English - Logo Sight Mahabharata 6 - BHISHMA PARVA English - Logo Sight
1 Jamvu-khanda Nirmana 10
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1 Jamvu-khanda Nirmana Parva
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OM! HAVING BOWED down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted of male beings, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word 'Jaya' be uttered.

Janamejaya said,--"How did those heroes, the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas, and the high-souled kings assembled together from various countries, fight?"

Vaisampayana said,--"Listen thou, O lord of the earth, how those heroes,--the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas,--fought on the sacred plain of the Kurukshetra. Entering Kurukshetra, the Pandavas endued with great might, along with the Somakas, advanced, desirous of victory, against the Kauravas. Accomplished in the study of the Vedas, all (of them) took great delight in battle. Expectant of success in battle, with their troops (they) faced the fight. Approaching the army of Dhritarashtra's son, those (warriors) invincible in battle stationed themselves with their troops on the western part (of the plain), their faces turned towards the east. Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, caused tents by thousands to be set up according to rule, beyond the region called Samantapanchaka. The whole earth seemed then to be empty, divested of horses and men, destitute of cars and elephants, and with only the children and the old left (at home). From the whole area of Jamvudwipa over which the sun sheds his rays, was collected that force, O best of kings. Men of all races, assembled together, occupied an area extending for many Yojanas over districts, rivers, hills, and woods. That bull among men, king Yudhishthira, ordered excellent food and other articles of enjoyment for all of them along with their animals. And Yudhishthira fixed diverse watch-words for them; so that one saying this should be known as belonging to the Pandavas. And that descendant of Kuru's race also settled names and badges for all of them for recognition during time of battle.

"Beholding the standard-top of Pritha's son, the high-souled son of Dhritarashtra, with a white umbrella held over his head, in the midst of a thousand elephants, and surrounded by his century of brothers, began with all the kings (on his side) to array his troops against the son of Pandu. Seeing Duryodhana, the Panchalas who took delight in battle, were filled with joy and blew their loud-sounding conches and cymbals of sweet sounds. Beholding those troops so delighted, Pandu's son and Vasudeva of great energy had their hearts filled with joy. And those tigers among men, Vasudeva and Dhananjaya, seated on one car, having felt great joy, both blew their celestial conches. And hearing the blare of Gigantea and the loud blast of Theodotes belonging unto the two, the combatants ejected urine and excreta. As other animals are filled with fear on hearing the voice of the roaring lion, even so became that force upon hearing those blasts. A frightful dust arose and nothing could be seen, for the sun himself, suddenly enveloped by it, seemed to have set. A black cloud poured a shower of flesh and blood over the troops all around. All this seemed extraordinary. A wind rose there, bearing along the earth myriads of stony nodules, and afflicting therewith the combatants by hundreds and thousands. (For all that), O monarch, both armies, filled with joy, stood addrest for battle, on Kurukshetra like two agitated oceans. Indeed, that encounter of the two armies was highly wonderful, like that of two oceans when the end of the Yuga is arrived. The whole earth was empty, having only the children and the old left (at home), in consequence of that large army mustered by the Kauravas. Then the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas made certain covenants, and settled the rules, O bull of Bharata's race, regarding the different kinds of combat. Persons equally circumstanced must encounter each other, fighting fairly. And if having fought fairly the combatants withdraw (without fear of molestation), even that would be gratifying to us. Those who engaged in contests of words should be fought against with words. Those that left the ranks should never be slain. A car-warrior should have a car-warrior for his antagonist; he on the neck of an elephant should have a similar combatant for his foe; a horse should be met by a horse, and a foot-soldier, O Bharata; should be met by a foot-soldier. Guided by considerations of fitness, willingness, daring and might, one should strike another, giving notice. No one should strike another that is unprepared or panic-struck. One engaged with another, one seeking quarter, one retreating, one whose weapon is rendered unfit, uncased in mail, should never be struck. Car-drivers, animals (yoked to cars or carrying weapons) men engaged in the transport of weapons, players on drums and blowers of conches should never be struck. Having made these covenants, the Kurus, and the

Pandavas, and the Somakas wondered much, gazing at each other. And having stationed (their forces thus), those bulls among men, those high-souled ones, with their troops, became glad at heart, their joy being reflected on their countenances."

Bhisma_mahabharata


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Vaisampayana said,--"Seeing then the two armies (standing) on the east and the west for the fierce battle that was impending, the holy Rishi Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, that foremost of all persons acquainted with the Vedas, that grandsire of the Bharatas, conversant with the past, the present, and the future, and beholding everything as if it were present before his eyes, said these words in private unto the royal son of Vichitravirya who was then distressed and giving way to sorrow, reflecting on the evil policy of his sons.

"Vyasa said,--'O king, thy sons and the other monarchs have their hour arrived. Mustered in battle they will kill one another. O Bharata, their hour having come, they will all perish. Bearing in mind the changes brought on by time, do not yield thy heart to grief. O king, if thou wish to see them (fighting) in battle, I will, O son, grant thee vision. Behold the battle."

"Dhritarashtra said,--'O best of regenerate Rishi, I like not to behold the slaughter of kinsmen. I shall, however, through thy potency hear of this battle minutely."

Vaisampayana continued.--"Upon his not wishing to see the battle but wishing to hear of it, Vyasa, that lord of boons, gave a boon to Sanjaya. (And addressing Dhritarashtra he said),--'This Sanjaya, O king, will describe the battle to thee. Nothing in the whole battle will be beyond this one's eyes.' Endued, O king with celestial vision, Sanjaya will narrate the battle to thee. He will have knowledge of everything. Manifest or concealed, (happening) by day or by night, even that which is thought of in the mind, Sanjaya shall know everything. Weapons will not cut him and exertion will not fatigue him. This son of Gavalgani will come out of the battle with life. As regards myself, O bull of Bharata's race, the fame of these Kurus, as also of all the Pandavas, I will spread. Do not grieve. This is destiny, O tiger among men. It behoveth thee not to give way to grief. It is not capable of being prevented. As regards victory, it is there where righteousness is.'"

Vaisampayana continued,--"That highly-blessed and holy grandsire of the Kurus, having said so, once more addressed Dhritarashtra and said,--'Great will the slaughter be, O monarch, in this battle. I see here also (numerous) omens indicative of terror. Hawks and vultures, and crows and herons, together with cranes, are alighting on the tops of trees and gathering in flocks. These birds, delighted at the prospect of battle, are looking down (on the field) before them. Carnivorous beasts will feed on the flesh of elephants and steeds. Fierce herons, foreboding terror, and uttering merciless cries, are wheeling across the centre towards the southern region. In both the twilights, prior and posterior, I daily behold, O Bharata, the sun during his rising and setting to be covered by headless trunks. Tri-coloured clouds with their extremities white and red and necks black, charged with lightning, and resembling maces (in figure) envelope the sun in both twilights. I have seen the sun, the moon, and the stars to be all blazing. No difference in their aspect is to be noted in the evening. I have seen this all day and all night. All this forbodes fear. On even the fifteenth night of the lighted-fortnight in (the month of) Kartika, the moon, divested of splendour, became invisible, or of the hue of fire, the firmament being of the hue of the lotus. Many heroic lords of earth, kings and princes, endued with great bravery and possessed of arms resembling maces, will be slain and sleep lying down on the earth. Daily I notice in the sky during night time the fierce cries of battling boars and cats. The images of gods and goddesses sometimes laugh, sometimes tremble, and sometimes again these vomit blood through their mouths and sometimes they sweat and sometimes fall down. O monarch! drums, without being beaten, give sounds, and the great cars of Kshatriyas move without (being drawn by) animals yoked to them. Kokilas, wood-peckers, jaws, water-cocks, parrots, crows, and peacocks, utter terrible cries. Here and there, cavalry soldiers, cased in mail, armed with weapons, send forth fierce shouts. At sun-rise flights of insects, by hundreds are seen. In both twilights, the cardinal quarters seem to be ablaze, and the clouds, O Bharata, shower dust and flesh. She, O king, who is celebrated over the three worlds and is applauded by the righteous, even that (constellation) Arundhati keepeth (her lord) Vasistha on her back. The planet Sani also, O king, appeareth afflicting (the constellation) Rohini. The sign of the deer in the Moon hath deviated from its usual position. A great terror is indicated. Even though the sky is cloudless, a terrible roar is heard there. The animals are all weeping and their tears are falling fast.'"

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"Vyasa said,--'Asses are taking births in kine. Some are having sexual pleasure with mothers. The trees in the forests are exhibiting unseasonable flowers and fruits. Women quick with child, and even those that are not so, are giving birth to monsters. Carnivorous beasts, mingling with (carnivorous) birds, are feeding together. Ill-omened beasts, some having three horns, some with four eyes, some with five legs, some with two sexual organs, some with two heads, some with two tails, some having fierce teeth, are being born, and with mouths wide open are uttering unholy cries. Horses with three legs, furnished with crests, having four teeth, and endued with horns, are also being born. O king! in thy city is also seen that the wives of many utterers of Brahma are bringing forth Garudas and peacocks. The mare is bringing forth the cow-calf and the bitch is bringing forth, O king, jackals and cocks, and antelopes and parrots are all uttering inauspicious cries. Certain women are bringing forth four or five daughters (at a time), and these as soon as they are born, dance and sing and laugh. The members of the lowest orders are laughing and dancing and singing, and thus indicating direful consequences. Infants, as if urged by death, are drawing armed images, and are running against one another, armed with clubs, and desirous of battle are also breaking down the towns (they erect in sport). Lotuses of different kinds and lilies are growing on trees. Strong winds are blowing fiercely and the dust ceaseth not. The earth is frequently trembling, and Rahu approacheth towards the sun. The white planet (Ketu) stayeth, having passed beyond the constellation Chitra. All this particularly bodeth the destruction of the Kurus. A fierce comet riseth, afflicting the constellation Pusya. This great planet will cause frightful mischief to both the armies. Mars wheeleth towards Magha and Vrihaspati (Jupiter) towards Sravana. The Sun's offspring (Sani) approaching towards the constellation Bhaga, afflicteth it. The planet Sukra, ascending towards Purva Bhadra, shineth brilliantly, and wheeling towards the Uttara Bhadra, looketh towards it, having effected a junction (with a smaller planet). The white planet (Ketu), blazing up like fire mixed with smoke, stayeth, having attacked the bright constellation Jeshtha that is sacred to Indra. The constellation Dhruva, blazing fiercely, wheeleth towards the right. Both the Moon and the Sun are afflicting Rohini. The fierce planet (Rahu) hath taken up its position between the constellations Chitra and Swati. The red-bodied (Mars) possessed of the effulgence of fire, wheeling circuitously, stayeth in a line with the constellation Sravana over-ridden by Vrihaspati. The earth that produceth particular crops at particular seasons is now covered with the crops of every season. Every barley-stalk is graced with five ears, and every paddy-stalk with a hundred. They that are the best of creatures in the worlds and upon whom depends the universe, viz., kine, when milked after the calves have their suck, yield only blood. Radiant rays of light emanate from bows, and swords blaze forth brilliantly. It is evident that the weapons behold (before them) the battle, as if it were already arrived. The hue of weapons and the water, as also of coats of mail and standards, is like that of fire. A great slaughter will take place. In this battle, O Bharata, of the Kurus with the Pandavas, the earth, O monarch, will be a river of blood with the standards (of warriors) as its rafts. Animals and birds on all sides, with mouths blazing like fire, uttering fierce cries, and displaying these evil omens, are foreboding terrible consequences. A (fierce) bird with but one wing, one eye, and one leg, hovering over the sky in the night, screameth frightfully in wrath, as if for making the hearers vomit blood? It seemeth, O great king, that all weapons are now blazing with radiance. The effulgence of the constellation known by the name of the seven high-souled Rishis, hath been dimmed. Those two blazing planets, viz., Vrihaspati and Sani, having approached the constellation called Visakha, have become stationary there for a whole year. Three lunations twice meeting together in course of the same lunar fortnight, the duration of the latter is shortened by two days. On the thirteenth day therefore, from the first lunation, according as it is the day of the full moon or the new moon, the moon and the sun are afflicted by Rahu. Such strange eclipses, both lunar and solar, forebode a great slaughter. All the quarters of the earth, being overwhelmed by showers of dust, look inauspicious. Fierce clouds, portentous of danger, drop bloody showers during the night. Rahu of fierce deeds is also, O monarch, afflicting the constellation Kirtika. Rough winds, portending fierce danger, are constantly blowing. All these beget a war characterised by many sad incidents.  The constellations are divided into three classes. Upon one or another of each class, a planet of evil omen has shed its influence, foreboding terrible dangers. A lunar fortnight had hitherto consisted of fourteen days, or fifteen days (as usual), or sixteen days. This, however, I never knew that the day of new-moon would be on the thirteenth day from the first lunation, or the day of full-moon on the thirteenth day from the same. And yet in course of the same month both the Moon and the Sun have undergone eclipses on the thirteenth days from the day of the first lunation. The Sun and the Moon therefore, by undergoing eclipses on unusual days, will cause a great slaughter of the creatures of the earth. Indeed, Rakshasas, though drinking blood by mouthful, will yet not be satiated. The great rivers are flowing in opposite directions. The waters of rivers have become bloody. The wells, foaming up, are bellowing like bulls. Meteors, effulgent like Indra's thunder-bolt, fall with loud hisses. When this night passeth away, evil consequences will overtake you. People, for meeting together, coming out of their houses with lighted brands, have still to encounter a thick gloom all round. Great Rishis have said that in view of such circumstances the earth drinks the blood of thousands of kings. From the mountains of Kailasa and Mandara and Himavat thousands of explosions are heard and thousands of summits are tumbling down. In consequence of the Earth's trembling, each of the four oceans having swelled greatly, seems ready to transgress its continents for afflicting the Earth. Fierce winds charged with pointed pebbles are blowing, crushing mighty trees. In villages and towns trees, ordinary and sacred, are falling down, crushed by mighty winds and struck by lightning. The (sacrificial) fire, when Brahmanas pour libations on it, becomes blue, or red, or yellow. Its flames bend towards the left, yielding a bad scent, accompanied by loud reports. Touch, smell, and taste have, O monarch, become what they were not. The standards (of warriors), repeatedly trembling are emitting smoke. Drums and cymbals are throwing off showers of coal-dust. And from the tops of tall trees all around, crows, wheeling in circles from the left, are uttering fierce cries. All of them again are uttering frightful cries of pakka, pakka and are perching upon the tops of standards for the destruction of the kings. Vicious elephants, trembling all over, are running hither and thither, urinating and ejecting excreta. The horses are all melancholy, while the elephants are resorting to the water. Hearing all this, let that be done which is suitable, so that, O Bharata, the world may not be depopulated.'"

Vaisampayana continued,--"Hearing these words of his father, Dhritarashtra said,--'I think all this hath been ordained of old. A great slaughter of human beings will take place. If the kings die in battle observing the duties of the Kshatriya order, they will then, attaining to the regions reserved for heroes, obtain only happiness. These tigers among men, casting away their lives in great battle, will win fame in this and great bliss for ever in the next world.'

Vaisampayana continued,--"O best of kings, thus addressed by his son Dhritarashtra, that prince of poets, the Muni (Vyasa) concentrated his mind in supreme Yoga. Having contemplated for only a short space of time, Vyasa once more said,--'Without doubt, O king of kings, it is Time that destroyeth the universe. It is Time also that createth the worlds. There is nothing here that is eternal. Show the path of righteousness to the Kurus, to thy kinsmen, relatives, and friends. Thou art competent to restrain them. The slaughter of kinsmen hath been said to be sinful. Do not do that which is disagreeable to me. O king, Death himself hath been born in the shape of thy son. Slaughter is never applauded in the Vedas. It can never be beneficial. The usages of one's race are as one's own body. Those usages slay him that destroyeth them. For the destruction of this race and of those kings of the earth it is Time that maketh thee deviate into the wrong path like one in distress, although thou art competent (to walk along the path of righteousness). O king, in the shape of thy kingdom hath calamity come to thee. Thy virtue is sustaining a very great diminution. Show what righteousness is unto thy sons. O thou that art invincible, of what value is that kingdom to thee which bringeth sin to thee? Take care of thy good name, thy virtue, and thy fame. Thou wilt then win heaven. Let the Pandavas have their kingdom, and let the Kauravas have peace."

"While that best of Brahmanas was saying these words in a sorrowful tone, Dhritarashtra, the son of Ambika, accomplished in speech, once more addressed him, saying.---'My knowledge of life and death is similar to thine. The truth is known to me as regards these. Man, however, in what concerns his own interests, is deprived of judgment. O sire, know me to be one who is an ordinary person. Of immeasurable power thou art. I pray thee to extend thine towards us. Of soul under complete control, thou art our refuge and instructor. My sons are not obedient to me, O great Rishi. My understanding too is not inclined to commit sin. Thou art the cause of the fame, the achievements, and the inclination for virtue, of the Bharatas. Thou art the reverend grandsire of both the Kurus and the Pandavas.'

"Vyasa said,--'O royal son of Vichitravirya, tell me freely what is in thy mind. I will remove thy doubts."

"Dhritarashtra said,--'O holy one, I desire to hear from thee of all those indications that happen unto those that become victorious in battle."

"Vyasa said,--'The (sacred) fire assumes a cheerful radiance. Its light ascends upwards. Its flame bends towards the right. It blazes up without being smoky. The libations poured on it yield a fragrant scent. It is said that these are the indications of future success. The conches and cymbals yield sounds that are deep and loud. The Sun as well as the Moon gives pure rays. It is said that these are the indications of future success. Crows, whether stationary or on their wings, utter cries that are agreeable. They again that are behind, urge the warriors to advance; while they that are ahead, forbid all advance. Where vultures, swans, parrots, cranes, and wood-peckers utter delightful cries, and wheel towards the right, the Brahmanas say that their victory in battle is certain. They whose divisions, in consequence of ornaments, coats of mail, and standards, or the melodious neigh of their steeds, become resplendent and incapable of being gazed at, always conquer their foes. They who utter cheerful shouts, those warriors, O Bharata, whose energies are not damped and whose garlands do not fade, always cross the ocean of battle. They who utter cheerful shouts having penetrated into the divisions of the foe, who utter even kind words, to the enemy, and who, before striking, forewarn the foe, win victory. The objects of hearing, vision, taste, touch, and smell, without undergoing any change for the worse, become auspicious. This also is another indication of a victorious army, viz., there is joy among the combatants at all time. This also is another indication of success, viz. the winds that blow, the clouds, and the birds, all become favourable; while the clouds (so favourable) and the rain-bows drop beneficial showers. These, O king, are the indications of armies to be crowned with victory, while O monarch, all these become otherwise in the case of those that are about to be destroyed. Whether the army be small or large, cheerfulness, as an attribute of the combatants, is said to be a certain indication of victory. One soldier, struck with panic, can cause even a large army to take fright and fly. And when an army, struck with panic, takes to flight, it causes even heroic warriors to take fright. If a large army is once broken and put to rout, it cannot like a herd of deer disordered in fright or a mighty current of water be easily checked. If a large army is once routed, it is incapable of being rallied; on the other hand, beholding it broken, even those well-skilled in battle, O Bharata, become heartless. Beholding soldiers struck with fear and flying, the panic spreads in other directions, and soon, O king, the whole army is broken and flies in all directions. And when an army is routed, even brave leaders, O king, at the head of large divisions consisting of the four kinds of forces, are incapable of rallying them. An intelligent man, always exerting himself with activity, should strive (to win success) by the aid of means. It is said that that success which is won by negotiation and other means is the very best. That which is achieved by producing disunion (among the foe) is indifferent. While that success, O king, which is won by battle, is the worst. In battle are many evils, the initial one, as it is said, being slaughter. Even fifty brave men who know one another, who are underpressed, who are free from family ties, and who are firmly resolved, can crush a large army. Even five, six, seven men, who are unretreating, win victory. Vinata's son Garuda, O Bharata, beholding even a large concourse of birds, asketh not the aid of many followers (to vanquish them). The strength in number, therefore of an army is not always the cause of victory. Victory is uncertain. It depends on chance. Even they that become victorious have to sustain loss.'"

 

Vaisampayana said,--"Having said these words unto Dhritarashtra, Vyasa took his departure. And Dhritarashtra also, having heard those words, began to reflect in silence. And having reflected for only a short space of time, he began to sigh repeatedly. And, soon, O bull of Bharata's race, the king asked Sanjaya of soul worthy of praise,--saying,--'O Sanjaya, these kings, these lords of earth, so brave and taking delight in battle, are for smiting one another with weapons of diverse kinds, being prepared to lay down their very lives for the sake of earth. Incapable of being restrained, they are, indeed, smiting one another for increasing the population of Yama's domain. Desirous of prosperity connected with the possession of earth they are incapable of bearing one another. I, therefore, think that earth must be possessed of many attributes. Tell me all these, O Sanjaya, Many thousands, many millions, many tens of millions, many hundreds of millions, heroic men have come together at Kurujangala. I desire to hear, O Sanjaya, with accurate details, about the situation and dimensions of those countries and cities from which they have come. Through the potency of that regenerate Rishi Vyasa of immeasurable energy, thou art endued with the lamp of celestial perception and the eye of knowledge.

"Sanjaya said,--'O thou of great wisdom, I will recount to thee the merits of earth according to my knowledge. Behold them with thy eye of wisdom. I bow to thee, O bull of Bharata's race. Creatures in this world are of two kinds, mobile and immobile. Mobile creatures are of three kinds according to their birth, viz., oviparous, viviparous, and those engendered by heat and damp. Of mobile creatures, O king, the foremost are certainly those called viviparous. Of viviparous creatures the foremost are men and animals. Animals, O king, of diverse forms, are of fourteen species. Seven have their abodes in the woods, and seven of these are domestic. Lions, tigers, boars, buffaloes, and elephants as also bears and apes, are, O king, regarded as wild. Kine, goats, sheep, men, horses, mules, and asses,--these seven amongst animals are reckoned as domestic by the learned. These fourteen, O king, complete the tale of domestic and wild animals, mentioned, O lord of earth, in the Vedas, and on which the sacrifices rest. Of creatures that are domestic, men are foremost, while lions are the foremost of those that have their abode in the woods. All creatures support their life by living upon one another. Vegetables are said to be immobile, and they are of four species viz., trees, shrubs, creepers, creeping plants existing for only a year, and all stemless plants of the grass species. Of mobile and immobile creatures, there are thus one less twenty; and as regards their universal constituents, there are five. Twenty-four in all, these are described as Gayatri (Brahma) as is well-known to all. He who knows these truly to be the sacred Gayatri possessed of every virtue, is not liable, O best of the Bharatas, to destruction in this world. Everything springeth from the earth and everything, when destroyed, mergeth into the Earth. The Earth is the stay and refuge of all creatures, and the Earth is eternal. He that hath the Earth, hath the entire universe with its mobile and immobile population. It is for this that longing for (the possession of the) Earth, kings slay one another.'"

 
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"Dhritarashtra said,--'The names of rivers and mountains, O Sanjaya, as also of provinces, and all other things resting on the earth, and their dimensions, O thou that are acquainted with the measures of things of the earth in its entirety and the forests, O Sanjaya, recount to me in detail.'

"Sanjaya said,--'O great king, all things in the universe, in consequence of the presence (in them) of the five elements, have been said to be equal by the wise. These elements, are space, air, fire, water, and earth. Their (respective) attributes are sound, touch, vision, taste, and scent. Every one of these elements possesses (in addition to what is especially its own) the attribute or attributes of that or those coming before it. The earth, therefore, is the foremost of them all, possessing as it does the attributes of all the other four, besides what is specially its own, as said by Rishis acquainted with truth. There are four attributes, O king, in water. Scent does not exist in it. Fire has three attributes viz., sound, touch, and vision. Sound and touch belong to air, while space has sound alone. These five attributes, O king, exist (in this way) in the five principal elements depending on which all creatures in the universe exist. They exist separately and independently when there is homogeneity in the universe. When, however, these do not exist in their natural state but with one another, then creatures spring into life, furnished with bodies. This is never otherwise. The elements are destroyed, in the order of the one succeeding, merging into the one that proceeds; and they spring also into existence, one arising from the one before it. All of these are immeasurable, their forms being Brahma itself. In the universe are seen creatures consisting of the five elements. Men endeavour to ascertain their proportions by exercising their reason. Those matters, however, that are inconceivable, should never be sought to be solved by reason. That which is above (human) nature is an indication of the inconceivable.

"'O son of Kuru's race, I will, however, describe to thee the island called Sudarsana. This island, O king, is circular and of the form of a wheel. It is covered with rivers and other pieces of water and with mountains looking like masses of clouds, and with cities and many delightful provinces. It is also full of trees furnished with flowers and fruits, and with crops of diverse kinds and other wealth. And it is surrounded on all sides with the salt ocean. As a person can see his own face in a mirror, even so is the island called Sudarsana seen in the lunar disc. Two of its parts seem to be a peepul tree, while two others look like a large hare. It is surrounded on all sides with an assemblage of every kind of deciduous plants. Besides these portions, the rest is all water. What remains I will describe to thee shortly. The rest I will speak of afterwards. Listen now to this that I describe in brief."

 
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"Dhritarashtra said.---"Thou art intelligent, O Sanjaya, and acquainted with the truth (about everything). Thou hast duly given a description of the island in brief. Tell us now of the island in detail. Tell us now of the dimension of the expanse of land that lies in the portion looking like a hare. Thou mayst then speak of the portion resembling peepul tree."

Vaisampayana said,--"Thus addressed by the king, Sanjaya began to say.

"Sanjaya said,--'Stretching from east to west, are these six mountains that are equal and that extend from the eastern to the western ocean. They are Himavat, Hemakuta, that best of mountains called Nishadha, Nila abounding with stones of lapis lazuli, Sweta white as the moon, and the mountains called Sringavat composed of all kinds of metals. These are the six mountains, O king, which are always the resorts of Siddhas and Charanas. The space lying between each of these measures a thousand Yojanas, and thereon are many delightful kingdoms. And these divisions are called Varshas, O Bharata. In all those kingdoms reside creatures of diverse species. This (the land where we are) is in the Varsha that is called after Bharata. Next to it (northwards) is the Varsha called after Himavat. The land that is beyond Hemakuta is called Harivarsha, South of the Nila range and on the north of the Nishadha is a mountain, O king, called Malyavat that stretches from east to west. Beyond Malyavat northwards is the mountain called Gandhamadana. Between these two (viz., Malyavat and Gandhamadana) is a globular mountain called Meru made of gold. Effulgent as the morning sun, it is like fire without smoke.  It is eighty-four thousand Yojanas high, and, O king, its depth also is eighty-four Yojanas. It standeth bearing the worlds above, below and transversely. Besides Meru are situated, O lord, these four islands, viz., Bhadraswa, and Ketumala, and Jamvudwipa otherwise called Bharata, and Uttar-Kuru which is the abode of persons who have achieved the merit of righteousness. The bird Sumukha, the son of Suparna, beholding that all the birds on Meru were of golden plumage, reflected that he should leave that mountain inasmuch as there was no difference between the good, middling, and bad birds. The foremost of luminaries, the sun, always circumambulates Meru, as also the moon with (his) attendant constellation, and the Wind-god too. The mountain, O king, is endued with celestial fruits and flowers, and it is covered all over with mansions made of furnished gold. There, on that mountain, O king, the celestials, the Gandharvas, the Asuras, and the Rakshasas, accompanied by the tribes of Apsaras, always sport. There Brahman, and Rudra, and also Sakra the chief of the celestials, assembled together, performed diverse kinds of sacrifices with plentiful gifts. Tumvuru, and Narada and Viswavasu, and the Hahas and the Huhus, repairing thither, adored the foremost of the celestials with diverse hymns. The high-souled seven Rishis, and Kasyapa the lord of creatures, repair thither, blessed be thou, on every parva day. Upon the summit of that mountain, Usanas, otherwise called the Poet, sporteth with the Daityas (his disciples). The jewels and gems (that we see) and all the mountains abounding in precious stones are of Meru. Therefrom a fourth part is enjoyed by the holy Kuvera. Only a sixteenth part of that wealth he giveth unto men. On the northern side of Meru is a delightful and excellent forest of Karnikaras, covered with the flowers of every season, and occupying a range of hills. There the illustrious Pasupati himself, the creator of all things, surrounded by his celestial attendants and accompanied by Uma, sporteth bearing a chain of Karnikara flowers (on his neck) reaching down to his feet, and blazing with radiance with his three eyes resembling three risen suns. Him Siddhas truthful in speech, of excellent vows and austere ascetic penances, can behold. Indeed, Maheswara is incapable of being seen by persons of wicked conduct. From the summit of that mountain, like a stream of milk, O ruler of men, the sacred and auspicious Ganga, otherwise called Bhagirathi, adored by the most righteous, of universal form and immeasurable and issuing out with terrific noise, falleth with impetuous force on the delightful lake of Chandramas. Indeed that sacred lake, like an ocean, hath been formed by Ganga herself. (While leaping from the mountains), Ganga, incapable of being supported by even the mountains, was held for a hundred thousand years by the bearer of Pinaka  on his head. On the western side of Meru, O king, is Ketumala. And there also is Jamvukhanda. Both are great seats of humanity, O king. There, O Bharata, the measure of human life is ten thousand years. The men are all of a golden complexion, and the women are like Apsaras. And all the residents are without sickness, without sorrow, and always cheerful. The men born there are of the effulgence of melted gold. On the summits of Gandhamadana, Kuvera the lord of the Guhyakas, with many Rakshasas and accompanied by tribes of Apsaras, passeth his time in joy. Besides Gandhamadana there are many smaller mountains and hills. The measure of human life there is eleven thousand years. There, O king, the men are cheerful, and endued with great energy and great strength and the women are all of the complexion of the lotus and highly beautiful. Beyond Nila is (the Varsha called) Sweta, beyond Sweta is (the Varsha called) Hiranyaka. Beyond Hiranyaka is (the Varsha called) Airavata covered with provinces. The last Varsha in the (extreme) north and Bharata's Varsha in the (extreme) south are both, O king, of the form of a bow. These five Varshas (viz., Sweta, Hiranyaka, Elavrita, Harivarsha, and Haimavat-varsha) are in the middle, of which Elavrita exists in the very middle of all. Amongst these seven Varshas (the five already mentioned and Airavata and Bharata) that which is further north excels the one to its immediate south in respect of these attributes, viz., the period of life, stature, health, righteousness, pleasure, and profit. In these Varshas, O Bharata, creatures (though of diverse species) yet, live together. Thus, O king, is Earth covered with mountains. The huge mountains of Hemakuta are otherwise called Kailasa. There, O king, Vaisravana passeth his time in joy with his Guhyakas. Immediately to the north of Kailasa and near the mountains of Mainaka there is a huge and beautiful mountain called Manimaya endued with golden summits. Beside this mountain is a large, beautiful, crystal and delightful lake called Vindusaras with golden sands (on its beach). There king Bhagiratha, beholding Ganga (since) called after his own name, resided for many years. There may be seen innumerable sacrificial stakes made of gems, and Chaitya tree made of gold. It was there that he of a thousand eyes and great fame won (ascetic) success by performing sacrifices. There the Lord of all creatures, the eternal Creator of all the worlds, endued with supreme energy surrounded by his ghostly attendants, is adored. There Nara and Narayana, Brahman, and Manu, and Sthanu as the fifth, are (ever present). And there the celestial stream Ganga having three currents, issuing out of the region of Brahman, first showed herself, and then dividing herself into seven streams, became Vaswokasara, Nalini, the sin-cleansing Saraswati, Jamvunadi, Sita, Ganga and Sindhu as the seventh. The Supreme Lord hath (himself) made the arrangement with reference to that inconceivable and celestial stream. It is there that sacrifices have been performed (by gods and Rishis) on a thousand occasions after the end of the Yuga (when creation begins). As regards the Saraswati, in some parts (of her course) she becometh visible and in some parts not so. This celestial sevenfold Ganga is widely known over the three worlds. Rakshasas reside on Himavat, Guhyakas on Hemakuta, and serpents and Nagas on Nishadha, and ascetics on Gokarna. The Sweta mountains are said to be the abode of the celestial and the Asuras. The Gandharvas always reside on Nishadhas, and the regenerate Rishis on Nila. The mountains of Sringavat also are regarded as the resort of the celestials.

"'These then, O great king, are the seven Varshas of the world as they are divided. Diverse creatures, mobile and immobile, are placed in them all. Diverse kinds of prosperity, both providential and human, are noticeable in them. They are incapable of being counted. Those desirous, however, of their own good believe (all this), I have now told thee of that delightful region (of land) of the form of a hare about which thou hadst asked me. At the extremities of that region are the two Varshas, viz., one on the north and the other on the south. Those two also have now been told to thee. Then again the two islands Naga-dwipa and Kasyapa-dwipa are the two ears of this region of the form of a hare. The beautiful mountains of Maleya, O king, having rocks like plates of copper, form another (prominent) part of Jamvudwipa that having its shape resembling a hare.'"

 
7

"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me, O Sanjaya, thou of great intelligence, of the regions to the north and the east side of Meru, as also of the mountains of Malyavat, in detail. 

"Sanjaya said,--'On the south of the Nila mountain and the northern side of Meru are the sacred Northern Kurus, O king, which are the residence of the Siddhas. The trees there bear sweet fruits, and are always covered with fruits and flowers. All the flowers (there) are fragrant, and the fruits of excellent taste. Some of the trees, again, O king, yield fruits according to (the) will (of the plucker). There are again some other trees, O king, that are called milk-yielding. These always yield milk and the six different kinds of food of the taste of Amrita itself. Those trees also yield cloths and in their fruits are ornaments (for the use of man). The entire land abounds with fine golden sands. A portion of the region there, extremely delightful, is seen to be possessed of the radiance of the ruby or diamond, or of the lapis lazuli or other jewels and gems. All the seasons there are agreeable and nowhere does the land become miry, O king. The tanks are charming, delicious, and full of crystal water. The men born there have dropped from the world of the celestials. All are of pure birth and all are extremely handsome in appearance. There twins (of opposite sexes) are born and the women resemble Apsaras in beauty. They drink the milk, sweet as Amrita, of those milk-yielding trees (already mentioned). And the twins born there (of opposite sexes) grow up equally. Both possessed of equal beauty, both endued with similar virtues, and both equally dressed, both grow up in love, O monarch, like a couple of chakrabakas. The people of that country are free from illness and are always cheerful. Ten thousand and ten hundred years they live, O king, and never abandon one another. A class of birds called Bharunda, furnished with sharp beaks and possessed of great strength, take them up when dead and throw them into mountain caves. I have now described to thee, O king, the Northern Kurus briefly.

"I will now describe to thee the eastern side of Meru duly. Of all the regions there, the foremost, O king, is called Bhadraswa, where there is a large forest of Bhadra-salas, as also a huge tree called Kalamra. This Kalamra, O king, is always graced with fruits and flowers. That tree again is a Yojana in height and is adored by Siddhas and the Charanas. The men there are all of a white complexion, endued with great energy, and possessed of great strength. The women are of the complexion of lilies, very beautiful, and agreeable to sight. Possessed of radiance of the moon, and white as the moon, their faces are as the full-moon. Their bodies again are as cool as the rays of the moon and they are all accomplished in singing and dancing. The period of human life there, O bull of the Bharata's race, is ten thousand years. Drinking the juice of the Kalamra they continue youthful for ever. On the south of Nila and the north of Nishadha, there is a huge Jamvu tree that is eternal. Adored by the Siddhas and Charanas, that sacred tree granteth every wish. After the name of that tree this division hath ever been called Jamvudwipa. O bull of Bharata race, a thousand and a hundred Yojanas is the height of that prince of trees, which touches the very heavens, O king of men. Two thousand and five hundred cubits measure the circumference of a fruit of that tree which bursts when ripe. In falling upon the earth these fruits make a loud noise, and then pour out, O king, a silvery juice on the ground. That juice of the Jamvu, becoming, O king, a river, and passing circuitously round Meru, cometh to the (region of the) Northern Kurus. If the juice of that fruit is quaffed, it conduces to peace of mind. No thirst is felt ever after, O king. Decrepitude never weakens them. And there a species of gold called Jamvunada and used for celestial ornaments, very brilliant and like the complexion of Indragopoka insects, is produced. The men born there are of the complexion of the morning sun.

"'On the summit of Malyavat is always seen, O bull of Bharata's race, the fire called Samvataka which blazeth forth at the end of the Yuga for the destruction of the universe. On Malyavat's summit towards the east are many small mountains and Malyavat, O king, measures eleven thousand Yojanas. The men born there are of the complexion of gold. And they are all fallen from the region of Brahman and are utterers of Brahma. They undergo the severest of ascetic austerities, and their vital seed is drawn up. For the protection of creatures they all enter the sun. Numbering sixty-six thousand, they proceed in advance of Aruna, surrounding the sun. Heated with the sun's rays for sixty-six thousand years, they then enter the lunar disc.'"

 
8

"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me truly, O Sanjaya, the names of all the Varshas, and of all the mountains, and also of all those that dwell on those mountains.

"Sanjaya said,--'On the south of Sweta and the north of Nishadha, is the Varsha, called Romanaka. The men that are born there are all of white complexion, of good parentage, and handsome features. And the men born there are also all without enemies. And they live, O king, for eleven thousand and five hundred years, being ever of cheerful hearts. On the south of Nishadha is the Varsha called Hiranmaya where is the river called Hiranwati. There, O king, liveth that foremost of birds named Garuda. And the people there, O monarch, are all followers of the Yakshas, wealthy, and of handsome features. And, O king, the men there are endued with great strength and have: cheerful hearts. And they live for twelve thousand and five hundred years., O king, which is the measure of their lives. The mountains of Sringavat, O ruler of men, have three beautiful summits. One of these is made of jewels and gems, another is very wonderful, being made of all kinds of gems and adorned with palatial mansions. There the self-luminous lady named Sandili always liveth. On the north of Sringavat and up to the margin of the sea, O king, the Varsha called Airavat. And because this jewelled mountain is there, therefore is this Varsha superior to all. The sun giveth no heat there and men are not subject to decay. And the moon there, with the stars, becoming the only source of light, covereth (the firmament). Possessing the radiance and complexion of the lotus, and endued with eyes that resemble lotus-petals, the men born there have the fragrance of the lotus. With winkless eyes, and agreeable scent (emanating from their bodies), they go without food and have their senses under control. They are all fallen from the region of the celestials, and are all, O king, without sin of any kind. And they live, O monarch, for thirteen thousand years, that being. O best of the Bharatas, the measure of their lives. And so on the north of the milky ocean, the Lord Hari of unlimited puissance dwelleth on his car made of gold. That vehicle is endued with eight wheels, with numerous supernatural creatures stationed on it, and having the speed of the mind. And its complexion is that of fire, and it is endued with mighty energy and adorned with Jamvunada gold. He is the Lord of all creatures, and is possessed, O bull of Bharata's race, of every kind of prosperity. In him the universe merges (when dissolution comes), and from him it again emanates (when the creative desire seizes him). He is the actor, and it is He that makes all others act. He, O monarch, is earth, water, space, air, and fire. He is Sacrifice's self unto all creatures, and fire is His mouth."

Vaisampayana continued,--"The high-souled king Dhritarashtra, thus addressed by Sanjaya, became, O monarch, absorbed in meditation about his sons. Endued with great energy, he then, having reflected, said these words: 'Without doubt, O Suta's son, it is Time that destroyeth the universe. And it is Time that again createth everything. Nothing here is eternal. It is Nara and Narayana, endued with omniscience, that destroyeth all creatures. The gods speak of him as Vaikuntha (of immeasurable puissance), while men call him Vishnu (one that pervadeth the Universe)!'"

 
9

"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me truly (O Sanjaya) of this Varsha that is called after Bharata, where this senseless force hath been collected, in respect of which this my son Duryodhana hath been so very covetous, which the sons of Pandu also are desirous of obtaining, and in which my mind too sinketh. O, tell me this, for thou art, in my judgment endued with intelligence.

"Sanjaya said,--'Listen to me, O king The sons of Pandu are not covetous about this country. On the other hand, it is Duryodhana that is covetous, and Sakuni the son of Suvala, as also many other Kshatriyas who are rulers of the provinces, who being covetous of this country are not able to bear one another. I will now will thee, O thou of Bharata's race, of the tract of land known by Bharata's name. This land is the beloved one of Indra, and, O thou of Bharata's race, this land, O monarch, that is called after Bharata, is also the beloved land of Manu, the son of Vivaswat, of Prithu, of Vainya, of the high-souled Ikshwaku, of Yayati, of Amvarisha, of Mandhatri, of Nahusha, of Muchukunda, of Sivi the son of Usinara, of Rishava, of Ila, of king Nriga, of Kusika, O invincible one, of the high-souled Gadhi, of Somaka, O irrepressible one, and of Dilipa, and also, O monarch, of many other mighty Kshatriyas. I will now, O chastiser of foes, describe to thee that country as I have heard of it. Listen to me, O king, as I speak of what thou hast asked me. Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Suktimat, Rakshavat, Vindhya, and Paripatra,--these seven are the Kala-mountains (of Bharatvarsha). Besides these, O king, there are thousands of mountains that are unknown, of hard make, huge, and having excellent valleys. Besides these there are many other smaller mountains inhabited by barbarous tribes. Aryans and Mlecchas, O Kauravya, and many races, O lord, mixed of the two elements, drink the waters of the following rivers, viz., magnificent Ganga, Sindhu, and Saraswati; of Godavari, and Narmada, and the large river called Yamuna; of Dhrishadwati, and Vipapa, and Vipasa and Sthulavaluka; of the river Vetravati, and that other one called Krishna-vena; of Iravati, and Vitasta, and Payosyini, and Devika; of Vedasmrita and Vedavati, and Tridiva, and Ikshumalavi; of Karishini, and Chitravaha, and the river called Chitrasena; of Gomati, and Dhutapada and the large river called Gandaki, of Kausiki, and Nischitra, and Kirtya, and Nichita, and Lohatarini; of Rashasi and Satakumbha, and also Sarayu; of Charmanwati, and Vetravati, and Hastisoma, and Disa; of the river called Saravati, and Venna, and Bhimarathi; of Kaveri, and Chuluka, and Vina, and Satavala; of Nivara, and Mahila, and Suprayoga, O king; of Pavitra, and Kundala, and Rajani, and Puramalini; of Purvabhirama, and Vira, and Bhima, and Oghavati; of Palasini, and Papahara, and Mahendra, and Patalavati, of Karishini, and Asikni, and the large river Kusachira: of Makari, and Pravara, and Mena, and Hema, and Dhritavati; of Puravati, and Anushna, and Saivya, and Kapi, O Bharata; of Sadanira, and Adhrishya, and the mighty stream Kusadhara; of Sadakanta, and Siva, and Viravati; of Vatsu, and Suvastu, and Kampana with Hiranwati; of Vara, and the mighty river Panchami, of Rathachitra, and Jyotiratha, and Viswamitra, and Kapinjala; of Upendra, and Vahula, and Kuchira, and Madhuvahini: of Vinadi, and Pinjala, and Vena, and the great river Pungavena; of Vidisa and Krishna-vena, and Tamra, and Kapila, of Salu, and Suvama, the Vedaswa, and the mighty river Harisrava; of Sighra, and Pischala, and the river Bharadwaji, of the river Kausiki, and Sona, and Chandrama; of Durgamantrasila, and Brahma-vodhya, and Vrihadvati; of Yaksha, and Rohi, and Yamvunadi; of Sunasa and Tamasa, and Dasi, and Vasa, and Varuna, and Asi; of Nila, and Dhrimati, and the mighty river Parnasa; of Pomasi, and Vrishabha, and Brahma-meddhya, and Vrihaddhani. These and many other large rivers, O king, such as Sadonirmaya and Krishna, and Mandaga, and Mandavahini; and Mahagouri, and Durga, O Bharata; and Chitropala. Chitraratha, and Manjula, and Vahini; and Mandakini, and Vaitarani, and Kosa, and Mahanadi; and Suktimati, and Ananga, and Pushpaveni, and Utpalavati; and Lohitya, Karatoya, and Vrishasabhya; and Kumari, and Rishikullya and Marisha, and Saraswati; and Mandakini, and Supunya, Sarvasanga, O Bharata, are all mothers of the universe and productive of great merit. Besides these, there are rivers, by hundreds and thousands, that are not known (by names), I have now recounted to thee, O king, all the rivers as far as I remember.

"After this, listen to the names of the provinces as I mention them. They are the Kuru-Panchalas, the Salwas, the Madreyas, the Jangalas, the Surasena, the Kalingas, the Vodhas, the Malas, the Matsyas, the Sauvalyas, the Kuntalas, the Kasi-kosalas, the Chedis, the Karushas, the Bhojas, the Sindhus, the Pulindakas, the Uttamas, the Dasarnas, the Mekalas, the Utkalas; the Panchalas, the Kausijas, the Nikarprishthas, Dhurandharas; the Sodhas, the Madrabhujingas, the Kasis, and the further-Kasis; the Jatharas, the Kukuras, O Bharata; the Kuntis, the Avantis, and the further-Kuntis; the Gomantas, the Mandakas, the Shandas, the Vidarbhas, the Rupavahikas; the Aswakas, the Pansurashtras, the Goparashtras, and the Karityas; the Adhirjayas, the Kuladyas, the Mallarashtras, the Keralas, the Varatrasyas, the Apavahas, the Chakras, the Vakratapas, the Sakas; the Videhas, the Magadhas, the Swakshas, the Malayas, the Vijayas, the Angas, the Vangas, the Kalingas, the Yakrillomans; the Mallas, the Suddellas, the Pranradas, the Mahikas, the Sasikas; the Valhikas, the Vatadhanas, the Abhiras, the Kalajoshakas; the Aparantas, the Parantas, the Pahnabhas, the Charmamandalas; the Atavisikharas, the Mahabhutas, O sire; the Upavrittas, the Anupavrittas, the Surashatras, Kekayas; the Kutas, the Maheyas, the Kakshas, the Samudranishkutas; the Andhras, and, O king, many hilly tribes, and many tribes residing on lands laying at the foot of the hills, and the Angamalajas, and the Manavanjakas; the Pravisheyas, and the Bhargavas, O king; the Pundras, the Bhargas, the Kiratas, the Sudeshnas, and the Yamunas, the Sakas, the Nishadhas, the Anartas, the Nairitas, the Durgalas, the Pratimasyas, the Kuntalas, and the Kusalas; the Tiragrahas, the Ijakas, the Kanyakagunas, the Tilabharas, the Samiras, the Madhumattas, the Sukandakas; the Kasmiras, the Sindhusauviras, the Gandharvas, and the Darsakas; the Abhisaras, the Utulas, the Saivalas, and the Valhikas; the Darvis, the Vanavadarvas, the Vatagas, the Amarathas, and the Uragas; the Vahuvadhas, the Kauravyas, the Sudamanas, the Sumalikas; the Vadhras, the Karishakas, the Kalindas, and the Upatyakas; the Vatayanas, the Romanas, and the Kusavindas; the Kacchas, the Gopalkacchas, the Kuruvarnakas; the Kiratas, the Varvasas, the Siddhas, the Vaidehas, and the Tamraliptas; the Aundras, the Paundras, the Saisikatas, and the Parvatiyas, O sire.

"'There are other kingdoms, O bull of Bharata's race, in the south. They are the Dravidas, the Keralas, the Prachyas, the Mushikas, and the Vanavashikas; the Karanatakas, the Mahishakas, the Vikalpas, and also the Mushakas; the Jhillikas, the Kuntalas, the Saunridas, and the Nalakananas; the Kankutakas, the Cholas, and the Malavayakas; the Samangas, the Kanakas, the Kukkuras, and the Angara-marishas; the Samangas, the Karakas, the Kukuras, the Angaras, the Marishas: the Dhwajinis, the Utsavas, the Sanketas, the Trigartas, and the Salwasena; the Vakas, the Kokarakas, the Pashtris, and the Lamavegavasas; the Vindhyachulakas, the Pulindas, and the Valkalas; the Malavas, the Vallavas, the further-Vallavas, the Kulindas, the Kalavas, the Kuntaukas, and the Karatas; the Mrishakas, the Tanavalas, the Saniyas; the Alidas, the Pasivatas, the Tanayas, and the Sulanyas; the Rishikas, the Vidarbhas, the Kakas, the Tanganas, and the further-Tanganas. Among the tribes of the north are the Mlecchas, and the Kruras, O best of the Bharatas; the Yavanas, the Chinas, the Kamvojas, the Darunas, and many Mleccha tribes; the Sukritvahas, the Kulatthas, the Hunas, and the Parasikas; the Ramanas, and the Dasamalikas. These countries are, besides, the abodes of many Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra tribes. Then again there are the Sudra-abhiras, the Dardas, the Kasmiras, and the Pattis; the Khasiras; the Atreyas, the Bharadwajas, the Stanaposhikas, the Poshakas, the Kalingas, and diverse tribes of Kiratas; the Tomaras, the Hansamargas, and the Karamanjakas. These and other kingdoms are on the east and on the north. O lord, alluding to them briefly I have told thee all. Earth, if its resources are properly developed according to its qualities and prowess, is like an ever-yielding cow, from which the three-fold fruits of virtue, profit and pleasure, may be milked. Brave kings conversant with virtue and profit have become covetous of Earth. Endued with activity, they would even cast away their lives in battle, from hunger of wealth. Earth is certainly the refuge of creatures endued with celestial bodies as also of creatures endued with human bodies. Desirous of enjoying Earth, the kings, O chief of the Bharatas, have become like dogs that snatch meat from one another. Their ambition is unbounded, knowing no gratification. It is for this that the Kurus and the Pandavas are striving for possession of Earth, by negotiation, disunion, gift, and battle, O Bharata. If Earth be well looked after, it becometh the father, mother, children, firmament and heaven, of all creatures, O bull among men.'"

 

"Dhritarashtra said,--'Tell me, O Sanjaya, of the period of life, the strength, the good and bad things, the future, past and present, of the residents, O Suta, of this Varsha of Bharata, and of the Himavat-varsha, as also of Hari-varsha, in detail."

"Sanjaya said,--'O bull of Bharata's race, four Yugas set in Bharata's Varsha, viz., Krita, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali. The Yuga that sets in first is Krita. O Lord; after the expiry of Krita comes Treta; after expiry of Treta comes Dwapara; and after that last of all, sets in Kali. Four thousand years, O best of the Kurus, are reckoned as the measure of life, O best of kings, in the Krita epoch. Three thousand years is the period in Treta, O ruler of men. At present in Dwapara, persons live on Earth for two thousand years. In Kali, however, O bull of Bharata's race, there is no fixed limit of life's measure, in so much that men die while in the womb, as also soon after birth. In the Krita age, O king, men are born and beget children, by hundreds and thousands, that are of great strength and great power, endued with the attribute of great wisdom, and possessed of wealth and handsome features. In that age are born and begotten Munis endued with wealth of asceticism, capable of great exertion, possessed of high souls, and virtuous, and truthful in speech. The Kshatriyas also, born in that age are of agreeable features, able-bodied, possessed of great energy, accomplished in the use of the bow, highly skilled in battle and exceedingly brave. In the Treta age, O king, all the Kshatriya kings were emperors ruling from sea to sea. In Treta are begotten brave Kshatriyas not subject to any one, endued with long lives, possessed of heroism, and wielding the bow in battle with great skill. When Dwapara sets in, O king, all the (four) orders born become capable of great exertion, endued with great energy, and desirous of conquering one another. The men born in Kali, O king, are endued with little energy, highly wrathful, covetous, and untruthful. Jealousy, pride, anger, deception, malice and covetousness, O Bharata, are the attributes of creatures in the Kali age. The portion that remains, O king, of this the Dwapara age, is small, O ruler of men. The Varsha known as Haimavat is superior to Bharatavarsha, while Harivarsha is superior to Hainavatvarsha, in respect of all qualities.'

 
2 Bhumi 2
11Bhumi 1

"Dhritarashtra said,--'Thou hast, O Sanjaya, duly described Jamvukhanda to me. Tell me now its dimensions and extent truly. Tell me also, O Sanjaya, of the extent of the ocean of Sakadwipa, and Kusadwipa, of Salmalidwipa and Kraunchadwipa, truly and without leaving anything and tell me also, O son of Gavalgani, of Rahu and Soma and Surya.'

"Sanjaya said,--'There are, O king, many islands, over which the Earth extended. I will describe to thee, however, only seven islands, and the moon, and the sun, and the planet (Rahu), also. The Jamvu mountain, O king, extends over full eighteen thousand and six hundred Yojanas. The extent of the salt ocean is said to be twice this. That ocean is covered with many kingdoms, and is adorned with gems and corals. It is, besides, decked with many mountains that are variegated with metals of diverse kinds. Thickly peopled by Siddhas and Charanas, the ocean is circular in form.

"I will now tell thee truly of Sakadwipa, O Bharata. Listen to me, O son of Kuru's race, as I describe it to thee duly. That island, O ruler of men, is of twice the extent of Jamvudwipa. And the ocean also, O great king, is of twice the extent of that island. Indeed, O best of the Bharatas, Sakadwipa is surrounded on all sides by the ocean. The kingdoms there are full of righteousness, and the men there never die. How can famine take place there? The people are all endued with forgiveness and great energy. I have now, O bull of Bharata's race, given thee duly a brief description of Sakadwipa. What else, O king, dost thou wish to hear?'" "Dhritarashtra said,--'Thou hast given me, O Sanjaya, a description of Sakadwipa in brief. O thou that art possessed of great wisdom, tell me now everything in detail truly.'

"Sanjaya said,--'In that island, O king, there are seven mountains that are decked with jewels and that are mines of gems, precious stones. There are many rivers also in that island. Listen to me as I recount their names. Everything there, O king, is excellent and delightful, The first of these mountains is called Meru. It is the abode of the gods, Rishis, and Gandharvas. The next mountain, O king, is called Malaya stretching towards the east. It is there that the clouds are generated and it is thence that they disperse on all sides. The next, O thou of Kuru's race, is the large mountain called Jaladhara. Thence Indra daily taketh water of the best quality. It is from that water that we get showers in the season of rains, O ruler of men. Next cometh the high mountain called Raivataka, over which, in the firmament, hath been permanently placed the constellation called Revati. This arrangement hath been made by the Grandsire himself. On the north of this, O great king, is the large mountain called Syama. It hath the splendour of newly-risen clouds, is very high, beautiful and of bright body. And since the hue of those mountains is dark, the people residing there are all dark in complexion, O king.'

"Dhritarashtra said,--'A great doubt ariseth in my mind, O Sanjaya, from what thou hast said. Why, O Suta's son, would the people there be of dark complexion?'

"Sanjaya said,--'O great king, in all islands, O son of Kuru's race, men may be found that are fair, and those that are dark, and those also that are produced by a union of the fair and the dark races. But because the people there are all dark, therefore is that mountain called the Dark Mountain. After this, O chief of the Kurus, is the large mountain called Durgasaila. And then cometh the mountain called Kesari. The breezes that blow from that mountain are all charged with (odoriferous) effluvia. The measure of each of these mountains is double that of the one mentioned immediately before. O thou of Kuru's race, it hath been said by the wise that there are seven Varshas in that island. The Varsha of Meru is called Mahakasa; that of the water-giving (Malaya) is called Kumudottara. The Varsha of Jaladhara is called Sukumara: while that of Raivatak is called Kaumara; and of Syama, Manikanchana. The Varsha of Kesara is called Mandaki, and that called after the next mountain is called Mahapuman. In the midst of that island is a large tree called Saka. In height and breadth the measure of that tree is equal to that of the Jamvu tree in Jamvudwipa. And the people there always adore that tree. There in that island are, many delightful provinces where Siva is worshipped, and thither repair the Siddhas, the Charanas, and the celestials. The people there, O king, are virtuous, and all the four orders, O Bharata, are devoted to their respective occupation. No instance of theft can be seen there. Freed from decrepitude and death and gifted with long life, the people there, O king, grow like rivers during the season of rains. The rivers there are full of sacred water, and Ganga herself, distributed as she hath been into various currents, is there, Sukumari, and Kumari, and Seta, and Keveraka, and Mahanadi, O Kauravya, and the river Manijala, and Chakshus, and the river Vardhanika, O thou best of the Bharatas,--these and many other rivers by thousands and hundreds, all full of sacred water, are there, O perpetuator of Kuru's race, from which Vasava draweth water for showering it as rain. It is impossible to recount the names and lengths of rivers. All of them are foremost of rivers and sin-cleansing. As heard by all men there, in that island of Saka, are four sacred provinces. They are the Mrigas, the Masakas, the Manasas, and the Mandagas. The Mrigas for the most part are Brahmanas devoted to the occupations of their order. Amongst the Masakas are virtuous Kshatriyas granting (unto Brahmanas) every wish (entertained by them). The Manasas, O king, live by following the duties of the Vaisya order. Having every wish of theirs gratified, they are also brave and firmly devoted to virtue and profit. The Mandagas are all brave Sudras of virtuous behaviour. In these provinces, O monarch, there is no king, no punishment, no person that deserves to be punished. Conversant with the dictates of duty they are all engaged in the practice of their respective duties and protect one another. This much is capable of being said of the island called Saka. This much also should be listened to about that island endued with great energy."

"Sanjaya said, 'O Kauravya, that which is heard about the islands in the north, I will recount to thee, O Great king. Listen to me now. (Thither in the north) is the ocean whose waters are clarified butter. Then is the ocean whose waters are curds. Next cometh the ocean whose waters are wine, and then is another ocean of water. The islands, O king, are double in area of one another as they proceed further and further towards the north. And they are surrounded, O king, by these oceans. In the island that is in the middle, there is a large mountain called Goura made of red arsenic; on the western island, O king, is the mountain Krishna that is the favourite (abode) of Narayana. There Kesava guardeth celestial gems (in profusion), and thence, inclined to grace, he bestoweth happiness on creatures. Along with the kingdoms there, O king, the (celestial) clump of Kusa grass in Kusadwipa, and the Salmali tree in the island of Salmalika, are adored. In the Krauncha island also, the mountain called Maha-krauncha that is a mine of all kinds of gems is, O king, always adored by all the four orders of men. (There), O monarch, is the mountain called Gomanta that is huge and consists of all kinds of metals, and whereon always resideth, mingling with those that have been emancipated, the puissant Narayana, otherwise called Hari, graced with prosperity and possessed of eyes like lotus leaves. In Kusadwipa, O king of kings, there is another mountain variegated with corals and called after the name of that island itself. This mountain is inaccessible and made of gold. Possessed of great splendour, O Kauravya, there is a third mountain there that is called Sumida. The sixth is called Harigiri. These are the six principal mountains. The intervening spaces between one another of these six mountains increaseth in the ratio of one to two as they proceed further and further towards the north. The first Varsha is called Audhido; the second is Venumandala; the third is called Suratha; the fourth is known by the name of Kamvala; the fifth Varsha is called Dhritimat; and the sixth is named Prabhakara; the seventh Varsha is called Kapila. These are the seven successive Varshas. In these, gods and Gandharvas, and other creatures of the universe, sport and take delight. In these Varshas the inhabitants never die. There, O king, are no robbers, nor any tribes of Mlecchas. All the residents are almost white in complexion, and very delicate, O king.

"'As regards the rest of the islands, O ruler of men, I will recount all that hath been heard by me. Listen, O monarch, with an attentive mind. In the Krauncha island, O great king, there is a large mountain called Krauncha. Next to Krauncha is Vamanaka; and next to Vamanaka is Andhakara. And next to Andhakara, O king, is that excellent of mountains called Mainaka. After Mainaka, O monarch, is that best of mountains called Govinda; and after Govinda, O king, is the mountain called Nivida. O multiplier of thy race, the intervening spaces between one another of these mountains increaseth in the ratio of one to two. I will now tell thee the countries that lie there. Listen to me as I speak of them. The region near Krauncha is called Kusala; that near Vamanaka is Manonuga. The region next to Manonuga, O perpetuator of Kuru's race, is called Ushna. After Ushna is Pravaraka; and after Pravaraka is Andhakaraka. The country after Andhakaraka is named Munidesa. After Munidesa the region is called Dundubhiswana teeming with Siddhas and Charanas. The people are almost white in complexion, O king. All these countries, O monarch, are the habitations of gods and Gandharvas. In (the island of) Pushkara is a mountain called Pushkara that abounds with jewels and gems. There always dwelleth the divine Prajapati himself. Him all the gods and great Rishis always adore with gratifying words and worship reverently, O king. Diverse gems from Jamvudwipa are used there. In all these islands, O king, Brahmacharyya, truth, and self-control of the dwellers, as also their health and periods of life, are in the ratio of one to two as the islands are more and more remote (northwards). O king, the land in those islands, O Bharata, comprises but one country, for that is said to be one country in which one religion is met with. The Supreme Prajapati himself, upraising the rod of chastisement, always dwelleth there, protecting those islands. He, O monarch, is the king. He is their source of bliss. He is the father, and he is the grand-father. He it is, O best of men, that protecteth all creatures there, mobile or immobile. Cooked food, O Kauravya, cometh there of itself and the creatures eat it daily. O mighty-armed one. After these regions is seen a habitation of the name of Sama. It is of a starry-shape having four corners, and it hath, O king, thirty-three mandalas. There dwell, O Kauravya, four princely elephants adored by all. They are, O best of the Bharatas, Vamana, and Airavata, and another, and also Supratika. O king, with rent cheeks and mouth, I do not venture to calculate the proportions of these four elephants. Their length, breadth and thickness have for ever remained unascertained. There in those regions, O king, winds blow irregularly from all directions. These are seized by those elephants with the tips of their trunks which are of the complexion of the lotus and endued with great splendour and capable of drawing up everything in their way. And soon enough after seizing them they then always let them out. The winds, O king, thus let out by those respiring elephants, come over the Earth and in consequence thereof creatures draw breath and live.'

"Dhritarashtra said,--'Thou hast, O Sanjaya, told me everything about the first subject very elaborately. Thou hast also indicated the positions of the islands. 'Tell now, O Sanjaya, about what remains.'

"Sanjaya said,--'Indeed, O great king, the islands have all been described to thee. Listen now to what I truly say about the heavenly bodies and about Swarbhanu, O chief of the Kauravas, as regards its dimensions. It is heard, O king, that the planet Swarbhanu is globular. Its diameter is twelve thousand Yojanas, and its circumference, because it is very large, is forty-two thousand Yojanas, O sinless one, as said by the learned of olden times. The diameter of the moon, O king, is stated to be eleven thousand Yojanas. Its circumference, O chief of the Kurus, is stated to be thirty-eight thousand nine hundred Yojanas of the illustrious planet of cool rays. It hath been heard that the diameter of the beneficent, fast going and light-giving Sun, O thou of Kuru's race, is ten thousand Yojanas, and his circumference, O king, is thirty-five thousand eight hundred miles, in consequence of his largeness, O sinless one. These are the dimensions reckoned here, O Bharata, of Arka. The planet Rahu, in consequence of his greater bulk, envelops both the Sun and the Moon in due times. I tell thee this in brief. With the eye of science, O great king, I have now told thee all that thou hadst asked. Let peace be thine. I have now told thee about the construction of the universe as indicated in the Shastras. Therefore, O Kauravya, pacify thy son Duryodhana.'

"Having listened to this charming Bhumi Parva, O chief of the Bharatas, a Kshatriya becometh endued with prosperity, obtaineth fruition of all his desires, and winneth the approbation of the righteous. The king who listeneth to this on days of the full-moon or the new-moon, carefully observing vows all the while, hath the period of his life, his fame and energy, all enhanced. His (deceased) sires and grandsires become gratified. Thou hast now heard of all the merits that flow from this Varsha of Bharata where we now are!'"

 
3 Bhagavat-Gita 112
13 Bhagavat-Gita 1

Vaisampayana said,--"Possessing a knowledge of the past, the present and the future, and seeing all things as if present before his eyes, the learned son of Gavalgana, O Bharata, coming quickly from the field of battle, and rushing with grief (into the court) represented unto Dhritarashtra who was plunged in thought that Bhishma the grandsire of the Bharatas had been slain."

"Sanjaya said,--'I am Sanjaya, O great king. I bow to thee, O bull of Bharata's race. Bhishma, the son of Santanu and the grandsire of the Bharatas, hath been slain. That foremost of all warriors, that grandsire of the Bharatas, hath been slain. That foremost of all warriors, that embodied energy of all bowmen, that grandsire of the Kurus lieth to-day on a bed of arrows. That Bhishma. O king, relying on whose energy thy son had been engaged in that match at dice, now lieth on the field of battle slain by Sikhandin. That mighty car-warrior who on a single car had vanquished in terrific combat at the city of Kasi all the kings of the Earth mustered together, he who had fearlessly fought in battle with Rama, the son of Jamadagni, he whom Jamadagni's son could not slay, oh, even hath he been to-day slain by Sikhandin. Resembling the great Indra himself in bravery, and Himavat in firmness, like unto the ocean itself in gravity, and the Earth herself in patience, that invincible warrior having arrows for his teeth, that bow for his mouth, and the sword for his tongue, that lion among men, hath to-day been slain by the prince of Panchala. That slayer of heroes, beholding whom when addrest for battle the mighty army of the Pandavas, unmanned by fear, used to tremble like a herd of kine when beholding a lion, alas, having protected that army (of thine) for ten nights and having achieved feats exceedingly difficult of accomplishment, hath set like the Sun. He who like Sakra himself, scattering arrows in thousands with the utmost composure, daily slew ten thousand warriors for ten days, even he slain (by the enemy), lieth, though he deserveth it not, on the bare ground like a (mighty) tree broken by the wind, in consequence, O king, of thy evil counsels, O Bharata.'"

"Dhritarashtra said,--'How hath Bhishma, that bull among the Kurus, been slain by Sikhandin? How did my father, who resembled Vasava himself, fall down from his car? What became of my sons, O Sanjaya, when they were deprived of the mighty Bhishma who was like unto a celestial, and who led life of Brahmacharyya for the sake of his father? Upon the fall of that tiger among men who was endued with great wisdom, great capacity for exertion, great might and great energy, how did our warriors feel? Hearing that bull amongst the Kurus, that foremost of men, that unwavering hero is slain, great is the grief that pierceth my heart. While advancing (against the foe), who followed him and who proceeded ahead? Who stayed by his side? Who proceeded with him? What brave combatants followed behind (protecting his rear) that tiger among car-warriors, that wonderful archer, that bull among Kshatriyas, while he penetrated into the divisions of the foe? While seizing the hostile ranks, what warriors opposed that slayer of foes resembling the luminary of thousand rays, who spreading terror among the foe destroyed their ranks like the Sun destroying darkness, and who achieved in battle amongst the ranks of Pandu's sons feats exceedingly difficult of accomplishment? How, indeed, O Sanjaya, did the Pandavas oppose in battle the son of Santanu, that accomplished and invincible warrior when he approached them smiting? Slaughtering the (hostile) ranks, having arrows for his teeth, and full of energy, with the bow for his wide-open mouth, and with the terrible sword for his tongue, and invincible, a very tiger among men, endued with modesty, and never before vanquished, alas, how did Kunti's son overthrow in battle that unconquered one, undeserving as he was of such a fate,--that fierce bowman shooting fierce shafts, stationed on his excellent car, and plucking off the heads of foes (from their bodies)--that warrior, irresistible as the Yuga-fire, beholding whom addrest for battle the great army of the Pandavas always used to waver? Mangling the hostile troops for ten nights, alas, that slayer of ranks hath set like the Sun, having achieved feats difficult of achievement. He who, scattering like Sakra himself and inexhaustible shower of arrows, slew in battle a hundred millions of warriors in ten days, that scion of Bharata's race, now lieth, although he deserveth it not, on the bare ground, in the field of battle, deprived of life, a mighty tree uprooted by the winds, as a result of my evil counsels! Beholding Santanu's son Bhishma of terrible prowess, how indeed, could the army of the Pandavas succeed in smiting him there? How did the sons of Pandu battle with Bhishma? How is it, O Sanjaya, that Bhishma could not conquer when Drona liveth? When Kripa, again, was near him, and Drona's son (Aswatthaman) also, how could Bhishma, that foremost of smiters be slain? How could Bhishma who was reckoned as an Atiratha and who could not be resisted by the very gods, be slain in battle by Sikhandin, the prince of Panchala? He, who always regarded himself as the equal of the mighty son of Jamadagni in battle, he whom Jamadagni's son himself could not vanquish, he who resembled Indra himself in prowess,--alas, O Sanjaya, tell me how that hero, Bhishma, born in the race of Maharathas, was slain in battle, for without knowing all the particulars I cannot regain my equanimity. What great bowmen of my army, O Sanjaya, did not desert that hero of unfading glory? What heroic warriors, again, at Duryodhana's command, stood around that hero (for protecting him)? When all the Pandavas placing Sikhandin in their van advanced against Bhishma, did not all the Kurus, O Sanjaya, stay by the side of that hero of unfading prowess? Hard as my heart is, surely it must be made of adamant, for it breaketh not on hearing the death of that tiger among men, viz., Bhishma! In that irresistible bull of Bharata's race, were truth, and intelligence, and policy, to an immeasurable extent. Alas, how was he slain in battle? Like unto a mighty cloud of high altitude, having the twang of his bowstring for its roar, his arrows for its rain-drops, and the sound of his bow for its thunder, that hero showering his shafts on Kunti's sons with the Panchalas and the Srinjayas on their side, smote hostile car-warriors like the slayer of Vala smiting the Danavas. Who were the heroes that resisted, like the bank resisting the surging sea, that chastiser of foes, who was a terrible ocean of arrows and weapons, an ocean in which shafts were the irresistible crocodiles and bows were the waves, an ocean that was inexhaustible, without an island, agitated and without a raft to cross it, in which maces and swords were like sharks and steeds and elephants like eddies, and foot-soldiers like fishes in abundance, and the sound of conches and drums like its roar, and ocean that swallowed horses and elephants and foot-soldiers quickly, an ocean that devoured hostile heroes and that seethed with wrath and energy which constituted its Yadava-fire? When for Duryodhana's good, that slayer of foes, Bhishma, achieved (terrible) feats in battle, who were then in his van? Who were they that protected the right wheel of that warrior of immeasurable energy? Who were they that, mustering patience and energy, resisted hostile heroes from his rear? Who stationed themselves in his near front for protecting him? Who were those heroes that protected the fore-wheel of that brave warrior while he battled (with the foe)? Who were they that stationing themselves by his left wheel smote the Srinjayas? Who were they that protected the irresistible advance ranks of his van? Who protected the wings of that warrior who hath made the last painful journey? And who, O Sanjaya, fought with hostile heroes in the general engagement? If he was protected by (our) heroes, and if they were protected by. him, why could he not then speedily vanquish in battle the army of the Pandavas, invincible though it be? Indeed, O Sanjaya, how could the Pandavas succeed even in striking Bhishma who was like Parameshti himself, that Lord and creator of all creatures? Thou tellest me, O Sanjaya, if the disappearance of that Bhishma, that tiger among men, who was our refuge and relying upon whom the Kurus were fighting with their foes, that warrior of mighty strength relying on whose energy my son had never reckoned the Pandavas, alas, how hath he been slain by the enemy? In days of yore, all the gods while engaged in slaying the Danavas, sought the aid of that invincible warrior, viz., my father of high vows. That foremost of sons endued with great energy, on whose birth the world-renowned Santanu abandoned all grief, melancholy, and sorrows, how canst thou tell me, O Sanjaya, that that celebrated hero, that great refuge of all, that wise and holy personage who was devoted to the duties of his order and conversant with the truths of the Vedas and their branches, hath been slain? Accomplished in every weapon and endued with humility, gentle and with passions under full control, and possessed of great energy as he was, alas, hearing that son of Santanu slain I regard the rest of my army as already slain. In my judgment, unrighteousness hath now become stronger than righteousness, for the sons of Pandu desire sovereignty even by killing their venerable superior! In days of yore, Jamadagni's son Rama, who was acquainted with every weapon and whom none excelled, when addrest for battle on behalf of Amvya, was vanquished by Bhishma in combat. Thou tellest me that that Bhishma, who was the foremost of all warriors and who resembled Indra himself in the feats he achieved, hath been slain. What can be a greater grief to me than this? Endued with great intelligence, he that was not slain even by that slayer of hostile heroes, that Rama, the son of Jamadagni, who defeated in battle crowds of Kshatriyas repeatedly, he hath now been slain by Sikhandin. Without doubt, Drupada's son Sikhandin, therefore who hath slain in battle that bull of Bharata's race, that hero acquainted with the highest weapons, that brave and accomplished warrior conversant with every weapon, is superior in energy, prowess, and might to the invincible Vargava endued with the highest energy. In that encounter of arms who were the heroes that followed that slayer of foes? Tell me how the battle was fought between Bhishma and the Pandavas. The army of my son, O Sanjaya, reft of its hero, is like an unprotected woman. Indeed, that army of mine is like a panic-struck herd of kine reft of its herdsman. He in whom resided prowess superior to that of every one, when he was laid low on the field of battle, what was the state of mind of my army? What power is there, O Sanjaya, in our life, when we have caused our father of mighty energy, that foremost of righteous men in the world, to be slain? Like a person desirous of crossing the sea when he beholds the boat sunk in fathomless waters, alas, my sons, I ween, are bitterly weeping from grief on Bhishma's death. My heart, O Sanjaya, is surely made of adamant, for it rendeth not even after hearing the death of Bhishma, that tiger among men. That bull among men in whom were weapons, intelligence, and policy, to an immeasurable extent, how, alas, hath that invincible warrior been slain in battle? Neither in consequence of weapons nor of courage, nor of ascetic merit, nor of intelligence, nor of firmness, nor of gift, can a man free himself from death. Indeed, time, endued with great energy, is incapable of being transgressed by anything in the world, when thou tellest me, O Sanjaya, that Santanu's son Bhishma is dead. Burning with grief on account of my sons, in fact, overwhelmed with great sorrow, I had hoped for relief from Bhishma, the son of Santanu. When he beheld Santanu's son, O Sanjaya, lying on earth like the Sun (dropped from the firmament), what else was made by Duryodhana as his refuge? O Sanjaya, reflecting with the aid of my understanding, I do not see what the end will be of the kings belonging to my side and that of the enemy and now mustered in the opposing ranks of battle. Alas, cruel are the duties of the Kshatriya order as laid down by the Rishis, since the Pandavas are desirous of sovereignty by even compassing the death of Santanu's son, and we also are desirous of sovereignty by offering up that hero of high vows as a sacrifice. The sons of Pritha, as also my sons, are all in the observance of Kshatriya duties. They, therefore, incur no sin (by doing) this. Even a righteous person should do this, O Sanjaya, when direful calamities come. The display of prowess and the exhibition of the utmost might have been laid down among the duties of the Kshatriyas.

"'How, indeed, did the sons of Pandu oppose my father Bhishma, the son of Santanu, that unvanquished hero endued with modesty, while he was engaged in destroying the hostile ranks? How were the troops arrayed, and how did he battle with high-souled foes? How, O Sanjaya, was my father Bhishma slain by the enemy? Duryodhana and Karna and the deceitful Sakuni, the son of Suvala, and Dussasana also,--what did they say when Bhishma was slain? Thither where the dice-board is constituted by the bodies of men, elephants, and steeds, and, where arrows and javelins and large swords and bearded darts from the dice, entering that frightful mansion of destructive battle's play, who were those wretched gamblers,--those bulls among men,--that gambled, making their very lives the frightful stakes? Who won, who were vanquished, who cast the dice successfully, and who have been slain, besides Bhishma, the son of Santanu? Tell me all, O Sanjaya, for peace cannot be mine, hearing that Devavrata hath been slain,--that father of mine, of terrible deeds, that ornament of battle, viz., Bhishma! Keen anguish had penetrated my heart, born of the thought that all my children would die. Thou makest that grief of mine blaze forth, O Sanjaya, like fire by pouring clarified butter on it. My sons, I ween, are even now grieving, beholding Bhishma slain,--Bhishma celebrated in all worlds and who had taken upon himself a heavy burden. I will listen to all those sorrows arising from Duryodhana's act. Therefore, tell me, O Sanjaya, everything that happened there,--everything that happened in the battle, born of the folly of my wicked son. Ill-ordered or well-ordered, tell me everything, O Sanjaya. Whatever was achieved with the aid of energy in the battle by Bhishma desirous of victory,--by that warrior accomplished in arms,--tell me all fully and in detail. How, in fact, the battle took place between the armies of the Kurus and the manner in which each happened.'"

 

Sanjaya said,--"Deserving as thou art, this question is, indeed, worthy of thee, O great king. It behoveth thee not, however, to impute this fault to Duryodhana. The man who incurreth evil as the consequence of his own misconduct, should not attribute that misconduct to others. O great king, the man that doth every kind of injury to other men, deserveth to be slain by all men in consequence of those censurable deeds of his. The Pandavas unacquainted with the ways of wickedness had, for a long time, with their friends and counsellors, looking up to thy face, borne the injuries (done to them) and forgiven them, dwelling in the woods.

"Of steeds and elephants and kings of immeasurable energy that which hath been seen by the aid of Yoga-power, hear, O lord of earth, and do not set thy heart on sorrow. All this was pre-destined, O king. Having bowed down to thy father, that (wise and high-souled) son of Parasara, through whose grace, (through whose boon bestowed on me,) I have obtained excellent and celestial apprehension, sight beyond the range of the visual sense, and hearing, O king, from great distance, knowledge of other people's hearts and also of the past and the future, a knowledge also of the origin of all persons transgressing the ordinances, the delightful power of coursing through the skies, and untouchableness by weapons in battles, listen to me in detail as I recite the romantic and highly wonderful battle that happened between the Bharatas, a battle that makes one's hair stand on end.

"When the combatants were arrayed according to rule and when they were addrest for battle. Duryodhana, O king, said these words to Dussasana,--O Dussasana, let cars be speedily directed for the protection of Bhishma, and do thou speedily urge all our divisions (to advance). That hath now come to me of which I had been thinking for a series of years, viz., the meeting of the Pandavas and the Kurus at the head of their respective troops. I do not think that there is any act more important (for us) in this battle than the protecting of Bhishma. If protected he will slay the Pandavas, the Somakas, and the Srinjayas. That warrior of pure soul said,--'I will not slay Sikhandin. It is heard that he was a female before. For this reason he should be renounced by me in battle. For this, Bhishma should be particularly protected. Let all my warriors take up their positions, resolved to slay Sikhandin. Let also all the troops from the east, the west, the south, and the north, accomplished in every kind of weapon, protect the grandsire. Even the lion of mighty strength, if left unprotected may be slain by the wolf. Let us not, therefore, cause Bhishma to be slain by Sikhandin like the lion slain by the jackal. Yudhamanyu protects the left wheel, and Uttamauja protects the right wheel of Phalguni. Protected by those two, Phalguni himself protects Sikhandin. O Dussasana, act in such a way that Sikhandin who is protected by Phalguni and whom Bhishma will renounce, may not slay Ganga's son."

 
Sanjaya said,--"When the night had passed away, loud became the noise made by the kings, all exclaiming, Array! Array! 'With the blare of conches and the sound of drums that resembled leonine roars, O Bharata, with the neigh of steeds, and the clatter of car-wheels, with the noise of obstreperous elephants and the shouts, clapping of arm-pits, and cries of roaring combatants, the din caused everywhere was very great. The large armies of the Kurus and the Pandavas, O king, rising at sunrise, completed all their arrangements. Then when the Sun rose, the fierce weapons of attack and defence and the coats of mail of both thy sons and the Pandavas, and the large and splendid armies of both sides, became fully visible. There elephants and cars, adorned with gold, looked resplendent like clouds mingled with lightning. The ranks of cars, standing in profusion, looked like cities. And thy father, stationed there, shone brilliantly, like the full moon. And the warriors armed with bows and swords and scimitars and maces, javelins and lances and bright weapons of diverse kinds, took up their positions in their (respective) ranks. And resplendent standards were seen, set up by thousands, of diverse forms, belonging to both ourselves and the foe. And made of gold and decked with gems and blazing like fire, those banners in thousands endued with great effulgence, looked beautiful like heroic combatants cased in mail gazed at those standards, longing for battle. And many foremost of men, with eyes large as those of bulls endued with quivers, and with hands cased in leathern fences, stood at the heads of their divisions, with their bright weapons upraised. And Suvala's son Sakuni, and Salya, Jayadratha and the two princes of Avanti named Vinda and Anuvinda, and the Kekaya brothers, and Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamvojas and Srutayudha the ruler of the Kalingas, and king Jayatsena, and Vrihadvala the ruler of the Kosalas, and Kritavarman of Satwata's race,--these ten tigers among men, endued with great bravery and possessing arms that looked like maces,--these performers of sacrifices with plentiful gifts (to Brahmanas), stood each at the head of an Akshauhini of troops. These and many other kings and princes, mighty car-warriors conversant with policy, obedient to the commands of Duryodhana, all cased in mail, were seen stationed in their respective divisions. All of them, cased in black deer-skins, endued with great strength, accomplished in battle, and cheerfully prepared, for Duryodhana's sake, to ascend to the region of Brahma, stood there commanding ten efficient Akshauhinis. The eleventh great division of the Kauravas, consisting of the Dhartarashtra troops, stood in advance of the whole army. There in the van of that division was Santanu's son. With his white head-gear, white umbrella, and white mail, O monarch, we beheld Bhishma of unfailing prowess look like the risen moon. His standard bearing the device of a palmyra of gold himself stationed on a car made of silver, both the Kurus and the Pandavas beheld that hero looking like the moon encircled by white clouds. The great bowmen amongst the Srinjayas headed by Dhrishtadyumna, (beholding Bhishma) looked like little animals when they would behold a mighty yawning lion. Indeed, all the combatants headed by Dhrishtadyumna repeatedly trembled in fear. These, O king, were the eleven splendid divisions of thy army. So also the seven divisions belonging to the Pandavas were protected by foremost of men. Indeed, the two armies facing each other looked like two oceans at the end of the Yuga agitated by fierce Makaras, and abounding with huge crocodiles. Never before, O king, did we see or hear of two such armies encountering each other like these of the Kauravas.'
 
Sanjaya said,--"Just as the holy Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa had said, in that very manner the kings of the Earth, mustered together, came to the encounter. On that day on which the battle commenced Soma approached the region of Pitris. The seven large planets, as they appeared in the firmament, all looked blazing like fire. The Sun, when he rose, seemed to be divided in twain. Besides, that luminary, as it appeared in the firmament, seemed to blaze forth in flames. Carnivorous jackals and crows, expecting dead bodies to feast upon, began to utter fierce cries from all directions that seemed to be ablaze. Every day the old grandsire of the Kurus, and the son of Bharadwaja, rising from bed in the morning, with concentrated mind, said,--'Victory to the sons of Pandu'--while those chastisers of foes used (at the same time) yet to fight for thy sake according to the pledge they had given. Thy father Devavrata, fully conversant with every duty, summoning all the kings, said these words (unto them). 'Ye Kshatriyas, this broad door is open to you for entering heaven. Go ye through it to the region of Sakra and Brahman. The Rishis of olden times have showed you this eternal path. Honour ye yourselves by engaging in battle with attentive minds. Nabhaga, and Yayati, and Mandhatri, and Nahusa, and Nriga, were crowned with success and obtained the highest region of bliss by feats like these. To die of disease at home is sin for a Kshatriya. The death he meets with in battle is his eternal duty.'--Thus addressed, O bull of Bharata's race, by Bhishma, the kings, looking beautiful in their excellent cars, proceeded to the heads of their respective divisions. Only Vikartana's son Karna, with his friends and relatives, O bull of Bharata's race, laid aside his weapons in battle for the sake of Bhishma. Without Karna then, thy sons and all the kings on thy side proceeded, making the ten points of the horizon resound with their leonine roars. And their divisions shone brightly, O king, with white umbrellas, banners, standards, elephants, steeds, cars, and foot-soldiers. And the Earth was agitated with the sounds of drums and tabors and cymbals, and the clatter of car-wheels. And the mighty car-warriors, decked with their bracelets and armlets of gold and with their bows (variegated with gold), looked resplendent like hills of fire. And with his large palmyra-standard decked with five stars, Bhishma, the generalissimo of the Kuru army, looked like the resplendent Sun himself. Those mighty bowmen of royal birth, O bull of Bharata's race, that were on thy side, all took up their positions, O king, as Santanu's son ordered. (King) Saivya of the country of the Govasanas, accompanied by all the monarchs, went out on a princely elephant worthy of royal use and graced with a banner on its back. And Aswatthaman, of the complexion of the lotus, went out ready for every emergency, stationing himself at the very head of all the divisions, with his standard bearing the device of the lion's tail. And Srutayudha and Chitrasena and Purumitra and Vivinsati, and Salya and Bhurisravas, and that mighty car-warrior Vikarna,--these seven mighty bowmen on their carts and cased in excellent mail, followed Drona's son behind but in advance of Bhishma. The tall standards of these warriors, made of gold, beautifully set up for adorning their excellent cars, looked highly resplendent. The standard of Drona, the foremost of preceptors, bore the device of a golden altar decked with a water-pot and the figure of a bow. The standard of Duryodhana guiding many hundreds and thousands of divisions bore the device of an elephant worked in gems. Paurava and the ruler of the Kalingas, and Salya, these Rathas took up their position in Duryodhana's van. On a costly car with his standard bearing the device of a bull, and guiding the very van (of his division), the ruler of the Magadhas marched against the foe. That large force of the Easterners looking like the fleecy clouds of autumn was (besides) protected by the chief of the Angas (Karna's son Vrishaketu) and Kripa endued with great energy. Stationing himself in the van of his division with his beautiful standard of silver bearing the device of the boar, the famous Jayadratha looked highly resplendent. A hundred thousand cars, eight thousand elephants, and sixty thousand cavalry were under his command. Commanded by the royal chief of the Sindhus, that large division occupying the very van (of the army) and abounding with untold cars, elephants, and steeds, looked magnificent. With sixty thousand cars and ten thousand elephants, the ruler of the Kalingas, accompanied by Ketumat, went out. His huge elephants, looking like hills, and adorned with Yantras, lances, quivers and standards, looked exceedingly beautiful. And the ruler of the Kalingas, with his tall standard effulgent as fire, with his white umbrella, and golden curass, and Chamaras (wherewith he was fanned), shone brilliantly. And Ketumat also, riding on an elephant with a highly excellent and beautiful hook, was stationed in battle, O King, like the Sun in the midst of (black) clouds. And king Bhagadatta, blazing with energy and riding on that elephant of his, went out like the wielder of the thunder. And the two princes of Avanti named Vinda and Anuvinda, who were regarded as equal to Bhagadatta, followed Ketumat, riding on the necks of their elephants. And, O king, arrayed by Drona and the royal son of Santanu, and Drona's son, and Valhika, and Kripa, the (Kaurava) Vyuha consisting of many divisions of cars was such that the elephants formed its body; the kings, its head; and the steeds, its wings. With face towards all sides, that fierce Vyuha seemed to smile and ready to spring (upon the foe)."
 
Sanjaya said,--"Soon after, O king, a loud uproar, causing the heart to tremble was heard, made by the combatants ready for the fight. Indeed, with the sounds of conches and drums, the grunts of elephants, and the clatter of car-wheels, the Earth seemed to rend in twain. And soon the welkin and the whole Earth was filled with the neigh of chargers and the shouts of combatants. O irresistible one, the troops of thy sons and of the Pandavas both trembled when they encountered each other. There (on the field of battle) elephants and cars, decked in gold, looked beautiful like clouds decked with lightning. And standards of diverse forms, O king, belonging to the combatants on thy side, and adorned with golden rings, looked resplendent like fire. And those standards of thy side and theirs, resembled, O Bharata, the banners of Indra in his celestial mansions. And the heroic warriors all accoutred and cased in golden coats of mail endued with the effulgence of the blazing Sun, themselves looked like blazing fire or the Sun. All the foremost warriors amongst the Kurus, O king, with excellent bows, and weapons upraised (for striking), with leathern fences on their hands, and with standards,--those mighty bowmen, of eyes large as those of bulls, all placed themselves at the heads of their (respective) divisions. And these amongst thy sons, O king, protected Bhishma from behind, viz.. Dussasana, and Durvishaha, and Durmukha, and Dussaha and Vivinsati, and Chitrasena, and that mighty car-warrior Vikarna. and amongst them were Satyavrata, and Purumitra, and Jaya, and Bhurisravas, and Sala. And twenty thousand car-warriors followed them. The Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, and the Vasatis, the Swalyas, the Matsyas, the Amvashtas, the Trigartas, and the Kekayas, the Sauviras, the Kitavas, and the dwellers of the Eastern, Western, and the Northern countries,--these twelve brave races were resolved to fight reckless of the lives. And these protected the grandsire with a multitudinous array of cars. And with a division that consisted of ten thousand active elephants, the king of Magadha followed that large car division. They that protected the wheels of the cars and they that protected the elephants, numbered full six millions. And the foot-soldiers that marched in advance (of the army), armed with bows, swords, and shields, numbered many hundreds of thousands. And they fought also using their nails and bearded darts. And the ten and one Akshauhinis of thy son, O Bharata, looked, O mighty king, like Ganga separated from Yamuna."
 

Dhritarashtra said,--"Beholding our ten and one Akshauhinis arrayed in order of battle, how did Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu, make his counter-array with his forces smaller in number? How did Kunti's son, O Sanjaya, form his counter-array against that Bhishma who was acquainted with all kinds of arrays, viz., uman, celestial, Gandharva, and Asura?"

Sanjaya said,--"Seeing the Dhritarashtra divisions arrayed in order of battle, Pandu's son of virtuous soul, king Yudhishthira the just, addressed Dhananjaya, saying,--'Men are informed from the words of that great Rishi Vrihaspati that the few must be made to fight by condensing them, while the many may be extended according to pleasure. In encounters of the few with the many, the array to be formed should be the needle-mouthed one. Our troops compared with the enemy's are few. Keeping in view this precept of the great Rishi, array our troops, O son of Pandu.' Hearing this, that son of Pandu answered king Yudhishthira the just, saying,--That immovable array known by the name of Vajra, which was designed by the wielder of the thunder-bolt,--that invincible array is the one that I will make for thee, O best of kings. He who is like the bursting tempest, he who is incapable of being borne in battle by the foe, that Bhima the foremost of smiters, will fight at our head. That foremost of men, conversant with all the appliances of battle, becoming our leader, will fight in the van, crushing the energy of the foe. That foremost of smiters, viz., Bhima, beholding whom all the hostile warriors headed by Duryodhana will retreat in panic like smaller animals beholding the lion, all of us, our fears dispelled, will seek his shelter as if he were a wall, like the celestial seeking the shelter of Indra. The man breathes not in the world who would bear to cast his eyes upon that bull among men, Vrikodara of fierce deeds, when he is angry.'--Having said this, Dhananjaya of mighty arms did as he said. And Phalguni, quickly disposing his troops in battle-array, proceeded (against the foe). And the mighty army of the Pandavas beholding the Kuru army move, looked like the full, immovable, and quickly rolling current of Ganga. And Bhimasena, and Dhrishtadyumna endued with great energy, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and king Dhrishtaketu, became the leaders of that force. And king Virata, surrounded by an Akshawhini of troops and accompanied by his brothers and sons, marched in their rear, protecting them from behind. The two sons of Madri, both endued with great effulgence, became the protectors of Bhima's wheels; while the (five) sons of Draupadi and the son of Subhadra all endued with great activity, protected (Bhima) from behind. And that mighty car-warrior, Dhrishtadyumna, the prince of Panchala, with those bravest of combatants and the foremost of car-warriors, viz., the Prabhadrakas, protected those princes from behind. And behind him was Sikhandin who (in his turn) was protected by Arjuna, and who, O bull of Bharata's race, advanced with concentrated attention for the destruction of Bhishma. Behind Arjuna was Yuyudhana of mighty strength; and the two princes of Panchala, viz., Yudhamanyu and Uttamaujas, became protectors of Arjuna's wheels, along with the Kekaya brothers, and Dhrishtaketu, and Chekitana of great valour--This Bhimasena, wielding his mace made of the hardest metal, and moving (on the field of battle) with fierce speed, can dry up the very ocean. And there also stay, with their counsellors looking on him. O king, the children of Dhritarashtra.--Even this, O monarch, was what Vibhatsu said, pointing out the mighty Bhimasena (to Yudhishthira). And while Partha was saying so, all the troops, O Bharata, worshipped him on the field of battle with gratulatory words. King Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, took up his position in the centre of his army, surrounded by huge and furious elephants resembling moving hills. The high-souled Yajnasena, the king of the Panchalas, endued with great prowess, stationed himself behind Virata with an Akshauhini of troops for the sake of the Pandavas. And on the cars of those kings, O monarch, were tall standards bearing diverse devices, decked with excellent ornaments of gold, and endued with the effulgence of the Sun and the Moon. Causing those kings to move and make space for him, that mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, accompanied by his brothers and sons protected Yudhishthira from behind. Transcending the huge standards on all the cars on thy side and that of the enemy, was the one gigantic ape on Arjuna's car. Foot-soldiers, by many hundreds of thousands, and armed with swords, spears, and scimitars, proceeded ahead for protecting Bhimasena. And ten thousand elephants with (temporal) juice trickling down their cheek and mouth, and resembling (on that account) showering clouds, endued with great courage, blazing with golden armour, huge hills, costly, and emitting the fragrance of lotuses, followed the king behind like moving mountains. And the high-souled and invincible Bhimasena, whirling his fierce mace that resembled a parigha seemed to crush the large army (of thy son). Incapable of being looked at like the Sun himself, and scorching as it were, the hostile army (like fire), none of the combatants could bear to even look at him from any neat point. And this array, fearless and having its face turned towards all sides called Vajra, having bows for its lightning sign, and extremely fierce, was protected by the wielder of Gandiva. Disposing their troops in this counter-array against thy army, the Pandavas waited for battle. And protected by the Pandavas, that array became invincible in the world of men.

