The Mahabharata Home
"Sanjaya said, 'Duryodhana, O king, and thy son Sudarsa, the only two of thy children yet unslain, were at that time in the midst of the (Kaurava) cavalry. Beholding Duryodhana staying in the midst of the cavalry, Devaki's son (Krishna) said unto Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, "A large number of our foes, kinsmen that had received our protection, have been slain. There, that bull of Sini's race is returning, having taken Sanjaya captive! Both Nakula and Sahadeva, O Bharata, are fatigued, having fought with the wretched Dhartarashtras and their followers! Those three, Kripa and Kritavarma and the mighty car-warrior Ashvatthama, have left Duryodhana's side and taken up their position elsewhere! Having slain Duryodhana's troops, the Pancala prince stayeth yonder, endued with great beauty, in the midst of the Prabhadrakas. There, O Partha, Duryodhana stayeth in the midst of his cavalry, with the umbrella held over his head and himself flinging his glances all around! Having rearrayed the (remnant of his) army, he stayeth in the midst of his forces. Slaying this one with thy keen shafts, thou mayst achieve all thy objects! As long as these troops do not fly away beholding thee, in their midst and witnessing also the destruction of their elephant-force, do thou, O chastiser of foes, endeavour to slay Duryodhana! Let somebody go to the Pancala prince and ask him to come hither. The (Kaurava) troops are all tired, O sire! The sinful Duryodhana will never succeed in escaping! Having slain a large number of thy troops in battle, the son of Dhritarashtra wears a proud aspect as if he believes that the Pandavas have been vanquished! Beholding his own troops afflicted and slain by the Pandavas, the Kuru king will certainly come to battle for his own destruction!" Thus addressed by Krishna, Phalguna replied unto him, saying. "Almost all the sons of Dhritarashtra, O giver of honours, have been slain by Bhima! Only these two are yet alive! They, however, O Krishna, shall also meet with destruction today! Bhishma hath been slain, Drona hath been slain, Karna, otherwise called Vaikartana, hath been slain! Shalya, the king of the Madras, hath been slain, and Jayadratha also, O Krishna, hath been slain! Only five hundred horses from the remnant of the troops of Shakuni, the son of Subala, and of cars, only two hundred still remain, O Janardana! Of elephants there remain only a hundred that are formidable, and of foot only 3,000! There remain also Ashvatthama and Kripa and the ruler of the Trigartas and Uluka and Kritavarma of the Satwata race. These, O Madhava, form the remnant of Duryodhana's force! Truly, there is no escape from death for anybody on Earth! Although such a tremendous carnage hast taken place, behold, Duryodhana is still alive! Today king Yudhishthira, however, will be freed from all his foes! None amongst the enemy will escape me, I ween! Even if they be more than men, O Krishna, I shall yet slay all those warriors today, however, furious in battle, if only they do not fly away from the field! Filled with wrath in today's battle, I shall, by slaying the prince of Gandhara with my keen shafts, dispel that sleeplessness which the king has suffered from for a long time! I shall win back all those valuable possessions which Subala's son, of wicked conduct, won from us at the gambling match in the assembly! Hearing of the slaughter of their husbands and sons at the hands of the Pandavas in battle, all the ladies of the city called after the elephant will utter loud wails! Today, O Krishna, our task will be ended! Today Duryodhana shall abandon all his blazing prosperity, as also his life-breath. Thou mayest take the foolish son of Dhritarashtra to be dead, O thou of Vrishni's race, if, O Krishna, he does not today fly away from the battle to be waged by me! Those steeds are incapable of enduring the twang of my bow and the slaps of my palms! Proceed thither, O Krishna, for I will slay them!" Thus addressed by Pandu's son of great force of mind, he of Dasarha's race urged his steeds, O king, towards the division of Duryodhana. Beholding that force (within which Duryodhana was), three mighty car-warriors prepared themselves for assailing it, for Bhimasena and Arjuna and Sahadeva, O sire, together proceeded against it with loud leonine roars from desire of slaying Duryodhana. Beholding those three warriors rushing quickly together with uplifted bows, Subala's son proceeded towards that spot against those Pandava foes. Thy son Sudarsana rushed against Bhimasena. Susarman and Shakuni encountered Kiritin. Thy son Duryodhana on horse-back proceeded against Sahadeva. Then thy son, O ruler of men, with great speed and care, forcibly struck Sahadeva's head with a lance. Thus assailed by thy son, Sahadeva sat down on the terrace of his car, all his limbs bathed in blood and himself sighing like a snake. Regaining his senses then, O king, Sahadeva, filled with rage, covered Duryodhana with keen arrows. Kunti's son, Dhananjaya, otherwise called Partha, putting forth his prowess, cut off the heads of many brave combatants on horse-back. Indeed, Partha, with many arrows, destroyed that (cavalry) division. Having felled all the steeds, he then proceeded against the cars of the Trigartas. At this, the great car-warriors of the Trigartas, uniting together, covered Arjuna and Vasudeva with showers of shafts. Assailing Satyakarman with a razor-headed arrow, the son of Pandu, possessed of great fame, cut off his adversary's car-shafts. With another razor-headed arrow, O lord, whetted on stone, that celebrated hero, smiling the while, cut off his antagonist's head adorned with bright gold. He next attacked Satyeshu in the sight of all the warriors, like a hungry lion, O king, in the forest, attacking a deer. Having slain him, Partha pierced Susarman with three arrows and then slew all those car-warriors adorned with ornaments of gold. He then proceeded against Susarman the ruler of Prashthala with great speed, vomiting the virulent poison of his wrath cherished for many long years. Covering him first, O bull of Bharata's race, with a hundred arrows, Arjuna then slew all the steeds of that bowman. Fixing then on his bowstring a mighty arrow that resembled the rod of Yama, Partha, smiling the while, quickly sped it at Susarman, aiming it at him. Sped by that bowman blazing with wrath, that arrow, reaching Susarman, pierced through his heart in that battle. Deprived of life, O monarch, Susarman fell down on the Earth, gladdening all the Pandavas and paining all thy warriors. Having slain Susarman in that battle, Partha then, with his shafts, despatched the five and thirty sons of that king, all of whom were great car-warriors, to Yama's abode. Slaying next all the followers of Susarman with his keen arrows, the mighty car-warrior, Arjuna, proceeded against the remnant of the Bharata host. Bhima, in that battle, filled with rage, O ruler of men, made thy son Sudarsana invisible with his arrows, and smiling the while, cut off from his antagonist's trunk his head with a razor-headed arrow of great sharpness. Deprived of life, the prince fell down on the Earth. Upon the fall of that (Kuru) hero, his followers encompassed Bhima in that battle, shooting showers of whetted arrows at him. Vrikodara, however, with his keen arrows, whose touch resembled that of Indra's thunder, covered that force around him. Within a very short time, Bhima slew them all, O bull of Bharata's race! Whilst they were being thus exterminated, many Kaurava leaders of great might, O Bharata, approached Bhima and began to fight with him. The son of Pandu, O king, covered all of them with his arrows. Similarly, thy warriors, O monarch, covered the great car-warriors of the Pandavas with dense showers of arrows from every side. All the warriors then, of both sides, thus engaged in battle with one another, became exceedingly agitated. Struck by one another, the combatants of both armies, O king, began to fall down, wailing aloud for their (deceased) kinsmen.'"
Next: Section 28