Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 120:2

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 120:2

And the battle that took place between these and the Kaurava warriors was fierce, making the hair stand on end, and resembling O chief of the Bharatas, the battle of the gods with the Danavas. Sikhandin, however, that foremost of car-warriors, protected in the battle by the diadem-decked (Arjuna), pierced Bhishma, in that encounter, with ten shafts after the latter's bow had been cut off. And he struck Bhishma's charioteer with other shafts, and cut off the latter's standard with one shaft. Then the son of Ganga took up another bow that was tougher. That even was cut off by Phalguni with three sharp shafts. Indeed, that chastiser of foes, viz., Arjuna, who was capable of drawing the bow with even his left hand, excited with rage, one after another, cut off all the bows that Bhishma took up. Then Bhishma, whose bows were thus cut off, excited with rage, and licking the corners of his mouth, took up a dart that was capable of riving a hill. In rage he hurled it at Phalguni's car. Beholding its course towards him like the blazing bolt of heaven, the delighter of the Pandavas fixed five sharp broad-headed arrows (on his bow-string). And with those five arrows, O chief of the Bharatas, the angry Arjuna cut off into five fragments that dart hurled from Bhishma's arms.

Thus cut off by the angry Arjuna, that dart then fell down like a flash of lightning separated from a mass of clouds. Beholding his dart cut off, Bhishma became filled with rage. That hero, that subjugator of hostile cities, then began to reflect. And he said unto himself, 'With only a single bow I could slay all the Pandavas, if the mighty Vishnu himself had not been their protector. For two reasons, however, I will not fight with the Pandavas, viz., their unslayableness, and the femininity of Sikhandin. Formerly, when my sire wedded Kali, he pleased (with me) gave me two boons, viz., that I should be incapable of being slain in battle, and that my death should depend on my own choice. I should, however, now wish my own death, this being the proper hour.' Ascertaining this to be the resolve of Bhishma of immeasurable energy, the Rishis and the Vasus stationed in the firmament, said, 'That which hath been resolved by thee is approved by us also, O son! Act according to thy resolution, O king. Withdraw thy heart from battle.' On the conclusion, of those words, fragrant and auspicious breeze charged with particles of water, began to blow along a natural direction.[1] And celestial cymbals of loud sounds began to beat. And a flowery shower fell upon Bhishma, O sire.



  1. The Bengal reading of this verse is vicious. In the first line, lokasya is incorrect and unmeaning, the correct word being vakyasa. In the second line, again, for Prishtha-ascha samantatas, the correct reading is Prisharaischa samantatas.