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.
of stony nodules, and afflicting therewith the combatants by hundreds and thousands. (For all that), O monarch, both armies, filled with joy, stood addrest for battle, on Kurukshetra like two agitated oceans.  Indeed, that encounter of the two armies was highly wonderful, like that of two oceans when the end of the Yuga is arrived.  The whole earth was empty, having only the children and the old left (at home), in consequence of that large army mustered by the Kauravas.[6] Then the Kurus, the Pandavas, and the Somakas made certain covenants, and settled the rules, O bull of Bharata’s race, regarding the different kinds of combat.  Persons equally circumstanced must encounter each other, fighting fairly.  And if having fought fairly the combatants withdraw (without fear of molestation), even that would be gratifying to us.  Those who engaged in contests of words should be fought against with words.  Those that left the ranks should never be slain.[7] A car-warrior should have a car-warrior for his antagonist; he on the neck of an elephant should have a similar combatant for his foe; a horse should be met by a horse, and a foot-soldier, O Bharata; should be met by a foot-soldier.  Guided by considerations of fitness, willingness, daring and might, one should strike another, giving notice.  No one should strike another that is unprepared[8] or panic-struck.  One engaged with another, one seeking quarter, one retreating, one whose weapon is rendered unfit, uncased in mail, should never be struck.  Car-drivers, animals (yoked to cars or carrying weapons) men engaged in the transport of weapons,[9] players on drums and blowers of conches should never be struck.  Having made these covenants, the Kurus, and the Pandavas, and the Somakas wondered much, gazing at each other.  And having stationed (their forces thus), those bulls among men, those high-souled ones, with their troops, became glad at heart, their joy being reflected on their countenances.”


Vaisampayana said,—­“Seeing then the two armies (standing) on the east and the west for the fierce battle that was impending, the holy Rishi Vyasa, the son of Satyavati, that foremost of all persons acquainted with the Vedas, that grandsire of the Bharatas, conversant with the past, the present, and the future, and beholding everything as if it were present before his eyes, said these words in private unto the royal son of Vichitravirya who was then distressed and giving way to sorrow, reflecting on the evil policy of his sons.

“Vyasa said,—­’O king, thy sons and the other monarchs have their hour arrived.[10] Mustered in battle they will kill one another.  O Bharata, their hour having come, they will all perish.  Bearing in mind the changes brought on by time, do not yield thy heart to grief.  O king, if thou wish to see them (fighting) in battle, I will, O son, grant thee vision.  Behold the battle.”

“Dhritarashtra said,—­’O best of regenerate Rishi, I like not to behold the slaughter of kinsmen.  I shall, however, through thy potency hear of this battle minutely.”

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