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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 4 by Kisari Mohan Ganguli

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ranks, ourselves--great bowmen--standing carefully will fight with
Arjuna even as the _Danavas_ encounter Vasava in battle.'"


"Aswatthaman said, 'The kine, O Karna, have not yet been won, nor have
they yet crossed the boundary (of their owner's dominions), nor have
they yet reached Hastinapura. Why dost thou, therefore, boast of
thyself? Having won numerous battles, and acquired enormous wealth, and
vanquished hostile hosts, men of true heroism speak not a word of their
prowess. Fire burneth mutely and mutely doth the sun shine. Mutely also
doth the Earth bear creatures, both mobile and immobile. The
Self-existent hath sanctioned such offices for the four orders that
having recourse to them each may acquire wealth without being
censurable. A Brahmana, having studied the _Vedas_, should perform
sacrifices himself, and officiate at the sacrifices of others. And a
Kshatriya, depending upon the bow, should perform sacrifices himself but
should never officiate at the sacrifices of others. And a Vaisya, having
earned wealth, should cause the rites enjoined in the _Vedas_ to be
performed for himself. A Sudra should always wait upon and serve the
other three orders. As regards those that live by practising the
profession of flowers and vendors of meat, they may earn wealth by
expedients fraught with deceit and fraud. Always acting according to the
dictates of the scriptures, the exalted sons of Pandu acquired the
sovereignty of the whole earth, and they always act respectfully towards
their superiors, even if the latter prove hostile to them. What
Kshatriya is there that expressed delight at having obtained a kingdom
by means of dice, like this wicked and shameless son of Dhritarashtra?
Having acquired wealth in this way by deceit and fraud like a vendor of
meat, who that is wise boast of it? In what single combat didst thou
vanquish Dhananjaya, or Nakula, or Sahadeva, although thou hast robbed
them of their wealth? In what battle didst thou defeat Yudhishthira, or
Bhima that foremost of strong men? In what battle was Indraprastha
conquered by thee? What thou hast done, however, O thou of wicked deeds,
is to drag that princess to court while she was ill and had but one
raiment on? Thou hast cut the mighty root, delicate as the sandal, of
the Pandava tree. Actuated by desire of wealth, when thou madest the
Pandavas act as slaves, rememberest thou what Vidura said! We see that
men and others, even insects and ants, show forgiveness according to
their power of endurance. The son of Pandu, however, is incapable of
forgiving the sufferings of Draupadi. Surely, Dhananjaya cometh here for
the destruction of the sons of Dhritarashtra. It is true, affecting
great wisdom, thou art for making speeches but will not Vibhatsu, that
slayer of foes, exterminate us all! If it be gods, or _Gandharvas_ or
_Asuras_, or _Rakshasas_, will Dhananjaya the son of Kunti, desist to
fight from panic? Inflamed with wrath upon whomsoever he will fall, even
him he will overthrow like a tree under the weight of Garuda! Superior
to thee in prowess, in bowmanship equal unto the lord himself of the
celestials, and in battle equal unto Vasudeva himself, who is there that
would not praise Partha? Counteracting celestial weapons with celestial,
and human weapons with human, what man is a match for Arjuna? Those
acquainted with the scriptures declare that a disciple is no way
inferior to a son, and it is for this that the son of Pandu is a
favourite of Drona. Employ thou the means now which thou hadst adopted
in the match at dice,--the same means, viz., by which thou hadst
subjugated Indraprastha, and the same means by which thou hadst dragged
Krishna to the assembly! This thy wise uncle, fully conversant with the
duties of the _Kshatriya_ order--this deceitful gambler Sakuni, the
prince of Gandhara, let _him_ fight now! The _Gandiva_, however, doth
not cast dice such as the _Krita_ or the _Dwapara_, but it shooteth upon
foes blazing and keen-edged shafts by myriads. The fierce arrows shot
from the _Gandiva_, endued with great energy and furnished with
vulturine wings, car, pierce even mountains. The destroyer of all, named
Yama, and Vayu, and the horse-faced Agni, leave some remnant behind, but
Dhananjaya inflamed with wrath never doth so. As thou hadst, aided by
thy uncle, played at dice in the assembly so do fight in this battle
protected by Suvala's son. Let the preceptor, if he chooses fight; I
shall not, however, fight with Dhananjaya. We are to fight with the king
of the Matsyas, if indeed, he cometh in the track of the kine.'"


"Bhishma said, 'Drona's son observeth well, and Kripa too observeth
rightly. As for Karna, it is only out of regard for the duties of the
Kshatriya order that he desireth to fight. No man of wisdom can blame
the preceptor. I, however, am of opinion that fight we must, considering
both the time and the place. Why should not that man be bewildered who
hath five adversaries effulgent as five suns, who are heroic combatants
and who have just emerged from adversity? Even those conversant with
morality are bewildered in respect of their own interests. It is for
this, O king, that I tell thee this, whether my words be acceptable to
you or not. What Karna said unto thee was only for raising our
(drooping) courage. As regards thyself, O preceptor's son, forgive
everything. The business at hand is very grave. When the son of Kunti
hath come, this is not the time for quarrel. Everything should now be
forgiven by thyself and the preceptor Kripa. Like light in the sun, the
mastery of all weapons doth reside in you. As beauty is never separated
from _Chandramas_, so are the _Vedas_ and the _Brahma_ weapon both
established in you. It is often seen that the four _Vedas_ dwell in one
object and _Kshatriya_ attributes in another. We have never heard of
these two dwelling together in any other person than the preceptor of
the Bharata race and his son. Even this is what I think. In the
_Vedantas_, in the _Puranas_, and in old histories, who save Jamadagni,
O king, would be Drona's superior? A combination of the _Brahma_ weapon
with the _Vedas_,--this is never to be seen anywhere else. O preceptor's
son, do thou forgive. This is not the time for disunion. Let all of us,
uniting, fight with Indra's son who hath come. Of all the calamities
that may befall an army that have been enumerated by men of wisdom, the
worst is disunion among the leaders.' Aswatthaman said, 'O bull among
men, these thy just observations, need not be uttered in our presence;
the preceptor, however, filled with wrath, had spoken of Arjuna's
virtues. The virtues of even an enemy should be admitted, while the
faults of even one's preceptor may be pointed out; therefore one should,
to the best of his power, declare the merits of a son or a disciple.'

"Duryodhana said, 'Let the preceptor grant his forgiveness and let peace
be restored. If the preceptor be at one with us, whatever should be done
(in view of the present emergency) would seem to have been already

Vaisampayana continued, "Then, O Bharata, Duryodhana assisted by Karna
and Kripa, and the high-souled Bhishma pacified Drona.

"Drona said, 'Appeased I have already been at the words first spoken by
Bhishma, the son of Santanu. Let such arrangements be made that Partha
may not be able to approach Duryodhana in battle. And let such
arrangements be made that king Duryodhana may not be captured by the
foe, in consequence either of his rashness or want of judgment. Arjuna
hath not, to be sure, revealed himself before the expiry of the term of
exile. Nor will he pardon this act (of ours) today, having only
recovered the kine. Let such arrangements, therefore, be made that he
may not succeed in attacking Dhritarashtra's son and defeating our
troops. Like myself (who am doubtful of the completion of period of
exile) Duryodhana also had said so before. Bearing it in mind, it
behoveth the son of Ganga to say what is true.'"


"Bhishma said, 'The wheel of time revolves with its divisions, viz.,
with _Kalas_ and _Kasthas_ and _Muhurtas_ and days and fortnights and
months and constellations and planets and seasons and years. In
consequence of their fractional excesses and the deviations of also of
the heavenly bodies, there is an increase of two months in every five
years. It seems to me that calculating this wise, there would be an
excess of five months and twelve nights in thirteen years. Everything,
therefore, that the sons of Pandu had promised, hath been exactly
fulfilled by them. Knowing this to be certain, Vibhatsu hath made his
appearance. All of them are high-souled and fully conversant with the
meanings of the scriptures. How would they deviate from virtue that have
Yudhishthira for their guide? The sons of Kunti do not yield to
temptation. They have achieved a difficult feat. If they had coveted the
possession of their kingdom by unfair means, then those descendants of
the Kuru race would have sought to display their prowess at the time of
the match at dice. Bound in bonds of virtue, they did not deviate from
the duties of the Kshatriya order. He that will regard them to have
behaved falsely will surely meet with defeat. The sons of Pritha would
prefer death to falsehood. When the time, however, comes, those bulls
among men--the Pandavas--endued with energy like that of Sakra, would
not give up what is theirs even if it is defended by the wielder himself
of the thunderbolt. We shall have to oppose in battle the foremost of
all wielders of weapons. Therefore, let such advantageous arrangements
as have the sanction of the good and the honest be now made without loss
of time so that our possessions may not be appropriated by the foe. O
king of kings, O Kaurava, I have never seen a battle in which one of the
parties could say,--_we are sure to win_. When a battle occurs, there
must be victory or defeat, prosperity or adversity. Without doubt, a
party to a battle must have either of the two. Therefore, O king of
kings, whether a battle be now proper or not consistent with virtue or
not, make thy arrangements soon, for Dhananjaya is at hand.'

"Duryodhana said, 'I will not, O grandsire, give back the Pandavas their
kingdom. Let every preparation, therefore, for battle be made without

"Bhishma said, 'Listen to what I regard as proper, if it pleases thee. I
should always say what is for thy good, O Kaurava. Proceed thou towards
the capital, without loss of time, taking with thee a fourth part of the
army. And let another fourth march, escorting the kine. With half the
troops we will fight the Pandava. Myself and Drona, and Karna and
Aswatthaman and Kripa will resolutely withstand Vibhatsu, or the king of
the Matsyas, or Indra himself, if he approaches. Indeed, we will
withstand any of these like the bank withstanding the surging sea.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "These words spoken by the high-souled Bhishma
were acceptable to them, and the king of the Kauravas acted accordingly
without delay. And having sent away the king and then the kine, Bhishma
began to array the soldiers in order of battle. And addressing the
preceptor, he said, 'O preceptor, stand thou in the centre, and let
Aswatthaman stand on the left, and let the wise Kripa, son of Saradwata,
defend the right wing, and let Karna of the _Suta_ caste, clad in mail,
stand in the van. I will stand in the rear of the whole army, protecting
it from that point.'"


Vaisampayana said, "After the Kauravas, O Bharata, had taken their stand
in this order, Arjuna, filling the air with the rattle and din of his
car, advanced quickly towards them. And the Kurus beheld his banner-top
and heard the rattle and din of his car as also the twang of the
_Gandiva_ stretched repeatedly by him. And noting all this, and seeing
that great car-warrior--the wielder of the _Gandiva_--come, Drona spoke
thus, 'That is the banner-top of Partha which shineth at a distance, and
this is the noise of his car, and that is the ape that roareth
frightfully. Indeed, the ape striketh terror in the troops. And there
stationed on that excellent car, the foremost of car-warriors draweth
that best of bows, the _Gandiva_, whose twang is as loud as the thunder.
Behold, these two shafts coming together fall at my feet, and two others
pass off barely touching my ears. Completing the period of exile and
having achieved many wonderful feats, Partha saluteth me and whispereth
in my ears. Endued with wisdom and beloved of his relatives, this
Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu, is, indeed, beheld by us after a long
time, blazing with beauty and grace. Possessed of car and arrows,
furnished with handsome fences and quiver and conch and banner and coat
of mail, decked with diadem and scimitar and bow, the son of Pritha
shineth like the blazing (_Homa_) fire surrounded with sacrificial
ladles and fed with sacrificial butter.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Beholding the Kurus ready for battle, Arjuna
addressing Matsya's son in words suitable to the occasion, said, 'O
charioteer, restrain thou the steeds at such a point whence my arrows
may reach the enemy. Meanwhile, let me see, where, in the midst of this
army, is that vile wretch of the Kuru race. Disregarding all these, and
singling out that vainest of princes I will fall upon his head, for upon
the defeat of that wretch the others will regard themselves as defeated.
There standeth Drona, and thereafter him his son. And there are those
great bowmen--Bhishma and Kripa and Karna. I do not see, however, the
king there. I suspect that anxious to save his life, he retreateth by
the southern road, taking away with him the kine. Leaving this array of
car-warriors, proceed to the spot where Suyodhana is. There will I
fight, O son of Virata, for there the battle will not be fruitless,
Defeating him I will come back, taking away the kine.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus addressed, the son of Virata restrained
the steeds with an effort and turned them by a pull at the bridle from
the spot where those bulls of the Kuru race were, and urged them on
towards the place where Duryodhana was. And as Arjuna went away leaving
that thick array of cars, Kripa, guessing his intention, addressed his
own comrades, saying, 'This Vibhatsu desireth not to take up his stand
at a spot remote from the king. Let us quickly fall upon the flanks of
the advancing hero. When inflamed with wrath, none else, unassisted, can
encounter him in battle save the deity of a thousand eyes, or Krishna
the son of Devaki. Of what use to us would the kine be or this vast
wealth also, if Duryodhana were to sink, like a boat, in the ocean of
_Partha_?' Meanwhile, Vibhatsu, having proceeded towards that division
of the army, announced himself speedily by name, and covered the troops
with his arrows thick as locusts. And covered with those countless
shafts shot by Partha, the hostile warriors could not see anything, the
earth itself and the sky becoming overwhelmed therewith. And the
soldiers who had been ready for the fight were so confounded that none
could even the flee from the field. And beholding the light-handedness
of Partha they all applauded it mentally. And Arjuna then blew his conch
which always made the bristles of the foe stand erect. And twanging his
best of bows, he urged the creatures on his flagstaff to roar more
frightfully. And at the blare of his conch and the rattle of his
car-wheels, and the twang of the _Gandiva_, and the roar of the
superhuman creatures stationed on his flagstaff, the earth itself began
to tremble. And shaking their upraised tails and lowing together, the
kine turned back, proceeding along the southern road.'"


