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Chapter 18

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said,–“Soon after, O king, a loud uproar, causing the heart totremble was heard, made by the combatants ready for the fight. Indeed,with the sounds of conches and drums, the grunts of elephants, and theclatter of car-wheels, the Earth seemed to rend in twain. And soon thewelkin and the whole Earth was filled with the neigh of chargers and theshouts of combatants. O irresistible one, the troops of thy sons and ofthe Pandavas both trembled when they encountered each other. There (onthe field of battle) elephants and cars, decked in gold, looked beautifullike clouds decked with lightning. And standards of diverse forms, Oking, belonging to the combatants on thy side, and adorned with goldenrings, looked resplendent like fire. And those standards of thy side andtheirs, resembled, O Bharata, the banners of Indra in his celestialmansions. And the heroic warriors all accoutred and cased in golden coatsof mail endued with the effulgence of the blazing Sun, themselves lookedlike blazing fire or the Sun. All the foremost warriors amongst theKurus, O king, with excellent bows, and weapons upraised (for striking),with leathern fences on their hands, and with standards,–those mightybowmen, of eyes large as those of bulls, all placed themselves at theheads of their (respective) divisions. And these amongst thy sons, Oking, protected Bhishma from behind, viz.. Dussasana, and Durvishaha, andDurmukha, and Dussaha and Vivinsati, and Chitrasena, and that mightycar-warrior Vikarna. And amongst them were Satyavrata, and Purumitra, andJaya, and Bhurisravas, and Sala. And twenty thousand car-warriorsfollowed them. The Abhishahas, the Surasenas, the Sivis, and the Vasatis,the Swalyas, the Matsyas, the Amvashtas, the Trigartas, and the Kekayas,the Sauviras, the Kitavas, and the dwellers of the Eastern, Western, andthe Northern countries,–these twelve brave races were resolved to fightreckless of the lives. And these protected the grandsire with amultitudinous array of cars. And with a division that consisted of tenthousand active elephants, the king of Magadha followed that large cardivision. They that protected the wheels of the cars and they thatprotected the elephants, numbered full six millions. And thefoot-soldiers that marched in advance (of the army), armed with bows,swords, and shields, numbered many hundreds of thousands. And they foughtalso using their nails and bearded darts. And the ten and one Akshauhinisof thy son, O Bharata, looked, O mighty king, like Ganga separated fromYamuna.[102]”

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