The Mahabharata Research
The stage setting for the 14th day. (Drona Parva >> Jayadrathavadha parva)
The fourteenth Day was in fact as crucial as the thirteenth Day in determining the fate of the war. When Kauravas succeeded in bringing down one of the best warriors on the Pandava side, the young Abhimanyu, on the thirteenth day, the 14th day actually was much more critical for them, as it provided them a comparatively easy way to get rid of the biggest hurdle on their path to Victory - the mighty Arjuna. In fact, it was Arjuna's immaturity in letting his emotions run his brain and making him vow to kill Jayadratha or die by the end of 14th day, that gave the Kaurava side their biggest hope to eliminate Arjuna. Let's have a relook at how the 14th day began - in fact let's go back to the 13th day to have a quick look at what defined the goals on the 14th day..
When Arjuna came to know that his son Abhimanyu was slaughtered, he was griefstricken. But when he came to know of the amount of injustice done to bring Abhimanyu down, and the manner in which he was slayed, Arjuna fumed in agony. His fury was inexplicable and he saw the Sindhu king Jayadratha as the primary cause for Abhimanyu's slaying, as it was Jayadratha who isolated Abhimanyu from the rest of the Pandava forces and trapped him inside the Chakravyuha. Overcome with grief and fury Arjuna made a vow, to the surprise and agony of the Pandava camp, that he will kill Jayadratha before the sun sets the following day and will immolate himself if he fails to do this. This vow made Drishtadhyumna and the other commanders in the Pandava camp shocked as they have a new mission set for the next day - a very difficult one - to aide Arjuna in bringing down Jayadratha. And they knew the mammoth challenges in that mission as hiding and shielding 1 warrior in such a huge battlefield is quite easy and he would have some of the greatest warriors to protect him. Kauravas on the other hand were shocked as well, as they know Arjuna is going to blow like a storm the next day and it would be hard to stop him. But at the same time, they saw it as an opportunity - an easy opportunity to get rid of Arjuna. They had just 1 goal on the 14th day. Protect Jayadrataha and prevent Arjuna from reaching him, so that Arjuna will self-immolate by the end of the 14th day. This seemed to be comparatively easier than fighting and slaying Arjuna. The though of Arjuna's death and hence the eventual victory turned the fears of the Kaurava camp into a great motivation.
( To describe Arjuna, soome of his nicknames are used below - Savyasachin, Dhananjaya, Partha, Phalguna, Vibhatsu)
The Military Formation:
Drona said to Jayadratha. "Thyself, Bhurishravas, Karna, Aswatthama, Salya, Vrishasena and Kripa, with 100,000 horses, 60,000 cars, 14 thousand elephants, 21,000 foot-soldiers take up your station behind me at the distance of 12 miles. I assure you that not even the gods will be able to attack you today". Thus addressed (by Drona), Jayadratha,became comforted. And he proceeded to the spot indicated by Drona, accompanied by many Gandhara warriors, and surrounded by those great car-warriors. Meanwhile Durmarshana, stationed himself at the head of all the troops, accompanied by a 1500 infuriated elephants Duhsasana and Vikarna, took up their position amid the advance-divisions. Then Drona began to array all his divisions around Jayadratha.
Drona assigned Asvathhama, Karna, Salya, Bhurishrvas, Kripa and Vrishasena as direct protectors of Jayadratha to act as his shield. It is to be noted that the best warriors of Kaurava ranks were assembled around Jayadratha to protect him, and Drona along with a few lesser warriors were at the other end launching an offensive attack. And over the course of the day, the best of the Kaurava warriors who were protecting Jayadratha deep in side the Kaurava ranks had to step out to control the destruction caused by Arjuna, Satyaki and Bhima. We'll get to the details soon.
The array that Drona formed was a very complex and unique one. At the front he formed an array that was part Sakata and part circle and was full 48 miles long and the width of its rear measured 20 miles. Drona himself formed that array with countless brave kings, stationed with it, and countless cars and steeds and elephants and foot-soldiers. Drona moved forward and took up his station at the entrance of the Sakata. Behind Drona was the chief of the Bhojas, who protected him. In the rear of that array was another impenetrable array - the Padmavyuha. And within that Padmavyuha was another dense array called the Suchivyuha. At the mouth of that needle, the great bowman Kritavarman took up his stand. Next to Kritavarman, stood Sudakshina, the ruler of the Kamvojas and Jalasandha. Next to these, stood Duryodhana and Karna. Behind them all, and surrounded by a vast force, was king Jayadratha stationed at the back end of that needle-shaped array.
Duryodhana, beholding that mighty array began to rejoice. His warriors were energized. Some stretched their bows, and some rubbed with their hands their bow-strings, some whirling their maces shouted, saying, Where is that Dhananjaya?
The challenges that Arjuna has to overcome to fulfil his vow is manyfold. Firstly He has to break a very complex military formation - The Chakrashakata
Vyuha which is more challenging than what words could explain.
Shakata vyuha is an array in which the army is draw up in a narrow and compact order and its rear expanding in extended columns like the back of an Indian cart. It can be best visualized by two fists with stretched out thumbs touching each other and stretched out index fingers pointing forward. The thumbs become the axle, the three folded fingers are the wheels and forefingers denote the direction and speed of the cart. The second part is a Padmavyuha or Lotus formation which is a subtle variation of the Chakravyuha in which Abhinanyu died the day before, with it's open petals forming independent gates. In the center would be the extended Pericarp which is then containing the third vyuha with the best Kaurava Maharathis in their chariots, the final and the most powerful line of defense in a needle formation with the precios Jayadratha at the eye of the needle, which faces away from the field. The other end of the needle stretches all the way till the mouth of the Shakata where the Bhoja king Kritavarma stood.
So Arjuna has to break the Shakata vyuha, escape the outstretched Vyuha fingers and break them and then break the curled in fingers to make an opening into second part where they added petals of security, breaking inner and outer petals, he can then open gates of petals to find the pericarp or Karnika line of defense, entering that narrow valley or like a narrow pass surrounded by armies on both sides, then encounter the final line of defence - the eye of the needle formation surrounded by the best six Maharathis who need to be defeated to reach Jayadratha at end of it. And all through his way from the entrance of the Shakata to the eye of the needle, he needed to defeat in series some of the greatest warriors who stood along the line of the Suchivyuha That is one hell of a challenge.
Now the second dimension to Arjuna's challenge is that Jayadratha protected by Bhurishrvas, Karna, Ashvwathhama, Shalya, Vrishasena and Kripa with 100,000 cavalry, 60,000 Rathas, 14,000 elephants, 21,000 special foot protectors. He was further protected by Gandhara warriors and also 10,000 strong his own personal cavalry. So it's not only the formation but the sheer number of soldiers and Maharathis whom he need to overcome to even have a glimpse of Jayadratha.
Now comes the third dimenstion. Durmurshana lead the Kaurava attack with 1500 war elephants backed by Vikarna and Dushasana with 1 lakh warriors. Behind them was Drona. The Suchivyuha stayed some 12 miles behind Drona. In total the Shakata was 48 miles long and 20 miles deep. Then came Padma Vyuha which was 12 miles deep. And embedded within these 2 vyuhas was the Suchivyuha. So Arjuna need to cover huge ground fighting the mightiest warriors, breaking formations to reach Jayadratha - and he has to race against the sun. All he had was 1 day. The race begins...
The Tornado enters:
After Drona had arrayed his Army, after drums and Mridangas began to be beaten, after the loud roar of the warriors had arisen; after conch began to be blown, after the vast sea of heros covered the other end of battle field Savyasachin(Arjuna) made his appearance. Ravens, crows, and vultures circumspected on the front of Arjuna's car. Various animals of terrible cries, and jackals of inauspicious sight, began to yell and howl. The whole earth trembled and dry winds blew in all directions, accompanied by thunder when Arjuna came at the commencement of battle.
Then Nakula's son, Satanika, and Dhrishtadyumna, arrayed the several divisions of the Pandavas. Then Arjuna inflamed with rage blew his conch while Krishna also blew his foremost of conchs called Panchajanya. At the sound of their conches all the warriors in the Kaurava army trembled with fear and all the animals ejected urine and excreta. Thy whole army with its animals became filled with anxiety, all men, lost their strength. Then prince Durmarshana roared with great energy 'Like the continent resisting the surging sea, I will today resist the wielder of Gandiva. Behold oh warriers how I'd alone fight with all the Pandavas assembled together, for enhancing my honour and fame'. Saying this, Durmarshana accompanied by1,000 cars,100 elephants, 3,000 heroes, and 10,000 foot-soldiers, moved forward to challenge Arjuna.
Arjuna defeats Durmarshana and Dushasana
The first target for Arjuna was the semi vyuha created by Durmarshana and his army. The mighty-armed Partha, became filled with wrath, and began to strike off with his arrows the heads of car-warriors from their trunks. The earth became strewn with heads of horses, trunks of elephants, and the arms and legs of heroic warriors. All those warriors who were roaring 'Where is Partha?' got the answer -'Here is Partha!', Every one of the warriors who advanced against Partha in that battle, perished. The quickness with which Arjuna took his shafts, fixed them on the bow, and let them off, filled all his enemies with wonder. The troops of Durmarshana afflicted (with the arrows of Dhananjaya), broke and fled in fear. Durmarshana himself drove back with perspiration to safety. Soon Durmarshana’s force was a sad memory and the vyuha doors were open. Arjuna has smashed the first of Drona's vyuhas in minutes. The semi-vyuha has collapsed leading Arjuna to the Shakata vyuha, and far away, at the eye of the needle, Jayadratha is near collapse.
