The Mahabharata Home
Dhritarashtra said, "How did the ruler of the Kalingas, that commander of a large division, urged by my son, and supported by his troops, fight in battle with the mighty Bhimasena of wonderful feats, that hero wandering over the field of battle with his mace like Death himself club in hand?"
Sanjaya said, "Thus urged by thy son, O great king, the mighty king of the Kalingas, accompanied by a large army advanced towards Bhima's car. And Bhimasena, then, O Bharata, supported by the Chedis, rushed towards that large and mighty army of the Kalingas, abounding with cars, steeds, and elephants, and armed with mighty weapons, and advancing towards him with Ketumat, the son of the king of the Nishadas. And Srutayus also, excited with wrath, accoutred in
mail, followed by his troops in battle-array, and, accompanied by king Ketumat, came before Bhima in battle. And the ruler of the Kalingas with many thousands of cars, and Ketumat with ten thousand elephants and the Nishadas, surrounded Bhimasena, O king, on all sides. Then the Chedis, the Matsyas, and Karushas, with Bhimasena at their head, with many kings impetuously rushed against the Nishadas. And then commenced the battle, fierce and terrible, between the warriors rushing at one another from desire of slaughter. And terrific was the battle that suddenly took place between Bhima and his foes, resembling the battle, O great king, between Indra and the mighty host of Diti's sons. And loud became the uproar, O Bharata, of that mighty army struggling in battle, that resembled the sound of the roaring ocean. And the combatants, O king, cutting one another, made the whole field resemble a crematorium strewn with flesh and blood. And combatants, impelled by the desire of slaughter could not distinguish friend from foe. And those brave warriors, incapable of being easily defeated in battle, even began to strike down their own friend. And terrific was the collision that took place between the few and many, between the Chedis (on the one side) and the Kalingas and the Nishadas, O king, (on the other). Displaying their manliness to the best of their power, the mighty Chedis, abandoning Bhimasena, turned back, and when the Chedis ceased to follow him, the son of Pandu, encountering all the Kalingas, did not turn back, depending upon the might of his own arms. Indeed, the mighty Bhimasena moved not, but from the terrace of his car covered the division of the Kalingas with showers of sharp arrows. Then that mighty bowman, the king of the Kalingas, and that car-warrior, his son known by the name of Sakradeva, both began to strike the son of Pandu with their shafts. And the mighty-armed Bhima, shaking his beautiful bow, and depending on the might of his own arms, fought with Kalinga, and Sakradeva, shooting in that battle innumerable arrows, slew Bhimasena's steeds with them. And beholding that chastiser of foes Bhimasena deprived of his car, Sakradeva rushed at him, shooting sharp arrows. And upon Bhimasena, O great king, the mighty Sakradeva showered arrowy downpours like the clouds after summer is gone. But the mighty Bhimasena, staying on his car whose steeds had been slain, hurled at Sakradeva a mace made of the hardest iron. And slain by that mace, O king, the son of the ruler of the Kalingas, from his car, fell down on the ground, with his standard and charioteer. Then that mighty car-warrior, the king of the Kalingas beholding his own son slain, surrounded Bhima on all sides with many thousands of cars. Then the mighty-armed Bhima endued with great strength, abandoning mace, took up a scimitar, desirous of achieving a fierce feat. And that bull among men also took up, O king, crescents made of gold. And the ruler of the Kalingas also, excited with wrath, and rubbing his bowstring, and taking up a terrible arrow (deadly) as poison of the snake, shot it at Bhimasena, desirous at that monarch was of slaying (the Pandava). That sharp arrow, thus shot and coursing impetuously, Bhimasena, O king, cut in twain with his
