Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 60

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 60

Sanjaya said,—"When the night passed away, O Bharata, the high-souled Bhishma, with wrath engendered, supported by a large force, and stationed at the head of the Bharata army, proceeded against the foe. And Drona and Duryodhana and Valhika, and also Durmarshana and Chitrasena, the mighty Jayadratha, and other royal warriors, supported by large divisions accompanied, surrounding him all sides. And surrounded by those great and mighty car-warriors endued with great prowess and energy, O king, he shone, O best of monarchs, in the midst of those foremost of royal warriors, like the chief of the celestials in the midst of the gods. And the magnificent standards on the backs of the elephants stationed in front of those ranks, of diverse colours, viz., red, yellow, black and brown, waving in the air, looked exceedingly beautiful.

And that army with the royal son of Santanu and other mighty car-warriors and with elephants and steeds, looked resplendent like a mass of clouds charged with lightning, or like the firmament, in the season of rains, with gathering clouds.[1] And then the fierce army of the Kurus, bent on battle and protected by Santanu's son, rushed impetuously towards Arjuna like the fierce current of the ocean-going Ganga.[2] Pervaded by diverse kinds of forces possessed of great strength, and having in its wings elephants, steeds, infantry, and cars in profusion, that array the high-souled (Arjuna) having the prince of apes on his banner beheld from a distance to resemble a mighty mass of clouds.[3] That high-souled hero, that bull among men, upon his car furnished with tall standard and unto which were yoked white steeds, at the head of his (own) division and surrounded by a mighty force, proceeded against the whole hostile army. And all the Kauravas with thy sons, beholding that ape-bannered (warrior) with his excellent standard and handsome car-shaft wrapped (in costly cover), accompanied by that bull of Yadu's race, his charioteer in battle, were filled with dismay. And thy army beheld that best of arrays, which was protected by that mighty car-warrior of the world, viz., Kiritin, with weapons upraised to have at each of its corners four thousand elephants. Like the array which was formed on the day before by that best of Kurus viz., king Yudhishthira the just, and like of which had never been seen or heard before by human beings, was this one of today (that the Pandavas formed). Then on the field of battle thousands of drums were loudly beaten, and there arose from all the divisions the loud blare of conches and the notes of trumpets and many leonine shouts. Then (innumerable) bows of loud twang, stretched by heroic warriors with shaft fixed on the bowstrings, and the blare of conches, silenced that uproar of drums and cymbals. And the entire welkin filled with that blare of conches was diffused with an earthly dust that made it wonderful to behold. And with that dust the sky looked as if a vast canopy were spread overhead. And beholding that canopy the brave warriors all rushed impetuously (to battle). And car-warriors, struck by car-warriors, were overthrown with charioteers, steeds, cars, and standards. And elephants, struck by elephants, fell down, and foot-soldiers struck by foot-soldiers.



  1. In the first line of the 5th, for 'rajna' of the Bengal texts the Bombay text reads 'gupta'. I follow the Bengal reading which is better.
  2. In the second line of the 6th, for sasars sena the Bombay reading is sena mahogra which is better. I adopt it.
  3. I adopt the Bengal reading Vyapta and not Vyala.