Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 47

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 47

Sanjaya said,—"After the great part of the forenoon of that awful day had worn out, in that terrific engagement, O king, that was (so) destructive of foremost of men,[1] Durmukha and Kritavarman, and Kripa, and Salya, and Vivinsati, urged by thy son, approached Bhishma and began to protect him. And protected by those five mighty car-warriors, O bull of Bharata's race, that great car-warrior penetrated the Pandava host. And the palmyra standard of Bhishma was seen to glide continually, O Bharata, through the Chedis, the Kasis, the Karushas, and the Panchalas. And that hero, with broad-headed shafts of great swiftness which were again perfectly straight, cut off the heads (of foes) and their cars with yokes and standards. And, O bull of Bharata's race, Bhishma seemed to dance on his car as it coursed along its track. And some elephants, struck (by him) in their vital parts, shrieked in agony.

Then Abhimanyu in great wrath, stationed on his car unto which were yoked excellent steeds of a tawny hue, rushed towards Bhishma's car. And with his standard adorned with pure gold and resembling a Karnikara tree, he approached Bhishma and those (five) foremost of car-warriors. And striking with a keen-edged shaft the standard of the palmyra-bannered (warrior), that hero engaged in battle with Bhishma and those other car-warriors that protected him.[2] Piercing Kritavarman with one arrow, and Salya with five, he weakened his great-grandsire with nine arrows. And with one arrow well shot from his bow drawn to its fullest stretch, he cut off (his adversary's) standard adorned with pure gold. And with one broad-headed shaft capable of penetrating every cover, which was perfectly straight, he cut off from his body the head of Durmukha's charioteer. And with another keen-edged arrow he cut in twain the gold-decked bow of Kripa. And they also, with many sharp-pointed shafts, that mighty car-warrior smote in great wrath, seeming to dance (the while). And beholding his lightness of hand, the very gods were gratified. And in consequence of Abhimanyu's sureness of aim, all the car-warriors headed by Bhishma regarded him to be possessed of the capacity of Dhananjaya himself.[3] And his bow, emitting a twang like that of Gandiva, while stretched and re-stretched, seemed to revolve like a circle of fire.[4] Bhishma then, that slayer of hostile heroes, rushing on him impetuously, speedily pierced the son of Arjuna in that combat with nine arrows. And he also, with three broad-headed shafts, cut off the standard of that warrior of great energy. Of rigid vows, Bhishma also struck his (adversary's) charioteer. And Kritavarman, and Kripa, and Salya also, O sire, piercing Arjuna's son, all failed to make him waver, for he stood firm like the Mainaka mountain. And the heroic son of Arjuna, though surrounded by those mighty car-warriors of the Dhartarashtra army, still showered on those five car-warriors arrowy downpours. And baffling their mighty weapons by his arrowy showers, and pouring on Bhishma his shafts, the powerful son of Arjuna set up a loud shout.



  1. The Bengal reading 'narvarakshaye' seems to be better than 'Mahavirakshaye' of the Bombay text.
  2. Talaketu is lit. Palmyra-bannered. Without using such compounds, the 'brevity' of the sentences cannot be maintained.
  3. Karshni is Krishna's or Arjuna's son Abhimanyu. Arjuna was sometimes called Krishna.
  4. Laghavamargasya is a mis-reading for Laghavamargastham'; then again chapi is incorrect, the correct reading chapam as in the Bombay text.