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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa (Volume 5) online

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Kama, however, with a number of arrows resembling snakes
of virulent poison, cut off into many fragments that spiked
mace as it coursed towards him with the tremendous peal of
thunder. 82 Then Bhima, that grinder of hostile troops, grasp-
ing his bow with greater strength, covered Kama with keen
shafts. 88 The battle that took place between Kama and the
son of Pandu in that meeting, became awful for a moment,
like that of a couple of huge lions desirous of slaying each
other. 84 Thon Kama, king, drawing the bow with great force
and stretching the string to his very ear, pierced Bhimasena
with three arrows. 85 Deeply pierced by Kama, that great bow-
man and foremost of all persons endued with might then took
up a terrible shaft capable of piercing through the body of his
antagonist,. 5 * That shaft, cutting through Kama's armour and
piercing through his body, passed out and entered the Earth
like a snake into an anthill. 37 In consequence of the violence
of that stroke, Kama felt great pain and became exceedingly
agitated. Indeed, he trembled on his car like a mountain dur-
ing an earthquake. 6 " Then Kama, O king, filled with rago
and the desire to rataliate, struck Bhima with five and twenty
shafts, and then with many more. 89 With one arrow he then
cut off Bhimasena's standard, and with another br<>ad headed
arrow he despatched Bhima's driver to the presence of Yama. 4 *


Next, quickly cutting off the bow of Panda's son with an*
other winged arrow, Kama deprived Bhima of terrible feat3
, of his car. 41 Deprived of his car, O chief of Bharata's race,
the mighty-armed Bhima, who resembled the Wind-god (in
prowess) took up a mace and jumped down from his excellent
vehicle. 43 Indeed, jumping down from his car with great fury,
Bhima began to slay thy troops, king, like the wind destroy-
ing the clouds of autumn. 43 Suddenly the son of Pandu, that
schorcher of foes, filled with wrath, routed seven hundred
elephants, O king, endued with tusks as large as plough-shafts,
and all skilled in smiting hostile troops. 44 Possessed of great
strength and a knowledge of what the vital parts of an ele-
phant are, he struck them on their temples and frontal globes
and eyes and the parts above their gums. 45 Thereupon those
animals, inspired with fear, ran away. But urged again by their
drivers, they surrounded Bhimasena once more, like the clouds
covering the Sun. 46 Like Indra felling mountains with his
thunder, Bhima with his mace prostrated those seven hundred
•elephants with their riders and weapons and standards. 47 That
chastiser of foes, viz., the son of Kunti, next pressed down two
and fifty elephants of great strength belonging to the son of
Suvala. 48 Scorching thy army, the son of Pandu then destroyed
a century of foremost cars and several hundreds of foot-soldiers
in that battle. 49 Scorched by the Sun as also by the high-
souled Bhima, thy army began to shrink like a piece of leather
spread over a fire. 50 Those troops of thine, O bull of Bharata's
race, filled with anxiety through fear of Bhimasena, avoided
Bhima in that battle and fled away in all directions. 51 Then
five hundred car-warriors, cased in excellent mail, rushed to-
wards Bhima with loud shouts, shooting thick showers of arrows
on all sides. 52 Like Vishnu destroying the Asuras, Bhima
destroyed with his mace all those brave warriors Avith their
drivers and cars and banners and standards and weapons. 53 Then
three thousand horsemen, despatched by Cakuni, respected by
all brave men and armed with darts and swords and lances,
rushed towards Bhima. 54 That slayer of foes, advancing impe*.
tuously towards them, and coursing in diverse tracks, slew them
with his mace, 55 Loud sounds arose from among them while


