Chapter 22

Mahabharata English - VIRATA PARVA

“Bhima said, ‘I will, O timid one, do even as thou sayest. I willpresently slay Kichaka with all his friends. O Yajnaseni of sweet smiles,tomorrow evening, renouncing sorrow and grief, manage to have a meetingwith Kichaka. The dancing-hall that the king of the Matsya hath caused tobe erected is used by the girls for dancing during the day. They repair,however, to their homes at night. There in that hall, is an excellent andwell-placed wooden bed-stead. Even there I will make him see the spiritsof his deceased grandsires. But, O beautiful one, when thou holdestconverse with him, thou must manage it so that others may not espy thee.”

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having thus conversed with others, and shedtears in grief, they waited for the dawn of that night with painfulimpatience. And when the night had passed away, Kichaka, rising in themorning, went to the palace, and accosted Draupadi saying, ‘Throwing theedown in the court I kicked thee in the presence of the king. Attacked bymighty self, thou couldst not obtain protection. This Virata is in nameonly the king of the Matsyas. Commanding the forces of this realm it isI, who am the real lord of the Matsyas. Do thou, O timid one, accept mecheerfully. I shall become thy slave. And, O thou of graceful hips, Iwill immediately give thee a hundred nishkas, and engage a hundred maleand a hundred female servants (to tend thee), and will also bestow onthee cars yoked with she-mules. O timid lady, let our union take place.’Draupadi replied, ‘O Kichaka, know even this is my condition. Neither thyfriends nor thy brothers should know thy union with me. I am a terror ofdetection by those illustrious Gandharvas. Promise me this, and I yieldto thee.’ Hearing this Kichaka said, ‘I will, O thou of graceful hips, doeven as thou sayest. Afflicted by the god of love, I will, O beauteousdamsel, alone repair to thy abode for union with thee, O thou of thighsround and tapering like the trunks of the plantain,–so that thoseGandharvas, effulgent as the sun, may not come to know of this act ofthine.’ Draupadi said, ‘Do thou, when it is dark, go to the dancing-hallerected by the king of the Matsyas where the girls dance during the day,repairing to their respective homes at night. The Gandharvas do not knowthat place. We shall then without doubt, escape all censure.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Reflecting on the subject of her conversationwith Kichaka, that half a day seemed to Krishna as long as a whole month.And the stupid Kichaka also, not knowing that it was Death that hadassumed the form of a Sairindhri, returning home experienced the greatestdelight. And deprived of sense by lust, Kichaka became speedily engagedin embellishing his person with unguents and garlands and ornaments. Andwhile he was doing all this, thinking of that damsel of large eyes, theday seemed to him to be without an end. And the beauty of Kichaka, whowas about to forsake his beauty for ever, seemed to heighten, like thewick of a burning lamp about to expire. And reposing the fullestconfidence in Draupadi, Kichaka, deprived of his senses by lust andabsorbed in the contemplation of expected meeting, did not even perceivethat the day had departed. Meanwhile, the beautiful Draupadi approachingher husband Bhima of the Kuru race, stood before him in the kitchen. Andthat lady with tresses ending in beautiful curls then spake unto him,saying, ‘O chastiser of foes, even as thou hadst directed, I have givenKichaka to understand that our meeting will take place in thedancing-hall. Alone will he come at night to the empty hall. Slay himthere, O thou of mighty arms. Do thou, O son of Kunti, repair to thatdancing-hall, and take the life, O Pandava, of Kichaka, that son of aSuta intoxicated with vanity. From vanity alone, that son of a Sutaslights the Gandharvas. O best of smiters, lift him up from the eartheven as Krishna had lifted up the Naga (Kaliya) from the Yamuna. OPandava, afflicted as I am with grief, wipe thou my tears, and blessed bethou, protect thy own honour and that of thy race.’

