Mahabharata (English)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 2,566,952 words | ISBN-10: 8121505933

The English translation of the Mahabharata is a large text describing ancient India. It is authored by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa and contains the records of ancient humans. Also, it documents the fate of the Kauravas and the Pandavas family. Another part of the large contents, deal with many philosophical dialogues such as the goals of life. Book...

"Sanjaya said,

'After his son (Bhurisravas) had been slain by Satyaki while the former was sitting in Praya, Somadatta, filled with rage, said unto Satyaki these words,

'Why, O Satvata, having abandoned those Kshatriya duties ordained by the high-souled gods, hast you betaken thyself to the practices of robbers? Why would one that is observant of Kshatriya duties and possessed of wisdom, strike in battle a person that is turning away from the fight, or one that has become helpless, or one that has laid aside his weapons, or one that begs for quarters? Two persons, indeed, among the Vrishnis are reputed to be the foremost of great car-warriors, viz., Pradyumna of mighty energy and you also, O Satyaki! Why then didst you behave so cruelly and sinfully towards one that had sat on Praya and that had his arms cut off by Partha?[1] Take now in battle the consequence of that act of thine, O you of wicked behaviour! I shall today, O wretch, putting forth my prowess, cut off your. head with a winged arrow. I swear, O Satwata, by my two sons, by what is dear to me, and by all my meritorious acts, that, if before this night passes away, I do not slay you, that art so proud of your heroism, with your sons and younger brothers, provided Jishnu, the son of Pritha, does not protect you, then let me sink into terrible hell, O wretch of Vrishni’s race!'

Having said these words, the mighty Somadatta, filled with rage, blew his conch loudly and uttered a leonine roar. Then Satyaki, of eyes like lotus-petals and teeth like those of a lion, possessed of great strength, and filled with rage, said these words unto Somadatta,

'O you of Kuru’s race, whether battling with you or with others, I do not in my heart ever experience the slightest fear. If, protected by all the troops, you fightest with me, I would not, even then experience on your account, any pain, O you of Kuru’s race! I am ever observant of Kshatriya practices. You canst not, therefore, frighten me with only words smacking of battle or with speeches that insult the good. If, O king, you wishest to fight with me today, be cruel and strike me with keen shafts and I will also strike you. Your son, the mighty car-warrior Bhurisravas, O king, had been slain. Sala also, and Vrishasena, have been crushed by me. You also today I shall slay, with your soils and kinsmen. Stay with resolution in battle, for you, O Katirava, art endued with great strength. You are already slain in consequence of the energy of that drum-bannered king Yudhishthira in whom are always charity, and self-restraint, and purity of heart, compassion, and modesty, and intelligence, and forgiveness, and all else that is indestructible. You shalt meet with destruction along with Karna and Suvala’s son. I swear by Krishna’s feet and by all my good acts that, filled with rage, I shall, with my shafts, slay you with your sons in battle. If you fliest away from battle, then mayst you have safety.'

Having thus addressed each other, with eyes red in wrath, those foremost of men began to shoot their shafts at each other.

Then with a thousand cars and ten thousand horses, Duryodhana took his station, encompassing Somadatta, Sakuni also, filled with rage, and armed with every weapon and surrounded by his sons and grandsons as also by his brothers, that were equal to Indra himself in prowess (did the same). Your brother-in-law, O king, young in years and of body hard as the thunder-bolt and possessed of wisdom, had a hundred thousand horses of the foremost valour with him. With these he encompassed the mighty bowman Somadatta. Protected by those mighty warriors, Somadatta covered Satyaki (with clouds of shafts). Beholding Satyaki thus covered with clouds of straight shafts, Dhrishtadyumna proceeded towards him in rage and accompanied by a mighty force. Then, O king, the sound that arose there of those two large hosts striking each other, resembled that of many oceans lashed into fury by frightful hurricanes. Then Somadatta pierced Satyaki, with nine arrows.

