Chapter 62

Mahabharata English - VIRATA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then, O thou of the Bharata race, all the greatcar-warriors of the Kurus, united together, began to assail Arjuna to thebest of their might from all sides. But that hero of immeasurable soulcompletely covered all those mighty car-warriors with clouds of arrows,even as the mist covereth the mountains. And the roars of huge elephantsand conchs, mingling together, produced a loud up roar. And penetratingthrough the bodies of elephants and horses as also through steel coats ofmail, the arrows shot by Partha fell by thousands. And shooting shaftswith the utmost celerity, the son of Pandu seemed in that contest toresemble the blazing sun of an autumnal midday. And afflicted with fear,the car-warriors began to leap down from their cars and thehorse-soldiers from horse-back, while the foot-soldiers began to fly inall directions. And loud was the clatter made by Arjuna’s shafts as theycleft the coats of mail belonging to mighty warriors, made of steel,silver, and copper. And the field was soon covered with the corpses ofwarriors mounted on elephants and horses, all mangled by the shafts ofPartha of great impetuosity like unto sighing snakes. And then it seemedas if Dhananjaya, bow in hand, was dancing on the field of battle. Andsorely affrighted at the twang of the Gandiva resembling the noise of thethunder, many were the combatants that fled from that terrible conflict.And the field of battle was bestrewn with severed heads decked withturbans, ear-rings and necklaces of gold, and the earth looked beautifulby being scattered all over with human trunks mangled by shafts, and armshaving bows in their grasp and hands decked with ornaments. And, O bullof the Bharata race, in consequence of heads cut off by whetted shaftsceaselessly falling on the ground, it seemed as if a shower of stonesfell from the sky. And that Partha of formidable prowess, displaying hisfierceness, now ranged the field of battle, pouring the terrible fire ofhis wrath upon the sons of Dhritarashtra. And beholding the fierceprowess of Arjuna who thus scorched the hostile host, the Kuru warriors,in the very presence of Duryodhana, became dispirited and ceased tofight. And, O Bharata, having struck terror into that host and routedthose mighty car-warriors, that fore-most of victors, ranged on thefield. And the son of Pandu then created on the field of battle adreadful river of blood, with waving billows, like unto the river ofdeath that is created by Time at the end of the Yuga, having thedishevelled hair of the dead and the dying for its floating moss andstraw, with bows and arrows for its boats, fierce in the extreme andhaving flesh and animal juices for its mire. And coats of mail andturbans floated thick on its surface. And elephants constituted itsalligators and the cars its rafts. And marrow and fat and bloodconstituted its currents. And it was calculated to strike terror into thehearts of the spectators. And dreadful to behold, and fearful in theextreme, and resounding with the yells of ferocious beasts, keen edgedweapons constituted its crocodiles. And Rakshasas and other cannibalshaunted it from one end to the other. And strings of pearls constitutedits ripples, and various excellent ornaments, its bubbles. And havingswarms of arrows for its fierce eddies and steeds for its tortoises, itwas incapable of being crossed. And the mighty car warrior constitutedits large island, and it resounded with the bleat of conchs and the soundof drums. And the river of blood that Partha created was incapable ofbeing crossed. Indeed, so swift-handed was Arjuna that the spectatorscould not perceive any interval between his taking up an arrow, andfixing it on the bow-string, and letting it off by a stretch of theGandiva.'”

Chapter 63
Chapter 61
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