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Drona Parva

Section I

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, or like the Asura host of old after Vali had been smitten down, or like a beautiful damsel deprived of husband, 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. 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?’”

Section II

“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.’

“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. 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. 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.’”

Section III

“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!’”

Section IV

“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! 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.’”

Section V

“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. 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. 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.’”

Section VI

“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.’”

Section VII

“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. 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, 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.’”

Section VIII

“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. 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.’”

Section IX

“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, 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. 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!’”

Section X

“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? 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? 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? 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!’”

Section XI

“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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 us).’”

Section XII

“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.’”

Section XIII

“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.’”

Section XIV

“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. 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. 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.

“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. 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, 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. 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.’”

Section XV

“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.’”

Section XVI

“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.’”

Section XVII

“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 army).’

“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, 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), 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.’”

Section XVIII

“Sanjaya said, ‘The Samsaptakas, 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.’”

Section XIX

“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 fierce.’”

Section XX

“Sanjaya said, ‘Having passed the night, that mighty car-warrior viz., Bharadwaja’s son, addressed Suyodhana, O monarch, saying, ‘I am thine! I have made arrangements for Partha’s encounter with the Samsaptaka.’ 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. 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. 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 Yudhishthira.’”

Section XXI

“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. 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. 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. 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. 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).’”

Section XXII

“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, 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, all actuated by the desire of slaying Drona alone.’”

Section XXIII

“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. 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. 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, 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. 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.

“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. 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. 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 lord.’”

Section XXIV

“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. 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). 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. 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. 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.’”

Section XXV

“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. 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. 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.’”

Section XXVI

“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. 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.

Section XXVII

“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 trees.’”

Section XXVIII

“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. 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.’”

Section XXIX

“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. 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. 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, ‘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 force?’”

Section XXX

“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 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 tents.

Section XXXI

(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.’”

Section XXXII

“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. 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.’”

Section XXXIII

“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 it.’

“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.’

“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.’”

Section XXXIV

“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. 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).’”

Section XXXV

“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. 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.’”

Section XXXVI

“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. Thereupon, that army thus afflicted by Abhimanyu with his shafts, turned its back on the field.’”

Section XXXVII

“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 host.’

“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! In consequence of the anger of those illustrious persons, thou art, at last, about to obtain the fruit of that conduct of thine! . O thou of wicked understanding, obtain thou without delay the fruit 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].’”

Section XXXIX

“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.’”

Section XL

“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.’

“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.’”

Section XLI

“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).’”

Section XLII

“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] 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, 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.’”

Section XLIII

“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. 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 fight.’

Section XLIV

“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 . 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.’”

Section XLV

“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. 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 Vrihadvala

thus, the son of Subhadra careered it battle, paralysing thy warriors,—those great bowmen,–by means of arrowy downpours, thick as rain.’”

Section XLVI

“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. 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.’”

Section XLVII

“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; 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.’”

Section XLVIII

“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.’”

Section XLIX

“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! 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!’”

Section L

“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. 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 exception).’

“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. 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 death.’

“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?’”

Section LI

“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).’

Section LII

“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! 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 unrighteousness.’

“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. 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 creatures.’

“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 life.’

“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. 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.’”

Section LIII

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

“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 one!’

“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). 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 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 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.’”

Section LVI

“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. 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. 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 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.’”

Section LVII

“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 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.’”

Section LVIII

“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. 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.’”

Section LIX

“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. 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. 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 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.’”

Section LX

“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. 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). Sweet-speeched Gandharvas of celestial splendour, gratified, sang all this in the hearing of the Rishis, the gods, and human beings. 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.’”

Section LXI

“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.’”

Section LXII

“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. 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 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.’”

Section LXIII

“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.’”

Section LXIV

“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. 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. 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 present.’”

Section LXV

“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.’”

Section LXVI

“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. 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. 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.’”

Section LXVII

“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. 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. 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. 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 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. 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 present.’”

Section LXVIII

“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. 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.’

Section LXIX

“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. 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. 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 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, 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, 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.’”

Section LXX

“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. 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. 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, 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.’”

Section LXXI

“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. 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. 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?’”

Section LXXII

“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, 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. 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.

Section LXXIII

“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 protégé 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.

Section LXXIV

“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! 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.’”

Section LXXV

“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. 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. 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 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!’”

Section LXXVI

“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!’”

Section LXXVII

“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.’”

Section LXXIX

“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. 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, 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 victory.’”

Section LXXX

“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

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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 Pasupata).’”

Section LXXXI

“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 Asuras.’”

Section LXXXII

“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.’”

Section LXXXIV

“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. 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.’

Section LXXXV

(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?’”

Section LXXXVI

“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. 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. 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 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 confused.

Section LXXXIX

“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.’”

Section XC

“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.’”

Section XCI

“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. 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.’”

Section XCII

“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.’”

Section XCIII

“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 body.’

`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.’”

Section XCIV

“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. 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).’”

Section XCV

“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 Bhimasena.’”

Section XCVI

“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. 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 battle.’”

Section XCVII

“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. 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).’”

Section XCVIII

“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. 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.’”

Section XCIX

“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. 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. 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.’”

Section C

“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. 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.’”

Section CI

“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 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!’”

Section CII

“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 effect.’

“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.’”

Section CIII

“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). 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.’”

Section CIV

“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 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. 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.’

Section CV

“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.’”

Section CVI

“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.’”

Section CVII

“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.’”

Section CVIII

“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.’”

Section CIX

“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!’”

Section CX

“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.’”

Section CXI

“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. 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.’”

Section CXII

“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, 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.’”

Section CXIII

“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! 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). 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.’”

Section CXIV

“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.’”

Section CXV

“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.’”

Section CXVI

“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.’”

Section CXVII

“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.’”

Section CXVIII

“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 them.’

“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 today?’

“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

Section CXIX

“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.’”

Section CXX

“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.

Section CXXI

“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.’

Section CXXII

“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.’”

Section CXXII

“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 fight.’

“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.’”

Section CXXIV

“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.’”

Section CXXV

“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.’”

Section CXXVI

“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.)’

Section CXXVII

“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? 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.’”

Section CXXIX

-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. 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 Arjuna.’”

Section CXXX

“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. 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.’”

Section CXXXI

“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 Krishnâ 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.’”

Section CXXXII

“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. 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.’”

Section CXXXIV

“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? 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! 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.’”

Section CXXXV

“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.’”

Section CXXXVI

“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. 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. 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 Krishnâ, 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 cause.’

“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. 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.’”


“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. 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). 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. 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.’”

Section CXXXIX

“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.”’

Section CXL

“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? 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?’

Section CXLI

“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. 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, Vâsudeva 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 Vâsudeva, 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. Vâsudeva 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. Thus addressed by Vâsudeva 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 Vâsudeva, 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.’”

Section CXLII

“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 Vâsudeva’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. 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. 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. 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, is.’

“Vâsudeva 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 battle.’

“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. 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.’”

Section CXLIII

“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, 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 men!’”

Section CXLIV

“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 Vâsudeva, 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 Vâsudeva 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 Vâsudeva 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 with diadem and gold chain never lost his senses. On the other hand, he continued to pour showers of arrows. Desirous of recovering the kingdom and recollecting all the wrongs he had suffered for twelve years in consequence of the Kurus, the high-souled and immeasurable Arjuna darkened all the points of the compass with shafts from Gandiva. The welkin seemed ablaze with meteors. Innumerable crows, alighting from the sky, perched on the bodies (of dead combatants). Meanwhile, Arjuna continued to slay the foe with his Gandiva, like Mahadeva slaying the Asuras with his Pinaka equipped with tawny string. 1 Then the illustrious Kiritin, that subjugator of (hostile) ranks, dispersing the shafts of the foe by means of his own formidable bow, slaughtered with his arrows many foremost ones among the Kurus, mounted on their foremost of steeds and elephants. Then many kings, taking up heavy maces and clubs of iron and swords and darts and diverse other kinds of powerful weapons, assuming terrible forms, rushed suddenly against Partha in that battle. Then Arjuna, bending with his arms his formidable bow Gandiva which resembled the bow of Indra himself and whose twang was as loud as the roar of the clouds congregating at the end of the Yuga, and laughing the while, went on consuming thy troops and increasing the population of Yama’s kingdom. Indeed, that hero caused those enraged warriors with their cars and elephants and with the foot-soldiers and bowmen supporting them, to be deprived of their arms and lives and thus to swell the population of Yama’s domain.’”

