Viswanath R Swamy

The Mahabharat

 

MAHABHARAT


The quintessence of Mahabharat, 1001 questions and answers.

ADI PARVA

1
The king Mahabhisha belonged to which lineage?
He belonged to the lineage of Ikshvaku of the Kuru dynasty.
2
How did Mahabhisha manage to have a place in Heaven?
Mahabhisha managed to have a place in Heaven by performing a thousand aswamedha yajnas and a hundred rajasooya yajnas.
3
Why did Brahma curse Mahabhisha?
Brahma cursed Mahabhisha because he stared at Goddess Ganga, when her dress was displaced by the wind while she was offering her prayer to him in the assembly of Gods.
4
What was the curse?
The curse was that Mahabhisha would be born on earth again for he had lost his sense at the sight of Goddess Ganga and stared at her revealed body.
5
Was Goddess Ganga cursed too?
Yes, Goddess Ganga too was cursed. She had to be born in the terrestrial world to become Mahabhisha’s wife.
6
What was Mahabhisha’s request to Brahma after the curse?
Mahabhisha requested Brahma to bless him to be born on earth as the son of the great King Pratipa.
7
Did Brahma bless Mahabhisha?
Yes, Brahma blessed Mahabhisha to be born on earth as the son of King Pratipa.
8
What was Mahabhisha’s name in his birth as the son of King Pratipa?
Mahabhisha’s name in his birth as the son of King Pratipa was Santanu.
9
Was Ganga, the Goddess of rivers, too born on earth?
Yes,
Ganga the Goddess of rivers too was born on earth.
10
Where did Santanu meet
Ganga?
Santanu met
Ganga, the Goddess of rivers, on the bed of river Ganga.
11
Was King Santanu aware of the secret of his birth?
No, Santanu was not aware of it.
12
Did
Ganga agree to King Santanu’s request to marry him?
Yes, Goddess Ganga agreed to marry him but with a condition.
13
What was the condition
Ganga put forward to marry King Santanu?
That he should not displease her in any way. If he did then she would leave him forever.
14
What did
Ganga do with their first child?
Ganga hurled their first child into the river.
15
How many of their children were hurled into the river by Mother Ganga?
Mother Ganga hurled their first seven children into the river.
16
Did Mother Ganga hurl their eighth son in to the river?
No, she didn’t. King Santanu did not allow her to hurl the eighth son in to the river.
17
What was the name of their eighth son?
His name was Devavrata
18
What was his other name?
His other name was Gangeya.
19
Who took custody of Devavrata?
Mother Ganga took custody of Devavrata with the promise that she would return him to King Santanu later.
20
When did Mother Ganga return Devavrata to the King?
Mother Ganga returned Devavrata when he attained the age of sixteen.
21
Who was Satyavati?
Satyavati was the daughter of the chief of the fishermen
22
Who wanted to marry Satyavati?
King Santanu wanted to marry satyavati.
23
Why did Devavrata take the vow of celibacy?
Devavrata took the vow of celibacy because Satyavati’s father put the condition that only satyavati’s son should become the King after Santanu.
24
What was the word that echoed from all corners of the universe when Devavrata took the vow of celibacy?
The word ‘BHEESHMA’ echoed from all corners of the universe when Devavrata took the vow of celibacy.
25
What was the boon King Santanu granted to his son?
Devavrata would die only when he desired to die. Till then death would wait for him.
26
How many sons did Santanu and Satyavati have? Who were they?
Santanu and Satyavati had two sons. Chitrangada and Vichitraveerya.
27
Who became the King after Santanu’s death?
After Santanu’s death Chitrangada, Satyavati’s first son, became the King.
28
Who killed Chitrangada, the King?
A Gandharva, named Chitrangada killed him.
29
Why did the Gandharva kill the King?
Chitrangada, the Gandharva did not like some mortal king bearing his very own name. So he killed Chitrangada, the king.
30
What was a “Swayamvara”?
Swayamvara was the process of choosing a husband. It was the freedom enjoyed by the ancient Indian princesses.
31
Who ruled Hastinapura in the absence of a grown up King?
Bheeshma ruled Hastinapura as the regent for yuvaraja, Vichitraveerya.
32
Were the people of Hastinapura happy during Bheeshma’s regency?
Yes, Bheeshma was a very just regent and the people were very happy under his rule.
33
How many daughters did the King of Kasi have? And who were they?
The King of Kasi had three daughters. They were Amba, Ambika and Ambalika.
34
Why did Bheeshma go to the
Kingdom of Kasi when the “Swayamvara” was underway?
Bheeshma went there to get the daughters of the king of Kasi for his brother Vichitraveerya.
35
Did the King of Kasi send his princesses with Bheeshma?
No, he did not. Bheeshma had to fight a fiery battle with the king of Kasi and the other kings who had come to attend the swayamvara.
36
Which king was the bravest among the kings whom Bheeshma had to fight?
The bravest among the kings was the king of Salva.
37
Who won the battle finally?
Finally Bheeshma won the battle.
38
Did Bheeshma take all the three princesses with him to Hastinapura?
Yes, Bheeshma took all the three princesses with him to Hastinapura.
39
Were all the three princesses willing to marry Vichitraveerya?
No, Amba was not willing to marry Vichitraveerya.
40
Then what did Amba do?
Amba told both Bheeshma and Satyavati that she loves the king of Salva and chosen him as husband and was about to garland him when Bheeshma took her off forcefully from the swayamvara hall.
41
Was Bheeshma happy about Amba’s disclosure?
No, he was terribly upset and set her free to go to the king of Salva whom she loved.
42
Did the King of Salva accept her as his wife?
No, he did not. He refused her by saying that Bheeshma won her in battle and he was her master and legitimate husband.
43
Did Amba approach Bheeshma to marry her?
Yes, she approached Bheeshma to marry her but he refused citing the fact that he had taken the vow of celibacy, which is unbreakable.
44
How did Vichitraveerya die?
Vichitraveerya died of tuberculosis.
45
Was there any other prince to take claim of the throne of Kuru dynasty?
No, there was no other prince to take claim of the throne of Kuru dynasty.
46
What was satyavati’s suggestion to have children to Ambika and Ambalika?
Satyavati suggested that Ambika and Ambalika should bear sons of Vyaasa to save the Kuru dynasty from perishing.
47
Did Ambika and Ambalika consent to satyavati’s demand?
Yes, they did. Ambika and Ambalika bore Dhritarashtra and Pandu respectively.
48
Why was Dhritarashtra born blind?
Because Ambika found Vyaasa ugly and kept her eyes closed as long as he was with her, so Dritarashtra was born blind.
49
How did Pandu become white?
The very sight of Vyaasa made her body pale out of fear. So Pandu was born white.
50
What did Satyavati request Vyaasa?
Satyavati requested Vyaasa to visit Ambika once again after her first child was born.
51
Did Vyaasa accept satyavati’s request?
Yes, he accepted her request.
52
What did Ambika do when Vyaasa visited her the second time?
Instead of going herself to Vyaasa, Ambika sent her maid to him. The maid was a good lady and treated Vyaasa passionately and bore a son called Vidura.
53
Who brought up the children?
Bheeshma brought up the children.
54
Whom did Dhritarashtra marry?
Dhritarashtra married Gandhari, the daughter of the King of Gandhara.
55
What was Gandhari’s brother’s name?
Gandhari’s brother’s name was Sakuni.
56
Whom did Pandu marry?
Pandu married Kunti, the foster- daughter of the King of Kuntibhoja and Madri, the daughter of the King of Madra.
57
Why did the rishi curse Pandu?

The rishi and his wife, who took the physical form of deer, were enjoying the pleasure of love together in the forest. Pandu unwittingly aimed his arrow at the deer and it fell on the ground fatally wounded. It cursed him in a human voice that he too would die the moment he made love with his wife.
58
What did Pandu do after the curse?
Pandu decided to live in the forest after the curse. He renounced all the happiness of worldly life and settled in the Satasringa forest with his wives.
59
Who gave Kunti the secret mantra, which once recited, could bring to her the Deva whom she thought of?
Sage Durvasa gave Kunti the mantra as a boon for the service she rendered to him when he visited the King’s palace.
60
Was Pandu happy of her revelation of the mantra and its efficacy?
Yes, he was very happy and requested Kunti to invoke God Dharma to have a son of him.
61
Did Kunti invoke Dharma to have a son?
Yes, Kunti invoked Dharma and a son was born of Dharma. He was named as Yudhishtira.
62
Who was the next God whom Kunti invoked?
After a year Pandu requested her to have a son of Vayu. Kunti invoked Vayu and a son was born of Vayu. He was named as Bhimasena.
63
Was Gandhari, the wife of Dhritarashtra, too was pregnant during this time?
Yes, Gandhari too was pregnant and gave birth to Duryodhana and the rest of Kauravas.
64
When was Duryodhana, the first Kaurava, born?
Duryodhana was born on the same day when Bhimasena was born to Kunti.
65
Whom did Kunti invoke the third time?
The third time Kunti invoked Indra and the son from Indra was named as Arjuna.
66
How many brothers did Duryodhana have?
Duryodhana had ninety- nine brothers. Dussasana, Duhsaha, Duhsala, Jalasandha, Sama, Saha, Vinda, Anuvinda, Durdharsha, Suvahu, Dushpradharshana, Durmarshana, Durmukha, Dushkarna were the prominent ones.
67
How many sisters did Duryodhana have?
Duryodhana had one sister named Dussala.
68
Did Kunti recite the mantra the fourth time to have another son?
No, Kunti did not recite the mantra the fourth time, instead as advised by Pandu, she taught Madri the mantra so that she too could have sons.
69
Did Madri learn the mantra from Kunti?
Yes, Madri learned the mantra from Kunti.
70
Whom did Madri invoke by reciting the mantra?
Madri invoked Aswini Kumaras: the celestial twins. Two sons were born of them. They were named as Nakula and Sahadeva.
71
How did Pandu die?
Pandu embraced Madri forgetting the curse of the Rishi and died instantly.
72
How did Madri die?
Madri walked in to the funeral pyre of Pandu and died.
73
Did Kunti continue her stay in the forest after Pandu’s death?
No, Kunti did not continue her stay in Satasringa forest, instead she left for Hastinapura accompanied by a group of Rishis.
74
What did Satyavati, the grand mother of Pandu, do after his death?
Satyavati along with Ambika and Ambalika took shelter in the forest as advised by Vyaasa.
75
Whom did satyavati entrust with the responsibility of the children?
Satyavati entrusted Bheeshma with the responsibility of the children.
76
Did the Pandavas enjoy the stay at the palace?
Yes, they enjoyed it very much because this was the first time they got the experience of life in a palace.
77
Did Duryodhana like the presence of his cousins?
No, Duryodhana did not like the presence of his cousins, because before their arrival it was he who was always in the center stage of love and affection of the elders. Now it had been shared with the cousins, which he could not tolerate.
78
Whom did Duryodhana hate the most?
Duryodhana hated Bhima the most because he was stronger than him and always made fun of him.
79
What did Duryodhana do to get rid of Bhima?
Duryodhana assisted by his uncle Sakuni in poisoning Bhima, then tying and throwing him in to the river Ganga.
80
Did Bhima die in the river?
No, he did not. He was bitten by snakes in the river and their poison worked as an antidote to the poison in him.
81
What did Bhima do once he was out of the effect of poison?
He started to kill the snakes, which were biting him in the river.
82
How did Vasuki, the king of snakes, come to know of Bheema’s presence in the water?
Vasuki came to know of Bheema from some snakes that managed to escape.
83
How did Vasuki treat Bheema?
Vasuki treated Bheema well and offered him rasakunda (nectar –vessels). There was the strength of a thousand elephants in each one of those vessels. Bheema drank from eight vessels.
84
When did Bheema come out of the river?
Bheema came out of the river on the eighth day.
85
Whom did Bheeshma entrust to impart basic education to the children?
Bheeshma entrusted Kripacharya to impart basic education to the children.
86
When did the children meet Dronacharya?
The children met Dronacharya in the playground where they stood looking at their ball, which had fallen in to the well.
87
Did Dronacharya help them get the ball back?
Yes, he did. He brought the ball back from the well using his mastery in archery. The children were so astonished that they reported this to Bheeshma.
88
What did Bheeshma do after hearing this news?
Bheeshma was looking for a senior teacher for the children. After hearing about Drona, Bheeshma decided to appoint him as their teacher for higher learning.
89
Did Drona agree to teach the children?
Yes, he agreed happily and began to teach the children immediately.
90
Who was Ekalavya?
Ekalavya was the son of the Nishada chief, Hiranyadhanus.
91
Why did Ekalavya approach Drona?
Ekalavya approached Drona to teach him the art of archery.
92
Did Drona agree to teach him?
No, Drona did not agree to teach him. Drona told Ekalavya that being a nishada he could not join the classes meant for the princes of Kuru dynasty.
93
How did Ekalavya feel when his request was turned down?
He felt very disappointed but not disenchanted.
94
What did Ekalavya do after he was rejected by Drona?
Ekalavya made a statue of Drona out of mud. He worshiped it as the guru and practiced archery in front of it relentlessly to become a master archer.
95
Where did Arjuna meet Ekalavya?
Arjuna met Ekalavya in the forest when they went on a hunting excursion.
96
What made them meet each other?
A dog, which was part of the excursion group wandered alone in the forest, and saw Ekalavya in the distance and began to bark. Ekalavya desirous of testing his mastery in archery sent seven arrows into the dog’s mouth before it could shut it. The dog thus pierced with the arrows came back to the Pandavas. The Pandavas were so amazed and also ashamed of their own skill began to search for the man behind this great act of precision.
97
What did the Pandavas ask Ekalavya?
Pandavas asked Ekalavya who his guru was and Ekalavya said his guru was the great Drona.
98
What did the Pandavas do after hearing that Drona was the guru of Ekalavya?
Pandavas were very disappointed and complained to Drona about Ekalavya and his amazing talent in archery.
99
What did Drona do after that?
Drona went to the forest with the Pandavas and met Ekalavya. Drona did not remember Ekalavya at all, but seeing Drona Ekalavya rushed and prostrated at him. Drona asked Ekalavya for gurudakshina. Ekalavya readily agreed to offer anything under his control.
100
What did Drona ask as gurudakshina?
Drona asked Ekalavya to offer his right thumb as gurudakshina.
101
Did Ekalavya offer his right thumb to
Drona?
Yes. Ekalavya with a cheerful face and unafflicted heart cut off his thumb
and offered it to Drona.
102
Who was Karna?
Karna was the son of Radha and Atiratha, the charioteer.
103
Was Karna the own son of Atiratha?
No, Karna was not Atiratha’s own son.
104
Where did they get him? And how?
They got him from the river
Ganga. One morning as usual Atiratha went to Ganga to offer his prayer to the Sun. He saw in the distance a box floating on the water. He became curious and swam towards it. He looked inside the box and the sight made him breathless. There was a beautiful child, with kavacha and kundala, sleeping peacefully. He took the child home and gave it to Radha, his beloved wife. This child gave them immense happiness since they were childless. They named him Vasusena but called him Radheya and Karna also.
105
Where did Karna live?
Karna lived in the palace premises where charioteers’ families were allowed to live.
106
Did Karna learn archery under Drona?
No. As Karna was the son of a charioteer, Drona refused to accept him as his disciple.
107
Who did Karna learn archery from?
Karna learnt archery from Bhargava Parasurama, who hated Kshatriyas.
108
Did he tell Parasurama that he was the son of a charioteer?
No, he did not. Instead he told Parasurama that he was a Brahmin and wanted to learn archery.
109
Did Parasurama agree to teach him archery?
Yes. Parasurama agreed to teach him everything he knew and allowed Karna to stay in his ashram as his pupil.
110
Was Karna a good student?
Yes. Karna was a very good student and learned the art of archery very fast from his guru.
111
Why did Parasurama curse Karna?
One evening Parasurama was sleeping resting his head on Karna’s lap. Suddenly Karna felt severe pain on his thigh. He saw an insect drilling in his thigh; this caused him unbearable pain and profuse bleeding. Though the pain was intolerable he did not want to disturb his guru’s sleep. So he decided to sit unmoved till his guru woke up. The blood began to soak Parasurama’s body and he got up from sleep asking Karna were did the blood come from. Karna told him about the insect sting, bleeding and his decision not to disturb the guru’s sleep. Parasurama was puzzled. He was sure that a Brahmin couldn’t bear this amount of pain or even bear the sight of blood. Karna told him the truth and begged for pardon. But Parasurama would not relent and cursed him.
112
What was the curse?
The curse was that Karna would fail to remember the vidya he learned when he needed it the most.

113
What was Drona’s request to Bheeshma after his pupils’ completion of education?
Drona wanted an exhibition of the talents of his pupils in front of the royal members and the citizens as well.

114
Did Bheeshma agree to his demand?
Yes. Bheeshma agreed to his demand.

115
Who challenged Arjuna at the exhibition ground?
Karna challenged Arjuna at the exhibition ground.

116
What was the challenge?
The challenge was to have a combat between Arjuna and Karna.

117
Did Arjuna agree for the combat?
Yes. Arjuna agreed but made this statement 'You unwelcome intruder and the uninvited talker you shall be slain by me'.

118
Who challenged Karna’s credentials?
Kripacharya challenged Karna’s credentials telling that a prince would fight only with some one equal to him and not inferior to him.

119
What did Duryodhana do then?
Duryodhana declared Karna as the King of Anga Rajya and did the coronation function there itself and told Arjuna that Karna is a King and more than equal to him.

120
What did Bheema tell when he saw Atiratha coming forward and hugging Karna?
Bheema told Karna “a sutaputra is not worth to be killed by Arjuna. Instead of holding bow and arrow go and get the whip, which is more suitable for you”.

121
Why did Kunti, the Pandava mother fall unconscious after seeing Karna?
Kunti fell unconscious for she recognized that Karna, being humiliated by the Pandavas, was actually her own son. The son whom she had from the Sun God and was left into the river
Ganga before her marriage. The kavacha and kundala Karna was wearing were ample evidence for her to identify her son.

122
Who else realized this fact other than Kunti?
Vidura who had the divine power to see the past realized it and pacified Kunti.

123
Was there a fight between Arjuna and Karna in the ground?
No. There was no fight between Arjuna and Karna because the Pandavas were not ready for one.

124
What did Drona ask as gurudakshina from his pupils?
Drona asked his pupils to capture Drupada, the King of Panchala, as gurudakshina.

125
Did the pupils agree to his demand?
Yes. The pupils agreed to his demand.

126
Who went first to capture Drupada?
The Kauravas went first to capture Drupada.

127
Did they succeed in their effort?
No. They did not succeed in defeating Drupada’s army

128
Who captured Drupada then?
The Pandavas captured Drupada and offered him to Drona as Gurudakshina.

129
Who advised the Pandavas to shift their base to varanavata?
Dritarashtra advised the Pandavas to shift their base to Varanavata and live there for some time. A new palace would be built for their comfortable stay.

130
Did Yudhistira agree to Dritarashtra’s advice?
Yes. Yudhistira agreed to his advice.

131
What were the secret instructions Duryodhana gave to Purochana, his minister, to get rid of the Pandavas?
Duryodhana’s secret instructions to his minister Purochana were, to build a house out of wax and other inflammable materials. He was to gain confidence of the Pandavas and later set the palace on fire, which would result into the killing of all the Pandavas.

132
Was Vidura aware of this plan?
Yes. Vidura was aware of this plan.

133
What did he do to counter this plan?
He made arrangements to build an underground tunnel to the forest so that the Pandavas could escape.

134
Did Vidura inform the Pandavas about the tunnel?
Yes. Vidura informed the Pandavas about the tunnel through his confidant.

135
Who set fire to the palace?
Bheema set fire to the palace before they left for the forest through the tunnel.

136
Was there anyone in the palace at the time the Pandavas left?
Yes. Six members of a nishada family, who often came there to beg and Purochana were there in the palace.

137
Did the Pandavas die?
No. The Pandavas did not die. All the seven persons who were in the palace at that time died. The Kauravas thought the burned bodies were those of the Pandavas.

138
Were the Kauravas happy about this incident?
Yes. The Kauravas were very happy but acted as if they were very sad.

139
What did Vidura tell Bheeshma about the Pandavas?
Vidura told Bheeshma that the Pandavas were alive and lived in the forest.

140
Where did the Pandavas take rest after leaving the palace?
They took rest in the Hidimbavana forest, which belonged to a rakshasa called Hidimba.

141
Who was Hidimbi?
Hidimbi was his sister.

142
Did Hidimva see the Pandavas?
Yes. He saw the Pandavas and sent Hidimbi to kill them and get him their flesh.

143
Did Hidimbi try to kill the Pandavas?
No. She did not try to kill the Pandavas.

144
What was Hidimbi’s request to Bheema?
Hidimbi requested Bheema to marry her.

145
Who killed Hidimba?
Bheema killed Hidimba in a duel.

146
Did Bheema marry Hidimbi?
Yes. He married Hidimbi on his mother’s advice.

147
What was the name of their son?
The name of their son was Ghatotkacha (pot headed). All the Pandavas were very fond of him and used to play with him in their free time. Yudhishtira had developed a special bond with him.

148
Where did they go from Hidimbavana?
They went to Ekachakra from Hidimbavana.

149
Where did they stay in Ekachakra?
They stayed in the house of a brahmin.

150
Why did Bheema kill Vaka (Baka), the rakshasa?
The Brahmin family with whom the Pandavas were staying was at a terrible juncture of their life. A rakshasa called Baka staying in a neighboring hill used to kill the villagers indiscriminately. To prevent this killing the villagers made an agreement with Baka to provide with a cart full of food and a human being every week. Each family of the village in rotation would provide the food and a member of it for him to eat. When it was the turn of the Brahmin family, Kunti came to know about it and asked Bheema to go with the food cart. So he went and to the delight of the villagers, killed Baka in a fierce fight.

151
Who told the Pandavas about the swayamvara of Draupadi, the daughter of the king of Panchala?
A brahmin traveler told them about the swayamvara of Draupadi, the daughter of the king of Panchala.

152
Did the Pandavas attend the swayamvara?
Yes. They attended the swayamvara in disguise.

153
Who lead Draupadi to the swayamvara hall?
Dhristadyumna, her brother led Draupadi to the swayamvara hall.

154
What was the condition to win Draupadi’s hand?
There was a mighty bow in the swayamvara hall. The target was an artificial bird, fixed to a wheel on the ceiling of the hall. The wheel was made to rotate all the time. Whoever hit the bird while looking at its reflection and made it fall with just five arrows would have Draupadi’s hand in marriage.

155
Could the Kings assembled there manage to hit the bird and make it fall?
No. The Kings assembled there could not succeed in hitting the target.

156
Was
Krishna there in the swayamvara hall?
Yes.
Krishna was present as a distinguished guest of King Drupada.

157
Did
Krishna recognize the Pandavas?
Yes.
Krishna recognized the Pandavas who were sitting in the hall among the brahmins.

158
What did Arjuna do when the kings failed?
Arjuna advanced towards the bow and prostrated before it. Then remembering the gods and
Krishna he took up the bow and five arrows and shot the target successfully making it fall on the ground.

159
What did Draupadi do when Arjuna hit the target successfully?
Draupadi approached Arjuna and placed the garland around his neck and thus accepted him as her husband.

160
Were the kings assembled there happy about the happenings?
No. They were not happy and fought a war with the Pandavas just to get defeated.

161
What did the Pandavas tell Kunti when they reached home?
As usual they told Kunti to see what bhiksha they had brought.

162
What was Kunti’s answer?
Kunti without seeing the bhiksha told in her usual manner, “share among yourselves whatever you have obtained”.

163
What happened to Kunti when she saw Draupadi?
Kunti was terribly upset and requested Yudhistira to find a way out, so that her words become untrue.

164
How did Yudhistira solve the issue?
Yudhistira solved it by saying that, a mother’s words are sacred hence, all the Pandavas should marry her and she would be wife to all the five brothers.

165
Where did
Krishna meet the Pandavas?
Krishna met the Pandavas at the potter’s house, where they were staying.

166
What was
Krishna’s advice to the Pandavas before leaving the house?
Krishna advised the Pandavas to continue to live in disguise till the appropriate time.

167
What did Drupada ask the Pandavas in disguise?
Drupada asked the Pandavas in disguise to reveal their identity.

168
Did the Pandavas relent to his request?
Yes. They relented to his request and revealed their identity as the Pandavas.

169
Was Drupada happy about the five brothers marrying his daughter?
No. He was not happy and was really worried about the future of Draupadi.

170
Then who made him agree to the marriage?
Vyasa visited Drupada and made him agree to the marriage. He explained to him about the previous birth of Draupadi and the boon lord Siva gave to her. As per the boon she would have five husbands in this birth; so by agreeing to the marriage Drupada would not violate any dharma.

171
What did Duryodhana want to do against the Pandavas when he came to know of them? Did Radheya agree to his idea?
Duryodhana wanted to create dissensions between the sons of Kunti and Madri. Radheya did not agree to it for he knew the task was impossible.

172
What did the Kauravas decide when they realized that the Pandavas are alive and made friendship with many?
The Kauravas decided to challenge the Pandavas. They prepared an army and marched towards the Pandavas.

173
What happened to the Kaurava army?
The Pandavas defeated the Kaurava army pathetically.

174
What was Radheya’s advise to Duryodhana?
Radheya’s advise to Duryodhana was to fight a full-fledged war with the Pandavas.

175
Did the elders like Bheeshma, Drona and Kripacharya accept the idea of war?
No. They did not accept the idea of war. Instead advised Dritarashtra to invite the Pandavas and Kunti to Hastinapura.

176
Did Dritarashtra agree to invite the Pandavas and Kunti to Hastinapura?
Yes. Dritarashtra agreed to invite them as advised by the elders and ordered Vidura to go to Panchala to bring them to Hastinapura.

177
Did Vidura go to Panchala to invite Kunti and the Pandavas?
Yes. Vidura went to Panchala to invite Kunti and the Pandavas.

178
Was
Krishna there in Panchala at the time of Vidura’s visit?
Yes.
Krishna was there in Panchala.

179

Did the Pandavas accept Dritarashtra’s invitation?
Yes. They accepted the invitation after their consultations with
Krishna and King Drupada.

180
What did Dhritarashtra tell Yudhistira?
Dritarashtra told Yudhishtira that the Kingdom would be divided into two halves and one half would belong to the Pandavas. They would have Khandavaprasta as their share.

181
Did the Pandavas agree to the proposal?
Yes. They agreed to the proposal.

182
Who presided over Yudhishtira’s coronation?
Vyaasa presided over the coronation.

183
Was Khandavaprasta a fertile and prosperous land?
No. It was a barren wasteland. Even animals could not exist there.

184
Why did Yudhishtira accept Kandavaprasta?
Yudhishtira accepted it because he did not want to have a war with the Kauravas.

185
Who accompanied the Pandavas to Kandavaprasta?
Krishna accompanied them to Kandavaprasta.

186
Why did
Krishna summon Indra?
Krishna summoned Indra to request him to make Kandavaprasta into a modern city with all facilities for a modern living.

187
Who gave Kandavaprasta the new name Indraprasta?
Krishna gave the new name Indraprasta to Kandavaprasta.

188
Who made Kandavaprasta into Indraprasta?
Viswakarma, the divine architect, made Kandavaprasta into Indraprasta a most modern city almost equal to Indraloka, the abode of Indra.

189
What did
Krishna do once the city was made?
Krishna left Indraprasta for Dwaraka after assuring his all time support to the Pandavas.

190
What advise did Narada give to Yudhishtira?
Narada advised Yudhishtira that they should be careful that their love towards Draupadi should not be a cause of dissension amongst the brothers.

191
What decision did the brother’s take on Narada’s advise?
They decided that Draupadi should spend one year with each of the five brothers in rotation. When she is with one of the five, no other brother should intrude into their privacy. Any violation of this rule would cause one year’s vanavasa/theerthayatra.

192
Why did Arjuna seek permission for a pilgrimage from Yudhishtira?
Arjuna sought permission for a pilgrimage because he entered Yudhishtira’s chamber when he was alone with Draupadi. Arjuna wanted to collect weapons, which were kept in Yudhishtira’s chamber, to help a Brahmin whose cows were stolen by thieves. Arjuna’s entry was a violation of the agreement so he wanted to go for the pilgrimage.

193
Where did Arjuna settle?
After visiting many sacred places, Arjuna settled at the source of the river
Ganga.

194
What happened to him while he was taking a bath in the river
Ganga?
While he was taking bath a beautiful girl dragged him to her palace at the bottom of the river.

195
What did she tell Arjuna?
She told Arjuna that he was in the Nagaloka and she was the daughter of Kauravya, the Naga king. Her name was Ulupi. She was unmarried and was in love with him. He should accept her love.

196
Did Arjuna accept her love?
Yes. Arjuna accepted her love and stayed with her that night.

197
What boon did Ulupi give Arjuna?
The boon Ulupi gave to Arjuna was every amphibious creature would without doubt, be vanquishable by him.

198
Where did Arjuna go from Nagaloka?
Arjuna after visiting many sacred rivers, ashrams and great Maharshis arrived at a place called Manipura.

199
What happened to Arjuna when he went to Manipura?
The king of Manipura was Chitravahana. He had a beautiful daughter named Chitrangada. Arjuna fell in love with her and requested Chitravahana to give her hand in marriage.

200
Did Chitravahana agree to give his daughter to Arjuna in marriage?
Yes. He agreed to give his daughter Chitrangada to Arjuna in marriage. But only after enquiring about his credentials and making Arjuna accept his condition.

201
What were Chitravahana’s conditions?
Chitravahana’s condition was that the son born to her by Arjuna would be the next king of Manipura.

202
Did Arjuna agree to the condition?
Yes. Arjuna agreed to the condition and married Chitrangada.

203
Did Arjuna settle in Manipura after his marriage with Chitrangada?
No. Arjuna did not settle in Manipura. He continued his pilgrimage after staying a few months in Manipura.

204
Who was Subhadra?
Subhadra was
Krishna’s cousin.

205
Why did Arjuna go to Dwaraka?
Arjuna went to Dwaraka to see Subhadra, whom he loved in secrecy.

206
Was Arjuna in his normal attire of a warrior?
No. He dressed like a sanyasi and sat under a banyan tree near the palace.

207
Did
Krishna understand the aim of his visit to Dwaraka?
Yes.
Krishna understood and was happy to receive him in Dwaraka.

208
Who invited the sanyasi to the palace?
Balarama saw a sanyasi sitting under the tree in deep meditation. He approached him and both of them had a conversation. Balarama was highly impressed by the young sanyasi and invited him to the palace and made Subhadra his attendant.

209
What did
Krishna do when Balarama invited the sanyasi to the Palace?
Krishna acted as if he was not happy with his brother’s decision. He told Balarama that it was dangerous to keep the sanyasi and Subhadra together as both of them are young and beautiful. But Balarama scolded Krishna for thinking bad about the sanyasi. Krishna was delighted but kept quiet.

210
How did Arjuna take Subhadra to Indraprasta?
Arjuna and Subhadra eloped one day when Balarama was away at a temple to offer prayer to God Rudra.
Krishna too accompanied Balarama just to ensure that his brother would not doubt him.

211
How did Balarama react when he came to know of this?
Balarama was very angry and wanted to go to Indraprasta to fight Arjuna and bring Subhadra back. But
Krishna pacified him.

212
Who gave birth to Abhimanyu?
Subhadra after a year of her marriage to Arjuna gave birth to Abhimanyu.

213
Was Draupadi too pregnant during this time?
Yes. Draupadi too was pregnant during this time.
214
How many children did Panchali (Draupadi) give birth to?
Panchali gave birth to five children, one each from her five husbands. Prativindya by Yudhistira, Sutasoma by Bheema, Srutakarman by Arjuna, Satanika by Nakula and Srutasena by Sahadeva.

215
Who approached
Krishna and Arjuna when they were resting at the bank of river Yamuna?
A hungry Brahmin approached them with the demand that both
Krishna and Arjuna should help him to satisfy his hunger.

216
Who was this Brahmin?
This Brahmin was Agni Deva in disguise.

217
What food did he want to satisfy his hunger?
He wanted the Khandava forest to satisfy his hunger.

218
What was the hurdle for him to eat Khandava forest?
The hurdle for him was that whenever he tried to eat Khandava forest Indra would interfere and send down heavy rain just to protect his friend Takshaka, the serpent leader who dwelled in this forest.

219
Were Krishna and Arjuna ready to help Agni to eat Khandava forest?
Yes. They were ready to help, if Agni provides chariots and specialized weapons for the task.

220
What were the weapons Arjuna asked for?

Arjuna asked for a strong bow, quivers with uninterrupted supply of arrows, celestial steeds possessing the speed of the wind and chariots with exceptional splendour.

221
Did Agni agree to provide the weapons?
Yes. Agni agreed to provide the weapons Arjuna demanded.
222
Who gave the Sudarshana chakra to
Krishna?
Agni gave the Sudarshana chakra to
Krishna.


223
What is special about Sudarshana chakra?
Sudarshana chakra once hurled at foes will slay them and come back into
Krishna’s hand.

224
What did Varuna give to
Krishna on Agni’s request?
Varuna gave
Krishna a mace named Kaumodaki.

225
What did
Krishna and Arjuna tell Agni?
Krishna and Arjuna told Agni to start eating the Khandava forest and they would protect him from any untoward incidents.

226
Did Indra send rain to stop Agni from eating the Khandava forest?
Yes. Indra sent heavy rain to stop Agni, but Arjuna and
Krishna (Nara and Narayana) together prevented it from falling on Agni.

227
How did Indra realize that he was fighting with
Nara and Narayana?
An anonymous voice from Heaven told him that he was fighting with his own son Arjuna and Narayana and it was not easy to defeat them. So it would be better for him and the world if he stopped fighting.

228
Did Indra stop fighting?
Yes. Indra stopped fighting and went to Arjuna and
Krishna. He congratulated them and offered to give any boon they ask.

229
What boon did Arjuna ask?
Arjuna asked Indra to give him all the divine weapons Indra had with him.

230
Did Indra give them to Arjuna?
No. He did not. Indra told Arjuna to wait for the divine weapons till the right time came. He would give them to Arjuna only when lord Sankara gives him his Pasupata

231
Who helped Maya, the Danava architect to escape from the forest?
Arjuna helped Maya to escape from the forest.

SABHA PARVA

232
Why did Maya want to help Arjuna?
Maya wanted to help Arjuna because he let him escape from the forest so that Maya could save his life.

233
What did Maya want to do for Arjuna?
He desired to do something for Arjuna to express his gratitude. He was a great architect, a Viswakarma among the Danavas.

234
Was Arjuna willing to accept any help from Maya?
No. Arjuna was not willing to accept any help from Maya.

235
What did
Krishna do?
Krishna asked Maya to build a palace for Yudhishtira in Indraprasta.

236
Did Maya agree to
Krishna’s suggestion?
Yes. Maya was overwhelmed by the suggestion and moved towards Indraprasta with Arjuna and
Krishna.

237
Why did Maya want to go to the
Kailas peak near the Mainaka mountains?
Maya wanted to go to
Kailas because he had kept precious gems in the mansion of Vrishaparva, a devotee of Dharma. He wanted to use them in the Palace he was going to build for Yudhishtira. He intended to bring a very powerful mace (gada) kept in the lakeVindu by a Danava King. The gada was capable of bearing great weight, and of slaying all foes, and was equal in strength to a hundred thousand normal gadas. It was a weapon fit for Bhima, as the Gandiva was for Arjuna. There was also a large conch-shell called Devadatta in the lake, which came from Varuna. He wished to give that conch to Arjuna.

238
Did Maya come back to Indraprasta?
Yes. He came back to Indraprasta and gave the gada to Bheema and the conch to Arjuna. Then without wasting time began the construction of the palace.

239
How many months did Maya take to build the palace?
Maya took fourteen months to finish the palace, which was later known as Mayasabha.

240
Did the Pandavas like the palace Maya built for them?
Yes. The palace was such a masterpiece that the very sight of it made them breathless. The news of the palace spread everywhere. Kings, Rishis and prominent citizens all began to pour in to have a look at the palace.

241
Why did Narada visit Pandavas?
Narada visited the Pandavas to advice them to perform a Rajasuya yagna. He told them that their father, Pandu expected Yudhishtira to perform one so that he can go to Indraloka.

242
Did the Pandavas decide to perform the Rajasuya?
Yes. On the advice of
Krishna, they decided to perform the Rajasuya.

243
Who was chosen as the guest of honour at the Rajasuya?
As suggested by Bheeshma,
Krishna was chosen as the guest of honour at the Rajasuya.

244
Did every body like the choice of
Krishna being the guest of honour?
Some of the kings assembled there did not like it. But everybody kept quiet except Sisupala the King of Chedi who voiced his opinion.

245
What did Sisupala do?
Sisupala stood up and began to abuse Bheeshma, Yudhishtira and
Krishna. He argued with Bheeshma and called him names. Bheeshma wanted to kill Sisupala for abusing Krishna but he remembered the past and explained it to the assembly that it is time for Krishna to kill Sisupala.

246
Who killed Sisupala?
Krishna killed Sisupala at the end of the yagna.

247
What happened to Duryodhana while he was looking around the mayasabha?
One day, king Duryodhana was going around the mayasabha. He drew up his clothes mistaking a crystal surface for a pool of water. And later mistaking a pool of water adorned with lotuses for crystal surface, fell into it with all his clothes on.

248
What did Draupadi, Bheema, Arjuna and the twins do when they saw Duryodhana’s plight?
Beholding the plight of Duryodhana, Draupadi, the mighty Bheema, Arjuna and the twins all laughed, giving great discomfiture to Duryodhana.

249
What was Duryodhana’s state of mind after this incident?
After this incident Duryodhana left Indraprasta. He was very angry and felt insulted. He discussed it with his uncle Sakuni and wanted to take revenge on the Pandavas.

250
What was Sakuni’s solution to Duryodhana’s anger?
Yudhishtira was very fond of the game of dice though he did not know how to play it. Sakauni suggested Duryodhana that he should get his father’s permission to invite Yudhishtira for the game of dice so that he could win the whole of Yudhishtira’s possessions for Duryodhana.

251
Did Dhritarashtra give permission to Duryodhana to invite Yudhishtira to play the dice?
Yes. Dhritarashtra gave permission. He advised Duryodhana to build a beautiful sabha and invite the Pandavas to see the sabha and also to play the game of dice.

252
Who did Dhritarashtra send to Indraprasta to invite the Pandavas?
Dhritarashtra sent Vidura to invite the Pandavas.

253
Did the Pandavas accept the invitation?
Yes. They accepted the invitation and set out to Hastinapura along with Vidura.


254
Who were there to witness the game of dice?
There were Bheeshma, Drona, Vidura, Kripacharya, Dhritarashtra etc. to witness the game of dice played between Yudhishtira and Sakuni (on behalf of Duryodhana).

255
Who won the first game?
Sakuni won the first game.

256
Could Yudhishtira win any game?
No. He could not. He kept on losing. He pledged all his earthly wealth. His jewels, chariots, horses, army, treasury, kingdom every thing. But no one interfered to prevent this unfair game of Sakuni. Yudhishtira was then left only with his brothers and wife Draupadi.

257
Did Yudhishtira pledge his brothers?
Yes. He pledged his brothers Nakula, Sahadeva, Arjuna and Bheema and later himself too.

258
What was Sakuni’s comment?
Sakuni’s comment was that Yudhishtira still had Draupadi as wager.

259
Did Yudhishtira pledge Draupadi also?
Yes, He did. Sakuni threw the dice for the last time and declared that he had won Draupadi too. The Pandavas lost everything -their wealth, kingdom and also Draupadi.

260
What was Draupadi’s reaction when she was summoned to the Sabha as a slave of Duryodhana?
Draupadi wanted to know whom did Yudhishtira gamble and lost first – himself or Draupadi. And also wanted to know from her husband that whether she should obey the order of Duryodhana to come to the Sabha.

261
Who brought Draupadi to the Sabha?
Dussasana dragged Draupadi to the sabha holding by her hair. She was having her period and was wearing single piece attire.

262
What Dussasana was telling her while dragging?
'Whether your period has come or not, whether you are attired in one piece of cloth or entirely naked, when you have been won at dice and made our slave, you are to live among our serving-women."

263
Who abused Draupadi at the sabha?
Dussasana and Karna abused her at the sabha in the presence of Bheeshma, Drona and Dhritarashtra.

264
What was Draupadi’s poser to Bheeshma?
Her poser to Bheeshma was whether she is a slave of the Kauravas.

265
What was Bheeshma’s answer?
Bheeshma answered, “Morality is subjective. Therefore I am unable to decide this point that you have put. But one point should be considered that wives are always under the orders and at the disposal of their husbands. So it is difficult to say that Draupadi is free.”

266
Who was emotionally touched by the plight of the Pandavas and Draupadi?
Vikarna, the son of Dhritarashtra was emotionally touched and addressed the Sabha: “There is no righteousness in this sabha. No one including the most revered Bheeshma did object to the act of Yudhishtira when he offered Draupadi as a wager. The innocent Draupadi is the common wife of all the Pandavas and not Yudhishtira’s alone for him to take unilateral decisions on her. The king, having lost himself first, offered her as a wager. A slave has no right to pledge a free person. I regard Draupadi as not won by Duryodhana. And she is not a slave.”

267
How did the sabha react to Vikarna’s scholarly statement?
Vikarna’s words created uproar in the assembly. Many praised him for his wisdom and extraordinary courage. But Karna couldn’t accept Vikarna’s wisdom and said, “The Pandavas themselves have accepted that Sakuni won her in the game. Yudhishtira did not say that she is not a slave. Bheeshma was sure that she is a slave. If you think that bringing her here attired in a single piece of cloth is an action of impropriety, listen to me. The gods have ordained only one husband for one woman. This Draupadi, however, has many husbands. Therefore, it is certain that she is an unchaste woman. To bring her even to uncover is not at all an act that may cause surprise. She and her husbands are slaves and they have no right to wear the clothes they are wearing now. So Dussasana should remove the garments of these five men and Draupadi and hand them over to its rightful owner Duryodhana.”

268
Did Dussasana heed to Karna’s advise?
Yes. He collected the upper clothes of the Pandavas, which were removed and kept aside by them. Then Dussasana began to seize Draupadi’s attire before the eyes of all the seniors.

269
What did Draupadi do when Dussasana seized her attire?
Draupadi appealed to all those present in the sabha to protect her from Dussasana’s atrocities and when she lost all her hope of getting help from them she prayed to Krishna: “O Kesava don’t you see the Kauravas humiliating me. Your Krishnaa is facing the gravest threat of her life. She is being undressed in front of the great leaders of the Kuru race. Save me O’ Kesava. Here I surrender to you O’ Lord. You are everything to me. I have no one except you. Protect me from this Kauravas my lord.” She closed her eyes and stood still with out making any effort to protest, leaving every thing to her Lord Kesava,
Krishna.

270
Did Kesava Krishna come to her help?
Yes. Hearing the words of Draupadi,
Krishna was deeply moved. And leaving his seat, arrived there on foot. He, remaining unseen, covered her body with excellent clothes. As the attire of Draupadi was taken off, another one of the same kind appeared covering her. And thus it continued till Dussasana got tired and could not disrobe her any longer. The kings who witnessed that most extraordinary sight cursed the sons of Dhritarashtra.

271
What was Pandava’s terrible oath?
Bheema seeing Duryodhana displaying his left thigh to Draupadi took the terrible oath that he may not go to the heaven if he did not break that thigh of Duryodhana with his gada in the war. He would tear Dussasana’s heart and drink his blood for sure. Then Arjuna declared that he would kill Radheya and his supporters and Nakula said: “ I am going to kill Uluka, the son of Sakuni”. Sahadeva assured that he would kill Sakuni.

272
What happened to Dhritarashtra when he heard the terrible oath of the Pandavas?
Dhritarashtra felt the heat of the situation. He scolded Duryodhana for abusing the princess of Panchala. He was sure that death is at the threshold and wanted to undo the damage done by his sons. So he offered boons to Draupadi.

273
What boon did Draupadi ask first?
Draupadi said, “O king If you would grant me a boon, I ask Yudhishtira to be freed from slavery”.

274
What was her second request?
Next she asked: O king, Bhimasena, Arjuna and the twins too, with their cars and bows, be freed from the bondage.

275
Did Dhritarashtra lift the slavery of the Pandavas?
Yes. Dhritarashtra lifted the slavery of the Pandavas and returned their kingdom. He advised Yudhishtira to go back to Indraprasta and forget whatever had happened on that day. Yudhishtira agreed and set out to Indraprasta.

276
Why were the Pandavas called back?
Dhritarashtra called the Pandavas back on Duryodhana’s advice; he wanted them to play another game of dice. Whoever wins would get the whole kingdom and the loser would go to the forest and live there for a total of thirteen years. During the thirteenth year they should live in disguise in a single kingdom. If their identity was revealed within that period then they should live another twelve years in the forest.

277
Did Yudhishtira play the game?
Yes. He played again to lose. He surrendered everything to the Kauravas.

278
What did the Pandavas do after losing the Kingdom?
The Pandavas got themselves ready to move out of Hastinapura. They wore garments made of tree bark and deer skin. Draupadi declared that she wouldn’t bind her hair till the time Bheema stain it with Dussasana’s blood. Then, the Pandavas and Draupadi set out to the forest for a new life and to create a new era.


VANA PARVA

279
Why did Yudhishtira pray to the Sun?
When Yudhishtira left Hastinapura many people followed him. Though he was not the King, it was his responsibility to feed them. So as suggested by Dhaumya (his guru) he prayed to the Sun god to help him to overcome this dilemma.

