Mahabharata Udyoga Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section CLVI

"Vaisampayana said, 'After that night had passed away, king Duryodhana, O Bharata, distributed (in proper order) his eleven Akshauhinis of troops. And arranging his men, elephants, cars, and steeds, into three classes, viz., superior, middling, and inferior, the king distributed them amongst his divisions (by placing them in the van, centre, and rear of the ranks). And furnished with timber and planks for repairing the damages their cars might sustain in the press of battle, with large quivers borne on cars, with tiger-skins and other stiff leather for enveloping the sides of cars, with barbed javelins to be hurled by the hand, with quivers borne on the backs of steeds and elephants, with long-handled spears of iron and missiles, with quivers borne on the backs of foot-soldiers with heavy clubs of woods, with flagstaffs and banners, with long heavy shafts shot from bows, with diverse kinds of nooses and lassoes, with armour of various kinds, with short-pointed clubs of wood, with oil, treacle, and sand, with earthen pots filled with poisonous snakes, with pulverised lac and other inflammable matter, with short spears furnished with tinkling bells, with diverse weapons of iron, and machines, for hurling hot treacle, water, and stones, with whistling clubs of hard wood, with wax and heavy mallets, with clubs of wood having iron spikes, with plough-poles and poisoned darts, with long syringes for pouring warm treacle and planks of cane, with battle-axes and forked lances with spiked gauntlets, with axes and pointed iron-spikes, with cars having their sides covered with skins of tigers, and leopards, with sharp-edged circular planks of wood, with horns, with javelins and various other weapons of attack, with axes of the kuthara species, and spades, with cloths steeped in oil, and with clarified butter, the divisions of Duryodhana, glittering with robes embroidered with gold and decked with various kinds of jewels and gems and consisting of warriors endued with handsome persons, blazed forth like fire. And cased in coats of mail and well-skilled in weapons, accomplished in horse-lore, brave persons of good birth were employed as car-drivers. And all the cars were furnished with various drugs, and with horses having rows of bells and pearls on their heads, and with banners and flagstaffs, and with ornaments gracing their steeples and turrets and with shields, swords, and lances, and javelins and spiked maces. And unto each of those cars were yoked four steeds of the best breed. And upon each of them were kept a hundred bows. And each car had one driver in charge of the couple of steeds in front, and two drivers in charge of the couple of steeds attached to the wheels on the two sides. And both of the last-mentioned drivers were skilled car-warriors, while the car-warrior himself was also skilled in driving steeds. And thousands of cars thus furnished and decked with gold, and protected like fortified town and incapable of being conquered by foes, were stationed on all sides. And the elephants also were furnished with rows of bells and pearls and decked with diverse ornaments. And on the back of each of those animals, mounted seven warriors. And in consequence of such accoutrements those animals looked like hills graced with jewels. And amongst the seven, two were armed with hooks, two were excellent bowmen, two were first-rate swords-men, and one, O king, was armed with a lance and trident. And, O king, the army of the illustrious Kuru king, teemed with innumerable infuriate elephants, bearing on their backs loads of weapons and quivers filled with arrows. And there were also thousands of steeds ridden by brave soldiers accoutred in mail, decked in ornaments, and furnished with flags. And numbering in hundreds and thousands, all those steeds were free from the habit of scratching the ground with their forehoofs. And they were all well-trained, and decked with ornaments of gold, and exceedingly obedient to their riders. And of foot-soldiers, there were hundreds of thousands of diverse mien, accoutred in armours of diverse kinds and armed also with weapons of diverse species, and decked with golden ornaments. And unto each car, were assigned ten elephants, and unto each elephant ten horses, and unto each horse ten foot-soldiers, as protectors. Again, a large body of troops was kept as a reserve for rallying the ranks that would be broken. And this reserve consisted of cars, unto each of which were attached fifty elephants; and unto each elephant were attached a hundred horses; and unto each horse were attached seven foot-soldiers. Five hundred cars, as many elephants (fifteen hundred horses, and two thousand five hundred foot-soldiers) constitute a Sena. Ten Senas constitute a Pritana; and ten Pritanas, a Vahini. In common parlance, however, the words Sena, Vahini, Pritana, Dhwajini, Chamu, Akshauhini, and Varuthini are used in the same sense.

'It was thus that the intelligent Kaurava arrayed his force. Between the two sides, the total number was eighteen Akshauhinis. Of this, the Pandava force consisted of seven Akshauhinis, while the Kaurava force consisted of ten Akshauhinis and one more. Five times fifty men constitute a Patti. Three Pattis make a Senamukha or Gulma. Three Gulmas make a Gana. In Duryodhana's army, there were thousands and hundred of such Ganas consisting of warriors capable of smiting (the foe) and longing for battle. And the mighty-armed king Duryodhana, selecting from among them brave and intelligent warriors, made them the leaders of his troops. And placing an Akshauhini of troops under each of those best of men, viz., Kripa, Drona, Salya, Jayadratha, the king of the Sindhus, Sudakshina the ruler of the Kamvojas, Kritavarman, Drona's son (Aswatthaman), Karna, Bhurisravas, Sakuni, the son of Suvala, and the mighty Vahlika, the king used to bring them daily before him and at all hours, and speak to them. And he repeatedly offered them worship before his very eyes. And thus appointed, all warriors, with all their followers, became desirous of doing what was most agreeable to the king.'"