Vaisampayana said, "Having disorganised the hostile host by force and
having recovered the kine, that foremost of bowmen, desirous of fighting
again, proceeded towards Duryodhana. And beholding the kine running wild
towards the city of the Matsyas, the foremost warriors of the Kurus
regarded Kiritin to have already achieved success. And all of a sudden
they fell upon Arjuna who was advancing towards Duryodhana. And
beholding their countless divisions firmly arrayed in order of battle
with countless banners waving over them, that slayer of foes, addressing
the son of the king of the Matsyas, said, 'Urge on, to the best of their
speed by this road, these white steeds decked with golden bridles.
Strive thou well, for I would approach this crowd of Kuru lions. Like an
elephant desiring an encounter with another, the _Suta's_ son of wicked
soul eagerly desireth a battle with me. Take me, O prince, to him who
hath grown so proud under the patronage of Duryodhana.' Thus addressed,
the son of Virata by means of those large steeds endued with the speed
of the wind and furnished with golden armour, broke that array of cars
and took the Pandava into the midst of the battle-field. And seeing this
those mighty car-warriors, Chitrasena and Sangramajit and Satrusaha and
Jaya, desirous of aiding Karna, rushed with arrows and long shafts,
towards the advancing hero of Bharata's race. Then that foremost of men,
inflamed with wrath, began to consume by means of fiery arrows shot from
his bow, that array of cars belonging to those bulls among the Kurus,
like a tremendous conflagration consuming a forest. Then, when the
battle began to rage furiously, the Kuru hero, Vikarna, mounted on his
car, approached that foremost of car-warriors, Partha, the younger
brother of Bhima,--showering upon him terrible shafts thick and long.
Then cutting Vikarna's bow furnished with a tough string and horns
overlaid with gold, Arjuna cut off his flagstaff. And Vikarna, beholding
his flagstaff cut off, speedily took to flight. And after Vikarna's
flight, Satruntapa, unable to repress his ire, began to afflict Partha,
that obstructer of foes and achiever of super-human feats, by means of a
perfect shower of arrows. And drowned, as it were, in the midst of the
Kuru-array, Arjuna, pierced by that mighty car-warrior,--king
Satruntapa--pierced the latter in return with five and then slew his
car-driver with ten shafts, and pierced by that bull of the Bharata race
with an arrow capable of cleaving the thickest coat of mail, Satruntapa
fell dead on the field of battle, like a tree from a mountain-top torn
up by the wind. And those brave bulls among men, mangled in battle by
that braver bull among men, began to waver and tremble like mighty
forests shaken by the violence of the wind that blows at the time of the
universal dissolution. And struck in battle by Partha, the son of
Vasava, those well-dressed heroes among men--those givers of wealth
endued with the energy of Vasava--defeated and deprived of life, began
to measure their lengths on the ground, like full-grown Himalayan
elephants clad in mails of black steel decked with gold. And like unto a
raging fire consuming a forest at the close of summer, that foremost of
men, wielding the _Gandiva_, ranged the field in all directions, slaying
his foes in battle thus. And as the wind rangeth at will, scattering
masses of clouds and fallen leaves in the season of spring, so did that
foremost of car-warriors--Kiritin--ranged in that battle, scattering all
his foes before him. And soon slaying the red steeds yoked unto the car
of Sangramajit, the brother of Vikartana's son, that hero decked in
diadem and endued with great vigour then cut off his antagonist's head
by a crescent-shaped arrow. And when his brother was slain, Vikartana's
son of the _Suta_ caste, mustering all his prowess, rushed at Arjuna,
like a huge elephant with out-stretched tusks, or like a tiger at a
mighty bull. And the son of Vikarna quickly pierced the son of Pandu
with twelve shafts and all his steeds also in every part of their bodies
and Virata's son too in his hand. And rushing impetuously against
Vikarna's son who was suddenly advancing against him, Kiritin attacked
him fiercely like Garuda of variegated plumage swooping down upon a
snake. And both of them were foremost of bowmen, and both were endued
with great strength, and both were capable of slaying foes. And seeing
that an encounter was imminent between them, the Kauravas, anxious to
witness it, stood aloof as lookers on. And beholding the offender Karna,
the son of Pandu, excited to fury, and glad also at having him, soon
made him, his horses, his car, and car-driver invisible by means of a
frightful shower of countless arrows. And the warriors of the Bharatas
headed by Bhishma, with their horses, elephants, and cars, pierced by
Kiritin and rendered invisible by means of his shafts, their ranks also
scattered and broken, began to wail aloud in grief. The illustrious and
heroic Karna, however counteracting with numberless arrows of his own
those shafts by Arjuna's hand, soon burst forth in view with bow and
arrows like a blazing fire. And then there arose the sound of loud
clapping of hands, with the blare of conchs and trumpets and
kettle-drums made by the Kurus while they applauded Vikartana's son who
filled the atmosphere with the sound of his bow-string flapping against
his fence. And beholding Kiritin filling the air with the twang of
_Gandiva_, and the upraised tail of the monkey that constituted his flag
and that terrible creature yelling furiously from the top of his
flagstaff, Karna sent forth a loud roar. And afflicting by means of his
shafts, Vikartana's son along with his steeds, car and car-driver,
Kiritin impetuously poured an arrowy shower on him, casting his eyes on
the grandsire and Drona and Kripa. And Vikartana's son also poured upon
Partha a heavy shower of arrows like a rain-charged cloud. And the
diadem-decked Arjuna also covered Karna with a thick down-pour of
keen-edged shafts. And the two heroes stationed on their cars, creating
clouds of keen-edged arrows in a combat carried on by means of countless
shafts and weapons, appeared to the spectators like the sun and the moon
covered by clouds, and the light-handed Karna, unable to bear the sight
of the foe, pierced the four horses of the diadem-decked hero with
whetted arrows, and then struck his car-driver with three shafts, and
his flagstaff also with three. Thus struck, that grinder of all
adversaries in battle, that bull of the Kuru race, Jishnu wielding the
_Gandiva_, like a lion awaked from slumber, furiously attacked Karna by
means of straight-going arrows. And afflicted by the arrowy shower (of
Karna), that illustrious achiever of super-human deeds soon displayed a
thick shower of arrows in return. And he covered Karna's car with
countless shafts like the sun covering the different worlds with rays.
And like a lion attacked by an elephant, Arjuna, taking some keen
crescent-shaped arrows from out of his quiver and drawing his bow to his
ear, pierced the _Suta's_ son on every part of his body. And that
grinder of foes pierced Karna's arms and thighs and head and forehead
and neck and other principal parts of his body with whetted shafts
endued with the impetuosity of the thunderbolt and shot from the
_Gandiva_ in battle. And mangled and afflicted by the arrows shot by
Partha the son of Pandu, Vikartana's son, quitted the van of battle, and
quickly took to flight, like one elephant vanquished by another.'"


Vaisampayana said, "After the son of Radha had fled from the field,
other warriors headed by Duryodhana, one after another, fell upon the
son of Pandu with their respective divisions. And like the shore
withstanding the fury of the surging sea, that warrior withstood the
rage of that countless host rushing towards him, arrayed in order of
battle and showering clouds of arrows. And that foremost of
car-warriors, Kunti's son Vibhatsu of white steeds, rushed towards the
foe, discharging celestial weapons all the while. Partha soon covered
all the points of the horizon with countless arrows shot from the
_Gandiva_, like the sun covering the whole earth with his rays. And
amongst those that fought on cars and horses and elephants, and amongst
the mail-clad foot-soldiers, there was none that had on his body a space
of even two finger's breadth unwounded with sharp arrows. And for his
dexterity in applying celestial weapons, and for the training of the
steeds and the skill of Uttara, and for the coursing of his weapons, and
his prowess and light-handedness, people began to regard Arjuna as the
fire that blazeth forth during the time of the universal dissolution for
consuming all created things. And none amongst the foe could cast his
eyes on Arjuna who shone like a blazing fire of great effulgence. And
mangled by the arrows of Arjuna, the hostile ranks looked like
newly-risen clouds on the breast of a hill reflecting the solar rays, or
like groves of _Asoka_ trees resplendent with clusters of flowers.
Indeed, afflicted by the arrows of Partha, the soldiers looked like
these, or like a beautiful garland whose flowers gradually wither and
drop away: And the all-pervading wind bore on its wings in the sky the
torn flags and umbrellas of the hostile host. And affrighted at the
havoc amongst their own ranks, the steeds fled in all directions, freed
from their yokes by means of Partha's arrows and dragging after them
broken portions of cars and elephants, struck on their ears and ribs and
tusks and nether lips and other delicate parts of the body, began to
drop down on the battle-field. And the earth, bestrewn in a short time
with the corpses of elephants belonging to the Kauravas, looked like the
sky overcast with masses of black clouds. And as that fire of blazing
flames at the end of the _yuga_ consumeth all perishable things of the
world, both mobile and immobile, so did Partha, O king, consumeth all
foes in battle. And by the energy of his weapons and the twang of his
bow, and the preter-natural yells of the creatures stationed on his
flagstaff, and the terrible roar of the monkey, and by the blast of his
conch, that mighty grinder of foes, Vibhatsu, struck terror into the
hearts of all the troops of Duryodhana. And the strength of every
hostile warrior seemed, as it were, to be levelled to the dust at the
very sight of Arjuna. And unwilling to commit the daring act of sin of
slaying them that were defenceless, Arjuna suddenly fell back and
attacked the army from behind by means of clouds of keen-edged arrows
proceeding towards their aims like hawks let off by fowlers. And he soon
covered the entire welkin with clusters of blood-drinking arrows. And as
the (infinite) rays of the powerful sun, entering a small vessel, are
contracted within it for want of space, so the countless shafts of
Arjuna could not find space for their expansion even within the vast
welkin. Foes were able to behold Arjuna's car, when near, only once, for
immediately after, they were with their horses, sent to the other world.
And as his arrows unobstructed by the bodies of foes always passed
through them, so his car, unimpeded by hostile ranks, always passed
through the latter. And, indeed, he began to toss about and agitate the
hostile troops with great violence like the thousand-headed Vasuki
sporting in the great ocean. And as Kiritin incessantly shot his shafts,
the noise of the bow-string, transcending every sound, was so loud that
the like of it had never been heard before by created beings. And the
elephants crowding the field, their bodies pierced with (blazing) arrows
with small intervals between looked like black clouds coruscated with
solar rays. And ranging in all directions and shooting (arrows) right
and left, Arjuna's bow was always to be seen drawn to a perfect circle.
And the arrows of the wielder of the _Gandiva_ never fell upon anything
except the aim, even as the eye never dwelleth on anything that is not
beautiful. And as the track of a herd of elephants marching through the
forest is made of itself, so was the track was made of itself for the
car of Kiritin. And struck and mangled by Partha, the hostile warriors
thought that,--_Verily, Indra himself, desirous of Partha's victory,
accompanied by all the immortals is slaying us_! And they also regarded
Vijaya, who was making a terrible slaughter around, to be none else than
Death himself who having assumed the form of Arjuna, was slaying all
creatures. And the troops of the Kurus, struck by Partha, were so
mangled and shattered that the scene looked like the achievement of
Partha himself and could be compared with nothing else save what was
observable in Partha's combats. And he severed the heads of foes, even
as reapers cut off the tops of deciduous herbs. And the Kurus all lost
their energy owing to the terror begot of Arjuna. And tossed and mangled
by the Arjuna-gale, the forest of Arjuna's foes reddened the earth with
purple secretions. And the dust mixed with blood, uplifted by the wind,
made the very rays of the sun redder still. And soon the sun-decked sky
became so red that it looked very much like the evening. Indeed, the sun
ceaseth to shed his rays as soon as he sets, but the son of Pandu ceased
not to shoot his shafts. And that hero of inconceivable energy
overwhelmed, by means of all celestial weapons, all the great bowmen of
the enemy, although they were possessed of great prowess. And Arjuna
then shot three and seventy arrows of sharp points at Drona, and ten at
Dussaha and eight at Drona's son, and twelve at Duhsasana, and three at
Kripa, the son of Saradwat. And that slayer of foes pierced Bhishma, the
son of Santanu, with arrows, and king Duryodhana with a hundred. And,
lastly, he pierced Karna in the ear with a bearded shaft. And when that
great bowmen Karna, skilled in all weapons, was thus pierced, and his
horses and car and car-driver were all destroyed, the troops that
supported him began to break. And beholding those soldiers break and
give way the son of Virata desirous of knowing Partha's purpose,
addressed him on the field of battle, and said, 'O Partha, standing on
this beautiful car, with myself as charioteer, towards which division
shall I go? For, commanded by thee, I would soon take thee thither.'

