IT was the tenth day of the battle. Keeping Sikhandin in front of him,
Arjuna attacked Bhishma. When Sikhandin's darts pierced his breast, sparks flew from
For a moment the old warrior's anger rose like flaming fire and his
eyes glared as if to consume Sikhandin. But, at once, the grand sire restrained
He decided not to be provoked intofighting Sikhandin, who was born a
woman and to strike whom it seemed unworthy of a warrior.
He knew, however, his end was near and calmed himself. Sikhandin went
on discharging his arrows, not minding the battle of emotions in his opponent's mind.
Arjuna also steeled his heart, and from behind Sikhandin aimed arrows
at the weak points in Bhishma's armour, even while the grandsire stood still.
Bhishma smiled as the arrows continued to come down thick on him, and
turning to Duhsasana, said: "Ah, these are Arjuna's arrows! These cannot be
Sikhandin's, for they burn my flesh as the crab's young ones tear their mother's