Seeing the Kaurava army in disarray, Dushasana and Vikarna backed Durmurshana with 1 lakh warriors and confronted Arjuna next. Dushasana unleashed his hug elephant army towards Arjuna. But the result wasn't different. Dhananjaya began to pierce and slay that elephant-force with his shafts. Arjuna began to cut off the heads of warriors standing on the necks of elephants. In some instances, two or three warriors, pierced by one arrow fell down on the earth. Many elephants deeply pierced with long shafts, fell down, vomiting blood from their mouths, with the riders on their backs. None could notice when Arjuna took up his arrows, when he fixed them on the bow-string, when he drew the string, and when he let them off. All that could be seen was that Partha seemed to dance on his car with his bow incessantly drawn to a circle. Dushasana's forces, thus slaughtered, fled away. Their leader himself was in great pain, for Dushasana, greatly afflicted by those shafts, overcome by fear entered with his division the Sakata array, seeking Drona's protection. In total the Kaurava princes held Arjuna for less than an hour.
Arjuna meets his Preceptor (Arjuna enters the Shakata)
Destorying the first line of defence of the Kaurava forces, Arjuna reaches the entrance of Shakatavyuha where his Preceptor the mighty Drona stands guard. Arjuna requested Drona for safe passage to accomplish his vow which he denied. So Arjuna launched a blistering attack on Drona. Drona cut the string of Gandiva but Arjuna attached a new string and shot 600 arrows in such a quick succession that Drona thought he had shot one. Then he released 700 arrows then one thousand and then two sets of ten thousand arrows which destroyed Drona’s accompanying army completely. As Drona just looked on, Arjuna destroyed the Kaurava army as is a tornado has struck them. Drona with his own shower of arrows covered Arjuna and Krishna thereby wounding both of them. Instead of wasting time with Drona, Krishna advised Arjuna to circumnavigate Drona and continue deeper into the Kaurava army. As they moved away, Drona shouted " Where do you go Arjuna. Is it not true that you never stop until your foe is vanquished', Arjuna, turning around, kept firing at Drona all the while shouting "You are my Preceptor and not my foe. And there's no one who could vanquish you". Thus, Arjuna and his two wheel protectors Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas enters the Shakata vyuha.
Arjuna reaches the Padmavyuha
Arjuna and the wheel protectors then encountered Jaya, Kritvarma, Sudaskhina and Shrutayu. They were backed by 10,000 rathis. As Arjuna get engaged with them, Drona accompanied by solders of nine armies including the Narayana sena rushed towards Arjuna. Again Drona showers Arjuna with arrows and Arjuna counters with a Brahmastra to cut of Drona's arrows. Again Krishna steers away from Drona and gets Arjuna between Kritavarna and Srutayudha. Here the point to note is that Kirtavarma who was stationsed within the Padmavyua at the mouth of th needle has stepped out of the Padmavyuha to check Arjuna's progress.
Kritavarman engages Arjuna for a short period, and Krishna tells Arjuna,'Do not hesitate to kill him, because he is my cousin. He is a traitor and deserves to die.Ten sizzling shafts break Kritavarman's bow and kill his sarathy, and Arjuna moves ahead. Kritavarman couldn't stop Arjuna, but he strings his bow in time to engage the two Panchala princes guarding Arjuna's wheels. Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas are separated from Arjuna and they get into a fierce battle with Kritavarma..
Deeper into the vyuha, Arjuna moves ahead. Srutayuhda of Kalinga kingdom looms into Arjuna's path. Srutayudha wields Varuna's mace. It is one of those mysterious weapons and no one can kill Srutayudha till he possess it. Whenever he cast it at the enemy, it struck like a thunderbolt, and then flew back to his hand. But this mysterious weapon is described to have a limitation. The wielder must never cast the mace at anyone who bore no arms, for then it would turn on the one who cast it. Srutayudha harries Arjuna with the mace, but finds he is unable to strike the Pandava due to Krishna's lightning quick maneuvers. Forgetting that Krishna does not carry any weapon, Srutayudha flings the mace at Krishna. The mace rebounds, and smashes Srutayudha's head like a peach.
Then, the son of the ruler of the Kamvojas, the brave Sudakshina, rushed against Phalguna.The duel lasts just moments. The Pandava kills the lord of the Kambhojas with an arrow through his heart. Panic grips the Kaurava army.
Abhishaha warriors Shrutayu and Achyutayu attacked Arjuna. Shrutayu’s lance hit Arjuna on chest and he lost consciousness and seeing him unconscious, Achyutayu threw a spear that hit Arjuna in chest again and he fell against the Flagpost. The Kauravas thought Arjuna killed and started celebrating. All warriors started attacking the chariot with thousands of arrows, Arjuna regaining consciousness used Aindrastra to counter the thousands of arrows and then started killing his foes. He then killed Achyutayu and Shrutayu and 50 top rathi officers in the vicinity. Then their sons Niyutayu and Dirghayu attacked and were also killed.Then Arjuna destroyed the 10,000 strong Anga Gajarohi army. He then destroyed the Kalinga and eastern army.
Basically, the Padma vyuha worked, each maharathi trapping point worked and trapped the Maharathi. But that Maharathi was unfortunately Arjuna who overturned all the trap ambushes and killed the main officers manning those waypoints.
He defeated the Yavana, Paradas, Sakas and Bahlika armies and the Dravidas. He also defeated the Malechhas. He then tackled the Darva-atisara, daradas and Pundra malechhas. He was stopped by the third Shrutayu within the hour and the King of Ambashthas, descendent of Bahalika.Arjuna slayed both of them Thus, in less than hour Three Kaurava heroes all named Shrutayu died at hands of Arjuna.
So Arjuna has crossed Dronacharya at the entrance of the Shakata, navigated past Kritavarma at the heart of the shakata and after annihilating many mighty warriors has now entered the Padmavyuha.
Duryodhana is wild with rage to see Arjuna storm into the Padma Vyuha. Seeing Arjuna so easily break one obstacle after another, Duryodhana rushed to Drona. Duryodhana stated to his Guru and Commander-in-chief thus “You are our refuge. You have to save Jayadratha and Arjuna easily went past you to destroy our army like a forest fire.When Arjuna so easily bypassed you, the warriors defending Jayadratha will have doubts. The chiefs of my army had full beliefs that Arjuna cannot enter the vyuha while Drona is alive. But o great warrior, the way Arjuna passed you, it has terrified my army. I know that you always are working on behalf of the Pandavas, therefore I am now stunned by the consequences of my folly (for trusting you). Using all my resources, I had paid you great salary and maintained you in life style you are now accustomed to, but you betray us and are working to pull us down. If you had not promised me to stop Arjuna, I would not prevented Jayadratha from fleeing to his home. I am the great fool. I stopped Jayadratha from fleeing after getting promise of protection from you. I was fooled by you into handing poor Jyadratha into hands of death himself. Man can escape from clutches of death but Jayadratha will never escape if he's in the vicinity of Arjuna in battlefield. Do what you can to help Jayadratha escape death. The abuses I showered under the influence of passion please do not be angry, protect Jayadratha.”
Drona replied “You are like son to me, just like Aswathamma. I have learnt long ago to ignore the sound of your voice. But you should not ignore me. Arjuna has a fantastic charioteer, he found a small opening and by the time I fired my arrows, he had gone 2 miles away. I am old now. I am not able to maneuver my chariot fast enough. At same time, my army is dying under the attacks of Pandavas. On top of that, you asked me to capture Yudhishthara. So, I see Yudhishthara ahead of me unprotected by Arjuna. I will not leave the door of the vyuha now. You should go ahead and fight Arjuna who's you equal in lineage.
Duryodhana's face turns darker,'Do you mock me Acharya. How can I stop the archer, whom Drona himself could not stop. You stood at the entrance to your Shakata vyuha, but even as you were watching him, he killed Srutayudha, Achutayus, Srutayus and Sudakshina, as if they were children'
'You are like my son Duryodhana. I will not send you to your death. Let me tied you a golden armour in such a way that not even the gods can pierce that. With this armour you cannot be harmed by Arjuna, and you could stop him. With the new armour Duryodhana rides into the battlefield. Seeing their king, the soldiers rush back into the battle.
Pandava Army bangs the Shakata
Drona returns to the rim of the vyuha, where Dhrishtadyumna and the Pandava army were wrecking havok on the Kaurava front ranks to break the Shakata which Arjuna had breached. The two armies strike each other as Ganga meets Yamuna. Drona and his army however, resisted the Pandavas, Panchalas and Kekayas. Drona ‘s counter attack was eventually foiled by Dhrishtadamyuna who created a narrow passage between the Kaurava forces to pass through and in moments the Kaurava forces got separated into three distinct parts divided thus by Dhrishtadamyun and his forces. One of these retreated towards Kritavarman, the chief of the Bhojas; another towards Jalasandha; and third fiercely slaughtered the while by the Pandavas, proceeded towards Drona himself. Drona repeatedly united his troops, while Dhrishtadyumna often smote and separated them. The Kaurava force, divided into three bodies, was slaughtered by the Pandavas and the Srinjayas fiercely, like a herd of cattle in the woods by many beasts of prey, when unprotected by herdsmen. Drona regained his form and counterattacked.
As Dhrishtadamyun started reducing the Kaurava ranks, Drona started killing the Panchalas. Vivingsati and Chitrasena along with the Kaurava prince Vikarna, surrounded Bhimasena on all sides. King Valhika with his own troops resisted the sons of Draupadi. King Salya, the ruler of the Madras, surrounded royal Yudhishthira. Duhsasana, properly supported by his divisions, attacked Satyaki. Sanjaya with his own troops,resisted Chekitana. Sakuni with 700d Gandhara warriors resisted Sahadeva. Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti encountered Virata, the king of the Matsyas. King Valhika, resisted Sikhandin. Alamvusha quickly rushed against Bhima's son Ghatotkacha. Kuntibhoja, accompanied by a large force, resisted Alamvusha. Thus hundreds of separate encounters between the warriors took place.
Far away Jayadratha remained in the rear of the whole army protected by the foremost warriors. For the protectors of his wheels he had two of the best kaurava warriors, Aswatthama on his right, and Karna on the left. And for protecting his rear he had a number of warriors headed by Kripa, Vrishasena, Sala, and the invincible Salya.
