Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 97

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 97

Sanjaya said, "Hearing that his son Iravat had been slain, Dhananjaya was filled with great grief and sighed like a snake. And addressing Vasava in the midst of battle, he said these words, 'Without doubt, the high-souled Vidura of great wisdom had before seen (with his mind's eye) this awful destruction of the Kurus and the Pandavas. It was for this that he forbade king Dhritarashtra.[1] In this battle, O slayer of Madhu, many other heroes have been slain by the Kaurava and many amongst the Kauravas have similarly been slain by ourselves. O best of men, for the sake of wealth vile acts are being done. Fie upon that wealth for the sake of which such slaughter of kinsmen is being perpetrated. For him that hath no wealth, even death would be better than the acquisition of wealth by the slaughter of kinsmen. What, O Krishna, shall we gain by slaying our assembled kinsmen? Alas, for Duryodhana's fault, and also of Sakuni the son of Suvala, as also through the evil counsels of Karna, the Kshatriya race is being exterminated, O slayer of Madhu. I now understand, O mighty-armed one, that the king acted wisely by begging of Suyodhana[2] only half the kingdom, or, instead, only five villages. Alas, even that was not granted by that wicked-souled wight. Beholding so many brave Kshatriyas lying (dead) on the field of battle, I censure myself, (saying) fie upon the profession of a Kshatriya.

The Kshatriyas will regard me powerless in battle. For this alone, I am battling. Else, O slayer of Madhu, this battle with kinsmen is distasteful to me. Urge the steeds on with speed towards the Dhartarashtra army. I will, with my two arms, reach the other shore of this ocean of battle that is so difficult to cross. There is no time, O Madhava, to lose in action'. Thus addressed by Partha, Kesava, that slayer of hostile heroes, urged those steeds of white hue endued with the speed of the wind. Then, O Bharata, loud was the noise that was heard among thy troops, resembling that of the ocean itself at full tide when agitated by the tempest.[3] In the afternoon, O king, the battle that ensued between Bhishma and the Pandavas was marked by noise that resembled the roar of the clouds. Then, O king, thy sons, surrounding Drona like the Vasus surrounding Vasava, rushed in the battle against Bhimasena. Then Santanu's son, Bhishma, and that foremost of car-warriors, viz., Kripa, and Bhagadatta, and Susarman, all went towards Dhananjaya. And Hridika's son (Kritavarman) and Valhika rushed towards Satyaki. And king Amvashta placed himself before Abhimanyu. And other great car-warriors, O king, encountered other great car-warriors. Then commenced a fierce battle that was terrible to behold. Bhimasena then, O king, beholding thy sons, blazed up with wrath in that battle, like fire with (a libation of) clarified butter. Thy sons, however, O monarch, covered that son of Kunti with their arrows like the clouds drenching the mountain-breast in the season of rains.



  1. In the first line of the 3rd verse, the Bengal reading is bhayam. The true reading, however, is khayam.
  2. In the second line of 8th, for the Bengal reading, vachaymasa yodhanam, the Bombay reading is yachtacha Suyodhanam. This is better. The Bengal reading has no meaning.
  3. Literally, "when its impetuosity is stirred up by the wind."