroying that division, he massacred the Kamvoja division. Bhima knocked out the last soldier in the Kamvoja division, when he let out a shout of victory.
And Bhima was shocked at the sight which met him. Because standing before him was Satyaki who was fighting with the Kaurava enemies.
Grinning, Bhima passed Satyaki and within some time, he saw Arjuna with Krishna…..
Bhima let out a roar of happiness, which was heard almost all over the battlefield.
Yudhishtara who was on the other side of the Vyugha, heard Bhima's roar and let a glorious smile cover his face. Bhima...My Bhima..He is a source of joy. He had never said no to me and he ploughed through this field, just for me and now he has given me the best news that a man could hope for. Bhima has spotted both Satyaki and Arjuna and they are both fine.
Yudhishtara closed his eyes, blessing his brothers and praying that Arjuna fulfilled his vow today….
Hearing Bhima's shout almost terrified the Kaurava soldiers, as they ran away from there.
Karna angrily, came forward towards Bhima, trying to stop Bhima's carnage.
Bhima saw Karna and Bhima felt like he was going to burn up in his anger. This Karna….This very Karna was the reason for this war...This man misbehaved with his wife….
Bhima thought no more as Karna and Bhima exchanged arrows with great ferocity.  
Karna shot repeatedly and fired close to a thirty arrows at Bhima. However Bhima cut off the arrows and in no time at all, managed to even cut off the bow of Karna. As Karna was hastily picking up another bow, Bhima killed Karna's charioteer. Angrily Karna pulled a golden arrow and aimed it at Bhima and let go….That arrow should have killed Bhima. But today, Bhima fought marvelously well. Bhima shot seven successive arrows one after the other and cut off Karna's arrow.
Soon it became so bad that the area where Karna and Bhima were fighting, nothing was visible. Nothing other than a throng of arrows going in both directions….
Looking ferociously angry with each other, the two warriors were determined that there was going to be only one survivor in this battle….And Bhima now was completely filled with the battle rage. And that was when Bhima broke Karna's bow for the second time! As Karna pulled out another bow, Bhima killed Karna's charioteer (Bhima had already killed one charioteer. So probably, all chariots had two charioteers or someone from Karna's division had come to drive his chariot, after the death of the first charioteer.) and Bhima also killed all the four horses of Karna.
Duryodhana was speechless, as he saw Karna struggle against Bheema. He shouted to his brother Durjaya. 'Karna needs you, now! Go!'
After the dice game, Bhima had promised that he was going to kill all the sons of Dhirdarashtra and Gandhari. And on this day, Duryodhana himself provided an opportunity to Bhima by sending his own brother to fight Bhima. The battle between Bhima and Durjaya was ridiculously short.
Karna watched in horror as Bhima let out a roaring shout and killed Durjaya. Karna watched the dying man, grief blinding in his eyes and now he turned his attention back to Bhima. And Karna now wanted nothing more than to kill the Pandava….
Bhima did not even care as he pulled out his mace and threw it at Karna. The mace broke Karna's chariot.
Duryodhana could not believe it and foolishly sent another of his brother – Durmukha to protect his friend. The only thing that did happen after that, was that Duryodhana lost Durmukha to Bhima.
Karna continued to fight Bhima, but that day belonged to Bhima and Bhima defeated Karna….
Karna abandoned his chariot and ran towards the chariot of his brother – Vrishasena, who led him away from Bhima. Bhima felt like he had vanquished Karna and let out a roar of happiness.
Yudhishtara on the other side of the Vyugha smiled again, when he heard his brother's roar…..


Duryodhana could not believe the mess in the Vyugha. Arjuna and Krishna themselves were unstoppable. Now that they were joined by both Satyaki and Bhima, the Kaurava soldiers had nowhere to run. No matter where the Kaurava soldiers ran, the Kaurava soldiers were caught by one of the three fighters and killed mercilessly.
Duryodhana ran towards his teacher – Dronacharya.
'What do we do?' Duryodhana asked breathlessly. 'I do not know what to do against them?' Duryodhana looked at Dronacharya with sudden anger. 'HOW COULD YOU LET BOTH BHIMA AND SATYAKI INSIDE?' Duryodhana shouted. 'You are Drona! You are our teacher! You are meant to be invincible and you have failed!' Duryodhana ranted for some more time. But then he realized that his shouting was doing nothing good to the morale of his men. 'What should we do?' Duryodhana asked finally, in a strangled whisper.
'It is not me!' Drona said. 'The dice that you let your uncle play, in the Kuru assembly! That is the dice which is coming back to you, in the form of these arrows!' Drona said watching Duryodhana without any expression.
'What should I do?' Duryodhana repeated as he watched Drona with a stone cold expression.
'Jayadratha!' Drona said quietly. 'We have to put all our soldiers to protect that man!'
As Duryodhana was proceeding towards Jayadratha, two familiar faces met him – Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas. They were the princes of Panchala and were the protectors of Arjuna's chariot wheels. It was just that today Arjuna and Krishna proceeded so fast inside the Vyugha that neither Yudhamanyu nor Utamaujas could accompany Arjuna. But they were making all efforts to get back to Arjuna.
Duryodhana angrily, let out a shout of anger as he attacked the two princes. In quick succession, Duryodhana cut off Yudhamanyu's standard and Yudhamanyu's charioteer. Yudhamanyu, jumped off from the chariot as he broke Duryodhana's bow. Duryodhana picked up another bow and attacked Uttamaujas. Duryodhana destroyed Uttamajas's horses. Angrily, both Yudhamanyu and Duryodhana picked up their maces and fought with each other. Duryodhana rendered both the princes without their chariots and without horses with his mace as he got on the chariot of Shalya and drove away.

Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas angrily got on other chariots and tried to go towards Arjuna...

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 36

Watching his brother Duhshana fall in battle to Satyaki, Duryodhana could take it no more. Satyaki was already deep into the battle and Duryodhana had no hope of reaching the man. And so in anger Duryodhana started attacking the Pandava army.
Bhima was furious when he saw Duryodhana and he retaliated Duryodhana's attack with unimaginable ferocity.
Duryodhana and Bhimas whirled around in their chariots, shooting arrows at each other. But Duryodhana fought like one possessed. He shot Bhima, Yudhishtara, Nakula, Sahadeva, Virata and Drupada as his chariot almost flew around the Pandava army.
Duryodhana roared in triumph as the Pandavas were astounded with his prowess. But Yudhishtara was not about to let Duryodhana get away so easy.
Yudhishtara shot Duryodhana repeatedly and broke Duryodhana's bow. Yudhishtara shot Duryodhana straight in the chest. Unfortunately Yudhishtara had the same problem that Arjuna had when Arjuna encountered Duryodhana. The armour that Duryodhana was wearing, was so strong that Yudhishtara's arrows shattered when they hit Duryodhana.
But as the other Pandavas saw Yudhishtara penetrate the defences of Duryodhana, and they all saw an opportunity to destroy the Kaurava prince. They quickly came around Duryodhana, surrounding him.

Drona who was in the edge of the army, shouted as he saw the Pandavas around Duryodhana.
'FORWARD!' He shouted at his chariot, as he pointed at Duryodhana. The chariot nodded as he rode furiously towards the Kaurava prince.
Vrihatkshatra was the first Pandava to meet Dronacharya as he stormed inside the Kaurava army. He gave no opportunity for Dronacharya to recover as he shot the Brahma weapon. Dronacharya was shocked for all of two seconds, but he then pulled out his own Brahma and nullified the effects of the weapon shot by Vrihatkshatra.
Dronacharya wanted to bring the battle to an end immediately, as he shot Vrihatkshatra without giving him a break. The arrow penetrated through Vrihatkshtra's armour and passed straight through the body. Almost swooning, Vrihatkshatra pulled out his own arrow and shot Dronacharya's charioteer. But now Dronacharya was mad through and through. He shot Vrihatkshatra's four horses and without wasting another second, shot Vrihatkshatra's charioteer.
Vrihatkshatra was unable to understand what was happening, when Drona shot his last arrow straight at the Vrihatkshatra and the prince fell down, never to get up again....
Dhrishtaketu, the son of Sishupala, saw Vrihatkshatra fall and angrily charged at Drona. However, he too was no match for the acharya and met his end.
After Dhrishtaketu's son, Jarasandha's son charged towards Drona and he had no better luck and he also fell.
(A strange feature in this part of the story is that both Sishupala and Jarasandha were enemies of Krishna. Bhima, the second Pandava, killed Jarasandha, just before the Rajasuya yagna of Yudhishtara and Krishna killed Sishupala during the Rajasuya yagna of Yudhishtra. Despite this, Veda Vyasa's Mahabharatha states that their children fought the war on the side of the Pandavas. One of the most possible reasons for this could be that, after killing the respective kings, their children – in Jarasandha's case, his son – Sahadeva and in Sishupalas' case, his son were crowned as the next king. As they were crowned by the Pandavas, they owed allegiance to the Pandavas and fought on behalf of the Pandavas)

Meanwhile back to the story, Drona was becoming unstoppable and the dead bodies of the Pandava soldiers kept mounting and after Jarasandha's son, another prince Chetikana also met his end in the hands of Drona.
Drupada, the father-in-law of the Pandavas, angrily proceeded towards Dronacharya – his oldest friend and his most hated enemy, now.....


