Sanjaya learns about Suyodhana's hiding place and informs Ashwatthama, Krupa and Krithavarma. They reach the water tank and address Duryodhana, who is in it. 'Maharaja! Come out! Continue to fight. We are all here. If we win, we keep the kingdom. If we die, we attain swarga. Pandavas also have lost most of their army and many of the survivors are injured. If we go and attack, they will not able to stop us!'
Duryodhana, still inside, says that he is fortunate that while so many are dead, they are still alive. He agrees with the suggestion, but thinks as both he and they are very tired, it is better to resume the fight the next day. But Ashwatthama does not agree and tries to convince Duryodhana that he should come out immediately to fight. Promises that he will kill all the pandavas who are now rejoicing. He vows that he will not remove his armour till he has killled them all.
In the meantime pandavas, worried that Duryodhana is still alive, send spies to look for him. The spies return without any news of Duryodhana. At the same time, a group of hunters, who supply meat to Bheema every day, overhear the conversation between Duryodhana and his commanders and expecting to be rewarded by Bheema, rush to inform him. Pandavas come to know the hiding place and proceed there with Krishna and other warriors. Seeing the pandavas approach, Krithavarma and others take leave of Duryodhana and take shelter under a banyan tree.
Yudhisthira and Krishna decide not to let Duryodhana get away with his clever magic act. Yudhisthira shouts, 'Hey, after being the cause of death of your clan and many khsatriyas, are you now trying to save your life by hiding in the water? Come out and fight! What happened to your pride and self-respect? Looking at the way you are sleeping cooly in the water, it appears the claim that you are a great hero proves to be a big lie! Remember you are born in a good khsatriya family, that too in the kuru vamsha. Retreating from a battle is unworthy, a sure way to miss going to heaven! If you want to follow khsatria dharma, do not try to save your life. Fight and defeat us and enjoy your kingdom or die fighting!'
Duryodhana replies from within the water, 'If animals are afraid for their life, it is no surprise! But I have not run away for that reason. I have lost everything, my chariot, arrows and my charioteer and I am tired. I will rest for a while and then I will come out and fight.' Yudhisthira retorts, 'We had our rest before we came to look for you! Come out, Win and get yout kingdom or die and go to heaven'.
Duryodhana is not ready, 'Where is the need for any kingdom? All my brothers are dead. Having lost brothers who were precious like gems and supreme khsatriya kings, why should I now aspire for mere land?What is the use of the kingdom, when Drona and Karna are dead and Bheeshma is lying on a bed of arrows? You can have it! Which king will want to rule all alone by himself?'