(Second Chaper written by Tikkanaamaatya).
Saint Vaisampaayana continued to tell Janamejaya, the story of Mahabharat.
Dharmaja, in the court of Virata, was spending time playing dice games and exhibiting his adept in the mysteries of dice. He was distributing among his brothers, the wealth he won from Virata, by playiNg dice game.
Bheemaa, on his part, distributing the remaining cooked food and meat to all his brothers.
Arjuna was giving to all his brothers the moneys he earned by exhibiting his talent in singing and dancing.
Nakula and Sahadeva also was earning moneys while discharging their duties and distributing them among their brothers, the moneys they earned.
Droupadi herself, in pitiable condition, was looking
after all those brothers and behaved in such a way as to remain unrecognised.
He told the King "I have visited many places. There was none even to approach me. Is there anybody in your country to combat with me" challenged that athlet.
All the wrestlers in the court of Virata stood sad. Virata was very much annoyed. Dharmaja came to his rescue
"O King Virata! while I was associated with King Yudhishtira, there was one wrestler in his court. That wrestler is now working as cook in your kitchen. He defeated many wrestlers in the combat" said Dharmaja.
King Virata ordered Valala to combat with that great wrestler. Valala looked at his brother, Yudhishtira. Yudhishtira expressed his consent by a knod.
Both of them were possessed of great courage and terrible
prowess. They began to fight with each other. Beehama roared like a lion
and jumped upon him. Various were the modes of attack and defence that
they exhibited with their clenched fists. Each dashed against the other
and flung his adversary to a distance. They slapped each other with their
palms that struck as hard as thunderbolt.
In this manner, King Virata made him to fight with wrestlers and where there were no wrestlers, with lions and elephants, for the pleasure of the ladies in the inner apartments.
The time was passing on. The one year Ajnaata vaasa was coming to an end within few days. One day, the Commander of Virata Forces, by name Kichaka, chanced to behold Malini, when he visited his sister Sudheshna, wife of King Virata.
Beholding Malini, Kichaka was afflicted with the shaft of Manmadha, and desired to possess her. He felt that his life was waste without her. He was burning with desire's flame.
Droupadi was very much annoyed with the lustful looks of Kichaka. At that time she was wearing a soiled saree. But Kichaka did not care even for his Sister Sudheshna and the servant maids. He was staring at Malini with lustful looks.
After some time, he came to senses and greeted his sister Sudheshna. "Sister Susheshna! Who is this beautiful lady? Whose she is? When she has come and from where? She had never before been seen by me in your abode. This damsel maddens me with its beauty." said Kichaka.
Without waiting for the answer, he apprached Droupadi. "O beautiful lady! who are you? What is your name? Who are your parents? Who is your husband?" asked Kichaka.
Droupadi kept quiet without giving answer.
"O fair lady! Your beauty maddens me. I wish to touch you but my hands are shivering. You lady of exceeding beauty, I am subjected to the shafts of Manmadha. I will forsake all my older wives. Let them become your slaves." said Kichaka under the influence of lust.
With these words of Kichaka, Droupadi grew angry. But she does not want to hasten. "O brother! I am in many troubles. Look at me and my soiled clothes. Your are great. You got a beautifl sister. Treat me also as your sister. I was born in a low caste. I worship my husbands. You should not speak like this" said Droupadi.
Kichaka lost control over his senses and overcome by
lust. "You should not speak like that. Your beauty maddemed me. You
are not a lady of low caste. I can bear the sin which will be afflicted
by adultery but I could not control the flaming fire kindled by Manmadha."
"O young lady! Not only your husbands, Gandharvas, there is no one on the earth who rivals me in beauty, vigour, valour, youth, prosperity. Know that none can defeat me" said Kichaka.
"O foolish Kichaka! Dont you know, in the past, Ravana and other raakshasas died for the sake of wives of others." said Droupadi with anger and went away.
Sudheshna was observing all these developments. "Kichaka is afflicted with maddening lust. I do not know what will happen to him. What can I do? Any how I will try my level best" thought Sudheshna.
"Brother Kichaka! There are several beautiful ladies in your inner apartments for your plealsure. Why you desire a female servant of low attraction employed in the despicable office of dressing hair. Kindly heed my words" said Sudheshna.
