Yudhisthira and others sat, tears streaming from their eyes. Arjuna defeated Trigartas and returned. The ominous silence in the camp filled his heart with an unknown dread. He too was in a deep and profound shock to learn about the tragic killing of his son in the Chakra-Vyuha in the cruelest manner. Even Krishna could not check his tears, hearing about the death of his favourite Nephew. Arjuna was told all the gruesome details, how six maharathis together killed his son.
Then Arjuna stood up, suddenly and said, Tommorrow, I promise I will kill Jayadratha. If I do not kill him before sunset tommorrow, I will enter the blazing fire with my Gandhiva.
This lifted the gloom from the hearts of the Pandavas camp. They gave lusty cheers and sounded the drums and trumpets. This unusual and uncalled for cheering drew the attention of the spies and they rushed to Duryodhana to give him the news of Arjuna Oath. In Pandava camp no one could sleep. The death of Abhimanyu had caused too much of grief. They were praying that Arjuna fulfills his terrible oath of killing Jayadratha the next day.
Jayadratha was panic-stricken hearing about the oath of Arjuna. He rushed to Drona. He said, "I will run away and go back to my kingdom. Arjuna cannot kill a man who has run away from the battle. It is against the dharma and Arjuna is righteous." Drona laughed and said, Do not talk of Dharma. By running away you may not be able to save your life. Your life can be saved only if you remain in the battle. The entire Kaurava army and all the heroes will guard you only. You are a no mean fighter yourself. Lord Shiva blessed you. Why are you afraid of Arjuna? If he fails to kill you, he will enter the fire. Once Arjuna is gone, the Pandavas would lose the war." Duryodhana also agreed with the views of Drona. Now Jayadratha was some what pacified.
It was heart-rendering scene at the Pandavas camp. Arjuna, not having the courage to face his wife Subhadra, asked Krishna to pacify her. It took all task and compassion of Krishna to pacify somehow his sister Subhadra and Draupadi. He asked them to have courage like Kshatriya women and to go to Uttara and comfort her. Subhadra and Draupadi comforted Uttara. She was delirious with sorrow. She was carrying Abhimanyu’s child in her womb, who was to be the sole survivor of the Pandavas.
Krishna could not sleep. He was worried about Arjuna’s oath. He called his charioteer Daruka. He said, Daruka. Tommorrow, the spies tell us that Drona is going to form a very complex and formidable Vyuha to protect Jayadratha. Besides all other Kaurava warriors Drona and Karna will be there to guard Jayadratha. The Sun being in Dakshinayana sets early now a days. Arjuna will not be able to defeat Drona,Karna and all other warriors, to reach Jayadratha. So keep my chariot ready. Keep my bow, Saranga, Chakra Sudarshana and mace Kaumudiki in it. Fix the Garuda banner. Yoke Valahaka, Shaivya, Meghapushpa and Sugnva, my beloved horses. Wear your armour. When I sound ‘Rishabha’ note from Panchajanya, bring the chariot to me. I have taken an oath not to join the war. But Arjuna is my devotee and a friend. I cannot allow his words to be untrue, even if my words become false. The honour of my devotee is dearer to me than my own honour. Arjuna will not be allowed to fail his words, even if I have to kill Drona and Karna with my own hands. Daruka listened to Krishna’s command with tears in his eyes. He said, I will do as my lord commands, but I can see no way Arjuna can fail when the lord of the universe is guiding his chariot. Daruka left to make the necessary preparations. Then Krishna went to sleep as a burden had been cast off his mind.
Arjuna too was unable to sleep. In a trance he heard Krishna saying. Remember your Pushupata astra given by lord Shiva. Kill Jayadratha using it and pray to Lord Shiva for the success of your oath. Arjuna came out of his trance. He took a holy bath and sat for meditation and prayers for Lord Shiva.
