The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then Yuyudhana, the great hero of the Satwata race, came to Yudhishthira with a large army of foot, and horses and cars and elephants. And his soldiers of great valour come from various lands, bore various weapons of war, and heroic in look they beautified the Pandava army. And that army looked splendid by reason of battleaxes, and missiles and spears, and lances, and mallets, and clubs, and staves, and cords, and stainless swords, and daggers, and arrows of various kinds, all of the best temper. And the army, beautified by those weapons, and resembling in colour the cloudy sky, assumed an appearance like to amass of clouds with lightning-flashes in its midst. And the army counted an Akshauhini of troops. And when absorbed in the troops of Yudhishthira it entirely disappeared, as doth a small river when it enters the sea. And similarly, the powerful chief of the Chedis, Dhrishtaketu, accompanied by an Akshauhini, came to the sons of Pandu of immeasurable strength. And the king of Magadha, Jayatsena of great strength, brought with him for Yudhishthira an Akshauhini of troops. And similarly, Pandya, who dwelt on the coast-land near the sea, came accompanied by troops of various kinds to Yudhishthira, the king of kings. And, O king, when all these troops had assembled, his army, finely dressed and exceedingly strong, assumed an appearance pleasant to the eye. And the army of Drupada, also was beautified by valiant soldiers who had come from various lands, and also by his mighty sons. And similarly, Virata, the king of the Matsyas, a leader of troops, accompanied by the king of the hilly regions, came to Pandu's sons. And for the high-souled sons of Pandu there were thus assembled from various directions, seven Akshauhini of troops, bristling with banners of various forms. And eager to fight with the Kurus, they gladdened the hearts of
the Pandavas. And in the same way king Bhagadatta, gladdening the heart of Dhritarashtra's son, gave an Akshauhini of troops to him. And the unassailable mass of his troops, crowded with Chins and Kiratas, all looking like figures of gold, assumed a beauty like to that of a forest of Karnikara trees. And so the valiant Bhurisravas, and Salya, O son of Kuru, came to Duryodhana, with an Akshauhini of troops each. And Kritavarman, the son of Hridika, accompanied by the Bhojas, the Andhas, and the Kukuras, came to Duryodhana with an Akshauhini of troops. And the body of his troops composed of those mighty soldiers, who wore on their persons garlands of many-coloured flowers, looked as graceful as a number of sportive elephants that have passed through a wood. And others led by Jayadratha, the dwellers of the land of Sindhusauvira, came in such force that the hills seemed to tremble under their tread. And their force, counting an Akshauhini, looked like a mass of clouds moved by the wind. And Sudakshina, the king of the Kambhojas, O ruler of men, accompanied by the Yavanas and Sakas, came to the Kuru chief with an Akshauhini of troops. And the body of his troops that looked like a flight of locusts, meeting with the Kuru force, was absorbed and disappeared in it. And similarly came king Nila, the resident of the city of the Mahishmati, with mighty soldiers from the southern country who carried weapons of pretty make. And the two kings of Avanti, accompanied by a mighty force, brought to Duryodhana, each a separate Akshauhini of troops. And those tigers among men, the five royal brothers, the princes of Kekaya, hastened to Duryodhana with an Akshauhini of troops, and gladdened his heart. And from the illustrious king, of other quarters there came, O best of Bharata's race, three large divisions of troops. And thus Duryodhana had a force which numbered eleven Akshauhinis all eager to fight with the sons of Kunti, and bristling with banners of various forms. And, O descendant of Bharata, there was no space in the city of Hastinapura even for the principal leaders of Duryodhana's army. And for this reason the land of the five rivers, and the whole of the region called Kurujangala, and the forest of Rohitaka which was uniformly wild, and Ahichatra and Kalakuta, and the banks of the Ganga, and Varana, and Vatadhana, and the hill tracts on the border of the Yamuna--the whole of this extensive tract--full of abundant corn and wealth, was entirely overspread with the army of the Kauravas. And that army, so arranged, was beheld by the priest who had been sent by the king of the Panchalas to the Kurus.'"
Next: Section XX