The Great War - Day 2

On the morning of the second day of the war, Yudhishtra decides to form his army in the Krauncha Vyuha, or the Crane Strategy. Drupada and his aksauhini are vyuha's head. Kuntibhoja and the King of Chedi are its eyes. Satyaki and his men, the throat. At the Krauncha's tail is Yudhishtra himself and at its wings are Bheema and Dhrishtadyumna. The other Pandavas are between these two.

The sun is still low in the sky, when Duryodhana sees the vyuha. He goes back to his Acharyas and says that Yudhistra has brought forth more men than he did yesterday. Bheeshma smiles at the vyuha and declares 'Let one krauncha bird fly against another'. And so the Kaurava army too is using the Kraucha vyuha. Bheeshma makes Bhoorisravas and Shalya at the left wing, and Somadutta and the king of Kamboja at the right. Kripa and Kritavarman at the bird's tail and Bheeshma is at the krauncha's beak.

As the conches resound across the battlefield, the field is strewn with corpses of countless men and their beasts in the brief time. Bheeshma is more terrible than yesterday. Suddenly it.s going to eat up the Pandava one. As the Pitamah mows through the enmey lines, He seemed to be giving battle to everybody. Bheema, Abhimanyu, Satyaki, Kekayas, Virata and Dhristadyumna all are not able to hold back Bheeshma.

Arjuna sees his fellow warriors struggling against Bheeshma, and tells Krishna to take him towards Bheeshma. Now Arjuna takes the battle to Bheeshma's camp. Among the Kaurava forces, only three could stand Arjuna in Battle, Bheeshma, Drona and Karna. Arjuna kills scores and scores of men in mere split seconds. Arjuna ahd his charioteer himself look like an army. Suddenly they are everywhere. Even Bheeshma appears like an ordinary warrior once Arjuna begins wielding his Gandiva. When Duryodhana sees Arjuna proceeding towards Bheeshma, he cries and asks somebody to go and help Bheeshma. Only Drona is able to reach Bheeshma, because Arjuna's archery was such that. Jayadratha and Duryodhana ride behind Drona to help Bheeshma. Suddenly it does not matter to Arjuna, if there are going to be one Kshyatriya or four.

Not even four archers could stop the Pandava. He only grows fiercer and fiercer. The charioteer of the Pandava is so skillful that even the trained eye could not see him manipulating the horses. Soon Drona and Bheeshma are bleeding, and yet their own arrows are unable to even come remotely close to Arjuna's chariot. Holding the Kaurava warriors at bay, Arjuna is still killing hundreds of soldiers every minute. Soon Satyaki, Virata Dhrishtadyumna and Abhimanyu come to the assistance of Arjuna. The Pandava army is now rejoicing and comes back with full force on the Kauravas. Duryodhana is appalled. He cries to Bheeshma, 'Arjuna is killing thousands of Kaurava soldiers. Yet you and Drona both fight him, as if he is your favorite son. I wish Karna was here. If it was not for you, Karna would have vanquished Arjuna.' Bheeshma cries to himself,' Ah.. Today I feel, as if I am cursed to be born a Kshyatriya.' He directs his sarathy to move towards Arjuna.

Across the field, Krishna sees Bheeshma storming towards them. Krishna exhorts his horses to hurtle towards the Pitamah. Arjuna and Bheeshma fight like as they have never done before. All one could hear was the twanging of the bow strings and shafts of light flying across. Even the Devas have gathered in the skies. Time stands still, and so are the other Kshyatriyas, watching this battle.

Neither wants to give up on the battle. Arjuna and Bheeshma are warriors of equal match. It appears as if Bheeshma is about to win the battle. But Krishna, the skill charioteer that he is, deftly maneuvers Arjuna out of Bheeshma's vyuhas. Angry at this, Bheeshma, unleases a Brahmastra at Krishna. Krishna takes it on his chest, and for a split second, the Avatar slumps over his reins. Angry at this, Arjuna, kills Bheeshma's charioteer with a single arrow through his head. Now Bheeshma has to handle the reins of his horse as well as Arjuna's torrent of arrows. Krishna pulls the Brahmastra out of his chest and the wounds heal instantaneously. Unable to control the chariot and Arjuna at the same time, Bheeshma rides off the field to fetch another sarathy for himself.

Seeing that, Arjuna can put even the famed Bheeshma to flight, Pandava forces swarm the Kaurava legions like locusts on a plot of harvest. Duryodhana could do nothing, but stare at the onslaught. At another point on the battlefield, two other Maharathis were fighting for honor. Drona and Drupada. Dhrishtadyumna sees that his father is busy in archery rather than intending on killing the enemy. He rushes to his father's help. Drona welcomes him with a lance of fire. Bheema comes to DhrishtaDyumna's rescue. Duryodhana sees Drona fighting three warriors and sends the King of Kalinga, and his son to assist Drona. Seeing this, Virata comes to Drupada's rescue.

Kalinga and his sons, attack Bheema from three sides. But Bheema is like a bull elephant in mating season. His very roars, seem to shake the very inners of his enemies. Sukradeva, son of Kalinga, lowers his bow for an instant. From an impossible angle, and from behind his back, Bheema puts an arrow through his face, killing him instantly. Seeing his son die, Kaling rushes towards Bheema with his son, Bhanuman. Bheema smashes Bhanuman's head with his mace. Duryodhana sends Satya and Satyadeva to Kalinga's aide. Before Satya or Satyadeva have time to arm themselves, Bheema has killed them both.

Bheema is now in his element. His enemy can neither flee him or face him. Bheema's finds one shaft and aims at Kalinga's heart. The aim is unerring and finds its mark. Seeing their king, slump in the chariot, one thousand Kalinga soldiers run towards Bheema. Bheema kills a hundred soldiers a minute, but even he is unable to take them all. Dhrishtadyumna sees this, and since Bheema is his favorite, rushes to his rescue. Dhristadyumna's conch is loud enough for Satyaki to hear. Satyaki also comes to Bheema's help. The three fight back to back, and crush Kalinga army as if they were an army of ants.

Bheeshma seeing the havoc that Bheema was causing on the Kaurava army, unleases a javelin, charged with the power of an astra at the Vayuputra. The lance is aimed right at Bheema's chest. Bheema is busy butchering Kalinga soldiers that he does not notice it. At the last instance, Dhrishtadyumna, yells to Bheema to watch out. Bheema steps out of the lance's trajectory just in time. Satyaki is enraged. He kills the sarathy of Bheeshma and sends him off the field once again. Satyaki praises Bheema, that he has killed more than 6 great warriors, and that he himself is enough to finish the Kauravas.

Ashwathama decides to check the progress of Drupada's sons, with Drona and Kripa at his side, when the sun was on its downward course. Lakshmana, Duryodhana's son challenges Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu is more than what Lakshmana can handle. Seeing this, Duryodhana goes to his son's rescue. But Abhimanyu is as magnificent as his father and gives them a breathtaking fight.

Bheeshma and Drona both decide to engage Arjuna together. But Arjuna's wizardry is much more than what both could together handle. It becomes clear pretty quickly, that even the two maharathi's together would not be able to contain Arjuna, especially when he was in his element. Arjuna's archery is of another order. A supernatural thing. Bheeshma and Drona blow their conches and signal the end of the day's battle. Both the armies, begin gathering the dead and buring them beside the river.

The mood in Yudhishtra's camp is different. Krishna notices that there is no talk about abandoning the war from Yudhishtra. Across the Saraswathi, there were no illusions, as to who won that day of war.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 by Hari
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