The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Listen, O king, to me as I describe to thee the wonderful battle that then took place between the Kurus and the Pandavas. Approaching Bharadwaja's son who was staying at the gate of his array, the Parthas battled vigorously for piercing through Drona's division. And Drona also, accompanied by his forces, desirous of protecting his own array, battled with the Parthas, seeking glory. Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, excited with wrath and desirous of benefiting thy son, struck Virata with ten shafts. Virata also, O king, approaching those two warriors of great prowess staying in battle, fought with them and their followers. The battle that took place between these was fierce in the extreme, and blood ran in it like water. And it resembled an encounter in the woods between a lion and a couple of mighty elephants, with rent temples. The mighty son of Yajnasena forcibly struck king Valhika in that battle with fierce and sharp shafts capable of penetrating into the very vitals. Valhika also filled with wrath, deeply pierced Yajnasena's son with nine straight shafts of golden wings and whetted on stone. And that battle between those two warriors became exceedingly fierce, characterised as it was by dense showers of shafts and darts. And it enhanced the fears of the timid and the joy of heroes. The arrows shot by them entirely covered the welkin and all the points of the compass, so that nothing could any longer be discerned. And Saivya, the king of the Govasanas on the head of the troops, fought in that battle with the mighty car-warrior, the prince of the Kasis, like an elephant battling with another. The king of the Valhikas, excited with wrath, fighting, against those (five) mighty car-warriors, viz., the son of Draupadi, looked resplendent, like the mind contending against the five senses. And those five princes also, O foremost of embodied beings, fought with that antagonist of theirs, shooting their arrows from all sides, like the objects
of the senses for ever battling with the body. Thy son Duhsasana, struck Satyaki of Vrishni's race with nine straight shafts of keen points. Deeply pierced by that strong and great bowman, Satyaki of prowess incapable of being baffled, was partially deprived of his senses. Comforted soon, he, of Vrishni's race, then quickly pierced thy son, that mighty car-warrior, with ten shafts winged with Kanka feathers. Piercing each other deeply and afflicted with each other's shafts, they looked splendid, O king, like two Kinsukas decked with flowers. Afflicted with the arrows of Kuntibhoja, Alamvusha, filled with wrath looked like a beautiful Kinsuka graced with its flowering burthen. The Rakshasa then having pierced Kuntibhoja with many arrows, uttered awful shouts at the head of thy host. And as those heroes fought with each other in that battle, they seemed to all the troops to resemble Sakra and the Asura Jambha in days of old. The two sons of Madri, filled with wrath, fiercely ground with their shafts the Gandhara prince Sakuni who had offended against them greatly. The carnage, O monarch, that set in was awful. Originated by thee, nurtured by Karna, and kept up by thy sons, the fire of wrath (of the Pandavas) hath swollen now, O monarch, and is ready to consume the whole earth. Forced to turn his back on the field by the two sons of Pandu with their shafts, Sakuni unable to put forth his valour, knew not what to do. Beholding him turn back, those mighty car-warriors, viz., the two sons of Pandu, once more showered their arrows on him like two masses of clouds pouring torrents of rain on a mighty hill. Struck with countless straight shafts, the son of Suvala fled towards the division of Drona, borne by his swift steeds. The brave Ghatotkacha rushed towards the Rakshasa Alamvusha in that battle, with impetuosity much short of what he was capable. The battle between those two became fearful to behold, like that which in days of yore had taken place between Rama and Ravana. King Yudhishthira, having in that battle pierced the ruler of the Madras with five hundred arrows, once more pierced him with seven. Then commenced that battle between them which was exceedingly wonderful, O monarch, which resembled that, in days of yore, between the Asura Samvara and the chief of the celestials. The sons Vivinsati and Chitrasena and Vikarna, surrounded by a large force, battled with Bhimasena.'"
Next: Section XCVI