“Bhima said, ‘Welcome, O beauteous lady, Except the glad tidings thoubringest me, I need, O thou of exceeding beauty, no other aid whatever.The delight that I feel, O thou of great beauty, on hearing from theeabout my coming encounter with Kichaka, is equal to what I felt inslaying Hidimva. I swear unto thee by Truth, by my brothers, and bymorality, that I will slay Kichaka even as the lord of the celestialsslew Vritra. Whether secretly or openly, I will crush Kichaka, and if theMatsyas fight for him, then I will slay them too. And slaying Duryodhanaafterwards, I shall win back the earth. Let Yudhishthira, the son ofKunti, continue to pay homage unto the king of Matsya.’ Hearing thesewords of Bhima, Draupadi said, ‘In order that, O lord, thou mayst nothave to renounce the truth already pledged to me, do thou, O hero, slayKichaka in secret.’ Bhima assuring her said, ‘Even today I shall slayKichaka together with his friends unknown to others during the darknessof the night. I shall, O faultless lady, crush, even as an elephantcrusheth a vela fruit, [16] the head of the wicked Kichaka who wishethfor what is unattainable by him!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Repairing first to the place of assignation atnight, Bhima sat down, disguising himself. And he waited there inexpectation of Kichaka, like a lion lying in wait for a deer. AndKichaka, having embellished his person as he chose, came to thedancing-hall at the appointed time in the hope of meeting Panchali. Andthinking of the assignation, he entered the chamber. And having enteredthat hall enveloped in deep gloom, that wretch of wicked soul came uponBhima of incomparable prowess, who had come a little before and who waswaiting in a corner. And as an insect approacheth towards a flaming fire,or a puny animal towards a lion, Kichaka approached Bhima, lying down ina bed and burning in anger at the thought of the insult offered toKrishna, as if he were the Suta’s Death. And having approached Bhima,Kichaka possessed by lust, and his heart and soul filled with ecstacysmilingly said, ‘O thou of pencilled eye-brows, to thee I have alreadygiven many and various kinds of wealth from the stores earned by me, aswell as hundred maids and many fine robes, and also a mansion with aninner apartment adorned with beauteous and lovely and youthful maidservants and embellished by every kind of sports and amusements Andhaving set all those apart for thee, I have speedily come hither. And allon a sudden, women have begun to praise me, saying, ‘There is not in thisworld any other person like unto thee in beauty and dress!’ Hearing this,Bhima said, ‘It is well that thou art handsome, and it is well thoupraisest thyself. I think, however, that thou hadst never before thissuch pleasurable touch! Thou hast an acute touch, and knowest the ways ofgallantry. Skilled in the art of love-making, thou art a favourite withwomen. There is none like thee in this world!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Saying this, that son of Kunti, themighty-armed Bhima of terrible prowess, suddenly rose up, and laughinglysaid, ‘Thy sister, O wretch, shall today behold thee dragged by me to theground, like a mighty elephant, huge as a mountain, dragged to the groundby a lion. Thyself slain Sairindhri will live in peace, and we, herhusbands, will also live in peace.’ Saying this, the mighty Bhima seizedKichaka by the hairs of his head, which were adorned with garlands. Andthus seized with force by the hair, that foremost of mighty persons,Kichaka, quickly freed his hair and grasped the arms of Bhima. And thenbetween those lions among men, fired with wrath, between that chief ofthe Kichaka clan, and that best of men, there ensued a hand-to-handencounter, like that between two powerful elephants for a female elephantin the season of spring, or like that which happened in days of yorebetween those lions among monkeys, the brothers Vali and Sugriva. Andboth equally infuriate and both eager for victory, both those combatantsraised their arms resembling snakes furnished with five hoods, andattacked each other with their nails and teeth, wrought up to frenzy ofwrath. Impetuously assailed by the powerful Kichaka in that encounter,the resolute Bhima did not waver a single step. And locked in eachother’s embraces and dragging each other, they fought on like two mightybulls. And having nails and teeth for their weapons, the encounterbetween them was fierce and terrible like that of two furious tigers. Andfelling each other in fury, they encountered each other like a couple ofelephants with rent temples. And the mighty Bhima then seized Kichaka,and Kichaka, that foremost of strong persons threw Bhima down withviolence. And