XCIV Sanjaya said, After that bull among men, viz, Duryodhana, had set out from behind, following Partha and him of Vrishni's race, O king, both of whom had penetrated into the Kaurava army, the Pandavas accompanied by the Somakas, quickly rushed against Drona with loud shouts. And then commenced the battle between them and Drona's troops. And the battle that took place between the Kurus and the Pandavas at the gate of the array, was fierce and awful, making the hair stand on end. The sight filled the spectators with wonder. O king, the sun was then in the meridian. That encounter, O monarch, was truly such that we had never seen or heard of its like before. The Parthas headed by Dhrishtadyumna, all accomplished in smiting and arrayed properly covered the troops of Drona with showers of arrows. Ourselves also, placing Drona, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, at our head, covered the Parthas, gathered by Prishata's son, with our shafts.
The two hosts, adorned with cars and looking beautiful, then appeared like two mighty masses of clouds in the summer sky, driven towards each other by opposite winds. Encountering each other, the two hosts increased their impetuosity, like the rivers the Ganga and the Yamuna, swollen with water during the season of the rains. Having diverse kinds of weapons for the winds that ran before them, teeming with elephants and steeds and cars charged with lightning, constituted by the maces wielded by the warriors, the fierce and mighty cloud formed by the Kuru host, urged on by the Drona-tempest, and pouring incessant shafts that constituted its torrents of rain, sought to quench the scorching Pandava-fire. Like an awful hurricane in summer agitating the ocean, that best of Brahmanas, viz, Drona, agitating the Pandava host. Exerting themselves with great vigour, the Pandavas rushed towards Drona alone for piercing his host, like a mighty torrent of water towards a strong embankment, for sweeping it away. Like an immovable hill resisting the fiercest current of water, Drona, however, resisted in that battle the enraged Pandavas and Panchalas and Kekayas. Many other kings also, endued with great strength and courage, attacking them from all sides, began to resist the Pandavas. Then that tiger among men, viz, the son of Prishata, uniting with the Pandayas, began repeatedly to strike Drona, for piercing the hostile host. Indeed, as Drona showered his arrows on Prishata's son, even so did the latter shower his on Drona. Having scimitars and swords for the winds that blew before it, well-equipped with darts and lances and sabres, with the bow-string constituting its lightning, and the twang of the bow for its roars, the Dhrishtadyumna-cloud poured on all sides torrents of weapons, as its showers of stones.
Slaying the foremost of car-warriors and a large number of steeds, the son of Prishata seemed to deluge the hostile divisions with his arrowy downpours. And the son of Prishata, by his arrows, turned Drona away from all those tracks amid the car-divisions of the Pandavas, through which that hero attempted to pass, striking the warriors there with his shafts. And although Drona struggled vigorously in that battle, yet his host, encountering Dhrishtadyumna, became divided into three columns. One of these retreated towards Kritavarman, the chief of the Bhojas; another towards Jalasandha; and fiercely slaughtered the while by the Pandavas, proceeded towards Drona himself. Drona, that foremost of car-warriors, repeatedly united his troops. The mighty warrior Dhrishtadyumna as often smote and separated them. Indeed, the Dhartarashtra force, divided into three bodies, was slaughtered by the Pandavas and the Srinjayas fiercely, like a herd of cattle in the woods by many beasts of prey, when unprotected by herdsmen. And people thought that in that dreadful battle, it was Death himself who was swallowing the warriors first stupefied by Dhrishtadyumna. As a kingdom of a bad king is destroyed by famine and pestilence and robbers, even so was thy host afflicted by the Pandavas. And in consequence of the rays of the sun failing upon the weapons and the warriors, and of the dust raised by the soldiers, the eyes of all were painfully afflicted.
Upon the Kaurava host being divided into three bodies during that dreadful carnage by the Pandavas, Drona, filled with wrath, began to consume the Panchalas with his shafts. And while engaged in crushing those divisions and exterminating them with his shafts, the form of Drona became like that of the blazing Yuga-fire. That mighty car-warrior pierced cars, elephants, and steeds, and foot-soldiers, in that battle, each with only a single arrow, and never employing more than one in any case. There then was no warrior in the Pandava army who was capable of bearing, O lord, the arrows shot from the bow of Drona. Scorched by the rays of the sun and blasted by the shafts of Drona, the Pandava divisions there began to reel about on the field. And thy host also, similarly slaughtered by Prishata's son, seemed to blaze up at every point like a dry forest on fire. And while both Drona and Dhrishtadyumna were slaughtering the two hosts, the warriors of both armies, in utter disregard of their lives, fought everywhere to the utmost extent of their prowess. Neither in thy host, nor in that of the enemy, O bull of Bharata's race, was there a single warrior who fled away from the battle through fear. Those uterine brothers, viz, Vivingsati and Chitrasena and the mighty car-warrior Vikarna, surrounded Kunti's son Bhimasena on all sides. And Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Kshemadhurti of great prowess supported thy three sons who contended against Bhimasena.
King Valhika of great energy and noble parentage, with his own troops and counsellors, resisted the sons of Draupadi. Saivya, the chief of the Govasanas, with a thousand foremost warriors, faced the son, of great prowess, of the king of the Kasis and resisted him. King Salya, the ruler of the Madras, surrounded royal Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, who resembled a blazing fire. The brave and wrathful Duhsasana, properly supported by his own divisions, angrily proceeded, in that battle, against Satyaki, that foremost of car-warriors. I myself, with my own troops, cased in mail and equipped with weapons, and supported by four hundred foremost of bowmen, resisted Chekitana Sakuni with seven hundred Gandhara warriors armed with bows, darts and swords, resisted the son of Madri viz, Sahadeva. Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, those two great bowmen, who had, for the sake of their friend Duryodhana, uplifted their weapons, disregarding their lives, encountered Virata, the king of the Matsyas. King Valhika, exerting himself vigorously, resisted the mighty and unvanquished Sikhandin, the son of Yajnasena, that hero capable of resisting all foes. The chief of Avanti, with the Sauviras and the cruel Prabhadrakas, resisted wrathful Dhrishtadyumna, the prince of the Panchalas. Alamvusha quickly rushed against the brave Rakshasa Ghatotkacha.
of cruel deeds, who was wrathfully advancing to battle. The mighty car-warrior Kuntibhoja, accompanied by a large force, resisted Alamvusha, that prince of Rakshasas, of fierce mien. Thus, O Bharata, hundreds of separate encounters between the warriors of thy army and theirs, took place. As regards the ruler of the Sindhus, he remained in the rear of the whole army protected by many foremost of bowmen and car-warriors numbering Kripa amongst them. And the ruler of the Sindhus had for the protectors of his wheels two of the foremost warriors, viz, the son of Drona on his right, O king, and the Suta's son Karna on the left. And for protecting his rear he had a number of warriors headed by Somadatta's son, viz, Kripa, and Vrishasena, and Sala, and the invincible Salya, who were conversant with policy and were mighty bowmen accomplished in battle. And the Kuru warriors, having made these arrangements for the protection of the ruler of the Sindhus, fought with the Pandavas