Thursday, June 5, 2008

PDE Mahabharata: Bhima and Dushasana

Reading Guide. After the fall of Drona, Karna at last takes command of Duryodhana's armies. It is also time for one of the most terrible oaths sworn by the Pandavas to come true: Bhima will secure his revenge for Duhshana's treatment of Draupadi all those years ago at the gambling match in Hastinapura.

Source. Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie (1913). [200 words]

Drona's Death | 66. Bhima and Duhshasana | Arjuna and Karna

In the morning Karna went forth in his chariot. He chose for his driver Shalya, Rajah of Madra, whose skill was so great that even Krishna was not his superior.

Arjuna was again engaged in combat with Susharman when Karna attacked the Pandava army. So the son of Surya went against Yudhishthira and cast him on the ground, saying, "If thou wert Arjuna, I would slay thee."

Bhima then attacked Karna, and they fought fiercely for a time, until Arjuna, having overcome Susharman, returned again to combat with Karna.

Duhshasana, who put Draupadi to shame, came up to help Karna, and Bhima sprang upon him. Now Bhima had long desired to meet this evil-hearted son of the blind maharajah, so that he might fulfil his vow. He swung his mace and struck so mighty a blow that the advancing chariot was shattered. Duhshasana fell heavily upon the ground and broke his back. Then Bhima seized him and, whirling his body aloft, cried out, "O Kauravas, come ye who dare and rescue the helper of Karna."

No one ventured to approach, and Bhima cast down Duhsasana's body, cut off his head, and drank his blood as he had vowed to do. "Ho! Ho!" he cried, "never have I tasted a sweeter draught. "

Many Kaurava warriors fled, and they cried out, "This is not a man, for he drinketh human blood."

Drona's Death | Bhima and Duhshasana | Arjuna and Karna

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