huge sword. And filled with delight he set up a loud shout, terrifying the troops. And the ruler of the Kalingas, excited with rage in that combat with Bhimasena, quickly hurled at him fourteen bearded darts whetted on stone. The mighty-armed son of Pandu, however, with that best of scimitars, fearlessly cut into fragments in a trice, O king, those darts while coursing through the welkin and before they could reach him. And having in that battle (thus) cut off those fourteen darts Bhima, that bull among men, beholding Bhanumat, rushed at him. Bhanumat then covered Bhima with a shower of arrows, and set up a loud shout, making the welkin resound with it. Bhima, however, in that fierce battle, could not bear that leonine shout. Himself endued with a loud voice, he also shouted very loudly. And at these shouts of his, the army of the Kalingas became filled with fear. In that battle they no longer regarded Bhima, O bull among men, as a human being. Then, O great king, having uttered a loud shout, Bhima, sword in hand impetuously jumping on (Bhanumat's) excellent elephant aided by the latter's tusks, gained, O sire, the back of that prince of tuskers, and with his huge sword cut Bhanumat, dividing him in the middle. That chastiser of foes, then, having (thus) slain in battle the prince of the Kalingas, next 1 made his sword which was capable of bearing a great strain, to descend upon the neck of that elephant. His head cut off, that prince of elephants fell down with a loud roar, like a crested mountain (whose base is) eaten away by the impetuous (surges of the) sea. And jumping down, O Bharata, from that failing elephant, the prince of Bharata's race, of undepressed soul, stood on the ground, sword in hand and accoutred in mail (as before). And felling numerous elephants on all sides, he wandered (over the field), making many paths (for himself). And then he seemed to be like a moving wheel of fire slaughtering whole divisions of cavalry, of elephants, and cars, and large bodies of infantry. And that lord among men, the mighty Bhima, was seen to move over the field with the activity of the hawk, quickly cutting off in that battle, with his sharp-edged sword, their bodies and heads, as also those of the combatants on elephant. And combatant on foot, excited with rage, all alone, and like Yama at the season of universal dissolution, he struck terror into his foes and confounded those brave warriors. Only they that were senseless rushed with loud shouts at him wandering in that great battle with impetuosity, sword in hand. And that grinder of foes, endued with great strength, cutting off the shafts and yokes of warriors on their cars, slew those warriors also. And Bhimasena was seen, O Bharata, to display diverse kinds of motions there. He wheeled about, and whirled about on high, and, made side-thrusts, and jumped forward, and ran above, and leapt high. And, O Bharata, he was also seen to rush forward and rush upward. And some mangled by the high-souled son of Pandu by means of his excellent sword, shrieked aloud, struck at their vitals or fell down deprived of life. And many elephants, O Bharata, some with trunks and
the extremities of their tusks cut off, and others having their temporal globes cut open, deprived of riders, slew their own ranks and fell down uttering loud cries. And broken lances, O king, and the head of elephant drivers, and beautiful housings of elephants, and chords resplendent with gold, and collars, and darts and mallets and quivers, diverse kinds of machines, and beautiful bows, short arrows with polished heads, with hooks and iron crows for guiding elephants, bells of diverse shape, and hilts decked with gold, were seen by us falling down or (already) fallen along with riders of steeds. And with elephants (lying down) having the fore parts and hind parts of their bodies and their trunks cut off, or entirely slain, the field seemed to be strewn with fallen cliffs. That bull among men, having thus crushed the huge elephants, next crushed the steeds also. And, O Bharata, that hero also felled the foremost of cavalry soldiers. And the battle, O sire, that took place between him and them was fierce in the extreme. And hilts and traces, and saddle girths resplendent with gold, and covers for the back of steeds, and bearded darts, and costly swords, and coats of mail, and shields, and beautiful ornaments, were seen by us strewn over the ground in that great battle. And he caused the earth to be strewn over (with blood) as if it were variegated with lilies. And the mighty son of Pandu, jumping high and dragging some car-warriors down with his sword felled them along with (their) standards. Frequently jumping up or rushing on all sides, that hero endued with great activity, wandering along many routes, caused the combatants to be amazed. And