“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Upon the Kuru king and Bhima, the foremost ofall endued with strength, having entered the arena, the spectators weredivided into two parties in consequence of the partiality swaying theiraffections. Some cried, ‘Behold the heroic king of theKurus!’–some–‘Behold Bhima!’–And on account of these cries, there was,all on a sudden, a loud uproar.
And seeing the place become like atroubled ocean, the intelligent Bharadwaja said unto his dear son,Aswatthaman, ‘Restrain both these mighty warriors so proficient in arms.Let not the ire of the assembly be provoked by this combat of Bhima andDuryodhana.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then the son of the preceptor of the princesrestrained those combatants with their maces uplifted and resembling twoswollen oceans agitated by the winds that blow at the universaldissolution. And Drona himself entering the yard of the arena commandedthe musicians to stop, and with a voice deep as that of the cloudsaddressed these words, ‘Behold ye now that Partha who is dearer to methan my own son, the master of all arms, the son of Indra himself, andlike unto the younger brother of Indra, (Vishnu)! And having performedthe propitiatory rites, the youthful Phalguna, equipped with the fingerprotector (gauntlet) and his quiver full of shafts and bow in hand,donning his golden mail, appeared in the lists even like an evening cloudreflecting the rays of the setting sun and illumined by the hues of therainbow and flashes of lightning.
“On seeing Arjuna, the whole assembly were delighted and conchs began tobe blown all around with other musical instruments. And there arose agreat uproar in consequence of the spectators’ exclaiming,–‘This is thegraceful son of Kunti!’–‘This is the middle (third) Pandava!’–‘This isthe son of the mighty Indra!’–‘This is the protector of theKurus’–‘This is the foremost of those versed in arms!’–‘This is theforemost of all cherishers of virtue!’–‘This is the foremost of thepersons of correct behaviour, the great repository of the knowledge ofmanners!’ At those exclamations, the tears of Kunti, mixing with the milkof her breast, wetted her bosom. And his ears being filled with thatuproar, that first of men, Dhritarashtra, asked Vidura in delight, ‘OKshatri, what is this great uproar for, like unto that of the troubledocean, arising all on a sudden and rending the very heavens?’ Vidurareplied, ‘O mighty monarch, the son of Pandu and Pritha, Phalguna, cladin mail hath entered the lists. And hence this uproar!’ Dhritarashtrasaid, ‘O thou of soul so great, by the three fires sprung from Pritha whois even like the sacred fuel, I have, indeed, been blessed, favoured andprotected!’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘When the spectators, excited with delight, hadsomewhat regained their equanimity, Vibhatsu began to display hislightness in the use of weapons. By the Agneya weapon, he created fire,and by the Varuna weapon he created water, by the Vayavya weapon, hecreated air, and by the Parjanya weapon he created clouds. And by theBhauma weapon, he created land, and by the Parvatya weapon, he broughtmountains into being. By the Antardhana weapon all these were made todisappear. Now the beloved one of his preceptor (Arjuna) appeared talland now short; now he was seen on the yoke of his car, and now on the caritself; and the next moment he was on the ground. And the hero favouredby his practised dexterity, hit with his various butts–some tender, somefine and some of thick composition. And like one shaft, he let fly at atime into the mouth of a moving iron-boar five shafts together from hisbow-string. And that hero of mighty energy discharged one and twentyarrows into the hollow of a cow’s horn hung up on a rope swaying to andfro. In this manner, O sinless one, Arjuna showed his profound skill inthe use of sword, bow, and mace, walking over the lists in circles.
“And, O Bharata, when the exhibition had well-nigh ended, the excitementof the spectators had cooled, and the sounds of instruments had died outthere was heard proceeding from the gate, the slapping of arms,betokening might and strength, and even like unto the roar of thethunder. And, O king, as soon as this sound was heard, the assembledmultitude instantly thought, ‘Are the mountains splitting or is the earthitself rending asunder, or is the welkin resounding with the roar ofgathering clouds? And then all the spectators turned their eyes towardsthe gate. And Drona stood, surrounded by the five brothers, the sons ofPritha, and looked like the moon in conjunction with the five-starredconstellation Hasta. And Duryodhana, that slayer of foes, stood up inhaste and was surrounded by his century of haughty brothers withAswatthaman amongst them. And that prince, mace in hand, thus surroundedby his hundred brothers with uplifted weapons appeared like Purandara indays of yore, encircled by the celestial host on the occasion of thebattle with the Danavas.'”