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Chapter 15

Mahabharata English - SHALYA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Duryodhana, O king, and Dhrishtadyumna, the son ofPrishata, fought a fierce battle, using arrows and darts in profusion.Both of them, O monarch, shot showers of arrows like showers of rainpoured by the clouds in the rainy season. The (Kuru) king, having piercedwith five arrows the slayer of Drona, Prishata’s son of fierce shafts,once more pierced him with seven arrows. Endued with great might andsteady prowess, Dhrishtadyumna, in that battle, afflicted Duryodhana withseventy arrows. Beholding the king thus afflicted, O bull of Bharata’srace, his uterine brothers, accompanied by a large force, encompassed theson of Prishata. Surrounded by those Atirathas on every side, the Pancalahero, O king, careered in that battle, displaying his quickness in theuse of weapons. Shikhandi, supported by the Prabhadrakas, fought with twoKuru bowmen, Kritavarma and the great car-warrior Kripa. Then also, Omonarch, that battle became fierce and awful since the warriors were allresolved to lay down their lives and since all of them fought, makinglife the stake. Shalya, shooting showers of shafts on all sides,afflicted the Pandavas with Satyaki and Vrikodara amongst them. Withpatience and great strength, O monarch, the king of the Madras at thesame time fought with the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva), each of whomresembled the Destroyer himself in prowess. The great car-warriors amongthe Pandavas who were mangled in that great battle with the shafts ofShalya, failed to find a protector. Then the heroic Nakula, the son ofMadri, seeing king Yudhishthira the just greatly afflicted, rushed withspeed against his maternal uncle. Shrouding Shalya in that battle (withmany arrows), Nakula, that slayer of hostile heroes, smiling the while,pierced him in the centre of the chest with ten arrows, made entirely ofiron, polished by the hands of the smith, equipped with wings of gold,whetted on stone, and propelled from his bow with great force. Afflictedby his illustrious nephew, Shalya afflicted his nephew in return withmany straight arrows. Then king Yudhishthira, and Bhimasena, and Satyaki,and Sahadeva, the son of Madri, all rushed against the ruler of theMadras. The vanquisher of foes, the generalissimo of the Kuru army,received in that battle all those heroes that rushed towards him quickly,filling the cardinal and the subsidiary points of the compass with therattle of their cars and causing the Earth to tremble therewith. PiercingYudhishthira with three arrows and Bhima with seven, Shalya piercedSatyaki with a hundred arrows in that battle and Sahadeva with three.Then the ruler of the Madras, O sire, cut off, with a razor-headed arrow,the bow with arrow fixed on it of the high-souled Nakula. Struck withShalya’s shafts, that bow broke into pieces. Taking up another bow,Madri’s son, that great car-warrior quickly covered the ruler of theMadras with winged arrows. Then Yudhishthira and Sahadeva, O sire, eachpierced the ruler of the Madras with ten arrows in the chest. Bhimasenaand Satyaki, rushing at the ruler of the Madras, both struck him witharrows winged with Kanka feathers, the former with sixty, and the latterwith nine. Filled with rage at this, the ruler of the Madras piercedSatyaki with nine arrows and once again with seventy straight shafts.Then, O sire, he cut off at the handle the bow, with arrow fixed on it,of Satyaki and then despatched the four steeds of the latter to Yama’sabode. Having made Satyaki carless, that mighty car-warrior, the ruler ofthe Madras, struck him with a hundred arrows from every side. He nextpierced two angry sons of Madri, and Bhimasena the son of Pandu, andYudhishthira, O thou of Kuru’s race, with ten arrows each. The prowessthat we then beheld of the ruler of the Madras was exceedingly wonderful,since the Parthas, even unitedly, could not approach him in that battle.Riding then upon another car, the mighty Satyaki, of prowess incapable ofbeing baffled, beholding the Pandavas afflicted and succumbing to theruler of the Madras, rushed with speed against him. That ornament ofassemblies, Shalya, on his car, rushed against the car of Satyaki, likeone infuriate elephant against another. The collision that then tookplace between Satyaki and the heroic ruler of the Madras, became fierceand wonderful to behold, even like that which had taken place in days ofyore between the Asura Samvara and the chief of the celestials. Beholdingthe ruler of the Madras staying before him in that battle, Satyakipierced him with ten arrows and said, “Wait, Wait!” Deeply pierced bythat high-souled warrior, the ruler of the Madras pierced Satyaki inreturn with sharp shafts equipped with beautiful feathers. Those greatbowmen then, the Parthas, beholding the king of the Madras assailed bySatyaki, quickly rushed towards him from desire of slaying that maternaluncle of theirs. The encounter then that took place between thosestruggling heroes, marked by a great flow of blood, became exceedinglyawful, like that which takes place between a number of roaring lions. Thestruggle, O monarch, that took between them resembled that which takesplace between a number of roaring lions fighting with each other formeat. With the dense showers of shafts shot by them, the Earth becameentirely enveloped, and the welkin also suddenly became one mass ofarrows. All around the field a darkness was caused by those arrows.Indeed, with the shafts shot by those illustrious warriors, a shadow asthat of the clouds was caused there. Then, O king, with those blazingshafts sped by the warriors, that were equipped with wings of gold andthat looked like snakes just freed from their sloughs, the points of thecompass seemed to be ablaze. That slayer of foes, Shalya, then achievedthe most wonderful feat, since that hero alone, and unsupported,contended with many heroes in that battle. The Earth became shrouded withthe fierce shafts, equipped with feathers of Kankas and peacocks, thatfell, sped from the arms of the ruler of the Madras. Then, O king, webeheld the car of Shalya careering in that dreadful battle like the carof Shakra in days of yore on the occasion of the destruction of theAsuras.'”

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