Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 50

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 50

Sanjaya said, "When the troops, O bull of Bharata's race, were withdrawn on the first day, and when Duryodhana was filled with delight upon (beholding) Bhishma excited with wrath in battle, king Yudhishthira the just, speedily repaired unto Janardana, accompanied by all his brothers and all the kings (on his side). Filled with great grief thinking of his defeat, and beholding Bhishma's prowess, O king, he addressed that scion of Vrishni's race, saying, 'Behold, O Krishna, that mighty bowman Bhishma of terrible prowess. He consumes with his arrow my troops like fire (consuming) dry grass. How shall we even look at that high-souled (warrior) who is licking up my troops like fire fed with clarified butter? Beholding that tiger among men, that mighty warrior armed with the bow, my troops fly away, afflicted with arrows. Enraged Yama himself, or He armed with the thunder, or even Varuna noose in hand, or Kuvera armed with mace, may be vanquished in battle but the mighty car-warrior Bhishma, of great energy is incapable of being vanquished. Such being the case, I am sinking in the fathomless ocean represented by Bhishma, without a boat (to rescue me).[1] In consequence, O Kesava, of the weakness of my understanding, having obtained Bhishma (for a foe in battle), I shall, O Govinda, retire into woods. To live there is preferable to devoting these lords of earth to Death in the form of Bhishma. Conversant with mighty weapons, Bhishma, O Krishna, will annihilate my army. As insects rush into the blazing fire for their own destruction, the combatants of my army are even so. In putting forth prowess for the sake of kingdom, O thou of Vrishni's race, I am being led to destruction.

My heroic brothers also are pained and afflicted with arrows for my sake, having been deprived of both sovereignty and happiness in consequence of their love for their eldest brother. We regard life very highly, for, under these circumstances, life is too precious (to be sacrificed). During the remainder of my days I will practise the severest of ascetic austerities. I will not, O Kesava, cause these friends of mine to be slain.[2] The mighty Bhishma incessantly slays, with his celestial weapon, many thousands of my car-warriors who are foremost of smiters. Tell me, O Madhava, without delay, what should be done that might do me good. As regards Arjuna, I see that he is an indifferent spectator in this battle. Endued with great might, this Bhima alone, remembering Kshatriya duties, fighteth putting forth the prowess of his arms and to the utmost of his power. With his hero-slaying mace, this high-souled (warrior), to the full measure of his powers, achieveth the most difficult feats upon foot-soldiers and steeds and cars and elephants. This hero, however, is incapable, O sire, of destroying in fair fight the hostile host in even a century. This thy friend (Arjuna) alone (amongst) is conversant with (mighty) weapons. He, however, beholding us consumed by Bhishma and the high-souled Drona, looketh indifferently on us.



  1. Aplavas and Alpave are both correct.
  2. In the first line of the 14th verse Aviseshana seems to be incorrect.The Bombay text reads Avaseshena which I adopt.]