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clouds pouring torrents of rain upon a mountain. Bhima,
however, could not brook that indication of his enemy's tri-
umph. 18 The son of Pundit, king, from that very station on
Acwatthilman's right, began to counteract the latter's feats.
Their cars continuing to wheel around in diverse ways and ad-
vance and retreat (according to the exigencies of the situ-
ation), 19 the battle between those two lions among men became
exceedingly furious. Careering in diverse paths, and (execut-
ing) circular mancevres, 20 they continued to strike each other
with arrows shot from their bows drawn to their fullest stretch.
And each made the greatest endeavours to compass the destruc-
tion of the other. And each of them desired to make the other
earless in that battle. 21 * Then that great car-warrior, viz., the
son of Drona, invoked many mighty weapons. The son of

A triplet in the Bengal texts — T


Panda, however, in that battle, with his own weapons, coun-
teracted all those weapons of his foe. 22 Then, O monarch,
there took place an awful encounter of weapons, like to the
terrible encounter of planets at the time of the universal des-
truction." Those shafts, O Bharata, let off" by them, collided
together, illuminating all the points of the compass and thy
troops also all around. 4 * Covered with flights of arrows, the
welkin assumed a terrible sight, like to what happens, king,
at the time of the universal dissolution, when it is covered with
falling meteors. 81 * From the clash of shafts, Bharata, fire
was generated there, with sparks and blazing flames. That fire
began to consume both armies. 88 Siddhas moving there, O
monarch, said these words, O lord, viz., — This battle is the
foremost of all battles ! 87 All the battles (fought before) do
not come up to even a sixteenth part of this ! A battle like
this will never occur again ! 88 Both these persons, viz., this
Brahmana and this Kshatriya, are endued with knowledge ! 89
Both are possessed of courage, and both are fierce in prowess !
Dreadful is the might of Bhima, and wonderful is the skill of
the other in weapons ! How great is their energy, and how
wonderful the skill possessed by both ! 80 Both of them stand
in this battle like two universe-destroying Yamas at the end
of the Yuga ! They are born like two Rudras, or like two
Suns ! 31 These two tigers among men, both endued with terrible
forms, are like two Yamas in this battle ! — Such were the words
of the Sid'lhas heard there every moment. And among the
assembled denizens of heaven there arose a leonine roar. S7 -f"
Beholding the amazing and inconceivable feats of the two
warriors in that battle, the dense throngs of Slddhas and
Charanas were filled with wonder. 88 And the gods, the Sid-
dhas, and the great Riskis applauded them both, saying, — Ex-
cellent, mighty-armed son of Drona ! Excellent, Bhima ! s *
— Meanwhile those two heroes, in that battle, O king, having
done injuries to each other, glared at each other with eyes

* The Bombay reading Yiidham in the second line of 25 is vicious.
The Bengal reading Yadvat ia evidently preferable. — T.
t A triolet in the Bengal texts.— T


rolling in rage." With eyes red in rage, their lips also quiver-
ed in rage. And they grinded their teeth in wrath and bit their
lips. 36 And those two great car-warriors covered each other
with showers of arrows, as if they were, in that battle, two
masses of clouds that poured torrents of arrows for rain and
that gleamed with weapons constituting their lightning. 87
Having pierced each other's standards and drivers in that great
battle, and having also pierced each other's steeds, they con-
tinued to strike each other. 38 Then, .monarch, rilled with
rage, they took up, in that dreadful encounter, two arrows, and
each desirous of slaying the other shot quickly at his foe. 89
Those two blazing arrows, resistless and endued with the force of
thunder, coming, king, to the two warriors as they stood 'at
the head of their respective divisions, struck them both. 43 The
two mighty combatants then, deeply struck with those arrows,
sank, each from the force of the other, on the terrace of his
respective car. 41 His driver then, understanding the son of
Drona to be insensible, bore him away from the battle, king,
in the sight of all the troops. 42 Similarly, O king, his driver
bore away from the battle, on his car, the son of Pandu, that
scorcher of foes, who was repeatedly falling into swoon.' " 4S

