Mahabharata Drona Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva


"Sanjaya continued, 'The warrior, O king, thus clad in mail on the field of battle, adored the thousand-rayed Aditya as he rose at morn. When the thousand-rayed luminary, of splendour bright, as burning gold, arose, and the world became illumined, the battle once more commenced. The same soldiers that were engaged with each other before the sunrise, once more fought with each other, O Bharata, after, the rise of the sun. Horsemen engaged with car-warriors, and elephants with horsemen, and foot-soldiers with elephants and horsemen with horsemen, O bull of Bharata's race. Sometimes, unitedly and sometimes separately, the warriors, fell upon one another in battle. Having fought vigorously in the night, many, tired with exertion, and weak with hunger and thirst became deprived of their senses. The uproar made of the blare of conchs, the beat of drums, the roar of elephants, and the twang of out-stretched bows drawn with force touched the very heavens, O king! The noise made also by rushing infantry and falling weapons, and neighing steeds and rolling cars, and shouting and roaring of warriors, became tremendous. That loud noise increasing every minute, reached the heavens. The groans and wails of pain, on falling and fallen foot-soldiers and car-warriors and elephants, became exceedingly loud and pitiable as these were heard on the field. When the engagement became general, both side slew each other's own men and animals. Hurled from the hands of heroes upon warriors and elephants, heaps of swords were seen on the field, resembling heaps of cloths on the washing ground. The sound, again, of uplifted and descending swords in heroic arms resembled that of cloths thrashed for wash. That general engagement then, in which the warriors encountered one another with swords and scimitars and lances and battle-axes, became exceedingly dreadful. The heroic combatants caused a river there, that ran its course towards the regions of the dead. The blood of elephants and steeds and human beings formed its current. Weapons formed its fish in profusion. It was miry with blood and flesh. Wails of grief and pain formed its roar. Banners and cloth formed its froth. Afflicted with shafts and darts, worn with exertion, spent with toil on the (previous) night, and exceedingly weakened, elephants and steeds, with limbs perfectly motionless, stood on the field. With their arms (in beautiful attitudes) and with their beautiful coats of mail, and heads decked with beautiful ear-rings, the warriors, adorned with implements of battle, looked exceedingly resplendent.  At that time, in consequence of the carnivorous animals and the dead and the dying, there was no path for the cars all over the field. Afflicted with shafts steeds of the noblest breed and high mettle, resembling elephants (in size and strength), worn out with toil, were seen to tremble with great effort, as they drew vehicles whose wheels had sunk in the earth. The whole of that host, O Bharata, resembling the ocean for vastness, then became agitated, and afflicted, inspired with terror, with the exception only of Drona and Arjuna. Those two became the refuge, these two became the saviours, of the warriors of their respective sides. Others, encountering these two proceeded to the abode of Yama. Then the vast host of the Kurus became greatly agitated, and the Panchalas, huddled together, became no longer distinguishable. During that great carnage of the Kshatriyas on earth, on that field of battle, enhancing the terrors of the timid and looking like a crematorium neither Karna, nor Drona, nor Arjuna, nor Yudhishthira, nor Bhimasena, nor the twins, nor the Panchala prince, nor Satyaki, nor Duhsasana, nor Drona's son, nor Duryodhana nor Suvala's son, nor Kripa, nor the ruler of the Madras, nor Kritavarman, nor others, nor my own self, nor the earth, nor points of the compass, could be seen, O king, for all of them, mingled with the troops, were shrouded by clouds of dust. During the

progress of that fierce and terrible battle, when that dusty cloud arose, all thought that night had once more come over the scene. Neither the Kauravas, nor the Panchalas, nor the Pandavas, could be distinguished, nor the points of the compass, nor the welkin, nor the earth, nor even land nor uneven land. The warriors, desirous of victory, slew foes and friends, in fact, all whom they could perceive by the touch of their hands. The earthly dust that had arisen was soon dispelled by the winds that blew, and drenched by the blood that was shed. Elephants and steeds and car-warriors and foot-soldiers, bathed in blood, looked beautiful like the (celestial) forest of Parijata. Then Duryodhana, Karna, Drona and Duhsasana, these four (Kauravas) warriors engaged in battle with four of the Pandava warriors, Duryodhana and his brothers, encountered the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva). And Radha's son engaged himself with Vrikodara, and Arjuna with the son of Bharadwaja, all the troops, from every side, looked on that terrible encounter. The car-warriors (of both armies quietly) beheld that beautiful, that superhuman engagement between those fierce and foremost of car-warriors conversant with every mode of warfare, riding on their own beautiful cars that performed diverse delightful evolutions. Endued with great prowess, struggling vigorously, and each solicitous of vanquishing the other, they covered each other with showers of shafts, like the clouds at the close of summer (pouring torrents of rain). Those bulls among men, riding on their cars of solar effulgence, looked beautiful like congregated masses of clouds in the autumnal sky. Then those warriors, O monarch, filled with wrath and desire of revenge, mighty bowmen all, challenging, rushed at one another with great vigour like infuriated leaders of elephantine herds. Verily, O king, death does not take place till its hour comes, since all those warriors did not simultaneously perish in that battle. Strewn with lopped off arms and legs, and heads decked with beautiful ear-rings, and bows and arrows and lances and scimitars and battle-axes and (other kinds of) axes, and Nalihas and razor-headed arrows and cloth-yard shafts and darts and diverse kinds of beautiful armour, and beautiful cars broken into pieces, and slain elephants and standardless cars broken like cities, and vehicles dragged hither and thither with the speed of the wind by driverless steeds in great fright, and a large number of well-decked warriors of great courage, and fallen fans and coats of mail and standards, and ornaments and robes and fragrant garlands, and chains of gold and diadems and crowns and head-gears and rows of bells, and jewels worn on breasts, and cuirasses and collars and gems that adorn head-gears, the field of battle looked beautiful like the firmament bespangled with stars.'

'Then there occured an encounter between Duryodhana, filled with wrath and desire of revenge, and Nakula filled with the same feelings. Madri's son cheerfully shooting hundreds of shafts, placed thy son on his right. At this loud cheers were bestowed upon him. Placed on the right by his cousin-brother in wrath, thy son king Duryodhana, filled with rage, began, in battle, to wonderfully counteract Nakula from that very side. Thereupon, Nakula, endued with great energy and acquainted with the diverse course (in which a car may be conducted), began to resist thy son who was engaged in counteracting him from his right. Duryodhana, however, afflicting Nakula with showers of shafts and resisting him on every side, caused him to turn back. All the troops applauded that feat (of thy son). Then Nakula, addressing thy son, said, 'Wait, Wait, recollecting all his woes caused by thy evil counsels.'"