(Jatugriha Parva continued)
"Vaisampayana said, 'Then all the citizens (of Varanavata) on hearing that the son of Pandu had come, were filled with joy at the tidings, speedily came out of Varanavata, in vehicles of various kinds numbering by thousands, taking with them every auspicious article as directed by the Sastras, for receiving those foremost of men. And the people of Varanavata, approaching the sons of Kunti blessed them by uttering the Jaya and stood surrounding them. That tiger among men, viz., the virtuous Yudhishthira thus surrounded by them looked resplendent like him having the thunderbolt in his hands (viz., Indra) in the midst of the celestials. And those sinless ones, welcomed by the citizens and welcoming the citizens in return, then entered the populous town of Varanavata decked with every ornament. Entering the town those heroes first went, O monarch, to the abodes of Brahmanas engaged in their proper duties. Those foremost of men then went to the abodes of the officials of the town, and then of the Sutas and the Vaisyas and then to those of even the Sudras, O bull of Bharata's race, thus adored by the citizens, the Pandavas at last went with Purochana going before them, to the palace that had been built for them, Purochana then began to place before them food and drink and beds and carpets, all of the first and most agreeable order. The Pandavas attired in costly robes, continued to live there, adored by Purochana and the people having their homes in Varanavata.
"After the Pandavas had thus lived for ten nights, Purochana spoke to them of the mansion (he had built) called 'The Blessed Home,' but in reality the cursed house. Then those tigers among men, attired in costly dress, entered that mansion at the instance of Purochana like Guhyakas entering the palace (of Siva) on the Kailasa mount. The foremost of all virtuous men, Yudhishthira, inspecting the house, said unto Bhima that it was really built of inflammable materials. Smelling the scent of fat mixed with clarified butter and preparations of lac, he said unto Bhima, 'O chastiser of foes, this house is truly built of inflammable materials! Indeed, it is apparent that such is the case! The enemy, it is evident, by the aid of trusted artists well-skilled in the construction of houses, have finely built this mansion, after procuring hemp, resin, heath, straw, and bamboos, all soaked in clarified butter. This wicked wretch, Purochana, acting under the instruction of Duryodhana, stayeth here with the object of burning me to death when he seeth me trustful. But, O son of Pritha, Vidura of great intelligence, knew of this danger, and, therefore, hath warned me of it beforehand. Knowing it all, that youngest uncle of ours, ever wishing our good from affection hath told us that this house, so full of danger, hath been constructed by the wretches under Duryodhana acting in secrecy.'
"Hearing this, Bhima replied, 'If, sir, you know this house to be so inflammable, it would then be well for us to return thither where we had taken up our quarters first.' Yudhishthira replied, 'It seems to me that we should rather continue to live here in seeming unsuspiciousness but all the while with caution and our senses wide awake and seeking for some certain means of escape. If Purochana findeth from our countenances that we have fathomed designs, acting with haste he may suddenly burn us to death. Indeed, Purochana careth little for obloquy or sin. The wretch stayeth here acting under the instruction of Duryodhana. If we are burnt to death, will our grandfather Bhishma be angry? Why will he, by showing his wrath, make the Kauravas angry with him? Or, perhaps, our grandfather Bhishma and the other bull of Kuru's race, regarding indignation at such a sinful act to be virtuous, may become wrathful. If however, from fear of being burnt, we fly from here, Duryodhana, ambitious of sovereignty will certainly compass our death by means of spies. While we have no rank and power, Duryodhana hath both; while we have no friends and allies, Duryodhana hath both; while we are without wealth, Duryodhana hath at his command a full treasury. Will he not, therefore, certainly destroy us by adopting adequate means? Let us, therefore, by deceiving this wretch (Purochana) and that other wretch Duryodhana, pass our days, disguising ourselves at times. Let us also lead a hunting life, wandering over the earth. We shall then, if we have to escape our enemies, be familiar with all paths. We shall also, this very day, cause a subterranean passage to be dug in our chamber in great secrecy. If we act in this way, concealing what we do from all, fire shall never be able to consume us. We shall live here, actively doing everything for our safety but with such privacy that neither Purochana nor any of the citizens of Varanavata may know what we are after.'"