Section CXLV

“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing the twang, resembling the loud call of Death himself or the frightful peal of Indra’s thunder, of Dhananjaya’s bow, while he stretched it, that host of thine, O king, anxious with fear and exceedingly agitated, became like the waters of the sea with fishes and makaras within them, ruffled into mountain-like waves and lashed into fury by the hurricane that arises at the end of the Yuga. Then Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, careered in battle in such a way that he was seen at the same time to be present in all directions, displaying his wonderful weapons. Indeed, so light-handed was the son of Pandu that we could not mark when he took out his shafts, O king, when he fixed them on the bow-string, when he stretched the bow, and when he let them off. Then the mighty-armed one, O king, excited with wrath, invoked into existence the invincible Aindra weapon, frightening all the Bharatas. Hundreds and thousands of blazing shafts of fiery mouths, inspired by mantras with the force of celestial weapons, flowed from it. With those shafts resembling fire or the rays of the sun, coursing with fierce impetuosity, the welkin became incapable of being

gazed at, as if filled with flashing meteors. Then that darkness which had been caused by the Katirava with their arrows, which was incapable of being dispersed even in imagination by others, the son of Pandu, careering around and displaying his prowess, destroyed by means of those shafts of his that were inspired by means of mantras with the force of celestial weapons, like the sun himself speedily dispersing at dawn of day the darkness of night by means of his rays. Then the puissant Arjuna, with those blazing shafts of his, sucked the lives of thy warriors like the summer sun sucking with his hot rays the waters of tanks and lakes. Indeed, showers of shafts endued with the force of celestial weapons, (shot by Arjuna) covered the hostile army like the rays of the sun covering the earth. Other arrows of fierce energy, sped (by Dhananjaya), quickly entered the hearts of (hostile) heroes, like dear friends. Indeed, those brave warriors that came in that battle before Arjuna, all perished like insects approaching a blazing fire. Thus crushing the lives of his foes and their fame, Partha careered in that battle like Death in embodied form. Heads decked with diadems, massive arms, adorned with Angadas, and ears with ear-rings of the foes, Partha, cut off with his shafts. The arms, with spears, of elephant-riders; those, with lances, of horsemen; those, with shields, of foot-soldiers; those with bows, of car-warriors; and those, with whips and goads, of charioteers the son of Pandu cut off. Indeed, Dhananjaya looked resplendent with his shafts of blazing points that seemed to constitute his rays, like a blazing fire with incessant sparks and rising flames. The hostile kings, mustering all their resolution, could not even gaze at Dhananjaya, that foremost of all bearers of arms, that hero equal to the chief of the gods himself, that bull among men, seen at the same time in all directions on his car, scattering his mighty weapons, dancing in the tract of his car, and producing deafening sounds with his bowstring and palms, and resembling the midday sun of scorching rays in the firmament. Bearing his shafts of blazing points, the diadem-decked Arjuna looked beautiful like a mighty mass of rain-charged clouds in the season of rains decked with a rainbow. When that perfect flood of mighty weapons was set in motion by Jishnu, many bulls among warriors sank in that frightful and unfordable flood. Strewn with infuriated elephants whose trunks or tusks had been cut off, with steeds deprived of hoofs or necks, with cars reduced to pieces, with warriors having their entrails drawn out and others with legs or other limbs cut off, with bodies lying in hundreds and thousands that were either perfectly still or moving unconsciously, we beheld the vast field, on which Partha battled, resembled the coveted arena of Death, O king, enhancing the terrors of the timid, or like the sporting ground of Rudra when he destroyed creatures in days of old. Portions of the field, strewn with the trunks of elephants cut off with razor-headed arrows, looked as if strewn with snakes. Portions, again, covered with the cut-off heads of warriors, looked as if strewn with garlands of lotuses. Variegated with beautiful head-gear and crowns, Keyuras and Angadas and car-rings with coats of mail decked with gold, and with the trappings and other ornaments of elephants and steeds, and scattered over with hundreds of diadems, lying here and there, and the earth looked exceedingly beautiful like a new bride. Dhananjaya then caused a fierce and terrible river full of fearful objects and enhancing the fear of the timid, to flow resembling the Vaitarani itself. The marrow and fat (of men and animals) formed its mire. Blood formed its current. Full of limbs and bones, it was fathomless in depth. The hairs of creatures formed its moss and weeds. Heads and arms formed the stones on its shores. It was decked with standards and banners that variegated its aspect. Umbrellas and bows formed the waves. And it abounded with bodies of huge elephants deprived of life, and it teemed with cars that formed hundreds of rafts floating on its surface. And the carcases of countless steeds formed its banks. And it was difficult to cross in consequence of wheels and yokes and shafts and Akshas and Kuveras of cars, and spears and swords and darts and battle-axes and shafts looking like snakes. And ravens and kankas formed its alligators. And jackals, forming its Makaras, made in terrible. And fierce vultures formed its sharks. And it became frightful in consequence of the howls of jackals. And it abounded with capering ghosts and Pisachas and thousands of other kinds of spirits. And on it floated countless bodies of warriors destitute of life. Beholding that prowess of Arjuna whose visage then resembled that of the Destroyer himself, a panic, such as had never occurred before, possessed the Kurus on the field of battle. The son of Pandu, then, baffling with his weapons those of the hostile heroes, and engaged in achieving fierce feats, gave all to understand that he was a warrior of fierce feats. Then Arjuna transgressed all those foremost of car-warriors, like the midday sun of scorching rays in the firmament, no one amongst the creatures there could even look at him. The shafts issuing out of the bow Gandiva of that illustrious hero in that battle, seemed to us to resemble a row of cranes in the welkin. Baffling with his own the weapons of all those heroes, and showing by the terrible achievements in which he was engaged that he was a warrior of fierce feats. Arjuna, desirous of slaying Jayadratha, transgressed all those foremost of car-warriors, stupefying them all by means of his shafts. Shooting his shafts on all sides, Dhananjaya, having Krishna for his charioteer, presented a beautiful sight by careering with great speed on the field of battle. The shafts in the welkin, by hundreds and thousands, of that illustrious hero, seemed to course incessantly through the sky. We never could notice when that mighty bowman took out his shafts, when indeed, that son of Pandu aimed them, and when he let them off. Then, O king, filling all the points of the compass with his shafts and afflicting all the car-warriors in battle, the son of Kunti proceeded towards Jayadratha and pierced him with four and sixty straight arrows. Then the Kuru warriors, beholding the son of Pandu proceeded towards Jayadratha, all abstained from battle. In fact, those heroes became hopeless of Jayadratha’s life. Every one amongst thy warriors that rushed in that fierce battle against the son of Pandu, had his body deeply pierced, O lord, with a shaft of Arjuna. The mighty car-warrior Arjuna, that foremost of victorious persons, with his shafts blazing as fire made thy army teem with headless trunks. Indeed, O king, thus creating a perfect confusion in thy host consisting of four kinds of forces, the son of Kunti proceeded towards Jayadratha, And he pierced the son of Drona. with fifty shafts and Vrishasena with three. And the son of Kunti mildly struck Kripa with nine arrows, and he struck Salya with sixteen arrows and Karna with two and thirty. And piercing the ruler of the Sindhus then with four and sixty arrows, he uttered a leonine shout. The ruler of the Sindhus, however, thus pierced by the wielder of Gandiva with his arrows, became filled with rage and unable to brook it, like an elephant when pierced with the hook. Bearing the device of the boar on his banner, he quickly sped towards Phalguna’s car many straight shafts equipped with vulturine feathers, resembling angry snakes of virulent poison, well-polished by the hands of the smith, and shot from his bow drawn to the fullest stretch. Then piercing Govinda with three shafts, he struck Arjuna with six. And then he pierced the steeds of Arjuna with eight arrows and his standard also with one. Then Arjuna, baffling the keen arrows sped by the ruler of the Sindhus, cut off at the same time, with a pair of shafts, the head of Jayadratha’s driver and the well-decked standard also of Jayadratha. Its stay cut off and itself pierced and struck with arrows, that standard fell down like a flame of fire. Meanwhile, the sun was going down quickly. Janardana then quickly addressed the son of Pandu and said, ‘Behold, O Partha, the ruler of the Sindhus hath, by six mighty and heroic car-warriors, been placed in their-midst! Jayadratha also, O mighty-armed one, is waiting there in fear! Without vanquishing those six car-warriors in battle, O bull among men, thou wilt never be able to slay the ruler of the Sindhus even if thou exertest thyself without intermission. I shall, therefore, resort to Yoga for shrouding the sun. Then the ruler of the Sindhus will (in consequence) behold the sun to have set. Desirous of life, O lord, through joy that wicked wight will no longer, for his destruction, conceal himself. Availing yourself of that opportunity, thou shouldst then, O best of the Kurus, strike him. Thou shouldst not give up the enterprise, thinking the sun to have really set.’ Hearing these words, Vibhatsu replied unto Kesava, saying, ‘Let it be so.’ Then Krishna otherwise called Hari, possessed of ascetic powers, that lord of all ascetics, having taken recourse to Yoga, created that darkness. Thy warriors, O king, thinking the sun to have set were filled with delight at the prospect of Partha’s laying down his life. Indeed, thy warriors, not seeing the sun, were filled with gladness. All of them stood, with heads thrown backwards. King Jayadratha also was in the same attitude. And while the ruler of the Sindhus was thus beholding the sun, Krishna, once more addressing Dhananjaya said these words, ‘Behold, the heroic ruler of the Sindhus is now looking at the sun, casting off his fear of thee, O foremost one among

