70. The Seventh Day
DURYODHANA, wounded all over and
suffering greatly, went to Bhishma and said:
"The battle had been going
against us every day. Our formations are broken and our warriors are being
slain in large numbers. You are looking on doing nothing."
The grandsire soothed Duryodhana
with comforting words:
"Why do you let yourself be
disheartened? Here are all of us, Drona, Salya, Kritavarma, Aswatthama,
Vikarna, Bhagadatta, Sakuni, the two brothers of Avanti, the Trigarta chief, the
king of Magadha, and Kripacharya. When these great warriors are here, ready to
give up their lives for you, why should you feel downhearted? Get rid of this
mood of dejection."
Saying this, he issued orders for
"See there," the
grandsire said to Duryodhana. "These thousands of cars, horses and
horsemen, great war elephants, and those armed foot soldiers from various
kingdoms are all ready to fight for you. With this fine army, you can vanquish
even the gods. Fear not."
Thus cheering up the dejected
Duryodhana, he gave him a healing balm for his wounds. Duryodhana rubbed it
over his numerous wounds and felt relieved.
He went to the field, heartened
by the grandsire's words of confidence. The army was that day arrayed in
circular formation. With each war elephant were seven chariots fully equipped.
Each chariot was supported by
seven horsemen. To each horseman were attached ten shield bearers. Everyone
Duryodhana stood resplendent like
Indra at the center of this great and well-equipped army. Yudhishthira arrayed
the Pandava army in vajravyuha. This day's battle was fiercely fought
simultaneously at many sectors.
Bhishma personally opposed
Arjuna's attacks. Drona and Virata were engaged with each other at another
point. Sikhandin and Aswatthama fought a big battle at another sector.
Duryodhana and Dhrishtadyumna
fought with each other at yet another point. Nakula and Sahadeva attacked their
uncle Salya. The Avanti kings opposed Yudhamanyu, while Bhimasena opposed
Kritavarma, Chitrasena, Vikarna and Durmarsha.
There were great battles between
Ghatotkacha and Bhagadatta, between Alambasa and Satyaki, between Bhurisravas
and Dhrishtaketu, between Yudhishthira and Srutayu and between Chekitana and
In the battle between Drona and
Virata, the latter was worsted and he had to climb into the chariot of his son
Sanga, having lost his own chariot, horses and charioteer.
Virata's sons Uttara and Sveta
had fallen in the first day's battle. On this seventh day, Sanga also was slain
just as his father came up to his side. Sikhandin, Drupada's son, was defeated
His chariot was smashed and he
jumped down and stood sword and shield in hand. Aswatthama aimed his shaft at
his sword and broke it. Sikhandin then whirled the broken sword and hurled it
at Aswatthama with tremendous force, but it was met by Aswatthama's arrow.
Sikhandin, badly beaten, got into
Satyaki's chariot and retired. In the fight between Satyaki and Alambasa, the
former had the worst of it at first but later recovered ground and Alambasa had
In the battle between
Dhrishtadyumna and Duryodhana, the horses of the latter were killed and he had
to alight from his chariot. He, however, continued the fight, sword in hand.
Sakuni came then and took the prince away in his chariot.
Kritavarma made a strong attack
on Bhima but was worsted. He lost his chariot and horses and acknowledging
defeat, fled towards Sakuni's car, with Bhima's arrows sticking all over him,
making him look like a porcupine speeding away in the forest.
Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti were
defeated by Yudhamanyu, and their armies were completely destroyed. Bhagadatta
attacked Ghatotkacha and put to flight all his supporters.
But, alone, Ghatotkacha stood and
fought bravely. But in the end, he too had to save himself by flight, which
gladdened the whole Kaurava army.
Salya attacked his nephews.
Nakula's horses were killed and he had to join his brother in the latter's
chariot. Both continued the fight from the same car. Salya was hit by
Sahadeva's arrow and swooned. The charioteer skilfully drove the car away and
When the Madra king (Salya) was
seen retreating from the field Duryodhana's army lost heart and the twin sons
of Madri blew their conchs in triumph. Taking advantage of the situation, they
inflicted heavy damage on Salya's forces.
At noon, Yudhishthira led an
attack on Srutayu. The latter's well-aimed arrows intercepted Dharmaputra's
missiles, and his armor was pierced and he was severely wounded.
Yudhishthira then lost his temper
and sent a powerful arrow that pierced Srutayu's breast-plate. That day,
Yudhishthira was not his normal self and burnt with anger.
Srutayu's charioteer and horses
were killed and the chariot was smashed and he had to flee on foot from the
field. This completed the demorahsation of Duryodhana's army.
In the attack on Kripa, Chekitana, losing his chariot and
charioteer, alighted and attacked Kripa's charioteer and horses with mace in
hand and killed them.
Kripa also alighted, and standing
on the ground, discharged his arrows. Chekitana was badly hit. He then whirled
his mace and hurled it at Kripacharya, but
the latter was able to intercept it with his own arrow.
Thereupon they closed with each
other, sword in hand. Both were wounded and fell on the ground, when Bhima came
and took Chekitana away in his chariot. Sakuni similarly took wounded Kripa
away in his car.
Ninety-six arrows of Dhrishtaketu
struck Bhurisravas. And the great warrior was like a sun radiating glory, as
the arrows, all sticking in his breast-plate, shone bright around his radiant
face. Even in that condition, he compelled Dhrishtaketu to admit defeat and
retire. Three of Duryodhana's brothers
attacked Abhimanyu who inflicted a heavy defeat on them but spared their lives,
because Bhima had sworn to kill them. Thereupon, Bhishma attacked Abhimanyu.
Arjuna saw this and said to his
illustrious charioteer: "Krishna, drive the car towards Bhishma."
At that moment, the other
Pandavas also joined Arjuna. But the grandsire was able to hold his own against
all five until the sunset, and the battle was suspended for the day. And the
warriors of both sides, weary and wounded, retired to their tents for rest and
for having their injuries attended to.
After this, for an hour, soft
music was played, soothing the warriors to their rest. That hour was spent,
says the poet, without a word about war or hatred. It was an hour of heavenly
bliss, and it was a glad sight to see. One can see herein what the great lesson
of the Mahabharata is.