Drona Parva: Summary
"Then is recited the wonderful Parva called Drona full of incidents. First comes the installation in the command of the army of the great instructor in arms, Drona: then the vow made by that great master of weapons of seizing the wise Yudhishthira in battle to please Duryodhana; then the retreat of Arjuna from the field before the Sansaptakas, then the overthrow of Bhagadatta like to a second Indra in the field, with the elephant Supritika, by Arjuna; then the death of the hero Abhimanyu in his teens, alone and unsupported, at the hands of many Maharathas including Jayadratha; then after the death of Abhimanyu, the destruction by Arjuna, in battle of seven Akshauhinis of troops and then of Jayadratha; then the entry, by Bhima of mighty arms and by that foremost of warriors-in-chariot, Satyaki, into the Kaurava ranks impenetrable even to the gods, in search of Arjuna in obedience to the orders of Yudhishthira, and the destruction of the remnant of the Sansaptakas. In the Drona Parva, is the death of Alambusha, of Srutayus, of Jalasandha, of Shomadatta, of Virata, of the great warrior-in-chariot Drupada, of Ghatotkacha and others; in this Parva, Aswatthaman, excited beyond measure at the fall of his father in battle, discharged the terrible weapon Narayana. Then the glory of Rudra in connection with the burning (of the three cities). Then the arrival of Vyasa and recital by him of the glory of Krishna and Arjuna. This is the great seventh Parva of the Bharata in which all the heroic chiefs and princes mentioned were sent to their account. The number of sections in this is one hundred and seventy. The number of slokas as composed in the Drona Parva by Rishi Vyasa, the son of Parasara and the possessor of true knowledge after much meditation, is eight thousand, nine hundred and nine. SECTION CLXXIV
"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding the mighty-armed Ghatotkacha, O king, proceeding towards the car of Suta's son, Karna for slaughtering him in battle, thy son Duryodhana addressing Duhsasana, said these words, 'The Rakshasa, seeing the prowess of Karna in battle, is speedily advancing against him. Resist that mighty car-warrior. Surrounded by a mighty force proceed to that spot where the mighty Karna, the son of Vikartana, is contending with the Rakshasa in battle. O giver of honours, surrounded by troops and exerting thyself vigorously, protect Karna in battle. Let not the terrible Rakshasa slay Karna in consequence of our carelessness. Meanwhile, O king, Jatasura's mighty son, that foremost of smiters, approaching Duryodhana, said unto him, 'O Duryodhana, commanded by thee, I desire to slay, with their followers, thy foes of celebrity, viz., the Pandavas, those warriors incapable of being easily defeated in battle. My father was mighty Jatasura, that foremost of Rakshasa. Formerly, having performed some Rakshasa slaying incantations, the despicable sons of Pritha slew him. I desire to worship my dead sire by offering him the blood of his foes, and their flesh, O monarch! it behoveth thee to grant me permission.' The king, thus addressed, became exceedingly delighted and said unto him repeatedly, 'Aided by Drona and Karna and others, I am quite competent to vanquish my foes. Commanded, however, by me, O Rakshasa, go thou to battle and slay Ghatotkacha in the fight--that Rakshasa of fierce deeds, born of man, ever devoted to the welfare of the Pandavas, and always slaying our elephants and steeds and car-warriors in battle, himself all the while staying in the welkin, O, despatch him to Yama's abode.' Saying, 'so be it,' and summoning Ghatotkacha to the fight, Jatasura's son shrouded the son of Bhimasena with diverse kinds of weapons. The son of Hidimva, however, alone and unsupported began, to grind Alamvusha and Karna and the vast Kuru host, like the tempest crushing a mass of clouds. Seeing then the power of (Ghatotkacha's) illusion, the Rakshasa Alamvusha covered Ghatotkacha with showers of diverse kinds of arrows. Having pierced Bhimasena's son with many shafts, Alamvusha, without losing any time, began to afflict the Pandava host with his arrows. Thus afflicted by him, O Bharata, the Pandava troops, at dead of night, broke and fled away like clouds dispersed by a tempest. Similarly, thy host also, mingled with the shafts of Ghatotkacha,
