Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 48:5

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 48:5

Regarding his impetuosity as incapable of cheek, Bhishma endued with great prowess and conversant with the might (of others), suddenly alighted on the ground for warding off that blow. Sweta then, O king, whirling in wrath that heavy mace, hurled it on Bhishma's car like the god Maheswara.[1] And in consequence of that mace intended for Bhishma's destruction, that car was reduced to ashes, with standard, and charioteer, and steeds and shaft. Beholding Bhishma, that foremost of car-warriors, become a combatant on foot, many car-warriors, viz., Salya and others, speedily rushed (to his rescue). Mounting then upon another car, and cheerlessly stretching his bow, Bhishma slowly advanced towards Sweta, seeing that foremost of car-warriors. Meanwhile, Bhishma heard a loud voice uttered in the skies, that was celestial and fraught with his own good. (And the voice said).—'O, Bhishma, O thou of mighty arms, strive without losing a moment. Even this is the hour fixed by the Creator of the Universe for success over this one'. Hearing those words uttered by the celestial messenger, Bhishma, filled with joy, set his heart upon Sweta's destruction. And beholding that foremost of car-warriors, Sweta become a combatant on foot, many mighty car-warriors (of the Pandava side) rushed unitedly (to his rescue). (They were) Satyaki, and Bhimasena, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race; and the (five) Kekaya brothers, and Dhrishtaketu and Abhimanyu of great energy. And beholding them rushing (to the rescue), with Drona and Salya and Kripa that hero of immeasurable soul (Bhishma) checked them all like the mountain resisting the force of the wind. And when all the high-souled warriors of the Pandava side were (thus) held in check, Sweta, taking up a sword cut off Bhishma's bow.

Casting aside that bow, the grandsire, quickly made up his mind for Sweta's destruction, having heard the words of the celestial messenger. Though baffled (by Sweta), thy sire Devavrata then that mighty car-warrior quickly taking up another bow that resembled the bow of Sakra himself in splendour, stringed it in a moment. Then thy sire, O chief of the Bharatas, beholding that mighty car-warrior Sweta, though the latter was then surrounded by those tigers among men with Bhimasena at their head,—(thy sire) the son of Ganga—advanced steadily for the sake of the generalissimo Sweta alone. Beholding Bhishma advance, Bhimasena of great prowess pierced him with sixty shafts. But that mighty car-warrior, thy sire Devavrata, checking both Bhimasena and Abhimanyu and other car-warriors with terrible shafts, struck him with three straight arrows. And the grandsire of the Bharatas also struck Satyaki, in that combat, with a hundred arrows, and Dhrishtadyumna with twenty and the Kekaya brothers with five. And checking all those great bowmen with terrible arrows, thy sire Devavrata advanced towards Sweta alone. Then taking out an arrow resembling Death's self and capable of bearing a great strain and incapable of being resisted, the powerful Bhishma placed it on his bowstring.



  1. In the first line of 87 for Maheswara (meaning Siva) the Bombay text reads Dhaneswara (meaning Kuvera, the lord of treasures). For also 'Bhimainipatitiya' in the second line the Bombay text reads 'Bhishma inipainya'.