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1-Aadi Parv, 159-166  of 236
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Bakaasur Vadh

[1-159] Janamejaya asked - Hey Rishi, What Paandav did after arriving at Ekchakraa Nagaree?" Vaishampaayan Jee said - "They lived there in a Braahman's house for a short time. They wandered in the daytime and in the evening they put everything before Kuntee what they gathered in the daytime. Kuntee divided that into two, one part she gave to Bheem and the other part she kept for herself and her other sons.

One day it so happened that all other Paandav went outside and Bheem was at home, that Kuntee heard a loud wailing from Brahman's inner apartments. She said to Bheem - "We have been living here comfortably for some time and this Braahman has been very nice to everybody. I have always thought that we should do something good to him. Today they seem to have some big problem. It will be good for us if we could be of any service to him." Bheem said - "Yes, You find out what is their problem, then I may help them. We should do everything whatever we can however difficult the task is."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "When they were talking like thus they heard another wailing, so Kuntee went to Braahman and she heard him saying - "Oh, How cruel is this life. A man should pursue Dharm, Arth, Kaam and Moksh, but it seems difficult to do that. Dear wife, I told you that we should move from here. Your all relatives, your father and mother, are dead, then what are we doing here? But you didn't listen to me because of the love to your ancestral house. Now the time has come for my own death. You have always been my true companion, I cannot leave you to save my life. How can I sacrifice my daughter to whom I have produced myself. She is placed here to be given to somebody else (husband). And if I will die, I will not be in peace, because I will always worry about you people."

[1-160] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Braahman's wife said - "You should not grieve like an ordinary man. You are an intelligent person. Everybody has to die. All, wife, son and daughter, are for one's own self. I myself will go there, this is the highest duty of a woman to save life of her husband. I have paid my debt by giving you one son and one daughter. You can well support them but not me. How will these children and I be able to live without you? So give me leave and save my children. If anyone dishonorable person will ask your daughter's hand how I will protect her? I may not follow an honest life after you. When people will see me without husband, your daughter may go to unworthy people. There is no doubt that without you we all three will die. I have got these children from you and they are very dear to me. There is no sin in this. Liberate yourself from me." Hearing this the Braahman embraced her and started weeping.

[1-161] Hearing all this, the daughter got very sad, she spoke - "You are grieving as if there is nobody to take care of you. You have to leave me at one point of time, so why not leave me now? people wish for children that they will rescue them in need, so treat me as a rescuer. My brother is very young, if you will die, he will also die, there is no doubt about it. People want daughters that one day their children will save them, so I am saving you now. This will be very painful that when you will die we will have to go for begging."

Hearing such talks from their daughters mouth, the Braahman couple got more sad and all the three started weeping. Their son was very young. Seeing all weeping he took a blade of grass and said with a child like approach - "Do not weep O father, mother and sister. I will kill that Raakshas with this." Hearing him a wave of joy had appeared on all three's faces. At this moment Kuntee thought that she should go there and talk to them."

[1-162] Kuntee said - "I want to know the cause of your grief and relieve you from it if possible." Braahman said - "You are right but this grief cannot be relieved by any human being. In fact not far from here, there lives a Raakshas named Bak. He is the master of this town. He ruled this place and ate human beings. Because of his might we are protected, we have no fear of anybody. We fifed his fee - a cart-load of rice, two buffaloes, and a human being who takes them to him. One after another the house holders have to send this food to him. A particular family has its turn after years. If somebody avoids it the Raakshas kills his whole family. There is a city in this country - Vetrakiya where lives the King of this country, but he is useless. It has been said that one must protect a good King, then a wife and then his wealth, but in my case it is happening in reverse order. Today that turn, to send him the food, has come to my house. I cannot part any of my family members, nor I can see any way of escape. So I will have to go to that Raakshas today."

