The Arrival Of The Armies

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The Arrival Of The Armies

The king of Madra, the famous Shalya, brother of Madri and therefore uncle of the Pandavas, had learned that the latter had finished their period of exile, and of course he had decided to join them. Accompanied by his valiant son Rukmiratha and his great army, they had already left for Upaplavya.

When the spies informed Duryodhana that Shalya was already on his way, he devised a plan to force him to fight for him. He ordered to quickly erected places to eat and rest along the path the king would travel and instructed the servants to treat him with the utmost attention sparing no expense and making sure they did not reveal who was organizing everything.

When Shalya and his men had refreshed themselves with full satisfaction and had rested in sumptuous beds, the king, certain that this was Yudhisthira’s initiative, said:

“Tell your sovereign that I am grateful to him for what has done, and that I undertake to fight on his side.”

As soon as Duryodhana heard of the promise of the king of Madra, he ran to him, and thanked him for the help he had offered him. Shalya was dismayed as he didn’t have the slightest intention of fighting for that envious and sinful being, but he had given his word and could not hold back. After promising the Kurava that he would return soon, he went to Upaplavya.

He greeted his nephews and told them what had happened. Yudhisthira was deeply saddened by the idea of having to fight against his uncle.

“Don’t worry,” Shalya told them. “Even having been deceived by Duryodhana, I will still be useful to your cause. I promise you that when Arjuna meets Karna in the decisive duel, I will try to drive his chariot and will speak to him in a way that will make him lose all enthusiasm and confidence in his capabilities. There are many who, despite having to fight on behalf of Duryodhana, would like to be here with you to face those forces of evil. Rest assured that all these people will fight without enthusiasm and this will greatly contribute to your victory.”

After talking for a long time with his nephews, Shalya left.


In the days that followed, the allies and their respective troops began to flock to the two meeting places.

In Upaplavya, accompanied by an akshauhini each, Satyaki, Drishtaketu, Jayatsena (Jarasandha’s son), the brothers Kekaya, Drupada, and Virata arrived. The remaining allies, united together, constituted another akshauhini. In total, they would have seven akshauhinis.

In Hastinapura, on the other hand, Bhagadatta, Shalya, Bhurisrava, Kritavarma, Jayadratha, Sudakshina, the brothers Vinda and Anuvinda and the brothers Avanti arrived, each at the head of an akshauhini. The remaining militias added together formed three more akshauhinis, for a total of eleven.

 The two cities were literally shaken by a feverish ferment.

 Then, a few days later, Duryodhana’s army moved towards the Ganges, where they awaited the final events.


This is a section of the book “Maha-bharata, Vol. 2”.

To buy the complete book, click above

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