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Chapter 84

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Dhritarashtra said, “Many and wonderful, O Sanjaya, were the singlecombats I hear thee speak of between the Pandavas and my warriors. Thouspeakest not, however, O Sanjaya, of any one of my side having beencheerful (on such occasions). Thou always speakest of the sons of Panduas cheerful and never routed, O Suta and thou speakest of mine ascheerless, deprived of energy, and constantly vanquished in battle. Allthis, without doubt, is Destiny.”

Sanjaya said, “Thy men, O bull of Bharata’s race, exert themselvesaccording to the measure of their might and courage, and display theirvalour to the utmost extent of their strength. As contact with theproperties of the ocean make the sweet waters of the celestial streamGanga brakish, so the valour, O king, of the illustrious warriors of thyarmy coming in contact with the heroic sons of Pandu in battle, becomethfutile. Exerting themselves according to their might, and achieving themost difficult feats, thou shouldst not, O chief of the Kurus, find faultwith thy troops. O monarch, this great and awful destruction of theworld, swelling the (population of the) domains of Yama, hath arisen fromthy misconduct and that of thy sons. It behoveth thee not, O king, togrieve for what hath arisen from thy own fault. Kings do not always inthis world protect their lives. These rulers of Earth, desirous ofwinning by battle the regions of the righteous, daily fight, penetratinginto (hostile) divisions, with heaven only for their aim.

“On the forenoon of that day, O king, great was the carnage that ensued,resembling what occurred in the battle between the gods and the Asuras(of old). Listen to it, O monarch, with undivided attention. The twoprinces of Avanti, those great bowmen endued with exceeding might, thoseexcellent warriors fierce in battle, beholding Iravat, advanced againsthim. The battle that took place between them was fierce, making the hairstand on end. Then Iravat, excited with rage, quickly pierced those twobrothers of celestial forms with many sharp and straight shafts. Thosetwo, however, conversant with all modes of warfare, pierced him in returnin that battle. Struggling their best to slaughter the foe, and desirousof counteracting each other’s feats, no distinction, O king, could beobserved between them as they fought. Iravat then, O monarch, with fourshafts, despatched the four steeds of Anuvinda to the abode of Yama. Andwith a couple of sharp, broad-headed shafts, O sire, he cut off the bowand standard also of Anuvinda. And this feat, O king, seemed highlywonderful. Then Anuvinda, leaving his own car, mounted on the car ofVinda. Taking up an excellent and strong bow capable of bearing a greatstrain, Anuvinda, as also his brother Vinda, those foremost ofcar-warriors hailing from Avanti, both stationed on the same car, quicklyshot many shafts at the high-souled Iravat. Shot by them, those shafts ofgreat impetuosity decked with gold, while coursing through the air,covered the welkin.[414] Then Iravat, excited with rage, showered onthose mighty car-warriors, those two brothers (of Avanti) his arrowydown-pours, and felled their charioteer. When the charioteer, deprived oflife, fell down on the ground, the horses, no longer restrained, ran awaywith car. Having vanquished those two warriors, that daughter’s son ofthe king of the Nagas, displaying his prowess, then began to consume withgreat activity thy ranks. Then that mighty Dhartarashtra host, while thusslaughtered in battle, began to reel in many directions like a person whohath drunk poison.

