Colloquy between Duryodhana and Dusshasana

संजय उवाच वाक्शल्यैस्तव पुत्रेण सोऽतिविद्धो महामनाः। दुःखेन महताऽऽविष्टो नोवाचाप्रियमण्वपि॥
Sanjaya said Thereupon the high-souled Bhishma, thus deeply pierced by the dagger-like words of your son and overwhelmed with grief, spoke not even a single disagreeable word to your son.

स ध्यात्वा सुचिरं कालं दुःखरोषसमन्वितः। श्वसमानो यथा नागः प्रणुन्नो वाक्शलाकया।॥
Thus mutilated with those 'worldly daggers' and sighing like a snake, and meditating for a while, and possessed with rage and sorrow,

उद्धृत्य चक्षुषी कोपानिर्दहन्निव भारत। सदेवासुरगन्धर्व लोकं लोकविदां वरः॥
And raising, out of wrath, his two eyes, as if, O Bharata, desirous of consuming the universe with the celestial, the Gandharvas, and the Asuras, that foremost of those learned in the ways of the world (viz., Bhishma),

अब्रवीत् तव पुत्रं स सामपूर्वमिदं वचः। किं त्वं दुर्योधनैवं मां वाक्शल्यैरपकृन्तसि॥
Coolly addressed these words to your son "Why, O Duryodhana, are you piercing me with these harrowing words of yours'

घटमानं यथाशक्ति कुर्वाणं च तव प्रियम्। जुह्वानं समरे प्राणांस्तव वै प्रियकाम्यया॥
Me who ever endeavoring to the best of my abilities to accomplish what will be for your benefit, me who am ready to lay down my very life in battle, for doing good to you?

यदा तु पाण्डवः शूरः खाण्डवेऽग्निमतर्पयत्। पराजित्य रणे शक्रं पर्याप्तं तन्निदर्शनम्॥
Is not this sufficient indication (of his invincibility) that heroic son of Pandavas and (Arjuna), gratified Agni by allowing it to consume the Khandava foremost, after having vanquished his opponents in battle?

यदा च त्वां महाबाहो गन्धर्वैर्हतमोजसा। अमोचयत् पाण्डुसुतः पर्याप्तं तन्निदर्शनम्॥
When, O mighty-armed hero, that son of Pandu released, with force, you captured by the Gandharvas, that indeed, is indication enough (of his prowess)

द्रवमाणेषु शूरेषु सोदरेषु तव प्रभो सूतपुत्रे च राधेये पर्याप्तं तन्निदर्शनम्॥
On that occasion when your uterine brothers of great heroism, as also, O lord, Radha's son of Suta race had fled forsaking you, the rescue effected by Arjuna is indeed indication enough of his prowess.

यच्च नः सहितान् सर्वान् विराटनगरे तदा। एक एव समुद्यातः पर्याप्तं तन्निदर्शनम्॥
That in the kingdom of Virata, singlehanded, he encountered our assembled host is indication enough.

द्रोणं च युधि संरब्धं मां च निर्जित्य संयुगे। वासांसि स समादत्त पर्याप्तं तन्निदर्शनम्॥
That vanquishing the wrathful Drona and myself in battle, he succeeded in taking off our raiment's, is indication enough.

तथा द्रौणि महेष्वासं शारद्वतमथापि च। गोग्रहे जितवान् पूर्वं पर्याप्तं तन्निदर्शनम्॥
That he conquered the great bowman, the son of Drona as also the son of Sharadvata on the occasion of the capture of the capture of Virata's kine, is indeed indication enough.

विजित्य च यदा कर्णं सदा पुरुषमानिनम्। उत्तरायै ददौ वस्त्रं पर्याप्तं तन्निदर्शनम्॥
That conquering Karna ever bragging of his manliness, he gave robes to Uttara is a sufficient indication.

निवातकवचान् युद्धे वासवेनापि दुर्जयान्। जितवान् समरे पार्थः पर्याप्तं तन्निदर्शनम्॥
That the son of Pritha vanquished in battle the Nivatakavacha brothers difficult of vanquishment by Indra himself is indication enough of his velour.