Satyaki, in return, struck that foremost of Kuru warriors with nine arrows. Deeply pierced in that battle by the mighty and firm bowman (Satyaki), Somadatta sat down on the terrace of his car and lost his senses in a swoon, Beholding him deprived of his senses, his driver, with great speed, bore away from the battle that great car-warrior, viz., the heroic Somadatta. Seeing that Somadatta, afflicted with Yuyudhana’s shafts, had lost his senses Drona rushed with speed, desiring to slay the Yadu hero. Beholding the Preceptor advance, many Pandava warriors headed by Yudhishthira surrounded that illustrious perpetuator of Yadu’s race from desire of rescuing him. Then commenced a battle between Drona and the Pandavas, resembling that between Vali and the celestials for acquiring sovereignty oft the three worlds. Then Bharadvaja’s son of great energy shrouded the Pandava host with clouds of arrows and pierced Yudhishthira also. And Drona pierced Satyaki with ten arrows, and the son of Prishata with twenty. And he pierced Bhimasena with nine arrows and Nakula with five, and Sahadeva with eight, and Sikhandin with a hundred. And the mighty-armed hero pierced each of the (five) sons of Draupadi with five arrows. And he pierced Virata with eight arrows and Drupada with ten.

And he pierced Yudhamanyu with three arrows and Uttamaujas with six in that encounter. And piercing many other combatants, he rushed towards Yudhishthira. The troops of Pandu’s son, slaughtered by Drona, ran away in all directions, from fear, O king, with loud wails. Beholding that host slaughtered by Drona. Phalguna, the son of Pritha, with wrath excited a little, quickly proceeded towards the preceptor. Beholding then that Drona was also proceeding towards Arjuna in that battle, that host of Yudhishthira, O king, once more rallied. Then once more occurred a battle between Drona and the Pandavas. Drona, surrounded, O king, on all sides, by your sons, began to consume the Pandava host, like fire consuming a heap of cotton.

Beholding him radiant like the sun and endued with the splendour of a blazing fire, and fiercely and continually, O king, emitting his ray-like arrows, with bow incessantly drawn to a circle and scorching everything around like the sun himself, and consuming his foes, there was none in that army that could check him. The shafts of Drona cutting off the head of all those that ventured to approach him in the face, penetrated into the earth. Thus slaughtered by that illustrious warrior, the Pandava host, once more fled away in fear in the very sight of Arjuna. Beholding that force, O Bharata, thus routed on that night by Drona, Jishnu asked Govinda to proceed towards Drona’s car. Then he of Dasarha’s race urged those steeds, white as silver or milk or the Kunda flower, or the moon, towards the car of Drona. Bhimasena also, beholding Phalguna proceed towards Drona, commanded his own charioteer, saying, 'Bear me towards Drona’s division.'

Hearing those words of Bhima, his driver Visoka urged his steeds, following in the wake, O chief of the Bharatas, of Jishnu, of sure aim. Beholding the two brothers resolutely proceeding towards Drona’s division, the mighty car-warriors among the Pancalas, the Srinjayas, the Matsyas, the Chedis, the Karushas, the Kosalas, and the Kaikeyas, O king, all followed them. Then, O monarch, took place a terrible battle that made the hair stand on end. With two mighty throngs of cars, Vibhatsu and Vrikodara attacked your host; the former on the right and the latter in the front. Seeing those tigers among men, viz., Bhimasena and Dhananjaya (thus engaged), Dhrishtadyumna, O monarch, and Satyaki of great strength, rushed behind.

Then, O king, an uproar arose there in consequence of the two hosts striking each other, that resembled the noise made by many seas lashed into fury by a tempest. Beholding Satyaki in battle, Asvatthaman, filled with rage at the slaughter of Somadatta’s son, rushed furiously against that Satwata hero at the van of battle. Seeing him rush in that battle against the car of Sini’s grandson, Bhimasena’s son, the gigantic Rakshasa, Ghatotkacha, endued with great strength, rushed at him, riding on a huge and terrible car made of black iron covered with bear-skins. Both the height and the width of that large car measured thirty nalwas.[2]

Equipped with machines set in proper places it was; its rattle resembled that of a mighty mass of clouds. No steeds or elephants were yoked unto it, but, instead, beings that looked like elephants.[3] On its tall standard perched a prince of vultures with outstretched wings and feet, with eyes wide-expanded, and shrieking awfully. And it was equipped with red flags and decked with the entrails of various animals. And that huge vehicle was furnished with eight wheels. Riding on it, Ghatotkacha was surrounded by a full Akshauhini of fierce-looking Rakshasas armed with lances and heavy clubs and rocks and trees. Seeing him advance with uplifted bow, resembling the mace-armed Destroyer himself in the hour of universal dissolution, the hostile kings were struck with fear.

