Hamro dharma

Mahabht 07 Drona P.




(Dronabhisheka Parva)

OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayan, and unto that most exalted of male
beings, viz., Nara, and unto the goddess Saraswati also, must the word
Jaya be uttered.

“Janamejaya said, ‘Hearing that his sire Devavrata of unrivalled vigour
and sturdiness, and might, energy and prowess, had been slain by
Sikhandin, the prince of the Panchalas, what, indeed, O regenerate Rishi,
did the powerful king Dhritarashtra with eyes bathed in tears do? O
illustrious one, his son (Duryodhana) wished for sovereignty after
vanquishing those mighty bowmen, viz., the sons of Panda, through Bhishma
and Drona and other great car-warriors. Tell me, O thou that hast wealth
of asceticism, all that he, of Kura’s race, did after that chief of all
bowmen had been slain.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing that his sire had been slain, king
Dhritarashtra of Kura’s race filled with anxiety and grief, obtained no
peace of mind. And while he, of Kura’s race, was thus continually
brooding over that sorrow, Gavalgana’s son of pure soul once more came to
him. Then, O monarch, Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, addressed
Sanjaya, who had that night come back from the camp to the city called
after the elephant. With a heart rendered exceedingly cheerless in
consequence of his having heard of Bhishma’s fall, and desirous of the
victory of his sons, he indulged in these lamentations in great distress.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘After having wept for the high-souled Bhishma of
terrible prowess, what, O son, did the Kauravas, urged by fate, next do?
Indeed, when that high-souled and invincible hero was slain, what did the
Kauravas do, sunk as they were in an ocean of grief? Indeed, that
swelling and highly efficient host of the high-souled Pandavas, would, O
Sanjaya, excite the keenest fears of even the three worlds. Tell me,
therefore, O Sanjaya, what the (assembled) kings did after Devavrata,
that bull of Kura’s race, had fallen.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Listen, O king, with undivided attention, to me as I
recite what thy sons did after Devavrata had been killed in battle. When
Bhishma, O monarch, of prowess incapable of being baffled, was slain, thy
warriors as also the Pandavas both reflected by themselves (on the
situation). Reflecting on the duties of the Kshatriya order, they were
filled with wonder and joy; but acting according to those duties of their
own order, they all bowed to that high-souled warrior. Then those tigers
among men contrived for Bhishma of immeasurable prowess a bed with a
pillow made of straight shafts. And having made arrangements for
Bhishma’s protection, they addressed one another (in pleasant converse).
Then bidding Ganga’s son their farewell and walking round him, and
looking at one another with eyes red in anger, those Kshatriyas, urged by
fate, once more went out against one another for battle. Then by the
blare of trumpets and the beat of drums, the divisions of thy army as
also those of the foe, marched out. After the fall of Ganga’s son, O
king, when the best part of the day had passed away, yielding to the
influence of wrath, with hearts afflicted by fate, and disregarding the
words, worthy of acceptance, of the high-souled Bhishma, those foremost
ones of Bharata’s race went out with great speed, armed with weapons. In
consequence of thy folly and of thy son’s and of the slaughter of
Santanu’s son, the Kauravas with all the kings seemed to be summoned by
Death himself. The Kurus, deprived of Devavrata, were filled with great
anxiety, and resembled a herd of goats and sheep without a herdsman, in a
forest abounding with beasts of prey. Indeed, after the fall of that
foremost one of Bharata’s race, the Kuru host looked like the firmament
divested of stars, or like the sky without the atmosphere, or like the
earth with blasted crops, or like an oration disfigured by bad
grammar,[1] or like the Asura host of old after Vali had been smitten
down, or like a beautiful damsel deprived of husband,[2] or like a river
whose waters have been dried up, or like a roe deprived of her mate and
encompassed in the woods by wolves; or like a spacious mountain cave with
its lion killed by a Sarabha.[3] Indeed, O chief of the Bharatas, the
Bharata host, on the fall of Ganga’s son, became like a frail boat on the
bosom of the ocean, tossed by a tempest blowing from every side.
Exceedingly afflicted by the mighty and heroic Pandavas of sure aim, the
Kaurava host, with its steeds, car-warriors and elephants much troubled,
became exceedingly distressed, helpless, and panic-stricken. And the
frightened kings and the common soldiers, no longer relying upon one
another, of that army, deprived of Devavrata, seemed to sink into the
nethermost region of the world. Then the Kauravas remembered Karna, who
indeed, was equal to Devavrata himself. All hearts turned to that
foremost of all wielders of arms, that one resembling a guest resplendent
(with learning and ascetic austerities). And all hearts turned to him, as
the heart of a man in distress turneth to a friend capable of relieving
that distress. And, O Bharata, the kings then cried out saying, Karna!
Karna! The son of Radha, our friend, the son of a Suta, that one who is
ever prepared to lay down his life in battle! Endued with great fame,
Karna, with his followers and friends, did not fight for these ten days.
O, summon him soon!’ The mighty-armed hero, in the presence of all the
Kshatriyas, during the mention of valiant and mighty car-warriors, was by
Bhishma classed as an Ardha-ratha, although that bull among men is equal
to two Maharathas! Even thus was he classed during the counting of Rathas
and Atirathas, he that is the foremost (of all Rathas and Atirathas), he
that is respected by all heroes, he that would venture to fight even with
Yama, Kuvera, Varuna, and Indra. Through anger caused by this, O king, he
had said unto Ganga’s son these words: ‘As long as thou livest, O thou of
Kuru’s race, I will never fight! if thou, however, succeedest in slaying
the sons of Pandu in great battle, I shall, O Kaurava, with Duryodhana’s
permission, retire into the woods. If, on the other hand, thou, O
Bhishma, slain by the Pandavas, attainest to heaven, I shall then, on a
single car, slay all of them, whom thou regardest as great car-warriors.’
Having said this, mighty-armed Karna of great fame, with thy son’s
approval, did not fight for the first ten days. Bhishma, of great prowess
in battle and of immeasurable might, slew, O Bharata, a very large number
of warriors belonging to Yudhishthira’s army. When, however, that hero of
sure aim and great energy was slain, thy sons thought of Karna, like
persons desirous of crossing a river thinking, of a boat. Thy warriors
and thy sons, together with all the kings, cried out, saying, Karna! And
they all said, ‘Even this is the time for the display of his prowess.’
Our hearts are turned to that Karna who derived his knowledge of weapons
from Jamadagni’s son, and whose prowess is incapable of being resisted!
He, indeed, O king, is competent to save us from great dangers, like
Govinda always saving the celestials from great dangers.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Unto Sanjaya who was thus repeatedly applauding
Karna, Dhritarashtra sighing like a snake, said those words.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘[I understand] that the hearts of all of you are
turned towards Vikartana’s son Karna, and that all of you, saw that son
of Radha, that hero of the Suta caste, ever prepared to lay down his life
in battle. I hope that hero of prowess incapable of being baffled, did
not falsify the expectations of Duryodhana and his brothers, all of whom
were then afflicted with grief and fear, and desirous of being relieved
from their danger. When Bhishma, that refuge of Kauravas, was slain,
could Karna, that foremost of bowmen, succeed in filling up the gap
caused? Filling up that gap, could Karna fill the foe with fear? Could he
also crown with fruit the hopes, entertained by my sons, of victory?'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then Adhiratha’s son of the Suta caste, knowing that
Bhishma had been slain, became desirous of rescuing, like a brother, thy
son’s army from the distress into which it had fallen, and which then
resembled a boat sunk in the fathomless ocean. [Indeed], O king, having
heard that that mighty car-warrior and foremost of men, that hero of
unfading glory, viz., Santanu’s son, had been thrown down (from his car),
that grinder of foes, that foremost of all wielders of bows, viz., Karna,
soon came (to the field of battle). When the best of car-warriors, viz.,
Bhishma, was slain by the foe, Karna speedily came there, desirous of
rescuing the Kuru host which resembled a boat sunk in the ocean, like a
sire desirous of rescuing his children.’

“And Karna (addressing the soldiers) said, ‘That Bhishma who possessed
firmness, intelligence, prowess, vigour, truth, self-restraint, and all
the virtues of a hero, as also celestial weapons, and humidity, and
modesty, agreeable speech, and freedom from malice, that ever-grateful
Bhishma, that slayer of the foes of Brahmanas, in whom were these
attributes as permanently as Lakshmi in the moon, alas, when that
Bhishma, that slayer of hostile heroes, hath received his quietus, I
regard all other heroes as already slain. In consequence of the eternal
connection (of all things) with work, nothing exists in this world that
is imperishable. When Bhisma of high vows hath been slain, who is there
that would take upon himself to say with certitude that tomorrow’s sun
will rise? When he that was endued with prowess equal to that of the
Vasus, he that was born of the energy of the Vasus, when he, that ruler
of the earth, hath once more been united with the Vasus, grieve ye,
therefore, for your possessions and children for this earth and the
Kurus, and this host.'[4]

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Upon the fall of that boon-giving hero of great
might, that lord of the world, viz., Santanu’s son of great energy, and
upon the (consequent) defeat of the Bharatas, Karna, with cheerless heart
and eyes filled with tears, began to console (the Dhartarashtras).
Hearing these words of Radha’s son, thy sons, O monarch, and thy troops,
began to wail aloud and shed copious tears of grief corresponding with
the loudness of those wails.[5] When, however, the dreadful battle once
more took place and the Kaurava divisions, urged on by the Kings, once
more set up loud shouts, that bull among mighty car-warriors, viz.,
Karna, then addressed the great car-warriors (of the Kaurava army) and
said words which caused them great delight: In this transient world
everything is continually flitting (towards the jaws of Death). Thinking
of this, I regard everything as ephemeral. When, however, all of you were
here, how could Bhishma, that bull among the Kurus, immovable as a hill,
be thrown down from his car? When that mighty car-warrior, viz., the son
of Santanu, hath been overthrown, who even now lieth on the ground like
the Sun himself dropped (from the firmament), the Kuru kings are scarcely
competent to bear Dhananjaya, like trees incapable of bearing the
mountain-wind. I shall, however, now protect, as that high-souled one
did, this helpless Kuru host of cheerless mien, whose foremost warriors
have already been slain by the foe. Let this burden now devolve on me. I
see that this universe is transient, since that foremost of heroes hath
been slain in battle. Why shall I then cherish any fear of battle?
Coursing, therefore, on the field I shall despatch those bulls of Kuru’s
race (viz., the Pandavas) to Yama’s abode by means of my straight shafts.
Regarding fame as the highest object in the world, I shall slay them in
battle, or, slain by the foe, shall sleep on the field. Yudhishthira is
possessed of firmness, intelligence, virtue, and might. Vrikodara is
equal to a hundred elephant in prowess, Arjuna is young and is the son of
the chief of the celestials. The Pandava host, therefore, is not capable
of being easily defeated by the very celestials. That force in which are
the twins, each resembling Yama himself, that force in which are Satyaki
and the son of Devaki, that force is like the jaws of Death. No coward,
approaching it, can come back with life. The wise oppose swelling ascetic
power with ascetic austerities, so should force be opposed by force.
Verily, my mind is firmly fixed upon opposing the foe and protecting my
own party, O charioteer, I shall today certainly resist the might of the
enemy, and vanquish him by repairing only to the field of battle. I will
not tolerate this intestine feud. When the troops are broken, he that
cometh (for aiding) in the endeavour to rally is a friend. I shall either
achieve this righteous feat worthy of an honest man, or casting off my
life shall follow Bhishma. I shall either slay all my foes united
together, or slain by them proceed to the regions reserved for heroes. O
charioteer, I know that even this is what I should do, when women and
children cry for help, or when Duryodhana’s prowess sustains a check.
Therefore, I shall today conquer the foe. Reckless of my very life in
this terrible battle, I shall protect the Kurus and slay the sons of
Pandu. Slaying in battle all my foes banded together, I shall bestow
(undisputed) sovereignty on Dhritarashtra’s son. Let my armour,
beautiful, made of gold, bright, and radiant with jewels and gems, be
donned; and my head-gear, of effulgence equal to that of the sun; and my
bows and arrows that resemble fire, poison, or snakes. Let also sixteen
quivers be tied (to my car) at the proper places, and let a number of
excellent bows be procured. Let also shafts, and darts and heavy maces,
and my conch, variegated with gold, be got ready. Bring also my
variegated, beautiful, and excellent standard, made of gold, possessed of
the effulgence of the lotus, and bearing the device of the elephant’s
girth, cleaning it with a delicate cloth, and decking it with excellent
garlands and a network of wires.[6] O charioteer’s son, bring me also,
with speed, some fleet steeds of the hue of tawny clouds, not lean, and
bathed in water sanctified with mantras, and furnished with trappings of
bright gold. Bring me also, with speed, an excellent car decked with
garlands of gold, adorned gems, bright as the sun or the moon, furnished
with every necessary, as also with weapons, and unto which are yoked
excellent animals. Bring me also a number of excellent bows of great
toughness, and a number of excellent bow-strings capable of smitting (the
foe), and some quivers, large and full of shafts and some coats of mail
for my body. Bring me also, with speed, O hero, every (auspicious)
article needed for occasions of setting out (for battle), such as vessels
of brass and gold, full of curds. Let garlands of flowers be brought, and
let them be put on the (proper) limbs of my body. Let drums also be
beaten for victory! Go, O charioteer, quickly to the spot where the
diadem-decked (Arjuna), and Vrikodara, and Dharma’s son (Yudhishthira),
and the twins, are. Encountering them in battle, either I shall slay
them, or, being slain by them, my foes, I shall follow Bhishma. Arjuna,
and Vasudeva, and Satyaki, and the Srinjayas, that force, I think, is
incapable of being conquered by the kings. If all-destroying Death
himself with unremitting vigilance, were to protect Kiritin, still shall
I slay him, encountering him in battle, or repair myself to Yama’s abode
by Bhishma’s track. Verily, I say, that I will repair into the midst of
those heroes. Those (kings) that are my allies are not provokers of
intestine feuds, or of weak attachment to me, or of unrighteous souls.’

“Sanjaya continued, Riding on an excellent and costly car of great
strength, with an excellent pole, decked with gold, auspicious, furnished
with a standard, and unto which were yoked excellent steeds that were
fleet as the wind, Karna proceeded (to battle) for victory. Worshipped by
the foremost of Kuru car-warriors like Indra by the celestials, that
high-souled and fierce bowman, endued with immeasurable energy like the
Sun himself, upon his car decked with gold and jewels and gems, furnished
with an excellent standard, unto which were yoked excellent steeds, and
whose rattle resembled the roll of the clouds, proceeded, accompanied by
a large force, to that field of battle where that bull of Bharata’s race
(Bhishma) had paid his debt to nature. Of beautiful person, and endued
with the splendour of fire, that great bowman and mighty car-warrior,
viz., the son of Adhiratha, then mounted on his own beautiful car
possessed of the effulgence of fire, and shone like the lord of the
celestials himself riding on his celestial car.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding the grandsire, viz., the venerable Bhishma,
that destroyer of all the Kshatriyas, that hero of righteous soul and
immeasurable energy, that great bowman thrown down (from his car) by
Savyasachin with his celestial weapons, lying on a bed of arrows, and
looking like the vast ocean dried up by mighty winds, the hope of thy
sons for victory had disappeared along with their coats of mail and peace
of mind. Beholding him who was always an island unto persons sinking in
the fathomless ocean in their endeavours to cross it, beholding that hero
covered with arrows that had coursed in a stream as continuous as that of
Yamuna, that hero who looked like Mainaka of unbearable energy thrown
down on the earth by the great Indra, that warrior lying prostrate on the
earth like the Sun dropped down from the firmament, that one who looked
like the inconceivable Indra himself after his defeat of old by Vritra,
that depriver of all warriors of their senses, that foremost of all
combatants, that signal of all bowmen, beholding that hero and bull among
men, viz., thy sire Bhishma of high vows, that grandsire of the Bharatas
thrown down in battle and lying covered with Arjuna’s shafts, on a hero’s
bed. Adhiratha’s son (Karna) alighted from his car, in great affliction,
filled with grief, and almost senseless. Afflicted (with sorrow), and
with eyes troubled with tears, he proceeded on foot. Saluting him with
joined palms, and addressing him reverentially, he said, ‘I am Karna!
Blessed be thou! Speak to me, O Bharata, in sacred and auspicious words,
and look at me, opening thy eyes. No man certainly enjoyeth in this world
the fruits of his pious deeds, since thou, reverend in years and devoted
to virtue, liest slain on the ground. O thou that art the foremost one
amongst the Kurus, I do not see that there is any one else among them,
who is competent (like thee) in filling the treasury, in counsels, in the
matter of disposing the troops in battle array, and in the use of
weapons, Alas, he that was endued with a righteous understanding, he that
always protected the Kurus from every danger, alas, he, having slain
numberless warriors, proceedeth to the region of the Pitris. From this
day, O chief of the Bharatas, the Pandavas, excited with wrath, will
slaughter the Kurus like tigers slaying deer. Today the Kauravas,
acquainted with the force of Gandiva’s twang, will regard Savyasachin,
like the Asuras regarding the wielder of the thunder-bolt, with terror.
Today the noise, resembling that of heaven’s thunder, of the arrows shot
from Gandiva, will inspire the Kurus and other kings with great terror.
Today, O hero, like a raging conflagration of fierce flames consuming a
forest, the shafts of Kiritin will consume the Dhartarashtras. In those
parts of the forest through which fire and wind march together, they burn
all plants and creepers and trees. Without doubt, Partha is even like a
surging fire, and, without doubt, O tiger among men, Krishna is like the
wind. Hearing the blare of Panchajanya and the twang of Gandiva all the
Kaurava troops, O Bharata, will be filled with fear. O hero, without
thee, the kings will never be able to bear the rattle of the ape-bannered
car belonging to that grinder of foes, when he will advance (upon them).
Who amongst the kings, save thyself, is competent to battle with that
Arjuna whose feats, as described by the wise, are all superhuman?
Superhuman was the battle that he fought with the high-souled (Mahadeva)
of three eyes. From him he obtained a boon that is unattainable by
persons of unsanctified souls. Delighted in battle, that son of Pandu is
protected by Madhava. Who is there that is competent to vanquish him who
could not be vanquished by thee before, although thou, endued with great
energy, hadst vanquished Rama himself in battle, that fierce destroyer of
the Kshatriya race, worshipped, besides, by the gods and the Danavas?
Incapable of putting up with that son of Pandu, that foremost of heroes
in battle, even I, with thy permission, am competent to slay, with the
force of my weapons, that brave and fierce warrior who resembleth a snake
of virulent poison and who slayeth his foes with his glances alone!'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Unto him who was talking thus, the aged Kuru grandsire
with a cheerful heart, said these words adapted to both time and place:
‘Like the ocean unto rivers, like the Sun unto all luminous bodies, like
the righteous unto Truth, like a fertile soil unto seeds, like the clouds
unto all creatures, be thou the refuge of thy relatives and friends! Like
the celestials upon him of a thousand eyes, let thy kinsmen depend on
thee. Be thou the humiliator of thy foes, and the enhancer of the joys of
thy friends. Be thou unto the Kauravas as Vishnu unto the dwellers of
heaven. Desirous of doing what was agreeable to Dhritarashtra’s son, thou
didst with the might and prowess of own arms, O Karna, vanquish the
Kamvojas having proceeded to Rajpura. Many kings, amongst whom Nagnajit
was the foremost, while staying in Girivraja, as also the Amvashthas, the
Videhas, and the Gandharvas, were all vanquished by thee. The Kiratas,
fierce in battle, dwelling in the fastness of Himavat, were formerly, O
Karna, made by thee to own Duryodhana’s sway. And so also, the Utpalas,
the Mekalas, the Paundras, the Kalingas, the Andhras, the Nishadas, the
Trigartas, and the Valhikas, were all vanquished by thee, O Karna, in
battle. In many other countries, O Karna, impelled by the desire of doing
good to Duryodhana, thou didst, O hero, vanquish many races and kings of
great energy. Like Duryodhana, O child, with his kinsmen, and relatives,
and friends, be thou also the refuge of all the Kauravas. In auspicious
words I command thee, go and fight with the enemy. Lead the Kurus in
battle, and give victory unto Duryodhana. Thou art to us our grandson
even as Duryodhana is. According to the ordinance, all of us also are as
much thine as Duryodhana’s![7]The wise, O foremost of men, say that the
companionship of the righteous with the righteous is a superior
relationship to that born of the same womb. Without falsifying,
therefore, thy relationship with Kurus, protect thou the Kaurava host
like Duryodhana, regarding it as thy own.

“Hearing these words of his, Vikartana’s. son Karna, reverentially
saluting Bhishma’s feet, (bade him farewell) and came to that spot where
all the Kaurava bowmen were. Viewing that wide and unparalleled
encampment of the vast host, he began to cherish (by words of
encouragement) those well-armed and broad-chested warriors. And all the
Kauravas headed by Duryodhana were filled with joy. And beholding the
mighty-armed and high-souled Karna come to the field and station himself
at the head of the whole army, for battle, the Kauravas received him with
loud shouts and slapping of arm-pits and leonine roars and twang of bows
and diverse other kinds of noise.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding that tiger among men, viz., Karna, mounted on
his car, Duryodhana, O king, filled with joy, said these words, ‘This
host, protected by thee, hath now, I think, got a proper leader. Let
that, however, be settled now which is proper and within our power.’

‘Karna said, ‘Tell us thyself, O tiger among men, for thou art the wisest
of kings. Another can never see so well what should be done as one seeth
it whose concern it is. Those kings are all desirous of listening to what
thou mayst have to say. I am sure that no improper words will be uttered
by thee.’

“Duryodhana, said, ‘Bhishma was our commander possessed (as he was) of
years, prowess, and learning and supported by all our warriors. That
high-souled one, O Karna, achieving great glory and slaying large numbers
of my enemies protected us by fair fight for ten days. He achieved the
most difficult of feats. But now that he is about to ascend to heaven,
whom, O Karna, dost thou think fit to our commander after him? Without a
leader, an army cannot stay in battle for even a short while. Thou art
foremost in battle, like a boat without a helmsman in the waters. Indeed,
as a boat without a helmsman, or a car without a driver, would go
anywhere, so would the plight be of a host that is without a leader. Like
a merchant who falleth into every kind of distress when he is
unacquainted with the ways of the country he visits, an army that is
without a leader is exposed to every kind of distress. Look thou,
therefore, among all the high-souled warriors of our army and find out a
proper leader who may succeed the son of Santanu. Him whom thou wouldst
regard as a fit leader in battle, him, all of us, without doubt, will
together make our leader.’

“Karna said, ‘All these foremost of men are high-souled persons. Every
one of them deserveth to be our leader. There is no need of any minute
examination. All of them are conversant with noble genealogies and with
the art of smiting; all of them are endued with prowess and intelligence,
all of them are attentive and acquainted with the scriptures, possessed
of wisdom, and unretreating from battle.[8] All, however, cannot be
leaders at the same time. Only one should be selected as leader, in whom
are special merits. All of these regard one another as equals. If one
amongst them, therefore, be honoured, others will be dissatisfied, and,
it is evident, will no longer fight for thee from a desire of benefiting
thee. This one, however, is the Preceptor (in arms) of all these
warriors; is venerable in years, and worthy of respect. Therefore, Drona,
this foremost of all wielders of weapons, should be made the leader. Who
is there worthy of becoming a leader, when the invincible Drona, that
foremost of persons conversant with Brahma, is here, that one who is
equal to Sukra or Vrihaspati himself? Amongst all the kings in thy army,
O Bharata, there is not a single warrior who will not follow Drona when
the latter goeth to battle.[9] This Drona is the foremost of all leaders
of forces, the foremost of all wielders of weapons, and the foremost of
all intelligent persons. He is, besides, O king, thy preceptor (in arms).
Therefore, O Duryodhana, make this one the leader of thy forces without
delay, as the celestials made Kartikeya their leader in battle for
vanquishing the Asuras.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing these words of Karna, king Duryodhana. then said
this unto Drona who was staying in the midst of the troops.’

“Duryodhana said, ‘For the superiority of the order of thy birth, for the
nobility of thy parentage, for thy learning, years and intelligence, for
also thy prowess, skill, invincibility, knowledge of worldly matters,
policy, and self-conquest, by reason also of thy ascetic austerities and
thy gratitude, superior as thou art as regards every virtue, among these
kings there is none who can make so good a leader as thou. Protect thou,
therefore, ourselves, like Vasava protecting the celestials. Having thee
for our leader, we desire, O best of Brahmanas, to vanquish our foes. As
Kapali amongst the Rudras, Pavaka among the Vasus, Kuvera among the
Yakshas, Vasava among the Maruts, Vasishtha among Brahmanas, the Sun
amongst luminous bodies, Yama among the Pitris, Varuna among aquatic
creatures, as the Moon among the stars, and Usanas among the sons of
Diti, so art thou the foremost of all leaders of forces. Be thou,
therefore, our leader. O sinless one, let these ten and one Akshauhinis
of troops be obedient to thy word of command. Disposing these troops in
battle array, slay thou our foes, like Indra slaying the Danavas. Proceed
thou art the head of us all, like Pavaka’s son (Kartikeya) at the head of
the celestial forces. We will follow thee to battle, like bulls following
a bovine leader. A fierce and great bowman as thou art, beholding thee
stretching the bow at our head. Arjuna will not strike. Without doubt, O
tiger among men, if thou becomest our leader, I will vanquish
Yudhishthira with all his followers and relatives in battle.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘After Duryodhana had uttered these words, the kings
(in the Kaurava army) all cried victory to Drona. And they delighted thy
son by uttering a loud leonine shout. And the troops, filled with joy,
and with Duryodhana at their head, desirous of winning great renown,
began to glorify that best of Brahmanas. Then, O king, Drona addressed
Duryodhana fin those words.'”


“Drona said, ‘I know the Vedas with their six branches. I know also the
science of human affairs. I am acquainted also with the Saiva weapon, and
diverse other species of weapons. Endeavouring to actually display all
those virtues which ye, desirous of victory, have attributed to me, I
will fight with the Pandavas. I will not, however, O king, be able to
slay the son of Prishata. O bull among men, he hath been created for my
slaughter. I will fight with the Pandavas, and slay the Somakas. As
regards the Pandavas, they will not fight with me with cheerful hearts.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus permitted by Drona, the son, O king, then made
him the commander of his forces according to the rites prescribed in the
ordinance. And the kings (in the Katirava army) headed by Duryodhana
performed the investiture of Drona in the command of the forces, like the
celestials headed by India in days of yore performing the investiture of
Skanda. After Drona’s installation in the command, the joy of the army
expressed itself by the sound of drums and the loud blare of conchs. Then
with cries such as greet the ears en a festive day, with auspicious
invocations by Brahmanas gratified with cries of Jaya uttered by foremost
of Brahmanas, and with the dance of mimes, Drona was duly honoured. And
Kaurava warriors regarded the Pandayas as already vanquished.’

“Sanjaya continued. ‘Then that mighty car-warrior, viz., Bharadwaja’s
son, having obtained the command, arrayed the troops in order of battle,
and went out with thy sons from desire of fighting the foe. And the ruler
of the Sindhus, and the chief of the Kalingas, and thy son Vikarna, clad
in mail, took up their position on the right wing (of Drona). And Sakuni,
accompanied by many foremost of horsemen battling with bright lances and
belonging to the Gandhara tribe, proceeded, acting as their support. And
Kripa, and Kritavarman, and Chitrasena, and Vivinsati headed by
Duhsasana, strove vigorously for protecting the left wing. And the
Kamvojas headed by Sudakshina, and the Sakas, and the Yavanas, with
steeds of great fleetness, proceeded, as the latter’s support. And the
Madras, the Trigartas the Amvashthas, the Westerners, the Northerners,
the Malavas, the Surasenas, the Sudras the Maladas, the Sauviras, the
Kaitavas, the Easterners, and the Southerners placing thy son
(Duryodhana) and the Suta’s son (Karna) at their head, forming the rear
guard, gladdened warriors of their own army, added to the strength of the
(advancing) force, Vikartana’s son Karna proceeded at the head of the
bowmen.[10] And his blazing and large and tall standard bearing the
advice of the elephant’s rope, shone with an effulgence like that of the
Sun, gladdening his own divisions. Beholding Karna, none regarded the
calamity caused by Bhishma’s death. And the kings, along with the Kurus,
all became freed from grief. And large numbers of warriors, banded
together, said unto one another, ‘Beholding Karna on the field, the
Pandavas will never be able to stand in battle. Indeed, Karna is quite
competent to vanquish in battle the very gods with Vasava at their head.
What need be said, therefore, for the sons of Pandu who are destitute of
energy and prowess? The mighty-armed Bhishma spared the Parthas in
battle. Karna, however, will slay them in the fight with his keen
shafts.’ Speaking unto one another thus and filled with joy, they
proceeded, applauding and worshipping the son of Radha. As regards our
army, it was arrayed by Drona in the form of a Sakata (vehicle); while
the array of our illustrious foes, O king, was in the form of a Krauncha
(crane), as disposed, O Bharata, by king Yudhishthira the just in great
cheerfulness. At the head of their array were those two foremost of
persons viz., Vishnu and Dhananjaya, with their banner set up, bearing
the device of the ape. The hump of the whole army and the refuge of all
bowmen, that banner of Partha, endued with immeasurable energy, as it
floated in the, sky, seemed to illumine the entire host of the
high-souled Yudhishthira. The banner of Partha, possessed of great
intelligence, seemed to resemble the blazing Sun that riseth at the end
of the Yuga for consuming the world. Amongst bowmen, Arjuna is the
foremost; amongst bows, Gandiva is the foremost amongst creature Vasudeva
is the first; and amongst all kinds of discs, Sudarsana is the first.
Bearing these four embodiments of energy, that car unto which were yoked
white steeds, took up its position in the front of the (hostile) army,
like the fierce discus upraised (for striking). Thus did those two
foremost of men stand at the very head of their respective forces, viz.,
Karna at the head of thy army, and Dhananjaya at the head of the hostile
one. Both excited with wrath, and each desirous of slaying the other,
Karna and Arjuna looked at each other in that battle.’

“Then when that mighty car-warrior, viz.. Bharadwaja’s son, proceeded to
battle with great speed, the earth seemed to tremble with loud sounds of
wailing. Then the thick dust, raised by the wind resembling a canopy of
tawny silk, enveloped the sky and the sun. And though the firmament was
cloudless, yet a shower fell of pieces of flesh, bones, and blood. And
vultures and hawks and cranes and Kankas, and crows in thousands, began
continually to fall upon the (Kaurava) troops. And jackals yelled aloud;
and many fierce and terrible birds repeatedly wheeled to the left of thy
army, from desire of eating flesh and drinking blood,[11] and many
blazing meteors, illuminating (the sky), and covering large areas with
their tails, fell on the field with loud sound and trembling motion. And
the wide disc of the sun O monarch, seemed to emit flashes of lightning
with thundering noise, when commander of the (Kaurava) army set out.
These and many other portents, fierce and indicating a destruction of
heroes, were seen during the battle. Then commenced the encounter between
the troops of the Kurus and the Pandavas, desirous of slaying each other.
And so loud was the din that it seemed to fill the whole earth. And the
Pandavas and the Kauravas, enraged with each other and skilled in
smiting, began to strike each other with sharp weapons, from desire of
victory. ‘Then that great bowman of blazing effulgence rushed towards the
troops of the Pandavas with great impetuosity, scattering hundreds of
sharp arrows. Then the Pandavas and the Srinjayas, beholding Drona rush
towards them, received him, O king, with showers upon showers (in
distinct sets) of arrows. Agitated and broken by Drona, the large host of
the Pandavas and the Panchalas broke like rows of cranes by force of the
wind. Invoking into existence many celestial weapons in that battle,
Drona, within a very short time, afflicted the Pandavas and the
Srinjayas. Slaughtered by Drona, like Danavas by Vasava, the Panchalas
headed by Dhrishtadyumna trembled in that battle. Then that mighty
car-warrior, viz., Yajnasena’s son (Dhrishtadyumna), that hero acquainted
with celestial weapons, broke, with his arrowy showers, the division of
Drona in many places. And the mighty son of Prishata baffling with his
own arrowy showers the showers of arrows shot by Drona, caused a great
slaughter among the Kurus. The mighty-armed Drona then, rallying his men
in battle and gathering them together, rushed towards the son of
Prishata. He then shot at Prishata’s son a thick shower of arrows, like
Maghavat excited with rage showering his arrows with great force upon the
Danavas, Then the Pandavas and the Srinjayas, shaken by Drona with his
shafts, repeatedly broke like a herd of inferior animals attacked by a
lion. And the mighty Drona coursed through the Pandava force like a
circle of fire. All this, O king, seemed highly wonderful. Mounted on his
own excellent car which (then) resembled a city coursing through the
skies, which was furnished with every necessary article according to
(military) science, whose banner floated on the air, whose rattle
resounded through the field, whose steeds were (well) urged, and the
staff of whose standard was bright as crystal, Drona struck terror into
the hearts of the enemy and caused a great slaughter among them.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Drona thus slaying steeds and drivers and
car-warriors and elephants, the Pandavas, without being troubled,
encompassed him on all sides. Then king Yudhishthira, addressing
Dhrishtadyumna and Dhananjaya, said unto them, ‘Let the pot-born (Drona)
be checked, our men surrounding him on all sides with care.’ Thus
addressed those mighty car-warriors, viz., Arjuna and Prishata’s son,
along with their followers, all received Drona as the latter came. And
the Kekaya princes, and Bhimasena, and Subhadra’s son and Ghatotkacha and
Yudhishthira, and the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva), and the ruler of the
Matsyas, and the son of Drupada, and the (five) sons of Draupadi, all
filled with joy, and Dhrishtaketu, and Satyaki, and the wrathful
Chitrasena, and the mighty car-warrior, Yuyutsu, and many other kings, O
monarch, who followed the sons of Pandu, all achieved diverse feats in
keeping with their lineage and prowess. Beholding then that host
protected in that battle by those Pandava warriors, Bharadwaja’s son,
turning his eyes in wrath, cast his looks upon it. Inflamed with rage,
that warrior, invincible in battle, consumed, as he stood upon his car,
the Pandava host like the tempest destroying vast masses of clouds.
Rushing on all sides at car-warriors and steeds and foot-soldiers and
elephants, Drona furiously careered over the field like a young man,
though bearing the weight of years. His red steeds, fleet as the wind,
and of excellent breed, covered with blood, O king, assumed a beautiful
appearance. Beholding that hero of regulated vows, felling them like Yama
himself inflamed with wrath, the soldiers of Yudhishthira fled away on
all sides. And as some fled away and other rallied, as some looked at him
and others stayed on the field, the noise they made was fierce and
terrible. And that noise causing delight to heroes and enhancing the
fears of the timid, filled the whole sky and the earth. And once more
Drona, uttering his own name in battle, made himself exceedingly fierce,
scattering hundreds of arrows among the foes. Indeed, the mighty Drona,
though old, yet acting like a young man, careered like Death himself, O
sire, amid the divisions of Pandu’s son. That fierce warrior cutting off
heads and arms decked with ornaments, made the terraces of many cars
empty and uttered leonine roars. And in consequence of those joyous
shouts of his, as also of the force of his shafts, the warriors, O lord,
(of the hostile army) trembled like a herd of cows afflicted by cold. And
in consequence of the rattle of his car and the stretching of his
bow-string and the twang of his bow, the whole welkin resounded with a
loud noise. And the shaft., of that hero, coursing in thousands from his
bow, and enveloping all the points of the compass, fell upon the
elephants and steeds and cars and foot-soldiers (of the enemy). Then the
Panchalas and the Pandavas boldly approached Drona, who, armed with his
bow of great force, resembled a fire having weapons for its flames. Then
with their elephants and foot-soldiers and steeds he began to despatch
them unto the abode of Yama. And Drona made the earth miry with blood.
Scattering his mighty weapons and shooting his shafts thick on every
side, Drona soon so covered all the points of the compass, that nothing
could be seen except his showers of arrows. And among foot-soldiers and
cars and steeds and elephants nothing could be seen save Drona’s arrows.
The standard of his car was all that could be seen, moving like flashes
of lightning amid the cars.[12] Of soul incapable of being depressed,
Drona then, armed with bow and arrows, afflicted the five princes of
Kekaya and the ruler of the Panchalas and then rushed against the
division of Yudhishthira. Then Bhimasena and Dhananjaya and the grandson
of Sini, and the sons of Drupada, and the ruler of Kasi, viz., the son of
Saivya, and Sivi himself, cheerfully and with loud roars covered him with
their arrows. Shafts in thousands, decked with wings of gold, shot from
Drona’s bow, piercing through the bodies of the elephants and the young
horses of those warriors, entered the earth, their feathers dyed with
blood. The field of battle, strewn with cars and the prostrate forms of
large bands of warriors, and of elephants and steeds mangled with shafts,
looked like the welkin covered with masses of black clouds. Then Drona,
desirous of the prosperity of thy sons, having thus crushed the divisions
of Satyaki, and Bhima, and Dhananjaya and Subhadra’s son and Drupada, and
the ruler of the Kasi, and having ground many other heroes in battle,
indeed, that high-souled warrior, having achieved these and many other
feats, and having, O chief of the Kurus, scorched the world like the Sun
himself as he rises at the end of the Yuga, proceeded hence, O monarch,
to heaven. That hero possessed of golden car, that grinder of hostile
hosts, having achieved mighty feats and slain in thousands the warriors
of the Pandava host in battle, hath at last been himself slain by
Dhrishtadyumna. Having, in fact, slain more than two Akshauhinis of brave
and unreturning warriors, that hero endued with intelligence, at last,
attained to the highest state. Indeed, O king, having achieved the most
difficult feats, he hath, at last, been slain by the Pandavas and the
Panchalas of cruel deeds. When the preceptor was slain in battle, there
arose in the welkin, O monarch, a loud uproar of all creatures, as also
of all the troops. Resounding through heaven and earth and the
intermediate space and through the cardinal and the subsidiary
directions, the loud cry ‘O Fie!’–of creatures; was heard. And the gods,
the Pitris, and they that were his friends, all beheld that mighty
car-warrior, viz., the son of Bharadwaja, thus slain. The Pandavas,
having won the victory, uttered leonine shouts. And the earth trembled
with those loud shouts of theirs.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘How did the Pandavas and the Srinjayas slay Drona
in battle,–Drona. who was so accomplished in weapons amongst all
wielders of arms? Did his car break (in course of the fight)? Did his bow
break while he was striking (the foe)? Or, was Drona careless at the time
when he met with his death-blow? How, indeed, O child, could Prishata’s
son, (viz., Dhrishtadyumna) the prince of the Panchalas, slay that hero
incapable of being humiliated by enemies, who scattered thick showers of
shafts furnished with wings of gold, and who was endued with great
lightness of hand, that foremost of Brahmanas, who was accomplished in
everything, acquainted with all modes of warfare, capable of shooting his
shafts to a great distance, and self-restrained, who was possessed of
great skill in the use of weapons and armed with celestial weapons, that
mighty warrior, of unfading glory, who was always careful, and who
achieved the fiercest feats in battle? It is plain, it seems to me, that
destiny is superior to exertion, since even brave Drona hath been slain
by the high-souled son of Prishata, that hero in whom were the four kinds
of weapons, alas, thou sayest that that Drona, that preceptor in
bowmanship, is slain. Hearing of the slaughter of that hero who used to
ride his bright car covered with tiger skins and adorned with pure gold.
I cannot drive away my grief. Without doubt, O Sanjaya, no one dies of
grief caused by another’s calamity, since, wretch that I am, I am yet
alive although I have heard of Drona’s death. Destiny I regard to be all
powerful, exertion is fruitless. Surely, my heart, hard as it is, is made
of adamant, since it breaketh not into a hundred pieces, although I have
heard of Drona’s death. He who was waited up-on by Brahmanas and princes
desirous of instruction in the Vedas and divination and bowmanship, alas,
how could he be taken away by Death? I cannot brook the overthrow of
Drona which is even like the drying up of the ocean, or the removal of
Meru from its site, or the fall of the Run from the firmament. He was a
restrainer of the wicked and a protector of the righteous. That scorcher
of foes who hath given up his life for the wretched Duryodhana, upon
whose prowess rested that hope of victory which my wicked sons
entertained, who was equal to Vrihaspati or Usanas himself in
intelligence, alas, how was he slain? His large steeds of red hue,
covered with net of gold, fleet as the wind and incapable of being struck
with any weapon in battle, endued with great strength, neighing
cheerfully, well-trained and of the Sindhu breed, yoked unto his car and
drawing the vehicle excellently, always preserving in the midst of
battle, did they become weak and faint? Coolly bearing in battle the roar
of elephants, while those huge creatures trumpeted at the blare of conchs
and the beat of drums, unmoved by the twang of bows and showers of arrows
and other weapons, foreboding the defeat of foes by their very
appearance, never drawing long breaths (in consequence of toil), above
all fatigue and pain, how were those fleet steeds that drew the car of
Bharadwaja’s son soon over-powered? Even such were the steeds yoked unto
his golden car. Even such were the steeds yoked thereto by that foremost
of human heroes. Mounted on his own excellent car decked with pure gold,
why, O son, could he not cross the sea of the Pandava army? What feat
were achieved in battle by Bharadwaja’s son, that warrior who always drew
tears from other heroes, and upon whose knowledge (of weapons) all the
bowmen of the world rely? Firmly adhering to truth, and endued with great
might, what, indeed, did Drona do in battle? Who were those car-warriors
that encountered that achiever of fierce deeds, that foremost of all
wielders of the bow, that first of heroes, who resembled Sakra himself in
heaven? Did the Pandava fly away beholding him of the golden car and of
mighty strength who invoked into existence celestial weapons? Or, did
king Yudhishthira the just, with his younger brothers, and having the
prince of Panchala (Dhrishtadyumna) for his binding chord,[13] attack
Drona, surrounding him with his troops on all sides? Verily, Partha must
have, with his straight shafts, checked all the other car-warriors, and
then Prishata’s son of sinful deeds must have surrounded Drona. I do not
see any other warrior, save the fierce Dhrishtadyumna protected by
Arjuna, who could have compassed the death of that mighty hero? It seems
that when those heroes, viz., the Kekayas, the Chedis, the Karushas, the
Matsyas, and the other kings, surrounding the preceptor, pressed him
exceedingly like ants pressing upon a snake, while he was engaged in some
difficult feat, the wretched Dhrishtadyumna must have slain him then.
This is what, I think. He who, having studied the four Vedas with their
branches and the histories forming the fifth (Veda), became the refuge of
the Brahmanas, as the ocean is of rivers, that scorcher of foes, who
lived both as a Brahmana and as a Kshatriya, alas, how could that
Brahmana, reverend in years, meet with his end at the edge of a weapon?
Of a proud spirit, he was yet often humiliated and had to suffer, pain on
my account. However undeserving of it, he yet attained at the hands of
Kunti’s son, the fruit of his own conduct.[14] He, upon whose feats
depend all wielders of bows in the world, alas, how could that hero,
firmly adhering to truth and possessed of great skill, be slain by
persons desirous of affluence? Foremost in the world like Sakra himself
in heaven, of great might and great energy, alas, how could he be slain
by the Parthas, like the whale by the smaller fish? He, from whose
presence no warrior desirous of victory could ever escape with life, he
whom, while alive, these two sounds never left, viz., the sound of the
Vedas by those desirous of Vedic lore, and the twang of bows caused by
those desirous of skill in bowmanship, he who was never cheerless, alas,
that tiger among men, that hero endued with prosperity and never
vanquished in battle, that warrior of prowess equal to that of the lion
or the elephant, hath been slain. Verily, I cannot bear the idea of his
death. How could Prishata’s son, in the sight of the foremost of men,
slay in battle that invincible warrior whose might was never humiliated
and whose fame was never tarnished? Who were they that fought in Drona’s
van, protecting him, standing by his side? Who proceeded in his rear and
obtained that end which is so difficult of attainment? Who were those
high-souled warriors that protected the right and the left wheels of
Drona? Who were in the van of that hero while he struggled in battle? Who
were they that, reckless of their lives on that occasion, met with death
which stood face to face with them? Who were those heroes that went in
the last journey in Drona’s battle? Did any of those Kshatriyas that were
assigned for Drona’s protection, proving false, abandon that hero in
battle? Was he slain by the foe after such desertion and while alone?
Drona would never, from fear, show his back in battle, however great the
danger. How then was he slain by the foe? Even in great distress, O
Sanjaya, an illustrious person should do this, viz., put forth his
prowess according to the measure of his might. All this was in Drona; O
child, I am losing my senses. Let this discourse be suspended for a
while. After regaining my senses I will once more ask thee, O Sanjaya!'”


“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having addressed the Suta’s son in this way,
Dhritarashtra, afflicted with excessive grief of heart and hopeless of
his son’s victory, fell down on the ground. Beholding him deprived of his
senses and fallen down, his attendants sprinkled him with perfumed and
cold water, fanning him the while. Seeing him fallen, the Bharata ladies
O king, surrounded him on all sides and gently rubbed him with their
hands. And slowly raising the king from the ground, those royal ladies,
their voices chocked with tears, seated him on his seat. Seated, the King
continued to be under the influence of that swoon. And he remained
perfectly motionless, while they fanned him standing around. And a
tremour then passed over the monarch’s body and he slowly regained his
senses. And once more he began to interrogate Gavalgana’s son of the Suta
caste about the incidents, as they occured in the battle.’

“Dhritarashtra said, [That Ajatasatru] who, like the risen sun,
dispelleth darkness by his own light; who rusheth against a foe as a
swift and angry elephant with rent temples, incapable of being vanquished
by hostile leaders of herds, rusheth against a rival proceeding with
cheerful face towards a female of the species in rust, O, what warriors
(of my army) resisted that Ajatasatru as he came, for keeping him away
from Drona?[15] That hero, that foremost of persons, who hath slain many
brave warriors (of my army) in battle, that mighty-armed and intelligent
and courageous prince of unbaffled prowess, who, unassisted by any one,
can consume the entire host of Duryodhana by means of his terrible
glances alone, that slayer by his sight, that one bent on winning
victory, that bowman, that hero of unfading glory, that self-restrained
monarch who is revered by the whole world, O, who were those heroes (of
my army) that surrounded that warrior?[16] That invincible prince, that
bowman of unfading glory, that tiger among men, that son of Kunti, who
advancing with great celerity came upon Drona, that mighty warrior who
always achieves grand feats against the foe, that hero of gigantic fame
and great courage, who in strength is equal to ten thousand elephants, O,
what brave combatants of my army surrounded that Bhimasena as he rushed
upon my host? When that car-warrior of exceeding energy, viz., Vibhatsu,
looking like a mass of clouds, came, emitting thunderbolts like the
clouds themselves, shooting showers of arrows like Indra pouring rain,
and making all the points of the compass resound with the slaps of his
palms and the rattle of his car-wheels, when that hero whose bow was like
the lightning’s flash and whose car resembled a cloud having for its
roars the rattle of its wheels (when that hero came) the whizz of whose
arrows made him exceedingly fierce, whose wrath resembles an awful cloud,
and who is fleet as the mind or the tempest, who always pierces the foe
deep into his very vitals, who, armed with shafts, is terrible to look
at, who like Death himself bathes all the points of the compass with
human blood in profusion, and who, with fierce uproar and awful visage,
wielding the bow Gandiva incessantly pours on my warriors headed by
Duryodhana shafts whetted on stone and furnished with vultures’ feathers,
alas, when that hero of great intelligence came upon you, what became the
state of your mind? When that warrior having the huge ape on his banner
came, obstructing the welkin with dense showers of arrows, what became
that state of your mind at sight of that Partha? Did Arjuna advance upon
you, slaying your troops with the twang of the Gandiva and achieving
fierce feats on the way? Did Duryodhana take, with his shafts, your
lives, like the tempest destroying gathering masses of clouds or felling
forests of reeds, blowing through them? What man is there that is capable
of bearing in battle the wielder of the Gandiva? Hearing only that he is
stationed at the head of the (hostile) force, the heart of every foe
seems to rend in twain. In that battle in which the troops trembled and
even heroes were struck with fear, who were they that did not desert
Drona, and who were those cowards that abandoned him from fear? Who were
they that, reckless of their lives met Death himself, standing face to
face with them, in the shape of Dhananjaya, who hath vanquished even
superhuman combatants in battle? My troops are incapable of bearing the
impetus of that warrior having white steeds yoked unto his car and the
twang of Gandiva, that resembles the roll of the very clouds. That car
which has Vishnu himself for its driver and Dhananjaya for its warrior,
that car I regard to be incapable of being vanquished by the very gods
and the Asuras united together. Delicate, young, and brave, and of a very
handsome countenance, that son of Pandu who is gifted with intelligence
and skill and wisdom and whose prowess incapable of being baffled in
battle, when Nakula with loud noise and afflicting all hostile warriors,
rushed at Drona, what heroes (of my army) surrounded him? When Sahadeva
who resembles an angry snake of virulent poison, when that hero owning
white steeds and invincible in battle, observant of laudable vows,
incapable of being baffled in his purposes, gifted with modesty, and
never vanquished in fight, came upon us, what heroes (of our army)
surrounded him? That warrior who, having crushed the mighty host of the
Sauvira king, took for his wife the beautiful Bhoja maiden of symmetrical
limbs, that bull among men, viz., Yuyudhana, in whom are always truth and
firmness and bravery and Brahmacharya, that warrior gifted with great
might, always practising truth, never cheerless, never vanquished, who in
battle is equal to Vasudeva and is regarded as his second self, who,
through Dhananjaya’s instructions, hath become foremost in the use of
arrows, and who is equal to Partha himself in weapons, O, what warrior
(of my army) resisted that Satyaki, for keeping him away from Drona? The
foremost hero among the Vrishnis, exceedingly brave among all bowmen,
equal to Rama himself in (knowledge and the use of) weapons and in
prowess and fame, (know, O Sanjaya, that) truth and firmness,
intelligence and heroism, and knowledge of Brahma, and high weapons, are
all in him (Satyaki) of the Satwata race, as the three worlds are in
Kesava. What heroes (of my army), approaching that mighty bowman,
Satyaki, possessed of all those accomplishments and incapable of being
resisted by the very gods, surrounded him? The foremost among the
Panchalas, possessed of heroism, high-born and the favourite of all
high-born heroes, ever achieving good deeds in battle, viz., Uttamaujas,
that Prince ever engaged in the welfare of Arjuna, born for only my evil,
equal unto Yama, or Vaisaravana, or Aditya, or Mahendra, or Varuna, that
prince regarded as a mighty car-warrior and prepared to lay down his life
in the thick of battle, O, what heroes (of my army) surrounded him? Who
(amongst my warriors) opposed Dhrishtaketu, that single warrior amongst
the Chedis who, deserting them, hath embraced the side of the Pandavas,
while he rushed upon Drona? Who resisted the heroic Ketumat for keeping
him away from Drona, the brave Ketumat who slew prince Durjaya while the
latter had taken shelter in Girivraja? What heroes (of my army)
surrounded Sikhandin, that tiger among men, who knows the merits and
demerits (in his own person) of manhood and femininity, that son of
Yajnasena, who is always cheerful in battle, that hero who became the
cause of the high-souled Bhishma’s death in battle, when he rushed
towards Drona? That foremost hero of the Vrishni race, that chief of all
bowmen, that brave warrior in whom all accomplishments exist in a greater
degree than in Dhananajaya himself, in whom are ever weapons and truth
and Brahmacharya, who is equal to Vasudeva in energy and Dhananjaya in
strength, who in splendour is equal to Aditya and in intelligence to
Vrihaspati, viz., the high-souled Abhimanyu, resembling Death himself
with wide-open mouth, O what heroes (of my army) surrounded him when he
rushed towards Drona? That youth of vigorous understanding, that slayer
of hostile heroes, viz., Subhadra’s son, O, when he rushed towards Drona,
what became the state of your mind? What heroes surrounded those tigers
among men, viz., the sons of Draupadi, when they rushed in battle against
Drona like rivers rushing towards the sea? Those children who, giving up
all (childish) sports for twelve years, and observing excellent vows,
waited upon Bhishma for the sake of weapons, those children, viz.,
Kshatranjaya and Kshatradeva and Kshatravarman and Manada, those heroic
sons of Dhrishtadyumna, O, who resisted them, seeking to keep them away
from Drona? He whom the Vrishnis regarded as superior in battle to a
hundred car-warriors, O, who resisted that great bowman, viz., Chekitana,
for keeping him away from Drona? Those five Kekaya brothers, virtuous and
possessed of prowess, incapable of being baffled, resembling (in hue) the
insects called Indragopakas, with red coats of mail, red weapons and red
banners, those heroes that are the maternal cousins of the Pandavas and
that always wish for victory unto the latter, O, what heroes (of my army)
surrounded those valiant princes when they rushed towards Drona for
slaying him? That lord of battle, that foremost of bowmen, that hero of
unbaffled aim and great strength, that tiger among men, viz., Yuyutsu,
whom many wrathful kings battling together for six months at Varanavata
from desire of slaying him could not vanquish, and who in battle at
Varanasi overthrew with a broad-headed arrow that mighty car-warrior,
viz., the prince of Kasi, desirous of seizing (at a Swayamvara) a maiden
for wife, O, what hero (of my army) resisted him? That mighty bowman,
viz., Dhrishtadyumna, who is the chief counsellor of the Pandavas, who is
engaged in doing evil to Duryodhana, who was created for Drona’s
destruction, O, what heroes (of my army) surrounded him when he came
towards Drona, breaking through all my ranks and consuming all my
warriors in battle? That foremost of all persons conversant with weapons,
who has been reared almost on Drupada’s lap, O, what warriors (of my
army) surrounded that Sikhandin protected by (Arjuna’s) weapons, for
keeping him away from Drona? He who encompassed this earth by the loud
rattle of his car as by a leathern belt, that mighty car-warrior and
foremost of all slayers of foes, who, as (a substitute for) all
sacrifices, performed, without hindrance, ten Horse sacrifices with
excellent food and drink and gifts in profusion, who ruled his subjects
as if they were his children, that Usinara’s son who in sacrifices gave
away kine countless as the grains of sand in the Ganga’s stream, whose
feat none amongst men have been or will ever be able to imitate, after
the performance of whose difficult feats the very gods had cried out,
saying, ‘We do not see in the three worlds with their mobile and immobile
creatures a second person other than Usinara’s son who, was, has ever
been, or will ever be born, who hath attained to regions (in after-life)
which are unattainable by human beings, O, who (amongst my army) resisted
that Saivya, that grandson of that Usinara’s son, while he came upon
(Drona)? What heroes (of my army) surrounded the car-division of that
slayer of foes, viz.. Virata, the king of the Matsyas, while it reached
Drona in battle? Who kept away from Drona the gigantic Ghatotkacha, that
thorn (on the side), of my sons, that warrior who always wishes victory
unto the Pandavas, that heroic Rakshasa, possessed of extensive powers of
illusion, endued with great strength and great prowess, and born of Bhima
in course of a single day, and of whom I entertain very great fears?[17]
What, O Srinjaya, can remain unconquered by them for whose sake these and
many others are prepared to Jay down their lives in battle? How can the
sons of Pritha meet with defeat, they, viz., that have the greatest of
all beings, the wielder of the bow called Sarnga, for their refuge and
benefactor? Vasudeva is, indeed, the great Master of all the worlds, the
Lord of all, and Eternal! Of celestial soul and infinite power, Narayana
is the refuge of men in battle. The wise recite his celestial feats. I
also will recite them with devotion, for recovering my firmness!'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Hear, O Sanjaya, the celestial feats of Vasudeva,
feats that Govinda achieved and the like of which no other person hath
ever been able to achieve. Whilst being brought up, O Sanjaya, in the
family of the cowherd (Nanda), that high-souled one, while yet a boy,
made the might of his arms known to the three worlds. Even then he slew
Hayaraja, living in the woods (on the shores) of the Yamuna, who was
equal to (the celestial steed) Uchchaisravas in strength and the wind
itself in speed.[18] In childhood, he also slew with his two bare arms,
the Danava, in the form of a bull, of terrible deeds, and risen like
Death himself unto all the kine. Of eyes like the lotus petals, he also
slew the mighty Asuras named Pralamva, and Naraka, and Jambha, and Pitha,
as also Mura, that terror of the celestials. And so also Kansa of mighty
energy, who was, besides, protected by Jarasandha, was, with all his
followers, slain in battle by Krishna aided by his prowess alone.[19]
With Valadeva as his second, that slayer of foes, viz., Krishna, consumed
in battle, with all his troops, the king of the Surasenas, viz., Sunaman,
of great activity and prowess in battle, the lord of a full Akshauhini,
and the valiant second brother of Kansa, the king of the Bhojas. The
highly wrathful regenerate Rishi (gratified with the adoration) gave him
boons.[20] Of eyes like the lotus petals, and endued with great bravery,
Krishna, vanquishing all the kings at a self-choice, bore away the
daughter of the king of the Gandharas. Those angry kings, as if they were
horses by birth, were yoked unto his nuptial car and were lacerated with
the whip. The mighty-armed Janardana also caused Jarasandha, the lord of
a full Akshauhini of troops, to be slain through the instrumentality of
another.[21] The mighty Krishna also slew the valiant king of Chedis,
that leader of kings, as if he were some animal, on the occasion of the
latter’s disputing about the Arghya. Putting forth his prowess, Madhava
hurled unto the sea the Daitya city called Saubha, (moving) in the skies,
protected by Salwa, and regarded as impregnable. The Angas, the Vangas,
the Kalingas, the Magadhas, the Kasis, the Kosalas, the Vatsyas, the
Gargyas, the Karushas and the Paundras,–all these he vanquished in
battle. The Avantis, the Southerners, the Mountaineers, the Daserakas,
the Kasmirakas, the Aurasikas, the Pisachas, the Samudgalas, the
Kamvojas, the Vatadhanas, the Cholas, the Pandyas, O Sanjaya, the
Trigartas, the Malavas, the Daradas difficult of being vanquished, the
Khasas arrived from diverse realms, as also the Sakas, and the Yavanas
with followers, were all vanquished by him of eyes like lotus-petals. In
days of old, penetrating into the very sea, he vanquished in battle
Varuna himself in those watery depths, surrounded by all kinds of aquatic
animals. Slaying in battle (the Danava named) Panchajanya living in the
depths of Patala, Hrishikesa obtained the celestial conch called
Panchajanya. The mighty Kesava, accompanied by Partha, having gratified
Agni at Khandava, obtained his invincible weapon of fire, viz., his
discus (called Sudarsana). Riding on Vinata’s son and frightening (the
denizens of) Amaravati, the heroic Krishna brought from Mahendra himself
(the celestial flower called) Parijata. Knowing Krishna’s prowess, Sakra
quietly bore that act.[22] We have never heard that there is any one
among the kings who has not been vanquished by Krishna. That exceedingly
wonderful feat also, O Sanjaya, which the lotus-eyed one performed in my
court, who else is capable of performing it? And since, humbled by
devotion, I was suffered to behold Krishna as the Supreme Lord;
everything (about that feat) is well-known to me, myself having witnessed
it with my own eyes, O Sanjaya, the end can never be seen of the
(infinite) achievements of Hrishikesa. of great energy and great
intelligence. Gada, and Samva, and Pradyumna, and Viduratha, and
Charudeshna, and Sarana, and Ulmukha, and Nisatha, and the valiant
Jhilivabhru, and Prithu, and Viprithu, and Samika, and Arimejaya,–these
and other mighty Vrishni heroes, accomplished in smiting, will, standing
on the field of battle, take up their position in the Pandava host, when
summoned by that Vrishni hero, viz., the high-souled Kesava. Everything
(on my side) will then be in great danger. Even this is what I think. And
there where Janardana is, there will be the heroic Rama, equal in
strength to ten thousand elephants, resembling the Kailasa peak, decked
with garlands of wild flowers, and armed with the plough. That Vasudeva,
O Sanjaya, whom all the regenerate ones describe as the Father of all,
will that Vasudeva fight for the sake of the Pandavas? O son, O Sanjaya,
if he puts on his armour for the sake of the Pandavas, there is none
amongst us who can be his antagonist. If the Kauravas happen to vanquish
the Pandavas, he, of the Vrishni race, will then, for the sake of the
latter, take up his mighty weapon. And that tiger among men, that
mighty-armed one, slaying then all the kings in battle as also the
Kauravas, will give away the whole earth to Kunti’s son. What car will
advance in battle against that car which has Hrishikesa for its driver
and Dhananjaya for its warrior? The Kurus cannot, by any means, gain
victory. Tell me, then everything about how the battle took place. Arjuna
is Kesava’s life and Krishna is always victory; in Krishna is always
fame. In all the worlds, Vibhatsu is invincible. In Kesava are infinite
merits in excess. The foolish Duryodhana, who doth not know Krishna or
Kesava, seems, through Destiny, to have Death’s noose before him. Alas,
Duryodhana knows not Krishna of Dasarha’s race and Arjuna the son of
Pandu. These high-souled ones are ancient gods. They are even Nara and
Narayana. On earth they are seen by men as; two separate forms, though in
reality they are both possessed but by one soul. With the mind alone,
that invincible pair, of world-wide fame, can, if only they wish it,
destroy this host. Only, in consequence of their humanity they do not
wish it.[23] Like a change of the Yuga, the death of Bhishma, O child,
and the slaughter of the high-souled Drona, overturn the senses. Indeed,
neither by Brahmacharya, nor by the study of the Vedas, nor by
(religious) rites, nor by weapons, can any one prevent death. Hearing of
the slaughter of Bhishma and Drona, those heroes accomplished in weapons,
respected by all the worlds, and invincible in battle, why O Sanjaya, do
I yet live? In consequence of the death of Bhishma and Drona, O Sanjaya,
we will henceforth have to live as dependants on that prosperity
beholding which in Yudhishthira we had before been so jealous. Indeed,
this destruction of the Kurus hath come in consequence only of my acts. O
Suta, in killing these that are ripe for destruction, the very straw
becomes thunderbolt. That prosperity is without end in this; world which
Yudhishthira is about to obtain–Yudhishthira through whose wrath both
Bhishma and Drona have fallen. In consequence of his very disposition,
hath Righteousness gone over to the side of Yudhishthira, while it is
hostile to my son. Alas, time, so cruel, that hath now come for the
destruction of all, cannot be overcome. Things calculated in one way, O
son, even by men of intelligence, become otherwise through Destiny. This
is what I think. Therefore, tell me everything that has taken place
during the progress of this unavoidable and dreadful calamity productive
of the most sorrowful reflection incapable of being crossed over (by


“Sanjaya said, ‘Yes, as I saw everything with my own eyes, I will
describe to thee how Drona fell down, slain by the Pandavas and the
Srinjayas. Having obtained the command of the troops, that mighty
car-warrior, viz., Bharadwaja’s son, said these words unto thy son in the
midst of all the troops, ‘Inasmuch as, O king, thou hast honoured me with
the command of the troops immediately after that bull among the Kauravas,
viz., the son of the Ocean-going (Ganga), take thou, O Bharata, the
adequate fruit of that act of thine. What business of thine shall I now
achieve? Ask thou the boon that thou desirest.’ Then king Duryodhana
having consulted with Karna and Duhsasana and others, said unto the
preceptor, that invincible warrior and foremost of all victors, these
words, ‘If thou wouldst give me a boon, then, seizing that foremost of
car-warriors, viz., Yudhishthira, alive, bring him unto me here.’ Then
that preceptor of the Kurus, hearing those words of thy son, returned him
the following answer, gladdening all the troops therewith, Praised be
Kunti’s son (Yudhishthira) whose seizing only thou desirest. O thou that
art difficult of being vanquished, thou askest not any other boon (one
for example) for his slaughter. For what reason, O tiger among men, dost
thou not desire his death? Thou art, without doubt, O Duryodhana, not
ignorant of policy. Why, therefore, dost thou not allude to Yudhisthira’s
death? It is a matter of great wonder that king Yudhisthira, the just,
hath no enemy desirous of his death. Inasmuch as thou wishest him to be
alive, thou (either) seekest to preserve thy race from extinction, or, O
chief of the Bharatas, thou, having vanquished the Pandavas in battle,
art desirous of establishing brotherly relation (with them) by giving
them their kingdom. Auspicious was the birth of that intelligent prince.
Truly is he called Ajatasatru (the foeless one), for even thou bearest
affection for him.’ Thus addressed by Drona, O Bharata, the feeling that
is ever present in thy son’s breast suddenly made itself known. Not even
persons like Vrihaspati can conceal the expressions of their countenance.
For this, thy son, O king, filled with joy, said these words, ‘By the
slaughter of Kunti’s son in battle, O preceptor, victory cannot be mine.
If Yudhishthira were slain, Partha then, without doubt, would slay all of
us. All of them, again, cannot be slain by the very gods. He amongst them
that will, in that case, survive, will exterminate us. Yudhishthira,
however, is truthful in his promises. If brought hither (alive),
vanquished once more at dice, the Pandavas will once more go to the
woods, for they are all obedient to Yudhishthira. It is evident that such
a victory will be an enduring one. It is for this that I do not, by any
means, desire the slaughter of king Yudhishthira the just.’ Ascertaining
this crooked purpose of Duryodhana, Drona who was conversant with the
truths of the science of profit and gifted with great intelligence,
reflected a little and gave him the boon circumscribing it in the
following way.’

“Drona said, ‘If the heroic Arjuna do not protect Yudhishthira in battle,
thou mayst think the eldest Pandava as already brought under thy control.
As regards Partha, the very gods and the Asuras together headed by Indra,
cannot advance against him in battle. It is for this that I dare not do
what thou askest me to do. Without doubt, Arjuna is disciple, and I was
his first preceptor in arms. He is, however, young, endued with great
good fortune, and excessively intent (on the achievement of his
purposes). He hath obtained, again, many weapons from Indra and Rudra. He
hath besides been provoked by thee. I dare not, therefore, do what thou
askest me. Let Arjuna be removed, by whatsoever means that can be done,
from the battle. Upon Partha being withdrawn, thou mayst regard king
Yudhishthira as already vanquished. Upon his seizure is victory and not
upon his slaughter, O bull among men! Even by stratagem, can his seizure
be accomplished. Seizing that king devoted to truth and righteousness, I
will, without doubt, O monarch, bring him to thy control this very day,
if he stays before me in battle even for a moment, of course, if
Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, that tiger among men, be withdrawn from the
field. In Phalguni’s presence, however, O king, Yudhishthira is incapable
of being taken in battle even by the gods and the Asuras headed by Indra.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘After Drona had promised the king’s seizure even
under these limitations, thy foolish sons regarded Yudhishthira as
already taken. Thy son (Duryodhana) knew Drona’s partiality for the
Pandavas. In order to make Drona stick to his promise, therefore, he
divulged those counsels. Then, O chastiser of foes, the fact of Drona’s
having promised to seize the (eldest) Pandava was proclaimed by
Duryodhana unto all his troops.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After Drona had promised the kings seizure under those
limitations, thy troops hearing of (that promise about) Yudhishthira’s
capture, uttered many leonine shouts, mingling them with the whiz of
their arrows and the blare of their conchs. King Yudhishthira the just,
however, O Bharata, soon learnt in detail, through his spies, everything
about the purpose upon which Bharadwaja’s son was intent. Then bringing
together all his brothers and all the other kings of his army, king
Yudhishthira the just addressed Dhananjaya, saying, ‘Thou hast heard, O
tiger among men, about the intention of Drona. Let such measures,
therefore, be adopted as may prevent the accomplishment of that purpose.
It is true, Drona, that grinder of foes, hath vowed his pledge, subject
to limitations, however, O great bowman, rest on thee. Fight thou,
therefore, today, O thou of mighty arms, in my vicinity, so that
Duryodhana may not obtain from Drona the fruition of his desire.’

“Arjuna said, ‘As the slaughter of my preceptor can never be accomplished
by me, so, king, I can never consent to give thee up. O son of Pandu, I
would rather yield up my life in battle than fight against my preceptor.
This son of Dhritarashtra desireth sovereignty, having seized thee as a
captive in battle. In this world he will never obtain the fruition of
that desire of his. The firmament itself with its stars may fall down,
the Earth herself may split into fragments, yet Drona will, surely, never
succeed in seizing thee as long as I am alive. If the wielder of the
thunderbolt himself, or Vishnu at the head of the gods, assist him in
battle, still he shall not succeed in seizing thee on the field. As long
as I am alive, O great king, it behoveth thee not to entertain any fear
of Drona, although he is the foremost of all wielders of weapons. I
further say unto thee. O monarch, that my promise never remains
unfulfilled. I do not recollect having ever spoken any untruth. I do not
recollect having ever been vanquished. I do not recollect having ever,
after making a vow, left the least part of it unfulfilled.

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Then, O king, conchs and drums and cymbals and
smaller drums were sounded and beaten in the Pandava camp. And the
high-souled Pandavas uttered many leonine shouts. These and the awful
twang of their bow-strings and the slaps of palms reached the very
heaven. Hearing that loud blare of conchs that arose from the camp of the
mighty sons of Pandu, diverse instruments were sounded amongst thy
divisions also. Then thy divisions as also those of theirs were arrayed
in order of battle. And slowly they advanced against each other from
desire of battle. Then commenced a battle, that was fierce and that made
the hairs stand on their ends, between the Pandavas and the Kurus, and
Drona and the Panchalas. The Srinjayas, though struggling vigorously,
were unable to beat in battle the host of Drona as it was protected by
Drona himself. And so also the mighty car-warriors of thy son, skilled in
smiting, could not beat the Pandava host, as it was protected by the
Diadem-decked (Arjuna). Protected by Drona and Arjuna, both the hosts
seemed to stand inactive like two blossoming forests in the silence of
the night. Then he, of the golden car, (viz., Drona) like the Sun himself
of great splendour, crushing the ranks of the Pandavas, careered through
them at will. And the Pandavas, and the Srinjayas, through fear, regarded
that single warrior of great activity upon his quickly-moving car as if
multiplied into many. Shot by him, terrible shafts coursed in all
directions, frightening, O king, the army of Pandu’s son. Indeed, Drona
then seemed as the Sun himself at mid-day covered by a hundred rays of
light. And as the Danavas were unable to look at Indra, so there was not
one amongst the Pandavas, who. O monarch, was able to look at the angry
son of Bharadwaja in that battle. The valiant son of Bharadwaja then,
having confound the (hostile) troops, speedily began to consume the
division of Dhrishtadyumna by means of sharp shafts. And covering and
obstructing all the points of the compass by means of his straight
shafts, he began to crush the Pandava force even there, where Prishata’s
son was.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then Drona, causing a great confusion in the Pandava
host, careered through it, like a conflagration consuming (a forest of)
trees. Beholding that angry warrior, owning a golden car, consume their
divisions like a raging conflagration, the Srinjayas trembled (in fear).
The twang, in that battle, of the constantly stretched bow of that
warrior of great activity was heard to resemble the roar of the
thunder.[24] Fierce shafts shot by Drona, endued with great lightness of
hand, began to crush car-warriors and horsemen and elephant-warriors and
foot soldiers along with elephants and steeds. Showering his arrows as
the roaring clouds at the close of summer, assisted by the wind, pour
hail-stones, he inspired fear in the hearts of the foe. Coursing (through
the hostile ranks), O king, and agitating the troops, the mighty Drona
enhanced the unnatural fear entertained by the enemy. The gold-decked
bow, on his quickly-moving car, was repeatedly seen to resemble the
lightning’s flash amid a mass of dark clouds. That hero, firm in truth,
endued with wisdom, and always devoted, besides, to righteousness, caused
an awful river of angry current, such as may be seen at the end of the
Yuga, to flow there. And that river had its source in the impetuosity of
Drona’s wrath, and it was haunted by crowds of carnivorous creatures. And
the combatants constituted the waves that filled its entire surface. And
heroic warriors constituted the trees on its banks whose roots were
constantly eaten away by its current. And its waters were constituted by
the blood that was shed in that battle, and cars constituted its eddies,
and elephants and steeds formed its banks. And costs of mail constituted
its lilies, and the flesh of creatures the mire on its bed. And the fat,
marrow, and bones (of fallen animals and men) formed the sands on its
beach, and (fallen) head-gears its froth. And the battle itself that was
fought there constituted the canopy above its surface. And lances
constituted the fish with which it abounded. And it was inaccessible in
consequence of the large number of (slain) men, elephants, and steeds
(that fell in it). And the impetus of the shaft shot constituted its
current. And the slain bodies themselves constituted the timber floating
on it. And cars constituted its tortoises. And heads constituted the
stones scattered on its banks and bed, and scimitars, its fish in
profusion. And cars and elephants formed its lakes. And it was decked
with many adornments. And mighty car-warriors constituted its hundreds of
little whirlpools. And the dust of the earth constituted its wavelets.
And capable of being easily crossed by those possessed of exceeding
energy, it was incapable of being crossed by the timid. And heaps of dead
bodies constituted the sand-banks obstructing its navigation. And it was
the haunt of Kankas and vultures and other birds of prey. And it carried
away thousands of mighty-car-warriors to the abode of Yama. And long
spears constituted the snakes that infested it in profusion. And the
living combatants constituted the fowls sporting on its waters.[25] Torn
umbrellas constituted its large swans. Diadems formed the (smaller) birds
that adorned it. Wheels constituted its turtles, and maces its
alligators, and arrows its smaller fish. And it was the resort of
frightful swarms of crows and vultures and jackals. And that river, O
best of kings, bore away in hundreds, to the region of the Pitris, the
creatures that were slain by Drona in battle. Obstructed by hundreds of
bodies (floating on it), the hair (of slain warriors and animals)
constituted its moss and weeds. Even such was the river, enhancing the
fears of the timid, that Drona caused to flow there.[26]

“And when Drona was thus grinding the hostile army hither and thither,
the Pandava warriors headed by Yudhishthira rushed at that mighty
car-warrior from all sides. Then seeing them thus rushing (towards
Drona), brave combatants of thy army, possessed of unyielding prowess,
rushed from every side. And the battle that thereupon ensued made the
hair stand on end. Sakuni, full of a hundred kinds of deceit, rushed
towards Sahadeva, and pierced the latter’s charioteer, and standard, and
car, with many keen-pointed shafts. Sahadeva, however, without being much
excited, cutting off Sauvala’s standard and bow and car-driver and car,
with sharp arrows, pierced Sauvala himself with sixty shafts. Thereupon,
Suvala’s son, taking up mace, jumped down from his excellent car, and
with that mace, O king, he felled Sahadeva’s driver from the latter’s
car. Then these two heroic and mighty warriors, O monarch, both deprived
of car, and both armed with mace, sported in battle like two crests of
hills. Drona, having pierced the ruler of the Panchalas with ten shafts,
was, in return, pierced by the latter with many shafts. And the latter
was again pierced by Drona with a larger number of shafts. Bhimasena
pierced Vivinsati with sharp arrows. The latter, however, thus pierced,
trembled not, which seemed to be highly wonderful. Vivinsati then, O
monarch, suddenly deprived Bhimasena of his steeds and standard and bow.
And thereupon all the troops worshipped him for that feat. The heroic
Bhimasena, however, brooked not that exhibition of prowess by his enemy
in battle. With his mace, therefore, he slew the well-trained steeds of
Vivinsati. Then the mighty Vivinsati, taking up a shield (and sword)
jumped down from that car whose steeds had been slain, and rushed against
Bhimasena like an infuriated elephant rushing against an infuriated
compeer. The heroic Salya, laughing the while, pierced, as if in
dalliance, his own dear nephew, Nakula. with many shafts for angering
him. The valiant Nakula, however, cutting off his uncle’s steeds and
umbrella and standard and charioteer and bow in that battle, blew his
conch. Dhrishtaketu, engaged with Kripa, cut off diverse kinds of arrows
shot at him by the latter, and then pierced Kripa, with seventy arrows.
And then he cut off the device of Kripa’s standard with three arrows.
Kripa, however, began to oppose him with a thick shower of arrows. And
resisting him in this way, the Brahmana fought on with Dhrishtaketu.
Satyaki, laughing the while, pierced Kritavarman in the centre of the
chest with a long arrow. And piercing him then with seventy arrows, he
once more pierced him with many others. The Bhoja warrior, however, in
return, pierced Satyaki with seventy arrows of keen points. Like the
swiftly-coursing winds failing to move a mountain, Kritavarman was unable
to move Satyaki or make him tremble. Senapati deeply struck Susarman in
his vitals. Susarman also struck his antagonist with a lance on the
shoulder-joint. Virata, aided by his Matsya warriors of great energy,
resisted Vikartana’s son in that battle. And that feat (of the Matsya
king) seemed highly wonderful. Even this was regarded as an act of great
valour on the part of the Suta’s son, in that, he singly resisted that
whole force by means of his straight shafts. King Drupada was engaged
with Bhagadatta. And the battle between those two warriors became
beautiful to behold. That bull among men, viz., Bhagadatta, pierced king
Drupada and his driver and standard and car with many straight shafts.
Then Drupada, excited with wrath, quickly pierced that mighty car-warrior
in the chest with a straight shaft. Those two foremost of warriors on
earth, viz., Somadatta’s son and Sikhandin, both conversant with every
weapon, encountered each other in fierce battle that made all creatures
tremble with fear. The valiant Bhurisravas, O king, covered that mighty
car-warrior, Yajnasena’s son Sikhandin, with a thick shower of arrows.
Sikhandin, then O monarch, excited with wrath, pierced Somadatta’s son
with ninety shafts, and caused him, O Bharata, to tremble. Those
Rakshasas of fierce deeds, viz., Hidimba’s son and Alamvusha, each
desirous of vanquishing the other, battled most wonderfully. Both capable
of creating a hundred illusions, both swelling with pride, battled with
each other most wonderfully, relying on their powers of illusion, and
each desirous of vanquishing the other. The fierce Chekitana battled with
Anuvinda. They coursed on the field, disappearing at times, and causing
great wonder. Lakshmana fought fiercely with Kshatradeva, even as Vishnu,
O monarch, in days of old, with the (Asura) Hiranyaksha. With his fleet
steeds and upon his car duly equipped, Paurava, O king, roared at
Abhimanyu. Endued with great might, Paurava then rushed at Abhimanyu,
desirous of battle. Then that chastiser of foes, viz., Abhimanyu fought
fiercely with that foe. Paurava covered Subhadra’s son with a thick
shower of arrows. Thereupon, Arjuna’s son felled his antagonist’s
standard and umbrella and bow on earth.[27] Then piercing Paurava with
seven arrows, Subhadra’s son pierced the latter’s driver and steeds with
five arrows. Gladdening his troops thus, he then repeatedly roared like a
lion. Then Arjuna’s son quickly fixed an arrow on his bow-string that was
certain to take away Paurava’s life. Beholding however, that arrow of
frightful mien fixed on Abhimanyu’s bow-string, Haridika’s son, with two
shafts, cut off that bow and arrow. Then that slayer of hostile heroes,
viz., Subhadra’s son, throwing aside that broken bow, took up a bright
sword and a shield. Whirling with great speed that shield decked with
many stars, and whirling that sword also, he coursed on the field,
exhibiting his prowess. Whirling them before him, and whirling them on
high, now shaking them and now jumping up himself, from the manner of his
handling those weapons, it seemed that (with him) there is no difference
between that offensive and that defensive weapons. Jumping suddenly then
upon the shafts of Paurava’s car, he roared aloud. Mounting next upon his
car, he seized Paurava by the hair, and slaying meanwhile with a kick,
the latter’s driver, he felled his standard with a stroke of his sword.
And as regards Paurava himself, Abhimanyu raised him up, like the Garuda
raising a snake from the bottom of the sea agitating the waters.
Thereupon, all the kings beheld Paurava (standing helpless) with
dishevelled hair, and looking like an ox deprived of its senses while on
the point of being slain by a lion. Beholding Paurava thus prostrated,
placed under the control of Arjuna’s son, and dragged helplessly,
Jayadratha was unable to brook it. Taking up a sword as also a shield
that bore the device of a peacock and was decked with a hundred bells of
small size suspended in rows, Jayadratha jumped down from his car with a
loud roar. Then Subhadra’s son (Abhimanyu), beholding the ruler of the
Sindhus, let Paurava alone, and leaping up like a hawk from the latter’s
car, quickly alighted on the earth. The lances and aves and scimitars
hurled by his foes–Arjuna’s son cut off by means of his sword or warded
off by his shield. Thus showing unto all the warriors the strength of his
own arms the mighty [and heroic] Abhimanyu, once more upraising his large
and heavy sword as also his shield,[28] proceeded towards
Vriddhakshatra’s son who was a sworn foe of his (Abhimanyu’s) father,
like a tiger proceeding against an elephant. Approaching they cheerfully
attacked each other with their swords like a tiger and a lion with their
claws and teeth. And none could notice any difference between those two
lions among men as regards the whirl-strokes, and descent of their swords
and shields.[29] And as regards the descent and the whiz of their swords,
and the warding off of each other’s blows, it seemed there was no
distinction between the two. Coursing, beautifully in outward and inward
tracks, those two illustrious warriors seemed to be like two winged
mountains. Then Jayadratha struck on the shield of the renowned Abhimanyu
when the latter stretched his sword for making a pass at him. Then, O
Bharata, Jayadratha’s large sword sticking into Abhimanyu’s shield
covered with golden plate, broke, as the ruler of the Sindhus attempted
to draw it off forcibly. Seeing his sword broken, Jayadratha hastily
retreated six steps and was seen within a twinkle of the eye to be
mounted on his own car. Then Arjuna’s son also, that combat with the
sword being over, ascended his own excellent car. Many kings, then, of
the Kuru army, uniting together, surrounded him on all sides. The mighty
son of Arjuna, however, eyeing Jayadratha, whirled his sword and shield,
and uttered a loud shout. Having vanquished the ruler of the Sindhus,
Subhadra’s son, that slayer of hostile heroes, then began to scorch that
division of the Kaurava army like Sun scorching the world. Then in that
battle Salya hurled at him a fierce dart made wholly of iron, decked with
gold, and resembling a blazing flame of fire. Thereupon, Arjuna’s son,
jumping up, caught hold of that dart, like Garuda catching a mighty snake
falling from above. And having seized it thus, Abhimanyu unsheathed his
sword. Witnessing the great activity and might of that warrior of
immeasurable energy, all the kings together uttered a leonine shout. Then
that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Subhadra, hurled with the
might of his arms at Salya himself that very dart of great effulgence,
decked with stones of lapis lazuli. Resembling a snake that has recently
cast off its slough, that dart, reaching Salya’s car slew the latter’s
driver and felled him from his niche of the vehicle. Then Virata and
Drupada, and Dhristaketu, and Yudhishthira, and Satyaki, and Kekaya, and
Bhima, and Dhrishtadyumna, and Sikhandin, and the twins (Nakula and
Sahadeva), and the five sons of Draupadi, all exclaimed, ‘Excellent!
Excellent!’ And diverse kinds of sounds due to the shooting of arrows,
and many leonine shouts, arose there, gladdening the unretreating son of
Arjuna. Thy sons, however, could not brook those indications of the
victory of their foe. Then all of them suddenly surrounded Subhadra’s son
and covered him, O king, with showers of arrows like the clouds pouring
rain on the mountain-breast. Then that slayer of foes, viz., Artayani
(Salya), wishing good of thy sons, and remembering the overthrow of his
own driver, rushed in rage against Subhadra’s son.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Thou hast, O Sanjaya, described to me many
excellent single combats. Hearing about them, I envy those that have
eyes. This battle between the Kurus and the Pandavas, resembling that (of
old) between the gods and the Asuras, will be spoken of as exceedingly
wonderful by all men. I am scarcely gratified by listening to thy
narrations of this stirring battle. Tell me, therefore, about this combat
between Artayani (Salya) and Subhadra’s son.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding his driver slain, Salya, upraising a mace made
wholly of iron, jumped down in rage from his excellent car. Bhima, then
taking up his own huge mace, quickly rushed towards Salya who then
resembled the blazing Yuga-fire or the Destroyer himself armed with his
bludgeon. Subhadra’s son also, taking up a prodigious mace resembling the
bolt of heaven, addressed Salya, saying, ‘Come, Come!’ Bhima, however,
with much ado, persuaded him to stand aside. The valiant Bhimasena, then,
having persuaded Subhadra’s son to stand aside, approached Salya in
battle and stood immovable as a hill. The mighty ruler of Madras also,
beheld Bhima, and proceeded towards him like a tiger towards an elephant.
Then was heard there the loud blare of trumpets and conchs by thousands
and leonine shouts, and the sound of drums. And loud cries of ‘Bravo,
Bravo,’ arose among hundreds of Pandava and Kaurava warriors rushing
towards each other. There is none else among all the kings, O Bharata,
save the ruler of Madras who can venture to bear the might of Bhimasena
in battle; similarly, who else save Vrikodara, in the world, can venture
to bear the impetus of the illustrious Salya’s mace in battle? Bound in
hempen strings mixed with wires of gold, the prodigious mace, of Bhima,
capable of delighting by its beauty all spectators, being grasped by him,
shone, brilliantly. And similarly the mace of Salya, also, who coursed in
beautiful circles, looked like a blazing flash of lightning. Both of them
roared like bulls, and both coursed in circles. And both Salya and
Vrikodara, standing as they did, with their maces slightly bent, looked
like a couple of horned bulls. Whether as regards coursing in circles or
in whirling and striking with their maces, the combat that took place
between those two lions among men was in every way equal. Struck by
Bhimasena with his mace, the prodigious mace of Salya, emitting fierce
sparks of fire, soon broke unto fragments. And similarly, Bhimasena’s
mace, struck by the foe, looked beautiful like a tree covered fire-flies
during the season of rains at even-tide. And the mace that the ruler of
Madras hurled in that battle, irradiating the welkin, O Bharata,
frequently caused sparks of fire (to fly around). Similarly, the mace
hurled by Bhimasena at the foe scorched his antagonist’s forces like a
fierce meteor falling down (from the firmament). And both those best of
maces, striking against each other, resembled sighing she-snakes and
caused flashes of fire. Like two large tigers attacking each other with
their claws, or like two mighty elephants with their tusks, those mighty
warriors coursed in circles, encountering each other with those two
foremost of maces, and soon covered with blood, those two illustrious
warriors seemed to resemble a couple of flowering Kinsukas. And the
blows, loud as Indra’s thunder, of the maces wielded by those two lions
among men were heard on all sides. Struck by the ruler of Madras with his
mace on both the left and the right side, Bhima moved not in the least,
like a hill riven by the thunder. Similarly, the mighty ruler of Madras,
struck by Bhima with his mace, patiently stood still like a hill struck
with the thunder. Both of them, with upraised maces, endued as they were
with great impetus, fell upon each other, coursing in shorter circles.
Quickly nearing each other, then by eight steps and falling upon each
other like two elephants, they suddenly struck each other with those
maces of theirs made entirely or iron. And each of those heroes, in
consequence of the other’s impetuosity and violence being struck with
each other’s mace, fell down at the same instant of time like a couple of
Indra’s poles. Then the mighty car-warrior Kritavarman quickly approached
Salya who, deprived of his senses, was breathing hard as he lay on the
field. And beholding him, O king, struck violently with the mace, and
writhing like a snake, and deprived of his senses in a swoon, the mighty
car-warrior Kritavarman, taking him upon his car, quickly bore the ruler
of Madras away from the field. Reeling like a drunken man, the heroic
Bhima of mighty arms, rising up within the twinkling of an eye, stood
mace in hand. Thy sons then, beholding the ruler of the Madras turn away
from the fight, began, O sire, to tremble, along with their elephants,
and foot-soldiers, and cavalry, and cars. Ground then by the Pandavas
desirous of victory, those warriors of thy army, struck with fear, fled
away in all directions, like masses of clouds driven away by the wind.
And those mighty car-warriors, viz., the Pandavas, having vanquished the
Dhritarashtras, looked resplendent in that battle. O king, like blazing
fires. And they uttered loud leonine roars, and blew their conchs, elated
with joy. And they beat their drums, large and small, and cymbals and
other instruments.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding that army of thine exceedingly broken, the
valiant Vrishasena, single-handed, began to protect it, O king,
displaying the illusion of his weapons. Shot by Vrishasena in that
battle, thousands of arrows coursed in all directions, piercing through
men and steeds and cars and elephants. Mighty arrows, of blazing
effulgence, shot by him, coursed in thousands, like the rays, O monarch,
of the sun, in the summer season. Afflicted and crushed therewith, O
king, car-warriors and horse-men, suddenly fell down on the earth, like
trees broken by the wind. The mighty car-warrior Vrishasena, O king,
felled large bodies of steeds, of cars and of elephants, in that battle,
by thousands. Beholding that single warrior coursing fearlessly on the
field, all the kings (of the Pandava army) uniting together, surrounded
him on all sides. Nakula’s son, Satanika, rushed at Vrishasena and
pierced him with ten arrows capable of penetrating into the vitals. The
son of Karna, however, cutting off his bow, felled then his standard.
Thereupon, the other sons of Draupadi, desirous of rescuing that brother
of theirs, rushed at him. And soon they made Karna’s son invisible by
means of their arrowy showers. Against them thus smiting (the son of
Karna), many car-warriors headed by Drona’s son (Aswatthama) rushed. And
those, O monarch, quickly covered those mighty car-warriors, viz., the
sons of Draupadi, with diverse kinds of arrows like clouds pouring rain
on mountain breasts. Thereupon, the Pandavas, from affection for their
sons, quickly encountered those assailants. The battle then that took
place between thy troops and those of the Pandavas, was exceedingly
fierce and made the hairs stand on their ends, resembling as it did that
between the Gods and the Danavas. Even thus did the heroic Kauravas and
the Pandavas, excited with rage, fight, eyeing one another (furiously)
and having incurred one another’s animosity for past offences. The bodies
of those heroes of immeasurable energy then seemed, in consequence of
(the) wrath (that inspired them), to resemble those of Garuda and
(mighty) Nagas battling in the sky. And with Bhima and Karna and Kripa
and Drona and Drona’s son and Prishata’s son and Satyaki, the field of
battle looked resplendent like the all-destructive sun that rises at the
end of the Yuga. The battle that took place between those mighty men
engaged with mighty antagonists and all smiting one another was fierce in
the extreme, resembling that (of yore) between the Danavas and the gods.
Then Yudhishthira’s host, uttering a shout, loud as that of the surging
sea, began to slaughter thy troops, the great car-warriors of thy army
having fled away. Beholding the (Kaurava) host broken and excessively
mangled by the foe, Drona said, ‘Ye heroes, ye need not fly away.’ Then
he (Drona) owning red steeds, excited with wrath and resembling a
(fierce) elephant with four tusks, penetrated into the Pandava host and
rushed against Yudhishthira. Then Yudhishthira pierced the preceptor with
many whetted arrows equipped with Kanka feathers; Drona, however, cutting
off Yudhishthira’s bow, rushed impetuously at him. Then the protector of
Yudhishthira’s car-wheels, Kumara, the renowned prince of the Panchalas,
received the advancing Drona, like the continent receiving the surging
sea. Beholding Drona, that bull among Brahmanas, held in check by Kumara,
loud leonine shouts were heard there with cries of ‘Excellent,
Excellent!’ Kumara then, in that great battle, excited with rage, pierced
Drona with an arrow in the chest and uttered many leonine shouts. Having
checked Drona in battle, the mighty Kumara, endued with great lightness
of hand, and above all fatigue, pierced him with many thousands of
arrows. Then that bull among men (Drona) slew that protector of
Yudhishthira’s car-wheels, Kumara, that hero observant of virtuous vows
and accomplished in both mantras and weapons. And then penetrating into
the midst of the (Pandava) host and careering in all directions, that
bull among men, Bharadwaja’s son, became the protector of thy troops. And
piercing Sikhandin with twelve arrows, and Uttamaujas with twenty, and
Nakula with five, and Sahadeva with seven, and Yudhishthira with twelve,
and each of the (five) sons of Draupadi with three, and Satyaki with
five, and the ruler of Matsyas with ten arrows, and agitating the entire
host in that battle, he rushed against one after another of the foremost
warriors (of the Pandavas). And then he advanced against Kunti’s son,
Yudhisthira, from a desire of seizing him. Then Yugandhara, O king,
checked Bharadwaja’s son, that mighty car-warrior, filled with rage and
resembling the very ocean lashed into fury by the tempest. Bharadwaja’s
son, however, having pierced Yudhishthira with many straight arrows,
felled Yugandhara with a broad-headed shaft from his niche in the car.
Then, Virata and Drupada, and the Kaikeya princes, and Satyaki, and Sivi,
and Vyaghradatta, the prince n the Panchalas, and the valiant Singhasena,
these, and many others, desirous of rescuing Yudhishthira, surrounded
Drona on all sides and impeded his way, scattering countless arrows.
Vyaghradatta, the prince of the Panchalas, pierced Drona with fifty
keen-pointed arrows, at which, O king, the troops uttered loud shouts.
Then Singhasena also, quickly piercing that mighty car-warrior, Drona,
roared aloud in joy, striking terror into the hearts of mighty
car-warriors; Drona then expanding his eyes and rubbing his bowstring and
producing loud sound of slaps by his palms, rushed against the latter.
Then the mighty son of Bharadwaja, putting forth his prowess, cut off
with a couple of broad-headed arrows the heads decked with earrings from
the trunks of both Singhasena and Vyaghradatta. And afflicting also, with
his arrowy showers, the other mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas, he
stood in front of Yudhishthira’s car, like all-destroying Death himself.
Then, O king, loud cries were heard among the warriors of Yudhishthira’s
army to the effect, ‘The king is slain,’ when Bharadwaja’s son, of
regulated vows, thus, stood in his vicinity. And the warriors there all
exclaimed, beholding Drona’s prowess, ‘Today the royal son of
Dhritarashtra will be crowned with success. This very moment Drona having
seized Yudhishthira, will, filled, with joy, assuredly come to us and
Duryodhana’s presence. While thy soldiers were indulging in such talks,
Kunti’s son (Arjuna) quickly came there, filling (the welkin) with the
rattle of his car, and creating, as he came, owing to the carnage he
caused, a river whose waters were blood, and whose eddies were cars, and
which abounded with the bones and bodies of brave warriors and which bore
creatures away to where the spirits of the departed dwell. And the son of
Pandu came there, routing the Kurus, and quickly crossing that river
whose froth was constituted by showers of arrows and which abounded with
fish in the form of lances and other weapons. And the diadem-decked
(Arjuna) suddenly came upon Drona’s divisions, covering it with a thick
net-work of arrows and confounding the very sense (of those that followed
Drona). Incessantly placing his arrows on the bow-string and quickly
shooting them, none could notice any lapse of time between these two acts
of the renowned son of Kunti. Neither (four cardinal) directions, nor the
firmament above, nor the earth, O king, could any longer be
distinguished, for everything then became one dense mass of arrows.
Indeed, O king, when the wielder of Gandiva caused that thick darkness by
means of his arrows, nothing could be seen in that battle. Just then the
sun also set, enveloped with a dusty cloud. Neither friend nor foe could
any longer be distinguished. Then Drona and Duryodhana and others caused
the withdrawal of their troops. And ascertaining the foe to be inspired
with fear and unwilling to continue the fight, Vibhatsu also slowly
caused his troops to be withdrawn. Then the Pandavas and the Srinjayas
and the Panchalas, filled with joy, praised Partha with delightful
speeches like the Rishis praising the Sun. Having vanquished his foes
thus, Dhananjaya then, filled with joy, retired to his tent, proceeding
in the rear of the whole army, with Kesava as his companion. And
stationed on his beautiful car decked with the costliest specimens of
sapphires and rubies and gold and silver and diamonds and corals and
crystals, the son of Pandu looked resplendent like the moon in the
firmament bespangled with stars.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘The troops of both the armies, having proceeded to their
tents, duly took up their quarters, O king, according to the divisions
and the sub-divisions to which they belonged. Having withdrawn the
troops, Drona, in great cheerlessness of mind, beholding Duryodhana, said
these words in shame: ‘I told thee before that when Dhananjaya is by
Yudhishthira, he is incapable of being seized in battle by the very gods.
Although all of you fell upon him in battle, yet Partha frustrated all
your attempts. Do not doubt what I say, Krishna and Pandu’s son (Arjuna)
are invincible. If, however, Arjuna of white steeds can, by any means, be
withdrawn (from Yudhishthira’s side), then Yudhishthira, O king, shall
soon come under thy control. Let some one challenging him (Arjuna) in
battle draw him away to some other part of the field. The son of Kunti
will not return without vanquishing him. Meanwhile, when Arjuna will not
be by, O monarch, I will seize king Yudhishthira the just, penetrating
through the Pandava host in the very sight of Dhrishtadyumna. Thus, O
monarch, I will, without doubt, bring Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma,
along with his followers, under control. If that son of Pandu stays even
for a moment before me in battle, I will bring him a captive from the
field. That feat will be more advantageous than victory (over the Pandava

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Hearing those words of Drona, the ruler of the
Trigartas, O monarch, with his brothers, said these words: ‘We, O king,
are always humiliated by the wielder of Gandiva! O bull of Bharata’s
race, although we have done him no injury, yet he hath always injured us.
Remembering all those diverse instances of humiliation, we burn in wrath
and are never able to sleep at night. By good luck, that Arjuna, armed
with weapons, will stand before us. That therefore, which is in our heart
and which we strive to accomplish, we are resolved to achieve now, that
viz., which will be agreeable to thee, and which will bring us renown.
Taking him out of the field will slay him. Let the earth today be without
Arjuna or let it be without the Trigartas. We truly swear this before
thee. This our vow will never be false.’ And Satyaratha and Satyavarman,
O Bharata, and Satyavrata and Satyeshu, and Satyakarman also, having
spoken similarly, those five brothers together, with ten thousand cars,
came, O king, (before Duryodhana), having taken that oath on the field of
battle. And the Malavas, and the Tundikeras with thousand cars, and the
tiger among men, Susarman, the ruler of Prasthala, with the Mavellakas,
the Lalithas, and the Madrakas, accompanied by ten thousand cars and his
brothers, and with another ten thousand cars from diverse realms came
forward for taking the oath. Then bringing fire, and each making
preparations for igniting one for himself, they took up ropes Kusa grass
and beautiful coats of mail. And equipped in mail, bathed in clarified
butter, clad in robes of Kusa grass, and with their bow-strings serving
as girdles, those heroes, who had given away hundreds and thousands as
presents to Brahmanas, who had performed many sacrifices, had been
blessed with children, and were deserving of blessed regions hereafter,
who had nothing more to do in this world, who were deserving of blessed
regions hereafter, who were prepared to lay down their lives in battle,
and who devoted their souls to the attainment of fame and victory, who
were desirous of soon repairing by fair fight to those regions
(hereafter) that are attainable by means only of sacrifices, with
abundant presents to Brahmanas, and by means also of the rites, the chief
amongst which are Brahmacharya and study of the Vedas, those heroes,
having each gratified Brahmanas by giving them gold,[30] and kine, and
robes, and having addressed one another in loving discourse, ignited
those fires and took that vow in battle. And in the presence of those
fires, firmly resolved, they took that vow. And having made that vow for
the slaughter of Dhananjaya, they, in the hearing of creatures, very
loudly said, Those regions that are for persons who have never adopted
any vows, are for one who drinketh wine, those that are for him who hath
adulterous connection with his preceptor’s wife, those that are for him
who robbeth the property of a Brahmana, or for him who enjoyeth the
king’s grant without satisfying the condition of that grant or for him
who abandoneth one asking for shelter, or for him who slayeth a candidate
for his favour, those that are for persons that set fire to houses and
for those that slay kine, those regions that are for those that injure
others, those that are for persons harbouring malice against Brahmanas,
those that are for him who from folly doth not seek the companionship of
his wife in her season, those also that are for those that seek the
companionship of women on the day they have to perform the Sraddha of
their ancestors, those that are for persons that injure their own selves,
or for those that misappropriate what is deposited with them from
confidence or for those that destroy learning, or for those who battle
with eunuchs, or for those that follow persons that are mean those
regions that are for atheists, or for those that abandon their (sacred)
fires and mothers, and those regions also that are for the sinful, those
shall be ours, if without slaying Dhananjaya we return from the field, or
if, ground by him on the field, we turn back from fear. If, again, we
succeed in achieving in battle feats the most difficult of accomplishment
in the world, we shalt then, without doubt, obtain the most desirable
regions. Having said these words, O king, those heroes then marched to
battle, summoning Arjuna towards the southern part of the field. That
tiger among men, and subjugator of hostile cities, Arjuna, thus
challenged by them, said these words unto king Yudhishthira the Just
without any delay: ‘Summoned, I never turn back. This is my fixed vow.
These men, sworn to conquer or die, are summoning me, O king, to great
battle. This Susarman here, with his brothers, summoneth me to battle. It
behoveth thee to grant me permission for slaying him, with all his
followers. O bull among men, I am unable to brook this challenge. I tell
thee truly, know these foes to be (already) slain in battle.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast heard, O child, in detail, what Drona hath
resolved to accomplish. Act thou in such a way that that resolve of his
may become futile. Drona is endued with great might. He is a hero,
accomplished in arms, and above fatigue. O mighty car-warrior, even he
hath vowed my seizure.’

“Arjuna said, ‘This Satyajit, O king, will today become thy protector in
battle. As long as Satyajit lives, the preceptor will never be able to
attain his desire. If, however, O lord, this tiger among men, Satyajit,
be slain in battle, thou shouldst not then remain on the field even if
surrounded by all our warriors.’

