The Mahabharata Home
Dhritarashtra said, "Tell me, O Sanjaya, all that the mighty Partha did in battle when they heard that Iravat had been slain."
Sanjaya said, "Beholding Iravat slain in battle, the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, the son of Bhimasena, uttered loud shouts. And in consequence of the loudness of those roars, the earth having the ocean for her robes, along with her mountains and forests, began to tremble violently. And the welkin also and the quarters both cardinal and subsidiary, all trembled. And hearing those loud roars of his, O Bharata, the thighs and other limbs of the troops began to tremble, and sweat also appeared on their persons. And all thy combatants, O king, became cheerless of heart. And all over the field the warriors stood still, like an elephant afraid of the lion. And the Rakshasa, uttering those loud roars resembling the rattle of thunder, assuming a terrible form, and with a blazing spear upraised in hand, and surrounded by many bulls among Rakshasas of fierce forms armed with diverse weapons, advanced, excited with rage and resembling the Destroyer himself at the end of the Yuga. Beholding him advance in wrath and with a terrible countenance, and seeing also his own troops almost all running away from fear of that Rakshasa, king Duryodhana rushed against Ghatotkacha, taking up his bow with arrow fixed on the string, and repeatedly roaring like a lion. Behind him proceeded the ruler of the Vangas, with ten thousand elephants, huge as hills, and each with juice trickling down. Beholding thy son, O king, (thus) advancing surrounded by that elephant division, that ranger of the night (viz., Ghatotkacha) was highly inflamed with rage. Then commenced a battle with utmost vehemences that made the hair stand on end, between the formidable Rakshasa and the troops of Duryodhana. And beholding also that elephant division risen (on the horizon) like a cloud, the Rakshasas, inflamed with rage, rushed towards it, weapons in hand, and uttering diverse roars like clouds charged with lightning. With arrows and darts and swords and long shafts, as also with spears and mallets and battle-axes and short arrows, they began to smite down that elephant host. And they slew huge elephants with mountain-summits and large trees. While the Rakshasas slew those elephants, O king, we saw that some of them had their frontal globes smashed, some
were bathed in blood, and some had their limbs broken or cut through. At last when that elephant host was broken and thinned, Duryodhana, O king, rushed upon the Rakshasas, under the influence of rage and becoming reckless of his very life. And that mighty warrior sped clouds of sharp shafts at the Rakshasas. And that great bowman slew many of their foremost warriors. Inflamed with rage, O chief of the Bharatas, that mighty car-warrior, viz., thy son Duryodhana, then slew with four shafts four of the principal Rakshasas, viz., Vegavat, Maharudra, Vidyujihva, and Pramathin. And once again, O chief of the Bharatas, that warrior of immeasurable soul, sped at the Rakshasa host showers of arrows that could with difficulty be resisted. Beholding that great feat of thy son, O sire, the mighty son of Bhimasena blazed up with wrath. Drawing his large bow effulgent as the lightning, he rushed impetuously at the wrathful Duryodhana. Beholding him (thus) rushing like Death himself commissioned by the Destroyer, thy son Duryodhana, O king, shook not at all. With eyes red in anger, and excited with rage, Ghatotkacha, then, addressing thy son, said, 'I shall today be freed from the debt I owe to my sires, as also to my mother, they that had so long been exiled by thy cruel self. The sons of Pandu, O king, were vanquished by thee in that match at dice. Drupada's daughter Krishna also, while ill and, therefore, clad in a single raiment, was brought into the assembly and great trouble was given by thee in diverse ways, O thou most wicked, unto her. While dwelling also in her sylvan retreat, thy well-wisher, that wicked wight, viz., the ruler of the Sindhus, persecuted her further, disregarding my sires. For these and other wrongs, O wretch of thy race, I shall today take vengeance if thou dost not quit the field.' Having said these words, Hidimva's son, drawing his gigantic bow, biting his (nether) lip with his teeth, and licking the corners of his mouth, covered Duryodhana with a profuse shower, like a mass of clouds covering the mountain-breast with torrents of rain in the rainy season."
Next: Section XCIII