Chapter 36 — The Battle: Duels between Equals; Catalogue of Forces

Vasishta speaking:—

Heaps of arrows rising in spires above the ground drove the cowards and the wounded far away from the battlefield. Hills of dead bodies of men, horses and elephants, heaving in promiscuous heaps and appearing like clouds fallen upon earth, invited the demon yakshas, rakshasas and carnivorous pisachas to come and play in the wide ocean of blood.

Now there commenced a contest between men of equal rank and virtue among those of good character, valor and strength on both sides. All took part in the combat, even holy householders. They fought duels like one cloud clashing with another, and like the confluence of two streams discharging their fury against each other. As a rib is joined to another, and one side with the other, so met horse against the horse and elephant against elephant in mutual conflict. As one forest clasps and clings to another, and as one hill is linked with another in a range, so the duelists struggled with each other like one wave dashing against the other. Footmen fought with footmen like reeds crush reeds and bamboo strikes each another in swirling winds. Chariots fell upon chariots and broke each another to pieces. Citizens beat rustics, like the gods smote the demons of old.

The sky which had been clouded by flights of arrows was now emblazoned by the archer’s banner resembling a rainbow of various colors. 10 At last the warriors who were overpowered in their conflict fled from the field, as people do from a fire.

11 Now armor-bearers with discuses met in contest with those who shielded against discs, archers opposed archers, and swordsmen challenged the other side’s sword fighters. So hookers and crookers challenged their co-rivals with crowbars in hand. 12 Maces were opposed to maces, and lancers were set against the lance bearers in fighting. Spearmen braved spearmen, and the throwers of missiles were crossed with missiles in hand. 13 Mallets fought against mallets, and clubs were opposed by clubmen in the conflict. Combatants with pikes encountered pike men face to face, and iron rods were crossed in strife against pointed tridents. 14 Fighters with missile weapons counteracted the missiles of their enemies, and those fighting with battleaxes resisted the poleaxes and pickaxes of their foes. 15 Trappers with their traps and snares attacked the darters of nooses and lassos. Those who threw javelins withstood the javelins of the throwers on the other side. Daggers opposed daggers and cudgels fought cudgels. 16 Combatants with iron gloves opposed boxers with iron fisticuffs, and those with iron cranes in hand pursued fighters with crooked goads. Warriors with ploughshares attacked ploughmen, and those with tridents fell upon the opposing trident holders. 17 Champions with chained armor set upon soldiers attired in mail. They poured on the field like flights of locusts or like the waves in the troubled sea.

18 The air also appeared like a sea, with flying discs whirling like whirlpools and the flight of reeds whistling like gusts of wind. Various flying weapons seemed like sharks and dolphins moving about it. 19 The sky of the heavens became the great deep of the sea, impassable by celestials owing to the waves of weapons moving like sea monsters in the air. 20 Thus the armies of the two belligerent rulers, each composed of eight divisions as described below, furiously engaged one another.

21 Now hear me relate to you, the forces on the side of Padma, now named King Viduratha, and the allied powers that came to his side from the Central and Eastern districts. 22 There came the hardy warriors of Kosala and Benares; those of Magadha and Utkala, situated in the east; and the Mekhalas (of Vindhya range), the Karkars (of Karnatic), and the Madras in the south. 23 The chiefs of Hema and Rudras and the Tamils from the south; the Pragjyotishas, and the horse faced Osmuks and Ambashtha cannibals. 24 Then there joined the Varna-koshthas and Viswotras, and the eaters of raw food and flesh and the fish eaters; and those with faces like tigers, the Kiratas, with the Sauviras and one legged people. 25 Next came the mountaineers of Malyavana, Sibira and Anjanagiri; and others having the ensigns of bulls and lotuses, and the people of the sun rising mountain in the east. 26 Those that joined from the south east, are the following, namely: the Vindhyaris, the Chedis, the Vatsas, the Dasarnas (near the confluence of the ten streams); and the Angas, Bangas and Upabangas (of Upper and Lower Bengal). 27 They that met from the south were, Kalingas and Pundras, the Jatharas, Vidarbhas and the hill people; the Sabaras, the outcaste tribals, the Karnas and the Tripura people. 28 Those named Kantakas from their thorny district, the unenlightened Komalas; the Canarese, the Andhras, the Cholas and the people on the borders of the Charmanvati river. 29 The Kakos or bald-headed and bearded people, and those of the Hemakuta Hills; the frizzled and long necked people, and the inhabitants of Kishkindha and cocoa forests. 30 The princes that joined with Leela’s husband from the south, were as follows: the Vindhyans, the Kusumians (of Patna), the Mahendras and the Darduras. 31 The Malays and the solar race, and the Prince of the thirty-three united states and the rich and united cities of Avanti and Sambavati. 32 And those of Dasapura of Katha, Chakra, Reshika Cutch and others, and the foresters of Upagiri and Bhadragiri Hills. 33 The prince of Nagore and the chiefs of Dandaka Forest, and the joint states of the people; the Sahas, Saivas, and the hill people of the Rishyamuka and Karkota and the Vimbila foresters. 34 Then came the inhabitants from the banks of Pampa, the Kerakas and Karkaviras; with the Kherikas, Asikas and the people of Dhrumapattana. 35 Next came the Kasikas and Khallukas, the Yadas and Tamraparnikas; the Gonardas, the Kanakas and the people of Dinapattam. 36 The Tamils, Kadambharas, Sahakaras and Deer Hunters, the Vaitundas, Tumbavanalas, and those attired in deer and elephant skins. 37 Then came the lotus-like Sibis and Konkans and the inhabitants of Chitrakuta mountains; with the people of Karnata, the Mantas, Batakas and those of Cattak. 38 The Andhras and Kola hill people, the Avantis and Chedis; with the Chandas and Devanakas and Krauncha-vahas. 39 At last came the people from the three peaks of Chitrakuta mountains, called the Silakhara, Nanda mardana and Malaya, which were the seats of the guardian Bakshasas of Lanka. 40 Then those of the southwest where there is the great realm of Surat, with the kingdoms of the Sind, Sauvira, Abhira, and Dravidas (in Deccan). 41 Also those of the districts of Kikata, Siddha Khanda, and Kaliruha, and Mount Hemagiri or golden hills and the Raivataka range. 42 Then the warriors of Jaya Kachchha, and Mewar; as also the Yavanas, the Bahlikas, the Marganas (nomads), and the grey colored Tumbas (on the north). 43 Then there came Lahsa races and many hill peoples, inhabiting the borders of the sea, forming the limit of the dominion of Leela’s husband on the north.