At sight of that prince of Rakshasas, viz., Ghatotkacha, looking like a mountain summit of terrible aspect, frightful, possessed of terrible teeth and fierce face, with arrow-like ears and high cheek-bones, with stiff hair rising upwards, awful eyes, sunken belly, blazing mouth, wide as a chasm, and diadem on his head, capable of striking every creature with fear, possessing jaws wide-open like those of the Destroyer, endued with great splendour and capable of agitating all foes, advancing towards them, your son’s host, afflicted with fear, became highly agitated like the current of the Ganga agitated into fierce eddies by (the action of) the wind. Terrified by the leonine roar uttered by Ghatotkacha, elephants began to eject urine and the kings began to tremble.

Then, thrown by the Rakshasas who had become more powerful in consequence of the night, there began to fall on the field of battle a thick shower of stones. And a ceaseless shower of iron wheels and Bhundis and darts and lances and spears and Sataghnis and axes also fell there. Beholding that fierce and awful battle, the kings, your sons, and Karna, also exceedingly pained, fled away. Only the proud son of Drona, ever boastful of his might in arms, stood fearlessly. And he soon dispelled that illusion that had been created by Ghatotkacha. Upon the destruction of his illusion, Ghatotkacha in rage sped fierce shafts (Asvatthaman). These pierced the son of Drona, like angry snakes speedily piercing through an ant-hill.

Those arrows, having pierced through the body of Asvatthaman, dyed with blood and quickly entered the earth like snakes into an ant-hill. The light-handed Asvatthaman, however, of great prowess, filled with wrath, pierced Ghatotkacha with ten arrows. Ghatotkacha, deeply pierced in his vital parts by Drona’s son, and feeling great pain, took up a wheel having a thousand spokes. Its edge was sharp as a razor, and it was resplendent as the rising sun. And it was decked with diverse gems and diamonds. Desirous of slaying him, the son of Bhimasena hurled that wheel at Asvatthaman. And as that wheel coursed swiftly towards Drona’s son, the latter cut it into fragments by means of his shafts. Baffled, it fell down on the earth, like the hope cherished by an unfortunate man. Beholding his wheel baffled, Ghatotkacha quickly covered the son of Drona with his shafts, like Rahu swallowing the sun.

Meanwhile, Ghatotkacha’s son endued with great splendour and looking like a mass of antimony, checked the advancing son of Drona like the king of mountain (Meru) checking the (course of the) wind. Afflicted with showers of shafts by Bhimasena’s grandson, viz., the brave Anjanaparvan, Asvatthaman looked like the mountain Meru bearing a torrent of rain from a mighty cloud. Then Asvatthaman, equal unto Rudra or Upendra in prowess, became filled with rage. With one shaft he cut off the standard of Anjanaparvan. With two others, his two drivers, and with three others, his Trivenuka. And he cut off the Rakshasa’s bow with one arrow, and his four steeds with four other arrows, Made carless, Anjanaparvan took up a scimitar. With another keen shaft, Asvatthaman cut off in two fragments that scimitar, decked with golden stars, in the Rakshasa’s hand.

The grandson of Hidimva then, O king, whirling a gold adorned mace, quickly hurled it at Asvatthaman. Drona’s son, however, striking it with his shafts, caused it to fall down on the earth. Soaring up then into the sky, Anjanaparvan began to roar like a cloud. And from the welkin he showered trees upon his foe. Like the sun piercing a mass of clouds with his rays, Asvatthaman then began to pierce with his shafts the son of Ghatotkacha, that receptacle of illusions, in the welkin. Gifted with great energy, the Rakshasa once more came down on his gold decked car. He then looked like a high and beautiful hill of antimony on the surface of the earth. The son of Drona then slew that son of Bhima’s son, viz., Anjanaparvan, cased in an iron coat of mail, even as Mahadeva had slain in days of yore the Asura Andhaka. Beholding his mighty son slain by Asvatthaman, Ghatotkacha, coming unto the son of Drona, fearlessly addressed the heroic son of Saradvata’s daughter, who was then consuming the Pandava troops like a raging forest-conflagration, in these words:

"Ghatotkacha said,

'Wait, Wait, O son of Drona! You shalt not escape me with life! I shall slay you today like Agni’s son slaying Krauncha.'