280
Did The Sun help him?
Yes. The Sun was pleased with his prayer and appeared before him. He told Yudhishtira that he would provide him with food for twelve years. Then the Sun gave him a divine copper vessel. As long as Panchali held it to serve she would get all that she wanted to serve. But once Draupadi cleaned the vessel, the food would be exhausted for the day. The Pandavas decided that they would use the vessel only when there are guests.

281
Where did the Pandavas settle after leaving Hastinapura?
The Pandavas settled in the Kamyaka forest after leaving Hastinapura.

282
Who cursed Duryodhana that Bheema’s oath would become true?
The sage Maitreya visited Dhritarashtra to advice his son to make peace with the Pandavas. But Duryodhana did not show any respect to the sage’s words and began to smite his thigh. Seeing this disrespect Maitreya cursed Duryodhana saying that he would die when Bheema crush his thigh in the battle.

283
Who was the most distinguished guest who visited the Pandavas in the Kamyaka forest?
Krishna visited the Pandavas in the Kamyaka forest. He was terribly angry with the Kauravas and commented that the earth became thirsty for the blood of Duryodhana, Karna, Dussasana and the wicked Sakuni. Krishna told Arjuna that he and Arjuna are inseparable. Krishna is of Arjuna and Arjuna is of Krishna. Arjuna is Nara and Krishna is Narayana, born in the world of men with a divine purpose. So Krishna would always be with the Pandavas.

284
What did Draupadi ask when she saw her dear friend and lord
Krishna?
Draupadi began to sob when she saw her dear friend and lord
Krishna. She failed to control her emotions. It started to outburst. She asked, ``O Krishna how could one like me the wife of the Pandavas, the sister of Dhrishtadyumna and the dear friend of you be dragged to the assembly. That too during my period, stained with blood and in a single cloth on. I was dragged to the court of the Kurus! The wicked sons of Dhritarashtra and the Sutaputra Karna laughed at me. O’ Madhusudana while the sons of Pandu, the Panchalas and the Vrishnis are alive, the Kauravas dared to express their desire to use me as their slave. I blame the Pandavas for they just watched and kept quiet when their own wedded wife was treated with such cruelty. Shame on the might of Bheemasena, shame on the might of the Gandiva of Arjuna. The husband, as per sanadhanadharma, however weak he is protects his wedded wife. The Pandavas never abandon a person, who sought their protection yet they abandoned me, their own wife who sought their protection. O’ Krishna why did these people who were gifted with great strength and skill sit indifferently when I was insulted and when I needed them the most? I was born to a great King, came into the world in an extraordinary way. I was the most devoted to my husbands, still O’ Krishna I was held by my hair by less powerful people like Dussasana”.

285
What did
Krishna say to Draupadi when she complained to him?
Krishna consoled Draupadi. He held her face in his hands with full of affection and love and told her that those who made her weep, would die in the battle, which was imminent. Their wives would weep with unparallel misery and pain. He declared, “The Heaven might fall, the Himavan might split, the Ocean might dry up but the words of your Krishna would never go futile”.

286
Which Pandava suggested finding another place to spend the twelve years?
Yudhishtira suggested that they should shift their base from Kamyaka forest to some other place. He wanted Arjuna to choose a place which was beautiful and where there were birds, deers, flowers and water in abundance.

287
Which place did Arjuna suggest for them to shift?
Arjuna suggested Dwaitavana. He told Yudhishtira that this place was the ideal one as there were lakes with sacred water, flowers, fruits, birds and deers. And also there were many ashrams where Rishis lived.

288
Did Yudhishtira like Dwaitavana?
Yes. Yudhishtira liked it very much and they all shifted their base to Dwaitavana.

289
What was the discussion between Yudhishtira, Draupadi and Bheema?
Draupadi could not take the life in the forest lightly. It was beyond her limits to see her husbands living on roots and fruits. Yudhishtira had to collect grains from the nearby fields. The mighty Bheema who lost his body weight substantially had to wander in the forest in search of vegetables. Arjuna spent his time tossing pebbles in the lake. The twins too were no different. Draupadi couldn’t take it any more. She argued with Yudhishtira to declare war against the Kauravas. Bheema was very much with Draupadi. He blamed his brother for all their hardships and wanted an immediate solution to the present state of affair and that was war. But Yudhishtira wouldn’t relent. He stuck to his path of dharma and made it clear to both of them that everything was possible but only after thirteen years.


290
Why did Vyasa visit the Pandavas?
Vyasa visited the Pandavas to advise them to prepare for the war, which was imminent. He reminded Arjuna the words of Indra, “I will give you all the astras I possess, when the right time comes. I will give them to you when lord Sankara gives you his Pasupata”. So Vyasa advised Arjuna to please Sankara with his tapasya and get Pasupata from him. He also advised the Pandavas to move from Dwaitavana to Kamyaka forest.

291
Did the Pandavas accept Vyasa’s advice to shift to Kamyaka forest?
Yes. They accepted Vyasa’s advice and shifted their base to Kamyaka forest, which was on the banks of the river Saraswati.

292
What did Yudhishtira remind Arjuna after a short stay at Kamyaka?
Yudhishtira reminded Arjuna of the advice of Vyasa. He told him, “Bheeshma, Drona, Kripa, Karna and Aswadhama have all sorts of celestial weapons. They are all talented archers and know how to use them at the right time. Duryodhana had gained friendship of many great Kings. When time comes they all would array together to support Duryodhana. Arjuna you are our sole refuge. You should set out immediately for tapasya to please Lord Sankara as advised by Vyasa”.

293
Was Arjuna happy to go for the tapasya?
Yes. Arjuna was more than happy to go for the tapasya. He took leave of his brothers and Draupadi, and setout towards the Himavan.

294
Who stopped Arjuna at Indrakila, the mountain peak?
An ascetic sitting under the shade of a tree, blazing with Brahma brilliancy stopped Arjuna at Indrakila.

295
What did the ascetic ask Arjuna?
The ascetic asked Arjuna who he was and why he entered into the place with bow and arrows. He also said that this was the abode of peaceful people devoted to ascetic austerities without anger or joy. So there was no use for the bow and arrows there. As there was no dispute of any kind in that place he asked Arjuna to throw away his bow and arrows.

296
Did Arjuna throw the weapons away?
No. He did not throw his weapons away rather held it tight, reiterating his strong desire to stick to his mission.

297
Did the ascetic reveal his identity to Arjuna?
Yes, he did. The ascetic was Indra himself. He asked Arjuna what he wanted.

298
What did Arjuna tell him?
Arjuna prostrated before Indra and told him his desire to obtain all the celestial weapons Indra possessed.

299
What did Indra tell Arjuna?
Indra, the chief of the celestials smiled at him and replied that when Arjuna had reached this region what was the use of weapons? He had already obtained a pure state of life. So he could ask for the region of bliss that he desired.

300
What did Arjuna say when Indra told this to him?
Arjuna told Indra that he did not want bliss or objects of enjoyment nor wanted to be in the celestial paradise. He had come to Indra leaving his brothers and Draupadi in the forest with a definite purpose and that was to seek special weapons from Indra to avenge their foes.

301
Did Indra offer any special weapons to Arjuna immediately?
No. Indra did not offer any special weapons to Arjuna immediately but advised him to please the three eyed, trident bearing Shiva, the Lord of all creatures. Indra said, `` Do tapasya to please him. He would give you the Pasupata. After that I myself will come to you with all the celestial weapons``.

302
What did Arjuna do?
Arjuna began to do tapasya. He only thought of Lord Sankara.

303
What was the request of the Rishis to Lord Sankara?
The Rishis requested the Lord to bless Arjuna with his presence for Arjuna’s tapasya made the earth hotter and it began smoking all around.

304
What did the Lord do?
Lord Sankara assumed the form of a ‘kirata’ (hunter) and came out of his abode holding a bow and many arrows in his hand. Uma, disguised as a kirata woman accompanied him.

305
Which rakshasa took the form of a wild boar to attack Arjuna?
The rakshasa named Mooka took the form of a wild boar to attack Arjuna.

306
What did Arjuna do when he saw the boar?
Arjuna took up the Gandiva and many arrows in hand. He aimed at the boar and said,” 'I haven’t done any wrong to you. You are disturbing my tapasya and want to kill me. I would rather kill you than get killed by you”.

307
Who appeared before Arjuna when he was aiming at the boar?
The Kirata appeared before Arjuna and warned him not to shoot at the boar, as he was the one to see it first and wanted to kill it.

308
Did Arjuna listen to his words?
No. Arjuna did not listen to his words and shot at the boar.

309
What did the kirata do then?
The kirata too shot at the boar at the same time. The two arrows simultaneously pierced the body of the boar killing it instantly.

310
What was Arjuna’s complaint to the Kirata?
Arjuna complained to the Kirata that he had violated the rules of hunting. The boar was trying to kill him so it was Arjuna’s legitimate right to shoot it. Forgetting this rule the Kirata had aimed at the boar to kill it. So Arjuna told the Kirata that he would kill him too.

311
What was the Kirata’s response?
The Kirata kept his cool and told Arjuna that it was he who aimed at the boar first and sent it to Yamapuri. Arjuna had violated the rules of the forest so he would be killed. He would not be allowed to go alive.

312
How did Arjuna react to this insult?
Arjuna became angry and began shooting arrows at the Kirata.

313
What did the Kirata do?
The Kirata took all the arrows with a pleasant face and teased Arjuna that he was not a good archer. He was only good to play with children.

314
Did Arjuna stop shooting the arrows?
No, he did not. He shot with added speed and increased frequency thus making the kirata bleed profusely. Still the Kirata stood undaunted with the teasing smile.

315
What did Arjuna do next?
Arjuna was frustrated and called the Kirata for a duel. In the duel Arjuna found himself too weak to fight the Kirata. Arjuna prayed to Lord Sankara and offered wild flowers to help him come out of this situation.

316
Did Lord Sankara respond to Arjuna’s prayer?
Yes. The Kirata showed his head to Arjuna. Arjuna saw the flowers he had offered to Lord Sankara on Kirata’s head. He realized that the kirata was none other than Lord Sankara and prostrated before him.

317
Did Sankara give Pasupata to Arjuna?
Lord Sankara was immensely pleased with Arjuna’s valour and strength. He gave Arjuna the Pasupata with the advice that it should not be used with out adequate cause; using against enemies of little might, could cause the destruction of the whole universe.

318
What did Indra do after Arjuna received Pasupata from Siva?
Indra sent his chariot to Indrakila to bring Arjuna to Devaloka, where he was the King.

319
Did Indra give his special weapons to Arjuna?
Yes, Indra gave all his special weapons to Arjuna.


320
How many years did Arjuna stay with Indra in the Heaven?
Arjuna stayed for five years with Indra in the heaven.

321
Who taught music to Arjuna in the heaven?
Chitrasena, as instructed by Indra, taught music to Arjuna.

322
Who was Urvasi?
Urvasi was the celestial dancer (the apsara) in Indra’s court.

323
Where did Urvasi see Arjuna?
Urvasi saw Arjuna in the theatre while she was performing on the stage.

324
What happened to Urvasi when she saw him?
She fell in love with Arjuna, became restless and wanted to be with him.

325
What did she do to get Arjuna beside her?
She decided to visit the mansion where Arjuna was staying.

326
How did Urvasi look when she proceeded towards Arjuna?
She looked extremely beautiful. Her face seemed to be challenging the moon. Her full-grown breasts, with unveiled cleavage, were perfectly shaped and forced her slightly bend forward. Her tender waist exceedingly narrow with folds was a sight to behold. She moved gracefully towards the doorway of Arjuna with her faultless high and round hips swinging beautifully. She, on very thin attire looked exceedingly attractive. Even a rishi would have fallen for her.

327
What did Urvasi do when Arjuna opened his door on her call?
She entered into his room and to the embarrassment of Arjuna, stood still looking at him with full of desire and lust. Then she introduced herself to him. She told him that she had seen him gazing at her while she was performing in the theatre and that made her fall in love with him. She lost her peace and sleep. Arjuna should take her as his partner for the night.

328
Did Arjuna accept her demand?
No, Arjuna did not accept her demand. It was against his dharma. For him she was nothing less than a mother and his feeling towards her was motherly only.

329
Why did Arjuna gaze at her while she was dancing in the theatre?
He gazed at her thinking that even this beautiful lady was a mother to the Kuru race. She had lived with the Kuru superior Pururavas. They had shared a wonderful life together.

330
What did Urvasi say when Arjuna refused to accept her demand?
She said to him that the Apsaras are eternally young and free to choose their men on their will. Many Kuru superiors had been her guest in the past and played all sorts of sport with her. The Dharma, which the terrestrial people practice, was not applicable to them. So he should not send her away. He should accept her and satisfy her desire.

331
What was Arjuna’s answer to her?
Arjuna answered “'O beautiful lady, I bend my head with reverence and prostrate at your feet. You deserve to be worshiped as I do to my own mother Kunti or Madri. I am a son for you. Protect me from your desire and forgive me”.

332
What did Urvasi feel when Arjuna refused her?
Urvasi felt very bad. She lost her senses and felt insulted. She would not forgive Arjuna. No men, celestial or terrestrial had the audacity to say “no” to Urvasi. Rather it was men who chased her with burning desires but here for the first time in her long span of life, a man had rejected her request. She thought that, “If he cannot give me his love then he should take my wrath”.

333
What did she do to Arjuna?
She cursed Arjuna and left him immediately.

334
What was her curse to Arjuna?
Her curse was “O Arjuna, you shall have to pass your time among females as a dancer enchanting them. You would lose your manhood and would become a eunuch”.

335
What did Arjuna do after the curse?
Arjuna became very upset and told everything to Chitrasena and Chitrasena informed Indra.

336
How did Indra feel when he heard of this incident?
Indra felt very proud of his son. Even great Rishis had failed to resist Urvasi’s advances.

337
What did Indra do then?
He called Arjuna and consoled him that he had to spend thirteen years in the forest and the last one-year in disguise. When he had to live the unknown life, Urvasi’s curse would in fact become a boon. He would suffer her curse during that one-year period as a dancer and after that would regain his manhood. So he advised Arjuna to celebrate the curse.

338
Who did Indra want Arjuna to kill?
Indra wanted Arjuna to kill Nivatakavachas, the asuras who were challenging the authority of Indra.

339
Why did Indra request Rishi Lomasa to visit Yudhishtira?
Indra requested Rishi Lomasa to visit Yudhishtira to inform him that Arjuna had acquired many divine weapons and gained mastery on them. And he was also learning celestial dance and music and would join the Pandavas in due course. In the meantime, Indra wanted Draupadi, Yudhishtira and other brothers to go on a pilgrimage.

340
Did Yudhishtira agree to go on the pilgrimage?
Yes, Yudhishtira readily agreed and requested Rishi Lomasa to accompany them and the rishi accepted the request gladly.

341
Where did they go first?
First they went to the forest Naimisa. Then they visited many places in the south and moved northward to meet
Krishna

342
Who received them when they went to meet
Krishna?
Both
Krishna and Balarama received them.

343
Why did Balarama want to fight with the Kauravas?
Balarama wanted to fight with the Kauravas since it was difficult for him to see the Pandavas living in the forest like sadhus. He wanted to regain the kingdom for the Pandavas. But Sathyaki and
Krishna pacified Balarama.

344
Why did Bheema want them to go to
MountMandara after leaving Krishna and Balarama?
Bheema wanted them to go to
mountMandara because Arjuna would come to the mountain on his way back home. Bheema was sure that Draupadi was missing Arjuna very badly and very eager to see him.

345
Was Draupadi strong enough to ascend the mountain?
No, she was not. Bheema offered to carry her and assured others that he would carry them as well if they felt it difficult.

346
What happened to Draupadi on the way?
Draupadi, the daughter of Panchala, fell unconscious on the way.

347
Who wanted Ghatotkacha to be called?
Bheema wanted his son Ghatotkacha to be called. Bheema with Yudhishtira’s permission thought of his son. Immediately the pious Ghatotkacha made his appearance with folded hands. He stood there to receive orders to serve his fathers and mother Draupadi. Ghatotkacha, as instructed by Bheema, carried Draupadi to the mountain.

348
Who carried the Pandavas?
Ghatotkacha’s associates carried the Pandavas to the mountain. They all stayed at Badrikashram. Draupadi felt very good at the hills. It was very relaxing for her as well as for the Pandavas.

349
What did fall in front of Draupadi while she was sitting outside the ashram?
A flower of celestial origin with divine fragrance, brought by the wind fell in front of her.

350
What was her request to Bheema?
She requested Bheema to get her more of these divinely flowers to take to their hermitage. Bheema was more than happy to get them for her. He went in the direction from which the flower had come.

351
What did he see on his way?
He saw an aged monkey sitting on a slab blocking his way. Bheema shouted at him, which made the monkey open his eyes partially.

352
What did the monkey tell Bheema?
The monkey told Bheema that he was unwell and was sleeping. Bheema’s shouting made him wake up. Men show respect and kindness to animals but Bheema failed to exercise restraint. That manifested his ignorance and childishness. The monkey then asked him who he was and where he came from? And what was his mission in the forest?

353
What did Bheema say?
Bheema introduced himself to the monkey and told him that he was on the look out of a particular flower, which had divine fragrance.

354
What was the monkey’s advice to Bheema?
The monkey advised Bheema not to proceed further as the hills were inaccessible and dangerous. He advised Bheema to have some fruits and roots and take rest.

355
What was Bheema’s response to his advice?
Bheema told the monkey that he neither solicited his advice nor was interested in an argument; he asked the monkey to clear the way for him to proceed as he was in a hurry to get the flowers. But the monkey did not move. The monkey told Bheema that he was too old and ill to move. If necessary, Bheema could overleap his body and go.

356
Did Bheema overleap the monkey’s body?
No, Though Bheema would have done it the way the great Hanuman did bounce to Lanka, he did not do so, as jumping over an elder was equal to disrespecting the supreme Lord himself who had manifested on all creatures.

357
What did the monkey ask Bheema? And what was Bheema’s answer?
The monkey asked Bheema who was Hanuman. He replied that Hanuman was a great scholar endued with great intelligence and strength of both mind and physique and was the greatest devotee of Sita and Rama of treta yuga. Bheema also said that the mighty Hanuman was his brother and he was equal to his brother in energy and strength. At the end, Bheema threatened the monkey to clear the way before he punished him.

358
What was the monkey’s answer to Bheema?
The monkey told Bheema that as he was too old and ill to move, Bheema could move his tail and make passage to go. Bheema to make passage initially tried casually with one hand but realized that it was not easy so he used all his strength. He began to sweat, his eyes rolled and brows contracted up and he failed.

359
What happened to Bheema when he failed to lift the tail?
Bheema realized that that monkey was no ordinary one. He bowed down and begged for pardon for his harsh words and requested to disclose who he was. The monkey disclosed that he was the son of Vayu and his name was Hanuman.

361
How did Bheema react when he came to know the monkey was Hanuman?
Bheema prostrated before Hanuman and said, “None is more fortunate than I am; now I have seen my elder brother”. Bheema requested Hanuman to show his incomparable form with which he bounced to Lanka.

363
Did Hanuman show his form to Bheema?
Yes, he did. He began to expand his body into a gigantic form. He grew to the height of the Vindhyas and stood there majestically like a golden mountain emitting bright rays like another sun and smiled at Bheema.

364
What did Bheema do after seeing the expanded body?
Bheema closed his eyes. He could not look at his brother any more. Hanuman told Bheema that he could expand his body to any level he wished. As Bheema could not behold it, he reduced to his normal size.

366
What was the boon Hanuman gave to Bheema?
Hanuman gave the boon that during their war with the Kauravas; he would remain on the flag of Arjuna’s chariot and give fearful shouts, which would dampen the energy of the foes. Hanuman left Bheema after guiding him how to follow the fragrance of the Saugandhika flower and wishing him success in his present mission.

368
Did Bheema succeed in plucking the Saugandhika flowers?
Though he had to face many hurdles, Bheema succeeded in plucking the Saugandhika flowers.

369
How many years did the Pandavas live without Arjuna?
Pandavas lived almost five years without Arjuna.

370
One day what did they see on top of the mountain?
All of a sudden, they saw Indra’s chariot yoked with horses of the radiance of lightning arrive in their direction. Arjuna alighted from the chariot to the utmost happiness of the Pandavas and Draupadi.

371
Who was the charioteer of the divine car?
Matali was the charioteer of the car. He left for the world of celestials immediately after having pleasantries with the Pandavas and the rishis.

372
Did Arjuna narrate all his experiences to his brothers and Draupadi?
Yes, Arjuna narrated all his experiences - the way he pleased Lord Siva to obtain Pasupata, the fierce fight he had with the Nivatakavachas to help Indra, the curse of Urvasi, his dance and music lessons from Chitrasena and more to them.

373
Who visited the Pandavas when they were listening to Arjuna’s experiences?
Indra, the Lord of Heaven visited them to offer his gratitude for sparing Arjuna to Indraloka.

374
What was his advise to the Pandavas?
Indra advised the Pandavas to descent to the plain and settle in the Kamyaka forest.

375
How many years had the Pandavas completed in exile, by then?
By then, they had completed ten years in exile. Another three years were to be spent in the forest and out of that one year in disguise.

376
Did they decide to move towards Kamyaka?
Yes, they decided to move towards Kamyaka forest to live the two years of exile.

377
Who caught Bheema while he was wandering in the forest?
A serpent of colossal proportions and tremendous strength caught Bheema and coiled all around his body.

378
What did Bheema think about the serpent?
Bheema thought that it was not a normal serpent as it had overpowered him - who had the strength of many thousand elephants and had killed many mighty rakshasas.

379
So what did he do?
He asked the serpent who he was and where did he get the strength from, which could overpower Bheema, the brother of Yudhishtira and the son of Pandu.

380
What was the snake’s answer to Bheema?
The snake told Bheema that he was the King named Nahusha, befallen into this state due to the wrath of sage Agastya. Nahusha used to be very arrogant and insulted Agastya and in return Agastya cursed him to be a serpent. On Nahusha’s request Agastya told him that Yudhishtira, the son of Pandu would save him from the curse.

381
Did Nahusha leave Bheema?
No, he did not leave Bheema.

382
Who set out in search of Bheema?
Yudhishtira set out in search of Bheema.

383
Could Yudhishtira find Bheema?
Yes, Yudhishtira found Bheema in the forest coiled by a serpent, having the body of the size of a mountain.

384
What was Yudhishtira’s request to Nahusha?
Yudhishtira’s request to Nahusha was that he should leave his brother in exchange of any other food of his taste.

385
Did Nahusha accept his request?
No. He did not accept. Instead offered to ask questions to Yudhishtira. If Yudhishtira’s answers were satisfactory Bheema would be released.

386
Did Yudhishtira succeed to give satisfactory answers?
Yes, he did. And Nahusha released Bheema.

387
Did Nahusha continue to live as the serpent?
No, Nahusha left his serpent form and assumed his celestial shape and went back to heaven.

388
Who visited the Pandavas at Kamyaka?
Krishna visited the Pandavas at Kamyaka

389
Who visited
Krishna and the Pandavas in the Kamyaka forest?
Markandeya rishi visited them. As insisted by
Krishna he told them many interesting stories.

390
How did Duryodhana get news about the Pandavas?
Duryodhana got the news about the Pandavas through his spies.

391
What was Karna’s suggestion when they got the news about the Pandavas?
Karna suggested that they should make a pleasure trip to Kamyaka forest with their wives and army to see for themselves how the Pandavas lived and also to show the Pandavas the might of Duryodhana, just to create jealousy in the Pandavas.

392
Did Duryodhana agree to Karna’s idea?
Yes, Duryodhana liked the idea and agreed immediately.

393
Who challenged Duryodhana in the lake in Dwaitavana?
A gandharva who was swimming in the lake with his wives challenged Duryodhana.

394
Why did the gandharva challenge Duryodhana?
Duryodhana wanted the gandharva to vacate the lake. But the gandharva refused and challenged Duryodhana.

395
Was there fight between the gandharvas and Duryodhana?
Yes, there was fight between Duryodhana and the gandharva armies. Gandharva defeated Duryodhana, tied his arms behind him with ropes and carried him away in his chariot.

396
Were Dussasana and others allowed to go by the gandharva?
No, they were not allowed to go. Their hands too were tied up and carried away along with Duryodhana.

397
Who went to the Pandavas requesting them to save the Kauravas?
The soldiers who managed to run away from the battlefield went to the Pandavas and requested them to save the Kauravas.

398
Did the Pandavas agree to save the Kauravas from the gandharva?
Yes, Yudhishtira agreed to save them though Bheema was against it initially.

399
What was Arjuna’s promise to his brother?
Arjuna’s promise to his brother was, “If the Gandharvas do not set the Dhartarashtras free peacefully, the earth shall this day drink the blood of the king of the Gandharvas!”

400
How many Pandavas had gone to save the Kauravas?
Bheema, Arjuna and the twins had gone to save the Kauravas.

401
Did the gandharvas set the Kauravas free as demanded by Arjuna?
No, they did not. They fought a fierce battle with the Pandavas.

402
Who was the leader of the Gandharvas?
Chitrasena was the leader of the Gandharvas.

403
Did Chitrasena reveal his identity to Arjuna?
No. He did not. He kept his identity secret till the end of the fight.

404
What did Arjuna do when Chitrasena showed his identity?
Arjuna threw his weapons down and rushed to embrace him for he was Arjuna’s best friend and guru.

405
What did Arjuna ask Chitrasena?
Arjuna asked Chitrasena what purpose it served in punishing the Kauravas, that too with their wives.

406
What did Chitrasena say?
Chitrasena said that the Kauravas went to the Dwaitavana to ridicule the Pandavas and Draupadi. The King of the celestials realized it and ordered him to rush immediately to punish them.

407
Did Chitrasena release the Kauravas?
Yes. He released the Kauravas on the request of Yudhishtira.

408
What did Duryodhana do when he was released by the gandharvas?
Duryodhana after saluting Yudhishtira set out to his capital with a hung face overwhelmed with shame.

409
Who helped Duryodhana to come out of this mental debacle?
Karna, Dussasana and Sakuni injected courage in Duryodhana to come out of this debacle.

410
What did Duryodhana tell Karna?
Duryodhana told Karna that after having seen the Pandavas performing the Rajasuya he too desired to perform one.

411
Did Karna like the idea?
Yes. He liked the idea and offered to Duryodhana that he would bring all the Kings under Duryodhana’s dictatorship.

412
Did Duryodhana invite the Pandavas to the Rajasuya?
Yes. Duryodhana invited the Pandavas. But Yudhishtira refused it politely reminding that they are not free to visit Hastinapura till the completion of their thirteen years of vow.

413
What did Bheema say when Yudhishtira refused the invitation?
Bheema asked the messenger to report to his master that after the completion of thirteen years they would enter the city. Then they would perform a sacrifice in which he would pour the ghee of his ire upon the Dhritarashtras.

414
What was the oath that Karna took when Duryodhana praised him after the Rajasuya?
Karna’s oath was 'Hear me, O Duryodhana! So long as I do not slay Arjuna, I shall not allow any one to wash my feet, nor shall I taste meat or drink wine.’

415
Who told Yudhishtira about Karna’s oath?
Spies from Hastinapura told Yudhishtira about Karna’s oath.

416
Did Yudhishtira worry about the oath?
Yudhishtira worried about the oath for he knew Karna was far superior to Arjuna. He thought that his oath has all the possibility of being fulfilled.

417
Who saw Draupadi standing on the threshold of her ashram?
Jayadratha, the King of Sindhu on his way to the
Kingdom of Salva saw Draupadi standing on the threshold of her ashram.

418
Did Jayadratha recognize who she was?
No. Jayadratha did not recognize who she was.

419
What did he do then?
He sent his friend to gather information about her - who she was and why was she there in the forest.

420
Did his friend gather information about her?
Yes. He gathered information about her. He told Jayadratha that the lady whom he saw was the daughter of the King Drupada and the celebrated wife of the Pandavas. The Pandavas were out on hunting and only sage Dhaumya was there in the ashram to give her company.

421
What did he decide to do then?
Jayadratha decided to visit the ashram. He went to the ashram with some of his friends and introduced himself to Draupadi and enquired about their welfare.

422
Did Draupadi receive them?
Yes, She received them with reverence and offered material for their breakfast. And also asked them to wait for a while to meet the Pandavas, who were about to return from hunting.

423
Did Jayadratha wait for the Pandavas to come?
No. He did not wait for the Pandavas instead he began to flirt with Draupadi. He asked her to sit in his chariot to go with him to be his wife so that she could enjoy all the happiness of the world. He told her to leave the miserable sons of Pritha, whose energies had been paralysed and whose Kingdom had been snatched.

424
What did Draupadi tell him?
Draupadi warned him not to speak thus again and asked him whether he was not ashamed to talk to her in that manner.

425

Did Jayadratha stop persuading her?
No. He didn’t. He continued to persuade her to go with him, be his wife and share the happiness of the world together.

426
What did Draupadi do to make him move out of the ashram?
Draupadi tried to threaten him by raising the names of her husbands and the consequences he would have to face.

427
Did Jayadratha move out quietly?
No. He did not. When he realized that she wouldn’t go with him, he picked her up forcefully and carried her to his chariot. No one was there to help her except Dhaumya rishi, who was too weak to save her.

428
What was sage Dhaumya’s request to Jayadratha?
Sage Dhaumya requested him to observe the ancient custom of Kshatriyas. As per the custom Jayadratha could not take Draupadi with out defeating her husbands. He would reap the painful fruit of this despicable act when her husbands come back from hunting. Thus saying he tried to block the chariot but was carried away with it by the kidnappers.

429
What did the Pandavas see when they were back from hunting?
They saw Dhatreyika, the maid of Draupadi sobbing and weeping. She was on the floor with a pale face and told them that her mistress had been abducted.

430
What was Yudhishtira’s proclamation when he first heard of the abduction?
He proclaimed that whoever had abducted Draupadi - Kings or princes, dwellers of celestial or terrestrial whoever were infatuated with the possession of power, are sure to come to grief. Even if Draupadi had been taken to the bowels of the earth or dragged to the bottom of the ocean, the sons of Pandu would go there in pursuit of her. Draupadi, the priceless jewel was the walking embodiment of the hearts of the Pandavas.

431
What did the Pandavas do when they were told that it was Jayadratha who had abducted Draupadi?
On hearing from Dhatreyika that it was Jayadratha who had abducted Draupadi, the Pandavas followed the track of the chariots of Jayadratha. When they found the army of the foe, Bheema shouted at them to stop and began killing them by the hundreds with his mace.

432
What did Jayadratha do when he saw the Pandavas attacking his army?
When Jayadratha saw the Pandavas trashing his army, he became terrified and ran away to save his life, leaving Draupadi behind.

433
Did the Pandavas let him run away?
No, the Pandavas did not let him run away. Bheema followed him, caught hold of his hair and beat him up till he fell unconscious.

434
What punishment did Bheema give to Jayadratha?
Bheema wanted to kill him but Yudhishtira had warned him not to kill Jayadratha and Arjuna too was against it. Bheema out of anger disfigured Jayadratha’s head and asked him to utter the words “ I am the slave of the Pandavas”.

435
Did Jayadratha utter the words as demanded by Bheema?
Yes. He uttered the words to Bheema. Then Bheema took him to Yudhishtira. Yudhishtira let him go after giving him warning. And the King of Sindhu left with a hung head and wounded ego.

436
What did Jayadratha do then?
Jayadratha then went to the banks of the river
Ganga and did severe penance to please Siva, the trident holding God.

437
What was his request to Siva?
He requested Siva to give him enough power to defeat the Pandavas in war.

438
Did Siva fulfill his request?
No, Siva did not. He told Jayadratha that it was impossible. No one could kill the Pandavas. However Jayadratha could check them once in the battlefield when Arjuna and
Krishna were not around.

439
Who visited the Pandavas after this incident?
Sage Markandeya visited the Pandavas and comforted them with his stories and words of advice.

440
Did the Pandavas continue living in the Kamyaka forest?
No, they left the woods of Kamyaka and returned to the delightful Dwaitavana, which had trees in abundance bearing delicious fruits and roots.

441
Who asked Nakula to find out whether there was any pond near by?
Yudhishtira asked Nakula to find out whether there was any lake nearby. He was very thirsty and tired.

442
Did Nakula find any pond nearby?
Yes, he found. Nakula climbing on a tree branch looked around. He saw a lake nearby and left to collect water for Yudhishtira.

443
What happened to Nakula when he tried to drink the water?
Nakula, when he tried to drink the water heard words from the sky warning him not to drink or carry the water before answering certain questions.

444
Did Nakula pay attention to the anonymous words?
No, Nakula did not pay attention to the words. He drank the cool water and fell down dead.

446
Who did Yudhishtira send to find Nakula since he was getting too late?
Yudhishtira sent Sahadeva to go in search of Nakula and also to carry water for them.

447
What happened to Sahadeva when he tried to drink the water?
Sahadeva too heard the anonymous words asking not to drink the water. As Nakula did, he too disregarded the words and drank the water inviting death.

448
Who did Yudhishtira send in search of Nakula and Sahadeva?
Yudhishtira sent Arjuna and then Bheema in search of them to the lake. They too disregarded the words, drank the water and fell dead.

449
What did Yudhishtira do when none of his brothers returned?
Yudhishtira waited for a long time. None of the brothers returned. Worried about the brothers, he walked towards the lake. He saw his brothers lying dead. He was bathed in tears, out of grief. He began to lament.

450
What were the words Yudhishtira heard when he was sitting with the bodies of his brothers?
Yudhishtira heard the words of a Yaksha claiming that he had killed the sons of Pandu for disregarding his warnings. Yudhishtira too should not drink the water before answering his questions. If he did so he too would die.

451
Did Yudhishtira agree to answer his questions?
Yes, he did. Yudhishtira told him that he would try to answer his questions according to his intelligence.

452
What were the questions the Yaksha asked Yudhishtira?
The Yaksha asked him many questions like:
Q. What is it that makes the sun rise?
A. Brahma makes the Sun rise.
Q. Who give him company?
A. God gives him company.
Q. Who causes the Sun to set?
A. Dharma causes the Sun to set.
Q. In whom is the Sun established?
A. The Sun is established in Truth.
Q. What makes one learned?
A. The study of the Srutis make one learned.
Q. How can one attain greatness?
A. Ascetic austerities help a man to attain greatness.

Q. What is that which constitutes the Sama of the sacrifice? What the Yajus of the sacrifice? What is that which is the refuge of a sacrifice? And what is that which sacrifice cannot do without?

A. Life is the Sama of the sacrifice; the mind is the Yajus of the sacrifice: the Rik is that which is the refuge of the sacrifice; and it is Rik alone which sacrifice cannot do without.

Q. What is ignorance?
A. Not knowing one’s duty is ignorance.
Q. What is pride?
A. Stolid ignorance is pride
Q. What is patience?
A. Patience is subjugating the senses.
The Yaksha asked many more questions to which Yudhishtira gave answers, which were to the Yaksha’s satisfaction.


453
What did the Yaksha tell Yudhishtira once the questions were over?
The Yaksha told Yudhishtira that as he was pleased with the answers he would like to bring one of his brother’s back to life. So Yudhishtira should choose one.

454
Who did Yudhishtira choose?
Yudhishtira chose Nakula to be brought back to life.

455
What did Yaksha ask Yudhishtira?
The Yaksha was surprised and asked Yudhishtira why did he prefer Nakula to Bheema and Arjuna. He was in no way equal to any of these two brothers in any form of war. Bheemasena and Arjuna are the two brothers whom he depended the most. Why then did he wish a step- brother to be brought back to life!

456
What was Yudhishtira’s answer?
Yudhishtira answered that he was Kunti’s son and Madri’s sons were both dead. It only fair that he asks for one of Madri’s sons to be alive.

457
Did the Yaksha bring Nakula back to life?
Yes. The Yaksha was highly satisfied with the answer and brought all the brothers back to life. They all got up as if they were in deep sleep.

458
What was Yudhishtira’s request to the Yaksha?
Yudhishtira requested the Yaksha to reveal his identity; because a mere Yaksha would never be able to defeat the powerful Arjuna, Bheema and the twins.

459
Did the Yaksha reveal his identity?
Yes he did. He was none other than Dharma, the lord of justice and his father. Dharma was highly pleased and conferred boons upon Yudhishtira and others.


VIRATA PARVA


460
Which Kingdom did Yudhishtira choose to spend the thirteenth year of their vanavasa in disguise?
Yudhishtira chose the
Kingdom of Virata among various Kingdoms suggested by his brothers. The King of Virata was modest, charitable and firm in promise.

461
What disguises did they decide to take in the
VirataKingdom?
Yudhishtira decided to disguise himself as a Brahmin with the name of Kanka and would become the courtier of the king.
Bheema would become the chief cook of the King with the name Vallabha.
Arjuna decided to declare himself as a person of neutral sex. He would assume the name of Brihannala.
Nakula would become Damagranthi, the horse trainer and Sahadeva thantripala, the cowboy.
Draupadi decided to become Sairandhri, the hairdresser to the queen.

462
What did the Pandavas do with their weapons?
Yudhishtira wrapped all the weapons and invoked the Gods to stay guard of the weapons and return them when they come back after the ajnaata
vaasa. Then he climbed up a tree and tied the bundle to a branch.

463
Did the King of Virata accept the Pandavas in disguise?
Yes, the King Of Virata accepted them in his palace and appointed as the Pandavas wished to be appointed.

464
Who was Keechaka?
Keechaka was the brother in law of the King of Virata and also the commander of the Virata army.

465
Who killed Keechaka? And Why?
Bheema killed Keechaka. He killed him because Keechaka wanted Sairandhri to be his wife. He molested her with the assistance of his sister Sudeshna, the queen. The Pandavas remained silent spectators to these atrocities on their wife for the time was still not appropriate to take revenge. But once it became unbearable, Bheema Killed Keechaka to the extreme delight of Draupadi.

466
Who came in Karna’s dream? What was the advice?
Surya worried about his son’s future, appeared in Karna’s dream and advised him that Indra would approach him in the guise of a brahmin and ask for his Kavacha and Kundalas to help his son Arjuna. He should not give them to Indra but could offer something else. Karna would be protected from all the enemies and attacks as long as he wore them. But Karna could not accept the advice because he had taken a vow that he would not refuse anything asked by anyone. Surya disappeared after wishing him well.

467
Did he give away the Kavacha and Kundalas?
The next day Indra disguised as a brahmin visited him and praised him of his greatness and then asked for his help. Karna told the brahmin that he understood who he was and requested him to ask for any help. The brahmin asked for his Kavacha and Kundalas as Surya had warned him earlier. Karna with out any hesitation offered them to the brahmin. Indra, greatly pleased by this deed of Karna, suggested him to ask for some thing in return, which he refused stating that it was not his practice. Then on insistence he asked for the famous arrow Naikartana from Indra. Indra agreed to offer it but with the condition that Karna could use it only once. Indra returned happily with the Kavacha and Kundalas.

468
Did the Kauravas try to find out the Pandavas?
Yes, the Kauravas sent spies all over the world to find the Pandavas
out of their ajnaata
vaasa. But they only managed to get the news of the murder of Keechaka, the Virata army chief.

469
Was Duryodhana ready to return the kingdom to the Pandavas?
No, he was not ready to return the kingdom. Instead wanted to keep it with him and send the Pandavas for another twelve years to the forest.

470
Why did the Kauravas decide to invade the Virata kingdom and steal their cows?
The Kauravas understood that the Pandavas were living in the Virata kingdom and once it was attacked the Pandavas would come out to fight in favour of the Virata king. Once that happened it was easy to unmask the Pandavas.

471
Who other than the Kauravas wanted to fight with the Matsya (Virata) king?
Susarman, the King of the Trigartas wanted to fight against Viratas for the Virata king with the help of Keechaka had repeatedly defeated him in war. Now that Keechaka was dead and Susarman wanted to take revenge.

472
How did the king of Virata get the news of attack?
The cowherds informed him about the attack. The cows of Virata were stolen in thousands and the cowherds were unable to protect them and rushed to the king with the news of the theft.

473
What did the Virata king do when he got the news from the cowherds?
When he got the news, the king arrayed the Matsya forces consisting of chariots, elephants, horses and infantry and made them ready to fight.

474
Who had joined him to fight the Kauravas?
His brothers Sataneeka, Madirasa, Suryadatta and his eldest son Veerasanka had joined him to fight the war.

475
Did the King ask the Pandavas to join him in the war?
No, the king did not. But Yudhishtira himself offered to join the King in the war telling him that they were well versed in the art of archery.

476
Did the King accept the offer?
Yes, the King accepted the offer and made arrangements to prepare chariots and beautiful coats to wear during the war.

477
Who took the Matsya king captive and rushed out of the battlefield?
The king Susarman of Trigartas defeated the viratas and took the King captive. He placed Virata on his own car and rushed out of the field. Seeing this the frightened Matsya army began to flee in all directions.

478
What did Yudhishtira do at this juncture?
Yudhishtira wanted Bheema to rescue the Matsya King and asked him to do so. Bheema suddenly agreed to it and began to uproot a huge tree to fight with the Trigartas. But Yudhishtira advised Bheema not to commit such a rash act, which could help others to identify them.

479
Did Bheema rescue the Matsya king?
Yes, Bheema rescued the Virata (Matsya) king. Bheema showed the abode of Yama to thousands of thrigartas and finally caught hold of their king Susarman by his neck and produced before Yudhishtira.

480
Did Yudhishtira let Susarman free?
Yes, Yudhishtira set Susarman free. Actually Bheema wanted to make Susarman tell every one “ I am a slave” but Yudhishtira affectionately refused Bheema from making him do that. Susarman overwhelmed with shame went off after saluting the King and the Pandavas.

481
Who attacked the Viratas just after the Trigartas were defeated?
The Kauravas attacked the Viratas from all sides and drove off the cowherds and forcefully seized thousands of kine.

482
Was the king of Virata there in the kingdom to fight back?
No, he was not there in the kingdom. He had gone to the Trigartas to recover his cows and also to give them a fitting reply to their misadventure of attacking the Matsyas.

483
Whom did the cowherd chief inform about the Kaurava attack?
The cowherd chief informed Uttara Kumara, the prince about the attack.

484
What did the prince do when he was informed of the attack?
The prince indulged in self-commendation within the female apartments, boasted that he would have destroyed Bheeshma, Drona, Kripa, Karna, Aswattama etc. if he had a good charioteer who was conversant with the management of steeds. I would have fought in such a way that the Kauravas would begin to say one another, “ is it Arjuna himself who is opposing us?”

485
Who suggested that Brihannala was a good charioteer?
Draupadi, as advised by Arjuna himself, suggested that Brihannala was a very good charioteer. She was formerly the charioteer of Arjuna, the son of Pandu. It was with Brihannala as charioteer that Arjuna conquered Khandava prastha. In fact there was no other charioteer in the kingdom who was equal to her.

486
Did the Prince Uttara appoint Brihannala as his charioteer?
Yes, Uttara appointed Brihannala as his charioteer. The Princess Uttaraa (sister of prince Uttara and Arjuna’s pupil) gave him the charioteer’s dress, which was beautiful and glowing. She told Arjuna to bring silks and garments from the enemies after Uttara defeated them. Arjuna smiled in agreement.

487
What did the Prince Uttara do on their way to the battlefield?
The prince Uttara began to bewail his fate in the presence of Arjuna who was disguised as the charioteer. “My father had gone out to fight the Trigartas taking with him his whole army, leaving me in the empty city. There are no troops to assist me; I am unable to encounter these innumerable warriors. I don’t want to fight. There for, O Brihannala, please cease to advance!”

488
Did Brihannala listen to his wails?
No, Brihannala did not listen to his wail. She continued riding the chariot and advised Uttara to be brave like a Kshatriya. But Uttara jumped from the chariot and began to flee sacrificing his honour and pride. Brihannala chased him. Made him sit on the chariot and assured him that nothing would go wrong as long as she was with him. Uttara too scared of war offered his gold coins and other gifts to Brihannala to set him free. Brihannala would not relent. She approached a tree and asked Uttara to climb up. For in this tree the pandavas had kept their bows and arrows, armours etc.

489
Did Brihannala disclose her identity as Arjuna to Uttara?
Yes, Brihannala disclosed her identity as Arjuna as well as the other Pandavas when Uttara began to ask about the weapons, which were brought down from the tree -top. Arjuna explained to him about the various weapons and its owners.

490
Was Uttara convinced when Brihannala told that he was Arjuna?
No, Uttara was not convinced. He asked Brihannala to enumerate ten names of Arjuna with the reasons how he got them. Arjuna explained the names and its reasons to Uttara to his satisfaction.

491
What did Uttara feel when he was convinced of the identity of the Pandavas?
Uttara felt sad for the Pandavas for their present plight and apologized on the behalf of his father for all the hardships that they had to undergo during their stay in the Virata kingdom. Arjuna consoled him not to feel sad for they had been very happy in the Virata kingdom. Uttara felt stronger and happier and prepared himself for the fight.

492
What did Arjuna do after that?
Arjuna asked Uttara to drive the chariot. He removed the flag of the viratas from the chariot and hoisted his own golden banner bearing the figure of an ape with a lion’s tail. He twanged the string of the Gandiva and blew his conch Devdutta, which made every one feel the presence of the mighty Arjuna. Some were happy others felt terrified.

493
What did Drona say when he understood that Arjuna had come to fight?
Drona said, “from the rattle of the chariot and by the manner in which the clouds have enveloped the sky and by the tremble of the earth itself, this warrior must be none else than Arjun. Our weapons do not shine, our steeds are dispirited and our fire, though fed with fuel does not blaze up. Indeed our ranks seem to have already been vanquished, for non is eager to fight.”

