After the peace talks with the Kauravas fail, Krishna returns to Vidura’s house and informs Kunti. Kunti is overwhelmed with grief over the situation of the Pandavas and the thought of the impending war. She thinks that her sons should not have to beg for what is rightfully theirs. Then she realizes that in a war situation,there were three people on the Kaurava’s side that could be forces to contend with—Bheeshma, Drona & Karna.
Bheeshma although strong, would not really harm his own grandsons.Drona, their skilled Acharya, would not hurt the Pandavas who were his own pupils. Karna, however would be the one who could be a real threat. His loyalty to Duryodhana and his hatred for the Pandavas would be reasons enough to make him a bitter enemy. She decides it is time to reveal to Karna his true identity and try and win him over to the Pandavas side.
The next morning, Kunti goes to the banks of the Ganges where Karna is offering his morning prayers. She waits patiently until he is done. Then she tells him the story of his birth. Karna is pleasantly surprised to hear that he is the son of Surya and Kunti and is a Kshatriya and that the Pandavas are his brothers but shortly afterwards he is reminded of his loyalty to Duryodhana. He refuses to give up his allegiance to the Kaurava army but promises Kunti that he would not kill any of the Pandavas except Arjuna. At the end of the war Kunti would still be the mother of five sons.
Krishna returns to the Pandavas in Upaplavya with the news that the peace talks have failed and war is inevitable. Both of the sides start getting ready for the war.The Pandavas collect 7 divisions and the Kauravas collect 11. Each division has 21,870 chariots, an equal number of elephants and three times that number of horses and soldiers. Seven heads of divisions from the Pandavas side were chosen-Drupada, Dhrishtadyumna, Sikhandi, Virata, Bhimasena, Satyaki, and Chekitana. But the challenging part was figuring out who to choose as the commander in chief for the Pandavas. Sahadeva suggested Virata because he gave them shelter. Nakula favored Drupada because of his wisdom. Bhima says he wants Sikhandi because of his desire for revenge against Bhishma. Arjuna picks Dhrishtadhyumna because he is young, strong and driven by his father’s revenge against Drona. Krishna finalizes Arjuna’s choice, Dhrishtadhyumna as the Pandavs commander-in-chief.
Meanwhile for the Kaurava army, Bhishma is chosen as the commander in chief and he states that he will kill as many warriors as possible, but not the Pandavas. Bhishma does not want interference from Karna and says that he will give up his position if Karna thinks he can do a better job as commander-in-chief.
Karna is angry because he feels that Bhishma is partial to the Pandavas and he tells Duryodhana that as long as Bhishma is the head of the army he will not fight in the war.
After both sides are settled in their tents at the battlesite, Balarama comes to visit the Pandavas . He takes the decision not to participate in the war and expresses his desire to go on a pilgrimage. He is saddened by the situation of enmity between his cousins and the fact that Krishna has decided to join the Pandavas. He does not wish to join Kauravas and fight against his own brother. Balarama decides to be neutral in the war.
On the Kauravas side, Bhishma is motivating and preparing Duryodhana for victory.
They eventually reach the topic of Karna and Bhishma says that Karna is very arrogant, over confident, and has too much hatred of the Pandavas. He also has little to offer to the Kaurava army since he has already given away his divine armor, not to mention the fact that he is cursed to forget all his mantras when he needs them the most. Drona agrees and says that he is egoistic, and constantly boasting of his ability to kill Arjuna. Karna hears all this and is enraged. He claims that Bhisma's true affections are towards the Pandavas and not the Kauravas. Duryodhana is upset with the animosity between them and says that he needs both of them to win the war. Karna is adamant and refuses to fight until Bhishma is leading the Kaurava army.
Before the war begins both parties agree upon some rules/code of conduct in war based on principles of Dharma. Some of these rules of war were-
1.Each day the battle would end with sunset and the men would be allowed to mix freely with each otherlike friends.
2.Combats would be allowed only between equals.
3. Those who surrendered could not be attacked.
4.It was not right to attack someone without weapons etc.
These were the rules that both Kauravas and Pandavas were supposed to follow but we find transgressions as the days progressed and some of these rules were broken.
Once the armies are lined up facing each other, Arjuna realizes that the enemy camp is made up of his own near and dear ones, uncles, grandfather, cousins and his teachers. He gets very agitated and is ready to give up the fight. Lord Krishna convinces Arjuna to pick up his weapons and fight for Dharma and the discourse of Bhagavad Gita takes place.
Rishabh & Janani