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Chapter 15

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘O illustrious Vasudeva of mighty arms, tell thou indetail of the death of the lord of Saubha. My curiosity hath not beenappeased by the narration.’

“Vasudeva said, ‘O mighty-armed king, hearing that the son of Srutasravas(Sisupala) had been slain by me, Salwa, O best of the Bharata race, cameto the city of Dwaravati! And, O son of Pandu, the wicked king,stationing his forces in array, besieged that city around and above. Andstationing himself in the upper regions, the king began his fight withthe city. And that encounter commenced with a thick shower of weaponsfrom all sides. And, O bull of the Bharata race, the city at that timewas well-fortified on all sides, according to the science (offortification), with pennons, and arches, and combatants, and walls andturrets, and engines, and miners, and streets barricaded with spikedwood-works and towers and edifices with gate-ways well-filled withprovisions, and engines for hurling burning brands and fires, andvessels, of deer-skins (for carrying water), and trumpets, tabors, anddrums, lances and forks, and Sataghnis, and plough-shares, rockets, ballsof stone and battle-axes and other weapons and shield embossed with iron,and engines for hurling balls and bullets and hot liquids! And the citywas also well-defended by numerous cars, and, O tiger among Kurus, byGada and Shamva and Uddhava and others, and by warriors of prowess triedin battle, all well-born and capable of encountering any foe! And theseall placing themselves on commanding posts, aided by cavalry andstandard-bearers, began to defend the town. And Ugrasena and Uddhava andothers, to prevent carelessness, Proclaimed throughout the city thatnobody should drink. And all the Vrishnis and the Andhakas, well-knowingthat they would be slain by Salwa if they behaved carelessly, remainedsober and watchful. And the police soon drove out of the city all mimesand dancers and singers of the Anartta country. And all the bridges overrivers were destroyed, and boats forbidden to ply, and the trenches(around the city) were spiked with poles at the bottom. And the landaround the city for full two miles was rendered uneven, and holes andpits were dug thereon, and combustibles were secreted below the surface.Our fort, O sinless one, is naturally strong and always well-defended andfilled with all kinds of weapons! And in consequence of the preparationsmade, our city was more prepared than ever to meet the foe. And, O chiefof the Bharatas, in consequence of all this, the city looked like that ofIndra himself. And, O king, at the time of Salwa’s approach, nobody couldeither enter or leave the town of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas withoutpresenting the sign that had been agreed upon. And all the streets of thetown and the open spaces were filled with numerous elephants and horses!And, O thou of mighty arms, the combatants were all specially gratifiedwith allowances and wages, and rations, and weapons, and dresses! Andamongst the combatants there was none who was not paid in gold, and nonewho was not paid at all, and none who was not somehow obliged, and nonewho was not of tried valour! And, O thou of eyes like lotus-leaves, itwas thus Dwaraka, abounding in well-ordered arrangements, was defended byAhuka (Ugrasena)!'”

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