Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 91:4

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 91:4

Seeing his bow cut off, the Rakshasa speedily rose up into the welkin, confounding with his illusion the enraged Iravat. Then Iravat also, difficult of approach, capable of assuming any form at will, and having a knowledge of what are the vital limbs of the body, rising up into the welkin, and confounding with his illusion the Rakshasa began to cut off the latter's limbs in that battle and thus were the limbs of the Rakshasa repeatedly cut into several pieces.[1] [(Rakshasa ceases to be italicized at this point for a couple of pages.—JBH)] Then the Rakshasa, however, O king, was re-born, assuming a youthful appearance. Illusion is natural with them, and their age and form are both dependent on their will. And the limbs of that Rakshasa, O king, cut into pieces, presented a beautiful sight. Iravat, excited with rage, repeatedly cut that mighty Rakshasa with his sharp axe. The brave Rakshasa, thus cut into pieces like a tree by the mighty Iravat, roared fiercely. And those roars of his became deafening. Mangled with the axe, the Rakshasa began to pour forth blood in torrents. Then (Alamvusha), the mighty son of Rishyasringa, beholding his foe blazing forth with energy, became infuriate with rage and himself put forth his prowess in that combat. Assuming a prodigious and fierce form, he endeavoured to seize the heroic son of Arjuna, viz., the renowned Iravat. In the sight of all the combatants there present, beholding that illusion of the wicked Rakshasa in the van of battle, Iravat became inflamed with rage and adopted steps for himself having recourse to illusion. And when that hero, never retreating from battle, became inflamed with wrath, a Naga related to him by his mother's side, came to him. Surrounded on all sides, in that battle by Nagas, that Naga, O king, assumed a huge form mighty as Ananta himself. With diverse kinds of Nagas then he covered the Rakshasa. While being covered by those Nagas, that bull among Rakshasas reflected for a moment, and assuming the form of Garuda, he devoured those snakes. When that Naga of his mother's line was devoured through illusion, Iravat became confounded. And while in that state, the Rakshasa slew him with his sword, Alamvusha felled on the earth Iravat's head decked with ear-rings and graced with a diadem and looking beautiful like a lotus or the moon.

When the heroic son of Arjuna was thus slain by the Rakshasa, the Dhartarashtra host with all the kings (in it) were freed from grief. In that great battle that was so fierce, awful was the carnage that occurred among both the divisions. Horses and elephants and foot-soldiers entangled with one another, were slain by tuskers. And many steeds and tuskers were slain by foot-soldiers. And in that general engagement bodies of foot-soldiers and cars, and large numbers of horses belonging both to thy army and theirs, were slain, O king, by car-warriors. Meanwhile, Arjuna, not knowing that the son of his loins had been slaughtered, slew in that battle many kings who had been protecting Bhishma.



  1. In the first line of 64, the true reading is Survamarmajna, and not Sarvadharmajna