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Chapter 64

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “Then, O king, Bhurisravas, excited with great wrath,pierced Satyaki with nine arrows like the conductor of an elephantpiercing an elephant with the iron hook. Satyaki also, of immeasurablesoul, in the very sight of all the troops, pierced the Kaurava warriorwith nine shafts. Then king Duryodhana, accompanied by his uterinebrothers, surrounded Somadatta’s son thus striving in battle. Similarlythe Pandavas also, of great energy, quickly surrounding Satyaki in thatbattle took up their positions around him. And Bhimasena, excited withwrath, and with mace upraised, O Bharata, encountered all thy sons headedby Duryodhana. With many thousands of cars, and excited with wrath andvindictiveness, thy son Nandaka pierced Bhimasena of great might withkeen-edged and sharp-pointed shafts whetted on stone and winged with thefeathers of the kanka bird. Then Duryodhana, O king, in that greatbattle, excited with wrath, struck Bhimasena in the breast with nineshafts. Then the mighty-armed Bhima of great strength mounted on his ownexcellent car and addressing (his charioteer) Visoka, said, ‘These heroicand mighty sons of Dhritarashtra, all great car-warriors, are exceedinglyangry with me and desirous of slaying me in battle. I will slay all thesetoday in thy sight, without doubt. Therefore, O charioteer, guide mysteed in battle with care.’ Having said this, O monarch, Pritha’s sonpierced thy son with sharp-pointed arrows decked with gold. And hepierced Nandaka in return with three arrows between his two breasts. ThenDuryodhana having pierced the mighty Bhima with six arrows pierced Visokain return with three other sharp arrows. And Duryodhana, O king, as ifsmiling the while, with three other sharp arrows cut off at the grasp theresplendent bow of Bhima in that battle. Bhima then, that bull among men,beholding his charioteer Visoka afflicted, in that conflict, with sharpshafts by thy son armed with the bow, and unable to bear it, drew anotherexcellent bow, excited with wrath, for the destruction of thy son, Omonarch. And excited with great wrath, he also took up an arrow withhorse-shoe head and furnished with excellent wings. And with that (arrow)Bhima cut off the excellent bow of the king. Then thy son, excited to thehighest pitch of fury, leaving that broken bow aside, speedily took upanother that was tougher. And aiming a terrible shaft blazing as Death’srod, the Kuru king, excited with rage struck Bhimasena between his twobreasts. Deeply pierced therewith, and greatly pained, he sat down on theterrace of his car. And while seated on the terrace of his car, heswooned away. Beholding Bhima thus unmanned, the illustrious and mightycar-warriors of the Pandava army, headed by Abhimanyu could not bear it.And those warriors then, with great steadiness, showered on thy sons’head a thick down-pour of fierce shafts. Then the mighty Bhimasena,regaining consciousness, pierced Duryodhana at first with those shaftsand then with five. And that mighty bowman the son of Pandu then piercedSalya with five and twenty shafts furnished with golden wings. Andpierced therewith, Salya was borne away from the battle. Then thyfourteen sons, viz., Senapati, Sushena, Jalasandha, Sulochana, Ugra,Bhimaratha, Bhima, Viravahu, Aolupa, Durmukha, Dushpradarsha, Vivitsu,Vikata, and Sama, then encountered Bhimasena in battle. United togetherthey rushed against Bhimasena, and with eyes red in wrath, showeringcountless arrows, they pierced him deeply. Then the heroic and mightyBhimasena of strong arms, beholding thy sons, licking the corners of hismouth like a wolf in the midst of smaller creatures, fell upon them withthe impetuosity of Garuda. And the son of Pandu then cut off the head ofSenapati with a shaft having a horse-shoe head. And with delighted souland laughing the while, that mighty-armed warrior, piercing Jalasandhawith three arrows, despatched him to Yama’s abode. And next, smitingSushena, he sent him to the presence of Death’s self. And with a singlebroad-headed shaft he felled on the ground the head, handsome as themoon, of Ugra, decked with turban and adorned with ear-rings. And in thatbattle, Pandu’s son Bhima, with seventy shafts, despatched Viravahu tothe other world with his steeds and standard and charioteer. And smilingthe while, O king, Bhimasena quickly despatched both the brothers Bhimaand Bhimaratha also to Yama’s abode. And then in that great battle in thevery sight of all the troops, with an arrow of horse-shoe head Bhimadespatched Sulochana also to Death’s domain. Then the rest of thy sonsthat were there, O king, beholding the prowess of Bhimasena and whilethus being struck by that illustrious warrior, all fled from battle fromfear of Bhima. Then Santanu’s son, addressing all the mighty car-warriors(of his army) said, ‘That fierce bowman, Bhima, excited with wrath inbattle, is slaying the mighty sons of Dhritarashtra and other heroiccar-warriors united together, whatever their knowledge of weapons, andwhatever their bravery. Therefore, seize ye all that son of Pandu’. Thusaddressed, all the troops of the Dhritarashtra army, excited with rage,rushed towards Bhimasena endued with great might, And Bhagadatta, O king,on his elephant of rent temples, suddenly rushed thither where Bhimasenawas stationed. And thither to the combat, he shrouded Bhima with hisshafts whetted on stone so as to make him completely invisible, like theclouds covering the sun. Those mighty car-warriors, however, (of thePandava army), relying on the prowess of their own arms, could not bearthat shrouding of Bhima (with the arrowy showers of Bhagadatta). They,therefore, surrounding Bhagadatta on all sides, poured on him theirarrowy down-pours. And they