Chapter 166

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana said ‘Then Vaka, huge as a mountain, thus broken (onBhima’s knee), died, uttering frightful yells. Terrified by these sounds,the relatives of that Rakshasa came out, O king, with their attendants.Bhima, that foremost of smiters, seeing them so terrified and deprived ofreason, comforted them and made them promise (to give up cannibalism),saying, ‘Do not ever again kill human beings.

If ye kill men, ye willhave to die even as Vaka.’ Those Rakshasas hearing this speech of Bhima,said, ‘So be it,’ and gave, O king, the desired promise. From that day, OBharata, the Rakshasas (of the region) were seen by the inhabitants ofthat town to be very peaceful towards mankind. Then Bhima, dragging thelifeless cannibal, placed him at one of the gates of the town and wentaway unobserved by any one. The kinsmen of Vaka, beholding him slain bythe might of Bhima, became frightened and fled in different directions.

“Meanwhile Bhima, having slain the Rakshasa, returned to the Brahmana’sabode and related to Yudhishthira all that had happened, in detail. Thenext morning the inhabitants of the town in coming out saw the Rakshasalying dead on the ground, his body covered with blood. Beholding thatterrible cannibal, huge as a mountain cliff, thus mangled and lying onthe ground, the hair of the spectators stood erect. Returning toEkachakra, they soon gave the intelligence. Then, O king, the citizens bythousands accompanied by their wives, young and old, all began to come tothe spot for beholding the Vaka and they were all amazed at seeing thatsuperhuman feat. Instantly, O monarch, they began to pray to their gods.Then they began to calculate whose turn it had been the day before tocarry food to the Rakshasa. And ascertaining this, they all came to thatBrahmana and asked him (to satisfy their curiosity). Thus asked by themrepeatedly, that bull among Brahmanas, desirous of concealing thePandavas, said these words unto all the citizens, ‘A certain high-souledBrahmana, skilled in mantras, beheld me weeping with my relatives after Ihad been ordered to supply the Rakshasa’s food. Asking me the cause andascertaining the distress of the town, that first of Brahmanas gave meevery assurance and with smiles said, ‘I shall carry the food for thatwretched Rakshasa today. Do not fear for me.’ Saying this he conveyed thefood towards the forest of Vaka. This deed, so beneficial unto us all,hath very certainly been done by him.’

Then those Brahmanas and Kshatriyas (of the city), hearing this, wonderedmuch. And the Vaisyas and the Sudras also became exceedingly glad, andthey all established a festival in which the worship of Brahmanas was theprincipal ceremony (in remembrance of this Brahmana who had relieved themfrom their fears of Vaka).

Chapter 167
Chapter 165
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