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The Mahabharata 2

The Mahabharata 2

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Published by David Bara Egan

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Published by: David Bara Egan on Mar 19, 2011
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02/03/2013

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The Mahabharata (Jamvu-khanda Nirmana Parva)OM! HAVING BOWED down to Narayana, and Nara, the most exalted of malebeings, and also to the goddess Saraswati, must the word 'Jaya' beuttered.Janamejaya said,--"How did those heroes, the Kurus, the Pandavas, and theSomakas, and the high-souled kings assembled together from variouscountries, fight?"Vaisampayana said,--"Listen thou, O lord of the earth, how those heroes,--the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas,--fought on the sacred plain of the Kurukshetra.[1:1] Entering Kurukshetra, the Pandavas endued with greatmight, along with the Somakas, advanced, desirous of victory, against theKauravas. Accomplished in the study of the Vedas, all (of them) took greatdelight in battle. Expectant of success in battle, with their troops(they) faced the fight. Approaching the army of Dhritarashtra's son, those(warriors) invincible in battle[1:2] stationed themselves with their troops on the western part (of the plain), their faces turned towards theeast. Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, caused tents by thousands to be setup according to rule, beyond the region called Samantapanchaka. The wholeearth seemed then to be empty, divested of horses and men, destitute of cars and elephants, and with only the children and the old left (at home).From the whole area of Jamvudwipa over which the sun sheds his rays,[1:3]was collected that force, O best of kings. Men of all races,[1:4]assembled together, occupied an area extending for many Yojanas over districts, rivers, hills, and woods. That bull among men, kingYudhishthira, ordered excellent food and other articles of enjoyment for all of them along with their animals. And Yudhishthira fixed diverse watch-words for them; so that one saying this should be known as belonging tothe Pandavas. And that descendant of Kuru's race also settled names andbadges for all of them for recognition during time of battle."Beholding the standard-top of Pritha's son, the high-souled son of Dhritarashtra, with a white umbrella held over his head, in the midst of athousand elephants, and surrounded by his century of brothers, began withall the kings (on his side) to array his troops against the son of Pandu.Seeing Duryodhana, the Panchalas who took delight in battle, were filledwith joy and blew their loud-sounding conches and cymbals of sweet sounds.Beholding those troops so delighted, Pandu's son and Vasudeva of greatenergy had their hearts filled with joy. And those tigers among men,
 
Vasudeva and Dhananjaya, seated on one car, having felt great joy, bothblew their celestial conches. And hearing the blare of Gigantea and theloud blast of Theodotes belonging unto the two, the combatants ejectedurine and excreta. As other animals are filled with fear on hearing thevoice of the roaring lion, even so became that force upon hearing thoseblasts. A frightful dust arose and nothing could be seen, for the sunhimself, suddenly enveloped by it, seemed to have set.[2:1] A black cloudpoured a shower of flesh and blood over the troops all around. All thisseemed extraordinary. A wind rose there, bearing along the earth myriadsof stony nodules, and afflicting therewith the combatants by hundreds andthousands. (For all that), O monarch, both armies, filled with joy, stoodaddrest for battle, on Kurukshetra like two agitated oceans. Indeed, thatencounter of the two armies was highly wonderful, like that of two oceanswhen the end of the Yuga is arrived. The whole earth was empty, havingonly the children and the old left (at home), in consequence of that largearmy mustered by the Kauravas.[2:2] Then the Kurus, the Pandavas, and theSomakas made certain covenants, and settled the rules, O bull of Bharata'srace, regarding the different kinds of combat. Persons equallycircumstanced must encounter each other, fighting fairly. And if havingfought fairly the combatants withdraw (without fear of molestation), eventhat would be gratifying to us. Those who engaged in contests of wordsshould be fought against with words. Those that left the ranks shouldnever be slain.[2:3] A car-warrior should have a car-warrior for hisantagonist; he on the neck of an elephant should have a similar combatantfor his foe; a horse should be met by a horse, and a foot-soldier, OBharata; should be met by a foot-soldier. Guided by considerations of fitness, willingness, daring and might, one should strike another, givingnotice. No one should strike another that is unprepared[2:4] or panic-struck. One engaged with another, one seeking quarter, one retreating, onewhose weapon is rendered unfit, uncased in mail, should never be struck.Car-drivers, animals (yoked to cars or carrying weapons) men engaged inthe transport of weapons,[3:1] players on drums and blowers of conchesshould never be struck. Having made these covenants, the Kurus, and thePandavas, and the Somakas wondered much, gazing at each other. And havingstationed (their forces thus), those bulls among men, those high-souledones, with their troops, became glad at heart, their joy being reflectedon their countenances."Vaisampayana said,--"Seeing then the two armies (standing) on the east andthe west for the fierce battle that was impending, the holy Rishi Vyasa,the son of Satyavati, that foremost of all persons acquainted with theVedas, that grandsire of the Bharatas, conversant with the past, thepresent, and the future, and beholding everything as if it were presentbefore his eyes, said these words in private unto the royal son of Vichitravirya who was then distressed and giving way to sorrow, reflecting
 