"Asvatthaman said,

'Go, O son, and fight with others, O you that hast the prowess of a celestial. It is not proper, O son of Hidimva, that sire should battle with son.[4] I do not cherish any grudge against you, O son of Hidimva! When, however, one’s ire is excited, one may kill one’s own self.'

"Sanjaya continued,

'Having heard these words, Ghatotkacha, filled with grief on account of the fall of his son, and with eyes red as copper in wrath, approached Asvatthaman and said,

'Am I a dastard in battle, O son of Drona, like a vulgar person, that you dost frighten me thus with words? Your words are improper. Verily, I have been begotten by Bhima in the celebrated race of the Kurus. I am a son of the Pandavas, those heroes that never retreat from battle. I am the king of the Rakshasas, equal to the Ten-necked (Ravana) in might. Wait, wait, O son of Drona! You shalt not escape me with life. I shall today, on the field of battle, dispel your desire for fight.'

Having thus replied unto Asvatthaman, that mighty Rakshasa with eyes red as copper in rage, rushed furiously against the son of Drona, like a lion against a prince of elephants. And Ghatotkacha began to shower upon that bull among car-warriors, viz., Drona’s son, shafts of the measure of Aksha of battle car, like a cloud pouring torrents of rain. Drona’s son however, with his own shafts, checked that arrowy shower before it could reach him. At that time, it seemed that another encounter was taking place in the welkin between shafts (as the combatants). The welkin, then, during the night, shone resplendent with the sparks caused by the clash of those weapons, as if with (myriads of) flies. Observing that his illusion was dispelled by Drona’s son, proud of his prowess in battle, Ghatotkacha, once more making himself invisible, created an illusion. He assumed the form of a high mountain, crowded with cliffs and trees, and possessing fountains from which ceaselessly flowed spears and lances and swords and heavy clubs. Beholding that mountain-like mass of antimony, with countless weapons falling from it, Drona’s son was not at all moved. The latter invoked into existence the Vajra weapon.[5]

The prince of mountains, then, struck with that weapon, was quickly destroyed. Then the Rakshasa, becoming a mass of blue clouds in the firmament, decked with rainbow, began furiously to shower upon Drona’s son in that battle a downpour of stones and rocks. Then that foremost of all persons acquainted with weapons, viz., Asvatthaman, aiming the Vayavya weapon, destroyed that blue cloud which had risen on the firmament. Drona’s son, that foremost of men, covering then all the points of the compass with his shafts, slew a hundred thousand car-warriors. He then beheld Ghatotkacha fearlessly coming towards him with bent bow and accompanied by a large number of Rakshasas that resembled lions or infuriated elephants of great strength, some riding on elephants, some on cars, and some on steeds. The son of Hidimva was accompanied by those fierce followers of his, with frightful faces and heads and necks. Those Rakshasas consisted of both Paulastyas and Yatudhanas.[6]

Their prowess was equal to that of Indra himself. They were armed with diverse kinds of weapons and were cased in diverse kinds of armour. Of terrible visage, they swelled with rage. Ghatotkacha came to battle, accompanied by those Rakshasas, who were, indeed, incapable of being easily defeated in battle. Beholding them, your son, Duryodhana, became exceedingly cheerless. Unto him the son of Drona said, 'Wait, O Duryodhana! You needst have no fear. Stand aside with these your heroic brothers and these lords of earth, endued with the prowess of Indra. I will slay your foes. Defeat you shalt not have. I tell you truly. Meanwhile, assure your troops.'

"Duryodhana said,

'I do not regard what you sayest to be at all wonderful, since your heart is large. O son of Gautama’s daughter, your regard for us is great.'

