"Bhima said, 'I will, O timid one, do even as thou sayest. I will presently slay Kichaka with all his friends. O Yajnaseni of sweet smiles, tomorrow evening, renouncing sorrow and grief, manage to have a meeting with Kichaka. The dancing-hall that the king of the Matsya hath caused to be 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 and well-placed wooden bed-stead. Even there I will make him see the spirits of his deceased grandsires. But, O beautiful one, when thou holdest converse with him, thou must manage it so that others may not espy thee."
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having thus conversed with others, and shed tears in grief, they waited for the dawn of that night with painful impatience. And when the night had passed away, Kichaka, rising in the morning, went to the palace, and accosted Draupadi saying, 'Throwing thee down in the court I kicked thee in the presence of the king. Attacked by mighty self, thou couldst not obtain protection. This Virata is in name only the king of the Matsyas. Commanding the forces of this realm it is I, who am the real lord of the Matsyas. Do thou, O timid one, accept me cheerfully. I shall become thy slave. And, O thou of graceful hips, I will immediately give thee a hundred nishkas, and engage a hundred male and a hundred female servants (to tend thee), and will also bestow on thee cars yoked with she-mules. O timid lady, let our union take place.' Draupadi replied, 'O Kichaka, know even this is my condition. Neither thy friends nor thy brothers should know thy union with me. I am a terror of detection
by those illustrious Gandharvas. Promise me this, and I yield to thee.' Hearing this Kichaka said, 'I will, O thou of graceful hips, do even as thou sayest. Afflicted by the god of love, I will, O beauteous damsel, alone repair to thy abode for union with thee, O thou of thighs round and tapering like the trunks of the plantain,--so that those Gandharvas, effulgent as the sun, may not come to know of this act of thine.' Draupadi said, 'Do thou, when it is dark, go to the dancing-hall erected by the king of the Matsyas where the girls dance during the day, repairing to their respective homes at night. The Gandharvas do not know that place. We shall then without doubt, escape all censure.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Reflecting on the subject of her conversation with 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 had assumed the form of a Sairindhri, returning home experienced the greatest delight. And deprived of sense by lust, Kichaka became speedily engaged in embellishing his person with unguents and garlands and ornaments. And while he was doing all this, thinking of that damsel of large eyes, the day seemed to him to be without an end. And the beauty of Kichaka, who was about to forsake his beauty for ever, seemed to heighten, like the wick of a burning lamp about to expire. And reposing the fullest confidence in Draupadi, Kichaka, deprived of his senses by lust and absorbed in the contemplation of expected meeting, did not even perceive that the day had departed. Meanwhile, the beautiful Draupadi approaching her husband Bhima of the Kuru race, stood before him in the kitchen. And that lady with tresses ending in beautiful curls then spake unto him, saying, 'O chastiser of foes, even as thou hadst directed, I have given Kichaka to understand that our meeting will take place in the dancing-hall. Alone will he come at night to the empty hall. Slay him there, O thou of mighty arms. Do thou, O son of Kunti, repair to that dancing-hall, and take the life, O Pandava, of Kichaka, that son of a Suta intoxicated with vanity. From vanity alone, that son of a Suta slights the Gandharvas. O best of smiters, lift him up from the earth even as Krishna had lifted up the Naga (Kaliya) from the Yamuna. O Pandava, afflicted as I am with grief, wipe thou my tears, and blessed be thou, protect thy own honour and that of thy race.'
"Bhima said, 'Welcome, O beauteous lady, Except the glad tidings thou bringest 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 thee about my coming encounter with Kichaka, is equal to what I felt in slaying Hidimva. I swear unto thee by Truth, by my brothers, and by morality, that I will slay Kichaka even as the lord of the celestials slew Vritra. Whether secretly or openly, I will crush Kichaka, and if the Matsyas fight for him, then I will slay them too. And slaying Duryodhana afterwards, I shall win back the earth. Let Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, continue to pay homage unto the king of Matsya.' Hearing these words of Bhima, Draupadi said, 'In order that, O lord,
thou mayst not have to renounce the truth already pledged to me, do thou, O hero, slay Kichaka in secret.' Bhima assuring her said, 'Even today I shall slay Kichaka together with his friends unknown to others during the darkness of the night. I shall, O faultless lady, crush, even as an elephant crusheth a vela fruit, 1 the head of the wicked Kichaka who wisheth for what is unattainable by him!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Repairing first to the place of assignation at night, Bhima sat down, disguising himself. And he waited there in expectation of Kichaka, like a lion lying in wait for a deer. And Kichaka, having embellished his person as he chose, came to the dancing-hall at the appointed time in the hope of meeting Panchali. And thinking of the assignation, he entered the chamber. And having entered that hall enveloped in deep gloom, that wretch of wicked soul came upon Bhima of incomparable prowess, who had come a little before and who was waiting in a corner. And as an insect approacheth towards a flaming fire, or a puny animal towards a lion, Kichaka approached Bhima, lying down in a bed and burning in anger at the thought of the insult offered to Krishna, as if he were the Suta's Death. And having approached Bhima, Kichaka possessed by lust, and his heart and soul filled with ecstacy smilingly said, 'O thou of pencilled eye-brows, to thee I have already given many and various kinds of wealth from the stores earned by me, as well as hundred maids and many fine robes, and also a mansion with an inner apartment adorned with beauteous and lovely and youthful maid servants and embellished by every kind of sports and amusements And having set all those apart for thee, I have speedily come hither. And all on a sudden, women have begun to praise me, saying, 'There is not in this world 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 thou praisest thyself. I think, however, that thou hadst never before this such pleasurable touch! Thou hast an acute touch, and knowest the ways of gallantry. Skilled in the art of love-making, thou art a favourite with women. There is none like thee in this world!'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Saying this, that son of Kunti, the mighty-armed Bhima of terrible prowess, suddenly rose up, and laughingly said, 'Thy sister, O wretch, shall today behold thee dragged by me to the ground, like a mighty elephant, huge as a mountain, dragged to the ground by a lion. Thyself slain Sairindhri will live in peace, and we, her husbands, will also live in peace.' Saying this, the mighty Bhima seized Kichaka by the hairs of his head, which were adorned with garlands. And thus seized with force by the hair, that foremost of mighty persons, Kichaka, quickly freed his hair and grasped the arms of Bhima. 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. 1 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.'"
41:1 Some texts read, Vilwam nagaviodhara--i.e., 'As an elephant lifts up a vela fruit.'
42:1 Veri means both a kettle-drum and a trumpet. The latter however conveys a better meaning here.