The fourteenth day of the war came. Drona had made a triple layered Vyuha today. First was the Chakravyuha where he was standing guard himself. That Vyuha opened in to the second Sakatavyuha the charge of which was in the hands of Duramarshana, the brave brother of Duryodhana. At the third tier was the Soochimukha Vyuha (shaped like the mouth of a needle) with Karna, Bhurishrava, Ashvatthama, Salya, Vrishasena, Kripa to guard it and Jayadratha was at the very end of the Vyuha.
The chariot of Arjuna went first where Duramarshana was positioned. Arjuna was very merciless today. He started killing the Kaurava army in droves and he forced Duramarshana to flee. Then came the turn of the elephant brigade of Dussasan. Arjuna caused devastation in that army too. Dussasan too was forced to run away. The first Vyuha was broken without much difficulty.
Nor Arjuna was facing Drona at the head of the Padmavyuha or Chakravyuha. A long and fierce fight took place between the teacher and his pupil/ None were giving any ground to the others. Then prompted by Krishna, Arjuna realised that it may take the whole day and yet he make not get past Drona. Arjuna made a Pradakshina around his guru and with folded hands asked for the blessings of his Guru. Drona smiled and said, "What already you have given up? Smiling, Arjuna said," Yes sometimes it is more profitable to treat you as a father and a guru than foe. Kindly bless me like a son and a pupil." Drona closed his eyes to bless him. But when he opened the eyes, Arjuna was past him, deep in the Vyuha, Drona went in persuit. Now, Kritavarma was a cousin if Krishna. He was hurt and fainted. He was taken away. Then the king of Kamboja, Srutayudha came. He had a boon from Varuna and was given a divine mace. He could not be defeated by anyone till be wielded the face. But if even he used the mace on an unarmed person, the mace would hit him back. It was in the heat of fight with Arjuna that he threw the caution to the winds. He hit Krishna with his mace,as he did not bore any arms, the mace recoiled on him and he was killed. Then Arjuna killed Sudakshina. A few more heroes were killed by Arjuna. Now Arjuna faced an angry Duryodhana.Drona had given an armour to Duryodhana that any weapon could not have penetrated.
The Pandavas tried to follow Arjuna but they met an unmovable Drona, who was guarding the Vyuha like a mountain. The Sun was now moving downwards and the Pandavas started getting worried. If Arjuna failed to keep his oath, he would give himself up to the fire. Now the horses of Arjuna’s chariot began to look tired. They were thirsty and received many wounds. The divine horses could not be killed but they were tired. The Kauravas were happy as Jayadratha was still far away, safely.
Arjuna was faced with brothers Vinda and Anuvinda. Soon he was able to kill them. Then Arjuna consulted Krishna and he decided to give his horses a rest and he fought on foot. Arjuna created a lake by shooting an arrow and invoking Varunastra. The horses drank water. Krishna tended to their wounds and the horses were refreshed again. Arjuna and Krishna again rode the chariot. Now they were at the end of their second Vyuha, the chakravyuha and were about to enter the last Vyuha, the soochimukha Vyuha. The Kauravas got panicky.
Duryodhana came to Arjuna and he shot many arrows on Arjuna and caused much hurt. All arrows of Arjuna proved ineffective against the armour given to Duryodhana by Drona. Now Kaurava warriors were attacking Arjuna much more determindly, Then Arjuna put his skills to utmost use to ward off their assault.
At the other end of the field a fierce battle was going on between Drona and Yudhisthira. Today, Yudhisthira too was showing his excellent form. He sent a Shakti towards Drona, which could be stopped by the use of Brahmastra only. Drona made one more attempt to capture Yudhisthira. He killed Yudhisthira horses and destroyed his chariot. Yudhisthira took shelter in Satyaki’s chariot. Drona fought a battle with Satyaki but could not do much. In another fight Ghatotkacha killed Alambusa.
Yudhisthira hearing twang of Arjuna’s Gandiva and Krishna’s loud note of Panchajanya sent Satyaki to help Arjuna. Satyaki left Yudhisthira reluctantly to help Arjuna. He entrusted the safety of Yudhisthira to Bhima, Satyaki in his ferocity did battle with Drona, Kritavarma and Duryodhana. He defeated them all and killed two great warriors Jalasandha and Sudarsana.
