Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 55

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 55

Sanjaya said, "When the forenoon of that day had passed away, O Bharata, and when the destruction of cars, elephants, steeds, foot-soldiers and horse-soldiers, proceeded on, the prince of Panchala engaged himself in battle with these three mighty car-warriors, viz., Drona's son, Salya, and the high-souled Kripa. And the mighty heir of Panchala's king with many sharp shafts, slew the steeds of Drona's son that were celebrated over all the world. Deprived then of his animals, Drona's son quickly getting up on Salya's car, showered his shafts on the heir of the Panchala king. And beholding Dhrishtadyumna engaged in battle with Drona's son, the son of Subhadra, O Bharata, quickly came up scattering his sharp arrows. And, O bull of Bharata's race, he pierced Salya with five and twenty, and Kripa with nine arrows, and Aswatthaman with eight. Drona's son, however, quickly pierced Arjuna's son with many winged arrows, and Salya pierced him with twelve, and Kripa with three sharp arrows. Thy grandson Lakshmana then, beholding Subhadra's son engaged in battle, rushed at him, excited with rage. And the battle commenced between them.

And the son of Duryodhana, excited with rage, pierced Subhadra's son with sharp shafts in that combat. And that (feat), O king, seemed highly wonderful. The light-handed Abhimanyu then, O bull of Bharata's race, excited with rage, quickly pierced his cousin with five hundred arrows. Lakshmana also, with his shafts, then cut off his (cousin's) bow-staff at the middle, at which, O monarch, all the people sent forth a loud shout. Then that slayer of hostile heroes, the son of Subhadra, leaving aside that broken bow, took up another that was beautiful and tougher.[1] And thereupon those two bulls among men, thus engaged in combat and desirous of counteracting each other's feats, pierced each other with sharp shafts. King Duryodhana then, O monarch, beholding his mighty son thus afflicted by thy grandson (Abhimanyu), proceeded to that spot. And when thy son turned (towards that spot), all the kings surrounded the son of Arjuna on every side with crowds of cars. Incapable of being defeated in battle and equal in prowess unto Krishna himself, that hero, O king, thus surrounded by those heroes, was not agitated in the least. Then Dhananjaya, beholding Subhadra's son engaged in battle, rushed to that spot, excited with wrath, desirous of rescuing his own son. Thereupon the kings (on the Kuru side), headed by Bhishma and Drona and with cars, elephants and steeds, rushed impetuously at Savyasachin. Then a thick earthly dust, suddenly raised by foot-soldiers and steeds and cars and cavalry troopers, covering the sky appeared on the view. And those thousands of elephants and hundreds of kings, when they came within reach of Arjuna's arrows, were all unable to make any further advance. And all creatures there set up loud wails, and the points of the compass became dark. And then the transgression of the Kurus assumed a fierce and dreadful aspect as regards its consequences.



  1. The Bombay reading 'Vegavattaram' is better. Literally, it means, 'capable of imparting a greater impetus.' To avoid such periphrasis I render it 'tougher'.