Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Mahabharata  Index  Previous  Next 


"Sanjaya said, 'Held in check by them, that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Partha of great might and prowess, was quickly pursued by Drona from behind. The son of Pandu, however, like diseases scorching the body, blasted that army, scattering his sharp shafts and resembling on that account the sun himself scattering his countless rays of light. And steeds were pierced, and cars with riders were broken and mangled, and elephants were overthrown. And umbrellas were cut off and displaced, and vehicles were deprived of their wheels. And the combatants fled on all sides, exceedingly afflicted with arrows. Even thus progressed that fierce battle between those warriors and Arjuna encountering each other. Nothing could be distinguished. With his straight shafts, Arjuna, O monarch, made the hostile army tremble incessantly. Firmly devoted to truth, Arjuna then, of white steeds desirous of accomplishing his vow rushed

p. 178

against the foremost of car-warriors, viz., Drona of red steeds. Then the preceptor, Drona, struck his disciple, viz., the mighty bowman Arjuna, with five and twenty straight shafts capable of reaching the very vitals. Thereupon, Vibhatsu, that foremost of all wielders of weapons, quickly rushed against Drona, shooting arrows capable of baffling the force of counter arrows, shot at him. Invoking into existence then the Brahma weapon, Arjuna, of immeasurable soul, baffled with his straight shafts those shot so speedily at him by Drona. The skill we then beheld of Drona was exceedingly wonderful, since Arjuna, though young, and though struggling vigorously, could not pierce Drona with a single shaft. Like a mass of clouds pouring torrents of rain, the Drona cloud rained shower on the Partha-mountain. Possessed of great energy, Arjuna received that arrowy downpour, O king, by invoking the Brahma weapon, and cut off all those arrows by arrows of his own. Drona then afflicted Partha of white steeds with five and twenty arrows. And he struck Vasudeva with seventy arrows on the chest and arms. Partha then, of great intelligence, smiling the while resisted the preceptor in that battle who was incessantly shooting sharp arrows. Then those two foremost of car-warriors, while thus struck by Drona, avoided that invincible warrior, who resembled the raging Yuga fire. Avoiding those sharp shafts shot from Drona's bow, the diadem-decked son of Kunti, adorned with garlands of flowers, began to slaughter the host of the Bhojas. Indeed, avoiding the invincible Drona who stood immovable like the Mainaka mountain, Arjuna took up his position between Kritavarman and Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamvojas. Then that tiger among men, viz., the ruler of the Bhojas, coolly pierced that invincible and foremost descendant of Ruru with ten arrows winged with Kanka feathers. Then Arjuna pierced him, O monarch, in that battle with a hundred arrows. And once more he pierced him with three other arrows, stupefying that hero of the Satwata race. The ruler of the Bhojas then, laughing the while, pierced Partha and Vasudeva each with five and twenty arrows. Arjuna then, cutting off Kritavarman's bow, pierced him with one and twenty arrows resembling blazing flames of fire or angry snakes of virulent poison. Then Kritavarman, that mighty car-warrior, taking up another bow, pierced Arjuna in the chest, O Bharata, with five arrows. And once more he pierced Partha with five sharp arrows. Then Partha struck him in return in the centre of the chest with nine arrows. Beholding the son of Kunti obstructed before the car of Kritavarman, he of Vrishni's race thought that no time should be wasted. Then Krishna addressing Partha, said, Do not show any mercy to Kritavarman! Disregarding thy relationship (with him), crush and slay him!' Then Arjuna, stupefying Kritavarman with his arrows, proceeded, on his swift steeds, to the division of the Kamvojas. Seeing Arjuna of white steeds penetrate into the Kamvoja force, Kritavarman became filled with wrath. Taking his bow with arrows fixed thereon, he then encountered the two Panchala princes. Indeed, Kritavarman, with his arrows resisted those two Panchala princes as they advanced, following Arjuna for protecting his wheels. Then Kritavarman, the ruler of