"Sanjaya continued,

'Having said those words unto Asvatthaman, he then addressed the son of Suvala, saying, 'Dhananjaya is engaged in battle surrounded by a hundred thousand car-warriors of great valour. Go you against him, with sixty thousand cars. Karna also, and Vrishasena and Kripa, and Nila, and the Northerners, and Kritavarman, and the sons of Purumitra, and Duhsasana, and Nikumbha, and Kundabhedin, and Puranjaya and Dridharatha, and Hemakampana, and Salya, and Aruni, and Indrasena, and Sanjaya, and Vijaya, and Jaya, and Purakrathin, and Jayavarman, and Sudarsana, these will follow you, with sixty thousand foot-soldiers. O uncle, slay Bhima and the twins and king Yudhishthira the Just, like the chief of the celestials slaying the Asuras. My hope of victory is in you. Already pierced by Drona’s son with shafts, all their limbs have been exceedingly mangled. Slay the sons of Kunti, O uncle, like Kartikeya slaying the Asuras.' Thus addressed by your son, Sakuni proceeded quickly to destroy the Pandavas, filling your son’s heart, O king, with delight.

"Meanwhile, O king, the battle that took place between the Rakshasas and the son of Drona on that night was exceedingly terrible like that between Sakra and Prahlada (in days of old). Ghatotkacha, filled with rage, struck Drona’s son in the chest with ten powerful shafts fierce as poison or fire.

Deeply pierced with those shafts by the son of Bhimasena, Asvatthaman trembled on the terrace of his car like a tall tree shaken by the tempest. Once more Ghatotkacha, with a broad-headed shaft, quickly cut off the bright bow that was in the hands of Drona’s son. The latter, then, taking up another bow capable of bearing of great strain, showered keen arrows (upon his foe) like a cloud pouring torrents of rain. Then the son of Saradvat’s daughter, O Bharata, sped many sky-ranging and foe-slaying arrows, winged with gold, towards the sky-ranging Rakshasa. Afflicted with those shafts of Asvatthaman, that vast force of broad-chested Rakshasas looked like a herd of infuriated elephants afflicted by lions. Consuming with his arrows those Rakshasas with their steeds, drivers, and elephants, he blazed forth like the adorable Agni while consuming creatures at the end of the Yuga.

Having burnt with his shafts a full Akshauhini of Rakshasa troops, Asvatthaman shone resplendent like the divine Mahesvara in heaven after the burning of the triple city.[7] That foremost of victors, viz., Drona’s son, having burnt your foes, shone brilliantly like the blazing Yuga-fire after having burnt all creatures at the end of the Yuga. Then Ghatotkacha, filled with rage, urged that vast Rakshasa force on, saying, ’slay the son of Drona!' That command of Ghatotkacha was obeyed by those terrible Rakshasa of bright teeth, large faces, frightful aspects, gaping mouths, long tongues and eyes blazing with wrath. Causing the earth to be filled with their loud leonine roars, and armed with diverse kinds of weapons, they rushed against the son of Drona for slaying him.

Endued with fierce prowess, those Rakshasas, with eyes red in wrath, fearlessly hurled at Asvatthaman’s head hundreds and thousands of darts, and Sataghnis, and spiked maces, and Asanis and long lances, and axes, and scimitars, and maces, and short arrows and heavy clubs, and battle-axes, and spears, and swords, and lances, and polished Kampanas and Kunapas, and Hulas, and rockets, and stones, and vessels of (hot) treacle, and thunas made of black iron, and mallets, all of terrible forms and capable of destroying foes. Beholding that thick shower of weapons falling upon the head of Drona’s son, your warriors were much pained. The son of Drona, however, fearlessly destroyed with his whetted shafts endued with the force of the thunder that frightful shower of weapons looking like a risen cloud. Then the high-souled son of Drona, with other weapons, equipped with golden wings and inspired with mantras speedily slew many Rakshasas. Afflicted with those shafts, that vast force of broad-chested Rakshasas looked like a herd of infuriated elephants afflicted by lions.

Then those mighty Rakshasas, thus afflicted Drona’s son, became filled with fury and rushed against the former. The prowess that the son of Drona then showed was exceedingly wonderful, for the feat he achieved is incapable of being achieved by any other being among living creatures, since, alone and unsupported, that warrior acquainted with high and mighty weapons burnt that Rakshasa force with his blazing shafts in the very sight of that prince of Rakshasas. Whilst consuming that Rakshasa force, Drona’s son in that battle shone resplendent like the Samvartaka fire, while burning all creatures at the end of the Yuga. Indeed, amongst those thousands of kings and those Pandavas, O Bharata, there was none, except that mighty prince of the Rakshasa, viz., the heroic Ghatotkacha, capable of even looking at the son of Drona in that battle, who was thus employed in consuming their ranks with his shafts, resembling snakes of virulent poison.

