Feb 22nd

MB112. DHRITARASTRA'S GRIEF

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

The battle was over.

What about the sufferer?

How much tears dried?

How many widows cried?

 

Dhritarashtra wept aloud.

Not one son was allowed.

There Veda Vyasa arrived.

With soft words he consoled.

 

“Dear son, where there’s birth,

There’s always death.

Grieve not over the past.

Destiny plays till last.”

 

“Now Yudhisthira is your son,

You love him. His love you win.

This way, bear the burden of life.

You should now give up your grief.”

 

One by one they embraced him.

But he showed no love for them.

When Bhima’s turn came,

Very much angry he became.

 

Krishna pushed Bhima aside.

And kept a metal statue by his side.

Tightly the statue he embraced.

Into pieces it got crushed.

 

Vyasa then advised Gandhari,

To love Pandavas and Draupadi,

As she loved her own children.

She accepted his suggestion.

 

When Bhima’s turn came,

Wild she then became.

She asked, “Below his navel,

You hit.  Is it not cruel?”

 

“To save my life I did this,

Bhima told her, “Otherwise,

He would have killed me,

As he was more than me.”

 

“You could have spared one,

For us to live with one son,”

When like this she said,

Yudhisthira replied:

 

“Your sons we’re

We’ll take care,

Have no fear,

When we’re here.”

 

Then they went to Kunti,

Along with Draupadi.

She blessed them all

With her heart full.

 

 

 

 

Feb 22nd

MB111. ASWATHAMA

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

The Pandavas’ great victory,

Turned into the worst tragedy,

They lost overnight Upapandavas

Shikandin, Dhristadyumna and others.

 

Inconsolable was Draupadi’s grief.

Aswatthama came like a thief.

He killed her brothers and sons.

Why? She committed what sins?

 

Her tears shook Bhima’s heart.

“Wherever he’s, I’ll find out,

This is my vow. I’ll see he’s dead.”

He wiped out her tears and said.

 

Pandavas and Krishna located,

There Aswatthama was seated

Where Veda Vyasa stayed.

They bowed Vyasa and prayed.

 

Bhima shouted, “You murderer

What’re you doing here?

You, the foulest of the Brahmins,

How can you cover your sins?”

 

Aswatthama took a grass.

He whispered some mantras.

“May this destroy Pandavas.”

He gave them this curse.

 

The missile blazed forth fire.

That threw everyone in fear.

Krishna at once cautioned them,

It was meant to destroy them.

 

To counter it Krishna gave advice,

Arjuna to deploy another device.

Brahma Astra Arjuna threw.

As Vyasa ordered, he withdrew.

 

As Aswatthama didn’t know,

How his missile to withdraw,

It went to Uttara’s womb-child,

That was first to be killed.

 

Krishna saved the child,

Parikshit was this child.

Aswatthama was spared.

But his ego was killed.  

 

They demanded his gem

He surrendered it to them.

Draupadi got it from Bhima,

But she gave it to Yudhishthira.

Feb 21st

MB110. THE MASSACRE AT MIDNIGHT

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

The three, Kripacharya, Kritavarma

And Aswatthama met Duryodhana.

They were visibly moved.

This, their tears proved.

 

Aswatthama told, “Oh king,

They all did a wrong thing.

My father unarmed, they killed,

When he did yoga in the field.”

 

“They killed you by foul means,

The crime, the most heinous,

Never committed on this earth,

I’ll avenge both the death.”

 

Duryodhana was happy to hear,

He called Aswatthama near,

And said, “My hope is with you.

As Chief I now appoint you.”

 

“You should kill them all.

The Pandavas should fall.

My soul will rest in peace,

If you do this job please.”

 

The three drove away,

Where the Pandavas stay,

And thought of killing,

When they were sleeping.

 

Everyone was fast asleep,

At night, in the Pandavas camp.

Aswatthama stealthily entered,

Dhristadyumna first he killed.

 

Pandavas’ sons, Soldiers

And the security guards,

They all lost their heads

In these devils’ hands,

 

There was utter confusion,

O’er this surprise invasion,

Hue and cry everywhere,

At the dark hours was there.

 

Duryodhana heard this,

And pleased he was.

What he had not done,

These three have done.

 

With this final satisfaction,

As a token of appreciation,

He thanked them, the three.

His life then left him free.

 

 

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

Feb 21st

MB109. BALARAMA CONDEMNS

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

At Kurukshetra arrived Balarama,

He saw Bhima hitting Duryodhana,

On both thighs, below his navel,

A breach of combat rules single.

 

“Below navel will any Kshatriya hit,

For any combat, he becomes unfit.

