Sunday, September 30, 2007





(Second Chaper

written by Tikkanaamaatya).

Saint Vaisampaayana continued to tell Janamejaya, the story of Mahabharat.

Dharmaja, in the court of Virata, was spending time playing dice games and exhibiting his adept in the mysteries of dice. He was distributing among his brothers, the wealth he won from Virata, by playiNg dice game.

Bheemaa, on his part, distributing the remaining cooked food and meat to all his brothers.

Arjuna was giving to all his brothers the moneys he earned by exhibiting his talent in singing and dancing.

Nakula and Sahadeva also was earning moneys while discharging their duties and distributing them among their brothers, the moneys they earned.

Droupadi herself, in pitiable condition, was looking after all those brothers and behaved in such a way as to remain unrecognised.

Thus, four months passed. There was a grand festival in the City of Virata. There came athletes from all quarters by thousands. Amongst them, there was one by name Jeemoota, who towered above the rest and challenged the wrestlers in the court of Virata, to a combat.

He told the King "I have visited many places. There was none even to approach me. Is there anybody in your country to combat with me" challenged that athlet.

All the wrestlers in the court of Virata stood sad. Virata was very much annoyed. Dharmaja came to his rescue

"O King Virata! while I was associated with King Yudhishtira, there was one wrestler in his court. That wrestler is now working as cook in your kitchen. He defeated many wrestlers in the combat" said Dharmaja.

King Virata ordered Valala to combat with that great wrestler. Valala looked at his brother, Yudhishtira. Yudhishtira expressed his consent by a knod.

Both of them were possessed of great courage and terrible prowess. They began to fight with each other. Beehama roared like a lion and jumped upon him. Various were the modes of attack and defence that they exhibited with their clenched fists. Each dashed against the other and flung his adversary to a distance. They slapped each other with their palms that struck as hard as thunderbolt.

At last, the powerful Bheema struck Jeemoota on his nose and throw him away and defeated him. Virata gave Valala many presents for defeating Jeemoota. Valala distributed all those moneys to poor and needy and retired to his kitchen.

In this manner, King Virata made him to fight with wrestlers and where there were no wrestlers, with lions and elephants, for the pleasure of the ladies in the inner apartments.

The time was passing on. The one year Ajnaata vaasa was coming to an end within few days. One day, the Commander of Virata Forces, by name Kichaka, chanced to behold Malini, when he visited his sister Sudheshna, wife of King Virata.

Beholding Malini, Kichaka was afflicted with the shaft of Manmadha, and desired to possess her. He felt that his life was waste without her. He was burning with desire's flame.

Droupadi was very much annoyed with the lustful looks of Kichaka. At that time she was wearing a soiled saree. But Kichaka did not care even for his Sister Sudheshna and the servant maids. He was staring at Malini with lustful looks.

After some time, he came to senses and greeted his sister Sudheshna. "Sister Susheshna! Who is this beautiful lady? Whose she is? When she has come and from where? She had never before been seen by me in your abode. This damsel maddens me with its beauty." said Kichaka.

Without waiting for the answer, he apprached Droupadi. "O beautiful lady! who are you? What is your name? Who are your parents? Who is your husband?" asked Kichaka.

Droupadi kept quiet without giving answer.

"O fair lady! Your beauty maddens me. I wish to touch you but my hands are shivering. You lady of exceeding beauty, I am subjected to the shafts of Manmadha. I will forsake all my older wives. Let them become your slaves." said Kichaka under the influence of lust.

With these words of Kichaka, Droupadi grew angry. But she does not want to hasten. "O brother! I am in many troubles. Look at me and my soiled clothes. Your are great. You got a beautifl sister. Treat me also as your sister. I was born in a low caste. I worship my husbands. You should not speak like this" said Droupadi.

Kichaka lost control over his senses and overcome by lust. "You should not speak like that. Your beauty maddemed me. You are not a lady of low caste. I can bear the sin which will be afflicted by adultery but I could not control the flaming fire kindled by Manmadha." said Kichaka

Droupati could not control herself any more "O Kichaka! Dont act so foolishly and dont throw away your life. Know that I am protected by my five husbands, Gandharvas. You cannot have me. Enraged, they will slay you." cautioned Droupadi.

"O young lady! Not only your husbands, Gandharvas, there is no one on the earth who rivals me in beauty, vigour, valour, youth, prosperity. Know that none can defeat me" said Kichaka.

"O foolish Kichaka! Dont you know, in the past, Ravana and other raakshasas died for the sake of wives of others." said Droupadi with anger and went away.

Sudheshna was observing all these developments. "Kichaka is afflicted with maddening lust. I do not know what will happen to him. What can I do? Any how I will try my level best" thought Sudheshna.

"Brother Kichaka! There are several beautiful ladies in your inner apartments for your plealsure. Why you desire a female servant of low attraction employed in the despicable office of dressing hair. Kindly heed my words" said Sudheshna.

"Sister Sudheshna! There is none on earth who is more beautiful than this lady. It is true. Her eyes, her hands, her legs, her voice, her body curves, are so marvellous. I desire her. By whatever means, I want her" said Kichaka.

"Brother Kichaka! Heed my words. Dont be foolish. With this act, your health, wealth, life and fame will diminish. Virtuous people will never uphold it. It is not wise. Besides that, how can you enjoy sensual pleasures wih that lady with the fear in mind that if any body knows it, you will be defamed; or her husbands may at any time kill you. Therefore, adultery is not safe. I am more afraid of her five husbands. Kindly forget her" said Sudheshna. Kichaka did not heed the words of Sudheshna.