44 Now know the names of the countries belonging to the enemy in the west, and of those composed of the following mountain ranges, namely, 45 Mount Maniman and the Kurarpana Hills, with the hillocks of Vanorka, Meghabhava, and Chakravana Mountain. 46 There is the country of the five peoples limiting the territory of the Kasa brahmins, and after that the Bharaksha, the Paraka and Santika countries. 47 Thence stretch the countries of the Saivyas, Amarakas, the Paschatyas and Guhutwas; and then the Haihaya country, and those of the Suhyas, Gayas and Tajikas and Hunas. 48 Then along the side of some other countries, there is the range of Karka Hills, inhabited by barbarous people, devoid of caste, customs and limits of moral duties. 49 Thence stretches a country hundreds of leagues in length, to the boundary mountain of Mahendra, abounding in rich stones and gems. 50 After that stands the Aswa Range with hundreds of hills about it; and extending to the dread ocean on the north of the Pariyatra Range. 51 On the north western side, there are countries beyond the boundary mountains (of Asia), where Venupati was the king of the land. 52 Then there are the countries of the Phalgunakas and Mandavayas and many other peoples; and those of Purukundas and Paras as bright as the orb of the sun. 53 Then the races of Vanmilas and Nalinas and the Dirghas; who are so called, from their tall statures and long arms and hairs. Then there are the Rangas, Stanikas with protuberant breasts, and the Guruhas and Chaluhas. 54 After that is the kingdom of women, where they feed upon bullocks and heifers. Now about the Himalayas and its hills in the north (of India): 55 these are the Krauncha and Madhuman hills; and the Kailasa, Vasuman and the Sumeru peaks; at the foot of which are the people, known under many names. 56 Beside these there met the warlike tribes of India consisting of the Madrawars, Malavas and Sura-senas. The Rajputs of the race of Arjuna, the Trigartas and the one legged people and Khudras. 57 There were the Abalas, Prakhalas, and Sakas. The Khemadhurtas, the Dasadhanas, the Gavasanas and Club Fighters. 58 The Dhanadas and Sarakas and Batadhanas also, with the islanders and Gandharas and Avanti warriors of Malwa. 59 The warlike Taxilas, the Bilavas, Godhanas and the renowned warriors of Pushkara. 60 Then there were the Tikshas and Kalavaras, and the inhabitants of the cities of Kahaka and Surabhuti likewise. 61 There were the people of the Ratikadarsa and Antaradarsa also; and the Pingalas, the Pandyas, Yamanas and Yatudhanas demons too. 62 There were also the races of men, known as Hematalas and Osmuks, together with the hilly tribes, inhabiting the Himalaya, Vasuman, Krauncha and Kailasa Mountains. 63 Hear me now relate to you the peoples that came from the north east quarter, which extends a hundred and eighty leagues in its circumference. 64 There came also the Kalutas and Brahmaputras, the Kunidas and Khudinas, with the warlike Malavas and the champions of the Randhra and forest states. 65 Then there were the Kedavas and Sinhaputras of dwarfish statures; the Sabas, the Kaccæs, the Pahlavis, the Kamiras and the Daradas. 66 There were also the people of Abhisa, the Jarvakas, the Pulolas and Kuves; the Kiratas and Yamupatas, together with the poor and rich people of desert lands and tracts of gold.

67 Thus Leela in one vision saw the homes of the gods and the forest lands and the earth in all their beauty. She saw all the seats of opulence and the buildings with which they were adorned. She saw the summit of Kailash and the delightful groves at its foot, and the level lands traversed by the aerial cars of vidyadhara and other celestial beings.