“‘Sanjaya continued, ‘King Yudhishthira then gave (Arjuna) the leave (he
sought). And he also embraced Arjuna and eyed him affectionately. And
diverse were the benedictions that the king uttered on him. Having made
this arrangement (for Yudhishthira’s protection),[31] the mighty Partha
went out against the Trigartas, like a hungry lion, for assuaging his
hunger upon a herd of deer. Then Duryodhana’s troops, filled with joy at
Arjuna’s absence (from Yudhishthira’s side), became furious for the
seizure of Yudhishthira. Then both the hosts, with a great impetuosity,
encountered each other, like the Ganga and the Sarayu in the season of
rains when both streams are swollen with water.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘The Samsaptakas,[32] then, filled with joy, took their
stand on a level field, having, with their cars, formed an array in the
shape of the half-moon. And those tigers among men, beholding the
diadem-decked (Arjuna) come towards them, were, O sire, filled with
delight and uttered loud shouts. That noise filled the sky and all the
points of the compass, cardinal and subsidiary. And because it was an
open plain covered only with men, it produced no echoes. Ascertaining
them to be exceedingly delighted, Dhananjaya, with a little smile, said
these words unto Krishna: ‘Behold, O thou that hast Devaki for thy
mother, those Trigarta brothers, who are about to perish in battle, are
filled with delight at a time when they should weep. Or, this is, without
doubt, the hour of delight (with them) since they will obtain those
excellent regions that are unattainable by cowards.’ Having said these
words unto the mighty-armed Hrishikesa, Arjuna came upon the arrayed
ranks of the Trigartas in battle, taking up then his conch called
Devadatta decked with gold, he blew it with great force, filling all the
points of the compass with its blare. Terrified by that blare, that
car-host of the Samsaptakas stood motionless in battle, as if it was
petrified. And all their animals stood with eyes wide open, ears and
necks and lips paralysed, and legs motionless. And they passed urine and
vomited blood. Regaining consciousness then, and placing their ranks in
proper order, they shot their arrows all at once at the son of Pandu.
Capable of displaying his prowess with great speed, Arjuna, with five and
ten arrows cut off those thousands of arrows before they could reach him.
They then pierced Arjuna, each with ten arrows. Partha pierced them with
three arrows. Then each of them, O king, pierced Partha with five arrows.
Endued with great prowess, he pierced each of them in return with two
arrows. And, once again, excited with wrath, they quickly poured upon
Arjuna and Kesava countless arrows like the clouds pouring upon a lake
their incessant showers. Then those thousands of arrows fell upon Arjuna,
like swarms of bees upon a flowering cluster of trees in the forest. Then
deeply pierced Arjuna’s diadem with thirty shafts, endued with the
strength of adamant with those shafts equipped with wings of gold fixed
on his diadem, Arjuna, as if decked with ornaments of gold, shone like
the (newly) risen sun. The son of Pandu then, in that battle, with a
broad-headed arrow, cut off the leathern fence of Suvahu, and covered
Sudharman and Sudhanwan, and Suvahu pierced Partha with ten arrows.
Partha, having the excellent ape-device on his banner, pierced all of
them in return with many arrows, and also cut off, with some broad-headed
shafts, their standards made of gold. And cutting off the bow of
Sudhanwan, he slew with his arrows the latter’s steeds. And then he cut
off from his trunk the latter’s head graced with turban. Upon the fall of
that hero, his followers were terrified. And stricken with panic, they
all fled away to where Duryodhana’s forces were. Then Vasava’s son,
filled with wrath, smote that mighty host with incessant showers of
arrows, like the sun destroying darkness by means of his incessant rays.
Then when that host broke and melted away on all sides, and Arjuna was
filled with wrath, the Trigartas were struck with fear. While being
slaughtered by Partha with his straight shafts, they remained where they
stood, deprived of their senses, like a terrified, herd of deer. Then the
king of the Trigartas, filled with rage, addressed those mighty
car-warrior, saying, ‘Do not fly, ye heroes! It behoveth ye not to be
frightened. Having, in the sight of all the troops, taken those terrible
steps, repairing thither, what shall ye say unto the leaders of
Duryodhana’s host? Do we not incur ridicule in the world by such a
(cowardly) act in battle? Therefore, stop ye all, and fight according to
your strength.’ Thus addressed, O king, those heroes, repeatedly uttering
loud shouts, blew their conchs, gladdening one another. Then those
Samsaptakas once more returned to the field, with the Narayana cow-herds,
resolved to fade Death himself.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding those Samsaptakas once more return to the
field, Arjuna addressed the high-souled Vasudeva, saying, ‘Urge the
steeds, O Hrishikesa, towards the Samsaptakas. They will not give up the
battle alive. This is what I think. Today thou shalt witness the terrible
might of my arms as also of my bow. Today I shall slay all these, like
Rudra slaying creatures (at the end of the Yuga).’ Hearing these words,
the invincible Krishna smiled, and gladdening him with auspicious
speeches, conveyed Arjuna to those places whither the latter desired to
go. While borne in battle by those white steeds, that car looked
exceedingly resplendent like a celestial car borne along the firmament.
And like Sakra’s car, O king, in the battle between the gods and the
Asuras in days of old, it displayed circular, forward, backward, and
diverse other kinds of motion. Then the Narayanas, excited with wrath and
armed with diverse weapons, surrounded Dhananjaya, covering him with
showers of arrows. And, O bull of Bharata’s race, they soon made Kunti’s
son, Dhananjaya, together with Krishna, entirely invisible in that
battle. Then Phalguni, excited with wrath, doubled his energy, and
quickly rubbing its string, grasped Gandiva, (firmly) in the battle.
Causing wrinkles to form themselves on his brow, sure indications of
wrath, the son of Pandu blew his prodigious conch, called Devadatta, and
then he shot the weapon called Tvashtra that is capable of slaying large
bodies of foes together. Thereupon, thousands of separate forms started
into existence there (of Arjuna himself and of Vasudeva). Confounded by
those diverse images after the form of Arjuna, the troops began to strike
each other, each regarding the other as Arjuna’s self.’ ‘This is Arjuna!’
‘This is Govinda!’ ‘They are Pandu’s son and he is of Yadu’s race!’
Uttering such exclamations, and deprived of their senses, they slew one
another in that battle. Deprived of their senses by that mighty weapon,
they slew one another. Indeed, those warriors (while striking one
another) looked beautiful like blossoming Kinsukas. Consuming those
thousands of arrows shot by them, that (mighty) weapon despatched those
heroes to Yama’s abode. Then Vibhatsu, laughing, crushed with his arrows
the Lalithya, the Malava, the Mavellaka, and the Trigarta warriors. While
those Kshatriyas, urged by fate, were thus slaughtered by that hero, they
shot at Partha showers of diverse kinds of arrows. Overwhelmed with those
terrible showers of arrows, neither Arjuna, nor his car, nor Kesava,
could any longer be seen. Seeing their arrows strike the aim, they
uttered joyous shouts. And regarding the two Krishnas as already slain,
they joyously waved their garments in the air. And those heroes also blew
their conchs and beat their drums and cymbals by thousands, and uttered
many leonine shouts, O sire! Then Krishna, covered with sweat, and much
weakened, addressed Arjuna, saying, ‘Where art thou, O Partha! I do not
see thee. Art thou alive, O slayer of foes?’ Hearing those words of his,
Dhananjaya with great speed dispelled, by means of the Vayavya weapon,
that arrowy downpour shot by his foes. Then the illustrious Vayu (the
presiding deity of that mighty weapon) bore away crowds of Samsaptakas
with steeds and elephants and cars and weapons, as if these were dry
leaves of trees. Borne away by the wind, O king, they looked highly
beautiful, like flights of birds, O monarch, flying away from trees. Then
Dhananjaya, having afflicted them thus, with great speed struck hundreds
and thousands of them with sharp shafts. And he cut off their heads and
also hands with weapons in their grasp, by means of his broad-headed
arrows. And he felled on the ground, with his shafts, their thighs,
resembling the trunks of elephants. And some were wounded on their backs,
arms and eyes. And thus Dhananjaya deprived his foes of diverse limbs,
and cars decked and equipped according to rule, and looking like the
vapour edifices in the welkin, he cut off into fragments, by means of his
arrows, their riders and steeds and elephants. And in many places crowds
of cars, whose standards had been cut off, looked like forests of
headless palmyras. And elephants with excellent weapons, banners, hooks,
and standards fell down like wooded mountains, split with Sakra’s
thunder. Graced with tails, looking like those of the yak, and covered
with coats of mail, and with their entrails and eyes dragged out, steeds
along with their riders, rolled on the ground, slain by means of Partha’s
shafts. No longer holding in their grasp the swords that had served for
their nails, with their coats of mail tom, and the joints of their bones
broken, foot-soldiers with their vital limbs cut open, helplessly laid
themselves down on the field, slain by means of Arjuna’s arrows. And the
field of battle assumed an awful aspect in consequence of those warriors
slain, or in the course of being slaughtered, falling and fallen,
standing or in course of being whirled along. And the air was purified of
the dust that had arisen, by means of the showers of blood (caused by
Arjuna’s arrows). And the earth, strewn with hundreds of headless trunks,
became impassable. And the car of Vibhatsu in that battle shone fiercely
like the car of Rudra himself, while engaged at the end of the Yuga in
destroying all creatures. While slaughtered by Partha thus, those
warriors, with their steeds and cars and elephants in great distress,
ceased not to rush against him; though, deprived of life one after
another, they had to become the guests of Sakra. Then the field of
battle, O chief of the Bharatas, strewn with mighty car-warriors deprived
of life, looked dreadful like Yama’s domains, abounding with the spirits
of the departed creatures. Meanwhile, when Arjuna was furiously engaged
(with the Samsaptakas), Drona, at the head of his forces arrayed for
battle, rushed against Yudhishthira, and many warriors, accomplished in
smiting and properly arrayed, followed him, actuated by the desire of
seizing Yudhishthira. The battle then that ensued became exceedingly


“Sanjaya said, ‘Having passed the night, that mighty car-warrior viz.,
Bharadwaja’s son, addressed Suyodhana, O monarch, saying, ‘I am
thine![33] I have made arrangements for Partha’s encounter with the
Samsaptaka.'[34] After Partha went out for slaying the Samsaptakas, Drona
then, at the head of his troops arrayed for battle, proceeded, O chief of
the Bharatas, for seizing king Yudhishthira the just. Seeing that Drona
had arrayed his forces in the form of a Garuda, Yudhishthira disposed his
troops in counter array in the form of a semi-circle. In the mouth of
that Garuda was the mighty car-warrior Drona himself. And its head was
formed by king Duryodhana, surrounded by his uterine brothers. And
Kritavarman and the illustrious Kripa formed the two eyes of that Garuda.
And Bhutasarman, and Kshemasarman, and the valiant Karakaksha, and the
Kalingas, the Singhalas, the Easterners, the Sudras, the Abhiras, the
Daserakas, the Sakas, the Yavanas, the Kamvojas, the Hangsapadas, the
Surasenas, the Daradas, the Madras, and the Kalikeyas, with hundreds and
thousands of elephants, steeds, cars, and foot-soldiers were stationed at
its neck. And Bhurisravah. and Salya, and Somadatta, and Valhika, these
heroes, surrounded by a full Akshauhini, took up their position in the
right wing. And Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Sudakshina, the ruler
of the Kamvojas, stationed themselves in the left wing at the head,
however, of Drona’s son Aswatthaman. In the back (of that Garuda) were
the Kalingas, the Amvashthas, the Magadhas, the Paundras, the Madrakas,
the Gandharas, the Sakunas, the Easterners, the Mountaineers, and the
Vasatis. In the tail stood Vikartana’s son Karna, with his sons, kinsmen
and friends, and surrounded by a large force raised from diverse realms,
Jayadratha, and Bhimaratha, and Sampati, and the Jays, and the Bhojas,
and Bhuminjaya, and Vrisha, and Kratha, and the mighty ruler of the
Nishadhas, all accomplished in battle, surrounded by a large host and
keeping the region of Brahma before their eyes, stood, O king, in the
heart of that array. That array, formed by Drona, in consequence of its
foot-soldiers, steeds, cars and elephants, seemed to surge like the
tempest-tossed ocean (as it advanced to battle). Warriors, desirous of
battle, began to start out from the wings and sides of that array, like
roaring clouds charged with lightning rushing from all sides (in the
welkin) at summer. And in the midst of that army, the ruler of the
Pragjyotishas, mounted on his duly equipped elephant, looked resplendent,
O king, like the rising sun. Decked, O monarch, in garlands of flower,
and with a white umbrella held over his head, he looked like the full
moon when in conjunction with the constellation Krittika. And blind with
the wine-like exudation, the elephant, looking like a mass of black
antimony, shone like a huge mountain washed by mighty clouds (with their
showers). And the ruler of the Pragjyotishas was surrounded by many
heroic kings of the hilly countries, armed with diverse weapons, like
Sakra himself surrounded by the celestials. Then Yudhishthira, beholding
that superhuman array incapable of being vanquished by foes in battle,
addressed Prishata’s son, saying, ‘O lord, O thou that ownest steeds
white as pigeons, let such measures be adopted that I may not be taken a
prisoner by the Brahmana.’

“Dhrishtadyumna said, ‘O thou of excellent vows, never shalt thou be
placed under the power of Drona, however much may he strive. Even I shall
check Drona today with all his followers. As long as I am alive, O thou
of Kuru’s race, it behoveth thee not to feel any anxiety. Under no
circumstances will Drona be able to vanquish me in battle.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Having said these words, the mighty son of Drupada
owning steeds of the hue of pigeons, scattering his shafts, rushed
himself at Drona. Beholding that (to him) evil omen in the form of
Dhrishtadyumna stationed before him, Drona soon became exceedingly
cheerless. Beholding this, that crusher of foes, viz., thy son Durmukha,
desirous of doing what was agreeable to Drona, began to resist
Dhrishtadyumna. Then a terrible and a fierce battle took place, O
Bharata, between the brave son of Prishata and thy son, Durmukha. Then
Prishata’s son, quickly covering Durmukha, with a shower of arrows,
checked Bharadwaja’s son also with a thick arrowy downpour. Beholding
Drona checked, thy son Durmukha quickly rushed at Prishata’s son and
confounded him with clouds of arrows of diverse kinds. And while the
prince of the Panchalas and that foremost one of Kuru’s race were thus
engaged in battle, Drona consumed many sections of Yudhishthira’s host.
As a mass of clouds is dispersed in different directions by the wind,
even so was Yudhisthira’s host, in many parts of the field, scattered by
Drona. For only a short while did that battle look like an ordinary
combat. And then, O king, it became an encounter of infuriated persons in
which no consideration was shown for anybody. And the combatants could no
longer distinguish their own men from the foe. And the battle raged on,
the warriors being guided by inferences and watch-words. Upon the gems on
their headgears, upon their necklaces and other ornaments, and upon their
coats of mail, rays of light like those of the Sun seemed to fall and
play. And cars and elephants and steeds, decked with streaming banners,
seemed in that battle to resemble masses of clouds with flocks of cranes
under them. And men slew men, and steeds of fiery metal slew steeds, and
car-warriors slew car-warriors and elephants slew elephants. And soon a
fierce and terrible encounter took place between elephants with tall
standards on their backs and mighty compeers (rushing against them). All
in consequence of those huge creatures rubbing their bodies against those
of hostile compeers and tearing one another (with their tusks), fires
mixed with smoke were generated there by (such) friction of countless
tusks with tusks. Shorn of the standards (on their backs), those
elephants, in consequence of the fires caused by their tusks, looked like
masses of clouds in the welkin charged with lightning. And the earth,
strewn with elephants dragging (hostile compeers) and roaring and falling
down, looked beautiful like the autumnal sky overspread with clouds. And
the roars of those elephants while they were being slaughtered with
showers of shafts and lances, sounded like the roll of clouds in the
rainy season. And some huge elephants, wounded with lances and shafts,
became panic-stricken. And others amongst those creatures, left the field
with loud cries.[35] And some elephants there, struck by others with
their tusks, uttered fierce yells of distress that resounded like the
roll of the all-destroying clouds at the end of the Yuga. And some,
turned back by huge antagonists, returned to the charge, urged on by
sharp hooks. And crushing hostile ranks, they began to kill all who came
in their way. And elephant-drivers, attacked by elephant-drivers with
arrows and lances, fell down from the backs of their beasts, their
weapons and hooks being loosened from their hands. And many elephants,
without riders on their backs, wandered hither and thither like clouds
torn from mightier masses, and then fell down, encountering one another.
And some huge elephants, bearing on their backs slain and fallen
warriors, or those whose weapons had fallen down, wandered in all
directions singly.[36] And in the midst of that carnage, some elephants
attacked, or in course of being attacked with lances, swords and battle
axes, fell down in course of that awful carnage, uttering sounds of
distress. And the earth, suddenly struck with the falling bodies, huge as
hills, of those creatures all around trembled and emitted sounds. And
with those elephants slain along with their riders and lying all about
with the standards on their backs, the earth looked beautiful as if
strewn with hills. And the drivers on the backs of many elephants, with
their breasts pierced by car-warriors with broad-headed shafts in that
battle, fell down, their lances and hooks loosened from their grasp. And
some elephants, struck with long shafts, uttered crane like cries and ran
in all directions, crushing friends and foes by trampling them to death.
And covered with countless bodies of elephants and steeds and
car-warriors, the earth, O king, became miry with flesh and blood. And
large cars with wheels and many without wheels, crushed by the points of
their tusks, were thrown up by elephants, with the warriors mounted on
them. Cars were seen deprived of warriors. And riderless steeds and
elephants ran in all directions, afflicted with wounds. And there father
slew his son, and son slew his sire, for the battle that took place was
exceedingly fierce and nothing could be distinguished. Men sank
ankle-deep in the gory mire and looked like tall trees whose lower parts
were swallowed up in a blazing forest-conflagration. And robes and coats
of mail and umbrellas and standards having been dyed with blood,
everything seemed to be bloody on the field. Large bodies of slain
steeds, of cars, and of men, were again cut into fragments by the rolling
of car-wheels. And that sea of troops having elephants for its current,
and slain men for its floating moss and weeds, and cars for its fierce,
eddies, looked terribly grim. Warriors, having steeds and elephants for
their large vessels, and desirous of victory as their wealth, plunged
into that sea, and instead of sinking in it endeavoured to deprive their
enemies of their senses. When all the warriors, each bearing particular
signs, were covered with arrowy showers, there was none amongst them lost
heart, though all were deprived of their signs. In that fierce and awful
battle, Drona confounding the senses of his foes, (at last) rushed at


“Sanjaya continued, ‘Then Drona, beholding Yudhishthira near him
fearlessly received him with a thick shower of arrows. And there arose a
loud noise among the troops of Yudhishthira’s army like what is made by
the elephants belonging to a herd when their leader is attacked by a
mighty lion. Beholding Drona, the brave Satyajit, of prowess incapable of
being baffled, rushed at the Preceptor who was desirous of seizing
Yudhishthira. The Preceptor and the Panchala prince, both endued with
great might, fought with each other, agitating each other’s troops, like
Indra and Vali. Then Satyajit, of prowess incapable of being baffled,
invoking a mighty weapon, pierced Drona with keen-pointed arrows. And
Satyajit shot at Drona’s charioteer five arrows, fatal as snake-poison
and each looking like Death himself. The charioteer, thus struck, became
deprived of his senses. Then Satyajit quickly Pierced Drona’s steeds with
ten shafts; and filled with rage, he next pierced each of his Parshni
drivers with ten shafts. And then he coursed at the head of his troops on
his car in a circular motion. Excited with wrath, he cut off the standard
of Drona, that crushers of foes Drona then, that chastiser of foes,
beholding these feats of his foe in battle, mentally resolved to despatch
him to the other world.[37] The Preceptor, cutting off Satyajit’s bow
with arrow fixed thereon, quickly pierced him with ten arrows capable of
penetrating into the very vitals. Thereupon, the valiant Satyajit,
quickly taking up another bow, struck Drona, O king, with thirty arrows
winged with the feathers of the Kanka bird. Beholding Drona (thus)
encountered in battle by Satyajit, the Pandayas, O king, shouted in joy
and waved their garments. Then the mighty Vrika, O king, excited with
great wrath, pierced Drona in the centre of the chest with sixty arrows.
That feat seemed highly wonderful., Then that mighty car-warrior, viz.,
Drona, of great impetuosity, covered with the arrowy showers (of his
foes) opened his eyes wide and mustered all his energy. Then cutting off
the bows of both Satyajit and Vrika, Drona, with six shafts slew Vrika
with his charioteer and steeds. Then Satyajit, taking up another bow that
was tougher, pierced Drona with his steeds, his charioteer, and his
standard. Thus afflicted in battle by the prince of the Panchalas, Drona
could not brook that act. For the destruction then of his foe, he quickly
shot his arrows (at him). Drona then covered with incessant showers of
arrows his antagonist’s steeds and standards as also the handle of his
bow, and both his Parshni drivers. But though his bows were (thus)
repeatedly cut off, the prince of the Panchalas conversant with the
highest weapons continued to battle with him of red steeds. Beholding
Satyajit swell with energy in that dreadful combat, Drona cut off that
illustrious warrior’s head with a crescent-shaped arrow.[38] Upon the
slaughter of that foremost of combatants, that mighty car-warrior among
the Panchalas, Yudhishthira, from fear of Drona, fled away, (borne) by
fleet steeds. Then the Panchalas, the Kekayas, the Matsyas, the Chedis,
the Karushas and the Kosalas, seeing Drona, rushed at him, desirous of
rescuing Yudhishthira. The Preceptor, however, that slayer of large
numbers of foes, desirous of seizing Yudhishthira, began to consume those
divisions, like fire consuming heaps of cotton. Then Satanika, the
younger brother of the ruler of the Matsyas, rushed at Drona who was thus
engaged in incessantly destroying those divisions (of the Pandava host).
And Satanika, piercing Drona along with his driver and steeds with six
shafts, bright as the rays of the sun and polished by his hands of their
forger, uttered loud shouts. And engaged in a cruel act, and endeavouring
to accomplish what was difficult of attainment, he covered Bharadwaja’s
son, that mighty car-warrior with showers of arrows.[39] Then Drona, with
an arrow sharp as razor, quickly cut off from his trunk the head, decked
with ear-rings of Satanika, shouting at him. Thereupon, the Matsya
warriors all fled away. Having vanquished the Matsyas, the son of
Bharadwaja then defeated the Chedis, the Karushas, the Kaikeyas, the
Panchalas, the Srinjayas. and the Pandus repeatedly. Beholding that hero
of the golden car, excited with rage and consuming their divisions, like
a fire consuming a forest, the Srinjayas trembled (with fear). Endued
with great activity and slaughtering the foe ceaselessly, the twang of
the bow-string, as he stretched his bow, was heard in all directions.
Fierce arrows shot by that warrior endued with great lightness of hand,
crushed elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers and car-warriors and
elephant-riders. As a mighty mass of roaring clouds in summer with
violent winds (blowing) poureth a shower of hail-stones, so did Drona
pour his arrowy showers and inspired fear in the hearts of his foes. That
mighty hero, that great bowman, that dispeller of the fears of his
friends, careered in all directions (of the field) agitating the
(hostile) host. The bow, decked with gold, of Drona of immeasurable
energy, was seen in all directions like the flashes of lightning in the
clouds. The beautiful altar on his banner, as he careered in battle, O
Bharata, was seen to resemble a crest or Himavat. The slaughter that
Drona caused among the Pandava troops was very great, resembling that
caused by Vishnu himself, the adored of both the gods and Asuras, among
the Daitya host. Heroic, truthful in speech, endued with great wisdom and
might, and possessed of prowess incapable of being baffled, the
illustrious Drona caused a river to flow there that was fierce and
capable of striking the timid with fear. Coats of mail formed its waves,
and standards its eddies. And it carried away (as it ran) large numbers
of mortal creatures. And elephants and steeds constituted its great
alligators, and swords formed its fishes. And it was incapable of being
easily crossed over. The bones of brave warriors formed its pebbles, and
drums and cymbals its tortoises. And shields and armour formed its boats,
and the hair of warriors its floating moss and weeds. And arrows
constituted its wavelets and bows its current. And the arms of the
combatants formed its snakes.[40] And that river of fierce current,
running over the field of battle, bore away both the Kurus and the
Srinjayas. And the heads of human beings, constituted its stones, and
their thighs its fishes. And maces constituted the rafts (by which many
sought to cross it). And head-gears formed the forth that covered its
surface, and the entrails (of animals) its reptiles. Awful (in mien), it
bore away heroes (to the other world). And blood and flesh constituted
its mire. And elephants formed its crocodiles, and standards, the trees
(on its banks). Thousands of Kshatriyas sank in it. Fierce, clogged
(dead) bodies, and having horse-soldiers and elephant-warriors for its
sharks, it was extremely difficult to cross it. And that river ran
towards the abode of Yama. And it abounded with Rakshasas and dogs and
jackals. And it v as haunted by fierce cannibals all around.

“Then many Pandava warriors, headed by Kunti’s son, rushing at Drona,
that mighty car-warrior consuming their divisions like Death himself,
surrounded him on all sides. Indeed, those brave warriors completely
encompassed Drona who was scorching everything around him like the sun
himself scorching the world with his rays. Then the kings and the princes
of thy army, with upraised weapons, all rushed for supporting that hero
and great bowman. Then Sikhandin pierced Drona with five straight arrows.
And Kshatradharman pierced him with twenty arrows, and Vasudeva with
five. And Uttamaujas pierced him with three arrows, and Kshatradeva with
five. And Satyaki pierced him in that battle with a hundred arrows, and
Yudhamanyu with eight. And Yudhishthira pierced Drona with a dozen
shafts, and Dhrishtadyumna pierced him with ten, and Chekitana with
three. Then Drona, of unbaffled aim and resembling an elephant with rent
temples, getting over the car-division (of the Pandavas), overthrew
Dridhasena. Approaching then king Kshema who was battling fearlessly, he
struck him with nine arrows. Thereupon, Kshema, deprived of life, fell
down from his car. Getting then into the midst of the (hostile) troops,
he careered in all directions, protecting others, but himself in no need
of Protection. He then pierced Sikhandin with twelve arrows, and
Uttamaujas with twenty. And he despatched Vasudeva with a broad-headed
arrow to the abode of Yama. And he pierced Kshemavarman with eighty
arrows, and Sudakshina with six and twenty. And he felled Kshatradeva
with a broad-headed arrow from his niche in the car. And having pierced
Yudhamanyu with sixty-four arrows and Satyaki with thirty, Drona, of the
golden car, quickly approached Yudhishthira. Then Yudhishthira, that best
of kings, quickly fled away from the preceptor, borne by his fleet
steeds. Then Panchala rushed at Drona. Drona slew the prince, cutting off
his bow, and felling his steeds and charioteer along with him. Deprived
of life, the prince fell down on the earth from his car, like a luminary
loosened from the firmament. Upon the fall of that illustrious prince of
the Panchalas, loud cries were heard thereof, ‘Slay Drona, Slay Drona!’
The mighty Drona then began to crush and mangle the Panchalas, the
Matsyas, the Kaikeyas, the Srinjayas, and the Pandavas, all excited with
rage. And supported by the Kurus, Drona, then vanquished Satyaki and
Chekitana’s son, and Senavindu, and Suvarchas, all these and numerous
other kings. Thy warriors, O king, having obtained the victory in that
great battle, slew the Pandavas as they flew away in all directions. And
the Panchalas, the Kaikeyas and the Matsyas, thus slaughtered on all
sides like the Danavas by Indra, began to tremble (with fear).'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘When the Pandavas were broken by Bharadwaja’s son
in hat dreadful battle, and the Panchalas also, was there anybody that
approached Drona for battle? Alas, beholding Drona stationed in battle,
like a, awning tiger, or an elephant with rent temples, ready to lay down
his life in battle, well-armed, conversant with all modes of fight, that
great bowman, that tiger among men, that enhancer of the fear of foes,
grateful, devoted to truth, ever desirous of benefiting
Duryodhana,–alas, beholding him at the head of his troops, was there no
man that could approach him, with a laudable determination for battle a
determination that enhances the renown of Kshatriyas, that mean-spirited
persons can never form, and that is distinctive only of the foremost of
persons? Tell me, O Sanjaya, who were those heroes that approached the
son of Bharadwaja, beholding him at the head of his forces?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding the Panchalas, the Pandavas, the Matsyas, the
Srinjayas, the Chedis, the Kalikeyas, thus routed after being broken in
battle by Drona with his shafts, beholding them thus driven from the
field by those showers of fleet arrows shot from Drona’s, bow, like
vessels sent adrift by the awful waves of the tempest-tossed ocean, the
Kauravas with many leonine shouts and with the noise of diverse
instruments, began to assail the cars and elephants and foot-soldiers (of
that hostile host) from all sides. And beholding those (fleeting soldiers
of the Pandavas) king Duryodhana, stationed in the midst of his own
forces and encompassed by his own relatives and kinsmen, filled with joy,
and laughing as he spoke, said these words unto Karna.’

“Duryodhana said, ‘Behold, O Radha’s son, the Panchalas broken by that
firm bowman (Drona) with his shafts, like a herd of the wild deer
frightened by a lion. These, I think, will not again come to battle. They
have been broken by Drona like mighty trees by the tempest. Afflicted by
that high-souled warrior with those shafts winged with gold, they are
fleeing away, no two persons are together. Indeed, they seem to be
dragged in eddies all over the field. Checked by the Kauravas as also by
the high-souled Drona, they are huddling close to one another like (a
herd of) elephants in the midst of a conflagration. Like a blossoming
trees penetrated by flights of bees, these warriors, pierced with the
sharp shafts of Drona, are huddling close to one another, as they are
flying away from the field. There, the wrathful Bhima, abandoned by the
Pandavas and the Srinjayas, and surrounded by my warriors, delighteth me
greatly, O Karna! It is evident, that wicked wight beholdeth the world
today to be full of Drona! Without doubt, that son of Pandu hath today
become hopeless of life and kingdom.’

“Karna said, ‘That mighty-armed warrior will not certainly abandon the
battle as long as he is alive. Nor will he, O tiger among men, brook
these leonine shouts (of ours). Nor will the Pandavas, I think, be
defeated in battle. They are brave, endued with great might, accomplished
in weapons, and difficult of being resisted in battle. Recollecting the
woes caused them by our attempts at poisoning and burning them, and the
woes that arose from the match at dice, bearing in mind also their exile
in, the woods, the Pandavas, I think, will not abandon the fight. The
mighty-armed Vrikodara of immeasurable energy hath already turned back
(for the fight). The son of Kunti will certainly slay many of our
foremost car-warriors. With sword and bow and dart, with steeds and
elephants and men and cars,[41] with his mace made of iron, he will slay
crowds (of our soldiers). Other car-warriors headed by Satyajit, together
with the Panchalas, the Kekayas, the Matsyas, and especially the
Pandavas, are following him. They are all brave, and possessed of great
might and prowess. Mighty car-warriors, they are again led by Bhima in
wrath. Those bulls of the race, surrounding Vrikodara on all sides, like
the clouds surrounding the Sun, begin to approach Drona from all sides.
Closely intent upon one object, these will certainly afflict unprotected
Drona, like flights of insects, on the point of death, striking a blazing
lamp. Accomplished in weapons, they are certainly competent to resist
Drona. Heavy is the burthen, I think, that now rests on Bharadwaja’s son.
Let us then quickly go to the spot where Drona is. Let not those slay him
of regulated vows like wolves slaying a mighty elephant!’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Hearing these words of Radheya, king Duryodhana
then, accompanied by his brothers, O monarch, proceeded towards Drona’s
car. The noise there was deafening, of Pandava warriors returned to the
fight on their cars drawn by excellent steeds of diverse hue,[42] all
actuated by the desire of slaying Drona alone.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Tell me, O Sanjaya, the distinctive indications of
the cars of all those who, excited with wrath and headed by Bhimasena,
had proceeded against Drona.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Vrikodara advancing (on a car drawn) by steeds
of dappled hue (like: that of the antelope), the brave grandson of Sini
(Satyaki) proceeded, borne by steeds of a silvery hue. The irresistible
Yudhamanyu, excited with rage, proceeded against Drona, borne by
excellent steeds of variegated hue. Dhristadyumna, the son of the
Panchala king, proceeded, borne by steeds of great fleetness in trappings
of gold and of the hue of pigeons.[43] Desirous of protecting his sire,
and wishing him complete success, Dhristadyumna’s son, Kshatradharman of
regulated vows, proceeded., borne by red steeds. Kshatradeva, the son of
Sikhandin, himself urging well-decked steeds of the hue of lotus-leaves
and with eyes of pure white, proceeded (against Drona). Beautiful steeds
of the Kamvoja breed, decked with the feathers of the green parrot,
bearing Nakula, quickly ran towards thy army. Dark steeds of the clouds
wrathfully bore Uttamaujas, O Bharata, to battle, against the invincible
Drona, standing with arrows aimed. Steeds, fleet as the wind, and of
variegated hue, bore Sahadeva with upraised weapons to that fierce
battle. Of great impetuosity, and possessed of the fleetness of the wind,
steeds of the ivory hue and having black manes on the neck, bore
Yudhishthira, that tiger among men. And many warriors followed
Yudhishthira, borne on their steeds, decked in trappings of gold and all
fleet as the wind. Behind the king was the royal chief of the Panchalas,
viz., Drupada, with a golden umbrella over his head and himself protected
by all those soldiers (that followed Yudhishthira). That great bowman
among all the kings, viz., Sautabhi, proceeded, borne by beautiful steeds
capable of bearing every noise. Accompanied by all the great
car-warriors, Virata quickly followed the former. The Kaikeyas and
Sikhandin, and Dhrishtaketu, surrounded by their respective troops,
followed the ruler of Matsyas. Excellent steeds of the (pale red) hue of
trumpet-flowers, looked exceedingly beautiful as they bore Virata. Fleet
steeds of yellow colour and decked in chains of gold, bore with great
speed the son (Uttara) of that slayer of foes, viz., Virata, the royal
chief of the Matsyas. The five Kekaya brothers were borne by steeds of
deep red hue. Of the splendour of gold and owning standards of the red
hue, and decked with chains of gold, all of them heroes, accomplished in
battle, they proceeded, clad in mail, and showering arrows like the very
clouds. Excellent steeds, the gift of Tumvuru, of the hue of unbaked
earthen pots, bore Sikhandin, the Panchala prince of immeasurable energy.
Altogether, twelve thousand mighty car-warriors of the Panchala race
proceeded to battle. Of these, six thousand followed Sikhandin. Sportive
steeds, O sire, of the dappled hue of the antelope, bore the son of
Sisupal, that tiger among men. That bull among the Chedis, viz.,
Dhrishtaketu, endued with great strength, and difficult of being
vanquished in battle, proceeded, borne by Kamvoja steeds of variegated
hue. Excellent steeds of the Sindhu breed, of beautiful limbs, and of the
hue of the smoke of straw, quickly bore the Kaikeya prince,
Vrihatkshatra. Possessed of eyes of pure white, of the hue of the lotus,
born in the country of the Valhikas, and decked with ornaments, bore
Sikhandin’s son, the brave Kshatradeva.[44] Decked in trappings of gold,
and possessed of the hue of red silk, quiet steeds bore Senavindu, that
chastiser of foes, to battle. Excellent steeds of the hue of cranes, bore
to battle the youthful and delicate son of the king of the Kasis, that
mighty car-warrior. White steeds with black necks, endued with the speed
of the mind, O monarch, and exceedingly obedient to the driver, bore
prince Prativindhya. Whitish yellow steeds bore Sutasoma, the son of
Arjuna, whom the latter had obtained from Soma himself. He was born in
the Kuru city known by the name of Udayendu. Endued with effulgence of a
thousand moons, and because he also had won great renown in an assembly
of the Somakas, he came to be called Sutasoma. Steeds of the hue of Sala
flowers or of morning sun bore Nakula’s son Satanika worthy of every
praise. Steeds decked in trappings of gold, and endued with the hue of
the peacock’s neck, bore that tiger among men, Srutakarman, the son of
Draupdi (by Bhima). Excellent steeds of the hue of the king-fishers bore
Draupadi’s son Srutkirti to that battle, who like Partha was an ocean of
learning. Steeds of a tawny hue bore the youthful Abhimanyu who was
regarded as superior to Krishna or Partha one and a half times in battle.
Gigantic steeds bore Yuyutsu to battle, that only warrior amongst the
sons of Dhritarashtra who (abandoning his brothers) hath sided with the
Pandavas. Plump and well-decked steeds of the hue of the (dried) paddy
stalk bore Vardhakshemi of great activity to that dreadful battle. Steeds
with black legs, equipped in breast-plates of gold, and exceedingly
obedient to the driver, bore youthful Sauchitti to battle. Steeds whose
backs were covered with golden armour, decked with chains of gold,
well-broken, and of the hue of red silk, bore Srenimat. Steeds of a red
hue bore the advancing Satyadhriti accomplished in the science of arms
and in the divine Vedas. That Panchala who was commander (of the Pandava
army) and who took Drona as the victim allotted to his share,–that
Dhrishtadyumna,–was borne by steeds of the hue of pigeons. Him followed
Satyadhriti, and Sauchitti irresistible in battle, and Srenimat, and
Vasudana, and Vibhu, the son of the ruler of the Kasis. These had fleet
steeds of the best Kamvoja breed decked with chains of gold. Each
resembling Yama or Vaisravana, they proceeded to battle, striking fear
into the hearts of the hostile soldiers. The Prabhadrakas of the Kamvoja
country, numbering six thousand, with upraised weapons, with excellent
steeds of diverse hues on their gold-decked cars, with stretched bows and
making their foes tremble with their showers of arrows and resolved to
die together,[45] followed Dhristadyumna. Excellent steeds of the hue of
tawny silk, decked with beautiful chains of gold, cheerfully bore
Chekitana. Arjuna’s maternal uncle Purujit, otherwise called Kuntibhoja,
came borne by excellent steeds of the colour of the rainbow. Steeds of
the colour of star-bespangled firmament bore to battle king Rochamana.
Steeds of the hue of the red deer, with white streaks over their bodies,
bore the Panchala prince Singhasena, the son of Gopati. That tiger among
the Panchalas who is known by the name of Janamejaya, had excellent
steeds of the hue of mustard flowers. Fleet, gigantic and dark blue
steeds decked with chains of gold, with backs of the hue of curd and
faces of the hue of the moon, bore with great speed the ruler of the
Panchalas. Brave steeds with beautiful heads, (white) as the stalks of
reeds, and a splendour resembling that of the firmament or the lotus,
bore Dandadhara. Light brown steeds with backs of the hue of the mouse,
and with necks proudly drawn up, bore Vyaghradatta to battle.
Dark-spotted steeds bore that tiger among men, viz., Sudhanwan, the
prince of Panchala. Of fierce impetuosity resembling that of Indra’s
thunder, beautiful steeds of the hue of Indragopakas, with variegated
patches, bore Chitrayudha. Decked with golden chains, steeds whose
bellies were of the hue of the Chakravaka bore Sukshatra, the son of the
ruler of the Kosalas. Beautiful and tall steeds of variegated hue and
gigantic bodies, exceedingly docile, and decked with chains of gold, bore
Satyadhriti accomplished in battle. Sukla advanced to battle with his
standard and armour and bow and steeds all of the same white hue. Steeds
born on the sea-coast and white as the moon, bore Chandrasena of fierce
energy, the son of Samudrasena. Steeds of the hue of the blue lotus and
decked with ornaments of gold and adorned with beautiful floral wreaths,
bore Saiva owning a beautiful car to battle. Superior steeds of the hue
of Kalaya flowers, with white and red streaks, bore Rathasena difficult
of being resisted in battle. White steeds bore that king who slew the
Patachcharas and who is regarded as the bravest of men. Superior steeds
of the hue of Kinsuka flowers bore Chitrayudha decked with beautiful
garlands and owning beautiful armour and weapons and standard. King Nila
advanced to battle, with standard and armour and bow and banner and
steeds all of the same blue colour. Chitra advanced to battle with
car-fence and standard and bow all decked with diverse kinds of gems, and
beautiful steeds and banner. Excellent steeds of the hue of the lotus
bore Hemavarna, the son of Rochamana. Chargers, capable of bearing all
kinds of weapons, of brave achievements in battle, possessed of vertebral
columns of the hue of reeds, having white testicles, and endued with the
colour of the hen’s egg, bore Dandaketu. The mighty Sarangadhwaja, endued
with wealth of energy, the king of the Pandyas, on steeds of the hue of
the moon’s rays and decked with armour set with stones of lapis lazuli,
advanced upon Drona, stretching his excellent bow. His country having
been invaded and his kinsmen having fled, his father had been slain by
Krishna in battle. Obtaining weapons then from Bhishma and Drona, Rama
and Kripa, prince Sarangadhwaja became, in weapons, the equal of Rukmi
and Karna and Arjuna and Achyuta. He then desired to destroy the city of
Dwaraka and subjugate the whole world. Wise friends, however, from desire
of doing him good, counselled him against that course. Giving up all
thoughts of revenge, he is now ruling his own dominions. Steeds that were
all of the hue of the Atrusa flower bore a hundred and forty thousand
principle car-warriors that followed that Sarangadhwaja, the king of the
Pandyas. Steeds of diverse hues and diverse kinds of forces, bore the
heroic Ghatotkacha. Mighty steeds of gigantic size, of the Aratta breed,
bore the mighty-armed Vrihanta of red eyes mounted on his golden car,
that prince, viz., who, rejecting the opinions of all the Bharatas, hath
singly, from his reverence for Yudhishthira. gone over to him, abandoning
all his cherished desire.[46] Superior steeds of the hue of gold,
followed that foremost of kings viz., the virtuous Yudhishthira at his
back. Large number of Prabhadrakas, of celestial shapes, advanced to
battle, with steeds of diverse excellent colours. All of them owning
standards of gold and prepared to struggle vigorously, proceeded with
Bhimasena, and wore the aspect, O monarch, of the denizens of heaven with
Indra at their head. That assembled host of Prabhadrakas was much liked
by Dhristadyumna.’

“Bharadwaja’s son, however, O monarch, surpassed all the warriors in
splendour. His standard, with a black deer-skin waving on its top and the
beautiful water-pot, O monarch, that it bore, looked exceedingly
beautiful. And Bhimasena’s standard, bearing the device of a gigantic
lion in silver with its eyes made of lapis lazuli, looked exceedingly
resplendent. The standard of Yudhishthira of great energy, bearing the
device of a golden moon with planets around it, looked very beautiful.
Two large and beautiful kettle-drums, called Nanda and Upananda, were
tied to it. Played upon by machinery, these produced excellent music that
enhanced the delight of all who heard it. For terrifying the foe, we
beheld that tall and fierce standard of Nakula, placed on his car bearing
the device of a Sarabha with its back made of gold. A beautiful silver
swan with bells and banner terrible to look at and enhancing the grief of
the foe, was seen on Sahadeva’s standard. The standards of the five sons
of Draupadi bore on them the excellent images of Dharma, Marut, Sakra,
and the twin Aswins. On the car, O king, of the youthful Abhimanyu was an
excellent standard that bore a golden peacock, which was bright as heated
gold. On Ghatotkacha’s standard, O king, a vulture shone brightly, and
his steeds also were capable of going everywhere at will, like those of
Ravana in days of yore. In Yudhishthira’s hands was the celestial bow
called Mahendra; and in the hands of Bhimasena, O king, was the celestial
bow called Vayavya. For the protection of the three worlds Brahman
created a bow. That celestial and indestructible bow was held by
Phalguni. The Vaishnava bow was held by Nakula, and the bow called Aswina
was held by Sahadeva. That celestial and terrible bow called the
Paulastya, was held by Ghatotkacha. The five jewels of bows born by the
five sons of Draupadi were the Raudra, the Agneya, the Kauverya, the
Yamya, and the Girisa. That excellent and best of bows, called the
Raudra, which Rohini’s son (Valadeva) had obtained, the latter gave unto
the high-souled son of Subhadra, having been gratified with him. These
and many other standards decked with gold, were seen there, belonging to
brave warriors, all of which enhanced the fear of their foes. The host
commanded by Drona, which numbered not a single coward, and in which
countless standards rising together seemed to obstruct the welkin, then
looked, O monarch, like images on a canvas. We heard the names and
lineage, O king, of brave warriors rushing towards Drona in that battle
like to what is heard, O monarch, at a self-choice.[47]

“Then royal Drupada advanced against him at the head of a mighty
division. The encounter between those two old men at the heads of their
respective forces became terrible like that between two mighty leaders,
with rent temples, of two elephantine herds. Vinda and Anuvinda of
Avanti, with their troops encountered Virata, the ruler of Matsyas at the
head of his forces, like Indra and Agni in days of old encountering the
(Asura) Vali. That awful encounter between the Matsyas and the Kekayas,
in which steeds and car-warriors and elephants fought most fearlessly,
resembled that between the gods and the Asuras in days of old.
Bhutakarman, otherwise called Sabhapati, kept away from Drona. Nakula’s
son Satanika, as the latter advanced, scattering showers of arrows. Then
the heir of Nakula, with three broad-headed shafts of great sharpness,
deprived Bhutakarman of both his arms and head in that battle. Vivinsati
resisted the heroic Sutasoma of great prowess, as the latter advanced
towards Drona, scattering showers of arrows. Sutasoma, however, excited
with wrath, pierced his uncle Vivinsati with straight arrows, and cased
in mail, stood ready for the combat. Bhimaratha, (brother of Duryodhana),
with six sharp shafts of great swiftness and made wholly of iron,
despatched Salwa along with his steeds and charioteer to Yama’s abode.
Chitrasena’s son, O king, opposed thy (grand) son Srutakarman as the
latter came, borne by steeds, looking like peacocks. Those two grandsons
of thine, both difficult of being vanquished in battle, and each desirous
of slaying the other, fought vigorously for the success of the objects of
their respective sires. Beholding Prativindhya staying at the van of that
dreadful battle, Drona’s son (Aswatthaman), desirous of protecting the
honour of his sire, resisted the former with his shafts. Prativindhya,
then, excited with rage pierced Aswatthaman, bearing on his standard the
device of a lion’s tail and staying in battle for the sake of his father,
with many sharp shafts. The (eldest) son of Draupadi then scattered over
Drona’s son showers of arrows, like a sower, O bull among men, scattering
seeds on the soil at the sowing season.[48] The son of Duhsasana resisted
the mighty car-warrior Srutakirti, the son of Arjuna by Draupadi, as the
latter was rushing towards Drona. That son of Arjuna, however, who was
equal to Arjuna himself, cutting off the former’s bow and standard and
charioteer with three broad-headed arrows of great sharpness, proceeded
against Drona. Duryodhana’s son, Lakshmana, resisted the slayer of the
Patachcharas,–him, that is, O king, who is regarded by both the armies
as the bravest of the brave. The latter, however, cutting off both the
bow and the standard of Lakshmana, and showering upon him many arrows,
flared up with splendour. The youthful Vikarna of great wisdom resisted
Sikhandin, the youthful son of Yajnasena, as the latter advanced in that
battle. Yajnasena’s son then covered the former with showers of arrows.
The mighty son Vikarna, baffling those arrowy showers, looked resplendent
on the field of battle. Angada resisted with showers of arrows the heroic
Uttamaujas in that battle as the latter rushed towards Drona. That
encounter between those two lions among men became frightful, and it
filled both them and the troops with great zeal. The great bowman
Durmukha, endued with great might, resisted with his shafts the heroic
Purujit as the latter proceeded towards Drona. Furujit struck Durmukha
between his eye-brows with a long shaft. Thereupon, Durmukha’s face
looked beautiful like a lotus with its stalk. Karna resisted with showers
of arrows the five Kekaya brothers, owning red standards, as they
proceeded towards Drona. Scorched with the arrowy showers of Karna, those
five brothers covered Karna with their arrows. Karna, in return,
repeatedly covered them with showers of arrows. Covered with arrows,
neither Karna nor the five brother could be seen with their steeds,
charioteers, standards, and cars. Thy sons, Durjaya, Jaya, and Vijaya,
resisted Nila, and the ruler of the Kasis, and Jayatsena, three against.
And the combat between those warriors deepened and gladdened the hearts
of the spectators like those between a lion, a tiger, and a wolf on the
one side and a bear, a buffalo, and a bull on the other. The brothers
Kshemadhurti and Vrihanta mangled Satyaki of the Satwata race with their
keen arrows, as the latter proceeded against Drona. The battle between
those two on one side and Satyaki on the other became exceedingly
wonderful to behold, like that between a lion and two mighty elephants
with rent temples in the forest. The king of the Chedis, excited with
wrath, and shooting many warriors, kept away from Drona, king Amvashtha,
that hero who always delighted, in battle. Then king Amvashtha pierced
his antagonist with a long arrow capable of penetrating into the very
bones. Thereupon, the latter, with bow and arrow loosened from his grasp,
fell down from his car on the ground. The noble Kripa, son of Saradwata,
with many small arrows resisted Vardhakshemi of the Vrishni race who was
the embodiment of wrath (in battle). They that looked at Kripa, son of
Saradwata, with many small arrows, resisted Vardhakshemi of the Vrishni
race who was the embodiment of wrath (in battle). They that looked at
Kripa and Vardhakshemi, those heroes conversant with every mode of
warfare, thus engaged in encountering each other, became so absorbed in
it that, they could not attend to anything else. Somadatta’s son, for
enhancing the glory of Drona, resisted king Manimat of great activity as
the latter came to fight. Then Manimat quickly cut off the bowstring, the
standard, the banner, the charioteer and the umbrella of Somadatta’s son
and caused them to fall down from the latter’s car.[49] The son of
Somadatta then, bearing the device of the sacrificial stake on his
standard, that slayer of foes, quickly jumping down from his car, cut off
with his large swords, his antagonist with his steeds, charioteer,
standard, and car. Re-ascending then upon his own car, and taking up
another bow, and guiding his steeds himself, he began, O monarch, to
consume the Pandava host. Vrishasena (the son of Karna), competent for
the feat, resisted with showers of arrows king Pandava who was rushing to
battle like Indra himself following the Asuras for smiting them. With
maces and spiked bludgeons, and swords and axes and stones, short clubs
and mallets, and discs, short arrows and battle-axes with dust and wind,
and fire and water, and ashes and brick-bats, and straw and trees,
afflicting and smitting, and breaking, and slaying and routing the foe,
and hurling them on the hostile ranks, and terrifying them therewith,
came Ghatotkacha, desirous of getting at Drona. The Rakshasa Alambusha,
however, excited with rage, encountered him with diverse weapons and
diverse accoutrements of war. And the battle that took place between
those two foremost of Rakshasas resembled that which took place in days
of old between Samvara and the chief of the celestials. Thus blessed be
thou, took place hundreds of single combats between car-warriors and
elephants, and steeds and foot-soldiers of thy army and theirs in the
midst of the dreadful general engagement. Indeed, such a battle was never
seen or heard of before as that which then took place between those
warriors that were bent upon Drona’s destruction and protection. Indeed,
many were the encounters that were then seen on all parts of field, some
of which were terrible, some beautiful, and some exceedingly fierce, O


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘When the troops were thus engaged and thus
proceeded against one another in separate divisions, how did Partha and
the warriors of my army endued with great activity fight? What also did
Arjuna do towards the car-warriors of the Samsaptakas? And what, O
Sanjaya, did the Samsaptakas, in their turn, do to Arjuna?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘When the troops were thus engaged and proceeded against
one another, thy son Duryodhana himself rushed against Bhimasena, leading
his elephant division. Like an elephant encountering an elephant, like a
bull encountering a bull, Bhimasena, summoned by the king himself, rushed
against that elephant division of the Kaurava army. Skilled in battle and
endued with great might of arms, Pritha’s son, O sire, quickly broke that
elephant division. These elephants, huge as hills, and with ichor
trickling down from every part of their bodies, were mangled and forced
to turn back by Bhimasena with his arrows. Indeed, as the wind, when it
riseth, driveth away gathering masses of clouds, so did that son of
Pavana rout that elephant force of the Kauravas. And Bhima, shooting his
arrows at those elephants, looked resplendent like the risen sun,
striking everything in the world with his rays. Those elephants,
afflicted with the shafts of Bhima, became covered with blood and looked
beautiful like masses of clouds in the welkin penetrated with the rays of
the sun. Then Duryodhana, excited with wrath, pierced with the sharp
shafts that son of the Wind-god who was causing such a slaughter among
his elephants. Then Bhima, with eyes red in wrath, desirous of
despatching the king to Yama’s abode, pierced him speedily with many
sharp shafts. Then Duryodhana, mangled all over with arrows and excited
with rage, pierced Bhima, the son of Pandu, with many shafts endued with
the effulgence of solar rays, smiling the while. Then the son of Pandu,
with a couple of broad-headed arrows, quickly cut off Duryodhana’s bow as
also his standard, bearing the device of a jewelled elephant, decked with
diverse gems. Beholding Duryodhana thus afflicted, O sire, by Bhima, the
ruler of the Angas on his elephant came there for afflicting the son of
Pandu. Thereupon, Bhimasena deeply pierced with a long arrow that prince
of elephants advancing with loud roars, between its two frontal globes.
That arrow, penetrating through its body, sank deep in the earth. And at
this the elephants fell down like a hill riven by the thunder. While the
elephant was falling down, the Mleccha king also was falling down it. But
Vrikodara, endued with great activity, cut off his head with a
broad-headed arrow before his antagonist actually fell down. When the
heroic ruler of the Angas fell, his divisions fled away. Steeds and
elephants and car-warriors struck with panic, crushed the foot-soldiers
as they fled.

“When those troops, thus broken, fled away in all directions, the ruler
of the Pragjyotishas then advanced against Bhima, upon his elephant.[50]
With its two (fore) legs and trunk contracted, filled with rage, and with
eyes rolling, that elephant seemed to consume the son of Pandu (like a
blazing fire). And it pounded Vrikodara’s car with the steed yoked
thereto into dust. Then Bhima ran forward and got under the elephant’s
body, for he knew the science called Anjalikabedha. Indeed, the son of
Pandu fled not. Getting under the elephant’s body, he began to strike it
frequently with his bare arms. And he smote that invincible elephant
which was bent upon slaying him. Thereupon, the latter began to quickly
turn round like a potter’s wheel. Endued with the might of ten thousand
elephants, the blessed Vrikodara, having struck that elephant thus, came
out from under Supratika’s body and stood facing the latter. Supratika
then, seizing Bhima by its trunk, threw him down by means of its knees.
Indeed, having seized him by the neck, that elephant wished to slay him.
Twisting the elephant’s trunk, Bhima freed himself from its twine, and
once more got under the body of that huge creature. And he waited there,
expecting the arrival of a hostile elephant of his own army. Coming out
from under the beast’s body, Bhima then ran away with great speed. Then a
loud noise was heard, made by all the troops, to the effect, ‘Alas, Bhima
hath been slain by the elephant!’ The Pandava host, frightened by that
elephant, suddenly fled away, O king, to where Vrikodara was waiting.
Meanwhile, king Yudhishthira, thinking Vrikodara to have been slain,
surrounded Bhagadatta on all sides, aided by the Panchalas. Having
surrounded him with numerous cars, king Yudhishthira that foremost of
car-warriors, covered Bhagadatta with keen shafts by hundreds and
thousands. Then Bhagadatta, that king of the mountainous regions,
frustrating with his iron hook that shower of arrows, began to consume
both the Pandavas and the Panchalas by means of that elephant of his.
Indeed. O monarch, the feat that we then beheld, achieved by old
Bhagadatta with his elephant, was highly wonderful. Then the ruler of the
Dasarnas rushed against the king of the Pragjyotisha, on a fleet elephant
with temporal sweat trickling down, for attacking Supratika in the flank.
The battle then that took place between those two elephants of awful
size, resembled that between two winged mountains overgrown with forests
in days of old. Then the elephant of Bhagadatta, wheeling round and
attacking the elephant of the king of the Dasarnas, ripped open the
latter’s flank and slew it outright. Then Bhagadatta himself with seven
lances bright as the rays of the sun, slew his (human) antagonist seated
on the elephant just when the latter was about to fall down from his
seat. Piercing king Bhagadatta then (with many arrows), Yudhishthira
surrounded him on all sides with a large number of cars. Staying on his
elephant amid car-warriors encompassing him all around, he looked
resplendent like a blazing fire on a mountain-top in the midst of a dense
forest. He stayed fearlessly in the midst of those serried cars ridden by
fierce bowmen, all of whom showered upon him their arrows. Then the king
of the Pragjyotisha, pressing (with his toe) his huge elephant, urged him
towards the car of Yuyudhana. That prodigious beast, then seizing the car
of Sinis grandson, hurled it to a distance with great force. Yuyudhana,
however, escaped by timely flight. His charioteer also, abandoning the
large steeds of the Sindhu breed, yoked unto that car, quickly followed
Satyaki and stood where the latter stopped. Meanwhile the elephant,
quickly coming out of the circle of cars, began to throw down all the
kings (that attempted to bar his course). These bulls among men,
frightened out of their wits by that single elephant coursing swiftly,
regarded it in that battle as multiplied into many. Indeed, Bhagadatta,
mounted on that elephant of his, began to smite down the Pandavas, like
the chief of the celestials mounted on Airavata smiting down the Danavas
(in days of old).[51] As the Panchalas fled in all directions, loud and
awful was the noise that arose amongst them, made by their elephants and
steeds. And while the Pandava troops were thus destroyed by Bhagadatta,
Bhima, excited with rage, once more rushed against the ruler of the
Pragjyotisha. The latter’s elephant then frightened the steeds of
advancing Bhima by drenching them with water spouted forth from its
trunk, and thereupon those animals bore Bhima away from the field. Then
Kriti’s son, Ruchiparvan, mounted on his car, quickly rushed against
Bhagadatta, scattering showers of arrows and advancing like the Destroyer
himself. Then Bhagadatta, that ruler of the hilly regions, possessed of
beautiful limbs, despatched Ruchiparvan with a straight shaft to Yama’s
abode.[52] Upon the fall of the heroic Ruchiparvan, Subhadra’s son and
the sons of Draupadi, and Chekitana, and Dhrishtaketu, and Yuyutsu began
to afflict the elephant. Desiring to slay that elephant, all those
warriors, uttering loud shouts, began to pour their arrows on the
animals, like the clouds drenching the earth with their watery down-pour.
Urged then by its skilful rider with heel, hook, and toe the animal
advanced quickly with trunk stretched, and eyes and cars fixed. Treading
down Yuyutsu’s steeds, the animal then slew the charioteer. Thereupon, O
king, Yuyutsu, abandoning his car, fled away quickly. Then the Pandava
warriors, desirous of slaying that prince of elephants, uttered loud
shouts and covered it quickly with showers of arrows. At this time, thy
son, excited with rage, rushed against the car of Subhadra’s son.
Meanwhile, king Bhagadatta on his elephant, shooting shafts on the foe,
looked resplendent like the Sun himself scattering his rays on the earth.
Arjuna’s son then pierced him with a dozen shafts, and Yuyutsu with ten,
and each of the sons of Draupadi pierced him with three shafts and
Dhrishtaketu also pierced him with three. That elephant then, pierced
with these shafts, shot with great care, looked resplendent like a mighty
mass of clouds penetrated with the rays of the sun. Afflicted with those
shafts of the foe, that elephant then, urged by its riders with skill and
vigour, began to throw hostile warriors on both his flanks. Like a
cowherd belabouring his cattle in the forest with a goad, Bhagadatta
repeatedly smote the Pandava host. Like the cawing of quickly retreating
crows when assailed by hawks, a loud and confused noise was heard among
the Pandava troops who fled away with great speed. That prince of
elephants, struck by its rider with hook, resembled, O king, a winged
mountain of old. And it filled the hearts of the enemy with fear, like to
what merchants experience at sight of the surging sea.[53] Then elephants
and car-warriors and steeds and kings, flying away in fear, made, as they
fled, a loud and awful din that, O monarch, filled the earth and sky and
heaven and the cardinal and subsidiary directions in that battle. Mounted
on that foremost of elephants, king Bhagadatta penetrated the hostile
army like the Asura Virochana in days of old into the celestial host in
battle well-protected by the gods. A violent wind began to blow; a dusty
cloud covered the sky and the troops; and people regarded that single
elephant as multiplied into many, coursing all over the field.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Thou askest me about the feats of Arjuna in battle.
Listen, O thou of mighty arms, to what Partha achieved in the fight.
Beholding the risen dust and hearing the wail of the troops when
Bhagadatta was performing great feats on the field, the son of Kunti
addressed Krishna and said ‘O slayer of Madhu, it seems that the ruler of
the Pragjyotishas hath, on his elephant, with great impetuosity, advanced
to battle. This loud din that we hear must be due to him. Well-versed in
the art of grinding and battling from the back of an elephant, and not
inferior to Indra himself in battle, he, I think, is the formost of all
elephant-warriors in the world.[54] His elephant, again, is the foremost
of elephants, without a rival to encounter it in battle. Possessed of
great dexterity and above all fatigue, it is, again, impervious to all
weapons. Capable of bearing every weapon and even the touch of fire, it
will, O sinless one, alone destroy the Pandava force today. Except us
two, there is none else capable of checking that creature. Go quickly,
therefore, to that spot where the ruler of the Pragjyotishas is. Proud in
battle, in consequence of the strength of his elephant, and arrogant in
consequence of his age, I will this very day send him as a guest to the
slayer of Vala.’ At these words of Arjuna, Krishna began to proceed to
the place where Bhagadatta was breaking the Pandava ranks. While Arjuna
was proceeding towards Bhagadatta, the mighty Samsaptaka car-warriors,
numbering fourteen thousand, made up of ten thousand Gopalas or Narayanas
who used to follow Vasudeva, returning to the field, summoned him to
battle. Beholding the Pandava host broken by Bhagadatta, and summoned on
the other hand by the Samsaptakas, Arjuna’s heart was divided in twain.
And he began to think, ‘Which of these two act will be better for me to
do today, to return from this spot for battling with Samsaptakas or to
repair to Yudhishthira?’ Reflecting with the aid of his understanding, O
perpetuator of Kuru’s race, Arjuna’s heart, at last, was firmly fixed on
the slaughter of the Samsaptakas. Desirous of alone slaughtering in
battle thousands of car-warriors, Indra’s son (Arjuna) having the
foremost of apes on banner, suddenly turned back. Even this was what both
Duryodhana and Karna had thought of for achieving the slaughter of
Arjuna. And it was for this that they had made arrangements for the
double encounter. The son of Pandu allowed his heart to waver this side
and that, but, at last, resolving to slay those foremost of warriors,
viz., the Samsaptakas, he baffled the purpose of his enemies.[55] Then
mighty Samsaptakas car-warriors, O king, shot at Arjuna thousands of
straight arrows. Covered with those arrows, O monarch, neither Kunti’s
son Partha, nor Krishna, otherwise called Janardana, nor the steeds, nor
the car, could be seen. Then Janardana became deprived of his senses and
perspired greatly. Thereupon, Partha shot the Brahma weapon and nearly
exterminated them all. Hundreds upon hundreds of arms with bows and
arrows and bowstrings in grasp, cut off from trunks, and hundreds upon
hundreds of standards and steeds and charioteers and car-warriors, fell
down on the ground. Huge elephants, well-equipped and resembling foremost
hills over-grown with woods or masses of clouds, afflicted with Partha’s
shafts and deprived of riders, fell down on the earth. Many elephants
again, with riders on their backs, crushed by means of Arjuna’s shafts,
fell down, deprived of life, shorn of the embroidered cloths on their
backs, and with their housings torn. Cut off by Kiritin with his
broad-headed arrows, countless arms having swords and lances and rapiers
for their nails or having clubs and battle-axes in grasp, fell down on
the earth. Heads also, beautiful, O king, as the morning sun or the lotus
or the moon, cut off by Arjuna with his arrows, dropped down on the
ground. While Phalguni in rage was thus engaged in slaying the foe with
diverse kinds of well-adorned and fatal shafts, that host seemed to be
ablaze. Beholding Dhanunjaya crushing that host like an elephant crushing
lotus-stalks, all creatures applauded him, saying, ‘Excellent,
Excellent!’ Seeing that feat of Partha resembling that of Vasava himself,
Madhava wondered much and, addressing him with joined hands, said,
‘Verily, O Partha, I think that this feat which thou hast achieved, could
not be performed by Sakra, or Yama, or the Lord of treasures himself. I
see that thou hast today felled in battle hundreds and thousands of
mighty Samsaptaka warriors an together.’ Having slain the Samsaptakas
then,–that is, who were engaged in battle,–Partha addressed Krishna,
saying, ‘Go towards Bhagadatta.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘At Partha’s desire, Krishna then urged his white steeds,
fleet as the mind and covered in golden armour, towards Drona’s
divisions. While that foremost one of the Kurus was thus proceeding
towards his brothers who were exceedingly afflicted by Drona, Susarman
with his brothers, followed him behind, desirous of battle. The
ever-victorious Arjuna then addressed Krishna, saying, ‘O thou of
unfading glory, this Susarman here, with his brothers, challengeth me to
battle! O slayer of foes, our host, again, is broken (by Drona) towards
the north. In consequence of these Samsaptakas, my heart wavers today as
to whether I should do this or that. Shall I slay the Samsaptakas now, or
protect from harm my own troops already afflicted by the foe? Know this
to be what I am thinking of, viz., ‘Which of these would be better for
me?’ Thus addressed by him, he of Dasarha’s race, turned back the car,
and took the son of Pandu to where the ruler of the Trigartas was. Then
Arjuna pierced Susarman with seven shafts, and cut off both his bow and
standard with a couple of sharp arrows. He then, with six arrows, quickly
despatched the brothers of Trigarta king to Yama’s abode.[56] Then
Susarman, aiming Arjuna, hurled at him a dart made wholly of iron and
looking like a snake, and aiming Vasudeva, hurled a lance at him. Cutting
off that dart with three arrows and that lance also with three other
arrows, Arjuna, by means of his arrowy showers, deprived Susarman of his
senses on his car. Then advancing fiercely (towards thy division),
scattering showers of arrows, like Vasava pouring rain, none among thy
troops, O king, ventured to oppose. Like a fire consuming heaps of straw
as it advances, Dhananjaya advanced, scorching all the mighty
car-warriors among the Kauravas by means of his arrows. Like a living
creature incapable of bearing the touch of fire, thy troops could not
bear the irresistible impetuosity of that intelligent son of Kunti.
Indeed, the son of Pandu, overwhelming the hostile host by means of his
arrows, came upon the king of the Pragjyotishas, O monarch, like Garuda
swooping down (upon his prey). He then held in his hands that Gandiva
which in battle was beneficial to the innocent Pandavas and baneful to
all foes, for the destruction of Kshatriyas brought about, O king, by the
fault of thy son who had recourse to deceitful dice for accomplishing his
end. Agitated by Partha thus, thy host then, O king, broke like a boat
when it strikes against a rock. Then ten thousand bowmen, brave and
fierce, firmly resolved to conquer, advanced (to encounter Arjuna). With
dauntless hearts, those mighty car-warriors all surrounded him. Capable
of bearing any burden, howsoever heavy in battle, Partha took up that
heavy burden. As an angry elephant of sixty years, with rent temples,
crushes an assemblage of lotus stalks, even so did Partha crush that
division of thy army. And when that division was being thus crushed, king
Bhagadatta, on that same elephant of his, impetuously rushed towards
Arjuna. Thereupon, Dhananjaya, that tiger among men, staying on his car,
received Bhagadatta. That encounter between Arjuna’s car and Bhagadatta’s
elephant was fierce in the extreme. Those two heroes, viz., Bhagadatta
and Dhananjaya, then coursed on the field, the one on his car and the
other on his elephant, both of which were equipped according to the rules
of science. Then Bhagadatta, like the lord Indra, from his elephant
looking like a mass of clouds, poured on Dhananjaya showers of arrows.
The valiant son of Vasava, however, with his arrows, cut off those arrowy
showers of Bhagadatta before they could reach him. The king of the
Pragjyotishas, then, baffling that arrowy shower of Arjuna, struck both
Partha and Krishna, O king, with many shafts and overwhelming both of
them with a thick shower of shafts, Bhagadatta then urged his elephant
for the destruction of Krishna and Partha. Beholding that angry elephant
advancing like Death himself, Janardana quickly moved his car in such a
way as to keep the elephant on his left. Dhananjaya, although he thus got
the opportunity of slaying that huge elephant with its rider from the
back, wished not yet to avail himself of it, remembering the rules of
fair fight. The elephant, however, coming upon other elephants and cars
and steeds, O king, despatched them all to Yama’s abode. Beholding this,
Dhananjaya was filled with rage.


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Filled with rage, what did Partha, the son of
Pandu, do to Bhagadatta? What also did the king of the Pragjyotishas do
to Partha? Tell me all this, O Sanjaya!’

“Sanjaya said, ‘While Partha and Krishna were thus engaged with the ruler
of the Pragjyotishas, all creatures regarded them to be very near the
jaws of Death. Indeed, O monarch, from the neck of his elephant,
Bhagadatta scattered showers of shafts on the two Krishnas, staying upon
their car. He pierced Devaki’s son with many arrows made wholly of black
iron, equipped with wings of gold, whetted on stone, and shot from his
bow, drawn to the fullest stretch. Those shafts whose touch resembled
that of fire, equipped with beautiful feathers, and shot by Bhagadatta,
passing through Devaki’s son, entered the earth. Partha then cut off
Bhagadatta’s bow and slaying next the warrior that protected his elephant
from the flank, began to fight with him as if in sport. Then Bhagadatta
hurled at him fourteen lances of sharp points, that were bright as the
rays of the sun. Arjuna, however, cut each of those lances into three
fragments. Then Indra’s son cut open the armour in which that elephant
was eased, by means of a thick shower of arrows. The armour thus cut off,
fell down on the earth. Exceedingly afflicted with arrows shot by Arjuna,
that elephant, deprived of its coat of mail, looked like a prince of
mountains destitute of its cloudy robes and with streaks of water running
down its breast. Then the ruler of the Pragjyotishas hurled at Vasudeva a
dart made wholly of iron and decked with gold. That dart Arjuna cut in
twain. Then cutting off the king’s standard and umbrella by means of his
arrows Arjuna quickly pierced that ruler of the mountainous realms with
ten arrows, smiling all the while. Deeply pierced with those shafts of
Arjuna, that were beautifully winged with Kanka feathers, Bhagadatta, O
monarch, became incensed with the son of Pandu. He then hurled some
lances at Arjuna’s head and uttered a loud shout. In consequence of those
lances Arjuna’s diadem was displaced. Arjuna, then, having placed his
diadem properly, addressed the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, saying, ‘Look
well on this world!’ Thus addressed by him, Bhagadatta became filled with
rage, and taking up a bright bow showered upon both the Pandava and
Govinda his arrowy down-pours. Partha then cutting off his bow and
quivers, quickly struck him with two and seventy shafts, afflicting his
vital limbs. Thus pierced, he was excessively pained. Filled then with
rage, he with Mantras, turned his hook into the Vaishnava weapon and
hurled it at Arjuna’s breast. That all-slaying weapon, hurled by
Bhagadatta, Kesava, covering Arjuna, received on his breast. Thereupon,
that weapon became a triumphal garland on Kesava’s breast. Arjuna then
cheerlessly addressed Kesava, saying, ‘O sinless one, without battling
thyself, thou art to only guide my steed! Thou hadst said so, O
lotus-eyed one! Why then dost thou not adhere to thy promise? If I sink
in distress, or become unable to baffle, or resist a foe or weapon, then
mayst thou act so, but not when I am standing thus. Thou knowest that
with my bow and arrows I am competent to vanquish these worlds with the
gods, the Asuras, and men.’ Hearing these words of Arjuna, Vasudeva
replied unto him, saying, ‘Listen, O Partha, to this secret and ancient
history as it is, O sinless one! I have four forms, eternally engaged as
I am in protecting the worlds. Dividing my own Self, I ordain the good of
the worlds. One form of mine, staying on the earth, is engaged in the
practice of ascetic austerities. Another beholdeth the good and the evil
deeds in the world. My third form, coming into the world of men, is
engaged in action. My fourth form lieth down in sleep for a thousand
years. The form of mine which awaketh from sleep at the end of a thousand
years, granteth, upon awakening, excellent boons to persons deserving of
them. The earth, knowing (on one occasion) that that time had come, asked
of me a boon for (her son) Naraka. Hear, O Partha, what that boon was.
Possessed of the Vaishnava weapon, let my son become incapable of being
slain by the gods and the Asuras. It behoveth thee to grant me that
weapon. Hearing this prayer, I then gave, in days of old, the supreme and
infallible Vaishnava weapon to the Earth’s son. I said also at that time
these words, ‘O Earth, let this weapon be infallible for the protection
of Naraka. None will be able to slay him. Protected by this weapon, thy
son will always, in all the worlds, be invincible and crush all hostile
hosts.’ Saying, So be it! the intelligent goddess went away, her wishes
fulfilled. And Naraka also became invincible and always scorched his
foes. It was from Naraka, O Partha, that the ruler of the Pragjyotishas
got this weapon of mine. There is none, in all the world, O sire,
including even Indra and Rudra, who is unslayable by this weapon. It was
for thy sake, therefore, that I baffled it, violating my promise. The
great Asura hath now been divested of that supreme weapon. Slay now, O
Partha, that invincible foe of thine, viz., Bhagadatta, enemy of the
gods, even as I formerly slew for the good of the worlds, the Asura
Naraka.’ Thus addressed by the high-souled Kesava, Partha suddenly
overwhelmed Bhagadatta with clouds of whetted arrows. Then, the
mighty-armed and high-souled Arjuna fearlessly struck a long arrow
between the frontal globes of his enemy’s elephant. That arrow, splitting
the elephant like the thunder splitting a mountain, penetrated into its
body to the very wings, like a snake penetrating into an ant-hill. Though
urged repeatedly then by Bhagadatta, the elephant refused to obey like a
poor man’s wife her lord. With limbs paralysed, it fell down, striking
the earth with its tusks. Uttering a cry of distress, that huge elephant
gave up the ghost. The son of Pandu then, with a straight shaft furnished
with a crescent-shaped head, pierced the bosom of king Bhagadatta. His
breast, being pierced through by the diadem-decked (Arjuna), king
Bhagadatta, deprived of life, threw down his bow and arrows. Loosened
from his head, the valuable piece of cloth that had served him for a
turban, fell down, like a petal from a lotus when its stalk is violently
struck. And he himself, decked with golden garlands, fell down from his
huge elephant adorned with golden housings, like flowering Kinsuka broken
by the force of the wind from the mountain-top. The son of Indra then,
having slain in battle that monarch who resembled Indra himself in
prowess and who was Indra’s friend, broke the other warriors of thy army
inspired with hope of victory like the mighty wind breaking rows of


“Sanjaya said, Having slain Bhagadatta who was ever the favourite and I
friend of Indra and who was possessed of great energy, Partha
circumambulated him. Then the two sons of the king of Gandhara viz., the
brothers Vrishaka and Achala, those subjugators of hostile towns, began
to afflict Arjuna in battle. Those two heroic bowmen, uniting together,
began to deeply pierce Arjuna from the front and from behind with whetted
shafts of great impetuosity. Arjuna then with sharp shafts cut off the
steeds and driver and bow and umbrella and standard and car of Vrishaka,
the son of Suvala, into atoms. With clouds of arrows and diverse other
weapons, Arjuna then once more severely afflicted the Gandhara troops
headed by Suvala’s son. Then Dhananjaya, filled with rage, despatched to
Yama’s abode, with his shafts, five hundred heroic Gandharas with
upraised weapons. The mighty-armed hero then, quickly alighting from that
car whose steeds had been slain, mounted upon the car of his brother and
took up another bow. Then those two brothers, viz., Vrishaka and Achala,
both mounted on the same car, began incessantly to pierce Vibhatsu with
showers of arrows. Indeed, those high-souled princes, those relatives of
thine by marriage, viz., Vrishaka and Achala, struck Partha very
severely, like Vritra or Vala striking Indra of old. Of unfailing aim,
these two princes of Gandhara, themselves unhurt, began once more to
strike the son of Pandu, like the two months of summer afflicting the
world with sweat-producing rays.[57] Then Arjuna slew those princes and
tigers among men, viz., Vrishaka and Achala, staying on one car side by
side, with, O monarch, a single arrow. Then those mighty-armed heroes,
with red eyes and looking like lions, those uterine brothers having
similar features, together fell down from that car. And their bodies,
dear to friends, falling down upon the earth, lay there, spreading sacred
fame all around.

“Beholding their brave and unretreating maternal uncles thus slain by
Arjuna, thy sons, O monarch, rained many weapons upon him. Sakuni also,
conversant with a hundred different kinds of illusions, seeing his
brothers slain, created illusions for confounding the two Krishnas. Then
clubs, and iron balls, and rocks and Sataghnis and darts, and maces, and
spiked bludgeons, and scimitars, and lances, mallets, axes, and Kampanas,
and swords, and nails, and short clubs, and battle-axes, and razors, and
arrows with sharp broad heads, and Nalikas, and calf-tooth headed shafts,
and arrows having bony heads and discs and snake-headed shafts, and
spears, and diverse other kinds of weapons, fell upon Arjuna from all
sides. And asses, and camels, and buffaloes, and tigers, and lions, and
deer, and leopards, and bears, and wolves and vultures, and monkeys, and
various reptiles, and diverse cannibals, and swarms of crows, all hungry,
and excited with rage, ran towards Arjuna. Then Dhananjaya, the son of
Kunti, that hero conversant with celestial weapons, shooting clouds of
arrows, assailed them all. And assailed by that hero with those excellent
and strong shafts, they uttered loud cries and fell down deprived of
life. Then a thick darkness appeared and covered Arjuna’s car, and from
within that gloom harsh voices rebuked Arjuna. The latter, however, by
means of the weapons called Jyotishka, dispelled that thick and awful
darkness. When that darkness was dispelled frightful waves of water
appeared. For drying up those waters, Arjuna applied the weapon called
Aditya. And in consequence of that weapon, the waters were almost dried
up. These diverse illusions, repeatedly created by Sauvala, Arjuna
destroyed speedily by means of the force of his weapons, laughing the
while. Upon all his illusions being destroyed, afflicted with Arjuna’s
shafts and unmanned by fear, Sakuni fled away, aided by his fleet,
steeds, like a vulgar wretch. Then Arjuna, acquainted with all weapons,
showing his enemies the exceeding lightness of his hands, showered upon
the Kaurava host clouds of arrows. That host of thy son, thus slaughtered
by Partha, became divided into two streams like the current of Ganga when
impeded by a mountain. And one of those streams, O bull among men,
proceeded towards Drona, and the other with loud cries, proceeded towards
Duryodhana. Then a thick dust arose and covered all the troops. We could
not then see Arjuna. Only the twang of Gandivas was heard by us from off
the field. Indeed, the twang of Gandiva was heard, rising above the blare
of conchs and the beat of drums and the noise of other instruments. Then
on the southern part of the field took place a fierce battle between many
foremost warriors on the one side and Arjuna on the other. I, however,
followed Drona. The various divisions of Yudhishthira’s force smote the
foe on every part of the field. The diverse divisions of thy son, O
Bharata, Arjuna smote, even as the wind in the summer season destroys
masses of clouds in the welkin. Indeed, as Arjuna came, scattering clouds
of arrows, like Vasava pouring thick showers of rain, there was none in
thy army who could resist that great fierce bowman, that tiger among men.
Struck by Partha, thy warriors were in great pain. They fled away, and in
flying killed many among their own number. The arrows shot by Arjuna,
winged Kanka feathers and capable of penetrating into every body, fell
covering all sides, like flights of locusts. Piercing steeds and
car-warriors and elephants and foot-soldiers, O sire, like snakes through
ant-hills, those shafts entered the earth. Arjuna never shot arrows, at
any elephant, steed or man. Struck with only one arrow, each of these,
severely afflicted, fell down deprived of life. With slain men and
elephant and shaft-struck steeds lying all about, and echoing with yells
of dogs and jackals, the field of battle presented a variegated and awful
sight. Pained with arrows, sire forsook son, and friend forsook friend
and son forsook sire. Indeed, every one was intent upon protecting his
own self. Struck with Partha’s shafts, many warriors abandoned the very
animals that bore them.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘When those divisions (of mine), O Sanjaya, were
broken and routed, and all of you retreated quickly from the field, what
became the state of your minds? The rallying of ranks when broken and
flying away without beholding a spot whereon to stand, is always
exceedingly difficult. Tell me all about it, O Sanjaya!’

“Sanjaya said, [Although thy troops were broken], yet, O monarch, many
foremost of heroes in the world, inspired by the desire of doing good to
thy son and of maintaining their own reputation, followed Drona. In that
dreadful pass, they fearlessly followed their commander, achieving
meritorious feats against the Pandava troops with weapons upraised, and
Yudhishthira within accessible distance.[58] Taking advantage of an error
of Bhimasena of great energy and of heroic Satyaki and Dhrishtadyumna, O
monarch, the Kuru leaders fell upon the Pandava Army.[59] The Panchalas
urged their troops, saying, ‘Drona, Drona!’ Thy sons, however, urged all
the Kurus, saying, ‘Let not Drona be slain. Let not Drona be slain!’ One
side saying, ‘Slay Drona’, ‘Slay Drona,’ and the other saying, ‘Let not
Drona be slain, ‘Let not Drona be slain,’ the Kurus and the Pandavas
seemed to gamble, making Drona their stake. Dhrishtadyumna, the prince of
the Panchalas, proceeded to the side of all those Panchala car-warriors
whom Drona sought to crush. Thus no rule was observed as to the
antagonist one night select for battling with him. The strife became
dreadful. Heroes encountered heroes, uttering loud shouts Their foes
could not make the Pandavas tremble. On the other hand, recollecting all
their woes, the latter made the ranks of their enemies tremble. Though
possessed of modesty, yet excited with rage and vindictiveness, and urged
by energy and might, they approached that dreadful battle, reckless of
their very lives for slaying Drona. That encounter of heroes of
immeasurable energy, sporting in fierce battle making life itself the
stake, resembled the collision of iron against adamant. The oldest men
even could not recollect whether they had seen or heard of a battle as
fierce as that which took place on this occasion. The earth in that
encounter, marked with great carnage and afflicted with the weight of
that vast host, began to tremble. The awful noise made by the Kuru army
agitated and tossed by the foe, paralysing the very welkin, penetrated
into the midst of even the Pandava host. Then Drona, coming upon the
Pandava divisions by thousands, and careering over the field, broke them
by means of his whetted shafts. When these were being thus crushed by
Drona of wonderful achievements, Dhrishtadyumna, the generalissimo of the
Pandava host, filled with rage himself checked Drona. The encounter that
we beheld between Drona and the prince of the Panchalas was highly
wonderful. It is my firm conviction that it has no parallel.

“Then Nila, resembling a veritable fire, his arrows constituting its
sparks and his bow its flame, began to consume the Kuru ranks, like a
conflagration consuming heaps of dry grass. The valiant son of Drona, who
from before had been desirous of an encounter with him, smilingly
addressed Nila as the latter came consuming the troops, and said unto him
these polite words,[60] ‘O Nila, what dost thou gain by consuming so many
common soldiers with thy arrowy flames? Fight with my unaided self, and
filled with rage, strike me.’ Thus addressed, Nila, the brightness of
whose face resembled the splendour of a full-blown lotus, pierced
Aswatthaman, whose body resembled an assemblage of lotuses and whose eyes
were like lotus-petals with his shafts. Deeply and suddenly pierced by
Nila, Drona’s son with three broad-headed arrows, cut off his
antagonist’s bow and standard and umbrella. Quickly jumping down from his
car, Nila, then, with a shield and an excellent sword, desired to sever
from Aswatthaman’s trunk his head like a bird (bearing away its prey in
its talons). Drona’s son, however, O sinless one, by means of a bearded
arrow, cut off, from his antagonist’s trunk, his head graced with a
beautiful nose and decked with excellent ear-rings, and which rested on
elevated shoulders. That hero, then, the brightness of whose face
resembled the splendour of the full moon and whose eyes were like
lotus-petals, whose stature was tall, and complexion like that of the
lotus, thus slain, fell down on the earth. The Pandava host then, filled
with great grief, began to tremble, when the Preceptor’s son thus slew
Nila of blazing energy. The great car-warriors of the Pandavas, O sire,
all thought, ‘Alas, how would Indra’s son (Arjuna) be able to rescue us
from the foe, when that mighty warrior is engaged on the southern part of
the field in slaughtering the remnant of the Samsaptakas and the Narayana


“Sanjaya said, ‘Vrikodara, however, could not brook that slaughter of his
army. He struck Valhika with sixty and Karna with ten arrows. Drona then,
desirous of slaying Bhima, quickly struck the latter, in his very vitals,
many straight and whetted shafts of keen edge. Desirous again of allowing
no time, he once more struck him with, six and twenty shafts whose touch
resembled that of fire and which were all like snakes of virulent poison.
Then Karna pierced him with a dozen shafts, and Aswatthaman with seven,
and king Duryodhana also with six. The mighty Bhimasena, in return,
pierced them all. He struck Drona with fifty shafts, and Karna with ten.
And piercing Duryodhana with a dozen shafts, and Drona with eight, he
engaged in that battle uttering a loud shout. In that encounter in which
the warriors fought reckless of their lives and in which death was easy
of attainment, Ajatasattru despatched many warriors, urging them to
rescue Bhima. Those heroes of immeasurable energy, viz., the two son of
Madri and Pandu, and others headed by Yuyudhana, quickly proceeded to
Bhimasena’s side. And those bulls among men, filled with rage and uniting
together, advanced to battle, desirous of breaking the army of Drona that
was protected by many foremost of bowmen. Indeed, those great
car-warriors of mighty energy, viz., Bhima and others, fell furiously
upon Drona’s host. Drona, however, that foremost of car-warriors,
received without any anxiety, all those mighty car-warriors, of great
strength,–those heroes accomplished in battle. Disregarding their
kingdoms and casting off all fear of death, the warriors of thy army
proceeded against the Pandavas. Horsemen encountered horsemen, and
car-warriors encountered car-warriors. The battle proceeded, darts
against darts, swords against swords, axes against axes. A fierce
encounter with swords took place, producing a terrible carnage. And in
consequence of the collision of elephants against elephants the battle
became furious. Some fell down from the backs of elephants, and some from
the backs of steeds, with heads downwards. And others, O sire, fell down
from cars, pierced with arrows. In that fierce press, as some one fell
down deprived of armour, an elephant might be seen attacking him in the
chest and crushing his head. Elsewhere might be seen elephants crushing
numbers of men fallen down on the field. And many elephants, piercing the
earth with their tusks (as they fell down), were seen to tear therewith
large bodies of men. Many elephants, again, with arrows sticking to their
trunks, wandered over the field, tearing and crushing men by hundreds.
And some elephants were seen pressing down into the earth fallen warriors
and steeds and elephants cased in armour of black iron, as if these were
only thick reeds. Many kings, graced with modesty, their hour having
come, laid themselves down (for the last sleep) on painful beds, overlaid
with vultures’ feathers. Advancing to battle on his car, sire slew son;
and son also, through madness all losing regard, approached-sire in
battle. The wheels of cars were broken; banners were torn; umbrellas fell
down on the earth. Dragging broken yokes, steeds ran away. Arms with
swords in grasp, and heads decked with ear-rings fell down. Cars, dragged
by mighty elephants, thrown down on the ground, were reduced to
fragments. Steeds with riders fell down, severely wounded by elephants.
That fierce battle went on, without anybody showing any regard for any
one. ‘Oh father!–Oh son!–Where art thou, friend?–Wait!–Where dost
thou go!–Strike!–Bring! Slay this one!’–these and diverse other cries,
with loud laughs and shouts, and roars were uttered and heard there. The
blood of human beings and steeds and elephants, mingled together. The
earthy dust disappeared. The hearts of all timid persons became
cheerless. Here a hero getting his car-wheel entangled with the car-wheel
of another hero, and the distance being too near to admit of the use of
other weapons, smashed that other’s head by means of his mace. Brave
combatants, desirous of safety where there was no safety, dragged one
another by the hair, and fought fiercely with fists, and teeth and nails.
Here was a hero whose upraised arm with sword in grasp was cut off, There
another’s arm was lopped off with bow, or arrow or hook in grasp. Here
one loudly called upon another. There another turned his back on the
field. Here one severed another’s head from his trunk, getting him within
reach. There another rushed with loud shouts Upon an enemy. Here one was
filled with fear at another’s roar. There another slew with sharp shafts
a friend or a foe. Here an elephant, huge as a hill, slain with a long
shaft, fell down en the field and lay like a flat island in a river
during the summer season. There an elephant, with sweat trickling down
its body, like a mountain with rills flowing adown its breast, steed,
having crushed by its tread a car-warrior with his steeds and charioteer
on the field. Beholding brave warriors, accomplished in arms and covered
with blood, strike one another, they that were timid and of weak hearts,
lost their senses. In fact, all became cheerless. Nothing could any
longer be distinguished. Overwhelmed with the dust raised by the troops,
the battle became furious. Then the commander of the Pandava forces
saying, ‘This is the time,’ speedily led the Pandavas on those heroes
that are always endued with great activity. Obeying his behest, the
mighty-armed Pandavas, smiting (the Katirava army) proceeded towards
Drona’s car like swans towards a lake,–‘Seize him,’—‘Do not fly
away,’–‘Do not fear,’–‘Cut into pieces,’–these uproarious cries were
heard in the vicinity of Drona’s car. Then Drona and Kripa, and Karna and
Drona’s son, and king Jayadratha, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and
Salya, received those heroes. Those irresistible and invincible warriors,
however, viz., the Panchalas and the Pandavas, inspired by noble
sentiments, did not, though afflicted with shafts, avoid Drona. Then
Drona, excited with great rage, shot hundreds of shafts, and caused a
great carnage amongst the Chedis, the Panchalas, and the Pandavas. The
twang of his bowstring and the slaps of his palms, were, O sire, heard on
all sides. And they resembled the roar of thunder and struck fear into
the hearts of all. Meanwhile, Jishnu, having vanquished large number of
Samsaptakas, quickly came to that place where Drona was grinding the
Pandava troops. Having crossed many large lakes whose waters were
constituted by blood, and whose fierce billows and eddies were
constituted by shafts, and having slain the Samsaptakas, Phalguni showed
himself there. Possessed of great fame and endued as he was with the
energy of the Sun himself, Arjuna’s emblem, viz., his banner bearing the
ape, was beheld by us to blaze with splendour. Having dried up the
Samsaptaka ocean by means of weapons that constituted his rays, the son
of Pandu then blasted the Kurus also, as if he were the very Sun that
arises at the end of the Yuga. Indeed, Arjuna scorched all the Kurus by
the heat of his weapons, like the fire[61] that appears at the end of the
Yuga, burning down all creatures. Struck by him with thousands of shafts,
elephant warriors and horsemen and car-warriors fell down on the earth,
with dishevelled hair, and exceedingly afflicted with those arrowy
showers, some uttered cries of distress. Others set up loud shouts. And
some struck with the shafts of Partha, fell down deprived of life.
Recollecting the practices of (good) warriors, Arjuna struck not those
combatants among the foe that had fallen down, or those that were
retreating, or those that were unwilling to fight. Deprived of their cars
and filled with wonder, almost all the Kauravas, turning away from the
field, uttered cries of Oh and Alas and called upon Karna (for
protection). Hearing that din made by the Kurus, desirous of protection,
Adhiratha’s son (Karna), loudly assuring the troops with the words ‘Do
not fear’ proceeded to face Arjuna. Then (Karna) that foremost of Bharata
car-warriors, that delighter of all the Bharatas, that first of all
persons acquainted with weapons, invoked into existence the Agneya
weapon. Dhananjaya, however, baffled by means of his own arrowy downpours
the flights of arrows shot by Radha’s son, that warrior of the blazing
bow, that hero of bright shafts. And similarly, Adhiratha’s son also
baffled the shafts of Arjuna of supreme energy. Resisting Arjuna’s
weapons thus by his own, Karna uttered loud shouts and shot many shafts
at his antagonist. Then Dhristadyumna and Bhima and the mighty
car-warrior Satyaki, all approached Karna, and each of them pierced in
with three straight shafts. The son of Radha, however, checking Arjuna’s
weapons by his own arrowy showers, cut off with three sharp shafts the
bows of those three warriors. Their bows cut off, they looked like snakes
without poison. Hurling darts at their foe from their respective cars,
they uttered loud leonine shouts. Those fierce darts of great splendour
and great impetuosity, looking like snakes, hurled from those mighty
arms, coursed impetuously towards Karna’s car. Cutting each of those
darts with three straight arrows and speeding many arrows at the same
time at Partha, the mighty Karna uttered a loud shout. Then Arjuna
piercing Karna with seven shafts, despatched the latter’s younger brother
by means of his sharp shafts. Slaying Satrunjaya thus with six arrows,
Partha, with a broad-headed shaft, struck off Vipatha’s head as the
latter stood on his car. In the very sight of the Dhritarashtras,
therefore, as also of the Suta’s son, the three uterine brothers of the
latter were despatched by Arjuna unaided by any one. Then Bhima, jumping
down from his own car, like a second Garuda, slew with his excellent
sword five and ten combatants amongst those that supported Karna.
Mounting once more on his car and taking up another bow, he pierced Karna
with ten shafts and his charioteer and steeds with five. Dhrishtadyumna
also taking up a sword and a bright shield; despatched Charmavarman and
also Vrihatkshatra, the ruler of the Naishadhas. The Panchala prince
then, mounting upon his own car and taking up another bow, pierced Karna
with three and seventy shafts, and uttered a loud roar. Sini’s grandson
also, of splendour equal to that of Indra himself, taking up another bow
pierced Suta’s son with four and sixty shafts and roared like a lion. And
cutting off Karna’s bow with a couple of well-shot shafts, he once more
pierced Karna on the arms and the chest with three arrows. The king
Duryodhana, and Drona and Jayadratha, rescued Karna from the
Satyaki-ocean, as the former was about to sink into it. And foot-soldiers
and steeds and cars and elephants, belonging to thy army and numbering by
hundreds, all accomplished in smitting rushed to the spot where Karna was
frightening (his assailants). Then Dhrishtadyumna, and Bhima and
Subhadra’s son, and Arjuna himself, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, began to
protect Satyaki in that battle. Even thus went on that fierce battle for
the destruction of bowmen belonging to thy army and of the enemy’s. All
the combatants fought, reckless of their very lives. Infantry and cars
and steeds and elephants were engaged with cars and infantry.
Car-warriors were engaged with elephants and foot-soldiers and steeds,
and cars and foot-soldiers were engaged with cars and elephants. And
steeds were seen engaged with steeds, and elephants with elephants, and
foot-soldiers with foot-soldiers. Even thus did that battle, marked by
great confusion, take place, enhancing the delight of cannibals and
carnivorous creatures, between those high-souled men facing one another
fearlessly. Indeed, it largely swelled the population of Yama’s kingdom.
Large numbers of elephants and cars and foot-soldiers and steeds were
destroyed by men, cars, steeds and elephants. And elephants were slain by
elephants, and car-warriors with weapons upraised by car-warriors, and
steeds by steeds, and large bodies of foot-soldiers. And elephants were
slain by cars, and large steeds by large elephants and men by steeds; and
steeds by foremost of car-warriors. With tongues lolling out, and teeth
and eyes pressed out of their places, with coats of mail and ornaments
crushed into dust, the slaughtered creatures fell down on the field.
Others, again, of terrible mien were struck and thrown down on the earth
by others armed with diverse and excellent weapons and sunk into the
earth by the tread of steeds and elephants, and tortured and mangled by
heavy cars and car wheels. And during the progress of that fierce carnage
so delightful to beasts of prey and carnivorous birds and cannibals,
mighty combatants, filled with wrath, and slaughtering one another
careered over the field putting forth all their energy. Then when both
the hosts were broken and mangled, the warriors bathed in blood, looked
at each other. Meanwhile, the Sun went to his chambers in the western
hills, and both the armies, O Bharata, slowly retired to their respective


(Abhimanyu-badha Parva)

“Sanjaya said, ‘Having been first broken by Arjuna of immeasurable
prowess, and owing also to the failure of Drona’s vow, in consequence of
Yudhishthira having been well-protected, thy warriors were regarded as
defeated. All of them with coats of mail torn and covered with dust, cast
anxious glances around. Retiring from the field with Drona’s consent,
after having been vanquished by their enemies of sure aim and humiliated
by them in battle, they heard, as they proceeded, the countless merits of
Phalguni praised by all creatures, and the friendship of Kesava for
Arjuna spoken of by all. They passed the night like men under a curse,
reflecting upon the course of events and observing perfect silence.

“Next morning, Duryodhana said unto Drona, these words, from petulance
and wrath, and in great cheerlessness of heart at the sight of the
prosperity of their foe. Skilled in speech, and filled with rage at the
success of the foe, the king said these words in the hearing of all the
troops, ‘O foremost of regenerate ones, without doubt thou hast set us
down for men who should be destroyed by thee. Thou didst not seize
Yudhishthira today even though thou hadst got him within thy reach. That
foe whom thou wouldst seize in battle is incapable of escaping thee if
once thou gettest him within sight, even if he be protected by the
Pandavas, aided by the very gods. Gratified, thou gavest me a boon; now,
however, thou dost not act according to it. They that are noble (like
thee), never falsify the hopes of one devoted to them.’ Thus addressed by
Duryodhana, Bharadwaja’s son felt greatly ashamed. Addressing the king,
he said, ‘It behoveth thee not to take me to be such. I always endeavour
to achieve what is agreeable to thee. The three worlds with the gods, the
Asuras, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Nagas and the Rakshasas, cannot
defeat the force that is protected by the diadem-decked (Arjuna). There
where Govinda, the Creator of the universe is, and there where Arjuna is
the commander, whose might can avail, save three-eyed Mahadeva’s, O lord?
O sire, I tell the truly today and it will not be otherwise. Today, I
will slay a mighty car-warrior, one of the foremost heroes of the
Pandavas. Today I will also form an array that impenetrable by the very
gods. Do, however, O king, by some means take Arjuna away from the field.
There is nothing that he doth not know or cannot achieve in battle. From
various places hath he acquired all that is to be known about battle.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘After Drona had said these words, the Samsaptakas
once more challenged Arjuna to battle and took him away to the southern
side of the field. Then an encounter took place between Arjuna and his
enemies, the like of which had never been seen or heard of. On the other
hand, the array formed by Drona, O king, looked resplendent. Indeed, that
array was incapable of being looked at like the sun himself when in his
course he reaches the meridian and scorches (everything underneath).
Abhimanyu, at the command, O Bharata, of his sire’s eldest brother,
pierced in battle that impenetrable circular array in many places. Having
achieved the most difficult feats and slain heroes by thousands, he was
(at last) encountered by six heroes together. In the end, succumbing to
Duhsasana’s son, O lord of earth, Subhadra’s son, O chastiser of foes,
gave up his life. At this we were filled with great joy and the Pandavas
with great grief. And after Subhadra’s son had been slain, our troops
were withdrawn for nightly rest.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Hearing, O Sanjaya, of the slaughter of the son
(Abhimanyu), yet in his minority, of that lion among men, (viz., Arjuna),
my heart seems to break into pieces. Cruel, indeed, are the duties of
Kshatriyas as laid down by the legislators, in as much as brave men,
desirous of sovereignty scrupled not to shoot their weapons at even a
child. O son of Gavalgana, tell me how so many warriors, accomplished in
arms, slew that child who, though brought up in luxury, yet careered over
the field so fearlessly. Tell me, O Sanjaya, how our warriors behaved in
battle with Subhadra’s son immeasurable energy who had penetrated into
our car-array.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘That which thou askest me, O king, viz., the slaughter of
Subhadra’s son, I will describe to thee in detail. Listen, O monarch,
with attention. I shall relate to thee how that youth, having penetrated
into our ranks, played with his weapons, and how the irresistible heroes
of thy army, all inspired by hope of victory, were afflicted by him. Like
the denizens of a forest abounding with plants and herbs and trees, when
surrounded on all sides by a forest conflagration, the warriors of thy
army were all filled with fear.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Of fierce deeds in battle and above all fatigue, as
proved by their feats, five sons of Pandu, with Krishna, are incapable of
being resisted by the very gods. In righteousness, in deeds, in lineage,
in intelligence, in achievements, in fame, in prosperity, there never
was, and there never will be, another man so endued as Yudhishthira.
Devoted to truth and righteousness, and with passions under control, king
Yudhishthira, in consequence of his worship of the Brahmans and, diverse
other virtues of similar nature, is always in the enjoyment of Heaven.
The Destroyer himself at the end of the Yuga, Jamadagni’s valiant son
(Rama), and Bhimasena on his car,–these three, O king, are spoken of as
equal. Of Partha, the wielder of Gandiva, who always achieveth his vows
in battle, I do not see a proper parallel on earth. Reverence for
superiors, keeping counsels, humility, self-restraint, beauty of person,
and bravery–these six–are ever present in Nakula. In knowledge of
scriptures, gravity, sweetness of temper, righteousness and prowess, the
heroic Sahadeva is equal to the Aswins themselves. All those noble
qualities that are in Krishna, all those that are in the Pandavas, all
that assemblage of qualities was to be found in Abhimanyu alone. In
firmness, he was equal to Yudhishthira, and in conduct to Krishna; in
feats, he was the equal to Bhimasena of terrible deeds, in beauty of
person, in prowess, and in knowledge of scriptures he was the equal to
Dhananjaya. In humility, he was equal to Sahadeva and Nakula.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I desire, O Suta, to hear in detail, how the
invincible Abhimanyu, the son of Subhadra, hath been slain on the field
of battle.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Be still, O king! Bear thy grief that is so
unbearable. I shall speak to thee of the great slaughter of thy kinsmen.

“The preceptor, O king, had formed the great circular array. In it were
placed all the kings (of our side) that are each equal to Sakra himself.
At the entrance were stationed all the princes possessed of solar
effulgence. All of them had taken oaths (about standing by one another).
All of them had standards decked with gold. All of them were attired in
red robes, and all had red ornaments. All of them had red banners and all
were adorned with garlands of gold, smeared with sandal-paste and other
perfumed unguents; they were decked with floral wreaths. In a body they
rushed towards Arjuna’s son, desirous of battle. Firm bowmen, all they
numbered ten thousand. Placing thy handsome grandson, Lakshmana, at their
head, all of them, sympathising with one another in joy and grief, and
emulating one another in feats of courage, desiring to excel one another,
and devoted to one another’s good, they advanced to battle. Duryodhana, O
monarch, was stationed in the midst of his forces. And the king was
surrounded by the mighty car-warriors, Karna, Duhsasana, and Kripa, and
had a white umbrella held over his head. And fanned with yak tails, he
looked resplendent like the chief of the celestials. And at the head of
that army was the commander Drona looking like the rising sun.[62] And
there stood the ruler of the Sindhus, of great beauty of person, and
immovable like the cliff of Meru. Standing by the side of the ruler of
the Sindhus and headed by Aswatthaman, were, O king, thy thirty sons,
resembling the very gods. There also on Jayadratha’s flank, were those
mighty car-warriors, viz., the ruler of Gandhara, i.e., the gamester
(Sakuni), and Salya, and Bhurisrava. Then commenced, the battle, fierce,
and making the hairs stand on their ends, between thy warriors and those
of the foe. And both sides fought, making death itself the goal.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘The Parthas then, headed by Bhimasena, approached that
invincible array protected by Bharadwaja’s son. And Satyaki, and
Chekitana, and Dhrishtadyumna. the son of Prishata, and Kuntibhoja of
great prowess, and the mighty car-warrior Drupada. and Arjuna’s son
(Abhimanyu), and Kshatradharman, and the valiant Vrihatkshatra, and
Dhrishtaketu, the ruler of the Chedis, and the twin sons of Madri, (viz.,
Nakula and Sahadeva), and Ghatotkacha, and the powerful Yudhamanyu and
the unvanquished Sikhandin, and the irresistible Uttamaujas and the
mighty car-warrior Virata, and the five sons of Draupadi,–these all
excited with wrath, and the valiant son of Sisupala, and the Kaikeyas of
mighty energy, and the Srinjayas by thousands,–these and others,
accomplished in weapons and difficult of being resisted in battle,
suddenly rushed, at the head of their respective followers, against
Bharadwaja’s son, from a desire of battle. The valiant son of Bharadwaja,
however, fearlessly checked all those warriors, as soon as they came
near, with a thick shower of arrows. Like a mighty wave of waters coming
against an impenetrable hill, or the surging sea itself approaching its
bank, those warriors were pushed back by Drona. And the Pandavas, O king,
afflicted by the shafts shot from Drona’s bow, were unable to stay before
him. And the strength of Drona’s arms that we saw was wonderful in the
extreme, inasmuch as the Panchalas and the Srinjayas failed to approach
him. Beholding Drona advancing in rage. Yudhishthira thought of diverse
means for checking his progress. At last, regarding Drona incapable of
being resisted by any one else, Yudhishthira placed that heavy and
unbearable burden on the son of Subhadra. Addressing Abhimanyu, that
slayer of hostile heroes, who was not inferior to Vasudeva himself and
whose energy was superior to that of Arjuna, the king said, ‘O child, act
in such a way that Arjuna, returning (from the Samsaptakas), may not
reprove us. We do not know how to break the circular array. Thyself, or
Arjuna or Krishna, or Pradyumna, can pierce that array. O mighty-armed
one, no fifth person can be found (to achieve that teat). O child, it
behoveth thee, O Abhimanyu, to grant the boon that thy sires, thy
maternal uncles, and all these troops ask of thee. Taking up thy arms
quickly, destroy this array of Drona, else Arjuna, returning from the
fight, will reprove us all.’

“Abhimanyu said, ‘Desiring victory to my sires, soon shall I in battle
penetrate into that firm, fierce and foremost of arrays formed by Drona.
I have been taught by my father the method of (penetrating and) smiting
this kind of array. I shall not be able, however, to come out if any kind
of danger overtakes me.’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Break this array once, O foremost of warriors, and
make a passage for us. All of us will follow thee in the track by which
thou wilt go. In battle, thou art equal to Dhananjaya himself. Seeing
thee enter, we shall follow thee, protecting thee on all sides.’

“Bhima said, ‘I myself will follow thee, and Dhrishtadyumna and Satyaki,
and the Panchalas, and the Prabhadrakas. After the array once is broken
by thee, will enter it repeatedly and slay the foremost warriors within

“Abhimanyu said, ‘I will penetrate into this invincible array of Drona,
like an insect filled with rage entering a blazing fire. Today, I will do
that which will be beneficial to both races (viz., my sire’s and my
mother’s). I will do that which will please my maternal uncle as also my
mother. Today all creatures will behold large bodies of hostile soldiers
continually slaughtered by myself, an unaided child. If anybody,
encountering me, escapes today with life, I shall not then regard myself
begotten by Partha and born of Subhadra. If on a single car I cannot in
battle cut off the whole Kshatriya race into eight fragments, I will not
regard myself the son of Arjuna.'[63]

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Since protected by these tigers among men, these
great bowmen endued with fierce might, these warriors that resemble the
Sadhyas, the Rudras, or the Maruts, or are like the Vasus, or Agni or
Aditya himself in prowess, thou venturest to pierce the invincible array
of Drona, and since thou speakest so, let thy strength, O son of Subhadra
be increased.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Hearing these words of Yudhishthira, Abhimanyu
ordered his charioteer, Sumitra, saying, Quickly urge the steeds towards
Drona’s army.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing these words of the intelligent Yudhishthira, the
son of Subhadra, O Bharata, urged his charioteer towards Drona’s array.
The charioteer, urged by him with the words, ‘Proceed, Proceed,’ replied
unto Abhimanyu, O king, in these words, ‘O thou that art blest with
length of days, heavy is the burthen that hath been placed upon thee by
the Pandavas! Ascertaining by thy judgment as to whether thou art able to
bear it or not, thou shouldst then engage in battle. The preceptor Drona
is a master of superior weapons and accomplished (in battle). Thou,
however, hast been brought up in great luxury and art unused to battle.’

