Bhishma Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 31 Mar 2010 12:54 and updated at 31 Mar 2010 14:00


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Section 64

LXIV Sanjaya said, Then, O king, Bhurisravas, excited with great wrath, pierced Satyaki with nine arrows like the conductor of an elephant piercing an elephant with the iron hook. Satyaki also, of immeasurable soul, in the very sight of all the troops, pierced the Kaurava warrior with nine shafts. Then king Duryodhana, accompanied by his uterine brothers, surrounded Somadatta's son thus striving in battle. Similarly the Pandavas also, of great energy, quickly surrounding Satyaki in that battle took up their positions around him. And Bhimasena, excited with wrath, and with mace upraised, O Bharata, encountered all thy sons headed by Duryodhana. With many thousands of cars, and excited with wrath and vindictiveness, thy son Nandaka pierced Bhimasena of great might with keen-edged and sharp-pointed shafts whetted on stone and winged with the feathers of the kanka bird. Then Duryodhana, O king, in that great battle, excited with wrath, struck Bhimasena in the breast with nine shafts. Then the mighty-armed Bhima of great strength mounted on his own excellent car and addressing his charioteer Visoka, said, These heroic and mighty sons of Dhritarashtra, all great car-warriors, are exceedingly angry with me and desirous of slaying me in battle.

I will slay all these today in thy sight, without doubt. Therefore, O charioteer, guide my steed in battle with care' Having said this, O monarch, Pritha's son pierced thy son with sharp-pointed arrows decked with gold. And he pierced Nandaka in return with three arrows between his two breasts. Then Duryodhana having pierced the mighty Bhima with six arrows pierced Visoka in return with three other sharp arrows. And Duryodhana, O king, as if smiling the while, with three other sharp arrows cut off at the grasp the resplendent bow of Bhima in that battle. Bhima then, that bull among men, beholding his charioteer Visoka afflicted, in that conflict, with sharp shafts by thy son armed with the bow, and unable to bear it, drew another excellent bow, excited with wrath, for the destruction of thy son, O monarch. And excited with great wrath, he also took up an arrow with horse-shoe head and furnished with excellent wings. And with that arrow Bhima cut off the excellent bow of the king. Then thy son, excited to the highest pitch of fury, leaving that broken bow aside, speedily took up another that was tougher.

And aiming a terrible shaft blazing as Death's rod, the Kuru king, excited with rage struck Bhimasena between his two breasts. Deeply pierced therewith, and greatly pained, he sat down on the terrace of his car. And while seated on the terrace of his car, he swooned away. Beholding Bhima thus unmanned, the illustrious and mighty car-warriors of the Pandava army, headed by Abhimanyu could not bear it. And those warriors then, with great steadiness, showered on thy sons' head a thick down-pour of fierce shafts. Then the mighty Bhimasena, regaining consciousness, pierced Duryodhana at first with those shafts and then with five. And that mighty bowman the son of Pandu then pierced Salya with five and twenty shafts furnished with golden wings. And pierced therewith, Salya was borne away from the battle. Then thy fourteen sons, viz, Senapati, Sushena, Jalasandha, Sulochana, Ugra, Bhimaratha, Bhima, Viravahu, Aolupa, Durmukha, Dushpradarsha, Vivitsu, Vikata, and Sama, then encountered Bhimasena in battle. United together they rushed against Bhimasena, and with eyes red in wrath, showering countless arrows, they pierced him deeply.

Then the heroic and mighty Bhimasena of strong arms, beholding thy sons, licking the corners of his mouth like a wolf in the midst of smaller creatures, fell upon them with the impetuosity of Garuda. And the son of Pandu then cut off the head of Senapati with a shaft having a horse-shoe head. And with delighted soul and laughing the while, that mighty-armed warrior, piercing Jalasandha with three arrows, despatched him to Yama's abode. And next, smiting Sushena, he sent him to the presence of Death's self. And with a single broad-headed shaft he felled on the ground the head, handsome as the moon, of Ugra, decked with turban and adorned with ear-rings. And in that battle, Pandu's son Bhima, with seventy shafts, despatched Viravahu to the other world with his steeds and standard and charioteer. And smiling the while, O king, Bhimasena quickly despatched both the brothers Bhima and Bhimaratha also to Yama's abode. And then in that great battle in the very sight of all the troops, with an arrow of horse-shoe head Bhima despatched Sulochana also to Death's domain. Then the rest of thy sons that were there, O king, beholding the prowess of Bhimasena and while thus being struck by that illustrious warrior, all fled from battle from fear of Bhima. Then Santanu's son, addressing all the mighty car-warriors of his army said, That fierce bowman, Bhima, excited with wrath in battle, is slaying the mighty sons of Dhritarashtra and other heroic car-warriors united together, whatever their knowledge of weapons, and whatever their bravery.