"'And as (both) the armies stood at dawn of day waiting for sunrise, a wind began to blow with drops of water (falling), and although there were no clouds, the roll of thunder was heard. And dry winds began to blow all around, bearing a shower of pointed pebbles along the ground. And as thick dust arose, covering the world with darkness. And large meteors began to fall east-wards, O bull of Bharata's race, and striking against the rising Sun, broke in fragments with loud noise. When the troops stood arrayed, O bull of Bharata's race, the Sun rose divested of splendour, and the Earth trembled with a loud sound, and cracked in many places, O chief of the Bharatas, with loud noise. And the roll of thunder, O king, was heard frequently on all sides. So thick was the dust that arose that nothing could be seen. And the tall standards (of the combatants), furnished with strings of bells, decked with golden ornaments, garlands of flowers, and rich drapery, graced with banners and resembling the Sun in splendour, being suddenly shaken by the wind, gave a loud jingling noise like that of a forest of palmyra trees (when moved by the wind). It was thus that those tigers among men, the sons of Pandu, ever taking delight in battle, stood having disposed their troops in counter-array against the army of thy son, and sucking as it were, the marrow, O bull of Bharata's race, of our warriors, and casting their eyes on Bhimasena stationed at their head, mace in hand."

 

Dhritarashtra said,--"When the Sun rose, O Sanjaya, of my army led by Bhishma and the Pandava army led by Bhima, which first cheerfully approached the other, desirous of fight? To which side were the Sun, the Moon and the wind hostile, and against whom did the beasts of prey utter inauspicious sounds? Who were those young men, the complexions of whose faces were cheerful? Tell me all these truly and duly."

Sanjaya said,--"Both armies, when arrayed, were equally joyful, O king. Both armies looked equally beautiful, assuming the aspect of blossoming woods, and both armies were full of elephants, cars and horses. Both armies were vast and terrible in aspect; and so also, O Bharata, none of them could bear the other. Both of them were arrayed for conquering the very heavens, and both of them consisted of excellent persons. The Kauravas belonging to the Dhritarashtra party stood facing the west, while the Parthas stood facing the east, addrest for fight. The troops of the Kauravas looked like the army of the chief of the Danavas, while that of the Pandavas looked like the army of the celestials. The wind began to blow from behind the Pandavas (against the face of the Dhartarashtras), and the beasts of prey began to yell against the Dhartarashtras. The elephants belonging to thy sons could not bear the strong odour of the temporal juice emitted by the huge elephants (of the Pandavas). And Duryodhana rode on an elephant of the complexion of the lotus, with rent temples, graced with a golden Kaksha (on its back), and cased in an armour of steel net-work. And he was in the very centre of the Kurus and was adored by eulogists and bards. And a white umbrella of lunar effulgence was held over his head graced with a golden chain. Him Sakuni, the ruler of the Gandharas, followed with mountaineers of Gandhara placed all around. And the venerable Bhishma was at the head of all the troops, with a white umbrella held over his head, armed with bow and sword, with a white headgear, with a white banner (on his car), and with white steeds (yoked thereto), and altogether looking like a white mountain. In Bhishma's division were all the sons of Dhritarashtra, and also Sala who was a countryman of the Valhikas, and also all those Kshatriyas called Amvastas, and those called Sindhus, and those also that are called Sauviras, and the heroic dwellers of the country of the five rivers. And on a golden car unto which were yoked red steeds, the high-souled Drona, bow in hand and with never-failing heart, the preceptor of almost all the kings, remained behind all the troops, protecting them like Indra. And Saradwat's son, that fighter in the van, that high-souled and mighty bowman, called also Gautama, conversant with all modes of warfare, accompanied by the Sakas, the Kiratas, the Yavanas, and the Pahlavas, took up his position at the northern point of the army. That large force which was well protected by mighty car-warriors of the Vrishni and the Bhoja races, as also by the warriors of Surashtra well-armed and well-acquainted with the uses of weapons, and which was led by Kritavarman, proceeded towards the south of the army. Ten thousand cars of the Samasaptakas who were created for either the death or the fame of Arjuna, and who, accomplished in arms, intended to follow Arjuna at his heels all went out as also the brave Trigartas. In thy army, O Bharata, were a thousand elephants of the foremost fighting powers. Unto each elephant was assigned a century of cars; unto each car, a hundred horsemen; unto each horseman, ten bowmen; and unto each bowman ten combatants armed with sword and shield. Thus, O Bharata, were thy divisions arrayed by Bhishma. Thy generalissimo Bhishma, the son of Santanu, as each day dawned, sometimes disposed thy troops in the human army, sometimes in the celestial, sometimes in the Gandharva, and sometimes in the Asura. Thronged with a large number of Maharathas, and roaring like the very ocean, the Dhartarashtra army, arrayed by Bhishma, stood facing the west for battle. Illimitable as thy army was, O ruler of men, it looked terrible; but the army of the Pandavas, although it was not such (in number), yet seemed to me to be very large and invincible since Kesava and Arjuna were its leader."

 
Sanjaya said,--"Beholding the vast Dhartarashtra army ready for battle, king Yudhisthira, the son of Kunti, gave way to grief. Seeing that impenetrable array formed by Bhishma and regarding it as really impenetrable, the king became pale and addressed Arjuna, saying,--O, mighty-armed Dhananjaya, how shall we be able to fight in battle with the Dhartarashtras who have the Grandsire for their (chief) combatant? Immovable and impenetrable is this array that hath been designed, according to the rules laid down in the scriptures, by that grinder of foes, Bhishma, of transcendent glory. With our troops we have become doubtful (of success), O grinder of foes. How, indeed, will victory be ours in the face of this mighty array?'--Thus addressed, that slayer of foes Arjuna answered Yudhisthira, the son of Pritha, who had been plunged into grief at sight, O king, of thy army, in these words,--Hear, O king, how soldiers that are few in number may vanquish the many that are possessed of every quality. Thou art without malice; I shall, therefore, tell thee means, O king. The Rishi Narada knows it, as also both Bhishma and Drona. Referring to this means, the Grandsire himself in days of old on the occasion of the battle between the Gods and the Asuras said unto Indra and the other celestials.--They that are desirous of victory do not conquer by might and energy so much as by truth, compassion, righteousness and energy. Discriminating then between righteousness, and unrighteousness, and understanding what is meant by covetousness and having recourse to exertion fight without arrogance, for victory is there where righteousness is.--For this know, O king, that to us victory is certain in (this) battle. Indeed, as Narada said,--There is victory where Krishna is.--Victory is inherent to Krishna. Indeed, it followeth Madhava. And as victory is one of its attributes, so humility is his another attribute. Govinda is possessed of energy that is infinite. Even in the midst of immeasurable foes he is without pain. He is the most eternal of male beings. And there victory is where Krishna is. Even he, indestructible and of weapons incapable of being baffled, appearing as Hari in olden days, said in a loud voice unto the Gods and the Asuras,--Who amongst you would be victorious?--Even the conquered who said.--With Krishna in the front we will conquer.--And it was through Hari's grace that the three worlds were obtained by the gods headed by Sakra. I do not, therefore, behold the slightest cause of sorrow in thee, thee that hast the Sovereign of the Universe and the Lord himself of the celestials for wishing victory to thyself."
 

Sanjaya said,--"Then, O bull of Bharata's race, king Yudhishthira, disposing his own troops in counter array against the divisions of Bhishma, urged them on, saying,--'The Pandavas have now disposed their forces in counter array agreeably to what is laid down (in the scriptures). Ye sinless ones, fight fairly, desirous of (entering) the highest heaven'.--In the centre (of the Pandava army) was Sikhandin and his troops, protected by Arjuna. And Dhristadyumna moved in the van, protected by Bhima. The southern division (of the Pandava army) was protected. O king, by that mighty bowman, the handsome Yuyudhana, that foremost combatant of the Satwata race, resembling Indra himself. Yudhisthira was stationed on a car that was worthy of bearing Mahendra himself, adorned with an excellent standard, variegated with gold and gems, and furnished with golden traces (for the steeds), in the midst of his elephant divisions. His pure white umbrella with ivory handle, raised over his head, looked exceedingly beautiful; and many great Rishis walked around the king uttering words in his praise. And many priests, and regenerate Rishis and Siddhas, uttering hymns in his praise wished him, as they walked around, the destructions of his enemies, by the aid of Japas, and Mantras, efficacious drugs, and diverse propitiatory ceremonies. That high-souled chief of the Kurus, then giving away unto the Brahmanas kine and fruits and flowers and golden coins along with cloths proceeded like Sakra, the chief of the celestials. The car of Arjuna, furnished with a hundred bells, decked with Jamvunada gold of the best kind, endued with excellent wheels, possessed of the effulgence of fire, and unto which were yoked white steeds, looked exceedingly brilliant like a thousand suns. And on that ape-bannered car the reins of which were held by Kesava, stood Arjuna with Gandiva and arrows in hand--a bowman whose peer exists not on earth, nor ever will. For crushing thy sons' troops he who assumeth the most awful form,--who, divested of weapons, with only his bare hands, poundeth to dust men, horses, and elephants,--that strong-armed Bhimasena, otherwise called Vrikodara, accompanied by the twins, became the protector of the heroic car-warriors (of the Pandava) army. Like unto a furious prince of lions of sportive gait, or like the great Indra himself with (earthly) body on the Earth, beholding that invincible Vrikodara, like unto a proud leader of an elephantine herd, stationed in the van (of the army), the warriors on thy side, their strength weakened by fear, began to tremble like elephants sunk in mire.

"Unto that invincible prince Gudakesa staying in the midst of his troops, Janardana, O chief of Bharata's race, said--He, who scorching us with his wrath, stayeth in the midst of his forces, he, who will attack our troops like a lion, he, who performed three hundred horse-sacrifices,--that banner of Kuru's race, that Bhishma,--stayeth yonder! Yon ranks around him on all sides great warriors like the clouds shrouding the bright luminary. O foremost of men, slaying yon troops, seek battle with yonder bull of Bharata's race."

 

Sanjaya said,--"Beholding the Dhartarashtra army approach for fight, Krishna said these words for Arjuna's benefit."

"The holy one said,--'Cleansing thyself, O mighty-armed one, utter on the eve of the battle thy hymn to Durga for (compassing) the defeat of the foe."

Sanjaya continued.--Thus addressed on the eve of battle by Vasudeva endued with great intelligence, Pritha's son Arjuna, alighting from his car, said the following hymn with joined hands.

"Arjuna said,--'I bow to thee, O leader of Yogins, O thou that art identical with Brahman, O thou that dwellest in the forest of Mandara, O thou that art freed from decrepitude and decay, O Kali, O wife of Kapala, O thou that art of a black and tawny hue, I bow to thee. O bringer of benefits to thy devotees, I bow to thee, O Mahakali, O wife of the universal destroyer, I bow to thee. O proud one, O thou that rescuest from dangers, O thou that art endued with every auspicious attribute. O thou that art sprung from the Kata race, O thou that deservest the most regardful worship, O fierce one, O giver of victory, O victory's self, O thou that bearest a banner of peacock plumes, O thou that art decked with every ornament, O thou that bearest an awful spear, O thou that holdest a sword and shield, O thou that art the younger sister of the chief of cow-herds, O eldest one, O thou that wert born in the race of the cowherd Nanda! O thou that art always fond of buffalo's blood, O thou that wert born in the race of Kusika, O thou that art dressed in yellow robes, O thou that hadst devoured Asuras assuming the face of a wolf, I bow to thee that art fond of battle! O UmaSakambhari, O thou that art white in hue, O thou that art black in hue, O thou that hast slain the Asura Kaitabha, O thou that art yellow-eyed, O thou that art diverse-eyed, O thou of eyes that have the colour of smoke, I bow to thee. O thou that art the Vedas, the Srutis, and the highest virtue, O thou that art propitious to Brahmanas engaged in sacrifice, O thou that hast a knowledge of the past, thou that art ever present in the sacred abodes erected to thee in cities of Jamvudwipa, I bow to thee. Thou art the science of Brahma among sciences, and thou that art that sleep of creatures from which there is no waking. O mother of Skanda, O thou that possessest the six (highest) attributes, O Durga, O thou that dwellest in accessible regions, thou art described as Swaha, and Swadha, as Kala, as Kashta, and as Saraswati, as Savitra the mother of the Vedas, and as the science of Vedanta. With inner soul cleansed, I praise thee. O great goddess, let victory always attend me through thy grace on the field of battle. In inaccessible regions, where there is fear, in places of difficulty, in the abodes of thy worshippers and in the nether regions (Patala), thou always dwellest. Thou always defeatest the Danavas. Thou art the unconsciousness, the sleep, the illusion, the modesty, the beauty of (all creatures). Thou art the twilight, thou art the day, thou art Savitri, and thou art the mother. Thou art contentment, thou art growth, thou art light. It is thou that supportest the Sun and the Moon and that makes them shine. Thou art the prosperity of those that are prosperous. The Siddhas and the Charanas behold thee in contemplation.'"

Sanjaya continued,--Understanding (the measure of) Partha's devotion, Durga who is always graciously inclined towards mankind, appeared in the firmament and in the presence of Govinda, said these words.

'"The goddess said,--'Within a short time thou shalt conquer thy foes, O Pandava. O invincible one, thou hast Narayana (again) for aiding thee. Thou art incapable of being defeated by foes, even by the wielder of the thunderbolt himself.'

'"Having said this, the boon-giving goddess disappeared soon. The son of Kunti, however, obtaining that boon, regarded himself as successful, and the son of Pritha then mounted his own excellent car. And then Krishna and Arjuna, seated on the same car, blew their celestial conches. The man that recites this hymn rising at dawn, hath no fear any time from Yakshas, Rakshasas, and Pisachas. He can have no enemies; he hath no fear, from snakes and all animals that have fangs and teeth, as also from kings. He is sure to be victorious in all disputes, and if bound, he is freed from his bonds. He is sure to get over all difficulties, is freed from thieves, is ever victorious in battle and winneth the goddess of prosperity for ever. With health and strength, he liveth for a hundred years.

"I have known all this through the grace of Vyasa endued with great wisdom. Thy wicked sons, however, all entangled in the meshes of death, do not, from ignorance, know them to be Nara and Narayana. Nor do they, entangled in the meshes of death, know that the hour of this kingdom hath arrived. Dwaipayana and Narada, and Kanwa, and the sinless Rama, had all prevented thy son. But he did not accept their words. There where righteousness is, there are glory and beauty. There where modesty is, there are prosperity and intelligence. There where righteousness is, there is Krishna; and there where Krishna is, there is victory."

 

Dhritarashtra said,--"There (on the field of battle) O Sanjaya, the warriors of which side first advanced to battle cheerfully? Whose hearts were filled with confidence, and who were spiritless from melancholy? In that battle which maketh the hearts of men tremble with fear, who were they that struck the first blow, mine or they belonging to the Pandavas? Tell me all this, O Sanjaya. Among whose troops did the flowery garlands and unguents emit fragrant odours? And whose troops, roaring fiercely, uttered merciful words?"

Sanjaya said,--"The combatants of both armies were cheerful then and the flowery garlands and perfumes of both troops emitted equal fragrance. And, O bull of Bharata's race, fierce was the collision that took place when the serried ranks arrayed for battle encountered each other. And the sound of musical instruments, mingled with the blare of conches and the noise of drums, and the shouts of brave warriors roaring fiercely at one another, became very loud. O bull of Bharata's race, dreadful was the collision caused by the encounter of the combatants of both armies, filled with joy and staring at one another, and the elephants uttering obstreperous grunts."

 
25
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 1)

Dhritarashtra said,--"Assembled together on the sacred plain of Kurukshetra from desire of fighting what did my sons and the Pandavas do. O Sanjaya."

"Sanjaya said,--"Beholding the army of the Pandavas arrayed, king Duryodhana, approaching the preceptor (Drona) said these words: Behold, O preceptor, this vast army of the son of Pandu, arrayed by Drupada's son (Dhrishtadyumna), thy intelligent disciple. There (in that army) are many brave and mighty bowmen, who in battle are equal to Bhima and Arjuna. (They are) Yuyudhana, and Virata, and that mighty car-warrior Drupada, and Dhrishtaketu, and Chekitana, and the ruler of Kasi endued with great energy; and Purujit, and Kuntibhoja, and Saivya that bull among men; and Yudhamanyu of great prowess, and Uttamaujas of great energy; and Subhadra's son, and the sons of Draupadi, all of whom are mighty car-warriors. Hear, however, O best of regenerate ones, who are the distinguished ones among us, the leader of army. I will name them to thee for (thy) information. (They are) thyself, and Bhishma, and Karna, and Kripa who is ever victorious; and Aswatthaman and Vikarna, and Saumadatta, and Jayadratha. Besides these, are many heroic warriors, prepared to lay down their lives for my sake, armed with diverse kinds of weapons, and all accomplished in battle. Our army, therefore, protected by Bhishma, is insufficient. This force, however, of these (the Pandavas), protected by Bhima, is sufficient. Stationing yourselves then in the entrances of the divisions that have been assigned to you, all of you protect Bhishma alone.--(Just at this time) the valiant and venerable grandsire of the Kurus, affording great joy to him (Duryodhana) by loudly uttering a leonine roar, blew (his) conch. Then conches and drums and cymbals and horns were sounded at once and the noise (made) became a loud uproar. Then Madhava and Pandu's son (Arjuna), both stationed on a great car unto which were yoked white steeds, blew their celestial conches. And Hrishikesha blew (the conch called) Panchajanya and Dhananjaya (that called) Devadatta; and Vrikodara of terrible deeds blew the huge conch (called) Paundra. And Kunti's son king Yudhishthira blew (the conch called) Anantavijaya; while Nakula and Sahadeva, (those conches called respectively) Sughosa and Manipushpaka. And that splendid bowman, the ruler of Kasi and that mighty car-warrior, Sikhandin, Dhrishtadyumna, Virata, and that unvanquished Satyaki, and Drupada, and the sons of Draupadi, and the mighty-armed son of Subhadra--all these, O lord of earth, severally blew their conches. And that blare, loudly reverberating through the welkin, and the earth, rent the hearts of the Dhartarashtras. Then beholding the Dhartarashtra troops drawn up, the ape-bannered son of Pandu, rising his bow, when, the throwing of missiles had just commenced, said these words, O lord of earth, to Hrishikesha.

"Arjuna said,--'O thou that knoweth no deterioration, place my car (once) between the two armies, so that I may observe these that stand here desirous of battle, and with whom I shall have to contend in the labours of this struggle. I will observe those who are assembled here and who are prepared to fight for doing what is agreeable in battle to the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra.'"

Sanjaya continued,---'Thus addressed by Gudakesa, O Bharata, Hrishikesa, placing that excellent car between the two armies, in view of Bhishma and Drona and all the kings of the earth, said,--'Behold, O Partha these assembled Kurus,--And there the son of Pritha beheld, standing (his) sires and grandsons, and friends, and father-in-law and well-wishers, in both the armies. Beholding all those kinsmen standing (there), the son of Kunti, possessed by excessive pity, despondingly said (these words).

"Arjuna said,--'Beholding these kinsmen, O Krishna, assembled together and eager for the fight, my limbs, become languid, and my mouth becomes dry. My body trembles, and my hair stands on end. Gandiva slips from my hand, and my skin burns. I am unable to stand (any longer); my mind seems to wander. I behold adverse omens, too, O Kesava. I do not desire victory, O Krishna, not sovereignty, nor pleasures. Of what use would sovereignty be to us, O Govinda, or enjoyments, or even life, since they, for whose sake sovereignty, enjoyments, and pleasures are desired by us, are here arrayed for battle ready to give up life and wealth, viz., preceptors, sires, sons and grandsires, maternal uncles, father-in-laws, grandsons, brother-in-laws, and kinsmen. I wish not to slay these though they slay me, O slayer of Madhu, even for the sake of the sovereignty of the three worlds, what then for the sake of (this) earth? What gratification can be ours, O Janardana, by slaying the Dhartarashtras? Even if they be regarded as foes, sin will overtake us if we slay them. Therefore, it behoveth us not to slay the sons of Dhritarashtra who are our own kinsmen. How, Madhava can we be happy by killing our own kinsmen? Even if these, with judgments perverted by avarice, do not see the evil that ariseth from the extermination of a race, and the sin of internecine quarrels, why should not we, O Janarddana, who see the evils of the extermination of a race, learn to abstain from that sin? A race being destroyed, the eternal customs of that race are lost; and upon those customs being lost, sin overpowers the whole race. From the predominance of sin, O Krishna, the women of that race become corrupt. And the women becoming corrupt, an intermingling of castes happeneth, O descendant of Vrishni. This intermingling of castes leadeth to hell both the destroyer of the race and the race itself. The ancestors of those fall (from heaven), their rites of pinda and water ceasing. By these sins of destroyers of races, causing intermixture of castes, the rules of caste and the eternal rites of families become extinct. We have heard, O Janarddana, that men whose family rites become extinct, ever dwell in hell. Alas, we have resolved to perpetrate a great sin, for we are ready to slay our own kinsmen from lust of the sweets of sovereignty. Better would it be for me if the sons of Dhritarashtra, weapon in hand, should in battle slay me (myself) unavenging unarmed.--'"

Sanjaya continued,--"Having spoken thus on the field of battle, Arjuna, his mind troubled with grief, casting aside his bow and arrows, sat down on his car."

[Here ends the first lesson entitled "Survey of Forces" in the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna of the Bhagavadgita, the essence of religion, the knowledge of Brahma, and the system of Yoga, comprised within the Bhishma Parva of the Mahabharata of Vyasa containing one hundred thousand verses.]

 
26 Bhagavad Gita Chapter 2)

Sanjaya said,--"Unto him thus possessed with pity, his eyes filled and oppressed with tears, and desponding, the slayer of Madhu said these words."

The Holy One said,--"Whence, O Arjuna, hath come upon thee, at such a crisis, this despondency that is unbecoming a person of noble birth, that shuts one out from heaven, and that is productive of infamy? Let no effeminacy be thine, O son of Kunti. This suits thee not. Shaking off this vile weakness of hearts, arise, O chastiser of foes.--"

Arjuna said,--"How, O slayer of Madhu, can I with arrows contend in battle against Bhishma and Drona, deserving as they are. O slayer of foes, of worship? Without slaying (one's) preceptors of great glory, it is well (for one), to live on even alms in this world. By slaying preceptors, even if they are avaricious of wealth, I should only enjoy pleasures that are bloodstained! We know not which of the two is of greater moment to us, viz., whether we should conquer them or they should conquer us. By slaying whom we would not like to live,--even they, the sons of Dhritarashtra, stand before (us). My nature affected by the taint of compassion, my mind unsettled about (my) duty, I ask thee. Tell me what is assuredly good (for me). I am thy disciple. O, instruct me, I seek thy aid. I do not see (that) which would dispel that grief of mine blasting my very senses, even if I obtain a prosperous kingdom on earth without a foe or the very sovereignty of the gods.'"

Sanjaya said,--Having said this unto Hrishikesa, that chastiser of foes-Gudakesa--(once more) addressed Govinda, saying,--'I will not fight,'--and then remained silent. Unto him overcome by despondency, Hrishikesa, in the midst of the two armies, said.

"The Holy One said,--'Thou mournest those that deserve not to be mourned. Thou speakest also the words of the (so-called) wise. Those, however, that are (really) wise, grieve neither for the dead nor for the living. It is not that, I or you or those rulers of men never were, or that all of us shall not hereafter be. Of an Embodied being, as childhood, youth, and, decrepitude are in this body, so (also) is the acquisition of another body. The man, who is wise, is never deluded in this. The contacts of the senses with their (respective) objects producing (sensations of) heat and cold, pleasure and pain, are not permanent, having (as they do) a beginning and an end. Do thou. O Bharata, endure them. For the man whom these afflict not, O bull among men, who is the same in pain and pleasure and who is firm in mind, is fit for emancipation. There is no (objective) existence of anything that is distinct from the soul; nor non-existence of anything possessing the virtues of the soul. This conclusion in respect of both these hath been arrived at by those that know the truths (of things). Know that [the soul] to be immortal by which all this [universe] is pervaded. No one can compass the destruction of that which is imperishable. It hath been said that those bodies of the Embodied (soul) which is eternal, indestructible and infinite, have an end. Do thou, therefore, fight, O Bharata. He who thinks it (the soul) to be the slayer and he who thinks it to be the slain, both of them know nothing; for it neither slays nor is slain. It is never born, nor doth it ever die; nor, having existed, will it exist no more. Unborn, unchangeable, eternal, and ancient, it is not slain upon the body being perished. That man who knoweth it to be indestructible, unchangeable, without decay, how and whom can he slay or cause to be slain? As a man, casting off robes that are worn out, putteth on others that are new, so the Embodied (soul), casting off bodies that are worn out, entereth other bodies that are new. Weapons cleave it not, fire consumeth it not; the waters do not drench it, nor doth the wind waste it. It is incapable of being cut, burnt, drenched, or dried up. It is unchangeable, all-pervading, stable, firm, and eternal. It is said to be imperceivable, inconceivable and unchangeable. Therefore, knowing it to be such, it behoveth thee not to mourn (for it). Then again even if thou regardest it as constantly born and constantly dead, it behoveth thee not yet, O mighty-armed one, to mourn (for it) thus. For, of one that is born, death is certain; and of one that is dead, birth is certain. Therefore. it behoveth thee not to mourn in a matter that is unavoidable. All beings (before birth) were unmanifest. Only during an interval (between birth and death), O Bharata, are they manifest; and then again, when death comes, they become (once more) unmanifest. What grief then is there in this? One looks upon it as a marvel; another speaks of it as a marvel. Yet even after having heard of it, no one apprehends it truly. The Embodied (soul), O Bharata, is ever indestructible in everyone's body. Therefore, it behoveth thee not to grieve for all (those) creatures. Casting thy eyes on the (prescribed) duties of thy order, it behoveth thee not to waver, for there is nothing else that is better for a Kshatriya than a battle fought fairly. Arrived of itself and (like unto) an open gate of heaven, happy are those Kshatriyas, O Partha, that obtain such a fight. But if thou dost not fight such a just battle, thou shalt then incur sin by abandoning the duties of thy order and thy fame. People will then proclaim thy eternal infamy, and to one that is held in respect, infamy is greater (as an evil) than death itself. All great car-warriors will regard thee as abstaining from battle from fear, and thou wilt be thought lightly by those that had (hitherto) esteemed thee highly. Thy enemies, decrying thy prowess, will say many words which should not be said. What can be more painful than that? Slain, thou wilt attain to heaven; or victorious, thou wilt enjoy the Earth. Therefore, arise, O son of Kunti, resolved for battle. Regarding pleasure and pain, gain and loss, victory and defeat, as equal, do battle for battle's sake and sin will not be thine. This knowledge, that hath been communicated to thee is (taught) in the Sankhya (system). Listen now to that (inculcated) in Yoga (system). Possessed of that knowledge, thou, O Partha, wilt cast off the bonds of action. In this (the Yoga system) there is no waste of even the first attempt. There are no impediments. Even a little of this (form of) piety delivers from great fear. Here in this path, O son of Kuru, there is only one state of mind, consisting in firm devotion (to one object, viz., securing emancipation). The minds of those, however, that are not firmly devoted (to this), are many-branched (un-settled) and attached to endless pursuits. That flowery talk which, they that are ignorant, they that delight in the words of the Vedas, they, O Partha, that say that there is nothing else, they whose minds are attached to worldly pleasures, they that regard (a) heaven (of pleasures and enjoyments) as the highest object of acquisition,--utter and promises birth as the fruit of action and concerns itself with multifarious rites of specific characters for the attainment of pleasures and power,--delude their hearts and the minds of these men who are attached to pleasures and power cannot be directed to contemplation (of the divine being) regarding it as the sole means of emancipation. The Vedas are concerned with three qualities, (viz., religion, profit, and pleasure). Be thou, O Arjuna, free from them, unaffected by pairs of contraries (such as pleasure and pain, heat and cold, etc.), ever adhering to patience without anxiety for new acquisitions or protection of those already acquired, and self-possessed, whatever objects are served by a tank or well, may all be served by a vast sheet of water extending all around; so whatever objects may be served by all the Vedas, may all be had by a Brahmana having knowledge (of self or Brahma). Thy concern is with work only, but not with the fruit (of work). Let not the fruit be thy motive for work; nor let thy inclination be for inaction. Staying in devotion, apply thyself to work, casting off attachment (to it), O Dhananjaya, and being the same in success or unsuccess. This equanimity is called Yoga (devotion). Work (with desire of fruit) is far inferior to devotion, O Dhananjaya. Seek thou the protection of devotion. They that work for the sake of fruit are miserable. He also that hath devotion throws off, even in this world, both good actions and bad actions. Therefore, apply thyself to devotion. Devotion is only cleverness in action. The wise, possessed of devotion, cast off the fruit born of action, and freed from the obligation of (repeated) birth, attain to that region where there is no unhappiness. When thy mind shall have crossed the maze of delusion, then shalt thou attain to an indifference as regards the hearable and the heard. When thy mind, distracted (now) by what thou hast heard (about the means of acquiring the diverse objects of life), will be firmly and immovably fixed on contemplation, then wilt thou attain to devotion.'

"Arjuna said,--What, O Kesava, are the indications of one whose mind is fixed on contemplation? How should one of steady mind speak, how sit, how move?"

"The Holy One said,--'When one casts off all the desires of his heart and is pleased within (his) self with self, then is one said to be of steady mind. He whose mind is not agitated amid calamities, whose craving for pleasure is gone, who is freed from attachment (to worldly objects), fear and wrath, is said to be a Muni of steady mind. His is steadiness of mind who is without affection everywhere, and who feeleth no exultation and no aversion on obtaining diverse objects that are agreeable and disagreeable. When one withdraws his senses from the objects of (those) senses as the tortoise its limbs from all sides, even his is steadiness of mind. Objects of senses fall back from an abstinent person, but not so the passion (for those objects). Even the passion recedes from one who has beheld the Supreme (being). The agitating senses, O son of Kunti, forcibly draw away the mind of even a wise man striving hard to keep himself aloof from them. Restraining them all, one should stay in contemplation, making me his sole refuge. For his is steadiness of mind whose senses are under control. Thinking of the objects of sense, a person's attachment is begotten towards them. From attachment springeth wrath; from wrath ariseth want of discrimination; from want of discrimination, loss of memory; from loss of memory, loss of understanding; and from loss of understanding (he) is utterly ruined. But the self-restrained man, enjoying objects (of sense) with senses freed from attachment and aversion under his own control, attaineth to peace (of mind). On peace (of mind) being attained, the annihilation of all his miseries taketh place, since the mind of him whose heart is peaceful soon becometh steady. He who is not self-restrained hath no contemplation (of self). He who hath no contemplation hath no peace (of mind). Whence can there be happiness for him who hath no peace (of mind)? For the heart that follows in the wake of the sense moving (among their objects) destroys his understanding like the wind destroying a boat in the waters. Therefore, O thou of mighty arms, his is steadiness of mind whose senses are restrained on all sides from the objects of sense. The restrained man is awake when it is night for all creatures; and when other creatures are awake that is night to a discerning Muni. He into whom all objects of desire enter, even as the waters enter the ocean which (though) constantly replenished still maintains its water-mark unchanged--(he) obtains peace (of mind) and not one that longeth for objects of desire. That man who moveth about, giving up all objects of desire, who is free from craving (for enjoyments) and who hath no affection and no pride, attaineth to peace (of mind). This, O Partha, is the divine state. Attaining to it, one is never deluded. Abiding in it one obtains, on death, absorption into the Supreme Self.'

 
27
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 3)

"Arjuna said,--'If devotion, O Janardana, is regarded by thee as superior to work, why then, O Kesava, dost thou engage me in such dreadful work? By equivocal words thou seemest to confound my understanding. Therefore, tell (me) one thing definitely by which I may attain to what is good.'

"The Holy One said,--'It hath already been said by me, O sinless one, that here are, in this world, two kinds of devotion; that of the Sankhyas through knowledge and that of the yogins through work. A man doth not acquire freedom from work from (only) the non-performance of work. Nor doth he acquire final emancipation from only renunciation (of work). No one can abide even for a moment without doing work. That man of deluded soul who, curbing the organs of sense, liveth mentally cherishing the objects of sense, is said to be a dissembler. He however, O Arjuna, who restraining (his) senses by his mind, engageth in devotion (in the form) of work with the organs of work, and is free from attachment, is distinguished (above all). (Therefore), do thou always apply yourself to work, for action is better than inaction. Even the support of thy body cannot be accomplished without work. This world is fettered by all work other than that which is (performed) for Sacrifice. (Therefore), O son of Kunti, perform work for the sake of that, freed from attachment. In olden times, the Lord of Creation, creating men and sacrifice together, said,--flourish by means of this (Sacrifice). Let this (Sacrifice) be to you (all) the dispenser of all objects cherished by you. Rear the gods with this, and let the gods (in return) rear you. Thus fulfilling the mutual interest you will obtain that which is beneficial (to you). Propitiated with sacrifices the gods will bestow on you the pleasures you desire. He who enjoyeth (himself) without giving them what they have given, is assuredly a thief. The good who eat the remnant of sacrifices are freed from all sins. Those unrighteous ones incur sin who dress food for their own sake.--From food are all creatures; and sacrifice is the outcome of work. Know that work proceeds from the Vedas; Vedas have proceeded from Him who hath no decay. Therefore, the all-pervading Supreme Being is installed in sacrifice. He who conformeth not to this wheel that is thus revolving, that man of sinful life delighting (the indulgence of) his senses, liveth in vain, O Partha. The man, however, that is attached to self only, that is contented with self, and that is pleased in his self,--hath no work (to do). He hath no concern whatever with action nor with any omission here. Nor, amongst all creatures, is there any upon whom his interest dependeth. Therefore, always do work that should be done, without attachment. The man who performeth work without attachment, attaineth to the Supreme. By work alone, Janaka and others, attained the accomplishment of their objects. Having regard also to the observance by men of their duties, it behoveth thee to work. Whatever a great man doth, is also done by vulgar people. Ordinary men follow the ideal set by them (the great). There is nothing whatever for me, O Partha, to do in the three worlds, (since I have) nothing for me which hath not been acquired; still I engage in action. Because if at any time I do not, without sloth, engage in action, men would follow my path, O Partha, on all sides. The worlds would perish if I did not perform work, and I should cause intermixture of castes and ruin these people. As the ignorant work, O Bharata, having attachment to the performer, so should a wise man work without being attached, desiring to make men observant of their duties. A wise man should not cause confusion of understanding amongst ignorant persons, who have attachment to work itself; (on the other hand) he should (himself) acting with devotion engage them to all (kinds of) work. All works are, in every way, done by the qualities of nature. He, whose mind is deluded by egoism, however, regards himself as the actor. But he, O mighty-armed one, who knoweth the distinction (of self) from qualities and work, is not attached to work, considering that it is his senses alone (and not his self) that engage in their objects. Those who are deluded by the qualities of nature, become attached to the works done by the qualities. A person of perfect knowledge should not bewilder those men of imperfect knowledge. Devoting all work to me, with (thy) mind directed to self, engage in battle, without desire, without affection and with thy (heart's) weakness dispelled. Those men who always follow this opinion of mine with faith and without cavil attain to final emancipation even by work. But they who cavil at and do not follow this opinion of mine, know, that, bereft of all knowledge and without discrimination, they are ruined. Even a wise man acts according to his own nature. All living beings follow (their own) nature. What then would restraint avail? The senses have, as regards the objects of the senses, either affection or aversion fixed. One should not submit to these, for they are obstacles in one's way. One's own duty, even if imperfectly performed, is better than being done by other even if well performed. Death in (performance of) one's own duty is preferable. (The adoption of) the duty of another carries fear (with it).

"Arjuna said, 'Impelled by whom, O son of the Vrishni race, doth a man commit sin, even though unwilling and as if constrained by force'?

"The Holy One said,--'It is desire, it is wrath, born of the attribute of passion; it is all devouring, it is very sinful. Know this to be the foe in this world.  As fire is enveloped by smoke, a mirror by dust, the foetus by the womb, so is this enveloped by desire. Knowledge, O son of Kunti, is enveloped by this constant foe of the wise in the form of desire which is insatiable and like a fire. The senses, the mind and the understanding are said to be its abode. With these it deludeth the embodied self, enveloping (his) knowledge. Therefore, restraining (thy) senses first, O bull of Bharata's race, cast off this wicked thing, for it destroyeth knowledge derived from instruction and meditation.  It hath been said that the senses are superior (to the body which is inert). Superior to the senses is the mind. Superior to the mind is the knowledge. But which is superior to knowledge is He. Thus knowing that which is superior to knowledge and restraining (thy) self by self, slay, O mighty-armed one, the enemy in the shape of desire which is difficult to conquer.'"

 
28
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4)

"The Holy One said,--'This imperishable (system of) devotion I declared to Vivaswat: Vivaswat declared it to Manu; and Manu communicated it to Ikshaku. Descending thus from generation, the Royal sages came to know it. But, O chastiser of foes, by (lapse of a) long time that devotion became lost to the world. Even the same (system of) devotion hath today been declared by me to thee, for thou art my devotee and friend, (and) this is a great mystery.'

"Arjuna said,--'Thy birth is posterior; Vivaswat's birth is prior. How shall I understand then that thou hadst first declared (it)?'

"The Holy One said,--'Many births of mine have passed away, O Arjuna, as also of thine. These all I know, but thou dost not, O chastiser of foes. Though (I am) unborn and of essence that knoweth no deterioration, though (I am) the lord of all creatures, still, relying on my own (material) nature I take birth by my own (powers) of illusion. Whenever, O Bharata, loss of piety and the rise of impiety occurreth, on those occasions do I create myself. For the protection of the righteous and for the destruction of the evil doers, for the sake of establishing Piety, I am born age after age. He who truly knoweth my divine birth and work to be such, casting off (his body) is not born again; (on the other hand) he cometh to me, O Arjuna. Many who have been freed from attachment, fear, wrath, who were full of me, and who relied on me, have, cleansed by knowledge and asceticism, attained to my essence. In whatsoever manner men come to me, in the selfsame manner do I accept them. It is my way, O Partha, that men follow on all sides. Those in this world who are desirous of the success of action worship the gods, for in this world of men success resulting from action is soon attained. The quadruple division of castes was created by me according to the distinction of qualities and duties. Though I am the author thereof, (yet) know me to be not their author and undecaying. Actions do not touch me. I have no longing for the fruits of actions. He that knoweth me thus is not impeded by actions. Knowing this, even men of old who were desirous of emancipation performed work. Therefore, do thou also perform work as was done by ancients of the remote past. What is action and what is inaction,--even the learned are perplexed at this. Therefore, I will tell thee about action (so that) knowing it thou mayst be freed from evil. One should have knowledge of action, and one should have knowledge of forbidden actions: one should also know of inaction. The course of action is incomprehensible. He, who sees inaction in action and action in inaction, is wise among men; he is possessed of devotion; and he is a doer of all actions. The learned call him wise whose efforts are all free from desire (of fruit) and (consequent) will, and whose actions have all been consumed by the fire of knowledge.  Whoever, resigning all attachment to the fruit of action, is ever contented and is dependent on none, doth nought, indeed, although engaged in action. He who, without desire, with mind and the senses under control, and casting off all concerns, performeth action only for the preservation of the body, incurreth no sin.  He who is contented with what is earned without exertion, who hath risen superior to the pairs of opposites, who is without jealousy, who is equable in success and failure, is not fettered (by action) even though he works. All his actions perish who acts for the sake of sacrifice, who is without affections, who is free (from attachments), and whose mind is fixed upon knowledge. Brahma is the vessel (with which the libation is poured); Brahma is the libation (that is offered); Brahma is the fire on which by Brahma is poured (the libation); Brahma is the goal to which he proceedeth by fixing his mind on Brahma itself which is the action. Some devotees perform sacrifice to the gods. Others, by means of sacrifice, offer up sacrifices to the fire of Brahma. Others offer up (as sacrificial libation) the senses of which hearing is the first to the fire of restraint. Others (again) offer up (as libations) the objects of sense of which sound is the first to the fire of the senses. Others (again) offer up all the functions of the senses and the functions of the vital winds to the fire of devotion by self-restraint kindled by knowledge. Others again perform the sacrifice of wealth, the sacrifice of ascetic austerities, the sacrifice of meditation, the sacrifice of (Vedic) study, the sacrifice of knowledge, and others are ascetics of rigid vows. Some offer up the upward vital wind (Prana) to the downward vital wind (apana); and others, the downward vital wind to the upward vital wind; some, arresting the course of (both) the upward and the downward vital winds, are devoted to the restraint of the vital winds. Others of restricted rations, offer the vital winds to the vital winds.  Even all these who are conversant with sacrifice, whose sins have been consumed by sacrifice, and who eat the remnants of sacrifice which are amrita, attain to the eternal Brahma. (Even) this world is not for him who doth not perform sacrifice. Whence then the other, O best of Kuru's race? Thus diverse are the sacrifices occurring in the Vedas. Know that all of them result from action, and knowing this thou wilt be emancipated. The sacrifice of knowledge, O chastiser of foes, is superior to every sacrifice involving (the attainment of) fruits of action, for all action, O Partha, is wholly comprehended in knowledge. Learn that (Knowledge) by prostration, enquiry, and service. They who are possessed of knowledge and can see the truth, will teach thee that knowledge, knowing which, O son of Pandu, thou wilt not again come by such delusion, and by which thou wilt see the endless creatures (of the universe) in thyself (first) and then in me. Even if thou be the greatest sinner among all that are sinful, thou shalt yet cross over all transgressions by the raft of knowledge. As a blazing fire, O Arjuna, reduceth fuel to ashes, so doth the fire of knowledge reduce all actions to ashes. For there is nothing here that is so cleansing as knowledge. One who hath attained to success by devotion finds it without effort within his own self in time. He obtaineth knowledge, who hath faith and is intent on it and who hath his senses under control; obtaining knowledge one findeth the highest tranquillity in no length of time. One who hath no knowledge and no faith, and whose minds is full of doubt, is lost. Neither this world, nor the next, nor happiness, is for him whose mind is full of doubt. Actions do not fetter him, O Dhananjaya, who hath cast off action by devotion, whose doubts have been dispelled by knowledge, and who is self-restrained. Therefore, destroying, by the sword of knowledge, this doubt of thine that is born of ignorance and that dwelleth in thy mind, betake to devotion, (and) arise, O son of Bharata.'

 
29
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 5)

"Arjuna said,--'Thou applaudest, O Krishna, the abandonment of actions, and again the application (to them). Tell me definitely which one of these two is superior.

"The Holy One said--'Both abandonment of actions and application to actions lead to emancipation. But of these, application to action is superior to abandonment. He should always be known to be an ascetic who hath no aversion nor desire. For, being free from pairs of opposites, O thou of mighty arms, he is easily released from the bonds (of action). Fools say, but not those that are wise, that Sankhya and Yoga are distinct. One who stayeth in even one (of the two) reapeth the fruit of both. Whatever seat is attained by those who profess the Sankhya system, that too is reached by those who profess the Yoga. He seeth truly who seeth Sankhya and Yoga as one. But renunciation, O mighty-armed one, without devotion (to action), is difficult to attain. The ascetic who is engaged in devotion (by action) reacheth the Supreme Being without delay. He who is engaged in devotion (by action) and is of pure soul, who hath conquered his body and subdued his senses, and who indentifieth himself with all creatures, is not fettered though performing (action). The man of devotion, who knoweth truth, thinking--I am doing nothing--When seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, talking, excreting, taking, opening the eyelids or closing them; he regardeth that it is the senses that are engaged in the objects of senses. He who renouncing attachment engageth in actions, resigning them to Brahma, is not touched by sin as the lotus-leaf (is not touched) by water. Those who are devotees, casting off attachment, perform actions (attaining) purity of self, with the body, the mind, the understanding, and even the senses (free from desire). He who is possessed of devotion, renouncing the fruit of action, attaineth to the highest tranquillity. He, who is not possessed of devotion and is attached to the fruit of action, is fettered by action performed from desire. The self-restrained embodied (self), renouncing all actions by the mind, remains at ease within the house of nine gates, neither acting himself nor causing (anything) to act. The Lord is not the cause of the capacity for action, or of the actions of men, or of the connection of actions and (their) fruit. It is nature that engages (in action). The Lord receiveth no one's sin, nor also merit. By ignorance, knowledge is shrouded. It is for this that creatures are deluded. But of whomsoever that ignorance hath been destroyed by knowledge of self, that knowledge (which is) like the Sun discloseth the Supreme Being. Those whose mind is on Him, whose very soul is He, who abide in Him, and who have Him for their goal, depart never more to return, their sins being all destroyed by knowledge. Those, who are wise cast an equal eye on a Brahmana endued with learning and modesty, on a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a chandala. Even here has birth been conquered by them whose minds rest on equality; and since Brahma is faultless and equable, therefore, they (are said to) abide in Brahma. He whose mind is steady, who is not deluded, who knows Brahma, and who rests in Brahma, doth not exult on obtaining anything that is agreeable, nor doth he grieve on obtaining that is disagreeable. He whose mind is not attached to external objects of sense, obtaineth that happiness which is in self; and by concentrating his mind on the contemplation of Brahma, he enjoyeth a happiness that is imperishable. The enjoyments born of the contact (of the senses with their objects) are productive of sorrow. He who is wise, O son of Kunti, never taketh pleasure in these that have a beginning and an end. That man whoever here, before the dissolution of the body, is able to endure the agitations resulting from desire and wrath, is fixed on contemplation, and is happy. He who findeth happiness within himself, (and) who sporteth within himself, he whose light (of knowledge) is deprived from within himself, is a devotee, and becoming one with Brahma attaineth to absorption into Brahma. Those saintly personages whose sins have been destroyed, whose doubts have been dispelled, who are self-restrained, and who are engaged in the good of all creatures, obtain absorption into Brahma. For these devotees who are freed from desire and wrath, whose minds are under control, and who have knowledge of self, absorption into Brahma exists both here and thereafter. Excluding (from his mind) all external objects of sense, directing the visual glance between the brows, mingling (into one) the upward and the downward life-breaths and making them pass through the nostrils, the devotee, who has restrained the senses, the mind, and the understanding, being intent on emancipation, and who is freed from desire, fear, and wrath, is emancipated, indeed. Knowing me to be enjoyer of all sacrifices and ascetic austerities, the great Lord of all the worlds, and friend of all creatures, such a one obtaineth tranquillity.'

 
30
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6)

"The Holy One said,--'Regardless of fruit of action, he that performs the actions which should be performed, is a renouncer and devotee, and not one who discards the (sacrificial) fire, nor one that abstains from action. That which has been called renunciation, know that, O son of Pandu, to be devotion, since nobody can be a devotee who has not renounced (all) resolves. To the sage desirous of rising to devotion, action is said to be the means; and when he has risen to devotion, cessation of action is said to be the means. When one is no longer attached to the objects of the senses, nor to actions, and when one renounces all resolves, then is. One said to have risen to devotion. One should raise (his ) self by self; one should not degrade (his) self; for one's own self is one's friend, and one's own self is one's enemy. To him (only) who has subjugated his self by his self is self a friend. But to him who has not subjugated his self, his self behaves inimically like an enemy. The soul of one who has subjugated his self and who is in the enjoyment of tranquillity, is steadily fixed (on itself) amid cold and heat, pleasure and pain, and also honour and dishonour. That ascetic is said to be devoted whose mind is satisfied with knowledge and experience, who hath no affection, who hath subjugated his senses, and to whom a sod, a stone and gold are alike. He, who views equally well-wishers, friends, foes, strangers that are indifferent to him, those who take part with both sides, those who are objects of aversion, those who are related (to him), those who are good, and those who are wicked, is distinguished (above all others). A devotee should always fix his mind on contemplation, remaining in a secluded place alone, restraining both mind and body, without expectations (of any kind), and without concern (with anything). Erecting his seat immovably on a clean spot, not too high nor too low, and spreading over it a piece of cloth, a deer-skin, or blades of Kusa grass, and there seated on that seat, with mind fixed on one object, and restraining the functions of the heart and the senses, one should practise contemplation for the purification of self. Holding body, head, and neck even, unmoved and steady, and casting his glance on the tip of his nose, and without looking about in any of the different directions, with mind in tranquillity, freed from fear, observant of the practices of Brahmacharins, restraining the mind, with heart fixed on me, the devotee should sit down, regarding me as the object of his attainment. Thus applying his soul constantly, the devotee whose heart is restrained, attains to that tranquillity which culminates in final absorption and assimilation with me. Devotion is not one's, O Arjuna, who eateth much, nor one's who doth not eat at all; nor one's who is addicted to too much sleep, nor one's who is always awake, devotion that is destructive of misery is his who is temperate in food and amusements, who duly exerts himself temperately in all his works, and who is temperate in sleep and vigils. When one's heart, properly restrained, is fixed on one's own self, then, indifferent to all objects of desire, he is one called a devotee. As a lamp in a windless spot doth not flicker, even that is the resemblance declared of a devotee whose heart hath been restrained and who applieth his self to abstraction. That (condition) in which the mind, restrained by practice of abstraction, taketh rest, in which beholding self by self, one is gratified within self; in which one experienceth that highest felicity which is beyond the (sphere of the) senses and which the understanding (only) can grasp, and fixed on which one never swerveth from the truth; acquiring which one regards no other acquisition greater than it, and abiding in which one is never moved by even the heaviest sorrow; that (Condition) should be known to be what is called devotion in which there is a severance of connection with pain. That devotion should be practised with perseverance and with an undesponding heart. Renouncing all desires without exception that are born of resolves, restraining the group of the senses on all sides by mind alone, one should, by slow degrees, become quiescent (aided) by (his) understanding controlled by patience, and then directing his mind to self should think of nothing. Wheresoever the mind, which is (by nature) restless and unsteady, may run, restraining it from those, one should direct it to self alone. Indeed, unto such a devotee whose mind is in tranquillity, whose passions have been suppressed, who hath become one with Brahma and who is free from sin, the highest felicity cometh (of his own accord). Thus applying his soul constantly (to abstraction), the devotee, freed from sin, easily obtaineth that highest happiness, viz., with Brahma. He who hath devoted his self to abstraction casting an equal eye everywhere, beholdeth his self in all creatures and all creatures in his self. Unto him who beholdeth me in everything and beholdeth everything in me. I am never lost and he also is never lost to me.  He who worshippeth me as abiding in all creatures, holding yet that all is one, is a devotee, and whatever mode of life he may lead, he liveth in me. That devotee, O Arjuna, who casteth an equal eye everywhere, regarding all things as his own self and the happiness and misery of others as his own, is deemed to be the best.'

"Arjuna said, 'This devotion by means of equanimity which thou hast declared, O slayer of Madhu,--on account of restlessness of the mind I do not see its stable presence. O Krishna, the mind is restless, boisterous, perverse, and obstinate. Its restraint I regard to be as difficult of accomplishment as the restraint of the wind.'

"The Holy One said, 'Without doubt, O thou of mighty arms the mind is difficult of subjugation and is restless. With practice, however, O son of Kunti, and with the abandonment of desire, it can be controlled. It is my belief that by him whose mind is not restrained, devotion is difficult of acquisition. But by one whose mind is restrained and who is assiduous, it is capable of acquisition with the aid of means.'

"Arjuna said, 'Without assiduity, though endued with faith, and with mind shaken off from devotion, what is the end of him, O Krishna, who hath not earned success in devotion? Fallen off from both, is he lost like a separated cloud or not, being as he is without refuge, O thou of mighty arms, and deluded on the path leading to Brahma? This my doubt, O Krishna, it behoveth thee to remove without leaving anything. Besides thee, no dispeller of this doubt is to be had. 

"The Holy One said, 'O son of Pritha, neither here, nor hereafter, doth ruin exist for him, since none, O sire, who performs good (acts) comes by an evil end. Attaining to the regions reserved for those that perform meritorious acts and living there for many many years, he that hath fallen off from devotion taketh birth in the abode of those that art pious and endued with prosperity, or, he is born even in the family of devotees endued with intelligence. Indeed, a birth such as this is more difficult of acquisition in this world. There in those births he obtaineth contact with that Brahmic knowledge which was his in his former life; and from that point he striveth again, O descendant of Kuru, towards perfection. And although unwilling, he still worketh on in consequence of that same former practice of his. Even one that enquireth of devotion riseth above (the fruits of) the Divine Word.- Striving with great efforts, the devotee, cleaned of all his sins, attaineth to perfection after many births, and then reacheth the supreme goal. The devotee is superior to ascetics engaged in austerities; he is esteemed to be superior to even the man of knowledge. The devotee is superior to those that are engaged in action. Therefore, become a devotee, O Arjuna. Even amongst all the devotees, he who, full of faith and with inner self resting on me, worshippeth me, is regarded by me to be the most devout."

 
31
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 7)
"The Holy One said, 'Listen, O son of Pritha, how, without doubt, thou mayst know me fully, fixing thy mind on me, practising devotion, and taking refuge in me. I will now, without leaving anything speak to thee about knowledge and experience, knowing which there would be left nothing in this world (for thee) to know. One among thousands of men striveth for perfection. Of those even that are assiduous and have attained to perfection, only some one knoweth me truly. Earth, water, fire, air, space, mind, also understanding, and consciousness,--thus hath my nature been divided eight-fold. This is a lower (form of my) nature. Different from this, know there is a higher (form of my) nature which is animate, O thou of mighty arms, and by which this universe is held. Know that all creatures have these for their source. I am the source of evolution and also of the dissolution of the entire universe. There is nothing else, O Dhananjaya, that is higher than myself. Upon me is all this like a row of pearls on a string. Taste I am in the waters, O soil of Kunti, (and) I am the splendour of both the moon and the sun, I am the Om in all the Vedas, the sound in space, and the manliness in men. I am the fragrant odour in earth, the splendour in fire, the life in all (living) creatures, and penance in ascetics. Know me, O son of Pritha, to be the eternal seed of all beings. I am the intelligence of all creatures endued with intelligence, the glory of all glorious objects. I am also the strength of all that are endued with strength, (myself) freed from desire and thirst, and, O bull of Bharata's race, am the desire, consistent with duty, in all creatures. And all existences which are of the quality of goodness, and which are of the quality of passion and quality of darkness, know that they are, indeed, from me. I am, however, not in them, but they are in me. This entire universe, deluded by these three entities consisting of (these) three qualities knoweth not me that am beyond them and undecaying; since this illusion of mine, depending on the (three) qualities, is exceedingly marvellous and highly difficult of being transcended. They that resort to me alone cross this illusion. Doers of evil, ignorant men, the worst of their species, robbed of their knowledge by (my) illusion and wedded to the state of demons, do not resort to me. Four classes of doers of good deeds worship me, O Arjuna, viz., he that is distressed, that is possessed of knowledge, being always devoted and having his faith in only One, is superior to the rest, for unto the man of knowledge I am dear above everything, and he also is dear to me. All these are noble. But the man of knowledge is regarded (by me) to be my very self, since he, with soul fixed on abstraction, taketh refuge in me as the highest goal. At the end of many births, the man possessed of knowledge attaineth to me, (thinking) that Vasudeva is all this. Such a high-souled person, however, is exceedingly rare. They who have been robbed of knowledge by desire, resort to their godheads, observant of diverse regulations and controlled by their own nature. Whatever form, (of godhead or myself) any worshipper desireth to worship with faith, that faith of his unto that (form) I render steady. Endued with that faith, he payeth his adorations to that (form), and obtaineth from that all his desire, since all those are ordained by me. The fruits, however, of those persons endued with little intelligence are perishable. They that worship the divinities, go to the divinities, (while) they that worship me come even to me. They that have no discernment, regard me who am (really) unmanifest to have become manifest, because they do not know the transcendent and undecaying state of mine than which there is nothing higher. Shrouded by the illusion of my inconceivable power, I am not manifest to all. This deluded world knoweth not me that I am unborn and undecaying. I know, O Arjuna, all things that have been past, and all things that are present, and all things that are to be. But there is nobody that knoweth me. All creatures, O chastiser of foes, are deluded at the time of their birth by the delusion, O Bharata, of pairs of opposites arising from desire and aversion. But those persons of meritorious deeds whose sins have attained their end, being freed from the delusion of pairs of opposites, worship me, firm in their vow (of that worship). Those who, taking refuge in me, strive for release from decay and death, know Brahman, the entire Adhyatma, and action. And they who know me with the Adhibhuta, the Adhidaiva, and the Adhiyajna, having minds fixed on abstraction, know me at the time of their departure (from this world).
 
32
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 8)

"Arjuna said, 'What is that Brahman, what is Adhyatma, what is action, O best of male beings? What also has been said to be Adhibhuta, and what is called Adhidaiva? Who is here Adhiyajna, and how, in this body, O slayer of Madhu? And how at the time of departure art thou to be known by those that have restrained their self'?--

"The Holy One said, 'Brahman is the Supreme and indestructible. Adhyatma is said to be its own manifestation. The offering (to any godhead in a sacrifice) which causeth the production and development of all--this is called action. Remembering me alone in (his) last moments, he that, casting off his body, departeth (hence), cometh into my essence. There is no doubt in this. Whichever form (of godhead) one remembereth when one casteth off, at the end, (his) body, unto that one he goeth, O son of Kunti, having habitually meditated on it always. Therefore, think of me at all times, and engage in battle. Fixing thy mind and understanding on me, thou wilt, without doubt, come even to me. Thinking (of the Supreme) with a mind not running to other objects and endued with abstraction in the form of uninterrupted application, one goeth, O son of Pritha, unto the Divine and Supreme male Being. He who at the time of his departure, with a steady mind, endued with reverence, with power of abstraction, and directing the life-breath called Prana between the eye-brows, thinketh of that ancient seer, who is the ruler (of all), who is minuter than the minutest atom, who is the ordainer of all, who is inconceivable in form, and who is beyond all darkness, cometh unto that Divine and Supreme Male Being, I will tell thee in brief about that seat which persons conversant with the Vedas declare to be indestructible, which is entered by ascetics freed from all longings, and in expectation of which (people) practise the vows of Brahmacharins. Casting off (this) body, he who departeth, stopping up all the doors, confining the mind within the heart, placing his own life-breath called Prana between the eye-brows, resting on continued meditation, uttering this one syllable Om which is Brahman, and thinking of me, attaineth to the highest goal. He who always thinketh of me with mind ever withdrawn from all other objects, unto that devotee always engaged on meditation, I am, O Partha, easy of access. High-souled persons who have achieved the highest perfection, attaining to me, do not incur re-birth which is the abode of sorrow and which is transient, All the worlds, O Arjuna, from the abode of Brahman downwards have to go through a round of births, on attaining to me, however, O son of Kunti, there is no re-birth. They who know a day of Brahman to end after a thousand Yugas, and a night (of his) to terminate after a thousand Yugas are persons that know day and night. On the advent of (Brahman's) day everything that is manifest springeth from the unmanifest; and when (his) night cometh, into that same which is called unmanifest all things disappear. That same assemblage of creatures, springing forth again and again, dissolveth on the advent of night, and springeth forth (again), O son of Pritha, when day cometh, constrained (by the force of action, etc.). There is, however, another entity, unmanifest and eternal, which is beyond that unmanifest, and which is not destroyed when all the entities are destroyed. It is said to be unmanifest and indestructible. They call it the highest goal, attaining which no one hath to come back. That is my Supreme seat. That Supreme Being, O son of Pritha, He within whom are all entities, and by whom all this is permeated, is to be attained by reverence undirected to any other object. I will tell thee the times, O bull of Bharata's race, in which devotees departing (from this life) go, never to return, or to return. The fire, the Light, the day, the lighted fortnight, the six months of the northern solstice, departing from here, the persons knowing Brahma go through this path to Brahma. Smoke, night, also the dark-fortnight (and) the six months of the southern solstice, (departing) through this path, devotee, attaining to the lunar light, returneth. The bright and the dark, these two paths, are regarded to be the eternal (two paths) of the universe. By the one, (one) goeth never to return; by the other, one (going) cometh back. Knowing these two paths, O son of Pritha, no devotee is deluded. Therefore, at all times, be endued with devotion, O Arjuna. The meritorious fruit that is prescribed for the (study of the) Vedas, for sacrifices, for ascetic austerities and for gifts, a devotee knowing all this (that hath been said here), attaineth to it all, and (also) attaineth the Supreme and Primeval seat.'

 
33
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 9)
"The Holy One said, 'Now I will tell thee that art without envy that most mysterious knowledge along with experience, knowing which thou wilt be freed from evil. This is royal science, a royal mystery, highly cleansing, directly apprehensible, consistent with the sacred laws, easy to practise, (and) imperishable. Those persons, O chastiser of foes, who have no faith in this sacred doctrine, not attaining to me, return to the path of this world that is subject to destruction. This entire universe is pervaded by me in my unmanifest form. All entities are in me, but I do not reside in them. Nor yet are all entities in me. Behold my divine power. Supporting all entities and producing all entities, myself doth not (yet) reside in (those) entities. As the great and obiquitious atmosphere always occupieth space, understand that all entities reside in me in the same way. All entities, O son of Kunti, attain to my nature at the close of a Kalpa. I create them again at the beginning of a Kalpa. Regulating my own (independent) nature I create again and in this whole assemblage of entities which is plastic in consequence of its subjection to nature. Those acts, however, O Dhananjaya, do not fetter me who sitteth as one unconcerned, being unattached to those acts (of creation). Through me, the overlooker, primal nature produceth the (universe of) mobiles and immobiles. For the reason, O son of Kunti, the universe passeth through its rounds (of birth and destruction). Not knowing my supreme nature of the great lord of all entities, ignorant people of vain hopes, vain acts, vain knowledge, confounded minds, wedded to the delusive nature of Asuras and Rakshasas, disregard me (as one) that hath assumed a human body. But high-souled ones, O son of Pritha, possessed of divine nature, and with minds directed to nothing else, worship me, knowing (me) to be the origin of all entities and undestructible. Always glorifying me, (or) striving with firm vows, (or) bowing down to me, with reverence and ever devoted, (they) worship me. Others again, performing the sacrifice of knowledge, worship me, (some) as one, (some) as distinct, (some) as pervading the universe, in many forms. I am the Vedic sacrifice, I am the sacrifice enjoined in the Smritis, I am Swadha, I am the medicament produced from herbs; I am the mantra, I am the sacrificial libation, I am the fire, and I am the (sacrificial) offering. I am the father of this universe, the mother, the creator, grandsire; (I am) the thing to be known, the means by which everything is cleaned, the syllable Om, the Rik, the Saman and the Yajus, (I am) the goal, the supporter, the lord, the on-looker, the abode, the refuge, the friend, the source, the destruction, the support, the receptacle; and the undestructible seed. I give heat, I produce and suspend rain; I am immortality, and also death; and I am the existent and the non-existent, O Arjuna. They who know the three branches of knowledge, also drink the Soma juice, and whose sins have been cleansed worshipping me by sacrifices, seek admission into heaven; and these attaining to the sacred region of the chief of the gods, enjoy in heaven the celestial pleasure of the gods. Having enjoyed that celestial world of vast extent, upon exhaustion of their merit they re-enter the mortal world. It is thus that they who accept the doctrines of the three Vedas and wish for objects of desires, obtain going and coming. Those persons who, thinking (of me) without directing their minds to anything else, worship me, of those who are (thus) always devoted (to me)--I make them gifts and preserve what they have. Even those devotees who, endued with faith worship other godheads even they, O son of Kunti, worship me alone, (though) irregularly. I am the enjoyer, as also the lord, of all sacrifices. They, however, do not know me truly; hence they fall off (from heaven). They whose vows are directed to the Pitris attain to the Pitris; who direct (their) worship to the inferior spirits called Bhutas attain to Bhutas; they who worship me, attain even to myself. They who offer me with reverence, leaf, flower, fruit, water--that offered with reverence, I accept from him whose self is pure. Whatever thou dost, whatever eatest, whatever drinkest, whatever givest, whatever austerities thou performest, manage it in such a way, O son of Kunti, that it may be an offering to me. Thus mayst thou be freed from the fetters of action having good and evil fruits. With self endued with renunciation and devotion, thou wilt be released and will come to me. I am alike to all creatures; there is none hateful to me, none dear. They, however, who worship me with reverence are in me and I also am in them. If even a person of exceedingly wicked conduct worshippeth me, without worshipping any one else, he should certainly be regard as good, for his efforts are well-directed. (Such a person) soon becometh of virtuous soul, and attaineth to eternal tranquillity. Know, O son of Kunti, that none devoted to me is ever lost. For, O son of Pritha, even they who may be of sinful birth, women, Vaisyas, and also Sudras, even they, resorting to me, attain to the supreme goal. What then (shall I say) of holy Brahmanas and saints who are my devotees? Having come to this transient and miserable world, be engaged in my worship. Fix thy mind on me; be my devotee, my worshipper; bow to me; and thus making me thy refuge and applying thy self to abstraction, thou wilt certainly come to me.'
 
34
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 10)

"The Holy One said, 'Once more still, O mighty-armed one, listen to my supernal words which, from desire of (thy) good, I say unto thee that wouldst be pleased (therewith). The hosts of gods know not my origin, nor the great Rishis, since I am, in every way, the source of the gods and the great Rishis. He that knoweth me as the Supreme Lord of the worlds, without birth and beginning, (he), undeluded among mortals, is free from all sins. Intelligence, knowledge, the absence of delusion, forgiveness, truth, self-restraint, and tranquillity, pleasure, pain, birth, death, fear, and also security, abstention from harm, evenness of mind, contentment, ascetic austerities, gift, fame, infamy, these several attributes of creatures arise from me. The Seven great Rishis, the four Maharishis before (them), and the Manus, partaking of my nature, were born from my mind, of whom in this world are these offsprings. He that knoweth truly this pre-eminence and mystic power of mine, becometh possessed of unswerving devotion. Of this (there is) no doubt. I am the origin of all things, from me all things proceed. Thinking thus, the wise, endued with my nature, worship me. Their hearts on me, their lives devoted to me, instructing one another, and gloryfying me they are ever contented and happy. Unto them always devoted, and worshipping (me) with love, I give that devotion in the form of knowledge by which they come to me. Of them, for compassion's sake. I destroy the darkness born of ignorance, by the brilliant lamp of knowledge, (myself) dwelling in their souls.'

"Arjuna said, 'Thou art the Supreme Brahma, the Supreme Abode, the Holiest of the Holy, the eternal Male Being Divine, the First of gods Unborn, the Lord. All the Rishis proclaim thee thus, and also the celestial Rishi Narada; and Asita, Devala, (and) Vyasa; thyself also tellest me (so). All this that thou tellest me, O Kesava, I regard as true since, O Holy One, neither the gods nor the Danavas understand thy manifestation. Thou only knowest thyself by thyself. O Best of Male Beings. O Creator of all things; O Lord of all things, O God of gods, O Lord of the Universe, it behoveth thee to declare without any reservation, those divine perfections of thine by which perfections pervading these worlds thou abidest. How shall I, ever meditating, know thee, O thou of mystic powers, in what particular states mayst thou, O Holy One, be meditated upon by me? Do thou again, O Janardana, copiously declare thy mystic powers and (thy) perfections, for I am never satiated with hearing thy nectar-like words."

"The Holy One said,--'Well, unto thee I will declare my divine perfections, by means of the principal ones (among them), O chief of the Kurus, for there is no end to the extent of my (perfections). I am the soul, O thou of curly hair, seated in the heart of every being, I am the beginning, and the middle, and the end also of all beings. I am Vishnu among the Adityas, the resplendent Sun among all luminous bodies; I am Marichi among the Maruts, and the Moon among constellations. I am the Sama Veda among the Vedas; I am Vasava among the gods; I am the mind among the senses; I am the intellect in (living) beings. I am Sankara among the Rudras, the Lord of treasures among the Yakshas and the Rakshasas; I am Pavaka among the Vasus, and Meru among the peaked (mountains). Know me, O son of Pritha, to be Vrihaspati, the chief of household priests. I am Skanda among commanders of forces. I am Ocean among receptacles of water. I am Bhrigu among the great Rishis, I am the One, undestructible (syllable Om) among words. Of sacrifices I am the Japa-sacrifice. Of immobiles I am the Himavat. I am the figtree among all trees, I am Narada among the celestial Rishis. I am Chitraratha among the Gandharvas and the ascetic Kapila among ascetics crowned with Yoga success. Know me to be Uchchaisravas among horses, brought forth by (the churning for) nectar, Airavata among princely elephants, and the king among men. Among weapons I am the thunderbolt, among cows I am (she called) Kamadhuk. I am Kandarpa the cause of reproduction, I am Vasuki among serpents. I am Ananta among Nagas, I am Varuna among acquatic beings, I am Aryaman among the Pitris, and Yama among those that judge and punish. I am Prahlada among the Daityas, and Time among things that count. I am the lion among the beasts, and Vinata's son among winged creatures. Of purifiers I am the wind. I am Rama among wielders of weapons. I am the Makara among fishes, and I am Jahnavi (Ganga) among streams. Of created things I am the beginning and the end and also the middle, O Arjuna. I am the knowledge of Supreme Spirit among all kinds of knowledge, and the disputation among disputants. Among all letters I am the letter A, and (the compound called) Dwanda among all compounds. I am also Time Eternal, and I am the Ordainer with face turned on every side. I am Death that seizeth all, and the source of all, that is to be. Among females, I am Fame, Fortune, Speech, Memory, Intelligence, Constancy, Forgiveness. Of the Sama hymns, I am the Vrihat-sama and Gayatri among metres. Of the months, I am Margasirsha, of the seasons (I am) that which is productive of flowers. I am the game of dice of them that cheat, and the splendour of those that are splendid. I am Victory, I am Exertion, I am the goodness of the good. I am Vasudeva among the Vrishnis, I am Dhananjaya among the sons of Pandu. I am even Vyasa among the ascetics, and Usanas among seers. I am the Rod of those that chastise, I am the Policy of those that seek victory. I am silence among those that are secret. I am the Knowledge of those that are possessed of Knowledge. That which is the Seed of all things, I am that, O Arjuna. There is nothing mobile or immobile, which can exist without me. There is no end, O chastiser of foes, of my divine perfections. This recital of the extent of (those) perfections hath been uttered by me by way (only) of instancing them. Whatever of exalted things (there is) or glorious, or strong, understand thou that everything is born of a portion of my energy. Or rather, what hast thou to do, by knowing all this in detail, O Arjuna? Supporting this entire universe with only a portion (of myself), I stand."

 
35
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 11)

"Arjuna said,--'This discourse about the supreme mystery, called Adhyatman, which thou hast uttered for my welfare, hath dispelled my delusion. For I have heard at large from thee of the creation and dissolution of beings, O thou of eyes like lotus petals, and also of thy greatness that knoweth no deterioration. What thou hast said about thyself, O great Lord, is even so. O best of Male Beings, I desire to behold thy sovereign form. If, O Lord, thou thinkest that I am competent to behold that (form), then, O Lord of mystic power, show me thy eternal Self.'

"The Holy One said, 'Behold, O son of Pritha, my forms by hundreds and thousands, various, divine, diverse in hue and shape. Behold the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the Aswins, and the Maruts. Behold, O Bharata, innumerable marvels unseen before (by thee). Behold, O thou of curly hair, the entire universe of mobiles and immobiles, collected together in this body of mine, whatever else thou mayst wish to see. Thou art, however, not competent to behold me with this eye of thine. I give thee celestial sight. Behold my sovereign mystic nature.'"

Sanjaya continued,--"Having said this, O monarch, Hari, the mighty Lord of mystic power, then revealed to the son of Pritha his Supreme sovereign form, with many mouths and eyes, many wonderous aspects, many celestial ornaments, many celestial weapons uplifted, wearing celestial garlands and robes, (and) with unguents of celestial fragrance, full of every wonder, resplendent, infinite, with faces turned on all sides. If the splendour of a thousand suns were to burst forth at once in the sky, then) that would be like the splendour of that Mighty One. The son of Pandu then beheld there in the body of that God of gods the entire universe divided and sub-divided into many parts, all collected together. Then Dhananjaya, filled with amazement, (and) with hair standing on end, bowing with (his) head, with joined hands addressed the God.

"Arjuna said, 'I behold all the gods, O God, as also all the varied hosts of creatures, (and) Brahman seated on (his) lotus seat, and all the Rishis and the celestial snakes. I behold Thee with innumerable arms, stomachs, mouths, (and) eyes, on every side, O thou of infinite forms. Neither end nor middle, nor also beginning of thine do I behold, O Lord of the universe, O thou of universal form. Bearing (thy) diadem, mace, and discus, a mass of energy, glowing on all sides, do I behold thee that art hard to look at, endued on all sides with the effulgence of the blazing fire or the Sun, (and) immeasurable. Thou art indestructible, (and) the Supreme object of this universe. Thou art without decay, the guardian of eternal virtue. I regard thee to be the eternal (male) Being. I behold thee to be without beginning, mean, end, to be of infinite prowess, of innumerable arms, having the Sun and the Moon for thy eyes, the blazing fire for thy mouth, and heating this universe with energy of thy own. For the space betwixt heaven and earth is pervaded by Thee alone, as also all the points of the horizon. At sight of this marvellous and fierce form of thine, O Supreme Soul, the triple world trembleth. For these hosts of gods are entering thee. Some, afraid, are praying with joined hands. Saying Hail to Thee--the hosts of great Rishis and Siddhas praise Thee with copious hymns of praise. The Rudras, the Adityas, the Vasus, they that (called) the Siddhas, the Viswas, the Aswins, the Maruts, also the Ushmapas, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Asuras, the hosts of Siddhyas, behold Thee and are all amazed. Beholding Thy mighty form with many mouths and eyes, O mighty-armed one, with innumerable arms, thighs and feet, many stomachs, (and) terrible in consequence of many tusks, all creatures are frightened and I also. Indeed, touching the very skies, of blazing radiance, many-hued, mouth wide-open, with eyes that are blazing and large, beholding thee, O Vishnu, with (my) inner soul trembling (in fright), I can no longer command courage and peace of mind. Beholding thy mouths that are terrible in consequence of (their) tusks, and that are fierce (as the all-destroying fire at the end of the Yuga), I cannot recognise the points of the horizon nor can I command peace of mind. Be gracious, O God of gods, O thou that art the refuge of the Universe. And all these sons of Dhritarashtra, together with the hosts of kings, and Bhishma, and Drona, and also this Suta's son (Karna), accompanied by even the principal warriors of our side, are quickly entering thy terrible mouths rendered fierce by thy tusks. Some, with their heads crushed, are seen striking at the interstices of (thy) teeth. As many currents of water flowing through different channels roll rapidly towards the ocean, so these heroes of the world of men enter thy mouths that flame all around. As moths with increasing speed rush for (their own) destruction to the blazing fire, so also do (these) people, with unceasing speed, enter thy mouths for (their) destruction. Swallowing all these men from every side, thou lickest them with thy flaming mouths. Filling the whole universe with (thy) energy, thy fierce splendours, O Vishnu, are heating (everything). Tell me who thou art of (such) fierce form. I bow to thee, O chief of the gods, be gracious to me. I desire to know thee that art the Primeval One, I do not understand thy action.'

The Holy One said, "I am Death, the destroyer of the worlds, fully developed. I am now engaged in slaying the race of men. Without thee all these warriors standing in the different divisions shall cease to be. Wherefore, arise, gain glory, (and) vanquishing the foe, enjoy (this) swelling kingdom. By me have all these been already slain. Be only (my) instrument. O thou that can'st draw the bow with (even) the left hand. Drona and Bhishma, and Jayadratha, and Karna, and also other heroic warriors, (already) slain by me, do thou slay. Be not dismayed, fight; thou shalt conquer in battle (thy) foes."

Sanjaya continued,--"Hearing these words of Kesava, the diadem-decked (Arjuna), trembling, (and) with joined-hands, bowed (unto him); and once more said unto Krishna, with voice choked up and overwhelmed with fear, and making his salutations (to him).--

Arjuna said, "It is meet, Hrishikesa, that the universe is delighted and charmed in uttering thy praise, and the Rakshasas flee in fear in all directions, and the hosts of the Siddhas bow down (to thee). And why should they not bow down to thee, O Supreme Soul, that are greater than even Brahman (himself), and the primal cause? O thou that art Infinite. O God of the gods, O thou that art the refuge of the universe, thou art indestructible, thou art that which is, and that which is not and that which is beyond (both). Thou art the First God, the ancient (male) Being, thou art the Supreme refuge of this universe. Thou art the Knower, thou art the Object to be known, thou art the highest abode. By thee is pervaded this universe, O thou of infinite form. Thou art Vayu, Yama, Agni, Varuna, Moon, Prajapati, and Grandsire. Obeisance be to thee a thousand times, and again and yet again obeisance to thee. Obeisance to thee in front, and also from behind. Let obeisance be to thee from every side, O thou that art all. Thou art all, of energy that is infinite, and prowess that is immeasurable. Thou embracest the All. Regarding (thee) a friend whatever hath been said by me carelessly, such as--O Krishna, O Yadava, O friend,--not knowing this thy greatness from want of judgement or from love either, whatever disrespect hath been shown thee for purpose of mirth, on occasions of play, lying, sitting, (or) at meals, while alone or in the presence of others, O undeteriorating one, I beg thy pardon for it, that art immeasurable. Thou art the father of this universe of mobiles and immobiles. Thou art the great master deserving of worship. There is none equal to thee, how can there be one greater? O thou whose power is unparalleled in even three worlds? Therefore bowing (to thee) prostrating (my) body, I ask thy grace, O Lord, O adorable one. It behoveth thee. O God, to bear (my faults) as a father (his) son's, a friend (his) friend's, a lover (his) loved one's. Beholding (thy) form (unseen) before, I have been joyful, (yet) my mind hath been troubled, with fear. Show me that (other ordinary) form, O God. Be gracious, O Lord of the gods, O thou that art the refuge of the universe. (Decked) in diadem, and (armed) with mace, discus in hand, as before, I desire to behold thee. Be of that same four-armed form, O thou of a thousand arms, thou of universal form."

"The Holy One said, 'Pleased with thee, O Arjuna, I have, by my (own) mystic power, shown thee this supreme form, full of glory, Universal, Infinite, Primeval, which hath been seen before by none save thee. Except by thee alone, hero of Kuru's race, I cannot be seen in this form in the world of men by any one else, (aided) even by the study of the Vedas and of sacrifices, by gifts, by actions, (or) by the severest austerities. Let no fear be thine, nor perplexity of mind at seeing this awful form of mine. Freed from fear with a joyful heart, thou again see Me assuming that other form.'"

Sanjaya continued,--"Vasudeva, having said all this to Arjuna, once more showed (him) his own (ordinary) form, and that High-Souled one, assuming once more (his) gentle form, comforted him who had been afflicted."

"Arjuna said, 'Beholding this gentle human form of thine, O Janardana, I have now become of right mind and have come to my normal state.'

"The Holy One said, 'This form of mine which thou hast seen is difficult of being seen. Even the gods are always desirous of becoming spectators of this (my) form. Not by the Vedas, nor by austerities, nor by gifts, nor by sacrifices, can I be seen in this form of mine which thou hast seen. By reverence, however, that is exclusive (in its objects), O Arjuna, I can in this form be known, seen truly, and attained to, O chastiser of foes. He who doth everything for me, who hath me for his supreme object, who is freed from attachment, who is without enmity towards all beings, even he, O Arjuna, cometh to me.'

 
36
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 12)

"Arjuna said, 'Of those worshippers who, constantly devoted, adore thee, and those who (meditate) on thee as the Immutable and Unmanifest, who are best acquainted with devotion.'

"The Holy One said, 'Fixing (their) mind on me, they that constantly adore me, being endued (besides) with the highest faith, are deemed by me to be the most devoted. They, however, who worship the Immutable, the Unmanifest, the All-pervading, the Inconceivable, the Indifferent, the Immutable, the Eternal, who, restraining the entire group of the senses, are equal-minded in respect of all around and are engaged in the good of all creatures, (also) attain to me. The trouble is the greater for those whose minds are fixed on the Unmanifest; for the path to the Unmanifest is hard to find by those that are embodied. They (again) who, reposing all action on me (and) regarding me as their highest object (of attainment), worship me, meditating on me with devotion undirected to anything else, of them whose minds are (thus) fixed on me, I, without delay, become the deliverer from the ocean of (this) mortal world. Fix thy heart on me alone, place thy understanding on me, Hereafter then shalt thou dwell in me. (There is) no doubt (in this). If however, thou art unable to fix thy heart steadily on me, then, O Dhananjaya, strive to obtain me by devotion (arising) from continuous application. If thou beest unequal to even (this) continuous application, then let actions performed for me be thy highest aim. Even performing all thy acts for my sake, thou wilt obtain perfection. If even this thou art unable to do, then resorting to devotion in me, (and) subduing thy soul, abandon the fruit of all actions. Knowledge is superior to application (in devotion); meditation is better than knowledge; the abandonment of the fruit of reaction (is better) than meditation, and tranquillity (results) immediately from abandonment. He who hath no hatred for any creature, who is friendly and compassionate also, who is free from egoism, who hath no vanity, attachment, who is alike in pleasure and pain, who is forgiving, contented, always devoted, of subdued, soul, firm of purpose, with heart and understanding fixed on me, even he is dear to me. He through whom the world is not troubled, (and) who is not troubled by the world, who is free from joy, wrath, fear and anxieties, even he is dear to me. That devotee of mine who is unconcerned, pure, diligent, unconnected (with worldly objects), and free from distress (of mind), and who renounceth every action (for fruit), even he is dear to me. He who hath no joy, no aversion, who neither grieveth nor desireth, who renounceth both good and evil, (and) who is full of faith in me, even he is dear to me. He who is alike to friend and foe, as also in honour and dishonour, who is alike in cold and heat, (and pleasure and pain), who is free from attachment, to whom censure and praise are equal, who is taciturn, who is contented with anything that cometh (to him), who is homeless, of steady mind and full of faith, even that man is dear to me. They who resort to this righteousness (leading to) immortality which hath been (already) declared,--those devotees full of faith and regarding me as the highest object (of their acquisition) are the dearest to me.'

 
37
(Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 13)
"The Holy One said, 'This body, O son of Kunti, is called Kshetra. Him who knoweth it, the learned call Kshetrajna. Know me, O Bharata, to be Kshetras. The knowledge of Kshetra and Kshetrajna I regard to be (true) knowledge. What that Kshetra (is), and what (it is) like, and what changes it undergoes, and whence (it comes), what is he (viz., Kshetrajna), and what his powers are, hear from me in brief. All this hath in many ways been sung separately, by Rishis in various verses, in well-settled texts fraught with reason and giving indications of Brahman. The great elements, egoism, intellect, the unmanifest (viz., Prakriti), also the ten senses, the one (manas), the five objects of sense, desire, aversion, pleasure, pain, body consciousness, courage,--all this in brief hath been declared to be Kshetra in its modified form. Absence of vanity, absence of ostentation, abstention from injury, forgiveness, uprightness, devotion to preceptor, purity, constancy, self-restraint, indifference to objects of sense, absence of egoism, perception of the misery and evil of birth, death, decrepitude and disease, freedom from attachment, absence of sympathy for son, wife, home, and the rest, and constant equanimity of heart on attainment of good and evil, unswerving devotion to me without meditation on anything else, frequenting of lonely places, distaste for concourse of men, constancy in the knowledge of the relation of the individual self to the supreme, perception of the object of the knowledge of truth,--all this is called Knowledge; all that which is contrary to this is Ignorance. That which is the object of knowledge I will (now) declare (to thee), knowing which one obtaineth immortality. [It is] the Supreme Brahma having no beginning, who is said to be neither existent nor non-existent; whose hands and feet are on all sides, whose eyes, heads and faces are on all sides, who dwells pervading everything in the world, who is possessed of all the qualities of the senses (though) devoid of the senses, without attachment (yet) sustaining all things, without attributes (yet) enjoying (a) all attributes, without and within all creatures, immobile and mobile, not knowable because of (his) subtlety, remote yet near, undistributed in all beings, (yet) remaining as if distributed, who is the sustainer of (all) beings, the absorber and the creator (of all); who is the light of all luminous bodies, who is said to be beyond all darkness; who is knowledge, the Object of knowledge, the End of knowledge and seated in the hearts of all. Thus Kshetra, and Knowledge, and the Object of Knowledge, have been declared (to thee) in brief. My devotee, knowing (all) this, becomes one in spirit with me. Know that Nature and Spirit are both without beginning (and) know (also) that all modifications and all qualities spring from Nature. Nature is said to be the source of the capacity of enjoying pleasures and pains. For Spirit, dwelling in nature enjoyeth the qualities born of Nature. The cause of its births in good or evil wombs is (its) connection with the qualities. The Supreme Purusha in this body is said to be surveyor, approver, supporter, enjoyer, the mighty lord, and also the Supreme Soul. He who thus knows Spirit, and Nature, with the qualities, in whatever state he may be, is never born again. Some by meditation behold the self in the self by the self; others by devotion according to the Sankhya system; and others (again), by devotion through works. Others yet not knowing this, worship, hearing of it from others. Even these, devoted to what is heard, cross over death. Whatever entity, immobile or mobile, cometh into existence, know that, O bull of Bharata's race, to be from the connection of Kshetra and Kshetrajna (matter and spirit). He seeth the Supreme Lord dwelling alike in all beings, the Imperishable in the Perishable. For seeing the Lord dwelling alike everywhere, one doth not destroy himself by himself, and then reacheth the highest goal. He seeth (truly) who seeth all actions to be wrought by nature alone in every way and the self likewise to be not the doer. When one seeth the diversity of entities as existing in one, and the issue (everything) from that (One), then is one said to attain to Brahma. This inexhaustible Supreme Self, O son of Kunti, being without beginning and without attributes, doth not act, nor is stained even when stationed in the body. As space, which is ubiquitous, is never, in consequence of its subtlety tainted, so the soul, stationed in every body, is never tainted. As the single Sun lights up the entire world, so the Spirit, O Bharata, lights up the entire (sphere of) matters. They that, by the eye of knowledge, know the distinction between matter and spirit, and the deliverance from the nature of all entities, attain to the Supreme.
 
38
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 14)

"The Holy One said, 'I will again declare (to thee) that supernal science of sciences, that excellent science, knowing which all the munis have attained to the highest perfection from (the fetters of) this body. Resorting to this science, and attaining to my nature, they are not reborn even on (the occasion of) a (new) creation and are not disturbed at the universal dissolution. The mighty Brahma is a womb for me. Therein I place the (living) germ. Thence, O Bharata, the birth of all beings taketh place. Whatever (bodily) forms, O son of Kunti, are born in all wombs, of them Brahma is the mighty womb, (and) I the seed-imparting Sire. Goodness, passion, darkness, these qualities, born of nature, bind down, O thou of mighty arms, the eternal embodied [soul] in the body. Amongst these, Goodness, from its unsullied nature, being enlightening and free from misery, bindeth (the soul), O sinless one, with the attainment of happiness and of knowledge. Know that passion, having desire for its essence, is born of thirst and attachment. That, O son of Kunti, bindeth the embodied (soul) by the attachment of work. Darkness, however, know, is born of ignorance, (and) bewilders all embodied [soul]. That bindeth, O Bharata, by error, indolence, and sleep. Goodness uniteth (the soul) with pleasure; Passion, O Bharata, uniteth with work; but darkness, veiling knowledge, uniteth with error. Passion and darkness, being repressed, Goodness remaineth, O Bharata. Passion and goodness (being repressed), darkness (remaineth); (and) darkness and goodness (being repressed), passion (remaineth). When in this body, in all its gates, the light of knowledge is produced, then should one know that goodness hath been developed there. Avarice, activity, performance of works, want of tranquillity, desire,--these, O bull of Bharata's race, are born when passion is developed. Gloom, inactivity, error, and delusion also,--these, O son of Kuru's race, are born when darkness is developed. When the holder of a body goeth to dissolution while goodness is developed, then he attaineth to the spotless regions of those that know the Supreme. Going to dissolution when passion prevails, one is born among those that are attached to work. Likewise, dissolved during darkness, one is born in wombs that beget the ignorant. The fruit of good action is said to be good and untainted. The fruit, however, of passion, is misery; (and) the fruit of Darkness is ignorance. From goodness is produced knowledge; from passion, avarice; (and) from darkness are error and delusion, and also ignorance. They that dwell in goodness go on high; they that are addicted to passion dwell in the middle; (while) they that are of darkness, being addicted to the lowest quality, go down. When an observer recognises none else to be an agent save the qualities, and knows that which is beyond (the qualities), he attaineth to my nature. The embodied [soul], by transcending these three qualities which constitute the source of all bodies, enjoyeth immortality, being freed from birth, death, decrepitude, and misery.'

"Arjuna said, 'What are indications, O Lord, of one who hath transcended these three qualities? What is his conduct? How also doth one transcend these three qualities?"

"The Holy One said, 'He who hath no aversion for light, activity, and even delusion, O son of Pandu, when they are present, nor desireth them when they are absent, who, seated as one unconcerned, is not shaken by those qualities; who sitteth and moveth not, thinking that it is the qualities (and not he) that are engaged (in their respective functions); to whom pain and pleasure are alike, who is self-contained, and to whom a sod of earth, a stone, and gold are alike; to whom the agreeable and the disagreeable are the same; who hath discernment; to whom censure and praise are the same; to whom honour and dishonour are the same; who regardeth friend and foe alike; who hath renounced all exertion--is said to have transcended the qualities. He also who worshippeth Me with exclusive devotion, he, transcending those qualities, becometh fit for admission into the nature of Brahma. For I am the stay of Brahma, of immortality, of undestructibility, of eternal piety, and of unbroken felicity.' 

 
39
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 15)
"The Holy One said, 'They say that the Aswattha, having its roots above and branches below, is eternal, its leaves are the Chhandas. He who knoweth it, knoweth the Vedas. Downwards and upwards are stretched its branches which are enlarged by the qualities; its sprouts are the objects of senses. Downwards its roots, leading to action, are extended to this world of men. Its form cannot here (below) be thus known, nor (its) end, nor (its) beginning, nor (its) support. Cutting, with the hard weapon of unconcern, this Aswattha of roots firmly fixed, then should one seek for that place repairing whither one returneth not again (thinking)--I will seek the protection of that Primeval Sire from whom the ancient course of (worldly) life hath flowed.--Those that are free from pride and delusion, that have subdued the evil of attachment, that are steady in the contemplation of the relation of the Supreme to the individual self, from whom desire hath departed, freed from the pairs of opposites known by the names of pleasure and pain (and the like), repair, undeluded, to that eternal seat. The sun lighteth not that [seat], nor the moon, nor fire. Whither going none returneth, that is my supreme seat. An eternal portion of Me is that which, becoming an individual soul in the world of life, draweth to itself the (five) senses with the mind as the sixth which all depend on nature. When the sovereign (of this bodily frame) assumeth or quitteth (a) body, it departeth taking away these, like the wind (taking away) perfumes from their seats. Presiding over the ear, the eye, (the organs of) touch, taste, and smell, and also over the mind, he enjoyeth all objects of senses. They that are deluded do not see (him) when quitting or abiding in (the body), when enjoying or joined to the qualities. They (however) see that have the eye of knowledge. Devotees exerting (towards that end) behold him dwelling in themselves. They (however) that are senseless and whose minds are not restrained, behold him not, even while exerting (themselves).  That splendour dwelling in the sun which illumines the vast universe, that (which is) in the moon, and that (which is) in the fire, know that splendour to be mine. Entering into the earth I uphold creatures by my force; and becoming the juicy moon I nourish all herbs. Myself becoming the vital heat (Vaiswanara) residing in the bodies of creatures that breathe, (and) uniting with the upward and the downward life-breaths, I digest the four kinds of food. I am seated in the hearts of all. From Me are memory and knowledge and the loss of both. I am the objects of knowledge to be known by (the aid of) all the Vedas. I am the author of the Vedantas, and I alone am the knower of the Vedas. There are these two entities in the world, viz., the mutable and the immutable. The mutable is all (these) creatures. The unchangeable one is called the immutable. But there is another, the Supreme Being, called Paramatman, who was the Eternal Lord, pervading the three worlds, sustaineth (them) (and) since I transcend the mutable, and am higher than even the immutable; for this I am celebrated in the world (among men) and in the Veda as Purushottama (the Highest Being). He who, without being deluded, knoweth Me as this Highest Being,--he knowing all, O Bharata, worshippeth Me in every way. Thus, O sinless one, hath this knowledge, forming the greatest of mysteries, been declared by Me (to thee). Knowing this, O Bharata, one will become gifted with intelligence, and will have done all he needs do.'
 