"Arjuna replied, 'O Uttara, yonder auspicious warrior whom thou seest
cased in coat of tiger-skin and stationed on his car furnished with a
blue-flag and drawn by red steeds, is Kripa. There is to be seen the van
of Kripa's division. Take me thither. I shall show that great bowman my
swift-handedness in archery. And that warrior whose flag beareth the
device of an elegant water-pot worked in gold, is the preceptor
Drona--that foremost of all wielders of weapons. He is always an object
of regard with me, as also with all bearers of arms. Do thou, therefore,
circumambulate that great hero cheerfully. Let us bend our heads there,
for that is the eternal virtue. If Drona strikes my body first, then I
shall strike him, for then he will not be able to resent it. There,
close to Drona, that warrior whose flag beareth the device of a bow, is
the preceptor's son, the great car-warrior Aswatthaman, who is always an
object of regard with me as also with every bearer of arms. Do thou,
therefore, stop again and again, while thou comest by his car. There,
that warrior who stayeth on his car, cased in golden mail and surrounded
by a third part of the army consisting of the most efficient troops, and
whose flag beareth the device of an elephant in a ground of gold, is the
illustrious king Duryodhana, the son of Dhritarashtra. O hero, take
before him this thy car that is capable of grinding hostile cars. This
king is difficult of being vanquished in battle and is capable of
grinding all foes. He is regarded as the first of all Drona's disciples
in lightness of hand. I shall, in battle, show him my superior swiftness
in archery. There, that warrior whose flag beareth the device of a stout
chord for binding elephants, is Karna, the son of Vikartana, already
known to thee. When thou comest before that wicked son of Radha, be thou
very careful, for he always challengeth me to an encounter. And that
warrior whose flag is blue and beareth the device of five stars with a
sun (in the centre), and who endued with great energy stayeth on his car
holding a huge bow in hand and wearing excellent fences, and over whose
head is an umbrella of pure white, who standeth at the head of a
multitudinous array of cars with various flags and banners like the sun
in advance of masses of black clouds, and whose mail of gold looks
bright as the sun or the moon, and who with his helmet of gold striketh
terror into my heart, is Bhishma, the son of Santanu and the grandsire
of us all. Entertained with regal splendour by Duryodhana, he is very
partial and well-affected towards that prince. Let him be approached
last of all, for he may, even now, be an obstacle to me. While fighting
with me, do thou carefully guide the steeds.' Thus addressed by him,
Virata's son, O king, guided Savyasachin's car with great alacrity
towards the spot where Kripa stood anxious to fight."


Vaisampayana said, "And the ranks of those fierce bowmen, the Kurus,
looked like masses of clouds in the rainy season drifting before a
gentle wind. And close (to those ranks of foot-soldiers) stood the
enemy's horses ridden by terrible warriors. And there were also
elephants of terrible mien, looking resplendent in beautiful armour,
ridden by skilled combatants and urged on with iron crows and hooks.
And, O king, mounted on a beautiful car, Sakra came there accompanied by
the celestials,--the _Viswas_ and _Maruts_. And crowded with gods,
_Yakshas, Gandharvas_ and _Nagas_, the firmament looked as resplendent
as it does when bespangled with the planetary constellation in a
cloudless night. And the celestials came there, each on his own car,
desirous of beholding the efficacy of their weapons in human warfare,
and for witnessing also the fierce and mighty combat that would take
place when Bhishma and Arjuna would meet. And embellished with gems of
every kind and capable of going everywhere at the will of the rider, the
heavenly car of the lord of the celestials, whose roof was upheld by a
hundred thousand pillars of gold with (a central) one made entirely of
jewels and gems, was conspicuous in the clear sky. And there appeared on
the scene three and thirty gods with Vasava (at their head)--and (many)
_Gandharvas_ and _Rakshasas_ and _Nagas_ and _Pitris_, together with the
great _Rishis_. And seated on the car of the lord of the celestials,
appeared the effulgent persons of kings, Vasumanas and Valakshas and
Supratarddana, and Ashtaka and Sivi and Yayati and Nahusha and Gaya and
Manu and Puru and Raghu and Bhanu and Krisaswa and Sagara and Nala. And
there shone in a splendid array, each in its proper place the cars of
Agni and Isa and Soma and Varuna and Prajapati and Dhatri and Vidhatri
and Kuvera and Yama, and Alamvusha and Ugrasena and others, and of the
_Gandharva_ Tumburu. And all the celestials and the _Siddhas_, and all
the foremost of sages came there to behold that encounter between Arjuna
and the Kurus. And the sacred fragrance of celestial garlands filled the
air like that of blossoming woods at the advent of spring. And the red
and reddish umbrellas and robes and garlands and _chamaras_ of the gods,
as they were stationed there, looked exceedingly beautiful. And the dust
of the earth soon disappeared and (celestial) effulgence lit up
everything. And redolent of divine perfumes, the breeze began to soothe
the combatants. And the firmament seemed ablaze and exceedingly
beautiful, decked with already arrived and arriving cars of handsome and
various make, all illumined with diverse sorts of jewels, and brought
thither by the foremost of the celestials. And surrounded by the
celestials, and wearing a garland of lotuses and lilies the powerful
wielder of the thunderbolt looked exceedingly beautiful on his car. And
the slayer of Vala, although he steadfastly gazed at his son on the
field of battle, was not satiated with such gazing."


Vaisampayana said, "Beholding the army of the Kurus arrayed in order of
battle, that descendant of the Kuru race, Partha, addressing Virata's
son, said, 'Do thou proceed to the spot where Kripa, the son of
Saradwat, is going by the southern side of that car whose flag is seen
to bear the device of a golden altar.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of Dhananjaya, the son of
Virata urged, without a moment's delay, those steeds of silvery hue
decked in golden armour. And making them adopt, one after another, every
kind of the swifter paces, he urged those fiery steeds resembling the
moon in colour. And versed in horse-lore, Uttara, having approached the
Kuru host, turned back those steeds endued with the speed of the wind.
And skilled in guiding vehicles, the prince of Matsya, sometimes
wheeling about, and sometimes proceeding in circular mazes, and
sometimes turning to the left, began to be wilder than the Kurus. And
wheeling round, the intrepid and mighty son of Virata at last approached
the car of Kripa, and stood confronting him. Then announcing his own
name, Arjuna powerfully blew that best of conchs called _Devadatta_, of
loud blare. And blown on the field of battle by the mighty Jishnu, the
blare of that conch was heard like the splitting of a mountain. And
seeing that the conch did not break into a hundred fragments when blown
by Arjuna, the Kurus with all their warriors began to applaud it highly.
And having reached the very heavens, that sound coming back was heard
even like the crash of the thunderbolt hurled by Maghavat on the
mountain breast. Thereupon that heroic and intrepid and mighty
car-warrior, Saradwat's son Kripa, endued with strength and prowess,
waxing wroth at Arjuna, and unable to bear that sound and eager for
fight, took up his own sea-begotten conch and blew it vehemently. And
filling the three worlds with that sound, that foremost of car-warriors
took up a large bow and twanged the bow-string powerfully. And those
mighty car-warriors, equal unto two suns, standing opposed to each
other, shone like two masses of autumnal clouds. Then Saradwat's son
quickly pierced Partha, that slayer of hostile heroes, with ten swift
and whetted arrows capable of entering into the very vitals. And
Pritha's son also, on his part, drawing that foremost of weapons, the
_Gandiva_, celebrated over the world, shot innumerable iron-arrows, all
capable of penetrating into the very core of the body. Thereupon Kripa,
by means of whetted shafts, cut into hundreds and thousands of
fragments, those blood-drinking arrows of Partha before they could come
up. Then that mighty car-warrior, Partha also, in wrath displaying
various manoeuvres, covered all sides with a shower of arrows. And
covering the entire welkin with his shafts, that mighty warrior of
immeasurable soul, the son of Pritha, enveloped Kripa with hundreds of
shafts. And sorely afflicted by those whetted arrows resembling flames
of fire, Kripa waxed wroth and quickly afflicting the high-souled Partha
of immeasurable prowess with ten thousand shafts, set up on the field of
battle a loud roar. Then the heroic Arjuna quickly pierced the four
steeds of his adversary with four fatal arrows shot from the _Gandiva_,
sharp and straight, and furnished with golden wings. And pierced by
means of those whetted arrows resembling flames of fire those steeds
suddenly reared themselves, and in consequence Kripa reeled off his
place. And seeing Gautama thrown off his place, the slayer of hostile
heroes, the descendant of the Kuru race, out of regard for his
opponent's dignity, ceased to discharge his shafts at him. Then
regaining his proper place, Gautama quickly pierced Savyasachin with ten
arrows furnished with feathers of the _Kanka_ bird. Then with a
crescent-shaped arrow of keen edge, Partha cut off Kripa's bow and
leathern fences. And soon Partha cut off Kripa's coat of mail also by
means of arrows capable of penetrating the very vitals, but he did not
wound his person. And divested of his coat of mail, his body resembled
that of a serpent which hath in season cast off its slough. And as soon
as his bow had been cut off by Partha, Gautama took up another and
stringed it in a trice. And strange to say, that bow of him was also cut
off by Kunti's son, by means of straight shafts. And in this way that
slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Pandu, cut off other bows as soon
as they were taken up, one after another, by Saradwat's son. And when
all his bows were thus cut off, that mighty hero hurled, from his car,
at Pandu's son, a javelin like unto the blazing thunderbolt. Thereupon,
as the gold-decked javelin came whizzing through the air with the flash
of a meteor, Arjuna cut it off by means of ten arrows. And beholding his
dart thus cut off by the intelligent Arjuna, Kripa quickly took up
another bow and almost simultaneously shot a number of crescent-shaped
arrows. Partha, however, quickly cut them into fragments by means of ten
keen-edged shafts, and endued with great energy, the son of Pritha then,
inflamed with wrath on the field of battle, discharged three and ten
arrows whetted on stone and resembling flames of fire. And with one of
these he cut off the yoke of his adversary's car, and with four pierced
his four steeds, and with the sixth he severed the head of his
antagonist's car-driver from off his body. And with three that mighty
car-warrior pierced, in that encounter, the triple bamboo-pole of
Kripa's car and with two, its wheels. And with the twelfth arrow he cut
off Kripa's flagstaff. And with the thirteenth Phalguna, who was like
Indra himself as if smiling in derision, pierced Kripa in the breast.
Then with his bow cut off, his car broken, his steeds slain, his
car-driver killed, Kripa leapt down and taking up a mace quickly hurled
it at Arjuna. But that heavy and polished mace hurled by Kripa was sent
back along its course, struck by means of Arjuna's arrows. And then the
warriors (of Kripa's division), desirous of rescuing the wrathful son of
Saradwat encountered Partha from all sides and covered him with their
arrows. Then the son of Virata, turning the steed to the left began to
perform circuitous evolution called _Yamaka_ and thus withstood all
those warriors. And those illustrious bulls among men, taking Kripa with
them who had been deprived of his car, led him away from the vicinity of
Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti."


Vaisampayana said, "After Kripa had thus been taken away, the invincible
Drona of red steeds, taking up his bow to which he had already stringed
an arrow, rushed towards Arjuna of white steeds. And beholding at no
great distance from him the preceptor advancing on his golden car,
Arjuna that foremost of victorious warriors, addressing Uttara, said,
'Blessed be thou, O friend, carry me before that warrior on whose high
banner-top is seen a golden altar resembling a long flame of fire and
decked with numerous flags placed around, and whose car is drawn by
steeds that are red and large, exceedingly handsome and highly-trained,
of face pleasant and of quiet mien, and like unto corals in colour and
with faces of coppery hue, for that warrior is Drona with whom I desire
to fight. Of long arms and endued with mighty energy possessed of
strength and beauty of person, celebrated over all the worlds for his
prowess, resembling Usanas himself in intelligence and Vrihaspati in
knowledge of morality, he is conversant with the four _Vedas_ and
devoted to the practice of _Brahmacharya_ virtues. O friend, the use of
the celestial weapons together with the mysteries of their withdrawal
and the entire science of weapons, always reside in him. Forgiveness,
self-control, truth, abstention from injury, rectitude of
conduct,--these and countless other virtues always dwell in that
regenerate one. I desire to fight with that highly-blessed one on the
field. Therefore, take me before the preceptor and carry me thither, O

