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Chapter 102

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra, said, ‘Describe to me, O Sanjaya, the diverse kinds ofstandards resplendent with great beauty, of both the Partha and ourwarriors (in that battle).’

“Sanjaya said, ‘Hear, O king, of the diverse kinds of standards of thosehigh-souled warriors. Listen to me as I describe their forms and names.Indeed, O king, upon the cars of those foremost of car-warriors were seendiverse kinds of standards that shone like blazing flames of fire. Madeof gold, or decked with gold, or adorned with strings of gold and eachlooking like the golden mountain (Meru), diverse kinds of standards werethere that were highly beautiful. And those standards of the warriors hadattached all around them excellent banners. Indeed, having banners ofdiverse hues attached to them all around, those standards lookedexceedingly beautiful. Those banners, again, moved by the wind, lookedlike fair ladies dancing in the midst of a sporting arena. Endued withthe splendour of the rainbow, those banners, O bull of Bharata’s race, ofthose car-warriors, floating in the breeze, highly adorned their cars.The standard, bearing the sign of the ape of fierce face and tail, likethat of the lion, belonging to Dhananjaya, seemed to inspire fear in thatbattle. That standard, O king of the wielder of Gandiva, bearing thatforemost of apes, and adorned with many banners, frightened the Kuruhost. Similarly, the lion-tail standard-top of Drona’s son, O Bharata, wesaw, was endued with the effulgence of the rising sun Decked with gold,floating in the breeze, possessed of the splendour of the rainbow, thestandard mark of Drona’s son appeared on high, inspiring the foremost ofKuru warriors with joy. The standard of Adhiratha’s son bore the mark ofan elephant-rope made of gold. It seemed, O king, in battle to fill thewhole welkin. The banner, adorned with gold and garlands, attached to thestandard of Karna in battle, shaken by the wind, seemed to dance upon hiscar. The preceptor of the Pandavas, that Brahmana, given to asceticpenances, viz., Kripa the son of Gotama, had for his mark an excellentbovine bull. That high-souled one, O king, with that bovine bull, lookedas resplendent, as the Destroyer of the three cities[147] looksresplendent with his bull. Vrishasena has a peacock made of gold andadorned with jewels and gems. And it stood on his standard, as if in theact of crowing, and always adorned the wan of the army. With thatpeacock, the car of the high-souled Vrishasena shone, like the car, Oking, of Skanda (the celestial generalissimo) shining ‘with his peacockunrivalled and beautiful ploughshare made of gold and looking like flameof fire. That ploughshare, O sire, looked resplendent on his car. Salya,the ruler of the Madras, we saw, had on his standard-top an image likethe presiding goddess of corn, endued with beauty and producing everyseed. A silver boar adorned the standard-top of the ruler of the Sindhus.Decked with golden chains, it was of the splendour of a whitecrystal.[148] With that silver mark on his barrier, the ruler of theSindhus looked as resplendent, as Surya in days of yore in the battlebetween the celestials and the Asuras. The standard of Somadatta’s son,devoted to sacrifices, bore the sign of the sacrificial stake. It wasseen to shine like the sun or the moon. That sacrificial stake made ofgold, O king of Somadatta’s son, looked resplendent like the tall stakeerected in the foremost of sacrifices called the Rajasuya. The standardof Salya, O monarch, bearing a huge silver-elephant was adorned, on allsides, with peacocks made of gold. The standard, O bull of Bharata’srace, adorned thy troops like the huge white elephant adorning the hostof the celestial king. On the standard decked with gold, of kingDuryodhana, was an elephant adorned with gems. Tinkling with the sound ofa hundred bells, O king, that standard stood upon the excellent car ofthat hero. And, O king, thy son, that bull among the Kurus, lookedresplendent, O monarch, with that tall standard in battle. These nineexcellent standards stood erect among thy divisions. The tenth standardseen there was of Arjuna, decked with that huge ape. And with thatstandard Arjuna looked highly resplendent, like Himavat with a blazingfire (on its top). Then many mighty car-warriors, all chastisers of foes,quickly took up their beautiful, bright and large bows for the sake of(resisting) Arjuna. Similarly, Partha also, that achiever of celestialfeats, took up his foe-destroying bow Gandiva, in consequence, O king, ofthy evil policy. Many royal warriors, O king, were then slain in thatbattle owing to thy fault. Rulers of men came from different realmsinvited (by thy sons). And with them perished many steeds and manyelephants. Then those mighty car-warriors headed by Duryodhana (on oneside) and that bull amongst the Pandavas on the other, uttered loud roarsand began the encounter. And the feat that Kunti’s son, having Krishnafor his charioteer, achieved there, was highly wonderful, inasmuch as,alone, he encountered fearlessly all those warriors united together. Andthat mighty-armed hero looked resplendent as he stretched his bowGandiva, desirous of vanquishing all those tigers among men for slayingthe ruler of the Sindhus. With his shafts shot in thousands, that tigeramong men, viz., Arjuna, that scorcher of foes, made all those warriorsinvisible (by means of his arrowy showers). On their side, those tigersamong men, those mighty car-warriors, also made Partha invisible by meansof their clouds of shafts shot from all sides. Beholding Arjuna, thatbull of Kuru’s race covered by those lions among men with their shafts,loud was the uproar made by thy troops.’

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