they were being assailed by Bhima, like those that arise from
fcmong herd of elephants struck with large pieces of rocks. 5C
Having slain those three thousand excellent horso of Suvala's
son in that way, he rode upon another car, and filled with
rage proceeded against the son Radha.* 7 Meanwhile, Kama
also, O king, covered Dharma's son, that chastiser of foes, with
thick showers of arrows, and felled his driver. 53 Then that
mighty car-warrior, beholding Yudhishthira fly away in that
battle, pursued him, shooting many straight-coursing shafts
equipt with Kanka feathers. 59 The son of the Wind god, filled
with wrath, and covering the entire welkin with his shafts,
shrouded Kama with thick showers of arrows as the latter pur-
sued the king from behind. 60 The son of Radha, then, that crusher
of foes, turning back from the pursuit, quickly covered Bhima
himself with sharp arrows from every side.* 1 Then Satyaki, of
immeasurable soul, O Bharata, placing himself on the side of
Bhima's car, began to afflict Kama who was in front of Bhima. 6 *
Though exceedingly afflicted by Satyaki, Kama still approached
Bhima, Approaching each other, those two bulls among all
wielders of bows, those two heroes endued with great energy,
looked exceedingly resplendent as they sped their beautiful arrows
at each other. 63 Spread by them, O monarch, in the welkin,
those flights of arrows, blazing as the backs of cranes, looked ex-
ceedingly fierce and terrible. e * In consequence of those thousands
of arrows, king, neither the rays of the Sun nor the points of
the compass, cardinal and subsidiary, could any longer be notic-
ed either by ourselves or by the enemy. 65 Indeed, the blazing
effulgence of the Sun shining at midday was dispelled by those
dense showers of arrows shot by Kama and the son of Pandu.**
Beholding the son of Suvala, and Kritavarman, and Drona's son,
and Adhiratha's son, and Kripa, engaged with the Pandavas,
the Kauravas rallied and came back to the fight. 67 Tremendous
became the din, monarch, that was made by that host as it
rushed impetuously against their foes, resembling that terrible
noise that is made by many oceans swollen with r;uns. C8 Fun-
ously engaged in battle, the two hosts became filled with
great, joy as the warriors beheld and seized one another in that
dreadful melee.' 3 The battle that commenced at that h.uir


when the Sun had reached the meridian was such that its liks
had never been heard or seen by us. 70 One vast host rushed
against another, like a vast reservior of water rushing towards
the ocean. 71 The din that arose from the two hosts as they
roared at each other, was loud and deep as that which may be
heard when several oceans mingle with one another. 72 Indeed,
the two furious hosts, approaching each other, mingled into one
mass like two furious rivers that run into each other. 78

" 'The battle then commenced, awful and terrible, between
the Kurus and the Pandavas, both of whom were inspired with
the desire of winning great fame. 74 A perfect Babel of voices
of the shouting warriors was incessantly heard there, O royal
Bharata, as they addressed one another by name. 75 He who
had anything, by his father's or mother's side or in respect of
his acts or conduct, that could furnish matter for ridicule, was
in that battle made to hear it by his antagonist. 76 Beholding
those brave warriors loudly rebuking one another in that battle,
I thought, king, that their periods of life had been run over. 77
Beholding the bodies of those angry heroes of immeasurable
energy, a great fear entered my heart, respecting the dire conse-
quences that would ensue. 73 Then the Pandavas, king, and
the Kauravas also, — mighty car-warriors all, — striking one an
other, began to mangle one another with their keen shafts.' '

Section LIL

"Sanjaya said, — 'Those Kshatriyas, monarch, harbouring
feelings of animosity against one another and longing to take
one another's life, began to slay one another in that battle. 1
Throngs of cars, and large bodies of horses, and teeming divi-
sions of infantry, and elephants in large numbers, mingled with
one another, O king, for battle. 2 We beheld the falling of maces
and spiked bludgeons and Kunapas and lances and short arrows
and rockets hurled at one another in that dreadful engage-
men 4 . 3 Arrowy showers, terrible to look at, coursed like flights
of locusts. Elephants, approaching elephants, routed one an-