Therefore, seize ye all that son of Pandu. Thus addressed, all the troops of the Dhritarashtra army, excited with rage, rushed towards Bhimasena endued with great might, And Bhagadatta, O king, on his elephant of rent temples, suddenly rushed thither where Bhimasena was stationed. And thither to the combat, he shrouded Bhima with his shafts whetted on stone so as to make him completely invisible, like the clouds covering the sun. Those mighty car-warriors, however, of the Pandava army, relying on the prowess of their own arms, could not bear that shrouding of Bhima with the arrowy showers of Bhagadatta. They, therefore, surrounding Bhagadatta on all sides, poured on him their arrowy down-pours. And they pierced his elephant also with showers of shafts. And struck by all those mighty car-warriors with showers of fierce shafts of diverse kinds that elephant, O king, of the ruler of the Pragjyotishas with blood trickling down his body, became beautiful to behold on the field of battle like a mass of clouds tinged with the rays of the sun. And that elephant with temporal juice trickling down urged by Bhagadatta, like the Destroyer, ran with double his former speed, shaking the very earth with his tread. Then all those mighty car-warriors, beholding that terrible mien of the animal, and regarding it irresistible, became cheerless. Then king Bhagadatta, that tiger among men, excited with rage, struck Bhimasena between his two breasts with a straight shaft.

Deeply pierced by the king with that shaft, that great bowman and mighty car-warrior, with limbs deprived of sensation in consequence of a swoon, sat down on his car, holding his flagstaff. And beholding those mighty car-warriors terrified and Bhimasena in a swoon, Bhagadatta of great prowess uttered a loud roar. Then, O king, that terrible Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, beholding Bhima in that state, became excited with rage and there and then disappeared from the view. And creating a terrible illusion enhancing the fears of the timid, he reappeared in a moment assuming a fierce form. Himself riding on an Airavata created by his powers of illusion, the other Dik-elephants, viz, Anjana, Vamana, and Mahapadma of blazing glory, followed him. And those three mighty elephants, ridden by Rakshasas, were of huge form, with juice profusely trickling down in three lines, and endued with great speed and prowess. Then Ghatotkacha urged his own elephant to battle, desirous, O chastiser of foes, of slaying Bhagadatta with his elephant. And those other elephants, excited with fury and each endued with four tusks, urged by Rakshasas of great strength, fell from all sides upon Bhagadatta's elephant and afflicted him with their tusks. And the elephant of Bhagadatta, thus afflicted by those elephants, already struck with arrows and feeling great pain, uttered loud cries that resembled the thunder of Indra. And hearing those terrible and loud cries of that roaring elephant, Bhishma, addressing Drona, Suyodhana and all the kings, said, The mighty bowman Bhagadatta is battling with the wicked-souled son of Hidimva, and hath fallen into great distress.

That Rakshasa is of huge form, and the king also is very wrathful. Engaged in battle, they would certainly prove each other's death. Loud shouts were also heard of the rejoicing Pandavas, and the cries of agony of king Bhagadatta's terrified elephant. Blessed be ye, let us all go there for rescuing the king, for, if left unprotected, in battle, he will soon give up his life. Ye warriors of great energy, do, as I bid, even now. Ye sinless ones, make no delay. The combat deepens and becometh fierce, making the hair to stand on end. That commander of a division is high-born, endued with great bravery, and devoted to us. Ye warriors of unfading glory, it is meet that his rescue should be effected by us' Hearing these words of Bhishma, all the kings of the Kuru army, headed by Bharadwaja's son, desirous of rescuing Bhagadatta, proceeded with great speed to where the ruler of the Pragjyotishas was.

And beholding the enemy advancing, the Panchalas with the Pandavas, headed by Yudhishthira, pursued them behind. Then that prince of Rakshasas, endued with great prowess, beholding that division of the enemy advance, uttered a fierce roar, deep as that of thunder. Hearing that roar of his and beholding those battling elephants, Santanu's son Bhishma once again addressed Bharadwaja's son and said, I do not like to fight to-day with the wicked-souled son of Hidimva. Endued with great might and energy, he is at present well-supported. He is incapable of being vanquished now by the wielder of the thunder-bolt himself. Of sureness of aim, he is a great smiter. As regards ourselves, our animals are tired today. We have also been greatly mangled by Panchalas and the Pandavas. I do not like fresh encounter with the victorious Pandavas. Let the withdrawal of our army, therefore, be proclaimed today.

Tomorrow we will fight with the foe' Hearing these words of the grandsire, the Kauravas, afflicted with the fear of Ghatotkacha, and availing of the advent of night as a pretext, gladly did what the grandsire said. And after the Kauravas had withdrawn, the Pandavas, crowned with victory uttered leonine roars, mingling them with the blare of conches and the notes of pipes. Thus did the battle take place that day, O Bharata, between the Kurus and the Pandavas headed by Ghatotkacha. And the Kauravas also, vanquished by the Pandavas and overcome with shame, retired to their own tents when night came. And those mighty car-warriors, the sons of Pandu, their bodies mangled with shafts and themselves filled with the result of the battle, proceeded, O king, towards their encampment, with Bhimasena and Ghatotkacha, O monarch, at their head. And filled with great joy, O king, they worshipped those heroes. And they uttered diverse kinds of shouts which were mingled with the notes of trumpets. And those high-souled warriors shouted making the very earth tremble therewith, and grinding as it were, O sire, the hearts of thy sons. And it was thus that those chastisers of foes, when night came, proceeded towards their tents.

And king Duryodhana, cheerless at the death of his brothers, passed some time in thoughtfulness, overcome with grief and tears. Then making all the arrangements for his camp according to the rules of military science, he began to pass the hours in meditation, scorched with grief and afflicted with sorrow on account of his slain brothers

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