The Mahabharata Home
Dhritarashtra said,--"I regard destiny to be superior to exertion, O Sanjaya, inasmuch as the army of my son is continually slaughtered by the army of the Pandavas. Thou always speakest, O suta, of my troops as being slaughtered, and thou always speakest of the Pandavas as both unslain and cheerful. Indeed, O Sanjaya, thou speakest of mine as deprived of manliness, felled and falling, and slaughtered, although they are battling to the best of their powers and striving hard for victory. Thou always speakest to me of the Pandavas as obtaining victory and mine as becoming weaker and weaker. O child, I am incessantly hearing of countless cause of unbearable and poignant grief on account of Duryodhana's doing. I do not see, O Sanjaya, the means by which the Pandavas, may be weakened and sons of mine may obtain the victory in battle.
Sanjaya said, "This mighty evil hath proceeded from thee, O king. Listen now with patience to the great slaughter of men, elephants, steeds and car-warriors. Dhrishtadyumna, afflicted by Salya with nine shafts, afflicted in return the ruler of Madras with many shafts made of steel. And then we beheld the prowess of Prishata's son to be highly wonderful inasmuch as he speedily checked Salya that ornament of assemblies. The battle between them lasted for only a short space of time. While angrily engaged in combat, none beheld even a moment's rest taken by any of them. Then, O king, Salya in that battle cut off Dhrishtadyumna's bow with a broad-headed shaft of sharp edge and excellent temper. And he also covered him, O Bharata, with a shower of arrows like rain charged clouds pouring their drops on the mountain breast during the season of rains. And while Dhrishtadyumna was being thus afflicted, Abhimanyu, excited with wrath, rushed impetuously towards the car of the ruler of the Madras. Then the wrathful son of Krishna, of immeasurable soul, obtaining the car of the ruler of the Madras (within shooting distance), pierced Artayani with three sharp shafts. 1 Then the warriors of thy army, O king, desirous of opposing the son of
[paragraph continues] Arjuna in battle, speedily surrounded the car of the ruler of Madras. And Duryodhana, and Vikarna, and Dussasana, and Vivinsati and Durmarshana, and Dussala, and Chitrasena, and Durmukha, and Satyabrata, blessed be thou, and Purumitra, O Bharata,--these, protecting the car of the ruler of the Madras, stationed themselves there. Then Bhimasena, excited with wrath, and Dhrishtadyumna. of Prishata's race, and the five sons of Draupadi, and Abhimanyu, and the twin sons of Madri and Pandu,--these ten opposed those ten warriors of the Dhritarashtra army shooting, O king, diverse kinds of weapons. And they approached and encountered one another in battle desirous of slaying one another, in consequence, O king, of thy wicked policy. And when those ten car-warriors, excited with wrath, engaged with the ten others in that awful battle, the other car-warriors of both thy army and of the foe all stood as spectators. And those mighty car-warriors, shooting diverse kinds of weapons and roaring at one another, smote one another fiercely. With wrath engendered in their breasts, desirous of slaying one another, they uttered fierce shouts, challenging one another. And jealous of one another, O king, those kinsfolk united together, encountered one another wrathfully, shooting mighty weapons. And wonderful to say, Duryodhana, excited with rage, pierced Dhrishtadyumna in that battle with four sharp shafts. And Durmarshana pierced him with twenty, and Chitrasena with five, and Durmukha with nine, and Dussaha with seven, and Vivinsati with five, and Dussasana with three shafts. Then, O great king, that scorcher of foes, viz., Prishata's son, pierced each of them in return with five and twenty shafts, displaying his lightness of hand. And Abhimanyu, O Bharata, pierced Satyavrata and Purumitra each with ten shafts. Then the son of Madri, those delighters of their mother, covered their uncle with showers of sharp arrows. And all this seemed wonderful. Then, O monarch, Salya covered his nephews, those two foremost of car-warriors desirous of counteracting their uncle's feats, with arrows, but the sons of Madri wavered not. Then the mighty Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, beholding Duryodhana and desirous of ending the strife, took up his mace. And beholding the mighty-armed Bhimasena with upraised mace and looking like the crested Kailasa mount, thy sons fled away in terror. Duryodhana, however, excited with wrath, urged the Magadha division consisting of ten thousand elephants of great activity. Accompanied by that elephant division and placing the ruler of Magadha before him, king Duryodhana advanced towards Bhimasena. Beholding that elephant division advancing towards him, Vrikodara, mace in hand, jumped down from his car, uttering a loud roar like that of a lion. And armed with that mighty mace which was endued with great weight and strength of adamant, he rushed towards that elephant division, like the Destroyer himself with wide open mouth. And the mighty-armed Bhimasena endued with great strength, slaying elephants with his mace, wandered over the field, like the slayer of Vritra among the Danava host. And with the loud shouts of the roaring Bhima, shouts that made the mind and the heart to tremble with fear, the elephants, crouching close, lost all
