“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then all the citizens (of Varanavata) on hearingthat the son of Pandu had come, were filled with joy at the tidings,speedily came out of Varanavata, in vehicles of various kinds numberingby thousands, taking with them every auspicious article as directed bythe Sastras, for receiving those foremost of men. And the people of Varanavata, approaching the sons of Kunti blessed them by uttering theJaya and stood surrounding them.
That tiger among men, viz., the virtuousYudhishthira thus surrounded by them looked resplendent like him havingthe thunderbolt in his hands (viz., Indra) in the midst of thecelestials. And those sinless ones, welcomed by the citizens andwelcoming the citizens in return, then entered the populous town ofVaranavata decked with every ornament. Entering the town those heroesfirst went, O monarch, to the abodes of Brahmanas engaged in their properduties. Those foremost of men then went to the abodes of the officials ofthe town, and then of the Sutas and the Vaisyas and then to those of eventhe Sudras, O bull of Bharata’s race, thus adored by the citizens, thePandavas at last went with Purochana going before them, to the palacethat had been built for them, Purochana then began to place before themfood and drink and beds and carpets, all of the first and most agreeableorder. The Pandavas attired in costly robes, continued to live there,adored by Purochana and the people having their homes in Varanavata.
“After the Pandavas had thus lived for ten nights, Purochana spoke tothem of the mansion (he had built) called ‘The Blessed Home,’ but inreality the cursed house. Then those tigers among men, attired in costlydress, entered that mansion at the instance of Purochana like Guhyakasentering the palace (of Siva) on the Kailasa mount. The foremost of allvirtuous men, Yudhishthira, inspecting the house, said unto Bhima that itwas really built of inflammable materials. Smelling the scent of fatmixed with clarified butter and preparations of lac, he said unto Bhima,’O chastiser of foes, this house is truly built of inflammable materials!Indeed, it is apparent that such is the case! The enemy, it is evident,by the aid of trusted artists well-skilled in the construction of houses,have finely built this mansion, after procuring hemp, resin, heath,straw, and bamboos, all soaked in clarified butter. This wicked wretch,Purochana, acting under the instruction of Duryodhana, stayeth here withthe object of burning me to death when he seeth me trustful. But, O sonof Pritha, Vidura of great intelligence, knew of this danger, and,therefore, hath warned me of it beforehand. Knowing it all, that youngestuncle of ours, ever wishing our good from affection hath told us thatthis house, so full of danger, hath been constructed by the wretchesunder Duryodhana acting in secrecy.’
“Hearing this, Bhima replied, ‘If, sir, you know this house to be soinflammable, it would then be well for us to return thither where we hadtaken up our quarters first.’ Yudhishthira replied, ‘It seems to me thatwe should rather continue to live here in seeming unsuspiciousness butall the while with caution and our senses wide awake and seeking for somecertain means of escape. If Purochana findeth from our countenances thatwe have fathomed designs, acting with haste he may suddenly burn us todeath. Indeed, Purochana careth little for obloquy or sin. The wretchstayeth here acting under the instruction of Duryodhana. If we are burntto death, will our grandfather Bhishma be angry? Why will he, by showinghis wrath, make the Kauravas angry with him? Or, perhaps, our grandfatherBhishma and the other bull of Kuru’s race, regarding indignation at sucha sinful act to be virtuous, may become wrathful. If however, from fearof being burnt, we fly from here, Duryodhana, ambitious of sovereigntywill certainly compass our death by means of spies. While we have no rankand power, Duryodhana hath both; while we have no friends and allies,Duryodhana hath both; while we are without wealth, Duryodhana hath at hiscommand a full treasury. Will he not, therefore, certainly destroy us byadopting adequate means? Let us, therefore, by deceiving this wretch(Purochana) and that other wretch Duryodhana, pass our days, disguisingourselves at times. Let us also lead a hunting life, wandering over theearth. We shall then, if we have to escape our enemies, be familiar withall paths. We shall also, this very day, cause a subterranean passage tobe dug in our chamber in great secrecy. If we act in this way, concealingwhat we do from all, fire shall never be able to consume us. We shalllive here, actively doing everything for our safety but with such privacythat neither Purochana nor any of the citizens of Varanavata may knowwhat we are after.'”