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"Dhritarashtra said, 'My heart, O Sanjaya, is agitated with different emotions, viz., shame and gratification, upon hearing that Subhadra's son singly held in cheek the whole army of my son. O son of Gavalgana, ten me everything once more in detail about the encounter of youthful Abhimanyu, which seems to have been pretty like Skanda's encounter with the Asura host.'

"Sanjaya said, 'I will relate to thee that fearful encounter that fierce battle, as it took place between one and the many. Mounted upon his car, Abhimanyu, with great daring, showered his arrows on the warriors of thy army mounted on their cars, all of whom were chastisers of foes, endued with great courage. Careering with great speed like a circle of fire, he pierced Drona and Karna, and Kripa, and Salya and Drona's son, and Kritavarman of the Bhoja race, and Vrihadvala, and Duryodhana, and Somadatta, and mighty Sakuni, and diverse kings and diverse princes and diverse bodies of troops. While engaged in slaying his foes by means of superior weapons, the valiant son of Subhadra, endued with mighty energy, seemed, O Bharata, to be present everywhere. Beholding that conduct of Subhadra's son of immeasurable energy, thy troops trembled repeatedly. Seeing that warrior of great proficiency in battle, Bharadwaja's son of great wisdom, with eyes expanded in joy, quickly came towards Kripa, and addressing him said, as if crushing (by that speech of his) the very vitals of thy son, O Bharata, the following words, 'Yonder cometh the youthful son of Subhadra at the head of the Parthas, delighting all his friends, and king Yudhishthira, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, and all his kinsmen, and relatives by marriage, and all who are watching the battle as spectators

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without taking any part in it. I do not regard any bowman to be his equal in battle. If only he entertains the wish, he can slay this vast host. It seems, that for some reason or other, he doth not entertain that wish.' Hearing these words of Drona, so expressive of the gratification he felt, thy son, enraged with Abhimanyu, looked at Drona, faintly smiling the while. Indeed, Duryodhana said unto Karna and king Valhika and Duhsasana and the ruler of the Madras and the many other mighty car-warriors of his army, these words, 'The preceptor of the entire order of the Kshatriyas,--he that is the foremost of all conversant with Brahma, doth not, from stupefaction, wish to slay this son of Arjuna. None can, in battle, escape the preceptor with life, not even the Destroyer himself, if the latter advanceth against the preceptor as a foe. What, O friend, shall we say then of any mortal? I say this truly. This one is the son of Arjuna, and Arjuna is the preceptor's disciple. It is for this that the preceptor protecteth this youth. Disciples and sons and their sons are always dear to the virtuous people. Protected by Drona, the youthful son of Arjuna regardeth himself valourous. He is only a fool entertaining a high opinion of himself. Crush him, therefore, without delay.' Thus addressed by the Kuru king, those warriors, O monarch, excited with rage and desirous of slaying their foe, rushed, in the very sight of Drona at the son of Subhadra that daughter of the Satwata race. Duhsasana, in particular, that tiger among the Kurus, hearing those words of Duryodhana, answered the latter, saying, 'O monarch, I tell thee that even I will slay this one in the very sight of the Pandavas and before the eyes of the Panchalas. I shall certainly devour the son of Subhadra today, like Rahu swallowing Surya (sun).' And once more addressing the Kuru king loudly, Duhsasana said, 'Hearing that Subhadra's son hath been slain by me, the two Krishnas, who are exceedingly vain, will without doubt, go to the region of the departed spirits, leaving this world of men. Hearing then of the death of the two Krishnas, it is evident that the other sons born of Pandu's wives, with all their friends, will, in course of a single day, cast away their lives from despair. It is evident, therefore, that this one foe of thine being slain, all thy foes will be slain. Wish me well, O king, even I will slay this foe of thine.' Having said these words, O king, thy son Duhsasana, filled with rage and uttering a loud roar, rushed against the son of Subhadra and covered him with showers of arrows. Abhimanyu then, O chastiser of foes, received that son of thine thus advancing upon him wrathfully, with six and twenty arrows of sharp points. Duhsasana, however, filled with rage, and looking like an infuriated elephant, fought desperately with Abhimanyu, the son of Subhadra in that battle. Both of them masters in car-fight, they fought on describing beautiful circles with their cars, one of them to the left and other to the right. The warriors then, with their Panavas and Mridangas and Dundubhis and Krakachas and great Anakas and Bheris and Jharjaras, caused a deafening noise mingled with leonine roars, such as arise from the great receptacle of salt waters!"

