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Chapter 74

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “Then, O king, the mighty-armed Satyaki invincible inbattle, drawing in that conflict an excellent bow capable of bearing agreat strain shot innumerable winged arrows resembling snakes of virulentpoison, displaying his wonderful lightness of hand. And while slaying hisfoes in battle, so quickly did he draw the bow, take out his arrows, fixthem on the bowstring, and letting them off throw them among the foe,that he then seemed to be a mass of clouds pouring a thick shower ofrain. Beholding him then thus blazing up (like a swelling fire), kingDuryodhana, O Bharata, despatched ten thousand cars against him. But thatgreat bowman, Satyaki, of prowess incapable of being baffled andpossessed of great energy, slew with his celestial weapons all thosemighty car-warriors. Having achieved, bow in hand, that fierce feat, thathero then approached Bhurisravas in battle. And Bhurisravas also, thatenhancer of the fame of the Kurus, beholding the Dhartarashtra ranks thusfelled by Yuyudhana, rushed in wrath against the latter.[400] Drawing hisgreat bow which resembled that of Indra himself in hue, he shot thousandsof shafts, O monarch, looking like snakes of virulent poison andpossessed of the strength of the thunder, displaying his extremelightness of hand. Thereupon the combatants that followed Satyaki, unableto bear those shafts of fatal touch, fled away, O king, in alldirections, abandoning, O monarch, the invincible Satyaki in thatconflict. Beholding this, the mighty sons of Yuyudhana, all mightycar-warriors of great renown, cased in excellent mail, bearing diversearms, and possessing excellent standards, approaching that great bowman,viz., Bhurisravas, in battle, wrathfully addressed that warrior bearingon his standard the device of a sacrificial stake, and said these words,’Listen, O kinsman of the Kauravas, O thou that art possessed of greatstrength, come, fight in battle with us, i.e., with either all of usjointly or with each of us separately. Vanquishing us in battle thoumayst win great renown, or ourselves, vanquishing thee, will have greatgratification.’ Thus addressed by them, that mighty hero endued withgreat strength and proud of his prowess, that foremost of men, beholdingthem before him, replied unto them, saying, ‘Ye heroes, ye have saidwell. If such be now your wish, fight ye then all together with care. Ishall slay all of you in battle.’ Thus addressed by him, those heroic andmighty bowmen endued with great activity covered that chastiser of foeswith a thick shower of arrows. And it was towards the afternoon, O king,that that dreadful battle took place between Bhurisravas alone on oneside and the many united together on the other. And those ten heroescovered that single mighty car-warrior with showers of arrows like theclouds showering rain on a mountain cliff in the season of rains. Thatmighty car-warrior, however, cut off, those clouds of shafts shot by themresembling the fatal darts of Death or the very thunder in effulgence,before they could reach him.[401] They then, surrounding thatmighty-armed warrior, endeavoured to slay him. But the son of Somadatta,excited with rage, cut off their bows, O Bharata, and then their heads,with sharp shafts. Thus slain, they fell down, O monarch, like mightytrees felled by the thunder.[402] Beholding then his mighty sons thusslain in battle, the Vrishni hero (Satyaki), O king, uttering a loudroar, rushed against Bhurisravas. And those mighty warriors then eachpressed his car against the other. And each of them in that combat slewthe other’s car-steeds. And both deprived of their cars, those mightywarriors jumped down on the ground. And both taking up large scimitarsand excellent shields encountered each other. And those tigers among men,stationed for the encounter, shone brightly. Then Bhimasena, O king,quickly coming up to Satyaki thus armed with an excellent scimitar, tookhim up on his own car. And thy son also, O monarch, speedily took upBhurisravas on his car, in that battle, at the very sight of all thebowmen.

“Meanwhile, during the continuance of that battle, the Pandavas, O bullof Bharata’s race, excited with wrath, fought with that mightycar-warrior Bhishma. And when the sun assumed a red hue, Dhananjayaexerting himself actively, slew five and twenty thousand greatcar-warriors. These, urged on by Duryodhana for slaying Partha, were thuscompletely destroyed before they could even come up to him, like insectson a blazing fire. Then the Matsyas and the Kekayas, all accomplished inthe science of arms, surrounded that mighty car-warrior Partha as alsohis son (for supporting them). Just at that time the sun disappeared, andall the combatants seemed to be deprived of their senses. Then attwilight, O king, thy sire Devavrata, his animals having been tired,caused the troops to be withdrawn. And the troops of both the Pandavasand the Kurus, filled with fear and anxiety in course of that dreadfulencounter, proceeded to their respective camps, the Pandavas with theSrinjayas and the Kauravas also rested for the night agreeably to therules (of military science).”

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