“Hearing these words, Abhimanyu replied unto his charioteer, saying with
a laugh, ‘O charioteer, who is this Drona? What, again, is this vast
assemblage of Kshatriyas? Sakra himself on his Airavata and aided by all
the celestials, I would encounter in battle. I do not feel the slightest
anxiety about all these Kshatriyas today. This hostile army doth not come
up to even a sixteen part of myself. O son of a Suta, getting my maternal
uncle Vishnu himself, the conqueror of the universe or my sire, Arjuna,
as an antagonist in battle, fear would not enter my heart.’ Abhimanyu
then, thus disregarding those words of the charioteer, urged the latter,
saying, ‘Go with speed towards the army of Drona.’ Thus commanded, the
charioteer, with a heart scarcely cheerful, urged Abhimanyu’s three-year
old steeds, decked with golden trappings. Those coursers, urged by
Sumitra towards Drona’s army, rushed towards Drona himself, O king, with
great speed and prowess. Beholding him coming (towards them) in that way,
al! the Kauravas, headed by Drona, advanced against him, as, indeed, the
Pandavas followed him behind. Then Arjuna’s son, superior to Arjuna’s
self eased in golden mail and owning an excellent standard that bore the
device of a Karnikara tree, fearlessly encountered, from desire of
battle, warriors headed by Drona, like a lion-cub assailing a herd of
elephants. Those warriors then, filled with joy, began to strike
Abhimanyu while he endeavoured to pierce their array. And for a moment an
agitation took place there, like to the eddy that is seen in the ocean
where the current of the Ganga mingles with it. The battle, O king, that
commenced there, between those struggling heroes striking one another,
became fierce and terrible. And during the progress of that awful battle,
Arjuna’s son, in the very sight of Drona, breaking that array, penetrated
into it. Then large bodies of elephants and steeds and cars and infantry,
filled with joy, encompassed that mighty warrior after he had thus
penetrated into the midst of the foe, and commenced to smite him.
[Causing the earth to resound] with noise of diverse musical instruments,
with shouts and slaps of arm-pits and roars, with yells and leonine
shouts, with exclamations of ‘Wait, Wait,’ with fierce confused voices
with cries of, ‘Do not go, Wait, Come to me’, with repeated exclamations
of, ‘This one, It is I, The foe,’ with grunt of elephants, with the
tinkling of bells and ornaments, with bursts of laughter, and the clatter
of horse-hoofs and car-wheels, the (Kaurava) warriors rushed at the son
of Arjuna. That mighty hero, however, endued with great lightness of
hands and having a knowledge of the vital parts of the body, quickly
shooting weapons capable of penetrating into the very vitals, stew those
advancing warriors. Slaughtered by means of sharp shafts of diverse
kinds, those warriors became perfectly helpless, and like insects falling
upon a blazing fire, they continued to fall upon Abhimanyu on the field
of battle. And Abhimanyu strewed the earth with their bodies and diverse
limbs of their bodies like priests strewing the altar at a sacrifice with
blades of Kusa grass. And Arjuna’s son cut off by thousands the arms of
those warriors. And some of these were eased in corslets made of iguana
skin and some held bows and shafts, and some held swords or shields or
iron hooks and reins; and some, lances of battle axes. And some held
maces or iron balls or spears and some, rapiers and crow-bars and axes.
And some grasped short arrows, or spiked maces, or darts, or Kampanas.
And some had goads and prodigious conchs; and some bearded darts and
Kachagrahas. And some had mallets and some other kinds of missiles. And
some had nooses, and some heavy clubs, and some brickbats. And all those
arms were decked with armlets and laved with delightful perfumes and
unguents. And with those arms dyed with gore and looking bright the field
of battle became beautiful, as if strewn, O sire, with five-headed snakes
slain by Garuda. And Phalguni’s son also scattered over the field of
battle countless heads of foes, heads graced with beautiful noses and
faces and locks, without pimples, and adorned with ear-rings. Blood
flowed from those heads copiously, and the nether-lips in all were bit
with wrath. Adorned with beautiful garlands and crowns and turbans and
pearls and gems, and possessed of splendour equal to that of the sun or
the moon, they seemed to be like lotuses severed from their stalks.
Fragrant with many perfumes, while life was in them, they could speak
words both agreeable and beneficial. Diverse cars, well-equipped, and
looking like the vapoury edifices in the welkin, with shafts in front and
excellent bamboo poles and looking beautiful with the standards set up on
them, were deprived of their Janghas, and Kuvaras, and Nemis, and
Dasanas, and wheels, and standards and terraces. And the utensils of war
in them were all broken.[64] And the rich clothes with which they were
overlaid, were blown away, and the warriors on them were slain by
thousands. Mangling everything before him with his shafts, Abhimanyu was
seen coursing on all sides. With his keen-edged weapons, he cut into
pieces elephant-warriors, and elephants with standards and hooks and
banners, and quivers and coats of mail, and girths and neck-ropes and
blankets, and bells and trunks and tusks as also the foot-soldiers that
protected those elephants from behind. And many steeds of the Vanayu, the
hilly, the Kamvoja, and the Valhika breeds, with tails and ears and eyes
motionless and fixed, possessed of great speed, well-trained, and ridden
by accomplished warriors armed with swords and lances, were seen to be
deprived of the excellent ornaments on their beautiful tails. And many
lay with tongues lolling out and eyes detached from their sockets, and
entrails and livers drawn out. And the riders on their backs lay lifeless
by their sides. And the rows of bells that adorned them were all torn.
Strewn over the field thus, they caused great delight to Rakshasas and
beasts of prey. With coats of mail and other leathern armour (casing
their limbs) cut open, they weltered in excreta ejected by themselves.
Thus slaying many foremost of steeds of thy army, Abhimanyu looked
resplendent. Alone achieving the most difficult feat, like the
inconceivable Vibhu himself in days of old, Abhimanyu crushed thy vast
host of three kinds of forces (cars, elephants, and steeds), like the
three-eyed (Mahadeva) of immeasurable energy crushing the terrible Asura
host. Indeed, Arjuna’s son, having achieved in battle feats incapable of
being borne by his foes, everywhere mangled large divisions of
foot-soldiers belonging to thy army. Beholding then thy host extensively
slaughtered by Subhadra’s son single-handed with his whetted shafts like
the Asura host by Skanda (the celestial generalissimo), thy warriors and
thy sons cast vacant looks on all sides. Their mouths became dry; their
eyes became restless; their bodies were covered with sweat; and their
hairs stood on their ends. Hopeless of vanquishing their foe, they set
their hearts on flying away from the field. Desirous of saving their
lives, called one another by their names and the names of their families,
and abandoning their wounded sons and sires and brothers and kinsmen and
relatives by marriage lying around on the field, they endeavoured to fly
away, urging their steeds and elephants (to their utmost speed).'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding his army routed by Subhadra’s son of
immeasurable energy, Duryodhana, filled with rage, himself proceeded
against the former. Seeing the king turn back towards Subhadra’s son in
battle, Drona, addressing all the (Kaurava) warriors, said, ‘Rescue the
king.[65] Before us, in our very sight, the valiant Abhimanyu is slaying
all he aims at. Rush ye, therefore, speedily against him, without fear
and protect the Kuru king.’ Then many grateful and mighty warriors,
having Duryodhana’s good at heart, and always graced with victory,
inspired with fear, surrounded thy son. And Drona, and Drona’s son, and
Kripa and Karna and Kritavarman and Suvala’s son, Vrihadvala, and the
ruler of the Madras, and Bhuri, and Bhurisravas, and Sala, and Paurava
and Vrishasena, shooting sharp shafts, checked Subhadra’s son by means of
those arrowy showers. Confounding him with those showers of shafts, they
rescued Duryodhana. The son of Arjuna, however, brooked not that act of
snatching a morsel from his mouth. Covering those mighty car-warriors,
their charioteers, and steeds with thick showers of arrows and causing
them to turn back, the son of Subhadra uttered a leonine roar. Hearing
that roar of his, resembling that of a lion hungering after prey, these
angry car-warriors, headed by Drona, brooked it not. Encompassing him on
all sides, O sire, with a large body of cars they shot at him showers of
diverse kinds of arrows. The grandson, however, cut them off in the
welkin (before any of them could reach him) by means of sharp shafts, and
then pierced all of them with his shafts. That feat of his seemed
exceedingly wonderful. Provoked by him thus by means of those shafts of
his that resembled snakes of virulent poison, they surrounded that
unretreating son of Subhadra, desirous of slaying him. That sea of
(Kaurava) troops, however, O bull of Bharata’s race, the son of Arjuna
singly held in check by means of his shafts, like the continent resisting
the surging ocean. And among those heroes thus fighting with and striking
one another, viz., Abhimanyu and his man on one side and all those
warriors together on the other, none turned back from the field. In that
dreadful and fierce battle, Duhsaha pierced Abhimanyu with nine shafts.
And Duhsasana pierced him with a dozen; and Saradwata’s son Kripa, with
three. And Drona pierced him with seventeen shafts, each resembling a
snake of virulent poison. And Vivinsati, pierced him with seventy shafts,
and Kritavarman with seven. And Vrihadvala pierced him with eight, and
Aswatthaman with seven shafts. And Bhurisrava pierced him with three
shafts and the ruler of the Madras with six. And Sakuni pierced him with
two, and king Duryodhana with three shafts. The valiant Abhimanyu,
however, O king, seemingly dancing on his car, pierced each of those
warriors in return with three shafts. Then Abhimanyu, filled with rage in
consequence of thy sons’ endeavouring to frighten him thus, displayed the
wonderful strength he had acquired from culture and practice. Borne by
his well-broken steeds, endued with the speed of Garuda or the Wind, and
thoroughly obedient to the behests of him who held their reins, he
quickly checked the heir of Asmaka. Staying before him, the handsome son
of Asmaka, endued with great might, pierced him with ten shafts and
addressing him, said, ‘Wait, Wait.’ Abhimanyu then, with ten shafts, cut
off the former’s steeds and charioteer and standard and two arms and bow
and head, and caused them to fall down on the earth, smiling the while.
After the heroic ruler of the Asmakas had thus been slain by the son of
Subhadra, the whole of his force wavered and began to fly away from the
field. Then Karna and Kripa, and Drona and Drona’s son, and the ruler of
the Gandharas, and Sala and Salya, and Bhurisravas and Kratha, and
Somadatta, and Vivinsati, and Vrishasena, and Sushena, and Kundavedhin,
and Pratardana, and Vrindaraka and Lalithya, and Pravahu, and
Drighalochana, and angry Duryodhana, showered their arrows upon him. Then
Abhimanyu, excessively pierced by those great bowmen with their straight
shafts, shot shafts at Karna which was capable of piercing through every
armour and body. That shaft, piercing through Karna’s coat of mail and
then his body, entered the earth like a snake piercing through an
anthill. Deeply pierced, Karna felt great pain and became perfectly
helpless. Indeed, Karna began to tremble in that battle like a hill
during an earthquake. Then with three other shafts of great sharpness,
the mighty son of Arjuna, excited with rage, slew those three warriors,
viz., Sushena, Drighalochana, and Kundavedhin. Meanwhile, Karna
(recovering from the shock) pierced Abhimanyu with five and twenty
shafts. And Aswatthaman struck him with twenty, and Kritavarman with
seven. Covered all over with arrows, that son of Sakra’s son, filled with
rage, careered over the field. And he was regarded by all the troops as
Yama’s self armed with the noose. He then scattered over Salya, who
happened to be near him thick showers of arrows. That mighty-armed
warrior then uttered loud shouts, frightening thy troops therewith.
Meanwhile, Salya, pierced by Abhimanyu accomplished in weapons, with
straight shafts penetrating into his very vitals, sat down on the terrace
of his car and fainted away. Beholding Salya thus pierced by the
celebrated son of Subhadra, all the troops fled away in the very sight of
Bharadwaja’s son. Seeing that mighty-armed warrior, viz., Salya, thus
covered with shafts of golden wings, thy army fled away like a head of
deer attacked by a lion. And Abhimanyu glorified by the Pitris, the gods,
and Charanas, and Siddhas, as also by diverse classes of creatures on the
earth, with praises about (his heroism and skill in) battle, looked
resplendent like a sacrificial fire fed with clarified butter.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘While Arjuna’s son was thus grinding, by means of
his straight arrows, our foremost bowmen, what warriors of my army
endeavoured to check him?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Hear, O king, of the splendid prowess in battle of
youthful Abhimanyu while engaged in breaking the car-ranks (of the
Kauravas), protected by the son of Bharadwaja himself.’

“Beholding the ruler of the Madras disabled in battle by Subhadra’s son
with his shafts, the younger brother of Salya, filled with wrath,
advanced against Abhimanyu, scattering his shafts. Arjuna’s son however.
endued with great lightness of hand, cut off his antagonist’s head and
charioteer, his triple bamboo-pole, his bed (on the car), his car-wheels,
his yoke, and shafts and quiver, and car-bottom, by means of his arrows,
as also his banner and every other implements of battle with which his
car was equipped. So quick were his movements that none could obtain a
sight of his person. Deprived of life, that foremost and chief of all
ornaments of battle fell down on the earth, like a huge hill uprooted by
a mighty tempest. His followers then, struck with fear, fled away in all
directions. Beholding that feat of the son of Arjuna, all creatures were
highly gratified, and cheered him, O Bharata, with loud shouts of
‘Excellent, Excellent!’

“After Salya’s brother had thus been slain, many followers of his, loudly
proclaiming their families, places of residence, and names, rushed
against Arjuna’s son, filled with rage and armed With diverse weapons.
Some of them were on cars, some on steeds and some on elephants; and
others advanced on foot. And all of them were endued with fierce might.
And they rushed frightening the son of Arjuna with the loud whiz of their
arrows, the deep roar of their car-wheels, their fierce whoops and shouts
and cries, their leonine roars, the loud twang of their bow-string, and
the slaps of their palms. And they said, ‘Thou shalt not escape us with
life today!’ Hearing them say so, the son of Subhadra, smiling the while,
pierced with his shafts those amongst them that had pierced him first.
Displaying diverse weapons of beautiful look and of great celerity, the
heroic son of Arjuna battled mildly with them. Those weapons that he had
received from Vasudeva and those that he had received from Dhananjaya,
Abhimanyu displayed in the very same way as Vasudeva and Dhananjaya.
Disregarding the heavy burthen he had taken upon himself and casting off
all fear, he repeatedly shot his arrows. No interval, again, could be
noticed between his aiming and letting off an arrow. Only his trembling
bow drawn to a circle could be seen on every side, looking like the
blazing disc of the autumnal sun. And the twang of his bow, and the slap
of his palms, O Bharata, were heard to resound like the roaring of clouds
charged with thunder. Modest, wrathful, reverential to superiors, and
exceedingly handsome, the son of Subhadra, out of regard for the hostile
heroes, fought with them mildly. Commencing gently, O king, he gradually
became fierce, like the illustrious maker of the day when autumn comes
after the season of the rains is over. Like the Sun himself shedding his
rays, Abhimanyu, filled with wrath, shot hundreds and thousands of
whetted arrows, furnished with golden wings. In the very sight of
Bharadwaja’s son, that celebrated warrior covered the car-division of the
Kaurava army with diverse kinds of arrows.[66] Thereupon, that army thus
afflicted by Abhimanyu with his shafts, turned its back on the field.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘My heart, O Sanjaya, is agitated with different
emotions, viz., shame and gratification, upon hearing that Subhadra’s son
singly held in cheek the whole army of my son. O son of Gavalgana, ten me
everything once more in detail about the encounter of youthful Abhimanyu,
which seems to have been pretty like Skanda’s encounter with the Asura

“Sanjaya said, ‘I will relate to thee that fearful encounter that fierce
battle, as it took place between one and the many. Mounted upon his car,
Abhimanyu, with great daring, showered his arrows on the warriors of thy
army mounted on their cars, all of whom were chastisers of foes, endued
with great courage. Careering with great speed like a circle of fire, he
pierced Drona and Karna, and Kripa, and Salya and Drona’s son, and
Kritavarman of the Bhoja race, and Vrihadvala, and Duryodhana, and
Somadatta, and mighty Sakuni, and diverse kings and diverse princes and
diverse bodies of troops. While engaged in slaying his foes by means of
superior weapons, the valiant son of Subhadra, endued with mighty energy,
seemed, O Bharata, to be present everywhere. Beholding that conduct of
Subhadra’s son of immeasurable energy, thy troops trembled repeatedly.
Seeing that warrior of great proficiency in battle, Bharadwaja’s son of
great wisdom, with eyes expanded in joy, quickly came towards Kripa, and
addressing him said, as if crushing (by that speech of his) the very
vitals of thy son, O Bharata, the following words, ‘Yonder cometh the
youthful son of Subhadra at the head of the Parthas, delighting all his
friends, and king Yudhishthira, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Bhimasena,
the son of Pandu, and all his kinsmen, and relatives by marriage, and all
who are watching the battle as spectators without taking any part in it.
I do not regard any bowman to be his equal in battle. If only he
entertains the wish, he can slay this vast host. It seems, that for some
reason or other, he doth not entertain that wish.’ Hearing these words of
Drona, so expressive of the gratification he felt, thy son, enraged with
Abhimanyu, looked at Drona, faintly smiling the while. Indeed, Duryodhana
said unto Karna and king Valhika and Duhsasana and the ruler of the
Madras and the many other mighty car-warriors of his army, these words,
‘The preceptor of the entire order of the Kshatriyas,–he that is the
foremost of all conversant with Brahma, doth not, from stupefaction, wish
to slay this son of Arjuna. None can, in battle, escape the preceptor
with life, not even the Destroyer himself, if the latter advanceth
against the preceptor as a foe. What, O friend, shall we say then of any
mortal? I say this truly. This one is the son of Arjuna, and Arjuna is
the preceptor’s disciple. It is for this that the preceptor protecteth
this youth. Disciples and sons and their sons are always dear to the
virtuous people. Protected by Drona, the youthful son of Arjuna regardeth
himself valourous. He is only a fool entertaining a high opinion of
himself. Crush him, therefore, without delay.’ Thus addressed by the Kuru
king, those warriors, O monarch, excited with rage and desirous of
slaying their foe, rushed, in the very sight of Drona at the son of
Subhadra that daughter of the Satwata race. Duhsasana, in particular,
that tiger among the Kurus, hearing those words of Duryodhana, answered
the latter, saying, ‘O monarch, I tell thee that even I will slay this
one in the very sight of the Pandavas and before the eyes of the
Panchalas. I shall certainly devour the son of Subhadra today, like Rahu
swallowing Surya (sun).’ And once more addressing the Kuru king loudly,
Duhsasana said, ‘Hearing that Subhadra’s son hath been slain by me, the
two Krishnas, who are exceedingly vain, will without doubt, go to the
region of the departed spirits, leaving this world of men. Hearing then
of the death of the two Krishnas, it is evident that the other sons born
of Pandu’s wives, with all their friends, will, in course of a single
day, cast away their lives from despair. It is evident, therefore, that
this one foe of thine being slain, all thy foes will be slain. Wish me
well, O king, even I will slay this foe of thine.’ Having said these
words, O king, thy son Duhsasana, filled with rage and uttering a loud
roar, rushed against the son of Subhadra and covered him with showers of
arrows. Abhimanyu then, O chastiser of foes, received that son of thine
thus advancing upon him wrathfully, with six and twenty arrows of sharp
points. Duhsasana, however, filled with rage, and looking like an
infuriated elephant, fought desperately with Abhimanyu, the son of
Subhadra in that battle. Both of them masters in car-fight, they fought
on describing beautiful circles with their cars, one of them to the left
and other to the right. The warriors then, with their Panavas and
Mridangas and Dundubhis and Krakachas and great Anakas and Bheris and
Jharjaras, caused a deafening noise mingled with leonine roars, such as
arise from the great receptacle of salt waters!”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then the intelligent Abhimanyu, with limbs mangled with
arrows, smilingly addressed his foe, Duhsasana, stationed before him
saying, ‘By good luck it is that I behold in battle that vain hero
arrived before me, who is cruel, who hath cast away all righteousness,
and who brawleth out lustily his own praises. In the assembly (for the
Kurus) and in the hearing of king Dhritarashtra, thou hadst, with thy
harsh speeches, angered king Yudhishthira. Relying on the deception of
the dice and the skill (therein) of Suvala’s son, thou hadst also
maddened by success, addressed many delirious speech to Bhima![67] In
consequence of the anger of those illustrious persons, thou art, at last,
about to obtain the fruit of that conduct of thine![68]. O thou of wicked
understanding, obtain thou without delay the fruit[69] of the robbery of
other people’s possessions, wrathfulness, of thy hatred of peace, of
avarice, of ignorance, of hostilities (with kinsmen), of injustice and
persecution, of depriving my sires–those fierce bowmen–of their
kingdom, and of thy own fierce temper. I shall today chastise thee with
my arrows in the sight of the whole army. Today, I shall in battle
disburden myself of that wrath which I cherish against thee. I shall
today free myself of the debt I owe to angry Krishna and to my sire who
always craveth for an opportunity to chastise thee. O Kaurava, today I
shall free myself of the debt I owe to Bhima. With life thou shalt not
escape me, if indeed, thou dost not abandon the battle.’ Having said
these words, that mighty-armed warrior, that slayer of hostile heroes,
aimed a shaft endued with the splendour of Yama or of Agni or of the
Wind-god, capable of despatching Duhsasana to the other world. Quickly
approaching Duhsasana’s bosom, that shaft fell upon his shoulder-joint
and penetrated into his body up to the very wings, like a snake into an
ant-hill. And soon Abhimanyu once more struck him with five and twenty
arrows whose touch resembled that of fire, and which were sped from his
bow drawn to its fullest stretch, Deeply pierced and greatly pained,
Duhsasana, sat down on the terrace of his car and was, O king, overtaken
by a swoon. Afflicted thus by the arrows of Subhadra’s son and deprived
of his senses, Duhsasana. was speedily borne away from the midst of the
fight by his charioteer. Beholding this, the Pandavas, the five sons of
Draupadi, Virata, the Panchalas, and the Kekayas, uttered leonine shouts.
And the troops of the Pandavas, filled with joy, caused diverse kinds of
musical instruments to be beat and blown. Beholding that feat of
Subhadra’s son they laughed with joy. Seeing that implacable and proud
foe of theirs thus vanquished, those mighty car-warriors, viz., the
(five) sons of Draupadi, who had on their banners the images of Yama and
Maruta and Sakra and the twin Aswins, and Satyaki, and Chekitana, and
Dhrishtadyumna, and Sikhandin, and the Kekayas, and Dhrishtaketu, and the
Matsyas, Panchalas, and the Srinjayas, and the Pandavas headed by
Yudhishthira, were filled with joy. And all of them rushed with speed,
desirous of piercing Drona’s array. Then a dreadful battle took place
between the warriors and those of the foe, All of them were unretreating
heroes, and inspired by desire of victory. During the progress of that
dreadful encounter, Duryodhana, O monarch, addressing the son of Radha,
said, ‘Behold, the heroic Duhsasana, who resembleth the scorching sun who
was hitherto slaying the foe in battle, hath at last himself succumbed to
Abhimanyu. The Pandavas also, filled with rage and looking fierce like
mighty lions, are rushing towards us, desirous of rescuing the son of
Subhadra.’ Thus addressed, Karna with rage and desirous of doing good to
thy son, rained showers of sharp arrows on the invincible Abhimanyu. And
the heroic Karna, as if in contempt of his antagonist, also pierced the
latter’s followers on the field of battle, with many excellent shafts of
great sharpness. The high-souled Abhimanyu, however, O king, desirous of
proceeding against Drona, quickly pierced Radha’s son with three and
seventy shafts. No car-warrior of thy army succeeded at that time in
obstructing the progress towards Drona, of Abhimanyu, who was the son of
Indra’s son and who was afflicting all the foremost car-warriors of the
Kaurava host. Then Karna, the most honoured of all bowmen, desirous of
obtaining victory, pierced the son of Subhadra with hundreds of arrows,
displacing his best weapons. That foremost of all persons conversant with
weapons, that valiant disciple of Rama, by means of his weapons, thus
afflicted Abhimanyu who was incapable of being defeated by foes. Though
afflicted in battle by Radha’s son with showers of weapons, still
Subhadra’s son who resembled a very celestial (for prowess) felt no pain.
With his shafts whetted on stone and furnished with sharp points, the son
of Arjuna, cutting off the bows of many heroic warriors, began to afflict
Karna in return. With shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison and
shot from his bow drawn to a circle, Abhimanyu quickly cut off the
umbrella, standard, the charioteer, and the steeds of Karna, smiling the
while. Karna then shot five straight arrows at Abhimanyu. The son of
Phalguna, however, received them fearlessly. Endued with great valour and
courage, the latter then, in a moment, with only a single arrow, cut off
Karna’s bow and standard and caused them to drop down on the ground.
Beholding Karna in such distress, his younger brother, drawing the bow
with great force, speedily proceeded against the son of Subhadra. The
Parthas then, and their followers uttered loud shouts and beat their
musical instruments and applauded the son of Subhadra [for his heroism].'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then the younger brother of Karna, uttering loud roars,
bow in hand, and repeatedly stretching the bow-string, quickly placed
himself between those two illustrious warriors. And Karna’s brother, with
ten shafts, pierced invincible Abhimanyu and his umbrella and standard
and charioteer and steeds, smiling the while. Beholding Abhimanyu thus
afflicted with those arrows, although he had achieved those superhuman
feats in the manner of his sire and grandsire, the warriors of thy army
were filled with delight. Then Abhimanyu, forcibly bending the bow and
smiling the while, with one winged arrow cut off his antagonist’s head.
That head, severed from the trunk, fell down on the earth. Beholding his
brother slain and overthrown, like a Karnikara tree shaken and thrown
down by the wind from the mountain top, Karna, O monarch, was filled with
pain. Meanwhile, the son of Subhadra, causing Karna by means of his
arrows to turn away from the field, quickly rushed against the other
great bowmen. Then Abhimanyu of fierce energy and great fame, filled with
wrath, broke that host of diverse forces abounding with elephants and
steeds and cars and infantry. As regards Karna, afflicted by Abhimanyu
with countless shafts, he fled away from the field borne by swift steeds.
The Kaurava array then broke. When the welkin was covered with
Abhimanyu’s shafts, like flights of locusts or thick showers of rain,
nothing, O monarch, could be distinguished. Amongst thy warriors thus
slaughtered by Abhimanyu with sharp shafts, none, O monarch, stayed any
longer on the field of battle except the ruler of the Sindhus. Then that
bull among men, viz., the son of Subhadra, blowing his conch, speedily,
fell upon the Bharata host, O bull of Bharata’s race! Like a burning
brand thrown into the midst of dry grass, Arjuna’s son began to consume
his foes, quickly careering through the Kaurava army. Having pierced
through their array, he mangled cars and elephants and steeds and human
beings by means of his sharp shafts and caused the field of battle teem
with headless trunks. Cut off by means of excellent arrows shot from the
bow of Subhadra’s son, the Kaurava warriors fled away, slaying, as they
fled, their own comrades before them. Those fierce arrows, of terrible
effect whetted on stone and, countless in number, slaying car-warriors
and elephants, steeds, fell fast on the field. Arms, decked with Angadas
and other ornaments of gold, cut off and hands cased in leathern covers,
and arrows, and bows, and bodies and heads decked with car-rings and
floral wreaths, lay in thousands on the field. Obstructed with Upashkaras
and Adhishthanas and long poles also with crushed Akshas and broken
wheels and yokes, numbering thousands, With darts and bows and swords and
fallen standards, and with shields and bows lying all about, with the
bodies, O monarch, of slain Kshatriyas and steeds and elephants, the
field of battle, looking exceedingly fierce, soon became impassable. The
noise made by the princes, as they called upon One another while
slaughtered by Abhimanyu, became deafening and enhanced the fears of the
timid. That noise, O chief of the Bharatas, filled all the points of the
compass. The son of Subhadra, rushed against the (Kaurava) troops,
slaying foremost of car-warriors and steeds and elephants, Quickly
consuming his foes, like a fire playing in the midst of a heap of dry
grass, the son of Arjuna was seen careering through the midst of the
Bharata army. Encompassed as he was by our troops and covered with dust,
none of us could obtain a sight of that warrior when, O Bharata, he was
careening over the field in all directions, cardinal and subsidiary. And
he took the lives of steeds and elephants and human warriors, O Bharata,
almost incessantly. And soon after we saw him (come out of the press).
Indeed, O monarch, we beheld him then scorching his foes like the
meridian sun (scorching everything with his rays). Equal to Vasava
himself in battle, that son of Vasava’s son viz., Abhimanyu, looked
resplendent in the midst of the (hostile) army.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, A mere child in years, brought up in great luxury,
proud of the strength of his arms, accomplished in battle, endued with
great heroism, the perpetuator of his race, and prepared to lay down his
life–when Abhimanyu penetrated into the Katirava army, borne on his
three-years old steeds of spirited mettle, was there any of great
warriors, in Yudhishthira’s army, that followed the son of Arjuna?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Yudhishthira and Bhimasena, and Sikhandin and Satyaki,
and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva, and Dhrishtadyumna and Virata, and
Drupada, and Kekaya, and Dhristaketu, all filled with wrath, and the
Matsya warrior, rushed to battle. Indeed, Abhimanyu’s sires accompanied
by his maternal uncles, those smiters of foes, arrayed in order of battle
rushed along the self-same path that Abhimanyu had created, desirous of
rescuing him.. Beholding those heroes rushing, thy troops turned away
from the fight. Seeing then that vast army of thy son turning away from
the fight, the son-in-law of great energy rushed to rally them. Indeed,
king Jayadratha, the son of the ruler of the Sindhus, checked, with all
their followers, the Parthas, desirous of rescuing their son. That fierce
and great bowman, viz. the son of Vriddhakshatra, invoking into existence
celestial weapons resisted the Pandavas, like an elephant sporting in a
low land.'[70]

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I think, Sanjaya, that heavy was the burthen thrown
upon the ruler of the Sindhus, inasmuch as alone he had to resist the
angry Pandavas desirous of rescuing their son. Exceedingly wonderful, I
think, was the might and heroism of the ruler of the Sindhus. Tell me
what the high-souled warrior’s prowess was and how he accomplished that
foremost of feats. What gifts did he make, what libations had he poured,
what sacrifices had he performed, what ascetic austerities had he well
undergone, in consequence of which, single-handed, he succeeded in
checking Parthas excited with wrath?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘On the occasion of his insult to Draupadi, Jayadratha was
vanquished by Bhimasena. From a keen sense of his humiliation, the king
practised the severest of ascetic austerities, desirous of a boon.
Restraining his senses from all objects dear to them, bearing hunger,
thirst and heat, he reduced his body till his swollen veins became
visible. Uttering the eternal words of the Veda, he paid his adoration to
the god Mahadeva. That illustrious Deity, always inspired with compassion
for his devotees, at last, became kind towards him. Indeed, Hara,
appearing in a dream unto the ruler of the Sindhus, addressed him, saying
‘Solicit the boon thou desirest. I am gratified with thee, O Jayadratha!
What dost thou desire?’ Thus addressed by Mahadeva, Jayadratha, the ruler
of the Sindhus, bowed down unto him and said with joined palms and
restrained soul, ‘Alone, on a single car, I shall check in battle all the
sons of Pandu, endued though they are with terrible energy and prowess.’
Even this, O Bharata, was the boon he had solicited. Thus prayed to that
foremost of the deities said unto Jayadratha, ‘O amiable one, I grant
thee the boon. Except Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, thou shalt in battle
check the four other sons of Pandu.’ ‘So be it,’ said Jayadratha unto
that Lord of the gods and then awoke, O monarch, from his slumber. In
consequence of that boon which he had received and of the strength also
of his celestial weapons, Jayadratha, single-handed, held in check the
entire army of the Pandavas. The twang of his bow-string and the slaps of
his palms inspired the hostile Kshatriyas with fear, filling thy troops,
at the same time with delight. And the Kshatriyas (of the Kuru army),
beholding that the burthen was taken up by the ruler of the Sindhus,
rushed with loud shouts, O monarch, to that part of the field where
Yudhishthira’s army was.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Thou askest me, O monarch, about the prowess of the ruler
of the Sindhus. Listen to me as I describe in detail how he fought with
the Pandavas. Large steeds of the Sindhu breed, well-trained and fleet as
the wind, and obedient to the commands of the charioteer, bore him (on
that occasion). His car, duly equipped, looked like a vapoury edifice in
the welkin. His standard bearing the device of a large boar in silver,
looked exceedingly beautiful. With his white umbrella and banners, and
the yak-tails with which he was fanned–which are regal indications–he
shone like the Moon himself in the firmament. His car-fence made of iron
was decked with pearls and diamonds and gems and gold. And it looked
resplendent like the firmament bespangled with luminous bodies. Drawing
his large bow and scattering countless shafts, he once more filled up
that array in those places where openings had been made by the son of
Arjuna. And he pierced Satyaki with three arrows, and Vrikodara with
eight; and having pierced Dhrishtadyumna. with sixty arrows, he pierced
Drupada with five sharp ones, and Sikhandin with ten. Piercing then the
Kaikeyas with five and twenty arrows, Jayadratha pierced each of the five
sons of Draupadi with three arrows. And piercing Yudhishthira then with
seventy arrows, the ruler of the Sindhus pierced the other heroes of the
Pandava army with thick showers of shafts. And that feat of his seemed
exceedingly wonderful. Then, O monarch, the valiant son of Dharma, aiming
Jayadratha’s bow, cut it off with a polished and well-tempered shaft,
smiling the while. Within the twinkling, however, of the eye, the ruler
of the Sindhus took up another bow and piercing Pratha (Yudhishthira)
with ten arrows struck each of the others with three shafts. Marking that
lightness of hands showed by Jayadratha, Bhima then with three
broad-headed shafts, quickly felled on the earth his bow, standard and
umbrella. The mighty Jayadratha then, taking up another bow, strung it
and felled Bhima’s standard and bow and steeds. O sire! His bow cut off,
Bhimasena then jumping down from that excellent car whose steeds had been
slain, mounted on the car of Satyaki, like a lion jumping to the top of a
mountain. Seeing this, thy troops were filled with joy. And they loudly
shouted, ‘Excellent! Excellent!’ And they repeatedly applauded that feat
of the ruler of the Sindhus. Indeed, all creatures highly applauded that
feat of his, which consisted in his resisting, single-handed, all the
Pandavas together, excited with wrath. The path that the son of Subhadra
had made for the Pandavas by the slaughter of numerous warriors and
elephants was then filled up by the ruler of the Sindhus. Indeed, those
heroes, viz., the Matsyas, the Panchalas, the Kaikeyas, and the Pandavas,
exerting themselves vigorously, succeeded in approaching the presence of
Jayadratha, but none of them could bear him. Everyone amongst thy enemies
who endeavoured to pierce the array that had been formed by Drona, was
checked by the ruler of the Sindhus in consequence of the boon he had got
(from Mahadeva).'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘When the ruler of the Sindhus checked the Pandavas,
desirous of success, the battle that took place then between thy troops
and the enemy became awful. The invincible son of Arjuna, of sure aim and
mighty energy, having penetrated in the (Kaurava) array agitated it like
a Makara agitating the ocean. Against that chastiser of foes then, viz.,
the son of Subhadra, who was thus agitating the hostile host with his
arrowy showers, the principal warriors of the Kaurava army rushed, each
according to his rank and precedence. The clash between them of
immeasurable energy, scattering their arrowy showers with great force, on
the one side and Abhimanyu alone on the other, became awful. The son, of
Arjuna, encompassed on all sides by those enemies with crowds of cars,
slew the charioteer of Vrishasena and also cut off his bow. And the
mighty Abhimanyu then pierced Vrishasena’s steeds with his straight
shafts, upon which those coursers, with the speed of the wind, bore
Vrishasena away from the battle. Utilizing that opportunity, Abhimanyu’s
charioteer freed his car from that press by taking it away to another
part of the field. Those numerous car-warriors then, (beholding this
feat) were filled with joy and exclaimed, ‘Excellent! Excellent!’ Seeing
the lion-like Abhimanyu angrily slaying the foe with his shafts and
advancing from a distance. Vasatiya, proceeding towards him quickly fell
upon him with great force. The latter pierced Abhimanyu with sixty shafts
of golden wings and addressing him, said, ‘As long as I am alive, thou
shalt not escape with life.’ Cased though he was in an iron coat of mail,
the son of Subhadra pierced him in the chest with a far-reaching shaft.
Thereupon Vasatiya fell down on the earth, deprived of life. Beholding
Vasatiya slain, many bulls among Kshatriyas became filled with wrath, and
surrounded thy grandson, O king, from a desire of slaying him. They
approached him, stretching their countless bows of diverse kinds, and the
battle then that took place between the son of Subhadra and his foes was
exceedingly fierce. Then the son of Phalguni, filled with wrath, cut off
their arrows and bows, and diverse limbs of their bodies, and their heads
decked with ear-rings and floral garlands. And arms were seen lopped off,
that were adorned with various ornaments of gold, and that Still held
scimitars and spiked maces and battle-axes and the fingers of which were
still cased in leathern gloves. [And the earth became strewn][71] with
floral wreaths and ornaments and cloths, with fallen standards, with
coats of mail and shields and golden chains and diadems and umbrellas and
yak-tails; with Upashkaras and Adhishthanas, and Dandakas, and Vandhuras
with crushed Akshas, broken wheels, and yokes, numbering thousands,[72]
with Anukarashas, and banners, and charioteers, and steeds; as also with
broken cars, and elephants, and steeds. The field of battle, strewn with
slain Kshatriyas endued (while living) with great heroism,–rulers of
diverse realms, inspired with desire of victory,–presented a fearful
sight. When Abhimanyu angrily careered over the field of battle in all
directions, his very form became invisible. Only his coat of mail, decked
with gold, his ornaments, and bow and shafts, could be seen. Indeed,
while he slew the hostile warriors by means of his shafts, staying in
their midst like the sun himself in his blazing effulgence, none could
gaze at him with his eyes.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Engaged in taking the lives of brave warriors, Arjuna’s
son then resembled the Destroyer himself, when the latter takes the lives
of all creatures on the arrival of the Universal Dissolution. Possessed
of prowess resembling that of Sakra himself, the mighty son of Sakra’s
son, viz., Abhimanyu, agitating the Katirava army looked exceedingly
resplendent. Penetrating into the Katirava host, O king, that destroyer
of foremost Kshatriyas resembling Yama himself, seized Satvasravas, like
an infuriated tiger seizing a deer. Beholding Satyasrayas, seized by him,
many mighty car-warriors, taking up diverse kinds of weapons, rushed upon
him. Indeed, those bulls among Kshatriyas, from a spirit of rivalry,
rushed at the son of Arjuna from desire of slaying him, all exclaiming,
‘I shall go first, I shall go first!’ As a whale in the sea obtaining a
shoal of small fish seizes them with the greatest ease, even so did
Abhimanyu receive that whole division of the rushing Kshatriyas. Like
rivers that never go back when they approach the sea, none amongst those
unretreating Kshatriyas turned back when they approached Abhimanyu. That
army then reeled like a boat tossed on the ocean when overtaken by a
mighty tempest, (with its crew) afflicted with panic caused by the
violence of the wind. Then the mighty Rukmaratha, son of the ruler of the
Madras, for assuring the frightened troops, fearlessly said, ‘Ye heroes,
ye need not fear! When I am here, what is Abhimanyu? Without doubt, I
will seize this one a living captive’. Having said these words, the
valiant prince, borne on his beautiful and well-equipped car, rushed at
Abhimanyu. Piercing Abhimanyu with three shafts in the chest, three in
the right arm, and three other sharp shafts in the left arm, he uttered a
loud roar. Phalguni’s son, however, cutting off his bow, his right and
left arms, and his head adorned with beautiful eyes and eye-brows quickly
felled them on the earth. Beholding Rukmaratha, the honoured son of
Salya, slain by the illustrious son of Subhadra, that Rukmaratha viz.,
who had vowed to consume his foe or take him alive, many princely friends
of Salya’s son, O king, accomplished in smiting and incapable of being
easily defeated in battle, and owning standards decked with gold, (came
up for the fight). Those mighty car-warriors, stretching their bows full
six cubits long, surrounded the son of Arjuna, all pouring their arrowy
showers upon him. Beholding the brave and invincible son of Subhadra
singly encountered by all those wrathful princes endued with heroism and
skill acquired by practice and strength and youth, and seeing him covered
with showers of arrows, Duryodhana rejoiced greatly, and regarded
Abhimanyu as one already made a guest of Yama’s abode. Within the
twinkling of an eye, those princes, by means of their shafts of golden
wings, and of diverse forms and great impetuosity, made Arjuna’s son
invisible. Himself, his standard, and his car, O sire, were seen by us
covered with shafts like (trees overwhelmed with) flights of locusts.
Deeply pierced, he became filled with rage like an elephant struck with
the hook. He then, O Bharata, applied the Gandharva weapon and the
illusion consequent to it.[73] Practising ascetic penances, Arjuna had
obtained that weapon from the Gandharva Tumvuru and others. With that
weapon, Abhimanyu now confounded his foes. Quickly displaying his
weapons, he careered in that battle like a circle of fire, and was, O
king, seen sometimes as a single individual, sometimes as a hundred, and
sometimes as a thousand ones. Confounding his foes by the skill with
which his car was guided and by the illusion caused by his weapons, he
cut in a hundred pieces, O monarch, the bodies of the kings (opposed to
him). By means of his sharp shafts the lives of living creatures were
despatched. These, O king attained to the other world while their bodies
fell down on the earth. Their bows, and steeds and charioteers, and
standards, and armies decked with Angadar, and heads, the son of Phalguni
cut off with his sharp shafts. Those hundred princes were slain and
felled by Subhadra’s son like a tope of five-year old mango-trees just on
the point of bearing fruit (laid low by a tempest). Beholding those
youthful princes brought up in every luxury, and resembling angry snakes
of virulent poison, all slain by the single-handed Abhimanyu, Duryodhana
was filled with fear. Seeing (his) car-warriors and elephants and steeds
and foot-soldiers crushed, the Kuru king quickly proceeded in wrath
against Abhimanyu. Continued for only a short space of time, the
unfinished battle between them became exceedingly fierce. Thy son then,
afflicted with Abhimanyu’s arrows, was obliged to turn back from the


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘That which thou tellest me, O Suta, about the
battle, fierce and terrible, between the one and the many, and the
victory of that illustrious one, that story of the prowess of Subhadra’s
son is highly wonderful and almost incredible. I do not, however, regard
it as a marvel that is absolutely beyond belief in the case of those that
have righteousness for their refuge. After Duryodhana was beaten back and
a hundred princes slain, what course was pursued by the warriors of my
army against the son of Subhadra?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Their mouths became dry, and eyes restless. Sweat covered
their bodies, and their hairs stood on their ends. Despairing of
vanquishing their foe, they became ready to leave the field. Abandoning
their wounded brothers and sires and sons and friends and relatives by
marriage and kinsmen they fled, urging their steeds and elephants to
their utmost speed. Beholding them broken and routed, Drona and Drona’s
son, and Vrihadvala, and Kripa, and Duryodhana, and Karna, and
Kritavarman, and Suvala’s son (Sakuni), rushed in great wrath against the
unvanquished son of Subhadra. Almost all these, O king, were beaten back
by thy grandson. Only one warrior then, viz., Lakshmana, brought up in
luxury, accomplished in arrows, endued with great energy, and fearless in
consequence of inexperience and pride, proceeded against the son of
Arjuna. Anxious about his son, his father (Duryodhana) turned back for
following him. Other mighty car warriors, turned back for following
Duryodhana. All of them then drenched Abhimanyu with showers of arrows,
like clouds pouring rain on the mountain-breast. Abhimanyu, however,
single-handed, began to crush them like the dry wind that blows in every
direction destroying gathering masses of clouds. Like one infuriated
elephant encountering another, Arjuna’s son then encountered thy
invincible grandson, Lakshmana, of great personal beauty, endued with
great bravery, staying near his father with outstretched bow, brought up
in every luxury, and resembling a second prince of the Yakshas[74].
Encountering Lakshmana, that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of
Subhadra, had his two arms and chest struck with his sharp shafts. Thy
grandson, the mighty-armed Abhimanyu then, filled with rage like a snake
struck (with a rod), addressing, O king, thy (other) grandson, said,
‘Look well on this world, for thou shalt (soon) have to go to the other.
In the very sight of all thy kinsmen, I will despatch thee to Yama’s
abode.’ Saying thus that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the mighty-armed
son of Subhadra, took out a broad-headed arrow that resembled a snake
just emerged from its slough. That shaft, sped by Abhimanyu’s arms, cut
off the beautiful head, decked with ear-rings, of Lakshmana, that was
graced with a beautiful nose, beautiful eye-brows, and exceedingly
good-looking curls. Beholding Lakshmana slain, thy troops uttered
exclamations of Oh and, Alas. Upon the slaughter of his dear son,
Duryodhana became filled with rage. That bull among Kshatriyas then
loudly urged the Kshatriyas under him, saying, ‘Slay this one!’ Then
Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and Drona’s son and Vrihadvala, and
Kritavarman, the son of Hridika,–these six car-warriors,—encompassed
Abhimanyu. Piercing them with sharp arrows and beating them off from him,
the son of Arjuna fell with great speed and fury upon the vast forces of
Jayadratha. Thereupon, the Kalingas, the Nishadas, and the valiant son of
Kratha, all clad in mail, cut off his path by encompassing him with their
elephant-division. The battle then that took place between Phalguni’s son
and those warriors was obstinate and fierce. Then the son of Arjuna began
to destroy that elephant-division as the wind coursing in every direction
destroys vast masses of gathering clouds in the welkin. Then Kratha
covered the son of Arjuna with showers of arrows, while many other
car-warriors headed by Drona, having returned to the field, rushed at
him, scattering sharp and mighty weapons. Checking all those weapons by
means of his own arrows, the son of Arjuna began to afflict the son of
Kratha with ceaseless showers of shafts, with great despatch and inspired
by the desire of slaying his antagonist. The latter’s bow and shafts, and
bracelets, and arms, and head decked with diadem, and umbrella, and
standard, and charioteer, and steeds, were all cut off and felled by
Abhimanyu. When Kratha’s son, possessed of nobility of lineage, good
behaviour, acquaintance with the scriptures, great strength, fame, and
power of arms, was slain, the other heroic combatants almost all turned
away from the fight.'”[75]


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘While the youthful and invincible son of Subhadra,
never retreating from battle, was, after penetrating into our array,
engaged in achieving feats worthy of his lineage, borne by his three-year
old steeds of great might and of the best breed, and apparently trotting
in the welkin, what heroes of my army encompassed him?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Having penetrated into our array, Abhimanyu of Pandu’s
race, by means of his sharp shafts, made all the kings turn away from the
fight. Then Drona, and Kripa, and Karna, and Drona’s son, and Vrihadvala
and Kritavarman, the son of Hridika,–these six
car-warriors,–encompassed him. As regards the other combatants of thy
army, beholding that Jayadratha had taken upon himself the heavy duty (of
keeping off the Pandavas), they supported him, O king, by rushing against
Yudhishthira.[76] Many amongst them, endued with great strength, drawing
their bows full six cubits long, showered on the heroic son of Subhadra
arrowy downpours like torrents of rain. Subhadra’s son, however, that
slayer of hostile heroes, paralysed by his shafts all those great bowmen,
conversant with every branch of learning. And he pierced Drona with fifty
arrows and Vrihadvala with twenty. And piercing Kritavarman with eighty
shafts, he pierced Kripa with sixty. And the son of Arjuna pierced
Aswatthaman with ten arrows equipped with golden wings, endued with great
speed and shot from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch. And the son of
Phalguni pierced Karna, in the midst of his foes, in one of his cars,
with a bright, well-tempered, and bearded arrow of great force. Felling
the steeds yoked to Kripa’s car, as also both his Parshni charioteers,
Abhimanyu pierced Kripa himself in the centre of the chest with ten
arrows. The mighty Abhimanyu, then, in the very sight of thy heroic sons,
slew the brave Vrindaraka, that enhancer of the fame of the Kurus. While
Abhimanyu was thus engaged in fearlessly slaying one after another the
foremost warriors among his enemies, Drona’s son Aswatthaman pierced him
with five and twenty small arrows. The son of Arjuna, however, in the
very sight of all the Dhartarashtras quickly pierced Aswatthaman in
return, O sire, with many whetted shafts. Drona’s son, however, in
return, piercing Abhimanyu. with sixty fierce arrows of great impetuosity
and keen sharpness, failed to make him tremble, for the latter, pierced
by Aswatthaman, stood immovable like the Mainaka mountain. Endued with
great energy, the mighty Abhimanyu then pierced his antagonist with three
and seventy straight arrows, equipped with wings of gold. Drona then,
desirous of rescuing his son, pierced Abhimanyu with a hundred arrows.
And Aswatthaman pierced him with sixty arrows, desirous of rescuing his
father. And Karna struck him with two and twenty broad-headed arrows and
Kritavarman struck him with four and ten. And Vrihadvala pierced him with
fifty such shafts, and Saradwata’s son, Kripa, with ten. Abhimanyu,
however, pierced each of these in return with ten shafts. The ruler of
the Kosala struck Abhimanyu, in the chest with a barbed arrow. Abhimanyu,
however, quickly felled on the earth his antagonist’s steeds and standard
and bow and charioteer. The ruler of the Kosalas, then, thus deprived of
his car, took up a sword and wished to sever from Abhimanyu’s trunk his
beautiful head, decked with ear-rings. Abhimanyu then pierced king
Vrihadvala, the ruler of the Kosalas, in the chest, with a strong arrow.
The latter then, with riven heart, fell down. Beholding this, ten
thousand illustrious kings broke and fled. Those kings, armed with swords
and bows, fled away, uttering words inimical (to king Duryodhana’s
Interest). Having slain[77] Vrihadvala thus, the son of Subhadra careered
it battle, paralysing thy warriors,—those great bowmen,–by means of
arrowy downpours, thick as rain.'”[78]


“Sanjaya said, ‘Phalguni’s son once more pierced Karna in the car with a
barbed arrow, and for angering him still further, he pierced him with
fifty other shafts. The son of Radha pierced Abhimanyu in return with as
many shafts. Covered all over with arrows, Abhimanyu, then, O sire,
looked exceedingly beautiful. Filled with rage, he caused Karna also to
be bathed in blood. Mangled with arrows and covered with blood, the brave
Karna also shone greatly.[79] Both of them pierced with arrows, both
bathed in blood, those illustrious warriors then resembled a couple of
flowering Kinsukas. The son of Subhadra then slew six of Karna’s brave
counsellors, conversant with all modes of warfare, with their steeds and
charioteers and cars. As regards other great bowmen Abhimanyu fearlessly
pierced each of them in return, with ten arrows. That feat of his seemed
highly wonderful. Slaying next the son of the ruler of the Magadhas,
Abhimanyu, with six straight shafts, slew the youthful Aswaketu with his
four steeds and charioteer. Then slaying, with a sharp razor-headed
arrow, the Bhoja prince of Martikavata, bearing the device of an elephant
(on his banner), the son of Arjuna uttered a loud shout and began to
scatter his shafts on all sides. Then the son of Duhsasana pierced the
four steeds of Abhimanyu with four shafts, his charioteer with one and
Abhimanyu himself with ten. The son of Arjuna, then, piercing Duhsasana’s
son with ten fleet shafts, addressed him in a loud tone and with eyes red
in wrath, said, ‘Abandoning the battle, thy sire hath fled like a coward.
It is well thou knowest how to fight. Thou shalt not, however, escape
today with life.’ Saying these words unto him, Abhimanyu sped a long
arrow, well polished by smith’s hand, at his foe. The son of Drona cut
that arrow with three shafts of his own. Leaving Aswatthaman alone,
Arjuna’s son struck Salya, in return, fearlessly pierced him in the chest
with highly nine shafts, equipped with vulture’s feathers. That feat
seemed highly wonderful. The son of Arjuna then cut off Salya’s bow and
slew both his Parshni charioteers. Abhimanyu then pierced Salya himself
with six shafts made wholly of iron. Thereupon, the latter, leaving that
steedless car, mounted another. Abhimanyu then slew five warriors., named
Satrunjaya, and Chandraketu, and Mahamegba, and Suvarchas, and
Suryabhasa. He then pierced Suvala’s son. The latter piercing Abhimanyu
with three arrows, said unto Duryodhana, ‘Let us all together grind this
one, else, fighting singly with us he will slay us all. O king, think of
the means of slaying this one, taking counsel with Drona and Kripa and
others.’ The Karna, the son of Vikartana, said unto Drona, ‘Abhimanyu
grindeth us all. Tell us the means by which we may slay him.’ Thus
addressed, the mighty bowman, Drona, addressing them all, said,
‘Observing him with vigilance, have any of you been able to detect any
defeat in this youth? He is careening in all directions. Yet have any of
you been able to detect today the least hole in him? Behold the lightness
of hand and quickness of motion of this lion among men, this son of
Arjuna. In the track of his car, only his bow drawn to a circle can be
seen, so quickly is he aiming his shafts and so quickly is he letting
them off. Indeed, this slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of
Subhadra, gratifieth me although he afflicteth my vital breath and
stupefieth me with shafts. Even the mightiest car-warriors, filled with
wrath, are unable to detect any flaw in him. The son of Subhadra,
therefore, careering on the field of battle, gratifieth me greatly. I do
not see that in battle there is any difference between the wielder of
Gandiva himself and this one of great lightness of hand, filling all the
points of the horizon with his mighty shafts.’ Hearing these words,
Karna, afflicted with the shafts of Arjuna’s son, once more said unto
Drona, ‘Exceedingly afflicted with the shafts of Abhimanyu, I am staying
in battle, only because (as a warrior) I should stay here. Indeed, the
arrows of this south of great energy are exceedingly fierce. Terrible as
they are and possessed of the energy of fire, these arrows are weakening
my heart.’ The preceptor then, slowly and with a smile, said unto Karna,
‘Abhimanyu is young, his prowess is great. His coat of mail is
impenetrable. This one’s father had been taught by me the method of
wearing defensive armour. This subjugator of hostile towns assuredly
knoweth the entire science (of wearing armour). With shafts well shot,
you can, however, cut off his bow, bow-string, the reins of his steeds,
the steeds themselves, and two Parshni charioteers. O mighty bowman, O
son of Radha, if competent, do this. Making him turn back from the fight
(by this means), strike him then. With his bow in hand he is incapable of
being vanquished by the very gods and the Asuras together. If you wish,
deprive him of his car, and divest him of his bow.’. Hearing these words
of the preceptor, Vikartana’s son Karna quickly cut off, by means of his
shafts, the bow of Abhimanyu, as the latter was shooting with great
activity. He, of Bhoja’s race (viz., Kritavarman) then slew his steeds,
and Kripa slew his two Parshni charioteers. The others covered him with
showers of arrows after he had been divested of his bow. Those six great
car-warriors, with great speed, when speed was so necessary, ruthlessly
covered that carless youth, fighting single-handed with them, with
showers of arrows. Bowless and carless, with an eye, however, to his duty
(as a warrior), handsome Abhimanyu, taking up a sword and a shield,
jumped into the sky. Displaying great strength and great activity, and
describing the tracks called Kausika and others, the son of Arjuna
fiercely coursed through the sky, like the prince of winged creatures
(viz., Garuda.). ‘He may fall upon me sword in hand,’ with such thoughts,
those mighty bowmen, were on the lookout for the laches of Abhimanyu, and
began to pierce him in that battle, with their gaze turned upwards. Then
Drona of mighty energy, that conqueror of foes with a sharp arrow quickly
cut off the hilt, decked with gems, of Abhimanyu’s sword. Radha’s son
Karna, with sharp shafts, cut off his excellent shield. Deprived of his
sword and shield thus, he came down, with sound limbs, from the welkin
upon the earth. Then taking up a car-wheel, he rushed in wrath against
Drona. His body bright with the dust of car-wheels, and himself holding
the car-wheel in his upraised arms, Abhimanyu looked exceedingly
beautiful, and imitating Vasudeva (with his discus), became awfully
fierce for a while in that battle. His robes dyed with the blood flowing
(from his wounds), his brow formidable with the wrinkles visible thereon,
himself uttering loud leonine roars, lord Abhimanyu of immeasurable
might, staying in the midst of those kings, looked exceedingly
resplendent on the field of battle.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘That joy of Vishnu’s sister (viz., Abhimanyu), that
Atiratha, decked with the weapons of Vishnu himself, looked exceedingly
beautiful on the field of battle and looked like a second Janardana. With
the end of his locks waving in the air, with that supreme weapon upraised
in his hands, his body became incapable of being looked at by the very
gods. The kings beholding it and the wheel in his hands, became filled
with anxiety, and cut that off in a hundred fragments. Then that great
car-warrior, the son of Arjuna, took up a mighty mace. Deprived by them
of his bow and car and sword, and divested also of his wheel by his foes,
the mighty-armed Abhimanyu (mace in hand) rushed against Aswatthaman.
Beholding that mace upraised, which looked like the blazing thunderbolt,
Aswatthaman, that tiger among men, rapidly alighted from his car and took
three (long) leaps (for avoiding Abhimanyu). Slaying Aswatthaman’s steeds
and two Parshni charioteers with that mace of his, Subhadra’s son,
pierced all over with arrows, looked like a porcupine. Then that hero
pressed Suvala’s son, Kalikeya, down into the earth, and stew seven and
seventy Gandhara followers of the latter. Next, he slew ten car-warriors
of the Brahma-Vasatiya race, and then ten huge elephants. Proceeding next
towards the car of Duhsasana’s son, he crushed the latter’s car and
steeds, pressing them down into the earth. The invincible son of
Duhsasan, then, O sire, taking up his mace, rushed at Abhimanyu. saying,
‘Wait, Wait!’ Then those cousins, those two heroes, with upraised maces,
began to strike each other, desirous of achieving each other’s death,
like three-eyed (Mahadeva) and (the Asura) Andhaka in the days of old. I
ach of those chastisers of foes, struck with the other’s mace-ends fell
down on the earth, like two uprooted standards erected to the honour of
Indra. Then Duhsasana’s son, that enhancer of the fame of the Kurus,
rising up first, struck Abhimanyu with the mace on the crown of his head,
as the latter, was on the point of rising. Stupefied with the violence of
that stroke as also with the fatigue he had undergone, that slayer of
hostile hosts, viz., the son of Subhadra, fell on the earth, deprived of
his senses. Thus, O king, was one slain by many in battle,–one who had
ground the whole army, like an elephant grinding lotus-stalks in a lake.
As he lay dead on the field, the heroic Abhimanyu looked like a wild
elephant slain by the hunters, The fallen hero was then surrounded by thy
troops. And he looked like an extinguished fire in the summer season
after (as it lies) having consumed a whole forest, or like a tempest
divested of its fury after having crushed mountain crests;[80] or like
the sun arrived at the western hills after having blasted with his heat
the Bharata host; or like Soma swallowed up by Rahu; or like the ocean
reft of water. The mighty car-warriors of thy army beholding Abhimanyu
whose face had the splendour of the full moon, and whose eyes were
rendered beautiful in consequence of lashes black as the feathers of the
raven, lying prostrate on the bare earth, were filled with great joy. And
they repeatedly uttered leonine shouts. Indeed, O monarch, thy troops
were in transports of joy, while tears fell fast from the eyes of the
Pandava heroes. Beholding the heroic Abhimanyu lying on the field of
battle, like the moon dropped from the firmament, diverse creatures, O
king, in the welkin, said aloud, ‘Alas, this one lieth on the field,
slain, while fighting singly, by six mighty car-warriors of the
Dhartarashtra army, headed by Drona and Karna. This act hath been, we
hold, an unrighteous one.’ Upon the slaughter of that hero, the earth
looked exceedingly resplendent like the star-bespangled firmament with
the moon. Indeed, the earth was strewn with shafts equipped with wings of
gold, and covered with waves of blood. And strewn with the beautiful
heads of heroes, decked with ear-rings and variegated turbans of great
value, and banner and yak-tails and beautiful blankets, and begemmed
weapons of great efficacy, and the bright ornaments of cars and steeds,
and men and elephants, and sharp and well-tempered swords, looking like
snakes freed from their sloughs, and bows, and broken shafts, and darts,
and swords, and lances, and Kampanas, and diverse other kinds of weapons,
she assumed a beautiful aspect. And in consequence of the steeds dead or
dying, but all weltering in blood, with their riders (lying about them),
felled by Subhadra’s son, the earth in many places became impassable. And
with iron hooks, and elephants–huge as hills–equipped with shields and
weapons and standards, lying about, crushed with shafts, with excellent
cars deprived of steeds and charioteers and car-warriors, lying scattered
on the earth, crushed by elephants and looking like agitated lakes, with
large bodies of foot-soldiers decked with diverse weapons and lying dead
on the ground, the field of battle, wearing a terrible aspect, inspired
all timid hearts with terror.

“Beholding Abhimanyu, resplendent as the sun or the moon, lying on the
ground, thy troops were in transport of joy, while Pandavas were filled
with grief. When youthful Abhimanyu, yet in his minority, fell, the
Pandava divisions, O king, fled away in the very sight of king
Yudhishthira. Beholding his army breaking upon the fall of Subhadra’s
son, Yudhishthira addressed his brave warriors, slaying, ‘The heroic
Abhimanyu, who without retreating from battle hath been slain, hath
certainly ascended to heaven. Stay then, and fear not, for we shall yet
vanquish our foes.’ Endued with great energy and great splendour, king
Yudhishthira the just, that foremost of warriors, saying such words unto
his soldiers inspired with grief, endeavoured to dispel their stupor. The
king continued, ‘Having in the first instance, slain in battle hostile
princes, resembling snakes of virulent poison, the son of Arjuna hath
then given up his life. Having slain ten thousand warriors, viz., the
king of the Kosalas, Abhimanyu, who was even like Krishna or Arjuna
himself, hath assuredly gone to the abode of Indra. Having destroyed cars
and steeds and men and elephants by thousands, he was still not content
with what he did. Performing as he did such meritorious feats, we should
not certainly grieve for him, he hath gone to the bright regions of the
righteous, regions that men acquire by meritorious deeds.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Having thus slain one of their foremost warriors, and
having been afflicted with their arrows, we came back to our encampment
in the evening, covered with blood. Steadfastly gazed at by the enemy, we
slowly left, O monarch, the field of battle, having sustained a severe
loss and nearly deprived of our senses. Then came that wonderful hour
intervening between day and night. Inauspicious howls of jackals were
heard. The sun, with the pale-red hue of the filaments of the
lotus,–sank low in the horizon, having approached the western hills. And
he took away with him the splendour of our swords and darts, rapiers and
car-fences, and shields and ornaments. Causing the firmament and the
earth to assume the same hue, the sun assumed his favourite form of fire.
The field of battle was strewn with the motionless bodies of innumerable
elephants deprived of life, Looking like crests of cloud-capped hills
riven by the thunder, and lying about with their standards and hooks and
riders fallen from their backs. The earth looked beautiful with large
cars crushed to pieces, and with their warriors and charioteers and
ornaments and steeds and standards and banners crushed, broken and torn.
Those huge cars, O king, looked like living creatures deprived of their
lives by the foe with his shafts. The field of battle assumed a fierce
and awful aspect in consequence of large number of steeds and riders all
lying dead, with costly trappings and blankets of diverse kinds scattered
about, and tongues and teeth and entrails and eyes of those creatures
bulging out of their places. Men decked with costly coats of mail and
ornaments and robes and weapons, deprived of life, lay with slain steeds
and elephants and broken cars, on the bare ground, perfectly helpless,
although deserving of costly beds and blankets. Dogs and jackals, and
crown and cranes and other carnivorous birds, and wolves and hyenas, and
ravens and other food-drinking creatures, all diverse tribes of
Rakshasas, and large number of Pisachas, on the field of battle, tearing
the skins of the corpse and drinking their fat, blood and marrow, began
to eat their flesh. And they began to suck also the secretions of rotten
corpses, while the Rakshasas laughed horribly and sang aloud, dragging
dead bodies numbering thousands. An awful river, difficult to cross, like
the Vaitarani itself, was caused there by foremost of warriors. Its
waters were constituted by the blood (of fallen creatures). Cars
constituted the rafts (or, which to cross it), elephants formed its
rocks, and the heads of human beings, its smaller stones. And it was miry
with the flesh (of slain steeds and elephants and men). And diverse kinds
of costly weapons constituted the garlands (floating on it or lying on
its banks). And that terrible river flowed fiercely through the middle of
the field of battle, wafting living creatures to the regions of the dead.
And large numbers of Pisachas, of horrible and repulsive forms, rejoiced,
drinking and eating in that stream. And dogs and jackals and carnivorous
birds, all eating of the same food, and inspiring living creatures with
terror, held their high carnival there. And the warriors, gazing on that
field of battle which, enhancing the population of Yama’s domain,
presented such an awful sight, and where human corpses rising up, began
to dance, slowly left it as they beheld the mighty car-warrior Abhimanyu
who resembled Sakra himself, lying on the field, his costly ornaments
displaced and fallen off, and looking like a sacrificial fire on the
altar no longer drenched with clarified butter.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After the slaughter of that hero, that leader of
car-divisions, viz., the son of Subhadra, the Pandava warriors, leaving
their cars and putting off their armour, and throwing aside their Lows,
sat, surrounding king Yudhishthira. And they were brooding over that
grief of theirs, their hearts fixed upon the (deceased) Abhimanyu.
Indeed, upon the fall of that heroic nephew of his, viz., the mighty
car-warrior Abhimanyu, king Yudhishthira, overwhelmed with grief,
indulged in (these) lamentations: ‘Alas, Abhimanyu, from desire of
achieving my good, pierced the array formed by Drona and teeming with his
soldiers. Encountering him in battle, mighty bowmen endued with great
courage, accomplished in weapons and incapable of being easily defeated
in battle, were routed and forced to retreat. Encountering our implacable
foe Duhsasana in battle, he with his arrows, caused that warrior to fly
away from the field, deprived of his senses. Alas, the heroic son of
Arjuna, having crossed the vast sea of Drona’s army, was ultimately
obliged to become a guest of Yama’s abode, upon encountering the son of
Duhsasana. When Abhimanyu is slain, how shall I cast my eyes on Arjuna
and also the blessed Subhadra deprived of her favourite son? What
senseless, disjointed, and improper words shall we have to say today unto
Hrishikesa and Dhananjaya! Desirous of achieving what is good, and
expectant of victory, it is I who have done this great evil unto Subhadra
and Kesava and Arjuna. He that is covetous never beholdth his faults.
Covetousness spring from folly. Collectors of honey see not the fall that
is before them; I am even like them. He who was only a child, he who
should have been provided with (good) food, with vehicles, with beds,
with ornaments, alas, even he was placed by us in the van of battle. How
could good come to a child of tender years, unskilled in battle, in such
a situation of great danger. Like a horse on proud mettle, he sacrificed
himself instead of refusing to do the bidding of his master. Alas, we
also shall today lay ourselves down on the bare earth, blasted by the
glances of grief, cast by Arjuna filled with wrath. Dhananjaya liberal,
intelligent, modest, forgiving, handsome, mighty, possessed of
well-developed and beautiful limbs, respectful to superiors, heroic,
beloved, and devoted to truth; of glorious achievements’ the very gods
applaud his feats. That valiant hero slew the Nivatakavachas and the
Kalakeyas, those enemies of Indra having their abode in Hiranyapura. In
the twinkling of an eye he slew the Paulomas with all their followers.
Endued with great might, he granteth quarter to implacable enemies asking
for quarter! Alas, we could not protect today the son of even such a
person from danger. A great fear hath overtaken the Dhartarashtras endued
though they might be with great strength![81] Enraged at the slaughter of
his son, Partha will exterminate the Kauravas. It is evident also that
the mean-minded Duryodhana having mean counsellors, that destroyer of his
own race and partisans, beholding this extermination of the Kaurava army,
will give up his life in grief. Beholding this son of Indra’s son, of
unrivalled energy and prowess, on the field of battle, neither victory,
nor sovereignty, nor immortality, nor abode with the very celestials,
causeth me the least delight!'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘While Kunti’s son, Yudhishthira, was indulging in such
lamentations, the great Rishi Krishna Dwaipayana came to him. Worshipping
him duly, and causing him to be seated, Yudhishthira, afflicted with
grief on account of the death of his brother’s son, said, ‘Alas, while
battling with many mighty bowmen, the son of Subhadra, surrounded by
several great car-warriors of unrighteous propensities, hath been slain
on the field. The slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Subhadra, was a
child in years and of childish understanding.[82] He fought in battle
against desperate odds. I asked him to open a passage for us in battle.
He penetrated within the hostile army, but we could not follow him,
obstructed by the ruler of the Sindhus. Alas, they that betake themselves
to battle as a profession, always fight with antagonists equally
circumstanced with themselves. This battle, however, that the enemy
fought with Abhimanyu, was an extremely unequal one. It is that which
grieves me greatly and draws tears from me. Thinking of this, I fail to
regain peace of mind.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘The illustrious Vyasa, addressing Yudhishthira who
was indulging in such lamentations and who was thus unmanned by an
accession of sorrow, said these words.’

“Vyasa said, ‘O Yudhishthira, O thou of great wisdom, O thou that art
master of all branches of knowledge, persons like thee never suffer
themselves to be stupefied by calamities. This brave youth, having slain
numerous foes hath ascended to heaven. Indeed, that best of persons,
(though a child), acted, however, like one of matured years. O
Yudhishthira, this law is incapable of being transgressed. O Bharata,
Death takes all viz., Gods and Dhanavas and Gandharvas (without

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Alas, these lords of earth, that lie on the bare
earth, slain in the midst of their forces, bereft of consciousness, were
possessed of great might. Others (of their class) possessed strength
equal to that of ten thousand elephants. Others, again, were endued with
the impetuosity and might of the very wind. They have all perished in
battle, slain by men of their own class. I do not behold the person (save
one of their own class) who could slay any of them in battle. Endued with
great prowess, they were possessed of great energy and great might. Alas,
they who used daily to come to battle with this hope firmly implanted in
their hearts, viz., that they would conquer, alas even they, possessed of
great wisdom, are lying on a field, struck (with weapons) and deprived of
life. The significance of the word Death hath today been made
intelligible, for these lords of earth, of terrible prowess, have almost
all been dead. Those heroes are lying motionless; reft of vanity, having
succumbed to foes. Many princes, filled with wrath, have been victimised
before the fire (of their enemies’ wrath). A great doubt possesses me,
viz., whence is Death? Whose (offspring) is Death? What is Death? Why
does Death take away creatures? O grandsire, O thou that resemblest a
god, tell me this.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Unto Kunti’s son, Yudhishthira, asking him thus, the
illustrious Rishi, comforting him, said these words.’

“Vyasa said, As regards the matter in hand, O king, this ancient story of
what Narada had in days of old said unto Akampana is cited. King
Akampana, O monarch, I know, while in this world was afflicted with very
great and unbearable grief on account of the death of his son, I will now
tell these the excellent story about the origin of Death. Having listened
to it, thou wilt be emancipated from sorrow and the touch of affection’s
tie. Listen to me, O sire, as I recite this ancient history. This history
is, indeed, excellent. It enhanceth the period of life, killeth grief and
conduceth to health. It is sacred, destructive of large bodies of foes,
and auspicious of all auspicious things. Indeed, this history is even as
the study of the Vedas. O monarch, it should every morning be listened to
by the foremost of kings who are desirous of longlived children and their
own good.

“In days of old, O sire, there was a king named Akampana. Once, on the
field of battle, he was surrounded by his foes and nearly overpowered by
them. He had a son who was called Hari. Equal to Narayana himself in
might, that latter was exceedingly handsome, accomplished in weapons,
gifted with great intelligence, possessed of might, resembled Sakra
himself in battle. Encompassed by countless foes on the field of battle,
he sped thousands of shafts at those warriors and the elephants that
surrounded him. Having achieved the most difficult feats in battle, O
Yudhishthira, that scorcher of foes was, at last, slain in the midst of
the army. Performing the obsequies of his son, king Akampana cleansed
himself.[83] Grieving, however, for his son day and night, the king
failed to regain happiness of mind. Informed of his grief on account of
the death of his son, the celestial Rishi Narada came to his presence.
The blessed king, beholding the celestial Rishi, told the latter
everything that had happened unto him, viz., his defeat at the hands of
his foes, and the slaughter of his son. And the king said, ‘My son was
endued with great energy, and equalled Indra or Vishnu himself in
splendour. That mighty son of mine, having displayed his prowess on the
field against countless foes was at last slain! O illustrious one, who is
this Death? What is the measure of his energy, strength and prowess? O
foremost of intelligent persons, I desire to hear all this truly.’
Hearing these words of his, the boon giving lord, Narada., recited the
following elaborate history, destructive of grief on account of a son’s

“Narada said. ‘Listen, O mighty-armed king, to this long history, exactly
as I have heard it, O monarch! In the beginning, the Grandsire Brahma
created all creatures. Endued with mighty energy, he saw that the
creation bore no signs of decay. Thereat, O king, the Creator began to
think about the destruction of the universe. Reflecting on the matter, O
monarch, the Creator failed to find any means of destruction. He then
became angry, and in consequence of his anger a fire sprang from the sky.
That fire spread in all directions for consuming everything of the
universe. Then heaven, sky, and earth, all became filled with fire. And
thus the Creator began to consume the whole mobile and immobile universe.
Thereby all creatures, mobile and immobile, were destroyed. Indeed, the
mighty Brahma, frightening everything by the force of his wrath, did all
this, Then Hara, otherwise called Sthanu or Siva, with matted locks on
his head, that Lord of all wanderers of the night, appealed to the divine
Brahma, the Lord of the gods. When Sthanu fell (at Brahma’s feet) from a
desire of doing good to all creatures, the Supreme Deity to that greatest
of ascetics, blazing with splendour, said, ‘What wish of thine shall we
accomplish, O thou that deservest to have all thy wishes fulfilled? O
thou that hast been born of our wish! We shall do all that may be
agreeable to thee! Tell us, O Sthanu, what is thy wish?'”


“Sthanu said, ‘O lord, thou hadst taken great care for creating diverse
creatures. Indeed, creatures of diverse kinds were created and reared by
thee. Those very creatures, again, are now being consumed through thy
fire. Seeing this, I am filled with compassion. O illustrious lord, be
inclined to grace.’

“Brahma said, ‘I had no desire of destroying the universe, I desired good
of the earth, and it was for this that wrath possessed me. The goddess
Earth, afflicted with the heavy weight of creatures, always urged me for
destroying the creatures on her. Urged by her, I could not however, find
any means for the destruction of the infinite creation. At this wrath
possessed me.’

“Rudra said, ‘Be inclined to grace. O lord of the universe, cherish not
the wrath for the destruction of creatures. No more let creatures,
immobile and mobile, be destroyed. Through thy grace, O illustrious one,
let the threefold universe, viz., the Future, the Past, and the Present
exist. Thou, O Lord, hadst blazed up with wrath. From that wrath of
thine, a substance like fire sprang into existence, That fire is even now
blasting rocks and trees and rivers, and all kinds of herbs and grass.
Indeed, that fire is exterminating the immobile and the mobile universe.
The mobile and the immobile universe is being reduced to ashes. Be
inclined to grace, O illustrious one! Do not give way to wrath. Even this
is the boon I solicit, All created things, O divine Being, belonging to
thee, are being destroyed. Therefore, let thy wrath be appeased. Let it
be annihilated in thy own self. Cast thy eye on thy creatures, inspired
with the desire of doing them good. Do that by which creatures endued
with life may not cease to be. Let not these creatures, with their
productive powers weakened be exterminated. O Creator of the worlds, thou
hast appointed me their Protector, O Lord of the universe, let not the
mobile and the immobile universe to be destroyed. Thou art inclined to
grace, and it is for this that I say these words unto thee.’

“Narada continued, Hearing these words (of Mahadeva) the divine Brahma,
from desire of benefiting creatures, held in his own inner self his wrath
that had been roused. Extinguishing the fire, the divine Benefactor of
the world, the great Master, declared the duties of Production and
Emancipation. And while the Supreme Deity exterminated that fire born of
his wrath, there came out from the doors of his diverse senses a female
who was dark and red and tawny, whose tongue and face and eyes were red,
and who was decked with two brilliant ear-rings and diverse other
brilliant ornaments. Issuing out of his body, she smilingly looked at
those two lords of the universe and then set out for the southern
quarter, Then Brahma, that controller of the creation and destruction of
the worlds, called after her by the name of Death. And Brahma, O king,
said unto her, ‘Slay these creatures of mine! Thou hast been born of that
wrath of mine which I cherished for the destruction (of the universe). By
doing this, kill all creatures including idiots and seers at my command.
By doing this, thou wilt be benefited.’ Thou lotus-lady, called Death,
thus addressed by him reflected deeply, and then helplessly wept aloud in
melodious accents. The Grandsire then caught the tears she had shed, with
his two hands, for the benefit of all creatures, and began to implore her
(with these words).’


“Narada said, ‘The helpless lady, suppressing her arrow within her own
self, addressed, with joined hands, the Lord of the creation, bending
with humility like a creeper. And she said, O foremost of speakers,
created by thee how shall I, being a female, do such a cruel and evil act
knowing it to be cruel and evil? I fear unrighteousness greatly. O divine
Lord, be inclined to grace. Sons and friends and brothers and sires and
husbands are always dear; (if I kill them), they who will suffer these
losses will seek to injure me. It is this that I fear. The tears that
will fall from the eyes of woe-stricken and weeping persons, inspire me
with fear, O Lord! I seek thy protection. O divine Being, O foremost of
gods, I will not go to Yama’s abode. O boon-giving one, I implore thee or
thy grace, bowing my head and joining my palms. O grandsire of the
worlds, I solicit (the accomplishment of even) this wish at thy
hands![84] I desire, with thy permission, to undergo ascetic penances, O
Lord of created things! Grant me this boon, O divine Being, O great
master! Permitted by thee, I will go to the excellent asylum of Dhenuka!
Engaged in adoring Thyself, I will undergo the severest austerities
there. I will not be able, O Lord of the gods, to take away the dear
life-breaths of living creatures weeping in sorrow. Protect me from

“Brahma said, ‘O Death, thou hast been intended for achieving the
destruction of creatures. Go, destroy all creatures, thou needst have no
scruples. Even this must be. It cannot be otherwise. Do but my behest.
Nobody in the world will find any fault in thee.’

“Narada continued, ‘Thus addressed, that lady became very much
affrighted.[85] Looking at Brahma’s face, she stood with joined hands.
From desire of doing good to creatures, she did not set her heart upon
their destruction. The divine Brahma also, that Lord of the lord of all
creatures, remained silent. And soon the Grandsire became gratified in
his own self. And casting his eyes upon all the creation he smiled. And,
thereupon, creatures continued to live as before i.e., unaffected by
premature death. And upon that, invincible and illustrious Lord having
shaken off his wrath, that damsel left the presence of that wise Deity.
Leaving Brahma, without having agreed to destroy creatures, the damsel
called Death speedily proceeded to the retreat called Dhenuka. Arrived
there, she practised excellent and highly austere vows. And she stood
there on one leg for sixteen billions of years, and five times ten
billions also, through pity for living creatures and from desire of doing
them good, and all the time restraining her senses from their favourite
objects. And once again, O king she stood there on one leg for one and
twenty times ten billions of years. And then she wandered for ten times
ten thousand billions of years with the creatures (of the earth), Next,
repairing to the sacred Nanda that was full of cool and pure water, she
passed in those waters eight thousand years. Observing rigid vows at
Nanda, she cleansed herself of all her sins. Then she proceeded, first of
all, to the sacred Kausiki, observant of vow. Living upon air and water
only, she practised austerities there, Repairing then to Panchaganga and
next to Vetasa, that cleansed damsel, by diverse kinds of especial
austerities, emaciated her own body. Going next to the Ganga and thence
to the great Meru, she remained motionless like a stone, suspending her
life-breath. Thence going to the top of Himavat, where the gods had
performed their sacrifice (in days of yore), that amiable and auspicious
girl remained for a billion of years standing on the toe only of her
feet. Wending then to Pushkara, and Gokarna, and Naimisha, and Malaya,
she emaciated her body, practising austerities agreeable to her heart.
Without acknowledging any other god, with steady devotion to the
Grandsire, she lived and gratified the Grandsire in every way. Then the
unchangeable Creator of the worlds, gratified said unto her, with a
softened and delighted heart. ‘O Death, why dost thou undergo ascetic
austerities so severe?’ Thus addressed, Death said unto the divine
Grandsire, ‘Creatures, O Lord, are living in health. They do not injure
one another even by words. I shall not be able to slay them. O Lord, I
desire even this boon at thy hands. I fear sin, and it is for this that I
am engaged in ascetic austerities. O blessed one, undertake to remove for
ever my fears. I am a woman, in distress, and without fault. I beg thee,
be thou protector. Unto her the divine Brahman acquainted with the past,
the present and the future, said, ‘Thou shalt commit no sin, O Death, by
slaying these creatures. My words can never be futile., O amiable one!
Therefore, O auspicious damsel, slay these creatures of four kinds.
Eternal virtue shall always be thine. That Regent of the world, viz.,
Yama, and the diverse disease shall become thy helpmates. I myself and
all the gods will grant thee boons, so that, freed from sin and perfectly
cleansed, thou mayst even acquire glory.’ Thus addressed, O monarch, that
lady, joining her hands, once more said these words, seeking her grace by
bowing down unto him with her head, If, O Lord, this is not to be without
me, then thy command I place upon my head. Listen, however, to what I
say, Let covetousness, wrath, malice, jealousy, quarrel, folly and
shamelessness, and other stern passions tear the bodies of all embodied

“Brahman said, ‘It will be, O Death, as thou sayest. Meanwhile, slay
creatures duly. Sin shall not be thine, nor shall I seek to injure thee,
O auspicious one. Those tear-drops of thine that are in my hands, even
they will become diseases, springing from living creatures themselves.
They will kill men; and if men are killed, sin shall not be thine.
Therefore, do not fear, Indeed, sin shall not be thine. Devoted to
righteousness, and observant of thy duty, thou shalt sway (all
creatures). Therefore, take thou always the fives of these living
creatures. Casting off both desire and wrath, take thou the life of all
living creatures. Even thus will eternal virtue be thine. Sin will stay
those that are of wicked behaviour. By doing my bidding cleanse thyself.
It will be thine to sink them in their sins that are wicked. Therefore,
cast off both desire and wrath, and kill these creatures endued with

“Narada continued, ‘That damsel, seeing that she was (persistently)
called by the name of Death, feared (to act otherwise). And in terror
also of Brahma’s curse, she said, ‘Yes!’ Unable to do otherwise, she
began, casting off desire and wrath, to take the lives of living
creatures when the time came (for their dissolution). It is only living
creatures that die. Diseases spring from living creatures themselves.
Disease is the abnormal condition of creatures. They are pained by it.
Therefore, indulge not in fruitless grief for creatures after they are
dead. The senses, upon the death of creatures, go with the latter (to the
other world), and achieving their (respective) functions, once more come
back (with creatures when the latter are reborn). Thus all creatures, O
lion among beings, the very gods included going, thither, have to act,
like mortals.[86] The wind, that is awful, of terrible roars and great
strength, omnipresent and endued with infinite energy, it is the wind
that will rive the bodies of living creatures. It will, in this matter
put forth no active energy, nor will it suspend its functions; (but do
this naturally). Even all the gods have the appellation of mortals
attached to them. Therefore, O lion among kings, do not grieve for thy
son! Repairing to heaven, the son of thy body is passing his days in
perpetual happiness, having obtained those delightful regions that are
for heroes. Casting off all sorrows, he hath attained to the
companionship of the righteous. Death hath been ordained by the Creator
himself for all creatures! When their hour comes, creatures are destroyed
duly. The death of creatures arises from the creatures themselves.
Creatures kill themselves. Death doth not kill any one, armed with her
bludgeon! Therefore, they that are wise, truly knowing death to be
inevitable, because ordained by Brahma himself, never grieve for
creatures that are dead. Knowing this death to be ordained by the Supreme
God, cast off, without delay; thy grief for thy dead son!’

“Vyasa continued, ‘Hearing these words of grave import spoken by Narada,
king Akampana, addressing his friend, said, ‘O illustrious one, O
foremost of Rishi, my grief is gone, and I am contented. Hearing this
history from thee, I am grateful to thee and I worship thee.’ That
foremost of superior Rishi, that celestial ascetic of immeasurable soul,
thus addressed by the king, proceeded to the woods of Nandava. The
frequent recital of this history for the hearing of others, as also the
frequent hearing of this history, is regarded as cleansing, leading to
fame and heaven and worthy of approbation. It enhanceth besides, the
period of life. Having listened to this instructive story, cast off thy
grief, O Yudhishthira, reflecting besides or, the duties of a Kshatriya
and the high state (of blessedness) attainable by heroes. Abhimanyu, that
mighty car-warrior, endued with mighty energy, having slain (numerous)
foes before the gaze of all bowmen, hath attained to heaven. The great
bowman, that mighty car-warrior, struggling on the field, hath fallen in
the battle struck with sword and mace and dart, and bow. Sprung from
Soma, he hath disappeared in the lunar essence, cleansed of all his
impurities. Therefore, O son of Pandu, mustering all thy fortitude.
thyself with thy brothers, without allowing your senses to be stupefied
speedily set out, inflamed with rage, for battle.'”[87]


“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing of the origin of Death and her strange acts, king
Yudhishthira, humbly addressing Vyasa, once more said these words unto

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Many kings there were in blessed countries, of
righteous deeds and of prowess equal to that of Indra himself. They were
royal sages, O regenerate one, that were sinless and truth-speaking. Once
more, address me in words of grave import, and console me with (accounts
of) the feats of those royal sages of ancient times. What was the measure
of the sacrificial gifts made by them? Who were those high-souled royal
sages of righteous deeds that made them? Tell me all this, O illustrious

“Vyasa said, ‘There was a king of the name of Switya. He had a son who
was called Srinjaya. The Rishis Narada and Parvata were his friends. One
day, the two ascetics, for paying Srinjaya a visit, came to his palace.
Duly worshipped by Srinjaya, they became pleased with him, and continued
to live with him happily. Once on a time as Srinjaya was seated at his
case with the two ascetics, his beautiful daughter of sweet smiles came
to him. Saluted with reverence by his daughter, Srinjaya delighted that
girl standing by his side with proper benedictions of the kind she
desired. Beholding that maiden, Parvata smilingly asked Srinjaya, saying,
‘Whose daughter is this damsel of restless glances and possessed of every
auspicious mark? Is she the splendour of Surya, or the flame of Agni? Or,
is she any of these, viz., Sri, Hri, Kirti, Dhriti, Pushti, Siddhi, and
the splendour of Soma?’ After the celestial Rishi (Parvata) said these
words, king Srinjaya answered, saying, ‘O illustrious one, this girl is
my daughter. She beggeth my blessings.’ Then Narada addressed king
Srinjaya and said. ‘If, O monarch, thou wishest for great good (to
thyself), then give this daughter of thine unto me for a wife.’ Delighted
(with the Rishi’s proposal), Srinjaya addressed Narada, saying, ‘I give
her unto thee.’ At this, the other Rishi, viz., Parvata, indignantly
addressed Narada, saying, ‘Chosen before this by me, within my heart,
thou hast taken this damsel as thy wife. And since thou hast done this,
thou, O Brahmana, shalt not go to heaven as thy will.’ Thus addressed by
him, Narada answered him, saying, ‘The husband’s heart and speech
(directed thereto), (the giver’s) consent, the speeches (of both), the
actual gift made by sprinkling water, and the (recital of the mantras)
ordained for the seizure of the (bride’s hand),–these have been declared
to be indications by which one is constituted a husband. Even this
ceremonial is not all. That which (above all) is essential is the walk
for seven paces (by the bride in circumambulating the bridegroom).[88]
Without these thy purpose (about marriage) have been unaccomplished. Thou
hast cursed. Therefore, thou also shalt not go to heaven without me.’
Having cursed each other those two Rishis continued to live there.
Meanwhile, king Srinjaya, desirous of (obtaining) a son, began, with
cleansed soul, to carefully entertain the Brahmanas, to the utmost of his
power, with food and robes. After a certain time, those foremost of
Brahmanas devoted to the study of the Vedas and fully conversant with
those scriptures and their branches became gratified with that monarch,
desirous of getting a son. Together they came to Narada and said unto
him, ‘Give this king a son of the kind he desires.’–Thus addressed by
the Brahmanas, Narada replied unto them, saying, ‘So be it.’–and then
the celestial Rishi addressed Srinjaya saying, ‘O royal sage, the
Brahmanas have been pleased and they wish thee a son! Solicit thou the
boon, blessed be thou, about the kind of son thou desirest.’ Thus
addressed by him, the king, with joined hands, asked for a son possessed
of every accomplishment, famous, of glorious feats, of great energy, and
capable of chastising all foes. And he further asked that the urine, the
excreta, the phlegm and the sweat of that child should be gold. And in
due time the king had a son born unto him, who came to be named
Suvarnashthivin[89] on earth. And in consequence of the boon, that child
began to increase (his father’s) wealth beyond all limits. And king
Srinjaya caused all desirable things of his to be made of gold. And his
houses and walls and forts, and the houses of all Brahmanas (within his
dominions), and his beds, vehicles, and plates, and all manners of pots
and cups, and palace that he owned, and all implements and utensils,
domestic and otherwise were made of gold. And in time his stock
increased. Then certain robbers hearing of the prince and seeing him to
be such, assembled together and sought to injure the king. And some
amongst them said, ‘We will seize the king’s son himself. He is his
father’s mine of gold. Towards that end, therefore, we should strive.’
Then those robbers inspired with avarice, penetrating into the king’s
palace, forcibly took away prince Suvarnashthivin. Having seized and
taken him to the woods, those senseless idiots, inspired with avarice but
ignorant of what to do with him, slew him there and cut his body in
fragments. They saw not, however, any gold in him. After the prince was
slain, all the gold, obtained in consequence of the Rishi’s boon,
disappeared. The ignorant and senseless robbers struck one another. And
striking one another thus, they perished and with them that wonderful
prince on the earth. And those men of wicked deeds sank in an
unimaginable and awful hell. Seeing that son of his, obtained through the
Rishi’s boon thus slain, that great ascetic, viz., king Srinjaya,
afflicted with deep sorrow, began to lament in piteous accents. Beholding
the king afflicted with grief on account of his son, and thus weeping,
the celestial Rishi Narada showed himself in his presence. Listen, O
Yudhishthira, to what Narada said unto Srinjaya, having approached that
king, who afflicted with grief and deprived of his senses, was indulging
in piteous lamentations. Narada said, ‘Srinjaya, with thy desires
unfulfilled, thou shalt have to die, although we utterers of Brahma, live
in thy house. Avikshit’s son Marutta even, O Srinjaya, we hear, had to
die. Piqued with Vrihaspati, he had caused Samvatta[90] himself to
officiate at his great sacrifices! Unto that royal sage the illustrious
lord (Mahadeva) himself had given wealth in the shape of a golden plateau
of Himavat. (With that wealth) king Marutta had performed diverse
sacrifices. Unto him, after the completion of his sacrifices diverse
tribes of celestials, those creators of the universe, with Indra himself
in their company and with Vrihaspati at their head, used to come. All the
carpets and furnitures of his sacrificial compound were of gold. The
regenerate classes, desirous of food, all ate as they pleased, at his
sacrifices, food that was clean and agreeable to their desires. And in
all his sacrifices, milk and cards and clarified butter and honey, and
other kinds of food and edibles, all of the best order, and robes and
ornaments covetable for their costliness, gratified Brahmanas, thoroughly
conversant with the Vedas. The very gods used to become distributors of
food in king Marutta’s palace. The Viswedevas were the courtiers of that
royal sage, the son of Avikshit. By him were gratified the denizens of
heaven with libations of clarified butter. And gratified (therewith),
these, in their turn, increased that powerful ruler’s wealth of crops
with copious showers of rain. He always contributed to the gratification
of the Rishis, the Pitris, and the gods, and thereby made them happy, by
practising Brahmacharya, study of the Vedas, obsequial rites, and all
kinds of gifts. And his beds and carpets and vehicles, and his vast
stores of gold difficult to be given away, in fact, all that untold
wealth of his, was given away voluntarily unto the Brahmanas, Sakra
himself used to wish him well. His subjects were made happy (by him),
Acting always with piety, he (ultimately) repaired to those eternal
regions of bliss, acquired by his religious merit. With his children and
counsellors and wives and descendants and kinsmen, king Marutta, in his
youth, ruled his kingdom for a thousand years. When such a king, O
Srinjaya, died who was superior to thee, in respect of the four cardinal
virtues (viz., ascetic penances, truth, compassion, and liberality), and
who, superior to thee, was much superior to thy son, do not grieve saying
‘O Swaitya, for thy son who performed no sacrifice and gave no
sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘King Suhotra also, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a prey to
death. He was the foremost of heroes, and invincible in battle. The very
gods used to come for seeing him. Acquiring his kingdom virtuously, he
sought the advice of his Ritwijas and domestic priests and Brahmanas for
his own good, and enquiring of them, used to obey their behests.
Well-acquainted with the duty of protecting his subjects, possessed of
virtue and liberality, performing sacrifices and subjugating foes, king
Suhotra wished for the increase of his wealth. He adored the gods by
following the ordinances of the scriptures, and defeated his foes by
means of his arrows. He gratified all creatures by means of his own
excellent accomplishments. He ruled the earth, freeing her from Mlecchas
and the forest-thieves.[91] The deity of the clouds showered gold unto
him from year’s end to year’s end. In those olden days, therefore, the
rivers (in his kingdom) ran (liquid) gold, and were open to everybody for
use.[92] The deity of the clouds showered on his kingdom large number of
alligators and crabs and fishes of diverse species and various objects of
desire, countless in number, that were all made of gold. The artificial
lakes in that king’s dominions each measured full two miles. Beholding
thousands of dwarfs and humpbacks and alligators and Makaras, and
tortoises all made of gold, king Suhotra wondered much. That unlimited
wealth of gold, the royal sage Suhotra performing a sacrifice at
Kurujangala, gave away unto the Brahmanas, before the completion of the
sacrifice. Having performed a thousand Horse-sacrifices, a hundred
Rajasuyas, many sacred Kshatriya-sacrifices[93] in all of which he made
abundant presents to the Brahmanas and having performed daily rites,
almost countless in number, undergone from specified desires, the king
ultimately obtained a very desirable end. When, O Srinjaya, such a king
died, who was superior to thee as regards the four cardinal virtues and
who, superior to thee, was therefore, much superior to thy son, thou
shouldst not grieve saying, ‘Oh Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ for thy son
performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘The heroic king Paurava also, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a
prey to death. That king gave away a thousand times thousand horses that
were all white in hue. At the Horse-sacrifice performed by that royal
sage, countless number of learned Brahmanas versed in the principles of
Siksha[94] and Akshara come from diverse realms. These Brahmanas,
purified by the Vedas, by knowledge, and by vows, and liberal and of
agreeable countenances, having obtained from the king costly gifts, such
as, robes and houses and excellent beds and carpets and vehicles and
draft-cattle, were always delighted by actors and dancers and singers,
thoroughly competent and well-versed (in their respective art), engaged
in spot and ever-striving for their diversion. At each of his Sacrifices
in due time he gave away as sacrificial presents ten thousand elephants
of golden splendour, with the temporal juice trickling down their bodies,
and cars made of gold with standards and banners. He also gave away, as
sacrificial presents, a thousand times thousand maidens decked with
ornaments of gold, and cars and steeds and elephants for mounting, and
houses and fields, and hundreds of kine, by hundreds of thousand, and
thousands of cowherds decked with gold. They that are acquainted with the
history of the past, sing this song, viz., that in that sacrifice, king
Paurava gave away kine with calves, having golden horns and silver hoofs
and brass milkpots, and female slaves and male slaves and asses and
camels, and sheep, countless in number, and diverse kinds of gems and
diverse hill-like mounds of food. That sacrificing king of the Angas
successively performed, in the order of their merit, and according to
what was competent for his own class, many auspicious sacrifices capable
of yielding every object of desire. When such a king, O Srinjaya, died
who was superior to thee as regards the four cardinal virtues and who,
superior to thee was, therefore, much more superior to thy son, thou
shouldst not, saying ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ grieve for thy son who
performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, Usinara’s son, Sivi also, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a prey
to death. That king had, as it were, put a leathern girdle around the
earth, making the earth with her mountains and islands and seas and
forests resound with the clatter of his car. The vanquisher of foes,
viz., king Sivi. always slew the foremost of foes. He performed many
sacrifices with presents in profusion unto the Brahmanas. That monarch of
great prowess and great intelligence had acquired enormous wealth. In
battle: he won the applause of all Kshatriyas.[95] Having brought the
whole earth under subjection, he performed many Horse-sacrifices, without
any obstruction, which were productive of great merit giving away (as
sacrificial present) a thousand crores of golden nishkas, and many
elephants and steeds and other kinds of animals, much grain, and many
deer and sheep. And king Sivi gave away the sacred earth consisting of
diverse kinds of soil unto the Brahmanas. Indeed, Usinara’s son, Sivi,
gave away as many kine as the number of rain-drops showered on the earth,
or the number of stars in the firmament, or the number of sand-grains or,
the bed of Ganga, or the number of rocks that constitute the mountain
called Meru, or the number of gems or of (aquatic) animals in the ocean.
The Creator himself hath not met with and will not meet within the past,
the present, or the future, another king capable of bearing the burdens
that king Sivi bore. Many were the sacrifices, with every kind of rites,
that king Sivi performed. In those sacrifices, the stakes, the carpets,
the houses, the walls, and the arches, were all made of gold. Food and
drink, agreeable to the taste and perfectly clean were kept in profusion.
And the Brahmanas that repaired to them could be counted by myriads and
myriads. Abounding with viands of every description, nothing but
agreeable words such as give away and take were heard there. Milk and
curds were collected in large lakes. In his sacrificial compound, there
were rivers of drink and white hills of food. ‘Bathe, and drink and eat
as ye like,’ these were the only words heard there. Gratified with his
righteous deeds, Rudra granted Sivi a boon, saying, As thou givest away,
let thy wealth, thy devotion,–thy fame, thy religious acts, the love
that all creatures bear thee, and the heaven (thou attain), be all
inexhaustible.’ Having obtained all these desirable boons, even Sivi,
when the time came, left this world for heaven. When, O Srinjaya, he died
who was superior to thee, was much superior to thy son, thou shouldst
not, saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya’, grieve for thy son who performed
no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘Rama, the son of Dasaratha, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a
prey to death. His subjects were as much delighted with him, as a sire is
delighted with the children of his loins. Endued with immeasurable
energy, countless virtues were there in him. Of unfading glory, Rama, the
elder brother of Lakshmana, at the command of his father, lived for
fourteen years in the woods, with his wife. That bull among men slew in
Janasthana fourteen thousand Rakshasas for the protection of the
ascetics. While dwelling there, the Rakshasa called Ravana, beguiling
both him and his companion (Lakshmana) abducted his wife, the princess of
Videha. Like the Three-eyed (Mahadeva), in days of old, slaying (the
Asura) Andhaka, Rama in wrath slew in battle that offender of Pulastya’s
race who had never before been vanquished by any foe. Indeed, the
mighty-armed Rama slew in battle that descendant of Pulastya’s race with
all his kinsmen and followers, that Rakshasa who was incapable of being
slain by the gods and the Asuras together, that wretch who was a thorn
unto the gods and the Brahmanas. In consequence of his affectionate
treatment of his subjects, the celestials worshipped Rama. Filling the
entire earth with his achievements, he was much applauded even by the
celestial Rishis. Compassionate unto all creatures, that king, having
acquired diverse realms and protected his subjects virtuously, performed
a great sacrifice without obstruction. And the lord, Rama, also performed
a hundred Horse-sacrifices and the great sacrifice called Jaruthya. And
with libations of clarified butter he contributed to Indra’s delight.[96]
And by these acts of his, Rama conquered hunger and thirst, and all the
diseases to which living creatures are subject. Possessed of every
accomplishment, he always blazed forth with his own energy. Indeed, Rama,
the son of Dasaratha, greatly outshone all creatures. When Rama ruled his
kingdom, the Rishis, the gods, and men, all lived together on the earth.
The lives of living creatures were never otherwise. The life-breaths
also, called Prana, Apana, Samana, and the others, when Rama ruled his
kingdom, all performed their functions. All luminous bodies shone
brighter, and calamities never occurred. All his subjects were
long-lived. None died in youth. The dwellers of heaven highly gratified,
used to get, according to (the ordinances of) the four Vedas, libations
of clarified butter and other offerings of food made by men. His realms
were free from flies and gnats; and of beasts of prey and poisonous
reptiles, there were none. And none was of unrighteous tendencies, none
was covetous, and none was ignorant. The subjects, of all the (four)
orders, were engaged in righteous and desirable acts, When the Rakshasas,
about this time obstructed the offerings to the Pitris and the worship of
the gods in Janasthana, Lord Rama, slaying them, caused those offerings
and that worship to be once more given to the Pitris  and the gods. Men
were each blessed with a thousand children, and the period of their lives
was a thousand years. Seniors had never to perform Sraddhas of their
juniors.[97] Youthful in shape, of a dark-blue hue, of red eyes,
possessed of the tread of an infuriated elephant, with arms reaching down
to the knees, and beautiful and massive, of leonine shoulders, of great
strength, and beloved by all creatures, Rama ruled his kingdom for eleven
thousand years. His subjects always uttered his name. While Rama ruled
his kingdom, the world became extremely beautiful. Taking at last his
four kinds of subjects[98] with him Rama went to heaven, having
established his own line consisting of eight houses on the earth. When
even he died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee in respect of the four
cardinal virtues and superior to thy son, thou shouldst not lament,
saying ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ for thy son who performed no sacrifice
and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘Even king Bhagiratha, O Srinjaya, we hear, was dead. He
caused the shores of Ganga, called after his name Bhagirath to be covered
with flights of steps made of gold.[99] Surpassing all kings and all
princes, he gave unto the Brahmanas a thousand times thousand damsels
decked with ornaments of gold. All those damsels were upon cars. And unto
every car were yoked four steeds, and behind each car were a hundred
kine. And behind each cow were (many) goats and sheep. King Bhagiratha
gave enormous presents at his sacrifices. For that reason a large
concourse of men assembled there. Afflicted there with Ganga was much
pained. ‘Protect Me,’ she said and sat down on his lap. And because Ganga
thus sat upon his lap in days of old, therefore, she, like the celestial
dancer Urvasi came to be regarded as his daughter and was named after his
name. And having become the king’s daughter, she became his son (by
becoming like a son, the means of salvation unto his deceased
ancestors).[100] Sweet-speeched Gandharvas of celestial splendour,
gratified, sang all this in the hearing of the Rishis, the gods, and
human beings.[101] Thus, O Srinjaya, did that goddess, viz., the
ocean-going Ganga, select lord Bhagiratha, descendant of Ikshvaku, the
performer of sacrifices with profuse gifts (to the Brahmanas), as her
father. His sacrifices were always graced with (the presence of) the very
gods with Indra at their head. And the gods used to take their respective
shares, by removing all impediments, to facilitate those sacrifices in
every way. Possessed of great ascetic merit, Bhagiratha gave unto the
Brahmanas whatever benefit they desired without obliging them to stir
from the place wherever they might entertain those desires. There was
nothing which he could withhold from the Brahmanas. Every one received
from him everything he coveted. At last, the king ascended to the region
of Brahman, through the grace of the Brahmanas. For that object on which
the Rishis that subsisted on the rays of the sun used to wait upon the
sun and the presiding deity of the sun, for that very object they used to
wait upon the lord Bhagiratha, that ornament of the three worlds. When he
died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee, as regards the four cardinal
virtues, and who, superior to thee, was much superior to thy son, thou
shouldst not grieve, saying ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ for the latter
who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘Dilipa, the son of Havila, too, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell
a prey to death. Brahmanas, vested in knowledge of Truth, devoted to the
performance of sacrifices, blessed with children and children’s children
and numbering myriads upon myriads, were present at his hundreds of
sacrifices. King Dilipa, having performed various sacrifices, gave away
this earth, filled with treasures, unto the Brahmanas. At the sacrifices
of Dilipa, the roads were all made of gold. The very gods, with Indra at
their head used to come to him regarding him as Dharma himself. The upper
and lower rings of his sacrificial stake were made of gold. Eating his
Raga-khandavas, many persons, at his sacrifices, were seen to lie down on
the roads. While battling over the waters, the two wheels of Dilipa’s car
never sank in that liquid. This seemed exceedingly wonderful, and never
occured to other kings, Even those that saw king Dilipa, that firm
bowman, always truthful in speech and giving away profuse gifts at his
sacrifices, succeeded in ascending to heaven. In the abode of Dilipa,
called also Khattanga, these five sounds were always to be heard, viz.,
the sound of Vedic recitations, the twang of bows, and Drink, Enjoy, and
Eat! When he died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee in respect of the
four cardinal virtues and who superior to thee, was much superior to thy
son, thou shouldst not, saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ grieve for
thy son who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial gifts.'”[102]


“Narada said, ‘Mandhatri’ the son of Yuvanaswa, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell
a prey to death. That king vanquished the gods, the Asuras and men. Those
celestials, viz., the twin Aswins, brought him out of his father’s womb
by a surgical operations. Once on a time, king Yuvanaswa while chasing
the deer in the forest, became very thirsty and his steeds also became
exceedingly fatigued. Beholding a wreath of smoke, the king (directed by
it) went to a sacrifice and drank the sacred sacrificial butter that lay
scattered there. (The king, thereupon, conceived). Beholding that
Yuvanaswa was quick with child, those best of physicians, viz., the twin
Aswins among the celestials, extracted the child from the king’s womb.
Seeing that child of celestial splendour lying on the lap on his father,
the gods said unto one another, ‘What shall support this child?’ Then
Vasava said, ‘Let the child suck my fingers,’ Thereupon from the fingers
of Indra issued milk sweet as nectar. And since Indra from compassion,
said, ‘He will draw his sustenance from me,’ and showed him that
kindness, therefore, the gods named that child Mandhatri.[103] Then jets
of milk and clarified butter dropped into the mouth of Yuvanaswa’s son
from the hand of the high-souled Indra. The boy continued to suck the
hand of Indra and by that means to grow. In twelve days he became twelve
cubits in stature and endued with great prowess. And he conquered the
whole of this earth in the course of a single day. Of virtuous soul,
possessed of great intelligence, heroic, devoted to truth and a master of
his passions, Mandhatri vanquished, by his bow Janamejaya and Sudhanwan
and Jaya and Suna[104] and Vrihadratha and Nriga. And the lands lying
between the hill where the sun rises and the hill where he sets, are
known to this day as the dominion of Mandhatri. Having performed a
hundred Horse-sacrifices and a hundred Rajasuya sacrifices also, he gave
away, O monarch, unto the Brahmanas, some Rohita fish made of gold, that
were ten Yojanas in length and one Yojana in breadth. Mountains of
savoury food and comestibles of diverse kinds, after the Brahmanas had
been entertained, were eaten by others, (who came at his sacrifices) and
contributed to their gratification. Vast quantities of food and eatables
and drink, and mountains of rice, looked beautiful as they stood. Many
rivers, having lakes of clarified butter, with diverse kinds of soup for
their mire, curds for their froth and liquid honey for their water,
looking beautiful, and wafting honey and milk, encircled mountains of
solid viands. Gods and Asuras and Men and Yakshas and Gandharvas and
Snakes and Birds, and many Brahmanas, accomplished in the Vedas and their
branches, and many Rishis came to his sacrifices. Amongst those present
there, none was illiterate. King Mandhatri, having bestowed the earth
bounded by the seas and full of wealth upon the Brahmanas, at last
disappeared like the sun. Filling all the points of the compass with his
fame, he repaired to the regions of the righteous. When he died, O
Srinjaya, who excelled thee in the four cardinal virtues and who,
superior to thee, was much superior to thy son, thou shouldst not grieve,
saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya’ for the latter who performed no
sacrifice and made no sacrificial gift.'”


