Chapter 19

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vasudeva continued, Thus addressed, the son of Suta race replied in hasteunto Pradyumna, that foremost of all endued with strength, in these sweetwords, ‘O son of Rukmini, I fear not to guide the horses on the field ofbattle, and I am acquainted also with the customs of the Vrishnis in war!It is not otherwise in the least! But, O thou blest with length of days,those that guide the car are taught that the warrior on the car is, byall means, to be protected by his charioteer! Thou wert also muchafflicted! Thou wert much wounded by the arrows shot by Salwa. Thou wertalso deprived of thy senses, O hero! Therefore is it that I retired fromthe field.’ But, O chief of the Satwatas, now that thou hast regained thysenses without much ado, do thou, O son of Kesava, witness my skill inguiding the horses! I have been begotten by Daruka, and I have been dulytrained! I will now penetrate into the celebrated array of Salwa withoutfear!

“Vasudeva continued, ‘Saying this, O hero, the charioteer, pulling thereins, began to lead the horses with speed towards the field of battle.And, O king, struck with the whip and pulled by the reins those excellentsteeds seemed to be flying in the air, performing various beautifulmotion, now circular, now similar, now dissimilar, now to the right, nowto the left. And, O king, those steeds understanding as it were theintention of Daruka’s son endued with such lightness of hand, burned withenergy, and seemed to go without touching the ground with their feet!That bull among men wheeled round Salwa’s host so easily that they whowitnessed it wondered exceedingly. And the lord of Saubha, unable to bearthat manoeuvre of Pradyumna, instantly sent three shafts at thecharioteer of his antagonist! The charioteer, however, without taking anynote of the force of those arrows, continued to go along the right. Thenthe lord of Saubha, O hero, again discharged at my son by Rukmini, ashower of various kinds of weapons! But that slayer of hostile heroes,the son of Rukmini, showing with a smile his lightness of hand, cut allthose weapons off as they reached him. Finding his arrows cut byPradyumna, the lord of Saubha, having recourse to the dreadful illusionnatural to Asuras began to pour a thick shower of arrows. But cuttinginto pieces those powerful Daitya weapons shot at him in mid-career bymeans of his Brahma weapon, Pradyumna discharged winged shafts of otherkings. And these delighting in blood, warding off the shafts of Daitya,pierced his head, bosom and face. And at those wounds Salwa fell downsenseless. And on the mean-minded Salwa falling down, afflicted withPradyumna’s arrows, the son of Rukmini aimed another arrow at him,capable of destroying every foe. And beholding that arrow worshipped byall the Dasarhas, and flaming like fire and fatal as a venomous snake,fixed on the bow-string, the firmament was filled with exclamations ofOh! and Alas! Then all the celestials with Indra and the lord oftreasures (Kubera) at their head sent Narada and the god of wind enduedwith the speed of the mind. And these two approaching the son of Rukminidelivered unto him the message of the celestial, saying, O hero, kingSalwa is nor to be slain by thee! Do thou draw back the arrow. He isunslayable by thee in fight! There breatheth not a person who cannot bekilled by that arrow! O thou of mighty arms, the Creator hath ordainedhis death at the hands of Krishna, the son of Devaki! Let this be notfalsified!–Thereupon with a glad heart, Pradyumna withdrew that best ofarrows from his excellent bow and deposited it back in his quiver. Andthen, O foremost of kings, the mighty Salwa, afflicted with the arrows ofPradyumna, rose disheartened, and speedily went away. Then O king, thewicked Salwa, thus afflicted by the Vrishnis, mounted on his car ofprecious metals, and leaving Dwaraka scudded through the skies!'”

Chapter 18
Chapter 20
Rate This Article: