How strong was Bheema
Kurukshetra War - Kurukshetra War
| Kurukshetra war |
c. 1700 watercolor from Mewar shows the armies Pandava and Kaurava arranged against each other.
|Commanders and leaders|
| Over |
Dhrishtadyumna (day 1-18) †
| Overlord |
Commander in chief
Bhishma (day 1-10) †
Drona (day 11-15) †
Karna (day 16-17) †
Shalya (day 18) †
Ashwatthama (night attack)
Other commanders Dushasana †
| 7 akshauhinis |
153,090 chariots and
Chariot riders 153,090 elephants and elephant riders
459,270 horses and riders
(total of 1,530,900 soldiers)
| 11 Akshauhinis |
240,570 chariots and
Chariot riders 240,570 elephants and elephant riders
721,710 horses and riders
(total of 2,405,700 soldiers)
|Losses and losses|
| Almost in total (1,530,892 soldiers) are |
only 8 survivors known - the five Pandavas, Krishna, Satyaki, Yuyutsu.
| Almost in total (2,405,697 soldiers) |
only 3 known survivors - Ashwatthama, Sage Kripa and Kritavarma
The Kurukshetra war (Hindi: कुरुक्षेत्र युद्ध), also the called one Mahabharata war is a war described in the Indian epic poems Mahābhārata (Hindi: महाभारत) . The conflict arose out of a dynastic succession battle between two groups of cousins, the Kauravas and Pandavas, for the throne of Hastinapura. These were several ancient kingdoms that participated as allies of the rival groups.
The historicity of the war remains the subject of scientific discussion. It is possible that the battle of the ten kings, mentioned in the Rigveda, may have “gotten the 'core' from history” of the Kurukshetra War, although it was greatly expanded and modified in the Mahabharata ‘ s account so that the Mahabharata of the version of very dubious historicity. Attempts have been made to assign a historical date to the Kurukshetra War. Scientific research suggests that around 1000 BC While folk tradition has it that the transition to war Kali Yuga marked and thus to 3102 BC. Dated.
The site of the battle is said to have taken place in Kurukshetra in northern India. Although the war narrative is only eighteen days in length, it makes up more than a quarter of the book, indicating its relative importance within the entire epic, which includes decades of warring families. The narrative describes individual battles and deaths of various heroes on both sides, military formations, war diplomacy, meetings and discussions between the characters and the weapons used. The chapters ( Parvas ) dealing with war are among the oldest in the whole Mahābhārata .
Mahabharata , one of the most important Hindu epics, is an account of the life and deeds of several generations of a ruling dynasty called the Kuru clan. At the center of the epic is an account of a war between two rival families belonging to this clan. Kurukshetra (literally "Field of the Kurus") was the battlefield on which this war, known as the Kurukshetra War, was waged. Kurukshetra was also known as "Dharmakshetra" (the "Field of Dharma") or the Field of Justice. Mahabharata relates that this place was chosen because a sin committed in this land was forgiven because of the holiness of that land. Approximately 1.66 billion warrior deaths were described as war in the Indian epic.
The Kuru areas were divided into two parts and ruled by Dhritarashtra (with its capital Hastinapura) and Yudhishthira of the Pandavas (with its capital Indraprastha). The immediate dispute between the Kauravas (sons of Dhritarashtra) and the Pandavas arose from a game of dice that Duryodhana won by deception and forced his Pandava cousins to transfer their entire territory to the Kauravas (to Hastinapura) and "go into exile" for thirteen years. The dispute escalated into war in full when Duryodhana, driven by jealousy, refused to return their territory to the Pandavas after exile, as previously decided because Duryodhana complained that they were discovered in exile and that no return of their kingdom had occurred had been agreed.
Historicity and dating
The historicity of the Kurukshetra war is the subject of scientific discussions and debates. It is possible that the battle of the ten kings mentioned in the Rig Veda "formed the" core "of the story" of the Kurukshetra war, although it was mentioned in the account of the Mahabharata, which contains the version of the Mahabharata created, has been greatly expanded and modified of very dubious historicity. Although the Kurukshetra War is not mentioned in Vedic literature, its importance in later literature led the British Indologist AL Basham, who wrote in 1954, to the conclusion that there was a great battle in Kurukshetra, "enlarged to titanic proportions" the basis of the story was the greatest epic in India, the Mahabharata. "Recognizing that later" generations saw it as the end of an era, "he suggested that it was not a civil war but a" jumbled memory of a Mongol-type tribe conquering the Kurus from the hills. " "He saw it as useless to the historian and dates the war to the 9th century BC, based on archaeological evidence and" some evidence in the Brahmin literature itself that shows that it was not much earlier can be".
