The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "Thou hast, O king, in consequence of thy own fault, been overtaken by this calamity. O bull of Bharata's race, the faults which thou, O monarch, hadst seen in that unrighteous course of conduct (towards the Pandavas), were not seen by Duryodhana. It was through thy fault, O king, that the match at dice had taken place. And it is through thy fault that this battle hath taken place with the Pandavas. Having committed a sin, do thou, therefore, reap the fruit of that sin of thine. One reapeth the fruit of acts perpetrated by one's own self. Do thou, therefore, O king, reap the fruit of thy own acts both here and hereafter. Therefore, O monarch, though overtaken by this calamity, be calm still, and listen, O sire, to the (account of the) battle as I recite it.
"The heroic Bhimasena, having with his sharp shafts broken thy mighty array, then came upon all the younger brothers of Duryodhana.
[paragraph continues] The mighty Bhima, beholding Dussasana and Durvisaha and Dussaha and Durmada and Jaya, and Jayasena and Vikarna and Chitrasena and Sudarsana, and Charuchitra and Suvarman and Duskarna and Karna, and many other mighty car-warriors, excited with rage, of the Dhartarashtra host near enough to himself, penetrated into (thy) mighty array that was protected by Bhishma in that battle. Then, beholding him in their midst, all those warriors said, 'Ye kings, let us take this one's life'!--Thereupon that son of Pritha was surrounded by those cousins of his who were firmly resolved (to take his life). And Bhima then resembled Surya himself of fierce splendour surrounded by the mighty planets of evil nature, at the time of the universal destruction. And although the son of Pandu was there in the very midst of the (Kaurava) array, yet fear entered not his heart, as it did not that of Indra while surrounded by the Danavas in the fierce battle of old between the celestials and the Asuras. Then thousands of car-warriors armed with all weapons and fully prepared for battle overwhelmed his single self with terrible shafts. Thereupon the heroic Bhima, disregarding the sons of Dhritarashtra, slew in that conflict many foremost warriors (of the Kaurava army) fighting from cars or upon the back of elephants and steeds. And ascertaining the purpose harboured by those cousins of his who were bent upon his destruction, the mighty Bhima set his heart upon slaying them all. Then leaving his car and taking up his mace, the son of Pandu began to smite that very sea of Dhartarashtra troops.
"Then when Bhimasena thus penetrated the Dhartarashtra host, Dhrishtadyumna the son of Prishata, forsaking Drona (with whom he had been engaged), quickly proceeded to the spot where Suvala's son was stationed. That bull among men, baffling countless warriors of thy army, came upon the empty car of Bhimasena in that battle. And beholding in that conflict Visoka, the charioteer of Bhimasena, Dhrishtadyumna, O king, became exceedingly cheerless and almost deprived of his senses. With voice choked in tears, and sighing as he spoke, he asked Visoka, in grief, saying, 'Where is Bhima who is dear to me as my life itself?' Visoka then, joining his hands, replied unto Dhrishtadyumna saying, 'The mighty son of Pandu, endued with great strength, ordering me to wait for him here, hath alone penetrated into the Dhartarashtra host that resembleth the very ocean. That tiger among men very cheerfully said unto me these words--'Wait for me, O charioteer, restraining the steeds for a short space of time, that is, till I slay those that are bent upon my destruction.--Beholding then the mighty Bhima rushing mace in hand, all our troops (that supported him) became filled with delight. Then in this fierce and terrible battle, O prince, thy friend, breaking the mighty array (of the foe), hath penetrated into it. Hearing these words of Visoka, Prishata's son Dhrishtadyumna, endued with great strength, said unto the charioteer these words on the field of battle. 'What need have I today of life itself, if forgetting my affection for the Pandavas, I forsake Bhima in battle? If I return today without Bhima, what will the Kshatriyas say of me? What
will they say of me when they will learn that while I was on the field Bhima penetrated alone into the hostile array making a single opening in it? The gods with Indra at their head visit him with evil who, forsaking his comrades in battle, returneth home unhurt! The mighty Bhima again is my friend and kinsman. He is devoted to me, and I also am devoted to that slayer of foes. Therefore, I will go thither, whither Bhima hath gone. Behold me slaying the foe like Vasava slaying the Danavas.' Having said this, the heroic Dhrishtadyumna, O Bharata, proceeded through the midst of the foe, along the tracks opened by Bhimasena and marked by elephants crushed with his mace. He then obtained sight of Bhimasena consuming the hostile ranks or felling Kshatriya warriors like the tempest devastating rows of trees. And car-warriors and horsemen and foot-soldiers and tuskers, while thus slaughtered by him, uttered loud cries of woe. And cries of ah and alas arose from thy troops, O sire, while they were slaughtered by the victorious Bhima accomplished in all moods of warfare. Then the Kaurava warriors all accomplished in arms, surrounding Vrikodara on all sides, fearlessly poured upon him their arrowy showers at the same time. Then the mighty son of Prishata, beholding that foremost of all wielders of weapons, that celebrated hero, viz., the son of Pandu, thus attacked on all sides by fierce ranks of foes in close array, mangled with shafts, treading the field on foot, and vomiting the poison of his wrath, mace in hand and looking like the Destroyer himself at the hour of the universal dissolution, quickly approached him and comforted him by his presence. And taking him upon his car, and plucking the arrows off from all his limbs, and embracing him warmly, the high-souled son of Prishata comforted Bhimasena in the very midst of the foe. Then thy son, in that terrible conflict, quickly coming up to