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Kathaa - 4-Van (Forest)

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Agyaatvaas Comes to the End-2

Paandav were passing time of their Agyaatvaas successfully at Viraat Nagar. Raajaa Viraat was always busy in entertainment, so Raanee Sudeshnaa's brother Keechak was taking care of the kingdom. Once Sudeshnaa asked Draupadee the reason of keeping her hair loose. Sairandhree said - "I loved Draupadee very much. Her hair is still loose because of her vow, when she will tie her hair, I will also tie my hair. This is the symbol of my devotion to her."

Sudeshnaa said - "But Yudhishthir had no right to put her on stake. That is the step which brought Paandav to this condition." Draupadee said - "Perhaps both were at fault. Or maybe whatever is going to happen in future, it was its beginning."

Ten months of Paandav's Agyaatvaas year were over. Brihannalaa demonstrated Uttaraa's dance to king as her teacher. Raajaa Viraat liked it very much, Casually he mentioned this to Kank (Yudhishthir), Kank said - "He is not only good at music and dance but he is very good at weaponry also." Viraat didn't say anything but didn't believe him.

Bheem Kills Keechak

Raajaa Viraat was a weak king. Sudeshnaa's, his wife, brother Keechak, used to take care of his kingdom. Once he came to Viraat Nagar to look after the kingdom that he saw Draupadee in his sister's palace and got attracted to her.  He asked her - "Who are you? I have been here several times, but I have never seen you here. Why are you alone?" Draupadee looked at the ground and said - "I am Sairandhree, your sister's flower girl. I have been here for a few months. Please let me go." 

Keechak said - "You are too beautiful to be her servant, rather she should be your servant. Come to my palace, I will make all of them your slaves. Do not disappoint me." And Keechak fell on her feet. Draupadee said to him - "It is not proper for a prince like you to talk to your sister's maid like this. It is wrong. I am not unmarried, I am not helpless. My five Gandharv husbands protect me day and night. If you did not fulfill your duty of a Kshatriya (that is protecting women) then Mahaaraanee will have to cry on your dead body. I warn you." And she went away.

Keechak got very angry with this, he went to Sudeshnaa and said - "Sister, Tell me who is that woman who strings flowers for you? I saw her just now. If I don't get get her I will commit suicide. Tell me how can I make her mine?" Sudeshnaa told her that she came to her about 11 months back. She asked her for a safe place to live in her palace so she gave it to her. She told me this also that she had five mighty Gandharv husbands who always protect her (that is what Draupadee had told her when asked about her husbands). Sudeshnaa told him in several ways that the path he was going to adopt was the path to Hell, so he should leave that.

But Keechak was blind in her love so he didn't care of her warning and insisted her to send her to his palace. Sudeshnaa did not want all this to happen in her palace, but she had to agree with her brother, so she sent her to bring wine from her brother's palace. Draupadee never thought that even Sudeshnaa would be a part of Keechak's evil scheme. She requested her not to send her there as he had already molested her once. She said - "You are a woman, you must understand me. I am somebody's wife, please, send somebody else to do this," But Sudeshnaa didn't listen to her and sent her to bring wine from her brother's palace. Draupadee said - "OK, I go but you will be responsible for its consequences." Sudeshnaa was scared of this sentence but she ignored Draupadee's warning because she wanted to help her brother.

Draupadee went to take the wine to Keechak's palace where he misbehaved with her. Running away from him she came to the royal court of Raajaa Viraat, but at that time she didn't know that Viraat was a weak king and he could not do anything of his own. She told her story to everybody present in the court, but nobody spoke anything against Keechak. Bheem came there by chance. He took one look at the scene. In great anger he started uprooting a tree that was stood nearby. Yudhishthir asked him - "What are you doing here?" Bheem said - "I am taking firewood for my kitchen." Yudhishthir stopped him doing so and said - "If you want firewood for your kitchen, look for a dry tree. Its wood is still green, it will not burn. The time is not ripe enough to cut it. Whichever tree provides shade, its even single leaf is respectable. " Bheem understood its meaning and stood silent.

Draupadee said to Raajaa Viraat - "How can you allow this to happen in your kingdom? I have come under your protection. I have five husbands but at present they are not able to punish this man. Please protect me from this man." Viraat said - "I cannot pass judgment on something which has not happened in presence of me. How do I know what provoked him to kick you. Perhaps he was right. Please go away from here."

Yudhishthir was very angry at the King hearing his statement because of his behavior, but he kept silence for him. But he said to his wife - "I think it is better if you go back to queen's palace. I am sure your husbands are aware of this injustice with you. The time will come when your all troubles will be over. You know that they are under a curse, and that curse is going to lift in a fortnight time." But Draupadee didn't move from there. Yudhishthir again said - "King Viraat is a righteous man. Do not consider him to be unjust. You weep too much in the presence of men. You go now from here. It is not proper to stay here for long." Draupadee said with burning eyes - "O wise man, I think you are right." and went away from there.

