The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Duryodhana, O king, and Dhrishtadyumna, the son of Prishata, fought a fierce battle, using arrows and darts in profusion. Both of them, O monarch, shot showers of arrows like showers of rain poured by the clouds in the rainy season. The (Kuru) king, having pierced with five arrows the slayer of Drona, Prishata's son of fierce shafts, once more pierced him with seven arrows. Endued with great might and steady prowess, Dhrishtadyumna, in that battle, afflicted Duryodhana with seventy arrows. Beholding the king thus afflicted, O bull of Bharata's race, his uterine brothers, accompanied by a large force, encompassed the son of Prishata. Surrounded by those Atirathas on every side, the Pancala hero, O king, careered in that battle, displaying his quickness in the use of weapons. Shikhandi, supported by the Prabhadrakas, fought with two Kuru bowmen, Kritavarma and the great car-warrior Kripa. Then also, O monarch, that battle became fierce and awful since the warriors were all resolved to lay down their lives and since all of them fought, making life the stake. Shalya, shooting showers of shafts on all sides, afflicted the Pandavas with Satyaki and Vrikodara amongst them. With patience and great strength, O monarch, the king of the Madras at the same time fought with the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva), each of whom resembled the Destroyer himself in prowess. The great car-warriors among the Pandavas who were mangled in that great battle with the shafts of Shalya, failed to find a protector. Then the heroic Nakula, the son of Madri, seeing king Yudhishthira the just greatly afflicted, rushed with speed against his maternal uncle. Shrouding Shalya in that battle (with many arrows), Nakula, that slayer of hostile heroes, smiling the while, pierced him in the centre of the chest with ten arrows, made entirely of iron, polished by the hands of the smith, equipped with wings of gold, whetted on stone, and propelled from his bow with great force. Afflicted by his illustrious nephew, Shalya afflicted his nephew in return with many straight arrows. Then king Yudhishthira, and Bhimasena, and Satyaki, and Sahadeva, the son of Madri, all rushed against the ruler of the Madras. The vanquisher of foes, the generalissimo of the Kuru army, received in that battle all those heroes that rushed towards him quickly, filling the cardinal and the subsidiary points of the compass with the rattle of their cars and causing the Earth to tremble therewith. Piercing Yudhishthira with three arrows and Bhima with seven, Shalya pierced Satyaki with a hundred arrows in that battle and Sahadeva with three. Then the ruler of the Madras, O sire, cut off, with a razor-headed arrow, the bow with arrow fixed on it of the high-souled Nakula. Struck with Shalya's shafts, that bow broke into pieces. Taking up another bow, Madri's son, that great car-warrior quickly covered the ruler of the Madras with winged arrows. Then Yudhishthira and Sahadeva, O sire, each pierced the ruler of the Madras with ten arrows in the chest. Bhimasena and Satyaki, rushing at the ruler of the Madras, both struck him with arrows winged with Kanka feathers, the former with sixty, and the latter with nine. Filled with rage at this, the ruler of the Madras pierced Satyaki with nine arrows and once again with seventy straight shafts. Then, O sire, he cut off at the handle the bow, with arrow fixed on it, of Satyaki and then despatched the four steeds of the latter to Yama's abode. Having made Satyaki carless, that mighty car-warrior, the ruler of the Madras, struck him with a hundred arrows from every side. He next pierced two angry sons of Madri, and Bhimasena the son of Pandu, and Yudhishthira, O thou of Kuru's race, with ten arrows each. The prowess that we then beheld of the ruler of the Madras was exceedingly wonderful, since the Parthas, even unitedly, could not approach him in that battle. Riding then upon another car, the mighty Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled, beholding the Pandavas afflicted and succumbing to the ruler of the Madras, rushed with speed against him. That ornament of assemblies, Shalya, on his car, rushed against the car of Satyaki, like one infuriate elephant against another. The collision that then took place between Satyaki and the heroic ruler of the Madras, became fierce and wonderful to behold, even like that which had taken place in days of yore between the Asura Samvara and the chief of the celestials. Beholding the ruler of the Madras staying before him in that battle, Satyaki pierced him with ten arrows and said, "Wait, Wait!" Deeply pierced by that high-souled warrior, the ruler of the Madras pierced Satyaki in return with sharp shafts equipped with beautiful feathers. Those great bowmen then, the Parthas, beholding the king of the Madras assailed by Satyaki, quickly rushed towards him from desire of slaying that maternal uncle of theirs. The encounter then that took place between those struggling heroes, marked by a great flow of blood, became exceedingly awful, like that which takes place between a number of roaring lions. The struggle, O monarch, that took between them resembled that which takes place between a number of roaring lions fighting with each other for meat. With the dense showers of shafts shot by them, the Earth became entirely enveloped, and the welkin also suddenly became one mass of arrows. All around the field a darkness was caused by those arrows. Indeed, with the shafts shot by those illustrious warriors, a shadow as that of the clouds was caused there. Then, O king, with those blazing shafts sped by the warriors, that were equipped with wings of gold and that looked like snakes just freed from their sloughs, the points of the compass seemed to be ablaze. That slayer of foes, Shalya, then achieved the most wonderful feat, since that hero alone, and unsupported, contended with many heroes in that battle. The Earth became shrouded with the fierce shafts, equipped with feathers of Kankas and peacocks, that fell, sped from the arms of the ruler of the Madras. Then, O king, we beheld the car of Shalya careering in that dreadful battle like the car of Shakra in days of yore on the occasion of the destruction of the Asuras.'"
Next: Section 16