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Chapter 115

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “Arjuna covered with his straight shafts the mightycar-warrior Salya who was struggling vigorously in battle. And he piercedSusarman and Kripa with three arrows each. And in that battle theAtiratha Arjuna, afflicting thy host, struck the ruler of thePragjyotishas, and Jayadratha the king of the Sindhus, and Chitrasena,and Vikarna, and Kritavarman, and Durmarshana, O monarch, and those twomighty car-warriors, viz., the princes of Avanti, each with three arrowswinged with the feathers of the Kanka and the peacock. Jayadratha,staying on the car of Chitrasena, pierced Partha (in return), O Bharata,and then, without loss of time, Bhima also, with his shafts. And Salya,and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Kripa, both pierced Jishnu, Omonarch, with diverse arrows capable of penetrating into the very vitals.Thy sons headed by Chitrasena, O king, each quickly pierced Arjuna andBhimasena in that battle, O sire, with five sharp shafts. Those twoforemost of car-warriors however, viz., those sons of Kunti, those bullsof Bharata’s race, began in that battle to afflict the mighty host of theTrigartas. Susarman (in return) pierced Partha with nine swift arrows,and uttered a loud shout frightening the vast host (of the Pandavas). Andother heroic car-warriors pierced Bhimasena and Dhananjaya with manystraight-going arrows of keen points and golden wings. Amid thesecar-warriors, however, those two bulls of Bharata’s race, viz., the twosons of Kunti, those great car-warriors, looked exceedingly beautiful.And they seemed to sport amid them like two furious lions amid a herd ofkine. Cutting off in various ways the bows and arrows of many bravewarriors in that battle, those two heroes felled the heads of combatantsby hundreds upon hundreds. Innumerable cars were broken, and steeds byhundreds were slain, and many elephants, along with their riders, werelaid low on the field in that dreadful battle. And car-warriors andhorsemen and elephant-riders in large numbers, O king, deprived of lifewere seen moving in convulsions all over the field. And the earth wascovered with slain elephants and foot-soldiers in large bands, and steedsdeprived of life, and cars broken in diverse ways. And the prowess webeheld there of Partha was highly wonderful, in as much as holding incheck all those heroes, that mighty warrior caused a great slaughter.Kripa, and Kritavarman, and Jayadratha, the ruler of the Sindhus, andVinda and Anuvinda of Avanti,–these did not forsake the battle. Thenthat great bowman Bhima, and that mighty car-warrior Arjuna, began inthat battle to rout the fierce host of the Kauravas. The kings (in thatarmy) quickly sped at Dhananjaya’s car myriads upon myriads and millionsupon millions of arrows furnished with peacock feathers. Partha, however,checking those arrows by means of his own arrowy showers, began to sendthose mighty car-warriors to Yama’s abode. The great car-warrior Salyathen, excited with wrath and as if sporting in that battle, struck Parthain the chest with some straight shafts of broad heads. Partha then,cutting off by means of five shafts Salya’s bow and leathern fence,pierced the latter deeply in the very vitals with many arrows of keenpoints. Taking up another bow capable of bearing a great strain, theruler of the Madras then furiously attacked Jishnu with three arrows, Oking, and Vasudeva with five. And he struck Bhimasena in the arms and thechest with nine arrows. Then Drona, O king, and that mighty car-warrior,viz., the ruler of the Magadhas, commanded by Duryodhana, both came tothat spot where those two mighty car-warriors, viz., Partha andBhimasena, were slaughtering the mighty host of the Kuru king. Jayatsena(the king of the Magadhas) then, O bull of Bharata’s race pierced Bhima,that wielder of awful weapons in battle, with eight sharp arrows. Bhima,however, pierced him (in return) with ten arrows, and once more withfive. And with another broad-headed shaft he felled Jayatsena’scharioteer from his niche in the car. The steeds (of his car), no longerrestrained, ran wildly in all directions and thus carried away the rulerof the Magadhas (from battle) in the sight of all the troops. MeanwhileDrona, noticing an opening, pierced Bhimasena, O bull of Bharata’s race,with eight keen shafts furnished with heads shaped after the frog’smouth. Bhima, however, ever delighting in battle, pierced the preceptor,who was worthy of paternal reverence, with five broad-headed arrows, andthen, O Bharata, with sixty. Arjuna, again piercing Susarman with a largenumber of arrows made (wholly) of iron, destroyed his troops like thetempest destroying mighty masses of clouds. Then Bhishma, and the king(viz., Duryodhana), and Vrihadvala, the ruler of the Kosalas, excitedwith rage, advanced upon Bhimasena and Dhananjaya. At this, the heroicwarriors of the Pandava army, and Dhrishtadyumna the son of Prishata,rushed in battle against Bhishma who was advancing like Death himselfwith wide-open mouth. Sikhandin also, sighting the grandsire of theBharatas, was filled with joy and rushed at him, abandoning all fear ofthe mighty car-warrior. Then all the Parthas with Yudhishthira at theirhead, placing Sikhandin in the van, and uniting with the Srinjayas,fought with Bhishma in battle. And similarly all the warriors of thyarmy, placing Bhishma of regulated vows in their van, fought in battlewith all the Parthas headed by Sikhandin. The battle then that commencedthere between the Kauravas and the sons of Pandu for the sake ofBhishma’s victory or victory over Bhishma, was exceedingly terrible.Indeed, in that game of battle, played for the sake of victory or thereverse, Bhishma, O monarch, became the stake on which the victory of thyarmy depended. Then Dhrishtadyumna, O king, commanded all the troops,saying, ‘Rush against the son of Ganga. Do not fear, ye best ofcar-warriors. Hearing those words of their generalissimo, the army of thePandavas quickly advanced against Bhishma, ready to lay down their livesin that dreadful battle. Bhishma then, that foremost of car-warriors,received that large host rushing towards him, like the continentreceiving the surging sea.”

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