the Bharatas! This is the hour, O mighty-armed one, for the slaughter of that wicked-souled wretch. Speedily cut off the head and make thy vow true.’ Thus addressed by Kesava the valiant son of Pandu began to slaughter thy host with his arrows resembling the sun or fire in splendour. And he pierced Kripa with twenty arrows and Karna with fifty. And he struck Salya and Duryodhana each with six. And he pierced Vrishasena with eight arrows and the ruler of the Sindhus himself with sixty. And the mighty-armed son of Pandu, O king, deeply piercing with his arrows the other warriors of thy host, rushed against Jayadratha. Beholding him in their presence like a swelling fire with its tongue of flame outstretched, the protectors of Jayadratha were sorely puzzled. Then all the warriors, O king, desirous of victory bathed the son of Indra in that battle with torrents of arrows. Shrouded with incessant showers of arrows, the son of Kunti, that mighty-armed and unvanquished descendant of Kuru, became filled with rage. Then that tiger among men, viz., the son of Indra, desirous of slaughtering thy host, created a thick net of arrows. Then those warriors of thine, O king, thus slaughtered in battle by that hero, abandoned the ruler of the Sindhus in fear and fled away. And they fled away in such a manner that no two persons could be seen flying together. The prowess that we then beheld of Kunti’s son was extremely wonderful. Indeed, the like of what that illustrious warrior then did had never been nor will ever be. Like Rudra himself slaughtering creatures, Dhananjaya slaughtered elephants and elephant-riders, horses and horse-riders, and (car-warriors and) car-drivers. I did not in that battle, O king, see a single elephant or steed or human warrior that was not struck with Partha’s shafts. Their vision blurred by dust and darkness, thy warriors became perfectly cheerless and unable to distinguish one another. Urged on by fate and with their vital limbs cut open and mangled with shafts, they began to wander or, limp, or fall down. And some amongst them, O Bharata, became paralysed and some became deathly pale. During that terrible carnage resembling the slaughter of creatures at the end of the Yuga, in that deadly and fierce battle from which few could escape with life, the earth became drenched with gore and the earthy dust that had arisen disappeared in consequence of the showers of blood that fell and the swift currents of wind that blew over the field. So deep was that rain of blood that the wheels of cars sank to their naves. Thousands of infuriated elephants endued with great speed, O king, of thy army, their riders slain and limbs mangled, fled away, uttering cries of pain and crushing friendly ranks with their tread. Steeds destitute of riders and foot-soldiers also, O king, fled away, O monarch, from fear, struck with the shafts of Dhananjaya. Indeed, thy soldiers, with dishevelled hair and deprived of their coats of mail, with blood streaming out of their wounds, fled away in terror, leaving the field of battle. And some, deprived of the power of motion as if their lower limbs had been seized by alligators, remained on the field. And others concealed themselves behind and under the bodies of slain elephants Routing thy host thus, O king, Dhananjaya began to strike with terrible shafts the protectors of the ruler of the Sindhus with his arrowy showers, Karna and Drona’s son and Kripa and Salya and Vrishasena and Duryodhana. So quick was he in the use of weapons that no one could mark when Arjuna took out his arrows, when he fixed them on the bowstring, when he stretched—the bow and let them off. Indeed, while striking the foe, his bow was seen incessantly drawn to a circle. His arrows also were seen incessantly issuing out of his bow and scattered in all directions. Then cutting off Karna’s bow as also of Vrishasena’s, Arjuna felled Salya’s driver from his niche in the car, with a broad-headed arrow. With many arrows that foremost of victors, viz., Dhananjaya, then deeply pierced in that battle Kripa and Aswatthaman, related as uncle and nephew to each other. Sorely afflicting those mighty car-warriors of thy army thus, the son of Pandu took up a terrible arrow of fiery splendour. Looking like the thunderbolt of Indra, and inspired with divine mantras, that formidable arrow was capable of bearing any strain. And it had been always worshipped with incense and garlands of flowers. Duly inspiring it (by mantras) with the force of the thunderbolt, that descendant, of Kuru, viz., the mighty-armed Arjuna, fixed it on Gandiva. When that arrow of fiery effulgence was fixed on the bowstring, loud shouts, O king, were heard in the welkin. Then Janardana, once more addressing Arjuna, quickly said, ‘O Dhananjaya, quickly cut off the head of the wicked-souled ruler of the Sindhus! The sun is about to get at the mountain of Asta. Listen, however, to the words I say about the slaughter of Jayadratha. The father of Jayadratha is Vriddhakshatra known all over the world. It was after a long time that he got Jayadratha, that slayer of foes, for his son. (At the birth of the son) an incorporeal and invisible voice, deep as that of the clouds or of the drum, said unto king Vriddhakshatra. ‘This thy son, O lord, amongst men in this world will become worthy of the two races (viz., the Solar and the Lunar) in respect of blood, behaviour, self-restraint and the other attributes. He will become one of the foremost of Kshatriyas, and will always be worshipped by heroes. But while struggling in battle, some bull among the Kshatriyas, some conspicuous person in the world, excited with wrath, will cut off this one’s head.’ That chastiser of foes, viz., the (old) ruler of the Sindhus, hearing these words, reflected for sometime. Overwhelmed with affection for his son, he summoned all his kinsmen and said, ‘That man who will cause the head of my son to fall on the earth while the latter, struggling in battle, will be bearing a great burthen, I say that the head of that man will certainly crack into a hundred pieces.’ Having spoken these words and installed Jayadratha on the throne, Vriddhakshatra, repairing to the woods, devoted himself to ascetic austerities. Endued with great energy, he is still engaged in the observance of the austerest of penances outside this very Samantapanchaka, O ape-bannered one! Therefore, cutting off Jayadratha’s head in this dreadful battle, thou, O slayer of foes, shouldst, O Bharata, by thy fierce celestial weapon of wonderful feats, quickly throw that head decked with car-rings upon the lap of Vriddhakshatra himself, O younger brother of the son of the Wind-god! If thou fellest Jayadratha’s head on the earth, thy own head, then, without doubt, will crack into a hundred fragments. Aided by thy celestial weapon, do thee deed in such a way that the lord of earth viz., the old Sindhu king, may not know that it is done. Truly, O Arjuna, there is nothing in the three worlds which thou canst not achieve or do, O son of Vasava!’ Hearing these words (of Krishna), Dhananjaya, licking the corners of his mouth, quickly shot that arrow which he had taken up for Jayadratha’s slaughter, that arrow, viz., whose touch resembled that of Indra’s thunder, which was inspired with mantras and converted into a celestial weapon, which was capable of bearing any strain, and which had always been worshipped with incense and garlands. That shaft, sped from Gandiva, coursing swiftly, snatched Jayadratha’s head away, like a hawk snatching away a smaller bird from the top of a tree. Dhananjaya, then, with his shafts, sent that head along in the welkin (without allowing it to fall down). For grieving his foes and gladdening his friends, the son of Pandu, by shooting his shafts repeatedly at it, sent that head outside the limits of Samantapanchaka. Meanwhile, king Vriddhakshatra, the father of thy son-in-law, endued with great energy, was, O sire, engaged in his evening prayers. Decked with black locks and adorned with ear-rings, that head of Jayadratha was thrown upon Vriddhakshatra’s lap, as the latter was saying his prayers in a sitting posture. Thus thrown on his lap, that head decked with car-rings, O chastiser of foes, was not seen by king Vriddhakshatra. As the latter, however, stood up after finishing his prayers it suddenly fell down on the earth. And as the head of Jayadratha fell down on the earth, the head of Vriddhakshatra, O chastiser of foes, cracked into a hundred pieces. At the sight of this, all creatures were filled with wonder. And all of them applauded Vasudeva and the mighty Vibhatsu.

“After, O king, the ruler of the Sindhus had been slain by the diadem-decked Arjuna, that darkness, O bull of Bharata’s race, was withdrawn by Vasudeva. Thy sons with their followers, O king, thus, came to know subsequently that the darkness, they had seen, had all been an illusion produced by Vasudeva. Even thus, O king, was thy son-in-law, the ruler of the Sindhus, having caused eight Akshauhinis to be slaughtered, himself slain by Partha of inconceivable energy. Beholding Jayadratha, the ruler of the Sindhus slain, tears of sorrow fell from the eyes of thy sons. After Jayadratha, O king, had been slain by Partha, Kesava blew his conch and that scorcher of foes, viz., the mighty-armed Arjuna also blew his; Bhimasena also, in that battle, as if for sending a message to Yudhishthira, filled the welkin with a tremendous leonine shout. Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, bearing that tremendous shout understood that the ruler of the Sindhus had been slain by the high-souled Phalguna. With sounds of drums and other instruments he gladdened the warriors of his own army, and proceeded against the son of Bharadwaja from desire of battle. Then commenced, O king, after the sun had set, a fierce battle between Drona and the Somakas, that made the very hair stand on end. Desirous of slaying him, those mighty car-warriors after the fall of Jayadratha, fought with the son of Bharadwaja, exerting themselves to their utmost. Indeed, the Pandavas, having got the victory by slaying the ruler of the Sindhus fought with Drona, intoxicated with success. Arjuna, also, O king, having slain king Jayadratha, fought with many mighty car-warriors of thy army. Indeed, that hero decked with diadem and garlands, having accomplished his former vow, began to destroy his foes like the chief of the celestials destroying the Danavas, or the sun destroying darkness.’

