The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'After the heroic Salwa, that ornament of assemblies, had been slain, thy army speedily broke like a mighty tree broken by the force of the tempest. Beholding the army broken, the mighty car-warrior Kritavarma, possessed by heroism and great strength, resisted the hostile force in that battle. Seeing the Satwata hero, O king, standing in battle like a hill pierced with arrows (by the foes), the Kuru heroes, who had fled away, rallied and came back. Then, O monarch, a battle took place between the Pandavas and the returned Kurus who made death itself their goal. Wonderful was that fierce encounter which occurred between the Satwata hero and his foes, since he resisted the invincible army of the Pandavas. When friends were seen to accomplish the most difficult feats, friends, filled with delight, uttered leonine shouts that seemed to reach the very heavens. At those sounds the Pancalas, O bull of Bharata's race, became inspired with fear. Then Satyaki, the grandson of Sini, approached that spot. Approaching king Kshemakirti of great strength, Satyaki despatched him to Yama's abode, with seven keen shafts. Then the son of Hridika, of great intelligence, rushed with speed against that bull of Sini's race, that mighty armed warrior, as the latter came, shooting his whetted shafts. Those two bowmen, those two foremost of car-warriors, roared like lions and encountered each other with great force, both being armed with foremost of weapons. The Pandavas, the Pancalas, and the other warriors, became spectators of that terrible encounter between the two heroes. Those two heroes of the Vrishni-Andhaka race, like two elephants filled with delight, struck each other with long arrows and shafts equipped with calf-toothed heads. Careering in diverse kinds of tracks, the son of Hridika and that bull of Sini's race soon afflicted each other with showers of arrows. The shafts sped with great force from the bows of the two Vrishni lions were seen by us in the welkin to resemble flights of swiftly coursing insects. Then the son of Hridika, approaching Satyaki of true prowess, pierced the four steeds of the latter with four keen shafts. The long-armed Satyaki, enraged at this, like an elephant struck with a lance, pierced Kritavarma with eight foremost of arrows. Then Kritavarma pierced Satyaki with three arrows whetted on stone and sped from his bow drawn to its fullest and then cut off his bow with another arrow. Laying aside his broken bow, that bull of Sini's race quickly took up another with arrow fixed on it. Having taken up that foremost of bows and stringed it, that foremost of all bowmen, that Atiratha of mighty energy and great intelligence and great strength, unable to endure the cutting of his bow by Kritavarma, and filled with fury, quickly rushed against the latter. With ten keen shafts that bull of Sini's race then struck the driver, the steeds, and the standard of Kritavarma. At this, O king, the great bowman and mighty car-warrior Kritavarma, beholding his gold-decked car made driverless and steedless, became filled with rage. Uplifting a pointed lance, O sire, he hurled it with all the force of his arm at that bull of Sini's race, desirous of slaying him. Satyaki, however, of the Satwata race, striking that lance with many keen arrows, cut it off into fragments and caused it to fall down, stupefying Kritavarma of Madhu's race (with his activity and prowess). With another broad-headed arrow he then struck Kritavarma in the chest. Made steedless and driverless in that battle by Yuyudhana, skilled in weapons, Kritavarma came down on the Earth. The heroic Kritavarma having been deprived of his car by Satyaki in that single combat, all the (Kaurava) troops became filled with great fear. A great sorrow afflicted the heart of thy sons, when Kritavarma was thus made steedless and driverless and carless. Beholding that chastiser of foes made steedless and driverless, Kripa, O king, rushed at that bull of Sini's race, desirous of despatching him to Yama's abode. Taking Kritavarma upon his car in the very sight of all the bowmen, the mighty-armed Kripa bore him away from the press of battle. After Kritavarma had been made carless and the grandson of Sini had become powerful on the field, the whole army of Duryodhana once more turned away from the fight. The enemy, however, did not see it, for the (Kuru) army was then shrouded with a dusty cloud. All thy warriors fled, O monarch, except king Duryodhana. The latter, beholding from a near point that his own army was routed, quickly rushing, assailed the victorious enemy, alone resisting them all. Fearlessly that invincible warrior, filled with rage, assailed with keen arrows all the Pandus, and Dhrishtadyumna the son of Prishta, and Shikhandi, and the sons of Draupadi, and the large bands of the Pancalas, and the Kaikeyas, O sire, and the Somakas! With firm determination thy mighty son stood in battle, even as a blazing and mighty fire on the sacrificial platform, sanctified with mantras. Even thus, king Duryodhana careered all over the field, in that battle. His foes could not approach him then, like living creatures unable to approach the Destroyer. Then the son of Hridika came there, riding on another car.'"
Next: Section 22