The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "Then when the sun assumed a red hue, king Duryodhana, desirous of battle, rushed towards Bhima from desire of slaying him. Beholding that heroic warrior cherishing deep animosity (thus) coming towards him, Bhimasena, excited with great wrath, said these words,--'That hour hath come which I have desired for so many years. I will slay thee to-day if thou dost not abandon the battle. Slaying thee I shall today dispel the sorrows of Kunti as also of Draupadi and the woes that were ours during our exile in the woods. Filled with pride, thou hadst formerly humiliated the sons of Pandu. Behold, O son of Gandhari, the dire fruit of that sinful behaviour. Following the counsels of Karna as also of Suvala's son, and recking the Pandavas little, thou hadst formerly behaved towards them as thou hadst hinted. Thou hadst also disregarded Krishna who begged thee (for peace). With a joyous heart didst thou despatch Uluka (to us) with thy messages. For all these, I shall slay thee to-day with all thy kinsmen, and thus avenge all those offences of thine of former days.' Having said these words, Bhima bending his bow and stretching it repeatedly, and taking up a number of terrible shafts whose effulgence resembled that of the lightning itself, and filled with wrath, quickly sped six and thirty of them at Duryodhana. And those shafts resembled the flames of a blazing fire, and coursed straight with the force of the thunder-bolt. And then he pierced Duryodhana's bow with two shafts, and his charioteer with two. And with four shafts he despatched Duryodhana's (four) steeds to the regions of Yama. And that grinder of foes then, with two shafts shot with great force, cut off in that battle the king's umbrella from his excellent car. And with three other shafts
he cut off his handsome and blazing standard. And having cut it off, he uttered a loud shout in the very sight of thy son. And that beautiful standard of the latter, decked with diverse gems, suddenly fell down on the earth from his car like a flash of lightning from the clouds. And all the kings beheld that beautiful standard of the Kuru king, bearing the device of an elephant, decked with gems, and blazing like the sun, fell down cut off (by Bhimasena). And that mighty car-warrior, viz., Bhima, then pierced Duryodhana in that battle, smiling the while, with ten shafts like a guide piercing a mighty elephant with the hook. Then that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the mighty king of the Sindhus, supported by many brave warriors, placed himself on the flank of Duryodhana. And then that great car-warrior, viz., Kripa, O king, caused the vindictive Duryodhana, that son of Kuru's race, of immeasurable energy, to mount on his own car. Then king Duryodhana, deeply pierced by Bhimasena and feeling great pain, sat down on the terrace of that car. Then Jayadratha, desirous of slaying Bhima, surrounded him on all sides with several thousands of cars. Then, O king, Dhrishtaketu and Abhimanyu of great energy, and the Kekayas, and the sons of Draupadi, all encountered thy sons. And the high-souled Abhimanyu smote them all, piercing each with five straight shafts, resembling the bolts of heaven or Death's selves, shot from his excellent bow. Thereupon, all of them, unable to bear it (coolly), showered on that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the son of Subhadra, a perfect down-pour of sharp shafts like rain-charged clouds pouring rain on the breast of the mountains of Meru. But Abhimanyu, that invisible warrior accomplished in arms, thus afflicted by them in battle, caused all thy sons, O king, to tremble like the wielder of the thunder-bolt causing the mighty Asuras to tremble in the battle between the celestials and the latter. Then that foremost of car-warriors, O Bharata, shot fourteen broad-headed shafts, fierce and looking like snakes of virulent poison, at Vikarna. Endued with great prowess and as if dancing in that battle, he felled with those shafts the standard of Vikarna from his car and slew also his charioteer and steeds. Then that mighty car-warrior, the son of Subhadra, again sped at Vikarna many other arrows that were well-tempered, straight-going, and capable of penetrating every armour. And those arrows furnished with feathers of the kanka bird, coming at Vikarna and passing through his body, entered the earth, like hissing snakes. And those arrows, with wings and points decked with gold, bathed in Vikarna's blood, seemed to vomit blood on the earth. Beholding Vikarna thus pierced, his other uterine brothers rushed, in that battle, against those car-warriors headed by Subhadra's son. And when these invincible warriors upon their (own) cars came upon those combatants (of the Pandava army) resplendent like so many suns and staying on their cars both began to pierce one another.. And Durmukha, having pierced Srutakarman with five shafts, cut off the latter's standard with a single shaft and then pierced his charioteer with seven. And advancing closer, he slew with half a dozen shafts his foe's steeds, fleet as the wind and cased in golden armour, and then
