Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 47:2

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 47:2

And that mighty warrior, stretching his large bow that resembled the bow of Sakra himself, rushed with the desire of slaying Salya the ruler of the Madras. Surrounded on all sides with a mighty division of cars, he advanced towards Salya's car pouring an arrowy shower. And beholding him rush to the fight with prowess equal to that of an infuriate elephant, seven car-warriors of thy side surrounded him on all sides, desirous of protecting the ruler of Madras who seemed to be already within the jaws of Death. And those seven warriors were Vrihadvala the ruler of the Kosalas, and Jayatsena of Magadha, and Rukmaratha, O king, who was the valourous son of Salya, and Vinda and Anuvinda of Avanti, and Sudakshina the king of the Kamvojas, and Jayadratha, the ruler of the Sindhus and the kinsman of Vrihadkshatra. And the stretched bows of those high-souled warriors, decorated with diverse colours, looked like the lightning's flashes in the clouds. And they all poured on Sweta's head ceaseless showers of arrows like the clouds tossed by the wind dropping rain on the mountain breast on the expiry of summer. That mighty bowman and commander of the forces, enraged at this, with seven broad-headed arrows of great impetuosity, struck their bows, and then continued to grind them. And those bows we saw were cut off, O Bharata, and thereupon they all took up, within half the time taken up in a wink of the eye, other bows. And they then shot at Sweta seven arrows. And once again that mighty-armed warrior of immeasurable soul, with seven fleet shafts, cut off those (other) bows of these bowmen. Those warriors then, whose large bows had been cut off, those mighty car-warriors swelling (with rage), grasping (seven) darts, set up a loud shout. And, O chief of the Bharatas, they hurled those seven darts at Sweta's car. And those blazing darts which coursed (through the air) like large meteors, with the sound of thunder, were all cut off, before they could reach him, that warrior conversant with mighty weapons, by means of seven broad-headed arrows. Then taking up an arrow capable of penetrating into every part of the body, he shot it, O chief of the Bharatas, at Rukmaratha. And that mighty arrow, surpassing (the force of) the thunder-bolt, penetrated into the latter's body. Then, O king, forcibly struck by that arrow, Rukmaratha sat down on the terrace of his car and fell into a deadly swoon. His charioteer then, without betraying any fear, bore him away, senseless and in a swoon, in the very sight of all. Then taking up six other (arrows) adorned with gold, the mighty-armed Sweta cut off the standard-tops of his six adversaries. And that chastiser of foes then, piercing their steeds and charioteers also, and covering those six warriors themselves with ceaseless shafts, proceeded towards the car of Salya. And beholding that generalissimo of the (Pandava) forces proceeding quickly towards Salya's car, a loud uproar of oh and alas arose in thy army, O Bharata. Then thy mighty son, with Bhishma at the head, and supported by heroic warriors and many troops, proceeded towards Sweta's car.[1] And he (thus) rescued the ruler of the Madras who had already entered the jaws of Death. And then commenced a battle, terrific and making the hair stand on end, between thy troops and those of the enemy, in which cars and elephants all got mixed up in confusion. And upon Subhadra's son and Bhimasena, and that mighty car-warrior Satyaki, and upon the ruler of the Kekayas, and Virata, and Dhrishtadyumna of Prishata's race, and upon the Chedi troops, the old Kuru grandsire poured showers of arrows.[2]



  1. The Bengal reading is 'Suaris Vritascha Sainyena'. The Bombay reading (which I do not adopt) is 'Vritastu Sarva Sainyena.'
  2. Nine slokas and a half, from the second half of the 43rd verse to the 52nd verse (as above), are omitted in the Bengal texts. These, however, occur subsequently in section 46 following. The fact is, the whole of the passage in this section and the 116 verses in the following section, and the first 24 verses in the section 49, are regarded as an interpolation. In those sections of the Udyoga Parvam where the Rathas and the Atirathas, &c, are counted by Bhishma, no mention is made of any warrior of the name of Sweta. The Burdwan Pundits omit these passages altogether. I myself believe them to be an interpolation. Occurring, however, as it does in both the Bengal and the Bombay texts, I cannot omit in the English version.