Drona also defeated Dhristadhymana and killed Dhistaketu, the son of Sisupala, son of Jarasandha and the son of Dhristadhymna. Bhima fought with and killed seven more brothers of Duryodhana, there by bringing the total of the numbers of brothers of Duryodhana killed by him to thirty-one. Bhima encountered Drona at the gate of Padmavyuha as he was going to help Arjuna at the command of Yudhisthira. Then Bhima killed three more brothers of Duryodhana. Seeing these other brothers of Duryodhana ran away. Drona tried to stop Bhima at the gate of the Vyuha, but Bhima was very angry with Drona for his wicked plan to capture Yudhisthira. He made a dreadful attacked on Drona and smashed his chariot and horses. Then Bhima rushed towards Arjuna. Bhima’s progress was made easier and Satyaki had cleared the path of may soldiers.
Bhima reached Arjuna and Krishna. They together made a loud noise. Bhima by his war cry, Arjuna by a twang of his Gandiva and Krishna by blowing his Panchajanya, Now Bhima faced with Karna and faught with bow and arrows with him and managed to defeat him too. Every one was surprised to see this rare display of the archery skills of Bhima. Bhima also managed to kill another brother Dussala, of Duryodhana. Then Bhima broke chariot of Karna several time. Then, Durjaya, another of Duryodhana’s brother came to help Karna, was also killed by Bhima in no time.
Karna was shocked to see that the brothers of Duryodhana were being done to death because they had been trying to help him. In the meantime another brother of Duryodhana, Durmukha, came to fight. Bhima was enraged at the sight of a son of Dhritarastra, He again struck killing Durmukha. Karna was so upset at the death of the brother that he went away form the battlefield. Then five brothers of Duryodhana rushed at Bhima with intent to kill. Durmarshana was among them and soon he joined the rank of dead with his other four brothers.
Karna came back and attacked Bhima. Some more brothers of Duryodhana came to help him and were soon despatched to their maker by Bhima. Then seven more brothers of Duryodhana surrounded Bhima and they tried to avenge the killing of their brothers at the hands of Bhima. But Bhima was to good for they. They also died fighting. Vikarna was one of them. This saddened Bhima, as Vikarna was the only one in the Kauravas assembly who had protested against the mal treatment of Draupadi.
In the continuing fight now Karna had started asserting his superior fighting and archery skills. He broke Bhima’s armour and shield too. Bhima lost his chariot. Bhima tried to attack Karna with his sword but that too was cut into pieces by him. Now he was at Karna mercy. Karna insulted Bhima and let him go. He spared his life.
Another battle of note was fought between Bhurishrava and Satyaki. While Satyaki was trained by Arjuna and also by Krishna, Bhurishrava was not less. He too was a great warrior and a great devotee too respected by both the sides for his personal qualities of greatness. Bhurishrava shot many sharp arrows at Satyaki. Satyaki, who had to fight the entire Kauravas army since morning was very tired. The arrows hit him, and he fell on the ground. Bhurishrava caught him by his hair and put his foot on his chest. Thus he avenged an ancient insult offered to his father by Satyaki grandfather. After insulting the fallen hero now Bhurishrava, against the rules of fair fight was going to cut off the head of Satyaki.
Krishna saw this and alerted Arjuna.Satyaki was very dear to Arjuna and today he had taken so much pains to reach for his help. Arjuna cut off Bhurishravas hand by a short arrow. Bhurishrava was very angry. He said, Arjuna I could never have expected such dishonesty from a Kuru Prince you attacked me when I was not prepared to fight you. This is not dharma. Arjuna was very angry in return, He said, You were going kill a fallen enemy. Is it dharma? Where was your dharma when you killed my son by deceit. Did not you think of dharma then? But Arjuna felt very sorry for his act. He told Krishna as to how the war had made them do such terrible things, which were unimaginable in the normal times.
