On the second day Arjuna took command of his army and arranged his men in a special format which gave little scope to Kauravas army to advance and attack the Pandavas. Bhishma had killed Uttar son of king Virata. Shalya had managed to kill Shweta. Pandavas saw great loss of their men. Multitudes of soldiers on both sides were killed.
Sri Krishna Breaks His Vow
Bhishma arranged his army in Eagle's format and Pandavas opted for semi-lunar style to counter Kauravas offensive. Bhima attacked Duryodhana with an arrow that made him unconscious, but he was quickly shifted to a safer place. Dronacharya and others came to his rescue. Duryodhana was not happy with Bhishma's way of commanding his army and he was seen to insult old grandsire now and then. Bhishma threatened to quit as the chief, but others persuaded him to remain in the lead.
Now, the ferocious Bhishma attacked Pandavas with force unheard of. Pandavas army was torn apart at tens and hundreds places. Soldiers started running here and there. Scores of them died on the battle-field in their futile attempt to attack or escape the mighty Bhishma.
Sri Krishna told Arjuna to protect his men by attacking the leader Bhishma. There was no other way but to remove Bhishma if Pandavas had to win the war. Everyone intently watched this terrifying battle between the old and the young great warrior.
Arjuna was faltering, many a arrow from Bhishma hit Arjuna. He was bleeding profusely. Sri Krishna thought, "If this continues defeat of Pandavas is not far away." Therefore, in a bid to thwart the onslaught of Bhishma, Sri Krishna lifted the nearby wheel of a broken chariot and ran towards Bhishma as if to put and end to his life! The vow that Sri Krishna would not take to arms was thus broken!
Seeing the Lord Himself rushing towards him, Bhishma dropped his weapons. With tears flowing from his eyes Bhishma spoke thus, "O Keshava, O Merciful, how lucky am I that the Lord of Universe Himself has decided to liberate this ordinary Bhishma from the snares of worldliness. O Madhava, come, be quick, let me die at your hands. Who can be happier and lucky than me to get such an wonderful and rare opportunity."
Sri Krishna was reminded of his vow. He threw away the wheel and retreated back to his chariot. For his Bhakta - devotee - the Lord had broken his vow!
Soon the sunset was in sight. The battle for the day ended. The soldiers returned to their camp.