को हि शक्तो रणे जेतुं पाण्डवं रभसं तदा। यस्य गोप्ता जगद्गोप्ता शङ्खचक्रगदाधरः॥
What man is capable of conquering the mighty son of Pandu, who is protected by the Protector of the worlds, the wielder of the conch, discus and the mace divine.

वासुदेवोऽनन्तशक्तिः सृष्टिसंहारकारकः। सर्वेश्वरो देवदेवः परमात्मा सनातनः॥
The son of Vasudeva is of infinite prowess, and is the Destroyer of this creation. He is the Lord of all, the God of Gods, the Supreme Soul and Eternal.

उक्तोऽसि बहुशो राजन् नारदाद्यैर्महर्षिभिः। त्वं तु मोहान्न जानीषे वाच्यावाच्यं सुयोधन॥
Diversely, O king, has He been described by Narada and other illustrious sages. But through your folly, O Suyodhana, you do not seem to recognise what you should do and what you should not.

मुमूर्षुर्हि नरः सर्वान् वृक्षान् पश्यति काञ्चनान्। तथा त्वमपि गान्धारे विपरीतानि पश्यसि॥
A man on the brink of death sees everything to be made of gold; so also, O son of Gandhari, you see everything to be invested with a yellow hue.

स्वयं वैरं महत् कृत्वा पाण्डवैः सह संजयैः। युद्ध्यस्व तानन रणे पश्यामः पुरुषो भव॥
You have yourself sowed implacably enmity between yourself on the one side and the Pandavas and Srinjayas on the other. Let us now see you fight with them in battle. Display your manliness.

अहं तु सोमकान् सर्वान् पञ्चालांश्च समागतान्। निहनिष्ये नरव्याघ्र वर्जयित्वा शिखण्डिनम्॥
I, however, O foremost of men, shall slay the assembled Panchalas and Somakas excepting only Shikhandin.

तैर्वाऽहं निहत: संख्ये गमिष्ये यमसादनम्। तान् वा निहत्य समरे प्रीतिं दास्याम्यहं तव॥
Either slain by them in battle, I shall go to the mansion of Death or slaying them I shall afford delight to you.

पूर्वं हि स्त्री समुत्पन्ना शिखण्डी राजवेश्मनि। वरदानात् पुमाञ्जातः सैषा वै स्त्री शिखण्डिनी॥
In the palace of Draupada, Shikhandin was first born as a woman; then through the virtue of a boon he became a male being. This one is the Shikhandin of old.

तमहं न हनिष्यामि प्राणत्यागेऽपि भारत! याऽसौ प्रानिर्मिता धात्रा सैषा वै स्त्री शिखण्डिनी।।
Even if I were to loose my life, O Bharata, I shall not slay him. This now is the same Shikhandin whom the creator made a female.

सुखं स्वपिहि गान्धारे श्वोऽपि कर्ता महारणम्। यं जनाः कथयिष्यन्ति यावत् स्थास्यति मेदिनी॥
Pass the night in tranquil sleep, O son of Gandhari; tomorrow I shall fight a terrible fight, of which men shall speak so long as the earth will endure."

एवमुक्तस्तव सुतो निर्जगाम जनेश्वर। अभिवाद्य गुरुं मूर्धा प्रययौ स्वं निवेशनम्॥
This spoken to, your son, O ruler of men, came out and saluting the reverend signor, with his head, he (your son) replied to his own tent.

आगम्य तु ततो राजा विसृज्य च महाजनम्। प्रविवेश ततस्तूर्णं क्षयं शत्रुक्षयङ्करः॥
Thereafter the king reaching his own tent, and ordering his illustrious officers to retire, that destroyer of foes entered his own camp.

