can be a greater grief to me than this? Endued with great intelligence, he that was not slain even by that slayer of hostile heroes, that Rama, the son of Jamadagni, who defeated in battle crowds of Kshatriyas repeatedly, he hath now been slain by Sikhandin. Without doubt, Drupada’s son Sikhandin, therefore who hath slain in battle that bull of Bharata’s race, that hero acquainted with the highest weapons, that brave and accomplished warrior conversant with every weapon, is superior in energy, prowess, and might to the invincible Vargava endued with the highest energy. In that encounter of arms who were the heroes that followed that slayer of foes? Tell me how the battle was fought between Bhishma and the Pandavas. The army of my son, O Sanjaya, reft of its hero, is like an unprotected woman. Indeed, that army of mine is like a panic-struck herd of kine reft of its herdsman. He in whom resided prowess superior to that of every one, when he was laid low on the field of battle, what was the state of mind of my army? What power is there, O Sanjaya, in our life, when we have caused our father of mighty energy, that foremost of righteous men in the world, to be slain? Like a person desirous of crossing the sea when he beholds the boat sunk in fathomless waters, alas, my sons, I ween, are bitterly weeping from grief on Bhishma’s death. My heart, O Sanjaya, is surely made of adamant, for it rendeth not even after hearing the death of Bhishma, that tiger among men. That bull among men in whom were weapons, intelligence, and policy, to an immeasurable extent, how, alas, hath that invincible warrior been slain in battle? Neither in consequence of weapons nor of courage, nor of ascetic merit, nor of intelligence, nor of firmness, nor of gift, can a man free himself from death. Indeed, time, endued with great energy, is incapable of being transgressed by anything in the world, when thou tellest me, O Sanjaya, that Santanu’s son Bhishma is dead. Burning with grief on account of my sons, in fact, overwhelmed with great sorrow, I had hoped for relief from Bhishma, the son of Santanu. When he beheld Santanu’s son, O Sanjaya, lying on earth like the Sun (dropped from the firmament), what else was made by Duryodhana as his refuge? O Sanjaya, reflecting with the aid of my understanding, I do not see what the end will be of the kings belonging to my side and that of the enemy and now mustered in the opposing ranks of battle. Alas, cruel are the duties of the Kshatriya order as laid down by the Rishis, since the Pandavas are desirous of sovereignty by even compassing the death of Santanu’s son, and we also are desirous of sovereignty by offering up that hero of high vows as a sacrifice. The sons of Pritha, as also my sons, are all in the observance of Kshatriya duties. They, therefore, incur no sin (by doing) this. Even a righteous person should do this, O Sanjaya, when direful calamities come. The display of prowess and the exhibition of the utmost might have been laid down among the duties of the Kshatriyas.