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10-Sauptikaa Parv, 9-12 of 18
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War Day 18: Ashwatthaamaa as Commander-in-Chief-Day-1 (3)
18th day of war - Draupadee's sons are dead... 
Ashwatthaamaa Meets Duryodhan

After saying thus all the three came to the place where Duryodhan was lying dying. They found that he was still alive, but he was about to die. The three surrounded him. They were very sad seeing his condition. Kripaa said - "Destiny is very powerful, nothing is difficult for it. Who was the lord of 11 Akshauhinee army, today is lying here alone. His Gadaa (mace) did not leave him in any battle, today it is also lying uncared. Before Braahman used to wait up on him, now the forest creatures are waiting up on him to eat his body."

Ashwatthaamaa said - "All people used to say that you were like Kuber in handling Gadaa. Even you were the best archer. It is true that Time is everything in the world, because we could see Bheem struck down you. I grieve only for Gaandhaaree who will be childless. What will be the plight of Dhritraashtra also? Afflicted by your grief, both will be wandering on Earth begging for food. You are fortunate that you are killed in battlefield. Fie on us that we are still alive, we do not follow you who has always granted our wishes. We will also be afflicted with grief, where can we find peace without you? When you go from here, I request you, you should show respect to those warriors who have gone there before you according to their ranks and age. Embrace all of them and ask their welfare. After that tell them that I have killed Dhrishtdyumn."

Ashwatthaamaa cast a look on him and further said - "If you can hear, hear this, that on the side of Paandav there are only seven people left - five Paandav, Krishn and Saatyaki; and on our side we three - Kripaa, Kritavarmaa and myself, are alive. I have killed all the sons of Draupadee, all Paanchaal, all Matsya etc. Thus Paandav are now childless. All have been killed in that camp."

Hearing this Duryodhan regained his consciousness and said - "You have done that which neither Bheeshm, nor Karn, nor Drone could do. I regard myself like Maghaavat (Indra's most fierce clouds). Good be to you all. We will meet in Heaven." After saying this Duryodhan became silent. Thus he breathed his last. All became very sad. They repeatedly embraced the king one by one, then they ascended their chariots. 

Hearing lamentations of Ashwatthaamaa, I came to the city at early dawn. I was also afflicted with grief and I lost my Divine sight which Rishi gave to me. Thus all Paandav's and Kuru's armies were destroyed." Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Hearing the death of his son Dhritraashtra plunged into the ocean of grief."

Paandav Get the News of Their Sons

Vaishampaayan Jee further said - "The next day, Dhrishtdyumn's Saarathee came to Paandav and told everything that happened last night, he said - "I am the only one who has escaped from Kritvarmaa's sight. They have killed everybody, including Drupad's sons and Draupadee's sons, in the camp while they were asleep. Kritvarmaa, Kripaa and Ashwatthaamaa did it." Hearing this Yudhishthir got faint at the loss of their sons and fell down on the ground. Saatyaki held the king in his embrace. Bheem, Arjun, Nakul and Sahadev also tried to comfort him.

After a while when Yudhishthir came to senses, he said - "Oh, After defeating our enemy, we ourselves have been defeated. The course of events is really difficult to ascertain even by those who have Divine sight. After killing relatives, friends, kinsmen, sons and well wishers, we ourselves are defeated. After winning the war, I still have to grieve like this. What is this kind of victory? For whose sake we have won this kingdom, they are gone. All those who never retreated from battle have gone away. It is only because of lack of a little attention. One must be always attentive in war. A heedless person can never acquire knowledge, prosperity and great renown. I grieve for Draupadee. Today she will be plunged in the ocean of grief. Oh, what will be her plight?"

Then Yudhishthir said to Nakul - "Go, bring Draupadee here along with all her maternal relations." Nakul immediately rushed to Draupadee's tent where she was living with other Paanchaal women. Yudhishthir continued to look at all his sons and relatives etc lying dead on the ground. Then he wept bitterly seeing them lying like this and fell on the ground fainted."

Vaishampaayan said - "Yudhishthir fell on ground because of grief of his sons, relatives and friends. His friends started to comfort him.