40
(Bhagavad Gita Chapter 16)
"The Holy One said, 'Fearlessness, purity of heart, perseverance in (the pursuit of) knowledge and Yoga meditation, gifts, self-restraint, sacrifice, study of the Vedas, ascetic penances, uprightness, abstention from injury, truth, freedom from anger, renunciation, tranquillity, freedom from reporting other's faults, compassion for all creatures, absence of covetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of restlessness, vigour, forgiveness, firmness, cleanliness, absence of quarrelsomeness, freedom from vanity,--these become his, O Bharata, who is born to godlike possessions. Hypocrisy, pride, conceit, wrath, rudeness and ignorance, are, O son of Pritha, his who is born to demoniac possessions. God-like possessions are deemed to be for deliverance; the demoniac for bondage. Grieve not, O son of Pandu, for thou art born to god-like possessions. (There are) two kinds of created beings in this world, viz., the god-like and the demoniac. The god-like have been described at length. Hear now, from me, O son of Pritha, about the demoniac. Persons of demoniac nature know not inclination or disinclination. Neither purity, nor good conduct, nor truth exist in them. They say that the universe is void of truth, of guiding principle, (and) of ruler; produced by the union of one another (male and female) from lust, and nothing else. Depending on this view, these men of lost selves, little intelligence, and fierce deeds, these enemies (of the world), are born for the destruction of the universe. Cherishing desires that are insatiable, and endued with hypocrisy, conceit and folly, they adopt false notions through delusion and engage in unholy practices. Cherishing boundless thoughts limited by death (alone), and regarding the enjoyment of (their ) desires as the highest end, they are persuaded that that is all. Fettered by the hundred nooses of hope, addicted to lust and wrath, they covet to obtain this wealth to-day,--This I will obtain later,--This wealth I have,--This (wealth) will be mine in addition,--This foe hath been slain by me,--I will slay even others,--I am lord,--I am the enjoyer,--I am successful, powerful, happy,--I am rich and of noble birth,--Who else is there that is like me?--I will sacrifice,--I will make gifts,--I will be merry,--thus deluded by ignorance,--tossed about by numerous thoughts, enveloped in the meshes of delusion, attached to the enjoyment of objects of desire, they sink into foul hell. Self-conceited, stubborn, filled with the pride and intoxication of wealth, they perform sacrifices that are nominally so, with hypocrisy and against the (prescribed) ordinance. Wedded to vanity, power, pride, lust and wrath, these revilers hate Me in their own bodies and those of others. These haters (of Me), cruel, the vilest among men, and unholy, I hurl continually down into demoniac wombs. Coming into demoniac wombs, deluded birth after birth, they, O son of Kunti, without attaining to Me go down to the vilest state. Three-fold is the way to hell, ruinous to the self, viz., lust, wrath, likewise avarice. Therefore, these three, one should renounce. Freed from these three gates of darkness, a man, O son of Kunti, works out his own welfare, and then repairs to his highest goal. He who, abandoning the ordinances of the scriptures, acts only under the impulses of desire, never attains to perfection, nor happiness, nor the highest goal. Therefore, the scriptures should be thy authority in determining what should be done and what should not be done. It behoveth thee to do work here, having ascertained what hath been declared by the ordinances of the scriptures.'"
 
41
(Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 17)

"Arjuna said, 'What is the state, O Krishna, of those who abandoning the ordinance of the scriptures, perform sacrifices endued with faith? It is one of Goodness, or Passion, or Darkness?'

"The Holy One said, 'The faith of embodied (creatures) is of three kinds. It is (also) born of their (individual) natures. It is good, passionate, and dark. Hear now these. The faith of one, O Bharata, is conformable to his own nature. A being here is full of faith; and whatever is one's faith, one is even that. They that are of the quality of goodness worship the gods; they that are of the quality of passion (worship) the Yakshas and the Rakshasas; other people that are of the quality of darkness worship departed spirits and hosts of Bhutas. Those people who practise severe ascetic austerities not ordained by the scriptures, are given up to hypocrisy and pride, and endued with desire of attachment, and violence,--those persons possessed of no discernment, torturing the groups of organs in (their) bodies and Me also seated within (those) bodies,--should be known to be of demoniac resolves. Food which is dear to all is of three kinds. Sacrifice, penance, and gifts are likewise (of three kinds). Listen to their distinctions as follows. Those kinds of food that increase life's period, energy, strength, health, well-being, and joy, which are savoury, oleaginous, nutritive, and agreeable, are liked by God. Those kinds of food which are bitter, sour, salted, over-hot, pungent, dry, and burning, and which produce pain, grief and disease, are desired by the passionate. The food which is cold, without savour, stinking and corrupt, and which is even refuse, and filthy, is dear to men of darkness. That sacrifice is good which, being prescribed by the ordinance, is performed by persons, without any longing for the fruit (thereof) and the mind being determined (to it under the belief) that its performance is a duty. But that which is performed in expectation of fruit and even for the sake of ostentation, know that sacrifice, O chief of the sons of Bharata, to be of the quality of passion. That sacrifice which is against the ordinance, in which no food is dealt out, which is devoid of mantras (sacred verse), in which no fees are paid to the brahmanas assisting to it, and which is void of faith, is said to be of the quality of darkness. Reverence to the gods, regenerate ones, preceptors, and men of knowledge, purity, uprightness, the practices of a Brahmacharin, and abstention from injury, are said to constitute the penance of the body. The speech which causeth no agitation, which is true, which is agreeable and beneficial, and the diligent study of the Vedas, are said to be the penance of speech. Serenity of the mind, gentleness, taciturnity, self-restraint, and purity of the disposition,--these are said to be the penance of the mind. This three-fold penance performed with perfect faith, by men without desire of fruit, and with devotion, is said to be of the quality of goodness. That penance which is performed for the sake of (gaining) respect, honour, and reverence, with hypocrisy, (and) which is unstable and transient is said to be of the quality of passion. That penance which is performed under a deluded conviction, with torture of one's self, and for the destruction of another, is said to be of the quality of darkness. That gift which is given because it ought to be given, to one who cannot return any service for it, in a proper time, and to a proper person, is said to be of the quality of goodness. That, however, which is given reluctantly, for return of services (past or expected), or even with an eye to fruit,--that gift is said to be of the quality of passion. In an unfit place and at an unfit time, the gift that is made to an unworthy object, without respect, and with contempt, is said to be of the quality of darkness. OM, TAT, SAT, this is said to be the three-fold designation of Brahma. By that (Brahma), the Brahmanas and the Vedas, and the Sacrifices, were ordained of old. Therefore, uttering the syllable OM, the sacrifices, gifts, and penances, prescribed by the ordinance, of all utterers of Brahma begin. Uttering TAT, the various rites of sacrifice, penance, and gifts, without expectation of fruit, are performed by those that are desirous of deliverance. SAT is employed to denote existence and goodness. Likewise, O son of Pritha, the word SAT is used in any auspicious act. Constancy in sacrifices, in penances and in gifts, is also called SAT, and an act, too, for the sake of That is called SAT. Whatever oblation is offered (to the fire), whatever is given away, whatever penance is performed, whatever is done, without faith, is, O son of Pritha, said to be the opposite of SAT; and that is nought both here and hereafter.'

 
42
(Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18)

"Arjuna said, 'Of renunciation, O thou of mighty arms, I desire to know the true nature, and also of abandonment, O lord of the senses distinctly, O slayer of Kesi.'

"The Holy One said, 'The rejection of the works with desire is known by the learned as renunciation. The abandonment of the fruit of all work, the discerning call abandonment. Some wise men say that work (itself) should be abandoned as evil; others (say) that the works of sacrifice, gifts, and penance, should not be abandoned. As to that abandonment, listen to my decision, O best of the sons of Bharata, for abandonment, O tiger among men, hath been declared to be of three kinds. The works of sacrifice, gifts, and penance should not be abandoned. They should, indeed, be done. Sacrifice, gift, and penance, are the purifications of the wise. But even those works should be done, abandoning attachment and fruit. This, O son of Pritha, is my excellent and decided opinion. The renunciation of an act prescribed (in the scriptures) is not proper. Its abandonment (is) from delusion, (and) is (therefore,) declared to be of the quality of darkness. (Regarding it) as (a source of) sorrow, when work is abandoned from (fear of) bodily pain, one making such an abandonment which is of the quality of passion never obtaineth the fruit of abandonment. (Regarding it) as one that should be done, when work that is prescribed (in the scriptures) is done, O Arjuna, abandoning attachment and fruit also, that abandonment is deemed to be of the quality of goodness. Possessed of intelligence and with doubts dispelled, an abandoner that is endowed with the quality of goodness hath no aversion for an unpleasant action and no attachment to pleasant (ones). Since actions cannot be absolutely abandoned by an embodied person, (therefore) he who abandons the fruit of actions is truly said to be an abandoner. Evil, good and mixed-action hath (this) three-fold fruit hereafter for those that do not abandon. But there is none whatever for the renouncer. Listen from me, O thou of mighty arms, to those five causes for the completion of all actions, declared in the Sankhya treating of the annihilation of actions. (They are) substratum, agent, the diverse kinds of organs, the diverse efforts severally, and with them the deities as the fifth. With body, speech, or mind, whatever work, just or the reverse, a man undertakes, these five are its causes. That being so, he that, owing to an unrefined understanding, beholdeth his own self as solely the agent, he, dull in mind, beholdeth not. He that hath no feeling of egoism, whose mind is not sullied, he, even killing all these people, killeth not, nor is fettered (by action).--Knowledge, the object of knowledge, and the knower, form the three-fold impulse of action. Instrument, action, and the agent, form the three-fold complement of action. Knowledge, action, and agent, are declared in the enumeration of qualities to be three-fold, according to the difference of qualities. Listen to those also duly. That by which One Eternal Essence is viewed in all things, undivided in the divided, know that to be knowledge having the quality of goodness. That knowledge which discerneth all things as diverse essences of different kinds in consequence of their separateness, know that that knowledge hath the quality of passion. But that which is attached to (each) single object as if it were the whole, which is without reason, without truth, and mean, that knowledge hath been said to be of the quality of darkness. The action which is prescribed (by the scriptures), (done) without attachment, performed without desires and aversion, by one who longeth not for (its) fruit, is said to be of the quality of goodness. But that action which is done by one seeking objects of desire, or by one filled with egoism, and which is attended with great trouble, is said to be of the quality of passion. That action which is undertaken from delusion, without regard to consequences, loss, injury (to others), and (one's own) power also, is said to be of the quality of passion. The agent who is free from attachment, who never speaketh of himself, who is endued with constancy and energy, and is unmoved by success and defeat, is said to be of the quality of goodness. The agent who is full of affections, who wisheth for the fruit of actions, who is covetous, endued with cruelty, and impure, and who feeleth joy and sorrow, is declared to be of the quality of passion. The agent who is void of application, without discernment, obstinate, deceitful, malicious, slothful, desponding, and procrastinating, is said to be of the quality of darkness. Hear now, O Dhananjaya, the three-fold division of intellect and constancy, according to their qualities, which I am about to declare exhaustively and distinctly. The intellect which knoweth action and inaction, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear and fearlessness, bondage and deliverance, is, O son of Pritha, of the quality of goodness. The intellect by which one imperfectly discerneth right and wrong, that which ought to be done and that which ought not to be done, is, O son of Pritha, of the quality of passion. That intellect which, shrouded by darkness, regardeth wrong to be right, and all things as reversed, is, O son of Pritha, of the quality of darkness. That unswerving constancy by which one controls the functions of the mind, the life-breaths, and the senses, through devotion, that constancy, is, O son of Pritha, of the quality of goodness. But that constancy, O Arjuna, by which one holds to religion, desire, and profit, through attachment, desiring fruit, that constancy, O son of Pritha, is of the quality of passion. That through which an undiscerning person abandons not sleep, fear, sorrow, despondency, and folly, that constancy is deemed to be of the quality of darkness. Hear now from me, O bull of Bharata's race, of the three kinds of happiness. That in which one findeth pleasure from repetition (of enjoyment), which bringeth an end to pain, which is like poison first but resembleth nectar in the end, that happiness born of the serenity produced by a knowledge of self, is said to be of the quality of goodness. That which is from the contact of the senses with their objects which resembleth nectar first but is like poison in the end, that happiness is held to be of the quality of passion. That happiness which in the beginning and its consequences deludeth the soul, and springeth from sleep, indolence, and stupidity, that is described to be of the quality of darkness. There is not, either on earth or heaven among the gods, the entity that is free from these three qualities born of nature. The duties of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas, and of Sudras also, O chastiser of foes, are distinguished by (these three) qualities born of nature. Tranquillity, self-restraint, ascetic austerities, purity, forgiveness, rectitude, knowledge, experience, and belief (in an existence hereafter),--these are the duties of Brahmanas, born of (their proper) nature. Bravery, energy, firmness, skill, not flying away from battle, liberality, the bearing of a ruler,--these are the duties of Kshatriyas, born of (their proper) nature. Agriculture, tending of cattle, and trade, are the natural duties of Vaisyas. Of Sudras also, the natural duty consists in servitude. Every man, engaged in his own duties, attains to perfection. Hear now how one obtains perfection by application to his duties. Him from whom are the movements of all beings, Him by whom all this is pervaded, worshipping him by (the performance of) one's own duty, one obtaineth perfection. Better is one's own duty though performed faultily than another's duty well-performed. Performing the duty prescribed by (one's own) nature, one incurreth no sin. One must not abandon, O son of Kunti, one's natural duty though tainted with evil, for all actions are enveloped by evil like fire by smoke. He whose mind is unattached everywhere, who hath subdued his self, and whose desire hath departed, obtaineth, through renunciation, the supreme perfection of freedom from work. Learn from me, only in brief, O son of Kunti, how one, having obtained (this kind of) perfection, attaineth to Brahma which is the supreme end of knowledge. Endued with a pure mind, and restraining his self by constancy, renouncing sound and other objects of sense, and casting off affection and aversion, he who resideth in a lonely place, eateth little, and restraineth speech, body, and mind, who is ever intent on meditation and abstraction, who hath recourse to indifference, who, abandoning egoism, violence, pride, lust, wrath, and (all) surroundings, hath been freed from selfishness and is tranquil (in mind), becometh fit for assimilation with Brahma. Becoming one with Brahma, tranquil in spirit, (such a) one grieveth not, desireth not; alike to all beings, he obtaineth the highest devotion to Me. By (that) devotion he truly understandeth Me. What I am, and who I am; then understanding Me truly, he entereth into Me forthwith. Even performing all actions at all times having refuge in Me, he obtaineth, through my favour, the seat that is eternal and imperishable. Dedicating in thy heart all actions to Me, being devoted to Me, resorting to mental abstraction, fix thy thoughts constantly on Me. Fixing thy thoughts on Me, thou wilt surmount all difficulties through my grace. But if from self-conceit thou wilt not listen, thou wilt (then) utterly perish. If, having recourse to self-conceit, thou thinkest--I will not fight,--that resolution of thine would be vain, (for) Nature will constrain thee. That which, from delusion, thou dost not wish to do, thou wilt do involuntarily, bound by thy own duty springing from (thy own) nature. The Lord, O Arjuna, dwelleth in the region of the heart of beings, turning all beings as if mounted on a machine, by his illusive power. Seek shelter with Him in every way, O Bharata. Through his grace thou wilt obtain supreme tranquillity, the eternal seat. Thus hath been declared to thee by Me the knowledge that is more mysterious than any (other) matter. Reflecting on it fully, act as thou likest. Once more, listen to my supernal words, the most mysterious of all. Exceedingly dear art thou to Me, therefore, I will declare what is for thy benefit. Set thy heart on Me, become My devotee, sacrifice to Me, bow down to Me. Then shalt thou come to Me. I declare to thee truly, (for) thou art dear to Me. Forsaking all (religious) duties, come to Me as thy sole refuge. I will deliver thee from all sins. Do not grieve. This is not to be ever declared by thee to one who practiseth no austerities, to one who is not a devotee, to one who never waiteth on a preceptor, nor yet to one who calumniateth Me. He who shall inculcate this supreme mystery to those that are devoted to Me, offering Me the highest devotion, will come to Me, freed from (all his) doubts. Amongst men there is none who can do Me a dearer service than he, nor shall any other on earth be dearer to Me than he. And he who will study this holy converse between us, by him will have been offered to Me the sacrifice of knowledge. Such is my opinion. Even the man who, with faith and without cavil, will hear it (read), even he freed (from re-birth), will obtain of the blessed regions of those that perform pious acts. Hath this, O son of Pritha, been heard by thee with mind undirected to any other objects? Hath thy delusion, (caused) by ignorance, been destroyed, O Dhananjaya?'

"Arjuna said, 'My delusion hath been destroyed, and the recollection (of what I am) hath been gained by me, O Undeteriorating one, through thy favour. I am now firm. My doubts have been dispelled. I will do thy bidding.'"

Sanjaya continued, "Thus I heard this converse between Vasudeva and the high-souled son of Pritha, (that is) wonderful and causeth the hair to stand on end. Through Vyasa's favour heard I this supreme mystery, this (doctrine of) Yoga, from Krishna himself, the Lord of Yoga, who declared it in person. O King recollecting and (again) recollecting this wonderful (and) holy converse of Kesava and Arjuna, I rejoice over and over again. Recollecting again and again that wonderful form also of Hari, great is my amazement, O king, and I rejoice ever more. Thither where Krishna, the Lord of Yoga (is), thither where the great bowman (Partha) is, thither, in my opinion, are prosperity, and victory, and greatness, and eternal justice'"

End of the Bhagavad Gita

 

Sanjaya said,--"Beholding Dhananjaya then to take up once again (his) arrows and Gandiva, the mighty car-warriors (of the Pandava party) uttered a tremendous shout. And those heroes, viz., the Pandavas and the Somakas, and those who followed them, filled with joy, blew their sea-born conches. And drums, and Pesis, and Karkachas, and cow-horns were beaten and blown together, and the uproar made was very loud. And then, O ruler of men, there came the gods, with Gandharvas and the Pitris, and the hosts of Siddhas and Charanas, from desire of witnessing (the sight). And Rishis highly blessed came there in a body with him (Indra) of a hundred sacrifices at their head, for beholding that great slaughter. Then, O king, beholding the two armies, that looked like two oceans, ready for the encounter and continuously moving, the heroic king Yudhishthira, the Just, putting off his coat of mail and casting aside his excellent weapon and quickly descending from his car, with joined hands, proceeded on foot, eyeing the grandsire, with restrained speech, facing the east, towards the direction where the hostile host was (standing). And seeing him proceed (thus), Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, speedily alighting from his car, followed him, accompanied by his (other) brothers. And the Lord Vasudeva also followed him behind. And the principal kings too (of his army), filled with anxiety, followed in the same path.

"Arjuna said, 'What is this act of thine, O king, that abandoning thy brothers, thou proceedest on foot, face eastwards, to the hostile host?'

"Bhimasena said, 'Where wilt thou go, O king of kings, having cast off thy coat of mail and weapons, towards the warriors of the foe cased in mail, and leaving thy brothers, O ruler of earth?'

"Nakula said, 'Thou art my eldest brother, O Bharata, (beholding) thee proceeding in this way, fear troubleth my bosom. Tell (us), whither wilt thou go?'

"Sahadeva said, 'When these hostile divisions, terrible and numerous, are here with whom we are to fight, whither dost thou go, O king, in the direction of our foes?'

Sanjaya continued, "Though thus addressed by his brothers, O son of Kuru's race, Yudhishthira of restrained speech said nothing but continued to proceed. Unto them (then), the high-souled Vasudeva of great wisdom smilingly said,--His object is known to me. Having paid his respects to all his superiors (such as) Bhishma, Drona, and Kripa, and Salya also, he will fight the foe. It is heard in histories of olden times that he who, having paid his respects according to the ordinance unto his preceptors, revered in years and his kinsmen, fighteth with those that are his superiors, is sure to obtain victory in battle. Even that is my opinion.--When Krishna was saying this, among the ranks of Dhritarashtra's son, a loud uproar of Alas, and Oh arose, but the other (army) remained perfectly still. Beholding Yudhishthira, the heroic warriors of Dhritarashtra's Son conversed with one another saying,--'This one is an infamous wretch of his race. It is plain that this king is coming in terror towards Bhishma's side. Yudhishthira, with his brothers, hath become a seeker after (Bhishma's) shelter. When Dhananjaya, however, is (his) protector, and Pandu's son Vrikodara, and Nakula, and Sahadeva also, why doth the (eldest) son of Pandu come (hither) in fear? Though celebrated in the world, this one, however, could never have been born in the Kshatriya order, since he is weak and his bosom is filled with fear (at the prospect) of battle.' Then those warriors all praised the Kauravas. And all of them, becoming rejoiced, with cheerful hearts waved their garments. And, O monarch, all the warriors there (then) censured Yudhishthira with all his brothers and along with Kesava too. Then the Kaurava army, having said Fie to Yudhishthira, soon again, O monarch, became perfectly still,--What will this king say? What will Bhishma say in reply? What will Bhima boastful of his powers in battle, (say), and what Krishna and Arjuna? What, indeed, hath (Yudhishthira) to say?--Great was the curiosity then, O king, of both the armies in respect of Yudhishthira. The king (meanwhile), penetrating the hostile array bristling with arrows and darts, proceeded quickly towards Bhishma, surrounded by his brothers. Seizing his feet with his two hands, the royal son of Pandu then said unto Santanu's son Bhishma who was there ready for battle, (these words).

"Yudhishthira said, 'I salute thee, O invincible one. With thee we will do battle. Grant (us) thy permission in that matter. Give (us) also (thy) blessing."

"Bhishma said, 'If, O lord of the earth, thou hadst not, in this battle come to me thus, I would have, O great king, cursed thee, O Bharata, for bringing about thy defeat. I am gratified (with thee), O son. Do battle, and obtain victory, O son of Pandu, What else may be desired by thee, obtain thou in battle. Solicit also the boon, O son of Pritha, which thou desirest to have from us. If it happens so, O great king, then defeat will not be thine. A man is the slave of wealth, but wealth is no one's slave. This is very true, O king. I have been bound by the Kauravas with (their) wealth. It is for this, O son of Kuru's race, that like a eunuch I am uttering these words, viz.,--Bound I am by the Kauravas with wealth. Battle excepted, what dost thou desire?'

"Yudhishthira said, 'O thou of great wisdom, do thou, desirous of my welfare, from day to day, consult my interests. Do battle, however for the sake of the Kauravas. Even this is always my prayer (to thee).'

"Bhishma said, 'O king, O son of Kuru's race, what aid can I render thee in this? I shall, of course, fight for (thy) foes. Tell me what thou hast to say.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Therefore, O Sire, I ask thee, I bow to thee, O grandsire, how shall we, in battle, vanquish thee that art invincible? Tell me this that is for my benefit, if indeed, thou seest any good in it."

"Bhishma said, 'I do not, O son of Kunti, see the person who, even if he were the chief of the celestials himself, can defeat me in battle when I fight.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'My salutations to thee, O grandsire. Therefore, do I ask thee (this). Tell us how thy own death may be compassed by foes in battle.'

"Bhishma said, 'I do not see the person, O sire, who can vanquish me in battle. The time also of my death is not yet come to me once again."

Sanjaya continued,--"Then, O son of Kuru's race, Yudhishthira, once more saluting him, accepted Bhishma's words with a bend of his head. And that mighty-armed one then proceeded towards the car of the preceptor ( Drona) through the midst of all the soldiers who were eyeing him, accompanied by his brothers. Then saluting Drona and walking round him, the king spoke to that invincible warrior words that were for his own benefit.

"Yudhishthira said, 'I ask thee, O invincible one, how I may fight without incurring sin, and how, with thy permission, O regenerate one, I may vanquish all my foes? 

"Drona said, 'If, having resolved to fight, thou hadst not come to me (thus), I would have cursed thee. O king, for thy complete overthrow. I am, however, gratified, O Yudhishthira, and honoured by thee, O sinless one. I permit thee, fight and obtain victory. I will also fulfil thy wish. Say what thou hast to say. Under these circumstances, battle excepted, what dost thou wish? A man is the slave of wealth, but wealth is not one's slave. This is quite true, O king! Bound I have been with (their) wealth by the Kauravas! It is for this that like a eunuch I shall fight for the sake of the Kauravas. It is for this that like a eunuch I am uttering these words--Battle excepted, what dost thou wish? I shall fight for the sake of the Kauravas, but will pray for thy victory.' 

"Yudhishthira said, 'Pray for my victory, O regenerate one, and counsel what is for my good. Fight, however, for the Kauravas. This is the boon solicited by me.'

"Drona said, 'Victory, O king, is certain for thee that hast Hari for thy counsellor. I (also) grant thee that thou wilt vanquish thy foes in battle. Thither where righteousness is, thither is Krishna, and thither where Krishna is, thither is victory. Go, fight, O son of Kunti! Ask me, what shall I say unto thee?'

"Yudhishthira said, 'I ask thee, O foremost of regenerate ones, listen to what I have to say. How shall we in battle vanquish thee that art invincible?'

"Drona said, 'As long as I will fight, so long victory can never be thine. (Therefore) O king, seek with thy brothers, for my speedy slaughter.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Alas, for this, O thou of mighty arms, tell (us) the means of thy death. O preceptor, prostrating myself I ask thee this. (My) salutations to thee."

"Drona said, 'The foe, O sire, I see not who may slay me while standing in battle I am engaged in fight, with wrath excited, and scattering (my) arrowy showers continually. Except when addrest for death O king, having abandoned my arms and withdrawn (in Yoga meditation) from surrounding sights, none will be able to slay me. This that I tell thee is true. I also tell thee truly that I will cast off my arms in battle, having heard something very disagreeable from some one of credible speech.--'"

Sanjaya continued, "Hearing these words, O king, of the wise son of Bharadwaja, and honouring the preceptor, (Yudhishthira then) proceeded towards the son of Saradwat. And saluting Kripa and walking round him, O king, Yudhishthira, accomplished in speech, said these words unto that warrior of great valour.

"Yudhishthira said, 'Obtaining thy permission, O preceptor, I will fight without incurring sin, and permitted by thee, O sinless one, I will vanquish all (my) foes."

"Kripa said, 'If having resolved on fight, thou hadst not come to me (thus), I would have cursed thee, O king, for thy complete overthrow. A man is the slave of wealth, but wealth is no one's slave. This is very true, O king, and bound I have been with wealth by the Kauravas. I must, O king, fight for their sake. This is my opinion. I therefore, speak like a eunuch in asking thee,--Battle excepted, what dost thou desire?'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Alas, I ask thee, therefore., O preceptor, listen to my words.--Saying this, the king, greatly agitated and deprived of his sense, stood silent."

Sanjaya continued.--"Understanding, however, what he intended to say, Gautama (Kripa) replied to him, saying,--I am incapable of being slain, O king. Fight, and obtain victory. I am gratified with thy coming. Rising every day [from bed] I will pray for thy victory, O monarch. I say this to thee truly.--Hearing, O king, these words of Gautama, and paying him due honours, the king proceeded thither where the ruler of the Madra was. Saluting Salya and walking round him the king said unto that invincible warrior those words that were for his own benefit.

'Yudhishthira said,--'Obtaining thy permission, O invincible one, I will fight without incurring sin, and permitted by thee, O king, I will vanquish (my) valourous foes.'--

"Salya said, 'If, having resolved on fight, thou hadst not come to me (thus), I would have, O king, cursed thee for thy overthrow in battle. I am gratified (with thee) and honoured (by thee). Let it be as thou wishest. I grant thee permission, fight and obtain victory. Speak, O hero, for what hast thou any need? What shalt I give thee? Under these circumstances, O king, battle excepted, what dost thou desire? A man is the slave of wealth but wealth is no one's slave. This is true, O king. Bound I have been with wealth by the Kauravas, O nephew, it is for this that I am speaking to thee like a eunuch,--I will accomplish the desire thou mayst cherish. Battle excepted, what dost thou wish.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Think, O king, daily of what is for my great good. Fight, according to thy pleasure, for the sake of the foe. This is the boon that I solicit.'

"Salya said, 'Under these circumstances, say, O best of kings what aid shall I render thee? I shall, of course, fight for the sake of (thy) enemy, for I have been made one of their party by the Kauravas with their wealth. "Yudhishthira said, 'Even that is my boon, O Salya, which was solicited by me during the preparations (for the fight). The energy of the Suta's son (Karna) should be weakened by thee in battle.'

"Salya said, 'This thy wish, O Yudhishthira, shall be accomplished, O son of Kunti. Go, fight according to thy pleasure. I shall look after thy victory."

'Sanjaya continued, "Having obtained the permission of his maternal uncle, the ruler of the Madra, the son of Kunti, surrounded by his brothers, came out of that vast army. Vasudeva then went to Radha's son on the field of battle. And the elder brother of Gada, for the sake of the Pandavas, then said to Karna,--It hath been heard by me, O Karna, that from hatred of Bhishma thou wilt not fight. Come to our side, O son of Radha, and (stay with us) as long as Bhishma is not slain. After Bhishma is slain, O son of Radha, thou mayst then again engage in battle on Duryodhana's side, if thou hast no preference for any of the parties.--'

"Karna said, 'I will not do anything that is disagreeable to Dhritarashtra's son, O Kesava. Devoted to Duryodhana's good, know that I have cast off my life (for him).--Hearing these words (of Karna), Krishna ceased, O Bharata, and reunited himself with the sons of Pandu headed by Yudhishthira. Then amid all the warriors the eldest son of Pandu, loudly exclaimed,--He who will choose us, him we shall choose for our ally!--Casting his eyes then upon them, Yuyutsu said these words, with a cheerful heart, unto Kunti's son king Yudhishthira the Just,--I will fight under thee in battle, for the sake of you all, with the sons of Dhritarashtra, if, O king, thou wilt accept me, sinless one.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'Come, come, all of us will fight with thy foolish brothers. O Yuyutsu, both Vasudeva and we all say to thee--I accept thee, O thou of mighty arms, fight for my cause. On thee rests, it seems, the thread of Dhritarashtra's line as also his funeral cake. O prince, O thou of great splendour, accept us that accept thee. The wrathful Duryodhana of wicked understanding will cease to live.'"

Sanjaya continued, 'Yuvutsu then, abandoning the Kurus thy sons, went over to the army of the Pandavas, with beat of drums and cymbals. Then king Yudhishthira of mighty arms, filled with joy, again put on his shining coat of mail of golden effulgence. And those bulls among men then mounted their respective cars. And they counter-arrayed their troops in battle-array as before. And they caused drums and cymbals in many hundreds to be sounded. And those bulls among men also set up diverse leonine roars. And beholding those tigers among men, viz., the sons of Pandu, on their cars, the kings (on their side) with Dhrishtadyumna and others, once more set up shouts of joy. And beholding the nobility of the sons of Pandu who had paid due honour to those that were deserving of honour, all the kings there present applauded them highly. And the monarchs, talked with one another about the friendship, the compassion, and the kindness to kinsmen, displayed at the proper season by those high-souled personages. Excellent,--Excellent,--were the delightful words everywhere bruited about, coupled with eulogistic hymns about those famous men. And in consequence of this the minds and hearts of every one there were attracted towards them. And the Mlechchhas and the Aryas there who witnessed or heard of that behaviour of the sons of Pandu, all wept with choked voices. And those warriors then, endued with great energy, caused large drums and Pushkaras by hundreds upon hundreds to be sounded and also blew their conches all white as the milk of cows.'"

 

Dhritarashtra said, 'When the divisions of both my side and the foe were thus arrayed, who struck first, the Kurus or the Pandavas?'

Sanjaya said, "Hearing those words of his (elder) brother, thy son Dussasana advanced with his troops, with Bhishma at their head, and the Pandavas also advanced with cheerful hearts, desiring battle with Bhishma, having Bhimasena at their head. Then leonine, shouts, and clamorous uproars and the noise of Krakachas, the blare of cow-horns, and the sound of drums and cymbals and tabors, arose in both armies. And the warriors of the foe rushed against us, and we also (rushed) against them with loud shouts. And the uproar (caused by this rush) was deafening. The vast hosts of the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras, in that awfully murderous encounter shook in consequence of that uproar of conches and cymbals, like forests shaken by the wind. And the din made by those hosts teeming with kings, elephants, and steeds, rushing against one another in that evil hour, was as loud as that of oceans agitated by the tempest. And when that din, loud and causing the hair to stand on end, arose, the mighty-armed Bhimasena began to roar like a bull. And those roars of Bhimasena rose above the clamour of conches and drums, the grunts of elephants, and the leonine shouts of the combatants. Indeed, the shouts of Bhimasena transcended the noise made by the thousands of chargers neighing in (both) the armies. And hearing those shouts of Bhimasena who was roaring like the clouds, shouts that resembled the report of Sakra's thunder, thy warriors were filled with fear. And at those roars of the hero, the steeds and elephants all ejected urine and excreta like other animals at the roar of the lion. And roaring like a deep mass of clouds, and assuming an awful form, that hero frightened thy sons and fell upon them. Thereupon the brothers, viz., thy sons Duryodhana, and Durmukha and Dussaha, and that mighty car-warrior Dussasana, and Durmarshana, O king, and Vivingsati, and Chitrasena, and the great car-warrior Vikarna and also Purumitra, and Jaya, and Bhoja, and the valorous son of Somadatta, shaking their splendid bows like masses of clouds exhibiting the lightning's flashes, and taking out (of their quivers) long arrows resembling snakes that have just cast off their sloughs, surrounded that mighty bowman rushing (towards them) covering him with flights of arrows like the clouds shrouding the sun. And the (five) sons of Draupadi, and the mighty car-warrior Saubhadra, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, rushed against (those) Dhartarashtras, tearing them with whetted shafts like summits of mountains with the impetuous bolts of heaven. And in that first encounter characterised by the awful twang of bow-strings and their flapping against the leathern fences (of the warriors) no combatant, either on thy side or that of the foe, turned back. And, O bull of Bharata's race, I beheld the lightness of hand of the disciples of Drona (in particular), who, shooting innumerable arrows, O king, always succeeded in hitting the mark. And the twang of sounding bowstrings ceased not for a moment, and the blazing arrows shot through (the air) like meteors (falling) from the firmament. And all the other kings, O Bharata, stood like (silent) spectators witnessing that interesting and awful encounter of kinsmen. And then those mighty car-warriors, with wrath excited and remembering the injuries sustained at one another's hands, strove in battle, O king, challenging one another. And the two armies of the Kurus and the Pandavas, teeming with elephants, steeds and cars, looked exceedingly beautiful on the field of battle like painted figures on a canvas. And then the (other) kings all took up their bows. And the Sun himself was shrouded by the dust raised by the combatants. And they fell upon one another, at the heads of their (respective) troops, at the command of thy son. And the loud uproar made by the elephants and the chargers of those kings rushing to the combat, mingled with the leonine shouts of the combatants and the din made by the blare of conches and the sounds of drums. And the uproar of that ocean having arrows for its crocodiles, bows for its snakes, swords for its tortoises, and the forward leaps of the warriors for its tempest, resembled the din made by the (actual) ocean when agitated. And kings in thousands, commanded by Yudhishthira, with their (respective) troops fell upon the ranks of thy son. And the encounter between the combatants of the two hosts was fierce in the extreme. And no difference could be perceived between the combatants of our side or that of the foe, while battling, or retreating in broken array or rallying again to the fight. In that terrific and awful battle, thy father (Bhishma) shone, transcending that countless host.

 
Sanjaya said, "On the forenoon of that awful day, O king, the terrible battle that mangled the bodies of (so many) kings commenced. And the loud shouts, resembling leonine roars of the Kurus and the Srinjayas, both desirous of victory in battle, made both the welkin and the earth resound therewith. And a tumultuous uproar was heard mingled with the flaps of leathern fences and the blare of conches. And many were the leonine roars that rose there of men shouting against one another. And, O bull of Bharata's race, the sound of bowstrings stretched by (hands cased in) fences, the heavy tread of infantry, the furious neigh of chargers, the falling of sticks and iron hooks (on the beads of elephants), the clash of weapons, the jingle of bells of elephants rushing against one another, and the clatter of cars resembling the roar of clouds, mingled together, produced a loud uproar making one's hair stand on end. And all the Kuru warriors, reckless of their very lives and with cruel intentions, rushed, with standards upraised, against the Pandavas. And Santanu's son himself, taking up a terrible bow that resembled the rod of Death, rushed, O king, on the field of battle, against Dhananjaya. And Arjuna also, endued with great energy, taking up the bow Gandiva celebrated overall the world, rushed, on the field of battle, against Ganga's son. And both those tigers among the Kurus became desirous of slaying each other. The mighty son of Ganga however, piercing in battle the son of Pritha could not make him waver. And so, O king, the son of Pandu also could not make Bhishma waver in battle. And the mighty bowman Satyaki rushed against Kritavarman. And the battle between these two was fierce in the extreme and made the hair (of onlookers) stand on end. And Satyaki afflicted Kritavarman, and Kritavarman afflicted Satyaki, with loud shouts and each weakened the other. And pierced all over with arrows those mighty warriors shone like two blossoming Kinsukas in spring adorned with flowers. And the mighty bowman Abhimanyu battled with Vrihadvala. Soon, however, in that encounter, O king, the ruler of Kosala cut off the standard and overthrew the charioteer of Subhadra's son. The son of Subhadra then upon the overthrow of his charioteer, was filled with wrath and pierced Vrihadvala, O king, with nine shafts, and with a couple of sharp arrows that grinder of foes also cut off (Vrihadvala's) standard, and with one (more) cut off one of the protectors of his car-wheels and with the other his charioteer. And those chastisers of foes continued to weaken each other with sharp arrows. And Bhimasena struggled in battle with thy son Duryodhana, that mighty car-warrior, proud and inflated, who had injured (the sons of Pandu). Both of those foremost (princes) among the Kurus, are tigers among men and mighty car-warriors. And they covered each other, on the field of battle, with their arrowy showers. And beholding those high-souled and accomplished warriors conversant with all modes of warfare, all creatures were filled with amazement of Bharata. And Dussasana, rushing against that mighty car-warrior Nakula, pierced him with many sharp arrows capable of penetrating into the very vitals. The son of Madri, then, laughing the while, cut off, with sharp arrows (of his), adversary's standard and bow, and then he struck him with five and twenty small-headed arrows. Thy son, however, then, who can with difficulty be vanquished, slew in that fierce encounter the steeds of Nakula and cut off his standard. And Durmukha rushing against the mighty Sahadeva battling in that terrific encounter, pierced him with a shower of arrows. The heroic Sahadeva then, in that fearful battle, overthrew Durmukha's charioteer with an arrow of great sharpness. Both of them, irrepressible in fight, approaching each other in combat, and each attacking the other and desirous of warding off the other's attack, began to strike terror into each other with terrible shafts. And king Yudhishthira himself encountered the ruler of the Madras. The chief of the Madras then in his very sight cut off in twain Yudhishthira's bow. Thereupon the son of Kunti, throwing aside that broken bow, took up another that was stronger and capable of imparting a greater velocity. The king then, with straight arrows, covered the ruler of the Madras, and in great wrath said, 'wait, wait'. And Dhrishtadyumna, O Bharata rushed against Drona. And Drona, then, in great wrath, cut off in that encounter the hard bow of the high-souled prince of Panchala that was capable of always taking the lives of foes. And at the same time he shot in that conflict a terrible arrow that was like a second rod of Death. And the arrow shot penetrated the body of the prince. Taking up then another bow and fourteen arrows, the son of Drupada pierced Drona in that encounter. And enraged with each other, they battled on fiercely. And the impetuous Sankha encountered Somadatta's son who was equally impetuous in battle and addressed him, O king, saying 'wait, wait'. And that hero then pierced his (adversary's) right arm in that combat. And thereupon the son of Somadatta struck Sankha on the shoulders. And the battle that ensued between those two proud heroes, O king, soon became as terrible as a combat between the gods and the Danavas. And that mighty car-warrior Dhrishtaketu of immeasurable soul, with wrath excited, rushed in battle, O king, against Valhika, the very embodiment of wrath. Valhika, then, O king, setting up a leonine roar, weakened the wrathful Dhrishtaketu with innumerable arrows. The king of the Chedis, however, exceedingly provoked, quickly pierced Valhika in that encounter with nine arrows. Like an infuriate elephant against an infuriate elephant, in that combat they roared against each other repeatedly, both exceedingly enraged. And they encountered each other with great wrath and looked like the planets Angaraka and Sukra. And Ghatotkacha of cruel deeds encountered the Rakshasa Alamvusha of cruel deeds like Sakra (encountering) Vala in battle. And Ghatotkacha, O Bharata, pierced that infuriate and powerful Rakshasa with ninety keen-edged shafts. And Alamvusha also in that combat pierced the mighty son of Bhimasena in many places with straight arrows (of his). And mangled with arrows they shone in that encounter like the mighty Sakra and the powerful Vala in the combat (of old) between the celestials and the Asuras. The powerful Sikhandin, O king, rushed against Drona's son, Aswatthaman, however deeply piercing the angry Sikhandin stationed (before him) with a keen-edged shaft, caused him to tremble, Sikhandin also, O king, smote Drona's son with a sharp-whetted shaft of excellent temper. And they continued in that encounter to strike each other with various kinds of arrows. And against the heroic Bhagadatta in battle, Virata, the commander of a large division, rushed impetuously, O king, and then commenced (their) combat. Virata, exceedingly provoked, poured on Bhagadatta an arrowy shower like, O Bharata, the clouds showering rain on the mountain breast. But Bhagadatta, that lord of the earth, speedily enveloped Virata in that encounter (with arrows) like the clouds enveloping the risen sun. Kripa, the son of Saradwat, rushed against Vrihadkshatra, the ruler of the Kaikeyas. And Kripa, O Bharata, enveloped him with a shower of arrows. Vrihadkshatra also shrouded the infuriate son of Gautama with an arrowy downpour. And those warriors, then, having slain each other's steeds and cut off each other's bows, were both deprived of their cars. And exceedingly enraged, they then approached each other for fighting with their swords. And the combat which then took place between them was terrible in aspect and unparalleled. That chastiser of foes, king Drupada, then, in great wrath rushed against Jayadratha, the ruler of the Sindhus, cheerfully waiting (for battle). The ruler of the Sindhus pierced Drupada in that combat with three shafts, and Drupada pierced him in return. And the battle that took place between them was terrible and fierce, and productive of satisfaction in the hearts of all the spectators and resembling a conflict between the planets Sukra and Angaraka. And Vikarna, son to thee, with fleet steeds, rushed against the mighty Sutasoma and the combat between them commenced. Vikarna, however, although he pierced Sutasoma with many arrows, failed to make him waver. Neither could Sutasoma make Vikarna waver. And that appeared wonderful (to all). And against Susarman, that mighty car-warrior and tiger among men, viz., Chekitana of great prowess, rushed in exceeding wrath for the sake of the Pandavas. And Susarman also, O great king, in that encounter checked the advance of that mighty car-warrior Chekitana with plentiful shower of arrows. And Chekitana also, greatly provoked, showered on Susarman, in that terrible conflict, a shower of arrows like a mighty mass of clouds showering rain on the mountain breast. And Sakuni, endued with great prowess, rushed, O king, against Prativindhya of great prowess, like a lion against an infuriate elephant. Thereupon the son of Yudhishthira, in exceeding wrath, mangled Suvala's son in that combat, with sharp arrows, like Maghavat (mangling) a Danava. And Sakuni also, in that fierce conflict, pierced Prativindhya in return and mangled that warrior of great intelligence with straight arrows. And Srutakarman rushed in battle, O great king, against that mighty car-warrior Sudakshina of great prowess, the ruler of the Kamvojas. Sudakshina, however, O great king, piercing that mighty car-warrior, viz., the son of Sahadeva, failed to make him waver (for he stood) like the Mainaka mountain (against the assaults of Indra). Thereupon Srutakarman, exceedingly provoked, weakened that mighty car-warrior of the Kamvojas with innumerable arrows and mangled him in every part of his body. And Iravan, that chastiser of foes, in great wrath and exerting carefully, rushed in battle against the wrathful Srutayush. The powerful son of Arjuna, that mighty car-warrior, then slaying the steeds of his adversary, set up a loud roar, and thereupon, O king, all the warriors (who saw the feat) praised him greatly. And Srutasena also, exceedingly provoked, slew in that conflict the steeds of Falguni's son with a powerful mace, and the battle between them continued. And Vinda and Anuvinda, those two princes of Avanti, approached in battle that mighty car-warrior the heroic Kuntibhoja at the head of his troops accompanied by his son. And wonderful was the prowess we beheld of those two princes on that occasion, for they fought on very cooly though battling with a large body of troops. And Anuvinda hurled a mace at Kuntibhoja, but Kuntibhoja quickly covered him with a shower of arrows. And the son of Kuntibhoja pierced Vinda with many arrows, and the latter also pierced him in return. And the combat (between them) looked very wonderful. And the Kekaya brothers, O sire, at the head of their troops, encountered in battle the five Gandhara princes with their troops. And thy son Viravahu battled with that best of car-warriors Uttara, the son of Virata and pierced him with nine arrows. And Uttara also pierced that hero with sharp-edged arrows. And the ruler of the Chedis, O king, rushed in battle against Uluka. And he pierced Uluka with a shower of arrows, and Uluka also pierced him with sharp arrows furnished with excellent wing. And the combat that took place between them, O king, was fierce in the extreme, for unable to vanquish each other, they mangled each other terribly. And thus in that general engagement thousands of single combats took place between men on car, warriors on elephants and horsemen, and foot-soldiers, of their side and thine. For a short while only that engagement offered a beautiful sight. Soon, however, O king, it became furious and nothing could be discovered. In the battle (that ensued) elephants rushed against elephants, car-warriors against car-warriors, steed against steed and foot-soldier against foot-soldier. The conflict then became confused and fierce in the extreme, of heroes rushing against each other in the melee. And the celestial Rishi, and Siddhas and Charanas, that were present there, beheld that terrific battle to resemble the combat of the gods and the Asuras. And elephants in thousands, and cars also in thousands, and vast bodies of infantry, O sire, seemed to alter their character. And, O tiger among men, it was seen that cars and elephants and steeds and infantry fought with each other repeatedly on the same places.
 
Sanjaya said,--"O king, I will now describe to thee the combats of hundreds and thousands of foot-soldiers. O Bharata, in utter forgetfulness of all consideration due to others. There the son recognised not the sire, the sire (recognised not) the son of his loins, the brother (recognised not) the brother, the sister's son (recognised not) the maternal uncle. The maternal uncle (recognised not) the sister's son, the friend not the friend. The Pandavas and the Kurus fought as if they were possessed by demons. Some tigers among men, fell with cars into pieces. And the shafts of cars broke clashing against shafts, and the spikes of car-yokes against spikes of car-yokes. And some (warriors) united together encountered others that were united together, all desirous of taking one another's life-And some cars, obstructed by cars, were unable to move. And huge-bodied elephants with rent temples, falling upon huge elephants, angrily tore one another in many places with their tusks. Others, O king, encountering impetuous and huge ones of their species with arched edifices and standards (on their backs) and trained to the fight struck with their tusks, shrieked in great agony. Disciplined by training and urged on by pikes and hooks, elephants not in rut rushed straight against those that were in rut. And some huge elephants, encountering compeers in rut, ran, uttering cries like those of cranes, in all directions. And many huge elephants, well-trained, and with juice trickling down from rent temples and mouth, mangle with swords, lances, and arrows, and pierced in their vital parts, shrieked aloud and falling down expired. And some, uttering frightful cries, ran in all directions. The foot-soldiers that protected the elephants, endued with broad chests, and capable of smiting effectually, with wrath excited, and armed with pikes and bows, and bright battle-axes, and with maces and clubs, and short arrows, and lances, and with shafts, and stout bludgeons mounted with iron spikes and swords, well-grasped of the brightest polish, ran hither and thither, O king, and seemed resolved to take one another's life. And the sabres of brave combatants rushing against one another steeped in human blood, seemed to shine brightly. And the whiz of swords whirled and made to descend by heroic arms and falling upon the vital parts (of the bodies) of foes, became very loud. And the heart-ending wails of combatants in multitudinous hosts, crushed with maces and clubs, and cut off with well-tempered swords, and pierced with the tusks of elephants, and grained by tuskers, calling upon one another, were heard, O Bharata, to resemble the wails of those that are doomed to hell. And horsemen, on chargers of exceeding speed and furnished with outstretched tails resembling (the Plumes of) swans, rushed against one another. And hurled by them, long-bearded darts adorned with pure gold, fleet, and polished, and sharp-pointed, fell like snakes. And some heroic horsemen, on coursers of speed, leaping high, cut off the heads of car-warriors from their cars. And (here and there) a car-warrior, getting bodies of cavalry within shooting distance, slew many with straight shafts furnished with heads. And many infuriate elephants adorned with trapping of gold, and looking like newly-risen clouds, throwing down steed, crushed them with their own legs. And some elephants struck on their frontal globes and flanks, and mangled by means of lances, shrieked aloud in great agony. And many huge elephants, in the bewildering of the melee, crushing steeds with their riders, threw them down. And some elephants, overthrowing with the points of their tusks, steeds with their riders, wandered, crushing cars with their standards. And some huge male elephants, from excess of energy and with the temporal juice gushing down in large quantities, slew steeds along with their riders by means of their trunks and legs. Fleet arrows polished and sharp-pointed and resembling snakes fell upon the heads, the temples, the flanks, and the limbs of elephants. And polished javelins of terrible mien, and looking like large meteoric flashes, hurled by heroic arms, felt hither and thither, O king, piercing through the bodies of men and horses, and cutting through coats of mail. And many taking out their polished sabres from sheaths made of the skins of leopards and tigers, slew the combatants opposed to them in battle. And many warriors, though themselves attacked and had the flanks of their bodies cut open, yet angrily fell upon (their foes) with swords, shields and battle-axes. And some elephants dragging down and overthrowing cars with their steeds by means of their trunks, began to wander in all directions, guided by the cries of those behind them. And hither and thither some pierced by javelins, and some cut asunder by battle-axes, and some crushed by elephants and others trod down by horses, and some cut by car-wheels, and some by axes, loudly called upon their kinsmen, O king. And some called upon their sons, and some upon their sires, and some upon brother and kinsmen. And some called upon their maternal uncles, and some upon their sister's sons. And some called upon others, on the field of battle. And a very large number of combatants, O Bharata, lost their weapons, or had their thighs broken. And other with arms torn off or sides pierced or cut open, were seen to wail aloud, from desire of life. And some, endued with little strength, tortured by thirst, O king, and lying on the field of battle on the bare ground, asked for water. And some, weltering in pools of blood and excessively weakened, O Bharata, greatly censured themselves and thy sons assembled together for battle. And there were brave Kshatriyas, who having injured one another, did not abandon their weapons or set up any wails, O sire, On the other hand, lying in those places where they lay, roared with joyful hearts, and biting from wrath with their teeth their own lips, looked at one another with faces rendered fierce in consequence of the contraction of their eyebrows. And others endued with great strength and tenacity in great pain, afflicted by arrows and smarting under their wounds, remained perfectly silent. And other heroic car-warriors, deprived, in the encounter, of their own cars and thrown down and wounded by huge elephants, asked to be taken up on the cars of others. And many, O king, looked beautiful in their wounds like blossoming Kinsukas. And in all the divisions were heard terrific cries, countless in number. And in that awful combat destructive of heroes, the sire slew the son, the son slew the sire, the sister's son slew the maternal uncle, the maternal uncle slew the sister's son, friend slew friend, and relatives slew kinsmen. Even thus the slaughter took place in that encounter of the Kurus with the Pandavas. And in that frightful and terrible battle in which no consideration was shown (by anybody for anybody), the divisions of the Pandavas, approaching Bhishma, began to waver. And, O bull of Bharata's race, the mighty-armed Bhishma, O king, with his standard which was made of silver and graced with the device of the palmyra with five stars, setting upon his great car, shone like the lunar orb under the peak of Meru."
 

Sanjaya said,--"After the great part of the forenoon of that awful day had worn out, in that terrific engagement, O king, that was (so) destructive

of foremost of men, Durmukha and Kritavarman, and Kripa, and Salya, and Vivinsati, urged by thy son, approached Bhishma and began to protect him. And protected by those five mighty car-warriors. O bull of Bharata's race, that great car-warrior penetrated the Pandava host. And the palmyra standard of Bhishma was seen to glide continually, O Bharata, through the Chedis, the Kasis, the Karushas, and the Panchalas. And that hero, with broad-headed shafts of great swiftness which were again perfectly straight, cut off the heads (of foes) and their cars with yokes and standards. And, O bull of Bharata's race, Bhishma seemed to dance on his car as it coursed along its track. And some elephants, struck (by him) in their vital parts, shrieked in agony. Then Abhimanyu in great wrath, stationed on his car unto which were yoked excellent steeds of a tawny hue, rushed towards Bhishma's car. And with his standard adorned with pure gold and resembling a Karnikara tree, he approached Bhishma and those (five) foremost of car-warriors. And striking with a keen-edged shaft the standard of the palmyra-bannered (warrior), that hero engaged in battle with Bhishma and those other car-warriors that protected him. Piercing Kritavarman with one arrow, and Salya with five, he weakened his great-grandsire with nine arrows. And with one arrow well shot from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, he cut off (his adversary's) standard adorned with pure gold. And with one broad-headed shaft capable of penetrating every cover, which was perfectly straight, he cut off from his body the head of Durmukha's charioteer. And with another keen-edged arrow he cut in twain the gold-decked bow of Kripa. And them also, with many sharp-pointed shafts, that mighty car-warrior smote in great wrath, seeming to dance (the while). And beholding his lightness of hand, the very gods were gratified. And in consequence of Abhimanyu's sureness of aim, all the car-warriors headed by Bhishma regarded him to be possessed of the capacity of Dhananjaya himself. And his bow, emitting a twang like that of Gandiva, while stretched and re-stretched, seemed to revolve like a circle of fire. Bhishma then, that slayer of hostile heroes, rushing on him impetuously, speedily pierced the son of Arjuna in that combat with nine arrows. And he also, with three broad-headed shafts, cut off the standard of that warrior of great energy. Of rigid vows, Bhishma also struck his (adversary's) charioteer. And Kritavarman, and Kripa, and Salya also, O sire, piercing Arjuna's son, all failed to make him waver, for he stood firm like the Mainaka mountain. And the heroic son of Arjuna, though surrounded by those mighty car-warriors of the Dhartarashtra army, still showered on those five car-warriors arrowy downpours. And baffling their mighty weapons by his arrowy showers, and pouring on Bhishma his shafts, the powerful son of Arjuna set up loud shout. And struggling in the battle thus and afflicting Bhishma with (his) arrows, the strength we saw of his arms then was very great. But though endued with such prowess Bhishma also shot his arrows at him. But he cut off in that combat the arrows shot from Bhishma's bow. And then that heroic warrior of arrows that were never lost, cut off with nine arrows, in that combat, the standard of Bhishma. And at that feat the people there set up a loud shout. Decked with jewels and made of silver, that tall standard bearing the device of the palmyra, cut off, O Bharata, by the shafts of Subhadra's son, fell down on the earth. And beholding, O bull of Bharata's race, that standard failing in consequence of the shafts of Subhadra's son, the proud Bhima set up a loud shout for cheering the son of Subhadra. Then in fierce combat, the mighty Bhishma caused many celestial weapons of great efficacy to appear. And the great grandsire of immeasurable soul then covered Subhadra's son with thousands of arrows. And at this, ten great bowmen and mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas, quickly rushed on their cars for protecting the son of Subhadra. And those were Virata with his son, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, and Bhima, the five Kekaya brothers, and Satyaki also, O king. And as they were falling upon him with great impetuosity, Bhishma the son of Santanu, in that conflict, pierced the prince of Panchala with three arrows, and Satyaki with ten. And with one winged arrow, whetted and sharp-edged as a razor, and shot from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, he cut off the standard of Bhimasena. And, O best of men, the standard of Bhimasena, made of gold and bearing the device of a lion, cut off by Bhishma, fell from the car. And Bhima then, piercing Santanu's son Bhishma in that combat with three arrows, pierced Kripa with one, and Kritavarman with eight. And Uttara also, the son of Virata, on a tusker with upraised trunk, rushed against the ruler of the Madras. Salya, however, succeeded in checking the unparalleled impetuosity of that prince of elephants rushing quickly towards his car. That prince of elephants, in great wrath, placing his leg upon the yoke of (Salya's) car, killed his four large steeds of excellent speed. The ruler of the Madras then, staying on that car whose steeds had been slain, hurled a dart, all made of iron, and resembling a snake, for slaying Uttara outright. The latter's coat of mail being cut through by that dart, he became totally deprived of his senses and fell down from his elephant's neck, with the hook and the lance loosened from his grasp. And Salya then, taking up his sword and jumping down from his excellent car, and putting forth his prowess, cut off the large trunk of that prince of elephants. His coat of mail pierced all over with a shower of arrows, and his trunk cut off, that elephant uttered a loud shriek and fell down and expired. Achieving such a feat, O king, the ruler of the Madras speedily mounted on the splendid car of Kritavarman. And beholding his brother Uttara slain and seeing Salya staying with Kritavarman, Virata's son Sweta blazed up in wrath, like fire (blazing up) with clarified butter. And that mighty warrior, stretching his large bow that resembled the bow of Sakra himself, rushed with the desire of slaying Salya the ruler of the Madras. Surrounded on all sides with a mighty division of cars, he advanced towards Salya's car pouring an arrowy shower. And beholding him rush to the fight with prowess equal to that of an infuriate elephant, seven car-warriors of thy side surrounded him on all sides, desirous of protecting the ruler of Madras who seemed to be already within the jaws of Death. And those seven warriors were Vrihadvala the ruler of the Kosalas, and Jayatsena of Magadha, and Rukmaratha, O king, who was the valourous son of Salya, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Sudakshina the king of the Kamvojas, and Jayadratha, the ruler of the Sindhus and the kinsman of Vrihadkshatra. And the stretched bows of those high-souled warriors, decorated with diverse colours, looked like the lightning's flashes in the clouds. And they all poured on Sweta's head ceaseless showers of arrows like the clouds tossed by the wind dropping rain on the mountain breast on the expiry of summer. That mighty bowman and commander of the forces, enraged at this, with seven broad-headed arrows of great impetuosity, struck their bows, and then continued to grind them. And those bows we saw were cut off, O Bharata, and thereupon they all took up, within half the time taken up in a wink of the eye, other bows. And they then shot at Sweta seven arrows. And once again that mighty-armed warrior of immeasurable soul, with seven fleet shafts, cut off those (other) bows of these bowmen. Those warriors then, whose large bows had been cut off, those mighty car-warriors swelling (with rage), grasping (seven) darts, set up a loud shout. And, O chief of the Bharatas, they hurled those seven darts at Sweta's car. And those blazing darts which coursed (through the air) like large meteors, with the sound of thunder, were all cut off, before they could reach him, that warrior conversant with mighty weapons, by means of seven broad-headed arrows. Then taking up an arrow capable of penetrating into every part of the body, he shot it, O chief of the Bharatas, at Rukmaratha. And that mighty arrow, surpassing (the force of) the thunder-bolt, penetrated into the latter's body. Then, O king, forcibly struck by that arrow, Rukmaratha sat down on the terrace of his car and fell into a deadly swoon. His charioteer then, without betraying any fear, bore him away, senseless and in a swoon, in the very sight of all. Then taking up six other (arrows) adorned with gold, the mighty-armed Sweta cut off the standard-tops of his six adversaries. And that chastiser of foes then, piercing their steeds and charioteers also, and covering those six warriors themselves with ceaseless shafts, proceeded towards the car of Salya. And beholding that generalissimo of the (Pandava) forces proceeding quickly towards Salya's car, a loud uproar of oh and alas arose in thy army, O Bharata. Then thy mighty son, with Bhishma at the head, and supported by heroic warriors and many troops, proceeded towards Sweta's car. And he (thus) rescued the ruler of the Madras who had already entered the jaws of Death. And then commenced a battle, terrific and making the hair stand on end, between thy troops and those of the enemy, in which cars and elephants all got mixed up in confusion. And upon Subhadra's son and Bhimasena, and that mighty car-warrior Satyaki, and upon the ruler of the Kekayas, and Virata, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishatas' race, and upon the Chedi troops, the old Kuru grandsire poured showers of arrows.

 

Dhritarashtra said,--"When that great bowman Sweta proceeded towards Salya's car, what did the Kauravas and the Pandavas do, O Sanjaya? And what also did Bhishma the son of Santanu do? Tell me who ask thee, all this."

Sanjaya said,--"O king, hundreds and thousands of bulls among Kshatriyas, all brave and mighty car-warriors, placing the generalissimo Sweta in the van, and displaying their strength. O Bharata, unto thy royal son and with Sikhandin also at their head, desired to rescue (Sweta). And those mighty car-warriors rushed towards Bhishma's car decked with gold desirous of slaying that foremost of warriors. And the battle that ensued then was terrible. I shall describe to thee that wonderful and terrific battle as it occurred between thy troops and those of the enemy. The son of Santanu made the terraces of many cars empty, (for) that best of car-warriors showering (his) arrows, cut off many heads. Endued with energy equal to that of the Sun himself, he shrouded the very Sun with his arrows. And he removed his enemies from around him in that combat like the rising Sun dispelling the darkness around. And in that battle, O king, arrows were shot by him in hundreds and thousands that were powerful and possessed of great impetuosity and that took in that conflict the lives of numberless Kshatriyas. And in that combat he felled heads, by hundreds, of heroic warriors, O king, and elephants cased in thorny mail, like summits of mountains (felled) by heaven's bolt. And cars, O king, were seen to mingle with cars. A car might be seen upon another car, and a steed upon another steed. And impetuous chargers, O king, bore hither and thither heroic riders in the prime of youth, slain and hanging (from their saddles) with their bows (still in their grasp). With swords and quivers attached (to their persons) and coats of mail loosened (from their bodies), hundreds of warriors, deprived of life, lay on the ground, sleeping on beds (worthy) of heroes. Rushing against one another, falling down and rising up again and rushing again having risen up, the combatants fought hand to hand. Afflicted by one another, many rolled on the field of battle. Infuriate elephants rushed hither and thither, and car-warriors by hundreds were slain. And car-warriors, along with their cars, were crushed on all sides. And some warriors fell upon his car, slain by another with arrows. And a mighty car-warrior might be seen to fall down from high, his charioteer (also) having been slain. A thick dust arose, and thereupon unto the warrior struggling in battle, the twang of the (hostile) bow indicated the struggling adversary before. From the pressure also on their bodies, combatants guessed their foes. And the warriors, O king, fought on with arrows, guided by the sound of bow-strings and (hostile) division. The very hiss of the arrows shot by the combatants at one another could not be heard. And so loud was the sound of drums, that it seemed to pierce the ears. And in that tumultuous uproar making the hair stand on end, the name of the combatant uttered in the battle, while displaying his prowess, could not be heard. The sire could not recognise the son of his loins. One of the wheels being broken, or the yoke being torn off or one of the steeds being slain, the brave car-warrior was overthrown from his car, along with his charioteer, by means of straight arrows. And thus many heroic warriors, deprived of their cars, were seen to fly away. He who was slain had cut off; he who was not slain, was struck at the very vitals: but unstruck there was none, when Bhishma attacked the foe. And in that terrific battle, Sweta caused a great slaughter of the Kurus. And he slew many noble princes by hundreds upon hundreds. And he cut off, by means of his arrows, the heads of car-warriors by hundreds upon hundreds, and (their) arms decked with Angadas, and (their) bows all around. And car-warriors and car-wheels and others that were on cars, and the cars themselves, and standards both small and costly, O king, and large bodies of horses, and crowds of cars, and crowds of men, O Bharata's race, were destroyed by Sweta. Ourselves, from fear of Sweta, abandoning (Bhishma) that best of car-warriors, left the battle retreating to the rear and, therefore, do we (now) behold your lordship. And all the Kurus, O son of Kuru's race, beyond the range of arrows, and abandoning Bhishma the son of Santanu, in that battle, stood (as spectators though) armed for the combat. Cheerful in the hour of (universal) cheerlessness, that tiger among men Bhishma, alone of our army, in that terrible battle stood immovable like the mountain Meru. Taking the lives (of the foe) like the Sun at close of winter, he stood resplendent with the golden rays (of his car) like the Sun himself with his rays. And that great bowman shot clouds of arrows and struck down the Asuras. And while being slaughtered by Bhishma in that dreadful combat, those warriors breaking away from their ranks, they all fled from him, as if from a fire fed by fuel. Encountering the single warrior (Sweta), that slayer of foes, Bhishma, was the only one (amongst us) who was cheerful and whole. Devoted to the welfare of Duryodhana, he began to consume the Pandava (warrior). Reckless of his very life which is difficult of being cast off, and abandoning all fear he slaughtered, O king, the Pandava army in that fierce conflict. And beholding the generalissimo (Sweta) smiting the (Dhartarashtra) divisions, thy father Bhishma, called also Devavrata, impetuously rushed against him. Thereupon, Sweta covered Bhishma with an extensive net-work of arrows. And Bhishma also covered Sweta with a flight of arrows. And roaring like a couple of bulls, they rushed, like two infuriate elephants of gigantic size or two raging tigers, against each other. Baffling each other's weapons by means of their weapons, those bulls among men, viz., Bhishma and Sweta fought with each other, desirous of taking each other's life. In one single day Bhishma, infuriate with anger, could consume the Pandava army with his arrows, if Sweta did not protect it. Beholding the grandsire then turned off by Sweta, the Pandavas were filled with joy, while thy son became cheerless. Duryodhana then, with wrath excited and surrounded by many kings, rushed with his troops against the Pandava host in battle. Then Sweta, abandoning the son of Ganga, slaughtered thy son's host with great impetuosity like the wind (uprooting) trees with violence. And the son of Virata, senseless with wrath, having routed thy army, advanced (once more), O king, to the place where Bhishma was stationed. And those two high-souled and mighty warriors then, both blazing with their arrows, battled with each other like Vritra and Vasava (of old), desirous, O king, of slaying each other. Drawing (his) bow to the fullest stretch, Sweta pierced Bhishma with seven arrows. The valourous (Bhishma) then, putting forth his prowess, quickly checked his foe's valour, like an infuriate elephant checking an infuriate compeer. And Sweta then, that delighter of Kshatriyas struck Bhishma, and Bhishma the son of Santanu also pierced him in return with ten arrows. And though pierced by him (thus), that mighty warrior stood still like a mountain. And Sweta again pierced Santanu's son with five and twenty straight arrows, at which all wondered. Then smiling and licking with his tongue the corners of his mouth, Sweta in that combat cut off Bhishma's bow into ten fragments with ten arrows. Then aiming a plumed arrow made wholly of iron, (Sweta) crushed the palmyra on the top of the standard of the high-souled (Bhishma). And beholding the standard of Bhishma cut down, thy sons thought that Bhishma was slain, having succumbed to Sweta. And the Pandavas also filled with delight, blew their conches all around. And beholding the palmyra standard of the high-souled Bhishma laid low, Duryodhana, from wrath, urged his own army to the battle. And they all began very carefully to protect Bhishma who 'was in great distress. Unto them, also unto those that stood (idle) spectators, the king said,--Either Sweta will die (today), or Bhishma the son of Santanu. I say this truly. Hearing the words of the king, the mighty car-warriors speedily with four kinds of forces, advanced protecting the son of Ganga. And Valhika and Kritavarman, and Kripa, and Salya also, O Bharata, and the son of Jarasandha, and Vikarna, and Chitrasena, and Vivinsati, with great speed, when speed was so necessary, surrounding him on all sides, poured on Sweta ceaseless showers of arrows. That mighty warrior then, of immeasurable soul, quickly checked those angry warriors by means of sharp arrows, displaying his own lightness of hand. And checking them all like a lion and a multitude of elephants, Sweta then cut off Bhishma's bow with thick shower of arrows. Then Bhishma the son of Santanu, taking up another bow in that battle, pierced Sweta, O king, with arrows furnished with feathers of Kanka bird. Then the commander (of the Pandava army), with wrath excited, pierced Bhishma in that encounter O king, with a great many shafts in the very sight of all. Beholding Bhishma, that foremost of heroes in all the world, checked in battle by Sweta, the king (Duryodhana) became greatly troubled, and great also became the distress of thy whole army. And beholding the heroic Bhishma checked and mangled by Sweta with his arrows, all thought that Bhishma, having succumbed to Sweta, was slain by him. Then thy sire Devavrata, yielding to anger, and beholding his (own) standard overthrown and the (Dhartarashtra) army checked, shot a great many arrows, O king, at Sweta. Sweta, however, that foremost of car-warriors, baffling all those arrows of Bhishma, once more cut off, with a broad-headed shaft, thy sire's bow. Throwing aside that bow, O king, Ganga's son, senseless with anger, taking up another bow larger and stronger, and aiming seven large broad-headed arrows whetted on stone, slew with four arrows the four steeds of the generalissimo Sweta, cut off his standard with two and with the seventh shaft that warrior of great prowess, exceedingly provoked, cut off his charioteer's head. Thereupon, that mighty car-warrior, jumping down from his car whose steeds and charioteer had been slain, and yielding to the influence of wrath, became exceedingly troubled. The grandsire, beholding Sweta that foremost of car-warriors, deprived of car, began to smite him on all sides with showers of arrows. And smitten in that combat with arrows shot from Bhishma's bow, Sweta, leaving his bow on his (abandoned) car took up a dart decked with gold and taking up that terrible and fierce dart which resembled the fatal rod of Death and was capable of slaying Death's self. Sweta then, in great wrath, addressed Bhishma the son of Santanu in that combat, saying,--Wait a little, and behold me, O best of men,--And having said this unto Bhishma in battle, that great bowman of exceeding prowess and immeasurable soul, hurled the dart resembling a snake, displaying his valour for the sake of the Pandavas and desiring to achieve thy evil. Then loud cries of oh and alas arose among thy sons, O king, upon beholding that terrible dart resembling the rod of Death in splendour. And hurled from Sweta's arms, (that dart), resembling a snake that had just cast off its slough, fell with great force, O king, like a large meteor from the firmament. Thy sire Devavrata then, O king, without the slightest fear, with eight sharp and winged arrows, cut off into nine fragments, that dart decked with pure gold and which seemed to be covered with flames of fire, as it coursed ablaze through the air. All thy troops then, O bull of Bharata's race, set up loud shouts of joy. The son of Virata, however, beholding his dart cut off into fragments, became senseless with anger, and like one whose heart was overcome by (the arrival of) his hour, could not settle what to do. Deprived of his senses by anger, O king, the son of Virata, then, smiling, joyfully took up a mace for Bhishma's slaughter, with eyes red in wrath, and resembling a second Yama armed with mace, he rushed against Bhishma like a swollen torrent against the rocks. Regarding his impetuosity as incapable of cheek, Bhishma endued with great prowess and conversant with the might (of others), suddenly alighted on the ground for warding off that blow. Sweta then, O king, whirling in wrath that heavy mace, hurled it on Bhishma's car like the god Maheswara. And in consequence of that mace intended for Bhishma's destruction, that car was reduced to ashes, with standard, and charioteer, and steeds and shaft. Beholding Bhishma, that foremost of car-warriors, become a combatant on foot, many car-warriors, viz., Salya and others, speedily rushed (to his rescue). Mounting then upon another car, and cheerlessly stretching his bow, Bhishma slowly advanced towards Sweta, seeing that foremost of car-warriors. Meanwhile, Bhishma heard a loud voice uttered in the skies, that was celestial and fraught with his own good. (And the voice said).--'O, Bhishma, O thou of mighty arms, strive without losing a moment. Even this is the hour fixed by the Creator of the Universe for success over this one'. Hearing those words uttered by the celestial messenger, Bhishma, filled with joy, set his heart upon Sweta's destruction. And beholding that foremost of car-warriors, Sweta become a combatant on foot, many mighty car-warriors (of the Pandava side) rushed unitedly (to his rescue). (They were) Satyaki, and Bhimasena, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race; and the (five) Kekaya brothers, and Dhrishtaketu and Abhimanyu of great energy. And beholding them rushing (to the rescue), with Drona and Salya and Kripa that hero of immeasurable soul (Bhishma) checked them all like the mountain resisting the force of the wind. And when all the high-souled warriors of the Pandava side were (thus) held in check, Sweta, taking up a sword cut off Bhishma's bow. Casting aside that bow, the grandsire, quickly made up his mind for Sweta's destruction, having heard the words of the celestial messenger. Though baffled (by Sweta), thy sire Devavrata then that mighty car-warrior quickly taking up another bow that resembled the bow of Sakra himself in splendour, stringed it in a moment. Then thy sire, O chief of the Bharatas, beholding that mighty car-warrior Sweta, though the latter was then surrounded by those tigers among men with Bhimasena at their head,--(thy sire) the son of Ganga-advanced steadily for the sake of the generalissimo Sweta alone. Beholding Bhishma advance, Bhimasena of great prowess pierced him with sixty shafts. But that mighty car-warrior, thy sire Devavrata, checking both Bhimasena and Abhimanyu and other car-warriors with terrible shafts, struck him with three straight arrows. And the grandsire of the Bharatas also struck Satyaki, in that combat, with a hundred arrows, and Dhrishtadyumna with twenty and the Kekaya brothers with five. And checking all those great bowmen with terrible arrows, thy sire Devavrata advanced towards Sweta alone. Then taking out an arrow resembling Death's self and capable of bearing a great strain and incapable of being resisted, the powerful Bhishma placed it on his bowstring. And that shaft, furnished with wings and duly endued with the force of the Brahma weapon, was seen by the gods and Gandharvas and Pisachas and Uragas, and Rakshasas. And that shaft, of splendour like that of a blazing fire, piercing through his coat of mail (passed through his body and) struck into the earth, with a flash like that of heaven's bolt. Like the Sun when speedily retiring to his western chambers taking along with him the rays of light, even thus that shaft passed out of Sweta's body, bearing away with itself his life. Thus slain in battle by Bhishma, we beheld that tiger among men fall down like the loosened crest of a mountain. And all the mighty car-warriors of the Kshatriya race belonging to the Pandava side indulged in lamentations. Thy sons, however, and all the Kurus, were filled with delight. Then, O king, beholding Sweta overthrown, Dussasana danced in joy over the field in accompaniment With the loud music of conches and drums. And when that great bowman was slain by Bhishma, that ornament of battle, the mighty bowmen (of the Pandava side) with Sikhandin at their head, trembled in fear. Then when their commander was slain, Dhananjaya, O king, and he of Vrishni's race, slowly withdrew the troops (for their nightly rest). And then, O Bharata, the withdrawal took place of both theirs and thine, while thine and theirs were frequently setting up loud roars. And the mighty car-warriors of the Parthas entered (their quarters) cheerlessly, thinking, O chastiser of foes, of that awful slaughter in single combat (of their commander)."

 
* No 49 *

Dhritarashtra said, "When the generalissimo Sweta, O son, was slain in battle by the enemy, what did those mighty bowmen, the Panchalas with the Pandavas, do? Hearing their commander Sweta slain, what happened between those that strove for his sake and their foes that retreated before them? O Sanjaya, hearing of our victory, (thy) words please my heart? Nor doth my heart feel any shame in remembering our transgression. The old chief of Kuru's race is ever cheerful and devoted (to us). (As regards Duryodhana), having provoked hostilities with that intelligent son of his uncle, he sought at one time the protection of the sons of Pandu in consequence of his anxiety and fear due to Yudhishthira. At that time, abandoning everything he lived in misery. In consequence of the prowess of the sons of Pandu, and everywhere receiving checks--having placed himself amid entanglements--from his enemies Duryodhana had (for some time) recourse to honourable behaviour. Formerly that wicked-minded king had placed himself under their protection. Why, therefore, O Sanjaya, hath Sweta who was devoted to Yudhishthira, been slain. Indeed, this narrow-minded prince, with all his prospects, hath been hurled to the nether regions by a number of wretches. Bhishma liked not the war, nor even did the preceptor. Nor Kripa, nor Gandhari liked it. O Sanjaya, nor do I like it, nor Vasudeva of Vrishni's race, nor that just king the son of Pandu; nor Bhima, nor Arjuna, nor those bulls among men, the twins (liked it.) Always forbidden by me, by Gandhari, by Vidura, by Rama the son of Jamadagni, and by the high-souled Vyasa also, the wicked-minded and sinful Duryodhana, with Dussasana, O Sanjaya, always following the counsels of Karna and Suvala's son, behaved maliciously towards the Pandavas. I think, O Sanjaya, that he has fallen into great distress. After the slaughter of Sweta and the victory of Bhishma what did Partha, excited with rage, do in battle accompanied by Krishna? Indeed, it is from Arjuna that my fears arise, and those fears, O Sanjaya, cannot be dispelled. He, Dhananjaya. the son of Kunti, is brave and endued with great activity. I think, with his arrows he will cut into fragments the bodies of his enemies. The son of Indra, and in battle equal unto Upendra the younger brother of Indra, a warrior whose wrath and purposes are never futile, alas, beholding him what becomes the state of your minds? Brave, acquainted with Vedas, resembling the fire and the Sun in splendour, and possessing a knowledge of the Aindra weapon, that warrior of immeasurable soul is ever victorious when he falleth upon the foe? His weapons always falling upon the foe with the force of the thunderbolt and his arms wonderfully quick in drawing the bowstring, the son of Kunti is a mighty car-warrior. The formidable son of Drupada also, O Sanjaya, is endued with great wisdom. What, indeed, did Dhristadyumna do when Sweta was slain in battle? I think that in consequence of the wrongs they sustained of old, and of the slaughter of their commander, the hearts of the high-souled Pandavas blazed up. Thinking of their wrath I am never at my ease, by day or by night, on account of Duryodhana. How did the great battle take place? Tell me all about it, O Sanjaya.

Sanjaya said, "Hear, O king, quietly about thy transgressions. It behoveth thee not to impute the fruit to Duryodhana. As is the construction of an embankment when the waters have disappeared, so is thy understanding, or, it is like the digging of a well when house is on fire. When, after the forenoon had passed away, the commander Sweta was, O Bharata, slain by Bhishma in that fierce conflict, Virata's son Sankha, that grinder of hostile ranks ever delighting in battle, beholding Salya stationed with Kritavarman (on his car), suddenly blazed up with wrath, like fire with clarified butter. That mighty warrior, stretching his large bow that resembled the bow of Indra himself, rushed with the desire of slaying the ruler of the Madras in battle, himself supported on all sides by a large division of cars. And Sankha, causing an arrowy downpour rushed towards the car on which Salya was. And beholding him advancing like an infuriate elephant, seven mighty car-warriors of thy side surrounded him--desirous of rescuing the ruler of the Madras already within the jaws of death. Then the mighty-armed Bhishma, roaring like the very clouds, and taking up a bow full six cubits long, rushed towards Sankha in battle. And beholding that mighty car-warrior and great bowman thus rushing, the Pandava host began to tremble like a boat tossed by a violence of the tempest. Then Arjuna, quickly advancing, placed himself in front of Sankha, thinking that Sankha should, then be protected from Bhishma. And then the combat commenced between Bhishma and Arjuna. And loud cries of oh and alas arose among the warriors engaged in battle. And one force seemed to merge into another force. And thus all were filled with wonder. Then Salya, mace in hand, alighting from his large car, slew, O bull of Bharata's race, the four steeds of Sankha. Jumping down from his car thus deprived of steeds, and taking a sword, Sankha ran towards Vibhatsu's car and (mounting on it) was once more at his ease. And then there fell from Bhishma's car innumerable arrows by which were covered the entire welkin and the earth. And that foremost of smiters, Bhishma, slaughtered with his arrows the Panchala, the Matsya, the Kekaya, and the Prabhadraka host. And soon abandoning in that battle, Pandu's son (Arjuna) capable of drawing the bow with even his left hand, Bhishma rushed towards Drupada, the king of the Panchalas, surrounded by his host. And he soon covered his dear relative with innumerable arrows. Like a forest consumed by fire at the end of winter, the troops of Drupada were seen to be consumed. And Bhishma stood in that battle like a blazing fire without smoke, or like the Sun himself at midday scorching everything around with his heat. The combatants of the Pandavas were not able to even look at Bhishma. And afflicted with fear, the Pandava host cast its eyes around, and not beholding any protector, looked like a herd of kine afflicted by cold. Slaughtered or retreating in despondence being crushed the while, loud cries, O Bharata, of oh and alas arose among the troops of the Pandavas. Then Bhishma the son of Santanu, with bow always drawn to a circle, shot therefrom blazing arrows that resembled virulent poison. And creating continuous lines of arrows in all directions, that hero of rigid vows slew Pandava car-warriors, naming each, O Bharata, beforehand. And then when the troops of the Pandavas were routed and crushed all over the field, the sun set and nothing could be seen. And then beholding Bhishma, O bull of Bharata's race, proudly standing in battle, the Parthas withdrew their forces (for nightly rest)."

Janardana, accompanied by all his brothers and all the kings (on his side). Filled with great grief thinking of his defeat, and beholding Bhishma's prowess, O king, he addressed that scion of Vrishni's race, saying, 'Behold, O Krishna, that mighty bowman Bhishma of terrible prowess. He consumes with his arrow my troops like fire (consuming) dry grass. How shall we even look at that high-souled (warrior) who is licking up my troops like fire fed with clarified butter? Beholding; that tiger among men, that mighty warrior armed with the bow, my troops fly away, afflicted with arrows. Enraged Yama himself, or He armed with the thunder, or even Varuna noose in hand, or Kuvera armed with mace, may be vanquished in battle but the mighty car-warrior Bhishma, of great energy is incapable of being vanquished. Such being the case, I am sinking in the fathomless ocean represented by Bhishma, without a boat (to rescue me).  In consequence, O Kesava, of the weakness of my understanding, having obtained Bhishma (for a foe in battle), I shall, O Govinda, retire into woods. To live there is preferable to devoting these lords of earth to Death in the form of Bhishma. Conversant with mighty weapons, Bhishma, O Krishna, will annihilate my army. As insects rush into the blazing fire for their own destruction, the combatants of my army are even so. In putting forth prowess for the sake of kingdom, O thou of Vrishni's race, I am being led to destruction. My heroic brothers also are pained and afflicted with arrows for my sake, having been deprived of both sovereignty and happiness in consequence of their love for their eldest brother. We regard life very highly, for, under these circumstances, life is too precious (to be sacrificed). During the remainder of my days I will practise the severest of ascetic austerities. I will not, O Kesava, cause these friends of mine to be slain. The mighty Bhishma incessantly stays, with his celestial weapon, many thousands of my car-warriors who are foremost of smiters. Tell me, O Madhava, without delay, what should be done that might do me good. As regards Arjuna, I see that he is an indifferent spectator in this battle. Endued with great might, this Bhima alone, remembering Kshatriya duties, fighteth putting forth the prowess of his arms and to the utmost of his power. With his hero-slaying mace, this high-souled (warrior), to the full measure of his powers, achieveth the most difficult feats upon foot-soldiers and steeds and cars and elephants. This hero, however, is incapable, O sire, of destroying in fair fight the hostile host in even a century. This thy friend (Arjuna) alone (amongst) is conversant with (mighty) weapons. He, however, beholding us consumed by Bhishma and the high-souled Drona, looketh indifferently on us. The celestial weapons of Bhishma and the high-souled Drona, incessantly applied, are consuming all the Kshatriyas. O Krishna, such is his prowess, that Bhishma, with wrath excited, aided by the kings (on his side), will, without doubt annihilate us. O Lord of Yoga, look for that great bowman, that mighty car-warrior, who will give Bhishma his quietus like rain-charged clouds quenching a forest conflagration. (Then) through thy grace, O Govinda, the son of Pandu, their foes being slain, will, after recovery of their kingdom, be happy with their kinsmen. "Having said this, the high-souled son of Pritha, with heart afflicted by grief and mind turned within, remained silent for a long while in a reflected mood. Beholding the son of Pandu stricken with grief and deprived of his senses by sorrow, Govinda then gladdening all the Pandavas said, 'Do not grieve, O chief of the Bharatas. It behoveth thee not to grieve, when thy brothers are all heroes and renowned bowmen in the world. I also am employed in doing thee good, as also that mighty car-warrior Satyaki and Virata and Drupada, both reverend in years, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's line. And so also, O best of kings, all these monarchs with their (respective) troops are expectant of thy favour and devoted to thee, O king. This mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race placed in command of thy army is always desirous of thy welfare and engaged in doing that which is agreeable to thee, as also this Sikhandin, O thou of mighty arms, who is certainly the slayer of Bhishma. Hearing these words, the king (Yudhishthira), said, unto that mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, in that very assembly and in the hearing of Vasudeva, these words, O Dhrishtadyumna, mark these words that I say unto thee, O thou of Prishata's line. The words uttered by me should not be transgressed. Approved by Vasudeva, thou hast been the commander of our forces. As Kartikeya, in days of old, was ever the commander of the celestial host, so also art thou, O bull among men, the commander of the Pandava host. Putting forth thy prowess, O tiger among men, slay the Kauravas. I will follow thee, and Bhima, and Krishna also, O sire, and the sons of Madri united together, and the sons of Draupadi accoutred in mail, and all the other foremost of kings, O bull among men. Then gladdening (the listeners) Dhrishtadyumna said, 'Ordained of old by Sambhu himself, I am, O son of Pritha, the slayer of Drona. I shall now fight in battle against Bhishma, and Drona and Kripa and Salya and Jayadratha and all the proud monarchs (on the Kuru side)'. When that foremost of princes, that slayer of foes, the son of Prishata, said this defiantly, the Pandava warriors, endued with great energy and incapable of being defeated in battle, all set up a loud shout. And then Pritha's son Yudhishthira said unto the commander of his army, the son of Prishata, (these words), 'An array known by the name of Krauncharuma, that is destructive of all foes, and that was spoken of by Vrihaspati unto Indra in days of old when the gods and the Asuras fought,--that array destructive of hostile divisions, do thou form. Unseen before, the kings behold it, along with the Kurus.' Thus addressed by that god among men, like Vishnu addressed by the wielder of the thunderbolt, he (Dhrishtadyumna), when morning dawned, placed Dhananjaya in the van of the whole army. And Dhananjaya's standard, created at Indra's command by the celestial artificer, while moving through the skies, seemed wonderfully beautiful. Decked with banners bearing hues resembling those of Indra's bow, coursing through the air like a ranger of the skies, and looking like the fleeting edifice of vapour in the welkin, it seemed, O sire to glide dancingly along the track of the car (to which it was attached). And the bearer of Gandiva with that (standard) graced with gems, and that standard itself with the bearer of Gandiva, looked highly adorned, like the Self-create with the Sun (and the Sun with the Self-create). And king Drupada, surrounded by a large number of troops, became the head (of that array). And the two kings Kuntibhoja and Saivya became its two eyes. And the ruler of the Dasarnas, and the Prayagas, with the Daserakas, and the Anupakas, and the Kiratas were placed in its neck, O bull of Bharata's race. And Yudhishthira, O king, with the Patachcharas, the Hunas, the Pauravakas and the Nishadas, became its two wings, so also the Pisachas, with the Kundavishas, and the Mandakas, the Ladakas, the Tanganas, and the Uddras, O Bharata, and the Saravas, the Tumbhumas, the Vatsas, and the Nakulas. And Nakula and Sahadeva placed themselves on the left wing. And on the joints of the wings were placed ten thousand cars and on the head a hundred thousand, and on the back a hundred millions and twenty thousand and on the neck a hundred and seventy thousand. And on the joints of the wings, the wings and the extremities of the wings proceeded elephants in large bodies, looking, O king, like blazing mountains. And the rear was protected by Virata aided by the Kekayas, and the ruler of Kasi and the king of the Chedis, with thirty thousand cars. Forming, O Bharata, their mighty array thus, the Pandavas, expectant of sunrise, waited for battle, all cased in armour. And their white umbrellas, clean and costly, and brilliant as the sun, shone resplendent on their elephants and cars."

 
Sanjaya said, "Beholding the mighty and terrible array called Krauncha formed by Pandu's son of immeasurable energy, thy son, approaching the preceptor, and Kripa, and Salya, O sire, and Somadatta's son, and Vikarna, and Aswatthaman also, and all his brothers too, headed by Dussasana, O Bharata, and other immeasurable heroes assembled there for battle, said these timely words, gladdening them all, 'Armed with various kinds of weapons, ye all are conversant with the meaning of the scriptures. Ye mighty car-warriors, each of you is singly capable of slaying in battle the sons of Pandu with their troops. How much more then, when ye are united together. Our host, therefore, which is protected by Bhishma, is immeasurable, while that host of theirs, which is protected by Bhima, is measurable. Let the Samsthanas, the Surasenas, the Venikas, the Kukkuras, the Rechakas, the Trigartas, the Madrakas, the Yavanas, with Satrunjayas, and Dussasana, and that excellent hero Vikarna, and Nanda and Upanandaka, and Chitrasena, along with the Manibhadrakas, protect Bhishma with their (respective) troops,'--Then Bhishma and Drona and thy sons, O sire, formed a mighty array for resisting that of the Parthas. And Bhishma, surrounded by a large body of troops, advanced, leading a mighty army, like the chief of the celestials himself. And that mighty bowman, the son of Bharadwaja, endued with great energy, followed him with the Kuntalas, the Dasarnas, and the Magadhas, O king, and with the Vidarbhas, the Melakas, the Karnas, and the Pravaranas also. And the Gandharas, the Sindhusauviras, the Sivis and the Vasatis with all their combatants also, (followed) Bhishma, that ornament of battle, and Sakuni, with all his troops protected the son of Bharadwaja. And then king Duryodhana, united with all his brothers, with the Aswalakas, the Vikarnas, the Vamanas, the Kosalas, the Daradas, the Vrikas, as also the Kshudrakas and the Malavas advanced cheerfully against the Pandava host. And Bhurisravas, and Sala, and Salya, and Bhagadatta, O sire, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, protected the left flank. And Somadatta, and Susarman, and Sudakshina, the ruler of the Kamvojas and Satayus, and Srutayus, were on the right flank. And Aswatthaman, and Kripa, and Kritavarman of Satwata's race, with a very large division of the troops, were, stationed at the rear of the army. And behind them were the rulers of many provinces, and Ketumat, and Vasudana, and the powerful son of the king of Kasi. Then all the troops on thy side cheerfully waiting for battle, O Bharata, blew their conches with great pleasure, and set up leonine roars. And hearing the shouts of those (combatants) filled with delight the venerable Kuru grandsire, endued with great prowess, uttering a leonine roar, blew his conch. Thereupon, conches and drums and diverse kinds of Pesis and cymbals, were sounded at once by others, and the noise made became a loud uproar. And Madhava and Arjuna, both stationed on a great car unto which were yoked white steeds, blew their excellent conches decked with gold and jewels. And Hrishikesa blew the conch called Panchajanya, and Dhananjaya (that called)  Devadatta. And Vrikodara of terrible deeds blew the huge conch called Paundra. And Kunti's son king Yudhishthira blew the conch called Anantavijaya, while Nakula and Sahadeva (those conches called) Sughosa and Manipushpaka. And the ruler of Kasi, and Saivya, and Sikhandin the mighty car-warrior, and Dhrishtadyumna, and Virata, and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki, and that great bowman the king of the Panchalas, and the five sons of Draupadi, all blew their large conches and set up leonine roars. And that great uproar uttered there by those heroes, loudly reverberated through both the earth and the welkin. Thus, O great king, the Kurus and the Pandavas, both filled with delight, advanced against each other for battling again, and scorching each other thus."
 

Dhritarashtra said, "When mine and the hostile hosts were thus formed into battle array, how did the foremost of smiters begin to strike?"

