Duryodhana saw the vast deserted field of Kurukshetra. He was riding a horse. A stray arrow shot from somewhere killed the horse. Duryodhana was very tired. His body was burning. He was very tired. He came upon a lake, which was very tranquil and cool. He went into it and let his body be cooled by the pure water of the lake named Dwaipayana. He let his body remain therefore many hours of cool and soothing rest.
Sanjaya came there and after talking to him went back to Dhristarastra to tell him the news of his son. Sanjaya met Ashvatthama, Kripa and Kritavarma and told them that Duryodhana was taking rest in the cool water of Dwaipayana Lake. They quietly came to the lake in the evening. They spoke to Duryodhana in soft tones. They tried to assuage his feelings. They said that they were still alive and the king should not lose heart. They could still defeat the Pandavas. Duryodhana got much needed comfort from their words. He took water and gave coronation bath to Ashvatthama to appoint him as the commander of the non-existence Kauravas army. But, Ashvatthama assumed his duties with full earnestness.
The Pandavas were very much baffled at the disappearance of Duryodhana. They had started their victory celebrations after the fall of Salya yet they were uneasy in their mind as to the where abouts of Duryodhana, Kripa, Kiritavarma and Ashvatthama. Some hunters who had heard the talks between Duryodhana and Kripa etc. rushed to inform the Pandavas about Duryodhana place of hiding in the hope of some reward. They got more hi-rewards than they had even expected. Bhima was dancing with joy to know the hiding place of Duryodhana. Krishna, Dhristadhyumna, Satyaki, the sons of Drupadi, Bhima, Uttamaujas, Shikhandi, accompanied Yudhisthira to the lake of Dwaipayana. It was evening. The Sun had set. Ashvatthama heard the approach of the Pandavas. He took leave of Duryodhana hurriedly, taking Kritavarma and Kripa with him, he went away.
DEATH OF DURYODHANA
The Pandavas came to the lake Dwaipayana and challenged Duryodhana to come out and fight with the, They taunted that it was quite unbecoming for a king of Kuru dynasty to show cowardice and to shame his ancestors. The proud king could not bear these sharp words. He came out of the lake and shouted, I was just taking a rest. Still I am capable of killing you all. Who would like to fight me first. Seeing Duryodhana in such a sorry state, Yudhisthira forgot his anger and said, "You may choose the weapon and anyone of us to fight. Duryodhana who was never found lacking his bravery and kingly qualities, said, "mace is my favorite weapon and only Bhima can match me. I would not like to hurt others."
Balarama happened to reach there as Narada had informed him that his favorite pupil were going to fight a duel. Balarama, who had just, finished his pilgrimage came to the lake Dwaipayana. Every one was very happy to see him, Duryodhana above all. After coming to know the duel to be fought between Bhima and Duryodhana, he suggested that it would be better to fight at a place called Samantpanchaka, which was nearby and very holy. It was said that anyone dying there went to heaven directly. All agreed to the suggestions and in a procession. They marched towards Samantpanchaka.
Krishna was now really worried at the foolishness of Yudhisthira for agreeing to this duel. Though Bhima was more powerful than Duryodhan, the skill of Duryodhana was for superior to Bhima. He was superb in Gadda Yuddha (fighting with mace). The presence of Balarama further complicated the matter. Duryodhana was his favorite pupil. The fight progressed on the predicted lines. Bhima found the going very tough. His all the skills were thwarted by Duryodhana. Now Duryodhana was fighting with renewed vigor as he had become very happy to see his guru Balaram. Bhima fainted a few times by the hits of Duryodhana. After Balarama, Duryodhana was the greatest fighter with mace. Bhima and Salya were next to him.
Bhima was given a signal by Arjuna, who pressed his thighs. Bhima taking the hint hit Duryodhana on the thighs. The thighs of Duryodhana were broken. He fell down on the ground. Bhima fulfilled his oath. Duryodhana was on the ground with his thighs broken.
Balarama was enraged he raised his plough and said that he would kill the Pandavas. How, Bhima his pupil could stoop so low as to forgot the rules of a fair Gadda-Yudhha. It was most unlawful to hit below the waist. Somehow he could be controlled by Krishna with great difficulty Krishna told about Duryodhana’ sinful act in showing his thighs to Draupadi and the oath of Bhima to break his thighs. Balarama was fully convinced. He said. Duryodhana would live in heaven forever. The Pandavas left Samantapanchaka. Duryodhana was there with broken thighs and was dying, with no one there with him.