Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Gurus of Hastinapur - Part 16

The spies of Pandavas told them about Dronacharya's plan to kidnap Yudhishtara alive. The minute Arjuna heard it, he turned to Yudhishtara, his eyes serious. 'As long as I alive, even if Lord Vishnu himself helps Dronacharya, he will not be able to take you in the battlefield!'
The next day Dronacharya led the Kaurava forces and Arjuna protected the Pandava forces. The fight between Drona and Arjuna was so evenly poised that for some time it almost seemed like the two armies were not moving. Whatever Drona did, Arjuna countered it and anything which Arjuna did, Drona nullified it....
Suddenly Drona had a breakthrough and he fell upon the Pandava forces.
Dronacharya was massacring the troops so ruthlessly that they ran from the very sound of his chariot.
Once that Dronacharya had broken into the Pandava army, it was a day of single battles.
First, to stop Drona, Yudhishtara and the other warriors rushed towards the Acharya. The Kauravas came to the protection of Drona.
Shakuni and Sahadeva, Bhima and Vivinsati, Salya and Nakula were having a spirited battle, with one another. In another part Dhrishtaketu and Kripacharya were fighting each other. The two Yadavas – Satyaki (who fought on the side of the Pandavas, because he was disciple of Arjuna) and Kritivarman, were having a vicious one-to-one battle. Elsewhere King Virata was fighting with Karna's son. Drupada was fighting with Bhagadatta and his son Shikandin was fighting with Bhurisravas.
Duryodhana's son Lakshmana fought with Kshtradeva and Paurava fought with Abhimanyu.
Abhimanyu was about to kill Paurava when a warrior cut off Abhimanyu's bow and arrow. Abhimanyu pulled out his sword and jumped down the chariot and was brandishing it around destroyed everyone and everything in his vicinity.
In no time, Paurava was facing the sharp edge of Abhimanyu, completely incapacitated. Abhimanyu was about to raise his sword when Jarasandha picked up a sword and attacked Abhimanyu, or atleast tried to attack him.
Paurava was already down and Abhimanyu lost all interest in fighting him and he turned his attention to Jarasandha. The two fought brilliantly but then Abhimanyu had been trained by Krishna and Arjuna. As Jarasandha came forward to penetrate Abhimanyu's shield, in one swift attack, Abhimanyu cut off Jarasandha's sword. Jarasandha was so shocked that he actually stopped the fight and ran back into his chariot.
But then Salya in order to protect Jarasandha threw his spear at Abhimanyu. Wonders of wonders, Abhimanyu caught the spear right in air and threw the spear down and pulled out his own sword. In no time Abhimanyu was before Salya's chariot and he broke Salya's chariot and also killed Salya's charioteer.
Salya angrily picked up his mace when Bheema intervened. Bheema knew that in a mace fight, few were Salya's equal and besides Abhimanyu had done more than enough damage. Taking his nephew's place, Bheema came forward with his own mace...
It was said that sparks flew when Bheema and Salya's mace met in the air. They both fought brilliantly but for a very short time. Bheema had a ferocious strength was able to quickly render Salya unconscious. Bheema was coming forward to the kill, when Kritivarman dashed forward and took the unconscious Salya in his chariot and drove him away.
Seeing this Vrishasena, Karna's son could take it no more. From deep inside the battlefield he came forward and he did a brilliant job of singlehanded protecting the Kaurava troops who were now about to run away from the battlefield from fear of Bheema. Vrishasena rallied the Kaurava troops so well that the soldiers fought back and now the Pandava army was on the edge.
Satanika, Nakula's son, came forward and he fought with Vrishasena. However Vrishasena was a better warrior and he was about to incapacitate Satanika when the other sons of Draupadi (Satanika was the son of Nakula and Draupadi. She had five sons with the five Pandavas who were called as UpaPandavas and were referred to as the sons of Draupadi.) came forward to protect their brother.
Ashwattaman came forward at this time and he attacked the sons of Draupadi with his own legions.
In the confusion, Drona made his way towards Yudhishtara.
Yudhishtara tried to defend himself but then he was not in the same class as Drona. Drona quickly cut off Yudhishtara's bow and angrily came forward when he was stopped by Kumara. Kumara was a prince of Panchala (presumably the son of Drupad and the brother of Draupadi) and he was given the job of protecting the chariot wheels of Yudhishtara.
Kumara fought like a man possessed that day. He nearly pushed Drona back and destroying the Kaurava troops, like the God of Death. But then this was Drona, the very man who had taught Arjuna. Though Kumara fought with shades of brilliance, in no time at all, Drona killed Kumara and without losing his focus made his way towards Yudhishtara.
On his way towards Yudhishtara, Drona injured Nakula, Shikandin, Satyaki, Uttamaujas and even the sons of Draupadi and pierced their armour. But then today Drona had no time for the rest of them. He just pushed across and moved towards Yudhistara.
Yugandhara, another prince, tried to stand up before Drona. But then Dronacharya killed Yugandhara and without taking a break moved on towards Yudhishtara. Singhasena and Vyaghradatta (another prince of Panchalas) tried to protect Yudhishtara and lost their life to Drona, on that day....
And for one brief moment, Drona stood right in front of Yudhishtara's chariot, his arrow poised and ready pointing right at Yudhishtara. Dronacharya was about to fire the arrow when to his surprise he saw that the arrow broke. Surprised, Dronacharya turned and saw two dark men coming towards him in their magnificent chariot.....
As Arjuna and Krishna came forward, there was not a breath to be wasted as Arjuna fired the arrows so fast that it was not clear as to when he pulled out the arrow and when he shot it. Krishna drove the chariot, weaving in and out of the Drona's army so beautifully that he almost placed Arjuna's target almost in direct line for Arjuna's vision.....The entire division of Drona was filled with arrows as Drona's division could see nothing ahead of them.....

Whether Arjuna would have routed Drona and his troops that was day was anybody's guess, because it was the moment that the sun set. Drona and Duryodhana realizing that nothing more could be done today, called off the day's fight.... 

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