The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "Having in that battle made all those warriors (of thy army) turn their faces from the field, the Rakshasa then, O chief of the Bharatas, rushed at Duryodhana, desirous of slaying him. Beholding him
rushing with great impetuosity towards the king, many warriors of thy army, incapable of defeat in battle, rushed towards him (in return) from desire of slaying him. Those mighty car-warriors, drawing their bows that measured full six cubits long, and uttering loud roars like a herd of lions, all rushed together against that single warrior. And surrounding him on all sides, they covered him with their arrowy showers like the clouds covering the mountain-breast with torrents of rain in autumn. Deeply pierced with those arrows and much pained, he resembled then an elephant pierced with the hook. Quickly then he soared up into the firmament like Garuda. And (while there) he uttered many loud roars like the autumnal clouds, making the welkin and all the points of the compass, cardinal and subsidiary, resounded with those fierce cries. Hearing those roars of the Rakshasa, O chief of the Bharatas, king Yudhishthira then, addressing Bhima, said unto that chastiser of foes these words, 'The noise that we hear uttered by the fiercely-roaring Rakshasa, without doubt, indicates that he is battling with the mighty car-warriors of the Dhartarashtra army. I see also that the burden has proved heavier than what that bull among Rakshasas is able to bear. The grandsire, too, excited with rage, is ready to slaughter the Panchalas. For protecting them Phalguni is battling with the foe. O thou of mighty arms hearing now of these two tasks, both of which demand prompt attention, go and give succour to Hidimva's son who is placed in a position of very great danger.' Listening to these words of his brother, Vrikodara, with great speed, proceeded, frightening all the kings with his leonine roars, with great impetuosity, O king, like the ocean itself during the period of the new full moon. Him followed Satyadhriti and Sauchiti difficult of being vanquished in battle, and Srenimat, and Vasudana and the powerful son of the ruler of Kasi, and many car-warriors headed by Abhimanyu, as also those mighty car-warriors, viz., the sons of Draupadi, and the valiant Kshatradeva, and Kshatradharman, and Nila, the ruler of the low countries, at the head of his own forces. And these surrounded the son of Hidimva with a large division of cars (for aiding him). 1 And they advanced to the rescue of Ghatotkacha, that prince of the Rakshasas, with the six thousand elephants, always infuriate and accomplished in smiting. And with their loud leonine roars, and the clatter of their car-wheels, and with the tread of their horse's hoofs, they made the very earth to tremble. Hearing the din of those advancing warriors the faces of thy troops who were filled with anxiety in consequence of their fear of Bhimasena became pale. Leaving Ghatotkacha then they all fled away. Then commenced in that part of the field a dreadful battle between those high-souled warriors and thine, both of whom were unretreating. Mighty car-warriors, hurling diverse kinds of the weapons, chased and smote one another. That fierce battle striking terror into the hearts of the timid, was such that the different classes of combatants became entangled with one another. Horses
engaged with elephants and foot-soldiers with car-warriors. And challenging one another, O king, they engaged in the fight. 1 And in consequence of that clash of cars, steeds, elephants, and foot-soldiers, a thick dust appeared, raised by the car-wheels and the tread (of those combatants and animals). And that dust, thick and of the colour of reddish smoke, shrouded the field of battle. And the combatants were unable to distinguish their own from the foe. Sire recognised not the son, and son recognised not the sire, in that dreadful engagement which made the hair stand on end and in which no consideration was shown (by any one for any body). And the noise made by the hissing weapons and the shouting combatants resembled, O chief of Bharata's race, that made by departed spirits (in the infernal regions). And there flowed a river whose current consisted of the blood of elephants and steeds and men. And the hair (of the combatants) formed its weeds and moss. And in that battle heads falling from the trunks of men made a loud noise like that of a falling shower of stones. And the earth was strewn with the headless trunks of human beings, with mangled bodies of elephants and with the hacked limbs of steeds. And mighty car-warriors chased one another for smiting one another down, and hurled diverse kinds of weapons. Steeds, urged by their riders and falling upon steeds, dashed against one another and fell down deprived of life. And men, with eyes red in wrath, rushing against men and striking one another with their chests, smote one another down. And elephants, urged by their guides against hostile elephants, slew their compeers in that battle, with the points of their tusks. Covered with blood in consequence of their wounds and decked with standards (on their backs), elephants were entangled with elephants and looked like masses of clouds charged with lightning. And some amongst them mounted (by others) with the points of their tusks, and some with their frontal globes split with lances, ran hither and thither with loud shrieks like masses of roaring clouds. And some amongst them with their trunks lopped off, 2 and others with mangled limbs, dropped down in that dreadful battle like mountains shorn of their wings. 3 Other huge elephants, copiously shedding blood from their flanks, ripped open by compeers, looked like mountains with (liquified) red chalk running down their sides (after a shower). 4 Others, slain with shafts or pierced with lances and deprived of their riders, looked like mountains deprived of their crests. 5Some amongst them, possessed by wrath and blinded (with fury) in
consequence of the juice (trickling down their temples and cheeks). 1 and no longer restrained with the hook, crushed cars and steeds and foot-soldiers in that battle by hundreds. And so steeds, attacked by horsemen with bearded darts and lances, rushed against their assailants, as if agitating the points of the compass. Car-warriors of noble parentage and prepared to lay down their lives, encountering car-warriors, fought fearlessly, relying upon their utmost might. The combatants, O king, seeking glory or heaven, struck one another in that awful press, as if in a marriage by self-choice. During however, that dreadful battle making the hair stand on end, the Dhartarashtra troops generally were made to run their backs on the field."
232:1 In the second line of 15, the Bengal reading saravarshena is incorrect. The Bombay reading Rathavansena is what I follow.
233:1 The Bengal reading hayais in the instrumental plural is incorrect. The Bombay text reads hayas (nom. plural). This is correct.
233:2 Literally, 'divided in twin'.
233:3 Mountains, in Hindu mythology, had wings, till they were shorn of these by Indra with his thunder. Only Mainaka, the son of Himavat, saved himself by a timely flight. To this day he conceals himself within the ocean.
233:4 The Bengal reading of the first line of this verse is vicious. The true reading is parswaistudaritairanye. Both parsa and darita should be (as here) in the instrumental Plural, and anye should be in the nom. plural.
233:5 The correct reading, as settled by the Burdwan Pundits, is Hataroha vyodrisyanta. Some texts have Hayaroha which is incorrect.
234:1 "Blinded cheeks." The Sanskrit word is madandha. Literally rendered, it would be "juice-blind". This can scarcely be intelligible to the general European reader. Hence the long-winded adjectival clause I have used.
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