Draupadee went back to her palace. Sudeshnaa asked - "Why are you unhappy so much?" Draupadee said - "Knowingly well you sent me to your brother's palace, and now you are asking me "why are you weeping?" Don't think that whoever has insulted me will live any more. Now you can count him among dead. He will not see tomorrow's Sun. Without seeing his dead body, neither I will take bath, nor I will change my clothes, nor I will wipe this blood from my lips. I am the wife of those alms givers who give to beggars without their asking, so that they do not feel embarrassed by begging. I am the wife of those mighty brave people, by taking whose names, even the greatest warriors' bows fall down from their shoulders, and Gadaa fall down from their hands." Thus Draupadee went away from there after giving the warning of Keechak's death to Sudeshnaa.

Then she found time to see Bheem and went to see him and said to him - "If Keechak saw tomorrow's sunrise, then Paanchaalee will not see tomorrow's sunset." Bheem said - "If Bhaiyaa had not stopped me there, I would have killed him then and there only. But to bring the blood of Dushaasan's chest for your hair, and to break Duryodhan's thigh, our Agyaatvaas has to be completed successfully. If I kill him now I will be recognized and we will have to go to forest again, so be patient just for a fortnight more. I promise you I will kill Keechak."

Draupadee asked - "Then will you tolerate your wife's insult?" Bheem said - "If you wish that he should be dead by tomorrow, then he will be dead by tomorrow. You go now and tell him that you have got attracted to him but are scared of your Gandharv husbands so ask him to meet in the dance room tonight."

Draupadee did the same. Keechak was happy to hear this. Next day morning Keechak came to her and asked - "Did you see what happened in the court yesterday? There is no one here who can hear your appeal." Draupadee wore a sweet smile and said - "I refused for so long because I was afraid of my husbands, but now it looks safe. I have found a solution that if you come alone in the dance hall tonight. I will be waiting for you there. But no one, no one should know about our secret meeting." Keechak was so crazy about her that he agreed everything what Draupadee said to him.

When Keechak came in the dance room in the night, Bheem lay down there covering his body with a woman like silk cloth. And as Keechak removed the cloth from his body and tried to talk to Draupadee, he saw Bheem in the bed instead of Draupadaee. Bheem had a dual with Keechak and killed him there only after a brief fight. Bheem slipped quietly out of the dance hall.

Draupadee was very happy seeing Keechak dead. She called the guards of the dance hall and said to them showing the dead body of Keechak - "He molested me, so see his fate. I warned him about the anger of my Gandharv husbands but he didn't listen to me, so one of them has killed him." Dance hall was filled with people. They all saw Keechak dead. Perhaps one of the five husbands had killed him, they thought.  The relative and 105 brothers of Keechak came to the palace to mourn him.

When his brothers were taking his body for his last rites, they saw Draupadee standing beside a pillar. They were very angry to see her, as she was the cause of their brother's death. So they went to Viraat to take his permission to burn her with Keechak. Viraat gave the permission. They lifted her and tied her and put her on the bier.

Then Draupadee wailed and said - "O my husbands Jaya, Jayesh, Vijaya, Jayatsen and Jayadbal, Please come and help me. These brothers of Keechak are taking me to the cremation ground to burn me with Keechak. Where are you? Please help me." Bheem heard her voice and shouted - "I am here. I have heard you. I will take care of you." Bheem was in a difficult situation. When he killed Keechak it was night, he could come out and kill him; but now it was broad daylight. But still he had to go to save his wife, so he leaped the wall of the palace and rushed towards the cremation ground.

He had to finish his work before he got recognized. He uprooted a tree and killed Keechak's brothers. Keechak's brothers did not expect such a thing there, so they were caught unaware. Besides they were thinking that they were fighting with a Gandharv, so they they all were killed in the fight. Bheem untied Draupadee, sent her back to palace, and he himself also went to his house. Everyone now was considering Sairandhree a dreadful woman.

Raajaa said this to his wife Sudeshnaa  and asked her to send Sairandhree from the palace somewhere else. Sudeshnaa went to Draupadee and asked her to go from there saying that "you are too beautiful to keep in palaces. You have killed my dear brother. I did not give shelter to you for this." Draupadee asked for her forgiveness for all this and said -" I told you before that five mighty Gandharv husbands always protect me and one has to be very careful. But you did not listen to me. Now I request you to be patient for just 13 days more. Then I will leave. My Gandharv husbands will always be grateful to you for this. You will be glad about this later that you let me stay here, believe me."

Sudeshnaa agreed for this and said - "You are so powerful that we are helpless in your hands." After Keechak had been killed, Viraat became the proper King of his kingdom. Only a short time was left in completing Agyaatvaas (incognito), that also passed uneventful.


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 12/02/12