494
What was Duryodhana’s reaction when Drona made his observations?
Duryodhana worried about Drona’s comments, began speaking to Bheeshma and the Acharyas that it was decided at the time of the defeat of the Pandavas at dice that if they were seen during the period of their ajnaathavaasa they would have to live another twelve years in the woods. That thirteenth year was still running and Arjuna had appeared before them. The Pandavas should continue living in the forest for another twelve years. Now it was time for Bheeshma to calculate the shortness or excess of the promised period.

495
What did Karna say when he heard of Drona speaking about Arjuna?
Karna said that he saw all the blessed ones looking as if alarmed and panic-struck and unwilling to fight. But he would not care. He would fight with Arjuna single-handed. His arrows like venomous snakes would pierce Arjuna’s body. Arjuna would be killed today and his body would be submitted to Duryodhana, the King and his master.

496
What was Kripa’s advice to Karna?
Kripa advised Karna that crooked minded people always think of war. Karna didn’t know the true nature of war nor taken in to account the consequences. According to the scriptures war had been regarded as the most sinful deed. It was only when time and place were favourable that military actions could lead to success. In the present instance no good result could be attained. Learned men could never act according to the ideas of a charioteer. An encounter with Arjuna was not advisable. Arjuna, in the past, had defeated many warriors single handed and even saved Duryodhana and company from the captivity of the Gandharvas. Did Karna defeat Arjuna in any combat? Or Nakula Or Sahadeva for that matter? Did he conquer Indraprasta? Karna did not do anything substantial yet. So he should stop boasting.

497
Did Karna sit quiet after hearing this?
No, he did not. Karna ridiculed Kripa saying that he had lost his nerve after seeing Arjuna.

498
What did Aswattama do when he heard Karna speaking thus?
Aswattama became angry and told Karna that he could not do anything to cross the boundary of the Matsyas (Virata). The captured cows had still not reached Hastinapura. Karna was in the habit of speaking great things but did nothing. It was not his bravery but jealousy towards Arjuna that made him to utter such falsehood.

499
What did Bheeshma do to calm down the situation?
Bheeshma said that Drona was correct so were Kripa and Aswattama. Karna’s words only showed that he was duty bound. The business at hand was grave. He wanted to increase the moral of the army. It was not his intention to blame the preceptor. So Drona, Kripa and Aswattama should forgive everything and unite together to fight the son of Kunti.

500
What did Bheeshma tell about the accuracy of the Pandavas ajnaathavaasa?
Bheeshma after making the calculations told Duryodhana that Pandavas had fulfilled every thing that they had promised. Arjuna made his appearance only after knowing this to be certain. They would not deviate from virtue for Yudhishtira was their leader and guide. Arjuna did not yield to temptation. Therefore, whether a battle was proper at this juncture or not, consistent with virtue or not make your arrangements soon, for Arjuna was at hand.

501
What statement did Duryodhana make after Bheeshma declared that the Pandavas had completed their ajnaathavaasa?
Duryodhana was disappointed with the statement of Bheeshma. Still made it clear that he would not give back the Pandavas their kingdom. He preferred a battle and it was time to make all arrangements for it with out any delay.

502
What instruction did Arjuna give to Uttara once he studied how the Kaurava army was arrayed?
Arjuna, after beholding the Kaurava army arrayed by Bheeshma, instructed Uttara to move towards Duryodhana. He would like to see the wretch Duryodhana and would fall upon his head; once that was done others would regard themselves as defeated. His chariot went away leaving Bheeshma, Kripa etc. behind.

503
What did Kripa do when he guessed that Arjuna was searching for Duryodhana?
Kripa addressed his men “ Arjuna desired to fight with the King Duryodhana only. If we did not stop Arjuna, his inflamed wrath would destroy Duryodhana in no time. What was the use of cows or this vast wealth if Duryodhana were to die?”

504
What did Arjuna do to get back the cows?
Arjuna in the meanwhile proceeded towards the enemy troops, declared himself by name and blew his conch and twanged his Gandiva, which always made the bristles of the foe stand erect. Arjuna sent arrows in such a speed that the hostile soldiers could not see anything. The cows out of fear ran to the cowshed of the viratas.

505
Who did Arjuna meet while proceeding towards Duryodhana? And what happened then?
Arjuna while proceeding towards Duryodhana saw Karna in the distance. He asked Uttara to take the chariot to Karna who had grown so proud under the patronage of Duryodhana. Arjuna covered Karna with a thick downpour of keen edged shafts. Both the heroes stationed on their chariots exchanged countless shafts and weapons. Arjuna wielding the Gandiva like a lion awakened from slumber furiously attacked Karna by means of straight going arrows. Karna bleeding all over the body quit the chariot and began to run away from the battlefield.

506
Who did Arjuna fight next?
Arjuna after defeating Karna turned to Drona and began to fight. Aswattama joined Drona when he found that his father was losing. Arjuna defeated Aswattama too. Arjuna defeated Kripa, Bheeshma and all other seniors of the Kuru army and looked around for Duryodhana. Duryodhana could not withstand the might of Arjuna. He left his chariot and ran away.

507
What did Arjuna do when Duryodhana ran away?
Arjuna ridiculed Duryodhana. He told the name Duryodhana bestowed on him did not suit his character. Duryodhana was a coward and his action was unlike a brave king.

508
What did Duryodhana do when Arjuna ridiculed him?
Duryodhana came back to fight. Karna and all the Kuru army joined against Arjuna. They completely surrounded Arjuna and shot arrows at him from all sides. Arjuna invoked the powerful celestial weapon Sammohana obtained from Indra. It made all the Kurus deprive of their senses. They all fell unconscious.

509
What did Arjuna remind Uttara when all the Kurus fell unconscious?
Arjuna reminded Uttara of the request made by the palace women to get them good cloths and ornaments of the foes.

510
Did Uttara collect dresses and ornaments of the foes?
Yes, he did. As instructed by Arjuna Uttara collected beautiful silks and ornaments from the bodies of the hostile army men.

511
Did Arjuna carry his weapons to the Virata kingdom?
Arjuna after vanquishing the hostile army and saving the cows from the Kurus, returned to the Sami tree. He replaced his weapons on top of the tree, tied the Virata flag on the chariot and took the control of it. He corrected his look and entered the
VirataKingdom as Brihannala, the charioteer of Uttara.

512
What did the Kauravas do after the defeat?
The Kauravas utterly routed and vanquished, set out in a dejected mood for Hastinapura.

513
What did Brihannala tell Uttara?
Arjuna, on his way back, told Uttara to send a messenger declaring the victory. And also asked him to be cautious not to tell anything about the Pandavas’ presence in the Virata kingdom.

514
How did the King react when he was informed of the victory of his son?
Hearing about the victory of his son, king Virata became so glad that he ordered his officers to decorate the roads with flags, all the gods and goddesses to be worshipped with floral offerings. He wanted all the princes and warriors, musicians and harlots clad in their best attires, to march out to receive his son. He also ordered Princess Uttaraa, his daughter to go forth to receive her brother.

515
Why did the Virata King strike Yudhishtira’s face violently with a dice?
The king of Virata overwhelmed with happiness wanted to play the game of dice. While the game was progressing the king boasted of the bravery of his son. Yudhishtira told the king that when Brihannala was with the prince as his charioteer the victory was expected for she was the one who had vanquished the collective fighting strength of all the celestials, the Asuras and human beings. The king felt very angry of the comments. He struck Yudhishtira in the face with a dice commenting that he should not repeat his mistake of denying glory to his son. The strike was so violent blood began to flow.

516
What did Yudhishtira do when blood began to flow from his face?
Yudhishtira held the blood in his hand before it fell on the ground and glanced at Draupadi who was standing by the side. Draupadi brought a golden vessel with water to receive the blood that flowed from his face.

517
What did Yudhishtira whisper to the messenger when he informed the king that Uttara and his companion Brihannala had arrived at the gate?
Yudhishtira whispered to the messenger that Brihannala must not be brought together with the prince. Bring the prince first and Brihannala could be brought a while later. If Brihannala saw him bleeding she would kill the King at once and that should not happen.

518
What did Uttara say when his father praised him on his victory over the Kauravas?
Prince Uttara told his father that it was not he who had recovered the kine or vanquished the foes. He was running away in fear of the Kauravas. It was the son of a deity who held him and made to sit on the chariot. So all the praise should go to that mighty warrior.

519
What did he ask Uttara to do?
The king asked Uttara to tell him about the son of the deity.

520
Did Uttara disclose about that son of a deity?
No, he did not. Instead he told the king that the mighty son of a deity disappeared there and then. He hoped that the mighty warrior would show himself in a couple of days.

521
Did the Pandavas show up in a couple of days?
Yes, they did. On the third day, attired in beautiful robes and decked in ornaments of all kinds, the five Pandava brothers with Yudhishtira in front entered the council hall. They occupied the chairs reserved for kings and waited for the Virata King to come.

522
Did King Virata like the Pandavas occupying the seats reserved for Kings?
No, he did not. King Virata on seeing the Pandavas sitting on chairs reserved for Kings became very angry and asked Yudhishtira that how a courtier (employed as dice player) could occupy the royal seat? He threatened Yudhishtira to get up and take a seat on the floor or else would be punished.

523
Who answered the Virata’s question?
Arjuna answered the king. He disclosed their identity and introduced all the Pandavas to him and the Prince Uttara confirmed it and told the king that Arjuna was the one who had defeated the Kauravas in the battle.

524
What did King Virata do when he came to know about the identity of the Pandavas?
King Virata overwhelmed with happiness offered his kingdom and treasury to Yudhishtira. And also requested Arjuna to marry his daughter Uttara. So that they would have a long lasting alliance of relationship and friendship.

525
Did the Pandavas accept the Kingdom?
No they did not. Instead they told the King that they preferred the Virata to be their ally in the forthcoming war with the Kauravas.

526
Did Arjuna accept Uttara as his wife?
No, he did not. Arjuna told Virata that Uttaraa had been his pupil and he loved her like a daughter. So he could not marry her but he would accept her as his daughter in law. His son Abhimanyu would marry her and that would help their mutual relationship to prosper and grow stronger.

527
Did Abhimanyu marry Uttaraa as agreed by the Pandavas?
Yes, Abhimanyu married the Virata Princess Uttaraa in the presence of Lord Krishna, Kings, warriors and many other prominent personalities of that time.






UDYOGA PARVA






528
Who began the discussion at the court of Virata about the next course of action the pandavas had to adopt?
After the marriage of Abhimanyu and Uttara the invitees took rest in the palace. The next day every one assembled in the council hall had a pleasant chat. In the middle of the chat
Krishna raised the issue of the Pandavas’ present plight and sought suggestions from the kings and others assembled there to find a solution to it.

529
Who spoke after Lord Krishna?
Balarama spoke after
Krishna. Balarama suggested that a noble man should go to Hastinapura to pacify the Kauravas. He showed a lot of sympathy towards the Pandavas in the beginning but began to accuse Yudhishtira of his wrong doings. He told that when Yudhishtira had his throne he forgot himself by being engaged in gambling. Though every one tried to dissuade him from challenging Sakuni, he did not bother to listen and lost his kingdom.

529
Who indignantly condemned the words of Balarama?
Sathyaki rose up from his seat and told Balarama that he was speaking in strict conformity with the nature of his heart. He wondered how the august assembly allowed Balarama to speak ill of Yudhishtira? Sakuni who was clever in the game of dice challenged the unskilled Yudhishtira and defeated him. Was Sakuni righteous? Was Duryodhana righteous? They used tricks to defeat Yudhishtira. Still he accepted the defeat for he was the most virtuous person in the universe. So there was no need of sending any messenger on behalf of the Pandavas. Duryodhana must return Indraprasta to Yudhishtira.

530
Did King Drupada agree with Sathyaki?
Yes, King Drupada agreed with Sathyaki’s words. He told the assembly that Duryodhana would not give up Indraprasta on his own by peaceful means. Dritarashtra would follow whatever Duryodhana said. Bheeshma and Drona too would not differ.

531
What was
Krishna’s suggestion?
Krishna suggested that the Kurus respected Drupada, so he could send a message to Dritarashtra requesting him to return Indraprasta to the Pandavas. There after the guests including Krishna left Virata.

532
Did Drupada agree to send a messenger to Hastinapura?
Yes, He agreed to send his chief priest to Hastinapura as messenger. He was a wise and well-mannered person.

533
Where did Arjuna go from Virata?
Arjuna went to Dwaraka to ask
Krishna’s help.

534
How did Duryodhana get the news that Arjuna was going to meet
Krishna?
Duryodhana had deployed spies all over to gather information of all the doings of the Pandavas. When he was told that Arjuna was going to Dwaraka to meet
Krishna, he too set out to Dwaraka to seek Krishna’s help. Duryodhana arrived Dwaraka before Arjuna.

535
What was
Krishna doing when both the cousins arrived at Dwaraka?
Krishna was sleeping. So Duryodhana and Arjuna waited for Krishna to wake up. Duryodhana sat on a beautiful chair at the head of the bed. Arjuna stood at Krishna‘s feet with folded hands.

536
Who did
Krishna see first when he woke up?
Krishna first saw Arjuna standing at his feet with folded hands. Then saw Duryodhana sitting beside him on a chair.

537
What did
Krishna ask them?
Krishna enquired about their journey and greeted both of them warmly. He asked them the reasons of the joint visit and joked whether they had settled all their disputes and began to be good brothers and friends.

538
What did Duryodhana tell
Krishna?
Duryodhana told
Krishna that nothing had been settled and that he had come to seek his assistance in the impending war with the Pandavas. He told Krishna that he came first to seek his help. As he bore the same relationship to both of them, it was only just that he took up the cause of those who came first to ask him for help. This was how the ancients acted and Krishna stood at the very top of all right-minded persons in the world and was always respected. So he should take up his cause first.

539
What did
Krishna tell Duryodhana?
Krishna told Duryodhana that he had no doubt about the fact that Duryodhana came first, but as he first saw Arjuna standing at his feet, he should lend his assistance to both the cousins. There was a rule that those who are junior in years should have the first choice. Therefore, Arjuna was entitled to the first choice.

540
Did the cousins agree to the suggestion of
Krishna?
Yes, they both agreed to
Krishna’s suggestion

541
What was
Krishna’s offer to both Duryodhana and Arjuna?
Krishna’s offer to both of them was, on one hand, a large army of cowherds who were equal to him in strength and valour, known as the Narayanas. On the other hand He (Krishna) alone. He would not fight on the field nor carry any arms. He asked Arjuna, being the youngest, to make his choice. On one side a full-fledged army and on the other side Krishna alone.

542
What did Arjuna choose?
Arjuna chose
Krishna alone. A Krishna who would neither carry weapons nor would fight on the battlefield.

543
Was Duryodhana happy with what he got?
Yes. Duryodhana was very happy with the great army of
Krishna and believed that a Krishna without carrying weapons and without fighting war was not of much use. He began to believe that Arjuna was almost vanquished.

544
Who did Duryodhana meet next?
Next Duryodhana met Balarama, the son of Rohini, and explained to him the object of his visit.

545
What was Balarama’s advice to his beloved pupil Duryodhana?
Balarama advised him to fight in accordance with the rules of propriety. He reminded Duryodhana of his speech favouring the Kauravas at the Virata court. Balarama told him that he contradicted
Krishna in the Virata court and alluded to the equality of their relationship to both the parties. Krishna did not agree with his views but took a stand that he would fight neither for the Pandavas nor for the Kauravas. Duryodhana embraced his guru and left for Kritavarman.

546
What did
Krishna ask Arjuna when Duryodhana had left them?
Krishna asked Arjuna why he did not choose the army instead?

547
What answer did Arjuna give?
Arjuna said he knew that
Krishna was able to slay all the Kauravas alone. When Krishna was with the Pandava side Arjuna too could do the same. He was his lord and guide and it was Arjuna’s long cherished desire to have Krishna as his charioteer.

548
Did
Krishna agree to be Arjuna’s charioteer?
Yes.
Krishna agreed to be Arjuna’s charioteer.

549
Who received Salya, the brother of Madri, while he was on his way to the Pandavas?
Duryodhana arranged a great reception for Salya and his army without informing him. Salya thought his nephew Yudhishtira arranged it. Pleased with the arrangements he declared that he would reward Yudhishtira and asked for him. Then Duryodhana came forward and showed himself to Salya. Salya understanding that it was Duryodhana who had arranged the reception embraced him and asked him to choose something that he might desire.

550
What did Duryodhana ask Salya as a boon?
Duryodhana asked Salya to be the leader of all his army.

551
Did Salya agree to be the leader of the Kaurava army?
Yes. Salya agreed to be the leader of the Kaurava army.


552
Where did Salya go from Duryodhana?
Salya went to meet Yudhishtira and explained to him all that had happened on his way and his promise to Duryodhana.

553

What did Yudhishtira seek from Salya?
Yudhishtira sought the assistance of Salya to help Arjuna. Yudhishtira knew that Salya would be Karna’s charioteer. He wanted Salya to help Arjuna by dispiriting Karna when they would be engaged in one to one fight.

554
Did Salya offer to help Arjuna?
Yes. Salya offered to help Arjuna. He agreed to speak harsh words, which could harm Karna’s pride and valour in the battlefield.

555
What message did the Pandavas send to the Kauravas?
The Pandavas sent a message saying that the Kauravas should return the kingdom, which rightly belonged to the Pandavas.

556
What did Bheeshma say when the messenger delivered his message?
Bheeshma was happy to know that the pandavas were with
Krishna and they were all well and happy and desirous of a peaceful settlement with the Kauravas.

557
Who interrupted Bheeshma when he was talking to the messenger?
Karna interrupted Bheeshma and began to tell the messenger that Duryodhana would not yield even a single foot of land to the Pandavas who had violated a stipulation. But if justice required Duryodhana would give up the whole earth even to a foe. If the Pandavas wished to get back their ancestral throne then they should pass the specified period of time in the forest as had been stipulated. It was better for the Pandavas to go back to the forest for another twelve years. After that they could come back and live as Duryodhana’s dependents. If they desired war, then they would encounter in battle the Kurus and he was sure later, they would remember his words.

558
Did Bheeshma like these words of Karna?
No, Bheeshma did not like Karna’s words. He scolded Karna for making such loose talk. He reminded him of the heroic act carried out by Arjuna single handed in the Virata kingdom and also advised to act according to the message sent by Yudhishtira or else all the Kurus would be slain by Arjuna alone.

559
What did Dritarashtra do when he found that Bheeshma was angry?
Dritarashtra pacified Bheeshma with words of entreaty and scolded Karna. He told every one in the court that whatever Bheeshma had said was binding on all the Kauravas and the Pandavas as well. He told the priest to go back and inform Yudhishtira that he would send Sanjaya as his emissary.

560
What did the priest do then?
The priest returned and explained everything to the Pandavas.

561
Did Sanjaya visit the Pandavas?
Yes, Sanjaya visited the Pandavas with the message from Dritarashtra.

562
What was the message from Dritarashtra?
Dritarashtra advised Yudhishtira that he would not gain anything if he went to war. The army of the Kauravas was very strong and it would be difficult for the Pandavas to defeat it. The pandavas had been living a very righteous life and gained a lot of good will. By engaging a war they would loose all that and the world would curse them for being the reason for the death of so many people. So they should abandon the desire to have the kingdom back and live with their cousin
Krishna.

563
How did Yudhishtira feel when the message was delivered to him?
Yudhishtira felt very angry and told Sanjaya that the king was trying to grab what duly belonged to the Pandavas. Having lived in this world for many years he was sure of the need for peace. But nothing should be one sided. If peace was to be maintained then both the parties should behave responsibly. Dritarashtra was no angel. He had rejected the advice of the wise and faithful like Bheeshma and Vidura. Taking away the kingdom and asking the Pandavas to maintain peace was nothing but hypocrisy. But to avoid a war the pandavas were ready to accept even five villages and settle down. They would not accept this hypocrisy of their uncle. If war was the last resort then the Pandavas were ready for it. He advised Sanjaya to report this to their uncle.

564
Did Sanjaya report this message to Dritarashtra?
Yes, Sanjaya reported this message to Dritarashtra.

565
Who did Dritarashtra call after receiving the message?
Dritarashtra called Vidura after receiving the message from the Pandavas.

566
What did Dritarashtra tell Vidura?
Dritarashtra told Vidura that he had lost his peace of mind after receiving Yudhishtira’s message. He wanted Vidura to advise him words of wisdom, which would regain his peace of mind.

567
Did Vidura help Dritarashtra to regain his peace of mind?
Yes. Vidura advised him words of wisdom to make him understand the ground realities. He told him that what the Kauravas were doing was not up to the tenets of dharma. From very olden times it had been seen that gambling provokes quarrel. Therefore one should not resort to it even in jest. “O king, at the time of that gambling match itself I had told you that it was not proper. But then those words of mine were not agreeable to you. You desired to vanquish the sons of Pandu. O king, the time has come for you to grieve’’. Vidura again advised Dritarashtra to handover what was due to the Pandavas to avert the total destruction of the Kuru race.

568
To whom did Sanjaya explain the message the next day?
Sanjaya explained the message to all the Kauravas including Karna and many other kings.

569
Who talked first after hearing the message from Sanjaya?
Bheeshma talked first, saying that the two heroic and mighty warriors,
Krishna and Arjuna, were those same ancient gods, the divine Narayana and Nara. They were invincible and no one on earth or heaven could defeat them in a war. It was good for the Kauravas to return Indraprasta to the Pandavas so that a great calamity could be averted. Only three persons support Duryodhana. Sakuni, his uncle; Karna, the suta's son cursed by Parasurama and his mean and sinful brother Dussasana.

570
How did Karna react when he heard Bheeshma insulting him?
Karna was very angry and frustrated of Bheeshma for using such harsh words against him. He had adopted the duties of the Kshatriya order without failing. He had never done any injury to Dritarashtra's sons; on the other hand, he always wanted to slay the Pandavas in battle. It was always his duty to do all that was agreeable to king Dritarashtra, especially to Duryodhana, for he was in possession of the kingdom.

571
What did Bheeshma tell Dritarashtra?
Bheeshma addressed Dritarashtra that this Karna often says--I shall slay the Pandavas. He was not equal to even a sixteenth part of the Pandavas. “You know very well about the great calamity that was about to overtake your wicked sons, was the act of this wretched son of a Suta. Relying on him, your foolish son Duryodhana had insulted those heroes of celestial descent. What difficult feats had this man achieved in the past, which could make him a hero? Where was he when the Gandharva defeated Duryodhana and company in Dwaitavana? What happened when Arjuna crushed the Kurus in the city of
Virata and took away their robes? Where was this son of a Suta then, who now snorts like a bull?”

572
What was Drona’s suggestion to Dritarashtra?
Drona suggested that Dritarashtra should do what Bheeshma had asked him to do. Peace with the Pandavas, before the war broke out, seemed to be the best option. Arjuna was capable of achieving what he wanted to achieve. In the war Arjuna would slay all the Kauravas and the dynasty would perish.

573
Did Dritarashtra agree to the advice?
No. Dritarashtra neither agreed nor gave any importance to the advice. He asked Sanjaya about the Pandavas and the details of their messages. He got terribly frightened when Sanjaya narrated the whole message.

574
Who tried to console Dritarashtra?
Duryodhana, understanding his father’s state of mind tried to console him. He told his father that he was fully aware of the fact that the Pandavas had managed to have a large and powerful army. Their allies had been demanding to take back Indraprasta and they have already assembled near it. Realizing the seriousness, he approached Bheeshma, Drona and Kripa. He told them that
Krishna desired their extinction and with the exception of Dritarashtra and Vidura, all the Kurus would be killed. Bheeshma, Drona and Kripa had assured him that if a war took place then each Kaurava was single handedly capable of vanquishing all the kings who had joined with the Pandavas. The Kaurava army was stronger than that of the Pandavas. The Kurus had more friends than them. If a war broke out, the Pandavas would be annihilated. He told his father that there was no reason to worry. Duryodhana spoke with great confidence as if he had already won the war.

575
Did Duryodhana’s assurance make Dritarashtra happy?
No, Duryodhana’s assurances did not make Dritarashtra happy. Rather he began to worry more about the consequence of the war. He requested Duryodhana to return Indraprasta to the Pandavas so that the war could be averted and the world would praise them for their magnanimity.

576
Did Duryodhana agree to his father’s words?
No, he did not agree to his father’s words. He became very angry. He declared that Indraprasta would not be returned to the Pandavas at any cost.

577
Did others advise Duryodhana to abandon Indraprasta?
Yes. Vyasa, Gandhari and many others advised him to handover Indraprasta to the Pandavas but Duryodhana refused to accept all the advices. He left the court with anger.

578
What was Yudhishtira’s request to
Krishna?
Yudhishtira requested
Krishna to go to Hastinapura as their emissary.

579
Did
Krishna accept the request?
Yes.
Krishna accepted the request and told Yudhishtira that ‘'I will go to the court of the Kauravas for the sake of both of you. If I can obtain peace without sacrificing your interests, O king, that will give me great amount of happiness”.

580
What worried Yudhishtira in sending
Krishna to the Kurus?
He was worried that Duryodhana, the evil-minded son of Dritarashtra might try to inflict harm on
Krishna.

581
What did
Krishna tell Yudhishtira when he expressed his worry to him?
Krishna told Yudhishtira that by going there the Pandavas would escape the blame of all the kings on earth. If the Kauravas did him any injury, then he would consume all the Kurus. He intended going on this mission. His going there would not be fruitless, for if the object was not fulfilled, they would at least escape the blame that they did not make efforts to avoid war.

582
Who else, other than Yudhishtira expressed their worries to
Krishna?
Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula Sahadeva and Draupadi all expressed their concerns and worries to
Krishna. Krishna consoled all of them and made it clear that he would keep in mind the vows taken by the Pandavas and Draupadi at the Kauravas’ court. He left for Hastinapura the next day.

583
How did Dritarashtra get the news of
Krishna’s arrival?
Dritarashtra got the news of
Krishna’s arrival through his spies. He ordered to arrange a grand welcome for Krishna to please him. He sent words to every one to assemble at the court to discuss about the strategy to be adopted when Krishna visited them.

584
What was the plan Duryodhana had to enslave the Pandavas?
Duryodhana wanted to arrest and imprison
Krishna, the sole refuge of the Pandavas. He declared in the court that when Krishna arrived the next day he would imprison him.

585
What was Dritarashtra’s request to Duryodhana?
Dritarashtra requested Duryodhana to never say this again.
Krishna was an ambassador and related to every one. He had not done any harm to the Kurus.

586
What did Bheeshma tell Dritarashtra?
Bheeshma told Dritarashtra that the time of his wicked son had come. He always chose evil to good. Duryodhana who had abandoned all virtues would be destroyed the moment he came in contact with
Krishna. Bheeshma, infuriated, got up and left the court.

587
Who received
Krishna in Hastinapura?
Dritarashtra accompanied by Bheeshma, Drona, Kripa and many other kings and prominent citizens together received
Krishna. Duryodhana with his brothers and Karna too were present to receive him.

588
Where did
Krishna go after the hospitable reception was over?
Krishna went to Vidura’s house after the reception. They spent time together discussing about many things pertaining to the pandavas and the imminent war.

589
Did
Krishna meet Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas?
Yes.
Krishna went to Kunti straight from Vidura’s house. Kunti received him with an emotionally charged mind. Krishna enquired about her and later explained to her about every thing related to the Pandavas and Draupadi.

590
What was Kunti’s request to
Krishna?
Kunti requested
Krishna to do what he felt proper without sacrificing righteousness to accomplish the concerns of his friends.

591
Were did
Krishna go from Kunti’s home?
Krishna after biding farewell to Kunti went to Duryodhana’s palace. The palace was furnished beautifully. It looked like the abode of Purandara himself.

592
Was he treated well in Duryodhana’s palace?
Duryodhana treated
Krishna very well. He requested Krishna to eat and take rest in his palace.

593
Did
Krishna accept his request?
Krishna did not accept the request saying that envoys accept invitations only after the success of their mission. There fore Duryodhana could entertain him and his attendants once the mission became successful.

594
What did Duryodhana say when
Krishna refused his invitation?
Duryodhana told
Krishna that whether his mission was successful or not he was invited as a relative and a good friend. With him the Kauravas had no hostility or war. So Krishna should accept the invitation.

595
What did
Krishna tell?
Krishna told “the Kauravas without any reason hate the Pandavas from the moment of their birth. It is unreasonable. They stand by virtue. Those who hate the Pandavas hate me. Those who love me love the pandavas too”. So Krishna could not eat in Duryodhana’s palace.

596
Where did
Krishna eat his food?
Krishna ate and took rest in Vidura’s house.

597
Who visited
Krishna when he was with Vidura?
Bheeshma, Drona, Kripa etc. and many kings and prominent people visited
Krishna and invited him to their houses. But Krishna politely refused the invitations and told them all that he was very comfortable with Vidura. They discussed about the current situation and the possibility of averting the imminent war.

598
What were Vidura’s comments?
Vidura commented “Duryodhana foolishly regards himself as very wise. He is the enemy of all his true friends. Ever suspicious without any control over his mind, he has abandoned all virtue and is in love with sin. He has great faith in Bheeshma, Drona and others. Duryodhana and Karna firmly believe that the Pandavas are incapable of even looking at Bheeshma, Drona and other heroes let alone fighting against them. The foolish son of Dritarashtra has arrived at the conclusion that Karna single-handed is competent enough to vanquish his foes. So to establish peace with Dritarashtra’s sons would be a futile task”.

599
What did
Krishna say to Vidura?
Krishna told Vidura that he had come to make a last effort to avert the war, which was hanging over their heads. He was very well aware of the wickedness of Dritarashtra’s sons and the hostility of the kings who had sided with them. He would sincerely endeavor to bring about peace between the two families. That would be his effort when he officially present the message to the Kauravas the next morning.

600
What did
Krishna tell in the Kauravas’ court?
Krishna entered the Kauravas’ court accompanied by Vidura and Satyaki. He wished all who had assembled there, according to their age, and took his seat. He told Dritarashtra that he had come to establish peace between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Besides that he did not have any other beneficial words to offer. The Kuru dynasty was the noblest of all dynasties on earth. The Kuru kings were well known for their nobility and adherence to righteousness. His wicked sons headed by Duryodhana abandoned all virtues, disregarded morality and deprived of their senses by avarice were acting most unrighteously towards their own brothers. If he became indifferent to it, it would then produce a universal slaughter. Krishna asked Dritarashtra to set right his sons, and he would set the Pandavas right. As regards the sons of Pritha, they would equally be ready to wait upon him in dutiful service or to fight. It was for Dritarashtra to adopt what he thought was best for him.

601
Who talked after
Krishna?
Bheeshma told Duryodhana that
Krishna had spoken about the importance of bringing in peace between the brothers. If he failed to act on those words he would be missing a chance to save the lives of his family and friends and also the whole world from destruction. He should not be the exterminator of his population and the earth.

602
Who talked to Dritarashtra next?
Drona spoke to him to abide by the words of
Krishna and Bheeshma so that a great war could be avoided.

603
What did Vidura say?
Vidura said that he was not worried about Duryodhana but very much worried about the old couple Dritarashtra and Gandhari. If Duryodhana failed to listen to the elders’ words, this couple would be forced to wander around deprived of friends and relatives like a pair of birds sheared off their wings.

604
Did Dritarashtra advise Duryodhana?
Yes. Dritarashtra advised Duryodhana to accept the words of
Krishna, which were highly beneficial and conducive to him and his family. So he should not let the opportunity pass away. If however he disregarded the words of Krishna then victory would never be his.

605
After hearing Dritarashtra what did Bheeshma and Drona tell?
Bheeshma told Duryodhana that “As yet
Krishna and Arjuna did not enter the battle field, as yet Gandiva lay in peace, as yet Yudhishtira did not cast his angry glances on the Kuru troops, so let hostility cease. As yet Bheema did not make the heads of warriors roll on the field of battle, as yet Nakula and Sahadeva, Drishtadyumna, Virata and Sikhandin did not penetrate the Kuru ranks, so let hostility cease. Let yourself be received by Yudhishtira the just with an embrace, while you salute him bending your head. Let hostility cease. Give peace a chance. Return their kingdom”.

606
How did Duryodhana react to the advice and opinions of
Krishna and others?

Duryodhana listened to every one carefully and at the end reacted very sharply to
Krishna and others. He looked at Krishna and told that every body was uttering harsh words on him as if he was the only one who was at fault. He grieved that all of them including the king himself hate him. He did not find any fault however minute, with him. In the game of dice the Pandavas were vanquished and Sakuni won their kingdom. It was his magnanimity, which made the Pandavas to get their kingdom back before Sakuni again defeated them and had to go to the woods. He asked Krishna that what did they do against the Pandavas for them to slaughter the sons of Dritarashtra? Why should he bow down to the Pandavas? He would not bow down to Indra himself, let alone the sons of Pandu. He did not see any one including the very gods competent enough to vanquish Bheeshma, Drona, Kripa and Karna in battle. Khandavaprasta, which was formerly given to them by his father, would never again be obtainable by the Pandavas. As long as he lived, even that much of land, which may be covered by the point of a sharp needle, would not be given back to the Pandavas.

607
What was
Krishna’s answer to Duryodhana?

Krishna’s eyes, for a moment, became red with anger. He addressed Duryodhana with these words “ You wish to have a pyre fit for heroes then be sure you will get it very soon. There will be a great slaughter in which you and your companions will face death. You claim that you have not done anything against the Pandavas. Let the learned monarchs assembled in this court judge that. Envying the prosperity of the Pandavas, you conspired with your uncle Sakuni to have the gambling match. You insulted Draupadi by letting Dussasana drag her to the court and that too when she was having her period. All the Kauravas know what words Dussasana and Karna used in the assembly against Draupadi and the Pandavas. Though repeatedly solicited by your parents, Bheeshma, Drona, and Vidura to make peace, you have not yet agreed. You are ignoring the words of your friends and well -wishers. You will not be able to attain what you think you can’’.

608
What did Dussasana tell Duryodhana?
Dussasana told Duryodhana “ Dear brother if you do not like to make peace with the Pandavas, our grand father, Drona, Kripa and our father together will bind us, and hand us over to Yudhishtira ”.

609
What did Duryodhana do when he heard these words of Dussasana?
Duryodhana, hearing these words of Dussasana, got up from his seat, looked around and walked out of the hall, disrespecting the presence of all the respectable elders and also ignoring his mother Gandhari’s request to sit in the court. His brothers too followed suit.

610
How did Bheeshma react when he saw Duryodhana’s behavior?
Bheeshma became very angry and observed that this wicked son of Dritarashtra would listen to the dictates of wrath and avarice only. Bheeshma said that the hour of all the Kshatriyas assembled there had come for they had with their armies followed Duryodhana.

611
What was Duryodhana’s plan to tame the Pandavas?
Duryodhana after consulting Dussasana, Karna and Sakuni decided to make
Krishna his captive for when the Pandavas come to know about it they would lose all their vigor and abandon the idea of war.

612
Who came to know about Duryodhana’s plan and informed
Krishna and the court?
Satyaki who was capable of reading others’ minds, informed Krishna Dritarashtra, and others in the court about Duryodhana’s resolve to make
Krishna his captive. Every one got terribly shocked and pandemonium prevailed in the court.

613
What did
Krishna tell the court?
Krishna told Dritarashtra that if Duryodhana thought of making him his captive, he would not commit any sinful or censurable act. If they desired to perpetrate such a deed then Yudhishtira’s objective would be accomplished this very day.

614
Who called Duryodhana to the court?
Dritarashtra sent Vidura to call Duryodhana and others to the court to advice them to drop the idea of making
Krishna a captive.

615
What did
Krishna say then?
Krishna said, “ out of delusion Duryodhana regarded Krishna to be alone and it was for this misunderstanding that he decided to take me as captive. Duryodhana look clearly at all the Pandavas, all the Vrishnis, all the Andhakas, all the Adityas, the Rudras and the Vasus with all the great rishis”. Krishna burst into a loud laughter. When he laughed his body began to blaze like fire. From the body emerged myriads of gods, each of lightning effulgence, not bigger than the thumb. And from his forehead appeared Brahma, from his chest Rudra. His eyes and nose and ears and from every part of his body emerged fierce sparks of fire. He blazed like the sun. Beholding that awful form of Kesava, all the kings closed their eyes with frightened hearts, except Drona, Bheeshma, Vidura and the Rishis, who possessed the wealth of asceticism. Krishna showed them his ‘viswarupa’ on this occasion.

616
What was Dritarashtra’s request to
Krishna?
Dhritarashtra lamented to
Krishna that he did not hold any control over his sons for Krishna himself had seen it in the court. He said he had tried his best to bring in peace between the cousins. He did not hold any ill feelings towards the pandavas.

617
Where did
Krishna go from the Kauravas’ court?
Krishna went to Vidura’s house to bid farewell to Kunti. After paying respect he explained her briefly about all that had happened in the court.

618
What was Kunti’s message to the Pandavas?
Kunti’s message to the Pandavas was, “Fight, according to the practices of kings. Do not sink your ancestor’s good name. Don’t do any sinful act”.

619
Did Krishna take Karna with him in his chariot?
Yes,
Krishna took Karna along with him in his chariot. They went to a lonely place where Krishna began to speak to Karna.

620
What did
Krishna tell Karna?

Krishna told Karna that he was a very learned man, very conversant with the tenets of the Vedas. Duryodhana was a sinful person and he should not support him. Krishna explained to him the secret behind Karna’s birth. Though he was born in a different circumstance he was morally the son of Pandu. Krishna requested Karna to join the Pandavas’ side as he genuinely belonged to the Pandavas. He was elder to Yudhishtira so the Pandavas would embrace him whole-heartedly. Draupadi would accept him as her sixth husband. If Karna were ready to accept he would be installed as the King of the earth immediately. All the other Pandavas including Yudhishtira would wait on him for his orders to implement. Kunti would be the happiest mother on earth. Let your friends rejoice and let your enemies grieve.

621
What was Karna’s answer to
Krishna?
Karna said, “ Without doubt, O Kesava, you have said these words from your love, affection, and friendship for me, as also with the desire of doing me good. I am aware of all that. I am the son of Kunti. She bore me while a maiden, through her connection with Surya. And at the command of Surya himself, she abandoned me as soon as I was born. Even thus, O Krishna, I came into the world as the most unfortunate child on earth. Kunti, my mother abandoned me without thinking of my welfare. The Suta, Adhiratha, as soon as he beheld me, took me to his home. Radha fed me, cleansed my urine and evacuations. How can one, deprive her of her right as a mother? So also Adhiratha regards me as son, and I too, from affection, always regard him as a father. When I attained my youth, I married wives according to his selections. Through them have been born my sons. My affection and love are fixed on them. From joy or fear, I cannot destroy those bonds even for the sake of the whole earth or heaps of gold. By the connection with Duryodhana I have enjoyed royal life for thirteen years. I have been chosen as the great antagonist of Arjuna to advance against him in a single combat. For the sake of death, or the ties of blood, or fear, or temptation, I cannot behave falsely towards Duryodhana. If I do not engage in a single combat with Arjuna, this will be inglorious for both him and myself. Without doubt, you have told me all this for doing me good. The Pandavas will do all that you have said. But still I cannot accept this offer. You must, however, conceal this discussion for the present. Therein lies our benefit, I think ”. After these words of Karna,
Krishna wished him well, hugged him and left for Upaplavya where the Pandavas were staying.

622
Who visited Karna when he was offering his prayers?
Kunti visited Karna when he was offering his prayers.

623
Why did she visit him? What was her demand?
Kunti visited Karna to tell him that she was his mother and not Radha, the wife of Adhiratha. She told him about the boons she received from the great saint Durvasa when she was a maiden and also the reason and circumstances, which forced her to abandon him. Though brought up by Adhiratha, he was a Partha and should join the Pandavas in the fight against the Kurus. She told him that the prosperity of Yudhishtira had been snatched by wicked souls; so Karna should help his brothers in their fight to regain it.

624
What was Karma’s stand on her request?
Karna’s stand was that he couldn’t obey her words. He accused her of abandoning him as soon as he was born. Her act had caused great damage to his future achievements and fame. Though he was born as a Kshatriya he had been deprived of the life of a Kshatriya. No enemy would have done this injustice to him. She did not do the duty of the mother, ignored him all through her life and at this juncture where he had to show his loyalty to his master, she had come with her requests just to save the lives of her beloved sons.

625
Did Karna reject her requests completely?
No, he did not. Though he refused to accept her request to join the Pandava side, he told her that he would not abandon kindness. He would not try to kill any of her sons other than Arjuna.

626
What did Kunti say to him then?
Kunti embraced her son and said that the Kauravas would certainly be exterminated in the war. She asked him to stick to his pledge that he would not touch the four brothers and remember it in the battlefield. And she wished him well and left the place.

627
What did
Krishna do after arriving at Upaplavya?
After arriving at Upaplavya Krishna spent a few minutes with the Pandavas and later went to his quarters to take rest.

628
What was Yudhishtira’s request to
Krishna when he came out after rest?
Yudhishtira requested
Krishna to tell them every thing that had happened at the court of the Kurus.

629
What did
Krishna tell them?
Krishna told them that he tried his best to convince the sons of Dritarashtra, in their court, to arrive at an agreement, which would bring in peace and avoid a war. But they were not ready to accept his words. And he had come back with out accomplishing his mission.

630
Did he explain every thing that had happened in the Kaurava court?
Yes,
Krishna had explained every thing that had happened in the Kaurava court. He told that Duryodhana would not give them their kingdom without a war.

631
What was Yudhishtira’s decision after hearing everything from
Krishna?
When Yudhishtira heard that Duryodhana had planned to take
Krishna captive, asked his brothers to prepare themselves and the troops for war. He did not want to hear anything more.

632
How many akshauhinis the Pandavas had?
The Pandavas had seven akshauhinis.

633
Who were given charge of each akshauhini?
There were seven Akshauhinis in the Pandava side. Drupada, Virata, Dhristadyumna, Sikhandin, Satyaki, Chekitana, and Bhimasena were given charge of each akshauhini.

634
Who was appointed as the commander of the entire army?
Yudhishtira, after consulting
Krishna and all others, appointed Dhrishtadyumna as the commander of the entire Pandava army.

635
What did the Pandavas do next?
The Pandava troops with many kings and friends marched towards Kurukshetra. Yudhishtira made the troops to camp at a place, which was even, cool and with abundant grass and water. After that he with
Krishna, Partha and others took a round of the surrounding area and began to make other arrangements and preparations for the war.

636
What did Duryodhana do when
Krishna left his court?
As soon as
Krishna left, Duryodhana told his brothers and friends that Krishna had gone to the Pandavas without achieving his mission. He would stimulate the Pandavas for a war. Arjuna and Bheema were for it from the beginning. Bheema could influence Yudhishtira. The kings of Panchala and Virata too would favour it. So preparations should be started immediately. The army should be ready to move out of Hastinapura by the next day.

637
Did the Kaurava army begin its march towards Kurukshetra the next day?
Yes, the Kaurava army began its march towards Kurukshetra the next day. Many kings and friends joined the Kaurava army to fight against the Pandavas.

638
How many akshauhinis did the Kauravas have?
The Kauravas had eleven akshauhinis.

639
Who were given charge of each akshauhini?
Kripa, Drona, Salya, Jayadratha, Sudakshina, Kritavarman, Aswattama, Karna, Bhurisravas, Sakuni and Vahlika each were given an akshauhini to lead.

640
What was Duryodhana’s request to Bheeshma?
Duryodhana accompanied by others requested Bheeshma with folded hands to take charge and command the Kaurava army.

641
Did Bheeshma agree to command the army?
Yes, he agreed but with two conditions. If Duryodhana agreed to those conditions Bheeshma would lead the army.

642
What were Bheeshma’s first conditions to Duryodhana?
Bheeshma told Duryodhana that he loved the Pandavas as much as he loved the Kauravas. So he would not try to kill the Pandavas. But he would fight for the Kurus as the promise he had given to Duryodhana. There was no one in this world other than Arjuna who could defeat or kill Bheeshma in a war. Bheeshma would slay ten thousand warriors every day, till Arjuna could kill or defeat him.

643
What was the second condition?
The second condition was that he would not fight if Karna were on the battlefield. Either he should fight first or Karna should fight first. Both could not fight on the battlefield at the same time. That could create clashes.

644
What was Karna’s promise to Bheeshma?
Karna’s promise to Bheeshma was that he would not fight as long as Bheeshma commanded the troops. Once Bheeshma was killed or relinquished of the command of the troops, only then he would fight against Arjuna. After this promise, Bheeshma agreed and was crowned as the commander of the Kaurava army.

645
What did Yudhishtira do when he got the news that Bheeshma had been coronated as the commander of the Kaurava army?
Yudhishtira Informed his brothers and
Krishna about the coronation of Bheeshma as the commander of the Kuru army. He instructed every one to be vigilant and told all of them that their first encounter would be with their grandsire Bheeshma.

646
Who visited the Pandavas at Kurukshetra?
Balarama accompanied by Akrura visited the Pandavas at Kurukshetra.

647
What did he tell the Pandavas?
He told the Pandavas that this fierce and terrible slaughter was inevitable. He hoped that all of them would come out of this strife with sound bodies and perfect mind. Balarama wanted
Krishna to be impartial to both the parties involved. Krishna had devoted his full heart for the cause of the Pandavas. He did not bother to listen to his brother. No one could defeat Krishna and his side. Both Duryodhana and Bheema were his pupils and he loved them equally. For this reason he could not see the destruction of the Kauravas with indifference. So he had decided to go for a theertha yatra to the banks of the river Saraswati. He wished them all and left.