Section XVI

"Dhritarashtra said, — 'Tell me how occurred the battle of
Arjuna with the Samsaptakas, and of the other kings with the
Pandavas !' Tell me also, O Sanjaya, how happened the battle
of Arjuna with Acwatthaman, and of the other lords of Earth
with the Parthas !' 2

"Sanjaya said, — 'Listen, king, as I speak to thee as to how
occurred the battle of the heroic warriors (of our side) with the
foe, that battle which was destructive of bodies, sins, and
lives ! s That slayer of foes, viz., Partha, penetrating into tho
Samsaptaka force that resembled the ocean, agitated it exceed-
ingly, like a tempest agitating the vasty deep. 4 Cutting ffo
with broad-headed arrows of keen edges the heads of brave
warriors, that were decked with faces possessed of the splendour
of the full moon and with beautiful eyes and eyebrows and



teeth, Dhananjaya speedily caused the Earth to be strewn
therewith as if with lotuses plucked off their stalks.'* And
in that battle, Arjuna, with his razor-headed shafts, cut off
the arms of his foes, that were all well rounded, large, and
massive, and smeared with sandal-paste and other perfumes,
with weapons in grasp, with leathern fences casing their fingers,
and looking like five-headed snakes.'f And the son of Pandu
repeatedly cut off, with his broad-headed shafts, steeds, and
riders, and drivers, and flags, and bows, and arrows, and arms
decked with gems. 7 And Arjuna, in that battle, king, with
many thousands of arrows, despatched to Yama's abode, car-
warriors and elephants and horses and horsemen. 8 Many fore-
most of warriors, filled with rage, and roaring like bulls, and
mad (like them) with excitement for a cow in season, rushed
towards Arjuna, with loud cries. 9 + All of them then began to
strike Arjuna with their arrows as the latter was employed in
slaying them, like infuriate bulls striking one of their species
with their horns. The battle that took place between him
and them made the hair to stand on end, even like the battle
beween the Daityas and the wielder of the thunder-bolt on the
occasion of the conquest of the three worlds. 10 ^ Resisting
with his own weapons the weapons of his foes on all sides,
Arjuna, piercing them fast with innumerable arrows, took their
lives. 11 Like the wind destroying vast masses of clouds,
Arjuna, otherwise called Jaya, that enhancer of the fears of
his foes, cutting off into minute fragments large throngs of
cars, — cars, that is, whose poles, wheels, and ales had previously
been shattered by him, and whose warriors and steeds and
drivers had been slain before, and whose weapons and quivers
had been displaced, and standards crushed, and traces and reins
sundered, and wooden fences and shafts broken, already, —
and filling every body with wonder, achieved feats magnificient
to behold and rivalling those of a thousand great car-warrior3

* A triplet in the Bengal texts. — T.

T This also is a triplet in the Bengal texts.— T.

} The Bombay texts read this with a slight variation.— T.

