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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa

And then between those lions among men, fired with wrath, between that chief of the Kichaka clan, and that best of men, there ensued a hand-to-hand encounter, like that between two powerful elephants for a female elephant in the season of spring, or like that which happened in days of yore between those lions among monkeys, the brothers Vali and Sugriva. And both equally infuriate and both eager for victory, both those combatants raised their arms resembling snakes furnished with five hoods, and attacked each other with their nails and teeth, wrought up to frenzy of wrath. Impetuously assailed by the powerful Kichaka in that encounter, the resolute Bhima did not waver a single step. And locked in each other’s embraces and dragging each other, they fought on like two mighty bulls. And having nails and teeth for their weapons, the encounter between them was fierce and terrible like that of two furious tigers. And felling each other in fury, they encountered each other like a couple of elephants with rent temples. And the mighty Bhima then seized Kichaka, and Kichaka, that foremost of strong persons threw Bhima down with violence. And as those mighty combatants fought on, the crash of their arms produced a loud noise that resembled the clatter of splitting bamboos.

Then Vrikodara throwing Kichaka down by main force within the room, began to toss him about furiously even as a hurricane tosseth a tree. And attacked thus in battle by the powerful Bhima, Kichaka grew weak and began to tremble. For all that, however, he tugged at the Pandava to the best of his power. And attacking Bhima, and making him wave a little, the mighty Kichaka struck him with his knees and brought him down to the ground. And overthrown by the powerful Kichaka, Bhima quickly rose up like Yama himself with mace in hand. And thus that powerful Suta and the Pandava, intoxicated with strength and challenging each other, grappled with each other at midnight in that solitary place. And as they roared at each other in wrath, that excellent and strong edifice began to shake every moment. And slapped on the chest by the mighty Bhima, Kichaka fired with wrath moved not a single pace. And bearing for a moment only that onslaught incapable of being born on earth, the Suta, overpowered by Bhima’s might, became enfeebled. And seeing him waning weak, Bhima endued with great strength forcibly drew Kichaka towards his breast, and began to press hard. And breathing hard again and again in wrath, that best of victors, Vrikodara, forcibly seized Kichaka by the hair.

And having seized Kichaka, the mighty ‘Bhima began to roar like a hungry tiger that hath killed a large animal. And finding him exceedingly exhausted, Vrikodara bound him fast with his arms, as one binds a beast with a cord. And then Bhima began for a long while, to whirl the senseless Kichaka, who began to roar frightfully like a broken trumpet.[17] And in order to pacify Krishna’s wrath Vrikodara grasped Kichaka’s throat with his arms and began to squeeze it. And assailing with his knees the waist of that worst of the Kichakas, all the limbs of whose body had been broken into fragments and whose eye-lids were closed, Vrikodara slew him, as one would slay a beast. And beholding Kichaka entirely motionless, the son of Pandu began to roll him about on the ground. And Bhima then said, ‘Slaying this wretch who intended to violate our wife,–this thorn in the side of Sairindhri, I am freed from the debt I owed to my brothers, and have attained perfect peace.’

And having said this, that foremost of men, with eyes red in wrath, relinquished his hold of Kichaka, whose dress and ornaments had been thrown off his person, whose eyes were rolling, and whose body was yet trembling. And that foremost of mighty persons, squeezing his own hands, and biting his lips in rage, again attacked his adversary and thrust his arms and legs and neck and head into his body like the wielder of the Pinaka reducing into shapeless mass the deer, which form sacrifice had assumed in order to escape his ire. And having; crushed all his limbs, and reduced him into a ball of flesh, the mighty Bhimasena showed him unto Krishna. And endued with mighty energy that hero then addressed Draupadi, that foremost of all women, saying, ‘Come princess of Panchala, and see what hath become of that lustful wretch!’ And saying this, Bhima of terrible prowess began to press with his feet the body of that wicked wight. And lighting a torch then and showing Draupadi the body of Kichaka, that hero addressed her, saying, ‘O thou of tresses ending in beautiful curls, those that solicit thee, endued as thou art with an excellent disposition and every virtue, will be slain by me even as this Kichaka hath been, O timid one.’ And having accomplished that difficult task so highly agreeable to Krishna–having indeed slain Kichaka and thereby pacified his wrath, Bhima bade farewell to Krishna, the daughter of Drupada, and quickly went back to the kitchen. And Draupadi also, that best of women, having caused Kichaka to be slain had her grief removed and experienced the greatest delight.

And addressing the keepers of the dancing-hall, she said, ‘Come ye and behold Kichaka who had violated after other people’s wives lieth down here, slain by my Gandharva husbands.’ And hearing these words the guards of the dancing hall soon came by thousands to that spot, torches in hand. And repairing to that room, they beheld the lifeless Kichaka thrown on the ground, drenched with blood. And beholding him without arms and legs, they were filled with grief. And as they gazed at Kichaka, they were struck with amazement. And seeing that superhuman act, viz., the overthrow of Kichaka, they said, ‘Where is his neck, and where are his legs?’ And beholding him in this plight they all concluded that he had been killed by a Gandharva.'”


SECTION XXII
“Vaisampayana said, ‘Then all the relatives of Kichaka, arriving at that place, beheld him there and began to wail aloud, surrounding him on all sides. And beholding Kichaka with every limb mangled, and lying like a tortoise dragged to dry ground from the water, all of them were overcome with exceeding fright, and the bristles of their bodies stood on end. And seeing him crushed all over by Bhima, like a Danava by Indra, they proceeded to take him outside, for performing his funeral obsequies. And then those persons of the Suta clan thus assembled together espied Krishna of faultless limbs hard by, who stood reclining on a pillar. And all the Kichakas assembled there, exclaimed, ‘Let this unchaste woman be slain for whom Kichaka hath himself lost his life. Or, without slaying her here, let us cremate her with him that had lusted after her,–for it behoveth us to accomplish in every way what is agreeable to that deceased son of Suta.’ And then they addressed Virata, saying, ‘It is for her sake that Kichaka hath lost his life. Let him, therefore, be cremated along with her. It behoveth thee to grant this permission.’ Thus addressed by them, king Virata, O monarch, knowing fully well the prowess of the Suta gave his assent to Sairindhri being burnt along with the Suta’s son.

And at this, the Kichakas approaching the frightened and stupefied Krishna of lotus-like eyes, seized her with violence. And binding that damsel of slender-waist and placing her upon the bier, they set out with great energy towards the cemetary. And, O king, while thus forcibly carried towards the cemetary by those sons of the Suta tribe, the blameless and chaste Krishna living under the protections of her lords, then wailed aloud for the help of her husbands, saying, ‘Oh, let Jaya, and Jayanta, and Vijaya and Jayatsena, and Jayadvala listen to my words. The Sutas are taking me away. Let those illustrious Gandharvas endued with speed of hand, the clatter of whose cars is loud and the twang of whose bowstrings in the midst of the mighty conflict are heard like the roar of thunder, listen to my words,–the Sutas are taking me away!’

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