The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "Sikhandin with Virata king of the Matsyas speedily approached Bhishma that invincible and mighty bowman. And Dhananjaya encountered Drona and Kripa, and Vikarna and many other kings, brave in battle, all mighty bowmen endued with great strength, as also that mighty bowman the ruler of the Sindhus supported by his friends and kinsmen and many kings of the west and the south also, O bull of Bharata's race. And Bhimasena proceeded against that mighty bowman, viz., thy vindictive son Duryodhana, and also against Dussaha. And Sahadeva proceeded against those invincible warriors, viz., Sakuni and that mighty car-warrior Uluka, those great bowmen, who were sire and son. And that mighty car-warrior Yudhishthira, deceitfully treated by thy son, proceeded in that battle, O king, against the elephant division (of the Kauravas). And that son of Pandu and Madri, viz., the heroic Nakula capable of wringing tears from the foe, engaged in battle with the excellent car-warriors of the Trigartas. And those invincible warriors, viz., Satyaki and Chekitana, and the mighty son of Subhadra, proceeded against Salya and the Kaikeyas. And Dhrishtaketu and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, both invincible in battle, proceeded against the car-division of thy sons. And that mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, that generalissimo (of the Pandava forces) of immeasurable soul, engaged in battle, O king, with Drona of fierce achievements. And it was thus that those heroic and mighty bowmen of thy army and the Pandavas, engaged in battle, began to strike one another. And when the sun had reached the meridian and the sky was brilliantly illumined by his rays, the Kauravas and the Pandavas began to slay one another. Then cars, furnished with standards from whose tops pennons were afloat, variegated with gold and covered with tiger-skins, looked beautiful as they moved on the field of battle. And the shouts of warriors engaged in battle from desire of vanquishing one another, became as loud as leonine roars. And that encounter which we beheld between the heroic Srinjayas and the Kurus, was fierce in the extreme and highly wonderful. And in consequence of the arrows shot all around, we could not, O king, distinguish, O chastiser of foes, the firmament, the sun and the cardinal and the subsidiary points of the compass. And the splendour, like that of the blue lotus, of darts with polished points, of bearded lances hurled (at the foe), of well-tempered sabres and scimitars, of variegated coats of mail and of the ornaments (on the persons of the warriors), illumined the welkin and the cardinal and the subsidiary points with its effulgence. And the field of battle in many places, O king, shone in consequence of the bodies of monarchs whose effulgence resembled that of the moon and the sun. And brave car-warriors, tigers among men shone in that battle, O king, like the planets in the firmament. And Bhishma, that foremost of car-warriors, excited with rage, checked the mighty Bhimasena in the very sight of the troops. And the impetuous
shafts shot by Bhishma, furnished with golden wings, and whetted on stone, and rubbed with oil pierced Bhima in that battle. Then Bhimasena endued with great strength hurled at him, O Bharata, a dart of fierce impetuosity that resembled a wrathful snake. But Bhishma in that combat cut off with straight shafts that dart with staff made of gold and difficult of being borne, as it coursed impetuously towards him. And with another broad-headed shaft, sharp and well-tempered, he cut off Bhimasena's bow, O Bharata, into two parts. Then, O king, in that battle, Satyaki, coming quickly towards Bhishma, pierced thy sire with innumerable keen-edged and sharp-pointed shafts of fierce impetuosity shot from his bowstring drawn to the ear. Then Bhishma, aiming an exceedingly fierce shaft, felled the charioteer of the Vrishni hero from his box in the car. And when the charioteer of Satyaki's car was thus slain, his steeds, O king, bolted away. Endued with the speed of the tempest or the mind, they ran wild over the field. Then cries were uttered by the whole army which became a loud uproar. And exclamation of oh and alas arose from the high-souled warriors of the Pandava army. And those cries-said--Run, seize, check the horses, go in haste. And this uproar followed Yuyudhana's car. Meanwhile, Bhishma the son of Santanu began to slay the Pandava forces like Indra slaying the Danavas. But the Panchalas and the Somakas, though slain by Bhishma thus, forming yet a laudable resolution, rushed towards Bhishma. And other warriors of the Pandava army, headed by Dhrishtadyumna, and desirous of slaughtering the ranks of thy son, rushed towards Santanu's son in that battle. And so also, O king, the warriors of thy army, headed by Bhishma and Drona, impetuously rushed towards their foes. And thereupon another battle took place."
Next: Section LXXIII