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7-Drone Parv, 1-19
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War Day 11: Drone as Commander-in-Chief-Day 1
11th day of War - 1st day under the leadership of Drone.

Janmejaya asked - "What did Dhritraashtra do after Bheeshm was killed by Shikhandee?" Vaishampaayan said - "Dhritraashtra was filled with anxiety and grief, and while he was grieving thus, Sanjaya once more came to him. He said to Sanjaya who came from the battlefield to Hastinaapur that night - "After the death of Bheeshm, what did Kaurav and Paandav do? " Sanjaya  said - "Both thought about their duties. They all bowed to that warrior, made a pillow of arrows, appointed guards for his protection and talked to one another in a pleasant way. They once again bade farewell to Bheeshm and came back to their tents. Kaurav were now without any guidance without Bheeshm.

On the 11th day, when the morning broke, it was a terrible day for Kaurav as they had lost Bheeshm - their only hope. Everybody was looking towards Karn because they knew that he was the only one who was like Devavrat. Karn had not fought for these ten days because Bheeshm did not allow him to fight under his commandership. He was classed by Bheeshm as half warrior, while he was equal to two warriors. He could dare to fight to Varun, Yam, Kuber, Indra etc that is why out of anger he said - "I will not take up my arms until you are alive. If you succeed in slaying Paandav, I will retire to woods, or otherwise I alone will slay all of them." Remembering that all said - "Now this is the time for him to show his power."

Hearing Sanjaya admiring Karn repeatedly, Dhritraashtra said - "I hope that he doesn't disappoint Duryodhan in war and he fills the gap of Bheeshm." Sanjaya said - "After knowing that Bheeshm has been slain, Karn thought to help Duryodhan. He soon came to the battle field where Bheeshm was slain. He said to soldiers - "Bheeshm who was a perfect hero is now quiet. I pay my respects to all other heroes who are already slain. When Bheeshm has been slain, who can say that the Sun will rise tomorrow." Karn then consoled Duryodhan and others with heavy heart. He said - "It is easier to imagine the Sun falling from sky, but the unimaginable has happened. Duryodhan, my friend, I will fight for you until my last breath. Let me be ready for it. Get my chariot ready, get me be ready for it. Take me there where Arjun, Bheem, Yudhishthir and the twins are. Either I will slay them or will be slain by them. I shall follow Bheeshm. Even if Death himself comes to protect Arjun, still I will slay him. Or I will follow Bheeshm's path." Riding on a beautiful chariot, adorned with various ornaments, equipped with all kinds of weapons Karn proceeded to battle field.

Bheeshm was lying on his bed of arrows. Karn went there in his chariot, got down from it, tears in his eyes he went near Bheeshm and saluted him. He said - "I am Karn. Please speak to me, open your eyes and look at me. I do not think that there is anybody equal to you in all the matters of warfare. From today Kaurav will fear from Arjun and his Gaandeev. No doubt Arjun is like a surging fire, and Krishn is like wind. Who else is competent to fight a superhuman battle with Mahaadev? He has got unattainable from Mahaadev after that superhuman battle. The same person is protected by Maadhav. Who can win him whom you could not win. But I am capable of slaying him with your permission."

Bheeshm said - "Like ocean is for rivers, fertile soil is for seeds, cloud is for all creatures, Vishnu is for Heaven dwellers you be the refuge for your relatives and friends. You have won several kings to be ally of Duryodhan. In auspicious words, I command you to go and fight with the enemy. Lead the Kuru in battle and get victory for Duryodhan. You are my grandson like Duryodhan and we are also the same for you as we are for Duryodhan. Wise people say the companionship of righteous is superior to the born from the same mother so without losing your relationship with Duryodhan protect Paandav as Duryodhan." Hearing Bheeshm, Karn saluted his feet and came to the place where Kaurav were waiting for him. Everybody was happy to see him.

Duryodhan asked him - "Now tell me what should I do now? I can't think for myself." Karn said - "You tell us what we should do because you are the wisest among all of us." Duryodhan said - "Since we have lost Bheeshm, first we should have a Commander of the army. All the great warriors are able to be Commander, but still there will be only one Commander. You tell us that who will be our Commander." Karn said - "Everyone here is able to be your commander but only one will be the Commander. If one will be made Commander, then others will be dissatisfied. I feel that your invincible Guru Drone is the fittest person to be the Commander of our army. Nobody will feel humiliated if he were appointed the Commander. Besides he is your Guru too. So make him your leader."

Duryodhan liked his decision and he requested Drone to be the Commander of his army. He said to him - "Considering the superiority of your birth, nobility of your parentage, power, skill, invincibility there is none who can make a good leader of our army. So please protect us as our leader. Let this 11 Akshauhinee army (see Example 1 here) should be under your command. We will follow you."

