Karna Parva 4 - Bhima Fulfills his Vow – Dushasana’s Fall
Seeing the terrible Bhargavastra, Arjuna told Krishna that he had no weapon to counteract it. Krishna then suggested that they go and see Yudhishtira, who was injured in the battle with Karna. Bheema then informed Arjuna that Yudhishtira has left for the camp and may even be dead because of the injuries. Arjuna and Krishna went to the camp to meet Yudhishtira.
Seeing them come, Yudhishtira was under the impression that Karna had been killed. He welcomed them, saying he was in fear of Karna and his defeat had humiliated him. He praised Arjuna profusely for killing Karna. When Arjuna told him that Karna was not yet dead, Yudhishtira became angry.
Yudhishtira accused Arjuna of being scared of Karna. He told Arjuna that he should have given his Gandiva to Krishna, who would have slain Karna. Hearing these words, Arjuna became wild with anger. He pulled out his sword and charged at Yudhishtira.
Krishna stopped him and Arjuna told him Krishna that he wanted to kill Yudhishtira because he insulted the Gandiva. Krishna told him that when he became angry with Yudhishtira and insulted him, the king was as good as dead. He asked Arjuna to return to the battle. Before he left, Arjuna accused Yudhishtira of being a coward who had run away from the battlefield.
Krishna pacified both Arjuna and Yudhishtira. Arjuna then declared that he would kill Karna by the end of the day or would die trying. Arjuna then left for the battlefield. Krishna reminded him of Karna’s role in all the evil deeds of Duryodhana. He reminded him of his role in the insult of Draupadi and in the killing of Abhimanyu.
This infuriated Arjuna, who geared up for the most terrible battle of his life. Meanwhile, Bheema was fighting a furious battle against the Kaurava army. He was worried that Arjuna had not returned and feared that Yudhishtira was dead. His charioteer, Vishoka then saw the ape banner of Arjuna flutter in the air. They then heard the thundering sound of the conch Devadutta.
Bheema was energized seeing this and proceeded on a slaughtering spree. He killed ten thousand elephants, five thousand horses, and over two hundred thousand soldiers. A fierce battle then took place between Bheema and Shakuni. Unable to counter Bheema, Shakuni fled.
Karna continued to kill hundreds of Pandava soldiers. He defeated Satyaki and all five of Draupadi’s sons. Arjuna then charged towards Karna, intending to kill him. Shalya then told Karna to prove his valour and defeat Arjuna and Krishna.
Even as Arjuna moved towards Karna, the Samashapatakas surrounded him. Arjuna slaughtered the Samashapatakas and his attack was so fearsome that the Kaurava soldiers fled in panic. Satyaki then attacked and killed Karna’s son, Sushena. An angry Karna defeated Shikhandi and killed Dhrishtadyumna’s son.
Dushasana attacked Bheema and shot many arrows that struck his forehead. He even cut off Bheema’s bow. A furious Bheema picked up his club and flung it at Dushasana. It struck him on his head and he fell on the ground, unconscious.
Leaping from the chariot with a terrible roar that shook the ground, Bheema swung his sword and cut open the chest of Dushasana. He then bent and scooped out Dushasana’s blood and drank it, fulfilling his terrible vow.
Seeing this dreadful sight, the Kaurava soldiers ran from the battlefield in panic. But ten of Dushasana’s brothers attacked Bheema seeking revenge. He pulled out his bow and, shooting ten golden arrows, sent all the ten to join Dushasana in death.
….. to be continued