“That prince of Rakshasa, the mighty son of Hidimva, on his car of solareffulgence furnished with a standard, rushed against Bhagadatta. Theruler of the Pragjyotishas was stationed on his prince of elephants likethe wielder of the thunder-bolt in days of old in the battle occasionedby the ravishment of Taraka. The gods, the Gandharvas, and the Rishis hadall come there. They could not, however, notice any distinction betweenHidimva’s son and Bhagadatta. As the chief of the celestials, excitedwith wrath, had inspired the Danavas with fear, so did Bhagadatta, Oking, frightened the Pandava warriors. And the warriors of the Pandavaarmy, frightened by him on all sides, failed, O Bharata, to find amongtheir ranks any protector. We beheld however, O Bharata, the son ofBhimasena there, on his car. The other mighty car-warriors fled away withcheerless hearts. When, however, O Bharata, he troops of the Pandavasrallied, in the battle that then ensued an awful uproar arose among thytroops. Then Ghatotkatcha, O king, in that dreadful battle, coveredBhagadatta with his arrows like the clouds pouring rain on the breast ofMeru. Baffling all those arrows shot from the Rakshasa’s bow, the kingquickly struck the son of Bhimasena in all his vital limbs. That princeof the Rakshasa, however, though struck with innumerable straight shafts,wavered not at all (but stood still) like a mountain pierced (withshafts). Then the ruler of the Pragjyotishas, excited with wrath, hurledin that combat fourteen lances, all of which, however, were cut off bythe Rakshasa. Cutting off by means of his sharp shafts those lances, themighty-armed Rakshasa pierced Bhagadatta with seventy shafts, eachresembling the thunder-bolt in force. Then the ruler of thePragjyotishas, laughing the while, O Bharata, despatched in that combatthe four steeds of the Rakshasa to Death’s domain. The prince of theRakshasas, however, of great valour, staying on that car whose steeds hadbeen slain, hurled with great force a dart at the elephant of the rulerof the Pragjyotishas. King Bhagadatta then cut off that swift dartfurnished with a staff of gold and coursing impetuously towards him intothree fragments, and thereupon it fell down on the ground. Beholding hisdart cut off, the son of Hidimva fled from fear like Namuchi, thatforemost of the Daityas, in days of old, from battle with Indra. Havingvanquished in battle that hero of great valour and renowned prowess, who,O king, cannot be vanquished in battle by Yama himself or Varuna, kingBhagadatta with his elephant began to crush down the troops of thePandavas like a wild elephant. O king, crushing as he treads thelotus-stalks (in a lake).

“The ruler of the Madras engaged in battle with his sister’s sons, thetwins. And the overwhelmed those sons of Pandu with clouds of arrows.Then Sahadeva, beholding his maternal uncle, engaged in battle (withhim), covered him with arrows like the clouds covering the maker of day.Covered with those clouds of arrows, the ruler of the Madras wore adelighted expression, and the twins also felt great delight for the sakeof their mother.[415] Then Salya, that mighty car-warrior, smitingeffectively in that battle, despatched with four excellent shafts, Oking, the four steeds of Nakula to the abode of Yama. Nakula then, thatmighty car-warrior, quickly jumping down from that car whose steeds hadbeen slain, mounted upon the vehicle of his renowned brother. Stationedthen on the same car, those two heroes, both fierce in battle, and bothexcited with rage, began to shroud the car of the ruler of Madras, (withheir arrows), drawing their bows with great strength. But that tigeramong men, though thus covered by his sister’s sons with innumerablestraight arrows shook not in the least (but stood immovable) like a hill.Laughing the while, he smote them (in return) with showers of arrows.Then Sahadeva of great prowess, O Bharata, excited with wrath, took up a(powerful) shaft, and rushing at the ruler of the Madras, shot it athim[416]. That shaft endued with the impetuosity of Garuda himself, shotby him, pierced the ruler of the Madras through, and fell on the earth.Thereupon that mighty car-warrior, deeply pierced and greatly pained, satdown. O king, on the terrace of his car, and went into a swoon. Beholdinghim (thus) afflicted by the twins, deprived of consciousness, andprostrated (on his car), his charioteer bore him away on his vehicle overthe field. Seeing the car of the ruler of the Madras retreating (frombattle) the Dhartarashtras all became cheerless and thought it was allover with him.[417] Then those mighty car-warriors, viz., the two sons ofMadri, having vanquished in battle their maternal uncle, cheerfully blewtheir conches and uttered leonine roars. And then they rushed joyfully, Oking, towards thy forces like the gods Indra and Upendra, O monarch,towards the Daitya host.”

Chapter 85
Chapter 83
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