The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Thus raged that great battle between those lords of Earth when Arjuna and Karna and Bhimasena, the son of Pandu became angry. Having vanquished the son of Drona, and other great car-warriors, Arjuna, O king, addressing Vasudeva, said, "Behold, O Krishna of mighty arms, the Pandava army is flying away. Behold, Karna is slaying our great car-warriors in this battle. I do not, O thou of Dasaratha's race, see king Yudhishthira the just. Nor is the standard of Dharma's son, foremost of warriors, visible. The third part of the day still remaineth, Janardana. No one amongst the Dhartarashtras cometh against me for fight. For doing, therefore, what is agreeable to me, proceed to the spot where Yudhishthira is. Beholding Dharma's son safe and sound with his younger brothers in battle, I will again fight with the foe, O thou of Vrishni's race." At these words of Vibhatsu, Hari (Krishna) quickly proceeded on that car to that spot where king Yudhishthira, along with the mighty Srinjaya car-warriors of great strength, were fighting with the foe, making death their goal. During the progress of that great carnage, Govinda, beholding the field of battle, addressed Savyasaci, saying, "Behold, O Partha, how great and awful is this carnage, O Bharata, of Kshatriyas on Earth for the sake of Duryodhana. Behold, O Bharata, the gold-backed bows of slain warriors, as also their costly quivers displaced from their shoulders. Behold those straight shafts equipped with wings of gold, and those clothyard arrows washed with oil and looking like snakes freed from their sloughs. Behold, O Bharata, those scimitars, decked with gold, and having ivory handles, and those displaced shields embossed with gold. Behold those lances decked with gold, those darts having golden ornaments, and those huge maces twined round with gold. Behold those swords adorned with gold, those axes with golden ornaments, and the heads of those battle-axes fallen off from their golden handles. Behold those iron Kuntas, those short clubs exceedingly heavy, those beautiful rockets, those huge bludgeons with spiked heads, those discs displaced from the arms of their wielders, and those spears (that have been used) in this dreadful battle. Endued (while living) with great activity, warriors that came to battle, having taken up diverse weapons, are lying, though deprived of life, as if still alive. Behold, thousands of warriors lying on the field, with limbs crushed by means of maces, or heads broken by means of heavy clubs, or torn and mangled by elephants and steeds and cars. The field of battle is covered with shafts and darts and swords and axes and scimitars and spiked maces and lances and iron Kuntas and battle-axes, and the bodies of men and steeds and elephants, hacked with many wounds and covered with streams of blood and deprived of life, O slayer of foes. The Earth looks beautiful, O Bharata, with arms smeared with sandal, decked with Angadas of gold and with Keyuras, and having their ends cased in leathern fences. With hands cased in leathern fences, with displaced ornaments, with severed thighs looking like elephants' trunks of many active warriors, with fallen heads, decked with costly gems and earrings, of heroes having large expansive eyes, the Earth looks exceedingly beautiful. With headless trunks smeared all over with blood with severed limbs and heads and hips, the Earth looks, O best of the Bharatas, like an altar strewn with extinguished fires. Behold those beautiful cars with rows of golden bells, broken in diverse ways, and those slain steeds lying scattered on the field, with arrows yet sticking to their bodies. Behold those bottoms of cars, those quivers, those banners, those diverse kinds of standards, those gigantic conchs of car-warriors, white in hue and scattered all over the field. Behold those elephants, huge as hills, lying on the Earth, with tongues lolling out, and those other elephants and steeds, deprived of life and decked with triumphal banners. Behold those housings of elephants, and those skins and blankets, and those other beautiful and variegated and torn blankets. Behold those rows of bells torn and broken in diverse ways in consequence of falling elephants of gigantic size, and those beautiful goads set with stones of lapis lazuli, and those hooks falling upon the ground. Behold those whips, adorned with gold, and variegated with gems, still in the grasp of (slain) horsemen, and those blankets and skins of the Ranku deer falling on the ground but which had served for seats on horse back. Behold those gems for adorning the diadems of kings, and those beautiful necklaces of gold, and those displaced umbrellas and yak-tails for fanning. Behold the Earth, miry with blood, strewn with the faces of heroes, decked with beautiful earrings and well-cut beards and possessed of the splendour of the moon and stars. Behold those wounded warriors in whom life is not yet extinct and who, lying all around, are uttering wails of woe. Their relatives, O prince, casting aside their weapons are tending them, weeping incessantly. Having covered many warriors with arrows and deprived them of life, behold those combatants, endued with activity longing for victory, and swelling with rage, are once more proceeding for battle against their antagonists. Others are running hither and thither on the field. Being begged for water by fallen heroes, others related to them have gone in quest of drink. Many, O Arjuna, are breathing their last meanwhile. Returning their brave relatives, seeing them become senseless are throwing down the water they brought and are running wildly, shouting at one another. Behold, many have died after having slaked their thirst, and many, O Bharata, are dying while drinking. Others, though affectionate towards relatives, are still seen to rush towards foes in great battle deserting their dear relatives. Others, again, O best of men, biting their nether lips, and with faces rendered terrible in consequence of the contraction of their brows, are surveying the field all around." While saying these words unto Arjuna, Vasudeva proceeded towards Yudhishthira. Arjuna also, beholding the king in that great battle, repeatedly urged Govinda, saying, "Proceed, Proceed." Having shown the field of battle to Partha, Madhava, while proceeding quickly, slowly said unto Partha once more, "Behold those kings rushing towards king Yudhishthira. Behold Karna, who resembles a blazing fire, on the arena of the battle. Yonder the mighty-bowman Bhima is proceeding to battle. They that are the foremost among the Pancalas, the Srinjayas, and the Pandavas--they, that is, that have Dhrishtadyumna for their head, are following Bhima. The vast army of the enemy is again broken by the rushing Parthas. Behold, O Arjuna, Karna is trying to rally the flying Kauravas. Resembling the Destroyer himself in impetuosity and Indra himself in prowess, yonder proceedeth Drona's son, O thou of Kuru's race, that hero who is the foremost of all wielders of weapons. The mighty carwarrior Dhrishtadyumna is rushing against that hero. The Srinjayas are following the lead of Dhristadyumna. Behold, the Srinjayas are falling." Thus did the invincible Vasudeva describe everything unto the diadem-decked Arjuna. Then, O king, commenced a terrible and awful battle. Loud leonine shouts arose as the two hosts encountered each other, O monarch, making death their goal. Even thus, O king, in consequence of thy evil counsels, did that destruction set in on Earth, O lord of Earth, of both thy warriors and those of the enemy.'"
Next: Section 59