648
Who was the next visitor to the Pandavas’ camp?
The next visitor to the Pandavas’ camp was Rukmi, the brother of Rukmini, the wife of
Krishna. Rukmi was defeated by Krishna when he opposed Krishna’s marriage with Rukmini. Since then they both remained enemies.

649
Who received Rukmi?
Yudhishtira received Rukmi and made him sit on a chair.

650
What was Rukmi’s advise to the Pandavas?
Rukmi advised the Pandavas not to be afraid because he was there to help them. His assistance would be such that it would be unbearable to the enemies. He boasted that there was no one in this world who was equal to his prowess. He could kill all the Kauravas one by one or together.

651
Who answered Rukmi?
Arjuna answered Rukmi that no body was afraid of the war. They were thankful to Rukmi for his offer of assistance but did not need him. They were capable of fighting it themselves with the assistance of
Krishna.

652
Where did Rukmi go next?
Rukmi went to the Kauravas next with his offer of help.

653
Did Duryodhana accept Rukmi’s offer of help?
No. Duryodhana, proud of his bravery, did not accept the offer of Rukmi, who was rejected by Arjuna.

654
Who were the two people who were not part of the war?
Balarama and Rukmi were the two people who were not part of the war.

655
Who did Duryodhana send to the Pandavas with his message?
Duryodhana after consulting with his associates sent Uluka, the son of Sakuni to the Pandavas with his message.

656
Did Uluka go to the Pandavas with the message?
Yes. Uluka went to the Pandavas with separate messages to each of the Pandavas and
Krishna.

657
Did the Pandavas receive him?
Yes. The Pandavas received him and asked him to deliver the message

658
What was Uluka’s request to the Pandavas?
He requested the pandavas that they should not be angry with him and punish him.

659
Did the Pandavas agree to his request?
Yes. They agreed and encouraged him to deliver the message.

660
What was Duryodhana’s message to Yudhishtira?
Duryodhana’s message to Yudhishtira was that he had been the slave of Kauravas and his wife Draupadi had been dragged to the court when she was having her period and was wrapped in a single cloth. He did not have the courage to stop his wife being insulted. Twelve years he lived in the forest and one year in the service of the Virata. He was a coward acting as a hero. He should remember his past and fight like a man.

661
What was the message to Bheema?
The message to Bheema was that though he was very weak he had taken the vow to kill Dussasana and drink his blood. He was taking care of the Virata’s kitchen and his culinary skills were well known. He deserved an award in cookery. So it was better for Bheema to find some kitchen rather than strolling around Kurukshetra.

662
What was the message for Arjuna?
The message for Arjuna was that he bragged a lot. Success in a war resulted in the application of method. A battle was never won by bragging. Though Arjuna had
Krishna as ally and had the Gandiva and boasted that there was no warrior equal to him in archery, still Duryodhana could detain the Pandava kingdom and rule it for thirteen years and would continue to do so. Arjuna could go back to the Virata kingdom to teach dance to children.

663
What was Duryodhana‘s message to Nakula and Sahadeva?
Duryodhana’s message to Nakula and Sahadeva was that they should take care of the cows and horses, which they were doing in the Virata court. But if they felt like fighting he would be happy to see their bravery.

664
What was the Duryodhana’s message for
Krishna?
Duryodhana’s message for
Krishna was that he was a conjuror and a conjuror’s tricks or illusions might generate fear for sometime. That was what he did in the Kaurava court. But for warriors who stood armed to fight, such deceptions would only provoke anger. It was below the dignity of Duryodhana, the monarch to address Krishna, a slave of Kamsa and a eunuch possessed of the signs of manhood. Still he would like to see Krishna fight at least to prove his manhood.

665
How did the Pandavas and
Krishna feel when these messages were delivered to them?
The Pandavas and
Krishna were greatly agitated when these messages were delivered to them. Though endowed with great steadiness of mind they began to burn with anger.

666
Did they send any message in return to Duryodhana?
Yes, they sent messages in return to Duryodhana through Uluka.

667
What was Bheemasena’s message to Duryodhana?
Bheemasena’s message to Duryodhana was that the Pandavas always gratify their elder brothers. That was why they tolerated Duryodhana and his evil deeds for thirteen years. But it was time for the Kaurava brothers to die in the battlefield. Bheemasena would definitely fulfill the vow that he had made in the assembly that he would kill Dussasana and drink his blood. Once Dussasana was killed in battle then he would smash the thighs of Duryodhana and kick the crown off his head in the presence of Yudhishtira.

668
What was Sahadeva’s message?
Sahadeva’s message was that he would kill Uluka first before the eyes of his father Sakuni; then he would kill Sakuni himself in the sight of all the warriors.

669
What did Arjuna say to Uluka?
Arjuna told Uluka that he should tell his king Duryodhana that Arjuna would answer him in the battlefield through his Gandiva. Till then he would not make comments.

670
What did Yudhishtira say to Uluka?
Yudhishtira told Uluka to pass on these words to his king Duryodhana. He told him that Duryodhana always behaved with crookedness towards the Pandavas. Now he wanted to fight with the Pandavas relying on other’s might. No warrior of worth would do such shameful acts. He and his kinsmen would be killed in the forthcoming war, which was inflicted upon the Pandavas by the evil deeds of Duryodhana.

671
What did Nakula tell Uluka?
Nakula told Uluka to tell his king that Duryodhana would have to repent for the joyous bragging he did in view of the Pandava’s sufferings. He would prefer to answer with his weapons in the battlefield as Duryodhana asked him to do.

672
What was
Krishna’s message to Duryodhana?

Krishna told Uluka to tell Duryodhana that he was a fool, because he thought Krishna would not fight since he was chosen by the Pandavas to act only as a charioteer. That, however, would not be, even for a moment. If the situations so demand he would consume all the kings assembled in the Kaurava side like a fire consuming a heap of straw. But at Yudhishtira’s command he would only function as the charioteer of Arjuna. Duryodhana would very soon see the Pandavas fulfilling the vows they had taken thirteen years ago in the Kaurava assembly.

673
What did Uluka do after that?
Uluka sought permission from Yudhishtira to return and report the messages to Duryodhana. Yudhishtira gave him permission and he left.

674
Did Uluka report the messages of the Pandavas to Duryodhana?
Yes. He reported the messages of the Pandavas to Duryodhana without forgetting anything.

675
What did Duryodhana do after receiving the messages?
Duryodhana ordered Dussasana, Karna and others to array the army in battle formation in Kurukshetra before next sunrise.

676
What did the Pandavas do then?
The Pandavas too affirmed that the war should begin the next day.


BHEESHMA PARVA

677
Where did the Pandavas and the Kauravas station their troops?
The Pandavas stationed their troops against the Kauravas on the western parts of the plain. It was near the
lakeSyamantapanchaka. Their faces were turned towards the east. The Kauravas stationed their troops against the Pandavas on the eastern parts of the plain. Their faces were turned towards the west.

678
What were the general moods of both troops?
Both troops were in a very happy and enthusiastic mood and were eager to get the orders to start the war.

679
Who all blew their conches first?
The Panchalas, part of the Pandava troop, seeing Duryodhana began to blow their conches.

680
Who did next?
Krishna and Arjuna having felt great joy blew their celestial conches next.

681
What happened in the Kurukshetra at that time?
In Kurukshetra, at that time a frightful dust arose, it enveloped everything including the sun. Nothing could be seen. A black cloud poured a shower of flesh and blood over the troops all around. All this seemed extra ordinary and dampened the joy of the troops.

682
Who made the rules for the war?
The representatives of both the troops sat together and made the rules for the battle.

683
What were the rules?
The battle should be between equals. Those who engaged in fight of words should be fought with words. A car warrior should fight with a car warrior; a horse should be met by a horse. A soldier on feet should fight with a soldier on feet only. No one should strike another with out giving intimation. Any one who runs away from the field should not be killed.

684
Did both the troops agree upon the conditions?
Yes. Both the troops agreed upon the conditions set forth by the representatives.

685
Who visited Dritarashtra on that day?
Vyaasa visited Dritarashtra on that day.

686
What did Vyaasa tell Dritarashtra?
Vyaasa told Dritarashtra that the Kauravas and their supporters would be killed in the war in a few days. This was their fate. Dritarashtra could have, if he wanted, rewritten the course of future. But he did not. Now there was no alternative but to face it.

687
What was Vyaasa’s offer to Dritarashtra?
Vyaasa’s offer to Dritarashtra was the gift of vision; it could be given to him to see the battle for himself.

688
Did Dritarashtra accept the offer?
No. He did not accept the offer. Instead requested that he would like to hear about the war.

689
What did Vyaasa do to help Dritarashtra hear about the war?

Vyaasa to help him told that Sanjaya would describe him about the war. Nothing in the whole battle would be beyond his eyes. He would have knowledge of everything; manifest or concealed, by day or by night. Weapons would not cut him and exertion would not bother him.


Between Sanjaya and Dritarashtra
690
What was Duryodhana’s instruction to Dussasana?

Duryodhana instructed Dussasana to protect Bheeshma. If protected he would destroy the enemy troops commanded by Drishtadyumna.

691
Why did Bheeshma refuse to fight with Sikhandin?
Bheeshma refused to fight with Sikhandin because he was a woman named Amba (whom he refused to marry) in her previous birth and was re-born as Shikhandini with clear memories of her past birth. Later she got her genital organ exchanged with a male one and became Sikhandin.

692
What did Yudhishtira ask Arjuna when he saw the large Kaurava army?
Yudhishtira asked Arjuna if they could penetrate the Kaurava army commanded by Bheeshma? He doubted their victory because they had limited number of soldiers compared to the Kauravas.

693

What was Arjuna’s answer to Yudhishtira?

Arjuna answered that those who were desirous of victory did not conquer by might and energy. It was by the ability to discriminate between righteousness and unrighteousness that lead to victory. And indeed there was victory where
Krishna was. Victory was inherent to Krishna.


BHAGAVAT GITA


694
What was Arjuna’s request to
Krishna when they entered in to the war zone?
Arjuna requested
Krishna to stop the chariot between the two armies, who were arrayed for battle. He wanted to see the people who had assembled to fight for the Kauravas. And also to see the people with whom he himself had to fight.

695
Why did Arjuna keep his bow and arrows aside and sit on the chariot refusing to fight?
Arjuna after seeing the warriors arrayed to fight against the Pandavas, experienced physical and emotional difficulties. He told
Krishna that he was unable to fight the war. His Gandiva was slipping off his hands; his mouth was parched and he was unable even to stand. He began to see adverse omens and did not find any good in killing his own people. So he kept his bow and arrows aside and sat on the chariot refusing to fight.

696
What did
Krishna ask Arjuna?

Krishna asked Arjuna how he became so weak at a critical time of his life? He was over taken by emotions and that was anything but noble. This would not take him to heaven but only give him bad name. This did not suit the mighty Arjuna, so he had to shake off the weakness of heart and rise to fight.

697
Did Arjuna obey
Krishna and get ready to fight?
No, he did not. Instead he asked
Krishna that how could he send arrows to Bheeshma, Drona and many others who were only worth his worship.

698
What was Arjuna’s request to
Krishna?
Arjuna requested
Krishna to guide him. Arjuna was Krishna’s disciple so he wanted Krishna to instruct him to do what was good for him.

699
What did
Krishna say?
Krishna told Arjuna that he was mourning for those who did not deserve to be mourned and spoke as if he was very wise. Those who were wise would grieve neither for the dead nor for the living. The soul, which resided in us, was not born so it was imperishable; no weapon could cleave it, no fire could burn it and no water could soak it. The body, which carried the soul, would perish and the same soul would take another body. This process was eternal. What was not born could never die. So by fighting the battle Arjuna would not kill anyone. Further more it was the duty of the Kshatriya to protect the weak and maintain righteousness in the Kingdom. He should steady his mind and being a Kshatriya should get rid of his present despondency and fight for the cause of righteousness.

700
What did Arjuna ask
Krishna?
Arjuna asked
Krishna that who was a steady minded person and what were his qualities?

701
What was
Krishna’s answer?
Krishna answered Arjuna that he whose mind was not agitated during calamities, whose craving for pleasure was gone, who was freed from attachment to worldly objects, fear and wrath, is said to be a steady minded person. He who was without affection everywhere and he who felt no exultation and no aversion on obtaining diverse objects that were agreeable and disagreeable was a steady minded person.

702
Arjuna asked
Krishna why did people commit sin even though they did not want to do it?
Krishna told Arjuna that it was desire and wrath that made people commit sin. As fire was enveloped by smoke, a mirror by dust, knowledge was enveloped by desire. Desires destroy knowledge attained through meditation and instruction. When knowledge was destroyed one forgets to see the truth and commit sin.

703
What was Arjuna’s request to
Krishna?
Arjuna requested
Krishna to show his sovereign form, If the lord thought that he was competent enough to see it.

704
Did Krishna reveal his sovereign form to Arjuna?
Yes
Krishna revealed his sovereign form with many mouths and eyes, many other wonderful aspects, many celestial ornaments, many celestial weapons and wearing celestial garlands and robes. If the splendour of a thousand suns were to burst forth at once in the sky then that would be like the splendour of that mighty one. In the body of that God of gods the entire universe got divided and subdivided in to many parts and then collected together.

705
What did Arjuna do when he saw the lord’s sovereign form?
Arjuna filled with amazement; with hair standing on end, bowing his head with folded hands requested the Lord to come back to his normal appearance and to tell him who, He was. He desired to know more of the Primeval One and also about himself.

706
What did the Lord Krishna tell Arjuna?
The Lord told Arjuna that He is death and the destroyer of all the worlds. He is engaged in the destruction of the race of men. When righteousness disappears and lawlessness becomes the order of the day He would manifest, He would incarnate himself to establish righteousness by destroying the evil. Even without Arjuna, the warriors standing in the different divisions shall cease to exist. Because they were with the Evil. There fore O’ Arjuna arise and vanquish the foes. Be the instrument and gain glory.

707
What did Arjuna tell
Krishna?
Arjuna told
Krishna that his delusion had been destroyed. He had no doubt about himself or the lord and was firm and ready to fight. He would act according to Krishna’s command.

708
What did Yudhishtira do when Arjuna got ready to fight?
Yudhishtira, when he saw that Arjuna was ready to fight kept aside his weapons and descended from his chariot. To every body’s amazement, he walked towards Bheeshma with folded hands.

709
Did anyone follow Yudhishtira?
Yes. Arjuna accompanied by his brothers followed Yudhishtira.
Krishna also followed them. Many kings of the Pandava side with a lot of anxiety too followed them.

710
What did Arjuna ask Yudhishtira when he walked towards Bheeshma?
Arjuna asked Yudhishtira that why did he proceed towards the hostile army abandoning his brothers? What was the need and meaning of it?

711
Did Yudhishtira answer Arjuna?
No. Yudhishtira did not answer. He kept quiet and continued walking.

712
Who answered Arjuna?
Krishna answered Arjuna saying that he knew Yudhishtira’s object. He wanted to pay his respects to his preceptors and seek their blessings for his victory in the battle. It was as per tradition and in order.

713
What was Yudhishtira’s request to Bheeshma?
Yudhishtira caught Bheeshma’s feet with his two hands and requested him to bless them to gain victory in the battle.

714
What did Bheeshma tell Yudhishtira?
Bheeshma told Yudhishtira that if he had not approached him for the blessings he would have cursed the Pandavas for their defeat. Now he was gratified and sure that the victory would be theirs. Bheeshma told that a man is the slave of wealth, but wealth is no one’s slave. He had been bound by the wealth of the Kauravas. That was why he had to fight for the Kauravas like a eunuch.

715
What did Yudhishtira ask Bheeshma next?
Yudhishtira asked Bheeshma that if he had wished the victory of the Pandavas how was it possible to vanquish him (Bheeshma) in the battle? Was there any one in the universe who would be capable of vanquishing him at all?

716
What was Bheeshma’s answer?
Bheeshma answered that he did not find any one including the celestials who could defeat him in battle when he fought.

717
What did Yudhishtira do next?
Yudhishtira then went to Drona, Kripa and Salya etc. and offered his salutations to all of them and sought their blessings for his victory.

718
Did all of them bless him for victory?
Yes. They all wished him victory in the battle. Salya reiterated his commitment to weaken the moral of Karna when he would be his charioteer. The Pandavas went back to their side to begin the war.

Both the sides to signify the beginning of the battle blew their conches.

719
Who made the first move?
The Kauravas made the first move. Dussasana as instructed by his brother Duryodhana advanced towards the Pandavas with Bheeshma in the chariot as the head.

720
Did the Pandavas too advance towards the enemies?
Yes. They too advanced towards the enemies. The warriors of both the sides rushed against each other to inflict maximum damage to the enemy with minimum time. The atmosphere became very noisy.

721
What did Bheema do when he saw that the battle began?
Bheema when he saw that the armies began to fight each other roared like thunder with excitement and rushed to the enemies, creating fears in the minds of the Kauravas.

722
How many Kauravas tried to stop Bheema?
More than a dozen Kauravas tried to stop Bheema by covering him with shower of arrows like the clouds shrouding the sun.

723
Did anyone come to help Bheema?
Yes. To help Bheema the sons of Draupadi, the mighty warrior Abhimanyu, Nakula, Sahadeva and Dhrishtadyumna etc. rushed against those Kauravas. Both sides fought fiercely with whetted arrows sending many of them to the heaven. But none of the warriors turned back.

724
What did Bheeshma do?
Bheeshma advanced towards the battlefield and started killing the warriors in large numbers.

725
Who tried to control the onslaught of Bheeshma?
Arjuna tried to control the onslaught of Bheeshma. The battle between them was so fierce that it seemed both wanted to kill each other.

726
Who gained upper hand in the first day of battle?
The Kauravas gained upper hand in the first day of battle. The Pandavas had sustained heavy losses.

727
Who were the major losses on the first day?
Uttara kumara and Sweta, the sons of Virata were the major losses on the first day. Salya killed Uttara and Bheeshma killed Sweta.

728
Who was disappointed on the Pandava side?
Yudhishtira was very disappointed the way their army was thrashed by the Kauravas especially Bheeshma. But
Krishna consoled him by telling that it was the first day only and many days and many heroes were still with them to defeat the Kauravas.

729
Who arrayed their army in the Krauncha formation?
The Pandavas arrayed their army in the Krauncha formation for the next day.

730
What did Duryodhana do when he saw the Krauncha formation?
Duryodhana, when he saw the Krauncha formation, approached Drona, Kripa, Salya, Vikarna and Aswatthama etc. and made encouraging words to boost their morale. He praised them all and told that each one of them was single handedly capable of slaying the sons of Pandu with their troops. How many more would be slain, when all the Kauravas were united together. The army commanded by Bheeshma was immeasurable while the army commanded by Bheema was measurable.

731
What was Duryodhana’s complaint to Bheeshma?
The second day’s battle began; the Pandavas achieved considerable gains. Duryodhana complained to Bheeshma that this mighty son of Pandu accompanied by
Krishna was killing his troops by the thousands. This happened while the foremost of warriors Bheeshma and Drona were alive. Bheeshma and Drona did not want to kill Arjuna because they all loved him. It was for Bheeshma that, Karna, his friend and well wisher kept aside his weapons and decided not to fight. So Bheeshma should do something to slay Arjuna with out delay.

732
What did Bheeshma do when Duryodhana complained to him?
Bheeshma, feeling hurt after hearing these harsh words of Duryodhana moved towards Arjuna and began to shower arrows on him with added vigour.

733
How was the fight between Bheeshma and Arjuna?
The fight between Bheeshma and Arjuna was indeed wonderful. A battle of this magnitude and fashion would never take place again. Neither Bheeshma nor Arjuna was capable of defeating the other. It was felt that as long as the world itself would last, this battle would continue equally.

734
What did Bheeshma tell Drona about Arjuna?
Bheeshma smilingly told Drona that Arjuna was so fierce today and no one could defeat him by any means. This mighty son of Pandu accompanied by
Krishna was thrashing our troops and he alone was competent to do that. Behold, our troops were frightened and running away looking at one another. So it was better to withdraw the army for the day.

735
Who gained upper hand by the end of the day?
The Pandavas gained a clear upper hand over the Kauravas by the end of the day. A very large portion of the Kaurava army was routed. Bheema himself had killed a good number of warriors.

736
Who was the hero of the day?
Bheema was the hero of the day. He himself had killed many prominent warriors and kings of the Kaurava side and made the Pandavas very happy. Every body praised him. He listened to them all and enjoyed silently.

737
How did Bheeshma arrange the Kaurava army the next day?
The next day Bheeshma arranged the Kaurava army in the shape of garuda.

738
How did Arjuna arrange his army?
Arjuna together with Drishtadyumna arranged the Pandava army in the shape of the half moon.

739
How did the battle begin the next day?
After the armies had been disposed in battle array, Arjuna caused a great carnage in the Kaurava ranks. Arjuna looked as if he was the destroyer himself at the end of the yuga.

740
What did the Kaurava army do?
The Kaurava army broke the Pandava ranks in many places and killed many warriors. The battle was so fierce that many warriors from both sides ran away to save their lives. Nothing could be distinguished and the entire area was covered by dust. It too shrouded the Sun.

741
Who broke the ranks of the Pandava army in the early hours of the day?
Bheeshma, Drona, Jayadratha, Vikarna, Sakuni etc. who were invincible in battle broke the ranks of the Pandava army and killed many warriors.

742
What did the Kauravas do against Arjuna to stop him from causing carnage?
The Kauravas in their effort to defeat Arjuna surrounded him from all sides and attacked with all sorts of weapons. But Arjuna faced all the weapons, which were sent to him and checked them all with his arrows.

743
Who attacked Yudhishtira’s division?
Bheeshma and Drona, though they were struggling in the battle, attacked Yudhishtira’s division and slaughtered quite a lot of soldiers.

744
Who fought with Duryodhana and made him faint?
Bheema fought with Duryodhana and made him fall unconscious in his chariot. The charioteer understood the danger and saved him by driving him off the battlefield.

745
What did Duryodhana see when he came back?
Duryodhana, when he came back, saw that Bheema, Satyaki and others together had killed a good number of his men. Many warriors were wounded and a large number of his men began to flee the battlefield.

746
What did Duryodhana do when he saw that his army was slaughtered and many men were fleeing away?

When he saw the situation in the battlefield he felt very sad and rushed to Bheeshma and argued that what was happening in the battlefield was not good for the Kauravas. The Pandavas had killed his men in such large numbers and his warriors were fleeing away, frightened to fight, was not creditable to the army that too when Bheeshma, Drona and Kripa were alive and on the field. He did not regard the Pandavas to be by any means a match for Bheeshma, for Drona or for Kripa in battle. He blamed Bheeshma that he was favouring the Pandavas. If Bheeshma had told him before the battle took place that he would not fight with the Pandavas according to his prowess, he would have asked Karna to be the commander. If Bheeshma and Drona did not think that Duryodhana should be abandoned in the middle of the battle then they both should fight according to the measure of their prowess.

747
What did Bheeshma tell Duryodhana?
Bheeshma after hearing Duryodhana laughed repeatedly and turned his eyes in wrath towards him and told that he had advised Duryodhana many a times rather for many years that the Kauravas would not be able to vanquish the Pandavas in battle when
Krishna was with them. He did not listen. Still Bheeshma assured Duryodhana that he would do his best to check the Pandavas, which Duryodhana and his kinsmen could witness.

748
Was Duryodhana happy on Bheeshma’s words?
Yes. Duryodhana was very happy. He, with a lot of enthusiasm instructed the drums to be beaten and the conches to be blown. By that he tried to make his newfound vigour known to the Pandavas, which the Pandavas reciprocated aptly by beating their drums and blowing their conches.

749
What did Bheeshma do after giving words of promise to Duryodhana?
Bheeshma after giving his word to Duryodhana rushed towards the army of the pandavas and began a dreadful battle. The twang of bows and flow of arrows made loud roar resembling that of splitting hills. Hundreds and thousands fell to the ground. A dreadful river of blood and flesh began to flow from the bodies of men, steeds and elephants. A battle of this magnitude was never seen or heard before. Slain bodies blocked ways of chariots; bodies of dead elephants and steeds seemed scattered everywhere. Wounded soldiers screamed for help and requested not to be abandoned. The vast army of the Pandavas began to tremble in the very presence of
Krishna.

750
What did
Krishna tell Arjuna?
Krishna told Arjuna that the time had come to strike back. Arjuna had assured Krishna that he would kill all the warriors headed by Bheeshma and Drona in the battle. It was time for Arjuna to prove his words. Soldiers were running away from the field like the weaker animals at the sight of a lion. No body from the Pandava side had shown any courage to face Bheeshma or check his rampage.

751
What did Arjuna request
Krishna?
Arjuna requested
Krishna to take him where Bheeshma was. He also told that he would throw down that invincible warrior, the revered Kuru grandsire from his chariot.

752
Did Krishna take Arjuna near Bheeshma?
Yes,
Krishna took Arjuna near Bheeshma’s chariot, which shone like the very sun, which was difficult to gaze at.

753
What was the fight like between Bheeshma and Arjuna?
The fight between Bheeshma and Arjuna was very fierce. Bheeshma repeatedly roared like a lion and quickly covered Arjuna‘s chariot with a shower of arrows. Arjuna took up his Gandiva and struck Bheeshma’s bow down with his keen arrows. Bheeshma took up another one but that too was struck down by Arjuna. Bheeshma appreciated this courageous act of his beloved Arjuna and congratulated him with positive words like ‘excellent’ etc. and continued fighting fiercely. Bheeshma with great strength pierced Arjuna with keen arrows all over his body.
Krishna too had to face Bheeshma’s wrath. He hurt Krishna with his arrows. The enraged Bheeshma laughed loudly which, caused Krishna to shiver with anger.

754
What did
Krishna tell Arjuna?
Krishna told Arjuna that he was not able to forget that Bheeshma was his grandsire. He was very mild with Bheeshma when the grandsire was creating havoc in his army. The Kauravas were cheerfully fighting when the Pandava soldiers were running away from the battlefield.

755
Did Bheeshma fight alone against Arjuna?
No, Bheeshma was not alone. Many Kaurava veterans joined together with Bheeshma and fought against Arjuna. It seemed that they intended to slay him then and there. Many in the Pandava side felt that Arjuna was not fighting up to his strength.

756
What did
Krishna decide then?
Krishna frustrated with Arjuna’s attitude and Bheeshma’s arrogance decided himself to break his wow and fight the battle and kill Bheeshma. He abandoned the steeds and jumped out of the chariot and rushed towards Bheeshma whirling his Sudarshana chakra with his right hand. He looked like the Samvarta fire that appears at the end of the yuga for consuming the world.

757
Did Bheeshma fight with
Krishna?
No, Bheeshma did not fight with
Krishna. When he saw that Krishna was advancing, armed with the discus, towards him; he stopped sending arrows to Arjuna and told fearlessly to Krishna “ I bow to you O’ Lord of the gods. O’ Lord of the universe throw me down from this excellent chariot. You are the refuge of all creatures in this battle. Kill me O’ Lord; if I am killed by you, great will be my fortune in this world and the next world as well. My dignity will be celebrated in the three worlds.

758
What did
Krishna say after hearing these words of Bheeshma?
Krishna, while advancing towards him, said to Bheeshma that he was the root of this great slaughter on earth. He would behold Duryodhana slain today. A wise minister who trades the path of righteousness should restrain a king when he crosses the boundary of justice. Bheeshma, instead of guiding Dritarashtra and his wretched son Duryodhana to the righteous path had kept quiet and remained a silent spectator to their cruel and unjust deeds.

759
Did Bheeshma answer to
Krishna?
Yes, Bheeshma answered to
Krishna that destiny was all powerful. The Yadavas for their benefit had abandoned Kamsa. He had told this to Dritarashtra, but he did not mind. He was his own misery of perverted understanding through the influence of destiny.

760
What did Arjuna do when this conversation was going on?
Arjuna meanwhile, jumped down from his chariot and quickly ran after
Krishna and seized him. Krishna who was very excited with rage forcibly dragged Arjuna after him like a tempest carrying away a single tree. Arjuna seized Krishna’s legs and managed to stop him from proceeding towards Bheeshma.

761
What was Arjuna’s prayer to
Krishna?
Arjuna prayed to
Krishna to quell his wrath. Krishna was their only refuge and should not break his promise that he would not take weapons in this battle. Arjuna did swear by his sons and brothers that he would not withdraw from the acts to which he had pledged himself. He would certainly annihilate the Kurus.

762
Was Krishna gratified by Arjuna’s promise?
Yes.
Krishna was gratified by Arjuna’s promise and oath. He went back to his chariot and took control of the steeds.

763
What did Arjuna do after his promise to
Krishna?

Arjuna, after his promise to
Krishna, took up his conch Panchajanya and blew it to the horror of the Kurus. He took up his Gandiva, invoked proper mantras and began to shower arrows against the foes. The twang of the Gandiva filled the celestial sphere and all other quarters. Arjuna tactfully handled all the arrows, which came from Bheeshma and other Kauravas. He checked the entire Kaurava army with his mastery in archery. It was more than a powerful repetition of what Bheeshma did earlier. The sun began to set; both the armies withdrew to their tents.

764
How was the battle on the fourth day?

On the fourth day the high souled Bheeshma supported by large force led by Drona, Duryodhana, Chitrasena, Jayadratha and many other royal warriors proceeded against the foes. When Arjuna was seen in the distance Bheeshma rushed impetuously towards him. Bheeshma and others created a river whose waters were the blood of the foes. Arjuna in return poured in a shower of sharp edged arrows and polished shafts of broad heads. The Kurus and the pandavas both beheld that single combat between those two foremost of men. In the mean time Bheemasena penetrated the elephant division of the Kauravas and began to crush those beasts and men around him. Many mighty elephants, with heads completely smashed, vomited large quantities of blood. At that time Abhimanyu joined Bheema to cause further damage to the Kauravas.

765
What did Duryodhana do to check Bheema?
Duryodhana when he saw Bheema exterminating his elephants division sent a large section of his army commanding them to slay Bheema.

766
How did Bheema react to this move by Duryodhana?
Bheema reacted by checking the Kaurava army like the shore resisting the ocean. Bheemasena, the high souled son of Pandu fearlessly killed all the Kaurava men who angrily rushed towards him. He stood there with his mace in hand as the immovable mountain Meru. He pressed thousands of chariots and horsemen down in to the earth.

767
Who made Bheema unconscious?
Duryodhana made Bheema unconscious. He, excited with rage struck a terrible shaft on Bheema’s chest, which made him sit on the chariot and fall unconscious. Once regained consciousness he attacked the Kauravas with added fury. He sent shafts to Duryodhana, Salya (which made him run away from the battle) and the sons of Dhritarashtra and many other warriors. Bheema sent many of Duryodhana’s brothers to Yamaloka. He faced Bheeshma too. They had a long exchange of shafts and Satyaki joined Bheema. Bheema was unstoppable and his very sight in the field made people run away.

768
How was Abhimanyu’s fight in the battle?
Abhimanyu the son of Arjuna and Subhadra, fought magnificently with many Kaurava seniors. Every one in the field appreciated his bravery, sureness of aim and his knowledge of weapons.

769
How did Satyaki fight on that day?
Satyaki fought so skillfully that the Kaurava army began to tremble.
The Kauravas failed to impede the progress of Satyaki, who was sending his arrows like rain to the foes. He encountered Alambusa, a rakshasa. Alambusa managed to send some arrows to Satyaki. But Satyaki easily pierced him with arrows and proceeded on his chariot inflicting great damage to the Kauravas.

770
What did Bheeshma tell the warriors of his army?
Bheeshma told his warriors that Bheema excited with wrath was killing the sons of Dritarashtra and other warriors. So he wanted all the army men to join against Bheema.

771
Who made Bheema faint?
Bhagadatta, the ruler of Pragjyotisha made Bheema faint. As commanded by Bheeshma he rushed towards Bheema on his elephant and shrouded him with sharp shafts, which made Bheema faint.

772
Who fought with Bhagadatta once Bheema fainted?
Ghatotkacha beholding his father in that state fought with Bhagadatta. He used illusionary tactics to fight. He inflicted such great blows to Bhagadatta that he and his elephants uttered loud cries out of severe pain. Ghatotkacha was furious and was unstoppable.

773
What did Bheeshma say to Drona, Duryodhana and others?
Bheeshma said that Bhagadatta who was fighting with Ghatotkacha had fallen in to great distress. Ghatotkacha was in great form and very well supported by Bheema; no one could vanquish him at this stage. Bheeshma wanted to discontinue the battle for the day because he did not like the son of Hidimbi and also his men and animals were tired.

774
How was the mood in the Pandava camp?
The Pandavas were very happy. It was a great day for them. Bheema and Ghatotkacha were the men of the day.

775
How was Duryodhana? And what did he do in the night?
Duryodhana was very cheerless and with full of grief at the death of his brothers. He passed some time in thoughtfulness and then spent a few hours in meditation. It was a very painful day for him.

776
What did Duryodhana’s ask Bheeshma that night?
Duryodhana asked Bheeshma that Bheema and Ghatotkacha killed thousands of warriors including his brothers. Bheeshma, Drona, Salya, Kripa, Aswatthama and Vikarna were all there on the field. All of these were prepared to throw their lives in battle. He was sure that all of the Pandava army united together could not bear the prowess of Bheeshma. Still the Pandavas thrashed the Kauravas repeatedly. How and why was it happening?

777
What was Bheeshma’s answer to Duryodhana?
Bheeshma answered that he and other well wishers of the Kauravas had advised him many times in the past to make peace with the Pandavas. They could not be defeated when Lord Krishna was with them. But Duryodhana disregarded the advice every time. There is not, was not and will not be a being in all the worlds who would be able to slay the sons of Pandu, who were all protected by the Lord himself.

778
What was the battle like for the next day?
The next day the Kauravas arrayed their army in the Makara Vyuha, and the Pandavas in the form of a Syena (hawk). Both the armies rushed towards each other excited with rage and desirous of vanquishing the other. In the battle Bheema penetrated the Makara Vyuha through its mouth, approached Bheeshma and covered him with his shafts. Bheeshma showered arrows on Bheema. Arjuna saw this and joined his brother against Bheeshma.

779
What did Duryodhana tell Drona?
Duryodhana remembered the slaughter of his brothers in the previous day. He quickly approached Drona and told him that he expected Drona along with Bheeshma would slay the Pandavas with out delay.

780
What did Drona do then?
Drona unhappy with Duryodhana’s request expressed his displeasure with a firm look and rushed towards the Pandava army. Satyaki fought a fierce battle with him. Bheema joined Satyaki against Drona. Bheeshma and Salya joined Drona against Bheema. Abhimanyu and the sons of Draupadi excited with wrath sent their sharp pointed arrows to Bheeshma, Drona etc.

781
What did Sikhandi do?
Sikhandi rushed towards Bheeshma and began to send arrows to the antagonists.

782
Did Bheeshma fight against Sikhandi?
No, Bheeshma did not fight against Sikhandi. He remembered the female aspect of Sikhandi and avoided him. Drona rushed to Bheeshma to protect him from Sikhandi’s onslaught.

783
How did the Pandavas arrange their army the next day?
The Pandavas as instructed by Yudhishtira, arranged their army in the Makara formation to fight the foes.

784
How did the Kauravas arrange their army?
The Kauravas beholding the Pandavas thus arrayed in Makara formation arranged their army in the form of a great crane (Krauncha).

785
What was the war like on the sixth day?
The war was a repetition of the previous day. Drona was more aggressive than others. Bheema and Drona faced each other. Bheema killed his charioteer. When the sun was almost to set, Duryodhana rushed towards Bheema with the desire of slaying him.

786
What did Bheema tell Duryodhana then?
Bheema told Duryodhana that his time had come, which was desired for so many years. He would slay Duryodhana today. He would dispel the sorrows of Kunti and Draupadi. Filled with pride, Duryodhana formerly humiliated the sons of Pandu and their wife Draupadi. He had disregarded
Krishna when he begged for peace. For all those, he would kill him today along with his kinsmen and thus would avenge all those former offences.

787
What did Bheema do then?
Bheema sent a number of shafts whose effulgence resembled that of the lightning itself to Duryodhana. Bheema sent the steeds of Duryodhana’s chariot to the regions of Yama first and later struck him down from the chariot.

788
Who helped Duryodhana to mount on a chariot?
Kripa helped Duryodhana, who was in great pain from the wounds inflicted by Bheema, to mount on a chariot.

789
What was Duryodhana’s complaint to Bheeshma?
Duryodhana visited Bheeshma in his tent and lamented that his troops were brave and brilliantly arrayed still Bheema could penetrate it and cause great damage to it and to him as well. He was yet to regain his senses fully. He desired to gain victory by slaying the Pandavas.

790
What did Bheeshma tell him?
Bheeshma understood his grief and told him that he was trying to win this war for Duryodhana. The allies of the Pandavas were fierce and numerous. They were exceedingly brave and well trained in the use of arms. Even though, he would penetrate the Pandava army and fight fiercely to defeat the sons of Pandu. With these words he gave Duryodhana an excellent herb for healing his wounds.

791
Did Bheeshma’s words make Duryodhana happy?
Yes, Bheeshma’s words made him very happy. He went out of the tent with great confidence and delight. He had a nice sleep that night.

792
How did Bheeshma arrange his army in the next day?
Bheeshma, when the sky was clear in the dawn, arranged his army in to Mandala Vyuha. It looked beautiful in every point.

793
How did the Pandavas arrange their army?
Yudhishtira beholding the Mandala Vyuha that was exceedingly fierce arranged his army in the array called Vajra.

794
What was the battle like?
Once the armies were arrayed, they proceeded to break each other’s formation. Drona began to attack first. He attacked the king of Virata and his son. Aswatthama attacked Sikhandi. Ghatotkacha fought with Bhagadatta. Satyaki faced Alambusa. Chekitana fought with Kripa. Bheeshma was as usual invincible. Salya fought with his nephews Nakula and Sahadeva, Bheema with Kritavarma and many others.

795
What did Arjuna tell
Krishna?
Arjuna, excited with anger told
Krishna to look at the warriors of the Kaurava side, who were countless in number and desired to fight with them. The high souled son of Ganga and ruler of the Trigartas with his brothers, who were ready to fight with him, would be killed this very day before the eyes of Krishna.

796
How was the battle between Ghatotkacha and Bhagadatta?
The battle between Ghatotkacha and Bhagadatta was one of the most exciting of the day. Both the heroes exchanged myriad arrows and shafts. The speed with which they fought amazed every one. But at the end Ghatotkacha ran away out of fear. Bhagadatta crushed the Pandava army like a wild elephant.

797
What was the out come of the battle of the day?
The battle of the day was more or less equally fought. No side could claim any gain over the other. Yudhishtira was angry towards Bheeshma and wanted Sikhandi to kill him. Sikhandi tried to fight with Bheeshma but in vein. Bheeshma always avoided Sikhandi and never looked at him. The sun began to set and both the armies retreated to their tents.

798
How did Bheeshma arrange his army the next day?
Bheeshma arranged his army in the Oormy Vyuha: the ocean phalanx.

799
How did the Pandavas arrange their army?
The Pandavas arranged their army in the Sringataka Vyuha as instructed by Yudhishtira.

800
How was the war like?
The war was fierce. The warriors of both the Pandava and Kaurava armies began to fight with diverse kinds of shafts and sent many to the abode of Yama. Bheeshma filled the air with the rattle of his chariot and the twang of his bow. He rushed against the Pandavas. The Pandavas too, headed by Drishtadyumna commenced a battle between the infantry, chariot and elephants in which the combatants became all entangled with one another. The Pandavas at that moment seemed to be incapable of even looking at Bheeshma, who was excited with rage. He killed the foes ruthlessly.

801
What did Bheema do then?
Bheema saw Bheeshma killing his men and animals in large numbers. He faced Bheeshma single handedly and had a fierce battle. Duryodhana with his brothers joined Bheeshma to protect him. Bheema killed Bheeshma’s charioteer. The steeds, no longer controlled, ran away from the field with the chariot and Bheeshma on it.

802
Did Bheema kill Duryodhana’s brothers?
Yes, he killed Duryodhana’s eight brothers. Bheema with a sharp arrow cut off the head of Sunabha, the Kaurava brother who had come to help Bheeshma. He fell down on the earth and died. Seven of other Kaurava brothers who could not bear this act of murder fought fiercely with Bheema. Bheema sent them all too to the abode of Yama. All other Kaurava brothers who were watching the battle fled away from the field to save their lives.

803
What did Duryodhana do when Bheema killed his brothers?


Duryodhana afflicted with sorrow on account of his brothers’ death, addressed all his troops to kill Bheema. Then he ran to Bheeshma overwhelmed with grief and began to lament that Bheemasena had killed his heroic brothers in spite of all his troops fighting bravely. He complained that Bheeshma was indifferent and disregarded his army’s failures. He cursed himself for his own evil destiny.

804
What did Bheeshma tell him?
Bheeshma told Duryodhana eyes filled with tears, that his words were cruel and he did not deserve it. All the elders including his mother Gandhari had advised him to make peace with the Pandavas. He did not comprehend it then. In this battle, it was sure for Drona and himself that they too would perish. Bheema would kill those upon whom he had cast his eyes. Therefore Duryodhana should firmly prepare himself to believe that heaven was his goal. The Pandavas could not be defeated.

805
Who was Iravan?
Iravan was the son of Arjuna and the Naga princess Ulupi. He was a great fighter like his father. He joined the Pandava troop with his own army.

806
How was his fight in the battle?
He fought magnificently. He, together with his own men, killed the mighty Kauravas in large numbers. He fought with Sakuni and inflicted wounds upon him, which made him bleed.

807
Who asked Alambusa to fight with Iravan?
Duryodhana asked Alambusa to fight with Iravan. Iravan fought fiercely with Sakuni and gave him a hard time. Duryodhana did not want Sakuni to be disturbed by Iravan any more. So he asked Alambusa to kill him. They both had a very fierce fight. Alambusa killed him by using maya (illusionary) tactics.

808
What did the mighty Ghatotkacha do when he heard that Iravan had been killed?
Ghatotkacha when he heard that Iravan had been killed in the battle, uttered loud shouts in anger. The shouts were so loud, that it made the Kauravas tremble. He advanced with rage towards the foes forcing them to run away with fear for their lives. Who ever tried to face him was crushed to death.

809
Who tried to face Ghatotkacha from the Kaurava army?
Duryodhana tried to face Ghatotkacha. He saw his men running away from Ghatotkacha out of fear. So he advanced towards him.

810
What did Ghatotkacha tell Duryodhana?

Ghatotkacha told Duryodhana that he would be freed from the debt he owed to his fathers who had so long been exiled by Duryodhana’s cruelty. Duryodhana and his uncle Sakuni vanquished the Pandavas in the match of dice. Draupadi was brought in to the assembly hall, when she was ill and was clad in single attire. Jayadratha, the king of sindhu, persecuted her further when she was in the forest. For these and other wrongs he would take revenge if Duryodhana did not quit the field. After this statement he began to fight with Duryodhana. Many came to protect Duryodhana but Ghatotkacha vanquished them all. His loud roar it self made many to flee from the field.

811
What did Bheeshma say to Drona when he heard Ghatotkacha’s roar?

Bheeshma having heard Ghatotkacha’s loud roar told Drona that it was impossible to vanquish him. Duryodhana would not be able to withstand the might of Ghatotkacha. He had to be protected so Drona should go and save him from Ghatotkacha’s wrath.

812
What was Duryodhana’s request to Bheeshma?

Duryodhana approached Bheeshma and narrated all the happenings in the battlefield to him and requested him to go and kill Ghatotkacha.

813
Did Bheeshma agree to kill Ghatotkacha?

No, he did not. Instead he asked Bhagadatta, the king of Pragjyotisha to resist the onslaught of Ghatotkacha, which he immediately agreed.

814
How was Ghatotkacha in the battle- field?

Ghatotkacha created havoc in the Kaurava camp and crushed anyone who came on his way. He fought bravely with Bhagadatta and many other excellent warriors of the Kurus. Thousands of elephants and men were lost. He used his entire prowess in archery as well as illusionary tactics. Men and animals routed by him fled away from the field in all directions. Bheema as instructed by Yudhishtira joined Ghatotkacha. The Kaurava seniors including Bheeshma cried out at the top of their voices to their men to fight and not to fly away. But no one gave any credit to those words. The battle went on till the sun began to set. The armies withdrew to the tents. At the end of the day though the Pandavas had gained a slight edge over the Kauravas the losses were heavy on both sides.

815
What did Duryodhana discuss with Sakuni, Karna and Dussasana?

They all discussed about how to vanquish the Pandavas in battle. Duryodhana lamented that Bheeshma, Drona, Kripa and Salya did not resist the Pandavas and he did not know the reason; he was becoming weaker in strength and the weapons were also being exhausted. Karna advised him not to grieve and told that Bheeshma was very fond of the Pandavas and would not like to kill them; nor was he capable of defeating them. Bheeshma should be asked to withdraw from the battle and lay aside his arms. Once that happened he (Karna) would take up his weapons and slay Arjuna and others and destroy the Pandava army. Duryodhana pleased with these words of Karna, agreed to ask Bheeshma to withdraw from battle and set out to Bheeshma’s tent accompanied by his brothers.

816
What did Duryodhana tell Bheeshma?

Duryodhana saluted Bheeshma and told that he expected Bheeshma to kill the Pandavas. Many days had passed and he continued to spare them all. If he was incapable of slaying the Pandavas then it was fair to permit Karna to fight. He would vanquish Arjuna with all his friends and kinsmen.

