The fierce fight

संजय उवाच दृष्ट्वा भीष्मेण संसक्तान् भ्रातृनन्यांश्च पार्थिवान्। समभ्यधावद् गाङ्गेयमुद्यतास्त्रो धनंजयः॥
Sanjaya said Seeing his brother (Bhima) and other kings (of the Pandava host) engaged with Bhishma with weapons uplifted, Dhananjaya rushed against the son of Ganga.

पाञ्चजन्यस्य निर्घोषं धनुषो गाण्डिवस्य च। ध्वजं च दृष्ट्वा पार्थस्य सर्वान् नो भयमाविशत्॥
Hearing the blare of the conch Panchajanya, and the twang of the bow Gandiva, and seeing the standard of the son of Pritha (Arjuna), every one of us was seized with terror.

सिंहलाङ्ग्लमाकाशे ज्वलन्तमिव पर्वतम्। असज्जमानं वृक्षेषु धूमकेतुमिवोत्थितम्॥ बहुवर्णं विचित्रं च दिव्यं वानरलक्षणम्। अपश्याम महाराज ध्वजं गाण्डीवधन्वनः॥
O mighty monarch, we then beheld the standard of that wielder of the Gandiva bow, standard that resembled a lion's tail in shape and looked like a blazing mountain in the air; that could not be obstructed by the trees; that appeared like the risen comet; and that was of diverse hue and variegated and of celestial make and bore the device of the monkey.

विद्युतं मेघमध्यस्थां भ्राजमानामिवाम्बरे। ददृशुर्गाण्डिवं योधा रुक्मपृष्ठं महामृधे॥
In that terrible encounter, the warriors saw Arjuna's gold mounted Gandiva appear beautiful like flashes of lightning illumining a mass of clouds in the welkin.

अशुश्रुम भृशं चास्य शक्रस्येवाभिगर्जतः। सुघोरं तलयोः शब्दं निघ्नतस्तव वाहिनीम्॥
While he was slaying the warriors of your army, we heard shouts that resembled those of Indra himself, uttered by Arjuna, as also the dreadful sounds he produced by striking his palms against his arms.

चण्डवातो यथा मेघः सविद्युत्स्तनयित्नुमान्। दिशः सम्लावयन् सर्वाः शरवर्षैः समन्ततः॥
Arjuna poured in for rents his arrow showers in all the directions of the compass like a rain cloud surcharged with lightning and thunder and assisted by violent tempest pouring rain.

समभ्यधावद् गाङ्गेयं भैरवास्त्रो धनंजयः। दिशं प्राची प्रतीची च न जानीमोऽस्त्रमोहिताः॥
Then Dhananjaya, possessed of dreadful weapons rushed against the son of Ganga. Confounded with his weapons we then were unable to distinguish between the east and the west.

कांदिग्भूताः श्रान्तपत्रा हताश्वा हतचेतसः। अन्योन्यमभिसंश्लिष्य योधास्ते भरतर्षभ॥
Then O foremost of the Bharata, your warriors, not knowing which point of the compass they were in, with their animals exhausted, steeds slain and hearts confounded, and huddling close to one another.

भीष्ममेवाभ्यलीयन्त सह सर्वैस्तवात्मजैः। तेषामार्तायनमभूद् भीष्मः शान्तनवो रणे॥
Threw themselves upon the protection of Bhishma, along of with your sons. In that battle Bhishma the son of Shantanu became their refuge.

समुत्पतन्ति वित्रस्ता रथेभ्यो रथिनस्तथा। सादिनश्चाश्वपृष्ठेभ्यो भूमौ चापि पदातयः॥
Seized with panic, car warriors jumped down from their cars and cavalry soldiers from the back of their steeds and foot soldiers fell down even on the grounds where they stood.

श्रुत्वा गाण्डीवनिर्घोषं विस्फूर्जितमिवाशनेः। सर्वसैन्यानि भीतानि व्यवालीयन्त भारत॥
Hearing the twang of the bow Gandiva, that resembled the rumble of thunder, O Bharata, all your warriors were struck with terror and began to fall off their ranks.