The Mortal Combat: Drona vs Drishtadyumna
Dhristadyumna rides at Drona and a duel breaks out. With their chariots so close that their steeds migled with each other, the heroic Dhrishtadyumna attempted an unbelievable shot. He cast off his bow and took up his sword and shield, for achieving a difficult feat. Seizing the shaft of Drona's car, he entered into it to finish the legend of Drona. And he stayed sometimes on the middle of the yoke, and sometimes on its joints and sometimes behind the steeds as the chariot kept moving, and all the while he kept moving so that Drona could not detect an opportunity for striking him. The Precetor is so close to his reach now. In Panic, Drona mashes the chariot, kills the horses and the charioteer of Drishtadhumna. And with continuous shower or arrows he shatters Drishtadhyumna's shield and cuts off his sword. Dhristadhyumna is now stranded on a corner of Drona's charriot without a shield or a weapon and Drona raises his bow, with an arrow that will blow life out of the panchala princeat such a short range. He draws back his bowstring, and for a moment that lasts a life, Dhrishtadyumna sees death face to face. He felt as if Drona's bowstring remains drawn back for eternity and Dhrishtradyumna sees every detail of the master's powerful hand, his figers, the rings on them. Every wrinkle on his face, the smile on his lips, every hair in his beard. He saw Drona's hand quivering, where it has pulled back his bowstring and he sees the arrow being released. Dhristadyumna with disappointment waits in that awful moment for the shaft to tear open his chest.
He then hears the sound of another arrow cleaving the air, loud as a tempest, brushing the hairstrands close to his ears, passing him from behind and cutting Drona's fatal shaft. And another arrow passes Dhrishtadhyumna and ends up severing Drona's bowstring causing it to sag. Both Drona and Dhristdyumna are shocked. Dhristadhyumna turns back to see his savior, and finds Satyaki's charriot approaching him. Before Drona can recover and string his bow again, Satyaki, sweeps his friend out of his daze into his own chariot. The wounded Dhristadyumna is then transferred to the cars of other Panchala warriors who withdraw him from the battlefield (for the moment).
Drona, with a feral roar on realising what had happened tries to burn Satyaki in a swath of arrows, but Satyaki hits back with his own cloud of arrows. The encounter that followed was so fierce. The soldiers on both sides paused to see the duel between Drona's and his student's student. With blood oozing down their arms and arrows pierced all around their bodies, Satyaki and Drona matched each other shaft for shaft. Satyaki cut the bowstring of the great teacher again and the bow too. Drona quickly picked another one and strings it. Satyaki cut that as well and this continued for 16 rounds. And Drona for the noble warrior he was, could not stop himself from appreciating the prowess of Satyaki. It seemed as if Satyaki was equivalent in speed and skills to his teacher Arjuna himself. Finding no means to counter Satyaki's speed, Drona loosens an Aagneyastra at the Yadava. A lesser Kshyatriya would have panicked. Not Paartha's student. He invokes a Varunastra and douses Drona's fireball in a blue wave. Drenched in the Varunastra, Drona is tempestuous. But before the duel can resume, the 4 pandava brothers rush in to aid Satyaki and Dushasana rush in to aid Drona and the battle spreads out again.
Arjuna refuels and crosses the Padmavyuha
The sun has already risen to his zenith and is begins his downward course. Half the day is already gone. Jayadratha is still far way, beyond the final pital of the lotus, miles away from Arjuna, and the greatest Kaurava warriors stand between the Pandava and his prey. Arjuna was battling not just the Kaurava army, but he was racing against the sun as well. Arjuna kept clearing eery single warrior who stood on his way. His arrows covered more than 2 miles ahead of him, leaving a clear path for his charriot to speed through, and his steeds moved faster than any other steed on the battlefield, running over dead soldiers and steeds, climbing over broken cars and dead elephants they kept racing. And Krishna manuavered them with such a majesty that they drew circles and orbits in the field to take Arjuna closer to the eye of Suchivyuha. They end of Drona's Padma Vyuha was within their reach, but Arjuna's horses, the unearthly horses gifted by Chitrasena, are tired and heave from thirst. Pierced and mangled severely with arrows and weakened by the torrential run they had been doing since morning, their tiredness was visible.
Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti marched towards Arjuna. They covered not just him, but his thirsty horses and his blue charioteer with arrows. Vinda attacked from the front and Anuvinda from rear. Arjuna did not have time for this trivial fight, and Vinda and Anuvinda who were humbled once by Sahadeva were no match to Arjuna. He took Vinda's head off with a crescent tipped shaft and cut off the arms and legs and then the head of Anuvinda.
The morale of the Kaurava soldiers have been destroyed. But seeing that Arjuna is tired and his steeds are even more tired, they attacked him in packs from all around. Realizing that he needs to refuel, Arjuna suggests to Krishna to attend the steeds when he would provide cover by keep the warriors engaged. Saying this he jumps on to the ground letting krishna to lift the yoke from the horses and tend to their wounds. Standing on the ground, brave and tall like a mountain, Arjuna massacres the soldiers who had surrounded him and are attacking him from all around. When Krishna reports that there is no well in the battlefield to quench the thirst of the steeds, Arjuna shoots a weapon to the ground to create a lake for the steeds to refresh. Arjuna with so much ease kept all the warrios (who were mounted on charriots, elphants and horses), who attacked him in check when Krishna tended to the horses and after soothing them yoked them back to the Chariot. Arjuna then mounted the charriot back and the rejuvenated horses sped again like the arrows themselves. The Kaurava warriors were amazed by what they just saw and could not stop appreciating the wonder that has never ever happend in the middle of a battlefield before.
In moments, the white chariot leaves behind a thousand men, dead in their wake. Arjuna and Krishna finally smash through the last petals of the lotus. Ahead lies the needle made of the Kaurava maharathikas, with Jayadratha at its eye. Krishna and Arjuna after so much of heriocs and covering so much distance, for the first time in the day, see the Sindhu king, his face ashen. Jayadratha knows that two of Drona's invincible vyuhas have fallen apart an only a slendar stalk of warriors separates him from death. And even in that stalk which projected all the way from the based of the lotus till the middle of the Shakata, Arjuna has overcome a handful of warriors and what remains is now the base of the stalk with the foremost warriors. Arjuna forges nearer to the eye of the Suchivyuha.
Duryodhana's attempt to check Arjuna
Suddenly a royal ratha breaks out of the sharp tip of the Suchi. Stands a dark kshyatriya adorning a golden mail, It is Duryodhana. Krishna reminds Arjuna of all ill-deeds of Duryodhana and says to him, 'Kill this one man, and the war will end.' Arjuna says, 'Here is a man who has caused us years of grief, who broke my brother's heart. He has so much to pay for,and I will make him pay.' Seeing the King entering the battlefield the warriors applauded him for staying up against Partha, but they all started murmering "The King is slain", for they were sure that he cannot go back alive from Arjuna's hands.
Duryodhana shoots ten arrows at him. Arjuna replies with a volley as sharp as serpents' fangs. His arrows glance off Duryodhana and the Kaurava laughter rocks the field. Another potent volley from the Kaurava begins hurting Krishna. Every one of Arjuna's arrows, each one which would have killed a hundred men, gets repelled off by Duryodhana's armour, and seeing this the Kaurava forces were delighted. Arjuna realises that Duryodhana is wearing a magical armour. 'I know that the armour he's wearing is tied by Drona. I've learnt the very art of using this invincible armour, and for sure my arrows cannot pierce this armour. But I know how to get this man out of our way. Duryodhana wears the armour like a woman. He doesnot know what a warrior should do while wearing this armour'. Saying this Arjuna strings the Maanavastra. This was the same astra with which Rama once killed Maricha. Arjuna draws his bowstring to his ear, but in a blur, another archer guts that shaft into two. It was Ashwathama. Arjuna knows that he cannot invoke the Maanavastra again, for if he did, it would kill him. Nevertheless, he decides to make Duryodhana withdraw. The first takes off the charioteer and the steeds of Duryodhana and them breaks his chariot making him stranded on the ground. He then aims some arrows at the exposed parts of Duryodhana's body, at his fingers. Wringing his hands, Duryodhana rides away from the battlefield, and Arjuna continues his progress along the stalk of the Suchimukha Vyuha
Arjuna at the mid of Suchimukha Vyuha
Krishna and Arjuna are now near Jayadratha, separated by the armies of the greatest Maharathis of the Kaurava side - in fact the toughest set of warriors to overcome even in a duel. Then Duryodhana along with 8 maharathis in the suchimukha vyuha and their armies surround Arjuna's chariot. Duryodhana, Bhoorisravas, Sala, Karna, Vrishasena, Kripa, Shalya, Jayadratha and Ashwathama attack Arjuna at once, piercing both Arjuna and Krishna with their shafts. Arjuna returns the favour piercing each of them, and cutting of the bows of Shalya. The battle was a fierce one with Arjuna on one side and the 9 Maharathis on the other side, and the feats achieved by Arjuna were marvelous for he alone repelled the 9 best warriors of the enemy camp. Krishna looks up and sees the rim of the sun not far above the western mountain. Arjuna's heart skips a beat when he follows his sarathy's gaze, but neither of them show, as much as a flicker on their faces. While to Krishna and his warrior the sun seems to fall like a meteor in the sky, to their enemies, it appears as if it would take a lifetime to go down.
Drona's resistance continues
And miles behind Arjuna's chariot, the rest of the Pandava army was still engaged with Drona. Bhima was fighting Alambusha, Vikarna and Durmukha faced Nakula and Sahadeve respectively. And the king Yudhishtra faces Drona. Yudhishtra covers his preceptor with arrows and Drona responds the same way back. Yudhishtra launches a spear at Drona which the brahmana cuts down with an arrow. The Acharya casts a mace at the Pandava. But Yudhistira has learnt well from his master. He quickly smashes that mace with his own, but the impact rocks him off his heels. Drona cuts down Yudhishtra's banner, kills his horses and lights his ratha with an arrow. Yudhishtra escapes in the nick of time, by jumping out of his chariot. As Yudhishtra stands defenseless on the ground, Drona approaches him, as a Tiger would stalk a deer and soldiers raised a huge cry "The Kings is slain by Drona". But Yudhishtira manages to jump on to Sahadeva's charriot which rushes in to save the King.
