The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'After that night had passed away, king Duryodhana then, addressing all thy soldiers, said, "Arm, you mighty car-warriors!" Hearing the command of the king, the warriors began to put on their armour. Some began to yoke their steeds to their cars quickly, others ran hither and thither. The elephants began to be equipped. The foot-soldiers began to arm. Others, numbering thousands, began to spread carpets on the terraces of cars. The noise of musical instruments, O monarch, arose there, for enhancing the martial enthusiasm of the soldiers. Then all the troops, placed in their proper posts, were seen, O Bharata, to stand, clad in mail and resolved to make death their goal. Having made the ruler of the Madras their leader, the great car-warriors of the Kauravas, distributing their troops, stood in divisions. Then all thy warriors, with Kripa and Kritavarma and Drona's son and Shalya and Subala's son and the other kings that were yet alive, met thy son, and arrived at this understanding, that none of them would individually and alone fight with the Pandavas. And they said, "He amongst us that will fight, alone and unsupported, with the Pandavas, or he that will abandon a comrade engaged in fight, will be stained with the five grave sins and all the minor sins." And they said, "All of us, united together, will fight with the foe." Those great car-warriors, having made such an understanding with one another placed the ruler of the Madras at their head and quickly proceeded against their foes. Similarly, all the Pandavas, having arrayed their troops in great battle, proceeded against the Kauravas, O king, for fighting with them on every side. Soon, O chief of the Bharatas, that host, whose noise resembled that of the agitated ocean, and which seemed to be wonderful in consequence of its cars and elephants, presented the aspect of the vast deep swelling with its surges.'
"Dhritarashtra said, 'I have heard of the fall of Drona, of Bhishma and of the son of Radha. Tell me now of the fall of Shalya and of my son. How, indeed, O Sanjaya, was Shalya slain by king Yudhishthira the just? And how was my son Duryodhana slain by Bhimasena of great might?'
"Sanjaya said, 'Hear, O king, with patience, of the destruction of human bodies and the loss of elephants and steeds, as I describe (to thee) the battle. The hope became strong, O king, in the breasts of thy sons that, after Drona and Bhishma and the Suta's son had been overthrown, Shalya, O sire, would slay all the Parthas in battle. Cherishing that hope in his heart, and drawing comfort from it, O Bharata, thy son Duryodhana, relying in battle upon that mighty car-warrior, the ruler of the Madras, regarded himself as possessed of a protector. When after Karna's fall the Parthas had uttered leonine roars, a great fear, O king, had possessed the hearts of the Dhartarashtras. Assuring him duly, the valiant king of the Madras, having formed, O monarch, a grand array whose arrangements were auspicious in every respect, proceeded against the Parthas in battle. And the valiant king of the Madras proceeded, shaking his beautiful and exceedingly strong bow capable of imparting a great velocity to the shafts sped from it. And that mighty car-warrior was mounted upon the foremost of vehicles, having horses of the Sindhu breed yoked unto it. Riding upon his car, his driver made the vehicle look resplendent. Protected by that car, that hero, that brave crusher of foes (Shalya), stood, O monarch, dispelling the fears of thy sons. The king of the Madras, clad in mail, proceeded at the head of the array, accompanied by the brave Madrakas and the invincible sons of Karna. On the left was Kritavarma, surrounded by the Trigartas. On the right was Gautama (Kripa) with the Sakas and the Yavanas. In the rear was Ashvatthama surrounded by the Kambojas. In the centre was Duryodhana, protected by the foremost of the Kuru warriors. Surrounded by a large force of cavalry and other troops, Subala's son Shakuni, as also the mighty car-warrior Uluka, proceeded with the others. The mighty bowmen amongst the Pandavas, those chastisers of foes, dividing themselves, O monarch, into three bodies, rushed against thy troops. Dhrishtadyumna and Shikhandi and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki proceeded with great speed against the army of Shalya. Then king Yudhishthira, accompanied by his troops, rushed against Shalya alone, from desire of slaughtering him, O bull of Bharata's race. Arjuna, that slayer of large bands of foes, rushed with great speed against that great bowman Kritavarma and the Samsaptakas. Bhimasena and the great car-warriors among the Somakas rushed, O monarch, against Kripa, desirous of slaughtering their foes in battle. The two sons of Madri, accompanied by their troops, proceeded against Shakuni and the great car-warrior Uluka at the head of their forces. Similarly, thousands upon thousands of warriors of thy army, armed with diverse weapons and filled with rage, proceeded against the Pandavas in that battle.'
"Dhritarashtra said, 'After the fall of the mighty bowmen Bhishma and Drona and the great car-warrior Karna, and after both the Kurus and the Pandavas had been reduced in numbers, and when, indeed, the Parthas, possessed of great prowess, became once more angry in battle, what, O Sanjaya, was the strength of each of the armies?'
"Sanjaya said, 'Hear, O king, how we and the enemy both stood for battle on that occasion and what was then the strength of the two armies. 11,000 cars, O bull of Bharata's race, 10,700 elephants, and full 200,000 horses, and three millions of foot, composed the strength of thy army. 6,000 cars, 6,000 elephants, 10,000 horses, and one million of foot, O Bharata, were all that composed the remnant of the Pandava force in the battle. These, O bull of Bharata's race, encountered each other for battle. Having distributed their forces in this way, O monarch, ourselves, excited with wrath and inspired with desire of victory, proceeded against the Pandavas, having placed ourselves under the command of the ruler of the Madras. Similar, the brave Pandavas, those tigers among men, desirous of victory, and the Pancalas possessed of great fame, came to battle. Even thus, O monarch, all those tigers among men, desirous of slaughtering their foes, encountered one another at dawn of day, O lord. Then commenced a fierce and terrible battle between thy troops and the enemy, the combatants being all engaged in striking and slaughtering one another.'"
Next: Section 9