“Narada said, ‘Yayati, the son of Nahusha, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a
prey to death. Having performed a hundred Rajasuyas, a hundred
Horse-sacrifices, a thousand Pundarikas, a hundred Vajapeyas, a thousand
Atiratras, innumerable Chaturmasyas, diverse Agnishtomas, and many other
kinds of sacrifices, in all of which he made profuse gifts unto the
Brahmanas, he gave away unto the Brahmanas, having counted it first, the
whole of the wealth that existed on the earth in the possession of
Mlecchas and other Brahmana-hating people. When the gods and the Asuras
were arrayed for battle, king Yayati aided the gods. Having divided the
earth into four parts, he gave it away unto four persons. Having
performed various sacrifices and virtuously begotten excellent offspring
upon (his wives) Devayani, the daughter of Usanas and Sarmishtha, king
Yayati, who was like unto a celestial, roved through the celestial woods
at his own pleasure, like a second Vasava. Acquainted with all the Vedas,
when, however, he found that he was not satiated with the indulgence of
his passions, he then, with his wives, retired into the forest, saying
this: ‘Whatever of paddy and wheat and gold and animals and women there
are on earth, even the whole of these is not sufficient for one man.
Thinking of this, one should cultivate contentment.’ Thus abandoning all
his desires, and attaining to contentment, the lord Yayati, installing
(his son) on his throne, retired into the forest. When he died, O
Srinjaya, who was superior to thee in respect of the four cardinal
virtues and who, superior to thee, was much superior to thy son, thou
shouldst not, saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya’, grieve for the latter
who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘Nabhaga’s son, Amvarisha, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a prey
to death. Alone he battled a thousand times with a thousand kings.
Desirous of victory, those foes, accomplished in weapons, rushed against
him in battle from all sides, uttering fierce exclamations. Aided by his
strength and activity and the skill he had acquired by practice, he cut
off, by the force of his weapons, the umbrellas, the weapons, the
standards, the cars, and the lances of those enemies, and dispelled his
anxieties.[105] Desirous of saving their lives, those men, doffing their
coats of mail, implored him (for mercy). They sought his protection,
saying, ‘We yield ourselves to thee.’ Reducing them to subjection and
conquering the whole earth, he performed a hundred sacrifices of the best
kind, according to the rites ordained in the scriptures, O sinless one!
Food possessed of every agreeable quality was eaten (at those sacrifices)
by large classes of people. At those sacrifices, the Brahmanas were
respectfully worshipped and greatly gratified. And the regenerate classes
ate sweet-meats, and Purikas and Puras, and Apupas and Sashkalis of good
taste and large size, and Karambhas and Prithumridwikas, and diverse
kinds of dainties, and various kinds of soup, and Maireyaka, and
Ragakhandavas, and diverse kinds of confectionary, well-prepared, soft,
and of excellent fragrance, and clarified butter, and honey, and milk,
and water, and sweet curds, and many kinds of fruits and roots agreeable
to the taste.[106] And they that were habituated to wine drank in due
time diverse kinds of intoxicating drinks for the sake of the pleasure
that those produced, and sang and played upon their musical instruments.
Avid others, by thousands, intoxicated with what they drank, danced and
merrily sang hymns to the praise of Amvarisha; while others, unable to
keep themselves erect, fell down on the earth. In those sacrifices, king
Amvarisha gave, as sacrificial presents, the kingdoms of hundreds and
thousands of kings unto the ten million priests (employed by him) Having
performed diverse sacrifices the king gave unto the Brahmanas, as
sacrificial presents, numbers of princes and kings whose coronal locks
had undergone the sacred bath, all cased in golden coats of mail, all
having white umbrellas spread over their heads, all seated on golden
cars, all attired in excellent robes and having large trains of
followers, and all bearing their sceptres, and in possession of their
treasuries. The great Rishis, seeing what he did, were highly gratified,
and said, ‘None amongst men in past times did, none in future will be
able to do, what king Amvarisha of profuse liberality, is doing now. When
he, O Srinjaya, died who was superior to thee in respect of the four
cardinal virtues and who superior to thee, was, much more superior to thy
son, thou shouldst not, therefore, saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya’,
grieve for the latter who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial


“Narada said, ‘King Sasavindu, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a prey to death.
Of great beauty and of prowess incapable of being baffled, he performed
diverse sacrifices. That high-souled monarch had one hundred thousand
wives. From each of those wives were born a thousand sons. All those
princes were endued with great prowess. They performed millions of
sacrifices. Accomplished in the Vedas, those kings performed many
foremost of sacrifices. All of them were cased (on occasions of battle)
in golden coats of mail. And all of them were excellent bowmen. All these
princes born of Sasavindu performed Horse-sacrifices. Their father, O
best of monarchs, in the Horse-sacrifices he had performed, gave away,
(as sacrificial presents), all those sons unto the Brahmanas. Behind each
of those princes were hundreds upon hundreds of cars and elephants and
fair maidens decked in ornaments of gold. With each maiden were a hundred
elephants; with each elephant, a hundred cars; with each car a hundred
steeds, adorned with garlands of gold. With each of those steeds were a
thousand kine; and with each cow were fifty goats. The highly blessed
Sasavindu gave away unto the Brahmanas, in the great Horse-sacrifice of
his such unlimited wealth. The king caused as many sacrificial stakes of
gold to be made for that great Horse-sacrifice of his as is the number,
double of sacrificial stakes of wood in other sacrifices of the kind.
There were mountains of food and drink of the height of about two miles
each. Upon the completion of’ his Horse-sacrifice, thirteen such
mountains of food and drink remained (untouched). His kingdom abounded in
people that were contented and well-fed. And it was free from all inroads
of evil and the people were perfectly happy. Having ruled for many long
years, Sasavindu, at last, ascended to heaven. When he died, O Srinjaya,
who was superior to thee in respect of the four cardinal virtues and who
superior to thee was, therefore, much more superior to thy son, thou
shouldst not, saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh Swaitya’, grieve for the latter
who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘Gaya, the son of Amartarayas, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a
prey to death, That king, for a hundred years, ate nothing but what
remained of the libations of clarified butter poured into the sacrificial
fire. Agni (gratified with his proof of great devotion) offered to give
him a boon. Gaya solicited the boon (desired), saying, ‘I desire to have
a thorough knowledge of the Vedas through ascetic penances, through
practice of Brahmacharya, and of vows and rules, and through the grace of
my superiors.[107] I desire also inexhaustible wealth, through practice
of the duties of my own order and without injury to others. I wish also
that I may always be able to make gifts unto the Brahmanas, with
devotion. Let me also procreate sons upon wives belonging to my own order
and not upon others. Let me be able to give away food with devotion. Let
my heart always delight in righteousness. O (Agni) thou supreme cleanser,
let no impediment overtake me while I am engaged in acts for the
attainment of religious merit.’ Saying ‘Be it so,’ Agni disappeared then
and there. And Gaya also, acquiring all he had asked for, subjugated his
foes in fair fight. King Gaya then performed, for a full hundred years,
diverse kinds of sacrifices with profuse presents unto the Brahmanas and
the vows called Chaturmasyas and others. Every year, for a century, the
king gave (unto the Brahmanas) one hundred and sixty thousand kine, ten
thousand steeds, and one crore gold (nishkas) upon rising (on the
completion of his sacrifices). Under every constellation also he gave
away the presents ordained for each of these occasions.[108] Indeed, the
king performed various sacrifices like another Soma or another Angiras.
In his great Horse-sacrifice, king Gaya, making a golden earth, gave her
away unto the Brahmanas. In that sacrifice, the stakes of king Gaya were
exceedingly costly, being of gold, decked with gems delightful to all
creatures. Capable of killing every wish, Gaya gave those stakes unto
well-pleased Brahmanas and other people. The diverse classes of creatures
dwelling in the ocean, the woods, the islands, the rivers male and
female, the waters, the towns, the provinces, and even in heaven, were
all gratified with wealth and food distributed at Gaya’s sacrifices. And
they all said, ‘No other sacrifice can come up to this one of Gaya. The
sacrificial altar of Gaya was thirty Yojanas in length, six and twenty
Yojanas in width, and twenty Yojanas in height. And it was made entirely
of gold, and overspread with pearls and diamonds and gems. And he gave
away this altar unto the Brahmanas, as also robes and ornaments. And the
munificent monarch also gave unto the Brahmanas other presents of the
kind laid down (in the scriptures). Upon the completion of that sacrifice
five and twenty hills of food remained untouched, and many lakes and
several beautifully flowing rivulets of juicy drinks, and many heaps,
besides, of robes and ornaments. And in consequence of the merit of that
great sacrifice, Gaya came to be well-known in the three worlds. And due
to that sacrifice are the eternal Banian and the sacred Brahmasara. When
he died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee in respect of four cardinal
virtues and who superior to thee, was, therefore, much superior to thy
son, thou shouldst not, saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ grieve for
the latter who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘Rantideva, the son of Srinjaya, we hear, fell a prey to
death. That high-souled king had two hundred thousand cooks to distribute
excellent food, raw and cooked, like unto Amrita, unto the Brahmanas, by
day and by night, who might come to his house as guests.[109] The king
gave away unto the Brahmanas his wealth acquired by righteous means.
Having studied the Vedas, he subjugated his foes in fair fight. Of rigid
vows and always engaged in due performance of sacrifices, countless
animals, desirous of going to heaven, used to come to him of their own
accord.[110] So large was the number of animals sacrificed in the
Agnihotra of that king that the secretions flowing from his kitchen from
the heaps of skins deposited there caused a veritable river which from
this circumstance, came to be called the Charmanwati.[111] He,
incessantly gave away nishkas of bright gold unto the Brahmanas, ‘I give
thee nishkas.’ ‘I give thee nishkas,’ these were the words incessantly
uttered by him. ‘I give thee,’ ‘I give thee’ saying these words he gave
away thousands of nishkas. And once again, with soft words to the
Brahmanas, he gave away nishkas. Having given away, in course of a single
day, one crore of such coins, he thought that he had given away very
little. And, therefore, he would give away more. Who else is there that
would be able to give what he gave? The king gave away wealth, thinking,
If I do not give wealth in the hands of Brahmanas, great and eternal
grief, without doubt, will be mine.’ For a hundred years, every
fortnight, he gave unto thousands of Brahmanas a golden bull into each,
followed by a century of kine and eight hundred pieces of nishkas. All
the articles that were needed for his Agnihotra, and all that were needed
for his other sacrifices, he gave away unto the Rishis, including
Karukas[112] and water-pots and plates and beds and carpets and vehicles,
and mansions and houses, and diverse kinds of trees, and various kinds of
viands. Whatever utensils and articles Rantideva possessed were of gold.
They that are acquainted with the history of ancient times seeing the
superhuman affluence of Rantideva, sing this song, viz., ‘We have not
seen such accumulated treasures even in the abode of Kuvera; what need be
said, therefore, of human beings?’ And people wonderingly said, Without
doubt, the kingdom of Rantideva is made of gold.[113] On such nights,
when guests were assembled in the abode of Rantideva, one and twenty
thousand kine were sacrificed (for feeding them). And yet the royal cook
adorned with begemmed ear-rings, had to cry out, saying, ‘Eat as much
soup as you like, for, of meat, there is not as much today as in other
days. Whatever gold was left belonging to Rantideva, he gave even that
remnant away unto the Brahmanas during the progress of one of his
sacrifices. In his very sight the gods used to take the libations of
clarified butter poured into the fire for them, and the Pitris the food
that was offered to them, in Sraddhas. And all superior Brahmanas used to
obtain from him (the means of gratifying) all their desires. When he
died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee in respect of the four
cardinal virtues and who, superior to thee was, therefore, much superior
to thy son, thou shouldst not, saying, ‘Oh, Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ grieve
for the latter who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial


“Narada said, ‘Dushmanta’s son, Bharata, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a prey
to death. While only a child (living) in the forest, he achieved feats
incapable of being achieved by others. Endued with great strength, he
speedily deprived the very lions, white as snow and armed with teeth and
claws, of all their prowess, and dragged them and bound them (at his
pleasure). He used to check tigers also, that were fiercer and more
ruthless (than lions), and bring them to subjection. Seizing other beasts
of prey possessed of great might, and even huge elephants, dyed with red
arsenic and spotted with other liquid minerals by their teeth and tusks,
he used to bring them to subjection, causing their mouths to become dry,
or obliging them to fly away. Possessed of great might, he used also to
drag the mightiest of buffaloes. And in consequence of his strength, he
checked proud lions by hundreds, and powerful Srimaras and horned
rhinoceroses and other animals. Binding them by their necks and crushing
them to an inch of their lives, he used to let them go. For those feats
of his the regenerate ascetics (with whom he lived) came to call him
Sarvadamana (the controller of all). His mother, at last, forbade him
from torturing animals in that way. Endued with great prowess he
performed a hundred Horse-sacrifices on the banks of the Yamuna, three
hundred such sacrifices on the banks of Saraswati, and four hundred on
the banks of the Ganga. Having performed these sacrifices, he once more
performed a thousand Horse-sacrifices and a hundred Rajasuyas, great
sacrifices, in which his gifts also to the Brahmanas were very profuse.
Other sacrifices, again, such as the Agnishtoma, the Atiratra, the Uktha
and the Viswajit, he performed together with thousands and thousands of
Vajapeyas, and completed without any impediment. The son of Sakuntala,
having performed all these, gratified the Brahmanas with presents of
wealth. Possessed of great fame, Bharata then gave ten thousand billions
of coins, made of the most pure gold, unto Kanwa (who had brought up his
mother Sakuntala as his own daughter). The gods with Indra at their head,
accompanied by the Brahmanas, coming to his sacrifice, set up his
sacrificial stake made entirely of gold, and measuring in width a hundred
Vyamas.[114] And imperial Bharata, of noble soul, that victor over all
foes, that monarch never conquered by any enemy, gave away unto the
Brahmanas beautiful horses and elephants and cars, decked with gold, and
beautiful gems of all kinds, and camels and goats and sheep, and
slaves–male and female–and wealth, and grains and milch cows with
calves, and villages and fields, and diverse kinds of robes, numbering by
millions and millions. When he died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee
in respect of the four cardinal virtues and who superior to thee, was,
therefore, much superior to thy son, thou shouldst not, saying, ‘Oh,
Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ grieve for the latter who performed no sacrifice
and made no sacrificial present.’


“Narada said, ‘Vena’s son, king Prithu, O Srinjaya, we hear, fell a prey
to death, In the Rajasuya sacrifice he performed, the great Rishis
installed him as Emperor (of the world). He vanquished all, and his
achievements, became known (all over the world). For this he came to be
called Prithu (the celebrated). And because he protected all people from
wounds and injuries, for this he became a true Kshatriya.[115] Beholding
Vena’s son, Prithu, all his subjects said, We are highly pleased with
him. In consequence of this affection that he enjoyed of his subjects he
came to be called a Raja.[116] During the time of Prithu, the earth,
without being cultivated, yielded crops in sufficiency. All the kine,
again, yielded milk whenever they were touched. Every lotus was full of
honey. The Kusa blades were all of gold, agreeable to the touch, and
otherwise delightful. And the subjects of Prithu made clothes of these
blades and the beds also on which they lay. All the fruits were soft and
sweet and like unto Amrita (in taste). And these constituted the food of
his subjects, none amongst whom had ever to starve. And all men in
Prithu’s time were hale and hearty. And all their wishes were crowned
with fruition. They had nothing to fear. On trees, or in caves, they
dwelt as they liked. His dominions were not distributed into provinces
and towns. The people lived happily and in joy as each desired. When king
Prithu went to the sea, the waves became solid. The very mountains used
to yield him openings that he might pass through them. The standard of
his car never broke (obstructed by anything). Once on a time, the tall
trees of the forest, the mountains, the gods, the Asuras, men, the
snakes, the seven Rishis, the Apsaras, and the Pitris, all came to
Prithu, seated at his ease, and addressing him, said, ‘Thou art our
Emperor. Thou art our king. Thou art our protector and Father. Thou art
our Lord. Therefore, O great king, give us boons after our own hearts,
through which we may, for ever, obtain gratification and joy.’ Unto them
Prithu, the son of Vena, said, So be it. Then taking up his Ajagava
bow[117] and some terrible arrows the like of which existed not, he
reflected for a moment. He then addressed the Earth, saying, ‘Coming
quickly, O Earth! Yield to these the milk they desire. From that, blessed
be thou, I will give them the food they solicit.’ Thus addressed by him,
the Earth said, ‘It behoveth thee, O hero, to regard me as thy daughter.’
Prithu answered, So be it!–And then that great ascetic, his passions
under control, made all arrangements (for milking the Earth. Then the
entire assemblage of creatures began to milk the Earth). And first of
all, the tall trees of the forest rose for milking her, The Earth then,
full of affection, stood there desiring a calf, a milker, and vessels
(wherein to hold the milk). Then the blossoming Sala became the calf, the
Banian became the milker, torn buds became the milk, and the auspicious
fig tree became the vessel. (Next, the mountains milked her). The Eastern
hill, whereon the Sun rises, became the calf; the prince of mountains,
viz., Meru, became the milker; the diverse gems and deciduous herbs
became the milk; and the stones became the vessels (for holding that
milk). Next, one of the gods became the milker, and all things capable of
bestowing energy and strength became the coveted milk. The Asuras then
milked the Earth, having wine for their milk, and using an unbaked pot
for their vessel. In that act, Dwimurddhan became the milker, and
Virochana, the calf. The human beings milked the Earth for cultivation
and crops. The self-created Manu became their calf, and Prithu himself
the milker. Next, the Snakes milked the Earth, getting poison as the
milk, and using a vessel made of a gourd, Dhritarashtra became the
milker, and Takshaka the calf. The seven Rishis, capable of producing
everything by their fiat,[118] then milked the Earth, getting the Vedas
as their milk. Vrihaspati became the milker, the Chhandas were the
vessel, and the excellent Soma, the calf. The Yakshas, milking the Earth,
got the power of disappearance at will as the milk in an unbaked pot.
Vaisravana (Kuvera) became their milker, and Vrishadhvaja their calf. The
Gandharvas and the Apsaras milked all fragrant perfumes in a vessel made
of a lotus-leaf. Chitraratha became their calf, and the puissant
Viswaruchi their milker. The Pitris milked the Earth, getting Swaha as
their milk in a vessel of silver. Yama, the son of Vivaswat, became their
calf, and (the Destroyer Antaka) their milker. Even thus was the Earth
milked by that assemblage of creatures who all got for milk what they
each desired. The very calves and vessels employed by them are existing
to this day and may always be seen. The powerful Prithu, the son of Vena,
performing various sacrifices, gratified all creatures in respect of all
their desires by gifts of articles agreeable to their hearts. And he
caused golden images to be made of every article on earth, and bestowed
them all on the Brahmanas as his great Horse-sacrifice,[119] The king
caused six and sixty thousand elephants to be made of gold, and all those
he gave away unto the Brahmanas. And this whole earth also the king
caused to be decked with jewels and gems and gold, and gave her away unto
the Brahmanas. When he died, O Srinjaya, who was superior to thee as
regards the four cardinal virtues and who, superior to thee, was,
therefore, much superior to thy son thou shouldst not, saying ‘Oh,
Swaitya, Oh, Swaitya,’ grieve for the latter who performed no sacrifice
and made no sacrificial present.'”


“Narada said, ‘Even the great ascetic Rama, the hero worshipped by all
heroes, that son of Jamadagni, of great fame, will die, without being
contented (with the period of his life). Rooting out all evils from the
earth, he caused the primeval Yuga to set in. Having obtained unrivalled
prosperity, no fault could be seen in him.[120] His father having been
slain and his calf having been stolen by the Kshatriyas, he without any
boast, slew Kartavirya who had never been vanquished before by foes. With
his bow he slew four and sixty times ten thousand Kshatriyas already
within the jaws of death. In that slaughter were included fourteen
thousand Brahmana-hating Kshatriyas of the Dantakura country, all of whom
he slew. Of the Haihayas, he slew a thousand with his short club, a
thousand with his sword, and a thousand by hanging.[121] Heroic warriors,
with their cars, steeds, and elephants, lay dead on the field, slain by
the wise son of Jamadagni, enraged at the slaughter of his father. And
Rama, on that occasion, slew ten thousand Kshatriyas with his axe. He
could not quietly bear the furious speeches uttered by those (foes of
his). And when many foremost of Brahmans uttered exclamations, mentioning
the name of Rama of Bhrigu’s race,[122] then the valiant son of
Jamadagni, proceeding against the Kashmiras, the Daradas, the Kuntis, the
Kshudrakas, the Malavas, the Angas, the Vangas, the Kalingas, the
Videhas, the Tamraliptakas, the Rakshovahas, the Vitahotras, the
Trigartas, the Martikavatas, counting by thousand, slew them all by means
of his whetted shafts. Proceeding from province to province, fie thus
slew thousands of crores of Kshatriyas. Creating a deluge of blood and
filling many lakes also with blood as red as Indrajopakas or the wild
fruit called Vandujiva, and bringing all the eighteen islands (of which
the earth is composed) under his subjection, that son of Bhrigu’s race
performed a hundred sacrifices of great merit, all of which he completed
and in all of which the presents he made unto the Brahmanas were profuse.
The sacrificial altar, eighteen nalas high made entirely of gold, and
constructed according to the ordinance, full of diverse kinds of jewels
and gems, and decked with hundreds of standards, and this earth abounding
in domestic and wild animals, were accepted by Kasyapa as sacrificial
present made unto him by Rama, the son of Jamadagni. And Rama also gave
him many thousand prodigious elephants, all adorned with gold. Indeed,
freeing the earth from all robbers, and making her teem with honest and
graceful inhabitants, Rama gave her away to Kasyapa at his great
Horse-sacrifice. Having divested the earth of Kshatriyas for one and
twenty times, and having performed hundreds of sacrifices, the puissant
hero gave away the earth to the Brahmanas. And it was Marichi (Kasyapa)
who accepted from him the earth with her seven islands. Then Kasyapa said
unto Rama, ‘Go out of the earth, at my command.’ At the word of Kasyapa,
the foremost of warriors, desirous of obeying the Brahmana’s behest,
caused by his arrows the very ocean to stand aside, and repairing to that
best of mountains called Mahendra, continued to live there. Even that
enhancer of the fame of the Bhrigus, possessed of such numberless
virtues, that famous son of Jamadagni, of great splendour, will die.
Superior to thy son, (even he will die). Do not, therefore, grieve for
thy son who performed no sacrifice and made no sacrificial present. All
these, superior to thee as regards the four cardinal virtues and as
regards also a hundred other merits, all these foremost of men, have
died, O Srinjaya, and they that are like them will also die.'”


“Vyasa said, ‘Hearing this sacred history of sixteen kings, capable of
enhancing the period of life (of the listener), king Srinjaya remained
silent without saying anything. The illustrious Rishi Narada then said
unto him thus sitting silent, ‘O thou of great splendour, hast thou heard
those histories recited by me, and hast thou caught their purport? Or,
are all these lost like Sraddha as performed by a person of regenerate
classes having a Sudra wife?’ Thus addressed, Srinjaya then replied with
joined hands, ‘O thou that hast wealth of asceticism, having listened to
these excellent and praiseworthy histories of ancient royal sages, all of
whom had performed great sacrifices with profuse presents unto the
Brahmanas, my grief hath all been dispelled by wonder, like the darkness
that is dispelled by the rays of the sun. I have now been cleansed of my
sins, and I do not feel any pain now. Tell me, what shall I do now?’

“Narada said, ‘By good luck it is that thy grief hath been dispelled.
Solicit thou the boon that thou desirest. Thou wilt obtain all thou mayst
ask. We never say what is not true.’

“Srinjaya said, ‘I am happy with even this, viz., that thou, O holy one,
art gratified with me. He with whom thou, O holy one, art gratified, hath
nothing unobtainable here.’

“Narada said, ‘I will once more give thee thy son who was fruitlessly
slain by the robbers, like an animal, slaughtered in sacrifice, taking
him out of terrible hell.’

“Vyasa said, ‘Then the son of Srinjaya, of wonderful splendour, appeared,
that child resembling the son of Kuvera himself, bestowed by the
gratified Rishi (on the bereaved father). And king Srinjaya, once more
meeting with his son, became highly delighted. And he performed many
meritorious sacrifices, giving away profuse sacrificial presents upon
completion. Srinjaya’s son had not fulfilled the purposes of his being.
He had performed no sacrifice and had no children. Destitute of bravery,
he had perished miserably and not in battle. It was for this reason that
he could be brought back into life.[123] As regards Abhimanyu, he was
brave and heroic. He hath fulfilled the purposes of life, for the brave
son of Subhadra, having blasted his foes by thousands, hath left the
world, falling in the field of battle. Those inaccessible regions that
are attainable by Brahmacharya, by knowledge, by acquaintance with the
scriptures, by foremost of sacrifices, even, these have been obtained by
thy son. Men of knowledge always desire heaven by their righteous deeds.
They that are living in heaven never prefer this world to heaven.
Therefore, it is not easy for any desirable thing that might have been
unattained by him to bring back into the world Arjuna’s son slain in
battle and now residing in heaven. Thy son has attained to that eternal
goal which is attained by yogins with eyes shut in contemplation or by
performers of great sacrifices, or people possessed of great ascetic
merit. After death, attaining a new body that hero is shining like a king
in his own immortal rays. Indeed, Abhimanyu has once more got his own
body of lunar essence that is desirable by all regenerate persons. He
deserveth not thy grief.[124] Knowing this, be quiet, and slay thy foes.
Let fortitude be thine. O sinless one, it is the living that stand in
need of our grief, and not they that have attained to heaven. His sins
increase, O king, for whom, the living grieve. Therefore, he that is
wise, abandoning grief, should strive for (the) benefit (of the dead).
The living man should think of the joy, the glory, and the happiness (of
the dead). Knowing this, the wise never indulge in grief, for grief is
painful. Know this to be true. Rise up! Strive (to achieve thy purpose).
Do not grieve. Thou hast heard of the origin of Death, and her unexampled
penances, as also the impartiality of her behaviour towards all
creatures. Thou hast heard that prosperity is unstable. Thou hast heard
how the dead son of Srinjaya was revived. O learned king, do not grieve.
Peace be to thee, I go!’–Having said this, the holy Vyasa disappeared
then and there. Upon the departure of that master of speech, that
foremost of intelligent persons, viz., the holy Vyasa, whose colour was
like that of the clouded sky, Yudhishthira, having derived consolation in
consequence of what he had heard about the sacrificial merit and
prosperity of these great monarchs of olden times, possessed of energy
equal to that of the great Indra himself and all of whom had acquired
wealth by righteous means, mentally applauded those illustrious persons
and became freed from grief. Once more, however, with a melancholy heart
he asked himself, saying, ‘What shall we say unto Dhananjaya?'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘When that terrible day, so fraught with the slaughter of
creatures, departed, and when the sun set, the beautiful twilight of the
evening spread itself. The troops, O bull of Bharata’s race, of both
parties, had retired to their tents. Then the ape-bannered Jishnu, having
slain a large number of Samsaptakas by means of his celestial weapons,
proceeded towards his tent, mounted on that victorious car of his. And as
he was proceeding, he asked Govinda, with voice choked with tears, ‘Why
is my heart afraid, O Kesava, and why both my speech falter? Evil omens
encounter me, and my limbs are weak. Thoughts of disaster possess my mind
without living it. On earth, on all sides, various omens strike me with
fear. Of many kinds are those omens and indications, and seen everywhere,
foreboding dire calamity. Is it all right with my venerable superior,
viz., the king with all his friends?’

“Vasudeva said, ‘It is evident that everything is right with thy brother
and his friends. Do not grieve, some trifling evil in another direction
will happen.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Then those two heroes (viz., Krishna and Arjuna),
having adored the Twilight,[125] mounted on their car and proceeded,
talking of the day’s battle so destructive of heroes. Having achieved
feats exceedingly difficult of accomplishment, Vasudeva and Arjuna, at
last, reached the (Pandava) encampment. Then that slayer of hostile
heroes, viz., Vibhatsu, beholding the camp joyless and melancholy and
everything to be in confusion, addressed Krishna with an agonised heart,
and said, ‘O Janardana, no auspicious trumpet blows today, its blasts
mingled with the beat of drums and the loud blare of conchs. The sweet
Vina also is nowhere played upon in accompaniment with slapping of
palms.[126] Auspicious and delightful songs fraught with praise are
nowhere recited or sung by our bards amongst the troops. The warriors
also, all recede hanging down their heads. They do not tell me beholding
me, as before, of the feats achieved by them. O Madhava, is it all right
with my brothers today? Beholding our own men plunged in grief, I know no
peace. Is it all right, O giver of honours, with the ruler of the
Panchalas, or Virata, or all our warriors, O thou of unfading glory?
Alas, Subhadra’s son, ever cheerful, doth not today, with his brothers,
come out with smiles to receive me returning from battle.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Thus conversing, those two, (viz., Krishna and Arjuna),
entered their own camp. And they saw that the Pandavas, all cheerless,
were sitting, plunged in great grief. Beholding his brothers and sons,
the ape-bannered Arjuna became very cheerless. Not seeing the son of
Subhadra there, Arjuna said, ‘Pale is the colour I behold of the faces of
you all. I do not, again, see Abhimanyu. Nor doth he come to congratulate
me. I heard that Drona had today formed the circular array. None amongst
you, save the boy Abhimanyu, could break that array. I, however, did not
teach him how to come out of that array, after having pierced it. Did you
cause the boy to enter that array? Hath that slayer of heroes, viz., the
son of Subhadra, that mighty bowman, having pierced that array, through
numberless warriors of the enemy in battle, fallen, at last in the fight?
Oh, tell me, how that hero of mighty arms and red eyes, born (in our
line) like a lion on the mountain breast, and equal unto the younger
brother of Indra himself, hath fallen on the field of battle? What
warrior, deprived on his senses by Death ventured to slay that dear son
of Subhadra, that favourite of Draupadi and Kesava, that child ever loved
by Kunti? Equal unto the high-souled Vrishni hero, Kesava, himself in
prowess and learning and dignity, how hath he been slain on the field of
battle? The favourite son of that daughter of the Vrishni race, always
cherished by me, alas, if I do not see him I will repair to the abode of
Yama. With locks ending in soft curls, of tender years, with eyes like
those of a young gazelle, with tread like that of an infuriated elephant,
tall like a Sala offshoot, of sweet speech accompanied with smiles,
quiet, ever obedient to the behest of his superiors, acting like one of
mature years though tender in age, of agreeable speech, reft of vanity,
of great courage and great energy, of large eyes resembling lotus-petals,
kind to those devoted to him, self-restrained, following nothing mean,
grateful, possessed of knowledge, accomplished in weapons, unretreating
from battle, always delighting in fight, and enhancing the fears of foes,
engaged in the welfare of kinsmen, desirous of victory into sires, never
striking first, perfectly fearless in battle, alas, if I do not behold
that son, I will repair to the abode of Yama. In the counting of
car-warriors always reckoned as a Maharatha, superior to me one and a
half times, of tender years, of mighty arms, even dear to Pradyumna and
Kesava and myself, alas, if I do not behold that son I will repair to the
abode of Yama. Of beautiful nose, of beautiful forehead, of fair eyes and
eyebrows and lips, if I do not behold that face, what peace can my heart
have? Melodious as the voice of the male Kokila, delightful, and sweet as
the warblings of the Vina, without listening to his voice, what peace can
my heart have? His beauty was unrivalled, rare even among the celestials.
Without casting my eyes on that form, what peace can my heart have?
Accomplished in saluting (his superiors) with reverence, and always
obedient to the behests of his sires, alas, if I do not behold him, what
peace can my heart have? Brave in battle, accustomed to every luxury,
deserving of the softest bed, alas, he sleepeth today on the bare earth,
as if there is none to take care of him, although he is foremost of those
that have protectors to look after them. He on whom, while on his bed,
the foremost of beautiful women used to attend, alas, he mangled with
shafts, will have inauspicious jackals, prowling over the field, to
attend upon him today. He who was formerly roused from his slumbers by
singers and bards and panegyrists, alas, he will today be surely awakened
by discordant beasts of prey. That beautiful face of his eminently
deserved to be shaded by the umbrella, alas, the dust of battle-field
will surely befoul today. O child, unfortunate that I am, death forcibly
takes thee away from me, who was never satiated with looking at thee.
Without doubt, that abode of Yama, which is always the goal of persons of
righteous deeds, that delightful mansion, illuminated today by thy own
splendours, is rendered exceedingly beautiful by thee. Without doubt,
Yama and Varuna and Satakratu and Kuvera, obtaining thee as a favourite
guest, are making much of thy heroic self. Thus indulging in diverse
lamentations, like a merchant whose vessel has been sunken. Arjuna,
afflicted with great grief, asked Yudhishthira, saying, ‘O, thou of
Kuru’s race, hath he ascended to heaven, having caused a great slaughter
among the enemy and contended with the foremost warriors in the face of
battle? Without doubt, while contending single-handed with foremost of
warriors, countless in number, and fighting with vigour and resolution,
his heart turned towards me from a desire of help. While afflicted by
Karna and Drona and Kripa and others with sharp shafts of diverse kinds
and bright points, my sons of little strength, must have repeatedly
thought, ‘My father will in this press be my rescuer.’ I think, while
indulging in such lamentations, he was felled on the ground by cruel
warriors. Or, perhaps, when he was begotten by me, when he was the nephew
of Madhva, when he was born in Subhadra he could not have uttered such
lamentations. Without doubt, my heart, hard as it is, is made of the
essence of the thunder, since it breaketh not, even though I do not
behold that mighty-armed hero of red eyes. How could those mighty bowmen
of cruel hearts shoot their deep-piercing shafts upon that child of
tender years, who, again, Was my son and the nephew of Vasudeva? That
noble-hearted youth who, coming forward every day, used to congratulate
me, alas, why doth he not present himself today to me when I come back
having slain the foe? Without doubt, overthrown, he lieth today on the
bare earth bathed in blood. Beautifying the earth by his body, he lieth
like the sun fallen (from the firmament). I grieve for Subhadra, who,
hearing of the death in battle of her unretreating son, will, afflicted
with sorrow, cast away her life. What will Subhadra missing Abhimanyu,
say unto me? What also will Draupadi say unto me? Afflicted with grief as
they are, what also shall I say unto them? Without doubt, my heart is
made of the essence of the thunder, since it breaketh not in a thousand
fragments at the sight of my weeping daughter-in-law, pierced with grief.
The leonine shouts of the Dhritarashtras swelling with pride did, indeed,
enter my ears. Krishna also heard Yuyutsu, censuring the heroes (of the
Dhritarashtra army in these words): ‘Ye mighty car-warriors, having been
unable to vanquish Vibhatsu, and having slain only a child, why do ye
rejoice? Why, having done what is disagreeable to those two, viz., Kesava
and Arjuna, in battle, why do you in joy roar like lions, when truly the
hour for sorrow is come? The fruits of this sinful deed of Yours will
soon overtake you. Heinous is the crime perpetrated by you. How long will
it not bear its fruits?’ Rebuking them in these words, the high-souled
son of Dhritarashtra by his Vaisya wife, went away, casting off his
weapons afflicted with rage and grief. O Krishna, why did you not tell me
all this during the battle? I would then have consumed all those
car-warriors of cruel hearts.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Then Vasudeva, consoling Partha who was afflicted
with grief on account of his son, who was exceedingly anxious, whose eyes
were bathed in tears, and who was, in fact, overwhelmed with this sorrow
caused by the slaughter of his child, said unto him, ‘Do not yield so to
grief. This is the way of all brave, unretreating heroes, especially of
Kshatriyas, whose profession is battle. O foremost of intelligent men,
even this is the goal ordained by the authors of our scriptures for
unretreating heroes engaged in battle. Death is certain for heroes that
do not retreat. There is no doubt that Abhimanyu hath ascended to those
regions that are reserved for persons of righteous acts. O bull of
Bharata’s race, even this is coveted by all that are brave, viz., that
they may die in battle, facing their foes. As regards Abhimanyu, he
having slain in battle many heroic and mighty princes, hath met with that
death in the face of battle which is coveted by heroes. Do not grieve, O
tiger among men I The legislators of old have declared this to be the
eternal merit of the Kshatriyas, viz., their death in battle. O best of
the Bharatas, these brothers of thine are all exceedingly cheerless, as
also the king, and these thy friends, seeing thee plunged in grief. O
giver of honours, comfort them in consoling words. That which should be
is known to thee. It behoveth thee not to grieve.’ Thus comforted by
Krishna of wonderful deeds, Partha then said these words unto all his
brothers, with voice choked with sorrow: ‘O lord of the earth, I desire
to hear how the mighty-armed Abhimanyu, how that hero of large eyes,
resembling lotus-petals, fought. Ye will see that I will exterminate the
foe with his elephants and cars and steeds, I will exterminate in battle
those slayers of my son with all their followers and kinsmen. Ye all are
accomplished in arms. Ye all were armed with weapons, how then could
Subhadra’s son be slain, even if it were the wielder of the thunder-bolt
himself with whom he fought? Alas, if I had known that Pandavas and the
Panchalas would be able to protect my son in battle, I myself would have
then protected him. Ye were then on your cars, ye were shooting your
shafts. Alas, how then could Abhimanyu be slain by the foe, causing a
great carnage in your ranks? Alas, ye have no manliness, nor have ye any
prowess, since in the very sight of you all was Abhimanyu slain. Or, I
should chide my own self, since knowing that ye all are weak, cowardly,
and irresolute, I went away! Alas, are your coats of mail and weapons of
all kinds only ornaments for decking your persons, and were words given
to you only for speaking in assemblies, that ye failed to protect my son
(even though ye were clad in mail, armed from head to foot, and even
though you had assured me in words of your competence)?–Having said
these words, Partha sat down, holding bow and his excellent sword.
Indeed, none could, at that time, even look at Vibhatsu who then
resembled the Destroyer himself in wrath, repeatedly drawing deep
breaths. None of his friends or kinsmen could venture to look at or speak
unto Arjuna, as he sat there exceedingly afflicted with grief on account
of his son, and with face bathed in tears. None! Indeed could address
him, save Vasudeva or Yudhishthira. These two, under all circumstances,
were acceptable to Arjuna. And because they were highly reverenced and
dearly loved, therefore, could they alone address him at such times. Then
king Yudhishthira addressing Partha, of eyes like lotus-petals, who was
then filled with rage and exceedingly afflicted with grief on account of
the death of his son, said these words.


“Yudhishthira said,–O mighty-armed one, after thou hadst gone towards
the army of the Samsaptakas, the preceptor Drona made fierce endeavours
for seizing me. We succeeded, however, in resisting Drona at the head of
the array at all points, having in that battle, disposed our vigorously
contending car-divisions in counter-array. Held in check by a large
number of warriors, and myself also having been well protected, Drona
began to smite us with great activity, afflicting us with his whetted
shafts. Thus afflicted by him, we could not then even gaze at his army,
far less face it in battle. All of us then, addressing thy son by
Subhadra, who was equal to thyself, O lord, in prowess said unto him, [O
son, pierce this array of Drona!]–That valorous hero thus urged by us,
then sought, like a good horse, to take that burden on himself, however
unbearable it might have been for him. Endued as he was with thy energy,
aided by that knowledge of weapons which he derived from thee, that child
then penetrated unto that array, like Garuda penetrating into the ocean.
As regards ourselves, we followed that hero, that son of Subhadra,
desirous in that battle, of penetrating (into the Dhritarashtra army) by
the same path by which Abhimanyu had entered it. Then, O sire, the
wretched king of the Sindhus, viz., Jayadratha, in consequence of the
boon granted to him by Rudra, checked all of us! Then Drona, Kripa and
Karna and Drona’s son, and the king of the Kosalas, and Kritavarman,
these six car-warriors surrounded the son of Subhadra. Having surrounded
that child all those great car-warriors–too many for him although he was
contending to the utmost of his power, deprived him of his car. After he
had been deprived of his car, Dussasana’s son, though he himself had a
hair-breadth escape, succeeded, as chance would have it, in making
Abhimanyu, meet with his end. As regards Abhimanyu, he, having slain many
thousands of men and steeds and elephants, and eight thousand cars, and
once more nine hundred elephants, two thousand princes, and a large
number of heroic warriors unknown to fame, and despatching in that battle
king Vrihadvala also to heaven, at last, through ill luck, met with his
own death. Thus hath occurred this event that so enhances our grief! That
tiger among men hath even thus ascended to heaven! Hearing these words
uttered by king Yudhishthira, Arjuna, saying–Oh son!–and breathing a
deep sigh, fell down on the earth in great pain. Then all the warriors of
the Pandavas, surrounding Dhananjaya with cheerless faces began, filled
with grief, to look at one another with winkless eyes. Recovering
consciousness then, Vasava’s son became furious with rage. He seemed to
be in a feverish tremor, and sighed frequently. Squeezing his hands,
drawing deep breaths, with eyes bathed in tears, and casting his glances
like a mad man, he said these words.’

“Arjuna said,—‘Truly do I swear that tomorrow I will slay Jayadratha!
If from fear of death, he doth not forsake the Dhritarashtras, or implore
our protection, or the protection of Krishna that foremost of men or of
thine, O king, I shall assuredly slay him tomorrow! Forgetting his
friendship for me, engaged in doing what is agreeable to Dhritarashtra’s
son, that wretch is the cause of the child’s slaughter! Tomorrow I will
slay him! Whoever they may be that will encounter me in battle tomorrow
for protecting him, be it Drona, or Kripa, O king, I will cover them all
with my arrow! Ye bulls among men, if I do not achieve even this in
(tomorrow’s) battle, let me not attain the region., reserved for the
righteous, ye foremost of heroes! Those regions that are for them that
slay their mothers, or for them that slay their fathers, or them that
violate their preceptor’s beds, or them that are vile and wicked, or them
that cherish envy against the righteous, or them that speak ill of others
or them that appropriate the wealth confidingly deposited with them by
others, or them that are betrayers of trusts, or them that speak ill of
wives enjoyed by them before, or them that have slain Brahmanas, or them
that have killed kine, or them that eat sugared milk and rice, or food
prepared of barley, or pot-herbs, or dishes prepared of milk, sesamum,
and rice, or thin cakes of powdered barley fried in clarified butter or
other kinds of cakes, or meat, without having dedicated the same to the
gods,–even those regions shall speedily be mine if I do not slay
Jayadratha!–Those regions to which they go that offer insults to
Brahmanas devoted to the study of the Vedas, or otherwise worthy of
respect, or to those that are their preceptors, (those regions shall
speedily be mine if I do not slay Jayadratha!) That end which becomes
theirs who touch Brahmanas or fire with the feet, that end which becomes
theirs who throw phlegm and excreta and eject urine into water, even that
miserable end shall be mine, if I do not slay Jayadratha! That end which
is his who bathes (in water) in a state of nudity, or his who does not
hospitably entertain a guest, that end which is theirs who receive
bribes, speak falsehood, and deceive and cheat others, that end which is
theirs who offend against their own souls, or who falsely utter praises
(of others), or of those low wretches who eat sweetmeats in the sight of
servants and sons and wives and dependents without sharing the same with
those, that awful end shall be mine if I do not slay Jayadratha! That end
which overtakes the wretch of ruthless soul who without supporting a
righteous and obedient protege casts him off, or him who, without giving
unto a deserving neighbour the offerings in Sraddhas, giveth them away
unto those that deserve them not, that end which is his who drinks wine,
or his who insults those that are worthy of respect, or his who is
ungrateful, or his who speaketh ill of his brothers, that end shall soon
be mine if I do not stay Jayadratha! The end of all those sinful persons
whom I have not mentioned, as also of those whom I have mentioned, shall
soon be attained by me, if after this night passes away, I do not slay
Jayadratha tomorrow:

“–Listen now to another oath of mine! If tomorrow’s sun set without my
slaying that wretch, then even here I shall enter the blazing fire! Ye
Asuras and gods and men. Ye birds and snakes, ye Pitris and all wanderers
of the night, ye regenerate Rishis and celestial Rishis, ye mobile and
immobile creatures, ye all that I have not mentioned, ye will not succeed
in protecting my foe from me! If he enters the abode of the nether
region, or ascends the firmament, or repairs to the celestials, or the
realms of the Daityas, I shall still, with a hundred arrows, assuredly
cut off, on the expiration of this night, the head of Abhimanyu’s foe!–‘

“Sanjaya continued,–‘Having uttered these words, Arjuna began to stretch
Gandiva with both his arms. Transcending Arjuna’s voice the sound of that
bow rose and touched the very heavens. After Arjuna had taken that oath,
Janarddana, filled with wrath, blew his conch, Panchajanya. And Phalguna
blew Devadatta. The great conch Panchajanya, well filled with the wind
from Krishna’s mouth, produced a loud blare. And that blare made the
regents of the cardinal and the subsidiary points, the nether regions,
and the whole universe, to shake, as it happens at the end of the Yuga.
Indeed after the high-souled Arjuna had taken the oath, the sound of
thousands of musical instruments and loud leonine roars arose from the
Pandava camp.


“Sanjaya said, ‘When the spies (of Duryodhana), having heard that loud
uproar made by the Pandavas desirous of victory, informed (their masters
of the cause), Jayadratha, overwhelmed with sorrow, and with heart
stupefied with grief, and like one sinking in a fathomless ocean of
distress, slowly rose up and having reflected for a long while, proceeded
to the assembly of the kings. Reflecting for a while in the presence of
those gods among men, Jayadratha, in fear of Abhimanyu’s father and
covered with shame, said these words–He who in Pandu’s soil was begotten
by Indra under the influence of desire, that wicked wretch is thinking of
despatching me to the abode of Yama! Blessed be ye, I shall, therefore go
back to my home from desire of life! Or, ye bulls among Kshatriyas,
protect me by the force of your weapons! Partha seeks to slay me, ye
heroes, render me fearless! Drona and Duryodhana and Kripa, and Karna,
and the ruler of the Madras, and Valhika, and Dussasana and others, are
capable of protecting a person who is afflicted by Yama himself. When
however, I am threatened by Phalguna alone, will not all these the lords
of earth, will not all of you, joined together, be able to protect me?
Having heard the shouts of joy of the Pandavas, great hath been my fear.
My limbs, ye lords of earth, have become powerless like those of a person
on the point of death? Without doubt, the wielder of Gandiva hath sworn
for my death! It is for this that the Pandavas are shouting in joy at a
time when they should weep! Let alone the rulers of men, the very gods
and Gandharvas, the Asuras, the Uragas, and the Rakshasas, cannot venture
to baffle a vow of Arjuna. Therefore, ye bulls among men, blessed be ye,
give me permission (to leave the Kuru camp). I want to make myself
scarce. The Pandavas will no longer be able to find me! While indulging
in such lamentations, with heart agitated by fear, king Duryodhana,
always looking upon the accomplishment of his own business to be
preferable to everything else, said unto him these words-Do not fear, O
tiger among men! O bull among men, who will seek to encounter thee in
battle when thou will remain in the midst of these Kshatriya heroes!
Myself, Vikartana’s son, Karna, Chitrasena, Vivinsati, Bhurisravas, Sala,
Salya, the invincible Vrishasena, Purumitra, Jaya, Bhoja, Sudakshina the
ruler of the Kamvojas, Satyavrata, the mighty-armed, Vikarna, Durmukha,
Dussasana, Subahu, the ruler of the Kalingas, with his weapons upraised,
Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, Drona, Drona’s son, and Suvala’s son
(Sakuni),–these and numerous other kings will, with their forces, face
the battle surrounding thee on all sides! Let the fever of thy heart,
therefore, be dispelled! Thou art thyself one of the foremost of
car-warriors! O thou of immeasurable splendour, thou thyself art a hero!
Being what thou art how canst thou then see any cause of fear, O king of
the Sindhus! The eleven Akshauhinis of troops I own will carefully fight
for protecting thee! Therefore, do not fear, O king of the Sindhus! Let
thy fears be dispelled!’

‘Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus comforted, O monarch, by thy son, the king of
the Sindhus then, accompanied by Duryodhana, repaired that very night to
Drona (the generalissimo of the Kuru army). Then, O king, having touched
Drona’s feet with reverence, and taken his seat with humility, he asked
the preceptor these words–In hitting the aim, in hitting it from it
distance, in tightness of hand, and in the force of the stroke, O
illustrious one, tell the difference between myself and Phalguna! O
preceptor, I wish to know accurately the difference as regards
proficiency (in the science of arms) between myself and Arjuna! Say it
unto me truly’

“Drona said, ‘Of tutorial instruction, both of you, i.e., thyself and
Arjuna, have had the same measure, O son! In consequence, however, of
yoga and the hard life led by Arjuna, he is superior to thee! Thou
shouldst not, however, for any reason, cherish fear of Partha! Without
doubt, I will, O son, protect thee from this fear! The very gods, cannot
prevail over him who is protected by my arms! I will form an array which
Partha will not succeed in piercing![127] Therefore contained thou in
battle, do not fear, observing the duties of thy own order! O mighty
car-warrior, tread in the track of thy sires and grandsires! Having duly
studied the Vedas, thou hast poured libations, according to the
ordinance, into fire! Thou hast also performed many sacrifices: Death
cannot, therefore, be an object of terror to thee! (For if thou diest),
attaining then to that great good fortune which is unattainable by vile
men, thou will acquire all those excellent regions in heaven that are
attainable by the might of one’s arms! The Kaurvas, the Pandavas, the
Vrishnis, and other men, as also myself with my son, are all mortal and
short-lived! Think of this. One after another, all of us, slain by Time
which is all powerful, shall go to the other world, carrying with us only
our respective deeds I Those regions that ascetics acquire by undergoing
severe penances, those regions are acquired by heroic Kshatriyas that are
observant of the duties of their order. Even thus was the ruler of the
Sindhus consoled by Bharadwaja’s son. Banishing his fear of Partha, he
set his heart on battle. Then, O king thy troops also felt great delight,
and the loud sounds of musical instruments were heard, mingled with
leonine shouts.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After Partha had vowed the death of the ruler of the
Sindhus, the mighty-armed Vasudeva addressed Dhananjaya and said,–With
the consent of thy brothers (alone, but without consulting me), thou hast
sworn, saying–I will slay the ruler of the Sindhus! This hath been an
act of great rashness (on thy part)! Without consulting me, thou hast
taken up a great weight (upon thy shoulders)! Alas, how shall we escape
the ridicule of all men? I had sent some spies into the camp of
Dhritarashtra’s son. Those spies, quickly coming unto me, gave me this
information, viz., that after thou, O lord, hadst vowed to slay the ruler
of the Sindhus, loud leonine shouts, mingled with the sounds of (our)
musical instruments, were heard by the Dhritarashtras. In consequence of
that uproar, the Dhritarashtras, with their well-wishers, became
terrified,–These leonine shouts are not, causeless!–thought they, and
waited (for what would ensue). O thou of mighty arms, an uproarious din
then arose amongst the Kauravas, of their elephants and steeds and
infantry. And a terrible rattle was also heard of their cars.–Having
heard of the death of Abhimanyu, Dhananjaya, deeply afflicted will in
wrath come out in the night for battle!–Than king even thus, they waited
(ready for battle). While preparing themselves. O thou of eyes like
lotus-petals, they then learnt truly the vow about the slaughter of the
ruler of the Sindhus, made by thee that art wedded to truth.[128] Then
all the counsellors of Suyodhana became heartless and frightened like
little animals. As regards king Jayadratha, that ruler of the Sindhus and
the Sauviras, overwhelmed with grief and becoming thoroughly cheerless he
stood up and entered his own tent with all his counsellors. Having
consulted (with them) about every remedy that could benefit him at a time
when he stood in need of consultation, he proceeded to the assembly of
the (allied) kings and there said these words unto Suyodhana–Dhananjaya
thinking me to be the slayer of his son, will tomorrow encounter me in
battle! He hath, in the midst of his army, vowed to stay me! That vow of
Savyasachin the very gods and Gandharvas and Asuras and Uragas and
Rakshasas cannot venture to frustrate! Protect me, therefore, ye all in
battle! Let not Dhananjaya, placing his foot on your head, succeed in
hitting the mark! Let proper arrangements be made in respect of this
matter! Or, if, O delighter of the Kurus, you think that you will not
succeed in protecting me in battle, grant me permission then, O king, so
that I may return home! Thus addressed (by Jayadratha), Suyodhana became
cheerless and sat, hanging down his head. Ascertaining that Jayadratha
was in a great fright, Suyodhana began to reflect in silence. Beholding
the Kuru king to be greatly afflicted, king Jayadratha, the ruler of the
Sindhus, slowly said these words having a beneficial reference to
himself–I do not behold here that bowman of superior energy who can
baffle with his arms the weapons of Arjuna in great battle! Who, even if
it be Satakratu himself, will stay in front of Arjuna having Vasudeva for
his ally, while wielding the bow Gandiva? It is heard that lord Maheswara
himself of supreme energy had been encountered, before this, by Partha on
foot, on the mountains of Himvat! Urged by the chief of the celestials,
he slew on a single car, a thousand Danavas dwelling in Hiranyapura! That
son of Kunti is now allied with Vasudeva of great intelligence. I think
that he is competent to destroy the three worlds including the very gods.
I wish that you will either grant me permission (to leave the field for
my home) or that the high-souled and heroic Drona with his son will
protect me! Or, I would await thy pleasure!–O Arjuna, (thus addressed by
Jayadratha) king Suyodhana humbly beseeched the preceptor in this
matter.[129] All remedial measures have been adopted. Cars and steeds
have been arranged. Karna and Bhurisravas, and Drona’s son, and the
invincible Vrishasena, and Kripa, and the ruler of the Madras, these six
will be in (Jayadratha’s) van. Drona will form an array half of which
will be a Sakata[130] and half a lotus. In the middle of the leaves of
that lotus will be a needle-mouthed array. Jayadratha, that ruler of the
Sindhus, difficult of being conquered in battle, will take his stand, by
it, protected by heroes! In (the use of) the bow, in weapons, in prowess,
in strength, and also in lineage, those six car-warriors, O Partha are
without doubt, exceedingly difficult of being borne. Without first
vanquishing those six car-warriors, access to Jayadratha will not to be
had. Think, O Arjuna, of the prowess of each of those six, O tiger among
men, when united together, they are not capable of being easily
vanquished! We should, therefore, once again, take counsel with
well-wishing counsellors, conversant with policy, for our benefit and for
the success of our object!'”


“Arjuna said, ‘These six car-warriors of the Dhritarashtra army whom thou
regardest to be so strong their (united) energy, I think is not equal to
even half of mine! Thou shalt see, O slayer of Madhu, the weapons of all
these cut off and baffled by me when I go against them for slaying
Jayadratha! In the very sight of Drona and all his men, I will fell the
head of the ruler of the Sindhus, on the earth, beholding which they will
indulge in lamentations. If the Siddhas, the Rudras, the Vasus, with the
Aswins, the Maruts with Indra: (at their head) the Viswadevas with other
gods, the Pitris, the Gandharvas, Garuda, the Ocean, the mountains, the
firmament, Heaven, Earth, the point of the compass (cardinal and
subsidiary), and the regents of those points, all the creatures that are
domestic and all that are wild, in fact if all the mobile and the
immobile beings together, become the protectors of the ruler of the
Sindhus, yet, O slayer of Madhu, shalt thou behold Jayadratha slain by me
tomorrow in battle with my arrows! O Krishna, I swear by Truth, I touch
my weapons (and swear by them), that I shall, O Kesava, at the very
outset, encounter that Drona, that mighty bowman, who hath become the
protector of that sinful wretch Jayadratha! Suyodhana thinks that this
game (of battle) resteth on Drona! Therefore, piercing through the very
van commanded by Drona himself, I shall get at Jayadratha! Thou shalt
tomorrow behold the mightiest of bowmen riven by me in battle by means of
my shafts endued with fierce energy, like summits of a hill riven by the
thunder, Blood shall flow (in torrents) from the breasts of fallen men
and elephants and steeds, split open by whetted shafts failing fast upon
them! The shafts shot from Gandiva, fleet as the mind or the wind, will
deprive thousands of men and elephants and steeds of life! Men will
behold in tomorrow’s battle those weapons which I have obtained from Yama
and Kaurva and Varuna and Indra and Rudra! Thou shalt behold in
tomorrow’s battle the weapons of all those who come to protect the ruler
of the Sindhus, baffled by me with my Brahma weapon! Thou shalt in
tomorrow’s battle, O Kesava, behold the earth strewn by me with the heads
of kings cut off by the force, of my shafts! (Tomorrow) I shall gratify
all cannibals, rout the foe, gladden my friends, and crush the ruler of
the Sindhus! A great offender, one who hath not acted like a relative,
born in a sinful country, the ruler of the Sindhu, slain by me, will
sadden his own. Thou shalt behold that ruler of the Sindhus, of sinful
behaviour, and brought up in every luxury, pierced by me with my shafts!
On the morrow, O Krishana, I shall do that which shall make Suyodhana
think that there is no other bowman in the world who is equal to me! My
Gandiva is a celestial bow! I myself am the warrior. O bull among men!
Thou, O Hrishikesa, art the charioteer! What is that I will not be able
to vanquish? Through thy grace, O holy one, what is there unattainable by
me in battle? Knowing my prowess to be incapable of being resisted, why,
O Hrishikesa, dost thou, yet rebuke me? As Lakshmi is ever present in
Soma, as water is ever present in the Ocean, know this, O Janarddana,
that even so is my vow ever accomplished! Do not think lightly of my
weapons! Do not think lightly of my tough bow! Do not think lightly of
the might of my arms! Do not think lightly of Dhananjaya! I shall go to
battle in such a way that I shall truly win and not lose! When I have
vowed it, know that Jayadratha hath already been slain in battle! Verily,
in the Brahmana is truth; verily, in the righteous is humility; verily,
in sacrifice is prosperity; verily, in Narayana is victory!

“Sanjaya continued,–‘Having said these words unto Hrishikesa, the son of
Vasudeva, having himself said so unto his own self, Arjuna in a deep
voice, once more addressed lord Kesava, saying–Thou shouldst O Krishna,
so act that my car may be well equipt as soon as this night dawns, since
grave is the task that is at hand!'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Both Vasudeva and Dhananjaya, afflicted with sorrow and
grief and frequently sighing like two snakes, got no sleep that night.
Understanding that both Nara and Narayana were in rage, the gods with
Vasava became very anxious thinking, ‘What will come of it?’ Fierce
winds, that were again dry and foreboded danger, began to blow. And a
headless trunk and a mace appeared on the disc of the sun. And although
it was cloudless, frequent thunders were heard, of loud report, mixed
with flashes of lightning. The earth with her mountains and waters and
forests, shook. The seas, those habitation of Makaras, swelled O king, in
agitation. The rivers ran in directions opposite to their usual course.
The nether and upper lips of car-warriors and steeds and men and
elephants began to tremble. And as if for gladdening the cannibals, on
that occasion foreboding a great accession of population to the domain of
Yama, the animals (on the field) began to eject urine and excreta, and
utter loud cries of woe. Beholding these fierce omens that made the hair
stand on end, and hearing also of the fierce vow of the mighty Arjuna,
all thy warriors, O bull of Bharata’s race became exceedingly agitated.
Then the mighty-armed son of Pakasasana said unto Krishna. ‘Go, and
comfort thy sister Subhadra with her daughter-in-law. And, O Madhava, let
also that daughter-in-law, and her companions, be comforted by thee; O
lord, comfort them with soothing words that are again fraught with
truth.’ Thus addressed, Vasudeva, with a cheerless heart, wending to
Arjuna’s abode, began to comfort his sorrowing sister afflicted with
grief on account of the death of her son.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘O lady of Vrishni’s race, do not grieve, with thy
daughter-in-law, for thy son. G timid one, all creatures have but one end
ordained by Time. The end thy son hath met with-that becometh a hero of
proud lineage, especially who is a Kshatriya. Do not, therefore, grieve.
By good luck it is that mighty car-warrior of great wisdom, of prowess
equal to that of his father, hath, after the Kshatriya custom, met with
an end that is coveted by heroes. Having vanquished numberless foes and
despatched them unto Yama’s presence, he hath himself repaired to those
eternal regions, that grant the fruition of every wish, and that are for
the righteous. Thy son hath attained that end which the righteous attain
by penance, by Brahmacharya, by knowledge of the scriptures, and by
wisdom. The mother of a hero, the wife of a hero, the daughter of a hero,
and a kinsman of heroes, O amiable one, grieve not thou for thy son who
hath obtained the supreme end. The wretched ruler of the Sindhus, O
beautiful lady, that murderer of a child, that perpetrator of a sinful
act, shall, with his friends and kinsmen, obtain the fruit of this
arrogance of his on the expiry of this night. Even if he enters the abode
of Indra himself he will not escape from the hands of Partha. Tomorrow
thou shalt hear that the head of the Sindhus hath, in battle, been cut
off from his trunk to roll on the outskirts of Samantapanchaka! Dispel
thy sorrow, and do not grieve. Keeping the duties of a Kshatriya before
him, thy brave son hath attained the end of the righteous, that end,
viz., which we here expect to obtain as also others that bear arms as a
profession. Of broad chest, mighty arms, unreturning, a crusher of
car-warriors, thy son, O beautiful lady, hath gone to heaven. Drive away
this fever (of thy heart). Obedient to his sires and maternal relations,
that heroic and mighty car-warriors of great prowess hath fallen a prey
to death, after having slain thousands of foes comfort
thy-daughter-in-law, O queen! Do not grieve too much, O Kshatriya lady!
Drive away thy grief, O daughter, as thou shalt hear such agreeable news
on the morrow. That which Partha hath vowed must be accomplished. It
cannot be otherwise. That which is sought to be done by thy husband can
never remain unaccomplished. Even if all human beings and snakes and
Pisachas and all the wanderers of the night and birds, and all the gods
and the Asuras, help the ruler of the Sindhus on the field of battle; he
shall still, with them, cease to exist tomorrow.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing these words of the high-souled Kesava, Subhadra,
afflicted with grief on account of the death of her son, began to indulge
in these piteous lamentations: ‘Oh, son of my wretched self, O thou that
wast in prowess equal to thy father, O child, how couldst thou perish,
going to battle! Alas, how doth that face of thine which resembleth the
blue lotus and is graced with beautiful teeth and excellent eyes, now
seem, now that, O child, it is covered with battle’s dust! Without doubt,
thee so brave and unreturning, thee fallen on the field, with beautiful
head and neck and arms, with broad chest, low belly, thy limbs decked
with ornaments, thee that art endued with beautiful eyes, thee that art
mangled with weapon wounds, thee all creatures are, without doubt,
beholding as the rising moon! Alas, thou whose bed used to be overlaid
with the whitest and costliest sheets, alas, deserving as thou art of
every luxury, how dost thou sleep today on the bare earth, thy body
pierced with arrows? That hero of mighty arms who used of old to be
waited upon by the foremost of beautiful women, alas, how can he, fallen
on the field of battle, pass his time now in the company of jackals! He
who of old was praised with hymns by singers and bards and panegyrists,
alas, he is today greeted by fierce and yelling cannibals and beasts of
prey. By whom, alas, hast thou been helplessly slain when thou hadst the
Pandavas, O lord, and all the Panchalas, for thy protectors? Oh son, O
sinless one, I am not yet gratified with looking at thee. Wretched as I
am, it is evident that I shall have to go to Yama’s abode. When again
shall I cast my eyes on that face of thine, adorned, with large eyes and
beautiful locks that smooth face without pimples, from which sweet words
and exquisite fragrance constantly issued? Fie on the strength of
Bhimasena, on the bowmanship of Partha, on the prowess of the Vrishni
heroes, and the might of the Panchalas! Fie on the Kaikeyas, the Chedis,
the Matsyas, and the Srinjayas, they that could not protect thee, O hero,
while engaged in battle! I behold the earth today to be vacant and
cheerless. Without seeing my Abhimanyu, my eyes are troubled with
affliction. Thou wast the sister’s son of Vasudeva, the son of the
wielder of Gandiva, and thyself, a hero and an Atiratha. Alas, how shall
I behold the slain! Alas, O hero, thou hast been to me like a treasure in
a dream that is seen and lost. Oh, every thing human is as transitory as
a bubble of water. This thy young wife is overwhelmed with grief on
account of the evil that hath befallen thee. Alas, how shall I comfort
her who is even like a cow without her calf! Alas, O son, thou hast
prematurely fled from me at a time when thou wast about to bear fruit of
greatness, although I am longing for a sight of thee. Without, doubt, the
conduct of the Destroyer cannot be understood even by the wise, since
although thou hast Kesava for thy protector, thou wast yet slain, as if
thou wast perfectly helpless. O son, let that end be thine which is
theirs that perform sacrifices and theirs that are Brahmanas of purified
soul, and theirs that have practised Brahmacharya, and theirs that have
bathed in sacred waters, and theirs that are grateful and charitable and
devoted to the service of their preceptors, and theirs that have made
sacrificial presents in profusion. That end which is theirs that are
brave and unretreating while engaged in battle, or theirs that have
fallen in battle, having slain their foes, let that end be thine. That
auspicious end which is theirs that have given away a thousand kine, or
theirs that have given away in sacrifices, or theirs that give away
houses and mansions agreeable to the recipients, that end which is theirs
that give away gems and jewels to deserving Brahmanas, or theirs that are
punishers of crime, O, let that end be thine. That end which is attained
by Munis of rigid vows by Brahmacharya, or that which is attained by
those women that adhere to but one husband, O son, let that end be thine.
That eternal end which is attained by kings by means of good behaviour,
or by those persons that have cleansed themselves by leading, one after
another, all the four modes of life, and through due observance of their
duties, that end which is theirs that are compassionate to the poor and
the distressed, or theirs that equitably divide sweets amongst themselves
and their dependants, or theirs that are never addicted to deceit and
wickedness, O son, let that end be thine! That end which is theirs that
are observant of vows, or theirs that are virtuous, or theirs that are
devoted to the service of preceptors, or theirs that have never sent away
a guest unentertained, O son, let that end be thine. That end which is
theirs that succeed in distress and the most difficult straits in
preserving the equanimity of their souls, however much scorched they
might be by the fire of grief, O son, let that end be thine. O son, let
that end be thine which is theirs that are always devoted to the service
of their fathers and mothers, or theirs that are devoted to their own
wives only. O son, let that end be thine which is attained by those wise
men who, restraining themselves from the wives of others, seek the
companionship of only their own wives in season. O son, let that end be
thine which is theirs that look upon all creatures with an eye of peace,
or theirs that never give pain to others, or theirs that always forgive.
O son, let that end be thine which is theirs that abstain from honey,
meat, wine, pride and untruth, or theirs that have refrained from giving
pain to others. Let that goal be thine which they attain that are modest,
acquainted with all the scriptures, content with knowledge, and have
their passions under control.’

“And while cheerless Subhadra, afflicted with grief, was indulging in
such lamentations, the princess of Panchala (Draupadi), accompanied by
Virata’s daughter (Uttara), came to her. All of them, in great grief,
wept copiously and indulged in heart-rending lamentations. And like
persons reft of reason by sorrow, they fainted away and fell down on the
earth. Then Krishna, who stood, ready with water, deeply afflicted,
sprinkled it over his weeping, unconscious and trembling sister, pierced
in her very heart, and comforting her, said what should be said on such
an occasion. And the lotus-eyed one said, ‘Grieve not, O Subhadra! O
Panchali, console Uttara! Abhimanyu, that bull among Kshatriyas, hath
obtained the most laudable goal. O thou of beautiful face, let all the
other men yet alive in our race obtain that goal which Abhimanyu of great
fame hath obtained. Ourselves with all our friends, wish to achieve, in
this battle, that feat, the like of which, O lady, thy son, that mighty
car-warrior, hath achieved without any assistance.’ Having consoled his
sister and Draupadi and Uttara thus, that chastiser of foes, viz., the
mighty-armed (Krishna), returned to Partha’s side. Then Krishna, saluting
the kings, friends and Arjuna, entered the inner apartments of the
(latter’s) tent while those kings also repaired to respective abodes.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then lord Kesava, of eyes like lotus-petals, having
entered the unrivalled mansion of Arjuna, touched water, and spread (for
Arjuna) on the auspicious and even floor an excellent bed of Kusa blades
that were of the hue of the lapis lazuli. And keeping excellent weapons
around that bed, he adorned it duly with garlands of flowers and fried
paddy, perfumes and other auspicious articles. And after Partha (also)
had touched water, meek and submissive attendants brought the usual
nightly sacrifice to the Three-eyed (Mahadeva). Then Partha, with a
cheerful soul, having smeared Madhava with perfumes and adorned with
floral garlands, presented unto Mahadeva the nightly offering.[131] Then
Govinda, with a faint smile, addressed Partha, saying, ‘Blessed be thou,
O Partha, lay thyself down, I leave thee.’ Placing door-keepers then, and
also sentinels well-armed, blessed Kesava, followed by (his charioteer)
Daruka, repaired to his own tent. He then laid himself down on his white
bed, and thought of diverse measures to be adopted. And the illustrious
one (Kesava) of eyes like lotus petals, began for Partha’s sake, to think
of various means that would dispel (Partha’s) grief and anxiety and
enhance his prowess and splendour. Of soul wrapt in yoga, that Supreme
Lord of all, viz., Vishnu of wide-spread fame, who always did what was
agreeable to Jishnu, desirous of benefiting (Arjuna), lapsed into yoga,
and meditation. There was none in the Pandava camp who slept that night.
Wakefulness possessed every one, O monarch. And everybody (in the Pandava
camp) thought of this, viz.,–The high-souled wielder of Gandiva, burning
with grief for the death of his son, hath suddenly vowed the slaughter of
the Sindhus. How, indeed, will that slayer of hostile heroes, that son of
Vasava, that mighty-armed warrior, accomplish his vow? The high-souled
son of Pandu hath, indeed made a most difficult resolve. King Jayadratha
is endued with mighty energy. Oh, let Arjuna succeed in fulfilling his
vow. Difficult is that vow which he, afflicted with grief on account of
his son, hath made. Duryodhana’s brothers are all possessed of great
prowess. His forces also are countless. The son of Dhritarashtra hath
assigned all these to Jayadratha (as his protectors). Oh, let Dhananjaya
come back (to the camp), having slain the ruler of the Sindhus in battle.
Vanquishing his foes, let Arjuna accomplish his vow. If he fails to slay
the ruler of the Sindhus tomorrow, he will certainly enter into blazing
fire. Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, will not falsify his oath. If Arjuna
dies, how will the son of Dharma succeed in recovering his kingdom?
Indeed, (Yudhishthira) the son of Pandu hath reposed (all his hopes of)
victory of Arjuna. If we have achieved any (religious) merit, if we have
ever poured libations of clarified butter into fire, let Savyasachin,
aided by the fruits thereof, vanquish all his foes.’ Thus talking, O
lord, with one another about the victory (of the morrow), that long
night, O king, of theirs, at last, passed away. In the middle of the
night, Janardana, having awaked, remembered Partha’s vow, and addressing
(his charioteer) Daruka, said, ‘Arjuna, in grief for the death of his
son, hath vowed. O Daruka, that before tomorrow’s sun goes down he will
slay Jayadratha. Hearing of this, Duryodhana will assuredly take counsel
with his counsellors, about how Partha may fail to achieve his object.
His several Akshauhinis of troops will protect Jayadratha. Fully
conversant with the ways of applying all weapons, Drona also, with his
son, will protect him. That matchless hero, the Thousand-eyed (Indra
himself), that crusher of the pride of Daityas and Danavas cannot venture
to slay him in battle who is protected by Drona. I, therefore, will do
that tomorrow by which Arjuna, the son of Kunti, may slay Jayadratha
before the sun sets. My wives, my kinsmen, my relatives, non amongst
these is dearer to me than Arjuna. O Daruka, I shall not be able to cast
my eyes, even for a single moment, on the earth bereft of Arjuna. I tell
thee, the earth shall not be reft to Arjuna. Myself vanquishing them all
with their steeds and elephants by putting forth my strength for the sake
of Arjuna, I will slay them with Karna and Suyodhana. Let the three
worlds tomorrow behold my prowess in great battle, when I put forth my
valour, O Daruka, for Dhananjaya’s sake. Tomorrow thousands of kings and
hundreds of princes, with their steeds and cars and elephants, will, O
Daruka, fly away from battle. Thou shalt tomorrow, O Daruka, behold that
army of kings overthrown and crushed with my discus, by myself in wrath
for the sake of the son of Pandu. Tomorrow the (three) worlds with the
gods, the Gandharvas, the Pisachas, the Snakes, and the Rakshasas, will
know me as a (true) friend of Savyasachin. He that hateth him, hateth me.
He that followeth him, followeth me. Thou hast intelligence. Know that
Arjuna is half of myself. When morning comes after the expiry of this
night, thou, O Daruka, equipping my excellent car according to the rules
of military science, must bring it and follow me with it carefully,
placing on it my celestial mace called Kaumodaki, my dart and discus, bow
and arrows, and every other thing necessary. O Suta, making room on the
terrace of my car for my standard and for the heroic Garuda thereon, that
adorns my umbrella, and yoking thereto my foremost of steeds named
Valahaka and Meghapushpa and Saivya and Sugriva, having cased them in
golden mail of the splendour of the sun and fire, and thyself putting on
thy armour, stay on it carefully. Upon hearing the loud and terrible
blast of my conch Panchajanya emitting the shrill Rishava note,[132] thou
wilt come quickly to me. In course of a single day, O Daruka, I shall
dispel the wrath and the diverse woes of my cousin, the son of my
paternal aunt. By every means shall I strive so that Vibhatsu in battle
may slay Jayadratha in the very sight of the Dhartarashtras. O
charioteer, I tell thee that Vibhatsu will certainly succeed in slaying
all these for whose slaughter he will strive.’

“Daruka said, ‘He is certain to have victory whose charioteership, O
tiger among men, hath been taken by thee. Whence, indeed, can defeat come
to him? As regards myself, I will do that which thou hast commanded me to
do. This night will bring (on its train) the auspicious morn for Arjuna’s


“Sanjaya said, ‘Kunti’s son, Dhananjaya, of inconceivable prowess
thinking of how to accomplish his vow, recollected the mantras (given to
him by Vyasa). And soon he was lulled in the arms of sleep. Unto that
ape-bannered hero, burning with grief and immersed in thought Kesava,
having Garuda on his banner, appeared in a dream. Dhananjaya of righteous
soul, inconsequence of his love and veneration for Kesava, never omitted
under any circumstances to stand up and advance a few steps for receiving
Krishna. Rising up, therefore, now (in his dream), he gave unto Govinda a
seat. He himself, however, at that time, did not set his heart upon
taking his seat. Then Krishna, of mighty energy, knowing the resolution
of Partha, said, while seated, unto the son of Kunti, these words while
the latter was standing: ‘Do not set thy heart, O Partha, on grief. Time
is unconquerable. Time forceth all creatures into the inevitable course.
O foremost of men what for is this grief of thine? Grief should not be
indulged in, O foremost of learned persons! Grief is an impediment to
action. Accomplish that act which should be accomplished. The grief that
maketh a person forgo all efforts is, indeed, O Dhananjaya, an enemy of
that person. A person, by indulging in grief, gladdens his foes and
saddens his friends, while the person is himself weakened. Therefore, it
behoveth thee not to grieve.’ Thus addressed by Vasudeva, the
unvanquished Vibhatsu of great learning then said these words of grave
import: ‘Grave is the vow that I have made about the slaughter of
Jayadratha. Even tomorrow I shall slay that wicked wretch, that slayer of
my son. Even this hath been my vow, O Kesava! For frustrating my vow,
Jayadratha, protected by all the mighty car-warriors, will be kept in
their rear by the Dhartarashtras. Their force, number, consists, O
Madhava, of remnant, after slaughter, of eleven Akshauhinis of troops,
difficult of being vanquished. Surrounded in battle as he will be by all
of them and by all the great car-warriors, how shall he obtain a sight, O
Krishna, of the wicked rule of the Sindhus? My vow will not be
accomplished, O Kesava! How can a person like me live, having failed to
accomplish his vow? O hero, the non-accomplishment is evident of this (my
vow which to me is a) source of great grief. (At this season of the
year), I tell thee that the sun setteth quickly.’ The bird-bannered
Krishna hearing this cause of Partha’s grief, touched water and sat with
face turned to the east. And then that hero, of eyes like lotus leaves,
and possessed of great energy, said these words for the benefit of
Pandu’s son who had resolved upon the slaughter of the ruler of the
Sindhus, ‘O Partha, there is an indestructible, supreme weapon of the
name of Pasupata. With it the god Maheswara slew in battle all the
Daityas! If thou rememberest it now, thou shalt then be able to slay
Jayadratha tomorrow. If it is unknown to thee (now), adore within thy
heart the god having the bull for his mark. Thinking of that god in thy
mind, remember him, O Dhananjaya! Thou art his devotee. Through his grace
thou shalt obtain that rich possession.’ Hearing these words of Krishna,
Dhananjaya, having touched water, sat on the earth with concentrated mind
and thought of the god Bhava. After he had thus sat with rapt mind at
that hour called Brahma of auspicious indications, Arjuna saw himself
journeying through the sky with Kesava. And Partha, possessed of the
speed of the mind, seemed to reach, with Kesava, the sacred foot of
Himavat and the Manimat mountain abounding in many brilliant gems and
frequented by Siddhas and Charanas. And the lord Kesava seemed to have
caught hold of his left arm. And he seemed to see many wonderful sights
as he reached (those place). And Arjuna of righteous soul then seemed to
arrive at the White mountain on the north. And then he beheld, in the
pleasure-gardens of Kuvera the beautiful lake decked with lotuses. And he
also saw that foremost of rivers, viz., the Ganga full of water. And then
he arrived at the regions about the Mandara mountains. Those regions were
covered with trees that always bore blossoms and fruits. And they
abounded with stones lying scattered about, that were all transparent
crystal. And they were inhabited by lions and tigers and abounded with
animals of diverse kinds. And they were adorned with many beautiful
retreats of ascetics, echoing with the sweet notes of delightful
warblers. And they resounded also with the songs of Kinnaras. Graced with
many golden and silver peaks, they were illumined with diverse herbs and
plants. And many Mandara trees with their pretty loads of flowers,
adorned them. And then Arjuna reached the mountains called Kala that
looked like a mound of antimony. And then he reached the summit called
Brahmatunga, and then many rivers, and then many inhabited provinces. And
he arrived at Satasinga, and the woods known by the name of Sharyati. And
then he beheld the sacred spot known as the Horse-head, and then the
region of Atharvana. And then he beheld that prince of mountains called
Vrishadansa, and the great Mandara, abounding in Apsaras, and graced with
the presence of the Kinnaras. And roaming on that mountain, Partha, with
Krishna, beheld a spot of earth adorned with excellent fountains, decked
with golden mineral, and possessed of the splendour of the lunar rays,
and having many cities and towns. And he also beheld many seas of
wonderful forms and diverse mines of wealth. And thus going through the
sky and firmament and the earth, he reached the spot called Vishnupada.
And wandering, with Krishna in his company, he came down with great
velocity, like a shaft shot (from a bow). And soon Partha beheld a
blazing mountain whose splendour equalled that of the planets, the
constellations, or fire. And arrived at that mountain, he beheld on its
top, the high-souled god having the bull for his mark, and ever engaged
in ascetic penances, like a thousand suns collected together, and blazing
with his own effulgence. Trident in hand, matted locks on the head, of
snow-white colour, he was robed in bark and skin. Endued with great
energy, his body seemed to be flaming with a thousand eyes. And he was
seated with Parvati and many creatures of brilliant forms (around him).
And his attendants were engaged in singing and playing upon musical
instruments, in laughing and dancing, in moving and stretching their
hands, and In uttering loud shouts. And the place was perfumed with
fragrant odours, and Rishis that worshipped Brahma adored with excellent
hymns of unfading glory, that God who was the protector of all creatures,
and wielded the (great) bow (called Pinaka). Beholding him, Vasudeva of
righteous soul, with Partha, touched the earth with his head, uttering
the eternal words of the Veda. And Krishna adored, with speech, mind,
understanding, and acts, that God who is the first source of the
universe, himself uncreate, the supreme lord of unfading glory: who is
the highest cause of the mind, who is space and the wind, who is the
cause of all the luminous bodies (in the firmament), who is the creator
of the rain, and the supreme, primordial substance of the earth, who is
the object of adoration, with the gods, the Danavas, the Yakshas, and
human beings; who is the supreme Brahma that is seen by Yogins and the
refuge of those acquainted with Shastras, who is the creator of all
mobile and immobile creatures, and their destroyer also; who is the Wrath
that burns everything at the end of the Yuga; who is the supreme soul;
who is the Sakra and Surya, and the origin of all attributes. And Krishna
sought the protection of that Bhava, whom men of knowledge, desirous of
attaining to that which is called the subtle and the spiritual, behold;
that uncreate one is the soul of all causes. And Arjuna repeatedly adored
that Deity, knowing that he was the origin of all creatures and the cause
of the past, the future, and the present. Beholding those two, viz., Nara
and Narayana arrived, Bhava of cheerful soul, smilingly said unto them,
‘Welcome are ye, ye foremost of men! Rise up and let the fatigue of your
journey be over. What, O heroes, is the desire in your heart? Let it be
uttered quickly. What is the business that has brought you hither? I will
accomplish it and do what would benefit you. I will grant everything ye
may desire., Hearing those words of the god, they both rose. And then
with joined hands, the faultless Vasudeva and Arjuna, both of great
wisdom, began to gratify that high-souled deity with an excellent hymn.
And Krishna and Arjuna said, ‘We bow to Bhava, to Sarva, to Rudra, to the
boon-giving deity. We bow to the lord of all creatures endued with life,
to the god who is always fierce, to him who is called Kapardin! We bow to
Mahadeva, to Bhima, to the Three-eyed, to him who is peace and
contentment. We bow to Isana, to him who is the destroyer of (Daksha’s)
sacrifice. Let salutations be to the slayer of Andhaka, to the father of
Kumara, to him who is of blue throat, to him who is the creator.’ Let
salutation be to the wielder of Pinaka, to one worthy of the offer of
libations of clarified butter, to him who is truth, to him who is
all-pervading. To him who is unvanquished! To him who is always of blue
locks, to him who is armed with the trident, to him who is of celestial
vision! To him who is Hotri, to him who protects all, to, him who is of
three eyes, to him who is disease, to him whose vital seed fell on fire!
To him who is inconceivable, to him who is the lord of Amvika, to him who
is adored by all the gods! To him who hath the bull for his mark, to him
who is bold, to him who is of matted lock, to him who is a Brahmacharin!
To him who standeth as an ascetic in the water, to him who is devoted to
Brahma, to him who hath never been conquered! To him who is the soul of
the universe, to him who is the creator of the universe, to him who
liveth pervading the whole universe! We bow to thee that art, the object
of the reverence of all, to thee that art the original cause of all
creatures! To thee that art called Brahmachakra, to thee that art called
Sarva, Sankara, and Siva! We bow to thee that art the lord of all great
beings! We bow to thee that hast a thousand heads, to thee that hast a
thousand arms, to thee that art called Death! To thee that hast a
thousand eyes, a thousand legs? To thee whose acts are innumerable! We
bow to thee whose complexion is that of gold, to thee that art cased in
golden mail, to thee that art ever compassionate to thy devotees! O lord,
let our wish be accomplished.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Having adored Mahadeva in these terms, Vasudeva with
Arjuna then began to gratify him for obtaining (the great) weapon (called


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then Partha, with a cheerful soul and joined hands and
eyes expanded (in wonder), gazed at the god having the bull for his mark
and who was the receptacle of every energy. And he beheld the offerings
he made every night to Vasudeva lying by the side of the Three-eyed
deity. The son of Pandu then, mentally worshipping both Krishna and
Sarva, said unto the latter, ‘I desire (to obtain) the celestial weapon.’
Hearing these words of Partha desiring the boon he sought, god Siva
smilingly said unto Vasudeva and Arjuna, ‘Welcome to you, ye foremost of
men! I know the wish cherished by you, and the business for which you
have come here. I will give you what you wish. There is a celestial lake
full of Amrita, not far from this place, ye slayers of foes! There were
kept some time back, that celestial bow and arrow of mine. With them I
slew in battle all the enemies of the gods. Bring hither, ye Krishna,
that excellent bow with arrow fixed on it.’ Hearing these words of Siva,
Vasudava with Arjuna answered, ‘So be it.’ And then accompanied by all
the attendants of Siva, those two heroes set out for that celestial lake
which possessed hundreds of heavenly wonders, that sacred lake, capable
of granting every object, which the god, having the bull for his mark,
had indicated to them, And unto that lake, the Rishis Nara and Narayana
(viz., Arjuna and Vasudeva) went fearlessly. And having reached that
lake, bright as the disc of the sun, Arjuna and Achyuta beheld within its
waters a terrible snake. And they beheld there another foremost of
snakes, that had a thousand heads. And possessed of the effulgence of
fire, that snake was vomiting fierce flames. Then Krishna and Partha
having touched water, joined their hands, and approached those snakes,
having bowed unto the god having the bull for his mark. And as they
approached the snakes, conversant as they were with the Vedas, they
uttered the hundred stanzas of the Veda, to the praise of Rudra, bowing
the while with their sincere souls unto Bhava of immeasurable power. Then
those two terrible snakes, in consequence of the power of those
adorations to Rudra, abandoned their snake-forms and assumed the forms of
a foe-killing bow and arrow. Gratified (with what they saw), Krishna and
Arjuna then seized that bow and arrow of great effulgence. And those
high-souled heroes then brought them away and gave them unto the
illustrious Mahadeva. Then from one of the sides of Siva’s body there
came out a Brahmacharin of tawny eyes. And he seemed to be the refuge of
asceticism. Of blue throat and red locks, he was endued with great might.
Taking up that best of bows that Brahmacharin stood placing (both the bow
and his feet properly). And fixing the arrow on the bowstring, he began
to stretch the latter duly. Beholding the manner of his seizing the
handle of the bow and drawing the string and placing of his feet, and
hearing also the Mantras uttered by Bhava, the son of Pandu, of
inconceivable prowess, learnt everything duly. The mighty and puissant
Brahmacharin then sped that arrow to that same lake. And he once more
threw that bow also in that self-same lake. Then Arjuna of good memory
knowing that Bhava was gratified with him, and remembering also the boon
the latter had given him in the forest, and the sight also he gave him of
his person, mentally entertained the desire, ‘Let all this become
productive of fruit!’ Understanding this to be his wish, Bhava, gratified
with him, gave him the boon. And the god also granted him the terrible
Pasupata weapon and the accomplishment of his vow. Then having thus once
more obtained the Pasupata weapon from the supreme god, the invincible
Arjuna, with hair standing on end, regarded his business to be already
achieved. Then Arjuna and Krishna filled with joy, paid their adorations
unto the great god by bowing their heads. And permitted by Bhava both
Arjuna and Kesava, those two heroes, almost immediately came back to
their own camp, filled with transports of delight. Indeed, their joy was
as great as that of Indra and Vishnu when those two gods, desirous of
slaying Jambha, obtained the permission of Bhava that slayer of great


“Sanjaya said, ‘While Krishna and Daruka were thus conversing together,
that night, O king, passed away. (When morning dawned), king Yudhishthira
rose from his bed. Paniswanikas and Magadhas and Madhuparkikas and Sutas,
gratified that bull among men (with songs and music). And dancers began
their dance, and sweet-voiced singers sang their sweet songs fraught with
the praises of the Kuru race. And skilled musicians, well-trained (in
their respective instruments), played on Mridangas and Jharjharas and
Bheris, and Panavas, and Anakas, and Gomukhas, and Adamvaras, and conchs,
and Dundubhis of loud sound, and diverse other instruments. That loud
noise, deep as the roar of the clouds, touched the very heavens. And it
awoke that foremost of kings, viz., Yudhishthira, from his slumber.
Having slept happily on his excellent and costly bed, the king awoke.

And the monarch, rising from his bed, proceeded to the bath-room for
performing those acts that were absolutely necessary. Then a hundred and
eight servants, attired in white, themselves washed, and all young,
approached the king with many golden jars filled to the brim. Seated at
his ease on a royal seat, attired in a thin cloth, the king bathed in
several kinds of water fragrant with sandal-wood and purified with
Mantras. His body was rubbed by strong and well-trained servants with
water in which diverse kinds of medicinal herbs had been soaked. He then
washed with adhivasha water rendered fragrant by various odoriferous
substances. Obtaining then a long piece of cloth (for the head) that was
as white as the feathers of the swan, and that had been kept loose before
him, the king tied it round his head for drying the water. Smearing his
body then with excellent sandal-paste, and wearing floral garlands, and
addressing himself in clean robes, the mighty-armed monarch sat with face
towards the cast, and his hands joined together. Following the path of
the righteous, the son of Kunti then mentally said his prayers. And then
with great humility he entered the chamber in which the blazing fire (for
worship) was kept. And having worshipped the fire with faggots of sacred
wood and with libations of clarified butter sanctified with Mantras, he
came out of the chamber. Then that tiger among men, entering a second
chamber, beheld there many bulls among Brahmanas well-acquainted with the
Vedas. And they were all self-restrained, purified by the study of the
Vedas and by vows. And all of them had undergone the bath on the
completion of sacrifices performed by them. Worshippers of the Sun, they
numbered a thousand. And, besides them, there were also eight thousand
others of the same class. And the mighty-armed son of Pandu, having
caused them to utter, in distinct voices, agreeable benedictions, by
making presents to them of honey and clarified butter and auspicious
fruits of the best kind, gave unto each of them a nishka of gold, a
hundred steeds decked with ornaments, and costly robes and such other
presents as were agreeable to them. And making unto them presents also of
kine yielding milk whenever touched, with calves and having their horns
decked with gold and their hoofs with silver, the son of Pandu
circumambulated them. And then seeing and touching Swastikas fraught with
increase of good fortune, and Nandyavartas made of gold, and floral
garlands, water-pots and blazing fire, and vessels full of sun-dried rice
and other auspicious articles, and the yellow pigment prepared from the
urine of the cow, and auspicious and well-decked maidens, and curds and
clarified butter and honey, and auspicious birds and diverse other things
held sacred, the son of Kunti came into the outer chamber. Then, O
mighty-armed one, the attendants waiting in that chamber brought an
excellent and costly seat of gold that was of a circular shape. Decked
with pearls and lapis lazuli, and overlaid with a very costly carpet over
which was spread another cloth of fine texture, that scat was the
handiwork of the artificer himself. After the high-souled monarch had
taken his seat, the servants brought to him all his costly and bright
ornaments. The high-souled son of Kunti put on those begemmed ornaments,
whereupon his beauty became such as to enhance the grief of his foes. And
when the servants began to fan him with white yak-tails of the bright
effulgence of the moon and all furnished with handles of gold, the king
looked resplendent like a mass of clouds charged with lightning. And
bards began to sing his praises, and panegyrists uttered his eulogies.
And singers began to sing unto that delighter of Kuru’s race, and in a
moment the voices of the panegyrists swelled into a loud noise. And then
was heard the clatter of car-wheels, and the tread of horse-hoofs. And in
consequence of that noise mingling with the tinkle of elephants’ bells
and the blare of conchs and the tread of men, the very earth seemed to
tremble. Then one of the orderlies in charge of the doors, cased in mail,
youthful in years, decked with ear-rings, and his sword hanging by his
side, entering the private apartment, knelt down on the ground, and
saluting with (a bend of) his head the monarch who deserved every
adoration, represented unto that high-souled and royal son of Dharma that
Hrishikesa was waiting to be introduced. Then that tiger among men,
having ordered his servants, ‘Let an excellent seat and an Arghya be kept
ready for him,’ caused him of Vrishni’s race to be introduced and seated
on a costly seat. And addressing Madhava with the usual enquiries of
welcome, king Yudhishthira the just duly worshipped Kesava.’


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then king Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, saluting
Devaki’s son Janardana, and cheerfully addressed him saying ‘Hast thou
passed the night happily, O slayer of Madhu? Are all thy perceptions
clear, O thou of unfading glory? Vasudeva also made similar enquiries of
Yudhishthira. Then the orderly came and represented that the other
Kshatriya warriors were waiting to be introduced. Commanded by the king,
the man introduced that concourse of heroes, consisting of Virata and
Bhimasena and Dhrishtadyumna and Satyaki, and Dhrishtaketu, the ruler of
the Chedis, and the mighty car-warriors, Drupada, and Sikhandin, and the
twins (Nakula and Sahadeva), and Chekitana, and the ruler of the
Kalikayas, and Yuyutsu, of Kuru’s race, and Uttamaujas of the Panchalas,
‘and Yudhamanyu, and Suvahu, and the (five) sons of Draupadi. These and
many other Kshatriyas, approaching that high-souled bull among the
Kshatriyas, sat down on excellent seats. Those mighty and high-souled
heroes of great splendour viz., Krishna and Yuyudhana, both sat on the
same seat. Then in the hearing of them all, Yudhishthira addressing the
lotus-eyed slayer of Madhu, and said unto him these sweet words: ‘Relying
on thee alone, we, like the celestial one, the deity of a thousand eyes,
seek, victory in battle and eternal happiness. Thou art aware, O Krishna,
of the deprivation of our kingdom, our exile at the hands of the foe, and
all our diverse woes. O lord of all, O thou that art compassionate unto
those that are devoted to thee, upon thee wholly rests the happiness of
us all and our very existence, O slayer of Madhu! O thou of Vrishni’s
race, do that by which my heart may ever rest on thee! Do also that, O
Lord, by which the proposed vow of Arjuna may be realised. O, rescue us
today from this ocean of grief and rage. O Madhava, become thou today a
boat unto us that are desirous of crossing (that ocean). The car-warriors
desirous of slaying the foe cannot, in battle, do that (for the success
of his object) which, O Krishna, the car-driver can do, if he exerts
himself carefully. O Janardana, as thou always savest the Vrishnis in all
calamities, even so it behoveth thee to save us from this distress, O
mighty-armed one! O bearer of the conch, discus, and mace, rescue the
sons of Pandu sunk in the fathomless and boatless Kuru-ocean, by becoming
a boat unto them. I bow to thee, O God of the lord of the gods, O thou
that art eternal, O supreme Destroyer, O Vishnu, O Jishnu, O Hari, O
Krishna, O Vaikuntha, O best of mate beings! Narada described thee as
that ancient and best of Rishis (called Narayana) that giveth boons, that
beareth the bow Saranga, and that is the foremost of all. O Madhava, make
those words true. Thus addressed in the midst of that assembly by king
Yudhishthira the just, Kesava, that foremost of speakers, replied unto
Yudhishthira in a voice deep as that of clouds charged with rain, saying,
‘In all the worlds including that of the celestials, there is no bowman
equal to Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha! Possessed of great energy.
accomplished in weapons, of great prowess and great strength, celebrated
in battle, ever wrathful, and of great energy, Arjuna is the foremost of
men. Youthful in years bull-necked, and of long arms, he is endued with
great strength. Treading like a lion or a bull, and exceedingly beautiful
he will slay all thy foes. As regards myself, I will do that by which
Arjuna, the son of Kunti, may be able to consume the troops of
Dhritarashtra’s son like a swelling conflagration. This very day, Arjuna
will, by his arrows despatch that vile wretch of sinful deeds, that
slayer of Subhadra’s son, (viz., Jayadratha), to that road from which no
traveller comes back. Today vultures and hawks and furious jackals and
other carnivorous creatures will feed on his flesh. O Yudhishthira, if
even all the gods with Indra become his protectors today, Jayadratha will
still, slain in the thick of battle, repair to Yama’s capital. Having
slain the ruler of the Sindhus, Jishnu will come to thee (in the
evening). Dispel thy grief and the fever (of thy heart), O king, and be
thou graced with prosperity.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘While Yudhishthira, Vasudeva, and others were thus
conversing, Dhananjaya came there, desirous of beholding that foremost
one of Bharata’s race, viz., the king, as also his friends and
well-wishers. After he had entered that auspicious chamber and having
saluted him duly, had taken its stand before the king, that bull among
the Pandavas, (viz., king Yudhishthira), rising up from his seat,
embraced Arjuna with great affection. Smelling his head and embracing him
with his arms, the king blessed him heartily. And addressing him
smilingly, he said, ‘It is evident, O Arjuna, that complete victory
certainly awaits thee in battle, judging from thy countenance (bright and
cheerful as it is), and by the fact that Janardana is well-pleased with
thee. Then Jishnu related unto him that highly wonderful incident,
saying, ‘Blessed be thou, O monarch, I have, through Kesava’s grace,
beheld something exceedingly wonderful.’ Then Dhananjaya related
everything he had seen, about his meeting with the Three-eyed god, for
assuring his friends. Then all the hearers, filled with wonder, bent
their heads to the ground. And bowing unto the god having the bull for
his mark, they said, ‘Excellent, Excellent!’ Then all the friends and
well-wishers (of the Pandavas), commanded by the son of Dharma, quickly
and carefully proceeded to battle, their hearts filled with rage (against
the foe). Saluting the king, Yuyudhana and Kesava and Arjuna, cheerfully
set out from Yudhishthira’s abode. And those two invincible warriors,
those two heroes, viz., Yuyudhana, and Janardana, together proceeded on
the same car to Arjuna’s pavilion. Arrived there, Hrishikesa, like a
charioteer (by profession), began to equip that car bearing the mark of
the prince of apes and belonging to that foremost of car-warriors (viz.,
Arjuna). And that foremost of cars, of the effulgence of heated gold, and
of rattle resembling the deep roar of the clouds, equipped (by Krishna),
shone brightly like the morning sun. Then that tiger among men, (viz.,
Vasudeva), clad in mail informed Partha, who had finished his morning
prayers, of the fact that ‘his car had been properly equipped. Then that
foremost of men in this world, viz., the diadem-decked (Arjuna), clad in
golden armour, with his bow and arrows in hand, circumambulated that car.
And adored and blessed with benedictions about victory by Brahmanas, old
in ascetic penances and knowledge and years, ever engaged in the
performance of religious rites and sacrifices, and having their passions
under control, Arjuna then ascended that great car, that excellent
vehicle, which had previously been sanctified with mantras capable of
giving victory in battle, like Surya of blazing rays ascending the
eastern mountain. And that foremost of car-warriors decked with gold, in
consequence or those golden ornaments of his, on his car like Surya of
blazing splendour on the breast of Meru. After Partha, Yuyudhana. and
Janardana mounted on that car, like the twin Aswins riding the same car
with Indra while coming to the sacrifice of Saryati. Then Govinda, that
foremost of charioteers, took the reins (of the steeds), like Matali
taking the reins of Indra’s steeds, while the latter went to battle for
slaying Vritra.[133] Mounted on that best of cars with those two friends,
that slayer of large bodies of foes, viz., Partha, proceeded for
achieving the slaughter of the ruler of the Sindhus, like Soma rising (in
the firmament) with Budha and Sukra, for destroying the gloom of night,
or like Indra proceeding with Varuna and Surya to the great battle (with
the Asuras) occasioned by the abduction of Taraka (the wife of
Vrihaspati). The bards and musicians gratified the heroic Arjuna, as he
proceeded, with the sound of musical instruments and auspicious hymns of
good omen. And the voices of the panegyrists and the bards uttering
benedictions of victory and wishing good day, mingling with the sounds of
musical instruments, became gratifying to those heroes. And an auspicious
breeze, fraught with fragrance, blew from behind Partha, gladdening him
and sucking up the energies of his foes. And at that hour, O king, many
auspicious omens of various kinds appeared to view, indicating victory to
the Pandavas and defeat to thy warriors, O sire! Beholding those
indications of victory, Arjuna, addressing the great bowman Yuyudhana on
his right, said these words: O Yuyudhana! in today’s battle my victory
seems to be certain, since O bull of Sini’s race, all these (auspicious)
omens are seen. I shall, therefore, go thither where the ruler of the
Sindhus waiteth for (the display of) my energy and in expectation of
repairing to the regions of Yama. Indeed, as the slaughter of the ruler
of the Sindhus is one of my most imperative duties, even so is the
protection of king Yudhishthira the just another of my most imperative
obligations. O thou of mighty arms, be thou today the king’s protector.
Thou wilt protect him even as I myself protect him. I do not behold the
person in the world who would be able to vanquish thee. Thou art, in
battle, equal to Vasudeva himself. The chief of the celestials himself is
unable to vanquish thee. Reposing this burden on thee, or on that mighty
car-warrior Pradyumna, I can, O bull among men, without anxiety slay the
ruler of the Sindhus. O thou of the Satwata race, no anxiety need be
entertained on my account. With thy whole heart must thou protect the
king. There where the mighty-armed Vasudeva stayeth, and where I myself
stay, without doubt, the slightest danger to him or me can never befall.’
Thus addressed by Partha, Satyaki, that slayer of hostile heroes, replied
saying, ‘So be it.’ And then the latter proceeded to the spot where king
Yudhishthira was.’


