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(Jatugriha Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Seeing the Pandavas living there cheerfully and without suspicion for a full year, Purochana became exceedingly glad. And beholding Purochana so very glad, Yudhishthira, the virtuous son of Kunti, addressing Bhima and Arjuna and the twins (Nakula and Sahadeva) said, 'The cruel-hearted wretch hath been well-deceived. I think the time is come for our escape. Setting fire to the arsenal and burning Purochana to death and letting his body lie here, let us, six persons, fly hence unobserved by all!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then on the occasion of an almsgiving, O king, Kunti fed on a certain night a large number of Brahmanas. There came also a number of ladies who while eating and drinking, enjoyed there as they pleased, and with Kunti's leave returned to their respective homes. Desirous of obtaining food, there came, as though impelled by fate, to that feast, in course of her wanderings, a Nishada woman, the mother of five

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children, accompanied by all her sons. O king, she, and her children, intoxicated with the wine they drank, became incapable. Deprived of consciousness and more dead than alive, she with all her sons lay down in that mansion to sleep. Then when all the inmates of the house lay down to sleep, there began to blow a violent wind in the night. Bhima then set fire to the house just where Purochana was sleeping. Then the son of Pandu set fire to the door of that house of lac. Then he set fire to the mansion in several parts all around. Then when the sons of Pandu were satisfied that the house had caught fire in several parts those chastisers of foes with their mother, entered the subterranean passage without losing any time. Then the heat and the roar of the fire became intense and awakened the townspeople. Beholding the house in flames, the citizens with sorrowful faces began to say, 'The wretch (Purochana) of wicked soul had under the instruction of Duryodhana built his house for the destruction of his employer's relatives. He indeed hath set fire to it. O, fie on Dhritarashtra's heart which is so partial. He hath burnt to death, as if he were their foe, the sinless heirs of Pandu! O, the sinful and wicked-souled (Purochana) who hath burnt those best of men, the innocent and unsuspicious princes, hath himself been burnt to death as fate would have it.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The citizens of Varanavata thus bewailed (the fate of the Pandavas), and waited there for the whole night surrounding that house. The Pandavas, however, accompanied by their mother coming out of the subterranean passage, fled in haste unnoticed. But those chastisers of foes, for sleepiness and fear, could not with their mother proceed in haste. But, O monarch, Bhimasena, endued with terrible prowess and swiftness of motion took upon his body all his brothers and mother and began to push through the darkness. Placing his mother on his shoulder, the twins on his sides, and Yudhishthira and Arjuna on both his arms, Vrikodara of great energy and strength and endued with the speed of the wind, commenced his march, breaking the trees with his breast and pressing deep the earth with his stamp.'"

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