Janamejaya said,—“How did those heroes, the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas, and the high-souled kings assembled together from various countries, 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. Entering Kurukshetra, the Pandavas endued with great might, along with the Somakas, advanced, desirous of victory, against the Kauravas. Accomplished in the study of the Vedas, all (of them) took great delight 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 stationed themselves with their troops on the western part (of the plain), their faces turned towards the east. Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, caused tents by thousands to be set up according to rule, beyond the region called Samantapanchaka. The whole earth 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, was collected that force, O best of kings. Men of all races, assembled together, occupied an area extending for many Yojanas over districts, rivers, hills, and woods. That bull among men, king Yudhishthira, 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 to the Pandavas. And that descendant of Kuru’s race also settled names and badges 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 a thousand elephants, and surrounded by his century of brothers, began with all the kings (on his side) to array his troops against the son of Pandu. Seeing Duryodhana, the Panchalas who took delight in battle, were filled with joy and blew their loud-sounding conches and cymbals of sweet sounds. Beholding those troops so delighted, Pandu’s son and Vasudeva of great energy had their hearts filled with joy. And those tigers among men, Vasudeva and Dhananjaya, seated on one car, having felt great joy, both blew their celestial conches. And hearing the blare of Gigantea and the loud blast of Theodotes belonging unto the two, the combatants ejected urine and excreta. As other animals are filled with fear on hearing the voice of the roaring lion, even so became that force upon hearing those blasts. A frightful dust arose and nothing could be seen, for the sun himself, suddenly enveloped by it, seemed to have set. A black cloud poured a shower of flesh and blood over the troops all around. All this seemed extraordinary. A wind rose there, bearing along the earth myriads