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Chapter 56

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said,–“When the night having passed away, the dawn came,Santanu’s son Bhishma, that chastiser of foes, gave the order for the(Kuru) army to prepare for battle. And the son of Santanu, the old Kurugrandsire, desirous of victory to thy sons, formed that mighty arrayknown after the name of Garuda. And on the beak of that Garuda was thysire Devavrata himself. And its two eyes were Bharadwaja’s son andKritavarman of Satwata’s race. And those renowned warriors, Aswatthamanand Kripa, supported by the Trigartas, the Matsyas, the Kekayas, and theVatadhanas, were in its head. And Bhurisravas and Sala, and Salya andBhagadatta, O sire, and the Madrakas, the Sindhu-Souviras, and they thatwere called the Pancha-nodas, together with Jayadratha, were placed onits neck. And on its back was king Duryodhana with all his followers. AndVinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and the Kamvojas with the Sakas, and theSurasenas, O sire, formed its tail, O great king. And the Magadhas andthe Kalingas, with all the tribes of the Daserakas, accoutred in mail,formed the right wing of that array. And the Karushas, the Vikunjas, theMundas, and the Kaundivrishas, with Vrithadvala, were stationed on theleft wing. Then that chastiser of foes, Savyasachin, beholding the hostdisposed in battle-array, aided by Dhrishtadyumna, disposed his troops incounter-array. And in opposition to that array of thine, the son of Panduformed fierce array after the form of the half-moon. And stationed on theright horn, Bhimasena shone surrounded by kings of diverse countriesabundantly armed with various weapons. Next to him were those mightycar-warriors Virata and Drupada; and next to them was Nila armed withenvenomed weapons. And next to Nila was the mighty car-warriorDhrishtaketu, surrounded by the Chedis, the Kasis, the Karushas, and thePauravas. And Dhrishtadyumna, and Sikhandin, with the Panchalas and thePrabhadrakas, and supported by other troops, were stationed in themiddle, O Bharata, for battle. And thither also was king Yudhishthira thejust, surrounded by his elephant division. And next to him were Satyaki,O king, and the five sons of Draupadi. And immediately next to them wasIravan. And next to him were Bhimasena’s son (Ghatotkacha) and thosemighty car-warriors, the Kekayas. And next, on the left horn (of thatarray), was that best of men, viz., he who had for his protector,Janardana–that protector of the whole Universe. It was thus that thePandavas formed their mighty counter-array for the destruction of thysons and of those who had sided with them. Then commenced the battlebetween thy troops and those of the foe striking one another, and inwhich cars and elephants mingled in the clash of combat. Large numbers ofelephants and crowds of cars were seen everywhere, O king, to rushtowards one another for purposes of slaughter. And the rattle ofinnumerable cars rushing (to join the fray), or engaged separately raiseda loud uproar, mingling with the beat of drums. And the shouts of theheroic combatants belonging to thy army and theirs, O Bharata, slayingone another in that fierce encounter, reached the very heavens.”

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