Bhima Vikrama – Slaying of Durmada

The evening of the 14th day of the great war had just started. A short while before that, Jayadratha had dropped guard after mistaking the maya created by Sri Krishna for the setting of the Sun. In the next moment, his lifeless head had dropped on the lap of his father. Both father and son met their end within minutes of each other.

Duryodhana had the choicest and most sarcastic words for his Guru and commander Dronacharya. An infuriated Drona declared that he would not remove his kavacha without getting hold of Yudhisthira. Saying so, he returned to the battlefield although it had started to get dark. Noticing his intent to continue the war at night, the Pandavas too resumed battle.

Soon darkness and dust took over. In that difficult situation, many interesting duels took place. Drona was attacked by King Shibi. After a valiant fight, Shibi was killed by Drona after a sharp arrow decapitated him.

Meanwhile the son of the King of Kalinga remembered the gory ending given to his father by Bhimasena. Spotting him in the battlefield, he approached him and challenged him to battle. He attacked Bhima with five arrows and then seven more. He even managed to hurt Bhima’s charioteer, Vishoka, with three sharp arrows.

Bhima’s response was out of the ordinary. He got down from his chariot and ran to the Kalinga prince’s vehicle. Grabbing him from this chariot he pounded him with his fist.

The prince fell down dead.

तस्य मुष्टिहतस्याजौ पाण्डवेन बलीयसा |
सर्वान्यस्थीनि सहसा प्रापतान् वै पृथक् पृथक् ||

Having been hit by the powerful Bhimasena with his fist in the battlefield, all the bones from his body fell (down on the ground) separately.

Karna and a few brothers of his were nearby when they witnessed this massacre by Vrikodara. They did not tolerate the scene and attacked Bhima with numerous narachas. Little did the brothers of Karna realize what awaited them.

Bhima left the chariot of the Kalinga prince and came near the chariot of Dhruva (a brother of Karna). It was the most amazing scene that can be witnessed in a battlefield. Dhruva kept shooting arrows at the approaching Bhima. They had no effect on the Pandava who kept closing in on the warrior. Finally he reached Dhruva, grabbed him by his arms and squashed him with his feet.

The mangled body of Dhruva fell down on the Earth.

The next target of Bhima was Jayaratha, another brother of Bhima. Like Yama approaching one whose time had ended, Bhima approached Jayaratha’s chariot.

जयरातमथाक्षिप्य नदन् सव्येन पाणिना |
तलेण नाशयामास कर्णस्यैवाग्रतः स्थितम् ||

He let out a roar and threw Jayaratha with his left hand. Catching him with his right hand, he killed him right in front of Karna.

It was as if Jayaratha was a ball. Reminiscent of what Vrikodara had done to Shalya during the Swayamvara of Draupadi, Bhima played with him like a ball and then killed him.

Infuriated at the loss of two of his brothers, Karna threw a Shakti at Bhima. The Pandava caught it with his bare hands and threw it back at Karna. Luckily for him, Shakuni broke it into many parts by aiming several arrows at it. Karna survived.

Two brothers of Duryodhana, Durmada and Dushkarna, approached Bhima after witnessing the slaughter. They tried to put up a semblance of a fight but Bhima quickly overpowered them. Picking up a bow, Bhimasena fired several arrows and killed the charioteer and horses of Durmada. Rendered immobile, Durmada climbed on to Dushakarna’s chariot.

Encouraged by each other, the two brothers hoped for victory against Bhima. They started firing a lot of arrows at him. The big warriors of the Kaurava camp – Karna, Ashwathama, Duryodhana, Kripa, Somadatta and Bahlika – eager to witness a miracle, approached there and watched the battle.

But it was Bhima who decided to put up a display.

दुर्मदस्य च वीरस्य दुष्कर्णस्य च तं रथम् |
पादप्रहारेण धरां प्रावेशयदरिन्दमः ||

The destroyer of the enemies (Bhima) kicked the chariot of the brave Durmada and Dushkarna and caused it to fall down on the Earth.

Bhima left his vehicle and weapons and approached their chariot. One kick from his leg and the chariot broke down into pieces. The totally defenseless Durmada and Dushkarna fell in front of him. Holding them by his hands, the furious Bhima hit them with his fist. The powerful blows caused them to collapse.

Bhima stomped on the two brothers of Duryodhana with his foot and they were dead instantly.

Seeing this savage killing of Durmada and Dushkarna, the Kaurava army thought that Rudradeva himself had come on to the battlefield there. Totally frightened, they took to their heels.

On the other hand, the joy of the Pandavas knew no bounds. Yudhisthira, Nakula, Sahadeva, Drupada, Virata and the Kekayas welcomed Bhima and worshiped him greatly.

Sri Krishnarpanamastu

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