Verso: text of Ghatotkacha and three demons in his company chase Bhagadatta: Persian text in naskh script:
[cont. from recto] them they would flee. Then the demon drove hard all four elephants toward Bhagadatta until they managed to roll him in their trunks and trampled on his elephant. He was shouting out of despair and seeking help. At this time Bhishma noticed him and shouted at his people to come quickly to Bhagadatta’s aid and save him before he expired. Master Drona, with a well-ordered line of troops and choice warriors, came to battle with the demon. And Bhishma had advised Drona that “This demon is in origin born of a demon, and his way of fighting is not like that of human beings, and he knows a great deal about talismans and magic; therefore, you should act cautiously, and in fact I advise you to cease battle with him today so that if he has indulged in talismans and magic, we too can devise trickeries and ruses of our own so that we gain victory over him tomorrow, for as they say, one should treat like with like.” And the advice of the Kauravas was similar to that of Bhishma. But nevertheless Master Drona set out to free Bhagadatta.
Back to the story: when Yudhisthira saw that Master Drona had come to fight the demon in order to free Bhagadatta, he came to the aid of the demon who now was fully backed and supported and who bellowed out joyously: “Now that a massive army has come to my aid, where can you take your life to escape from me?” He said this and left Bhagadatta in order to face Drona.
Drona remembered Bhishma’s words and thought it inadvisable to fight the demon. Meanwhile, night was drawing close, and so he pulled back his reins, and accompanied by the Kauravas, returned to their tents. When the Pandavas saw that the Kauravas had ceased fighting and returned to their quarters, they too turned their reins toward their tents and returned homeward with cheer and joy and would slap the demon on the back and express their praise and approval.
When night fell, Duryodhana came to Bhishma and summoned all the notables and commanders of the Kauravas and said in a woeful and regretful manner: “Having reviewed and examined today’s battle, I have become extremely despondent and despair of you people. Each one of you has the power and strength to tackle an entire body of troops, and it is clear how much power the demon wields. It is a wonder to me that today too you had agreed together to take it easy and ride out the day and were not capable of countering him, and you have gathered your troops and come home. These actions of yours suggest that either you are not loyal to and bonded with me, or that you just lack strength. How can we believe the latter hypothesis? So we are left with the first hypothesis. So please explain so that I can arrive at another solution.”
Bhishma responded to this on behalf of all of them, and said: “Although if you hear the truth from me or from any other person, you will not deem it acceptable, nevertheless since you have posed the question, one must respond out of necessity. I told you at the beginning and tell you again now that Pandavas belong to another breed of people, and overcoming them is no business of yours or ours, for since they have overcome Indra, and Madhu the demon has gained credit from them and taught them magic and sorcery, it would be impossible for the king to overcome them in battle. At most what we are capable of is to indulge in some skirmishes with them and play for time and try to save ourselves from their calamity. Therefore, it would be fitting if you would now see reason and make peace with them on their terms since nothing has yet happened, and the door to reconciliation is open, and what Madhu the demon has related of Krishna and Arjuna––he has said that these two are the Nara and Narayana of the time––you have . . .”