The Mahabharata Home
"Dhritarashtra said, 'I have heard from thee, O Sanjaya, of many poignant and unbearable griefs as also of the losses sustained by my sons. From what thou hast said unto me, from the manner in which the battle has been fought, it is my certain conviction, O Suta, that the Kauravas are no more. Duryodhana was made carless in that dreadful battle. How did Dharma's son (then) fight, and how did the royal Duryodhana also fight in return? How also occurred that battle which was fought in the afternoon? Tell me all this in detail, for thou art skilled in narration, O Sanjaya.'
"Sanjaya said, 'When the troops of both armies were engaged in battle, according to their respective divisions, thy son Duryodhana, O king, riding on another car and filled with rage like a snake of virulent poison, beholding king Yudhishthira the just, quickly addressed his own driver, O Bharata, saying, "Proceed, proceed, quickly take me there, O driver, where the royal son of Pandu, clad in mail shineth under yon umbrella held over his head." Thus urged by the king, the driver, in that battle, quickly urged his royal master's goodly car towards the face of Yudhishthira. At this, Yudhishthira also, filled with rage and looking like an infuriate elephant, urged his own driver saying, "Proceed to where Suyodhana is." Then those two heroes and brothers and foremost of car-warriors encountered each other. Both endued with great energy, both filled with wrath, both difficult of defeat in battle, approaching each other, those two great bowmen began to mangle each other with their arrows in that battle. Then king Duryodhana, in that encounter, O sire, with a broad-headed arrow whetted on stone, cut in twain the bow of the virtuous monarch. Filled with rage, Yudhishthira could not brook that insult. Casting aside his broken bow, with eyes red in wrath, Dharma's son took up another bow at the head of his forces, and then cut off Duryodhana's standard and bow. Duryodhana then, taking up another bow, pierced the son of Pandu. Filled with rage, they continued to shoot showers of shafts at each other. Desirous of vanquishing each other, they resembled a pair of angry lions. They struck each other in that battle like a couple of roaring bulls. Those mighty car-warriors continued to career, expecting to find each other's lapses. Then wounded with shafts sped from bows drawn to their fullest stretch the two warriors, O king, looked resplendent like flowering Kinsukas. They then, O king, repeatedly uttered leonine roars. Those two rulers of men, in that dreadful battle, also made loud sounds with their palms and caused their bows to twang loudly. And they blew their conchs too with great force. And they afflicted each other very much. Then king Yudhishthira, filled with rage, struck thy son in the chest with three irresistible shafts endued with force of thunder. Him, however, thy royal son quickly pierced, in return, with five keen shafts winged with gold and whetted on stone. Then king Duryodhana, O Bharata, hurled a dart capable of slaying everybody, exceedingly keen, and resembling a large blazing brand. As it advanced, king Yudhishthira the just, with sharp shafts, speedily cut it off into three fragments, and then pierced Duryodhana also with five arrows. Equipped with golden staff, and producing a loud whizz, that dart then fell down, and while falling, looked resplendent like a large brand with blazing flames. Beholding the dart baffled, thy son, O monarch, struck Yudhishthira with nine sharp and keen-pointed arrows. Pierced deeply by his mighty foe, that scorcher of foes quickly took up an arrow for aiming it at Duryodhana. The mighty Yudhishthira then placed that arrow on his bow-string. Filled with rage and possessed of great valour, the son of Pandu then shot it at his foe. That arrow, striking thy son, that mighty car-warrior, stupefied him and then (passing through his body) entered the Earth. Then Duryodhana, filled with wrath, uplifting a mace of great impetuosity, rushed at king Yudhishthira the just, for ending the hostilities (that raged between the Kurus and the Pandus). Beholding him armed with that uplifted mace and resembling Yama himself with his bludgeon, king Yudhishthira the just hurled at thy son a mighty dart blazing with splendour, endued with great impetuosity, and looking like a large blazing brand. Deeply pierced in the chest by that dart as he stood on his car, the Kuru prince, deeply pained, fell down and swooned away. Then Bhima, recollecting his own vow, addressed Yudhishthira, saying, "This one should not be slain by thee, O king." At this Yudhishthira abstained from giving his foe the finishing blow. At that time Kritavarma, quickly advancing, came upon thy royal son then sunk in an ocean of calamity. Bhima then, taking up a mace adorned with gold and flaxen chords, rushed impetuously towards Kritavarma in that battle. Thus occurred the battle between thy troops and the foe on that afternoon, O monarch, every one of the combatants being inspired with the desire of victory.'"
Next: Section 30