Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 108

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 108

Sanjaya said, "While they were battling, the Sun set, O Bharata, and there came the dreadful hour of twilight and the battle could no longer be seen. Then king Yudhishthira, seeing that twilight had come and that his own troops, slaughtered by Bhishma, had thrown aside their weapons, and that stricken with fear, and turned off the field, they were seeking to flee away, and beholding Bhishma also, that mighty car-warrior, excited with wrath and afflicting everybody in fight, and noticing that the mighty car-warriors of the Somakas, having been vanquished, had all become cheerless, reflected a little, and then ordered the troops to be withdrawn. Then king Yudhishthira withdrew his forces. And similarly, the withdrawal of thy forces also took place at the same time. Then those mighty car-warriors, O chief of the Kurus, having withdrawn their forces, entered their tents, themselves mangled in battle. Afflicted by the shafts of Bhishma and reflecting upon that hero's feats in battle, the Pandavas obtained no peace of mind. Bhishma also, having vanquished the Pandavas and the Srinjayas in battle, was worshipped by thy sons and glorified by them, O Bharata. Accompanied by the rejoicing Kurus, he then entered his tent. Night then set in, that deprives all creatures of their senses. Then in that fierce hour of night, the Pandavas, the Vrishnis and the invincible Srinjayas sat down for a consultation. All those mighty persons, skilled in arriving at conclusions in council, coolly deliberated about that which was beneficial for them in view of their immediate circumstances. Then king Yudhishthira, having reflected for a long while, said these words, casting his eyes on Vasudeva, 'Behold, O Krishna, the high-souled Bhishma of fierce prowess.

He crusheth my troops like an elephant crushing a forest of reeds. We dare not even look at that high-souled warrior. Like a raging conflagration he licketh up my troops. The valiant Bhishma of keen weapons, when excited with wrath in battle and bow in hand shooting his shafts, becometh as fierce as the mighty Naga Takshaka of virulent poison. Indeed, the angry Yama is capable of being vanquished, or even the chief of the celestials armed with the thunder, or Varuna himself, noose in hand, or the Lord of the Yakshas armed with mace. But Bhishma, excited with wrath, is incapable of being vanquished in battle. When this is the case, O Krishna, I am, through the weakness of my understanding, plunged in an ocean of grief having got Bhishma (as a foe) in battle. I will retire into the woods, O invincible one. My exile there would be for my benefit. Battle, O Krishna, I no longer desire. Bhishma slayeth us always. As an insect, by rushing into a blazing fire meeteth only with death, even so do I rush upon Bhishma. In putting forth prowess, O thou of Vrishni's race, for the sake of my kingdom, I am, alas, led to destruction. My brave brothers have all been exceedingly afflicted with arrows. In consequence of the affection they bear to myself their (eldest) brother they had to go into the woods, deprived of kingdom.