on the evil policy of his sons."Vyasa said,--'O king, thy sons and the other monarchs have their hour arrived.[3:2] Mustered in battle they will kill one another. O Bharata,their hour having come, they will all perish. Bearing in mind the changesbrought on by time, do not yield thy heart to grief. O king, if thou wishto see them (fighting) in battle, I will, O son, grant thee vision. Beholdthe battle.""Dhritarashtra said,--'O best of regenerate Rishi, I like not to beholdthe slaughter of kinsmen. I shall, however, through thy potency hear of this battle minutely."Vaisampayana continued.--"Upon his not wishing to see the battle butwishing to hear of it, Vyasa, that lord of boons, gave a boon to Sanjaya.(And addressing Dhritarashtra he said),--'This Sanjaya, O king, willdescribe the battle to thee. Nothing in the whole battle will be beyondthis one's eyes.' Endued, O king with celestial vision, Sanjaya willnarrate the battle to thee. He will have knowledge of everything. Manifestor concealed, (happening) by day or by night, even that which is thoughtof in the mind, Sanjaya shall know everything. Weapons will not cut himand exertion will not fatigue him. This son of Gavalgani will come out of the battle with life. As regards myself, O bull of Bharata's race, thefame of these Kurus, as also of all the Pandavas, I will spread. Do notgrieve. This is destiny, O tiger among men. It behoveth thee not to giveway to grief. It is not capable of being. prevented. As regards victory,it is there where righteousness is.'"Vaisampayana continued,--"That highly-blessed and holy grandsire of theKurus, having said so, once more addressed Dhritarashtra and said,--'Greatwill the slaughter be, O monarch, in this battle. I see here also(numerous) omens indicative of terror. Hawks and vultures, and crows andherons, together with cranes, are alighting on the tops of trees andgathering in flocks. These birds, delighted at the prospect of battle, arelooking down (on the field) before them. Carnivorous beasts will feed onthe flesh of elephants and steeds. Fierce herons, foreboding terror, anduttering merciless cries, are wheeling across the centre towards thesouthern region. In both the twilights, prior and posterior, I dailybehold, O Bharata, the sun during his rising and setting to be covered byheadless trunks. Tri-coloured clouds with their extremities white and redand necks black, charged with lightning, and resembling maces (in figure)envelope the sun in both twilights. I have seen the sun, the moon, and thestars to be all blazing. No difference in their aspect is to be noted inthe evening. I have seen this all day and all night. All this forbodesfear. On even the fifteenth night of the lighted-fortnight in (the monthof) Kartika, the moon, divested of splendour, became invisible, or of thehue of fire, the firmament being of the hue of the lotus. Many heroic