Kichaka turned to his sister Sudheshna "Do you so act that your sairandhri may come into my arms. Do you adpet the means by which the damsel may accept me." said Kichaka.

"He is a fool. He will never heed my words. His death is imminent, either in the hands of her husbands, Gardharvas or in the hands of Manmadha with his lustful desires." thought Sudheshna.

"Brother Kichama! Certainly I will do it. Dont worry. I shall send Malini to you on the pretext of bringing some wine and when she comes, you may convince her. She may incline her mind to you" said Sudheshna.

Satisfied with her reply, Kichaka went away. Kichaka made arrangements for a grand dinner with several eatables and drinks. He granted leave to all the servants and sent them away so that nobody will be present in his palace. At a beautiful place he was waiting for the arrival of Malini, imagining the sensual pleasures he will enjoy with Malini.

There, Sudheshna called Malini "Malini! I am feeling thirsty. Best quality wine is available at the residence of my brother Kichaka. Please go there immediately and bring some wine for me" said Sudheshna.

On hearing these words, Malini shivered. "I shall not go to the palace of Kichaka. You know how shameless he is. In your palace, I shall not be able to lead a lustful life becoming faithless to my husbands. Please remember the conditions I set down before entering your house. The foolish Kichaka, on seeing me, will insult me. Therefore I will not go to his quarters. Many maids are there under you. Send one of them" requested Malini.

"No. I am sending you to bring my favourite wine. How can I send some low class people for this purpose. The palace of Kichaka is not alien to you. He is my own brother. Sent by me, from my house, surely he will not harm you. Dont worry" said Sudheshna.

Malini, filled with apprehensions, and weeping, mentally prayed for the protection of Gods and went to the abode of Kichaka for fetching wine.

She prayed Sun God "As I do not know another person other than my husbands, by virtue of that truth, let Kichaka not be able to overpower me although I may approach his presence". Lord Surya considered her prayer and commanded a Rakshasa (demon) to protect her invisibly. Thus commanded, from that moment, the Rakshasa began to attend upon that blameless lady under any circumstances.

Malini then entered the palace of Kichaka and approached Kichaka. "I have been sent to you by Sudheshna for bringing some wine. Do you speedily bring me wine for, she told me, that she is exceedingly thirsty." asked Malini.

"O beautiful lady! you have come for the thirst of your Lady. But what about my thirst. Will you not quench my thirst of lust and rule me as your slave. " said Kichaka.

"If I am late, Sudheshna will grew angry. Please give me the wine I have to go" requested Malini.

" Dont worry I will send some other maid with wine to Sudheshna. You consume this beautiful wine and quench my thirst. I will make you my queen. All my wives will serve you as slaves. I will also be at your feet" said Kichaka.

So saying, Kichaka suddenly seized her by the end of her upper garment as she attempted to run away. The Rakshasa who was protecting her came to her rescue. With the invisible influence of Rakshasa, Malini dashed Kichaka to the ground. Kichaka tumbled down like a huge tree.

Having thrown Kichama down, she rushed to the Court of Virata. While Malini was running with all her speed, Kichaka followed her to the court of Virata, seizing her by hair and bringing her down on the ground, kicked her in the very presence of the King Virata.

The Rakshasa who was protecting her, gave Kichaka a shove with a force mighty as that of the wind. Overpowered by the force of Rakshasa, Kichaka reeled and fell down senseless on the ground, even like an uprooted tree.

At that time both Yudhishtira and Bheemasena (Valala) were seated there beheld with wrathful eyes with the outrage on Droupadi by Kichaka. With the desire of killing Kichaka, Bheema gnashed his teeth in rage and tried to cut a tree nearby.

Yudhishtira stopped him. "Look, you cook, for the sake of fuel, why you are cutting a fruitbearing tree." Bheema controlled his anger and kept quiet. Droupadi observed the anger of Bheema and the pacifying of Yudhishtira.

"O King Virata, Kichaka now kicked the proud and beloved wife of those whose foe can never sleep in peace. You know pretty well all Dharma. My husbands, five gandharvas, who are capable of punishing the wrong doers, are keeping quiet while Kichaka is outraging me. Where is protection for a common lady in this kingdom? Nobdoy is raising their voice when a woman is outraged in their very presence. O king Virata! you donot act like a King towards Kichaka. Your behaviour does not shine in court. I should thus be insulted in your very presence, O King, is highly improper." directly questioned Droupadi.

Incapable of reprimand Kichaka, King Virata told Droupadi: "I do now know what your dispute is. Not knowing the true cause, how can I show my discrimination. I will enquire and take action" spoke like a veteran politician.

Observing all this, Kichaka retired to his palace. Yudhishtira said: "Stay not there O Sairandhri! but retire to the palace of Sudheshna. Wives of heroes bear affliction for the sake of their husbands. All have observed what had happened. Justice will be done to you. Your gandharva husbands do not consider this as an action for manifesting their wrath inasmuch as they do not rush to your aid. You are ignorant of the timeliness of things and you are weeping as an actress on stage. Your gandharva husbands will do what is agreeable to you and take the life of him that has wronged you." said Yudhishtira.

"Yes. My husband is an actor. It is an undisputed truth. Youngsters will follow eldelrs. I also follow my husband. So I am also an acress on the stage. My husband is not only an actor, he is a gambler too. What great respect will the wife of a gambler get in this court." so saying Malini ran back to the apartments of Sudheshna.

Knowing fully well what had happened, Sudheshna, on seeing Malini, innocently asked her "Malini! what had happened? Who insulted you? Why do you weep? Who has done you wrong? asked Sudheshna.