The Puran literature contains genealogical lists associated with the Mahabharata narrative. There are two types of evidence for the Puranas. Of the first type there is the direct statement that between the birth of Parikshit (Arjun's grandson) and the accession of Mahapadma Nanda, who usually dates back to 382 BC, It was dated to 1015 (or 1050) years, which is an estimate of around 1400 BC. Would surrender for the Bharata battle. However, this would mean that the kings listed in the genealogies have, on average, improbably long reigns.
Of the second type are analyzes of parallel genealogy in the Puranas between Adhisimakrishna (Parikshit's great-grandson) and Mahapadma Nanda. Accordingly, Pargiter estimated 26 generations by averaging 10 different dynastic lists and assuming 18 years for the average period of reign. For Adhisimakrishna he came to an estimate of 850 BC. And thus for the Bharata battle to about 950 BC.
Despite the ambiguity of the dates, attempts were made to assign a historical date to the Kurukshetra War. The existing text of the Mahabharata went through many levels of development and mostly belongs to the time between c. 500 BC And 400 AD. In the frame history of the Mahabharata the historical kings Parikshit and Janamejaya are largely portrayed as offspring of the Kuru clan, and Michael Witzel concludes that the general backdrop of the epic has a historical precedent in Iron Age (Vedic) India, where the Kuru kingdom was between 1200 and 800 BC The center of political power. According to Professor Alf Hiltebeitel, the Mahabharata is essentially mythological. Indian historian Upinder Singh wrote:
Whether a bitter war ever took place between the Pandavas and the Kauravas cannot be proven or refuted. It is possible that there was a small conflict that was turned into a gigantic epic war by bards and poets. Some historians and archaeologists have argued that this conflict occurred around 1000 BC. Could have taken place.
According to the Finnish Sindhologist Asko Parpola, the war could take place in the later phase of the Painted Gray Ware, around 750-350 BC. Chr., Have taken place.
Folk tradition and astronomical calculations
Popular tradition has it that the transition to war Kali Yuga marked and thus to 3102 BC. Chr. Dated. A number of other suggestions were made:
- Vedveer Arya gives the date of 3162 BC. By distinguishing between Śaka & Śakanta epochs and applying a correction of 60 years to the date given in folk tradition based on the Aihole inscription.
- PV Holey gives a date of November 13, 3143 BC. Using planetary positions and calendar systems.
- K. Sadananda, based on translation work, states that the Kurukshetra War took place on November 22, 3067 BC. Began.
- BN Achar used planetarium software to argue that the Mahabharata War of 3067 B.C. Took place.
- S. Balakrishna concluded a date of 2559 BC. With successive lunar eclipses.
- RN Iyengar concluded a date of 1478 BC. With double eclipses and Saturn + Jupiter conjunctions.
- PR Sarkar estimates a date of 1298 BC. For the war of Kurukshetra.
- VS Dubey claims that the war occurred near 950 BC. Happened
Associations with archaeological cultures
Indian archaeologist BB Lal used the same approach with a more conservative assumption of the average reign to date a date of 836 BC. Estimated and correlated this with archaeological evidence of Painted Gray Ware sites, the association between PGW artifacts and sites mentioned in the epic being strong. John Keay confirms this and also gives 950 BC. For the Bharata battle.
According to Asko Parpola, the war could take place in the later phase of the Painted Gray Ware, approx. Chr., Have taken place. Parpola notes that the Pandava heroes are not mentioned in Vedic literature before the Grhyasutras. Parpola suspects that the Pandavas were Iranian migrants who lived around 800 BC. Came to South Asia.
