Mahabharata Drona Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section CVIII

"Sanjaya said, 'Having fled away from Bhima, Alamvusha, in another part of the field, careered fearlessly in battle. And while he was thus fearlessly careering in battle, the son of Hidimva rushed impetuously at him and pierced him with keen shafts. The battle between those two lions among Rakshasas became terrible. Both of them invoked into existence illusions like Sakra and Samvara (in days of old). Alamvusha, excited with rage, attacked Ghatotkacha. Indeed, that encounter between those two foremost of Rakshasas resembled that of old between Rama and Ravana, O lord! Then Ghatotkacha having pierced Alamvusha, in the centre of the chest with twenty long shafts, repeatedly roared like a lion. Smilingly, O king, Alamvusha also, repeatedly piercing the invincible son of Hidimva, uttered loud roars in joy, filling the entire welkin. Then, those two foremost of Rakshasas, endued with great might, became filled with rage. They fought with each other, displaying their powers of illusion, but without any of them getting any advantage over the other. Each, creating a hundred illusions, stupefied the other. Both accomplished in producing' illusions, O king, that Ghatotkacha displayed in battle, were all destroyed, O monarch, by Alamvusha, producing similar illusions of his own. Beholding that prince of Rakshasas, viz., Alamvusha, who was accomplished in producing illusions, fight in that manner, the Pandavas became filled with anxiety, they then caused him to be surrounded by many foremost of car-warriors. Bhimasena and others, O monarch, all rushed in rage against him. Hemming him, O sire, on all sides by means of numberless cars, they shrouded him from every side with shafts, like men in a forest encompassing an elephant with blazing brands. Baffling that shower of weapons by means of the illusion of his own weapons, freed himself from that press of cars like an elephant from a forest conflagration. Then drawing his terrible bow whose twang resembled the thunder of Indra, he pierced the son of the Wind-god with five and twenty shafts, and Bhimasena's son with five, and Yudhishthira with three, and Sahadeva with seven, and Nakula with three and seventy, and each of the five sons of Draupadi with five shafts, and uttered a loud roar. Then Bhimasena pierced him in return with nine shafts, and Sahadeva with five. And Yudhishthira pierced the Rakshasa with a hundred shafts. And Nakula pierced him with three shafts. The son of Hidimva having pierced him with five hundred shafts, Alamvusha once more pierced him with seventy, and that mighty warrior uttered a loud roar. With that loud roar of Ghatotkacha the earth shook, O king, with her mountains and forests and with her trees and waters. Deeply pierced on all sides by those great bowmen and mighty car-warriors, Alamvusha pierced each of them in return with five arrows. Then that Rakshasa, O chief of the Bharatas, viz., the son of Hidimva, filled with rage, pierced that other angry Rakshasa in battle with many shafts. Then that mighty prince of Rakshasas, viz., Alamvusha, deeply pierced, quickly shot countless shafts equipped with wings of gold and whetted on stone. Those shafts, perfectly straight, all entered the body of Ghatotkacha, like angry snakes of great strength entering a mountain summit. Then the Pandavas, O king, filled with anxiety, and Hidimva's son Ghatotkacha, also sped at their foe from every side clouds of keen shafts. Thus struck in battle by the Pandavas, desirous of victory, Alamvusha mortal as he was, did not know what to do. Then that delighter in battle, viz., the mighty son of Bhimasena, beholding that state of Alamvusha, set his heart upon his destruction. He rushed with great impetuosity towards the car of the prince of Rakshasas, that car which resembled a burnt mountain summit or a broken heap of antimony. The son of Hidimva, inflamed with wrath, flew from his own car to that of Alamvusha, and seized the latter. He then took him up from the car, like Garuda taking up a snake. Thus dragging him up with his arms, he began to whirl him repeatedly, and then crushed him into pieces, hurling him down on the earth, like a man crushing an earthen pot into fragments by hurling it against a rock. Endued with strength and activity, possessed of great prowess, the son of Bhimasena, inflamed with wrath in battle, inspired all the troops with fear. All the limbs broken and bones reduced to fragments, the frightful Rakshasa Alamvusha, thus slain by the heroic Ghatotkacha, resembled a tall Sala uprooted and broken by the wind. Upon the slaughter of that wanderer of the night, the Parthas became very cheerful. And they uttered leonine roars and waved their garments. Thy brave warriors, however, beholding that mighty prince or Rakshasas, viz., Alamvusha, slain and lying like a crushed mountain, uttered cries, O monarch, of Oh and Alas. And people, possessed with curiosity, went to view that Rakshasa lying helplessly on the earth like a piece of charcoal (no longer capable of burning). The Rakshasa Ghatotkacha, then, that foremost of mighty beings, having thus slain his foe, uttered a loud shout, like Vasava after slaying (the Asura) Vala. Having achieved that exceedingly difficult feat, Ghatotkacha, was much applauded by his sires as also by his relatives. Indeed, having felled Alamvusha, like an Alamvusha fruit, he rejoiced exceedingly with his friends. There arose then a loud uproar (in the Pandava army) of conchs and of diverse kinds of arrows. Hearing that noise the Kauravas uttered loud shouts in reply, filling the whole earth with its echoes.'"