"As I went to bring wine for you, Kichaka struck me in the court in the very presence of the king and in the midst of all." said Malini.

"Kichaka, maddedned by lust, has insulted you. I will enquire and cause him to be slain, if you wish." said Sudheshna.

"You need not worry about it. My gandharva husbands will wreak vengeance. I am sure, it is clear that he will have to go to the abode of Yama this very night" said Malini.

On hearing these words, Sudheshna was frightened. Thus insulted by Kichaka, Malini, eagerly wishing for the destruction of Kichaka, rushed back to her apartments.

(Who is this Kichaka? In one of the Sanskrit texts, as a foot note it was written like this.

A person who was born to a Kshatriya through a Brahmin lady is called Soota. It is Soota community. He is placed below Kshatriya and above Vysya. He can maintain marital relations with Kshatriyas. In that Soota community, there was one Soota called Kichaka. His wife was Malavi. He begot 106 sons. The eldest was Simhabala. He was a mighty personality. His mother's sister's daughter was Sudheshna(cousin sister). Simhabala along with his 105brothers (As they are the sons of Kichaka, they are also called Kichakas) were living in the City of Virata along with their cousin sister, Sudheshna).

"What I am to do? Where shall I go? How can my purpose be effected? Kichaka is a mighty personality. There is none else except Bhimasena that can today accomplish the purpose on which my heart is set." thought Droupadi.

Afflicted with grief, she rose up at night and speedily proceeded towards the quarters of Bhimasena. She found Bheemasena sleeping on the couch in the cooking apartment.

"How can you sleep while that wretched Kichaka yet lived, having perpetrated today that foul act." Droupadi woke him up.

"Droupadi! for what purpose have you come here in such a hurry, dead of night. What is the reason? Has anybody seen you?" hurriedly asked Bheemasena.

" Knowing fully well what had happened, again if you ask, what can I tell. If you forget everything, what can I do? If you want to hear from me what had happened, I will tell you. One day Kichaka happened to see me while I was serving Sudheshna. He desired me with lust. I warned him that my five Gandharva husbands will slain you. He went away. Sudheshna sent me to fetch wine from his house. When I approached him for wine, he spoke some sweet words. When I refused, he became exceedingly enraged and intended to use violance. Understanding the intention of Kichaka, I speedily rushed to the place where the king was. The rest you have seen.

who else could bear such an humiliation when Dussaasana dragged me to the court in the midst of an assembly of courtiers calling me a slave. Who else could bear such an insult as the wicked Saindhava offered me while I was alone in the forest. Who else of my position could live having been kicked by Kichaka in the very sight of the King Virata.

How your elder brother, deprived of prosperity, sits dumb and even stopped you, while I was being insulted." said Droupadi.

"I would have caued carnage in Virata court but for the fact that Yudhishtira eyed me. I would have crushed the head of Kichaka then and there. If I did like that, our Ajnatavasa would have been foiled and we should again suffer Aranyavasa. Everybody will censure both of us. Therefore, we need not blame Yudhishtira for forbidding me. I will certainly slain Kichaka but it should be done secretely but not to the knowledge of one and all." said Bheema.

Droupadi realised her mistake. "Unable to bear my griefs, I spoke like that. I do not censure Yudhishtira. Yudhishtira is Ajatasatru. He is a virtuous person who performed Rajasooya Yaga. He is not an ordinary personality. It is paining that such a great virtuous personality is serving others. A huge personality like you, who killed Bakasura and Kimmeera, is fighting with tigers and lions for the pleasure of the king and his ladies. Arjuna who sat by the side of Indra, is serving the king as Bruhannala and teaching dance. Daily I am weeping while I see the valiant hero Nakula training the horses. Daily I am shedding tears when I see the beautiful Sahadeva rearing cows. I was born out of fire and was brought up by my parents with great love and affection. I married five valiant heroes. I became pure by performing Rajasooya Yaga sitting by the side of Yudhishtira. Even my mother in law, Kunti Devi, thinks twice to command me. Such a pricess like me, is now serving others as Sairandhri. Unless you kill that Kichaka, my mind will not rest in peace." said Droupadi.

"Droupadi! you need not tell this much. I will slain Kichaka. Our Ajnatavasa time is coming to an end Just few days remain. You do one thing. Renouncing your sorrow and grief, manage to have a meeting with Kicaka in the dancing hall (Nartana Sala). You must manage it so that others may not come along with him. I will kill him in Nartana Saala. This is final. It is already dawn. You please go away." said Bheema.

Droupadi went back to her apartments. Next day Kichaka woke up. He was fully afflicted with Madana's influence. He went to the palace of Sudheshna for the sake of Malini and accosted Sairandhri alone.

Malini remembered the words of Bheema. She pretended as if she does not see Kichaka. She was plucking the flowers.

"Malini! why you are rejecting me. Malini, throwing you down in the court, I kicked you in the presence of the King. Nobody came to your rescue even the King. This King Virata is, in name, only king of Matsya Kingdom. Commanding the forces of this realm, It is I who am the real lord of Matsya Kingdom. Do you accept me cheerfully, I shall become your slave." said Kichaka.

"You should know my condition. Though I am also afflicted with the shafts of Manmadha, I cannot reveal it, as i am a lady. Neither your friends nor your brothers should know your union with me. I am in terror of detection by those Gandharvas. Promise me this, I yield to you." said Malini in low tone.

"I will do even as you say. I will alone come to you for union with you, so that those Gandharvas may not come to know of this act of mine." said Kichaka cheerfully.

"Do you, when it is dark, go to the dancing hall where the girls dance during day. The Gandharvas do not know that place. We shall then without doubt escape all censures" told Malini.

