Chapter 58 - The Pandava Generalissimo
GOVINDA reached Upaplavya and told the Pandavas what had happened in Hastinapura.
"I spoke urging what was right and what was also good for them. But, it was all in vain. There is now no way out except the fourth, that is, the last alternative of war. The foolish Duryodhana would not listen to the advice tendered to him by the elders in the assembly. We must now prepare for war without delay. Kurukshetra is waiting for the holocaust."
"There is no longer any hope of peace," said Yudhishthira, addressing his brothers, and issued orders for marshalling their forces in, battle array.
They formed the army in seven divisions and appointed Drupada, Virata, Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandin, Satyaki, Chekitana and Bhimasena at the head of each division. They then considered who should be appointed Generalissimo.
Addressing Sahadeva, Yudhishthira said: "We should select one of these seven to be Supreme Commander. He should be one capable of successfully facing the great Bhishma, who can burn enemies to ashes. He should be one who knows how to dispose his forces as circumstances require from time to time. Who do you think is most fitted for this responsibility?"
In the olden days, it was the practice to ascertain the views of younger people first, before consulting elders. This instilled enthusiasm and self-confidence in the younger folk. If the elders were consulted first, it would not be possible for others to speak with freedom, and even honest differences of opinion might savor of disrespect.
"Let us take as our Supreme Commander the king of Virata who helped us when we lived in disguise and with whose support we now demand our share of the kingdom," replied Sahadeva.
"It seems to me best to make Drupada the Generalissimo, for, in point of age, wisdom, courage, birth and strength, he is supreme," said Nakula.
"Drupada, the father of Draupadi, has learnt archery from Bharadwaja, and has for long been waiting for an encounter with Drona. He is much respected by all kings, and is supporting us, as if we were his own sons. He should lead our army against Drona and Bhishma."
Dharmaputra then asked Dhananjaya for his opinion. "I think, Dhrishtadyumna should be our chief in the battlefield. The hero who has his senses under control and who has been born to bring about Drona's end. Dhrishtadyumna alone can withstand the arrows of Bhishma whose skill in archery made even the great Parasurama hold back. He is the only man fitted to be our commander. I can think of no one else," replied Arjuna.
Bhimasena said: "O king, what Arjuna says is true, but the rishis and elders have said that Sikhandin has come into the world to kill Bhishma. My inclination would be to give the command to Sikhandin whose radiant face is like that of Parasurama. I do not think any one else can defeat Bhishma."
Yudhishthira finally asked Kesava for his opinion. "The warriors mentioned are, each one of them, worthy of selection," said Krishna. "Any one of them would fill the Kauravas with fear. All things considered, I would endorse Arjuna's choice. Anoint Dhrishtadyumna, therefore, as your Supreme Commander."
Accordingly, Dhrishtadyumna, Drupada's illustrious son, who led Draupadi at the swayamvara and gave her away to Arjuna, who for thirteen long years was brooding over the insult that his sister had to suffer in Duryodhana's court, and who was waiting for an opportunity to avenge the wrong, was anointed Supreme Commander of the Pandava army.
The lion-roar of warriors, the blowing of conchs and shells and the trumpeting of elephants rent the air, With warlike cheers which made the sky ring, the Pandava army entered Kurukshetra in martial array.
Chapter1 - Ganapati
Chapter2 - Devavrata
Chapter3 - Bhishma's Vow
Chapter4 - Amba And Bhishma
Chapter5 - Devayani And Kacha
Chapter6 - The Marriage Of Devayani
Chapter7 - Yayati
Chapter8 - Vidura
Chapter9 - Kunti Devi
Chapter10 - Death Of Pandu
Chapter11 - Bhima
Chapter12 - Karna
Chapter13 - Drona
Chapter14 - The Wax Palace
Chapter15 - The Escape Of The Pandavas
Chapter16 - The Slaying Of Bakasura
Chapter17 - Draupadi's Swayamvaram
Chapter18 - Indraprastha
Chapter19 - The Saranga Birds
Chapter20 - Jarasandha
Chapter21 - The Slaying Of Jarasandha
Chapter22 - The First Honor
Chapter23 - Sakuni Comes In
Chapter24 - The Invitation
Chapter25 - The Wager
Chapter26 - Draupadi's Grief
Chapter27 - Dhritarashtra's Anxiety
Chapter28 - Krishna's Vow
Chapter29 - Pasupata
Chapter30 - Affliction Is Nothing New
Chapter31 - Agastya
Chapter32 - Rishyasringa
Chapter33 - Fruitless Penance
Chapter34 - Yavakrida's End
Chapter35 - Mere Learning Is Not Enough
Chapter36 - Ashtavakra
Chapter37 - Bhima And Hanuman
Chapter38 - I am No Crane
Chapter39 - Wicked Are Never Satisfied
Chapter40 - Duryodhana Disgraced
Chapter41 - Sri Krishna's Hunger
Chapter42 - The Enchanted Pool
Chapter43 - Domestic Service
Chapter44 - Virtue Vindicated
Chapter45 - Matsya Defended
Chapter46 - Prince Uttara
Chapter47 - Promise Fulfilled
Chapter48 - Virata's Delusion
Chapter49 - Taking Counsel
Chapter50 - Arjuna's Charioteer
Chapter51 - Salya Against His Nephews
Chapter52 - Vritra
Chapter53 - Nahusha
Chapter54 - Sanjaya's Mission
Chapter55 - Not a Needle-Point Of Territory
Chapter56 - Krishna's Mission
Chapter57 - Attachment and Duty
Chapter58 - The Pandava Generalissimo
Chapter59 - Balarama
Chapter60 - Rukmini
Chapter61 - Non-Cooperation
Chapter62 - Krishna Teaches
Chapter63 - Yudhishthira Seeks Benediction
Chapter64 - The First Day's Battle
Chapter65 - The Second Day
Chapter66 - The Third Day's Battle
Chapter67 - The Fourth Day
Chapter68 - The Fifth Day
Chapter69 - The Sixth Day
Chapter70 - The Seventh Day
Chapter71 - The Eighth Day
Chapter72 - The Ninth Day
Chapter73 - The Passing Of Bhishma
Chapter74 - Karna and the Grandsire
Chapter75 - Drona in Command
Chapter76 - To Seize Yudhishthira Alive
Chapter77 - The Twelfth Day
Chapter78 - Brave Bhagadatta
Chapter79 - Abhimanyu
Chapter80 - The Death Of Abhimanyu
Chapter81 - A Father's Grief
Chapter82 - The Sindhu King
Chapter83 - Borrowed Armor
Chapter84 - Yudhishthira's Misgivings
Chapter85 - Yudhishthira's Fond Hope
Chapter86 - Karna And Bhima
Chapter87 - Pledge Respected
Chapter88 - Somadatta's End
Chapter89 - Jayadratha Slain
Chapter90 - Drona Passes Away
Chapter91 - The Death Of Karna
Chapter92 - Duryodhana
Chapter93 - The Pandavas Reproached
Chapter94 - Aswatthama
Chapter95 - Avenged
Chapter96 - Who Can Give Solace?
Chapter97 - Yudhishthira's Anguish
Chapter98 - Yudhishthira Comforted
Chapter99 - Envy
Chapter100 - Utanga
Chapter101 - A Pound Of Flour
Chapter102 - Yudhishthira Rules
Chapter103 - Dhritarashtra
Chapter104 - The Passing Away Of The Three
Chapter105 - Krishna Passes Away
Chapter106 - Yudhishthira's Final Trial