In the last chapter we left Kunthi and her sons in the town of Ekachakra. After escaping from the wax palace, they disguised themselves as Brahmins for fear of facing, another foul play by the Kauravas. A Brahmin of the village gave shelter to the Pandavas. The five sons of Kunthi seeked alms in the village for their daily food.
Ekachakra was always in trouble by a demon named Bahasuran who was terrorising the village. He killed the animals and also the people of the village and ate them as his food. The people of the village were always in constant fear of losing their lives.
They did not have the strength to fight this demon and drive him away or kill him.. So they stuck upon a deal with him. By the deal the villagers will send rice,meat , wine and a person of the village for his meal. The families in the village took turns to send the person as meal for the demon. Satsified with this deal the demon gave less trouble to the village. But each family was filled with great sorrow when it came to part with their dear ones.But they were helpless and accepted their fate.
One day when Kunthi was preparing food , she heard the brahmin’s wife sobbing. The brahmin was consoling her , asking her to take good care of their children after he died. Kunthi , on hearing this enquired them the reason for their sorrow. The Brahmin said,” Tomorrow it is our family’s turn to send a person to the demon Bahsuran. As the head of the family Iam going as his meal.”
On hearing this his wife cried and said, “ No. Let me go and die. You can take care of our children.”
The children on their part wanted to save the life of their parents and so they wanted to die instead of their parents..
Now,looking at the brahmin Kunthi said ,” You have given us shelter and we are living in peace in your home. So, it is our duty to help you when you are in distress. To represent this family I shall send my son Bhima as theprey for the demon .”
The Brahmin did not agree to that. He said,”It is not fair to use the guest to my advantage .”
But Kunthi convinced the brahmin family saying her son Bhima, is an extremely strong person and he is sure to kill Bahasura.
With great reluctance Brahmin accepted to this idea.
Accordingly, the next day, Bhima sat in the cart which contained large amounts of meat , barrels of wine .. and reached Bahasuran’s place .
Bahsuran with his heavy body , long and fat hands and legs was sleeping in a shade. His snoring was so loud that it could be heard from a long distance.
Bhima seeing him sleeping, woke him up. With great anger he woke up and saw Bhima. His anger turned into happiness, when he saw the hefty Bhima.
On seeing the huge stature of Bhima , he told,” The villagers have sent me a good meal. A fat and huge man ! I should thank them. ”
But Bhima pulled him with one hand and smashed him against a rock. Bahasuran ,though taken aback by Bhima’s action, retaliated back with the same power. Both of them fought for a long time. In this long battle , Bahsuran was killed by Bhinma.
Bhima returned back to the village and narrated the fight that went on between him and Bahasura and also said that Bahasura was killed. The villagers rejoiced and thanked him for bringing peace back to the village.
Days went on……. One day there came a news from Panchala , a nearby kingdom. The messenger who brought the news told about the swayamvara of Draupadi, the Panchala princess. He also added “Draupadi is not an ordinary woman.She is born from the sacred fire”. He also added ” She is extremely beautiful. And Durupadhan the king had arranged for an archery contest and the one who turns victorius can marry Draupadi. ”
On hearing this Yudhishtran, the eldest of the Pandavas asked Arjuna to take part in the contest and win Draupadi’s hands. Accordingly Arjuna accompanied by his brothers headed towards Panchalam.
Did Arjuna win Draupadi’s hands in the swayamvaram……..
Let us wait and watch the contest.
That is going to be really interesting……..
To be continued.