Thursday, 3 May 2012

War continues. Mahabharata 139

On the fourth day, Bheemasena  totally destroys Duryodhana's war elephants. And also kills Jalasandha, Sushena and other six brothers of the kauravas. Then Bhagadatta riding a huge elephant confronts  Bheema and makes him unconcious with a shower of arrows. Ghatothkacha comes forward to help, attacks and inflicts pain on the elephant and it howls in pain. Bheeshma and others hear this and come to rescue  Bhagadatta. But Bheeshma sees Ghatothkacha and hesitates, 'I do not want to fight this evil man. He is very strong and able, has help in other ways. Very accurate in his aim. Whereas we are all tired and injured, Let us stop fighting  for the day!' The fourth day ends in this manner.

The next day pandavas adopt the falcon formation and kauravas create the alligator shape and begin the fight. As Bhurishravas kills ten sons of Satyaki, Satyaki faces him and fights.  Nearby Arjuna kills twentyfive great warriors, hence Matsya and Kekaya and others surround him. Meanwhile the sun sets and the fighting stops!

The war goes on in the same manner for nine days. Bheema eliminates any kaurava son he sees and Arjuna kills numerous  रथिक, warriors on chariots. But Bheeshma still has the upper hand and while pandavas are safe, many brave warriors and countless soldiers are killed. In the night, pandavas, vrishnis and other supporters meet to discuss the situation which has become  quite serious.

After a long discussion, Yudhisthira turns to Krishna, 'Look Krishna! Bheeshma is proving to be very dangerous and deadly. Fighting with him is like the flying insects going to war against a blazing fire. We have lost a lot for the sake of the kingdom. My brothers are hurt and I am tired. I feel like seeking a  different dharma and spend the rest of our lives following it. Tell me if there is dharma which is the opposite of khsatriya dharma!'

Krishna calms Yudhisthira, 'Do not worry Yudhisthira. Your brothers are brave, they will surely win. If Arjuna is not willing to fight, I will fight Bheeshma and if you think that he has to be killed for you  to be victorious, I will kill him. Your enemy is my enemy. Your work is my work. Arjuna is a friend, relative and my disciple. For his sake I will cut a piece of my body and give. He is equally ready to sacrifice his life for my sake. This is an agreement between us. But Arjuna has taken a vow to kill Bheeshma, and I should not come in his way. There is no difficulty in killing an old man!'

Yudhisthira thus consoled, tells Krishna 'You are right! I should not come in the way of your vow not to fight. Help us in any other way you can. In fact, Bheeshma has promised me that if there is a need, he will think and suggest a way. So, let us go and ask him the way to kill him! We will do as he says. He has been like our father, taking care of us when our father was no more. We are forced now to kill one who is our well wisher, father and grandfather. But this useless khsatriya dharma gives us no other choice.'

Krishsna agrees to this suggestion. They take off their armours, leave their weapons behind and walk to see Bheeshma in his  शिबिर, tent.

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