Unrevealed Facts Behind Battle Of Mahabharata Part-2 || కురుక్షేత్ర యుధంలో జరిగిన నిజాలు
Lesser Known Facts of Kurukshetra War in Mahabharata. Here, I focus on such instances and facts of Kurukshetra War. PART-2
Continued after PART-1 ()
On the tenth day, the Pandavas, unable to withstand Bhishma’s prowess, decided to put Shikhandi, who had been a woman in a prior life in front of Bhishma, as Bhishma has taken a vow not to attack a woman. Shikhandi’s arrows fell on Bhishma without hindrance. Arjuna positioned himself behind Shikhandi, protecting himself from Bhishma’s attack and aimed his arrows at the weak points in Bhishma’s armour. Soon, with arrows sticking from every part of his body, the great warrior fell from his chariot. His body did not touch the ground as it was held aloft by the arrows protruding from his body.
The Kauravas and Pandavas gathered around Bhishma and at his request, Arjuna placed three arrows under Bhishma’s head to support it. Bhishma had promised his father, King Shantanu, that he would live until Hastinapur were secured from all directions. To keep this promise, Bhishma used the boon of “Ichcha Mrityu”(self wished death) given to him by his father.
After the war was over, when Hastinapur had become safe from all sides, Bhishma died on the first day of Uttarayana.
With Bhishma unable to continue, Karna entered the battlefield, much to Duryodhana’s joy. He made Drona the supreme commander of the Kaurava forces, according to Karna’s suggestion. Duryodhana wanted to capture Yudhishthira alive. Killing Yudhishthira in battle would only enrage the Pandavas more, whereas holding him as hostage would be strategically useful.
Drona formulated his battle plans for the eleventh day to this aim. He cut down Yudhishthira’s bow and the Pandava army feared that their leader would be taken prisoner. Arjuna rushed to the scene, however and with a flood of arrows made Drona retreat.
Arjuna and Bhagadatta fought a fierce duel, and finally Arjuna succeeded in defeating and killing his antagonist. Drona continued his attempts to capture Yudhishthira. The Pandavas, however, fought hard and delivered severe blows to the Kaurava army, frustrating Drona’s plans.
On the 13th day, Drona arrayed his troops in the Chakra/Padma/Kamala formation, a very complex and almost impenetrable formation.
While searching for Jayadrath on the battlefield, Arjuna slew an akshauhini (battle formation that consisted of 21,870 chariots (Sanskrit ratha); 21,870 elephants; 65,610 cavalry and 109,350 infantry) of Kaurav soldiers. The Shakatavuyha Kaurav army tightly protected Jayadratha, however, preventing Arjuna from attacking him. Finally, in late afternoon, Arjuna found Jayadratha guarded by the mighty Kaurav army. Seeing his friend’s plight, Lord Krishna raised his Sudarshan Chakra to cover the sun, faking a sunset. Arjun fought a powerful battle with Jayadrath and finally defeated him. Then, Arjuna shot a powerful arrow decapitating Jayadrath.
After King Drupada and King Virata were slain by Drona, Bhima and Dhrishtadyumna fought him on the fifteenth day.
On the sixteenth day, Karna was made the supreme commander of the Kuru army.
On the seventeenth day, Karna defeated the Pandava brothers Nakula, Bhima, Sahadeva and Yudhishthira in battle but spared their lives. Later, Karna resumed duelling with Arjuna. During their duel, Karna’s chariot wheel got stuck in the mud and Karna asked for a pause. Krishna reminded Arjuna about Karna’s ruthlessness unto Abhimanyu while he was similarly left without chariot and weapons. Hearing his son’s fate, Arjuna shot his arrow and decapitated Karna. Before the battle, Karna’s sacred armour (‘Kavacha’) and earrings (‘Kundala’) were taken as alms by Lord Indra when asked for, which resulted in his death by Arjuna’s arrows. It is told that Kunti sings a song for Karna in presence of the Pandava brothers, and Karna’s foster mother, Radha; before he dies. It was the Pandavas who completed his funeral ceremony.
On the 18th day, Shalya took over as the commander-in-chief of the remaining Kaurava forces. Yudhishthira killed king Shalya in a spear combat and Sahadeva killed Shakuni. Realizing that he had been defeated, Duryodhana fled the battlefield and took refuge in the lake, where the Pandavas caught up with him. Under the supervision of the now returned Balarama, a mace battle took place between Bhima and Duryodhana. Bhima flouted the rules (under instructions from Krishna) to strike Duryodhana beneath the waist in which he was mortally wounded.
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Unrevealed Facts Behind Battle Of Mahabharata Part-1 || కురుక్షేత్ర యుధంలో జరిగిన నిజాలు