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus addressed by Arjuna, Virata's son urged
his steeds decked with gold towards the car of Bharadwaja's son. And
Drona also rushed towards the impetuously advancing Partha, the son of
Pandu,--that foremost of car-warriors,--like an infuriate elephant
rushing towards an infuriate compeer. And the son of Bharadwaja then
blew his conch whose blare resembled that of a hundred trumpets. And at
that sound the whole army become agitated like the sea in a tempest. And
beholding those excellent steeds red in hue mingling in battle with
Arjuna's steeds of swan-like whiteness endued with the speed of the
mind, all the spectators were filled with wonder. And seeing on the
field of battle those car-warriors--the preceptor Drona and his disciple
Partha--both endued with prowess, both invincible, both well-trained,
both possessed of great energy and great strength, engaged with each
other, that mighty host of the Bharatas began to tremble frequently. And
that mighty car-warrior Partha, possessed of great prowess and filled
with joy upon reaching Drona's car on his own, saluted the preceptor.
And that slayer of hostile heroes, the mighty armed son of Kunti, then
addressed Drona in an humble and sweet tone, saying, 'Having completed
our exile in the woods, we are now desirous of avenging our wrongs. Even
invincible in battle, it doth not behove thee to be angry with us. O
sinless one, I will not strike thee unless thou strikest me first. Even
this is my intention. It behoveth thee to act as thou choosest.' Thus
addressed Drona discharged at him more than twenty arrows. But the
light-handed Partha cut them off before they could reach him. And at
this, the mighty Drona, displaying his lightness of hand in the use of
weapons, covered Partha's car with a thousand arrows. And desirous of
angering, Partha, that hero of immeasurable soul, then covered his
steeds of silvery whiteness with arrows whetted on stone and winged with
the feathers of the _Kanka_ bird. And when the battle between Drona and
Kiritin thus commenced, both of them discharging in the encounter arrows
of blazing splendour, both well-known for their achievements, both equal
to the wind itself in speed, both conversant with celestial weapons, and
both endued with mighty energy, began shooting clouds of arrows to
bewilder the royal Kshatriyas. And all the warriors that were assembled
there were filled with wonder at sight of all this. And they all admired
Drona who quickly shot clouds of arrows exclaiming,--_Well done! Well
done_! Indeed, _who else save Phalguna, is worthy of fighting with Drona
in battle? Surely the duties of a Kshatriya are stern, for Arjuna
fighteth with even his own preceptor_!--And it was thus that they who
stood on the field of battle said unto one another. And inflamed with
fire, those mighty-armed heroes standing before other, and each
incapable of overcoming the other, covered each other with arrowy
showers. And Bharadwaja's son, waxing wroth, drew his large and
unconquerable bow plated on the back with gold, and pierced Phalguna
with his arrows. And discharging at Arjuna's car innumerable whetted
arrows possessed of solar effulgence, he entirely shrouded the light of
the sun. And that great car-warrior of mighty arms, violently pierced
Pritha's son with keen-edged shafts even as the clouds shower upon a
mountain. Then taking up that foremost of bows, the _Gandiva_,
destructive of foes and capable of withstanding the greatest strain, the
impetuous son of Pandu cheerfully discharged countless shafts of various
kinds adorned with gold, and that powerful warrior also baffled in a
moment Drona's arrowy shower by means of those shafts shot from his own
bow. And at this the spectators wondered greatly. And the handsome
Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, ranging on his car, displayed his weapons
on all sides at the same time. And the entire welkin covered with his
arrows, became one wide expanse of shade. And at this Drona become
invisible like the sun enveloped in mist. And shrouded by those
excellent arrows on all sides, Drona looked like a mountain on fire. And
beholding his own car completely enveloped by the arrows of Pritha's
son, Drona that ornament of battle, bent his terrible and foremost of
bows whose noise was as loud as that of the clouds. And drawing that
first of weapons, which was like unto a circle of fire, he discharged a
cloud of keen-edged shafts. And then there were heard on the field loud
sounds like the splitting of bamboos set on fire. And that warrior of
immeasurable soul, shooting from his bow arrows furnished with golden
wings, covered all sides, shrouding the very light of the sun. And those
arrows with knots well-peeled off, and furnished with golden wings,
looked like flocks of birds in the sky. And the arrows discharged by
Drona from his bow, touching one another at the wings, appeared like one
endless line in the sky. And those heroes, thus discharging their arrows
decked with gold, seemed to cover the sky with showers of meteors. And
furnished with feathers of the _Kanka_ bird, those arrows looked like
rows of cranes ranging in the autumnal sky. And the fierce and terrible
encounter that took place between the illustrious Drona and Arjuna
resembled that between Virata and Vasava of old. And discharging arrows
at each other from bows drawn at their fullest stretch, they resembled
two elephants assailing each other with their tusks. And those wrathful
warriors--those ornaments of battle--fighting strictly according to
established usage, displayed in that conflict various celestial weapons
in due order. Then that foremost of victorious men, Arjuna, by means of
his keen shafts resisted the whetted arrows shot by that best of
preceptors. And displaying before the spectators various weapons, that
hero of terrible prowess covered the sky with various kinds of arrows.
And beholding that tiger among men, Arjuna, endued with fierce energy
and intent upon striking him, that foremost of warriors and best of
preceptors (from affection) began to fight with him playfully by means
of smooth and straight arrows. And Bharadwaja's son fought on with
Phalguna, resisting with his own the celestial weapons shot by the
former. And the fight that took place between those enraged lions among
men, incapable of bearing each other, was like unto encounter between
the gods and the _Danavas_. And the son of Pandu repeatedly baffled with
his own, the _Aindra_, the _Vayavya_, and the _Agneya_ weapons that were
shot by Drona. And discharging keen shafts, those mighty bowmen, by
their arrowy showers completely covered the sky and made a wide expanse
of shade. And then the arrows shot by Arjuna, falling on the bodies of
hostile warriors, produced the crash of thunderbolt. O king, elephants,
cars, and horses, bathed in blood, looked like _Kinsuka_ trees crowned
with flowers. And in that encounter between Drona and Arjuna, beholding
the field covered with arms decked with bangles, and gorgeously-attired
car-warriors, and coats of mail variegated with gold, and with banners
lying scattered all about, and with warriors slain by means of Partha's
arrows, the Kuru host became panic-stricken. And shaking their bows
capable of bearing much strain, those combatants began to shroud and
weaken each other with their shafts. And, O bull of the Bharata race,
the encounter that took place between Drona and Kunti's son was dreadful
in the extreme and resembled that between Vali and Vasava. And staking
their very lives, they began to pierce each other straight arrows shot
from their fully-stretched bow-strings. And a voice was heard in the sky
applauding Drona, and saying, 'Difficult is the feat performed by Drona,
inasmuch as he fighteth with Arjuna,--that grinder of foes, that warrior
endued with mighty energy, of firm grasp, and invincible in
battle,--that conqueror of both celestials and _Daityas_, that foremost
of all car-warriors.' And beholding Partha's infallibility, training,
fleetness of hand, and the range also of Arjuna's, arrows, Drona became
amazed. And, O bull of the Bharata race, lifting up his excellent bow,
the _Gandiva_, the unforbearing Partha drew it now with one hand and now
with another shot an arrowy shower. And beholding that shower resembling
a flight of locusts, the spectators wondering applauded him exclaiming,
'Excellent! Excellent!' And so ceaselessly did he shoot his arrows that
the very air was unable to penetrate the thick array. And the spectators
could not perceive any interval between the taking up of the arrows and
letting them off. And in that fierce encounter characterised by
lightness of hand in the discharge of weapons, Partha began to shoot his
arrows more quickly than before. And then all at once hundreds and
thousands of straight arrows fell upon Drona's car. And, O bull of the
Bharata race, beholding Drona completely covered by the wielder of the
_Gandiva_ with his arrows, the Kuru army set up exclamation of '_Oh'!_
and '_Alas'!_ And Maghavat, together with those _Gandharvas_ and
_Apsaras_ that have come there, applauded the fleetness of Partha's
hand. And that mighty car-warrior, the preceptor's son, then resisted
the Pandva with a mighty array of cars. And although enraged with
Arjuna, yet Aswatthaman mentally admired that feat of the high-souled
son of Pritha. And waxing wroth, he rushed towards Partha, and
discharged at him an arrowy shower like a heavy down-pour by the cloud.
And turning his steeds towards Drona's son, Partha gave Drona an
opportunity to leave the field. And thereupon the latter, wounded in
that terrible encounter, and his mail and banner gone sped away by the
aid of swift horses."


Vaisampayana said, "Then, O mighty king, Drona's son rushed to an
encounter with Arjuna in battle. And beholding his rush to the conflict
like a hurricane, showering shafts like a rain charged cloud Pritha's
son received him with a cloud of arrows. And terrible was the encounter
between them, like that between the gods and the _Danavas_. And they
shot arrows at each other like Virata and Vasava. And the welkin being
enveloped on all sides with arrows, the sun was completely hidden, and
the air itself was hushed. And, O conqueror of hostile cities, as they
assailed and struck each other, loud sounds arose as of bamboos on fire.
And, O king, Aswatthaman's horses being sorely afflicted by Arjuna, they
became bewildered and could not ascertain which way to go. And as
Pritha's son ranged on the field, the powerful son of Drona finding an
opportunity, cut off the string of the _Gandiva_ with an arrow furnished
with a horse-shoe head. And beholding that extraordinary feat of his,
the celestials applauded him highly. And exclaiming--'Well done!'--'Well
done!' Drona and Bhishma, and Karna, and the mighty warrior Kripa, all
applauded that feat of his greatly. And the son of Drona, drawing his
excellent bow, pierced with his shafts, furnished with the feathers of
the _Kanka_ bird, the breast of Partha, that bull among warriors.
Thereupon, with a loud laughter, the mighty-armed son of Pritha attached
a strong and fresh string to _Gandiva_. And moistening his bow-string
with the sweat that stood on his forehead resembling the crescent moon,
Pritha's son advanced towards his adversary, even as an infuriated
leader of a herd of elephants rusheth at another elephant. And the
encounter that took place between those two matchless heroes on the
field of battle was exceedingly fierce and made the bristles of the
spectators stand on their ends. And as those heroes endued with mighty
energy fought on, the two mighty elephants, the Kurus beheld them with
wonder. And those brave bulls among men assailed each other with arrows
of snaky forms and resembling blazing fires. And as the couple of
quivers belonging to the Pandava was inexhaustible, that hero was able
to remain on the field immovable as a mountain. And as Aswatthaman's
arrows, in consequence of his ceaseless discharge in that conflict, were
quickly exhausted, it was for this that Arjuna prevailed over his
adversary. Then Karna, drawing his large bow with great force twanged
the bow-string. And thereupon arose loud exclamation of '_Oh!_' and
'_Alas!_' And Pritha's son, casting his eyes towards the spot where that
bow was twanged, beheld before him the son of Radha. And at that sight
his wrath was greatly excited. And inflamed with ire and desirous of
slaying Karna, that bull of the Kuru race stared at him with rolling
eyes. And, O king, beholding Partha turn away from Aswatthaman's side,
the Kuru warriors discharged thousands of arrows on Arjuna. And the
mighty-armed Dhananjaya, that conqueror of foes, leaving Drona's son,
all on a sudden rushed towards Karna. And rushing towards Karna, with
eyes reddened in anger the son of Kunti, desirous of a single combat
with him, said these words."


"Arjuna said, 'The time, O Karna, hath now come for making good thy
loquacious boast in the midst of the assembly, viz., that there is none
equal to thee in fight. Today, O Karna, contending with me in terrible
conflict, thou shalt know thy own strength, and shalt no longer
disregard others. Abandoning good breeding, thou hadst uttered many
harsh words, but this that thou endeavourest to do, is, I think,
exceedingly difficult. Do thou now, O Radha's son, contending with me in
the sight of the Kurus, make good what thou hadst said before in
disregard of myself. Thou who hadst witnessed Panchala's princess
outraged by villains in the midst of the court, do thou now reap the
fruit of that act of thine. Fettered by the bonds of morality before, I
desisted from vengeance then. Behold now, O son of Radha, the fruit of
that wrath in conflict at hand. O wicked wight, we have suffered much
misery in that forest for full twelve years. Reap thou today the fruits
of our concentrated vengeance. Come, O Karna, cope with me in battle.
Let these thy Kaurava warriors witness the conflict.' Hearing these
words, Karna replied, 'Do thou, O Partha, accomplish in deed what thou
sayst in words. The world knows that thy words verily exceed thy deed.
That thou hadst foreborne formerly was owing to thy inability to do
anything. If we witness thy prowess even now, we may acknowledge its
truth. If thy past forbearance was due to thy having been bound by the
bonds of morality, truly thou art equally bound now although thou
regardest thyself free. Having as thou sayst, passed thy exile in the
woods in strict accordance with thy pledge and being therefore weakened
by practising an ascetic course of life, how canst thou desire a combat
with me now! O Pritha's son, if Sakra himself fight on thy side, still I
would feel no anxiety in putting forth my prowess. Thy wish, O son of
Kunti, is about to be gratified. Do thou fight with me now, and behold
my strength.' Hearing this, Arjuna said, 'Even now, O Radha's son, thou
hadst fled from battle with me, and it is for this that thou livest
although thy younger brother hath been slain. What other person, save
thee, having beheld his younger brother slain in battle would himself
fly from the field, and boast as thou dost, amid good and true men?'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having said these words unto Karna, the
invincible Vibhatsu rushed at him and charged a volley of shafts capable
of penetrating through a coat of mail. But that mighty car-warrior,
Karna, received with great alacrity that discharge with an arrowy shower
of his own, heavy as the downpour of the clouds. And that fierce volley
of arrows covered all sides and severally pierced the steeds and arms
and leathern fences of the combatants. And incapable of putting up with
that assault, Arjuna cut off the strings of Karna's quiver by means of a
straight and sharp arrow. Thereupon, taking out from his quiver another
arrow, Karna pierced the Pandava in the hand at which the latter's hold
of the bow was loosened. And then the mighty-armed Partha cut off
Karna's bow into fragments. And Karna replied by hurling a dart at his
adversary, but Arjuna cut it off by means of his arrows. And then the
warriors that followed the son of Radha rushed in crowds at Arjuna, but
Partha sent them all to the abode of Yama by means of arrows shot from
the _Gandiva_. And Vibhatsu slew the steeds of Karna by means of sharp
and tough arrows shot from the bow-string drawn to the ear, and deprived
of life they dropped down on the ground. And taking another sharp and
blazing arrow endued with great energy, the mighty son of Kunti pierced
the breast of Karna. And that arrow, cleaving through his mail,
penetrated into his body. And at this, Karna's vision was obscured and
his senses left him. And regaining consciousness, he felt a great pain,
and leaving the combat fled in a northernly direction. And at this, the
mighty car-warrior Arjuna and Uttara, both began to address him