In the meantime Nakul arrived there with Krishnaa. She was staying at Upaplavya. Hearing the news of killing of all of her sons, she became exceedingly afflicted with grief. She also wept bitterly and fell down on ground. Seeing her in this condition, Bheem lifted her in his arms. Comforted by Bheem, she said to Yudhishthir - "By good luck, you have won the war, now you enjoy the whole Earth after killing your sons. By good luck, you are not recollecting Subhadraa's son. You are not recollecting those heroes who have lost their lives observing Kshatriya's duties. If Drone's son has not been punished for his sinful deed (has not been killed), then listen O Paandav, I am sitting here in Praya." And she sat down near Yudhishthir.

Yudhishthir said - "O Draupadee, you are well conversant with morality, your sons have died in battlefield, thus have met a noble death. As regards to Drone's son, he has gone in a far forest, how can he be killed in battle?" Draupadee said - "I have heard that he has a gem on his forehead with which he was born, if you bring that gem and put it on your forehead, I will be satisfied. That is my resolve."

Then she approached Bheem and said to him - "You have saved us several times - in Baaranaavat, when we were seen by Hidimb Raakshas, in Viraat Nagar by killing Keechak. So you save me this time also. Kill that man and be happy. There is nobody else who is equal to you in power." Bheem could not tolerate Draupadee's grief and he immediately took Nakul as his Saarathee (charioteer) and proceeded to look for Ashwatthaamaa."

Krishn and Ashwatthaamaa

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "As Bheem had gone, Krishn said to Yudhishthir - "This your brother has gone with the desire of killing Ashwatthaamaa, but he is the dearest to you among all the brothers. He has fallen in danger, because Ashwatthaamaa has Brahm Astra which is capable of consuming the whole world. Your Guru taught it to Arjun because he was very pleased with him, but his own son could not tolerate this so he had to teach that to him also. At that time he said to him - "Even when you are in the greatest danger, you should never use it in the battle against human beings." But after a while he said, "It seems you will not be able to walk on the path of righteousness." Hearing these bitter words from his father he started wandering around to obtain every kind of prosperity.

Once when you were passing time in forest, he came to Dwaarakaa and stayed there. One day when I was alone, he alone came to me and said smilingly - "I have that weapon which my father obtained from Muni Agastya after a severe Tap. Give me your Divine disc which is capable to kill everybody in battle in exchange of that." Joining his palms he begged my disc. So to please him, I said - "Devtaa, Daanav, Gandharv, men, birds, snakes etc jointly together are not even equal to hundredth part of my energy. I have this bow, this dart, this Gadaa (mace), and this disc. I will give you anyone of them whichever you wish to have. Take it whichever you might be able to use in battle."

At this Drone's son asked for my disc, hard as thunder, of 1,000 spokes, and made of iron. I said to him, "Take it". He rose quickly and proceeded towards me to take the disc. He seized the disc from his left hand but he failed even to move it from the place where it was kept. Then he put forth his right hand and tried to take it but still he failed. At this he filled with sorrow. After he was tired, he ceased his efforts to take it.

Then I said to anxious and senseless Ashwatthaamaa - "He who holds Gaandeev, he who I love most, he whom I can give even my wives and children, he who is undefeatable even by Devtaa themselves, he who has had encounter with Shiv, even he has not uttered such words to me which you have said to me today. That son whom I have got after doing severe Tap on Himvaan for 12 years, that son of mine who is a part of Sanat Kumaar himself and is born to Rukminee, that hero, Pradyumn, has never asked me for this. Parashuraam also of great might has never said such words to me as you have said to me. Neither Gad, nor Saamb has ever asked me that which you of little understanding have asked me. All Yaadav respect you, let me ask you, "With whom you will fight using this weapon?"

At this he replied - "After worshipping you, it was my intention to fight with you only. It was for this I asked you this disc. If I had got it, I would have become invincible in the world. Since I have failed, I am about to leave. You are unrivaled to hold this weapon. No one else is capable to possess it." After saying this he left Dwaarakaa along with a few horses, much wealth and gems. He is a wicked soul, restless and very cruel. He knows the weapon Brahm Astra, Bheem must be protected from him."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 06/26/13