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.
is our foremost duty.  Protected by us, he will protect us and slay the Parthas in battle.  Of cleansed soul, he said unto me,—­I will not slay Sikhandini.  He was a female before, O king, and, therefore, should be avoided by me in battle.  The world knoweth, O thou of mighty arms, that from desire of doing good to my father, I formerly gave up a swelling kingdom.  I will not, therefore, slay in battle, O foremost of men, any female or anybody that was a female before.  This that I tell thee is true.  This Sikhandin, O king, was first born a female.  Thou hast heard that story.  She was born as Sikhandini after the manner I told thee before the battle began.  Taking her birth as a daughter she hath become a man.  Indeed, she will fight with me, but I will never shoot my arrows at her.  As regards all other Kshatriyas desirous of victory to the Pandavas, O sire, whom I may get within my reach on the field of battle, I will slay them.—­These were the words that Ganga’s son acquainted with the scriptures, that chief of Bharata’s race, said unto me.  Therefore, with my whole soul I think that protecting the son of Ganga is our foremost duty.  The very wolf may slay the lion left unprotected in the great forest.  Let not Ganga’s son be slain by Sikhandin like the lion slain by the wolf.  Let our maternal uncle Sakuni, and Salya, and Kripa, and Drona, and Vivingsati, carefully protect the son of Ganga.  If he is protected, (our) victory is certain.’

“Hearing these words of Duryodhana, all surrounded Ganga’s son with a large division of cars.  And thy sons also, taking up their position around Bhishma, proceeded to battle.  And they all went, shaking the earth and the welkin, and causing fear in the hearts of the Pandavas.  The mighty car-warriors (of the Kaurava army), supported by those cars and elephants, and clad in mail, stood in battle, surrounding Bhishma.  And all of them took up their positions for protecting that mighty car-warrior like the celestials in the battle between themselves and the Asuras for protecting the wielder of the thunder-bolt.  Then king Duryodhana once more addressing his brother, said, ’Yudhamanyu protects the left wheel of Arjuna’s car, and Uttamaujas his right wheel.  And (thus protected) Arjuna protects Sikhandin.  O Dussasana, adopt such steps that, protected by Partha, Sikhandin may not be able to slay Bhishma left unprotected by us.’  Hearing these words of his brother, thy son Dussasana, accompanied by the troops, advanced for battle, placing Bhishma in the van.  Beholding Bhishma (thus surrounded by a large number of cars), Arjuna, that foremost of car-warriors, addressed Dhrishtadyumna and said, ’O prince, place that tiger among men, Sikhandin, today in front of Bhishma, I myself will be his protector, O prince of Panchala.”


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