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Chapter 187

Mahabharata English - UDYOGA PARAVA

“Bhishma said, ‘After the night had passed away, I awoke, O Bharata, andthinking of my dream I was filled with great joy. Then, O Bharata, thecombat began between him and me–a combat that was fierce and unrivalledand that made the hairs of all creatures stand on their ends. AndBhargava poured on me an arrowy shower which I baffled with an arrowyshower of mine. Then filled with wrath at what he had seen the day beforeand what he saw that day, Rama hurled at me a dart, hard as Indra’sthunderbolt and possessed of effulgence, resembling the Yama’s mace! Itcame towards me like a blazing flame of fire and drinking up, as it were,all the quarters of that field of battle! Then, O tiger among the Kurus,it fell, O perpetuator of Kuru’s line, upon my shoulder, like thelightning’s flame that ranges the sky. Wounded thus by Rama, O thou ofred eyes, my blood, O mighty-armed one, began to flow copiously likestreams of red earth from a mountain (after a shower)! Filled with greatwrath, I then shot at Jamadagni’s son a deadly shaft, fatal as the poisonof a snake. That heroic and best of Brahmanas, struck therewith at theforehead, O monarch, then appeared as beautiful as a crested hill!Extremely angry, that hero then, changing his position and drawing thebow-string with great strength, aimed at me a terrible shaft resemblingall-destructive Death himself, and capable of grinding all foes! Thatfierce arrow fell upon my breast, hissing (through the air) like a snake.Covered with blood, I fell down on the earth, O king, thus struck.Regaining consciousness, I hurled at Jamadagni’s son a frightful dart,effulgent as the thunderbolt. That dart fell upon the bosom of thatforemost of Brahmanas. Deprived of his senses at this, Rama began totremble all over. That great ascetic then, viz., his friend, theregenerate Akritavrana, embraced him and with diverse words of comfortsoothed him. Reassured thus, Rama of high vows was then filled with wrathand vindictiveness. He invoked the great Brahma weapon. For baffling it Ialso used the same excellent weapon. Clashing against each other, the twoweapons began to blaze forth brightly, showing what happens at the end ofthe Yuga! Without being able to reach either myself or Rama, those twoweapons, O best of the Bharatas, met each other in the mid-air. Then thewhole welkin seemed to be ablaze, and all creatures, O monarch, becamehighly distressed. Afflicted by the energy of those weapons, the Rishis,the Gandharvas, and the gods were all greatly pained. Then earth, withher mountains and seas and trees began to tremble, and all creatures,heated with the energy of the weapons, were greatly afflicted. Thefirmament, O king, became ablaze and the ten points of the horizon becamefilled with smoke. Creatures, therefore, that range the welkin wereunable to stay in their element. When, at all this, the whole world withthe gods, the Asuras and the Rakshasas began to utter exclamations ofwoe.–This is the time–thought I and became desirous, O Bharata, ofspeedily shooting the Praswapa weapon at the command of those utterers ofBrahma (that had appeared to me in my dream)! The Mantras also forinvoking excellent weapon suddenly came to my mind!'”

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