some he slew by his legs, and dragging down others he pressed them down under the earth. And others he cut off with his sword, and others he frightened with his roars. And others he threw down on the ground by the force of his thighs (as he ran). And others, beholding him, fled away in terror. It was thus that that vast force of the Kalingas endued with great activity, surrounding the terrible Bhimasena in battle, rushed at him. Then, O bull of Bharata's race, beholding Srutayush at the head of Kalinga troops, Bhimasena rushed at him. And seeing him advancing the ruler of the Kalingas, of immeasurable soul, pierced Bhimasena between his breasts with nine arrows. Struck with those shafts shot by the ruler of the Kalingas, like an elephant pierced with the hook, Bhimasena blazed up with wrath like fire fed with fuel. Then Asoka, that best of charioteers, bringing a car decked with gold, caused Bhima to mount on it. And thereupon that slayer of foes, the son of Kunti, speedily mounted on that car. And then he rushed at the ruler of the Kalingas, saying,--'Wait, Wait'. And then the mighty Srutayush excited with wrath, shot at Bhima many sharp arrows, displaying his lightness of hand, and that mighty warrior, Bhima, forcibly struck with those nine sharp arrows shot by Kalinga from his excellent bow, yielded to great wrath, O king, like a snake struck with a rod. Then that foremost of mighty men, Bhima, the son of Pritha, excited with rage and drawing his bow with great strength, slew the ruler of the Kalingas with seven shafts made wholly of iron. And with two shafts he slew the two mighty protectors of the car-wheels of Kalinga. And he also despatched
[paragraph continues] Satyadeva and Satya to the abode of Yama. Of immeasurable soul, Bhima also, with many sharp arrows and long shafts, caused Ketumat to repair unto Yama's abode. Then the Kshatriyas of the Kalinga country, excited with rage and supported by many thousands of combatants, encountered the wrathful Bhimasena in battle. And armed with darts and maces and scimitars and lances and swords and battle-axes, the Kalingas, O king, hundreds upon hundreds surrounded Bhimasena. Baffling that risen shower of arrows, that mighty warrior then took up his mace and jumped down (from his car) with great speed. 1 And Bhima then despatched seven hundred heroes to Yama's abode. And that grinder of foes despatched, in addition, two thousand Kalingas to the region of death. And that feat seemed highly wonderful. And it was thus that the heroic Bhima of terrible prowess repeatedly felled in battle large bands of the Kalingas. And elephants deprived by Pandu's son, in that battle, of their riders, and afflicted with arrows wandered on the field, treading down their own ranks and uttering loud roars like masses of clouds driven by the wind. Then the mighty-armed Bhima, scimitar in hand, and filled with delight, blew his conch of terrible loudness. And with that blare he caused the hearts of all the Kalinga troops to quake with fear. And, O chastiser of foes, all the Kalingas seemed at the same time to be deprived of their senses. And all the combatants and all the animals shook with terror. And in consequence of Bhimasena wandering in that battle through many paths or rushing on all sides like a prince of elephants, or frequently jumping up, a trance seemed to be engendered there that deprived his foes of their senses. And the whole (Kalinga) army shook with terror of Bhimasena, like a large lake agitated by an alligator. And struck with panic in consequence of Bhima of wonderful achievements, all the Kalinga combatants fled away in all directions. When, however, they were rallied again, the commander of the Pandava army (Dhrishtadyumna), O Bharata, ordered his own troops, saying,--'Fight'. Hearing the words of their commander, many leaders (of the Pandava army) headed by Sikhandin approached Bhima, supported by many car-divisions accomplished in smiting. And Pandu's son, king Yudhishthira the just, followed all of them with a large elephant force of the colour of the clouds. And thus urging all his divisions, the son of Prishata, surrounded by many excellent warriors, took upon himself the protection of one of the wings of Bhimasena. 2 There exists nobody on earth, save Bhima and Satyaki, who to the prince of the Panchalas is dearer than his very life. That slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Prishata, beheld the mighty-armed Bhimasena, that slayer of foes, wandering among the Kalingas. He set up many shouts, O king, and was filled with delight, O chastiser of foes. Indeed, he blew his conch in battle and uttered a leonine roar. And Bhimasena also, beholding