(Jayadratha-Vadha Parva)

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘After Abhimanyu’s slaughter when the next day came,
what did the Pandavas, afflicted with grief and sorrow do? Who amongst my
warriors fought with them? Knowing, as they did, the achievements of
Savyasachin, O tell me, how the Kauravas, could, having perpetrated such
a wrong, remain fearlessly. How could they in battle venture even to gaze
at that tiger among men (viz., Arjuna), as he advanced like the
all-destroying Death himself in fury, burning with grief on account of
the slaughter of his son? Beholding that warrior having the prince of
apes on his banner, that hero grieved on account of his son’s death
shaking his gigantic bow in battle, what did my warrior do? What, O
Sanjaya, hath befallen unto Duryodhana? A great sorrow hath overtaken us
today. I do not any longer hear the sounds of joy. Those charming sounds,
highly agreeable to the ear, that were formerly heard in the abode of the
Sindhu king, alas those sounds are no longer heard today. Alas, in the
camp of my sons, the sounds of countless bards and panegyrists singing
their praises, and of dances are no longer heard. Formerly, such sounds
used to strike my ears incessantly. Alas, as they are plunged into grief
I do not any longer hear those sounds uttered (in their camp). Formerly,
O Sanjaya, while sitting in the abode of Somadatta who was devoted to
truth, I used to hear such delightful sounds. Alas, how destitute of
(religious) merit I am, for I observe the abode of my sons today to be
echoing with sounds of grief and lamentations and destitute of every
noise betokening life and energy. In the houses of Vivinsati, Durmukha,
Chitrasena, Vikarna, and other sons of mine, I do not hear the sounds I
used to hear formerly. That great bowman, viz., the son of Drona, who was
the refuge of my sons, upon him Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, and
a large number of disciples used to wait, who took pleasure day and night
in controversial disputations, in talk, in conversation, in the stirring
music of diverse instruments, and in various kinds of delightful songs,
who was worshipped by many persons among the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the
Satwatas, alas, O Suta, in the abode of that son of Drona no sound can be
heard as formerly. Singers and dancers used, in a large number, to wait
closely upon that mighty bowman, viz., the son of Drona. Alas, their
sounds can no longer be heard in his abode. That loud noise which rose in
the camp of Vinda and Anuvinda every evening, alas, that noise is no
longer heard there. Not in the camp of the Kaikeyas can that loud sound
of song and slapping of palms be heard today which their soldiers,
engaged in dance and revelry, used to make. Those priests competent in
the performance of sacrifices who used to wait upon Somadatta’s son, that
refuge of scriptural rites, alas, their sounds can no longer be heard.
The twang of the bowstring, the sounds of Vedic recitation, the whiz of
lances and swords, and rattle of car-wheels, used incessantly to be heard
in the abode of Drona. Alas, those sounds can no longer be heard there.
That swell of songs of diverse realms, that loud noise of musical
instruments, which used to arise there, alas, those can no longer be
heard today. When Janardana of unfading glory came from Upaplavya,
desirous of peace, from compassion for every creature, I then, O Suta,
said unto the wicked Duryodhana: Obtaining Vasudeva as the means, make
peace with the Pandavas, O son! I think the time has come (for making
peace). Do not, O Duryodhana, transgress my command. If thou settest
Vasudeva aside, who now begs thee for peace and addresses thee for my
good, victory thou wilt never have in battle. Duryodhana, however, did
set aside him of Dasarha’s race, that bull among all bowmen, who then
spoke what was for Duryodhana’s good. By this, he embraced what was
calamitous to himself. Seized by Death himself, that wicked-souled son of
mine, rejecting my counsels, adopted those of Duhsasana and Karna. I
myself did not approve of the game of dice. Vidura did not approve of it.
The ruler of the Sindhus did not, nor Bhishma; nor Salya; nor
Bhurisravas; nor Purumitra; nor Jaya; nor Aswatthaman; nor Kripa; nor
Drona, O Sanjaya! If my son had conducted himself according to the
counsels of these persons, he would then, with his kinsmen and friends
have lived for ever in happiness and peace. Of sweet and delightful
speech ever saying what is agreeable amid their kinsmen, high-born, loved
by all, and possessed of wisdom, the sons of Pandu are sure to obtain
happiness. The man who casteth his eye on righteousness, always and
everywhere obtaineth happiness. Such a man after death, winneth benefit
and grace. Possessed of sufficient might, the Pandavas deserve to enjoy
half the earth. The earth girt by the seas is as much their ancestral
possession (as of the Kurus). Possessed of sovereignty, the Pandavas will
never deviate from the track of righteousness. O child, I have kinsmen to
whose voice the Pandavas will ever listen, such, for instance, as Salya,
Somadatta, the high-souled Bhishma, Drona, Vikarna, Valhika, Kripa, and
others among the Bharatas that are illustrious and reverend in years. If
they speak unto them on thy behalf the Pandavas will certainly act
according to those beneficial recommendations. Or, who amongst these,
thinkest thou, belongs to their party that will speak to them otherwise?
Krishna will never abandon the path of righteousness. The Pandavas are
all obedient to him. Words of righteousness spoken by myself also, those
heroes will never disobey, for the Pandavas are all of righteous soul.’
Piteously lamenting, O Suta, I spoke these and many such words unto my
son. Foolish as he is, he listened not to me! I think all this to be the
mischievous influence of Time! There where Vrikodara and Arjuna are, and
the Vrishni hero, Satyaki, and Uttamaujas of the Panchalas, and the
invincible Yudhamanyu, and the irrepressible Dhrishtadyumna, and the
unvanquished Sikhandin, the Asmakas, the Kekayas, and Kshatradharman of
‘the Somakas, the ruler of the Chedis, and Chekitana, and Vibhu, the son
of the ruler of the Kasi, the sons of Draupadi, and Virata and the mighty
car-warrior Drupada, and those tigers among men viz., the twins (Nakula
and Sahadeva), and the stayer of Madhu to offer counsel, who is there in
this world that would fight these, expecting to live? Who else, again, is
there, save Duryodhana, and Karna, and Sakuni, the son of Suvala, and
Duhsasana as their fourth, for I do not see the fifth that would venture
to resist my foes while the latter display their celestial weapons? They
who have Vishnu himself on their car, clad in mail and reins in hand,
they who have Arjuna for their warrior, they can never have defeat! Doth
not Duryodhana now recollect those lamentations of mine? The tiger among
men, Bhishma, thou hast said, has been slain. I think, beholding the
fruits of the words uttered by the far-seeing Vidura, my sons are now
indulging in lamentations! I think, beholding his army overwhelmed by
Sini’s grandson and Arjuna, beholding the terraces of his cars empty, my
sons are indulging in lamentations. As a swelling conflagration urged by
the winds consumes a heap of dry grass at the close of winter, even so
will Dhananjaya consume my troops. O Sanjaya, thou art accomplished in
narration. Tell me everything that transpired after the doing of that
great wrong to Partha in the evening. When Abhimanyu was slain, what
became the state of your minds? Having, O son, greatly offended the
wielder of Gandiva, my warriors are incapable of bearing in battle his
achievements. What measures were resolved upon by Duryodhana and what by
Karna? What also did Duhsasana and Suvala’s son do? O Sanjaya, O son,
that which has in battle befallen all my children assembled together, is
certainly due to the evil acts of the wicked Duryodhana, who followeth in
the path of avarice, who is of wicked understanding, whose judgment is
perverted by wrath, who coveteth sovereignty, who is foolish, and who is
deprived of reason by anger. Tell me, O Sanjaya, what measures were then
adopted by Duryodhana? Were they ill-judged or well-judged?'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘I will tell thee all, for everything hath been witnessed
by me with my own eyes. Listen calmly. Great is thy fault. Even as an
embankment is useless after the waters (of the field) have flowed away,
even so, O king, are these lamentations of thine useless! O bull of
Bharata’s race, do not grieve. Wonderful as are the decrees of the
Destroyer, they are incapable of being transgressed. Do not grieve, O
bull of Bharata’s race, for this is not new. If thou hadst formerly
restrained Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, and thy sons also from the
match at dice, this calamity then would never have overtaken thee. If,
again, when time for battle came, hadst thou restrained both the parties
inflamed by wrath, this calamity then would never have overtaken thee.
If, again, hadst thou formerly urged the Kurus to slay the disobedient
Duryodhana, then this calamity would never have overtaken thee. (If thou
hadst done any of these acts), the Pandavas, the Panchalas, the Vrishnis,
and the other kings would then have never known thy wrong-headedness. If,
again, doing, thy duty as a father, thou hadst, by placing Duryodhana in
the path of righteousness, caused him to tread along it, then this
calamity would never have overtaken thee. Thou art the wisest man on
earth. Forsaking eternal virtue, how couldst thou follow the counsels of
Duryodhana and Karna and Sakuni? These lamentations of thine, therefore,
O king, that I hear,–of thine that art wedded to (worldly) wealth, seem
to me to be honey mixed with poison. O monarch, formerly Krishna did not
respect king Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, or Drona, so much as he used
to respect thee. When, however, he came to know thee as one fallen off
from the duties of a king, since then Krishna hath ceased to regard thee
with respect. Thy sons had addressed various harsh speeches towards the
sons of Pritha. Thou wast indifferent to those speeches then, O thou that
wieldest sovereignty, unto thy sons. The consequence of that indifference
of thine hath now overtaken thee. O sinless one, the ancestral
sovereignty is now in danger. (If it is not so), obtain now the whole
earth subjugated by the sons of Pritha.[134] The kingdom that the Kurus
enjoy, as also their fame had been acquired by the Pandus. The virtuous
sons of Pandu added to that kingdom and that fame. Those achievements,
however, of theirs became (to them) barren of fruit as they came in
contact with thee, since they were deprived of even their ancestral
kingdom by the covetous self. Now, O king, when the battle has begun,
thou censurest thy sons indicating diverse faults of theirs. This is
scarcely becoming. The Kshatriyas, while fighting, do not take care of
their very lives. Indeed, those bulls among Kshatriyas fight, penetrating
into the array of the Parthas. Who else, indeed, save the Kauravas, would
venture to fight with that force which is protected by Krishna and
Arjuna, by Satyaki and Vrikodara? Them that have Arjuna for their
warrior, them that have Janardana for their counsellor, them that have
Satyaki and Vrikodara for their protectors, what mortal bowman is there
that would dare fight with, save the Kauravas and those that are
following their lead? All that is capable of being achieved by friendly
kings endued with heroism and observant of the duties of Kshatriyas, all
that is being done by the warriors on the Kauravas side. Listen now,
therefore, to everything that hath taken place in the terrible battle
between those tigers among men viz., the Kurus and the Pandavas.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After that fight had passed away, Drona, that foremost of
all wielders of weapons, began to array all his divisions for battle.
Diverse sounds were heard, O monarch of angry heroes shouting in wrath
and desirous of slaying one another. And some stretched their bows, and
some rubbed with their hands their bow-strings. And drawing deep breaths,
many of them shouted, saying, Where is that Dhananjaya? And some began to
throw upwards (and again seize) their naked swords, unyielding,
well-tempered, of the colour of the sky, possessed of great sharpness,
and furnished with beautiful hilts. And brave warriors, desirous of
battle, by thousands, were seen to perform the evolutions of swordmen and
of bowmen, with skill acquired by practice. Some whirling their maces
decked with bells, smeared with sandal paste, and adorned with gold and
diamonds enquired after the sons of Pandu. Some intoxicated with the
pride of strength, and possessed of massive arms, obstructed the welkin
with their spiked clubs that resembled (a forest of flag) staff raised in
honour of Indra. Others, brave warriors all, adorned with beautiful
garlands of flowers, desirous of battle, occupied diverse portions of the
field, armed with diverse weapons. ‘Where is Arjuna? Where is that
Govinda? Where is proud Bhima? Where also are those allies of their?’
Even thus did they call upon them in battle. Then blowing his conch and
himself urging the horses to great speed, Drona moved about with great
celerity, arraying his troops. After all those divisions that delight in
battle had taken up their stations, Bharadwaja’s son, O king, said these
words unto Jayadratha. ‘Thyself, Somadatta’s son, the mighty car-warrior
Karna, Aswatthaman, Salya, Vrishasena and Kripa, with a hundred thousand
horse, sixty thousand cars, four and ten thousand elephants with rent
temples, one and twenty thousand foot-soldiers clad in mail take up your
station behind me at the distance of twelve miles. There the very gods
with Vasava at their head will not be able to attack thee, what need be
said, therefore, of the Pandavas? Take comfort, O ruler of the Sindhus.
Thus addressed (by Drona), Jayadratha, the ruler of the Sindhus, became
comforted. And he proceeded to the spot indicated by Drona, accompanied
by many Gandhara warriors, and surrounded by those great car-warriors,
and with many foot-soldiers clad in mail, prepared to fight vigorously
and armed with nooses. The steeds of Jayadratha, well-skilled in bearing
of drawing were all, O monarch, decked with yalk-tails and ornaments of
gold. And seven thousand such steeds, and three thousand other steeds of
the Sindhu breed were with him.’

“Thy son Durmarshana, desirous of doing battle, stationed himself at the
head of all the troops, accompanied by a thousand and five hundred
infuriated elephants and awful size clad in mail and of fierce deeds, and
all ridden by well-trained elephant-riders. Thy two other sons, viz.,
Duhsasana and Vikarna, took up their position amid the advance-divisions
of the army, for the accomplishment of the objects of Jayadratha. The
array that Bharadwaja’s son formed, part Sakata and part a circle, was
full forty-eight miles long and the width of its rear measured twenty
miles. Drona himself formed that array with countless brave kings,
stationed with it, and countless cars and steeds and elephants and
foot-soldiers. In the rear of that array was another impenetrable array
of the form of lotus. And within that lotus was another dense array
called the needle. Having formed his mighty array thus, Drona took up his
station. At the mouth of that needle, the great bowman Kritavarman took
up his stand. Next to Kritavarman, O sire, stood the ruler of the
Kamvojas and Jalasandha. Next to these, stood Duryodhana and Karna.
Behind them hundreds and thousands of unreturning heroes were stationed
in that Sakata for protecting its head. Behind them all, O monarch, and
surrounded by a vast force, was king Jayadratha stationed at one side of
that needle-shaped array. At the entrance of the Sakata, O king, was
Bharadwaja’s son. Behind Drona was the chief of the Bhojas, who protected
him. Clad in white armour, with excellent head-gear, of broad chest and
mighty arms, Drona stood, stretching his large bow, like the Destroyer
himself in wrath. Beholding Drona’s car which was graced with a beautiful
standard and had red sacrificial altar and a black deer-skin, the
Kauravas were filled with delight. Seeing that array formed by Drona,
which resembled the ocean itself in agitation, the Siddhas and the
Charanas were filled with wonder. And all creatures thought that array
would devour the whole earth with her mountains and seas and forests, and
abounding with diverse things. And king Duryodhana, beholding that mighty
array in the form of a Sakata, teeming with carts and men and steeds and
elephants, roaring dreadful of wonderful form, and capable of riving the
hearts of foes, began to rejoice.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After the divisions of the Kuru army had been (thus)
arrayed, and a loud uproar, O sire, had, arisen; after drums and
Mridangas began to be beaten and played upon, after the din of the
warriors and the noise of musical instruments had become audible; after
conch began to be blown, and an awful roar had arisen, making the hair
stand on end; after the field of battle had beer slowly covered by the
Bharata heroes desirous of fight; and after the hour called Rudra had set
in, Savyasachin made his appearance. Many thousands of ravens and crows,
O Bharata, proceeded sporting on the front of Arjuna’s car. Various
animals of terrible cries, and jackals of inauspicious sight, began to
yell and howl on our right as we proceeded to battle. Thousands of
blazing meteors fell with great noise. The whole earth trembled on that
dreadful occasion. Dry winds blew in all directions, accompanied by
thunder, and driving bard pebbles and gravel when Kunti’s son came at the
commencement of battle. Then Nakula’s son, Satanika, and Dhrishtadyumna,
the son of Pritha, those two warriors possessed of great wisdom, arrayed
the several divisions of the Pandavas. Then thy son Durmarshana,
accompanied by a thousand cars, a hundred elephants, three thousand
heroes, and ten thousand foot-soldiers, and covering a piece of ground
that measured the length of fifteen hundred bows, took up his position at
the very van of all the troops, and said: ‘Like the continent resisting
the surging sea, even I will today resist the wielder of Gandiva, that
scorcher of foes, that warrior who is irresistible in battle. Let people
today behold the wrathful Dhananjaya collide with me, like a mass of
stone against another stony mass. Ye car-warriors that are desirous of
battle, stay ye (as witness). Alone I will fight with all the Pandavas
assembled together, for enhancing my honour and fame. That high-souled
and noble son of thine, that great bowman saying this, stood there
surrounded by many great bowmen. Then, like the Destroyer himself in
wrath, or Vasava himself armed with the thunder, or Death’s irresistible
self armed with his club and urged on by Time, or Mahadeva armed with the
trident and incapable of being ruffled, or Varuna bearing his noise, or
the blazing fire at the end of the Yuga risen for consuming the creation,
the slayer of the Nivatakavachas inflamed with rage and swelling with
might, the ever-victorious Jaya, devoted to truth and desirous of
achieving his great vow, clad in mail and armed with sword, decked in
golden diadem, adorned with garlands of swords of white flowers and
attired in white robes, his arms decked with beautiful Angadas and ears
with excellent ear-rings, mounted on his own foremost of cars, (the
incarnate) Nara, accompanied by Narayana, shaking his Gandiva in battle,
shone brilliantly like the risen sun. And Dhananjaya of great prowess,
placing his car, O king, at the very van of his army, where densest
showers of arrows would fall, blew his conch. Then Krishna also, O sire,
fearlessly blew with great force his foremost of conchs called
Panchajanya as Partha blew his. And in consequence of the blare of the
conchs, all the warriors in thy army, O monarch, trembled and became lost
heart. And their hair stood on end at that sound. As an creatures are
oppressed with fright at the sound of the thunder, even so did all thy
warriors took fright at the blare of those conchs. And all the animals
ejected urine and excreta. Thy whole army with its animals became filled
with anxiety, O king, and in consequence of the blare of those (two)
conchs, all men, O sire, lost their strength. And some amongst them, O
monarch, were inspired with dread, and some lost their senses. And the
ape on Arjuna’s banner, opening his mouth wide, made an awful noise with
the other creatures on it, for terrifying thy troops. Then conchs and
horns and cymbals and Anakas were once more blown and beat for cheering
thy warriors. And that noise mingled with the noise of diverse (other)
musical instruments, with the shouts of warriors and the slaps of their
arm-pits, and with their leonine roars uttered by great car-warriors in
summoning and challenging (their antagonists). When that tumultuous
uproar rose there, an uproar that enhanced the fear of the timid, the son
of Pakasana, filled with great delight, addressing him of Dasarha’s race,
said (these words).’

“Arjuna said, ‘Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesa, to where Durmarshana
stayeth. Piercing through that elephant division I will penetrate into
the hostile army.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus addressed by Savyasachin, the mighty-armed
Kesava urged the steeds to where Durmarshana was staying. Fierce and
awful was the encounter that commenced there between one and the many, an
encounter that proved very destructive of cars and elephants and men.
Then Partha, resembling a pouring cloud, covered his foes with showers of
shafts, like a mass of clouds pouring rain on the mountain breast.[135]
The hostile of car-warriors also, displaying great lightness of hand,
quickly covered both Krishna and Dhananjaya with clouds of arrows. The
mighty-armed Partha, then, thus opposed in battle by his foes, became
filled with wrath, and began to strike off with his arrows the heads of
car-warriors from their trunks. And the earth became strewn with
beautiful heads decked with ear-rings and turbans, the nether lips bit by
the upper ones, and the faces adorned with eyes troubled with wrath.
Indeed, the scattered heads of the warriors looked resplendent like an
assemblage of plucked off and crushed lotuses lying strewn about the
field. Golden coats of mail[136] dyed with gore (lying thick over the
field), looked like masses of clouds charged with lightning. The sound, O
king, of severed heads dropping on the earth, resembled that of falling
palmyra fruits ripened in due time, headless trunks arose, some with bow
in hand, and some with naked swords upraised in the act of striking.
Those brave warriors incapable of brooking Arjuna’s feats and desirous of
vanquishing him, had no distinct perception as to when their heads were
struck off by Arjuna. The earth became strewn with heads of horses,
trunks of elephants, and the arms and legs of heroic warriors. ‘This is
one Partha’, ‘Where is Partha? Here is Partha!’, ‘Even thus, O king, the
warriors, of thy army became filled with the idea of Partha only.
Deprived of their senses by Time, they regarded the whole world to be
full of Partha only, and therefore, many of them perished, striking one
another, and some struck even their own selves. Uttering yells of woe,
many heroes, covered with blood, deprived of their senses, and in great
agony, laid themselves down, calling upon their friends and kinsmen.
Arms, bearing short arrows, or lances, or darts, or swords, or
battle-axes, or pointed stakes, or scimitars, or bows, or spears, or
shafts, or maces, and cased in armour and decked with Angadas and other
ornaments, and looking like large snakes, and resembling huge clubs, cut
off (from trunks) with mighty weapons, were seen to jump about, jerk
about, and move about, with great force, as if in rage. Every one amongst
those that wrathfully advanced against Partha in that battle, perished,
pierced in his body with some fatal shafts of that hero. While dancing on
his car as it moved, and drawing his bow, no one there could detect the
minutest opportunity for striking him. The quickness with which he took
his shafts, fixed them on the bow, and let them off, filled all his
enemies with wonder. Indeed Phalguna, with his shafts, pierced elephants
and elephant-riders, horses and horse-riders, car-warriors and drivers of
cars. There was none amongst his enemies, whether staying before him or
struggling in battle, or wheeling about, whom the son of Pandu did not
slay. As the sun rising in the welkin destroyeth the thick gloom, even so
did Arjuna destroy that elephant-force by means of his shafts winged with
Kanka plumes. The field occupied by thy troops, in consequence of riven
elephants fallen upon it, looked like the earth strewn with huge hills at
the hour of universal dissolution. As the midday sun is incapable of
being looked at by all creatures, even so was Dhananjaya, excited with
wrath, incapable of being looked at, in battle, by his enemies. The
troops of thy son, O chastiser of foes, afflicted (with the arrows of
Dhananjaya), broke and fled in fear. Like a mass of clouds pierced and
driven away by a mighty wind, that army was pierced and routed by Partha.
None indeed could gaze at the hero while he was slaying the foe. Urging
their heroes to great speed by spurs, by the horns of their bows, by deep
growls, by encouraging behests, by whips, by cuts on their flanks, and by
threatening speeches, thy men, viz., thy cavalry and thy car-warriors, as
also thy foot-soldiers, struck by the shafts of Arjuna, fled away from
the fields. Others (that rode on elephants), fled away, urging those huge
beasts by pressing their flanks with their hooks and many warriors struck
by Partha’s arrows, in flying, ran against Partha himself. Indeed, thy
warriors, then became all cheerless and their understandings were all


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘When the van of my army thus slaughtered by the
diadem-decked (Arjuna) broke and fled, who were those heroes that
advanced against Arjuna? (Did any of them actually fight with Arjuna, or)
did all, abandoning their determination enter the Sakata array, getting
behind the fearless Drona, resembling a solid wall?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘When Indra’s son Arjuna, O sinless one, began, with his
excellent arrows, to break and incessantly slay that force of ours many
heroes were either slain, or becoming dispirited, fled away. None in that
battle, was capable of even looking at Arjuna. Then, thy son Duhsasana,

O king, beholding that state of the troops, became filled with wrath and
rushed against Arjuna for battle. That hero of fierce prowess, cased in a
beautiful coat of mail, made of gold, and his head covered with a turban
decked with gold, caused Arjuna to be surrounded by a large
elephant-force which seemed capable of devouring the whole earth. With
sound of the elephants’ bells, the blare of conchs, the twang of
bow-strings, and the grunts of the tuskers, the earth, the points of
compass, and the welkin, seemed to be entirely filled. That period of
time became fierce and awful. Beholding those huge beasts with extended
trunks filled with wrath and rushing quickly towards him, like winged
mountains urged on with hooks, Dhananjaya, that lion among men, uttering
a leonine shout, began to pierce and slay that elephant-force with his
shafts. And like a Makara penetrating into the vast deep, surging into
mountain waves when agitated by the tempest, the diadem-decked (Arjuna)
penetrated into that elephant-host. Indeed, Partha, that subjugator of
hostile cities, was then seen by all on every side to resemble the
scorching sun that rises, transgressing the rule about direction and
hour, on the day of the universal destruction. And in consequence of the
sound of horses’ hoofs, rattle of car-wheels, the shouts of combatants,
the twang of bow-strings, the noise of diverse musical instruments, the
blare of Panchajanya and Devadatta, and roar of Gandiva, men and
elephants were dispirited and deprived of their senses. And men and
elephants were riven by Savyasachin with his shafts whose touch resembled
that of snakes of virulent poison. And those elephants, in that battle,
were pierced all over their bodies with shafts, numbering thousands upon
thousands shot from Gandiva. While thus mangled by the diadem-decked
(Arjuna), they uttered loud noises and incessantly fell down on the earth
like mountains shorn of their wings. Others struck at the jaw, or frontal
globes, or temples with long shafts, uttered cries resembling those of
cranes. The diadem-decked (Arjuna) began to cut off, with his straight
arrows the heads of warriors standing on the necks of elephants. Those
heads decked with ear-rings, constantly falling on the earth, resembled a
multitude of lotuses that Partha was calling for an offer to his gods.
And while the elephants wandered on the field, many warriors were seen to
hang from their bodies, divested of armour, afflicted with wounds,
covered with blood, and looking like painted pictures. In some instances,
two or three warriors, pierced by one arrow winged with beautiful
feathers and well-shot (from Gandiva), fell down on the earth. Many
elephants deeply pierced with long shafts, fell down, vomiting blood from
their mouths, with the riders on their backs, like hills overgrown with
forests tumbling down through some convulsion of nature. Partha, by means
of his straight shafts, cut into fragments the bow-strings, standards,
bows, yokes, and shafts of the car-warriors opposed to him. None could
notice when Arjuna took up his arrows, when he fixed them on the
bow-string, when he drew the string, and when he let them off. All that
could be seen was that Partha seemed to dance on his car with his bow
incessantly drawn to a circle. Elephants, deeply pierced with long shafts
and vomiting blood from their mouths, fell down, as soon as they were
struck, on the earth. And in the midst of that great carnage, O monarch,
innumerable headless trunks were seen to stand up. Arms, with bows in
grasp, or whose fingers were cased in leathern gloves, holding swords, or
decked with Angadas and other ornaments of gold, cut off from trunks,
were seen lying about. And the field of battle was strewn with
innumerable Upashkaras and Adhishthanas, and shafts, and crowns, crushed
car-wheels, and broken Akshas, and yokes, and warriors armed with shields
and bows, and floral garlands, and ornaments and robes and fallen
standards. And in consequence of those slain elephants and steeds, and
the fallen bodies of Kshatriyas, the earth there assumed an awful aspect.
Duhsasana’s forces, thus slaughtered, O king, by the diadem-decked
(Arjuna), fled away. Their leader himself was in great pain, for
Duhsasana, greatly afflicted by those shafts, overcome by fear entered
with his division the Sakata array, seeking Drona as his deliverer.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Slaying the force of Duhsasana, the mighty car-warrior,
Savyasachin, desirous of getting at the ruler of the Sindhus, proceeded
against the division of Drona, Having approached Drona who was stationed
at the entrance of the array, Partha, at Krishna’s request joined his
hands and said these words unto Drona: ‘Wish me well, O Brahmana, and
bless me, saying Swasti! Through thy grace, I wish to penetrate into this
impenetrable array. Thou art to me even as my sire, or even as king
Yudhishthira the just, or even as Krishna! I tell thee this truly. O
sire, O sinless one! Even as Aswatthaman deserves to be protected by
thee, I also deserve to be protected by thee, O foremost of regenerate
ones! Through thy grace, O foremost of men, I desire to stay the ruler of
the Sindhu in battle. O lord, see that my vow is accomplished.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus addressed by him, the preceptor, smiling,
replied unto him, saying, ‘O Vibhatsu, without vanquishing me, thou shalt
not be able to vanquish Jayadratha. Telling him this much, Drona, with a
smile covered him with showers of sharp arrows, as also his car and
steeds and standard and charioteer. Then, Arjuna baffling Drona’s arrowy
showers with his own arrows, rushed against Drona, shooting mightier and
More awful shafts. Observant of Kshatriya duties, Arjuna then pierced
Drona in that battle with nine arrows. Cutting the shafts of Arjuna by
his own shafts, Drona then pierced both Krishna and Arjuna with many
shafts that resembled poison or fire, Then, while Arjuna was thinking of
cutting of Drona’s bow with his arrows, the latter, endued with great
valour, fearlessly and quickly cut off, with shafts the bow-string of the
illustrious Phalguna. And he also pierced Phalguna’s steeds and standard
and charioteer. And the heroic Drona covered Phalguna himself with many
arrows, smiling the while. Meantime, stringing his large bow anew,
Partha, that foremost of all persons conversant with arms, getting the
better of his preceptor, quickly shot six hundred arrows as if he had
taken and shot only one arrow. And once more he shot seven hundred other
arrows, and then a thousand arrows incapable of being resisted, and ten
thousand other arrows. All these slew many warriors of Drona’s array.
Deeply pierced with those weapons by the mighty and accomplished Partha,
acquainted with all modes of warfare, many men and steeds and elephants
fell down deprived of life. And car-warriors, afflicted by those shafts,
fell down from their foremost of cars, deprived of horses and standards
and destitute of weapons and life. And elephants fell down like summits
of hills, or masses of clouds, or large houses, loosened, dispersed, or
burnt down by the thunder, or by the wind, or fire. Struck with Arjuna’s
shafts, thousands of steeds fell down like swans on the breast of
Himavat, struck down by the force of watery current. Like the Sun, that
rises at the end of the Yuga, drying up with his rays, vast quantities of
water, the son of Pandu, by his showers of weapons and arrows, slew a
vast number of car-warriors and steeds and elephants and foot-soldiers.
Then like the clouds covering the sun, the Drona-cloud, with its arrowy
showers, covered the Pandava-sun, whose rays in the shape of thick
showers of arrows were scorching in the battle the foremost ones among
the Kurus. And then the preceptor struck Dhananjaya at the breast with a
long shaft shot with great force and capable of drinking the life-blood
of every foe. Then Arjuna, deprived of strength, shook in all his limbs,
like a hill during an earthquake. Soon, however, regaining for fortitude,
Vibhatsu pierced Drona with many winged arrows. Then Drona struck
Vasudeva with five arrows. And he struck Arjuna with three and seventy
arrows, and his standard with three. Then, O king, the valorous Drona
getting the better of his disciple, within the twinkling of an eye made
Arjuna invisible by means of his arrowy showers. We then beheld the
shafts of Bharadwaja’s son falling in continuous lines, and his bow also
was seen to present the wonderful aspect of being incessantly drawn to a
circle. And those shafts, countless in number, and winged with the Kanka
feathers, shot by Drona in that battle, incessantly fell, O king, on
Dhananjaya and Vasudeva. Beholding then that battle between Drona and the
son of Pandu, Vasudeva of great intelligence began to reflect upon the
accomplishment of the (important) task. Then Vasudeva, addressing
Dhananjaya, said these words: ‘O Partha, O thou of mighty arms, we should
not waste time. We must go on, avoiding Drona, for a more important task
awaits us. In reply Partha said unto Krishna, O Kesava, as thou pleasest!
Then keeping the mighty-armed Drona to their right, Arjuna proceeded
onwards. Turning his face round, Vibhatsu proceeded, shooting his shafts.
Then Drona, addressing Arjuna, said, Whither dost thou proceed, O son of
Pandu! Is it not true that thou ceasest not (to fight) till thou hast
vanquished thy foe?’

“Arjuna answered, ‘Thou art my preceptor and not my foe. I am thy
disciple and, therefore, like to thy son. Nor is there the man in the
whole world who can vanquish thee in battle.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Saying these words, the mighty-armed Vibhatsu,
desirous of slaying Jayadratha, quickly proceeded against the (Kaurava)
troops. And while he penetrated into thy army, those high-souled princes
of Panchala, viz., Yudhamanyu, and Uttamaujas, followed him as the
protector of his wheels. Then, O King, Jaya, and Kritavarman of the
Satwata race, and the ruler of the Kamvojas, and Srutayus, began to
oppose the progress of Dhananjaya. And these had ten thousand
car-warriors for their followers. The Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the
Sivis, the Vasatis, the Mavellakas, the Lilithyas, the Kaikeyas, the
Madrakas, the Narayana Gopalas, and the various tribes of the Kamvojas
who had before been vanquished by Karna, all of whom were regarded as
very brave, placing Bharadwaja’s son at their head, and becoming
regardless of their lives, rushed towards Arjuna, for resisting that
angry hero, burning with grief on account of the death of his son, that
warrior resembling all-destroying Death himself, clad in mail, conversant
with all modes of warfare, prepared to throw away his life in thick of
battle,–that mighty bowman of great prowess, that tiger among men,–who
resembled an infuriate leader of elephantine herd, and who seemed ready
to devour the whole hostile army. The battle then that commenced was
exceedingly fierce and made the hair stand on end, between all those
combatants on the one side and Arjuna on the other. And all of them,
uniting together, began to resist that bull among men, advancing for the
slaughter of Jayadratha, like medicines resisting a raging disease.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Held in check by them, that foremost of car-warriors,
viz., Partha of great might and prowess, was quickly pursued by Drona
from behind. The son of Pandu, however, like diseases scorching the body,
blasted that army, scattering his sharp shafts and resembling on that
account the sun himself scattering his countless rays of light. And
steeds were pierced, and cars with riders were broken and mangled, and
elephants were overthrown. And umbrellas were cut off and displaced, and
vehicles were deprived of their wheels. And the combatants fled on all
sides, exceedingly afflicted with arrows. Even thus progressed that
fierce battle between those warriors and Arjuna encountering each other.
Nothing could be distinguished. With his straight shafts, Arjuna, O
monarch, made the hostile army tremble incessantly. Firmly devoted to
truth, Arjuna then, of white steeds desirous of accomplishing his vow
rushed against the foremost of car-warriors, viz., Drona of red steeds.
Then the preceptor, Drona, struck his disciple, viz., the mighty bowman
Arjuna, with five and twenty straight shafts capable of reaching the very
vitals. Thereupon, Vibhatsu, that foremost of all wielders of weapons,
quickly rushed against Drona, shooting arrows capable of baffling the
force of counter arrows, shot at him. Invoking into existence then the
Brahma weapon, Arjuna, of immeasurable soul, baffled with his straight
shafts those shot so speedily at him by Drona. The skill we then beheld
of Drona was exceedingly wonderful, since Arjuna, though young, and
though struggling vigorously, could not pierce Drona with a single shaft.
Like a mass of clouds pouring torrents of rain, the Drona cloud rained
shower on the Partha-mountain. Possessed of great energy, Arjuna received
that arrowy downpour, O king, by invoking the Brahma weapon, and cut off
all those arrows by arrows of his own. Drona then afflicted Partha of
white steeds with five and twenty arrows. And he struck Vasudeva with
seventy arrows on the chest and arms. Partha then, of great intelligence,
smiling the while resisted the preceptor in that battle who was
incessantly shooting sharp arrows. Then those two foremost of
car-warriors, while thus struck by Drona, avoided that invincible
warrior, who resembled the raging Yuga fire. Avoiding those sharp shafts
shot from Drona’s bow, the diadem-decked son of Kunti, adorned with
garlands of flowers, began to slaughter the host of the Bhojas. Indeed,
avoiding the invincible Drona who stood immovable like the Mainaka
mountain, Arjuna took up his position between Kritavarman and Sudakshina
the ruler of the Kamvojas. Then that tiger among men, viz., the ruler of
the Bhojas, coolly pierced that invincible and foremost descendant of
Ruru with ten arrows winged with Kanka feathers. Then Arjuna pierced him,
O monarch, in that battle with a hundred arrows. And once more he pierced
him with three other arrows, stupefying that hero of the Satwata race.
The ruler of the Bhojas then, laughing the while, pierced Partha and
Vasudeva each with five and twenty arrows. Arjuna then, cutting off
Kritavarman’s bow, pierced him with one and twenty arrows resembling
blazing flames of fire or angry snakes of virulent poison. Then
Kritavarman, that mighty car-warrior, taking up another bow, pierced
Arjuna in the chest, O Bharata, with five arrows. And once more he
pierced Partha with five sharp arrows. Then Partha struck him in return
in the centre of the chest with nine arrows. Beholding the son of Kunti
obstructed before the car of Kritavarman, he of Vrishni’s race thought
that no time should be wasted. Then Krishna addressing Partha, said, Do
not show any mercy to Kritavarman! Disregarding thy relationship (with
him), crush and slay him!’ Then Arjuna, stupefying Kritavarman with his
arrows, proceeded, on his swift steeds, to the division of the Kamvojas.
Seeing Arjuna of white steeds penetrate into the Kamvoja force,
Kritavarman became filled with wrath. Taking his bow with arrows fixed
thereon, he then encountered the two Panchala princes. Indeed,
Kritavarman, with his arrows resisted those two Panchala princes as they
advanced, following Arjuna for protecting his wheels. Then Kritavarman,
the ruler of the Bhojas, pierced them both with sharp shafts, striking
Yudhamanyu with three, and Uttamaujas with four. Those two princes in
return each pierced him with ten arrows. And once more, Yudhamanyu
shooting three arrows and Uttamaujas shooting three cut off Kritavarman’s
standard and bow. Then the son of Hridika, taking up another bow, and
becoming infuriated with rage, deprived both those warriors of their bows
and covered them with arrows. Then those two warriors, taking up and
stringing two other bows, began to pierce Kritavarman. Meanwhile Vibhatsu
penetrated into the hostile army. But those two princes, resisted by
Kritavarman, obtained no admittance into the Dhritarashtra host, although
those bulls among men struggled vigorously. Then Arjuna of white steeds
quickly afflicted in that battle the divisions opposed to him. That
slayer of foes, however, slew not Kritavarman although he had got him
within reach.. Beholding Partha thus proceeding, the brave king
Srutayudha, filled with wrath, rushed at him, shaking his large bow. And
he pierced Partha with three arrows, and Janardana with seventy. And he
struck the standard of Partha with a very sharp arrow having a razor-like
head. Then Arjuna, filled with wrath deeply pierced his antagonist with
ninety straight shafts, like (a rider) striking a mighty elephant with
the hook. Srutayudha, however, could not, O king, brook that act of
prowess on the part of Pandu’s son. He pierced Arjuna in return with
seven and seventy shafts. Arjuna then cut off Srutayudha’s bow and then
his quiver, and angrily struck him on the chest with seven straight
shafts. Then, king Srutayudha, deprived of his senses by wrath, took up
another bow and struck the son of Vasava with nine arrows on the latter’s
arms and chest. Then Arjuna, that chastiser of foes laughing the while, O
Bharata, afflicted Srutayudha with many thousands of arrows. And that
mighty car-warrior quickly slew also the latter’s steeds and charioteer.
Endued with great strength the son of Pandu then pierced his foe with
seventy arrows. Then the valiant king Srutayudha abandoning that
steedless car, rushed in that encounter against Partha, uplifting his
mace. The heroic king Srutayudha was the son of Varuna, having for his
mother that mighty river of cool water called Parnasa. His mother, O
king, had for the sake of her son, begged Varuna saying, ‘Let this my son
become unslayable on earth.’ Varuna, gratified (with her), had said, ‘I
give him a boon highly beneficial to him, viz., a celestial weapon, by
virtue of which this thy son will become unslayable on earth by foes. No
man can have immortality. O foremost of rivers, every one who hath taken
birth must inevitably die. This child, however, will always be invincible
by foes in battle, through the power of this weapon. Therefore, let thy
heart’s fever be dispelled.’ Having said these words, Varuna gave him,
with mantras, a mace. Obtaining that mace, Srutayudha became invincible
on earth. Unto him, however, illustrious Lord of the waters again said,
‘This mace should not be hurled at one who is not engaged in fight. If
hurled at such a person, it will come back and fall upon thyself. O
illustrious child, (if so hurled) it will then course in an opposite
direction and slay the person hurling it.’ It would seem that when his
hour came, Srutayudha disobeyed that injunction. With that hero-slaying
mace he attacked Janardana, The valiant Krishna received that mace on one
of his well-formed and stout shoulders. It failed to shake Sauri, like
the wind failing to shake the Vindhya mountain. That mace, returning unto
Srutayudha himself, struck that brave and wrathful king staying on his
car, like an ill-accomplished act of sorcery injuring the performer
himself, and slaying that hero fell down on the earth. Beholding the mace
turn back and Srutayudha slain, loud cries of Alas and Oh arose there
among the troops, at the sight of Srutayudha that chastiser of foes,
slain by a weapon of his own.[137] And because, O monarch, Srutayudha had
hurled that mace at Janardana who was not engaged in fighting it slew him
who had hurled it. And Srutayudha perished on the field, even in the
manner that Varuna had indicated. Deprived of life, he fell down on the
earth before the eyes of all the bowmen. While falling down, that dear
son of Parnasa shone resplendent like a tall banian with spreading boughs
broken by the wind. Then all the troops and even all the principal
warriors fled away, beholding Srutayudha, that chastiser of foes, slain.
Then, the son of the ruler of the Kamvojas, viz., the brave Sudakshina,
rushed on his swift steeds against Phalguna that slayer of foes. Partha,
then, O Bharata, sped seven shafts at him. Those shafts passing through
the body of that hero, entered the earth. Deeply pierced those shafts
sped in battle from Gandiva, Sudakshina pierced Arjuna in return with ten
shafts winged with Kanka feathers. And piercing Vasudeva with three
shafts, he once more pierced Partha with five. Then, O sire, Partha,
cutting off Sudakshina’s bow, lopped off the latter’s standard. And the
son of Pandu pierced his antagonist with a couple of broad-headed arrows
of great sharpness. Sudakshina, however, piercing Partha once more with
three arrows, uttered a leonine shout. Then the brave Sudakshina, filled
with wrath, hurled at the wielder of Gandiva a terrible dart made wholly
of iron and decked with bells. That dart blazing as a large meteor, and
emitting sparks of fire, approaching that mighty car-warrior pierced him
through and fell down on the earth. Deeply struck by that dart and
overcome with a swoon, Arjuna soon enough recovered. Then that hero of
mighty energy, licking the corners of his mouth, that son of Pandu, of
inconceivable feats, pierced his foe, along with his steeds, standard,
bow, and charioteer, with four and ten shafts winged with Kanka feathers.
With other arrows, countless in number, Partha then cut Sudakshina’s car
into fragments. And then the son of Pandu pierced Sudakshina, the prince
of the Kamvojas, whose purpose and prowess had both been baffled, with a
sharp arrow in the chest. Then the brave prince of the Kamvojas, his coat
of mail cut off, his limbs weakened, his diadem and Angadas displaced,
fell head downwards, like a pole of Indra when hurled from an engine.
Like a beautiful Karnikara tree in the spring, gracefully growing on a
mountain summit with beautiful branches, lying on the earth when uprooted
by the wind, the prince of the Kamvojas lay on the bare ground deprived
of life, though deserving of the costliest bed, decked with costly
ornaments. Handsome, possessed of eyes that were of a coppery hue, and
bearing on his head a garland of gold, endued with the effulgence of
fire, the mighty-armed Sudakshina, the son of the ruler of the Kamvojas,
overthrown by Partha with his shafts, and lying on the earth, reft of
fife, looked resplendent like a beautiful mountain with a level top. Then
all the troops of thy son fled away, beholding Srutayudha, and Sudakshina
the prince of the Kamvojas, slain.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Upon the fall of Sudakshina and of the heroic Srutayudha,
O monarch, thy warriors, filled with wrath, rushed with speed at Partha.
The Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, the Vasatis began, O king, to
scatter their arrowy showers on Dhananjaya. The son of Pandu then
consumed by means of his arrows six hundred of them at once. Thereupon,
those warriors, terrified, fled away like smaller animals from a tiger.
Rallying, they once more surrounded Partha, who was slaying his foes and
vanquishing them in battle. Dhananjaya then, with shafts sped from
Gandiva, speedily felled the heads and arms of the combatants thus
rushing upon him. Not an inch of the field of battle was unstrewn with
fallen heads, and the flights of crows and vultures and ravens that
hovered over the field seemed to form a cloudy canopy. Seeing their men
thus exterminated, Srutayus and Achyutayus were both filled with wrath.
And they continued to contend vigorously with Dhananjaya. Endued with
great might, proud, heroic, of noble lineage, and possessed of strength
of arms, those two bowmen, O king, solicitous of winning great fame and
desirous, for the sake of thy son, to compass the destruction of Arjuna,
quickly showered upon the latter their arrowy downpours at once from his
right and left. Those angry heroes, with a thousand straight shafts,
covered Arjuna like two masses of clouds filling a lake. Then that
foremost of car-warriors viz., Srutayus filled with wrath, struck
Dhananjaya with a well-tempered lance. That crusher of foes viz., Arjuna,
then, deeply pierced by his mighty foe, swooned away in that battle,
stupefying Kesava also (by that act). Meanwhile, the mighty car-warrior
Achyutayus forcibly struck the son of Pandu with a keen-pointed spear. By
the act he seemed to pour an acid upon the wound of the high-souled son
of Pandu. Deeply pierced therewith, Partha supported himself by seizing
the flag-staff. Then a leonine shout was sent forth by all the troops, O
monarch, in the belief that Dhananjaya was deprived of life. And Krishna
also was scorched with grief upon beholding Partha senseless. Then Kesava
comforted Dhananjaya with soothing words.. Then those foremost of
car-warriors, (viz., Srutayus and Achyutayus), of true aim, pouring their
arrowy showers on all sides, in that battle, made Dhananjaya and Vasudeva
of Vrishni’s race invisible with their car and car-wheels and Kuvaras,
their steeds and flagstaff and banner. And all this seemed wonderful.
Meanwhile, O Bharata, Vibhatsu slowly regained his senses, like one come
back from the very abode of the king of the dead. Beholding his car with
Kesava overwhelmed with arrows and seeing also those two antagonists of
his staying before him like two blazing fires, the mighty car-warriors
Partha then invoked into existence the weapon named after Sakra. From
that weapon flowed thousands of straight shafts. And those shafts struck
Srutayus and Achyutayus, those mighty bowmen. And the arrows shot by the
latter, pierced by those of Partha, coursed through the welkin. And the
son of Pandu quickly baffling those arrows by the force of his own
arrows, began to career over the field, encountering mighty car-warriors.
Meanwhile Srutayus and Achyutayus were, by Arjuna’s arrowy showers,
deprived of their arms and heads. And they fell down on the earth, like a
couple of tall trees broken by the wind. And the death of Srutayus and
slaughter of Achyutayus created surprise equal to what men would feel at
the sight of the ocean becoming dry. Then slaying fifty car-warriors
amongst the followers of those two princes, Partha proceeded against the
Bharata army, slaying many foremost of warriors. Beholding both Srutayus
and Achyutayus slain, their sons, those foremost of men, viz., Niyatayus
and Dirghayus, O Bharata, both filled with rage, rushed against the son
of Kunti, scattering shafts of diverse kinds, and much pained by the
calamity that had happened to their sires. Arjuna, excited with rage, in
a moment despatched them both towards Yama’s abode, by means of straight
shafts. And those bulls among Kshatriyas (that were in the Kuru army)
were unable to resist Partha who agitated the Dhartarashtra ranks, like
an elephant agitating the waters of a lake filled with lotuses. Then
thousands of trained elephant-riders amongst the Angas, O monarch, filled
with rage, surrounded the son of Pandu with their elephant-force. Urged
by Duryodhana, many kings also of the west and the south, and many others
headed by the ruler of the Kalingas, also surrounded Arjuna, with their
elephants huge as hills. Partha however, with shafts sped from Gandiva,
quickly cut off the heads and arms, decked with ornaments, of those
advancing combatants. The field of battle, strewn with those heads and
arms decked with Angadas, looked like golden stones entwined by snakes.
And the arms of warriors cut off therewith, while failing down, looked
like birds dropping down from trees. And the elephants, pierced with
thousands of arrows and shedding blood (from their wounds), looked like
hills in the season of rains with liquefied red chalk streaming down
their sides. Others, slain by Partha with sharp shafts, lay prostrate on
the field. And many Mlecchas on the backs of elephants, of diverse kinds
of ugly forms, robed in diverse attires, O king, and armed with diverse
kinds of weapons, and bathed in blood, looked resplendent as they lay on
the field, deprived of life by means of diverse kinds of arrows. And
thousands of elephants along with their riders and those on foot that
urged them forward, struck with Partha’s shafts, vomited blood, or
uttered shrieks of agony, or fell down, or ran ungovernably in all
directions. And many, exceedingly frightened, trod down and crushed their
own men. And many which were kept as reserves and which were fierce as
snakes of virulent poison, did the same. And many terrible Yavanas and
Paradas and Sakas and Valhikas, and Mlecchas born of the cow (belonging
to Vasishtha), of fierce eyes, accomplished in smiting looking like
messengers of Death, and all conversant with the deceptive powers of the
Asuras and many Darvabhisaras and Daradas and Pundras numbering by
thousands, of bands, and together forming a force that was countless,
began to shower their sharp shafts upon the son of Pandu. Accomplished in
various modes of warfare, those Mlecchas covered Arjuna with their
arrows. Upon them, Dhananjaya also quickly poured his arrows. And those
arrows, shot from Gandiva, looked like flights of locusts, as they
coursed through the welkin. Indeed. Dhananjaya, having by his arrows
caused a shade over the troops like that of the clouds, slew, by the
force of his weapons, all the Mlecchas, with heads completely shaved or
half-shaved or covered with matted locks, impure in habits, and of
crooked faces. Those dwellers of hills, pierced with arrows, those
denizens of mountain-caves, fled away in fear. And ravens and Kankas and
wolves, with great glee, drank the blood of those elephants and steeds
and their Mleccha-riders overthrown on the field by Partha with his sharp
shafts. Indeed, Arjuna caused a fierce river to flow there whose current
consisted of blood. (Slain) foot-soldiers and steeds and cars and
elephants constituted its embankments. The showers of shafts poured
constituted its rafts and the hairs of the combatants formed its moss and
weeds. And the fingers cut off from the arms of warriors, formed its
little fishes. And that river was as awful as Death itself at the end of
the Yuga. And that river of blood flowed towards the region of Yama, and
the bodies of stain elephants floating on it, obstructed its current. And
the earth was covered all over with the blood of Kshatriyas and of
elephants and steeds and their riders, and became one bloody expanse like
to what is seen when Indra showers a heavy down-pour covering uplands and
lowlands alike. And that bull among Kshatriyas despatched six thousand
horsemen and again a thousand foremost of Kshatriyas in that battle into
the jaws of death. Thousands of well-equipped elephants, pierced with
arrows, lay prostrate on the field, like hills struck down by thunder.
And Arjuna careered over the field, slaying steeds and car-warriors and
elephants, like an elephant of rent temples crushing a forest a reeds. As
a conflagration, urged by the wind, consumes a dense forest of trees and
creepers and plants and dry wood and grass, even so did that fire, viz.,
Pandu’s son Dhananjaya, having shafts for its flames and urged on by the
Krishna-wind, angrily consume the forest of thy warriors. Making the
terraces of cars empty, and causing the earth to be strewn, with human
bodies, Dhananjaya seemed to dance bow in hand, in the midst of those
vast masses of men. Deluging the earth with blood by means of his shafts,
endued with the strength of the thunder, Dhananjaya, excited with wrath,
penetrated into the Bharata host. While thus proceeding, Srutayus, the
ruler of the Amvashthas, resisted him. Arjuna then, O sire, speedily
felled with keen shafts equipped with Kanka feathers, the steeds of
Srutayus struggling in battle. And cutting off with other shafts, the bow
also of his antagonist, Partha careered over the field. The ruler of the
Amvashthas, then with eyes troubled in wrath, took up a mace and
approached the mighty car-warrior Partha and Kesava also in that battle.
Then that hero, uplifting his mace, stopped the (progress of Arjuna’s)
car by its strokes, and struck Kesava also therewith. Then that slayer of
hostile heroes, viz., Arjuna, beholding Kesava struck with that mace,
became filled with wrath. And, then, O Bharata, that hero, with his
shafts, equipped with wings of gold, covered the ruler of the Amvashthas,
that foremost or car-warriors, armed with mace, like clouds covering the
risen sun. With other shafts, Partha then cut off the mace of that
high-souled warrior in fragments, reducing it almost to dust. And all
this seemed highly wonderful. Beholding that mace of his cut off in
fragments, the ruler of the Amvashthas took up another huge mace, and
repeatedly struck both Arjuna and Kesava therewith. Then, Arjuna with a
couple of sharp broad-faced arrows, cut off the uplifted arms of Srutayus
which held the mace, those arms that looked like a couple of Indra’s
standard, and with another winged arrow, he cut off the head of that
warrior. Thus slain, Srutayus fell down, O king, filling the earth with a
loud noise, like a tall standard of Indra when the strings, tying it to
the engine on which it is set, are cut off. Surrounded then on all sides
by rounds of cars and by hundreds upon hundreds of elephants and cars,
Partha became invisible like the sun covered with clouds.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After the son of Kunti, impelled by the desire of slaying
the ruler of the Sindhus, had penetrated (into the Bharata host) having
pierced through the irresistible divisions of both Drona and the Bhojas,
after the heir of the ruler of the Kamvojas, viz., prince Sudakshina, had
been slain, after Savyasachin had killed the valiant Srutayudha also,
after the (Kuru) ranks had fled away and confusion had set in on all
sides, thy son, beholding his army broken, repaired to Drona. Quickly
coming on his car to Drona, Duryodhana said: ‘That tiger among men (viz.,
Arjuna), having crushed this vast host hath already passed through it.
Aided by thy judgment, think now what should be done next for the
slaughter of Arjuna in view of awful carnage. Blessed be thou, adopt such
measures that that tiger among men may not succeed in slaying Jayadratha.
Thou art our sole refuge. Like a raging conflagration consuming heaps of
dry grass and straw, Dhananjaya-fire, urged by the wind of his wrath, is
consuming the grass and straw constituted by my troops. O scorcher of
foes, seeing the son of Kunti pass, having pierced through this host,
those warriors that are protecting Jayadratha have become doubtful (of
their ability to resist Partha). O foremost of those acquainted with
Brahma, it was the settled conviction of the kings that Dhananjaya would
never, with life, succeed in transgressing Drona. O thou of great
splendour, when, however, Partha has pierced through thy division in the
very sight, I regard my army to be very weak. Indeed, I think that I have
no troops. O thou that art highly blessed, I know thou art devoted to the
welfare of the Pandavas. I lose my reason, o regenerate one, in thinking
what should be done. To the best of my power, I also seek to gratify
thee. Thou, however, dost not bear all this in mind. O thou of
immeasurable prowess, although we are devoted to thee, still thou never
seekest our welfare. Thou art always well-pleased with the Pandavas and
always engaged in doing us evil. Though deriving thy livelihood from us,
still thou art engaged in doing evil to us. I was not aware that thou art
but a razor steeped in honey. If thou hadst not granted me the boon about
humiliating and checking the Pandavas, I would never have prevented the
ruler of the Sindhus from returning to his own country. Fool that I am,
expecting protection from thee, I assured the ruler of the Sindhus, and
through my folly offered him as a victim to death. A man may escape,
having entered the very jaws of death, but there is no escape for
Jayadratha, when once he comes within reach of Dhananjaya’s arms. O thou
that ownest red steeds, do that by which the ruler of the Sindhus may yet
be saved. Do not give way to wrath on hearing the delirious ravings of my
afflicted self, O, protect ye the ruler of the Sindhus.’

“Drona said, ‘I do not find fault with thy words. Thou art as dear to me
as Aswatthaman himself. I tell thee truly. Act, however, now according to
my words, O king! Of all drivers of cars, Krishna is the foremost. His
steeds are also the foremost of their species. Obtaining only a very
small space, Dhananjaya can pass very quickly through it. Seest thou not
that the shafts of the diadem-decked (Arjuna), countless in number, shot
from his bow, are falling full two miles behind his car as he is
proceeding? Burdened with the weight of years, I am now incapable of
going so fast. The whole army of the Parthas, again, is now close upon
our van. Yudhishthira also should be seized by me. Even so, O thou of
mighty arms, hath been the vow made by me in the Presence of all bowmen
and in the midst of all the Kshatriyas. O king! he is now staying at the
head of his troops, abandoned by Dhananjaya. I shall not, therefore,
abandoning the gate of our array, fight with Phalguna. It is meet that
thyself, properly supported, shouldst fight With that foe of thine, who
is alone and who is thy equal in lineage and feats. Do not fear. Go and
fight with him. Thou art the ruler of the world. Thou art a king. Thou
art a hero. Possessed of fame, thou art accomplished in vanquishing (thy
foes). O brave subjugator of hostile towns, go thyself to that spot where
Dhananjaya the son of Pritha is.’

“Duryodhana said, ‘O preceptor, how is it possible for me to resist
Dhananjaya who has transgressed even thee that art the foremost of all
wielders of arms? The very chief of celestials, armed with the thunder,
is capable of being vanquished in battle, but Arjuna that subjugator of
hostile towns, cannot be vanquished in battle. He by whom Hridika’s son
(Kritavarman), the ruler of the Bhojas, and thyself equal unto a
celestial, have both been vanquished by the power of his weapons, he by
whom Srutayus hath been slain, as also Sudakshina, and king Srutayus too,
he by whom both Srutayus and Achyutayus and myriads of Mlecchas also have
been slain, how can I contend in battle with that invincible son of
Pandu, that accomplished master of weapons, who is even like an
all-consuming fire? How also dost thou think me competent to fight with
him today? I am dependent on thee like a slave. Protect my fame.’

“Drona said, ‘Thou sayest truly, O thou of Kuru’s race, that Dhananjaya
is irresistible. I, however, will do that by which thou shalt be able to
bear him. Let all the bowmen in the world behold today the wonderful feat
of the son of Kunti being held in check by thee in the very sight of
Vasudeva. This thy armour of gold, O king, I will tie on thy body in such
a way that no weapon used by man will be able to strike thee in battle.
If even the three worlds with the Asuras and the celestials, the Yakshas,
the Uragas, and the Rakshasas, together with all human beings, fight with
thee today, thou needst still entertain no fear. Neither Krishna, nor the
son of Kunti, nor any other wielder of weapons in battle, will be able to
pierce this armour of thine with arrows. Cased in that coat of mail,
quickly go thou today against angry Arjuna in battle. He will not be able
to bear thee.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Having said these words, Drona, that foremost of persons
conversant with Brahma, touching water, and duly uttering certain
Mantras, speedily tied that highly wonderful and bright armour on
Duryodhana’s body for the victory of thy son in that dreadful battle and
causing (by that act) all persons there to be filled with amazement. And
Drona said, ‘Let the Vedas, and Brahman, and the Brahmanas, bless thee.
Let all the higher classes of reptiles be a source of blessings to thee,
O Bharata! Let Yayati and Nahusha, and Dhundhumara, and Bhagiratha, and
the other royal sages, all do what is beneficial to thee. Let blessings
be to thee from creatures having but one leg, and from those that have
many legs. Let blessings be to thee, in this great battle from creatures
that have no legs. Let Swaha, and Swadha, and Sachi, also, all do what is
beneficial to thee. O sinless one, let Lakshmi and Arundhati too do what
is beneficial to thee. Let Asita, and Devala and Viswamitra, and Angiras,
and Vasishtha, and Kasyapa, O king, do what is beneficial to thee. Let
Dhatri, and the lord of the worlds and the points of the compass and the
regents of those points, and the six-faced Karttikeya, all give thee what
is beneficial. Let the divine Vivaswat benefit thee completely. Let the
four elephants, of the four quarters, the earth, the firmament, the
planets, and he who is underneath the earth and holds her (on his head),
O king, viz., Sesha, that foremost of snakes, give thee what is for thy
benefit. O son of Gandhari, formerly the Asura named Vritra, displaying
his prowess in battle, had defeated the best of celestials in battle. The
latter, numbering thousands upon thousands, with mangled bodies, those
denizens of heaven, with Indra at their head, deprived of energy and
might, all repaired to Brahman and sought his protection, afraid of the
great Asura Vritra. And the gods said, ‘O best of gods, O foremost of
celestials, be thou the refuge of the gods now crushed by Vritra. Indeed,
rescue us from this great fear.’ Then Brahmana, addressing Vishnu staying
beside him as also those best of celestials headed by Sakra, said unto
them that were all cheerless, these words fraught with truth: Indeed, the
gods with Indra at their head, and the Brahmanas also, should ever be
protected by me. The energy of Tvashtri from which Vritra hath been
created is invincible. Having in days of yore performed ascetic penances
for a million of years, Tvashtri, then, ye gods, created Vritra,
obtaining permission from Maheswara. That mighty foe of yours hath
succeeded in smiting you through the grace of that god of gods. Without
going to the place where Sankara stayeth, ye cannot see the divine Hara.
Having seen that god, ye will be able to vanquish Vritra. Therefore, go
ye without delay to the mountains of Mandara. There stayeth that origin
of ascetic penances, that destroyer of Daksha’s sacrifice, that wielder
of Pinaka, that lord of all creatures, that slayer of the Asura called
Bhaganetra.’ Thus addressed by Brahman, the gods proceeding to Mandara
with Brahman in their company, beheld there that heap of energy, that
Supreme god endued with the splendour of a million suns. Seeing the gods
Maheswara welcomed them and enquired what he was to do for them. ‘The
sight of ray person can never be fruitless. Let the fruition of your
desires proceed from this.’ Thus addressed by him, the dwellers of heaven
replied, ‘We have been deprived of our energy by Vritra. Be thou the
refuge of the dwellers of heaven. Behold, O lord, our bodies beaten and
bruised by his strokes. We seek thy protection. Be thou our refuge, O
Maheswara!’ The god of gods, called Sarva, then said, ‘Ye gods, it is
well-known to you how this action, fraught with great strength, terrible
and incapable of being resisted by persons destitute of ascetic merit,
originated, springing from the energy of Tvashtri (the divine artificer).
As regards myself, it is certainly my duty to render aid to the dwellers
of heaven. O Sakra, take this effulgent armour from off my body. And, O
chief of the celestials, put it on, mentally uttering these mantras.’

“Drona continued, ‘Having said these words, the boon-giving (Siva) gave
that armour with the mantras (to be uttered by the wearer). Protected by
that armour, Sakra proceeded against the host of Vritra in battle. And
although diverse kinds of weapons were hurled at him in that dreadful
battle, yet the joints of that armour could not be cut open. Then the
lord of the celestials slew Vritra, and afterwards gave unto Angiras that
armour, whose joints were made up of mantras. And Angiras imparted those
mantras to his son Vrihaspati, having a knowledge of all mantras. And
Vrihaspati imparted that knowledge to Agnivesya of great intelligence.
And Agnivesya imparted it to me, and it is with the aid of those mantras,
O best of kings, that I, for protecting thy body, tie this armour on thy

`Sanjaya continued, Having said these words Drona, that bull among
preceptors, once more addressed thy son, of great splendour, saying, ‘O
king, I put this armour on thy body, joining its pieces with the aid of
Brahma strings. In days of yore, Brahma himself had thus put it on Vishnu
in battle. Even as Brahma himself had put this celestial armour on Sakra
in the battle caused by the abduction of Taraka, I put it on thee.’
Having thus, with mantras, donned that armour duly on Duryodhana, the
regenerate Drona sent the king to battle. And the mighty-armed king,
cased in armour by the high-souled preceptor, and accomplished in
smiting, and a thousand infuriated elephants endued with great prowess,
and a hundred thousand horses, and many other mighty car-warriors,
proceeded towards the car of Arjuna. And the mighty-armed king proceeded,
with the sound of diverse kinds of musical instruments, against his foe,
like Virochana’s son (Vali in days of yore). Then, O Bharata, a loud
uproar arose among thy troops, beholding the Kuru king proceeding like a
fathomless ocean.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After that bull among men, viz., Duryodhana, had set out
from behind, following Partha and him of Vrishni’s race, O king, both of
whom had penetrated into the Kaurava army, the Pandavas accompanied by
the Somakas, quickly rushed against Drona with loud shouts. And then
commenced the battle (between them and Drona’s troops). And the battle
that took place between the Kurus and the Pandavas at the gate of the
array, was fierce and awful, making the hair stand on end. The sight
filled the spectators with wonder. O king, the sun was then in the
meridian. That encounter, O monarch, was truly such that we had never
seen or heard of its like before. The Parthas headed by Dhrishtadyumna,
all accomplished in smiting and arrayed properly covered the troops of
Drona with showers of arrows. Ourselves also, placing Drona, that
foremost of all wielders of weapons, at our head, covered the Parthas,
gathered by Prishata’s son, with our shafts. The two hosts, adorned with
cars and looking beautiful, then appeared like two mighty masses of
clouds in the summer sky, driven towards each other by opposite winds.
Encountering each other, the two hosts increased their impetuosity, like
the rivers the Ganga and the Yamuna, swollen with water during the season
of the rains. Having diverse kinds of weapons for the winds that ran
before them, teeming with elephants and steeds and cars charged with
lightning, constituted by the maces wielded by the warriors, the fierce
and mighty cloud formed by the Kuru host, urged on by the Drona-tempest,
and pouring incessant shafts that constituted its torrents of rain,
sought to quench the scorching Pandava-fire. Like an awful hurricane in
summer agitating the ocean, that best of Brahmanas, viz., Drona,
agitating the Pandava host. Exerting themselves with great vigour, the
Pandavas rushed towards Drona alone for piercing his host, like a mighty
torrent of water towards a strong embankment, for sweeping it away. Like
an immovable hill resisting the fiercest current of water, Drona,
however, resisted in that battle the enraged Pandavas and Panchalas and
Kekayas. Many other kings also, endued with great strength and courage,
attacking them from all sides, began to resist the Pandavas. Then that
tiger among men, viz., the son of Prishata, uniting with the Pandayas,
began repeatedly to strike Drona, for piercing the hostile host. Indeed,
as Drona showered his arrows on Prishata’s son, even so did the latter
shower his on Drona. Having scimitars and swords for the winds that blew
before it, well-equipped with darts and lances and sabres, with the
bow-string constituting its lightning, and the (twang of the) bow for its
roars, the Dhrishtadyumna-cloud poured on all sides torrents of weapons,
as its showers of stones. Slaying the foremost of car-warriors and a
large number of steeds, the son of Prishata seemed to deluge the hostile
divisions (with his arrowy downpours). And the son of Prishata, by his
arrows, turned Drona away from all those tracks amid the car-divisions of
the Pandavas, through which that hero attempted to pass, striking the
warriors there with his shafts. And although Drona struggled vigorously
in that battle, yet his host, encountering Dhrishtadyumna, became divided
into three columns. One of these retreated towards Kritavarman, the chief
of the Bhojas; another towards Jalasandha; and fiercely slaughtered the
while by the Pandavas, proceeded towards Drona himself. Drona, that
foremost of car-warriors, repeatedly united his troops. The mighty
warrior Dhrishtadyumna as often smote and separated them. Indeed, the
Dhartarashtra force, divided into three bodies, was slaughtered by the
Pandavas and the Srinjayas fiercely, like a herd of cattle in the woods
by many beasts of prey, when unprotected by herdsmen. And people thought
that in that dreadful battle, it was Death himself who was swallowing the
warriors first stupefied by Dhrishtadyumna. As a kingdom of a bad king is
destroyed by famine and pestilence and robbers, even so was thy host
afflicted by the Pandavas. And in consequence of the rays of the sun
failing upon the weapons and the warriors, and of the dust raised by the
soldiers, the eyes of all were painfully afflicted. Upon the Kaurava host
being divided into three bodies during that dreadful carnage by the
Pandavas, Drona, filled with wrath, began to consume the Panchalas with
his shafts. And while engaged in crushing those divisions and
exterminating them with his shafts, the form of Drona became like that of
the blazing Yuga-fire. That mighty car-warrior pierced cars, elephants,
and steeds, and foot-soldiers, in that battle, each with only a single
arrow, (and never employing more than one in any case). There then was no
warrior in the Pandava army who was capable of bearing, O lord, the
arrows shot from the bow of Drona. Scorched by the rays of the sun and
blasted by the shafts of Drona, the Pandava divisions there began to reel
about on the field. And thy host also, similarly slaughtered by
Prishata’s son, seemed to blaze up at every point like a dry forest on
fire. And while both Drona and Dhrishtadyumna were slaughtering the two
hosts, the warriors of both armies, in utter disregard of their lives,
fought everywhere to the utmost extent of their prowess. Neither in thy
host, nor in that of the enemy, O bull of Bharata’s race, was there a
single warrior who fled away from the battle through fear. Those uterine
brothers, viz., Vivingsati and Chitrasena and the mighty car-warrior
Vikarna, surrounded Kunti’s son Bhimasena on all sides. And Vinda and
Anuvinda of Avanti, and Kshemadhurti of great prowess supported thy three
sons (who contended against Bhimasena). King Valhika of great energy and
noble parentage, with his own troops and counsellors, resisted the sons
of Draupadi. Saivya, the chief of the Govasanas, with a thousand foremost
warriors, faced the son, of great prowess, of the king of the Kasis and
resisted him. King Salya, the ruler of the Madras, surrounded royal
Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, who resembled a blazing fire. The brave
and wrathful Duhsasana, properly supported by his own divisions, angrily
proceeded, in that battle, against Satyaki, that foremost of
car-warriors. I myself, with my own troops, cased in mail and equipped
with weapons, and supported by four hundred foremost of bowmen, resisted
Chekitana.[138] Sakuni with seven hundred Gandhara warriors armed with
bows, darts and swords, resisted the son of Madri (viz., Sahadeva). Vinda
and Anuvinda of Avanti, those two great bowmen, who had, for the sake of
their friend (Duryodhana), uplifted their weapons, disregarding their
lives, encountered Virata, the king of the Matsyas. King Valhika,
exerting himself vigorously, resisted the mighty and unvanquished
Sikhandin, the son of Yajnasena, that hero capable of resisting all foes.
The chief of Avanti, with the Sauviras and the cruel Prabhadrakas,
resisted wrathful Dhrishtadyumna, the prince of the Panchalas. Alamvusha
quickly rushed against the brave Rakshasa Ghatotkacha. of cruel deeds,
who was wrathfully advancing to battle. The mighty car-warrior
Kuntibhoja, accompanied by a large force, resisted Alamvusha, that prince
of Rakshasas, of fierce mien. Thus, O Bharata, hundreds of separate
encounters between the warriors of thy army and theirs, took place.

“As regards the ruler of the Sindhus, he remained in the rear of the
whole army protected by many foremost of bowmen and car-warriors
numbering Kripa amongst them. And the ruler of the Sindhus had for the
protectors of his wheels two of the foremost warriors, viz., the son of
Drona on his right, O king, and the Suta’s son (Karna) on the left. And
for protecting his rear he had a number of warriors headed by Somadatta’s
son, viz., Kripa, and Vrishasena, and Sala, and the invincible Salya, who
were conversant with policy and were mighty bowmen accomplished in
battle. And the Kuru warriors, having made these arrangements for the
protection of the ruler of the Sindhus, fought (with the Pandavas).'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Listen, O king, to me as I describe to thee the wonderful
battle that then took place between the Kurus and the Pandavas.
Approaching Bharadwaja’s son who was staying at the gate of his array,
the Parthas battled vigorously for piercing through Drona’s division. And
Drona also, accompanied by his forces, desirous of protecting his own
array, battled with the Parthas, seeking glory. Vinda and Anuvinda of
Avanti, excited with wrath and desirous of benefiting thy son, struck
Virata with ten shafts. Virata also, O king, approaching those two
warriors of great prowess staying in battle, fought with them and their
followers. The battle that took place between these was fierce in the
extreme, and blood ran in it like water. And it resembled an encounter in
the woods between a lion and a couple of mighty elephants, with rent
temples. The mighty son of Yajnasena forcibly struck king Valhika in that
battle with fierce and sharp shafts capable of penetrating into the very
vitals. Valhika also filled with wrath, deeply pierced Yajnasena’s son
with nine straight shafts of golden wings and whetted on stone. And that
battle between those two warriors became exceedingly fierce,
characterised as it was by dense showers of shafts and darts. And it
enhanced the fears of the timid and the joy of heroes. The arrows shot by
them entirely covered the welkin and all the points of the compass, so
that nothing could any longer be discerned. And Saivya, the king of the
Govasanas on the head of the troops, fought in that battle with the
mighty car-warrior, the prince of the Kasis, like an elephant battling
with another. The king of the Valhikas, excited with wrath, fighting,
against those (five) mighty car-warriors, viz., the son of Draupadi,
looked resplendent, like the mind contending against the five senses. And
those five princes also, O foremost of embodied beings, fought with that
antagonist of theirs, shooting their arrows from all sides, like the
objects of the senses for ever battling with the body. Thy son Duhsasana,
struck Satyaki of Vrishni’s race with nine straight shafts of keen
points. Deeply pierced by that strong and great bowman, Satyaki of
prowess incapable of being baffled, was partially deprived of his senses.
Comforted soon, he, of Vrishni’s race, then quickly pierced thy son, that
mighty car-warrior, with ten shafts winged with Kanka feathers. Piercing
each other deeply and afflicted with each other’s shafts, they looked
splendid, O king, like two Kinsukas decked with flowers. Afflicted with
the arrows of Kuntibhoja, Alamvusha, filled with wrath looked like a
beautiful Kinsuka graced with its flowering burthen. The Rakshasa then
having pierced Kuntibhoja with many arrows, uttered awful shouts at the
head of thy host. And as those heroes fought with each other in that
battle, they seemed to all the troops to resemble Sakra and the Asura
Jambha in days of old. The two sons of Madri, filled with wrath, fiercely
ground with their shafts the Gandhara prince Sakuni who had offended
against them greatly. The carnage, O monarch, that set in was awful.
Originated by thee, nurtured by Karna, and kept up by thy sons, the fire
of wrath (of the Pandavas) hath swollen now, O monarch, and is ready to
consume the whole earth. Forced to turn his back on the field by the two
sons of Pandu with their shafts, Sakuni unable to put forth his valour,
knew not what to do. Beholding him turn back, those mighty car-warriors,
viz., the two sons of Pandu, once more showered their arrows on him like
two masses of clouds pouring torrents of rain on a mighty hill. Struck
with countless straight shafts, the son of Suvala fled towards the
division of Drona, borne by his swift steeds. The brave Ghatotkacha
rushed towards the Rakshasa Alamvusha in that battle, with impetuosity
much short of what he was capable. The battle between those two became
fearful to behold, like that which in days of yore had taken place
between Rama and Ravana. King Yudhishthira, having in that battle pierced
the ruler of the Madras with five hundred arrows, once more pierced him
with seven. Then commenced that battle between them which was exceedingly
wonderful, O monarch, which resembled that, in days of yore, between the
Asura Samvara and the chief of the celestials. The sons Vivinsati and
Chitrasena and Vikarna, surrounded by a large force, battled with


“Sanjaya said, ‘When that fierce battle, causing the hair to stand on
end, commenced, the Pandavas rushed against the Kauravas who had been
divided into three bodies. Bhimasena rushed against the mighty-armed
Jalasandha, and Yudhishthira, at the head of his troops rushed, in that
battle, against Kritavarman. And Dhrishtadyumna, O king, scattering the
shafts, like the sun shooting his rays, rushed against Drona. Then
commenced that battle between all the bowmen, eager for the encounter, of
the Kurus and the Pandavas, excited with wrath. And during the progress
of that terrible carnage, when all the warriors were battling with one
another fearlessly the mighty Drona fought with the mighty prince of the
Panchalas. And the clouds of arrows he shot in that encounter filled all
spectators with wonder. And Drona and the prince of the Panchalas,
cutting off the heads of men by thousands, scattered them on the field of
battle, making the latter resemble a forest of lotuses. In every
division, were soon strewn on the ground robes and ornaments and weapons,
and standards and coats of mail. And golden coats of mail, dyed with
blood, looked like clouds charged with lightning. Other mighty
car-warriors, drawing their large bows measuring full six cubits long,
felled with their shafts, elephants and steeds and men. In that dreadful
encounter of arms between brave and high-souled warriors, swords and
shields, bows and heads and coats of mail were seen lying scattered
about. Innumerable headless trunks wore seen to rise up, O king, in the
midst of that fierce battle. And vultures and Kankas and jackals and
swarms of other carnivorous animals, O sire, were seen there, eating the
flesh of fallen men and steeds and elephants, of drinking their blood, or
dragging them by the hair, or licking or pecking, O king, at their
marrow, or dragging their bodies and severed limbs, or rolling their
heads on the ground. Warriors, skilled in battle, accomplished in
weapons, and firmly resolved in fight, struggled vigorously in the
combat, solicitous only of fame. Many were the combatants that careered
over the field, performing the diverse evolutions, of swordsmen. With
sabres and darts and lances and spears and axes, with maces and spiked
clubs and other kinds of weapons, and with even bare arms, men who had
entered the arena of battle, filled with rage, slew one another. And
car-warriors fought with car-warriors, and horsemen with horsemen, and
elephants with foremost of elephants, and foot-soldiers with
foot-soldiers. And many infuriated elephants, as if perfectly mad,
uttered loud shrieks and slew one another, after the manner they do in
sporting arenas.

“During the progress, O king, of that battle in which the combatants
fought without any regard for one another, Dhrishtadyumna caused his own
steeds to be mixed up with those of Drona. Those steeds endued with the
speed of the wind, that were white as pigeons and red as blood, thus
mixed with one another in battle, looked exceedingly beautiful. Indeed,
they looked resplendent like clouds charged with lightning. Then that
slayer of hostile heroes, viz., heroic Dhrishtadyumna, the son of
Prishata, beholding Drona, O Bharata, arrived so near, cast off his bow
and took up his sword and shield, for achieving a difficult feat. Seizing
the shaft of Drona’s car, he entered into it. And he stayed sometimes on
the middle of the yoke, and sometimes on its joints and sometimes behind
the steeds. And while he was moving, armed with swords, quickly upon the
backs of those red steeds of Drona, the latter could not detect an
opportunity for striking him.[139] All this seemed wonderful to us.
Indeed, like the sweep of a hawk in the woods from desire of food, seemed
that sally of Dhrishtadyumna from his own car for the destruction of
Drona. Then Drona cut off, with a hundred arrows, the shield, decked with
a hundred moons, of Drupada’s son, and then his sword, with ten others.
And mighty Drona then, with four and sixty arrows, slew the steeds of his
antagonist. And with a couple of broad-headed shafts he cut off the
latter’s standard and umbrella also, and then slew both his Parshni
charioteers. And then with great speed drawing his bow-string to his ear,
he shot at him a fatal shaft, like the wielder of the thunder hurling the
thunder (at a foe). But soon Satyaki, with four and ten sharp shafts, cut
off that fatal arrow of Drona. And thus the Vrishni hero, O sire, rescued
Dhrishtadyumna, who had been seized by that lion among men, the foremost
of preceptors, like a deer seized by the king of the forests. Even thus
did that bull amongst the Sinis, the prince of the Panchalas. Beholding
Satyaki to rescue the prince of the Panchalas in the dreadful battle,
Drona quickly shot at him six and twenty arrows. The grandson of Sini
then, in return, pierced Drona in the centre of the chest with six and
twenty arrows, while the latter was engaged in devouring the Srinjayas.
Then all the Panchala car-warriors, desirous of victory upon the Satwata
hero, proceeding against Drona, quickly withdrew Dhrishtadyumna from the


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘After that shafts of Drona had been cut off and
Dhrishtadyumna thus rescued, O Sanjaya, by Yuyudhana, that foremost one
of the Vrishni race, what did that great bowman, that foremost of all
wielders of weapons, viz., Drona, do in battle unto that tiger among men,
viz., the grandson of Sini?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Then Drona, like a mighty snake, having wrath for his
poison, his stretched bow for his wide-open mouth, his sharp shafts for
his teeth and whetted arrows for his fangs, with eyes red as copper from
rage, and breathing hard, that mighty hero among men, perfectly fearless,
borne on his red steeds of great speed, that seemed to soar into the
skies or get at the top of a mountain, rushed towards Yuyudhana,
scattering his arrows equipped with golden wings. Then that subjugator of
hostile cities, that hero of Sini’s race invincible in battle, beholding
that irresistible Drona cloud having showers of arrows for its watery
downpour, the rattle of car-wheels for its roar, the out-stretched bow
for its volume, long shafts for its lightning-flashes, darts and swords
for its thunder, wrath for the winds and urged on by those steeds that
constituted the hurricane (impelling it forwards), rushed towards him,
addressed his charioteer and smilingly said, O Suta, proceed quickly and
cheerfully, urging the steeds to their greatest speed, against that
heroic Brahmana, fallen off from the duties of his order, that refuge of
Dhritarashtra’s son, that dispeller of the (Kuru) king’s sorrows and
fear, that preceptor of all the princes, that warrior ever boastful of
his prowess.’ Then the excellent steeds of silvery hue belonging to him
of Madhu’s race, endued with the speed of the wind, quickly proceeded
towards Drona. Then those two chastisers of foes, viz., Drona and Sini’s
grandson, fought with each other, each striking the other with thousands
of shafts. Those two bulls among men filled the welkin with their arrowy
showers. Indeed, the two heroes covered the ten points of the compass
with their shafts. And they poured on each other their shafts like two
clouds pouring their contents (on the earth) on the expiration of summer.
The sun became invisible. The very wind ceased to blow. And in
consequence of those showers of shafts filling the welkin, a continuous
and thick gloom was caused there that became unbearable to the other
heroes. And when the shafts of Drona and Sini’s grandson had caused that
gloom there, none beheld any cessation in shooting in either of them.
They were both quick in the use of weapons, and they were both looked
upon as lions among men. The sound produced by those torrents of arrows,
shot by both striking against each other was heard to resemble the sound
of the thunder hurled by Sakra. The forms of heroic warriors pierced with
long shafts looked like those of snakes, O Bharata, hit by snakes of
virulent poison. Brave warriors incessantly heard the twangs of their
bows and the sounds of their palms to resemble the sound of thunder
falling upon summits of mountains. The cars of both of those warriors, O
king, their steeds, and their charioteers pierced with shafts of golden
wings, became beautiful to behold. Fierce was the downpour, O monarch, of
shafts that were bright and straight and that looked resplendent like
snakes of virulent poison freed from their sloughs. The umbrellas of both
were cut off, as also the standards of both. And both of them were
covered with blood, and both were inspired with the hope of victory. With
blood trickling down every limb of theirs, they resembled a couple of
elephants with secretions trickling down their bodies. And they continued
to strike each other with fatal shafts. The roars and shouts and other
cries of the soldiers, the blare of conchs and the beat of drums ceased,
O king, for none uttered any sound. Indeed, all the divisions became
silent, and all the warriors stopped fighting. People, filled with
curiosity became spectators of that single combat. Car-warriors and
elephant riders and horsemen and foot-soldiers, surrounding those two
bulls among men, witnessed their encounter with steadfast eyes. And the
elephant-divisions stood still and so also the horse-divisions, and so
also the car-divisions. All stood still, disposed in array. Variegated
with pearls and corals, decked with gems and gold, adorned with standards
and ornaments, with coats of mail made of gold, with triumphal banners
with rich caparisons of elephants, with fine blankets, with bright and
sharp weapons, with yak-tails, ornamented with gold and silver, on the
heads of steeds, with garlands, round the frontal globes of elephants and
rings round their tusks, O Bharata, the Kuru and the Pandava hosts then
looked like a mass of clouds at the close of summer, decked with rows of
cranes and myriads of fire-flies (under them) and adorned with rainbows
and flashes of lightning. Both our men and those of Yudhishthira, beheld
that battle between Yuyudhana and high-souled Drona; the gods also,
headed by Brahma and Soma, and the Siddhas, and the Charanas, and the
Vidyadharas, and the great Snakes, saw it, stationed on their foremost of
sky-ranging cars. And beholding the diverse motion, forward and backward,
of those lions among men, and their acts of striking each other, the
spectators were filled with wonder. And both endued with great strength,
Drona and Satyaki, displaying their lightness of hand in the use of
weapons, began to pierce each other with shafts. Then he of Dasarha’s
race, with his mighty shafts, cut off those of the illustrious Drona in
that battle, and then, within a moment, the latter’s bow also. Within,
however, the twinkling of an eye, the son of Bharadwaja took up another
bow and strung it. Even that bow of his was cut off by Satyaki. Drona
then, with utmost quickness waited with another bow in hand. As often,
however, as Drona strung his bow, Satyaki cut it off. And this he did
full nine and seven times. Beholding then that superhuman feat of
Yuyudhana in battle, Drona, O monarch, thought in his mind, ‘This force
of weapons that I see in this foremost one among the Satwatas exists in
Rama and Dhananjaya and was seen also in Kartavirya and that tiger among
men, viz., Bhishma. The son of Bharadwaja, therefore, mentally applauded
the prowess of Satyaki. Beholding that lightness of hand equal unto that
of Vasava himself, that foremost of regenerate ones, that first of all
persons conversant with weapons, was highly gratified with Madhava. And
the gods also, with Vasava at their head, were gratified with it. The
gods and the Gandharvas, O monarch, had never before witnessed that
lightness of hand of the quickly moving Yuyudhana, although they and the
Siddhas and the Charanas had been acquainted with the feats of which
Drona was capable. Then Drona, that foremost of persons acquainted with
weapons, that grinder of Kshatriyas, taking up another bow, aimed some
weapons. Satyaki, however, baffling those weapons with the illusion of
his own weapon struck him with some sharp shafts. All this seemed highly
wonderful. Beholding that superhuman feat of his in battle, that feat of
which nobody else was capable, and which displayed very great skill,
those amongst thy warriors that were judges of skill, applauded it.
Satyaki shot the same weapons that Drona shot. Beholding this, that
scorcher of foes, viz., the preceptor, fought with a little less
boldness, than usual. Then that master of military science, O king,
filled with wrath, invoked celestial weapons for the destruction of
Yuyudhana. Beholding that terrible foe-slaughtering Agneya weapon,
Satyaki, that mighty bowman, invoked another celestial weapon, viz., the
Varuna. Seeing them both take up celestial weapons, loud cries of Oh and
Alas arose there. The very creatures having the sky for their element
ceased to range through it. Then the Varuna and the Agneya weapons which
had thus been grafted on their shafts coming against each other became
fruitless.[140] Just at that time, the sun passed down in his course.
Then king Yudhishthira and Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, and Nakula, and
Sahadeva, desirous of protecting Satyaki, and the Matsyas, and the
Salweya troops, speedily proceeded towards Drona. Then thousands of
princes placing Duhsasana at their head, hastily proceeded towards Drona
(for protecting him) who was surrounded by foes. Then, O king, commenced
a fierce battle between them and thy bowmen. The earth was covered with
dust and with showers of arrows shot (by both sides). And everything
being thus covered, nothing could any longer be discerned. Indeed, when
the troops were thus overwhelmed with dust, the battle proceeded in utter
disregard (of persons and rules).'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘When the sun turned in his downward course towards the
summit of the Asta hills, when the welkin was covered with dust, when the
heat of the solar rays abated, the day began to fade fast. As regards the
soldiers, some rested, some fought on, some returned to the encounter,
desirous of victory. And while the troops, inspired with hope of victory,
were thus engaged, Arjuna and Vasudeva proceeded towards the place where
the ruler of the Sindhus was. The son of Kunti, by means of his shafts,
made (through the hostile soldiers) a way sufficiently wide for his car.
And it was in this way that Janardana proceeded, (guiding the car).
Thither where the car of the high-souled son of Pandu proceeded, thither
thy troops, O monarch, broke and yielded a way. And he of Dasarha’s race,
endued with great energy, displayed his skill in driving car by showing
diverse kinds of circling motions. And the shafts of Arjuna, engraved
with his name, well-tempered, resembling the Yuga-fire, tied round with
catgut, of straight joints, thick, far-reaching, and mace either of
(cleft) bamboo (or their branches) or wholly of iron, taking the lives of
diverse foes, drank in that battle, with the birds (of prey assembled
there), the blood of living creatures. Standing on his car, as Arjuna
shot his shafts full two miles ahead, those shafts pierced and despatched
his foes just as that car itself came up to the spot.[141] Hrishikesa
proceeded, borne by those yoke-bearing steeds endued with the speed of
Garuda or the wind, with such speed that he caused the whole universe to
wonder at it. Indeed, O king, the car of Surya himself, or that of Rudra
or that of Vaisravana, never goeth so fast. Nobody else’s car had ever
before moved with such speed in battle as Arjuna’s car, moving with the
celerity of a wish cherished in the mind. Then Kesava, O king, that
slayer of hostile heroes, having taken the car of battle quickly urged
the steeds, O Bharata, through the (hostile) troops. Arrived in the midst
of that throng of cars, those excellent steeds bore Arjuna’s car with
difficulty, suffering as they did from hunger, thirst, and toil, and
mangled as they had been with the weapons of many heroes delighting in
battle. They frequently, however, described beautiful circles as they
moved, proceeding over the bodies of slain steeds and men, over broken
cars, and the bodies of dead elephants, looking like hills by thousands.

“Meanwhile O king, the two heroic brothers of Avanti, (viz., Vinda and
Anuvinda), at the head of their forces, beholding the steeds of Arjuna to
be tired, encountered him. Filled with joy, they pierced Arjuna with four
and sixty shafts, and Janardana with seventy, and the four steeds (of
Arjuna’s car) with a hundred arrows. Then Arjuna, O king, filled with
wrath, and having a knowledge of the vital parts of the body, struck them
both in the battle, with nine straight shafts, every one of which was
capable of penetrating into the very vitals. Thereupon, the two brothers,
filled with rage, covered Vibhatsu and Kesava with showers of shafts and
uttered leonine roars. Then Partha of white steeds, with a couple of
broad-headed shafts, quickly cut off in that battle the beautiful bows of
the two brothers and then their two standards, bright as gold. Vinda and
Anuvinda then, O king, taking up to other bows and becoming infuriated
with anger, began to grind the son of Pandu with their arrows. Then
Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu, exceedingly enraged, once more, with a
couple of shafts quickly cut off those two bows also of his foes. And
with a few other arrows whetted on stone and equipped with wings of gold,
Arjuna then slew their steeds, their charioteers, and the two combatants
that protected their rear, with those that followed the latter. And with
another broad-headed arrow, sharp as a razor, he cut off the head of the
eldest brother, who fell down on the earth, deprived of life, like a tree
broken by the wind. The mighty Anuvinda then endued with great prowess,
beholding Vinda slain left his steedless car, having taken up a mace.
Then that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the brother of Vinda,
apparently dancing as he advanced with that mace in his arms, proceeded
in that battle for avenging the slaughter of his elder brother. Filled
with rage, Anuvinda struck Vasudeva on the forehead with that mace. The
latter, however, trembled not, but stood still like the mountain Mainaka.
Then Arjuna with six arrows, cut off his neck and two legs and two arms
and head. Thus cut off (into fragments, the limbs of) Anuvinda fell down
like so many hills. Beholding them both stain, their followers, O king,
filled with rage rushed (towards Arjuna), scattering hundreds of arrows.
Slaying them soon, O bull of Bharata’s race, Arjuna looked resplendent
like a fire consuming a forest on the expiry of winter. Passing over
those troops with some difficulty, Dhananjaya then shone brightly like
the risen sun, transgressing the clouds under which it was hid. Beholding
him, the Kauravas were filled with fright. But recovering soon enough,
they rejoiced once more and rushed at him from all sides. O bull of
Bharata’s race! Understanding that he was tired and that the ruler of the
Sindhus was yet at a distance, they surrounded him, uttering leonine
roars. Beholding them, tilled with wrath, Arjuna, that bull among men,
smilingly, addressed him of Dasarha’s race in soft words, and said, ‘Our
steeds are afflicted with arrows and tired. The ruler of the Sindhus is
still at a distance. What do you think to be the best that should be done
now? Tell me, O Krishna, truly. Thou art always the wisest of persons.
The Pandavas having thee for their eyes, will vanquish their foes in
battle. That which seems to me should be done next, truly shall I say
unto thee. Unyoking the steeds to their case, pluck off their arrows, O
Madhava!’ Thus addressed by Partha, Kesava replied unto him, ‘I am, also
O Partha, of the opinion which thou hast expressed.’

“Arjuna then said, ‘I will hold in check the whole army, O Kesava! Do
thou properly perform that which should be done next.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Alighting then from the terrace of his car,
Dhananjaya, taking up his bow, Gandiva, fearlessly stood there like an
immovable hill. Beholding Dhananjaya standing on the ground, and
regarding it a good opportunity, the Kshatriyas, desirous of victory and
uttering loud shouts, rushed towards him. Him standing along, they
surrounded with a large throng of cars, all stretching their bows and
showering their shafts on him. Filled with wrath, they displayed diverse
kinds of weapons and entirely shrouded Partha with their shafts like the
clouds shrouding the sun. And the great Kshatriya warriors impetuously
rushed against that bull among Kshatriyas, that lion among men, like
infuriated elephants rushing towards a lion. The might then that we
beheld, of Partha’s arms was exceedingly great, since, filled with rage,
alone, he succeeded in resisting those countless warriors. The puissant
Partha, baffling with his own weapons those of the foes, quickly covered
all of them with countless shafts. In that part of the welkin, O monarch,
in consequence of the clash Of those dense showers of shafts, a fire was
generated emitting incessant sparks. There, in consequence of hostile
heroes, countless in number, all filled with wrath, and all great bowmen
united together for a common Purpose, seeking victory in battle, aided by
steeds, covered with blood and breathing hard, and by infuriated and
foe-grinding elephants, uttering loud shrieks, the atmosphere became
exceedingly hot. That uncrossable, wide, and limitless ocean of cars,
incapable of being agitated, had arrows for its current, standards for
its eddies, elephants for its crocodiles, foot-soldiers for its countless
fishes, the blare of conchs and the beat of drums for its roar, cars for
its surging waves, head-gears of combatants for its tortoises, umbrellas
and banners for its froth, and the bodies of slain elephants for its
(submarine) rocks: Partha resisted with his arrows, the approach of the
sea like a continent. Then, in course of that battle, the mighty-armed
Janardana, fearlessly addressing that dear friend of his, that foremost
of men, viz., Arjuna, said unto him. ‘There is no well here in the field
of battle, O Arjuna, for the steeds to drink from. The steeds want water
for drink, but not for a bath.’ Thus addressed by Vasudeva, Arjuna
cheerfully said, ‘Here it is!’ And so saying, he pierced the earth with a
weapon and made an excellent lake from which the steeds could drink. And
that lake abounded in swans and ducks, and was adorned with Chakravakas.
And it was wide and full of transparent water, and abounded in full-blown
lotuses of the finest species. And it teemed with diverse kinds of fish.
And fathomless in depth, it was the resort of many a Rishi. And the
celestial Rishi, Narada, came to have a look at that lake created there
in a moment. And Partha, capable of achieving wonderful works like (the
celestial artificer) Tvashtri himself, also constructed there an arrowy
hall, having arrows for its beams and rafters, arrows for its pillars,
and arrows for its roof. Then Govinda smiling in joy, said, ‘Excellent,
Excellent,’ upon seeing the high-souled Partha create that arrowy hall.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After the high-souled son of Kunti had created that
water, after he had commenced to hold in cheek the hostile army, and
after he had built also that arrowy hall, Vasudeva of great splendour,
alighting from the car, unyoked the steeds pierced and mangled with
arrows. Beholding that sight never seen before, loud uproars of applause
were heard there, uttered by the Siddhas and the Charanas and by all the
warriors. Mighty car-warriors (assembled together) were unable to resist
the son of Kunti, even when he fought on foot. All this seemed highly
wonderful. Although throngs upon throngs of cars, and myriads of
elephants and steeds, rushed towards him, yet Partha felt no fear but
fought on, prevailing upon all his foes. And the (hostile) kings shot
showers of shafts at the son of Pandu. That slayer of hostile heroes,
however, viz., the son of Vasava, of virtuous soul, felt no anxiety
whatever. Indeed, the valiant Partha received hundreds of arrowy showers
and maces and lances coming towards him as the ocean receives hundreds
upon hundreds of rivers flowing towards it. With the impetuous might of
his own weapons and strength of his arms, Partha received the foremost of
shafts shot at him by those foremost of kings. Although staying on the
ground, and alone, he succeeded yet in baffling all those kings on their
cars, like that one fault, avarice, destroying a host of accomplishments.
The Kauravas, O king, applauded the highly wonderful prowess of Partha as
also of Vasudeva, saying, ‘What more wonderful incident hath ever taken
place in this world, or will ever take place than this, viz., that Partha
and Govinda, in course of battle, have unyoked their steeds? Displaying
fierce energy on the field of battle and the greatest assurance, those
best of men have inspired us with great thoughts.’ Then Hrishikesa, of
eyes like lotus-petals, smiling with the coolest assurance, as if, O
Bharata, he was in the midst of an assembly of women (and not armed
foes), after Arjuna had created in the field of battle that hall, made of
arrows, led the steeds into it, in the very sight. O monarch, of all thy
troops. And Krishna, who was well-skilled in grooming horses, then
removed their fatigue, pain, froth, trembling and wounds.[142] Then
plucking out their arrows and rubbing those steeds with his own hands,
and making them trot duly, he caused them to drink. Having caused them to
drink, and removed their fatigue and pain, he once more carefully yoked
them to that foremost of cars. Then, that foremost one among all wielders
of weapons, viz., Sauri, of great energy, mounting on that car with
Arjuna, proceeded with great speed. Beholding the car of that foremost of
car-warriors once more equipped with these steeds, whose thirst had been
slaked, the foremost ones among the Kuru army once more became cheerless.
They began to sigh, O king, like snakes whose fangs had been pulled out.
And they said, ‘Oh, fie, fie on us! Both Partha and Krishna have gone, in
the very sight of all the Kshatriyas, riding on the same car, and clad in
mail, and slaughtering our troops with as much ease as boys sporting with
a toy. Indeed, those scorchers of foes have gone away in the very sight
of all the kings displaying the prowess and unimpeded by our shouting and
struggling combatants.’ Seeing them gone away, other warriors said, ‘Ye
Kauravas, speed ye for the slaughter of Krishna and the diadem-decked
(Arjuna). Yoking his steeds unto his car in the very sight of all (our)
bowmen, he of Dasarha’s race is proceeding towards Jayadratha,
slaughtering us in battle.’ And some lords of earth there, O king,
amongst themselves, having seen that highly wonderful incident in battle
never seen before said, ‘Alas, through Duryodhana’s fault, these warriors
of king Dhritarashtra, the Kshatriyas, and the whole earth, fallen into
great distress, are being destroyed. King Duryodhana understands it not.’
Thus spoke many Kshatriyas. Others, O Bharata, said, ‘The ruler of the
Sindhus hath already been despatched to Yama’s abode. Of narrow sight and
unacquainted with means, let Duryodhana now do what should be done for
that king.[143] Meanwhile, the son of Pandu, seeing the sun coursing
towards the Western hills, proceeded with greater speed towards the ruler
of the Sindhus, on his steeds, whose thirst had been slaked. The (Kuru)
warriors were unable to resist that mighty-armed hero, that foremost of
all wielders of weapons, as he proceeded like the Destroyer himself in
wrath. That scorcher of foes, viz., the son of Pandu, routing the
warriors (before him), agitated that army, like a lion agitating a herd
of deer, as he proceeded for getting at Jayadratha. Penetrating into the
hostile army, he, of Dasarha’s race, urged the steeds with great speeds,
and blew his conch, Panchajanya, which was of the hue of the clouds. The
shafts shot before by the son of Kunti began to fall behind him, so
swiftly did those steeds, endued with the speed of the wind, drew that
car. Then many kings, filled with rage, and many other Kshatriyas
surrounded Dhananjaya who was desirous of slaying Jayadratha. When the
(Kuru) warriors thus proceeded towards that bull, among men (viz.,
Arjuna) who had stopped for a moment, Duryodhana, proceeding quickly,
followed Partha in that great battle. Many warriors, beholding the car
whose rattle resembled the roar of clouds, and which was equipped with
that terrible standard bearing the ape and whose banner floated upon the
wind, became exceedingly cheerless. Then when the sun was almost
completely shrouded by the dust (raised by the combatants), the (Kuru)
warriors, afflicted with shafts, became incapable of even gazing, in that
battle, at the two Krishnas.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘O monarch! I beholding Vasudeva and Dhananjaya penetrate
into their host, having already pierced through many divisions, the kings
of the army, fled away in fear. A little while after, however, those
high-souled ones, filled with rage and shame, and urged on by their
might, became cool and collected, and proceeded towards Dhananjaya. But
those, O king, who filled with rage and vindictiveness, proceeded against
the son of Pandu in battle, returned not, like rivers never returning
from the ocean. Seeing this, many ignoble Kshatriyas incurred sin and
hell by flying away from battle, like atheists turning away from the
Vedas.[144] Transgressing that throng of cars those two bulls among men,
at last, issued out of it, and looked like the sun and the moon freed
from the jaws of Rahu. Indeed, the two Krishnas, their fatigue dispelled,
having pierced through that vast host, looked like two fishes that had
passed through a strong net. Having forced through that impenetrable
division of Drona, the way through which was obstructed by dense showers
of weapons, those two high-souled heroes looked like Yuga-suns risen (on
the welkin). Piercing through those dense showers of weapons and freed
from that imminent danger, those high-souled heroes, themselves
obstructing the welkin with thick clouds of weapons, seemed like persons
escaped from a raging conflagration, or like two fishes from the jaws of
a makara. And they agitated the (Kuru) host like a couple of makaras
agitating the ocean. Thy warriors and thy sons, while Partha and Krishna
were in the midst of Drona’s division, had thought that those two would
never be able to issue out of it. Beholding, however, those two heroes of
great splendour issue out of Drona’s division, they no longer, O monarch,
hoped for Jayadratha’s life. Hitherto they had strong hopes of
Jayadratha’s life, for they had thought, O king, that the two Krishnas
would never be able to escape from Drona and Hridika’s son. Frustrating
that hope, those two scorchers of foes had, O monarch, crossed the
division of Drona, as also the almost uncrossable division of the Bhojas.
Beholding them, therefore, ford through those divisions and look like two
blazing fires, thy men became possessed with despair and no longer hoped
for Jayadratha’s life. Then those two fearless heroes, viz., Krishna and
Dhananjaya, those enhancers of the fears of foes, began to converse
between themselves about the slaughter of Jayadratha. And Arjuna said,
‘This Jayadratha hath been placed in their midst by six of the foremost
car-warriors among the Dhartarashtras. The ruler of the Sindhus, however,
shall not escape me if once he is seen by me. If Sakra himself, with all
the celestials, become his protector in battle, yet shall we slay him.
Thus did the two Krishnas talk. Even so, O mighty-armed one, did they
converse amongst themselves, while looking after the ruler of the
Sindhus. (Having heard what they said), thy sons set up a loud wail.
Those two chastisers of foes then looked like a couple of thirsty
elephants of great quickness of motion, refreshed by drinking water,
after having passed through a desert. Beyond death and above decrepitude,
they then looked like two merchants that have passed over a mountainous
country abounding with tigers and lions and elephants. Indeed, beholding
them freed (from Drona and Kritavarman), thy warriors regarded the colour
of Partha’s and Krishna’s face to be dreadful; and thy men then, from all
sides, set up a loud wail. Freed from Drona who resembled a snake of
virulent poison or a blazing fire, as also from the other lords of the
earth, Partha and Krishna looked like two blazing suns. Indeed, those two
chastisers of foes, freed from Drona’s division, which resembled the very
ocean, seemed to be filled with joy like persons that have safely crossed
the vasty deep. Freed from those dense showers of weapons, from those
divisions protected by Drona and Hridika’s son, Kesava and Arjuna looked
like Indra and Agni, or blazing effulgence. The two Krishnas, pierced
with sharp shafts of Bharadwaja’s son, and with bodies dripping with
bloods, looked resplendent like two mountains decked with flowering
Karnikaras. Having forded that wide lake, of which Drona constituted the
alligator, darts formed the fierce snakes, shafts, the Makaras, and
Kshatriyas, the deep waters, and having issued out of that cloud,
constituted by Drona’s weapons, whose thunders were the twang of bows and
the sound of palms, and whose lightning flashes were constituted by maces
and swords, Partha and Krishna looked like the sun and moon freed from
darkness. Having crossed the region obstructed by the weapons of Drona,
all creatures regarded those mighty and famous bowmen viz., the two
Krishnas, as persons who had forded, with the aid of their arms, the five
rivers, (viz., the Satadru, the Vipasa, the Ravi, the Chandrabhaga, and
the Vitasta) having the ocean for their sixth, when full of water during
the season of rains, and abounding with alligators. Casting their eyes,
from desire of slaughter, on Jayadratha who was not far off from them,
the two heroes looked like two tigers waiting from desire of falling upon
a Ruru deer. Such was then the colour of their faces, that thy warriors,
O monarch, regarded Jayadratha as one already slain. Possessed of red
eyes, O mighty-armed one, and staying together, Krishna and the son of
Pandu, at the sight of Jayadratha were filled with joy and roared
repeatedly. Indeed, O monarch, the splendour then of Sauri, standing with
reins in hand, and of Partha armed with bow, was like that of the sun or
fire. Freed from the division of Drona, their joy, at sight of the ruler
of the Sindhus, was like that of a couple of hawks at the sight of a
piece of flesh. Beholding the ruler of the Sindhus not far off, they
rushed in wrath towards him like a couple of hawks swooping down towards
a piece of meat. Seeing Hrishikesa and Dhananjaya transgress (the
divisions of Drona), thy valiant son, king Duryodhana, whose armour had
been bound on his person by Drona, and who was well-versed in grooming
and guiding horses, rushed, on a single car, O lord, for the protection
of the Sindhus. Leaving those mighty bowmen, viz., Krishna and Partha,
behind, thy son, O king, turned back, facing Kesava of lotus-like eyes.
When thy son thus outran Dhananjaya, diverse musical instruments were
joyfully blown and beat among all thy troops. And leonine roars were
uttered mingled with the blare of conchs, beholding Duryodhana staying in
the face of the two Krishnas. They also, O king, resembling blazing
fires, that stood as the protectors of Jayadratha, were filled with joy
upon beholding thy son in battle. Seeing Duryodhana transgress them with
his followers, Krishna, O monarch, said unto Arjuna these words suited to
the occasion.'”