Multiple duels rage across Kurukshetra. A Trigarta called Viradhnava fights as if to avenge himself today on the Pandava army for all his brothers that Arjuna killed yesterday. Viradhanva kills a thousand men, before Dhrishtaketu, the Lord of the Chedis, challenges him. Another intense duel begins. Finally Dhristaketu casts a whistling javelin at the Trigarta and nails him to his flagstaff. Sahadeva killed another Trigarta named Niramitra and Satyaki felled Vyaghradatta .
Once more, Satyaki, Nakula and Sahadeva are at the van of the Pandava army and kept on wrecking havoc. Yudhishtra's legions forge ahead. Drona comes to hunt again. Satyaki stems his flow, once again. The battle between Somadatta's son Sala (Bhurishravas' brother) and Drauapadi's sons goes on. But in the end, Sala is unable to stand before the Princes. Sahadeva's son shoots him through the throat.
Alambusha gets killed.
The rakshasa Alambusha charges at Bhima to avenge his brother Baka who was slain by Bhima. The battle was fierce and Bhima exhaused Alambusha. Alambusha then resorted to illusion to stay hidden and attack Bhima with a rain of arrows, which caused heavy destruction on the Pandava side. Seeing the danger of Alambusha's illusion Bhima used the weapon known by the name of Tvashtri to break Alambusha's illusion and injure him all around. Struck by Bhima, Alambusha retreats and head towards Drona for safety. Having escaped Bhima Alambusha causes destruction to the Pandava Army on another part of the battlefield. Ghatotkacha rushes to face Alambusa. The pair resort to different forms of illusion without anyone gaining an upperhand. They peierce each other with arrows. The 4 pandava brothers rush to aid Ghatotkacha and together they hunt Alambusha like a pack of wolves. With arrows coming in from all sides, Alambusha did not know how to escape. To finish off things, Ghatotkacha jumps onto Alambusha's charriot and lifts him high and then flings him down explosively so that his limbs fly off his trunk. A roar goes up from the Pandava army. Fear rips through Drona's legions. Alambusa had come out of hiding, to help Duryodhana so that he could avenge Baka's death. Now he lay dead on the Kurukshetra. avenged by Ghatotkacha for the death of his cousin Iravan.
Ghatotkacha killing Alambusha
Drona steps up the heat.
Beholding the Kuru army being slaughtered by the Yuyudhana (Satyaki) led Pandava army, Drona himself rushes towards Satyaki. Both Drona and Satyaki keep piercing each other with multiple arrows. This time Drona is soon able to dominate Satyaki and a tired Satyaki struggles to keep up with Drona's speed. Seeing Sayaki in danger, Yudhistira orders Drishtadhyumna and his troops to rush to save Satyaki from Drona. The Pandava army headed by Bhima moved ahead to aid Satyaki. The mighty-armed Drona vanquished the Panchalas, the Srinjayas, the Matsyas and the Kekayas and ends up killing 25 Maharathis of the Panchala force. None of the Pandava warriors are able to push Drona back this time.
Satyaki sets off to aid Arjuna.
Suddenly they hear the sound of Panchajanya, blown by Krishna, and among the loud roars of the Karuava forces that had surrounded Arjuna, the thunder of Gandeeva could not be heard. Krishna knew that Arjuna will refuse any call for help, and hence he blew the Panchajanya. Yudhishtra hears the Panchajanya resound, lonely across the two vyuhas. He does not hear the Devadutta or Gandeeva. Panic grips him. He is sure that Arjuna was in danger. With a trembling voice, he begs to Satyaki to rush to Paartha's help. He conveys his worry that he saw Arjuna break into the vast Kauraa forces all alone shortly ater sunrise, and it's already close to sunset and he's unable to hear the Gandeeva. With all the mighty protectors of Jayadratha ready to risk their life to halt Arjuna from the front and the innumerable enemy heroes who followed Arjuna's course to attack from behind, he urges Satyaki to risk his life and go on to aid his Preceptor.
But Satyaki politely refuses citing that his preceptor Arjuna had ordered him to protect the King when he's away and hence he would do that at any cost. Satyaki also mentions that he would have gone after Arjuna, if Krishna's son Pradyumna was there to protect Yudhistira, as he saw no one else capable of protecting the king from Drona who has vowed to capture Yudhistira. Satyaki states in confidence that the entire Kaurava army is no match for Arjuna and hence there's no reason to worry about Arjuna's safety. Yudhishtra tries to talk him into accepting his idea. He says the Bheema, Dhrishtadyumna, Draupadi's sons, Kekayas, Ghatotkacha, Drupada, Shikhandi, Nakula, Sahadeva, Dhristaketu, Kuntibhoja all his army was there to protect him. Satyaki still hesitates.
Finally Satyaki makes up his mind to rush to the rescue of Arjuna, but he realises that his horses are tired and he needs more weapons. He turns to Yudhistira and says "If this is your command, I will penetrate this formidable army to reach my teacher and promise to stay with him till he slays Jayadratha. Arjuna had penetrated the vyuha crossing the armies of Mlechas, Kamvojas, Kiratas, Sakas and innumerable Maharathis and mighty elephant armies. They are all now refreshed and are waiting for me, commanded by Duryodhana. I will penetrate through them to reach Arjuna who is 3 yojanas (27 miles) away from us. Let my car be equipped five times more weapons than what professors of military science direct, for I shall have to encounter the fiercest warriors. And let the best steeds be yoked to my car". Yudhishtra orders for Satyaki's horses to be tended and his chariot to be stocked with every weapon he might need. The shakata was already breached by Arjuna and then stormed by the Pandava forces, but Padma vyuha was still formidable considering now that the Acharya was guarding it more preciously.
Daruka's (Krishna's charioteer) brother is Satyaki's Charioteer, and his flag is the banner of the golden lion. As Satyaki gets refreshed and mounts his charriot, the mighty Bhima follows him to aid in the mission. Satyaki warns Bheema of the scheming Acharya and instructs him to guard Yudhistira, which Bhima agrees to. Satyaki's heart sings, as he thinks that he will be fortunate enough to see his master kill Jayadratha. And he dashed against the Kaurava forces. All the while, the sun was plummeting.
Satyake pierces into the Padmavyuha.
Satyaki blasts through the remaining of the shakata vyuha as the rest of the Pandava forces follows his closely and storm the enemy ranks to provide an easy path for Satyaki to pierce through. The Kaurava forces run away from Satyaki's path as he showers arrows to clear the path ahead. He is at the rim of the Padma Vyuha soon and a smiling Drona confronts Satyaki again. The brahmana decides to infuriate the Yadava by matching him shaft for shaft. He then shouts at Satyaki " Your preceptor (Arjuna) had, like a coward, gone away, leaving the battle, avoiding me who was fighting with him, proceeding by my flank. If like your teacher, you too do not quickly avoid me in this battle, you shall not escape me with life today". Satyaki decides that it was best he avoided the Acharya. He shouts back at Drona, 'At the command of king Yudhishthira the just, I shall follow in the track of Dhananjaya. O Brahmana, I would lose time if I fight with you. A disciple should always tread in the way trod by his preceptor. I shall, therefore follow in the track that has been trod by my preceptor'. Saying this he too avoids Drona and heads into the heart of the Padmavyuha.
He sees Baahlika's army, and beyond him the lord of Dravida and Karna's army from Anga. Drona is after him. He roars through the gap between the Dravida legions and Bahalika forces to face the Anga legions as if he was a rabbit furrowing in soft sand. Kritavarman, knowing Satyaki's style fights him. After hitting each other with arrows, Satyaki decapitates Kritavarman's Charioteer, leaving him to the mercy of his horses. Kritavarma, then, in great agitation, himself checked those steeds. That heroic warrior then, with bow in hand, stood upon his car (ready for battle). Satyaki has marched ahead by now and Kritavarman rushed against Bhimasena without pursuing Satyaki.
Satyaki has crossed two great maharathis now, Drona and then Kritavarman and proceeds towards the Kamvojas - following the exact path taken by his preceptor. Resisted by the brave Kamvoja warriors, Yuyudhana (Satyaki) is unable to proceed further. Meanwhile, Drona arranges his troops and leaves them at the command of Kritavarma and sets off to chase after Satyaki. Seeing Drona rushing behind Satyaki, the Panchala and Pandava warriors headed by Bhima marched fiercely towards the Bhoja Army headed by Kritavarma.
Kritavarma displays his prowess
THe Panchala and Pandava forces storm the Bhoja Army. Kritavarma singlehandedly resisted the progress of the Pandava troops.Bhima, Yudhistira, Nakula, Sahadeva, the 5 upapadavas, Ghatotkacha, Virata, Drupada, Shikhandi and Dhristadhyumna all struck Kritavarma with their shafts, and Kritavarma with the lightness of his hands, struck all of them back as well. Struck by his multiple arros, Bhima trembles on his Charriot. Seeing Bhima in this condition, Yudhistira and Shikhandi attack Kritavarma, who eventually knocks down Shikandi's weapons and the deeply hurt Shikhandi sat down in pain on the terrace of his car. The entire Pandava host including the Chedis, the Panchalas, the Srinjayas, and the Kekayas push forward together, but Kritavarma resists them and starts hunting them down single handedly, and the Kaurava forces raise a loud cheer as Kritavarma vanquishes the Pandava forces.
The unstoppable Satyaki
Hearing the loud roar of the Kaurava forces, Satyaki who had cross Kritavarma and was fighting the Bhojas decided to turn back and fight Kritavarma again.
A delighted Kritavarma faces Satyaki, but in a short span of time, Satyaki again leaves Kritavarma at he mercy of his horses and proceeds ahead.
