The Mahabharata Home
Dhritarashtra said, "How did those bulls among men, viz., that great bowman Drona, and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, encounter each other in battle? The son of Pandu is ever dear to the wise son of Bharadwaja. The preceptor also is ever dear to Pritha's son, O Sanjaya. Both of those car-warriors delight in battle, and both of them are fierce like lions. How therefore, did Bharadwaja's son and Dhananjaya, both fighting with care encounter each other in battle?"
Sanjaya said, "In battle Drona never recognises Partha as dear to himself. Partha also, keeping a Kshatriya's duty in view, recognises not in battle his preceptor. Kshatriyas, O king, never avoid one another in battle. Without showing any regard for one another, they fight with sires and brothers. In that battle, O Bharata, Partha pierced Drona with three shafts. Drona, however, regarded not those shafts shot in battle from Partha's bow. Indeed, Partha once more covered the preceptor in the fight with a shower of arrows. Thereupon the latter blazed up with wrath like a conflagration in a deep forest. Then, O king, Drona soon covered Arjuna in that combat with many straight shafts, O Bharata. Then king Duryodhana, O monarch, despatched Susarman for taking up the wing of Drona. Then the ruler of the Trigartas, excited with rage and forcibly drawing his bow, covered Partha, O king, with a profusion of arrows furnished with iron heads. Shot by those two warriors, O king, the shafts looked beautiful in the welkin like cranes in the autumnal sky. Those shafts, O lord, reaching the son of Kunti, entered his body like birds disappearing within a tree bending with a load of tasteful fruits. Arjuna then, that foremost of car-warriors, uttering a loud roar in that battle pierced the ruler of the Trigartas and his son with his shafts. Pierced by Partha like Death himself at the end of the Yuga, they were unwilling to avoid Partha, resolved as they were on laying down their lives. And they shot showers on the car of Arjuna. Arjuna, however, received those arrowy showers with showers of his own, like a mountain, O monarch, receiving a downpour from the clouds. And the lightness of hand that we then beheld of Vibhatsu was exceedingly wonderful. For alone he baffled that unbearable shower of arrows shot by many warriors like the wind alone scattering myriads of clouds rushing upon clouds. And at that feat of Partha, the gods and the Danavas (assembled there for witnessing the fight) were highly gratified. Then, O Bharata, engaged with the Trigartas
in that battle, Partha shot, O king, the Vayavya weapon against their division. Then arose a wind that agitated the welkin, felled many trees, and smote down the (hostile) troops. Then Drona, beholding the fierce Vayavya weapon, himself shot an awful weapon called the Saila. And when that weapon, O ruler of men, was shot by Drona in that battle, the wind abated and the ten quarters became calm. The heroic son of Pandu, however, made the car-warriors of the Trigarta division destitute of prowess and hope, and caused them to turn their backs on the field. Then Duryodhana and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Kripa, and Aswatthaman, and Salya, and Sudakshina, the ruler of the Kamvojas, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Valhika supported by the Valhikas, with a large number of cars surrounded Partha on all sides. And similarly Bhagadatta also, and the mighty Srutayush, surrounded Bhima on all sides with an elephant division. And Bhurisravas, and Sala, and Suvala's son, O monarch, began to check the twin sons of Madri with showers of bright and sharp arrows. Bhishma, however, in that battle, supported by the sons of Dhritarashtra with their troops, approaching Yudhishthira, surrounded him on all sides. Beholding that elephant division coming towards him, Pirtha's son Vrikodara, possessed of great courage, began to lick the corners of his mouth like a lion in the forest. Then Bhima, that foremost of car-warriors, taking up his mace in that great battle, quickly jumped down from his car and struck terror into the hearts of thy warriors. Beholding him mace in hand, those elephant-warriors in that battle carefully surrounded Bhimasena on all sides. Stationed in the midst of those elephants, the son of Pandu looked resplendent like the Sun in the midst of a mighty mass of clouds. Then that bull among the sons of Pandu began with his mace to consume that elephant-division like the wind dispelling a huge mass of clouds covering the welkin. Those tuskers, while being slaughtered by the mighty Bhimasena, uttered loud cries of woe like roaring masses of clouds. With diverse scratches (on his person) inflicted by those huge animals with their tusks, the son of Pritha looked beautiful on the field of battle like a flowering Kinsuka. Seizing some of the elephants by their tusks, he deprived them of those weapons. Wrenching out the tusks of others, with those very tusks he struck them on their frontal globes and felled them in battle like the Destroyer himself armed with his rod. Wielding his mace bathed in gore, and himself bespattered with fat and marrow and smeared with blood, he looked like Rudra himself. Thus slaughtered by him, the few gigantic elephants that remained, ran away on all sides, O king, crushing even friendly ranks. And in consequence of those huge elephants fleeing away on all sides, Duryodhana's troops once more, O bull of Bharata's race, fled away from the field."
Next: Section CIV