The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,393 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2.
to virtue.  Be thou, therefore, our commander.  Like the sun among all luminaries, like the moon unto all delicious herbs, like Kuvera among the Yakshas, like Vasava among the gods, like Meru among mountains, Suparna among the birds, Kumara among the gods, Havyavaha among Vasus, thou art amongst ourselves.  Like the gods protected by Sakra, ourselves, protected by thee, will assuredly become invincible by the very gods.  Like Agni’s son (Kumara) at the head of the gods, march thou at our head, and let us follow thee like calves following the lead of a mighty bull.’

“Bhishma said, ’O mighty-armed one, it is even so, ’O Bharata, as thou sayest.  But the Pandavas are as dear to me as ye yourselves.  Therefore, O king, I should certainly seek their good as well, although I shall certainly fight for thee, having given thee a pledge (before) to that effect.  I do not see the warrior on earth that is equal to me, except that tiger among men, Dhananjaya, the son of Kunti.  Endued with great intelligence, he is conversant with innumerable celestial weapons.  That son of Pandu, however, will never fight with me openly.  With the power of my weapons, I can, in a trice, destroy this universe consisting of gods, Asuras, Rakshasas, and human beings.  The sons of Pandu, however, O king, are incapable of being exterminated by me.  I shall, therefore, slay every day ten thousand warriors.  If, indeed, they do not slay me in battle first, I will continue to slaughter their forces thus.  There is another understanding on which I may willingly become the commander of thy forces.  It behoveth thee to listen to that.  O lord of earth, either Karna should fight first, or I will fight first.  The Suta’s son always boasts of his prowess in battle, comparing it with mine.’

“Karna said, ’As long as Ganga’s son liveth, O king, I shall never fight.  After Bhishma is slain, I shall fight with the wielder of Gandiva.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’After this, Dhritarashtra’s son duly made Bhishma the commander of his force, distributing large presents.  And after, his installation in the command, he blazed forth with beauty.  And at the king’s behest, musicians cheerfully played upon drums and blew conchs by hundreds and thousands.  And numerous leonine roars were sent forth and all the animals in the camp uttered their cries together.  And although the sky was cloudless, a bloody shower fell and made the ground miry.  And fierce whirl-winds, and earthquakes, and roars of elephants, occurring, depressed the hearts of all the warriors.  Incorporeal voices and flashes of meteoric falls were heard and seen in the welkin.  And jackals, howling fiercely, foreboded great calamity.  And, O monarch, these and a hundred other kinds of fierce portents made their appearance when the king installed Ganga’s son in the command of his troops.  And after making Bhishma—­that grinder of hostile hosts—­his general, and having also caused by abundant gifts of kine and gold to the Brahmanas

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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