In the Mahabharata war, the combined strength of both the armies was eighteen akshauhini. Yudhishthira was the master of seven Akshauhini army, while Duryodhana was the master of eleven Akshauhini army. The armies of both Pandavas and Kauravas got ready for the war.
First Lord Krishna went to the most angry Duryodhana as a messenger. He said to King Duryodhana, the lord of the eleven Akshauhini army- “Rajan! You give half the kingdom to Yudhishthira or offer him only five villages; Otherwise fight with them.
After listening to Shri Krishna, Duryodhana said- “I will not even give him land equal to the tip of a needle; Yes, I will definitely fight with them. By saying this, he got ready to make Lord Krishna a prisoner. At that time, in the Raj Sabha, Lord Shri Krishna frightened Duryodhana by showing him his supreme Durdharsh Vishwaroop. Then Vidur took him to his home and worshiped and felicitated the Lord. After that he returned to Yudhishthir and said – “Maharaj! You fight with Duryodhana.
master of both armies
Before the war, the Pandavas encamped their army on the banks of Hiranyavati river near Samantra Panchak Tirtha situated on the southern bank of Saraswati river in the western region of Kurukshetra. The Kauravas encamped in a flat plain at a distance of a few yojanas in the eastern part of Kurukshetra.
There was a good system of food for the soldiers and treatment of the injured in the camps on both sides. There were separate arrangements for elephants, horses and chariots. In each of the thousands of camps, abundant food items, weapons, instruments and many doctors and craftsmen were kept on salary.
5 yojanas = 40 kms for the war between the two armies. The encirclement was abandoned.
The great charioteers who fought on behalf of Kauravas were- Bhishma, Dronacharya, Kripacharya, Karna, Ashwatthama, Madranresh Shalya, Bhurishrava, Alambush, Kritavarma, Kalingaraj Shrutayudh, Shakuni, Jayadratha, Vind-Anuvind, Kambojraj Sudakshin, Brihadbal, Duryodhana and his 99 brothers. .
Whereas Bhima, Nakula, Sahdev, Arjuna, Yudhishthira, Draupadi’s five sons, Satyaki, Uttamauja, Virat, Drupada, Dhrishtadyumna, Abhimanyu, Pandyaraj, Ghatotkacha, Shikhandi, Yuyutsu, Kuntibhoja, Shaibya, Anupraj Neel etc. were the main charioteers from the Pandavas side. .
rules of war
On the advice of Pitamah Bhishma, both the parties got together and made some rules of war. The rules made by him were-
Every day the war will take place from sunrise to sunset. There will be no war after sunset. After the end of the war, all people will behave with love, leaving deceit. A charioteer will fight a charioteer, a warrior on an elephant will fight with an elephant and a footman will fight on foot. Only one warrior will fight with one warrior. Weapons will not be used to attack people who are running away from fear or who have come to the shelter. The warrior who becomes unarmed, no weapon will be raised on him. No one will take up arms against those who do the work of a servant in war.
The armies of Yudhishthira and Duryodhana went to the field of Kurukshetra. Seeing his grandfather Bhishma and Acharya Drona etc. teachers and relatives in his opposition, Arjuna turned away from the war.
Then Lord Krishna preached the Gita to him and said to him- “Parth! Bhishma etc. teachers are not worthy of mourning. Man’s body is perishable, but the soul never perishes. This soul itself is Parabrahma. ‘I am Brahma’, thus you understand that soul. Follow Kshatradharma, taking shelter of Karmayoga, living in the same spirit in success and failure of work.
On being told by Shri Krishna, Arjuna mounted the chariot and started fighting. Everyone including Shri Krishna and Arjuna blew the conch shell and the war started. Grandfather Bhishma became the first commander in Duryodhana’s army. The commander of the Pandavas was Shikhandi. A huge war broke out between these two. The warriors of the Kaurava side including Bhishma started attacking the soldiers of the Pandava side in that war and Shikhandi etc. started aiming their arrows at the brave Kaurava soldiers of the Pandava side. That war between the Kaurava and Pandava army looked like a Devasur-fight. To the deities who were watching from the sky, that war seemed very enjoyable. Bhishma fought for ten days and killed most of the Pandava army with his arrows.