the red standard of Dhrishtadyumna on his car decked with gold and unto which were yoked steeds white as pigeons, became comforted. 1 And Dhrishtadyumna of immeasurable soul, beholding Bhimasena encountered by the Kalingas rushed to the battle for his rescue. And both those heroes. Dhrishtadyumna and Vrikodara, endued with great energy, beholding Satyaki at a distance, furiously encountered the Kalingas in battle. And that bull among men, the grand son of Sini, that foremost of victorious warriors, quickly advancing to the spot took up the wing of both Bhima and Prishata's son. Bow in hand creating a great havoc there and making himself fierce in the extreme, he began to slay the enemy in battle. And Bhima caused a river to flow there of bloody current, mingled with the blood and flesh of the warriors born in Kalinga. And beholding Bhimasena then, the troops cried aloud, O king, saying. 'This is Death himself that is fighting in Bhima's shape with the Kalingas.' Then Santanu's son Bhishma, hearing those cries in battle, quickly proceeded towards Bhima, himself surrounded on all sides with combatants in army. Thereupon, Satyaki and Bhimasena and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, rushed towards that car of Bhima decked with gold. And all of them quickly surrounding Ganga's son in battle, pierced Bhishma, each with three terrible shafts, without losing a moment. Thy sire Devavrata, however, in return pierced each of those mighty bowmen striving (in battle) with three straight shafts. And checking those mighty car-warriors, with thousands of arrows he Slew with his shafts the steeds of Bhima decked with golden armour. Bhima, however, endued with great energy, staying on that car whose steeds had been slain, with great impetuosity hurled a dart at Bhishma's car. Thy sire Devavrata then, in that battle, cut off that dart in twain before it could reach him, and thereupon it fell down on the earth. Then that bull among men, Bhimasena, taking up a heavy and mighty mace made of Saikya iron speedily jumped down from his car. And Dhrishtadyumna quickly taking up that foremost of car-warriors on his own car, took away, in the very sight of all the combatants, that renowned warrior. And Satyaki then from desire of doing what was agreeable to Bhima, felled with his shaft the charioteer of the reverend Kuru grand-sire. Upon his charioteer being slain, that foremost of car-warriors, Bhishma, was borne away from the field of battle by his steeds with the speed of the wind. And when that mighty car-warrior was (thus) taken away from the field, Bhimasena then, O monarch, blazed up like a mighty fire while consuming dry grass. And slaying all the Kalingas, he stayed in the midst of the troops, and none, O bull of Bharata's race, of thy side ventured to withstand him. And worshipped by the Panchalas and the Matsyas, O bull of Bharata's race, he embraced Dhrishtadyumna and then approached Satyaki. And Satyaki, the tiger among the Yadus, of prowess incapable of being baffled, then gladdening Bhimasena, said unto him, in the presence of Dhrishtadyumna, (these words). 'By good luck the king of the Kalingas, and
[paragraph continues] Ketumat, the prince of the Kalingas, and Sakradeva also of that country and all the Kalingas, have been slain in battle. With the might and prowess of thy arms, by thee alone, hath been crushed the very large division of the Kalingas that abounded with elephants and steeds and cars, and with noble warriors, and heroic combatants.' Having said this, the long-armed grandson of Sini, that chastiser of foes, quickly getting upon his car, embraced the son of Pandu. And then that mighty car-warrior, coming back to his own car, began to slay thy troops excited with rage and strengthening (the hands of) Bhima.
136:1 In the first line of 29, the correct reading is Prishna and not Pritana.
138:1 'Samuchchhritam' or 'Samutthitam,' meaning risen, is scarcely a happy adjective here.
138:2 'Parshni' is the wing or side of a car-warrior. The last word of this verse is not 'Satpurushochitam' but 'Satparushairvritam'.
139:1 'Kovdara' is the species of ebony called Bauhinia Variegata.
Next: Section LV