The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'During the progress of the fierce engagement, Bhima, while fighting along, being encompassed by innumerable foes, addressed his driver, saying, "Bear me into the midst of the Dhartarashtra host. Proceed, O charioteer, with speed, borne by these steeds. I will despatch all these Dhartarashtras to the presence of Yama." Thus urged by Bhimasena, the charioteer proceeded, quickly and with great impetuosity, against thy son's host to that spot whence Bhima desired to slaughter it. Then a large number of Kaurava troops, with elephants and cars and horse and foot, advanced against him from all sides. They then, from every side, began to strike that foremost of vehicles belonging to Bhima, with numerous arrows. The high-souled Bhima, however, with his own shafts of golden wings, cut off all those advancing arrows of his enemies. Thus cut off into two or three fragments with Bhima's arrows, those shafts, equipped with golden wings, of his enemies, fell down on the earth. Then, O king, amongst those foremost of Kshatriyas, struck with Bhima's shafts, the elephants and cars and horse and foot, set up a loud wail, O monarch, that resembled the din made by mountains when riven with thunder. Thus struck by Bhima, those foremost of Kshatriyas, their limbs pierced with Bhima's powerful shafts, rushed against Bhima in that battle from every side, like new-fledged birds towards a tree. When thy troops thus rushed against him, Bhima of furious impetuosity displayed all his vim like Destroyer himself armed with a mace when he burns and exterminates all creatures at the end of the Yuga. Thy soldiers were unable to resist in that battle that fierce forcible energy of Bhima endued with fierce impetuosity, like that of the Destroyer himself of wide open mouth when he rusheth at the end of the Yuga for exterminating all creatures. Then, O Bharata, like masses of clouds scattered by the tempest the Bharata host, thus mangled and burnt in that battle by the high-souled Bhima, broke and fled in fear in all directions. Then the mighty Bhimasena of great intelligence once more cheerfully said unto his charioteer, "Ascertain, O Suta, whether those assembled cars and standards that are advancing towards me, are ours or the enemy's. Absorbed in battle, I am unable to distinguish them. Let me not shroud our own troops with my shafts. O Visoka, beholding hostile warriors and cars and the tops of their standards on all sides, I am greatly afflicted. The king is in pain. The diadem-decked Arjuna also has not yet come. These things, O Suta, fill my heart with sorrow. Even this is my grief, O charioteer, that king Yudhishthira the just should have gone away, leaving me in the midst of the enemy. I do not know whether he, as also Vibhatsu, is alive or dead. This adds to my sorrow. I shall, however, though filled with great grief, destroy those hostile troops of great might. Thus slaughtering in the midst of battle my assembled foes, I shall rejoice with thee today. Examining all the quivers containing my arrows, tell me, O Suta, ascertaining the matter well, what quantity of arrows is still left on my car, that is, how much of what sort."
"'Thus commanded, Visoka said, "Of arrows, O hero, thou hast yet 60,000, while thy razor-headed shafts number 10,000, and broad-headed ones number as much. Of cloth-yard shafts thou hast still 2,000, O hero, and of Pradaras thou hast still, O Partha, 3,000! Indeed, of the weapons, O son of Pandu, the portion that still remains is not capable of being borne, if placed on carts, by six bullocks. Shoot and hurl them, O learned one, for of maces and swords and other weapons used with the arms alone, thou hast thousands upon thousands, as also lances and scimitars and darts and spears! Never fear that thy weapons will be exhausted."
"'Bhima said, "Behold, O Suta, today this awful battle in which everything will be shrouded with my impetuous arrows sped fiercely from my bow and, mangling all my foes, and in consequence of which the very sun will disappear from the field, making the latter resemble the domains of Death! Today, even this will be known to all the Kshatriyas including the very children, O Suta, that Bhimasena hath succumbed in battle or that, alone, he hath subjugated all the Kurus! Today, let all the Kauravas fall in battle or let all the world applaud me, beginning with the feats of my earliest years. Alone, I will overthrow them all, or let all of them strike Bhimasena down. Let the gods that aid in the achievement of the best acts bless me. Let that slayer of foes Arjuna come here now like Sakra, duly invoked, quickly coming to a sacrifice. Behold, the Bharata host is breaking! Why do those kings fly away? It is evident that Savyasaci, that foremost of men, is quickly shrouding that host with his shafts. Behold, those standards, O Visoka, and elephants and steeds and bands of foot-soldiers are flying away. Behold, these cars, assailed with shafts and darts, with those warriors riding on them, are being scattered, O Suta! Yonder, the Kaurava host, assailed with the shafts, equipped with wings of gold and feathers of peacocks, of Dhananjaya, and resembling thunderbolts in force, though slaughtered extensively, is repeatedly filling its gaps. There, cars and steeds and elephants are flying away, crushing down bands of foot-soldiers. Indeed, all the Kauravas, having lost their sense, are flying away, like elephants filled with panic at a forest conflagration, and uttering cries of woe. These huge elephants, again, O Visoka, are uttering loud cries, assailed with shafts."
"'Visoka said, "How is it, O Bhima, that thou dost not hear the loud twang of the yawning Gandiva stretched by Partha in wrath? Are these two ears of thine gone? All thy wishes, O son of Pandu, have been fulfilled! Yonder the Ape (on Arjuna's banner) is seen in the midst of the elephant force (of the enemy). Behold, the string of Gandiva is flashing repeatedly like lightning amid blue clouds. Yonder the Ape on Dhananjaya's standard-top is everywhere seen to terrify hostile divisions in this dreadful battle. Even I, looking at it, am struck with fear. There the beautiful diadem of Arjuna is shining brilliantly. There, the precious jewel on the diadem, endued with the splendour of the sun, looketh exceedingly resplendent. There, beside him, behold his conch Devadatta of loud blare and the hue of a white cloud. There, by the side of Janardana, reins in hand, as he penetrates into the hostile army, behold his discus of solar effulgence, its nave hard as thunder, and its edge sharp as a razor. Behold, O hero, that discus of Keshava, that enhancer of his fame, which is always worshipped by the Yadus. There, the trunks, resembling lofty trees perfectly straight, of huge elephants, cut off by Kiritin, are falling upon the earth. There those huge creatures also, with their riders, pierced and split with shafts, are falling down, like hills riven with thunder. There, behold, O son of Kunti, the Panchajanya of Krishna, exceedingly beautiful and of the hue of the moon, as also the blazing Kaustubha on his breast and his triumphal garland. Without doubt, that first and foremost of all car-warriors, Partha, is advancing, routing the hostile army as he comes, borne by his foremost of steeds, of the hue of white clouds, and urged by Krishna. Behold those cars and steeds and bands of foot-soldiers, mangled by thy younger brother with the energy of the chief of the celestials. Behold, they are falling down like a forest uprooted by the tempest caused by Garuda's wings. Behold, four hundred car-warriors, with their steeds and drivers, and seven hundred elephants and innumerable foot-soldiers and horsemen slain in this battle by Kiritin with his mighty shafts. Slaughtering the Kurus, the mighty Arjuna is coming towards thy side even like the constellation Citra. All thy wishes are fulfilled. Thy foes are being exterminated. Let thy might, as also the period of thy life, ever increase."
"'Bhima said, "Since, O Visoka, thou tellest me of Arjuna's arrival, I will give thee four and ten populous villages and a hundred female slaves and twenty cars, being pleased with thee, O Suta, for this agreeable intelligence imparted by thee!"'"
Next: Section 77