XXIII Vaisampayana said. That foremost one of Bharata's race, then ordered his troops, which were protected by heroes that were headed by Arjuna and that resembled the very guardians of the universe, to march out. Instantly, a loud clamour arose consisting of the words, Equip, Equip, of horse-men, O Bharata, engaged in equipping and their steeds.
Some proceeded on carriages and vehicles, some on horses of great speed, and some on cars made of gold endued with the splendour of blazing fires. Some proceeded on mighty elephants, and some on camels, O king. Some proceeded on foot, that belonged to that class of combatants which is armed with tiger-like claws The citizens and inhabitants of the provinces, desirous of seeing Dhritarashtra, followed the king on diverse kinds of conveyances. The preceptor Kripa also, of Gotama's race, that great leader of forces, taking all the forces with him, proceeded, at the command of the king, towards the old monarch's retreat. The Kuru king Yudhishthira, that perpetuator of Kuru's race, surrounded by a large number of Brahmanas, his praises sung by a large band of Sutas and Magadhas and bards, and with a white umbrella held over his head and encompassed around by a large number of cars, set out on his journey. Vrikodara, the son of the Wind-god, proceeded on an elephant as gigantic as a hill, equipt with strung bow and machines and weapons of attack and defence. The twin sons of Madri proceeded on two fleet steeds, well cased in mail, well protected, and equipt with banners. Arjuna of mighty energy, with senses under control, proceeded on an excellent car endued with solar effulgence and unto which were equipt excellent steeds of white hue. The ladies of the royal household, headed by Draupadi, proceeded in closed litters protected by the superintendents of women.
They scattered copious showers of wealth as they proceeded. Teeming with cars and elephants and steeds, and echoing with the blare of trumpets and the music of Vinas, the Pandava host, O monarch, blazed with great beauty. Those chiefs of Kuru's race proceeded slowly, resting by delightful banks of rivers and lakes, O monarch. Yuyutsu of mighty energy, and Dhaumya, the priest at the command of Yudhishthira, were engaged in protecting the city. By slow marches, king Yudhishthira reached Kurukshetra, and then, crossing the Yamuna, that highly sacred river, he beheld from a distance the retreat, O thou of Kuru's race, of the royal sage of great wisdom and of Dhritarashtra. Then all the men became filled with joy and quickly entered the forest, filling it with loud sounds of glee, O chief of Bharata's race'