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Chapter 185

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Bhishma said, ‘Next morning, O king, when the sun rose brightly, thecombat between myself and him of Bhrigu’s race, again, commenced. ThenRama, that foremost of smiters, stationed on his quickly-moving car,rained on me a thick downpour of arrows like the clouds on themountain-breast. My beloved charioteer then, afflicted by that arrowyshower, swerved from his place in the car, filling me with grief on hisaccount. A total unconsciousness then came over him. And thus wounded bythat arrowy downpour he fell down upon the earth in a swoon. Andafflicted as he had been by Rama’s shafts, he soon gave up his life.Then, O great king, fear entered my heart. And when, on the death of mycharioteer, I was still lamenting for him with heart unhinged by sorrow,Rama began to shoot at me many death-dealing shafts. Indeed, even whenendangered at the death of my charioteer I was lamenting for him, he ofBhrigu’s race, drawing the bow with strength, pierced me deep with anarrow! O king, that blood-drinking shaft, falling upon my breast, piercedme through and fell simultaneously with my person upon the earth! Then, Obull of Bharata’s race, thinking I was dead, Rama repeatedly roared aloudlike the clouds and rejoiced exceedingly! indeed, O king, when thus Ifell down on the earth, Rama, filled with joy, sent forth loud shoutsalong with his followers, while all the Kauravas who stood beside me andall those who came there to witness the combat were afflicted with greatwoe on seeing me fall. While lying prostrate, O lion among kings, Ibeheld eight Brahmanas endued with the effulgence of the sun or the fire.They stood surrounding me on that field of battle and supporting me ontheir arms. Indeed, borne up by those Brahmanas I had not to touch theground. Like friends they supported me in mid-air while I was breathingheavily. And they were sprinkling me with drops of water. And bearing meup as they stood, they then, O king, repeatedly said unto me, ‘Do notfear! Let prosperity be thine!’ Comforted then by those words of theirs,I quickly rose up. I then beheld my mother Ganga–that foremost of therivers, stationed on my car. Indeed, O king of the Kurus, it was thatgreat river-goddess who had controlled my steeds in the combat (after mycharioteer’s fall)! Worshipping then the feet of my mother and of thespirits of my ancestors, I ascended my car. My mother then protected mycar, steeds, and all the implements of battle. With joined bands Ientreated her to go away. Having dismissed her, I myself restrained thosesteeds endued with the speed of the wind, and fought with Jamadagni’sson, O Bharata, till the close of the day! Then, O chief of the Bharatas,in course of that combat, I shot at Rama a powerful and heart-piercingarrow endued with great speed. Afflicted with that shaft, Rama then, hisbow loosened from his grasp, fell down upon the earth on his knees, reftof consciousness! And when Rama, that giver of many thousands (of goldencoins) fell, masses of clouds covered the firmament, pouring a copiousshower of blood! And meteors by hundreds fell, and thunder-rolls wereheard, causing everything to tremble! And suddenly Rahu enveloped theblazing sun, and rough winds began to blow! And the earth itself began totremble. And vultures and crows and cranes began to alight in joy! Andthe points of the horizon seemed to be ablaze and jackals beganrepeatedly to yell fiercely! And drums, unstruck (by human hands), beganto produce harsh sound! Indeed, when the high-souled Rama embraced theearth, reft of consciousness, all these frightful and alarming omens ofevil were seen! Then all on a sudden rising up, Rama approached me oncemore, O Kaurava, for battle, forgetting everything and deprived of hissenses by anger. And that mighty-armed one took up his bow endued withgreat strength and also a deadly arrow. I, however, resisted himsuccessfully. The great Rishis then (that stood there) were filled withpity at the sight, while he, however, of Bhrigu’s race, was filled withgreat wrath. I then took up a shaft, resembling the blazing fire thatappears at the end of the Yuga, but Rama of immeasurable soul baffledthat weapon of mine. Then covered by clouds of dust, the splendour of thesolar disc was dimmed, and the sun went to the western mount. And nightcame with its delicious and cool breezes, and then both of us desistedfrom the fight. In this way, O king, when evening came the fierce battleceased, and (next day) with the re-appearance of the sun it commencedagain. And it lasted for three and twenty days together.'”

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