Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 107:2

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 107:2

And we beheld there, O king, cars by hundreds and thousands, some with their axles and bottoms broken, and some, O Bharata, with broken wheels. And the earth was strewn with cars broken along with their wooden fences, with the prostrate forms of car-warriors, with shafts, with beautiful but broken coats of mail, with axes, O monarch; with maces and short arrows and sharp shafts, with bottoms of cars, with quivers and broken wheels, O sire, with innumerable bows and scimitars and heads decked with ear-rings; with leathern fences and gloves and overthrown standards, and with bows broken in various parts. And elephants, O king, destitute of riders, and slain horsemen (of the Pandava army), lay dead. The valiant Pandavas notwithstanding all their efforts, could not rally those car-warriors, who, afflicted by the shafts of Bhishma, were flying away from the field. Indeed, O king, that mighty host while being slaughtered by Bhishma endued with energy equal to that of Indra himself, broke so completely that no two persons fled together. With its cars, elephants, and steeds overthrown, and with its standards laid low in profusion, the army of the sons of Pandu, deprived of senses, uttered loud exclamations of woe. And at that time, sire slew son, and son slew sire, and friend smote dear friend, impelled by fate. And many combatants of the Pandavas army, throwing aside their armour, were seen flying in all directions with dishevelled hair. Indeed, the Pandava troops looked like bulls running wild in fear, and no longer restrained by the yoke. Indeed, loud were the exclamations we heard of woe that they uttered.

Then that delighter of the Yadavas, beholding the Pandava army breaking, reined the excellent car (that he guided), and addressing Vibhatsu the son of Pritha, said,—'That hour is come, O Partha, which thou hadst hoped for. Strike now, O tiger among men, or thou wilt be deprived of thy senses. Formerly, O hero, thou saidst, O Partha, in that conclave of kings in Virata's city, in the presence also of Sanjaya, these words:—"I will slay all the warriors of Dhritarashtra's son, all of them with their followers, including, Bhishma and Drona, that would fight with me in battle"—O son of Kunti, O chastiser of foes, make those words of thine true. Remembering the duty of a Kshatriya, fight, without any anxiety.' Thus addressed by Vasudeva, Arjuna hung down his head and looked askance at him. And Vibhatsu replied very unwillingly, saying, 'To acquire sovereignty with hell in the end, having slain those who should not be slain, or the woes of an exile in the woods,—(these are the alternatives). Which of these should I achieve? Urge the steeds, O Hrishikesa, I will do thy bidding. I will overthrow the Kuru grandsire Bhishma, that invincible warrior.'—Thus asked, Madhava urged those steeds of a silvery hue, to the spot where Bhishma, incapable of being looked at like the Sun himself, was staying. Then that large host of Yudhishthira rallied and came again to the fight, beholding the mighty-armed Partha proceeding for an encounter with Bhishma.