"Promise I will be in dancing hall this very night waiting for your arrival" said Kichaka.

"Remember, you should come alone. None should accompany you" said Malini.

"Sure I will come alone." said Kichaka with overjoy.

"Anybody may notice us. please go away" so saying Malini went inside her apartment.

Kichaka's heart filled with joy. He returned back to his palace. Later, Malini went to the main kitcen and met Bheemasena. "As you said, I have given Kichaka to understand that our meeting will take place in the dancing hall, alone will he come at night to the dancing hall. Slay him there. Do you come to the dancing hall and take the life of Kichaka" asked Malini

"I swear unto you, by my brothers, I will slay Kichaka." said Bheema.

"But one doubt. Will he come to dancing hall alone or will he reveal the same to others. No he will not do like that. Droupadi! have you seen the joy in his face when you asked him to come to Dancing Hall. Yes. He will certainly come. He will touch me and caress me. I will catch him and kill him mercilessly. " said Bheema.

Droupadi was frightened that Bheema in his fit of anger may disclose their identity to others. "In your angry mood killing Kichaka, dont reveal our identify. Dharamaja and others may find fault with us for breaking Ajnatavasa. Our endeavour is to kill Kichaka unknown to others. If it is not possible, please stop this operation" said Droupadi.

"Droupadi! If you impose such conditions, how can I kill him. In a combat, while fighting with him, how can I do it secretely? However, I will keep your caution in mind and try to kill him unknown to others." said Bheema.

" Sudheshna might be enquiring about me. I will go." Droupadi went away.

Kichaka, in his palace, was waiting for the sunset. He was entertaining all kinds of doubts.

Whether Malini will come to dancing hall as promised!

Even if she comes, whether she will satisfy my lust!

She may change her mind before sunset!

Is it true that she has five gandharva husbands?

Suppose, while Malinig was coming to dancing hall, Sudheshna may entrust her with some work? If so, what will happen?

Suppose Malini does not come, how can I tolerate this lust, subjecting myself to the shafts of Manmadha.

How can I live without Malini?

No No Malini will certainly come. No doubt. When she spoke so many words and kindled fire of lust, how can she remain silent.

No, it is not like that. Why should I remain silent, suffering like this? I will go to her apartment, abduct her by force and enjoy sexual pleasures with her. Who will stop me?"

Kichaka was thinking like this, with a wavering mind. Kichaka was abusing Sun God for not setting early. He entertained a doubt whether Lord Brahma ordered Sun not to set on that day. He was looking at the sun eagerly for sunset.

As usual, Sun was set. The entire world was plunged in darkness. Droupadi went to the kitchen to remind Bhima. Bheema tucked a sari around his head. Bheema proceeded to dancing hall. Droupadi followed him. Both reaced dancing hall.

Bheema observed dancing hall on four sides. There was a long bed inside the dancing hall. Bhima asked Droupadi to hide behind a pillar unnoticed. He said on the bed covering himself with the saree.

Kichaka, having embellished his person as he chose, in a fully drunken state, came to the dancing hall at the appointed time with the hope of meeting Malini. Kichaka had seen Bhima sitting on the bed covered with a sari. Kichaka thought that she was Malini. He came near Bhima and touched him.

"Malini! Look at all these gifts brought for your sake. Look at me how handsome I am! Hitherto, I was attracted by several ladies. Now I am attracted by you. Why late! Come on let us enjoy!" Kichaka was madly talking under the influence of wine.

Bheema, with a female voice, said: "You are boasting yourself. You will never get such a beautiful lady like me. Dont compare me with others. If once you touch me, you will see what will happen! You will never have a chance to touch any other lady in your life. You will enjoy the result of touching me".

So saying Bheema rose to his feet, removed the sari, and roared like a lion. Bheema seized Kichaka by the hair of his head. Kichama quickly freed his hair and grasped the arms of Bhima. Kichaka thought that he is the gandharva husband of Malini.

Then between them there ensued a hand to hand encounter like a fight between two powerful elephants. Both were silently fighting with each without making any noise. Kichaka was under the apprehension that he may loose his prestige if his presence is known to one and all at dancing hall whereas Bhima also was under the apprehension that if he roars loudly, Ajnaatawasa will be broken. Both were fighting with equal strength and force.

Attacked thus in battle by powerful Bhima, Kichaka grew weak and began to tremble. He tugged at Bhima to the best of his power. Bheema quickly rose up forcibly, seized Kichaka by his hair, lifted him up and whirled him. Bheema grasped the throat of Kichaka with his arms and began to sqeeze.

Assailing with his knees, the waist of Kichaka, all the limbs of whose body broken into pieces. Bheema slay Kichaka as one would slay a beast. Bheeema began to roll him on the ground. Having crushed all his limbs and reduced him into a ball of flesh, the mighty Bheema showed him to Droupadi lighting a torch.

Droupadi looked at Kichaka. "O Kichaka! You have done all these things only to culminate like this. May your soul rest in peace" said Droupadi.

"Droupadi! are you satisfied. Is your desire fulfilled! Know yourself, no one will survive on this earth if he looks at you wickedly." said Bheema.

"Bheema Sena! how can I appreciate you for killing Kichaka in such a ghastly manner. My joy knows nobounds. You are no match to others." said Droupadi adoring Bheema.

"Drouapdi! it is not safe for us to remain here any longer." so saying Bheema went away swifly to his kitchen.

In this manner, Saint Vaisampaayana told Janamejaya about the killing of Kichaka by Bheema.

Maha Bharata, Viraata Parva


(second chapter)


Om Tatsat.








