Chapter 69

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “After the night had passed away and the sun had risen, thetwo armies, O king, approached each other for battle. Beholding eachother, each rushed in united ranks towards the other excited with rageand desirous of vanquishing the other. And in consequence of thy evilpolicy, O king, the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras thus rushed, cased inmail and forming battle-array, for striking each other. And the arraythat Bhishma protected from all sides, O king, was of the shape of aMakara.[391] And so the Pandavas also, O king, protected the array theyhad formed (of their troops). Then thy sire Devavrata, O great king, thatforemost of car-warriors, proceeded in advance, supported by a largedivision of cars. And others, viz., car-warriors, infantry, elephants,and cavalry, all followed him, each stationed in the place allotted. Andbeholding them prepared for battle, the illustrious sons of Pandu arrayedtheir troops in that invincible and prince of arrays called theSyena.[392] And in the beak of that array shone Bhimasena of greatstrength. And in its two eyes were the invincible Sikhandin andDhrishtadyumna of Prishata’s race. And in the head was the heroic Satyakiof prowess incapable of being baffled. And in its neck was Arjuna shakinghis Gandiva. And in its left wing was the high-souled and blessed Drupadawith his son and supported by an akshauhini of all forces. And the kingof the Kekayas, owning an akshauhini, formed the right wing (of thatarray). And in its back were the sons of Draupadi, and Subhadra’s son ofgreat prowess. And in its tail was the heroic king Yudhishthira himself,of excellent prowess, supported by his twin brothers. Then in the battle(that ensued). Bhima, penetrating the Makara array (of the Kauravas)through its mouth, and approaching Bhishma, covered him with his shafts.Then in that great battle, Bhishma possessed of great prowess shot hismighty weapons, confounding the combatants of the Pandavas disposed inbattle-array. And when the combatants (of the Pandava army) were thusconfounded, Dhananjaya, speedily proceeding, pierced Bhishma at the vanof battle with a thousand arrows. And counteracting, in that conflict,the weapons shot by Bhishma, Arjuna stood ready for the combat, supportedby his own division filled with cheerfulness.[393] Then king Duryodhana,that foremost of mighty men, that great car-warrior, beholding thatterrible carnage of his troops and remembering the slaughter of hisbrothers (on the previous day), came quickly towards Bharadwaja’s son,and addressing him, said, ‘O preceptor, O sinless one, thou art ever mywell-wisher,–Relying on thee as also on the grandsire Bhishma,ourselves, hope to vanquish without doubt the very gods in battle, letalone the sons of Pandu that are destitute of energy and prowess. Blessedbe thou, act in such away that the Pandavas may be slain. Thus addressedin battle by thy son, Drona penetrated into the Pandava array in the verysight of Satyaki. Then O Bharata, Satyaki checked the son of Bharadwaja,(and thereupon) ensued a battle that was fierce in its incidents andawful to behold. Then Bharadwaja’s son excited with rage and endued withgreat prowess, as if smiling the while, pierced the grandson of Sini withten shafts at his shoulder-joint. And Bhimasena also, excited with rage,pierced Bharadwaja’s son (with many shafts), desirous of protectingSatyaki, O king, from Drona that foremost of all warriors. Then Drona andBhishma, and Salya also, O sire, excited with rage, covered Bhimasena, inthat battle, with their shafts. Thereupon Abhimanyu excited with wrath,and the sons of Draupadi, O sire, pierced with their sharp-pointed shaftsall those warriors with upraised weapons. Then in that fierce battle, thegreat bowman Sikhandin rushed against those two mighty warriors, viz.,Bhishma and Drona who, excited with rage, had (thus) fallen upon thePandavas. Firmly grasping his bow whose twang resembled the roar of theclouds, that hero, shrouding the very Sun with his arrows, quicklycovered his antagonists therewith. The grandsire of the Bharatas,however, getting Sikhandin before him, avoided him, remembering thefemininity of his sex. Then, O king, urged by thy son, Drona rushed tobattle, desirous of protecting Bhishma in that stress. Sikhandin,however, approaching Drona that foremost of all wielders of weapons,avoided, from fear, that warrior resembling the blazing fire that appearsat the end of the Yuga. Then, O king, thy son with a large force,desirous of winning great glory, proceeded to protect Bhishma. And thePandavas also proceeded, O king, firmly setting their hearts uponvictory, and the battle then that took place between the combatants ofboth armies desirous of victory and fame, was fierce and highlywonderful, resembling that (in days of yore) between the gods and Danavas.

Chapter 70
Chapter 68
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