Saint Vaisampaayana told Janamejaya the storyof Mahbharata.

After killing Kichaka, Bheema Sena returned back to his Kitchen. He washed his body thoroughly. He applied perfumes to his body to avoid any smell of blood. He was sitting on a couch.

Droupadi, having caused Keechaka to be slain, had her grief removed and experienced a greatest delight. After confirming that Bheema Sena reached the main kitchen, she addressed the watchmen of the dancing hall (NartanaSaala) :

"Come and behold Kichaka who had violated after other people's wife, lie down here slain by my Gandharva Husbands " "

On hearing these words, the guards of the dancing hall came to the spot with torches in their hands. They behold the lifeless Kichaka, lying on the ground drenched with blood without arms and legs. They were filled with grief.

On hearing this news, all the brothers and relatives of Kichaka arrived at that place, beholding him there, began to wail aloud surrounding Kichaka on all sides. As they gazed at Kichaka, they were struck with amazement on seeing that superhuman act.

They said "Where is his neck, where are his legs. It appears that Gandharvas will kill persons like this." they thought. Then they proceeded to take the body outside for performing his rituals. They were making preparations for cremation. At that time, Droupadi stood there reclining on a pillar. Kichakas saw her. Their anger knew no bounds.

They exclaimed "Let this unchaste woman be slain for whom Kichaka has himself lost his life . Let us cremate her with Kichaka who had lusted after her."

Then they all went to King Vlirata. By that time, King Virata came to know about the death of Kichaka.

"O King Virata! it is for the sake of Sairandhri Kichaka has lost his life. Let him there be cremated along with her. You have to grant permission" asked Kichakas.

King Virata gave his assent to Sairandhri being burnt alive with Kichaka.

Then all the Kichakas approached the frightened Droupadi, seized her with violance and binding that Sairandhri and placing her upon the pyre, they all proceeded to the burial ground.

While thus forcibly being carried towards the burial ground by the Kichakas, Droupadi wailed aloud for the help of her husbands, calling them in their names, "Jaya! Jayanta! Vijaya! Jayatsena! Jayadbala!(The secret names of Pandavas). These Kichakas are taking me away to burial ground to burn me alive. Let those Gandharvas listen to my words. I am going to die" cried Droupadi aloud.

Hearing these sorrowful words, Bhima started immediately from the main kitchen, swelled his body, changed his attire, went out of the palace and reached the burial ground by a wrong route. He uprooted a large tree and kept it on his shoulders and waited for the arrival of Kichakas.

On arrival of Kichakas, Bheema rushed towards them. On seeing that Gandharva approaching them like a lion in fury, all the Kichakas, trembling with fear and greatly distressed, became panic struck and they addressed each other "the powerful Gandharva is coming here filled with rage with an uprooted tree in hand. Let Sairandhri be set free".

They immediately set Sairandhri free and ran away breathlessly towards the city. Seeing them running away, Bhima chased them and killed all of them with that huge tree and dispatched all of them to the abode of Yama.

Bheema set Droupadi free and told her "Droupadi! go back to city. You have no longer any fear. I myself will go back to the kitchen by another route."
On hearing that all the brothers of Kichaka were killed by Gandharva, King Virata was very much frightened. He immeidately went to his wife, Sudheshna, and told her

"When Sairandhri comes back, tell her these words. 'Go whereever you like. The king has been alarmed. This is the final word of the King".

Sudheshna said "Yes I will tell and send her away".

After that incident, Droupadi washed her limbs and clothes in water and took a head bath as she touched the dead body of Kichaka. She was walking along the main street.

On seeing her, all the citizens of Virata City were frightened, "Kichaka was killed only to stare at her. What about us. Let us run" and they fled away in all directions.

Droupadi went to the main kitchen. She looked at Bheema. "I bow to the Gandharva who has rescued me" she bowed before Bheema.

Hearing these words of Droupadi, "nobody will keep quiet when his wife is in danger. It is his duty to rescue her. It needs no appreciation or thanks giving" said Bheema.