1 A triplet in the Bengal texts.— T,


fighting together. 11 " 14 * Crowds of Siddhas and celestial Ri8his
and Chdranas all applauded him. And celestial kettle-drums
sounded, and floral showers fell upon the heads of Kecava and
Arjuna. And an incorporeal voice said, 1 * — These, viz., Kecava
and Arjuna, are those two heroes that always possess the beau-
ty of the moon, the splendour of fire, the force of the wind,
and the radiance of the Sun !" Stationed on the same car,
these two heroes are invincible even like Brahman and Icana !
These two heroes, the foremost of all creatures, are Nara and
Narayana ! 17 — Hearing and beholding these wonderful things,
Bharata, Ac^vatthaman, with great care and resolution,
rushed against the two Krishnas in that battle. 18 With his
arm that held an arrow in its grasp, the son of Drona hailed
the Pandava who was shooting shafts equipt with foe-slaying
heads, and smilingly told him these words. 19 — If, hero, thou
regard me a worthy guest arrived (before thee), then give me
today, with thy whole heart, the hospitality of battle ! a0 — Thus
summoned by the preceptor's son from desire of battle, Arjuna
regarded himself highly honored, and addressing Janarddana,
said, 21 -— The Samsaptakas should be slain by me, but Drona's
son again is summoning me ! Tell me, O Madhava, to which of
these duties should I first turn ? Rising, let the services of
hospitality be offered, if thou thinkest that to be proper !" —
Thus addressed, Krishna bore Partha who had been summoned
according to the rules of triumphant challenge, to the vicinity
of Drona's son, like Vayu bearing Indra to the sacrifice."
Saluting Drona's son whose mind was fixed upon one thing,
Kecava said unto him, — Acwatthaman, be cool, and with-
out losing a moment strike and bear ! 2 * The time has come
for those that are dependent on others to repay their obliga-
tion to their masters !f The disputes between Brahmanas are
subtile. The consequences, however, of the disputes of Kshatri-
yas are palpable, being victory and defeat !** For obtaining
those excellent rites of hospitality that from folly thou solicit-
est at the hands of Partha, fight coolly now with the son of

* The Bengal texts read Bhaya-varddhanam — T.

♦ Literally, 'to pay off their master's cake.' — T.


Panda I" 1 — Thus addressed by Vasudeva, that foremost of re-
generate ones replied, saying, — So be it !— and pierced Kecava
with sixty shafts and Arjuna with three." Arjuna then, filled
with rage, cut off Agwatthaman's bow with three shafts. Drona's
son took up another bow that was more formidable still. 28
Stringing it within the twinkling of an eye, he pierced Arjuna
and Kecava, the latter with three hundred arrows, and the
former with a thousand. 39 And then Drona's son, with good
care, stupifying Arjuna in that battle, shot thousands and tens
of thousands and millions <>f arrows. 30 From the quivers, the
bow, the bowstring, the fingers, the arms ; the hands, the chest,
the face, the nose, the eyes, 31 the ears, the head, the limbs,
the pores of the body, the armour on his person, the car, and
the standard, O sire, of that utterer of Brahma, arrows began
to issue. 33 Piercing Madhava and the son of Pandu with that
thick arrowy shower, Drona's son, tilled with joy, uttered a
loud roar resembling that of a vast mass of congregated clouds."
Hearing that roar of his, the son of Pandu said unto Kecava
of unfading glory these words : — Behold, Madhava, this
wickedness towards me of the preceptor's son ! ?+ He regardeth
us to be slain, having shrouded us with this dense arrowy
shower.* I will presently, however, by my training and might,
bat'rle his purpose ! 8 * — Cutting off every one of those arrows
shot by into three fragments, that foremost one
of Bharata's race destroyed them all like the Sun destroying a
thick fog. ss After this the son of Pandu once more pierced
with his fierce shafts the SamsaptaJeas with their steeds,
drivers, cars, elephants, standards and foot-soldiers. 37 Every
one of those that stood there as spectators, every one of those
that were stationed there on foot or ear or steed or elephant,
regarded himself as shrouded by the arrows of Arjuna. sg Shot
from Gdndiva, those winged arrows of diverse forme slew in
thot battle elephants and steeds and men whether stationed in
his immediate front or at the distance of two miles. ?9 The
trunks, cut off with broad-headed shafts, of elephants adown
whose cheeks and other limbs Ho wed the juice indicative of

* Literally, 'having made us the tumatets of thia arrowy maiibiOLi.''— • T.