"Sister Sudheshna! There is none on earth who is
more beautiful than this lady. It is true. Her eyes, her hands, her legs,
her voice, her body curves, are so marvellous. I desire her. By whatever
means, I want her" said Kichaka.
Kichaka turned to his sister Sudheshna "Do you so act that your sairandhri may come into my arms. Do you adpet the means by which the damsel may accept me." said Kichaka.
"He is a fool. He will never heed my words. His death is imminent, either in the hands of her husbands, Gardharvas or in the hands of Manmadha with his lustful desires." thought Sudheshna.
"Brother Kichama! Certainly I will do it. Dont worry. I shall send Malini to you on the pretext of bringing some wine and when she comes, you may convince her. She may incline her mind to you" said Sudheshna.
Satisfied with her reply, Kichaka went away. Kichaka made arrangements for a grand dinner with several eatables and drinks. He granted leave to all the servants and sent them away so that nobody will be present in his palace. At a beautiful place he was waiting for the arrival of Malini, imagining the sensual pleasures he will enjoy with Malini.
There, Sudheshna called Malini "Malini! I am feeling thirsty. Best quality wine is available at the residence of my brother Kichaka. Please go there immediately and bring some wine for me" said Sudheshna.
On hearing these words, Malini shivered. "I shall not go to the palace of Kichaka. You know how shameless he is. In your palace, I shall not be able to lead a lustful life becoming faithless to my husbands. Please remember the conditions I set down before entering your house. The foolish Kichaka, on seeing me, will insult me. Therefore I will not go to his quarters. Many maids are there under you. Send one of them" requested Malini.
"No. I am sending you to bring my favourite wine. How can I send some low class people for this purpose. The palace of Kichaka is not alien to you. He is my own brother. Sent by me, from my house, surely he will not harm you. Dont worry" said Sudheshna.
Malini, filled with apprehensions, and weeping, mentally prayed for the protection of Gods and went to the abode of Kichaka for fetching wine.
She prayed Sun God "As I do not know another person other than my husbands, by virtue of that truth, let Kichaka not be able to overpower me although I may approach his presence". Lord Surya considered her prayer and commanded a Rakshasa (demon) to protect her invisibly. Thus commanded, from that moment, the Rakshasa began to attend upon that blameless lady under any circumstances.
Malini then entered the palace of Kichaka and approached Kichaka. "I have been sent to you by Sudheshna for bringing some wine. Do you speedily bring me wine for, she told me, that she is exceedingly thirsty." asked Malini.
"O beautiful lady! you have come for the thirst of your Lady. But what about my thirst. Will you not quench my thirst of lust and rule me as your slave. " said Kichaka.
"If I am late, Sudheshna will grew angry. Please give me the wine I have to go" requested Malini.
" Dont worry I will send some other maid with wine to Sudheshna. You consume this beautiful wine and quench my thirst. I will make you my queen. All my wives will serve you as slaves. I will also be at your feet" said Kichaka.
So saying, Kichaka suddenly seized her by the end of her upper garment as she attempted to run away. The Rakshasa who was protecting her came to her rescue. With the invisible influence of Rakshasa, Malini dashed Kichaka to the ground. Kichaka tumbled down like a huge tree.
Having thrown Kichama down, she rushed to the Court of Virata. While Malini was running with all her speed, Kichaka followed her to the court of Virata, seizing her by hair and bringing her down on the ground, kicked her in the very presence of the King Virata.
The Rakshasa who was protecting her, gave Kichaka a shove with a force mighty as that of the wind. Overpowered by the force of Rakshasa, Kichaka reeled and fell down senseless on the ground, even like an uprooted tree.
At that time both Yudhishtira and Bheemasena (Valala) were seated there beheld with wrathful eyes with the outrage on Droupadi by Kichaka. With the desire of killing Kichaka, Bheema gnashed his teeth in rage and tried to cut a tree nearby.
Yudhishtira stopped him. "Look, you cook, for the sake of fuel, why you are cutting a fruitbearing tree." Bheema controlled his anger and kept quiet. Droupadi observed the anger of Bheema and the pacifying of Yudhishtira.
