The Mahabharata Home
Sanjaya said, "O tiger among men, Arjuna sent those Kshatriyas that followed Susarman to the abode of the King of the Dead by means of his whetted shafts. Susarman however, in that battle, pierced Partha with his shafts. And he pierced Vasudeva with seventy, and Arjuna once more with nine shafts. Checking those shafts by means of his arrowy showers, that mighty car-warrior, viz., the son of Indra, despatched Susarman's troops unto Yama's abode. Those mighty car-warriors, while being slaughtered by Partha in that battle as if by Death himself at the end of the Yuga, all fled away from the field, O king struck with panic, Some abandoning their steeds, some abandoning, O sire, their cars, and others their elephants, fled away in all directions. Others taking with them their horses, elephants, and cars, fled away, O king, with great speed. Foot-soldiers in that dreadful battle, throwing aside their weapons, and without any regard for one another, fled away hither and thither. Though forbidden by Susarman the ruler of the Trigartas, and by other foremost of kings, they stayed not yet in battle. Beholding that host routed, thy son Duryodhana himself at the head of the whole army and with Bhishma ahead, attacked Dhananjaya with all his vigour, for the sake, O king, of (protecting) the life of the ruler of the Trigartas. And he stayed in battle, scattering diverse kinds of arrows, supported by all his brothers. The rest of the men all fled away. Similarly, the Pandavas, O king, clad in mail and with all their vigour, proceeded, for the sake of Phalguni, to the spot where Bhishma was. Although acquainted with the awful prowess, in battle of the wielder of Gandiva, these yet proceeded with loud cries and great bravery to the spot where Bhishma was and surrounded him on all sides. Then the palmyra-bannered hero covered the Pandava army, in that battle, with his straight shafts. The sun having reached the meridian, the Kauravas, O king, fought with the
[paragraph continues] Pandavas in one confused mass. The heroic Satyaki, having pierced Kritavarman with five arrows, stayed in battle scattering his arrows by thousands. And so king Drupada also, having pierced Drona with many whetted shafts, once more pierced him with seventy shafts and his charioteer with nine. Bhimasena also, having pierced his great grandsire king Valhika uttered a loud roar like a tiger in the forest. Arjuna's son (Abhimanyu) pierced by Chitrasena with many shafts, deeply pierced Chitrasena in the chest with three arrows. Engaged with each other in battle, those two foremost of men looked resplendent on the field like the planets, Venus and Saturn, O king, in the firmament. Then that slayer of foes, viz., the son of Subhadra, having slain his antagonist's steeds and charioteer with nine arrows, uttered a loud shout. Thereupon that mighty car-warrior, (viz., Chitrasena), quickly jumping down from that car whose steed had been slain, mounted, O king, without delay, the car of Durmukha. The valiant Drona, pierced the latter's charioteer also, Then, O king, Drupada, thus afflicted at the head of his troops, retreated by the aid of his fleet steeds, recollecting the hostility that existed from days of old (between himself and Drona). Bhimasena, within a moment, deprived king Valhika of his steeds, car and charioteer, in the very sight of all the troops. Fallen into a situation of great danger and with fear in his heart, O king, Valhika, that best of men, jumping down from that vehicle, quickly mounted upon the car of Lakshmana in that battle. Satyaki, having checked Kritavarman in that dreadful battle, fell upon the grandsire and rained on him shafts of diverse kinds. 1 Piercing the grandsire with sixty whetted shafts winged with feathers, he seemed to dance on his car, shaking his large bow. The grandsire then hurled at him a mighty dart made of iron, decked with gold, endued with great velocity, and beautiful as a daughter of the Nagas. Beholding that irresistible dart, resembling Death himself, coursing towards him, that illustrious warrior of the Vrishni race baffled it by the celerity of movements. Thereupon that fierce dart, unable to reach him of the Vrishni race, fell down on the earth like a large meteor of blazing splendour. Then he of Vrishni's race, O king, taking up with a firm hand his own dart of golden effulgence, hurled it at the car of the grandsire. That dart, hurled in that dreadful battle with the strength of Satyaki's arms, coursed impetuously like the fatal night, coursing speedily towards a (doomed) man. As it coursed, however, towards him with great force, Bhishma cut it in twain, O Bharata, with a couple of horse-shoe-headed arrows of keen edge, and thereupon it fell down on the earth. Having cut that dart, that grinder of foes, viz., Ganga's son, excited with wrath and smiling the while struck Satyaki in the chest with nine arrows. Then the Pandava warriors, O elder brother of Pandu, with their cars, elephants,
and steeds, 1 surrounded Bhishma in that battle, for the sake of rescuing him of Madhu's race. Then commenced again a fierce battle, making the hair to stand on end, between the Pandavas and the Kurus both of whom were desirous of victory."
261:1 Lit. "reached him with shafts etc."
262:1 Both the Bengal and the Bombay printed texts are in fault regarding the word Pandupurvaja. The Bombay text makes it a nom. plural. The Bengal text makes it an accusative singular. There can be no doubt that the Burdwan Pundits are right in taking it as a vocative.
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