817
What did Bheeshma do then?

Bheeshma filled with grief sat quietly for some time with out telling any thing disagreeable to Duryodhana. Then he asked Duryodhana why he was piercing him with such cruel words. He had been trying his best to achieve what was good for Duryodhana. He indeed was prepared to cast away his own life in battle. Arjuna had defeated Indra himself just to allow Agni to eat the Khandava forest. And the same Arjuna rescued Duryodhana and his brothers from the captivity of the Gandharvas. On that occasion where did his friend, the son of the Suta go? These were sufficient indications that Arjuna could not be defeated. The Pandavas were invincible. No one could vanquish them when they were protected by
Krishna, the protector of the universe himself. Duryodhana, the son of Gandhari saw every thing inverted. Bheeshma asked him to act like a man and fight with the Pandavas himself to vanquish them. But Bheeshma assured Duryodhana that he would fight a fierce battle about which men would speak as long as the world lasts. He would mercilessly slay the foes tomorrow but would avoid Sikhandi. Sikhandi reminded him of Amba and would not fight with a lady. Duryodhana saluted Bheeshma and left the tent quietly.

818
What was Duryodhana’s instruction to his brother Dussasana the next morning?

Duryodhana instructed Dussasana to arrange the troops quickly to protect Bheeshma because the time had come of which they had been thinking for so many years. Bheeshma would slaughter the Pandavas with all their troops. Once the pandavas were slaughtered the kingdom would be of theirs. The grandsire should be protected from Sikhandi for he would not fight with him.

819
How did Bheeshma arrange his army in the ninth day?

Bheeshma arranged his army in the form of Sarvatobhadra.

820
How was the battle on the ninth day?

The battle on the ninth day was exciting as usual. Bheeshma surrounded by his forces rushed against the Pandavas. Similarly the Pandavas also headed by Bheema proceeded towards Bheeshma. The pandavas uttered terrible shouts, which shook the universe. Abhimanyu rushed at the mighty army of Duryodhana and sent powerful shafts, which dispatched many heroic warriors to the regions of the departed spirits. He detached the charioteers from their chariots, steeds from their riders and the elephant-warriors from their huge animals they rode on. He routed the enemy’s army and stood there like a blazing fire. The brave and mighty warriors who saw him thought that the world contained two Arjunas.

821
What did Duryodhana tell Alambusa?

Duryodhana told Alambusa that this Abhimanyu fought like another Arjuna; there wasn’t any one in the Kaurava camp who could resist him other than Alambusa, so he should go and kill Abhimanyu, the heroic son of Subhadra immediately. Alambusa rushed towards Abhimanyu and they had a fierce battle. Alambusa used his entire prowess in maya fighting but Abhimanyu with the help of the sons of Draupadi tactfully faced him and forced him to run away from the battlefield, wounded and bleeding.

822
How was Bheeshma on that day in the field?

Bheeshma fought with fury and caused great damage to the Pandavas. He hit the foes with excellent keen shafts from all around. He hit Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva; Yudhishtira, Satyaki Abhimanyu, Dhrishtadyumna, and many more warriors who had come from different parts of the world with diverse weapons. Bheeshma inflicted serious wounds on all of them and slaughtered many of them instantly. Though a big army of the Pandavas surrounded and attacked Bheeshma, no one could inflict any major harm to him. He blazed up like a fire in the midst of a forest and consumed his foes with zeal. The twang of his bowstring, loud Like the thunder, made the foes tremble.

823
How were the Pandavas then?

The Pandavas then were really in despair. They could not control their men, who were running away from the field afflicted by the sharp shafts of Bheeshma. The Pandava army deprived of senses, uttered loud exclamations of woe. They looked like bulls running wild with fear.

824
What did
Krishna tell Arjuna?

Krishna told Arjuna that the time he had been looking for had come. He reminded Arjuna of his vows that he would slay all the Kauravas including Bheeshma and Drona single-handedly. He told him to shed his inhibitions and fight, kill Bheeshma and Drona and all the Kauravas.

825
What was Arjuna’s reply?

Arjuna with a hung head replied very unwillingly, what would he gain if he killed those who should not be killed? Sovereignty with hell in the end or the woes of an exile in the forests? Which of these would he achieve? But he told
Krishna that he would obey what ever he had said. He would over through Bheeshma, the invincible Kaurava commander. Then requested Krishna to take him to Bheeshma, which Krishna did.

826
How was the fight between Arjuna and Bheeshma?

Bheeshma saw Arjuna in the distance and roared like a lion. He soon covered Arjuna’s chariot with a shower of arrows. Arjuna took up his celestial bow and caused Bheeshma’s bow to drop from his hands. Bheeshma took another bow and Arjuna struck that too down. Bheeshma pleased with performance of Arjuna, complimented him. Bheeshma took another bow and began to fight. He slaughtered many Pandava men and animals. The battle went on. Arjuna was mild at Bheeshma. He could not make any substantial gain over Bheeshma, which made
Krishna very angry.

827
What did
Krishna do when he found Arjuna was mild in his aggression?

Krishna, when he found that Arjuna was mild towards Bheeshma and loosing the battle, once again jumped out of his chariot. He advanced towards Bheeshma. His eyes were burning red with anger. Those who could see the anger thought that Bheeshma was slain. Bheeshma with a smile addressed Krishna that he was Krishna’s slave and it would be a great honour if he killed him.

828
What did Arjuna do then?

Arjuna ran behind
Krishna and seized him with his arms and requested not to proceed further. If Krishna made his words false, which he had spoken before, that he would not fight in the battle, people would say that Krishna was a liar. Arjuna assured Krishna that he would slay the grandsire. He would be alert and assertive. Krishna did not say anything but with anger returned to the chariot.

829
What did Bheeshma do when
Krishna mounted on his chariot?

Bheeshma began to send arrows to Arjuna like the heavy clouds pouring rain upon earth. The Pandavas broke the ranks of the Kauravas and routed their army in many places. Bheeshma too broke the ranks of the Pandava army and slaughtered in thousands. The Pandavas afflicted with fear timidly gazed at Bheeshma who was then achieving super-human feats in that battle. The Pandava troops failed to find a protector and began to run away. While he was thus grinding the Pandava army the sun sank behind the hills and the troops worn with fatigue withdrew to their tents.

830
What did Yudhishtira tell
Krishna?

He told
Krishna that the high-souled Bheeshma crushed his army like an elephant crushing a forest of reeds. He could not be vanquished in battle. When this was the situation Yudhishtira preferred to retire to the forest. The exile in the forest would be better for him than getting crushed by Bheeshma in battle. All his brothers had been severely afflicted with his arrows. He requested Krishna to advise him about what was good for him and his brothers at this juncture.

831
What was
Krishna’s advise to him?

Krishna advised him not to loose heart. Arjuna and Bheema were endowed with the energy of wind and fire. The twins also were as valiant as the chief of the celestials himself. If situation demands Krishna himself would fight in the battle to slay Bheeshma. Arjuna had vowed that he would slay Bheeshma but failed to implement his words. If Arjuna requested him to slay Bheeshma without doubt he would do. Bheeshma, who was lately of perverted judgment, without doubt did not know what should be done.

832
What was Yudhishtira’s suggestion to
Krishna?

Yudhishtira suggested that Bheeshma was very fond of the Pandavas and if approached would help them to find a way to end his own life in the battle. There fore they all should go to see him with out delay.

833
Did
Krishna agree to Yudhishtira’s suggestion?

Yes, he did.
Krishna told that he liked the suggestion and they all should go immediately to ask him about the means of his death. They all left for Bheeshma’s tent and were welcomed by Bheeshma with a joyful heart.

834
What did Yudhishtira tell Bheeshma?

Yudhishtira reverently told Bheeshma that he was conversant with everything; he resembled a second sun. It was impossible to vanquish him in the battle and the Pandava army was slaughtered mercilessly. Yudhishtira asked Bheeshma to tell him the means by which they could vanquish him in battle, so that sovereignty might be theirs and his army might not have to undergo such destruction.

835
What was Bheeshma’s answer to Yudhishtira?

Bheeshma answered to Yudhishtira that as long as he lived victory was impossible for the Pandavas. If they wished victory, they should smite him down with out delay. Once he was slain rest of the Kauravas too could be killed easily and the battle could be finished.

836
What was Bheeshma’s suggestion to the Pandavas?

Bheeshma suggested that Arjuna had to fight him keeping Sikhandi in front. Bheeshma would not fight with Sikhandi because he was a female and the subsequent manhood was the result of a boon. Fighting with a female was inauspicious; Arjuna could attack him quickly to pierce his body with sharp shafts and throw him down from the chariot. Once he was out of the chariot, victory was sure for the Pandavas.

837
How did the tenth day’s fight begin?

The Pandavas with cheerful heart encountered the Kauravas and slaughtered all whom they met. Bheeshma the invincible bowmen, poured showers of long shafts and crescent shaped arrows upon the Pandavas. Excited with wrath he slaughtered countless elephants and steeds. He struck terror in the field. The Pandavas could not resist him, who then resembled the destroyer himself.

838
What did Sikhandi then do?

Sikhandi, who was looking like a snake of virulent poison, sent three shafts to the chest of Bheeshma. When Bheeshma saw that it was Sikhandi who was fighting him said that he would never fight with a woman, reborn as a man by unnatural means.

839
What did Sikhandi answer?

Sikhandi said that he knew Bheeshma was a great warrior, he knew of his super human prowess still he would fight him. He would do what was agreeable to the Pandavas and to his own self. He would slay Bheeshma whether he chose to strike him or not, he would not let him escape with life. It was the last day for Bheeshma in this world. Sikhandi sent sharp arrows at Bheeshma piercing his body severely.

840
What did Arjuna tell Sikhandi?

Arjuna told Sikhandi that when time came he would stand behind him and fight to vanquish Bheeshma with his sharp shafts. He could see Duryodhana amassing his army around Bheeshma to protect him. Arjuna with anger roared repeatedly and showered arrows on the battlefield and massacred the Kauravas mercilessly.

841
What was Duryodhana’s complaint to Bheeshma?

Duryodhana complained to Bheeshma that Arjuna consumed his army like the wild fire consuming a forest. He slaughtered many of the prominent warriors. The Pandava heroes Satyaki, Nakula, Sahadeva, Abhimanyu, Dhrishtadyumna and Ghatotkacha also were vigorously breaking and driving his army away. He requested Bheeshma to save him by destroying the Pandavas and their army.

842
What did Bheeshma tell him?

Bheeshma told him that in the beginning of the battle he had vowed to slay ten thousand men of the Pandava army every day and that had been fulfilled. Today he would achieve even a greater feat. He would either sleep himself being slain by the Pandavas or would destroy the Pandavas completely. And then he turned to the Pandavas and continued slaughtering them.

843
How was the battle that day? And how was Bheeshma defeated?

The Pandavas attacked Bheeshma from all sides and inflicted severe wounds on his body. But Bheeshma unmindful, fought vigorously against the Pandavas. Duryodhana made it certain that his men surrounded Bheeshma all the time to protect him from the onslaught of Sikhandi and Arjuna. But Arjuna and the other Pandava warriors fought such fierce battle that the Kauravas could not resist and began to run away abandoning the grandsire. Using this opportunity Arjuna made Sikhandi stand in front of him and sent arrows of diverse kinds at Bheeshma. Sikhandi, angry like a snake of virulent poison, too sent arrows at the grandsire’s chest. Bheeshma laughed at Sikhandi but did not send any weapon in return but fought with Arjuna fiercely. In the meantime Yudhishtira urged his own men to rush to Bheeshma with out any fear. They covered Bheeshma from all sides. Bheeshma faced all of them single handedly but succumbed to their arrows later. His whole body was pierced with arrows and there was not a single inch of body left with out arrows. He fell down from his chariot with his head to the east a little before sunset. His body did not touch the ground because of the arrows, which were pierced in his body. His mother
Ganga sent rishis from heaven to take him to her abode. They came taking the form of swans and waited near him.

844
Did Bheeshma die then and there in the field?

No, he did not die immediately. Though fallen upon the earth he did not suffer death. He would never pass out of the world as long as the Sun was in the southern solstice. Death would wait for him that was the boon granted to him by his father. He wanted that boon to become true. He would proceed to his ancient abode only when the sun reached the northern solstice. He requested the swans, which were sitting near him to pass on this message to his mother
Ganga. The swans did, as he desired. The news of his fall shocked the entire Kaurava army and every one started moving towards him. Drona lost consciousness for some time before he could go to Bheeshma.

845
What did Bheeshma request when he was on the bed of arrows?

Bheeshma requested for a pillow because his head was hanging down. All the kings who were standing nearby rushed and brought soft pillows covered with delicate fabric. But Bheeshma refused to use them. He told that those pillows were not fit for a warrior. He asked Arjuna to provide him with a pillow, which he thought suitable for a warrior. Arjuna took up his Gandiva and three straight shafts, inspired them with mantras and shot near Bheeshma’s head to support it. Bheeshma congratulated him for the wise deed. He further requested to dig a ditch around his bed to enable him to pay adorations to the Sun undisturbed. Some surgeons visited to treat him but Bheeshma asked Duryodhana to send them back with proper respect and gifts of wealth. He instructed them that his body should be burnt along with those arrows. Warriors who were surrounding him retired one by one to their tents with heavy hearts.

846
What did Bheeshma ask to quench his thirst?

Bheeshma, his body burning with pain inflicted by the arrows and nearly deprived of blood that flowed from his wounds, asked for water. Duryodhana and others brought tasty drinks. But Bheeshma told them that he would not use any thing of human enjoyment and asked for Arjuna. Arjuna stood before him with reverence. He told Arjuna that his mouth was dry and he needed water to drink. Arjuna climbed on his chariot and took up the Gandiva and an arrow and inspired it with mantras. Then he pierced the earth with his arrow a little to the south of Bheeshma. There arose a jet of water that was pure and auspicious, was cool and resembled the nectar itself and had the celestial
Ganga’s scent and taste. Bheeshma drank the water and appreciated this great deed and praised him a lot. Bheeshma suggested Duryodhana to stop the battle and make peace with the Pandavas.

847
Who went to Bheeshma when others left?

Having heard the fall of Bheeshma, Karna afflicted with fear and sorrow waited some time in his tent. When others had left, he went to Bheeshma. He looked at Bheeshma who was lying on the bed of arrows. Then fell at his feet and said with choked voice and in tears that he was Karna, the son of Radha whom Bheeshma always looked with hate. Bheeshma slowly opened his eyes, looked around and embraced Karna like a father embracing his son and told him that he never disliked him but tried to contain his energy; so he often used harsh words against him. With out any reason Karna spoke ill of the Pandavas, which he did not like. He told Karna that he was not the son of Radha but of Kunti. He was his grand child. He knew it from rishis Narada and Vyasa. A grand father could only love his grand children and he always loved him the way he loved Duryodhana and the Pandavas. He knew that Karna was equal to a child of the celestials and certainly much superior to men. What ever had happened in his life was destiny and destiny could not be changed by exertion. Bheeshma wished Karna to join the Pandavas by which he could stop the hostilities.

848
Did Karna agree to join the Pandavas?

No, he did not. Karna told that he knew he was the son of Kunti and not the son of Radha. But abandoned by Kunti and had been reared by the Suta’s wife.
Krishna had told him this when he visited Hastinapura. He had been enjoying the wealth of Duryodhana and would not falsify that now. Like Krishna, who was firmly resolved for the sake of the Pandavas he too had prepared to cast away his possessions for Duryodhana’s sake. His obedience to Duryodhana had always offended the Pandavas. This battle was destined to take its course. He would fight for Duryodhana with a cheerful heart and would keep up the duties of the Kshatriya order in all respects. That was his resolve. He sought Bheeshma’s permission to fight in the battle against the Pandavas. And he begged his forgiveness for any harsh words or acts that he might have committed in the past against Bheeshma. Bheeshma embraced Karna again and blessed him to act, as he desired. Karna saluted Bheeshma with utmost reverence, love and sorrow. He left Bheeshma and walked away.


DRONA PARVA


849
How was the eleventh day of the battle?

The eleventh day was definitely a sad day for both the armies. But it was a terrible one for the Kauravas; the loss of the grandsire was not even imaginable for them. They felt leaderless and looked like the sky divested of sun, like the earth without life. The warriors and the Kaurava brothers all turned towards Karna and told him that the time had come for him to show his prowess. They all believed that he was competent to save them from great dangers. Karna thought that Bheeshma who possessed firmness, intelligence, prowess, truth and self-restraint and all virtues of a hero had received his quietus, he regarded that all other heroes as already slain. Karna with cheerless heart and eyes filled with tears tried to console Duryodhana and others. On hearing his words the Kaurava troops began to wail aloud. Then to bring the warriors back to the fighting mood he uttered words, which caused them great delight. He declared that now he would protect the Kauravas as the high souled Bheeshma did. He would dispatch the Pandavas to the abode of Yama by means of his straight shafts.

850
Who did Karna meet before the battle began?

He met Bheeshma. Karna afflicted with sorrow saluted him with joined hands and told that he was Karna and sought his blessings to fight in the battle. He told Bheeshma that he was the foremost among the Kurus and no one else was there to fill his vacuum. From this day the Pandavas, excited with wrath, would slaughter the Kauravas like tigers slay deers. Today like a fierce flame consuming a forest, Arjuna would consume the Kauravas. Without the Grandfather the kings would never be able to bear the blare of Panchajanya and the twang of the Gandiva. With
Krishna as the charioteer Arjuna could not be vanquished.

851
What did Bheeshma tell Karna?

With auspicious words Bheeshma commanded Karna to go and fight with the enemy. Like Duryodhana he too was a grandson; lead the Kauravas in battle and give victory to Duryodhana. Karna touched Bheeshma’s feet to bid him farewell. Then he moved towards the Kauravas. They received him with loud shouts and the twang of the bows. Duryodhana embraced him warmly and requested him to choose a commander for the army.

852
What was Karna’s suggestion?

Karna suggested Drona as the next commander of the army. He told that every one in the army was competent enough to be the next commander but it was not possible to have more than one commander at a time. So he named Drona as the next commander. He was the foremost of all leaders and the preceptor as well. Karna expected that every one would be happy with his suggestion. Every one including Duryodhana was happy and agreed with the suggestion immediately. Duryodhana informed Drona about the suggestion and sought his permission to be appointed as the commander; Drona agreed readily and was duly appointed.

853
What did Drona offer to Duryodhana for appointing him as the commander?

Out of gratitude, Drona offered, a boon to Duryodhana for appointing him as the commander of the army immediately after Bheeshma. Duryodhana told If he desired to give him a boon, then, he would like to have Yudhishtira as his captive, alive. Drona told him that his desire should not be to kill Yudhishtira. That would be against principles and Yudhishtira did not have any enemy who sought his death. He told Drona that death to Yudhishtira was not his aim; he knew that Yudhishtira’s death would not bring him victory rather Arjuna would kill him and his brothers instantly. Yudhishtira however was truthful to his promises; If he was brought alive, could vanquish him in another game of dice. Then it would be easy to send them once again to the forest since his brothers were obedient to him. Drona, who was conversant with the rules of the science of war and gifted with great intelligence, thought a while of this crooked idea of Duryodhana and agreed with a condition that if Arjuna did not protect his elder brother in battle then Yudhishtira would be made captive, alive. Duryodhana happily agreed as if Yudhishtira had already been made captive. He declared this to his men and the Pandava spies, who were around, immediately reported to the Pandavas and they discussed about it in detail and made it a point that Yudhishtira should never be far from Arjuna and the other senior Pandavas.

854
How did Drona arrange his army in the eleventh day?

Drona arranged his army in the form of Sakata (vehicle). The Kaurava men almost forgot the absence of Bheeshma and began to think that Karna would bring them victory. The Pandavas arranged their army in the form of Krauncha (crane). First time in the battle Karna and Arjuna stood face-to-face leading their respective armies. Both excited with wrath and each desired to slay the other in the battle.

855
Who started the battle of the day?

Drona made the first move. Then the Pandavas and Kauravas having mastery over war tactics and enraged with each other showered sharp arrows to the enemy. Drona invoked many celestial weapons to existence and broke the Pandava array at many places and gave a rough time to them. He struck terror in the heart of the enemy and slaughtered many of them but Arjuna and other Pandavas checked him efficiently.

856
How was the battle on the eleventh day?

The battle on the eleventh day was filled with action. Karna was everywhere on the field. His presence boosted the morale of the Kauravas. Drona began to show his prowess and created havoc in the enemy camp. Arjuna, Dhrishtadyumna, Bheema, Abhimanyu, Ghatotkacha, Nakula and Sahadeva; Yudhishtira, Drupada and Draupadi’s sons, Satyaki and all the other kings achieved diverse feats in keeping with their lineage and prowess. Drona with wrath rushed around like a young man and killed the enemy mercilessly. His steeds all covered with blood assumed fearful appearance. Drona uttered his own name in battle and made himself exceedingly fierce and showered thousands of arrows at the foes. Many warriors of Yudhishtira’s army ran away out of fear. Drona made the earth miry with blood. Arjuna fought back successfully. His Gandiva created darkness by means of his arrows. He killed thousands of his foes. The Kauravas’ effort to capture Yudhishtira remained a dream. They, out of fear and unwilling to continue the fight, withdrew the troops for the day. That night Duryodhana was very unhappy, as they could not take Yudhishtira captive. He complained to Drona who tried to pacify him. Drona told him that if he could make Arjuna withdraw from Yudhishtira’s side for a while then Yudhishtira would be his captive. Some one should challenge Arjuna in battle and draw him away to some other part of the field. Arjuna would not return with out killing the person. In the meantime Yudhishtira could be caught.

857
Who offered to challenge Arjuna?

The Trigartas (Samsaptakas) headed by Susarman offered to challenge Arjuna. They told that this Arjuna always humiliated them though they had not done any harm to him. They always remembered the humiliation and were never able to sleep properly at nights. They wanted to take revenge and boasted that there was no place on earth for both the Trigartas and Arjuna. So they would kill Arjuna. Their vow would never go false.

858
How did Drona arrange his army the following (twelfth) day?

The following day Drona arranged his army in the form of garuda. The Pandavas counter arrayed their army in the form of semi circle.

859
Did the Trigartas challenge Arjuna as promised?

Yes, they challenged Arjuna to fight with them and moved towards the southern parts of the field. Arjuna fully aware of the plan of the Kauravas told Yudhishtira that he could not turn down the challenge. That was his fixed vow. This Susarman and his brothers decided to die. He had to accept the challenge and for this he needed Yudhishtira’s permission. Yudhishtira reminded Arjuna of what Drona had resolved to accomplish and asked him to act in such a way that his resolve would become futile. Arjuna assured him that Satyajith, the brother of Drupada, would protect him and if, however, Satyajith was killed in battle he should run away from the field even if surrounded by his own men. Yudhishtira agreed and gave permission to Arjuna to fight the Trigartas.

860
How was the fight between Arjuna and the Trigartas?

The fight between Arjuna and the Trigartas was very fierce. The Narayanas (
Krishna’s army given to Duryodhana) had joined the Trigartas to help them. The Trigartas were very good warriors but no match to Arjuna. Arjuna routed them all with his keen arrows and they all began to run away stricken with fear. The king of the Trigartas shouted at his men to come back and not to run away like cowards. Then they all returned with the Narayana cowherds resolved to fight. The Trigartas together with the Narayanas excited with anger and armed with diverse weapons surrounded Arjuna and showered arrows. Their arrows made such darkness that even Krishna could not see Arjuna. Then Arjuna with added fury doubled his speed; he took up the Gandiva and shot celestial arrows at the Trigartas and the Narayanas. Arjuna’s weapons made them loose their senses and they all began to strike each other; each thinking the other was Arjuna himself. Arjuna continued his shower of arrows and sent most of them to Yama’s abode.

861
What did Drona do to capture Yudhishtira? Who killed king Bhagadatta?

Drona with the intention of capturing Yudhishtira rushed towards him. Drishtadyumna who was beside Yudhishtira assured him that as long as he lived, he would check Drona and under no circumstances would he be allowed to capture Yudhishtira. Then Drishtadyumna rushed towards Drona and began to send arrows at him. Drishtadyumna’s unexpected presence made Drona cheerless. Durmukha, the Kaurava brother tried to resist Drishtadyumna and fought a fierce battle. Drona sent arrows to Yudhishtira’s protectors and killed a good number of them. Drishtadyumna fought with both Drona and Durmukha. The battle took a fierce face, thousands of men and animals were killed; those who lost their limbs and other vital organs envied the dead. In that fierce and awful battle Drona succeeded to skip Drishtadyumna and rushed to Yudhishtira. But to his great disappointment Satyajith received him with his sharp arrows. They both gifted with great might fought with each other. Drona greatly disturbed by Satyajith’s valour, finally cut his throat with a crescent shaped arrow. He also killed many other prominent kings and warriors. The Pandava army trembled with the fury of Drona and began to run away in different directions. Yudhishtira also ran away from the field to save himself from Drona and his nefarious intension. Duryodhana felt very happy and laughed and told Karna about the way Drona routed the Pandavas. He told that the Pandavas, who had witnessed the fury of Drona, would give up the battle and drop their claim on the kingdom. But Karna did not agree with Duryodhana’s comment. He told him that the Pandavas were great warriors and they would continue to fight as usual. Duryodhana, though did not like the comment, walked towards Drona’s chariot. In the meantime the Pandavas who had run away from the field came back and joined the mainstream. Bheemasena, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva and Ghatotkacha all fought against the Kauravas. Karna with Arjuna Bheema with Duryodhana and many others fought magnificently. Later in the evening Arjuna killed Bhagadatta, the king of Pragjyotisha in a very fierce battle. Arjuna got down from his chariot with bare foot walked around the fallen body of Bhagadatta and saluted it. It was his last respect to a great fighter. His death was a great blow to the Kauravas. By then the sun began to settle and both the armies retired to their tents.

862
What did Duryodhana complain to Drona on the thirteenth morning?

On the thirteenth morning Duryodhana complained to Drona that though he had promised to capture Yudhishtira, he failed to accomplish the promise. Susarma, the Trigartas king had kept Arjuna away from the main field for a long time and Yudhishtira was within Drona’s reach. He was very mild towards the Pandavas and did not want to disturb them. He lamented that Drona could have kept quiet rather than asking him to choose the boon. Drona, who was visibly disturbed, tried to pacify Duryodhana and told that he always endeavored to achieve what was agreeable to Duryodhana. He told that today he would kill a mighty warrior, one of the foremost heroes of the Pandavas’. And also he assured that today he would form an array that would be impenetrable even by the very gods. However Arjuna could penetrate it, so he should be kept away as was done the previous day.

863
How was the battle on the thirteenth day?

On the thirteenth day the fight was one of its kind. The Trigartas once again challenged Arjuna in battle and took him away to the southern side of the field. Drona arranged his army in the Padma Vyuha. The battle began. Bheema approached that invincible array protected by Drona. Yudhishtira, Satyaki, Drishtadyumna, Drupada, Abhimanyu, Ghatotkacha, Nakula, Sahadeva all excited with wrath attacked the Padma Vyuha. Drona fearlessly checked all these warriors with a thick shower of arrows and advanced towards the Pandavas. Yudhishtira could not check Drona; he felt nervous. He did not know what should be done. He feared that if Drona were left unchecked he would destroy the whole Pandava army by the end of the day.

864
What was Yudhishtira’s advice to Abhimanyu?

Yudhishtira with a heavy heart told Abhimanyu that no one knew how to break the Padma Vyuha other than Abhimanyu himself, Arjuna,
Krishna and his son Pradyumna. Drona was destroying their army unchallenged. He had already established his superiority in the field. He should not be left unchecked. So fight in such a way that Arjuna would not be unhappy when he came back after defeating the Trigartas. Take up the arm quickly and destroy the Vyuha arrayed by Drona.

865
What did Abhimanyu say?

Abhimanyu said that he knew only to break the Padma Vyuha and penetrate it but not to come out of it if he was in danger. Yudhishtira and Bheema told him not to think about that and advised him to penetrate the Vyuha so that they could follow him and repeatedly slay the foes and protect him too. Abhimanyu assured that today he would penetrate this invincible array of Drona and burn them up like insects being consumed by fire. Today, he would do that which was beneficial to both the races of his father and of his mother. He would do that which would please both his maternal and paternal uncles and his mother as well. Today the world would see large bodies of hostile soldiers continually slaughtered by him. Today, if anyone who encountered him, escaped with his life, then he would not regard himself son of Arjuna and born to Subhadra. He quickly mounted his chariot and asked the charioteer to move fast. He told his charioteer, when he expressed doubt about his credentials to fight against Drona, a master of superior weapons, that he was not at all afraid of Drona. He did not find any anxiety about the enemies today. He told that he was the proud son of Arjuna and the nephew of
Krishna, who is Vishnu himself.

866
How did Abhimanyu fight that day?

He fought magnificently. He rushed towards Drona like lightning and fearlessly encountered the preceptor and the rest of the Kauravas. He broke the array and penetrated in to it. He slaughtered the Kauravas with his sharp shafts of diverse kind and made them helpless. They died like insects that fell on a blazing fire. With his keen edged weapons he killed elephants and steeds and crushed numerous chariots. Many were lying on the floor with tongues sticking out and eyes detached from their sockets. The Kauravas stood stunned looking at the son of Arjuna, who fought with such bravery that it reminded them of Skanda, the celestial general who vanquished the asuras. Duryodhana who was watching Abhimanyu routing his army proceeded towards him. Drona shouted to all other Kauravas to protect the king before the valiant Abhimanyu slay him just in front of them. Many mighty Kauravas in their effort to protect the king sent sharp arrows from all sides and managed to rescue the king. Abhimanyu continued his killing spree and the Kauravas got too agitated. Then Karna, Kripa, Drona, Aswattama, Duryodhana and the Gandharas all shot their arrows at him. Abhimanyu shot arrows at Karna, Aswattama, Salya and many more prominent fighters. Karna had almost fainted with the effect of Abhimanyu’s shafts. Salya’s brother was killed and his army ran away out of fear.

867
Could the other Pandavas enter in to the Padma Vyuha?

No, they could not enter in to the Padma Vyuha. Because Jayadratha with the strength of the boon which he had gained from the Lord Mahadeva single handedly blocked all the Pandavas from entering into the Vyuha. Thus he ensured that Abhimanyu who was already in side the Padma Vyuha would not receive any help from his uncles and their army. The Pandavas who had forced their child Abhimanyu to cross the Vyuha helplessly witnessed him fighting.

868
What was Drona’s answer to Karna’s question that how to kill Abhimanyu?

Karna told Drona that Abhimanyu was routing their army and no one from their side could check him so far. Drona asked Karna and others whether they could detect any loophole in his way of fighting through which he could be checked. But no one could find any defect in him. Then Drona told that with shafts well shot from behind, they could, however, cut off his bow, bowstring, the reigns of his steeds, the steeds themselves and his charioteer. Once he was made to look back it would be easy to strike him. With his bow in hand it was impossible even for the very gods and asuras together to vanquish him. Karna, on Drona’s advice quickly cut off Abhimanyu’s bow from behind. Kritavarman slew his steeds and Kripa slew his charioteer. Drona, Aswatthama and Dussasana’s son covered him with arrows after he had been divested of his bow. Those six warriors ruthlessly fought with Abhimanyu. He took up a chariot wheel and approached Drona and asked that if they were brave enough they should fight one by one with him. No one would listen; they hit the wheel and broke it. Then he took up a sword and shield and jumped in to the sky displaying his strength and valour. Drona and Karna sent arrows at him and cut off his sword and shield. He took up a mace and rushed towards Aswatthama and killed his steeds and charioteer. Aswatthama moved away to avoid Abhimanyu. Then he fought with Dussasana’s son. They had a fierce fight and at the end Dussasana’s son hit Abhimanyu repeatedly with his mace and killed him.

869
Did Arjuna vanquish the Trigartas?

Yes, Arjuna completely vanquished the Trigartas. He had seen a lot of bad omens in the battlefield and asked
Krishna why it was so. He felt weak and doubted whether anything untoward had happened to his brothers in the battlefield. Krishna pacified and told him that nothing had happened and nothing could ever happen to his brothers.

870
Who explained to Arjuna about Abhimanyu’s death?

Arjuna when came back after defeating the Trigartas found his brothers and others sitting on the floor cheerlessly bearing great pain on their faces. Many were weeping aloud and some were sobbing with tears. No one had the strength to look at him or talk to him. Greatly disturbed by the situation he approached Yudhishtira and asked him what had gone wrong. Yudhishtira with a very heavy heart explained to Arjuna every thing that had happened during the day. How he himself advised Abhimanyu to penetrate the Vyuha, how valiantly he fought with the Kauravas, how Jayadratha blocked the Pandava army and how the six warriors ruthlessly killed the child breaking all the norms of war. Arjuna could not believe the fact that Drona and his coterie killed his son. He felt that he was loosing his sense and sat on the floor.

871
What was Arjuna’s oath?

Arjuna rose up from the floor with added anger and determination and declared, “ I swear that tomorrow I will slay Jayadratha. Even if he seeks the protection of Yudhishtira or the protection of
Krishna, the lord himself, I shall definitely kill him. He was the cause of the slaughter of Abhimanyu. If I don’t kill him tomorrow before the sun set, then I myself shall enter in to the blazing fire. You gods and asuras and men, you birds and snakes, you rishis of the terrestrial and celestial, you mobile and immobile creatures, you all that I have not mentioned, you will not succeed in protecting my foe from me! If he enters the abode of the nether or repair to the celestials, I shall still, with a hundred arrows, cut off the head of Abhimanyu’s killer, Jayadratha”.

872
How was Jayadratha when he came to know of the oath?

Jayadratha and the Kauravas came to know about the oath of Arjuna from their spies. Jayadratha overwhelmed with fright slowly rose up and proceeded towards the other kings. He told them that Arjuna would kill him if he stayed in Kurukshetra. So he had decided to go back to his kingdom to save his life. He requested them to give him permission to leave the Kuru camp. King Duryodhana, always looking upon the accomplishment of his own business over everything else, told him not to fear Arjuna. He himself, Karna, Drona, Salya and all other Kaurava warriors, would protect Jayadratha from Arjuna. Drona also told Jayadratha that he would protect him from Arjuna. He would form an array, which Arjuna would not succeed in piercing.

873
What did
Krishna tell Arjuna?

Krishna told Arjuna that he should have consulted him before taking such a great vow. Killing Jayadratha, the king of sindhu was not an easy task. The vow was ridiculous; how would he come out of it? Krishna again told that he had information through his spies that the Kauravas had discussed the matter in detail and remedial measures had been adopted. Drona would arrange the army in a form in which half of it would be a Sakata and next half would be a lotus. In the middle of the leaves of that lotus would be a needle-eyed array. Jayadratha would take his stand in it, protected by six heroes. Without vanquishing those heroes access to Jayadratha would not be possible. So tomorrow before sunrise new policies had to be adopted in consultation with the seniors and well wishers.

874
What was Arjuna’s answer to
Krishna?

Arjuna told
Krishna that those six warriors combined together would not be even half of his strength. He would cut off the weapons of these six when he went against them for slaying Jayadratha. In the very sight of Drona he would make Jayadratha’s head fall. Arjuna also said that he could never fail when he was protected by Krishna, the lord himself.

875
What did Arjuna tell
Krishna about Subhadra?

Arjuna told
Krishna that he was unable to face Subhadra and Abhimanyu’s wife Uttaraa; so please go and comfort them. Krishna with a cheerless heart went to his sister and her daughter in law. He met his sister and tried to comfort her. He requested her to comfort herself to come out of her grief, keeping the duties of a Kshatriya mother. He again told that Arjuna would kill the man who was responsible for the death of Abhimanyu the next day.

876
What was Subhadra’s answer to
Krishna?

Subhadra lamented that how could she comfort herself with out seeing her son. Her eyes were troubled with affliction. The young wife of Abhimanyu was over -whelmed with grief on account of the loss of her husband. She was bearing his child in her womb. How could she console the young mother? How could she comfort the young wife? It was impossible for them to live without Abhimanyu. It was impossible for them even to think that his lotus like body was lying in the middle of the battlefield with the company of jackals and vultures.

877
Who went there when this laments was going on?

Draupadi went there with Uttaraa, the wife of Abhimanyu. All of them were in great grief and wept copiously.
Krishna asked Draupadi to console Subhadra and Uttaraa. Abhimanyu the great fighter had achieved the most laudable goal, which every true Kshatriya would long for. Krishna left after consoling them.

878
What did
Krishna tell Daruka, his charioteer?

Krishna told Daruka that Arjuna in grief on the death of his son had vowed to kill Jayadratha before the sun went down tomorrow. Jayadratha was a great fighter and to slay him was not an easy task. Duryodhana got this news and made all arrangements to protect Jayadratha. The whole Kaurava army would come out to protect him. Arjuna was dearer to him than his wives, his kinsmen and relatives. He told Daruka that he might vanquish them all with their steeds and elephants by putting forth his strength for the sake of Arjuna. He would kill karna and Duryodhana. The world would witness his prowess in the great battle when he put forth his valour for Arjuna’s sake. Tomorrow the world would see what a great friend he was to Arjuna. He instructed Daruka that in the morning before the battle began his chariot had to be equipped with his celestial mace Kaumodaki, Sudarshana chakra, bow and arrows and every other weapons necessary.

879
What happened to Arjuna when he was sleeping?

When Arjuna was sleeping he had a dream in which he saw
Krishna was consoling him. He told him not to worry, for it is an impediment to success. Accomplish the act, which had to be accomplished. A person who was in grief would gladden his foes and would sadden his friends. So be cheerful and prepare yourself to kill the foes. In the dream Arjuna asked Krishna that how would he kill Jayadratha who would be protected by all the Kauravas? How would he accomplish his vow? Krishna asked him whether he forgot about his Pasupata, the indestructible, supreme weapon, which was offered to him by Lord Sankara? Use that weapon against Jayadratha to slay him. Pray to lord Siva in your mind; through His grace Arjuna would gain victory. Arjuna touched water to purify him and sat on the floor with concentrated mind. He thought of Lord Sankara at that auspicious hour called Brahma muhoortham and saw himself moving through the sky with Krishna. He saw many beautiful mountains, lakes etc. on the way. They reached a blazing mountaintop where they saw the trident bearing Lord Sankara was seated with Parvati.

880
Did Sankara give the Pasupata to Arjuna, in his dream?

Lord Sankara saw
Krishna and Arjuna and warmly welcomed them and asked them to take rest for some time. Then the Lord asked them about their mission. He would grant every thing they might desire. Krishna and Arjuna with folded hands whispered him that they bow to Rudra the boon giving deity. Then Arjuna worshipping both Sankara and Krishna asked Sankara that he desired to obtain the celestial weapon Pasupata. Sankara smilingly told Arjuna and Krishna that he knew why they had come and would give what they wished. He asked Krishna to bring the Pasupata from the nearby lake, which was full with nectar. Krishna and Arjuna accompanied by the attendants of Siva, set out to bring the weapon. In the lake they saw two terrible snakes out of which one had a thousand heads and possessed of the effulgence of fire and was emitting fierce flames. They approached the snakes and recited hymns to praise Rudra. The snakes abandoned their snake forms and assumed the forms of a bow and an arrow. Krishna and Arjuna then with reverence seized the bow and arrow and brought to the Mahadeva (Sankara / Siva). Then one of the sides of Siva’s body there came out a Brahmacharin. He had blue throat and red locks and was endued with great might. He took up the bow and the arrow and demonstrated how to use it. Sankara in the mean time recited mantras. Arjuna who was very attentively watching the process learned every thing quickly. The Brahmacharin then cast that bow back in that lake. The Lord gave him Pasupata once again and wished him victory. Arjuna and Krishna filled with joy paid their adorations to the great god and left His abode with His permission and reached their camp.

881
How did the fourteenth day of the battle begin?

The fourteenth day began with a lot of excitement among the Pandavas. They cheerfully saluted each other.
Krishna too joined them happily. The leaders and warriors assembled to take instructions. Yudhishtira addressed Krishna that they were relying completely on him. Arjuna had taken the terrible oath, which had to be realized. He prayed to rescue them from this ocean of grief and rage and today to be their boat to cross the ocean. As reply Krishna told that in all the three worlds there was no warrior equal to Arjuna. He was the foremost of men who would kill all the foes. This very day Arjuna would kill Jayadratha, the slayer of Abhimanyu. Today vultures and hawks; furious jackals and other scavengers would feed on his flesh. At this time Arjuna joined Krishna and others. Yudhishtira hugged his younger brother and told that he would gain complete victory. Krishna was well pleased with him. Arjuna enthusiastically explained them every thing that he had in his dream, which made everyone happy and they all moved towards the battlefield, commanded by Yudhishtira. Krishna took over the reign of his chariot and caressed the steeds; then checked the chariot for any defects like professional charioteer. Arjuna then ascended the chariot, which had previously been sanctified with mantras.

882
What did Arjuna tell Satyaki?

Arjuna told Satyaki that today his victory was certain. The good omens indicated that. The killing of Jayadratha was the most important task and he would chase him wherever he went, but protection of Yudhishtira from Drona too was equally important. So it was Sathyaki’s and others’ duty to take care of that. Satyaki assured Arjuna that he would do as he was told and moved towards Yudhishtira.

883
What did Drona tell Jayadratha?

Drona told Jayadratha that Karna, Aswattama, Salya and Kripa would protect him. And also a hundred thousand horses, sixty thousand chariots, fourteen thousand elephants, twenty thousand foot soldiers etc. would be there with him for his protection. Even the very gods with
Krishna as their head would not be able to attack him. So he should not worry and be cheerful. After hearing these encouraging words of Drona, Jayadratha proceeded to the spot as indicated by Drona.

884
How did Drona form the army?

Drona formed the army in half Sakata and half Padma Vyuha, which was full forty-eight miles long and twenty miles wide. He formed it with many brave kings, a host of chariots, steeds, elephants and foot soldiers. In the rear of that array was another impenetrable array in the form of a lotus. With in this lotus another dense array called the needle’s eye was formed. Many brave warriors and kings were positioned at different strategic points. Jayadratha was positioned at the center of all this.

885
How was the battle on that day?

The battle was exceptional and one of its kind. It began with Arjuna and Durmarshana, the brother of Duryodhana. He boasted that he alone would resist Arjuna and other Pandavas and enhance his honour and fame. In the meantime, like
Krishna himself in wrath, or the Mahadeva armed with the trident or the blazing Agni at the end of the yuga risen to consume the creation, Arjuna burning with rage mounted his chariot. He asked Krishna to take him to Durmarshana. The battle between them was fierce, an encounter that destroyed chariots, steeds, elephants and men. Arjuna covered his foes with showers of arrows and shafts. Arjuna was invincible. He was everywhere. Anyone who dared to face him was sent to the abode of Yama immediately. Then Dussasana with his division encountered Arjuna. A fierce battle ensued in which Dussasana; having lost his division ran away with his life. Then Arjuna proceeded towards Drona’s division. Arjuna as advised by Krishna, with folded hands asked Drona for his blessings. Through his grace he wanted to penetrate this impregnable array to accomplish his vow of killing Jayadratha. But Drona with a smile on his lips made it clear that if Arjuna wanted to penetrate the array, he had to vanquish him first and suddenly began to send arrows against Arjuna. In the battle, both exchanged many sorts of arrows and other sophisticated weapons. The fight went on for a long time with out result. Then Krishna reminded Arjuna of the task at hand. Arjuna asked Krishna to do the needful and Krishna turned the chariot and proceeded forward.

886
What did Drona ask Arjuna?

Drona asked Arjuna why he was running away with out defeating the enemy? Arjuna answered him that he was his guru and not his enemy. He was Drona’s disciple and therefore like a son, saying this he quickly proceeded against the Kaurava troop with the determination to kill Jayadratha. King Drupada and his brothers Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas followed him as the protector of his wheels. Drona and many more Kaurava men rushed towards Arjuna and began to fight with him. The battle was exceedingly fierce. Arjuna blasted the army with his sharp shafts. Duryodhana went to Drona and complained that Arjuna had crushed a big number of his army. He sought Drona’s advice as to what should be done next to slay Arjuna? Drona told Duryodhana to make plans that would prevent Arjuna from reaching Jayadratha. Duryodhana complained to Drona that he was not doing anything worthwhile to defeat the Pandavas especially Arjuna. If he knew that Drona would be mild with the pandavas he would not have prevented Jayadratha from going back to his kingdom. He did not think that Jayadratha could be saved from the wrath of Arjuna, unless the preceptor took some serious action. Drona told that this allegation did not hurt him because Duryodhana was like a son to him; notwithstanding he should know the fact that
Krishna was the foremost of charioteers and his steeds could pass through any chink in the flanks. He said that his arrows were very slow and always fell behind Arjuna. He was an old man and not able to face the young Arjuna in battle. But Duryodhana who was equal to Arjuna in age, lineage etc. should fight with him and win the battle for the Kauravas.

887
What did Duryodhana then tell?

Duryodhana told Drona that it was beyond his skill to resist Arjuna. He could defeat Indra, the chief of the celestials in a battle but for him Arjuna was impossible to vanquish. Arjuna had already vanquished many heroes and their armies including Kritavarman, Srutayus and Achyutayus etc. Arjuna was like an all-consuming fire. Only Drona could protect the Kauravas and Duryodhana’s fame. Drona told that Duryodhana’s comments on Arjuna were apt; he was unstoppable. However he would do something, which would help Duryodhana fight Arjuna. The whole universe would witness the wonderful feat of Duryodhana resisting the valour and strength of Arjuna. He would tie a special armour around Duryodhana’s body, which would prevent any weapon from piercing him. Duryodhana quickly proceeded towards Arjuna after wearing the armour.