अथ काम्बोजजैरश्वैर्महद्भिः शीघ्रगामिभिः। गोपानां बहुसाहस्रैर्बलैर्गोपायनैर्वृतः॥
Then with fleet and mettled chargers of the Kamboja breed, and surrounded by many thousand Gopas and an army of the Gopayanas,

मद्रसौवीरगान्धारैस्त्रैगर्तेश्च विशाम्पते। सर्वकालिङ्गमुख्यैश्च कलिङ्गाधिपतिर्वृतः॥ नानानरगणौघैश्च दुःशासनपुरःसरः। जयद्रथश्च नृपतिः सहितः सर्वराजभिः॥
And O ruler of men, supported, by the Madras, the Souviras, the Gandharvas the Trigartas, and the foremost of all Kalinga warriors, the king of the Kalingas, and king Jayadratha accompanied by many kings and followed by a numerous force consisting of various races headed by Dushasana himself.

हयारोहवराश्चैव तव पुत्रेण चोदिताः। चतुर्दश सहस्राणि सौबलं पर्यवारयन्॥
And supported by fourteen thousand picked cavalry soldiers urged by your son, encompassed on all sides the king of the Subala's.

ततस्ते सहिताः सर्वे विभक्तरथवाहनाः। अर्जुनं समरे जघ्नुस्तावका भरतर्षभ॥
Then in that battle, united together and riding on their respective vehicles, those foremost of Bharata's race, namely the sons of Pandu, began to slaughter the warriors of your army.

रथिभिर्वारणैरश्वैः पादातैश्च समीरितम्। घोरमायोधनं चक्रे महाभ्रसदृशं रजः॥
A thick clouds of dust, raised by carwarriors, elephants, steeds and foot soldiers, made the battle that raged all the more terrible.

तोमरप्रासनाराचगजाश्वरथयोधिनाम्। बलेन महता भीष्मः समसज्जत् किरीटिना॥
Bhishma then, supported by a mighty force consisting of elephants-warriors, car-warriors and cavalry-soldiers, all armed with Tomaras, Narachas and Prasas fell to fight with the diadem decked Arjuna.

आवन्त्यः काशिराजेन भीमसेनेन सैन्धवः। अजातशत्रुर्मद्राणामृषभेण यशस्विना॥ सहपुत्रः सहामात्यः शल्येन समसज्जत। विकर्णः सहदेवेन चित्रसेनः शिखण्डिना॥
The ruler of Avanti encountered the king of the Kashis. Bhimasena engaged the ruler of the Sindhus; and Ajatashatru (Yudhishthira) with his sons and his counsellors, engaged with the renowned Shalya the foremost of the Madras. Vikarna became engaged with Sahadeva, and Chitrasena with Shikhandin.

मत्स्या दुर्योधनं जग्मुःशकुनिं च विशाम्पते। द्रुपदश्चैकितानश्च सात्यकिश्च महारथः॥ द्रोणेन समसज्जन्त सपुत्रेण महात्मना। कृपश्च कृतवर्मा च धृष्टद्युम्नमभिद्रुतौ।२३।।
The Matsyas, O ruler of men encountered Duryodhana along with Shakuni. Drupada, Chekitana and the mighty car-warrior Satyaki. Engaged with the illustrious Drona, supported by his son. Kripa and Kritavarma both charged Dhrishtadyumna.

एवं प्रव्रजिताश्वानि भ्रान्तनागरथानि च। सैन्यानि समसज्जन्त प्रयुद्धानि समन्ततः॥ निरभ्रे विद्युतस्तीवा दिशश्च रजसाऽऽवृताः। प्रादुरासन् महोल्काश्च सनिर्घाता विशाम्पते।॥
Thus, running steeds and wheeling and whirling cars and elephants, in that battle, engaged with one another, all over the field. Flashes of lightning illumined the welkin although there was no cloud, and the points of the compass were shrouded in thick clouds of dust; and O ruler of men, large meteors were scen falling with terrible sounds.

प्रादुर्भूतो महावातः पांसुवर्षे पपात च। नभस्यन्तर्दधे सूर्यः सैन्येन रजसाऽऽवृतः॥
A mighty tempest, raged and a shower of dust began to fall. The sun disappeared in the firmament being shrouded by the dust-clouds raised by the troops.

प्रमोहः सर्वसत्त्वानामतीव समपद्यत। रजसा चाभिभूतानामस्त्रजालैश्च तुद्यताम्॥
All the warriors, overwhelmed with that dust and fighting with their various weapons, were greatly confounded.

वीरबाहुविसृष्टानां सर्वावरणभेदिनाम्। संघात: शरजालानां तुमुल: समपद्यत॥
The whizzing noise produced by the arrows capable of piercing through every armour and discharged by the arms of heroes, was discharged by the arms of heroes, was indeed deafening.

