The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "Then Abhimanyu, accompanied by Bhimasena pursuing thy sons, afflicted them all. Then the mighty car-warriors of thy army, including Duryodhana and others, beholding Abhimanyu and Bhimasena united with Prishata's son in the midst of the (Kauravas) troops, took up their bows, and borne by their fleet steeds rushed to the spot where those warriors were. And on that afternoon, O king, a dreadful conflict took place between the mighty combatants of thy army and those of the foe, O Bharata. And Abhimanyu, having, in that fierce battle, slain the steeds of Vikarna, pierced the latter with five and twenty small arrows. Then that mighty car-warrior, Vikarna, abandoning that car whose steeds had been slain, mounted on the resplendent car, O king, of Chitrasena. Then thus stationed on the same car, viz., those two brothers of Kuru's race, the son of Arjuna covered, O Bharata, with showers of arrows. Then Durjaya and Vikarna pierced Abhimanyu with five shafts made wholly of iron. Abhimanyu however, shook not in the least but stood firm like the mountain Meru. Dussasana in that battle, O sire, fought with the five Kekaya brothers. All these, O great king, seemed exceedingly wonderful. The sons of Draupadi, excited with rage, resisted Duryodhana in that battle. And each of them, O king, pierced thy son with three shafts. Thy son also, invincible in battle, pierced each of the sons of Draupadi, O monarch, with sharp shafts. And pierced by them (in return) and bathed in blood, he shone like a hill with rillets of water mixed with red-chalk (gliding down its breast). And the mighty Bhishma also, in that battle, O king, afflicted the Pandava army like a herdsman belabouring his herd. Then, O monarch, the twang of Gandiva was heard, of Partha, who was engaged in slaughtering the foe on the right of the army.
And in that part of the field headless trunks stood up by thousands, amongst the troops, O Bharata, of both the Kauravas and the Pandavas. And the field of battle resembled an ocean whose water was blood, and whose eddies were the shafts (shot by the combatants). And the elephants constituted the islands of that ocean, and the steeds its waves. And cars constituted the boats by which brave men crossed it. And many brave combatants, with arms cut off, divested of armour, and hideously mutilated, were seen lying there in hundreds and thousands. And with the bodies of infuriate elephants deprived of life and bathed in blood, the field of battle. O Bharata, looked as if strewn with hills. And the wonderful sight we saw there, O Bharata, was that neither in their army nor in thine was a single person that was unwilling to fight. And thus, O monarch, did those brave warriors, of both thy army and the Pandavas, fight, seeking glory and desirous of victory."
Next: Section LXXX