Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 44:2

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 44:2

And the (five) sons of Draupadi, and the mighty car-warrior Saubhadra,[1] and Nakula, and Sahadeva, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, rushed against (those) Dhartarashtras, tearing them with whetted shafts like summits of mountains with the impetuous bolts of heaven. And in that first encounter characterised by the awful twang of bow-strings and their flapping against the leathern fences (of the warriors)[2] no combatant, either on thy side or that of the foe, turned back. And, O bull of Bharata's race, I beheld the lightness of hand of the disciples of Drona (in particular), who, shooting innumerable arrows, O king, always succeeded in hitting the mark.[3] And the twang of sounding bowstrings ceased not for a moment, and the blazing arrows shot through (the air) like meteors (falling) from the firmament. And all the other kings, O Bharata, stood like (silent) spectators witnessing that interesting and awful encounter of kinsmen. And then those mighty car-warriors, with wrath excited and remembering the injuries sustained at one another's hands, strove in battle, O king, challenging one another.

And the two armies of the Kurus and the Pandavas, teeming with elephants, steeds and cars, looked exceedingly beautiful on the field of battle like painted figures on a canvas.

And then the (other) kings all took up their bows. And the Sun himself was shrouded by the dust raised by the combatants. And they fell upon one another, at the heads of their (respective) troops, at the command of thy son. And the loud uproar made by the elephants and the chargers of those kings rushing to the combat, mingled with the leonine shouts of the combatants and the din made by the blare of conches and the sounds of drums. And the uproar of that ocean having arrows for its crocodiles, bows for its snakes, swords for its tortoises, and the forward leaps of the warriors for its tempest, resembled the din made by the (actual) ocean when agitated. And kings in thousands, commanded by Yudhishthira, with their (respective) troops fell upon the ranks of thy son. And the encounter between the combatants of the two hosts was fierce in the extreme. And no difference could be perceived between the combatants of our side or that of the foe, while battling, or retreating in broken array or rallying again to the fight. In that terrific and awful battle, thy father (Bhishma) shone, transcending that countless host.



  1. Subhadra's son Abhimanyu
  2. These fences were made of iguana skins and cased the hands of the bowmen up to a few inches of the elbow-joint.
  3. Nimitta is explained by Nilakantha as the mark of object aimed at. Drona was the preceptor in arms of almost all the Bharata princes.