Then she proceeded to the dancing hall. All the girls who were dancing there under the guidance of Brihannala, surrounded her. "By good luck, O Sairandhri, you have been saved from your dangers and you have returned safe. By goodluck also those Kichakas have been slain that had wronged you" said those girls in one voice.

Brihannala asked Droupadi "Oh Malini! What had happened? How those sinful wretches been slain? I wish to learn all these things from you exactly as it occurred?"

"You have been passing your days happily in the inner apartments of the girls. What concern have you with Sairandhri fate to say? You have no grief to bear that Sairandhri has to bear. It is for this you are asking me what had happened." said Droupadi.

"O Sairandhri! Brihannala has unparallelled sorrow of her own. She has become as low as a brute. Who will recognise the sorrow i am feeling in my heart. You know not my heart. You too has lived with us. When you are afflicted with misery, who is it that will not feel sorrow?" said Brihinnala with sorrowful voice.

"O Brihannala! It is not like that. I know your heart. You have to move here only as Brihannala. That is my wish" so saying Droupadi along with the other girls went to Queen Sudheshna.

Sudheshna received Malini and made her to sit by her side. "Sairandhri! You are unparallelled on earth in beauty. You are the object of desire for all men. Your husbands,Gandharvas, are exceedingly wrathful. The king has been filled with fear at this discomfiture at the hands of Gandharvas. Do you speedily go wherever you like. This is the command of the King Virata" told Sudheshna.

"Oh Sudheshna! Let the King suffer me to live here for only 13 days more. Without any doubt, the Gandharvas also will be highly obliged by this. My husbands will always help others and they will never harm anybody. Without any doubt, the king Virata, by doing this help, will reap great benefit. Therefore, don't feel any doubt in your mind. You have so far honoured me and treated me equivalent to you. Is it proper on your part to leave me like this" asked Droupadi.

With the words of Droupadi, Sudheshna moved. "Sairandhri! You can stay here as you like for the above period. But be careful about my husband and sons. You confine yourself to the inner apartments." said Sudheshna.

The people in the Matsyakingdom were talking in several ways. "Kichaka, the brother in law of Virata was killed for the sake of a woman. Soota race was completely vanished. Virata lost all his strength.. No body will save Matsya Kingdom".

The spies employed by Suyodhana to all the countries heard these words. In Hastinapura, Suyodhana assembled all elders, ministers and other kings. Bheeshma, Drona, Karna, Krupaacaarya, Dussaasana and other brothers of Suyodhana, assembled in the court. The spies who were sent in search of Pandavas reported thus:
"Great care has been taken in search of Pandavas. We have failed in discovering the track by which Pandavas might have gone. No traces have yet been found. It seems they have perished without leaving any mark behind. The chariots used by them reached Dwaaraavati without Pandavas. Neither Pandavas nor Droupadi are not in the city of Dwaaravati.

There is another important matter. Kichaka, the Commander of Matsya Kingdom by whom Trigartas were repeatedly vanquished, now lie low on the ground along with his brothers, slain by invisible Gardharvas during the hours of darkness."

Having heard these words of his spies, Suyodhana addressed the assembly: "Pandavas have completed 12years of Aranya vasa. They are in the 13th year which they are to pass undiscovered by us all. The greater part already expired. What remains is much smaller. They will then have fulfil their pledge. They will then return like mighty elephants with wrath. Hence, it is better to make such efforts without loss of time, to discover them and send them again to woods." said Suyodhana.

Then Karna rose to his feet and said: "Let other spies, able and more cunning and capable of accomplishing their object, quickly go. Let them. well disguised, wander through kingdoms and provinces, in the inner parts of palaces, in shrines and holy spots, Pandavas should be searched after with eagerness". said Karna.
Then Dussaasana expressed his opinion: "It is my plea that they have been devoured by wild beasts in the forests. They have been perished for eternity. Therefore, dispelling all anxieties from your heart, enjoy the royal pleasures." said Dussaasana.

