The Mahabharata Home
"Dhritarashtra said, 'In that awful and fathomless encounter of the Pandavas and the Srinjayas with the warriors of my army, when Dhananjaya, O sire, proceeded for battle, how, indeed, did the fight occur?'
"Sanjaya said, 'The innumerable divisions of the Pandava army, decked with lofty standards and swelling (with pride and energy) and united together in battle, began to roar aloud, drums and other instruments constituting their mouth, like masses of clouds at the close of summer uttering deep roars. The battle that ensued resembled a baneful shower out of season, cruel and destructive of living creatures. Huge elephants were its clouds; weapons were the water they were to pour; the peal of musical instruments, the rattle of car-wheels, and the noise of palms, constituted their roar; diverse weapons decked with gold formed their flashes of lightning; and arrows and swords and cloth-yard shafts and mighty weapons constituted their torrents of rain. Marked by impetuous onsets blood flowed in streams in that encounter. Rendered awful by incessant strokes of the sword, it was fraught with a great carnage of Kshatriyas. Many car-warriors, united together, encompassed one car-warrior and despatched him to Yama's presence. Or, one foremost of car-warriors despatched a single adversary, or one despatched many adversaries united together. Again, some one car-warrior despatched to Yama's abode some one adversary along with his driver and steeds. Some one rider, with a single elephant, despatched many car-warriors and horsemen. Similarly, Partha, with clouds of shafts, despatched large number of cars with drivers and steeds, of elephants and horses with their riders, and of foot-soldiers, belonging to the enemy. Kripa and Shikhandi encountered each other in that battle, while Satyaki proceeded against Duryodhana. And Srutasravas was engaged with Drona's son, and Yudhamanyu with Citrasena. The great Srinjaya car-warrior Uttamauja was engaged with Karna's son Sushena, while Sahadeva rushed against Shakuni, the king of the Gandharas, like a hungry lion against a mighty bull. The youthful Satanika, the son of Nakula, rushed against the youthful Vrishasena, the son of Karna, shooting showers of shafts. The heroic son of Karna struck that son of the princess of Pancala with many arrows. Conversant with all modes of warfare, Madri's son Nakula, that bull among car-warriors, assailed Kritavarma. The king of the Pancalas, Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Yajnasena, attacked Karna, the commander of the Kaurava army, with all his forces. Duhshasana, O Bharata, with the swelling host of the samsaptakas forming a portion of the Bharata army, fiercely attacked in that battle Bhima, that foremost of warriors of irresistible impetuosity. The heroic Uttamauja, putting forth his strength struck the son of Karna and cut off his head which fell down on the earth, filling the earth and the welkin with a loud noise. Beholding the head of Sushena lying on the ground, Karna became filled with grief. Soon, however, in rage he cut off the steeds, the car, and the standard, of his son's slayer with many keen shafts. Meanwhile Uttamauja, piercing with his keen shafts and cutting off with his bright sword the steeds of Kripa and those warriors also that protected Kripa's sides, quickly ascended the car of Shikhandi. Beholding Kripa deprived of his car, Shikhandi who was on his vehicle, wished not to strike him with his shafts. The son of Drona then, covering with his own the car of Kripa, rescued the latter like a bull sunk in a mire. Meanwhile Bhima, the son of the Wind-god clad in golden mail, began to scorch with his keen arrows the troops of thy sons like the mid-day sun scorching everything in the summer season.'"
Next: Section 76