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Chapter 102

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Dhritarashtra said, “How, O Sanjaya, did Alamvusha resist in combat theheroic son of Arjuna smiting many of our mighty car-warriors in battle?And how also did that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son ofSubhadra, fight with Rishyasringa’s son? Tell me all this in detail,exactly as it happened in that fight. What also did Bhima, that foremostof car-warriors, and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, and Nakula, and Sahadevaand the mighty car-warrior Satyaki, and Dhananjaya, do with my troops inbattle? Tell me all this truly, O Sanjaya, for thou art skilled (innarration).”

Sanjaya said, “I will presently describe to thee, O sire, the awfulbattle that took place between that foremost of the Rakshasas and the sonof Subhadra. I will also describe to thee the prowess that Arjuna putforth in battle, and Bhimasena the son of Pandu and Nakula, and Sahadeva,as also the warriors of thy army headed by Bhishma and Drona, all of whomfearlessly achieved wonderful feats of diverse kinds, Alamvusha, utteringloud shouts and repeatedly roaring at Abhimanyu, rushed impetuouslyagainst that mighty car-warrior in battle, saying, ‘Wait,Wait’–Abhimanyu also, repeatedly roaring like a lion, rushed with atgreat force at that mighty bowman, viz., the son of Rishyasringa, who wasan implacable foe of the former’s sire. Soon then those two foremost ofcar-warriors, man and Rakshasa, on their cars, encountered each other,like a god and Danava. That best of Rakshasa were endued with powers ofillusion, while Phalguni’s son was acquainted with celestial weapons.Then Abhimanyu, O king, pierced Rishyasringa’s son in that battle withthree sharp shafts and once more with five. Alamvusha, also, excited withwrath, speedily pierced Abhimanyu in the chest with nine shafts like aguide piercing an elephant with hooks. Then, O Bharata, that wanderer ofthe night, endued with great activity, afflicted Arjuna’s son in thatcombat with a thousand arrows. Then Abhimanyu excited with rage, piercedthat prince of the Rakshasas in his wide chest with nine straight shaftsof great sharpness. Piercing through his body these penetrated into hisvery vitals. And that best of Rakshasas, his limbs mangled by them,looked beautiful like a mountain overgrown with flowering Kinsukas.Bearing those shafts of golden wings on his body, that mighty prince ofRakshasas looked radiant like a mountain on fire. Then the vindictive sonof Rishyasringa, inflamed with wrath, covered Abhimanyu, who was equalunto Mahendra himself, with clouds of winged arrows. Those sharp shaftsresembling the rods of Yama himself, shot by him, pierced Abhimanyuthrough and entered the earth. And similarly the gold-decked arrows shotby Arjuna’s son, piercing Alamvusha through, entered the earth. The sonof Subhadra then, in that battle, with his straight shafts, obliged theRakshasa to turn his back upon the field, like Sakra repulsing Maya indays of old. That scorcher of foes, the Rakshasa, then, thus repulsed andstruck repeatedly by his adversary, exhibited his great powers ofillusion by causing a thick darkness to set in. Then all the combatantsthere, O king, were covered by that darkness. Neither could Abhimanyu beseen, nor could friends be distinguished from foes in that battle.Abhimanyu, however, beholding that thick and awful gloom, invoked intoexistence. O son of Kuru’s race, the blazing solar weapon. Thereupon, Oking, the universe once more became visible. And thus he neutralised theillusion of that wicked Rakshasa. Then that prince of men, excited withwrath and endued with great energy, covered that foremost of Rakshasa inthat battle with many straight shafts. Diverse other kinds of illusionwere conjured up there by that Rakshasa. Conversant with all weapons, theson of Phalguni however, neutralised them all. The Rakshasa then, hisillusions all destroyed, and himself struck with shafts, abandoned hiscar even there, and fled away in great fear. After that Rakshasa addictedto unfair fight had been thus vanquished, the son of Arjuna began togrind thy troops in battle, like a juice-blind prince of wild elephantsagitating a lake overgrown with lotus.