In Sanskrit, Mahabharata was written by Bhagawan Veda Vyasa.

It was translated into Telugu by Kavitrayam viz, Nannayya, Yerrana and Tikkana. The enire translation was done in verse form and prose.

Durng 1022 AD, Rajamahendravaram (now called as Rajahmundry, East Godavari District) was ruled by King Raja Raja Narendra. In his Court, there was a great poet called Nannayya. During 1055 A.D, at the request of King Raja Raja Narendra, Nannayya translated Sanskrit Maha Bharata into Telugu. He translated Aadi parva, Sabhaa Parva and some portion in Aranya Parva and dedicated the same to King Raja Raja Narendra.

Later, during 1255-60 A.D. Simhapuri (now called Nellore) was ruled by Manumasiddhi. In his court, there was a great poet called Tikkana Somayaji. Tikkana Somayaji continued the translation work commenced by Nannaya. But he started translating Mahabharat from Virata Parva and completed the remaining Fifteen Parvas and dedicated the same to Lord Hari Haranatha. He did not complete the unfinished portion of Aranya Parva.

Later, during the earlier part of 1400 A.D. a great poet called Yerra Praggada completed Aranya Parva, left by Nannayya.

We have so far completed Aadi parva, Sabha Parva and Aranya Parva written by Nannaya and Yerrapraggada, and entering Virata Parva written by Tikkana.

Let us know something about Tikkana Somayaji who had written fifteen parvas in Maha Bharata.

Tikkana Somayaji was the son of Kommana Dandanaadhudu and his wife Annamaamba. He was born in Goutama Gotram, Aapastambha Sootram.

One day, his father Kommana Dandanaadhudu and Lord Hari Hara Natha appeared in his dream and requested him to translate Maha Bharat into Telugu.

Accordingly, Tikkana Somayaji translated 15 Parvas into Telugu and dedicated the same to Lord Hari Haranadha.

While Nannayya dedicated his Mahabharat to KingRaja Raja Narendra, Tikkana dedicated his writings to Lord Hari Haranadha.

In Maha Bharat, we come across the episodes of Ajnaata Vaasamu and Krishna Raayabaaram.

In the real life of Tikkana also, he experienced both Ajnata Vasa and Raaya Baaram.

While Manumasiddhi was ruling Simhapuri (Nellore), Tikkana was his minister. At that time, King Ganapati Deva was ruling Kakatiya Kingdom from Orugallu (present Warangal).

Manumasiddhi was defeated and exiled by his step brothers Akkaya and Bayyana and he was driven out of his kingdom. In this task, one King Kulottunga Chola helped Akkana and Bayyana.

At that time, Poet Tikkana kept Manuma Siddhi in Ajnaata Vaasa. Then, along with his Sishyas, he went to Orugallu and met King Ganapati Deva as the emissary of Manumasiddhi. Poet Tikkana won the laurels of King Ganapati Deva by explaining Maha Bharata in detail. He defeated Buddhist Monks in dual arguments.

King Ganapati Deva asked Poet Tikkana "What do you want?"

Poet Tikkana explained in detail the political turmoil in Simhapuri and about the fate of Manumasiddhi and sought the help of King Ganapati Deva in installing Manumasiddhi again on the throne of Simhapuri (Nellore).

King Ganapati Deva responded positively. He had a talk with Kulottanga Chola and stopped his help to Akkanna and Bayyanna. He defeated Akkanna and Bayyanna and installed Manumasiddhi on the throne of Simhapuri. Thus Poet Tikkana succeeded in restoring Manumasiddhi to his Kingdom.

Poet Tikkana lived for 78 years, from 1210 AD to 1288 AD.

In the writings of Tikkana, we mostly see dramatisation of events. Ofcourse, Nannayya also commenced dramatisation even in Sabha Parva. But Tikkana completely adopted dramatisation of events in writing Maha Bharat. The following may be the reason.

We are aware, during that time, Kakateeya Kingdom was ruled by King Ganapati Deva. During the reign of Kakatiya kings, fine arts like music, dance, drama etc., flourished in abudance. One Jaayappa Senani (Army Chief) wrote a book on the art of dance called Nrutta Ratnaakaram. Several carvings and sculptures of dance styles on the walls of temples in Orugallu are the only proof. During that time Poet Tikkana translated Mahabharat. Therefore, the flourishing of fine arts in Kakatiya Empire might have influenced Poet Tikkana in adopting dramatisation in Mahabharat.

(see the Preface to Sreemadaandhra Mahabharatamu, Virata Parvamu, published by Tirumala Tirupati Devastaanams).

Janamejaya, the grand son of Arjuna, asked Saint Vaisampaayana:

"O Saint! Kindly tell me how, our grand fathers, Pandavas, on completion of Aranya Vasa, spent Ajnaata Vaasa, unrecognised by Kouravas" .

Saint Vaisampaayana continued to say:

Yudhishtira addressed all the Brahmins accompanied them during Vanavasa

"O Brahmins! you all have been associated with us all these twelve years and undergone much hardship. We have to undergo one year Ajnaata Vaasa as per the agreement with Suyodhana. Kindly bless us to complete Ajnatavasa uninterruptedly" requested Yudhishtira.

"Yudhishtira! you are the embodiment of Dharma. In the past also, after the killing of Vrutraasura, Indra spent some time in Ajnaatavaasa on Nishadhaacala; likewise Lord Hari spent Ajnatavasa in the womb of Adithi as Vaamana; similary Ourva spent some time in the thigh of his mother; it is only due to bad time. Later, Indra, Hari and Ourva attained their previous glory. Similary, you also will attain your previous glory on completion of Ajnata vasa" said Dhoumya, the Purohit.