During excavations in Sinauli, burials with the remains of carts that belong to the culture of ocher-colored pottery were discovered. Several authors referring to these finds suggest associating the Rig Vedic culture and the Mahabharata War with the OCP instead of the PGW. While these carts date back to 2000-1800 BC. Gupta and Mani state that "based on the current state of archaeological evidence, OCP appears to be a stronger contender for the Mahabharata Association," which continued the Mahabharata War into the 4th millennium BC. Dated. Parpola regards the finds as ox-drawn chariots, suggesting support for his proposal for a first wave of Indo-Aryan migrations to the Indian subcontinent at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. Before the migration of the Rig Vedic points out.
Jaya , the core of Mahabharata, is structured in the form of a dialogue between Kuru King Dhritarashtra (born blind) and Sanjaya, his adviser and chariot driver. Sanjaya recounts every incident of the Kurukshetra War, which was fought in 18 days, depending on when it happened. Dhritarashtra sometimes asks questions, expresses doubts and sometimes complains, knowing about the destruction the war has caused his sons, friends and relatives. He also feels guilty for his own actions that led to this war that is so devastating to the entire Indian subcontinent.
About 18 chapters of Vyasas Jaya comprise the Bhagavad Gita, one of the sacred texts of the Hindus. This work deals with various topics such as geography, history, warfare, religion and morality. According to the Mahabharata itself, the Jaya was made by Vaisampayana, a disciple of Vyasa (then Called Bharata ), recited by King Janamejaya, the great-grandson of Arjuna. The recitation of Vaisampayana in Janamejaya was then recited again many years later by a professional storyteller named Ugrasrava Sauti in front of a gathering of sages who made the 12-year-old sacrifice to King Saunaka Kulapati in Naimisha Forest (then Called Mahabharata ) accomplished.
Mahabharata Report on the War
At the beginning, Sanjaya gives a description of the different continents of the earth and the other planets and focuses on the Indian subcontinent. Then there is an extensive list of hundreds of kingdoms, tribes, provinces, cities, villages, rivers and mountains, forests etc. of the (old) Indian subcontinent (Bharata Varsha). He also explains the military formations each side assumed on each day, the deaths of each hero, and the details of each war race.
Krishna's peace mission
As a last attempt at peace in Rajadharma, Krishna, the chief of the Yadavas, Lord of the Kingdom of Dwaraka, traveled to the Kingdom of Hastinapur to convince the Kauravas to see reason, avoid the bloodshed of their relatives and embark on a peaceful path with him as "divine" ambassador of the Pandavas. Duryodhana was offended that Krishna had declined his invitation to take up residence in the royal palace. Determined to stop and obstruct the peacekeeping mission, Duryodhana was relentless to go to war against the Pandavas. He planned to arrest Krishna and insult, humiliate and defame him in front of the entire royal court of Hastinapura in order to challenge the reputation of the Pandavas and declare an act of open war.
At the formal presentation of Krishna's peace proposal at the Kuru Mahasabha at the court of Hastinapur, Krishna asked Duryodhana to return Indraprastha to the Pandavas and restore the status quo. or, if not, give up at least five villages, one for each of the Pandavas. Duryodhana said he would not even give land to the Pandavas like the point of a needle. Krishna's proposals for peace were ignored and rejected, and Duryodhana publicly ordered his soldiers to arrest Krishna, even after warnings from all the elders. Krishna laughed and showed his divine form radiating intense light. Lord Krishna cursed Duryodhana that his downfall was certain by the one who swore to tear off his thigh, to the shock of the blind king who tried to pacify the Lord in words as calmly as he could find. Krishna, completely offended by Duryodhana, returned to the Pandava camp in Upaplavya to inform the Pandavas that the only way to uphold the principles of virtue and justice was inevitable - war. During his return, Krishna met Karna, Kunti's firstborn (before Yudhishthira) and asked him to help his brothers and fight on the side of the Dharma. However, when Karna was assisted by Duryodhana, he told Krishna that he would fight Pandavas because he had a debt to pay.
