The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'After Bhishma had fled, leaving the van of battle, the illustrious son of Dhritarashtra hoisting high flag approached Arjuna, bow in hand and setting up a loud roar. And with a spear-headed shaft shot from his bow stretched to the ear, he pierced on the forehead of that terrible bowman of fierce prowess, Dhanajaya, ranging amidst the foes. And pierced with that keen shaft of golden point on the forehead, that hero of famous deeds looked resplendent, O king, like unto a beautiful hill with a single peak. And cut by that arrow, the warm life-blood gushed out profusely from the wound. And the blood trickling down his body shone beautifully like a wreath of golden flowers. And struck by Duryodhana with the shaft, the swift-handed Arjuna of unfailing strength, swelling with rage, pierced the king in return, taking up arrows that were endued with the energy of snakes of virulent poison. And Duryodhana of formidable energy attacked Partha, and Partha also, that foremost of heroes, attacked Duryodhana. And it was that those foremost of men, both born in the race of Ajamida, struck each other alike in the combat. And then (seated) on an infuriate elephant huge as a mountain and supported by four cars, Vikarna rushed against Jishnu, the son of Kunti. And beholding that huge elephant, advancing with speed, Dhananjaya struck him on the head between the temples with an iron arrow of great impetus shot from the bow-string stretched to the ear. And like the thunderbolt hurled by Indra splitting a mountain, that arrow furnished with vulturine wings, shot by Partha, penetrated, up to the very feathers, into the body of that elephant huge as hill. And sorely afflicted by the shaft, that lord of the elephant species began to tremble, and deprived of strength fell down on the ground in intense anguish, like the peak of mountain riven by thunder. And that best of elephants falling down on the earth, Vikarna suddenly alighting in great terror, ran back full eight hundred paces and ascended on the car of Vivingsati. And having slain with that thunder-like arrow that elephant huge as a mighty hill and looking like a mass of clouds, the son of Pritha smote Duryodhana in the breast with another arrow of the same kind. And both the elephant and the king having thus been wounded, and Vikarna having broken and fled along with the supporters of the king's car, the other warriors, smitten with the arrows shot from the Gandiva, fled from the field in panic. And beholding the elephant slain by Partha, and all the other warriors running away, Duryodhana, the foremost of the Kurus, turning away his car precipitately fled in that direction where Partha was not. And when Duryodhana was fast running away in alarm, pierced by that arrow and vomitting forth blood, Kiritin, still eager for battle and capable of enduring every enemy, thus censured him from wrath, 'Sacrificing thy great fame and glory, why dost thou fly away, turning the back? Why are not those trumpet? sounded now, as they were when
thou hadst set out from thy kingdom? Lo, I am an obedient servant of Yudhishthira, myself being the third son of Pritha, standing here for battle. Turn back, show me thy face, O son of Dhritarashtra, and bear in thy mind the behaviour of kings. The name Duryodhana bestowed on thee before is hereby rendered meaningless. When thou runnest away, leaving the battle, where is thy persistence in battle? Neither do I behold thy body-guards. O Duryodhana, before nor behind. O foremost of men, fly thou away and save thy life which is dear from the hands of Pandu's son.'"
Next: Section LXV