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Chapter 14

Mahabharata English - SHALYA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Meanwhile Arjuna, in that battle, pierced with manyarrows by the son of Drona as also by the latter’s followers, the heroicand mighty car-warriors among the Trigartas, pierced Drona’s son inreturn with three shafts, and each of the other warriors with two. Onceagain, the mighty-armed Dhananjaya covered his enemies with showers ofshafts. Though struck with keen arrows and though they looked likeporcupines in consequence of those arrows sticking to their limbs, stillthy troops, O bull of Bharata’s race, fled not from Partha in thatbattle. With Drona’s son at their head, they encompassed that mightycar-warrior and fought with him, shooting showers of shafts. Thegold-decked arrows, O king, shot by them, speedily filled the terrace ofArjuna’s car. Beholding those two great bowmen, those two foremost of allwarriors, the two Krishnas, covered with arrows, those invincible(Kaurava) combatants became filled with delight. Indeed, at that time,the Kuvara, the wheels, the shaft, the traces, the yoke, and theAnukarsha, O lord, of Arjuna’s car, became entirely enveloped witharrows. The like of what thy warriors then did unto Partha had neverbefore, O king, been either seen or heard. That car looked resplendentwith those keen arrows of beautiful wings like a celestial vehicleblazing with hundreds of torches dropped on the Earth. Then Arjuna, Omonarch, covered that hostile division with showers of straight shaftslike a cloud pouring torrents of rain on a mountain. Struck in thatbattle with arrows inscribed with Partha’s name, those warriors,beholding that state of things, regarded the field of battle to be fullof Parthas. Then the Partha-fire, having for its wonderful flames and theloud twang of Gandiva for the wind that fanned it, began to consume thefuel constituted by thy troops. Then, O Bharata, heaps of fallen wheelsand yokes, of quivers, of banners and standards, with the vehiclesthemselves that bore them, of shafts and Anukarshas and Trivenus, ofaxles and traces and goads, of heads of warriors decked with earrings andheadgears, of arms, O monarch, and thighs in thousands of umbrellas alongwith fans, and of diadems and crowns, were seen along the tracks ofPartha’s car. Indeed, along the track of the angry Partha’s car, Omonarch, the ground, miry with blood, became impassable, O chief of theBharatas, like the sporting ground of Rudra. The scene inspired the timidwith fear and the brave with delight. Having destroyed 2,000 cars withtheir fences, that scorcher of foes, Partha, looked like a smokeless firewith blazing flames. Indeed, even as the illustrious Agni when he blazesforth (at the end of the Yuga) for destroying the mobile and the immobileuniverse, even so looked, O king, the mighty car-warrior Partha.Beholding the prowess of Pandu’s son in that battle, the son of Drona, onhis car equipped with many banners, endeavoured to check him. Those twotigers among men, both having white steeds yoked unto their vehicles andboth regarded as the foremost of car-warriors, quickly encountered eachother, each desirous of slaying the other. The arrowy showers shot byboth became exceedingly terrible and were as dense, O bull of Bharata’srace, as the torrents of rain poured by two masses of clouds at the closeof summer. Each challenging the other, those two warriors mangled eachother with straight shafts in that battle, like a couple of bulls tearingeach other with their horns. The battle between them, O king, was foughtequally for a long while. The clash of weapons became terrific. The sonof Drona then, O Bharata, pierced Arjuna with a dozen gold-winged arrowsof great energy and Vasudeva with ten. Having shown for a short whilesome regard for the preceptor’s son in that great battle, Vibhatsu then,smiling the while, stretched his bow Gandiva with force. Soon, however,the mighty car-warrior Savyasaci (Arjuna) made his adversary steedlessand driverless and carless, and without putting forth much strengthpierced him with three arrows. Staying on that steedless car, Drona’sson, smiling the while, hurled at the son of Pandu a heavy mallet thatlooked like a dreadful mace with iron-spikes. Beholding that weapon,which was decked with cloth of gold, coursing towards him, the heroicPartha, that slayer of foes, cut it off into seven fragments. Seeing hismallet cut off, Drona’s son of great wrath took up a terrible maceequipped with iron spikes and looking like a mountain summit.Accomplished in battle, the son of Drona hurled it then at Partha.Beholding that spiked mace coursing towards him like the Destroyerhimself in rage, Pandu’s son Arjuna quickly cut it off with fiveexcellent shafts. Cut off with Partha’s shafts in that great battle, thatweapon fell down on the Earth, riving the hearts, as it were, O Bharata,of the (hostile) kings. The son of Pandu then pierced Drona’s son withthree other shafts. Though deeply pierced by the mighty Partha, Drona’sson, however, of great might, relying upon his own manliness, showed nosign of fear or agitation. That great car-warrior, the son of Drona,then, O king, shrouded Suratha (the Pancala) with showers of shaftsbefore the eyes of all the Kshatriyas. At this, Suratha, that greatcar-warrior among the Pancalas, in that battle, riding upon his car whoserattle was as deep as the roar of the clouds rushed against the son ofDrona. Drawing his foremost of bows, firm and capable of bearing a greatstrain, the Pancala hero covered Ashvatthama with arrows that resembledflames of fire or snakes of virulent poison. Seeing the great car-warriorSuratha rushing towards him in wrath, the son of Drona became filled withrage like a snake struck with a stick. Furrowing his brow into threelines, and licking the corners of his mouth with his tongue, he looked atSuratha in rage and then rubbed his bow-string and sped a keen cloth-yardshaft that resembled the fatal rod of Death. Endued with great speed,that shaft pierced the heart of Suratha and passing out entered theEarth, riving her through, like the thunderbolt of Shakra hurled from thesky. Struck with that shaft, Suratha fell down on the Earth like amountain summit riven with thunder. After the fall of that hero, thevaliant son of Drona, that foremost of car-warriors speedily mounted uponthe vehicle of his slain foe. Then, O monarch, that warrior, invinciblein battle, the son of Drona, well-equipped with armour and weapons, andsupported by the Samsaptakas, fought with Arjuna. That battle, at thehour of noon, between one and the many, enhancing the population ofYama’s domains, became exceedingly fierce. Wonderful was the sight thatwe then beheld, for, noticing the prowess of all those combatants,Arjuna, alone and unsupported, fought with his foes at the same time. Theencounter was exceedingly fierce that thus took place between Arjuna andhis enemies, resembling that between Indra, in days of yore, and the vasthost of the Asuras.'”

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