The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "O chief of the Bharatas, Ganga's son, once more addressing thy son who was plunged in thought, told him these delightful
words, 'Myself and Drona and Salya and Kritavarman of Satwata's race, and Aswatthaman and Vikarna and Bhagadatta and Suvala's son and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Valhika with the Valhikas, 1 and the mighty king of the Trigartas and the invincible ruler of the Magadhas, Vrihadvala the king of the Kosalas, and Chitrasena and Vivingsati and many thousands of car-warriors graced with tall standards, a large number of country-born steeds well-mounted with excellent horse-soldiers and many infuriate elephants of large size with temporal juice issuing from their mouths and cheeks, and many brave foot-soldiers armed with diverse weapons and born in diverse realms, are all prepared to do battle for thy sake. 2 These, and many others ready for thy sake to lay down their lives, are, as I think, competent to vanquish the very gods in battle. I should, however, always tell thee, O king, what is for thy good. The Pandavas are incapable of being vanquished by the very gods with Vasava. They have Vasudeva for their ally and are equal to Mahendra himself in prowess. As regards myself, I shall, however, always do thy bidding. Either I shall vanquish the Pandavas in battle or they will vanquish me. Having said these words, the grandsire gave him an excellent herb of great efficacy for healing his wounds. And therewith thy son was cured of his wounds. Then at dawn when the sky was clear, the valiant Bhishma, that foremost of men well-versed in all kinds of array, himself disposed his troops in that array called Mandala bristling with weapons. And it abounded with foremost of warriors and with tuskers and foot-soldiers. And it was surrounded on all sides with many thousands of cars, and with large bodies of horsemen armed with swords and lances. Near unto every elephant were placed seven cars, and near unto every car were placed seven horsemen. And behind every horseman were placed seven bowmen, and behind every bowman were seven combatants with shields. And thus, O king, thy army, arrayed by mighty car-warriors, stood for fierce battle, protected by Bhishma. And ten thousand horses, and as many elephants, and ten thousand cars, and thy sons, all equipped in mail, viz., the heroic Chitrasena and others, protected the grandsire. And it was seen that Bhishma was protected by those brave warriors, and those princes themselves of great strength, accoutred in mail, were (in their turn) protected by him. And Duryodhana accoutred in mail sat upon his car on the field, and possessed of every grace, looked resplendent like Sakra himself in heaven. Then, O Bharata, loud were the shouts uttered by thy sons and deafening the clatter of cars and the uproar of musical instruments. That mighty and impenetrable array of those slayer of foes, viz., the Dhartarashtras (in the form called) Mandala, (thus) arrayed by Bhishma, began to proceed, facing the west. Incapable of being defeated by enemies, it looked beautiful in every point. Beholding
then the array called Mandala that was exceedingly fierce, king Yudhishthira himself disposed his troops in the array called Vajra. And when the divisions were thus arrayed, car-warriors and horsemen, stationed in their proper places, uttered leonine shouts. Accompanied by their respective forces, the brave warriors of both armies, well versed in smiting, and longing for battle, proceeded, desirous of breaking each other's array. And Bharadwaja's son proceeded against the king of the Matsyas, and his son (Aswatthaman) against Sikhandin. And king Duryodhana himself rushed against the son of Prishata. And Nakula and Sahadeva went forth against the king of the Madras. And Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti proceeded against Iravat. And many kings together battled with Dhananjaya. And Bhimasena, exerting himself well, opposed the son of Hridika in battle. And possessed of great prowess, (Abhimanyu) the son of Arjuna, fought in battle, O king, against the sons Chitrasena and Vikarna, and Durmarshana. And Hidimva's son, that prince of the Rakshasas, rushed against that mighty bowman, the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, like one infuriate elephant against another. And the Rakshasa Alamvusha, O king, excited with wrath, rushed in battle against the invincible Satyaki in the midst of his followers. And Bhurisravas, exerting himself greatly, fought against Dhrishtaketu. And Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, proceeded against king Srutayush. And Chekitana in that battle fought against Kripa. And others (among the Kuru warriors), exerting themselves powerfully, proceeded against that mighty car-warrior Bhima. And thousands of (other) kings surrounded Dhananjaya, with darts, lances, arrows, maces, and spiked clubs in their hands. Then Arjuna, excited with great wrath, addressing him of Vrishni's race, said, 'Behold, O Madhava, the Dhartarashtra troops in battle, arrayed by the high-souled son of Ganga, acquainted with every kind of array. Behold, O Madhava, those brave warriors, countless in number, and desirous of battle (with me). Behold, O Kesava, the ruler of the Trigartas with his brothers. 1 This very day I shall slay them all, O Janardana, before thy eyes,--them, that is, O foremost of the Yadus, who, longing for battle (with me), are on the field.' Having said these words, the son of Kunti, rubbing his bowstring, showered his arrows on that multitude of kings. And those great bowmen also, poured on him thick showers of arrows, like clouds that fill a lake with torrents of rain in the rainy season. And loud shouts were heard in thy army, O monarch, when in that great battle the two Krishnas were seen covered with thick showers of arrows. And the gods, the celestial Rishis, and the Gandharvas with the Uragas, beholding the two Krishnas in that state, were filled with great wonder. Then Arjuna, O king, excited with wrath, invoked the Aindra weapon. And then the prowess we beheld of Vijaya seemed to be highly wonderful insomuch that those showers of weapons shot by his foes were
checked by his myriads of arrows. And there among those thousands of kings and steeds and elephants, was none, O king, that was not wounded. And others, O sire, the son of Pritha pierced, each with two or three arrows. And while being thus struck by Pritha, they sought the protection of Bhishma, the son of Santanu. But Bhishma then became the rescuer of those warriors who were like men sinking in the fathomless deep. And in consequence of those warriors thus flying away and mixing with thy troops, thy broken ranks, O king, were agitated like the vast deep with a tempest."
200:1 The last verse is read variously. But the Bombay and the Bengal texts have faults of their own. The first word is ugranadam (Bengal) and not ugranagam (Bombay). The Vahuvarnarupam (Bombay) is correct, and not Vahuvarnarutam (Bengal). The last word of the first line is Samudirnamevam (Bombay), and not Samudirnavarnam (Bengal).
201:1 Differently read in the Bengal texts, viz., Somadatta with the Saindhavas.
201:2 The Bengal reading Rathas in the first line of 6 is a mistake; should be, as in the Bombay text, tatha.
202:1 The last word of the first line of 36 is amitan in the Bengal texts. The Bombay reading is Varmitan. I prefer the Bengal reading.
Next: Section LXXXIII