“Vasudeva said, ‘Behold, O Dhananjaya, this Suyodhana who hath
transgressed us! I regard this as highly wonderful. There is no
car-warrior equal to him. His arrows are far-reaching. He is a great
bowman. Accomplished as he is in weapons, it is exceedingly difficult to
vanquish him in battle. The mighty son of Dhritarashtra strikes hard, and
is conversant with all modes of warfare. Brought up in great luxury, he
is much regarded by even the foremost of car-warriors. He is
well-accomplished, and, O Partha, he always hates the Pandavas. For these
reasons, O sinless one, I think, thou shouldst now fight with him. Upon
him resteth, as upon a stake at dice, victory or the reverse. Upon him, O
Partha, vomit that poison of thy wrath which thou hast cherished so long.
This mighty car-warrior is the root of all the wrongs on the Pandavas. He
is now within reach of thy shafts. Look after thy success. Why hath king
Duryodhana, desirous as he is of kingdom, come to battle with thee? By
good luck, it is that he is now arrived within reach of thy arrows. Do
that, O Dhananjaya, by which he may be deprived on his very life. Reft of
his senses through pride of affluence, he hath never felt any distress. O
bull among men, he doth not know also thy prowess in battle. Indeed, the
three worlds with the celestials, the Asuras, and human beings, cannot
venture to vanquish thee in battle. What need be said, therefore, of
single Duryodhana? By good luck it is, O Partha, that he hath approached
the vicinity of thy car. O mighty-armed one, slay him as Purandara slew
Vritra. O sinless one, this Duryodhana hath endeavoured to bring evil on
you. By deceit he cheated king Yudhishthira at dice. O giver of honours,
sinless though you all are, this prince of sinful soul has always done
various evil acts towards him. Nobly resolved upon battle, O Partha, slay
without any scruple this wicked wight, who is ever wrathful and ever
cruel, and who is the very embodiment of avarice. Remembering the
deprivation of your kingdom by deceit, your exile into the woods, and the
wrongs of Krishna, put forth thy prowess, O son of Pandu! By good luck,
it is that he stayeth within the range of the shafts. By good luck, it is
that staying before thee he endeavours to resist thy purpose. By good
luck, it is that he knows today that he will have to fight with thee in
the battle. By good luck, it is that all your purposes, even those that
are not presently entertained by you, will be crowned with fruition.
Therefore, Partha, slay this wretch of his race, viz., the son of
Dhritarashtra, in battle, as Indra had in days of yore, slain the Asura
Jambha in the battle between the celestials and the Asuras. If he is
slain by thee, thou canst then pierce through this masterless host. Cut
the very root of these wicked-souled wretches. Let the avabhritha[145] of
this hostility be now accomplished.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus addressed, Partha replied unto Kesava
saying–‘So be it. Even this should be done by me. Disregarding
everything else, proceed thither where Duryodhana is. Putting forth my
prowess in battle, I will cut off the head of that wretch who hath for
such a long period enjoyed our kingdom without a thorn on his side. Shall
I not succeed, O Kesava, in avenging myself of the insult, in the shape
of dragging her by the hair, offered unto Draupadi, undeserving as she
was of that wrong.’ Thus conversing with each other, the two Krishnas
filled with joy, urged those excellent white steeds of theirs, desirous
of getting at king Duryodhana. As regards thy son, O bull of Bharata’s
race, having approached the presence of Partha and Krishna, he
entertained no fear, although, O sire, every circumstance was calculated
to inspire fear. And the Kshatriyas there, on thy side, highly applauded
him then, for he proceeded to face Arjuna and Hrishikesa for resisting
them. Indeed, beholding the king in battle, a loud shout was heard there,
O monarch, uttered by the entire Kuru army. What that terrible and awful
shout arose there, thy son, pressing his foe hard, opposed his progress.
Held in check by thy son armed with bow, the son of Kunti became filled
with rage, and that chastiser of foes, Duryodhana, also became highly
enraged with Partha. Beholding both Duryodhana and Dhananjaya enraged
with each other, all the Kshatriyas, of fierce forms, began to look at
them from all sides. Seeing Partha and Vasudeva both filled with rage,
thy son, O sire, desirous of battle, smilingly challenged them, then he
of Dasarha’s race became filled with joy, and Dhananjaya also, the son of
Pandu, became cheerful. Uttering loud roars, they both blew their
foremost of conchs. Seeing them thus cheerful, all the Kauravas became
hopeless of thy son’s life. Indeed, all the Kauravas, and many even
amongst the enemy, became possessed with grief, and regarded thy son as a
libation already poured into the mouth of the (sacred) fire. Thy
warriors, seeing Krishna and the Pandava so cheerful I loudly exclaimed,
afflicted with fear, ‘The king is slain.’ ‘The king is slain.’ Hearing
that loud uproar of the warriors, Duryodhana said, ‘Let your fears be
dispelled. I will despatch the two Krishnas unto the region of death.’
Having told all his warriors these words, king Duryodhana. then,
expectant of success, addressed Partha angrily and said these words: ‘If,
O Partha, thou art begotten by Pandu apply upon me, without loss of time,
all the weapons, celestial and earthly, that Kesava also hath of either,
upon me. I wish to see thy manliness. They speak of many feats achieved
by thee out of our view. Show me those feats that have won the applause
of many endued with great heroism!'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Saying these words, king Duryodhana pierced Arjuna with
three shafts of great impetuosity and capable of penetrating into the
very vitals. And with four others he pierced the four steeds of his foe.
And he pierced Vasudeva in the centre of the chest with ten shafts, and
cutting off, with a broad-headed arrow, the whip in the latter’s hands,
he felled it on the ground. Then Partha, coolly and without losing a
moment, shot at him four and ten shafts whetted on stone and equipped
with beautiful feathers. All those shafts, however, were repelled by
Duryodhana’s armour. Beholding their fruitlessness, Partha once more sped
at him nine and five arrows of keen points. But these too were repelled
by Duryodhana’s armour. Seeing eight and twenty arrows of his become
abortive, that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., Krishna said unto Arjuna,
these words: ‘I see a sight never before witnessed by me, like the
movements of the hills. Shafts sped by thee, O Partha, are becoming
abortive. O bull of Bharata’s race, hath thy Gandiva decayed in power?
Have the might of thy grasp and the power of thy arms become less than
what they were. Is not this to be thy last meeting with Duryodhana? Tell
me, O Partha, for I ask thee. Great hath been my amazement, O Partha,
upon seeing all these shafts of thine fall towards Duryodhana’s car,
without producing the slightest effect. Alas, what misfortune is this
that these terrible shafts of thine that are endued with the might of the
thunder and that always pierce the bodies of foes, fail in producing any

“Arjuna said, ‘I think, O Krishna, that this armour hath been put on
Duryodhana’s body by Drona. This armour, tied as it hath been, is
impenetrable to my weapons. In this armour, O Krishna, inhereth the might
of the three worlds. Only Drona knoweth it, and from that best of men I
also have learnt. This armour is not capable of being pierced by my
weapons. Maghavat himself, O Govinda, cannot pierce it with his thunder.
Knowing it all, O Krishna, why seekest thou to confound me? That which
occurred in the three worlds, that which, O Kesava, exists now, and which
is in the womb of futurity, are all known to thee. Indeed, O slayer of
Madhu, no one else knoweth this better than thou dost. This Duryodhana, O
Krishna, cased by Drona in this armours, is staying fearlessly in battle,
wearing this coat of mail. That however, which one wearing such armour
should do, is not known to him, O Madhava! He weareth it only like a
woman. Behold now, O Janardana, the might of my arms and that of my bow
too. Though protected by such a coat of mail, I will still vanquish the
Kuru prince. The chief of the celestials gave this effulgent armour to
Angiras. From the latter it was obtained by Vrihaspati. And from
Vrihaspati it was got by Purandara. The Lord of the celestials once more
gave it to me with the mantras to be uttered in wearing it. Even if this
armour were divine, if it were created by Brahma himself, still the
wretch, Duryodhana, struck with my arrows, shall not be protected by it.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Having said these words, Arjuna inspired some arrows
with mantras, and began to draw them on the bow-string. And while he was
thus drawing them on the bow-string, the son of Drona cut them off with a
weapon that was capable of baffling every weapon. Beholding those shafts
of his thus frustrated from a distance by that utterer of Brahma
(Aswatthaman), Arjuna, owning white steeds, filled with amazement
represented unto Kesava, saying, ‘I cannot, Janardana, twice use this
weapon, for if do so, it will slay my own self and my own troops.
Meanwhile, Duryodhana, O king, pierced each of the Krishnas in that
battle with nine shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison. And once
more the Kuru king showered his shafts on Krishna and the son of Pandu.
Beholding these showers of arrows (shot by their king), thy warriors were
filled with joy. They beat their musical instrument and uttered leonine
roar. Then Partha, excited with rage in that battle, licked the corners
of his mouth. Casting his eyes on his enemy’s body, he saw not any part
that was not well-covered with that impenetrable armour. With some
sharp-pointed shafts then, well-shot from his bow, and each of which
resembled Death himself, Arjuna slew his antagonist’s steeds and then his
two Parshni charioteers. And soon also the valiant Partha cut off
Duryodhana’s bow and the leathern fence of his fingers. Then, Savyasachin
commenced to cut off his enemy’s car in fragments. And with a couple of
keen arrows he made Duryodhana carless. And then Arjuna pierced both the
palms of the Kuru king. Beholding that great bowman afflicted with the
shafts of Dhananjaya and fallen into great distress, many warriors rushed
to the spot, desirous of rescuing him. These, with many thousands of
cars, well-equipped elephants and horses, as also with large bodies of
foot-soldiers, excited with wrath, encompassed by large bodies of men,
neither that car of theirs nor of Arjuna and Govinda could any longer be
seen. Then Arjuna, by the might of his weapons, began to slaughter that
host. And car-warriors and elephants, by hundreds, deprived of limbs,
fell fast on the field. Slain, or in the act of being slain, those failed
to reach the excellent car. Indeed, the car on which Arjuna rode, stood
motionless full two miles from the besieging force on every side. Then
the Vrishni hero (Krishna), without taking any time, said unto Arjuna
these words: Draw thy bow quickly and with great force, for I will blow
my conch.’ Thus addressed, Arjuna drawing his bow Gandiva with great
force, began to slaughter the foe, shooting dense showers of shafts and
making a loud noise by stretching the bowstring with his fingers. Kesava
meanwhile forcibly and very loudly blew his conch Panchajanya, his face
covered with dust. In consequence of the blare of that conch and of the
twang of Gandiva, the Kuru warriors, strong or weak, all fell down on the
ground. The car of Arjuna then freed from that press, looked resplendent
like a cloud driven by the wind. (Beholding Arjuna) the protectors of
Jayadratha, with their followers, became filled with rage. Indeed, those
mighty bowmen, the protectors of the ruler of Sindhus, suddenly beholding
Partha, uttered loud shouts, filling the earth with that noise. The whiz
of their arrows were mingled with other fierce noises and the loud blare
of their conchs. Those high-souled warriors uttered leonine shouts.
Hearing that awful uproar raised by thy troops, Vasudeva and Dhananjaya
blew their conchs. With their loud blare (of their conchs), the whole
earth, with her mountains and seas and islands and the nether regions, O
monarch, seemed to be filled. Indeed, that blare, O best of Bharatas,
filled all the points of the compass, and was echoed back by both the
armies. Then thy car-warriors, beholding Krishna and Dhananjaya, became
very much frightened. Soon, however, they recovered and put forth their
activity. Indeed, the great car-warriors of thy host, beholding the two
Krishnas, those highly blessed persons, cased in mail rushed towards. The
sight thus presented became a wonderful one.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Thy warriors, as soon as they beheld those foremost of
persons of the Vrishni-Andhaka and the Kuru races, lost no time, each
striving to be first, in proceeding against them from a desire of
slaughtering them. And so Vijaya also rushed against those foes of his.
On their great cars, decked with gold, cased in tiger-skins, producing
deep rattle, and resembling blazing fire, they rushed, illumining the ten
points of the compass, armed, O king, with bows, the backs of whose
staves were decked with gold, and which in consequence of their
splendour, were incapable of being looked at, and uttering loud cries,
and drawn by angry steeds. Bhurisravas, and Sala and Karna, and
Vrishasena, and Jayadratha, and Kripa. and the ruler of the Madras, and
that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the son of Drona. these eight great
car-warriors, as if devouring the skies (as they proceeded) illuminated
the ten points of the compass with their splendid cars, cased in
tiger-skins and decked with golden moons. Clad in mail, filled with wrath
and mounted upon their cars the rattle of which resembled the roar of
masses of clouds, they covered Arjuna on every side with a shower of
sharp shafts. Beautiful steeds of the best breed, endued with great
speed, bearing those great car-warriors, looked resplendent as they
illumined the points of the compass. Their cars drawn by foremost steeds
of great fleetness were of diverse countries and of diverse species, some
bred in mountainous regions, some in rivers, and some in the country of
the Sindhus, many foremost of car-warriors among the Kurus desirous, O
king, of rescuing thy son quickly rushed towards Dhananjaya’s car from
every side. Those foremost of men, taking up their conchs blew them,
filling O king, the welkin and the earth with her seas (with that blare).
Then those foremost ones among the gods, viz., Vasudeva and Dhananjaya,
also blew their foremost of conchs on earth. The son of Kunti blew
Devadatta, and Kesava blew Panchajanya. The loud blast of Devadatta, sent
forth by Dhananjaya, filled the earth, the welkin, and ten points of the
compass. And so Panchajanya also blown by Vasudeva, surpassing all
sounds, filled the sky and the earth. And while that awful and fierce
noise continued, a noise that inspired the timid with fear and the brave
with cheers, and while drums and Jharjharas, and cymbals and Mridangas, O
great king, were beat by thousands, great car-warriors invited to the
Kuru side and solicitous of Dhananjaya’s welfare, those great bowmen,
filled with rage and unable to bear the loud blast of Arjuna’s and
Krishna’s conchs, those kings from diverse realms supported by their
respective troops, in rage blew their great conchs, desiring to answer
with their own blasts the blasts of Kesava and Arjuna. The Kuru army
then, urged forward by that blare of conchs, had its car-warriors,
elephants, and steeds filled with anxiety and fear. Indeed, O lord, that
host looked as if they that comprised it were ill. The agitated Kuru
host, echoing with that blare of conchs blown by brave warriors, seemed
to be like the welkin resounding with the noise of thunder and fallen
down (through some convulsion of nature).[146] That loud uproar, O
monarch, resounded through the ten points and frightened that host like
critical incidents at the end of the Yuga frightening all living
creatures. Then, Duryodhana and those eight great car-warriors appointed
for the protection of Jayadratha all surrounded the son of Pandu. The son
of Drona struck Vasudeva with three and seventy shafts, and Arjuna
himself with three broad-headed shafts, and his standard and (four)
steeds with five others. Beholding Janardana pierced, Arjuna, filled with
rage, struck Aswatthaman with hundred shafts. Then piercing Karna with
ten arrows and Vrishasena with three, the valiant Dhananjaya cut off
Salya’s bow with arrows fixed on the string, at the handle. Salya then,
taking up another bow, pierced the son of Pandu. And Bhurisravas pierced
him with three arrows whetted on stone, and equipped with golden wings.
And Karna pierced him with two and thirty arrows, and Vrishasena with
seven. And Jayadratha pierced Arjuna with three and seventy shafts and
Kripa pierced him with ten. And the ruler of the Madras also pierced
Phalguna in that battle with ten arrows. And the son of Drona pierced him
with sixty arrows. And he, once more, pierced Partha with five arrows,
and Vasudeva with twenty. Then the tiger among men, viz., Arjuna owning
white steeds and having Krishna for his driver, pierced each of those
warriors in return, displaying the lightness of his hand. Piercing Karna
with a dozen shafts and Vrishasena with three, Partha cut off Salya’s bow
at the handle. And piercing the son of Somadatta with three arrows and
Salya with ten, he pierced Kripa with five and twenty arrows, and the
ruler of the Sindhus with a hundred, Partha struck Drona’s son with
seventy arrows. Then Bhurisravas filled with rage, cut off the goad in
Krishna’s hand, and struck Arjuna with three and twenty shafts. Then
Dhananjaya, of white steeds, filled with rage, mangled those enemies of
his with hundreds upon hundreds of arrows, like a mighty tempest tearing
masses of clouds.'”


“Dhritarashtra, said, ‘Describe to me, O Sanjaya, the diverse kinds of
standards resplendent with great beauty, of both the Partha and our
warriors (in that battle).’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Hear, O king, of the diverse kinds of standards of those
high-souled warriors. Listen to me as I describe their forms and names.
Indeed, O king, upon the cars of those foremost of car-warriors were seen
diverse kinds of standards that shone like blazing flames of fire. Made
of gold, or decked with gold, or adorned with strings of gold and each
looking like the golden mountain (Meru), diverse kinds of standards were
there that were highly beautiful. And those standards of the warriors had
attached all around them excellent banners. Indeed, having banners of
diverse hues attached to them all around, those standards looked
exceedingly beautiful. Those banners, again, moved by the wind, looked
like fair ladies dancing in the midst of a sporting arena. Endued with
the splendour of the rainbow, those banners, O bull of Bharata’s race, of
those car-warriors, floating in the breeze, highly adorned their cars.
The standard, bearing the sign of the ape of fierce face and tail, like
that of the lion, belonging to Dhananjaya, seemed to inspire fear in that
battle. That standard, O king of the wielder of Gandiva, bearing that
foremost of apes, and adorned with many banners, frightened the Kuru
host. Similarly, the lion-tail standard-top of Drona’s son, O Bharata, we
saw, was endued with the effulgence of the rising sun Decked with gold,
floating in the breeze, possessed of the splendour of the rainbow, the
standard mark of Drona’s son appeared on high, inspiring the foremost of
Kuru warriors with joy. The standard of Adhiratha’s son bore the mark of
an elephant-rope made of gold. It seemed, O king, in battle to fill the
whole welkin. The banner, adorned with gold and garlands, attached to the
standard of Karna in battle, shaken by the wind, seemed to dance upon his
car. The preceptor of the Pandavas, that Brahmana, given to ascetic
penances, viz., Kripa the son of Gotama, had for his mark an excellent
bovine bull. That high-souled one, O king, with that bovine bull, looked
as resplendent, as the Destroyer of the three cities[147] looks
resplendent with his bull. Vrishasena has a peacock made of gold and
adorned with jewels and gems. And it stood on his standard, as if in the
act of crowing, and always adorned the wan of the army. With that
peacock, the car of the high-souled Vrishasena shone, like the car, O
king, of Skanda (the celestial generalissimo) shining ‘with his peacock
unrivalled and beautiful ploughshare made of gold and looking like flame
of fire. That ploughshare, O sire, looked resplendent on his car. Salya,
the ruler of the Madras, we saw, had on his standard-top an image like
the presiding goddess of corn, endued with beauty and producing every
seed. A silver boar adorned the standard-top of the ruler of the Sindhus.
Decked with golden chains, it was of the splendour of a white
crystal.[148] With that silver mark on his barrier, the ruler of the
Sindhus looked as resplendent, as Surya in days of yore in the battle
between the celestials and the Asuras. The standard of Somadatta’s son,
devoted to sacrifices, bore the sign of the sacrificial stake. It was
seen to shine like the sun or the moon. That sacrificial stake made of
gold, O king of Somadatta’s son, looked resplendent like the tall stake
erected in the foremost of sacrifices called the Rajasuya. The standard
of Salya, O monarch, bearing a huge silver-elephant was adorned, on all
sides, with peacocks made of gold. The standard, O bull of Bharata’s
race, adorned thy troops like the huge white elephant adorning the host
of the celestial king. On the standard decked with gold, of king
Duryodhana, was an elephant adorned with gems. Tinkling with the sound of
a hundred bells, O king, that standard stood upon the excellent car of
that hero. And, O king, thy son, that bull among the Kurus, looked
resplendent, O monarch, with that tall standard in battle. These nine
excellent standards stood erect among thy divisions. The tenth standard
seen there was of Arjuna, decked with that huge ape. And with that
standard Arjuna looked highly resplendent, like Himavat with a blazing
fire (on its top). Then many mighty car-warriors, all chastisers of foes,
quickly took up their beautiful, bright and large bows for the sake of
(resisting) Arjuna. Similarly, Partha also, that achiever of celestial
feats, took up his foe-destroying bow Gandiva, in consequence, O king, of
thy evil policy. Many royal warriors, O king, were then slain in that
battle owing to thy fault. Rulers of men came from different realms
invited (by thy sons). And with them perished many steeds and many
elephants. Then those mighty car-warriors headed by Duryodhana (on one
side) and that bull amongst the Pandavas on the other, uttered loud roars
and began the encounter. And the feat that Kunti’s son, having Krishna
for his charioteer, achieved there, was highly wonderful, inasmuch as,
alone, he encountered fearlessly all those warriors united together. And
that mighty-armed hero looked resplendent as he stretched his bow
Gandiva, desirous of vanquishing all those tigers among men for slaying
the ruler of the Sindhus. With his shafts shot in thousands, that tiger
among men, viz., Arjuna, that scorcher of foes, made all those warriors
invisible (by means of his arrowy showers). On their side, those tigers
among men, those mighty car-warriors, also made Partha invisible by means
of their clouds of shafts shot from all sides. Beholding Arjuna, that
bull of Kuru’s race covered by those lions among men with their shafts,
loud was the uproar made by thy troops.’


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘After Arjuna had got the ruler of the Sindhus
within sight, what, O Sanjaya, did the Panchalas, attacked by
Bharadwaja’s son, do, encountering the Kurus?’

“Sanjaya said, In the afternoon of that day, O monarch, in the battle
that took place between the Panchalas and the Kurus, Drona became, as it
were, the stake (for which each fought on to win or lose). The Panchalas,
O sire, desirous of slaying Drona, cheerfully uttered loud roars and shot
dense showers of arrows. Indeed, that encounter between the Panchalas and
the Kurus, fierce, awful, and highly wonderful as it was, resembled that
in days of yore between the gods and the Asuras. Indeed, all the
Panchalas with the Pandavas, obtaining Drona’s car (within reach) used
many mighty weapons, desirous of piercing through his array. Car-warriors
stationed on their cars, causing the earth to shake under them, and
showering their arrowy downpours, rushed towards Drona’s car, without
much speed. Then that mighty car-warrior among the Kaikeyas, viz.,
Vrihatkshatra, incessantly scattering keen shafts that resembled the
thunder in force, proceeded towards Drona. Then Kshemadhurti of great
fame quickly rushed against Vrihatkshatra, shooting keen arrows by
thousands. Beholding this, that bull among the Chedis, viz.,
Dhrishtaketu, endued with great might, quickly proceeded against
Kshemadhurti, like Mahendra proceeding against the Asura Samvara. Seeing
him rush with great impetuosity, like the Destroyer himself with
wide-open mouth, that mighty bowman viz., Viradhanwan, proceeded against
him with great speed. King Yudhishthira staying there at the head of his
division from desire of victory, was resisted by valiant Drona himself.
Thy son Vikarna, O lord, endued with great prowess, proceeded against the
rushing Nakula of great prowess, that warrior accomplished in battle.
That scorcher of foes, viz., Durmukha, covered the advancing Sahadeva
with many thousands of swiftly-coursing shafts. The heroic Vyughradatta
resisted that tiger among men, viz., Satyaki making him repeatedly
tremble by means of his sharp and keen-pointed shafts. The son of
Somadatta resisted the (five) sons of Draupadi, those tigers among men,
those great car-warriors, wrathfully shooting mighty shafts. That mighty
car-warrior, viz., Rishyasringa’s fierce son (the Rakshasa Alamvusha), of
awful mien, resisted the advancing Bhimasena filled with wrath. The
encounter that then took place between that man and Rakshasa resembled, O
king, the battle in days of yore between Rama, and Ravana. Then, O
Bharata, Yudhishthira, that chief of the Bharatas, struck Drona with
ninety straight shafts in all his vital parts. Enraged by the famous son
of Kunti, Drona struck him in return, O chief of the Bharatas, in the
centre of the chest with five and twenty shafts. And once more, in the
very sight of all the bowmen, Drona struck him, with his steeds,
charioteer, and standard, with twenty shafts. Pandu’s son, of virtuous
soul, displaying great lightness of hand, baffled with his own arrowy
showers those arrows shot by Drona, Then that great bowman Drona, filled
with rage, cut off the bow of the high souled king Yudhishthira the just.
Then that great car-warrior (viz., the son of Bharadwaja) speedily
covered the bowless Yudhishthira with many thousands of shafts. Beholding
the king made invisible by the shafts of Bharadwaja’s son, all thought
that Yudhishthira was dead, and some thought that the king had fled
before Drona. And many cried out, O king, saying, ‘Alas the king hath
been slain by the high-souled Brahmana.’ Then, king Yudhishthira the
just, fallen into great distress, having laid aside that bow cut off by
Bharadwaja’s son in battle took up another excellent, bright and tougher
bow. And that hero then cut off in that encounter all those shafts shot
in thousands by Drona. All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. Having cut
off those shafts, O king, Yudhishthira, with eyes red in wrath, took up
in that battle a dart, capable of riving even a mountain. Equipped with a
golden staff, of awful mien, having eight bells attached to it, and
exceedingly terrible, the mighty Yudhishthira, taking it up, uttered a
loud roar. And with that roar, O Bharata, the son of Pandu inspired all
creatures with fear. Beholding that dart upraised by king Yudhishthira
the just, all creatures, as if with one accord, said, ‘Good be to Drona!’
Hurled from the king’s arms, that dart resembling a snake just freed from
its slough, coursed towards Drona, illumining the welkin and all the
directions cardinal and subsidiary, like a she-snake with fiery mouth,
Beholding it coursing towards him impetuously, O king, Drona, that
foremost of all persons acquainted with weapons invoked into existence
the weapon called Brahma. That weapon, reducing that dart of terrible
mien into dust, coursed towards the car of the illustrious son of Pandu.
Then, O sire, king Yudhishthira of’ great wisdom baffled that weapon of
Drona, thus coursing towards him by himself invoking the Brahma weapon.
And then piercing Drona himself in that battle with five straight shafts,
he cut off, with a sharp razor-faced shaft, the large bow of Drona. Then
Drona, that grinder of Kshatriyas, throwing aside that broken bow, hurled
with great force, O sire, a mace at the son of Dharma. Beholding that
mace impetuously coursing towards him, Yudhishthira, O chastiser of foes,
filled with rage, took up a mace. Then those two maces, both hurled with
great force, encountering each other in mid-air, produced by their
collision sparks of fire and then fell down on the earth. Then Drona,
filled with fury, slew, O sire, the steeds of Yudhishthira, with four
excellent shafts of keen points. And with another broad-headed shaft he
cut off he king’s bow resembling a pole erected to the honour of Indra.
And with another shaft he cut off the standard of Yudhishthira, and with
three he afflicted the Pandava himself. Then king Yudhishthira, speedily
jumping down from that steedless car, stood weaponless and with arms
upraised, O bull of Bharata’s race! Beholding him carless, and especially
weaponless, Drona, O lord, stupefied his foes, rather the whole army.
Firmly adhering to his vow, and endued with great lightness of hands,
Drona shot showers of sharp shafts and rushed towards the king, like a
furious lion towards a deer. Beholding Drona, that slayer of foes, rush
towards him, cries of Oh and Alas suddenly rose from the Pandava army.’
And many cried out, saying, ‘The king is slain by Bharadwaja’s son.’ Loud
wails of this kind were heard, O Bharata, among the Pandava troops.
Meanwhile, king Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, getting up on the car of
Sahadeva, retreated from the field, borne away by swift steeds.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Kshemadhurti, O monarch, pierced the advancing
Vrihatkshatra of great valour, that prince of the Kaikeyas, with many
arrows in the chest. King Vrihatkshatra then, O monarch, desirous of
piercing through Drona’s division, quickly struck his antagonist with
ninety straight shafts. Kshemadhurti, however, filled with rage, cut off,
with a sharp well-tempered, and broad-headed shaft, the bow of that
high-souled prince of the Kaikeyas. Having cut off his bow, Kshemadhurti
then, with a keen and straight shaft, quickly pierced in that encounter
that foremost of all bowmen. Then Vrihatkshatra, taking up another bow
and smiling (at his foe), soon made the mighty car-warrior Kshemadhurti
steedless and driverless and carless. And with another broad-headed shaft
that was well-tempered and sharp, he cut off, from the trunk of his royal
antagonist his head blazing with (a pair of) ear-rings. That head, graced
with only locks and a diadem, suddenly cut off, fell down on the earth
and looked resplendent like a luminary fallen from the firmament. Having
slain his foe, the mighty car-warrior Vrihatkshatra became filled with
joy and fell with great force upon thy troops for the sake of the
Parthas. The great bowman Viradhanwan, O Bharata, endued with great
prowess, resisted Dhrishtaketu who was advancing against Drona.
Encountering each other, those two heroes having arrows for their fangs,
and both endued with great activity, struck each other with many
thousands of arrows. Indeed, those two tigers among men fought with each
other, like two leaders of elephantine herds in the deep woods with fury.
Both endued with great energy, they fought, each desirous of slaying the
other, like two enraged tigers in a mountain-cave. That combat, O
monarch, became exceedingly fierce. Deserving to be witnessed, it became
highly wonderful. The very Siddhas and the Charanas, in large numbers,
witnessed it with wonder-waiting eyes. Then Viradhanwan, O Bharata, with
a laugh, cut off in rage Dhrishtaketu’s bow in twain by means of
broad-headed arrows. Abandoning that broken bow, the ruler of the Chedis,
that mighty car-warrior took up a fierce dart made of iron and equipped
with a golden staff. Bending with his hands, O Bharata, that dart of
fierce energy towards the car of Viradhanwan, Dhrishtaketu hurled it
carefully and with great force. Struck with great force by that
hero-slaying dart, and his heart pierced by it through, Viradhanwan,
quickly fell down on the earth from his car. Upon the fall of that hero,
that mighty car-warrior among the Trigartas, thy army, O lord, was broken
by the Pandavas. (Thy son) Durmukha sped sixty shafts at Sahadeva, and
uttered a loud shout in that battle, challenging that son of Pandu. The
son of Madri, then., filled with rage, pierced Durmukha with many keen
arrows, smiling the while, the brother striking the brother. Be. holding
the mighty Durmukha fighting furiously, Sahadeva, then, O Bharata, once
more struck him with nine shafts. Endued with great strength, Sahadeva
then cut off Durmukha’s standard with a broad-headed arrow and struck
down his four steeds with four other arrows. And then with another broad.
headed arrow, well-tempered and sharp, he cut off, from his trunk, the
head of Durmukha’s charioteer that shone with a pair of ear-rings. And
cutting off Durmukha’s large bow with a razor-faced arrow, Sahadeva
pierced Durmukha himself in that battle with five arrows. Durmukha
fearlessly jumping down from that steedless car, mounted the car, O
Bharata, of Niramitra. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz.,
Sahadeva, filled with rage slew in that great battle Niramitra in the
midst of his division with a broad-headed arrow. Thereupon, prince
Niramitra, the son of the ruler of the Trigartas, fell down from his car,
afflicting thy army with great grief. Slaying him, the mighty-armed
Sahadeva looked resplendent like Rama, the son of Dasaratha, after
slaying the mighty (Rakshasa) Khara. Beholding that mighty car-warrior,
viz., prince Niramitra slain, loud cries of Oh and Alas arose, O monarch,
among the Trigarta warriors. Nakula, O king, in a moment vanquished thy
son Vikarna of large eyes. This seemed highly wonderful. Vyaghradatta, by
means of his straight shafts, made Satyaki invisible with his steeds and
driver and standard in the midst of his division. The brave grandson of
Sini, baffling those shafts with great lightness of hand, felled
Vyaghradatta by means of his arrows, with his steeds and driver and
standard. Upon the fall, O lord, of that prince of the Magadhas, the
latter, struggling vigorously, rushed against Yuyudhana from all sides.
Scattering their shafts and lances by thousands, and sharp arrows and
spears and mallets and thick clubs, those brave warriors fought in that
battle with that invincible hero of the Satwata race. Endued with great
might, invincible Satyaki, that bull among men, with the greatest ease
and laughing the while, vanquished them all. The Magadhas were nearly
exterminated. A small remnant flew from the field. Beholding this, thy
army, already afflicted with the arrows of Yuyudhana, broke, O lord! Then
that foremost one of Madhu’s race, having slaughtered ill battle thy
troops, that illustrious hero, looked resplendent as he shook his bow.
The army, O king, was thus routed by that high-souled one of the Satwata
race. Indeed, frightened by that hero of long arms, none approached him
for fight. Then Drona filled with rage and rolling his eyes, himself
rushed impetuously towards Satyaki, of feats incapable of being baffled.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘The illustrious son of Somadatta pierced each of the sons
of Draupadi, those great bowmen, with five arrows, and once more with
seven arrows. Much afflicted, O lord, by that fierce warrior, they were
stupefied and knew not for some time what to do. Then that crusher of
foes, Satanika, the son of Nakula, piercing Somadatta’s son, that bull
among men, with a couple of arrows, uttered in joy a loud roar. The other
brothers then, struggling vigorously, quickly pierced the wrathful son of
Somadatta, each with three straight shafts. Then the illustrious son of
Somadatta, O monarch, sped at them five shafts, piercing each of them in
the chest with one shaft. Then those five brothers, thus pierced by that
high-souled warrior with his shafts, surrounded that hero on every side
and began to pierce him deeply with their shafts. Then the son of Arjuna,
filled with rage, despatched with keen shafts, the four steeds of
Saumadatti to the region of Yama. And the son of Bhimasena, cutting off
the bow of the illustrious son of Somadatta, uttered a loud shout and
pierced his foe with many sharp arrows. The son of Yudhishthira then,
cutting off Saumadatti’s standard, felled it en the earth, while the son
of Nakula felled the enemy’s charioteer from his niche in the car. Then
the son of Sahadeva, ascertaining the foe to be on the point of leaving
the field in consequence of the brothers, cut off, with a razor-faced
arrow, the head of that illustrious warrior. That head, decked with
ear-rings of gold, fell on the earth and adorned the field like the sun
of brilliant effulgence that rises at the end of the Yuga. Beholding the
head of the high-souled son of Somadatta thus fallen on the ground, thy
troops, O king, overcome with fear, fled in all directions.

“The Rakshasa Alamvusha in that battle, filled with rage, fought with the
mighty Bhimasena, like Ravana’s son (Indrajit) with (Rama’s brother)
Lakshmana. Beholding that Rakshasa and that human warrior engaged in
fight, all creatures experienced both joy and wonder. Then Bhima, O king,
laughing the while, pierced that wrathful prince of Rakshasa, viz.,
Rishyasringa’s son (Alamvusha), with nine keen shafts. Then that
Rakshasa, thus pierced in battle, uttered a loud and awful sound, and
rushed, with all his followers, against Bhima. Piercing Bhima then with
five straight shafts, he quickly destroyed in that battle, thirty cars
supporting Bhima. And once more destroying four hundred cars of
Bhimasena, the Rakshasa pierced Bhimasena himself with winged arrows.
Then the mighty Bhima deeply pierced by the Rakshasa, sat down on the
terrace of his car, overcome by a swoon. The son of the Wind-god then,
recovering his senses, became filled with rage. Drawing his excellent and
terrible bow that was capable of bearing a great strain, he afflicted
Alamvusha, in every part of his body, with keen shafts. Thereupon, the
Rakshasa who resembled a huge mass of antimony, looked resplendent O
king, like a flowering Kinsuka. Whilst being struck in that battle with
those shafts sped from the bow of Bhima, the Rakshasa recollected the
slaughter of his brother (Vaka) by the illustrious Pandava. Assuming then
an awful form, he addressed Bhima, saying, ‘Wait a little in this battle,
O Partha! Behold today my prowess. O thou of wicked understanding, that
foremost of Rakshasas, viz., the mighty Vaka, was my brother. It is true
he was slain by thee. But that took place out of my sight.’ Having said
these words unto Bhima, Alamvusha made himself invisible, and began to
cover Bhimasena with a dense shower of arrows. Upon the disappearance of
the Rakshasa, Bhima, O monarch, covered the welkin with straight shafts.
Thus afflicted by Bhima, Alamvusha soon returned to his car. And soon
again, he entered into the bowels of the earth and once more becoming
little he suddenly soared into the sky. Alamvusha, assumed countless
forms. Now becoming subtle and now huge and gross, he began to roar like
the clouds. And he uttered diverse kinds of words and speeches all
around. And from the welkin there fell thousands of arrowy torrents, as
also darts, and Kunapas, and lances, and spiked maces, and short arrows,
and scimitars, and swords, and thunders also. That awful downpour of
arrows caused by the Rakshasa, slew the troops of Pandu’s son on the
field of battle. And in consequence of that arrowy downpour, many
elephants also of the Pandava army were slain, and many steeds also, O
king, and many foot-soldiers. And a river was caused there, whose waters
were blood and whose eddies were constituted by cars. And it abounded
with elephants that constituted its alligators. And the umbrellas of
car-warriors constituted its swans, and the flesh and marrow of animals,
its mire. And it teemed with the (cut off) arms of human beings that
constituted its snakes. And it was haunted by many Rakshasas and other
cannibals. And it wafted away, O king, countless Chedis and Panchalas and
Srinjayas. Beholding him, O monarch, careering so fearlessly in that
battle and seeing his prowess, the Pandavas became filled with anxiety;
and joy filled the hearts of thy troops then. And amongst the latter,
loud and terrible sounds of musical instruments, making the hair stand on
end, arose. Hearing that loud uproar made by thy troops, the son of Pandu
could not bear it, as a snake cannot bear the clap of human palms. With
eyes red as copper in rage, with glances that like fire consumed every
thing, the son of the Wind-god, like Tvashtri himself, aimed the weapon
known by the name of Tvashtri. From that weapon were produced thousands
of arrows on all sides. And in consequence of those arrows, a universal
rout was seen among thy troops.’ That weapon, shot in battle by
Bhimasena, destroying the effective illusion produced by the Rakshasa,
greatly afflicted the Rakshasa himself. Struck in every part of his body
by Bhimasena, the Rakshasa, then abandoning Bhimasena, fled towards the
division of Drona. Upon the defeat of that prince of Rakshasa by the
high-souled Bhima, the Pandavas caused every point of the compass to
resound with their leonine roars. And filled with joy, they worshipped
the mighty son of Marut, like the Maruts worshipping Sakra after the
defeat in battle of Prahlada.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Having fled away from Bhima, Alamvusha, in another part
of the field, careered fearlessly in battle. And while he was thus
fearlessly careering in battle, the son of Hidimva rushed impetuously at
him and pierced him with keen shafts. The battle between those two lions
among Rakshasas became terrible. Both of them invoked into existence
illusions like Sakra and Samvara (in days of old). Alamvusha, excited
with rage, attacked Ghatotkacha. Indeed, that encounter between those two
foremost of Rakshasas resembled that of old between Rama and Ravana, O
lord! Then Ghatotkacha having pierced Alamvusha, in the centre of the
chest with twenty long shafts, repeatedly roared like a lion. Smilingly,
O king, Alamvusha also, repeatedly piercing the invincible son of
Hidimva, uttered loud roars in joy, filling the entire welkin. Then,
those two foremost of Rakshasas, endued with great might, became filled
with rage. They fought with each other, displaying their powers of
illusion, but without any of them getting any advantage over the other.
Each, creating a hundred illusions, stupefied the other. Both
accomplished in producing’ illusions, O king, that Ghatotkacha displayed
in battle, were all destroyed, O monarch, by Alamvusha, producing similar
illusions of his own. Beholding that prince of Rakshasas, viz.,
Alamvusha, who was accomplished in producing illusions, fight in that
manner, the Pandavas became filled with anxiety, they then caused him to
be surrounded by many foremost of car-warriors. Bhimasena and others, O
monarch, all rushed in rage against him. Hemming him, O sire, on all
sides by means of numberless cars, they shrouded him from every side with
shafts, like men in a forest encompassing an elephant with blazing
brands. Baffling that shower of weapons by means of the illusion of his
own weapons, freed himself from that press of cars like an elephant from
a forest conflagration. Then drawing his terrible bow whose twang
resembled the thunder of Indra, he pierced the son of the Wind-god with
five and twenty shafts, and Bhimasena’s son with five, and Yudhishthira
with three, and Sahadeva with seven, and Nakula with three and seventy,
and each of the five sons of Draupadi with five shafts, and uttered a
loud roar. Then Bhimasena pierced him in return with nine shafts, and
Sahadeva with five. And Yudhishthira pierced the Rakshasa with a hundred
shafts. And Nakula pierced him with three shafts. The son of Hidimva
having pierced him with five hundred shafts, Alamvusha once more pierced
him with seventy, and that mighty warrior uttered a loud roar. With that
loud roar of Ghatotkacha the earth shook, O king, with her mountains and
forests and with her trees and waters. Deeply pierced on all sides by
those great bowmen and mighty car-warriors, Alamvusha pierced each of
them in return with five arrows. Then that Rakshasa, O chief of the
Bharatas, viz., the son of Hidimva, filled with rage, pierced that other
angry Rakshasa in battle with many shafts. Then that mighty prince of
Rakshasas, viz., Alamvusha, deeply pierced, quickly shot countless shafts
equipped with wings of gold and whetted on stone. Those shafts, perfectly
straight, all entered the body of Ghatotkacha, like angry snakes of great
strength entering a mountain summit. Then the Pandavas, O king, filled
with anxiety, and Hidimva’s son Ghatotkacha, also sped at their foe from
every side clouds of keen shafts. Thus struck in battle by the Pandavas,
desirous of victory, Alamvusha mortal as he was, did not know what to do.
Then that delighter in battle, viz., the mighty son of Bhimasena,
beholding that state of Alamvusha, set his heart upon his destruction. He
rushed with great impetuosity towards the car of the prince of Rakshasas,
that car which resembled a burnt mountain summit or a broken heap of
antimony. The son of Hidimva, inflamed with wrath, flew from his own car
to that of Alamvusha, and seized the latter. He then took him up from the
car, like Garuda taking up a snake. Thus dragging him up with his arms,
he began to whirl him repeatedly, and then crushed him into pieces,
hurling him down on the earth, like a man crushing an earthen pot into
fragments by hurling it against a rock. Endued with strength and
activity, possessed of great prowess, the son of Bhimasena, inflamed with
wrath in battle, inspired all the troops with fear. All the limbs broken
and bones reduced to fragments, the frightful Rakshasa Alamvusha, thus
slain by the heroic Ghatotkacha, resembled a tall Sala uprooted and
broken by the wind. Upon the slaughter of that wanderer of the night, the
Parthas became very cheerful. And they uttered leonine roars and waved
their garments. Thy brave warriors, however, beholding that mighty prince
or Rakshasas, viz., Alamvusha, slain and lying like a crushed mountain,
uttered cries, O monarch, of Oh and Alas. And people, possessed with
curiosity, went to view that Rakshasa lying helplessly on the earth like
a piece of charcoal (no longer capable of burning). The Rakshasa
Ghatotkacha, then, that foremost of mighty beings, having thus slain his
foe, uttered a loud shout, like Vasava after slaying (the Asura) Vala.
Having achieved that exceedingly difficult feat, Ghatotkacha, was much
applauded by his sires as also by his relatives. Indeed, having felled
Alamvusha, like an Alamvusha fruit, he rejoiced exceedingly with his
friends. There arose then a loud uproar (in the Pandava army) of conchs
and of diverse kinds of arrows. Hearing that noise the Kauravas uttered
loud shouts in reply, filling the whole earth with its echoes.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Tell me, O Sanjaya, how Yuyudhana rushed against
the son of Bharadwaja in battle. I feel a great curiosity to hear it.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Listen, O thou of great wisdom, to the account of that
battle, that makes the hair stand on end, between Drona and the Pandayas
headed by Yuyudhana. Beholding the (Kuru) army slaughtered, O sire, by
Yuyudhana, Drona himself rushed towards that warrior of unbaffled
prowess, called also by the name of Satyaki. Satyaki pierced that mighty
car-warrior, viz., the son of Bharadwaja, thus advancing against him,
with five and twenty small arrows. Drona also, possessed of great prowess
in battle, with deliberate aim, quickly pierced Yuyudhana, with five
whetted arrows, equipped with wings of gold. Those arrows, piercing the
hard mount of the foe and drinking his life-blood, entered the earth, O
king, like hissing snakes. The long-armed Satyaki then, inflamed with
rage like an elephant struck with the hook, pierced Drona with fifty long
arrows that resembled flames of fire. Then Bharadwaja’s son, thus quickly
pierced in battle by Yuyudhana, pierced carefully exerting Satyaki in
return with many arrows. Then that great bowman, endued with great might,
and filled with rage, once more afflicted that hero of the Satwata race
with many straight shafts. Thus struck in that battle by the son of
Bharadwaja, Satyaki, O monarch, knew not what to do. Then, O king,
Yuyudhana’s face became cheerless, seeing the son of Bharadwaja shoot
countless keen arrows. Beholding Satyaki thus situated, thy sons and
troops, O king, becoming exceedingly cheerful, repeatedly uttered leonine
roars. Hearing that terrible uproar and beholding that hero of Madhu’s
race thus afflicted, king Yudhishthira, O monarch, addressing all his
soldiers, said, ‘That foremost one among the Vrishnis, viz., the brave
Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled, is about to be devoured
by the heroic Drona, like the sun by Rahu. Go and rush ye to the spot
where Satyaki is battling.’ The king, addressing Dhrishtadyumna. of the
Panchala race, said, Rush thou with speed at Drona. Why dost thou tarry,
O son of Prishata! Seest thou not the great danger to ourselves that has
already arisen from Drona? Drona is a great bowman. He is sporting with
Yuyudhana, in battle, like a boy with a bird bound in a string. Let all
of you, headed by Bhimasena, and accompanied by others proceed thither
where Satyaki’s car is. Behind you I will follow with my troops. Rescue
Satyaki today who is already within the jaws of the Destroyer.’ Having
said these words, O Bharata, king Yudhishthira with all his troops rushed
towards Drona for the sake of Yuyudhana. Blessed be thou, great was the
uproar made there by the Pandavas and the Srinjayas all fighting with
Drona only. Together approaching, O tiger among men, that mighty
car-warrior, viz., the son of Bharadwaja, they covered with showers of
keen arrows equipped with the feathers of Kankas and peacocks. Drona,
however, received all those heroes smilingly, like a householder
receiving guests arrived of their own will, with seats and water. With
the shafts of Bharadwaja’s bow-wielding son, those heroes were
well-gratified like guest, O king, with the hospitality they receive in
the houses (of good hosts). And none of them, O lord, could even gaze at
the son of Bharadwaja who then resembled the thousand-rayed sun at
midday. Indeed, Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, scorched
all those great bowmen with showers of arrows like the sun scorching
(everything below) with his burning rays. Thus struck, O king, by Drona,
the Pandavas and the Srinjayas beheld no protector, like elephants sunk
in a morass. The mighty arrows of Drona, as they coursed (through the
welkin), looked like the rays of the sun blasting everything around. In
that encounter, five and twenty warriors among the Panchalas were slain
by Drona, who were all regarded as Maharathas and all approved (as such)
by Dhrishtadyumna. And amongst all the troops of the Pandavas and the
Panchalas, men quietly beheld brave Drona slaying the foremost of
warriors in succession. Having slain a hundred warriors amongst the
Kekayas and routing them on all sides, Drona stood, O monarch, like the
Destroyer himself with wide-open mouth. The mighty-armed Drona vanquished
the Panchalas, the Srinjayas, the Matsyas and the Kekayas, O monarch, by
hundreds and thousands. Pierced by the arrows of Drona, the clamour made
by them resembled that made in the woods by the denizens of the forest
when encompassed by a conflagration. The gods, Gandharvas, and the
Pitris, said, ‘Behold, the Panchalas, and the Pandavas, with all their
troops, are flying away.’ Indeed, when Drona was thus engaged in
slaughtering the Somakas in battle, none ventured to advance against him
and none succeeded in piercing him. And while that dreadful encounter, so
destructive of great heroes, continued, Pritha’s son (Yudhishthira)
suddenly heard the blare of Panchajanya. Blown by Vasudeva, that best of
conchs gave loud blasts. Indeed, while the heroic protectors of the ruler
of the Sindhus were fighting, and while the Dhartarashtras were roaring
in front of Arjuna’s car, the twang of Gandiva could not be heard. The
royal son of Pandu repeatedly swooned, and thought, ‘Without doubt, all
is not well with Partha, since that prince of conchs (Panchajanya) is
yielding such blasts and since the Kauravas also, filled with joy, are
incessantly uttering such shouts.’ Thinking in this way, with an anxious
heart, Ajatasatru, the son of Kunti, said unto him of the Satwata race
(viz., Satyaki) these words in a voice choked with tears. Though
repeatedly stupefied, king Yudhishthira, however, did not lose sight of
what was to be done next. Addressing Sini’s grandson, that bull of his
clan, (Yudhishthira said), ‘O grandson of Sini, the time for that eternal
duty which the righteous ones of old have indicated (for friends) towards
friends in seasons of distress, hath now come. O bull amongst the Sinis,
reflecting within myself, I do not, O Satyaki, see amongst all my
warriors one who is a greater well wisher to us than thou art. He who is
always well-affected, he who is always obedient, I think, he should be
appointed to a grave commission in times of distress. As Kesava is ever
the refuge of the Pandavas even, so art thou, O thou of Vrishni’s race,
who art like Kesava in prowess. I will, therefore, lay a burthen on thee.
It behoveth thee not to frustrate my purpose. Arjuna is thy brother,
friend, and preceptor, O bull among men, in this battle render him aid in
time of distress. Thou art devoted to truth. Thou art a hero. Thou art
the dispeller of the fears of friends. Thou art celebrated in the world,
in consequence of thy acts, O hero, as one that is truthful in speech.
He, O grandson of Sini, who casteth away his body while fighting in
battle for friends, is equal to him who giveth away to Brahmanas the
whole earth. We have heard of various kings gone to heaven, having given
away the whole of this earth unto Brahmanas with due rites. O thou of
virtuous soul, I beg of thee, with joined hands, even this viz., that, O
lord, attain thou the fruit of giving away (unto Brahmanas) the whole
earth, or something higher than that by incurring danger to thy life
itself for helping Arjuna. There is one, viz., Krishna, that dispeller of
the fears of friends, who is ever willing to cast away his life in battle
(for the sake of friends). Thou, O Satyaki, art the second. None but a
hero can render aid unto a hero, exerting valorously in battle, from
desire of fame. An ordinary person cannot do so. In this matter, here is
none else but thee who can protect Arjuna. On one occasion, while
applauding thy numerous feats, Arjuna, giving me great pleasure
repeatedly recited them. He said of thee that thou art endued with
extreme lightness of hand, that thou art conversant with all modes of
warfare, that thou art possessed of great activity and great prowess. He
said, ‘Satyaki is endued with great wisdom, is acquainted with every
weapon, is a hero, and is never stupefied in battle. Of broad neck and
broad chest, of mighty arms and broad cheeks, or great strength and great
prowess, Satyaki is a high-souled Maharatha. He is my disciple and
friend; I am dear to him and he is dear to me. Becoming my ally,
Yuyudhana will crush the Kauravas. Even if Kesava and Rama, and
Aniruddha, and the mighty car-warrior Pradyumna, and Gada, and Sarana,
and Samva, with all the Vrishnis, case themselves in mail for assisting
us, O king, in the field of battle, I shall yet appoint that tiger among
men viz., Satyaki of unbaffled prowess, for our aid, since there is none
equal to him.’ Even this is what Dhananjaya told me in the Dwaita woods,
in thy absence, while truly describing thy merits in an assembly of
righteous persons. It behoveth thee not, O thou of the Vrishni race, to
falsify that expectation of Dhananjaya, and also of myself and Bhima!
When, returning from various tirthas, I proceeded to Dwaraka; there I
witnessed thy reverence for Arjuna. While we were at Upaplavya I did not
mark anybody else, O grandson of Sini, who showed us such affection as
thou didst. Thou art of noble lineage and feelest reverence for us. For
showing kindness, therefore, to one who is thy friend and preceptor, it
behoveth thee, O thou of mighty arms, to act in a way deserving, O great
bowman, of thy friendship and prowess and noble parentage and
truthfulness. O thou of Madhu’s race! Suyodhana, cased in armour by Drona
himself, hath suddenly gone, following Arjuna! The other great
car-warriors of Kauravas have, before that followed Arjuna. Loud uproars
are being heard against Arjuna’s car. O grandson of Sini, it behoveth
thee, O giver of honours, to go thither quickly. Bhimasena and ourselves,
well-equipped and with all our forces, will resist Drona if he advances
against thee. Behold, O Grandson of Sini, the Bharata troops are flying
away in battle, and as they are flying away, they are tittering loud
wails. Like the very ocean at full tide agitated by a mighty tempest, the
Dhartarashtra host, O sire, is agitated by Savyasachin. Behold, in
consequence of countless cars and men and steeds moving quickly, the
earthly dust raised is gradually spreading (over the field). See, that
slayer of hostile hosts, Phalguna, is encompassed by the Sindhu-Sauviras,
armed with spikes and lances and adorned with many horses in their ranks.
Without vanquishing this force it will not be possible to vanquish
Jayadratha. These warriors are prepared to lay down their lives for the
sake of the ruler of the Sindhus. Behold the invincible Dhartarashtra
force, stationed there, that bristles with arrows and darts and tall
standards, and that teems with steeds and elephants. Hear the beat of
their drums and the loud blare of their conchs, the tremendous leonine
shouts uttered by them, and the rattle of their car-wheels. Hear the
grunt of their elephants, the heavy tread of their foot-soldiers, and the
stamping of their rushing cavalry which all seem to shake the very earth
itself. Before him is the division of Jayadratha, and behind is that of
Drona. So great is the number of the foes that he is capable of
afflicting the chief of the celestials himself. Sunk in the midst of the
fathomless host, Arjuna may lose his life. If he be slain in battle, how
can one like me live? Is this calamity to befall me when thou art alive?
Dark-blue in colour, young in years, of curled locks and exceedingly
handsome is that son of Pandu. Active in the use of weapons, and
conversant with every mode of warfare, the mighty-armed Arjuna hath, O
sire, penetrated into the Bharata host at sunrise. The day is about to
end. O thou of Vrishni’s race, I do not know whether he liveth or not.
The vast Kuru host is like ocean. O sire, Vibhatsu hath penetrated into
it all alone. That army is incapable of being resisted by the very gods
in battle. In today’s battle, I fail to keep my judgment clear. Drona
also is, with great might, afflicting my forces! Thou seest, O
mighty-armed one, how that regenerate one is careering in battle. When
several tasks present themselves together, thou art well-skilled in
selecting that which would be first attended to. It behoveth thee, O
giver of honours, to accomplish with activity that task which is the
gravest of all. Amongst all these tasks, I myself think, that this
(aiding Arjuna) is the first that demands our attention. The rescue of
Arjuna in battle should be first undertaken. I do not grieve for him of
Dasarha’s race. He is the Protector and the Lord of the Universe. I tell
thee truly that tiger among men, O sire, is able to vanquish in battle
the three worlds assembled together. What need I say, therefore, of this
weak Dhritarashtra host? Arjuna, however, O thou of Vrishni’s race, is
being afflicted by countless odds in battle. He may yield up his life. It
is for this that I am so cheerless. O thou then go in his track, since
persons like thee should follow a person like him, at such a season,
urged on by one like me. Amongst the foremost ones of the Vrishni race,
two are regarded as Atirathas. They are mighty-armed Pradyumna and
thyself, O Satwata, that are so famous. In weapons, thou art equal to
Narayana himself, and in strength to Sankarshana. In bravery, thou art
equal to Dhananjaya, O tiger among men, and surpassest Bhishma and Drona
and every one accomplished in battle. O tiger among men, the wise speak
of thee, saying. O Madhava, ‘There is nothing unachievable by Satyaki.’ O
thou of great strength, do thou, therefore, that which I say unto thee,
viz., obey the wishes of all here, of myself and of Arjuna. It behoveth
thee not, O mighty-armed one, to frustrate that wish. Reckless of thy
very life, career thou in battle like a hero. O grandson of Sini, the
scions of Dasarha’s race never care to protect their lives in battle.
Avoiding battle, or fighting from behind breast-works, or flying away
from battle,–those practices of cowards and wretches are never practised
by the Dasarhas. The virtuous-souled Arjuna is thy superior, O bull among
the Sinis! Vasudeva is the superior of both thyself and intelligent
Arjuna, Casting my eyes on these two reasons, I say unto thee these
words. Do not discard my words, I am the superior of thy superiors. That
which I am saying unto thee is approved as also by Arjuna. I tell thee
this truly. Go then to the spot where Dhananjaya is. Attending to these
words of mine, O thou of prowess incapable of being baffled, penetrate in
this host of the wicked son of Dhritarashtra. Having penetrated into it
duly, encounter the great car-warriors, and display, O Satwata, such
feats as are worthy of thyself!'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘That bull amongst the Sinis, viz., Satyaki, hearing these
words o, full affection, agreeable, fraught with sweet sounds, opportune,
delightful, and equitable that were uttered by king Yudhishthira the
just, replied unto him, O chief of the Bharatas, saying, ‘O thou of
unfading glory, I have heard all the words thou hast said, words fraught
with justice, delightful, and conducive to fame for the sake of Phalguna.
At such a time, indeed, beholding one devoted (to thee) like me, it
behoveth thee, O king of kings, to command him as much, as thou canst
command Partha himself. As regards myself, I am prepared to cast away my
life for the sake of Dhananjaya. Commanded, again, by thee, what is there
I would not do in great battle? What need I say of this weak
(Dhritarashtra) force? Urged by thee, I am prepared, O best of men, to
battle with three worlds including the gods, the Asuras, and men. Today I
will fight with the entire army of Suyodhana and vanquish it in battle.
Truly do I say this unto thee, O king! Safely shall I reach Dhananjaya
himself in safety, and after Jayadratha is slain, I shall, O king, come
back into thy presence. I must, however, O king, inform thee of the words
of Vasudeva as also those of the intelligent Arjuna. I was strongly and
repeatedly solicited by Arjuna in the midst of all our warriors and in
the hearing also of Vasudeva (in these words), Today, O Madhava, nobly
resolved in battle, protect thou the king carefully, till I slay
Jayadratha! Making over the monarch to thee, O mighty-armed one, or to
that great car-warrior Pradyumna, I can go with an easy heart towards
Jayadratha. Thou knowest Drona in battle, that warrior who is regarded as
the foremost one among the Kurus. Thou knowest also the vow made by him
in the presence of all, O lord! The son of Bharadwaja is always eager to
seize the king. He is competent also in afflicting king Yudhishthira in
battle. Charging thee with the protection of that best of men, viz., king
Yudhishthira the just, I will proceed today for the destruction of the
ruler of the Sindhus. Slaying Jayadratha, I shall soon come back, O
Madhava! See that Drona may not succeed in forcibly seizing king
Yudhishthira the just in battle. If Yudhishthira be seized by
Bharadwaja’s son, O Madhava, I shall not succeed in slaying Jayadratha,
and great will be my grief. If that best of men, the truthful son of
Pandu, be seized, it is evident that we shall have again to go into
woods. My success, therefore, over Jayadratha, it is plain, will be
productive of no benefit, if Drona, inflamed with rage, succeeds in
seizing Yudhishthira in battle. O mighty-armed one, for doing what is
agreeable to me, therefore, O Madhava, as also for the sake of my success
and fame, protect the king in battle.’ Thou seest, therefore, O king,
thou hast been made over to me as a trust by Savyasachin, O lord, in
consequence of his constant fear of Bharadwaja’s son. O mighty-armed one,
I myself daily see, O lord, that there is none, save Rukmini’s son
(Pradyumna), who can be a match for Drona in battle. I also am regarded
to be a match for the intelligent son of Bharadwaja in battle. It is
plain, therefore, I cannot dare falsify that reputation which I have, or
disregard the commands of my preceptor (Arjuna), or leave thee, O king!
The preceptor (Drona), cased as he is in impenetrable mail, in
consequence of his lightness of arms, obtaining thee in battle, will
sport with thee as a child with a little bird. If Krishna’s son, bearing
the Makara on his banner, were here, I could then have made over to him,
for he would have protected thee as Arjuna himself. Thou shouldst protect
thyself. When I am gone, who will protect thee, who that is, that will
advance against Drona while I proceed towards Arjuna? O king, let no fear
be thine today on Arjuna’s account. He never becomes cheerless under any
burden howsoever heavy. Those warriors that are opposed to him, viz., the
Sauvirakas, the Sindhava-Pauravas, they from the north, they from the
south, and they, O king, headed by Karna, that are regarded as foremost
of car-warriors, do not together come up to a sixteenth part of Arjuna.
The whole earth rising against him, with the gods, the Asuras, and men,
with all the tribes of Rakshasas, O king, with the Kinnaras, the great
snakes, and in fact, all the mobile and the immobile creatures assembled
together, is no match for Arjuna in battle. Knowing this, O king, let thy
fear on Dhananjaya’s account be dispelled. There where those two heroes
and great bowmen, viz., the two Krishnas, of prowess incapable of being
baffled, are, there the slightest obstacle cannot happen to their
purpose. Think of the celestial puissance, the accomplishment in weapons,
the resourcefulness, the wrath in battle, the gratefulness, and the
compassion of thy brother. Think also, O king, of the wonderful knowledge
of weapons that Drona will display in battle when I leave this place for
going to Arjuna. The preceptor, O monarch, is eagerly solicitous of
seizing thee. He is eagerly desirous also, O king, of making good his
vow, O Bharata! Be attentive, O king, to thy own protection. Who will
protect thee when I am gone, who is he that is, confiding on whom I may
go towards Pritha’s son, Phalguna? I tell thee truly, O great king, that
without making thee over to somebody in this great battle, I will not
surely go towards Arjuna, O thou of Kuru’s race! Reflecting on this, from
every point of view, with the aid of thy intelligence, O foremost of all
intelligent persons, and ascertaining with thy intelligence what is for
thy highest good, command me, O king!’

“Yudhishthira hearing these words said, ‘It is even so, O mighty-armed
one, as thou sayest, O Madhava! For all that, however, O sire, my heart
doth not become easy on Arjuna’s account. I shall take the greatest
precaution in protecting myself. Commanded by me, go thou thither where
Dhananjaya hath gone. Weighing, with my judgment, my own protection in
battle with the necessity of your going towards Arjuna, the latter seems
to me preferable, Make thyself ready, therefore, to go thither whither
Dhananjaya hath gone. The mighty Bhima will protect me. Prishata’s son,
with all his uterine brothers, and all the mighty kings, and the sons of
Draupadi, will without doubt, protect me. The five Kekaya brothers, and
the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, and Virata, and Drupada, and the mighty
car-warrior Sikhandin and Dhrishtaketu of great strength, and Kuntibhoja,
O sire, Nakula, and Sahadeva, and the Panchalas, and the Srinjayas,–all
these, O sire, will without doubt, very carefully protect me. Drona at
the head of his troops, and Kritavarman also, in battle, will not succeed
in beating us or afflicting me. That scorcher of foes, viz.,
Dhrishtadyumna, displaying his prowess, will resist the angry Drona, like
the continent resisting the sea. There where Prishata’s son, that slayer
of hostile heroes, will remain, there Drona will never be able to
forcibly transgress our troops. This Dhristadyumna sprang from the fire,
for the destruction of Drona, clad in mail, armed with bow and arrows and
sword, and decked with costly ornaments. Go, O grandson of Sini, with an
easy heart, do not be anxious on my account. Dhrishtadyumna will resist
angry Drona in battle.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing these words of the king Yudhishthira the just,
that bull among the Sinis feared the censure of Arjuna if he left the
king. Seeing, however, the certainty of an imputation of cowardice by the
people (if he disobeyed Yudhishthira), he said to himself, ‘Let not
people say that I am afraid of proceeding towards Arjuna.’ Reflecting
repeatedly on this, Satyaki, that hero invincible in battle, that bull
among men, said these words unto king Yudhishthira the just, ‘If thou
thinkest that these arrangements will suffice for thy protection, O
monarch, I will then do thy bidding and follow Vibhatsu. I tell thee
truly, O king, that there is none in the three worlds who is dearer to me
than Phalguna. I will follow in his track at the command, O giver of
honours. There is nothing that I will not do for thy sake. O best of men,
the commands of my preceptor are always of weight with me. But thy
commands are still weightier with me, O lord! Thy brothers, viz., Krishna
and Dhananjaya, are always engaged in doing what is agreeable to thee.
Taking thy command on my head for the sake of Arjuna, O lord, I will
proceed, O bull among men, piercing through this impenetrable host.
Darting wrathfully through this force of Drona, like a fish through the
sea, I will go thither, O monarch, where king Jayadratha, depending upon
his troops, stayeth, in fear of the son of Pandu, protected by those
foremost of car-warriors, viz., Drona’s son Karna and Kripa! The distance
from here, O king, is three Yojanas. I think, of that spot where Partha
stayeth, ready to slay Jayadratha! But though Partha is three Yojanas
distant I shall yet follow in his track with a stout heart, and stay with
him, O king, till Jayadratha’s slaughter. What man is there that goes to
battle without the commands of his superiors? And when one is commanded,
O king, as I have been by thee, who is there like me that would not
fight? I know that place whither I shall have to go, O lord! Teeming as
this ocean-like host doth with ploughshare and darts and maces and
shields and scimitars and swords and lances and foremost of shafts, I
will today agitate this ocean. This elephant division, consisting of a
thousand elephants, that thou seest, all belonging to the breed known by
the name of Anjana and all endued with great prowess, which are all
mounted by a large number of Mlecchas, delighting in battle and
accomplished in smiting,–these elephants, O king, that are shedding
their juicy secretions like rain-pouring clouds,–these never retreat if
urged forward by those upon their backs. They cannot be vanquished, O
king, unless they are slaughtered. Then again, those car-warriors
numbering thousands., that thou seest, are all of royal lineage and are
all Maharathas. They are called Rukmarathas.[149] They are accomplished
in weapons and battling from cars, as also in fighting from the backs of
elephants. O monarch! Thorough masters of the science of weapons, they
are accomplished in fighting with their fists. Skilled in battling with
maces, masters also of the art of close fight, they are equally clever in
striking with scimitars and in falling upon the foe with sword and
shield. They are brave and learned, and animated by a spirit of rivalry.
Every day, O king, they vanquish a vast number of men in battle. They are
commanded by Karna and devoted to Duhsasana. Even Vasudeva applauds them
as great car-warriors. Always solicitous of Karna’s welfare, they are
obedient to him. It is at Karna’s command, O king, that returning from
their pursuit of Arjuna and, therefore, unfatigued and unworn, those
brave warriors, cased in impenetrable armour and armed with strong bows,
are certainly waiting for me, ordered by Duryodhana also. Crushing them
in battle for thy good, O Katirava, I shall then follow in the track of
Savyasachin. Those other elephants, O king, seven hundred in number, that
thou seest, all cased in armour and ridden by Kiratas, and decked with
ornaments, the king of the Kiratas, desirous of his life, had formerly
presented to Savyasachin together with many servants in their train.
These, O king, were formerly employed in doing thy business. Behold the
vicissitudes that time brings about, for these are now battling against
thee. Those elephants are ridden by Kiratas difficult of defeat in
battle. They are accomplished in fighting from elephants, and are all
sprung from the race of Agni. Formerly, they were all vanquished in
battle by Savyasachin. They are now waiting for me carefully, under the
orders of Duryodhana. Slaying with my shafts, O king, these Kiratas
difficult of defeat in battle, I shall follow in the track of Arjuna who
is intent on the slaughter of the ruler of the Sindhus. Those (other)
huge elephants, sprung from the race of Arjuna, of impenetrable hides,
well-trained, and adorned, and from whose mouths the juicy secretions are
trickling down, and which are well-adorned with armour made wholly of
gold are very formidable in battle and resemble Airavata himself. They
have come from the northern hills, and are ridden by fierce robbers that
are of strong limbs, that are all foremost of warriors, and that are
cased in steel coats of mail. There, amongst them, are persons born of
the cow, or the ape, or of diverse other creatures, including those born
of men. That division of the assembled Mlecchas that are all sinful and
that come from the fastnesses of Himavat, seem at a distance to be of
smoky colour. Obtaining these, and countless Kshatriyas, as also Kripa
and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Drona and the ruler of the
Sindhus, and the Karna, he thinks lightly of the Pandavas. Impelled by
fate, he regards himself crowned with success. Those I have named will,
however, today be within reach of my arrows. They shall not escape me, O
son of Kunti, even if they be endued with the speed of the mind. Much
regarded always by Duryodhana, that prince who dependeth upon the prowess
of others, those warriors, afflicted with my clouds of shafts, will meet
with destruction. Those other car-warriors, O king, whom thou seest, and
who have golden standards and are difficult of being resisted, are called
Kamvojas. They are brave and accomplished, and firmly devoted to the
science of weapons. Desiring one another’s welfare they are all firmly
united. They constitute a full Akshauhini of wrathful warriors, O
Bharata, and are staying carefully for my sake, well-protected by the
Kuru heroes. They are on the alert, O king, with their eyes on me. I
shall certainly destroy them all, like fire destroying a heap of straw.
Therefore, O king, let those that equip cars, place quivers and all
necessaries on my car in proper places. Indeed, in such a dreadful
battle, diverse kinds of weapons ought to be taken. Let the car be
equipped (with necessaries) five times more than what professors of
military science direct, for I shall have to encounter the Kamvojas who
resemble fierce snakes of virulent poison. I shall have also to encounter
the Kiratas who are armed with diverse weapons of warfare, who resemble
virulent poison, who are accomplished in smiting, who have always been
well-treated by Duryodhana, and who on that account are always intent on
Duryodhana’s welfare. I shall also have to encounter the Sakas endued
with prowess equal to that of Sakra himself, who are fierce as tire, and
difficult to put out like a blazing conflagration. Indeed, O king, I
shall have to encounter in battle many warriors difficult of being
resisted. For this let well-known steeds of best breed and graced with
auspicious marks be yoked to my car, after causing their thirst to be
slaked and after grooming them duly!’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘After this, Yudhishthira caused quivers full of
shafts, and diverse kinds o weapons, and, indeed, all necessaries, to be
placed on Satyaki’s car. Then, people caused his four well-harnessed and
excellent steeds to drink and walk, bathe and eat, and having adorned
them with golden chains and plucked out their arrows, those animals, that
had (for these operations) been freed from the yoke, and that were of the
hue of gold and well-trained and endued with great speed and cheerful and
exceedingly docile, were duly yoked again unto his car. And upon that car
was set up a tall standard bearing a lion of golden maces. And that
standard had attached round it banners of the hue of white clouds and
decked with gold was also placed upon that vehicle bearing a heavy weight
of weapons. After those steeds, adorned with trappings of gold, had been
yoked to that car, the younger brother of Daruka, who was the charioteer
and the dear friend of Satyaki, came and represented unto the latter that
the car had been duly equipped, like Matali representing the equipment of
the car unto Vasava himself. Satyaki then, having taken a bath and
purified himself and undergone every auspicious ceremony, gave nishkas of
gold unto a thousand Snataka Brahmanas who uttered benedictions upon him.
Blessed with those benedictions Satyaki that foremost of handsome men,
that hero worthy of worship, having drunk kairata, honey, shone
resplendent, with reddened eyes rolling in intoxication. Having touched a
brazen mirror and filled with great joy, his energy became doubled, and
himself looked like a blazing fire. Taking upon his shoulders his bow
with arrows, that foremost of car-warriors, eased in armour and decked in
ornaments, had the regenerate ones perform for him the rites of
propitiation. And fair maidens honoured him by showering upon him fried
paddy and perfumes and floral garlands. And the hero then, with joined
hands, worshipped the feet of Yudhishthira, and the latter smelt his
head. And having undergone all these rites, he then mounted his foremost
of cars. Then those steeds, cheerful and strong and fleet as the wind,
and invincible, and belonging to the Sindhu breed, bore him on that
triumphant car. Similarly, Bhimasena also, honoured by king Yudhishthira
the just, and reverentially saluting the monarch, set out with Satyaki.
Beholding those two chastisers of foes on the point of penetrating thy
host, their enemies, viz., thy troops, all stood still with Drona at
their head. Then Satyaki, seeing Bhima cased in mail and following him,
saluted that hero and spoke unto him these delightful words. Indeed,
heroic Satyaki, with every limb filled with joy, said unto Bhima, ‘Do
thou, O Bhima, protect the king. Even this is thy duty above all things.
Piercing through this host whose hour hath come. I will proceed. Whether
now or hence, the protection of the king is thy highest duty. Thou
knowest my prowess, thou desirest my good, return, O Bhima!’ Thus
addressed by Satyaki, Bhima replied, Go then, for the success of thy
object. O best of men, I will protect the king.’ Thus addressed, he of
Madhu’s race answered Bhima, saying, ‘Go back, O son of Pritha! My
success is certain, since won over by my merits, thus, O Bhima, art today
obedient to my wishes. Indeed, O Bhima, as these auspicious omens tell
me, my victory is assured. After the sinful ruler of the Sindhus has been
slain by the high-souled son of Pandu, I shall embrace king Yudhishthira
of virtuous soul.’ Having said these words unto Bhima and dismissing him
with an embrace that illustrious warrior eyed thy troops, like a tiger
eyeing a herd of deer. Beholding him thus looking at thy army, O king,
thy troops become once more stupefied and began to tremble violently.
Then, O king, Satyaki desirous of seeing Arjuna at the command of king
Yudhishthira the just, suddenly dashed against thy troops.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘O king, when Yuyudhana, from desire of battle proceeded
against thy troops, king Yudhishthira, surrounded by his forces, followed
Yuyudhana for reaching the car of Drona. Then the son of the king of the
Panchalas, viz., the invincible warrior Dhrishtadyumna, the king
Vasudana, both loudly exclaimed with the Pandava host, ‘Come, smite
quickly, and rush against the foe, so that Satyaki, that warrior
invincible battle, in might pass easily (through the Kaurava host). Many
mighty car-warriors will struggle for vanquishing him.’ The great
car-warriors (of the Pandava army). saying this, fell impetuously upon
their foes. Indeed, they all rushed, saying, ‘We will vanquish those that
will endeavour to vanquish Satyaki.’ Then a loud uproar was heard about
the car of Satyaki. Thy son’s host, however, covered with Satyaki’s
shafts, fled away. Indeed, O king that host was broken into a hundred
struggling bodies by him of the Satwata race. And while that force was
breaking, that mighty car-warrior, viz., the (grandson) of Sini, crushed
seven heroic and great bowmen in the front rank of the foe. And, O
monarch, with his shafts that resembled blazing flames of fire, he
despatched many other heroes, kings of diverse realms, unto the region of
Yama. He sometimes pierced a hundred warriors with one shaft, and
sometimes one warrior with a hundred shafts. Like the great Rudra
destroying creatures, he slew elephant-riders and car-warriors with
steeds and drivers. None amongst thy troops ventured to advance against
Satyaki who was displaying such lightness of hand and who showered such
clouds of shafts. Struck with panic and crushed grounded thus by that
hero of long arms, those brave warriors all left the field at the sight
of that proud hero. Although alone, they saw him multiplied manifold, and
were stupefied by his energy. And the earth looked exceedingly beautiful
with crushed cars and broken nidas,[150] O sire, and wheels and fallen
umbrellas and standards and anukarshas, and banners, and headgears decked
with gold, and human arms smeared with sandal-paste and adorned with
Angadas, O king, and human thighs, resembling trunks of elephants or the
tapering bodies of snakes, and faces, beautiful as the moon and decked
with ear-rings, of large-eyed warriors lying all about the field. And the
ground there looked exceedingly beautiful with the huge bodies of fallen
elephants, cut off in diverse ways, like a large plain strewn with hills.
Crushed by that hero of long arms, steeds, deprived of life and fallen
down on the ground, looked beautiful in their traces made of burnished
gold and decked with rows of pearls, and in their carcasses of handsome
make and design. Having slain diverse kinds of thy troops, he of the
Satwata race entered into thy host, agitating and routing thy army. Then
Satyaki desired to go by that very track by which Dhananjaya had gone
before him. Then Drona came and resisted him. Encountering the son of
Bharadwaja, Yuyudhana., filled with rage, stopped not like a vast expanse
of water upon encountering on embankment. Drona, however, checking in
that battle the mighty car-warrior Yuyudhana, pierced him with five keen
shafts, capable of penetrating into the very vitals. Satyaki, however, O
king, in that battle pierced Drona with seven shafts whetted on stone,
equipped with golden wings and the feathers of the Kanka and the peacock.
Then Drona, afflicted Satyaki, his steeds and the drivers, with six
shafts. The mighty car-warrior Yuyudhana could not brook that feat of
Drona. Uttering a leonine shout, he then pierced Drona with ten shafts,
and then with six, and then with eight others. And once more Yuyudhana
pierced Drona with ten shafts, his charioteer with one and his four
steeds with four. And with another shaft, O sire, Satyaki struck Drona’s
standard. Then, Drona speedily covered Satyaki, his car, steeds, driver,
and standard, with swiftly coursing shafts, countless in number like a
flight of locusts. Similarly, Yuyudhana fearlessly covered Drona with
countless shafts of great speed. Then Drona, addressing Yuyudhana, said,
‘Thy preceptor (Arjuna) hath, like a coward, gone away, leaving the
battle, avoiding me who was fighting with him, proceeding by my flank. O
thou of Madhu’s race, if like thy preceptor, thou too dost not quickly
avoid me in this battle, thou shalt not escape me with life today,
engaged as I am in battle with thee.

“Satyaki, hearing these words, answered, ‘At the command of king
Yudhishthira the just, I shall follow in the track of Dhananjaya. Blessed
be thou, O Brahmana, I would lose time (if I fight with thee). A disciple
should always tread in the way trod by his preceptor. I shall, therefore
follow in the track that has been trod by my preceptor.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Having said this much, the grandson of Sini avoided
the preceptor and suddenly proceeded onwards, O king! And addressing his
charioteer, he said, ‘Drona will, by every means, endeavour to check my
progress. Proceed carefully, O Suta, in battle and listen to these grave
words of mine. Yonder is seen the host of great splendour of Avantis.
Next to them, is the mighty host of the Southerners. And next to it, is
the great host of the Valhikas. By the side of the Valhikas, stands
resolved for fight the mighty host commanded by Karna. O charioteer, all
these hosts are different from one another, but relying upon one another,
they protect one another on the field of battle. Arrived at the space
left open between these divisions cheerfully urge thou the steed. Indeed,
O charioteer, bear me thither, making the steeds adopt a tolerable
speed,–thither, that is, where are seen the Valhikas with diverse
weapons uplifted in their arms, and the countless Southerners headed by
the Suta’s son and whose division is seen to present a serried array of
elephants and steeds and cars and in which stand foot-soldiers from
various realm.’ Having said this much unto his driver, avoiding the
Brahmana (Drona), he proceeded, telling his charioteer, Pass through the
open space between those two divisions towards the fierce and mighty host
of Karna.’ Drona, however, excited with wrath, pursued him from behind,
shooting at him countless shafts. Indeed, the preceptor closely followed
highly blessed Yuyudhana who advanced without any desire of turning back.
Smiting the great host of Karna with whetted arrows, Satyaki penetrated
into the vast and limitless army of the Bharatas. When Yuyudhana,
however, entered the army, the troops (opposed to him) fled away. At
this, wrathful Kritavarman came forward to resist Satyaki. The valiant
Satyaki striking the advancing Kritavarman with six shafts, quickly slew
his four steeds with four other shafts. And once again, he pierced
Kritavarman in the centre of the chest with four other shafts. And once
again, he pierced Kritavarman in the centre of the chest with sixteen
straight shafts of great speed. Thus encountered; O monarch; with many
shafts of fierce energy by him of the Satwata race, Kritavarman was
unable to brook it. Aiming then a calf-toothed shaft resembling a shake
of virulent poison and endued With the speed of the wind, and drawing the
bow-string, O monarch, to his ear, he pierced Satyaki in the chest. That
shaft, equipped with beautiful feathers, penetrating through his armour
and body, and dyed in blood, entered the earth. Then, O king,
Kritavarman, that warrior equipped with the highest weapons, shooting
many shafts, cut off the bow of Satyaki with arrows fixed thereon. And
excited with rage, he then, in that battle, O king, pierced Satyaki of
unbaffled prowess in the centre of the chest with ten shafts of great
keenness. Upon his bow being broken, the foremost of mighty men, viz.,
Satyaki, hurled a dart at the right arm of Kritavarman. And taking up and
drawing a tougher bow, Yuyudhana quickly shot at his foe, shafts by
hundreds and thousands and entirely shrouded Kritavarman and his car with
that arrowy downpour. Having thus shrouded the son of Hridika, O monarch,
in that battle, Satyaki cut of, with a broad-headed arrow, the head of
his foe’s charioteer from his trunk. The charioteer of Hridika’s son
then, thus slain, fell down from that great car. At this, the steeds of
Kritavarman, deprived of a driver, ran away with great speed. The ruler
of the Bhojas, then, in great agitation, himself checked those steeds.
That heroic warrior then, bow in hand, stood upon his car (ready for
battle). Beholding this feat, his troops applauded it highly. Resting for
a short space of time, Kritavarman then urged those good steeds of his.
Himself devoid of fear, he inspired his foes with great fear. Satyaki,
however, had by that time, left him behind, while Kritavarman himself now
rushed against Bhimasena without pursuing Satyaki. Thus issuing out of
the division of the Bhojas, Satyaki proceeded with great speed towards
the mighty division of the Kamvojas. Resisted there by many brave and
mighty car-warriors, Yuyudhana, of prowess incapable of being thwarted,
could not then, O monarch, proceed a step. Meanwhile, Drona, having
placed his troops in a proper position and made over the burthen of their
protection to the ruler of the Bhojas, firmly resolved, proceeded with
great speed towards Yuyudhana from desire of battle. Then the foremost
warriors of the Pandava host, beholding Drona thus pursuing Yuyudhana
from behind, cheerfully began to resist him. The Panchalas, however, who
were headed by Bhimasena, having approached the son of Hridika, that
foremost of car-warriors, all became cheerless. The heroic Kritavarman, O
king, displaying his prowess, resisted all those warriors who, although
they had become a little heartless, struggled yet with great vigour.
Fearlessly he weakened, by means of his arrowy showers, the animals of
his foes. The brave warriors, however, (of the Pandava army), though thus
afflicted by the ruler of the Bhojas, stood, like high-born soldiers that
they were, resolved to fight with the division of the Bhojas itself, from
a desire of great renown.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, Our army is equally possessed of many excellences.
It is equally regarded as superior. It is equally arrayed according to
the rules of science, and it is equally numerous, O Sanjaya![151] It is
always well-treated by us, and is always devoted to us. It is vast in
numerical strength, and presents a wonderful aspect. Its prowess had
before been tested. The soldiers are neither very old nor very young.
They are neither lean nor corpulent. Of active habits, of well-developed
and strong frames, they are free from disease. They are cased in mail and
well-equipped with arms. They are devoted to all kinds of armed
exercises. They are adepts in mounting upon and descending from the backs
of elephants, in moving forward and stepping back, in smiting
effectually, and in marching and retreating. Oftentimes have they been
tested in the management of elephants and steeds and cars. Having been
examined duly, they have been entertained on pay and not for the sake of
lineage, nor from favour, nor from relationship. They are not a rabble
come of their own accord, nor have they been admitted into my army
without pay. My army consists of well-born and respectable men, who are,
again, contented, well-fed, and submissive. They are sufficiently
rewarded. They are all famous and endued with great intelligence. They
are, again, O son, protected by many of our foremost counsellors and
others of righteous deeds, all of whom are best of men, resembling the
very Regents of the world. Innumerable rulers of earth, seeking to do
what is agreeable to us, and who have of their own well sided with us
with their forces and followers, also protect them. Indeed, our army is
like the vast ocean filled with the waters of innumerable rivers running
from all directions. It abounds in steeds and cars which, though
destitute of wings, still resemble the winged tenants of the air. It
seems also with elephants adorned whose cheeks flow with juicy
secretions. What can it, therefore, be but Destiny that even such an army
should be slain? (Ocean-like it is) vast number of combatants constitute
its interminable waters, and the steeds and other animals constitute its
terrible waves. Innumerable swords and maces and darts and arrows and
lances constitute the oars (plied on that ocean).[152] Abounding in
standards and ornaments, the pearls and gems (of the warriors) constitute
the lotuses that deck it. The rushing steeds and elephants constitute the
winds that agitate it into fury. Drona constitutes the fathomless cave of
that ocean, Kritavarman its vast vortex. Jalasandha its mighty alligator,
and Karna the rise of the moon that makes it swell with energy and pride.
When that bull amongst the Pandavas, on his single car, hath speedily
gone, piercing through that army of mine vast (though it be) like the
ocean, and when Yuyudhana also hath followed him, I do not, O Sanjaya,
see the prospect of even a remnant of my troops being left alive by
Savyasachin, and that foremost of car-warriors belonging to the Satwata
race. Beholding those two exceedingly active heroes pierce through (the
divisions placed in the van), and seeing the ruler of the Sindhus also
within reach of the shafts from Gandiva, what, indeed, was the measure
adopted by the Kaurava impelled by fate? At that time, when all were
fighting intently, what became of them? O sire, I regard the assembled
Kurus to be overtaken by Death himself. Indeed, their prowess also in
battle is no longer seen to be what it once was. Krishna and the son of
Pandu have both entered the (Kuru) host unwounded. There is none in that
host, O Sanjaya, capable of resisting them. Many combatants that are
great car-warriors were admitted by us after examination. They are all
honoured (by us) with pay as each deserves, and others with agreeable
speeches. There is none, O son, amongst my troops who is not honoured
with good offices (done to him). Each receives his assigned pay and
rations according to the character of his services. In my army, O
Sanjaya, there is none who is unskilled in battle, none who receives pay
less than what he deserves, or none who does not receive any pay. The
soldiers are adored by me, according to the best of my powers, with gifts
and honours and seats. The same conduct is followed towards them by my
sons, my kinsmen, and my friends. Yet on the very approach of
Savyasachin, have they been vanquished by him and by the grandson of
Sini. What can it be but Destiny? They who are protecting them, all
follow the same road, the protected with the protectors! Beholding Arjuna
arrived at the front of Jayadratha, what measure was adopted by my
foolish son? Beholding Satyaki also entering the host, what step did
Duryodhana think suitable to that occasion? Indeed, beholding those two
foremost of car-warriors who are beyond the touch of all weapons, enter
my host, what resolution was formed by my warriors in battle? I think,
beholding Krishna of Dasarha’s race and that bull of Sini’s race also
both engaged for Arjuna’s sake my sons are filled with grief. I think,
seeing both Satwata and Arjuna pass through my army and the Kurus flying
away, my sons are filled with grief. I think, seeing their car-warriors
retreat in despair of subjugating the foe and set their hearts upon
flying away from the field, my sons are filled with grief. Their steeds
and elephants and cars and heroic combatants by thousands flying away
from the field in anxiety, my sons are filled with grief I think, seeing
many huge elephants fly away, afflicted with the shafts of Arjuna, and
others fallen and falling, my sons are filled with grief. I think, seeing
steeds deprived of riders and warriors deprived of cars by Satyaki and
Partha, my sons are filled with grief. I think, large bodies of steeds
slain or routed by Madhava and Partha, my sons are filled with grief. I
think, seeing large bodies of foot-soldiers flying away in all
directions, my sons, despairing of success, are filled with grief. I
think, seeing those two heroes pass through Drona’s division unvanquished
within a moment, my sons are filled with grief. Stupefied am I, O son,
upon hearing that Krishna and Dhananjaya, those two heroes of unfading
glory, have both, with Satwata, penetrated into my host. After that
foremost of car-warriors among the Sinis, had entered my host, and after
he had passed through the division of the Bhojas, what did the Kauravas
do? Tell me also, O Sanjaya, how did the battle take place there where
Drona afflicted the Pandavas on the field. Drona is endued with great
might, is the foremost of all persons, is accomplished in weapons, and is
incapable of being defeated in battle. How could the Panchalas pierce
that great bowman in the fight? Desirous of Dhananjaya’s victory, the
Panchalas are inveterate foes of Drona. The mighty car-warrior Drona also
is an inveterate foe of theirs. Thou art skilled in a narration, O
Sanjaya! Tell me, therefore, everything about what Arjuna did for
compassing the slaughter of the ruler of the Sindhus.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘O bull of Bharata’s race, overtaken by a calamity that is
the direct result of thy own fault, thou shouldst not, O hero, indulge in
such lamentations like an ordinary person. Formerly, many of thy wise
well-wishers, numbering Vidura amongst them, had told thee, ‘Do not, O
king, abandon the sons of Pandu.’ Thou didst not then heed those words.
The man that heedeth not the counsels of well-wishing friends, weepeth,
falling into great distress, like thyself. He of Dasarha’s race, O king,
had formerly begged thee for peace. For all that, Krishna of world-wide
fame, obtained not his prayer. Ascertaining thy worthlessness, and thy
jealousy towards the Pandavas, and understanding also thy crooked
intentions towards the sons of Pandu, and hearing thy delirious
lamentations, O best of kings, that puissant Lord of all the worlds, that
Being, acquainted with the truth of everything in all the worlds, viz.,
Vasudeva, then caused the flame of war to blaze forth among the Kurus.
This great and wholesale destruction hath come upon thee, brought about
by thy own fault. O giver of honours, it behoveth thee not to impute the
fault to Duryodhana. In the development of these incidents no merit of
thine is to be seen in the beginning, in the middle, or at the end. This
defeat is entirely owing to thee. Therefore, knowing as thou dost the
truth about this world, be quiet and hear how this fierce battle,
resembling that between the gods and the Asuras, took place. After the
grandson of Sini, that warrior of prowess incapable of being baffled, had
entered into thy host, the Parthas headed by Bhimasena also rushed
against thy troops. The mighty car-warrior Kritavarman, however, alone,
resisted, in that battle the Pandavas thus rushing in fury and wrath with
their followers against thy host. As the continent resists the surgings,
even so did the son of Hridika resist the troops of the Pandavas in that
battle. The prowess that we then beheld of the son of Hridika was
wonderful, inasmuch as the united Parthas succeeded not in transgressing
his single self. Then the mighty-armed Bhima, piercing Kritavarman with
three shafts, blew his conch, gladdening all the Pandavas. Then Sahadeva
pierced the son of Hridika with twenty shafts, and Yudhishthira the just
pierced him with five and Nakula pierced him with a hundred. And the sons
of Draupadi pierced him with three and seventy shafts, Ghatotkacha
pierced him with seven. And Virata and Drupada and Drupada’s son
(Dhrishtadyumna) each Pierced him with five shafts, and Sikhandin, having
once pierced him with five, again pierced him smilingly with five and
twenty shafts. Then Kritavarman, O king, pierced every one of those great
car-warriors with five shafts, and Bhima again with seven. And the son of
Hridika felled both the bow and the standard of Bhima from the latter’s
car. Then that mighty car-warrior, with great speed, wrathfully struck
Bhima, whose bow had been cut off with seventy keen shafts in the chest.
Then mighty Bhima, deeply pierced with those excellent shafts of
Hridika’s son, trembled on his car like a mountain during an earthquake.
Beholding Bhimasena in that condition, the Parthas headed by king
Yudhishthira the just afflicted Kritavarman, O king, shooting at him many
shafts. Encompassing that warrior there with throngs of cars, O sire,
they cheerfully began to pierce him with their shafts, desiring to
protect the Wind-god’s son in that battle. Then mighty Bhimasena
recovering consciousness, took up in that battle a dart made of steel and
equipped with a golden staff, and hurled it with great speed from his own
car at the car of Kritavarman. That dart resembling a snake freed from
its slough, hurled from Bhima’s hands, fierce-looking, blazed forth as it
proceeded towards Kritavarman. Beholding that dart endued with the
splendour of the Yuga-fire coursing towards him, the son of Hridika cut
it in twain with two shafts. Thereupon, that dart decked with gold, thus
cut off, fell down on the earth, illumining the ten points of the
compass, O king, like a large meteor falling from the firmament. Seeing
his dart baffled, Bhima blazed forth in wrath. Then taking tip another
bow which was tougher and whose twang was louder, Bhimasena, filled with
wrath, attacked the son of Hridika in that battle. Then O king, Bhima, of
terrible might, struck Kritavarman, in the centre of the chest with five
shafts, in consequence of thy evil policy, O monarch! The ruler of the
Bhoja then, mangled in every limb, O sire, by Bhimasena, shone
resplendent in the field like a red Asoka covered with flowers. Then that
mighty bowman, viz., Kritavarman, filled with rage, smilingly struck
Bhimasena with three shafts, and having struck him forcibly, pierced in
return every one of those great car-warriors struggling vigorously in
battle, with three shafts. Each of the latter then pierced him in return
with seven shafts. Then that mighty car-warrior of the Satwata race,
filled with rage, cut off, smiling in that battle, with a razor-faced
shaft the bow of Sikhandin. Sikhandin then, seeing his bow cut off,
quickly took up a sword and a bright shield decked with a hundred moons.
Whirling his large shield, decked with gold, Sikhandin sent that sword
towards the car of Kritavarman. That large sword, cutting off, O king,
Kritavarman’s bow with arrow fixed thereon, fell down on the earth, like.
O monarch, a bright luminary loosened from the firmament. Meanwhile,
those mighty car-warriors quickly and deeply pierced Kritavarman with
their shafts in that battle. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz.,
the son of Hridika, casting off, that broken bow, and taking up another,
pierced each of the Pandavas with three straight shafts. And he pierced
Sikhandin at first with three, and then with five shafts. Then the
illustrious Sikhandin, taking up another bow, checked the son of Hridika
with many swift-flying shafts, furnished with heads like tortoise nails.
Then, O king, the son of Hridika, inflamed with rage in that battle,
rushed impetuously at that mighty car-warrior, viz., the son of
Yajnasena, that warrior, O monarch, who was the cause of the illustrious
Bhishma’s fall in battle. Indeed, the heroic Kritavarman rushed at
Sikhandin, displaying his might, like a tiger at an elephant. Then those
two chastisers of foes, who resembled a couple of huge elephants or two
blazing fires, encountered each other with clouds of shafts. And they
took their best of bows and aimed their arrows, and shot them in hundreds
like a couple of suns shedding their rays. And those two mighty
car-warriors scorched each other with their keen shafts, and shone
resplendent like two Suns appearing at the end of the Yuga. And
Kritavarman in that battle pierced that mighty car-warrior viz.,
Yajnasena’s son, with three and seventy shafts and once more with seven.
Deeply pierced therewith, Sikhandin sat down in pain on the terrace of
his car, throwing aside his bow and arrows, and was overtaken by a swoon.
Beholding that hero in a swoon, thy troops, O bull among men, worshipped
the son of Hridika, and waved their garments in the air. Seeing Sikhandin
thus afflicted with the shafts of Hridika’s son his charioteer quickly
bore that mighty car-warrior away from the battle. The Parthas, beholding
Sikhandin lying senseless on the terrace of his car, soon encompassed
Kritavarman in that battle with crowds of cars. The mighty car-warrior,
Kritavarman, then achieved a most wonderful feat there, inasmuch as,
alone, he held in check all the Parthas with their followers. Having thus
vanquished the Parthas, that mighty car-warrior then vanquished the
Chedis, the Panchalas, the Srinjayas, and the Kekayas, all of whom are
endued with great prowess. The forces of the Pandavas then, thus
slaughtered by the son of Hridika began to run in all directions, unable
to stay coolly in battle. Having vanquished the sons of Pandu headed by
Bhimasena himself, the son of Hridika stayed in battle like a blazing
fire. Those mighty car-warriors, afflicted with torrents of shafts and
routed by Hridika’s son in battle, ventured not to face him.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Listen with undivided attention, O king. After the rout
of that force by the high-souled son of Hridika, and upon the Parthas
being humiliated with shame and thy troops elated with joy, he that
became protector of the Pandavas who were solicitous of protection while
sinking in that fathomless sea of distress, that hero, viz., the grandson
of Sini, hearing that fierce uproar, of thy army in that terrible fight,
quickly turned back and proceeded against Kritavarman. Hridika’s son,
Kritavarman, then excited with wrath, covered the grandson of Sini with
clouds of sharp shafts. At this, Satyaki also became filled with rage.
The grandson of Sini then quickly sped at Kritavarman a sharp and
broad-headed arrow in the encounter and then four other arrows. These
tour arrows slew the steeds of Kritavarman, and the other cut off
Kritavarman’s bow. Then Satyaki pierced the charioteer of his foe and
those that protected the latter’s rear, with many keen shafts, to afflict
his antagonist’s forces. The hostile division then, afflicted with
Satyaki’s arrows, broke down. Thereupon, Satyaki of prowess incapable of
being baffled, quickly proceeded on his way. Hear now, O king, what that
hero of great valour then did unto thy troops. Having, O monarch, forded
the ocean constituted by Drona’s division, and filled with joy at having
vanquished Kritavarman in battle, that hero then addressed his
charioteer, saying, ‘Proceed slowly without fear.’ Beholding, however,
that army of thine that abounded with cars, steeds, elephants and
foot-soldiers, Satyaki once more told his charioteer, ‘That large
division which thou seest on left of Drona’s host, and which looks dark
as the clouds, consists of the elephants (of the foe). Rukmaratha is its
leader. Those elephants are many, O charioteer, and are difficult of
being resisted in battle. Urged by Duryodhana, they wait for me, prepared
to cast away their lives. All those combatants are of princely birth, and
great bowmen, and capable of displaying great prowess in battle,
belonging to the country of the Trigartas, they are all illustrious
car-warriors, owning standards decked with gold. Those brave warriors are
waiting, desirous of battle with me. Urge the steeds quickly, O
charioteer and take me thither. I shall fight with the Trigartas in the
very sight of Bharadwaja’s son.’ Thus addressed, the charioteer, obedient
to Satwata’s will, proceeded slowly. Upon that bright car of solar
effulgence, equipped with standard, those excellent steeds harnessed
thereto and perfectly obedient to the driver, endued with speed of the
wind, white as the Kunda flower, or the moon, or silver, bore him (to
that spot). As he advanced to battle, drawn by those excellent steeds of
the hue of a conch, those brave warriors encompassed him on all sides
with their elephants, scattering diverse kinds of keen arrows capable of
easily piercing everything. Satwata also fought with that elephant
division, shooting his keen shafts, like a mighty cloud at the end of
summer pouring torrents of rain on a mountain breast. Those elephants
slaughtered with those shafts, whose touch resembled thunder sped by that
foremost one among the Sinis began to fly away from the field, their
tusks broken, bodies covered with blood, heads and frontal globes split
open, ears and faces and trunks cut off, and themselves deprived of
riders, and standards cut down, riders slain, and blankets loosened, ran
away, O king, in all directions. Many amongst them, O monarch, mangled by
Satwata with long shafts and calf-tooth-headed arrows and broad-headed
arrows and Anjalikas and razor-faced arrows and crescent-shaped ones fled
away, with blood flowing down their bodies, and themselves ejecting urine
and excreta and uttering loud and diverse cries, deep as the roar of
clouds. And some amongst the others wandered, and some limped, and some
fell down, and some became pale and cheerless. Thus afflicted by
Yuyudhana, with shafts that resembled the sun or fire, that elephant
division fled away in all directions. After that elephant division was
exterminated, the mighty Jalasandha, exerting himself coolly, led his
elephant before Yuyudhana’s car drawn by white steeds. Cased in golden
Angadas, with ear-rings and diadem, armed with sword, smeared with red
sandal-paste, his head encircled with a blazing chain of gold, his breast
covered with a cuirass, his neck adorned with a bright chain (of gold),
that hero of sinless soul, stationed on the heads of his elephant,
shaking his bow decked with gold, looked resplendent, O king, like a
cloud charged with lightning. Like the continent resisting the surging
sea, Satyaki checked that excellent elephant of the ruler of the Magadhas
that approached him with such fury. Beholding the elephant checked by the
excellent shafts of Yuyudhana, the mighty Jalasandha became filled with
rage. Then, O king, the enraged Jalasandha, pierced Sini’s grandson on
his broad chest with some shafts of great force. With another sharp and
well tempered broad-headed arrow, he cut off the bow of the Vrishni hero
while the latter was drawing it. And then, O Bharata, smiling the while,
the heroic ruler of the Magadhas pierced the bowless Satyaki with five
keen shafts. The valiant and mighty-armed Satyaki, however, though
pierced with many shafts by Jalasandha, trembled not in the least. All
this seemed exceedingly wonderful. Then mighty Yuyudhana without any
fear, thought of the shafts (he should use). Taking up another bow,
addressed Jalasandha, saying, ‘Wait, Wait!’ Saying this much, the
grandson of Sini deeply pierced Jalasandha on his broad breast with sixty
arrows, smiling the while. And with another razor-faced arrow of great
sharpness he cut off Jalasandha’s bow at the handle, and with three more
shafts he pierced Jalasandha himself. Then Jalasandha, casting aside that
bow of his with an arrow fixed thereon, hurled a lance, O sire, at
Satyaki. That terrible lance, passing through the left arm of Madhava in
fierce battle, entered the earth, like a hissing snake of gigantic
proportion. And his left arm had thus been pierced. Satyaki, of prowess
incapable of being baffled, struck Jalasandha with thirty keen shafts.
Then mighty Jalasandha taking up his scimitar and large shield made of
bull’s hide and decked with a hundred moons whirled the former for a
while and hurled it at Satwata. Cutting off the bow of Sini’s grandson,
that scimitar fell down on the earth, and looked resplendent like a
circle of fire, as it lay on the earth. Then Yuyudhana took up another
bow capable of piercing everybody, large as a Sala-offshoot, and of twang
resembling the roar of Indra’s thunder, and filled with rage, stretched
in and then pierced Jalasandha with a single shaft. And then Satyaki,
that foremost one of Madhu’s race, smiling the while, cut off, with a
pair of razor-faced arrows, the two arms, decked with ornaments, of
Jalasandha. Thereupon, those two arms, looking like a couple of spiked
maces, fell down from that foremost of elephants, like a couple of
five-headed snakes falling down from a Mountain. And then, with a third
razor-headed arrow, Satyaki cut off his antagonist’s large head endued
with beautiful teeth and adorned with a pair of beautiful ear-rings. The
headless and armless trunk, of fearful aspect, dyed Jalasandha’s elephant
with blood. Having slain Jalasandha, in battle, Satwata quickly felled
the wooden structure, O king, from that elephant’s back. Bathed in blood,
the elephant of Jalasandha bore that costly seat, hanging down from his
back. And afflicted with the arrows of Satwata, the huge beast crushed
friendly ranks as it ran wildly, uttering fierce cries of pain. Then, O
sire, wails of woe arose among thy troops, at the sight of Jalasandha
slain by that bull among the Vrishnis. Thy warriors then, turning their
faces, fled away in all directions. Indeed, despairing of success over
the foe, they set their hearts on flight. Mean. while, O king, Drona,
that foremost of all wielders of bows, approached the mighty car-warrior
Yuyudhana, borne by his swift coursers. Many bulls among the Kurus,
beholding Sini’s grandson swelling (with rage-and pride), rushed at him
with fury, accompanied by Drona. Then commenced a battle, O king, between
the Kurus and Drona (on one side) and Yuyudhana (on the other), that
resembled the awful battle of old between the gods and the Asuras.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Shooting clouds of arrows, all those warriors,
accomplished in smiting, carefully, O monarch, encountered Yuyudhana.
Drona struck him with seven and seventy shafts of great keenness. And
Durmarshana struck him with a dozen, Duhsasana, struck him with ten
shafts. And Vikarna also pierced him on the left side as also on the
centre of the chest with thirty keen shafts equipped with Kanka feathers.
And Durmukha struck him with ten shafts, and Duhsasana with eight,
Chitrasena, O sire, pierced him with a couple of shafts. And Duryodhana,
O king, and many other heroes, afflicted that mighty car-warrior with
dense showers of shafts in that battle. Though checked on all sides by
those mighty car-warriors, viz., thy sons, Yuyudhana of Vrishni’s race
pierced each of them separately with his straight shafts. Indeed, he
pierced the son of Bharadwaja with three shafts, and Duhsasana with nine,
and Vikarna with five and twenty, and Chitrasena with seven, and
Durmarshana with a dozen, and Vivinsati with eight, and Satyavrata with
nine, and Vijaya with ten shafts. And having pierced Rukmangada also that
mighty car-warrior, viz., Satyaki, shaking his bow, speedily proceeded
against thy son (Duryodhana). And Yuyudhana, in the sight of all men,
deeply pierced with his arrows the king, that greatest of car-warriors in
the whole world. Then commenced a battle between those two. Both shooting
keen arrows and both aiming countless shafts, each of those mighty
car-warriors made the other invisible in that battle. And Satyaki,
pierced by the Kuru king, looked exceedingly resplendent as blood
copiously ran adown his body, like a sandal tree shedding its juicy
secretions. Thy son also pierced by Satwata with clouds of shafts, looked
beautiful like a stake set up (at a sacrifice) decked all over with gold.
Then Madhava, O king, in that battle, cut off with razor-faced arrow,
smiling the while, the bow of the Kuru king. And then he pierced the
bowless king with countless arrows. Pierced with arrows by that foe of
great activity, the king could not brook this indication of the enemy’s
success. Duryodhana then, taking up another formidable bow, the back of
whose staff was decked with gold, speedily pierced Satyaki with a hundred
arrows. Deeply pierced by thy mighty son armed with the bow, Yuyudhana
became inflamed with wrath and began to afflict thy son. Beholding the
king thus afflicted, thy sons, those mighty car-warriors, shrouded
Satyaki with dense showers of arrows, shot with great force. Whilst being
thus shrouded by those mighty car-warriors, viz., thy multitude of sons,
Yuyudhana pierced each of them with five arrows, and once more with
seven. And soon he pierced Duryodhana with eight swift arrows and,
smiling the while, cut off the latter’s bow that frightened all foes. And
with a few arrows he also felled the king’s standard adorned with a
jewelled elephant. And slaying then the four steeds of Duryodhana with
four arrows, the illustrious Satyaki felled the king’s charioteer with a
razor-faced shaft. Meanwhile, Yuyudhana, filled with joy, pierced the
mighty car-warrior, viz., the Kuru king, with many arrows capable of
penetrating into the very vitals. Then, O king, thy son Duryodhana, while
being thus struck in that battle with those excellent arrows of Sini’s
grandson, suddenly fled away. And the king, quickly mounted the car of
Chitrasena, armed with the bow. Beholding the king thus attacked by
Satyaki in battle, and reduced to the position of Soma in the firmament
while seized by Rahu, cries of woe arose from every section of the Kuru
host. Hearing that uproar, the mighty car-warrior Kritavarman quickly
proceeded to that spot where the puissant Madhava. was battling. And
Kritavarman proceeded, shaking his bow, and urging his steeds, and urging
his charioteer with the words, ‘Go with speed, Go with speed!’ Beholding
Kritavarman rushing towards him like the Destroyer himself with wide-open
mouth, Yuyudhana, O king, addressed his driver, saying, ‘That
Kritavarman, armed with arrows, is rushing in his car towards me with
speed. Then, with his steeds urged to their greatest speed, and on his
car duly equipped, Satyaki came upon the ruler of the Bhojas, the
foremost of all bowmen. Then those two tigers among men, both inflamed
with rage, and both resembling fire encountered each other like two
tigers endued with great activity. Kritavarman pierced Sini’s grandson
with six and twenty whetted arrows of keen points, and the latter’s
driver with five arrows. And skilled in battle, the son of Hridika
pierced, with four mighty shafts, the four excellent and well-broken
steeds of Satyaki that were of the Sindhu breed. Owning a standard decked
with gold, and adorned with golden mail, Kritavarman, shaking his
formidable bow, whose staff was decked with gold, thus checked, Yuyudhana
with shafts equipped with golden wings. Then the grandson of Sini,
desirous of seeing Dhananjaya, sped with great activity eight arrows at
Kritavarman. That scorcher of foes, then, deeply pierced by that mighty
foe,–that invincible warrior,–began to tremble like a hill during an
earthquake. After this, Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled,
speedily pierced Kritavarman’s four steeds with three and sixty keen
arrows, and his driver also with seven. Indeed, Satyaki, then aiming
another arrow of golden wings, that emitted blazing flames and resembled
an angry snake, or the rod of the Destroyer himself, pierced Kritavarman.
That terrible arrow, penetrating through his antagonist’s effulgent
armour decked with gold, entered the earth, dyed with blood. Afflicted
with the shafts of Satwata, and bathed in blood in that battle,
Kritavarman throwing aside his bow with arrow, fell upon his car. That
lion-toothed hero of immeasurable prowess, that bull among men, afflicted
by Satyaki with his arrows, fell on his knees upon the terrace of his
car. Having thus resisted Kritavarman who resembled the thousand-armed
Arjuna of old, or Ocean himself of immeasurable might, Satyaki proceeded
onwards. Passing through Kritavarman’s division bristling with swords and
darts and bows, and abounding in elephants and steeds and cars, and out
of the ground rendered awful in consequence of the blood shed by foremost
Kshatriyas numbering by hundreds, that bull among the Sinis proceeded
onwards in the very sight of all the troops, like the slayer of Vritra
through the Asura array. Meanwhile, the mighty son of Hridika, taking up
another huge bow, stayed where he was, resisting Pandavas in battle.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘While the (Kuru) host was shaken by the grandson of Sini
in these places (through which he proceeded), the son of Bharadwaja
covered him with a dense shower of arrows. The encounter that then took
place between Drona and Satwata in the very sight of all the troops was
extremely fierce, like that between Vali and Vasava (in days of old).
Then Drona pierced the grandson of Sini on the forehead with three
beautiful arrows made entirely of iron and resembling’ snakes of virulent
poison. Thus pierced on the forehead with those straight shafts,
Yuyudhana, O king, looked beautiful like a mountain with three summits.
The son of Bharadwaja always on the alert for an opportunity, then sped
in that battle many other arrows of Satyaki which resembled the roar of
Indra’s thunder. Then he of Dasarha’s race, acquainted with the highest
weapons, cut off all those arrows shot from Drona’s bow, with two
beautifully winged arrows of his. Beholding that lightness of hand (in
Satyaki), Drona, O king, smiling the while, suddenly pierced that bull
among the Sinis with thirty arrows. Surpassing by his own lightness the
lightness of Yuyudhana, Drona, once more, pierced the latter with fifty
arrows and then with a hundred. Indeed, those mangling arrows, O king,
issued from Drona’s car, like vigorous snakes in wrath issuing through an
ant-hill. Similarly, blood-drinking arrows shot by Yuyudhana in hundreds
and thousands covered the car of Drona. We did not mark any difference,
however, between the lightness of hand displayed by that foremost of
regenerate ones and that displayed by him of the Satwata race. Indeed, in
this respect, both those bulls among men were equal. Then Satyaki,
inflamed with wrath, struck Drona with nine straight arrows. And he
struck Drona’s standard also with many sharp shafts. And in the sight of
Bharadwaja’s son, he pierced the latter’s driver also with a hundred
arrows. Beholding the lightness of hand displayed by Yuyudhana, the
mighty car-warrior Drona piercing Yuyudhana’s driver with seventy shafts,
and each of his (four) steeds with three, cut off with a single arrow the
standard that stood on Madhava’s car. With another broad-headed arrow,
equipped with feathers and with wings of gold, he cut off in that battle
the bow of that illustrious hero of Madhu’s race. Thereupon, the mighty
car-warrior Satyaki, excited with wrath, laid aside that, taking up a
huge mace, hurled it at the son of Bharadwaja. Drona, however, with many
arrows of diverse forms, resisted that mace, made of iron and twined
round with strings, as it coursed impetuously towards him. Then Satyaki,
of prowess incapable of being baffled, took up another bow and pierced
the heroic son of Bharadwaja with many arrows whetted on stone. Piercing
Drona thereby in that battle, Yuyudhana uttered a leonine shout. Drona,
however, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, was unable to brook
that roar. Taking up a dart made of iron and equipped with golden staff
Drona sped it quickly at the car of Madhava. That dart, however, fatal as
Death, without touching the grandson of Sini, pierced through the
latter’s car and entered the earth with a fierce noise. The grandson of
Sini then, O king, pierced Drona with many winged arrows. Indeed,
striking him on the right arm, Satyaki, O bull of Bharata’s race,
afflicted him greatly. Drona also, in that battle, O king, cut off the
huge bow of Madhava with a crescent-shaped arrow and smote the latter’s
driver with a dart. Struck with that dart, Yuyudhana’s driver swooned
away and for a while lay motionless on the terrace of the car. Then, O
Monarch, Satyaki, acting as his own driver, achieved a superhuman feat,
inasmuch as he continued to fight with Drona and hold the reins himself.
Then the mighty car-warrior Yuyudhana struck that Brahmana with a hundred
arrows in that battle, and rejoiced exceedingly, O monarch, at the feat
he had achieved. Then Drona, O Bharata, sped at Satyaki five arrows.
Those fierce arrows, piercing Satyaki’s armour, drank his blood in that
battle. Thus pierced with those frightful arrows, Satyaki became inflamed
with wrath. In return, that hero shot many shafts at him of the golden
car. Then felling on the earth with a single shaft, the driver of Drona,
he caused next, with his arrows, those driverless steeds of his
antagonist to fly away. Thereupon that car was dragged to a distance.
Indeed, the bright chariot of Drona, O king, began to trace a thousand
circles in the field of battle like a sun in motion. Then all the kings
and princes (of the Kaurava host) made a loud uproar, exclaiming, ‘Run,
Rush, Seize the steeds of Drona.’ Quickly abandoning Satyaki in that
battle, O monarch, all those mighty car-warriors rushed to the place
where Drona was. Beholding those car-warriors run away afflicted with the
arrows of Satyaki, thy troops once more broke down and became exceedingly
cheerless. Meanwhile, Drona, once more proceeding to the gate of the
array, took up his station there, borne away (from Satyaki’s presence) by
those steeds, fleet as the wind, that had been, afflicted with the shafts
of the Vrishni hero. The valiant son of Bharadwaja, beholding the array
broken (in his absence) by the Pandavas and the Panchalas, made no
endeavour to follow the grandson of Sini, but employed himself in
protecting his (broken) array. Checking the Pandavas and the Panchalas
then, the Drona fire, blazing up in wrath stayed there, consuming
everything, like the sun that rises at the end of the Yuga.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Having vanquished Drona and other warriors of thy army,
headed by the son of Haridika, that foremost of men, viz., that bull
amongst the Sinis, O foremost one of the Kurus, laughing said unto his
charioteer, ‘Our foes, O Suta, had already been consumed by Kesava and
Phalguna. In vanquishing them (again), we have only been the (ostensible)
means. Already slain by that bull among men, viz., the son of the
celestial chief, we have but slain the dead.’ Saying these words unto his
charioteer, that bull amongst the Sinis, that foremost of bowmen, that
slayer of hostile heroes, that mighty warrior, scattering with great
force his arrows all around in that dreadful battle, proceeded like a
hawk in search of prey. The Kuru warriors, although they attacked him
from all sides, succeeded not in resisting that foremost of car-warriors,
resembling the sun himself of a thousand rays, that foremost of men, who,
having pierced the Kaurava ranks, was proceeding, borne by those
excellent steeds of his that were white as the moon or a conch. Indeed, O
Bharata, none amongst those that fought on thy side could resist
Yuyudhana of irresistible prowess, of might incapable of impairment, of
valour equal to that Of him of a thousand eyes, and looking like the
autumnal sun in the firmament. Then that foremost of kings, viz.,
Sudarsana, conversant with all modes of warfare, clad in golden coat of
mail, armed with bow and arrows and filled with rage, advanced against
the rushing Satyaki and endeavoured to check his course. Then the
encounter that took place between them was fierce in the extreme. And
both thy warriors and the Somakas, O king highly applauded the encounter
as between Vritra and Vasava. Sudarsana endeavoured to pierce that
foremost one of the Satwata’s in that battle with hundreds of keen shafts
before they could reach him. Similarly, Sudarsana, stationed on his
foremost of cars, cut off, by means of his own excellent shafts in two or
three fragments all the shafts that Satyaki, resembling Indra himself,
sped at him. Beholding his shafts baffled by the force of Satyaki’s
shafts, Sudarsana of fierce energy, as if to consume (his foe),
wrathfully shot beautiful arrows winged with gold. And once more he
pierced his enemy with three beautiful arrows resembling fire itself and
equipped with wings of gold, shot from his bow-string drawn to the ear.
Those piercing through Satyaki’s armour, penetrated into the latter’s
body. Similarly, that (prince, viz., Sudarsana), aiming four other
blazing arrows, smote therewith the four steeds of Satyaki that were
white as silver in hue. Thus afflicted by him the grandson of Sini,
endued with great activity and possessed of prowess equal to that of
Indra himself speedily slew with his keen shafts the steeds of Sudarsana
and uttered a loud roar. Then cutting off with a broad-headed arrow
endued with the force of Sakra’s thunder, the head of Sudarsana’s driver,
the foremost one amongst the Sinis. with a razor-faced arrow resembling
the Yuga-fire, cut off from Sudarsana’s trunk his head graced with
ear-rings, resembling the moon at full, and decked with an exceedingly
radiant face, like the wielder of the thunder, O king, in days of old,
forcibly cutting off the head of the mighty Vala in battle. That
high-souled bull among the Yadus then, endued with great activity thus
slaying that grandson of a prince, became filled with delight and shone
resplendent, O monarch, like the chief of the celestials himself.
Yuyudhana, then, that hero among men, proceeded along the track by which
Arjuna had passed before him, checking (as he went) by means of clouds of
shafts, all thy troops, and riding on that same car of his, O king, unto
which were yoked those excellent steeds and filling everybody with
amazement. All the foremost of warriors there, assembled together,
applauded that foremost of amazing feats achieved by him, for he consumed
all foes that came within reach of his arrows, like a conflagration
consuming everything in its way.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then that bull of Vrishni’s race, viz., the high-souled
Satyaki of great intelligence, having slain Sudarsana, once more
addressed his driver, saying, Having forded through the almost unfordable
ocean of Drona’s division, teeming with cars and steeds and elephants,
whose waves are constituted by arrows and darts, fishes by swords and
scimitars and alligators by maces, which roar with the whiz of shafts and
the clash of diverse weapons,–an ocean that is fierce and destructive of
life, and resounds with the noise of diverse musical instruments, whose
touch is unpleasant and unbearable to warriors of victory, and whose
margin is infested with fierce cannibals represented by the force of
Jalasandha.–I think, the portion of the array that remains may easily be
forded like a poor stream of shallow water. Urge thou the steeds,
therefore, without fear. I think, I am very near to Savyasachin. Having
vanquished in battle the invincible Drona with his followers, and that
foremost of warriors, viz., the son of Hridika, I think, I cannot be
distant from Dhananjaya. Fear never comes to my heart even if I behold
countless foes before me. These to me are like a heap of straw and grass
to a blazing conflagration in the woods. Behold, the track by which the
diadem-decked (Arjuna), that foremost one among the Pandavas, hath gone,
is rendered uneven with large bodies of foot-soldiers and steeds and
car-warriors and elephants lying slain on the ground. Behold, routed by
that high-souled warrior, the Kaurava army is flying away. Behold, O
charioteer, a dark brown dust is raised by those retreating cars and
elephants and steeds. I think, I am very near to Arjuna of white steeds
having Krishna for his charioteer. Hark, the well-known twang of Gandiva
of immeasurable energy is being heard. From the character of the omens
that appear to my view, I am sure that Arjuna will slay the ruler of the
Sindhus before the sun sets. Without causing their strength to be spent,
urge the steeds slowly to where those hostile ranks are staying, that is,
to where yonder warriors headed by Duryodhana, their hands cased in
leathern fences, and yonder Kamvojas of fierce deeds, clad in mail and
difficult of being defeated in battle, and those Yavanas armed with bow
and arrows and skilled in smiting, and under Sakas and Daradas and
Barbaras and Tamraliptakas, and other countless Mlecchas, armed with
diverse weapons, are,–to the spot (I repeat) where, indeed, yonder
warriors headed by Duryodhana, their hands cased in leathern fences,–are
waiting with their faces turned towards me and inspired with the
resolution of battling with me. Regard me to have already passed through
this fierce fastness, O Suta, having slain in battle all these combatants
with cars and elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers that are amongst

