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Chapter 174

Mahabharata English - DRONA PARVA

“Sanjaya said, ‘During the progress of that battle between Karna and theRakshasa, the valiant Alayudha, that prince of Rakshasa, appeared (on thefield). Accompanied by a large force, he approached Duryodhana. Indeed,surrounded by many thousands of frightful Rakshasas of diverse forms andendued with great heroism, he appeared (on the field) recollecting hisold quarrel (with the Pandavas). His kinsmen, that valiant Vaka, who ateBrahmanas, as also Kirmira of great energy, and his friend Hidimva, hadbeen slain (by Bhima). He had waited for a long time, brooding over hisold quarrel. Learning now that a nocturnal battle was raging, he came,impelled by the desire of slaying Bhima in fight, like an infuriatedelephant or an angry snake. Desirous of battle, he addressed Duryodhanaand said, ‘It is known to thee, how my kinsmen, the Rakshasa Vaka andKirmira and Hidimva have been slain by Bhima. What shall I say more, thevirgin Hidimva was formerly deflowered by him, disregarding us and theother Rakshasas. I am here, O king, to slay that Bhima with all hisfollowers, steeds, cars, and elephants, as also that son of Hidimva withfriends. Slaying today all the sons of Kunti, Vasudeva and others thatwalk before them, I will devour them with all their followers. Commandall thy troops to desist from battle. We will fight with the Pandavas.’

“Hearing these words of his, Duryodhana became very glad. Surrounded byhis brothers, the king, accepting the words of the Rakshasa, said,’Placing thee with thine in the van, we will fight the foe. My troopswill not stand as indifferent spectators since their enmity has notcooled.’ That bull amongst Rakshasa, saying, ‘Let it be so,’ unto theking, speedily proceeded against Bhima, accompanied by his cannibalforce. Endued with a blazing form, Alayudha rode a car bright like thesun. Indeed, O monarch, that car of his was similar to Ghatotkacha’s car.The rattle also of Alayudha’s car was as deep as that of Ghatotkacha’s,and it was decked with many arches. That large car was covered withbear-skins, and its measure was a nalwa. His steeds, like those ofGhatotkacha, were endued with great speed, resembled elephants in shape,and had the voice of asses. Subsisting on flesh and blood and gigantic insize, a hundred of them were yoked unto his vehicle. Indeed, the rattleof his car, like that of his rival, was loud and strong, and its stringwas as hard. His shafts also, winged with gold and whetted on stone, wereas large as Ghatotkacha’s, being of the measure of Akshas. The heroicAlayudha was as mighty-armed as Ghatotkacha, and the standard of his car,endued with the splendour of the sun or fire, was, like Ghatotkacha’s,pierced upon by vultures and ravens. In form, he was more handsome thanGhatotkacha, and his face, agitated (with wrath) looked blazing. Withblazing Angadas and blazing diadem and garlands, decked with floralwreaths and headgear and sword armed with mace and Bhushundis and shortclubs and ploughs and bows and arrows, and with skin black and hard asthat of the elephant, riding on that car possessed of the splendour offire, he looked, while employed in afflicting and routing the Pandavahost, like a roving cloud in the welkin, decked with flashes of lighting.(As Alayudha came to battle), the principal kings of the Pandava armyendued with great might, and armed with (sword and) shield, and clad inmail, engaged in fight, O king, with joyous hearts.'”

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