888
How was the fight between Arjuna and Duryodhana?

Duryodhana began the fight first by sending arrows, which had the strength to penetrate the very vitals. Then he pierced the steeds of Arjuna with keen shafts. Arjuna without losing a moment shot sharp edged arrows at Duryodhana, but to Arjuna and
Krishna’s amazement all the arrows bounced back with out causing any effect on Duryodhana. Krishna told Arjuna that the armour, which Duryodhana was wearing, belonged to Drona and was impenetrable by any weapon. But Arjuna told Krishna that even if the arm our was created by Brahma him self he would defeat Duryodhana. But Duryodhana repeatedly shot arrows at them, which made his men to cheer with enthusiasm. They played their trumpets and beat their drums. At that time Arjuna looked at Duryodhana’s body thoroughly to see if any area was not covered by the armour. Arjuna shot some sharp edged shafts and killed the charioteer and the steeds of his foe. Then he cut off the chariot in to fragments and pierced both the palms of Duryodhana. Many Kaurava men rushed to fight Arjuna and to rescue Duryodhana but Arjuna slaughtered them all. No one could reach Arjuna’s chariot. Krishna blew his Panchajanya and Arjuna slaughtered his foes by the thousands and moved forward very fast breaking all barriers. The twang of the Gandiva and the blare of Panchajanya made the Kauravas, both weak and strong, to fall down. Then Duryodhana and those eight warriors appointed for the protection of Jayadratha surrounded Arjuna. A fierce battle was fought and many different types of weapons were exchanged. Both the sides uttered loud roars and continued the encounter. Arjuna’s gain was commendable. He single handedly and fearlessly fought the eight warriors united together. He shot shafts in thousands causing serious damage to the foes. Arjuna could see Jayadratha in the distance.

889
What was the fight like in the other areas?

In the mean time the Pandava army was fighting a fierce battle with Drona. This encounter between the Pandavas and the Kauravas was very fierce and awful. Yudhishtira advanced towards Drona and had an excellent exchange of arrows with him. Yudhishtira fought very well. His arrows pierced Drona’s body. Drona enraged struck him in return and caused severe wounds on his chest. He cut off Yudhishtira’s bow and covered his body with many arrows. Drona killed his steeds and broke the chariot. Yudhishtira jumped down from his chariot, stood there without weapons and arms raised. Drona shot showers of arrows at him. Many thought that Yudhishtira would be caught. But Yudhishtira quickly got up on Sahadeva’s chariot and went away from the field to the great disappointment of Drona. The fight went on for a long time; many heroes from both sides faced each other. Satyaki and Drona fought fiercely. During this encounter Yudhishtira heard the blare of Panchajanya but could not hear the twang of Gandiva.

890
What did Yudhishtira ask Satyaki when he heard only the blare of Panchajanya?

Yudhishtira, when he heard only the blare of Panchajanya, thought that not all was well with Arjuna. Though Arjuna was with
Krishna, the Lord himself, he became restless and fearful. He immediately asked Satyaki to go to Arjuna to assist him. But Satyaki who had given word to Arjuna that he would take care of Yudhishtira did not want to move out of the place leaving him with others as Drona was around and actively fighting. But Yudhishtira would not relent and forced him to rush to Arjuna. Then Satyaki told Bheema to assist Yudhishtira, while he was away. Bheema agreed and Satyaki rushed towards Arjuna. Drona resisted Satyaki on his way to Arjuna and they had a brief encounter. After that Satyaki left Drona and moved towards Arjuna. Then Drona told him that Arjuna, Sathyaki’s preceptor, ran away leaving the battle unfinished, but this time he would not allow that to be repeated. Satyaki told him that a disciple should always follow the way shown by his Guru. So he would prefer to follow his preceptor Arjuna and leave Drona.

891
Did Drona follow Satyaki?

Yes, Drona followed Satyaki and shot arrows at him from behind. Satyaki destroyed whatever came his way. He fought with Karna’s army too. Many warriors including Kritavarma confronted him on the way but he trashed them all. He killed well-known fighters like Sudarshana, Jalasandha etc. Drona again attacked Satyaki with Duryodhana, Dussasana and other Kaurava brothers. He routed them all and many of the Kaurava warriors including Dussasana ran away. Satyaki looked as if he was a better fighter than Arjuna. No one could stop him from his mission of reaching to his beloved preceptor, Arjuna.

892
Why did Drona scold Dussasana?

Drona scolded Dussasana for running away from the field and thus setting a bad example. Dussasana was a prince and had to be with the army guiding and motivating them to fight against the foe. But here he ran away with other low graded and weak -minded soldiers. He in the past had boasted that Draupadi was their slave and her husbands were all worthless. He was the one who abused the Pandavas and insulted Draupadi. When the prince himself runs away, who would stay back in the field to fight? If he was so frightened then it was better for him to make peace with the pandavas before Arjuna killed all his brothers and Bheema killed him and drank his blood. Bheeshma, long before the battle, had told them that the Pandavas were undefeatable and to make peace with them. He and his brother Duryodhana did not do. At this juncture, there were no other options left for them but to fight. Dussasana without uttering a word went to fight with Satyaki. Though Dussasana was a good fighter he was no match to Satyaki. Satyaki did not kill him because he remembered Bheema’s vow to kill Dussasana. Drona and Drishtadyumna fought fiercely and he killed Drishtadyumna’s charioteer. Drona gained an upper hand on Drishtadyumna.

893
What did Yudhishtira tell Bheema?

Yudhishtira told Bheema that he could hear the blare of the Panchajanya but not the twang of the Gandiva. He doubted that Arjuna was slain and
Krishna was fighting the war to take revenge on the foes. He had no information about Satyaki too, whom he had sent to help Arjuna. Before he was anxious about Arjuna only but now it had multiplied in two. The love he had for Satyaki was not less than that for Arjuna. He had been sent for a heavy task fully believing on his strength. So he wanted Bheema to go and enquire about Arjuna, Satyaki and Krishna. Bheema told him that when Krishna and Arjuna were together nothing could go wrong; still he would go immediately and send him information. Bheema went to Drishtadyumna and told that he was forced by his elder brother to go to Arjuna and Satyaki. Drona was headstrong to capture Yudhishtira, so Drishtadyumna should guard Yudhishtira in his absence. He agreed to take care of the safety of Yudhishtira and asked Bheema to go without any fear. They again heard the blare of the Panchajanya and Bheema rushed towards Arjuna.

894
Who blocked Bheema on his way to Arjuna?

The Kaurava brothers blocked Bheema on his way to Arjuna. He killed some of them and moved towards Drona’s division. Drona immediately sent a shaft at his forehead. He thought that Bheema too would offer him reverence as Arjuna had done before. He told Bheema that it was beyond his capability to enter the Padma Vyuha without defeating him in the battle. He told that he had permitted
Krishna and Arjuna to move beyond, but Bheema would not be allowed. Bheema retorted that Arjuna never needed to take his permission. He was invincible. He acted thus out of respect for his guru. Bheema was different. He would not be as compassionate as Arjuna. They regarded him as their father, preceptor and friend but not any more. Since Drona himself regarded the Pandavas as his enemy, it could not be otherwise. Bheema hit Drona with his mace; who quickly jumped out of his chariot to save his life. His charioteer and the steeds were killed and chariot was shattered to pieces. Then Bheema crushed many warriors to death. In the mean time Drona mounted on another chariot and stood at the gate of the Vyuha to fight. Then Dussasana and his brothers fought with Bheema. They sent sharp arrows at Bheema but he defeated the Kaurava brothers and moved forward to the Padma Vyuha. Drona checked Bheema with his shower of arrows; his war cries generated fear among the Pandavas. The fight was furious and terrible. Bheema jumped down from his chariot and moved towards Drona. He caught his chariot by the axle and threw it upside down to crush it. Drona mounted on another chariot and ran away.

895
Did Bheema send message to Yudhishtira?

Bheema defeated all the warriors on his way and moved towards Arjuna’s direction. He saw Arjuna, Satyaki and
Krishna all in the field. His happiness had no limit and uttered a shout, which could be heard all over the field. Arjuna and Krishna recognized the shout and reciprocated with zeal. Yudhishtira was thrilled and felt free from all his worries. He told himself that all were well and thought of Bheema with fondness. Bheema always gave him good news and made him happy. He was a wonderful brother; on this day he gave such happiness that he would never forget it.

896
Who fought with Bheema after that?

Karna unable to bear Bheema’s shout rushed towards him. He sent arrows at him displaying his mastery over archery. They exchanged fierce arrows of diverse kind. The fight went on for a long time. Karna was mild at Bheema but Bheema used his might completely. Bheema tried to move towards Arjuna but Karna stopped him from that and fought with him. He was not in any great mood to fight with his brother Bheema. Bheema crushed his chariot and pierced his body with keen shafts. He with severe pain mounted on another chariot. Bheema remembered all that had happened in the court of the Kauravas during the dice match and during their exile in the forests and their life in the Virata city etc. He inflicted severe wounds on Karna and killed many Kaurava brothers including Vikarna. Bheema felt sad for killing Vikarna because he was the only Kaurava who had supported them during the match of dice. The fight continued and Karna began to be serious and fought fiercely. He crushed Bheema’s chariot, killed his steeds and repeatedly sent showers of arrows at him and made him fall on the floor. Then he remembered the word he had given to Kunti that he would kill only Arjuna. Karna approached Bheema and told him “ ignorant fool and glutton, don’t try to fight with me. You are a child and laggard in battle. Vrikodara, retire to the woods or find some good kitchen. That is your rightful place and not the battlefield”. Arjuna saw Karna abusing Bheema, he sent arrows at Karna but Karna left the place.

897
How was Satyaki in the field?

Satyaki slaughtered the Kauravas mercilessly. He fought with Alambusa and killed his steeds. He then faced Dussasana and his division. With his divine bow, Ajamida, he killed the steeds of Dussasana and advanced.
Krishna and Arjuna were very happy to see Sathyaki’s bravery. Then he vanquished the Trigartas who tried to check him. He continued his killing spree. Krishna told Arjuna that this invincible Satyaki had arrived. No Kaurava could stop him. Arjuna unhappily told Krishna that he did not like Sathyaki’s arrival because he was entrusted to protect Yudhishtira from Drona. Now he did not know what had happened to his brother. Jayadratha was not yet killed. Krishna told that Yudhishtira must have sent him to get some news of Arjuna.

898
Who proceeded to Satyaki then?

Bhurisravas proceeded against Satyaki. Arjuna told
Krishna that Bhurisravas was a great fighter. Satyaki would not be able to withstand him in battle. In the mean time Bhurisravas stood in front of Sathyaki’s chariot and told him that if he did not run away from the battlefield he would be killed. Bhurisravas told that Krishna and Arjuna would see him slaying Satyaki and without doubt, out of despondency would leave the battle. Satyaki told him that he would not succeed in terrifying with his words. There was no use of this boasting, if he was capable then should accomplish it in the battlefield. Then they both began to fight a fierce battle. Bhurisravas was a great fighter and made Satyaki to exhaust. He lost his chariot and steeds. Bhurisravas struck vigorously and brought him down on the earth. He dragged Satyaki like a lion dragging its prey. Krishna asked Arjuna to interfere who cut off Bhurisravas’ hand. It fell on the ground.

899
What did Bhurisravas tell Arjuna?

Bhurisravas told that Arjuna had done a shameless and heartless deed. He cut his arm without engaging him in battle. He had violated the very rules of the battle. Arjuna told him that the invincible warrior Satyaki was his right hand in battle. Had he not protected Satyaki from the brink of defeat, then the sin of letting his dearest one to be slain by the enemy would have fallen on him. Satyaki had fought with many and was tired, in such a situation Bhurisravas brought him under his control and tried to show his superiority at the end and wanted to kill him with his sword. He said; he talks about dharma, what dharma did he follow when he applauded the killing of Abhimanyu, a small child deprived of his chariot and armour? In the mean time Satyaki got up with his sword and rushed towards Bhurisravas to slay him.
Krishna and Arjuna tried to stop him from doing it but he did not heed and severed his head from the body. Krishna told that Bhurisravas had performed many sacrifices and agnihotras so he would be taken into the celestial region without delay.

900
How was Jayadratha killed?

Satyaki continued the battle with the Kauravas. He vanquished many of them but did not kill Dussasana because he remembered Bheema’s vow. His valour was almost equal to that of Arjuna. Then Duryodhana told karna that the sun was going to set and Jayadratha should be protected from Arjuna. Karna fought with Arjuna. They exchanged fierce arrows.
Krishna told Arjuna that the very six warriors who had killed Abhimanyu protected Jayadratha and to kill all these warriors would be near to impossible, so he would do his yoga to hide the sun, then Jayadratha would come out thinking that the sun had already set. Once that opportunity had come Arjuna should kill Jayadratha immediately. Arjuna agreed and darkness began to spread. Every body thought that the sun had set and Arjuna failed to accomplish his words. So he, as per his vow, should walk straight into the fire with his Gandiva. Jayadratha too came out to see Arjuna walk into the fire. Then immediately Krishna asked Arjuna to slaughter that wicked soul. Arjuna fought vigorously and all the warriors began to run away with this unexpected aggressiveness from Arjuna. Krishna told further that Jayadratha’s head should not fall on the earth. His father, Vriddhakshatra had him after a long time of his marriage. Immediately after his birth an anonymous voice said to him that his son would become a great Kshatriya and one of the very respected kings. But one great Kshatriya with wrath would cut off his head in battle. Out of affection towards the son, he declared to everyone that whoever was the reason to make his son’s head fall on the ground would definitely have his head cracked in to a hundred pieces. So he had to be sure that the head would fall on the lap of Vriddhakshatra himself who was engaged in meditation near the very Syamantapanchaka.

901
Did Arjuna do as told by
Krishna?

Hearing these words of
Krishna, Arjuna immediately shot the Pasupata, which cut off Jayadratha’s head instantly from his body. He then shot arrows on it, one by one to take it to Syamantapanchaka where Vriddhakshatra was meditating, and placed it on his lap. Vriddhakshatra after finishing his meditation got up without seeing the head and caused it to fall on the earth. Immediately his head broke in to a hundred pieces and died instantly. The sun began to shine again giving great discomfiture to the Kauravas. Krishna, Arjuna and Bheema all blew their respective conches to inform Yudhishtira that Jayadratha had been killed.

902
What did Duryodhana think about Arjuna after he had killed Jayadratha?
Duryodhana began to think that Arjuna was invincible and could not be compared with any one on earth. No one including Drona, Kripa, Karna, Aswatthama could check Arjuna when he was in anger. Duryodhana told himself that Arjuna killed Jayadratha and vanquished all the mighty warriors of the Kurus. There wasn’t anyone to protect his army from Arjuna’s wrath. Karna on whom he had great faith had been vanquished in battle. He went to Drona with immense grief. His heart was burning and wanted some peace. He lamented to Drona about the calamity, which caused the death of the Kings who had joined the Kauravas to fight against his foes. He made Bheeshma as his commander but Arjuna and Sikhandin together made him fall on the ground. Now, on the bed of arrows he was waiting for the right time to come to leave this worldly body and life. The Pandavas had destroyed his seven akshauhinis in a day. He felt that he was a coward who made his friends die. He would take revenge, he would kill the Pandavas or would be killed by them and reach the area where his friends who were slain had gone. For which he wanted Drona’s permission.

903
What did Drona tell?
Drona told him that Arjuna and
Krishna were Nara and Narayana respectively. It was well known that they could not be defeated in battle. All the seniors had advised him about it but he refused to accept the truth. Now there was no meaning in shedding tears. It was time to fight and he would fight in the night also. He would kill his foes or would be killed by his foes. He proceeded against the Pandavas determined to have victory or death. Duryodhana discussed with Karna the way Arjuna penetrated the Vyuha and killed Jayadratha single handedly. He doubted whether Drona purposefully allowed Arjuna to penetrate it since he was his favourite pupil. Drona had promised him that he would protect Jayadratha from Arjuna that was why he did not allow him to return home other wise this awful carnage would not have happened. Arjuna had killed many of his brothers; he was very unhappy with Drona. Karna told Duryodhana not to blame the preceptor. Arjuna was young and had gained mastery on the use of all weapons and had the possession of many celestial weapons including Gandiva and Pasupata. He had Krishna as charioteer and guide as well. So it was easy for Arjuna to overtake an aged warrior like Drona. But fate was against the Kurus and it was impossible to rewrite it according to one’s wish. In the mean time Drona sent signals to the Pandavas to continue the fight even in the night. A severe battle was fought in the night and many warriors were sent to the abode of Yama.

904
How did Duryodhana fight in the night?
It was very difficult to fight in the night without proper lights; the visibility was very poor. Feeling sad and angry on the death of Jayadratha, Duryodhana had resolved to kill the enemy; penetrating the Pandavas’ army he fought a terrific battle. The Pandava warriors who were unable to face him ran away in all directions and those who stood to fight were ruthlessly murdered. Duryodhana achieved such a great feat in battle that the Pandavas had never achieved in a day. He was unstoppable and invincible.

905
How was the battle in general?
Drona fought with added fury and killed many warriors. Yudhishtira, Bheema, Nakula and Sahadeva, Drupada and Ghatotkacha and others faced him. The battle was fierce and dreadful. On that night Drona alone pierced thousands of men, elephants and steeds with his shafts. Bheema killed Durmada and Dushkarna and declared that it was Rudra who was fighting in Bheema’s form among the Kauravas. Hearing him saying this all the Kings ran away as fast as they could. Bheema created havoc in the Kaurava army. Ghatotkacha fought with the Kauravas and made them run away to save their lives. Aswatthama fearlessly fought with Ghatotkacha. The fight between them was fierce and exhausting. Duryodhana offered his help to Aswatthama who politely refused it. Aswatthama then pierced Ghatotkacha with a sharp shaft and made him fall unconscious. Dhrishtadyumna took him away from the battlefield. Arjuna and Bheema took over the leadership of the Pandavas.

906
What did Duryodhana tell Karna?
Duryodhana approached Karna and told him to save his army from the onslaught of the Pandavas who were increasing their might in the field. Karna suddenly agreed and told Duryodhana that he would slay the sons of Pandu right there and even Indra would not be able to save them. When he was alive there was no need for Duryodhana to worry. Kripa who was hearing these words of Karna ridiculed him saying that he had encountered the Pandavas many times but each time he was defeated by them. He praised the Pandavas by explaining their great qualities and reminded him of his past failures with the Pandavas. Karna with displeasure agreed that whatever Kripa had told about the Pandavas was true but did not like him praising them always and threatened him of dire consequences if he praised them once again. He told that Kripa was very old and unskilled in battle and the only thing he knew was to praise the Pandavas. Karna would give his best to bring the battle in favour of Duryodhana. Victory depended on destiny and he could not change that. Aswatthama who heard Karna threatening his uncle Kripa, rushed towards him with his sword held high and warning him that he would kill Karna if he spoke thus to his uncle. Duryodhana pacified him and tried to send him away from Karna. Aswatthama told Duryodhana that the Pandavas were always dear to him and his father and vice versa. But not in battle. He left Karna.

907
And how did Karna fight?
The
midnight fight went on and both the armies fought fiercely. Karna was terrible and inflicted severe damage to the Pandavas. No one in the Pandava army could check his prowess.

908
What was
Krishna’s suggestion to Arjuna?
Krishna suggested Arjuna that he should send Ghatotkacha to fight Karna. No one other than Arjuna and Ghatotkacha could defeat him; in the mean time Arjuna should protect Yudhishtira from Drona. He did not think that the time had come for Arjuna to fight Karna. Krishna knew that Karna had kept the divine missile given to him by Indra to use against Arjuna. Ghatotkacha was summoned; he saluted Krishna and Arjuna and waited for their orders. Krishna told Ghatotkacha that the time had come for him to show his prowess in battle. The Pandavas were sinking in battle due to Karna’s valour. The Pandava warriors constantly failed to face him and most of them ran away from the field powerless. He was the last resort of the Pandavas and it was his duty to save his fathers from defeat. So he should slay Karna this night. Ghatotkacha promised them that he would kill Karna. He assured that he would kill all, whether brave or coward, even those who sought his protection; he would not spare anyone. Arjuna told him that Satyaki would assist him in his effort. Ghatotkacha happily proceeded towards Karna to the horror of the Kauravas.

909
How was Ghatotkacha on that night?
Duryodhana saw Ghatotkacha proceeding towards Karna. He told Dussasana that nothing should go against Karna; he should be assisted properly to handle the situation. This time Alamvusha, the son of Jatasura (Jatasura was killed by Bheema for he tried to abduct Draupadi) approached Duryodhana and requested his permission to fight the Pandavas. He wanted to take revenge of his father’s murder. Duryodhana happily agreed and the rakshasa rushed towards Ghatotkacha. Alamvusha fought valiantly with Ghatotkacha. But after a fierce but short fight Ghatotkacha cut his head off and threw it on Duryodhana’s chariot saying he would gift him Karna’s head too without delay and proceeded towards Karna. Ghatotkacha struck terror in the field. They pierced each other with many keen shafts of diverse kind. The twangs of Ghatotkacha’s bows generated fear among the friends and foes alike. Karna used many celestial weapons against Ghatotkacha but he faced them all with his illusionary tactics.

910
Who approached Duryodhana in the mean time?
In the mean time a rakshasa named Alayudha with his army approached Duryodhana for permission to fight against the Pandavas. Alayudha was the relative of the rakshasas Baka, Kirmira, Hidimba etc. who were all killed by Bheemasena. Duryodhana was only happy to permit him to fight against the Pandavas.

911
Did Ghatotkacha continue fighting with Karna?
The battle between Ghatotkacha and Karna continued. Ghatotkacha gradually gained an upper hand over Karna; Duryodhana saw this and sent Alayudha to fight Ghatotkacha. Ghatotkacha left Karna and fought with Alayudha. Karna advanced towards Bheema, who ignored him and rushed towards Alayudha to fight with him. The rakshasas who were in terrible form used diverse weapons and arrows against Bheema. Bheema began to feel tired and
Krishna sent Arjuna to assist him. Ghatotkacha after a long battle killed Alayudha and threw his head in front of Duryodhana. Ghatotkacha continued to fight with Karna. They fought with powerful weapons and wounded each other severely but no one gained the upper hand. When Ghatotkacha realized that Karna could not be defeated that easily he started using maya. He created havoc in the Kaurava army but Karna without loosing his balance fought fiercely with him. The Kauravas shouted at Karna to slay the son of Bheema because the Pandavas had already destroyed most of the Kaurava army. Ghatotkacha killed Karna’s steeds and Karna jumped down from the chariot. Karna who failed to defeat Ghatotkacha, enraged like a lion took up the Naikartana, a blazing and terrible weapon given to him by Indra (which could be used only once and after that would return to Indra) in exchange of his ear-rings and was kept for years to slay Arjuna in battle. He hurled that shaft at Ghatotkacha and it pierced his chest. When Ghatotkacha realized that he was going to die he expanded his body to become a giant. His life less body fell on the Kauravas and it killed a full akshauhini.

912
Why was
Krishna happy on Ghatotkacha’s death?
Ghatotkacha’s death actually made all the Pandavas sad and cheerless, Bheema could not even believe that his son was killed. Yudhishtira, who
liked Ghatotkacha immensely failed to comfort Bheema in his grief. Arjuna,
Nakula and Sahadeva too were equally sad and cheerless. But
Krishna was very happy and cheerful and expressed it publicly to the amazement of the Pandavas. They asked him why was it so. Krishna told them that Karna
now lost his Naikartana. His Kavacha and kundala (armour and ear rings) had already been taken away by Indra. Karna with his kavacha and kundala could vanquish the entire three worlds single handedly. The Gandiva and
the Sudarshana chakra together would fail to defeat him. He tried to use Naikartana several times against Arjuna but
Krishna managed the chariot in such a way that they would not meet each other long enough to have a dual. Though Duryodhana and other Kauravas repeatedly urged Karna to use
that weapon against Arjuna he could not do it because
Krishna had always influenced his mind making him forget about the weapon. Krishna said that now Karna was a normal man and no longer like a god but still was a
warrior to reckon with. There would be an opportunity to slaughter him when his chariot’s wheel sinks into the earth. Then
Krishna would give Arjuna the signal and he should kill him immediately. They heard the noise in the field. Yudhishtira was too sad and angry and asked Bheema to go to the field. Krishna pacified Yudhishtira but he would not relent, he wanted to take revenge on the murder of his dear child Ghatotkacha. Abhimanyu’s murder was avenged by killing Jayadratha but no one talked about punishing Karna for this murder, so he would go to the field to revenge his dearest son Ghatotkacha’s death. He rushed towards Karna in anger. Seeing this many Pandavas followed him. At this juncture Vyasa approached Yudhishtira and advised him not to venture out this way in anger. In the mean time Arjuna suggested that all the warriors were exhausted with exertion and needed
rest. If the Kauravas agreed the battle would continue after taking some rest. His suggestion was well received and the battle was stopped for some time
so that the warriors could take rest.

913
What did Duryodhana tell Drona to provoke him?
Duryodhana to provoke Drona told him that no mercy should be shown to the Pandavas. They were winning the battle constantly and his army was getting ruined. Drona was not serious enough to slay the Pandavas though he had many celestial weapons. It was his ill luck that Drona always favoured his beloved pupil Arjuna. Drona did not like Duryodhana’s comments and told him that though he was very old he was still exerting himself in battle to the best of his ability. He did not like to commit the most ignoble act of killing the ordinary soldiers who were less experienced with normal weapons and totally ignorant of celestial weapons. However, if Duryodhana desired him to do that he would do it for his sake. But again if Duryodhana thought that Arjuna could be defeated in the battle that was impossible. Duryodhana did not like Drona praising Arjuna; he told that he together with his brother and friends would definitely kill Arjuna. Drona laughed and told that he had heard this boasting several times before and now would like to see it implemented in the field.

914
How was the early morning fight?
The early morning fight was the most ferocious one this far. Drona killed many senior kings including the king of Virata, Drupada and the sons of Drishtadyumna etc. Drishtadyumna declared that he would kill Drona the same day it self. Arjuna had a dual with Drona, which was one of the most exciting and incomparable fights so far. Both fought exceptionally well displaying their mastery in handling all the most efficient celestial weapons including the Brahmastra with out allowing the other to gain any upper hand. Drona left Arjuna and began to fight with others and slaughtered many seniors. He ignored all tenets of dharma and used celestial weapons against warriors who were not familiar with them. He ignored the very rules of the battle and slaughtered innocent fighters who were not fighting with him or had any intention to do so. This ruthless behaviour of Drona caused great fear among the Pandavas.

915
How was Drona killed?

Beholding the plight of the Pandavas Krishna told Arjuna that Drona could not be defeated; if he were left free he would slaughter all the Pandavas with out leaving a single one alive. So the Pandavas for the time being should cast aside their virtues and do some act of falsehood, which would help them to slay him in the field. He would stop fighting when his son Aswatthama was slain so it should be declared that Aswatthama had been slain. Arjuna and Yudhishtira were not in favour of this idea but
Krishna convinced them. Bheema killed an elephant named Aswatthama owned by Indravarman, the chief of the Malavas and an ally of the Pandavas. Then he approached Drona with a lot of embarrassment. He told aloud that Aswatthama had been slain. Drona was a bit shaken for a while but regained his composure and remembered that his son was undefeatable. He, with added anger slaughtered the Pandava army ruthlessly forgetting his roots and established rules of war. Beholding this unrighteousness many great rishis and sages including his father Bharadwaja, Viswamitra, Jamadagni, Gautama, Vasishta, Kasyapa and Atri approached Drona and warned him that he was fighting unrighteously and his cruelty had exceeded all limits. The hour of his death had come and it was time for him to leave the weapons. Drona remembered Bheema’s words that his son was killed. He became cheerless and asked Yudhishtira whether his son had been slain or not. Yudhishtira, as instructed by Krishna told Drona distinctly that Aswatthama was dead and immediately after that whispered Aswatthama, the elephant was dead. Drona lost his sense with grief and felt mentally and physically weak for a few moments. Then he saw Drishtadyumna standing in his front; he fought a fierce battle with him in which, many felt Drona would vanquish him but Satyaki valiantly interfered to help Drishtadyumna and protected him from Drona’s wrath. Bheema repeated about the death of Aswatthama and used harsh words to remind Drona of his sinful and unrighteous deeds. It hurt his mind very badly and decided to put down his weapons. He asked Karna, Duryodhana, Sakuni and Kripa to take over and fight against the Pandavas. Seeing the opportunity Drishtadyumna with his sword raised in his hands rushed to Drona and cut off his head ignoring the shouts of Arjuna and others not to kill him but to catch him as prisoner. Drishtadyumna with Drona’s blood on his body jumped down from his chariot with the head. He threw it on the ground and celebrated his victory. The Pandava warriors too joined him.

916
How was the Kauravas after that?
Drona’s death was the greatest shock to the Kauravas. Duryodhana had invested all his hopes of winning the battle on Drona and now he was slain. He genuinely felt for the first time, after the battle began, that he was leaderless and could not win the battle. His grief had no bounds. The death of Drona was terrifying for the other Kauravas. They all began to run away from the field with their own divisions. Sakuni, Salya, Kripa, Kritavarma etc could not bear the shock and grief and ran away frightened from the field with their divisions. Even Karna was unable to withstand the shock and fled the field with his own division. Duryodhana too followed Karna. But Aswatthama, who was fighting fiercely with the Pandavas, unaware of his father’s death and amused by the way the Kauravas’ behaved, asked Duryodhana why the troops were running away as if they had encountered some great calamity. Duryodhana, a man of great courage and mental strength, felt himself weak to inform Aswatthama about the death of his father. However Duryodhana regained his strength and composure fairly quickly and explained to Aswatthama the way his father was murdered by the Pandavas especially by Drishtadyumna.

917
How did Aswatthama react when he was told how his father was murdered?

Aswatthama filled with wrath hardened his tight fist heavily. He then, fierce like a virulent snake, uttered that how Yudhishtira, the son of Dharma could do such an unrighteous and cruel deed for the sake of victory in battle? He knew that a warrior in the field could expect only two things, either defeat or victory. A death in the normal circumstances did not deserve grief rather it was always honourable. But the humiliation with which his father was murdered tore his heart and he would not let it go unchallenged or unavenged. The cruel and wicked souled Drishtadyumna had perpetrated this sinful act disregarding the requests of Arjuna and the Kauravas. Drishtadyumna certainly would face the dreadful and merciless consequence of his cruel and unrighteous murder in the battle. Today he would take revenge on that eldest son of Pandu, the so-called embodiment of dharma, who by his act of deceit caused his father to keep away his weapons and get slaughtered by Drishtadyumna. He lamented that his father died though his son was alive and active in the battlefield. He could not stop the slaughter of his father although he was gifted with many celestial weapons including the Narayanastra. But today that wretch of most reprehensible conduct, Drishtadyumna, would not escape him with his life. Aswatthama’s words gave extra courage to the Kauravas. Those who had run away from the field returned with great happiness. They began to blow their conches and beat their drums. Aswatthama, in the meantime, invoked the celestial weapon Narayana.

918
What did Arjuna tell Yudhishtira when he heard of the unexpected happiness among the Kauravas?
When Yudhishtira expressed his amazement on the newfound happiness of the Kaurava army, Arjuna told him that it was Aswatthama who was the reason for the unexpected cheerfulness among the Kauravas. Drishtadyumna killed the preceptor in a very inhuman and cruel manner. He seized his hair to cut his throat and Aswatthama would never forgive him. Arjuna accused Yudhishtira that he lied to Drona just to win the war and gain the kingdom. Drona had great faith in his pupil Yudhishtira that he would never speak falsehood to him. But Yudhishtira did exactly the same. Believing his words Drona kept aside his weapons and Drishtadyumna slaughtered him sinfully. Aswatthama, the superhuman hero would certainly consume all the Pandavas today. Hearing Arjuna’s accusations Bheema got very angry and told Arjuna that he spoke like a wise man, who had his senses under perfect control, but in reality he was not. It was the duty of a Kshatriya to save others from injuries. It was unfair from the part of Arjuna to talk as if he was ignorant of it. Arjuna had the prowess, which was equal to Indra himself. He talked of virtue but his kingdom was snatched from him by the most unrighteous manner. Draupadi was dragged to the assembly by his foes and insulted her. Though they did not deserve to live in the forest, clad in bark of trees and skins of animals, nevertheless they lived in the woods for thirteen years. Arjuna should feel ashamed of his words. He could not forget those injustice caused to them by the Kauravas. If Arjuna did not want to fight with Aswatthama he could be indifferent and keep away from the field. Bheema told him that he single handedly would vanquish this son of Drona.

919
What did Drishtadyumna tell Arjuna when Bheema stopped?
Drishtadyumna told Arjuna that he was talking great about his guru. Was he a great man in the real sense? A Brahmin was supposed to follow certain duties like performing sacrifices, teaching, giving away gifts, receiving gifts, and learning the Vedas etc. He wanted Arjuna to tell him which of these duties did Drona perform during his lifetime? What did he teach? He did not teach the Vedas but archery. Did he perform sacrifices to please the gods? No, he did not. All the sacrifices he performed were to please Duryodhana, the embodiment of sin. What was the gift he offered to Duryodhana? The captivity of Yudhishtira, his own pupil and the one who took him to the palace when he was wandering without a job and without the means to have a meal for him and his family. He was not a brahmin by deed; he adopted the life style of a Kshatriya but there too he failed pathetically. He violated all the rules of the science of war. He slaughtered the innocents ruthlessly using celestial weapons, which no Kshatriya would even in his wildest of dreams think of. Drona was neither a Brahmin nor a Kshatriya. In the battlefield there were only two groups, friends and foes. No special treatment could be offered to a person who fought for the enemy, not even his teacher. He was a man who always lived in the world of illusion and had the death of a similar kind. Drona got what he deserved. In the battle Drishtadyumna lost his father and sons just because of Drona. When Abhimanyu was killed Arjuna declared that he would slaughter Jayadratha and accomplished it too using illusionary means. Was that murder righteous? The tactics that he used to eliminate Bheeshma and Bhagadatta were right? Drishtadyumna told that his very birth and existence itself was to kill Drona and also he had every right to avenge the killer of his father and children. If he was a sinner then Arjuna too was a sinner. So for the sake of his sister Draupadi and her children he would forgive Arjuna’s words. Hearing these words of Drishtadyumna, Satyaki protested and questioned him. They had a long and furious argument and at times they even raised their arms and challenged each other. But Sahadeva, Yudhishtira and
Krishna together managed to pacify them. On their requests they both forgave each other to the extreme happiness of all others and prepared themselves for the forthcoming formidable battle.

920
What did Yudhishtira tell when Aswatthama began his carnage in the Pandava camp?

Aswatthama caused a great carnage in the Pandava camp. He invoked the Narayanastra. Thousands of keen arrows, innumerable sharp edged maces and discs appeared in the sky and suddenly descended on the Pandava army. Like fire it consumed the Pandavas in large numbers. Yudhishtira frightened with this sight and also of Arjuna’s indifference sarcastically told Drishtadyumna and Satyaki to go back to their respective kingdoms to save their lives. He said
Krishna knew how to safeguard his life and did not need any advise. No need to fight any longer. Let Duryodhana be crowned as the ruler. As regard to himself, he would enter into the fire to kill himself and that would douse the anger of his beloved brother Arjuna. Yudhishtira said that he had killed the preceptor who had, as per Arjuna, always cherished tender feelings towards them. This great guru, who always had great feelings for the pandavas, mercilessly killed the child Abhimanyu in the most unrighteous manner to please his king Duryodhana. This great man who had always loved the pandavas like a father sat indifferently without opening his mouth when Draupadi was in great distress and was dragged into the assembly when she was having her period and was improperly dressed. It was this great father like figure who gifted special armour to Duryodhana to kill Arjuna and the other Pandavas. It was this great guru who assured Duryodhana that he would protect Jayadratha from Arjuna’s wrath and would ensure that Arjuna’s vow failed. It was this great lover of the Pandavas who agreed to Duryodhana’s request to make him (Yudhishtira) captive and offer Duryodhana as a gift for appointing him as the commander of the Kaurava army. It was this great acharya who killed the brave Satyajith of the Panchala who had exerted himself for the victory of the Pandavas. It was this great friendly person who had shamelessly told the Pandavas to go to the forest although he was asked by many not to give his consent to Duryodhana. Alas! He had killed such a great and wonderful father like figure of the Pandavas. For that wonderful man’s sake and also to please Arjuna he and his friends would sacrifice their lives by entering into fire.

921
What did
Krishna ask the Pandava army to do?

Krishna pacified Yudhishtira and asked them all to lay down their weapons, alight from their chariots and prostrate before the Narayanastra. Those who did this would not be killed by it. Those who thought of going against it would be killed invariably. Hearing Krishna telling this all the warriors except Bheema put their weapons down and jumped out of their chariots and prostrated before it. But Bheema arrogantly told them all not to lay their weapons down because with his shafts and mace he would quell this Narayanastra of Drona’s son in the presence of all the Kurus and the Pandavas. He rushed towards Aswatthama with all his weapons. Krishna and Arjuna extremely worried of Bheema’s action ran behind him, dragged him down from his chariot with all his weapons. The Narayanastra went by peacefully with out harming Bheema. Krishna scolded Bheema for his unruly behaviour. Duryodhana wanted Aswatthama to use Narayanastra once again but Aswatthama told him that it could not be reused. Then Duryodhana asked him to use some other weapons, which could kill all the Pandavas. Aswatthama fought fiercely with Bheema and made him swoon. Bheema’s charioteer drove him away from the field. Then Arjuna and Aswatthama faced each other. They both exchanged many celestial weapons but Aswatthama’s weapons failed many times and could not withstand Arjuna’s valour and he ran away from the field. On the way out Vyasa met him. Vyasa told him about Nara and Narayana and their mission in this world. The battle on the fifteenth day was over and both the armies withdrew from the field. The Kauravas were in great distress; they lost their beloved commander Drona.

KARNA PARVA

922
Who was selected as the next commander of the Kaurava army?
Karna was selected as the commander of the Kaurava army on the fifteenth night. Duryodhana asked every one to give suggestions to choose a new commander. Aswatthama suggested Karna as the next commander. He told every one that they needed to choose a person who bore the qualities such as enthusiasm, efficiency and power and also loyalty towards Duryodhana. He told that though they had a lot of warriors who possessed all these qualities he preferred Karna as the next commander. Karna who was a great friend of Duryodhana, possessed great might and was exceptionally competent to handle all kinds of weapons. Duryodhana who was extremely happy with the suggestion of Aswatthama told Karna that he knew his prowess and also the depth of their friendship. Both Bheeshma and Drona were not serious in fighting the Pandavas; they were partial and always loved them. But he knew Karna would vanquish the Pandavas single handedly and bring him victory. He declared Karna as the new commander of his army. Karna accepted the new post and boastfully asked Duryodhana to believe that the Pandavas with their sons and
Krishna were already vanquished. Then a satisfied Duryodhana got up and gave orders to make arrangements for a celebration.

923
How was the fight on the sixteenth day?
Duryodhana was cheerful as the sixteenth day of the battle dawned. He thought that his Karna would gift him victory over the Pandavas. Karna as the new commander arrayed his army in the Makara form. The Kauravas forgot about the loss of both Bheeshma and Drona. They were very cheerful and were sure that Karna would lead them to victory. Beholding this Yudhishtira told Arjuna to look at the Kaurava army arrayed by Karna, which was once commanded by great warriors like Bheeshma and Drona. Karna looked majestic in his commander’s attire. The Kauravas had lost all their bravest warriors except Karna. Once he was vanquished, victory would be certain. Arjuna too saw the Kaurava army that had dwindled in size considerably, and arranged his in the crescent formation. The battle began. Both the armies fought fiercely. Men and animals were felled in hundreds. The Pandavas gained an edge over the foes. Bheema ruthlessly slaughtered his enemies. Beholding this Kshemadhurti, the King of Kulutas rushed towards Bheema and fought vigorously with him. After a long fight Bheema killed Kshemadhurti. Similarly all the great warriors of both sides fought fiercely and caused great damages to their foes. Aswatthama fought with Bheema; he invoked many powerful weapons but Bheema countered them all with great ease. They both injured one another with keen arrows and sharp shafts and finally fell unconscious on their chariots. The charioteers understood the seriousness and drove them away. Arjuna faced many warriors and sent them all to the abode of Yama without any mercy.

924
How did the Pandya king fight in the battle?
The Pandya King who regarded himself superior to the great warriors like Bheeshma, Drona, Kripa, Aswatthama, Karna, Arjuna etc. also felt within his heart that he was equal to
Krishna. He, burning with rage like the destroyer himself, slaughtered thousands of men and animals of the Kauravas single handedly. Aswatthama, beholding this massacre approached him fearlessly with a smiling face and told him that he resembled Indra himself; he had crushed numerous chariots, animals and men like a fearless lion of terrible might crushing the herds of deer in the forest. He told him that he did not find any one who was a match to the King including himself in the Kaurava army. So Aswatthama requested the Pandya king not to fight with others, as they were incapable to withstand his prowess, but with him only. The Pandya King happily agreed and they fought a very fierce battle. Aswatthama used all his powerful weapons and the King had answer for all that. It went on for a long time; the Pandya king looked invincible. But Aswatthama killed him at the end to the great happiness of the Kauravas. Duryodhana and his brothers approached Aswatthama and saluted him out of respect and gratitude.

925
How was the fight between Duryodhana, Yudhishtira and others?
The battle continued in which, Yudhishtira fought fiercely with Duryodhana, he killed Duryodhana’s charioteer and forced him to jump down from the chariot. Aswatthama, Karna and Kripa all rushed to save Duryodhana from Yudhishtira’s ire. Satyaki and Sikhandi created havoc in the enemy army. Bheema and Karna faced each other. Bheema fought valiantly with Karna. A boastful Nakula faced Karna just to get defeated by him. Sahadeva blasted Dussasana. Karna faced Arjuna; they fought fiercely and killed the men and animals ruthlessly. Karna thrashed the Pandava army and many warriors ran away to save their lives. But Arjuna who was blazing like the sun fought back valiantly and killed hundreds of men and animals of his foes. It was evening the sun began to set. The Kauravas were afraid that the Pandavas might ask for a night battle. The Pandavas had gained an upper hand in the fight and were very cheerful. They cheered loudly to express their happiness. Karna was unhappy over the happenings of the day. The Kauravas looked like poisonous snakes deprived of fangs. Karna frustrated with failures squeezed his hands and looked at Duryodhana and told him that Arjuna was very careful, possessed great skill and was wisely advised by Krishna. Duryodhana though worried of the results of the battle did not say any thing against Karna. He believed that Karna too was worried and disheartened of the outcome of the battle. Nevertheless Karna assured him that tomorrow he would kill Arjuna. Duryodhana felt happy and told encouraging words to Karna. They hugged each other and left for their respective tents.

926
What did Karna tell Duryodhana in the dawn of the seventeenth day?
In the dawn of the seventeenth day Karna approached Duryodhana and told him that it was a very decisive day in his life and he would fight with Arjuna with all his might. Either he would kill Arjuna or would be killed by him. It was certain that one of them would not live after the sunset of the day. The strength of his celestial weapons was equal to the strength of the weapons of Arjuna. Karna’s bow called Vijaya was the foremost of weapons of its kind. Arjuna was inferior to him in the handling of weapons, hitting the target, in physical strength and in courage. He told that he would gladden Duryodhana today with his foremost bow Vijaya, which was given to him by his guru Parasurama. Then he said that in certain aspects he was inferior to Arjuna. Arjuna had the mighty Hanuman on his flag. His bow was celestial and his quivers were inexhaustible. The chariot, which Agni gave him, was driven by Krishna himself. The most important fact was that Krishna the creator himself was his mentor. In spite of all this Karna told that he would fight and kill Arjuna; the only hurdle he faced was that he did not have a proper charioteer. Salya had excellent knowledge about steeds and could be a great charioteer. He could even be a better charioteer than Krishna himself. If Salya agreed to be his charioteer then he was sure he could defeat the Pandavas and gift the throne to Duryodhana. Duryodhana was thrilled by the words of Karna and assured him that he would get Salya to be his charioteer. For Karna it was his last day. He knew Arjuna would kill him. He thought of the various phases of his life, the various people in his life, the various situations in his life, the rejections, the challenges, the humiliations, the curses, the pains, the joy, his love for the Pandavas, his love for Krishna and finally his inability to win the battle for his dear friend Duryodhana. He prepared himself to accept the extreme reality, death, which was imminent.

927
How did Duryodhana present his request to Salya?
Duryodhana humbly approached Salya and used words of praise to please him. Then told with all humility that he had come to him with a very important mission that would decide the future of the battle. Karna would face Arjuna today in the battlefield; he was a better fighter than Arjuna. But he had a serious problem. Arjuna had Krishna as his charioteer but Karna did not have a charioteer of Krishna’s caliber. If Salya would be kind enough to accept the charge of Karna’s chariot then it was sure that Karna would kill Arjuna and gift the Kauravas victory in battle.

928
What was Salya’s reaction?
Salya was furious and accused Duryodhana of insulting him. He told that he did not regard Karna, the son of the Suta, as even equal to him. His prowess was such that he could split the earth, scatter the mountains and even dry up the oceans. He was a king and was born in a royal family. He was capable to fight with all the Pandavas including Krishna. He had participated in many important wars and vanquished many great heroes. He would prefer to go back to his kingdom rather than driving the chariot of Karna. Duryodhana pleaded with utmost reverence that he did not try to belittle him. He knew that not only Karna but he himself also was not equal to Salya. He was like a barbed arrow to his foes so that he was given the name Salya. Karna was superior to Arjuna as Salya was superior to Krishna. His knowledge about steeds was incomparable and far ahead of Krishna. A superior fighter like Karna needed a superior charioteer like Salya so he pleaded him to take charge of the chariot. Salya was pleased when he was positioned above Krishna. He embraced Duryodhana and assured him that he would take charge of Karna’s chariot but with a condition that he would speak, in Karna’s presence, whatever he desired to speak. Duryodhana agreed to the condition and told Salya that Karna was not a Suta. That was his assumption. Parasurama gave Karna his celestial weapons, if he was a Suta that would not have happened. He resembled Surya himself and could not be born to an ordinary woman. He was a high souled one.

