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Chapter 111

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “Arjuna then, O king, beholding the prowess of Bhishma inbattle, addressed Sikhandin saying, ‘Proceed towards the grandsire. Thoushouldst not entertain the slightest fear of Bhishma today. Even I willthrow him down from his excellent car by means of my sharp shafts’. Thusaddressed by Partha, Sikhandin, O bull of Bharata’s race, having heardthose words, rushed at the son of Ganga. And so Dhrishtadyumna also, Oking, and the mighty car-warrior Abhimanyu, having heard those words ofPartha, joyfully rushed at Bhishma. And old Virata and Drupada, andKuntibhoja also, clad in mail, rushed at Bhishma in the very sight of thyson. And Nakula, Sahadeva, and the valiant king Yudhishthira also, andall the rest of the warriors, O monarch, rushed against Bhishma. Asregards thy warriors O king, that rushed, according to the measure oftheir might and courage, against those mighty car-warriors (of thePandava army) united together, listen to me as I speak (of them) untothee. Like a young tiger attacking a bull, Chitrasena, O king, rushedagainst Chekitana who in that battle was proceeding for getting atBhishma. Kritavarman, O king, resisted Dhrishtadyumna who had reached thepresence of Bhishma and who was exerting himself with great activity andvigour in that battle. Somadatta’s son, O monarch, with great activity,resisted Bhimasena excited with fury and desirous of slaying Bhishma.Similarly Vikarna, desirous of (protecting) Bhishma’s life, resisted thebrave Nakula who was scattering innumerable arrows around. And so, Oking, Kripa the son of Saradwat, excited with rage, resisted Sahadevaproceeding towards Bhishma’s car. And the mighty Durmukha rushed at thatRakshasa of cruel deeds, viz., the mighty son of Bhishmasena, desirous ofBhishma’s slaughter. Thy son Duryodhana himself resisted Satyakiproceeding to battle. Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamavojas, O king,resisted Abhimanyu, O monarch, who was proceeding towards Bhishma’s car.And Aswatthaman, O king, excited with rage, resisted old Virata andDrupada, those two chastisers of foes united together. And Bharadwaja’sson, exerting himself with vigour in battle, resisted the eldest Pandava,that is to say, king Yudhishthira the just, who was desirous of Bhishma’sdeath. And that great bowman, viz., Dussasana, in that battle, resistedArjuna who was rushing with great speed, with Sikhandin before him,desirous of coming upon Bhishma, O monarch, and illuminating the tenquarters (with his bright weapons). And other warriors of thy armyresisted in that great battle other mighty car-warriors of the Pandavasproceeding against Bhishma. Dhrishtadyumna, that mighty car-warrior,excited with rage, rushed against Bhishma alone and addressing thetroops, repeatedly said in a loud voice, ‘There, Arjuna, that delighterof Kuru’s race, is proceeding against Bhishma in battle. Rush ye againstGanga’s son. Be not afraid. Bhishma will not be able to attack you inbattle.[476] Vasava himself cannot venture to fight with Arjuna inbattle. What therefore, need be said of Bhishma who, though possessed ofbravery in battle, is feeble and old.” Hearing these words of theircommander, the mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, filled with joy,rushed towards the car of Ganga’s son. Many foremost of men, however, ofthy army cheerfully received and resisted those heroes coming towardsBhishma like impetuous mass of living energy. That mighty car-warrior,Dussasana, abandoning all fears, rushed against Dhananjaya, desirous ofprotecting the life of Bhishma. And so the heroic Pandavas also, O king,rushed in. battle against thy sons, those mighty car-warriors, stationedabout Bhishma’s car. And then, O king we beheld a highly wonderfulincident, viz., that Partha, having proceeded as far as Dussasana’s car,could not advance further. As the continent resists the surging sea, evenso did thy son (Dussasana) resist the angry son of Pandu. Both of themwere foremost of car-warriors. Both of them, O Bharata, were invincible.Both of them, in beauty and splendour, O Bharata, resembled the Sun orthe Moon. Both of them were excited with wrath. And each of them desiredto slay the other. And they encountered each other in dreadful battlelike Maya and Sakra in days of old. And Dussasana, O king, in that battlepierced the son of Pandu with three shafts and Vasudeva with twenty. ThenArjuna, excited with rage upon beholding him of Vrishni’s race thusafflicted, pierced Dussasana with a hundred shafts. These, penetratingthrough the latter’s armour, drank his blood in that battle. ThenDussasana, excited with wrath, pierced Partha with five shafts. And oncemore, O chief of the Bharatas, he pierced Arjuna in the forehead withthree sharp shafts. And with those shafts sticking to his forehead, theson of Pandu looked beautiful in that battle, like Meru, O king with itstall crests. That great bowman, viz., Partha, then thus deeply pierced bythy son wielding the bow, looked resplendent in that battle like aflowering Kinsuka. The son of Pandu then, excited with rage, afflictedDussasana, like Rahu inflamed with rage on the fifteenth day of thelighted fortnight afflicting the Moon at full. Thus afflicted by thatmighty warrior, thy son, O king, pierced Partha in that battle with manyshafts whetted on stone and winged with the features of the Kanka bird.Then Partha, cutting off Dussasana’s bow and splitting his car with threeshafts, sped at him many fierce arrows resembling the darts of Death. Thyson, however, cut off all those shafts of Partha exerting himself withvigour before they could reach him. All this seemed highly wonderful.Then thy son pierced Partha with many shafts of great sharpness. ThenPartha, excited with rage in that battle, placed on his bowstring anumber of shafts whetted on stone and furnished with wings of gold andaiming them, sped them all at his foe. These, O king, penetrated the bodyof that high-souled warrior, like swans, O monarch, diving into a lake.Thus afflicted by the high-souled son of Pandu, thy son avoiding Partha,quickly proceeded to the car of Bhishma. Indeed, Bhishma then became anisland unto him who was thus sinking into fathomless waters. Regainingconsciousness then, thy son, O monarch, endued with heroism and prowess,once more began to resist Partha with sharp arrows like Purandararesisting (the Asura) Vritra. Of huge form, thy son began to pierceArjuna, but the latter was scarcely pained (at all this).”

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