* A triplet.— T,


other.* Horadmerh encountering horsemen in that battle, and
car- warriors enc mntoring car-warri >rs, and foot-soldiers en-
countering foot-suldiers, and foot-soldiers meeting with horse-
men, 5 and foot-soldiers meeting with cars and elephants, and
cars meeting with elephants and horsemen, and elephants of
great speed meeting with the three other kinds of forces,
began, O king, to crush and grind one another. 8 In conse-
quence of those brave combatants, striking one another and
shouting at the top of their voices, the field of battle became
awful, resembling the slausd-iter-firound of creatures (of Rudra
himself ). 7 The Earth, O Bharata, covered with blood, looked
beautiful like a vast plain in the season of rains covered with
the red ooccinella. 8 Indeed, the Earth assumed the aspect of a
youthful maiden of great beauty, attired in white robes dyed
with deep-red. 9 Variegated with flesh and blood, the field of
battle looked as if decked all over with gold. Large numbers of
heads severed from trunks, and arms, and thighs, and ear-rings,
and other ornaments displaced from the bodies of warriors, O
Bharata. 10 and collars and cuirasses and bodies of brave bow-
men, and coats of mail, and banners, lay scattered on the
ground.' 1 Elephants, coming against elephants, tore one another
with their tusks, king ! Struck with the tusks of hostile
compeers, elephants looked exceedingly beautiful. 18 Bathed in
bio id, those huge creatures looked resplendent like moving hills
decked with metals adown whose breasts run streams of liquid
chalk. 13 Lances hurled by horsemen, or those held horizontally
by hostile combatants, were seized by many of those beasts,
while many amongst them twisted and broke those weapons. 1 *
Many huge elephants, whose armour had been cut off with
shafts, looked, O king, like mountains divested of clouds at the
I advent of winter. 15 Many foremost of elephants, pierced with
| arrows winged with gold, looked beautiful like mountains. O
jsire, whose summits are lighted with blazing brands. 16 Some of
those creatures, huge as hills, struck by hostile compters, fell
down in that battle, like winged mountains (when dipt of their
wings). 17 Others, afllicted with arrows and much pained by
their wounds, fell down, touching the Earth, in that dreadful
battlc ; with their frontal globes or the parts between their


tusks. 18 Other roared aloud like lions. And many, uttering
terrible sounds, ran hither and thither, and many, king,
uttered cries of pain. 19 Steeds also, in golden trappings, struck
with arrows, fell down, or became weak, or ran in all directions. 8 ®
Others, struck with arrows and lances, or dragged down, fell
on the Earth and writhed in angony, making diverse kinds of
motion. 81 Men also, struck down, fell on the Earth, uttering
diverse cries of pain, sire ! Others, beholding their relatives
and sires and grandsires, 28 and others, seeing their retreating
foes, shouted to one another their well known names and the
names of their races. 88 The arms of many combatants, decked
with ornaments of gold, cut off, O king, by foes, writhed- on
the ground, making diverse kinds of motion. 24 Thousands of
such arms fell down and sprang up, and many seemed to dart
forward like five-headed snakes. 25 Those arms, looking like
the tapering bodies of snakes, and smeared with sandal-paste,
O king, looked beautiful, when drenched with blood, like little
standards of gold. 26 When the battle, becoming general, raged
so furiously on all sides, the warriors fought with and slew one
another without distinct perceptions of those they fought with
or struck. 27 A dusty cloud overspread the field of battle, and
the weapons used fell in thick showers. The scene being thus
darkened, the combatants could no longer distinguish friends
from foes. 28 Indeed, that fierce and awful battle proceeded thus.
And soon there began to flow many mighty rivers of bloody
currents. 29 And they abounded with the heads of combat-
ants that formed their rocks. And the hair of the warriors
constituted their floating weeds and moss. Bones formed the
fishes with which they teemed, and bows and arrows and maces
formed the rafts by which to cross them. 50 Flesh and blood
forming their mire, those terrible and awful rivers, with cur-
rents swelled by blood, were thus formed there, 81 enhancing
the fears of the timid and the joy of the brave. Those awful
rivers led to the abode of Yama. Many plunged into those
streams inspiring Kshatriyas with fear, and perished. 88 And in
consequence of various carnivorous creatures, tiger among,
men, roaring and yelling on all sides, the field of battle be-
came terrible like the domains of the king of the dead. 83 And