Sanjaya said, "When all the divisions were thus arrayed, the combatants waited, each cased in mail, and with their beautiful standards all upraised. And beholding the (Kuru) host that resembled the limitless ocean, thy son Duryodhana, O king, stationed within it, said unto all the combatants on thy side, 'Cased in mail (as ye are), begin ye the fight'. The combatants then, entertaining cruel intentions, and abandoning their very lives, all rushed against the Pandavas, with standards upraised. The battle that took place then was fierce and made the hair stand on end. And the cars and elephants all got mixed together. And shafts with beautiful feathers, and endued with great energy and sharp points, shot by car-warriors fell upon elephants and horses. And when the battle began in this way, the venerable Kuru grandsire, the mighty-armed Bhishma of terrible prowess, cased in mail, taking up his bow, and approaching them, showered an arrowy downpour on the heroic son of Subhadra, and the mighty car-warrior Arjuna, and the ruler of the Kekayas and Virata, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, as also upon the Chedi and the Matsya warriors. And that mighty array (of the Pandavas) wavered at the onset of that hero. And terrific was the encounter that took place between all the combatants. And horse-men and car-warriors and foremost of steeds fell fast. And the car-divisions of the Pandavas began to fly away. Then that tiger among men, Arjuna, beholding that mighty car-warrior Bhishma, angrily said unto him of Vrishni's race. 'Proceed to the place where the grandsire is. O thou of Vrishni's race, it is evident that this Bhishma, with wrath excited, will annihilate for Duryodhana's benefit my host. And this Drona, and Kripa and Salya and Vikarna, O Janardana, united with Dhritarashtra's sons headed by Duryodhana, and protected by this firm bowman, will slaughter the Panchalas. Even I, therefore, shall stay Bhishma for the sake of my troops, O Janardana.' Unto him Vasudeva then said, 'Be careful, O Dhananjaya, for I will soon take thee, O hero, towards the grandsire's car.' Having said this, O king, Saurin took that car, which was celebrated over the world, before the car of Bhishma. With numerous banners all waving, with steeds looking handsome like a flight of (white) cranes, with standard upraised on which was the ape roaring fiercely, upon his large car of solar effulgence and whose rattle resembled roar of the clouds, slaughtering the Kaurava divisions and the Surasenas also, the son of Pandu, that enhancer of the joys of friends speedily came to the encounter. Him (thus) rushing impetuously like an infuriate elephant and (thus) frightening in a battle brave combatants and felling them with his shafts, Bhishma the son of Santanu, protected by the warriors headed by Saindhava and by the combatants of the East and the Sauviras and the Kekayas, encountered with great impetuosity. Who else save the Kuru grandsire and those car-warriors, viz., Drona and Vikartana's son (Karna), are capable of advancing in battle against the bearer of the bow called Gandiva? Then, O great king, Bhishma, the grandsire of the Kauravas, struck Arjuna with seventy-seven arrows and Drona (struck him) with five and twenty, and Kripa with fifty, and Duryodhana with four and sixty, and Salya with nine arrows; and Drona's son, that tiger among men, with sixty, and Vikarna with three arrows; and Saindhava with nine and Sakuni with five. And Artayani O king, pierced Pandu's son with three broad-headed arrows. And (though) pierced on all sides by them with sharp arrows, that great bowman, that mighty-armed (warrior), wavered not like mountain that is pierced (with arrows). Thereupon he, the diadem-decked, of immeasurable soul, O bull of Bharata's race, in return pierced Bhishma with five and twenty, and Kripa with nine arrows, and Drona with sixty, O tiger among men, and Vikarna with three arrows; and Artayani with three arrows, and the king (Duryodhana) also with five. And then Satyaki, and Virata and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, and the sons of Draupadi, and Abhimanyu, all surrounded him, (proceeding to his support). Then the prince of the Panchalas, supported by the Somakas, advanced towards the great bowman Drona who was engaged in seeking the welfare of Ganga's son. Then Bhishma, that foremost of car-warriors, speedily pierced the son of Pandu with eighty sharp arrows, upon which the combatants on thy side were much gratified. Hearing the shouts of those lions among car-warriors, Dhananjaya, endued with great prowess, then cheerfully entered into the midst of those lions among car-warriors and sported with his bow, O king, (successively) aiming those mighty car-warriors. Then that ruler of men, king Duryodhana, said unto Bhishma, beholding his own troops (thus) afflicted in battle by the son of Pritha. 'This mighty son of Pandu, O sire, accompanied by Krishna, felling all our troops, cutteth down our roots, even though thou, O son of Ganga, and that foremost of car-warriors, Drona, are alive. O monarch, it is for thee only that this Karna, laying aside his weapons, doth not fight with the sons of Pritha in battle (though) he is ever a well-wisher of mine, Do, therefore, that, O son of Ganga by which Phalguni may be slain. 'Thus addressed, O king, thy sire Devavrata, saying, 'Fie to Kshatriya usage', then proceeded towards Partha's car. And all the kings, O monarch, seeing both those warriors with white steeds yoked unto their cars stationed (for battle), set up loud leonine roars, and also blew their conches, O sire. And Drona's son and Duryodhana, and thy son Vikarna, surrounding Bhishma in that combat, stood, O sire, for battle. And so all the Pandavas, surrounding Dhananjaya, stood for fierce conflict. And the battle then commenced. And the son of Ganga pierced Partha in that combat with nine shafts. And Arjuna pierced him in return with ten shafts penetrating into the very vitals. Then, with a thousand arrows, well shot, Pandu's son Arjuna, famed for his skill in battle, shrouded Bhishma on all sides. That arrowy net, however, of Partha, O king, Bhishma the son of Santanu baffled with an arrowy net (of his own). And both well-pleased, and both delighting in battle, fought with each other without each gaining any advantage over the other, and each desirous of counteracting the other's feats. And the successive flights of arrows shot from Bhishma's bow were seen to be dispersed by the shafts of Arjuna. And so the flights of arrows shot by Arjuna, cut off by the arrows of Ganga's son, all fell down on the ground. And Arjuna pierced Bhishma with five and twenty arrows of sharp points. And Bhishma, too, in that combat, pierced Partha in return with nine arrows. And those two mighty warriors, those chastisers of foes, piercing each other's steeds, and also the shafts and the wheels of each other's cars, began to sport. Then, O king, Bhishma, that foremost of smiters, struck Vasudeva between his two breasts with three arrows. And the slayer of Madhu, struck with those shafts shot from Bhishma's bow, shone in that battle, O king, like a flowering Kinsuka. Then Arjuna, indignant at seeing Madhava, pierced in that combat the charioteer of Ganga's son with three arrows. And both heroes, striving with each other against each other's car, succeeded not in taking aim at each other in the combat. And in consequence of the ability and dexterity of the charioteers of both those warriors, both displayed, O king, beautiful circles and advancings and retreatings in respect of their moving cars. And, O monarch, seeing the opportunity to strike, they frequently changed positions, O king, for obtaining what they sought. And both the heroes blew their conches, mingling that blare with their leonine roars. And those mighty car-warriors twang their bows, both in the same manner. And with the blare of their conches and the rattle of their car-wheels, the very Earth was suddenly rent. And it began to tremble and produce subterranean noises. And nobody, O bull of Bharata's race, could detect any latches in either of them. Both of them was possessed of great might and great courage in battle, each was other's match. And by (the sight of) his standard alone, the Kauravas could approach him (for aid). And so the Pandavas approached Pritha's son (for aid), guided by his standard only. And beholding, O king, prowess thus displayed by those two foremost of men, O Bharata, all creatures (present) in that battle were filled with wonder. And none, O Bharata, observed any difference between the two, just as none finds any transgression in a person observant of morality. And both of them (at times) became perfectly invisible in consequence of clouds of arrows. And soon enough both of them in that battle became visible. And the gods with Gandharvas and the Charanas, and the great Rishis beholding their prowess, said unto one another. These mighty car-warriors when excited with rage, are incapable of ever being vanquished in battle by all the worlds with the gods, the Asuras and the Gandharvas. This highly wonderful battle would be wonderful in all the worlds. Indeed, a battle such as this will never take place again. Bhishma is incapable of being conquered in combat by Pritha's son of great intelligence, showering his arrows in battle, with bow and car and steeds. So also that great bowman, the son of Pandu, incapable of being vanquished in battle by the very gods, Bhishma is not competent to conquer in combat. As long as the world itself will last, so long will this battle continue equally. We heard these words, O king, fraught with the praise of Ganga's son and Arjuna in battle bruited about there. And while those two were engaged in displaying their prowess, other warriors of thy side and of the Pandavas, O Bharata, slew one another in battle, with sharp-edged scimitars, and polished battle-axes, and innumerable arrows, and diverse kinds of weapons. And the brave combatants of both armies cut one another down, while that terrible and murderous conflict lasted. And the encounter also, O king, that took place between Drona and the prince of the Panchalas, was awful."

 

Dhritarashtra said, "Tell me, O Sanjaya, how that great bowman Drona and the Panchala prince of Prishata's race encounter each other in battle, each striving his best. I regard destiny to be superior, O Sanjaya, to exertion, when Santanu's son Bhishma (even) could not escape Pandu's son in battle. Indeed, Bhishma, when enraged in battle could destroy all mobile and immobile creatures, why, O Sanjaya, could he not then by his prowess, escape the son of Pandu in battle?"

Sanjaya said, 'Listen, O king, quietly to this terrific battle. The son of Pandu is incapable of being vanquished by the very gods with Vasava. Drona with diverse arrows pierced Dhrishtadyumna and felled the latter's charioteer from his niche in the car. And, O sire, the enraged hero also afflicted Dhrishtadyumna's four steeds with four excellent shafts. And the heroic Dhrishtadyumna too pierced Drona in the combat with nine sharp arrows and addressed him, saying, 'Wait--Wait'. 'Then, again, Bharadwaja's son of great prowess and immeasurable soul, covered with his arrows the wrathful Dhrishtadyumna. And he took up a dreadful arrow for the destruction of Prishata's son whose force resembled that of Sakra's bolt and which was like a second rod of death. And beholding that arrow aimed by Bharadwaja in battle, loud cries of oh and alas arose, O Bharata, among all the combatants. And then we beheld the wonderful prowess of Dhrishtadyumna insomuch that the hero stood alone, immovable like a mountain. And he cut off that terrible and blazing arrow coming towards him like his own Death, and also showered an arrowy downpour on Bharadwaja's son. And beholding that difficult feat achieved by Dhrishtadyumna, the Panchalas with the Pandavas, filled with delight, set up loud shouts. And that prince, endued with great prowess, desirous of slaying Drona hurled at him a dart of great impetuosity, decked with gold and stones of lapis lazuli. Thereupon the son of Bharadwaja, smiling the while, cut off into three fragments that dart decked with gold that was coming towards him impetuously. Beholding his dart thus baffled, Dhrishtadyumna of great prowess rained arrowy downpours on Drona, O king. Then that mighty car-warrior Drona, baffling that arrowy shower, cut off when the opportunity presented, the bow of Drupada's son. His bow (thus) cut off in the combat, that mighty warrior of great fame hurled at Drona a heavy mace endued with the strength of the mountain. And hurled from his hands, that mace coursed through the air for Drona's destruction. And then we beheld the wonderful prowess of Bharadwaja's son. By (the) lightness (of his car's motion), he baffled that mace decked with gold, and having baffled it, he shot at Prishata's son many shafts of sharp edge, well-tempered, furnished with golden wings, and whetted on stone. And these, penetrating through Prishata's coat of mail, drank his blood in that battle. Then the high-souled Dhrishtadyumna, taking up another bow, and putting forth his prowess pierced Drona in that encounter with five shafts. And then those two bulls among men, both covered with blood, looked beautiful like two blossoming Kinsukas in spring variegated with flowers. Then, O king, excited with wrath and putting forth his prowess at the head of his division, Drona once more cut off the bow of Drupada's son. And then that hero of immeasurable soul covered that warrior whose bow was cut off, with innumerable straight arrows like the clouds showering rain on a mountain. And he also felled his foe's charioteer from his niche in the car. And his four steeds, too, with four sharp arrows, Drona felled in that combat that set up a leonine roar. And with another shaft he cut off the leathern fence that cased Dhrishtadyumna's hand. His bow cut off, deprived of car, his steeds slain, and charioteer overthrown, the prince of Panchala alighted from his car, mace in hand, displaying great prowess. But before he could come down from his car, O Bharata, Drona with his shafts cut off that mace into fragments. This feat seemed wonderful to us. And then the mighty prince of the Panchalas of strong arms, taking a large and beautiful shield decked with a hundred moons, and a large scimitar of beautiful make, rushed impetuously from desire of slaying Drona, like a hungry lion in the forest towards an infuriate elephant. Then wonderful was the prowess that we behold of Bharadwaja's son, and his lightness (of hand) in the use of weapons, as also the strength of his arms, O Bharata, in as much as, alone, he checked Prishata's son with a shower of arrows. And although possessed of great might in battle, he was unable to proceed further. And we behold the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna staying where he did and warding off those clouds of arrows with his shield, using his arms with great dexterity. Then the mighty-armed Bhima endued with great strength quickly came there, desirous of aiding in battle the high-souled son of Prishata. And he pierced Drona, O king, with seven sharp-pointed arrows, and speedily caused Prishata's son to be taken up on another car. Then king Duryodhana urged the ruler of the Kalingas supported by a large division, for the protection of Bharadwaja's son. Then that terrible and mighty division of the Kalingas, O ruler of men, rushed against Bhima at the command of thy son. And Drona then, that foremost of car-warriors, abandoning the prince of Panchala, encountered Virata and Drupada together. And Dhrishtadyumna also proceeded to support king Yudhishthira in battle. And then commenced a fierce battle, making the hair stand on end, between the Kalingas and the high-souled Bhima, a battle that was destructive of the universe, terrific, and awful."

 

Dhritarashtra said, "How did the ruler of the Kalingas, that commander of a large division, urged by my son, and supported by his troops, fight in battle with the mighty Bhimasena of wonderful feats, that hero wandering over the field of battle with his mace like Death himself club in hand?"

Sanjaya said, "Thus urged by thy son, O great king, the mighty king of the Kalingas, accompanied by a large army advanced towards Bhima's car. And Bhimasena, then, O Bharata, supported by the Chedis, rushed towards that large and mighty army of the Kalingas, abounding with cars, steeds, and elephants, and armed with mighty weapons, and advancing towards him with Ketumat, the son of the king of the Nishadas. And Srutayus also, excited with wrath, accoutred in mail, followed by his troops in battle-array, and, accompanied by king Ketumat, came before Bhima in battle. And the ruler of the Kalingas with many thousands of cars, and Ketumat with ten thousand elephants and the Nishadas, surrounded Bhimasena, O king, on all sides. Then the Chedis, the Matsyas, and Karushas, with Bhimasena at their head, with many kings impetuously rushed against the Nishadas. And then commenced the battle, fierce and terrible, between the warriors rushing at one another from desire of slaughter. And terrific was the battle that suddenly took place between Bhima and his foes, resembling the battle, O great king, between Indra and the mighty host of Diti's sons. And loud became the uproar, O Bharata, of that mighty army struggling in battle, that resembled the sound of the roaring ocean. And the combatants, O king, cutting one another, made the whole field resemble a crematorium strewn with flesh and blood. And combatants, impelled by the desire of slaughter could not distinguish friend from foe. And those brave warriors, incapable of being easily defeated in battle, even began to strike down their own friend. And terrific was the collision that took place between the few and many, between the Chedis (on the one side) and the Kalingas and the Nishadas, O king, (on the other). Displaying their manliness to the best of their power, the mighty Chedis, abandoning Bhimasena, turned back, and when the Chedis ceased to follow him, the son of Pandu, encountering all the Kalingas, did not turn back, depending upon the might of his own arms. Indeed, the mighty Bhimasena moved not, but from the terrace of his car covered the division of the Kalingas with showers of sharp arrows. Then that mighty bowman, the king of the Kalingas, and that car-warrior, his son known by the name of Sakradeva, both began to strike the son of Pandu with their shafts. And the mighty-armed Bhima, shaking his beautiful bow, and depending on the might of his own arms, fought with Kalinga, and Sakradeva, shooting in that battle innumerable arrows, slew Bhimasena's steeds with them. And beholding that chastiser of foes Bhimasena deprived of his car, Sakradeva rushed at him, shooting sharp arrows. And upon Bhimasena, O great king, the mighty Sakradeva showered arrowy downpours like the clouds after summer is gone. But the mighty Bhimasena, staying on his car whose steeds had been slain, hurled at Sakradeva a mace made of the hardest iron. And slain by that mace, O king, the son of the ruler of the Kalingas, from his car, fell down on the ground, with his standard and charioteer. Then that mighty car-warrior, the king of the Kalingas beholding his own son slain, surrounded Bhima on all sides with many thousands of cars. Then the mighty-armed Bhima endued with great strength, abandoning mace, took up a scimitar, desirous of achieving a fierce feat. And that bull among men also took up, O king, crescents made of gold. And the ruler of the Kalingas also, excited with wrath, and rubbing his bowstring, and taking up a terrible arrow (deadly) as poison of the snake, shot it at Bhimasena, desirous at that monarch was of slaying (the Pandava). That sharp arrow, thus shot and coursing impetuously, Bhimasena, O king, cut in twain with his huge sword. And filled with delight he set up a loud shout, terrifying the troops. And the ruler of the Kalingas, excited with rage in that combat with Bhimasena, quickly hurled at him fourteen bearded darts whetted on stone. The mighty-armed son of Pandu, however, with that best of scimitars, fearlessly cut into fragments in a trice, O king, those darts while coursing through the welkin and before they could reach him. And having in that battle (thus) cut off those fourteen darts Bhima, that bull among men, beholding Bhanumat, rushed at him. Bhanumat then covered Bhima with a shower of arrows, and set up a loud shout, making the welkin resound with it. Bhima, however, in that fierce battle, could not bear that leonine shout. Himself endued with a loud voice, he also shouted very loudly. And at these shouts of his, the army of the Kalingas became filled with fear. In that battle they no longer regarded Bhima, O bull among men, as a human being. Then, O great king, having uttered a loud shout, Bhima, sword in hand impetuously jumping on (Bhanumat's) excellent elephant aided by the latter's tusks, gained, O sire, the back of that prince of tuskers, and with his huge sword cut Bhanumat, dividing him in the middle. That chastiser of foes, then, having (thus) slain in battle the prince of the Kalingas, next made his sword which was capable of bearing a great strain, to descend upon the neck of that elephant. His head cut off, that prince of elephants fell down with a loud roar, like a crested mountain (whose base is) eaten away by the impetuous (surges of the) sea. And jumping down, O Bharata, from that failing elephant, the prince of Bharata's race, of undepressed soul, stood on the ground, sword in hand and accoutred in mail (as before). And felling numerous elephants on all sides, he wandered (over the field), making many paths (for himself). And then he seemed to be like a moving wheel of fire slaughtering whole divisions of cavalry, of elephants, and cars, and large bodies of infantry. And that lord among men, the mighty Bhima, was seen to move over the field with the activity of the hawk, quickly cutting off in that battle, with his sharp-edged sword, their bodies and heads, as also those of the combatants on elephant. And combatant on foot, excited with rage, all alone, and like Yama at the season of universal dissolution, he struck terror into his foes and confounded those brave warriors. Only they that were senseless rushed with loud shouts at him wandering in that great battle with impetuosity, sword in hand. And that grinder of foes, endued with great strength, cutting off the shafts and yokes of warriors on their cars, slew those warriors also. And Bhimasena was seen, O Bharata, to display diverse kinds of motions there. He wheeled about, and whirled about on high, and, made side-thrusts, and jumped forward, and ran above, and leapt high. And, O Bharata, he was also seen to rush forward and rush upward. And some mangled by the high-souled son of Pandu by means of his excellent sword, shrieked aloud, struck at their vitals or fell down deprived of life. And many elephants, O Bharata, some with trunks and the extremities of their tusks cut off, and others having their temporal globes cut open, deprived of riders, slew their own ranks and fell down uttering loud cries. And broken lances, O king, and the head of elephant drivers, and beautiful housings of elephants, and chords resplendent with gold, and collars, and darts and mallets and quivers, diverse kinds of machines, and beautiful bows, short arrows with polished heads, with hooks and iron crows for guiding elephants, bells of diverse shape, and hilts decked with gold, were seen by us falling down or (already) fallen along with riders of steeds. And with elephants (lying down) having the fore parts and hind parts of their bodies and their trunks cut off, or entirely slain, the field seemed to be strewn with fallen cliffs. That bull among men, having thus crushed the huge elephants, next crushed the steeds also. And, O Bharata, that hero also felled the foremost of cavalry soldiers. And the battle, O sire, that took place between him and them was fierce in the extreme. And hilts and traces, and saddle girths resplendent with gold, and covers for the back of steeds, and bearded darts, and costly swords, and coats of mail, and shields, and beautiful ornaments, were seen by us strewn over the ground in that great battle. And he caused the earth to be strewn over (with blood) as if it were variegated with lilies. And the mighty son of Pandu, jumping high and dragging some car-warriors down with his sword felled them along with (their) standards. Frequently jumping up or rushing on all sides, that hero endued with great activity, wandering along many routes, caused the combatants to be amazed. And some he slew by his legs, and dragging down others he pressed them down under the earth. And others he cut off with his sword, and others he frightened with his roars. And others he threw down on the ground by the force of his thighs (as he ran). And others, beholding him, fled away in terror. It was thus that that vast force of the Kalingas endued with great activity, surrounding the terrible Bhimasena in battle, rushed at him. Then, O bull of Bharata's race, beholding Srutayush at the head of Kalinga troops, Bhimasena rushed at him. And seeing him advancing the ruler of the Kalingas, of immeasurable soul, pierced Bhimasena between his breasts with nine arrows. Struck with those shafts shot by the ruler of the Kalingas, like an elephant pierced with the hook, Bhimasena blazed up with wrath like fire fed with fuel. Then Asoka, that best of charioteers, bringing a car decked with gold, caused Bhima to mount on it. And thereupon that slayer of foes, the son of Kunti, speedily mounted on that car. And then he rushed at the ruler of the Kalingas, saying,--'Wait, Wait'. And then the mighty Srutayush excited with wrath, shot at Bhima many sharp arrows, displaying his lightness of hand, and that mighty warrior, Bhima, forcibly struck with those nine sharp arrows shot by Kalinga from his excellent bow, yielded to great wrath, O king, like a snake struck with a rod. Then that foremost of mighty men, Bhima, the son of Pritha, excited with rage and drawing his bow with great strength, slew the ruler of the Kalingas with seven shafts made wholly of iron. And with two shafts he slew the two mighty protectors of the car-wheels of Kalinga. And he also despatched Satyadeva and Satya to the abode of Yama. Of immeasurable soul, Bhima also, with many sharp arrows and long shafts, caused Ketumat to repair unto Yama's abode. Then the Kshatriyas of the Kalinga country, excited with rage and supported by many thousands of combatants, encountered the wrathful Bhimasena in battle. And armed with darts and maces and scimitars and lances and swords and battle-axes, the Kalingas, O king, hundreds upon hundreds surrounded Bhimasena. Baffling that risen shower of arrows, that mighty warrior then took up his mace and jumped down (from his car) with great speed. And Bhima then despatched seven hundred heroes to Yama's abode. And that grinder of foes despatched, in addition, two thousand Kalingas to the region of death. And that feat seemed highly wonderful. And it was thus that the heroic Bhima of terrible prowess repeatedly felled in battle large bands of the Kalingas. And elephants deprived by Pandu's son, in that battle, of their riders, and afflicted with arrows wandered on the field, treading down their own ranks and uttering loud roars like masses of clouds driven by the wind. Then the mighty-armed Bhima, scimitar in hand, and filled with delight, blew his conch of terrible loudness. And with that blare he caused the hearts of all the Kalinga troops to quake with fear. And, O chastiser of foes, all the Kalingas seemed at the same time to be deprived of their senses. And all the combatants and all the animals shook with terror. And in consequence of Bhimasena wandering in that battle through many paths or rushing on all sides like a prince of elephants, or frequently jumping up, a trance seemed to be engendered there that deprived his foes of their senses. And the whole (Kalinga) army shook with terror of Bhimasena, like a large lake agitated by an alligator. And struck with panic in consequence of Bhima of wonderful achievements, all the Kalinga combatants fled away in all directions. When, however, they were rallied again, the commander of the Pandava army (Dhrishtadyumna), O Bharata, ordered his own troops, saying,--'Fight'. Hearing the words of their commander, many leaders (of the Pandava army) headed by Sikhandin approached Bhima, supported by many car-divisions accomplished in smiting. And Pandu's son, king Yudhishthira the just, followed all of them with a large elephant force of the colour of the clouds. And thus urging all his divisions, the son of Prishata, surrounded by many excellent warriors, took upon himself the protection of one of the wings of Bhimasena. There exists nobody on earth, save Bhima and Satyaki, who to the prince of the Panchalas is dearer than his very life. That slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Prishata, beheld the mighty-armed Bhimasena, that slayer of foes, wandering among the Kalingas. He set up many shouts, O king, and was filled with delight, O chastiser of foes. Indeed, he blew his conch in battle and uttered a leonine roar. And Bhimasena also, beholding the red standard of Dhrishtadyumna on his car decked with gold and unto which were yoked steeds white as pigeons, became comforted. And Dhrishtadyumna of immeasurable soul, beholding Bhimasena encountered by the Kalingas rushed to the battle for his rescue. And both those heroes. Dhrishtadyumna and Vrikodara, endued with great energy, beholding Satyaki at a distance, furiously encountered the Kalingas in battle. And that bull among men, the grand son of Sini, that foremost of victorious warriors, quickly advancing to the spot took up the wing of both Bhima and Prishata's son. Bow in hand creating a great havoc there and making himself fierce in the extreme, he began to slay the enemy in battle. And Bhima caused a river to flow there of bloody current, mingled with the blood and flesh of the warriors born in Kalinga. And beholding Bhimasena then, the troops cried aloud, O king, saying. 'This is Death himself that is fighting in Bhima's shape with the Kalingas.' Then Santanu's son Bhishma, hearing those cries in battle, quickly proceeded towards Bhima, himself surrounded on all sides with combatants in army. Thereupon, Satyaki and Bhimasena and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, rushed towards that car of Bhima decked with gold. And all of them quickly surrounding Ganga's son in battle, pierced Bhishma, each with three terrible shafts, without losing a moment. Thy sire Devavrata, however, in return pierced each of those mighty bowmen striving (in battle) with three straight shafts. And checking those mighty car-warriors, with thousands of arrows he Slew with his shafts the steeds of Bhima decked with golden armour. Bhima, however, endued with great energy, staying on that car whose steeds had been slain, with great impetuosity hurled a dart at Bhishma's car. Thy sire Devavrata then, in that battle, cut off that dart in twain before it could reach him, and thereupon it fell down on the earth. Then that bull among men, Bhimasena, taking up a heavy and mighty mace made of Saikya iron speedily jumped down from his car. And Dhrishtadyumna quickly taking up that foremost of car-warriors on his own car, took away, in the very sight of all the combatants, that renowned warrior. And Satyaki then from desire of doing what was agreeable to Bhima, felled with his shaft the charioteer of the reverend Kuru grand-sire. Upon his charioteer being slain, that foremost of car-warriors, Bhishma, was borne away from the field of battle by his steeds with the speed of the wind. And when that mighty car-warrior was (thus) taken away from the field, Bhimasena then, O monarch, blazed up like a mighty fire while consuming dry grass. And slaying all the Kalingas, he stayed in the midst of the troops, and none, O bull of Bharata's race, of thy side ventured to withstand him. And worshipped by the Panchalas and the Matsyas, O bull of Bharata's race, he embraced Dhrishtadyumna and then approached Satyaki. And Satyaki, the tiger among the Yadus, of prowess incapable of being baffled, then gladdening Bhimasena, said unto him, in the presence of Dhrishtadyumna, (these words). 'By good luck the king of the Kalingas, and Ketumat, the prince of the Kalingas, and Sakradeva also of that country and all the Kalingas, have been slain in battle. With the might and prowess of thy arms, by thee alone, hath been crushed the very large division of the Kalingas that abounded with elephants and steeds and cars, and with noble warriors, and heroic combatants.' Having said this, the long-armed grandson of Sini, that chastiser of foes, quickly getting upon his car, embraced the son of Pandu. And then that mighty car-warrior, coming back to his own car, began to slay thy troops excited with rage and strengthening (the hands of) Bhima.

 
Sanjaya said, "When the forenoon of that day had passed away, O Bharata, and when the destruction of cars, elephants, steeds, foot-soldiers and horse-soldiers, proceeded on, the prince of Panchala engaged himself in battle with these three mighty car-warriors, viz., Drona's son, Salya, and the high-souled Kripa. And the mighty heir of Panchala's king with many sharp shafts, slew the steeds of Drona's son that were celebrated over all the world. Deprived then of his animals, Drona's son quickly getting up on Salya's car, showered his shafts on the hair of the Panchala king. And beholding Dhrishtadyumna engaged in battle with Drona's son, the son of Subhadra, O Bharata, quickly came up scattering his sharp arrows. And, O bull of Bharata's race, he pierced Salya with five and twenty, and Kripa with nine arrows, and Aswatthaman with eight. Drona's son, however, quickly pierced Arjuna's son with many winged arrows, and Salya pierced him with twelve, and Kripa with three sharp arrows. Thy grandson Lakshmana then, beholding Subhadra's son engaged in battle, rushed at him, excited with rage. And the battle commenced between them. And the son of Duryodhana, excited with rage, pierced Subhadra's son with sharp shafts in that combat. And that (feat), O king, seemed highly wonderful. The light-handed Abhimanyu then, O bull of Bharata's race, excited with rage, quickly pierced his cousin with five hundred arrows. Lakshmana also, with his shafts, then cut off his (cousin's) bow-staff at the middle, at which, O monarch, all the people sent forth a loud shout. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Subhadra, leaving aside that broken bow, took up another that was beautiful and tougher. And thereupon those two bulls among men, thus engaged in combat and desirous of counteracting each other's feats, pierced each other with sharp shafts. King Duryodhana then, O monarch, beholding his mighty son thus afflicted by thy grandson (Abhimanyu), proceeded to that spot. And when thy son turned (towards that spot), all the kings surrounded the son of Arjuna on every side with crowds of cars. Incapable of being defeated in battle and equal in prowess unto Krishna himself, that hero, O king, thus surrounded by those heroes, was not agitated in the least. Then Dhananjaya, beholding Subhadra's son engaged in battle, rushed to that spot, excited with wrath, desirous of rescuing his own son. Thereupon the kings (on the Kuru side), headed by Bhishma and Drona and with cars, elephants and steeds, rushed impetuously at Savyasachin. Then a thick earthly dust, suddenly raised by foot-soldiers and steeds and cars and cavalry troopers, covering the sky appeared on the view. And those thousands of elephants and hundreds of kings, when they came within reach of Arjuna's arrows, were all unable to make any further advance. And all creatures there set up loud wails, and the points of the compass became dark. And then the transgression of the Kurus assumed a fierce and dreadful aspect as regards its consequences. Neither the welkin, nor the cardinal points of the compass nor the earth, nor the sun, could be distinguished, O best of men, in consequence of the arrows shot by Kiritin. And many were the elephants there deprived of the standards (on their backs), and many car-warriors also, deprived of their steeds. And some leaders of car divisions were seen wandering, having abandoned their cars. And other car-warriors, deprived of their cars, were seen to wander hither and thither, weapon in hand and their arms graced with Angadas. And riders of steeds abandoning their steeds and of elephants abandoning their elephants from fear of Arjuna, O king, fled away in all directions. And kings were seen felled or falling from cars and elephants and steeds in consequence of Arjuna's shafts. And Arjuna, assuming a fierce countenance, cut off with his terrible shafts, the upraised arms of warriors, mace in grasp, and arms bearing swords, O king, or darts, or quivers, or shafts, or bows, or hooks, or standards, all over the field. And spiked maces broken in fragments, and mallets, O sire, and bearded darts, and short arrows, and swords also, in that battle, and sharp-edged battle-axes, and lances, O Bharata, and shields broken into pieces, and coats of mail also, O king, and standards, and weapons of all kinds thrown away and umbrellas furnished with golden staves, and iron hooks also, O Bharata, and goads and whips, and traces also, O sire, were seen strewn over the field of battle in heaps. There was no man in thy army, O sire, who could advance against the heroic Arjuna in battle. Whoever, O king, advanced against Pritha's son in battle, pierced by sharp shafts was despatched to the other world. When all these combatants of thine broke had fled away, Arjuna and Vasudeva blew their excellent conches. Thy sire Devavrata then, beholding the (Kuru) host routed, smilingly addressed the heroic son of Bharadwaja in the battle and said, "This mighty and heroic son of Pandu, viz., Dhananjaya, accompanied by Krishna, is dealing with (our) troops as he alone is competent to deal with them. He is incapable of being vanquished in battle today by any means, judging by his form that we see now so like unto that of the Destroyer himself at the end of the Yuga. This vast host again (of ours) is incapable of being rallied. Behold, looking at one another, our troops are flying away. Yon Sun, robbing in every way the vision of the whole world, is about to reach that best of mountains called Asta. For this, O bull among men, I think that the hour is come for the withdrawal (of the army). The warriors, who have all been tired and struck with panic, will never fight. Having said this unto Drona that best of preceptors, Bhishma, that mighty car-warrior, caused thy army to be withdrawn. And then when the sun set, the withdrawal of both thy army and theirs took place, O sire, and twilight set in."
 
Sanjaya said,--"When the night having passed away, the dawn came, Santanu's son Bhishma, that chastiser of foes, gave the order for the (Kuru) army to prepare for battle. And the son of Santanu, the old Kuru grandsire, desirous of victory to thy sons, formed that mighty array known after the name of Garuda. And on the beak of that Garuda was thy sire Devavrata himself. And its two eyes were Bharadwaja's son and Kritavarman of Satwata's race. And those renowned warriors, Aswatthaman and Kripa, supported by the Trigartas, the Matsyas, the Kekayas, and the Vatadhanas, were in its head. And Bhurisravas and Sala, and Salya and Bhagadatta, O sire, and the Madrakas, the Sindhu-Souviras, and they that were called the Pancha-nodas, together with Jayadratha, were placed on its neck. And on its back was king Duryodhana with all his followers. And Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and the Kamvojas with the Sakas, and the Surasenas, O sire, formed its tail, O great king. And the Magadhas and the Kalingas, with all the tribes of the Daserakas, accoutred in mail, formed the right wing of that array. And the Karushas, the Vikunjas, the Mundas, and the Kaundivrishas, with Vrithadvala, were stationed on the left wing. Then that chastiser of foes, Savyasachin, beholding the host disposed in battle-array, aided by Dhrishtadyumna, disposed his troops in counter-array. And in opposition to that array of thine, the son of Pandu formed fierce array after the form of the half-moon. And stationed on the right horn, Bhimasena shone surrounded by kings of diverse countries abundantly armed with various weapons. Next to him were those mighty car-warriors Virata and Drupada; and next to them was Nila armed with envenomed weapons. And next to Nila was the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtaketu, surrounded by the Chedis, the Kasis, the Karushas, and the Pauravas. And Dhrishtadyumna, and Sikhandin, with the Panchalas and the Prabhadrakas, and supported by other troops, were stationed in the middle, O Bharata, for battle. And thither also was king Yudhishthira the just, surrounded by his elephant division. And next to him were Satyaki, O king, and the five sons of Draupadi. And immediately next to them was Iravan. And next to him were Bhimasena's son (Ghatotkacha) and those mighty car-warriors, the Kekayas. And next, on the left horn (of that array), was that best of men, viz., he who had for his protector, Janardana--that protector of the whole Universe. It was thus that the Pandavas formed their mighty counter-array for the destruction of thy sons and of those who had sided with them. Then commenced the battle between thy troops and those of the foe striking one another, and in which cars and elephants mingled in the clash of combat. Large numbers of elephants and crowds of cars were seen everywhere, O king, to rush towards one another for purposes of slaughter. And the rattle of innumerable cars rushing (to join the fray), or engaged separately raised a loud uproar, mingling with the beat of drums. And the shouts of the heroic combatants belonging to thy army and theirs, O Bharata, slaying one another in that fierce encounter, reached the very heavens."
 
Sanjaya said, "After the ranks of thy army and theirs had been disposed in battle-array, that mighty car-warrior, Dhananjaya, felling in that conflict leaders of car-divisions with his arrows, caused a great carnage, O Bharata, among the car-ranks. The Dhartarashtras, (thus) slaughtered in battle by Pritha's son, like the Destroyer himself at the end of the Yuga, still fought perseveringly with the Pandavas. Desirous. of (winning) blazing glory and (bent upon) making death (the only ground for) a cessation of the fight, with minds undirected to anything else, they broke the Pandava ranks in many places and were also themselves broken. Then both the Pandava and the Kaurava troops broke, changed positions, and fled away. Nothing could be distinguished. An earthly dust arose, shrouding the very sun. And nobody there could distinguish, either the cardinal or the subsidiary directions. And everywhere the battle raged, O king, the combatants being guided by the indications afforded by colours, by watch-words, names and tribal distinctions. And the array of the Kauravas, O king, could not be broken, duly protected as it was by Bharadwaja's son, O sire. And so the formidable array of the Pandava also, protected by Savyasachin, and well-guarded by Bhima, could not be broken. And the cars and elephants in close ranks, O king, of both the armies, and other combatants, coming out of their respective arrays, engaged in conflict. And in that fierce battle cavalry soldiers felled cavalry soldiers, with polished swords of sharp edges and long lances. And car-warriors, getting car-warriors (within reach) in that fierce conflict, felled them with shafts decked with golden wings. And elephant-riders, of thy side and theirs, felled large numbers of elephant-riders in close ranks, with broad-headed shafts and arrows and lances. And large bodies of infantry, inspired with wrath towards one another, cheerfully felled combatants of their own class with short arrows and battle-axes. And car-warriors, O king, getting elephant-riders (within reach) in that conflict, felled them along with their elephants. And elephant-riders similarly felled car-warriors. And, O bull of Bharata's race, the cavalry soldier with his lance felled the car-warrior in that conflict, and the car-warrior also felled the cavalry soldier. And both the armies the foot-soldier, felled the car-warrior in the combat, and the car-warrior felled the foot-soldiers, with sharp weapons. And elephant-riders felled horse-riders, and horse-riders felled warriors on the backs of elephants. And all this appeared exceedingly wonderful. And here and there foot-soldiers, were felled by foremost of elephant-riders, and elephant-riders were seen to be felled by the former. And bands of foot-soldiers, by hundreds and thousands, were seen to be felled by horse-riders and horse-riders by foot-soldiers. And strewn with broken standards and bows and lances and housings of elephants, and costly blankets and bearded darts, and maces, and clubs furnished with spikes, and Kampanas, and darts, and variegated coats of mail and Kunapas, and iron hooks, and polished scimitars, and shafts furnished with golden wings, the field, O best of Bharata's race, shone as if with floral wreaths. And the earth, miry with flesh and blood, became impassable with the bodies of men and steeds and elephants slain in that dreadful battle. And drenched with human blood, the earthy dust disappeared. And the cardinal points, all around, became perfectly clear, O Bharata. And innumerable headless trunks rose up all around indicating, O Bharata, of the destruction of the world. And in that terrible and awful battle, car-warriors were seen to run away in all directions. Then Bhishma and Drona, and Jayadratha, the ruler of the Sindhus and Purumitra, and Vikarna, and Sakuni the son of Suvala-these warriors invincible in battle and possessed of leonine prowess-staying in battle broke the ranks of the Pandavas. And so Bhimasena and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, and Satyaki, and Chekitana, and the sons of Draupadi, O Bharata, supported by all the kings (on their side), began to grind thy troops and thy sons stationed in battle, like the gods grinding the Danavas. And those bulls among Kshatriyas, striking one another in battle, became terrible to behold and covered with blood shone like Kinsukas. And the foremost warriors of both armies, vanquishing their opponents, looked, O king, like the planetary luminaries in the firmament. Then thy son Duryodhana, supported by a thousand cars, rushed to battle with the Pandavas and the Rakshasa. And so all the Pandavas, with a large body of combatants rushed in battle against those chastisers of foes, the heroic Bhishma and Drona. And the diadem-decked (Arjuna) also, excited with rage rushed against the foremost of kings. And Arjuna's son (Abhimanyu), and Satyaki, both advanced against the forces of Suvala's son. And then commenced once more a fearful battle, making the hair to stand on end, between thine and the enemy's troops both desirous of vanquishing each other."
 
Sanjaya said, "Then those kings, excited with rage, beholding Phalguni in battle, surrounded him on all sides with many thousands of cars. And having, O Bharata surrounded him with multitudinous division of cars, they shrouded him from all sides with many thousands of shafts. And bright lances of sharp points, and maces, and clubs endued with spikes, and bearded darts and battle-axes, and mallets and bludgeons they hurled at Phalguni's car, excited with rage. And that shower of weapons approaching (towards him) like a flight of locusts, Pritha's son checked on all sides with his gold-decked arrows. And beholding there on that occasion the superhuman lightness of hand that Vibhatsu possessed, the gods, the Danavas, the Gandharvas, the Pisachas, the Uragas and the Rakshasas eulogised Phalguni, O king, saying,--'Excellent, Excellent.' And the heroic Gandharvas along with Suvala's son with a large force surrounded Satyaki and Abhimanyu. Then the brave warriors led by Suvala's son from anger, cut into pieces the excellent car of the Vrishni hero, with weapons of diverse kinds. And in course of that fierce conflict, Satyaki, abandoning that car of his, speedily mounted on Abhimanyu's car, O chastiser of foes. And those two, mounted on the same car, then began to speedily slaughter the army of Suvala's son with straight arrows of sharp points. And Drona and Bhishma, steadily struggling in battle, began to slaughter the division of king Yudhishthira the just, with sharp shafts furnished with the feathers of the Kanka bird. Then the son of Dharma and two other sons of Pandu by Madri, in the very sight of the whole army, began to grind the division of Drona. And the battle that took place there was fierce and awful, making the hair stand on end, like the terrible battle that took place between the gods and the Asuras in days of yore. And Bhimasena and Ghatotkacha, both achieved mighty feats. Then Duryodhana, approaching, checked them both. And the prowess we then beheld of Hidimva's son was exceedingly wonderful, insomuch that he fought in battle, O Bharata, transcending his very father. And Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, excited with wrath, pierced the vindictive Duryodhana in the breast, with an arrow, smiling the while. Then king Duryodhana, afflicted by the violence of that blow, sat down on the terrace of his car and swooned away. And his charioteer then, beholding him senseless, speedily bore him away, O king, from battle. And then the troops that supported Duryodhana broke and fled. And thereupon Bhima, smiting that Kuru army thus flying away in all directions, with sharp-pointed shafts, pursued it behind. And Prishata's son (Dhrishtadyumna), that foremost of warriors, and Pandu's son king Yudhishthira, the just, in the very sight, O Bharata, of both Drona and Ganga's son, slew their army with sharp shafts capable of slaying hostile forces. That host of thy son, thus flying away in battle, those mighty car-warriors. Bhishma and Drona were incapable of checking. For though attempted to be checked by Bhishma and the high-souled Drona, that host fled away in the very sight of Drona and Bhishma. And then when (those) thousand of car-warriors fled away in all directions, Subhadra's son and that bull of Sini's race, both stationed on the same car, began, O chastiser of foes, to slaughter the army of Suvala's son of battle. And Sini's grandson and that bull of Kuru's race looked resplendent like the sun and the moon when together in the firmament after the last lunation of the dark fortnight has passed away. And then Arjuna also, O king, excited with rage, showered arrows on thy army like the clouds pouring rain in torrents. And the Kaurava army, thus slaughtered in battle with the shafts of Partha, fled away, trembling in grief and fear. And beholding the army flying away, the mighty Bhishma and Drona, excited with rage and both desirous of Duryodhana's welfare sought to cheek it. Then king Duryodhana himself, comforting the combatants, checked that army, then flying away in all directions. And thereupon all the mighty Kshatriya car-warriors stopped, each at the spot where he saw thy son. And then others among the common soldiers, beholding them stop, stopped of their own accord, O king, from shame and desire of displaying their courage unto one another. And the impetuosity, O king, of that army thus rallied to the fight resembled that of the surging sea at the moment of the moon's rise. And king Duryodhana, beholding that army of his rallied for the fight, quickly repaired to Santanu's son Bhishma and said these words. 'O grandsire, listen to what I say, O Bharata. When, O son of Kuru, thou art alive, and Drona, that foremost of persons conversant with weapons, along with his son and with all our other friends (is alive), and then that mighty bowman Kripa also is alive, I do not regard it as at all creditable that my army should thus fly away. I do not regard the Pandavas to be, by any means, a match for thee or for Drona, in battle, or for Drona's son, or for Kripa. Without doubt, O grandsire, the sons of Pandu are being favoured by thee, inasmuch as thou forgivest, O hero, this slaughter of my army. Thou shouldst have told me, O king, before this battle took place, that thou wouldst not fight with the Pandavas. Hearing such words from thee, as also from the preceptor, O Bharata, I would then have, with Karna, reflected upon what course I should pursue. If I do not deserve to be abandoned by you two in battle, then,  O bulls among men, do ye fight according to the measure of your prowess. Hearing these words, Bhishma, laughing repeatedly, and turning up his eyes in wrath, said to thy son, 'Many a time, O king, have I said unto thee words worthy of thy acceptance and fraught with thy good. The Pandavas are incapable of being vanquished in battle by the very gods with Vasava amongst them. That, however, which my aged self is capable of doing, I will do to the extent of my power, O best of kings, in this battle. Witness it now with thy kinsmen. Today, in the very sight of all, alone I shall check the sons of Pandu at the head of their troops and with all their kinsfolk.' Thus addressed by Bhishma, thy son, O king, filled with delight, caused conches to be blown and drums to be beaten. And the Pandavas also, O king, hearing that loud uproar, blew their conches, and caused their drums and cymbals to be played upon."
 

Dhritarashtra said, "After that dreadful vow had been made in battle by Bhishma enraged by the words of my son, what, O Sanjaya, did Bhishma do unto the sons of Pandu or what did the Panchalas do unto the grandsire? Tell it all unto me, O Sanjaya."

Sanjaya said, "After the forenoon of that day, O Bharata, had passed away, and the sun in his westward course had passed a portion of his path, and after the high-souled Pandavas had won the victory, thy sire Devavrata, conversant with the distinction of all codes of morality, rushed carried by the fleetest steeds, towards the army of the Pandavas, protected by a large force and by all thy sons. Then, O Bharata, in consequence of thy sinful policy, commenced a dreadful battle, making the hair stand on end, between ourselves and the Pandavas. And the twang of bows, the flapping of bowstrings against the leathern fences (casing the hands of the bowman), mingling together, made a loud uproar resembling that of splitting hills. Stay--Here I stand,--Know this one,--Turn back,--Stand,--I wait for thee--Strike,--these were the words heard everywhere. And the sound of falling coats of mail made of gold, of crowns and diadems, and of standards resembled the sound of falling stones on a stony ground. And heads, and arms decked with ornaments, falling by hundreds and thousands upon the ground moved in convulsions. And some brave combatants, with heads severed from their trunks, continued to stand weapons in grasp or armed with drawn bow. And a dreadful river of blood began to flow there, of impetuous current, miry with flesh and blood, and with the bodies of (dead) elephants for its (sub-aqueous) rocks. Flowing from the bodies of steeds, men, and elephants, and delightful to vultures and jackals, it ran towards the ocean represented by the next world. A battle such as that, O king, which (then) took place between thy sons, O Bharata, and the Pandavas, was never seen or heard before. And in consequence of the bodies of combatants slain in that conflict, cars could not make their way. And the field of battle in consequence of the bodies of slain elephants seemed to be strewn over with blue crests of hills. And the field of battle, strewn with variegated coats of mail and turbans, O sire, looked beautiful like the firmament autumn. And some combatants were seen who, though severely wounded, yet rushed cheerfully and proudly upon the foe in battle. And many, fallen on the field of battle, cried aloud, saying--'O father, O brother, O friend, O kinsman, O companion, O maternal uncle, do not abandon me.'--And others cried aloud, saying,--'Come! Come thou here! Why art thou frightened? Where dost thou go? I stand in battle, do not be afraid.' And in that combat Bhishma, the son of Santanu, with bow incessantly drawn to a circle, shot shafts of blazing points, resembling snakes of virulent poison. And shooting continuous line of arrows in all directions, that hero of rigid vows smote the Pandava car-warriors naming each beforehand, O Bharata. And displaying his extreme lightness of hands, and dancing (as it were) along the track of his car, he seemed, O king, to be present everywhere like a circle of fire. And in consequence of the lightness of his movements, the Pandavas in that battle, along with the Srinjayas, beheld that hero, though really alone, as multiplied a thousand-fold. And every one there regarded Bhishma as having multiplied his self by illusion. Having seen him now on the east, the next moment they saw him on the west. And so having seen him on the north, the next moment they saw him on the south. And the son of Ganga was thus seen fighting in that battle. And there was no one amongst the Pandavas capable of even looking at him. What they all saw were only the innumerable shafts shot from his bow. And heroic warriors, beholding him achieve such feats in battle, and (thus) slaughtering their ranks, uttered many lamentations. And, kings in thousands came in contact with thy sire, thus coursing over the field in a superhuman way, and fell upon that fire represented by the enraged Bhishma like flights of senseless insects (upon a blazing fire) for their own destruction. Not a single shaft of that light-handed warrior was futile, falling upon the bodies of men, elephants, and steeds, in consequence of the numbers (opposed to him). With a single straight shaft shot in that battle, he despatched a single elephant like hill riven by the thunderbolt. Two or three elephant-riders at a time, cased in mail and standing together, thy sire pierced with one shaft of sharp point. Whoever approached Bhishma, that tiger among men, in battle, seen for a moment was, next beheld to fall down on the ground. And that vast host of king Yudhishthira the just, thus slaughtered by Bhishma of incomparable prowess, gave way in a thousand directions. And afflicted with that arrowy shower, the vast army began to tremble in the very presence of Vasudeva and the high-souled Partha. And although the heroic leaders of the Pandava army made great efforts, yet they could not check the flight of (even) the great car-warriors of their side afflicted with the shafts of Bhishma. The prowess, in consequence of which that vast army was routed, was equal to that of the chief of the gods himself. And that army was so completely routed, O great king, that no two persons could be seen together. And cars and elephants and steeds were pierced all over, and standards and shafts of cars were strewn over the field. And the army of the sons of Pandu uttered cries of oh and alas, and became deprived of senses. And the sire struck the son and the son struck the sire; and friend challenged the dearest of friends to battle as if under the influence of fate. And others amongst the combatants of Pandu's son were seen, O Bharata, to run away, throwing aside their coats of mail, and with dishevelled hair. And the army of the sons of Pandu, indulging in loud wails, including the very leaders of their best of car-warriors, was seen to be as confounded as a very herd of kine. The delighter of the Yadavas then, beholding that army thus routed, said unto Partha, stopping that best of cars (which he guided), these words, 'The hour is now come, O Partha, which was desired by thee. Strike Bhishma, O tiger among men, else, thou wilt lose the senses. O hero, formerly, in the conclave of kings, thou hadst said,--'I will slay all the warriors of Dhritarashtra's sons, headed by Bhishma and Drona--all in fact, who will fight with me in battle'. O son of Kunti, O chastiser of foes, make those words of thine true. Behold, O Vibhatsu, this army of thine is being routed on all sides. Behold, the kings in Yudhishthira's host are all flying away, seeing Bhishma in battle, who looketh like the Destroyer himself with wide-open mouth. Afflicted with fear, they are making themselves scarce like the weaker animals at sight of the lion. Thus addressed, Dhananjaya replied unto Vasudeva, saying, 'Plunging through this sea of the hostile host, urge on the steeds to where Bhishma is. I will throw down that invincible warrior, the reverend Kuru grandsire'. Then Madhava urged those steeds of silvery hue to where, O king, the car of Bhishma was, that car which, like the very sun, was incapable of being gazed at. And beholding the mighty-armed Partha thus rushing to an encounter with Bhishma, the mighty army of Yudhisthira rallied for battle. Then Bhishma, that foremost of warriors amongst the Kurus, repeatedly roaring like a lion, quickly covered Dhananjaya's car with an arrowy shower. In a moment that car of his, with standard and charioteer, became invisible, shrouded with that arrowy downpour. Vasudeva, however, endued with great might fearlessly and summoning all his patience, began to guide those steeds mangled by Bhishma's shafts. Then Partha, taking up his celestial bow whose twang resembled the roar of the clouds, caused Bhishma's bow to drop down, cutting it off with his keen shafts. The Kuru warrior, thy sire, seeing his bow cut off, took up another and stringed it within the twinkling of the eye. And he stretched that bow whose twang resembled the roar of the clouds, with his two hands. But Arjuna, excited with wrath, cut off that bow also of his. Then the son of Santanu applauded that lightness of hand (displayed by Arjuna), saying--Excellent, O Partha, O thou of mighty arms, excellent, O son of Pandu. O Dhananjaya, such a mighty feat is, indeed, worthy of thee. I have been pleased with thee. Fight hard with  me, O son. And having applauded Partha thus, and taking up another large bow, that hero shot his shafts at Partha's car. And Vasudeva then displayed his great skill in the guiding of chariot, for he baffled those shafts of his, by guiding the car in quick circles. Then, O sire, Bhishma with great strength pierced both Vasudeva and Dhananjaya with keen shafts all over their bodies. And mangled by those shafts of Bhishma, those two tigers among men looked like two roaring bulls with the scratches of horns on their bodies. And once again, excited with rage, Bhishma covered the two Krishnas on all sides with shafts in hundreds and thousands. And with those keen shafts of his, the enraged Bhishma caused him of Vrishni's race to shiver. And laughing loudly he also made Krishna to wonder. Then the mighty-armed Krishna, beholding the prowess of Bhishma in battle as also the mildness with which Arjuna fought, and seeing that Bhishma was creating incessant showers of arrows in that conflict and looked like the all-consuming Sun himself in the midst of the two armies, and marking besides, that that hero was slaying the foremost of combatants in Yudhishthira's host and causing a havoc in that army as if the hour of dissolution had come,--the adorable Kesava, that slayer of hosts, endued with immeasurable soul--unable to bear what he saw, thought that Yudhishthira's army could not survive that slaughter.--In a single day Bhishma can slaughter all the Daityas and the Danavas. With how much ease then can he slay in battle the sons of Pandu with all their troops and followers. The vast army of the illustrious son of Pandu is again flying away. And the Kauravas also beholding the Somakas routed, are rushing to battle cheerfully, gladdening the grandsire. Accoutred in mail, even I will stay Bhishma to-day for the sake of the Pandavas. This burthen of the high-souled Pandavas even I will lighten. As regards Arjuna, though struck in battle with keen shafts, he knoweth not what he should do, from respect for Bhishma,--And while Krishna was reflecting thus the grandsire, excited with wrath, once again shot his shafts at Partha's car. And in consequence of very great number of those arrows all the points of the compass became entirely shrouded. And neither the welkin nor the quarters nor the earth nor the sun himself of brilliant rays, could be seen. And the winds that blew seemed to be mixed with smoke, and all the points of the compass seemed to be agitated. And Drona, and Vikarna, and Jayadratha, and Bhurisrava, and Kritavarman, and Kripa, and Srutayush and the ruler of the Amvashtas and Vinda and Anuvinda, Sudakshina and the westerners, and the diverse tribes of the Sauviras, the Vasatis, and the Kshudrakas, and the Malavas, all these, at the command of the royal son of Santanu, quickly approached Kiritin for battle. And the grandson of Sini saw that Kiritin was surrounded by many hundreds of horse, and infantry, and cars, and mighty elephants. And beholding both Vasudeva and Arjuna thus encompassed by infantry and elephants and horses and cars, on all sides, that foremost of all bearers of arms, viz., the chief of the Sinis, quickly proceeded to that spot. And that foremost of bowmen, the chief of the Sinis, quickly rushing at those troops, came to Arjuna's side like Vishnu coming to the aid of the slayer of Vritra. And that foremost warrior of Sini's race cheerfully said unto Yudhishthira's host all the combatants of which had been frightened by Bhishma and whose elephants, steeds, cars, and numberless standards had been mangled and broken into pieces, and which was flying away from the field, these words, 'Ye Kshatriyas, where do ye go? This is not the duty of the righteous as hath been declared by the ancients. Ye foremost of heroes, do not violate your pledges. Observe your own duties as heroes'. Beholding that those foremost of kings were flying together from the field of battle, and marking the mildness with which Partha fought, and beholding also that Bhishma was exerting himself very powerfully in battle, and that the Kurus were rushing from all sides, the younger brother of Vasava, the high-souled protector of all the Dasarhas, unable to bear it all, addressed the renowned grandson of Sini, and applauding him, said,--'O hero of Sini's race, they that are retreating, are, indeed, retreating. They that are yet staying, O thou of the Satwata race, let them also go away. Behold, I will soon throw Bhishma down from his car, and Drona also in battle, with all their followers. There is none in the Kuru host, O thou of the Satwata race, who is able to escape my angry self. Therefore, taking up my fierce discus, I will slay Bhishma of high vows. And slaying in battle those two foremost of car-warriors, viz., Bhishma along with his followers and Drona also, O grandson of Sini, I will gladden Dhananjaya, and the king, and Bhima, and the twin Aswins. And slaying all the sons of Dhritarashtra and all those foremost of kings who have embraced their side, I will joyfully furnish king Ajatasatru with a kingdom today.' Saying this, Vasudeva's son, abandoning (the reins of) the steeds, jumped down from the car, whirling with his (right) arm his discus of beautiful nave with edge sharp as a razor, effulgent as the sun and possessed of force equal to that of a thousand bolts of heaven. And making the earth tremble under his tread, the high-souled Krishna rushed impetuously towards Bhishma. And that grinder of foes, the younger brother of the chief of the gods, excited with wrath, rushed towards Bhishma staying in the midst of his troops, like a lion from desire of slaying upon a prince of elephants blinded with fury and staying proudly for the attack. And the end of his yellow garments waving in the air looked like a cloud charged with lightning in the sky. And that lotus of a discus called Sudarsana, having for its stalk the beautiful arm of Saurin, looked as beautiful as the primeval lotus, bright as the morning sun, which sprung from the navel of Narayana. And Krishna's wrath was the morning sun that caused that lotus to blow. And the beautiful leaves of that lotus were as sharp as the edge of a razor. And Krishna's body was the beautiful lake, and his (right) arm the stalk springing therefrom, upon which that lotus shone. And beholding the younger brother of Mahendra, excited with wrath and roaring loudly and armed with that discus, all creatures set out a loud wail, thinking that the destruction of the Kurus was at hand. And armed with his discus Vasudeva looked like the Samvarta fire that appears at the end of the Yuga for consuming the world. And the preceptor of the universe blazed up like a fierce comet risen for consuming all creatures. And beholding that foremost of bipeds, that divine personage, advancing armed with the discus, Santanu's son stationed on his car, bow and arrow in hand, fearlessly said, 'Come, Come, O Lord of the gods, O thou that hast the universe for thy abode. I bow to thee, O thou that art armed with mace, sword and Saranga. O lord of the universe, forcibly throw me down from this excellent car, O thou that art the refuge of all creatures in this battle. Slain here by thee, O Krishna, great will be my good fortune both in this world and the next. Great is the respect thou payest me, O Lord of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. My dignity will be celebrated in the three worlds.' Hearing these words of Santanu's son, Krishna rushing impetuously towards him said, 'Thou art the root of this great slaughter on earth. Thou wilt behold Duryodhana slain to-day. A wise minister who treadeth in the path of righteousness should restrain a king that is addicted to the evil of gambling. That wretch again of his race who transgresseth duty should be abandoned as one whose intelligence hath been misdirected by destiny.--The royal Bhishma, hearing these words, replied unto the chief of the Yadus, saying,--Destiny is all powerful. The Yadus, for their benefit, had abandoned Kansa. I said this to the king (Dhritarashtra) but he minded it not. The listener that hath no benefit to receive becometh, for (his own) misery, of perverted understanding through (the influence of destiny).' Meanwhile, jumping down from his car, Partha, himself of massive and long arms, quickly ran on foot after that chief of Yadu's race possessed of massive and long arms, and seized him by his two hands. That first of all gods devoted in self, Krishna, was excited with rage. And therefore, though thus seized, Vishnu forcibly dragged Jishnu after him, like a tempest bearing away a single tree. The high-souled Partha, however, seizing them with great force his legs as he was proceeding at a quick pace towards Bhishma, succeeded, O king, in stopping him with difficulty at the tenth step. And when Krishna stopped, decked as he was with a beautiful garland of gold, cheerfully bowed down to him and said, 'Quell this wrath of thine. Thou art the refuge of the Pandavas, O Kesava. I swear, O Kesava, by my sons and uterine brothers that I will not withdraw from the acts to which I have pledged myself. O younger brother of Indra, at thy command I will certainly annihilate the Kurus.' Hearing that promise and oath of his, Janardana became gratified. And ever engaged as he was in doing what was agreeable to Arjuna--that best of the Kurus.--he once more, discus on arm, mounted on his car. And that slayer of foes once more took up those reins (that he had abandoned), and taking up his conch called Panchajanya, Saurin filled all the points of the compass and the welkin with its blare. And thereupon beholding Krishna decked with necklace and Angada and ear-rings, with curved eye-lashes smeared with dust, and with teeth of perfect whiteness, once more take up his conch the Kuru heroes uttered a loud cry. And the sound of cymbals and drums and kettle-drums, and the rattle of car-wheels and the noise of smaller drums, mingling with those leonine shouts, set forth from all the ranks of the Kurus, became a fierce uproar. And the twang of Partha's Gandiva, resembling the roll of the thunder, filled the welkin and all the quarters. And shot from the bow of Pandu's son, bright and blazing shafts proceeded in all directions. Then the Kuru king, with a large force, and with Bhishma and Bhurisravas also, arrow in hand, and resembling a comet risen for consuming a constellation, rushed against him. And Bhurisravas hurled at Arjuna seven javelins furnished with wings of gold, and Duryodhana a lance of fierce impetuosity, and Salya a mace, and Santanu's son a dart. Thereupon, Arjuna, baffling with seven shafts the seven javelins, fleet as arrows, shot by Bhurisravas, cut off with another keen-edged shaft the lance hurled from Duryodhana's arm. And the blazing dart coming towards him--effulgent as lightning--hurled by Santanu's son, and the mace hurled from the arm of the ruler of the Madras, that hero cut off with two (other) shafts. Then drawing with his two hands and with great force his beautiful bow Gandiva of immeasurable energy, he invoked with proper mantras the highly wonderful and terrible Mahendra weapon and caused it to appear in the welkin. And with that mighty weapon producing profuse showers of arrows endued with the effulgence of the blazing fire, that high-souled and mighty bowman, decked with diadem and garland of gold, checked the entire Kaurava host. And those shafts from Partha's bow, cutting off the arms, bows, standard-tops, and cars, penetrated into the bodies of the kings and of the huge elephants and steeds of the foe. And filling the cardinal and the subsidiary directions with those sharp and terrible shafts of his, Pritha's son decked with diadem and garland of gold, agitated the hearts of his foes by means of the twang of Gandiva. And in that awful passage at arms, the blare of conches and beat of drums and the deep rattle of cars were all silenced by the twang of Gandiva. And ascertaining that twang to be of Gandiva, king Virata and other heroes among men, and the brave Drupada, the king of the Panchalas, all proceeded to that spot with undepressed hearts. And all thy combatants stood, struck with fear, each at the spot where he heard that twang of Gandiva. And none amongst them ventured to proceed to that place whence that sound was heard. And in that awful slaughter of kings, heroic combatants were slain and car-warriors with those that guided their cars. And elephants with resplendent housings of gold and gorgeous standards (on their backs), afflicted with broad-headed shafts failing upon them, suddenly fell down, deprived of life and their bodies mangled by Kiritin. And forcibly struck by Partha with his winged arrows of great impetuosity and broad-headed shafts of keen-edge and points, the standards of innumerable kings stationed at the heads of their yantras and Indrajalas were cut off. And bands of infantry and car-warriors, in that battle, and steeds and elephants, fell fast on the field, their limbs paralysed, or themselves speedily deprived of life, affected by Dhananjaya with those shafts. And, O king, many were the warriors who in that terrible conflict had their coats of mail and bodies cut through by that mighty weapon called after the name of Indra. And with those terrible and sharp shafts of his, Kiritin caused an awful river to run on the field of battle, having for its waters the blood flowing from the mangled bodies of the combatants and having for its froth their fat. And its current was broad and ran fiercely. And the bodies of elephants and steeds despatched to the other world formed its banks. And its mire consisted of the entrails, the marrow, and the flesh of human beings, and prodigious Rakshasas formed the (tall) trees (standing on its banks). And the crowns of human heads in profusion, covered with hair, formed its (floating) mess, and heaps of human bodies, forming its sandbanks, caused the current to flow in a thousand directions. And the coats of mail strewn all over formed its hard pebbles. And its banks were infested by large number of jackals and wolves and cranes and vultures and crowds of Rakshasas, and packs of hyenas. And they that were alive beheld that terrible river of current consisting of fat, marrow, and blood, caused by the arrowy showers of Arjuna--that embodiment of (man's) cruelty--to look like the great Vaitarani. And beholding the foremost warriors of that army of the Kurus thus slain by Phalguni, the Chedis, the Panchalas, the Kurushas, the Matsyas, and all the combatants of the Pandava side, those foremost of men, elated with victory, together set up a loud shout for frightening the Kaurava warriors. And they uttered that cry indicative of victory, beholding the foremost combatants of the (Kuru) army, the very troops protected by mighty leaders of divisions, thus slain by Kiritin, that terror of foes, who frightened them like a lion frightening herds of smaller animals. And then the bearer of Gandiva himself, and Janardana both filled with delight, uttered loud roars. And the Kurus, with Bhishma, and Drona and Duryodhana and Valhika, exceedingly mangled by the weapons (of Arjuna), beholding the sun withdraw his rays, and seeing also that awful and irresistible weapon called after the name of Indra spread out and causing (as it were) the end of the Yuga to appear, withdraw their forces for the nightly rest. And that foremost of men, Dhananjaya also, having achieved a great feat and won great renown by crushing his foes, and beholding the sun assume a red hue and the evening twilight to set in, and having completed his work, retired with his uterine brothers to the camp for nightly rest. Then when darkness was about to set in, there arose among the Kuru troops a great and terrible uproar. And all said, 'In today's battle Arjuna hath slain ten thousand car-warriors, and full seven hundred elephants. And all the westerners, and the diverse tribes of the Sauviras, and the Kshudrakas and the Malavas, have all been slain. The feat achieved by Dhananjaya is a mighty one. None else is competent to achieve it. Srutayush, the ruler of the Amvashtas, and Durmarshana, and Chitrasena, and Drona, and Kripa, and the ruler of the Sindhus, and Valhika, and Bhurisravas, and Salya, and Sala, O king, and other warriors by hundreds united together, along with Bhishma himself, have on battle, by the prowess of his own arms, been vanquished today by the angry son of Pritha, viz., Kiritin, that one mighty car-warrior in the world.' Talking thus, O Bharata, all the warriors of thy side went to their tents from the field of battle. And all the combatants of the Kuru army frightened by Kiritin, then entered their tents illumined by thousands of torches, and beautified by innumerable lamps.

 

Sanjaya said,--"When the night passed away, O Bharata, the high-souled Bhishma, with wrath engendered, supported by a large force, and stationed at the head of the Bharata army, proceeded against the foe. And Drona and Duryodhana and Valhika, and also Durmarshana and Chitrasena, the mighty Jayadratha, and other royal warriors, supported by large divisions accompanied, surrounding him all sides. And surrounded by those great and mighty car-warriors endued with great prowess and energy, O king, he shone, O best of monarchs, in the midst of those foremost of royal warriors, like the chief of the celestials in the midst of the gods. And the magnificent standards on the backs of the elephants stationed in front of those ranks, of diverse colours, viz., red, yellow, black and brown, waving in the air, looked exceedingly beautiful. And that army with the royal son of Santanu and other mighty car-warriors and with elephants and steeds, looked resplendent like a mass of clouds charged with lightning, or like the firmament, in the season of rains, with gathering clouds. And then the fierce army of the Kurus, bent on battle and protected by Santanu's son, rushed impetuously towards Arjuna like the fierce current of the ocean-going Ganga. Pervaded by diverse kinds of forces possessed of great strength, and having in its wings elephants, steeds, infantry, and cars in profusion, that array the high-souled (Arjuna) having the prince of apes on his banner beheld from a distance to resemble a mighty mass of clouds. That high-souled hero, that bull among men, upon his car furnished with tall standard and unto which were yoked white steeds, at the head of his (own) division and surrounded by a mighty force, proceeded against the whole hostile army. And all the Kauravas with thy sons, beholding that ape-bannered (warrior) with his excellent standard and handsome car-shaft wrapped (in costly cover), accompanied by that bull of Yadu's race, his charioteer in battle, were filled with dismay. And thy army beheld that best of arrays, which was protected by that mighty car-warrior of the world, viz., Kiritin, with weapons upraised to have at each of its corners four thousand elephants. Like the array which was formed on the day before by that best of Kurus viz., king Yudhishthira the just, and like of which had never been seen or heard before by human beings, was this one of today (that the Pandavas formed). Then on the field of battle thousand of drums were loudly beaten, and there arose from all the divisions the loud blare of conches and the notes of trumpets and many leonine shouts. Then (innumerable) bows of loud twang, stretched by heroic warriors with shaft fixed on the bowstrings, and the blare of conches, silenced that uproar of drums and cymbals. And the entire welkin filled with that blare of conches was diffused with an earthly dust that made it wonderful to behold. And with that dust the sky looked as if a vast canopy were spread overhead. And beholding that canopy the brave warriors all rushed impetuously (to battle). And car-warriors, struck by car-warriors, were overthrown with charioteers, steeds, cars, and standards. And elephants, struck by elephants, fell down, and foot-soldiers struck by foot-soldiers. And rushing horsemen, struck down by rushing horsemen with lances and swords, fell down with frightful countenances. And all this seemed exceedingly wonderful. And excellent shields decked with golden stars and possessed of solar effulgence, broken by (strokes of) battle-axes, lances and swords dropped on the field. And many car-warriors mangled and bruised by the tusks and the strong trunks of elephants, fell down with their charioteers. And many bulls among car-warriors struck by bulls among car-warriors with their shafts, fell down on the ground. And many persons hearing the wails of horsemen and foot-soldiers struck with the tusks and other limbs of elephants or crushed by the impetus of those huge creatures rushing in close ranks, fell down on the field of battle.

"Then when cavalry and foot-soldiers were falling fast, and elephants and steeds and cars were flying away in fear, Bhishma, surrounded by many mighty car-warriors, obtained sight of him who had the prince of apes on his standard. And the palmyra-bannered warrior, viz. the son of Santanu, having five palmyras on his standard, then rushed against the diadem-decked (Arjuna) whose car, in consequence of the fleetness of the excellent steeds attached to it was endued with wonderful energy and which blazed like the very lightning in consequence of the energy of his mighty weapons. And so against that son of Indra who was like unto Indra himself, rushed many (other) warriors headed by Drona and Kripa and Salya and Vivinsati and Duryodhana and also Somadatta's son, O king. Then the heroic Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, conversant with all weapons and cased in a handsome and golden coat of mail, rushing out of the ranks, quickly proceeded against all those warriors. And that son of Krishna of feats incapable of being borne, baffling the mighty weapons of all those warriors of great strength, looked resplendent like the adorable Agni himself, on the sacrificial altar, of blazing flames, invoked with high mantras. Then Bhishma of mighty energy, creating in that battle a very river whose waters were the blood of foes, and quickly avoiding Subhadra's son, encountered that mighty car-warrior, viz., Partha himself. Then Arjuna decked with diadem and garlands with his Gandiva of wonderful mien and twang loud as the roar of the thunder, shooting showers of arrows, baffled that shower of mighty weapons (shot by Bhishma). And that high-souled warrior having the prince of apes on his banner, of feats incapable of being borne, then poured in return upon Bhishma, that best of all wielders of bows a shower of sharp-edged arrows and polished shafts of broad heads. And so thy troops also beheld that shower of mighty weapons shot by him who had the prince of apes on his banner, opposed and dispersed by Bhishma like the maker of day dispelling (the gloom of night). And the Kurus and the Srinjayas, and all the people there, beheld that single combat between those two foremost of men, viz., Bhishma and Dhananjaya, proceeding thus steadily and thus distinguished by the terrible twang of the bows of both."

 
Sanjaya said, "And Drona's son, and Bhurisravas, and Chitrasena, O sire, and the son of Samyamani also, all fought with Subhadra's son. And while fighting alone with five tigers among men, people beheld him possessed of exceeding energy, like a young lion fighting with five elephants. And no one among them equalled Krishna's son in sureness of aim, in bravery, in prowess, in lightness of hand or in knowledge of weapons. And beholding his son, that chastiser of foes thus struggling and displaying his prowess in battle, Partha set up a leonine roar. And seeing thy grandson, O king, thus afflicting thy host, thy warriors, O monarch, surrounded him on all sides. Then that smiter of foes, the son of Subhadra, depending upon his prowess and might, advanced with undepressed heart against the Dhartarashtra host. And while battling with the foe in that conflict, his mighty bow endued with the effulgence of the sun, was seen by all to be incessantly stretched for striking. And piercing the son of Drona with one shaft, and Salya with five, he overthrew the standard of Samyamani's son with eight shafts. And with another sharp-edged arrow he cut off the mighty dart of golden staff, resembling a snake, that was hurled at him by Somadatta's son. And the heir of Arjuna, baffling in the very sight of Salya, his hundreds of terrible shafts, slew his four steeds. Thereupon Bhurisravas, and Salya, and Drona's son and Samyamani, and Sala struck with the fear at the strength of arms displayed by Krishna's son could not stay before him. Then, O great king, the Trigartas and the Madras, with the Kekayas, numbering five and twenty thousand urged by thy son, all of whom were foremost of men accomplished in the science of arms and who were incapable of defeat by foes in battle, surrounded Kiritin with his son for slaying them both. Then, O king, that vanquisher of foes, the commander of the Pandava army, the prince of the Panchalas, beheld the cars of the father and the son (thus) surrounded (by the foe). Supported by many thousands of elephants and cars, and by hundred thousands of cavalry and infantry, and stretching his bow in great wrath he advanced against that division of the Madras and the Kekayas, O chastiser of foes, leading his troops with him. And that division (of the Pandava army), protected by that renowned and firm bowman, and consisting of cars, elephants, and cavalry, looked resplendent as it advanced for the encounter. And while proceeding towards Arjuna, that perpetuator of Panchala's race struck Saradwat's son on his shoulder-joint with three arrows. And piercing the Madrakas then with ten sharp shafts, he speedily slew the protector of Kritavarman's rear. And that chastiser of foes then, with a shaft of broad head, slew Damana, the heir of the high-souled Paurava. Then the son of Samyamani pierced the Panchala prince incapable of defeat in the battle with ten shafts, and his charioteer also with ten shafts. Then that mighty bowman, (thus) severely pierced, licked with his tongue the corners of his mouth, and cut off his enemy's bow with a broad-headed shaft of excessive sharpness. And soon the prince of Panchala afflicted his foe with five and twenty arrows, and then slew his steeds, O king, and then both the protectors of his wings. Then, O bull of Bharata's race, Samyamani's son, standing on that car whose steeds were slain, looked at the son of the renowned king of the Panchalas. Then taking up a terrible scimitar of the best kind, made of steel, Samyamani's son walking on foot, approached Drupada's son staying on his car. And the Pandavas, soldiers and Dhrishtadyumna also of Prishata's race beheld him coming like a wave and resembling a snake fallen from the skies. And he whirled his sword and looked like the sun and advanced with the tread of an infuriate elephant. The prince of Panchala then, excited with rage, quickly taking up a mace, smashed the head of Samyamani's son thus advancing towards him, sharp-edged scimitar in grasp and shield in hand, as soon as the latter, having crossed the shooting distance, was near enough to his adversary's car. And then, O king, while falling down deprived of life, his blazing scimitar and shield, loosened from his grasp, fell down with his body on the ground. And the high-souled son of the Panchala king, of terrible prowess, having slain his foe with his mace, won great renown. And when that prince, that mighty car-warrior and great bowman, was (thus) slain, loud cries of oh and alas arose among thy troops, O sire. Then Samyamani, excited with rage upon beholding his own son slain, impetuously rushed towards the prince of Panchala who was incapable of defeat in battle. And all the kings of both the Kuru and the Pandava armies beheld those two princes and foremost of car-warriors engaged in battle. Then that slayer of hostile heroes Samyamani, excited with wrath, struck Prishata's son with three shafts like (the conductor of an elephant striking) a mighty elephant with hooks. And so Salya also, that ornament of assemblies, excited with wrath, struck the heroic son of Prishata on his breast. And then commenced (another) battle (there)."
 

Dhritarashtra said,--"I regard destiny to be superior to exertion, O Sanjaya, inasmuch as the army of my son is continually slaughtered by the army of the Pandavas. Thou always speakest, O suta, of my troops as being slaughtered, and thou always speakest of the Pandavas as both unslain and cheerful. Indeed, O Sanjaya, thou speakest of mine as deprived of manliness, felled and falling, and slaughtered, although they are battling to the best of their powers and striving hard for victory. Thou always speakest to me of the Pandavas as obtaining victory and mine as becoming weaker and weaker. O child, I am incessantly hearing of countless cause of unbearable and poignant grief on account of Duryodhana's doing. I do not see, O Sanjaya, the means by which the Pandavas, may be weakened and sons of mine may obtain the victory in battle.

Sanjaya said, "This mighty evil hath proceeded from thee, O king. Listen now with patience to the great slaughter of men, elephants, steeds and car-warriors. Dhrishtadyumna, afflicted by Salya with nine shafts, afflicted in return the ruler of Madras with many shafts made of steel. And then we beheld the prowess of Prishata's son to be highly wonderful inasmuch as he speedily checked Salya that ornament of assemblies. The battle between them lasted for only a short space of time. While angrily engaged in combat, none beheld even a moment's rest taken by any of them. Then, O king, Salya in that battle cut off Dhrishtadyumna's bow with a broad-headed shaft of sharp edge and excellent temper. And he also covered him, O Bharata, with a shower of arrows like rain charged clouds pouring their drops on the mountain breast during the season of rains. And while Dhrishtadyumna was being thus afflicted, Abhimanyu, excited with wrath, rushed impetuously towards the car of the ruler of the Madras. Then the wrathful son of Krishna, of immeasurable soul, obtaining the car of the ruler of the Madras (within shooting distance), pierced Artayani with three sharp shafts. Then the warriors of thy army, O king, desirous of opposing the son of Arjuna in battle, speedily surrounded the car of the ruler of Madras. And Duryodhana, and Vikarna, and Dussasana, and Vivinsati and Durmarshana, and Dussala, and Chitrasena, and Durmukha, and Satyabrata, blessed be thou, and Purumitra, O Bharata,--these, protecting the car of the ruler of the Madras, stationed themselves there. Then Bhimasena, excited with wrath, and Dhrishtadyumna. of Prishata's race, and the five sons of Draupadi, and Abhimanyu, and the twin sons of Madri and Pandu,--these ten opposed those ten warriors of the Dhritarashtra army shooting, O king, diverse kinds of weapons. And they approached and encountered one another in battle desirous of slaying one another, in consequence, O king, of thy wicked policy. And when those ten car-warriors, excited with wrath, engaged with the ten others in that awful battle, the other car-warriors of both thy army and of the foe all stood as spectators. And those mighty car-warriors, shooting diverse kinds of weapons and roaring at one another, smote one another fiercely. With wrath engendered in their breasts, desirous of slaying one another, they uttered fierce shouts, challenging one another. And jealous of one another, O king, those kinsfolk united together, encountered one another wrathfully, shooting mighty weapons. And wonderful to say, Duryodhana, excited with rage, pierced Dhrishtadyumna in that battle with four sharp shafts. And Durmarshana pierced him with twenty, and Chitrasena with five, and Durmukha with nine, and Dussaha with seven, and Vivinsati with five, and Dussasana with three shafts. Then, O great king, that scorcher of foes, viz., Prishata's son, pierced each of them in return with five and twenty shafts, displaying his lightness of hand. And Abhimanyu, O Bharata, pierced Satyavrata and Purumitra each with ten shafts. Then the son of Madri, those delighters of their mother, covered their uncle with showers of sharp arrows. And all this seemed wonderful. Then, O monarch, Salya covered his nephews, those two foremost of car-warriors desirous of counteracting their uncle's feats, with arrows, but the sons of Madri wavered not. Then the mighty Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, beholding Duryodhana and desirous of ending the strife, took up his mace. And beholding the mighty-armed Bhimasena with upraised mace and looking like the crested Kailasa mount, thy sons fled away in terror. Duryodhana, however, excited with wrath, urged the Magadha division consisting of ten thousand elephants of great activity. Accompanied by that elephant division and placing the ruler of Magadha before him, king Duryodhana advanced towards Bhimasena. Beholding that elephant division advancing towards him, Vrikodara, mace in hand, jumped down from his car, uttering a loud roar like that of a lion. And armed with that mighty mace which was endued with great weight and strength of adamant, he rushed towards that elephant division, like the Destroyer himself with wide open mouth. And the mighty-armed Bhimasena endued with great strength, slaying elephants with his mace, wandered over the field, like the slayer of Vritra among the Danava host. And with the loud shouts of the roaring Bhima, shouts that made the mind and the heart to tremble with fear, the elephants, crouching close, lost all power of motion. Then the sons of Draupadi, and that mighty car-warrior, the son of Subhadra, and Nakula and Sahadeva, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, protecting Bhima's rear, rushed behind him, checking all by scattering their arrowy showers like the very clouds pouring rain on the mountain breast. And those Pandava warriors struck off the heads of their foes battling from the backs of elephants, with well-tempered and keen-edged shafts of diverse forms. And the heads (of elephant-riders), and arms decked with ornaments, and hands with iron-hooks in grasp, falling fast, resembled a stony shower. And the headless trunk of elephant-riders on the necks of the beasts they rode, looked like headless trees on mountain summits. And we beheld mighty elephants felled and falling, slain by Dhrishtadyumna, the high-souled son of Prishata. Then the ruler of the Magadhas, in that battle, urged his elephant resembling Airavata himself, towards the car of Subhadra's son. Beholding that mighty elephant advancing towards him, that slayer of hostile heroes, the brave son of Subhadra, slew it with a single shaft. And when the ruler of the Magadhas was thus deprived of his elephant, that conqueror of hostile cities viz., the son of Krishna, then struck off that king's head with a broad-headed shaft with silver wings. And Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, having penetrated that elephant division, began to wander over the field, crushing those beasts around him like Indra himself crushing the mountains. And we beheld elephants slain in that battle by Bhimasena, each with only one stroke (of his mace), like hills riven by thunder. And many elephants, huge as hills, were slain there, having their tusks broken or temples, or bones, or backs, or frontal globes. And others, O king, deprived of life, lay there with foaming mouths. And many mighty elephants, with frontal globes completely smashed, vomited large quantities of blood. And some, from fear, laid themselves down on the ground like (so many) hillocks. And smeared with the fat and blood (of elephants) and almost bathed in their marrow, Bhima wandered over the field like the Destroyer himself, club in hand. And Vrikodara, whirling that mace of his which was wet with the blood of elephants, became terrible and awful to behold, like the wielder of Pinaka armed with Pinaka. And those huge tuskers, while (thus) crushed by the angry Bhima, suddenly fled away, afflicted, crushing thy own ranks. And these mighty bowmen and car-warriors, headed by Subhadra's son (all the while) protected that battling hero whirling his gory mace wet with the blood of elephants, like the celestials protecting the wielder of the thunder-bolt. Of terrible soul, Bhimasena then looked like the Destroyer. himself. Indeed, O Bharata, putting forth his strength on all sides, mace in arms, we beheld Bhimasena then to resemble Sankara himself dancing (at the end of the Yuga), and his fierce, heavy, and sounding mace to resemble the club of Yama and possessed of the sound of Indra's bolt. And that gory mace of his, smeared with marrow and hair, resembled (also) the angry Rudra's Pinaka while he is engaged in destroying all creatures. As a herdsman chastises his herd of cattle with a goad, so did Bhima smite that elephant division with that mace of his. And while thus slaughtered by Bhima with his mace and with shafts (by those that protected his rear), the elephants ran on all sides, crushing the cars of thy own army. Then driving away those elephants from the field like a mighty wind driving away masses of clouds, Bhima stood there like wielder of the trident on a crematorium."

 
Sanjaya said, "When that elephant division was exterminated, thy son Duryodhana urged his entire army, commanding the warriors to slay Bhimasena. Then the entire army at the command of thy son, rushed towards Bhimasena who was uttering fierce shouts. That vast and unlimited host difficult of being borne by the very gods, incapable of being crossed like the surging sea on the day of full moon or new moon, abounding with cars, elephants, and steeds, resounding with the blare of conches and the beat of drums, numbering untold foot-soldiers and car-warriors, and shrouded by the dust (raised), that very sea of hostile troops incapable of being agitated, thus coming towards him, Bhimasena checked in battle, O king, like the bank resisting the ocean. That feat, O king, which we beheld, of Bhimasena the high-souled son of Pandu, was exceedingly wonderful and superhuman. With his mace, he fearlessly checked all those kings angrily rushing towards him, with their steeds and cars, and elephants. Checking that vast force with mace, that foremost of mighty men, Bhima, stood in that fierce melee, immovable as the mountain Meru. And in that dreadful, fierce, and terrific encounter his brother and sons and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, and the sons of Draupadi and Abhimanyu, and the unvanquished Sikhandin--these mighty warriors,--did not abandon him from fear. Taking up his massive and weighty mace made of Saika iron, he rushed towards the warriors of thy army like the Destroyer himself, armed with his club. And pressing crowds of cars and crowds of horsemen down into the earth, Bhima wandered over the field like the fire at the end of the Yuga. And Pandu's son of infinite prowess crushing crowds of cars with the impetus of his thighs and slaying thy warriors in battle, wandered like the Destroyer himself at the end of the Yuga. And he began to grind thy troops with the greatest ease like an elephant crushing a forest of reeds. And dragging car-warriors down from their cars, and warriors fighting from the backs of heroes, and foot soldiers as they stood on the ground, in the army of thy son, the mighty-armed Bhimasena slew them all with his mace like the wind crushing trees by its force. And that mace of his, slaying elephants and steeds, became smeared with fat, marrow, flesh, and blood, and looked exceedingly terrible. And with the bodies of slain men and cavalry lying scattered about, the field of battle wore the appearance of the abode of Yama. And the terrible and slaughtering mace of Bhimasena, resembling the fierce bludgeon of Death and endued with the effulgence of Indra's bolt, looked like Pinaka of the angry Rudra while destroying living creatures. Indeed, that mace of the high-souled son of Kunti, who was slaying all around, looked fiercely resplendent like the bludgeon of the Destroyer himself at the time of the universal dissolution. And beholding him thus routing that large army repeatedly and advancing like Death's self, all the warriors became cheerless. Withersoever the son of Pandu, raising his mace, cast his eyes, in consequence of his look alone, O Bharata, all the troops there seemed to melt away. Beholding Vrikodara of terrible deeds, thus routing the army and unvanquished by even so large a force and devouring the (hostile) division like the Destroyer himself with wide-open mouth, Bhimasena speedily came towards him, on his car of solar effulgence and rattle loud as that of the clouds, (shrouding the welkin) with his arrowy showers like a vapoury canopy charged with rain. Then the mighty-armed Bhimasena, beholding Bhishma thus advancing like the Destroyer himself with wide-open mouth, rushed towards him, excited with wrath. At that moment, that foremost hero of Sini's race viz., Satyaki of sure aim, fell upon the grandsire, slaying his enemies (along the way) with his firm bow and causing thy son's army to tremble. And all the combatants who belonged to thy army were then, O Bharata, unable to impede the progress of that hero thus advancing with his steeds of silvery hue and scattering his sharp shafts furnished with handsome wings. At that time the Rakshasa Alamvusha (only) succeeded in piercing him with ten shafts. But piercing Alamvusha in return with four shafts, the grandson of Sini proceeded on his car. Beholding that hero of Vrishni's race thus advancing and rolling (as it were) through the very midst of his enemies, and checking (as he proceeded) the foremost of Kuru warriors, and repeatedly uttering loud shouts in that battle, thy warriors then like masses of clouds pouring rain in torrents on the mountain breast, showered their arrowy downpours on him. They were, however, incapable of impeding the progress of that hero who looked like the noon-day sun in his glory. And there was none who was not then cheerless, save Somadatta's son, O king, and Bhurisravas, the son of Somadatta, O Bharata, beholding the car-warriors of his own side driven away, rushed against Satyaki from desire of battle, taking up his bow of fierce impetus."
 
Sanjaya said, "Then, O king, Bhurisravas, excited with great wrath, pierced Satyaki with nine arrows like the conductor of an elephant piercing an elephant with the iron hook. Satyaki also, of immeasurable soul, in the very sight of all the troops, pierced the Kaurava warrior with nine shafts. Then king Duryodhana, accompanied by his uterine brothers, surrounded Somadatta's son thus striving in battle. Similarly the Pandavas also, of great energy, quickly surrounding Satyaki in that battle took up their positions around him. And Bhimasena, excited with wrath, and with mace upraised, O Bharata, encountered all thy sons headed by Duryodhana. With many thousands of cars, and excited with wrath and vindictiveness, thy son Nandaka pierced Bhimasena of great might with keen-edged and sharp-pointed shafts whetted on stone and winged with the feathers of the kanka bird. Then Duryodhana, O king, in that great battle, excited with wrath, struck Bhimasena in the breast with nine shafts. Then the mighty-armed Bhima of great strength mounted on his own excellent car and addressing (his charioteer) Visoka, said, 'These heroic and mighty sons of Dhritarashtra, all great car-warriors, are exceedingly angry with me and desirous of slaying me in battle. I will slay all these today in thy sight, without doubt. Therefore, O charioteer, guide my steed in battle with care.' Having said this, O monarch, Pritha's son pierced thy son with sharp-pointed arrows decked with gold. And he pierced Nandaka in return with three arrows between his two breasts. Then Duryodhana having pierced the mighty Bhima with six arrows pierced Visoka in return with three other sharp arrows. And Duryodhana, O king, as if smiling the while, with three other sharp arrows cut off at the grasp the resplendent bow of Bhima in that battle. Bhima then, that bull among men, beholding his charioteer Visoka afflicted, in that conflict, with sharp shafts by thy son armed with the bow, and unable to bear it, drew another excellent bow, excited with wrath, for the destruction of thy son, O monarch. And excited with great wrath, he also took up an arrow with horse-shoe head and furnished with excellent wings. And with that (arrow) Bhima cut off the excellent bow of the king. Then thy son, excited to the highest pitch of fury, leaving that broken bow aside, speedily took up another that was tougher. And aiming a terrible shaft blazing as Death's rod, the Kuru king, excited with rage struck Bhimasena between his two breasts. Deeply pierced therewith, and greatly pained, he sat down on the terrace of his car. And while seated on the terrace of his car, he swooned away. Beholding Bhima thus unmanned, the illustrious and mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, headed by Abhimanyu could not bear it. And those warriors then, with great steadiness, showered on thy sons' head a thick down-pour of fierce shafts. Then the mighty Bhimasena, regaining consciousness, pierced Duryodhana at first with those shafts and then with five. And that mighty bowman the son of Pandu then pierced Salya with five and twenty shafts furnished with golden wings. And pierced therewith, Salya was borne away from the battle. Then thy fourteen sons, viz., Senapati, Sushena, Jalasandha, Sulochana, Ugra, Bhimaratha, Bhima, Viravahu, Aolupa, Durmukha, Dushpradarsha, Vivitsu, Vikata, and Sama, then encountered Bhimasena in battle. United together they rushed against Bhimasena, and with eyes red in wrath, showering countless arrows, they pierced him deeply. Then the heroic and mighty Bhimasena of strong arms, beholding thy sons, licking the corners of his mouth like a wolf in the midst of smaller creatures, fell upon them with the impetuosity of Garuda. And the son of Pandu then cut off the head of Senapati with a shaft having a horse-shoe head. And with delighted soul and laughing the while, that mighty-armed warrior, piercing Jalasandha with three arrows, despatched him to Yama's abode. And next, smiting Sushena, he sent him to the presence of Death's self. And with a single broad-headed shaft he felled on the ground the head, handsome as the moon, of Ugra, decked with turban and adorned with ear-rings. And in that battle, Pandu's son Bhima, with seventy shafts, despatched Viravahu to the other world with his steeds and standard and charioteer. And smiling the while, O king, Bhimasena quickly despatched both the brothers Bhima and Bhimaratha also to Yama's abode. And then in that great battle in the very sight of all the troops, with an arrow of horse-shoe head Bhima despatched Sulochana also to Death's domain. Then the rest of thy sons that were there, O king, beholding the prowess of Bhimasena and while thus being struck by that illustrious warrior, all fled from battle from fear of Bhima. Then Santanu's son, addressing all the mighty car-warriors (of his army) said, 'That fierce bowman, Bhima, excited with wrath in battle, is slaying the mighty sons of Dhritarashtra and other heroic car-warriors united together, whatever their knowledge of weapons, and whatever their bravery. Therefore, seize ye all that son of Pandu'. Thus addressed, all the troops of the Dhritarashtra army, excited with rage, rushed towards Bhimasena endued with great might, And Bhagadatta, O king, on his elephant of rent temples, suddenly rushed thither where Bhimasena was stationed. And thither to the combat, he shrouded Bhima with his shafts whetted on stone so as to make him completely invisible, like the clouds covering the sun. Those mighty car-warriors, however, (of the Pandava army), relying on the prowess of their own arms, could not bear that shrouding of Bhima (with the arrowy showers of Bhagadatta). They, therefore, surrounding Bhagadatta on all sides, poured on him their arrowy down-pours. And they pierced his elephant also with showers of shafts. And struck by all those mighty car-warriors with showers of fierce shafts of diverse kinds that elephant, O king, of the ruler of the Pragjyotishas with blood trickling down his body, became beautiful to behold on the field of battle like a mass of clouds tinged with the rays of the sun. And that elephant with temporal juice trickling down urged by Bhagadatta, like the Destroyer, ran with double his former speed, shaking the very earth with his tread. Then all those mighty car-warriors, beholding that terrible mien of the animal, and regarding it irresistible, became cheerless. Then king Bhagadatta, that tiger among men, excited with rage, struck Bhimasena between his two breasts with a straight shaft. Deeply pierced by the king with that shaft, that great bowman and mighty car-warrior, with limbs deprived of sensation in consequence of a swoon, sat down on his car, holding his flagstaff. And beholding those mighty car-warriors terrified and Bhimasena in a swoon, Bhagadatta of great prowess uttered a loud roar. Then, O king, that terrible Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, beholding Bhima in that state, became excited with rage and there and then disappeared from the view. And creating a terrible illusion enhancing the fears of the timid, he reappeared in a moment assuming a fierce form. Himself riding on an Airavata created by his powers of illusion, the other Dik-elephants, viz., Anjana, Vamana, and Mahapadma of blazing glory, followed him. And those three mighty elephants, ridden by Rakshasas, were of huge form, with juice profusely trickling down in three lines, and endued with great speed and prowess. Then Ghatotkacha urged his own elephant to battle, desirous, O chastiser of foes, of slaying Bhagadatta with his elephant. And those other elephants, excited with fury and each endued with four tusks, urged by Rakshasas of great strength, fell from all sides upon Bhagadatta's elephant and afflicted him with their tusks. And the elephant of Bhagadatta, thus afflicted by those elephants, (already) struck with arrows and feeling great pain, uttered loud cries that resembled the thunder of Indra. And hearing those terrible and loud cries of that roaring elephant, Bhishma, addressing Drona, Suyodhana and all the kings, said, 'The mighty bowman Bhagadatta is battling with the wicked-souled son of Hidimva, and hath fallen into great distress. That Rakshasa is of huge form, and the king also is very wrathful. Engaged in battle, they would certainly prove each other's death. Loud shouts were also heard of the rejoicing Pandavas, and the cries of agony of (king Bhagadatta's) terrified elephant. Blessed be ye, let us all go there for rescuing the king, for, if left unprotected, in battle, he will soon give up his life. Ye warriors of great energy, do, as I bid, even now. Ye sinless ones, make no delay. The combat deepens and becometh fierce, making the hair to stand on end. That commander of a division is high-born, endued with great bravery, and devoted to us. Ye warriors of unfading glory, it is meet that his rescue should be effected by us.' Hearing these words of Bhishma, all the kings (of the Kuru army), headed by Bharadwaja's son, desirous of rescuing Bhagadatta, proceeded with great speed to where the ruler of the Pragjyotishas was. And beholding the enemy advancing, the Panchalas with the Pandavas, headed by Yudhishthira, pursued them behind. Then that prince of Rakshasas, endued with great prowess, beholding that division (of the enemy) advance, uttered a fierce roar, deep as that of thunder. Hearing that roar of his and beholding those battling elephants, Santanu's son Bhishma once again addressed Bharadwaja's son and said, 'I do not like to fight (to-day) with the wicked-souled son of Hidimva. Endued with great might and energy, he is at present well-supported. He is incapable of being vanquished now by the wielder of the thunder-bolt himself. Of sureness of aim, he is a great smiter. As regards ourselves, our animals are tired (today). We have also been greatly mangled by Panchalas and the Pandavas. I do not like fresh encounter with the victorious Pandavas. Let the withdrawal of our army, therefore, be proclaimed today. Tomorrow we will fight with the foe.' Hearing these words of the grandsire, the Kauravas, afflicted with the fear of Ghatotkacha, and availing of the advent of night as a pretext, gladly did what the grandsire said. And after the Kauravas had withdrawn, the Pandavas, crowned with victory uttered leonine roars, mingling them with the blare of conches and the notes of pipes. Thus did the battle take place that day, O Bharata, between the Kurus and the Pandavas headed by Ghatotkacha. And the Kauravas also, vanquished by the Pandavas and overcome with shame, retired to their own tents when night came. And those mighty car-warriors, the sons of Pandu, their bodies mangled with shafts and themselves filled with (the result of) the battle, proceeded, O king, towards their encampment, with Bhimasena and Ghatotkacha, O monarch, at their head. And filled with great joy, O king, they worshipped those heroes. And they uttered diverse kinds of shouts which were mingled with the notes of trumpets. And those high-souled warriors shouted making the very earth tremble therewith, and grinding as it were, O sire, the hearts of thy sons. And it was thus that those chastisers of foes, when night came, proceeded towards their tents. And king Duryodhana, cheerless at the death of his brothers, passed some time in thoughtfulness, overcome with grief and tears. Then making all the arrangements for his camp according to the rules (of military science), he began to pass the hours in meditation, scorched with grief and afflicted with sorrow on account of his (slain) brothers."
 

