Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 50:3

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 50:3

And then Pritha's son Yudhishthira said unto the commander of his army, the son of Prishata, (these words), 'An array known by the name of Krauncharuma, that is destructive of all foes, and that was spoken of by Vrihaspati unto Indra in days of old when the gods and the Asuras fought,—that array destructive of hostile divisions, do thou form. Unseen before, the kings behold it, along with the Kurus.' Thus addressed by that god among men, like Vishnu addressed by the wielder of the thunderbolt,[1] he (Dhrishtadyumna), when morning dawned, placed Dhananjaya in the van of the whole army.

And Dhananjaya's standard, created at Indra's command by the celestial artificer, while moving through the skies, seemed wonderfully beautiful. Decked with banners bearing hues resembling those of Indra's bow,[2] coursing through the air like a ranger of the skies, and looking like the fleeting edifice of vapour in the welkin, it seemed, O sire to glide dancingly along the track of the car (to which it was attached). And the bearer of Gandiva with that (standard) graced with gems, and that standard itself with the bearer of Gandiva, looked highly adorned, like the Self-create with the Sun (and the Sun with the Self-create).[3] And king Drupada, surrounded by a large number of troops, became the head (of that array). And the two kings Kuntibhoja and Saivya became its two eyes. And the ruler of the Dasarnas, and the Prayagas, with the Dasarakas, and the Anupakas, and the Kiratas were placed in its neck, O bull of Bharata's race. And Yudhishthira, O king, with the Patachcharas, the Hunas, the Pauravakas and the Nishadas, became its two wings, so also the Pisachas, with the Kundavishas, and the Mandakas, the Ladakas, the Tanganas, and the Uddras, O Bharata, and the Saravas, the Tumbhumas, the Vatsas, and the Nakulas. And Nakula and Sahadeva placed themselves on the left wing. And on the joints of the wings were placed ten thousand cars and on the head a hundred thousand, and on the back a hundred millions and twenty thousand and on the neck a hundred and seventy thousand. And on the joints of the wings, the wings and the extremities of the wings proceeded elephants in large bodies, looking, O king, like blazing mountains. And the rear was protected by Virata aided by the Kekayas, and the ruler of Kasi and the king of the Chedis, with thirty thousand cars.[4] Forming, O Bharata, their mighty array thus, the Pandavas, expectant of sunrise, waited for battle, all cased in armour. And their white umbrellas, clean and costly, and brilliant as the sun, shone resplendent on their elephants and cars.[5]



  1. The correct reading is Vishnu, and not Jishnu as in many of the Bengal texts.
  2. Indrayudha is Indra's bow or the rainbow. Akasaga (literally a ranger of the skies) is a bird. The vapoury edifices and forms, constantly melting away and reappearing in new shapes, are called Gandharvanagar as (lit. towns of the Gandharvas or celestial choiristers).
  3. The Bengal reading is Savayambhuriva bhanuna which I have adopted. The Bombay reading is Merurivabhanuna, which means "like the mountain Meru with Sun." It is difficult to make a choice between the two
  4. The Bombay text differs in many respects from the Bengal texts as regards the positions assigned to the several warriors and races in the Pandava host. It is impossible to settle the true readings. I have, therefore, without any attempt at correction, followed the Bengal text.
  5. The last word of the 28th verse is 'Ratheshu cha', and not 'Dhajeshu cha' for umbrellas could not possibly be fastened to standards.