innumerable headless trunks rose up on all sides. And terrible
creatures, gorging on flesh and blood, and drinking blood and
drinking fat, Bharata, began to dance around/ 4 And crows
and vultures and cranes, gratified with fat and marrow and
other animal humours and flesh, were seen to move about in
glee. 85 Thy, however, O king, that were heroes, casting off
all fear which is so difficult of being cast off, and observing the
vow of warriors, fearlessly did their duty. 86 Indeed, on that;
field where countless arrows and darts coursed through the air,
and which was crowded with carnivorous creatures of diverse
kinds, brave warriors careered fearlessly, displaying their prow-
ess. 37 Addressing one another, O Bharata, they declared their
names and families. And many amongst them, declaring the
names of their sires and families, O lord, began to crush one
another, king, with darts and lances and battle axes. 38 " 89
During the progess of that fierce and awful battle, the Kaurava
army became strengthless and unable to bear up any longer like
a foundered vessel on the bosom of the ocean.' " 40

Section LIII.

"Sanjaya said — 'During the progress of that battle in which
so many Kshatriyas sank down, the loud twang of Gdiicliva,
O sire, was heard above the din, 1 on that spot, O king, where
the son of Pandu was engaged in slaughtering the Samsupta-
kas, the Kocalas, and the Narayana forces. 8 Filled with rage
and longing for victory, the Samsaptakas, in that battle, began
t i pour showers of arrows on Arjuna's head. 8 The puissant
Partha, however, quickly checking those arrowy showers, O
king, plunged into that battle, and began to slay many fore-
mast of car-warriors. 4 Plunging into the midst of that divi-
sion of cars with the aid of his whetted shafts equipt with
Kanka feathers, Partha came upon Sugarman of excellent
weapons. 5 That foremost of car-warriors poured on Arjuna
thick showers of arrows. Meanwhile the SameaptaJcasa also
covered Partha with their shafts. 6 Then Sucarman, piercing
Partha with ten shafts, struck Janarddana with three in
the right arm, With a bruad-headed arrow then, sire, he


pierced the standard of Arjuna. 7 Thereupon that foremost of
apes, of huge dimensions, the handiwork of the celestial artificer
himself, began to utter loud sounds and roar very fiercely,
afrighting thy troops. 8 Hearing the roars of the ape, thy
army became inspired with fear. Indeed, under the influence
of a great fear, that army became perfectly inactive. 9 That
army then, as it stood inactive, O king, looked be*a\itiful like
the Chaitraratha forest with its flowery burthen of diverse
kinds. 10 Then those warriors, recovering their senses, O chief
of tire Kurus, began to drench Arjuna with their arrowy down-
pours like the clouds drenching the mountains. 11 Then all of
them encompassed the great car of the Pandava. Assailing him,
they uttered loud roars, although all the while they were being
struck and slaughtered with sharp shafts. 12 Assailing his steeds,
his car-wheels, his car-shaft, and every other limb of his vehicle,
with great force, sire, they uttered many leonine roars. 13
Some among them seized the massive arms of Ke<;ava, and
some among them, king, seized Partha himself with great
joy as he stood on his car. 14 Then Kecava, shaking his arms
on the field of battle, threw down all those that had seized
them, like a wicked elephant shaking down all the riders from
his back. 15 Then Partha, encompassed by those great car-war-
riors, and beholding his car assailed and Kecava attacked in that
manner, became filled with rage, and overthrew a large number
of car-warriors and foot-soldiers. 16 And he covered all the com-
batants that were close to him with many arrows that were
fit for close encounters. Addressing Kecava then, he said, 17 — ■
Behold, O Krishna, O thou of mighty arms, these countless
Sarnsaptakas engaged in accomplishing a fearful task although
slaughtered in thousands ! 18 O bull amongst the Yadus, there
is none on Earth, save myself, that would be able to bear such
a close attack on his car. 19 — Having said these words, Vibhatsti
blew his conch. Then Krishna also blew his conch filling the
welkin with its blare. 20 Hearing that blare, the army of the
Sarnsaptakas began to waver, O king, and became inspired with
great fright. 21 Then that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son
of Pandu, paralysed the legs of the Sarnsaptakas by repeatedly
invoking, monarch, the weapon called Naga**^ Thus tied