Dhritarashtra said, 'Hearing of those feats of the sons of Pandu which are incapable of being achieved by the gods themselves, my heart, O Sanjaya, is filled with fear and wonder. Hearing also of the humiliation of my sons in every way, great hath been my anxiety as to the consequence that will ensue. The words uttered by Vidura will, no doubt, consume my heart. Everything that hath happened seemeth to be due to Destiny, O Sanjaya. The combatants of the Pandava army are encountering and smiting those best of warriors having Bhishma for their head, those heroes conversant with every weapon. What ascetic penances have been performed by the high-souled and mighty sons of Pandu, what boon hath they obtained, O son, or what science is known to them, in consequence of which, like the stars in the firmament, they are undergoing no diminution? I cannot bear it that my army should be repeatedly slaughtered by the Pandavas. The divine chastisement, highly severe, both fallen on me alone. Tell me everything truly, O Sanjaya, about that for which the sons of Pandu have become unslayable and mine slayable. I do not see the other shore of this (sea of) distress. I am like a man desirous of crossing the vastly deep ocean with my two arms alone. I certainly think that a great calamity hath overtaken my sons. Without doubt, Bhima will slay all my sons. I do not see that hero who is able to protect my sons in battle. The death of my sons in this battle, O Sanjaya, is certain. It behoveth thee, therefore, O Suta, to tell me, who asketh thee, everything about the true cause of all these. Beholding his own troops retreating from battle, what did Duryodhana do? And what old Bhishma and Drona, and Kripa, and Suvala's son, and Jayadratha, and that mighty bowman, viz., Drona's son and Vikarna of great strength do? When also, O thou of great wisdom, my sons turned back from the fight, what O Sanjaya, became the resolve of those high-souled warriors?"

Sanjaya said, "Listen, O king, with attention, and having listened, let it go to thy heart. Nothing (in this) is the result of incantation, nothing the result of illusion of any king. Nor have the sons of Pandu created any new terrors. They are endued with might; and they are fighting by fair means in this battle. Desirous of high fame, the sons of Pritha always do every act, including even the support of their lives, agreeably to the way of morality. Endued with every kind of prosperity, and possessed of great strength, they never desist from battle, keeping their eyes on righteousness. And victory is there where righteousness is. It is for this, O king, that the sons of Pritha are unslayable in battle and always victorious. Thy sons are of wicked souls and are addicted to sinfulness. They are cruel and wedded to mean acts. It is for this that they are being weakened in battle. Thy sons, O king, like despicable men, did many cruel and deceitful acts to the sons of Pandu. Disregarding, however, all those offences of thy sons, the sons of Pandu always concealed those acts, O elder brother of Pandu. Thy sons also, O king, on numerous occasions humiliated the Pandavas. Let them now reap the terrible fruit, like poison, of that persistent course of sinfulness. That fruit should be enjoyed by thee also, O king, with thy sons and kinsmen, since thou, O king, could not be awakened even though counselled by thy well-wishers. Repeatedly forbidden by Vidura, by Bhishma, by the high-souled Drona, and by myself also thou didst not understand, rejecting our words intended for thy good and worthy of thy acceptance, like a sick man rejecting the medicine prescribed. Accepting the views of thy sons thou hadst regarded the Pandavas as already vanquished. Listen again, O king, to what thou hast asked me, viz., the true cause, O chief of the Bharatas, of the victory of the Pandavas. I will tell thee whit I have heard, O chastiser of foes. Duryodhana had asked the grandsire this very question. Beholding his brothers, all mighty car-warriors, vanquished in battle, thy son Duryodhana, O Kaurava, with heart confounded with grief, repairing with humility during the night to the grandsire possessed of great wisdom, asked him this question. Listen to me, O monarch, about it all.

"Duryodhana said, 'Drona and thou, and Salya, and Kripa, and Drona's son, and Kritavarman the son of Hridika, and Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamvojas, and Bhurisravas, and Vikarna, and Bhagadatta of exceeding prowess, are all regarded as mighty car-warriors. All of these, again, are high-born, and prepared to throw away their lives in battle. It is my opinion that these are a match for even the three worlds (united together). Even all the warriors of the Pandava army (united together) cannot bear your prowess. A doubt has arisen in my mind. Explain it to me who enquireth of thee. Who it is, relying on whom the Pandavas are vanquishing us repeatedly.'

"Bhishma said, 'Listen, O king, to the words that I will speak unto thee, O thou of Kuru's race. Frequently wert thou addressed by me to the same effect but thou didst not do what I said. Let peace be made with the Pandavas, O best of the Bharatas. I regard this to be beneficial both to the world and thee, O lord. Enjoy this earth, O king, with thy brothers and be happy, gratifying all thy well-wishers and delighting thy kinsfolk. Although I cried myself hoarse before this, thou didst not yet listen to me, O sire. Thou hadst always disregarded the sons of Pandu. The effect of all that hath now overtaken thee. Listen also, O king, from me as I speak of it, O Lord, to the reason why the Pandavas, whose achievements tire them not, are unslayable. There is not, was not, will not be, the being in all the worlds who would or will be able to vanquish the sons of Pandu who are all protected by the wielder of Saranga. Listen truly, O thou that art conversant with morality, to that ancient history which was recited to me by sages of souls under control. In days of yore, all the celestials and the Rishis, united together, waited reverentially on the Grandsire upon the mountains of Gandhamadana. And the Lord of all creatures, seated at his case in their midst, beheld an excellent car stationed in the firmament, blazing with effulgence. Having ascertained (everything about it) by meditation, joining his hands with restrained heart, Brahman, with delighted soul, made his salutations to the highest Divine Being. And the Rishis and the celestials, beholding in the firmament (the form thus) displayed, all stood up with joined hands, their eyes fixed on that wonder of wonders. Worshipping him duly, Brahma, the foremost of all conversant with Brahman, the Creator of the universe, acquainted with the highest morality, uttered these high words: Thou art the Glory of the Universe for thy form. Thou art the Lord of the Universe. O thou whose protection extendeth through the whole Universe, O thou that hath the Universe for thy work, O thou that hath thy soul under control, Thou art the Supreme Master of the Universe. Thou art Vasudeva. Therefore, I seek refuge in Thee that art the soul of Yoga and the highest Divinity. Victory to Thee that art the Supreme God of the Universe. Victory to Thee that art ever employed in the good of the worlds. Victory to Thee that art the Lord of Yoga. Thee that art all-powerful. Victory to Thee that art prior, and subsequent to Yoga. Having the lotus springing from thy navel, and having large expansive eyes, victory to Thee that art Lord of Lords of the Universe. O Lord of the Past, the Present, and the Future, victory to Thee that art the embodiment of gentleness. Thee that art the sun of suns. O thou that art the receptacle of untold attributes, victory to Thee that art the refuge of all things. Thou art Narayana, thou art incapable of being understood, victory to Thee that art the wielder of the bow called Saranga. Victory to Thee that art endued with every attribute, O thou that hast the Universe for thy form, O thou that art ever hale. O Lord of the Universe, O thou of mighty arms, victory to Thee that art always ready for benefitting the worlds. O great Snake, O huge Boar, O first Cause, O thou of tawny locks, victory to Thee that art Almighty. O thou of yellow robes, O Lord of the cardinal and the subsidiary points of the compass, O thou that hast the Universe for thy abode, O thou that art Infinite, O thou that hast no decay, O thou that art the Manifest, O thou that art the Unmanifest, O thou that art the immeasurable Space, O thou that hast all thy senses under control, O thou that always achievest what is good, O thou that art immeasurable, O thou that alone knowest thy own nature, victory to Thee that art deep, O thou that art the giver of all wishes, O thou that art without end, O thou that art known as Brahma, O thou that art Eternal, O thou that art the Creator of all creatures, O thou that art ever successful, O thou whose acts always display wisdom, O thou that art conversant with morality, O thou that givest victory, O thou of mysterious Self, O thou that art the Soul of all Yoga, O thou that art the Cause of everything that hath sprung into existence, O thou that art the knowledge of the selves of all beings, O Lord of the worlds, victory to thee that art the Creator of all beings. O thou that hath thyself for thy origin, O thou that art highly blessed, O thou that art the Destroyer of everything, O thou that art the inspirer of all mental thoughts, victory to Thee that art dear to all conversant with Brahma. O thou that art busy in creation and destruction, O controller of all wishes, O Supreme Lord, O thou that art the Cause of Amrita, O thou that art All-existent, O thou that art the first that appears at the end of the Yuga, O thou that art the giver of victory, O Divine Lord of the Lord of all creatures, O thou that hast the lotus springing from thy navel, O thou of mighty strength, O thou that art sprung from Thyself, O thou that art the great elements in their primeval state, O thou that art the soul of all (religious) rites, victory to Thee that givest all. The goddess Earth represents thy two feet, the cardinal and the subsidiary directions thy arms, and the heavens thy head. I am thy form, the celestials constitute thy limbs, and the Sun, the moon are thy two eyes. Ascetic austerities and Truth born of morality and (religious) rites, constitute thy strength. Fire is thy energy, the wind is thy breath, and the waters have sprung from thy sweat. The twins Aswins constitute thy ears, and the goddess Saraswati is thy tongue. The Vedas are thy Knowledge, and upon thee resteth this Universe. O Lord of Yoga and Yogins, we do not know thy extent, thy measure, thy energy, thy prowess, thy might, thy origin. O God, O Vishnu, filled with devotion in thee, and depending upon thee with vows and observances, we ever worship Thee as the highest Lord, the God of gods. The Rishis, the gods, Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Rakshasas, the Pannagas, the Pisachas, human beings, beasts, birds, reptiles,--all these were created by me on Earth through Thy grace. O thou having the lotus springing from thy navel, O thou of large expansive eyes, O Krishna, O Dispeller of all woe, Thou art the Refuge of all creatures, and Thou art their Guide. Thou hast the Universe for thy mouth. Through thy grace, O Lord of the gods, the gods are ever happy. Through thy grace the Earth hath always been freed from terrors. Therefore, O thou of large eyes, take birth in the race of Yadu. For the sake of establishing righteousness, for slaying the sons of Diti, and for upholding the Universe, do what I have said, O Lord. O Vasudeva, that which is thy supreme mystery, that, O Lord hath been sung by me through Thy grace. Having created the divine Sankarshana out of thy own Self by Thyself, thou didst then, O Krishna, create Thyself as Pradyumna born of thyself. From Pradyumna thou didst then create Aniruddha who is known as the eternal Vishnu. And it was Aniruddha who created me as Brahma, the upholder of the Universe. Created out of Vasudeva's essence I have, therefore, been created by thee. Dividing Thyself into portions, take birth, O Lord, among human beings. And slaughtering the Asuras there for happiness of all the worlds, and establishing righteousness, and winning renown, Thou wilt again truly attain to Yoga. The regenerate Rishis on Earth and the gods, O thou of infinite prowess, devoted to thee, sing of thy wonderous Self under those names that belong to thee. O thou of excellent arms, all classes of creatures rest on thee, having taken refuge in Thee, thou giver of boons. The regenerate ones sing Thee as the world's bridge, having no beginning, middle and end, and as possessed of unlimited Yoga.'"

 

"Bhishma said, 'Then that illustrious Deity, the Lord of the worlds, replied unto Brahma in a soft deep voice, saying,--'Through Yoga, O sire, all that is wished by thee is known to me. It will be even as thou wishest,--And saying this, he disappeared then and there. Then the gods, Rishis, and Gandharvas, filled with great wonder and curiosity all asked the Grandsire, saying,--'Who is that one, O Lord, that was worshipped by thy illustrious self with such humility and praised in such high words? We desire to hear,--Thus addressed, the illustrious Grandsire replied unto all the Gods, the regenerate Rishis, and the Gandharvas, in sweet words saying,--He who is called TAT, He who is Supreme, He who is existent at present and who will be for all time, He who is the highest Self, He who is the Soul of beings, and who is the great Lord, I was talking even with His ever-cheerful self, ye bulls among gods. The Lord of the Universe was solicited by me, for the good of the Universe, to take his birth among mankind in the family of Vasudeva. I said unto him,--For the slaughter of the Asuras take thy birth in the world of men!--Those Daityas and Rakshasas, of fierce form and great strength, that were slain in battle, have been born among men. Indeed, the illustrious and mighty Lord, taking birth in the human womb, will live on the Earth, accompanied by Nara. Those ancient and best of Rishis, viz., Nara and Narayana, are incapable of defeat in battle by even all the celestials united together. Of immeasurable effulgence, those Rishis viz., Nara and Narayana, when born together in the world of men, will not be known (as such) by fools. He, from whose Self, I, Brahman, the Lord of the whole Universe, have sprung that Vasudeva, that Supreme God of all the worlds, is worthy of your adoration. Endued with great energy, and bearing the conch, the discus, and the mace, he should never be disregarded as a man, ye best of deities. He is the Supreme Mystery, the Supreme refuge, the Supreme Brahma, and the Supreme glory. He is without decay, Unmanifest, and Eternal. He it is who hath been sung as Purusha, though none can comprehend him. The divine Artificer hath sung of him as the Supreme Energy, the Supreme Felicity, and the Supreme Truth. Therefore, the Lord Vasudeva of immeasurable prowess should never be disregarded as a man by all the Asuras and the gods with Indra at their head. That person of foolish understanding is called a wretch, who, from disregard, speaketh of Hrishikesa as only a man. People speak of him as one labouring under darkness who disregardeth Vasudeva, that Yogin of illustrious soul, for his entering into a human form. People speak of him as one labouring under darkness who knoweth not that Divine personage, that Soul of the mobile and the immobile creation, that one bearing the auspicious wheel (on his breast), that one of dazzling effulgence, that one from whose navel hath sprung the (primeval) lotus. He who disregardeth that wearer of the diadem and the Kaustuva gem, that dispeller of fears of his friends, that high-souled one, sinketh in thick darkness. Having known all these truths duly, that Lord of the worlds, viz., Vasudeva, should be adored by every one, ye best of gods.'--

"Bhishma continued,--Having said these words unto those gods and Rishis in days of yore, the illustrious Grandsire, dismissing them all, repaired to his own abode. And the gods and the Gandharvas, and the Munis and the Apsaras also, having listened to those words spoken by Brahman, were filled with delight and repaired to heaven. Even this was heard by me, O sire, from Rishis of cultured soul talking in their assembly, of Vasudeva, that ancient one. And O thou that art well-versed in scriptures, I heard this from Rama, the son of Jamadagni, and Markandeya of great wisdom, and Vyasa and Narada also. Having learnt all this and heard of the illustrious Vasudeva as the Eternal Lord, the Supreme God of all the worlds, and the great Master, from whom hath sprung Brahman himself, the Father of the Universe, why should not that Vasudeva be adored and worshipped by men? Forbidden wert thou before, O sire, by sages of cultured souls, (who said unto thee)--Never go to war with that Vasudeva armed with bow as also with the Pandavas,--This, from folly, thou couldst not apprehend. I regard thee therefore, as a wicked Rakshsa. Thou art, besides, enveloped in darkness. It is for this that thou hatest Govinda and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, for who else among men would hate the divine Nara and Narayana? It is for this, O king, that I say unto thee that this one is Eternal and Unfading, pervading the whole Universe, Unchanging, the Ruler, Creator and Upholder of all, and the truly Existent. He it is who upholdeth the three worlds. He is the Supreme Lord of all mobile and immobile creatures, and He is the great Master, He is warrior, He is Victory, He is Victor, and He is the Lord of all nature. O king, He is full of goodness and divested of all the qualities of Darkness and Passion. There, where Krishna is, there righteousness is; and there is victory where righteousness is. It is by the Yoga of his Supreme Excellence, and the Yoga of his Self, that the sons of Pandu, O king, are supported. Victory, therefore, will surely be theirs. He it is that always imparteth to the Pandavas and understanding endued with righteousness, and strength in battle; and He it is that always protecteth them from danger. He is the Eternal God, pervading all beings, and ever blessed. He, of whom thou hadst asked me, is known by the name of Vasudeva. He it is whom Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras, having distinctive features of their own, humbly serve and worship with restrained hearts and performing their own duties. He it is who, towards the close of the Dwapara Yuga and the beginning of the Kali Yuga, is sung of with Sankarshana, by believers with devotion. It is that Vasudeva that createth, Yuga after Yuga, the worlds of the gods and the mortals, all cities girt by the sea, and the region of human habitation.--"

 

"Duryodhana said, 'In all the worlds Vasudeva is spoken of as the Supreme Being. I desire, O Grandsire, to know his origin and glory."

"Bhishma said, 'Vasudeva is the Supreme Being. He is the God of all Gods. None superior to him of eyes like lotus-petals is to be seen, O bull of Bharata's race. Markandeya speaketh of Govinda as the Most Wonderful and the Most high, as the All-being, as the All-soul, as the Highest soul, and as the Supreme male Being. Water, Air, and Fire,--these three were created by Him. That Divine Master and Lord of all the worlds created this Earth. That Supreme Being of illustrious soul laid himself down on the waters. And that Divine Being made up of all kinds of energy slept thereon in Yoga. From his mouth He created Fire, and from his breath, the Wind. Of unfading glory, He created from his mouth Speech and the Vedas. It was thus that he created first the Worlds and also the gods along with the diverse classes of Rishis. And he created decay and death also of all creatures, as well as birth and growth. He is Righteousness and of righteous soul. He is the giver of boons and the giver of all (our) wishes. He is the Actor and Action, and He is himself the Divine Master. He first made the Past, the Present, and the Future; He is the Creator of the Universe. He is of illustrious soul; He is the Master possessed of unfading glory. He created Sankarshana, the First-born of all creatures. He created the divine Sesha who is known as Ananta and who upholdeth all creatures and the Earth with her mountains. Of Supreme Energy, He it is whom the regenerate ones know by Yoga meditation. Sprung from the secretions of his ear, the great Asura known by the name of Madhu, fierce and of fierce deeds and entertaining a fierce intent and about to destroy Brahman, was slain by that Supreme Being. And O sire, in consequence of Madhu's slaughter, the gods, the Danavas, and human beings, and Rishis, call Janardana the slayer of Madhu. He is the great Boar. He is the great Lion, and He is the Three-stepped Lord. He is the Mother and the Father of all living creatures. There never was, nor will be, any superior to Him of eyes like lotus-petals. From His mouth He created the Brahmanas: and from His two arms the Kshatriyas, and from His thighs, O king, He created the Vaisyas, and from His feet He created the Sudras. One waiting dutifully on Him, observant of vows with ascetic austerities on days of the full-moon and the new-moon, is sure to obtain the Divine Kesava, that refuge of all embodied creatures that essence of Brahma and of Yoga. Kesava is the higher Energy, the Grandsire of all the worlds. Him, O king, the sages call Hrishikesa (the lord of the senses). Him also should all know as the Preceptor, the Father, and the Master. Inexhaustible regions (of blessedness) are won by him with whom Krishna is gratified. He also who, in a place of fear, seeketh the protection of Kesava, and he who frequently readeth this description, becometh happy and endued with every prosperity. Those men who attain to Krishna are never beguiled, Janardana always saveth those that are sunk in great terrors. Knowing this truly, O Bharata, Yudhishthira, with his whole soul, O king, hath sought the shelter of the highly blessed Kesava, the Lord of Yoga, and the Lord of the Earth."

 

"Bhishma said, 'Hear from me, O king, this hymn that was uttered by Brahman himself. This hymn was in days of old communicated by regenerate Rishis and the gods (to men) on Earth-Narada described thee as the Master and the Lord of the god of gods and all the Sadhyas and the celestials, and as one acquainted with the nature of the Creator of the worlds. Markandeya spoke of thee as the Past, the Present, and the Future, and the sacrifice of sacrifices, and the austerity of austerities. The illustrious Bhrigu said of thee that thou art the God of the gods, that thine is the ancient form of Vishnu. Dwaipayana said of thee that thou art Vasudeva of the Vasus, the establisher of Sakra, and the God of gods and all creatures. In days of old on the occasion of procreating creatures, the sages spoke of thee as Daksha, the Father of creation. Angiras said that thou art the creator of all beings. Devala said of thee that the unmanifest all is thy body, and the manifest is in thy mind, and that the gods are all the result of thy breath. With thy heads is pervaded the heavens, and thy two arms support the Earth. In thy stomach are three worlds and thou art the Eternal Being. Even thus do men exalted by asceticism know thee. Thou art the Sat of Sat, with Rishis gratified with sight of Self. With royal sages of liberal minds, never retreating from battle and having morality for their highest end, thou, O slayer of Madhu, art, the sole refuse. Even thus is that illustrious and Supreme Being, viz., Hari, adored and worshipped by Sanatkumar and other ascetics endued with Yoga. The truth about Kesava, O sire, is now narrated to thee, both in brief and detail. Turn thy heart in love to Kesava.'"

Sanjaya continued, "Hearing this sacred story, thy son, O great king, began to regard highly both Kesava and these mighty car-warriors, viz., the sons of Pandu. Then, O monarch, Bhishma the son of Santanu once more addressed thy son, saying, 'Thou hast now heard truly, O king, about the glory of the high-souled Kesava and of Nara about which thou hadst asked me. Thou hast also heard about the object for which both Nara and Narayana have taken their births among men. Thou hast also been told the reason why those heroes are invincible and have never been vanquished in battle, and why also, O king, the sons of Pandu are incapable of being slain in battle, by anybody. Krishna beareth great love for the illustrious sons of Pandu. It is for this, O king of kings, that I say, 'Let peace be made with the Pandavas.' Restraining thy passions enjoy thou the Earth with thy mighty brothers (around thee). By disregarding the divine Nara and Narayana, thou shalt certainly be destroyed. Having said these words, thy sire, became silent, O monarch, and dismissing the king, entered his tent. And the king also came back to his (own) tent, having worshipped the illustrious grandsire. And then, O bull of Bharata's race, he laid himself down on his white bed for passing the night in sleep."

 
Sanjaya said, "After the night had passed away and the sun had risen, the two armies, O king, approached each other for battle. Beholding each other, each rushed in united ranks towards the other excited with rage and desirous of vanquishing the other. And in consequence of thy evil policy, O king, the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras thus rushed, cased in mail and forming battle-array, for striking each other. And the array that Bhishma protected from all sides, O king, was of the shape of a Makara. And so the Pandavas also, O king, protected the array they had formed (of their troops). Then thy sire Devavrata, O great king, that foremost of car-warriors, proceeded in advance, supported by a large division of cars. And others, viz., car-warriors, infantry, elephants, and cavalry, all followed him, each stationed in the place allotted. And beholding them prepared for battle, the illustrious sons of Pandu arrayed their troops in that invincible and prince of arrays called the Syena. And in the beak of that array shone Bhimasena of great strength. And in its two eyes were the invincible Sikhandin and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race. And in the head was the heroic Satyaki of prowess incapable of being baffled. And in its neck was Arjuna shaking his Gandiva. And in its left wing was the high-souled and blessed Drupada with his son and supported by an akshauhini of all forces. And the king of the Kekayas, owning an akshauhini, formed the right wing (of that array). And in its back were the sons of Draupadi, and Subhadra's son of great prowess. And in its tail was the heroic king Yudhishthira himself, of excellent prowess, supported by his twin brothers. Then in the battle (that ensued). Bhima, penetrating the Makara array (of the Kauravas) through its mouth, and approaching Bhishma, covered him with his shafts. Then in that great battle, Bhishma possessed of great prowess shot his mighty weapons, confounding the combatants of the Pandavas disposed in battle-array. And when the combatants (of the Pandava army) were thus confounded, Dhananjaya, speedily proceeding, pierced Bhishma at the van of battle with a thousand arrows. And counteracting, in that conflict, the weapons shot by Bhishma, Arjuna stood ready for the combat, supported by his own division filled with cheerfulness. Then king Duryodhana, that foremost of mighty men, that great car-warrior, beholding that terrible carnage of his troops and remembering the slaughter of his brothers (on the previous day), came quickly towards Bharadwaja's son, and addressing him, said, 'O preceptor, O sinless one, thou art ever my well-wisher,--Relying on thee as also on the grandsire Bhishma, ourselves, hope to vanquish without doubt the very gods in battle, let alone the sons of Pandu that are destitute of energy and prowess. Blessed be thou, act in such away that the Pandavas may be slain. Thus addressed in battle by thy son, Drona penetrated into the Pandava array in the very sight of Satyaki. Then O Bharata, Satyaki checked the son of Bharadwaja, (and thereupon) ensued a battle that was fierce in its incidents and awful to behold. Then Bharadwaja's son excited with rage and endued with great prowess, as if smiling the while, pierced the grandson of Sini with ten shafts at his shoulder-joint. And Bhimasena also, excited with rage, pierced Bharadwaja's son (with many shafts), desirous of protecting Satyaki, O king, from Drona that foremost of all warriors. Then Drona and Bhishma, and Salya also, O sire, excited with rage, covered Bhimasena, in that battle, with their shafts. Thereupon Abhimanyu excited with wrath, and the sons of Draupadi, O sire, pierced with their sharp-pointed shafts all those warriors with upraised weapons. Then in that fierce battle, the great bowman Sikhandin rushed against those two mighty warriors, viz., Bhishma and Drona who, excited with rage, had (thus) fallen upon the Pandavas. Firmly grasping his bow whose twang resembled the roar of the clouds, that hero, shrouding the very Sun with his arrows, quickly covered his antagonists therewith. The grandsire of the Bharatas, however, getting Sikhandin before him, avoided him, remembering the femininity of his sex. Then, O king, urged by thy son, Drona rushed to battle, desirous of protecting Bhishma in that stress. Sikhandin, however, approaching Drona that foremost of all wielders of weapons, avoided, from fear, that warrior resembling the blazing fire that appears at the end of the Yuga.  Then, O king, thy son with a large force, desirous of winning great glory, proceeded to protect Bhishma. And the Pandavas also proceeded, O king, firmly setting their hearts upon victory, and the battle then that took place between the combatants of both armies desirous of victory and fame, was fierce and highly wonderful, resembling that (in days of yore) between the gods and Danavas.
 
Sanjaya said, "Then Bhishma the son of Santanu fought fiercely, desirous of protecting the sons from the fear of Bhimasena. And the battle that then took place between the kings of the Kaurava and the Pandava armies was awful in the extreme and destructive of great heroes. And in that general engagement, so fierce and terrible, tremendous was the din that arose, touching the very heavens. And in consequence of the shrieks of huge elephants and the neigh of steeds and the blare of conches and beat of drums, the uproar was deafening. Fighting for the sake of victory, the mighty combatants endued with great prowess roared at one another like bulls in a cow-pen. And heads cut off in that battle with keen-edged shafts, incessantly falling, created, O bull of Bharata's race, the appearance of a stony shower in the welkin. Indeed, O bull of Bharata's race, innumerable were the heads lying on the field of battle, decked with ear-rings and turbans and resplendent with ornaments of gold. And the earth was covered with limbs cut off with broad-headed shafts, with heads decked with ear-rings, and with arms adorned with ornaments. And in a moment the whole field was strewn over with bodies cased in mail, with arms decked with ornaments, with faces beautiful as the moon and having eyes with reddish corners, and with every limb, O king, of elephants, steeds and men. And the dust (raised by the warriors) looked like a thick cloud, and the bright implements of destruction, like flashes of lightning. And the noise made by the weapons resembled the roar of thunder. And that fierce and awful passage-at-arms, O Bharata, between the Kurus and the Pandavas caused a very river of blood to flow there. And in that terrible, fierce, and awful battle causing the hair stand on end, Kshatriya warriors incapable of defeat incessantly poured their arrowy showers. And the elephants of both thy army and the enemy's, afflicted with those arrowy showers, shrieked aloud and ran hither and thither in fury. And in consequence of (the twang of) bows, endued with great energy, of fierce and heroic warriors excited with fury, and of flapping of their bow-strings against their leathern fences, nothing could be distinguished. And all over the field which looked like a lake of blood, headless trunks stood up, and the kings bent upon slaying their foes, rushed to battle. And brave warriors of immeasurable energy and possessed of arms resembling stout bludgeons, slew one another with arrows and darts and maces and scimitars. And elephants, pierced with arrows and deprived of riders to guide them with hooks, and steeds destitute of riders, wildly ran in all directions. And many warriors, O best of the Bharatas, belonging to both thy army and that of the foe, deeply pierced with shafts jumped up and fell down. And in that encounter between Bhima and Bhishma, heaps of arms and heads, as also of bows and maces and spiked clubs and hands and thighs, of legs and ornaments and bracelets, were seen lying over the field. And here and there over the field, O king, were seen large bodies of unretreating elephants and steeds and cars. And the Kshatriya warriors, urged on by fate, slew one another with maces, swords, lances, and straight shafts. And others endued with great heroism and accomplished in fight, encountered one another with their bare arms that resembled spiked clubs made of iron. And other heroic warriors of thy army, engaged with the combatants of the Pandava host, fought on slaying one another with clenched fists and knees, and slaps and blows, O king. And with the fallen and falling warriors and those weltering in agony on the ground, the field of battle everywhere became, O king, terrible to behold, and car-warriors, deprived of the cars and grasping excellent swords, rushed at one another, desirous of slaughter. Then king Duryodhana, surrounded by a large division of Kalingas, and placing Bhishma ahead, rushed towards the Pandavas. And so the Pandava combatants also, supporting Vrikodara, and owning fleet animals, rushed, excited with rage, against Bhishma."
 
Sanjaya said, "Beholding his brothers and the other kings engaged in battle with Bhishma, Dhananjaya, with weapons upraised, rushed against the son of Ganga. Hearing the blare of Panchajanya and the twang of the bow Gandiva, and seeing also the standard of Pritha's son, a great fear entered our hearts. And the standard that we behold, O king, of the wielder of Gandiva bore the device of lion's tail and looked like a blazing mountain in the welkin. Beautiful and of celestial workmanship, it was variegated with diverse hues, and looking like a risen comet it could not be obstructed by trees. And in that great battle, the warriors beheld Gandiva, the back of whose staff was decked with pure gold, and which looked beautiful like a flash of lightning in the midst of a mass of clouds in the firmament. And while slaying the combatants of thy army, the shouts we heard uttered by Arjuna seemed to resemble the loud roars of Indra himself, and the slaps also of his palms were frightfully loud. Like a roaring mass of clouds charged with lightning and aided by a raging tempest, Arjuna incessantly poured his arrowy showers on all sides, completely shrouding the ten points of the compass. Dhananjaya then possessed of terrible weapons, quickly proceeded towards the son of Ganga. Deprived of four senses in consequence of his weapons, we could not then distinguish the East from the West. And thy warriors, then, O bull of Bharata's race,--their animals tired, steeds slain, and hearts depressed,--thoroughly confounded and huddling close to one another, sought Bhishma's protection along with all thy sons. And in that battle Bhishma the son of Santanu became their protector. Struck with fear, car-warriors jumping down from their cars, cavalry soldiers jumping down from the backs of their steeds, and the foot-soldiers where they stood, all began to fall down on the earth. Hearing the twang of Gandiva that resembled the roar of the thunder, all thy warriors were struck with fear and seemed, O Bharata, to melt away. Then, O king, with many huge and fleet steeds of the Kamvoja breed, and surrounded by many thousand of Gopas with a large Gopayana force and supported by the Madras, the Sauviras, the Gandharas and the Trigartas, and surrounded by all the principal Kalingas, the king of the Kalingas, and king Jayadratha accompanied by all the kings and supported by a large force of diverse races with Dussasana at their head, and fourteen thousand principal horsemen, urged by thy son, surrounded the son of Suvala (for supporting him). Then in that battle, all the Pandavas, united together, and riding on separate cars and animals, began, O bull of Bharata's race, to slaughter thy troops. And the dust raised by car-warriors and steeds and foot-soldiers, looking like a mass of clouds, made the field of battle exceedingly awful. And with a large force consisting of elephants, steeds and cars, and armed with lances and bearded darts and broad-headed shafts, Bhishma engaged in battle with the diadem decked (Arjuna). And the king of Avanti engaged with the ruler of Kasi, and the ruler of the Sindhus engaged with Bhimasena. And king Yudhishthira with his sons and counsellors engaged with Salya, the famous chief of the Madras. And Vikarna engaged with Sahadeva, and Chitrasena with Sikhandin. And the Matsyas, O king, engaged with Duryodhana, and Sakuni; and Drupada and Chekitana, and that mighty car-warrior Satyaki engaged in battle with the high-souled Drona aided by his son. And Kripa and Kritavarman both rushed against Dhrishtadyumna. And thus, all over the field, rushing bodies of horses, of elephants and cars, engaged with one another in battle. And although there were no clouds in the sky, yet flashes of lightning were seen. And all the points of the compass were covered with dust. And, O king, fierce meteors were seen failing with thundering noise. And violent winds blew and a shower of dust fell from above. And the sun, covered by the dust raised by the troops, disappeared in the firmament. And all the warriors, covered by that dust and battling with weapons, were deprived of their senses. And the sound made by weapons, all capable of penetrating through every armour and hurled from heroic arms, became a tremendous uproar. And, O bull of Bharata's race, weapons hurled from excellent arms and possessed of stellar brightness, illumined the whole welkin. And variegated shields made of bull's hides and embossed with gold were strewn, O bull of Bharata's race, all over the field. And heads and limbs were seen falling on all sides, cut off with swords and scimitars possessed of solar effulgence. And great car-warriors, the wheels, axles, and boxes of whose cars were broken, fell down on the ground, their steeds slain and their tall standards tumbling down. And many car-warriors having been slain, their steeds, mangled with weapons, fell down as they ran dragging the cars (to which they were yoked). And, in many places over the field, excellent steeds, afflicted with arrows, with limbs mangled, and with their traces on, ran, dragging the car-yokes after them. And many car-warriors, with their charioteers and steeds, were seen, O king, to be crushed by single elephants endued with great strength. And in that battle, in the midst of large forces, many elephants, scenting the odour of the temporal juice of their compeers, began to snuff the breeze repeatedly. And the whole field was strewn with slain elephants, deprived of life by means of broad-headed shafts and falling down with the wooden edifices and the guides on their backs. And many elephants, in, the midst of large forces crushed, with the standards and warriors on their backs, by huge compeers urged by their guides, fell down on the field. And many car-shafts, O king, were seen to be broken in that battle by huge elephants using their trunks, each of which resembled the trunk of the prince of elephants (called Airavata). And many car-warriors also, in that conflict, the Jalas of whose cars had been broken, were like branches of trees dragged down by tuskers, seized by the hair of their heads and, thrashed violently on the ground, were crushed into shapeless masses. And other huge elephants, dragging cars that were entangled with other cars, ran in all directions shrieking loudly. And those elephants, thus dragging those cars, looked like others of their species dragging lotus-stalks growing in lakes. And thus was that vast field of battle strewn over with cavalry soldiers and foot-soldiers and great car-warriors and standards."
 
Sanjaya said, "Sikhandin with Virata king of the Matsyas speedily approached Bhishma that invincible and mighty bowman. And Dhananjaya encountered Drona and Kripa, and Vikarna and many other kings, brave in battle, all mighty bowmen endued with great strength, as also that mighty bowman the ruler of the Sindhus supported by his friends and kinsmen and many kings of the west and the south also, O bull of Bharata's race. And Bhimasena proceeded against that mighty bowman, viz., thy vindictive son Duryodhana, and also against Dussaha. And Sahadeva proceeded against those invincible warriors, viz., Sakuni and that mighty car-warrior Uluka, those great bowmen, who were sire and son. And that mighty car-warrior Yudhishthira, deceitfully treated by thy son, proceeded in that battle, O king, against the elephant division (of the Kauravas). And that son of Pandu and Madri, viz., the heroic Nakula capable of wringing tears from the foe, engaged in battle with the excellent car-warriors of the Trigartas. And those invincible warriors, viz., Satyaki and Chekitana, and the mighty son of Subhadra, proceeded against Salya and the Kaikeyas. And Dhrishtaketu and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, both invincible in battle, proceeded against the car-division of thy sons. And that mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, that generalissimo (of the Pandava forces) of immeasurable soul, engaged in battle, O king, with Drona of fierce achievements. And it was thus that those heroic and mighty bowmen of thy army and the Pandavas, engaged in battle, began to strike one another. And when the sun had reached the meridian and the sky was brilliantly illumined by his rays, the Kauravas and the Pandavas began to slay one another. Then cars, furnished with standards from whose tops pennons were afloat, variegated with gold and covered with tiger-skins, looked beautiful as they moved on the field of battle. And the shouts of warriors engaged in battle from desire of vanquishing one another, became as loud as leonine roars. And that encounter which we beheld between the heroic Srinjayas and the Kurus, was fierce in the extreme and highly wonderful. And in consequence of the arrows shot all around, we could not, O king, distinguish, O chastiser of foes, the firmament, the sun and the cardinal and the subsidiary points of the compass. And the splendour, like that of the blue lotus, of darts with polished points, of bearded lances hurled (at the foe), of well-tempered sabres and scimitars, of variegated coats of mail and of the ornaments (on the persons of the warriors), illumined the welkin and the cardinal and the subsidiary points with its effulgence. And the field of battle in many places, O king, shone in consequence of the bodies of monarchs whose effulgence resembled that of the moon and the sun. And brave car-warriors, tigers among men shone in that battle, O king, like the planets in the firmament. And Bhishma, that foremost of car-warriors, excited with rage, checked the mighty Bhimasena in the very sight of the troops. And the impetuous shafts shot by Bhishma, furnished with golden wings, and whetted on stone, and rubbed with oil pierced Bhima in that battle. Then Bhimasena endued with great strength hurled at him, O Bharata, a dart of fierce impetuosity that resembled a wrathful snake. But Bhishma in that combat cut off with straight shafts that dart with staff made of gold and difficult of being borne, as it coursed impetuously towards him. And with another broad-headed shaft, sharp and well-tempered, he cut off Bhimasena's bow, O Bharata, into two parts. Then, O king, in that battle, Satyaki, coming quickly towards Bhishma, pierced thy sire with innumerable keen-edged and sharp-pointed shafts of fierce impetuosity shot from his bowstring drawn to the ear. Then Bhishma, aiming an exceedingly fierce shaft, felled the charioteer of the Vrishni hero from his box in the car. And when the charioteer of Satyaki's car was thus slain, his steeds, O king, bolted away. Endued with the speed of the tempest or the mind, they ran wild over the field. Then cries were uttered by the whole army which became a loud uproar. And exclamation of oh and alas arose from the high-souled warriors of the Pandava army. And those cries-said--Run, seize, check the horses, go in haste. And this uproar followed Yuyudhana's car. Meanwhile, Bhishma the son of Santanu began to slay the Pandava forces like Indra slaying the Danavas. But the Panchalas and the Somakas, though slain by Bhishma thus, forming yet a laudable resolution, rushed towards Bhishma. And other warriors of the Pandava army, headed by Dhrishtadyumna, and desirous of slaughtering the ranks of thy son, rushed towards Santanu's son in that battle. And so also, O king, the warriors of thy army, headed by Bhishma and Drona, impetuously rushed towards their foes. And thereupon another battle took place."
 

Sanjaya said, "King Virata then pierced that mighty car-warrior, viz., Bhishma, with three shafts. And that great car-warrior pierced his (antagonist's) steeds also with three shafts furnished with golden wings. And that terrible bowman and mighty car-warrior of firm hand, viz., Drona's son, pierced with six shafts the wielder of Gandiva between his two breasts. Thereupon that grinder of foes, viz., Phalguni, that slayer of hostile heroes, cut off Aswatthaman's bow and deeply pierced him in return with five shafts. Deprived of his senses by anger, and unable to bear the cutting off of his bow in that battle, Drona's son, taking up another bow that was tougher, pierced Phalguni, O king, with ninety sharp-shafts, and Vasudeva also with seventy fierce arrows. Then, with eyes red in wrath, Phalguni, with Krishna, breathing long and hot breaths, reflected for a moment. Firmly grasping the bow with his left hand, that grinder of foes, viz., the wielder of gandiva excited with rage, fixed on his bowstring a number of fierce shafts, sharp and perfectly straight, and capable of taking (the foe's) life. And that foremost of mighty men speedily pierced Drona's son, in that battle, with those arrows. And those arrows, penetrating through his armour, drank his life-blood. But though thus pierced by the wielder of Gandiva, Drona's son wavered not. Shooting in return similar arrows at Partha, he stayed unperturbed, in that battle, desirous, O king, of protecting Bhishma of high vows. And that feat of his was applauded by the foremost warriors of the Kuru army, consisting, as it did, of his having encountered the two Krishnas united together. Indeed, Aswatthaman daily battled fearlessly amid the forces, having obtained from Drona all weapons with the methods also of their withdrawal. This one is the son of my preceptor. He is again the dear son of Drona. He is especially a Brahmana, and, therefore, worthy of my regard. Thinking so, that scorcher of foes, the heroic Vibhatsu, that foremost of car-warriors, showed mercy to the son of Bharadwaja. Avoiding the son of Drona, Kunti's son endued with great prowess and having white steeds (yoked unto his car), began to fight, displaying great quickness of arms and causing a great carnage of thy troops. Duryodhana then pierced that great bowman Bhima with ten shafts winged with vulturine feathers, adorned with gold, and whetted on stone. Thereupon Bhimasena, excited with wrath, took up a tough and well-adorned bow capable of taking the life of the foe, and also ten sharp shafts. And steadily aiming those sharp-pointed shafts of fierce energy and impetuous velocity, and drawing the bow-string to his ear, he deeply pierced the king of the Kurus in his wide chest. Thereupon the gem hanging on his breast on threads of gold, surrounded by those shafts, looked beautiful like the Sun in the firmament surrounded by the planets. Thy son, however, endued with great energy, thus struck by Bhimasena, could not bear it (coolly), like a snake unable to bear the sounds of a man's slap. Excited with wrath and desirous of protecting his army, he then pierced Bhima in return, O king, with many shafts whetted on stone and endued with golden wings. Thus struggling in battle and mangling each other fiercely, those two mighty sons of thine looked like a pair of celestials.

"That tiger among men and slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Subhadra, pierced Chitrasena with many sharp shafts and Purumitra also with seven shafts. And piercing Satyavrata too with seventy shafts, that hero resembling Indra himself in battle, began as it were to dance on the field, and caused us much pain. Chitrasena then pierced him in return with ten shafts, and Satyavrata with nine, and Purumitra with seven. Then the son of Arjuna, thus pierced, while yet covered with blood, cut off the large and beautiful bow of Chitrasena that was capable of checking foes. And cutting through his coat of mail he pierced his antagonist's breast with a shaft. Then the princes of thy army, all heroic and mighty car-warriors, excited with wrath and united together in that conflict, pierced him with sharp arrows. And Abhimanyu, acquainted with the mightiest weapons, smote them all with keen shafts. Beholding that feat of his, thy sons then surrounded the son of Arjuna, who was consuming thy army in that conflict like a swelling fire of blazing flames consuming a heap of dry grass in summer. And the son of Subhadra, while smiting thy troops (thus), seemed to glow in splendour. Seeing that conduct of his, thy grandson Lakshmana then, O monarch, quickly fell upon the son of Subhadra. Thereupon that mighty car-warrior Abhimanyu, excited with wrath, pierced Lakshmana graced with auspicious marks, as also his charioteer, with six sharp arrows. But Lakshmana also, O king, pierced Subhadra's son with many keen shafts. And that feat, O king, seemed to be highly wonderful. Then that mighty car-warrior, viz., Abhimanyu, slaying the four steeds as also the charioteer of Lakshmana with sharp shafts, rushed towards the latter. Thereupon Lakshmana, that slayer of hostile heroes, staying on that car of his whose steeds had been slain, and excited with wrath, hurled a dart towards the car of Subhadra's son. Abhimanyu, however, with his sharp arrows, cut off that irresistible dart of fierce mien, resembling a snake, and coming impetuously towards him. Then Kripa, taking Lakshmana up on his own car, bore him away from the conflict, in the very sight of all the troops. Then when that awful conflict became general, the combatants rushed against one another, desirous of taking another's life. And the mighty bowmen of thy army and the great car-warriors of the Pandava host, prepared to lay down their lives in battle, slew one another. With hair dishevelled, divested of their coats of mail, deprived of their cars, and their bows broken, the Srinjayas fought with the Kurus with their bare arms. Then the mighty-armed Bhishma, endued with great strength, and excited with wrath, slew with his celestial weapons the troops of the high-souled Pandavas. And the earth became covered with the fallen bodies of elephants deprived of their guides of men and steeds and car-warriors and cavalry-soldiers."

 

Sanjaya said, "Then, O king, the mighty-armed Satyaki invincible in battle, drawing in that conflict an excellent bow capable of bearing a great strain shot innumerable winged arrows resembling snakes of virulent poison, displaying his wonderful lightness of hand. And while slaying his foes in battle, so quickly did he draw the bow, take out his arrows, fix them on the bowstring, and letting them off throw them among the foe, that he then seemed to be a mass of clouds pouring a thick shower of rain. Beholding him then thus blazing up (like a swelling fire), king Duryodhana, O Bharata, despatched ten thousand cars against him. But that great bowman, Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled and possessed of great energy, slew with his celestial weapons all those mighty car-warriors. Having achieved, bow in hand, that fierce feat, that hero then approached Bhurisravas in battle. And Bhurisravas also, that enhancer of the fame of the Kurus, beholding the Dhartarashtra ranks thus felled by Yuyudhana, rushed in wrath against the latter. Drawing his great bow which resembled that of Indra himself in hue, he shot thousands of shafts, O monarch, looking like snakes of virulent poison and possessed of the strength of the thunder, displaying his extreme lightness of hand. Thereupon the combatants that followed Satyaki, unable to bear those shafts of fatal touch, fled away, O king, in all directions, abandoning, O monarch, the invincible Satyaki in that conflict. Beholding this, the mighty sons of Yuyudhana, all mighty car-warriors of great renown, cased in excellent mail, bearing diverse arms, and possessing excellent standards, approaching that great bowman, viz., Bhurisravas, in battle, wrathfully addressed that warrior bearing on his standard the device of a sacrificial stake, and said these words, 'Listen, O kinsman of the Kauravas, O thou that art possessed of great strength, come, fight in battle with us, i.e., with either all of us jointly or with each of us separately. Vanquishing us in battle thou mayst win great renown, or ourselves, vanquishing thee, will have great gratification.' Thus addressed by them, that mighty hero endued with great strength and proud of his prowess, that foremost of men, beholding them before him, replied unto them, saying, 'Ye heroes, ye have said well. If such be now your wish, fight ye then all together with care. I shall slay all of you in battle.' Thus addressed by him, those heroic and mighty bowmen endued with great activity covered that chastiser of foes with a thick shower of arrows. And it was towards the afternoon, O king, that that dreadful battle took place between Bhurisravas alone on one side and the many united together on the other. And those ten heroes covered that single mighty car-warrior with showers of arrows like the clouds showering rain on a mountain cliff in the season of rains. That mighty car-warrior, however, cut off, those clouds of shafts shot by them resembling the fatal darts of Death or the very thunder in effulgence, before they could reach him. They then, surrounding that mighty-armed warrior, endeavoured to slay him. But the son of Somadatta, excited with rage, cut off their bows, O Bharata, and then their heads, with sharp shafts. Thus slain, they fell down, O monarch, like mighty trees felled by the thunder. Beholding then his mighty sons thus slain in battle, the Vrishni hero (Satyaki), O king, uttering a loud roar, rushed against Bhurisravas. And those mighty warriors then each pressed his car against the other. And each of them in that combat slew the other's car-steeds. And both deprived of their cars, those mighty warriors jumped down on the ground. And both taking up large scimitars and excellent shields encountered each other. And those tigers among men, stationed for the encounter, shone brightly. Then Bhimasena, O king, quickly coming up to Satyaki thus armed with an excellent scimitar, took him up on his own car. And thy son also, O monarch, speedily took up Bhurisravas on his car, in that battle, at the very sight of all the bowmen.

"Meanwhile, during the continuance of that battle, the Pandavas, O bull of Bharata's race, excited with wrath, fought with that mighty car-warrior Bhishma. And when the sun assumed a red hue, Dhananjaya exerting himself actively, slew five and twenty thousand great car-warriors. These, urged on by Duryodhana for slaying Partha, were thus completely destroyed before they could even come up to him, like insects on a blazing fire. Then the Matsyas and the Kekayas, all accomplished in the science of arms, surrounded that mighty car-warrior Partha as also his son (for supporting them). Just at that time the sun disappeared, and all the combatants seemed to be deprived of their senses. Then at twilight, O king, thy sire Devavrata, his animals having been tired, caused the troops to be withdrawn. And the troops of both the Pandavas and the Kurus, filled with fear and anxiety in course of that dreadful encounter, proceeded to their respective camps, the Pandavas with the Srinjayas and the Kauravas also rested for the night agreeably to the rules (of military science)."

 

Sanjaya said, "Having rested for a while, O king, both the Kurus and the Pandavas, after the night had passed away, once more went out for battle. And then loud was the uproar, O king, that arose of mighty car-warriors as they prepared for battle, and of tuskers as these were being equipped for the conflict, and of infantry as they put on their armour, and of steeds also, O Bharata. And the blare of conches and the beat of drums became deafening in all parts of the field. Then king Yudhishthira addressed Dhrishtadyumna and said, 'O mighty-armed one, dispose the troops in the array called Makara that scorcheth the foe.' Thus addressed by Pritha's son, that mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, that foremost of combatants on cars, issued the order, O great king, to the car-warriors, (for forming the Makara array). Drupada, and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, formed the head of that array, and Sahadeva and that mighty car-warrior Nakula formed its two eyes. And the mighty Bhimasena formed its beak. And Subhadra's son, and the sons of Draupadi and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, and Satyaki, and king Yudhishthira the just, were stationed in its neck. And king Virata that commander of a large division, formed its back, supported by Dhrishtadyumna and a large force. And the five Kekaya brothers consisted its left wing, and that tiger among men, viz., Dhrishtaketu, and Chekitana of great prowess, stationed in the right wing, stood for protecting that array. And its two feet, O monarch, were constituted by that mighty car-warrior the blessed Kuntibhoja, and Satanika, supported by a large force. And that great bowman, the mighty Sikhandin, surrounded by the Somakas, and Iravat, were stationed in the tail of that Makara array. And having, O Bharata, formed their great array, the Pandavas, O monarch, equipped in mail at dawn, again stood for battle. And with elephants and steeds and cars and infantry, and with standards upraised and umbrellas set up, and armed with bright, whetted weapons, they quickly proceeded against the Kauravas.

"Then thy sire Devavrata, beholding the (Pandava) army thus arrayed, disposed his army, O king, in counter-array after the form of a huge crane. And in its beak was Bharadwaja's son (Drona). And Aswatthaman and Kripa, O monarch, formed its two eyes. And that foremost, of all bowmen, viz., Kritavarman, united with the ruler of the Kamvojas and with the Valhikas was stationed, O king, in its head. And in its neck. O Bharata, were Surasena, and thy son Duryodhana, O king, surrounded by many kings. And the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, united with the Madras, the Sauviras, and the Kekayas, and surrounded by a large force, was stationed, O king, in its breasts. And Susarman the king of Prasthala, accompanied by his own troops, stood, accoutred in mail, in the left wing. And the Tusharas, the Yavanas and the Sakas, along with the Chulikas, stood in the right wing, O Bharata, of that array. And Srutayush and Sataytish and Somadatta's son, O sire, were stationed in the rear of that array protecting one another.

"Then the Pandavas, O king, rushed against the Kauravas for battle. The sun, O Bharata, had risen when the battle commenced. And elephants proceeded against elephants. And horsemen rushed against horsemen, car-warriors against car-warriors, O king, and against elephants also, in that dreadful conflict. And car-men rushed against riders of elephants, and riders of elephants against horsemen. And car-warriors engaged with foot-soldiers, and cavalry with infantry. And all the warriors, O king, excited with wrath, rushed against one another in battle. And the Pandava army, protected by Bhimasena and Arjuna and the twins, looked beautiful like the night decorated with stars. And thy army also, with Bhishma and Kripa and Drona and Salya and Duryodhana, and others, shone like the firmament spangled with the planets. And Bhimasena the son of Kunti, endued with great prowess, beholding Drona rushed against the division of Bharadwaja's son, borne by his steeds of great fleetness. Then Drona, excited with wrath in that conflict and endued with great energy, pierced Bhima with nine shafts made wholly of iron, aiming his vital limbs. Deeply pierced by Bharadwaja's son in that conflict, Bhima despatched Drona's charioteer to the region of Yama. Thereupon the son of Bharadwaja, endued with great prowess, himself restraining his steeds, began to consume the Pandava army like fire consuming a heap of cotton. And while thus slaughtered, O king, by Drona and Bhishma, the Srinjayas along with the Kekayas took to flight. And so thy troops also, mangled by Bhima and Arjuna, became deprived of their senses as they stood, like a beautiful female in her pride. And in that conflict destructive of heroes great was the distress, O Bharata, that befell both thy army and theirs. And we beheld the wonderful sight, O Bharata, of the troops fighting with one another regardless of their lives. And the Pandavas and the Kauravas, O king, in that conflict, fought with one another counteracting one another's weapons."

 
Dhritarashtra said, "Our army is possessed of many excellencies, consisting of diverse forces, its efficiency is great. It is again arrayed according to the rules of science and, therefore, ought to be irresistible. It is attached to us exceedingly, and always devoted to us. It is submissive, and free from the faults of drunkenness and licentiousness. 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 exercised in every kind of weapons. They are skilled in encounters with swords, with bare arms, and with maces. They are well-exercised in lances, sabres, and darts, as also in iron clubs, short arrows, javelins and mallets. They are devoted to all kinds of armed exercises, and are adepts in mounting upon and descending from the backs of elephants, in moving forward and stepping back, in smiting effectually, in marching and retreating. Many a time 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, nor from strength of attachments, nor from connections of birth and blood. They are all respectable and honest, and their kinsmen have been well-treated and gratified by us. We have done them many good offices. They are, besides, all renowned men and endued with great mental vigour. O son, they are again protected by many foremost of men endued with great activity, and of famous achievements, resembling the very Regents of the world and renowned over the whole earth. Innumerable Kshatriyas, respected throughout the world, and who have of their own will sided us with their forces and followers also protect them. Indeed, our army is like the vast ocean filled with the water of innumerable rivers running from all directions. It abounds with elephants, and with cars which though destitute of wings, yet resemble the winged tenants of the air. Vast numbers of combatants constitute the waters of that ocean, and the steeds and other animals constitute its terrible waves. Innumerable swords and maces and darts and arrows and lances constitute the oars (piled on that ocean). Abounding with standards and ornaments and adorned with cloth inlaid with gold and gems, the rushing steeds and elephants constitute the winds agitating it into fury. Our host, therefore, really resembles the vast, shoreless ocean roaring in rage. And that host is protected by Drona and Bhishma and by Kritavarman and Kripa and Dussasana, and others headed by Jayadratha. It is also protected by Bhagadatta and Vikarna by Drona's son, and Suvala's son, and Valhika and by many other mighty and high-souled heroes of the world. That our army should yet be slaughtered in battle is due only to predestined fate, O Sanjaya. Neither men nor highly blessed Rishis of old ever beheld such preparations (for battle) on earth before. That so large an army, mustered according to science, and attached (to us) by wealth, should yet be slaughtered in battle, alas, what can it be but the result of Destiny? O Sanjaya, all these seem to be unnatural. Indeed Vidura had often said what was both beneficial and desirable. But my wicked son Duryodhana would not accept it. I believe that high-souled and well-knowing person had foreseen all that is now happening and hence the counsel he gave. Or, O Sanjaya, all these, in all its details, had been pre-arranged by Him, for that which is ordained by the Creator must happen as ordained and cannot be otherwise."
 

Sanjaya said, "Thou hast, O king, in consequence of thy own fault, been overtaken by this calamity. O bull of Bharata's race, the faults which thou, O monarch, hadst seen in that unrighteous course of conduct (towards the Pandavas), were not seen by Duryodhana. It was through thy fault, O king, that the match at dice had taken place. And it is through thy fault that this battle hath taken place with the Pandavas. Having committed a sin, do thou, therefore, reap the fruit of that sin of thine. One reapeth the fruit of acts perpetrated by one's own self. Do thou, therefore, O king, reap the fruit of thy own acts both here and hereafter. Therefore, O monarch, though overtaken by this calamity, be calm still, and listen, O sire, to the (account of the) battle as I recite it.

"The heroic Bhimasena, having with his sharp shafts broken thy mighty array, then came upon all the younger brothers of Duryodhana. The mighty Bhima, beholding Dussasana and Durvisaha and Dussaha and Durmada and Jaya, and Jayasena and Vikarna and Chitrasena and Sudarsana, and Charuchitra and Suvarman and Duskarna and Karna, and many other mighty car-warriors, excited with rage, of the Dhartarashtra host near enough to himself, penetrated into (thy) mighty array that was protected by Bhishma in that battle. Then, beholding him in their midst, all those warriors said, 'Ye kings, let us take this one's life'!--Thereupon that son of Pritha was surrounded by those cousins of his who were firmly resolved (to take his life). And Bhima then resembled Surya himself of fierce splendour surrounded by the mighty planets of evil nature, at the time of the universal destruction. And although the son of Pandu was there in the very midst of the (Kaurava) array, yet fear entered not his heart, as it did not that of Indra while surrounded by the Danavas in the fierce battle of old between the celestials and the Asuras. Then thousands of car-warriors armed with all weapons and fully prepared for battle overwhelmed his single self with terrible shafts. Thereupon the heroic Bhima, disregarding the sons of Dhritarashtra, slew in that conflict many foremost warriors (of the Kaurava army) fighting from cars or upon the back of elephants and steeds. And ascertaining the purpose harboured by those cousins of his who were bent upon his destruction, the mighty Bhima set his heart upon slaying them all. Then leaving his car and taking up his mace, the son of Pandu began to smite that very sea of Dhartarashtra troops.

"Then when Bhimasena thus penetrated the Dhartarashtra host, Dhrishtadyumna the son of Prishata, forsaking Drona (with whom he had been engaged), quickly proceeded to the spot where Suvala's son was stationed. That bull among men, baffling countless warriors of thy army, came upon the empty car of Bhimasena in that battle. And beholding in that conflict Visoka, the charioteer of Bhimasena, Dhrishtadyumna, O king, became exceedingly cheerless and almost deprived of his senses. With voice choked in tears, and sighing as he spoke, he asked Visoka, in grief, saying, 'Where is Bhima who is dear to me as my life itself?' Visoka then, joining his hands, replied unto Dhrishtadyumna saying, 'The mighty son of Pandu, endued with great strength, ordering me to wait for him here, hath alone penetrated into the Dhartarashtra host that resembleth the very ocean. That tiger among men very cheerfully said unto me these words--'Wait for me, O charioteer, restraining the steeds for a short space of time, that is, till I slay those that are bent upon my destruction.--Beholding then the mighty Bhima rushing mace in hand, all our troops (that supported him) became filled with delight. Then in this fierce and terrible battle, O prince, thy friend, breaking the mighty array (of the foe), hath penetrated into it. Hearing these words of Visoka, Prishata's son Dhrishtadyumna, endued with great strength, said unto the charioteer these words on the field of battle. 'What need have I today of life itself, if forgetting my affection for the Pandavas, I forsake Bhima in battle? If I return today without Bhima, what will the Kshatriyas say of me? What will they say of me when they will learn that while I was on the field Bhima penetrated alone into the hostile array making a single opening in it? The gods with Indra at their head visit him with evil who, forsaking his comrades in battle, returneth home unhurt! The mighty Bhima again is my friend and kinsman. He is devoted to me, and I also am devoted to that slayer of foes. Therefore, I will go thither, whither Bhima hath gone. Behold me slaying the foe like Vasava slaying the Danavas.' Having said this, the heroic Dhrishtadyumna, O Bharata, proceeded through the midst of the foe, along the tracks opened by Bhimasena and marked by elephants crushed with his mace. He then obtained sight of Bhimasena consuming the hostile ranks or felling Kshatriya warriors like the tempest devastating rows of trees. And car-warriors and horsemen and foot-soldiers and tuskers, while thus slaughtered by him, uttered loud cries of woe. And cries of ah and alas arose from thy troops, O sire, while they were slaughtered by the victorious Bhima accomplished in all moods of warfare. Then the Kaurava warriors all accomplished in arms, surrounding Vrikodara on all sides, fearlessly poured upon him their arrowy showers at the same time. Then the mighty son of Prishata, beholding that foremost of all wielders of weapons, that celebrated hero, viz., the son of Pandu, thus attacked on all sides by fierce ranks of foes in close array, mangled with shafts, treading the field on foot, and vomiting the poison of his wrath, mace in hand and looking like the Destroyer himself at the hour of the universal dissolution, quickly approached him and comforted him by his presence. And taking him upon his car, and plucking the arrows off from all his limbs, and embracing him warmly, the high-souled son of Prishata comforted Bhimasena in the very midst of the foe. Then thy son, in that terrible conflict, quickly coming up to his brothers, said unto them, 'This son of Drupada of wicked soul, is now united with Bhimasena. Let us all approach him together for slaying him. Let not the foe seek our ranks (for battle).' Hearing these words, the Dhartarashtras, thus urged on by the command of their eldest brother and unable to put up (with the foe), quickly rushed, with upraised weapons, for slaying Dhrishtadyumna like fierce comets at the hour of the universal dissolution. Taking up their beautiful bows, those heroes, making the very earth shiver with the twang of their bowstring and the rattle of their car-wheels, showered shafts on Drupada's son, like the clouds covering the mountain-breast with torrents of rain. But that hero conversant with all modes of warfare, though thus struck with sharp arrows in that battle, did not waver. On the other hand, that mighty car-warrior, the youthful son of Drupada, beholding those heroic sons of thine staying before him in battle and exerting themselves to their utmost being desirous of slaying them applied that fierce weapon called Pramohana and engaged with thy sons, O king, like Indra with the Danavas in battle. Then those heroic warriors were deprived of their senses, their minds and strength afflicted by the Pramohana weapon. And the Kauravas fled away in all directions, with their steeds and elephants and cars, beholding those sons of thine deprived of their senses in a swoon like those whose hours had come. And at that time Drona, the foremost of all wielders of weapons, approaching Drupada, pierced him with three fierce shafts. And that monarch then, O king, viz., Drupada, deeply pierced by Drona, left the battle, O Bharata, remembering his former hostility (with Bharadwaja's son). Thereupon Drona endued with great prowess having thus vanquished Drupada, blew his conch. And hearing the blare of his conch, all the Somakas were struck with fear. Then Drona, possessed of great energy, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, heard of thy sons being deprived of their senses in battle with the Pramohana weapon. Then the son of Bharadwaja, desirous of rescuing the princes, speedily left that part of the field where he was and proceeded to the place where thy sons were. And that mighty bowman viz., Bharadwaja's son of great prowess, there beheld Dhrishtadyumna and Bhima careering through the field in that dreadful conflict. And that mighty car-warrior beheld thy sons deprived of their senses. Taking up then the weapon called Prajna, he neutralised the Pramohana weapon (that Dhrishtadyumna had shot). Then thy sons those mighty car-warriors, when their senses returned, once more proceeded to battle with Bhima and Prishata's son. Then Yudhishthira, addressing his own troops said, 'Let twelve brave car-warriors cased in mail and headed by Subhadra's son, follow, to the utmost of their might, the track of Bhima and Prishata's son in battle. Let intelligence be had (of those two warriors). My heart is very uneasy.' Thus ordered by the king, those heroes possessed of great prowess in battle and proud of their manliness, saying 'Yes,' all proceeded forward when the sun had reached the meridian. And those chastisers of foes then, viz., the Kaikeyas and the sons of Draupadi, and Dhrishtaketu of great prowess, supported by a large force and with Abhimanyu at their head, and disposing themselves in the array called Suchimukha, penetrated into that car-division of the Dhartarashtras in battle. And thy troops, O king, struck with the fear of Bhimasena and deprived of their senses by Dhrishtadyumna, were unable to resist (the rush of) those mighty bowmen headed by Abhimanyu. And they were quite helpless, like a lady in the streets. And those mighty bowmen with standards variegated with gold cutting through (the Kaurava ranks), proceeded with great speed for rescuing Dhrishtadyumna and Vrikodara. And the latter, beholding those mighty bowmen headed by Abhimanyu, became filled with delight and continued to smite down thy ranks. And the heroic prince of Panchala, viz., the son of Prishata, seeing meanwhile his preceptor advancing towards him with great speed, no longer wished to compass the death of thy sons. Causing Vrikodara then to be taken up on the car of the king of the Kaikeyas, he rushed in great wrath against Drona accomplished in arrow and all weapons. And that slayer of foes, viz., the valiant son of Bharadwaja, excited with rage, cut off with a broad-headed shaft the bow of Prishata's son who was rushing towards him with impetuosity. And remembering the bread he had eaten of his master and desirous of doing good to Duryodhana, he also sped hundreds of shafts after Prishata's son. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Prishata, taking up another bow, pierced Drona with seventy shafts whetted on stone and furnished with wings of gold. Then that grinder of foes, viz., Drona, once more cut off his bow, and despatched his four steeds to Yama's abode with four excellent arrows, and also slew his charioteer, O Bharata, with a broad-headed shaft. Then that mighty car-warrior of strong arms, viz., Dhrishtadyumna, quickly descending from that car whose steeds had been slain, ascended the great car of Abhimanyu. Then Drona caused the Pandava army consisting of cars, elephants, and steeds, to tremble, in the very sight of Bhimasena and the intelligent son of Prishata. Beholding then that army thus broken by Drona of immeasurable energy, all those mighty car-warriors were incapable of checking its flight. And that army, thus slaughtered by Drona with his sharp shafts, began to move in eddies there, like the agitated sea. And beholding the (Pandava) army in that condition, thy troops were filled with delight. And seeing the preceptor excited with rage and thus consuming the ranks of the foe, all thy warriors, O Bharata, set up loud shouts and uttered exclamations in praise of Drona."

 
Sanjaya said, "Then king Duryodhana, regaining his senses, once more began to resist Bhima with showers of arrows. And once more those mighty car-warriors viz., thy sons, united together, began to fight valiantly with Bhimasena. And Bhimasena also of mighty arms during that battle, having got his car, ascended it and proceeded to the spot where thy sons were. And taking up a strong and very tough bow adorned with gold and capable of taking the lives of foes he pierced thy sons in that conflict, with his shafts. Then king Duryodhana struck the mighty Bhimasena at the very vitals with a long shaft of exceeding sharpness. Then that mighty bowman, pierced thus deeply by thy son, bow in hand, forcibly drawing his own with eyes red in wrath, struck Duryodhana in his two arms and the breast with three shafts. But struck thus, O king, he moved not, like a prince of mountains. Beholding then those two heroes excited with rage and smiting each other, the younger brothers of Duryodhana, all of whom were heroes prepared to lay down their lives, remembering their previously formed scheme of afflicting Vrikodara of terrible deeds, set about firmly resolved, for smiting him down. And as they fell upon him in battle, Bhimasena of great strength rushed against them, O king, like an elephant rushing against an attacking compeer. Excited with fury and endued with great energy, that celebrated hero then, O king, afflicted thy son Chitrasena with a long arrow. And as regards thy other sons, that descendant of Bharata smote them all in that battle, with diverse kinds of shafts furnished with wings of gold and endued with great impetus. Then king Yudhishthira the just, disposing all his own divisions properly despatched twelve mighty car-warriors including Abhimanyu and others to follow Bhimasena behind. Those, O king, all proceeded against those mighty car-warriors, viz., thy sons. Beholding those heroes on their cars, resembling the Sun himself or the fire in splendour-those great bowmen of blazing effulgence and superb beauty, looking resplendent in that dreadful conflict with ornaments of gold,--thy mighty sons abandoned Bhima (with whom they had been fighting). The sons of Kunti, however, could not bear the sight of their abandoning the conflict alive."
 
Sanjaya said, "Then Abhimanyu, accompanied by Bhimasena pursuing thy sons, afflicted them all. Then the mighty car-warriors of thy army, including Duryodhana and others, beholding Abhimanyu and Bhimasena united with Prishata's son in the midst of the (Kauravas) troops, took up their bows, and borne by their fleet steeds rushed to the spot where those warriors were. And on that afternoon, O king, a dreadful conflict took place between the mighty combatants of thy army and those of the foe, O Bharata. And Abhimanyu, having, in that fierce battle, slain the steeds of Vikarna, pierced the latter with five and twenty small arrows. Then that mighty car-warrior, Vikarna, abandoning that car whose steeds had been slain, mounted on the resplendent car, O king, of Chitrasena. Then thus stationed on the same car, viz., those two brothers of Kuru's race, the son of Arjuna covered, O Bharata, with showers of arrows. Then Durjaya and Vikarna pierced Abhimanyu with five shafts made wholly of iron. Abhimanyu however, shook not in the least but stood firm like the mountain Meru. Dussasana in that battle, O sire, fought with the five Kekaya brothers. All these, O great king, seemed exceedingly wonderful. The sons of Draupadi, excited with rage, resisted Duryodhana in that battle. And each of them, O king, pierced thy son with three shafts. Thy son also, invincible in battle, pierced each of the sons of Draupadi, O monarch, with sharp shafts. And pierced by them (in return) and bathed in blood, he shone like a hill with rillets of water mixed with red-chalk (gliding down its breast). And the mighty Bhishma also, in that battle, O king, afflicted the Pandava army like a herdsman belabouring his herd. Then, O monarch, the twang of Gandiva was heard, of Partha, who was engaged in slaughtering the foe on the right of the army. And in that part of the field headless trunks stood up by thousands, amongst the troops, O Bharata, of both the Kauravas and the Pandavas. And the field of battle resembled an ocean whose water was blood, and whose eddies were the shafts (shot by the combatants). And the elephants constituted the islands of that ocean, and the steeds its waves. And cars constituted the boats by which brave men crossed it. And many brave combatants, with arms cut off, divested of armour, and hideously mutilated, were seen lying there in hundreds and thousands. And with the bodies of infuriate elephants deprived of life and bathed in blood, the field of battle. O Bharata, looked as if strewn with hills. And the wonderful sight we saw there, O Bharata, was that neither in their army nor in thine was a single person that was unwilling to fight. And thus, O monarch, did those brave warriors, of both thy army and the Pandavas, fight, seeking glory and desirous of victory."
 
Sanjaya said, "Then when the sun assumed a red hue, king Duryodhana, desirous of battle, rushed towards Bhima from desire of slaying him. Beholding that heroic warrior cherishing deep animosity (thus) coming towards him, Bhimasena, excited with great wrath, said these words,--'That hour hath come which I have desired for so many years. I will slay thee to-day if thou dost not abandon the battle. Slaying thee I shall today dispel the sorrows of Kunti as also of Draupadi and the woes that were ours during our exile in the woods. Filled with pride, thou hadst formerly humiliated the sons of Pandu. Behold, O son of Gandhari, the dire fruit of that sinful behaviour. Following the counsels of Karna as also of Suvala's son, and recking the Pandavas little, thou hadst formerly behaved towards them as thou hadst hinted. Thou hadst also disregarded Krishna who begged thee (for peace). With a joyous heart didst thou despatch Uluka (to us) with thy messages. For all these, I shall slay thee to-day with all thy kinsmen, and thus avenge all those offences of thine of former days.' Having said these words, Bhima bending his bow and stretching it repeatedly, and taking up a number of terrible shafts whose effulgence resembled that of the lightning itself, and filled with wrath, quickly sped six and thirty of them at Duryodhana. And those shafts resembled the flames of a blazing fire, and coursed straight with the force of the thunder-bolt. And then he pierced Duryodhana's bow with two shafts, and his charioteer with two. And with four shafts he despatched Duryodhana's (four) steeds to the regions of Yama. And that grinder of foes then, with two shafts shot with great force, cut off in that battle the king's umbrella from his excellent car. And with three other shafts he cut off his handsome and blazing standard. And having cut it off, he uttered a loud shout in the very sight of thy son. And that beautiful standard of the latter, decked with diverse gems, suddenly fell down on the earth from his car like a flash of lightning from the clouds. And all the kings beheld that beautiful standard of the Kuru king, bearing the device of an elephant, decked with gems, and blazing like the sun, fell down cut off (by Bhimasena). And that mighty car-warrior, viz., Bhima, then pierced Duryodhana in that battle, smiling the while, with ten shafts like a guide piercing a mighty elephant with the hook. Then that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the mighty king of the Sindhus, supported by many brave warriors, placed himself on the flank of Duryodhana. And then that great car-warrior, viz., Kripa, O king, caused the vindictive Duryodhana, that son of Kuru's race, of immeasurable energy, to mount on his own car. Then king Duryodhana, deeply pierced by Bhimasena and feeling great pain, sat down on the terrace of that car. Then Jayadratha, desirous of slaying Bhima, surrounded him on all sides with several thousands of cars. Then, O king, Dhrishtaketu and Abhimanyu of great energy, and the Kekayas, and the sons of Draupadi, all encountered thy sons. And the high-souled Abhimanyu smote them all, piercing each with five straight shafts, resembling the bolts of heaven or Death's selves, shot from his excellent bow. Thereupon, all of them, unable to bear it (coolly), showered on that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the son of Subhadra, a perfect down-pour of sharp shafts like rain-charged clouds pouring rain on the breast of the mountains of Meru. But Abhimanyu, that invisible warrior accomplished in arms, thus afflicted by them in battle, caused all thy sons, O king, to tremble like the wielder of the thunder-bolt causing the mighty Asuras to tremble in the battle between the celestials and the latter. Then that foremost of car-warriors, O Bharata, shot fourteen broad-headed shafts, fierce and looking like snakes of virulent poison, at Vikarna. Endued with great prowess and as if dancing in that battle, he felled with those shafts the standard of Vikarna from his car and slew also his charioteer and steeds. Then that mighty car-warrior, the son of Subhadra, again sped at Vikarna many other arrows that were well-tempered, straight-going, and capable of penetrating every armour. And those arrows furnished with feathers of the kanka bird, coming at Vikarna and passing through his body, entered the earth, like hissing snakes. And those arrows, with wings and points decked with gold, bathed in Vikarna's blood, seemed to vomit blood on the earth. Beholding Vikarna thus pierced, his other uterine brothers rushed, in that battle, against those car-warriors headed by Subhadra's son. And when these invincible warriors upon their (own) cars came upon those combatants (of the Pandava army) resplendent like so many suns and staying on their cars both began to pierce one another.. And Durmukha, having pierced Srutakarman with five shafts, cut off the latter's standard with a single shaft and then pierced his charioteer with seven. And advancing closer, he slew with half a dozen shafts his foe's steeds, fleet as the wind and cased in golden armour, and then felled his charioteer. Srutakarman, however, staying on that car of his, the steeds of which had been slain, hurled in great wrath a dart blazing like a fierce meteor. That dart, blazing with effulgence, passing through the renowned Durmukha's hard coat of mail, penetrated into the earth. Meanwhile the mighty Sutasoma beholding Srutakarman deprived of his car, caused him to mount upon his own car in the very sight of all the troops. The heroic Srutakirti rushed against thy son Jayatsena in that battle, desirous, O king, of slaying that renowned warrior. Then thy son Jayatsena, O king, with a sharp arrow having a horse-shoe head, smiling the while, cut off the bow of the high-souled Srutakirti as the latter came along stretching it in his hands. Then Satanika, beholding his uterine brother's bow cut off, endued as he was with great valour, quickly came at that spot repeatedly roaring like a lion. And Satanika, drawing his bow in that battle with great force, speedily pierced Jayatsena with ten shafts, and uttered a loud shout like an infuriate elephant. And with another arrow of sharp point and capable of penetrating every armour, Satanika deeply pierced Jayatsena in the chest. Just at that time, Dushkarna who was near his brother. (Jayatsena) infuriate with anger, cut off Satanika's bow and arrow. Then the mighty Satanika taking up another excellent bow capable of bearing a great strain, aimed many sharp shafts. And addressing Dushkarna in the presence of his brother (Jayatsena), saying--'Wait', 'Wait',--he sped at him those sharp and blazing shafts resembling so many snakes. And then he speedily cut off Dushkarna's bow with one arrow, and slew his charioteer, O sire, with two, and then pierced Dushkarna himself with seven arrows. And that spotless warrior then with a dozen sharp shafts slew all the steeds of Dushkarna that were fleet as the mind and of variegated hue. And then with another broad-headed arrow, well-aimed and capable of coursing swiftly, Satanika, excited with great wrath deeply pierced Dushkarna in the chest. And thereupon the latter fell down on the earth like a tree struck with lightning. Beholding Dushkarna slain, five mighty car-warriors, O king, surrounded Satanika on all sides, from desire of slaying him. And they struck the renowned Satanika with showers of arrows. Then the five Kekaya brothers, excited with wrath, approached (Satanika for rescuing him). Beholding the latter coming upon them, thy sons--those mighty car-warriors,--rushed towards them like elephants rushing against mighty elephants. (These amongst thy sons, viz.,) Durmukha and Durjaya and the youthful Durmarshana and Satranjaya and Satrusha, all renowned warriors, excited with rage, proceeded, O king, against the (five) Kekaya brothers. On their cars that resembled (fortified) towns, unto which were yoked steeds decked with ornaments, and which were graced with beautiful standards of variegated hue, those heroes wielding excellent bows and cased in beautiful coats of mail and owning excellent standards, entered the hostile army like lions entering one forest from another. Smiting one another, fierce and terrific was the battle that ensued between them and the foe, in which cars and elephants got entangled with one another. Cherishing feelings of hostility towards one another, the terrible battle in which they took part lasted for a short space of time about sunset, increasing the population of Yama's kingdom. And car-warriors and horsemen by thousands were strewn over the field. And Bhishma the son of Santanu excited with wrath, began to slaughter the troops of the high-souled Pandavas with his straight shafts. And with his arrows he began to despatch the combatants of the Panchalas to the domains of Yama. And the grandsire, having thus broken the ranks of the Pandavas at last withdrew his troops and retired, O king, to his encampment. And king Yudhishthira also, beholding both Dhrishtadyumna and Vrikodara, smelt their heads, and filled with joy, retired to his tents."
 
Sanjaya said, "Then those heroes, O king, who cherished feelings of hostility towards one another, retired to their tents, their persons covered with blood. Having rested for a while agreeably to rule, and praising one another (for the feats of the day), they were again seen clad in mail, desirous of battle. Then thy son, O king, overwhelmed with anxiety and covered with blood trickling down (from his wounds), asked the grandsire, saying. 'Our troops are fierce and terrible and carry innumerable standards. They are, again, arrayed properly. Yet the brave and mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas, having penetrated (into our array) and afflicted and slaughtered (our troops), escaped unhurt. Confounding us all, they have won great fame in battle. Bhima again, having penetrated into our Makara array which was strong as the thunder-bolt, afflicted me with his terrible shafts each resembling the rod of Death. Beholding him excited with wrath, O king, I was deprived of my senses. Even now I cannot regain my peace of mind. Through thy grace, O thou that art firm in truth, I desire to obtain victory and slay the sons of Pandu.' Thus addressed by him, the high-souled son of Ganga, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, endued with great mental energy, understanding that Duryodhana was possessed by grief replied unto him, laughing the while though cheerless, saying, 'Penetrating into (their) army with the utmost exertions and with my whole soul, O prince, I wish to give thee victory and joy. For thy sake I do not at all dissemble. They that have become the allies of the Pandavas in this battle are fierce and numerous. Mighty car-warriors of great renown, they are exceedingly brave and accomplished in arms. Incapable of being fatigued, they vomit forth their wrath. Cherishing feelings of animosity towards thee, and swelling with prowess, they are not capable of being defeated easily. I will, however, O king, contend against those heroes with my whole soul and throwing away my very life. For thy sake, in battle, O thou of great glory, my life itself shall today be recklessly exposed. For thy sake I would consume all the worlds with the celestials and the Daityas, let alone thy foes here. I will, O king, fight with those Pandavas, and do all that is agreeable to thee. Hearing these words, Duryodhana became inspired with great confidence and his heart was filled with delight. And cheerfully he ordered all the troops, and all the kings, (in his army) saying, Advance. And at that command, O king, his army consisting of cars, steeds, foot-soldiers, and elephants, began to advance. And that large force. O king, armed with diverse kinds of weapons, was exceedingly cheerful. And that army of thine, O monarch, consisting of elephants, steeds, and foot-soldiers, on the field of battle, looked exceedingly beautiful. And huge tuskers, stationed in large bodies, and skilfully urged, looked resplendent on the field all around. And many royal combatants accomplished in diverse weapons were seen in the midst of thy troops. And the dust, red as the morning sun, raised by those cars and foot-soldiers and elephants and steeds in large bodies as they were duly moved over the field, looked beautiful, shrouding the rays of the sun. And the many-coloured banners stationed on cars and elephants, waving in the air and moving along the welkin, looked beautiful like flashes of lightning amid the clouds. And loud and fierce was the uproar made by the twang of the bows stretched by the kings, resembling the roar of the ocean while churned in the Krita age by the gods and the great Asuras. And that army of thy sons, looking so proud, consisting of (combatants of) diverse hues and shapes, shouting so fiercely, and capable of slaying hostile warriors, then looked like those masses of clouds that appear at the end of the Yuga.'"
 
Sanjaya said, "O chief of the Bharatas, Ganga's son, once more addressing thy son who was plunged in thought, told him these delightful words, 'Myself and Drona and Salya and Kritavarman of Satwata's race, and Aswatthaman and Vikarna and Bhagadatta and Suvala's son and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Valhika with the Valhikas, and the mighty king of the Trigartas and the invincible ruler of the Magadhas, Vrihadvala the king of the Kosalas, and Chitrasena and Vivingsati and many thousands of car-warriors graced with tall standards, a large number of country-born steeds well-mounted with excellent horse-soldiers and many infuriate elephants of large size with temporal juice issuing from their mouths and cheeks, and many brave foot-soldiers armed with diverse weapons and born in diverse realms, are all prepared to do battle for thy sake. These, and many others ready for thy sake to lay down their lives, are, as I think, competent to vanquish the very gods in battle. I should, however, always tell thee, O king, what is for thy good. The Pandavas are incapable of being vanquished by the very gods with Vasava. They have Vasudeva for their ally and are equal to Mahendra himself in prowess. As regards myself, I shall, however, always do thy bidding. Either I shall vanquish the Pandavas in battle or they will vanquish me. Having said these words, the grandsire gave him an excellent herb of great efficacy for healing his wounds. And therewith thy son was cured of his wounds. Then at dawn when the sky was clear, the valiant Bhishma, that foremost of men well-versed in all kinds of array, himself disposed his troops in that array called Mandala bristling with weapons. And it abounded with foremost of warriors and with tuskers and foot-soldiers. And it was surrounded on all sides with many thousands of cars, and with large bodies of horsemen armed with swords and lances. Near unto every elephant were placed seven cars, and near unto every car were placed seven horsemen. And behind every horseman were placed seven bowmen, and behind every bowman were seven combatants with shields. And thus, O king, thy army, arrayed by mighty car-warriors, stood for fierce battle, protected by Bhishma. And ten thousand horses, and as many elephants, and ten thousand cars, and thy sons, all equipped in mail, viz., the heroic Chitrasena and others, protected the grandsire. And it was seen that Bhishma was protected by those brave warriors, and those princes themselves of great strength, accoutred in mail, were (in their turn) protected by him. And Duryodhana accoutred in mail sat upon his car on the field, and possessed of every grace, looked resplendent like Sakra himself in heaven. Then, O Bharata, loud were the shouts uttered by thy sons and deafening the clatter of cars and the uproar of musical instruments. That mighty and impenetrable array of those slayer of foes, viz., the Dhartarashtras (in the form called) Mandala, (thus) arrayed by Bhishma, began to proceed, facing the west. Incapable of being defeated by enemies, it looked beautiful in every point. Beholding then the array called Mandala that was exceedingly fierce, king Yudhishthira himself disposed his troops in the array called Vajra. And when the divisions were thus arrayed, car-warriors and horsemen, stationed in their proper places, uttered leonine shouts. Accompanied by their respective forces, the brave warriors of both armies, well versed in smiting, and longing for battle, proceeded, desirous of breaking each other's array. And Bharadwaja's son proceeded against the king of the Matsyas, and his son (Aswatthaman) against Sikhandin. And king Duryodhana himself rushed against the son of Prishata. And Nakula and Sahadeva went forth against the king of the Madras. And Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti proceeded against Iravat. And many kings together battled with Dhananjaya. And Bhimasena, exerting himself well, opposed the son of Hridika in battle. And possessed of great prowess, (Abhimanyu) the son of Arjuna, fought in battle, O king, against the sons Chitrasena and Vikarna, and Durmarshana. And Hidimva's son, that prince of the Rakshasas, rushed against that mighty bowman, the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, like one infuriate elephant against another. And the Rakshasa Alamvusha, O king, excited with wrath, rushed in battle against the invincible Satyaki in the midst of his followers. And Bhurisravas, exerting himself greatly, fought against Dhrishtaketu. And Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, proceeded against king Srutayush. And Chekitana in that battle fought against Kripa. And others (among the Kuru warriors), exerting themselves powerfully, proceeded against that mighty car-warrior Bhima. And thousands of (other) kings surrounded Dhananjaya, with darts, lances, arrows, maces, and spiked clubs in their hands. Then Arjuna, excited with great wrath, addressing him of Vrishni's race, said, 'Behold, O Madhava, the Dhartarashtra troops in battle, arrayed by the high-souled son of Ganga, acquainted with every kind of array. Behold, O Madhava, those brave warriors, countless in number, and desirous of battle (with me). Behold, O Kesava, the ruler of the Trigartas with his brothers. This very day I shall slay them all, O Janardana, before thy eyes,--them, that is, O foremost of the Yadus, who, longing for battle (with me), are on the field.' Having said these words, the son of Kunti, rubbing his bowstring, showered his arrows on that multitude of kings. And those great bowmen also, poured on him thick showers of arrows, like clouds that fill a lake with torrents of rain in the rainy season. And loud shouts were heard in thy army, O monarch, when in that great battle the two Krishnas were seen covered with thick showers of arrows. And the gods, the celestial Rishis, and the Gandharvas with the Uragas, beholding the two Krishnas in that state, were filled with great wonder. Then Arjuna, O king, excited with wrath, invoked the Aindra weapon. And then the prowess we beheld of Vijaya seemed to be highly wonderful insomuch that those showers of weapons shot by his foes were checked by his myriads of arrows. And there among those thousands of kings and steeds and elephants, was none, O king, that was not wounded. And others, O sire, the son of Pritha pierced, each with two or three arrows. And while being thus struck by Pritha, they sought the protection of Bhishma, the son of Santanu. But Bhishma then became the rescuer of those warriors who were like men sinking in the fathomless deep. And in consequence of those warriors thus flying away and mixing with thy troops, thy broken ranks, O king, were agitated like the vast deep with a tempest."
 

Sanjaya said, "And when the battle was thus raging and after Susarman had ceased fighting, and the (other) heroic warriors (of the Kuru army) had been routed by the high-souled son of Pandu; after, indeed, thy army, resembling the very ocean, had become quickly agitated and the son of Ganga had speedily proceeded against the car of Vijaya, king Duryodhana, beholding the prowess of Partha in battle, quickly proceeded towards those kings, and addressing them as also the heroic and mighty Susarman stationed in their van, said in their midst these words, gladdening them all, 'This Bhishma, the son of Santanu, this foremost one among the Kurus, reckless of his very life, is desirous of fighting with his whole soul against Dhananjaya. Exerting your best, ye all, united together, and accompanied by your troops, protect in battle the grandsire, of Bharata's race, who is proceeding against the hostile army.' Saying, 'Yes,' all those divisions, belonging to those kings, O monarch, proceeded, following the grandsire. Then the mighty Bhishma, the son of Santanu, (thus rushing to battle), speedily came upon Arjuna of Bharata's race who also had been coming towards him, on his exceedingly resplendent and large car unto which were yoked white steeds and upon which was set up his standard bearing the fierce ape, and whose rattle resembled the deep roll of the clouds. And thy entire army, beholding the diadem-decked Dhananjaya, thus coming to battle, uttered, from fear, many loud exclamations. And beholding Krishna, reins in hand, and looking like the mid-day sun in splendour, thy troops could not gaze at him. And so also the Pandavas were incapable of looking at Santanu's son Bhishma of white steeds and white bow and resembling the planet Sukra risen in the firmament. And the latter was surrounded on all sides by the high-souled warriors of the Trigartas headed by their king with his brothers and sons, and by many other mighty car-warriors.

"Meanwhile, Bharadwaja's son pierced with his winged arrows the king of the Matsyas in battle. And in that combat he cut off the latter's standard with one shaft, and his bow also with another. Then Virata, the commander of a large division, leaving aside that bow thus cut off, quickly took up another that was strong and capable of bearing a great strain. And he also took up a number of blazing arrows that resembled snakes of virulent poison. And he pierced Drona in return with three (of these) and his (four) steeds with four. And then he pierced Drona's standard with one arrow, and his charioteer with five. And he also pierced Drona's bow with one arrow, and (at all this) that bull among Brahmanas became highly angry. Then Drona slew Virata's steeds with eight straight shafts, and then his charioteer, O chief of the Bharatas, with one shaft. His charioteer having been slain, Virata jumped down from his car whose steeds also had been killed. And then that foremost of car-warriors speedily mounted upon the car of (his son) Sankha. Then sire and son, staying on the same car, began with great might to resist the son of Bharadwaja with a thick shower of arrows. Then the mighty son of Bharadwaja, excited with wrath, quickly shot at Sankha in that encounter, an arrow resembling a snake of virulent poison. And that arrow, piercing through Sankha's breast and drinking his blood, fell upon the earth, wet and smeared with gore. Struck with that arrow of Bharadwaja's son, Sankha speedily fell down from his car, his bow and arrows loosened from his grasp in the very presence of his sire. And beholding his son slain, Virata fled from fear, avoiding Drona in battle, who resembled Death's self with gasping mouth. The son of Bharadwaja then, without losing a moment, checked the mighty host of the Pandavas resisting combatants by hundreds and thousands.

