III. Vana Parva
Section CCXXX.

[...] "The firmanent of the stars was in blaze, and the whole universe in a state of utter confusion. The earth quaked and gave forth a rumbling, and darkness overspread the whole world. Then observing this terrible catastrophy, Sankara with the esteemable Uma, and the celestials with the great Maharshis, were much exercised in mind. And when they had fallen into this tate of confusion, there appeared before them a fierce and mighty host armed with various weapons, and looking like a mas of clouds and rocks. Those terrible and countless beings, speaking different languages directed their movements towards the point where Sankara and the Celestials stood. They hurled into the ranks of the celestial army flights of arrows in all directions, masses of rock, maces, sataghnis [a weapon which kills hundreds of people], prasas [a kind of missile] and parighas [a kind of hammer made of iron]. The celestial army was thrown into a state of confusion by a shower of these terrible weapons and their ranks were seen to waver. The Danavas made a great havoc by cutting up their soldiers, horses, elephants, chariots and arms. And the celestial troops then seemed as if they were about to turn their backs upon the enemy. And numbers of them fell, slain by the Asuras, like large trees in a forest burnt in a conflagaration. Those dwellers of heaven fell with their heads, seperated from their bodies, and having none to lead them in that fearful battle, they were slaughtered by the enemy. And then the god Purandara (Indra), the slayer of Vala, observing that they were unsteady and hard pressed by the Asuras, tried to rally them with this speech.

[...] But the gods were soon worsted all on sudden, and the terrible Danavas again made a great havoc of the celestial army. Then the Asura drums struck up and their shrill bugles were sounded; and the Danava chiefs yelled their terrific war-cry.

Then a powerful Danava, taking a huge mass of rock in his hands, came out of that terrivle Daitya army. He looked like the Sun peering forth from amongst a mass of dark clouds. And, O king the celestials, beholding that he was about to hurl that mass of rock at them, fled in confusion.. But they were pursued by Mahisha, who hurled that hillock at them. And, O lord of the world, by the falling of that mass of rock, ten thousand warriors of the celestial army were crushed to the ground and breathed their last. And this act of Mahisha struck terror into the hearts of the gods, and with his attendant Danavas he fell upon them like a lion attacking a herd of deer. And when Indra and the other celestials observed that Mahisha was advancing to the charge, they fled, leaving behind their arms and colours. And Mahisha was greatly enraged at this and he quickly advanced towards the chariot of Rudra; and reaching near he seized its pole with his hands. And when Mahisha in a fit of rage had this seized the chariot of Rudra, all the Earth began to groan and the great Rishis lost their senses. And Daityas, of huge proportions, and looking like (dark) clouds, were boisterous with joy, thinking that victory was assured to them.

[...] And when the gods were in that fearful predicament the mighty Mahasena, burning with anger, and looking grand like the Sun, advanced to their rescue. And that lordly was clazed in blazing red an decked with a wreath of red flowers. And cased in armour of gold, he rode in a gold-coloured chariot bright as the Sun and drawn by chestnut horses. And at his sight the army of the Daityas was suddenly dispirited on the field of battle. And , O great king, the mighty Mahasena discharged a bright Sakti, for the destruction of Mahisha. That missile cut off the head of Mahisha and he fell upon the ground and died. And his head massive as a hillock, falling on the ground, barred the entrance to the country of the Northern Kurus, extending in lenght for sixteen yojanas thought at present the people of that country pass easily by that gate.


The Mahabharata
translated by Kisari Mohan Ganguli
published by Pratap Chandra Roy
Calcutta 1886-1890