Bheeshma Parva 5 - The first son to fall - Iravan
The next day, Yudhishtira asked Dhrishtadyumna to arrange the Makara formation. Bheeshma formed the Krauncha array to take on the Pandavas. Bheema fought against the Kauravas scattering them. He got down from his chariot and went behind them on foot. Seeing Bheema’s empty chariot, a worried Dhrishtadyumna went in search of him.
When Dhrishtadyumna was attacked, he used the Pramohana astra to render the Kauravas unconscious. Drona used the Pragna astra to revive them. Yudhishtira then sent Abhimanyu with others to help Dhrishtadyumna. Abhimanyu defeated Vikarna while Bheema and Dhristadyumna fought with Duryodhana and Drona. The day ended with Bheeshma inflicting losses on the Pandavas.
On the seventh day of the war, Bheeshma made the Mandala formation while the Pandavas used the Vajra formation. Abhimanyu once again fought with Chitrasena and Vikarna. Ghatotkacha fought fiercely with Bhagadatta. When Arjuna was surrounded by thousands of Kaurava soldiers, he used the Aindrastra to destroy all of them.
An angry Bheeshma then attacked Arjuna. Drona defeated Virata and killed his son Shanka while Ashwatthama defeated Shikhandi. Satyaki defeated Alambusha, while Bheema defeated Kritavarma. Iravan, the son of Arjuna and Uloopi defeated Vinda and Anuvinda. Ghatotkacha was defeated by Bhagadatta.
Abhimanyu once again fought with Vikarna, Chitrasena, and Durmukha and defeated them. Arjuna crushed the Trigartas. Bheeshma defeated Yudhishtira who got into Nakula’s chariot to continue the fight. Shikhandi attacked Bheeshma, who again ignored him. The battle ended with a fierce fight between Bheeshma and the Pandavas.
On the eighth day, Bheeshma constructed the Oormi or ocean formation while Yudhishtira had the Shringhataka formation to counter it. Bheeshma waged a fearsome battle against the Pandavas slaughtering many soldiers before Bheema confronted him. When the sons of Dhritarashtra came to his aid, Bheema slew eight of them.
There was terrible bloodshed on the battlefield. Iravan began to kill Shakuni’s brothers and a scared Duryodhana sent Alamvusha after him. The demon used the powers of illusion and killed Arjuna’s son. Seeing this, an angry Ghatotkacha slaughtered the Kaurava soldiers. He waged a terrible battle with Duryodhana.
All the Kaurava warriors came to save Duryodhana and Bheema joined his son to take on the Kauravas. The father and son inflicted severe damages on the Kaurava army. Ghatotkacha then created an illusion of all the key Kaurava warriors being killed. The scared Kaurava soldiers ran from the battlefield even as Duryodhana tried to stop them.
Bheeshma then sent Bhagadatta to take on the Pandavas. Mounted on his fearsome elephant, Supratika, the king of Pragjyotisha, created havoc in the Pandava camp. Ghatotkacha then charged at Bhagadatta. The furious king launched a strong counterattack and injured Bheema’s charioteer. Arjuna furious at his son Iravan’s death, fought furiously against Bheeshma until the day ended.
In the evening, Duryodhana spoke with his brothers and Karna worried about the progress of the war. Karna asked him to convince Bheeshma to withdraw from the war. When Duryodhana conveyed this to Bheeshma, he was furious. But he promised to launch a fierce attack against the Pandavas the next day.
… to be continued