Vaisampayana said, "Having defeated Vikartana's son, Arjuna said unto
the son of Virata, 'Take me towards that division where yonder device of
a golden palmyra is seen. There our grandfather, Santanu's son, like
unto a celestial, waiteth, desirous of an encounter with me.' Thereupon,
beholding that mighty host thronged with cars and horses and elephants,
Uttara, sorely pierced with arrows, said, 'O hero, I am no longer able
to guide thy excellent steeds. My spirits droop and my mind is
exceedingly bewildered. All the directions seem to be whirling before my
eyes in consequence of the energy of the celestial weapons used by thee
and the Kurus. I have been deprived of my senses by the stench of fat
and blood and flesh. Beholding all this, from terror my mind is, as it
were, cleft in twain. Never before had I beheld such a muster of horses
in battle. And at the flapping of fences, and the blare of conchs, the
leonine roars made by the warriors and the shrieks of elephants, and the
twang of the _Gandiva_ resembling the thunder, I have, O hero, been so
stupefied that I have been deprived of both hearing and memory. And, O
hero, beholding thee incessantly drawing to a circle, in course of the
conflict, the _Gandiva_ which resembleth a circle of fire, my sight
faileth me and my heart is rent asunder. And seeing thy fierce form in
battle, like that of the wielder of the _Pinaka_ while inflamed with
wrath, and looking also at the terrible arrows shot by thee, I am filled
with fear. I fail to see when thou takest up thy excellent arrows, when
thou fixest them on the bow-string, and when thou lettest them off. And
though all this is done before my eyes, yet, deprived of my senses, I do
not see it. My spirits are drooping and earth itself seems to be
swimming before me. I have no strength to hold the whip and the reins.'
Hearing these words, Arjuna said, 'Do thou not fear. Assure thyself.
Thou also hast, on the field of battle performed, O bull among men,
wonderful feats. Blessed be thou, thou art a prince and born in the
illustrious line of Matsyas. It behoveth thee not to feel dispirited in
chastising thy foes. Therefore, O prince, stationed on my car, muster
all thy fortitude and hold the reins of my steeds, O slayer of foes,
when I once more become engaged in battle.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having said this unto Virata's son, that best
of men and foremost of car-warriors, the mighty-armed Arjuna, again
addressed the son of Virata, saying. 'Take me without delay to the van
of Bhishma's division. I will cut off his very bow-string in the battle.
Thou shalt behold today the celestial weapons of blazing beauty, shot by
me, look like flashes of lightning disporting amid the clouds in the
sky. The Kauravas shall behold the gold decked back of my _Gandiva_
today, and assembled together the foe shall dispute, saying,--_By which
hand of his, the right or the left, doth he shoot_? And I shall cause a
dreadful river (of death) to flow today towards the other world with
blood for its waters and cars for its eddies, and elephants for its
crocodiles. I shall today, with my straight arrows, extirpate the _Kuru_
forest having hands and feet and heads and backs and arms for the
branches of its trees. Alone, bow in hand, vanquishing the Kuru host, a
hundred paths shall open before me like those of a forest in
conflagration. Struck by me thou shalt today behold the Kuru army moving
round and round like a wheel (unable to fly off the field). I shall show
thee today my excellent training in arrows and weapons. Stay thou on my
car firmly, whether the ground be smooth or uneven. I can pierce with my
winged arrows even the mountain of _Sumeru_ that stands touching the
very heavens. I slew of old, at Indra's command, hundreds and thousands
of _Paulomas_ and _Kalakhanjas_ in battle. I have obtained my firmness
of grasp from Indra, and my lightness of hand from _Brahman_, and I have
learnt various modes of fierce attack and defence amid crowds of foes
from _Prajapati_. I vanquished, on the other side of the great ocean,
sixty thousands of car-warriors--all fierce archers--residing in
_Hiranyapura_. Behold, now I defeat the multitudinous host of the Kurus
like a tempest scattering a heap of cotton. With my fiery arrows I shall
today set the _Kuru_-forest to fire, having banners for its trees, the
foot-soldiers for its shrubs, and the car-warriors for its beasts of
prey. Like unto the wielder of the thunderbolt overthrowing the Danavas,
alone I shall, with my straight arrows, bring down from the chambers of
their cars the mighty warrior of the Kuru army stationed therein and
struggling in the conflict to the best of their power. I have obtained
from _Rudra_ the _Raudra_, from _Varuna_ the _Varuna_, from _Agni_ the
_Agneya_, from the god of Wind the _Vayava_, and from Sakra the
thunderbolt and other weapons. I shall certainly exterminate the fierce
_Dhartarashtra-forest_ though protected by many leonine warriors.
Therefore, O Virata's son, let thy fears be dispelled.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus assured by Savyasachin, the son of Virata
penetrated into that fierce array of cars protected by Bhishma. The son
of Ganga, however, of fierce deeds, cheerfully withstood the
mighty-armed hero advancing from desire of vanquishing the heroes in
battle. Jishnu, then, confronting Bhishma, cut off his standard clean
off at the roots by shooting a gold-decked arrow pierced by which it
fell to the ground. And at this, four mighty warriors, Duhsasana and
Vikarna and Dussaha and Vivingsati, skilled in weapons and endued with
great energy, and all decked with handsome garlands and ornaments,
rushed towards that terrible bowman. And advancing towards
Vibhatsu--that fierce archer, these all encompassed him around. Then the
heroic Duhsasana pierced the son of Virata with a crescent-shaped arrow
and he pierced Arjuna with another arrow in the breast. And Jishnu,
confronting Duhsasana, cut off by means of a sharp-edged arrow furnished
with vulturine wings his adversary's bow plaited with gold, and then
pierced his person in the breast by means of five arrows. And afflicted
by the arrows of Partha, Duhsasana fled, leaving the combat. Then
Vikarna, the son of Dhritarashtra, pierced Arjuna--that slayer of
hostile heroes, by means of sharp and straight arrows furnished with
vulturine wings. But the son of Kunti within a moment hit him also in
the forehead with straight shafts. And pierced by Arjuna, he fell down
from his car. And at this, Dussaha, supported by Vivingsati, covered
Arjuna with a cloud of sharp arrows, impelled by the desire of rescuing
his brother. Dhananjaya, however, without the least anxiety, pierced
both of them almost at the same instant by means of couple of keen-edged
arrows and then slew the steeds of both. And there upon, both those sons
of Dhritarashtra, deprived of their steeds and their bodies mangled were
taken away by the warrior behind them who had rushed forward with other
cars. Then the unvanquished Vibhatsu, the mighty son of Kunti, decked
with diadem and sure of aim, simultaneously attacked all sides with his


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 blare 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_."


Vaisampayana said, "Then while a great havoc was being made among the
Kurus, Santanu's son, Bhishma, and grandsire of the Bharatas rushed at
Arjuna, taking up an excellent bow adorned with gold, and many arrows
also of keen points and capable of piercing into the very vitals of the
foe and afflicting him sorely. And in consequence of a white umbrella
being held over his head, that tiger among men looked beautiful like
unto a hill at sunrise. And the son of Ganga, blowing his conch cheered
the sons of Dhritarashtra, and wheeling along his right came upon
Vibhatsu and impeded his course. And that slayer of hostile heroes, the
son of Kunti, beholding him approach, received him with a glad heart,
like a hill receiving a rain-charged cloud. And Bhishma, endued with
great energy, pierced Partha's flag-staff with eight arrows. The arrows
reaching the flag-staff of Pandu's son, struck the blazing ape and those
creatures also stationed in the banner-top. And then the son of Pandu,
with a mighty javelin of sharp edge cut of Bhishma's umbrella which
instantly fell on the ground. And then the light-handed son of Kunti
struck his adversary's flag-staff also with many shafts, and then his
steeds and then the couple of drivers that protected Bhishma's flanks.
And unable to bear this, Bhishma though cognisant of the Pandava's
might, covered Dhananjaya with a powerful celestial weapon. And the son
of Pandu, of immeasurable soul, hurling in return a celestial weapon at
Bhishma, received that from Bhishma like a hill receiving a deep mass of
clouds. And the encounter that took place between Partha and Bhishma,
was fierce and the Kaurava warriors with their troops stood as lookers
on. And in the conflict between Bhishma and the son of Pandu, shafts
striking against shafts shone in the air like fireflies in the season of
rains. And, O king, in consequence of Partha's shooting arrows with both
his right and left hands, the bent _Gandiva_ seemed like a continuous
circle of fire. And the son of Kunti then covered Bhishma with hundreds
of sharp and keen-edged arrows, like a cloud covering the
mountain-breast with its heavy downpour. And Bhishma baffled with his
own arrows that arrowy shower, like the bank resisting the swelling sea,
and covered the son of Pandu in return. And those warriors, cut into a
thousand pieces in battle, fell fast in the vicinity of Phalguna's car.
And then there was a downpour, from the car of Pandu's son, of arrows
furnished with golden wing, and raining through the sky like a flight of
locusts. And Bhishma again repelled that arrowy shower with hundreds of
whetted shafts shot by him. And then the Kauravas exclaimed.--
'Excellent! Excellent!--Indeed, Bhishma hath performed an exceedingly
difficult feat inasmuch as he hath fought with Arjuna. Dhananjaya is
mighty and youthful, and dexterous and swift of hand. Who else, save
Bhishma, the son of Santanu, or Krishna, the son of Devaki, or the
mighty son of Bharadwaja, the foremost of preceptors, is able to bear
the impetus of Partha in battle?' And repelling weapons with weapons,
those two bulls of the Bharata race, both endued with great might,
fought on playfully and infatuated the eyes of all created beings. And
those illustrious warriors ranged on the field of battle, using the
celestials weapons obtained from _Prajapati_ and _Indra_, and _Agni_ and
the fierce _Rudra_, and _Kuvera_, and _Varuna_, and _Yama_, and _Vayu_.
And all beings were greatly surprised, upon beholding those warriors
engaged in combat. And they all exclaimed,--_Bravo Partha of long arms!
Bravo Bhishma! Indeed, this application of celestial weapons that is
being witnessed in the combat between Bhishma and Partha_ is rare among
human beings."

Vaisampayana continued, "Thus raged that conflict with weapons between
those warriors conversant with all weapons. And when that conflict of
celestial weapons ceased, then commenced a conflict with arrows. And
Jishnu approaching his opponent, cut off with an arrow sharp like a
razor the gold-decked bow of Bhishma. Within the twinkling of the eye,
however, Bhishma, that mighty-armed and great car-warrior, took up
another bow and stringed it. And inflamed with wrath, he showered upon
Dhananjaya a cloud of arrows. And Arjuna, too, endued with great energy,
rained upon Bhishma innumerable sharp-pointed and keen-edged arrows. And
Bhishma also shot clouds of arrows upon Pandu's son. And conversant with
celestial weapons and engaged in shooting and each other, arrows of keen
points, no distinction, O king, could then be perceived between those
illustrious warriors. And that mighty car-warrior, Kunti's son, covered
with a diadem, and the heroic son of Santanu, obscured the ten
directions with their arrows. And the Pandava covered Bhishma, and
Bhishma also covered the Pandava, with clouds of shafts. And, O king,
wonderful was this combat that took place in this world of men. And the
heroic warriors that protected Bhishma's car, slain by the son of Pandu,
fell prostrate, O monarch, beside the car of Kunti's son. And the
feathery arrows of Swetavahana, shot from the _Gandiva_, fell in all
directions as if with the object of making a wholesale slaughter of the
foe. And issuing forth from his car those blazing arrows furnished with
golden wings looked like rows of swans in the sky. And all the
celestials with Indra, stationed in the firmament, gazed with wonder
upon another celestial weapon hurled with great force by that wonderful
archer Arjuna. And beholding that wonderful weapon of great beauty, the
mighty _Gandiva_, Chitrasena, highly pleased, addressed the lord of
celestials, saying, 'Behold these arrows shot by Partha coursing through
the sky in one continuous line. Wonderful is the dexterity of Jishnu in
evolving this celestial weapon! Human beings are incapable of shooting
such a weapon, for it does not exist among men. How wonderful again is
this concourse of mighty weapons existing from days of old! No interval
can be perceived between his taking up the arrows, fixing them on the
bow-string, and letting them off by stretching the _Gandiva_. The
soldiers are incapable of even looking at the son of Pandu, who is like
unto the midday sun blazing in the sky. So also none ventures to look at
Bhishma, the son of Ganga. Both are famous for their achievements, and
both are of fierce prowess. Both are equal in feats of heroism, and both
are difficult of being vanquished in battle.'