Duryodhana and Arjuna go to Krishna in Dwarka to ask for his help and that of his army. Duryodhana came first and found Krishna asleep. Duryodhana was arrogant and saw himself as equal to Krishna. He chose a place on Krishna's head and waited for him to wake up. Arjuna came later, and being a humble follower of Krishna, he chose to sit at Krishna's feet and wait. When Krishna woke up, he saw Arjuna first and gave him the first right to make his request. Krishna told Arjuna and Duryodhana that he would give the Narayani Sena on the one hand and himself as a non-combatant on the other. Since Arjuna had the first opportunity to choose, Duryodhana was concerned that Arjuna would choose the mighty army of Krishna. When Arjuna had the choice between Krishna's army or Krishna himself on their side, he chose Krishna in the name of the Pandavas, who was unarmed alone, to relieve Duryodhana, who thought Arjuna was the greatest fool. Arjuna later asked Krishna to be his charioteer, and Krishna, an intimate friend of Arjuna, fully agreed and was given the name Parthasarthy, or "charioteer of the son of Pritha". Both Duryodhana and Arjuna returned satisfied.
While camping in Upaplavya in the Virata area, the Pandavas gathered their armies. Contingents came from all over the country and soon the Pandavas had a large force of seven divisions. The Kauravas managed to build an even larger army of eleven divisions. Many kingdoms of ancient India such as Dwaraka, Kasi, Kekaya, Magadha, Chedi, Matsya, Pandya and the Yadus of Mathura were allied with the Pandavas; while the allies of the Kauravas included the kings of Pragjyotisha, Kalinga, Anga, Kekaya, Sindhudesa, Avanti in Madhyadesa, Gandharas, Bahlikas, Mahishmati, Kambojas (with the Yavanas, Sakas, Trilinga, Tusharas) and many others.
When Yudhishthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, saw that there was now no hope of peace, he asked his brothers to organize their army. The Pandavas, with the help of their allies, gathered seven Akshauhinis armies. Each of these departments was headed by Drupada, Virata, Abhimanyu, Shikhandi, Satyaki, Nakula, and Sahadeva. After consulting with his commanders, the Pandavas appointed Dhrishtadyumna as commander-in-chief of the Pandava Army. The Mahabharata says that kingdoms from across ancient India supplied troops or provided logistical support on the Pandava side. Some of them were: Kekaya, Pandya (Malayadwaja Pandya), Magadha and many more.
The Kaurava army consisted of 11 Akshauhinis. Duryodhana asked Bhishma to command the Kaurava army. Bhishma accepted on the condition that while he sincerely waged the fight, he would not harm the five Pandava brothers. In addition, Bhishma said that Karna would rather not fight under him, but rather serve as Duryodhana’s bodyguard while he was on the battlefield. Having no choice, Duryodhana agreed to Bhishma's terms and made him Commander in Chief of the Kaurava Army while Karna was expelled from the fight. But Karna later entered the war when Bhishma was badly wounded by Arjuna. Apart from the hundred Kaurava brothers led by Duryodhana himself and his brother Dussasana, the Kauravas were supported on the battlefield by Drona and his son Ashwatthama, the brother-in-law of the Kauravas, Jayadratha, the Brahmin Kripa, Kritavarma, Shalya, Sudakshina , Bhurishravas, Bahlika, Shakuni, Bhagadatta and many more who were bound by their loyalty to Hastinapura or Dhritarashtra.
The kingdom of Bhojakata with its king Rukmi, Vidura, the ex-prime minister of Hastinapur and the younger brother of Dhritarashtra and Balarama were the only neutrals in this war. Rukmi wanted to join the war, but Arjuna refused to allow it because he had lost during Rukmini's Swayamvar to Krishna and still boasted of his war strength and army, while Duryodhana did not want Arjuna's rejection. Vidura did not want to see the bloodshed of the war and was extremely offended by Duryodhana, even though he was the embodiment of the Dharma himself and would have won the war for the Kauravas. The mighty Balarama refused to fight in Kurukshetra because he was both Bhimas and Duryodhana's trainers in Gadayudh (fighting with maces) and his brother Krishna is on the other side.
Army divisions and weapons
The total number of warriors and soldiers in both armies was approximately 3.94 million. Everyone Akshauhini stood under a commander or general, apart from the commander-in-chief or generalissimo, who was the head of the entire army.