Then Dronacharya, their Teacher, said: "Suyodhana! Persons like Pandavas never perish or undergo discomfiture. Brave, intelligent and skilled in every science and with senses under control, virtuous, grateful and obedient to their elder brother Yudhishtira, never perish in this way. This is what I see from my mind. Do quickly, without loss of time, what could now be done."

Then their Grand Father Bhishma rose: "Suyodhana! The words of Dronacarya are approved by me. I have no hesitation in saying so. Nothing will happen to them. Both Pandavas and Kouravas are equal to me. Kindly listen carefully what I say. Dharmaja is virtuous and truthful. The ruler of city or province where King Yudhishtira resides, cannot have any misforture. Charitable, liberal and humble and modest must the people be of the country where Yudhishtira resides. The people of the place where Yudhishtira is, cannot be envious or malicious or vain or proud. The clouds without doubt pour abundant rains and furnish with good harvest, and the country will be without droughts. Where King Yudhishtira resides , the cows of all kinds will be plentiful and that country will be flodded with milk and paddy in abundance. Therefore, Yudhishtira will be living in close disguise in regions whose characteristics I have now described. Do without loss of time what you may think beneficial, if you have faith in me." said Bhishma.

Then Krupaachaarya said: "What the aged Bhishma said concerning Pandavas is reasonable, well suited to the occasion. When time comes for the reappearance of Pandavas, who, having entered the forests, are now passing their days in close disguise, you should ascertain your strength both in your own kingdom and in those of other kingdoms. Without doubt, the return of Pandavas is certain. When their promised term of exile is over, Pandavas, endued with immeasurable prowess, will come here bursting with energy. Do you therefore conclude an advantageous treaty with them. Or address yourself to increase your forces and your treasury. You reckon your strength in respect of your allies, weak and strong, ascertaining the efficiencies and weaknesses. Assuming for a moment that Pandavas are dead, yet, we have to strengthen our army even to fight with the other kings who are in favour of Pandavas. Hence strengtenening our army is a must. Hence do the needful." said Krupaacaarya.

Having heard all the words spoken by elders and Gurus, Suyodhana addressed the assembly.

" I heard that Kichaka, Bheema, Salya and Balarama are equal in strength and are experts in wresling and dual fights. There is none on earth who can defeat them. One has to defeat the other among themselves. We are informed by spies that Kichaka, the Chief Commander of Forces of Matsya Kingdom was slain by Gandharvas on account of one woman. Kichaka must have been killed by one of the other three. Balarama and Salya are far away. Therefore there is no chance of their killing Kichaka nor they have any reason to kill Kichaka. The remaining is Bhima.

Besides that, Kichaka was killed on account of a woman. That woman might have been Droupadi. The other kichakas who are equal in strength also were killed. It is possible only for Bhima and none else.

Apart from that, all the qualities and characteristics as told by Bheeshma are in abundance in Matsya Kingdom. Therefore, it is certain, that Pandavas are living in disguise in Matsya Kingdom. Virata is our enemy. Therefore, if we invade Matsya Kingdom and caputre their cows, Virata will certainly attack us. If Pandavas are there, they will certainly come out to help Virata. We can discover them and send them back to forests as they have violated the agreement. Even if Pandavas are not there, we can plunder the wealth of Virata. In any manner, we will be benefited. Therefore, this is the task before us. If it is agreeable to all of you, we can try this" said Suyodhana.

On hearing this, Susarma, the King of Trigartha, confided with Dussaasana and Karna, rose to his feet and said:

"O Suyodhana! My kingdom has many a time been forcibly invaded by the King of Virata with the help of the mighty Kichaka who was the Commander of the King Virata. Now Kichaka is dead. Please allow me to invade Virata Kingdom. I will wage war with King Virata and vanquish him. I will capture his cows. If Pandavas are there living in disguise, I will discover them". said Susarma.

Karna also supported Susarma. "Suyodhana! Susarma's words are apt and correct. Please permit him towage war against King Virata" said Karna.

After thinking for a while, Suyodhana said: "Dussaasana! The assembly has accorded sanction to you to wage war against King Virata. Be ready with our mighty army. Our attack will be two fold. First Trigartha army will proceed towards Matsya Kingdom. Next day, our army will proceed." said Suyodhana.