"O King Virata, Kichaka now kicked the proud and beloved wife of those whose foe can never sleep in peace. You know pretty well all Dharma. My husbands, five gandharvas, who are capable of punishing the wrong doers, are keeping quiet while Kichaka is outraging me. Where is protection for a common lady in this kingdom? Nobdoy is raising their voice when a woman is outraged in their very presence. O king Virata! you donot act like a King towards Kichaka. Your behaviour does not shine in court. I should thus be insulted in your very presence, O King, is highly improper." directly questioned Droupadi.
Incapable of reprimand Kichaka, King Virata told Droupadi: "I do now know what your dispute is. Not knowing the true cause, how can I show my discrimination. I will enquire and take action" spoke like a veteran politician.
Observing all this, Kichaka retired to his palace. Yudhishtira said: "Stay not there O Sairandhri! but retire to the palace of Sudheshna. Wives of heroes bear affliction for the sake of their husbands. All have observed what had happened. Justice will be done to you. Your gandharva husbands do not consider this as an action for manifesting their wrath inasmuch as they do not rush to your aid. You are ignorant of the timeliness of things and you are weeping as an actress on stage. Your gandharva husbands will do what is agreeable to you and take the life of him that has wronged you." said Yudhishtira.
"Yes. My husband is an actor. It is an undisputed truth. Youngsters will follow eldelrs. I also follow my husband. So I am also an acress on the stage. My husband is not only an actor, he is a gambler too. What great respect will the wife of a gambler get in this court." so saying Malini ran back to the apartments of Sudheshna.
Knowing fully well what had happened, Sudheshna, on seeing Malini, innocently asked her "Malini! what had happened? Who insulted you? Why do you weep? Who has done you wrong? asked Sudheshna.
"As I went to bring wine for you, Kichaka struck me in the court in the very presence of the king and in the midst of all." said Malini.
"Kichaka, maddedned by lust, has insulted you. I will enquire and cause him to be slain, if you wish." said Sudheshna.
"You need not worry about it. My gandharva husbands will wreak vengeance. I am sure, it is clear that he will have to go to the abode of Yama this very night" said Malini.
On hearing these words, Sudheshna was frightened. Thus insulted by Kichaka, Malini, eagerly wishing for the destruction of Kichaka, rushed back to her apartments.
(Who is this Kichaka? In one of the Sanskrit texts, as a foot note it was written like this.
A person who was born to a Kshatriya through a Brahmin lady is called Soota. It is Soota community. He is placed below Kshatriya and above Vysya. He can maintain marital relations with Kshatriyas. In that Soota community, there was one Soota called Kichaka. His wife was Malavi. He begot 106 sons. The eldest was Simhabala. He was a mighty personality. His mother's sister's daughter was Sudheshna(cousin sister). Simhabala along with his 105brothers (As they are the sons of Kichaka, they are also called Kichakas) were living in the City of Virata along with their cousin sister, Sudheshna).
"What I am to do? Where shall I go? How can my purpose be effected? Kichaka is a mighty personality. There is none else except Bhimasena that can today accomplish the purpose on which my heart is set." thought Droupadi.
Afflicted with grief, she rose up at night and speedily
proceeded towards the quarters of Bhimasena. She found Bheemasena sleeping
on the couch in the cooking apartment.
"Droupadi! for what purpose have you come here in such a hurry, dead of night. What is the reason? Has anybody seen you?" hurriedly asked Bheemasena.
" Knowing fully well what had happened, again if you ask, what can I tell. If you forget everything, what can I do? If you want to hear from me what had happened, I will tell you. One day Kichaka happened to see me while I was serving Sudheshna. He desired me with lust. I warned him that my five Gandharva husbands will slain you. He went away. Sudheshna sent me to fetch wine from his house. When I approached him for wine, he spoke some sweet words. When I refused, he became exceedingly enraged and intended to use violance. Understanding the intention of Kichaka, I speedily rushed to the place where the king was. The rest you have seen.
who else could bear such an humiliation when Dussaasana dragged me to the court in the midst of an assembly of courtiers calling me a slave. Who else could bear such an insult as the wicked Saindhava offered me while I was alone in the forest. Who else of my position could live having been kicked by Kichaka in the very sight of the King Virata.
