The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'When king Yudhishthira the just was thus afflicted by the ruler of Madras, Satyaki and Bhimasena and the two sons of Madri by Pandu, encompassing Shalya with their cars, began to afflict him in that battle. Beholding the unsupported Shalya thus afflicted by those great car-warriors (and seeing him successfully repel those attacks), loud sounds of applause were heard, and the Siddhas (who witnessed the encounter) became filled with delight. The ascetics, assembled together (for witnessing the battle), declared it to be wonderful. Then Bhimasena in that encounter, having pierced Shalya who had become (as his name implied) an irresistible dart in prowess, with one arrow, next pierced him with seven. Satyaki, desirous of rescuing the son of Dharma, pierced Shalya with a hundred arrows and uttered a loud leonine roar. Nakula pierced him with five arrows, and Sahadeva with seven; the latter then once more pierced him with as many. The heroic ruler of the Madras, struggling carefully in that battle, thus afflicted by those mighty car-warriors, drew a formidable bow capable of bearing a great strain and of imparting great force to the shafts sped from it, and pierced Satyaki, O sire, with five and twenty shafts and Bhima with three and seventy and Nakula with seven. Then cutting off with a broad-headed arrow the bow, with shaft fixed on the string of Sahadeva, he pierced Sahadeva himself, in that battle, with three and seventy shafts. Sahadeva then, stringing another bow, pierced his maternal uncle of great splendour with five shafts that resembled snakes of virulent poison or blazing fire. Filled with great rage, he then struck his adversary's driver with a straight shaft in that battle and then Shalya himself once more with three. Then Bhimasena pierced the ruler of the Madras with seventy arrows, and Satyaki pierced him with nine, and king Yudhishthira with sixty. Thus pierced, O monarch, by those mighty car-warriors, blood began to flow from Shalya's body, like crimson streams, running down the breast of a mountain of red chalk. Shalya, however, quickly pierced in return each of those great bowmen with five arrows, O king, which feat seemed exceedingly wonderful. With another broad-headed arrow, that mighty car-warrior then, O sire, cut off the stringed bow of Dharma's son in that encounter. Taking up another bow, that great car-warrior, the son of Dharma, covered Shalya, his steeds, and driver, and standard, and car, with many arrows. Thus shrouded in that battle by the son of Dharma with his shafts, Shalya struck the former with ten keen arrows. Then Satyaki, filled with rage upon beholding the son of Dharma thus afflicted with shafts, checked the heroic ruler of the Madras with clouds of arrows. At this, Shalya cut off with a razor-faced arrow the formidable bow of Satyaki, and pierced each of the other Pandava warriors with three arrows. Filled with rage, O monarch, Satyaki of unbaffled prowess then hurled at Shalya a lance equipped with a golden staff and decked with many jewels and gems. Bhimasena sped at him a cloth-yard shaft that looked like a blazing snake; Nakula hurled at him a dart, Sahadeva an excellent mace, and the son of Dharma a Sataghni impelled by the desire of despatching him. The ruler of the Madras, however, quickly baffled in that battle all those weapons, hurled from the arms of those five warriors at him, as these coursed towards his car. With a number of broad-headed arrows Shalya cut off the lance hurled by Satyaki. Possessed of valour and great lightness of hand, he cut off into two fragments the gold-decked shaft sped at him by Bhima. He then resisted with clouds of shafts the terrible dart, equipped with a golden handle, that Nakula had sped at him and the mace also that Sahadeva had thrown. With a couple of other arrows, O Bharata, he cut off the Sataghni sped at him by the king, in the very sight of the sons of Pandu, and uttered a loud leonine roar. The grandson of Sini, however, could not endure the defeat of his weapon in that battle. Insensate with rage, Satyaki took up another bow and pierced the ruler of the Madras with two shafts and his driver with three. At this, Shalya, O monarch, excited with rage, deeply pierced all of them with ten arrows, like persons piercing mighty elephants with sharp-pointed lances. Thus checked in that battle by the ruler of the Madras, O Bharata, those slayers of foes became unable to stay in front of Shalya. King Duryodhana, beholding the prowess of Shalya, regarded the Pandavas, the Pancalas, and the Srinjayas as already slain. Then, O king, the mighty-armed Bhimasena, possessed of great prowess and mentally resolved to cast off his life-breaths, encountered the ruler of the Madras. Nakula and Sahadeva and Satyaki of great might, encompassing Shalya, shot their arrows at him from every side. Though encompassed by those four great bowmen and mighty car-warriors among the Pandavas, the valiant ruler of the Madras still fought with them. Then, O king, the royal son of Dharma, in that dreadful battle, quickly cut off with a razor-headed arrow one of the protectors of Shalya's car-wheels. When that brave and mighty car-warrior, that protector of Shalya's car-wheel, was thus slain, Shalya of great strength covered the Pandava troops with showers of arrows. Beholding his troops shrouded with arrows, O monarch, in that battle, king Yudhishthira the just began to reflect in this strain, "Verily, how shall those grave words of Madhava become true? I hope, the rider of the Madras, excited with rage, will not annihilate my army in battle.' Then the Pandavas, O elder brother of Pandu (Dhritarashtra), with cars and elephants and steeds, approached the ruler of the Madras and began to afflict him from every side. Like the wind dispersing mighty masses of clouds, the king of the Madras, in that battle, dispersed that risen shower of arrows and diverse other kinds of weapons in profusion. We then beheld the downpour of gold-winged arrows shot by Shalya coursing through the welkin like a flight of locusts. Indeed, those arrows shot by the ruler of the Madras from the van of battle were seen to fall like swarms of birds. With the gold-decked shafts that issued from the bow of the Madra king, the welkin, O monarch, became so filled that there was not an inch of empty space. When a thick gloom appeared, caused by the arrows shot by the mighty ruler of the Madras owing to his extreme lightness of hands in that dreadful battle, and when they beheld the vast host of the Pandavas thus agitated by that hero, the gods and the Gandharvas became filled with great wonder. Afflicting with vigour all the Pandava warriors with his shafts from every side, O sire, Shalya shrouded king Yudhishthira the just and roared repeatedly like a lion. The mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas, thus shrouded by Shalya in that battle, became unable to proceed against that great hero for fighting with him. Those, however, amongst the Pandavas, that had Bhimasena at their head and that were led by king Yudhishthira the just, did not fly away from that ornament of battle, the brave Shalya.'"
Next: Section 14