as those mighty combatants fought on, the crash of theirarms produced a loud noise that resembled the clatter of splittingbamboos. Then Vrikodara throwing Kichaka down by main force within theroom, began to toss him about furiously even as a hurricane tosseth atree. And attacked thus in battle by the powerful Bhima, Kichaka grewweak and began to tremble. For all that, however, he tugged at thePandava to the best of his power. And attacking Bhima, and making himwave a little, the mighty Kichaka struck him with his knees and broughthim down to the ground. And overthrown by the powerful Kichaka, Bhimaquickly rose up like Yama himself with mace in hand. And thus thatpowerful Suta and the Pandava, intoxicated with strength and challengingeach other, grappled with each other at midnight in that solitary place.And as they roared at each other in wrath, that excellent and strongedifice began to shake every moment. And slapped on the chest by themighty Bhima, Kichaka fired with wrath moved not a single pace. Andbearing for a moment only that onslaught incapable of being born onearth, the Suta, overpowered by Bhima’s might, became enfeebled. Andseeing him waning weak, Bhima endued with great strength forcibly drewKichaka towards his breast, and began to press hard. And breathing hardagain and again in wrath, that best of victors, Vrikodara, forciblyseized Kichaka by the hair. And having seized Kichaka, the mighty ‘Bhimabegan to roar like a hungry tiger that hath killed a large animal. Andfinding him exceedingly exhausted, Vrikodara bound him fast with hisarms, as one binds a beast with a cord. And then Bhima began for a longwhile, to whirl the senseless Kichaka, who began to roar frightfully likea broken trumpet.[17] And in order to pacify Krishna’s wrath Vrikodaragrasped Kichaka’s throat with his arms and began to squeeze it. Andassailing with his knees the waist of that worst of the Kichakas, all thelimbs of whose body had been broken into fragments and whose eye-lidswere closed, Vrikodara slew him, as one would slay a beast. And beholdingKichaka entirely motionless, the son of Pandu began to roll him about onthe ground. And Bhima then said, ‘Slaying this wretch who intended toviolate our wife,–this thorn in the side of Sairindhri, I am freed fromthe debt I owed to my brothers, and have attained perfect peace.’ Andhaving said this, that foremost of men, with eyes red in wrath,relinquished his hold of Kichaka, whose dress and ornaments had beenthrown off his person, whose eyes were rolling, and whose body was yettrembling. And that foremost of mighty persons, squeezing his own hands,and biting his lips in rage, again attacked his adversary and thrust hisarms and legs and neck and head into his body like the wielder of thePinaka reducing into shapeless mass the deer, which form sacrifice hadassumed in order to escape his ire. And having; crushed all his limbs,and reduced him into a ball of flesh, the mighty Bhimasena showed himunto Krishna. And endued with mighty energy that hero then addressedDraupadi, that foremost of all women, saying, ‘Come princess of Panchala,and see what hath become of that lustful wretch!’ And saying this, Bhimaof terrible prowess began to press with his feet the body of that wickedwight. And lighting a torch then and showing Draupadi the body ofKichaka, that hero addressed her, saying, ‘O thou of tresses ending inbeautiful curls, those that solicit thee, endued as thou art with anexcellent disposition and every virtue, will be slain by me even as thisKichaka hath been, O timid one.’ And having accomplished that difficulttask so highly agreeable to Krishna–having indeed slain Kichaka andthereby pacified his wrath, Bhima bade farewell to Krishna, the daughterof Drupada, and quickly went back to the kitchen. And Draupadi also, thatbest of women, having caused Kichaka to be slain had her grief removedand experienced the greatest delight. And addressing the keepers of thedancing-hall, she said, ‘Come ye and behold Kichaka who had violatedafter other people’s wives lieth down here, slain by my Gandharvahusbands.’ And hearing these words the guards of the dancing hall sooncame by thousands to that spot, torches in hand. And repairing to thatroom, they beheld the lifeless Kichaka thrown on the ground, drenchedwith blood. And beholding him without arms and legs, they were filledwith grief. And as they gazed at Kichaka, they were struck withamazement. And seeing that superhuman act, viz., the overthrow ofKichaka, they said, ‘Where is his neck, and where are his legs?’ Andbeholding him in this plight they all concluded that he had been killedby a Gandharva.'”

Chapter 23
Chapter 21
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