Dussaasana said "I will do so".

Then King Suyodhana explained his strategy to the elders and king assembled there.

"First Susarma, along with his army, will capture all the cattle of Virata. King Virata will naturally proceed against Susarma to rescue the cows. Next day, we will capture cows on the other side. As there will be none in city to rescue the cows, Pandavas will naturally come out to fight against us. On the coming Bahula Ashtami, Susarma will capture the cows of Virata. Next day, ie, Navami Day we will capture the cows on the other side. This is final" said Suyodhana.

Susarma was very happy. But nobody knows that the period of one year Ajnaata Vaasa has come to end.

Susarma, the king of Trigartha, accompanied by his mighty infantry of terrible prowess marched towards the south easten direction, intending to wage hostilities with the desire of seizing his cattle in large number.

The guards of the cattle stationed there, were fighting with the Susarma army. But they could not attack them as the Susarma's army was large in number. All the guards fled away and reported the matter to King Virata.

"O King Virata! Susarma, the King of Trigartha, came upon us with his mighty army and captured our cattle and taking them away. You have to come and save the cattle." prayed the guards.

Virata was astonished "What is this? Are you telling the truth? Susarma many a time was defeated at our hands. How dare he come again to fight with us?"

Then he ordered all his Ministers and Commanders "We have to now fight with Susarma, the King of Trigartha. Otherwise, we have to loose our cattle wealth. Therefore make immediate arrangements to wage war against Susarma" ordered Virata.

In the meanwhile he was collecting information from his spies in which direction Susarma was proceeding with cattle. Sataaneeka, the elder brother of Virata and Madiraasva, Soorya Datta, the others brothers of Virata also accompanied Virata along with their mighty army. Sankha, son of Virata was blowing his conch fiercely.

Dharmaja was observing all these war arrangements. He approached King Virata "O King Virata! previously, I learnt about warfare through a sage and through him I acquired many Astras and Sastras. I got some skill in fighting in battle. When the King is going for war, it is not proper on my part to keep quiet. Hence I will also accompany you" said Dharmaja.

Virata accepted his request. Then Dharmaja called his four brothers. "O King Virata! He is our cook, Valala. He is an expert in wrestling. He may be helpful to in the war. He is Tamagrandhi, horse trainer and horse keeper. He is Tantripala, our cattle keeper. Their services may be necessary for us. Therefore, I thought it fit to permit them also to accompany us to the war field" said Dharmaja.

King Virata ordered Sataaneeka to provide chariots, bows, arrows and other war material for all the five. Then all of them proceeded towards southwards and met Susarma and his army.

The mighty armed warriors on both sides furiously assailed one another in that conflict. There was a fierce battle between Virata and Susarma. Sataaneeka attacked the army of Susarma and slain hundreds of enemies . Madiraasva crushed the army of Susarma. Sooryadatta also attacked Susarma with his mighty army.Virata was fighting with his enemies like a powerful youth. He pierced Sumarma with ten shafts and each of his five horses with five shots. Susarma army turned back unable to attack Virata army .

Then the sun was set. The entire war field became dark. All of them stopped fighting. After sometime, there was the rise of eighth day moon. In that moon light, both the army began to fight with each other.

Susarma with his younger brother and accompanied by his army rushed towards Matsya king and defeated the whole army of Virata. Then Susarma impetuously rushed towards Virata himself. His two brothers having severely slain Virata's charioteer and also the soldiers on either side and rear. Susarma took Virata captive alive, dragged him on the ground, tied him and kept Virata on his chariot and sppedily rushed out of the field.

When the powerful Virata was taken captive, the Trigartha army was cheerful and began to slain the soldiers of Virata. The Virata's army began to flee in fear in all directions.

