Mahabh¨¢rata, Book 7: Drona

Mahabh¨¢rata, Book 7: Drona

English | 2007 | ISBN: 0814767230 | 473 Pages | EPUB | 52 MB

After Bhishma is cut down at the end of the previous book of the Mahabh¨¢rata, the book which bears his name, Dury¨®dhana selects Drona as leader of his forces. Drona accepts the honour with Bhishma's blessing, despite his ongoing personal conflicts as mentor to both the P¨¢ndava and K¨¢urava heroes in their youth. The fighting rages on, with heavy losses on both sides. Furious and frustrated, Dury¨®dhana accuses Drona of collaborating with the enemy, but he replies that as long as ¨¢rjuna is on the field, the P¨¢ndavas will remain invincible. When ¨¢rjuna is finally diverted from the main action of the battle, Yudhishthira entrusts ¨¢rjuna's son Abhim¨¢nyu with the task of making a breach in the K¨¢urava formation. Abhim¨¢nyu rampages through Drona's army, but at last is cornered by several K¨¢urava warriors and finally killed by Jayadratha. Returning at night to the P¨¢ndava camp, Yudhishthira is racked with guilt and appalled by what he has to tell his brother. Vyasa arrives in the P¨¢ndava camp and tries to alleviate the king's sorrow. They talk long into the night about the meaning of the war:

In life kings rule the earth and at life's end when war is done they make their bed upon it. So are these mighty ones acquainted with death. Some have the strength of a hundred elephants and some the power of the winds, yet when they die in battle they are men and nothing but men. Nowhere do I see any still standing if he once took the breath of another: these are fighters of main and splendour and written in the heart of each for all time is the will to overcome his other. When their lives have left them and they sleep in death then at last they come to know this thing. Death is a word that gets its meaning from this, from the demise of all these bold lords of the earth. Heroes though they are, in the end the fiery sons of kings die powerless and without pride, and broken by the will of his foe each sets out for the place of the Sun God and his kin.

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