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Chapter 105

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “O tiger among men, Arjuna sent those Kshatriyas thatfollowed Susarman to the abode of the King of the Dead by means of hiswhetted shafts. Susarman however, in that battle, pierced Partha with hisshafts. And he pierced Vasudeva with seventy, and Arjuna once more withnine shafts. Checking those shafts by means of his arrowy showers, thatmighty car-warrior, viz., the son of Indra, despatched Susarman’s troopsunto Yama’s abode. Those mighty car-warriors, while being slaughtered byPartha in that battle as if by Death himself at the end of the Yuga, allfled away from the field, O king struck with panic, Some abandoning theirsteeds, some abandoning, O sire, their cars, and others their elephants,fled away in all directions. Others taking with them their horses,elephants, and cars, fled away, O king, with great speed. Foot-soldiersin that dreadful battle, throwing aside their weapons, and without anyregard for one another, fled away hither and thither. Though forbidden bySusarman the ruler of the Trigartas, and by other foremost of kings, theystayed not yet in battle. Beholding that host routed, thy son Duryodhanahimself at the head of the whole army and with Bhishma ahead, attackedDhananjaya with all his vigour, for the sake, O king, of (protecting) thelife of the ruler of the Trigartas. And he stayed in battle, scatteringdiverse kinds of arrows, supported by all his brothers. The rest of themen all fled away. Similarly, the Pandavas, O king, clad in mail and withall their vigour, proceeded, for the sake of Phalguni, to the spot whereBhishma was. Although acquainted with the awful prowess, in battle of thewielder of Gandiva, these yet proceeded with loud cries and great braveryto the spot where Bhishma was and surrounded him on all sides. Then thepalmyra-bannered hero covered the Pandava army, in that battle, with hisstraight shafts. The sun having reached the meridian, the Kauravas, Oking, fought with the Pandavas in one confused mass. The heroic Satyaki,having pierced Kritavarman with five arrows, stayed in battle scatteringhis arrows by thousands. And so king Drupada also, having pierced Dronawith many whetted shafts, once more pierced him with seventy shafts andhis charioteer with nine. Bhimasena also, having pierced his greatgrandsire king Valhika uttered a loud roar like a tiger in the forest.Arjuna’s son (Abhimanyu) pierced by Chitrasena with many shafts, deeplypierced Chitrasena in the chest with three arrows. Engaged with eachother in battle, those two foremost of men looked resplendent on thefield like the planets, Venus and Saturn, O king, in the firmament. Thenthat slayer of foes, viz., the son of Subhadra, having slain hisantagonist’s steeds and charioteer with nine arrows, uttered a loudshout. Thereupon that mighty car-warrior, (viz., Chitrasena), quicklyjumping down from that car whose steed had been slain, mounted, O king,without delay, the car of Durmukha. The valiant Drona, pierced thelatter’s charioteer also, Then, O king, Drupada, thus afflicted at thehead of his troops, retreated by the aid of his fleet steeds,recollecting the hostility that existed from days of old (between himselfand Drona). Bhimasena, within a moment, deprived king Valhika of hissteeds, car and charioteer, in the very sight of all the troops. Falleninto a situation of great danger and with fear in his heart, O king,Valhika, that best of men, jumping down from that vehicle, quicklymounted upon the car of Lakshmana in that battle. Satyaki, having checkedKritavarman in that dreadful battle, fell upon the grandsire and rainedon him shafts of diverse kinds.[470] Piercing the grandsire with sixtywhetted shafts winged with feathers, he seemed to dance on his car,shaking his large bow. The grandsire then hurled at him a mighty dartmade of iron, decked with gold, endued with great velocity, and beautifulas a daughter of the Nagas. Beholding that irresistible dart, resemblingDeath himself, coursing towards him, that illustrious warrior of theVrishni race baffled it by the celerity of movements. Thereupon thatfierce dart, unable to reach him of the Vrishni race, fell down on theearth like a large meteor of blazing splendour. Then he of Vrishni’srace, O king, taking up with a firm hand his own dart of goldeneffulgence, hurled it at the car of the grandsire. That dart, hurled inthat dreadful battle with the strength of Satyaki’s arms, coursedimpetuously like the fatal night, coursing speedily towards a (doomed)man. As it coursed, however, towards him with great force, Bhishma cut itin twain, O Bharata, with a couple of horse-shoe-headed arrows of keenedge, and thereupon it fell down on the earth. Having cut that dart, thatgrinder of foes, viz., Ganga’s son, excited with wrath and smiling thewhile struck Satyaki in the chest with nine arrows. Then the Pandavawarriors, O elder brother of Pandu, with their cars, elephants, andsteeds,[471] surrounded Bhishma in that battle, for the sake of rescuinghim of Madhu’s race. Then commenced again a fierce battle, making thehair to stand on end, between the Pandavas and the Kurus both of whomwere desirous of victory.”

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