Canto 9: LiberationChapter 15: Paraśurāma, the Lord's Warrior Incarnation

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.15.30

acodayad dhasti-rathāśva-pattibhir

gadāsi-bāṇarṣṭi-śataghni-śaktibhiḥ

akṣauhiṇīḥ sapta-daśātibhīṣaṇās

rāma eko bhagavān asūdayat

SYNONYMS

acodayathe sent for fighting; hasti — with elephants; ratha — with chariots; aśva — with horses; pattibhiḥ — and with infantry; gadā — with clubs; asi — with swords; bāṇa — with arrows; ṛṣṭi — with the weapons called ṛṣṭis; śataghni — with weapons called śataghnis; śaktibhiḥ — with weapons called śaktis; akṣauhiṇīḥ — whole groups of akṣauhiṇīs; sapta-daśa — seventeen; ati-bhīṣaṇāḥ — very fierce; tāḥ — all of them; rāmaḥ — Lord Paraśurāma; ekaḥ — alone; bhagavān — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; asūdayat — killed.

TRANSLATION

Upon seeing Paraśurāma, Kārtavīryārjuna immediately feared him and sent many elephants, chariots, horses and infantry soldiers equipped with clubs, swords, arrows, ṛṣṭis, śataghnis, śaktis, and many similar weapons to fight against him. Kārtavīryārjuna sent seventeen full akṣauhiṇīs of soldiers to check Paraśurāma. But Lord Paraśurāma alone killed all of them.

PURPORT

The word akṣauhiṇī refers to a military phalanx consisting of 21,870 chariots and elephants, 109,350 infantry soldiers and 65,610 horses. An exact description is given in the Mahābhārata, Ādi parva, Second Chapter, as follows:

eko ratho gajaś caikaḥ

narāḥ pañca padātayaḥ

trayaś ca turagās taj-jñaiḥ

pattir ity abhidhīyate

pattiḿ tu triguṇām etāḿ

viduḥ senāmukhaḿ budhāḥ

trīṇi senāmukhāny eko

gulma ity adhidhīyate

trayo gulmā gaṇo nāma

vāhinī tu gaṇās trayaḥ

śrutās tisras tu vāhinyaḥ

pṛtaneti vicakṣaṇaiḥ

camūs tu pṛtanās tisraś

caḿvas tisras tv anīkinī

anīkinīḿ daśa-guṇām

āhur akṣauhiṇīḿ budhāḥ

akṣauhiṇyas tu sańkhyātā

rathānāḿ dvija-sattamāḥ

sańkhyā-gaṇita-tattvajñaiḥ

sahasrāṇy eka-viḿśati

śatāny upari cāṣṭau ca

bhūyas tathā ca saptatiḥ

gajānāḿ tu parīmāṇaḿ

tāvad evātra nirdiśet

jñeyaḿ śata-sahasraḿ tu

sahasrāṇi tathā nava

narāṇām adhi pañcāśac

chatāni trīṇi cānaghāḥ

pañca-ṣaṣṭi-sahasrāṇi

tathāśvānāḿ śatāni ca

daśottarāṇi ṣaṭ cāhur

yathāvad abhisańkhyayā

etām akṣauhiṇīḿ prāhuḥ

sańkhyā-tattva-vido janāḥ

"One chariot, one elephant, five infantry soldiers and three horses are called a patti by those who are learned in the science. The wise also know that a senāmukha is three times what a patti is. Three senāmukhas are known as one gulma, three gulmas are called a gaṇa, and three gaṇas are called a vāhinī. Three vāhinīs have been referred to by the learned as a pṛtanā, three pṛtanās equal one camū, and three camūs equal one anīkinī. The wise refer to ten anīkinīs as one akṣauhiṇī. The chariots of an akṣauhiṇī have been calculated at 21,870 by those who know the science of such calculations, O best of the twice-born, and the number of elephants is the same. The number of infantry soldiers is 109,350, and the number of horses is 65,610. This is called an akṣauhiṇī."

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