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Chapter 103

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Dhritarashtra said, “How did those bulls among men, viz., that greatbowman Drona, and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu, encounter each other inbattle? The son of Pandu is ever dear to the wise son of Bharadwaja. Thepreceptor also is ever dear to Pritha’s son, O Sanjaya. Both of thosecar-warriors delight in battle, and both of them are fierce like lions.How therefore, did Bharadwaja’s son and Dhananjaya, both fighting withcare encounter each other in battle?”

Sanjaya said, “In battle Drona never recognises Partha as dear tohimself. Partha also, keeping a Kshatriya’s duty in view, recognises notin battle his preceptor. Kshatriyas, O king, never avoid one another inbattle. Without showing any regard for one another, they fight with siresand brothers. In that battle, O Bharata, Partha pierced Drona with threeshafts. Drona, however, regarded not those shafts shot in battle fromPartha’s bow. Indeed, Partha once more covered the preceptor in the fightwith a shower of arrows. Thereupon the latter blazed up with wrath like aconflagration in a deep forest. Then, O king, Drona soon covered Arjunain that combat with many straight shafts, O Bharata. Then kingDuryodhana, O monarch, despatched Susarman for taking up the wing ofDrona. Then the ruler of the Trigartas, excited with rage and forciblydrawing his bow, covered Partha, O king, with a profusion of arrowsfurnished with iron heads. Shot by those two warriors, O king, the shaftslooked beautiful in the welkin like cranes in the autumnal sky. Thoseshafts, O lord, reaching the son of Kunti, entered his body like birdsdisappearing within a tree bending with a load of tasteful fruits. Arjunathen, that foremost of car-warriors, uttering a loud roar in that battlepierced the ruler of the Trigartas and his son with his shafts. Piercedby Partha like Death himself at the end of the Yuga, they were unwillingto avoid Partha, resolved as they were on laying down their lives. Andthey shot showers on the car of Arjuna. Arjuna, however, received thosearrowy showers with showers of his own, like a mountain, O monarch,receiving a downpour from the clouds. And the lightness of hand that wethen beheld of Vibhatsu was exceedingly wonderful. For alone he baffledthat unbearable shower of arrows shot by many warriors like the windalone scattering myriads of clouds rushing upon clouds. And at that featof Partha, the gods and the Danavas (assembled there for witnessing thefight) were highly gratified. Then, O Bharata, engaged with the Trigartasin that battle, Partha shot, O king, the Vayavya weapon against theirdivision. Then arose a wind that agitated the welkin, felled many trees,and smote down the (hostile) troops. Then Drona, beholding the fierceVayavya weapon, himself shot an awful weapon called the Saila. And whenthat weapon, O ruler of men, was shot by Drona in that battle, the windabated and the ten quarters became calm. The heroic son of Pandu,however, made the car-warriors of the Trigarta division destitute ofprowess and hope, and caused them to turn their backs on the field. ThenDuryodhana and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Kripa, andAswatthaman, and Salya, and Sudakshina, the ruler of the Kamvojas, andVinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Valhika supported by the Valhikas, witha large number of cars surrounded Partha on all sides. And similarlyBhagadatta also, and the mighty Srutayush, surrounded Bhima on all sideswith an elephant division. And Bhurisravas, and Sala, and Suvala’s son, Omonarch, began to check the twin sons of Madri with showers of bright andsharp arrows. Bhishma, however, in that battle, supported by the sons ofDhritarashtra with their troops, approaching Yudhishthira, surrounded himon all sides. Beholding that elephant division coming towards him,Pirtha’s son Vrikodara, possessed of great courage, began to lick thecorners of his mouth like a lion in the forest. Then Bhima, that foremostof car-warriors, taking up his mace in that great battle, quickly jumpeddown from his car and struck terror into the hearts of thy warriors.Beholding him mace in hand, those elephant-warriors in that battlecarefully surrounded Bhimasena on all sides. Stationed in the midst ofthose elephants, the son of Pandu looked resplendent like the Sun in themidst of a mighty mass of clouds. Then that bull among the sons of Pandubegan with his mace to consume that elephant-division like the winddispelling a huge mass of clouds covering the welkin. Those tuskers,while being slaughtered by the mighty Bhimasena, uttered loud cries ofwoe like roaring masses of clouds. With diverse scratches (on his person)inflicted by those huge animals with their tusks, the son of Prithalooked beautiful on the field of battle like a flowering Kinsuka. Seizingsome of the elephants by their tusks, he deprived them of those weapons.Wrenching out the tusks of others, with those very tusks he struck themon their frontal globes and felled them in battle like the Destroyerhimself armed with his rod. Wielding his mace bathed in gore, and himselfbespattered with fat and marrow and smeared with blood, he looked likeRudra himself. Thus slaughtered by him, the few gigantic elephants thatremained, ran away on all sides, O king, crushing even friendly ranks.And in consequence of those huge elephants fleeing away on all sides,Duryodhana’s troops once more, O bull of Bharata’s race, fled away fromthe field.”

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