Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 71:2

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 71:2

And king Yudhishthira with his sons and counsellors engaged with Salya, the famous chief of the Madras. And Vikarna engaged with Sahadeva, and Chitrasena with Sikhandin. And the Matsyas, O king, engaged with Duryodhana, and Sakuni; and Drupada and Chekitana, and that mighty car-warrior Satyaki engaged in battle with the high-souled Drona aided by his son. And Kripa and Kritavarman both rushed against Dhrishtadyumna. And thus, all over the field, rushing bodies of horses, of elephants and cars, engaged with one another in battle. And although there were no clouds in the sky, yet flashes of lightning were seen. And all the points of the compass were covered with dust. And, O king, fierce meteors were seen falling with thundering noise. And violent winds blew and a shower of dust fell from above. And the sun, covered by the dust raised by the troops, disappeared in the firmament. And all the warriors, covered by that dust and battling with weapons, were deprived of their senses. And the sound made by weapons, all capable of penetrating through every armour and hurled from heroic arms, became a tremendous uproar. And, O bull of Bharata's race, weapons hurled from excellent arms and possessed of stellar brightness, illumined the whole welkin. And variegated shields made of bull's hides and embossed with gold were strewn, O bull of Bharata's race, all over the field. And heads and limbs were seen falling on all sides, cut off with swords and scimitars possessed of solar effulgence.

And great car-warriors, the wheels, axles, and boxes of whose cars were broken, fell down on the ground, their steeds slain and their tall standards tumbling down.[1] And many car-warriors having been slain, their steeds, mangled with weapons, fell down as they ran dragging the cars (to which they were yoked). And, in many places over the field, excellent steeds, afflicted with arrows, with limbs mangled, and with their traces on, ran, dragging the car-yokes after them. And many car-warriors, with their charioteers and steeds, were seen, O king, to be crushed by single elephants endued with great strength.[2] And in that battle, in the midst of large forces, many elephants, scenting the odour of the temporal juice of their compeers, began to snuff the breeze repeatedly. And the whole field was strewn with slain elephants, deprived of life by means of broad-headed shafts and falling down with the wooden edifices and the guides on their backs. And many elephants, in the midst of large forces crushed, with the standards and warriors on their backs, by huge compeers urged by their guides, fell down on the field. And many car-shafts, O king, were seen to be broken in that battle by huge elephants using their trunks, each of which resembled the trunk of the prince of elephants (called Airavata). And many car-warriors also, in that conflict, the Jalas of whose cars had been broken, were like branches of trees dragged down by tuskers, seized by the hair of their heads and, thrashed violently on the ground, were crushed into shapeless masses. And other huge elephants, dragging cars that were entangled with other cars, ran in all directions shrieking loudly. And those elephants, thus dragging those cars, looked like others of their species dragging lotus-stalks growing in lakes. And thus was that vast field of battle strewn over with cavalry soldiers and foot-soldiers and great car-warriors and standards.



  1. In the first line of 32 the Bengal reading is Mahabhujas. The correct reading seems to be (as in the Bombay text) Mahadhvajas.
  2. The last half of the second line of 35 in the Bengal text is vicious. I adopt the Bombay reading.