Then all the Bramins left Pandavas to their own places.

Then Yudhishtira called all his brothers and said:

"Exiled from our kingdom, we have passed 12 years. The 13th year, hard to spend, has now come. Do you therefore select some spot where we may pass our days undiscovered by our enemies. " said Yudhishtira.

"Even by virtue of Yama Dharma's boon, we will not be discovered by anybody. Still, for purpose of residene, I shall mention some spots that are both delightful and secluded. Please select some one of them.

Surrounding the Kingdom of Kurus, there are many countries beautiful and abounding in corns, such as Paanchaala, Chedi, Matsya, Saalva, Videha, Baahlika, Dasaarna, Soorasena, Kalinga, Magadha. Which of these, would you choose and where shall we spend this year?" said Arjuna.

"As far as my knowledge goes, King Virata, ruling Matsya Kingdom, is a virtuous, powerful and charitable and is liked by all. He is also attached to Pandavas. We shall enter the city of Virata and spend this one year. Tell me in what capacities will you dwell in the city of Virata?" asked Yudhishtira.

"Brother Yudhishtira! you are mild, modest and charitable and virtuous and firm in promise. How will you overcome this great calamity that has overtaken you? asked Arjuna.

"On appearing before King Virata, I shall present myself as a Brahmin, Kanka by name. I know Srouta, Smarta, Sakuna, Jyothisha and other sciences. I am also skilful in dice game. I shall become a courtier of Virata and show my talent in the above fields. Should the King Virata ask me I shall say "formerly I was the friend of Yudhishtira" . It is thus I shall pass my days." said Yudhishtira.

Yudhishtira looked at Bheemaa "O Bheemaa! you have killed Bakasura, Kimmeeraa. What office will you take?" asked Yudhishitira.

"Brother Yudhishtira! I intend to present myself before King Virata as a cook bearing the name of Valala. I am skilled in culinary art. I shall prepare curries for the king and excelling all those skilful cooks who have been serving the King hitherto. I shall gratify the monarch.

I shall command to subdue powerful elephants. If any combatants will fight with me, I will vanquish them and thereby entertain the monarch. But I shall not take any life of them. I shall only bring them down in such a way that they may not be killed. On being asked as regards my antecedents, I shall say "formerly I was the wrestler and cook of Yudhishtira. Thus I maintain myself." said Bheema.

Yudhishitira then looked at Arjuna. "Arjuna! What about you. What office will be performed by you?" asked Yudhishtira.

"While I was with Devendra, when Urvasi tried to have sexual pleasure with me, I refused. She cursed me to become a neuter sex. But Devendra modified it saying that I may undergo that curse during Ajnaata vaasa and on completion of Ajnaatavasa, I will be relinquished of that curse.

Hence, I will declare myself as one of the neuter sex. I shall appear as one of the third sex, Bruhannala by name, and living as a female. I shall entertain the king and the inmates of the inner apartments by reciting stories. I shall also instruct the women of the palace in singing and delightful modes of dancing and in playing musical instruments of diverse kinds.

Should the king enquire me, I will say that I lived as a waiting maid of Draupadi in the Palace of Yudhishtira. Concealing myself by these means, as fire is concealed by ashes, I shall pass my days in the palace of Virata." said Arjuna.

Then Dharmaja looked at Nakula. "While living in the dominions of King Virata, Nakula, what office will you take. Tell me all about it?" asked Dharmaja.

"Brother Yudhishtira! In the name of Dhaamagrandhi, I shall become the keeper of the horses of King Virata. I have thorough knowledge of this work and I am skilful in tendering horses. Besides, this task is agreeable to me. I possess great skill in training and treating horses and the horses are ever dear to me. To those persons who enquire about me, I will tell "formerly I was employed by Yudhishtira in charge of his horses". Thus, disguised, I shall spend my days delightfully in the city of Virata. I will gratify the King Virata in such a way that no one will be able to discover me." said Nakula.

"Sahadeva! how will you bear yourself before that King and what is that which you will do in order to live in disguise?" asked Yudhishtira.

"I will become a keeper of the kine of King Virata. I am skilled in milking kine and taking their history as well as taming them. Passing in the name of Tantri Paala, I shall perform my duties skilfully. If asked, I will tell that I was formerly keeping the kine of Yudhishtira. I always take delight in work of this kind. No one will then be able to recognise me and I will moreover gratify the King Virata." said Sahadeva.

Then, Yudhishtira looked at Droupadi. "This is our beloved wife, Droupadi, dearer to us than our lives. Delicate and Young, she is a princess of great repute. Unacquainted as she is, with any kind of womanly work, what office will she perform?" said Yudhishitira with sorrowful voice.

"There is a class of persons called Sairandhris. I will go before Queen Sudheshna, as a Sairandhri, by name Malini. On being questioned by the Queen, I shall say that I served as a waiting woman of Droupadi. I shall thus pass my days in disguise and I shall serve the Queen Sudheshna, the wife of Virata. Surely she will cherish me" said Droupadi.

Yudhishtira was satisfied with what has been said by his brothers and Droupadi. All are fixed in their own positions. Yudhishtira requested Priest Dhoumya to protect Agnihotram carefully. All the other persons like chariot drivers, cooks, personal servants were sent out to their respective places. While leaving them, Yudhishtira told them that "if any body asks about our whereabouts, you may tell that you donot know where Pandavas have gone leaving all of you at Dvaitavana."