I can’t tolerate such an unfair fight.

Bhima played what kind of combat?”

 

So saying, Balarama raised his plough.

Krishna tried to calm him somehow.   

“Our friends and relations are Pandavas.

How much they were teased by Kauravas?”

 

“When Draupadi was insulted in the hall.

Bhima took a vow, “Duryodhana, I’ll kill,

Your two thighs, in battle, I’ll break,

And your life, one day, I’ll take.”

 

“As a Kshatriya he fulfilled his oath,

That everyone heard from his mouth.

What’s wrong in Bhima’s action.

No reason for your provocation.”

 

“At Duryodhana’s prompting,

The Abhimanyu’s bow string

Was cut by Karna, the merciless,

And he stood alone defenseless.”

 

“In a most cowardly way,

They killed him that day.

Where had the rule gone,

When this wrong was done?”

 

“Thirteen long years Bhima,

Bore the atrocities of Duryodhana,

Who knew this pending vow,

When he took up the fight now.”

 

Not satisfied with Krishna,

But calm became Balarama.

His opinion still he kept.

Silently, in hate, he then left.

 

Duryodhana shouted at Krishna:

“It’s you, the cunning Krishna,

You’re behind this melodrama,

You try now to fool Balarama.”

 

 “I saw your shameless act,

The signal you gave by a pat,

With your hand on your thighs

That prompted Bhima hit my thighs.”

 

“Shikandin stood before Bhisma,

Under your direction to Arjuna,

Who, from behind, sent his shot.

Thus Bhisma’s death he brought”

 

“You brought the end of Drona,

Thro’ a lie from Yudhishthira.

When he was in the yoga position,

Beheaded was he with no compassion.”

 

“You instigated the warrior Karna,

To shoot the spear at Ghatotkacha.

Just to save your friend Arjuna.

Thus you did injustice to Karna.”

 

“Satyaki butchered Bhurisravas,

When you gave him ill advice.

To kill, you directed Arjuna,

While lifting the wheel, Karna.” 

 

“You tricked Jayadratha to come out,

When still the sun had not set,

By bringing darkness all around,

With your cunning magic wand.”

 

Thus Duryodhana went on criticizing,

But Krishna was calmly listening.

He replied, “It’s your own actions,

Those come back as reactions.”

 

“Bhisma and Drona had to buy             

Your sins, for this they had to die.                    

For Karna’s death, you’re the cause.

Draupadi’s agony how will you ease?”

 

No answer Duryodhana found.

Speechless was he on the ground.

He was blessed with a martyr’s death.

Despite his misdeeds before his death.

Feb 20th

MB108. THE FINAL ENCOUNTER

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

In a lake hid Duryodhana.

The Lake was Dvaipayana.

Pandavas heard like this.

Some hunters told this.

 

They went to this lake,

They planned to take

Duryodhana out

But how to do it?

 

Krishna told them

“Up we can bring him.

Yudhisthira only can do it,

By handling him soft.”

 

“Duryodhana, you’re a king.

It’s no good, if you’re hiding

For your sweet life sake,

Under the water, in this lake.”

 

“You lost your brothers,

All your sons together,

Besides your friend Karna,

Bhisma and also Drona.”

 

“They all died for your sake,

Shame, you hide in this lake.

Well of you, it doesn’t speak.

A fair decision, you now take.”

 

When Yudhishthira said this,

Duryodhana replied like this:

“I have no chariot or a bow,

With you all, to fight how?”

 

Yudhishthira said, “Listen,

What you want, it’ll be given.

Among us you choose one

Take the kingdom, if you win.”

 

Duryodhana told, “I’ve my mace.

All or any one, I’m ready to face.”

Bhima came forward to fight.

Duryodhana was ready for it.

 

Duryodhana was an expert

In handling mace and fight.

Severe blows Bhima got,

He was unable to come out.

 

Krishna about his past vow,

He reminded Bhima now:

“To break Duryodhana’s thigh

Bhima gave a promise high.”

 

“When Draupadi cried,

To humiliate her they tried,

Bhima took this vow

Which I remind him now.”

 

On his thighs, Bhima gave hits,

The thigh bones broke into bits.

Yudhishthira wasn’t happy at this.

He chided him for the fault of his.

 

Balarama who came there said,

“It isn’t correct, what Bhima did.

The most heinous crime it’s.

I’ll never tolerate this.”

 

To convince him, Krishna tried.

But he left, quite dissatisfied.

He told Krishna to be neutral

And not take any side partial.

 

To console Duryodhana,

His best tried Yudhishthira.

