The Mahabharata Home
Vaisampayana said, "Then Hrishikesa and king Yudhishthira, and all those persons headed by Kripa, and the four Pandavas, riding on those cars looking like fortified cities and decked with standards and banners, speedily proceeded to Kurukshetra with the aid of their fleet steeds. They descended on that field which was covered with hair and marrow and bones and where millions of high-souled Kshatriyas had cast away their bodies. It abounded also with many a hill formed of the bodies and bones of elephants and steeds, and human heads and skulls lay stretched over it like conch-shells. Variegated with thousands of funeral pyres and teeming with heaps of armour and weapons, the vast plain looked like the drinking garden of the Destroyer himself used and abandoned recently. The mighty car-warriors quickly proceeded, viewing the field of battle haunted by crowds of spirits and thronged with Rakshasas. While proceeding, the mighty-armed Kesava, that delighter of all the Yadavas, spoke unto Yudhishthira about the prowess of Jamadagni's son, 'Yonder, at a distance, O Partha, are seen the five lakes of Rama! There Rama offered oblations of Kshatriya blood unto the manes of his ancestors. It was hither that the puissant Rama, having freed the earth of Kshatriya for thrice seven times, gave up his task."
"Yudhishthira said,--'I have great doubts in what thou sayest about Rama's having thrice seven times exterminated the Kshatriyas in days of old. When the very Kshatriya seed was burnt by Rama, O bull among the Yadus, how was the Kshatriya order revived, O thou of immeasurable prowess? How, O bull of the Yadus, was the Kshatriya order exterminated by the illustrious and high-souled Rama, and how did it again grow? In frightful car-encounters millions of Kshatriyas were slain. The earth, O foremost of eloquent men, was strewn with the corpses of Kshatriyas. For what reason was the Kshatriya order thus exterminated in days of yore by Rama, the high-souled descendant of Bhrigu, O tiger among the Yadus? O thou of Vrishni's race, remove this doubt of mine, O bird-bannered hero! O Krishna, O
younger brother of Baladeva, the highest knowledge is from thee.'"
Vaisampayana said,--"The puissant elder brother of Gada then narrated unto Yudhishthira of incomparable prowess everything that happened, in full detail, as to how the earth had become filled with Kshatriyas."
Next: Section L