"Thus addressed by the _Gandharva_ about that combat between Partha and
Bhishma, the lord of the celestials, O Bharata, paid proper respect unto
both by a shower of celestial flowers. Meanwhile, Bhishma, the son of
Santanu, assailed Arjuna on the left side, while that drawer of the bow
with either hands was on the point of piercing him. And at this,
Vibhatsu, laughing aloud, cut off with an arrow of keen edge and
furnished with vulturine wings, the bow of Bhishma, that hero of solar
effulgence. And then Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, pierced Bhishma in
the breast with ten shafts although the latter was contending with all
his prowess. And sorely afflicted with pain Ganga's son of mighty arms
and irresistible in battle, stood for a long time leaning on the pole of
his car. And beholding him deprived of consciousness the driver of his
car-steeds, calling to mind the instructions about protecting the
warriors when in a swoon, led him away for safety."


Vaisampayana said, "After Bhishma had fled, leaving the van of battle,
the illustrious son of Dhritarashtra hoisting high flag approached
Arjuna, bow in hand and setting up a loud roar. And with a spear-headed
shaft shot from his bow stretched to the ear, he pierced on the forehead
of that terrible bowman of fierce prowess, Dhananjaya, ranging amidst the
foes. And pierced with that keen shaft of golden point on the forehead,
that hero of famous deeds looked resplendent, O king, like unto a
beautiful hill with a single peak. And cut by that arrow, the warm
life-blood gushed out profusely from the wound. And the blood trickling
down his body shone beautifully like a wreath of golden flowers. And
struck by Duryodhana with the shaft, the swift-handed Arjuna of
unfailing strength, swelling with rage, pierced the king in return,
taking up arrows that were endued with the energy of snakes of virulent
poison. And Duryodhana of formidable energy attacked Partha, and Partha
also, that foremost of heroes, attacked Duryodhana. And it was that
those foremost of men, both born in the race of Ajamida, struck each
other alike in the combat. And then (seated) on an infuriate elephant
huge as a mountain and supported by four cars, Vikarna rushed against
Jishnu, the son of Kunti. And beholding that huge elephant, advancing
with speed, Dhananjaya struck him on the head between the temples with
an iron arrow of great impetus shot from the bow-string stretched to the
ear. And like the thunderbolt hurled by Indra splitting a mountain, that
arrow furnished with vulturine wings, shot by Partha, penetrated, up to
the very feathers, into the body of that elephant huge as hill. And
sorely afflicted by the shaft, that lord of the elephant species began
to tremble, and deprived of strength fell down on the ground in intense
anguish, like the peak of mountain riven by thunder. And that best of
elephants falling down on the earth, Vikarna suddenly alighting in great
terror, ran back full eight hundred paces and ascended on the car of
Vivingsati. And having slain with that thunder-like arrow that elephant
huge as a mighty hill and looking like a mass of clouds, the son of
Pritha smote Duryodhana in the breast with another arrow of the same
kind. And both the elephant and the king having thus been wounded, and
Vikarna having broken and fled along with the supporters of the king's
car, the other warriors, smitten with the arrows shot from the
_Gandiva_, fled from the field in panic. And beholding the elephant
slain by Partha, and all the other warriors running away, Duryodhana,
the foremost of the Kurus, turning away his car precipitately fled in
that direction where Partha was not. And when Duryodhana was fast
running away in alarm, pierced by that arrow and vomitting forth blood,
Kiritin, still eager for battle and capable of enduring every enemy,
thus censured him from wrath, 'Sacrificing thy great fame and glory, why
dost thou fly away, turning thy back? Why are not those trumpets sounded
now, as they were when thou hadst set out from thy kingdom? Lo, I am an
obedient servant of Yudhishthira, myself being the third son of Pritha,
standing here for battle. Turn back, show me thy face, O son of
Dhritarashtra, and bear in thy mind the behaviour of kings. The name
_Duryodhana_ bestowed on thee before is hereby rendered meaningless.
When thou runnest away, leaving the battle, where is thy persistence in
battle? Neither do I behold thy body-guards, O Duryodhana, before nor
behind. O foremost of men, fly thou away and save thy life which is dear
from the hands of Pandu's son.'"


Vaisampayana said, "Thus summoned to battle by the illustrious hero,
Dhritarashtra's son turned back stung by those censures, like an
infuriate and mighty elephant pricked by a hook. And stung by those
reproaches and unable to bear them, that mighty and brave car-warrior
endued with great swiftness, turned back on his car, like a snake that
is trampled under foot. And beholding Duryodhana turn back with his
wounds, Karna, that hero among men, decked with a golden necklace,
stopped the king on the way and soothing him, himself proceeded along
the north of Duryodhana's car to meet Partha in battle. And the
mighty-armed Bhishma also, the son of Santanu, turning back his steeds
decked with gold, enormous in size, and of tawny hue, rushed bow in
hand, for protecting Duryodhana from Partha's hand. And Drona and Kripa
and Vivingsati and Duhsasana and others also, quickly turning back,
rushed forward with speed with drawn bows and arrows fixed on the
bow-strings, for protecting Duryodhana. And beholding those divisions
advance towards him like the swelling surges of the ocean, Dhananjaya,
the son of Pritha, quickly rushed at them like a crane rushing at a
descending cloud. And with celestial weapons in their hands, they
completely surrounded the son of Pritha and rained on him from all sides
a perfect shower of shafts, like clouds showering on the mountain breast
a heavy downpour of rain. And warding off with weapons, all the weapons
of those bulls among the Kurus, the wielder of the _Gandiva_ who was
capable of enduring all foes, evolved another irresistible weapon
obtained from Indra, called _Sanmohana_. And entirely covering the
cardinal and other directions with sharp and keen-edged arrows furnished
with beautiful feathers, that mighty hero stupefied their senses with
the twang of the _Gandiva_. And once more, taking up with both his hands
that large conch of loud blare, Partha, that slayer of foes, blew it
with force and filled the cardinal and other points, the whole earth,
and sky, with that noise. And those foremost of the Kuru heroes were all
deprived of their senses by the sound of that conch blown by Partha. And
all of them stood still, their bows, from which they were never
separated, dropping down from their hands. And when the Kuru army became
insensible, Partha calling to mind the words of Uttara, addressed the
son of the Matsya king, saying, 'O best of men, go thou among the Kurus,
so long as they remain insensible, and bring away the white garments of
Drona and Kripa, and the yellow and handsome ones of Karna, as also the
blue ones of the king and Drona's son. Methinks, Bhishma is not
stupefied, for he knoweth how to counteract this weapon of mine. So,
pass thou on, keeping his steeds to thy left; for those that are
sensible should thus be avoided.' Hearing these words, the illustrious
son of Matsya, giving up the reins of the steeds, jumped down from the
car and taking off the garments of the warriors, came back to his place.
And the son of Virata then urged the four handsome steeds with flanks
adorned with golden armours. And those white steeds, urged on, took
Arjuna away from the midst of battle-field and beyond the array of the
infantry bearing standards in their hands. And, Bhishma, beholding that
best of men thus going away, struck him with arrows. And Partha, too,
having slain Bhishma's steeds, pierced him with ten shafts. And
abandoning Bhishma on the field of battle, having first slain his
car-driver, Arjuna with a good-looking bow in hand came out of that
multitude of cars, like the sun emerging from the clouds. And
Dhritarashtra's son, that foremost of heroes among the Kurus, recovering
his senses, saw the son of Pritha standing like the lord of the
celestials, alone on the battle-field. And he said in hurry (unto
Bhishma), 'How hath this one escape from thee? Do thou afflict him in
such a way that he may not escape.' And at this, Santanu's son, smiling,
said unto him, 'Where had been this sense of thine, and where had been
thy prowess too, when thou hadst been in a state of unconsciousness
renouncing thy arrows and handsome bow? Vibhatsu is not addicted to the
commission of atrocious deeds; nor is his soul inclined to sin. He
renounceth not his principles even for the sake of the three worlds. It
is for this only that all of us have not been slain in this battle. O
thou foremost of Kuru heroes, go back to the city of the Kurus, and let
Partha also go away, having conquered the kine. Do thou never foolishly
throw away thy own good. Indeed, that which leadeth to one's welfare
ought to be accomplished.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having listened to the words of the grandsire
that tended to his own welfare, the wrathful king Duryodhana no longer
eager for battle, drew a deep sigh and became silent. And reflecting
that the advice of Bhishma was beneficial and seeing that the Pandavas
gaining in strength, the other warriors also, desirous of protecting
Duryodhana, resolved to return. And beholding those foremost of Kuru
heroes departing for their city, Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, with a
cheerful heart followed them for a while, desirous of addressing and
worshipping them. And having worshipped the aged grandsire--the son of
Santanu, as also the preceptor Drona, and having saluted with beautiful
arrows Drona's son and Kripa and other venerable ones among the Kurus,
the son of Pritha broke into fragments Duryodhana's crown decked with
precious gems, with another arrow. And having saluted all the venerable
and brave warriors thus, he filled the three worlds with the twang of
the _Gandiva_. And suddenly blowing his conch called _Devadatta_, the
hero pierced the hearts of all his foes. And having humbled the hostile,
he looked resplendent on his car decked with a handsome flag. And
beholding the Kurus depart, Kiritin cheerfully said unto Matsya's son,
'Turn back thy steeds; thy kine have been recovered; the foe is going
away and do thou also return to thy city with a cheerful heart.' And the
celestials also, having witnessed that most wonderful encounter between
Phalguna and the Kurus, were highly delighted, and went to their
respective abodes, reflecting upon Partha's feats."


Vaisampayana said, "Having vanquished the Kurus in battle, that one with
eyes like those of a bull brought back that profuse cattle wealth of
Virata. And while the Dhritarashtra, after their rout, were going away,
a large number of Kuru-soldiers issuing out of the deep forest appeared
with slow steps before Partha, their hearts afflicted with fear. And
they stood before him with joined palms and with hair dishevelled. And
fatigued with hunger and thirst, arrived in a foreign land, insensible
with terror, and confused in mind, they all bowed down unto the son of
Pritha and said,--_We are thy slaves_.'

"Arjuna said, 'Welcome, blessed be ye. Go ye away. Ye have no cause of
fear. I will not take the lives of them that are afflicted. Ye have my
assurance of protection.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of assurance, the assembled
warriors greeted him with benedictions in praise of his achievements and
fame and wishing him long life. And the Kauravas were unable to confront
Arjuna while after routing the foe he proceeded towards the city of
Virata, like an elephant with rent temples. And having routed the whole
army of the Kuru like a violent wind scattering the clouds, that slayer
of foes, Partha, regardfully addressing the prince of Matsya, said, 'It
is known to thee alone, O child, that the sons of Pritha are all living
with thy father. Do not eulogise them upon entering the city, for then
the king of the Matsyas may hide himself in fear. On the other hand,
entering the city, do thou proclaim in the presence of thy father that
the deed is thy own, saying,--_By me hath the army of the Kurus been
vanquished and by me have the kine been recovered from the foe!_'

"Uttara said, 'The feat thou hast achieved is beyond my power. I do not
possess the ability to achieve it. I shall not, however, O Savyasachin,
discover thee to my father, as long as thou wilt not tell me to do it.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having vanquished the hostile army and wrested
the whole of the cattle wealth from the Kurus, Jishnu returned again to
the cemetery and having approached the same _Sami_ tree stood there with
body mangled by the arrows of the enemy. Then that terrible monkey
blazing like fire ascended into the sky with those other creatures in
the flag-staff. And the illusion created (by Viswakarma) melted away and
Uttara's own banner bearing the device of a lion was set up on the car
again. And having replaced the arrows and quivers of those foremost of
the Kuru princes, and also that other weapon the _(Gandiva)_ which
enhances the fierceness of a battle, the illustrious prince of Matsya
set out for the city with a glad heart, having Kiritin as his
charioteer. And having achieved an exceedingly mighty feat and slain the
foe, Partha also, that slayer of foes, binding his hair into a braid as
before, took the reins from Uttara's hands. And that illustrious hero
entered the city of Virata, with a cheerful heart rehabilitating himself
as Vrihannala, the car-driver of Uttara.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "When all the Kauravas utterly routed and
vanquished, set out in a dejected mood for Hastinapura, Phalguna, on his
way back, addressed Uttara, saying, 'O prince, O hero of mighty arms,
seeing the kine escorted in advance of us by the cowherds, we shall
enter Virata's metropolis in the afternoon, having tended the steeds
with drink and a bath. Let the cowherds, despatched by thee, speedily
repair to the city with the good news and proclaim thy victory.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Agreeable to Arjuna's words, Uttara speedily
ordered the messengers, saying, 'Go ye and proclaim the king's victory.
The foe hath been routed, and the kine have been recovered.' And the
Matsya and the Bharata princes having thus consulted together
re-approached the same _Sami_ tree. And gratified with the victory they
had won, and arrived at the foot of the _Sami_ tree, they wore on their
persons and took up on their car the ornaments and robes they had left
there. And having vanquished the whole hostile army and recovered the
whole of the wealth from the Kurus, the heroic son of Virata returned to
the city with Vrihannala as his car-driver."


