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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

And the Pandava covered Bhishma, and Bhishma also covered the Pandava, with clouds of shafts. And, O king, wonderful was this combat that took place in this world of men. And the heroic warriors that protected Bhishma’s car, slain by the son of Pandu, fell prostrate, O monarch, beside the car of Kunti’s son. And the feathery arrows of Svetavahana, shot from the Gandiva, fell in all directions as if with the object of making a wholesale slaughter of the foe. And issuing forth from his car those blazing arrows furnished with golden wings looked like rows of swans in the sky. And all the celestials with Indra, stationed in the firmament, gazed with wonder upon another

And those white steeds, urged on, took Arjuna away from the midst of battle-field and beyond the array of the infantry bearing standards in their hands. And, Bhishma, beholding that best of men thus going away, struck him with arrows. And Partha, too, having slain Bhishma’s steeds, pierced him with ten shafts. And abandoning Bhishma on the field of battle, having first slain his car-driver, Arjuna with a good-looking bow in hand came out of that multitude of cars, like the sun emerging from the clouds. And Dhritarashtra’s son, that foremost of heroes among the Kurus, recovering his senses, saw the son of Pritha standing like the lord of the celestials, alone on the battle-field. And he said in hurry (unto Bhishma), ‘How hath this one escape from thee? Do thou afflict him in such a way that he may not escape.’ And at this, Santanu’s son, smiling, said unto him, ‘Where had been this sense of thine, and where had been thy prowess too, when thou hadst been in a state of unconsciousness renouncing thy arrows and handsome bow? Vibhatsu is not addicted to the commission of atrocious deeds; nor is his soul inclined to sin. He renounceth not his principles even for the sake of the three worlds. It is for this only that all of us have not been slain in this battle. O thou foremost of Kuru heroes, go back to the city of the Kurus, and let Partha also go away, having conquered the kine. Do thou never foolishly throw away thy own good. Indeed, that which leadeth to one’s welfare ought to be accomplished.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having listened to the words of the grandsire that tended to his own welfare, the wrathful king Duryodhana no longer eager for battle, drew a deep sigh and became silent. And reflecting that the advice of Bhishma was beneficial and seeing that the Pandavas gaining in strength, the other warriors also, desirous of protecting Duryodhana, resolved to return. And beholding those foremost of Kuru heroes departing for their city, Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, with a cheerful heart followed them for a while, desirous of addressing and worshipping them. And having worshipped the aged grandsire–the son of Santanu, as also the preceptor Drona, and having saluted with beautiful arrows Drona’s son and Kripa and other venerable ones among the Kurus, the son of Pritha broke into fragments Duryodhana’s crown decked with precious gems, with another arrow. And having saluted all the venerable and brave warriors thus, he filled the three worlds with the twang of the Gandiva. And suddenly blowing his conch called Devadatta, the hero pierced the hearts of all his foes. And having humbled the hostile, he looked resplendent on his car decked with a handsome flag.

And beholding the Kurus depart, Kiritin cheerfully said unto Matsya’s son, ‘Turn back thy steeds; thy kine have been recovered; the foe is going away and do thou also return to thy city with a cheerful heart.’ And the celestials also, having witnessed that most wonderful encounter between Falguna and the Kurus, were highly delighted, and went to their respective abodes, reflecting upon Partha’s feats.’”

SECTION LXVI
“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having vanquished the Kurus in battle, that one with eyes like those of a bull brought back that profuse cattle wealth of Virata. And while the Dhritarashtra, after their rout, were going away, a large number of Kuru-soldiers issuing out of the deep forest appeared with slow steps before Partha, their hearts afflicted with fear. And they stood before him with joined palms and with hair dishevelled. And fatigued with hunger and thirst, arrived in a foreign land, insensible with terror, and confused in mind, they all bowed down unto the son of Pritha and said,–We are thy slaves.’

“Arjuna said, ‘Welcome, blessed be ye. Go ye away. Ye have no cause of fear. I will not take the lives of them that are afflicted. Ye have my assurance of protection.

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these words of assurance, the assembled warriors greeted him with benedictions in praise of his achievements and fame and wishing him long life. And the Kauravas were unable to confront Arjuna while after routing the foe he proceeded towards the city of Virata, like an elephant with rent temples. And having routed the whole army of the Kuru like a violent wind scattering the clouds, that slayer of foes, Partha, regardfully addressing the prince of Matsya, said, ‘It is known to thee alone, O child, that the sons of Pritha are all living with thy father. Do not eulogise them upon entering the city, for then the king of the Matsyas may hide himself in fear. On the other hand, entering the city, do thou proclaim in the presence of thy father that the deed is thy own, saying,–By me hath the army of the Kurus been vanquished and by me have the kine been recovered from the foe!’

“Uttara said, ‘The feat thou hast achieved is beyond my power. I do not possess the ability to achieve it. I shall not, however, O Savyasachin, discover thee to my father, as long as thou wilt not tell me to do it.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having vanquished the hostile army and wrested the whole of the cattle wealth from the Kurus, Jishnu returned again to the cemetery and having approached the same Sami tree stood there with body mangled by the arrows of the enemy. Then that terrible monkey blazing like fire ascended into the sky with those other creatures in the flag-staff. And the illusion created (by Viswakarma) melted away and Uttara’s own banner bearing the device of a lion was set up on the car again. And having replaced the arrows and quivers of those foremost of the Kuru princes, and also that other weapon the (Gandiva) which enhances the fierceness of a battle, the illustrious prince of Matsya set out for the city with a glad heart, having Kiritin as his charioteer. And having achieved an exceedingly mighty feat and slain the foe, Partha also, that slayer of foes, binding his hair into a braid as before, took the reins from Uttara’s hands. And that illustrious hero entered the city of Virata, with a cheerful heart rehabilitating himself as Vrihannala, the car-driver of Uttara.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘When all the Kauravas utterly routed and vanquished, set out in a dejected mood for Hastinapura, Falguna, on his way back, addressed Uttara, saying, ‘O prince, O hero of mighty arms, seeing the kine escorted in advance of us by the cowherds, we shall enter Virata’s metropolis in the afternoon, having tended the steeds with drink and a bath. Let the cowherds, despatched by thee, speedily repair to the city with the good news and proclaim thy victory.’


“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Agreeable to Arjuna’s words, Uttara speedily ordered the messengers, saying, ‘Go ye and proclaim the king’s victory. The foe hath been routed, and the kine have been recovered. And the Matsya and the Bharata princes having thus consulted together re-approached the same Sami tree. And gratified with the victory they had won, and arrived at the foot of the Sami tree, they wore on their persons and took up on their car the ornaments and robes they had left there. And having vanquished the whole hostile army and recovered the whole of the wealth from the Kurus, the heroic son of Virata returned to the city with Vrihannala as his car-driver.’”

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