excitement, fell down like tall trees in the forest struck down
with the axe. 40 A little after fell down elephants, huge as
hillocks, with their riders, like mountains crushed by Indra
■with his thunder.* 1 With his shafts cutting into minute por-
tions well-equipt cars that looked like dissolving edifices of
vapour in the evening sky and unto which were yoked well-
trained steeds of great speed and which were ridden by warriors
invincible in battle, the son of Pandu continued to shower his
arrows on his enemies. And Dhananjaya continued to slay
well-decked horsemen and foot-soldiers of the foe. 4a ~ 4S Indeed,
Dhananjaya, resembling the very Sun as he rises at the end
of the Yuga, dried up the Samsaplaka ocean incapable of
being dried up easily, by means of keen arrows constituting
his rays. 44 Without losing a moment, the son of Pandu once
more pierced Drona's son resembling a huge hill, with shafts
of great impetuosity and the splendour of the Sun, like the
wielder of the thunderbolt piercing a mountain with the
thunder. 45 Desirous of battle, the preceptor's son then, filled
with rage, approached Arjuna for piercing him and his steeds
and drivers by means of his swiftly-coursing shafts. Arjuna,
however, quickly cut off the shafts shot at him by A^wattha-
man. 48 The son of Pandu then, filled with great wrath, proffer-
ed unto Acwatthaman, that desirable guest, quivers upon
quivers of arrows like a charitable person offering everything
in his house unto a guest. 47 Leaving the SamsaptaJcas then,
the son of Pandu rushed towards Drona's son like a donor,
abandoning unworthy guests, for proceeding towards one that is
worthy.' " 48 *

* The two words used hero, viz., Panktcyam and its negative, have ae
peculiar signification. He that is worthy of being admitted to the sam
line with honored guests while sitting for a feed, is a pankteya. He, on
the other hand, that is excluded from the line is an apunkteya. To this
day the leaders of all castes in India are busied with questions affecting
the inclusion in or the exclusion from the caste line of its members on
o:cisiot)9 of feed and festivity. — T.

Section XVII.

"Sanjaya said,— "Then occurred that battle between Arjuna
anil Acwatthaman resembling the planets Cukra and Vrihaspati
in splendour, like the battle between Cukra and Vrihaspati in
the firmament for entering the same constellation. 1 Afflicting
each other with blazing shafts that constituted their rays, those
terrifiers of the world stood like two planets both deviating from
their orbits,* Then Arjuna deeply pierced Acwatthaman with
a shaft in the midst of his eye-brows. With that shaft the son
of Drona looked resplendent like the Sun with upward rays. 8
The two Krishnas also, deeply afflicted by Acwatthaman with
hundreds of arrows, looked like two Suns at the end of the
Yoga resplendent with their own rays.* Then when Vasu-
deva seemed to be stupified, Arjuna shot a weapon from which
issued torrents of shafts on all sides. And he struck the
son of Drona with innumerable shafts, each resembling the
thunder or fire or the rod of Death. 8 Endued with mighty
energy, that achiever of fierce feats, (viz., Acwatthaman,) then
pierced both Ke^ava and Arjuna with well-shot shafts inspired
with great impetuosity and struck with which Death himself
would feel pain.* Checking the shafts of Drona's son, Arjuna
covered him with twice as many arrows equipt with goodly
wings, and shrouding that foremost of heroes and his steeds
and driver and standard, began to strike the Samsaptakas. 7
With his wall-shot shafts Partha began to cut off the bows
and arrows and quivers and bowstrings and hands and arms
and tightly grasped weapons and umbrellas and standards
and steeds and car-shafts and robes and floral garlands and
ornaments and coats of mail and handsome shields and beauti-
ful heads, in large numbers, of his unretrcating foes ! 8 " 9 Well-
equipt cars and steeds and elephants, ridden by heroes fighting
with great care, were destroyed by the hundreds of shafts sped
by Partha and fell down along with the heroes that rode them. 1 '
Cut off with broad-headed and crescent-shaped and razor-faced
arrows, human heads, resembling the lotus, the Sun, or the
full Moon in beauty and resplendent with diadems and necklaces
and crowns, dropped ceaselessly on the Earth." Then the


