Virata Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 30 Mar 2010 03:05 and updated at 30 Mar 2010 03:05


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Section 62

LXII Vaisampayana said, Then, O thou of the Bharata race, all the great car-warriors of the Kurus, united together, began to assail Arjuna to the best of their might from all sides. But that hero of immeasurable soul completely covered all those mighty car-warriors with clouds of arrows, even as the mist covereth the mountains. And the roars of huge elephants and conchs, mingling together, produced a loud up roar. And penetrating through the bodies of elephants and horses as also through steel coats of mail, the arrows shot by Partha fell by thousands.

And shooting shafts with the utmost celerity, the son of Pandu seemed in that contest to resemble the blazing sun of an autumnal midday. And afflicted with fear, the car-warriors began to leap down from their cars and the horse-soldiers from horse-back, while the foot-soldiers began to fly in all directions. And loud was the clatter made by Arjuna's shafts as they cleft the coats of mail belonging to mighty warriors, made of steel, silver, and copper. And the field was soon covered with the corpses of warriors mounted on elephants and horses, all mangled by the shafts of Partha of great impetuosity like unto sighing snakes. And then it seemed as if Dhananjaya, bow in hand, was dancing on the field of battle. And sorely affrighted at the twang of the Gandiva resembling the noise of the thunder, many were the combatants that fled from that terrible conflict. And the field of battle was bestrewn with severed heads decked with turbans, ear-rings and necklaces of gold, and the earth looked beautiful by being scattered all over with human trunks mangled by shafts, and arms having bows in their grasp and hands decked with ornaments. And, O bull of the Bharata race, in consequence of heads cut off by whetted shafts ceaselessly falling on the ground, it seemed as if a shower of stones fell from the sky. And that Partha of formidable prowess, displaying his fierceness, now ranged the field of battle, pouring the terrible fire of his wrath upon the sons of Dhritarashtra. And beholding the fierce prowess of Arjuna who thus scorched the hostile host, the Kuru warriors, in the very presence of Duryodhana, became dispirited and ceased to fight.

And, O Bharata, having struck terror into that host and routed those mighty car-warriors, that fore-most of victors, ranged on the field. And the son of Pandu then created on the field of battle a dreadful river of blood, with waving billows, like unto the river of death that is created by Time at the end of the Yuga, having the dishevelled hair of the dead and the dying for its floating moss and straw, with bows and arrows for its boats, fierce in the extreme and having flesh and animal juices for its mire. And coats of mail and turbans floated thick on its surface. And elephants constituted its alligators and the cars its rafts. And marrow and fat and blood constituted its currents. And it was calculated to strike terror into the hearts of the spectators. And dreadful to behold, and fearful in the extreme, and resounding with the yells of ferocious beasts, keen edged weapons constituted its crocodiles. And Rakshasas and other cannibals haunted it from one end to the other. And strings of pearls constituted its ripples, and various excellent ornaments, its bubbles. And having swarms of arrows for its fierce eddies and steeds for its tortoises, it was incapable of being crossed.

And the mighty car warrior constituted its large island, and it resounded with the bleat of conchs and the sound of drums. And the river of blood that Partha created was incapable of being crossed. Indeed, so swift-handed was Arjuna that the spectators could not perceive any interval between his taking up an arrow, and fixing it on the bow-string, and letting it off by a stretch of the Gandiva

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