fought. Ye will see that I will exterminate the
foe with his elephants and cars and steeds, I will
exterminate in battle those slayers of my son with
all their followers and kinsmen. Ye all are accomplished
in arms. Ye all were armed with weapons, how then
could Subhadra’s son be slain, even if it were
the wielder of the thunder-bolt himself with whom
he fought? Alas, if I had known that Pandavas
and the Panchalas would be able to protect my son
in battle, I myself would have then protected him.
Ye were then on your cars, ye were shooting your shafts.
Alas, how then could Abhimanyu be slain by the foe,
causing a great carnage in your ranks? Alas,
ye have no manliness, nor have ye any prowess, since
in the very sight of you all was Abhimanyu slain.
Or, I should chide my own self, since knowing that
ye all are weak, cowardly, and irresolute, I went
away! Alas, are your coats of mail and weapons
of all kinds only ornaments for decking your persons,
and were words given to you only for speaking in assemblies,
that ye failed to protect my son (even though ye were
clad in mail, armed from head to foot, and even though
you had assured me in words of your competence)?—Having
said these words, Partha sat down, holding bow and
his excellent sword. Indeed, none could, at that
time, even look at Vibhatsu who then resembled the
Destroyer himself in wrath, repeatedly drawing deep
breaths. None of his friends or kinsmen could
venture to look at or speak unto Arjuna, as he sat
there exceedingly afflicted with grief on account
of his son, and with face bathed in tears. None!
Indeed could address him, save Vasudeva or Yudhishthira.
These two, under all circumstances, were acceptable
to Arjuna. And because they were highly reverenced
and dearly loved, therefore, could they alone address
him at such times. Then king Yudhishthira addressing
Partha, of eyes like lotus-petals, who was then filled
with rage and exceedingly afflicted with grief on account
of the death of his son, said these words.
“Yudhishthira said,—O mighty-armed
one, after thou hadst gone towards the army of the
Samsaptakas, the preceptor Drona made fierce endeavours
for seizing me. We succeeded, however, in resisting
Drona at the head of the array at all points, having
in that battle, disposed our vigorously contending
car-divisions in counter-array. Held in check
by a large number of warriors, and myself also having
been well protected, Drona began to smite us with
great activity, afflicting us with his whetted shafts.
Thus afflicted by him, we could not then even gaze
at his army, far less face it in battle. All
of us then, addressing thy son by Subhadra, who was
equal to thyself, O lord, in prowess said unto him,
[O son, pierce this array of Drona!]—That
valorous hero thus urged by us, then sought, like
a good horse, to take that burden on himself, however
unbearable it might have been for him. Endued