Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 119

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 119

Sanjaya said, "When the combatants of both armies, strong in number, were thus disposed in battle array, all those unretreating heroes, O Bharata, set their heart upon the region of Brahma.[1] In course of the general engagement that followed, the same class of combatants did not fight with the same class of combatants. Car-warriors fought not with car-warriors, or foot-soldiers with foot-soldiers, or horsemen with horsemen, or elephant-warriors with elephant-warriors. On the other hand, O monarch, the combatants fought with one another like mad men. Great and dreadful was the calamity that overtook both the armies. In that fierce slaughter when elephants and men spread themselves on the field, all distinctions between them ceased, for they fought indiscriminately.

Then Salya and Kripa, and Chitrasena, O Bharata, and Dussasana, and Vikarna, those heroes mounted on their bright cars, caused the Pandava host to tremble. Slaughtered in battle by those high-souled warriors, the Pandava army began to reel in diverse ways, O king, like a boat on the waters tossed by the wind. As the wintry cold cuts kine to the quick, so did Bhishma cut the sons of Pandu to the quick. As regards thy army also, many elephants, looking like newly-risen clouds, were felled by the illustrious Partha. And many foremost of warriors too were seen to be crushed by that hero. And struck with arrows and long shafts in thousands, many huge elephants fell down, uttering frightful shrieks of pain. And the field of battle looked beautiful, strewn with the bodies, still decked with ornaments of high-souled warriors deprived of life and with heads still decked with ear-rings.

And in that battle, O king, which was destructive of great heroes, when Bhishma and Dhananjaya the son of Pandu put forth their prowess, thy sons, O monarch, beholding the grandsire exert himself vigorously, approached him, with all their troops placed ahead. Desirous of laying down their lives in battle and making heaven itself their goal, they approached the Pandavas in that battle, which was fraught with great carnage. The brave Pandavas also, O king, bearing in mind the many injuries of diverse kinds inflicted upon them before by thee and thy son, O monarch, and casting off all fear, and eager to win the highest heavens, cheerfully fought with thy son and the other warriors of thy army.

Then the generalissimo of the Pandava army, viz., the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna, addressing his soldiers, said, 'Ye Somakas, accompanied by the Srinjayas, rush ye at Ganga's son.



  1. The Bengal texts read Evam etc.; the Bombay reading is samam, I adopt the former reading. "Set their hearts upon the region of Brahma," i.e., fought on, resolved to win the highest heaven by bravery or death in battle.