Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa | 4-Van (Forest)
|Kathaa - 4-Van (Forest)|
As per their planning, on the following day of Susharmaa's attack on Viraat Nagar, Kaurav army attacked Viraat Nagar from its northern side. They came and took their cattle away from there. The cowherds came to the royal court to ask their help. At that time only Viraat's youngest son Bhoominjaya, better known as Uttar, was there in the city, so the cowherds reported this incident to him and asked his help.
At that time Uttar was sitting among royal women. He said - "Yes, I will go at once, but at the moment I have no good Saarathee (charioteer) for me. I lost mine in the last battle when I fought for 28 days continuously. If I had a good Saarathee I would have gone immediately and tackle Bheeshm, Drone, Kripaa, Ashwatthaamaa and Karn like warriors easily. I can fight with them as Indra fought with Vritraasur. People who will see me fighting will say "Is this Arjun who is fighting?" No one else can fight so well."
Draupadee was also standing there with other women. She could not tolerate Uttar equating himself to Arjun. Arjun said to her that she should go to Uttaraa and tell her that Brihannalaa was the charioteer of Arjun when he fought with Indra at the time of burning of Khaandav Van. So she went to Uttaraa and told all this to her. She also told her that if Brihannalaa would be a good Saarathee of Uttar and he will be surely going to win that war if he had taken him with him and asked her to tell this to Uttar. Uttaraa went to Uttar and told all what Sairandhree told her.
Uttar called Sairandhree and verified this information about Brihannalaa from her. Draupadee affirmed it. Uttar said - "Brihannalaa is neither a man nor a woman, how can I take such a woman as my Saarathee being a Kashatriya? I will prefer to die than taking her as my Saarathee." Sairandhree said - "You may be right, Prince, but you must not consider such trivial matters in the times of emergency. Please call Brihannalaa, make her your Saarathee and win the war."
Uttar and Brihannalaa Go on War
Uttar agreed with Sairandhree and called Brihannalaa. He said to her - "Sairandhree told me that you were the Saarathee of Arjun and you are the greatest of all Saarathee - like Maatali of Indra, Daaruk of Krishn, Sumantra of Dasharath etc. So I want you to be my Saarathee in this war. So be ready immediately." Arjun said shyly - "I can only sing and dance, how can I go with you as Saarathee." Uttar said - "But Sairandhree gave me your different picture. This is not the time for modesty, just get ready."
The princess Uttaraa brought the Saarathee dress for him, but he pretended not to know how to wear it, so Uttar himself had to dress her himself. Brihannalaa brought the chariot for Uttar and said - "I am ready, you can take me wherever you want, and you can fight with Kaurav single-handedly." So they started in the direction of Kaurav army. As they were going Uttaraa requested Arjun to bring Kaurav Mahaarathee's clothes for her, she said - "I have heard that their clothes are very fine and beautiful. Please, bring a few for me, I will make my dolls' clothes." Arjun said - "Sure Princess, I will. But Pitaamaha wear only white clothes."
When they reached near the Kaurav army, Uttar heard a great noise, he got scared and asked Brihannalaa - "What is this noise?" Brihannala said - "This is the noise from Kaurav army which you are going to see in a few moments." In the meantime they just came in front of the Kaurav army. Uttar looked at the Kaurav army and started trembling with fear. It was looking like a sea of soldiers. Brihannalaa said - "I have brought you at the spot from where you can see the Kaurav army very well. Look, sitting on white horse is Duryodhan, by his side is Dushaasan sitting on a gray horse, on brown horse is Karn. On the other side is Bheeshm, then Drone, then Ashwatthaamaa. You will be the first person to fight with all of them single-handedly."
Uttar said - "Brihannalaa, I am frightened seeing this army, it is huge. How can I fight with all of these mighty people single-handedly. Please take my chariot back to the city. If I will look at this army even for a few moments more I am surely going to faint. I have made up my mind, I am not going to fight with them." Arjun said - "You are frightened from enemies? You are asking me to go back? Don't be frightened. They are not so powerful as they look. Don't defame your family. You left the city with such a show, so just think, if you will return there without fighting what the people think about you? When I am not scared, why should you be?"
Uttar said - "I am not worried about people, Brihannalaa. Let people laugh at me. Let the Kaurav keep all the cows and whatever they like to keep, but I am going back, I am not going to fight. Final." Arjun was very angry with him, he said - "You are a Kshatriya, this running back doesn't suit you. Death in the battlefield is better than going back." But who was there to listen to Arjun's words? Uttar had already jumped out of the chariot and started running towards the city. Arjun also jumped out of the chariot and followed him.
Kaurav's army was seeing all this drama from a distance. They were wondering as what was happening there? First they saw a lone chariot stopping in the field, then they saw a young boy running away towards the city, then they saw a strange looking person following him, as if the boy was running away scared and the strange looking person was running to bring him back. Drone recognized the strange looking person as a man dressed as a woman. After a few moments he identified the physique of the man also as Arjun's body.
Karn was also listening to Drone, he said - "In Viraat Nagar, all soldiers and Viraat have gone to fight with Susharmaa. Only his son must have been left behind, so he had to come to the battlefield. He must have caught a eunuch as his Saarathee, but seeing this huge army, I am sure, he must have got scared so he has run away back as fast as he could, and that eunuch has also followed him lest she stays alone in the field. I do not see a single reason why the name of Arjun should be mentioned here."
Kripaachaarya said - "Drone is right, she is Arjun and he is running after him so that he can bring him back to the field, and you will see that he will bring him back." Duryodhan was irritated with this talk, he said - "Let him be Arjun, or let him be Krishn, or let him be Bhaargav himself, none of them will be able to face me today. Let anybody dare to fight with me today."
On the other side, Arjun was running fast behind Uttar to bring him back. At last he caught him and dragged him to the chariot. He said - "You must not run away like this. If you are afraid of fighting with them then I will fight with them on behalf of you. You sit in my place and I sit in your place. You be my Saarathee. You trust me, no harm will come to you. You are a Kshatriya, you should never run away like this from the battlefield." Then somehow Uttar took care of the reins of the chariot, and Arjun sat inside the chariot. As he wanted to take his Gaandeev bow before fighting, he asked Uttar to turn the chariot towards the Shamee tree on which they hid their weapons.
Drone said to Bheeshm in code as he did not want to reveal Paandav's identity before time - "Oh God, He was certainly Arjun." Bheeshm also said in code - "You need not be worried now. The time limit we were talking about on the other day, has already passed. Paandav are safe now. I knew this in the court itself when we were discussing about this attack. I just did not tell anybody this because I wanted Duryodhan to learn a lesson that Paandav are not easy to win. This lesson may be beneficial to avert the greater tragedy that is just waiting for us around the corner."
Now Drone was relieved, he said openly - "Duryodhan, I am sure I have seen Arjun there on the chariot." Duryodhan said - "If he is Arjun then our purpose is served. I will send them to 13 years of exile once again, and if he is any Devtaa, then I will fell him with my arrows."
Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 11/30/12