How your elder brother, deprived of prosperity, sits dumb and even stopped you, while I was being insulted." said Droupadi.
"I would have caued carnage in Virata court but for the fact that Yudhishtira eyed me. I would have crushed the head of Kichaka then and there. If I did like that, our Ajnatavasa would have been foiled and we should again suffer Aranyavasa. Everybody will censure both of us. Therefore, we need not blame Yudhishtira for forbidding me. I will certainly slain Kichaka but it should be done secretely but not to the knowledge of one and all." said Bheema.
Droupadi realised her mistake. "Unable to bear my griefs, I spoke like that. I do not censure Yudhishtira. Yudhishtira is Ajatasatru. He is a virtuous person who performed Rajasooya Yaga. He is not an ordinary personality. It is paining that such a great virtuous personality is serving others. A huge personality like you, who killed Bakasura and Kimmeera, is fighting with tigers and lions for the pleasure of the king and his ladies. Arjuna who sat by the side of Indra, is serving the king as Bruhannala and teaching dance. Daily I am weeping while I see the valiant hero Nakula training the horses. Daily I am shedding tears when I see the beautiful Sahadeva rearing cows. I was born out of fire and was brought up by my parents with great love and affection. I married five valiant heroes. I became pure by performing Rajasooya Yaga sitting by the side of Yudhishtira. Even my mother in law, Kunti Devi, thinks twice to command me. Such a pricess like me, is now serving others as Sairandhri. Unless you kill that Kichaka, my mind will not rest in peace." said Droupadi.
"Droupadi! you need not tell this much. I will slain Kichaka. Our Ajnatavasa time is coming to an end Just few days remain. You do one thing. Renouncing your sorrow and grief, manage to have a meeting with Kicaka in the dancing hall (Nartana Sala). You must manage it so that others may not come along with him. I will kill him in Nartana Saala. This is final. It is already dawn. You please go away." said Bheema.
Droupadi went back to her apartments. Next day Kichaka woke up. He was fully afflicted with Madana's influence. He went to the palace of Sudheshna for the sake of Malini and accosted Sairandhri alone.
Malini remembered the words of Bheema. She pretended as if she does not see Kichaka. She was plucking the flowers.
"Malini! why you are rejecting me. Malini, throwing you down in the court, I kicked you in the presence of the King. Nobody came to your rescue even the King. This King Virata is, in name, only king of Matsya Kingdom. Commanding the forces of this realm, It is I who am the real lord of Matsya Kingdom. Do you accept me cheerfully, I shall become your slave." said Kichaka.
"You should know my condition. Though I am also afflicted with the shafts of Manmadha, I cannot reveal it, as i am a lady. Neither your friends nor your brothers should know your union with me. I am in terror of detection by those Gandharvas. Promise me this, I yield to you." said Malini in low tone.
"I will do even as you say. I will alone come to you for union with you, so that those Gandharvas may not come to know of this act of mine." said Kichaka cheerfully.
"Do you, when it is dark, go to the dancing hall where the girls dance during day. The Gandharvas do not know that place. We shall then without doubt escape all censures" told Malini.
"Promise I will be in dancing hall this very night waiting for your arrival" said Kichaka.
"Remember, you should come alone. None should accompany you" said Malini.
"Sure I will come alone." said Kichaka with overjoy.
"Anybody may notice us. please go away" so saying Malini went inside her apartment.
Kichaka's heart filled with joy. He returned back to his palace. Later, Malini went to the main kitcen and met Bheemasena. "As you said, I have given Kichaka to understand that our meeting will take place in the dancing hall, alone will he come at night to the dancing hall. Slay him there. Do you come to the dancing hall and take the life of Kichaka" asked Malini
"I swear unto you, by my brothers, I will slay Kichaka." said Bheema.
"But one doubt. Will he come to dancing hall alone or will he reveal the same to others. No he will not do like that. Droupadi! have you seen the joy in his face when you asked him to come to Dancing Hall. Yes. He will certainly come. He will touch me and caress me. I will catch him and kill him mercilessly. " said Bheema.
