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Chapter 106

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding Bhishma excited with wrath in battle,surrounded on all sides by the Pandavas like the Sun in the firmament. Oking, by the clouds at the end of summer, Duryodhana, O monarch,addressed Dussasana, saying, ‘This heroic and great bowman Bhishma, thisslayer of heroes, hath, O bull of Bharata’s race, been surrounded on allsides by the brave Pandavas. It is thy duty, O hero, to protect thatillustrious one. Protected by us in battle, our grandsire Bhishma willslay all the Panchalas along with the Pandavas. The protection ofBhishma. therefore, I think, is our highest duty, for this great bowmanof his vows, viz., Bhishma, is our protector in return. Therefore,surrounding the grandsire with all our troops, do thou protect him, whoalways achieveth the most difficult feats in battle. Thus addressed byDuryodhana, thy son Dussasana, surrounding Bhishma with a large force onall sides took up his position. Then Suvala’s son Sakuni, with hundredsand thousands of horsemen having bright spears and swords and lances inhand, and who formed a proud, well-dressed, and strong body bearingstandards, and who were mingled with excellent foot-soldiers that wereall well-trained and skilled in battle began to cheek Nakula, andSahadeva, and Yudhishthira the son of Pandu, surrounding those foremostof men on all sides. Then king Duryodhana despatched ten thousand (other)brave horsemen for resisting the Pandavas. When these rushed like so manyGarudas towards the enemy with great impetuosity, the earth, O king,struck with their horse-hoofs, trembled and uttered a loud noise. And theloud clatter of their hoofs was heard resembling the noise made by alarge forest of bamboos, in conflagration on a mountain. And as thesedashed over the field, there rose a cloud of dust, which rising to thewelkin shrouded the very Sun. And in consequence of those impetuoussteeds, the Pandava army was agitated like a large lake with a flight ofswans suddenly alighting on its bosom. And in consequence of theirneighing, nothing else could be heard there. Then king Yudhishthira, andthe two sons of Pandu by Madri, quickly checked the charge of thosehorsemen in battle, like the continent, O king, bearing the force, atfull tide, of the surging sea swollen with the waters of the rainyseason. Then those (three) car-warriors, O monarch, with their straightshafts, cut off the heads of those horse-riders. Slain by those strongbowmen, they fell down, O king, (on the earth), like mighty elephantstumbling into mountain caves, slain by huge compeers. Indeed, coursingall over the field, those warriors (of the Pandavas army) cut off theheads of those cavalry soldiers with sharp-bearded darts and straightshafts. Struck with swords, those horsemen, O bull of Bharata’s race,suffered their heads to drop like tall trees, dropping their fruits. Allover the field, O king, steeds along with their riders were seen fallenor falling, deprived of life. And while being (thus) slaughtered, thesteeds, affected with panic, fled away like smaller animals desirous ofsaving their lives at sight of the lion. And the Pandavas, O king, havingvanquished their foes in that great battle, blew their conches and beattheir drums. Then Duryodhana, filled with grief on seeing his troopsvanquished, addressed the ruler of the Madras, O chief of the Bharatas,and said, ‘There, the eldest son of Pandu, accompanied by the twins inbattle, in thy very sight, O thou of mighty arms, routeth our troops, Olord. O mighty-armed one, resist him like the continent resisting theocean. Thou art exceedingly well-known as possessed of might and prowessthat are irresistible.’ Hearing these words of thy son, the valiant Salyaproceeded with a large body of cars to the spot where Yudhishthira was.Thereupon, the son of Pandu began to resist in battle that large host ofSalya rushing impetuously towards him with the force of a mighty wave.And that mighty car-warrior, viz., king Yudhishthira the just, in thatbattle quickly pierced the ruler of the Madras in the centre of the chestwith ten shafts. And Nakula and Sahadeva struck him with seven straightshafts. The ruler of the Madras then struck each of them with threearrows. And once more he pierced Yudhishthira with sixty sharp-pointedarrows. And excited with wrath he struck each of the sons of Madri alsowith two shafts. Then that vanquisher of foes, the mighty-armed Bhima,beholding the king, in that great battle, staying within reach of Salya’scar as if within the very jaws of Death, quickly proceeded toYudhishthira’s side. Then when the Sun, having passed the meridian, wassinking, there commenced a fierce and terrible battle (on that part ofthe field).

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