The Mahabharata Home
"Janamejaya said, 'Hearing that Yudhishthira had, with his troops marched from the desire of battle and encamped on Kurukshetra, protected by Vasudeva, and aided by Virata and Drupada with their sons,
and surrounded by the Kekayas, the Vrishnis, and other kings by hundreds, and watched over by numerous mighty car-warriors, like the great Indra himself by the Adityas, what measures were concerted by king Duryodhana? O high-souled one, I desire to hear in detail all that happened in Kurujangala on that frightful occasion. The son of Pandu, with Vasudeva and Virata and Drupada and Dhrishtadyumna, the Panchala prince and that mighty car-warrior Sikhandin and powerful Yudhamanyu, incapable of being resisted by the very gods, might trouble the deities themselves in battle with Indra at their head. I, therefore, desire to hear in detail, O thou that art possessed of wealth of asceticism, all the acts of the Kurus and the Pandavas as they had happened.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'When he of Dasarha's race had departed (from the Kuru court), king Duryodhana, addressing Karna and Dussasana and Sakuni, said these words, 'Kesava hath gone to the sons of Pritha, without having been able to achieve his object. Filled with wrath as he is, he will surely stimulate the Pandavas. A battle between myself and Pandavas is much desired by Vasudeva. Bhimasena and Arjuna are ever of the same mind with him. Yudhishthira, again, is very much under the influence of Bhimasena. Before this, Yudhishthira with all his brothers was persecuted by me. Virata and Drupada whom I had waged hostilities with, obedient to Vasudeva, both of them have become the leaders of Yudhishthira's host. The battle, therefore, that will take place, will be a fierce and terrific one. Casting off all sloth, cause every preparation to be made for the encounter. Let the kings (my allies) pitch their tents by hundreds and thousands on Kurukshetra, all of which must be spacious, incapable of being approached by enemies, near enough to places abounding with water and fuel, in such positions that the communications thereto for sending supplies may not be stopped at any time by the foe,--full of weapons of diverse kinds, and decked with streamers and flags. Let the road from our city to the camp be made level for their march. Let it be proclaimed this very day, without loss of time, that our march will commence tomorrow.' (Hearing these words of the king), they said, 'So be it,'--and when the morrow came, those high-souled persons did everything they had been commanded to do for the accommodation of the monarchs. And all those monarchs (meanwhile), hearing the king's command, rose up from their costly seats, with wrath having the foe for its objects. And they began to slowly rub their mace-like arms, blazing with bracelets of gold, and decked with the paste of sandal and other fragrant substances. And they also commenced, with those lotus-like hands of theirs, to wear their head-gears and lower and upper garments and diverse kinds of ornaments. And many foremost of car-warriors began to superintend the furnishing of their cars, and persons conversant with horse-lore began to harness their steeds, while those versed in matters relating to elephants began to equip those huge animals. And all those warriors began to wear diverse kinds of beautiful armour made of gold, and arm themselves with diverse weapons. And
the foot-soldiers began to take up various kinds of arms and case their bodies in various kinds of armour decorated with gold. And, O Bharata. the city of Duryodhana then, filled as it was with rejoicing millions, wore the bright aspect of a festive occasion. And, O king, the Kuru capital at the prospect of battle looked like the ocean on the appearance of the moon, with the vast crowds of humanity representing its waters with their eddies; the cars, elephants, and horses representing its fishes; the tumult of conchs and drums, its roar; the treasure-chests, its jewels and gems; the diverse kinds of ornaments and armour its waves; the bright weapons its white foam; the rows of houses the mountains on its beach; and the roads and shops, like lakes!'"
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