Then Priest Dhoumya told Pandavas thus:

"Dharmaja! all of you were born in a respectable Kuru race, and led a virtuous life. At this juncture, it is very difficult for you to serve others. You should not forget that, for the present, the time is not in your favour. This is not proper time to exhibit your vigour, valour and heroism. That may break your Ajnatavasa agreement.

To dwell with a king is a highly difficult task. I shall therefore speak to you how you may reside in the royal household, avoiding every fault.

One should not wear more costly clothes than King or reside in a palace more than a king and should not speak unnecessarily before a king.

Generally, Kings do not forgive even their own sons, brothers, relatives and friends if they happen to tamper with their dignity.

One should not accept any work which he will not be able to discharge properly; otherwise he will have to face the unpleasantness of the King.

One should not keep himself silent before a king, nor he should be more talkative. One should speak softly and tactfully before a king and win his favour.

One should not leak out the royal secrets to anybody.

After carefully deliberating on all things, a person should set forth, before the king, those topics that are both profitable and pleasing.

One should never occupy a seat higher than a king. One should not feel proud that King praised him or feel sorrow that King cursed him.

One should discharge the royal duties entrusted to him with great care and devotion, irresepctive of place, time, weather, hunger or thirst.

One should feel the royal moneys and property as poison, misappropriating royal funds may take away his life.

One should not laugh, snore or sleep in the presence of King.

One should not move friendly with the enemies of King or with their men.

A servant should not enjoy more plealsures than a King. It may not be liked by the King.

Therefore, during the Ajnatavasa period, you have to move in the royal household with greatest care and caution so that you should not be recognised by anybody." said Dhoumya, the Priest.

Dharmaja, with folded hands, said: "You are my Priest andwell wisher. We have been well taught by you. There is none that could say so to us." said Yudhishtira.

Then Pandavas started their journey to Matsya kingdom. They were walking along Yamuna river and reached the outskirts of Matsya kingdom.

Dhoumya, along with Agnihotra, stopped in an Ashram.

Pandavas continued their journey through forest areas. Droupadi was very much tired and she could not proceed further.

"Pass we here for the rest of the night, for, great is fatigue" said Droupadi.

Dharmaja did not agree. His aim is to reach Virata City as early as possible. Droupadi could not move a step further. Dharmaja asked Nakula to carry Droupadi. Nakula expressed his inability as he was also very much tired.

Yudhishtira looked at Arjuna "Arjuna! will you take up Panchaali and carry her upto the outskirts of Virata City?"

Arjuna took up Droupadi and carried upto the outskirts of Virata City.

"Arjuna! where shall we deposit our weapons before entering the city. If, we enter, with our weapons, we shall surely excite the alarm of the citizens" said Dharmaja and looked around.

In the vicinity, there was a burial ground. Generally prople were not moving there. Besides that, people believe that devils and demons were roaming there. There was a mighty Samee Tree throwing its gigantic branches to four sides and very difficult to ascend.

Arjuna said: "Brother Dharmaja! I think this Sami Tree is the fittest place to keept our arms."

Then Pandavas kept their bows, arrows, knives etc., on a skin with hair and bundled them. Dharmaja found a dead body of an animal. He asked Nakula to peel its skin and bring it. Arjuna wrapped the skin to the bundle. There was a dead body of unidenified person lying at a distance. Arjuna brought and tied that dead body also along with the main bundle.

Yudhishtira, along with the bundle containing the bows, arrows, knives etc, climbed the tree and hanged that bundle to a big branch. Dharmaja prayed that the bundle should be invisible to others, especially to Bheema, and should be visibe only to himself and Arjuna and it should appear as a bundle of poisonous serpants to others.

(Dharmaja might have entertained a doubt in his mind that, during the course of Ajnatavasa, at any point of time, Bheema, in a fit of anger, may run up to this tree, take his mace and attack Kouravas, in order to to kill them, thus breaking the agreement of Ajnatavasa.).

Dharmaja climbed down the Sami tree. He looked around. He saw some cowherds grazing their cattle. He went near them and told them "My aged mother died with disease. As per our caste custom, we have to hang the dead body to a Sami tree. Hence we hanged the dead body to that branch of this Sami Tree." said Dharmaja.

The cowherds were verymuch frightened with his words. They swiftly ran away to inform about the same to their friends.

Then Yudhishtira prayed Yama Dharma Raja. They were transformed into a Brahmin Sanyasi, a cook, a Bruhannala, horse keeper and cowherd respectively. Yudhishtira told his brothers and Droupadi to enter the city one by one. First Yudhishtira entered Virata City.

Incidentally, on that day, King Virata was going round the city. The King saw Dharmaja as Sanyasi Brahmin.

"Enquire who he is. He cannot be a brahmin. He shines like Indra. I think he is the lord of this earth" said Virata. Dharmaja was brought before him.

"Who are you? To which place you belong? What made you to come over here?" asked Virata.

"O Great King Virata! Know me for a brahmin, who, having lost all his wealth, has come to you for means of subsistence. I desire to live here beside you." requested Dharmaja.

"You are welcome. Tell me also particularly what is your name, family and what knowledge you have?" asked Virata.

"My name is Kanka I am a brahmin. I am skilled in dice game.I lost all my wealth in dice game. Unable to bear that agony, I left my country. I heard that you are a virtuous king. I will remain here for a period of one year. Then I will go away in serch of my enemies. Formerly, I was a friend of Yudhishtira." said Yudhishtira.

Virata satisfied with his replies. "I will give you whatever position you want. It is my fortune to have you with us. Kanka is as much lord of this realm as myself. There shall also be at his disposal apparel in plenty, various kinds of food, drinks etc., for you, all my doors are open" ordered Virata.

