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Mahabharata Stories: Why Did Bhima Fight Bakasura?

By Anirudh Narayanan

The story is set during the period when the Pandavas were in exile along with their mother Kunti. They were passing through a beautiful place called Ekachara. According to the rules put forth by Duryodhan, if the Pandavas were recognised during their 13th year of exile then they would have to remain 13 years in exile yet again. So, the Pandavas were disguised as Brahmin scholars.

Secrets From The Epic Mahabharat

At Ekachara a Brahmin scholar saw the Pandavas and mistook them as fellow Brahmin scholars because of their disguised appearance. He provided them shelter at his home. He had a wife and two children; one girl and one boy.

Whole day the Pandavas pretended to study scriptures, just like real scholars. At sundown they went to beg for their food. Whatever they got, Kunti divided into two halves; one half for Bhima and the other half for the rest of her son's and herself.

One day Kunti heard loud sobs from the friendly Brahmin scholar's home. On going closer she could hear a multitude of cries, all coming from the family members. She could hear them arguing amongst themselves as to who will sacrifice their life for the sake of others. The Brahmin scholar was saying that as he must be the one who should take the food cart and make the sacrifice. But his wife says it is her ultimate duty towards her husband and her kids.

The daughter of the scholar on the other hand wants to sacrifice herself for the sake of her parents and her younger brother. Kunti, who is listening to all this unable to make head and tail of it. She walks in and asks the Brahmin what's wrong and what is this sacrifice they keep speaking about. That is when the Brahmin scholar tells Kunti about Bakasura.

Bakasura was a demon who terrorised people by killing and eating them. The local king struck a deal with the demon, according to which he was sent huge provisions of food and a human being every month; both of which he devoured. The families took turn in sending the provisions and someone from their family. If he wasn't sent his monthly provisions Bakasura would come and wreak havoc.

The Brahmin was in a fix, as this month it was supposed to be someone from his family. Kunti tells them that they needn't worry, as she would send her son Bhima to take the provisions onto the rooftop. The Brahmin scholar refuses instantly, as he could not do this to his guests.

But Kunti convinces them that Bhima is extremely strong and will be an equal match for the demon Bakasura.Kunti tells Bhima about the demon and he agrees to face-off with Bakasura without even blinking.

Bhima took the cartload of food and went up the hill to meet Bakasura. Bhima reached the hilltop and couldn't resist all the food. He devours all the food meant for Bakasura and starts calling his name out loudly.

Bakasura who was sleeping under a tree saw a man calling his name out and greedily eating all his food. He was outraged. He leaps onto the back of Bhima who is busy eating. Even the fierce blows are unable to deter Bhima from finishing the food.

Finally Bhima starts fighting back by uprooting trees and hitting the monster black and blue.

At first Bakasura seems really powerful but soon Bhima proves to be the mightier one. He kills Bakasura with his bare hands and thus ending the demon's reign of terror once and for all.