trifch those foot-tying bands by the high-aouled son of Pandu, all

of them stood motionless, king us if they had boon petrified."
The son of Pandu then began to slay those motionless warriors
like Indra in days of yore slaying the Daityaa in the battle
with Taraka. 9 * Thus slaughtered in that battle, they set the
car free, and commenced to throw down all their weapons. 5 *
Their legs being paralysed, they could not, O king, move a
step. Then Partha slew them with his straight arrows.* 6 In-
deed, all those warriors, in that battle, aiming at whom Partha
had invoked that foot- tying weapon, had their lower limbs en-
circled with snakes.* 7 Then the mighty car-warrior Sinjarman,
O monarch, beholding his army thus paralysed, quickly invoked
the weapon called Saupama. 2 * Thereupon numerous birds
began to come down and devour those snakes. The latter
again, at sight of those rangers of the sky, began, O king, to
fly away. 29 Freed from that foot-tying weapon, the Samsapta-
ka force, monarch, looked like the Sun himself giving lighfj
unto all creatures, when freed from clouds. 30 Thus liberated,
those warriors once more shot their arrows, O sire, and hurled
their weapons at Arjuna's car. And all of them pierced Pilrtha
with numerous weapons. 31 Cutting off with his own arrowy-
downpour that shower of mighty weapons, Vasava's son, thafc
slayer of hostile heroes, began to slaughter those warriors. 8 '
Then Su carman, king, with a straight arrow, pierced
Arjuna in the chest, and then he pierced him with three
other shafts. 33 Deeply pierced therewith, and feeling great
pain, Arjuna sat down on the terrace of his car. Then all
the troops loudly cried out, saying, — Partha is slain / 84 — At
this, the blare of conchs, and the peal of drums, and the sound
of diverse musical instruments, and loud leonine shouts, arose
there. BS Recovering his senses, Partha of immeasurable soul,
owning white steeds and having Krishna for his driver, speedily
invoked the Aindra weapon. 35 Then thousands of arrows, O
sire, issuing from that weapon, were seen on all sides to slay
kings and elephants. 37 And steeds; and cars, in hundreds and
thousands, were also seen to be slaughtered in that battle, with
those weapons. Then while the troops were thus being slaugh-
tered, a great fear entered the hearts of all 53 the fiamsapta-


Jcas and the Gopilas, O Bharata ! There was no man amongst
them that could fight with Arjuna. 89 There, in the very
sight of all the heroes, Arjuna began to destroy thy troops.
Beholding that slaughter, all of them remained perfectly in-
active, without putting forth their prowess. 40 Then the son of
Pandu, having slain full ten thousand combatants in that battle,
looked resplendent, O monarch, like a blazing fire without
smoke. 41 And then he slew full fourteen thousand warriors,
and three thousand elephants. 48 Then the Samsaptakas once
more encompassed Dhananjaya, making death or victory their
goal. 43 The battle then that took place there between thy
warriors and that mighty hero, viz., the diadem-decked son of
Pandu, became awful." 44

Section LIV.

