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Chapter 95

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

Sanjaya said, “Beholding his own troops slain, king Duryodhana thenexcited with wrath, rushed towards Bhimasena, that chastiser of foes.Taking up a large bow whose effulgence resembled that of Indra’s bolt, hecovered the son of Pandu with a thick shower of arrows. And filled withrage, and aiming a sharp crescent-shaped shaft winged with feathers, hecut off Bhimasena’s bow. And that mighty car-warrior, noticing anopportunity, quickly aimed at his adversary a whetted shaft capable ofriving the very hills. With that (shaft), that mighty-armed (warrior)struck Bhimasena in the chest. Deeply pierced with that arrow, andexceedingly pained, and licking the corners of his mouth, Bhimasena ofgreat energy caught hold of his flag-staff decked with gold. BeholdingBhimasena in that cheerless state, Ghatotkacha blazed up with wrath likean all-consuming conflagration. Then many mighty car-warriors of thePandava army, headed by Abhimanyu and with wrath generated (in theirbosoms), rushed at the king shouting loudly. Beholding them (thus)advancing (to the fight) filled with wrath and in great fury,Bharadwaja’s son addressing the mighty car-warriors (of thy side), saidthese words,–‘Go quickly, blessed be ye, and protect the king. Sinkingin an ocean of distress, he is placed in a situation of great danger.These mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, these great bowmen,placing Bhimasena at their head, are rushing towards Duryodhana, shootingand hurling diverse kinds of weapons, resolved upon winning success,uttering terrible shouts, and frightening the kings (on your side)’.Hearing these words of the preceptor, many warriors of thy side headed bySomadatta rushed upon the Pandava ranks. Kripa and Bhurisravas and Salya,and Drona’s son and Vivingsati, and Chitrasena and Vikarna, and the rulerof the Sindhus, and Vrihadvala, and those two mighty bowmen, viz., thetwo princes of Avanti, surrounded the Kuru king. Advancing only twentysteps, the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras began to strike, desirous ofslaughtering each other. The mighty-armed son of Bharadwaja also, havingsaid those words (unto the Dhartarashtra warriors), stretched his ownlarge bow and pierced Bhima with six and twenty arrows. And once againthat mighty car-warrior speedily covered Bhimasena with a shower ofarrows like a mass of clouds dropping torrents of rain on themountain-breasts in the rainy season. That mighty bowman Bhimasena,however, of great strength, speedily pierced him in return with tenshafts on the left side. Deeply pierced with those arrows and exceedinglypained, O Bharata, the preceptor, enfeebled as he is with age, suddenlysat down on the terrace of his car, deprived of consciousness. Beholdinghim thus pained, king Duryodhana himself, and Aswatthaman also, excitedwith wrath, both rushed towards Bhimasena. Beholding those two warriorsadvance, each like Yama as he shows himself at the end of the Yuga, themighty-armed Bhimasena, quickly taking up a mace, and jumping down fromhis car without loss of time, stood immovable like a hill, with thatheavy mace resembling the very club of Yama, upraised in battle.Beholding him with mace (thus) upraised and looking (on that account)like the crested Kailasa, both the Kuru king and Drona’s son rushedtowards him. Then the mighty Bhimasena himself rushed impetuously atthose two foremost of men thus rushing together towards him with greatspeed. Beholding him thus rushing in fury and with terrible expression offace, many mighty car-warriors of the Kaurava army speedily proceededtowards him. Those car-warriors headed by Bharadwaja’s son, impelled bythe desire of slaughtering Bhimasena, hurled at his breast diverse kindsof weapons, and thus all of them together afflicted Bhima from all sides.Beholding that mighty car-warrior thus afflicted and placed in asituation of great peril, many mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army,headed by Abhimanyu, and prepared to lay down dear life itself, rushed tothe spot, desirous of rescuing him. The heroic ruler of the low country,the dear friend of Bhima, viz., Nila, looking like a mass of blue clouds,rushed at Drona’s son, filled with wrath. A great bowman, Nila alwaysdesired an encounter with Drona’s son. Drawing his large bow, he piercedthe son of Drona with many winged arrows, like Sakra in days of old, Oking, piercing the invincible Danava Viprachitti, that terror of thecelestials, who, moved by anger frightened the three worlds by hisenergy. Pierced after the same way by Nila with his well-shot arrowswinged with feathers, Drona’s son, covered with blood and exceedinglypained, was filled with wrath. Drawing then his large bow, of twang loudas the roar of Indra’s thunder, that foremost of intelligent persons sethis heart upon the destruction of Nila. Aiming then a few bright shaftsof broad heads and sharpened by the hands of their forger, he slew thefour steeds of his adversary and overthrew also his standard. And withthe seventh shaft he pierced Nila himself in the chest. Deeply piercedand exceedingly pained, he sat down on the terrace of his car. Beholdingking Nila, who looked like a mass of blue clouds, in a swoon,Ghatotkacha, filled with wrath and surrounded by his kinsmen, rushedimpetuously towards Drona’s son, that ornament of battle. Similarly manyother Rakshasas, incapable of being easily defeated in battle, rushed atAswatthaman. Beholding then that Rakshasa of terrible mien coming towardshim, the valiant son of Bharadwaja impetuously rushed towards him. Filledwith wrath he slew many Rakshasas of formidable visage, that is, thosewrathful ones amongst them who were in Ghatotkacha’s van. Beholding themrepulsed from the encounter by means of the shafts shot from the bow ofDrona’s son, Bhimasena’s son Ghatotkacha of gigantic size was filled withrage. He then exhibited a fierce and awful illusion. Therewith thatprince of the Rakshasas, endued with extraordinary powers of illusion,confounded the son of Drona in that battle. Then all thy troops, inconsequence of that illusion, turned their backs upon the field. Theybeheld one another cut down and lying prostrate on the surface of theearth, writhing convulsively, perfectly helpless, and bathed in blood.Drona and Duryodhana and Salya and Aswatthaman, and other great bowmenthat were regarded as foremost among the Kauravas, also seemed to flyaway. All the car-warriors seemed to be crushed, and all the kings seemedto be slain. And horses and horse-riders seemed to be cut down inthousands. Beholding all this, thy troops fled away towards their tents.And although, O king, both myself and Devavrata cried out at the top ofour voices, saying, ‘Fight, do not fly away, all this is Rakshasaillusion in battle, applied by Ghatotkacha.’ Yet they stopped not, theirsenses having been confounded. Although both of us said so, still struckwith panic, they gave no credit to our words. Beholding them fly away thePandavas regarded the victory to be theirs. With Ghatotkacha (among them)they uttered many leonine shouts. And all around they filled the air withtheir shouts mingled with the blare of their conches and the beat oftheir drums. It was thus that thy whole army, routed by the wickedGhatotkacha, towards the hour of sunset, fled away in all directions.'”

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