Duryodhana blamed Krishna

For his partiality to Pandavas.

 

Krishna replied, “Oh king,

Why you’re forgetting?

You rejected the peace offer

For that you now suffer.”

 

 

Feb 20th

MB107. THE EIGHTEENTH DAY OF THE BATTLE

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

The eighteenth day started.

Duryodhana just sorted

What was so far done?

Things yet to be done?

 

Who was to lead them?

This was their problem.

Aswatthama proposed Salya.

It was approved by Duryodhana.

 

For Duryodhana, Salya

Was more than Krishna

In driving the chariots

And laying out the war plots.

 

Salya was too happy,

Also the army was happy,

They hoped for a winning chance

With his military experience.

 

How great Salya was,

Pandavas knew this.

Who should then lead

From Pandavas side?

 

Krishna told Yudhisthira,

“Both Myself and Arjuna,

We can’t fight Salya,

Who’s more than Bhisma.”

 

“Once he came to you.

For victory he blessed you.

He may not defeat you.

Nor, he’ll like to kill you.”

 

“So, you’re the better choice,

Avail this great chance,

Earn credit and finish the war.

As the last leader you’re.”

 

For this Yudhishthira said,

Krishna, you’re our guide.

So, whatever you say,

We’ll simply obey.”

 

Yudhishthira on the one side

And Salya on the other side

They led the war this day,

So happy were they to say.

 

The Salya’s dead sharp shot

Smashed Yudhishthira’s chariot.

The latter sent a ‘Sakti’ head

That cut his head, he was dead.

 

Bhima killed the surviving sons

Of Dhritarashtra for their sins.

Next, Sakuni’s neck got cut,

When Sahadeva’s arrow hit.

 

Duryodhana lost his chariot.

With no one to support,

He left the place on foot.

He was cursing his ill fate.

 

Kripacharya, Kritavarma,

And the third Aswatthama,

They escaped death and ran,

With no specific future plan.

Feb 19th

MB106. DEATH OF DUHSASANA AND FALL OF KARNA

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

On the one side mighty Bhima

And the other side Duhsasana

They fought a decisive battle,

In which the latter down fell.

 

Bhima sat over his chest,

Tore his body bit by bit,

Drank his hot blood,

And on the top he said:

 

“Is this the hand that dragged

Draupadi by her braid?

Is this the hand that disrobed

Her dresses and pulled?”

 

Kauravas’ armies ran in fear,

Panic-stricken here and there.

Arjuna arrived at the spot.

And he sent shot after shot.

 

His shots killed the princes.

Thus Kauravas lost ten princes.

These killings Salya witnessed.

To retaliate he then pressed.

 

Arjuna shot swift shaft one,

That beheaded Karna’s son.

The enraged Karna retaliated.

Both dashed, two stars collided.

 

Aswatthama suggested for peace,

But to Duryodhana, it didn’t please.

“When Bhima killed my brother,

How can I go for peace rather?”

 

Karna sent an arrow that sped

To knock off Arjuna’s head,

But Krishna saved his head,

By pressing down the chariot hard.

 

Above his head it went and hit.

It just knocked down his helmet.

Thus Krishna saved Arjuna,

It disappointed Duryodhana.

 

Karna’s bad time started.

It was the one ill fated.

A wheel sank in mire,

The chariot stuck up there.

 

Once a calf was killed

When his chariot rolled

O’er the poor creature,

That lost its bright future.

 

Its master passed a curse,

“At the fatal hour of crisis,

Your chariot wheel will sink.

You’ll have no time to think.”

 

He asked for time to lift it,

Bur Krishna opposed it.

“Was there any justice

In your game of dice?”

 

“Was there any honour

In your wax-palace fire?

Was there any moral code

When Abhimanyu was murdered?”

 

“Arjuna, take your bow,

Kill him right now.”

As what Krishna meant,

A fatal shot, Arjuna sent.

 

It threw him dead on the ground.

By all the curses, he was bound.

What a bad day for Kauravas,

A good day it turned for Pandavas.

 

It gave a rude shock to Duryodhana,

O’er the unfortunate death of Karna.

He lost his best guide and friend.

Who’ll help him now to defend?

 

Karna’s character was unique,

In the great Mahabharata epic,

In that he was highly glorified,

Despite he joined a wrong side.

 

Feb 19th

MB105. THE SEVENTEENTH DAY OF THE BATTLE

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

The day’s battle began,

Well before the dawn.

The armies were ready

To fight a war bloody.

 

Duryodhana went to Salya.

The proposal of Karna

He mentioned slowly.

Salya protested strictly.

 

“Duryodhana, Why insult me?

