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Chapter 72

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “Sikhandin with Virata king of the Matsyas speedilyapproached Bhishma that invincible and mighty bowman. And Dhananjayaencountered Drona and Kripa, and Vikarna and many other kings, brave inbattle, all mighty bowmen endued with great strength, as also that mightybowman the ruler of the Sindhus supported by his friends and kinsmen andmany kings of the west and the south also, O bull of Bharata’s race. AndBhimasena proceeded against that mighty bowman, viz., thy vindictive sonDuryodhana, and also against Dussaha. And Sahadeva proceeded againstthose invincible warriors, viz., Sakuni and that mighty car-warriorUluka, those great bowmen, who were sire and son. And that mightycar-warrior Yudhishthira, deceitfully treated by thy son, proceeded inthat battle, O king, against the elephant division (of the Kauravas). Andthat son of Pandu and Madri, viz., the heroic Nakula capable of wringingtears from the foe, engaged in battle with the excellent car-warriors ofthe Trigartas. And those invincible warriors, viz., Satyaki andChekitana, and the mighty son of Subhadra, proceeded against Salya andthe Kaikeyas. And Dhrishtaketu and the Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, bothinvincible in battle, proceeded against the car-division of thy sons. Andthat mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, that generalissimo (of thePandava forces) of immeasurable soul, engaged in battle, O king, withDrona of fierce achievements. And it was thus that those heroic andmighty bowmen of thy army and the Pandavas, engaged in battle, began tostrike one another. And when the sun had reached the meridian and the skywas brilliantly illumined by his rays, the Kauravas and the Pandavasbegan to slay one another. Then cars, furnished with standards from whosetops pennons were afloat, variegated with gold and covered withtiger-skins, looked beautiful as they moved on the field of battle. Andthe shouts of warriors engaged in battle from desire of vanquishing oneanother, became as loud as leonine roars. And that encounter which webeheld between the heroic Srinjayas and the Kurus, was fierce in theextreme and highly wonderful. And in consequence of the arrows shot allaround, we could not, O king, distinguish, O chastiser of foes, thefirmament, the sun and the cardinal and the subsidiary points of thecompass. And the splendour, like that of the blue lotus, of darts withpolished points, of bearded lances hurled (at the foe), of well-temperedsabres and scimitars, of variegated coats of mail and of the ornaments(on the persons of the warriors), illumined the welkin and the cardinaland the subsidiary points with its effulgence. And the field of battle inmany places, O king, shone in consequence of the bodies of monarchs whoseeffulgence resembled that of the moon and the sun. And bravecar-warriors, tigers among men shone in that battle, O king, like theplanets in the firmament. And Bhishma, that foremost of car-warriors,excited with rage, checked the mighty Bhimasena in the very sight of thetroops. And the impetuous shafts shot by Bhishma, furnished with goldenwings, and whetted on stone, and rubbed with oil pierced Bhima in thatbattle. Then Bhimasena endued with great strength hurled at him, OBharata, a dart of fierce impetuosity that resembled a wrathful snake.But Bhishma in that combat cut off with straight shafts that dart withstaff made of gold and difficult of being borne, as it coursedimpetuously towards him. And with another broad-headed shaft, sharp andwell-tempered, he cut off Bhimasena’s bow, O Bharata, into two parts.Then, O king, in that battle, Satyaki, coming quickly towards Bhishma,pierced thy sire with innumerable keen-edged and sharp-pointed shafts offierce impetuosity shot from his bowstring drawn to the ear. ThenBhishma, aiming an exceedingly fierce shaft, felled the charioteer of theVrishni hero from his box in the car. And when the charioteer ofSatyaki’s car was thus slain, his steeds, O king, bolted away. Enduedwith the speed of the tempest or the mind, they ran wild over the field.Then cries were uttered by the whole army which became a loud uproar. Andexclamation of oh and alas arose from the high-souled warriors of thePandava army. And those cries-said–Run, seize, check the horses, go inhaste. And this uproar followed Yuyudhana’s car. Meanwhile, Bhishma theson of Santanu began to slay the Pandava forces like Indra slaying theDanavas. But the Panchalas and the Somakas, though slain by Bhishma thus,forming yet a laudable resolution, rushed towards Bhishma. And otherwarriors of the Pandava army, headed by Dhrishtadyumna, and desirous ofslaughtering the ranks of thy son, rushed towards Santanu’s son in thatbattle. And so also, O king, the warriors of thy army, headed by Bhishmaand Drona, impetuously rushed towards their foes. And thereupon anotherbattle took place.”

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