Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 49:2

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 49:2

Sanjaya said, "Hear, O king, quietly about thy transgressions. It behoveth thee not to impute the fruit to Duryodhana. As is the construction of an embankment when the waters have disappeared, so is thy understanding, or, it is like the digging of a well when a house is on fire.[1] When, after the forenoon had passed away, the commander Sweta was, O Bharata, slain by Bhishma in that fierce conflict, Virata's son Sankha, that grinder of hostile ranks ever delighting in battle, beholding Salya stationed with Kritavarman (on his car), suddenly blazed up with wrath, like fire with clarified butter. That mighty warrior, stretching his large bow that resembled the bow of Indra himself, rushed with the desire of slaying the ruler of the Madras in battle, himself supported on all sides by a large division of cars. And Sankha, causing an arrowy downpour rushed towards the car on which Salya was. And beholding him advancing like an infuriate elephant, seven mighty car-warriors of thy side surrounded him—desirous of rescuing the ruler of the Madras already within the jaws of death.

Then the mighty-armed Bhishma, roaring like the very clouds, and taking up a bow full six cubits long, rushed towards Sankha in battle. And beholding that mighty car-warrior and great bowman thus rushing, the Pandava host began to tremble like a boat tossed by a violence of the tempest. Then Arjuna, quickly advancing, placed himself in front of Sankha, thinking that Sankha should then be protected from Bhishma. And then the combat commenced between Bhishma and Arjuna. And loud cries of oh and alas arose among the warriors engaged in battle. And one force seemed to merge into another force. And thus all were filled with wonder.[2] Then Salya, mace in hand, alighting from his large car, slew, O bull of Bharata's race, the four steeds of Sankha. Jumping down from his car thus deprived of steeds, and taking a sword, Sankha ran towards Vibhatsu's car and (mounting on it) was once more at his ease. And then there fell from Bhishma's car innumerable arrows by which were covered the entire welkin and the earth. And that foremost of smiters, Bhishma, slaughtered with his arrows the Panchala, the Matsya, the Kekaya, and the Prabhadraka host. And soon abandoning in that battle, Pandu's son (Arjuna) capable of drawing the bow with even his left hand, Bhishma rushed towards Drupada, the king of the Panchalas, surrounded by his host. And he soon covered his dear relative with innumerable arrows. Like a forest consumed by fire at the end of winter, the troops of Drupada were seen to be consumed. And Bhishma stood in that battle like a blazing fire without smoke, or like the Sun himself at midday scorching everything around with his heat. The combatants of the Pandavas were not able to even look at Bhishma. And afflicted with fear, the Pandava host cast its eyes around, and not beholding any protector, looked like a herd of kine afflicted by cold. Slaughtered or retreating in despondence being crushed the while, loud cries, O Bharata, of oh and alas arose among the troops of the Pandavas. Then Bhishma the son of Santanu, with bow always drawn to a circle, shot therefrom blazing arrows that resembled virulent poison. And creating continuous lines of arrows in all directions, that hero of rigid vows slew Pandava car-warriors, naming each, O Bharata, beforehand. And then when the troops of the Pandavas were routed and crushed all over the field, the sun set and nothing could be seen. And then beholding Bhishma, O bull of Bharata's race, proudly standing in battle, the Parthas withdrew their forces (for nightly rest)."



  1. As both operations are useless, so are these thy regrets.
  2. The sense is that Arjuna representing one force, and Bhishma another, the two forces seemed to mingle, into one another, like one bolt of heaven against another, as one may say.