The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'And the ranks of those fierce bowmen, the Kurus, looked like masses of clouds in the rainy season drifting before a gentle wind. And close (to those ranks of foot-soldiers) stood the enemy's horses ridden by terrible warriors. And there were also elephants of terrible mien, looking resplendent in beautiful armour, ridden by skilled combatants and urged on with iron crows and hooks. And, O king, mounted on a beautiful car, Sakra came there accompanied by the celestials,--the Viswas and Maruts. And crowded with gods, Yakshas, Gandharvas and Nagas, the firmament looked as resplendent as it does when bespangled with the planetary constellation in a cloudless night. And the celestials came there, each on his own car, desirous of beholding the efficacy of their weapons in human warfare, and for witnessing also the fierce and mighty combat that would take place when Bhishma and Arjuna would meet. And embellished with gems of every kind and capable of going everywhere at the will of the rider, the heavenly car of the lord of the celestials, whose roof was upheld by a hundred thousand pillars of gold with (a central) one made entirely of jewels and gems, was conspicuous in the clear sky. And there appeared on the scene three and thirty gods with Vasava (at their head), and (many) Gandharvas and Rakshasas and Nagas and Pitris, together with the great Rishis. And seated on the car of the lord of the celestials, appeared the effulgent persons of king, Vasumanas and Valakshas and Supratarddana, and Ashtaka and Sivi and Yayati and Nahusha and Gaya and Manu and Puru and Raghu and Bhanu and Krisaswa and Sagara and Nala. And there shone in a splendid array, each in its proper place the cars of Agni and Isa and Soma and Varuna and Prajapati and Dhatri and Vidhatri and Kuvera and Yama, and Alamvusha and Ugrasena and others, and of the Gandharva Tumburu. And all the celestials and the Siddhas, and
all the foremost of sages came there to behold that encounter between Arjuna and the Kurus. And the sacred fragrance of celestial garlands filled the air like that of blossoming woods at the advent of spring. And the red and reddish umbrellas and robes and garlands and chamaras of the gods, as they were stationed there, looked exceedingly beautiful. And the dust of the earth soon disappeared and (celestial) effulgence lit up everything. And redolent of divine perfumes, the breeze began to soothe the combatants. And the firmament seemed ablaze and exceedingly beautiful, decked with already arrived and arriving cars of handsome and various make, all illumined with diverse sorts of jewels, and brought thither by the foremost of the celestials. And surrounded by the celestials, and wearing a garland of lotuses and lilies the powerful wielder of the thunderbolt looked exceedingly beautiful on his car. And the slayer of Vala, although he steadfastly gazed at his son on the field of battle, was not satiated with such gazing,'"
Next: Section LVII