felled his charioteer. Srutakarman, however, staying on that car of his, the steeds of which had been slain, hurled in great wrath a dart blazing like a fierce meteor. That dart, blazing with effulgence, passing through the renowned Durmukha's hard coat of mail, penetrated into the earth. Meanwhile the mighty Sutasoma beholding Srutakarman deprived of his car, caused him to mount upon his own car in the very sight of all the troops. The heroic Srutakirti rushed against thy son Jayatsena in that battle, desirous, O king, of slaying that renowned warrior. Then thy son Jayatsena, O king, with a sharp arrow having a horse-shoe head, smiling the while, cut off the bow of the high-souled Srutakirti as the latter came along stretching it in his hands. Then Satanika, beholding his uterine brother's bow cut off, endued as he was with great valour, quickly came at that spot repeatedly roaring like a lion. And Satanika, drawing his bow in that battle with great force, speedily pierced Jayatsena with ten shafts, and uttered a loud shout like an infuriate elephant. And with another arrow of sharp point and capable of penetrating every armour, Satanika deeply pierced Jayatsena in the chest. Just at that time, Dushkarna who was near his brother. (Jayatsena) infuriate with anger, cut off Satanika's bow and arrow. Then the mighty Satanika taking up another excellent bow capable of bearing a great strain, aimed many sharp shafts. And addressing Dushkarna in the presence of his brother (Jayatsena), saying--'Wait', 'Wait',--he sped at him those sharp and blazing shafts resembling so many snakes. And then he speedily cut off Dushkarna's bow with one arrow, and slew his charioteer, O sire, with two, and then pierced Dushkarna himself with seven arrows. And that spotless warrior then with a dozen sharp shafts slew all the steeds of Dushkarna that were fleet as the mind and of variegated hue. And then with another broad-headed arrow, well-aimed and capable of coursing swiftly, Satanika, excited with great wrath deeply pierced Dushkarna in the chest. And thereupon the latter fell down on the earth like a tree struck with lightning. Beholding Dushkarna slain, five mighty car-warriors, O king, surrounded Satanika on all sides, from desire of slaying him. And they struck the renowned Satanika with showers of arrows. Then the five Kekaya brothers, excited with wrath, approached (Satanika for rescuing him). Beholding the latter coming upon them, thy sons--those mighty car-warriors,--rushed towards them like elephants rushing against mighty elephants. (These amongst thy sons, viz.,) Durmukha and Durjaya and the youthful Durmarshana and Satranjaya and Satrusha, all renowned warriors, excited with rage, proceeded, O king, against the (five) Kekaya brothers. On their cars that resembled (fortified) towns, unto which were yoked steeds decked with ornaments, and which were graced with beautiful standards of variegated hue, those heroes wielding excellent bows and cased in beautiful coats of mail and owning excellent standards, entered the hostile army like lions entering one forest from another. Smiting one another, fierce and terrific was the battle that ensued between them and the foe, in which cars and elephants got entangled with one another. Cherishing
feelings of hostility towards one another, the terrible battle in which they took part lasted for a short space of time about sunset, increasing the population of Yama's kingdom. And car-warriors and horsemen by thousands were strewn over the field. And Bhishma the son of Santanu excited with wrath, began to slaughter the troops of the high-souled Pandavas with his straight shafts. And with his arrows he began to despatch the combatants of the Panchalas to the domains of Yama. And the grandsire, having thus broken the ranks of the Pandavas at last withdrew his troops and retired, O king, to his encampment. And king Yudhishthira also, beholding both Dhrishtadyumna and Vrikodara, smelt their heads, and filled with joy, retired to his tents."
Next: Section LXXXI