During the Kurukshetra War, various types of weapons were used by both prominent warriors and common soldiers. Weapons included: the bow, the mace, the sword, the lance, and the arrow. Almost all prominent warriors used bows, including the Pandavas, Kauravas, Bhishma, Drona, Karna, Arjuna, Satyaki, Drupada, Jayadratha, Abhimanyu, Kripa, Kritavarma, Dhrishtadyumna, and Shalya. However, many of them frequently used other weapons as well, for example; The mace was used by Bhima, Duryodhana, Shalya, and Karna. the sword of Nakula, Satyaki, Jayadratha, Dhrishtadyumna, Karna and Kripa; and the lance of Karna, Yudhishthira, Shalya, and Sahadeva.
Rules of engagement
The two commanders in chief met and established "rules of ethical conduct", dharmayuddha, for war. The rules included:
- The fight must begin no earlier than sunrise and end exactly at sunset.
- No more than one warrior may attack a single warrior.
- Two warriors may only "duel" or engage in prolonged personal combat if they are carrying the same weapons and are on the same type of mount (on foot, on horseback, on an elephant, or in a chariot).
- No warrior is allowed to kill or injure a surrendered warrior.
- Whoever surrenders becomes a prisoner of war and is then subject to the protection of a prisoner of war.
- No warrior may kill or injure an unarmed warrior.
- No warrior is allowed to kill or injure an unconscious warrior.
- No warrior may kill or injure a person or animal who is not participating in the war.
- No warrior may kill or injure a warrior whose back is turned away.
- No warrior is allowed to attack a woman.
- No warrior is allowed to hit an animal that is not considered a direct threat.
- The rules specific to each weapon must be followed. For example, it is forbidden to hit below the waist in mace warfare.
- Warriors are not allowed to wage unfair wars.
Most of these rules were broken in the course of the war after the fall of Bhishma. For example, the second and sixth rules were violated on the 13th day when Abhimanyu was killed.
Course of the war
Before the battle
It has been observed that the year the Mahabharata War took place had three solar eclipses on Earth in thirty days. According to Hindu astrology, eclipses are considered sick for life on earth.
On the first day of the war, as on all subsequent days, the Kaurava army faced west and the Pandava army faced east. The Kaurava Army was formed so that it faced all sides: elephants formed its body; the kings, his head; and the horses, their wings. Bhishma stayed in the background in consultation with his commanders Drona, Bahlika and Kripa.
The Pandava Army was organized by Yudhishthira and Arjuna in the Vajra formation. Since the Pandava army was smaller than the Kaurava's, they decided to use the tactics of any warrior who attacks as many enemies as possible. This was a surprising element: the archers showered arrows hiding behind the frontal attackers. The attackers at the front were armed with short-range weapons such as maces, battle axes, swords and lances.
Ten divisions ( Akshauhinis ) of the Kaurava Army were arranged in an impressive phalanx. The eleventh was placed under the immediate command of Bhishma, in part to protect him. The safety of Commander-in-Chief Bhishma was central to Duryodhana's strategy, as he had put all his hopes in the great warrior's abilities. Dushasana, the younger brother of Duryodhana, was the military officer in charge of Bhishma's protection.
The Bhagavad Gita
When war was declared and the two armies faced each other, Arjuna realized that he had to kill his dear great uncle (Bhishma), on whose lap he had played as a child, and his respected teacher (Drona), who had held his hand and brought it teaches him how to hold a bow and arrow, which makes him the greatest archer in the world. Arjuna felt weak and sick at the prospect of killing his entire family, including his 100 cousins and friends like Ashwatthama. Arjuna was desperate and confused about what was right and what was wrong. He turned to Krishna for divine advice and teaching. Krishna, whom Arjuna chose to be his charioteer, advised him on his duty. This conversation forms the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most respected religious and philosophical texts of the Hindu religion. Krishna instructs Arjuna not to indulge in humiliating impotence and fight his relatives, for this was the only way to justice. He also reminded him that this was a war between righteousness and injustice (Dharma and Adharma) and it was Arjuna's duty to kill anyone who supported the cause of injustice or sin. Krishna then revealed his divine form and declared that he will be born in each aeon on earth when evil lifts its head. It also forms one of the most important treatises on the various aspects of yoga and mystical knowledge.
Before the battle began, Yudhishthira did something unexpected. Suddenly he dropped his weapons, took off his armor, and walked toward the Kaurava army with clasped hands in prayer. The Pandava brothers and Kauravas watched in disbelief, thinking Yudhishthira would surrender before the first arrow was fired. However, Yudhishthira's intention became clear when he fell to Bhishma's feet to seek his blessings for success in battle. Bhishma, the grandfather of the Pandavas and Kauravas, blessed Yudhishthira. Yudhishthira returned to his chariot and the battle was ready to begin.
