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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
There is no other man on earth who rivals me in beauty of person, in youth, in prosperity, and in the possession of excellent objects of enjoyment. Why it is, O auspicious lady, that having it in thy power to enjoy here every object of desire and every luxury and comfort without its equal, thou preferest servitude. Becoming the mistress of this kingdom which I shall confer on thee, O thou of fair face, accept me, and enjoy, O beauteous one, all excellent objects of desire.’ Addressed in these accursed words by Kichaka, that chaste daughter of Drupada answered him thus reprovingly, ‘Do not, O son of a Suta, act so foolishly and do not throw away thy life. Know that I am protected by my five husbands. Thou canst not have me. I have Gandharvas for my husbands.
Enraged they will slay thee. Therefore, do thou not bring destruction on thyself. Thou intendest to tread along a path that is incapable of being trod by men. Thou, O wicked one, art even like a foolish child that standing on one shore of the ocean intends to cross over to the other. Even if thou enterest into the interior of the earth, or soarest into the sky, or rushest to the other shore of the ocean, still thou wilt have no escape from the hands of those sky-ranging offspring of gods, capable of grinding all foes. Why dost thou today, O Kichaka, solicit me so persistently even as a sick person wisheth for the night that will put a stop to his existence? Why dost thou desire me, even like an infant lying on its mother’s lap wishing to catch the moon? For thee that thus solicitest their beloved wife, there is no refuge either on earth or in sky. O Kichaka, hast thou no sense which leads thee to seek thy good and by which thy life may be saved?’”
I am dying of absorbing desire.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Thus addressed, he went out of his sister’s apartments. And he soon procured wines well-filtered and worthy of a king. And employing skilled cooks, he prepared many and various kinds of choice viands and delicious drinks and many and various kinds of meat of different degrees of excellence. And when all this had been done, that gentle lady Sudeshna, as previously counselled by Kichaka, desired her Sairindhri to repair to Kichaka’s abode, saying, ‘Get up, O Sairindhri and repair to Kichaka’s abode to bring wine, for, O beauteous lady, I am afflicted with thirst.’ Thereupon the Sairindhri replied, ‘O princess, I shall not be able to repair to Kichaka’s apartments. Thou thyself knowest, O queen, how shameless he is. O thou of faultless limbs, O beauteous lady, in thy palace I shall not be able to lead a lustful life, becoming faithless to my husbands.
Thou rememberest, O gentle lady, O beautiful one, the conditions I had set down before entering thy house. O thou of tresses ending in graceful curls, the foolish Kichaka afflicted by the god of desire, will, on seeing me, offer me insult. Therefore, I will not go to his quarters. Thou hast, O princess, many maids under thee. Do thou, good betide thee, send one of them.
For, surely, Kichaka will insult me.’ Sudeshna said, ‘Sent by me, from my abode, surely he will not harm thee.’ And having said this, she handed over a golden vessel furnished with a cover. And filled with apprehension, and weeping, Draupadi mentally prayed for the protection of the gods, and set out for Kichaka’s abode for fetching wine. And she said, ‘As I do not know another person save my husbands, by virtue of that Truth let Kichaka not be able to overpower me although I may approach his presence.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘And that helpless damsel then adored Surya for a moment. And Surya, having considered all that she urged, commanded a Rakshasa to protect her invisibly. And from that time the Rakshasa began to attend upon that blameless lady under any circumstances.
And beholding Krishna in his presence like a frightened doe, the Suta rose up from his seat, and felt the joy that is felt by a person wishing to cross to the other shore, when he obtains a boat.’”
Do thou speedily bring me wine, for she told me that she is exceedingly thirsty.’ And this, Kichaka said, ‘O gentle lady, others will carry what the princess wants.’ And saying this, the Suta’s son caught hold of Draupadi’s right arm. And at this, Draupadi exclaimed, ‘As I have never, from intoxication of the senses, been unfaithful to my husbands even at heart, by that Truth, O wretch, I shall behold thee dragged and lying powerless on the ground.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Seeing that large-eyed lady reproving him in that strain, Kichaka suddenly seized her by the end of her upper garment as she attempted to run away. And seized with violence by Kichaka, the beautiful princess, unable to tolerate it, and with frame trembling with wrath, and breathing quickly, dashed him to the ground. And dashed to the ground thus, the sinful wretch tumbled down like a tree whose roots had been cut. And having thrown Kichaka down on the ground when the latter had seized her, she, trembling all over rushed to the court, where king Yudhishthira was, for protection.
And while she was running with all her speed, Kichaka (who followed her), seizing her by the hair, and bringing her down on the ground, kicked her in the very presence of the king. Thereupon, O Bharata, the Rakshasa that had been appointed by Surya to protect Draupadi, gave Kichaka a shove with a force mighty as that of the wind. And overpowered by the force of Rakshasa, Kichaka reeled and fell down senseless on the ground, even like an uprooted tree. And both Yudhishthira and Bhimasena who were seated there, beheld with wrathful eyes that outrage on Krishna by Kichaka.