Kalinga, the Vanga, and the Nishada heroes, riding on elephant''
that resembled in splendour the elephant of the great foe of
the Da-it y as, rushed with speed against that queller of the
pride of the Ddnavas, viz., the son of Pandu, from desire of
slaying him. 18 * Partha cut off the armour, the vital limbs,
the trunks, the riders, the standards, and the banners, of those
elephants, upon which those beasts fell down like mountain
summits riven with thunder. 18 When that elephant force was
broken, the diadem-decked Arjuna shrouded the son of his pre-
ceptor with shafts endued with the splendour of the newly-
risen Sun, like the wind shrouding the risen San with masses
of congregated clouds. 14 Checking with his own shafts those -
of Arjuna, Drona's son, shrouding both Arjuna and "Vasudeva
with his arrows, uttered a loud roar, like a mass of clouds at
the close of summer after shrouding the Sun or the Moon in
the firmament. 15 Deeply afflicted with those arrows, Arjuna,
aiming his weapons at Ac,watthaman and at those followers
of his belonging to thy army, speedily dispelled that dark-
ness caused by Acwatthaman's arrows, and pierced ail of
them with shafts epuipt with goodly wings. 16 In that battle
none could see when Savyasachin took up his shafts, when
he aimed them, and when he let them off. All that could
be seen was that elephants and steeds and foot-soldiers and car-
warriors, struck with his arrows, fell down, deprived of life. 17
Then Drona's son, without losing a moment, aiming ten fore-
most of arrows, sped them quickly as if they formed only one
arrow. Shot with great force, five of these pierced Arjuna'
and the other five pierced Vasudeva. 18 Struck with those
arrows, those two foremost of men, like Kuvera and Indra, be-
came bathed in blood. Thus afflicted, all the people there re-
garded those two heroes slain by Acwatthaman, that warrior who
had completely mastered the science of arms. 19 Then the chief

* Daityaripudwipa is explained hy Nilakantha to mean an Asura

Laving the form of an elephant. I cannot reject the obvious meaning

of the compound for following the commentator. The elephant of the

foe of the Dadyas would mean the prince of elephants, called AirS-

"vata, belonging to Indra.— T.


of the Daearhas addressed Arjuna and said,— Why errest thou
(in thus sparing Acwatthaman) ? Slay this warrior ! If treated
with indifference, even this one will bo the cause of great woe,
like a disease not sought to be put down by treatment !-^Rcply-
intf unto Kecava of unfading glory with the words — So be it,
— Arjuna of unclouded understanding began, witb good care, to
mangle the son of Drona with his shafts. 20 Now the son of Pan-
du, filled with rage, quickly pierced the massive arms, smeared
with sandal-paste, and the chest, the head, and the unrivalled
thighs of his antagonist with shafts equipt with heads like
goats' ears, and shot with great force from Gandiva. There
cutting off the traces of Ac watthiiman's steeds, Arjuna began
to pierce the steeds themselves, whereat the latter bore Ac/wat~
thaman away to a great distance from the field. 31 Thus borne
away by those steeds endued with the speed of the wind, the
intelligent son of Drona, deeply afflicted with the shaft3 of
Partha, reflecting for Some time, wished not to go back and
renew the fight with Partha." Knowing that victory is erei*
With the chief of the Vrishnis and with Dhananjaya. that fore-
most one of Angirasa's race, endued with great activity, entered
the army of Kama, deprived of hope and with shafts and
weapons almost exhausted. 25 Indeed, Drona's son, restraining
his steeds, and having comforted himself a little, sire, enter-
ed the force of Kama teeming with cars and steeds and men. 24
After Acwatthaman, that enemy of theirs, had been thus re-
moved from the field by his steeds like a disease removed from
the body by incantations and medicines and means, 2 * Kecava
and Arjuna proceeded towards the Samsaptakas, on their car
whose rattle resembled the roar of the clouds and whose banner
waved on the wind.' " 2 *

Section XVIII.

