Abhimanyu Parva is the sixty-seventh Upa parva included in the seventh Maha parva named Drona parva. Vaishampayana continued narration to Janamejaya in reply to his queries as follows.

How did the war continue on the eleventh day after Dronabhisheka?

Since Bhishma had fallen, Duryodhana had ordered Drona not to stop attacking in the evening but to continue the war until all the Pandavas were killed. Drona had replied to Duryodhana that he would try to capture the Pandavas and oblige them to surrender alive under the Kaurava army, and the later actions would be decided by Duryodhana. Karna was ordered to defeat Satyaki. Jayadratha was happy to protect Drona on the eleventh day of the war. Drona had ordered to form Chakravyuha to satisfy Duryodhana and the Kaurava soldiers.    

How did Drona try to satisfy Duryodhana and make him happier?

To satisfy Duryodhana, Drona assured him he would be forming the most challenging type of alignment of regiments on that day. To make him happier, he announced before Duryodhana that one of the great Pandava warriors would be killed that day. But Drona put a condition on the Samasaptakas. Samasptakas or the Trigarta warriors should be engaged with Arjuna and divert far away from Drona. 

Hence the Trigarta warriors were fighting continuously for two days with Arjuna. Arjuna could not return to his camp on the eleventh day evening but fought with the Samasaptakas day and night continuously for two days, and returned to his camp only after killing all of them on the twelfth day late night. Drona had ordered to form Chakravyuha to satisfy more Kaurava soldiers.    

Abhimanyu battling alone in the centre of the Chakravyuha
Abhimanyu in the centre of the Chakravyuha

What Yudhishtira had instructed Abhimanyu?

Yudhishtira did not know about the Chakravyuha type of war blockade. Abhimanyu knew to unblock and enter inside the Chakravyuha. He was very young but did not know how to escape from it. Abhimanyu was very enthusiastic in war being young and engaged in fighting to protect Yudhishtira. While facing the Chakravyuha, Arjuna was not at hand since he had engaged with the Samasaptakas, fighting elsewhere. Drishtadyuma was also engaged with others.

Hence Yudhishtira was left with a single option of Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu had agreed with Yudhishtira to unblock the Chakravyuha of Drona provided he is protected from behind. Yudhishtira instructed Abhimanyu to proceed further and the Pandava army would follow him in protection. So Abhimanyu had started to show his war skills.   

How did Drona appreciate Abhimanyu?

नास्य युद्धे समं मन्ये कं चिदन्यं धनुर्धरं । 
इच्चन्  हन्यादिमां सेनां किमर्थमपि नेच्चति ॥ ​

Drona had appreciated the war skills of Abhimanyu. Amongst the bow holders, nobody could be equated with Abhimanyu in fighting the war. If he desired, he would be able to kill all the soldiers of the Kaurava army, but he is not doing so for some unknown reasons. Only unblocking was instructed to him and not killing. 

What happened to the brother of Karna after the escape of Dushasana?

When Abhimanyu attacked, Dushasana had escaped. Then, Karna with his younger brother attacked Abhimanyu. Karna had escaped but Karna’s brother was killed by Abhimanyu. Both Dushasana and Karna were saved alive on that day since they ran away from the battle field. 

What Karna had done to win Duryodhana’s appreciation?

Karna with his younger brother attacked Abhimanyu to win Duryodhana’s appreciation. Karna’s brother was killed by Abhimanyu but Karna had escaped. 

What Jayadratha had done to win Duryodhana’s appreciation?

Yudhishtira with the Pandavas’ army was following Abhimanyu in protection to him. To win Duryodhana’s appreciation, Jayadratha had blocked the marching and following Pandavas’ army. Thereafter, the protection for Abhimanyu was cut off.

What Brihadbala of Kosala had done to win Duryodhana’s appreciation?

Brihadbala of Kosala had fought with Abhimanyu to win Duryodhana’s appreciation. But Abhimanyu being very brave, fought with him in a great capacity killing him in action.

How was Abhimanyu killed?

The Pandavas’ army following and protecting Abhimanyu was blocked by Jayadratha. Then Karna had returned. Dushasana and the Kaurava army also returned. When Abhimanyu lost his path in the middle of the Kauravas’ army, Karna hit Abhimanyu with a shaft. Initially, Abhimanyu did not desire to kill anybody. Later, Lakshmana, the son of Duryodhana was killed by Abhimanyu.

Duryodhana had already instructed Karna to kill Abhimanyu. It was possible since Jayadratha had blocked the Pandava army. Arjuna was engaged in fighting with the Samasaptakas elsewhere, with the war continuing for two more days. So Arjuna got the news of the death of Abhimanyu from his camp only on the twelfth day late at night.  

What Arjuna had done on hearing about the death of Abhimanyu?

Arjuna then understood the war was fierce due to the presence of Jayadratha on the Kaurava side and hence Abhimanyu had died. Abhimanyu was very young but brave. Arjuna then thought of fighting with Jayadratha and sought help from Krishna.

Arjuna took an oath to kill Jayadratha with the help of Krishna. The oath of Arjuna for war with Jayadratha would be seen in the next article Pratijna parva. The war between Arjuna and Jayadratha would be seen later in Jayadratha vadha parva. 

Next post, Mahabharat: Pratijna Parva would be more interesting.

Mahabharat: Jayadratha Vadha Parva would be presented separately in another article.

On reading this story, children would gain more memory power and great moral strength in their future lives, creating a sense of self-reliance leading to peace and progress.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Krishna upon us. 

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