The Rakshasa, O chief of the Bharatas, with eyes rolling in wrath, striking his palms, and biting his (nether) lip, addressed his own driver, saying, 'Bear me towards the son of Drona.'

Riding on that formidable car equipped with triumphal banners, that slayer of foes once more proceeded against Drona’s son, desirous of a single combat with the latter. Endued with terrible prowess, the Rakshasa, uttering a loud leonine roar, hurled in that encounter at Drona’s son, having whirled it (previously), a terrible Asani of celestial workmanship, and equipped with eight bells.[8] Drona’s son, however, jumping down from his car, having left his bow thereon, seized it and hurled it back at Ghatotkacha himself. Ghatotkacha, meanwhile, had quickly alighted from his car. That formidable Asani, of dazzling effulgence, having reduced to ashes the Rakshasa’s vehicle with steeds and drivers and standard, entered the earth, having pierced her through. Beholding that feat of Drona’s son, viz., his having jumped down and seized that terrible Asani of celestial workmanship, all creatures applauded it. Proceeding then, O king, to Dhrishtadyumna’s car, Bhimasena’s son, taking up a terrible bow that resembled the large bow of Indra himself, once more shot many keen shafts at the illustrious son of Drona.

Dhrishtadyumna also fearlessly shot at Asvatthaman’s chest many foremost of shafts, equipped with wings of gold and resembling snakes of virulent poison. Then Drona’s son shot arrows and long shafts by thousands. These two heroes, however, viz., Ghatotkacha and Dhrishtadyumna, struck and baffled Asvatthaman’s shafts by means of their own shafts whose touch resembled that of fire. The battle then that took place between those two lions among men (Ghatotkacha on the one side) and the son of Drona (on the other) became fierce in the extreme and gladdened all the combatants, O bull of Bharata’s race! Then, accompanied by a thousand cars, three hundred elephants, and six thousand horses, Bhimasena arrived at that spot. The virtuous son of Drona, however, endued as he was with prowess that knew no fatigue, continued to fight with the heroic son of Bhima and with Dhrishtadyumna supported by his followers.[9] The prowess then that Drona’s son displayed on that occasion was exceedingly wonderful, in as much as, O Bharata, none else amongst all creatures is capable of accomplishing such feats.

Within the twinkling of an eye, he destroyed, by means of his sharp shafts, a full Akshauhini of Rakshasa troops with steeds, drivers, cars, and elephants, in the very sight of Bhimasena and Hidimva’s son and Prishata’s son and the twins and Dharma’s son and Vijaya and Acyuta.[10] Deeply struck with the straight-going shafts (of Asvatthaman), elephants fell down on elephants on the earth like crestless mountains. Strewn all around with the lopped off trunks of elephants, that moved still in convulsions, the earth looked as if overspread with moving snakes. And the earth looked resplendent with golden staves and royal umbrellas, like the firmament at the end of the Yuga, bespangled with planets and stars and many moons and suns. And Drona’s son caused a bloody river of impetuous current to flow there. The blood of elephants and steeds and combatants formed its water; tall standards its frogs; drums formed its large tortoises; umbrellas, its rows of swans, yak-tails in profusion, Kankas and vultures, its crocodiles; weapons its fishes; large elephants the stones and rocks on its banks; elephants and steeds, its sharks; cars, its unstable and broad banks; and banners, its beautiful rows of trees.