Satyaki then faces the valiant Trigarta Army (which was vanquished by Arjuna on Day 13). The Madra prince Rukmaratha sets his sets his legion of elephants onto Satyaki, but within minutes, Kurukshetra is strewn with corpses of the Pachyderms. Satyaki is now attacked by Jalasandha himself. Satyaki is already tired. He has neither the time nor the stamina for a prolonged duel. He seizes a bow and in three swift arrows, cuts away the Arms of Jalasandha with two and his head with another.
Quicker than ever Satyaki races ahead. Drona who's chasing Satyaki has almost caught up and from another direction, Duryodhana comes to stop him. Satyaki has already served the purpose Krishna intended by drawing multiple warriors away from Arjuna. The kauravas regrouped under Drona and attacked Satyaki together. Drona, Dushasana, Durmarshana, Vikarna, Chitrasena, Duryodha, Vivisanti, Satyavrata and Rukmangada all pierced Satyaki from all around. And Satyka pierced each of them back. Then a short battle broke between Duryodhana and Satyaki. Satyaki knows that his strength will not last long. He kills Duryodhan's horses and puts him to flight.
Satyki causing heavy destruction to the Kaurava forces
Drona and Kritavarma fall back again
Hearing the loud roar of the Kaurava forces Kritavarman falls back again. He strikes Satyaki's charioteer with two deadly narachas, and Daruka's brother falls unconscious. Enraged, Satyaki injured Kritavarman's horses and pierces his armor. Kritavarma falls on his knees. And by the time he recovers Satyaki has fled again - third time in a row in the same fashion. And Kritavarma again stands up to resist the invading Pandava forces.
But by now Drona has caught up with Satyaki again and another fierce battle broke out between Drona and Satyaki. Matching each other shaft for shaft with the bows, cutting off each other’s bows, hurling maces and darts at each other and piercing each other they gave no advantage away. When Drona knocked Satyaki’s driver unconscious for a few moments, Satyaki achieved an astounding feet. Jumping on to the driver’s deck, he took control of his steeds while continuing to pierce Drona with his bow – something the likes of Drona and Kritavarma could never manage to do. Finally Satyaki knocked Drona’s driver down making his steeds to go berserk taking Drona around the battle field causing panic among Kaurava forces. When Drona gained control of his steeds, he was back near the gate of his Shakata Vyuha. And seeing the destruction caused by the Pandava forces in his absence he decides to stay there bring everything back in control instead of rushing behind Satyaki again.
So slowly Satyaki keeps digging into the kaurava ranks forcing Kritavarma and Drona to fall back repeatedly (thereby paving a way for Pandavas to advance) and at the same time keeps drawing soldiers from deep inside to Padmavyuha to step out to resist him (thereby relieving some pressure on Arjuna who's fighting deeper inside).
As Satyaki proceeds, King Sudarshana confronts him next. After a short battle, Sayaki kills Sudarshana's charioteer before decapitating Sudarshana himself. Looking ahead at the path filled with corpses of foot soldiers, elephants and innumerable broken charriots Satyaki tells his charioteer "Look at the path ahead, Arjuna has passed through this way. And I believe that I am not too far from Arjuna. I'm now able to hear the thunder of Gandhiva. So we are very near to my teacher. Follow the path cleared by Arjuna and take me ahead". Satyaki moves forward the path taken by Arjuna facing the Kamvojas, Yavanas, Paradas, Sakas and Charanas, routing them all very much like what Arjuna did. The soldiers of all these legions thus faced the second blitzkrieg of the day and were unable to resist.
Satyaki humbles the Kaurava Princes
Duryodhana, Chitrasena, Duhsasana, Vivinsati, Sakuni, Duhsaha, the youthful Durdharshana, and Kratha, and many other brave warriors wrathfully followed Satyaki from behind as he proceeded onwards. The Kaurava legions have come together once more, just to bring him down. At the head of the force, is the Duryodhana, with his brothers around him. Satyaki says to his charioteer, 'Look !! An army just to stop us. Ride at them. Let Duryodhana know today, that Satyaki is Krishna's cousin,and Arjuna is his guru. Let us show it to them that we are invincible'. True to his word, in a short one sided battle, he destroys's Duryodhana's legion. He kills his charioteer and makes his horses run hither thither. With Duryodhana routed, his army runs away from the Yadava and he has a clear path before his again. With wonderous feats that would better his own teacher, Satyaki proceeds towards Arjuna.
A number of Sakas, Kamvojas, Valhikas, Yavanas, Paradas, Kalingas, Tanganas, Amvashtas, Pisachas, Barbaras and mountaineers, all rushed against Satyaki like insects against a blazing fire, and Satyaki continues the massacre. The mountaineers, urged by Dushasna start hurling huge stones at Satyaki, but Satyaki keeps cutting down the arms and heads of all stone pelters raising a hug cry among the Kaurava ranks. Far away, Drona hears the screams and says to his charioteer, that Satyaki appears to be more terrible than Arjuna.
Dushasana rushes away from Satyaki's onslaught towards the outer layer of the Padmavyuha to where Drona was stationed. The acharya chides him for being a coward. He mocks Dushasana asking him, if this was his valor. He scolds Dushasana saying, that he was not only ruining his own honor but also destroying the morale of his soldiers. Drona instructs Dushasana to attack Satyaki again. Within minutes of approaching Satyaki, Dushana finds his bow snatched from his hand, his chariot broken and at the end of a silver shaft from Satyaki. But Satyaki refuses to kill him, as he wanted Bheema to fulfill his revenge.
Drona continues his mission
In the meanwhile, Drona is stalking Yudhishtra. Bheema and Dhrishtadyumna guard Yudhistira carefully. The Panchala prince Viraketu engages Drona, and Drona kills his with an arrow that pierces through his body. Then the Panchala princes Chitraketu, Sudhanwan, Chitravarman, and Chitraratha also, all afflicted with grief on account of their (slain) brother, together rushed against Drona, but all of them fall to Drona. Drishtadhyumna is filled with tears and he takes on Drona next in a fierce battle. He knocks Drona unconscious and finding an opportunity jumps onto Drona's car with a sword, but Drona recovers in time to take back his bow and hit Drishtadhyumna with short range arrows forcing him to jump back to his own car.
Duryodhana comes out of the Padmavyuha to fight alongside Drona. He fights exceptionally well now and together with Drona he reisist the Pandava army at the gate of the array. The sun keeps sailing down the horizon as Arjuna is still locked in a fight with the best Kaurava forces deep in side the padmavyuha, close to the eye of the needle, Satyaki is still on his way to aid Arjuna - fighting the Kaurava army somewhere in the middle of the Padmavyuha, and the rest of the Pandava army is still at the gate of the Shakata vyuha struggling to get past Drona.
The eldest of the Kekaya brothers Brihadkshatra challenges Drona. Drona lets loose a brahmastra. The Kekaya replies with a Brahmastra of his own. Drona after a short round of fight pierces Brihadkshatra in the chest and kills him. Dhrishtaketu (son of Shishupala) attacks Drona only to meet the same fate. Jarasandha's son, Sahadeva, rides at Drona only to be beheaded in the inkling of an eye. At the same moment, Dhristadyumna's son Kshatradharma is also beheaded by Drona. Drona is so fiercely hunting the Pandava warriors down bringing down their morale. Seeing the Pandava army being crushed by Drona, King Drupada left the Pandavas in charge of his Army and then rushed towards Drona
Bhima is sent to assist Arjuna and Satyaki.
Yudhishtra's is still terribly anxious of Arjuna. He looks to the depth of the battlefield and sees no sign the golden banner with Hanuman, He still can't hear the twang of Gandeeva, or the sound of Arjuna's conch, Devadatta. There is no news of Satyaki either. Yudhishtra repents that he had sent Satyaki after Arjuna, when he was tired and now he has two sources of anxieties instead of one. He now considers sending Bheema to find and assist both Satyaki and Arjuna. He says unto Bhima "The Panchajanya was blown in bursts and I haven't heard the Devadataa or the twang of Gandhiva thereafter. I fear that Arjuna might have been slain and Janardhana is fighting in his place alone inside the Padmavyuha. I'm also worried that Satyaki whom I sent into the vyuha might have been slain as well, since I do not see any signs of both these prime warriors. Hence please go in after them and do send me a message if you see Krishna, Arjuna and Satyaki alive" Bhima scoffs at Yudhishtra. But Yudhishtra persists. After entrusting Dhristadhyumna to guard King Yudhistira against Drona's plot, Bhima goes off into the vyuha, to assist Satyaki and Arjuna. The brave Panchalas and the Somakas followed him closely behind. As Bhima sets off into the vyuha with his charioteer Vishoka, the sound of Panchajanya is heard again - with no sounds of Devadatta or the twangs of Gandhiva.
Bhima crushes the Kaurava brothers
A fleet of Duryodhana's brothers march towards Bhima. The brothers Duhsasana, Chitrasena, Kundabhedin, Vivinsati, Durmukha, Duhsaha, Sala, Vinda, Anuvinda, Sumukha, Dirghavahu, Sudarsana, Suhasta, Sushena. Dirghalochana, Abhaya, Raudrakarman, Suvarman and Durvimochana encompass Bhimasena. But Bheema today practises archery as if he is two Arjunas. Bheema vanquishes the Kaurava force as if they were flies.
Drona races ahead to check Bhima. Expecting Bhima to show the same reverence as Phalguna did before, Drona shouted "Oh Bhima, Arjun had penetrated into the vyuha with my permission. But you will not be able to do so." But a determined Bhima turned the plates back saying "O Brahmana, it cannot be that Arjuna had entered this host with your permission. He is invisible and can penetrate into any host of army. We always revered you as our Preceptor and a father figure. But if you see us as your enemy, so be it. Standing before you, I see an enemy as well." Bhima suddenly hurled a mace at Drona's chariot crushing it completely. And Drona jumps down to safety and boards a new Chariot to guard the entrance of his array (while Bhima is kept busy by the Kaurava brothers).
When Drona was on the run to get a new Chariot, Bhima slays 11 Kaurava brothers - Kundabhedin, Sushena, Dirghanetra, Vrindaraka, Abhaya, Raudrakarman, Durvimochana, Vinda, Anuvinda, Suvarman and Sudarsan. With the last kill the Bheema just made, he has already killed 49 of the 100 Kauravas.