“The charioteer, thus addressed, said, ‘O thou of Vrishni’s race, fear I
have none, O thou of prowess that cannot be baffled! If thou hast before
the Jamadagni’s son himself in wrath, or Drona, that foremost of
car-warriors, or the ruler of the Madras himself, even then fear doth not
enter my heart, O thou of mighty arms, as long as I am under the shadow
Of thy protection, O slayer of foes, countless Kamvojas, clad in mail, of
fierce deeds, and difficult to defeat in battle, have already been
vanquished by thee, as also many Yavanas armed with bow and arrows and
accomplished in smiting, including Sakas and Daradas and Tamraliptakas,
and many other Mlecchas armed with various weapons. Never before did I
experience fear in any battle. Why shall I, therefore, O thou of great
courage, experience any fear in this miserable fray? O thou that art
blessed with length of days, by which way shall I take thee to where
Dhananjaya is? With whom hast thou been angry, O thou of Vrishni’s race?
Who are they that will fly away from battle, beholding thee endued with
such a prowess, resembling the Destroyer himself as he appears at the end
of the Yuga, and putting forth that prowess of thine (against thy foes)?
O thou of mighty arms, who are they of whom king Vaivaswata is thinking

“Satyaki said, ‘Like Vasava destroying the Danavas, I shall slay these
warriors with shaved heads. By slaying these Kamvojas I will fulfil my
vow. Bear me thither. Causing a great carnage amongst these, I shall
today repair to the dear son of Pandu. The Kauravas, with Suyodhana at
their head, will today behold my prowess, when this division of Mlecchas,
of shaved heads, will have been exterminated and the whole Kaurava army
put to the greatest distress. Hearing the loud wails of the Kaurava host,
today, mangled and broken by me in battle Suyodhana will be inspired with
grief. Today, I shall show unto my preceptor, the high-souled Pandava, of
white steeds, the skill in weapons acquired by me from him. Beholding
today thousands of foremost warriors slain with my arrows, king
Duryodhana will be plunged into great grief. The Kauravas will today
behold the bow in my hands to resemble a circle of fire when,
light-handed, I will stretch the bowstring for shooting my host of
shafts. Beholding the incessant slaughter of his troops today, their
bodies covered with blood and pierced all over with my shafts, Suyodhana
will be filled with grief. While I shall slay in wrath the foremost of
Kuru warriors, Suyodhana will today behold to count two Arjunas.
Beholding thousands of kings slain by me in battle, king Duryodhana will
be filled with grief in today’s great battle. Slaying thousands of kings
today, I will show my love and devotion to those high-souled ones, viz.,
the royal sons of Pandu. The Kauravas will know today the measure of my
might and energy, and my gratefulness (to the Pandavas).’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus addressed, the charioteer urged to their utmost
speed those well-trained coursers of delightful pace and of the hue of
the moon. Those excellent animals, endued with the speed of the wind or
thought, proceeded, devouring the very skies, and bore Yuyudhana to the
spot where those Yavanas were. Thereupon, the Yavanas, many in number and
endued with lightness of hands, approaching unretreating Satyaki, covered
him with showers of arrows. The rushing Satyaki, however, O king, cut off
by means of his own straight arrows, all those shafts and weapons of the
Yavanas. Inflamed with wrath, Yuyudhana. then, with his straight shafts
of great sharpness, winged with gold and vulture’s feathers, cut off the
heads and arms of those Yavanas. Many of those arrows, again, piercing
through their coats of mail, made of iron and brass, entered the earth.
Struck by the brave Satyaki in that battle, the Mlecchas began to fall
down on the earth in hundreds, deprived of life. With his arrows shot in
continuous lines from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, that hero
began to slay five, six, seven, or eight Yavanas at a time. Thousands of
Kamvojas, and Sakas, and Barbaras, were similarly slain by Satyaki.
Indeed, the grandson of Sini, causing a great carnage among thy troops,
made the earth impassable and miry with flesh and blood. The field of
battle was strewn with the head-gears of those robbers and their shaved
heads too that looked, in consequence of their long beards, like
featherless birds. Indeed, the field of battle covered with headless
trunks dyed all over with blood, looked beautiful like the welkin covered
with coppery clouds. Slain by Satwata by means of his straight shafts
whose touch resembled that of Indra’s thunder, the Yavanas covered the
surface of the earth. The small remnant of those mail-clad troops
vanquished in battle, O king, by Satwata, becoming cheerless, their lives
on the point of being taken, broke and urging their steeds with goads and
whips to their utmost speed, fled from fear in all directions. Routing
the invincible Kamvoja host in battle, O Bharata, as also that host of
the Yavanas and that large force of the Sakas, that tiger among men who
had penetrated into thy army, viz., Satyaki, of prowess incapable of
being baffled, crowned with victory, urged his charioteer, saying,
‘Proceed!’ Beholding that feat of his in battle, never before achieved by
any one else, the Charanas and the Gandharvas applauded him highly.
Indeed, O king, the Charanas, as also thy warriors, beholding Yuyudhana
thus proceeded for aiding Arjuna, became filled with delight (at his


“Sanjaya said, Having the vanquished the Yavanas and the Kamvojas that
foremost of car-warriors, viz., Yuyudhana, proceeded towards Arjuna,
right through the midst of thy troops. Like a hunter slaying deer, that
tiger among men, (Satyaki), endued with beautiful teeth, clad in
excellent armour, and owning a beautiful standard, slew the Kaurava
troops and inspired them with fear. Proceeding on his car, he shook his
bow with great force, that bow, the back of whose staff was decked with
gold, whose toughness was great, and which was adorned with many golden
moons. His arms decked with golden Angadas, his head-gear adorned with
gold; his body clad in golden mail, his standard and bow also was so
embellished with gold, that he shone like the summit of Meru. Himself
shedding such effulgence, and bearing that circular bow in his hand, he
looked like a second sun in autumn, That bull among men, possessing the
shoulders and the tread and eyes of a bull, looked in the midst of thy
troops, like a bull in a cow-pen. Thy warriors approached him from desire
of slaughter like a tiger approaching the leader, with rent temples, of
an elephant-herd, standing proudly in the midst of his herd, resembling
as he did and possessed as he was of the tread of an infuriated elephant.
Indeed, after he had passed through Drona’s division, and the unfordable
division of the Bhojas, after he had forded through the sea of
Jalasandha’s troops as also the host of the Kamvojas, after he had
escaped the alligator constituted by Hridika’s son, after he had
traversed those ocean-like host, many car-warriors of thy army, excited
with wrath, surrounded Satyaki. And Duryodhana and Chitrasena and
Duhsasana and Vivinsati, and Sakuni and Duhsaha, and the youthful
Durdharshana, and Kratha, and many other brave warriors well-conversant
with weapons and difficult of defeat, wrathfully followed Satyaki from
behind as he proceeded onwards. Then, O sire, loud was the uproar that
arose among thy troops, resembling that of the ocean itself at full tide
when lashed into fury by the tempest. Beholding all those warriors
rushing at him, that bull among the Sinis smilingly addressed his
charioteer, saying, ‘Proceed slowly. The Dhartarashtra force, swelling
(with rage and pride), and teeming with elephants and steeds and cars and
foot-soldiers, that is rushing with speed towards me, filling the ten
points of the compass with deep roar of its cars, O charioteer, and
causing the earth, the welkin, and the very seas, to tremble,
therewith,–this sea of troops, O driver, I will resist in great battle,
like the continent resisting the ocean swelling to its utmost height at
full moon. Behold, O charioteer, my prowess which is equal to that of
Indra himself in great battle. I will consume this hostile force by means
of my whetted arrows. Behold these foot-soldiers and horsemen and
car-warriors, and elephants slain by me in thousands, their bodies
pierced with my fiery arrows.’ While saying these words (unto his
charioteer), those combatants from desire of battle, speedily came before
Satyaki of immeasurable prowess. They made a loud noise, saying as they
came, ‘Slay, Rush, Wait, See, See!’ Of those brave warriors that said
these words, Satyaki, by means of his sharp arrows, slew three hundred
horsemen and four hundred elephants. The passage at arms between those
united bowmen (on the one side) and Satyaki (on the other) was
exceedingly fierce, resembling that between the gods and the Asuras (in
days of old). An awful carnage set in. The grandson of Sini received with
his shafts resembling snakes of virulent poison that force, O sire, of
thy son which looked like a mass of clouds. Shrouding every side, in that
battle with his arrowy downpours, that valiant hero, O monarch,
fearlessly slew a large number of thy troops. Exceedingly wonderful, O
king, was the sight that I witnessed there, viz., that not an arrow even,
O lord, of Satyaki failed in effect. That sea of troops, abounding in
cars and elephants and steeds, and full of waves constituted by
foot-soldiers, stood still as soon as it came in contact with the Satyaki
continent. That host consisting of panic-stricken combatants and
elephants and steeds, slaughtered on all sides by Satyaki with his shafts
repeatedly turned round, and wandered hither and thither as if afflicted
with the chilling blasts of winter. We saw not foot-soldiers or
car-warriors or elephants or horsemen or steeds that were not struck with
Yuyudhana’s arrows. Not even Phalguna, O king, had caused such a carnage
there as Satyaki, O monarch, then caused among those troops. That bull
among men, viz., the dauntless grandson of Sini, endued with great
lightness of hand and displaying the utmost skill, fighteth, surpassing
Arjuna himself. Then king Duryodhana pierced the charioteer of Satwata
with three keen shafts and his four steeds with four shafts. And he
pierced Satyaki himself with three arrows and once again with eight. And
Duhsasana pierced that bull among the Sinis with sixteen arrows. And
Sakuni pierced him with five and twenty arrows and Chitrasena with five.
And Duhsasana pierced Satyaki in the chest with five and ten arrows. That
tiger amongst the Vrishnis then, thus struck with their arrows, proudly
pierced every one of them, O monarch, with three arrows. Deeply piercing
all his foes with shafts endued with great energy, the grandson of Sini,
possessed of great activity and prowess, careered on the field with the
celerity of a hawk. Cutting off the bow of Suvala’s son and the leathern
fence that cased his hand. Yuyudhana pierced Duryodhana in the centre of
the chest with three shafts. And he pierced Chitrasena with a hundred
arrows, and Duhsaha with ten. And that bull of Sini’s race then pierced
Duhsasana with twenty arrows. Thy brother-in-law (Sakuni) then, O king,
taking up another bow, pierced Satyaki with eight arrows and once more
with five. And Duhsasana pierced him with three. And Durmukha, O king,
pierced Satyaki with a dozen shafts. And Duryodhana, having pierced
Madhava with three and seventy arrows, then pierced his charioteer with
three keen shafts. Then Satyaki pierced each of those brave and mighty
car-warriors vigorously contending in battle together with five shafts in
return. Then the foremost of car-warriors, (viz., Yuyudhana) speedily
struck thy son’s charioteer with a broad-headed shaft; whereupon, the
latter deprived of life, fell down on the earth. Upon the fall of the
charioteer, O lord, thy son’s car was taken away from the battle by the
steeds yoked thereto, with the speed of the wind. Then thy sons, O king,
and the other warriors, O monarch, setting their eyes, on the king’s car
fled away in hundreds. Beholding that host fly away, O Bharata, Satyaki
covered it with showers of keen shafts whetted on stone and equipped with
wings of gold. Routing all thy combatants counting by thousands, Satyaki,
O king, proceeded towards the car of Arjuna. Indeed, thy troops
worshipped Yuyudhana, beholding him shooting arrows and protecting his
charioteer and himself as he fought in battle.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Beholding the grandson of Sini proceeding towards
Arjuna, grinding as he went that large force, what, indeed, O Sanjaya,
did those shameless sons of mine do? When Yuyudhana who ‘is equal to
Savyasachin himself was before them, how, indeed, could those wretches,
that were at the point of death, set their hearts upon battle? What also
did all those Kshatriyas, vanquished in battle, then, do? How, indeed,
could Satyaki of world-wide renown pass through them in battle? How also,
O Sanjaya, when my sons were alive, could the grandson of Sini go to
battle? Tell me all this. This is exceedingly wonderful, O sire, that I
have heard from thee, viz., this encounter between one and the many, the
latter, again, being all mighty car-warriors. O Suta, I think, Destiny is
now unpropitious to my sons, since so many mighty car-warriors have been
slain by that one warrior of the Satwata race, Alas, O Sanjaya, my army
is no match for even one warrior, viz., Yuyudhana inflamed with wrath.
Let all the Pandavas hang up these weapons. Vanquishing in battle Drona
himself who skilled in weapons and conversant with all modes of warfare,
Satyaki will slay my sons, like a lion slaying smaller animals. Numerous
heroes, of whom Kritavarman is the first, contending vigorously in
battle, could not slay Yuyudhana. The latter, without doubt, will slay my
sons. Phalguna himself fought not in the manner in which the renowned
grandson of Sini has fought.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘All this, O king, has been brought about by thy evil
counsels and the acts of Duryodhana. Listen attentively to what, O
Bharata, I say unto thee. At the command of thy son, the Samsaptakas,
rallying, all resolved upon fighting fiercely. Three thousand bowmen
headed by Duryodhana, with a number of Sakas and Kamvojas and Valhikas
and Yavanas and Paradas, and Kalingas and Tanganas and Amvashtas and
Pisachas and Barbaras and mountaineers, O monarch, inflamed with rage and
armed with stone, all rushed against the grandson of Sini like insects
against a blazing fire. Five hundred other warriors, O king, similarly
rushed against Satyaki. And another mighty body consisting of a thousand
cars, a hundred great car-warriors, a thousand elephants, two thousand
heroes, and countless foot-soldiers, also rushed against the grandson of
Sini. Duhsasana, O Bharata, urging all those warriors, saying, ‘Slay him,
surrounded Satyaki therewith. Grand and wonderful was the conduct that we
then beheld of Sini’s grandson, inasmuch as alone he fought fearlessly
with those innumerable foes. And he slew that entire body of car-warriors
and that elephant force, and all those horsemen and that entire body of
robbers. Like the autumnal firmament bespangled with stars, the field of
battle there became strewn with car-wheels broken and crushed by means of
his mighty weapons with innumerable Akshas and beautiful cart-shafts
reduced to fragments, with crushed elephants and fallen standards, with
coats of mail and shields scattered all about, with garlands and
ornaments and robes and Anuskarshas, O sire! Many foremost of elephants,
huge as hills, and born of the race of Anjana or Vamana, O Bharata, or of
other races, many foremost of tuskers, O king, lay there on the ground,
deprived of life. And Satyaki slew, O monarch, many foremost of steeds of
the Vanayu, the mountain, the Kamvoja and the Valhika breeds. And the
grandson of Sini also slew foot-soldiers there, in hundreds and
thousands, born in various realms and belonging to various nations.
Whilst those soldiers were being thus slaughtered, Duhsasana, addressing
the robbers said, ‘Ye warriors unacquainted with morality, fight! Why do
you retreat?’ Beholding them run away without paying any heed to his
words, thy soil Duhsasana urged on the brave mountaineers, skilled in
fighting with stones, saying, ‘Ye are accomplished in battling with
stones. Satyaki is ignorant of this mode of warfare. Stay ye, therefore,
that warrior who, though desirous of battle, is ignorant of your mode of
fight. The Kauravas also are all unacquainted with this mode of battle.
Rush ye at Satyaki. Do not fear. Satyaki will not be able to approach
you.’ Thus urged, those Kshatriyas dwelling on the mountains, all
acquainted with the method of fighting with stones, rushed towards the
grandson of Sini like ministers towards a king. Those denizens of the
mountain then, with stones huge as elephants’ heads uplifted in their
hands, stood before Yuyudhana in that battle. Others, urged by thy son,
and desirous of slaying Satwata, encompassed the latter on all sides,
armed with missiles. Then, Satyaki, aiming at those warriors rushing at
him from desire of fighting with stones, sped at them showers of keen
shafts. That bull amongst the Sinis, with those shafts looking like
snakes, cut into fragments that dense shower of stones thrown by the
mountaineers. The fragments of those stones, looking like a swarm of
blazing fire-flies, slew many combatants there, whereupon, O sire, cries
of oh and alas arose on the field. Then, again, five hundred brave
warriors with huge stones uplifted in their hands, fell down, O king, on
the ground, their arms cut off. And once more a full thousand, and again
a hundred thousand, amongst others, fell down without being able to
approach Satyaki, their arms with stones still in grasp cut off by him.
Indeed, Satyaki slew many thousands of those warriors fighting with
stones. All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. Then many of them,
returning to the fight, hurled at Satyaki showers of stones, And armed
with swords and lances many Daradas and Tanganas and Khasas and Lampakas
and Pulindas, hurled their weapons at him. Satyaki however,
well-conversant with the application of weapons, cut off those stones and
weapons by means of his shafts. Those stones while being pierced, broken
in the welkin by Satyaki’s whetted shafts, produced a fierce noise, at
which many car-warriors and steeds and elephants fled away from battle.
And struck with the fragments of those stones, men and elephants and
steeds, became incapable of staying in battle, for they felt as if they
were bit by wasps. The small remnant of the elephants (that had attacked
Satyaki), covered with blood, their heads, and frontal globes split open,
then fled away from, Yuyudhana’s car. Then there arose among thy troops,
O sire, while they were being thus ground by Madhava a noise like that of
the ocean at full tide. Hearing that great uproar, Drona, addressing his
charioteer, said, ‘O Suta, that great car-warrior of the Satwata race,
excited with wrath, is tearing our army into diverse fragments, and
careering in battle like the Destroyer himself. Take thou the car to that
spot whence this furious uproar is coming. Without doubt, Yuyudhana is
engaged with the mountaineers who battle with stones, Our car-warriors
are seen also to be borne away by their wildly running steeds. Many
amongst them, weaponless and armourless and wounded, are falling down.
The charioteers are unable to check their steeds as these are rushing
wildly.’ Hearing these words of Bharadwaja’s son, the charioteer said
unto Drona, that foremost of wielders of weapons, ‘Thou blest with length
of days, the Katirava troops are flying away. Behold, our warriors,
routed (by the foe), are flying in all directions. There, again, those
heroes, viz., the Panchalas, and the Pandavas, united together, are
rushing from all sides from desire of slaughtering thee, O chastiser of
foes, do thou determine which of these tasks should first demand
attention. Should we stay here (to meet the advancing Pandava), or should
we proceed (towards Satyaki)? As regards Satyaki, he is now far ahead of
us.’ While the charioteer, O sire, was speaking thus unto Bharadwaja’s
son, the grandson of Sini suddenly appeared to the view, engaged in
slaughtering a large number of car-warriors. Those troops of thine, while
being thus slaughtered by Yuyudhana, in battle, fled away from
Yuyudhana’s car towards where Drona’s division was. Those (other)
car-warriors also with whom Duhsasana had proceeded, all struck with
panic, similarly rushed to the spot where Drona’s car was seen.


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Duhsasana’s car staying near his, the son of
Bharadwaja, addressing Duhsasana, said these words, ‘Why, O Duhsasana,
are all these cars flying away? Is the king well? Is the ruler of the
Sindhus yet alive? Thou art a prince. Thou art a brother of the king.
Thou art a mighty car-warrior. Why dost thou fly away from battle?
(Securing the throne to thy brother), become thou that Prince-Regent.
Thou hadst formerly said unto Draupadi, ‘Thou art our slave, having been
won by us at dice. Without being confined to thy husbands, cast aside thy
chastity. Be thou a bearer of robes to the king, my eldest brother. Thy
husbands are all dead. They are as worthless as grains of sesamum without
kernel.’ Having said these words then, why, O Duhsasana, dost thou fly
from battle now? Having thyself provoked such fierce hostilities with the
Panchalas and the Pandavas, why art thou afraid in battle in the presence
of Satyaki alone? Taking up the dice on the occasion of the gambling
match, couldst thou not divine that those dice then handled by thee would
soon transform themselves into fierce shafts resembling snakes of
virulent poison? It was thou that hadst formerly applied diverse abusive
epithets towards the Pandavas. The woes of Draupadi have thee for their
root. Where now is that pride, that insolence, that brag of thine? Why
dost thou fly, having angered the Pandavas, those terrible snakes of
virulent poison? When thou that art a brave brother of Suyodhana, are
intent on flight, without doubt, O hero, thou shouldst today protect,
relying on the energy of thy own arms, this routed and panic-stricken
Kaurava host. Without doing this, thou, however, forsakest the battle in
fear and enhancest the joy of thy foes. O slayer of foes, when thou that
art the leader of thy host, fliest away thus, who else will stay in
battle? When thou, its refuge, art frightened, who is there that will not
be frightened? Fighting with a single warrior of the Satwata race, thy
heart is inclined towards flight from battle. What, however, O Kaurava,
wilt thou do when thou wilt see the wielder of Gandiva in battle, or
Bhimasena, or the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva)? The shafts of Satyaki,
frightened by which thou seekest safety in flight, are scarcely equal to
those of Phalguna in battle that resemble the sun or fire in splendour.
If thy heart is firmly bent on flight, let the sovereignty of the earth
then, upon the conclusion of peace, be given to king Yudhishthira the
Just. Before the shafts of Phalguna, resembling snakes freed from their
sloughs, enter thy body, make peace with the Pandavas. Before the
high-souled Parthas, slaying thy hundred brothers in battle, wrest the
earth by force, make peace with the Pandavas. Before king Yudhishthira is
enraged, and Krishna also, that delighter in battle, makes peace with the
Pandavas. Before the mighty-armed Bhima, penetrating into this vast host,
seizes thy brothers, make peace with the Pandavas. Bhishma formerly told
thy brother Suyodhana, ‘The Pandavas are unconquerable in battle. O
amiable one, make peace with them.’ Thy wicked brother Suyodhana however,
did not do it. Therefore, setting thy heart firmly on battle, fight
vigorously with the Pandavas. Go quickly on thy car to the spot where
Satyaki is. Without thee, O Bharata, this host will fly away. For the
sake of thy own self, fight in battle with Satyaki, of prowess incapable
of being baffled.’ Thus addressed (by Drona), thy son said not a word in
reply. Feigning not to have heard the words (of Bharadwaja’s son),
Duhsasana proceeded to the place where Satyaki was. Accompanied by a
large force of unretreating Mlecchas, and coming upon Satyaki in battle,
Duhsasana fought vigorously with that hero. Drona also, that foremost of
car-warriors, excited with wrath, rushed against the Panchalas and the
Pandavas, with moderate speed. Penetrating into the midst of the Pandava
host in that battle, Drona began to crush their warriors by hundreds and
thousands. And Drona, O king, proclaiming his name in that battle, caused
a great carnage among the Pandavas, the Panchalas, and the Matsyas. The
illustrious Viraketu, the son of the ruler of the Panchalas, rushed
against the son of Bharadwaja who thus engaged in vanquishing the Pandava
ranks. Piercing Drona with five straight shafts, that prince then pierced
Drona’s standard with one shaft, and then his charioteer with seven. The
sight that I then beheld, O monarch, in that battle, was exceedingly
wonderful, inasmuch as Drona, though exerting himself vigorously could
not approach the prince of the Panchalas. Then, O sire, the Panchalas,
beholding Drona checked in battle, surrounded the latter on all sides, O
king, from desire of king Yudhishthira’s victory. And those warriors then
covered Drona along with showers of fiery shafts and strong lances and
various other kinds of weapons, O king! Baffling then those dense showers
of weapons by means of his own numerous shafts like the wind driving away
from the welkin masses of clouds, Drona looked exceedingly resplendent.
Then that slayer of hostile heroes (the son of Bharadwaja), aimed a
fierce shaft endued with the effulgence of the sun or the fire, at the
car of Viraketu. The shaft, O monarch, piercing through the prince of
Panchala, quickly entered the earth, bathed in blood and blazing like a
flame of fire. Then the prince of the Panchalas quickly fell down from
his car, like a Champaka tree uprooted by the wind, falling down from a
mountain summit. Upon the fall of that great bowman, that prince endued
with great might, the Panchalas speedily encompassed Drona on every side.
Then Chitraketu, and Sudhanwan, and Chitravarman, O Bharata, and
Chitraratha also, all afflicted with grief on account of their (slain)
brother, together rushed against the son of Bharadwaja, desirous of
battling with him, and shooting shafts (at him) like the clouds (pouring)
at the end of summer. Struck from all sides by those mighty car-warriors
of royal lineage, that bull among Brahmanas mustered all his energy and
wrath for their destruction. Then Drona, shot showers of shafts at them.
Struck with those shafts of Drona shot from his bow to its fullest
stretch those princess. O best of monarchs, became confounded and know
not what to do. The angry Drona, O Bharata, beholding those princes
stupefied, smilingly deprived them of their steeds and charioteers and
cars in that battle. Then the illustrious son of Bharadwaja, by means of
his sharp arrows and broad-headed shafts, cut off their heads, like a
person plucking flowers from a tree. Deprived of life, those princes
there, O king of great splendour, fell down from their cars on the earth,
like the (slain) Daityas and Danavas in the battle between the gods and
the Asuras in days of old. Having slain them in battle, O king, the
valiant son of Bharadwaja shook his invincible bow, the back of whose
staff was decked with gold. Beholding those mighty car-warriors,
resembling the very celestials among the Panchalas slain, Dhrishtadyumna
inflamed with rage, shed tears in that battle. Excited with wrath, he
rushed, in that encounter, against Drona’s car. Then, O king, cries of
woe suddenly arose there at the sight of Drona covered with arrows by the
prince of Panchala. Completely shrouded by the high-souled son of
Prishata, Drona, however, suffered no pain. On the other hand, he
continued to fight, smiling the while. The prince of the Panchalas then,
furious with rage, struck Drona in the chest with many straight shafts.
Deeply pierced by that mighty warrior, the illustrious son Of Bharadwaja
sat down on the terrace of his car and fell into a swoon. Beholding him
in that condition, Dhrishtadyumna endued with great Prowess and energy,
laid aside his bow and quickly took up a sword. That mighty car-warrior
then, speedily jumping down from his own car, Mounted that of Bharadwaja,
O ‘sire, in no time, his eyes red in wrath and impelled by the desire of
cutting Drona’s head from off his trunk. Meanwhile, the valiant Drona,
regaining his senses, took up his bow and seeing Dhrishtadyumna arrived
so near him from desire of slaughter, began to pierce that mighty
car-warrior with shafts measuring a span only in length and therefore,
fit to be used in close fight. Those arrows of the measure of a span and
fit to be used in close fight, were known to Drona, O king! And with them
he succeeded in weakening Dhrishtadyumna. The mighty Dhrishtadyumna,
struck with a large number of those arrows, quickly jumped down from
Drona’s car. Then, that hero of great prowess, his impetuosity baffled,
mounted upon his own car and once more took up his large bow. And the
mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna once more began to pierce Drona in that
battle. And Drona also, O monarch, began to pierce the son of Prishata
with his arrows. There. upon, the battle that took place between Drona
and the prince of the Panchalas was wonderful in the extreme, like that
between Indra and Prahlada, both desirous of the sovereignty of the three
worlds. Both conversant with the ways of battle, they careered over the
field, displaying diverse motions of their cars and mangling each other
with their shafts, And Drona and Prishata’s son, stupefying the mind of
the warriors, shot showers of shafts like two mighty clouds (pouring
torrents of rain) in the rainy season. And those illustrious warriors
shrouded with their shafts the welkin, the points of the compass, and the
earth. And all creatures, viz., the Kshatriyas, O king, and all the other
combatants there, highly applauded that battle between them. And the
Panchalas, O king, loudly exclaimed, ‘Without doubt, Drona, having
encountered Dhrishtadyumna in battle, will succumb to us. Then Drona, in
that battle, quickly cut off the head of Dhristadyumna’s charioteer like
a person plucking a ripe fruit from a tree. Then the steeds, O king, of
the high-souled Dhrishtadyumna ran away and after those steeds had
carried away Dhrishtadyumna from the field, Drona, endued with great
prowess, began to rout the Panchalas and the Srinjayas in that battle.
Having vanquished the Pandus and the Panchalas, Bharadwaja’s son of great
prowess, that chastiser of foes, once more took up his station in the
midst of his own array. And the Pandavas, O lord, ventured not to
vanquish him in battle.’


“Sanjaya said, ‘Meanwhile, O king, Duhsasana rushed against the grandson
of Sini, scattering thousands of shafts like a mighty cloud pouring
torrents of rain. Having pierced Satyaki with sixty arrows and once more
with sixteen, he failed to make that hero tremble, for the latter stood
it, battle, immovable as the Mainaka mountain. Accompanied by a large
throng of cars hailing from diverse realms, that foremost one of
Bharata’s race shot numberless arrows, and filled all the points of the
compass with roars deep as those of the clouds. Beholding the Kaurava
coming to battle, Satyaki of mighty arms rushed towards him and shrouded
him with his shafts. They that were at the van of Duhsasana, thus covered
with those arrowy showers, all fled away in fear, in the very sight of
thy son. After they had fled away, O monarch, thy son Duhsasana, O king,
remained fearlessly in battle and began to afflict Satyaki with arrows.
And piercing the four steeds of Satyaki with four arrows, his charioteer
with three, and Satyaki himself with a hundred in that battle, Duhsasana
uttered a loud roar, Then, O monarch, Madhava, inflamed with rage, soon
made Duhsasana’s car and driver and standard and Duhsasana himself
invisible by means of his straight arrows. Indeed, Satyaki entirely
shrouded the brave Duhsasana with arrows. Like a spider entangling a gnat
within reach by means of its threads, that vanquisher of foes quickly
covered Duhsasana with his shafts. Then King Duryodhana, seeing Duhsasana
thus covered with arrows, urged a body of Trigartas towards the car of
Yuyudhana. Those Trigarta car-warriors, of fierce deeds, accomplished in
battle, and numbering three thousand, proceeded towards Yuyudhana. Firmly
resolved upon battle and swearing not to retreat, all of them encompassed
Yuyudhana with a large throng of cars, Soon, however, Yuyudhana struck
down five hundred of their foremost warriors stationed in the van of the
force as it advanced towards him in battle, shooting showers of arrows at
him. Speedily slain by that foremost one amongst the Sinis with his
shafts, these fell down, like tall trees from mountain-tops uprooted by a
tempest. And the field of battle, strewn with mangled elephants, O
monarch, and fallen standards, and bodies of steeds decked in trappings
of gold, and torn and lacerated with the shafts of Sini’s grandson and
weltering in blood, looked beautiful, O king, like a plain overgrown with
flowering Kinsukas. Those soldiers of thine, thus slaughtered by
Yuyudhana, failed to find a protector like elephants sunk in a morass.
Then all of them turned towards the spot where Drona’s car was, like
mighty snakes making towards holes from fear of the prince of birds.
Having slain those five hundred brave warriors by in means of his shafts,
resembling snakes of virulent poison, that hero slowly proceeded towards
the place where Dhananjaya was. And as that foremost of men was thus
proceeding thy son Duhsasana quickly pierced him with nine straight
arrows. That mighty bowman then (Yuyudhana), pierced Duhsasana, in
return, with five straight and sharp arrows equipped with golden wings
and vulturine feather. Then Duhsasana, O Bharata, smiling the while,
pierced Satyaki, O monarch, with three arrows, and once more with five.
The grandson of Sini, then, striking thy Son with five arrows and Cutting
off his bow proceeded smilingly towards Arjuna. Then Duhsasana, inflamed
with wrath and desirous of slaying the Vrishni hero, hurled at him, as he
proceeded, a dart made wholly of iron. Satyaki, however, O king, cut off,
with his shafts, equipped with Kanka feathers, that fierce dart Of thy
son. Then, O ruler of men, then, thy son, taking up another bow, pierced
Satyaki with some arrows and uttered a loud roar. Then Satyaki excited
with wrath, stupefying thy son in that battle, struck him in the centre
of the chest with some shafts that resembled flames of fire. And once
more, he pierced Duhsasana with eight shafts made wholly of iron and
having very keen points. Duhsasana, however, pierced Satyaki in return
with twenty arrows. Then, the highly-blessed Satyaki, O monarch, pierced
Duhsasana in the centre of the chest with three straight arrows. And the
mighty car-warrior Yuyudhana, with some straight shafts slew the steeds
of Duhsasana; inflamed with wrath he slew, with some straight arrows,
that the latter’s charioteer also. With one broad-headed arrow he then
cut off thy son’s bow, and with five arrows he cut the leathern fence
that encased his hand. Acquainted as he was with highest weapons,
Satyaki, then, with a couple of broad-headed shafts, cut off Duhsasana’s
standard and the wooden shafts of his car. And then with a number of keen
arrows he slew both the Parshni charioteers of thy son. The latter, then,
bowless and carless and steedless and driverless, was taken up by the
leader of the Trigarta warriors on his car. The grandson of Sini, then, O
Bharata, pursuing him a moment, restrained himself and slew him not, for
the mighty-armed hero recollected the words of Bhimasena. Indeed,
Bhimasena, O Bharata, vowed in the midst of the assembly the destruction
of all thy sons in battle. Then, O lord, Satyaki, having thus vanquished
Duhsasana, quickly proceeded, O king, along the track by which Dhananjaya
had gone before him.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Were there, O Sanjaya, no mighty car-warriors in
that army of mine who could slay or resist that Satyaki while he
proceeded (towards Arjuna)? Of prowess incapable of being baffled, and
endued with might equal to that of Sakra himself, alone he achieved feats
in battle like the great Indra amidst the Danavas! Or, perhaps, the track
by which Satyaki proceeded was empty? Alas, possessed of true prowess,
alone he hath crushed numberless warriors! Tell me, O Sanjaya, how the
grandson of Sini, alone as he was, passed through that vast force
struggling with him in battle?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘O king, the fierce exertions and the uproar made by thy
host which abounded with cars and elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers,
resembled what is seen at the end of the yuga. O giver of honours, when
thy assembled host was (daily) mustered, it seemed to me that another
assemblage like that of thy army had never been on earth. The gods and
the Charanas, who came there said, ‘This muster will be the last of its
kind on earth.’ Indeed, O king, never had such an array been formed
before as that which was formed by Drona on the day of Jayadratha’s
slaughter. The uproar made by those vast bodies of soldiers rushing at
one another in battle resembled that of the ocean itself lashed into fury
by the tempest. In that host of thine, as also in that of the Pandavas,
there were hundreds and thousands of kings, O best of men. The noise made
by those angry heroes of fierce deeds while engaged in battle was
tremendous and made the hair-stand on end. Then Bhimasena and
Dhrishtadyumna, O sire, and Nakula and Sahadeva and king Yudhishthira the
Just, loudly shouted, ‘Come, Strike, Rush! The brave Madhava and Arjuna
have entered the hostile army! Do that quickly by which they may easily
go to where Jayadratha’s car is.’ Saying this, they urged their soldiers.
And they continued, ‘If Satyaki and Arjuna be slain, Kurus will have
achieved their objects, and ourselves shall be defeated. All of you,
therefore, uniting together, quickly agitate this ocean-like army (of the
foe) like impetuous winds agitating the deep.’ The warriors, O king, thus
urged by Bhimasena and the prince of the Panchalas, smothered the
Kauravas, becoming reckless of their very lives. Endued with great
energy, all of them, desiring death in battle, at the point or the edge
of weapons in expectation of heaven, showed not the least regard for
their lives in fighting for their friends. Similarly, thy warriors, O
king, desirous of great renown, and nobly resolved upon battle, stood on
the field, determined to fight. In that fierce and terrible battle,
Satyaki having vanquished all the combatants proceeded towards Arjuna.
The rays of the sun being reflected from the bright armour of the
warriors, the combatants were obliged to withdraw their eyes from those.
Duryodhana also, O king, penetrated the mighty host of the high-souled
Pandavas vigorously struggling in battle. The encounter that took place
between him on the one side and them on the other, was exceedingly
fierce, and great was the carnage that occurred there on the occasion.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘When the Pandava host was thus proceeding to
battle, Duryodhana, in penetrating it, must have been placed in great
distress. I hope, he did not turn his back upon the field, O Suta! That
encounter between one and the many in dreadful battle, the one, again,
being a king, seems to me to have been very unequal. Besides, Duryodhana
hath been brought up in great luxury, in wealth and possessions, he is a
king of men. Alone encountering many, I hope he did not turn back from

“Sanjaya said, ‘Listen to me, O king, as I describe, O Bharata, that
wonderful battle fought by thy son, that encounter between one and the
many. Indeed, the Pandava army was agitated by Duryodhana in that battle,
like an assemblage of lotus-stalks in a lake by an elephant. Seeing then
that army thus smitten by thy son, O king, the Panchalas headed by
Bhimasena rushed at them. Then Duryodhana pierced Bhimasena with ten
arrows and each of the twins with three and king Yudhishthira with seven.
And he pierced Virata and Drupada with six arrows, and Sikhandin with a
hundred. And piercing Dhrishtadyumna with twenty arrows, he struck each
of the five sons of Draupadi with three arrows. With his fierce shafts he
cut off hundreds of other combatants in that battle, including elephants
and car-warriors, like the Destroyer himself in wrath exterminating
creatures. In consequence of his skill cultured by practice and of the
power of his weapons, he seemed, as he was engaged in striking down his
foes, to bend his bow incessantly drawn to a circle whether when aiming
or letting off his shafts. Indeed, that formidable bow of his, the back
of whose staff was decked with gold, was seen by people to be drawn into
a perpetual circle as he was employed in slaying his enemies. Then king
Yudhishthira, with a couple of broad-headed shafts, cut off the bow of
thy son, O thou of Kuru’s race, as the latter struggled in fight. And
Yudhishthira also pierced him deeply with ten excellent and foremost of
shafts. Those arrows, however, touching the armour of Duryodhana, quickly
broke into pieces. Then the Parthas, filled with delight surrounded
Yudhishthira, like the celestials and great Rishis in days of old
surrounding Sakra on the occasion of the slaughter of Vritra. Thy valiant
son then, taking up another bow, addressed king Yudhishthira, the son of
Pandu, saying, ‘Wait, Wait,’ and rushed against him. Beholding thy son
thus advancing in great battle, the Panchalas, cheerfully and with hopes
of victory, advanced to receive him. Then Drona, desirous of rescuing the
(Kuru) king, received the rushing Panchalas, like a mountain receiving
masses of rain-charged clouds driven by tempest. The battle then, O king,
that took place there was exceedingly fierce, making the hair stand on
end, between the Pandavas, O thou of mighty arms, and thy warriors.
Dreadful was the carnage of all creatures that then took place,
resembling the sport of Rudra himself (at the end of the Yuga). Then
there arose a loud uproar at the place where Dhananjaya was. And that
uproar, O lord, making the hair stand on end, rose above all other
sounds. Thus, O mighty-armed one, progressed the battle between Arjuna
and thy bowmen. Thus progressed the battle between Satyaki and thy men in
the midst of thy army. And thus continued the fight between Drona and his
enemies at the gate of the array. Thus, indeed, O lord of the earth,
continued that carnage on the earth, when Arjuna and Drona and the mighty
car-warrior Satyaki were all excited with wrath.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘In the afternoon of that day, O king, a dreadful battle,
characterised by roars, deep as those of the clouds, once more occurred
between Drona and the Somakas. That foremost of men, Drona, mounted on
his car of red steeds, and intent on battle rushed against the Pandavas,
with moderate speed. The valiant son of Bharadwaja, that great bowman
endued with mighty strength, that hero born in an excellent pot, engaged
in doing what was agreeable to thee, O king, and striking down, O
Bharata, many foremost of warriors with his whetted arrows, equipped with
beautiful wings, seemed to sport in that battle. Then that mighty
car-warrior of the Kaikeyas, Vrihatkshatra, irresistible in battle, and
the eldest of five brothers, rushed against him. Shooting many keen
shafts, he greatly afflicted the preceptor, like a mighty mass of clouds
pouring torrents of rain on the mountain of Gandhamadana. Then Drona, O
king, excited with wrath sped at him five and ten shafts whetted on stone
and equipped with wings of gold. The prince of the Kekayas, however,
cheerfully cut off every one of those shafts shot by Drona, and which
resembled angry snakes of virulent poison, with five shafts of his own.
Beholding that lightness of hand displayed by him that bull among
Brahmanas, then, sped at him eight straight shafts. Seeing those shafts
shot from Drona’s bow, swiftly coursing towards him, Vrihatkshatra in
that battle resisted them with as many sharp shafts of his. Beholding
that exceedingly difficult feat achieved by Vrihatkshatra, thy troops, O
king, were filled with amazement. Then Drona, O monarch, applauding
Vrihatkshatra, invoked into existence the irresistible and celestial
weapon called Brahma in that battle. The prince of the Kekayas, seeing it
shot by Drona in battle, baffled that Brahma weapon, O monarch, by a
Brahma weapon of his own. After that weapon had been thus baffled,
Vrihatkshatra, O Bharata, pierced the Brahmana with sixty shafts whetted
on stone and equipped with wings of gold. Then Drona, that foremost of
men, pierced the prince of the Kekayas with a powerful shaft which,
penetrating through the latter’s armour, (passed through his body and)
entered the earth. As a black cobra, O best of kings, pierces through an
ant-hill, even so did that shafts enter the earth, having pierced through
the body of the Kekaya prince in that battle. Deeply pierced, O monarch,
with the shafts of Drona, the prince of the Kekayas, filled with rage,
and rolling his beautiful eyes, pierced Drona with seventy arrows whetted
on stone and equipped with wings of gold. And with another arrow he
greatly afflicted Drona’s charioteer in this very vitals. Pierced by
Vrihatkshatra, O sire, with arrows, Drona shot showers of keen shafts at
the car of the Prince of the Kekayas. Depriving the mighty car-warrior,
Vrihatkshatra, of his coolness, Drona then, with four-winged arrows, slew
the four steeds of the former. With another arrow he felled
Vrihatkshatra’s charioteer from his niche in the car. And felling on the
earth, with two other arrows, his enemy’s standard and umbrella, that
bull among Brahmanas, with a third shaft well-shot from his bow, pierced
Vrihatkshatra himself in the chest. Thereupon, the latter, thus struck in
the chest, fell down from his car.

“Upon the slaughter, O king, of Vrihatkshatra, that mighty car-warrior
among the Kaikeyas, the son of Sisupala, filled with rage, addressed his
charioteer, saying, ‘O charioteer, proceed to the spot where Drona
stayeth, clad in armour and engaged in slaying the Kaikeya and the
Panchala hosts.’ Hearing these words of his, the charioteer soon took
that foremost of car-warriors unto Drona, by means of those fleet steeds
of the Kamvoja breed. Then Dhrishtaketu, that bull among the Chedis,
swelling with might, rushed towards Drona for his own destruction like an
insect upon a blazing fire. Soon he pierced Drona and his steeds and car
and standard with sixty shafts. And once more he struck him with many
other keen shafts like a man rousing a sleeping tiger. Then Drona, with a
sharp razor-faced arrow winged with vulturine feathers, cut off the
middle of the bow of that mighty warrior struggling in battle. Then that
powerful car-warrior, viz., the son of Sisupala, taking up another bow,
pierced Drona with many shafts winged with the feathers of Kankas and
peacocks. Drona then, slaying with four shafts the four steeds of
Dhrishtaketu, smilingly cut off the head of the latter’s charioteer from
his trunk. And then he pierced Dhrishtaketu himself with five and twenty
arrows. The prince of the Chedis then, quickly jumping down from his car,
took up a mace, and hurled it at the son of Bharadwaja like an angry
snake. Beholding that heavy mace, endued with the strength of adamant and
decked with gold, coursing towards him like Death, the son of Bharadwaja
cut it off with many thousands of whetted arrows. That mace, cut off by
Bharadwaja’s son, O sire, with many shafts, fell down, O Kaurava, making
the earth echo with its noise. Beholding his mace baffled, the wrathful
and brave Dhrishtaketu hurled a lance and then a dart decked with gold.
Cutting off that lance with five shafts, Drona cut off that dart also
with five arrows. Both those missiles, thus cut off, fell down on the
earth, like a couple of snakes mangled and torn by Garuda. The valiant
son of Bharadwaja then, in that battle, sped for his destruction a keen
shaft at Dhrishtaketu who was battling for the destruction of Bharadwaja
himself. That shaft, piercing through the armour and breast of
Dhrishtaketu of immeasurable energy, entered the earth, like a swan
diving into a lake overgrown with lotuses. As a hungry jay seizes and
devours a little insect, even so did the heroic Drona swallows up
Dhrishtaketu in that great battle. Upon the slaughter of the ruler of the
Chedis, his son who was conversant with the highest weapons, excited with
wrath, sought to bear the burthen of his sire. Him also, Drona, smiling,
despatched to the abode of Yama by means of his shafts, like a huge and
mighty tiger in the deep woods slaying an infant deer.

“While the Pandavas, O Bharata, were thus being thinned, the heroic, son
of Jarasandha rushed towards Drona. Like the clouds shrouding the sun, he
quickly made the mighty-armed Drona invisible in that battle by means of
his arrowy showers. Beholding that lightness of hand in him, Drona, that
grinder of Kshatriyas, quickly shot his shafts by hundreds and thousands.
Covering (with his arrows) in that battle that foremost of car-warriors
stationed on his car, Drona speedily slew the son Of Jarasandha in the
very sight of all bowmen. Indeed, Drona, resembling the Destroyer
himself, swallowing up every one who approached him then, like the
Destroyer himself, swallowing up creatures when their hour arrives. Then
Drona, O monarch, proclaiming his name in that battle, covered the
Pandavas with many thousands of shafts. Those shafts shot by Drona,
whetted on stone and engraved with his name, slew in that battle men and
elephants and steeds by hundreds. Thus slaughtered by Drona, like the
Asuras by Sakra, the Panchalas began to tremble like a herd of kine
afflicted with cold. Indeed, O bull of Bharata’s race, when the Pandava
army was thus being slaughtered by Drona, there arose an awful wail of
woe from it. Scorched by the sun and slaughtered by means of those
arrows, the Panchalas then became filled with anxiety. Stupefied by
Bharadwaja’s son with his arrowy showers in that battle the mighty
car-warriors among the Panchalas felt like persons whose thighs had been
seized by alligators. Then, O king, the Chedis, the Srinjayas, the Kasis,
and the Kosalas, rushed cheerfully against the son of Bharadwaja from
desire of battle. And the Chedis, the Panchalas, and the Srinjayas
addressed one another, saying, ‘Drona is slain! Drona is slain!’ Saying
these words, they rushed at that hero. Indeed, all these tigers among men
fell with their utmost might upon the illustrious Drona, desirous of
despatching him to the abode of Yama. Then the son of Bharadwaja, by
means of his shafts, despatched those brave warriors struggling
vigorously in battle, especially those forest ones among the Chedis, into
the presence of the King of the dead. After those foremost ones among the
Chedis had been exterminated, the Panchalas, afflicted with the shafts of
Drona, began to tremble. Beholding, O sire, those feats of Drona, they
loudly called after Bhimasena and Dhrishtadyumna, O Bharata, and said,
‘This Brahmana hath, without doubt, practised the austerest of penances
and acquired great ascetic merit. Inflamed with rage in battle, he
consumeth the foremost of Kshatriyas. A Kshatriya’s duty is battle; a
Brahmana’s, the highest asceticism. A Brahmana endued with ascetic merit
and learning, is capable of burning everything by his glances only. Many
foremost of Kshatriyas, having approached the uncrossable and fierce fire
of Drona’s weapons, have, O Bharata, been blasted and consumed. The
illustrious Drona, to the measure of his might, courage, and
perseverance, stupefies all creatures and slays our troops!’ Hearing
these words of theirs, the mighty Kshatradharman, rightly observant of
the duties of a Kshatriya, wrathfully cut off with a crescent-shaped
arrow the bow of Drona with arrow fixed thereon. Then Drona, that grinder
of Kshatriyas, becoming more angry still, took up another bright bow,
tougher than the one he had laid aside. Fixing on it a keen arrow,
destructive of hostile ranks, the preceptor, endued with great strength,
sped it at the prince, drawing the bowstring to his ear. That arrow,
slaying Kshatradharman entered the earth. His breast pierced through, he
fell down from his vehicle on the earth. Upon the slaughter of
Dhrishtadyumna’s son, the (Pandava) troops began to tremble. Then the
mighty Chekitana fell upon Drona, Piercing Drona with ten arrows, he once
more pierced him with a shaft in the centre of his chest. And he pierced
Drona’s charioteer with four arrows and his four steeds also with four.
The Preceptor then pierced the right arm of Chekitana with sixteen
arrows, and his standard with sixteen, and his charioteer with seven.
Upon the charioteer being slain, Chekitana’s steeds fled away, dragging
the car after them. Beholding the steeds of Chekitana pierced with the
arrows of Bharadwaja’s son, and his car also deprived of driver, the
Panchalas and the Pandavas were filled with great fear. Drona then, O
sire, routing on all sides the Panchalas and the Srinjayas united
together in battle looked exceedingly resplendent. The venerable Drona,
full five and eighty years of age, dark in hue and with white locks
descending to his cars, careered in battle like a youth of sixteen.
Indeed, O king, enemies regarded the foe-slaying Drona, as he fearlessly
careered in battle, to be none else than Indra himself armed with the
thunder. Then, O monarch, the mighty-armed Drupada of great intelligence
said, ‘This one (Drona) is slaying the Kshatriyas like a hungry tiger
slaying smaller animals. The sinful Duryodhana of wicked soul will
assuredly obtain the most miserable regions (in the next world). It is
through his covetousness that many foremost of the Kshatriyas, slain in
battle, lay prostrate on the field, like mangled bulls, weltering in
blood and becoming the food of dogs and jackals.’ Saying these words, O
monarch, Drupada, that master of an Akshauhini of troops, placing the
Parthas at his head, rushed with speed towards Drona.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘When the army of the Pandavas was thus agitated on all
sides, the Parthas and the Panchalas and the Somakas, retreated to a
great distance. During the progress of that fierce battle, making the
hair stand on end, and that universal carnage like to what happens, O
Bharata, at that end of the Yuga, when, indeed, Drona of great prowess
was repeatedly uttering leonine shouts, and when the Panchalas were being
weakened and the Pandavas slaughtered, king Yudhishthira the Just,
failing in that battle to find any refuge in that distress, began, O
king, to think how the matter would end. Casting his eyes around in
expectation of seeing Savyasachin, Yudhishthira, however, saw neither
that son of Pritha nor Madhava. Not seeing that tiger among men viz., the
ape-bannered Arjuna, and not hearing also the twang of Gandiva, the
monarch became filled with anxiety, not seeing Satyaki also, that
foremost of car-warriors among the Vrishnis, king Yudhishthira the Just
became equally anxious. Indeed, not seeing those two foremost of men,
Yudhishthira knew no peace. The high-souled king Yudhishthira the Just,
of mighty arms, fearing the evil opinion of the world, began to think of
Satyaki’s car. Sini’s grandson Satyaki, of true prowess, that dispeller
of the fears of friends, hath been sent by me in the track of Phalguna. I
had only one source of anxiety before, but now I have two. I should have
tidings of both Satyaki and Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu. Having
despatched Satyaki to follow in the track of Arjuna, whom shall I now
send in the track of Satyaki? If by every means I endeavour to obtain
intelligence of my brother only, without enquiring after Yuyudhana, the
world will reproach me. They will say that, ‘Yudhishthira, the son of
Dharma, having enquired after his brother, leaves Satyaki of Vrishni’s
race, that hero of unfailing prowess, to his fate!’ Fearing, as I do, the
reproach of the world, I should therefore, send Vrikodara, the son of
Pritha, in the track of the high-souled Madhava. The love I bear to the
Vrishni hero, to that invincible warrior of the Satwata race, (viz.,
Satyaki), is not less than the love I bear to Arjuna, that slayer of
foes. The delighter of the Sinis hath again, been set by me to a very
heavy task. That mighty warrior, however, hath, either for the sake of a
friend’s request or for that of honour, penetrated into the Bharata army
like a Makara into the ocean. Loud is the noise I hear of unretreating
heroes, fighting together against that Vrishni hero of great
intelligence. Without doubt, they are too many for him. The time,
therefore, is come when I should think of his rescue. It seems to me that
armed with the bow, Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, should go there where
those two mighty car-warriors are. There is nothing on earth that Bhima
cannot bear. If he struggles with resolution, he is a match in battle for
all the bowmen in the world. Depending on the might of his own arms, he
can stand against all foes. Relying on the strength of arms of that
high-souled warrior, we have been able to come back from our exile in the
woods and we have never been vanquished in battle. If Bhimasena, the son
of Pandu, proceedeth hence to Satyaki, both Satyaki and Phalguna will
derive real aid. Without doubt, I should not feel any anxiety for Satyaki
and Phalguna. Both of them are accomplished in weapons, and Vasudeva
himself is protecting them. (For all that, I feel anxious on their
account), I should certainly seek to remove my anxiety. I shall,
therefore, set Bhima to follow in the wake of Satyaki. Having done this,
I should regard my arrangements complete for the rescue of Satyaki.’
Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, having settled this in his mind,
addressed his charioteer and said, ‘Take me to Bhima.’ Hearing the
command of king Yudhishthira the Just, the charioteer who was versed in
horse-lore, took that car decked with gold to where Bhima was. Arrived at
the presence of Bhima, the king, remembering the occasion, became
unmanned by grief, and pressed Bhima with diverse solicitations. Indeed,
overwhelmed with grief, the monarch addressed Bhima. And these were the
words, O king, that Yudhishthira the son of Kunti then said unto him, ‘O
Bhima, I do not behold the standard of that Arjuna, who on a single car
had vanquished all the gods, the Gandharvas and Asuras!’ Then Bhimasena,
addressing king Yudhishthira the Just who was in that plight, said,
‘Never before did I see, or hear thy ‘Words afflicted with such
cheerlessness. Indeed, formerly, when we were smitten with grief, it was
thou who hadst been our comforter. Rise, Rise, O king of kings, say what
I am to do for thee. O giver of honours, there is nothing that I cannot
do. Tell me what your commands are, O foremost one of Kuru’s race! Do not
set your heart on grief.’ Unto Bhimasena then, the king with a sorrowful
face and with eyes bathed in tears, said, sighing the while like a black
cobra, ‘The blasts of the conch Panchajanya, wrathfully blown by Vasudeva
of world-wide renown, are being heard. It seems, from this, that thy
brother Dhananjaya lieth today on the field, deprived of life. Without
doubt, Arjuna having been slain, Janardana is fighting. That hero of
great might, relying on whose prowess the Pandavas are alive, he to whom
we always turn in times of fear like the celestials towards their chief
of a thousand eyes, that hero hath, in search after the ruler of Sindhus,
penetrated into the Bharata host. I know this, O Bhima, viz., that he
hath gone, but he hath not yet returned. Dark in complexion, youthful in
years, of curly locks, exceedingly handsome mighty car-warrior, of broad
chest and long arms, possessed of the tread of an infuriated elephant, of
eyes of the colour of burnished copper and like those a chakra, that
brother of thine enhances the fears of foes. Blessed be thou, even this
is the cause of my grief, O chastiser of foes! For Arjuna’s sake, O thou
of mighty arms, as also for the sake of Satwata, my grief increaseth like
a blazing fire fed with libations of clarified butter. I do not see his
standard. For this am I stupefied with sorrow. Without doubt, he hath
been slain, and Krishna, skilled in battle, is fighting. Know also that
the tiger among men, that mighty car-warrior, Satwata is slain. Alas!
Satyaki hath followed in the wake of that other mighty car-warrior, with
thy brother. Without seeing Satyaki also, I am stupefied by grief.
Therefore, O son of Kunti, go thither, where Dhananjaya is and Satyaki
also of mighty energy, if, of course, thou thinkest it thy duty to obey
my words, O thou that art acquainted with duty.’ Remember that I am thy
eldest brother. Thou shouldst think Satyaki to be dearer to thee than
Arjuna himself. O son of Pritha, Satyaki hath gone, from desire of doing
good to me, in the track of Arjuna, a track that is incapable of being
trod by persons of vile souls. Beholding the two Krishnas and Satyaki
also of the Satwata race sound and whole, send me a message, O son of
Pandu, by uttering a leonine roar.'”


“Bhima said, That car which formerly bore Brahma and Isana and Indra and
Varuna (to battle), mounting upon that car, have two Krishnas gone. They
can have no fear of danger, Taking, however, thy command on MY head, lo,
I am going. Do not grieve. Meeting with those tigers among men, I shall
send thee intelligence.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Having said those words, the mighty Bhima began to
prepare for setting out, repeatedly making over Yudhishthira to
Dhrishtadyumna and the other friends (of the Pandava cause). Indeed,
Bhimasena of mighty strength addressing Dhrishtadyumna, said, ‘It is
known to thee, O thou of mighty arms, how the mighty car-warrior Drona is
always on the alert to seize king Yudhishthira the Just by all means in
his power. Indeed, O son of Prishata, I should never place my going (to
Arjuna and Satyaki) above my duty of protecting the king. King
Yudhishthira, however, hath commanded me to go, I dare not contradict
him. I shall go thither where the ruler of the Sindhus stayeth, at the
point of death. I should, in complete truthfulness, act according to the
words of my brother (Arjuna) and of Satyaki endued with great
intelligence. Thou shouldst, therefore, vigorously resolved on fight,
protect Yudhishthira the son of Pritha today. Of all tasks, this is thy
highest duty in battle.’ Thus addressed by Vrikodara, O monarch,
Dhrishtadyumna replied, ‘I shall do what thou wishest. Go, O son of
Pritha, without any anxiety of the kind. Without slaying Dhrishtadyumna
in battle, Drona will never be able to humiliate king Yudhishthira in the
fight.’ Thus making the royal son of Pandu over to Dhrishtadyumna, and
saluting his elder brother, Bhimasena, proceeded towards the spot where
Phalguna was. Before dismissing him, however, king Yudhishthira the Just,
O Bharata, embraced Bhimasena and smelt his head and pronounced
auspicious blessings upon him. After circumambulating a number of
Brahmanas, gratified with worship and presents, and touching the eight
kinds of auspicious articles, and quaffing Kairataka honey, that hero,
the corners of whose eyes had become red in intoxication, felt his might
to be doubled. The Brahmanas performed propitiatory ceremonies for him.
Various omens, indicative of success, greeted him. Beholding them, he
felt the delight of anticipated victory. Favourable winds began to blow
and indicate his success. Then the mighty-armed Bhimasena, the foremost
of car-warriors, clad in mail, decked with earrings and Angadas, and his
hands cased in leathern fences, mounted on his own excellent car. His
costly coat of mail, made of black steel and decked with gold, looked
like a cloud charged with lightning. His body Was beautifully covered
with yellow and red and black and white robes. Wearing a coloured cuirass
that protected also his neck, Bhimasena looked resplendent like a cloud
decked with a rainbow.

“While Bhimasena was on the point of setting out against thy troops from
desire of battle, the fierce blasts of Panchajanya were once more heard.
Hearing those loud and terrible blasts, capable of filling the three
Worlds with fear, the son of Dharma once more addressed Bhimasena,
saying, ‘There, the Vrishni hero is fiercely blowing his conch. Indeed,
that Prince of conchs is filling the earth and the welkin with its sound.
Without doubt, Savyasachin having fallen into great distress, the bearer
of the discus and the mace is battling with all the Kurus. Without doubt,
the venerable Kunti, and Draupadi, and Subhadra, are all, with their
relatives and friends, beholding today exceedingly inauspicious omens.
Therefore, O Bhima, go thither with speed where Dhananjaya is. All the
points of the compass, O Partha, seem empty to my eyes in consequence of
my (unsatisfied) desire to see Dhananjaya and owing also to Satwata.,
Repeatedly urged by his superior to go, the valiant son of Pandu, viz.,
Bhimasena, O king, casing his hands in leathern fence, took up his bow.
Urged by his eldest brother, that brother, Bhimasena, who was devoted to
his brother’s good, caused drums to be beat. And Bhima forcibly blew his
conch also and uttering leonine roars, began to twang his bow. Damping
the hearts of hostile heroes by those leonine roars, and assuming a
dreadful form, he rushed against his foes. Swift and well-broken steeds
of the foremost breed neighing furiously, bore him. Endued with the speed
of the wind or thought, their reins were held by Visoka. Then the son of
Pritha, drawing the bowstring with great force, began to crush the head
of the hostile array, mangling and piercing the combatants there. And as
that mighty-armed hero proceeded, the brave Panchalas and the Somakas
followed him behind, like the celestials following Maghavat. Then the
brothers Duhsasana and Chitrasena. and Kundabhedin and Vivinsati, and
Durmukha and Duhsaha and Sala, and Vinda and Anuvinda and Sumukha and
Dirghavahu and Sudarsana, and Suhasta and Sushena. and Dirghalochana, and
Abhaya and Raudrakarman and Suvarman and Durvimochana, approaching,
encompassed Bhimasena. These foremost of car-warriors, these heroes, all
looking resplendent, with their troops and followers, firmly resolved
upon battle, rushed against Bhimasena. That heroic and mighty
car-warrior, viz., Kunti’s son Bhimasena of great prowess, thus
encompassed, cast his eyes on them, and rushed against them with the
impetuosity of a lion against smaller animals. Those heroes, displaying
celestial and mighty weapons, covered Bhima with shafts, like clouds
shrouding the risen sun. Transgressing all those warriors with
impetuosity, Bhimasena rushed against Drona’s division, and covered the
elephant-force before him with showers of arrows. The son of the
Wind-god, mangling with his shafts almost in no time that elephant
division dispersed it in all directions. Indeed, like animals terrified
in the forest at the roar of a Sarabha, those elephants all fled away,
uttering frightful cries. Passing over that ground with speed, he then
approached the division of Drona. Then the preceptor checked his course,
like the continent resisting the surging sea. Smilingly, he struck the
son of Pandu in his forehead with a shaft. Thereupon, the son of Pandu
looked resplendent like the sun with upward rays. The preceptor thought
that Bhima would show him reverence as Phalguna had done before.
Addressing Vrikodara, therefore, he said, ‘O Bhimasena, it is beyond thy
power to enter into the hostile host, without vanquishing me, thy foe, in
battle, O thou of mighty strength! Although Krishna with thy younger
brother hath penetrated this host with my permission, thyself, however,
will never succeed in doing so.’ Hearing these words of the preceptor,
the dauntless Bhima, excited with wrath, and his eyes red as blood or
burnished copper, quickly replied unto Drona, saying, ‘O wretch of a
Brahmana, it cannot be that Arjuna hath entered this host with thy
permission. He is invisible. He would penetrate into the host commanded
by Sakra himself. If he offered thee reverential worship, it was only for
honouring thee. But know, O Drona, that myself, I am not compassionate
like Arjuna. On the other hand, I am Bhimasena, thy foe. We regard thee
as our father, preceptor, and friend. Ourselves we look upon as thy sons.
Thinking so we always humble ourselves to thee. When, however, thou usest
such words towards us today, it seems that all that is altered. If thou
regardest thyself as our foe, let it be as thou thinkest. Being none else
than Bhima, I will presently act towards thee as I should towards a foe.’
Saying this, Bhima whirling a mace, like the Destroyer himself whirling
his fatal rod, hurled it, O king, at Drona. Drona, however, had quickly
jumped down from his car, (and that proved his safety). For that mace
pressed down into the earth the car of Drona, with its steeds, driver,
and standard. Then Bhima crushed numerous warriors like the tempest
crushing trees with its force. Then those sons of thine once more
encompassed that foremost of car-warriors. Meanwhile, Drona, that
foremost of smiters mounting another chariot, proceeded to the gate of
the array and stayed there for battle. Then, O king, the angry Bhima of
great prowess, covered the car-division in his front with showers of
shafts. Then those mighty car-warriors, viz., thy sons, thus struck in
battle, endued as they were with great strength fought with Bhima from
desire of victory. Then Duhsasana, excited with wrath, hurled at
Bhimasena a keen dart made entirely of iron, wishing to slay the son of
Pandu. Bhima however, cut in twain that fierce dart hurled by thy son, as
it coursed towards him. This feat seemed exceedingly wonderful. The
mighty son of Pandu, then, with three other keen shafts, slew the three
brothers Kundabhedin and Sushena and Dirghanetra. And, again, amongst
those heroic sons of thine battling with him, Bhima slew heroic
Vrindaraka, that enhancer of the fame of the Kurus. And again, with three
other shafts, Bhima slew three other sons of thine, viz., Abhaya and
Raudrakarman and Durvimochana. Thus slaughtered, O king, by that mighty
warrior, thy sons surrounded, Bhima, that foremost of smiters on all
sides. They then showered their arrows upon that son of Pandu, of
terrible deeds, like the cloud at the end of summer pouring torrents of
rain on the mountain-breast. That slayer of hosts, the heir of Pandu,
received that arrowy shower, like a mountain receiving a shower of
stones. Indeed, the heroic Bhima felt no pain. Then the son of Kunti,
smiling the while, despatched by means of his shafts thy son Vinda and
Anuvinda and Suvarman to the abode of Yama. Then the son of Pandu, O bull
of Bharata’s race, quickly pierced in that battle thy heroic son
Sudarsan. The latter, thereupon, fell down and expired. Within a very
short time, the son of Pandu, casting his glances on that car-force
caused it by his shafts to fly away in all directions. Then like a herd
of deer frightened at the clatter of car-wheels, or a loud shout, thy
sons, in that battle, O king, afflicted with the fear of Bhimasena,
suddenly broke and fled. The son of Kunti, however, pursued that large
force of thy sons, and began, O king, to pierce the Kauravas from every
side. Thy soldiers, O monarch, thus slaughtered by Bhimasena, fled away
from battle, avoiding the son of Pandu and urging their own excellent
steeds to their greatest speed. The mighty Bhimasena then, having
vanquished them in battle, uttered leonine roars and made a great noise
by slapping his armpits. And the mighty Bhima, having made also a fierce
noise with his palms, and thereby frightened that car-force and the
foremost of warriors that were in it, passed towards the division of
Drona, transgressing that car-force (which he had vanquished.)’


“Sanjaya said, ‘After the son of Pandu had crossed that car-force, the
preceptor Drona, smiling the while, covered him with showers of arrows,
desirous of checking his course. Stupefying thy force then with his
powers of illusion, and drinking, as it were, those shafts shot from the
bow of Drona, Bhimasena rushed against those brothers (viz., thy sons).
Then many kings, that were all great bowmen, urged by thy sons, rushing
impetuously, began to surround him. Encompassed by them, O Bharata, Bhima
smiling the while and uttering a leonine roar, took up and hurled at them
with great force a fierce mace destructive of hostile ranks. That mace of
adamantine strength, hurled like Indra’s thunder by Indra himself,
crushed, O king, thy soldiers in battle. And it seemed to fill, O king,
the whole earth with loud noise. And blazing forth in splendour, that
fierce mace inspired thy sons with fear. Beholding that mace of impetuous
course and endued with lightning flashes, coursing towards them, thy
warriors fled away, uttering frightful cries. And at the unbearable
sound, O sire, of that fierce mace, many men fell down where they stood,
and many car-warriors also fell down from their cars. Slaughtered by
Bhimasena armed with the mace, thy warriors fled away in fear from
battle, like the deer attacked by a tiger. The son of Kunti, routing in
battle those valorous foes of his, impetuously crossed that force like
Garuda of beautiful feathers.

“While Bhimasena, that leader of leaders of car-divisions, was engaged in
such carnage, Bharadwaja’s son, O king, rushed at him. And Drona,
checking Bhima by means of his arrowy showers, suddenly uttered a leonine
roar that inspired the Pandavas with fear. The battle that took place
between Drona and the high-souled Bhima was, O king, furious and terrible
and resembled the encounter between the gods and the Asuras of old.
Heroic warriors by hundreds and thousands in that battle slain by the
keen shafts shot from the bow of Drona. The son of Pandu then, jumping
down from his car shut his eyes, O king, and rushed on foot with great
speed towards the car of Drona. Indeed, as a bovine bull easily bears a
heavy shower of rain, even so that tiger among men, viz., Bhima, bore
that arrowy downpour from Drona’s bow. Struck in that battle, o sire, by
Drona, the mighty Bhima, seizing Drona’s car by the shaft, threw it down
with great force. Thus thrown down in battle, O king, Drona, however,
quickly mounting another car, proceeded towards the gate of the array,
his driver urging his steeds at that time with great speed. That feat, O
thou of Kuru’s race, achieved by Bhimasena, seemed exceedingly wonderful.
The mighty Bhima, then, mounting upon his own car, rushed impetuously
towards the army of thy son. And he crushed the Kshatriyas in battle,
like a tempest crushing rows of trees. Indeed, Bhima proceeded, resisting
the hostile warriors like the mountain resisting the surging sea. Coming
then upon the Bhoja-troops that were protected by the son of Hridika,
Bhimasena, O king, ground it greatly, and passed through it. Frightening
the hostile soldiers with the sound of his palms, O sire, Bhima
vanquished them all like a tiger vanquishing a herd of bovine bulls.
Passing through the Bhoja division and that of the Kamvojas also, and
countless tribes of Mlecchas too, who were all accomplished in fight, and
beholding that mighty car-warriors, Satyaki, engaged in fight, Bhimasena,
the son of Kunti, O monarch proceeded resolutely and with great speed,
desirous of having a sight of Dhananjaya. Transgressing all thy warriors
in that battle, the son of Pandu then sighted the mighty car-warrior
Arjuna engaged in the fight. The valiant Bhima, that tiger among men,
beholding Arjuna putting forth his prowess for the slaughter of the ruler
of the Sindhus, uttered a loud shout, like, O monarch, the clouds roaring
in the season of rains. Those terrible shouts of the roaring Bhimasena
were, O thou of Kuru’s race, heard by both Arjuna and Vasudeva in the
midst of the battle. Both those heroes, simultaneously hearing that shout
of the mighty Bhima, repeatedly shouted from desire of beholding
Vrikodara Then Arjuna uttering loud roar, and Madhava also doing the
same, careered in battle like a couple of roaring bulls. Hearing then
that roar of Bhimasena, as also that of Phalguna armed with the bow,
Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, O king, became highly gratified. And
king Yudhishthira, hearing those sounds of Bhima and Arjuna, had his
grief dispelled. And the lord Yudhishthira repeatedly wished success to
Dhananjaya in battle.

“While the fierce Bhima was thus roaring, the mighty-armed Yudhishthira,
the son of Dharma, that foremost of virtuous men, smilingly reflected a
while and thus worded the thoughts that inspired his heart, ‘O Bhima,
thou hast truly sent me the message. Thou hast truly obeyed the commands
of thy superior. They, O son of Pandu, can never have victory that have
thee for their foe. By good luck it is that Dhananjaya, capable of
shooting the bow with (even) his left hand, still liveth. By good luck,
the heroic Satyaki also, of prowess incapable of being baffled, is safe
and sound. By good luck, it is that I hear both Vasudeva and Dhananjaya
uttering these roars. He who having vanquished Sakra himself in battle,
had gratified the bearer of sacrificial libations, that slayer of foes,
viz., Phalguna, by good luck, still liveth in this battle. He, relying
upon the might of whose arms all of us are alive, that slayer of hostile
armies, Phalguna, by good luck, liveth still. He by whom with the aid of
a single bow the Nivatakavachas were vanquished, those Danavas, that is,
that were incapable of being defeated by the very gods, he, viz., Partha,
by good luck, liveth still. He who had vanquished in Matsya’s city all
the Kauravas assembled together for seizing Virata’s kine, that Partha,
by good luck, liveth still. He who, by the might of his arms, slew
fourteen thousands of Kalakeyas, that Partha, by good luck, liveth still.
He who, for Duryodhana’s sake, had vanquished, by the energy of his
weapons, the mighty king of the Gandharvas, that Partha, by good luck,
liveth still. Decked with diadem and garlands (of gold), endued with
great strength, having white steeds (yoked to his car) and Krishna
himself for his charioteer, that Phalguna, always dear to me, by good
luck, liveth still. Burning with grief on account of the death of his
son, endeavouring to achieve a most difficult feat, and even now seeking
to slaughter Jayadratha, alas, he that hath made that vow, viz.,
Dhananjaya, will he succeed in slaying the ruler of the Sindhus in
battle? After he, protected by Vasudeva, will have accomplished that vow
of his, shall I behold that Arjuna again, before the sun sets? Shall the
ruler of the Sindhus who is devoted to Duryodhana’s welfare, slain by
Phalguna, gladden his foes? Shall king Duryodhana, beholding the ruler of
the Sindhus slain in battle make peace with us? Beholding his brother
slain in battle by Bhimasena shall the wicked Duryodhana make peace with
us? Beholding other great warriors lying prostrate on the surface of the
earth, shall wicked Duryodhana give way to remorse? Shall not our
hostilities cease with the single sacrifice of Bhishma? Shall that
Suyodhana, make peace with us for saving the remnant (of what is still
left to him and us)? Diverse reflections of this kind passed through the
mind of king Yudhishthira who was overwhelmed with compassion. Meanwhile,
the battle (between the Pandavas and the Kauravas) raged furiously.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘While mighty Bhimasena was uttering those loud
shouts deep as the roar of the clouds or peals of thunder, what heroes
(of our side) surrounded him? I do not behold that warrior, O Sanjaya, in
the three worlds, who is capable of staying before the enraged Bhimasena
in battle. I do not, O son, behold him that can stay on the field of
battle before Bhimasena armed with mace and resembling Death himself. Who
will stand before that Bhima, not excepting Sakra himself, that destroys
a car with a car and an elephant with an elephant?[153] Who, amongst
those devoted to Duryodhana’s welfare stood in battle before Bhimasena
excited with rage and engaged in slaughtering my sons? Who were those men
that stood in battle in front of Bhimasena, engaged in consuming my sons
like a forest conflagration consuming dry leaves and straw? Who were they
that surrounded Bhima in battle, beholding my sons slain by him one after
another like Death himself cutting off all creatures? I do not fear
Arjuna so much, or Krishna so much, or Satyaki so much, or him (viz.,
Dhrishtadyumna) so much who was born of the sacrificial fire, as I fear
Bhima. Tell me, O Sanjaya, who were those heroes that rushed against that
blazing fire, represented by Bhima, which so consumed my sons?’

“Sanjaya, said, ‘While the mighty car-warriors Bhimasena was uttering
those roars, mighty Karna, unable to bear them, rushed at him with a loud
shout, stretching his bow with great force. Indeed, the mighty Karna,
desirous of battle, displayed his strength and checked Bhima’s course
like a tall tree withstanding tempest. The heroic Bhima also, beholding
Vikartana’s son before him, suddenly blazed up in wrath and sped at him
with great force many shafts whetted on stone. Karna received all those
shafts and sped many in return. At that encounter between Bhima and
Karna, hearing the sounds of their palms, the limbs of all the struggling
combatants, car-warriors, and horsemen, began to tremble. Indeed, hearing
the terrible roars of Bhimasena on the field of battle, even all the
foremost of Kshatriyas regarded the whole earth and the welkin to be
filled with that noise. And at the fierce peals uttered by the
high-souled son of Pandu, the bows of all warriors in that battle dropped
on the earth. And steeds and elephants, O king, dispirited, ejected urine
and excreta. Various frightful omens of evil then made their appearance.
The welkin was covered with flights of vultures and Kankas during that
terrific encounter between Bhima and Karna. Then Karna struck Bhima with
twenty arrows, and quickly pierced the latter’s charioteer also with
five. Smiling the while, the mighty and active Bhima then, in that
battle, quickly sped at Karna four and sixty arrows. Then Karna, O king,
sped four shafts at him. Bhima, by means of his straight shafts, cut them
into many fragments, O king, displaying his lightness of hand. Then Karna
covered him with dense showers of arrows. Thus covered by Karna, the
mighty son of Pandu, however, cut off Karna’s bow at the handle and then
pierced Karna with ten straight arrows. The Suta’s son then, that mighty
car-warrior of terrible deeds, taking up another bow and stringing it
quickly, pierced Bhima in that battle (with many shafts). Then Bhima,
excited with rage, struck the Suta’s son with great force on the chest
with three straight shafts. With those arrows sticking at his breast,
Karna looked beautiful, O bull of Bharata’s race, like a mountain with
three tall summits. Thus pierced with mighty shafts, blood began to flow
from his wounds, like torrents of liquid red-chalk down the breast of a
mountain. Afflicted with those shafts shot with great force, Karna became
agitated a little. Fixing an arrow then on his bow, he pierced Bhima,
again, O sire! And once more he began to shoot arrows by hundreds and
thousands. Suddenly shrouded with shafts by that firm bowman, viz.,
Karna, the son of Pandu, smiling the while, cut off Karna’s bow-string.
And then with a broad-headed arrow, he despatched Karna’s charioteer to
the abode of Yama. And that mighty car-warrior, viz., Bhima, deprived the
four steeds also of Karna of their lives. The mighty car-warrior Karna
then speedily jumping down, O king, from his steedless car, mounted the
car of Vrishasena. The valiant Bhimasena then, having vanquished Karna in
battle, uttered a loud shout deep as the roar of the clouds. Hearing that
roar, O Bharata, Yudhishthira became highly gratified, knowing that Karna
had been vanquished by Bhimasena. And the combatants of the Pandava army
blew their conchs from every side, Their enemies, viz., thy warriors,
hearing that noise, roared loudly. Arjuna stretched Gandiva, and Krishna
blew Panchajanya. Drowning, however, all those sounds, the noise made by
the roaring Bhima, was, O king, heard by all the combatants, O sire! Then
those two warriors, viz., Karna, and Bhima, each struck the other with
straight shafts. The son of Radha, however, shot shafts mildly, but the
son of Pandu shot his with great force.'”


-Sanjaya said, ‘After that army had (thus) been routed, and Arjuna and
Bhimasena had all gone after the ruler of the Sindhus, thy son
(Duryodhana) proceeded towards Drona. And Duryodhana went to the
preceptor, on his single car, thinking, by the way, of diverse duties.
That car of thy son, endued with the speed of the wind or thought,
proceeded with great celerity towards Drona. With eyes red in wrath, thy
son addressed the preceptor and said, ‘O grinder of foes, Arjuna and
Bhimasena, and unvanquished Satyaki, and many mighty car-warriors,
defeating all our troops, have succeeded in approaching the ruler of the
Sindhus. Indeed, those mighty car-warriors, who vanquished all the
troops, themselves unvanquished, are fighting even there. O giver of
honours, how hast thou been transgressed by both Satyaki and Bhima? O
foremost of Brahmanas, this thy defeat at the hands of Satwata, of
Arjuna, and of Bhimasena, is like the drying of the ocean, exceedingly
wonderful in this world. People are loudly asking, ‘How, indeed, could
Drona, that master of the science of arms, be vanquished?’ Even thus all
the warriors are speaking in depreciation of thee. Destruction is certain
for my luckless self in battle, when three car-warriors, O tiger among
men, have if, succession transgressed thee. When, however, all this hath
happened, tell us what thou hast to say on the business that awaits us.
What hath happened, is past. O giver of honours, think now of what is
remaining. Say quickly what should next be done for the ruler of the
Sindhus on the present occasion, and let what thou sayest be quickly and
properly carried out.’