Section CXLVI

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Tell me, O Sanjaya, what did my warriors do after the heroic ruler of the Sindhus had been slain, by Arjuna.’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding the ruler of the Sindhus, O sire, slain in battle by Partha, Kripa, the son of Saradwat, under the influence of wrath, covered the son of Pandu with a dense shower of arrows. Drona’s son also, on his car, rushed against Phalguna, the son of Pritha. Those two foremost of car-warriors began from their cars to shower from opposite directions upon the son of Pandu their keen arrows. That foremost of car-warriors, viz., the mighty-armed Arjuna, afflicted by those arrowy showers of (Kripa and Drona’s son) felt great pain. Without desiring, however, to slay his preceptor (Kripa) as also the son of (his other preceptor) Drona, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, began to act like a preceptor in arms. Baffling with his own weapons those of both Aswatthaman and Kripa, he sped at them, without desiring to slay them, shafts that coursed mildly. Those shafts, however (though mildly), shot by Jaya struck the two with great force, and in consequence of their number, caused great pain to Kripa and his nephew. Then Saradwat’s son, O king, thus afflicted with the arrows of Arjuna, lost all strength and swooned away on the terrace of his car. Understanding his master afflicted with shafts to be deprived of his senses, and believing him to be dead, the driver of Kripa’s car bore Kripa away from the fight. And after Kripa, the son of Saradwat, had thus been borne away from the battle, Aswatthaman also, from fear, fled away from the son of Pandu. Then the mighty bowman, Partha, beholding the son of Saradwat afflicted with shafts and in a swoon, began to indulge, on his car, in piteous lamentations. With a tearful face and in great dejection of heart, he uttered these words: Beholding all this (in his mental vision), Vidura of great wisdom had, on the birth of the wretched Suyodhana, that exterminator of his race, said unto Dhritarashtra, ‘Let this wretch of his race be soon killed. Owing to him, a great calamity will overtake the foremost ones of Kuru’s race.` Alas, these words of the truth-telling Vidura have come to be true. It is for him that I behold my preceptor today lying on a bed of arrows. Fie on the practices of Kshatriya! Fie on my might and prowess! Who else like me would fight with a Brahmana that is, besides his preceptor? Kripa is the son of a Rishi; he is, again, my preceptor; he is also the dear friend of Drona. Alas, he lieth stretched on the terrace of his car, afflicted with my arrows. Though not wishing it, I have still been the means of crushing him with my shafts. Lying senseless on the terrace of his car, he paineth my heart exceedingly. Even though he afflicted me with shafts, I should still have only looked at that warrior of dazzling splendour (without striking him in return). Struck with numerous shafts of mine, he hath gone the way of all creatures. By that he hath pained me more than even the slaughter of my own son. Behold, O Krishna, to what plight he hath been reduced, thus lying miserably and in a senseless state on his own car. Those bulls among men that give desirable objects unto their preceptors after obtaining knowledge from them, attain to godhead. Those lowest of mortals on the other hand, who, after obtaining knowledge from their preceptors strike the latter, those wicked men, go to hell. Without doubt, this act that I have done will lead me to hell. I have deeply pierced my preceptor on his car with showers of arrows. While studying the science of arms at his feet, Kripa told me in those days, ‘Do not, O thou of Kuru’s race, ever strike thy preceptor. That command of my righteous and high-souled preceptor I have not obeyed, for I have struck, the very Kripa himself with my shafts. I bow to that worshipful son of Gotama, to that unretreating hero. Fie on me, O thou of Vrishni’s race, since I have struck even him.’ While Savyasachin was thus lamenting for Kripa, the son of Radha, beholding the ruler of the Sindhu slain, rushed towards him. Seeing the son of Radha thus rushing towards Arjuna the two Panchala princes and Satyaki suddenly rushed towards him. The mighty car-warrior, Partha, beholding the son of Radha advancing, smilingly addressed the son of Devaki and said, ‘Yonder cometh the son of Adhiratha against the car of Satyaki. Without doubt, he is unable to bear the slaughter of Bhurisravas in battle. Urge my steeds, O Janardana, towards the spot whither Karna cometh. Let not Vrisha (Karna) cause the Satwata hero to follow in the wake of Bhurisravas.’ Thus addressed by Savyasachin, the mighty-armed Kesava, endued with great energy, replied in these opportune words, ‘The mighty-armed Satyaki is singly a match for Karna, O son of Pandu! How much superior then will this bull among the Satwatas be when he is united with the two sons of Drupada! For the present, O Partha, it is not proper for thee to fight with Karna. The latter hath with him the blazing dart, like a fierce meteor, that Vasava gave him. O slayer of hostile heroes, he hath kept it for thy sake, worshipping it with reverence. Let Karna then freely proceed against the Satwata hero. I know, O son of Kunti, this wicked wight’s hour, when, indeed, thou wilt, with keen shafts, throw him down from his car.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Tell me, O Sanjaya, how the battle took place between the heroic Karna and Satyaki of the Vrishni race, after the fall of Bhurisravas and of the ruler of the Sindhus. Satyaki had been carless, upon what car then was he mounted? And how also did the two protectors of the wheels (of Arjuna’s car), viz., the two Panchala princes, fight?’

“Sanjaya said, ‘I will describe to thee all that happened in that dreadful battle. Listen patiently to (the consequences of) thy own evil conduct. Before even the encounter, Krishna knew it in his heart that the heroic Satyaki would be vanquished by the stake-bannered (Bhurisravas). Janardana, O king, knoweth both the past and the future. For this, summoning his charioteer, Daruka, he had commanded him, saying, ‘Let my car be kept equipped tomorrow.’ Even this had been the command of that mighty one. Neither the gods, nor the Gandharvas, nor the Yakshas, nor the Uragas, nor the Rakshasas, nor human beings, are capable of conquering the two Krishnas. The gods with the Grandsire at their head, as also the Siddhas, know the incomparable prowess of those two. Listen, however, now to the battle as it happened. Beholding Satyaki carless and Karna ready for battle Madhava blew his conch of loud blare in the Rishabha note. Daruka, hearing the blare of (Kesava’s) conch, understood the meaning, and soon took that car, equipped with a lofty standard of gold, to where Kesava was. With Kesava’s permission, upon that car guided by Daruka, and which resembled the blazing fire or the sun in effulgence, ascended the grandson of Sini. Ascending upon the car which resembled a celestial vehicle and unto which were yoked those foremost of steeds, capable of going everywhere at will, viz., Saivya and Sugriva and Meghapushya and Valahaka, and which were adorned with trappings of gold, Satyaki rushed against the son of Radha, scattering countless shafts. The two protectors of (Arjuna’s) car-wheels, viz., Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas, abandoning Dhananjaya’s car, proceeded against the son of Radha. Radha’s son also, O king, shooting showers of shafts, angrily rushed, in that battle, against the invincible grandson of Sini. The battle that took place between them was such that its like had never been heard to have taken place on earth or in heaven between gods, Gandharvas, Asuras, Uragas, or Rakshasas. The entire host consisting of cars, steeds, men, and elephants, abstained from the fight, Beholding, O monarch, the stunning feats of two warriors. All became silent spectators of that superhuman battle between those two human heroes, O king, and of the skill of Daruka in guiding the car. Indeed, beholding the skill of the charioteer Daruka standing on the car, as he guided the vehicle forwards, backwards, sidelong, now wheeling in circles and now stopping outright, all were amazed. The gods, the Gandharvas, and the Danavas, in the welkin, intently watched that battle between Karna and the grandson of Sini. Both of them endued with great might, each challenging the other, those two warriors put forth their prowess for the sake of their friends. Karna who looked like a celestial, and Yuyudhana, O king, rained upon each other showers of shafts. Indeed, Karna ground the grandson of Sini with his arrowy downpours, unable to put up with the slaughter (by Satyaki) of the Kuru hero, Jalasandha. Filled

with grief and sighing like a mighty snake, Karna, casting angry glances on the grandson of Sini in that battle, and as if burning him therewith, rushed at him furiously again and again, O Chastiser of foes! Beholding him filled with rage, Satyaki pierced him in return, shooting dense showers of arrows, like an elephant piercing (with his tusks) a rival elephant. Those two tigers among men, endued with the activity of tigers and possessed of incomparable prowess, mangled each other furiously in that battle. The grandson of Sini, then, with shafts made entirely of iron, repeatedly pierced Karna, that chastiser of foes, in all his limbs. And he also felled, with a broad-headed arrow, the charioteer of Karna from his niche in the car. And with his keen shafts, he slew the four steeds, white in hue, of Adhiratha’s son. And then cutting into a hundred fragments the standard of Karna with a hundred arrows, that bull among men made Karna carless in the very sight of thy son. Then all thy warriors, O king, became cheerless. Then Vrishasena, the son of Karna, and Salya, the ruler of the Madras, and Drona’s son, encompassed the grandson of Sini from all sides. Then a confusion set in, and nothing could be seen. Indeed, when the heroic Karna was made carless by Satyaki, cries of Oh and Alas arose, among all thy troops. Karna also, O king, pierced by Satwata with his arrows and exceedingly weakened ascended the car of Duryodhana, sighing deeply, remembering his friendship for thy son from his childhood and having striven to realise the promise he had made about the bestowal of sovereignty on Duryodhana. After Karna hath been made carless, thy brave sons, headed by Duhsasana, O king, were not slain by the self-restrained Satyaki because the latter wished not to falsify the vow made by Bhimasena. Desirous also of not falsifying the vow formerly made by Partha (about the slaughter of Karna), Satyaki simply made those warriors carless and weakened them exceedingly, but did not deprive them of life. It is Bhima that hath vowed the slaughter of thy sons, and it is Partha that, at the time of the second match at dice, vowed the slaughter of Karna. Although all those warriors headed by Karna made strong efforts for slaying Satyaki, yet those foremost of car-warriors, failed to slay him. Drona’s son and Kritavarman and other mighty car-warriors, as also hundreds of foremost Kshatriyas, were all vanquished by Satyaki with only one bow. That hero fought, desirous of benefiting king Yudhishthira the Just, and of attaining to heaven. Indeed, Satyaki, that crusher of foes, is equal to either of the two Krishnas in energy. Smiling the while, he vanquished all thy troops, O best of men! In this world, there are only three mighty bowmen, viz., Krishna, Partha, and Satyaki. There is no fourth to be seen.’

