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Chapter 2

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Vaisampayana said,–“Seeing then the two armies (standing) on the eastand the west for the fierce battle that was impending, the holy RishiVyasa, the son of Satyavati, that foremost of all persons acquainted withthe Vedas, that grandsire of the Bharatas, conversant with the past, thepresent, and the future, and beholding everything as if it were presentbefore his eyes, said these words in private unto the royal son ofVichitravirya who was then distressed and giving way to sorrow,reflecting on the evil policy of his sons.

“Vyasa said,–‘O king, thy sons and the other monarchs have their hourarrived.[10] Mustered in battle they will kill one another. O Bharata,their hour having come, they will all perish. Bearing in mind the changesbrought on by time, do not yield thy heart to grief. O king, if thou wishto see them (fighting) in battle, I will, O son, grant thee vision.Behold the battle.”

“Dhritarashtra said,–‘O best of regenerate Rishi, I like not to beholdthe slaughter of kinsmen. I shall, however, through thy potency hear ofthis battle minutely.”

Vaisampayana continued.–“Upon his not wishing to see the battle butwishing to hear of it, Vyasa, that lord of boons, gave a boon to Sanjaya.(And addressing Dhritarashtra he said),–‘This Sanjaya, O king, willdescribe the battle to thee. Nothing in the whole battle will be beyondthis one’s eyes.’ Endued, O king with celestial vision, Sanjaya willnarrate the battle to thee. He will have knowledge of everything.Manifest or concealed, (happening) by day or by night, even that which isthought of in the mind, Sanjaya shall know everything. Weapons will notcut him and exertion will not fatigue him. This son of Gavalgani willcome out of the battle with life. As regards myself, O bull of Bharata’srace, the fame of these Kurus, as also of all the Pandavas, I willspread. Do not grieve. This is destiny, O tiger among men. It behoveththee not to give way to grief. It is not capable of being prevented. Asregards victory, it is there where righteousness is.'”

Vaisampayana continued,–“That highly-blessed and holy grandsire of theKurus, having said so, once more addressed Dhritarashtra andsaid,–‘Great will the slaughter be, O monarch, in this battle. I seehere also (numerous) omens indicative of terror. Hawks and vultures, andcrows and herons, together with cranes, are alighting on the tops oftrees and gathering in flocks. These birds, delighted at the prospect ofbattle, are looking down (on the field) before them. Carnivorous beastswill feed on the flesh of elephants and steeds. Fierce herons, forebodingterror, and uttering merciless cries, are wheeling across the centretowards the southern region. In both the twilights, prior and posterior,I daily behold, O Bharata, the sun during his rising and setting to becovered by headless trunks. Tri-coloured clouds with their extremitieswhite and red and necks black, charged with lightning, and resemblingmaces (in figure) envelope the sun in both twilights. I have seen thesun, the moon, and the stars to be all blazing. No difference in theiraspect is to be noted in the evening. I have seen this all day and allnight. All this forbodes fear. On even the fifteenth night of thelighted-fortnight in (the month of) Kartika, the moon, divested ofsplendour, became invisible, or of the hue of fire, the firmament beingof the hue of the lotus. Many heroic lords of earth, kings and princes,endued with great bravery and possessed of arms resembling maces, will beslain and sleep lying down on the earth. Daily I notice in the sky duringnight time the fierce cries of battling boars and cats.[11] The images ofgods and goddesses sometimes laugh, sometimes tremble, and sometimesagain these vomit blood through their mouths and sometimes they sweat andsometimes fall down. O monarch! drums, without being beaten, give sounds,and the great cars of Kshatriyas move without (being drawn by) animalsyoked to them. Kokilas, wood-peckers, jaws, water-cocks, parrots, crows,and peacocks, utter terrible cries. Here and there, cavalry soldiers,cased in mail, armed with weapons, send forth fierce shouts. At sun-riseflights of insects, by hundreds are seen. In both twilights, the cardinalquarters seem to be ablaze, and the clouds, O Bharata, shower dust andflesh. She, O king, who is celebrated over the three worlds and isapplauded by the righteous, even that (constellation) Arundhati keepeth(her lord) Vasistha on her back. The planet Sani also, O king, appearethafflicting (the constellation) Rohini. The sign of the deer in the Moonhath deviated from its usual position. A great terror is indicated. Eventhough the sky is cloudless, a terrible roar is heard there. The animalsare all weeping and their tears are falling fast.'”

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