Yudhishtara was a worried man. Dronacharya was ripping his army to shreds and there was nothing he could do to stop the man – both Arjuna and Satyaki, the only two people who seemed to have any success against Dronacharya were deep inside the Chakravyugha. It was at that time that Yudhishtara noted something impossible. He had been so engrossed in the battle against Dronacharya, that he had failed to notice that he could not hear Arjuna's Gandiva anymore. And added on top of it, Yudhishtara was even more worried, because Satyaki also could not be seen – the very man whom Yudhishtara had sent inside the battle after Arjuna...
Yudhishtara turned and saw his second brother. Hastily, Yudhishtara, turned to his charioteer. 'Take me to Bhima!' he said.
The charioteer frowned, but said nothing as he turned the horses towards the second Pandava.
'I cannot hear Arjuna's Gandiva!' Yudhishtara told Bhima without any preamble.
'WHAT?' Bhima asked, barely able to understand what Yudhishtara wanted right now. But then as he spoke, he saw that Yudhishtara was genuinely worried... 'What do you want me to do?' Bhima muttered as he saw the eldest Pandava.
'Go after Satyaki and Arjuna! I wish to know what happened to them! NOW!' Yudhishtara said looking at the huge Kaurava army which was filled with nothing but smoke and dust. 'Please!' Yudhishtara said looking at Bhima, desperately. 'I am your elder brother! Please listen to me and do not say no to me!' Yudhishtara pleaded to his brother!
'Stay with Yudhishtara!' Bhima told his brother-in-law Dhrishtadhyumna, as Dhrishtadhyumna nodded and Bhima readied his chariot and was set off inside the Chakravyugha in search of Satyaki and Arjuna.

In the outskirts of the Vyugha, Bhima met the acharya. Drona was feeling very smug, now that he had practically annihilated the battalion which had come against him.
'Your younger brother and Krishna ran inside the Vyugha with my permission! But you...Bhimasena...' Drona said angrily. 'I will never let you in!'
Bhima smiled at Drona coldly, arming his weapon. 'Arjuna could have destroyed you, if he wanted to! Because he still respects you! I....' Bhima's eyes were blazing with anger as he looked at Drona. 'I used to respect you like my father! But now you are my enemy and I shall treat you as such!' Bhima had not even finished his sentence when he picked up his mace and with unerring accuracy threw it at Drona's chariot.
Drona was really not expecting anything and with widened eyes, he threw himself back from his chariot. Drona landed on the hard ground which was a good thing, because his chariot was reduced to rubble as Bhima's mace destroyed it completely....
And Bhima waited no more. Using all the weapons at his command, he hacked his way through the Kaurava army.

Dronacharya hastily got inside another chariot, but by that time, Bhima was already deep inside the Vyugha....