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Ascending on the invincible car of Vasudeva that had Daruka for its driver, Satyaki, proud of the might of his arms and equal in battle unto Vasudeva himself, made Karna carless. Did Satyaki ride any other car (after his encounter with Karna was over)? I am desirous of hearing this, O Sanjaya! Thou art skilled in narration. I regard Satyaki to be endued with unbearable prowess. Tell me all, O Sanjaya!’ “Sanjaya said, ‘Hear, O king, how it had happened. The intelligent younger brother of Daruka soon brought unto Satyaki another car, duly equipped with all necessaries. With shafts attached to it by chains of iron and gold and bands of silk, decked with a thousand stars, decked with banners and with the figure of a lion on his standard, with horses, fleet as the wind and adorned with trappings of gold, yoked unto it, and with rattle deep as the roar of the clouds, that car was brought unto him. Ascending upon it, the grandson of Sini rushed against thy troops. Daruka, meanwhile, went as he listed to Kesava’s side. A new cat was brought for Karna also, O king, unto which were yoked four steeds of the best breed that were decked in trappings of gold and white as conchs or milk. Its kaksha and standard were made of gold. Furnished with banners and machines, that foremost of cars had an excellent driver. And it was furnished with a profusion of weapons of every kind. Mounting on that car, Karna also rushed against his foes. I have now told thee all that thou hadst asked me. Once more, however, O king, learn the (extent of the) destruction caused by the evil policy. Thirty one of thy sons have been slain by Bhimasena. Having Durmukha for their foremost, they were conversant with all modes of warfare. Satyaki and Arjuna also have slain hundreds of heroes with Bhimasena as their foremost, and Bhagadatta also, O sire! Even thus, O king, hath the destruction commenced, caused by thy evil counsels.’

Section CXLVII

“Dhritarashtra said, When such was the condition of battle, between those heroes of their side and mine, what did Bhima then do? Tell me all, O Sanjaya!’

“Sanjaya said, ‘After Bhimasena had been made carless, that hero, afflicted with the wordy darts of Karna and filled with rage, addressed Phalguna and said, ‘In thy very sight, O Dhananjaya, Karna hath repeatedly said to me, ‘Eunuch, fool, glutton, unskilled in weapons, do not fight, child, unable to bear the burden of battle!’ He that would tell me so would be slain by me. Karna hath told me those words, O Bharata! O mighty-armed one, thou knowest the vow which I have made jointly with thee. Remember the words that were then spoken by me. O foremost of men, act in such a way that that vow of mine, O son of Kunti, as also thy own vow, may not be falsified. O Dhananjaya, do that by which that vow of mine may be made true.’ Hearing these words of Bhima, Arjuna of immeasurable prowess, getting near Karna in that battle, told him, ‘O Karna, thou art of false fight. O son of a Suta, thou applaudest thy own self. Of wicked understanding, listen now to what I tell thee. Heroes meet with either of these two things in battle, viz., victory or defeat. Both of these are uncertain, O son of Radha! The case is not otherwise when Indra himself is engaged in battle. Made carless by Yuyudhana, with thy senses no longer under thy control, thou wert almost at the point of death. Remembering, however, that I had vowed to slay thee, that hero dismissed thee without taking thy life. It is true thou hadst succeeded in depriving Bhimasena of his car. Thy abuse, however, O son of Radha, of that hero was sinful. Those bulls among men that are truly righteous and brave, having vanquished a foe, never boast, nor speak ill of anybody. Thy knowledge, however, is little. It is for this, O son of a Suta, that thou indulged in such speeches. Then, again the abusive epithets thou didst apply to the battling Bhimasena, endued with great prowess and heroism and devoted to the practices of the righteous, were not consistent with truth. In the very sight of all the troops, of Kesava, as also of myself, thou wert many a time made carless by Bhimasena in battle. That son of Pandu, however, did not call thee a single harsh word. Since, however, thou hast addressed Vrikodara in many harsh speeches, and since thou with others hast slain the son of Subhadra out of my sight, therefore, this very day obtain the fruit of those offences of thine. It was for thy own destruction, O wicked wight, that thou didst then cut off Abhimanyu’s bow; for that, O thou of little understanding, thou shalt be slain by me, with all thy followers, forces, and animals. Accomplish now all those acts which thou shouldst do, for a great calamity is impending over thee. I will slay Vrishasena in thy very sight in battle. All those other kings, again, that will fully advance against me, I will despatch unto Yama’s abode. I say this truly, laying my hand on my weapon. A fool as thou art, without wisdom and full of vanity, I say that beholding thee lying on the field of battle the wicked Duryodhana will indulge in bitter lamentations.’ After Arjuna had vowed the slaughter of Karna’s son, a loud and tremendous uproar arose amongst the car-warriors. At that frightful time when confusion was everywhere, the thousand-rayed sun, dimming his rays, entered the Asta hill. Then, O king, Hrishikesa, stationed in the van of battle embracing Arjuna who had accomplished his vow, told him these words, By good luck, O Jishnu, thy great vow hath been accomplished. By good luck, that Vriddhakshatra hath been slain along with his son. The celestial generalissimo himself, O -Bharata, encountering the Dhartarashtra force, would, in battle, O Jishnu, lose his senses. There is no doubt of this. Except thee, O tiger among men, I do not even in thought see the person in the three worlds that could fight with this host. Many royal warriors endued with great prowess, equal to thee or superior have been united together at Duryodhana’s command. Clad in mail, they could not approach thee, encountering thy angry self in battle. Thy energy and might are equal to that of Rudra or the Destroyer himself. None else is capable of putting forth such prowess in battle as thou, O scorcher of foes, alone and unsupported, didst today put forth. Thus shall I applaud thee again after Karna of wicked soul has been slain along with his followers. Thus shall I glorify thee when that foe of thine shall have been vanquished and slain.’ Unto him Arjuna replied, ‘Through thy grace, O Madhava, this vow that even the gods could with difficulty accomplish, hath been accomplished by me. Their victory is not at all a matter of wonder that have thee, O Kesava, for their lord. Through thy grace, Yudhishthira will obtain the whole earth. All this is due to thy power, O thou of Vrishni’s race! This is thy victory, O lord! Our prosperity is thy victory, O lord! Our prosperity is thy care and we are thy servants, O slayer of Madhu!’ Thus addressed, Krishna smiled softly, and slowly urged the steeds. And he showed unto Partha, as they came, the field of battle abounding with cruel sights.

“Then Krishna said, ‘Desirous of victory in battle or world-wide fame many heroic kings are lying on the earth, struck with thy shafts. Their weapons and ornaments lay scattered, and their steeds, cars, and elephants are mangled and broken. With their coats of mail pierced or cut open, they have come to the greatest grief. Some of them are yet alive, and some of them are dead. Those, however, that are dead, still seem to be alive in consequence of the splendour with which they are endued. Behold the earth covered with their shafts equipped with golden wings, with their numerous other weapons of attack and defence, and with their animals (deprived of life). Indeed, the earth looks resplendent with coats of mail and necklaces of gems, with their heads decked with earrings, and headgears and diadems, and floral wreaths and jewels worn on crowns, and Kanthasutras and Angadas, and collars of gold, and with diverse other beautiful ornaments. Strewn with Anuskaras and quivers, with standards and banners, with Upaskaras and Adhishthanas, with shafts and crests of cars, with broken wheels and beautiful Akshas in profusion, with yokes and trappings of steeds, with belts and bows and arrows, with elephants, housings, with spiked maces and hooks of iron, with darts and short arrows, with spears and pikes, with Kundas and clubs, with Sataghnis and Bhushandis, with scimitars and axes, with short and heavy clubs and mallets, with maces and Kunapas, with whips decked with gold, O bull of Bharata’s race, with the bells and diverse other ornaments of mighty elephants, with floral garlands and various kinds of decorations, and with costly robes all loosened from the bodies of men and animals, the earth shines brilliantly, like the autumnal firmament with planets and stars. The lords of the earth, slain for the sake of earth, are slumbering on the earth clasping with their limbs the earth like a dear wife. Like mountains shedding through their caves and fissures streams of liquid chalk, these elephants, resembling Airavata himself and huge as mountains, are shedding profuse streams of blood through the openings in their bodies caused by weapons. Behold, O hero, those huge creatures afflicted with shafts lying on the ground in convulsions. Behold, those steeds also, lying on the ground, adorned with trappings of gold. Behold also, O Partha, those riderless and driverless cars that had at one time resembled celestial vehicles or the vapoury forms in the evening sky, now lying on the ground, with standards and banners and Akshas and yokes cut into pieces, and with broken shafts and crests, O lord. Foot-soldiers also, O hero, bearing bows and shields and slain in hundreds and thousands are lying on the ground, bathed in blood and clasping the earth with every limb and their locks smeared with dust. Behold, O mighty-armed one, those warriors with bodies mangled with thy weapons. Behold the earth, strewn with Yak-tails and fans, and umbrellas and standards, and steeds and cars and elephants, and with diverse kinds of blankets, and reins of steeds, and beautiful robes and costly Varuthas (of cars), look, as if overspread with embroidered tapestry. Many warriors fallen from the backs of well-equipped elephants along with those creatures themselves that they had ridden, are looking like lions fallen from mountain summits struck down by thunder. Mingled with the steeds (they had ridden) and the bows (they had held), horsemen and foot-soldiers in large numbers, are lying on the field, covered with blood. Behold, O foremost of men, the surface of the earth is frightful to look at, covered as it is with large number of slain elephants and steeds and car-warriors, and miry with blood, fat, and rotten flesh in profusion, and on which dogs and wolves and Pisachas and diverse wanderers of the night are cantering with joy! This fame-enhancing and mighty feat on the field of battle is capable of being achieved by thee only, O puissant one, or by that chief of the gods, viz., Indra himself, who in great battle slayeth the Daityas and the Danavas.’

