The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "Then when the sun attained the meridian, king Yudhishthira, beholding Srutayush, urged on his steeds. And the king rushed at Srutayush, that chastiser of foes, striking him with nine straight shafts of keen points. That great bowman, viz., king Srutayush then, checking in that battle those arrows shot by the son of Pandu, struck Yudhishthira with seven shafts. These penetrating through his armour, drank his blood in that battle, as if sucking the very vital energies dwelling in the body of that high-souled one. 2 The son of Pandu then, though deeply pierced by that high-souled king, pierced king Srutayush (in return), at the latter's heart, with an arrow shaped as the boar's ear. And that foremost of car-warriors, viz., the son of Pritha, with another broad-headed arrow, quickly felled on the earth the standard of the high-souled Srutayush from his car. Beholding his standard overthrown, king Srutayush then, O monarch, pierced the son of Pandu with seven sharp shafts. Thereupon Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, blazed up with wrath, like the fire that blazeth forth at the end of the Yuga for consuming creatures. Beholding the son of Pandu excited with rage, the gods, the Gandharvas, and the Rakshasas, trembled, O king, and the universe became agitated. And even this was the thought that arose in the minds of all creatures, viz., that that king, excited with rage, would that day consume the three worlds. Indeed, when the son of Pandu was thus excited with wrath, the Rishis and the celestials prayed for the peace of the world. Filled with wrath and frequently licking the corners of his mouth, Yudhishthira assumed a terrible expression looking like the sun that riseth at the end of the Yuga. Then all thy warriors,
[paragraph continues] O king, became hopeless of their lives, O Bharata. Checking, however, that wrath with patience, that great bowman endued with high renown then cut off Srutayush's bow at the grasp. And then, in the very sight of all the troops, the king in that battle pierced Srutayush whose bow had been cut off, with a long arrow in the centre of the chest. And the mighty Yudhishthira then, O king, speedily slew with his arrows the steeds of Srutayush and then, without losing a moment, his charioteer. Beholding the prowess of the king, Srutayush leaving that car whose steeds had been slain, quickly fled away from battle. After that great bowman had been vanquished in combat by the son of Dharma, all the troops of Duryodhana, O king, turned their faces. Having, O monarch, achieved this feat, Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, began to slay thy troops like Death himself with wide-open mouth.
"Chekitana of the Vrishni race, in the very sight of all the troops, covered with his shafts Gautama, that foremost of car-warriors. Baffling all those arrows, Kripa the son of Saradwat, pierced Chekitana in return who was fighting with great care, O king, with arrows in that battle. Then, O Bharata, with another broad-headed arrow he cut off Chekitana's bow, and endued with great lightness of hand, he also felled with another broad-headed arrow the former's charioteer. Kripa then, O monarch, slew Chekitana's steeds, as also both the warriors that protected the latter's wings. Then Chekitana of the Satwata race, quickly jumped down from his car, and took up a mace. The foremost of all wielders of the mace, Chekitana, with that hero-slaying mace of his, slew the steeds of Gautama and then felled his charioteer. Then Gautama, standing on the ground, shot sixteen arrows at Chekitana. Those arrows, piercing through that hero of the Satwata race, entered the earth. Thereat, Chekitana excited with rage, once more hurled his mace, desirous of slaying Gautama, like Purandara desirous of slaying Vritra. Then Gautama with many thousands of arrows checked that huge mace, endued with the strength of adamant, that was coursing towards him. Then Chekitana, O Bharata, drawing his sabre from the sheath, rushed with great speed towards Gautama. Thereupon Gautama also, throwing away his bow, and taking up a polished sabre, rushed with great speed towards Chekitana. Both of them possessed of great strength, and both armed with excellent sabres, began to strike each other with those sharp-edged weapons of theirs. Then those bulls among men, struck with the force of each other's sabres, fell down on the earth, that (common) element of all creatures. Exhausted by the efforts they had made, the limbs of both were motionless in a swoon. Then Karakarsha impelled by friendship, quickly rushed to that spot. And that invincible warrior, beholding Chekitana in that plight, took him up on his car in the very sight of all troops. And so also the brave Sakuni, thy brother-in-law, O monarch, speedily caused Gautama, that foremost of car-warriors, to mount on his car.
"The mighty Dhrishtaketu, excited with wrath, speedily pierced the son of Somadatta, O king, with ninety shafts in the chest. And the son
of Somadatta looked highly resplendent with those shafts on his chest, like the sun, O king, with his rays at mid-day. Bhurisravas, however, in that battle, with his excellent shafts, deprived Dhrishtaketu, that mighty car-warrior, of his car, slaying his charioteer and steeds. And beholding him deprived of his car, and his steeds and charioteer slain, Bhurisravas covered Dhrishtaketu in that combat with a thick shower of arrows. The high-souled Dhrishtaketu then. O sire, abandoning that car of his, mounted upon the vehicle of Satanika. Chitrasena, and Vikarna, O king, and also Durmarshana,--these car-warriors cased in golden mail,--all rushed against the son of Subhadra. Then a fierce battle took place between Abhimanyu and those warriors, like the battle of the body, O king, with wind, bile, and phlegm. 1 That tiger among men, however, (viz., Abhimanyu), having, O king, deprived thy sons of their cars, slew them not, remembering Bhima's words. 2 Then during the progress of the fight, Kunti's son (Arjuna), of white steeds, beholding Bhishma, who was incapable of being vanquished by very gods, proceeding to rescue thy sons in view of Abhimanyu--a boy and alone though a mighty car-warrior, addressed Vasudeva and said these words, 'Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesa, to that spot where are those numerous car-warriors. They are many in number, brave, accomplished in arms, invincible in battle. Guide the horses so, O Madhava, that the foe may not be able to slay our troops.' Thus urged by Kunti's son of immeasurable energy, he of Vrishni's race then drove that car, unto which were yoked white steeds, to battle. When Arjuna, excited with rage, thus proceeded towards thy army, a loud uproar, O sire, arose among thy troops. 3 The son of Kunti then, having come up to those kings that were protecting Bhishma, (first) addressed Susarman, O king, and said these words, 'I know thee to be foremost in battle, and a dire enemy (of ours) of old. Behold to-day the terrible fruit of that evil behaviour (of thine). 4 I will today cause thee to visit the manes of thy ancestors.' That leader of car-divisions, Susarman, however, hearing these harsh words uttered by that slayer of foes viz., Vibhatsu, told him nothing (in reply), well or ill. (But) approaching the heroic Arjuna, with a large number of kings in his train, and surrounding him in that battle, he covered him aided by thy sons, O sinless one, with arrows from all sides, viz., front, rear, and flanks, like the clouds covering the maker of day. Then, O Bharata, a dreadful battle took place between thy army and the Pandavas, in which blood ran like water."
209:1 Lit. "This one no longer is" i.e., 'alive'.
209:2 The original is Vichnvantas (a practical) meaning 'plucking as flowers'.
211:1 These, in Hindu physiology, are the three humours of the body always contending for mastery over the vital forces.
211:2 Bhima had vowed to slay the sons of Dhritarashtra; therefore, Abhimanyu liked not to falsify his uncle's vow by himself slaying any of them.
211:3 Instead of yat in the beginning of the second line, yada would be better. None of the printed text, however, have yada.
211:4 In the first line of 50, the Bengal reading is Satam. I prefer the Bombay reading which is atyantam. For, again, paryayasya in the beginning of the second line, the Bombay text reads anayassa which is better.
Next: Section LXXXVI