his brothers, said unto them, 'This son of Drupada of wicked soul, is now united with Bhimasena. Let us all approach him together for slaying him. Let not the foe seek our ranks (for battle).' Hearing these words, the Dhartarashtras, thus urged on by the command of their eldest brother and unable to put up (with the foe), quickly rushed, with upraised weapons, for slaying Dhrishtadyumna like fierce comets at the hour of the universal dissolution. Taking up their beautiful bows, those heroes, making the very earth shiver with the twang of their bowstring and the rattle of their car-wheels, showered shafts on Drupada's son, like the clouds covering the mountain-breast with torrents of rain. But that hero conversant with all modes of warfare, though thus struck with sharp arrows in that battle, did not waver. On the other hand, that mighty car-warrior, the youthful son of Drupada, beholding those heroic sons of thine staying before him in battle and exerting themselves to their utmost being desirous of slaying them applied that fierce weapon called Pramohana and engaged with thy sons, O king, like Indra with the Danavas in battle. Then those heroic warriors were deprived of their senses, their minds and strength afflicted by the Pramohana weapon. And the Kauravas fled away in all directions, with their steeds and elephants and cars, beholding those sons of thine deprived of their senses in a swoon like
those whose hours had come. And at that time Drona, the foremost of all wielders of weapons, approaching Drupada, pierced him with three fierce shafts. And that monarch then, O king, viz., Drupada, deeply pierced by Drona, left the battle, O Bharata, remembering his former hostility (with Bharadwaja's son). Thereupon Drona endued with great prowess having thus vanquished Drupada, blew his conch. And hearing the blare of his conch, all the Somakas were struck with fear. Then Drona, possessed of great energy, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, heard of thy sons being deprived of their senses in battle with the Pramohana weapon. Then the son of Bharadwaja, desirous of rescuing the princes, speedily left that part of the field where he was and proceeded to the place where thy sons were. And that mighty bowman viz., Bharadwaja's son of great prowess, there beheld Dhrishtadyumna and Bhima careering through the field in that dreadful conflict. And that mighty car-warrior beheld thy sons deprived of their senses. Taking up then the weapon called Prajna, he neutralised the Pramohana weapon (that Dhrishtadyumna had shot). Then thy sons those mighty car-warriors, when their senses returned, once more proceeded to battle with Bhima and Prishata's son. Then Yudhishthira, addressing his own troops said, 'Let twelve brave car-warriors cased in mail and headed by Subhadra's son, follow, to the utmost of their might, the track of Bhima and Prishata's son in battle. Let intelligence be had (of those two warriors). My heart is very uneasy.' Thus ordered by the king, those heroes possessed of great prowess in battle and proud of their manliness, saying 'Yes,' all proceeded forward when the sun had reached the meridian. And those chastisers of foes then, viz., the Kaikeyas and the sons of Draupadi, and Dhrishtaketu of great prowess, supported by a large force and with Abhimanyu at their head, and disposing themselves in the array called Suchimukha, 1 penetrated into that car-division of the Dhartarashtras in battle. And thy troops, O king, struck with the fear of Bhimasena and deprived of their senses by Dhrishtadyumna, were unable to resist (the rush of) those mighty bowmen headed by Abhimanyu. And they were quite helpless, like a lady in the streets. And those mighty bowmen with standards variegated with gold cutting through (the Kaurava ranks), proceeded with great speed for rescuing Dhrishtadyumna and Vrikodara. And the latter, beholding those mighty bowmen headed by Abhimanyu, became filled with delight and continued to smite down thy ranks. And the heroic prince of Panchala, viz., the son of Prishata, seeing meanwhile his preceptor advancing towards him with great speed, no longer wished to compass the death of thy sons. Causing Vrikodara then to be taken up on the car of the king of the Kaikeyas, he rushed in great wrath against Drona accomplished in arrow and all weapons. And that slayer of foes, viz., the valiant son of Bharadwaja, excited with rage, cut off with a broad-headed shaft the bow of Prishata's son who was rushing
towards him with impetuosity. And remembering the bread he had eaten of his master and desirous of doing good to Duryodhana, he also sped hundreds of shafts after Prishata's son. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Prishata, taking up another bow, pierced Drona with seventy shafts whetted on stone and furnished with wings of gold. Then that grinder of foes, viz., Drona, once more cut off his bow, and despatched his four steeds to Yama's abode with four excellent arrows, and also slew his charioteer, O Bharata, with a broad-headed shaft. Then that mighty car-warrior of strong arms, viz., Dhrishtadyumna, quickly descending from that car whose steeds had been slain, ascended the great car of Abhimanyu. Then Drona caused the Pandava army consisting of cars, elephants, and steeds, to tremble, in the very sight of Bhimasena and the intelligent son of Prishata. Beholding then that army thus broken by Drona of immeasurable energy, all those mighty car-warriors were incapable of checking its flight. And that army, thus slaughtered by Drona with his sharp shafts, began to move in eddies there, like the agitated sea. And beholding the (Pandava) army in that condition, thy troops were filled with delight. And seeing the preceptor excited with rage and thus consuming the ranks of the foe, all thy warriors, O Bharata, set up loud shouts and uttered exclamations in praise of Drona."
190:1 Literally, "hence his thoughts were so."
193:1 Suchimukha is literally "needle-mouthed." It is a wedge-like column with the thin or pointed end turned towards the side of the enemy.
Next: Section LXXVIII