“Sanjaya continued, “Thus showing the field of battle unto the diadem-decked Arjuna, Krishna blew his conch Panchajanya with the gleeful soldiers of the Pandava army (blowing their respective conchs). Having shown the field of battle unto the diadem-decked hero, that slayer of foes viz., Janardana quickly proceeded towards Ajatasatru, the son of Pandu, and informed him of the slaying of Jayadratha.’”


“Sanjaya said, ‘After the ruler of the Sindhus had been slain by Partha, Krishna, repairing unto the king, viz., Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, worshipped the latter with a gladdened heart. And he said, ‘By good luck, O king of kings, thy prosperity increaseth. O best of men, thy foe hath been slain. By good luck, thy younger brother hath accomplished his vow.’ Thus addressed by Krishna, that subjugator of hostile towns, viz., king Yudhishthira, filled with joy, came down from his car, O Bharata! His eyes filled with tears of joy, he embraced the two Krishnas and wiping his bright and lotus-like face, said these words unto Vasudeva, and Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu, ‘Ye mighty car-warriors, by good luck, I behold both of you after ye have accomplished your task. By good luck, that sinful wretch, viz., the ruler of the Sindhus, hath been slain. Ye Krishnas, by good luck, ye have done that which hath filled me with great happiness. By good luck, our foes have been plunged into an ocean of grief. Thou art the sovereign lord of all the worlds, O slayer of Madhu! In the three worlds they that have thee for their preceptor can have no object incapable of accomplishment. Through thy grace, O Govinda, we will conquer our foes, like Indra conquering the Danavas in days of old. Be it the conquest of the world, or be it the conquest of the three worlds, everything is certain, O thou of the Vrishni race, in their case with whom thou art gratified, O giver of honours! They can have no sin, nor can they meet with defeat in battle with whom thou, O lord of the celestials, art gratified, O giver of honours! It is through thy grace, O Hrishikesa, that Sakra hath become the chief of the celestials. It is through thy grace, that blessed personage obtained on the field of battle the sovereignty of the three worlds! It is through thy grace, O lord of the celestials, that the latter obtained immortality, O Krishna, and enjoy eternal regions (of bliss). Having slain thousands of Daityas, with prowess having its origin in thy grace, O slayer of foes, Sakra obtained the lordship of the celestials. Through thy grace, O Hrishikesa, the mobile and immobile universe, without swerving from its (ordained) course, O hero, is engaged in prayers and homa! In the beginning, this universe, enveloped in darkness, had been one vast expanse of water. Through thy grace, O mighty-armed one, the universe became manifest, O best of men! Thou art the creator of all the worlds, thou art the Supreme Soul, and thou art immutable! They that behold thee, O Hrishikesa, are never confounded. Thou art the Supreme God, thou art the God of gods, and thou art Eternal. They that seek refuge with thee, O lord of the gods, are never confounded. Without beginning and without death, thou art Divine, the Creator of all the worlds, and immutable. They that are devoted to thee, O Hrishikesa, always tide over every difficulty. Thou art Supreme, the Ancient one, the Divine-Being, and that which is the Highest of the high. He that attaineth to that viz., thy Supreme Self hath ordained for him the highest prosperity. Thou art sung in the four Vedas. The four Vedas sing of thee. Be seeking thy shelter, O high-souled one, I shall enjoy unrivalled prosperity. Thou art the Supreme God, thou art the God of the highest gods, thou art the lord of Winged creatures, and the lord of all human beings. Thou art the Supremest Lord of everything. I bow to thee, O best of beings! Thou art the Lord, the Lord of lords O puissant one! Prosperity to thee, O Madhava! O thou of large eyes, O Universal soul, Thou art the origin of

all things. He, again, that is a friend of Dhananjaya or is engaged in Dhananjaya’s good, obtaineth thee that art the preceptor of Dhananjaya and attaineth to happiness.’ Thus addressed by him those high-souled ones, viz., Kesava and Arjuna, cheerfully said unto the king, that lord of the earth, ‘The sinful king Jayadratha, hath been consumed by the fire of thy wrath. O puissant one, although the Dhartarashtra host is vast and swelleth with pride, yet, O Bharata, struck and slain, it is being exterminated. O slayer of foes, it is in consequence of thy wrath that the Kauravas are being destroyed. Having, O hero, angered thee that canst slay with thy eyes alone, the wicked-minded Suyodhana, with his friends and kinsmen, will have to lay down his life in battle. Slain before in consequence of thy ire, and struck down also by the gods themselves, the invincible Bhishma, the grandsire of the Kurus, lieth now on a bed of arrows. O slayer of foes, victory in battle is unattainable by them, and death also waiteth for them, that have thee, O son of Pandu, for their foe. Kingdom, life, dear ones, children, and diverse kinds of bliss, will soon be lost by him with whom thou, O scorcher of foes, hast been angry. I regard the Kauravas to be lost with their sons, and kinsmen, when thou, O scorcher of foes, that art observant of the duties of a king, hast been angry with them.’ Then Bhima, O king, and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki, both mangled with shafts, saluted their senior. And those two mighty bowmen sat down on the ground, surrounded by the Panchalas, Beholding those two heroes filled with joy and arrived and waiting with joined hands, the son of Kunti congratulated them both, saying, ‘By good luck, it is that I see you both, ye heroes, escaped with lire from that sea of (hostile) troops, that sea in which Drona acted the part of an invincible alligator, and the son of Hridika that of a fierce shark. By good luck, all the kings of the earth have been vanquished (by you two). By good luck, I see both of you victorious in battle. By good luck, Drona hath been vanquished in battle, and that mighty car-warrior also viz., the son of Hridika. By good luck, Karna hath been vanquished in battle with barbed shafts. By good luck, Salya also was obliged to turn away from the field by you both, ye bulls among men. By good luck, I behold you both come back from battle safe and sound, ye that are foremost of car-warriors and well-skilled in battle! By good luck, I behold again, ye heroes, that have forded that sea of troops in obedience to my command, ye that went to battle impelled by the desire of honouring me! Ye are heroes delighting in battle. Ye are to me as life. By good luck, I see you both.’ Having said this, the son of Pandu, O king, embraced both Yuyudhana and Vrikodara, those tigers among men, and shed tears of joy. Then, O monarch, the entire host of the Pandavas became cheerful and filled with joy. And all of them once more set their hearts on battle.’”