pierced his elephant also with showers ofshafts. And struck by all those mighty car-warriors with showers offierce shafts of diverse kinds that elephant, O king, of the ruler of thePragjyotishas with blood trickling down his body, became beautiful tobehold on the field of battle like a mass of clouds tinged with the raysof the sun. And that elephant with temporal juice trickling down urged byBhagadatta, like the Destroyer, ran with double his former speed, shakingthe very earth with his tread. Then all those mighty car-warriors,beholding that terrible mien of the animal, and regarding itirresistible, became cheerless. Then king Bhagadatta, that tiger amongmen, excited with rage, struck Bhimasena between his two breasts with astraight shaft. Deeply pierced by the king with that shaft, that greatbowman and mighty car-warrior, with limbs deprived of sensation inconsequence of a swoon, sat down on his car, holding his flagstaff. Andbeholding those mighty car-warriors terrified and Bhimasena in a swoon,Bhagadatta of great prowess uttered a loud roar. Then, O king, thatterrible Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, beholding Bhima in that state, becameexcited with rage and there and then disappeared from the view. Andcreating a terrible illusion enhancing the fears of the timid, hereappeared in a moment assuming a fierce form. Himself riding on anAiravata created by his powers of illusion, the other Dik-elephants,viz., Anjana, Vamana, and Mahapadma of blazing glory, followed him. Andthose three mighty elephants, ridden by Rakshasas, were of huge form,with juice profusely trickling down in three lines, and endued with greatspeed and prowess. Then Ghatotkacha urged his own elephant to battle,desirous, O chastiser of foes, of slaying Bhagadatta with his elephant.And those other elephants, excited with fury and each endued with fourtusks, urged by Rakshasas of great strength, fell from all sides uponBhagadatta’s elephant and afflicted him with their tusks. And theelephant of Bhagadatta, thus afflicted by those elephants, (already)struck with arrows and feeling great pain, uttered loud cries thatresembled the thunder of Indra. And hearing those terrible and loud criesof that roaring elephant, Bhishma, addressing Drona, Suyodhana and allthe kings, said, ‘The mighty bowman Bhagadatta is battling with thewicked-souled son of Hidimva, and hath fallen into great distress. ThatRakshasa is of huge form, and the king also is very wrathful. Engaged inbattle, they would certainly prove each other’s death. Loud shouts werealso heard of the rejoicing Pandavas, and the cries of agony of (kingBhagadatta’s) terrified elephant. Blessed be ye, let us all go there forrescuing the king, for, if left unprotected, in battle, he will soon giveup his life. Ye warriors of great energy, do, as I bid, even now. Yesinless ones, make no delay. The combat deepens and becometh fierce,making the hair to stand on end. That commander of a division ishigh-born, endued with great bravery, and devoted to us. Ye warriors ofunfading glory, it is meet that his rescue should be effected by us.’Hearing these words of Bhishma, all the kings (of the Kuru army), headedby Bharadwaja’s son, desirous of rescuing Bhagadatta, proceeded withgreat speed to where the ruler of the Pragjyotishas was. And beholdingthe enemy advancing, the Panchalas with the Pandavas, headed byYudhishthira, pursued them behind. Then that prince of Rakshasas, enduedwith great prowess, beholding that division (of the enemy) advance,uttered a fierce roar, deep as that of thunder. Hearing that roar of hisand beholding those battling elephants, Santanu’s son Bhishma once againaddressed Bharadwaja’s son and said, ‘I do not like to fight (to-day)with the wicked-souled son of Hidimva. Endued with great might andenergy, he is at present well-supported. He is incapable of beingvanquished now by the wielder of the thunder-bolt himself. Of sureness ofaim, he is a great smiter. As regards ourselves, our animals are tired(today). We have also been greatly mangled by Panchalas and the Pandavas.I do not like fresh encounter with the victorious Pandavas. Let thewithdrawal of our army, therefore, be proclaimed today. Tomorrow we willfight with the foe.’ Hearing these words of the grandsire, the Kauravas,afflicted with the fear of Ghatotkacha, and availing of the advent ofnight as a pretext, gladly did what the grandsire said. And after theKauravas had withdrawn, the Pandavas, crowned with victory utteredleonine roars, mingling them with the blare of conches and the notes ofpipes. Thus did the battle take place that day, O Bharata, between theKurus and the Pandavas headed by Ghatotkacha. And the Kauravas also,vanquished by the Pandavas and overcome with shame, retired to their owntents when night came. And those mighty car-warriors, the sons of Pandu,their bodies mangled with shafts and themselves filled with (the resultof) the battle, proceeded, O king, towards their encampment, withBhimasena and Ghatotkacha, O monarch, at their head. And filled withgreat joy, O king, they worshipped those heroes. And they uttered diversekinds of shouts which were mingled with the notes of trumpets. And thosehigh-souled warriors shouted making the very earth tremble therewith, andgrinding as it were, O sire, the hearts of thy sons. And it was thus thatthose chastisers of foes, when night came, proceeded towards their tents.And king Duryodhana, cheerless at the death of his brothers, passed sometime in thoughtfulness, overcome with grief and tears. Then making allthe arrangements for his camp according to the rules (of militaryscience), he began to pass the hours in meditation, scorched with griefand afflicted with sorrow on account of his (slain) brothers.”

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