The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then, O mighty king, Drona's son rushed to an encounter with Arjuna in battle. And beholding his rush to the conflict like a hurricane, showering shafts like a rain charged cloud Pritha's son received him with a cloud of arrows. And terrible was the encounter between them, like that between the gods and the Danavas. And they shot arrows at each other like Virata and Vasava. And the welkin being enveloped on all sides with arrows, the sun was completely hidden, and the air itself was hushed. And, O conqueror of hostile cities, as they assailed and struck each other, loud sounds arose as of bamboos on fire. And, O king, Aswatthaman's horses being sorely afflicted by Arjuna, they became bewildered and could not ascertain which way to go. And as Pritha's son ranged on the field, the powerful son of Drona finding an opportunity, cut off the string of the Gandiva with an arrow furnished with a horse-shoe head And beholding that extraordinary feat of his, the celestials applauded him highly. And exclaiming--'Well done'!---'Well done'! Drona and Bhishma, and Karna, and the mighty warrior Kripa, all applauded that feat of his greatly. And the son of Drona, drawing his excellent bow, pierced with his shafts, furnished with the feathers of the Kanka bird, the breast of Partha, that bull among warriors. Thereupon, with a loud laughter, the mighty-armed son of Pritha attached a strong and fresh string to Gandiva. And moistening his bow-string with the sweat that stood on his forehead resembling the crescent moon, Pritha's son advanced towards his adversary, even as an infuriated leader of a herd of elephants rusheth at another elephant. And the encounter that took place between those two matchless heroes on the field of battle was exceedingly fierce and made the bristles of the spectators stand on their ends. And as those heroes endued with mighty energy fought on, the two mighty elephants, the Kurus beheld them with wonder. And those brave bulls among men assailed each other with arrows of snaky forms and resembling blazing fires. And as the couple of quivers belonging to the Pandava was inexhaustible, that hero was able to remain on the field immovable as a mountain. And as Aswatthaman's arrows, in consequence of his ceaseless discharge in that conflict,
were quickly exhausted, it was for this that Arjuna prevailed over his adversary. Then Karna, drawing his large bow with great force twanged the bow-string. And thereupon arose loud exclamation of 'Oh'! and 'Alas'! And Pritha's son, casting his eyes towards the spot where that bow was twanged, beheld before him the son of Radha. And at that sight his wrath was greatly excited. And inflamed with ire and desirous of slaying Karna, that bull of the Kuru race stared at him with rolling eyes. And, O king, beholding Partha turn away from Aswatthaman's side, the Kuru warriors discharged thousands of arrows on Arjuna. And the mighty-armed Dhananjaya, that conqueror of foes, leaving Drona's son, all on a sudden rushed towards Karna. And rushing towards Karna, with eyes reddened in anger the son of Kunti, desirous of a single combat with him, said these words."
Next: Section LX