The Seventh Day

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The Seventh Day

When the warriors reappeared on the field of Kurukshetra at sunrise, they realized what they had been able to do the day before. The victims had been many tens of thousands.

That morning both armies arranged themselves in formations which were very difficult to penetrate. And the beginning of the day witnessed duels between the most famous maharathas: Drona against Virata and Drupada, Asvatthama against Shikhandi, Duryodhana against Dhristadyumna, Nakula and Sahadeva against uncle Shalya; Vinda and Anuvinda attempted to face Indra’s son, and Bhima was confronted by Kritavarma; Abhimanyu clashed with Citrasena, Vikarna and Duhssasana, while Bhagadatta tried to restrain Ghatotkacha’s impetuosity; Satyaki found himself wrestling with the Rakshasa Alambusha.

The first few fights were very promising for those warriors who did not fear death and who loved to admire every martial art prodigy.

Not far from Arjuna was the great army of the Trigarta. So the latter said to Krishna:

“My friend, there begins Susharma’s vast army, which has always been our enemy. Drive the chariot in that direction so that I can annihilate it.”

Making the sound of Gandiva heard, Arjuna invoked the weapon called aindra and thousands of them sprang from a single arrow; within seconds a storm of arrows broke the defensive barrier and spread terror.

The soldiers fled to Bhishma to ask for protection. Seeing Susharma helpless against Arjuna, Shantanu’s son rushed to the defense of the Trigarta and the fabulous duel resumed. But Duryodhana, who feared for Bhishma’s life, was not at all happy with those duels, and ordered them to be rescued.

Virata, who had already lost two sons in that battle, mourned a third that day: while he was engaged in a duel against Drona, his chariot had been destroyed and his son Shankha had run to his aid. But just as Virata climbed into the war vehicle, a formidable arrow of the acarya had struck his son full in the chest, penetrating him to the heart. Desperate for the loss of his three sons, he tried to take revenge, but he could do nothing against the Brahmana’s excessive warrior power.

Severely wounded in the forehead by Shikhandi, Asvatthama reacted with fury, killing his charioteer and horses, and storming him with arrows. The brave Panchala, on the ground and without any protection, defended himself by swinging his sword, cutting in midair the weapons that were thrown at him, as he got closer and closer to his opponent. Dodging everything with the lightness of an eagle, Shikhandi looked like the king of the air as he was about to grab a prey. But suddenly he was placed in difficulty; Satyaki, who had just completed the destruction of Alambusha’s army, ran and took him into the protection of his chariot.

Further on, Duryodhana could not fight Dhristadyumna, just as Kritavarma fled from Bhima’s presence. As soon as he retired, Bhima concentrated on his favorite activity: the slaughter of the elephant army.

 

That day, even the allies of the Kauravas did their best to bravely face the Pandavas, but there was really nothing to be done. Just as the sea swallows the waters of the Ganges and dissolves its sweet taste, in the same way the skill of the Pandavas dissipated the Kaurava strength. No one was to blame because everyone was working to the maximum of their abilities, without thinking about maintaining their own safety.

But Duryodhana continued to be haunted by the same question: why was he losing? Yet the answer, as simple and logical as it was, couldn’t find its way into his mind.

 

One of the most beautiful duels of the day was that between Bhagadatta who, on his elephant, shone like a second Indra, against Ghatotkacha. This time, however, it was Bhima’s son who had to retire.

Meanwhile, Sahadeva had managed to seriously injure Shalya, who fell unconscious on his chariot.

It was noon, the hour when the sun culminates.

Yudhisthira fought like a raging cobra against Shrutayu, forcing the famous warrior to retreat. The eldest of the Pandavas that day was unrecognizable, he no longer seemed the same kind person as ever: that day he fought like a madman.

Kripa was defeated by Chekitana, while Abhimanyu purposely spared three of Dhritarastra’s sons and fixed his attention on Bhishma. Arjuna, who had become aware of his son’s intentions, said to Krishna:

“Today our young lion will give Ganga’s son a hard time; we won’t have to worry about him for a while. We can go somewhere else.”

Thus the Pandava persecuted the Trigarta again who, frightened and demoralized, sought refuge from their escape.

And at a certain moment the situation turned in such a way that the five Pandava brothers found themselves united in front of Bhishma: it was a fairytale vision, a fight that could only be admired on the celestial planets. Many rushed to help Bhishma who in addition to having to stand up to the five brothers also had Shikhandi in front of him, and this put him in an awkward situation. Shalya then intercepted the Panchala and dragged it away from the scene. On all sides, furious duels broke out, and the weapons darted with great violence.

 

When the day ended, the Pandavas had achieved great successes, especially in personal duels, but they had also lost many soldiers to Bhishma.

Shikhandi was indignant: he wanted to fight the old man, but every time he tried to challenge him, he turned his back and didn’t react.

 

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

To buy the complete book, click above

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