[465] Then Bhishma the son ofSantanu, beholding his troops routed, covered Subhadra’s son with a thickshower of arrows. Then many mighty car-warriors of the Dhartarashtraarmy, standing in a ring round that single hero, began to strike himforcibly with their shafts. That hero then, who resembled his sire inprowess and who was equal to Vasudeva in valour and might,–that foremostof all wielders of weapons,–achieved diverse feats in that battle thatwere worthy of both his sire and maternal uncle. Then the heroicDhananjaya, excited with wrath and desirous of rescuing his son, arrivedat the spot where the latter was slaughtering thy troops as he camealong. And similarly, O king, thy sire Devavrata in that battleapproached Partha like Rahu approaching the sun.[466] Then thy sons, Omonarch, supported by cars, elephants, and steeds, surrounded Bhishma inthat battle and protected him from every side. And so also the Pandavas,O king, clad in mail and surrounding Dhananjaya, engaged in fiercebattle, O bull of Bharata’s race. Then Saradwat’s son (Kripa), O king,pierced Arjuna who was staying in front of Bhishma, with five and twentyshafts. Thereupon, like a tiger attacking an elephant, Satyaki,approaching Kripa, pierced him with many whetted shafts from desire ofdoing what was agreeable to the Pandavas. Gautama in return, excited withwrath, quickly pierced him of Madhu’s race in the chest with nine arrowswinged with the feathers of the Kanka bird. Sini’s grandson also, excitedwith wrath, and forcibly drawing his bow, quickly sped at him an arrowcapable of taking his life. The fiery son of Drona, however, excited withwrath, cut in twain that arrow as it coursed impetuously towards Kripa,resembling Indra’s bolt in effulgence. Thereupon that foremost ofcar-warriors, viz., Sini’s grandson, abandoning Gautama, rushed in battletowards Drona’s son like Rahu in the firmament against the Moon. Drona’sson, however, O Bharata, cut Satyaki’s bow in twain. After his bow hadthus been cut off, the former began to strike the latter with his shafts.Satyaki then, taking up another bow capable of bearing a great strain andslaughtering the foe, struck Drona’s son, O king, in the chest and armswith six shafts. Pierced therewith and feeling great pain, for a momenthe was deprived of his senses, and he sat down on the terrace of his car,catching hold of his flag-staff. Regaining his consciousness then, thevaliant son of Drona, excited with rage afflicted him of Vrishni’s racein that battle, with one long shaft. That shaft, piercing Sini’s grandsonthrough, entered the earth like a vigorous young snake entering its holein the season of spring. And with another broad-headed arrow, Drona’s sonin that battle cut off the excellent standard of Satyaki. And havingachieved this feat he uttered a leonine roar. And once more, O Bharata,he covered his adversary with a shower of fierce shafts like the clouds,O king covering the Sun after summer is past, Satyaki also, O monarch,baffling that arrowy shower, soon covered the son of Drona with diverseshowers of arrows That slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the grandson ofSini, freed from that arrowy shower like the Sun from the clouds, beganto scorch the son of Drona (with his energy). Swelling with rage themighty Satyaki once more covered his foe with a thousand arrows anduttered a loud shout. Beholding his son then thus afflicted like the Moonby Rahu, the valiant son of Bharadwaja rushed towards the grandson ofSini. Desirous, O king, of rescuing, his son who was afflicted by theVrishni hero, Drona, in that great battle, pierced the latter with ashaft of exceeding sharpness. Satyaki then, abandoning the mightycar-warrior Aswatthaman, pierced Drona himself in that battle with twentyarrows of exceeding sharpness. Soon after, that scorcher of foes andmighty car-warrior, viz., Kunti’s son of immeasurable soul, excited withwrath, rushed in that battle against Drona. Then Drona and Parthaencountered each other in fierce combat like the planets Budha and Sukra,O king, in the firmament.[467]

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