Chapter 169

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Arjuna continued, ‘Then, O Bharata, vehemently rushed at me in battle ina body the Nivata-Kavachas, equipped with arms. And obstructing thecourse of the car, and shouting loudly, those mighty charioteers, hemmingme in on all sides, covered me with showers of shafts. Then other demonsof mighty prowess, with darts and hatchets in their hands, began to throwat me spears and axes. And that mighty discharge of darts, with numerousmaces and clubs incessantly hurled fell upon my car. And other dreadfuland grim-visaged smiters among the Nivata-Kavachas, furnished with bowsand sharpened weapons, ran at me in fight. And in the conflict, shootingfrom the Gandiva sundry swift arrows coursing straight, I pierced each ofthem with ten. And they were driven back by those stone-whetted shafts ofmine. Then on my steeds being swiftly driven by Matali, they began todisplay various movements with the speed of the wind. And being skilfullyguided by Matali, they began to trample upon the sons of Diti. Andalthough the steeds yoked unto that mighty chariot numbered hundreds uponhundreds, yet being deftly conducted by Matali, they began to move, as ifthey were only a few. And by their tread, and by the rattling of thechariot wheels and by the vollies of my shafts, the Danavas began to fallby hundreds. And others accoutred in bows, being deprived of life, andhaving their charioteers slain, were carried about by the horses. Then,covering all sides and directions, all (the Danavas) skilled in strikingentered into the contest with various weapons, and thereat my mind becameafflicted. And I witnessed (this instance of) the marvellous prowess ofMatali, viz., that he guided those fiery steeds with ease. Then, O king,in the conflict, with diverse fleet weapons I pierced by hundreds and bythousands (demons) bearing arms. And, O slayer of foes, seeing me thusrange the field putting forth every exertion, the heroic charioteer ofSakra was well-pleased. And oppressed by those steeds and that car, some(of them) met with annihilation; and others desisted from fight; while(other) Nivata-Kavachas, challenged by us in battle and being harassedwith shafts offered opposition unto me, by (discharging) mighty showersof arrows. Thereupon, with hundreds and thousands of sundry fleet weaponsinspired with the mantras relating to Brahma’s weapons, I swiftly beganto burn them. And being sore pressed by me, those mighty asuras waxingwroth afflicted me together, by pouring torrents of clubs and darts andswords. Then, O Bharata, I took up that favourite weapon of the lord ofthe celestials, Maghavan by name, prime and of fiery energy and by theenergy of that weapon I cut into a thousand pieces the Tomaras, togetherwith the swords and the tridents hurled by them. And having cut off theirarms I in ire pierced them each with ten shafts. And in the field arrowswere shot from the Gandiva like unto rows of black-bees; and this Mataliadmired. And their shafts also showered upon me; but those powerful(arrows) I cut off with my shafts. Then on being struck theNivata-Kavachas again covered me on all sides with a mighty shower ofarrows. And having neutralised the force of the arrows by excellent swiftand flaming weapons capable of baffling arms, I pierced them bythousands. And blood began to flow from their torn frames, even as in therainy season waters run down from the summits of mountains. And on beingwounded by my fleet and straight-coursing shafts of the touch of Indra’sthunder-bolt, they became greatly agitated. And their bodies were piercedat hundreds of places; and the force of their arms diminished. Then theNivata-Kavachas fought me by (the help of) illusion.'”

Chapter 168
Chapter 170
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