Yudhishthira's Fond Hope
"ARJUNA has not returned,
nor has Satyaki, who was sent after him. Bhima, my fear grows. I hear the
Panchajanya, but not the twang of Arjuna's bowstring. Satyaki, that bravest and
most loyal of friends, has not come back with any tidings. My anxiety is increasing
every moment," said Yudhishthira to Bhima in great perplexity of mind.
"I have never seen you so
agitated," replied Bhimasena. "Do, not let your fortitude grow less.
Command me as you please. Do not let the wheels of your mind stick in the mud of
"Dearest Bhima, I fear your
brother has been slain, and it seems to me Madhava has now himself taken up
arms. I hear the conch of Madhava but I hear not the resounding twang of
Gandiva. I fear Dhananjaya, the unrivalled hero, in whom were centerd all our
hopes, has been killed. My mind is confused. If you would do as I tell you, go at once to where Arjuna is. Join
him and Satyaki, and do what needs to be done, and come back. Satyaki, under orders from me, pierced
the Kaurava ranks and proceeded in
the direction of Arjuna. You go now, and do likewise and, if you indeed see
them alive, I shall know it by your lion-roar."
"My Lord, do not grieve. I
shall go and let you know they are safe," said Bhima, and immediately
turning to Dhrishtadyumna said: "Panchala, you know very well that Drona
is seeking, by some means or other, to seize Dharmaputra alive. Our foremost
duty is to protect the King. But I must also obey him and fulfil his command.
And so I go, trusting him to your care."
"Bhima, do not be concerned.
Go with an assured mind. Drona cannot take Yudhishthira without first killing
me," said the heroic son of Drupada, sworn enemy of Drona. And Bhima
The Kauravas surrounded Bhima in
full force and vowed to prevent him from going to Arjuna's relief. But like a
lion scattering less noble beasts he put his enemies to flight, killing no less
than eleven of the sons of Dhritarashtra. Bhima then approached Drona himself.
"Stop," cried Drona. "Here I am, your enemy. You cannot proceed
further without defeating me. Your brother Arjuna went in with my consent. But
I cannot let you go." Drona spoke thus believing that he would receive the
same courtesy from Bhima as he did from Arjuna. But Bhima was furious at
hearing these words of Drona, and answered scornfully.
"Oh brahmana, it was not
with your permission that Arjuna went. He broke your resistance and pierced
your battle lines fighting his way through, but he did not hurt you out of
pity. But I shall not, like Arjuna, show mercy to you. I am your enemy. Once
upon a time, you were our preceptor and were like a father to us. We respected
you as such. Now, you have yourself said you are our enemy. May it be so!"
Saying this, Bhima aimed his mace at Drona's chariot that crumbled to pieces. And
Drona had to take to another chariot.
The second chariot too was broken
to pieces. And Bhima forced his way through overcoming all opposition. Drona
lost eight chariots that day. And the army of the Bhojas, that tried to stop
Bhima, was completely destroyed.
He proceeded mowing down all
opposition and reached where Arjuna was fighting Jayadratha's forces.
As soon as he saw Arjuna, Bhima
roared like a lion. Hearing that roar, Krishna and Arjuna were exceedingly
pleased and raised yells of joy. Yudhishthira heard these roars and, relieved
of his doubts and anxieties, he pronounced blessings on Arjuna. And he thought
"Before the sun sets today,
Arjuna's oath will be fulfilled. He will slay the man who caused Abhimanyu's
death and will return in triumph. Duryodhana may sue for peace after
Jayadratha's death. Seeing so many of his brothers slain, it is possible that
foolish Duryodhana may see light. The lives of numerous kings and great
warriors have been sacrificed on the field of battle and even the stubborn and
narrow-visioned Duryodhana may now see his fault and ask for peace. Will this
indeed happen? The great grandsire Bhishma has been offered as a sacrifice.
Will this wicked enmity end with it and shall we be saved from further cruel
While thus Yudhishthira was
fondly hoping and dreaming of peace, the battle was raging with great fury
where Bhima, Satyaki and Arjuna were engaging the enemy.
Only the Lord knows through what travail the world must
evolve. His ways are inscrutable.