“Drona said, ‘Listen, O great king, to what I, having reflected much, say
unto thee about what should now be done. As yet only three great
car-warriors among the Pandavas have transgressed us. We have as much to
fear behind those three as we have to dread before them.[154] There,
however, where Krishna and Dhananjaya are, our fear must be greater. The
Bharata army hath been attacked both on the front and from behind. In
this pass, I think, the protection of the ruler of the Sindhus is our
first duty. Jayadratha, afraid of Dhananjaya, deserves of everything else
to be protected by us. The heroic Yuyudhana and Vrikodara have both gone
against the ruler of the Sindhus. All this that hath come is the fruit of
that match at dice conceived by Sakuni’s intellect. Neither victory nor
defeat took place in the (gaming) assembly. Now that we are engaged in
this sport, there will be victory or defeat. Those innocent things with
which Sakuni had formerly played in the Kuru assembly and which he
regarded as dice, were, in reality, invincible shafts. Truly, there
where, O sire, the Kauravas were congregated, they were not dice but
terrible arrows capable of mangling your bodies. At present, however, O
king, know the combatants for players, these shafts for dice, and the
ruler of the Sindhus, without doubt, O monarch, as the stake, in this
game of battle. Indeed, Jayadratha is the great stake about which we are
playing today with the enemy. Under the circumstances, therefore, O
monarch, all of us becoming reckless of our very lives, should make due
arrangements for the protection of the ruler of the Sindhus in battle.
Engaged as we are in our present sport, it is here that we shall have
victory or defeat, here, that is, where those great bowmen are protecting
the ruler of the Sindhus. Go thither, therefore, with speed, and protect
those protectors (of Jayadratha). As regards myself, I will stay here,
for despatching others (to the presence of Jayadratha) and checking the
Panchalas, the Pandus and the Srinjayas united together. Thus commanded
by the preceptor, Duryodhana quickly proceeded (to the place indicated)
with his followers, resolutely setting himself to (the accomplishment of)
a fierce task. The two protectors of the wheels of Arjuna’s car, viz.,
the Panchala princes, Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas, were at that time
proceeding towards Savyasachin by the skirts of the Kuru array. Thou
mayest remember, O king, that formerly while Arjuna penetrated thy host
from desire of battle, those two princes, O monarch, had been checked in
their progress by Kritavarman. Now, the Kuru king beheld them proceeding
by the skirts of his host. The mighty Duryodhana of Bharata’s race lost
no time in engaging in a fierce battle with those two brothers thus
rushing furiously. Those two foremost of Kshatriyas, reputed as mighty
car-warriors, then rushed in that battle at Duryodhana, with outstretched
bows. Yudhamanyu pierced Duryodhana with twenty, and his four steeds with
four shafts. Duryodhana, however, with a single shaft, cut off
Yudhamanyu’s standard. And thy son then cut off the former’s bow also
with another shaft. And then with a broad-headed arrow, the Kuru king
felled Yudhamanyu’s charioteer from his niche in the car. And then he
pierced the four steeds of the latter with four shafts. Then Yudhamanyu,
excited with wrath, quickly sped, in that battle, thirty shafts at the
centre of thy son’s chest. Then Uttamaujas also, excited with wrath,
pierced Duryodhana’s charioteer with shafts decked with gold, and
despatched him to Yama’s abode. Duryodhana also, O monarch, then slew the
four steeds as also the two Parshni charioteers of Uttamaujas, the prince
of Panchalas. Then Uttamaujas, in that battle, becoming steedless and
driverless, quickly ascended the car of his brother, Yudhamanyu.
Ascending on the car of his brother, he struck Duryodhana’s steeds with
many shafts. Slain therewith, those steeds fell down on the earth. Upon
the fall of his steeds, the valiant Yudhamanyu then, by a mighty weapon,
quickly cut off Duryodhana’s bow and then (with another shaft), his
leathern fence. That bull among men then, viz., thy son, jumping down
from that steedless and driverless car, took up a mace and proceeded
against the two princes of Panchala. Beholding that subjugator of hostile
town, thus advancing in wrath, both Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas jumped down
from the terrace of their car. Then Duryodhana armed as he was with a
mace, pressed down into the earth with that mace that foremost of cars
furnished with gold, with steeds and driver and standard. Thy son then,
that scorcher of foes, having thus crushed that car, steedless and
driverless as he himself was, quickly ascended the car of the king of the
Madras. Meanwhile, those two mighty car-warriors, viz., those two
foremost Panchala princes, ascending on two other cars, proceeded towards


“Sanjaya said, ‘During the progress, O monarch, of that battle, making
the hair stand on end, and when all the combatants were filled with
anxiety and greatly afflicted, the son of Radha. O bull of Bharata’s
race, proceeded against Bhima for battle, like an infuriated elephant in
the forest proceeding against another infuriated elephant.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘How raged that battle, in the neighbourhood of
Arjuna’s car, between those two mighty car-warriors, viz., Bhima and
Karna, both of whom are endued with great strength? Once before Karna had
been vanquished by Bhimasena in battle. How, therefore, could the mighty
car-warrior Karna again proceed against Bhima? How also could Bhima
proceed against the Suta’s son, that mighty warrior who is reckoned as
the greatest of car-warriors on earth? Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma,
having prevailed over Bhishma and Drona, did not fear anybody else so
much as the bowman Karna. Indeed, thinking of the mighty car-warrior
Karna, he passeth his nights sleeplessly from fear. How, then, could
Bhima encounter that Suta’s son in battle? Indeed, O Sanjaya, how could
Bhima fight with Karna, that foremost of warriors, that hero devoted to
the Brahmanas endued with energy and never retreating from battle? How,
indeed, did those two heroes, viz., the Suta’s son and Vrikodara, fight
with each other in that encounter which took place in the vicinity of
Arjuna’s car? Informed before of his brotherhood (with the Pandavas), the
Suta’s son is again, compassionate. Remembering also his words to Kunti,
how could he fight with Bhima? As regards Bhima also, remembering all the
wrongs formerly inflicted on him by the Suta’s son, how did that hero
fight with Karna in battle? My son Duryodhana, O Suta, hopeth that Karna
will vanquish all the Pandavas in battle. Upon whom my wretched son
resteth his hope of victory in battle, how did he fight with Bhimasena of
terrible deeds? That Suta’s son, relying upon whom my sons chose
hostilities with those mighty car-warriors (viz., the sons of Pandu), how
did Bhima fight with him? Indeed, remembering the diverse wrongs and
injuries done by him, how did Bhima fight with that son of Suta? How
indeed, could Bhima fight with that son of a Suta, who, endued with great
valour, had formerly subjugated the whole earth on a single car? How did
Bhima fight with that son of a Suta, who was born with a (natural) pair
of ear-rings? Thou art skilled in narration, O Sanjaya! Tell me,
therefore, in detail how the battle took place between those two, and who
amongst them obtained the victory?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Leaving Radha’s son, that foremost of car-warriors
Bhimasena, desired to proceed to the place where those two heroes, viz.,
Krishna and Dhananjaya were. The son of Radha, however, rushing towards
him as he proceeded, covered him, O king, with dense showers of arrows,
like a cloud pouring, torrents of rain on a mountain. The mighty son of
Adhiratha, his face beautiful as a full-blown lotus, lighted up with a
smile, challenged Bhimasena to battle, as the latter was proceeding. And
Karna said, ‘O Bhima, I dreamt not that thou knowest how to fight. Why
then dost thou show me thy back from desire of meeting with Arjuna? O
delighter of the Pandavas, this is scarcely fit for a son of Kunti.
Staying, therefore, where thou art, cover me with thy arrows.’ Bhimasena,
hearing that challenge of Karna, brooked it not, but wheeling his car a
little, began to fight with the Suta’s son. The illustrious Bhimasena
showered clouds of straight shafts. Desiring also to arrive at the end of
those hostilities by slaying Karna, Bhima began to weaken that hero
conversant with every weapon and clad in mail, and staying before him for
engaging in a single combat. Then mighty Bhima, that scorcher of foes,
that wrathful son of Pandu, having slain numerous Kauravas, shot diverse
showers of fierce shafts at Karna, O sire! The Suta’s son, endued with
great strength, swallowed, by means of the power of his own weapons, all
those showers of arrows shot by that hero, possessed of the tread of an
infuriated elephant. Duly favoured by knowledge, that great bowman, viz.,
Karna, began in that battle, O monarch, to career like a preceptor (Of
Military science). The wrathful son of Radha, smiling the while, seemed
to mock Bhimasena as the latter was battling with great fury. The son of
Kunti brooked not that smile of Karna in the midst of many brave warriors
witnessing from all sides that fight of theirs. Like a driver striking a
huge elephant with a hook, the mighty Bhima, excited with rage, pierced
Karna whom he had obtained within reach, with many calf-toothed shafts in
the centre of the chest. And once more, Bhimasena pierced the Suta’s son
of variegated armour with three and seventy well-shot and keen arrows
equipped with beautiful wings and eased in golden armour, each with five
shafts. And soon, within the twinkling of the eye, was seen a network of
shafts about Bhima’s car caused by Karna. Indeed, O monarch, those shafts
shot from Karna’s bow completely shrouded that car with its standard and
driver and the Pandava himself. Then Karna pierced the impenetrable
armour of Bhima with four and sixty arrows. And excited with rage he then
pierced Partha himself with many straight shafts capable of penetrating
into the very vitals. The mighty-armed Vrikodara, however, disregarding
those shafts shot from Karna’s bow fearlessly struck the Suta’s son.
Pierced with those shafts, resembling snakes of virulent poison, shot
from Karna’s bow, Bhima, O monarch, felt no pain in that battle. The
valiant Bhima then, in that encounter, pierced Karna with two and thirty
broad-headed shafts of keen points and fierce energy, Karna, however,
with the greatest indifference, covered, in return, with his arrows, the
mighty-armed Bhimasena who was desirous of Jayadratha’s slaughter.
Indeed, the son of Radha, in that encounter, fought mildly with Bhima,
while Bhima, remembering his former wrongs, fought with him furiously.
The wrathful Bhimasena could not brook that disregard by Karna. Indeed,
that slayer of foes quickly shot showers of arrows at Radha’s son. Those
arrows, sped in that encounter by Bhimasena, fell on every limb of Karna
like cooing birds. Those arrows equipped with golden wings and keen
points, shot from Bhimasena’s bow, covered the son of Radha like a flight
of insects covering a blazing fire. Karna, however, O king, shot showers
of fierce shafts in return, O Bharata. Then Vrikodara cut off, with Many
broad-headed arrows, those shafts resembling thunderbolts, shot by that
ornament of battle, before they could come at him. That chastiser of
foes, viz., Karna, the son of Vikartana, once more, O Bharata, covered
Bhimasena with his arrowy showers. We then, O Bharata, beheld Bhima so
pierced in that encounter with arrows as to resemble a porcupine with its
quilts erect on its body.[155] Like the sun holding his own rays, the
heroic Bhima held in that battle all those shafts, whetted on stone and
equipped with wings of gold, that were shot from Karna’s bow. All his
limbs bathed in blood, Bhimasena looked resplendent like an Asoka tree in
spring adorned with its flowery burthen. The mighty-armed Bhima could not
brook that conduct, in battle, of the mighty-armed Karna. Rolling his
eyes ill wrath, he pierced Karna with five and twenty long shafts.
Thereupon, Karna looked like a white mountain with many snakes of
virulent poison (hanging from its sides). And once more, Bhimasena,
endued with the prowess of a celestial, pierced the Suta’s son who was
prepared to lay down his life in battle, with six and then with eight
arrows. And, again, with another arrow, the valiant Bhimasena quickly cut
off Karna’s bow, smiling the while. And he slew also with his shafts the
four steeds of Karna and then his charioteer, and then pierced Karna
himself in the chest with a number of long shafts endued with the
effulgence of the sun. Those winged shafts, piercing through Karna’s
body, entered the earth, like the rays of the sun piercing through the
clouds. Afflicted with arrows and his bow cut off, Karna, though proud of
his manliness, felt great pain and proceeded to another car.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘What, indeed, O Sanjaya, did Duryodhana say when he
saw that Karna turning away from the field upon whom my sons had reposed
all their hopes of victory? How, indeed, did the mighty Bhima, proud of
his energy, fight? What also, O son, did Karna do after this, beholding
Bhimasena in that battle resemble a blazing fire?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Mounting upon another car that was duly equipped Karna
once more proceeded against the son of Pandu, with the fury of the Ocean
tossed by the tempest. Beholding Adhiratha’s son excited with rage, thy
sons, O king, regarded Bhimasena to be already poured as a libation on
the (Karna) fire. With furious twang of bowstring and terrible sounds Of
his palms, the son of Radha shot dense showers of shafts towards
Bhimasena’s car. And once more, O monarch, a terrible encounter took
Place between the heroic Karna and the high-souled Bhima. Both excited
with wrath, both endued with mighty arms, each desirous of slaying the
other, those two warriors looked at each other, as if resolved to burn
each O her with their (wrathful) glances. The eyes of both were red in
rage, and both breathed fiercely, like a couple of snakes. Endued with
great heroism, those two chastisers of foes approached and mangled each
other. Indeed, they fought with each other like two hawks endued with
great activity, or like two Sarabhas excited with wrath. Then that
chastiser of foes, viz., Bhima recollecting all the woes suffered by him
on the occasion of the match at dice, and during his exile in the woods
and residence in Virata’s city, and bearing in mind the robbing of their
kingdom swelling with prosperity and gems, by thy sons, and the numerous
other wrongs inflicted on the Pandavas by thee and the Suta’s son and
remembering also the fact that thou hadst conspired to burn innocent
Kunti with her sons, and calling to his memory the sufferings of Krishna
in the midst of the assembly at the hands of those wretches, as also the
seizure of her tresses by Duhsasana, and the harsh speeches uttered, O
Bharata, by Karna, to the effect, ‘Take thou another husband, for all thy
husbands are dead: the sons of Pritha have sunk into hell and are like
sesamum seeds without kernel,’–remembering also those other words, O son
of Kuru, that the Kauravas uttered in thy presence, add the fact also
that thy sons had been desirous of enjoying Krishna as a slave, and those
harsh words that Karna spoke to the sons of Pandu when the latter,
attired in deer-skins were about to be banished to the woods, and the joy
in which thy wrathful and foolish son, himself in prosperity, indulged,
thinking the distressed sons of Pritha as veritable straw, the virtuous
Bhima that slayer of foes, remembering these and all the woes he had
suffered since his childhood, became reckless of his very life.
Stretching his invincible and formidable bow, the back of whose staff was
decked with gold, Vrikodara, that tiger of Bharata’s race, utterly
reckless of his life, rushed against Karna. Shooting dense showers of
bright arrows whetted on stone, Bhima shrouded the very light of the sun.
Adhiratha’s son, however, smiling the while, quickly baffled, by means of
his own winged arrows whetted on stone, that arrowy downpour of
Bhimasena. Endued with great strength and mighty arms, that mighty
car-warrior, the son of Adhiratha, then pierced Bhima with nine keen
arrows. Struck with those arrows, like an elephant struck with the hook.
Vrikodara fearlessly rushed against the Suta’s son. Karna, however,
rushed against that bull among the Pandavas who was thus rushing towards
him with great impetuosity and might, like an infuriated elephant against
an infuriated compeer. Blowing his conch then, whose blast resembled the
sound of a hundred trumpets, Karna cheerfully agitated the force that
supported Bhima, like the raging sea. Beholding that force of his
consisting of elephants and steeds and cars and foot-soldiers, thus
agitated by Karna, Bhima, approaching the former, covered him with
arrows. Then Karna caused his own steeds of the hue of swans to be
mingled with those of Bhimasena’s of the hue of bears, and shrouded the
son of Pandu with his shafts. Beholding those steeds of the hue of bears
and fleet as the wind, mingled with those of the hue of swans, cries of
oh and alas arose from among the troops of thy sons. Those steeds, fleet
as the wind, thus mingled together, looked exceedingly beautiful like
white and black clouds, O monarch, mingled together in the firmament.
Beholding Karna and Vrikodara to be both excited with wrath, great
car-warriors of thy army began to tremble with fear. The field of battle
where they fought soon became awful like the domain of Yama. Indeed, O
best of Bharatas, it became as frightful to behold as the city of the
dead. The great car, warriors of thy army, looking upon that scene, as if
they were spectators of a sport in an arena, beheld not any of the two to
gain any advantage over the other in that dreadful encounter. They only
beheld, O king, that mingling and clash of the mighty weapons of those
two warriors, as a result, O monarch, of the evil policy of thyself and
thy son. Those two slayers of foes-continued to cover each other with
their keen shafts. Both endued with wonderful prowess, they filled the
welkin with their arrowy downpours. Those two mighty car-warriors
shooting at each other keen shafts from desire of taking each other’s
life, became exceedingly beautiful to behold like two clouds pouring
torrents of rain. Those two chastisers of foes, shooting gold-decked
arrows, made the welkin look bright, O king, as if with blazing meteors.
Shafts equipped with vulturine feathers, shot by those two heroes, looked
like rows of excited cranes in the autumn sky. Meanwhile, Krishna and
Dhananjaya, those chastisers of foes, engaged in battle with the Suta’s
son, thought the burthen too great for Bhima to bear. As Karna and Bhima
for baffling each other’s shafts, shot these arrows at each other, many
elephants and steeds and men deeply struck therewith, fell down deprived
of life. And in consequence of those falling and fallen creatures
deprived of life counting by thousands, a great carnage, O king, took
place in the army of thy sons. And soon, O bull of Bharata’s race, the
field of battle became covered with the bodies of men and steeds and
elephants deprived of life.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I regard Bhimasena’s prowess to be exceedingly
wonderful, inasmuch as he succeeded in battling with Karna of singular
activity and energy. Indeed, O Sanjaya, tell me why that Karna, who is
capable of resisting in battle the very celestials with the Yakshas and
Asuras and men, armed with all kinds of weapons, could not vanquish in
battle Pandu’s son Bhima blazing with resplendence? O tell me, how that
battle took place between them in which each staked his very life. I
think that in an encounter between the two, success is within reach of
both as, indeed, both are liable to defeat.[156] O Suta, obtaining Karna
in battle, my son Suyodhana always ventures to vanquish the sons of
Pritha with Govinda and the Satwatas. Hearing, however, of the repeated
defeat in battle of Karna by Bhimasena of terrible deeds, a swoon seems
to come upon me, I think, the Kauravas to be already slain, in
consequence of evil policy of my son. Karna will never succeed, O
Sanjaya, in vanquishing those mighty bowmen, viz., the sons of Pritha. In
all the battles that Karna has fought with the sons of Pandu, the latter
have invariably defeated him on the field. Indeed, O son, the Pandavas
are incapable of being vanquished by the very gods with Vasava at their
head. Alas, my wicked son Duryodhana knoweth it not. Having robbed
Pritha’s son, who is like the Lord of the treasures himself, of his
wealth, my son of little intelligence seeth not the fall like a searcher
of honey (in the mountains). Conversant with deceit, he regardeth it to
be irrevocably his and always insulteth the Pandavas. Myself also, of
unrefined soul, overcome with affection for my children, scrupled not to
despise the high-souled sons of Pandu that are observant of morality.
Yudhishthira, the son of Pritha, of great foresight, always showed
himself desirous of peace. My sons, however, regarding him incapable,
despised him. Bearing in mind all those woes and all the wrongs
(sustained by the Pandavas), the mighty-armed Bhimasena battled with the
Suta’s son. Tell me, therefore, O Sanjaya, how Bhima and Karna, those two
foremost of warriors, fought with each other, desirous of taking each
other’s life!’

`Sanjaya said, ‘Hear, O king, how the battle took place between Karna and
Bhima which resembled an encounter between two elephants in the forest,
desirous of slaying each other. The son of Vikartana, O king, excited
with rage and putting forth his prowess, pierced that chastiser of foes,
viz., the angry Bhima of great prowess with thirty shafts. Indeed, O
chief of Bharata’s race, Vikartana’s son struck Bhima with many arrows of
keen points, decked with gold, and endued with great impetuosity. Bhima,
however, with three sharp shafts cut off the bow of Karna, as the latter
was engaged in striking him. And with a broad-headed arrow, the son of
Pandu then felled on the earth Karna’s charioteer from his niche in the
car. The son of Vikartana, then desirous of slaying Bhimasena, seized a
dart whose shaft was adorned with gold and stones of lapis lazuli.
Grasping that fierce dart, which resembled a second dart of death, and
uplifting and aiming it, the mighty son of Radha hurled it at Bhimasena
with a force sufficient to take away Bhima’s life. Hurling that dart,
like Purandara hurling the thunderbolt, Radha’s son of great strength
uttered a loud roar. Hearing that roar thy sons became filled with
delight. Bhima, however, with seven swift arrows, cut off in the welkin
that dart endued with the effulgence of the sun or fire, hurled from the
hands of Karna. Cutting off that dart, resembling a snake just freed from
its slough, Bhima, O sire, as if on the lookout for taking the
life-breath of the Suta’s son, sped, in great wrath, many shafts in that
battle that were equipped with peacock-feathers and golden wings and each
of which, whetted of’ stone, resembled the rod of Yama. Karna also of
great energy, taking up another formidable bow, the back of whose staff
was adorned with gold, and drawing it with force, shot many shafts. The
son of Pandu, however, cut off all those arrows with nine straight arrows
of his own. Having cut off, O ruler of men those mighty shafts shot by
Vasushena, Bhima, O monarch, uttered a loud roar like that of a lion.
Roaring at each other like two mighty bulls for the sake of a cow in
season, or like two tigers for the sake of the same piece of meat, they
endeavoured to strike each other, each being desirous of finding the
other’s laches. At times they looked at each other with angry eyes, like
two mighty bulls in a cow-pen. Then like two huge elephants striking each
other with the points of their tusks, they encountered each other with
shafts shot from their bows drawn to the fullest stretch. Scorching each
other, O king, with their arrowy showers, they put forth their prowess
upon each other, eyeing each other in great wrath. Sometimes laughing at
each other, and sometimes rebuking each other, and sometimes blowing
their conchs, they continued to fight with each other. Then Bhima once
more cut Karna’s bow at the handle, O sire, and despatched by means of
his shafts the latter’s steeds, white as conchs, to the abode of Yama,
and the son of Pandu also felled his enemy’s charioteer from his niche in
the car. Then Karna, the son of Vikartana, made steedless and driverless,
and covered in that battle (with shafts), became plunged into great
anxiety. Stupefied by Bhima with his arrowy showers, he knew not what to
do. Beholding Karna placed in the distressful plight, king Duryodhana,
trembling with wrath, commended (his brother) Durjaya, saying, ‘Go, O
Durjaya! There the son of Pandu is about to devour the son of Radha! Slay
that beardless Bhima soon, and infuse strength into Karna!’ Thus
addressed, the son Durjaya, saying unto Duryodhana, ‘So be it’, rushed
towards Bhimasena engaged (with Karna) and covered him with arrows. And
Durjaya struck Bhima with nine shafts, his steeds with eight, his driver
with six, his standard with three, and once more Bhima himself with
seven. Then Bhimasena, excited with wrath, piercing with his shafts the
very vitals of Durjaya, and his steeds and driver, despatched them of
Yama’s abode. Then Karna, weeping in grief, circumambulated that son of
thine, who, adorned with ornaments, lay on the earth, writhing like a
snake. Bhima then, having made that deadly foe of his, viz., Karna,
carless, smiling by covered him with shafts and made him look like a
Sataghni with numberless spikes on it. The Atiratha Karna, however, that
chastiser of foes, though thus pierced with arrows, did not yet avoid the
enraged Bhima in battle.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then the carless Karna, thus once more completely
defeated by Bhima, mounted another car and speedily began to pierce the
son of Pandu. Like two huge elephants encountering each other with the
points of their tusks, they struck each other with shafts, shot from
their bows drawn to the fullest stretch. Then Karna, striking Bhimasena
with showers of shafts, uttered a loud roar, and once more pierced him in
the chest. Bhima, however, in return, pierced Karna with ten straight
arrows and once more with twenty straight arrows. Then Karna, piercing
Bhima, O king, with nine arrows in the centre of the chest, struck the
latter’s standard with a sharp shaft. The son of Pritha then pierced
Karna in return with three and sixty arrows, like a driver striking a
mighty elephant with the hook, or a rider striking a steed with a whip.
Deeply pierced, O king, by the illustrious son of Pandu, the heroic Karna
began to lick with his tongue the corners of his mouth, and his eyes
became red in rage. Then, O monarch, Karna, sped at Bhimasena, for his
destruction, a shaft capable of piercing everybody, like Indra hurling
his thunderbolt. That shaft equipped with beautiful feathers sped from
the bow of the Suta’s son, piercing Partha in that battle, sank deep into
the earth. Then the mighty-armed Bhima, with eyes red in wrath, hurled
without a moment’s reflection, at the Suta’s son, a heavy six-sided mace,
adorned with gold measuring full four cubits in length, and resembling
the bolt of Indra in force. Indeed, like Indra slaying the Asuras with
his thunderbolt, that hero of Bharata’s race, excited with wrath, slew
with that mace the well-trained steeds of the foremost breed, of
Adhiratha’s son. Then, O bull of Bharata’s race, the mighty-armed Bhima,
with a couple of razor-faced arrows, cut off the standard of Karna. And
then he slew, with a number of shafts his enemy’s charioteer. Abandoning
that steedless and driverless and standardless car, Karna. O Bharata,
cheerlessly stood on the earth, drawing his bow. The prowess that we then
beheld of Radha’s son was extremely wonderful, inasmuch as that foremost
of car-warriors, though deprived of car, continued to resist his foe.
Beholding that foremost of men, viz., the son of Adhiratha, deprived of
his car, Duryodhana, O monarch, said unto (his brother) Durmukha, ‘There,
O Durmukha, the son of Radha hath been deprived of his car by Bhimasena.
Furnish that foremost of men, that mighty car-warrior with a car.’
Hearing these words of Duryodhana, thy son Durmukha, O Bharata, quickly
proceeded towards Karna and covered Bhima with his shafts. Beholding
Durmukha desirous of supporting the Suta’s son in that battle, the son of
the Wind god was filled with delight and began to lick the corners of his
mouth. Then resisting Karna the while with his shafts, the son of Pandu
quickly drove his car towards Durmukha. And in that moment, O king, with
nine straight arrows of keen points, Bhima despatched Durmukha to Yama’s
abode, Upon Durmukha’s slaughter, the son of Adhiratha mounted upon the
car of that prince and looked resplendent, O king, like the blazing sun.
Beholding Durmukha lying prostrate on the field, his very vital pierced
(with shafts) and his body bathed in blood, Karna with tearful eyes
abstained for a moment from the fight. Circumambulating the fallen prince
and leaving him there, the heroic Karna began to breathe long and hot
breaths and knew not what to do. Seizing that opportunity, O king,
Bhimasena shot at the Suta’s son four and ten long shafts equipped with
vulturine feathers. Those blood-drinking shafts of golden wings, endued
with great force illuminating the ten points as they coursed through the
welkin, pierced the armour of the Suta’s son, and drank his life-blood, O
king, and passing through his body, sank into the earth and looked
resplendent like angry snakes, O monarch, urged on by Death himself, with
half their bodies inserted within their holes. Then the son of Radha,
without reflecting a moment, pierced Bhima in return with four and ten
fierce shafts adorned with gold. Those fierce-winged arrows, piercing
through Bhima’s right arms, entered the earth like birds entering a grove
of trees. Striking against the earth, those arrows looked resplendent,
like the blazing rays of the sun while proceeding towards the Asta hills.
Pierced in that battle with those all-piercing arrows, Bhima began to
shed copious streams of blood, like a mountain ejecting streams of water.
Then Bhima pierced the Suta’s son in return with three shafts endued with
the impetuosity of Garuda and he pierced the latter’s charioteer also
with seven. Then, O king, Karna thus afflicted by Bhima’s might, became
exceedingly distressed. And that illustrious warrior then fled, forsaking
the battle, borne away by his fleet steeds. The Atiratha Bhimasena,
however, drawing his bow adorned with gold, stayed in battle, looking
resplendent like a blazing fire.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘I think, Destiny is supreme. Fie on exertion which
is useless, inasmuch as the son of Adhiratha, though fighting resolutely,
could not vanquish the son of Pandu. Karna boasts of his competency to
vanquish in battle all the Parthas with Govinda amongst them. I do not
see in the world, another warrior like Karna! I often heard Duryodhana
speak in this strain. Indeed, O Suta, the wretched Duryodhana used to
tell me formerly, ‘Karna is a mighty hero, a firm bowman, above all
fatigue. If I have that Vasushena for my ally, the very gods will not be
a match for me, what need be said, therefore, O monarch, of the sons of
Pandu that are weak and heartless?’ Tell me therefore, O Sanjaya, what
Duryodhana said, beholding that Karna defeated and looking like a snake
deprived of its poison and flying away from battle. Alas, deprived of his
senses, Duryodhana despatched the unsupported Durmukha, unacquainted
though he was with battle, into that fiery encounter, like an insect into
the blazing fire. O Sanjaya, even Aswatthaman and the ruler of the Madras
and Kripa, united together, could not stand before Bhimasena. Even these
know the terrible might, equal to that of ten thousand elephants, of
Bhima, endued with the energy of Marut himself, as also his cruel
intents. Why did they provoke the fire in battle, of that hero of cruel
deeds, that warrior resembling Yama himself as the latter becomes at the
end of the Yuga? It seems that Suta’s son, the mighty armed Karna alone,
relying on the prowess of his own arms, fought in battle with Bhimasena,
disregarding the latter. That son of Pandu who vanquished Karna in battle
like Purandara vanquishing an Asura, is capable of being vanquished by
anybody in fight. Who is there that would, hopeful of life, approach that
Bhima who, in Arjuna’s quest, alone entered my host, having ground Drona
himself? Who, indeed, is there, O Sanjaya, that would dare stay in the
face of Bhima? Who is there among the Asuras that would venture to stay
before the great Indra with the thunderbolt uplifted in his hand?[157] A
man may return having entered the abode of the dead, but none, however,
can return having encountered Bhimasena! Those men of weak prowess, who
senselessly rushed against the angry Bhimasena were like insects falling
upon a blazing fire. Without doubt, reflecting upon what the angry and
fierce Bhima had said in the assembly in the hearing of the Kurus about
the slaughter of my sons, and beholding the defeat of Karna, Duhsasana
and his brothers ceased to encounter Bhima from fear. That wicked son
also of mine, O Sanjaya, who repeatedly said in the assembly (these
words, viz.,) Karna and Duhsasana and I myself will vanquish the Pandavas
in battle,’–without doubt, beholding Karna defeated and deprived of his
car by Bhima, is consumed with grief in consequence of his rejection of
Krishna’s suit![158] Beholding his mail-clad brothers slain in battle by
Bhimasena, in consequence of his own fault, without doubt, my son is
burning with grief. Who that is desirous of life will make a hostile
advance against Pandu’s son, Bhima, excited with wrath armed with
terrible weapons and standing in battle like Death himself? A man may
escape from the very jaws of the Vadava fire. But it is my belief that no
one can escape from before Bhima’s face. Indeed, neither Partha, nor the
Panchalas, nor Kesava, nor Satyaki, when excited with wrath in battle,
shows the least regard for (his) life. Alas, O Suta, the very lives of my
sons are in danger.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Thou, O Kaurava, that art thus grieving in view of the
present carnage, thou, without doubt, art the root of this destruction of
the world! Obedient to the counsels of thy sons, thou hast thyself
provoked this fierce hostility. Though urged (by well-wishers) thou
acceptest not the proper medicine like a man fated to die. O monarch, O
best of men, having thyself drunk the fiercest and the most indigestible
poison, take thou all its consequences now. The combatants are fighting
to the best of their might, still thou speakest ill of them. Listen,
however, to me as I describe to thee how the battle raged on.

“Beholding Karna defeated by Bhimasena, five of thy sons, those uterine
brothers that were great bowmen, could not, O sire, brook it. They were
Durmarshana and Duhsaha and Durmada and Durdhara and Jaya. Clad in
beautiful mail, all of them rushed against the son of Pandu. Encompassing
the mighty-armed Vrikodara, on all sides, they shrouded all the points of
the compass with their shafts looking like flights of locusts. Bhimasena,
however, in the battle, smilingly received those princes of celestial
beauty thus rushing suddenly against him. Beholding thy sons advancing
against Bhimasena, Radha’s son, Karna rushed against that mighty warrior,
shooting arrows of keen points that were equipped with golden wings and
whetted on stone. Bhima, however, quickly rushed against Karna, though
resisted by thy sons. Then the Kurus, surrounding Karna, covered
Bhimasena with showers of straight shafts. With five and twenty arrows, O
king, Bhima, armed with his formidable bow, despatched all those bulls
among men to Yama’s abode with their steeds and charioteers. Falling down
from their cars along with their charioteers, their lifeless forms looked
like large trees with their weight of variegated flowers uprooted by the
tempest. The prowess that we then beheld of Bhimasena was exceedingly
wonderful, inasmuch as, resisting Adhiratha’s son the while, he slew
those sons of thine. Resisted by Bhima with whetted arrows on all sides,
the Suta’s son, O king, only looked at Bhima. Bhimasena also, with eyes
red in wrath, began to cast angry glances on Karna, stretching his
formidable bow the while.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding thy sons lying (on the field), Karna of great
prowess filled with great wrath, became hopeless about his life. And
Adhiratha’s son regarded himself guilty, seeing thy sons slain before his
eyes in battle by Bhima. Then Bhimasena, recollecting the wrongs formerly
inflicted by Karna, became filled with rage and began with deliberate
care to pierce Karna with many keen arrows. Then Karna, piercing Bhima
with five arrows, smiling the while, once more pierced him with seventy
arrows, equipped with golden wings and whetted on stone. Disregarding
these shafts shot by Karna, Vrikodara pierced the son of Radha in that
battle with a hundred straight shafts. And once more, piercing him in his
vitals with five keen arrows, Bhima, O sire, cut off with a broad-headed
arrow the bow of the Suta’s son. The cheerless Karna then, O Bharata,
taking up another bow shrouded Bhimasena on all sides with his arrows.
Then Bhima, slaying Karna’s steeds and charioteer, laughed a laugh,
having thus counteracted Karna’s feats. Then that bull amongst men, viz.,
Bhima, cut off with his arrows the bow of Karna. That bow, O king, of
loud twang, and the back of whose staff was decked with gold, fell down
(from his hand). Then the mighty car-warrior Karna alighted from his car
and taking up a mace in that battle wrathfully hurled it at Bhima.
Beholding that mace, O king, impetuously coursing towards him, Vrikodara
resisted it with his arrows in the sight of all thy troops. Then the son
of Pandu, gifted with great prowess and exerting himself with great
activity, shot a thousand arrows at the Suta’s son, desirous of taking
the latter’s life. Karna, however, in the dreadful battle, resisting all
those shafts with his own, cut off Bhima’s armour also with his arrows.
And then he pierced Bhima with five and twenty small shafts in the sight
of all the troops. All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. Then, O
monarch, Bhima, excited with rage, sped nine straight shafts at the
Suta’s son. Those keen shafts, piercing through Karna’s coat of mail and
right arm, entered the earth like snakes into an ant-hill. Shrouded with
showers of shafts shot from Bhimasena’s bow, Karna once more turned his
back upon Bhimasena. Beholding the Suta’s son turn back and flying away
on foot, covered all over with the arrows of Kunti’s son, Duryodhana
said, ‘Go ye quickly from all sides towards the car of Radha’s son.’
‘Then, O king, thy sons, hearing these words of their brother that were
to them a surprise, rushed towards the son of Pandu for battle, shooting
showers of shafts. They were Chitra, and Upachitra, and Charuchitra, and
Sarasan, and Chitrayudha, and Chitravarman. All of them were well-versed
in every mode of warfare. The mighty car-warrior, Bhimasena, however,
felled each of those sons of thine thus rushing against him, with a
single arrow. Deprived of life, they fell down on the earth like trees
uprooted by a tempest. Beholding those sons of thine, all mighty
car-warriors, O king, thus slain, Karna, with tearful face, recollected
the word of Vidura. Mounting upon another car that was duly equipped,
Karna, endued with great prowess, quickly proceeded against the son of
Pandu in battle. Piercing each other with whetted arrows, equipped with
wings of gold, the two warriors looked resplendent like two masses of
clouds penetrated by the rays of the sun. Then the son of Pandu, excited
with rage, cut off the armour of Suta’s son with six and thirty
broad-headed arrows of great sharpness and fierce energy. The
mighty-armed Suta’s son also, O bull of Bharata’s race, pierced the son
of Kunti with fifty straight arrows. The two warriors then, smeared with
red sandal-paste with many a wound caused by each other’s arrows, and
covered also with gore, looked resplendent like the risen sun and the
moon. Their coats of mail cut off by means of arrows, and their bodies
covered with blood, Karna and Bhima then looked like a couple of snakes
just freed from their sloughs. Indeed, those two tigers among men mangled
each other with their arrows, like two tigers mangling each other with
their teeth. The two heroes incessantly showered their shafts, like two
masses of clouds pouring torrents of rain. Those two chastisers of foes
tore each other’s body with their arrows, like two elephants tearing each
other with the points of their tusks. Roaring at each other and showering
their arrows upon each other, causing their cars to trace beautiful
circles. They resembled a couple of mighty bulls roaring at each other in
the presence of a cow in her season. Indeed, those two lions among men
then looked like a couple of mighty lions endued with eyes red in wrath,
these two warriors endued with great energy fought on like Sakra and
Virochana’s son (Prahlada). Then, O king, the mighty-armed Bhima, as he
stretched his bow with his two hands, looked like a cloud charged with
lightning. Then mighty Bhima-cloud, having the twang of the bow for its
thunder and incessant showers of arrows for its rainy downpour, covered,
O king, the Karna-mountain. And once more Pandu’s son, Bhima of terrible
prowess, O Bharata, shrouded Karna with a thousand shafts shot from his
bow. And as he shrouded Karna with his winged shafts, equipped with Kanka
feathers, thy sons witnessed his extra ordinary prowess. Gladdening
Partha himself and the illustrious Kesava, Satyaki and the two protectors
of (two) wheels (of Arjuna’s car), Bhima fought even thus with Karna.
Beholding the perseverance of Bhima who knew his own self, thy sons, O
monarch, all became cheerless.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing the twang of Bhimasena’s bow and the sound of his
palms, the son of Radha could not brook it, like an infuriated elephant
incapable of brooking the roars of an infuriated rival. Returning for a
moment from before Bhimasena, Karna cast his eyes upon those sons of
thine that had been slain by Bhimasena, Beholding them, O best of men,
Karna became cheerless and plunged in grief. Breathing hot and long
sighs, he, once more, proceeded against the son of Pandu. With eyes red
as copper, and sighing in wrath like a mighty snake, Karna then, as he
shot his arrows, looked resplendent like the sun scattering his
rays.[159] Indeed, O bull of Bharata’s race, Vrikodara was then covered
with the arrows, resembling the spreading rays of the sun that were shot
from Karna’s bow. The beautiful shafts, equipped with peacock-feathers,
shot from Karna’s bow, penetrated into every part of Bhima’s body, like
birds into a tree for roosting there. Indeed, the arrows, equipped with
wings of gold, shot from Karna’s bow falling incessantly, resembled
continuous rows of cranes. So numerous were the shafts shot by
Adhiratha’s son that, these seemed to issue not from his bow alone but
from his standard, his umbrella, and the shaft and yoke and bottom of his
car also. Indeed, Adhiratha’s son shot his sky-ranging shafts of
impetuous energy, decked with gold and equipped with vulturine feathers,
in such a way as to fill the entire welkin with them. Beholding him
(thus) excited with fury and rushing towards him like the Destroyer
himself, Vrikodara, becoming utterly reckless of his life and prevailing
over his foe, pierced him with nine shafts.[160] Beholding the
irresistible impetuosity of Karna as also that dense shower of arrows,
Bhima, endued as he was with great prowess, quailed not in fear. The son
of Pandu then counteracting that arrowy downpour of Adhiratha’s son,
pierced Karna himself with twenty other sharp shafts. Indeed, as Pritha’s
son himself had before been shrouded by the Suta’s son, even so was the
latter now shrouded by the former in that battle. Beholding the prowess
of Bhimasena in battle, thy warriors, as also the Gharanas, filled with
joy; applauded him. Bhurisravas, and Kripa, and Drona’s son, and the
ruler of the Madras, and Uttamaujas and Yudhamanyu, and Kesava, and
Arjuna,–these great car-warriors: O king, among both the Kurus and the
Pandavas,–loudly cheered Bhima, saying, ‘Excellent, Excellent,’ and
uttered leonine roars. When that fierce uproar, making the hair stand on
end rose, thy son Duryodhana, O king, quickly said unto all the kings and
princes and particularly his uterine brothers, these words, ‘Blessed be
ye, proceed towards Karna for rescuing him from Vrikodara, else the
shafts shot from Bhima’s bow will slay the son of Radha. Ye mighty
bowmen, strive ye to protect the Suta’s son.’ Thus commanded by
Duryodhana, seven of his uterine brothers, O sire, rushing in wrath
towards Bhimasena, encompassed him on all sides. Approaching the son of
Kunti they covered him with showers of arrows, like clouds pouring
torrents of rain on the mountain-breast in the season of rains. Excited
with wrath, those seven great car-warriors began to afflict Bhimasena, O
king, like the seven planets afflicting the moon at the hour of the
universal dissolution. The son of Kunti, then, O monarch, drawing his
beautiful bow with great force and firm grasp, and knowing that his foes
were but men, aimed seven shafts. And lord Bhima in great rage sped at
them those shafts, effulgent as solar rays. Indeed, Bhimasena
recollecting his former wrongs, shot those shafts as if for extracting
the life from out of the bodies of those sons of thine. Those arrows, O
Bharata, whetted on stone and equipped with wings of gold, shot by
Bhimasena, piercing through the bodies of those Bharata princes, flew
into the sky. Indeed, those arrows winged with gold, piercing through the
hearts of thy sons, looked beautiful, O monarch, as they passed into the
sky, like birds of excellent plumage. Decked with gold and covered all
over with blood, those arrows, O king, drinking the blood of thy sons
passed out of their body. Pierced in their vital limbs by means of those
arrows, they fell down on the earth from their cars, like tall trees
growing on mountain precipices, broken by an elephant. The seven sons of
thine that were thus slain were Satrunjaya, and Satrusaha, and Chitra,
and Chitrayudha, and Dridha, and Chitrasena and Vikarna. Amongst all thy
sons thus slain, Vrikodara, the son of Pandu, grieved bitterly from
sorrow for Vikarna who was dear to him. And Bhima said, ‘Even thus was
the vow made by me, viz., that all of you should be slain by me in
battle. It is for that, O Vikarna, that thou hast been slain. My vow hath
been accomplished. O hero, thou camest to battle, bearing in mind the
duties of a Kshatriya. Thou wert ever engaged in our good, and especially
in that of the king (our eldest brother). It is scarcely proper,
therefore, for me to grieve for thy illustrious self.’ Having slain those
princes, O king, in the very sight of Radha’s son, the son of Pandu
uttered a terrible leonine roar. That loud shout of the heroic Bhima, O
Bharata, informed king Yudhishthira the Just that the victory in that
battle was his. Indeed, hearing that tremendous shout of Bhima armed with
the bow, king Yudhishthira felt great joy in the midst of that battle.
The gladdened son of Pandu, then, O king, received that leonine shout of
his brother with sounds and other musical instruments. And after
Vrikodara, had sent him that message by the sign agreed upon,
Yudhishthira, that foremost of persons acquainted with weapons, filled
with joy, rushed against Drona in battle. On the other hand, O king,
beholding one and thirty of thy sons slain, Duryodhana recollected the
words of Vidura.-Those beneficial words spoken by Vidura are now
realised! Thinking even so, king Duryodhana was unable to do what he
should. All that, during the match at dice, thy foolish and wicked son,
with Karna (on his side), said unto the princes of Panchala causing her
to be brought into the assembly, all the harsh words, again, that Karna
said unto Krishna, in the same place, before thyself, O king, and the
sons of Pandu, in thy hearing and that of all the Kurus, viz., O Krishna,
the Pandavas are lost and have sunk into eternal hell, therefore, choose
thou other husbands,–alas, the fruit of all that is now manifesting
itself. Then, again, O thou of Kuru’s race, diverse harsh speeches, such
as sesamum seeds without kernel, etc., were applied by the wrathful sons
to those high-souled ones, viz., the sons of Pandu. Bhimasena, vomiting
forth the fire of wrath (which these enraged) and which he had restrained
for thirteen years, is now compassing the destruction of thy sons.
Indulging in copious lamentations, Viduara failed to persuade thee
towards peace. O chief of the Bharatas, suffer the fruit of all that with
thy sons. Thou art old, patient, and capable of foreseeing the
consequences of all acts. Being so, when thou didst yet refuse to follow
the counsels of thy well-wishers, it seems that all this is the result of
destiny. Do not grieve, O tiger among men! All this is thy great fault.
In my opinion, thou art thyself the cause of the destruction of thy sons.
O monarch, Vikarna hath fallen, and Chitrasena also of great prowess.
Many other mighty car-warriors and foremost ones among thy sons have also
fallen. Others, again, among thy sons whom Bhima saw come within the
range of his vision, O mighty-armed one, he slew in a trice. It is for
thee only that I had to see our array scorched in thousands by means of
the arrows shot by Pandu’s son, Bhima and Vrisha (Karna)!'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘O Suta, O Sanjaya, this grievous result that has
now overtaken us is, I think, certainly due to my evil policy. I had
hitherto thought that what is past. But, O Sanjaya, what measures should
I now adopt? I am now once more calm, O Sanjaya, therefore, tell me how
this slaughter of heroes is going on, having my evil policy for its

“Sanjaya said, ‘Indeed, O king, Karna and Bhima, both endued with great
prowess, continued in that battle to pour their arrowy showers like two
rain-charged clouds. The arrows, winged with gold and whetted on stone
and marked with Bhima’s name, approaching Karna, penetrated into his
body, as if piercing into his very life. Similarly, Bhima also, in that
battle was shrouded with the shafts of Karna in hundreds and thousands,
resembling snakes of virulent poison. With their arrows, O king, failing
on all sides, an agitation was produced among the troops resembling that
of the very ocean. Many were the combatants, O chastiser of foes, in thy
host that were deprived of life by arrows, resembling snakes of virulent
poison shot from Bhima’s bow. Strewn with fallen elephants and steeds
mixed with the bodies of men, the field of battle looked like one covered
with trees broken by a tempest. Slaughtered in battle with the arrows
from Bhima’s bow, thy warriors fled away, ‘saying, What is this?’ Indeed,
that host of the Sindhus, the Sauviras, and the Kauravas, afflicted with
the impetuous shafts of both Karna and Bhima, was removed to a great
distance. The remnant of those brave soldiers, with their steeds and
elephants killed, leaving the vicinity of both Karna and Bhima, fled away
in all directions. (And they cried out), ‘Verily, for the sake of the
Parthas, the gods are stupefying us, since those arrows shot by both
Bhima and Karna are slaying our forces. Saying those words, these troops
of thine afflicted with fear avoiding the range of (Karna’s and Bhima’s)
arrows, stood at a distance for witnessing that combat. Then, on the
field of battle there began to flow a terrible river enhancing the joy of
the heroes and the fears of the timid. And it was caused by the blood of
elephants and steeds and men. And covered with the lifeless forms of men
and elephants and steeds, with flagstaffs and the bottoms of cars, with
the adornments of cars and elephants and steeds with broken cars and
wheels and Akshas and Kuveras, with loud-twanged bows decked with gold,
and gold-winged arrows and shafts in thousands, shot by Karna and Bhima,
resembling snakes just freed from their sloughs, with countless lances
and spears and scimitars and battleaxes, with maces and clubs and axes,
all adorned with gold, with standards of diverse shapes, and darts and
spiked clubs, and with beautiful Sataghnis, the earth, O Bharata, looked
resplendent. And strewn all over with earrings and necklaces of gold and
bracelets loosened (from wrists), and rings, and precious gems worn on
diadems and crowns, and head-gears, and golden ornaments of diverse
kinds, O sire, and coats of mail, and leathern fences, and elephants’
ropes, and umbrellas displaced (from their places) and Yak-tails, and
fans with the pierced bodies of elephants and steeds and men, with
blood-dyed arrows, and with diverse other objects, lying about and
loosened from their places, the field of battle looked resplendent like
the firmament bespangled with stars. Beholding the wonderful,
inconceivable, and superhuman feats of those two warriors, the Charanas
and the Siddhas were exceedingly amazed. As a blazing conflagration,
having the wind for its ally, courses through an (extended) heap of dry
grass, even so, Adhiratha’s son, engaged with Bhima, coursed fiercely in
that battle.[161] Both of them felled countless standards and cars and
slew steeds and men and elephants, like a pair of elephants crushing a
forest of reeds while engaged in battle with other. Thy host looked like
a mass of clouds, O king, of men, and great was the carnage caused in
that battle by Karna and Bhima.'”[162]


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then Karna, O king, piercing Bhima with three arrows,
poured countless beautiful arrows upon him. The mighty-armed Bhimasena,
the son of Pandu, though thus struck by the Suta’s son, showed no signs
of pain but stood immovable like a hill pierced (with arrows). In return,
O sire, in that battle, he deeply pierced Karna in the ear with a barbed
arrow, rubbed with oil, of great keenness, and of excellent temper. (With
that arrow) he felled on the earth the large and beautiful ear-ring of
Karna. And it felled down, O monarch, like a blazing luminary of great
effulgence from the firmament. Excited with wrath, Vrikodara, then,
smiling the while, deeply pierced the Suta’s son in the centre of the
chest with another broad-headed arrow. And once again, O Bharata, the
mighty-armed Bhima quickly shot in that battle ten long shafts that
looked like snakes of virulent poison just freed from their sloughs. Shot
by Bhima, those shafts, O sire, striking Karna’s forehead, entered it
like snakes entering an ant-hill. With those shafts sticking to his
forehead, the Suta’s son looked beautiful, as he did before, while his
brow had been encircled with a chaplet of blue lotuses. Deeply pierced by
the active son of Pandu, Karna, supporting himself on the Kuxara of his
car, closed his eyes. Soon, however, regaining consciousness, Karna, that
scorcher of foes, with his body bathed in blood, became mad with
rage.[163] Infuriated with rage in consequence of his being thus
afflicted by that firm bowman Karna, endued with great impetuosity,
rushed fiercely towards Bhimasena’s car. Then, O king, the mighty and
wrathful Karna, maddened with rage, shot at Bhimasena, O Bharata, a
hundred shafts winged with vulturine feathers. The son of Pandu, however,
disregarding his foe and setting at nought his energy, began to shoot
showers of fierce arrows at him. Then Karna, O king, excited with rage, O
scorcher of foes, struck the son of Pandu, that embodiment of wrath with
nine arrows in the chest. Then both those tigers among men (armed with
arrows and, therefore), resembling a couple of tigers with fierce teeth,
poured upon each other, in that battle, their arrowy showers, like two
mighty masses of clouds. They sought to frighten each other in that
battle, with sounds of their palms and with showers of arrows of diverse
kinds. Excited with rage, each sought in that battle to counteract the
other’s feat. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the mighty-armed
Bhima, O Bharata, cutting off, with a razor-faced arrow, the bow of the
Suta’s son, uttered a loud shout. Casting off that broken bow, the Suta’s
son, that mighty car-warrior, took up another bow that was stronger and
tougher. Beholding that slaughter of the Kuru, the Sauvira, and the
Sindhu heroes, and marking that the earth was covered with coats of mail
and standards and weapons lying about, and also seeing the lifeless forms
of elephants, foot-soldiers and horsemen and car-warriors on all sides,
the body of the Suta’s son, from wrath, blazed up with effulgence.
Stretching his formidable bow, decked with gold, Radha’s son, O king,
eyed Bhima with wrathful glances. Infuriated with rage, the Suta’s son,
while shooting his arrows, looked resplendent, like the autumnal sun of
dazzling rays at mid-day. While employed with his hands in taking up an
arrow, fixing it on the bow-string, stretching the string and letting it
off, none could notice any interval between those acts. And while Karna
was thus engaged in shooting his arrows right and left, his bow
incessantly drawn to a circle, like a terrible circle of fire. The keen
pointed arrows, equipped with wings of gold, shot from Karna’s bow,
covered, O king, all the points of the compass, darkening the very light
of the sun. Countless flights were seen, in the welkin, of those shafts
equipped with wings of gold, shot from Karna’s bow. Indeed, the shafts
shot from the bow of Adhiratha’s son, looked like rows of cranes in the
sky. The arrows that Adhiratha’s son shot were all equipped with
vulturine feathers, whetted on stone, decked with gold, endued with great
impetuosity, and furnished with blazing points. Impelled by the force of
his bow, those arrows urged by Karna, while coursing in thousands through
the welkin looked beautiful like successive flights of locusts. The
arrows shot from the bow of Adhiratha’s son, as they coursed through the
welkin, looked like one long continuously drawn arrow in the sky. Like a
cloud covering a mountain with torrents of rain, Karna in rage, covered
Bhima with showers of arrows. Then thy sons, O Bharata, with their
troops, beheld the might, energy, prowess and perseverance of Bhima, for
the latter, disregarding that arrowy downpour, resembling the raging sea,
rushed in wrath against Karna, Bhima, O monarch, was armed with a
formidable bow, the back of whose staff was decked with gold. He
stretched it so quickly that it seemed, like a second bow of Indra,
incessantly drawn to a circle. Shafts issued continuously from it seemed
to fill the welkin. With those straight arrows, equipped with wings of
gold, shot by Bhima, a continuous line was made in the sky that looked
effulgent like a garland of gold. Then those showers of (Karna’s) arrows
spread in the welkin, struck by Bhimasena with his shafts, were scattered
in portions and fell down on the earth. Then the sky was covered with
those showers of gold-winged and swiftly-coursing arrows, of both Karna
and Bhimasena, that produced sparks of fire as they clashed against each
other. The very sun was then shrouded, and the very wind ceased to blow.
Indeed, when the welkin was thus covered with those arrowy showers,
nothing could be seen. Then the Suta’s son, disregarding the energy of
the high-souled Bhima, completely shrouded Bhima with other arrows and
endeavoured to prevail over him. Then, O sire, those arrowy showers shot
by both of them, seemed to clash against each other like two opposite
currents of wind. And in consequence of that clash of the arrowy showers
of those two lions among men, a conflagration, O chief of the Bharatas,
seemed to be generated in the sky. Then Karna, desirous of slaying Bhima,
shot at him in rage many whetted arrows equipped with wings of gold and
polished by the hands of the smith. Bhima, however, cut off with his own
shafts every one of those arrows into three fragments, and prevailing
over the Suta’s son, he cried out, ‘Wait, Wait.’ And the wrathful and
mighty son of Pandu, like an all-consuming conflagration, once more shot
in rage showers of fierce shafts. And then in consequence of their
leathern fences striking against their bow-strings, loud sounds were
generated. And loud also became the sound of their palms, and terrible
their leonine shouts, and fierce the rattle of their car-wheels and the
twang of their bow-strings. And all the combatants, O king, ceased to
fight, desirous of beholding the prowess of Karna and of the son of
Pandu, each of whom was desirous of slaying the other. And the celestial
Rishis and Siddhas and Gandharvas, applauded them, saying, “Excellent,
Excellent!’ And the tribes of Vidyadharas rained flowery showers upon
them. Then the wrathful and mighty-armed Bhima of fierce prowess,
baffling with his own weapons the weapons of his foe, pierced the Suta’s
son with many shafts. Karna also, endued with great might, baffling the
shafts of Bhimasena, sped at him nine long shafts in that battle. Bhima,
however, with as many arrows, cut off those shafts of Suta’s son in the
welkin and addressed him, saying, ‘Wait, Wait!’ Then the mighty-armed and
heroic Bhima, excited with rage, shot at Adhiratha’s son an arrow
resembling the rod of Yama or Death himself. Radha’s son, however,
smiling, cut off that arrow, O king, of Pandu’s son, however, of great
Prowess, with three arrows of his, as it coursed towards him through the
welkin. The son of Pandu then once more shot showers of fierce shafts.
Karna, however, fearlessly received all those arrows of Bhima. Then
excited with rage, the Suta’s son, Karna, by the power of his weapons,
with his straight arrows, cut off in that encounter the couple of quivers
and the bow-string of fighting Bhima, as also the traces of his steeds.
And then slaying his steeds also, Karna pierced Bhima’s charioteer with
five shafts. The charioteer, quickly running away, proceeded to
Yudhamanyu’s car. Excited with rage, the son of Radha then, whose
splendour resembled that of the Yuga-fire, smiling the while, cut off the
flag-staff of Bhima and felled his banner. Deprived of his bow, the
mighty-armed Bhima then seized a dart, such as car-warriors may use.
Excited with wrath, he whirled it in his hand and then hurled it with
great force at Karna’s car. The son of Adhiratha then, with ten shafts,
cut off, as it coursed towards him with the effulgence of a large meteor,
the gold-decked dart thus hurled (by Bhima).[164] Thereupon, that dart
fell down, cut off into ten fragments by those sharp shafts of the Suta’s
son, Karna, that warrior conversant with every mode of warfare, then
battling for the sake of his friends. Then, the son of Kunti took up a
shield decked with gold and a sword, desirous of obtaining either death
or victory, Karna, however, O Bharata, smiling the while, cut off that
bright shield of Bhima with many fierce shafts. Then, car-less, Bhima, O
king, deprived of his shield, became mad with rage. Quickly, then, he
hurled his formidable sword at Karna’s car. That large sword, cutting off
the stringed bow of the Suta’s son, fell down on the earth, O king, like
an angry snake from the sky. Then Adhiratha’s son, excited with rage in
that battle, smilingly took up another bow destructive of foes, having a
stronger string, and tougher than the one he had lost. Desirous of
slaying the son of Kunti, Karna then began to shoot thousands of arrows,
O king, equipped with wings of gold and endued with great energy. Struck
by those shafts shot from Karna’s bow, the mighty Bhima leaped into the
sky, filling Karna’s heart with anguish. Beholding the conduct of Bhima,
in battle desirous of victory, the son of Radha beguiled him by
concealing himself in his car. Seeing Karna concealing himself with an
agitated heart on the terrace of his car, Bhima catching hold of Karna’s
flagstaff, waited on the earth. All the Kurus and the Charanas highly
applauded that attempt of Bhima of snatching Karna away from his car,
like Garuda snatching away a snake. His bow cut off, himself deprived of
his car, Bhima, observant of the duties of his order, stood still for
battle, keeping his (broken) car behind him. The son of Radha, then, from
rage, in that encounter, proceeded against the son of Pandu who was
waiting for battle. Then those two mighty warriors, O king, challenging
as they approached each other, those two bulls among men, roared at each
other, like clouds at the close of summer. And the passage-at-arms that
then took place between those two engaged lions among men that could not
brook each other in battle resembled that of old between the gods and the
Danavas. The son of Kunti, however, whose stock of weapons was exhausted,
was (obliged to turn back) pursued by Karna. Beholding the elephants,
huge as hills that had been slain by Arjuna, lying (near), unarmed
Bhimasena entered into their midst, for impeding the progress of Karna’s
car. Approaching that multitude of elephants and getting into the midst
of that fastness which was inaccessible to a car, the son of Pandu,
desirous of saving his life, refrained from striking the son of Radha.
Desirous of shelter, that subjugator of hostile cities viz., the son of
Pritha, uplifting an elephant that had been slain by Dhananjaya with his
shafts, waited there, like Hanumat uplifting the peak of
Gandhamadana.[165] Karna, however, with his shafts, cut off that elephant
held by Bhima. The son of Pandu, thereupon, hurled at Karna the fragments
of that elephant’s body as also car-wheels and steeds. In fact, all
objects that he saw lying there on the field, the son of Pandu, excited
with rage, took up and hurled at Karna. Karna, however, with his sharp
arrows, cut off every one of those objects thus thrown at him. Bhima
also, raising his fierce fists that were endued with the force of the
thunder, desired to slay the Suta’s son. Soon, however, he recollected
Arjuna’s vow. The son of Pandu, therefore, though competent, spared the
life of Karna, from desire of not falsifying the vow that Savyasachin had
made. The Suta’s son, however, with his sharp shafts, repeatedly caused
the distressed Bhima, to lose the sense. But Karna, recollecting the
words of Kunti, took not the life of the unarmed Bhima. Approaching
quickly Karna touched him with the horn of his bow. As soon, however, as
Bhimasena was touched with the bow, excited with rage and sighing like a
snake, he snatched the bow from Karna and struck him with it on the head.
Struck by Bhimasena, the son of Radha, with eyes red in wrath, smiling
the while, said unto him repeatedly these words, viz., ‘Beardless eunuch,
ignorant fool and glutton.’ And Karna said, ‘Without skin in weapons, do
not fight with me. Thou art but a child, a laggard in battle! There, son
of Pandu, where occurs a profusion of eatables and drink, there, O
wretch, shouldst thou be but never in battle. Subsisting on roots,
flowers, and observant of vows and austerities, thou, O Bhima, shouldst
pass thy days in the woods for thou art unskilled in battle. Great is the
difference between battle and the austere mode of a Muni’s life.
Therefore, O Vrikodara, retire into the woods. O child, thou art not fit
for being engaged in battle. Thou hast an aptitude for a life in the
woods. Urging cooks and servants and slaves in the house to speed, thou
art fit only for reproving them in wrath for the sake of thy dinner, O
Vrikodara! O Bhima, O thou of a foolish understanding, betaking thyself
to a Muni’s mode of life, gather thou fruits (for thy food). Go to the
woods, O son of Kunti, for thou art not skilled in battle. Employed in
cutting fruits and roots or in waiting upon guests, thou art unfit, I
think, to take a part, O Vrikodara, in any passage-at-arms.’ And, O
monarch, all the wrongs done to him in his younger years, were also
reminded by Karna in harsh words. And as he stood there in weakness,
Karna once more touched him with the bow. And laughing loudly, Vrisha
once more told Bhima those words, ‘Thou shouldst fight with others, O
sire, but never with one like me. They that fight with persons like us
have to undergo this and else! Go thither where the two Krishnas are!
They will protect thee in battle. Or, O son of Kunti, go home, for, a
child as thou art, what business hast thou with battle?’ Hearing those
harsh words of Karna, Bhimasena laughed aloud and addressing Karna said
unto him these words in the hearing of all, ‘O wicked wight, repeatedly
hast thou been vanquished by me. How canst thou indulge, then, in such
idle boast? In this world the ancients witnessed the victory and defeat
of the great Indra himself. O thou of ignoble parentage, engage thyself
with me in an athletic encounter with bare arms. Even as I slew the
mighty Kichaka of gigantic frame, I would then slay thee in the very
sight of all kings.’ Understanding the motives of Bhima, Karna, that
foremost of intelligent men, abstained from that combat in the very sight
of all the bowmen. Indeed, having made Bhima carless, Karna, O king,
reproved him in such boastful language in the sight of that lion among
the Vrishnis (viz., Krishna) and of the high-souled Partha. Then the
ape-bannered (Arjuna), urged by Kesava, shot at the Suta’s son, O king,
many shafts whetted on stone. Those arrows adorned with gold, shot by
Partha’s arms and issuing out of Gandiva, entered Karna’s body, like
cranes into the Krauncha mountains. With those arrows shot from Gandiva
which entered Karna’s body like so many snakes, Dhananjaya drove the
Suta’s son from Bhimasena’s vicinity. His bow cut off by Bhima, and
himself afflicted with the arrows of Dhananjaya, Karna quickly fled away
from Bhima on his great car. Bhimasena also, O bull among men, mounting
upon Satyaki’s car, proceeded in that battle in the wake of his brother
Savyasachin, the son of Pandu. Then Dhananjaya, with eyes red in wrath,
aiming at Karna, quickly sped a shaft like the Destroyer urging forward
Death’s self. That shaft shot from Gandiva, like Garuda in the welkin in
quest of a mighty snake, quickly coursed towards Karna. The son of Drona,
however, that mighty car-warrior, with a winged arrow of his, cut it off
in mid-air, desirous of rescuing Karna from fear of Dhananjaya. Then
Arjuna, excited with wrath, pierced the son of Drona with four and sixty
arrows, O king, and addressing him, said, ‘Do not fly away, O Aswathaman,
but wait a moment.’ Drona’s son, however, afflicted with the shafts of
Dhananjaya, quickly entered a division of the Kaurava army that abounded
with infuriated elephants and teemed with cars. The mighty son of Kunti,
then, with the twang of Gandiva, drowned the noise made in that battle by
all other twangings of bows, of shafts decked with gold. Then, the mighty
Dhananjaya followed from behind the son of Drona who had not retreated to
a great distance, frightening him all the way with his shafts. Piercing
with his shafts, winged with the feathers of Kankas and peacocks, the
bodies of men and elephants and steeds, Arjuna began to grind that force.
Indeed, O chief of the Bharatas, Partha, the son of Indra, began to
exterminate that host teeming with steeds and elephants and men.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Day by day, O Sanjaya, my blazing fame is being
darkened. A great many warriors of mine have fallen. I think, all this is
due to the reverse brought about by time. Dhananjaya, excited with rage,
hath penetrated into my host which is protected by Drona’s son, and Karna
and which, therefore, is incapable of being penetrated by the very gods.
United with those two of blazing energy viz., Krishna and Bhima, as also
with that bull among the Sinis, his prowess hath been increased. Since I
have heard of Dhananjaya’s entry, grief is consuming my heart, like fire
consuming a heap of dry grass, I see that all the kings of the earth with
the ruler of the Sindhus amongst them, are affected by evil destiny.
Having done a great wrong to the diadem-decked (Arjuna), how can the
ruler of the Sindhus, if he falls within Arjuna’s sight, save his life?
From circumstantial inference, I see, O Sanjaya, how can the ruler of the
Sindhus, if he falls within Arjuna’s sight, save his life? From
circumstantial inference, I see, O Sanjaya, that the ruler of the Sindhus
is already dead. Tell me, however, truly how the battle raged. Thou art
skilled in narration, O Sanjaya, tell me truly how the Vrishni hero
Satyaki fought, who striving resolutely for Dhananjaya’s sake, alone
entered in rage the vast force, disturbing and agitating it repeatedly,
like an elephant plunging into a lake overgrown with lotuses.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding that foremost of men, viz., Bhima, to proceed,
afflicted with Karna’s shafts in the midst, O king, or many heroes, that
foremost warrior amongst the Sinis followed him on his car. Roaring like
the clouds at the close of summer, and blazing like the autumnal sun, he
began to slaughter with his formidable bow the host of thy son, causing
it to tremble repeatedly. And as the foremost one of Madhu’s race, O
Bharata, thus proceeded along the field on his car, drawn by steeds of
the hue of silver and himself roaring terribly, none amongst thy warriors
could check his progress. Then that foremost of kings, viz., Alamvusha,
full of rage, never retreating from battle, armed with bow, and clad in a
golden coat of mail rushing quickly, impeded the progress of Satyaki,
that foremost warrior of Madhu’s race. The encounter, then, O Bharata,
that took place between them was such that its like had never been. All
thy warriors and the enemy, abstaining from the fight, became spectators
of that engagement between those two ornaments of battle. Then that
foremost of kings, viz., Alamvusha forcibly pierced Satyaki with ten
arrows. That bull of Sini’s race, however, with shafts, cut all those
arrows before they could reach him. And once more, Alamvusha struck
Satyaki with three sharp arrows equipped with beautiful wings, blazing as
fire, and shot from his bow drawn to the ear. Those piercing through
Satyaki’s coat of mail, penetrated into his body. Having pierced
Satyaki’s body with those sharp and blazing arrows, endued with the force
of fire or the wind, Alamvusha forcibly struck the four steeds of
Satyaki, white as silver, with four other arrows. The grandson of Sini,
endued with great activity and prowess like that of (Kesava himself), the
bearer of the discus, thus struck by him, slew with four shafts of great
impetuosity the four steeds of Alamvusha. Having then cut off the head,
beautiful as the full moon and decked with excellent car-rings with a
broad-headed arrow, fierce as the Yuga-fire. Having slain that descendant
of many kings in battle, that bull among the Yadus, that hero capable of
grinding hostile hosts, proceeded towards Arjuna, O king, resisting, as
he went, the enemy’s troops. Indeed, O king, thus careering in the midst
of the foe, the Vrishni hero, while proceeding in the wake (of Arjuna),
was seen repeatedly to destroy with his shafts the Kuru host, like the
hurricane dispersing gathering masses of clouds. Whithersoever that lion
among men desired to go, thither he was borne by those excellent steeds
of his, of the Sindhu breed, well-broken, docile, white as milk of the
Kunda flower or the moon or snow, and adorned with trappings of warriors,
viz., Duhsasana,–their commander. Those leaders of divisions,
encompassing the grandson of Sini on all sides in that battle, began to
strike him. That foremost one among the Satwatas, that hero, viz.,
Satyaki also, resisted them all with showers of arrows. Quickly checking
all of them by means of his fiery shafts, that slayer of foes, viz., the
grandson of Sini, forcibly uplifting his bow, O Ajamida, slew the steeds
of Duhsasana. Then, Arjuna and Krishna, beholding that foremost of men,
(viz., Satyaki) in that battle, became filled with joy.”‘


“Sanjaya said, ‘Then the great bowmen of the Trigarta country owning
standards, adorned with gold, encompassed on all sides the mighty-armed
Satyaki, that warrior who accomplished with great activity everything
that demanded accomplishment and who, having penetrated into that host,
unlimited as the sea, was rushing against Duhsasana’s car from desire of
Dhananjaya’s success. Checking his course with a large throng of cars on
all sides, those great bowmen, excited with rage, covered him with
showers of arrows. Having penetrated into the midst of the Bharata army
which resembled a shoreless sea, and which, filled with the sound of
palms abounded with swords and darts and maces, Satyaki, of prowess
incapable of being baffled, alone vanquished his foes, those fifty
(Trigarta) princes shining brilliantly in that battle. On that occasion
we saw that the conduct of Sini’s grandson in battle was extremely
wonderful. So great was the lightness (of his movements) that having seen
him on the west, we immediately saw him in the east. North, south, east,
west, and in the other subsidiary directions, that hero seemed to career
dancingly, as if he constituted a hundred warriors in his single self.
Beholding that conduct of Satyaki, endued with the sportive tread of the
lion, the Trigarta warriors, unable to bear his prowess fled away towards
(the division of) their own (countrymen). Then the brave warriors of the
Surasenas endeavoured to check Satyaki, striking him with showers of
shafts, like a driver striking an infuriated elephant with the hook. The
high-souled Satyaki struggled with them for a short space of time and
then that hero of inconceivable prowess began to fight with the Kalingas.
Transgressing that division of the Kalingas which was incapable of being
crossed, the mighty-armed Satyaki approached the presence of Dhananjaya,
the son of Pritha. Like a tired swimmer in water when he reaches the
land, Yuyudhana became comforted on obtaining the sight of Dhananjaya,
that tiger among men. Beholding him approach, Kesava, addressing Partha,
said, ‘Yonder cometh the grandson of Sini, O Partha, following in thy
wake. O thou of prowess incapable of being baffled, he is thy disciple
and friend. That bull among men, regarding all the warriors as straw,
hath vanquished them. Inflicting terrible injuries upon the Kaurava
warriors, Satyaki, who is dear to thee as life, cometh towards thee, O
Kiritin! Having with his shafts crushed Drona himself and Kritavarman of
the Bhoja race, this Satyaki cometh to thee, O Phalguna! Intent on
Yudhishthira’s good, having slain many foremost of warriors, the brave
Satyaki, skilled in weapons, is coming to thee, O Phalguna! Having
achieved the most difficult feat in the midst of the (Kaurava) troops,
the mighty Satyaki, desirous of obtaining thy sight cometh to thee, O son
of Pandu! Having on a single car fought in battle many mighty
car-warriors with the preceptor (Drona) on their head, Satyaki cometh to
thee, O Partha! Despatched by Dharma’s son, this Satyaki cometh to thee,
O Partha, having pierced through the Kaurava army, relying on the might
of his own arms. Invincible in battle, that Satyaki, who hath no warrior
amongst the Kauravas equal to him, is coming to thee, O son of Kunti!
Having slain, countless warriors, this Satyaki cometh to thee, O Partha,
freed from amid the Kaurva troops, like a lion from amid a herd of kine.
Having strewn the earth with the faces, beautiful as the lotus, of
thousands of kings, this Satyaki is coming to thee, O Partha! Having
vanquished in battle Duryodhana himself with his brothers, and having
slain Jalasandha, Satyaki is coming quickly. Having caused a river of
blood for its mire, and regarding the Kauravas as straw, Satyaki cometh
towards thee.’ The son of Kunti, without being cheerful, said these words
unto Kesava, ‘The arrival of Satyaki, O mighty-armed one, is scarcely
agreeable to me. I do not, O Kesava, know how king Yudhishthira the Just
is. Now that he is separated from Satwata, I doubt whether he is alive; O
mighty-armed one, this Satyaki should have protected the king. Why then,
O Krishna, hath this one, leaving Yudhishthira followed in my wake? The
king, therefore, hath been abandoned to Drona. The ruler of the Sindhus
hath not yet been slain. There, Bhurisravas is proceeding against Satyaki
in battle. A heavier burthen hath been cast upon me on account of
Jayadratha. I should know how the ling is and I should also protect
Satyaki. I should also slay Jayadratha. The sun hangeth low. As regards
the mighty-armed Satyaki, he is tired; his weapons also have been
exhausted. His steeds as also their driver, are tired, O Madhava!
Bhurisravas, on the other hand, is not tired, he hath supporters behind
him, O Kesava! Will success be Satyaki’s in this encounter? Having
crossed the very ocean, will Satyaki of unbaffled prowess, will that bull
amongst the Sinis, of great energy, succumb, obtaining (before him) the
vestige of a cow’s foot?[166] Encountering that foremost one amongst the
Kurus, viz., the high-souled Bhurisravas, skilled in weapons, will
Satyaki have good fortune? I regard this, O Kesava, to have been an error
of judgment on the part of king Yudhishthira the Just. Casting of all
fear of the preceptor, he hath despatched Satyaki (from away his side).
Like a sky-ranging hawk after a peace of meat, Drona always endeavoureth
after the seizure of king Yudhishthira the Just. Will the king be free
from all danger?’


“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Satwata, invincible in battle coming (towards
Arjuna), Bhurisravas, in rage, O king, suddenly advanced towards him. He
of Kuru’s race, then, O king, addressing that bull of Sini’s race, said,
‘By luck it, is thou that hast today come within the range of my vision.
Today in this; battle, I obtain the wish I had always cherished. If thou
dost not flee away from battle, thou wilt not escape me with life.
Slaying thee today in fight, thou that art ever proud of thy heroism, I
will, O thou of Dasarha’s race, gladden the Kuru king Suyodhana. Those
heroes, viz., Kesava and Arjuna, will today together behold thee lying on
the field of battle, scorched with my arrows. Hearing that thou hast been
slain by me, the royal son of Dharma, who caused thee to penetrate into
this host, will today be covered with shame. Pritha’s son, Dhananjaya,
will today behold my prowess when he sees thee slain and lying on the
earth, covered with gore. This encounter with thee hath always been
desired by me, like the encounter of Sakra with Vali in the battle
between the gods and the Asuras in days of old. Today I will give thee
dreadful battle, O Satwata! Thou shalt thence truly understand (the
measure of) my energy, might, and manliness. Slain by me in battle, thou
shalt today proceed to the abode of Yama, like Ravana’s son (Indrajit)
slain by Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama. Today, Krishna and
Partha and king Yudhishthira the Just, O thou of Madhu’s race, witnessing
thy slaughter will, without doubt, be overcome with despondency and will
give up battle. Causing thy death today, O Madhava, with keen shafts, I
will gladden the wives of all those that have been slain by thee in
battle. Having come within the scope of my vision, thou shalt not escape,
like a small deer from within the range of a lion’s vision.’ Hearing
these words of his, Yuyudhana, O king, answered him with a laugh, saying,
‘O thou of Kuru’s race, I am never inspired with fear in battle. Thou
shalt not succeed in terrifying me with thy words only. He will slay me
in battle who will succeed in disarming me. He that will slay me in
battle will slay (foes) for all time to come.[167] What is the use of
such idle and long-winded boast in words? Accomplish in deed what thou
sayest. Thy words seem to be as fruitless as the roar of autumnal clouds.
Hearing, O hero, these roars of thine, I cannot restrain my laughter. Let
that encounter, O thou of Kuru’s race, which has been desired by thee so
long, take place today. My heart, O sire, inspired as it is with the
desire of an encounter with thee, cannot brook any delay. Before slaying
thee, I shall not abstain from the fight, O wretch.’ Rebuking each other
in such words, those two bulls among men, both excited with great wrath,
struck each other in battle, each being desirous of taking the other’s
life. Those great bowmen both endued with great might, encountered each
other in battle, each challenging the other, like two wrathful elephants
in rut for the sake of a she-elephant in her season. And those two
chastisers of foes, viz., Bhurisravas and Satyaki, poured upon each other
dense showers of arrows like two masses of clouds. Then Somadatta’s son,
having shrouded the grandson of Sini with swift coursing shafts, once
more pierced the latter, O chief of the Bharatas, with many keen shafts,
from desire of slaying him. Having pierced Satyaki with ten shafts,
Somadatta’s son sped many other keen shafts at that bull amongst the
Sinis, from a desire of compassing his destruction. Satyaki, however, O
lord, cut off, with the power of his weapons, all those keen shafts of
Bhurisravas, O king, in the welkin, before, in fact, any of them could
reach him. Those two heroes, those two warriors that enhanced the fame of
the Kurus and the Vrishnis respectively, both of noble lineage, thus
poured upon each other their arrowy showers. Like two tigers fighting
with their claws or two huge elephants with their tusks they mangled each
other with shafts and darts, such as car-warriors may use. Mangling each
other’s limbs, and with blood issuing out of their wounds, those two
warriors engaged in a gambling match in which their lives were at the
stake, checked and confounded each other. Those heroes of excellent
feats, those enhancers of the fame of the Kurus and the Vrishnis, thus
fought with each other, like two leaders of elephantine herds. Indeed,
those warriors, both coveting the highest region, both cherishing the
desire of very soon attaining the region of Brahman, thus roared at each
other. Indeed, Satyaki and Somadatta’s son continued to cover each other
with their arrowy showers in the sight of the Dhartarashtras filled with
joy. And the people there witnessed that encounter between those two
foremost of warriors who were fighting like two leaders of elephantine
herds for the sake of a she-elephant in her season. Then each slaying the
other’s steeds and cutting off the other’s bow, those car-less combatants
encountered each other with swords in a dreadful fight. Taking up two
beautiful and large and bright shields made of bull’s hide, and two naked
swords, they careered on the field. Stalking in circles and in diverse
other kinds of courses duly, those grinders of foes excited with rage,
frequently struck each other. Armed with swords, clad in bright armour,
decked with cuirass and Angadas, those two famous warriors showed diverse
kinds of motion. They wheeled about on high and made side-thrusts, and
ran about, and rushed forward and rushed upwards. And those chastisers of
foes began to strike each other with their swords. And each of them
looked eagerly for the dereliction of the other. And both of those heroes
leapt beautifully and both showed their skill in that battle, began also
to make skilful passes at each other, and having struck each other, O
king, those heroes took rest for a moment in the sight of all the troops.
Having with their swords cut in pieces each other’s beautiful shield, O
king, decked with a hundred moons, those tigers among men, engaged
themselves in a wrestling encounter. Both having broad chests, both
having long arms, both well-skilled in wrestling, they encountered each
other with their arms of iron that resembled spiked maces. And they
struck each other with their arms, and seized each other’s arms, and each
seized with his arms the other’s neck. And the skill they had acquired by
exercise, contributed to the joy of all the warriors that stood as
spectators of the encounter. And as those heroes fought with each other,
O king, in that battle, loud and terrible were the sounds produced by
them, resembling the fall of the thunder upon the mountain breast. Like
two elephants encountering each other with the end of their tusks, or
like two bulls with their horns, those two illustrious and foremost
warriors of the Kuru and the Satwata races, fought with each other,
sometimes binding each other with their arms, sometimes striking each
other with their heads, sometimes intertwining each other’s legs,
sometimes slapping their armpits, sometimes pinching each other with
their nails, sometimes clasping each other tightly, sometimes twining
their legs round each other’s loins, sometimes rolling on the ground,
sometimes advancing, sometimes receding, sometimes rising up, and
sometimes leaping up. Indeed, those two and thirty kinds of separate
manoeuvres that characterise encounters of that kind.

“When Satwata’s weapons were exhausted during his engagement with
Bhurisravas, Vasudeva said unto Arjuna, ‘Behold that foremost of all
bowmen, viz., Satyaki, engaged in battle, deprived of car. He hath
entered the Bharata host, having pierced through it, following in thy
wake, O son of Pandu! He hath fought with all the Bharata warriors of
great energy. The giver of large sacrificial presents, viz., Bhurisravas,
hath encountered that foremost of warriors while tired with fatigue.
Desirous of battle, Bhurisravas is about to encounter. Then that warrior
invincible in battle, viz., Bhurisravas, excited with wrath, vigorously
struck Satyaki, O king, like an infuriated elephant striking an
infuriated compeer. Those two foremost of warriors, both upon their cars,
and both excited with wrath, fought on, king, Kesava, and Arjuna
witnessing their encounter. Then the mighty-armed Krishna, addressing
Arjuna, said, ‘Behold, that tiger among the Vrishnis and the Andhakas has
succumbed to Somadatta’s son. Having achieved the most difficult feats,
exhausted with exertion, he hath been deprived of his car. O Arjuna,
protect Satyaki, thy heroic disciple. See that foremost of men may not,
for thy sake, O tiger among men, succumb to Bhurisravas, devoted to
sacrifices. O puissant one, speedily do what is needed.’ Dhananjaya, with
a cheerful heart addressing Vasudeva, said, ‘Behold, that bull amongst
the Rurus and that foremost one among the Vrishnis are sporting with each
other, like a huge elephant mad with rage sporting with a mighty lion in
the forest. While Dhananjaya the son of Pandu was thus speaking, loud
cries of oh and alas arose among the troops, O bull of Bharata’s race,
since the mighty-armed Bhurisravas, exerting vigorously struck Satyaki
and brought him down upon the ground. And like a lion dragging an
elephant, that foremost one of Kuru’s race, viz., Bhurisravas, that giver
of profuse presents at sacrifices, dragging that foremost one amongst the
Satwatas, looked resplendent in that battle. Then Bhurisravas in that
encounter, drawing his sword from the scabbard, seized Satyaki by the
hair of his head and struck him at the chest with his feet. Bhurisravas
then was about to cut off from Satyaki’s trunk his head decked with
ear-rings. For sometime, the Satwata hero rapidly whirled his head with
the arm of Bhurisravas that held it by the hair, like a potter’s wheel
whirled round with the staff. Beholding Satwata thus dragged in battle by
Bhurisravas. Vasudeva once more, O king, addressed Arjuna and said,
‘Behold, that tiger among the Vrishnis and the Andhakas, that disciple of
thine, O mighty-armed one, not inferior to thee in bowmanship, hath
succumbed to Somadatta’s son. O Partha, since Bhurisravas is thus
prevailing over the Vrishni hero, Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being
baffled, the very name of the latter is about to be falsified.[168] Thus
addressed by Vasudeva the mighty-armed son of Pandu, mentally worshipped
Bhurisravas in that battle, saying, ‘I am glad that, Bhurisravas, that
enhancer of the fame of the Kurus, is dragging Satyaki in battle, as if
in sport. Without slaying Satyaki that foremost one among the heroes of
the Vrishni race, the Kuru warrior is only dragging him like a mighty
lion in the forest dragging a huge elephant.’ Mentally applauding the
Kuru warrior thus, O king, the mighty-armed Arjuna, the son of Pritha,
replied unto Vasudeva, saying, ‘My eyes having rested upon of the
Sindhus, I could not, O Madhava, see Satyaki. I shall, however, for the
sake of that Yadava warrior, achieve a most difficult feat.’ Having said
these words, in obedience to Vasudeva, the son of Pandu, fixed on Gandiva
a sharp razor-headed arrow. That arrow, shot by Partha’s hand and
resembling a meteor flashing down from the firmament, cut off the Kuru
warrior’s arm with the sword in the grasp and decked with Angada.'”


“Sanjaya said, ‘That arm (of Bhurisravas) decked with Angada and the
sword in its grasp (thus cut off), fell down on the earth to the great
grief of all living creatures. Indeed, that arm, which was to have cut
off Satyaki’s head itself, cut off by the unseen Arjuna, quickly dropped
down on the earth, like a snake of five heads. The Kuru warrior,
beholding himself incapacitated by Partha abandoned his hold on Satyaki
and wrathfully reproved the son of Pandu.’

“Bhurisravas said, ‘Thou hast, O son of Kunti, done a cruel and heartless
deed, since without being engaged with me, thou hast, unseen by me, cut
off my arm. Shalt thou not have to say unto Yudhishthira, the royal son
of Dharma, even this, viz., ‘Bhurisravas, while otherwise engaged, was
slain by me in battle?’ Wert thou taught this use of weapons by the
high-souled Indra or by Rudra, O Partha, or by Drona, or by Kripa? Thou
art, in this world, better acquainted with the rules about the use of
weapons than all others. Why then hast thou cut off in battle the arm of
a warrior who was not engaged with thee? The righteous never strike him
that is heedless, or him that is terrified, or him that is made carless,
or him that beggeth for life or protection, of him that hath fallen into
distress. Why, then, O Partha, hast thou perpetrated such an extremely
unworthy deed that is sinful, that is worthy only of a low wretch, and
that is practised by only a wicked bloke! A respectable person, O
Dhananjaya, can easily accomplish a deed that is respectable. A deed,
however, that is disrespectable becomes difficult of accomplishment by a
person that is respectable. A man quickly catches the behaviour of those
with whom and amongst whom he moves. This is seen in thee, O Partha!
Being of royal lineage and born, especially, in Kuru’s race, how hast
thou fallen off from the duties of a Kshatriya, although thou wert of
good behaviour and observant of excellent vows. This mean act that thou
hast perpetrated for the sake of the Vrishni warrior, is without doubt,
conformable to Vasudeva’s counsels. Such an act does not suit one like
thee. Who else, unless he were a friend of Krishna’s, would inflict such
a wrong upon lone that is heedlessly engaged with another in battle? The
Vrishnis and the Andhakas are bad Kshatriyas, ever engaged in sinful
deeds, and are, by nature, addicted to disreputable behaviour. Why, O
Partha, hast thou taken them as model? Thus addressed in battle, Partha
replied unto Bhurisravas, saying, ‘It is evident that with the
decrepitude of the body one’s intellect also becomes decrepit, since, O
lord, all those senseless words have been uttered by thee. Although thou
knowest Hrishikesa and myself well, how is it that thou rebukest us thus?
Knowing as I do the rules of battle and conversant as I am with the
meaning of all the scriptures, I would never do an act that is sinful.
Knowing this well, thou rebukest me yet. The Kshatriyas fight with their
foes, surrounded by their own followers, their brothers, sires, sons,
relatives, kinsmen, companions, and friends. These also fight, relying on
the (strength of) arms of those they follow. Why, then, should I not
protect Satyaki, my disciple and dear kinsman, who is fighting for our
sake in this battle, regardless of life itself, that is so difficult of
being laid down.[169] Invincible in fight, Satyaki, O king, is my right
arm in battle. One should not protect one’s own self only, when one goes
to battle, he, O king, who is engaged in the business of another should
be protected (by that other). Such men being protected, the king is
protected in press of battle. If I had calmly beheld Satyaki on the point
of being slain in great battle (and had not interfered for saying him),
sin would, then, owing to Satyaki’s death, have been mine, for such
negligence! Why then dost thou become angry with me for my having
protected Satyaki? Thou rebukest me, O king, saying, ‘Though engaged with
another, I have yet been maimed by thee.’ In that matter, I answer, I
judged wrongly. Sometimes shaking my armour; sometimes riding on my car,
sometimes drawing the bow-string, I was fighting with my enemies in the
midst of a host resembling the vast deep, teeming with cars and elephants
and abounding with steeds and foot-soldiers and echoing with fierce
leonine shouts. Amongst friends and foes engaged with one another, how
could it be possible that the Satwata warrior was engaged with only one
person in battle? Having fought with many and vanquished many mighty
car-warriors, Satyaki had been tired. He himself, afflicted with weapons,
had become cheerless. Having, under such circumstances, vanquished the
mighty car-warrior, Satyaki, and brought him under thy control, thou
soughtest to display thy superiority. Thou. hadst desired to cut off,
with thy sword, the head of Satyaki in battle. I could not possibly
behold with indifference Satyaki reduced to that strait.[170] Thou
shouldst rather rebuke thy own self, since thou didst not take care of
thyself (when seeking to injure another). Indeed, O hero, how wouldst
thou have behaved towards one who is thy dependant?’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Thus addressed (by Arjuna), the mighty-armed and
illustrious Bhurisravas, bearing the device of the sacrificial stake on
his banner, abandoning Yuyudhana, desired to die according to the vow of
Praya.[171] Distinguished by many righteous deeds, he spread with his
left hand a bed of arrows, and desirous of proceeding to the region of
Brahman, committed his senses to the care of the deities presiding over
them. Fixing his gaze on the sun, and setting his cleansed heart on the
moon, and thinking of (the mantras in) the great Upanishad, Bhurisravas,
betaking himself to Yoga, ceased to speak. Then all the persons in the
entire army began to speak ill of Krishna and Dhananjaya and applauded
Bhurisravas, that bull among men. Though censured, the two Krishnas,
however, spoke not a word disagreeable (to the dying hero). The
stake-bannered Bhurisravas also, though thus applauded, felt no joy. Then
Pandu’s son Dhanajaya, called also Phalguna, incapable of bearing thy
sons speaking in that strain, as also of putting up with their words and
the words of Bhurisravas, O Bharata, in grief and without an angry heart,
and as if for reminding them all, said these words, ‘All the kings are
acquainted with my great vow, viz., that no one shall succeed in slaying
anybody that belongs to our side, as long as the latter is within the
range of my shafts. Remembering this, O stake-bannered one, it behoveth
thee not to censure me. Without knowing rules of morality, it is not
proper for one to censure others. That I have cut off thy arm while thou,
well-armed in battle, wert on the point of slaying (the unarmed) Satyaki,
is not all contrary to morality. But what righteous man is there, O sire,
that would applaud the slaughter of Abhimanyu, a mere child, without
arms, deprived of car, and his armour fallen off?’ Thus addressed by
Partha, Bhurisravas touched the ground with his left arm the right one
(that had been lopped off). The stake-bannered Bhurisravas, O king of
dazzling effulgence, having heard those words of Partha, remained silent,
with his head hanging down. Then Arjuna said, ‘O eldest brother of Sala,
equal to what I bear to king Yudhishthira the Just, or Bhima, that
foremost of all mighty persons, or Nakula, or Sahadeva, is the love I
bear to thee. Commanded by me as also by the illustrious Krishna, repair
thou to the region of the righteous, even where Sivi, the son of Usinara,

“Vasudeva also said, ‘Thou hast constantly performed sacrifices and
Agnihotras. Go thou then, without delay, into those pure, regions of mine
that incessantly blaze forth with splendour and that are desired by the
foremost of deities with Brahma as their head, and becoming equal to
myself, be thou borne on the back to Garuda.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘Set free by Somadatta’s son, the grandson of Sini,
rising up, drew his sword and desired to cut off the head of the
high-souled Bhurisravas. Indeed, Satyaki desired to slay the sinless
Bhurisravas, the eldest brother of Sala, that giver of plenty in
sacrifices who was staying with his, senses withdrawn from battle, who
had already been almost slain by the son of Pandu, who was sitting with
his arm lopped off and who resembled on that account a trunkless
elephant. All the warriors loudly censured him (for his intention). But
deprived of reason, and forbidden by Krishna and the high-souled Partha,
Bhima, and the two protectors of the two wheels (of Arjuna’s car, viz.,
Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas), and Aswatthaman, and Kripa and Karna, and
Vrishasena, and the ruler of the Sindhus also, and while the soldiers
were yet uttering shouts of disapproval, Satyaki stew Bhurisravas while
in the observance of his vow. Indeed, Satyaki, with his sword, cut off
the head of the Kuru warrior who had been deprived of his arm by Partha
and who was then sitting in Praya for freeing his soul from the body. The
warriors did not applaud Satyaki for that act of his in slaying that
perpetuator of Kuru’s race who had before been almost slain by Partha.
The Siddhas, the Charanas, and the men there present, as also the gods,
beholding the Sakra-like Bhurisravas slain in that battle, through
sitting in the observance of that Praya vow, began to applaud him, amazed
at the acts, accomplished by him. Thy soldiers also argued the matter,
‘It is no fault of the Vrishni hero. That which was pre-ordained has
happened. Therefore, we should not give way to wrath. Anger is the cause
of men’s sorrow. It was ordained that Bhurisravas would be slain by the
Vrishni hero. There is no use of judging of its propriety or otherwise.
The Creator had ordained Satyaki to be the cause of Bhurisrava’s death in

“Satyaki said, ‘Ye sinful Kauravas, wearing the outward garment of
righteousness, ye tell me, in words of virtue, that Bhurisravas should
not be slain. Where, however, did this righteousness of yours go when ye
slew in battle that child, viz., the son of Subhadra, while destitute of
arms? I had in a certain fit of haughtiness vowed that he who would,
throwing me down alive in battle, strike me with his foot in rage, he
would be slain by me even though that foe should adopt the vow of
asceticism. Struggling in the encounter, with my arms and eyes hale and
sound, ye had yet regarded me as dead. This was an act of folly on our
part. Ye bulls among the Kurus, the slaughter of Bhurisravas,
accomplished by me, hath been very proper! Partha, however, by cutting
off this one’s arm with sword in grasp for fulfilling, from his affection
for me, his own vow (about protecting all on his side), hath simply
robbed me of glory. That which is ordained must happen. It is destiny
that works. Bhurisravas hath been slain in press of battle. What sin have
I perpetrated? In days of yore, Valmiki sang this verse on earth, viz.,
‘Thou sayest, O ape, that women should not be slain. In all ages,
however, men should always, with resolute care, accomplish that which
gives pain to enemies.’

“Sanjaya continued, After Satyaki had said these words, none amongst the
Pandavas and the Kauravas, O king, said anything. On the other hand, they
mentally applauded Bhurisravas. No one there applauded the slaughter of
Somadatta’s illustrious son who resembled an ascetic living in the woods,
or one sanctified with mantras in a great sacrifice, and who had given
away thousands of gold coins. The head of that hero, graced with
beautiful blue locks and eyes, red as those of pigeons, looked like the
head of a horse cut off in a Horse-sacrifice and placed on the
sacrificial altar.[172] Sanctified by his prowess and the death he
obtained at the edge of the weapon, the boon-giving Bhurisravas, worthy
of every boon, casting off his body in great battle, repaired to regions
on high, filling the welkin with his high virtues.'”


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Unvanquished by Drona, and Radha’s son and Vikarna
and Kritavarman, how could the heroic Satyaki, never before checked in
battle, having after his promise to Yudhishthira crossed the ocean of the
Kaurava troops, being humiliated by the Kuru warrior Bhurisravas and
forcibly thrown on the ground?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Hear, O king, about the origin, in the past times, of
Sini’s grandson, and of how Bhurisravas also came to be descended. This
will clear thy doubts. Atri had for son Soma. Soma’s son was called
Vudha. Vudha had one son, of the splendour of the great Indra, called
Pururavas. Pururavas had a son called Ayus. Ayus had for his son Nahusha.
Nahusha had for his son Yayati who was a royal sage equal to a celestial.
Yayati had by Devayani Yadu for his eldest son. In Yadu’s race was born a
son of the name of Devamidha of Yadu’s race had a son named Sura,
applauded in the three worlds. Sura had for his son that foremost of men,
viz., the celebrated Vasudeva. Foremost in bowmanship, Sura was equal to
Kartavirya in battle. In Sura’s race and equal unto Sura in energy was,
born Sini, O king! About this time, O king, occurred the Swayamvara. of
the high-souled Devaka’s daughter, in which all the Kshatriyas were
present. In that self-choice, Sini vanquishing all the kings, quickly
took up on his car the princess Devaki for the sake of Vasudeva.
Beholding the princess Devaki on Sini’s car, that bull among men, viz.,
the brave Somadatta of mighty energy could not brook the sight. A battle,
O king, ensued between the two which lasted for half a day and was
beautiful and wonderful to behold. The battle that took place between
those two mighty men was a wrestling encounter. That bull among men,
viz., Somadatta, was forcibly thrown down on the earth by Sini. Uplifting
his sword and seizing him by the hair, Sini struck his foe with his foot,
in the midst of many thousands of kings who stood as spectators all
around. At last, from compassion, he let him off, saying, ‘Live!’ Reduced
to that plight by Sini, Somadatta, O sire, under the influence of wrath
began to pay his adorations to Mahadeva for inducing the latter to bless
him. That great lord of all boon-giving deities viz., Mahadeva, became
gratified with him and asked him to solicit the boon he desired. The
royal Somadatta then solicited the following boon, ‘I desire a soon, O
divine lord, who will strike Sini’s son in the midst of thousands of
kings and who will in battle strike him with his foot.’ Hearing these
words, O king, of Somadatta, the god saying, ‘So be it,’ disappeared then
and there. It was in consequence of the gift of that boon that Somadatta
subsequently obtained the highly charitable Bhurisravas for son, and it
was for this, Somadatta’s son threw down Sini’s descendant in battle and
struck him, before the eyes of the whole army, with his foot. I have now
told thee, O king, what thou hadst asked me. Indeed, the Satwata hero is
incapable of being vanquished in battle by even the foremost of men. The
Vrishni heroes are all of sure aim in battle, and are conversant with all
modes of warfare. They are vanquishers of the very gods, the Danavas and
the Gandharvas. They are never confounded. They always fight, relying
upon their own energy. They are never dependent on others. None, O lord,
are seen in this world to be equal to the Vrishni’s. None, O bull of
Bharata’s race, have been, are, or will be equal in might to the
Vrishni’s. They never show disrespect to their kinsmen. They are always
obedient to the commands of those that are reverend in years. The very
gods and Asuras and Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Uragas and the Rakshasas
cannot vanquish the Vrishni heroes, what need be said of men, therefore,
in battle? They never covet also the possessions of those that ever
render them aid on any occasion of distress. Devoted to the Brahmanas and
truthful in speech, they never display any pride although they are
wealthy. The Vrishnis regard even the strong as weak and rescue them from
distress. Always devoted to the gods, the Vrishnis are self-restrained,
charitable, and free from pride. It is for this that the prowess,[173] of
the Vrishnis is never baffled. A person may remove the mountains of Meru
or swim across the ocean but cannot defeat the Vrishnis. I have told thee
everything about which thou hadst thy doubts. All this, however, O king
of the Kurus, that is happening is due to thy evil policy, O best of


“Dhritarashtra said, ‘After the Kuru warrior Bhurisravas had been slain
under those circumstances, tell me, O Sanjaya, how proceeded the battle.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘After Bhurisravas had proceeded to the other world, O
Bharata, the mighty-armed Arjuna urged Vasudeva, saying, “Urge the
steeds, O Krishna, to greater speed for taking me to the spot where king
Jayadratha is. O sinless one, the sun is quickly proceeding towards the
Asta hills. O tiger among men, this great task should be achieved by me.
The ruler of the Sindhus is, again, protected by many mighty car-warriors
among the Kuru army. Urge thou the steeds, therefore, O Krishna, in such
a way that I may, by slaying Jayadratha before the sun sets, make my vow
true.’ Then the mighty-armed Krishna conversant with horse-lore, urged
those steeds of silvery hue towards the car of Jayadratha. Then, O king,
many leaders of the Kuru army, such as Duryodhana and Karna and
Vrishasena and the ruler of the Sindhus himself, rushed with speed, O
king, against Arjuna whose shafts were never baffled and who was
proceeding, on his car drawn by steeds of great fleetness. Vibhatsu,
however, getting at the ruler of the Sindhus who was staying before him,
and casting his glances upon him, seemed to scorch him with his eyes
blazing with wrath. Then, king Duryodhana, quickly addressed the son of
Radha. Indeed, O monarch, thy son Suyodhana said unto Karna, ‘O son of
Vikartana, that time of battle hath come at last. O high-souled one,
exhibit now thy might. O Karna, act in such a way that Jayadratha may not
be slain by Arjuna! O foremost of men, the day is about to expire, strike
now the foe with clouds of shafts! If the day expire, O foremost of men,
victory, O Karna, will certainly be ours! If the ruler of the Sindhus can
be protected till the setting of the sun, then Partha, his vow being
falsified, will enter into blazing fire. O giver of honours, the
brothers, then, of Arjuna, with all their followers, will not be able to
live for even a moment in a world that is destitute of Arjuna! Upon the
death of the sons of Pandu, the whole of the earth, O Karna, with her
mountains and waters and forests, we will enjoy without a thorn on our
side! O giver of honours, it seems that Partha, who without ascertaining
what is practicable and what is impracticable, made this vow in battle,
was afflicted by destiny itself, his judgment having taken a misdirected
course! Without doubt, O Karna, the diadem-decked son of Pandu must have
made this vow about the slaughter of Jayadratha for his own destruction!
How, O son of Radha, when thou art alive will Phalguna succeed in slaying
the ruler of the Sindhus before the sun goes to the Asta hills? How will
Dhananjaya slay Jayadratha in battle when the latter is protected by the
king of the Madras and by the illustrious Kripa? How will Vibhatsu, who
seems to have been urged on by Fate, get at the ruler of the Sindhus when
the latter if protected by Drona’s son, by myself, and Duhsasana? Many
are the heroes engaged in fight. The sun is hanging low in the sky.
Partha will not even get at Jayadratha in battle, O giver of honours. Do
thou therefore, O Karna, with myself and other brave and mighty
car-warriors, with Drona’s son and the ruler of the Madras and Kripa
fight with Partha in battle, exerting thyself with the greatest firmness
and resolution.’ Thus addressed by thy son, O sire, the son of Radha
replied unto Duryodhana, that foremost one among the Kurus, in these
words, ‘Deeply hath my body been pierced in battle by the brave bowman
Bhimasena, capable of striking vigorously with repeated showers of
arrows. O giver of honours, that I am yet present in battle is because
that one like me should be present here. Scorched with the powerful
shafts of Bhimasena, every limb of mine is suffering from torturing pain
I shall, however, for all that, fight to the best of my powers. My life
itself is for thee. I shall strive my best so that this foremost one of
the sons of Pandu may not succeed in slaying the ruler of the Sindhus. As
long as I shall fight, shooting my whetted shafts, the heroic Dhananjaya,
capable of drawing the bow with even his left hand, will not succeed in
getting at the ruler of the Sindhus. All that a person, bearing love and
affection to thee and always solicitous of thy good, may do, shall be
done by me, O thou of Kuru’s race! As regards victory, that depends on
destiny. I shall in battle today exert myself to my utmost for the sake
of the ruler of the Sindhus, and for achieving thy good. O king, victory,
however, is dependent on destiny. Relying on my manliness, I shall fight
with Arjuna today for thy sake, O tiger among men! Victory, however, is
dependent on destiny. O chief of the Kurus, let all the troops behold
today the fierce battle, making the very hair stand on end, that takes
place between myself and Arjuna.’ While Karna and the Kuru king were thus
talking to each other in battle, Arjuna began, with his keen arrows, to
slaughter thy host. With his broad-headed arrows of great sharpness he
began to cut off in that battle the arms, looking like spiked clubs or
the trunks of elephants, of unreturning heroes. And the mighty-armed hero
also cut off their heads with whetted shafts. And Vibhatsu also cut off
the trunks of elephants and the necks of steeds and the Akshas of cars
all around, as also blood-dyed horsemen, armed with spears and lances,
with razor-faced arrows into two or three fragments. And steeds and
foremost of elephants and standards and umbrellas and bows and Yalk-tails
and heads fell fast on all sides. Consuming thy host like a blazing fire
consuming a heap of dry grass, Partha soon caused the earth to be covered
with blood. And the mighty and invincible Partha, of prowess incapable of
being baffled, causing an immense slaughter in that army of thine, soon
reached the ruler of the Sindhus. Protected by Bhimasena and by Satwata,
Vibhatsu, O chief of the Bharatas, looked resplendent like a blazing
fire. Beholding Phalguna in that state, the mighty bowmen of thy army,
those bulls among men, endued with wealth of energy, could not brook him.
Then Duryodhana and Karna and Vrishasena and the ruler of the Madras, and
Aswatthaman and Kripa and the ruler of the Sindhus himself, excited with
wrath and fighting for the sake of the Sindhu king, encompassed the
diadem-decked Arjuna on all sides. All those warriors, skilled in battle,
placing the ruler of the Sindhus at their back, and desirous of slaying
Arjuna and Krishna, surrounded Partha, that hero conversant with battle,
who was then dancing along the track of his car, producing fierce sounds
with the bowstring and his palms and resembling the Destroyer himself
with wide-opened mouth. The sun then had assumed a red hue in the sky.
Desirous of his (speedy) setting, the Kaurava warriors, bending their
bows with arms, resembling the (tapering) bodies of snake sped their
shafts in hundreds towards Phalguna, resembling the rays of the sun.
Cutting off those shafts thus sped towards him, into two, three, or eight
fragments the diadem-decked Arjuna, invincible in battle, pierced them
all in that encounter. Then Aswatthaman, bearing on his banner the mark
of a lion’s tail, displaying his might, began, O king, to resist Arjuna.
Indeed, the son of Saradwata’s daughter piercing Partha with ten shafts
and Vasudeva with seven, stayed in the track of Arjuna’s car, protecting
the ruler of the Sindhus. Then, many foremost ones among the Kurus, great
car-warriors, all encompassed Arjuna, on all sides with a large throng of
cars. Stretching their bows and shooting countless shafts, they began to
protect the ruler of the Sindhus, at the command of thy son. We then
beheld the prowess of the brave Partha as also the inexhaustible
character of his shafts, and the might, too, of his bow Gandiva. Baffling
with his own weapons those of Drona’s son and Kripa, he pierced every one
of those warriors with nine shafts. Then, Drona’s son pierced him with
five and twenty arrows, and Vrishasena with seven, and Duryodhana pierced
him with twenty, and Karma and Salya each with three. And all of them
roared at him and continued to pierce him frequently, and shaking their
bows, they surrounded him on all sides. And soon they caused their cars
to be drawn up in a serried line around Arjuna. Desirous of the (speedy)
setting of the sun, those mighty car-warriors of the Kaurava army, endued
with great activity, began to roar at Arjuna, and shaking their bows,
covered him with showers of keen arrows like cloud pouring rain on a
mountain. Those brave warriors, with arms resembling heavy clubs, also
discharged on that occasion, O king, on Dhananjaya’s body celestial
weapons. Having caused an immense slaughter in thy army, the mighty and
invincible Dhananjaya, of prowess incapable of being baffled came upon
the ruler of the Sindhus. Karna, however, O king, with his arrows,
resisted him in that battle in the very sight, O Bharata, of Bhimasena
and Satwata. The mighty-armed Partha, in the very sight of all the
troops, pierced the Suta’s son, in return, with ten arrows, on the field
of battle. Then Satwata, O sire, pierced Karna with three arrows. And
Bhimasena pierced him with three arrows, and Partha himself, once more,
with seven. The mighty car-warrior, Karna, then pierced each of those
three warriors with sixty arrows. And thus, O king, raged that battle
between Karna alone (on one side) and the many (on the other). The
prowess, O sire, that we then beheld of the Suta’s son was wonderful in
the extreme, since, excited with wrath in battle, he singly resisted
those three great car-warriors. Then the mighty-armed Phalguna, in that
battle, pierced Karna, the son of Vikartana, in all his limbs with a
hundred arrows. All his limbs bathed in blood, the Suta’s son of great
prowess and bravery, pierced Phalguna in return with fifty arrows.
Beholding that lightness of hand displayed by him in battle, Arjuna
brooked it not. Cutting off his bow, that hero, viz., Dhananjaya, the son
of Pritha, quickly pierced Karna in the centre of the chest with nine
arrows, Then Dhananjaya, with great speed at a time, when speed was
necessary shot in that battle a shaft of solar effulgence for the
destruction of Karna. Drona’s son, however, with a crescent-shaped arrow,
cut off that shaft as it coursed impetuously (towards Karna). Thus cut
off by Aswatthaman, that shaft fell down on the earth. Endued with great
prowess, the Suta’s son, then, O king, took up another bow, and covered
the son of Pandu with several thousands of arrows. Partha, however, like
the wind dispersing flight of locusts, dispelled with his own arrows that
extraordinary shower of arrows issuing out of Karna’s bow. Then Arjuna,
displaying his lightness of hands, covered Karna, in that battle, with
his arrows, in the very sight of all thy troops. Karna also, that slayer
of hosts, desirous of counteracting Arjuna’s feat, covered Arjuna with
several thousands of arrows. Roaring at each other like two bulls, those
lions among men, those mighty car-warriors, shrouded the welkin with
clouds of straight shafts. Each rendered invisible by the other’s arrowy
showers, they continued to strike each other. And they roared at each
other and pierced each other with their wordy darts, saying, ‘I am
Partha, wait’–or, ‘I am Karna, wait’, O Phalguna! Indeed these two
heroes fought with each other wonderfully, displaying great activity and
skill. And the sight they presented was such that other warriors became
witnesses of that battle. And applauded by Siddhas, Charnas and Pannagas,
they fought with each other, O king, each desirous of slaying the other.
Then Duryodhana, O king addressing thy warriors, said, ‘Carefully protect
the son of Radha! Without slaying Arjuna he would not abstain from
battle. Even this is what Vrisha told me.’ Meanwhile, O monarch,
beholding the prowess of Karna, Arjuna, of white steeds, with four shafts
shot from the bow-string drawn to the ear, despatched the four steeds of
Karna to Yama’s domain. And he also felled with a broad-headed arrow,
Karna’s charioteer from his niche in the car. And he covered Karna
himself with clouds of shafts in the very sight of thy son. Thus shrouded
with arrows the steedless and driverless Karna, stupefied by that arrowy
shower, knew not what to do. Beholding him made carless, Aswatthaman, O
king, caused him to ride on his car, and continued to fight with Arjuna.
Then the ruler of the Madras pierced the son of Kunti with thirty arrows.
Saradwata’s son pierced Vasudeva with twenty arrows. And he struck
Dhananjaya also with a dozen shafts. And the ruler of the Sindhus pierced
each with four arrows, and Vrishasena also pierced each of them, O king,
with seven arrows. Kunti’s son, Dhananjaya, pierced all of them in
return. Indeed, piercing Drona’s son with four and sixty shafts, and the
ruler of the Madras with a hundred, and the Sindhu king with ten
broad-headed arrows, and Vrishasena with three arrows and Saradwata’s son
with twenty, Partha uttered a loud shout. Desirous of baffling the vow of
Savyasachin, thy warriors, excited with wrath, quickly rushed at
Dhananjaya from all sides. Then Arjuna, frightening the Dhartarashtras,
invoked into existence the Varuna weapon on all sides. The Kauravas,
however, on their costly cars, pouring showers of arrows, advanced
against the son of Pandu. But, O Bharata, in course of that stupefying
and fierce engagement, fraught with the greatest confusion, that price,
viz., Arjuna, decked wit