Mahabharata Book Four
The Book of Viráta details the Pándavas’ 13th year in exile, when they live disguised in King Viráta's court. They suffer the humiliation of becoming servants; a topic explored both through comedy and pathos. Having maintained their disguise until the very end of the year, then their troubles really begin. Bhima is forced to come to Dráupadi's rescue when King Viráta's general, Kíchaka, sets his sights on her. Duryódhana and the Tri·gartas decide to invade the defeated Viráta's kingdom, unaware the Pándavas are hidden there. In the ensuing battles the Pándavas play a crucial role, save Viráta and reveal their true identities. The book ends in celebration, with the Pándavas ready to return from exile and reclaim their kingdom. However, the battles in “Viráta” foreshadow the war to come, proving it will not be easy.
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