KARṆA-PARVA After the death of Droṇa, on the fifteenth day of the Kurukṣetra war, Duryodhana retired to his camp and discussed the further course of action with his ministers. Aśvatthāma suggested that Karṇa should be made the commander-in-chief of the Kaurava forces and the war should continue. Duryodhana was pleased with his suggestion and addressed Karṇa. He said, “Dear Karṇa! I know how talented you are and how loyal you have been to me....
 
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The fourteenth day of the war began with Droṇa arranging the Kaurava army in the śakaṭa-vyūha formation within which he arranged the army in the padma-vyūha and inside that created a sūcī-vyūha. At the front of the sūcī, he had arranged Kṛtavarma, Kāmbhoja, Jalasandha, Duryodhana, Karṇa, and along with these heroes, thousands of other warriors; behind all of them stood Jayadratha. Droṇa himself stood at the front of the śakaṭa. The day’s battle...
 
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The next morning Duryodhana told Droṇa, “Ācārya, although Yudhiṣṭhira came as close as the eyes could see, you failed to capture him. Therefore it appears like you consider us as the enemy; even if the devatas were protecting him, if you put your mind to it, you could have captured him. It was you who was delighted and granted me the boon and now you’re drifting from your word. The noble ones should not dampen the hopes of those who have taken...
 
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DROṆA-PARVA नारायणं नमस्कृत्य नरञ्चैव नरोत्तमम् । देवीं सरस्वतीं व्यासं ततो जयमुदीरयेत् ॥ Having saluted Nārāyaṇa, the human and the divine; Sarasvatī; and Vyāsa – May Jaya be hailed! Upon the death of Bhīṣma – the warrior endowed with nobility, brilliance, strength, and valour, who seemed to be matchless on the battlefield – the Kaurava army became akin to a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Even so, they didn’t consider the...
 
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shikhandi-bhishma
The next morning, i.e. on the tenth day of battle, the Pāṇḍavas had created a battle formation with Śikhaṇḍi leading it. To his left and right stood Bhīma and Arjuna. Behind him, stood the Upa-pāṇḍavas (sons of the five brothers) and Abhimanyu (son of Arjuna). And behind them came Dhṛṣṭadyumna and other warriors along with the army. On the side of the Kauravas, as usual, Bhīṣma was at the forefront. Duśśāsana and other Kauravas stood to his left...
 
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On the fourth day of the war, Bhīmasena totally destroyed Duryodhana’s elephant division and killed eight of the Kaurava brothers including Jalasandha and Suṣeṇa. Bhagadatta climbed onto a huge elephant in rut and fought relentlessly with Bhīmasena; he shot a flood of arrows and made Bhīma faint. At that point Ghaṭotkaca came forward and struck a severe blow to Bhagadatta’s elephant. Listening to the elephant howling in pain, Bhīṣma and others...
 
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Yudhiṣṭhira made his way into the enemy ranks and walked straight to Bhīṣma. He bowed down to the grandsire, touched his feet, and said with great humility, “Grandfather, I am going to fight against you in this war; please give me permission. I seek your blessings.” Bhīṣma replied, “If you had not come here now, you would have been cursed by me and would have lost this war. I’m overjoyed that you came; I grant you permission to fight me; may you...
 
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BHĪṢMA-PARVA नारायणं नमस्कृत्य नरञ्चैव नरोत्तमम् । देवीं सरस्वतीं व्यासं ततो जयमुदीरयेत् ॥ Having saluted Nārāyaṇa, the human and the divine; Sarasvatī; and Vyāsa – May Jayabe hailed! As the army prepared itself for battle, Duryodhana called for Duśśāsana and told him, “Duśśāsana! Prepare the mighty warriors and the army for the protection of Bhīṣma. The great task that lies ahead of us is the defence of Bhīṣma; there is no...
 
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Kṛṣṇa reached Upaplavya, met the Pāṇḍavas and narrated everything that transpired in Hastināpura. He finished by saying these words – “Though Bhīṣma, Droṇa, Vidura, Gāndhārī, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, and others tried to counsel Duryodhana, he refused to listen. He never changed his mind. He only got enraged, his eyes turned red and he left the court without caring for anyone. He was followed by the kings who had taken shelter under him. He commanded them...
 
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Kṛṣṇa paid his salutations to Kuntī and informed her of everything that transpired in the Kuru court. “I’ll take leave of you, dear aunt. I need to get back to the Pāṇḍavas as soon as possible. What shall I tell them?” he asked her. Kuntī communicated her advice to her children through Kṛṣṇa – “Tell Dharmarāja that he should never give up the kṣatriya-dharma. The path you are treading upon currently is not something that your forefathers took to...
 
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