Puranic encyclopaedia

by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222

This page describes the Story of Kicaka included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).

Story of Kīcaka

Brother-in-law of Mātsya, king of Virāṭa and son of Kekaya, king of the Sūtas.

General information.

To Kekaya, king of the Sūtas was born of queen Mālavī, Kīcaka and other 105 sons younger to him called Upa-Kīcakas. Their only sister was called Sudeṣṇā, (Bhārata, Southern text, Page 1898). Kīcaka and Upa-Kīcakas took their birth from an aspect of Bāṇa, the eldest of the Asuras known as the Kālakeyas. (See Bhārata, Page 1893). Mātsya, the Virāṭa king wedded Sudeṣṇā; and from that day onwards, the brothers too lived in the Virāṭa palace. Kīcaka was the chieftain of Virāṭa’s army, and he had, many a time, defeated in war King Suśarman of Trigarta. (Virāṭa Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 30).

Kīcaka and Pāñcālī.

During their life incognito, the Pāṇḍavas lived in the Virāṭa palace after taking up various jobs. Pāñcāli, under the assumed name Mālinī, served Sudeṣṇā and her daughter Uttarā as their chaperon. Kīcaka fell in love with Pāñcālī at first sight. But, Pāñcālī resisted all his advances. Then, he sought the help of his sister Sudeṣṇā to bring round Pāñcālī to him somehow. Sudeṣṇā asked Kīcaka to be ready on the New Moon day with liquor and rice and promised to send Mālinī (Pāñcālī) to him. Ordered by Sudeṣṇā, she went to Kīcaka with his plate of food much against her will. Kīcaka caught hold of her, but she ran when the former caught her by the hair, felled her on the floor and kicked her. A Rākṣasa, who was deputed for Pāñcālī’s security appeared on the scene in a trice and felled Kīcaka.

Kīcaka’s Death.

The very same night with tears in her eyes, Pāñcālī told Bhīma all about the indecent behaviour. He asked Pāñcālī to invite Kīcaka to a secret meeting at a specified place the next night, and promised her that he would remain concealed there and kill Kīcaka. Accordingly Bhīma concealed himself the next night in the dancing hall and, as requested by Pāñcālī, Kīcaka came to the hall at midnight to spend a few hours with Pāñcālī. Bhīma was lying there on a cot, and Kīcaka, mistaking him for Pāñcālī kissed him. Bhīma caught him in his iron grips and crushed him to death. The next morning, it was the fate of Kīcaka’s brothers to lament over his death. The story also was spread that Kīcaka was killed by some Gandharva, the husband of Pāñcālī.

The Upa-Kīcakas removed the dead body of their brother to the burning ghat. Proclaiming that Pāñcālī, who was responsible for the death of their brother would also be burnt to death on the same pyre, the Upa-Kīcakas forcibly took her with them. Hearing the heart-rending cries of Pāñcālī Bhīma rushed to the spot and killed all the Upa-Kīcakas and saved Pāñcālī from death. In the presence of the Virāṭa king the cremation of Kīcaka and the Upa-Kīcakas took place. (Virāṭa Parva, Chapter 13 et seq).

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