When the battle started, Arjuna created a Vajra Vyuha and Bhishma created Sarvattobhadra Vyuha went through the Pandava Formation and caused chaos everywhere, but Abhimanyu, Arjuna's son, saw this happen right inside Bhishma, defeated his bodyguards and directly attacked the commander of the to Kaurava forces. However, the young warrior could not keep up with Bhishma's skills and was defeated. The Pandavas suffered heavy losses and were defeated at the end of the first day. Virata's sons Uttara and Sweta were killed by Shalya and Bhishma. Krishna comforted the troubled Yudhishthira and said that victory would be finally.
The second day of the war began with a confident Kaurava army against the Pandavas. Pandavas created Krouncha Vyuha and Bhishma created Maha Vyuha. Realizing that something had to be done quickly to reverse the Pandava losses, Arjuna decided that he had to try to kill Bhishma. Krishna skillfully located Bhishma's chariot and directed Arjuna towards him. Arjuna tried to engage Bhishma in a duel, but the Kaurava soldiers put a cordon around Bhishma to protect him and attacked Arjuna to prevent him from directly engaging Bhishma. Arjuna and Bhishma fought a fierce battle that raged for hours. Drona and Dhrishtadyumna also fought a duel in which Drona defeated Dhrishtadyumna. Bhima intervened and saved Dhrishtadyumna. Duryodhana sent the troops of Kalinga to attack Bhima and most of them, including the king of Kalinga, lost his life at his hands. Bhishma came immediately to relieve the troubled Kalinga forces. Satyaki, who was assisting Bhima, shot and killed Bhishma's charioteer. Bhishma's horses, no one could control, sped away and carried Bhishma away from the battlefield. The Kaurava Army had suffered great losses by the end of the second day and was considered defeated.
On the third day, Bhishma arranged the Kaurava forces in the Garuda Vyuha (formation of an eagle), leading from the front while Duryodhana's forces protecting the rear. Bhishma wanted to be sure to avoid mishap. The Pandavas countered this by using the Ardhachandra Vyuha (cresent formation) with Bhima and Arjuna at the tip of the right and left horns, respectively. The Kauravas focused their attack on Arjuna's position. Arjuna's chariot was soon covered with arrows and spears. With astonishing skill, Arjuna built a fortress around his chariot with an endless stream of arrows from his bow. Abhimanyu and Satyaki jointly defeated Shakuni's Gandhara forces. Bhima and his son Ghatotkacha attacked Duryodhana in the stern. Bhima's arrows struck Duryodhana, who passed out in his chariot. His charioteer immediately got them out of harm's way. However, Duryodhana's forces saw their leader fled the battlefield and soon dispersed. Bhishma soon restored order and Duryodhana returned to lead the army. However, angry with Bhishma for what he considered to be indulgent to the five Pandava brothers, he spoke harshly to his commander. Bhishma, stung by this unfair charge, fell with renewed strength on the Pandava army. It was as if there was more than one bhishma in the field.
Arjuna attacked Bhishma and tried to restore order. Arjuna and Bhishma engaged in another fierce duel, but Arjuna's heart was out of the fight as he didn't like the idea of attacking his great-uncle. During the battle, Bhishma killed numerous soldiers from Arjuna's armies.
The fourth day of the battle was known for the bravery of Bhima. Bhishma ordered the Kaurava Army to go on the offensive from the start. While Abhimanyu was still in the womb, Arjuna had taught Abhimanyu how to break the chakra vyuha. Before Arjuna explained how to get out of the chakra vyuha, Krishna interrupted him (another story is Abhimanyu's mother falls asleep while Arjuna was explaining the chakra vyuha exit strategy). Therefore, from birth, Abhimanyu only knew how to enter the Vyuha chakra, but did not know how to get out of it. When the Kauravas formed the Chakravyuha, Abhimanyu entered it, but was surrounded and attacked by many Kaurava princes. Arjuna joined the fight on behalf of Abhimanyu. Bhima appeared in the air with his mace and began attacking the Kauravas. Duryodhana sent a huge troop of elephants to Bhima. When Bhima saw the mass of elephants approach, he got off his chariot and single-handedly attacked them with his iron club. They dispersed and stamped into the Kaurava forces, killing many. Duryodhana ordered a full attack on Bhima. Bhima withstood whatever was thrown at him and attacked Duryodhana's brothers, killing eight of them. Bhima was soon struck in the chest by an arrow from Dushasana, the second eldest Kaurava, and sat down in his car, dazed.
