The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Seeing Bhima in that battle assailed by the cannibal, Vasudeva, approaching Ghatotkacha, said unto him these words, 'Behold, O mighty-armed one, Bhima is violently assailed by the Rakshasa in battle, in the very sight of all the troops and of thyself, O thou of great splendour! Abandoning Karna for the present, quickly slay Alayudha, O mighty armed one! Thou can afterwards slay Karna.' Hearing these words of him of Vrishni's race, the valiant Ghatotkacha, abandoning Karna, encountered Alayudha, that prince of cannibals and brother of Vaka. The battle then that took place at night between those two cannibals, viz., Alayudha and the son of Hidimva became fierce and dreadful, O Bharata. Meanwhile, the mighty car-warrior Yuyudhana, and Nakula, and Sahadeva, pierced with keen shafts the warriors of Alayudha, those terrible-looking and heroic Rakshasas, armed with bows. The diadem-decked Vibhatsu, O king, in that battle, shooting his arrows on all sides, began to overthrow many foremost of Kshatriyas. Meanwhile, Karna, O king, in that battle agitated many kings and many mighty car-warriors amongst the Panchalas headed by Dhrishtadyumna and Sikhandin and others. Beholding them slaughtered (by Karna), Bhima, of terrible prowess, rushed speedily towards Karna, shooting his shafts in that battle. Then those warriors also, viz., Nakula and Sahadeva and the mighty car-warrior,
Satyaki, having slain the Rakshasas, proceeded to that place where the Suta's son was. All of them, then, began to fight with Karna, while the Panchalas encountered Drona. Then Alayudha, excited with rage, struck Ghatotkacha, that chastiser of foes, on the head, with a gigantic Parigha. With the stroke of that Parigha, the mighty son of Bhimasena, endued with great prowess, seemed to be in a state of partial swoon and sat down motionless. Recovering consciousness, the latter, then, in that encounter, hurled at his foe a gold-decked mace adorned with a hundred bells and looking like a blazing fire. Hurled forcibly by that achiever of fierce feats, that mace crushed into pieces the steeds, the driver, and the loud-rattling car of Alayudha. Having recourse to illusion, the latter, then, jumped down from that car of his, whose steeds and wheels and Akshas and standard and Kuvara had all been crushed into pieces. Relying on his illusion, he poured a copious shower of blood. The sky then seemed to be overspread with a mass of black clouds adorned with flashes of lightning. A thunder-storm was then heard, accompanied with loud reports and loud roars of clouds. Loud sounds also of chat, chat, were heard in that dreadful battle. Beholding that illusion created by the Rakshasa Alayudha, the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, soaring aloft, destroyed it by means of his own illusion. Alayudha, beholding his own illusion destroyed by that of his foe, began to pour a heavy shower of stones on Ghatotkacha. That terrible shower of stones, the valiant Ghatotkacha dispelled by means of a shower of arrows. They then rained on each other diverse weapons, such as iron Parighas and spears and maces and short clubs and mallets, and Pinakas and swords and lances and long spears and Kampanas, and keen shafts, both long and broad-headed, and arrows and discs and battle-axes, and Ayogudas and short-arrows, and weapons with heads like those of kine, and Ulukhalas. And they struck each other, tearing up many kinds of large-branched trees such as Sami and Pilu and Karira and Champaka, O Bharata, and Inguidi and Vadari and flowering Kovidara and Arimeda and Plaksha and banian and peepul, and also with diverse mountain-summits and diverse kinds of metals. The clash of those trees and mountain-summits became very loud like the roar of driving thunder. Indeed, the battle that took place between Bhima's son and Alayudha, was, O king, dreadful in the extreme, like that in days of old, O monarch, between Vali and Sugriva, those two princes among the monkeys. They struck each other with shafts and diverse other kinds of fierce weapons, as also with sharp scimitars. Then the mighty Rakshasas, rushing against each other, seized each other by the hair. And, O king, those two gigantic warriors, with many wounds on their bodies and blood and sweat trickling down, looked like two mighty masses of clouds pouring rain. Then rushing with speed and whirling the Rakshasas on high and dashing him down, Hidimva's son cut off his large head. Then taking that head decked with a pair of ear-rings, the mighty Ghatotkacha uttered a loud roar. Beholding the gigantic brother of Vaka, that chastiser of foes, thus slain, the Panchalas and the Pandavas began to
utter leonine shouts. Then, upon the fall of the Rakshasa, the Pandavas beat and blew thousands of drums and ten thousands of conchs. That night then clearly indicated the victory of the Pandavas. Illumined with torches all around, and resounding with the noise of musical instruments, the night looked exceedingly resplendent. Then the mighty son of Bhimasena threw down the head of the slain Alayudha before Duryodhana. Duryodhana, beholding the heroic Alayudha slain, became, O Bharata, filled with anxiety, for all his troops. Alayudha, having come to Duryodhana of his own accord. remembering his former quarrel, had said unto him that he would slay Bhima in battle. The Kuru king had regarded Bhima's slaughter to be certain, and had believed that his brothers would all be long-lived. Beholding that Alayudha slain by Bhimasena's son, the king regarded Bhima's vow (about the slaughter of himself and his brothers) already fulfilled.'"
Next: Section CLXXIX