आपणास माझे लेखन आवडते आहे असे ब्लॉगला भेट देणारांच्या वाढत्या संख्येवरून वाटते. विषेशकरून कर्णकथेला वाचक पुष्कळ मिळाले. आपल्या प्रतिक्रिया जरूर मिळावयास हव्यात! त्याशिवाय लिहीत राहण्याचा उत्साह कसा टिकून रहाणार?
I changed over from Marathi to English for my comments on Shri. Oak's book recently. I continue to get readers but there are no comments! Wonder whether I am boring!

Last Seven Days

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San Ramon and Mumbai, California and Maharashtra, United States
ज्येष्ठ नागरिक. साहित्य व संगीत प्रेमी. Senior Citizen

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Drona and Pandavas -- 8

Up to now, every day, at sunset or a little later the fighting used to stop. On this 14th day, it did not stop even after Jayadratha was killed a little before sunset. Duryodhana and Karna were anguished that in spite of all efforts they could not stop Arjuna from penetrating all defence and reaching Jayadratha. It is to be noted that they did not grumble that they were cheated and led to believe that Sun had set! So obviously Krishna had done nothing to make it so appear. Without any such skulduggery, Arjuna had achieved his objective.
After Jayadratha was killed the battle continued in full vigor throughout the night and continued next day. Drona became desperate that he could not capture Yudhishthira and progressively, the Panchalas were now more aggressive against him. His war-aim now changed to killing the Panchalas. He started using all his powerful astras and started a carnage of Panchal Army and Drupada and his family. Even till the end he never targeted any Pandava directly as he had no wish to kill any of them but Bheem, Krishna and Yudhishthira started worrying that if he was not checked, he would kill all the Panchals which was of course their main army. Arjun was reluctant to clash with his Guru wholeheartedly. Finally Krishna suggested a plan. Somehow Drona should be convinced that his son Ashvatthama was dead! Only that may make him give up the fight! But how to do it? Bheem went and killed an elephant named Ashvatthama! Then he went and told Drona repeatedly that Ashvatthama was dead. He knew that Drona will not believe him! He and Krishna knew that Drona may ask Yudhishthira directly whether it was true. They had persuaded him to be ambiguous but not to deny it! Bheema finally again went near Drona and scolded him ‘You are not our Guru. You are our enemy now. You are not even a Brahmin as you have no pity on Panchal soldiers and used Brahmastra on them! What keeps you fighting when your son is dead?’
Ultimately Drona approached Yudhishthira and asked him ‘Is Ashvatthama dead?’ Most reluctantly, Yudhishthira replied ‘Yes, an Elephant!’ He mumbled the last two words without looking at Drona and satisfied his conscience that he was not lying! (Bheem had told him earlier that he had killed Ashvatthama the Elephat). Drona, on hearing Yudhishthira’s ‘yes’ lost heart, threw down his bow and sat down in his ratha. Arjuna was not a party to this plan!
Dhrishtadyumna who had lost his father, brothers, family and army did not wait and waste any time. He climbed on Drona’s ratha and cut his head off with his sword, without paying any heed to Arjuna’s pleas not to kill Drona when he had no weapon!
The deed was done and many verbal duels started between, Satyaki and Arjun on one side and Bheem and Dhrishtadyumna on the other. But that was not going to bring Drona back. The fighting for the day ended with Drona’s death. Arjuna who was most reluctant to fight with his Guru and kill him was spared from that deed.
A little question remains in my mind. Ashvatthama was one of seven Chiranjeevis. The other was Krupacharya. Why these two figure in the list which also contains Bibheeshana? I have not come across any stories as to why these two were immortals! In any case if it was so, why Drona, who must have known that his son cannot die, believed Yudhishthira? My guess is that he had grown weary of fighting and killing. Somewhere in his mind he must have thought ‘enough!’ Over five days of war, he had failed to capture Yudhishthira and could see no end to the war. He just gave up out of frustration. A life devoted to Dhanurved finally ended.

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