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6-Bheeshm Parv, 100-108
Kathaa-G - 6-War - page 12

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War Day 9: Bheeshm as Commander-in-Chief-Day-9
9th day of War - The 9th day under the leadership of Bheeshm.
Bheeshm Tells the way of His Death to Paandav

(6-100) Duryodhan was very excited that today Bheeshm would fight at his best. He said to Dushaasan - "We will surly win the war today. Today's task is only to protect Bheeshm. He told he wouldn't fight Shikhandee, so make sure that he doesn't come in front of him." Arjun said to Dhrishtdyumn - "See, that Shikhandee is in front of Bheeshm, I myself will guard Shikhandee."

Bheeshm organized his army in Sarvatobhadraa (a kind of square array in which troops face all the points of compass; safe from all sides) Vyooh. Bheeshm was in front of the Vyooh. All great warriors were there to help their leaders on both sides. Abhimanyu attacked Kaurav's army. He started destroying Kaurav's army. Drone, Kripaa, Ashwatthaamaa and Jayadrath like warriors also could not withstand his attack. Duryodhan saw him and said - "This Abhimanyu is another Arjun. We will have to do something of him." So he called Alambooshaa (the Raakshas in Kaurav army) and asked him to take care of him.

Alambooshaa challenged Abhimanyu and started scattering Paandav's army, Seeing this Draupadee's sons came to help him. All his Maayaa tactics were properly counteracted by Abhimanyu. Arjun came to help his son. And Bheeshm came to fight with Arjun. All others also came with Bheeshm. Abhimanyu was the combination of Krishn and Arjun. Drone came to help his son Ashwatthaamaa so Saatyaki had his duel with Drone now. Arjun came to help Saatyaki, so Arjun fought with his Guru in a great fury although both loved each other very much. Duryodhan sent Susharmaa to help Drone. Drone was very proud of his pupil. Arjun invoked Vaayu and sent Vaayavya Astra which brought strong wind, so Drone sent Shail Astra which calmed down wind.

Several warriors tried to stop Arjun's manslaughter but could do nothing. Arjun was being harassed continually by Trigart brothers (Susharmaa etc). So he compelled him to run away from the field. Bheem also joined Arjun and started destroying Kaurav army in such a way that it had to flee away.

Bheeshm was still continuing destroying Paandav's army in hundreds and thousands. Then Dhrishtdyumn, Viraat, and Shikhandee came to fight with Bheeshm. Still Bheeshm could not be stopped. Seeing this people talked among themselves like this - "It is because of this Duryodhan these Kshatriya are being exterminated. Why Dhritraashtra grew up this child?" When Duryodhan heard this, he asked Bheeshm, Drone and Kripaa to fight without boastfulness. By then Arjun had killed many of Susharmaa's troops. Bheeshm was still fighting in a severe rage. So Duryodhan sent Dushaasan to protect him because he would kill all Paanchaal and Paandav.

Seeing the severe slaughtering, Krishn said to Arjun - "Now that Time has come which you were waiting for. Remember your words that you told in Viraat's court in the presence of Sanjaya, "I will kill all the great warriors of Kaurav army single-handed" so now is your time to prove your words true." Arjun again got restless hearing this, he said - "Krishn, I don't want to kill my relatives, but I will try to do as you say." Krishn was very angry at Arjun's words, but He took his chariot towards Bheeshm.

The dual started between Arjun and Bheeshm. Arjun was just using his arrows softly at Bheeshm. Krishn was very angry at this, because every arrow of Bheeshm was taking at least the life of one man. Krishn watched for some moments more, then suddenly He jumped out of His chariot with a whip in His hand, and went to Bheeshm. Bheeshm fearlessly drew his bow and said smilingly - "Come, come. O Devtaa of all Devtaa, I bow to thee. Throw me down in this battle today. You will do a great good to me. This will be a great honor for me in whole Tri-Lok. Strike me as you please."

It all happened within a wink of an eye. Arjun also immediately jumped out of his chariot, held Krishn tight with his both arms to stop Him, but Krishn was dragging him along with Him. Arjun then held His feet tight and said - "I beg you not to do this. Please do not break your promise of not taking any weapon during the war. I promise to keep my word, I swear in the name of the Truth and our friendship that I will fulfill my promise." Krishn didn't speak a word and came back to His chariot. And Bheeshm again started shooting his arrows at Arjun. The evening had set in so the fighting was stopped, armies were retired on the 9th day of the great war.

Yudhishthir was seeking to run away from the field. In Paandav's camp they had no peace of mind. There was no issue for talk except about the fury of Bheeshm. Yudhishthir was very unhappy with today's manslaughter. He called a meeting. He said to Krishn - "It seems that we will never be able to win the war because of Bheeshm. He has killed most of our army during the last nine days. We can't even dare to look at him. It is easy to fight with Indra with His Vajra, or Yam or Kuber with his Gadaa, or Varun with his Noose but it is impossible to face my grandfather. It has been happening only because of my foolishness. My brothers had to suffer so much and they are still suffering suffering. Even these innocent people are also dying because of me only. I think I should surrender to them or go back to forest again."