Droupadi was frightened that Bheema in his fit of anger may disclose their identity to others. "In your angry mood killing Kichaka, dont reveal our identify. Dharamaja and others may find fault with us for breaking Ajnatavasa. Our endeavour is to kill Kichaka unknown to others. If it is not possible, please stop this operation" said Droupadi.
"Droupadi! If you impose such conditions, how can I kill him. In a combat, while fighting with him, how can I do it secretely? However, I will keep your caution in mind and try to kill him unknown to others." said Bheema.
" Sudheshna might be enquiring about me. I will go." Droupadi went away.
Kichaka, in his palace, was waiting for the sunset. He was entertaining all kinds of doubts.
Whether Malini will come to dancing hall as promised!
Even if she comes, whether she will satisfy my lust!
She may change her mind before sunset!
Is it true that she has five gandharva husbands?
Suppose, while Malinig was coming to dancing hall, Sudheshna may entrust her with some work? If so, what will happen?
Suppose Malini does not come, how can I tolerate this lust, subjecting myself to the shafts of Manmadha.
How can I live without Malini?
No No Malini will certainly come. No doubt. When she spoke so many words and kindled fire of lust, how can she remain silent.
No, it is not like that. Why should I remain silent, suffering like this? I will go to her apartment, abduct her by force and enjoy sexual pleasures with her. Who will stop me?"
Kichaka was thinking like this, with a wavering mind. Kichaka was abusing Sun God for not setting early. He entertained a doubt whether Lord Brahma ordered Sun not to set on that day. He was looking at the sun eagerly for sunset.
As usual, Sun was set. The entire world was plunged in darkness. Droupadi went to the kitchen to remind Bhima. Bheema tucked a sari around his head. Bheema proceeded to dancing hall. Droupadi followed him. Both reaced dancing hall.
Bheema observed dancing hall on four sides. There was a long bed inside the dancing hall. Bhima asked Droupadi to hide behind a pillar unnoticed. He said on the bed covering himself with the saree.
Kichaka, having embellished his person as he chose, in a fully drunken state, came to the dancing hall at the appointed time with the hope of meeting Malini. Kichaka had seen Bhima sitting on the bed covered with a sari. Kichaka thought that she was Malini. He came near Bhima and touched him.
"Malini! Look at all these gifts brought for your sake. Look at me how handsome I am! Hitherto, I was attracted by several ladies. Now I am attracted by you. Why late! Come on let us enjoy!" Kichaka was madly talking under the influence of wine.
Bheema, with a female voice, said: "You are boasting yourself. You will never get such a beautiful lady like me. Dont compare me with others. If once you touch me, you will see what will happen! You will never have a chance to touch any other lady in your life. You will enjoy the result of touching me".
So saying Bheema rose to his feet, removed the sari, and roared like a lion. Bheema seized Kichaka by the hair of his head. Kichama quickly freed his hair and grasped the arms of Bhima. Kichaka thought that he is the gandharva husband of Malini.
Then between them there ensued a hand to hand encounter
like a fight between two powerful elephants. Both were silently fighting
with each without making any noise. Kichaka was under the apprehension
that he may loose his prestige if his presence is known to one and all
at dancing hall whereas Bhima also was under the apprehension that if
he roars loudly, Ajnaatawasa will be broken. Both were fighting with equal
strength and force.
Assailing with his knees, the waist of Kichaka, all the limbs of whose body broken into pieces. Bheema slay Kichaka as one would slay a beast. Bheeema began to roll him on the ground. Having crushed all his limbs and reduced him into a ball of flesh, the mighty Bheema showed him to Droupadi lighting a torch.
Droupadi looked at Kichaka. "O Kichaka! You have done all these things only to culminate like this. May your soul rest in peace" said Droupadi.
"Droupadi! are you satisfied. Is your desire fulfilled! Know yourself, no one will survive on this earth if he looks at you wickedly." said Bheema.
"Bheema Sena! how can I appreciate you for killing Kichaka in such a ghastly manner. My joy knows nobounds. You are no match to others." said Droupadi adoring Bheema.
"Drouapdi! it is not safe for us to remain here any longer." so saying Bheema went away swifly to his kitchen.
In this manner, Saint Vaisampaayana told Janamejaya about the killing of Kichaka by Bheema.
Maha Bharata, Viraata Parva