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Chapter 7

Mahabharata English - SHALYA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘Hearing these words of the (Kuru) king, the valiantmonarch (Shalya), O king, said these words unto Duryodhana in reply, “Omighty-armed Duryodhana, listen to me, O foremost of eloquent men. Thouregardest the two Krishnas, when on their car, to be the foremost ofcar-warriors. They are not, however, together equal to me in might ofarms. What need I say of the Pandavas? When angry, I can fight, at thevan of battle, with the whole world consisting of gods, Asuras, and men,risen up in arms. I will vanquish the assembled Parthas and the Somakasin battle. Without doubt, I will become the leader of thy troops. I willform such an array that our enemies will not be able to overmaster it. Isay this to thee, O Duryodhana. There is no doubt in this.” Thusaddressed (by Shalya), king Duryodhana cheerfully poured sanctifiedwater, without losing any time, O best of the Bharatas, on the ruler ofthe Madras, in the midst of his troops, according to the rites ordainedin the scriptures, O monarch. After Shalya had been invested with thecommand, loud leonine roars arose among thy troops and diverse musicalinstruments also, O Bharata, were beat and blown. The Kaurava warriorsbecame very cheerful, as also the mighty car-warriors among the Madrakas.And all of them praised the royal Shalya, that ornament of battle,saying, “Victory to thee, O king. Long life to thee! Slay all theassembled foes! Having obtained the might of thy arms, let theDhartarashtras endued with great strength, rule the wide Earth without afoe. Thou art capable of vanquishing in battle the three worldsconsisting of the gods, the Asuras, what need be said of the Somakas andthe Srinjayas that are mortal?” Thus praised, the mighty king of theMadrakas obtained great joy that is unattainable by persons of unrefinedsouls.

“‘Shalya said, “Today, O king, I will either slay all the Pancalas withthe Pandavas in battle, or, slain by them, proceed to heaven. Let theworld behold me today careering (on the field of battle) fearlessly.Today let all the sons of Pandu, and Vasudeva, and Satyaki, and the sonsof Draupadi, and Dhrishtadyumna, and Shikhandi, and all the Prabhadrakas,behold my prowess and the great might of my bow, and my quickness, andthe energy of my weapons, and the strength of my arms, in battle. Let theParthas, and all the Siddhas, with the Charanas behold today the strengththat is in my arms and the wealth of weapons I possess. Beholding myprowess today, let the mighty car-warriors of the Pandavas, desirous ofcounteracting it, adopt diverse courses of action. Today I will rout thetroops of the Pandavas on all sides. Surpassing Drona and Bhishma and theSuta’s son, O lord, in battle, I will career on the field, O Kauravas,for doing what is agreeable to thee.”‘

“Sanjaya continued, ‘After Shalya had been invested with the command, Ogiver of honours, no one among thy troops, O bull of Bharata’s race, anylonger felt any grief on account of Karna. Indeed, the troops becamecheerful and glad. They regarded the Parthas as already slain and broughtunder the power of the ruler of the Madras. Having obtained great joy,thy troops, O bull of Bharata’s race, slept that night happily and becamevery cheerful. Hearing those shouts of thy army, king Yudhishthira,addressing him of Vrishni’s race, said these words, in the hearing of allthe Kshatriyas, “The ruler of the Madras, Shalya, that great bowman whois highly regarded by all the warriors hath, O Madhava, been made theleader of his forces by Dhritarashtra’s son. Knowing this that hashappened, do, O Madhava, that which is beneficial. Thou art our leaderand protector. Do that which should next be done.” Then Vasudeva, Omonarch, said unto that king, “I know Artayani, O Bharata, truly. Enduedwith prowess and great energy, he is highly illustrious. He isaccomplished, conversant with all the modes of warfare, and possessed ofgreat lightness of hand. I think that the ruler of the Madras is inbattle equal to Bhishma or Drona or Karna, or perhaps, superior to them.I do not, O ruler of men, even upon reflection, find the warrior who maybe a match for Shalya while engaged in fight. In battle, he is superiorin might to Shikhandi and Arjuna and Bhima and Satyaki andDhrishtadyumna, O Bharata. The king of the Madras, O monarch, endued withthe prowess of a lion or an elephant, will career fearlessly in battlelike the Destroyer himself in wrath amongst creatures at the time of theuniversal destruction. I do not behold a match for him in battle savethee, O tiger among men, that art possessed of prowess equal to that of atiger. Save thee there is no other person in either heaven or the wholeof this world, who, O son of Kuru’s race, would be able to slay the rulerof the Madras while excited with wrath in battle. Day after day engagedin fight, he agitates thy troops. For this, slay Shalya in battle, likeMaghavat slaying Samvara. Treated with honour by Dhritarashtra’s son,that hero is invincible in battle. Upon the fall of the ruler of theMadras in battle, thou art certain to have victory. Upon his slaughter,the vast Dhartarashtra host will be slain. Hearing, O monarch, thesewords of mine now, proceed, O Partha, against that mighty car-warrior,the ruler of the Madras. Slay that warrior, O thou of mighty arms, likeVasava slaying the Asura Namuchi. There is no need of showing anycompassion here, thinking that this one is thy maternal uncle. Keepingthe duties of a Kshatriya before thee, slay the ruler of the Madras.Having crossed the fathomless oceans represented by Bhishma and Drona andKarna, do not sink, with thy followers, in the print of a cow’s hoofrepresented by Shalya. Display in battle the whole of thy ascetic powerand thy Kshatriya energy. Slay that car-warrior.” Having said thesewords, Keshava, that slayer of hostile heroes, proceeded to his tent inthe evening, worshipped by the Pandavas. After Keshava had gone, kingYudhishthira the just, dismissing all his brothers and the Somakas,happily slept that night, like an elephant from whose body the darts havebeen plucked out. All those great bowmen of the Pancalas and Pandavas,delighted in consequence of the fall of Karna, slept that night happily.Its fever dispelled, the army of the Pandavas, abounding with greatbowmen and mighty car-warriors having reached the shore as it were,became very happy that night, in consequence of the victory, O sire, ithad won by the slaughter of Karna.'”

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