Krishn said softly - "Brother, You need not to worry so much. You have your brothers, you have me. You can set me to fight with Bheeshm. What is there which I cannot do in this battle? I will kill him if Arjun doesn't want to kill him. And as soon he is killed the victory is ours. I will be the death of Bheeshm, you see me tomorrow. Whoever is enemy of Paandav is my enemy too. Arjun is my friend, relative and disciple, I can give even my flesh for him, and this man can also give his life for me. Therefore tell me how can I fight? Arjun has already vowed to kill Bheeshm in Viraat's court. If Paarth requests me I can fulfill that vow. Or if Arjun makes up his mind nothing can stop him killing Bheeshm. Nothing is impossible for a person who has killed Kaalakeya and Nivaatkavach Daitya single-handedly. Bheeshm doesn't know what he should do and what he should not."

Yudhishthir felt very emotional, he said - "Krishn, You don't have to tell me this that you can kill him, I know you can. You are not the Saarathee of Arjun only but of all Paandav. But I will not let you fall down from your promise which you made to Duryodhan before the war that you would not take up any weapon in this war. In this battle an argument was made by me with Bheeshm and he said to me - "I can give you counsel, but I cannot fight for you. I will have to fight for Duryodhan." Therefore let me have his good counsel now. Let us all go to him and ask the way to kill him. He will show us the right way and I will do whatever he will say to us. We were orphans and he brought us up. I hate this Kshatriy's profession that I have to go to him to ask the way of his own death."

So all Paandav along with Krishn went to Bheeshm's tent in plain dress. All entered his tent, prostrated before him. Bheeshm was very happy to see them, he welcomed all of them individually - "Come Krishn, I am so happy to see you, and Yudhishthir and Bheem, I am glad to see you too. Nakul and Sahadev, how are you my children? Let me congratulate you Arjun on your fighting and to have such a wonderful son who fought like you. Now tell me what can I do for you? Even if it is most difficult job, I will do it for your happiness." He said this repeatedly. Yudhishthir was very sad and hesitant to say but he had to - "Grandfather, You blessed us for the victory, but how can we win this war? You don't give us any chance to seep through our enemy's army. You are the second Sun. Tell us the way so that we may defeat you, so that we can get our kingdom and our army is not destroyed so much."

Bheeshm caressed his back with his old fingers and said - "Until I am alive nobody can win me and thus you cannot win. After I am defeated, however, you can win the battle. So if you wish to win this war, then defeat me as quickly as possible. I give you permission to defeat me. This is a fortunate situation for you. After I am killed all will be killed, so do as I say." Yudhishthir said - "Then tell us the way to defeat you because nobody can defeat you when you are angry in battle field."

Bheeshm said - "Till my weapons and bow are in my hand I am unable to be defeated, but when I lay aside my weapons I can be killed by any ordinary soldier. Who has thrown away his weapons, who is fallen down, whose armor has slipped off, whose standard is down, who is running away from the battlefield, who is frightened, who says "I am yours", who is female, who bears the name of female, who is not capable of taking care of himself, who has only one son, who is a vulgar fellow; I would not fight with these ones. If I see any inauspicious omen, I will not fight. You have Drupad's son named Shikhandee, he was a female before but became man later, you all know this. Arjun should keep in front of him and attack me. When the inauspicious omen will occur, especially in the form of a woman, in spite of being equipped with bow and arrow I will not fight. During those moments Arjun should pierce me with his arrows from all around. I do not see anybody else than Arjun and Krishn who can kill me in battle. Thus when Arjun will bring me down, you can win the war."

Paandav were weeping for their dear grandfather. They left the place with a heavy heart. Arjun was very sad, he said to Krishn - "How will I kill my grandfather? He is the oldest in our family. I can't forget our old days. When I used to come after playing and sit in his lap and made it dirty with dust. Once I called him "father" then he said to me, "I am not your father, I am your grandfather, say it" and I used to call him "Grandfather" and he used to hug me tightly. How can I kill him who said all this to me? Whether victory or death, I can never fight with him. What do you think, O Krishn?"

Krishn's face was grave, He said - "You already have vowed to kill him, then why to go back? You cannot win this war without slaying him. He will die in this way only, because this has already been settled before by Devtaa. O Arjun, whatever has been destined must happen, it cannot be otherwise. None else than you can kill him. Once Brihaspati said to Indra - "One has to kill an angel also if he comes as an enemy or to destroy oneself." Arjun said - "Shikhandee will certainly the cause of death of Bheeshm. I will kill Bheeshm as he has said to me. Shikhandee will strike him alone and as Bheeshm has told he wouldn't fight with Shikhandee."

Thus settled with Bheeshm Paandav came to their camp happily.

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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 04/26/13