Bhima proceeds then against a downpour of arrows from Drona, smashing the kaurava forces with his mighty mace. He then jumps off his charriot, races towards Drona's car and holding the shaft completely dislodges it with his might. Drona again jumps off to find a new Car. And this gap is sufficient for Bhima and his charioteer Vishoka to break in to the Padmavyuha.
Bhima sees Satyaki and Arjuna
Bhima quickly gets past a tired Kritavarma and his Bhoja Army. He also crosses the Kamvoja and Mleccha forces that had been nearly decimated by the onslaughts of Arjuna and Satyaki. Getting to the core of the Padmavyuha, Bhima sees Satyaki fighting at a distance. With relief, he pushes ahead to find the whereabouts or Arjuna, and soon he sights Arjuna battling the Kaurava Maharathis at a distance. In delight, he makes a loud roar which Arjuna and Krishna are able to hear, despite being from a long distance. Delighted that Bhima is getting closer, Arjuna and Krisha too let a loud roar. And far away, Yudhistira hears the collective signals from Bhima, Arjuna and Krisha, and is relieved of his agony. Delighted that Arjuna and Satyaki are alive, he now prays for the success of Arjuna's mission - yes, the original mission of Day 14. And Yudhishtira's worry now shifts from the safety of Arjuna and Satyaki to the success of Arjuna's mission before sunset.
Karna-Bhima encounter - Round 1
Karna decides to step out to the petals of the Padmavyuha to tackle Bheema. He knows that Bheema is his own brother, but nevertheless decides to look at him as an enemy. Karna and Bheema now light up the Kurukshetra with arrows. Piercing each other, they gave a good fight to each other. Karna is soft with his hands, while Bhima shoots at Karna with all his might. Bhima cut off Karna's bowstring twice during this fight, before finally killing Karna's charioteer and steeds. Karna jumps off the chariot and boards the car of his son Vrishasena. Bhima has vanquished Karna in round 1.
Seeing Bhima as well within the Padmavyuha, Duryodhana's agony increases. He goes to Drona asking how Satyaki and Bhima (in addition to Arjuna) also transgressed Drona and slowly approach Jayadratha. Drona in turn reminds him that all these happenings were due to the deceitful game of dice. And he urges Duryodhana to realize that the real game is unfolding now with the arrows replacing the dice, the warriors replacing the players, and Jayadratha becoming the real stake in this game. Urging Duryodhana to gather his troops and engage the 3 warriors who have entered the vyuha, Drona resumes his role to block the rest of the Panadava Army from breaking in.
While marching towards the eye of the needed to engage the 3 warriors inside the Padmavyuha, Druyodhana sees Yudhamanyu and Uttamaoujas engaged with a section of the Kaurava troops, The 2 Panchala brothers who were earlier cut off from Arjuna by Kritavarma are now trying to make their way back to Arjuna. Duryodhana mildly engages with them. Duryodhana destroys the charriot of Uttamaujas, who quickly jumped to the car of his brother Yudhamanyu. Togethe they make Duryodhana charriotless and in turn Duryodhana breaks their charriot as well. The Panchala brothers jump on to one of their accompanying charriors and rush again towards Arjuna.
Karna-Bhima encounter - Round 2 & 3.
As Bhima prepares to proceed towards Arjuna, Karna challenges him and a second duel begins. Karna again fights mildly while Bhima fought furiously. Though they both pierce eath other, Karna maintains an upper hand, piercing Bhima at will. But finally Bhima cuts of Karna's bowstring again before killing his steeds and Charioteer and injuing Karna himself heavily. A dejected Karna again jumps off to find a new Charriot.
A recomposed Karna mounts one of his companion cars and charges vigorously against Bhima. This time the war between the two mighty warriors was so fierce. Piercing each other and killing each other's supporting armies including car and elephant divisions the warfield was soon filled with dead and injured men and animals. Bhima's valor in matching Karna is inspired heavily by his remembrance of all the insults that Karna aired at the Pandavas and their beloved wife. Karna hurled an iron dart, with a speed enough to take the life out of Bhima, which Bhima cut down with his arrows. Like two tigers fighting for the same piece of meat, they encountered each other with shafts shot from their bows drawn to the fullest stretch, eyeing each other in great wrath, sometimes laughing at each other, and sometimes rebuking each other, and sometimes blowing their conchs, they continued to fight with each other. Bhima eventually cut off Karna's bow again, killed his steeds and driver and covered Karna himself with arrows. Karna plunged into great anxiety. Stupefied by Bhima with his arrowy showers, he knew not what to do.
Beholding Karna placed in a distressful plight, king Duryodhana sends his brother Durjaya to save Karna's life from the hands of Bhima. But Bhima pierces the vitals of Durjaya and send him to the abode of death in a matter of seconds. Karna, himself peirced with arrows is struck with grief to see the body of Durjaya, who came to his rescue, lying lifeless.
Karna-Bhima encounter - Round 4 & 5.
A completely defeated Karna mounts another Charriot and charges at Bhima. But Bhima again makes Karna charriotless and Karna again stands helpless on the battlefield - still fighting bhima with the arrows available at his reach. Seeing his plight, Duryodhana this time sends his brother Durmukha to rescue Karna.
Even while engaged with Karna in a duel, Bhima is able to slay Durmukha as well in a matter of seconds. A completely dejected Karna now mounts the charriot of Durmukha to resume his fight with Bhima. Seeing Durmukha's lifeless body Karna is filled with tears and is clueless on how to resist Bhima. Bhima continued to pierce Karna left and right. And a dejected Karna, not knowing what to do, fled, forsaking the battle. The victorious Bhima stood tall on the battlefield.
Karna, vanquished by Bhima, running away from the battlefield
Karna-Bhima encounter - Round 6 & 7.
Beholding Karna defeated by Bhimasena, five Kaurava brothers Durmarshana, Duhsaha, Durmada, Durdhara and Jaya rushed against Bhimasena, surrounding his with arrows from all sides. Seeing the reinforcement, Karna as well returned to face Bhima. The 5 brothers stood around Karna, and they attacked Bhima all together. While resising Karna's attack, Bhima shot down the 5 brothers one after another taking the tally of his Kaurava hunt to 56. Seeing the Karuava brothers being slain by Bhima right before his eyes, Karna regards himself guilty of the massacre. He continues to fight, but his bow is again cut off by Bhima, who eventually pierces his body with many shafts. An injured karna again turns his back upon Bhimasena and fleds the battlefield.
Duryodhana suddently sends another batch of 6 Kaurava brothers Chitra, Upachitra, Charuchitra, Sarasan, Chitrayudha, and Chitravarman towards Bhima. And all 6 of them meet the same fate as their other brothers who were slayed by Bhima a short while ago. Seeing the number of brothers Duryodhana lost for him, Karna is filled with tears and recollects Vidura's words. Karna charges again at Bhima for a seventh round. Another round of bloody battle piercing each other while bleeding themselves they matched each other. But Bhima is again a bit too hot for Karna to handle which entirely discourages the Kaurava forces. Fearing that Karna is at the verge of being slain by Bhima, Duryodhana sends 7 more of his brothers to assist Karna. They are Satrunjaya, Satrusaha, Chitra, Chitrayudha, Dridha, Chitrasena and Vikarna. And Bhima again slays all 7 of those brothers with 7 arrows. Amongst all the princes who were slain, Bhima grieved bitterly from sorrow for Vikarna who was dear to him. He cries 'Even thus was the vow made by me, that all of you should be slain by me in battle. You came to battle bearing the duty of a Kshatriya, but you had always engaged for our good. Vikarna, were you not the only Kaurava who spoke for Draupadi, when her modesty was outraged. It's indeed proper for me to grieve you.'
Having lost 31 of his brothers in a single day to Bhima's revenge, Duryodha is reminded of Vidura's words and the fateful game of dice. And Karna is struck with grief and disappointment at his inability to save the lives of the Kaurava princes.
Karna-Bhima encounter - Round 8.
The battle between Karna and Bhima continues. This time they both fight so brilliantly that it's hard to pick a winner. They both strike each other as well as cut ofs some of each others arrows. Bhim cuts of Karna's bows which he replaces with another. Karna is now transformed into another unearthly archer, who is able to prevail over the Pandava. Bheema stands with a bewildered look as Karna splits Bheema's bow, cuts of his quiver, kills his steeds, severs the reins in his charioteer's hands and wounds the charioteer Vishoka who runs away to the fleet of Yudhamanyu for safety. Bheema is unable to believe that this is the same man he sent scuttling from battle, an hour ago. With no spare bow & quiver within reach (Karna has cut off one of the last quivers that Bhima is left with after a long string of battle), Bhima picks up a shield and sword desirous of obtaining either death or victory. When Karna cuts of Bhima's Shield, Bhima throws his sword at Karna (who's now within a close range) cutting down his bow. Karna is more than happy to pick up a new bow and attack Bhima who has ran out of weapons and is stranded on a broken charriot without any kind of weapons.
Bhima is not ready to give up. With Karna's charriot so close by, Bhima leaps from the deck of his broken charriot towards Karna's car to snatch Karna likehow an eagle statches a snake. Seeing the danger Karna dodges down and conceals himself in the charriot. Bhima hence ends up snatching Karna's flagstaff and lands on the other side of Karna's car. Karna gets up on his Charriot and turns around. Finally Karna has got his moment - a weaponless and carless Bhima standing on the battlefield while Karna himself is on a charriot with all weapons at his disposal. As Karna charges towards Bhima on his charriot, Bhima turns back this time, literally running on his foot, and in an attempt to impede the progress of Karna's car, leaps to the centre a huge mass of dead elephants (which were cut down by Arjuna in the early afternoon).
