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p. 44


"Vaisampayana said, 'Then all the relatives of Kichaka, arriving at that place, beheld him there and began to wail aloud, surrounding him on all sides. And beholding Kichaka with every limb mangled, and lying like a tortoise dragged to dry ground from the water, all of them were overcome with exceeding fright, and the bristles of their bodies stood on end. And seeing him crushed all over by Bhima, like a Danava by Indra, they proceeded to take him outside, for performing his funeral obsequies. And then those persons of the Suta clan thus assembled together espied Krishna of faultless limbs hard by, who stood reclining on a pillar. And all the Kichakas assembled there, exclaimed, 'Let this unchaste woman be slain for whom Kichaka hath himself lost his life. Or, without slaying her here, let us cremate her with him that had lusted after her,--for it behoveth us to accomplish in every way what is agreeable to that deceased son of Suta.' And then they addressed Virata, saying, 'It is for her sake that Kichaka hath lost his life. Let him, therefore, be cremated along with her. It behoveth thee to grant this permission.' Thus addressed by them, king Virata, O monarch, knowing fully well the prowess of the Suta gave his assent to Sairindhri being burnt along with the Suta's son. And at this, the Kichakas approaching the frightened and stupefied Krishna of lotus-like eyes, seized her with violence. And binding that damsel of slender-waist and placing her upon the bier, they set out with great energy towards the cemetary. And, O king, while thus forcibly carried towards the cemetary by those sons of the Suta tribe, the blameless and chaste Krishna living under the protections of her lords, then wailed aloud for the help of her husbands, saying, 'Oh, let Jaya, and Jayanta, and Vijaya and Jayatsena, and Jayadvala listen to my words. The Sutas are taking me away. Let those illustrious Gandharvas endued with speed of hand, the clatter of whose cars is loud and the twang of whose bowstrings in the midst of the mighty conflict are heard like the roar of thunder, listen to my words,--the Sutas are taking me away!'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Hearing those sorrowful words and lamentations of Krishna, Bhima, without a moment's reflection started up from his bed and said, 'I have heard, O Sairindhri the words thou hast spoken. Thou hast, therefore, O timid lady, no more fear at the hands of the Sutas.

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Having said this, the mighty-armed Bhima desirous of slaying the Kichakas, began to swell his body. And carefully changing his attire, he went out of the palace by a wrong egress. And climbing over a wall by the aid of a tree, he proceeded towards the cemetary whither the Kichakas had gone. And having leapt over the wall, and gone out of the excellent city, Bhima impetuously rushed to where the Sutas were. And, O monarch, proceeding towards the funeral

p. 45

pyre he beheld a large tree, tall as palmyra-palm, with gigantic shoulders and withered top. And that slayer of foes grasping with his arms that tree measuring ten Vyamas, uprooted it, even like an elephant, and placed it upon his shoulders. And taking up that tree with trunk and branches and measuring ten Vyamas, that mighty hero rushed towards the Sutas, like Yama himself, mace in hand. And by the impetus of his rush 1 banians and peepals and Kinsukas falling down on the earth lay in clusters. And beholding that Gandharva approach them like a lion in fury, all the Sutas trembling with fear and greatly distressed, became panic-struck. And they addressed each other, saying, 'Lo, the powerful Gandharva cometh hither, filled with rage, and with an upraised tree in hand. Let Sairindhri, therefore, from whom this danger of ours hath arisen, be set free.' And beholding the tree that had been uprooted by Bhimasena, they set Draupadi free and ran breathlessly towards the city And seeing them run away, Bhima, that mighty son of the Wind-god, despatched, O foremost of kings, by means of that tree, a hundred and five of them unto the abode of Yama, like the wielder of the thunderbolt slaying the Danavas. And setting Draupadi free from her bonds, he then, O king, comforted her. And that mighty-armed and irrepressible Vrikodara, the son of Pandu, then addressed the distressed princess of Panchala with face bathed in tears, saying, 'Thus, O timid one, are they slain that wrong thee without cause. Return, O Krishna, to the city. Thou hast no longer any fear; I myself will go to the Virata's kitchen by another route.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'It was thus, O Bharata, that a hundred and five of those Kichakas were slain. And their corpses lay on the ground, making the place look like a great forest overspread with uprooted trees after a hurricane. Thus fell those hundred and five Kichakas. And including Virata's general slain before, the slaughtered Sutas numbered one hundred and six. And beholding that exceedingly wonderful feat, men and women that assembled together, were filled with astonishment. And the power of speech, O Bharata, was suspended in every one.'"


45:1 Literature, force of his thighs.

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