"Sikhandin also, O king, getting at Drona's son in that battle, struck the latter between his brows with three swiftly coursing shafts. And that tiger among men, viz., Aswatthaman, pierced with those shafts looked beautiful like the mountain Meru with its three tall golden crests. Then, O king, Aswatthaman excited with rage, and within half the time taken up by a wink of the eye, overthrew in that battle Sikhandin's charioteer and standard and steeds and weapons, covering them with myriads of shafts. Then that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Sikhandin, that scorcher of foes, jumping down from that car whose steeds had been slain, and taking up a sharp and polished scimitar and a shield, excited with rage, moved on the field with great activity like a hawk. And while moving with great activity, O king, on the field sword in hand, the son of Drona failed to find an opportunity (for striking him). And all this seemed highly wonderful. And then, O bull of Bharata's race, the highly wrathful son of Drona sent after Sikhandin in that battle many thousands of shafts. But Sikhandin, that foremost of mighty men, with his sharp sword cut that fierce shower of arrows coming towards him. Then the son of Drona cut into pieces that resplendent and beautiful shield decked with a hundred moons and then that sword also of Sikhandin. And he pierced the latter's person also, O king, with a large number of winged arrows. Then Sikhandin, whirling the fragment (in his hand) of that sword of his which had been cut off by Aswatthaman with his arrows and which resembled a blazing snake, quickly hurled it at him. The son of Drona however, displaying in that battle the lightness of his arms, cut off that (broken blade) coming impetuously towards him and resembling in splendour the fire that blazeth forth at the end of the Yuga. And he pierced Sikhandin himself with innumerable arrows made of iron. Then Sikhandin, O King, exceedingly afflicted with those whetted arrows, speedily mounted on the car of (Satyaki) that high-souled scion of Madhu's race. Then Satyaki, excited with rage, pierced in that battle, with his terrible shafts the cruel Rakshasa Alamvusha on all sides. That prince of Rakshasas then, O Bharata, cut off in that combat Satyaki's bow with a crescent-shaped arrow and pierced Satyaki also with many shafts. And creating by his Rakshasa powers an illusion, he covered Satyaki with showers of arrows. But wonderful was the prowess that we then beheld of the grandson of Sini, inasmuch as struck with those whetted shafts he betrayed no fear. On the other hand, O Bharata, that son of Vrishni's race applied (with Mantras) the Aindra weapon, which that illustrious hero of Madhu's race had obtained from Vijaya. That weapon, consuming into ashes that Demoniac illusion, covered Alamvusha all over with terrible shafts, like a mass of clouds covering the mountain-breast with torrents of rain in the rainy season. Thereupon the Rakshasa, thus afflicted by that hero of Madhu's race, fled away in fear, avoiding Satyaki in battle. Then the grandson of Sini, having vanquished that prince of Rakshasas who was incapable of being vanquished by Maghavat himself, uttered a loud roar in the very sight of all thy troops. And Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled, then began to slay thy troops with innumerable shafts whereupon the latter fled away in fear.

"Meanwhile, O monarch, Dhrishtadyumna, the mighty son of Drupada, covered thy royal son in battle with innumerable straight shafts. While, however, O Bharata, Dhrishtadyumna was thus shrouding him with his shafts, thy royal son was neither agitated nor struck with fear. On the other hand, he speedily pierced Dhrishtadyumna in that battle (first) with sixty and (then) with thirty shafts. And all these seemed highly wonderful. Then the commander of the Pandava army, O Bharata, excited with wrath cut off his bow. And that mighty car-warrior then slew in that combat the four steeds of thy son, and also pierced him with seven shafts of the keenest points. Thereupon (thy son), that mighty-armed warrior endued with great strength, jumping down from that car whose steeds had been slain, ran on foot, with an upraised sabre, towards the son of Prishata. Then the mighty Sakuni, devoted to the king, quickly coming to that spot, caused thy royal son to mount on his own car in the very sight of all. Then that slayer of foes, the son of Prishata, having vanquished the king, began to slaughter thy troops like the wielder of the thunder-bolt slaughtering the Asuras.

"Kritavarman, in that battle, covered with his arrows that mighty car-warrior Bhima. Indeed, he overwhelmed the latter entirely, like a mighty mass of clouds shrouding the sun. Then that chastiser of foes viz., Bhimasena, excited with wrath, and laughing the while, sped some shafts at Kritavarman. Struck therewith, that Atiratha of the Satwata race, excelling all in might, trembled not, O king, but (instead) pierced Bhima (in return) with many sharp arrows. Then the mighty Bhimasena, slaying the four steeds of Kritavarman, felled the latter's charioteer, and then his beautiful standard. And that slayer of hostile heroes (viz., Bhima) then pierced Kritavarman himself with many shafts of diverse kinds. And Kritavarman, pierced all over, seemed to be excessively mangled in every limb. Then from that car whose steeds had been slain, Kritavarman quickly went to the car of Vrishaka, in the very sight, O king, of both Salya and thy son. And Bhimasena. excited with rage, began to afflict thy troops. Goaded to fury, he began to slay them, like the destroyer himself armed with his club."

 

Dhritarashtra said, "Many and wonderful, O Sanjaya, were the single combats I hear thee speak of between the Pandavas and my warriors. Thou speakest not, however, O Sanjaya, of any one of my side having been cheerful (on such occasions). Thou always speakest of the sons of Pandu as cheerful and never routed, O Suta and thou speakest of mine as cheerless, deprived of energy, and constantly vanquished in battle. All this, without doubt, is Destiny."

Sanjaya said, "Thy men, O bull of Bharata's race, exert themselves according to the measure of their might and courage, and display their valour to the utmost extent of their strength. As contact with the properties of the ocean make the sweet waters of the celestial stream Ganga brakish, so the valour, O king, of the illustrious warriors of thy army coming in contact with the heroic sons of Pandu in battle, becometh futile. Exerting themselves according to their might, and achieving the most difficult feats, thou shouldst not, O chief of the Kurus, find fault with thy troops. O monarch, this great and awful destruction of the world, swelling the (population of the) domains of Yama, hath arisen from thy misconduct and that of thy sons. It behoveth thee not, O king, to grieve for what hath arisen from thy own fault. Kings do not always in this world protect their lives. These rulers of Earth, desirous of winning by battle the regions of the righteous, daily fight, penetrating into (hostile) divisions, with heaven only for their aim.

"On the forenoon of that day, O king, great was the carnage that ensued, resembling what occurred in the battle between the gods and the Asuras (of old). Listen to it, O monarch, with undivided attention. The two princes of Avanti, those great bowmen endued with exceeding might, those excellent warriors fierce in battle, beholding Iravat, advanced against him. The battle that took place between them was fierce, making the hair stand on end. Then Iravat, excited with rage, quickly pierced those two brothers of celestial forms with many sharp and straight shafts. Those two, however, conversant with all modes of warfare, pierced him in return in that battle. Struggling their best to slaughter the foe, and desirous of counteracting each other's feats, no distinction, O king, could be observed between them as they fought. Iravat then, O monarch, with four shafts, despatched the four steeds of Anuvinda to the abode of Yama. And with a couple of sharp, broad-headed shafts, O sire, he cut off the bow and standard also of Anuvinda. And this feat, O king, seemed highly wonderful. Then Anuvinda, leaving his own car, mounted on the car of Vinda. Taking up an excellent and strong bow capable of bearing a great strain, Anuvinda, as also his brother Vinda, those foremost of car-warriors hailing from Avanti, both stationed on the same car, quickly shot many shafts at the high-souled Iravat. Shot by them, those shafts of great impetuosity decked with gold, while coursing through the air, covered the welkin. Then Iravat, excited with rage, showered on those mighty car-warriors, those two brothers (of Avanti) his arrowy down-pours, and felled their charioteer. When the charioteer, deprived of life, fell down on the ground, the horses, no longer restrained, ran away with car. Having vanquished those two warriors, that daughter's son of the king of the Nagas, displaying his prowess, then began to consume with great activity thy ranks. Then that mighty Dhartarashtra host, while thus slaughtered in battle, began to reel in many directions like a person who hath drunk poison.

"That prince of Rakshasa, the mighty son of Hidimva, on his car of solar effulgence furnished with a standard, rushed against Bhagadatta. The ruler of the Pragjyotishas was stationed on his prince of elephants like the wielder of the thunder-bolt in days of old in the battle occasioned by the ravishment of Taraka. The gods, the Gandharvas, and the Rishis had all come there. They could not, however, notice any distinction between Hidimva's son and Bhagadatta. As the chief of the celestials, excited with wrath, had inspired the Danavas with fear, so did Bhagadatta, O king, frightened the Pandava warriors. And the warriors of the Pandava army, frightened by him on all sides, failed, O Bharata, to find among their ranks any protector. We beheld however, O Bharata, the son of Bhimasena there, on his car. The other mighty car-warriors fled away with cheerless hearts. When, however, O Bharata, he troops of the Pandavas rallied, in the battle that then ensued an awful uproar arose among thy troops. Then Ghatotkatcha, O king, in that dreadful battle, covered Bhagadatta with his arrows like the clouds pouring rain on the breast of Meru. Baffling all those arrows shot from the Rakshasa's bow, the king quickly struck the son of Bhimasena in all his vital limbs. That prince of the Rakshasa, however, though struck with innumerable straight shafts, wavered not at all (but stood still) like a mountain pierced (with shafts). Then the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, excited with wrath, hurled in that combat fourteen lances, all of which, however, were cut off by the Rakshasa. Cutting off by means of his sharp shafts those lances, the mighty-armed Rakshasa pierced Bhagadatta with seventy shafts, each resembling the thunder-bolt in force. Then the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, laughing the while, O Bharata, despatched in that combat the four steeds of the Rakshasa to Death's domain. The prince of the Rakshasas, however, of great valour, staying on that car whose steeds had been slain, hurled with great force a dart at the elephant of the ruler of the Pragjyotishas. King Bhagadatta then cut off that swift dart furnished with a staff of gold and coursing impetuously towards him into three fragments, and thereupon it fell down on the ground. Beholding his dart cut off, the son of Hidimva fled from fear like Namuchi, that foremost of the Daityas, in days of old, from battle with Indra. Having vanquished in battle that hero of great valour and renowned prowess, who, O king, cannot be vanquished in battle by Yama himself or Varuna, king Bhagadatta with his elephant began to crush down the troops of the Pandavas like a wild elephant. O king, crushing as he treads the lotus-stalks (in a lake).

"The ruler of the Madras engaged in battle with his sister's sons, the twins. And the overwhelmed those sons of Pandu with clouds of arrows. Then Sahadeva, beholding his maternal uncle, engaged in battle (with him), covered him with arrows like the clouds covering the maker of day. Covered with those clouds of arrows, the ruler of the Madras wore a delighted expression, and the twins also felt great delight for the sake of their mother. Then Salya, that mighty car-warrior, smiting effectively in that battle, despatched with four excellent shafts, O king, the four steeds of Nakula to the abode of Yama. Nakula then, that mighty car-warrior, quickly jumping down from that car whose steeds had been slain, mounted upon the vehicle of his renowned brother. Stationed then on the same car, those two heroes, both fierce in battle, and both excited with rage, began to shroud the car of the ruler of Madras, (with heir arrows), drawing their bows with great strength. But that tiger among men, though thus covered by his sister's sons with innumerable straight arrows shook not in the least (but stood immovable) like a hill. Laughing the while, he smote them (in return) with showers of arrows. Then Sahadeva of great prowess, O Bharata, excited with wrath, took up a (powerful) shaft, and rushing at the ruler of the Madras, shot it at him. That shaft endued with the impetuosity of Garuda himself, shot by him, pierced the ruler of the Madras through, and fell on the earth. Thereupon that mighty car-warrior, deeply pierced and greatly pained, sat down. O king, on the terrace of his car, and went into a swoon. Beholding him (thus) afflicted by the twins, deprived of consciousness, and prostrated (on his car), his charioteer bore him away on his vehicle over the field. Seeing the car of the ruler of the Madras retreating (from battle) the Dhartarashtras all became cheerless and thought it was all over with him. Then those mighty car-warriors, viz., the two sons of Madri, having vanquished in battle their maternal uncle, cheerfully blew their conches and uttered leonine roars. And then they rushed joyfully, O king, towards thy forces like the gods Indra and Upendra, O monarch, towards the Daitya host."

 

Sanjaya said, "Then when the sun attained the meridian, king Yudhishthira, beholding Srutayush, urged on his steeds. And the king rushed at Srutayush, that chastiser of foes, striking him with nine straight shafts of keen points. That great bowman, viz., king Srutayush then, checking in that battle those arrows shot by the son of Pandu, struck Yudhishthira with seven shafts. These penetrating through his armour, drank his blood in that battle, as if sucking the very vital energies dwelling in the body of that high-souled one. The son of Pandu then, though deeply pierced by that high-souled king, pierced king Srutayush (in return), at the latter's heart, with an arrow shaped as the boar's ear. And that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the son of Pritha, with another broad-headed arrow, quickly felled on the earth the standard of the high-souled Srutayush from his car. Beholding his standard overthrown, king Srutayush then, O monarch, pierced the son of Pandu with seven sharp shafts. Thereupon Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, blazed up with wrath, like the fire that blazeth forth at the end of the Yuga for consuming creatures. Beholding the son of Pandu excited with rage, the gods, the Gandharvas, and the Rakshasas, trembled, O king, and the universe became agitated. And even this was the thought that arose in the minds of all creatures, viz., that that king, excited with rage, would that day consume the three worlds. Indeed, when the son of Pandu was thus excited with wrath, the Rishis and the celestials prayed for the peace of the world. Filled with wrath and frequently licking the corners of his mouth, Yudhishthira assumed a terrible expression looking like the sun that riseth at the end of the Yuga. Then all thy warriors, O king, became hopeless of their lives, O Bharata. Checking, however, that wrath with patience, that great bowman endued with high renown then cut off Srutayush's bow at the grasp. And then, in the very sight of all the troops, the king in that battle pierced Srutayush whose bow had been cut off, with a long arrow in the centre of the chest. And the mighty Yudhishthira then, O king, speedily slew with his arrows the steeds of Srutayush and then, without losing a moment, his charioteer. Beholding the prowess of the king, Srutayush leaving that car whose steeds had been slain, quickly fled away from battle. After that great bowman had been vanquished in combat by the son of Dharma, all the troops of Duryodhana, O king, turned their faces. Having, O monarch, achieved this feat, Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, began to slay thy troops like Death himself with wide-open mouth.

"Chekitana of the Vrishni race, in the very sight of all the troops, covered with his shafts Gautama, that foremost of car-warriors. Baffling all those arrows, Kripa the son of Saradwat, pierced Chekitana in return who was fighting with great care, O king, with arrows in that battle. Then, O Bharata, with another broad-headed arrow he cut off Chekitana's bow, and endued with great lightness of hand, he also felled with another broad-headed arrow the former's charioteer. Kripa then, O monarch, slew Chekitana's steeds, as also both the warriors that protected the latter's wings. Then Chekitana of the Satwata race, quickly jumped down from his car, and took up a mace. The foremost of all wielders of the mace, Chekitana, with that hero-slaying mace of his, slew the steeds of Gautama and then felled his charioteer. Then Gautama, standing on the ground, shot sixteen arrows at Chekitana. Those arrows, piercing through that hero of the Satwata race, entered the earth. Thereat, Chekitana excited with rage, once more hurled his mace, desirous of slaying Gautama, like Purandara desirous of slaying Vritra. Then Gautama with many thousands of arrows checked that huge mace, endued with the strength of adamant, that was coursing towards him. Then Chekitana, O Bharata, drawing his sabre from the sheath, rushed with great speed towards Gautama. Thereupon Gautama also, throwing away his bow, and taking up a polished sabre, rushed with great speed towards Chekitana. Both of them possessed of great strength, and both armed with excellent sabres, began to strike each other with those sharp-edged weapons of theirs. Then those bulls among men, struck with the force of each other's sabres, fell down on the earth, that (common) element of all creatures. Exhausted by the efforts they had made, the limbs of both were motionless in a swoon. Then Karakarsha impelled by friendship, quickly rushed to that spot. And that invincible warrior, beholding Chekitana in that plight, took him up on his car in the very sight of all troops. And so also the brave Sakuni, thy brother-in-law, O monarch, speedily caused Gautama, that foremost of car-warriors, to mount on his car.

"The mighty Dhrishtaketu, excited with wrath, speedily pierced the son of Somadatta, O king, with ninety shafts in the chest. And the son of Somadatta looked highly resplendent with those shafts on his chest, like the sun, O king, with his rays at mid-day. Bhurisravas, however, in that battle, with his excellent shafts, deprived Dhrishtaketu, that mighty car-warrior, of his car, slaying his charioteer and steeds. And beholding him deprived of his car, and his steeds and charioteer slain, Bhurisravas covered Dhrishtaketu in that combat with a thick shower of arrows. The high-souled Dhrishtaketu then. O sire, abandoning that car of his, mounted upon the vehicle of Satanika. Chitrasena, and Vikarna, O king, and also Durmarshana,--these car-warriors cased in golden mail,--all rushed against the son of Subhadra. Then a fierce battle took place between Abhimanyu and those warriors, like the battle of the body, O king, with wind, bile, and phlegm. That tiger among men, however, (viz., Abhimanyu), having, O king, deprived thy sons of their cars, slew them not, remembering Bhima's words. Then during the progress of the fight, Kunti's son (Arjuna), of white steeds, beholding Bhishma, who was incapable of being vanquished by very gods, proceeding to rescue thy sons in view of Abhimanyu--a boy and alone though a mighty car-warrior, addressed Vasudeva and said these words, 'Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesa, to that spot where are those numerous car-warriors. They are many in number, brave, accomplished in arms, invincible in battle. Guide the horses so, O Madhava, that the foe may not be able to slay our troops.' Thus urged by Kunti's son of immeasurable energy, he of Vrishni's race then drove that car, unto which were yoked white steeds, to battle. When Arjuna, excited with rage, thus proceeded towards thy army, a loud uproar, O sire, arose among thy troops. The son of Kunti then, having come up to those kings that were protecting Bhishma, (first) addressed Susarman, O king, and said these words, 'I know thee to be foremost in battle, and a dire enemy (of ours) of old. Behold to-day the terrible fruit of that evil behaviour (of thine). I will today cause thee to visit the manes of thy ancestors.' That leader of car-divisions, Susarman, however, hearing these harsh words uttered by that slayer of foes viz., Vibhatsu, told him nothing (in reply), well or ill. (But) approaching the heroic Arjuna, with a large number of kings in his train, and surrounding him in that battle, he covered him aided by thy sons, O sinless one, with arrows from all sides, viz., front, rear, and flanks, like the clouds covering the maker of day. Then, O Bharata, a dreadful battle took place between thy army and the Pandavas, in which blood ran like water."

 
Sanjaya said, "Then the mighty Dhananjaya, struck with those shafts and drawing long breaths like a trodden snake, cut off, with great force, by means of his successive shafts, the bows of those mighty car-warriors. Cutting off in a moment, O king, the bows of those powerful monarchs in that battle, the high-souled Arjuna, desiring to exterminate them pierced all of them simultaneously with his shafts. Struck (thus) by Indra's son, O king, some of them fell down on the field, covered with blood. And some had their limbs mangled, and some had their heads struck off. And some perished with bodies mangled and coats of mail cut through. And afflicted by the arrows of Partha, many of them, falling down on the earth, perished together. Beholding then those princes slain in battle, the ruler of the Trigartas advanced on his car. And two and thirty others amongst those car-warriors, they who had been protecting the rear of the slain combatants also fell upon Partha. These all, surrounding Partha, and drawing their bows of loud twang, poured on him a thick shower of arrows like the clouds pouring torrents of water on the mountain breast. Then Dhananjaya afflicted with that arrowy down-pour in that battle, became excited with wrath, and with sixty arrows steeped in oil he despatched all those protectors of the rear. Having vanquished in battle those sixty car-warriors, the illustrious Dhananjaya became cheerful at heart. And having slain also the forces of those kings, Jishnu sped for Bhishma's slaughter. Then the ruler of the Trigartas, beholding his friends those mighty car-warriors slain, speedily advanced upon Partha, with a number of (other) kings in his van, for slaying him. Then the Pandava warrior headed by Sikhandin, beholding those combatants advancing upon Dhananjaya that foremost of all conversant with arms, proceeded with whetted weapons in hand, desirous of protecting the car of Arjuna. Partha also beholding those brave men advanced towards him with the ruler of the Trigartas, mangled them in battle with arrows shot from Gandiva. Then that distinguished bowman, desirous of approaching Bhishma beheld Duryodhana and other kings headed by the ruler of the Sindhus. Fighting with great energy for a moment and checking those warriors that were desirous of protecting Bhishma, the heroic Arjuna of great valour and infinite prowess avoiding Duryodhana and Jayadratha and others,--that warrior of mighty strength and great mental vigour,--at last proceeded, bow and arrow in hand, towards the son of Ganga in battle. The high-souled Yudhishthira also, of fierce prowess and infinite renown, avoiding in battle the ruler of the Madras who had been assigned to his share, quickly proceeded, with excited wrath and accompanied by Bhima and the sons of Madri towards Bhishma, the son of Santanu, for battle. Conversant with all modes of warfare the high-souled son of Ganga and Santanu, though attacked in battle by all the sons of Pandu united together, wavered not at all. Of fierce might and great energy king Jayadratha of sure aim, advancing in battle, forcibly cut off with his own excellent bow the bows of all those mighty car-warriors. And the illustrious Duryodhana also with excited wrath and having wrath for his position, struck Yudhishthira and Bhimasena and the twins and Partha, with arrows resembling flames of fire. Pierced with arrows by Kripa and Sala and Chitrasena, O lord, the Pandavas, inflamed with rage, resembled the gods pierced with arrows by the united Daityas (in days of old). King Yudhishthira then, beholding Sikhandin flying away, having had his weapon cut off by Santanu's son became filled with anger. The high-souled Ajatasatru, angrily addressing Sikhandin in that battle, said these words, 'Thou saidst at that time, in the presence of thy sire, unto me--Even I shall slay Bhishma of high vows with my shafts of the hue of the effulgent sun. Truly do I say this.--Even this was thy oath. That oath of thine thou dost not fulfil inasmuch as thou dost not slay Devavrata in battle. O hero, be not a person of unfulfilled vow. Take care of thy virtue, race, and fame. Behold Bhishma of terrible impetuosity scorching all my troops with his innumerable arrows of fierce energy and destroying everything in a moment like Death himself. With thy bow cut off avoiding the battle, and vanquished by the royal son of Santanu, whither dost thou go, forsaking thy kinsmen and brothers? This doth not become thee. Beholding Bhishma of infinite prowess, and our army routed and flying away, thou art assuredly, O son of Drupada, frightened, since the colour of thy face is pale. Unknown to thee, O hero, Dhananjaya hath engaged in the dreadful battle. Celebrated over the whole world, why O hero, art thou afraid today of Bhishma.'--Hearing these words of king, Yudhishthira the just, that were harsh, though fraught with sound reason, the high-souled Sikhandin, regarding them as good counsel, speedily set himself about slaying Bhishma. And while Sikhandin was proceeding to battle with great impetuosity for falling upon Bhishma, Salya began to resist him with terrible weapons that were difficult of being baffled. The son of Drupada, however, O king, of prowess equal to that of Indra himself, beholding those weapons effulgent as the fire that blazeth forth at the hour of universal dissolution (thus) displayed, was not confounded in the least. Checking those weapons by means of his own shafts, that mighty bowman, viz., Sikhandin, stayed there without moving. And then he took up another weapon, viz., the fierce Varuna weapon for baffling (those fiery weapons of Salya). Then the celestials staying in the firmament, and the kings of the earth also, all beheld Salya's weapons baffled by that Varuna weapon of Sikhandin. Meanwhile, the high-souled and heroic Bhishma, O king, in that battle, cut off the bow and the variegated standard also of Pandu's son, king Yudhishthira of the Ajamida race. Thereupon casting aside his bow and arrows upon beholding Yudhishthira overwhelmed with fear, and taking up a mace in that battle, Bhimasena rushed, on foot, at  Jayadratha. Then Jayadratha, with five hundred terrible arrows of keen points and each resembling the rod of Death, pierced Bhimasena from every side who was thus rushing impetuously at him, mace in hand. Disregarding those arrows, the impetuous Vrikodara, with heart filled with rage, slew in that battle all the steeds, born in Aratta, of the king of the Sindhus. Then beholding Bhimasena on foot, thy son (Chitrasena) of unrivalled prowess and resembling the chief of the celestials himself, quickly rushed at him on his car, with upraised weapons, for giving him his quietus. Bhima also, roaring and uttering a loud shout, rushed at him impetuously, mace in hand. Thereupon the Kauravas all around beholding that upraised mace resembling the rod of Death, forsaking thy brave son, fled away, desirous of avoiding its fall (amongst them). In that fierce and awful crush (of men), O Bharata, confounding the senses, Chitrasena, however, beholding that mace coursing towards him, was not deprived of his senses. Taking up a bright scimitar and a shield, he forsook his car and became a warrior on foot in the field, for jumping down (from his vehicle) like a lion from the top of a cliff he came down upon the level ground. Meanwhile that mace, failing upon that beautiful car and destroying the vehicle itself with its steeds and charioteer in that battle, dropped on the ground like a blazing meteor, loosened from the firmament, failing upon the earth. Then thy troops, O Bharata, beholding that highly wonderful feat became filled with joy, and all of them together set up a loud shout over the field of battle. And the warriors all applauded thy son (for what they witnessed)."
 
Sanjaya said,--"Approaching then thy son Chitrasena of great energy who had thus been deprived of his car, thy son Vikarna caused him to mount on his car. And during the progress of that general engagement, so fierce and dreadful, Bhishma, the son of Santanu, impetuously rushed at Yudhishthira. Then the Srinjayas with their cars, elephants, and horses, trembled. And they regarded Yudhishthira to be already within the jaws of Death. The lord Yudhishthira, however, of Kuru's race, accompanied by the twins, proceeded towards that mighty bowman, that tiger among men viz., Bhishma. Then the son of Pandu, shooting in that battle thousands of arrows, shrouded Bhishma like the clouds shrouding the sun. And those numberless arrows, well shot by Yudhishthira, were received by the son of Ganga in distinct sets by hundreds and thousands. And so also, O sire, innumerable were the arrows shot by Bhishma (in return), which looked like flights of insects coursing through the air. In half the time taken up by a wink of the eye, Bhishma, the son of Santanu, in that battle, made Kunti's son invisible by means of his numberless shafts shot in sets. Then king Yudhishthira, excited with rage, sped at the high-souled Kaurava a long arrow resembling a snake of virulent poison. That mighty car-warrior, Bhishma, however, O king, cut off in that combat, with a horse-shoe (headed) arrow, that shaft shot from Yudhishthira's bow before it could reach him. Having cut off that long arrow resembling Death himself, Bhishma then slew in that battle the steeds, decked with gold, of that prince of Kuru's line. Then Yudhishthira the son of Pandu, abandoning that car whose steeds had been slain, quickly mounted upon the car of the high-souled Nakula. Then Bhishma that subjugator of hostile cities, excited with rage, and coming upon the twins in that battle, covered them with arrows. Beholding those two (brothers), O king, thus afflicted, with the arrows of Bhishma, Yudhishthira began to reflect earnestly desirous, O monarch, of (compassing) Bhishma's destruction. Then Yudhishthira, O king, urged his friends and the rulers (on his side), saying,--'Slay Bhishma the son of Santanu, uniting together.' Then all those rulers, hearing these words of Pritha's son, surrounded the grandsire with a large number of cars. Thy sire Devavrata then, thus surrounded on all sides, began to sport, O king, with his bow, felling (all the while) many mighty car-warriors. Him of Kuru's race, thus careering over the field of battle, the Pandavas beheld resembling a young lion in the forest amid a herd of deer. Uttering a loud roar in that battle and striking fear into the hearts of brave warriors by means of his shafts, the Kshatriyas beholding him, O king, were all struck with fear, like inferior animals upon seeing a lion. Indeed the Kshatriyas beheld the movements of that lion of Bharata's race in battle to resemble those of a conflagration aided by the wind while consuming a heap of dry grass. And Bhishma in that battle felled the heads of car-warriors like a skilful man felling (with stones) ripe (palmyra) fruits from trees that bear them. And the heads of warriors, O king, falling upon the surface of the earth produced a loud noise resembling that of a stony shower. During the progress of that fierce and dreadful battle a great confusion set in among all the troops. And in consequence of that confusion the arrays (of both armies) were broken. And the Kshatriyas summoning one another individually, approached one another for fight. Then Sikhandin, sighting the grandsire of the Bharatas, rushed at him impetuously, saying,--Wait, Wait--Remembering, however, the femininity of Sikhandin, and disregarding him on that account, Bhishma proceeded against the Srinjayas. Thereupon the Srinjayas, beholding Bhishma in that great battle, were filled with joy. And they set forth diverse kinds of loud shouts, mingled with the blare of their conches. Then commenced a fierce battle in course of which cars and elephants got entangled with one another. And it was that hour of the day, O lord, when the sun was on the other side (of the meridian). Then Dhrishtadyumna, the prince of the Panchalas, and that mighty car-warrior Satyaki, greatly afflicted the (Bharata) host with showers of arrows and lances. And with innumerable shafts, O king, these two began to smite down thy warriors in that battle. Thy combatants, however, O bull among men, though slaughtered in battle (thus) retreated not from the fight, having formed an honourable resolution in that engagement. Indeed, thy troops began to smite according to the measure of their courage. While, however, O king, thy high-souled combatants were being slaughtered by the illustrious son of Prishata, loud cries of woe were heard among them. Hearing those loud cries, that couple of mighty car-warriors of thy army, viz., Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, quickly proceeded against Prishata's son. And those mighty car-warriors, speedily slaying his steeds, together covered Prishata's son with showers of arrows. Thereupon that mighty car-warrior, viz., the prince of the Panchalas, quickly jumping down from that car of his, mounted without loss of time the car of the high-souled Satyaki. Then king Yudhishthira, supported by a large force, proceeded against those chastisers of foes, viz., the two princes of Avanti excited with rage. Similarly thy son, O sire, with every preparation, stood, surrounding Vinda and Anuvinda in that battle (for supporting them). Arjuna also in that battle, excited with rage, fought against many bulls of the Kshatriya race, like the wielder of the thunder-bolt against the Asuras. Drona also, who always does what is agreeable to thy son, inflamed with wrath in that battle, began to consume the Panchalas like fire consuming a heap of cotton. Thy other sons, O king, owning Duryodhana as their chief, surrounding Bhishma in that battle, fought against the Pandavas. Then when the sun assumed a red hue, king Duryodhana, O Bharata, addressing thy troops, said,--Lose no time--And while they were thus battling and achieving feats difficult of accomplishment, the sun having become invisible in consequence of his retirement behind the western hill, there soon flowed, towards dusk, an awful river whose current and billows were of blood, and which was infested by innumerable jackals. And the field of battle became dreadful, abounding as it did with spirits and with those jackals howling hideously, forboding evil. Rakshasas and Pisachas and other cannibals were seen all round, in hundreds and thousands. Then Arjuna, having vanquished those kings headed by Susarman along with all their followers, in the midst of their division, proceeded towards his tent. And the lord Yudhishthira also of Kuru's race, accompanied by his brothers, and followed by his troops, proceeded, O king, when night set in, towards his tent. And Bhimasena, too, having vanquished those kings, viz., those warriors headed by Duryodhana, proceeded towards his tent. And king Duryodhana (with his troops), surrounding Bhishma, the son of Santanu, in that great battle proceeded towards his tent. And Drona, and Drona's son, and Kripa, and Salya, and Kritavarman of the Satwata race, surrounding the whole (Dhartarashtra) army, proceeded towards their tents. And similarly Satyaki also, O king, and Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Prishata, surrounding their army, proceeded towards their tents. It was thus, O king, that those chastisers of foes, viz., thy troops and the Pandavas, ceased to fight when darkness came. Then the Pandavas, and the Kauravas, retiring to their tents, entered the same, applauding one another. And making arrangements for the protection of their brave warriors and disposing outposts according to rule, they plucked out the arrows (from their bodies) and bathed in diverse kinds of water. And Brahmanas performed propitiatory rites for them, and bards sang their praises. And those renowned men sported for a while in accompaniment with music both vocal and instrumental. And for a while the whole scene resembled heaven itself. And those bulls among men for a while spoke not of battle. And when both armies abounding with tired men and elephants and steeds slept there, they became, O monarch, beautiful to behold."
 
Sanjaya said, "Having passed the night in sound steep, those rulers of men, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, once more proceeded to battle. And when the troops of both armies were about to proceed to the field, great was the uproar heard there, resembling the loud uproar of the ocean itself. Then king Duryodhana, and Chitrasena, and Vivinsati, and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Bhishma and Bharadwaja's son possessed of great prowess,--those mighty car-warriors, clad in mail and uniting together, O King, formed with great care the array of the Kauravas against the Pandavas. Having formed that mighty array fierce as the ocean and having for its billows and current its steeds and elephants, thy sire Bhishma, the son of Santanu, then, O king, proceeded in the van of the whole army, supported by the Malavas, and the inhabitants of the southern countries, and the Avantis. Next to him was the valiant son of Bharadwaja, accompanied by the Pulindas, the Paradas, and the Kshudraka-Malavas. Next to Drona was the valiant Bhagadatta. O king, firmly resolved on fight, accompanied by the Magadhas, the Kalingas, and the Pisachas. Behind Bhagadatta was Vrihadvala the king of the Kosalas accompanied by the Melakas, the Tripuras, and the Chichilas. Next to Vrihadvala was the brave Trigarta, the ruler of the Prasthala, accompanied by a large number of the Kamvojas, and by Yavanas in thousands. Next to the ruler of the Trigartas, O Bharata, proceeded that mighty hero, viz., the son of Drona, uttering leonine roars and filling the earth with those shouts. Next to Drona's son proceeded king Duryodhana with the whole army, surrounded by his uterine brothers. Behind Duryodhana proceeded Kripa the son of Saradwat. It was thus that that mighty array, resembling the very ocean, advanced (to battle). And standards and white umbrellas, O lord, and beautiful bracelets and costly bows shed their effulgence there. And beholding that mighty array of thy forces, that great car-warrior Yudhishthira, speedily addressed the generalissimo (of his forces), viz., Prishata's son saying, 'Behold, O great bowman, that array, already formed, resembling the ocean. Do thou also, O son of Prishata, form without delay thy counter-array. (Thus addressed), the heroic son of Prishata, O great king, formed that terrible array called Sringataka that is destructive of all hostile arrays. At the horns were Bhimasena and that mighty car-warrior, viz., Satyaki, with many thousands of cars as also of horse and infantry. Next to them was that foremost of men, (viz., Arjuna) of white steeds and having Krishna for his charioteer. In the centre were king Yudhishthira and the twin sons of Pandu by Madri. Other royal bowmen, conversant with the science of arrays, with their troops, filled up that array. In the rear were ordered Abhimanyu, and that mighty car-warrior, Virata, and the sons of Draupadi and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha. Thus, O Bharata, having formed their mighty array, the heroic Pandavas waited on the field, longing for battle and desirous of victory. And the loud noise of drums mingling with the blare of conches and leonine roars and shouts (of the combatants) and the slapping of their armpits, became terrible and filled all the points of the compass. Then those brave warriors, approaching one another for battle, looked at one another, O king, with winkless eyes. Then O ruler of men, the warriors, first challenging each other by name, engaged with each other. Then commenced a fierce and terrible battle between thy troops and those of the foe striking one another. And in that battle, O Bharata, whetted shafts fell in showers like terrible snakes with mouths wide open. And polished darts of impetuous force, washed with oil, O king, shone like the effulgent flashes of lightning from the clouds. And maces decked with gold and attached to bright slings were seen to fall all over the field, resembling beautiful crests of hills. And sabres of the colour of the clear (blue) sky, O Bharata, and shields of bull's hides and decked with a hundred moons, as they fell everywhere over the field, O king, looked beautiful. And as the two armies, O king, were engaged in battle with each other, they looked resplendent like the celestial and the demoniac hosts battling with each other. All around they rushed against one another in battle. Foremost of royal car-warriors, impetuously dashing against car-warriors in that dreadful battle, fought on, with the yokes of their cars entangled with those of their adversaries. And, O bull of Bharata's race, all over the field flashes of fire mixed with smoke were generated, in consequence of friction, in the tusks of battling elephants. And combatants on the backs of elephants, struck with lances, were seen all around to fall down like blocks (loosened) from crests of hills. And brave foot-soldiers, battling with their bare arms or with lances, and striking one another, looked exceedingly beautiful. And the warriors of the Kaurava and the Pandava hosts, coming upon one another in that conflict, despatched one another with diverse kinds of shafts to the abode of Yama. Then Bhishma, the son of Santanu, filling (the air) with the rattle of his car, and depriving the foe of his senses by the twang of his bow, rushed against the Pandavas in battle. The car-warriors of the Pandavas, too, headed by Dhrishtadyumna, uttering fierce shouts, rushed at him, firmly resolved on fight. Then commenced, O Bharata, a battle between the infantry, car-warriors, and elephants, of theirs and thine, in which the combatants became all entangled with one another."
 

Sanjaya said, "The Pandavas were incapable of even looking at Bhishma excited with rage in battle and scorching every side like the Sun himself shedding scorching heat. Then all the (Pandava) troops, at the command of Dharma's son, rushed at the son of Ganga who was grinding (everything) with his whetted arrows, Bhishma, however, who delighted in battle felled the mightiest of bowmen amongst the Srinjayas and the Panchalas, with his shafts. Though thus slaughtered by Bhishma, the Panchalas along with the Somakas still rushed impetuously at him, forsaking the fear of death. The heroic Bhishma, the son of Santanu, however, in that battle, cut off, O king, the arms and heads of their car-warriors. Thy sire, Devavrata deprived their car-warriors of cars. And the heads of cavalry soldiers on their chargers fell fast. And we beheld, O king, huge elephants looking like hills, deprived of their riders, and paralysed with Bhishma's weapons, lying all around. Amongst the Pandavas, O king, there was no other man save that foremost of car-warriors, the mighty Bhimasena, (who could resist Bhishma). Indeed, Bhima alone, approaching Bhishma, encountered him in battle. Then in that encounter between Bhima and Bhishma, a fierce and terrible uproar arose among all the troops (of the Kauravas). The Pandavas then, filled with joy, uttered leonine shouts. During that destructive carnage, king Duryodhana, surrounded by his uterine brothers, protected Bhishma in that battle. Then that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Bhima, slew Bhishma's charioteer. Thereupon the steeds no longer controlled, ran away from the field with car. Then that slayer of foes, viz., Bhima with a sharp arrow having a horse-shoe head, cut off the head of Sunabha. (Thus) slain, the latter fell down on the earth. When that son of thine, that mighty car-warrior and great bowman was slain, seven of his heroic brothers, O sire, could not (quietly) bear (that act). These, viz., Adityaketu and Vahvasin, and Kundadhara and Mahodara, and Aparajita, and Panditaka and the invincible Visalaksha, clad in variegated armour and with their beautiful coats of mail and weapons,--these grinders of foes desirous of battle,--rushed against the son of Pandu. And Mahodara, in that battle, pierced Bhimasena with nine winged arrows, each resembling the thunder-bolt in force, like the slayer of Vritra striking (the great Asura) Namuchi. And Adityaketu struck him with seventy shafts, and Vishnu with five. And Kundadhara struck him with ninety shafts, and Visalaksha with seven. And that conqueror of foes, the mighty car-warrior Aparajita, O king, struck Bhimasena of great strength with many arrows. And Panditaka also, in battle, pierced him with three arrows. Bhima, however, did not (quietly) bear these attacks of his foes in battle. Forcibly grasping the bow with his left hand, that grinder of foes cut off, in that battle, the head, with a straight shaft, of thy son Aparajita, graced with a fine nose. Thus vanquished by Bhima, his head then dropped on the ground. Then, in the very sight of all the troops, Bhima despatched, with another broad-headed arrow, the mighty car-warrior Kundadhara to the domain of Death. Then that hero of immeasurable soul, once more aiming an arrow, sped it, O Bharata, at Panditaka in that battle. And the arrow killing Panditaka, entered the earth, like a snake impelled by Death quickly entering the earth after despatching the person (whose hour had come). Of undepressed soul, that hero then, O king, recollecting his former woes, felled Visalaksha's head, cutting it off with three arrows. Then Bhima, in that battle, struck the mighty bowman Mahodara in the centre of the chest with a long shaft. Slain (therewith), O king, the latter fell down on the earth. Then, O Bharata, cutting off with an arrow the umbrella of Adityaketu in that battle, he severed his head with another broad-headed shaft of exceeding sharpness. Then, O monarch, excited with rage, Bhima, with another straight shaft, despatched Vahvasin towards the abode of Yama. Then thy other sons, O king, all fled away regarding the words to be true which Bhima had uttered in the (midst of the Kaurava) assembly. Then king Duryodhana afflicted with sorrow on account of his brothers, addressed all his troops, saying, 'There is Bhima. Let him be slain.' Thus, O king, thy sons, those mighty bowmen, beholding their brothers slain, recollected those words beneficial and peaceful, that Vidura of great wisdom had spoken. Indeed, those words of the truthful Vidura are now being realised,--those beneficial words, O king, which, influenced by covetousness and folly as also by affection for thy sons, thou couldst not then understand. From the way in which that mighty armed hero is slaying the Kauravas, it seemeth that that mighty son of Pandu hath assuredly taken his birth for the destruction of thy sons. Meanwhile, king Duryodhana, O sire, overwhelmed with great grief, went to Bhishma, and there, overcome with sorrow, he began to lament, saying, 'My heroic brothers have been slain in battle by Bhimasena. Although, again, all our troops are fighting bravely, yet they also are failing. Thou seemest to disregard us, behaving (as thou dost) like an indifferent spectator, Alas, what course have I taken. Behold my evil destiny.'"

Sanjaya continued. "Hearing these cruel words of Duryodhana, thy sire Devavrata with eyes filled with tears, said this unto him. 'Even this was said by me before, as also by Drona, and Vidura, and the renowned Gandhari. O son, thou didst not then comprehend it. O grinder of foes, it hath also been before settled by me that neither myself, nor Drona, will ever escape with life from this battle. I tell thee truly that those upon whom Bhima will cast his eyes in battle, he will surely slay. Therefore, O king, summoning all thy patience, and firmly resolved on battle, fight with the sons of Pritha, making heaven thy goal. As regards the Pandavas, they are incapable of being vanquished by the very gods with Vasava (at their head). Therefore, setting thy heart firmly on battle, fight, O Bharata.--'"

 

Dhritarashtra said, "Beholding my sons, so many in number, O Sanjaya, slain by a single person, what did Bhishma and Drona and Kripa do in battle? Day after day, O Sanjaya, my sons are being slain. I think, O Suta, that they are completely overtaken by evil destiny, inasmuch as my sons never conquer but are always vanquished. When my sons staying in the midst of those unretreating heroes, viz., Drona and Bhishma, and the high-souled Kripa, and Somadatta's heroic son and Bhagadatta, and Aswatthaman also, O son, and other brave warriors, are being still slain in battle, what can it be said save the result of fate? The wicked Duryodhana did not comprehend (our) words before, though admonished by me, O son, and by Bhishma and Vidura. (Though forbidden) always by Gandhari, too, from motives of doing him good, Duryodhana of wicked understanding awoke not before from folly. That (conduct) hath now borne fruit, inasmuch as Bhimasena, excited with wrath, despatcheth, day after day in battle, my insensate sons to the abode of Yama."

Sanjaya said, "Those excellent words of Vidura, uttered for thy good, but which thou didst not then understand, have now come to be realised. Vidura had said, 'Restrain thy sons from the dice.' Like a man whose hour is come refusing the proper medicine, thou didst not then listen to the words of well-wishing friends counselling thee (for thy good). Those words uttered by the righteous have now been realised before thee. Indeed, the Kauravas are now being destroyed for having rejected those words, deserving of acceptance, of Vidura and Drona and Bhishma and thy other well-wishers. These very consequences happened even then when thou declinedst to listen to those counsels. Hear now, however, to my narration of the battle exactly as it has happened. At midday the battle became exceedingly awful and fraught with great carnage. Listen to me, O king, as I describe it. Then all the troops (of the Pandava army), excited with rage, rushed, at the command of Dharma's son, against Bhishma alone from desire of slaying him. Dhrishtadyumna and Sikhandin, and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki, accompanied, O king, by their forces, proceeded against Bhishma alone. And those mighty car-warriors, viz., Virata and Drupada, with all the Somakas, rushed in battle against Bhishma alone. And the Kaikeyas, and Dhrishtaketu, and Kuntibhoja, equipped in mail and supported by their forces, rushed, O king, against Bhishma alone. And Arjuna, and the sons of Draupadi, and Chekitana of great prowess, proceeded against all the kings under the command of Duryodhana. And the heroic Abhimanyu, and that mighty car-warrior, viz., the son of Hidimva, and Bhimasena excited with wrath, rushed against the (other) Kauravas. (Thus) the Pandavas, divided into three bodies began to slaughter the Kauravas. And similarly the Kauravas also, O king, began to slaughter their foes. That foremost of car-warriors, viz., Drona excited with wrath, rushed against the Somakas and the Srinjayas, desirous of sending them to the abode of Yama. Thereupon loud cries of woe arose among the brave Srinjayas while they were being slaughtered. O king, by Bharadwaja's son bow in hand. Large numbers of Kshatriyas, struck down by Drona, were seen to all convulsing like persons writhing in the agony of disease. All over the field were continuously heard moans and shrieks and groans resembling those of persons afflicted with hunger. And so the mighty Bhimasena, excited with wrath, and like unto a second Yama, caused a terrible carnage amongst the Kaurava troops. There in that dreadful battle, in consequence of the warriors slaying one another, a terrible river began to flow whose billowy current consisted of blood. And that battle, O king, between the Kurus and the Pandavas, becoming fierce and awful, began to swell the population of Yama's kingdom. Then in that battle Bhima excited with wrath, fell with great impetuosity upon the elephant division (of the Kauravas) and began to send many to the regions of Death. Then, O Bharata, struck with Bhima's shafts, some of those beasts fell down, some were paralysed, some shrieked (in pain), and some ran away in all directions. Huge elephants, their trunks cut off and limbs mangled, screaming like cranes, began, O king, to fall down on the earth. Nakula and Sahadeva fell upon the (Kaurava) cavalry. Many steeds with garlands of gold on their heads and with their necks and breasts adorned with ornaments of gold, were seen to be slain in hundreds and thousands. The earth, O king, was strewn with fallen steeds. And some were deprived of their tongues; and some breathed hard; and some uttered low moans, and some were void of life. The earth looked beautiful, O chief of men, with those steeds of such diverse kinds. At the same time, O Bharata, she looked fiercely resplendent, O monarch, with a large number of kings slain by Arjuna in that battle. And strewn with broken cars and rent banners and brilliant umbrellas, with torn chamaras and fans, and mighty weapons broken into fragments, with garlands and necklaces of gold, with bracelets, with heads decked with ear-rings, with head-gears loosened (from off heads), with standards, with beautiful bottoms of cars, O king, and with traces and reins, the earth shone as brightly as she does in spring when strewn with flowers. And it was thus, O Bharata, that the Pandava host suffered destruction when Bhishma the son of Santanu, and Drona that foremost of car-warriors, and Aswatthaman, and Kripa, and Kritavarman, were inflamed with wrath. And similarly thy army also suffered the same kind of destruction when the other side, viz., the Pandava heroes were excited with rage."

 

Sanjaya said, "During the progress, O king, of that fierce battle fraught with the slaughter of great heroes, Sakuni the glorious son of Suvala, rushed against the Pandavas. And so also, O monarch, Hridika's son of the Satwata race, that slayer of hostile heroes, rushed in that battle against the Pandava ranks. And smiling the while, (several warriors on thy side), with a large number of steeds consisting of the best of the Kamvoja breed as also of those born in the country of the Rivers, and of those belonging to Aratta and Mahi and Sindhu, and of those of Vanayu also that were white in hue, and lastly those of hilly countries, surrounded (the Pandava army).  And so also with horses, exceedingly swift, fleet as the very winds, and belonging to the Tittri breed, (others encompassed that army). And with many horses, clad in mail and decked with gold, the foremost of their class and fleet as the winds the mighty son of Arjuna (viz., Iravat), that slayer of foes, approached the (Kaurava) force. This handsome and valiant son of Arjuna, named Iravat, was begotten upon the daughter of the king of the Nagas by the intelligent Partha. Her husband having been slain by Garuda, she became helpless, and of cheerless soul. Childless as she was, she was bestowed (upon Arjuna) by the high-souled Airavat. Partha accepted her for wife, coming to him as she did under the influence of desire. It was thus that that son of Arjuna was begotten upon the wife of another. Abandoned by his wicked uncle from hatred of Partha, he grew up in the region of the Nagas, protected by his mother. And he was handsome and endued with great strength, possessed of diverse accomplishments, and of prowess incapable of being baffled. Hearing that Arjuna had gone to the region of Indra, he speedily went thither. And the mighty-armed Iravat, possessed of prowess incapable of being baffled, approaching his sire, saluted him duly, standing before him with joined hands. And he introduced himself to the high-souled Arjuna, saying, 'I am Iravat. blessed be thou, and I am thy son, O lord'. And he reminded Arjuna of all the circumstances connected with the latter's meeting with his mother. And thereupon the son of Pandu recollected all those circumstances exactly as they happened. Embracing his son then who resembled himself in accomplishments, Partha, in Indra's abode, was filled with joy. The mighty-armed Iravat then, O king, in the celestial regions was, O Bharata, joyfully commanded by Arjuna, with regard to his own business, (in these words), 'When the battle takes place, assistance should be rendered by thee'. Saying 'Yes', O lord, he went away. And now at the time of battle he presented himself. O king, accompanied with a large number of steeds of great fleetness and beautiful colour. And those steeds, decked with ornaments of gold, of various colours and exceeding fleetness, suddenly coursed over the field, O king, like swans on the bosom of the vast deep. And those steeds failing upon thine of exceeding swiftness, struck their chests and noses against those of thine. Afflicted by their own impetuous clash (against thine), they suddenly fell down, O king, on the earth. And in consequence of those steeds as also of thine occasioned by that clash, loud sounds were heard resembling what occurs at Garuda's swoop. And the rider of those steeds, O king, thus dashing against one another in that battle, began to slay one another fiercely. And during that general engagement which was fierce and terrible, the chargers of both sides (escaping from press of battle) ran wildly away over the field. Weakened by one another's shafts, brave warriors, with their horses killed under them, and themselves worn out with exertion, perished fast sabring one another. Then when those cavalry divisions were thinned and a remnant only survived, the Younger brothers of Suvala's son, Possessed of great wisdom, rode out, O Bharata (from the Kaurava array) to the van of battle, mounted On excellent charges that resembled the tempest itself in both fleetness and the violence of their dash and that were well-trained and neither old nor young. Those six brothers endued with great strength, viz., Gaya, Gavaksha, Vrishava, Charmavat, Arjava, and Suka dashed out of the mighty (Kaurava) array, supported by Sakuni and by their respective forces of great valour, themselves clad in mail, skilled in battle, fierce in mien, and possessed of exceeding might. Breaking through that invincible cavalry division (of the Pandavas), O thou of mighty arms, those Gandhara warriors who could with difficulty be vanquished, supported by a large force, desirous of heaven, longing for victory, and filled with delight, penetrated into it. Beholding them filled with joy, the valiant Iravat, addressing his own warriors decked with diverse ornaments and weapons, said unto them, 'Adopt such contrivances in consequence of which these Dhritarashtra warriors with their weapons and animals may all be destroyed.' Saying 'Yes', all those warriors of Iravat began to slay those mighty and invincible Dhartarashtra soldiers. Beholding that their own warriors were thus overthrown by Iravat's division, those sons of Suvala being unable to beat it coolly, all rushed at Iravat and surrounded him on all sides. And commanding (all their followers) to attack those of Iravat with lances, those heroes swept over the field, creating a great confusion. And Iravat, pierced with lances by those high-souled warriors, and bathed in blood that trickled down (his wounds), looked like an elephant pierced with the hook. Wounded deeply on the chest, back, and flanks, singly encountering the many, he did not yet, O king, swerve from his (natural) firmness. Indeed, Iravat, excited with rage, deprived all those adversaries of their senses, piercing them, in that battle, with sharp shafts. And that chastiser of foes, tearing those lances from off his body, struck with them the sons of Suvala in battle. Then unsheathing his polished sword and taking a shield, he rushed on foot, desirous of slaying Suvala's sons in that combat. The sons of Suvala, however, recovering their senses, once more rushed at Iravat, excited with wrath. Iravat, however, proud of his might, and displaying his lightness of hand, proceeded towards all of them, armed with his sword. Moving as he did with great activity, the sons of Suvala, although they moved about on their fleet steeds, could not find an opportunity for striking that hero (on foot). Beholding him then on foot, his foes surrounded him closely and wished to take him captive. Then that crusher of foes, seeing them contiguous to himself, struck off, with his sword, both their right and left arms, and mangled their other limbs. Then those arms of theirs adorned with gold, and their weapons, fell down on the earth, and they themselves, with limbs mangled, fell down on the field, deprived of life. Only Vrishava, O king, with many wounds on his person, escaped (with life) from that dreadful battle destructive of heroes. Beholding them lying on the field of battle, thy son Duryodhana, excited with wrath said unto that Rakshasa of terrible mien, viz., Rishyasringa's son (Alamvusha), that great bowman versed in illusion, that chastiser of foes, who bore feelings of animosity against Bhimasena in consequence of the slaughter of Vaka, these words: "Behold, O hero, how the mighty son of Phalguni, versed in illusion, hath done me a severe injury by destroying my forces. Thou also, O sire, art capable of going everywhere at will and accomplished in all weapons of illusion. Thou cherishest animosity also for Partha. Therefore, do thou slay this one in battle.' Saying 'Yes', that Rakshasa of terrible mien proceeded with a leonine roar to that spot where the mighty and youthful son of Arjuna was. And he was supported by the heroic warriors of his own division, accomplished in smiting, well-mounted, skilled in battle and fighting with bright lances. Accompanied by the remnant of that excellent cavalry division (of the Kauravas), he proceeded, desirous of slaying in battle the mighty Iravat. That slayer of foes, viz., the valiant Iravat, excited with rage, and advancing speedily from desire of slaying the Rakshasa, began to resist him. Beholding him advance, the mighty Rakshasa speedily set himself about for displaying his powers of illusion. The Rakshasa then created a number of illusive chargers which were riden by terrible Rakshasas armed with spears and axes. Those two thousand accomplished smiters advancing with rage, were however, soon sent to the regions of Yama, (falling in the encounter with Iravat's forces). And when the forces of both perished, both of them, invincible in battle, encountered each other like Vritra and Vasava. Beholding the Rakshasa, who was difficult of being vanquished in battle, advancing towards him, the mighty Iravat, excited with rage, began to check his onset. And when the Rakshasa approached him nearer, Iravat with his sword quickly cut off his bow, as also each of his shafts into five fragments. Seeing his bow cut off, the Rakshasa speedily rose up into the welkin, confounding with his illusion the enraged Iravat. Then Iravat also, difficult of approach, capable of assuming any form at will, and having a knowledge of what are the vital limbs of the body, rising up into the welkin, and confounding with his illusion the Rakshasa began to cut off the latter's limbs in that battle and thus were the limbs of the Rakshasa repeatedly cut into several pieces. (Rakshasa ceases to be italicized at this point for a couple of pages.--JBH) Then the Rakshasa, however, O king, was re-born, assuming a youthful appearance. Illusion is natural with them, and their age and form are both dependent on their will. And the limbs of that Rakshasa, O king, cut into pieces, presented a beautiful sight. Iravat, excited with rage, repeatedly cut that mighty Rakshasa with his sharp axe. 'The brave Rakshasa, thus cut into pieces like a tree by the mighty Iravat, roared fiercely'. And those roars of his became deafening. Mangled with the axe, the Rakshasa began to pour forth blood in torrents. Then (Alamvusha), the mighty son of Rishyasringa, beholding his foe blazing forth with energy, became infuriate with rage and himself put forth his prowess in that combat. Assuming a prodigious and fierce form, he endeavoured to seize the heroic son of Arjuna, viz., the renowned Iravat. In the sight of all the combatants there present, beholding that illusion of the wicked Rakshasa in the van of battle, Iravat became inflamed with rage and adopted steps for himself having recourse to illusion. And when that hero, never retreating from battle, became inflamed with wrath, a Naga related to him by his mother's side, came to him. Surrounded on all sides, in that battle by Nagas, that Naga, O king, assumed a huge form mighty as Ananta himself. With diverse kinds of Nagas then he covered the Rakshasa. While being covered by those Nagas, that bull among Rakshasas reflected for a moment, and assuming the form of Garuda, he devoured those snakes. When that Naga of his mother's line was devoured through illusion, Iravat became confounded. And while in that state, the Rakshasa slew him with his sword, Alamvusha felled on the earth Iravat's head decked with ear-rings and graced with a diadem and looking beautiful like a lotus or the moon.

"When the heroic son of Arjuna was thus slain by the Rakshasa, the Dhartarashtra host with all the kings (in it) were freed from grief. In that great battle that was so fierce, awful was the carnage that occurred among both the divisions. Horses and elephants and foot-soldiers entangled with one another, were slain by tuskers. And many steeds and tuskers were slain by foot-soldiers. And in that general engagement bodies of foot-soldiers and cars, and large numbers of horses belonging both to thy army and theirs, were slain. O king, by car-warriors. Meanwhile, Arjuna, not knowing that the son of his loins had been slaughtered, slew in that battle many kings who had been protecting Bhishma. And the warriors, O king, of thy army and the Srinjayas, by thousands, poured out their lives as libations (on the fire of battle), striking one another. And many car-warriors, with dishevelled hair, and with swords and bows fallen from their grasp fought with their bare arms, encountering one another. The mighty Bhishma also, with shafts capable of penetrating into the very vitals, slew many mighty car-warriors and caused the Pandava army to tremble (the while). By him were slain many combatants in Yudhishthira's host, and many tuskers and cavalry-soldiers and car-warriors and steeds. Beholding, O Bharata, the prowess of Bhishma in that battle, it seemed to us that it was equal to that of Sakra himself. And the prowess of Bhimasena, as also that of Parshata, was hardly less, O Bharata, (than that of Bhishma). And so also the battle fought by that great bowman (viz., Satyaki) of Satwata's race, was equally fierce. Beholding, however, the prowess of Drona, the Pandavas were struck with fear. Indeed they thought, 'Alone, Drona can slay us with all our troops. What then should be said of him when he is surrounded by a large body of warriors who for their bravery are renowned over the world? Even this, O king, was what the Partha said, afflicted by Drona. During the progress of that fierce battle, O bull of Bharata's race, the brave combatants of neither army forgave their adversaries of the other. O sire, the mighty bowmen of both thy army and that of the Pandavas, inflamed with wrath, fought furiously with one another, as if they were possessed of by the Rakshasas and demons. Indeed, he did not see any one in the battle which was so destructive of lives and which was considered as a battle of the demons, to take of life."

 

Dhritarashtra said, "Tell me, O Sanjaya, all that the mighty Partha did in battle when they heard that Iravat had been slain."

Sanjaya said, "Beholding Iravat slain in battle, the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, the son of Bhimasena, uttered loud shouts. And in consequence of the loudness of those roars, the earth having the ocean for her robes, along with her mountains and forests, began to tremble violently. And the welkin also and the quarters both cardinal and subsidiary, all trembled. And hearing those loud roars of his, O Bharata, the thighs and other limbs of the troops began to tremble, and sweat also appeared on their persons. And all thy combatants, O king, became cheerless of heart. And all over the field the warriors stood still, like an elephant afraid of the lion. And the Rakshasa, uttering those loud roars resembling the rattle of thunder, assuming a terrible form, and with a blazing spear upraised in hand, and surrounded by many bulls among Rakshasas of fierce forms armed with diverse weapons, advanced, excited with rage and resembling the Destroyer himself at the end of the Yuga. Beholding him advance in wrath and with a terrible countenance, and seeing also his own troops almost all running away from fear of that Rakshasa, king Duryodhana rushed against Ghatotkacha, taking up his bow with arrow fixed on the string, and repeatedly roaring like a lion. Behind him proceeded the ruler of the Vangas, with ten thousand elephants, huge as hills, and each with juice trickling down. Beholding thy son, O king, (thus) advancing surrounded by that elephant division, that ranger of the night (viz., Ghatotkacha) was highly inflamed with rage. Then commenced a battle with utmost vehemences that made the hair stand on end, between the formidable Rakshasa and the troops of Duryodhana. And beholding also that elephant division risen (on the horizon) like a cloud, the Rakshasas, inflamed with rage, rushed towards it, weapons in hand, and uttering diverse roars like clouds charged with lightning. With arrows and darts and swords and long shafts, as also with spears and mallets and battle-axes and short arrows, they began to smite down that elephant host. And they slew huge elephants with mountain-summits and large trees. While the Rakshasas slew those elephants, O king, we saw that some of them had their frontal globes smashed, some were bathed in blood, and some had their limbs broken or cut through. At last when that elephant host was broken and thinned, Duryodhana, O king, rushed upon the Rakshasas, under the influence of rage and becoming reckless of his very life. And that mighty warrior sped clouds of sharp shafts at the Rakshasas. And that great bowman slew many of their foremost warriors. Inflamed with rage, O chief of the Bharatas, that mighty car-warrior, viz., thy son Duryodhana, then slew with four shafts four of the principal Rakshasas, viz., Vegavat, Maharudra, Vidyujihva, and Pramathin. And once again, O chief of the Bharatas, that warrior of immeasurable soul, sped at the Rakshasa host showers of arrows that could with difficulty be resisted. Beholding that great feat of thy son, O sire, the mighty son of Bhimasena blazed up with wrath. Drawing his large bow effulgent as the lightning, he rushed impetuously at the wrathful Duryodhana. Beholding him (thus) rushing like Death himself commissioned by the Destroyer, thy son Duryodhana, O king, shook not at all. With eyes red in anger, and excited with rage, Ghatotkacha, then, addressing thy son, said, 'I shall today be freed from the debt I owe to my sires, as also to my mother, they that had so long been exiled by thy cruel self. The sons of Pandu, O king, were vanquished by thee in that match at dice. Drupada's daughter Krishna also, while ill and, therefore, clad in a single raiment, was brought into the assembly and great trouble was given by thee in diverse ways, O thou most wicked, unto her. While dwelling also in her sylvan retreat, thy well-wisher, that wicked wight, viz., the ruler of the Sindhus, persecuted her further, disregarding my sires. For these and other wrongs, O wretch of thy race, I shall today take vengeance if thou dost not quit the field.' Having said these words, Hidimva's son, drawing his gigantic bow, biting his (nether) lip with his teeth, and licking the corners of his mouth, covered Duryodhana with a profuse shower, like a mass of clouds covering the mountain-breast with torrents of rain in the rainy season."

 
Sanjaya said,--"That arrowy shower, difficult of being borne by even the Danavas, king Duryodhana, however, (quietly) bore in that battle, like a gigantic elephant bearing a shower (from the blue). Then filled with anger and sighing like a snake, thy son, O bull of Bharata's race, was placed in a position of great danger. He then shot five and twenty sharp arrows of keen points. These, O king, fell with great force on that bull among  Rakshasas, like angry snakes of virulent poison on the breast of Gandhamadana. Pierced with those shafts, blood trickled down the Rakshasa's body and he looked like an elephant with rent temples. Thereupon that cannibal set his heart upon the destruction of the (Kuru) king. And he took up a huge dart that was capable of piercing even a mountain. Blazing with light, effulgent as a large meteor, it flamed with radiance like the lightning itself. And the mighty-armed Ghatotkacha, desirous of slaying thy son, raised that dart. Beholding that dart upraised, the ruler of the Vangas mounting upon an elephant huge as a hill, drove towards the Rakshasa. On the field of battle, with the mighty elephant of great speed, Bhagadatta placed himself in the very front of Duryodhana's car. And with that elephant he completely shrouded the car of thy son. Beholding then the way (to Duryodhana's car) thus covered by the intelligent king of the Vangas, the eyes of Ghatotkacha, O king, became red in anger. And he ruled that huge dart, before upraised, at that elephant. Struck, O king, with that dart hurled from the arms of Ghatotkacha, that elephant, covered with blood and in great agony, fell down and died. The mighty king of the Vangas, however, quickly jumping down from that elephant, alighted on the ground. Duryodhana then beholding the prince of elephants slain, and seeing also his troops broken and giving way, was filled with anguish. From regard, however, for a Kshatriya's duty as also his own pride, the king, though defeated, stood firm like a hill. Filled with wrath and aiming a sharp arrow that resembled the Yuga fire in energy, he sped it at that fierce wanderer of the night. Beholding that arrow, blazing as Indra's bolt, thus coursing towards him, the high-souled Ghatotkacha baffled it by the celerity of his movements. With eyes red in wrath, he once more shouted fiercely, frightening all thy troops, like the clouds that appear at the end of the Yuga. Hearing those fierce roars of the terrible Rakshasa, Bhishma the son of Santanu, approaching the preceptor, said these words, 'These fierce roars that are heard, uttered by Rakshasas, without doubt indicate that Hidimva's son is battling with king Duryodhana. That Rakshasa is incapable of being vanquished in battle by any creature. Therefore, blessed be ye, go thither and protect the king. The blessed Duryodhana hath been attacked by the high-souled Rakshasa. Therefore, ye chastisers of foes, even this is our highest duty.' Hearing those words of the grandsire, those mighty car-warriors without loss of time and with the utmost speed, proceeded to the spot when the king of the Kurus was. They met Duryodhana and Somadatta and Valhika and Jayadratha; and Kripa and Bhurisravas and Salya, and the two princes of Avanti along with Vrihadvala, and Aswatthaman and Vikarna, and Chitrasena and Vivinsati. And many thousands of other car-warriors, including all those that followed them, proceeded, desirous of rescuing thy son Duryodhana who had been hotly pressed. Beholding that invincible division protected by those mighty car-warriors, coming towards him with hostile intentions, that best of Rakshasas, viz., the mighty-armed Ghatotkacha, stood firm like the Mainaka mountain, with a huge bow in hand, and surrounded by his kinsmen armed with clubs and mallets and diverse other kinds of weapons. Then commenced a fierce battle, making the hair stand on end, between those Rakshasas on the one side and that foremost of Duryodhana's divisions on the other. And the loud noise of twanging bows in that battle was heard, O king, on all sides resembling the noise made by burning bamboos. And the din produced by the weapons falling upon the coats of mail of the combatants resembled, O king, the noise of splitting hills. And the lances, O monarch, hurled by heroic arms, while coursing through the welkin, looked like darting snakes. Then, excited with great wrath and drawing his gigantic bow, the mighty-armed prince of the Rakshasas, uttering a loud roar, cut off, with a crescent-shaped arrow, the preceptor's bow in a rage. And overthrowing, with another broad-headed arrow, the standard of Somadatta, he uttered a loud yell. And he pierced Valhika with three shafts in the centre of the chest. And he pierced Kripa with one arrow, and Chitrasena with three. And with another arrow, well-armed and well-sped from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, he struck Vikarna at the shoulder-joint. Thereupon the latter, covered with gore, sat down on the terrace of his car. Then that Rakshasa of immeasurable soul, excited With rage, O bull of Bharata's race, sped at Bhurisravas five and ten shafts. These, penetrating through the latter's armour, entered the earth. He then struck the chariot of Vivingsati and Aswatthaman. These fell down on the front of their cars, relinquishing the reins of the steeds. With another crescent-shaped shaft he overthrew the standard of Jayadratha bearing the device of a boar and decked with gold. And with a second arrow he cut off the latter's bow. And with eyes red in wrath, he slew with four shafts the four steeds of the high-souled king of Avanti. And with another arrow, O king, well-tempered and sharp, and shot from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, he pierced king Vrihadvala. Deeply pierced and exceedingly pained, the latter sat down on the terrace of his car. Filled with great wrath and seated on his car, the prince of the Rakshasas then shot many bright arrows of keen points that resembled snakes of virulent poison. These, O king, succeeded in piercing Salya accomplished in battle."
 
Sanjaya said, "Having in that battle made all those warriors (of thy army) turn their faces from the field, the Rakshasa then, O chief of the Bharatas, rushed at Duryodhana, desirous of slaying him. Beholding him rushing with great impetuosity towards the king, many warriors of thy army, incapable of defeat in battle, rushed towards him (in return) from desire of slaying him. Those mighty car-warriors, drawing their bows that measured full six cubits long, and uttering loud roars like a herd of lions, all rushed together against that single warrior. And surrounding him on all sides, they covered him with their arrowy showers like the clouds covering the mountain-breast with torrents of rain in autumn. Deeply pierced with those arrows and much pained, he resembled then an elephant pierced with the hook. Quickly then he soared up into the firmament like Garuda. And (while there) he uttered many loud roars like the autumnal clouds, making the welkin and all the points of the compass, cardinal and subsidiary, resounded with those fierce cries. Hearing those roars of the Rakshasa, O chief of the Bharatas, king Yudhishthira then, addressing Bhima, said unto that chastiser of foes these words, 'The noise that we hear uttered by the fiercely-roaring Rakshasa, without doubt, indicates that he is battling with the mighty car-warriors of the Dhartarashtra army. I see also that the burden has proved heavier than what that bull among Rakshasas is able to bear. The grandsire, too, excited with rage, is ready to slaughter the Panchalas. For protecting them Phalguni is battling with the foe. O thou of mighty arms hearing now of these two tasks, both of which demand prompt attention, go and give succour to Hidimva's son who is placed in a position of very great danger.' Listening to these words of his brother, Vrikodara, with great speed, proceeded, frightening all the kings with his leonine roars, with great impetuosity, O king, like the ocean itself during the period of the new full moon. Him followed Satyadhriti and Sauchiti difficult of being vanquished in battle, and Srenimat, and Vasudana and the powerful son of the ruler of Kasi, and many car-warriors headed by Abhimanyu, as also those mighty car-warriors, viz., the sons of Draupadi, and the valiant Kshatradeva, and Kshatradharman, and Nila, the ruler of the low countries, at the head of his own forces. And these surrounded the son of Hidimva with a large division of cars (for aiding him). And they advanced to the rescue of Ghatotkacha, that prince of the Rakshasas, with the six thousand elephants, always infuriate and accomplished in smiting. And with their loud leonine roars, and the clatter of their car-wheels, and with the tread of their horse's hoofs, they made the very earth to tremble. Hearing the din of those advancing warriors the faces of thy troops who were filled with anxiety in consequence of their fear of Bhimasena became pale. Leaving Ghatotkacha then they all fled away. Then commenced in that part of the field a dreadful battle between those high-souled warriors and thine, both of whom were unretreating. Mighty car-warriors, hurling diverse kinds of the weapons, chased and smote one another. That fierce battle striking terror into the hearts of the timid, was such that the different classes of combatants became entangled with one another. Horses engaged with elephants and foot-soldiers with car-warriors. And challenging one another, O king, they engaged in the fight. And in consequence of that clash of cars, steeds, elephants, and foot-soldiers, a thick dust appeared, raised by the car-wheels and the tread (of those combatants and animals). And that dust, thick and of the colour of reddish smoke, shrouded the field of battle. And the combatants were unable to distinguish their own from the foe. Sire recognised not the son, and son recognised not the sire, in that dreadful engagement which made the hair stand on end and in which no consideration was shown (by any one for any body). And the noise made by the hissing weapons and the shouting combatants resembled, O chief of Bharata's race, that made by departed spirits (in the infernal regions). And there flowed a river whose current consisted of the blood of elephants and steeds and men. And the hair (of the combatants) formed its weeds and moss. And in that battle heads falling from the trunks of men made a loud noise like that of a falling shower of stones. And the earth was strewn with the headless trunks of human beings, with mangled bodies of elephants and with the hacked limbs of steeds. And mighty car-warriors chased one another for smiting one another down, and hurled diverse kinds of weapons. Steeds, urged by their riders and falling upon steeds, dashed against one another and fell down deprived of life. And men, with eyes red in wrath, rushing against men and striking one another with their chests, smote one another down. And elephants, urged by their guides against hostile elephants, slew their compeers in that battle, with the points of their tusks. Covered with blood in consequence of their wounds and decked with standards (on their backs), elephants were entangled with elephants and looked like masses of clouds charged with lightning. And some amongst them mounted (by others) with the points of their tusks, and some with their frontal globes split with lances, ran hither and thither with loud shrieks like masses of roaring clouds. And some amongst them with their trunks lopped off, and others with mangled limbs, dropped down in that dreadful battle like mountains shorn of their wings. Other huge elephants, copiously shedding blood from their flanks, ripped open by compeers, looked like mountains with (liquified) red chalk running down their sides (after a shower). Others, slain with shafts or pierced with lances and deprived of their riders, looked like mountains deprived of their crests.Some amongst them, possessed by wrath and blinded (with fury) in consequence of the juice (trickling down their temples and cheeks). and no longer restrained with the hook, crushed cars and steeds and foot-soldiers in that battle by hundreds. And so steeds, attacked by horsemen with bearded darts and lances, rushed against their assailants, as if agitating the points of the compass. Car-warriors of noble parentage and prepared to lay down their lives, encountering car-warriors, fought fearlessly, relying upon their utmost might. The combatants, O king, seeking glory or heaven, struck one another in that awful press, as if in a marriage by self-choice. During however, that dreadful battle making the hair stand on end, the Dhartarashtra troops generally were made to run their backs on the field."
 
Sanjaya said, "Beholding his own troops slain, king Duryodhana then excited with wrath, rushed towards Bhimasena, that chastiser of foes. Taking up a large bow whose effulgence resembled that of Indra's bolt, he covered the son of Pandu with a thick shower of arrows. And filled with rage, and aiming a sharp crescent-shaped shaft winged with feathers, he cut off Bhimasena's bow. And that mighty car-warrior, noticing an opportunity, quickly aimed at his adversary a whetted shaft capable of riving the very hills. With that (shaft), that mighty-armed (warrior) struck Bhimasena in the chest. Deeply pierced with that arrow, and exceedingly pained, and licking the corners of his mouth, Bhimasena of great energy caught hold of his flag-staff decked with gold. Beholding Bhimasena in that cheerless state, Ghatotkacha blazed up with wrath like an all-consuming conflagration. Then many mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, headed by Abhimanyu and with wrath generated (in their bosoms), rushed at the king shouting loudly. Beholding them (thus) advancing (to the fight) filled with wrath and in great fury, Bharadwaja's son addressing the mighty car-warriors (of thy side), said these words,--'Go quickly, blessed be ye, and protect the king. Sinking in an ocean of distress, he is placed in a situation of great danger. These mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, these great bowmen, placing Bhimasena at their head, are rushing towards Duryodhana, shooting and hurling diverse kinds of weapons, resolved upon winning success, uttering terrible shouts, and frightening the kings (on your side)'. Hearing these words of the preceptor, many warriors of thy side headed by Somadatta rushed upon the Pandava ranks. Kripa and Bhurisravas and Salya, and Drona's son and Vivingsati, and Chitrasena and Vikarna, and the ruler of the Sindhus, and Vrihadvala, and those two mighty bowmen, viz., the two princes of Avanti, surrounded the Kuru king. Advancing only twenty steps, the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras began to strike, desirous of slaughtering each other. The mighty-armed son of Bharadwaja also, having said those words (unto the Dhartarashtra warriors), stretched his own large bow and pierced Bhima with six and twenty arrows. And once again that mighty car-warrior speedily covered Bhimasena with a shower of arrows like a mass of clouds dropping torrents of rain on the mountain-breasts in the rainy season. That mighty bowman Bhimasena, however, of great strength, speedily pierced him in return with ten shafts on the left side. Deeply pierced with those arrows and exceedingly pained, O Bharata, the preceptor, enfeebled as he is with age, suddenly sat down on the terrace of his car, deprived of consciousness. Beholding him thus pained, king Duryodhana himself, and Aswatthaman also, excited with wrath, both rushed towards Bhimasena. Beholding those two warriors advance, each like Yama as he shows himself at the end of the Yuga, the mighty-armed Bhimasena, quickly taking up a mace, and jumping down from his car without loss of time, stood immovable like a hill, with that heavy mace resembling the very club of Yama, upraised in battle. Beholding him with mace (thus) upraised and looking (on that account) like the crested Kailasa, both the Kuru king and Drona's son rushed towards him. Then the mighty Bhimasena himself rushed impetuously at those two foremost of men thus rushing together towards him with great speed. Beholding him thus rushing in fury and with terrible expression of face, many mighty car-warriors of the Kaurava army speedily proceeded towards him. Those car-warriors headed by Bharadwaja's son, impelled by the desire of slaughtering Bhimasena, hurled at his breast diverse kinds of weapons, and thus all of them together afflicted Bhima from all sides. Beholding that mighty car-warrior thus afflicted and placed in a situation of great peril, many mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, headed by Abhimanyu, and prepared to lay down dear life itself, rushed to the spot, desirous of rescuing him. The heroic ruler of the low country, the dear friend of Bhima, viz., Nila, looking like a mass of blue clouds, rushed at Drona's son, filled with wrath. A great bowman, Nila always desired an encounter with Drona's son. Drawing his large bow, he pierced the son of Drona with many winged arrows, like Sakra in days of old, O king, piercing the invincible Danava Viprachitti, that terror of the celestials, who, moved by anger frightened the three worlds by his energy. Pierced after the same way by Nila with his well-shot arrows winged with feathers, Drona's son, covered with blood and exceedingly pained, was filled with wrath. Drawing then his large bow, of twang loud as the roar of Indra's thunder, that foremost of intelligent persons set his heart upon the destruction of Nila. Aiming then a few bright shafts of broad heads and sharpened by the hands of their forger, he slew the four steeds of his adversary and overthrew also his standard. And with the seventh shaft he pierced Nila himself in the chest. Deeply pierced and exceedingly pained, he sat down on the terrace of his car. Beholding king Nila, who looked like a mass of blue clouds, in a swoon, Ghatotkacha, filled with wrath and surrounded by his kinsmen, rushed impetuously towards Drona's son, that ornament of battle. Similarly many other Rakshasas, incapable of being easily defeated in battle, rushed at Aswatthaman. Beholding then that Rakshasa of terrible mien coming towards him, the valiant son of Bharadwaja impetuously rushed towards him. Filled with wrath he slew many Rakshasas of formidable visage, that is, those wrathful ones amongst them who were in Ghatotkacha's van. Beholding them repulsed from the encounter by means of the shafts shot from the bow of Drona's son, Bhimasena's son Ghatotkacha of gigantic size was filled with rage. He then exhibited a fierce and awful illusion. Therewith that prince of the Rakshasas, endued with extraordinary powers of illusion, confounded the son of Drona in that battle. Then all thy troops, in consequence of that illusion, turned their backs upon the field. They beheld one another cut down and lying prostrate on the surface of the earth, writhing convulsively, perfectly helpless, and bathed in blood. Drona and Duryodhana and Salya and Aswatthaman, and other great bowmen that were regarded as foremost among the Kauravas, also seemed to fly away. All the car-warriors seemed to be crushed, and all the kings seemed to be slain. And horses and horse-riders seemed to be cut down in thousands. Beholding all this, thy troops fled away towards their tents. And although, O king, both myself and Devavrata cried out at the top of our voices, saying, 'Fight, do not fly away, all this is Rakshasa illusion in battle, applied by Ghatotkacha.' Yet they stopped not, their senses having been confounded. Although both of us said so, still struck with panic, they gave no credit to our words. Beholding them fly away the Pandavas regarded the victory to be theirs. With Ghatotkacha (among them) they uttered many leonine shouts. And all around they filled the air with their shouts mingled with the blare of their conches and the beat of their drums. It was thus that thy whole army, routed by the wicked Ghatotkacha, towards the hour of sunset, fled away in all directions.'"
 
Sanjaya said, "After that great battle, king Duryodhana, approaching Ganga's son and saluting him with humility, began to narrate to him all that had happened about the victory won by Ghatotkacha and his own defeat. That invincible warrior, O king, sighing repeatedly, said these words unto Bhishma, the grandsire of the Kurus, 'O lord, relying upon thee, as Vasudeva hath been (relied upon) by the foe, a fierce war hath been commenced by me with the Pandavas. These eleven Akshauhinis of celebrated troops that I have, are, with myself, obedient to thy command, O chastiser of foes. O tiger among the Bharatas, though thus situated, yet have I been defeated into battle by the Pandava warriors headed by Bhimasena relying upon Ghatotkacha. It is this that consumeth my limbs like fire consuming dry tree. O blessed one, O chastiser of foes, I therefore, desire, through thy grace, O grandsire, to slay Ghatotkacha myself, that worst of Rakshasas, relying upon thy invincible self. It behoveth thee to see that wish of mine may be fulfilled.' Hearing these words of the king, that foremost one among the Bharatas, viz., Bhishma, the son of Santanu, said these words unto Duryodhana, 'Listen, O king, to these words of mine that I say unto thee, O thou of Kuru's race, about the way in which thou, O chastiser of foes, shouldst always behave. One's own self, under all circumstances, should be protected in battle, O repressor of foes. Thou shouldst always, O sinless one, battle with king Yudhishthira--the Just, or with Arjuna, or with the twins, or with Bhimasena. Keeping the duty of a king before himself, a king striketh a king. Myself, and Drona, and Kripa, and Drona's son, and Kritavarman of the Satwata race, and Salya, and Somadatta's son, and that mighty car-warrior Vikarna, and thy heroic brothers headed by Dussasana, will all, for thy sake, battle against that mighty Rakshasas. Or if thy grief on account of that fierce prince of the Rakshasas be too great, let this one proceed in battle against that wicked warrior, that is to say, king Bhagadatta who is equal unto Purandara himself in fight'. Having said this much unto the king, the grandsire skilled in speech then addressed Bhagadatta in the presence of the (Kuru) king, saying, 'Proceed quickly, O great monarch, against that invincible warrior, viz., the son of Hidimva. Resist in battle, with care, and in view of all the bowmen, that Rakshasa of cruel deeds, like Indra in days of old resisting Taraka. Thy weapons are celestial. Thy prowess also is great, O chastiser of foes. In days of old many have been the encounters that thou hadst with Asura, O tiger among kings, thou art that Rakshasa's match in great battle. Strongly supported by thy own troops, slay, O king, that bull among Rakshasas'. Hearing these words of Bhishma the generalissimo (of the Kaurava army), Bhagadatta specially set out with a leonine roar facing the ranks of the foe. Beholding him advance towards them like a mass of roaring clouds, many mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army proceeded against him, inflamed with wrath. They were Bhimasena, and Abhimanyu and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha; and the sons of Draupadi, and Satyadhriti, and Kshatradeva, O sire, and the rulers of the Chedis, and Vasudana, and the king of the Dasarnas. Bhagadatta then, on his elephant named Supratika, rushed against them. Then commenced a fierce and awful battle between the Pandavas and Bhagadatta, that increased the population of Yama's kingdom. Shafts of terrible energy and great impetuosity, shot by car-warriors, fell, O king, on elephants and cars. Huge elephants with rent temples and trained (to the fight) by their guides, approaching fell upon one another fearlessly. Blind (with fury) in consequence of the temporal juice trickling down their bodies, and excited with rage, attacking one another with their tusks resembling stout bludgeons, they pierced one another with the points of those weapons.  Graced with excellent tails, and ridden by warriors armed with lances, steeds, urged by those riders fell fearlessly and with great impetuosity upon one another. And foot-soldiers, attacked by bodies of foot-soldiers with darts and lances, fell down on the earth by hundreds and thousands. And car-warriors upon their cars, slaughtering heroic adversaries in that battle by means of barbed arrows and muskets and shafts, uttered leonine shouts. And during the progress of the battle making the hair stand on end, that great bowman, viz., Bhagadatta, rushed towards Bhimasena, on his elephant of rent temples and with juice trickling down in seven currents and resembling (on that account) a mountain with (as many) rillets flowing down its breast after a shower. And he came, O sinless one, scattering thousands of arrows from the head of Supratika (whereon he stood) like the illustrious Purandara himself on his Airavata. King Bhagadatta afflicted Bhimasena with that arrowy shower like the clouds afflicting the mountain breast with torrents of rain on the expiry of summer. That mighty bowman Bhimasena, however, excited with rage, slew by his arrowy showers the combatants numbering more than a hundred, that protected the flanks and rear of Bhagadatta. Beholding them slain, the valiant Bhagadatta, filled with rage, urged his prince of elephants towards Bhimasena's car. That elephant, thus urged by him, rushed impetuously like an arrow propelled from the bowstring towards Bhimasena, that chastiser of foes. Beholding that elephant advancing, the mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, placing Bhimasena at their head, themselves rushed towards it. Those warriors were the (five) Kekaya princes, and Abhimanyu, and the (five) sons of Draupadi and the heroic ruler of the Dasarnas, and Kshatradeva also, O sire, and the ruler of the Chedis, and Chitraketu. And all these mighty warriors came, inflamed with anger, and exhibiting their excellent celestial weapons. And they all surrounded in anger that single elephant (on which their adversary rode). Pierced with many shafts, that huge elephant, covered with gore flowing from his wounds, looked resplendent like a prince of mountain variegated with (liquified) red chalk (after a shower). The ruler of the  Dasarnas then, on an elephant that resembled a mountain, rushed towards Bhagadatta's elephant. That prince of elephants, however, viz., Supratika, bore (the rush of) that advancing compeer like the continent bearing (the rush of) the surging sea. Beholding that elephant of the high souled king of the Dasarnas thus resisted, even the Pandava troops, applauding, cried out 'Excellent, excellent!' Then that best of kings, viz., the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, excited with rage, sped four and ten lances at that elephant. These, speedily penetrating through the excellent armour, decked with gold, that covered the animal's body, entered into it, like snakes entering anthills. Deeply pierced and exceedingly pained, that elephant, O chief of the Bharatas, its fury quelled, speedily turned back with great force. And it fled away with great swiftness, uttering frightful shrieks, and crushing the Pandava ranks like the tempest crushing trees with its violence. After that elephant was (thus) vanquished, the mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, uttering loud leonine shouts, approached for battle. Placing Bhima at their head, they rushed at Bhagadatta scattering diverse kinds of arrows and diverse kinds of weapons. Hearing the fierce shouts, O king, of those advancing warriors swelling with rage and vengeance, that great bowman Bhagadatta, filled with rage and perfectly fearless, urged his own elephant. That prince of elephants then, thus urged with the hook and the toe, soon assumed the form of the (all-destructive) Samvarta fire (that appears at the end of the Yuga). Crushing crowds of cars and (hostile) compeers and steeds with riders, in that battle, it began, O king, to turn hither and thither. Filled with rage it also crushed foot-soldiers by hundreds and thousands. Attacked and agitated by that elephant, that large force of the Pandavas shrank in dimensions, O king, like a piece of leather exposed to the heat of fire. Beholding, then the Pandava array broken by the intelligent Bhagadatta, Ghatotkacha, of fierce mien, O king, with blazing face and eyes red as fire, filled with rage, rushed towards him. Assuming a terrible form and burning with wrath, he took up a bright dart capable of riving the very hills. Endued with great strength, he forcibly hurled that dart that emitted blazing flames from every part desirous of slaying that elephant. Beholding it coursing towards him with great impetuosity, the ruler of the Pragjyotishas sped at it a beautiful but fierce and sharp arrow with a crescent head. Possessed of great energy he cut off that dart with that arrow of his. Thereupon that dart, decked with gold, thus divided in twain, dropped down on the ground, like the bolt of heaven, hurled by Indra, flashing through the welkin. Beholding that dart (of his adversary), O king, divided in twain and fallen on the ground, Bhagadatta took up a large javelin furnished with a golden staff and resembling a flame of fire in effulgence, and hurled it at the Rakshasa, saying, 'Wait, Wait'. Seeing it coursing towards him like the bolt of heaven through the welkin, the Rakshasa jumped up and speedily seizing it uttered a loud shout. And quickly placing it against his knee, O Bharata, he broke it in the very sight of all the kings. All this seemed exceedingly wonderful. Beholding that feat achieved by the mighty Rakshasa, the celestials in the firmament, with the Gandharvas and the Munis, were filled with wonder. And the Pandava warriors also, headed by Bhimasena, filled the earth with cries of 'Excellent, Excellent'. Hearing, however, those loud shouts of the rejoicing Pandavas, that great bowman, viz., the valiant Bhagadatta, could not bear it (coolly). Drawing his large bow whose effulgence resembled that of Indra's bolt, he roared with great energy at the mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, shooting at the same time many bright arrows of great sharpness and possessed of the effulgence of fire. And he pierced Bhima with one arrow, and the Rakshasa with nine. And he pierced Abhimanyu with three, and the Kekaya brothers with five. And with another straight arrow shot from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, he pierced, in that battle, the right arm of Kshatradeva. Thereupon the latter's bow with arrow fixed on the bowstring dropped down from his hand. And he struck the five sons of Draupadi with five arrows. And from wrath, he slew the steeds of Bhimasena. And with three shafts winged with feathers, he cut down Bhimasena's standard bearing the device of a lion. And with three other shafts he pierced Bhima's charioteer. Deeply pierced by Bhagadatta in that battle, and exceedingly pained, Visoka thereupon, O chief of the Bharatas, sat down on the terrace of the car. Then, O king, that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Bhima, thus deprived of his car, quickly jumped down from his large vehicle taking up his mace. Beholding him with mace upraised and looking like a crested hill, all thy troops, O Bharata, became filled with great fear. Just at this time that son of Pandu who had Krishna for his charioteer, O king, slaughtering the foe on all sides as he came, appeared at that spot where those tigers among men, those mighty car-warriors, viz., Bhimasena and Ghatotkacha, sire and son, were engaged with the ruler of the Pragjyotishas. Beholding his brothers, those mighty car-warriors, engaged in battle, that son of Pandu quickly commenced to fight, profusely scattering his shafts, O chief of the Bharatas. Then that mighty car-warrior, viz., king Duryodhana, speedily urged on a division of his troops abounding with cars and elephants. Towards that mighty division of the Kauravas thus advancing with impetuosity, Arjuna of white steeds rushed with great impetuosity. Bhagadatta also, upon that elephant of his, O Bharata, crushing the Pandava ranks, rushed towards Yudhishthira. Then commenced a fierce battle between Bhagadatta, O sire, and the Panchalas, the Srinjayas, and the Kekayas, with upraised weapons. Then Bhimasena, in that battle told both Kesava and Arjuna in detail about the slaughter of Iravat as it had occurred."
 

Sanjaya said, "Hearing that his son Iravat had been slain, Dhananjaya was filled with great grief and sighed like a snake. And addressing Vasava in the midst of battle, he said these words, 'Without doubt, the high-souled Vidura of great wisdom had before seen (with his mind's eye) this awful destruction of the Kurus and the Pandavas. It was for this that he forbade king Dhritarashtra. In this battle, O slayer of Madhu, many other heroes have been slain by the Kaurava and many amongst the Kauravas have similarly been slain by ourselves. O best of men, for the sake of wealth vile acts are being done. Fie upon that wealth for the sake of which such slaughter of kinsmen is being perpetrated. For him that hath no wealth, even death would be better than the acquisition of wealth by the slaughter of kinsmen. What, O Krishna, shall we gain by slaying our assembled kinsmen? Alas, for Duryodhana's, fault, and also of Sakuni the son of Suvala, as also through the evil counsels of Karna, the Kshatriya race is being exterminated, O slayer of Madhu, I now understand, O mighty-armed one, that the king acted wisely by begging of Suyodhana only half the kingdom, or, instead, only five villages. Alas, even that was not granted by that wicked-souled wight. Beholding so many brave Kshatriyas lying (dead) on the field of battle, I censure myself, (saying) fie upon the profession of a Kshatriya. The Kshatriyas will regard me powerless in battle. For this alone, I am battling. Else, O slayer of Madhu, this battle with kinsmen is distasteful to me. Urge the steeds on with speed towards the Dhartarashtra army, I will, with my two arms, reach the other shore of this ocean of battle that is so difficult to cross. There is no time, O Madhava, to lose in action'. Thus addressed by Partha, Kesava, that slayer of hostile heroes, urged those steeds of white hue endued with the speed of the wind. Then, O Bharata, loud was the noise that was heard among thy troops, resembling that of the ocean itself at full tide when agitated by the tempest. In the afternoon, O king, the battle that ensued between Bhishma and the Pandavas was marked by noise that resembled the roar of the clouds. Then, O king, thy sons, surrounding Drona like the Vasus surrounding Vasava, rushed in the battle against Bhimasena. Then Santanu's son, Bhishma, and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Kripa, and Bhagadatta, and Susarman, all went towards Dhananjaya. And Hridika's son (Kritavarman) and Valhika rushed towards Satyaki. And king Amvashta placed himself before Abhimanyu. And other great car-warriors, O king, encountered other great car-warriors. Then commenced a fierce battle that was terrible to behold. Bhimasena then, I O king, beholding thy sons, blazed up with wrath in that battle, like fire with (a libation of) clarified butter. Thy sons, however, O monarch, covered that son of Kunti with their arrows like the clouds drenching the mountain-breast in the season of rains. While being (thus) covered in diverse ways by thy sons, O king, that hero, possessed of the activity of the tiger, licked the corners of his mouth. Then, O Bharata, Bhima felled Vyudoroska with a sharp horse-shoe-headed arrow. Thereupon that son of thine was deprived of life. With another broad-headed arrow, well-tempered and sharp, he then felled Kundalin like a lion overthrowing a smaller animal. Then, O sire, getting thy (other) sons (within reach of his arrows), he took up a number of shafts, sharp and well-tempered, and with careful aim speedily shot these at them. Those shafts, sped by that strong bowman, viz., Bhimasena, felled thy sons, those mighty car-warriors, from their vehicles. (These sons of thine that were thus slain were) Anadhriti, and Kundabhedin, and Virata, and Dirghalochana, and Dirghavahu, and Suvahu, and Kanykadhyaja. While falling down (from their cars), O bull of Bharata's race, those heroes looked resplendent like falling mango trees variegated with blossoms in the spring. Then thy other sons, O monarch, fled away, regarding the mighty Bhimasena as Death himself. Then like the clouds pouring torrents of rain on the mountain breast, Drona in that battle covered with arrows from every side that hero who was thus consuming thy sons. The prowess that we then beheld of Kunti's son was exceedingly wonderful, for though held in check by Drona, he still slew thy sons. Indeed, as a bull beareth a shower of rain falling from above. Bhima cheerfully bore that shower of arrows shot by Drona. Wonderful, O monarch, was the feat that Vrikodara achieved there, for he slew thy sons in that battle and resisted Drona the while. Indeed, the elder brother of Arjuna sported amongst those heroic sons o thine, like a mighty tiger, O king, among a herd of deer. As a wolf, staying in the midst of a herd of deer, would chase and frighten those animals, so did Vrikodara, in that battle chase and frighten thy sons.