Bhurishrava heard this and overcome by a sense of renunciation, sat down on sacred Kusha grass to leave his body, by yoga. But then Satyaki came back to his senses and cut off Bhurishravas head. Thus died another of the great heroes. In the process Satyaki got only blot on his otherwise spotless reputation.
Nor Arjuna was even more furious. He was quite unhapy at the misdeed of Satyaki. But now Arjuna was thinking of Jayadratha. He told Krishna to hurry to the spot where Jayadratha was stationed. Now, Arjuna was face to face with Jayadratha and his eyes were red with rage. Karna engaged Satyaki so that he could not render any help to Arjuna. Arjuna now wanted to fight with Karna but Krishna said first Jayadratha should be tackled Satyaki was without his chariot and he was finding it difficult to face Karna only with his sword.
Krishna sounded 'RISHABHA' note on his conch Ranchajanya and his chariot came there. Satyaki gratefully accepted the gift and sat into it. Now the fight between Karna and Satyaki was even. The warriors of Kaurava side came to assist Karna. Karna too lost his chariot in the fight and took Duryodhana’s chariot. Satyaki remembered the oath of Bhima to kill all the brothers of Duryodhana, so he defeated all but did not kill any brother of Duryodhana. This day clearly belonged to Satyaki. Eveyone acknowledged that he was not inferior to his guru, Arjuna in his fighting skills. But in the meantime Arjuna approached Karna and said, You killed my son deceitfully when I was not there. But I am going to kill your son in your presence. Try to save your son Vrishesena.
The Sun was losing its warmath. It was travelling towards the horizon.Not much time was there before the sunset. Duryodhana came to Karna and spoke in a desperate voice. The sun is going to set soon. If Arjuna were unable to kill Jayadratha, he would burn himself to death. Only you can save Jayadratha now." Arjuna was now with Jayadratha and Jayadratha was putting up a very brave fight. Arjuna was finding it difficult to subdue him. If Arjuna could be prevented for sometime,the sun would set. Saving of Jayadratha meant the death of Arjuna and the end of the war in the favour of the Kauravas.
Now Krishna, realising the gravity of the situations told Arjuna, Now the sun is about to set in a few moments but you have not been able to kill Jayadratha. But don’t worry, do as I say, obeying me, totally. When I command you to shoot. You must shoot your astra on Jayadratha. Krishna covered the Sun with his Chakra.There was darkness all round. The sun set suddenly. Arjuna was dejected but there was very loud Jubilation in the Kauravas side.Every one was looking at the sun, which had set so quickly to save the life of Jayadratha.
Krishna said, Arjuna now Jayadratha is looking at the sun. His neck is the ideal target. Shoot. Arjuna took up his precious astra given by Lord Shiva the Pashupat astra. He invoked it and shot at Jayadratha. The head of Jayadratha was cut off. Krishna said, Arjuna don’t allow the severed head of Jayadratha to fall on the ground. Let this head be taken to his father’s lap by the Pashupata astra.The head of Jayadratha fell at the lap of his father who was performing his evening prayers/ when he got up after his prayers the head of Jayadratha rolled out of his lap and fell on the ground. The head of Jayadratha’s father split into hundreds of pieces.
As soon as Jayadratha was killed, Krishna removed his chakra, which had shielded the sun, and the sun was shinning again. Then the sun went down once again and so were the hopes of the Kauravas. Arjuna then recited the incantation to withdraw the Pashupata astra. The Pandavas were relieved. In the days good work, Arjuna and Satyaki together had destroyed seven akshauhinis of the Kauravas army. Krishna told Arjuna on the way back to their camp that the father of Jayadratha, Brihatakshatra had got his son after doing severe tapas. He was given a boon that who ever made the head of Jayadratha roll over the ground, shall have his head split into hundreds of fragments. That was the reason, I asked to you send the head of Jayadratha, to his father’s lap.
After the death of Jayadratha Drona started the fight to continue even during the night. Both the sides were fighting hard to keep the other side from winning.