Section CXLIX

“Sanjaya said, Upon the fall, O king, of the ruler of the Sindhus, thy son Suyodhana, his face bedewed with tears, and himself filled with grief and breathing hot sighs like a snake whose fangs have been broken, that offender against the whole world, viz., thy son, experienced bitter affliction. Beholding that great terrible slaughter of his troops caused by Jishnu and Bhimasena and Satwata in battle, he became pale, dejected and melancholy, and his eyes became filled with tears. And he came to think no warrior existed on the earth that could be compared with Arjuna. Neither Drona, nor the son of Radha, nor Aswatthaman, nor Kripa, O sire, is competent to stand before Arjuna when the latter is excited with wrath, And Suyodhana, said unto himself, ‘Having vanquished in battle all the mighty car-warriors of my army, Partha slew the ruler of the Sindhus. None could resist him. This my vast host hath almost been exterminated by the Pandavas. I think, there is no one that can protect my army, no, not even Purandara himself. He, relying upon whom I have been engaged in this passage-at-arms in battle, alas, that Karna hath been defeated in battle and Jayadratha slain. That Karna relying upon whose energy I regarded Krishna as straw who came to sue me for peace, alas, that Karna hath been vanquished in battle.’ Grieving so within his heart, that offender against the whole world, O king, went to Drona, O bull of Bharata’s race, for seeing him. Repairing unto him, he informed Drona of that immense slaughter of the Kurus, the victory of his foes, and the dire calamity of the Dhartarashtras. And Suyodhana said, ‘Behold, O preceptor, this immense slaughter of kings. I came to battle, placing that grandsire of mine, viz., the heroic Bhishma, at our head. Having slain him, Sikhandin, his aspiration fulfilled, stayeth at the very van of all the troops, surrounded by all the Panchalas, covetous of another triumph. Another disciple of thine, viz., the invincible Savyasachin, having slain seven. Akshauhinis of troops hath despatched king Jayadratha to Yama’s abode. How, O preceptor, shall I be freed from the debt I owe to those allies of mine who, desirous of victory to me and ever engaged in my good, have gone to Yama’s abode? Those lords of earth who had desired the sovereignty of the earth, are now lying on the earth, abandoning all their earthly prosperity. Truly, I am a coward. Having caused such a slaughter of friends, I dare not think that I shall be sanctified by performing even a hundred horse-sacrifices. I am covetous and sinful and a transgressor against righteousness. Through my acts alone, these lords of earth, in their desire for victory, have gone to Yama’s abode. Why, in presence of those kings,

does not the earth yield me a hole (through which to sink), since I am so sinful in behaviour and such a fomenter of internecine dissensions! Alas, what will the grandsire with blood-red eyes, that invincible hero who hath conquered the other world, tell me in the midst of the kings when he meets me? Behold that mighty bowman, Jalasandha, slain by Satyaki. That great car-warrior, that hero, came proudly to battle for my sake, prepared to lay down his life. Beholding the ruler of the Kamvojas slain, as also Alamvusha and many other allies of mine, what object can I have for preserving my life? Those unretreating heroes who, fighting for my sake and struggling to the utmost of their powers to vanquish my foes, have laid down their lives. I shall today, O scorcher of foes, exerting the utmost measure of my might, free myself from the debt that I owe them and gratify them with oblations of water by repairing to the Yamuna. O foremost of all bearers of arms, I tell thee truly and swear by the good acts I have performed, by the prowess I possess and by my sons, that slaying all the Panchalas with the Pandavas, I shall obtain peace of mind, or slain by them in battle I shall repair to those regions whither those allies of mine have gone. I shall certainly proceed thither whither those bulls among men, slain, while engaged in battle for my sake, by Arjuna have gone! Our allies, seeing that they are not well-protected by us, no longer desire to stand by us. O thou of mighty arms, they now regard the Pandavas to be preferable to ourselves. Thyself, of sure aim, hast ordained our extermination in battle, for thou treatest Arjuna leniently, since he is thy disciple. It is for this that all those have been slain who had endeavoured to secure victory to us. It seems that only Karna now wishes us victory. The man of weak understanding who without duly examining another, accepteth him for a friend and engageth him in concerns that require friends for their accomplishment, is certain to suffer injury even so hath this affair of mine been managed by my best friend! I am exceedingly covetous, sinful, crooked-hearted, and characterised by avarice! Alas, king Jayadratha hath been slain, and Somadatta’s son also of great energy, and the Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, and the Vasatis! I shall go thither today whither those bulls among men, slain, while engaged in battle for my sake, by Arjuna, have gone. In the absence of those bulls among men, I have no need for life. O preceptor of the sons of Pandu, let me have thy permission in this.

Section CI

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘After the ruler of the Sindhus had been slain in battle by Savyasachin and after the fall of Bhurisravas, what became the state of your mind? After Drona also had been thus addressed by Duryodhana in the midst of the Kurus, what did the preceptor say unto him then? Tell me all this, O Sanjaya!’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Loud wails arose among thy coops, O Bharata, after the slaughter of Bhurisravas and the ruler of the Sindhus. All of them disregarded the counsels of thy son, those counsels in consequence of which leaders of men, by hundreds, were slain, As regards Drona, hearing those words of thy son, he became filled with grief. Reflecting for a short while, O monarch, he said these words in great affliction.

“Drona said, O Duryodhana, why dost thou pierce me thus with wordy shafts? I told thee before that Arjuna is incapable of defeat in battle. Protected by the diadem-decked Arjuna, Sikhandin slew Bhishma. By that feat, O thou of Kuru’s race, the prowess of Arjuna in battle hath been well-tested. Beholding Bhisma who was incapable of being defeated by the gods and the Danavas, actually slain in battle, even then I knew that this Bharata host is doomed. Upon the fall of him whom of all persons in the three worlds, we had regarded to be the very foremost of heroes, who else is there upon whom we are to rely? Those dice, O sire, with which Sakuni formerly played in the Kuru assembly, were not dice but keen arrows capable of slaying foes. Even those arrows, O sire, sped by Jaya, are now slaying us. Though Vidura characterised them to be such, thou didst not yet understand them to be so. Those words, again, that the wise and high-souled Vidura, with tears in his eyes had then said unto thee, those auspicious words recommending peace, thou didst not then hear. That calamity which foretold hath now come. That frightful carnage, O Duryodhana, hath now come as the result of that disobedience by thee of Vidura’s words. That man of foolish understanding who, disregarding the salutary words of trusted friends, followeth his own opinion, soon falls into a pitiable plight. O son of Gandhari, this great evil, viz., that dragging in our very sight to the Kuru assembly of Krishna who never deserved such treatment, who hath been born in a noble race, and who practiseth every virtue. Know that all this is but little, for in the next world dire consequences yet will be thine. Vanquishing the Pandavas at dice by deceit, thou hadst sent them, into the woods, attired in deer-skins. What other Brahmana, except myself, in this world, would seek to injure those princes that are ever engaged in the practice of virtue and that are to me even as my own sons” With the approval of Dhritarashtra, in the midst of the Kuru assembly, thou hadst, with Sakuni as thy help-mate, provoked the ire of the Pandavas. United with Duhsasana, Karna then fanned that wrath. Disregarding the words of Vidura, thou hast repeatedly fanned it thyself. With resolute care, all of you had surrounded Arjuna, resolved to stand by the ruler of the Sindhus. Why then have all of you been vanquished and why also has Jayadratha been slain? Why, when thou art alive, and Karna, and Kripa, and Salya, and Aswatthaman, O Kauravya, hath the ruler of the Sindhus been slain? For rescuing the ruler of the Sindhus, the kings (on thy side) had put forth all their fierce energy. Why, then, hath Jayadratha been slain in their midst? Relying upon me, king Jayadratha had expected his rescue from the hands of Arjuna. He, however, obtained not the rescue he had expected. I do not also see my safety for my own self. Until I succeed in slaying the Panchalas with Sikhandin, I feel like one sinking in the Dhristadyumna-mire. Having failed, O Bharata, in rescuing the ruler of the Sindhus, why dost thou pierce me thus with thy wordy shafts, seeing that I too am burning with grief? Thou seest not any longer on the field the gold standards of Bhishma of sure aim, that warrior who was never tired in battle. How, then, canst thou hope for success? When the ruler of the Sindhus and Bhurisravas also have been slain in the very midst of so many mighty car-warriors, what do you think, will the end be? Kripa, difficult of being vanquished, is still alive, O king! That he hath not followed in the track of Jayadratha, I applaud him highly for this! When I saw Bhishma himself, that achiever of the most difficult feats (in battle), that warrior who was incapable of being slain in battle by the gods with Vasava at their head, slain in thy sight, O Kaurava, as also of thy younger brother Duhsasana, I thought then, O king, that the Earth hath abandoned thee. Yonder the troops of the Pandavas and the Srinjayas, united together, are now rushing against me. For achieving thy good in battle, O son of Dhritarashtra, I will not without slaying all the Panchalas, put off my armour. O king, go and tell my son Aswatthaman who is present in battle that even at the risk of his life he should not let the Somakas alone. Thou shouldst also tell him, ‘Observe all the instructions thou hast received from thy father. Be firm in acts of humility, in self-restraint, in truth and righteousness. Observant of religion, profit, and pleasure, without neglecting religion and profit, thou shouldst always accomplish those acts in which religion predominates. The Brahmanas should always be gratified with presents. All of them deserve thy worship. Thou shouldst never do anything that is injurious to them. They are like flames of fire. As regards myself, I will penetrate the hostile host, O slayer of foes, for doing great battle, pierced as I am by thee with thy wordy shafts. If thou canst, O Duryodhana, go and protect those troops. Both the Kurus and the Srinjayas have been angry. They will fight even during the night.’ Having said these words, Drona proceeded against the Pandavas and set himself to over-ride the energy of the Kshatriyas like the sun overshadowing the light of the stars.’”