Vaisampayana said, "Having speedily recovered his wealth Virata owning a
large army entered his city with a cheerful heart, accompanied by the
four Pandavas. And having vanquished the _Trigartas_ in battle and
recovered all the kine, that mighty monarch, along with the sons of
Pritha, looked resplendent and blazed forth in beauty. And as the brave
king, that enhancer of the joys of friends, was seated on his throne,
all his subjects headed by the Brahmanas stood before him. And
worshipped by them, the king of the Matsyas, at the head of his army,
saluted the Brahmanas and his subjects in return and dismissed them
cheerfully. And Virata, the king of the Matsyas owning a large army,
enquired after Uttara, saying, 'Where hath Uttara gone?' And the women
and the maidens of the palace and the other females living in the inner
apartments joyfully said unto him, 'Our kine having been seized by the
Kurus, Bhuminjaya incensed at this and from excess of bravery hath
issued forth alone with only Vrihannala as his second, for vanquishing
the six mighty car-warriors, Bhishma the son of Santanu, and Kripa, and
Karna, and Duryodhana, and Drona, and Drona's son who have all come with
the Kuru army.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then king Virata, hearing that his brave son
had gone forth with only one car and with Vrihannala as his car-driver,
became filled with grief, and addressing his chief counsellors, said,
'Without doubt, the Kauravas and other lords of earth, learning the
defeat of the Trigartas, will never keep their ground. Therefore, let
those of my warriors that have not been wounded by the _Trigartas_ go
out, accompanied by a mighty force, for the protection of Uttara.' And
saying this, the king speedily despatched, for the sake of his son,
horses and elephants and cars and a large number of foot-soldiers,
equipped and decked with various kinds of weapons and ornaments. And it
was thus that Virata, the king of the Matsyas, owning a large army,
quickly ordered out a large division consisting of four kinds of troops.
And having done this, he said, 'Learn ye, without loss of time whether
the prince liveth still or not! I myself think that he who hath got a
person of the neuter sex for his car-driver is not alive.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then king Yudhishthira the just, smilingly said
unto the afflicted king Virata, 'If, O monarch, Vrihannala hath been his
charioteer, the foe will never be able to take away thy kine today.
Protected by that charioteer, thy son will be able to vanquish in battle
all the lords of earth allied with the Kurus, indeed, even the gods and
the _Asuras_ and the _Siddhas_ and the _Yakshas_ together.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Meanwhile, the swift-footed messengers
despatched by Uttara, having reached Virata's city, gave tidings of the
victory. And the minister-in-chief then informed the king of everything,
viz., the great victory that had been won, the defeat of the Kurus, and
the expected arrival of Uttara. And he said, 'All the kine have been
brought back, the Kurus have been defeated, and Uttara, that slayer of
foes, is well with his car-driver.' Then Yudhishthira said, 'By good
luck it is that the kine have been recovered and the Kurus routed. I do
not, however, regard it strange that thy son should have vanquished the
Kurus, for his victory is assured that hath Vrihannala for his

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing of the victory of his son possessed of
immeasurable might, king Virata became so glad that the bristles of his
body stood erect. And having made presents of raiments unto the
messengers, he ordered his ministers, saying, 'Let the highways be
decorated with flags, and let all the gods and goddesses be worshipped
with flowery offerings. And let princes and brave warriors, and
musicians and harlots decked in ornaments, march out to receive my son.
And let the bellman, speedily riding an intoxicated elephant, proclaim
my victory at places where four roads meet. And let Uttara, too, in
gorgeous attire and surrounded by virgins and chanters of eulogies, go
forth to receive my son.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having listened to these words of the king, all
the citizens with auspicious things in hand, and many amongst them with
cymbals and trumpets and conchs, and beautiful women attired in gorgeous
robes, and reciters of auspicious and sacred hymns, accompanied by
encomiasts and minstrels, and drummers and other kinds of musicians
issued forth from the city of the mighty Virata to welcome Uttara of
immeasurable prowess. And having despatched troops and maidens and
courtesans decked in ornaments, the wise king of the Matsyas cheerfully
said these words, '_O Sairindhri_, fetch the dice. And, O Kanka, let the
play commence.' The son of Pandu replied, saying, 'We have heard it said
that one whose heart is filled with joy should not play with a cunning
gambler. I do not therefore, dare gamble with thee that are so
transported with joy. I am ever desirous of doing what is for thy good.
Let the play, however, commence if it pleases thee.'

"Virata said, 'My female slaves and kine, my gold and whatsoever other
wealth I have, nothing of all this shall thou be able to protect today
even if I do not gamble.' Kanka said in reply, 'O monarch, O bestower of
honours, what business hast thou with gamble which is attended with
numerous evils? Gambling is fraught with many evils; it should,
therefore, be shunned. Thou mayst have seen or at least heard of
Yudhishthira, the son of Pandu. He lost his extensive and prosperous
kingdom and his god-like brothers at dice. For this, I am averse to
gambling. But if thou likest, O king, I will play.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "While the play was going on, Matsya said unto
the son of Pandu, 'Lo, the Kauravas that are so formidable have been
vanquished in battle by my son.' Upon this, the illustrious king
Yudhishthira said, 'Why should not he conquer that hath Vrihannala for
his charioteer?'

"Thus addressed, King Matsya became angry and said unto Pandu's son,
'Thou wretch of a Brahmana, dost thou compare one of the neuter sex with
my son! Hast thou no knowledge of what is proper and what improper for
one to say? Without doubt, thou disregardest me. Why should not my son
vanquish all those with Bhishma and Drona as their leaders? O Brahmana,
for friendship only I pardon thee this thy offence. Thou must not,
however, say so again if thou wishest to live.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'There where Bhishma and Drona and Drona's son and
the son of Vikartana and Kripa and king Duryodhana and other royal and
mighty car-warriors are assembled or there where Indra himself is
surrounded by the Maruts, what other person than Vrihannala can fight,
encountering them all! None hath been, none will be, his equal in
strength of arms! Indeed, it is Vrihannala only whose heart is filled
with joy at sight of a terrible conflict. It is he who had vanquished
the celestials and the _Asuras_ and human beings fighting together. With
such a one for his ally, why should not thy son conquer the foe?' Virata
said, 'Repeatedly forbidden by me, thou dost not yet restrain thy
tongue. If there is none to punish, no one would practise virtue.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Saying this, the king inflamed with anger
forcibly struck Yudhishthira in the face with a dice, and reproached him
angrily, saying, 'Let it not occur again!' And having been violently
struck, blood began to flow from his nose. But the son of Pritha held it
in his hands before it fell on the ground. And the virtuous Yudhishthira
then glanced at Draupadi who was standing by his side. Ever obedient to
the wishes of her lord, the faultless Draupadi, understanding his
meaning, and bringing a golden vessel filled with water, received the
blood that flowed from his nose. Meanwhile, Uttara, entertained with
sweet perfumes of diverse kinds and decked with floral chaplets, slowly
entered the city, received with respect by the citizens, the women, and
the people of the provinces. And approaching the gate of the palace he
sent the news of his arrival to his father. And the porter then,
approaching the king, said, 'Thy son Uttara, waiteth at the gate with
Vrihannala as his companion.' And the Matsya king, with a cheerful
heart, said unto him, 'Do thou usher both, as I am very anxious to see
them.' Then Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, gently whispered unto
the ears of the warder, 'Let Uttara enter alone; Vrihannala must not
come in. Such is the vow of that hero of mighty arms that whoever
causeth a wound on my person or sheddeth my blood except in battle,
shall not live. Inflamed with rage he will never bear patiently to see
me bleeding, but will slay Virata even now with his counsellors and
troops and steeds.'"


Vaisampayana said, "Then Bhuminjaya, the eldest son of the king,
entered, and having worshipped the feet of his father approached Kanka.
And he beheld Kanka covered with blood, and seated on the ground at one
end of the court, and waited upon by the _Sairindhri_. And seeing this,
Uttara asked his father in a hurry, saying, 'By whom, O king, hath this
one been struck? By whom hath this sinful act been perpetrated?'

"Virata said, 'This crooked Brahmana hath been struck by me. He
deserveth even more than this. When I was praising thee, he praised that
person of the third sex.'

"Uttara said, 'Thou hast, O king, committed an improper act. Do thou
speedily propitiate him so that the virulent poison of a Brahmana's
curse may not consume thee to thy roots!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Having heard the words of his son, Virata, that
enhancer of the limits of his kingdom, began to soothe Kunti's son, who
was like unto a fire hid in ashes, for obtaining his forgiveness. And
unto the king desirous of obtaining his pardon the Pandava replied, 'O
king, I have long ago forgiven it. Anger I have none. Had this blood
from my nostrils fallen on the ground, then, without doubt, thou, O
monarch, wouldst have been destroyed with thy kingdom. I do not,
however, blame thee, O king, for having struck an innocent person. For,
O king, they that are powerful generally act with unreasoning

Vaisampayana continued, "When the bleeding had stopped, Vrihannala
entered (the council-room) and having saluted both Virata and Kanka,
stood silent. And the king, having appeased the chief of the Kurus,
began to praise, in Savyasachin's hearing, Uttara who had returned from
the battle. And the king said, 'O enhancer of the joys of Kekaya's
princess, in thee have I truly a son! I never had nor shall have, a son
that is equal to thee! How, indeed, couldst thou, O child, encounter
that Karna who leaveth not a single mark unhit amongst even a thousand
that he may aim at all at once? How couldst thou, O child, encounter
that Bhishma who hath no equal in the whole world of men? How also
couldst thou, O child, encounter Drona, that foremost of all wielders of
weapons, that preceptor of the Vrishnis and Kauravas, twice-born one who
may be regarded as the preceptor of all the Kshatriyas? How couldst thou
meet in battle the celebrated Aswatthaman? How couldst thou, O child,
encounter that Duryodhana, the prince who is capable of piercing even a
mountain with his mighty arrows? My foes have all been thrashed. A
delicious breeze seems to blow around me. And since thou hast recovered
in battle the whole of my wealth that had been seized by the Kurus, it
seems that all those mighty warriors were struck with panic. Without
doubt, thou, O bull amongst men, has routed the foe and snatched away
from them my wealth of kine, like his prey from a tiger.'"


"Uttara said, 'The kine have not been recovered by me, nor have the foe
been vanquished by me. All that hath been accomplished by the son of a
deity. Capable of striking like a thunderbolt, that youth of celestial
origin, beholding me running away in fear, stopped me and himself
mounted on my car. It was by him that the kine have been recovered and
the Kauravas vanquished. The deed, O father, is that hero's and not
mine. It was he that repulsed with arrows Kripa and Drona and Drona's
son of powerful energy, and the _Suta's_ son and Bhishma. That mighty
hero then spoke unto the affrighted prince Duryodhana who was running
away like the leader of a head of elephants, these words, "O prince of
the Kuru race, I do not see that thou art safe by any means even at
Hastinapura. Protect thy life by putting forth thy might. Thou shalt not
escape me by flight. Therefore, make up thy mind for fight. If
victorious, the sovereignty of the earth will be thine, or if slain,
heaven itself will be thine."

"'Thus addressed, king Duryodhana--that tiger among men surrounded by
his counsellors,--sighing on his car like a snake turned back, showered
arrows endued with the speed and force of thunderbolts. Beholding all
this, venerable sire, my thighs began to quake. Then that celestial
youth pierced with arrows the Kuru army consisting of leonine warriors.
And having pierced and afflicted that crowd of cars, that youth, stout
as the lion, laughed at them and robbed them of their clothes and
attires. Indeed, the six great car-warriors of the Kurus were vanquished
by that hero alone, even like herds of animals ranging in the forest by
a single tiger in rage.'

"Virata said, 'Where is that mighty-armed and famous youth of celestial
origin, that hero who recovered in battle my wealth that had been seized
by the Kurus? I am anxious to behold and worship that mighty warrior of
celestial origin who hath saved thee and my kine also.'

"Uttara replied, 'The mighty son of a deity disappeared there and then.
I think, however, that he will show himself either tomorrow or the day

Vaisampayana continued, "Virata, that owner of a large army, remained
ignorant of the son of Pandu who was thus described unto him by Uttara,
and who was living in the palace in disguise. And permitted by the
high-souled Virata, Partha presented with his own hands the garments he
had brought, unto Virata's daughter. And the beautiful Uttara, obtaining
those new and costly clothes of diverse kinds, became highly glad, along
with the son of the Matsya king."


