The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said,--"Soon after, O king, a loud uproar, causing the heart to tremble was heard, made by the combatants ready for the fight. Indeed, with the sounds of conches and drums, the grunts of elephants, and the clatter of car-wheels, the Earth seemed to rend in twain. And soon the welkin and the whole Earth was filled with the neigh of chargers and the shouts of combatants. O irresistible one, the troops of thy sons and of the Pandavas both trembled when they encountered each other. There (on the field of battle) elephants and cars, decked in gold, looked beautiful like clouds decked with lightning. And standards of diverse forms, O king, belonging to the combatants on thy side, and adorned with golden rings, looked resplendent like fire. And those standards of thy side and theirs, resembled, O Bharata, the banners of Indra in his celestial mansions. And the heroic warriors all accoutred and cased in golden coats of mail endued with the effulgence of the blazing Sun, themselves looked like blazing fire or the Sun. All the foremost warriors amongst the Kurus, O king, with excellent bows, and weapons upraised (for striking), with leathern fences on their hands, and with standards,--those mighty bowmen, of eyes large as those of bulls, all placed themselves at the heads of their (respective) divisions. And these amongst thy sons, O king, protected Bhishma from behind, viz.. Dussasana, and Durvishaha, and Durmukha, and Dussaha and Vivinsati, and Chitrasena, and that mighty car-warrior Vikarna.
[paragraph continues] And amongst them were Satyavrata, and Purumitra, and Jaya, and Bhurisravas, and Sala. And twenty thousand car-warriors followed them. The Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, and the Vasatis, the Swalyas, the Matsyas, the Amvashtas, the Trigartas, and the Kekayas, the Sauviras, the Kitavas, and the dwellers of the Eastern, Western, and the Northern countries,--these twelve brave races were resolved to fight reckless of the lives. And these protected the grandsire with a multitudinous array of cars. And with a division that consisted of ten thousand active elephants, the king of Magadha followed that large car division. They that protected the wheels of the cars and they that protected the elephants, numbered full six millions. And the foot-soldiers that marched in advance (of the army), armed with bows, swords, and shields, numbered many hundreds of thousands. And they fought also using their nails and bearded darts. And the ten and one Akshauhinis of thy son, O Bharata, looked, O mighty king, like Ganga separated from Yamuna. 1"
41:1 The Bombay edition reads Yamunantara for Yamunantare of the Bengal texts. The difference in meaning is not very material.
Next: Section XIX