p. 179

the Bhojas, pierced them both with sharp shafts, striking Yudhamanyu with three, and Uttamaujas with four. Those two princes in return each pierced him with ten arrows. And once more, Yudhamanyu shooting three arrows and Uttamaujas shooting three cut off Kritavarman's standard and bow. Then the son of Hridika, taking up another bow, and becoming infuriated with rage, deprived both those warriors of their bows and covered them with arrows. Then those two warriors, taking up and stringing two other bows, began to pierce Kritavarman. Meanwhile Vibhatsu penetrated into the hostile army. But those two princes, resisted by Kritavarman, obtained no admittance into the Dhritarashtra host, although those bulls among men struggled vigorously. Then Arjuna of white steeds quickly afflicted in that battle the divisions opposed to him. That slayer of foes, however, slew not Kritavarman although he had got him within reach.. Beholding Partha thus proceeding, the brave king Srutayudha, filled with wrath, rushed at him, shaking his large bow. And he pierced Partha with three arrows, and Janardana with seventy. And he struck the standard of Partha with a very sharp arrow having a razor-like head. Then Arjuna, filled with wrath deeply pierced his antagonist with ninety straight shafts, like (a rider) striking a mighty elephant with the hook. Srutayudha, however, could not, O king, brook that act of prowess on the part of Pandu's son. He pierced Arjuna in return with seven and seventy shafts. Arjuna then cut off Srutayudha's bow and then his quiver, and angrily struck him on the chest with seven straight shafts. Then, king Srutayudha, deprived of his senses by wrath, took up another bow and struck the son of Vasava with nine arrows on the latter's arms and chest. Then Arjuna, that chastiser of foes laughing the while, O Bharata, afflicted Srutayudha with many thousands of arrows. And that mighty car-warrior quickly slew also the latter's steeds and charioteer. Endued with great strength the son of Pandu then pierced his foe with seventy arrows. Then the valiant king Srutayudha abandoning that steedless car, rushed in that encounter against Partha, uplifting his mace. The heroic king Srutayudha was the son of Varuna, having for his mother that mighty river of cool water called Parnasa. His mother, O king, had for the sake of her son, begged Varuna saying, 'Let this my son become unslayable on earth.' Varuna, gratified (with her), had said, 'I give him a boon highly beneficial to him, viz., a celestial weapon, by virtue of which this thy son will become unslayable on earth by foes. No man can have immortality. O foremost of rivers, every one who hath taken birth must inevitably die. This child, however, will always be invincible by foes in battle, through the power of this weapon. Therefore, let thy heart's fever be dispelled.' Having said these words, Varuna gave him, with mantras, a mace. Obtaining that mace, Srutayudha became invincible on earth. Unto him, however, illustrious Lord of the waters again said, 'This mace should not be hurled at one who is not engaged in fight. If hurled at such a person, it will come back and fall upon thyself. O illustrious child, (if so hurled) it will then course in an opposite direction and slay the

p. 180

person hurling it.' It would seem that when his hour came, Srutayudha disobeyed that injunction. With that hero-slaying mace he attacked Janardana, The valiant Krishna received that mace on one of his well-formed and stout shoulders. It failed to shake Sauri, like the wind failing to shake the Vindhya mountain. That mace, returning unto Srutayudha himself, struck that brave and wrathful king staying on his car, like an ill-accomplished act of sorcery injuring the performer himself, and slaying that hero fell down on the earth. Beholding the mace turn back and Srutayudha slain, loud cries of Alas and Oh arose there among the troops, at the sight of Srutayudha that chastiser of foes, slain by a weapon of his own. 1 And because, O monarch, Srutayudha had hurled that mace at Janardana who was not engaged in fighting it slew him who had hurled it. And Srutayudha perished on the field, even in the manner that Varuna had indicated. Deprived of life, he fell down on the earth before the eyes of all the bowmen. While falling down, that dear son of Parnasa shone resplendent like a tall banian with spreading boughs broken by the wind. Then all the troops and even all the principal warriors fled away, beholding Srutayudha, that chastiser of foes, slain. Then, the son of the ruler of the Kamvojas, viz., the brave Sudakshina, rushed on his swift steeds against Phalguna that slayer of foes. Partha, then, O Bharata, sped seven shafts at him. Those shafts passing through the body of that hero, entered the earth. Deeply pierced those shafts sped in battle from Gandiva, Sudakshina pierced Arjuna in return with ten shafts winged with Kanka feathers. And piercing Vasudeva with three shafts, he once more pierced Partha with five. Then, O sire, Partha, cutting off Sudakshina's bow, lopped off the latter's standard. And the son of Pandu pierced his antagonist with a couple of broad-headed arrows of great sharpness. Sudakshina, however, piercing Partha once more with three arrows, uttered a leonine shout. Then the brave Sudakshina, filled with wrath, hurled at the wielder of Gandiva a terrible dart made wholly of iron and decked with bells. That dart blazing as a large meteor, and emitting sparks of fire, approaching that mighty car-warrior pierced him through and fell down on the earth. Deeply struck by that dart and overcome with a swoon, Arjuna soon enough recovered. Then that hero of mighty energy, licking the corners of his mouth, that son of Pandu, of inconceivable feats, pierced his foe, along with his steeds, standard, bow, and charioteer, with four and ten shafts winged with Kanka feathers. With other arrows, countless in number, Partha then cut Sudakshina's car into fragments. And then the son of Pandu pierced Sudakshina, the prince of the Kamvojas, whose purpose and prowess had both been baffled, with a sharp arrow in the chest. Then the brave prince of the Kamvojas, his coat of mail cut off, his limbs weakened, his diadem and Angadas displaced, fell head downwards, like a pole of Indra when hurled from an engine. Like a beautiful Karnikara tree in the spring, gracefully growing on a mountain summit with beautiful branches, lying on the earth

p. 181

when uprooted by the wind, the prince of the Kamvojas lay on the bare ground deprived of life, though deserving of the costliest bed, decked with costly ornaments. Handsome, possessed of eyes that were of a coppery hue, and bearing on his head a garland of gold, endued with the effulgence of fire, the mighty-armed Sudakshina, the son of the ruler of the Kamvojas, overthrown by Partha with his shafts, and lying on the earth, reft of fife, looked resplendent like a beautiful mountain with a level top. Then all the troops of thy son fled away, beholding Srutayudha, and Sudakshina the prince of the Kamvojas, slain.'"


180:1 The original is pleonastic.

Next: Section XCII