An astounding Bhima then picks up broken charriot wheels, dead bodies etc and throws them at Karna, literally fighting with anything he could see around. Karna, however, with his sharp arrows, cut off every one of those objects thus thrown at him and gets closer to the stranded Bhima. As Karna is within his arms reach, Bhima raises his fists to slay Karna with a mighty blow, but suddenly recollecting Arjuna's vow to kill Karna, choses to spare him from a deadly blow. Karna as well recollects his promise to Kunti and choses not to kill Bhima who's at a striking distance. Approaching quickly Karna touches Bhima with the horn of his bow and Bhima snatches the bow from Karna and strikes him with it on the head. Karna scoffs at Bheema and says, 'You are an enuch and are only fit for eating Vrikodara. Why don't you go back into the forest and eat. You shouldn't take up the trouble of fighting wars, especially with warriors like me. Run to Arjuna and Krishna for protection.' Saying this he touches Bhima again with his bow. The valorous Bhima laughs loudly (even in such a state of distress) and says "Oh wicked Karna. You had been vanquished repeatedly by me in battle. How can you do such idle boasting. Even Lord Indira has had his moment of failure. I challenge you to a fight with bare arms. Let's see your valor". Karna, knowing Bhima's indisputable superiority in bare arms abstained from taking that challenge.
Karna dodges down to escape from Bhima who leaped over to snatch Karna down from his Charriot
Satyaki gets to Arjuna's sight.
Meanwhile, Arjuna, sighting Bhima's distress from a long distance, shoots at Karna, driving him away from the stranded Bhima. Hit with Arjuna's arrows, Karna, who's already tired of the fight with Bhima flees away from where Bhima was. Satyaki who had also noted Bhima's distress is already charging towards Bhima. And as Karna is leaving Bhima towards the west, Satyaki approaches from the east and Bhima leaps over to Satyaki's Charriot. Arjuna aims many shafts at a fleeing Karna, which Ashwathama intercepts to save Karna. Now Arjuna chases Aswathama and sends him running into the elephant batalion.
After taking Bhima to safety and getting him a Charriot, Satyaki continues his journey towards Arjuna who's now within sight, just a short distance ahead. A king names Alamvusha (not the Rakshasa king Alambusha who was slain by Ghatotkacha earlier in the day), tries to stop Satyaki, but ends up being one of his many victims. Dushasana who has now fallen back to the centre of the Padmavyuha (from the frontmost array) attacks Satyaki, but in a moment his steeds are slayed by Satyaki. And Satyaki then encounters the last few armies that separated him from his Preceptor Arjuna. With some struggle he crosses the armies of Trigartas, Surasenas and the Kalingas to approach Arjuna's charriot. On seeing Satyaki's car, Krishna tells Arjuna in delight "See Phalguna, your dear student is approaching us to aid you. Having crossed the mighty Drona, valiant Kritavarma and having slayed the Kaurava forces at will he has followed your path to reach you". But Arjuna on the other hand is not happy. He sees the danger that King Yudhistira faces from Drona, in the absence of Satyaki. He's now worried about what the state of Yudhistira is. He also sees the army of Bhurishravas approaching Satyaki. Realising that Satyaki and his steeds are tired, and his weapons are exhausted, while Bhurishravas is very fresh and has his supporters accompanying him, Arjuna is also worried that he has to now care about Satyaki's safety in addition to his hunt for Jayadratha, while the Sun is almost near the horizon.
Satyaki fights Bhurishravas
Bhurishravas approaches his old enemy Satyaki and challenges him. He confidently utters that he will slain Satyaki and seeing his body lying on the battlefield, Yudhistira will be ashamed of sending Satyaki into the vyuha, Arjuna and Krishna will be filled with grief while King Duryodhana will be pleased. Satyaki wastes no time in starting the fight. Some history on their rivaly: Satyaki's grandfather Sini, was a great warrior and had helped Vasudeva (Krishna's father) by abducting Devaki on his behalf. At that time, Somadutta, Bhoorisravas' father had fought against Sini and lost. Sini had thrown Somadatta to the ground and kicked him in the presence of an entire Army, before sparing his life. This led to a bitter feud between the two families that spanned over generations. Now the time had come to redeem their family honor. Bhoorisravas and Satyaki pounce on each other with arrows that mangled their body parts. It appeared that though both appeared to be ready to go the abode of Yama, one of them was destined to die on the battlefield, while the other was to live. They killed each other's steeds and car drivers, and fell each other on to the ground. Picking up a sword and a shield both of them fought each other displaying their amzing skills with the sword. After a short while, they end up with broken shields and their swords are lost as well. And they resort to wresting with bare arms. It was very evident that Satyaki was tired and needed more rest.
Seeing this Krishna hordes Arjuna to help his student. Krishna tells Arjuna that Satyaki has fought through the entire Kuru army to reach Arjuna, and is now tired and is succumbing to Bhurishravas. His valor and honor should not be falsified in this manner and Arjuna needs to help his disciple more than ever. Arjuna tells Krishna, that his eyes are fixed on the horizon on the side of the Kuru Army looking for the king of the Sindhus. Moreover, it was not right on the part of a Kshatriya to shoot arrows when the enemy was engaged with somebody else. Arjuna hesitates. Meanwhile Bhurishravas has struck down Satyaki, kicked him (very much like what Sini did to Somadatta) and is dragging him by holding his hair. Picking up a sword from the battlefield, Bhurishravas keeps dragging Satyaki and is ready to cut off his head. A semi-conscious Satyaki is struggling to get his hair freed from Bhurishravas' strong hold. Bhurishravas now stops his walk and raises his right hand with the sword to behead his sworm enemy. The Kaurava troops around them are cheering with excitement to see the heroic Satyaki being thrashed in this manner. They await the moment when Bhurishravas' arm moves down to decapitate the half-dead Satyaki.
Right at this moment, on Krishna's insistence Arjuna decides to divert his attention. After mentally praying to Bhoorisravas and paying his respect towards him, Arjuna raises on the Gandeeva a sharp arrow. As Bhurishravas moves his arm with the sword down to cut off Satyaki's head, Arjuna releases the arrow cutting off the raised right hand of Bhurishravas.
Seeing his right hand cut in this fashion, Bhurishravas, the son of Somadutta is infuriated. With heavy disappointment he addresses Arjuna "Oh Partha, how could you do such a mean thing on the battlefield. Who taught you this use of weapons. Despite being a great warrior with strong values and being a Kuru prince who upholds great vows, how could you under the counsel of Krishna, resort to such mean methods of killing an enemy especially when the enemy is engaged with someone else". To salvage his pride and values, Arjuna puts sense into Bhoorisravas saying " All warriors fight their enemies accompanied by their protectors and followers and here Satyaki had fought through the entire vyuha to follow me, and hence it's my duty to protect my follower. Also Satyaki is my kinsman, student and my right hand and hence I have every right to protect him. Having fought with many and vanquished many mighty car-warriors, Satyaki had been tired. And you had used the opportunity to humiliate and behead a tired, unarmed Satyaki to display your superiority, and I could not behold with indifference the mighty Satyaki being reduced to that strait. You should rebuke yourself for not taking care of your safety when trying to injure another. Do you not remember my vow that no Pandava warrior would be killed as long as he is in the range of my Gandhiva. Would you not do the same to protect your follower. If you find cutting of your arms when you are using a sword to behead an unarmed Satyaki is immoral, how could you applaud the slaughter of Abhimanyu who war carless, weaponless and armourless".
Hearing Ajuna's questions Bhrishravas hangs his head down.The son of Somadutta, then decides to give up his arms and die on the battlefield. He sat down in meditation on the battlefield and prayed for his life force to go back to its creator. At this juncture, Satyaki had regained consciousness. He took a sword and hacked off the head of Bhoorisravas in one single swift move. All the Kaurava warriors began to curse Satyaki stating that this act was totally barbaric and that Satyaki should not be called a Kshatriya anymore as he had failed to uphold Kshatriya Dharma by killing a man who was unarmed and not ready to battle. Satyaki shouts at them asking them where they were when they killed the son of Subhadra. Six maharathikas shot arrows at the young warrior one after the other. Though there was a silence among all warriors around, everyone including Arjuna and Krishna mentally applauded Bhurishravas.
Satyaki has no chariot to ride on. Jayadratha still lives and the sun is notch more close to the horizon.
Bhurishravas sits down in meditation on the battlefield to give up his life.
Krishna gets his Charriot for Satyaki
Beholding Satyaki carless and Karna ready for battle Madhava blows his Panchajanya in the Rishabha note. The note of Rishaba is clearly heard across the Kurukshetra. In a moment, a fully equipped, marvelous chariot flashes up to Satyaki. A banner of golden eagle flutters on the chariot - the Garuda. It's Krishna's own charriot Jaitra driven by Daruka and pulled by the foremost steeds Saivya, Sugriva, Meghapushya and Valahaka. Krishna had ordered Daruka the previous evening to fully equip and keep his charriot ready - and now it's brought in to the battlefield for Satyaki. And now Bhima as well arrives on the scene. The two heroes Bhima and Satyaki who penetrated into the Kaurava army to aid Arjuna have finally reached him and have joined him as his protecters for the final assault.
The battle of Triads vs Sextets.
As the sun gets closer to the Asta hills, Arjuna requests Krishna to ride as quick as possible towards Jayadratha. Arjuna sails past every Kaurava warrior. Every moment the sun sinks lower, the shadows grow longer and Jayadratha lives. As Vibhatsu gets the ruler of Sindhus at his sight though at a distance, Duryodhana goads Karna to stop Arjuna, as this was their last chance to win the war. When he believes that it was fate that forced Arjuna to make such a foolish vow, he sees the most decisive need now to stop Arjuna since the other 4 Pandava brothers would not continue the war if Arjuna self-immolates. Karna replies " My body has been heavily injured and weakend by the mighty Bhima. My limbs are suffering from tortuning pain, but I'll put forth my best efforts to stop Arjuna. O friend, victory however is dependent on Destiny". Arjuna meanwhile is cutting of heads like he's a scorching fire, and with Bhima and Satyaki as his protecters, has reached close to Jayadratha.