,: Sanjaya said, — "Meanwhile, towards the northern part of
the Pandava army, a loud uproar arose of cars and elephants
and steeds and foot soldiers as these were being massacred by
Dandadhara. 1 Turning the course of the car but without
stopping the steeds "fleet aa Garuda or the wind. KLecava, ad


dressing Arj ana, said, 2 — The chief of the Magadhas, with his
(foe-) crushing elephant, is unrivalled in prowess ! In train-
ing and might he is not inferior to Bhagadatta himself. 3 Hav-
ing slain him first, thou wilt then slay the Samsaptakas ! — At
the conclusion of his words, Kecava bore Partha to the presence
of Dandadhara.* The chief of Magadhas, peerless in hand-
ling the elephant-hook, even as the headless planet Ketu (is
peerless) among all the planets, was destroying the hostile army
like a fierce cummet destroying the whole Earth.'* Riding
on his foe-slaying and well-equipt elephant which looked like
the Dlnava with elephantine face and form,-f* and whose roar
resembled that of a congregated mass of clouds, Dandadhara was
destroying with his shafts thousands of cars and steeds and
elephants and men. 6 The elephant also, treading with his feet
upon cars, pressed down into the Earth a large number of men'
with their steeds and drivers. Many were the elephants also
that that foremost of elephants crushed and slew with his two
fore-feet and trunk. Indeed, the beast moved like the wheel of
Death. 7 Slaying men adorned with steel coats of mail, along
with their horses and foot-soldiers, the chief of the Maghadhas
caused these to be pressed down into the Earth, like thick reeds
pressed down with crackling sounds, by means of that mighty
and foremost of elephants belonging to him.* Then Arjuna,
riding on that foremost of cars, rushed quickly towards that
prince of elephants in the midst of that host teeming with
thousands of cars and steeds and elephants, and resounding
with the beat and blare of innumerable cymbals and drums
and conchs, and uproarious with the clatter of car-wheels, the
twang of bow-strings, and the sound of palms. 9 Then Danda-
dhara pierced Arjuna with a dozen foremost of shafts and
Janarddana with sixteen, and each of the steeds with three,
and then uttered a loud shout and laughed repeatedly. 10 Then
Partha, with a number of broad-headed shafts, cut off the bow

* Anlcuca-ymha means 'in handling the hook.' Yikacha-graha is ex-
plained by Nilkantha to mean either Ketu, the headless planet, or a
calamitous planet like a fierce coramet.— T.

t Vide note to verse 12 in the previous Section.— T.


of his antagonist with its string and arrow fixed thereon, as
also his well-decked standard, and then the guides of his beast
and the footmen that protected the animal. At this the lord of
Girivtaja became filled with rage. 11 Desirous of agitating Ja-
niirddana with that tusker of his, whose temples had split from
excitement, and which resembled a mass of clouds and was
endued with the speed of the wind, Dandadhara struck Dhanan-
jaya with many lances." The son of Pandu then, with three
ra/,or-headed arrows, cut off, almost at the same instant of
time, the two arms, each looking like the trunk of an elephant,
and then the head, resembling the full Moon, of his foe. Then
Arjuna struck the elephant of his antagonist with hundreds of
arrows. 18 Covered with the gold-decked arrows of Partha, that
elephant ejuipt with golden armour looked aa resplendent as a
mountain in the night with its herbs and trees blazing in a
conflagration. 14 Afflicted with pain and roaring like a mass
of clouds, and exceedingly weakened, the elephant, crying
and wandering and running with tottering steps, fell down
■with the guide on its neck, like a mountain summit riven by
thunder. 1 * Upon the fall of his brother in battle, Danda
advanced against Indra's younger brother and Dhananjaya,

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