“Before the battle commenced, Arjuna, beholding the pride of prowess displayed by the princes, addressed his preceptor, that best of Brahmanas, Drona, and said, ’We shall exert ourselves after these have displayed their prowess. The king of Panchala can never be taken on the field of the battle by any of these. Having said this, the sinless son of Kunti surrounded by his brothers, waited outside the town at a distance of a mile from it. Meanwhile Drupada beholding the Kuru host, rushed forward and pouring a fierce shower of arrows around, terribly afflicted the Kuru ranks. And such was his lightness of motion on the field of battle that, though he was fighting unsupported on a single chariot, the Kurus from panic supposed that there were many Drupadas opposed to them. And the fierce arrows of that monarch fell fast on all sides, till conchs and trumpets and drums by thousands began to be sounded by the Panchalas from their houses (giving the alarm). Then there arose from the mighty Panchala host a roar terrible as that of the lion, while the twang of their bow-strings seemed to rend the very heavens. Then Duryodhana and Vikarna, Suvahu and Dirghalochana and Duhsasana becoming furious, began to shower their arrows upon the enemy. But the mighty bowman, Prishata’s son, invincible in battle, though very much pierced with the arrows of the enemy, instantly began, O Bharata, to afflict the hostile ranks with greater vigour. And careering over the field of battle like a fiery wheel, king Drupada with his arrows smote Duryodhana and Vikarna and even the mighty Karna and many other heroic princes and numberless warriors, and slaked their thirst for battle. Then all the citizens showered upon the Kurus various missiles like clouds showering rain-drops upon the earth. Young and old, they all rushed to battle, assailing the Kurus with vigour. The Kauravas, then, O Bharata, beholding the battle become frightful, broke and fled wailing towards the Pandavas.
“The Pandavas, hearing the terrible wail of the beaten host, reverentially saluted Drona and ascended their chariots. Then Arjuna hastily bidding Yudhishthira not to engage in the fight, rushed forward, appointing the sons of Madri (Nakula and Sahadeva) the protectors of his chariot-wheels, while Bhimasena ever fighting in the van, mace in hand, ran ahead. The sinless Arjuna, thus accompanied by his brothers, hearing the shouts of the enemy, advanced towards them, filling the whole region with the rattle of his chariot-wheels. And like a Makara entering the sea, the mighty-armed Bhima, resembling a second Yama, mace in hand, entered the Panchala ranks, fiercely roaring like the ocean in a tempest. And Bhima, mace in hand, first rushed towards the array of elephants in the hostile force, while Arjuna, proficient in battle, assailed that force with the prowess of his arms. And Bhima, like the great Destroyer himself, began to slay those elephants with his mace. Those huge animals, like unto mountains, struck with Bhima’s