प्रविष्टः स निशां तां च गमयामास पार्थिवः। प्रभातायां च शर्वर्यां प्रातरुत्थाय तान् नृपः॥
There in his tent that ruler of men passed the night. When the night had passed away, the king, rising at the break of day,

राज्ञः समाज्ञापयत सेनां योजयतेति हा अद्य भीष्मो रणे क्रुद्धोनिहनिष्यति सोमकान्॥
Ordered, his royal warriors saying 'Arrange the forces in battle-order. Today, waxing irascible in battle, Bhishma shall slay the Somakas.'

दुर्योधनस्य तच्छ्रुत्वा रात्रौ विलपितं बहु। मन्यमानः स तं राजन् प्रत्यादेशमिवात्मनः॥
Having heard those copious lamentation of Duryodhana in the night, and regarding them, O king, as commands to himself,

निर्वेदं परमं गत्वा विनिन्द्य परवश्यताम्। दीर्घ दध्यौ शान्तनवो योद्धकामोऽर्जुनं रणे॥
The son of Shantanu was greatly depressed; and he censored the life of dependency and reflected for a long time, desirous of encountering Arjuna in battle.

इङ्गित्तेन तु तज्ज्ञात्वा गाङ्गेयेन विचिन्तितम्। दुर्योधनो महाराज दुःशासनमचोदयत्।॥
Coming to know from outward expressions what the son of Ganga had been thinking of, Duryodhana, O mighty monarch ordered Dushasana saying.

दुःशासन रथास्तूर्णं युज्यन्तां भीष्मरक्षिणः। द्वाविंशतिमनीकानि सर्वाण्येवाभिचोदय॥
"O Dushasana, without delay draw up our chariots for protecting Bhishma. Urge to battle all our two and twenty divisions.

इदं हि समनुप्राप्तं वर्षपूगाभिचिन्तितम्। पाण्डवानां ससैन्यानां वधो राज्यस्य चागमः॥
Even that for which we have been longing all these yards, have now come to pass, viz., the slaughter of the Pandavas with all their troops and the acquisition of the kingdom by ourselves.

तत्र कार्यतमं मन्ये भीष्मस्यैवाभिरक्षणम्। स नो गुप्तः सहायः स्याद्वन्यात् पार्थांश्च सयुगे॥
Therefore, I now consider our highest duty to be the protection of Bhishma. Protected and assisted by us, he will slay the Parthas in battle.

अब्रवीद्धि विशुद्धात्मा नाहं हन्यां शिखण्डिनम्। स्त्रीपूर्वको ह्यसौ राजस्तस्माद् वयॊ मया रणे॥
That pure-souled one had said 'I will not slay Shikhandin; for this one was a female before, O king, so I should avoid him in battie.

लोकस्तद् वेद यदहं पितुः प्रियचिकीर्षया। राज्यं स्फीतं महाबाहो स्त्रियश्च त्यक्तवान् पुरा॥ श्रुतः।
All the world know, that to compass the pleasure of my father, O mighty armed one, I formerly relinquished a swelling kingdom and the company of woman.

नैवं ग्राहं स्त्रियं जातु न स्त्रीपूर्वं कथंचन। हन्यां युधि नरश्रेष्ठ सत्यमेतद् ब्रवीमि ते॥
Therefore, O foremost of men, I will not slay in battle females or those who were females before. I tell this truly.

अयं स्त्रीपूर्वको राजच्छिखण्डी यदि ते उद्योगे कथितं यत्तत् तथा जाता शिखण्डिनी॥
Before the commencement of the battle I have told you, and you have heard that this Shikhandin was born formerly as a female and was called Shikhandin.

कन्या भूत्वा पुमाञ्जातः स च मां योधयिष्यति। तस्याहं प्रमुखे बाणान् न मुञ्चेयं कथंचन॥
Born as a female child she has come to be a man. If now I am to fight with him I will sped my shafts towards him on no account.

युद्धे हि क्षत्रियांस्तात पाण्डवानां जयैषिणः। सर्वानन्यान् हनिष्यामि सम्प्राप्तान रणमूर्धनि॥
I will, O sire, slay all other Kshatriyas in battle, who, desirous of victory to the Pandavas, shall happen to encounter me in the van of the battle.'