Vaisampayana said, "Then, on the third day, attired in white robes after
a bath, and decked in ornaments of all kinds, those great car-warriors,
the five Pandava brothers, having accomplished their vow, and with
Yudhishthira at their head, looked resplendent as they entered the
palace-gate like five intoxicated elephants. And having entered the
council-hall of Virata, they took their seats on the thrones reserved
for kings, and shone brilliantly like fires on the sacrificial altar.
And after Pandavas had taken their seats, Virata, that lord of earth,
came there for holding his council and discharging other royal offices.
And beholding the illustrious Pandavas blazing like fires, the king
reflected for a moment. And then, filled with wrath, the Matsya king
spoke unto Kanka seated there like a celestial and looking like the lord
of celestials surrounded by the Martus. And he said, 'A player at dice
thou wert employed by me as a courtier! How couldst thou occupy the
royal seat thus attired in handsome robes and ornaments?'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of Virata, O king, and
desirous of jesting with him, Arjuna smilingly said in reply, 'This
person, O king, deserveth to occupy the same seat with Indra himself.
Devoted to the Brahmanas, acquainted with the _Vedas_, indifferent to
luxury and carnal enjoyments, habitually performing sacrifices, steady
in vows, this one, indeed, is the very embodiment of virtue. The
foremost of all Persons endued with energy and superior to every body on
earth in intelligence, devoted to asceticism, he is conversant with
various weapons. No other person among the mobile and immobile creatures
of the three worlds possesseth or will ever possess such knowledge of
weapons. And there is none even amongst the gods, or _Asuras_, or men,
or _Rakshasas_, or _Gandharvas_, or _Yaksha_ chiefs, or _Kinnaras_--or
mighty _Uragas_, who is like him. Endued with great foresight and
energy, beloved by the citizens and inhabitants of the provinces, he is
the mightiest of car-warriors amongst the sons of Pandu. A performer of
sacrifices, devoted to morality, and of subdued passions, like unto a
great _Rishi_, this royal sage is celebrated over all the worlds.
Possessed of great strength and great intelligence, able and truthful,
he hath all his senses under complete control. Equal unto Indra in
wealth and Kuvera in hoarding, he is the protector of the worlds like
unto _Manu_ himself of mighty prowess. Endued with great might, he is
even such. Kind unto all creatures he is no other than the bull of the
Kuru race, king Yudhishthira the just. The achievements of this king
resemble the sun himself of blazing effulgence. And his fame hath
travelled in all directions like the rays of that luminary. And like the
rays following the risen sun of blazing effulgence, ten thousand swift
elephants followed him, O king, when he dwelt among the Kurus. And, O
king, thirty thousand cars decked in gold and drawn by the best steeds,
also used to follow him then. And full eight hundred bards adorned with
ear-rings set with shining gems, and accompanied by minstrels, recited
his praises in those days, like the _Rishis_ adorning Indra. And, O
king, the Kauravas and other lords of earth always waited upon him like
slaves, as the celestials upon Kuvera. This eminent king, resembling the
bright-rayed sun, made all lords of earth pay tribute unto him like
persons of the agricultural class. And eighty-eight thousands of
high-souled _Snatakas_ depended for their subsistence upon this king
practising excellent vows. This illustrious lord protected the aged and
the helpless, the maimed and the blind, as his sons, and he ruled over
his subjects virtuously. Steady in morality and self-control, capable of
restraining his anger, bountiful, devoted to the Brahmanas, and
truthful, this one is the son of Pandu. The prosperity and prowess of
this one afflict king Suyodhana with his followers including Karna and
Suvala's son. And, O lord of men, the virtues of this one are incapable
of being enumerated. This son of Pandu is devoted to morality and always
abstains from injury. Possessed of such attributes, doth not this bull
among kings, this son of Pandu, deserve, O monarch, to occupy a royal


"Virata said, 'If this one, indeed, be the Kuru king Yudhishthira the son
of Kunti, which amongst these is his brother Arjuna, and which, the
mighty Bhima. Which of these is Nakula, and which Sahadeva and where is
the celebrated Draupadi? After their defeat at dice, the sons of Pritha
have not been heard of by any one.'

"Arjuna said, 'Even this one, O king, who is called Vallava and is thy
cook, is that Bhima of mighty arms and terrible prowess and furious
impetus. It was he who slew the furious _Rakshasas_ on the mountains of
_Gandhamadana_, and procured for Krishna celestial flowers of great
fragrance. Even he is that _Gandharva_, who slew the Kichaka of wicked
soul and it was he who killed tigers and bears and boars in the inner
apartment of thy palace. He who had been the keeper of thy horse is that
slayer of foes called Nakula, and this one is Sahadeva, the keeper of
thy kine. Both these sons of Madri are great car-warriors, possessed of
great fame and beauty of person. These two bulls of the Bharata race,
attired in handsome robes and decked in excellent ornaments, are a match
for a thousand great car-warriors. And even this lady of eyes like
lotus-petals and slender waist and sweet smiles is Drupada's daughter,
thy wife's _Sairindhri_, for whose sake, O king, the Kichakas were
slain. I am, O king, Arjuna who, it is evident, thou hast heard, is that
son of Pritha, who is Bhima's junior and the senior of the twins! We
have, O king, happily passed in thy abode the period of non-discovery,
like infants in the womb!'"

Vaisampayana continued, "After Arjuna had pointed out those heroes--the
five Pandavas, the son of Virata then spoke of Arjuna's prowess. And
Uttara once again identified the sons of Pritha. And the prince said,
'That one whose complexion is bright like that of pure gold, who is
stout like a full-grown lion, whose nose is so prominent, whose eyes are
large and expansive, and whose face is broad and of coppery hue, is the
king of the Kurus. And behold, that one whose tread is like that of an
infuriate elephant, whose complexion is like that of heated gold, whose
shoulders are broad and expanded, and whose arms are long and thick, is
Vrikodara. And he who stands by his side, that youth of darkish hue, who
is like unto a leader of a herd of elephants, whose shoulders are broad
like those of a lion, whose tread is like that of a mighty elephant, and
whose eyes are large and expansive like lotus-leaves, is Arjuna that
foremost of bowmen. All lo, close to the king, are those foremost of
men, the twins, like unto Vishnu and Indra, and who have no equals, in
the world of men, in beauty, might, and behaviour. And close by them,
behold, standeth Krishna, beautiful as gold, like unto the very
embodiment of light, possessing the complexion of the blue lotus, like
unto a celestial damsel, and resembling the living embodiment of
_Lakshmi_ herself.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then Virata's son began to describe the prowess
of Arjuna, saying, 'Even this one is he that slew the foe, like unto a
lion devastating a flock of deer. Even he ranged through crowds of
hostile cars, slaying their best of car-warriors. By him was slain a
huge, infuriate elephant by means of a single arrow. Pierced by him,
that huge beast having its flanks adorned with an armour of gold, fell
down piercing the earth with his tusks. By him have the kine been
recovered and the Kauravas vanquished in battle. My ears have been
deafened by the blare of his conch. It was by this hero of fierce deeds
that Bhishma and Drona, along with Duryodhana, were vanquished. That
achievement is his and not mine.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Hearing these words of his, the mighty king of
the Matsyas, considering himself guilty of having offended Yudhishthira,
said unto Uttara in reply, 'I think the time hath come for me to
propitiate the sons of Pandu. And, if thou likest, I shall bestow my
daughter Uttara upon Arjuna.'

"Uttara said, 'Worthy of our adorations and worship and respect, the
time hath come for worshipping the illustrious sons of Pandu who deserve
to be worshipped by us.'

"Virata said, 'When brought under the foe's subjection in battle, it was
Bhimasena that rescued me. My kine also have been recovered by Arjuna.
It is through the might of their arms that we have obtained victory in
battle. Such being the case, all of us, with our counsellors, shall
propitiate Yudhishthira the son of Kunti. Blessed be thou, with all thy
brothers, O bull among the sons of Pandu. If, O king, we have ever said
or done anything in ignorance to offend thee, it behoveth thee to
forgive us. The son of Pandu is virtuous.'"

Vaisampayana continued, "Then the high-souled Virata, delighted greatly,
approached king Yudhishthira and made an alliance with him, and offered
him his whole kingdom together with the sceptre and treasury and
metropolis. And addressing all the Pandavas, and especially Dhananjaya,
the mighty king of the Matsyas repeatedly said, 'By good luck it is that
I see you.' And having again and again embraced Yudhishthira and Bhima
and the sons of Madri, and smelt their heads, Virata, that owner of a
large army, was not satiated with gazing at them. And being highly
pleased, he said unto king Yudhishthira, 'By good luck it is that I see
you safe from woods. By good luck it is that ye have accomplished with
difficulty the period of exile, undiscovered by those wicked wights. I
make over my entire kingdom to the sons of Pritha, and what else I have.
Let the sons of Pandu accept these without the slightest hesitation. And
let Dhananjaya, called also Savyasachin, accept the hand of Uttara:
for that best of men is fit to be her lord.' Thus addressed, king
Yudhishthira the just cast a look upon Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha.
And looked at by his brother, Arjuna said unto the Matsya king, 'O
monarch, I accept thy daughter as my daughter-in-law. And alliance of
this kind between the Matsya and the Bharatas is, indeed, desirable.'"


"Virata said, 'Why, O best among the Pandavas, dost thou not wish to
accept as wife this my daughter that I bestow upon thee?'

"Arjuna said, 'Residing in thy inner apartments, I had occasion always
to behold thy daughter, and she too, alone or in company trusted me as
her father. Well-versed in singing and dancing, I was liked and regarded
by her, and, indeed, thy daughter always regardeth me as her protector.
O king, I lived for one whole year with her though she had attained the
age of puberty. Under these circumstances, thyself or other men may not
without reason, entertain suspicions against her or me. Therefore, O
king, myself who am pure, and have my senses under control, beg to thee,
O monarch, thy daughter as my daughter-in-law. Thus do I attest her
purity. There is no difference between a daughter-in-law and a daughter,
as also between a son and son's own-self. By adopting this course,
therefore, her purity will be proved. I am afraid of slanderous and
false accusations. I accept, therefore, O king, thy daughter Uttara as
my daughter-in-law. Surpassing all in knowledge of weapons, resembling a
celestial youth in beauty, my son, the mighty-armed Abhimanyu is the
favourite nephew of Vasudeva, the wielder of the discus. He, O king, is
fit to be thy son-in-law and the husband of thy daughter.'

"Virata said, 'It behoveth the best of the Kurus, Dhananjaya, the son of
Kunti, who is so virtuous and wise, to say this. O son of Pritha, do
thou carry out what thou thinkest should be done after this. He that
hath Arjuna for the father of his son-in-law, hath all his desires

Vaisampayana continued, "The monarch having said this, Yudhishthira, the
son of Kunti, gave his assent to what was thus agreed upon between the
Matsya king and Arjuna. And, O Bharata, the son of Kunti sent
invitations to Vasudeva and to all his friends and relatives, and Virata
also did the same. And then, after the expiry of the thirteenth year,
the five Pandavas took up their abode in one of Virata's towns called
_Upaplavya_, and Vibhatsu, the son of Pandu, brought over Abhimanyu and
Janardana, and also many people of the Dasarha race from the Anarta
country. And the king of Kasi, and also Saivya, being very friendly to
Yudhishthira, arrived there, each accompanied by an _Akshauhini_ of
troops. And the mighty Drupada, also with the heroic sons of Draupadi
and the unvanquished Sikhandin, and that foremost of wielder of weapons,
the invincible Dhrishtadyumna came there with another _Akshauhini_ of
troops. And all the kings that came were not only lords of _Akshauhini_,
but performers of sacrifices with gifts in profusion to Brahmanas,
conversant with the _Vedas_ endued with heroism, and ready to die in
battle. And beholding them arrived, that foremost of virtuous men, the
king of the Matsyas, adored them duly, and entertained their troops and
servants and carriers of burdens. And he was highly pleased to bestow
his daughter upon Abhimanyu. And after the kings had come there from
different parts of the country, there came Vasudeva decked in floral
garlands, and Halayudha, and Kritavarman, the son of Hridika, and
Yuyudhana, the son of Satyaki, and Anadhristi and Akrura, and Samva and
Nisatha. And these repressers of foes came there bringing with them
Abhimanyu and his mother. And Indrasena and others, having lived at
Dwaraka for one whole year, came there, bringing with them the well
adorned cars of the Pandavas. And there came also ten thousand elephants
and ten thousand cars, and hundred millions of horses and hundred
billions of foot-soldiers, and innumerable Vrishni and Andhaka and Bhoja
warriors of great energy, in the train of that tiger among the Vrishnis,
Vasudeva of great effulgence. And Krishna gave unto each of the
illustrious sons of Pandu numerous female slaves, and gems and robes.
And then the nuptial festival set in between the families of the Matsya
king and the Pandavas. And then conchs and cymbals and horns and drums
and other musical instruments appointed by the Pandavas, began to play
in the palace of Virata. And deer of various kinds and clean animals by
hundreds were slain. And wines of various kinds and intoxicating juices
of trees were profusely collected. And mimes and bards and encomiasts,
versed in singing and legendary lore, waited upon the kings, and chanted
their praises and genealogies. And the matrons of the Matsyas of
symmetrical bodies and limbs, and wearing ear-rings of pearls and gems,
headed by Sudeshna, came to the place where the marriage knot was to be
tied. And amongst those beautiful females of fair complexion and
excellent ornaments, Krishna was the foremost in beauty and fame and
splendour. And they all came there, leading forth the princess Uttara
decked in every ornament and resembling the daughter of the great Indra
himself. And then Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti, accepted Virata's
daughter of faultless limbs on behalf of his son by Subhadra. And that
great king, Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, who stood there like Indra,
also accepted her as his daughter-in-law. And having accepted her, the
son of Pritha, with Janardana before him, caused the nuptial ceremonies
to be performed of the illustrious son of Subhadra. And Virata then gave
him (as dowry) seven thousand steeds endued with the speed of the wind
and two hundred elephants of the best kind and much wealth also. And
having duly poured libations of clarified butter on the blazing fire,
and paid homage unto the twice-born ones, Virata offered to the Pandavas
his kingdom, army, treasury, and his own self. And after the marriage
had taken place, Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, gave away unto the
Brahmanas all the wealth that had been brought by Krishna of unfading
glory. And he also gave away thousands of kine, and diverse kinds of
robes, and various excellent ornaments, and vehicles, and beds,
delicious viands of various kinds, and cardinal drinks of diverse
species. And the king also made gifts of land unto the Brahmanas with
due rites, and also cattle by thousands. And he also gave away thousands
of steeds and much gold and much wealth of other kinds, unto persons of
all ages. And, O bull of the Bharata race, the city of the Matsya king,
thronged with men cheerful and well-fed, shone brightly like a great

_The end of Virata Parva._

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