Drone was very pleased with Duryodhan, he said - "I know Ved with their six branches. I am skilled in various kinds of weapons. I will fight with Paandav although they will not be able to fight with me with cheerful hearts. however I will not be able to kill Dhrishtdyumn because he is born to kill me." Duryodhan installed him as the Commander of his army. All the warriors were considering Paandav as already dead.

Drone organized his army in Sakat (vehicle) manner. Karn was kept at the head of bowmen. Others also were placed at the appropriate at the right positions. Seeing Karn everybody forgot the calamity caused by the death of Bheeshm. Paandav arrayed their army in Kraunch (crane bird) fashion. Yudhishthir was very happy. Just in front of the army were Arjun and Krishn. The banner of Paarth is of great intelligence, among bowmen Arjun is the foremost, among bows Gaandeev is the foremost, Vaasudev is first, and among all kinds of discs Sudarshan is the first. Bearing these four bodies of energy Arjun took up the position in front. Thus these two foremost men were at the front of two fighting armies.

The fight began under the leadership of Drone. Drone started killing soldiers. Seeing this manslaughter by Drone Yudhishthir got worried. He told Dhrishtdyumn and Arjun to check Drone. So all turned towards Drone but Drone was fighting very fiercely. After having slain more than two Akshauhinee army he was also slain by Dhrishtdyumn. As he was slain Paandav got very happy.

Dhritraashtra asked - "How did Paandav and Srinjaya slay Drone, tell me Sanjaya. Drone who was so well-conversed will all kinds of weapons, who had four kinds of weapons. Did his chariot break? Did his bow break? Or was he careless when he was killed? How Dhrishtdyumn could kill that invincible hero? It has been plain that destiny is superior to exertion. O Sanjaya, I am losing my senses, let this discourse be suspended for a while. When I regain my senses, I will ask you again."

Vaishampaayan said - "O Janmejaya, After saying this Dhritraashtra fell down on the ground. He was brought to senses by sprinkling sweet smelling water and fanning cool breeze. Then he again asked about the whole incident. He said - "How can Paandav meet their defeat when Vaasudev is with them? I will also pray Him. When he was in Gokul, He killed Hayaraaj (or Keshee - in the form of horse) living on Yamunaa's shores; He killed a Raakshas in the form of a bull with His bare hands; He killed Kans, protected by Jaraasandh; He killed Pralambaasur, Jambhaasur, Pithaasur, Muraasur and Narakaasur also. Where he is there is victory. Since Bheeshm and Drone are no more, we will be dependent on Yudhishthir with whom we are jealous. Things calculated in one way, even by men of intelligence, become otherwise through Destiny. Tell me everything what happened there."

Sanjaya said - "Yes, I saw everything with my own eyes, I will tell you everything in detail that how Drone fell down.

After Duryodhan installed Drone as the Commander-in-Chief of his army Drone said to him - "You have honored me with the command of your troops, I want to please you Duryodhan, on my first day of Commandership, tell me what should I do to please you?" Duryodhan consulted Karn and Dushaasan that if the king is captured that also means the defeat for that army, so if we capture Yudhishthir, the Paandav army is defeated. So he said to him - "If you wish to please me, capture Yudhishthir alive and bring him to me, I will be greatly pleased." Drone said with a doubt - "It is very difficult to defeat him, ask me something else, for example his slaughter. Why don't you desire for his death? I hope you are not ignorant of the policy. Why don't you hope for his death? It is really a great wonder that nobody wants his death. It shows that you wish to preserve your lineage. Or by defeating Paandav you wish to return their kingdom and keep brotherly relation with them? He is indeed Ajaatshatru because even you have affection for him."

Duryodhan, filled with joy, said - "By slaying Yudhishthir, the victory cannot be mine. I know that if I kill Yudhishthir, Arjun will kill all of us. And all of them cannot be slain even by very Devtaa. So whoever will survive will kill us all. Yudhishthir is however, truthful in his promises. If we are successful in bringing him alive, and defeated in dice game once more, Paandav can go to woods again, because Paandav obey their brother Yudhishthir. That is why I do not desire to kill Yudhishthir." Drone thought for a moment and spoke - "There is only one condition, if Arjun is not there to protect him, I can do it. But I cannot win Arjun. So if you can manage to move Arjun from his neighborhood I can bring him to you."