"Meanwhile, Ganga's son, and Bhagadatta, and that mighty car-warrior, viz., Gautama, began to resist Arjuna, that impetuous son of Pandu. That Atiratha, baffling with his weapons the weapons of those adversaries of his in that battle, despatched many prominent heroes of thy army to the abode of Death. Abhimanyu also, with his shafts, deprived that renowned and foremost of car-warriors, viz., king Amvashta, of his car. Deprived of his car and about to be slain by the celebrated son of Subhadra, that king quickly jumped down from his car in shame, and hurled his sword in that battle at the high-souled Abhimanyu. Then, that mighty monarch got up on the car of Hridika's son, conversant with all movements in battle, Subhadra's son, that slayer of hostile heroes, beholding that sword coursing towards him, baffled it by the celerity of his movements. Seeing that sword thus baffled in that battle by Subhadra's son, loud cries of 'well done' 'well done' were, O king, heard among the troops. Other warriors headed by Dhrishtadyumna battled with thy troops, while thy troops, also, all battled with those of the Pandavas. Then, O Bharata, fierce was the engagement that took place between thine and theirs, that combatants smiting one another with great force and achieving the most difficult feats. Brave combatants, O sire, seizing one another by the hair, fought using their nails and teeth, and fists and knees, and palms and swords, and their well-proportioned arms. And seizing one another's laches, they despatched one another to the abode of Yama. Sire slew son, and son slew sire. Indeed, the combatants fought with one another, using every limb of theirs. Beautiful bows with golden staves, O Bharata, loosened from the grasp of slain warriors, and costly ornaments, and sharp shafts furnished with wings of pure gold or silver and washed with oil, looked resplendent (as they lay scattered on the field), the latter resembling, in particular, snakes that had cast off their slough. And swords furnished with ivory handles decked with gold, and the shield also of bowmen, variegated with gold, lay on the field, loosened from their grasp. Bearded darts and axes and swords and javelins, all decked with gold, beautiful coats of mail, and heavy and short bludgeons, and spiked clubs, and battle-axes, and short arrows, O sire, and elephants' housings of diverse shapes, and yak tails, and fans, lay scattered on the field. And mighty car-warriors lay on the field with diverse kinds of weapons in their hands or beside them, and looking alive, though the breath of life had gone. And men lay on the field with limbs shattered with maces and heads smashed with clubs, or crushed by elephants, steeds, and cars. And the earth, strewn in many places with the bodies of slain steeds, men, and elephants, looked beautiful, O king, as if strewn with hills. And the field of battle lay covered with fallen darts and swords and arrows and lances and scimitars and axes and bearded darts and iron crows and battle-axes, and spiked clubs and short arrows and Sataghnis and bodies mangled with weapons. And, O slayer of foes, covered with blood, warriors lay prostrate on the field, some deprived of life and therefore, in the silence of death, and others uttering low moans. And the earth, strewn with those bodies, presented a variegated sight. And strewn with the arms of strong warriors smeared with sandal paste and decked with leathern fences and bracelets, with tapering thighs resembling the trunks of elephants, and with fallen heads, graced with gems attached to turbans and with earrings of large-eyed combatants, O Bharata, the earth assumed a beautiful sight. And the field of battle, overspread with blood, dyed coats of mail and golden ornaments of many kinds, looked exceedingly beautiful as if with (scattered) fires of mild flames. And with ornaments of diverse kinds fallen off from their places, with bows lying about, with arrows of golden wings scattered around, with many broken cars adorned with rows of bells, with many slain steeds scattered about covered with blood and with their tongues protruding, with bottoms of cars, standards, quivers, and banners, with gigantic conches, belonging to great heroes, of milky whiteness lying about, and with trunkless elephants lying prostrate, the earth looked beautiful like a damsel adorned with diverse kinds of ornaments. And there, with other elephants pierced with lances and in great agony, and frequently uttering low moans with their trunks, the field of battle looked beautiful as if with moving hills. With blankets of diverse hue, and housings of elephants, with beautiful hooks falling about having handles decked with stones of lapis lazuli, with bells lying about that had adorned gigantic elephants, with clean and variegated cloths as also skins of the Ranku deer, with beautiful neck-chains of elephants, with gold-decked girths, with broken engines of diverse kinds, with bearded darts decked with gold, with embroidered housings of steeds, embrowned with dust, with the lopped off arms of cavalry soldiers, decked with bracelets and lying about, with polished and sharp lances and bright swords, with variegated head-gears fallen off (from heads) and scattered about, with beautiful crescent-shaped arrows decked with gold, with housings of steeds, with skins of the Ranku deer, torn and crushed, with beautiful and costly gems that decked the head-gears of kings, with their umbrellas lying about and yak tails and fans, with faces, bright as the lotus or the moon, of heroic warriors, decked with beautiful ear-rings and graced with well-cut beards, lying about and radiant with other ornaments of gold, the earth looked like the firmament besmangled with planets and stars. Thus, O Bharata, the two armies, viz., thine and theirs, encountering each other in battle, crushed each other. And after the combatants had been fatigued, routed, and crushed, O Bharata, dark night set in and the battle could no longer be seen. Thereupon both the Kurus and the Pandavas withdrew their armies, when that awful night of pitchy darkness came. And having withdrawn their troops, both the Kurus and the Pandavas took rest for the night, retiring to their respective tents.

 
Sanjaya said, "Then king Duryodhana, and Sakuni the son of Suvala, and thy son Dussasana, and the invincible Suta's son (Karna) meeting together, consulted in the following way. How could the sons of Pandu, with their followers, be vanquished in battle? Even this was the subject of their consultation. Then king Duryodhana, addressing the Suta's son and the mighty Sakuni, said unto all those counsellors of his, 'Drona, Bhishma, and Kripa, and Salya and Somadatta's son do not resist the Parthas. I do not know what the cause is of such conduct (of theirs). Unslain by any of these, the Pandavas are destroying my forces. Therefore, O Karna, I am becoming weaker in strength and my weapons also are being exhausted'. I am deceived by the heroic Pandavas--they that are incapable of being vanquished by the very gods. Doubt filleth my mind as to how, indeed, I shall succeed is smiting them in battle.' Unto the king who said so, O great monarch, the Suta's son answered, 'Do not grieve, O chief of the Bharata. Even I will do what is agreeable to thee. Let Santanu's son Bhishma soon withdraw from the great battle. After Ganga's son will have withdrawn from the fight and laid aside his weapons, I will slay the Partha along with all the Somakas, in the very sight of Bhishma. I pledge my truth, O king. Indeed, Bhishma every day showeth mercy towards the Pandavas. He is, besides incapable of vanquishing those mighty car-warriors. Bhishma is proud of showing his prowess in battle. He is again, very fond of fight. Why, O sire, will he, therefore, vanquish the assembled Pandavas (for then the battle will be over)? Therefore, repairing without delay to the tent of Bhishma, solicit that old and reverend signior to lay aside his weapons. After he will have laid aside his weapons, O Bharata, think the Pandavas as already slain, with all their friends and kinsmen, O king, by myself alone.' Thus addressed by Karna, thy son Duryodhana then said unto his brother Dussasana these words, 'See, O Dussasana, that without delay that all who walk in my train be dressed.' Having said these words, O monarch, the king addressed Karna, saying, 'Having caused Bhishma, that foremost of men, to consent to this, I will, without delay, come to thee, O chastiser of foes. After Bhishma will have retired from the fight, thou wilt smite (the foe) in battle'. Then thy son, O monarch, set out without delay, accompanied by his brothers like He of a hundred sacrifices (accompanied) by the gods. Then his brother Dussasana caused that tiger among king, endued, besides, with the prowess of a tiger, to mount on his horse. Graced with bracelets, with diadem on head, and adorned with other ornaments on his arms. O king, thy son shone brightly as he proceeded along the streets. Smeared with fragrant sandal-paste of the hue of the Bhandi flower and bright as burnished gold, and clad in clean vestments, and proceeding with the sportive gait of the lion, Duryodhana looked beautiful like the Sun of brilliant radiance in the firmament. And as that tiger among men proceeded towards the tent of Bhishma, many mighty bowmen, celebrated over the world, followed him behind. And his brothers also walked in his train, like the celestials walking behind Vasava. And others, foremost of men, mounted upon steeds, and others again on elephants, O Bharata, and others on cars, surrounded him on all sides. And many amongst those that wished him well, taking up arms for the protection on his royal self, appeared there in large bodies, like the celestials surrounding Sakra in heaven. The mighty chief of the Kurus, adored by all the Kauravas, thus proceeded, O king, towards the quarters of the renowned son of Ganga. Ever followed and surrounded, by his uterine brothers, he proceeded, often raising his right arm, massive and resembling the trunk of an elephant and capable of resisting all foes. And with that arm of his, he accepted the regards that were paid to him from all sides by by-standers who stood raising towards him their joined hands. And he heard, as he journeyed, the sweet voices of the natives of diverse realms. Of great fame, he was eulogised by bards and eulogists. And in return that great king paid his regards unto them all. And many high-souled persons stood around him with lighted lamps of gold fed with fragrant oil. And surrounded with golden lamps, the king looked radiant like the Moon attended by the blazing planets around him. And (attendants) with head-gears decked with gold, having canes and Jhariharas in hand, softly caused the crowd all around to make way. The king then, having reached the excellent quarters of Bhishma, alighted from his horse. And arrived at Bhishma's presence, that ruler of men saluted Bhishma and then sat himself down on an excellent seat that was made of gold, beautiful throughout and overlaid with a rich coverlet. With hands joined, eyes bathed in tears, and voice chocked in grief, he then addressed Bhishma, saying, 'Taking thy protection, this battle, O slayer of foes, we ventured to vanquish the very gods and the Asuras with Indra at their head. What shall I say, therefore, of the sons of Pandu, heroic though they be, with their kinsmen and friends? Therefore, O son of Ganga, it behoveth thee, O lord, to show me mercy. Slay the brave sons of Pandu like Mahendra slaying the Danavas.--I will slay, O king, all the Somakas and the Panchalas and the Karushas along with the Kekayas, O Bharata-these were thy words to me. Let these words become true. Slay the assembled Parthas, and those mighty bowmen, viz., the Somakas. Make thy words true, O Bharata. If from kindness (for the Pandavas), O king, or from thy hatred of my unfortunate self, thou sparest the Pandavas, then permit Karna, that ornament of battle, to fight. He will vanquish in battle the Parthas with all their friends and kinsmen. The king, thy son Duryodhana having said this, shut his lips without saying anything more to Bhishma of terrible prowess."
 

Sanjaya said, "The high-souled Bhishma, deeply pierced with wordy daggers by thy son, became filled with great grief. But he said not a single disagreeable word in reply. Indeed, mangled by those wordy daggers and filled with grief and rage, he sighed like a snake and reflected (in silence) for a long while. Raising his eyes then, and as if consuming, from wrath, the world with the celestials, the Asuras, and the Gandharvas, that foremost of persons conversant with the world, then addressed thy son and said unto him these tranquil words, 'Why, O Duryodhana, dost thou pierce me thus with thy wordy daggers? I always endeavour to the utmost of my might to achieve, and do achieve, what is for thy good. Indeed, from desire of doing what is agreeable to thee, I am prepared to cast away my life in battle. The Pandavas are really invincible. When the brave son of Pandu gratified Agni in the forest of Khandava, having vanquished Sakra himself in battle, even that is a sufficient indication. When, O mighty-armed one, the same son of Pandu rescued thee while thou wert being led away a captive by the Gandharvas, even that is a sufficient indication. On that occasion, O lord, thy brave uterine brothers had all fled, as also Radha's son of the Suta caste. That (rescue, therefore, by Arjuna) is a sufficient indication. In Virata's city, alone he fell upon all of us united together. That is a sufficient indication. Vanquishing in battle both Drona and myself excited with rage, he took away our robes. That is a sufficient indication. On that occasion, of old, of the seizure of kine, he vanquished that mighty bowman the son of Drona, and Saradwat also. That is a sufficient indication. Having vanquished Karna also who is very boastful of his manliness, he gave the latter's robes unto Uttara. That is a sufficient indication. The son of Pritha defeated in battle the Nivatakavachas who were incapable of defeat by Vasava himself. That is a sufficient indication. Who, indeed, is capable of vanquishing in battle the son of Pandu by force, him, viz., that hath for his protector the Protector of the Universe armed with conch, discus, and mace? Vasudeva is possessed of infinite power, and is the Destroyer of the Universe. He is the highest Lord of all, the God of gods, the Supreme Soul and eternal. He hath been variously described, O king, by Narada and other great Rishis. In consequence of thy folly, however, O Suyodhana, thou knowest not what should be said and what should not. The man on the point of death beholdeth all trees to be made of gold. So thou also, O son of Gandhari, seest everything inverted. Having provoked fierce hostilities with the Pandavas and the Srinjayas, fight now (thyself) with them in battle. Let us see thee act like a man. As regards myself, I will, O tiger among men, slay all the Somakas and the Panchalas assembled together, avoiding Sikhandin alone. Slain by them in battle, I will go to Yama's abode, or slaying them in battle, I will give thee joy. Sikhandin was born in Drupada's palace as female at first. She became a male in consequence of the grant of a boon. After all, however, she is Sikhandini. Him I will not slay even if I have to lose my life, O Bharata. She is the same Sikhandini that the Creator had first made her. Pass the night in happy sleep, O son of Gandhari. Tomorrow I will fight a fierce battle about which men will speak as long as the world lasts.' Thus addressed by him, thy son, O monarch, came away. And saluting his signior with a bow of the head, he came back to his own tent. Coming back, the king dismissed his attendants. And soon then that destroyer of foes entered his abode. And having entered (his tent) the monarch passed the night (in. sleep). And when the night dawned, rising up, the king, ordered all the royal warriors, saying, Draw up the forces. Today Bhishma, excited with wrath, will slay all the Somakas.'

Hearing those copious lamentations of Duryodhana in the night, Bhishma regarded them, O king, as commands to himself. Filled with great grief and deprecating the status of servitude, Santanu's son reflected for a long time, thinking of an encounter with Arjuna in battle. Understanding from signs that Ganga's son had been thinking of that, Duryodhana, O king, commanding Dussasana, saying, 'O Dussasana, let cars be quickly appointed for protecting Bhishma. Let all the two and twenty divisions (of our army) be urged on. That hath now come about which we had been thinking for a series of years, viz., the slaughter of the Pandavas with all their troops and the acquisition (by ourselves) of the kingdom. In this matter, I think, the protection of Bhishma is our foremost duty. Protected by us, he will protect us and slay the Parthas in battle. Of cleansed soul, he said unto me,--I will not slay Sikhandini. He was a female before, O king, and, therefore, should be avoided by me in battle. The world knoweth, O thou of mighty arms, that from desire of doing good to my father, I formerly gave up a swelling kingdom. I will not, therefore, slay in battle, O foremost of men, any female or anybody that was a female before. This that I tell thee is true. This Sikhandin, O king, was first born a female. Thou hast heard that story. She was born as Sikhandini after the manner I told thee before the battle began. Taking her birth as a daughter she hath become a man. Indeed, she will fight with me, but I will never shoot my arrows at her. As regards all other Kshatriyas desirous of victory to the Pandavas, O sire, whom I may get within my reach on the field of battle, I will slay them.--These were the words that Ganga's son acquainted with the scriptures, that chief of Bharata's race, said unto me. Therefore, with my whole soul I think that protecting the son of Ganga is our foremost duty. The very wolf may slay the lion left unprotected in the great forest. Let not Ganga's son be slain by Sikhandin like the lion slain by the wolf. Let our maternal uncle Sakuni, and Salya, and Kripa, and Drona, and Vivingsati, carefully protect the son of Ganga. If he is protected, (our) victory is certain.'

"Hearing these words of Duryodhana, all surrounded Ganga's son with a large division of cars. And thy sons also, taking up their position around Bhishma, proceeded to battle. And they all went, shaking the earth and the welkin, and causing fear in the hearts of the Pandavas. The mighty car-warriors (of the Kaurava army), supported by those cars and elephants, and clad in mail, stood in battle, surrounding Bhishma. And all of them took up their positions for protecting that mighty car-warrior like the celestials in the battle between themselves and the Asuras for protecting the wielder of the thunder-bolt. Then king Duryodhana once more addressing his brother, said, 'Yudhamanyu protects the left wheel of Arjuna's car, and Uttamaujas his right wheel. And (thus protected) Arjuna protects Sikhandin. O Dussasana, adopt such steps that, protected by Partha, Sikhandin may not be able to slay Bhishma left unprotected by us.' Hearing these words of his brother, thy son Dussasana, accompanied by the troops, advanced for battle, placing Bhishma in the van. Beholding Bhishma (thus surrounded by a large number of cars), Arjuna, that foremost of car-warriors, addressed Dhrishtadyumna and said, 'O prince, place that tiger among men, Sikhandin, today in front of Bhishma, I myself will be his protector, O prince of Panchala."

 

Sanjaya said, "Then Bhishma, the son of Santanu, went out with the troops. And he disposed his own troops in mighty array called Sarvatobhadra. Kripa, and Kritavarman, and that mighty car-warrior Saivya, and Sakuni, and the ruler of the Sindhus, and Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamvojas, these all, together with Bhishma and thy sons, O Bharata, took up their stations in the van of the whole army and in the very front of the (Kaurava) array. Drona and Bhurisravas and Salya and Bhagadatta, O sire, clad in mail, took up their position in the right wing of that array. And Aswatthaman, and Somadatta, and those great car-warriors, viz., the two princes of Avanti, accompanied by a large force, protected the left wing. Duryodhana, O monarch, surrounded on all sides by the Trigartas, took up, for encountering the Pandavas, a position in the midst of that array. That foremost of car-warriors, viz., Alamvusha, and that mighty car-warrior, viz., Srutayush, clad in mail, took up their position in the rear of that array, and therefore, of the whole army. Having, O Bharata, on that occasion formed their array thus, thy warriors, clad in mail, looked like scorching fires.

"Then king Yudhishthira, and that son of Pandu, viz., Bhimasena, and the twin sons of Madri, viz., Nakula and Sahadeva, clad in mail, took up their position in the van of that array and therefore, at the very head of all their troops. And Dhrishtadyumna, and Virata, and that mighty car-warrior, viz., Satyaki,--these destroyers of hostile ranks,--stood, supported by a large force. And Sikhandin, and Vijaya (Arjuna), and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, and Chekitana of mighty arms, and the valiant Kuntibhoja, stood for battle, surrounded by a large force. And that great bowman Abhimanyu, and the mighty Drupada, and the (five) Kaikeya brothers, stood for battle, clad in mail. Having formed their mighty and invincible array thus, the Pandavas, endued with great courage in battle, stood for the fight, clad in mail.

"Then the kings of thy array, O monarch, exerting themselves at their best, accompanied by their forces, and placing Bhishma at their van, rushed against the Parthas in battle. Similarly the Pandavas also, O king, headed by Bhimasena, and desirous of victory in battle proceeded, for battling with Bhishma. With leonine roars and confused cries, blowing their conches Krakachas, and cow-horns, beating their drums and cymbals and Pandavas in thousands. And uttering terrible shouts, the Pandavas advanced to battle. With the din of our drums and cymbals and conches and smaller drums, with loud leonine roars, and other kinds of shouts, ourselves also, replying to the cries of the foe, rushed against him with great impetuosity, inflamed with rage. Those sounds mingling with one another, produced a tremendous uproar. The warriors then, of the two armies, rushing at one another, began to strike. And in consequence of the din produced by that encounter, the earth seemed to tremble. And birds, uttering fierce cries, hovered in the air. The Sun, radiant as he was when he had risen, became dimmed. And fierce winds blew, indicating great terrors. Frightful jackals wandered, yelling terribly, O king, and foreboding an awful carnage at hand. The quarters seemed, O king, to be ablaze, and showers of dust fell from the blue. And a shower fell there, of pieces of bones mixed with blood. And tears fell from the eyes of the animals which were all weeping. And filled with anxiety, O king, these began to urinate and eject the contents of their stomachs. And the loud shouts of battle, O bull of Bharata's race, were rendered inaudible by the louder cries of Rakshasas and cannibals. And jackals and vultures and crows and dogs, uttering diverse kinds of cries, began, O sire, to fall and swoop down on the field. And blazing meteors, striking against the Sun's disc, fell with great celerity on the earth, foreboding great terrors. Then those two vast hosts belonging to the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras, in course of that awful encounter, shook in consequence of that tremendous uproar of conches and drums like forests shaken by the tempest. And the noise made by the two armies, both of which abounded with kings, elephants, and steeds, and which encountered each other in an evil hour, resembled the noise made by oceans tossed by the tempest."

 
Sanjaya said, "Then the noble Abhimanyu of great energy, borne by his steeds of a tawny hue, rushed at the mighty host of Duryodhana, scattering his arrowy showers like the clouds pouring torrents of rain. O son of Kuru's race, thy warriors, in that battle, were unable to resist that slayer of foes, viz., Subhadra's son, who, excited with wrath and possessed of wealth of arms, was then immersed in that inexhaustible ocean of (Kaurava) forces. Death-dealing shafts, O king, shot by him in that battle, despatched many heroic Kshatriyas to the regions of the king of the departed spirits. Indeed, excited with wrath Subhadra's son in that battle shot fierce and blazing arrows in profusion that resembled snakes of virulent poison or rods of death himself. And Phalguni's son speedily split into fragments car-warriors with their cars, steeds with their riders, and elephant-warriors along with the huge animals they rode. And the rulers of the earth, filled with joy, applauded those mighty feats in battle and praised him also that achieved them. And the son of Subhadra, O Bharata, tossed those divisions (of the Kaurava army) like the tempest tossing a heap of cotton on all sides in the welkin. Routed by him, O Bharata, the troops failed to find a protector, like elephants sunk in a slough. Then, O best of men, having routed all troops, Abhimanyu stood, O king, like a blazing fire without a curl of smoke. Indeed, O king, thy warriors were incapable of bearing that slayer of foes, like insects impelled by fate unable to bear a blazing fire. That mighty car-warrior and great bowman, having struck all the foes of the Pandavas, looked at that moment like Vasava himself armed with the thunder. And his bow, the back of whose staff was decked with gold, as it moved on every side, seemed, O king, like the lightning's flash as it spotted amid the clouds. And well-tempered and sharp shafts came from his bow-string in that battle like flights of bees, O king, from blossoming trees in the forest. And as the high-souled son of Subhadra careered on the field on his car whose limbs were decked with gold, people were incapable of finding an opportunity (for striking him). Confounding Kripa and Drona and mighty son of Drona, as also the ruler of the Sindhus, the great bowman moved on the field of battle with great activity and skill. As he consumed thy troops, O Bharata, I beheld his bow incessantly drawn to a circle and resembling on that account the circular halo of light that is sometimes seen around the Sun. Brave Kshatriyas, beholding him endued with such activity and scorching the foe thus, thought, in consequence of those feats, that the world contained two Phalgunis. Indeed, O king, the vast host of the Bharatas, afflicted by him, reeled hither and thither like a woman drunk with wine. Routing that large army and causing many mighty car-warriors to tremble, he gladdened his friends (like Vasava gladdening the celestials) after vanquishing Maya. And while being routed by him in that battle, thy troops uttered loud exclamations of woe that resembled the roar of the clouds. Hearing that awful wail thy troops, O Bharata, that resembled the roar of the very sea at full tide when agitated by the winds, Duryodhana then, O king, addressed the son of Rishyasringa and said, 'This Abhimanyu singly, O thou of mighty arms, like a second Phalguni, routeth from rage (my) army like Vritra routing the celestial host. I do not see any other efficacious medicine for him in battle than thyself, O best of Rakshasas, that art well-skilled in every science. Therefore, go speedily and slay the heroic son of Subhadra in battle. As regards ourselves, headed by Bhishma and Drona, we will slay Partha himself.' Thus addressed, the mighty and valiant Rakshasa speedily went to battle at the command of thy son, uttering loud roars like the clouds themselves in the season of rains. And in consequence of that loud noise, O king, the vast host of the Pandavas trembled throughout like the ocean when agitated by the wind. And many combatants, O king, terrified by those roars, giving up dear life, fell prostrate on the earth. Filled with joy and taking up his bow with arrow fixed on the string, and apparently dancing on the terrace of his car, that Rakshasa proceeded against Abhimanyu himself. Then the angry Rakshasa, having in that battle got Arjuna's son within reach, began to rout his ranks,--even those that stood not far from him. Indeed, the Rakshasa rushed in battle against that mighty Pandava host which he began to slaughter, like Vala rushing against the celestial host. Attacked in battle by that Rakshasa of terrible mien, the slaughter was very great, O sire, that took place amongst those troops. Exhibiting his prowess, the Rakshasa began to rout that vast force of the Pandavas, with thousands of arrows. Thus slaughtered by that Rakshasa of terrible visage, the Pandava army fled away from excess of fear. Grinding that army like an elephant grinding lotus-stalks, the mighty Rakshasa then rushed in battle against the sons of Draupadi. Then those great bowmen, accomplished in fighting, viz., the sons of Draupadi, rushed towards the Rakshasa in battle like five planets rushing against the Sun. That best of Rakshasa then was afflicted by those brothers endued with great energy, like the Moon afflicted by the five planets of the awful occasion of the dissolution of the world. Then the mighty Prativindhya quickly pierced the Rakshasa with whetted shafts, sharp as battle-axes and furnished with points capable of penetrating every armour. Thereupon that foremost of Rakshasas, with his armour pierced through, looked like a mass of clouds penetrated by the rays of the Sun. Pierced with these shafts furnished with golden wings, Rishyasringa's son, O king, looked resplendent like a mountain with blazing crests. Then those five brothers in that great battle, pierced that foremost of Rakshasas with many whetted shafts of golden wings. Pierced with those terrible shafts resembling angry snakes, Alamvusha, O king, became inflamed with rage like the king of the serpents himself. Deeply pierced, O king, within only a few moments, O sire, by those great car-warriors, the Rakshasa, much afflicted, remained senseless for a long while. Regaining his consciousness then, and swelling through rage to twice his dimensions, he cut off their arrows and standards and bows. And as if smiling the while he struck each of them with five arrows. Then that mighty Rakshasa and great car-warrior, Alamvusha, excited with wrath, and as if dancing on the terrace of his car, quickly slew the steeds, and then the charioteers, of those five illustrious adversaries of his. And burning with rage he once more pierced them with sharp arrows of diverse shades by hundreds and thousands. Then that wanderer of the night, viz., the Rakshasa Alamvusha, having deprived those great bowmen of their cars, rushed impetuously at them, wishing to despatch them to Yama's abode. Beholding them (thus) afflicted in battle by that wicked-souled  Rakshasa, the son of Arjuna rushed at him. Then the battle that took place between him and the cannibal resembled that between Vritra and Vasava. And the mighty car-warriors of thy army, as also of the Pandavas, all became spectators of that engagement. Encountering each other in fierce battle, blazing with wrath, endued with great might, and with eyes red in rage, each beheld the other in that battle to resemble the Yuga fire. And that engagement between them became fierce and awful like that between Sakra and Samvara in days of old in the battle between the gods and Asuras."
 

Dhritarashtra said, "How, O Sanjaya, did Alamvusha resist in combat the heroic son of Arjuna smiting many of our mighty car-warriors in battle? And how also did that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Subhadra, fight with Rishyasringa's son? Tell me all this in detail, exactly as it happened in that fight. What also did Bhima, that foremost of car-warriors, and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, and Nakula, and Sahadeva and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki, and Dhananjaya, do with my troops in battle? Tell me all this truly, O Sanjaya, for thou art skilled (in narration)."

Sanjaya said, "I will presently describe to thee, O sire, the awful battle that took place between that foremost of the Rakshasas and the son of Subhadra. I will also describe to thee the prowess that Arjuna put forth in battle, and Bhimasena the son of Pandu and Nakula, and Sahadeva, as also the warriors of thy army headed by Bhishma and Drona, all of whom fearlessly achieved wonderful feats of diverse kinds, Alamvusha, uttering loud shouts and repeatedly roaring at Abhimanyu, rushed impetuously against that mighty car-warrior in battle, saying, 'Wait, Wait'--Abhimanyu also, repeatedly roaring like a lion, rushed with at great force at that mighty bowman, viz., the son of Rishyasringa, who was an implacable foe of the former's sire. Soon then those two foremost of car-warriors, man and Rakshasa, on their cars, encountered each other, like a god and Danava. That best of Rakshasa were endued with powers of illusion, while Phalguni's son was acquainted with celestial weapons. Then Abhimanyu, O king, pierced Rishyasringa's son in that battle with three sharp shafts and once more with five. Alamvusha, also, excited with wrath, speedily pierced Abhimanyu in the chest with nine shafts like a guide piercing an elephant with hooks. Then, O Bharata, that wanderer of the night, endued with great activity, afflicted Arjuna's son in that combat with a thousand arrows. Then Abhimanyu excited with rage, pierced that prince of the Rakshasas in his wide chest with nine straight shafts of great sharpness. Piercing through his body these penetrated into his very vitals. And that best of Rakshasas, his limbs mangled by them, looked beautiful like a mountain overgrown with flowering Kinsukas. Bearing those shafts of golden wings on his body, that mighty prince of Rakshasas looked radiant like a mountain on fire. Then the vindictive son of Rishyasringa, inflamed with wrath, covered Abhimanyu, who was equal unto Mahendra himself, with clouds of winged arrows. Those sharp shafts resembling the rods of Yama himself, shot by him, pierced Abhimanyu through and entered the earth. And similarly the gold-decked arrows shot by Arjuna's son, piercing Alamvusha through, entered the earth. The son of Subhadra then, in that battle, with his straight shafts, obliged the Rakshasa to turn his back upon the field, like Sakra repulsing Maya in days of old. That scorcher of foes, the Rakshasa, then, thus repulsed and struck repeatedly by his adversary, exhibited his great powers of illusion by causing a thick darkness to set in. Then all the combatants there, O king, were covered by that darkness. Neither could Abhimanyu be seen, nor could friends be distinguished from foes in that battle. Abhimanyu, however, beholding that thick and awful gloom, invoked into existence. O son of Kuru's race, the blazing solar weapon. Thereupon, O king, the universe once more became visible. And thus he neutralised the illusion of that wicked Rakshasa. Then that prince of men, excited with wrath and endued with great energy, covered that foremost of Rakshasa in that battle with many straight shafts. Diverse other kinds of illusion were conjured up there by that Rakshasa. Conversant with all weapons, the son of Phalguni however, neutralised them all. The Rakshasa then, his illusions all destroyed, and himself struck with shafts, abandoned his car even there, and fled away in great fear. After that Rakshasa addicted to unfair fight had been thus vanquished, the son of Arjuna began to grind thy troops in battle, like a juice-blind prince of wild elephants agitating a lake overgrown with lotus. Then Bhishma the son of Santanu, beholding his troops routed, covered Subhadra's son with a thick shower of arrows. Then many mighty car-warriors of the Dhartarashtra army, standing in a ring round that single hero, began to strike him forcibly with their shafts. That hero then, who resembled his sire in prowess and who was equal to Vasudeva in valour and might,--that foremost of all wielders of weapons,--achieved diverse feats in that battle that were worthy of both his sire and maternal uncle. Then the heroic Dhananjaya, excited with wrath and desirous of rescuing his son, arrived at the spot where the latter was slaughtering thy troops as he came along. And similarly, O king, thy sire Devavrata in that battle approached Partha like Rahu approaching the sun. Then thy sons, O monarch, supported by cars, elephants, and steeds, surrounded Bhishma in that battle and protected him from every side. And so also the Pandavas, O king, clad in mail and surrounding Dhananjaya, engaged in fierce battle, O bull of Bharata's race. Then Saradwat's son (Kripa), O king, pierced Arjuna who was staying in front of Bhishma, with five and twenty shafts. Thereupon, like a tiger attacking an elephant, Satyaki, approaching Kripa, pierced him with many whetted shafts from desire of doing what was agreeable to the Pandavas. Gautama in return, excited with wrath, quickly pierced him of Madhu's race in the chest with nine arrows winged with the feathers of the Kanka bird. Sini's grandson also, excited with wrath, and forcibly drawing his bow, quickly sped at him an arrow capable of taking his life. The fiery son of Drona, however, excited with wrath, cut in twain that arrow as it coursed impetuously towards Kripa, resembling Indra's bolt in effulgence. Thereupon that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Sini's grandson, abandoning Gautama, rushed in battle towards Drona's son like Rahu in the firmament against the Moon. Drona's son, however, O Bharata, cut Satyaki's bow in twain. After his bow had thus been cut off, the former began to strike the latter with his shafts. Satyaki then, taking up another bow capable of bearing a great strain and slaughtering the foe, struck Drona's son, O king, in the chest and arms with six shafts. Pierced therewith and feeling great pain, for a moment he was deprived of his senses, and he sat down on the terrace of his car, catching hold of his flag-staff. Regaining his consciousness then, the valiant son of Drona, excited with rage afflicted him of Vrishni's race in that battle, with one long shaft. That shaft, piercing Sini's grandson through, entered the earth like a vigorous young snake entering its hole in the season of spring. And with another broad-headed arrow, Drona's son in that battle cut off the excellent standard of Satyaki. And having achieved this feat he uttered a leonine roar. And once more, O Bharata, he covered his adversary with a shower of fierce shafts like the clouds, O king covering the Sun after summer is past, Satyaki also, O monarch, baffling that arrowy shower, soon covered the son of Drona with diverse showers of arrows That slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the grandson of Sini, freed from that arrowy shower like the Sun from the clouds, began to scorch the son of Drona (with his energy). Swelling with rage the mighty Satyaki once more covered his foe with a thousand arrows and uttered a loud shout. Beholding his son then thus afflicted like the Moon by Rahu, the valiant son of Bharadwaja rushed towards the grandson of Sini. Desirous, O king, of rescuing, his son who was afflicted by the Vrishni hero, Drona, in that great battle, pierced the latter with a shaft of exceeding sharpness. Satyaki then, abandoning the mighty car-warrior Aswatthaman, pierced Drona himself in that battle with twenty arrows of exceeding sharpness. Soon after, that scorcher of foes and mighty car-warrior, viz., Kunti's son of immeasurable soul, excited with wrath, rushed in that battle against Drona. Then Drona and Partha encountered each other in fierce combat like the planets Budha and Sukra, O king, in the firmament.

 

Dhritarashtra said, "How did those bulls among men, viz., that great bowman Drona, and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, encounter each other in battle? The son of Pandu is ever dear to the wise son of Bharadwaja. The preceptor also is ever dear to Pritha's son, O Sanjaya. Both of those car-warriors delight in battle, and both of them are fierce like lions. How therefore, did Bharadwaja's son and Dhananjaya, both fighting with care encounter each other in battle?"

Sanjaya said, "In battle Drona never recognises Partha as dear to himself. Partha also, keeping a Kshatriya's duty in view, recognises not in battle his preceptor. Kshatriyas, O king, never avoid one another in battle. Without showing any regard for one another, they fight with sires and brothers. In that battle, O Bharata, Partha pierced Drona with three shafts. Drona, however, regarded not those shafts shot in battle from Partha's bow. Indeed, Partha once more covered the preceptor in the fight with a shower of arrows. Thereupon the latter blazed up with wrath like a conflagration in a deep forest. Then, O king, Drona soon covered Arjuna in that combat with many straight shafts, O Bharata. Then king Duryodhana, O monarch, despatched Susarman for taking up the wing of Drona. Then the ruler of the Trigartas, excited with rage and forcibly drawing his bow, covered Partha, O king, with a profusion of arrows furnished with iron heads. Shot by those two warriors, O king, the shafts looked beautiful in the welkin like cranes in the autumnal sky. Those shafts, O lord, reaching the son of Kunti, entered his body like birds disappearing within a tree bending with a load of tasteful fruits. Arjuna then, that foremost of car-warriors, uttering a loud roar in that battle pierced the ruler of the Trigartas and his son with his shafts. Pierced by Partha like Death himself at the end of the Yuga, they were unwilling to avoid Partha, resolved as they were on laying down their lives. And they shot showers on the car of Arjuna. Arjuna, however, received those arrowy showers with showers of his own, like a mountain, O monarch, receiving a downpour from the clouds. And the lightness of hand that we then beheld of Vibhatsu was exceedingly wonderful. For alone he baffled that unbearable shower of arrows shot by many warriors like the wind alone scattering myriads of clouds rushing upon clouds. And at that feat of Partha, the gods and the Danavas (assembled there for witnessing the fight) were highly gratified. Then, O Bharata, engaged with the Trigartas in that battle, Partha shot, O king, the Vayavya weapon against their division. Then arose a wind that agitated the welkin, felled many trees, and smote down the (hostile) troops. Then Drona, beholding the fierce Vayavya weapon, himself shot an awful weapon called the Saila. And when that weapon, O ruler of men, was shot by Drona in that battle, the wind abated and the ten quarters became calm. The heroic son of Pandu, however, made the car-warriors of the Trigarta division destitute of prowess and hope, and caused them to turn their backs on the field. Then Duryodhana and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Kripa, and Aswatthaman, and Salya, and Sudakshina, the ruler of the Kamvojas, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Valhika supported by the Valhikas, with a large number of cars surrounded Partha on all sides. And similarly Bhagadatta also, and the mighty Srutayush, surrounded Bhima on all sides with an elephant division. And Bhurisravas, and Sala, and Suvala's son, O monarch, began to check the twin sons of Madri with showers of bright and sharp arrows. Bhishma, however, in that battle, supported by the sons of Dhritarashtra with their troops, approaching Yudhishthira, surrounded him on all sides. Beholding that elephant division coming towards him, Pirtha's son Vrikodara, possessed of great courage, began to lick the corners of his mouth like a lion in the forest. Then Bhima, that foremost of car-warriors, taking up his mace in that great battle, quickly jumped down from his car and struck terror into the hearts of thy warriors. Beholding him mace in hand, those elephant-warriors in that battle carefully surrounded Bhimasena on all sides. Stationed in the midst of those elephants, the son of Pandu looked resplendent like the Sun in the midst of a mighty mass of clouds. Then that bull among the sons of Pandu began with his mace to consume that elephant-division like the wind dispelling a huge mass of clouds covering the welkin. Those tuskers, while being slaughtered by the mighty Bhimasena, uttered loud cries of woe like roaring masses of clouds. With diverse scratches (on his person) inflicted by those huge animals with their tusks, the son of Pritha looked beautiful on the field of battle like a flowering Kinsuka. Seizing some of the elephants by their tusks, he deprived them of those weapons. Wrenching out the tusks of others, with those very tusks he struck them on their frontal globes and felled them in battle like the Destroyer himself armed with his rod. Wielding his mace bathed in gore, and himself bespattered with fat and marrow and smeared with blood, he looked like Rudra himself. Thus slaughtered by him, the few gigantic elephants that remained, ran away on all sides, O king, crushing even friendly ranks. And in consequence of those huge elephants fleeing away on all sides, Duryodhana's troops once more, O bull of Bharata's race, fled away from the field."

 
Sanjaya said, "At mid-day, O king, happened a fierce battle, fraught with great carnage, between Bhishma and the Somakas. That foremost of car-warriors, viz., Ganga's son began to consume the ranks of the Pandavas with keen shafts by hundreds and thousands. Thy sire Devavrata began to grind those troops like a herd of bulls grinding (with their tread) a heap of paddy sheaves. Then Dhrishtadyumna and Sikhandin and Virata and Drupada, falling upon Bhishma in that battle, struck that mighty car-warrior with numerous arrows. Bhishma then, having pierced Dhrishtadyumna and Virata each with three arrows, sped a long shaft, O Bharata, at Drupada. Thus pierced in battle by Bhishma, that grinder of foes, those great bowmen became filled with wrath O king, like snakes trod upon (by human feet). Then Sikhandin pierced the grandsire of the Bharatas (with many shafts). Of unfading glory, Bhishma, however, regarding his foe as a female struck him not. Dhrishtadyumna then, in that battle, blazing up with wrath like fire, struck the grandsire with three shafts in his arms and chest. And Drupada pierced Bhishma with five and twenty shafts, and Virata pierced him with ten, and Sikhandin with five and twenty. Deeply pierced (with those shafts) he became covered with blood, and looked beautiful like a red Asoka variegated with flowers. Then the son of Ganga pierced, in return, each of them with three straight shafts. And then, O sire, he cut off Drupada's bow with a broad-headed arrow. The latter then, taking up another bow, pierced Bhishma with five shafts. And he pierced Bhishma's charioteer also with three sharp shafts on the field of battle. Then the five sons of Draupadi, and the five Kaikeya brothers and Satyaki also of the Satwata race, headed by Yudhishthira, all rushed towards Ganga's son, desirous of protecting the Panchalas headed by Dhrishtadyumna. And so all the warriors of thy army also, O king, prepared to protect Bhishma, rushed at the head of their troops against the Pandava host. And then happened there a fierce general engagement between thy army of men and steeds and theirs, that increased the population of Yama's kingdom. And car-warriors falling upon car-warriors despatched one another to Yama's abode. And so men and elephant-riders and horse-riders, falling upon others (of their class), despatched them to the other world with straight shafts And here and there on the field, O monarch, cars, deprived of riders and charioteers by means of diverse kinds of fierce shafts, were in that battle dragged on all sides over the field. And those cars, O king, crushing large numbers of men and steeds in battle, were seen to resemble the wind itself (in speed) and vapoury edifices in the firmament (for their picturesque forms). And many car-warriors cased in mail and endued with great energy, decked with ear-rings and head-gears and adorned with garlands and bracelets, resembling the children of the celestials, equal to Sakra himself for prowess in battle, surpassing Vaisravana in wealth and Vrishaspati in intelligence, ruling over extensive territories, and possessed of great heroism, O monarch, deprived of their cars, were seen to run hither and thither like ordinary men. Huge tuskers also, O chief of men, deprived of their skilled riders, ran, crushing friendly ranks, and fell down with loud shrieks. Prodigious elephants looking like newly-risen clouds and roaring also like the clouds, were seen to run in all directions, deprived of their coats of mail. And, O sire, their Chamaras and variegated standards, their umbrellas with golden staves, and the bright lances (of their riders), lay scattered about.  And elephant-riders, O king, deprived of their elephants, belonging both of thy army and theirs, were seen to run (on foot) amid that awful press. And steeds from diverse countries, decked with ornaments of gold, were seen, by hundreds and thousands, to run with the speed of the wind. And horse-riders, deprived of their horses, and armed with swords were in that battle seen to run, or made to run (by others assailing them). Elephant, meeting with a flying elephant in that dreadful battle, proceeded, quickly crushing foot-soldiers and steeds. And, similarly, O king those prodigious creatures crushed many cars in that battle, and cars also, coming upon fallen steeds crushed them (in their course). And steeds too, in the press of battle, crushed many foot-soldiers, O king (with their hoofs). And thus, O monarch, they crushed one another in diverse ways. And in that fierce and awful battle there flowed a terrible river of bloody current. And heaps of bows obstructed its straight course, and the hair (of slain warriors) formed its moss. And (broken) cars formed its lakes, and arrows its eddies. And steeds formed its fishes. And heads (severed from trunks) formed its blocks of stone. And it abounded with elephants that formed its crocodiles. And coats of mail and head-gears formed its froth. And bows (in the hands of the warriors) constituted the speed of its current, and swords its tortoises. And banners and standards in profusion formed the trees on its banks. And mortals constituted its banks which that river continually ate away. And it abounded with cannibals that formed its swans. And that stream (instead of swelling the ocean with its discharge) swelled the population of Yama's kingdom. And brave Kshatriyas,--mighty car-warriors,--casting off all fear, O king, sought to cross that river with the aid of cars, elephants, and steeds that played the part of rafts and boats. And as the river Vaitarani beareth all departed spirits towards the domains of the King of the Dead, so that river of bloody current bore away all timid men deprived of their senses in a swoon. And the Kshatriyas, beholding that awful carnage, all exclaimed, saying, 'Alas, through Duryodhana's fault the Kshatriyas are being exterminated. Why, Oh, Dhritarashtra of sinful soul, deluded by avarice, harboured envy for the sons of Pandu, who are graced with numerous virtues.' Diverse exclamations of this kind were heard there, made by one another, fraught with the praises of the Pandavas and censure of thy sons. Hearing then these words uttered by all the combatants, thy son Duryodhana, that offender against all, addressed Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and Salya, O Bharata, saying, 'Fight ye without boastfulness. Why tarry ye at all?' Then the battle was resumed between the Kurus and the Pandavas, that fierce battle, O king, caused by the match at dice and marked by an awful slaughter. Thou beholdest now, O son of Vichitravirya, the dreadful fruit of that rejection by thee (of the counsels of thy friends) though warned against it by many illustrious persons. Neither the sons of Pandu, O king, nor their troops, nor they that follow them, nor the Kauravas, show the least regard for their lives in battle. For this reason, O tiger among men, a dreadful destruction of kinsmen is taking place, caused either by Destiny or by thy evil policy, O king."
 
Sanjaya said, "O tiger among men, Arjuna sent those Kshatriyas that followed Susarman to the abode of the King of the Dead by means of his whetted shafts. Susarman however, in that battle, pierced Partha with his shafts. And he pierced Vasudeva with seventy, and Arjuna once more with nine shafts. Checking those shafts by means of his arrowy showers, that mighty car-warrior, viz., the son of Indra, despatched Susarman's troops unto Yama's abode. Those mighty car-warriors, while being slaughtered by Partha in that battle as if by Death himself at the end of the Yuga, all fled away from the field, O king struck with panic, Some abandoning their steeds, some abandoning, O sire, their cars, and others their elephants, fled away in all directions. Others taking with them their horses, elephants, and cars, fled away, O king, with great speed. Foot-soldiers in that dreadful battle, throwing aside their weapons, and without any regard for one another, fled away hither and thither. Though forbidden by Susarman the ruler of the Trigartas, and by other foremost of kings, they stayed not yet in battle. Beholding that host routed, thy son Duryodhana himself at the head of the whole army and with Bhishma ahead, attacked Dhananjaya with all his vigour, for the sake, O king, of (protecting) the life of the ruler of the Trigartas. And he stayed in battle, scattering diverse kinds of arrows, supported by all his brothers. The rest of the men all fled away. Similarly, the Pandavas, O king, clad in mail and with all their vigour, proceeded, for the sake of Phalguni, to the spot where Bhishma was. Although acquainted with the awful prowess, in battle of the wielder of Gandiva, these yet proceeded with loud cries and great bravery to the spot where Bhishma was and surrounded him on all sides. Then the palmyra-bannered hero covered the Pandava army, in that battle, with his straight shafts. The sun having reached the meridian, the Kauravas, O king, fought with the  Pandavas in one confused mass. The heroic Satyaki, having pierced Kritavarman with five arrows, stayed in battle scattering his arrows by thousands. And so king Drupada also, having pierced Drona with many whetted shafts, once more pierced him with seventy shafts and his charioteer with nine. Bhimasena also, having pierced his great grandsire king Valhika uttered a loud roar like a tiger in the forest. Arjuna's son (Abhimanyu) pierced by Chitrasena with many shafts, deeply pierced Chitrasena in the chest with three arrows. Engaged with each other in battle, those two foremost of men looked resplendent on the field like the planets, Venus and Saturn, O king, in the firmament. Then that slayer of foes, viz., the son of Subhadra, having slain his antagonist's steeds and charioteer with nine arrows, uttered a loud shout. Thereupon that mighty car-warrior, (viz., Chitrasena), quickly jumping down from that car whose steed had been slain, mounted, O king, without delay, the car of Durmukha. The valiant Drona, pierced the latter's charioteer also, Then, O king, Drupada, thus afflicted at the head of his troops, retreated by the aid of his fleet steeds, recollecting the hostility that existed from days of old (between himself and Drona). Bhimasena, within a moment, deprived king Valhika of his steeds, car and charioteer, in the very sight of all the troops. Fallen into a situation of great danger and with fear in his heart, O king, Valhika, that best of men, jumping down from that vehicle, quickly mounted upon the car of Lakshmana in that battle. Satyaki, having checked Kritavarman in that dreadful battle, fell upon the grandsire and rained on him shafts of diverse kinds. Piercing the grandsire with sixty whetted shafts winged with feathers, he seemed to dance on his car, shaking his large bow. The grandsire then hurled at him a mighty dart made of iron, decked with gold, endued with great velocity, and beautiful as a daughter of the Nagas. Beholding that irresistible dart, resembling Death himself, coursing towards him, that illustrious warrior of the Vrishni race baffled it by the celerity of movements. Thereupon that fierce dart, unable to reach him of the Vrishni race, fell down on the earth like a large meteor of blazing splendour. Then he of Vrishni's race, O king, taking up with a firm hand his own dart of golden effulgence, hurled it at the car of the grandsire. That dart, hurled in that dreadful battle with the strength of Satyaki's arms, coursed impetuously like the fatal night, coursing speedily towards a (doomed) man. As it coursed, however, towards him with great force, Bhishma cut it in twain, O Bharata, with a couple of horse-shoe-headed arrows of keen edge, and thereupon it fell down on the earth. Having cut that dart, that grinder of foes, viz., Ganga's son, excited with wrath and smiling the while struck Satyaki in the chest with nine arrows. Then the Pandava warriors, O elder brother of Pandu, with their cars, elephants, and steeds, surrounded Bhishma in that battle, for the sake of rescuing him of Madhu's race. Then commenced again a fierce battle, making the hair to stand on end, between the Pandavas and the Kurus both of whom were desirous of victory."
 
"Sanjaya said, 'Beholding Bhishma excited with wrath in battle, surrounded on all sides by the Pandavas like the Sun in the firmament. O king, by the clouds at the end of summer, Duryodhana, O monarch, addressed Dussasana, saying, 'This heroic and great bowman Bhishma, this slayer of heroes, hath, O bull of Bharata's race, been surrounded on all sides by the brave Pandavas. It is thy duty, O hero, to protect that illustrious one. Protected by us in battle, our grandsire Bhishma will slay all the Panchalas along with the Pandavas. The protection of Bhishma. therefore, I think, is our highest duty, for this great bowman of his vows, viz., Bhishma, is our protector in return. Therefore, surrounding the grandsire with all our troops, do thou protect him, who always achieveth the most difficult feats in battle. Thus addressed by Duryodhana, thy son Dussasana, surrounding Bhishma with a large force on all sides took up his position. Then Suvala's son Sakuni, with hundreds and thousands of horsemen having bright spears and swords and lances in hand, and who formed a proud, well-dressed, and strong body bearing standards, and who were mingled with excellent foot-soldiers that were all well-trained and skilled in battle began to cheek Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Yudhishthira the son of Pandu, surrounding those foremost of men on all sides. Then king Duryodhana despatched ten thousand (other) brave horsemen for resisting the Pandavas. When these rushed like so many Garudas towards the enemy with great impetuosity, the earth, O king, struck with their horse-hoofs, trembled and uttered a loud noise. And the loud clatter of their hoofs was heard resembling the noise made by a large forest of bamboos, in conflagration on a mountain. And as these dashed over the field, there rose a cloud of dust, which rising to the welkin shrouded the very Sun. And in consequence of those impetuous steeds, the Pandava army was agitated like a large lake with a flight of swans suddenly alighting on its bosom. And in consequence of their neighing, nothing else could be heard there. Then king Yudhishthira, and the two sons of Pandu by Madri, quickly checked the charge of those horsemen in battle, like the continent, O king, bearing the force, at full tide, of the surging sea swollen with the waters of the rainy season. Then those (three) car-warriors, O monarch, with their straight shafts, cut off the heads of those horse-riders. Slain by those strong bowmen, they fell down, O king, (on the earth), like mighty elephants tumbling into mountain caves, slain by huge compeers. Indeed, coursing all over the field, those warriors (of the Pandavas army) cut off the heads of those cavalry soldiers with sharp-bearded darts and straight shafts. Struck with swords, those horsemen, O bull of Bharata's race, suffered their heads to drop like tall trees, dropping their fruits. All over the field, O king, steeds along with their riders were seen fallen or falling, deprived of life. And while being (thus) slaughtered, the steeds, affected with panic, fled away like smaller animals desirous of saving their lives at sight of the lion. And the Pandavas, O king, having vanquished their foes in that great battle, blew their conches and beat their drums. Then Duryodhana, filled with grief on seeing his troops vanquished, addressed the ruler of the Madras, O chief of the Bharatas, and said, 'There, the eldest son of Pandu, accompanied by the twins in battle, in thy very sight, O thou of mighty arms, routeth our troops, O lord. O mighty-armed one, resist him like the continent resisting the ocean. Thou art exceedingly well-known as possessed of might and prowess that are irresistible.' Hearing these words of thy son, the valiant Salya proceeded with a large body of cars to the spot where Yudhishthira was. Thereupon, the son of Pandu began to resist in battle that large host of Salya rushing impetuously towards him with the force of a mighty wave. And that mighty car-warrior, viz., king Yudhishthira the just, in that battle quickly pierced the ruler of the Madras in the centre of the chest with ten shafts. And Nakula and Sahadeva struck him with seven straight shafts. The ruler of the Madras then struck each of them with three arrows. And once more he pierced Yudhishthira with sixty sharp-pointed arrows. And excited with wrath he struck each of the sons of Madri also with two shafts. Then that vanquisher of foes, the mighty-armed Bhima, beholding the king, in that great battle, staying within reach of Salya's car as if within the very jaws of Death, quickly proceeded to Yudhishthira's side. Then when the Sun, having passed the meridian, was sinking, there commenced a fierce and terrible battle (on that part of the field).
 

Sanjaya said, "Then thy sire, excited with wrath, began to strike the Parthas and their troops all round, with excellent shafts of great sharpness. And he pierced Bhima with twelve shafts, and Satyaki with nine. And having pierced Nakula with three shafts, he pierced Sahadeva with seven. And he pierced Yudhishthira in the arms and the chest with twelve shafts. And piercing Dhrishtadyumna also, that mighty warrior uttered a loud roar. Him Nakula pierced (in return) with twelve shafts, and Satyaki with three. And Dhrishtadyumna pierced him with seventy shafts, and Bhimasena with seven. And Yudhishthira pierced the grandsire in return with twelve shafts. Drona (on the other hand), having pierced Satyaki, pierced Bhimasena next. And he pierced each of them with five sharp shafts, each of which resembled the rod of Death. Each of those two, however, pierced Drona, that bull among Brahmanas, in return, with three straight shafts. The Sauviras, the Kitavas, the Easterners, the Westerners, the Northerners, the Malavas, the Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, and the Vasatis, did not avoid Bhishma in battle although they were incessantly slaughtered by him with sharp shafts. And similarly kings coming from diverse countries and armed with diverse weapons, approached the Pandavas (without seeking to avoid them in battle). And the Pandavas, O king, surrounded the grandsire on all sides. Surrounded on all sides, yet unvanquished by that large body of cars, Bhishma blazed up like a fire in the midst of a forest, and consumed his foes. His car was his fire-chamber; his bow constituted the (flames of that fire); swords, darts, and maces, constituted the fuel; his shafts were the sparks (of that fire); and Bhishma was himself the fire that consumed the foremost of Kshatriyas. Indeed, with shafts furnished with golden wings and vulturine feathers and endued with great energy, with barbed arrows, and nalikas, and long shafts, he covered the hostile host. And he felled elephants and car-warriors also with his sharp shafts. And he made that large body of cars resemble a forest of palmyras shorn of their leafy heads. And that mighty armed warrior, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, O king, deprived cars and elephants and steeds of their riders in that conflict. And hearing the twang of his bow-string and the noise of his palms, loud as the roar of the thunder, all the troops trembled, O Bharata. The shafts of thy sire, O bull of Bharata's race, told on the foe. Indeed, shot from Bhishma's bow they did not strike the coats of mail only (but pierced them through). And we beheld, O king, many cars destitute of their brave riders dragged over the field of battle, O monarch, by the fleet steeds yoked unto them. Fourteen thousand car-warriors, belonging to the Chedis, the Kasis, and the Karushas, of great celebrity and noble parentage, prepared to lay down their lives, unretreating from the field, and owning excellent standards decked with gold, having met with Bhishma in battle who resembled the Destroyer himself with wide-open mouth, all went to the other world along with their cars, steeds, and elephants. And we beheld there, O king, cars by hundreds and thousands, some with their axles and bottoms broken, and some, O Bharata, with broken wheels. And the earth was strewn with cars broken along with their wooden fences, with the prostrate forms of car-warriors, with shafts, with beautiful but broken coats of mail, with axes. O monarch; with maces and short arrows and sharp shafts, with bottoms of cars, with quivers and broken wheels, O sire, with innumerable bows and scimitars and heads decked with ear-rings; with leathern fences and gloves and overthrown standards, and with bows broken in various parts. And elephants, O king, destitute of riders, and slain horsemen (of the Pandava army), lay dead. The valiant Pandavas notwithstanding all their efforts, could not rally those car-warriors, who, afflicted by the shafts of Bhishma, were flying away from the field. Indeed, O king, that mighty host while being slaughtered by Bhishma endued with energy equal to that of Indra himself, broke so completely that no two persons fled together. With its cars, elephants, and steeds overthrown, and with its standards laid low in profusion, the army of the sons of Pandu, deprived of senses, uttered loud exclamations of woe. And at that time, sire slew son, and son slew sire, and friend smote dear friend, impelled by fate. And many combatants of the Pandavas army, throwing aside their armour, were seen flying in all directions with dishevelled hair. Indeed, the Pandava troops looked like bulls running wild in fear, and no longer restrained by the yoke. Indeed, loud were the exclamations, we heard of woe that they uttered.

"Then that delighter of the Yadavas, beholding the Pandava army breaking, reined the excellent car (that he guided), and addressing Vibhatsu the son of Pritha, said,--That hour is come, O Partha, which thou hadst hoped for. Strike now, O tiger among men, or thou wilt be deprived of thy senses. Formerly, O hero, thou saidst, O Partha, in that conclave of kings in Virata's city, in the presence also of Sanjaya, these words:--'I will slay all the warriors of Dhritarashtra's son, all of them with their followers, including, Bhishma and Drona, that would fight with me in battle--O son of Kunti, O chastiser of foes, make those words of thine true. Remembering the duty of a Kshatriya, fight, without any anxiety.' Thus addressed by Vasudeva, Arjuna hung down his head and looked askance at him. And Vibhatsu replied very unwillingly, saying, 'To acquire sovereignty with hell in the end, having slain those who should not be slain, or the woes of an exile in the woods,--(these are the alternatives). Which of these should I achieve? Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesa, I will do thy bidding. I will overthrow the Kuru grandsire Bhishma, that invincible warrior.'--Thus asked, Madhava urged those steeds of a silvery hue, to the spot where Bhishma, incapable of being looked at like the Sun himself, was staying. Then that large host of Yudhishthira rallied and came again to the fight, beholding the mighty-armed Partha proceeding for an encounter with Bhishma. Then Bhishma that foremost one among the Kurus, repeatedly roared like a lion. And he soon covered Dhananjaya's car with a shower of arrows. Within a trice that car of his with its steeds and charioteer, became entirely invisible in consequence of that thick shower of arrows. Vasudeva, however, without fear, mustering patience, and endued with great activity, urged those steeds mangled with Bhishma's shafts. Then Partha, taking up his celestial bow of twang loud as the roar of the clouds, caused Bhishma's bow to drop from his hands, cutting it (into fragments) by means of his sharp shafts. Then thy sire, the Kuru hero, whose bow had thus been cut off, stringed another large bow within the twinkling of the eye. Arjuna, however, excited with wrath, cut that bow also of his. The son of Santanu applauded that lightness of hand displayed by Arjuna, saying, 'Well done, Well done, O mighty-armed one. Well done, O son of Kunti.'--Having addressed him thus, Bhishma took up another beautiful bow in that battle, and shot many arrows at Partha's car. And Vasudeva showed great skill in the management of steeds, for, displaying the circling motion he baffled all those arrows (of Bhishma). Mangled with the arrows of Bhishma, those two tigers among men looked beautiful like two angry bulls marked with scratches of horns. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the mighty-armed Vasudeva of Madhu's race beholding that Partha was fighting mildly and that Bhishma was incessantly scattering his arrowy showers in battle, and that stationed between the two hosts, he latter was scorching everything like the Sun himself, smiting down the foremost of Yudhishthira's combatants, and, in fact, achieving feat on Yudhishthira's army like unto what happeneth at the end of the Yuga, could not any longer bear it. Abandoning then, O sire, Partha's steeds that looked like silver, and filled with wrath, that great lord of Yoga powers jumped down from that great car. Repeatedly roaring like a lion, the mighty Krishna of great energy and immeasurable splendour, the Lord of Universe, with eyes red as copper from rage, and having his bare arms alone for his weapons, rushed towards Bhishma, whip in hand, desirous of slaying him and seeming to split the universe itself with his tread. Beholding Madhava in the vicinity of Bhishma and about to fall upon him in that furious battle, the hearts of all the combatants seemed to be in a stupor. 'Bhishma is slain, Bhishma is slain.'--These loud exclamations were heard there, O king, caused by the fear inspired by Vasudeva. Robed in yellow silk, and himself dark as the lapis lazuli, Janarddana, when he pursued Bhishma, looked beautiful as a mass of clouds charged with lightning. Like a lion towards an elephant, or the leader of a bovine herd upon another of his species, that bull of Madhu's race, with a loud roar, impetuously rushed towards Bhishma. Beholding him of eyes like lotus petals (thus) rushing towards him in that battle, Bhishma began to fearlessly draw his large bow. And with a fearless heart he addressed Govinda, saying, 'Come, come, O thou of eyes like lotus petals. O God of the gods, I bow to thee. O best of the Satwatas, throw me down today in this great battle. O god, slain by thee in battle, O sinless one, great will be the good done to me, O Krishna, in every respect in the world. Amongst all, in the three worlds, great is the honour done to me today in battle, O Govinda. Strike me as thou pleasest, for I am thy slave, O sinless one.' Meanwhile, the mighty-armed Partha. quickly following Kesava behind, seized him by encircling him with his two arms. That best of male beings, viz., Krishna, of eyes like lotus petals, seized by Partha, still proceeded with great speed, bearing the latter away with him. The mighty Partha, that slayer of hostile heroes, however, forcibly catching hold of his legs, stopped Hrishikesa with great difficulty at the tenth step. Then Arjuna his dear friend, filled with sorrow, affectionately addressed Kesava, who was then sighing like a snake and whose eyes were troubled in wrath, saying, 'O thou of mighty arms, stop, O Kesava, it behoveth thee not to make those words false which thou hadst spoken before, viz., I will not fight. O Madhava, people will say that thou art a liar. All this burden resteth upon me. I will slay the grandsire. I swear, O Kesava, by my weapons, by truth, and my good deeds, that, O slayer of foes, I will do all by which the destruction of my foes may be achieved. Behold this very day that invincible and mighty car-warrior in the act of being thrown down by me, with the greatest ease, like the crescent moon at the end of the Yuga (when the destruction of the universe comes). Madhava, however, hearing these words of the high-souled Phalguni, spoke not a word, but in anger once more mounted upon the car. And then upon those two tigers among men, when stationed on their car, Bhishma the son of Santanu, once more poured his arrowy showers like the clouds pouring rain upon the mountain-breast. Thy sire Devavrata took the lives of the (hostile) warriors like the Sun sucking with his rays the energies of all things during summer. As the Pandavas had been breaking the ranks of the Kurus in battle, so thy sire broke the Pandava ranks in battle. And the routed soldiers, helpless and heartless, slaughtered in hundreds and thousands by Bhishma, were unable to even look at him in that battle,--him who resembled the mid-day Sun blazing in his own splendour. Indeed, the Pandavas afflicted with fear, timidly gazed at Bhishma who was then achieving super-human feats in that battle. And the Pandava troops, thus fleeing away, O Bharata, failed to find a protector, like a herd of kine sunk in a shoal of ants while being trod down by a strong person. Indeed, the Pandavas could not, O Bharata, look at that mighty car-warrior incapable of being shaken, who, furnished with a profusion of shafts, was scorching the kings (in the Pandava army), and who in consequence of those shafts looked like the blazing Sun shedding his fiery rays. And while he was thus grinding the Pandava army, the thousand-rayed maker of day repaired to the setting hills, and the troops, worn with fatigue, set their hearts on withdrawal (from the field)."

 

Sanjaya said, "While they were battling, the Sun set, O Bharata, aid there came the dreadful hour of twilight and the battle could no longer be seen. Then king Yudhishthira, seeing that twilight had come and that his own troops, slaughtered by Bhishma, had thrown aside their weapons, and that stricken with fear, and turned off the field, they were seeking to flee away, and beholding Bhishma also, that mighty car-warrior, excited with wrath and afflicting everybody in fight, and noticing that the mighty car-warriors of the Somakas, having been vanquished, had all become cheerless, reflected a little, and then ordered the troops to be withdrawn. Then king Yudhishthira withdrew his forces. And similarly, the withdrawal of thy forces also took place at the same time. Then those mighty car-warriors, O chief of the Kurus, having withdrawn their forces, entered their tents, themselves mangled in battle. Afflicted by the shafts of Bhishma and reflecting upon that hero's feats in battle, the Pandavas obtained no peace of mind. Bhishma also, having vanquished the Pandavas and the Srinjayas in battle, was worshipped by thy sons and glorified by them, O Bharata. Accompanied by the rejoicing Kurus, he then entered his tent. Night then set in, that deprives all creatures of their senses. Then in that fierce hour of night, the Pandavas, the Vrishnis and the invincible Srinjayas sat down for a consultation. All those mighty persons, skilled in arriving at conclusions in council, coolly deliberated about that which was beneficial for them in view of their immediate circumstances. Then king Yudhishthira, having reflected for a long while, said these words, casting his eyes on Vasudeva, 'Behold, O Krishna, the high-souled Bhishma of fierce prowess. He crusheth my troops like an elephant crushing a forest of reeds. We dare not even look at that high-souled warrior. Like a raging conflagration he licketh up my troops. The valiant Bhishma of keen weapons, when excited with wrath in battle and bow in hand shooting his shafts, becometh as fierce as the mighty Naga Takshaka of virulent poison. Indeed, the angry Yama is capable of being vanquished, or even the chief of the celestials armed with the thunder, or Varuna himself, noose in hand, or the Lord of the Yakshas armed with mace. But Bhishma, excited with wrath, is incapable of being vanquished in battle. When this is the case, O Krishna, I am, through the weakness of my understanding, plunged in an ocean of grief having got Bhishma (as a foe) in battle. I will retire into the woods, O invincible one. My exile there would be for my benefit. Battle, O Krishna, I no longer desire. Bhishma slayeth us always. As an insect, by rushing into a blazing fire meeteth only with death, even so do I rush upon Bhishma. In putting forth prowess, O thou of Vrishni's race, for the sake of my kingdom, I am, alas, led to destruction. My brave brothers have all been exceedingly afflicted with arrows. In consequence of the affection they bear to myself their (eldest) brother they had to go into the woods, deprived of kingdom. For myself alone, O slayer of Madhu, hath Krishna been sunk into such distress. I regard life to be of high value. Indeed, even life now seemeth to be difficult of being saved. (If I can save that life), its latter remnant will I pass in the practice of excellent virtue. If, with my brothers, O Kesava, I am worthy of thy favour, tell me, O Krishna, what is for my benefit, without contravening the duties of my order. Hearing these words of his, and (describing the situation) in detail, Krishna, from compassion, said these words in reply for comforting Yudhishthira, 'O son of Dharma, O thou that art firm in truth, do thou not indulge in sorrow, thou that hast these invincible heroes, these slayers of foes, for thy brothers. Arjuna and Bhimasena are each endued with the energy of the Wind and the Fire. The twin sons of Madri also are each as valiant as the Chief of the celestials himself. From the good understanding that exists between us, do thou set me also to this task. Even I, O son of Pandu, will fight with Bhishma. Directed by thee, O great king, what is there that I may not do in great battle. Challenging that bull among men, viz., Bhishma, I will slay him in battle, in the very sight of the Dhartarashtras, if Phalguni doth not wish to slay him. If, O son of Pandu, thou seest victory to be certain on the slaughter of the heroic Bhishma, even, I, on a single car, will slay that aged grandsire of the Kurus. Behold, O king, my prowess, equal to that of the great Indra in battle. I will overthrow from his car that warrior who always shooteth mighty weapons. He that is an enemy of the sons of Pandu, without doubt, is my enemy also. They, that are yours, are mine, and so they, that are mine, are yours. Thy brother (Arjuna) is my friend, relative, and disciple. I will, O king, cut off my own flesh and give it away for the sake of Arjuna. And this tiger among men also can lay down his life for my sake. O sire, even this is our understanding, viz., that we will protect each other. Therefore, command me, O king, in what way I am to fight. Formerly, at Upaplavya, Partha had, in the presence of many persons, vowed, saying, 'I will slay the son of Ganga.' These words of the intelligent Partha should be observed (in practice). Indeed, if Partha requests me without doubt I will fulfill that vow. Or, let it be the task of Phalguni himself in battle. It is not heavy for him. He will slay Bhishma, that subjugator of hostile cities. If excited in battle, Partha can achieve feats that are incapable of being achieved by others. Arjuna can slay in battle the very gods exerting themselves actively, along with the Daityas and the Danavas. What need be said of Bhishma, therefore, O king? Endued with great energy, Bhishma, the son of Santanu, is now of perverted judgment, of intelligence decayed, and of little sense, without doubt, he knoweth not what he should do.'

"Hearing these words of Krishna, Yudhishthira said, 'It is even so, O thou of mighty arms, even as thou sayest, O thou of Madhu's race. All these together are not competent to bear thy force. I am sure of always having whatever I desire, when, O tiger among men, I have thyself staying on my side. O foremost of victorious persons, I would conquer the very gods with Indra at their head, when, O Govinda, I have thee for my protector. What need I say, therefore, of Bhishma, though he is a mighty car-warrior? But, O Krishna, I dare not, for my own glorification, falsify thy words. Therefore, O Madhava, as promised before by thee, render me aid without fighting for me. In this battle an agreement was made by me with Bhishma. He said,--I will give thee counsel, but fight I shall never for thee, since I shall have to fight for Duryodhana's sake. Know this for truth. Therefore, O Lord, Bhishma may give me sovereignty by giving me good counsel, O Madhava. Therefore, O slayer of Madhu, all of us accompanied by thee, will once more repair unto Devavrata, for asking him about the means of his own death. All of us then, O best of persons, together going to Bhishma without delay, will speedily ask him of Kuru's race his advice. O Janardana, he will truly give us beneficial counsel; and O Krishna, I will do in battle what he will say. Of austere vows, he will give us counsel, as also victory. We were children and orphans. By him were we reared. O Madhava, him, our aged grandsire, I wish to day,--him, the sire of our sire. Oh, fie upon the profession of a Kshatriyas.'

Sanjaya continued, "Hearing these words, O king, he of Vrishni's race said unto Yudhishthira, 'O thou of great wisdom, these words of thine, O king, are to my taste. Bhishma, otherwise called Devavrata, is skilled in weapons. With only his glances he can consume the foe. Repair unto that son of the Ocean-going (Ganga), for asking him about the means of his death. Asked by thee, in particular, he will certainly say the truth. We will, therefore, proceed for questioning the Kuru grandsire. Repairing unto the reverend son of Santanu, we will, O Bharata, ask him his advice and according to the advice that he will give us we will fight with the foe.' Having thus deliberated, O elder brother of Pandu, the heroic sons of Pandu, and the valiant Vasudeva, all proceeded together towards the abode of Bhishma, casting aside their coats of mail and weapons and entering then his tent, they all bowed to him, bending their heads. And the sons of Pandu, O king, worshipping that bull of Bharata's race, and bowing unto him with their heads, sought his protection. The Kuru grandsire, the mighty-armed Bhishma, then addressed them, saying, 'Welcome art thou, O thou of Vrishni's race. Welcome art thou, O Dhananjaya. Welcome to thee, O king Yudhishthira the just, Ad to thee, O Bhima. Welcome to you also, ye twins. What am I to do now for enhancing your joy? Even if it be exceedingly difficult of achievement, I will yet do it with all my soul. Unto the son of Ganga who thus repeatedly spoke unto them with such affection, king Yudhishthira, with a cheerful heart, lovingly said, these words, 'O thou that art conversant with everything, how shall we obtain victory, and how shall we acquire sovereignty? How also may this destruction of creatures be stopped? Say all these unto me, O lord. Tell us the means of thy own death. How, O hero, shall we be able to bear thee in battle? O grandsire of the Kurus, thou givest not thy foes even a minute hole to pick in thee. Thou art seen in battle with thy bow ever drawn to a circle. When thou takest thy shafts, when aimest them, and when drawest the bow (for letting them off), no one is able to mark. O slayer of hostile heroes, constantly smiting (as thou dost) cars and steeds and men and elephants, we behold thee on thy car, O mighty-armed one, to resemble a second Sun. What man is there, O bull of Bharata's race, who can venture to vanquish thee, scattering showers of arrows in battle, and causing a great destruction. Tell me, O grandsire, the means by which we may vanquish thee in battle, by which sovereignty may be ours, and lastly, by which my army may not have to undergo such destruction. Hearing these words, Santanu's son, O elder brother of Pandu, said unto the son of Pandu, 'As long as I am alive, O son of Kunti, victory cannot be yours in battle, O thou of great wisdom. Truly do I say this unto thee. After, however, I am vanquished in fight, ye may have victory in battle, ye sons of Pandu. If, therefore, ye desire victory in the battle, smite me down without delay. I give you permission, ye sons of Pritha, strike me as ye please. I am thus known to you in what I regard to be a fortunate circumstance. After I am slain, all the rest will be slain. Therefore, do as I bid'.

"Yudhishthira said, 'Tell us the means by which we may vanquish thee in battle, thee that art, when excited with wrath in the fight, like unto the Destroyer himself armed with mace. The wielder of the thunder-bolt may be vanquished or Varuna, or Yama. Thou, however, art incapable of being defeated in battle by even the gods and Asuras united together, with Indra at their head.'

"Bhishma said, 'That, O son of Pandu, is true, which thou sayest. O thou, of mighty arms. When with weapons and my large bow in hand I contend carefully in battle, I am incapable of being defeated by the very gods and the Asuras with Indra at their head. If, however, I lay aside my weapons, even these car-warriors can slay me. One that hath thrown away his weapons, one that hath fallen down, one whose armour hath slipped off, one whose standard is down, one who is flying away, one who is frightened, one who says--I am thine--one who is a female, one who beareth the name of a female, one no longer capable of taking care of one's self, one who hath only a single son, or one who is a vulgar fellows,--with these I do not like to battle. Hear also, O king, about my resolve formed before. Beholding any inauspicious omen I would never fight. That mighty car-warrior, the son of Drupada, O king, whom thou hast in thy army, who is known by the name of Sikhandin, who is wrathful in battle, brave, and ever victorious, was a female before but subsequently obtained manhood. How all this took place, ye all know it truly. Brave in battle and clad in mail, let Arjuna, keeping Sikhandin before him, attack me with his sharp shafts. When that inauspicious omen will be there, especially in the form of one that was a female before, I will never seek, though armed with bow and arrow, to strike him. Obtaining that opportunity, let Dhananjaya the son of Pandu quickly pierce me on every side with his shafts, O bull of Bharata's race. Except the highly blessed Krishna, and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, I do not behold the person in the three worlds who is able to slay me while exerting myself in battle. Let Vibhatsu, therefore, armed with weapons, struggling carefully in battle, with his excellent bow in hand, placing (Sikhandin or) something else before, throw, me down (from my car). Then the victory will be certain. Do this, O great king, even this that I have said unto thee, O thou of excellent vows. Thou wilt then be able to slay all Dhartarashtras assembled together in battle.'

Sanjaya continued, "The Parthas then, having ascertained all this went back to their tents, saluting the Kuru grandsire, viz., the high-souled Bhishma. After Ganga's son, prepared to go to the other world, had said this, Arjuna. burning with grief and his face suffused in shame, said these words, 'How, O Madhava, shall I fight in battle with the grandsire who is my senior in years, who is possessed of wisdom and intelligence, and who is the oldest member of our race? While sporting in days of childhood, O Vasudeva, I used to smear the body of this high-souled and illustrious one with dust by climbing on his lap with my own filthy body. O elder brother of Gada, he is the sire of my sire Pandu. While a child, climbing on the lap of this high-souled one I once called him father, I am not thy father but thy father's father, O Bharata!--even this is what he said to me (in reply) in my childhood. He who said so, Oh, how can he be slain by me. O, let my army perish. Whether, it is victory or death that I obtain I will never fight that high-souled person. (Even this is what I think). What dost thou think, O Krishna!'

"Vasudeva said, 'Having vowed the slaughter of Bhishma before, O Jishnu, how canst thou abstain from slaying him, agreeably to the duties of a Kshatriya? Throw down from his car, O Partha, that Kshatriya who is invincible in battle. Victory can never be yours without slaying Ganga's son. Even thus shall he go to the abode of Yama. This hath been settled before by the gods. That which hath been destined before, O Partha, must happen. It cannot be otherwise. None save thee, O invincible one, not even the wielder of the thunder-bolt himself, would be capable of fighting with Bhishma, who is like the Destroyer with wide-open mouth. Slay Bhishma, without any anxiety. Listen also to these words of mine that are what Vrihaspati of great intelligence had said unto Sakra in days of old. One should slay even an aged person endued with every merit and worthy of reverence if he cometh as a foe, or, indeed any other who approacheth for destroying one's self--O Dhananjaya, this is the eternal duty sanctioned for the Kshatriya, viz., that they should fight, protect subjects, and perform sacrifices, all without malice.'

"Arjuna said, 'Sikhandin, O Krishna, will certainly be the cause of Bhishma's death, for Bhishma, as soon as he beholds the prince of the Panchalas, abstains from striking. Therefore, keeping Sikhandin before him and at our head, we will, by that means, overthrow the son of Ganga. Even this is what I think. I will hold in check other great bowmen with my shafts. As regards Sikhandin, he will fight with Bhishma alone, that foremost of all warriors. I have heard from that chief of the Kurus that he would not strike Sikhandin, for having been born before as a woman he subsequently became a male person.'

Sanjaya continued, "Having settled this with Bhishma's permission, the Pandavas, along with Madhava, went away with rejoicing hearts. And then those bulls among men retired to their respective beds."

 

Dhritarashtra said, "How did Sikhandin advance against the son of Ganga in battle, and how did Bhishma also advance against the Pandavas? Say all this unto me, O Sanjaya!"

Sanjaya said, "Then all those Pandavas, towards the hour of sun-rise, with beat of drums and cymbals and smaller drums, and with the blare of conches of milky whiteness, all around, went out for battle, placing Sikhandin in their van. And they marched out, O king, having formed an array that was destructive of all foes. And Sikhandin, O monarch, was stationed in the very van of all the troops. And Bhimasena and Dhananjaya became the protectors of his car-wheels. And in his rear were the sons of Draupadi and the valiant Abhimanyu. And those mighty car-warriors, viz., Satyaki and Chekitana, became the protectors of the last. And behind them was Dhrishtadyumna protected by the Panchalas. Next to Dhrishtadyumna, behind, marched the royal lord Yudhishthira, accompanied by the twins, filling the air with leonine shouts, O bull of Bharata's race. Next behind him was Virata, surrounded by his own troops. Next to him marched Drupada, O mighty-armed one. And the five Kaikeya brothers and the valiant Dhrishtaketu, O Bharata, protected the rear of the Pandava army. Having disposed their vast army in such an array, the Pandavas rushed against thy host, prepared to cast away their lives. And similarly the Kauravas, O king, placing that mighty car-warrior Bhishma at the head of their whole host, proceeded against the Pandavas. And that invincible warrior was protected by thy mighty sons. Next behind them was the great bowman Drona, as also his mighty son (Aswatthaman). Next behind was Bhagadatta surrounded by his elephant division. And behind Bhagadatta were Kripa and Kritavarman. Behind them were Sudakshina the mighty ruler of the Kamvojas, and Jayatsena, the king of the Magadhas, and Suvala's son and Vrihadvala. And similarly, many other kings, that were all great bowmen, protected the rear of thy host, O Bharata. As each day came, Bhishma the son of Santanu, formed arrays in battle, sometimes after the manner of the Asuras, sometimes after that of the Pisachas, and sometimes after that of the Rakshasas. Then commenced the battle between thy troops, O Bharata, and theirs, both parties smiting one another and increasing the population of Yama's kingdom. And the Parthas with Arjuna at their head, placing Sikhandin in the van, proceeded against Bhishma in that battle, scattering diverse kinds of arrows. And then, O Bharata afflicted by Bhishma with his shafts, (many of) thy warriors, profusely bathed in blood, repaired to the other world. And Nakula and Sahadeva, and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki, approaching thy army, began to afflict it with great vigour. Thus slaughtered in battle, O bull of Bharata's race, thy warriors were unable to resist that vast host of the Pandavas. Then thy host, vigorously afflicted by great car-warriors and thus slaughtered by them everywhere, fled away on all sides. Slaughtered with sharp shafts by the Pandavas and the Srinjayas they found not a protector, O bull of Bharata's race."

Dhritarashtra said, "Tell me, O Sanjaya, what the valiant Bhishma, excited with rage, did in battle, upon beholding my host afflicted by the Parthas. O sinless one, tell me how that hero, that chastiser of foes, rushed against the Pandavas in battle, and slaughtered the Somakas."

Sanjaya said, "I will tell thee, O king, what thy sire did when thy sons' host was afflicted by the Pandavas and the Srinjayas. With cheerful hearts, the brave sons of Pandu, O elder brother of Pandu, encountered thy son's host, slaughtering (all whom they met). That carnage, O chief of men, of human beings, elephants and steeds, that destruction by the foe of thy army in battle, Bhishma could not brook. That invincible and great bowman, then, reckless of his very life poured upon the Pandavas, the Panchalas, and the Srinjayas, showers of long shafts and calf-toothed and crescent-shaped arrows. And with weapons, O monarch, he checked with his shafts and with showers of other weapons, both offensive and defensive, all sped with energy and wrath, the five foremost of mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas, who had been struggling vigorously in battle. Excited with wrath, he slaughtered in that battle countless elephants and steeds. And that bull among men, O monarch, throwing down many car-warriors from their cars, and horsemen from their horses, and crowds of foot soldiers, and elephant-warriors from the backs of the beasts they rode, struck terror into the foe. And the Pandava warriors all rushed together upon Bhishma singly, upon that mighty car-warrior struggling in battle with great activity, like the Asuras rushing together upon him with the thunderbolt in hand. Shooting on all sides his whetted arrows whose touch resembled that of Indra's thunder, he seemed to the enemy to have assembled a terrible visage. While fighting in that battle, his large bow, resembling that of Sakra himself, seemed to be always drawn to a circle. Beholding those feats in battle, thy sons, O monarch, filled with exceeding wonder, worshipped the grandsire. The Parthas cast their eyes, with cheerless hearts, upon thy heroic sire struggling in battle, like the celestials upon (the Asura) Viprachitti (in days of old). They could not resist that warrior who then resembled the Destroyer himself with wide-open mouth. In that battle on the tenth day, Bhishma, with his sharp shafts, consumed the division of Sikhandin like a conflagration consuming a forest. Him resembling an angry snake of virulent poison, or the Destroyer urged by Death himself, Sikhandin pierced with three shafts in the centre of the chest. Deeply pierced therewith, Bhishma saw that it was Sikhandin (who was piercing him). Excited with wrath, but unwilling (to fight with Sikhandin) Bhishma laughingly said, 'Whether thou choosest to strike me or not, I will never fight with thee. Thou art that Sikhandin still which the Creator had made thee first', Hearing these words of his, Sikhandin, deprived of his senses by wrath, and licking the corners of his mouth addressed Bhishma in that battle, saying, 'I know thee, O mighty-armed one, to be the exterminator of the Kshatriya race. I have heard also of thy battle with Jamadagni's son. I have also heard much of thy super-human prowess. Knowing thy prowess I will still fight with thee today. For doing what is agreeable to the Pandavas and is agreeable to my own self, O chastiser of foes, I will today fight with thee in battle, O best of men. I will, of a certainty, slay thee. I swear this before thee by my troth! Hearing these words of mine, do that which thou shouldst. Whether thou choosest to strike me or not, thou shall not escape me with life. O thou that art ever victorious, O Bhishma, look thy last on this world.

Sanjaya continued, "Having said so, Sikhandin in that battle pierced Bhishma with five straight shafts, having already pierced him with his wordy shafts. Hearing those words of his, the mighty car-warrior Arjuna, regarding Sikhandin to be Bhishma's Destroyer, urged him on, saying, 'I will fight behind thee, routing the foe with my shafts. Excited with fury, rush thou against Bhishma of terrible prowess. The mighty Bhishma will not be able to afflict thee in battle. Therefore, O mighty-armed one, encounter Bhishma with vigor. If, O sire, thou returnest today without slaying Bhishma, thou wilt, with myself, be an object of ridicule to the world. Seek to do that in battle by which, O hero, we may not incur ridicule in this great battle. Stay the grandsire. O thou of great strength, I will protect thee in this battle, checking all the car-warriors (of the Kuru army). Do thou slay the grandsire. Drona, and Drona's son, and Kripa, and Suyodhana, and Chitrasena, and Vikarna, and Jayadratha the ruler of the Sindhus, Vinda and Anuvinda. of Avanti, and Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamvojas, and the brave Bhagadatta, and the mighty king of the Magadhas, and Somadatta's son, and the brave Rakshasas who is Rishyasringa's son and the ruler of the Trigartas, alone with all the other great car-warriors (of the Kuru army). I will check like the continent resisting the surging sea. Indeed, I will hold in check all the mighty warriors of the Kuru army assembled together and battling with us. Do thou slay the grandsire.'

 

Dhritarashtra said, "How did Sikhandin the prince of the Panchalas, excited with wrath, rushed in battle against the grandsire, viz., Ganga's son of righteous soul and regulated vows. What mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas army, upraised weapons, desirous of victory, and exerting themselves with activity, protected Sikhandin on that occasion which required great activity? How also did Bhishma the son of Santanu, endued with great energy, fight on that tenth day of battle with the Pandavas and the Srinjayas? I cannot brook the idea of Sikhandin encountering Bhishma in battle. (Indeed, when Sikhandin attacked Bhishma), was Bhishma's car or his bow broken?"

Sanjaya said, "While fighting in that battle, O bull of Bharata's race, neither the bow nor the car of Bhishma had suffered any injury. He was then slaying the foe with straight shafts. Many thousands of mighty car-warriors belonging to thy army, as also elephants, O king, and steeds well harnessed, proceeded for battle, with the grandsire in the van. Agreeably to his vow, O thou of Kuru's race, the ever-victorious Bhishma was incessantly engaged in slaughtering the troops of the Parthas. The Panchalas and the Pandavas were unable to bear that great bowman battling (with them) and slaying his foes with his shafts. When the tenth day came, the hostile army was torn into pieces by Bhishma with his shafts by hundreds and thousands. O elder brother of Pandu, the sons of Pandu were incapable of defeating in battle the great bowman Bhishma who resembled the Destroyer himself armed with the lance.

"Then, O king, the unvanquished Vibhatsu or Dhananjaya, who was capable of drawing the bow with even the left hand, came to that spot, frightening all the car-warriors. Roaring loudly like a lion, and repeatedly drawing the bow-string, and scattering showers of arrows, Partha careered on the field of battle like Death himself. Frightened at those roars of his, thy warriors, O bull of Bharata's race, fled away in terror, like smaller animals, O king, at the sound of the lion. Beholding the son of Pandu crowned with victory and thus afflicting that host, Duryodhana, himself under the influence of terror addressed Bhishma and said, 'You son of Pandu, O sire, with white steeds (yoked unto his car), and having Krishna for his charioteer, consumeth all my troops like a conflagration consuming a forest. Behold, O son of Ganga, all troops, slaughtered by Pandu's son in battle, are, O foremost of warriors, fleeing away. Indeed, as the herdsman belaboureth his cattle in the forest, even so, O scorcher of foes is my army being belaboured. Broken and driven away on all sides by Dhananjaya with his shafts, the invincible Bhima is also routing that (already broken) host of mine. And Satyaki, and Chekitana, and the twin sons of Madri, and the valiant Abhimanyu,--these also are routing my troops. The brave Dhrishtadyumna, and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha also, are vigorously breaking and driving away my army in this fierce conflict. Of these troops that are being slaughtered by all those mighty car-warriors, I do not see any other refuge in the matter of their staying and fighting on the field, O Bharata, save thee, O tiger among men, that art possessed of prowess equal to that of the celestials, Therefore, receive thou those great car-warriors without delay, and be thou the refuge of these afflicted troops. Thus addressed by him, O king, thy sire Devavrata, the son of Santanu, reflecting for a moment and settling what he should do, said these words unto thy son, comforting him (therewith), 'O Duryodhana, listen calmly to what I say, O king, O thou of great might, formerly I vowed before thee that slaying every day ten thousand high-souled Kshatriyas, I would come back from the battle. I have fulfilled that vow, O bull of Bharata's race! O thou of great might, today I will achieve even a great feat. Today I will either sleep myself being slain, or, I will slay the Pandavas. O tiger among men, I will today free myself from the debt I owe thee,--the debt, O king, arising out of the food, thou gavest me,--by casting away my life at the head of thy army.' Having said these words, O chief of the Bharatas, that invincible warrior, scattering his shafts among the Kshatriyas, attacked the Pandava host. And the Pandavas then, O bull of Bharata's race, began to resist the son of Ganga staying in the midst of his forces and excited with wrath like a snake of virulent poison. Indeed, O king, on that tenth day of the battle, Bhishma, displaying his might, slew, O son of Kuru's race, hundreds of thousands. And he drained the energies of those royal and mighty car-warriors that were the foremost among the Panchalas, like the Sun sucking up the moisture (of the earth) with his rays. Having slain ten thousand elephants of great activity and ten thousand steeds also, O king, along with their riders, and full two hundred thousands of foot-soldiers, that best of men, viz., Bhishma, shone resplendent in battle like a fire without a curl of smoke. And no one amongst the Pandavas was capable of even looking at him who then resembled the burning Sun staying in the northern solstice. The Pandavas, however, though afflicted in battle by that great bowman, still rushed, accompanied by the mighty car-warriors of the Srinjayas, for slaughtering him. Battling with myriads upon myriads around him, Santanu's son Bhishma then looked like the cliff of Meru covered on all sides with masses of clouds. Thy sons, however, stood, surrounding Bhishma on all sides with a large force (for protecting him). Then commenced a fierce battle (between the Kurus and the Pandavas)."