Duryodhana was dismayed at the loss of his brothers. Overcome with grief, at the end of the fourth day of the slaughter, he went to Bhishma and asked his commanding officer how the Pandavas, who are facing a superior force against them, could still prevail and win. Arjuna used the Aindra-Astra which killed thousands of Rathis, Atirathis, elephants and horses.
Bhishma replied that the Pandavas had justice on their side and advised Duryodhana to seek peace.
When the battle resumed on the fifth day, the slaughter continued. The Pandava Army suffered again from Bhishma's attacks. Satyaki bore the brunt of Drona's attacks and could not withstand them. Bhima drove by and saved Satyaki. Arjuna fought and killed thousands of soldiers sent by Duryodhana to attack him. Bhima got involved in a fierce duel with Bhishma that was inconclusive. Drupada and his son Shikandi drove to help Bhima in his fight against Bhishma, but they were stopped by Vikarna, one of Duryodhana's brothers, who attacked them with his arrows, seriously injuring both father and son. The unimaginable slaughter continued in the days of battle that followed.
The sixth day was marked by a tremendous slaughter. Drona caused immeasurable loss of life on the Pandava side. The formations of both armies were broken. However, Bhima managed to attack the Kaurava formation and penetrate Duryodhana. Duryodhana was defeated but saved by others. The Upapandavas (sons of Draupadi) fought with Ashwathama and destroyed his chariot. The battle of the day ended with the defeat of the Kauravas.
On the seventh day, Drona killed Shanka, a son of Virata. Yuyuthsu was injured in a sword fight by Kripacharya. Nakula and Sahadeva fight against Duryodhana's brothers, but are overwhelmed by their number. The terrible carnage continued and the day's battle ended with the victory of the Kauravas.
On the eighth day, Bhima killed 17 of Dhritarashtra's sons. Iravan, the son of Arjuna, and the snake princess Ulupi killed five brothers of Shakuni, princes of Gandhara. Duryodhana sent the Rakshasa fighter Alamvusha to kill Iravan, and he was killed by the Rakshasa after a fierce battle. The day ended in a crushing defeat for the Kauravas.
On the ninth day, Bhishma began destroying Pandava armies. Arjuna went to Bhishma, but Arjuna did not fight with full force as he did not want to hurt his beloved grandfather Bhishma. Krishna, overwhelmed by anger at Arjuna's apparent inability to kill Bhishma, rushed to the Kaurava commander and angrily jumped from the chariot, picking up the wheel of a fallen chariot. However, according to some texts, Bhishma tried to attack Krishna with his arrows when the entire cosmos comes to rest and the time comes for Bhishma, as instructed by his mother Ganga to learn the actual Dharma when Krishna reveals himself to be the "Supreme Parabrahman" . After that, Bhishma put his arms down and stood ready to die at the hands of the Lord, but Arjuna stopped him and recalled his promise not to carry a weapon. On the other hand, Ghatotkach kills the demon Alambusha.
Realizing that the war could not be won while Bhishma stood, Krishna suggested the strategy of putting a eunuch on the field to face him. However, some sources state that it was Yudhishthira who visited Bhishma's camp at night and asked him for help. To this Bhishma said that he would not fight a woman.
On the tenth day, unable to withstand Bhishma's abilities, the Pandavas decided to put Shikhandi, who had been a woman in a previous life, before Bhishma, since Bhishma had made a vow not to attack a woman. Shikhandi's arrows fell freely on Bhishma. Arjuna stood behind Shikhandi, protected himself from Bhishma's attack and aimed his arrows at the weak spots in Bhishma's armor. Soon the great warrior fell from his chariot with arrows from all parts of his body. His body did not touch the ground as he was being held up by the arrows sticking out of his body.