A king and a warrior I’m.

I can serve him how?

Let me go out right now.”

 

Duryodhana then replied,

“Don’t mistake what I said.

You’re superior to Karna.

In driving more than Krishna.”

 

Pleased with this nice reply,

Salya agreed to comply

With his request to work

Under Karna for this task.

   

He said, “On one condition,

Whatever be my opinion

He shouldn’t take offence

But take it correct sense.”

 

Karna gave his consent

For the fight he went.

Ran fast the chariot

With Salya driving it.  

 

“Salya, take me where,

Arjuna stands there.

He’s my target today,

I’ll kill him this day.”

 

Like this Karna said.

Salya for this replied.

“See there you brag 

The Hanuman flag.”

 

“Arjuna, it does represent.

There he’s verily present.

You can no way kill him.

You’ll be killed by him.”

 

To these words Salya

Back retorted Karna.

“I’m under a pledge,

So, I tolerate your charge.”

 

From Pandavas side, Yudhisthira

Came and attacked Karna.

But he faced utter defeat,

And ran back to his tent.

 

O’er the day’s performance,

Despite Karna’s arrogance

Duryodhana praised him

That Karna was in his best form.

 

 

 

   

 

Feb 18th

MB104. THE SIXTEENTH DAY OF THE BATTLE

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

War leads to war, past events proved.

The sixteenth day of battle arrived.

Who should lead the army after Drona?

Karna was the choice of Aswatthama.

 

Pandavas army led by Bhima,

And Kauravas by Aswatthama,

They clashed against each other.

For rules they didn’t much bother

 

Each one picked up his rival,

Not caring for self survival,

The battle went on till sunset,

They became tired and upset.

 

With remnants of the squad,

A severe fight Arjuna had.

None of them were spared,

They had their end sad.

 

Nakula was spared at one time,

Alive when Karna caught him.

Arjuna was his main target.

Not of his brothers, the rest.

 

“Today, no chance I had,

As Arjuna was with the squad,

And tomorrow I’ll kill him.

With serpent dart, in no time.”

 

“But a good charioteer I need,

To match with Krishna’s speed.

Salya is the one, expert in steed.

My commands, he should heed.”

 

Karna like this told Duryodhana,

Who replied, “I’ll persuade Salya

Tomorrow to be your charioteer,

Our victory is not far off, but near.”

 

Karna thanked him and said,

“By morrow, Arjuna will be dead

Thus I’ll repay you my debt

Be sure and have no doubt.”

 

The end of the day came.

Happy Duryodhana became,

On the Karna’s final attempt,

And the victory that he dreamt.

 

 

Feb 18th

MB103. THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF THE BATTLE

By Raja

MAHABHARATA

 

The sun set, there was no light,

With burning torches, the fight

Went on the fourteenth night,

Despite their very poor sight.

 

Once the spirit of vengeance is up,

The rules of the war are given up.

Then man becomes a wild animal,

In any era, this is found natural.

 

The same thing happened then

In the Kurukshetra war, when

 “Tit for Tat” spirit, up it worked,

No wonder, the rules were flouted.

 

Ghatotkacha, Bhima’s asura son,

He attacked violently everyone.

As asuras were strongest at night,

Time was favourable to his fight.  

 

“Kill this demon at once.

On his head no sense.

Otherwise, he’ll finish us.

Karna, please save us.”

 

So spoke Duryodhana to Karna.

‘Indra Astra’ he kept for Arjuna,

Not more than once to be used.

On this giant, in a hurry, he used.

 

To save Arjuna, Bhima’s son died

Pandavas were now afraid

Of the Drona’s wrath-in-peak

That, in retaliation, began to speak.

 

Krishna said, “Oh Arjuna,

None can defeat this Drona.

No fair means, work it will

In a foul way, we’ve to kill.”

 

“He’ll desist from fighting,

His son’s death on hearing.

This lie someone should tell.

On Yudhishthira’s head it fell.

 

Never a lie he spoke, but truth.

So, Drona, in him, had faith.

Aswatthama, an elephant died.

At Bhima’s strike, it was killed.

 

This news Yudhisthira told,

In trembling voice, not so bold.

“It’s true, Aswatthama is killed.”

In the din, the rest was drowned. 

 

Drona didn’t hear the word,

The ‘elephant’ when he said,

He took it for his dear son,

Who was no more then.

 

Once his son was lost,

He gave up the fight at last.

When weapons he dropped.

His head was chopped.

 

Dhristadyumna did this crime

Destiny played cruel this time.

Drona met this tragic death.

What a lie, that appeared as truth?

 

 

 

 

 

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