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Mahabharata - The great epic of India

Mahabharata - The great epic of India

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Published by scribdmaverick
The Great Epic Mahabaratha in Easy English for everyday use.
The Great Epic Mahabaratha in Easy English for everyday use.

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Published by: scribdmaverick on Jul 10, 2010
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ARJUNA had left Yudhishthira behind to
repel Drona's attacks and had gone to
make good his word that before sunset
Jayadratha would lie dead on the field of
Jayadratha had been the main cause of
Abhimanyu's death. He it was who had

effectively prevented the relief of
Abhimanyu by the Pandavas, and thereby
caused Abhimanyu to be isolated,
overpowered and slain.
We have seen how Yudhishthira in his
anxiety sent first Satyaki and then Bhima
to join Arjuna in his battle against
Jayadratha. Bhima reached where Arjuna
was engaged and sounded his simhanada
(lion-roar). Dharmaputra heard the lion-
roar of Bhima and knew that Arjuna was
found alive.
It was the fourteenth day and the battle
raged fiercely at many points, between
Satyaki and Bhurisravas at one place,
between Bhima and Karna at another and
between Arjuna and Jayadratha at a third.
Drona remained at the main front resisting
the attack of the Panchalas and the
Pandavas, and leading a counter-offensive
against them.
Duryodhana arrived with his forces at the
sector where Arjuna attacked Jayadratha,
but was soon defeated and turned back.
The battle thus raged long and furiously
on more than one front. The armies were
so deployed that each side was exposed to
danger in its rear.
Duryodhana was speaking to Drona:
"Arjuna, Bhima and Satyaki have treated
us with contempt and proceeded
successfully to Jayadratha's sector and
they are pressing hard on the Sindhu king.
It is indeed strange that, under your
command, our battle array should have
been broken and our plans completely
foiled. Everyone asks how it is that the
great Drona with all his mastery of the
science of war has been so badly
outmaneuvered. What answer shall I
make? I have been betrayed by you."
Duryodhana thus, once again, bitterly




"Duryodhana, your accusations are as
unworthy as they are contrary to truth.

There is nothing to be gained by talking
about what is past and beyond repair.
Think of what is to be done now."
"Sir, it is for you to advise me. Tell me
what should be done. Give your best
consideration to the difficulties of the
situation and decide and let us do it
quickly." Puzzled and perplexed, thus did
Duryodhana plead.
Drona replied: "My son, the situation is no
doubt serious. Three great generals have
advanced, outmanoeuvring us. But they
have as much reason to be anxious as we,
for their rear is now left as open to attack
as ours. We are on both sides of them and
their position is not therefore safe. Be
heartened, go up to Jayadratha again, and
do all you can to support him. It is of no
avail to dishearten oneself by dwelling on
past defeats and difficulties. It is best I
stay here and send you reinforcements as
and when required. I must keep the
Panchalas and Pandava army engaged
here. Otherwise, we shall be wholly
Accordingly, Duryodhana went with fresh
reinforcements again to where Arjuna was
directing his attack on Jayadratha.
The narrative of the fourteenth day's
fighting at Kurukshetra shows that, even
in the Mahabharata times, the modern
tactics of turning and enveloping
movements was not unknown.
The advantages and risks of such strategy
appear to have been fully understood and
discussed even in those days. Arjuna's
flanking manoeuvres perplexed his
enemies greatly. The story of that day's
battle between Bhima and Karna reads
very much like a chapter from the
narrative of a modern war.
Bhima did not desire to fight Karna or
remain long engaged with him. He was
eager to reach where Arjuna was. But
Radheya would, by no means, permit him
to do this. He showered his arrows on

Bhimasena and stopped him from
The contrast between the two warriors
was striking. Karna's handsome lotus-like
face was radiant with smiles when he
attacked Bhima saying: "Do not show
your back," "Now, do not flee like a
coward," and so on.
Bhima was all anger when taunted in this
manner. He was maddened by Karna's
smiles. The battle was fierce but Karna
did everything with a smiling air of ease
whereas Bhima's face glowed with rage
and his movements were violent.
Karna would keep at a distance and send
his well-aimed shafts but Bhima would
disregard the arrows and javelins failing
thick upon him and always try to close
with Karna.
Radheya did everything he did, calmly
and with graceful ease, whereas
Bhimasena fumed and fretted with
impatience, as he showed his amazing
strength of limb.
Bhima was red with bleeding wounds all
over and presented the appearance of an
Asoka tree in full blossom. But he minded
them not, as he attacked Karna cutting
bows in twain and smashing his chariot.
When Karna had to run for a fresh chariot,
there was no smile on his face. For anger
rose in him, like the sea on a full moon
day, as he attacked Bhima. Both showed
the strength of tigers and the speed of
eagles and their anger was now like that
of serpents in a fury.
Bhima brought before his mind all the
insults and injuries which he and his
brothers and Draupadi had suffered, and
fought desperately, caring not for life.
The two cars dashed against each other
and the milk white horses of Karna's
chariot and Bhimasena's black horses
jostled in the combat like clouds in a

Karna's bow was shattered and his
charioteer reeled and fell. Karna then
hurled a javelin at Bhima. But Bhima
parried it and continued pouring his
arrows on Karna, who had taken up a
fresh bow.
Again and again did Karna lose his
chariot. Duryodhana saw Karna's plight
and calling his brother Durjaya said: "This
wicked Pandava will kill Karna. Go at
once and attack Bhima and save Karna's
Durjaya went as ordered and attacked
Bhima who, in a rage sent seven shafts
which sent Durjaya's horses and his
charioteer to the abode of Yama and
Durjaya himself fell mortally wounded.
Seeing his bleeding body wriggling on the
ground like a wounded snake, Karna was
overwhelmed with grief and circled round
the hero, paying mournful honor to the
Bhima did not stop but continued the fight
and greatly harassed Karna. Karna once
again had to find a fresh chariot. He sent
well aimed shafts and hit Bhima who in a
fury hurled his mace at Karna and it
crashed on Karna's chariot and killed his
charioteer and horses and broke the
flagstaff. Karna now stood on the ground
with bent bow.
Duryodhana now sent another brother to




accordingly and took Karna on his chariot.
Seeing yet another son of Dhritarashtra
come to offer himself up to death, Bhima
licked his lips in gusto and sent nine
shafts on the newly arrived enemy. And,
even as Karna climbed up to take his seat
in the chariot, Durmukha's armor was
broken and he fell lifeless.
When Karna saw the warrior bathed in
blood and lying dead by his side, he was
again overwhelmed with grief and stood
motionless for a while.

Bhima relentlessly continued his attack on
Karna. His sharp arrows pierced Karna's
coat of armor and he was in pain.
But he too at once returned the attack and
wounded Bhima all over.
Still the Pandava would not stop and
attacked Karna furiously. The sight of so
many of Duryodhana's brothers dying for
his sake one after another was too much
for Karna.
This, and the physical pain of his own
wounds made him lose courage and he
turned away defeated. But, when Bhima
stood up on the field of battle red with
wounds all over like a flaming fire and
emitted a triumphant yell, he could not
brook it but returned to the combat.

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