On seeing this, Dharmaja called Bhima. "Bheemaa! Vitara has been taken by Susarma. As we have so far lived happily in Virata City, having every desire of ours gratified, it is for us to discharge that debt. Do you rescue him so that he may not fall under the power of the enmy."asked Dharmaja
"O brother Dharmaja! I will liberate Virata at your command. Kindly stay aside along with Nakula and Sahadeva and witness my prowess today uprooting this mighty tree of huge trunk, I will rout the enemy." said Bheema.

Dharmaja immediately stopped Bhima: "Bheema! Don't! Don't commit such a rash act. Let the tree stand there. You must not do such things in superhuman manner. By means of this act, people will recognise you and say "This is Bhima". Therefore, take some weapon as bow and arrow or sword and liberate the king without giving anybody the means of knowing you truly. Nakula and Sahadeva will defend your wheels. Go and liberate the King" said Dharmaja. Bhimasena obeyed the directions of Dharmaja.

Dharmaja stood in front of the army and commanded the soldiers. He started to fight with Susarma. Susarma fiercely attacked Dharmaja with bow and arrows. Then Bhima took out bow and arrows and rushed furiously towards Susharma and assailed him. Susarma was fighting with Dharmaja. Within the twinkling of an eye, Bhima destroyed the chariot of Susarma. Hundreds of chariots of the Susarma army were overthrown by Bhima. While Dharmaja was fighting with Susarma, Virata freed himself, jumped out of the car, took out a mace and beat Susarma with the mace.

On seeing this, the army of Matsya kingdom returned back and began to fight with Susarma army. Bhima also attacked Susarma, killed his chariot driver and his guards. Bhima dragged Susarma from the chariot.

Susarma tried to run away. Bhima impetuously rushed towards Susarma, seized Susarma by his tuft and lifting him up in warth, dashed him down on the ground. The mighty armed Bhima kicked Susarma on the head and placing his knee on his breast, dealt him severe blows. Susarma became senseless.

On seeing this, the Susarma army, stricken with panic, fled away in all directions. Bheema came back to his brother, Dharmaja. Dharmaja, along with his brothers stood before King Virata with folded hands. King Virata gratified those warriors.

"You have saved my life, kingdom and cattle. By your prowess only I am now crowned with victory. How can I express my gratitude? You have saved this life. You have conquered this kingdom. This is all yours. Do you agree to be here happily enjoying all pleasures.: said Virata.

"O King Virata! We are well pleased with all that you have said. We, however, have been much gratified that you have to day been freed from your enemies. You need not praise me for this small help." said Dharmaja.

"O Kanka! Is it doing help to me? Or is it a reciprocation for what I have done to you, by giving shelter in my kingdom? Or is it a mercy showered upon me? Or you intend to get name and fame by vanquishing my enemies? What is the reason? Afterall, he is a cook and wrestler? Oh what a prowess he has! He is the only man who saved me today from my enemies. Those cute boys. Where are they? Are they horse keepers and cattle keepers. They are only two warriors who fiercely fought with enemies but remained unhurt.

A person who helps in need is a real friend. Kankaa! I cannot leave you and your friendship. Choose whatever you like! Elephants, horses, gold, diamonds, jewellery, beautiful ladies, royal pleasures. Your will. Choose whatever you like. I will place them before you." said Virata.

"O King Virata! We are very well pleased with the delightful words that you have spoken. You can honour us after we return back to our capital. Now I request you to kindly liberate Susarma, the king of Trigarta. Let him go freely along with his relatives, friends and army. Let a messenger now, at your command, speedily go to the city in order to communicate and proclaim your victory." said Dharmaja.

Honoring these words of Dharmaja, King Virata turned to Susarma "You are freed. Your relatives friends and army are liberated. Go away as a free man." ordered King Virata.

Susarma, overwhelmed with shame, hung down his head and liberated, saluted Virata and departed from that place.

King Virata called messengers and ordered "Do you go to the City and proclaim my victory in battle and let the ladies and courtesans decked in ornaments came out of the city with every kind of musical instruments to welcome us" ordered Virata.
The messengers departed with cheerful hearts to the city to proclaim the victory of the King. King Virata stayed there for that night and returned back to city along with his army with great victory.