Having shafts for its (smaller) fishes, that frightful river had lances and darts and swords for snakes; marrow and flesh for its mire, and trunkless bodies floating on it for its rafts. And it was choked with the hair (of men and animals) for its moss. And it inspired the timid with cheerlessness and fear. And bloody waves were seen on its surface. Rendered frightful by means of the foot-soldiers with which it teemed, Yama’s abode, was the ocean towards which it flowed. Having slain the Rakshasas, Drona’s son then began to afflict the son of Hidimva with arrows. Filled once more with rage, the puissant son of Drona having pierced those mighty car-warriors, viz., the Parthas including Vrikodara and the sons of Prishata, slew Suratha, one of the sons of Drupada. Then he slew in that battle Suratha’s younger brother named Satrunjaya. And then he slew Valanika and Jayanika, and Jaya. And once more, with a keen shaft, Drona’s son' uttering a leonine roar, slew Prishdhra, and then proud Candrasena. And then he slew with ten arrows the ten sons of Kuntibhoja. Then, O king, Drona’s son despatched Srutayus to the abode of Yama. With three other keen shafts, equipped with beautiful wings and red eyes, he despatched the mighty Satrunjaya to the region of Sakra.[11]

Then Asvatthaman, filled with rage, fixed on his bowstring a fierce and straight arrow. Drawing the string to his ear, he quickly shot that fierce and excellent arrow resembling the rod of Death himself, aiming at Ghatotkacha. That mighty shaft, equipped with beautiful wings, passing through the chest of that Rakshasa, O lord of the earth, entered the earth, piercing through it, Ghatotkacha thereupon fell down on the car. Beholding him fallen down and believing him to be dead, the mighty car-warrior Dhrishtadyumna took him away from the presence of Drona’s son and caused him to be placed upon another car. Thus, O king, that car-force of Yudhishthira turned away from the fight. The heroic son of Drona having vanquished his foes, uttered a loud roar. And he was worshipped by all men and all your sons, O sire.'[12] The earth, strewn all around with the fallen bodies of dead Rakshasas, pierced and mangled with hundreds of arrows, became fierce looking and impassable, as if strewn with mountain summits. The Siddhas and Gandharvas and Pisacas, and Nagas, and birds, and Pitris and ravens and large numbers of cannibals and ghosts, and Apsaras and celestials, all combined in highly applauding the son of Drona.'"

Footnotes and references:


Patanipam is explained by Nilakantha as something that causes the patana or downfall of a person hence sin. There is no reference for this note in the body of this page, so I have placed it in a likely location.—JBH


A nalwa measured four hundred cubits.


Nilakantha explains that there were Pisacas.


Asvatthaman and the Pandavas were like brothers, for both were disciples of Drona Ghatotkacha, therefore, having been Bhima’s son was Asvatthaman’s brother’s son.


i.e., the weapon endued with the force of the thunder.


Different species of Rakshasas.


Tripura, belonging to an Asura of the same.


Asani literally means the thunder. Probably, some kind of iron mace.


The Bengal texts read Utkrisha-vikramas. The correct reading seems to be Aklivhtavikramas. Then again Sahanujam seems to be inaccurate. I follow the Bombay reading Sahanugam.


Acyuta, when used as a proper noun, refers to Krishna. It means of unfading glory and 'the immortal.'


Sight differences are observable between the Bengal and the Bombay texts as regards the last three verses.


This is a triplet.


This concludes Section CLV of Book 7 (Drona Parva) of the Mahabharata, of which an English translation is presented on this page. This book is famous as one of the Itihasa, similair in content to the eighteen Puranas. Book 7 is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.

FAQ (frequently asked questions):

Which keywords occur in Section CLV of Book 7 of the Mahabharata?

The most relevant definitions are: Drona, Rakshasa, Ghatotkacha, Asvatthaman, Rakshasas, Satyaki; since these occur the most in Book 7, Section CLV. There are a total of 138 unique keywords found in this section mentioned 430 times.

What is the name of the Parva containing Section CLV of Book 7?

Section CLV is part of the Ghatotkacha-badha Parva which itself is a sub-section of Book 7 (Drona Parva). The Ghatotkacha-badha Parva contains a total of 32 sections while Book 7 contains a total of 5 such Parvas.

Can I buy a print edition of Section CLV as contained in Book 7?

Yes! The print edition of the Mahabharata contains the English translation of Section CLV of Book 7 and can be bought on the main page. The author is Kisari Mohan Ganguli and the latest edition (including Section CLV) is from 2012.

Help me keep this site Ad-Free

For over a decade, this site has never bothered you with ads. I want to keep it that way. But I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased truth, wisdom and knowledge.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: