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Chapter 10

Mahabharata English - SHALYA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Beholding the army broken, the valiant king of theMadras, addressed his driver, saying, “Quickly urge these steeds enduedwith the fleetness of thought. Yonder stays king Yudhishthira, the son ofPandu, looking resplendent with the umbrella held over his head. Take methither with speed, O driver, and witness my might. The Parthas areunable to stand before me in battle.” Thus addressed, the driver of theMadra king proceeded to that spot where stood king Yudhishthira the justof true aim. Shalya fell suddenly upon the mighty host of the Pandavas.Alone, he checked it like the continent checking the surging sea. Indeed,the large force of the Pandavas, coming against Shalya, O sire, stoodstill in that battle, like the rushing sea upon encountering a mountain.Beholding the ruler of the Madras standing for battle on the field, theKauravas returned, making death their goal. After they had returned, Oking, and separately taken up their positions in well-formed array, anawful battle set in, in which blood flowed freely like water.

“‘The invincible Nakula encountered Chitrasena. These two heroes, both ofwhom were excellent bowmen, approaching, drenched each other with showersof arrows in that battle, like two pouring clouds risen in the welkin onthe south and the north. I could not mark any difference between the sonof Pandu and his antagonist. Both of them were accomplished in weapons,both endued with might, and both conversant with the practices ofcar-warriors. Each bent upon slaying the other, they carefully looked foreach other’s lapses. Then Chitrasena, O monarch, with a broad-headedshaft, well-tempered and sharp, cut off Nakula’s bow at the handle.Fearlessly then the son of Karna struck the bowless Nakula at theforehead with three shafts equipped with wings of gold and whetted onstone. With a few other keen arrows he then despatched Nakula’s steeds toYama’s abode. Next, he felled both the standard and the driver of hisantagonist, each with three arrows. With those three arrows sped from thearms of his foe sticking to his fore-head, Nakula, O king, lookedbeautiful like a mountain with three crests. Deprived of his bow and hiscars, the brave Nakula, taking up a sword, jumped down from his vehiclelike a lion from a mountain-summit. As, however, he rushed on foot, hisantagonist poured a shower of arrows upon him. Possessed of activeprowess, Nakula received that arrowy shower on his shield. Getting at thecar then of Chitrasena, the mighty-armed hero, the son of Pandu,conversant with all modes of warfare and incapable of being tired withexertion, ascended it in the very sight of all the troops. The son ofPandu then cut off from Chitrasena’s trunk his diadem-decked head adornedwith ear-rings, and graced with a beautiful nose and a pair of largeeyes. At this, Chitrasena, endued with the splendour of the sun, felldown on the terrace of his car. Beholding Chitrasena slain, all the greatcar-warriors there uttered loud cries of praise and many leonine roars.Meanwhile, the two sons of Karna, Sushena and Satyasena, both of whomwere great car-warriors, beholding their brother slain, shot showers ofkeen shafts. Those foremost of car-warriors rushed with speed against theson of Pandu like a couple of tigers, O king, in the deep forest rushingagainst an elephant from desire of slaying him. Both of them poured theirkeen shafts upon the mighty car-warrior Nakula. Indeed, as they pouredthose shafts, they resembled two masses of clouds pouring rain intorrents. Though pierced with arrows all over, the valiant and heroic sonof Pandu cheerfully took up another bow after ascending on another car,and stood in battle like the Destroyer himself in rage. Then those twobrothers, O monarch, with their straight shafts, cut off Nakula’s carinto fragments. Then Nakula, laughing, smote the four steeds of Satyasenawith four whetted and keen shafts in that encounter. Aiming a long shaftequipped with wings of gold, the son of Pandu then cut off, O monarch,the bow of Satyasena. At this, the latter, mounting on another car andtaking up another bow, as also his brother Sushena, rushed against theson of Pandu. The valiant son of Madri fearlessly pierced each of them, Omonarch, with couple of shafts at the van of battle. Then the mightycar-warrior Sushena, filled with wrath, cut off in that battle, laughingthe while, the formidable bow of Pandu’s son with a razor-headed arrow.Then Nakula, insensate with rage, took up another bow and pierced Sushenawith five arrows and struck his standard with one. Without losing amoment, he then cut off the bow and the leathern fence of Satyasena also,O sire, at which all the troops there uttered a loud shout. Satyasena,taking up another foe-slaying bow that was capable of bearing a greatstrain, shrouded the son of Pandu with arrows from every side. Bafflingthose arrows, Nakula, that slayer of hostile heroes, pierced each of hisantagonists with a couple of shafts. Each of the latter separatelypierced the son of Pandu in return with many straight-coursing shaft.Next they pierced Nakula’s driver also with many keen shafts. The valiantSatyasena then, endued with great lightness of hand, cut off without hisbrother’s help the shafts of Nakula’s car and his bow with a couple ofarrows. The Atiratha Nakula, however, staying on his car, took up a dartequipped with a golden handle and a very keen point, and steeped in oiland exceedingly bright. It resembled, O lord, a she-snake of virulentpoison, frequently darting out her tongue. Raising that weapon he hurledit at Satyasena in that encounter. That dart, O king, pierced the heartof Satyasena in that battle and reduced it into a hundred fragments.Deprived of his senses and life, he fell down upon the Earth from hiscar. Beholding his brother slain, Sushena, insensate with rage, suddenlymade Nakula carless in that battle. Without losing a moment, he pouredhis arrows over the son of Pandu fighting on foot. Seeing Nakula carless,the mighty car-warrior Sutasoma, the son of Draupadi, rushed to that spotfor rescuing his sire in battle. Mounting then upon the car of Sutasoma,Nakula, that hero of Bharata’s race, looked beautiful like a lion upon amountain. Then taking up another bow, he fought with Sushena. Those twogreat car-warriors, approaching each other, and shooting showers ofarrows, endeavoured to encompass each other’s destruction. Then Sushena,filled with rage, struck the son of Pandu with three shafts and Sutasomawith twenty in the arms and the chest. At this, the impetuous Nakula, Omonarch, that slayer of hostile heroes, covered all the points of thecompass with arrows. Then taking up a sharp shaft endued with greatenergy and equipped with a semi-circular head, Nakula sped it with greatforce at Karna’s son in that battle. With that arrow, O best of kings,the son of Pandu cut off from Sushena’s trunk the latter’s head in thevery sight of all the troops. That feat seemed exceedingly wonderful.Thus slain by the illustrious Nakula, Karna’s son fell down like a loftytree on the bank of a river thrown down by the current of the stream.Beholding the slaughter of Karna’s sons and the prowess of Nakula, thyarmy, O bull of Bharata’s race, fled away in fear. Their commander,however, the brave and valiant ruler of the Madras, that chastiser offoes, then protected, O monarch, those troops in that battle. Rallyinghis host, O king, Shalya stood fearlessly in battle, uttering loudleonine roars and causing his bow to twang fiercely. Then thy troops, Oking, protected in battle by that firm bowman, cheerfully proceededagainst the foe once more from every side. Those high-souled warriors,surrounding that great bowman, the ruler of the Madras, stood, O king,desirous of battling on every side. Then Satyaki, and Bhimasena, andthose two Pandavas, the twin sons of Madri, placing that chastiser offoes and abode of modesty, Yudhishthira, at their head, and surroundinghim on all sides in that battle, uttered leonine roars. And those heroesalso caused a loud whizz with the arrows they shot and frequentlyindulged in diverse kinds of shouts. Smilingly, all thy warriors, filledwith rage, speedily encompassed the ruler of the Madras and stood fromdesire of battle. Then commenced a battle, inspiring the timid with fear,between thy soldiers and the enemy, both of whom made death their goal.That battle between fearless combatants, enhancing the population ofYama’s kingdom, resembled, O monarch, that between the gods and theAsuras in days of yore. Then the ape-bannered son of Pandu, O king,having slaughtered the Samsaptakas in battle, rushed against that portionof the Kaurava army. Smiling, all the Pandavas, headed by Dhrishtadyumna,rushed against the same division, shooting showers of keen arrows.Overwhelmed by the Pandavas, the Kaurava host became stupefied. Indeed,those divisions then could not discern the cardinal point from thesubsidiary points of the compass. Covered with keen arrows sped by thePandavas, the Kaurava army, deprived of its foremost warriors, waveredand broke on all sides. Indeed, O Kaurava, that host of thine began to beslaughtered by the mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas. Similarly, thePandava host, O king, began to be slaughtered in hundreds and thousandsin that battle by thy sons on every side with their arrows. While the twoarmies, exceedingly excited, were thus slaughtering each other, theybecame much agitated like two streams in the season of rains. During theprogress of that dreadful battle, O monarch, a great fear entered thehearts of thy warriors as also those of the Pandavas.'”

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