Drona Parva 2- Chakravyuha – Abhimanyu’s Valor
The next day, which was the thirteenth day of the war, Drona made a strategy. The Samashapatakas challenged Arjuna for battle and took him away from the battlefield. Drona then formed the Chakravyuha, which was an unbeatable format that only Arjuna and Krishna knew how to break.
Unable to penetrate the Chakravyuha, Yudhishtira asked Abhimanyu to enter the formation using the knowledge he had obtained from Arjuna. Abhimanyu did not know how to exit, but Yudhishtira assured him that once he entered, the Pandavas would follow him and help him.
Abhimanyu then charged towards the Kauravas and launching a terrible attack, entered the Chakravyuha. He smashed apart the formation, shooting arrows at will, massacring the Kauravas. He was like Skanda against the asura army. Having broken into the formation, he killed the son of the King of Asmaka, even while countering the attack from Duryodhana, Karna, Dushasana, Kripa, and others.
His blazing arrows caused Karna to faint. He then killed the warriors Sushena, Drigalochana, and Kundabhedi. It was Shalya’s turn to be hit, and he fainted. Shalya’s brother came to his defence but was killed by the son of Arjuna. Dusshasana then took a vow to kill Abhimanyu and charged at him.
He could not match the skills of Abhimanyu and ended up hit with twenty-five arrows. He collapsed in the chariot and his charioteer took him to safety. Karna again attacked Abhimanyu, but his bow and flag were cut off. Abhimanyu then killed Karna’s brother and went on a rampage, slaughtering charioteers, elephant warriors, and foot soldiers.
Meanwhile, Yudhishtira, Bheema, and the other Pandava warriors tried to enter the Chakravyuha but were held back by Jayadratha, who used his boon from Shiva to repel them. Try as they could, Yudhishtira, Bheema, and the other warriors could not defeat Jayadratha and get through.
Abhimanyu then defeated Karna’s son Vrishasena, forcing him to flee. Rukmaratha, the son of Shalya was the next to attack Abhimanyu but was effortlessly defeated and beheaded. Seeing him fall, the entire Madra army attacked Abhimanyu. Without flinching, he used the Gandharvastra, gifted to him by Arjuna.
The weapon caused the army to see multiple Abhimanyus. Even as they stood stupefied, he slaughtered them all. Duryodhana’s son Lakshmana then attacked Abhimanyu. Shooting an arrow that looked like a snake, Abhimanyu cut off Lakshmana’s head even as Duryodhana watched on in shock.
Abhimanyu then defended himself from Ashwatthama, Kripa, Kritavarma, and Karna bravely. He destroyed the chariot of Vrihadvala, the king of Kosala, and then slew him. When Karna attacked him, he injured him severely, causing him to retreat.
On Drona’s instruction, Karna cut off Abhimanyu’s bow. The other Kaurava warriors killed his charioteer and smashed his chariot. When he was on the ground unarmed, the six great Kaurava warriors attacked him mercilessly. Abhimanyu then picked up a sword, but Drona broke it. He then picked up a chariot wheel, but Karna smashed it.
Picking up a mace, Abhimanyu mercilessly attacked the soldiers of Gandhara even as the Kauravas kept shooting arrows at him. Dushasana’s son then attacked him with a mace and the two young warriors clashed. Both fell on the ground but Dushasana’s son got up first and, using his mace, struck the unarmed and helpless Abhimanyu on the head, killing him.
…. to be continued