Sanjaya said,--"Deserving as thou art, this question is, indeed, worthy of thee, O great king. It behoveth thee not, however, to impute this fault to Duryodhana. The man who incurreth evil as the consequence of his own misconduct, should not attribute that misconduct to others. O great king, the man that doth every kind of injury to other men, deserveth to be slain by all men in consequence of those censurable deeds of his. The Pandavas unacquainted with the ways of wickedness had, for a long time, with their friends and counsellors, looking up to thy face, borne the injuries (done to them) and forgiven them, dwelling in the woods.
"Of steeds and elephants and kings of immeasurable energy that which hath been seen by the aid of Yoga-power, hear, O lord of earth, and do not set thy heart on sorrow. All this was pre-destined, O king. Having bowed down to thy father, that (wise and high-souled 1) son of Parasara, through whose grace, (through whose boon bestowed on me,) I have obtained excellent and celestial apprehension, sight beyond the range of the visual sense, and hearing, O king, from great distance, knowledge of other people's hearts and also of the past and the future, a knowledge also of the origin of all persons transgressing the ordinances, 2 the delightful power of coursing through the skies, and untouchableness by weapons in battles, listen to me in detail as I recite the romantic and highly wonderful battle that happened between the Bharatas, a battle that makes one's hair stand on end.
"When the combatants were arrayed according to rule and when they were addrest for battle. Duryodhana, O king, said these words to Dussasana,--O Dussasana, let cars be speedily directed for the protection of Bhishma,
and do thou speedily urge all our divisions (to advance). That hath now come to me of which I had been thinking for a series of years, viz., the meeting of the Pandavas and the Kurus at the head of their respective troops. I do not think that there is any act more important (for us) in this battle than the protecting of Bhishma. If protected he will slay the Pandavas, the Somakas, and the Srinjayas. That warrior of pure soul said,--'I will not slay Sikhandin. It is heard that he was a female before. For this reason he should be renounced by me in battle. For this, Bhishma should be particularly protected. Let all my warriors take up their positions, resolved to slay Sikhandin. Let also all the troops from the east, the west, the south, and the north, accomplished in every kind of weapon, protect the grandsire. Even the lion of mighty strength, if left unprotected may be slain by the wolf. Let us not, therefore, cause Bhishma to be slain by Sikhandin like the lion slain by the jackal. Yudhamanyu protects the left wheel, and Uttamauja protects the right wheel of Phalguni. Protected by those two, Phalguni himself protects Sikhandin. O Dussasana, act in such a way that Sikhandin who is protected by Phalguni and whom Bhishma will renounce, may not slay Ganga's son."