Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 59:8

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 59:8

And ascertaining that twang to be of Gandiva, king Virata and other heroes among men, and the brave Drupada, the king of the Panchalas, all proceeded to that spot with undepressed hearts. And all thy combatants stood, struck with fear, each at the spot where he heard that twang of Gandiva. And none amongst them ventured to proceed to that place whence that sound was heard. And in that awful slaughter of kings, heroic combatants were slain and car-warriors with those that guided their cars. And elephants with resplendent housings of gold and gorgeous standards (on their backs), afflicted with broad-headed shafts falling upon them, suddenly fell down, deprived of life and their bodies mangled by Kiritin. And forcibly struck by Partha with his winged arrows of great impetuosity and broad-headed shafts of keen edge and points, the standards of innumerable kings stationed at the heads of their yantras and Indrajalas were cut off.[1] And bands of infantry and car-warriors, in that battle, and steeds and elephants, fell fast on the field, their limbs paralysed, or themselves speedily deprived of life, affected by Dhananjaya with those shafts. And, O king, many were the warriors who in that terrible conflict had their coats of mail and bodies cut through by that mighty weapon called after the name of Indra. And with those terrible and sharp shafts of his, Kiritin caused an awful river to run on the field of battle, having for its waters the blood flowing from the mangled bodies of the combatants and having for its froth their fat. And its current was broad and ran fiercely. And the bodies of elephants and steeds despatched to the other world formed its banks.

And its mire consisted of the entrails, the marrow, and the flesh of human beings, and prodigious Rakshasas formed the (tall) trees (standing on its banks). And the crowns of human heads in profusion, covered with hair, formed its (floating) mess, and heaps of human bodies, forming its sandbanks, caused the current to flow in a thousand directions. And the coats of mail strewn all over formed its hard pebbles. And its banks were infested by large number of jackals and wolves and cranes and vultures and crowds of Rakshasas, and packs of hyenas. And they that were alive beheld that terrible river of current consisting of fat, marrow, and blood, caused by the arrowy showers of Arjuna—that embodiment of (man's) cruelty—to look like the great Vaitarani.[2]



  1. What these were it is difficult to determine. The Bombay reading is different. For Indrajala they read Indrakila which is as unknown as the other.
  2. The Vaitarani is the fabulous river that separate this world from the next.