Chapter 76

Mahabharata English - KARNA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘During the progress of the fierce engagement, Bhima,while fighting along, being encompassed by innumerable foes, addressedhis driver, saying, “Bear me into the midst of the Dhartarashtra host.Proceed, O charioteer, with speed, borne by these steeds. I will despatchall these Dhartarashtras to the presence of Yama.” Thus urged byBhimasena, the charioteer proceeded, quickly and with great impetuosity,against thy son’s host to that spot whence Bhima desired to slaughter it.Then a large number of Kaurava troops, with elephants and cars and horseand foot, advanced against him from all sides. They then, from everyside, began to strike that foremost of vehicles belonging to Bhima, withnumerous arrows. The high-souled Bhima, however, with his own shafts ofgolden wings, cut off all those advancing arrows of his enemies. Thus cutoff into two or three fragments with Bhima’s arrows, those shafts,equipped with golden wings, of his enemies, fell down on the earth. Then,O king, amongst those foremost of Kshatriyas, struck with Bhima’s shafts,the elephants and cars and horse and foot, set up a loud wail, O monarch,that resembled the din made by mountains when riven with thunder. Thusstruck by Bhima, those foremost of Kshatriyas, their limbs pierced withBhima’s powerful shafts, rushed against Bhima in that battle from everyside, like new-fledged birds towards a tree. When thy troops thus rushedagainst him, Bhima of furious impetuosity displayed all his vim likeDestroyer himself armed with a mace when he burns and exterminates allcreatures at the end of the Yuga. Thy soldiers were unable to resist inthat battle that fierce forcible energy of Bhima endued with fierceimpetuosity, like that of the Destroyer himself of wide open mouth whenhe rusheth at the end of the Yuga for exterminating all creatures. Then,O Bharata, like masses of clouds scattered by the tempest the Bharatahost, thus mangled and burnt in that battle by the high-souled Bhima,broke and fled in fear in all directions. Then the mighty Bhimasena ofgreat intelligence once more cheerfully said unto his charioteer,”Ascertain, O Suta, whether those assembled cars and standards that areadvancing towards me, are ours or the enemy’s. Absorbed in battle, I amunable to distinguish them. Let me not shroud our own troops with myshafts. O Visoka, beholding hostile warriors and cars and the tops oftheir standards on all sides, I am greatly afflicted. The king is inpain. The diadem-decked Arjuna also has not yet come. These things, OSuta, fill my heart with sorrow. Even this is my grief, O charioteer,that king Yudhishthira the just should have gone away, leaving me in themidst of the enemy. I do not know whether he, as also Vibhatsu, is aliveor dead. This adds to my sorrow. I shall, however, though filled withgreat grief, destroy those hostile troops of great might. Thusslaughtering in the midst of battle my assembled foes, I shall rejoicewith thee today. Examining all the quivers containing my arrows, tell me,O Suta, ascertaining the matter well, what quantity of arrows is stillleft on my car, that is, how much of what sort.”

“‘Thus commanded, Visoka said, “Of arrows, O hero, thou hast yet 60,000,while thy razor-headed shafts number 10,000, and broad-headed ones numberas much. Of cloth-yard shafts thou hast still 2,000, O hero, and ofPradaras thou hast still, O Partha, 3,000! Indeed, of the weapons, O sonof Pandu, the portion that still remains is not capable of being borne,if placed on carts, by six bullocks. Shoot and hurl them, O learned one,for of maces and swords and other weapons used with the arms alone, thouhast thousands upon thousands, as also lances and scimitars and darts andspears! Never fear that thy weapons will be exhausted.”

“‘Bhima said, “Behold, O Suta, today this awful battle in whicheverything will be shrouded with my impetuous arrows sped fiercely frommy bow and, mangling all my foes, and in consequence of which the verysun will disappear from the field, making the latter resemble the domainsof Death! Today, even this will be known to all the Kshatriyas includingthe very children, O Suta, that Bhimasena hath succumbed in battle orthat, alone, he hath subjugated all the Kurus! Today, let all theKauravas fall in battle or let all the world applaud me, beginning withthe feats of my earliest years. Alone, I will overthrow them all, or letall of them strike Bhimasena down. Let the gods that aid in theachievement of the best acts bless me. Let that slayer of foes Arjunacome here now like Sakra, duly invoked, quickly coming to a sacrifice.Behold, the Bharata host is breaking! Why do those kings fly away? It isevident that Savyasaci, that foremost of men, is quickly shrouding thathost with his shafts. Behold, those standards, O Visoka, and elephantsand steeds and bands of foot-soldiers are flying away. Behold, thesecars, assailed with shafts and darts, with those warriors riding on them,are being scattered, O Suta! Yonder, the Kaurava host, assailed with theshafts, equipped with wings of gold and feathers of peacocks, ofDhananjaya, and resembling thunderbolts in force, though slaughteredextensively, is repeatedly filling its gaps. There, cars and steeds andelephants are flying away, crushing down bands of foot-soldiers. Indeed,all the Kauravas, having lost their sense, are flying away, likeelephants filled with panic at a forest conflagration, and uttering criesof woe. These huge elephants, again, O Visoka, are uttering loud cries,assailed with shafts.”

“‘Visoka said, “How is it, O Bhima, that thou dost not hear the loudtwang of the yawning Gandiva stretched by Partha in wrath? Are these twoears of thine gone? All thy wishes, O son of Pandu, have been fulfilled!Yonder the Ape (on Arjuna’s banner) is seen in the midst of the elephantforce (of the enemy). Behold, the string of Gandiva is flashingrepeatedly like lightning amid blue clouds. Yonder the Ape onDhananjaya’s standard-top is everywhere seen to terrify hostile divisionsin this dreadful battle. Even I, looking at it, am struck with fear.There the beautiful diadem of Arjuna is shining brilliantly. There, theprecious jewel on the diadem, endued with the splendour of the sun,looketh exceedingly resplendent. There, beside him, behold his conchDevadatta of loud blare and the hue of a white cloud. There, by the sideof Janardana, reins in hand, as he penetrates into the hostile army,behold his discus of solar effulgence, its nave hard as thunder, and itsedge sharp as a razor. Behold, O hero, that discus of Keshava, thatenhancer of his fame, which is always worshipped by the Yadus. There, thetrunks, resembling lofty trees perfectly straight, of huge elephants, cutoff by Kiritin, are falling upon the earth. There those huge creaturesalso, with their riders, pierced and split with shafts, are falling down,like hills riven with thunder. There, behold, O son of Kunti, thePanchajanya of Krishna, exceedingly beautiful and of the hue of the moon,as also the blazing Kaustubha on his breast and his triumphal garland.Without doubt, that first and foremost of all car-warriors, Partha, isadvancing, routing the hostile army as he comes, borne by his foremost ofsteeds, of the hue of white clouds, and urged by Krishna. Behold thosecars and steeds and bands of foot-soldiers, mangled by thy youngerbrother with the energy of the chief of the celestials. Behold, they arefalling down like a forest uprooted by the tempest caused by Garuda’swings. Behold, four hundred car-warriors, with their steeds and drivers,and seven hundred elephants and innumerable foot-soldiers and horsemenslain in this battle by Kiritin with his mighty shafts. Slaughtering theKurus, the mighty Arjuna is coming towards thy side even like theconstellation Citra. All thy wishes are fulfilled. Thy foes are beingexterminated. Let thy might, as also the period of thy life, everincrease.”

“‘Bhima said, “Since, O Visoka, thou tellest me of Arjuna’s arrival, Iwill give thee four and ten populous villages and a hundred female slavesand twenty cars, being pleased with thee, O Suta, for this agreeableintelligence imparted by thee!”‘”

Chapter 75
Chapter 77
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