Monday, 18 June 2012

Arjuna returns to the battlefield. Mahabharata 159

Arjuna disappoints Yudhisthira, tells him that he was busy fighting the संशप्तक warriors  and Ashwatthama, but  came back having heard about Yudhisthira, 'I came to see you as I heard you were injured and had returned to the camp. I will surely kill Karna the moment I see him.'

A very disturbed Yudhisthira speaks with disappointment, anger and shows his frustration. He implies that Arjuna, afraid to fight Karna, has run away from the battle and ridicules him. Tells him to give his Gandiva bow to Krishna. Arjuna is very upset, thinks he is unfairly and unnecessarily criticised by his brother. His hand automatically goes to the hilt of his sword! But Krishna intervenes and brings them back to their senses. Both repent their actions and Yudhisthira embraces his younger brother and blesses him.

Arjuna promises, 'Elder Brother! I will go now and confront Karna and kill him'. On the way back, Arjuna starts sweating worried about the outcome of that day's war. Krishna notices his worried look and asks. 'Gandivi! Why are you looking so listless! Those you have defeated so far,\are not ordinary warriors! Is there anyone else who could face Bheeshma and Drona and come back alive? Even then I have to tell you something important. Do not belittle Karna, he is equal to you! In some ways he is even superior. It is because of him Duryodhana is strong. He has a high regard for kauravas and equally hates pandavas. Hence, you have to fight with all your might! I also believe that apart from you even devatas cannot kill him. Destroy him and please Yudhisthira.'

Arjuna returns and joins Bheema, Satyaki and others who are fighting Karna. Both sides have lost many warriors. The battle ground is filled with those dead and dying, broken chariots, dead horses and elephants are seen everywhere. The scene is as if river वैतरणी  (river that flows between earth and hell) flows there and it is terrifying. The battle field has become uneven and become difficult to move. In this condition, kauravas concentrate on Bheema and he is in danger. Arjuna comes to his rescue and scatters the army which is surrounding him. Arjuna then informs Bheema about Yudhisthira's well being and they fight together supporting each other.

Kaurava army retreats unable to face the onslaught of Arjuna. Karna comes forward and engages Shatanika, Sutasoma, Dhrishtadhyumna and the rest in a combat. Satyaki kills Karna's son Sushena. In reply Karna kills Dhrishtadyumna's son. It is now Krishna who gets worried and says 'At this rate no one  will be left amongst us. We must kill Karna quickly!' and moves Arjuna's chariot towards Karna.

It is apparent that both sides are tired of the war as the carnage mounts. I guess they moved the dead and the wounded men. Wonder how they managed  the dead animals! Especially the dead elephants!

1 comment:

Raghunath said...