Shalya Parva - 2 : Sahadev fulfills his vow
Arjuna blazed like fire, shooting arrows all around and slaughtering the Kaurava soldiers. Dhristadyumna destroyed Duryodhana’s chariot, after which he climbed on a horse and went to Shakuni. Bheema then killed seven of Duryodhana’s brothers. He then killed five hundred maharathas and seven hundred elephants.
There were only two sons of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari who were alive, Duryodhana and Sudarsha. Sahadeva fought with Sudarsha and rendered him unconscious. Arjuna took on the remaining Trigartas. In the final duel with Susharma, he struck him on his chest and killed him. Bheema then beheaded Sudharsha using a sharp arrow.
Shakuni fought furiously against Sahadeva. Shakuni’s spear hit Sahadeva on the head, making him lose consciousness. Sahadeva quickly recovered and showered Shakuni with arrows. Uluka came to his father’s defence and attacked Sahadeva and Bheema. Sahadeva’s sharp arrow severed Uluka’s head.
An angry Shakuni flung weapon after weapon at Sahadeva, who effortlessly destroyed them all. Shakuni then fled, but was pursued by Sahadeva. Shooting a multitude of arrows, Sahadeva cut off Shakuni’s standard and disabled his chariot. He then shot a gold-tufted arrow and severed the head of the man responsible for the infamous game of dice.
The Kauravas started with eleven akshauhinis and thousands of kings. All the kings were dead with the exception of Duryodhana, who decided to retreat. From the Pandava side, out of the seven akshauhinis, two thousand chariots, seven hundred elephants, five thousand horses, and ten thousand infantry soldiers remained.
Meanwhile, Satyaki had defeated Sanjaya and was about to behead him when Vyasa arrived and asked him to be spared and sent on his way. While leaving, Sanjaya saw Duryodhana, who lamented about the defeat and destruction of the Kauravas. He told Sanjaya that he would enter a lake and remain there.
Yuyutsu then took Yudhishtira’s permission and left for Hastinapura, where he met his father Dhritarashtra and Vidura. He informed them of all that happened and stayed in his own house deciding to return the next day.
Kripa, Ashwatthama, and Kritavarma who were the only three who remained, motivated Duryodhana to fight on. Hunters who were passing by heard this conversation. They then approached Bheema and, having been given wealth, revealed where Duryodhana was.
All the remaining Pandavas then climbed their chariots and proceeded to the lake. Seeing them come, Ashwatthama, Kripa, and Kritavarama retreated and rested under a banyan tree.
Krishna then told Yudhishtira then Duryodhana had used his powers of Maya to stay underwater. He asked Yudhishtira to use Maya to kill Duryodhana and end the war.
Yudhishtira then asked Duryodhana to follow the dharma of Kshatriyas and come out to fight. He then offered Duryodhana a chance to fight any of the five of them with a weapon of his choice. He told him that if he won, the kingdom would be his.
Duryodhana then came out and picked up his club and readied himself to fight. Krishna criticized Yudhishtira for giving Duryodhana the choice to fight for the kingdom. Krishna then insisted that Bheema should fight with Duryodhana. The two great warriors then prepared themselves for the final battle.
…. to be continued