Drona Parva 6 - The night battle
Even though the sun had set, the battle continued. Karna attacked Satyaki, who was without a chariot. On Krishna’s instruction, his own charioteer, Daruka who was following behind, came to Satyaki and asked him to climb in Krishna’s chariot. Satyaki then destroyed Karna’s chariot, forcing him to flee.
Arjuna could not tolerate Karna’s insult to Bheema and confronted him. He then challenged Karna, saying he would kill his son Vrishasena in front of him.
Duryodhana was terribly upset that he had lost seven akshauhinis of soldiers in one day. He grieved the loss of Jayadratha and thirty-one of his brothers. Drona then decided to continue the battle, even at night. A furious Duryodhana then launched a terrible attack against the Pandava forces. In the darkness, there was panic as the Pandava forces fled to escape Duryodhana’s wrath.
Drona went on the rampage and killed the Pandava ally king Sibi. From the Pandava side, Bheema started killing princes of the Kaurava camp, including two of Duryodhana’s brothers with just his bare fists. It was then Ghatotkacha’s turn to show his power. With the twilight hour having passed, his powers of Maya increased.
He fought a fierce battle with Ashwatthama. Even as Ghatotkacha was busy fighting, Drona killed his son Anjanaparva. A furious Ghatotkacha then unleashed a barrage of weapons on Drona’s son using maya but Ashwatthama destroyed them all. Ashwatthama was fiery and unbeatable as he wiped out all the rakshasas who took him on. Even Ghatotkacha could not beat him. Ashwatthama caused carnage in the Pandava camp, killing the sons of Drupada and Kuntibhoja.
Bheema then attacked Bhurishravas’ father Somadatta and made him unconscious. When the veteran Kuru Bahlika came to his aid, Bheema cut off his head ruthlessly. He then killed ten of Dhritarashtra’s sons and Karna’s brother, Vrisharatha.
Drona fought with Yudhishtira and hurled several celestial weapons at him, including the Brahmastra. Yudhishtira calmly countered all the weapons using his own celestial weapons.
Karna informed Duryodhana that he would use Indra’s Vasavi Shakti missile and kill Arjuna. When Kripa asked him not to boast, since Arjuna was unbeatable, Karna insulted Kripa. Hearing this, Kripa’s nephew Ashwatthama threatened to behead Karna but was stopped by Kripa and Duryodhana.
Karna then charged at the Pandavas. His powerful attack increased the panic in the Pandava camp and the soldiers reeled from his attack. Then Arjuna confronted him, and the two great warriors fought fiercely. Soon, Arjuna cut off Karna’s bow, killed his charioteers, and Karna jumped off his chariot and got into Kripa’s chariot.
The battle increased in intensity, with thousands of soldiers being killed on both sides. Satyaki then took on Somadatta, and the two great warriors battled fiercely. Somadatta cut off Satyaki’s bow, but picking another bow, Satyaki resumed the battle. He then broke through Somadatta’s defence and his arrows found their mark. Somadatta was dead.
Duryodhana then organized a formation asking his soldiers to bring torches so the other soldiers could battle easily. The Pandavas also asked their foot soldiers to hold torches, and the war continued through the night. The tired, exhausted, and scared soldiers continued to fight.
Yudhishtira fought with Kritavarma while Satyaki fought with Ashwatthama. Ghatotkacha came back to attack Ashwatthama. Ghatotkacha struck Ashwatthama causing him to reel, but Drona’s son retaliated with a powerful missile that caused Ghatotkacha to faint.
Bheema then defeated Duryodhana. Sahadeva took on Karna but was defeated and Karna mocked him, asking him to fight only with his equals. Nakula who fought with Shakuni was rendered unconscious but he recovered and struck Shakuni back, causing him to collapse in his chariot and his charioteer led him away.
Drona and Karna took on Dhrishtadyumna and Satyaki. The Pandava side then suffered reverses and their soldiers fled. Yudhishtira then decided to send Ghatokacha to attack the Kauravas. He wanted to keep Arjuna away from Karna since Karna had announced that he would use Vasavi Shakti on Arjuna.
…. to be continued