929
How did Karna fight with Yudhishtira?

Karna was happy that Salya agreed to be his charioteer. He requested him to prepare the chariot. He arranged his army excellently. Yudhishtira and all the other Pandavas were ready to fight. Yudhishtira instructed Arjuna to counter array their army and also to proceed against Karna. He asked Bheemasena to face Duryodhana, Nakula against Virshasena (Karna’s son), Sahadeva against Sakuni. Satanika to fight Dussasana and Satyaki against Kritavarman. Drishtadyumna against Aswatthama and he himself would fight Kripa. The battle began. Salya had to keep his promise to Yudhishtira, which was to demoralize Karna. He praised the Pandavas to the core to provoke Karna and also asked questions, which often irritated him and diverted his attention. Arjuna fought with the Samsaptakas single handedly. Karna excited penetrated into the Pandava army and slaughtered the Panchalas and the Chedis. He killed them by the thousands. Vrishasena, Sushena and Bhanusena, the three sons of Karna, helped him in the massacre. Drishtadyumna, Satyaki, and the five sons of Draupadi, Bheema, Sikhandi, Nakula and Sahadeva and many more warriors rushed towards Karna with the desire to slay him. The sons of Karna resisted the Pandavas to protect their father from their wrath. Bheema killed Bhanusena and sent sharp arrows to Sushena but Karna efficiently protected his son and inflicted severe wounds on Bheema. Karna continued his rampage and created havoc in the Pandava army. He sent arrows and shafts at lightning speed to kill the enemies. He advanced towards Yudhishtira. The Panchalas and others tried to obstruct him in vain. Yudhishtira with his eyes red with anger told Karna that he was the son of a Suta. He, a slave of Duryodhana had been challenging Arjuna for long. It was the day for him to exhibit his prowess in battle and he would fight him instead of Arjuna. Yudhishtira suddenly sent arrows at Karna and inflicted wounds on his body. Karna with out delay pierced Yudhishtira with many arrows but with great care. Yudhishtira with added anger sent showers of arrows at him, which made him faint a little but regained his posture fast. He took up his celestial bow Vijaya and killed many warriors who were protecting Yudhishtira’s chariot and killed his charioteer. Then he inflicted severe wounds on Yudhishtira making him bleed profusely. Yudhishtira was at Karna’s mercy, any time he could be killed. Karna remembered his word given to Kunti. He ridiculed Yudhishtira that though he was born as a Kshatriya he was unfit to be a warrior. Hence he should not try to fight again and also not to approach brave warriors with his harsh words. Karna left him after advising him to go back to his tents or to his brother Arjuna.

930
How did Karna fight with the others?

Karna left Yudhishtira. Bheema saw Karna and wanted to fight him. Salya, to demoralize Karna, praised Bheema sky high. Karna with a light heart agreed to Salya’s words and asked him to proceed towards Bheema. They fought fiercely. Karna covered Bheema with a shower of arrows. Bheema too struck Karna heavily with his varied weapons and made him fall unconscious. Bheema created havoc in the enemy army and killed many men including two of Duryodhana’s brothers to the great horror of the Kauravas. Many of the Kauravas who were unable to bear the wrath of Bheema ran away from the field. Karna who had regained consciousness approached Bheema once again. Many Kaurava warriors who had run away from the field returned and joined Karna. The fight was fierce and went on for a long time. Karna was aggressive and invincible and fought with many warriors and vanquished some of them including Satyaki.
Krishna was very happy to see Karna fighting valiantly. Karna defeated Yudhishtira who attempted to fight him again. He could not bear the pain from the wounds inflicted by Karna and retired to his tent. Arjuna vanquished the Trigartas and joined the other Pandavas against the Kurus. He defeated Aswatthama who sought a dual. He then asked for Yudhishtira who was not seen in the field. Bheema told him that he had retired to his tent. Arjuna and Krishna rushed to Yudhishtira who welcomed them cheerfully thinking that they had come after killing Karna. He was greatly annoyed when told that Karna was still alive. Out of anger he asked Arjuna to hand over his Gandiva to some other king who was senior to him so that Karna could be killed. Arjuna became very angry and told Krishna that he had vowed to cut off the head of the person who dared to ask him to hand over the Gandiva to some body else. Krishna pacified him with solutions for his vow. Yudhishtira hugged him with love and affection and also advised Arjuna not to take Karna lightly for he was a great fighter. Arjuna resolved to kill Karna and left Yudhishtira for the field.

931
How was the fight between Dussasana and Bheema?
Bheema was fighting fiercely with the Kauravas giving them a very hard time; Dussasana, to check Bheema showered arrows on him. The encounter that took place between them became extremely fierce. They struck each other with shafts and arrows. Dussasana gained considerable progress against Bheema in the beginning. He inflicted severe wounds with his arrows. He sent a sharp shaft at Bheema that made him fall supine as if deprived of life. But Bheema quickly regained his senses and charged like a lion. Then there was no looking back. Bheema struck Dussasana heavily with his mace and told him that this day he would drink his blood in the battlefield in front of all the warriors. Bheema, in that dreadful battle, repeatedly struck his mace at him that brought him down from the chariot. He whirled his terrible mace and hurled it at Dussasana’s head. His armour, ornaments and attire all were displaced and he looked in great agony. Bheema remembered all the atrocities, which that wretched Dussasana and his brothers had caused to the Pandavas and their wife Draupadi. Bheema hit Dussasana’s chest with his foot and crushed it and ripped it open. He took out his innards and slung it around his shoulder and roared terribly to the horror of the Kauravas. Then he collected Dussasana’s warm blood in his palm and drank it repeatedly and declared that he had never drunk anything tastier than this. He cut Dussasana’s head with his sword and proclaimed to everyone that he had accomplished his vow and he would accomplish his other vow to slay the beast Duryodhana soon. Karna or any other warriors could not do anything against Bheema but Karna’s son Vrishasena advanced towards him. Nakula, before Vrishasena could reach Bheema, fought with him and later Arjuna took over and killed him in the presence of Karna. Bheema then walked towards Draupadi to help her to accomplish her vow. Karna out of anger rushed towards Arjuna and
Krishna. Aswatthama urged Duryodhana to make peace with the Pandavas. Duryodhana’s life was very precious to him so if some how the war could be stopped many lives including that of Duryodhana could be saved. Duryodhana told him that it was too late to think about peace and he had left everything to fate.

932
How was the fight between Karna and Arjuna?

Arjuna and Karna who stood face to face desired to slay one another. The Kaurava warriors encouraged Karna to kill Arjuna with sharp arrows. Similarly the Pandava warriors too urged Arjuna to slay Karna with out delay.
Krishna pierced Salya with his sharp glances and Salya too glanced at Krishna. But Krishna’s glances were too sharp for Salya who felt that he was already vanquished in the battle. Karna asked Salya that if Arjuna killed him what would Salya do? Salya who began to love and respect Karna, totally ignoring his words to Yudhishtira, answered that he single handedly would slay both Krishna and Arjuna that very day. Karna was pleased and began the fight by sending sharp arrows at Arjuna; Arjuna reciprocated with his sharp shafts. To gain superiority over the other both mighty warriors exchanged celestial arrows against each other. Karna cut off all the arrows shot by Arjuna in the beginning. But Arjuna with added vigor fought back successfully and sent showers of arrows at Karna. Karna thus pierced all over with arrows and excited with wrath unleashed a terrible fight in which he destroyed chariots and killed many prominent warriors of the Pandavas. Bheema who was greatly provoked by the prowess of Karna asked Arjuna to slay him quickly. Bheema thought that Karna had succeeded to baffle the arrows shot by Arjuna and if it was continued he would even kill Arjuna. Bheema urged Arjuna to use his prowess fully to slay Karna for which he too would assist him with his mace. Arjuna on Bheema’s request fought ferociously, which frustrated Karna a very great deal. He understood that he could not prevail over Arjuna if he continued in this fashion so he took out his precious weapon nagastra to slain Arjuna. Salya told him that his nagastra could fail to slay Arjuna so he should change his aim or send companion arrow to strike off the head of his enemy. Karna refused to heed the advice telling that he never aimed an arrow twice. He then let off that arrow, which he had worshipped for many long years. Krishna who was keenly watching the trajectory of the arrow strongly pressed down his chariot causing it to sink into the ground for about half a foot. When the chariot had thus been pressed down into the earth the arrow missed its aim and hit Arjuna’s crown instead of his neck and felled it on the ground.

933
What emerged from the place where Arjuna’s crown fell?
A snake emerged from the spot where the crown had fallen and approached Karna and told him that it failed to kill Arjuna because before letting it off Karna did not see it, now shoot once again and it would kill Arjuna. It explained the reason for its enmity towards Arjuna that he had killed its mother when he helped Agni to eat the Khandavavana. He was waiting for a chance to take revenge on Arjuna. Karna told the snake that he did not seek victory in battle relying on another’s might and also he would not use the same arrow twice. When rejected by Karna, with great anger, it took the shape of an arrow and moved towards Arjuna to kill him.
Krishna asked Arjuna to kill it before it could strike him. Arjuna immediately shot many arrows and killed it.

934
How was Karna killed?

The battle between Karna and Arjuna continued.
Krishna and Salya too were injured. Karna gained an upper hand over Arjuna; Krishna understood this and urged Arjuna to strike with superior weapons. At that time Karna’s chariot began to sink into the earth and one of the wheels got stuck; he quickly jumped down to free it out of the mud. He looked at Arjuna and told to wait till he raised the wheel out. Brave warriors who observed the rules would never shoot their weapons at the opponent when he was weaponless. Arjuna was a brave warrior and always observed the rules so it would be unfair of Arjuna to slay him while he was weaponless. Krishna addressed Karna that it was good luck that Karna remembered virtue. Where was this adherence to virtue when he and Dussasana together with Sakuni insulted Draupadi in the middle of their assembly? Where did his adherence to righteousness go at that time? Why it did not manifest itself then? If he were righteous then he would have stopped Duryodhana and company from setting fire to the house of lac, in which the Pandavas were made to live. Where did his righteousness go when Sakuni was playing the game of dice? Did he stop Sakuni from his trickery and deceit? What did he do with Abhimanyu, a small boy who was all alone fighting with six great warriors? Did Abhimanyu get a fair deal from him? Why didn’t his sense of virtue arise then to prevent those warriors from killing an outnumbered and weaponless Abhimanyu? Karna had no moral right to talk about righteousness. He never stuck to righteousness in his entire life. Only the Pandavas observed virtue and righteousness. Karna out of shame hung his head down and climbed on the chariot to fight. Arjuna’s arrows kept all the other Kaurava warriors far away from Karna; no one dared to come near to help him. Krishna who had great affection for Karna thought about his entire span of life, his miseries and sufferings etc. and felt sorry for him. But he could not help it; Karna made friendship with a sinner, it was his fate, he had to die. Krishna asked Arjuna to pierce Karna with celestial weapons and throw him down. Though they sent many celestial weapons to each other, Karna often failed to remember the incantations to invoke celestial weapons. Karna would jump down from the chariot to correct the wheel and again continue fighting. It was a very sad scene; he was struggling to save his life. He sent a very powerful and keen shaft to Arjuna; it pierced his chest and he fainted. He lost his grip on the Gandiva and it slipped from his hand. This rejoiced the Kauravas greatly. Karna availed of this opportunity to correct the wheel and jumped down from the chariot. Arjuna recovered his senses and took up a keen shaft and felled Karna’s banner to the extreme dismay of Karna and the Kauravas. His fame, his pride, his hope of victory and everything, which was dear to him, fell with the banner. The Kauravas lost all hope and wailed aloud. Krishna asked Arjuna to slay Karna before he got on his chariot. Arjuna then shot a fatal shaft named anjalika, capable of penetrating the very vitals, to behead Karna. Karna’s beautiful head fell on the ground. From the slain body of Karna a light passed through the atmosphere and merged with the sun. It was the afternoon of the seventeenth day of the battle. Duryodhana could not control his sorrow, though Salya tried to console him. Arjuna and Krishna went to Yudhishtira to inform him of Karna’s death. Yudhishtira was relieved; he congratulated his brother and worshiped Krishna. The Pandava army celebrated the death of Karna. Later Duryodhana went to Bheeshma and informed him of Karna’s death. Bheeshma told him that he died like a Kshatriya. Duryodhana was puzzled and requested Bheeshma to explain. Bheeshma told him that if he could maintain complete secrecy then he would tell the truth, because that was Karna’s wish. Duryodhana agreed that he would honour his dear friend’s wish. Then Bheeshma told him that he was a Kaunteya, the first son of Kunti. He explained everything related to Karna. Duryodhana realized the depth of Karna’s love for him; he failed to control himself.

SALYA PARVA

935
What was Kripa’s advice to Duryodhana?
After Karna’s death there was no warrior in the Kaurava army who had the prowess to rally the troops together and fight against the Pandavas. When, Karna, the last hope of the Kaurava army was slaughtered, the warriors ran away to their own safety. No one was there to guide them. Kripa approached Duryodhana and asked him to make peace with the Pandavas. He, who had been weakened in the battle, should seek peace by conciliation. This was the policy taught by the revered Gurus. The Kauravas were less powerful than the Pandavas at the moment. He said Yudhishtira would be happy to make peace with the Kauravas and
Krishna too would be for it. Duryodhana told him that what Kripa had told was apt for the moment but it did not please him. He remembered his past wrong deeds and told Kripa that the sons of Pandu and Krishna would never agree for a truce. Duryodhana told Kripa that it was too late to have a peace treaty; he had decided to fight and die in the battle.

936
And who was made the next commander?
Duryodhana wanted someone to be made the commander of the army to continue the battle and consulted with Aswatthama to suggest a new commander to vanquish the Pandavas. Aswatthama suggested Salya as the new commander. Though closely related to the Pandavas he abandoned them and joined the Kauravas. He had a large army of his own and was a superior fighter himself. Every one including Duryodhana accepted the suggestion and cheered victory for Salya. Duryodhana requested Salya to take over the command of the army and asked him to protect the Kauravas as Skanda protected the Gods in battle. Salya accepted the new post and assured them all that he would try his best to accomplish what he had been asked to do. He told Duryodhana that Arjuna and
Krishna together were not equal to him in prowess and when angry he could fight the whole world consisting of the gods, asuras and men with their armies. He assured Duryodhana that he would vanquish the Pandavas and bring victory to him. Duryodhana was happy; the warriors played various musical instruments to express their happiness.

937
What did
Krishna tell about the new Kaurava commander?
Yudhishtira heard the cheer and told
Krishna that he guessed Salya, the highly respected warrior, had been chosen as the next commander of the Kauravas. Krishna told him that he knew the prowess of Salya. He was well versed in archery and the art of warfare. He was equal or perhaps superior to Bheeshma, Drona and Karna and also was superior to Arjuna, Bheema, Drishtadyumna and Satyaki. He could not find a warrior who could face Salya in battle other than Yudhishtira. Only Yudhishtira could slay Salya. There was no need to show any compassion thinking that he was his maternal uncle. Yudhishtira should manifest all his ascetic powers and Kshatriya energy to kill him. They all left for their respective tents.

938
How was the fight till Salya was killed?
On the eighteenth morning before moving towards the battlefield the Kauravas took a vow that they would fight the foes together, not individually. The battle began. The Kauravas faced considerable difficulties to match the might of the Pandavas. They lost men and animals. Salya with the desire to rescue the Kauravas proceeded against the Pandavas with rage. The Pandavas who were firmly determined to have victory pierced Salya with keen shafts. Salya fought fiercely with Yudhishtira. Bheema crushed the steeds of Salya and Salya in return hurled a sharp shaft at Bheema and uttered a loud shout. Bheema killed Salya’s charioteer. Salya came down of the chariot, took up his mace and fought with Bheema. The warriors of both armies encouraged their respective leader to kill the foe. The mace of Salya, decorated beautifully with gold and other precious metals, looked splendid. Similarly the mace of Bheema looked like lightning when it was whirled in the midst of the clouds. They fought Like two gigantic elephants; both highly talented and experienced in the use of the mace, displayed their superiority of skill. They both crushed each other and finally fell on the ground simultaneously. Kripa took Salya away from the field; Bheema got up holding his mace in hand challenged Salya without knowing his absence. The battle continued; both the Pandavas and Kauravas killed each other. Duryodhana rushed against the Pandavas; he singled out Chekitana and killed him. The Pandavas sent showers of arrows to the Kauravas. Arjuna fought with Aswatthama and others and killed many Kaurava warriors. Salya returned to the field and penetrated the enemy army and fought fiercely with Yudhishtira intended to slay him. Yudhishtira filled with rage pierced Salya with keen arrows. Salya shrouded the Pandavas particularly Yudhishtira with straight shafts; beholding his troops thus shrouded with arrows Yudhishtira began to think whether the words of
Krishna would go wrong? That was the prowess of Salya; he even fought with his own nephews Nakula and Sahadeva. Yudhishtira decided and told himself that the words of Krishna should not go untrue. He asked Arjuna, Bheema, Satyaki and Drishtadyumna to assist him to fight Salya. He was determined to slay Salya without any delay. He fought a very fierce battle with Salya, made him lose his senses many times but Salya regained it and fought back. The fight went on for a long time and at the end Yudhishtira took up a new shaft, inspired it with many mantras and hurled it towards Salya. With a loud roar Salya tried to catch the shaft hurled by Yudhishtira with all his might. But it pierced his very vitals and made him fall on the ground to the horror of the Kauravas. Yudhishtira continued his killing spree with a vengeance while Duryodhana fought valiantly with the Pandavas.

939
Who killed Sakuni?
The battle continued. Bheema killed all the Kaurava brothers except Duryodhana and Sudarsa. Sakuni rushed against Sahadeva and sent showers of arrows at him. Uluka, the son of Sakuni, encountered Bheema. Bheema killed him in no time. Sakuni who was unable to withstand the prowess of Sahadeva tried to run away but Sahadeva chased him and pierced him with sharp arrows. He asked Sakuni to fight like a Kshatriya and reminded him of his atrocities in the Kaurava assembly while gambling with the dice. He told Sakuni to have the fruits of his acts. All others who had ridiculed the Pandavas had been sent to the abode of Yama. He too would be killed. Then Sahadeva sent an arrow, which had the strength to penetrate any armour, cut off that head, which was the root cause of the evil policy of the Kauravas. Beholding Sakuni lying headless on the ground the Kaurava warriors ran away with fear. The Pandavas filled with joy blew their conches aloud. Duryodhana asked his men to come back and fight against the sons of Pandu to avenge the death of Sakuni. The followers of Sakuni respected his words and joined together to fight against Arjuna. Arjuna killed all who rushed towards him to fight. Eleven akshauhinis had been arrayed to fight for the Kauravas in the beginning and all were slain by the Pandavas. It seemed that only Duryodhana and a few others were left alive.

940
What did Duryodhana do when all his army were exterminated?
Duryodhana fled the field with a mace in hand and went towards Dwaipayana lake; on his way he remembered the advice of the seniors including Vidura, he disregarded all advises, that thought made him sad. He entered the lake and remained there. Aswatthama, Kripa and Kritavarma, who were in search of Duryodhana finally arrived near the lake and found him in it. They consoled him and asked him to come out of the lake and fight. Aswatthama assured him that they could still fight and win the battle. Duryodhana was happy to see them alive but was not in the mood to fight again.

941
Who saw Duryodhana in the lake and informed Bheema?
In the meantime a group of hunters came there to quench their thirst. Bheema knew these hunters personally for they supplied him meat everyday. They secretly heard the conversation between Duryodhana and the others. They guessed that these were the Kaurava king and his men. A little earlier the Pandavas who were in search of Duryodhana had asked them about the whereabouts of Duryodhana. Though the Pandavas had dispatched spies all around no one could find Duryodhana. The hunters without wasting time informed Bheema about Duryodhana to the extreme happiness of the Pandavas and
Krishna.

942
What did the Pandavas do then?
They all proceeded with great speed towards the lake. Aswatthama, Kripa and Kritavarma heard the noise of the army of the Pandavas and told Duryodhana about the arrival of the Pandavas. Duryodhana answered them “So be it” and remained in the water. They all left him in the lake and moved out of the vicinity of the Pandavas. The Pandavas arrived there; Yudhishtira seeing Duryodhana in the water told
Krishna that he would not allow Duryodhana to escape with life. Then he asked Duryodhana why did he enter the water after causing all the warriors to perish? Just to save his life? Where did his pride and sense of honour go? “Come out of the water O’ king and fight like a brave Kshatriya”. He had always boasted that he was a hero but now acted like a coward and ran away from the battlefield to hide in the water. The real heroes never ran away from the battle only cowards did. Don’t be a coward, cast off your fears and continue the battle. He would continue as the king if he could win or would reach the heaven after slain by them.

943
What did Duryodhana tell Yudhishtira?

Duryodhana still in the lake told Yudhishtira that he did not leave the field by fear of life. He said his chariot was destroyed, charioteer was killed and quivers were gone. He was alone without a single warrior to stand by him in the battle. This was why he came to the lake to take some rest and not to save his life. So he asked Yudhishtira to rest a while till he prepared himself to fight. Duryodhana told him that they all had enough rest and ready for the battle to continue. Duryodhana told that he lost all those for whom he desired to have the kingdom. He did not like to enjoy the earth and its wealth any longer. He did not desire to continue the battle when all the seniors had been slain. His beloved Karna was killed Bheeshma was quietened. All his friends and relatives were slain. He would not like to rule a kingdom divested of relatives and friends instead he would prefer to gift it to the Pandavas and go to the forest clad in deer-skin. This kingdom was nothing but a barren land and it now existed for the Pandavas for their enjoyment. Yudhishtira told Duryodhana that he did not have any sympathy for him and would reject to receive the kingdom as a gift from him. He would only like to enjoy the earth after vanquishing Duryodhana like a genuine Kshatriya. Duryodhana had no right to gift the earth to him because he no longer enjoyed the right on it. He could have done it before the battle when the seniors and
Krishna advised him to do so. Then he refused to give even that much of land which could be covered by the point of a needle. Irrespective of whether he would gift the earth or not, he would not escape them with life. Yudhishtira asked him either rule the earth after vanquishing them or go to the region of blessedness after being slain by them. If both of them remained alive the whole world would doubt who had won the battle and who was the King. His life had to be taken for all his past wrongs. He deprived them of their kingdom Indraprasta, tried to kill them in different manners, always used cruel words, abused and ill-treated Draupadi. So it was time to rise and fight the battle.

944
Did Duryodhana agree to fight? What was his next move?
Duryodhana told him that they possessed friends, chariots and animals while he was alone without weapons and friends. He was ready to fight with one of them at a time. He would destroy all the Pandavas like the sun-destroyed darkness in the dawn. This day he would free himself from the debt he owed to his many friends and relatives like Karna, Drona, Bheeshma, Jayadratha, Bhagadatta, Salya and many more by killing Yudhishtira and his brothers. Yudhishtira told him that he could select one of the Pandavas and choose any weapon he wished to have. Others would not interfere in the fight but would remain spectators. If he was able to slay any one of them then he would be the king otherwise he would be shown the gates of heaven. Duryodhana agreed to Yudhishtira’s words and told that he would like to have the mace to fight; he just asked one of the Pandavas to move forward and fight him on foot, armed with a mace. He was ready to fight with any one of the Pandavas though he did not find any one worthy of him. He got up and waded through the water showing his broad chest and handsome body, which was admired by many. He approached the Pandavas all wet and bleeding; he stood majestically before them and told that he was ready for the fight and let one of them move forward armed with mace. Yudhishtira told that he would fight with him and send him to the abode of Yama.

945
Why did
Krishna scold Yudhishtira?
Krishna who was witnessing this dialogue silently approached Yudhishtira and told that he had behaved unwisely; letting Duryodhana choose one amongst them to fight him and if he won then he could be the king was the most unwise comment he ever heard in his life. If Duryodhana had chosen him (Yudhishtira), Arjuna, Nakula or Sahadeva what would have been the consequence? Continued exile for them in the woods as if the sons of Pandu were born to live in the forest eternally. None of them could be a match to Duryodhana in a mace fight. He had been practicing it for many years on a steel statue of Bheema intended to kill him. Duryodhana could very well snatch the kingdom if he fought with anyone other than Bheema. Even Bheema was not a match for him but just the best option. Though Bheema had strength he lacked skill whereas Duryodhana had both strength and skill. Just strength was not sufficient to win a battle but skill too was necessary. It was good luck that Duryodhana did not make any choice.

946
What did Bheema tell
Krishna?
Seeing
Krishna worrying Bheema went to him and told that he would kill Duryodhana and put an end to his hostility, which existed for decades. He told that his mace was heavier than Duryodhana’s by one and a half times and would hit hard to send him to the domain where his friends had already been sent. Krishna was very happy on Bheema’s words and praised him that he would be instrumental in the coronation of Yudhishtira as the king and he had killed all the other sons of Dritarashtra except this Duryodhana and it was only natural to slay him too for the sake of the world and its eternal peace and prosperity. He had to fight very carefully with Duryodhana because he was exceptionally skilled in the art of mace fighting. Bheema told Duryodhana, who stood composed and dignified, that he would fight with him and asked him to remember all the wrongs he and his family had committed. The Kauravas’ effort to kill them in the palace at Varanavata, the atrocities committed against Draupadi in their court, the game of dice by the wicked Sakuni who was the root cause of the hostilities between them. Duryodhana’s greed and hatred towards them led to this war. Because of him Bheeshma was struck down, Drona, Karna, Salya and many others had been killed. He was the only one who was still alive and would be killed on this day shattering all his hopes of becoming the king again.

947
What did Duryodhana tell Bheema?

Duryodhana who was listening to him patiently told him to let his mace do the speaking instead of his tongue. He was clever so he exercised his prowess to make them dwell in the forest for many years. He told Bheema to fight instead of making noise. During this time Balarama came to that spot to see the fight between his pupils.
Krishna and others received him heartily and told him to witness the skills of his two disciples. Balarama told them to proceed towards Samanthapanchaka, which was nearby. He had heard from great rishis that it was sacred and those who die there while fighting would directly be taken to heaven. Everybody agreed to the suggestion and proceeded towards Samanthapanchaka. Duryodhana too with wrath walked holding his mace high on his shoulders. He felt sad; he always loved to live in utmost luxury and was always surrounded by servants to take his orders but now he was forced to walk on dirt barefoot. On the way both Bheema and Duryodhana exchanged ferocious looks. Everybody reached Samanthapanchaka. It was time for the battle to begin. Both Bheema and Duryodhana were ready for it.

948
How was the battle between Bheema and Duryodhana?
Duryodhana with great might challenged Bheemasena. Bheema, who could not do anything against Duryodhana, until now, for whatever atrocities he had committed against them, whether dragging Draupadi to the assembly or trying to kill them at Varanavata or for any other harmful action, gave vent to his anger. He reminded Duryodhana of his wrong doings once again and warned him that he would be killed pathetically. Duryodhana asked him to stop bragging and fight. Bheema with added fury rushed towards Duryodhana with his mace held high. Duryodhana too rushed furiously towards Bheema with loud roars. They encountered to kill each other. The battle was vicious; the collision of maces produced noise as loud as thunderbolts. They struck each other with all their might. They took rest for a while and then resumed the battle. Blood flowed from all over both bodies. It was a terrible scene to behold. They were so well matched that it was difficult to say who was superior. Bheema used different kinds of tactics against Duryodhana, he whirled his mace in the air, which produced loud sounds. Duryodhana was amazed at his cousin’s prowess. Bheema coursed in beautiful circles, moved forward and backward giving a hard time to Duryodhana. Duryodhana too fought wonderfully hitting his foe hard, defending himself astutely from the blows of Bheema; it was an excellent display of might and skill. He struck at times with lightning speed and at times withdrew with the same agility, which confused Bheema considerably. It went on for a long time; Duryodhana gradually began to prevail over Bheema. Bheema whirled his massive mace with full force, which produced a loud sound and created smokes and flames of fire. Duryodhana too whirled his mace in the air, which produced a great violent winds causing fear in the minds of the Pandavas. They continued to strike each other and displayed their skill in battle. The battle took a very fierce form; both began to strike each other violently, giving a new magnitude of cruelty to the battle. Bheema struck Duryodhana down; he trembled all over. Pandavas enjoyed the temporary fall of their foe. Duryodhana got up and gave a massive hit to Bheema, which made him lose his senses. Bheema, wiping his blood stained face, struggling to maintain his balance got up.

949
What did Arjuna ask
Krishna? What did Krishna tell him?
Arjuna who was keenly watching the fight asked
Krishna about who was the superior among these two? Who had the chance of winning the battle? Krishna told him that both of them had received training from his brother Balarama. Bheema was more powerful than Duryodhana but Duryodhana was not only powerful but skillful too. In addition to that Duryodhana had been practicing for a long time desiring to kill Bheema in a duel. It was evident from the fight between them that Duryodhana had maintained an edge over Bheema. In a fair fight Bheema would never be able to defeat Duryodhana. But in an unfair fight he could surely slay him. Krishna reminded Arjuna of Bheema’s vow in the Kaurava court, after the game of dice, that he would break the thighs of Duryodhana with his mace in battle. This was the time for him to accomplish that vow. If Bheema fought fairly Yudhishtira would be in grave danger. To be frank it was Yudhishtira’s fault that put the Pandavas once again in the verge of defeat in spite of killing all the great warriors. This folly of Yudhishtira had no justification. Duryodhana was a hero fighter and firmly resolved to regain his lost kingdom by killing Bheema. If Bheema did not use unfair means to kill him then it was sure that Duryodhana would remain the King. Arjuna, after listening to Krishna, understood the seriousness of the occasion and waited for Bheema to look at him, once when Bheema looked at him, he slowly struck his left thigh signaling Bheema what he had to do. Bheema immediately understood the signal and prepared himself to break Duryodhana’s thighs. The battle continued. Duryodhana in his effort to baffle the blow of Bheema jumped up; Bheema made use of the situation fully, he broke both of Duryodhana’s thighs with his massive mace. Duryodhana fell down upon the earth like a gigantic tree uprooted by the tempest. Bheema approached Duryodhana’s fallen body and abused him recalling all the atrocities he had committed against the Pandavas. He struck with his foot repeatedly on the fallen hero’s head, which caused distress among the many righteous kings assembled there. He jumped and danced and laughed aloud, his happiness had no limits. He was in a different world of his own. Yudhishtira rushed to him and told him that he had accomplished what he had vowed by means of a fair or unfair act. Duryodhana was a king and also was the leader of eleven akshauhinis; he should respect that. A warrior should never touch another warrior with his foot. That would be the most unrighteous and sinful deed one could commit. Yudhishtira’s voice chocked, in tears, he approached Duryodhana and lamented for whatever had happened.

950
Why did Balarama become angry?
Balarama who was watching Bheema hitting Duryodhana on his thigh became very angry. He shouted at him for hitting Duryodhana below his naval, which was unfair and not permissible in a battle of mace. He never had witnessed before some one hitting below the naval in a mace fight; the furious Balarama rushed towards Bheema raising his plough.

951
Who consoled him?
Krishna seized his brother from behind with his arms. He tried to pacify Balarama; he told that the Pandavas were their relatives. The Kauravas had never been fair towards the Pandavas; they always did injustice to them. They misbehaved with the Pandavas’ wife Draupadi in their court, which forced Bheema to take the vow that he would break Duryodhana’s thighs. Bheema had to accomplish the vow and he did just that. To pacify him, Krishna explained the atrocities the Kauravas had committed; though he was not fully convinced it helped to bring down his anger. Balarama said, "Having unfairly slain king Duryodhana, Bheema would be reputed in the world as an unfair fighter. The righteous-souled Duryodhana, on the other hand, would obtain eternal blessedness”. After telling this he went to Duryodhana, waited there for a moment and then left for Dwaraka. Bheema filled with happiness went to Yudhishtira and told him that the earth was his, all the thorns were removed; rule it over according to the Kshatriya order. Yudhishtira congratulated Bheema and wished him good luck. Krishna was very happy, many kings and warriors praised Bheema for his achievement; for them whatever Bheema had done was exceptional and great.

952
What did Duryodhana tell
Krishna?
Duryodhana who was watching and hearing all the comments passed by Krishna and the others tried to sit on his waist taking the support of his hands. He was experiencing excruciating pain, which was visible from his facial expressions. He used keen and bitter words against
Krishna. He called him the son of Kansa’s slave and also the greatest sinner. He accused Krishna that it was he who reminded Bheema to commit the unfair act with the hint of breaking his thighs. He had noticed when Arjuna signaled that to Bheema. Didn’t he feel ashamed of killing thousands of kings, who always fought fairly, by unfair means? It was he who caused the grandsire to be struck down by keeping Sikhandi in front. It was he who gave the idea to slay the elephant named Aswatthama and forced the preceptor to keep aside his weapons. He made Ghatotkacha the victim of Karna’s ire, just to save Arjuna. He forced Arjuna to kill Karna when his chariot was stuck in the mud. If the battle were fought fairly then the Pandavas would not have defeated him and his men. Krishna adopted the most unrighteous and heinous means to slay the Kauravas to gift victory to the Pandavas. Krishna was the greatest sinner on this universe.

953
What did
Krishna tell Duryodhana?


Krishna who was angry on Duryodhana’s comments looked at him and told him that the Kauravas had been killed because of their sinful deeds, which they had committed in the past. Bheeshma and Drona were the victims of their sin. Karna imitated Duryodhana’s behaviour therefore he had to die. It was his (Duryodhana) avarice coupled with Sakuni’s advice that shut his eyes from seeing the truth. He shamelessly refused the legitimate paternal share of the Pandavas to them. He poisoned Bheema and threw him in the river. He, with his wicked uncle Sakuni, conspired to burn the Pandavas with their mother in the Palace that was made out of highly inflammable substance. He, with his brother Dussasana and Karna, on the occasion of the game of dice, persecuted Draupadi that too when she was having her period. The sinful Jayadratha persecuted Draupadi again when her husbands were away hunting in the forest. Duryodhana never listened to the advice of his seniors. He (Krishna) himself went to Hastinapura to barter peace but Duryodhana disregarded his efforts and tried to capture him instead. His evil deeds were numerous. He did not deserve anything other than death.

954
What was Duryodhana’s answer?
Duryodhana answered that he had studied the holy books; he had given away numerous gifts according to the rules. He had ruled the vast earth, enjoyed all the good things in life. There wasn’t any one as fortunate as himself. He would go to the heaven and join his beloved brothers and great friend Karna there. Those people who had won the earth from him would continue living here with all the unhappiness. When Duryodhana concluded his words a thick shower of beautiful flowers with divine fragrance fell on his body from the sky as an approval to his words. The Gandharvas played musical instruments; the Apsaras and Siddhas all praised the glory of Duryodhana. The Pandavas and
Krishna felt ashamed. An invisible being cried out that Bheeshma, Drona and Karna were killed unrighteously. Even though the Pandavas won the war the glory went with Duryodhana. The grief of the Pandavas had no limit. Krishna beholding this told them sternly that all the Kauravas were great warriors. In a fair fight none of them could be vanquished or slain. The Pandavas should not take it to their hearts that their foes had been killed in an unfair battle. Even the gods had used such means to kill the asuras. It was time to celebrate the victory not to worry about the battle. Krishna asked them to go to their own tents to take rest. The pandavas were rejoiced and blew their conches to express it, Krishna too blew his Panchajanya. They left Samanthapanchaka for their tents. Duryodhana remained there, alone with broken thighs waiting for death to come.

955
What happened to Arjuna’s chariot after the war?
They all arrived at the Kaurava camp as per tradition. The pandavas celebrated their victory by beating drums and blowing conches. Once the celebrations were all over the warriors got down from their chariots.
Krishna asked Arjuna to collect his Gandiva, the inexhaustible quivers and dismount from his chariot. He too would come down once Arjuna got down. Arjuna obeyed Krishna and got down the chariot. Krishna followed Arjuna. The moment Krishna dismounted from the chariot, Hanuman who was on the banner disappeared from it immediately. To everybody’s amazement the chariot of Arjuna with its steeds burned by it self and reduced to ashes. Beholding this unbelievable incident Arjuna with a lot of pain asked Krishna the reasons behind it.

956
What did
Krishna tell Arjuna?
Krishna told him that the weapons including the Brahmastra sent from the Kaurava camp had already consumed the chariot. It did not reduce to ashes because he was sitting on it. Krishna told Arjuna that when he visited them at Upaplavya, Yudhishtira and Arjuna together received him and after the customary pleasantry exchanges Yudhishtira requested him that Arjuna was his brother and friend and he should protect him from all dangers. He agreed to that and now Arjuna had been protected. Yudhishtira with folded hands told that who other than Krishna would be able to withstand the Brahmastras hurled by Drona and Karna? It was Krishna’s grace that Arjuna could vanquish the Samsaptakas; he did not look back even when encountered with the foremost of warriors. Without Krishna’s grace they would not have gained this victory. At Upaplavya the great rishi Vyasa had told him that wherever Krishna was, righteousness and victory would be there. Krishna wanted everybody to take rest and sleep out of the camp as part of a custom. Everybody agreed and followed Krishna for the sake of doing something, which was considered as an act of dharma. They settled on the banks of the sacred river Oghavati to spend the rest of that day.

957
What was the Pandavas’ request to
Krishna on that night?
The Pandavas’ requested
Krishna to visit Dritarashtra and Gandhari, who had lost all their sons. Krishna agreed to that and set out to Hastinapura to meet them and pacify them. Yudhishtira was in great fear that Gandhari had ascetic powers and in anger she might use that to curse them; so Yudhishtira wanted her to be pacified before he and his brothers went there to meet her. Krishna entered the city, sent message to Dritarashtra and then went to the palace to meet him and Gandhari. The great Saint Vyasa had already arrived there before Krishna. He embraced Vyasa and Dhritarashtra and also saluted Gandhari. Krishna held the hand of Dhritarashtra, the king wept uncontrollably for a while out of sorrow and pain of the death of his sons and others. Krishna told him that nothing was unknown to Dhritarashtra. He was well acquainted with the course of time. Then he explained all that had happened to the pandavas from the beginning of their life to the present. Destiny is supreme; so should not bear any ill feeling towards the Pandavas. He requested Gandhari also not to hold malice towards them instead cultivate good feeling towards the Pandavas for which he bowed to both of them. He told that Yudhishtira was burning with grief and felt ashamed to visit them because he had caused great pain to Dhritarashtra and Gandhari though it was not his mistake. Krishna reminded Gandhari of her wise words when he visited Hastinapura as a representative of the Pandavas to mediate with Duryodhana. Gandhari told him that when she heard of the death of her children she was overwhelmed by emotions and still had difficulty to maintain her composure. She covered her face with her clothes and began to weep aloud. Krishna continued comforting her, after weeping for some time she told Krishna that she felt relieved. This time Krishna had an intuition that Aswatthama had evil designs to carry out so he should leave Hastinapura. Krishna told this to Dritarashtra and Gandhari and took their leave. They advised him to protect the Pandavas. Once Krishna left the palace Vyasa comforted Dritarashtra. Vyaasa later left for the Pandava camp.

958
What did Aswatthama request Duryodhana when he met him at Samanthapanchaka?
Duryodhana, who was lying on the earth covered with dust and with broken thighs was undergoing severe pain both physically and mentally. He struck his arms against the earth with anger and frustration. Many terrible scavengers were waiting at a distance to feast on him. Aswatthama, Kripa and Kritavarma went there and saw the son of Dritarashtra lying alone stained with blood and mud all over his body. They stood dumb with astonishment for a while and alighted from their chariots. They sat around him. Aswatthama could not bear the fact that the master of the world had been reduced to this state. Duryodhana told them that the creator himself ordained this on him. Every one had to face it and his turn too had come. He never looked back or turned away from the battlefield whatever situation he had to face. He did not use deception to slay his foes and always displayed courage and perseverance. So he asked them not to grieve for him. It was his destiny and he could not help to deny it. Duryodhana became silent after telling this but tears rolled from his eyes. Aswatthama began to burn with anger; he could not control his emotions. He told that he could bear the pain when Drishtadyumna killed his own father by deception but this had crossed its limits and would definitely take revenge. He would use all his power to take revenge on the wretched Pandavas in the presence of
Krishna. For which he wanted Duryodhana’s permission; It pleased Duryodhana highly and he installed Aswatthama as his next commander. Aswatthama embraced the King and left the place. Kripa and Kritavarma keenly disturbed by the plight of Duryodhana followed Aswatthama. The sun disappeared and the night began to spread.

SAUPTIKA PARVA

959
What did Aswatthama and others do that night?
They left Duryodhana and entered a dense forest, which was very near to Kurukshetra and decided to take rest for a while. They all sat under a big banyan tree. Kripa and Kritavarma fell in deep sleep but Aswatthama could not sleep; he was disturbed and his breathing sounded like the hiss of an enraged snake. He was seriously thinking to avenge the death of Duryodhana. He looked around the dense forest in which he saw a banyan tree with full of nests of crows. The crows were sleeping peacefully. Then he saw an owl, which had a frightening body, quietly approaching the branches of the tree where the crows had their nests. It slew quietly the crows by cutting their heads, breaking legs or tearing the wings. Within a very short time the ground got covered with the slain bodies of the crows. The owl looked very satisfied like a warrior who had killed all his enemies and gained victory.

960
What inspired Aswatthama to carryout the carnage in the night?
The act of the owl inspired Aswatthama who was thinking of ways to take revenge on the Pandavas. He told himself that the owl taught him a lesson. It was not possible for him to vanquish the Pandavas in a direct fight; they were stronger, more numerous and perseverant. He decided and resolved to kill all the Pandavas in the dark of the night, when they were fast asleep. He wanted to implement his plan immediately. He woke up Kripa and Kritavarma and explained them about it. They were stunned by the cruelty with which he explained his plan and its implementation. Kripa tried to persuade him to desist from such unrighteous acts. He told that Duryodhana disregarded all his well-wishers; he took the advice of the wicked and persuaded hostility towards the Pandavas who were superior in all human qualities. It was not wise to follow a plan that would give them eternal disrepute. It was wise to challenge the Pandavas the next morning and defeat them openly. But Aswatthama would not relent, he wanted to carry out his plan in the night itself and set out to the Pandava camp. Though reluctant, Kripa and Kritavarma too joined him.

961
What did Aswatthama and others see at the gate of the Pandava camp?
Aswatthama with rage approached the Pandava camp desiring to annihilate the Pandavas. But when he reached the gate, he saw a giant guarding the entrance. He had a blood dripping tiger skin around his loins and was wrapped in a black deerskin. He wore a large snake for sacred thread; his hands were huge and were holding many weapons. Aswatthama never witnessed such a colossal and extra ordinary creature. He stood unmoved in front of the creature and sent many weapons to him but no weapon could have any impact on the creature. Aswattama with rage sent showers of celestial weapons but nothing affected the creature. He realized that his own prowess in battle was not sufficient to execute his words, which he had given to his friend Duryodhana. The creature stood there challenging his might. He could not recognize who the creature was. He understood that it was destiny that kept him away from the Pandavas. Unless destiny favours he would not be able to accomplish his purpose. So he decided to seek the protection of Lord Mahadeva (Siva). He got down from his chariot, stood with bowed head and chanted mantras praising the lord. He sought the help of the supreme god, who is the Lord of the universe. Watching him stand still with hands held high, Mahadeva appeared before him with a pleasant smile. He told Aswatthama that he had been worshipped by
Krishna to protect the Panchalas, he was protecting them and in that process displayed illusions; now the period of their lives had run out. Then Lord Siva gave him a powerful Sword and disappeared.

962
How did Aswatthama execute the massacre in the night?
Aswatthama overjoyed with the new Sword asked both Kripa and Kritavarma to keep the doors so that no one would run away with life. He walked towards the camp with added vigour and found out Drishtadyumna’s tent. He saw Drishtadyumna sleeping on a bed and gave him a strong kick. He woke up with a jerk and saw Aswatthama standing beside him. He tried to sit on his bed but before that Aswatthama seized him by the hair and pressed him down on the earth. He hit his throat and chest repeatedly before Drishtadyumna could resist or use his strength. He requested Aswatthama to kill him with a weapon or fight with him, which would lead him to heaven. Aswatthama refused the request and told him that the one who had killed his preceptor did not deserve to be killed with weapons. Saying this he struck the vital parts of Drishtadyumna with his heels till he squeezed his life out. People who could hear the noise got up and put on their armour thinking that some rakshasa had entered the camp. They saw Aswatthama and challenged him; he killed all of them with the mighty sword, which Siva gave him. Then he entered the other tents and slaughtered all his foes before they could even realize who he was. He was cruelty personified. Many tried to escape but Kripa and Kritavarma slaughtered them mercilessly. Kripa set fire to the camp and ensured that no one escaped alive.

963
What did the three do after the massacre?
They declared to themselves with great joy that they had slaughtered thousands of warriors of the Pandava army including the sons of Draupadi, the Panchalas, the Somakas and the Matsyas. Kripa and Kritavarma congratulated Aswatthama for this great feat. Then they all went to Duryodhana, who was lying on earth bathed in his own blood, almost senseless. Wild animals began to come nearer to him but he somehow managed to drive them away. The three men saw the plight of their king and felt very sad. The mace, which was his beloved weapon, was lying beside him. They wiped blood from his face with their hands and lamented on his plight. Aswatthama asked Duryodhana to listen to him carefully and told that in the Pandava side only seven people were left alive, the five Pandava brothers, Satyaki and
Krishna; all others were killed. In the Kaurava side only they were alive. Then he explained about the massacre to Duryodhana. Duryodhana was highly pleased; he regained his senses and praised Aswatthama. He told him that what he had achieved was so great that neither Bheeshma nor Karna nor his father Drona could achieve when they were alive. He was very happy and wished them all well and assured to meet in heaven. He became silent and gradually gave up his breath. He was dead.

