Kichakavadha Parva is the forty sixth upa parva included in the fourth maha parva, named as Virata parva, in the epic Mahabharata. The original epic was composed by Vyasa in Sanskrit. Vyshampayana had narrated the historical events that had happened during the Ajnatavasa of Pandavas to Janamejaya on his queries.

Where did Pandava brothers had lived during Ajnatavasa?

Yudhishtira lived with king Virata. He used to advise the king in administration, performed the morning rituals and played dice game as and when the king required. Hence Yudhishtira was not exposed to the general public in Matsya.

Bhima lived with royal cooks. He used to cook for the king in the kitchen, and played wrestling as and when the king required. Hence Bhima was not exposed to the general public in Matsya.

Bhima lifts Kichaka up to ultimately kill him
Bhima wrestling Kichaka

Arjuna lived with the daughter of the king Virata, as a teacher. Her name was Uttara and she was interested in learning dance and music. King Virata had built a building for dancing practice workshop, like a school, along with practicing music and related items for his daughter Uttara.

यदिदं नर्तनागारं मत्स्य राजेन कारितं ।
दिवात्र कन्या नृत्यन्ति रात्रौ यान्ति यथा गृहं ॥​

Meaning: This building for dancing workshop was built by the Matsya king. In the day times, girls used to practice dancing here and in the night, they returned to their homes.

This verse conveys that the girls of Virata town were day scholars in that time. 

Arjuna had sometimes used the royal ladies rooms to perform the cultural events and performed artistic shows as and when the king required. Hence Arjuna was not exposed to the general public in Matsya.

Who was Kichaka?

Queen Sudheshna had a brother called as Kichaka. He used to live in the palace of Virata. The Matsya kingdom was a fertile, small country but never paid royal tax to the emperor of Kuru linage or any other kings. Since Kichaka was so cruel and unconquerable, no other dared to disturb Virata. He was the commander of the Army.  

How Kichaka happened to meet Draupadi?

Kichaka was the younger brother of Queen Sudheshna and had the privilege to enter the private room of Sudheshna. Draupadi had been working as a beautician to Sudheshna and one day, Kichaka happened to see Draupadi. Kichaka had already married and he had several wives. Kichaka was not good in character. He used to drink alcohol and possessed rash habits. Kichaka had compared his wives with Sairandri or Draupadi and observed more beautiful than his existing wives. Kichaka had a private house very near to the palace of Virata. 

How queen Sudheshna arranged meeting of Kichaka with Draupadi and what was the result?

Kichaka desired to marry Draupadi. He insisted Sudheshna to send Draupadi to his private house for asking the consent of Draupadi. In order to meet Draupadi with Kichaka, Sudheshna had planned a plot like a drama. In the evening, Sudheshna told Draupadi to bring some medicinal drinks from the room of Kichaka.

Initially, Draupadi tried to avoid the visit but when the queen had obliged her, Draupadi took the small pot and started to the private room of Kichaka. Draupadi prayed to the Sun God to send with her a demon to protect her life as she was afraid to look at the face of Kichaka. Yudhishtira was playing with the king Virata and Bhima was simply looking at it sitting near the house of Kichaka. 

तां चासीनौ  ददृशतुर्भीमसेन युधिष्ठिरौ ।
अमृष्यमाणौ कृष्णायाः कीचकेन पदा वधं ॥

Meaning: Kichaka had stamped his foot towards Draupadi and it was seen by Bhima and Yudhishtira who were sitting near the king Virata.

ततो योऽसौ तदार्केण राक्षसः संनियोजितः ।
स कीचकमपोवाह वातवेगेन भारत ॥

Meaning: Immediately the demon induced by the Sun God had pushed back the Kichaka with a force equivalent to a cyclone. O Bharata! 

Then Draupadi returned towards Sudheshna crying and complained as Kichaka had kicked her out. Sudheshna had not replied anything since she knew Kichaka was under the influence of alcohol. Draupadi had declared her Gandharva husbands would murder Kichaka within a few days as they would watch everything but were invisible. 

What Draupadi had requested with Bhima in the night and what he had instructed? 

Draupadi had reported to Bhima regarding the insults she suffered from Kichaka and requested him to do some permanent remedies against Kichaka secretly in the night. Bhima had agreed but he told her to provide one set of her ladies dress for use in the night to meet Kichaka in disguise. Bhima had also designed a plan like a drama.

On the next day, Draupadi would tell to Kichaka to come to the dancing workshop room secretly at midnight by Kichaka alone and not to tell anybody. On the following day, Draupadi had determined herself to convey the message secretly to Kichaka and she had succeeded in it.

How Bhima had killed Kichaka?

In the midnight, Bhima used the ladies dress provided by Draupadi and went into the dancing workshop near the house of Kichaka. Initially, Kichaka thought it was Draupadi waiting alone in the empty dancing workshop but later he was embarrassed. Then Bhima had killed Kichaka with his first hit. Bhima had pierced his head and hands into his own body and thrown near the dancing school.

What Draupadi had done when Kichaka was killed?

When Kichaka was killed, Draupadi informed the building securities; her five invisible husbands had killed him and thrown his body near the dancing room. 

How many brothers did Kichaka have and what happened to them?

Kichaka had one hundred and five brothers, they were called as Upakichakas. They had arranged for the funeral of Kichaka before sun rise. Upakichakas had become angry with Draupadi as it was she who caused the death of their brother. They asked the permission of king Virata and tied Draupadi with ropes and decided to throw her into the fire.

The Upakichakas started to carry Draupadi and Kichaka towards the funeral ground to put their body into the pyre. Then Draupadi loudly called her Gandharva husbands names for help.

जयो जयन्तो विजयो जयत्सेनो जयद्बलः ।
ते मे वाचं विजानन्तु सूतपुत्रा नयन्ति मां ॥

Meaning: O! Jaya, Jayanta, Vijaya, Jayatsena and Jayadbala please hear my voice; the Suta sons are carrying me! Droupadi had cried loudly.

Bhima had heard the voice and taking a different route and wearing strange dresses, plucking a big tree trunk, he marched in the twilight morning and blocked the procession and killed all one hundred and five Upakichakas. Draupadi was liberated and using a different route, she reached the palace of Sudheshna. Using a different route, Bhima also reached his kitchen room, unrecognized.

गुरुं वा बालवृद्धौ वा ब्राह्मणं वा बहुश्रुतम् ।
आततायिनमायान्तं  हन्यादेवाविचारयन् ॥

Meaning: A proved terrorist, even though is a teacher, a child or an aged person a Brahmin or a learned scholar, he should be killed without further negotiations.

Kichaka or Upakichakas were unruly like demons, or terrorists, hence people of Matsya desired their death. But Sudheshna started feeling about her brothers.  

What Droupadi had requested with Sudheshna when the king desired to retrench her from service? 

With the permission of Virata, Sudheshna desired to remove Draupadi from service and ordered her retrenchment to her. Draupadi met Bhima and Arjuna secretly and sought thirteen days period to go out of the palace. Queen Sudheshna had agreed. 

अहो दुर्जनसंसर्गान्मानहानिः पदे पदे ।
पावको लोहासङ्गेन मुद्गरैरभिहन्यते ॥

Meaning: With the companionship of bad people disgrace frequently happens. The fire in companionship with iron is frequently involved in hammering.  

On reading this story, children would gain more memory power.

Next post, Mahabharata: Gograhana  parva would be more interesting.

Mahabharata: Uttaravivaha would be presented separately in another article.

It is humbly prayed for the blessings of God Krishna upon us. 

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