"Sanjaya said, — 'Then Kritavarman, and Kripa, and the son
of Drona, and the Suta's son, O sire, and Uluka, and Suva
la's son (Cakuni), and the king himself, with his uterine
brothers, 1 beholding the (Kuru) army, afflicted with the fear
of Pandu's son, unable to stand together like a vessel wreck-
ed on the ocean, endeavoured to rescue it with great speed.
For a short space of time, O Bharata, the battle that once
more took place became exceedingly fierce, enhancing as it
did the fears of the timid and the joy of the brave. 8 The
dense showers of arrows shot in that battle by Kripa, thick as
flights of locusts, covered the Srinjayas. 4 Then Cikhandin,
filled with rage, speedily proceeded against the son of Gotama
and poured upon that bull amongst BriLhmanas his arrowy
downpours from all sides. 8 Acquainted with the highest weap-
ons Kripa then checked that arrowy downpour, and wrath-
fully pierced Cikhandin with ten arrows in that battle. 8 Then
Cikhandin, filled with rage, deeply pierced Kripa, in that en-
counter, with seven straight arrows equipt with Kanka fea-
thers. 7 The twice-born Kripa then, that great car-warrior,
deeply pierced with those keen arrows, deprived Cikhandin of
his steeds, driver, and car. 8 Jumping down from his steedless
vehicle, the mighty car-warrior (Cikhandin) rushed impeut-


ously at the Brahman, having taken up a sword and a shield.'
As the Panchala prince advanced, Kripa quickly covered him
with many straight arrows in that encounter, which seemed
exceedingly wonderful. 10 Indeed, exceedingly wonderful was
the sight that we then beheld, even like the Hying of rocks,
for Cikhandin, O king, (thus assailed), remained perfectly in-
active in that battle. 11 Beholding Cikhandin covered (with
arrows) by Kripa, O best of kings, the mighty car-warrior
Dhrishtadyumna speedily proceeded against Kripa. 19 The great
car-warrior Kritavarman, however, rushing impetuously, re-
ceived Dhrishtadyumna as the latter proceeded against the son
Caradwat. 18 Then Drona's son checked Yudhishthira as the
latter, with his son and troops, was rushing towards the car of
Caradwat's son. 1 * Thy son Duryodhana, shooting a shower of
arrows, received and cheeked Nakula and Sahadeva, those two
great car-warriors endued with celerity. 1 * Kama, too, other-
wise called Vaikartana, O Bharata, in that battle, resisted
Bhimasena, and the Karushas, the Kaikayas, and the Srin
jayas. 18 Meanwhile Caradwat's son, in that battle, O sire, with
great activity, sped many arrows at Cikhandin, as if for the
purpose of burning him outright. 17 The Panchala prince,
however, whirling his sword repeatedly, cut off all those arrows,
decked with gold, that had been sped at him by Kripa from
all sides. 18 The son of Gotama then quickly cut off with his
arrows the shield of Prishata's son, that was decked with a
hundred moons. At this feat of his, the troops made a loud
uproar. 19 Deprived of his shield, O monarch, and placed under
Kripa's power, Cikhandin still rushed, sword in hand, (towards
Kripa), like a sick man towards the jaws of Death. 20 Then
Sukctu the son of Chitrakctu, king, quickly proceeded to-
wards the mighty Cikhandin plunged into such distress and
assailed in that manner by Kripa with his arrows. 81 Indeed,
the young prince of immeasurable soul rushed towards the car
of Gotama's Bon, and poured upon the Brahmana in thai
battle innumerable shafts of great keenness. 88 Beholding that
Brahmana observant of vows thus engaged in battle (with
another), Cikhandin, best of kings, retreated hastily from
that spot. 88 Meanwhile Suketu, O king, piercing the son of


Gotama with nine arrows, once more pierced him with seventy
and again with three. 24 Then the prince, O sire, cut off
Kripa's bow with arrow fixed thereon, and with another shaft
struck hard the latter 'a driver in a vital limb 25 . The son of

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