power of motion. Then the sons of Draupadi, and that mighty car-warrior, the son of Subhadra, and Nakula and Sahadeva, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, protecting Bhima's rear, rushed behind him, checking all by scattering their arrowy showers like the very clouds pouring rain on the mountain breast. And those Pandava warriors struck off the heads of their foes battling from the backs of elephants, with well-tempered and keen-edged shafts of diverse forms. 1 And the heads (of elephant-riders), and arms decked with ornaments, and hands with iron-hooks in grasp, falling fast, resembled a stony shower. And the headless trunk of elephant-riders on the necks of the beasts they rode, looked like headless trees on mountain summits. And we beheld mighty elephants felled and falling, slain by Dhrishtadyumna, the high-souled son of Prishata. Then the ruler of the Magadhas, in that battle, urged his elephant resembling Airavata himself, towards the car of Subhadra's son. Beholding that mighty elephant advancing towards him, that slayer of hostile heroes, the brave son of Subhadra, slew it with a single shaft. And when the ruler of the Magadhas was thus deprived of his elephant, that conqueror of hostile cities viz., the son of Krishna, then struck off that king's head with a broad-headed shaft with silver wings. And Bhimasena, the son of Pandu, having penetrated that elephant division, began to wander over the field, crushing those beasts around him like Indra himself crushing the mountains. And we beheld elephants slain in that battle by Bhimasena, each with only one stroke (of his mace), like hills riven by thunder. And many elephants, huge as hills, were slain there, having their tusks broken or temples, or bones, or backs, or frontal globes. And others, O king, deprived of life, lay there with foaming mouths. And many mighty elephants, with frontal globes completely smashed, vomited large quantities of blood. And some, from fear, laid themselves down on the ground like (so many) hillocks. And smeared with the fat and blood (of elephants) and almost bathed in their marrow, Bhima wandered over the field like the Destroyer himself, club in hand. And Vrikodara, whirling that mace of his which was wet with the blood of elephants, became terrible and awful to behold, like the wielder of Pinaka armed with Pinaka. 2 And those huge tuskers, while (thus) crushed by the angry Bhima, suddenly fled away, afflicted, crushing thy own ranks. And these mighty bowmen and car-warriors, headed by Subhadra's son (all the while) protected that battling hero whirling his gory mace 3 wet with the blood of elephants, like the celestials protecting the wielder of the thunder-bolt. Of terrible soul, Bhimasena then looked like the Destroyer. himself. Indeed, O Bharata, putting forth his strength on all sides, mace in arms, we beheld Bhimasena then to resemble Sankara himself dancing (at the end of the Yuga), and his fierce, heavy, and sounding
mace to resemble the club of Yama and possessed of the sound of Indra's bolt. And that gory mace of his, smeared with marrow and hair, resembled (also) the angry Rudra's Pinaka while he is engaged in destroying all creatures. As a herdsman chastises his herd of cattle with a goad, so did Bhima smite that elephant division with that mace of his. And while thus slaughtered by Bhima with his mace and with shafts (by those that protected his rear), the elephants ran on all sides, crushing the cars of thy own army. Then driving away those elephants from the field like a mighty wind driving away masses of clouds, Bhima stood there like wielder of the trident on a crematorium."
159:1 Salya is called Artayani after the name of his father.
161:1 These were Kshuras (arrows with heads like razors), kshurapras, (arrows with horseshoe heads), bhallas (broad-headed arrows), and anjalikas (arrows with crescent-shaped-heads).
161:2 i.e., the universal destroyer armed with his bow.
161:3 Gory mace wet with &c. the original is pleonastic.
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