प्रकाशं चक्रुराकाशमुद्यतानि भुजोत्तमैः। नक्षत्रविमलाभानि शस्त्राणि भरतर्षभ॥
O foremost of the Bharatas, weapons endued with the pure effulgence of the stars, illumined the firmament when they were shot by excellent arms.

आर्षभाणि विचित्राणि रुक्मजालावृतानि च। सम्पेतुर्दिक्षु सर्वासु चर्माणि भरतर्षभ॥
In all directions were scattered, 0 foremost of the Bharatas, bucklers made of bull's hide, of variegated appearance, and covered with a net work of gold.

सूर्यवर्णैश्च निस्त्रिशैः पात्यमानानि सर्वशः। दिक्षु सर्वास्वदृश्यन्त शरीराणि शिरांसि च॥
In all directions were seen heads and limbs falling, being cut off with swords of the effulgence of the sun.

भग्नचक्राक्षनीडाश्च निपातितमहाध्वजाः। हताश्वाः पृथिवी जग्मुस्तत्र तत्र महारथाः॥ परिपेतुर्हयाश्चात्र केचिच्छस्त्रकृतव्रणाः। रथान् विपरिकर्षन्तो हतेषु रथयोधिषु॥
Mighty car-warriors, having the wheel, the axle and the terraces of their cars broken, fell down on the grounds, with their steeds slain and their long arms severed. Steeds fell down on the battle-field mangled with the cut of weapons, and car wheeled around deprived of their warriors.

शराहता भिन्नदेहा बद्धयोक्त्रा हयोत्तमाः। युगानि पर्यकर्षन्त तत्र तत्र स्म भारत॥ अदृश्यन्त ससूताश्च साश्वाः सरथयोधिनः। एकेन बलिना राजन् वारणेन विमर्दिताः॥
O Bharata, wounded with arrows with their bodies mangled, and their harnesses on, excellent steeds ran there dragging the caryokes after them. Many warriors, O king, with their cars, horses and drivers were seen slain in that battle by a single elephants possessed of great strength.

गन्धहस्तिमदस्रावमाघ्राय बहवो रणे। संनिपाते बलौघानां वीतमाददिरे गजाः॥ सतोमरैर्महामात्रैर्निपतद्भिर्गतासुभिः। बभूवायोधनं छन्नं नाराचाभिहतैर्गजैः॥ संनिपाते बलौघानां प्रेषितैर्वरवारणैः। निपेतुर्यधि सम्भग्नाः सयोधाः सध्वजा गजाः॥
In that battle scenting the odour of the temporal juice shed by other compeers many elephants began to snuff the air in the very midst of that slaughter of troops. The field of battle was covered with elephants bearing wooden edifices and guides, as they fell down deprived of live being struck with piked lances. In the midst of large forces, many elephants with the standards and warriors on their back, fell down on the ground being crushed by other huge compeers urged on their guides.

नागराजोपमैर्हस्तै गैराक्षिप्य संयुगे। व्यदृश्यन्त महाराज सम्भग्ना रथकूबराः॥ विशीर्णरथसंघाश्च केशेश्वाक्षिप्य दन्तिभिः। द्रुमशाखा इवाविध्य निष्पिष्टा रथिनो रणे॥
In that battle, o king, were seen many chariot-shafts to be broken by elephants using their trunks that resembled the body of the serpent chief. In that battle car-warriors, the yokes of whose cars had been shattered, were seized by the hair by the tuskers and dragged down like branches of trees they were thoroughly crushed.

रथेषु च रथान् युद्धे संसक्तान् वरवारणाः। विकर्षन्तो दिशः सर्वाः सम्पेतुः सर्वशब्दगाः॥ तेषां तथा कर्षतां तु गजानां रूपमावभौ। सरःसु नलिनीजालं विषक्तमिव कर्षताम्॥
Other prodigious elephants dragging cars entangled with other cars, ran in all directions uttering loud roars. The appearance of those elephants dragging those chariots looked beautiful like that of others of their species tearing lotus-stems growing in the lakes.

एवं संछादितं तत्र बभूवायोधनं महत्। सादिभिश्च पदातैश्च सध्वजैश्च महारथैः॥
Thus then the extensive field of battle was strewn over with cavalry-soldiers, and mighty car-warriors and their tall standards.