The Kauravas and Pandavas gathered around Bhishma and, at his request, Arjuna placed three arrows under Bhishma's head to aid him. Bhishma had promised his father, King Shantanu, that he would live until Hastinapur was safe from all directions. To keep this promise, Bhishma used the blessing of "Ichcha Mrityu" (self-desired death) given to him by his father. After the end of the war, when Hastinapur had become safe on all sides and after teaching the Pandavas in politics and Vishnu Sahasranama, Bhishma died on the first day of Uttarayana.
Since Bhishma could not continue, Karna entered the battlefield, much to Duryodhana's delight. Duryodhana made Drona commander in chief of the Kaurava forces at Karna's suggestion. Duryodhana wanted to capture Yudhishthira alive. Killing Yudhishthira in battle would only further anger the Pandavas, while holding him hostage would be strategically useful. To this end, Drona formulated his battle plans for the eleventh day. He cut off Yudhishthira's bow and the Pandava Army feared that their leader would be captured. However, Arjuna rushed to the scene and stopped Drona with a flood of arrows.
When his attempts to conquer Yudhishthira were foiled, Drona confided to Duryodhana that it would be difficult while Arjuna was around. So he ordered the samsaptakas (the Trigarta warriors led by Susharma who had vowed to either conquer or die) to keep Arjuna occupied in a remote part of the battlefield, an order they received due to their ancient hostilities with the Pandava sprout. However, Arjuna managed to defeat them before the afternoon and then met Bhagadatta, the ruler of the Kingdom of Pragjyotisha (present-day Assam, India), who wreaked havoc among the Pandava forces and defeated great warriors such as Bhima, Abhimanyu and Satyaki. Bhagadatta fought with Arjuna on his huge elephant named Supratika. Arjuna and Bhagadatta fought fiercely, and eventually Arjuna managed to defeat and kill his opponent. Drona continued his attempts to capture Yudhishthira, but his attacks were repulsed by Prativindhya that day. However, the Pandavas fought hard and dealt severe blows to the Kaurava army, which thwarted Drona's plans.
On the 13th day, Drona set up his troops in the Chakra / Padma / Kamala formation, a very complex and almost impenetrable formation. His goal remained the same, that is, to conquer Yudhishthira. Among the Pandavas, only Arjuna and Krishna knew how to invade this formation, and to prevent them from doing so, the samsaptakas led by Susharma challenged Arjuna again and kept him busy all day in a remote part of the battlefield. Arjuna killed thousands of samsaptakasa but failed to exterminate them all.
Across the battlefield, the remaining four Pandavas and their allies found it impossible to break Drona's chakra formation. Yudhishthira instructed Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna and Subhadra, to break the chakra / padma formation. Abhimanyu knew the strategy of entering the chakra formation but did not know how to leave it, and the Pandava heroes followed him to protect him from possible danger. As soon as Abhimanyu entered the formation, King Jayadratha stopped the Pandava warriors. Thanks to a blessing from Lord Shiva, he kept the entire Pandava army in check and defeated Bhima and Satyaki.
In the Chakra / Kamala formation, Abhimanyu killed tens of thousands of warriors. Some of them were Vrihadvala (the ruler of Kosala), the ruler of Asmaka, Martikavata (the son of Kritavarma), Rukmaratha (the son of Shalya), Shalya's younger brother Lakshmana (the son of Duryodhana) and many others. He also managed to defeat great warriors such as Drona, Ashwatthama, Kritavarma, Karna, Duryodhana, Shakuni and others.
With the prospect of total annihilation of their army, the Kaurava commanders devised a strategy to prevent Abhimanyu from inflicting further damage on their forces. Following Drona's instructions, six warriors attacked Abhimanyu together (the warriors included Drona herself, Karna, Kripa, and Kritavarma) and robbed Abhimanyu of his chariot, bow, sword, and shield. Determined to fight, however, Abhimanyu picked up a mace, smashed Ashwatthma's chariot (on which he fled), killed one of Shakuni's brothers and numerous troops and elephants, and eventually met Dussasana's son in a mace. The latter was a strong mace fighter, and an exhausted Abhimanyu was defeated and killed by his opponent.
When Arjuna learned of his son's death, he vowed to kill Jayadratha in the morning before the battle ended at sunset, otherwise he would jump into the fire.
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