(At this point Sanjaya lost his spiritual sight, which Vyasa gave him just before the beginning of the battle.)

964
What was the plight of the Pandavas when they were informed of the massacre?
The night disappeared; the sun just began to show its presence. Drishtadyumna’s charioteer, who was the only survivor in the Pandava camp, gave the horrifying news of the great massacre to Yudhishtira. Yudhishtira could not bear it and fell down on the earth. Satyaki and others held him in their hands. He lamented, after regaining his senses, that though they had vanquished the Kauravas, at the end it was they who turned out to be the real losers. He felt that what they had achieved was not victory but defeat; at last the Kauravas defeated the Pandavas. He grieved for their wife Draupadi and asked Nakula to bring her. Then Yudhishtira and others went to the camp. The sight there was heart breaking, Yudhishtira failed to control himself. Others too were no better. They all lamented on their fate. Nakula brought Draupadi to the camp. She just managed to have a look and collapsed. Her face darkened by grief, her body trembled with fear and she was unconscious.

965
What was Draupadi’s demand to Yudhishtira?
She regained her senses, got up and wiped her tears; she looked around and faced her five husbands, but Yudhishtira in particular, and told that she wanted revenge. The man who was responsible for the massacre of her sons and brothers should be avenged. The wretched son of Drona along with his admirers should be killed. Till that was accomplished she would sit at that spot. Yudhishtira to pacify her told that her sons and brothers had a noble death and had reached the abode of Indra. So she should not grieve for them. Drona’s son, as per his information, had gone to a distant forest and also he was immune to death. Then Draupadi told him that she was aware that Aswatthama was born with a gem on his head. She wanted that gem to be brought from his head to be placed on Yudhishtira’s head. That was her revenge; nothing less would do. Having said this she approached Bheema and requested him to slay that man Aswatthama and get the gem. Bheema could not bear the grief of Draupadi; he mounted on his chariot, placed Nakula as his charioteer and set out to the forest carefully watching the track of Aswatthama’s chariot.

966
What was
Krishna’s warning to Yudhishtira?
Krishna warned Yudhishtira that Bheema was deeply worried by the death of his sons and gone alone to fight with Aswatthama. Aswatthama was a very restless person guided by emotions rather than wisdom. He may use Brahmashira, a powerful arrow, which Drona imparted to him. It had the strength to destroy the whole universe. Bheema did not know to counter it; he should be stopped before reaching Aswatthama. Krishna asked Arjuna to join him. They both set out with great speed towards Bheema, they found him on the way but failed to stop him. Bheema was so excited that he would not listen to anybody’s requests. He reached the banks of the river Ganga, where Aswatthama was sitting beside the great rishis Narada and Vyaasa and many others. Bheema rushed towards Aswatthama with his weapons ready. Aswatthama exceedingly agitated thought that his time had come. He took up a blade of grass, invoked it with mantras and converted in to a celestial weapon. Then with wrath uttered that it was for the destruction of the Pandavas and sent it towards Bheema. It moved towards Bheema emitting fireballs. Krishna asked Arjuna to counter it with the same Brahmashira to save himself and his brothers, for the welfare of the whole world and also to neutralize Aswatthama’s weapon. He let it go off. It blazed up with fierce flames.

967
What did rishis Narada and Vyasa do then?
When both the Brahmashiras were let off Narada and Vyaasa came in between the arrows to block its collision. They asked Arjuna and Aswatthama to withdraw their arrows since the arrows had already begun to manifest their presence in all the three worlds. It generated unprecedented amount of heat, lightning and thunder etc. They told the two warriors that those who had fought in the battle were well versed with many kinds of weapons. They did not use such deadly weapons against human beings. How irresponsible they had become? Arjuna readily agreed to withdraw it and told the revered rishis that when he used the weapon he had directed it to neutralize the enemy’s weapon. If Aswatthama did not withdraw his weapon, then that would consume the whole world. Then he requested the rishis to devise some means with which the welfare of the Pandava brothers and the three worlds would be protected. He then withdrew his weapon. It was such a weapon that once let off would be extremely difficult, even for the gods, to call it back. No person of un cleansed soul could bring it back. Aswatthama failed to recall it. He told Vyasa that he let the weapon off to save himself from Bheema’s wrath. Now he won’t dare to withdraw it. He used the weapon to destroy the Pandavas and it would do exactly the same. The rishis told if Arjuna had used a more powerful arrow like the Brahmastra to baffle the less powerful Brahmashira, then the place where that weapon was used would not receive rain for twelve years and undergo severe drought. With this reason Arjuna did not use the more powerful Brahmastra to baffle his weapon. The Pandavas should be protected, Aswatthama himself had to be protected; so for every bodies good he should withdraw the weapon.

968
Did Aswatthama heed to the rishis repeated request?
The rishis told him to dispel his hate for the Pandavas. The Pandavas, if they desired, could break his immunity to death. But they would not do that and let him go with his life; in return he should offer the gem, which was on his head. He said his gem was more valuable than the wealth of the Pandavas and the Kauravas put together. It had the power to save the person who wore it from the fear of weapons or disease or hunger. It would protect him from Danavas and Nagas; his fear of rakshasas and robbers would disappear. He would not part with it. The arrow was meant to kill all the Pandavas including the kids in the wombs of the Pandava women particularly of Abhimanyu’s wife Uttaraa. But he was ready for a compromise. He would give the gem to the Pandavas but the arrow would kill the child in Uttaraa’s womb. Vyaasa, though not happy, agreed to this and warned him not to use the weapon for any other purpose. Aswatthama directed the powerful arrow to Uttaraa.

969
What did
Krishna tell Aswatthama?
Krishna was very angry with Aswatthama. He told him that if Aswatthama’s weapon killed Abhimanyu’s child then he would definitely give it rebirth and it would have a long life. Aswatthama was a coward, always committed sinful acts; he would be known as the slayer of children. For killing innocent unborn children he would be punished; he would wander eternally on this earth with out any one by his side, the wounds in his body would remain unhealed, he would not have any place among men. The stench of pus and blood would keep them away from him. He would wander the forests with all sorts of diseases. Uttaraa’s child would be named as Parikshit, he would rule the kingdom for a long sixty years and would be a very righteous king. Aswatthama would see him with his own eyes. Aswatthama gave the gem to the Pandavas and left the place to live a solitary life in the forest, away from all royal enjoyments, away from men and urban living. The Pandavas and Krishna left the place with the gem to meet Draupadi. Bheema gave the gem to her. She was greatly pleased. She wanted the King to wear it on his head. Yudhishtira accepted it and wore it on his head. Draupadi, the Kshatriya mother, forgot all her woes. The king, Yudhishtira looked majestic.

STREE PARVA

970
What did Dhritarashtra do after the war?
Dritarashtra after hearing that all his sons had been slaughtered called Gandhari, Kunti and other ladies to assemble. When the ladies met each other they wailed woefully. They all failed to control their sorrow; grief stricken they wept and did not know what to do. Vidura tried to comfort them. Dritarashtra with all the ladies set out to the battlefield to perform the last rites to his sons and others. Yudhishtira got the news that his uncle Dritarashtra had set out to the battlefield. He, along with his brothers,
Krishna and Draupadi and many others proceeded towards the battlefield to meet him. Yudhishtira was greeted by the loud wails of the ladies. They asked him questions of various kinds, to many he had no answer and many were disagreeable to him; but he listened to them carefully and tried his best to comfort them. Then he touched the feet of his eldest uncle, Dritarashtra. The others too saluted him by announcing their names and touching his feet. Dritarashtra for the sake of formality reluctantly embraced Yudhishtira and uttered a few words to comfort him. Then he asked for Bheema. Krishna, who was aware of Dritarashtra’s wrath, pushed Bheema aside and moved an iron statue towards him. Krishna knew the intentions of Dritarashtra and kept the statue ready before hand. Dritarashtra, who had the strength of ten thousand elephants, seized the statue with his arms, embraced it and broke it into pieces thinking that it was the real Bheema. Bheema stood with a horrified look. Dritarashtra who bruised his chest in the process fainted. His chest was wet with blood. Then he got up and lamented aloud as if he had killed Bheema. Krishna told him not to worry about Bheema because he did not kill him instead crushed the iron statue of Bheema, which Duryodhana had got made to practice to kill Bheema in the battle. Krishna advised him to accept the reality and forgive the sons of his own brother. The Pandavas were innocent and deserved to be treated better, which he and his sons could not do in the past. It was time for Dritarashtra to wash off his sins and lead a just and righteous life. Dhritarashtra agreed to Krishna’s words and told him that his love for his sons kept him away from righteousness, but by good luck he was out of wrath. He told that when his own sons were no more he was dependant on the sons of Pandu for his future welfare. Then he embraced Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva.
971
How was Gandhari after the war?
Gandhari, who was afflicted with grief wanted to curse Yudhishtira. Vyaasa understood Gandhari’s intentions and arrived on the spot before the Pandavas met her. He advised her not to be angry with the Pandavas at this juncture instead to use the opportunity to show her wisdom and forgiveness. Gandhari told that she did not cherish any ill feelings towards the Pandavas or sought their down fall. But she was angry with Bheema for what he had done to her sons Duryodhana and Dussasana, that too in the presence of
Krishna.
972
How did the Pandavas react to Gandhari’s anger?
Bheema heard the words of Gandhari; he approached her and told very politely, which was very unlikely of Bheema, that what he had done had no justification, but he did it out of fear of his life. Duryodhana was much a better fighter and in a fair and righteous fight he could have never been defeated. Because of this reason he used unfair means to slay him. Bheema requested her to forgive him. Gandhari was pleased with the words of Bheema praising her son’s bravery and prowess in battle. Then she asked him why did he drink Dussasana’s blood. That was the most disrespectful deed a warrior could commit in the battlefield. He told that he did it to accomplish his vow but did not drink the blood. He did not allow the blood to pass down the lips and teeth. He acted as if he drank the blood just to scare the Kauravas. Karna knew it well. He told that if Gandhari had controlled her sons from committing sins in the past they would not have died. She did not have any moral right to curse him. Gandhari asked why he did not spare at least one son whose sins were less compared to the others. Then she asked for Yudhishtira, who stood there with folded hands, introduced himself to Gandhari. Yudhishtira told her that he was the cause of the death of her sons and she could punish him. Gandhari did not say anything but while turning away from Yudhishtira she looked at his beautiful toe through the cloth, which had covered her eyes; the nail of the toe immediately became sore. Beholding this Arjuna ran behind
Krishna, Nakula and Sahadeva too felt uncomfortable. Gandhari controlled her anger and comforted the Pandavas and Draupadi like a loving mother. The Pandavas met their mother Kunti after so many years.
973
What was Gandhari’s curse to
Krishna?
Gandhari along with other ladies walked towards Kurukshetra. They saw the slain bodies of their dear ones; filled with unbearable grief the ladies wailed aloud. Many of them held the bodies of their beloved ones on whom they had invested all the hopes in their lives. They were all dead now; how would they bear it. They lost all their hopes and expectations in life. The situation was such that even the cruelest of the cruel would have shed a few drops of tear. Gandhari saw the slain bodies of her sons and many others; her sorrow had no bounds. She was burning with grief. Vultures and scavenging animals in thousands were dragging, licking and biting the slain bodies to tame their hunger. She controlled herself and asked
Krishna to see the destruction. The lamentations, the wails and the helplessness of the ladies, who were mothers, wives, sisters and so on, were heart breaking. While expressing grief to Krishna she remembered Duryodhana. Gandhari lost her senses and fell down on the earth. She wailed raising the names of the warriors who had been killed in the battle. Filled with wrath and sorrow she made Krishna responsible for the massacre. She asked him why did he remain indifferent when both the Pandavas and Kauravas were thus being exterminated? He was competent enough to prevent the slaughter; he deliberately let the carnage happen so he should reap the fruit of his action or inaction. She would curse him with the strength of her spiritual penance; that his indifference caused the destruction of the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras. Krishna himself would be the reason of the destruction of his own kinsmen. Thirty-six years from this day the entire Vrishnis would fight each other and perish and he too would be slain in the most disgusting manner in the forest. The ladies of his race deprived of their husbands, kinsmen and sons would too weep the way the women of the Bharata race weep now.
974
How did
Krishna react to her curse?
Hearing Gandhari’s words
Krishna with a smile told her that there was no one except himself in the world who was capable of exterminating the Vrishnis. He knew it well and would endeavour to execute it. The Vrishnis were incapable of being slain by others; the Yadavas would fall prey to one another. The Pandavas on hearing Krishna’s revelation stood dumbstruck with astonishment; they felt their lives were hopeless. Krishna told Gandhari not to grieve; it was Gandhari who was responsible for this carnage. She knew that her sons were wicked souled and extremely arrogant; they never respected the elders and disregarded their advices, they were the embodiment of cruelty and hostilities. She, being the mother of Duryodhana, conveniently believed that whatever her son did was right and now she was trying to unload her guilt on him (Krishna). If Gandhari had tried to correct her sons then this carnage could have very well been avoided. Gandhari agitated by grief remained silent.
975
Who made arrangements to perform the last rites of the dead warriors in the battle?
Dritarashtra advised Yudhishtira that it was necessary to cremate the bodies of the warriors with due respect. Yudhishtira commanded Sudharma (the Kaurava priest), Dhaumya, Sanjaya, Vidura etc. to make due arrangements for the last rites. After the funeral was over Yudhishtira along with Dritarashtra and others proceeded towards the banks of the river
Ganga to offer oblations to their dear ones. The Kuru ladies afflicted with severe grief offered oblations to their sons, husbands, friends and other revered ones. The bank of the river, crowded with the spouses of heroes, looked as broad as the ocean and presented a spectacle of sorrow and cheerlessness.
976
What was Kunti’s dilemma?
The oblations had been made for all the warriors who had died in the battle. It was time to leave the place. But Kunti could not move. She was undergoing severe mental agony thinking of Karna who was killed by Arjuna. She had seen the lifeless body of her first born. The Pandavas rejoiced on the death of Karna but Kunti, out of heart breaking grief, sobbed in hiding. The mother in Kunti could not even cry for her beloved son’s death. She had kept her secret more closely to her heart just for the sake of the war and for the victory and the establishment of dharma. It was too much for her now; she could not keep it any more.
Krishna and Vidura were watching her with kind hearts; they knew her dilemma. She decided to disclose it and asked Yudhishtira to offer oblations to one more person.
977
What did Yudhishtira do when Kunti asked him to perform the oblation?

Yudhishtira was amazed; he was sure he had offered every one and no one was left out. He asked his mother that to whom should he offer the oblations. She told that he had to offer his respects to Karna. Yudhishtira did not understand why he should do it for his enemy and that too the Sutaputra. She told him firmly that Karna was not the son of the charioteer; he was not the son of Radha but was her own child from Lord Surya and his elder brother. Everybody stood dumbstruck. Yudhishtira and the other Pandavas could not believe it. They would have been proud of such a wonderful brother. They asked why did she conceal it from others. She offered them to explain it later. They lamented that they killed their elder brother. The pain they felt of Karna’s death was much more severe than the loss of Abhimanyu, the sons of Draupadi and Ghatotkacha. Yudhishtira felt that he had been thrown in a burning fire. Their mother did injustice to her sons. He slowly walked into the water and offered oblations for his slain elder brother. Yudhishtira then requested the grief struck wives of Karna and members of their families to be with him. He and his brothers along with them performed the rites in honour of their elder brother.

SANTI PARVA & ANUSASANA PARVA

978
What was the state of mind of the Pandavas, especially Yudhishtira?
The Pandavas, Vidura, Dritarashtra and all the ladies decided to stay out of the city of
Hastinapura till the period of mourning. The mourning period was one month. Temporary houses and other facilities were made for their stay. Many great rishis including Vyasa, Narada, Devala, Kanva etc. visited Yudhishtira there. Though victorious in war he was not happy. The thought of Karna‘s death and also the death of their children broke his heart. The great rishis Vyasa, Narada and many others tried to console him. He lamented that he had unwittingly caused the slaughter of his elder brother. Arjuna did not know that he was their elder brother. Neither Bheema nor the twins nor he himself knew about it. They were told that Kunti had visited him once and revealed him the secret of his birth and asked him to join the Pandavas. But the illustrious hero refused to obey her requests. He made it clear that he could not desert Duryodhana in battle. He would not commit such a dishonorable act. He assured her that he would not try to kill any of her sons other than Arjuna. He kept his words to the fullest; his life and those of Bheema and the twins were at the mercy of Karna on many occasions but he did not harm them. Instead he let them move away safely. Yudhishtira told that he was very angry with Karna at the court of the Kauravas when he and Dussasana humiliated Draupadi. But his anger went away the moment he saw the feet of Karna. It reminded him of his mother Kunti’s feet and his anger disappeared and he felt very cool. Though he exerted to find out the reason, he did not succeed. He wanted to know more and more about Karna, his birth, childhood, education, his teachers, his bravery, his failures, his successes, the curses, the humiliations, his family and his qualities: good and bad and every thing about his beloved brother. He requested the rishis to explain them all.
979
Did the rishis explain to him about Karna’s life?
Yes, the great rishi Narada explained to him and others all about Karna. Nothing could have resisted Karna and Arjuna in battle. Karna’s birth was pre destined but was unknown even to many gods. All the Kshatriyas who were leading a very unrighteous life had to be cleansed by weapons to give them place in the region of bliss. How it should be done was the question. Then Kunti was chosen to be the instrument, and then to accomplish the process rishi Durvasa gave her a boon (a mantra). By the power of the boon she conceived a child, from lord Surya in her maidenhood. Since Kunti was still a maiden she left the child in the river
Ganga in a box. Karna’s birth and death were predestined; no one could have averted them. Therefore lamenting on his death was against the will of the creator. Kunti advised her son not to worry about Karna. Yudhishtira complained to her that if she had not kept it as a secret then the battle could have been avoided. He cursed all the women that henceforth none would succeed in keeping secrets. He told every body that he lost interest in the worldly life and would like to go to the forest and live the rest of his life there. He would not take charge of the kingdom.
980
How did Arjuna, Bheema and others react to his statement?
Arjuna did not like his brother’s attitude of taking recourse in forest life. He asked Yudhishtira why did he, insensate with rage, kill all the kings of this earth? He, who would live by mendicancy, cannot by any act of his, enjoy the good things of the earth. Divested of prosperity and without resources he could never win fame on earth or acquire sons and animals. What would the world say about him if he abandoned the kingdom and lead the life of a mendicant? He was born in the race of kings; his duty was to take care of the welfare of the people. Running away from his duty was nothing but cowardice. Bheema told him that Yudhishtira’s understanding had become like that of a foolish and unintelligent reciter of the Vedas. If he wanted to lead a life of idleness then the destruction of the Kauravas was totally uncalled for. If he (Bheema) knew that this was Yudhishtira’s intention then they would have never taken up weapons to fight the war. This terrible battle between the rulers of the earth also would have never taken place. Now that the enemies had been vanquished, it was the duty of Yudhishtira to rule the kingdom and bring in prosperity to the people. There was no escape from duties. He should do it. Nakula and Sahadeva backed the opinions of Arjuna and Bheema. Draupadi too supported her husbands. She wanted and requested Yudhishtira to take up the reign and rule the kingdom. Vyasa, Narada and
Krishna too advised him to stick to his dharma as a Kshatriya. Yudhishtira had a few doubts about the ruling of the kingdom. The great rishis advised him and cleared his doubts; they asked him to consult Bheeshma, who was still waiting for the appropriate time to leave his body, if he wanted to know more about the duties and the morality a king had to adhere to. Finally listening to all the advices and discussions Yudhishtira agreed to be the king.
981
How was the coronation of the King?
The period of mourning was over. Yudhishtira and all others set out for Hastinapura. When they entered the city the citizens, thousands in numbers, came out to see the king and his entourage. They were all thrilled to see their beloved king and others and cheered to express the happiness. Yudhishtira, who looked majestic, entered the palace adorned with glittering ornaments. The people praised the king and wished him prosperity and long life. Yudhistira forgot all about the war and the slaughter. He was in complete peace. He took his seat and requested others to take their seats.
Krishna and Satyaki sat facing him. Arjuna and Bheema got themselves seated on his two sides placing the king in the middle. Dritarashtra, Gandhari, Kunti and all others took beautiful chairs and sat to witness the coronation of the King. Then priest Dhaumya, at the request of Krishna, performed the function with proper mantras. The king distributed gift to the citizens and requested them to retire to their homes. He appointed his brother Bheema as yuvaraja. Then appointed Arjuna, Vidura, Sanjaya, Nakula, Sahadeva and many others to different posts. He advised every one to take good care of Dritarashtra and Gandhari and also to obey the instructions of Dritarashtra. Yudhishtira stood before Krishna with folded hands. He had no words to express his gratitude. But Krishna was in meditation. He did not see anything. Yudhishtira, who was surprised, waited till the lord came back and asked the reason behind the sudden withdrawal. Krishna told him that Bheeshma, who was on the bed, was thinking of him. So his mind was concentrating on Bheeshma. Krishna advised Yudhishtira to accompany him to meet Bheeshma. He agreed and they all went to meet the grandsire.
982
How was Bheeshma when they visited him?
When they arrived there many great rishis were chanting the Vedas.
Krishna saluted Bheeshma then praised him with excellent words; he told him that Yudhishtira was worried thinking that he was the reason for the death of his cousins. He was also nervous to take up the crown of the kingdom. So Bheeshma should help him to come out of the worries and fears. Krishna told Bheeshma that he did not want the knowledge, which he possessed to expire with his departure. All the people assembled around expected a discourse from him. Bheeshma told that he was not physically fit enough to impart any knowledge and he was not remembering anything, which he could pass on to Yudhishtira. He was suffering from the pain of the wounds. His limbs were weak and the very vitals were burning. And also it was unwise for him to speak when the creator himself was present. A disciple should not speak when the preceptor was present. Krishna hearing about his physical inability offered him a boon that pain, burning, discomfort, hunger, thirst etc. would not affect him. His clouded memory would be unclouded. Then Krishna, Yudhishtira and the other Pandavas left the place to return the next day.
983
What did Yudhishtira ask Bheeshma?
The next day
Krishna, Satyaki and the Pandavas came to Bheeshma; he enquired whether they had spent the night happily. They all saluted the rishis and took seats near Bheeshma. Yudhishtira asked Bheeshma as to what were the general duties of men? Bheeshma answered that the general duties of men were the suppression of wrath, truthfulness of speech, abidance to justice, forgiveness to mistakes, begetting children upon one’s own wedded wife, purity of conduct, avoidance of quarrel, maintenance of aged parents and leading a simple life. These nine duties were the general duties of men. Then Yudhishtira asked what were the duties of a king? The king should first subdue his five senses. A king who failed to conquer himself would not be able to subdue his foes. A ruler, who was possessed of intelligence, should always avoid war for acquisition of territory. The acquisition of domain should be made by the three well-known means, which were conciliation, gift and disunion. A ruler should, with out doubt, look upon his subjects like his own children. Yudhishtira was happy with the answers and asked many more questions and Bheeshma answered them all to his utmost satisfaction. Yudhishtira enlightened with the answers stopped asking questions. Bheeshma gradually went in to complete silence. The king Yudhishtira with his brothers and Krishna bowed their heads in reverence to the great son of Ganga and took leave of him.
984
How did Bheeshma leave his body?
The holy day, which Bheeshma was looking for had come. All the Pandavas headed by Dritarashtra arrived at the field where Bheeshma was lying on the bed of arrows; silent with closed eyes. The great rishis Vyasa, Narada and many kings from various parts of the country were all assembled there. Yudhishtira with his brothers saluted the rishis. Yudhishtira then approached Bheeshma and introduced himself. Bheeshma opened his eyes and saw all the Bharatas assembled there and standing around him. He addressed Yudhishtira that the sun had begun its northward course. The lunar month of Magha had come. Then he addressed Dritarashtra that he was well versed with the duties of a king and also of the Vedas. He should not grieve; what had happened was pre destined. Then he turned to
Krishna. He told that Krishna was the lord of the universe. He was the sole refuge of the Pandavas and should continue to protect them. He had, before the war, spoken to Duryodhana to listen to Krishna’s words. But the wicked souled Duryodhana did not heed his advice. He remained silent for a while and requested Krishna to grant him leave of this world; if he had Krishna’s permission then he would attain heaven. Krishna gave him permission to attain the status of the Vasus. He had not committed a single transgression in this world so he was like a second Markandeya. That was why death was waiting for his order like an obedient servant. Bheeshma looked at every one and told that he would like to cast off his life breath. He became silent and left his worldly body. The body was cremated and the last rites were performed according to rules. Goddess Ganga appeared from the stream weeping with sorrow. Krishna comforted her.

ASWAMEDHA PARVA

985
Was Yudhishtira able to come out of his grief?
No, Yudhishtira could not overcome the grief. He was fully immersed in the sorrow of the killing of his brother Karna and other kith and kin. Even Dritarashtra, who was grieving on the death of his sons, tried to comfort him but with out success. Then
Krishna talked to him about body and mind and the pain. He told that there are two kinds of ailments, physical and mental. They are produced by the mutual action of the body and mind on each other, and they never arise without the interaction of the two. The ailment that is produced in the body is called the physical ailment, and in the mind is known as the mental ailment. Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas are the attributes of the soul, and it is said by the learned that their presence in due proportions indicates the health of the mind. But if any of the three exceeds, some remedy is brought into restore the equilibrium. Happiness is overcome by sorrow, and sorrow by pleasure. Some people while afflicted by sorrow, desire to recall past happiness, while others, during enjoyment of happiness, desire to recall past sorrow. But he (Yudhishtira) did neither. This was his innate nature by which he was overpowered. He should recall the painful sight of Draupadi standing in the assembly hall with only one piece of cloth to cover her body. Remember the situation and the people who forced him along with his brothers and Draupadi to wander in the forest for more than a decade. He should recall the memories of Keechaka misbehaving with Draupadi during the period of their exile. It was time for Yudhishtira to be firm to fight his mind to come out of this despondence. This fight did not need any weapons or friends. He had to fight it single handedly. If he were vanquished in this fight he would find himself in the most wretched plight so Krishna asked him to be aware of this and act; victory would be his. Krishna’s advice caused a profound transformation in Yudhishtira. He took up the reign of the kingdom to the extreme happiness of every one.
986
What did
Krishna do after that?
Krishna and Arjuna were highly pleased when Yudhishtira took up the reign. They ventured into the woods after a very long time, enjoying the picturesque sceneries, the lakes, the rivers, the mountains and the sacred places of pilgrimage. They moved along with great pleasure. They talked about the past things. The life in the forest, the war, the killings and everything. Arjuna fell into deep sorrow thinking of his past sufferings but Krishna comforted him and brought him back to normalcy. They spent quality time in the forest; both enjoyed the company of each other. Krishna told him that it was time for him to leave Hastinapura and move forward to Dwaraka. His stay in Hastinapura would not serve any purpose and further more he had not been to Dwaraka for a long time. Arjuna was deeply pained. It was difficult for him even to think of a life without Krishna. Krishna consoled and assured him that whenever Arjuna needed him, he would be around. Then they went back to the palace. Krishna ordered Daruka to make the chariot ready. Krishna met Yudhishtira, Dritarashtra and all other seniors in the palace and bid farewell. His departure made every one sad; some wept in sorrow.
987
Who suggested Yudhishtira to perform the Aswamedha Yagna?
The Pandavas were greatly grieved by the sorrow of Uttaraa, the wife of Abhimanyu. She spent days with out food afflicted by the grief on account of her husband’s death. And also the fear of Aswatthama’s arrow was virtually killing her. Vyasa ascertained the state of things and visited the Pandavas. He advised Uttaraa not to worry; she would give birth to a son, who would rule the earth after the Pandavas. Vyasa told Arjuna in the presence of Yudhishtira that his grandson would be a righteous king and would rule the whole earth to the verge of the sea. Then he advised Yudhishtira to perform an Aswamedha yagna. Since the yagna was an expensive one and the Pandava treasury was not rich enough to bear it, Vyasa gave them the solution that the Maruts had buried a lot of wealth in the
Himalayas. They should bring that to perform the aswamedha. Yudhishtira discussed it with his brothers and they all agreed to the suggestion and left for the Himalayas. Krishna was informed about the suggestion of Vyasa and requested him to go to Hastinapura with all the Vrishnis to be part of the aswamedha. Krishna and others arrived at Hastinapura before the pandavas returned with the wealth.
988
Did Krishna give re-birth to the child of Uttaraa?
Kunti, the paternal aunt of
Krishna approached him weeping and wailing that Uttara, the wife of deceased Abhimanyu, gave birth to a lifeless child. She requested him to rescue the child as he had assured when Aswatthama let off the arrow Brahmashira to the womb of the Pandava woman. This child was the lifeline of the Pandavas. Kunti together with Draupadi, Subhadra and Uttaraa raised their arms and lay down on the earth praying the lord to save the child. Uttaraa, extremely afflicted by grief on account of her lifeless son fell unconscious for a while. After regaining her senses she took up her child on her lap and told him to salute Krishna, his sire, and also to tell Krishna her words that it was difficult for her to live. She had lost her husband in the battle and now deprived of her son too. She was yet alive deprived of every thing auspicious and every thing she valued. She would prefer to consume poison or cast herself into the blazing fire. Krishna after hearing those heart breaking lamentations promised her that he would give life to her child. He took the lifeless child in his hands and ran his fingers on its body for a few times. The child jerked into life and cried aloud to the utmost happiness of everyone. He named the newborn as Parikshit, since it was born at a time when the race had become nearly extinct. There were celebrations everywhere on the arrival of a newborn heir to the throne. The Pandavas returned with the treasure after a month of Parikshit’s birth. They were all thrilled and extremely happy and worshipped Krishna for this noble gesture.
989
Who was given the charge of the horse? What were the instructions?

The arrangements were made for the aswamedha. The horse was prepared for the procession. Yudhishtira gave Arjuna the charge to follow and protect it with instructions that he should try his best to avoid battle with kings who tried to encounter him. He should invite all the kings to the aswamedha and also establish friendship with them. A thick crowd was assembled to behold Arjuna and the horse. Every body wished him success. The horse began its journey; it would wander the world at its will and any one who tried to restrict it faced Arjuna in battle. During the course of the journey many kings who were vanquished by the pandavas in the Kurukshetra battle encountered Arjuna. He defeated them all and duly requested to be present for the Aswamedha. He had a very emotional meeting with Dussala, the Kaurava sister. She approached Arjuna holding her grandson in hands. On seeing her Arjuna cast off his bow and received her with all the fondness of a brother. She told him in tears that the father of the child, the son of Jayadratha, died of fear on hearing that Arjuna was entering his kingdom with the horse. She then requested Arjuna to show mercy on her grandchild. Arjuna consoled her and invited her for the aswamedha. She accepted the invitation and returned to her palace. Then he followed the horse. The horse entered into the domain of Manipura; the King Babhruvahana, the son of Chitrangada and Arjuna came out in procession to receive Arjuna. Arjuna asked him to behave like a Kshatriya; he had entered into the kingdom without permission so he had to fight with him. Ulupi, another wife of Arjuna and the daughter of the snake king, appeared there and insisted the young king to obey his father. The king fought fiercely with Arjuna and made him fall like dead. The king too fell unconscious on the ground. Chitrangada arrived at the place; she sat beside Arjuna and began to weep thinking that her son had killed her husband. Babhruvahana after regaining his senses decided to starve himself till death as the punishment for killing his own father. Ulupi consoled Babhruvahana that he did not kill his father but it was she who had made him fall in her effort to bring Arjuna out of a sin, and a subsequent curse by the Vasus, which he had committed by killing Bheeshma indirectly keeping Sikhandi as a shield. Arjuna would have fallen in hell if the sin had not been absolved. Every body praised Ulupi for her care for Arjuna. Arjuna felt very happy and invited his wives, his son and all others to the aswamedha, which they all happily accepted. Babhruvahana requested Arjuna to stay at least a day in his palace with his two wives Chitrangada and Ulupi but Arjuna refused it politely sighting the rule of the aswamedha. He took leave of them and followed the horse. After wandering the whole earth the horse arrived at Hastinapura. The yagna was performed flawlessly with the participation of
Krishna, all the relatives and friends, many kings and prominent citizens.

ASHRAMAVASIKA PARVA

990
How was the life of Dritarashtra and Gandhari in the palace and What made them to decide to go to the forest?
The life of Dritarashtra and Gandhari in the palace was comfortable and peaceful. Yudhishtira always took great care of them and also instructed every body that they should be treated with respect. All the Pandava brothers except Bheema strictly obeyed the instructions. Bheema used to tease Dritarashtra by reminding him of his and his sons’ wicked deeds and also how he had sent all the Kauravas to the other world. But no other Pandava was aware of this behavior. Out of sorrow and frustration Dritarashtra began to eat very less and started sleeping on the floor clad in deerskin. More over he himself started feeling guilty of the pain of his deeds against the Pandavas and Draupadi. Gandhari too felt the same. He told Yudhishtira that he and Gandhari lived with him in the palace for fifteen years and were loved by every one. It was time for him to accomplish what was more beneficial and meritorious for him and to his wife as stipulated by the holy books. He sought the King’s permission to retire to the forest to practice severe austerities. When Kunti heard that Dritarashtra and Gandhari were to retire to the woods she too decided to follow them and informed of her decision to the Pandavas. It was a big shock to them; they tried their best to dissuade but she was firmly resolved and disregarded their lamentations. Then Vidura and Sanjaya too decided to join them. They all set out to the forest the next morning. A big crowd had assembled there to bid them farewell.
991
How did Dritarashtra, Gandhari, Kunti and others die?
The Pandavas, who began to miss their mother for a long time decided to visit her and others in the forest. They went to the forest and met Kunti and others but Vidura was not around. On enquiry they were told that Vidura did not live with them but occasionally visited them; he stopped taking any form of food and was subsisting on air alone. When this talk was going on Vidura suddenly appeared for a moment in the distance and Yudhishtira followed him. Yudhishtira met him; he looked very weak and was just a bundle of bones. Yudhishtira began to talk but Vidura, who stood leaning against a tree, gazed at Yudhishtira; casting his gaze thus he stood motionless in yoga. He, then, by his yogic power entered into the body of Yudhishtira, which made Yudhishtira stronger than before. There was an anonymous message that Vidura’s body should not be cremated. He returned to his mother and explained this to every one. After about a month they left for Hastinapura though the parting was heart breaking. A couple of years had elapsed; one day the celestial rishi Narada visited the Pandavas. He told them that Dritarashtra, Gandhari, Kunti and Sanjaya were practicing severe penance and one day when they were returning from the river
Ganga a fierce forest fire set in and began to burn the forest all around. They were very weak and were not even able to walk fast. Dritarashtra insisted Sanjaya to leave them before the fire engulfed him. Sanjaya reluctantly left them for the Himalayas to continue his penance there. Dritarashtra, Gandhari and Kunti did not make any effort to escape the fire and succumbed to it. The Pandavas were in great shock. Narada tried to console them.

MAUSALA PARVA

992
How did the Yadavas get exterminated?
Thirty-six years passed after the Kurukshetra battle. Yudhishtira saw many unusual portents. The rivers ran in opposite direction, the horizon was always foggy; the wind was strong and dry and blew from all directions. One day the rishis Viswawamitra, Kanva and Narada arrived at Dwaraka to meet
Krishna. The Vrishni youngsters played a trick to the rishis. They disguised Samba, the son of Krishna, like a pregnant woman and asked the rishis to predict the gender of the child. Greatly annoyed, the rishis told them that “she” would deliver an iron rod and that rod would cause the extermination of their entire race excluding Krishna and Balarama. The rishis informed Krishna about the incident and Krishna summoned all the Vrishnis and told them of it. As cursed by the rishis Samba delivered an iron rod. Frightened, they went to Krishna and the King Ugrasena. Ugrasena directed to reduce it to powder and cast into the sea. The waves deposited the powder at the shore and it grew there into Eraka grass. There were bad omens all around. The Vrishnis and the Andhakas set out on a pilgrimage to Prabhasa. They prepared diverse kinds of food and wine. The Yadavas with their spouses and children proceeded to Prabhasa and took up their residence there in temporary tents. They ate and drank and intoxicated by the effect of wine abused each other. They all made allegations and counter allegations and provoked with anger used weapons to kill. Those who did not have weapons took up blades of Eraka grass and fought with each other. Each grass had the strength of a vicious weapon. Krishna, who was witnessing the fight, too plucked Eraka grass and threw it at the fighting Yadavas with the sole intention of their complete destruction. Krishna and Daruka could not find Balarama around so they set out to search him and found him on the seashore in a yoga posture. Balarama had decided to leave his body.
993
How did Balarama and
Krishna leave their bodies?
Krishna instructed Daruka to go to Hastinapura and inform Arjuna of this slaughter of the Vrishnis and ask him to come to Dwaraka. Daruka, with a heavy heart, left immediately. Krishna requested Balarama to wait for him till he placed the ladies and children under the care of kinsmen. Then he took the ladies and children to Dwaraka. In Dwaraka he requested his father to take care of them till Arjuna came. He pacified the ladies, who wailed aloud, that Arjuna would come to protect them. Balarama was waiting for him; they both would practice penance. Krishna touched his father’s feet and quickly left the place for his brother. Krishna saw a mighty white snake with a thousand heads coming out of Balarama’s mouth and disappearing into the ocean. He restrained all his senses and laid himself down in yoga. A fierce hunter named Jara came there to hunt deers. He mistook Krishna for a deer and pierced his heel with a sharp shaft. Jara approached his prey but instead of the deer he saw a man dressed in yellow robes rapt in yoga. Filled with fear he touched the feet of Krishna. Krishna comforted him and ascended upwards filling the entire world with splendour. The Lord accomplished his mission and left the terrestrial world.
994
How Dwaraka was submersed?
Daruka explained the Pandavas about the internal fight of the Vrishnis and their extermination in detail. It was too shocking for them;
Krishna was their strength throughout their life at good and bad times. Arjuna immediately set out to Dwaraka with Daruka. The ladies who had the lord of the universe as their protector wailed aloud on seeing Arjuna. It was impossible for Arjuna, who himself was inflicted with deep grief, to comfort the ladies. Arjuna guessed from the words of Vasudeva that Krishna must have left his body. That thought had frozen his mind. He went to Prabhasa with Daruka to search Balarama and Krishna. They found their lifeless bodies. Arjuna made arrangements for their funeral in Dwaraka. The next day Arjuna found Vasudeva’s body lying dead. Arjuna told Daruka that he would take all the ladies and children to Hastinapura and asked him to arrange chariots and place all their wealth in it. And also he would make Vajra (the grandson of Krishna) the king of Indraprasta.
995
How did Arjuna fail to protect the ladies?
They all setout to Hastinapura in procession and behind them the sea engulfed Dwaraka gradually. On their journey towards Hastinapura a big group of robbers, armed with clubs, rushed towards them to plunder the wealth. Arjuna warned them of dire consequences but they disregarded the warning and fell upon him. Arjuna strung his Gandiva, though he managed to send some arrows when the battle had become furious his quiver, which used to give him uninterrupted supply of arrows was exhausted. He failed to protect the women and children and their wealth. He was ashamed and his heart was broken; in his very presence the Vrishni ladies were dragged away, while many others went away on their own with the robbers. He continued his journey with the rest of the people and wealth. He reached Kurukshetra and placed them at different places. Then the great rishi Vyasa met him and consoled him of his failures in protecting the Vrishni women. He advised him that it was time for the Pandavas too to leave this world. Arjuna left the rishi and proceeded towards Hastinapura. He explained everything to Yudhishtira. It was too difficult for the Pandavas to accept the destruction of the Vrishnis and the departure of their all weather friend and lord,
Krishna.

MAHAPRASTHANIKA PARVA

996
What did the Pandavas decide after
Krishna’s departure?
Yudhishtira after hearing the details of the slaughter of the Vrishnis decided on leaving this world and to retire to the woods. He told his brothers about it and they were all for it. Draupadi too joined them. Then Yudhishtira made arrangements to install Parikshit as the ruler of Hastinapura and the Yadava prince Vajra as the ruler of Indraprasta. Yudhishtira summoned all his subjects and informed them of his intentions. The subjects were not in favour of it but Yudhishtira and his brothers persuaded them to agree with their views. Then they all including Draupadi discarded their costly dresses and ornaments and wore bark of trees. People remembered that they looked the same when they left Hastinapura decades back after the defeat at dice. At that time they were forced to leave but now they leave on their own. The five brothers and Draupadi left the city after bidding farewell to all. Yudhishtira proceeded first behind him was Bheema then Arjuna after that the twins and Draupadi. When they set out for the forest a dog followed them. On the way the god of Agni appeared in front of them. He asked Arjuna to cast off his Gandiva and the quivers given to him by Varuna. He could just throw them in the sea and Varuna would accept it. Arjuna with a painful heart threw them in the sea and the god disappeared then and there. Then they proceeded towards Dwaraka and saw the city covered by the ocean.
997
How did Draupadi and others die?
They continued the journey towards the Himavan and crossed it. Then they saw the
mountMeru and continued walking; on the way Draupadi fell dead. Bheema asked Yudhishtira why the sinless one died this way. Yudhishtira told him that though she was wife to all the Pandavas, she liked Arjuna more and that was the reason for it. Then Sahadeva fell dead and Yudhishtira told that he was too proud of his wisdom. Next it was Nakula and Yudhistira told that he believed that he was the foremost in beauty. Next Arjuna fell. Yudhishtira told that Arjuna had claimed that he would kill all his foes in a single day but failed to accomplish that and that was the reason. At last Bheema too fell. He asked Yudhishtira the reason and he told Bheema that he was very boastful of his strength and also always ignored others’ needs while eating. Yudhishtira continued his journey and the dog followed him.
998
Who came to Yudhishtira to take him to the heavens?
Yudhishtira was continuing his journey. Suddenly he heard a loud sound and saw Indra’s chariot in front of him. He asked Yudhishtira to ascent the chariot to go with him to the heaven. Yudhishtira refused to go without his brothers and Draupadi. Indra told him that his brothers had cast off their human bodies and reached the heaven and he would see them there. As regards to him, it was ordained that he should go with his human body. Then Yudhishtira told him that the dog, which was following him loyally, too should be taken to the heaven. Indra told him that Yudhishtira was his equal and had won all the success and prosperity of the heaven this day. Asking to take the dog too was meaningless. Furthermore there was no place for dogs in the heaven. Yudhishtira told that if he had to abandon the dog, which was very devoted to him, then he would prefer not to go to heaven. That was his resolve. When the conversation was taking place the dog disappeared and the lord of Dharma appeared in its place. He was very pleased of Yudhishtira and also of his firmness on righteousness and compassion for all creatures. Yudhishtira ascended the chariot with them and left the terrestrial world.


SWARGAROHANA PARVA

999
How was Duryodhana treated in the heaven?
Yudhishtira arrived in heaven. He looked around and saw Duryodhana living like a great hero enjoying all the goodness and prosperity of the heaven. He did not like it and declared that he would not share this place with Duryodhana, who was the embodiment of sin. Narada who had heard the comment smilingly told him that there was no place for enmity in heaven. All the kings who were denizens of heaven worshiped Duryodhana. He fought and died in the battle like a hero. He, as a Kshatriya, did his duties perfectly. He was enjoying the fruits of his good deeds.
1000
What made Indra and other gods arrive at the spot where Yudhishtira stood?
Yudhishtira enquired about his brothers; if Duryodhana could achieve this glory then he wanted to know about the region his brothers and many others had attained. Narada took him to a path, which was very inauspicious and difficult and trodden by men of sinful deeds. Dark and polluted with the stench of blood and flesh the place was horrible to behold. Human corps were scattered everywhere. Yudhishtira could not bear the atmosphere and asked Narada where his brothers were and how far they had to go. Hearing these words of Yudhishtira Narada stopped and told that as far as he could go was the limit. When they tried to return Yudhishtira heard piteous lamentations all around requesting him to stay back. He was familiar with the voices but could not recognize immediately and asked who were they and why did they stay there? Then heard answers from all sides saying that “ I am Karna, I am Bheema and I am Arjuna.” Yudhishtira stood stunned with unbearable pain; his anger had no limits. He told Narada to go and tell Indra that he would not move out of the place where he heard the voices of his brothers and Draupadi. On hearing from Narada about Yudhishtira’s resolve all the gods and Indra arrived at the spot.
1001
What happened when the gods arrived at the spot where Yudhishtira stood?
The moment the gods arrived at the spot where Yudhishtira stood the darkness that had covered the place had disappeared. Everything that was terrible to behold vanished from sight. Then a breeze perfectly pure and delightfully cool began to blow. The gods called Yudhishtira and told him that what he had witnessed was just an illusion and was not real. He had to witness it because he had deceived Drona in the battlefield. What his brothers and Draupadi had undergone was also an illusion. Now all of them were cleansed of sins and whoever had helped them in the battle had also been taken to heaven. He could see them now. He again told him that he who enjoyed the fruits of his good acts first would be transferred to hell later to bear the fruits of his bad acts. If the bad deeds overweighed the good deeds then he would be taken first to the heaven and then to the hell. Duryodhana belongs to this category. Later Yudhishtira was taken to the heavenly
Ganga for a bath. After that he visited all his brothers, Draupadi, sons and friends in heaven. There he saw Krishna among the other gods. His happiness had no limits.

The end.

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