The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "Having passed the night in sound steep, those rulers of men, the Kauravas and the Pandavas, once more proceeded to battle. And when the troops of both armies were about to proceed to the field, great was the uproar heard there, resembling the loud uproar of the ocean itself. Then king Duryodhana, and Chitrasena, and Vivinsati, and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Bhishma and Bharadwaja's son possessed of great prowess,--those mighty car-warriors, clad in mail and uniting together, O King, formed with great care the array of the Kauravas against the Pandavas. Having formed that mighty array fierce as the ocean and having for its billows and current its steeds and elephants, thy sire Bhishma, the son of Santanu, then, O king, proceeded in the van of the whole army, supported by the Malavas, and the inhabitants of the southern countries, and the Avantis. Next to him was the valiant son of Bharadwaja, accompanied by the Pulindas, the Paradas, and the Kshudraka-Malavas. Next to Drona was the valiant Bhagadatta. O king, firmly resolved on fight, accompanied by the Magadhas, the Kalingas, and the Pisachas. Behind Bhagadatta was Vrihadvala the king of the Kosalas accompanied by the Melakas, the Tripuras, and the Chichilas. Next to Vrihadvala was the brave Trigarta, the ruler of the Prasthala, accompanied by a large number of the Kamvojas, and by Yavanas in thousands. Next to the ruler of the Trigartas, O Bharata, proceeded that mighty hero, viz., the son of Drona, uttering leonine roars and filling the earth with those shouts. Next to Drona's son proceeded king Duryodhana with the whole army, surrounded by his uterine brothers. Behind Duryodhana proceeded Kripa the son of Saradwat. It was thus that that mighty array, resembling the very ocean, advanced
[paragraph continues] (to battle). And standards and white umbrellas, O lord, and beautiful bracelets and costly bows shed their effulgence there. And beholding that mighty array of thy forces, that great car-warrior Yudhishthira, speedily addressed the generalissimo (of his forces), viz., Prishata's son saying, 'Behold, O great bowman, that array, already formed, resembling the ocean. Do thou also, O son of Prishata, form without delay thy counter-array. (Thus addressed), the heroic son of Prishata, O great king, formed that terrible array called Sringataka that is destructive of all hostile arrays. At the horns were Bhimasena and that mighty car-warrior, viz., Satyaki, with many thousands of cars as also of horse and infantry. Next to them was that foremost of men, (viz., Arjuna) of white steeds and having Krishna for his charioteer. 1 In the centre were king Yudhishthira and the twin sons of Pandu by Madri. Other royal bowmen, conversant with the science of arrays, with their troops, filled up that array. In the rear were ordered Abhimanyu, and that mighty car-warrior, Virata, and the sons of Draupadi and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha. Thus, O Bharata, having formed their mighty array, the heroic Pandavas waited on the field, longing for battle and desirous of victory. And the loud noise of drums mingling with the blare of conches and leonine roars and shouts (of the combatants) and the slapping of their armpits, became terrible and filled all the points of the compass. Then those brave warriors, approaching one another for battle, looked at one another, O king, with winkless eyes. Then O ruler of men, the warriors, first challenging each other by name, engaged with each other. 2 Then commenced a fierce and terrible battle between thy troops and those of the foe striking one another. And in that battle, O Bharata, whetted shafts fell in showers like terrible snakes with mouths wide open. And polished darts of impetuous force, washed with oil, O king, shone like the effulgent flashes of lightning from the clouds. And maces decked with gold and attached to bright slings were seen to fall all over the field, resembling beautiful crests of hills. And sabres of the colour of the clear (blue) sky, O Bharata, and shields of bull's hides and decked with a hundred moons, as they fell everywhere over the field, O king, looked beautiful. And as the two armies, O king, were engaged in battle with each other, they looked resplendent like the celestial and the demoniac hosts battling with each other. All around they rushed against one another in battle. Foremost of royal car-warriors, impetuously dashing against car-warriors in that dreadful battle, fought on, with the yokes of their cars entangled with those of their adversaries. And, O bull of Bharata's race, all over the field flashes of fire mixed with smoke were generated, in consequence of friction, in the tusks of battling elephants. And combatants on the backs of elephants, struck with lances, were seen all around to fall down like blocks (loosened)
from crests of hills. 1 And brave foot-soldiers, battling with their bare arms or with lances, and striking one another, looked exceedingly beautiful. And the warriors of the Kaurava and the Pandava hosts, coming upon one another in that conflict, despatched one another with diverse kinds of shafts to the abode of Yama. Then Bhishma, the son of Santanu, filling (the air) with the rattle of his car, and depriving the foe of his senses by the twang of his bow, rushed against the Pandavas in battle. The car-warriors of the Pandavas, too, headed by Dhrishtadyumna, uttering fierce shouts, rushed at him, firmly resolved on fight. Then commenced, O Bharata, a battle between the infantry, car-warriors, and elephants, of theirs and thine, in which the combatants became all entangled with one another."
218:1 Krishna-sarathis (Bombay); the Bengal reading is Vanaradhvajas.
218:2 The true reading, I think, is that of the Bombay text, viz., namabhis. The Bengal reading is manobhis. How can persons challenge each other mentally, although they may single out their antagonists so?
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