THE POET’S OWN WORDS
A. M. SRINIVASACHARIAR
॥ सौप्तिकपर्व ॥
when the sun had reached the great mountain of setting, there was the frightful
noise of nocturnal beings; carnivorous animals and demons rejoiced; terrible
night set in.
leave of Kritavarman and Kripa, that great warrior Ashwathaman, consumed by
rage, entered the big camp of the Pandavas, and slowly approached the abode of
a cruel mind, the son of Drona killed the son of the Panchala king
(Dhrishtadyumna) and the (other) Panchala warriors even as they were in deep
sleep by the side (of Dhrishtadyumna).
saw the sons of Draupadi and slew them with his sword then.
with Sikhandin he cut him in two with his sword.
and the evil-minded Hardikya (Kritavarman) set fire to the Pandava camp in
half of that night, Ashvathaman put to death that big army of the Pandavas.
Getting out (of the Pandava camp) at daybreak, and joining with those two,
Kripa and Kritavarman, the valorous Ashwathaman went again to the King
(Durydhana) who was lying (on the ground), and said:
if you still live, hear these words which would give happiness to your ears. Of the Pandavas, seven remain; among those on
Dhritarashtra’s side, we three remain. All
the Panchalas have been killed in an onslaught while everybody was sleeping;
camp, along with men, vehicles and animals, has been destroyed.”
च ते पिता।
what has been done for me by you, along with Kripa and the Bhoja (Kritavarman),
that Bhishma did not do me, nor Karna, not even your father.” Having said so, Duryodhana died.
न हि प्रमादात्परमस्ति कश्चित्
of the slaughter in the nocturnal attack, Yudhishthira wept: “Conquered, others
conquer; conquering, we are conquered.
These sons of ours who escaped Karna, have been killed by our
carelessness. There is no greater death
to men in this world than carelessness. We perish like rich merchants who,
after crossing the seas, are drowned in a little stream.”
to Yudhishthira, the sorrow-stricken Draupadi fell on the ground, and weeping,
spoke these words to Yudhishthira:
have heard that there is a jewel on the head of Ashwathaman, born along with
his body; I would see that sinner killed in battle and the jewel brought (to
rushed at Ashwathaman, taking his bow and arrows.
took in his left hand the Ishika Astra and saying in anger: “For the end of the
Pandavas,” he discharged the divine missile.
this fight, this divine missile (of yours) that can counteract Ashwathaman’s
missile.” So told by Krishna, Arjuna,
the destroyer of enemy-warriors shot his missile, contemplating upon god Siva,
so that Aswathaman’s missile might be put down by his own.”
Narada and the grandfather of Bharatas, Vyasa, the embodiment of all Dharmas,
stood with their supreme splendour, between the two blazing missiles, to calm
the two warriors, Ashwathaman and Arjuna.
Arjuna withdrew the divine arrow. Incapable of withdrawing that supreme missile
in the battle, Ashwathaman, with a dejected mind, discharged it at the womb (of
had discharged the missile of Brahmashiras at Uttara’s womb, Krishna
said to him: “ There will be born a son, ParikShit, the continuer of the
shall bring to life that Parikshit burnt by the heat of the fire of your
over his gem to the high-souled Pandavas then, the distracted Ashwathaman went
to the forest, even as all of them were looking on.
the precious stone of Ashwathaman, the Pandavas, along with Krishna, rushed up
in haste to the distressed and sorrowing Draupadi.
I am simply rid of my debt (of avenging the murder of my sons); the son of the preceptor
is a preceptor to me. The spotless king (Yudhishthira) deserves to wear this
jewel on his head.”
then that excellent celestial gem on his head, king Yudhishthira shone at that
time like a mountain with the moon on it.