Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 69

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 69

Sanjaya said, "After the night had passed away and the sun had risen, the two armies, O king, approached each other for battle. Beholding each other, each rushed in united ranks towards the other excited with rage and desirous of vanquishing the other. And in consequence of thy evil policy, O king, the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras thus rushed, cased in mail and forming battle-array, for striking each other. And the array that Bhishma protected from all sides, O king, was of the shape of a Makara.[1] And so the Pandavas also, O king, protected the array they had formed (of their troops). Then thy sire Devavrata, O great king, that foremost of car-warriors, proceeded in advance, supported by a large division of cars.

And others, viz., car-warriors, infantry, elephants, and cavalry, all followed him, each stationed in the place allotted. And beholding them prepared for battle, the illustrious sons of Pandu arrayed their troops in that invincible and prince of arrays called the Syena. An[2]d in the beak of that array shone Bhimasena of great strength. And in its two eyes were the invincible Sikhandin and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race. And in the head was the heroic Satyaki of prowess incapable of being baffled. And in its neck was Arjuna shaking his Gandiva. And in its left wing was the high-souled and blessed Drupada with his son and supported by an Akshauhini of all forces. And the king of the Kekayas, owning an Akshauhini, formed the right wing (of that array). And in its back were the sons of Draupadi, and Subhadra's son of great prowess. And in its tail was the heroic king Yudhishthira himself, of excellent prowess, supported by his twin brothers. Then in the battle (that ensued). Bhima, penetrating the Makara array (of the Kauravas) through its mouth, and approaching Bhishma, covered him with his shafts. Then in that great battle, Bhishma possessed of great prowess shot his mighty weapons, confounding the combatants of the Pandavas disposed in battle-array. And when the combatants (of the Pandava army) were thus confounded, Dhananjaya, speedily proceeding, pierced Bhishma at the van of battle with a thousand arrows. And counteracting, in that conflict, the weapons shot by Bhishma, Arjuna stood ready for the combat, supported by his own division filled with cheerfulness.[3]



  1. A fabulous aquatic animal resembling an alligator.
  2. Formed after the shape of the hawk.
  3. The Bengal reading is 'Yudhi sandhaya'. The Bombay reading is 'pratisamvarya'. I adopt the latter.