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Chapter 16

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Vasudeva continued, ‘O king of kings, Salwa, the lord of Saubha, cametowards our city with an immense force consisting of infantry, cavalryand elephants! And the army headed by king Salwa, consisting of fourkings of forces, occupied a level ground commanding a copiouswater-supply. And forsaking cemeteries and temples dedicated to the gods,and sacred trees, and grounds covered by ant-hills, that host occupiedevery other place. And the roads (leading to the city) were blocked up bythe divisions of the army, and the secret entrances also were all blockedup by the enemy’s camp. And, O Kauravya, like unto the lord of birds(Garuda), the ruler of Saubha rushed towards Dwaraka, bringing with him,O bull among men, his host equipped with all kinds of arms, skilled inall weapons, consisting of a dense display of cars and elephants andcavalry abounding in banners, and well-paid and well-fed foot-soldierspossessed of great strength and bearing every mark of heroism andfurnished with wonderful chariots and bows. And beholding the army ofSalwa, the youthful princess of the Vrishni race resolved to encounter itsallying out of the city. And, O king, Charudeshna, Samva, and the mightywarrior Pradyumna, O descendant of the Kuru race, sailed out, ascendingon their chariots, and clad in mail, and decked with ornaments, withcolours flying, resolved to encounter the mighty and countless host ofSalwa! And Samva taking up his bows eagerly attacked on the field ofbattle Kshemavriddhi, the commander of Salwa’s forces and his chiefcounsellor also! And, O thou foremost of Bharatas, the son of Jambavatithen began to shower arrows in a continuous stream even as Indrashowereth down rain! And, O mighty king, then Kshemavriddhi, thecommander of Salwa’s forces, bore that shower of arrows, immovable as theHimavat! And, O foremost of kings, Kshemavriddhi on his part, dischargedat Samva mightier volley of shafts, aided by his powers of illusion! Anddispersing by counter illusion that discharge inspired by illusion, Samvashowered on his (adversary’s) car a thousand arrows! Then pierced by theshafts on Samva and overwhelmed there with Kshemavriddhi, the commanderof the hostile host, left the field by the help of his fleet-steed! Andwhen the wicked general of Salwa had left the field, a mighty Daityacalled Vegavat rushed at my son! And, O best of monarchs, thus attacked,the heroic Samva, the perpetuator of the Vrishni race, bore that onset ofVegavat, keeping his ground. And, O son of Kunti, the heroic Samva, ofprowess incapable of being baffled, whirling a quickly-going mace, hurledit speedily at Vegavat! And, O king, struck with that mace, Vegavat felldown on the ground, like a weather-beaten and faded lord of the forest ofdecayed roots! And on that heroic Asura of mighty energy, being slainwith the mace, my son entered within that mighty host and began to fightwith all. And, O great king, a well-known Danava named Vivindhya, amighty warrior wielding a large and powerful bow, encounteredCharudeshna! And, O monarch, the encounter between Charudeshna andVivindhya was as fierce as that in days of yore between Vritra andVasava! And enraged with each other the combatants pierced each otherwith their arrows, uttering loud roars like unto two powerful lions! Thenthe son of Rukmini fixed on his bow-string a mighty weapon possessing thesplendour of fire or the sun, and capable of destroying all foes, havingfirst vivified it with incantations! Then, O monarch, that mighty warriormy son, fired with wrath, challenged Vivindhya and discharged the weaponat him. And the Danava struck with that weapon, fell down on the ground alifeless corpse! And beholding Vivindhya slain, and the whole host waver,Salwa advanced again on his beautiful car capable of going everywhere.And, O king of mighty arms, beholding Salwa on that beautiful car of his,the combatants of Dwaraka wavered with fear! But, O thou of the Kururace, Pradyumna sailed out, and, O great king, bidding the Anarttas be ofgood cheer, said, ‘Waver ye not, and staying behold me fight I Even Ishall, by force, repell that car with Salwa on it! Ye Yadavas, this day,I shall, with my weapons like unto serpents discharged from my bow withmy hand, destroy this host of the lord of Saubha! Be of good cheer, yeall! Fear not! The lord of Saubha will be slain today! Attached by me,the wretch will meet with destruction together with his car!’ O son ofPandu, upon Pradyumna speaking thus with cheerful heart, the Yadava host,O hero, remained on the field, and began to fight cheerfully!'”

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