"I do not want any royal plealsures. I will eat the remains of Homa and will sleep on the ground and comlete my one year period." said Dharmaja.

"You may live as you like" said Virata.

Thus Yudhishtira entered the royal palace of Virata.

Then entered Bheema, holding in hand a cooking ladle, a big spoon and an unsheathed sword. He came in the guise of a cook. He bowed before King Virata.

"O King Virata! I am a cook, Valala by name. I am skilled in preparing sumptious dishes.. Plese employ me as a cook. I was previously worked as Cook in the palace of Yushishtira. I am also a wrestler and I will entertain you with my wrestling. If you dont like me, I will go elsewhere" said Bheema.

" I am very much impressed with your words. Do as you like. Be you the superintendent of the kitchen and you are placed at the head of all those who have been working in the kitchen." said King Virata.

Thus Bheema entered the court of King Virata as a cook.

Next appeared at the gate of the royal palace, another person of enormous size and exqusite beauty, decked with the ornaments of a woman, wearing large ear rings, with long hair floating about his neck.

"O King Virata! I am proficient in dance and skilled in singing and playng all kinds of instruments. Know me to be Brihannala, a third sex. I will teach music and dance to young girls in your palace. Kindly allow me to join in your inner apartments" said Arjuna.

Virata looked at Arjuna "You are so beautiful. How you become brihannala?" asked Virata.

"By virtue of some curse, I am undergoing this neuter sex. Due to this neuter sex , I could not do any work. I learnt music and dance from my childhood." said Arjuna.

King Virata was satisfied that he belongs to neuter sex. He called his daugher, Uttara.

"Brihannalaa! this is my daughter, Uttara. Will you teach dance to her?" asked Virata.

Brihannala humbly replied that she will do it.

"Brihannalaa! she is still childish and interested in playing. You have to inculcate in her some interest in learning music and dance and give him good training." said Virata.

"My child! She is your teacher. You have to learn dance with great devotion" so saying Virata handed over Uttara to Brihannala.

Thus Arjuna joined the office of Virata as dance master.

Then entered Nakula, in the attire of horse keeper. At that time, King Virata was examining some horses bought by him earlier. Nakula began to observe the horses around. King Virata stared at Nakula and thought that he was having proficiency in horses. He asked his minister to enquire about Nakula.

At that time, Nakula himself approached King Virata and said: "O King Virata! I will look after your horses. As a trainee of horses, I have alwlays been highly esteemed by kings. I will be a clever keeper of your horses" said Nakula.

"Who are you? From where you have come? Tell me all the arts you are master of?" asked Virata.

" My name is Tamagrandhi. I was formerly employed by Yudhishtira to keep his horses." said Nakula.

King Virata was very much satisfied with his antecedents.

"Whatever horses I have, I consign to you their care even from today. All the keepers of my horses and all my charioteers will, from today, be subordinate to you." said King Virata.

In this manner, Nakula joined as horse keeper.

With a long stick in his hand, and a bundle of ropes on his head, Sahadeva entered the city of Virata clad in a cowherd dress.

King Virata asked him "Who are you? Where do you come? I have never seen you before. Tell me the truth about you?" asked King Virata.

"O King Virata! victory is yours. I was employed as a cowherd in the service of kuru race. I intend now to serve you. I was previously employed in keeping the cattle of Yudhishtira. He used to call me Tantri pala. I am well acquainted with the kinds of kine and the possible diseases they may get. I can treat them." asked Sahadeva.

"I am having innumerable kine. I place you in charge of all my kine." said King Virata.

Thus Sahadeva joined the service of King Virata as cowherd. In this manner, all five pandavas got their abode in Virata City. Now remains their wife, Droupadi.

Binding her black, soft, fine long hair into a knotted braid, wearing a soiled saree, filling her heart with service motto, Droupadi was walking along the streets in Virata City.

At that time, Queen Sudheshna was standing on the top of the palace for fresh air. She saw Droupadi walking along the streets. She sent her servant maid to fetch her. Accordingly,Droupadi was brought before her.

"Oh beautiful lady! Who are you? What do you seek?" asked Sudheshna.

"I am a maid servant of Sairandhri class. My name is Malini. I know to dress hair and also to make beautiful and variegated garlands. Previously, I served Satya Bhama, wife of Sri Krishna and Droupadi. I am the wife of five husbands. But I was insulted by enemies in the presence of my husbands. I went to forests along with my husbands. I have to spend one more year. I am in search of a respectable abode where I can spend that one year period. I heard that you are a virtuous and respectable queen. I will serve you in a respecable manner. Will you employ me?" asked Droupadi.

Sudheshna got a doubt "Sairandhri! you appear tobe more beautiful. If my husband himself will be attracted by your beauty, what can I do? It is nothing but keeping fire upon my head. Even ladies are looking at you with lust. What male person is there that can resist your attraction? I may bring destruction upon myself by harbouring you." said Sudheshna.

"O Queen Sudheshna! neither King Virata nor any other person will be able to touch me, for, my five youthful husbands who are Gandharvas always protecting me. Any man that attempts to have me like any other woman, will meet with death that very night. Therefore no one can succeed in having me for, those Gandharvas possessing of great energy and mighty strength always protect me secretely. I have no such bad intention to attract anybody. You can believe me. I have got some principles. I will not touch food already parttaken by another nor I will touch or wash anybody legs." said Droupadi.

Sudheshna satisfied with the character of Sairandhri and admitted her into her household.

In this manner, all five pandavas and Droupadi joined the royal palace of King Virata in disguise and spending their time happily.

(Maha Bharat – Virata Parva –

First Chapter – Completed)