fled away at dead of night, O king, in thousands, throwing down their torches. Alamvusha then, excited with great wrath, struck Bhimasena's son in that dreadful battle with many shafts, like a driver striking an elephant. Then Ghatotkacha cut off into minute fragments the car, the driver, and all the weapons of his foe and laughed frightfully. Then, like the clouds pouring torrents of rain on the mountains of Meru, Ghatotkacha poured showers of arrows on Karna, Alamvusha and all the Kurus. Afflicted by the Rakshasa, the Kuru host became exceedingly agitated. The four kinds of forces, of which thy army consisted, began to press and crush one another. Then Jatasura's son, carless and driverless, wrathfully struck Ghatotkacha, in that battle, with his fists. Thus struck, Ghatotkacha trembled like a mountain with its trees and creepers and grass at the time of an earthquake. Then Bhimasena's son, mad with rage, raising his own foe-slaying arm that resembled a spiked mace, dealt a severe blow on Jatasura's son. Crushing him then in rage, Hidimva's son quickly threw him down, and seizing him with his two arms he began to press him with great force upon the earth. Then Jatasura's son freeing himself from Ghatotkacha, rose up and assailed Ghatotkacha with great impetuosity. Alamvusha also, dragging and throwing down the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, in that battle, began to crush him in rage on the surface of the earth. The battle then that took place between those two roaring and gigantic warriors, viz., Ghatotkacha and Alamvusha, became exceedingly fierce and made the hair stand on end. Endeavouring to prevail over each other by means of their powers of illusion, those two proud warriors, endued with great energy, fought with each other like Indra and Virochana's son. Becoming fire and ocean, and, once more, Garuda and Takshaka, and once again, a cloud and a tempest, and then thunder and a large mountain, and once again, an elephant and then Rahu and the sun, they thus displayed a hundred different kinds of illusion, solicitous of destroying each other. Indeed, Alamvusha and Ghatotkacha fought most wonderfully, striking each other with spiked clubs and maces and lances and mallets and axes and short clubs and mountain-cliffs. Riding on horseback or on elephants, on foot or on car, those foremost of Rakshasas, both endued with large powers of illusion, fought with each other in battle. Then Ghatotkacha, O king, desiring to slay Alamvusha, roared aloft in rage and then alighted with great quickness like a hawk. Seizing then that gigantic prince of Rakshasas, viz., Alamvusha, who thus struggled with him, he pressed him down on the earth, like Vishnu slaying (the Asura) Maya in battle. Taking a scimitar of wonderful appearance, Ghatotkacha, of immeasurable prowess, then cut off from his trunk, O king, his fierce and mighty foe's terrible head that was still uttering awful roars. Seizing that blood-dyed head by the hair, Ghatotkacha quickly proceeded towards Duryodhana's car. Approaching (the Kuru king), the mighty-armed Rakshasa, smiling the while, threw upon Duryodhana's car that head with frightful face and hair. Uttering then a fierce roar, deep as that of the clouds in the season of rains, he addressed Duryodhana,
[paragraph continues] O king, and said, 'This thy ally is now slain, he, that is, whose prowess thou hadst beheld! Thou shalt see the slaughter of Karna again, and then thy own. One that is observant of these three, viz., morality, profit and pleasure, should never see with empty hands a king, a Brahmana, or a woman. 1 Live cheerfully till that time when I slay Karna.' Having said these words, he then, O king, proceeded towards Karna, shooting hundreds of keen arrows upon the head of Karna. The battle then that took place between that human warrior and that Rakshasa, was fierce and terrible, O king, and exceedingly wonderful.'"
403:1 It is for this that I see thee with this head as a tribute.
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