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Chapter 16

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said,–“When the night had passed away, loud became the noisemade by the kings, all exclaiming, Array! Array! ‘With the blare ofconches and the sound of drums that resembled leonine roars, O Bharata,with the neigh of steeds, and the clatter of car-wheels, with the noiseof obstreperous elephants and the shouts, clapping of arm-pits, and criesof roaring combatants, the din caused everywhere was very great. Thelarge armies of the Kurus and the Pandavas, O king, rising at sunrise,completed all their arrangements. Then when the Sun rose, the fierceweapons of attack and defence and the coats of mail of both thy sons andthe Pandavas, and the large and splendid armies of both sides, becamefully visible. There elephants and cars, adorned with gold, lookedresplendent like clouds mingled with lightning. The ranks of cars,standing in profusion, looked like cities. And thy father, stationedthere, shone brilliantly, like the full moon. And the warriors armed withbows and swords and scimitars and maces, javelins and lances and brightweapons of diverse kinds, took up their positions in their (respective)ranks. And resplendent standards were seen, set up by thousands, ofdiverse forms, belonging to both ourselves and the foe. And made of goldand decked with gems and blazing like fire, those banners in thousandsendued with great effulgence, looked beautiful like heroic combatantscased in mail gazed at those standards, longing for battle.[90] And manyforemost of men, with eyes large as those of bulls endued with quivers,and with hands cased in leathern fences, stood at the heads of theirdivisions, with their bright weapons upraised. And Suvala’s son Sakuni,and Salya, Jayadratha and the two princes of Avanti named Vinda andAnuvinda, and the Kekaya brothers, and Sudakshina the ruler of theKamvojas and Srutayudha the ruler of the Kalingas, and king Jayatsena,and Vrihadvala the ruler of the Kosalas, and Kritavarman of Satwata’srace,–these ten tigers among men, endued with great bravery andpossessing arms that looked like maces,–these performers of sacrificeswith plentiful gifts (to Brahmanas), stood each at the head of anAkshauhini of troops. These and many other kings and princes, mightycar-warriors conversant with policy, obedient to the commands ofDuryodhana, all cased in mail, were seen stationed in their respectivedivisions. All of them, cased in black deer-skins, endued with greatstrength, accomplished in battle, and cheerfully prepared, forDuryodhana’s sake, to ascend to the region of Brahma,[91] stood therecommanding ten efficient Akshauhinis. The eleventh great division of theKauravas, consisting of the Dhartarashtra troops, stood in advance of thewhole army. There in the van of that division was Santanu’s son. With hiswhite head-gear, white umbrella, and white mail, O monarch, we beheldBhishma of unfailing prowess look like the risen moon. His standardbearing the device of a palmyra of gold himself stationed on a car madeof silver, both the Kurus and the Pandavas beheld that hero looking likethe moon encircled by white clouds. The great bowmen amongst theSrinjayas headed by Dhrishtadyumna, (beholding Bhishma) looked likelittle animals when they would behold a mighty yawning lion. Indeed, allthe combatants headed by Dhrishtadyumna repeatedly trembled in fear.These, O king, were the eleven splendid divisions of thy army. So alsothe seven divisions belonging to the Pandavas were protected by foremostof men. Indeed, the two armies facing each other looked like two oceansat the end of the Yuga agitated by fierce Makaras, and abounding withhuge crocodiles. Never before, O king, did we see or hear of two sucharmies encountering each other like these of the Kauravas.’

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