Sanjaya further said - "Hearing this your sons took it for granted that Yudhishthir was already taken. Duryodhan thought it logical, so he started thinking of the way by which he could separate Arjun from Yudhishthir. On the other hand, the spies of Paandav told them about this plan. Yudhishthir was very angry at this. He said to Arjun - "You heard about Drone's plan. Make plan in such a way that they do not succeed in their mission. You should always stay in my vicinity." Arjun said - "As I cannot kill my Guru, I will also not leave you alone. Dhritraashtra desires sovereignty over the kingdom after capturing you, I will not let his desire fulfill, as long as I am alive. My promises are never unfulfilled and I never tell lies."

Paandav got prepared for war. Both armies were unable to harm one another as they were protected by Drone and Arjun. Then Drone took the initiative and entered Paandav's army killing massively. Preying birds came and started flying around.

Shakuni rushed towards Sahadev. Dhrishtdyumn caught Drone. Shikhandee covered Bhoorishravaa with his arrows. Viraat encountered with Karn. Abhimanyu fought with Shalya. He was too powerful for Shalya, so Shalya got down from his chariot and proceeded towards Abhimanyu. Bheem came to his help and felled Shalya. Kritvarmaa took away him from the battlefield. Vrishsen (Karn's son) tried to save Kaurav army single-handed, but many warriors came to fight with him. The battlefield was shining with the shine of 12 suns. Kaurav army had suffered a great loss today.

Now Drone thought that he should complete his task, so he went towards Yudhishthir.  He fought bravely but was not able to withstand his Guru's arrows. His protectors, Shikhandee, Uttamaujaa, sons of Draupadee, Saatyaki, Viraat all were defeated by Drone. Dhrishtdyumn realized the graveness of the situation. He came to help Yudhishthir but he was also feeling weak against Drone. Drone was fighting for the sake of his promise to Duryodhan so he was like a Devtaa of death. A moment came when Drone was about to capture Yudhishthir that Arjun came there. He was coming faster than the wind. He started shooting arrows at Drone's army. Nothing could be seen in tht battle. So this Duryodhan planned for another game of dice, and this Guru of theirs had agreed to be a part of that conspiracy? This is ridiculous. Thinking this in that moment Arjun lost all the respect for his Guru. Drone was losing. He tried to grab a moment which he lost it. Just then the Sun set, so armies were withdrawn.

Duryodhan was very unhappy with the way the things were going. He was very angry with Drone too, Drone was also very unhappy of his failure. As Duryodhan saw Drone, Drone said in shame - "I told you if he is with Arjun, he cannot be captured. Although all of you came to help me, still when Arjun had come, you all ran away. I am telling you the truth that Krishn and Arjun are invincible. But if Arjun is moved from Yudhishthir's side, then he can be captured. Let somebody challenge Arjun and take him away from the field. Arjun will never return without defeating him. During that time I can capture him."

Trigart brothers said - "We have an old enmity with Arjun. It will be a great joy for us to kill Arjun. We will take Arjun off the battlefield and then either we will kill him or we will be killed. During that period, Aachaarya can do his work." Trigart brothers, Susharmaa and others took this vow in front of the fire that they would separate Arjun from Yudhishthir next day, and in that process either they would kill Arjun or would be killed by him.

When Arjun heard this, he said to Yudhishthir - "When I am challenged, I never turn back. Please grant me permission to do that. Susharmaa with his brothers is here to challenge me, grant me your permission to kill them." Yudhishthir said - "You have already heard Drone, act as you think proper. He has taken even vow to capture me." Arjun said - "This Satyajit will be protector in my absence. Till he is there, Drone cannot do anything to you. And if somehow Satyajit is killed, then you must not remain in the field even if you are surrounded by many warriors." Yudhishthir gave him permission and embraced him.

So Sansaptak arrived in a plain area of the field and arrayed themselves in half-moon shape. Seeing them there Arjun blew his Devdatt conch. Hearing that sound all started trembling with fear. Then the fight started. From among Subaahu, Sudharmaa and Sudhanvaa, Arjun soon killed Sudhanvaa. Seeing his fall others ran away from the field. Arjun called them - "Why are you running away? What will you answer to Duryodhan?" So they came back with Naaraayanee cow-herds.

Arjun asked Krishn to take his chariot to Sansaptak with the intention to kill them. He shot Twashtraa weapon which created thousands of images of Arjun and Krishn. Saying "This is Arjun" and "This is Krishn" they killed each other. Seeing this slaughter some of them shot hundreds of arrows at Arjun. They covered him completely and Krishn could not see Arjun, so He asked - "Where are you Arjun, I cannot see you. Are you alive?" Hearing this Arjun shot his Vaayavya Astra and dispelled all arrows from around him. Then Vaayu threw them away from the battle field. While they were fleeing Arjun cut their heads.

While Arjun was busy with Sansaptak, Drone arranged his army and proceeded towards Yudhishthir to seize him.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 11/30/12