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"Vaisampayana said, 'Hearing these words (of the leaders of the Kuru army), Kunti's son Yudhishthira, summoning all his brothers, said unto them these words in private.'

"Yudhishthira said, 'The spies I had placed in the army of Dhritarashtra's son, brought me this news in the morning. Duryodhana. asked Ganga's son of great vows, saying, 'O lord, in what time cant thou annihilate the troops of Pandu's sons?' Indeed, the wicked Duryodhana was answered by him in these words, viz.,--In a month! Drona also declared that he could do the same feat in about the same time. Gautama (Kripa) indicated twice that period, as hath been heard by us. Drona's son acquainted with weapons of high efficacy declared the period (in his case) to be ten nights. Karna also, acquainted with weapons of high efficacy, asked in the midst of the Kurus, declared that the could complete the slaughter in five days. Therefore, I also, O Arjuna, am desirous of hearing thy words, 'In what time canst thou, O Falguni, exterminate the foe?' Thus addressed by the king, Dhananjaya of curly hair, casting a look upon Vasudeva, said these words, 'All these (Bhishma and others) are high-souled (warriors), accomplished in arms and acquainted with all modes of warfare. Without doubt, O king, they can exterminate (our forces) even thus! Let thy heart's anguish, however, be dispelled. I tell thee truly that with Vasudeva as my ally, I can, on a single car, exterminate the three worlds with even the immortals, indeed, all mobile creatures that were, are, will be, in the twinkling of the eye. This is what I think. That terrible and mighty weapon

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which the Lord of all creatures (Mahadeva) gave me on the occasion of my hand-to-hand encounter with him (in the guise of) a hunter, still existeth with me. Indeed, O tiger among men, that weapon which the Lord of all creatures useth at the end of Yuga for destroying created things, existeth with me. Ganga's son knoweth not that weapon; nor Drona nor Gautama (Kripa); nor Drona's son, O king! How, therefore, can the Suta's son know it. It is not, however, proper to slay ordinary men in battle by means of celestial weapons. We shall (on the other band) vanquish our foes in a fair fight. Then, these tigers among men, O king, are thy allies! All of them are well-versed in celestial weapons, and all of them are eager for battle. All of them after their initiation in the Vedas, have undergone the final bath in sacrifices. All of them are unvanquished. They are competent, O son of Pandu, to slay in battle the army of even the celestials. Thou hast for thy allies Sikhandin, and Yuyudhana and Dhristadyumna of Prishata's race; and Bhimasena, and these twins, and Yudhamanyu, and Uttamaujas, and Virata and Drupada who are equal in battle unto Bhishma and Drona; and the mighty-armed Sankha, and Hidimva's son of great might; and this latter's son Anjanparvan endued with great strength and prowess; and Sini's descendant of mighty arms and well-versed in battle, and the mighty Abhimanyu and the five sons of Draupadi! Thou art thyself, again, competent to exterminate the three worlds! O thou that art endued with effulgence equal unto that of Sakra himself, I know it, O Kaurava, for it is manifest, that that man upon whom thou mayest cast thy eyes in anger is sure to be annihilated!'"

Next: Section CXCVIII