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"Sanjaya said, 'Then the intelligent Abhimanyu, with limbs mangled with arrows, smilingly addressed his foe, Duhsasana, stationed before him saying, 'By good luck it is that I behold in battle that vain hero arrived before me, who is cruel, who hath cast away all righteousness, and who brawleth out lustily his own praises. In the assembly (for the Kurus) and in the hearing of king Dhritarashtra, thou hadst, with thy harsh speeches, angered king Yudhishthira. Relying on the deception of the dice and the skill (therein) of Suvala's son, thou hadst also maddened by success, addressed many delirious speech to Bhima! 1 In consequence of the anger of those illustrious persons, thou art, at last, about to obtain the fruit of that conduct of thine! 2. O thou of wicked understanding, obtain thou without delay the fruit 3 of the robbery of other people's possessions, wrathfulness, of thy hatred of peace, of avarice, of ignorance, of hostilities (with kinsmen), of injustice and persecution, of depriving my sires--those fierce bowmen--of their kingdom, and of thy own fierce temper. I shall today chastise thee with my arrows in the sight of the whole army. Today, I shall in battle disburden myself of that wrath which I cherish against thee. I shall today free myself of the debt I owe to angry Krishna and to my sire who always craveth for an opportunity to chastise thee. O Kaurava, today I shall free myself of the debt I owe to Bhima. With life thou shalt not escape me, if indeed, thou dost not abandon the battle.' Having said these words, that mighty-armed warrior, that slayer of hostile heroes, aimed a shaft endued with the splendour of Yama or of Agni or of the Wind-god, capable of despatching Duhsasana to the other world. Quickly approaching Duhsasana's bosom, that shaft fell upon his shoulder-joint and penetrated into his body up to the very wings, like a snake into an ant-hill. And soon Abhimanyu once more struck him with five and twenty arrows whose touch resembled that of fire, and which were sped from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, Deeply pierced and greatly pained, Duhsasana, sat down on the terrace of his car and was, O king, overtaken by a swoon. Afflicted thus by the arrows of Subhadra's son and deprived of his senses, Duhsasana. was speedily borne away from the midst of the fight by his charioteer. Beholding this, the Pandavas, the five sons of Draupadi, Virata, the Panchalas, and the Kekayas, uttered leonine shouts. And the troops of the Pandavas, filled with joy, caused diverse kinds of musical instruments to be beat and blown. Beholding that feat of Subhadra's son they laughed with joy. Seeing that implacable and proud foe of theirs thus vanquished,

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those mighty car-warriors, viz., the (five) sons of Draupadi, who had on their banners the images of Yama and Maruta and Sakra and the twin Aswins, and Satyaki, and Chekitana, and Dhrishtadyumna, and Sikhandin, and the Kekayas, and Dhrishtaketu, and the Matsyas, Panchalas, and the Srinjayas, and the Pandavas headed by Yudhishthira, were filled with joy. And all of them rushed with speed, desirous of piercing Drona's array. Then a dreadful battle took place between the warriors and those of the foe, All of them were unretreating heroes, and inspired by desire of victory. During the progress of that dreadful encounter, Duryodhana, O monarch, addressing the son of Radha, said, 'Behold, the heroic Duhsasana, who resembleth the scorching sun who was hitherto slaying the foe in battle, hath at last himself succumbed to Abhimanyu. The Pandavas also, filled with rage and looking fierce like mighty lions, are rushing towards us, desirous of rescuing the son of Subhadra.' Thus addressed, Karna with rage and desirous of doing good to thy son, rained showers of sharp arrows on the invincible Abhimanyu. And the heroic Karna, as if in contempt of his antagonist, also pierced the latter's followers on the field of battle, with many excellent shafts of great sharpness. The high-souled Abhimanyu, however, O king, desirous of proceeding against Drona, quickly pierced Radha's son with three and seventy shafts. No car-warrior of thy army succeeded at that time in obstructing the progress towards Drona, of Abhimanyu, who was the son of Indra's son and who was afflicting all the foremost car-warriors of the Kaurava host. Then Karna, the most honoured of all bowmen, desirous of obtaining victory, pierced the son of Subhadra with hundreds of arrows, displacing his best weapons. That foremost of all persons conversant with weapons, that valiant disciple of Rama, by means of his weapons, thus afflicted Abhimanyu who was incapable of being defeated by foes. Though afflicted in battle by Radha's son with showers of weapons, still Subhadra's son who resembled a very celestial (for prowess) felt no pain. With his shafts whetted on stone and furnished with sharp points, the son of Arjuna, cutting off the bows of many heroic warriors, began to afflict Karna in return. With shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison and shot from his bow drawn to a circle, Abhimanyu quickly cut off the umbrella, standard, the charioteer, and the steeds of Karna, smiling the while. Karna then shot five straight arrows at Abhimanyu. The son of Phalguna, however, received them fearlessly. Endued with great valour and courage, the latter then, in a moment, with only a single arrow, cut off Karna's bow and standard and caused them to drop down on the ground. Beholding Karna in such distress, his younger brother, drawing the bow with great force, speedily proceeded against the son of Subhadra. The Parthas then, and their followers uttered loud shouts and beat their musical instruments and applauded the son of Subhadra [for his heroism].'"


89:1 There are the names of diverse kinds of drums small and large.

89:2 I adopt the Bombay reading of the 1st line of 4.

89:3 The fruit being the present encounter with Abhimanyu in which Duhsasana, according to Abhimanyu, shall have to lay down his life.

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