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 35

'Back into the Kaurava, army!' Satyaki said grimly. The reason for his grimness was obvious. Satyaki had come out of the Chakravyugha. And now on the way inside, he had to meet Dronacharya again. This time the acharya would make sure that Satyaki would not get off as easily as before.
Satyaki met Drona. Unlike the previous time, Drona wasted no time in talking with the warrior. He had probably realized that Satyaki just needed half a chance to win and the veteran was fighting constantly without a break. Much to Drona's outrage, he realized that Satyaki was effortlessly able to counter his moves. Drona realized something that Arjuna had known for some time ago – Like Arjuna, Satyaki too was a perfect student of archery....someone who had learnt the art so well that the bow and the arrows seemed to obey Satyaki's thoughts instead of his fingers....
Unfortunately for Drona two things were against him – his age and his temper. Drona was too much of a seasoned warrior to be affected by anything in the battle. But Satyaki right now was fighting mad. The battle between him and Kritivarman had brought out the perfect rage inside Satyaki who was learning to temper it in battle and in the battle between Drona and Satyaki, slowly Satyaki was winning...
Suddenly Drona broke Satyaki's bow. Shocked, Satyaki threw his mace at Drona with a perfect aim. It was Drona's turn to be shocked, as he fired three arrows one behind the other, breaking Satyaki's iron mace. Quickly, Satyaki picked up another bow, as Drona realized that he could not touch Satyaki. Suddenly Drona fired straight at the charioteer of Satyaki. With his new bow, Satyaki was unable to react in time, as the arrow as usual found its aim and Satyaki's charioteer swooned in the chariot. The horses were going wildly, when Drona saw something that he had rarely seen in his fact it was something that very few people in the battlefield had seen. Satyaki effortlessly managed the horses and fired back at Drona as if nothing had changed...
Satyaki watched as his charioteer was slowly waking up, when he realized what he had to do....Satyaki fired one after another arrow at Drona and suddenly he fired at Drona's charioteer. Drona was not quick enough as the charioteer fell...Unfortunately Drona was not able to manage his horses.
'SAVE THE TEACHER!' A shout went through the Kaurava army. Most of the warriors ran after Drona's chariot and Satyaki smiled as he saw the almost empty battlefield before him...
'Drive!' Satyaki said to his charioteer who was now recovering.....
Winning that battle against Drona made Satyaki feel almost invincible right now. The first king he met after Drona was Sudarsana. It was a wasted affair. The king was nowhere near the class of Satyaki and Satyaki killed him in no time. 'The path where there is most destruction in the Kaurava army – that is the path which Arjuna has taken! Follow it!' he told his charioteer.
The Kamvojas, Sakas and Barburas....all threw their armies before Satyaki and Satyaki destroyed all them. Jalasandha's troops were no match for Satyaki. As Satyaki destroyed Jalasandha's division, he was surrounded by the troops of Duryodhana, Chitrasena, Duhshasana, Vivinsati, Shakuni, Duhsala and Durdarshana and Kratha. It is said that in that single encounter, Satyaki killed three hundred horsemen and four hundred elephants.....
The brilliance in the battle suddenly shifted from Arjuna to Satyaki and the way he fought it seemed like there was almost no difference between teacher and the pupil....Satyaki destroyed the troops and moved closer to Arjuna.
Having no other choice, Duryodhana asked the Samshaptakas to attack Satyaki in a useless attempt to stop him.
Watching the carnage by Satyaki, Dushasana had a sudden idea. Duryodhana had befriended some people from the mountains, who were skilled in fighting with stones. Dushasana went to the mountaineers. 'Fight for Duryodhana! Your methods of fighting are something that neither the Kauravas nor the Pandavas know!' Dushasana said hastily, as he swallowed painfully watching Satyaki destroy the last unit of the troops which were against him.
The mountaineers rallied and picked up huge boulders and had them thrown at Satyaki. It did not stop Satyaki at all. In fact it did not matter to Satyaki what was before him....And Dushasana's move was being counterproductive. As Satyaki destroyed the boulders being thrown at him, the sharp shards of the stones, hit the soldiers of the Kaurava army, further injuring them....Dushasana panicked and ran from the battle.....
'My Lord!' Drona's charioteer outside the Vyugha, suddenly turned the horses towards the Chakravyugha. 'Inside!' he said.
Drona watched and was shocked as Dushasana came running from inside the Vyugha, looking terrified.
'Your elder brother trusts you!' Drona said angrily. 'It was you who insulted Draupadi in the open court, because of which we are seeing this day! And now you are facing the fruit of your actions, you are running away?' Drona asked in a sneering tone. 'And you are facing one man – one man from the Satwata race! What will you do when Arjuna, Bhima or the twins come and face you?' Drona demanded angrily. 'You are a warrior! You cannot run away like this! What will your soldiers do, when they watch their prince running scared? Go back and fight!' Drona thundered angrily.
Wordlessly Dushasana watched Drona and then went back and fought Satyaki again.
In his anger Dushasana was fighting better than before. The Kauravas who accompanied Dushasana, ran away in fright, but not Dushasana. Seeing Dushasana fighting passionately, Satyaki abandoned the normal arrows and using the mantras, made himself, his horses and his charioteer invisible. Being invisible, Satyaki attacked Dushasana.
Duryodhana who was across the battlefield, shouted wildly as his brother suddenly disappeared under the constant barrage of arrows. 'Trigarthas!' Duryodhana shouted. 'Protect Dushasana!'

Three hundred Trigarthas surrounded Satyaki. But then today Satyaki was determined to teach Dushasana a lesson. Quickly moving in close to Dushasana, Satyaki, killed Dushasana's horses, charioteer and broke Dushasana's chariot. The leader of the Trigarthas watched shocked as he threw his men at Satyaki to let Dushasana escape on the chariot with him....
'My Lord!' Satyaki's charioteer shouted as Satyaki still seemed intent on Dushasana. 'We are here for Arjuna under Yudhishtara's orders! Please let the Kaurava prince go!'
Satyaki frowned angrily, and finally nodded.

Meanwhile outside in the Vyugha, Drona, wanted nothing more than to go and face Satyaki. But he was having quiet a job in his hands. The Panchalas had surrounded him. Dhrishtadhyumna and Drona fought a spirited battle in the outskirts of the Vyugha. It almost seemed like the battle was going to go Dhrishdhyumna's way, and that he was going to keep the oath for which he was born. Drona however killed Dhrishtdhyumna's charioteer. Dhrishtadhyumna fled the battle....
Drona watched the Pandavas angrily, picking out random soldiers. But the Pandava soliders were too scared and none of them countered the attack.