“Then I shall describe the Parva called Sauptika of frightful incidents. On the Paandavaas having gone away, the mighty charioteers, Kritavarma, Kripa(acharya), and the son of Drona (Ashwatthaama), came to the battlefield in the evening and there saw king Duryodhana lying on the ground, his thighs broken, and himself covered with blood. Then the great charioteer, the son of Drona (Ashwatthaama), of terrible angry, vowed, ‘without killing all Paanchaalas including Drishtadyumna, and Paandavaas also with all their allies, I will not take off armour.’


“Having spoken those words, the three warriors (Kritavarma, Kripaacharya and Ashwatthaama) leaving Duryodhana’s side entered the great forest just as the Sun was setting. While sitting under a large banyan tree in the night, they saw an owl killing numerous crows one after another. At the sight of this, Aswatthaama, his heart full of anger at the thought of his father’s fate, resolved to slay the sleeping Paanchaalas. Going to the gate of the camp, he saw there a Raakshasaa of frightful face, his head reaching to the very heavens, guarding the entrance.


“Seeing that Raakshasaa obstructing all his weapons, the son of Drona (Ashwatthaama) speedily pacified by worship the three-eyed Rudra (Lord Shiva). Then accompanied by Kritavarma and Kripa he slew all the sons of Draupadi, all the Paanchaalas with Dhrishtadyumna and others, together with their relatives, sleeping unsuspectingly in the night. All perished on that fatal night except the five Paandavaas and the great warrior Saatyaki.


“Those escaped due to (Sri) Krishna’s advice, then the charioteer of Dhrishtadyumna brought to the Paandavaas knowledge about the slaughter of the sleeping Paanchaalas by the son of Drona (Ashwatthaama). Then Draupadi distressed at the death of her sons, brothers and father sat before her lords resolved to kill herself by fasting. Then Bhima of terrible capabilities, moved by the words of Draupadi, resolved, to please her; and speedily taking up his mace (Gada in Sanskrit) followed in anger the son of his Guru (Ashwatthaama) in weapons. The son of Drona (Ashwatthaama) from fear of Bhimasena and driven by the fate and also moved by anger discharged a divine weapon saying, ‘This is for the destruction of all Paandavaas’; then (Sri) Krishna saying, ‘This shall not be’, neutralised Ashwatthaama’s speech.


“Then Arjuna neutralised that weapon by one of his own. Seeing the wicked Ashwatthaama’s destructive intentions, Dwaipaayana (Vyaasa) and (Sri) Krishna pronounced curses on him which the latter (Ashwatthaama) returned. Paandavaa then deprived the mighty warrior-in-chariot Ashwatthaama, of the jewel on his head, and became exceedingly glad and boastful of their success, made a present of it to the sorrowing Draupadi.


“Thus the tenth Parva, called Sauptika, is recited. The great Vyaasa has composed this in eighteen (18) sections. The number of shlokas also composed (in this) by the great reciter of sacred truths is eight hundred and seventy (870). In this Parva has been put together by the Maharishi (Vyaasa), the two Parvas called Sauptika and Aishika.



“After this has been recited the highly pathetic Parva called Stri. Dhritarashtra of predictive (foreseeing the future) eye, pained at the death of his children, and moved by enmity towards Bhima, broke into pieces a statue of hard iron cleverly placed before him by (Sri) Krishna (as substitute of Bhima). Then Vidura, removing the distressed Dhritarashtra’s affection for worldly things by reasons pointing to moksha (salvation from the cycle of birth and death in English), consoled that wise monarch. Then has been described the going of the distressed Dhritarashtra accompanied by the ladies of his house to the battlefield of Kauravaas.


“Here follow the pathetic wailings of the wives of the slain heroes. Then the anger of Gaandhari and Dhritarashtra and their loss of consciousness. Then the Kshatriya ladies saw those heroes — their unreturning sons, brothers, and fathers — lying dead on the (battle)field. Then the pacification by (Sri) Krishna of the anger of Gaandhari distressed at the death of her sons and grandsons. Then the cremation of the bodies of the deceased Rajas with due rites by that monarch (Yudhishthira) of great knowledge and the foremost also of all men of Dharma. Then upon the presentation of water (Tarpana in Sanskrit) of the souls (Atma in Sanskrit) of the dead princes having commenced, the story of Kunti’s acknowledgment of Karna as her son born in secret.


“Those have all been described by the Maharishi Vyaasa in the highly pathetic eleventh Parva. Its reading moves every feeling heart with sorrow and even draws tears from the eyes. The number of sections composed is twenty-seven (27). The number of shlokas is seven hundred and seventy-five (775).




“Twelfth in number comes the Shaanti Parva, which increases the understanding and in which is narrated the hopelessness of Yudhishthira on his having slain his fathers, brothers, sons, maternal uncles and matrimonial relations. In this Parva, is described how from his bed of arrows, Bhishma explained various systems of duties worth the study of kings desirous of knowledge; this Parva explains the duties relative to emergencies, with full indications of time and reasons. By understanding these, a person attains to perfect knowledge. The mysteries also of final liberation (moksha in Sanskrit) have been detailed upon.


“This is the twelfth Parva the favourite of the wise. It consists of three hundred and thirty-nine (339) sections, and contains fourteen thousand, seven hundred and thirty-two (14,732) shlokas




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1 Comment

  • Vaishnavi Dilipan , November 21, 2017 @ 6:29 pm

    Please tell what Bhishna told to Yudhitira exactly.

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