The city in which Bhima and his mother were advised by the sage Vyasa to reside, it was in this city that Bhima destroyed the cannibal Vaka.
One day, it is said, the Pandavas heard a great noise in the house in which they were dwelling, and enquiring into its cause, were told that the demon compelled the king of Ekachakra every day to send him a great quantity of provisions. Vaka, daily devoured the man as well as the provisions and that on that very day the family of the Brahman was required to supply the man. While reposing in an inner apartment the Pandavas overheard the father, the mother, and the daughter, each urging a separate claim to be allowed to suffer for the rest.
On overhearing their discussion Bhima offered to go in place of the Brahman to save the family. After some discussion the Brahman reluctantly consented to Bhima's request to go to the Asura. Bhima set out with the ordained quantity of provisions, and went on until he came to the Lanyan tree under which Vaka was accustomed to eat his meals. Bhima then ate up all the victuals that were in the wagon and refilled it with dirt.
Vaka then came forward ravenous with hunger, and finding nothing but dirt, struck Bhima in a great rage. They then tore up large tress by the roots and fought together until not a tree was left. They then fought with their fists until the Asura was spent; when Bhima seized him by the legs and rent him as under.
The date of the story is fixed in the age of Buddhism. Ekachakra has been identified as the modern Arrah.
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(Last Updated on : 22-09-2009)
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