Five maharathikas (Duryodhana, Shalya, Ashwatthama, Vrishasena and Kripa) led by Karna ride between Arjuna and Jayadratha. Keeping Jayadratha behind them, the 6 warriors surround Arjuna. Satyaki and Bheema are at both sides of Arjuna now, guarding his wheels and holding off the Kaurava warriors. Jayadratha raises his bow and fights from behind the array of Maharathis to keep his terror at bay. All the 6 warriors and Jayadratha launch simultaneous attack on Arjuna. And they got to witness why Arjuna is regarded as the best warrior on that battlefield. Phalguna reisted all their attack and pierced all of them back.
Between them Bheema and Satyaki hold up five maharathikas, but Karna, still bars Arjuna's way (and pierces all the 3 Pandava heroes). An ineffable duel breaks out between them. The astras that they shoot, lights up Kurukshetra. Arjuna cuts off Karna's bow and discharges a fatal shaft to deprive Karna of life. But to his disappointment, Ashwatthama intercepts Arjuna's arrow with his shaft. Picking up a new bow, Karna fights again. Arjuna quickly kills the steeds and driver of Karna's car, and a carless Karna didnot know what to do. Ashwatthama again comes to Karna's rescue by picking up in his own charriot and figting Arjuna together. As the fierce battle with the 3 Pandava heroes in the centre and the 6 Kaurava Maharathi's + Jayadratha from behind continues, Arjuna causes heavy destruction on the army that supports the Karuava warriors. No one could notice when he took out his shafts, when aimed them, and when he let them off. Arjuna dances around on his charriot with arrows flying from Gandhiva in all directions making the battlefield filled with blood and headless trunks, as Krishna takes him a notch closer to Jayadratha. Every kaurava warrior who comes on Arjuna's way is pierced. And as Arjuna accompanied by Bhima and Satyaki nears Jayadratha, the entire Kuru army loses hope for Jayadratha's life.
Arjuna accomplies the Mission - Jayadrathavadha
Arjuna sees the sun turn crimson. The lower rim touching the horizon. Vibhatsu and Vasudeva exchange a split-second glance. With the distance between Arjuna and Jayadratha being reduced, the 6 Kaurava Maharathis fall back to station themselves just ahead of Jayadratha. Arjuna continues to pierce all 6 of them and Jayadratha along with their supporting armies. And they in return are piercing Arjuna, Krishna, Bhima and Satyaki. Krisna tells Arjuna,'The night is about to fall. Jayadratha is protected by 6 Maharathis, and we cannot get to a range, short enough to kill Jayadratha before sunset, even if you exert your full energy without intermission. So I will resort to yoga for shrouding the Sun. The ruler of Sindhus will definitely come out in joy without caring for his life. And you should use the opportunity to kill Jayadratha. Trust me and donot stop assuming that the sun has set'.
As darkness falls on the Kurkshetra field, the entire host of Kaurava army rejoices in relief, at the prospect of Partha's laying down his life. The sun has set and Arjuna has failed to fulfil his vow. There is a huge moment of Silence as the entire battlefield including Bhima and Satyaki look unto the sky - the 2 pandava heroes with disappointment on their faces and the Karuava warriors with joy and relief. The 6 Maharathis and Jayadratha himself lower their arms and stand with their head thrown back.
Krishna tells Arjuna "Partha, this is the hour. Quickly cut off the head of Jayadratha and make your vow true". Saying this Krishna quickly drives the charriot ahead to get even closer. To everyone's surprise, arrows start flying from the Gandhiva piercing all the warriors surrounding Jayadratha including the 6 Maharathis. Struck by Vibhatsu's arrows the entire host of charriots, cavalry, elephant army and infantry ran around in panic, running into each other, taking shield behind dead elephants and broken cars. Before the 6 protectors of Jayadratha could recover from the surprise, Arjuna pierced all of them and cut off the bows of Karna and Vrishasena and knocked down Shalya's driver. And then Arjuna took the powerful arrow that he had kept aside the whole day for this very moment. In a state of mind, between dream and reality, past Karna's chariot, Arjuna sees Jayadratha's bare neck. Before the arrow leaves the bow, Krishna tells Arjuna,'His head must not fall on earth. Jayadratha's father Vriddhakshatra is meditating just outside this Samatapanchaka. Let his son's head fall on his lap'.
The flaming arrow leaves the Gandhiva. A helpless and surprised Karna hears the buzz of an arrow flying close by, Aswatthama sees the mortal weapon flying to break the sole goal of his side for the whole day. For what seems to be a lifetime, Arjuna waits to hear Jayadratha's roar. For everyone around time seemed to have paused and they were struck with the reality of the moment. Arjuna's arrow is on course to accomplish the day's mission. The powerful arrow takes off Jayadratha's head like a bud from a flowering tree. As the others spin around to see the cause for the cry, they only see a stream of silver arrows, carrying Jayadratha's head high above the battlefield and beyond its perimeter. The entire battlefield roared, 'Alas! Arjuna has broken his vow.' As everyone turns back to look at Arjuna and Krishna, the golden rays of the setting sun fall over their charriot. Kuruskhetra is bathed in light crimson light once again, and they realize with disbelief that the Sun has not really set.
Arjuna looks at Janarddhana. His face is wreathed in a smile. Bheema's celebrant roars rock Kurukshetra and Satyaki roars with him. Duryodhana and his army hardly believe what their eyes have seen. Krishna embraces Arjuna. They know how close they had come to closure. Across the field, The roars of Bheema, along with the sounds of Devadutta and Panchajanya are borne to Yudhishtira by the winds and he realizes that Jayadratha is slain by Vibhatsu. He celebrates with his troops the success of his dear brother, with drums and other instruments. Intoxicated in success the Pandava forces storm fiercely over Drona at the entrance of the broken Shakatavyuha. By this time the two panchala princes Uttamaujas and Yudhamanyu (the original protecters of Arjuna's wheels) arrive at the scene - having battled through the same path that Arjuna, Satyaki and Bhima massacred.
Arjuna decapitates Jayadratha
The After Climax fight.
Beholding the ruler of Sindhus being slain by Arjuna, Kripa and Ashwatthama rushes again Arjuna and covered him with showers of arrows. Arjuna did not want to slay his preceptor Kripa and the son (Ashwatthama) of the other preceptor(Drona). So he shot back at them with soft hands. But the gently shot arrows of Arjuna were still so powerful and wounded both of them heavily. Kripa fell down unconscious on his car deck, and his charioteer carried him away fearing he's dead. And Ashwatthama was frightened and he too fled away. Seeing Kripa fall down, Arjuna lamented in tears "While studying the science of arms at his feet, Kripa had advised me 'do not ever strike your preceptor', and today I have struck down the very Kripa himself and have become the biggest sinner.
While Savyasachin is lamenting for Kripa, Karna charges at Arjuna. Seeing Karna racing towards Arjuna, Satyaki and the 2 panchala princes advance against him. Seeing this Arjuna says to Krishna "O Janardhana, take me towards Karna's charriot. Satyaki was struggling to bear Bhurishravas' onslaught, and will be slain by Karna. So let me take on Karna". But Krishna refuses saying Satyaki is singly a match for Karna and together with the Panchala princes, he'll be a lot superior. He also advices that with Karna carrying the Vasava Shakti weapon for using against Arjuna, it is not wise for Arjuna to have a duel with him from a closer range.
The fight starts between Satyaki and Karna, but Karna's charioteer is no match for Daruka. The advantage of using Gandharva horses, and the chariotry of Daruka, which exceeds his master gives an advantage for the Satwata hero (Satyaki). He quickly pierces Karna, kills his steeds and makes his Chariotless.
Seeing Karna in distress his son Vrishasena, friend Ashwatthama and king Shalya intervenes to fight Satyaki. A weakened Karna boards Duryodhana's Charriot sighing deeply. Dushasana and his brothers surround Satyaki, but they all meet the same fate as Karna. A restraint Satyaki spared their lives as he remebers that it was Bhima who vowed to kill the 100 Kauravas and it was Arjuna who vowed to kill the wicked Karna.
Bhima tells Arjuna " Karna had repeated said to me 'Eunuch, fool, glutton, unskilled in weapons, do not fight, child, unable to bear the burden of battle!' He who tells me so would be slain by me. But it's you who had vowed to kill him. You know vow that I made togther with you. Act in a way that both our vows are not falsified. Karna now comes behind Arjuna. Before they actually fight, Arjuna shouts to Karna, 'You were made carless by Satyaki and he spared your life remembering my vow. Bhima also made you carless and run for your life repeatedly. But he never uttered a word of disrepect all the while. But you had highly insulted Bhimasena when you managed to make him carless. No true warrior would do that. You also slaughtered my son like an animal. I vow Karna, I will kill your son Vrishasena, right before your eyes. Protect him if you can'
At this frightful moment the thousand-rayed sun, dimming his rays, enters the Asta hill. And that marks the official end of the days war, and the warriors drop their arms and proceed back towards their camp. Krishna hugs Arjuna and praises him for his day's heroics.
Back at the camp
Arjuna thanks Krishna saying that by himself, he would have never been able to cross the sea of enemies and keep his promise. Krishna smiles. He knew there was a vast difference between this Arjuna and the one before the war. The one before the war had doubt. This one had confidence.Krishna says, As they head back to their camp, Krishna shows the battlefield to Arjuna 'Between Satyaki, Bhima and yourself, you have annihilated 7 akshauhinis, and the Kauravas were glad to sacrifice them as long as Jayadratha lived, but now they would mourn their losses.'
When Partha and Kesava meet Yudhistra, Krishna tells him that his younger brother has fulfilled his vow. Yudhishtira cries in joy and embraces both of them. He says to Krishna, that without Krishna's grace, this would have been impossible.' Krishna smiles and says, ' Oh King, Jayadratha died because of your rage. Having angered a good man who cannot even slay others with this eyes, the Kauravas have brought this upon themselves." Just then Bhima and Satyaki also arrive and are surrounded by the Panchalas who are extremely proud of their heroics. Yudhistira hugs them and conveys his happiness in the feats that thay achieved today and the way they lived up to his hopes.