Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 48

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 47:8

Dhritarashtra said,—"When that great bowman Sweta proceeded towards Salya's car, what did the Kauravas and the Pandavas do, O Sanjaya? And what also did Bhishma the son of Santanu do? Tell me who ask thee, all this." Sanjaya said,—"O king, hundreds and thousands of bulls among Kshatriyas, all brave and mighty car-warriors, placing the generalissimo Sweta in the van, and displaying their strength, O Bharata, unto thy royal son and with Sikhandin also at their head, desired to rescue (Sweta). And those mighty car-warriors rushed towards Bhishma's car decked with gold desirous of slaying that foremost of warriors. And the battle that ensued then was terrible. I shall describe to thee that wonderful and terrific battle as it occurred between thy troops and those of the enemy. The son of Santanu made the terraces of many cars empty, (for) that best of car-warriors showering (his) arrows, cut off many heads.

Endued with energy equal to that of the Sun himself, he shrouded the very Sun with his arrows. And he removed his enemies from around him in that combat like the rising Sun dispelling the darkness around. And in that battle, O king, arrows were shot by him in hundreds and thousands that were powerful and possessed of great impetuosity and that took in that conflict the lives of numberless Kshatriyas. And in that combat he felled heads, by hundreds, of heroic warriors, O king, and elephants cased in thorny mail, like summits of mountains (felled) by heaven's bolt. And cars, O king, were seen to mingle with cars. A car might be seen upon another car, and a steed upon another steed. And impetuous chargers, O king, bore hither and thither heroic riders in the prime of youth, slain and hanging (from their saddles) with their bows (still in their grasp).[1] With swords and quivers attached (to their persons) and coats of mail loosened (from their bodies), hundreds of warriors, deprived of life, lay on the ground, sleeping on beds (worthy) of heroes. Rushing against one another, falling down and rising up again and rushing again having risen up, the combatants fought hand to hand. Afflicted by one another, many rolled on the field of battle. Infuriate elephants rushed hither and thither, and car-warriors by hundreds were slain. And car-warriors, along with their cars, were crushed on all sides. And some warriors fell upon his car, slain by another with arrows. And a mighty car-warrior might be seen to fall down from high, his charioteer (also) having been slain. A thick dust arose, and thereupon unto the warrior struggling in battle, the twang of the (hostile) bow indicated the struggling adversary before. From the pressure also on their bodies, combatants guessed their foes. And the warriors, O king, fought on with arrows, guided by the sound of bow-strings and (hostile) division. The very hiss of the arrows shot by the combatants at one another could not be heard. And so loud was the sound of drums, that it seemed to pierce the ears.



  1. The Bombay text reads 'Yavana nihatam,' which is better.