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Chapter 22

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said,–“Then, O bull of Bharata’s race, king Yudhishthira,disposing his own troops in counter array against the divisions ofBhishma, urged them on, saying,–‘The Pandavas have now disposed theirforces in counter array agreeably to what is laid down (in thescriptures). Ye sinless ones, fight fairly, desirous of (entering) thehighest heaven’.–In the centre (of the Pandava army) was Sikhandin andhis troops, protected by Arjuna. And Dhristadyumna moved in the van,protected by Bhima. The southern division (of the Pandava army) wasprotected. O king, by that mighty bowman, the handsome Yuyudhana, thatforemost combatant of the Satwata race, resembling Indra himself.Yudhisthira was stationed on a car that was worthy of bearing Mahendrahimself, adorned with an excellent standard, variegated with gold andgems, and furnished with golden traces (for the steeds), in the midst ofhis elephant divisions.[114] His pure white umbrella with ivory handle,raised over his head, looked exceedingly beautiful; and many great Rishiswalked around the king[115] uttering words in his praise. And manypriests, and regenerate Rishis and Siddhas, uttering hymns in hispraise[116] wished him, as they walked around, the destructions of hisenemies, by the aid of Japas, and Mantras, efficacious drugs, and diversepropitiatory ceremonies. That high-souled chief of the Kurus, then givingaway unto the Brahmanas kine and fruits and flowers and golden coinsalong with cloths[117] proceeded like Sakra, the chief of the celestials.The car of Arjuna, furnished with a hundred bells, decked with Jamvunadagold of the best kind, endued with excellent wheels, possessed of theeffulgence of fire, and unto which were yoked white steeds, lookedexceedingly brilliant like a thousand suns.[118] And on that ape-banneredcar the reins of which were held by Kesava, stood Arjuna with Gandiva andarrows in hand–a bowman whose peer exists not on earth, nor everwill.[119] For crushing thy sons’ troops he who assumeth the most awfulform,–who, divested of weapons, with only his bare hands, poundeth todust men, horses, and elephants,–that strong-armed Bhimasena, otherwisecalled Vrikodara, accompanied by the twins, became the protector of theheroic car-warriors (of the Pandava) army. Like unto a furious prince oflions of sportive gait, or like the great Indra himself with (earthly)body on the Earth, beholding that invincible Vrikodara, like unto a proudleader of an elephantine herd, stationed in the van (of the army), thewarriors on thy side, their strength weakened by fear, began to tremblelike elephants sunk in mire.

“Unto that invincible prince Gudakesa staying in the midst of his troops,Janardana, O chief of Bharata’s race, said–He, who scorching us with hiswrath, stayeth in the midst of his forces, he, who will attack our troopslike a lion, he, who performed three hundred horse-sacrifices,–thatbanner of Kuru’s race, that Bhishma,–stayeth yonder! Yon ranks aroundhim on all sides great warriors like the clouds shrouding the brightluminary. O foremost of men, slaying yon troops, seek battle with yonderbull of Bharata’s race.”

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