[1-163] Kuntee said - "Don't grieve at all. I think I can help you. You have only one son, and that is also very young; one daughter that is helpless,  so I do not like any of you, you or wife, to go to that Raakshas. but I have five sons,  so let one of them go that Raakshas." Hearing this the Braahman said - "I cannot do this just to save my life. I can never do it to save a life of Braahman or a guest or myself. it is OK for me that I perish with my, but I cannot put a Braahman's life at risk." Kuntee said - "I agree with you that a Braahman should always be protected. I would also love my children even if I had 100 sons instead of five. But that Raakshas will not be able to kill my son because he is very mighty and is skilled in Mantra. He will take the food to that Raakshas faithfully and I am sure that he will be able to protect himself, because I have seen him fighting with many Raakshas and killing them. But please do not tell this anyone otherwise they will trouble my sons. if he will give that knowledge to anybody else, he will not be able to use it again."

Braahman got very happy to hear this and both came to Bheem. Kuntee told him everything and he replied - "So be it."

[1-164] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "As Bheem had taken the vow to kill that Raakshas, other Paandav came back, Yudhishthir suspected something about the task Bheem had undertaken. So he asked Kuntee about it in private - "Has he taken up this at your order or at his own?" Kuntee said - "He is doing at my command to do good for that Braahman family and to liberate the town." Yudhishthir said - "What are you doing, Mother? It is like committing suicide. Why do you want to sacrifice your own child for the sake of others? Sitting on whose arms we crossed the dense forests; remembering whose strength Duryodhan does not even wink at night; who has killed Purochan; relying on whose strength we are confident to kill all the sons of Dhritraashtra; you want to sacrifice that child?"

Kuntee said - "You don't worry about him. I have not taken this decision just like that. He has lot more strength than we think. We have been living in this house for some time unknown to Dhritraashtra's sons. To repay his debt, I have taken this decision. I have great confidence in Bheem. I have taken this decision seeing his prowess in the Baaranaavat Lac house and at the time of killing Hidimb. Bheem has the strength of 10,000 elephants. Did you see that how he brought all of us together, each of us as heavy as an elephant, from Baaranaavat? Soon after his birth he fell on the rock, and by the weight of his body the rock got broken. Then I knew the strength of Bheem. I have decided this because of two reasons - service to a Braahman, and to acquire high religious merit. A Kshatriya's duty is to help all the other three Varn of the society. That is why I have taken this decision."

[1-165] Hearing this Yudhishthir said to Kuntee - "That is fine, whatever decision you have taken, I am sure Bheem will come back alive, but tell that Braahman that he should not tell this to anybody else."

Next day Bheem took the food for the Raakshas and set out towards the forest. As he was approaching the forest, he started eating that food himself calling Raakshas' name loudly. Hearing his own name, the Raakshas came out and proceeding towards Bheem shouted - "Who is this who is eating my food in front of me?" But Bheem continued eating it facing his back towards him. At this he ran towards Bheem to kill him. He hit Bheem at his back, but he still continued to eat. Bak uprooted a tree and hit him with that, still Bheem continued to eat. Thus he continued to eat until he finished his food. He washed his hands and came back to fight with Bakaasur. Bakaasur told him that he was Bakaasur and both had started fighting. Soon a greater part of the forest became empty of trees. In a while Bheem killed him on his knee."

[1-166] When Bakaasur's relatives heard his yelling before dying, they came out with their attendants and promised him that they would not eat human beings. Bheem comforted them saying - "Do not kill human beings, otherwise you will have to die like Bakaasur." After that the Raakshas in that area became very peaceful with mankind. Bheem kept the dead body of Bakaasur at one of the gates of the city and went away unobserved.

Bheem came back and related the incident to Yudhishthir. Next morning some people of the city saw the dead body of Bak at one of the city gates. They went back to the city and thousand of people came to see Bakaasur's dead body. They recollected whose turn it was to carry food for him. It was the Braahman's turn. So they came to him and asked him about this to satisfy their curiosity. He replied - "A certain Braahman, skilled in Mantra, saw me weeping on the way when I was carrying food for him. He pitied me and offered me to carry it himself. So he took the food to him on that day. I am sure he might have killed him." Hearing this all citizens got very happy and celebrated the occasion."

1-Aadi Parv - Bak Vadh Parv Ends Here


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 04/12/12