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

Why was Duryodhana happy with Drona after the eleventh day of war?

Duryodhana was happy with Drona after the eleventh day of the war because, on that day, Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna was killed in action. But Abhimanyu had died happily since he had killed Lakshmana, the son of Duryodhana in action.  

Why Arjuna had taken a vow to fight against Jayadratha as an enemy? 

Arjuna had taken a vow on the true name of ‘Narayana’ to fight with Jayadratha and kill him before the next day’s sunset. Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna was killed with the help of Chakravyuha formed by the troops of Jayadratha under the army command of Drona. Abhimanyu was trapped and Karna had stabbed him from his back with a shaft ultimately killing Abhimanyu. Arjuna pleaded for the help of Krishna to fulfil his vow. 

ध्रुवं वै ब्राह्मणे सत्यं ध्रुवा साधुषु सन्नतिः । 
श्रीर्ध्रुवा चापि दक्षेषु ध्रुवो नारायणे जयः ॥

Certainly, truth is the power for a Brahmin. The righteous people upgrade in life due to abiding with truthfulness always. Wealth increases in honest people due to truth. Narayana favors truth and success is certainly bestowed on Narayana’s side.  

अर्जुनेन प्रतिज्ञाते पांचजन्यं जनार्दनः ।
प्रदध्मौ तत्र संक्रुद्धो देवदत्तं धनंजयः ॥ 

Arjuna had celebrated by blowing his conch named Devadatta loudly. To satisfy Arjuna, Krishna had also blown his conch named Panchajanya loudly. It was in the late night of the twelfth night. All the soldiers in the army camps on the side of Pandavas also celebrated by making loud voices with drum beatings. Then, the soldiers of the Kaurava side observed the strange behaviour of the soldiers of the Pandavas side. Ultimately, the news of the vow by Arjuna had reached the ears of Jayadratha.

Arjuna aiming his arrow
Arjuna aiming his arrow

What Jayadratha had done on the twelfth day night?

Jayadratha was very much afraid of Arjuna. Instead of weeping after the death of Abhimanyu, Arjuna had taken a vow and celebrated in the army camps. Jayadratha had conducted penance for many years and had obtained a boon from God Shiva. Except for Arjuna, nobody in this world of human beings could defeat Jayadratha in war.

But then, Arjuna had taken a vow to kill Jayadratha and the true news had reached him. Jayadratha felt very much sorry and apologized before Duryodhana for his deficiencies in war services to him. He asked the permission of Duryodhana to return to his own kingdom in Sindhu country. He desired to live away from the war by withdrawing his armies from Duryodhana’s side.    

What Duryodhana had done on the twelfth day night?

Duryodhana had appreciated his teacher and commander-in-chief Drona for his capabilities shown in the war on the eleventh and twelfth days. Duryodhana had appreciated his friend and great warrior Karna for his capabilities shown in the war on the eleventh and twelfth days.

Duryodhana had ordered Drona to give full protection to Jayadratha on the next day of war. Duryodhana had ordered Dushasana and Vikarna to give full protection to Jayadratha on the next day of war. Being his cousin, he personally assured his own personal bodyguard army would be protecting Jayadratha in the war. Based on all those assurances Jayadratha had decided to remain there and fight on the next day. 

What Drona had done on the twelfth day night?

Duryodhana wanted protection against death in the war and requested Drona to provide safe armour cover over his body. On the twelfth day night, Drona had provided Duryodhana with wound-proof protective armouring over his body. Drona also instructed Duryodhana not to remove the safety covers until Yudhishtira had surrendered to him.

But on the seventeenth day early morning, the mother of Duryodhana, Gandhari desired to see his body and she assured him her sight would be more powerful and further, nobody would be able to wound his body when seen by her. Drona had died on the thirteenth night under moonlight being attacked by Drishtadyuma.

Duryodhana had removed the safety covers provided by Drona but worn some plantain leaves around his waist covering his thigh area and appeared before Gandhari on the seventeenth day early morning. Duryodhana was alive to fight on the eighteenth day morning in the Mahabharata war. Then, Krishna explained to Bhima and Arjuna why the bleeding thigh of Duryodhana was broken. 

What Krishna had intimated Subhadra?

Krishna had climbed his chariot; Daruka was his charioteer and visited Subhadra on the same night. Krishna was an expert in speaking and he used pleasing words and convinced Subhadra. Anyhow, after hearing about the death of Abhimanyu, Subadra fell unconscious. Krishna sprinkled water over the face of Subhadra. She was crying and other ladies also cried after learning about the incident, feeling very sorry. Krishna convinced them all and returned to the camp of Satyaki. He ordered Daruka to be ready and bring two chariots for the following day.   

How the Pandavas and their allies spent the twelfth day night?

Pandavas and their allies could not get sleep easily. They arranged strong security outside their tents and discussed the next war plans and proceedings. Being tired from the war, they got to sleep very late at night. Most of them dreamt of success in the war.   

What was the dream of Arjuna?

Arjuna had a good dream and received Pashupatastra from Shiva again in the dream. Krishna also appeared in his dream. Arjuna was chanting verses in sleep.

What is the proof that the Mahabharata war happened in the winter season?

Krishna had discussed with Arjuna regarding his vow to kill Jayadratha before sunset. In the winter season, the duration of the day is smaller than the duration of the night. Krishna had emphasized this fact since it was his challenge, the achievement of the vow of Arjuna before sunset on the thirteenth day of the war. The other proof was the waiting period of Bhishma for the arrival of Uttarayana. 

What had Krishna told to Satyaki? What was the additional assignment?

Krishna told to Satyaki, not to come near Krishna at any cost on that day, no matter what happened to Krishna in the war. Krishna would be using his wheel against the Sun before sunset just to create shade so to think of evening prayers by the father of Jayadratha who was outside Kurukshetra near Samanta Panchaka.

Saindhava, the father of Jayadratha was then spending his old age doing penance there. Thinking of sunset time, after the evening prayers, he sat near Samanta Panchaka closing his eyes and mentally chanting ‘Narayana, Narayana’. In the next parva Jayadratha Vadha, more description would be seen regarding how Krishna had managed to offer Moksha to the father of Jayadratha after the beheading of Jayadratha. Satyaki should protect Yudhishtira on that day. It was the additional assignment told to Satyaki. Bhima was also instructed by Krishna properly for the next day of war.

Why was Krishna eager to fulfil the vow of Arjuna about Jayadratha?

Arjuna had taken his vow with full confidence on Krishna. Arjuna already announced he would be doing what Krishna directed. Before starting the war, it was Krishna who advised Arjuna to fight in the war. Moreover, Krishna had already described his multi-faced tasks in this world.

Along with fulfilling the vow of Arjuna, Krishna had to bestow Moksha to the father of Jayadratha. He was also called as Saindhava. The three major events of the thirteenth-day war were:

  1. Jayadratha Vadha under sunlight
  2. Drona Vadha under moonlight
  3. Narayanastra Moksha before moonset from the hands of Ashwathama 

Next post, Mahabharat: Jayadratha Vadha Parva would be more interesting.

Mahabharat: Ghatotkacha Parva will be presented separately in another article.

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

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

Readers may share this story with children, friends and family.

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