 
Sanjaya said, "Arjuna then, O king, beholding the prowess of Bhishma in battle, addressed Sikhandin saying, 'Proceed towards the grandsire. Thou shouldst not entertain the slightest fear of Bhishma today. Even I will throw him down from his excellent car by means of my sharp shafts'. Thus addressed by Partha, Sikhandin, O bull of Bharata's race, having heard those words, rushed at the son of Ganga. And so Dhrishtadyumna also, O king, and the mighty car-warrior Abhimanyu, having heard those words of Partha, joyfully rushed at  Bhishma. And old Virata and Drupada, and Kuntibhoja also, clad in mail, rushed at Bhishma in the very sight of thy son. And Nakula, Sahadeva, and the valiant king Yudhishthira also, and all the rest of the warriors, O monarch, rushed against Bhishma. As regards thy warriors O king, that rushed, according to the measure of their might and courage, against those mighty car-warriors (of the Pandava army) united together, listen to me as I speak (of them) unto thee. Like a young tiger attacking a bull, Chitrasena, O king, rushed against Chekitana who in that battle was proceeding for getting at Bhishma. Kritavarman, O king, resisted Dhrishtadyumna who had reached the presence of Bhishma and who was exerting himself with great activity and vigour in that battle. Somadatta's son, O monarch, with great activity, resisted Bhimasena excited with fury and desirous of slaying Bhishma. Similarly Vikarna, desirous of (protecting) Bhishma's life, resisted the brave Nakula who was scattering innumerable arrows around. And so, O king, Kripa the son of Saradwat, excited with rage, resisted Sahadeva proceeding towards Bhishma's car. And the mighty Durmukha rushed at that Rakshasa of cruel deeds, viz., the mighty son of Bhishmasena, desirous of Bhishma's slaughter. Thy son Duryodhana himself resisted Satyaki proceeding to battle. Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamavojas, O king, resisted Abhimanyu, O monarch, who was proceeding towards Bhishma's car. And Aswatthaman, O king, excited with rage, resisted old Virata and Drupada, those two chastisers of foes united together. And Bharadwaja's son, exerting himself with vigour in battle, resisted the eldest Pandava, that is to say, king Yudhishthira the just, who was desirous of Bhishma's death. And that great bowman, viz., Dussasana, in that battle, resisted Arjuna who was rushing with great speed, with Sikhandin before him, desirous of coming upon Bhishma, O monarch, and illuminating the ten quarters (with his bright weapons). And other warriors of thy army resisted in that great battle other mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas proceeding against Bhishma. Dhrishtadyumna, that mighty car-warrior, excited with rage, rushed against Bhishma alone and addressing the troops, repeatedly said in a loud voice, 'There, Arjuna, that delighter of Kuru's race, is proceeding against Bhishma in battle. Rush ye against Ganga's son. Be not afraid. Bhishma will not be able to attack you in battle. Vasava himself cannot venture to fight with Arjuna in battle. What therefore, need be said of Bhishma who, though possessed of bravery in battle, is feeble and old." Hearing these words of their commander, the mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, filled with joy, rushed towards the car of Ganga's son. Many foremost of men, however, of thy army cheerfully received and resisted those heroes coming towards Bhishma like impetuous mass of living energy. That mighty car-warrior, Dussasana, abandoning all fears, rushed against Dhananjaya, desirous of protecting the life of Bhishma. And so the heroic Pandavas also, O king, rushed in. battle against thy sons, those mighty car-warriors, stationed about Bhishma's car. And then, O king we beheld a highly wonderful incident, viz., that Partha, having proceeded as far as Dussasana's car, could not advance further. As the continent resists the surging sea, even so did thy son (Dussasana) resist the angry son of Pandu. Both of them were foremost of car-warriors. Both of them, O Bharata, were invincible. Both of them, in beauty and splendour, O Bharata, resembled the Sun or the Moon. Both of them were excited with wrath. And each of them desired to slay the other. And they encountered each other in dreadful battle like Maya and Sakra in days of old. And Dussasana, O king, in that battle pierced the son of Pandu with three shafts and Vasudeva with twenty. Then Arjuna, excited with rage upon beholding him of Vrishni's race thus afflicted, pierced Dussasana with a hundred shafts. These, penetrating through the latter's armour, drank his blood in that battle. Then Dussasana, excited with wrath, pierced Partha with five shafts. And once more, O chief of the Bharatas, he pierced Arjuna in the forehead with three sharp shafts. And with those shafts sticking to his forehead, the son of Pandu looked beautiful in that battle, like Meru, O king with its tall crests. That great bowman, viz., Partha, then thus deeply pierced by thy son wielding the bow, looked resplendent in that battle like a flowering Kinsuka. The son of Pandu then, excited with rage, afflicted Dussasana, like Rahu inflamed with rage on the fifteenth day of the lighted fortnight afflicting the Moon at full. Thus afflicted by that mighty warrior, thy son, O king, pierced Partha in that battle with many shafts whetted on stone and winged with the features of the Kanka bird. Then Partha, cutting off Dussasana's bow and splitting his car with three shafts, sped at him many fierce arrows resembling the darts of Death. Thy son, however, cut off all those shafts of Partha exerting himself with vigour before they could reach him. All this seemed highly wonderful. Then thy son pierced Partha with many shafts of great sharpness. Then Partha, excited with rage in that battle, placed on his bowstring a number of shafts whetted on stone and furnished with wings of gold and aiming them, sped them all at his foe. These, O king, penetrated the body of that high-souled warrior, like swans, O monarch, diving into a lake. Thus afflicted by the high-souled son of Pandu, thy son avoiding Partha, quickly proceeded to the car of Bhishma. Indeed, Bhishma then became an island unto him who was thus sinking into fathomless waters. Regaining consciousness then, thy son, O monarch, endued with heroism and prowess, once more began to resist Partha with sharp arrows like Purandara resisting (the Asura) Vritra. Of huge form, thy son began to pierce Arjuna, but the latter was scarcely pained (at all this)."
 
Sanjaya said, "The mighty bowman (Alamvusha) the son of Rishyasringa, in that battle, resisted Satyaki clad in mail and proceeding towards Bhishma. He of Madhu's race, however, O king, excited with wrath, pierced the Rakshasa with nine arrows, smiling the while, O Bharata. And so the Rakshasa also, O king, excited with wrath, afflicted him of Madhu's race, viz., that bull of Sini's line, with nine arrows. Then Sini's grandson, that slayer of hostile heroes, of Madhu's race, excited with rage, sped in that battle a profusion of arrows at the Rakshasa. Then that mighty-aimed Rakshasa pierced Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled, with many sharp arrows, and uttered a loud shout. Then he of Madhu's race, endued with great energy, though deeply pierced by the Rakshasa in that battle, still, relying upon his prowess, laughed (at his wounds) and uttered loud roars. Then Bhagadatta, excited with rage, afflicted him of Madhu's race in that battle with many sharp arrows like a guide piercing a huge elephant with the hook. Then that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the grandson of Sini, abandoning the Rakshasa in battle, sped many straight shafts at the ruler of the Pragjyotishas. The ruler of the Pragjyotishas then, with a broad-headed arrow of great sharpness, displaying great lightness of hand, cut off, the large bow of Satyaki. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, excited with rage and taking up another bow of greater impetus, pierced Bhagadatta in that battle with many sharp arrows. That mighty bowman, viz., Bhagadatta, then deeply pierced, began to lick the corners of his mouth. And he then hurled at his foe, in that dreadful battle, a tough dart, made wholly of iron, decked with gold and stones of lapis lazuli, and fierce as the rod of Yama himself. Sped with the might of Bhagadatta's arm and coursing towards him impetuously, Satyaki, O king, cut that dart in twain by means of his shafts. Thereupon that dart fell down suddenly, like a great meteor shorn of its splendour. Beholding the dart baffled, thy son (Duryodhana), O monarch, surrounded him of Madhu's race with a large number of cars. And seeing that mighty car-warrior among the Vrishnis thus surrounded, Duryodhana, angrily addressing all his brothers, said, 'Take such steps, ye Kauravas, that Satyaki may not, in this battle, escape you and this large division of cars, with life. If he be slain, the vast host of the Pandavas may be regarded as slain also.' Accepting Duryodhana's words with the answer--So be it,--those mighty car-warriors fought with Sini's grandson in the view of Bhishma. The mighty ruler of the Kamvojas, in that battle, resisted Abhimanyu who was proceeding against Bhishma. The son of Arjuna, having pierced the king with many straight shafts, once more pierced that monarch, O monarch, with four and sixty shafts. Sudakshina, however, desirous of Bhishma's life, pierced Abhimanyu in that battle with five arrows and his charioteer with nine. And the battle that took place there, in consequence of the meeting of those two warriors, was fierce in the extreme. That grinder of foes Sikhandin, then rushed at the of Ganga. Old Virata and Drupada, those mighty car-warriors, both excited with rage, rushed to battle with Bhishma, resisting the large host of the Kauravas as they went. That best of car-warriors, viz., Aswatthaman, excited with rage, encountered both those warriors. Then commenced a battle, O Bharata, between him and them. Virata then, O chastiser of foes, struck, with broad-headed shafts, that mighty bowman and ornament of battle, viz., Drona's son, as the latter advanced against them. And Drupada also pierced him with three sharp shafts. Then the preceptor's soil, Aswatthaman, coming upon those mighty warriors thus striking him, viz., the brave Virata and Drupada both proceeding towards Bhishma, pierced them both with many shafts. Wonderful was the conduct that we then beheld of those two old warriors, inasmuch as they checked all those fierce shafts shot by Drona's son. Like an infuriate elephant in the forest rushing against an infuriate compeer, Kripa, the son of Saradwat, proceeded against Sahadeva who was advancing upon Bhishma. And Kripa, brave in battle, quickly struck that mighty car-warrior, viz., the son of Madri, with seventy shafts decked with gold. The son of Madri, however, cut Kripa's bow in twain by means of his shafts. And cutting off his bow, Sahadeva then pierced Kripa with nine arrows. Taking up then, in that battle, another bow capable of bearing a great strain Kripa, excited with rage and desirous of Bhishma's life, cheerfully struck Madri's son in that battle with ten shafts. And so the son of Pandu, in return, desirous of Bhishma's death, excited with rage, struck the wrathful Kripa in the chest (with many shafts). And then occurred there a terrible and fierce battle. That scorcher of foes, viz., Vikarna, desirous of saving the grandsire Bhishma, excited with rage in that battle, pierced Nakula with sixty arrows. Nakula also, deeply pierced by thy intelligent son, pierced Vikarna in return with seven and seventy shafts. There those two tigers among men, those two chastisers of foes, those two heroes, struck each other for the sake of Bhishma, like two bovine bulls in a fold. Thy son Durmukha, endued with great prowess, proceeded, for the sake of Bhishma, against Ghatotkacha advancing to battle and slaughtering thy army as he came. Hidimva's son, however, O king, excited with rage, struck Durmukha, that chastiser of foes, in the chest a straight shaft. The heroic Durmukha then, shouting cheerfully, pierced Bhimasena's son on the field of battle with sixty shafts of keen points. That mighty car-warrior, viz., the son of Hridika resisted Dhrishtadyumna, that foremost of car-warriors, who was advancing to battle from desire of Bhishma's slaughter. The son of Prishata, however, having pierced Kritavarman with five shafts made wholly of iron, once more, struck him quickly in the centre of the chest fifty shafts. And similarly, O king, Prishata's son struck Kritavarman with nine sharp and blazing shaft, winged with the feathers of the Kanka bird. Encountering each other with great vigour, the battle that took place between them for Bhishma's sake was as fierce as that between Vritra and Vasava. Against Bhimasena who was advancing upon the mighty Bhishma, proceeded Bhurisravas with great speed, saying,--Wait, Wait,--And the son of Somadatta struck Bhima in the centre of the chest with an arrow of exceeding sharpness and golden wings in that battle. And the valiant Bhimasena, with that arrow on his chest, looked beautiful, O best of kings, like the Krauncha mountain in days of old with the dart of Skanda. And those two bulls among men, enraged in battle, shot at each other shafts brightly polished by their forgers and endued with effulgence of the Sun. Bhima, longing for Bhishma's death, fought with the mighty son of Somadatta, and the latter, desirous of Bhishma's victory, fought with the former, each carefully seeking to counteract the other's feats. Bharadwaja's son resisted Yudhishthira the son of Kunti, who, accompanied by a large force, was coming towards Bhishma. Hearing the rattle of Drona's car, O king, that resembled the roar of the clouds, the Prabhadrakas, O sire, began to tremble. That large force, of Pandu's son, resisted by Drona in battle, could not, exerting vigorously, advance even one step. Thy son Chitrasena, O king, resisted Chekitana of wrathful visage who was exerting vigorously for coming upon Bhishma. Possessed of great prowess and great dexterity of hand, that mighty car-warrior for the sake of Bhishma, battled with Chekitana, O Bharata, according to the utmost of his power. And Chekitana also fought with Chitrasena to the utmost of his power. And the battle that took place there in consequence of the meeting of those two warriors, was exceedingly fierce. As regards Arjuna, although he was resisted by all means, O Bharata, he still compelled thy son to turn back and then crushed thy troops. Dussasana however, to the utmost stretch of his power, began to resist Partha, wishing, O Bharata, to protect Bhishma. The army of thy son, O Bharata, undergoing such slaughter, began to be agitated here and there by many foremost car-warriors (of the Pandava)."
 
Sanjaya said, "The heroic Drona, that great bowman endued with the prowess of an infuriate elephant, that foremost of men possessed of great might, taking up his large bow which was capable of checking even an infuriate elephant, and shaking it (in his hands), was engaged in afflicting the Pandava ranks, having penetrated into their midst. That valiant warrior acquainted with every omen, beholding the omens on all sides, addressed his son who also was scorching the hostile ranks and said these words, 'This is that day, O son, on which the mighty Partha, desirous of slaying Bhishma in battle, will exert himself to the best of his might. My arrows are coming out (of the quiver, of their own accord). My bow seems to yawn. My weapon seems unwilling to obey my behests, and my heart also is cheerless. Animals and birds are uttering fearful and incessant cries. Vultures seem to disappear beneath the feet of the Bharata troops. The Sun himself seems to have lost hue. The quarters are all ablaze. The Earth seems to shriek, inspire fear, and tremble everywhere. Kankas, and vultures, and cranes are frequently crying. Jackals are uttering inauspicious and fierce yells foreboding great danger. Large meteors seem to fall from the centre of the solar disc. The constellation called Parigha, with a trunkless form, appeareth around the Sun. The solar and the lunar discs have become awful, foreboding great danger to Kshatriyas about the mangling of their bodies. The idols of the Kuru king in his temples tremble and laugh and dance and weep. The illustrious Moon riseth with his horns downward. The bodies of the kings belonging to the Kuru army all seem to be pale, and though clad in mail, are shorn of splendour. The loud blare of Panchajanya and the twang of Gandiva are heard on all sides of both the armies. Without doubt, Arjuna, relying upon his great weapons and avoiding other warriors will advance upon the grandsire. The pores of my body are contracting, and my heart also is depressed, thinking, O mighty-armed one, of the encounter between Bhishma and Arjuna. Keeping on his fore the Panchala prince of sinful soul and conversant with deceit, Partha is proceeding towards Bhishma for battle. Bhishma said before that he would not slay Sikhandin. By the Creator had that one been made female, though through chance he subsequently became a male person. That mighty son of Yajnasena is also an inauspicious omen (by himself). The son of the Ocean-going (Ganga) will not strike that person of inauspicious self. Thinking of this, viz., that Arjuna, excited with wrath, is about to fall upon the aged Kuru grandsire, my heart is exceedingly depressed. The wrath of Yudhishthira, an encounter between Bhishma and Arjuna in battle, and an endeavour like this (of the shooting of weapons) by myself,--these (three) are certainly fraught with great harm to creatures. Arjuna is endued with great energy; he is powerful, brave, accomplished in weapons, and possessed of valour that is very active. Capable of shooting his arrows to a great distance and shooting them with force, he is, besides, acquainted with omens, Endued with great might and intelligence, and above fatigue, that foremost of warriors is incapable of defeat by the very gods with Vasava at their head. The son of Pandu possesses terrible weapons and is ever victorious in battle. Avoiding his path, go thou to battle (for Bhishma's victory) O thou of rigid vows. Today in this dreadful battle thou wilt behold a great carnage. The beautiful and costly coats of mail, decked with gold, of brave warriors will be pierced with straight shafts. And the tops of standards, and bearded javelins, and bows, and bright lances of sharp points, and darts bright with gold, and the standards on the backs of elephants, will all be cut off by Kiritin in wrath. O son, this is not the time when dependants should take care of their lives. Go to battle, keeping heaven before thee, and for the sake of fame and victory. There, the ape-bannered (Arjuna) crosseth on his car the river of battle that is awful and incapable of being easily crossed, and hath cars, elephants, and steeds, for its eddies. Regard for Brahmanas, self-restraint, liberality, asceticism, and noble conduct, are seen in Yudhishthira alone who hath for his brothers Dhananjaya, and the mighty Bhimasena, and the twin sons of Madri by Pandu, and who hath Vasudeva of the Vrishni race for his protector. The wrath, born of grief, of that Yudhishthira whose body hath been purified by the flames of penance, directed to the wicked-souled son of Dhritarashtra, is consuming this Bharata host. There cometh Partha, having Vasudeva for his protector, checking (as he cometh) this entire Dhartarashtra army. Behold, Kiritin is agitating this host like a large whale agitating the vast sea of crested waves. Hark, cries of distress and woe are heard in the van of the army. Go, encounter the heir of the Panchala king. As for myself, I will proceed against Yudhishthira. The heart of king Yudhishthira's very strong array is difficult of access. Inaccessible as the interior of the sea, it is guarded on all sides by Atirathas. Satyaki, and Abhimanyu and Dhrishtadyumna, and Vrikodara, and the twins, even these are protecting that ruler of men, viz., king Yudhishthira. Dark as the younger brother of Indra, and risen like a tall Sala, behold Abhimanyu advancing at the head of the (Pandava) host, like a second Phalguna! Take up thy mighty weapons, and with thy large bow in hand proceed against the royal son of Prishata (viz., Sikhandin), and against Vrikodara. Who is there that doth not wish his dear son to live for many years? Keeping the duties of a Kshatriya, however, before me, I am engaging thee (to this task). So Bhishma also, in this battle, is consuming the mighty host of the Pandavas. O son, he is, in battle, equal to Yama or Varuna himself.'"
 
Sanjaya said, "Hearing these words of the high-souled Drona, Bhagadatta and Kripa and Salya and Kritavarman, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Jayadratha the ruler of the Sindhus, and Chitrasena and Vikarna and Durmarshana and others, these ten warriors of thy army, supported by a large host consisting of many nationalities, fought with Bhimasena, desirous of winning high renown in the battle for Bhishma's sake. And Salya struck Bhima with nine arrows, and Kritavarman struck him with three, and Kripa with nine. And Chitrasena and Vikarna and Bhagadatta, O sire, each struck him with ten arrows. And the ruler of the Sindhus struck him with three, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti each struck him with five arrows. And Duryodhana struck that son of Pandu with twenty sharp arrows. Bhimasena, O king, pierced in return every one of those kings, those foremost of men in the world, those mighty car-warriors of the Dhartarashtra army, one after another. The brave Pandava, that slayer of hostile heroes, pierced Salya with seven arrows, and Kritavarman with eight. And he cut off Kripa's bow with arrow fixed thereon, O Bharata, in the middle, dividing it in twain. And after thus cutting off his bow, he pierced Kripa once more with seven arrows. And he struck Vinda and Anuvinda with three arrows each. And he pierced Durmarshana with twenty arrows, and Chitrasena with five, and Vikarna with ten, and Jayadratha with five. And once more striking the ruler of the Sindhus with three arrows, he uttered a loud shout, filled with joy. Then Gautama, that foremost of car-warriors, taking up another bow, angrily pierced Bhima with ten sharp shafts. Pierced with those ten shafts like a huge elephant with the hook, the valiant Bhimasena, O king, filled with wrath, struck Gautama in that battle with many shafts. Possessed of the splendour of Yama himself, as he appears at the end of the Yuga, Bhimasena then, with three arrows, despatched unto Death's domain the steeds of the ruler of the Sindhus as also his charioteer. Thereupon that mighty car-warrior, (viz., Jayadratha), quickly jumping down from that car whose steeds had been slain, shot in that battle many sharp-pointed shafts at Bhimasena. Then, O sire, with a couple of broad-headed arrows, he cut off, O chief of the Bharatas, the bow of the high-souled king of the Sindhus in the middle. His bow cut off, himself deprived of car, his steeds and charioteer slain, Jayadratha then, O king, quickly mounted on the car of Chitrasena. Indeed, the son of Pandu achieved in that battle a most wonderful feat, for piercing all those mighty car-warriors and holding them in check, he deprived, O sire, the ruler of the Sindhus of his car in the very sight of all the army. Salya could not brook to see the prowess that Bhimasena displayed, for saying unto him,--Wait, Wait,--he aimed some sharp arrows well-polished by the forger's hands, and pierced Bhima therewith in that battle. And Kripa and Kritavarman and the valiant Bhagadatta, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Chitrasena, and Durmarshana, and Vikarna, and the valiant ruler of the Sindhus also, in that battle,--These chastisers of foes, all quickly pierced Bhima for the sake of Salya. Bhima then pierced each of them in return with five arrows. And he pierced Salya then with seventy arrows and once more with ten. And Salya then pierced him with nine arrows and once more with five. And he pierced Bhimasena's charioteer also, deep in his vitals, with a broad-headed arrow. The valiant Bhimasena then, beholding his charioteer Visoka deeply pierced, sped three arrows at the arms and chest of the ruler of Madras. And as regards the other great bowmen, he pierced each of them in that battle With three straight arrows, and then uttered a loud roar like that of a lion. Each of those great bowmen then, exerting himself with vigour, deeply Pierced that son of Pandu skilled in battle, with three arrows in his vitals. That mighty bowman viz., Bhimasena, though pierced deeply, trembled not (but stood still) like a mountain drenched with torrents of rain by showering clouds. Then that mighty car-warrior of the Pandavas, filled with wrath, that celebrated hero, deeply, pierced the ruler of the Madras with three arrows. And he pierced the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, O king, in that battle, with a hundred arrows. Of great renown, he then pierced Kripa with many arrows, and then, displaying great dexterity, he cut off with a keen-edged shaft the bow, with arrow fixed thereon, of the high-souled Kritavarman. Then Kritavarman, that scorcher of foes, taking up another bow, struck Vrikodara between his eyebrows with a long arrow. Bhima, however, in that battle, having pierced Salya with nine arrows made wholly of iron, and Bhagadatta with three, and Kritavarman with eight, pierced each of the others with Gautama at their head, with two arrows. Those warriors also, in return, pierced him, O king, with sharp-pointed shafts. Though thus afflicted by those mighty car-warriors with all kinds of weapons, yet, regarding them all as straw, he coursed on the field without any anxiety. Those foremost of car-warriors (on the other hand), with great coolness, sped at Bhima sharp-pointed arrows by hundreds and thousands. The heroic and mighty Bhagadatta then, in that battle, hurled at him a dart of fierce impetuosity furnished with a golden staff. And the Sindhu king, of strong arms, hurled at him a lance and an axe. And Kripa, O king, hurled at him a Sataghni, and Salya an arrow. And the other great bowmen each sped at him five arrows with great force. The son of the Wind-god then cut off, with a sharp shaft, that lance in twain. And he cut off that axe also with three shafts, as if it were a sesame stalk. And with five shafts winged with the feathers of the Kanka bird, he cut that Sataghni into fragments. That mighty car-warrior then, having cut off the arrow sped by the ruler of the Madras, forcibly cut off the dart sped by Bhagadatta in that battle. As regards the other fierce shafts, Bhimasena, proud of his feats in battle, cut them each into three fragments by means of his own straight shafts. And he struck each of those great bowmen also with three shafts. Then Dhananjaya, during the progress of that dreadful battle, beholding the mighty car-warrior Bhima striking the foe and battling (against many) with his arrows, came thither on his car. Then those bulls among men, of thy army, beholding those two high-souled sons of Pandu together, gave up all hopes of victory. Then Arjuna, desirous of slaying Bhishma, placing Sikhandin before him, approached Bhima who had been fighting with those great car-warriors and fell upon those fierce combatants, numbering ten, of thy army, O Bharata. Then Vibhatsu, desirous of doing what was agreeable to Bhima, pierced all those warriors, O king, who had been battling with Bhima. Then king Duryodhana urged Susarman, for the destruction of both Arjuna and Bhimasena, saying, 'O Susarman, go thou quickly supported by a large force. Slay those two sons of Pandu, viz., Dhananjaya and Vrikodara.' Hearing these words of his, the Trigarta king who ruled the country called Prasthala, quickly rushed in battle upon those two bowmen, viz., Bhima and Dhananjaya, and surrounded them both by many thousands of cars. Then commenced a fierce battle between Arjuna and the foe."
 
Sanjaya said, "Arjuna covered with his straight shafts the mighty car-warrior Salya who was struggling vigorously in battle. And he pierced Susarman and Kripa with three arrows each. And in that battle the Atiratha Arjuna, afflicting thy host, struck the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, and Jayadratha the king of the Sindhus, and Chitrasena, and Vikarna, and Kritavarman, and Durmarshana, O monarch, and those two mighty car-warriors, viz., the princes of Avanti, each with three arrows winged with the feathers of the Kanka and the peacock. Jayadratha, staying on the car of Chitrasena, pierced Partha (in return), O Bharata, and then, without loss of time, Bhima also, with his shafts. And Salya, and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Kripa, both pierced Jishnu, O monarch, with diverse arrows capable of penetrating into the very vitals. Thy sons headed by Chitrasena, O king, each quickly pierced Arjuna and Bhimasena in that battle, O sire, with five sharp shafts. Those two foremost of car-warriors however, viz., those sons of Kunti, those bulls of Bharata's race, began in that battle to afflict the mighty host of the Trigartas. Susarman (in return) pierced Partha with nine swift arrows, and uttered a loud shout frightening the vast host (of the Pandavas). And other heroic car-warriors pierced Bhimasena and Dhananjaya with many straight-going arrows of keen points and golden wings. Amid these car-warriors, however, those two bulls of Bharata's race, viz., the two sons of Kunti, those great car-warriors, looked exceedingly beautiful. And they seemed to sport amid them like two furious lions amid a herd of kine. Cutting off in various ways the bows and arrows of many brave warriors in that battle, those two heroes felled the heads of combatants by hundreds upon hundreds. Innumerable cars were broken, and steeds by hundreds were slain, and many elephants, along with their riders, were laid low on the field in that dreadful battle. And car-warriors and horsemen and elephant-riders in large numbers, O king, deprived of life were seen moving in convulsions all over the field. And the earth was covered with slain elephants and foot-soldiers in large bands, and steeds deprived of life, and cars broken in diverse ways. And the prowess we beheld there of Partha was highly wonderful, in as much as holding in check all those heroes, that mighty warrior caused a great slaughter. Kripa, and Kritavarman, and Jayadratha, the ruler of the Sindhus, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti,--these did not forsake the battle. Then that great bowman Bhima, and that mighty car-warrior Arjuna, began in that battle to rout the fierce host of the Kauravas. The kings (in that army) quickly sped at Dhananjaya's car myriads upon myriads and millions upon millions of arrows furnished with peacock feathers. Partha, however, checking those arrows by means of his own arrowy showers, began to send those mighty car-warriors to Yama's abode. The great car-warrior Salya then, excited with wrath and as if sporting in that battle, struck Partha in the chest with some straight shafts of broad heads. Partha then, cutting off by means of five shafts Salya's bow and leathern fence, pierced the latter deeply in the very vitals with many arrows of keen points. Taking up another bow capable of bearing a great strain, the ruler of the Madras then furiously attacked Jishnu with three arrows, O king, and Vasudeva with five. And he struck Bhimasena in the arms and the chest with nine arrows. Then Drona, O king, and that mighty car-warrior, viz., the ruler of the Magadhas, commanded by Duryodhana, both came to that spot where those two mighty car-warriors, viz., Partha and Bhimasena, were slaughtering the mighty host of the Kuru king. Jayatsena (the king of the Magadhas) then, O bull of Bharata's race pierced Bhima, that wielder of awful weapons in battle, with eight sharp arrows. Bhima, however, pierced him (in return) with ten arrows, and once more with five. And with another broad-headed shaft he felled Jayatsena's charioteer from his niche in the car. The steeds (of his car), no longer restrained, ran wildly in all directions and thus carried away the ruler of the Magadhas (from battle) in the sight of all the troops. Meanwhile Drona, noticing an opening, pierced Bhimasena, O bull of Bharata's race, with eight keen shafts furnished with heads shaped after the frog's mouth. Bhima, however, ever delighting in battle, pierced the preceptor, who was worthy of paternal reverence, with five broad-headed arrows, and then, O Bharata, with sixty. Arjuna, again piercing Susarman with a large number of arrows made (wholly) of iron, destroyed his troops like the tempest destroying mighty masses of clouds. Then Bhishma, and the king (viz., Duryodhana), and Vrihadvala, the ruler of the Kosalas, excited with rage, advanced upon Bhimasena and Dhananjaya. At this, the heroic warriors of the Pandava army, and Dhrishtadyumna the son of Prishata, rushed in battle against Bhishma who was advancing like Death himself with wide-open mouth. Sikhandin also, sighting the grandsire of the Bharatas, was filled with joy and rushed at him, abandoning all fear of the mighty car-warrior. Then all the Parthas with Yudhishthira at their head, placing Sikhandin in the van, and uniting with the Srinjayas, fought with Bhishma in battle. And similarly all the warriors of thy army, placing Bhishma of regulated vows in their van, fought in battle with all the Parthas headed by Sikhandin. The battle then that commenced there between the Kauravas and the sons of Pandu for the sake of Bhishma's victory or victory over Bhishma, was exceedingly terrible. Indeed, in that game of battle, played for the sake of victory or the reverse, Bhishma, O monarch, became the stake on which the victory of thy army depended. Then Dhrishtadyumna, O king, commanded all the troops, saying, 'Rush against the son of Ganga. Do not fear, ye best of car-warriors. Hearing those words of their generalissimo, the army of the Pandavas quickly advanced against Bhishma, ready to lay down their lives in that dreadful battle. Bhishma then, that foremost of car-warriors, received that large host rushing towards him, like the continent receiving the surging sea."
 

Dhritarashtra said, "How, O Sanjaya, did Santanu's son Bhishma of mighty energy fight on the tenth day of battle, with the Pandavas and the Srinjayas? How also did the Kurus resist the Pandavas in battle? Describe to me the great battle fought by Bhishma, that ornament of battle."

Sanjaya said, "I will presently describe to thee, O Bharata, how the Kauravas fought with the Pandavas, and how that battle took place. Day after day many mighty car-warriors of thy army, excited with wrath, were despatched to the other world by the diadem-decked (Arjuna) with his great weapons. The ever-victorious Kuru warrior Bhishma also, agreeably to his vow, always caused a great carnage among the Partha army. O chastiser of foes, beholding Bhishma, fighting at the head of the Kurus, and Arjuna also fighting at the head of the Panchalas, we could not say truly on which side the victory would declare itself. On the tenth day of battle, when Bhishma and Arjuna encountered each other, awful was the carnage that took place. On that day, O scorcher of foes, Santanu's son, Bhishma, conversant with high and mighty weapons, repeatedly slew thousands upon thousands of warriors. Many, O Bharata, whose names and families were not known, but who, endued with great bravery, were unretreating from battle, were on that day slain by Bhishma. Scorching the Pandava army for ten days, Bhishma of virtuous soul, gave up all desire of protecting his life. Wishing his own slaughter presently at the head of his troops,--No more shall I slay large numbers of foremost of warriors.--thought thy mighty-armed sire Devavrata. And seeing Yudhishthira near him, O king, he addressed him, saying, 'O Yudhishthira, O thou of great wisdom, O thou that art acquainted with every branch of learning, listen to these righteous and heaven-leading words, O sire, that I say. O Bharata, I no longer desire to protect, O sire, this body of mine. I have passed much time in slaying large numbers of men in battle. If thou wishest to do what is agreeable to me, strive to slay me, placing Partha with the Panchalas and the Srinjayas at thy van'. Ascertaining this to be his intention, king Yudhishthira of true sight proceeded to battle with the Srinjayas (for his support). Then Dhrishtadyumna, O king, and Pandu's son Yudhishthira, having heard those words of Bhishma urged their array on. And Yudhishthira said, 'Advance! Fight! Vanquish Bhishma in battle. Ye all will be protected by that conqueror of foes, viz., Jishnu of unbaffled aim. And this great bowman, this generalissimo (of our forces), viz., the son of Prishata, as also Bhima, will assuredly protect you. Ye Srinjayas, entertain no fear today of Bhishma in battle. Without doubt, we will vanquish Bhishma today, placing Sikhandin in our van'. Having, on the tenth day of battle, made such a vow, the Pandavas, resolved to (conquer or) go to heaven, advanced, blinded by rage, with Sikhandin and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu to the fore. And they made the most vigorous efforts for the overthrow of Bhishma. Then diverse kings, of great might, urged by thy son, and accompanied by Drona and his son and a large force, and the mighty Dussasana at the head of all his uterine brothers, proceeded towards Bhishma staying in the midst of that battle. Then those brave warriors of thy army, placing Bhishma of high vows in their van, battled with the Parthas headed by Sikhandin. Supported by the Chedis and the Panchalas, the ape-bannered Arjuna, placing Sikhandin ahead, proceeded towards Bhishma, the son of Santanu. And the grandson of Sini battled with Drona's son, and Dhrishtaketu with the descendant of Puru, and Yudhamanyu with thy son Duryodhana at the head of his followers. And Virata, at the head of his forces, encountered Jayadratha supported by his own troops. And Vardhakshatra's heir, O chastiser of foes, encountered thy son Chitrasena armed with excellent bow and arrows. And Yudhishthira proceeded against the mighty bowman Salya at the head of his troops. And Bhimasena, well-protected, proceeded against the elephant-division (of the Kaurava army). And Dhrishtadyumna, the prince of Panchala, excited with fury and accompanied by his brothers, proceeded against Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, invincible, and irresistible. That chastiser of foes, viz., prince Vrihadvala, bearing on his standard the device of the lion, proceeded against Subhadra's son whose standard bore the device of the Karnikara flower. Thy sons, accompanied by many kings, proceeded against Sikhandin and Dhananjaya the son of Pritha, from desire of slaughtering both of them. When the combatants of both armies rushed against each other with awful prowess, the earth shook (under their tread). Beholding Santanu's son in battle, the divisions of thy army and of the foe, O Bharata, became mingled with one another. Tremendous was the din, O Bharata, that arose there of those warriors burning with rage and rushing against each other. And it was heard on all sides, O king. With the blare of conchs and the leonine shouts of the soldiers, the uproar became awful. The splendour, equal to that of either the Sun or the Moon, of bracelets and diadems of all the heroic kings, became dimmed. And the dust that rose looked like a cloud, the flash of bright weapons constituting its lightning. And the twang of bows, the whiz of arrows, the blare of conchs, the loud beat of drums, and the rattle of cars, of both the armies, constituted the fierce roar of those clouds. And the welkin, over the field of battle, in consequence of the bearded darts, the javelins, the swords and showers of arrows of both armies, was darkened. And car-warriors, and horsemen felled horsemen, in that dreadful battle. And elephants killed elephants, and foot-soldiers slew foot-soldiers. And the battle that took place there for Bhishma's sake, between the Kurus and the Pandavas, O tiger among men, was fierce in the extreme, like that between two hawks for a piece of flesh. Engaged in battle, that encounter between those combatants desirous of slaughtering and vanquishing one another, was extremely dreadful."

 

Sanjaya said, "Abhimanyu, O king, displaying his prowess for the sake of Bhishma, fought with thy son who was supported by a large force. Then Duryodhana, excited with wrath, struck Abhimanyu in the chest with rune straight arrows, and once more with three. Then in that battle, Arjuna's son, inflamed with wrath, hurled at Duryodhana's car a terrible dart resembling the rod of Death himself. Thy son, however, that mighty car-warrior, O king, with a broad-headed arrow of great sharpness, cut off in twain that dart of terrible force coursing towards him with great speed. Beholding that dart of his drop down on the earth, Arjuna's wrathful son pierced Duryodhana with three shafts in his arms and chest. And once more, O Chief of the Bharatas, that mighty car-warrior of Bharata's race struck the Kuru king with ten fierce shafts in the centre of his chest. And the battle, O Bharata, that took place between those two heroes, viz., Subhadra's son, and that bull of Kuru's race, the former fighting for compassing Bhishma's death and the latter for Arjuna's defeat, was fierce and interesting to behold, and gratifying to the senses, and was applauded by all the kings. That bull among Brahmanas and chastiser of foes, viz., the son of Drona, excited with wrath in that battle, forcibly struck Satyaki in the chest with fierce arrow. The grandson of Sini also, that hero of immeasurable soul, struck the preceptor's son in every vital limbs with nine shafts winged with the feathers of the Kanka bird. Aswatthaman then, in that battle, struck Satyaki (in return) with nine shafts, and once more, quickly, with thirty, in his arms and chest. Then that great bowman Of the Satwata race, possessed of great fame, deeply pierced by Drona's son, pierced the latter (in return) with arrows. The mighty car-warrior Paurava, covering Dhrishtaketu in that battle with his shafts, mangled that great bowman exceedingly. The mighty car-warrior Dhrishtaketu, endued with great strength, quickly pierced the former with thirty arrows. Then the mighty car-warrior Paurava cut off Dhrishtaketu's bow, and uttering a loud shout, pierced him with whetted shafts. Dhrishtaketu then taking up another bow, pierced Paurava, O king, with three and seventy shafts of great sharpness. Those two great bowmen and mighty car-warriors, both of gigantic stature, pierced each other with showers of arrows. Each succeeded in cutting off the other's bow, and each slew the other's steeds. And both of them, thus deprived of their cars, then encountered each other in a battle with swords. And each took up a beautiful shield made of bull's hide and docked with a hundred moons and graced with a hundred stars. And each of them also took up a polished sword of brilliant lustre. And thus equipt, they rushed, O king at each other, like two lions in the deep forest, both seeking the companionship of the same lioness in her season. They wheeled in beautiful circles, advanced and retreated, and displayed other movements, seeking to strike each other. Then Paurava, excited with wrath, addressed Dhrishtaketu, saying--Wait, Wait,--and struck him on the frontal bone with that large scimitar of his. The king of the Chedis also, in that battle, struck Paurava, that bull among men, on his shoulder-joint, with his large scimitar of sharp edge. Those two repressors of foes thus encountering each other in dreadful battle and thus striking each other, O king, both fell down on the field. Then thy son Jayatsena, taking Paurava up on his car, removed him from the field of battle on that vehicle. And as regards Dhrishtaketu, the valiant and heroic Sahadeva, the son of Madri, possessed of great prowess, bore him away from the field.

"Chitrasena, having pierced Susarman with many arrows made wholly of iron, once more pierced him with sixty arrows and once more with nine. Susarman, however, excited with wrath in battle, pierced thy son, O king, with hundreds of arrows. Chitrasena then, O monarch, excited with rage, pierced his adversary with thirty straight shafts. Susarman, however, pierced Chitrasena again in return. 

"In that battle for the destruction of Bhishma, Subhadra's son, enhancing his fame and honour, fought with prince Vrihadvala, putting forth his prowess for aiding (his sire) Partha and then proceeded towards Bhishma's front. The ruler of the Kosalas, having pierced the son of Arjuna with five shafts made of iron, once more pierced him with twenty straight shafts. Then the son of Subhadra pierced the ruler of Kosalas with eight shafts made wholly of iron. He succeeded not, however, in making the ruler of the Kosalas to tremble, and, therefore, he once more pierced him with many arrows. And Phalguni's son then cut off Vrihadvala's bow, and struck him again with thirty arrows winged with feathers of the Kanka bird. Prince Vrihadvala then, taking up another bow, angrily pierced the son of Phalguni in that battle with many arrows. Verily, O scorcher of foes, the battle, for Bhishma's sake, that took place between them, both excited with rage and both conversant with every mode of fight, was like the encounter of Vali and Vasava in days of old on the occasion of the battle between the gods and the Asuras.

"Bhimasena, fighting against the elephant-division, looked highly resplendent like Sakra armed with the thunder after splitting large mountains. Indeed, elephants, huge as hills, slaughtered by Bhimasena in battle, fell down in numbers on the field, filling the earth with their shrieks. Resembling massive heaps of antimony, and of mountain-like proportions, those elephants with frontal globes split open, lying prostrate on the earth, seemed like mountains strewn over the earth's surface. The mighty bowman Yudhishthira, protected by a large force, afflicted the ruler of the Madras, encountering him in that dreadful battle. The ruler of the Madras, in return, displaying his prowess for the sake of Bhishma, afflicted the son of Dharma, that mighty car-warrior, in battle. The king of Sindhus, having pierced Virata with nine straight arrows of keen points, once more struck him with thirty. Virata, however, O king, that commander of a large division, struck Jayadratha in the centre of his chest with thirty shafts of keen points. The ruler of the Matsyas and the ruler of the Sindhus, both armed with beautiful bows and beautiful scimitars, both decked with handsome coats of mail and weapons and standards, and both of beautiful forms looked resplendent in that battle.

"Drona, encountering Dhrishtadyumna the prince of the Panchalas in dreadful battle, fought fiercely with his straight shafts. Then Drona, O king, having cut off the large bow of Prishata's son, pierced him deeply with fifty arrows. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Prishata, taking up another bow, sped at Drona who was contending with him, many arrows. The mighty car-warrior Drona however, cut off all those arrows, striking them with his own. And then Drona sped at Drupada's son five fierce shafts. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Prishata, excited with rage, hurled at Drona in that battle a mace resembling the rod of Death himself. Drona however, with fifty arrows checked that mace decked with gold as it coursed impetuously towards him. Thereupon that mace, cut into fragments, O king, by those shafts shot from Drona's bow, fell down on the earth. Then that scorcher of foes, viz., the son of Prishata, beholding his mace baffled, hurled at Drona an excellent dart made wholly of iron. Drona, however, O Bharata, cut that dart with nine shafts in that battle and then afflicted that great bowman, viz., the son of Prishata. Thus took place, O king, that fierce and awful battle between Drona and the son of Prishata, for the sake of Bhishma.

"Arjuna, getting at the son of Ganga, afflicted him with many arrows of keen points, and rushed at him like an infuriate elephant in the forest upon another. King Bhagadatta, however, of great prowess then rushed at Arjuna, and checked his course in battle with showers of arrows. Arjuna then, in that dreadful battle, pierced Bhagadatta's elephant coming towards him, with many polished arrows of iron, that were all bright as silver and furnished with keen points. The son of Kunti, meanwhile, O king, urged Sikhandin, saying,--Proceed, proceed, towards Bhishma, and slay him!--Then, O elder brother of Pandu, the ruler of Pragjyotishas, abandoning that son of Pandu, quickly proceeded, O king, against the car of Drupada. Then Arjuna, O monarch, speedily proceeded towards Bhishma, placing Sikhandin ahead. And then there took place a fierce battle, for all the brave combatants of thy army rushed with great vigour against Arjuna, uttering loud shouts. And all this seemed extremely wonderful. Like the wind dispersing in the summer masses of clouds in the welkin, Arjuna dispersed, O king, all those diverse divisions of thy sons. Sikhandin, however, without any anxiety, coming up at the grandsire of the Bharatas, quickly pierced him with great many arrows. As regards Bhishma, his car was then his fire-chamber. His bow was the flame of that fire. And swords I and darts and maces constituted the fuel of that fire. And the showers of arrows he shot were the blazing sparks of that fire with which he was then consuming Kshatriyas in that battle. As a raging conflagration with constant supply of fuel, wandereth amid masses of dry grass when aided by the wind, so did Bhishma blaze up with his flames, scattering his celestial weapons. And the Kuru hero slew the Somakas that followed Partha in that battle. Indeed that mighty car-warrior checked also the other forces of Arjuna, by means of his straight and whetted shafts furnished with wings of gold. Filling in that dreadful battle all the points of the compass, cardinal and subsidiary, with his leonine shouts, Bhishma felled many car-warriors, O king, (from their cars) and many steeds along with their riders. And he caused large bodies of cars to look like forests of palmyras shorn of their leafy heads. That foremost of all wielders of weapons, in that battle, deprived cars and steeds and elephants, of their riders. Hearing the twang of his bow and the slap of his palms, both resembling the roll of the thunder, the troops, O king, trembled all over the field. The shafts, O chief of men, of thy sire were never bootless as they fell. Indeed, shot from Bhishma's bow they never fell only touching the bodies of the foe (but pierced them through in every case). We saw crowds of cars, O king, deprived of riders, but unto which were yoked fleet steeds, dragged on all sides with the speed of the wind. Full fourteen thousand great car-warriors of noble parentage, prepared to lay down their lives, unretreating and brave, and possessed of standards decked with gold, belonging to the Chedis, the Kasis, and the Karushas, approaching Bhishma, that hero who resembled the Destroyer himself with wide-open mouth, were despatched to the other world, with their steeds, cars and elephants. There was not, O king, a single great car-warrior among the Somakas, who, having approached Bhishma in that battle, returned with life from that engagement. Beholding Bhishma's prowess, people regarded all those warriors (who approached him) as already despatched to the abode of the king of the Dead. Indeed, no car-warrior ventured to approach Bhishma in battle, except the heroic Arjuna having white steeds (yoked unto his car) and owning Krishna for his charioteer, and Sikhandin, the prince of Panchala, of immeasurable energy."

 

Sanjaya said,--Sikhandin, O bull among men, approaching Bhishma in battle, struck him in the centre of the chest with ten broad-headed arrows The son of Ganga, however, O Bharata, only looked at Sikhandin with wrath and as if consuming the Panchala prince with that look. Remembering his femininity, O king, Bhishma, in the very sight of all, struck him not. Sikhandin, however, understood it not. Then Arjuna, O monarch, addressed Sikhandin, saying,--'Rush quickly and slay the grandsire. What needst thou say, O hero? Slay the mighty car-warrior Bhishma. I do not see any other warrior in Yudhishthira's army who is competent to fight with Bhishma in battle, save thee, O tiger among men. I say this truly.' Thus addressed by Partha, Sikhandin, O bull of Bharata's race, quickly covered the grandsire with diverse kinds of weapons. Disregarding those shafts, thy sire Devavrata began, with his shafts, to check the angry Arjuna only in that battle. And that mighty car-warrior, O sire, began also to despatch, with his shafts of keen points, the whole army of the Pandavas to the other world. The Pandavas also, O king, after the same manner, supported by their vast host, began to overwhelm Bhishma like the clouds covering the maker of day. O bull of Bharata's race, surrounded on all sides, that Bharata hero consumed many brave warriors in that battle like a raging conflagration in the forest (consuming numberless trees). The prowess that we then beheld there of thy son (Dussasana) was wonderful, inasmuch as he battled with Partha and protected the grandsire at the same time. With that feat of thy son Dussasana, that illustrious bowman, all the people there were highly gratified. Alone he battled with all the Pandavas having Arjuna amongst them; and he fought with such vigour that the Pandavas were unable to resist him. Many car-warriors were in that battle deprived of their cars by Dussasana. And many mighty bowmen on horseback and many mighty-warriors, elephants, pierced with Dussasana's keen shafts, fell down on the earth. And many elephants, afflicted with his shafts, ran away in all directions. As a fire fiercely blazeth forth with bright flames when fed with fuel, so did thy son blaze forth, consuming the Pandava host. And no car-warrior, O Bharata, of the Pandava host ventured to vanquish or even proceed against that warrior of gigantic proportions, save Indra's son (Arjuna) owning white steeds and having Krishna for his charioteer. Then Arjuna also called Vijaya, vanquishing Dussasana in battle, O king, in the very sight of all the troops, proceeded against Bhishma. Though vanquished, thy son, however, relying upon the might of Bhishma's arms, repeatedly comforted his own side and battled with the Pandavas with great fierceness. Arjuna, O king, fighting with his foes in that battle, looked exceedingly resplendent. Then Sikhandin, in that battle, O king, pierced the grandsire with many arrows whose touch resembled that of the bolts of heaven and which were as fatal as the poison of the snake. These arrows, however, O monarch, caused thy sire little pain, for the son of Ganga received them laughingly. Indeed, as a person afflicted with heat cheerfully receives torrents of rain, even so did the son of Ganga received those arrows of Sikhandin. And the Kshatriyas there, O king, beheld Bhishma in that great battle as a being of fierce visage who was incessantly consuming the troops of the high-souled Pandavas.

"Then thy son (Duryodhana), addressing all his warriors, said unto them, 'Rush ye against Phalguni from all sides. Bhishma, acquainted with the duties of a commander, will protect you'. Thus addressed, the Kaurava troops casting off all fear, fought with the Pandavas. (And once more, Duryodhana said unto them). 'With his tall standard bearing the device of the golden palmyra, Bhishma stayeth, protecting the honour and the armour of all the Dhartarashtra warriors. The very gods, striving vigorously, cannot vanquish the illustrious and mighty Bhishma. What need be said, therefore, of the Parthas who are mortals? Therefore, ye warriors, fly not away from the field, getting Phalguni for a foe. I myself, striving vigorously, will today fight with the Pandavas.. uniting with all of you, ye lords of earth, exerting yourselves actively.' Hearing these words, O monarch, of thy son with bow in hand, many mighty combatants, excited with rage, belonging to the Videhas, the Kalingas, and the diverse tribes of the Daserkas, fell upon Phalguni. And many combatants also, belonging to the Nishadas, the Sauviras, the Valhikas, the Daradas, the Westerners, the Northerners, the Malavas, the Abhighatas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, the Vasatis, the Salwas, the Sakas, the Trigartas, the Amvashthas, and the Kekayas, similarly fell upon Partha, like flights of insects upon a fire. The mighty Dhananjaya, otherwise called Vibhatsu, then, O monarch, calling to mind diverse celestial weapons and aiming them at those great car-warriors at the heads of their respective divisions, quickly consumed them all, by means of those weapons of great force, like fire consuming a flight of insects. And while that firm bowman was (by means of his celestial weapons) creating thousands upon thousands of arrows, his Gandiva looked highly resplendent in the welkin. Then those Kshatriyas, O monarch, afflicted with those arrows with their tall standards torn and overthrown, could not even together, approach the ape-bannered (Partha). Car-warriors fell down with their standards, and horsemen with their horses, and elephant-riders with their elephants, attacked by Kiritin with his shafts. And the earth was soon covered all on all sides with the retreating troops of those kings, routed in consequence of the shafts shot from Arjuna's arms. Partha then, O monarch, having routed the Kaurava army, sped many arrows at Dussasana. Those arrows with iron heads, piercing thy son Dussasana through, all entered the earth like snakes through ant-hills. Arjuna then slew Dussasana's steeds and then felled his charioteer. And the lord Arjuna, with twenty shafts, deprived Vivingsati of his car, and struck him five straight shafts. And piercing Kripa and Vikarna and Salya with many arrows made wholly of iron, Kunti's son owning white steeds deprived all of them of their cars. Thus deprived of their cars and vanquished in battle by Savyasachin, Kripa and Salya, O sire, and Dussasana, and Vikarna and Vivingsati, all fled away. Having vanquished those mighty car-warriors, O chief of the Bharatas, in the forenoon, Partha blazed up in that battle like a smokeless conflagration. Scattering his shafts all around like the Sun shedding rays of light, Partha felled many other kings, O monarch. Making those mighty car-warriors turn their backs upon the field by means of his arrowy showers, Arjuna caused a large river of bloody current to flow in that battle between the hosts of the Kurus and the Pandavas, O Bharata. Large numbers of elephants and steeds and car-warriors were slain by car-warriors. And many were the car-warriors slain by elephants, and many also were the steeds slain by foot-soldiers. And the bodies of many elephant-riders and horsemen and car-warriors, cut off in the middle, as also their heads, fell down on every part of the field. And the field of battle, O king, was strewn with (slain) princes,--mighty car-warriors,--falling or fallen, decked with ear-rings and bracelets. And it was also strewn with the bodies of many warriors cut off by car-wheels, or trodden down by elephants. And foot-soldiers ran away, and horsemen also with their horses. And many elephants and car-warriors fell down on all sides. And many cars, with wheels and yokes and standards broken, lay scattered all about on the field. And the field of battle, dyed with the gore of large numbers of elephants, steeds, and car-warriors, looked beautiful like a red cloud, in the autumnal sky. Dogs, and crows, and vultures, and wolves, and jackals, and many other frightful beasts and birds, set up loud howls, at the sight of the food that lay before them. Diverse kinds of winds blew along all directions. And Rakshasas and evil spirits were seen there, uttering loud roars. And strings, embroidered with gold, and costly banners, were seen to wave, moved by the wind. And thousands of umbrellas and great cars with standards attached to them, were seen lying scattered about on the field. Then Bhishma, O king, invoking a celestial weapon, rushed at the son of Kunti, in the very sight of all the bowmen. Thereupon Sikhandin, clad in mail, rushed at Bhishma who was dashing towards Arjuna. At this, Bhishma withdrew that weapon resembling fire (in effulgence and energy). Meanwhile Kunti's son owning white steeds slaughtered thy troops, confounding the grandsire."

 

Sanjaya said, "When the combatants of both armies, strong in number, were thus disposed in battle array, all those unretreating heroes, O Bharata, set their heart upon the region of Brahma. In course of the general engagement that followed, the same class of combatants did not fight with the same class of combatants. Car-warriors fought not with car-warriors, or foot-soldiers with foot-soldiers, or horsemen with horsemen, or elephant-warriors with elephant-warriors. On the other hand, O monarch, the combatants fought with one another like mad men. Great and dreadful was the calamity that overtook both the armies. In that fierce slaughter when elephants and men spread themselves on the field, all distinctions between them ceased, for they fought indiscriminately.

"Then Salya and Kripa, and Chitrasena, O Bharata, and Dussasana, and Vikarna, those heroes mounted on their bright cars, caused the Pandava host to tremble. Slaughtered in battle by those high-souled warriors, the Pandava army began to reel in diverse ways, O king, like a boat on the waters tossed by the wind. As the wintry cold cuts kine to the quick, so did Bhishma cut the sons of Pandu to the quick. As regards thy army also, many elephants, looking like newly-risen clouds, were felled by the illustrious Partha. And many foremost of warriors too were seen to be crushed by that hero. And struck with arrows and long shafts in thousands, many huge elephants fell down, uttering frightful shrieks of pain. And the field of battle looked beautiful, strewn with the bodies, still decked with ornaments of high-souled warriors deprived of life and with heads still decked with ear-rings. And in that battle, O king, which was destructive of great heroes, when Bhishma and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu put forth their prowess, thy sons, O monarch, beholding the grandsire exert himself vigorously, approached him, with all their troops placed ahead. Desirous of laying down their lives in battle and making heaven itself their goal, they approached the Pandavas in that battle, which was fraught with great carnage. The brave Pandavas also, O king, bearing in mind the many injuries of diverse kinds inflicted upon them before by thee and thy son, O monarch, and casting off all fear, and eager to win the highest heavens, cheerfully fought with thy son and the other warriors of thy army.

"Then the generalissimo of the Pandava army, viz., the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, addressing his soldiers, said, 'Ye Somakas, accompanied by the Srinjayas, rush ye at Ganga's son.' Hearing those words of their commander the Somakas and the Srinjayas, though afflicted with showers of arrows, rushed at the son of Ganga. Thus attacked, O king, thy sire Bhishma, influenced by wrath, began to fight with the Srinjayas.

In days of old, O sire, the intelligent Rama had imparted to Bhishma of glorious achievements that instruction in weapons which was so destructive of hostile ranks. Relying on that instruction and causing a great havoc among the troops of the foe, that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the old Kuru grandsire Bhishma, day after day, slew ten thousand warriors of the Ratha. On the tenth day, however, O bull of Bharata's race, Bhishma, single-handed, slew ten thousand elephants. And then he slew seven great car-warriors among the Matsyas and the Panchalas. In addition to all this, in that dreadful battle five thousand foot-soldiers, and one thousand tuskers, and ten thousand steeds, were also slain by thy sire, O king, through skill acquired by education. Then having thinned the ranks of all the kings, he slew Satanika, the dear brother of Virata. And the valiant Bhishma, having slain Satanika in battle, felled, O king, full one thousand Kshatriyas with his broad-headed shafts. Besides these, all the Kshatriyas of the Pandava army who followed Dhananjaya, as soon as they approached Bhishma, had to go to Yama's abode. Covering the Pandava host from every side with showers of arrows, Bhishma stayed in battle at the head of the Kaurava army. Achieving the most glorious feats on the tenth day, as he stayed between the two armies, bow in hand, none of the kings, O monarch, could even look at him, for he then resembled the hot mid-day Sun in the summer sky. As Sakra scorched the Daitya host in battle, even so, O Bharata, did Bhishma scorch the Pandava host. Beholding him thus put forth his prowess, the slayer of Madhu, viz., the son of Devaki, cheerfully addressing Dhananjaya, said, 'There, Bhishma, the son of Santanu, stayeth between the two armies. Slaying him by putting forth thy might, thou mayst win victory. There, at that spot, whence he breaketh our ranks, check him, putting forth thy strength. O lord, none else, save thee, ventureth to bear the arrows of Bhishma. Thus urged, the ape-bannered Arjuna at that moment made Bhishma with his car, steeds, and standard, invisible by means of his arrows. That bull, however, among the foremost of Kurus, by means of his own arrowy showers, pierced those showers of shafts shot by the son of Pandu. Then the king of the Panchalas the valiant Dhrishtaketu, Bhimasena the son of Pandu, Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva), Chekitana, and the five Kaikaya brothers, and the mighty-armed Satyaki and Subhadra's son, and Ghatotkacha, and the (five) sons of Draupadi, and Sikhandin, and the valiant Kuntibhoja, and Susarman, and Virata, these and many other powerful warriors of the Pandava army, afflicted by the shafts of Bhishma, seemed to sink in an ocean of grief, Phalguni, however, rescued them all. Then Sikhandin, taking up a mighty weapon and protected by Kiritin, rushed impetuously towards Bhishma alone. The unvanquished Vibhatsu then, knowing what should be done after what, slew all those that followed Bhishma, and then himself rushed at him. And Satyaki, and Chekitana, and Dhristadyumna of Prishata's race, and Virata, and Drupada, and the twin sons of Madri by Pandu, all protected by that firm bowman (viz., Arjuna) rushed against Bhishma alone in that battle. And Abhimanyu, and the five sons of Draupadi also, with mighty weapons upraised, rushed against Bhishma in battle. All those firm bowmen, unretreating from battle, pierced Bhishma in diverse parts of his body with well-aimed shafts. Disregarding all those shafts, large in number, shot by those foremost of princes belonging to the Pandava host, Bhishma of undepressed soul penetrated into the Pandava ranks. And the grandsire baffled all those arrows, as if sporting the while. Frequently looking at Sikhandin the prince of the Panchalas with a laugh, he aimed not a single arrow at him, recollecting his femininity. On the other hand, he slew seven great car-warriors belonging to Drupada's division. Then confused cries of woe soon arose amongst the Matsyas, the Panchalas, and the Chedis, who were together rushing at that single hero. With large numbers of foot-soldiers and steeds and cars, and with showers of arrows, O scorcher of foes, they overwhelmed that single warrior, viz., Bhishma the son of Bhagirathi, that scorcher of foes, like the clouds overwhelming the maker of day. Then in that battle between him and them, which resembled the battle between the gods and the Asuras in days of old, the diadem-decked (Arjuna), placing Sikhandin before him, pierced Bhishma (repeatedly).'

 

Sanjaya said, "Thus all the Pandavas, placing Sikhandin before them pierced Bhishma in that battle repeatedly surrounding him on all sides. And all the Srinjayas, uniting together, struck him with dreadful Sataghnis, and spiked maces, and battle-axes, and mallets, and short thick clubs, and bearded darts, and other missiles, and arrows furnished with golden wing, and darts and lances and kampanas; and with long shafts, and arrows furnished with heads shaped like the calf-tooth, and rockets. Thus afflicted by many, his coat of mail was pierced everywhere. But though pierced in every vital part, Bhishma felt no pain. On the other hand, he then seemed to his enemies to resemble in appearance the (all-destructive) fire that rises at the end of Yuga. His bow and arrows constituted the blazing flames (of that fire). The flight of his weapons constituted its (friendly) breeze. The rattle of his car-wheels constituted its heat and mighty weapons constituted its splendour. His beautiful bow formed its fierce tongue, and the bodies of heroic warriors, its profuse fuel. And Bhishma was seen to roll through the midst of crowds of cars belonging to those kings, or to come out (of the press) at times, or course once more through their midst. Then, disregarding the king of the Panchalas and Dhrishtaketu, he penetrated, O monarch, into the midst of the Pandava army. He then pierced the six Pandava warriors, viz., Satyaki, and Bhima, and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, and Drupada, and Virata, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, with many excellent arrows of great sharpness and dreadful whizz and exceeding impetuosity, and capable of piercing through every kind of armour. Those mighty car-warriors, however, checking those keen shafts, afflicted Bhishma with great force, each of them striking him with ten shafts. Those mighty shafts, whetted on stone and furnished with golden wings, which the great car-warrior Sikhandin shot, quickly penetrated into Bhishma's body. Then the diadem-decked (Arjuna), excited with wrath, and placing Sikhandin ahead rushed at Bhishma and cut off the latter's bow. Thereupon mighty car-warriors, seven in number, viz., Drona and Kritavarman, and Jayadratha the ruler of the Sindhus, and Bhurisravas, and Sala, and Salya, and Bhagadatta could not brook that act of Arjuna. Inflamed with rage, they rushed at him. Indeed, those mighty car-warriors, invoking into existence celestial weapons, fell with great wrath upon that son of Pandu, and covered him with their arrows. And as they rushed towards Phalguni's car, the noise made by them was heard to resemble that made by the ocean itself when it swelleth in rage at the end of the Yuga, Kill, Bring up (our forces), Take, Pierce, Cut off, this was the furious uproar heard about Phalguni's car. Hearing that furious uproar, the mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army rushed forward, O bull of Bharata's race, for protecting Arjuna. They were Satyaki, and Bhimasena, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, and both Virata and Drupada, and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, and the wrathful Abhimanyu. These seven, inflamed with rage, and armed with excellent bows, rushed with great speed. And the battle that took place between these and the Kaurava warriors was fierce, making the hair stand on end, and resembling O chief of the Bharatas, the battle of the gods with the Danavas. Sikhandin, however, that foremost of car-warriors, protected in the battle by the diadem-decked (Arjuna), pierced Bhishma, in that encounter, with ten shafts after the latter's bow had been cut off. And he struck Bhishma's charioteer with other shafts, and cut off the latter's standard with one shaft. Then the son of Ganga took up another bow that was tougher. That even was cut off by Phalguni with three sharp shafts. Indeed, that chastiser of foes, viz., Arjuna, who was capable of drawing the bow with even his left hand, excited with rage, one after another, cut off all the bows that Bhishma took up. Then Bhishma, whose bows were thus cut off, excited with rage, and licking the corners of his mouth, took up a dart that was capable of riving a hill. In rage he hurled it at Phalguni's car. Beholding its course towards him like the blazing bolt of heaven, the delighter of the Pandavas fixed five sharp broad-headed arrows (on his bow-string). And with those five arrows, O chief of the Bharatas, the angry Arjuna cut off into five fragments that dart hurled from Bhishma's arms. Thus cut off by the angry Arjuna, that dart then fell down like a flash of lightning separated from a mass of clouds. Beholding his dart cut off, Bhishma became filled with rage. That hero, that subjugator of hostile cities, then began to reflect. And he said unto himself, 'With only a single bow I could slay all the Pandavas, if the mighty Vishnu himself had not been their protector. For two reasons, however, I will not fight with the Pandavas, viz., their unslayableness, and the femininity of Sikhandin. Formerly, when my sire wedded Kali, he pleased (with me) gave me two boons, viz., that I should be incapable of being slain in battle, and that my death should depend on my own choice. I should, however, now wish my own death, this being the proper hour.' Ascertaining this to be the resolve of Bhishma of immeasurable energy, the Rishis and the Vasus stationed in the firmament, said, 'That which hath been resolved by thee is approved by us also, O son! Act according to thy resolution, O king. Withdraw thy heart from battle.' On the conclusion, of those words, fragrant and auspicious breeze charged with particles of water, began to blow along a natural direction. And celestial cymbals of loud sounds began to beat. And a flowery shower fell upon Bhishma, O sire. The words spoken by the Rishis and the Vasus, however, O king, were not heard by any one save Bhishma himself. I also heard them, through the power conferred on me by the Muni. Great was the grief, O monarch, that filled the hearts of the celestials at the thought of Bhishma, that favourite of all the worlds, falling down from his car. Having listened to these words of the celestials, Santanu's son Bhishma of great ascetic merit rushed out at Vibhatsu, even though he was then being pierced with sharp arrows capable of penetrating through every armour. Then Sikhandin, O king, excited with rage, struck the grandsire of the Bharatas in the chest with nine sharp arrows. The Kuru grandsire Bhishma, however, though struck by him in battle, thus, trembled not, O monarch, but remained unmoved like a mountain during an earthquake. Then Vibhatsu, drawing his bow Gandiva with a laugh, pierced the son of Ganga with five and twenty arrows. And once more, Dhananjaya, with great speed and excited with wrath struck him in every vital part with hundreds of arrows. Thus pierced by others, also with thousands of arrows, the mighty car-warrior Bhishma pierced those others in return with great speed. And as regards the arrows shot by those warriors, Bhishma, possessed of prowess in battle that was incapable of being baffled, equally checked them all with his own straight arrows. Those arrows, however, endued with wings of gold and whetted on stone, which the mighty car-warrior Sikhandin shot in that battle, scarcely caused Bhishma any pain. Then the diadem-decked (Arjuna), excited with rage and placing Sikhandin to the fore, approached Bhishma (nearer) and once more cut off his bow. And then piercing Bhishma with ten arrows, he cut off the latter's standard with one. And striking Bhishma's chariot with ten arrows, Arjuna caused him to tremble. The son of Ganga then took up another bow that was stronger. Within, however, the twinkling of an eye, as soon, in fact, as it was taken up, Arjuna cut that bow also into three fragments with three broad-headed shafts. And thus the son of Pandu cut off in that battle even all the bows of Bhishma. After that, Bhishma the son of Santanu, no longer desired to battle with Arjuna. The latter, however, then pierced him with five and twenty arrows. That great bowman, thus pierced greatly, then addressed Dussasana, and skid, 'Behold, Partha, that great car-warrior of the Pandavas, excited with wrath in battle, pierceth me alone with many thousands of arrows. He is incapable of being vanquished in battle by the wielder of the thunder-bolt himself. As regards myself also, O hero, the very gods, Danavas and Rakshasas united together, are incapable of vanquishing me. What I shall say then of mighty car-warriors among men?' While Bhishma was thus speaking to Dussasana, Phalguni with sharp shafts, and placing Sikhandin to the fore, pierced Bhishma in that battle. Then Bhishma, deeply and excessively pierced by the wielder of Gandiva with keen-pointed shafts, once more addressed Dussasana with a smile and said, 'These arrows coursing towards me in one continuous line, whose touch resembleth that of heaven's bolt, have been shot by Arjuna. These are not Sikhandin's. Cutting me to the quick, piercing through even my hard coat of mail, and striking me with the force of mushalas, these arrows are not Sikhandin's. Of touch as hard as that of the Brahmana's rod (of chastisement), and of impetus unbearable as that of the thunder-bolt, these arrows are afflicting my vital forces. These are not Sikhandin's. Of the touch of maces and spiked bludgeons, those arrows are destroying my vital forces like messengers of Death commissioned (by the grim king himself). These are not Sikhandin's. Like angry snakes of virulent poison, projecting their tongues out, these are penetrating into my vitals. These are not Sikhandin's--these that cut me to the quick like the cold of winter cutting kine to the quick. Save the heroic wielder of Gandiva, viz., the ape-bannered Jishnu, even all other kings united together cannot cause me pain. Saying these words, Bhishma, the valiant son of Santanu, as if for the object of consuming the Pandavas, hurled a dart at Partha. Partha, however, caused that dart to drop down, cutting it into three fragments with three shafts, in the very sight, O Bharata, of all the Kuru heroes of thy army. Desirous of obtaining either death or victory, the son of Ganga then took up a sword and a shield decked with gold. Before, however, he could come down from his car, Arjuna cut off by means of his arrows, that shield into a hundred fragments. And that feat of his seemed exceedingly wonderful. Then the king Yudhishthira urged his own troops, saying, 'Rush ye at Ganga's son. Do not entertain the slightest fear'. Then, armed with bearded darts, and lances, and arrows, from all sides, with axes, and excellent scimitars, and long shafts of great sharpness, with calf-toothed arrows, and broad-headed shafts, they all rushed at that single warrior. Then arose from among the Pandava host a loud shout. Then thy sons also, O king, desirous of Bhishma's victory, surrounded him and uttered leonine shouts. Fierce was the battle fought there between thy troops and those of the enemy on that the tenth day, O king, when Bhishma and Arjuna met together. Like unto the vortex that occurs at the spot where the Ganga meets the Ocean, for a short while a vortex occurred there where the troops of both armies met and struck one another down. And the Earth, wet with gore, assumed a fierce form. And the even and the uneven spots on her surface could no longer be distinguished. Although Bhishma was pierced in all his vital limbs, yet on that the tenth day he stayed (calmly) in battle, having slain ten thousand warriors. Then that great bowman, Partha, stationed at the head of his troops, broke the centre of the Kuru army. Ourselves then, afraid of Kunti's son Dhananjaya having white steeds attached to his car, and afflicted by him with polished weapons, fled away from the battle. The Sauviras, the Kitavas, the Easterners, the Westerners, the Northerners, the Malavas, the Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, the Vasatis, the Salwas, the Sayas, the Trigartas, the Amvashthas, and the Kaikeyas.--these and many other illustrious warriors,--afflicted with arrows and pained by their wounds, abandoned Bhishma in that battle while he was fighting with the diadem-decked (Arjuna). Then a great many warriors, surrounding that single warrior on all sides, defeated the Kurus (that protected him) and covered him with shower of arrows. Throw down, Seize, Fight, Cut into pieces,--this was the furious uproar, O king, heard in the vicinity of Bhishma's car. Having slain in that battle, O monarch, (his foes) by hundreds and thousands, there was not in Bhishma's body space of even two fingers' breadth that was not pierced with arrows. Thus was thy sire mangled with arrows of keen points by Phalguni in that battle. And then he fell down from his car with his head to the east, a little before sunset, in the very sight of thy sons. And while Bhishma fell, loud cries of alas and oh, O Bharata, were heard in the welkin uttered by the celestials and the kings of the earth. And beholding the high-souled grandsire falling down (from his car), the hearts of all of us fell with him. That foremost of all bowmen, that mighty-armed hero, fell down, like an uprooted standard of Indra, making the earth tremble the while. Pierced all over with arrows, his body touched not the ground. At that moment, O bull of Bharata's race, a divine nature took possession of that great bowman lying on a bed of arrows. The clouds poured a (cool) shower (over him) and the Earth trembled. While falling he had marked that the Sun was then in the southern solstice. That hero, therefore, permitted not his senses to depart, thinking of that (inauspicious) season (of death). And all around in the welkin he heard celestial voices saying, 'Why, Oh why, should Ganga's son, that foremost of all warriors of weapons, yield up his life during the southern declension?' Hearing these words, the son of Ganga answered, 'I am alive!' Although fallen upon the earth, the Kuru grandsire Bhishma, expectant of the northern declension, suffered not his life to depart. Ascertaining that to be his resolve, Ganga, the daughter of Himavat, sent unto him the great Rishis in swanlike form. Then those Rishis in the forms of swans inhabiting the Manasa lake, quickly rose up, and came together, for obtaining a sight of the Kuru grandsire Bhishma, to that spot where that foremost of men was lying on his bed of arrows. Then those Rishis in swanlike forms, coming to Bhishma, beheld that perpetuator of Kuru's race lying on his bed of arrows. Beholding that high-souled son of Ganga, that chief of the Bharatas, they walked round him, and the Sun being then in the southern solstice, they said, addressing one another, these words, 'Being a high-souled person, why should Bhishma pass out (of the world) during the southern declension?' Having said these words, those swans went away, proceeding towards the southern direction. Endued with great intelligence, Bhishma, O Bharata. beholding them, reflected for a moment. And the son of Santanu then said unto them. 'I will never pass out (of the world) as long as the Sun is in the southern solstice. Even this is my resolve. I will proceed to my own ancient abode when the Sun reacheth the northern solstice. Ye swans, I tell you this truly. Expectant of the northern declension I will hold my life. Since I have the fullest control over the yielding up of my life, I will, therefore, hold life, expectant of death during the northern declension. The boon that was granted to me by my illustrious sire, to the effect that my death would depend on my own wish O, let that boon become true. I will hold my life, since I have control in the matter of laying it down.' Having said these words to those swans, he continued to lie down on his bed of arrows.

"When that crest of the Kuru race, viz., Bhishma of great energy, fell down, the Pandavas and the Srinjayas uttered leonine shouts. When the grandsire of the Bharatas who was endued with great might was overthrown, thy son, O bull of Bharata's race, knew not what to do. And all the Kurus were entirely deprived of their senses. And the Kurus headed by Kripa, and Duryodhana, sighed and wept. And from grief they remained for a long while deprived of their senses. And they remained perfectly still, O monarch, without setting their hearts on battle. As if seized by thighs, they stood motionless, without proceeding against the Pandavas. When Santanu's son Bhishma of mighty energy, who was (regarded as) unslayable, was slain, all of us thought that the destruction of the Kuru king was at hand. Vanquished by Savyasachin, with our foremost heroes slain, and ourselves mangled with sharp arrows, we knew not what to do. And the heroic Pandavas possessed of massive arms that looked like spiked maces, having obtained the victory and won a highly blessed state in the other world, all blew their great conches. And the Somakas and the Panchalas all rejoiced, O king. Then when thousands of trumpets were blown, the mighty Bhimasena slapped his arm-pits and uttered loud shouts. When the all-powerful son of Ganga was slain, the heroic warriors of both armies, laying down their weapons, began to reflect thoughtfully. And some uttered loud shrieks and some fled away, and some were deprived of their senses. And some censured the practices of the Kshatriya order and some applauded Bhishma. And the Rishis and the Pitris all applauded Bhishma of high vows. And the deceased ancestors of the Bharatas also praised Bhishma. Meanwhile the valiant and intelligent Bhishma, the son of Santanu, having recourse to that Yoga which is taught in the great Upanishads and engaged in mental prayers, remained quiet, expectant of his hour."

 

Dhritarashtra said, 'Alas, what was the state of (my) warriors, O Sanjaya, when they were deprived of the mighty and god-like Bhishma who had become a Brahmacharin for the sake of his reverend sire? Even then I regarded the Kurus and all the others as slain by the Pandavas when Bhishma, despising the son of Drupada, struck him not. Wretch that I am, also, I hear today of my sire's slaughter. What can be a heavier sorrow than this? My heart assuredly, O Sanjaya, is made of adamant, since it breaketh not into a hundred fragments on hearing of Bhishma's death! Tell me, O thou of excellent vows, what was done by that lion among the Kurus, viz., the victory-desiring Bhishma when he was slain in battle. I cannot at all brook it that Devavrata should be slain in battle. Alas, he that was not slain by Jamadagni's son himself in days of old by means of even his celestial weapons, alas, he hath now been slain by Drupada's son Sikhandin, the prince of Panchala!--

'Sanjaya said,--"Slain in the evening the Kuru grandsire Bhishma saddened the Dhartarashtras and delighted the Panchalas. Falling down on the earth, he lay on his bed of arrows without however, touching the earth with his body. Indeed, when Bhishma, thrown down from his car fell upon the surface of the earth, cries of Oh and Alas were heard among all creatures. When that boundary-tree of the Kurus, viz., the ever victorious Bhishma, fell down, fear entered the hearts, O king, of the Kshatriyas of both the armies. Beholding Bhishma, the son of Santanu, with his standard overthrown and his armour cut open, both the Kurus and the Pandavas were inspired, O monarch, with sentiments of cheerlessness. And the welkin was enveloped with a gloom and the Sun himself became dim. The Earth seemed to utter loud shrieks when the son of Santanu was slain. This one is the foremost of those conversant with the Vedas! This one is the best of those that are conversant with the Vedas!--Even thus did creatures speak of that bull among men as he lay (on his bed of arrows).This one, formerly, ascertaining his sire Santanu to be afflicted by Kama, this bull among men, resolved to draw up his vital steed!--Even thus did the Rishis together with the Siddhas and the Charanas said of that foremost one of the Bharatas as he lay on his bed of arrows. When Santanu's son Bhishma, the grandsire of the Bharatas, was slain, thy sons, O sire, knew not what to do. Their faces wore an expression of grief. The splendour of their countenances seemed to abandon them, O Bharata! All of them stood in shame, hanging down their heads. The Pandavas, on the other hand, having, won the victory, stood at the head of their ranks. And they all blew their large conchs decked with gold. And when in consequence of their joys thousands of trumpets, O sinless one, were blown there, we beheld O monarch, the mighty Bhimasena, the son of Kunti, sporting in great glee, having quickly slain many hostile warriors endued with great strength. And a great swoon overtook all the Kurus. And Karna and Duryodhana repeatedly drew long breaths. When the Kuru grandsire Bhishma fell down, thus, cries of sorrow were heard all round, and the greatest confusion prevailed (among the Kuru army). Beholding Bhishma fallen, thy son Dussasana, with great speed, entered the division commanded by Drona. That hero, clad in mail and at the head of his own troops, had been placed by his elder brother (for the protection of Bhishma). That tiger among men now came, plunging the troops he had commanded into grief. Beholding him coming towards them, the Kauravas surrounded prince Dussasana, desirous, O monarch, of hearing what he had to say. Then Dussasana of Kuru's race informed Drona of Bhishma's slaughter. Drona then, hearing those evil tidings, suddenly fell down from his car. Then the valiant son of Bharadwaja, quickly recovering his senses, forbade the Kuru army, sire, to continue the fight. Beholding the Kurus desist from battle, the Pandavas also, through messengers on fleet horses, forbade their orders, ceased to fight, the kings of both armies, putting off their armour, all repaired to Bhishma. Desisting from the fight, thousands of (other) warriors then, proceeded towards the high-souled Bhishma like the celestials towards the Lord of all creatures. Approaching Bhishma who was then, O bull of Bharata's race, lying (on his bed of arrows), the Pandavas and the Kurus stood there, having offered him their salutations. Then Santanu's son Bhishma of righteous soul addressed the Pandavas and the Kurus who having reverenced him thus, stood before him. And he said,--Welcome to you, ye highly blessed ones! Welcome to you, ye mighty car-warriors! Gratified am I with your sight, ye that are the equals of the very gods.--Thus addressing them with his head hanging down, he once more said,--'My head is hanging down greatly. Let a pillow be given to me!--The kings (standing there) then fetched many excellent pillows that were very soft and made of very delicate fabrics. The grandsire, however, desired them not. That tiger among men then said unto those kings with a laugh,--These, ye kings, do not become a hero's bed.--Beholding them that foremost of men, that mightiest of car-warriors in all the worlds, viz., the mighty-armed Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, he said,--O Dhananjaya, O thou of mighty arms, my head hangeth down, O sire! Give me a pillow such as thou regardest to be fit!--'"

 

"Sanjaya said,--'Stringing then his large bow and reverentially saluting the grandsire, Arjuna, with eyes filled with tears, said these words, O foremost one among the Kurus, O thou that art the first among all wielders of weapons, command me, O invincible one, for I am thy slave! What shall I do, O grandsire!--Unto him Santanu's son said,--My head, O sire, hangeth down!--O foremost one among the Kuru's O Phalguni, get me a pillow! Indeed, give me one without delay O hero, that would become my bed! Thou O Partha, art competent, thou art the foremost of all wielders of bows! Thou art conversant with the duties of Kshatriyas and thou art endued with intelligence and goodness!--Then Phalguni, saying,--So be it--desired to do Bhishma's bidding. Taking up Gandiva and a number of straight shafts, and inspiring them with mantras, and obtaining the permission of that illustrious and mighty car-warrior of Bharata's race, Arjuna then, with three keen shafts endued with great force, supported Bhishma's head. Then that chief of the Bharatas, viz., Bhishma of virtuous soul, conversant with the truths of religion, seeing that Arjuna, having divined his thought, had achieved that feat, became highly gratified. And after that pillow had thus been given to him, he applauded Dhananjaya. And casting his eyes upon all the Bharatas there, he addressed Kunti's son Arjuna, that foremost of all warriors, that enhancer of the joys of his friends and said,--Thou hast given me, O son of Pandu, a pillow that becometh my bed! If thou hadst acted otherwise, I would have cursed thee, from wrath! Even thus, O mighty-armed one, should a Kshatriya, observant of his duties, sleep on the field of battle on his bed of arrows!--Having addressed Vibhatsu thus, he then said unto all those kings and princes that were present there, these words:--Behold ye the pillow that the son of Pandu hath given me! I will sleep on this bed till the Sun turneth to the northern solstice! Those king that will then come to me will behold me (yield up my life)! When the Sun on his car of great speed and unto which are yoked seven steeds, will proceed towards the direction occupied by Vaisravana, verily, even then, will I yield up my life like a dear friend dismissing a dear friend! Let a ditch be dug here around my quarters ye kings! Thus pierced with hundreds of arrows will I pay my adorations to the Sun? As regards yourselves, abandoning enmity, cease ye from the fight, ye kings--

'Sanjaya continued,--"Then there came unto him some surgeons well trained (in their science) and skilled in plucking out arrows, with all becoming appliances (of their profession). Beholding them, the son of Ganga said unto thy son,--'Let these physicians, after proper respect being paid to them, be dismissed with presents of wealth. Brought to such a plight, what need have I now of physicians? I have won the most laudable and the highest state ordained in Kshatriya observances! Ye kings, lying as I do on a bed of arrows, it is not proper for me to submit now to the treatment of physicians. With these arrows on my body, ye rulers of men, should I be burnt!'--Hearing these words of his, thy son Duryodhana dismissed those physicians, having honoured them as they deserved. Then those kings of diverse realms, beholding that constancy in virtue displayed by Bhishma of immeasurable energy, were filled with wonder. Having given a pillow to thy sire thus, those rulers of men, those mighty car-warriors, viz., the Pandavas and the Kauravas, united together, once more approached the high-souled Bhishma lying on that excellent bed of his. Reverentially saluting that high-souled one and circumambulating him thrice, and stationing guards all around for his protection, those heroes, with bodies drenched in blood, repaired for rest towards their own tents in the evening, their hearts plunged into grief and thinking of what they had seen.

Then at the proper time, the mighty Madhava, approaching the Pandavas, those mighty car-warriors cheerfully seated together and filled with joy at the fall of Bhishma, said unto Dharma's son Yudhishthira these words,--"By good luck victory hath been thine, O thou of Kuru's rare! By good luck hath Bhishma been overthrown, who is unslayable by men, and is a mighty car-warrior of aim incapable of being baffled! Or, perhaps, as destiny would have it, that warrior who was master of every weapon, having obtained thee for a foe that canst slay with thy eyes alone, hath been consumed by thy wrathful eye!--Thus addressed by Krishna, king Yudhishthira the just, replied unto Janardana, saying,--Through Thy grace is Victory, through Thy wrath is Defeat! Thou art dispeller of the fears of those that are devoted to thee. Thou art our refuge! It is not wonderful that they should have victory whom Thou always protectest in battle, and in whose welfare Thou art always engaged, O Kesava! Having got Thee for our refuge, I do not regard anything as wonderful! Thus addressed by him, Janardana answered with a smile,--O best of kings, these words can come from thee alone!"

 

"Sanjaya said,--'After the night had passed away, O monarch, all the kings, the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras, repaired to the grandsire, Those Kshatriyas then saluted that bull of their order, that foremost one among the Kurus, that hero lying on a hero's bed, and stood in his presence. Maidens by thousands, having repaired to that place, gently showered over Santanu's son powdered sandal wood and fried paddy, and garlands of flowers. And women and old men and children, and ordinary spectators, all approached Santanu's son like creatures of the world desirous of beholding the Sun. And trumpets by hundreds and thousands, and actors, and mimes, and skilled mechanics also came to the aged Kuru grandsire. And ceasing to fight, putting aside their coats of mail, and lying aside their weapons, the Kurus and the Pandavas, united together, came to the invincible Devavrata, that chastiser of foes. And they were assembled together as in days of old, and cheerfully addressed one another according to their respective ages. And that conclave full of Bharata kings by hundreds and adorned with Bhishma, looked beautiful and blazing like a conclave of the gods in heaven. And that conclave of kings engaged in honouring the son of Ganga looked as beautiful as a conclave of the celestials engaged in adorning their Lord, viz., the Grandsire (Brahman). Bhishma, however, O bull of Bharata's race, suppressing his agonies with fortitude though burning with the arrows (still sticking to his body), was sighing like a snake. His body burning with these arrows, and himself nearly deprived of his senses in consequence of his weapon-wounds, Bhishma cast his eyes on those kings and asked for water. Then those Kshatriyas, O king, brought thither excellent viands and several vessels of cold water. Beholding that water brought for him, Santanu's son said,--I cannot, O sire, now use any article of human enjoyment! I am removed from the pale of humanity. I am lying on a bed of arrows. I am staying here, expecting only the return of the Moon and the Sun! Having spoken these words and thereby rebuked those kings, O Bharata, he said,--I wish to see Arjuna!--The mighty-armed Arjuna then came there, and reverentially saluting the grandsire stood with joined hands, and said,--What shall I do?--Beholding then that son of Pandu, O monarch, thus standing before him after having offered him respectful salutations, Bhishma of righteous soul cheerfully addressed Dhananjaya, saying,--Covered all over with thy shafts, my body is burning greatly! All the vital parts of my body are in agony. My mouth is dry. Staying as I am with body afflicted with agony, give me water, O Arjuna! Thou art a great bowman! Thou art capable of giving me water duly!--The valiant Arjuna then saying,--So be it,--mounted on his car, and striking his Gandiva with force, began to stretch it. Hearing the twang of his bow and the slap of his palms which resembled the roar of the thunder, the troops and the kings were all inspired with fear. Then that foremost of car-warriors, mounted on his car, circumambulated that prostrate chief of the Bharatas, that foremost of all wielders of weapons. Aiming then a blazing arrow, after having inspired it with Mantras and identified it with the Parjanya weapon, in the very sight of the entire army, the son of Pandu, viz., Partha, pierced the Earth a little to the south of where Bhishma lay. Then there arose a jet of water that was pure, and auspicious, and cool, and that resembling the nectar itself, was of celestial scent and taste. And with that cool jet of water Partha gratified Bhishma, that bull among the Kurus, of godlike deeds and prowess. And at that feat of Partha who resembled Sakra himself in his acts, all those rulers of Earth were filled with great wonder. And beholding that feat of Vibhatsu implying superhuman prowess, the Kurus trembled like kine afflicted with cold. And from wonder all the kings there present waved their garments (in the air). And loud was the blare of conchs and the beat of drums that were then heard all over the field. And Santanu's son, his thirst quenched, then addressed Jishnu, O monarch, and said, applauding him highly in the presence of all those kings, these words, viz.,--O thou of mighty arms, this is not wonderful in thee, O son of Kuru's race! O thou of immeasurable effulgence, even Narada spoke of thee as an ancient Rishi! Indeed, with Vasudeva as thy ally, thou wilt achieve many mighty feats which the chief of the celestials himself with all the gods, of a certainty, will not venture to achieve! They that have knowledge of such things know thee to be the destroyer of the whole Kshatriya race! Thou art the one bowman among the bowmen of the world! Thou art the foremost among men. As human beings are, in this world, foremost of all creatures, as Garuda is the foremost of all winged creatures; as the Ocean is the foremost among all receptacles of water and the cow among all quadrupeds; as the Sun is the foremost amongst all luminous bodies and Himavat among all mountains; as the Brahmana is the foremost among all castes, art thou the foremost of all bowmen! Dhritarashtra's son (Duryodhana) listened not to the words repeatedly spoken by me and Vidura and Drona and Rama and Janardana and also by Sanjaya. Reft of his senses, like unto an idiot, Duryodhana placed no reliance on those utterances. Past all instructions, he will certainly have to lie down for ever, overwhelmed by the might of Bhima!--Hearing these words of his, the Kuru king Duryodhana became of cheerless heart. Eyeing him, Santanu's son said,--Listen, O king! Abandon thy wrath! Thou hast seen, O Duryodhana how the intelligent Partha created that jet of cool and nectar-scented water! There is none else in this world capable of achieving such feat. The weapons appertaining to Agni, Varuna, Soma, Vayu, and Vishnu, as also those appertaining to Indra, Pasupati, and Paramesthi, and those of Prajapati, Dhatri, Tashtri, Savitri, and Vivaswat, all these are known to Dhananjaya alone in this world of men! Krishna, the son of Devaki, also knoweth them. But there is none else here that knoweth them. This son of Pandu, O sire, is incapable of being defeated in battle by even the gods and the Asuras together. The feats of this high-souled one are superhuman. With that truthful hero, that ornament of battle, that warrior accomplished in fight, let peace, O king, be soon made! As long as the mighty-armed Krishna is not possessed by wrath, O chief of the Kurus, it is fit, O sire, that peace should be made with the heroic Parthas! As long as this remnant of thy brothers is not slain, let peace, O monarch, be made! As long as Yudhishthira with eyes burning in wrath doth not consume thy troops in battle, let peace, O sire, be made! As long as Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Bhimasena, the sons of Pandu, do not, O monarch, exterminate thy army, it seems to me that friendly relations should be restored between thee and the heroic Pandavas! Let this battle end with my death, O sire! Make peace with the Pandavas, Let these words that are uttered to thee by me be acceptable to thee, O sinless one! Even this is what I regard to be beneficial both for thyself and the race (itself of Kuru)! Abandoning thy wrath, let peace be made with Parthas. What Phalguni hath already done is sufficient. Let friendly relations be restored with the death of Bhishma! Let this remnant (of warriors) live! Relent, O king! Let half the kingdom be given to the Pandavas. Let king Yudhishthira the just, go to Indraprastha. O chief of the Kurus, do not achieve a sinful notoriety among the kings of the earth by incurring the reproach of meanness, becoming a fomentor of intestine dissensions! Let peace come to all with my death! Let these rulers of earth, cheerfully mix with one another! Let sire get back the son, let sister's son get back the maternal uncle! If from want of understanding and possessed by folly thou dost not harken to those timely words of mine thou wilt have to repent greatly! What I say is true. Therefore, desist even now! Having, from affection, said these words unto Duryodhana in the midst of the kings, the son of the ocean-going (Ganga) became silent. Though his vital limbs were burning with the arrow-wounds, yet, prevailing over his agonies, he applied himself to yoga.

"Sanjaya continued--'Having heard these beneficial and peaceful words fraught with both virtue and profit, thy son, however, accepted them not, like a dying man refusing medicine."

 

"Sanjaya said,--'After Santanu's son Bhishma, O monarch, had become silent, all those rulers of earth, there present, then returned to their respective quarters. Hearing of Bhishma's slaughter that bull among men, viz., Radha's son (Karna), partially inspired with fear quickly came there. He beheld that illustrious hero lying on his bed of reeds. Then Vrisha (Karna) endued with great glory, with voice choked in tears, approaching that hero lying with eyes closed, fell at his feet. And he said,--O chief of the Kurus, I am Radha's son, who while before thy eyes, was everywhere looked upon by thee with hate!--Hearing these words, the aged chief of the Kurus, the son of Ganga, whose eyes were covered with film slowly raising his eyelids, and causing the guards to be removed, and seeing the place deserted by all, embraced Karna with one arm, like a sire embracing his son, and said these words with great affection:--Come, come! Thou art an opponent of mine who always challengest comparison with me! If thou hadst not come to me, without doubt, it would not have been well with thee! Thou art Kunti's son, not Radha's! Nor is Adhiratha thy father! O thou of mighty arms, I heard all this about thee from Narada as also from Krishna-Dwaipayana! Without doubt, all this is true! I tell thee truly, O son, that I bear thee no malice! It was only for abating thy energy that I used to say such harsh words to thee! O thou of excellent vows without any reason thou speakest ill of all the Pandavas! Sinfully didst thou come into the world. It is for this that thy heart hath been such. Through pride, and owning also to thy companionship with the low, thy heart hateth even persons of merit! It is for this that I spoke such harsh words about thee in the Kuru camp! I know thy prowess in battle, which can with difficulty be borne on earth by foes! I know also thy regard for Brahmanas. thy courage, and thy great attachment to alms-giving! O thou that resemblest a very god, amongst men there is none like thee! For fear of intestine dissensions I always spoke harsh words about thee. In bowmanship, in aiming weapon, in lightness of hand and in strength of weapons, thou art equal to Phalguni himself, or the high-souled Krishna! O Karna, proceeding to the city of Kasi, alone with thy bow, thou hadst crushed the kings in battle for procuring a bride for the Kuru king! The mighty and invincible king Jarasandha also, ever boastful of his prowess in battle, could not become thy match in fight! Thou art devoted to Brahmanas; thou always fightest fairly! In energy and strength, thou art equal to a child of the celestials and certainly much superior to men. The wrath I cherished against thee is gone. Destiny is incapable of being avoided by exertion. O slayer of foes, the heroic sons of Pandu are thy uterine brothers! If thou wishest to do what is agreeable to me, unite with them, O thou of mighty arms! O son of Surya, let these hostilities end with me! Let all the kings of Earth be to-day freed from danger!--

"'Karna said I know this, O thou of mighty arms! All this without doubt, is (as thou sayest)! As thou tellest me, O, Bhishma, I am Kunti's son, and not the son of a Suta! I was, however, abandoned by Kunti, and I have been reared by a Suta. Having (so long) enjoyed the wealth of Duryodhana, I dare not falsify it now. Like Vasudeva's son who is firmly resolved for the sake of the Pandavas, I also, O thou that makest profuse presents to Brahmanas, am prepared to cast away my possessions, my body itself, my children, and my wife, for Duryodhana's sake! Death from disease, O thou of Kuru's race, doth not become a Kshatriya! Relying upon Suyodhana I have always offended the Pandavas! This affairs is destined to take its course. It is incapable of being prevented. Who was there that would venture to overcome Destiny by exertion? Various omens indicating the destruction of the Earth. O grandsire, were noticed by thee and declared in the assembly. It is well known to me that the son of Pandu, and Vasudeva, are incapable of being conquered by other men. Even with them we venture to fight! I will vanquish the son of Pandu in battle! Even this is my firm resolve! I am not capable, of casting off this fierce animosity (that I cherish against the Pandavas)! With a cheerful heart, and keeping the duties of my order before my eye, I will contend against Dhananjaya. Firmly resolved that I am on battle, grant me thy permission, O hero! I will fight. Even this is my wish. It behoveth thee to forgive me also any harsh words that I may have at any time uttered against thee or any act that I may have done against thee from anger or inconsiderateness!--"

"'Bhishma said,--If, indeed, thou art unable to cast off this fierce animosity, I permit thee, O Karna! Fight, moved by the desire of heaven! Without anger and without vindictiveness, serve thou the king according to thy power and according to thy courage and observant of the conduct of the righteous! Have then my permission, O Karna! Obtain thou that which thou seekest! Through Dhananjaya thou wilt obtain all those regions (hereafter) which are capable of being had by fulfilling the duties of a Kshatriya! Freed from pride, and relying on thy (own) might and energy, engage in battle, since a Kshatriya cannot have a (source of) greater happiness than a righteous battle. For a long while I made great efforts for bringing about peace! But I succeeded not, O Karna, in the task! Truly do I say this unto thee!--"

"'Sanjaya continued,--'After the son of Ganga had said this, Radha's son (Karna) having saluted Bhishma and obtained his forgiveness, got up on his car and proceeded towards (the quarters of) thy son.'