एवं मां भरतश्रेष्ठ गाङ्गेयः प्राह शास्त्रवित्। तत्र सर्वात्मना मन्ये गाङ्गेयस्यैव पालनम्॥
Thus did that foremost of the Bharatas, accomplished in the Vedas, namely the son of Ganga address me. So I consider our foremost duty to be the protection of Ganga's son to the best of our abilities.

अरक्ष्यमाणं हि वृको हन्यात् सिंहं महाहवे। मा वृकेणेव गांगेयं घातयेम शिखण्डिना॥
If left unprotected, in a great forest, even a wolf can slay a lion. We should not allow Ganga's son to be slain by Shikhandi like a lion slain by a wolf.

मातुल: शकुनिः शल्यः कृपो द्रोणो विविंशतिः। यत्ता रक्षन्तु गाङ्गेय तस्मिन् गुप्ते ध्रुवो जयः॥ ।
Our maternal uncle Shakuni, Shalya, Kripa, Drona, and Vivingshati, should protect, putting forth their best energies, the son of Ganga. If he is duly protected, victory indubitably will be ours."

एतच्छ्रुत्वा तु ते सर्वे दुर्योधनवचस्तदा। सर्वतो रथवंशेन गाङ्गेयं पर्यवारयन्॥
Hearing these words of Duryodhana, all those warriors surrounded on all sides with a host of cars, the son of Ganga.

पुत्राश्च तव गाङ्गेय परिवार्य युयुर्मुदा। कम्पयन्तो भुवं द्यां च क्षोभयन्तश्च पाण्डवान्॥
Then your sons, surrounding Ganga's son, proceeded to battle shaking the earth and the heavens and agitating the Pandavas.

ते रथैः सुसम्प्रयुक्तैर्दन्तिभिश्च महारथाः। परिवार्य रणे भीष्मं दंशिताः समवस्थिताः॥
The mighty car-warriors of the Kurus, clad in Armour, and supported by those cars and many elephants formed themselves in battlearray encircling Bhishma.

यथा देवासुरे युद्धे त्रिदशा वज्रधारिणम्। सर्वे ते स्म व्यतिष्ठन्ति रक्षन्तस्तं महारथम्॥
Protecting that mighty car-warrior Bhishma, they stood like the celestial protecting the wielder of the thunder-bolt in the battle between themselves and the Asuras.

ततो दुर्योधनो राजा पुनर्घातरमब्रवीत्। सव्यं चक्रं युधामनुरुत्तमौजाश्च दक्षिणम्॥ गोप्तारावर्जुनस्यैतावर्जुनोऽपि शिखण्डिनः। रक्ष्माणः स पार्थेन तथास्माभिर्विवर्जितः॥ यथा भीष्मं न नो हन्याद् दुःशासन तथा कुरु। भ्रातुस्तद् वचनं श्रुत्वा पुत्रो दुःशासनस्तव॥
Thereafter king Duryodhana addressing his brothers once more said “Yudhamanyu protects the left wheel of Arjuna's chariot and Uttamaujas protects the right. Thus protected, Arjuna protects Shikhandin. O Dushasana, so arrange, that Shikhandin, thus protected by Arjuna, may not slay Bhishma left unprotected by ourselves.” Hearing the words of his brothers, your son Dushasana,

भीष्मं प्रमुखतः कृत्वा प्रययौ सह सेनया। भीष्मं तु रथवंशेन दृष्ट्वा समभिसंवृतम्।।५०।
Placing Bhishma at the van proceeded to battle, surrounded by the troops. Beholding Bhishma thoroughly encompassed by a host of cars,

अर्जुनो रथिनां श्रेष्ठो धृष्टद्युम्नमुवाच ह। शिखण्डिनं नरव्याघ्नं भीष्मस्य प्रमुखे नृप। स्थापयस्वाद्य पाञ्चाल्य तस्य गोप्ताहमित्युत॥
Arjuna, the foremost of car-warrior said to Dhrishtadyumna; Let, O Prince of the Panchalas, Shikhandin, that foremost of men be placed face to face with Bhishma. I myself will be his protector, O Prince.