Section CLI

“Sanjaya said, ‘Thus urged by Drona, king Duryodhana, filled with rage set his heart on battle. And thy son, Duryodhana, then said unto Karna, ‘Behold, the diadem-decked son of Pandu, with Krishna alone for helpmate, penetrated into the array formed by the preceptor, an array that the gods themselves could not pierce, and in the very sight of the illustrious Drona struggling in battle and of many other foremost of warriors, slew the ruler of the Sindhus. Behold, O son of Radha, many foremost of kings lying on the earth, slain in battle. Partha unaided by any one, in the very sight of the illustrious Drona and myself, vigorously exerting ourselves like a host of inferior animals-slain by a lion. The son of Sakra hath reduced my host to a small remnant of what it was. How, indeed, could Phalguna, in spite of the resistance offered by Drona in battle, accomplish his vow by slaying the ruler of the Sindhus? If Drona had not himself willed it, O hero, how could the son of Pandu, in battle, have pierced that impenetrable array, overcoming his struggling preceptor? Truly, Phalguna is exceedingly dear to the illustrious preceptor! For this, the latter gave him admittance, without having fought with him. Behold my misfortune! Having in the first instance promised protection unto the ruler of the Sindhus, Drona, that scorcher of foes, gave unto the diadem-decked Arjuna admittance into the array! If he had in the beginning granted permission to the ruler of the Sindhus for his return home, without doubt, such an awful carnage would then have never occurred. Alas! Jayadratha, in hopes of saving his life, had desired to return home. Having obtained from Drona a promise of protection in battle, it was I, a fool that I was, who prevented him from going. Alas, today my brothers having Chitrasena for their head, have all perished in the very sight of our wretched selves.’

“Karna said, ‘Do not blame the preceptor. That Brahmana is fighting according to the measure of his power and courage and regardless of his very life. If Arjuna, of white steeds, having transgressed him, penetrated into our array, the slightest fault does not, for that, attach to the preceptor. Phalguna is accomplished in weapons, possessed of great activity, endued with youth; he is a hero who has mastered all arms; he is distinguished for the celerity of his movements. Armed with celestial weapons and mounted on his ape-bannered car, the reins of whose steeds again were in the hands of Krishna, cased in impenetrable armour, and taking his celestial bow Gandiva of unfading might, the valiant Arjuna, scattering keen arrows, and proud of the strength of his arms, transgressed Drona. There is nothing to wonder at this. The preceptor, on the other hand is, O king, old and incapable of proceeding quickly. He is also, O king, incapable of exercising his arms long. It was for this that Phalguna, of

white steeds and having Krishna for his charioteer, succeeded in transgressing the preceptor. For this reason also, I do not see any fault in Drona. For all that, when Arjuna, of white steeds, penetrated into our array, having transgressed the preceptor it seems that the latter, however skilled in weapons, is incapable of vanquishing the Pandavas in battle. I think that which is ordained by Fate never occurs otherwise. And since, O Suyodhana, in spite of ourselves fighting to the utmost extent of our powers, the ruler of the Sindhus has been slain in battle, it seems that Fate is all-powerful. With thyself we had all been exerting to the utmost of our might on the field of battle. Fate, however, baffling our exertions, did not smile on us. We have always exerted to injure the Pandavas, relying both on deceit and prowess. Whatever act, O king, a person afflicted by Fate does, is frustrated by Fate, however, much the person himself may strive to achieve it. Whatever, indeed, a man endued with perseverance should do, ought to be done fearlessly. Success depends on Fate! By deceit the sons of Pritha were beguiled as also by the administration of poison, O Bharata! Burnt they were in the palace of lac, vanquished they were at dice. In accordance with the dictates of statecraft, they were exited into the woods. All these, though done by us with care, have been baffled by Fate. Fight with resolution, O king, setting Fate at nought. Between thee and them, both striving to the best of your prowess even Fate may prove auspicious to that party which excels the other. No wise measures have been adopted by the Pandavas with the aid of superior intelligence. Nor, O hero, do we see, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, that thou hast done anything unwise from want of intelligence! It is Fate that decides the result of acts, wise or unwise; Fate, ever intent on its own purposes is awake when all else sleeps. Vast was thy host, and thy warriors are many. Even thus the battle began. With their small force, much greater and consisting of men capable of smiting effectually, hath been much reduced. I fear, it is the work of Fate, that has frustrated our exertions.’

“Sanjaya continued, ‘While they were discoursing thus, O king, the Pandava divisions appeared for battle. Then occurred a fierce battle between thy warriors and theirs, in which cars and elephants encountered one another. All this, however, O king, was due to thy evil policy!’”

Section CLII

(Ghatotkacha-badha Parva)

“Sanjaya said, ‘That elephant force of thine, O king, swelling with might, fought everywhere, prevailing over the Pandava force. Resolved to go to the other world, the Panchalas and the Kauravas fought with one another for admission into the swelling domains of Yama. Brave warriors, encountering brave rivals, pierced one another with arrows and lances and darts, and quickly despatched one another unto Yama’s abode. Dreadful was the battle that took place between car-warriors and car-warriors who struck one another and caused a fierce flow of blood. Infuriated elephants, encountering infuriated compeers, afflicted one another with their tusks. Horsemen, solicitous of glory, pierced and cut down horsemen in that terrific melee with spears and darts and battle-axes. Foot-soldiers also O mighty-armed one, in hundreds, armed with weapons, repeatedly rushed against one another with resolute courage, O scorcher of foes! So great was the confusion that the Panchalas and the Kurus could only be distinguished from each other by the tribal, the family, and the personal names we heard them utter. The warriors, despatching one another to the other world with arrows and darts and axes, careered fearlessly on the field. With thousands of arrows, however, O king, shot by the combatants the ten points were no longer illuminated as before in consequence of the Sun having set. While the Pandavas were thus fighting, O Bharata, Duryodhana, O king, penetrated into the midst of their host. Filled with great wrath at the slaughter of the ruler of Sindhus, and resolved to lay down his life, he penetrated into the hostile army. Filling the earth with the rattle of his car-wheels and causing her to tremble therewith, thy son approached the Pandava host. Terrific was the clash that took place between him and them, O Bharata, causing a tremendous carnage of troops. Like the sun himself at midday scorching everything with his rays, thy son scorched the hostile host with his arrowy showers. The Pandavas became incapable of even looking at their brother (Duryodhana). Despairing of vanquishing their foes, they set their hearts on flying away from the field. Slaughtered by thy illustrious son, armed with the bow, by means of his gold-winged arrows of blazing points, the Panchalas ran away in all directions. Afflicted with those keen shafts, the Pandava troops began to fall down on the ground. Indeed, the Pandavas had never succeeded in achieving such a feat in battle as was then achieved by thy royal son, O monarch! The Pandava host was crushed and ground by an elephant. As, again, an assemblage of lotuses becomes shorn of its beauty when the water (over which it grows) is dried up by the sun and the wind, even so became the Pandava host being dried up by thy son, O Bharata, the Panchalas, with Bhimasena then with ten shafts, and each of the sons of Madri with three, and Virata and Drupada each with six, and Sikhandin with a hundred, and Dhrishtadyumna with seventy, and Yudhishthira with seven, and the Kaikeyas and the Chedis with innumerable keen shafts, and Satwata with five, and each of the (five) sons of Draupadi with three, and Ghatotkacha also with a few, he uttered a

leonine shout. Cutting off hundreds of other warriors and the bodies of elephants and steeds in that great battle by means of his fierce shafts, he behaved like the Destroyer himself in rage slaying created beings. While engaged, however, in thus slaughtering his foes, his bow, the back of whose staff was ornamented with gold, Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, O sire, cut off into three parts with a pair of broad-headed shafts. And Yudhishthira pierced Duryodhana himself with ten keen arrows shot with great force. Piercing through Duryodhana’s vital limbs, those passed out and entered the earth in a continuous line. The troops that stood around then encompassed Yudhishthira, like the celestials encompassing Purandara for the slaughter of Vritra. Then king Yudhishthira, O sire, who is incapable of being easily defeated, shot at thy son in that battle a fierce shaft. Deeply pierced therewith, Duryodhana sat down on his excellent car. Then a loud noise arose from among the Panchala troops. Even this, O monarch, was that tremendous uproar, viz., ‘The king is slain!’ The fierce whizz of arrows also was heard there, O Bharata. Then Drona quickly showed himself there in that battle. Meanwhile, Duryodhana recovering his senses, had firmly grasped the bow. He then rushed towards the royal son of Pandu saying, ‘Wait, Wait.’ Then the Panchalas also solicitous of victory, began to advance with speed. Desirous of rescuing the Kuru prince, Drona received them all. And the preceptor began to destroy them like the bright-rayed maker of day destroying tempest-tossed clouds. Then, O king, there occurred a fierce battle, fraught with immense carnage, between thine and theirs encountering one another from desire of fight.’”

Section CLIII

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Having said all those words unto my son, Duryodhana, who is ever disobedient to my commands, when that mighty bowman endued with great strength, viz., the preceptor Drona, penetrated in wrath into the Pandava host, and when that hero, stationed on his car, careered over the field, how did the Pandavas check his course? Who protected the right wheel of the preceptor’s car in that dreadful battle? Who also protected his left when he fiercely slaughtered the foe? Who were those brave warriors that followed that fighting hero at his back? Who were those, then, that stood in front of that car-warrior? When that unvanquished and great bowman, that foremost of all bearers of weapons, dancing along the track of his car, entered the Pandavas host, I think, his foes felt an excessive and unseasonable cold. I think, they trembled like kine exposed to wintry blasts. How did that bull a