THE five sons of Pandu and the hundred
sons of Dhritarashtra grew up in mirth and
merriment at Hastinapura. Bhima excelled
them all in physical prowess. He used to
bully Duryodhana and the other Kauravas
by dragging them by the hair and beating
them. A great swimmer, he would dive, into
pools, with one or more of them clasped
helpless in his arms, and remain under
water till they were almost drowned.
Whenever they climbed up on a tree he
would stand on the ground and kick at the
tree and shake them down like ripe fruits.
The bodies of the sons of Dhritarashtra
would be ever sore with bruises as a result
of Bhima's practical jokes. Small wonder
that the sons of Dhritarashtra nursed a
deep hatred for Bhima from their very
As the princes grew up. Kripacharya
taught them archery and the practice of
arms and other things that princes should
learn. Duryodhana's jealousy towards
Bhima warped his mind and made him
commit many improper acts.
Duryodhana was very much worried. His
father being blind, the kingdom was ruled
by Pandu. After his death Yudhishthira,
the heir-apparent, would in course of time
become king. Duryodhana thought that as
his blind father was quite helpless he
must, to prevent Yudhishthira's accession
to the throne, contrive a way of killing
He made arrangements to carry out his
resolve since he thought that the powers
of the Pandavas would decline with the
death of Bhima.
Duryodhana and his brothers planned to
throw Bhima into the Ganges, imprison
Arjuna and Yudhishthira, and then seize
the kingdom and rule it. So Duryodhana
went with his brothers and the Pandavas
for a swim in the Ganges.
After the sports they slept in their tents
being exhausted. Bhima had exerted
himself more than the others and as his
food had been poisoned, he felt drowsy
and lay down on the bank of the river.
Duryodhana bound him with wild
creepers and threw him into the river.
The evil Duryodhana had already caused
sharp spikes to be planted on the spot.
This was done purposely so that Bhima
might in falling be impaled on the spikes,
and lose his life. Fortunately there was no
spike in the place where Bhima fell.
Poisonous water-snakes bit his body.
The poisonous food he had taken was
counteracted by the snake poison and
Bhima came to no harm, and presently,
the river washed him to a bank.
Duryodhana thought that Bhima must
have died as he had been thrown in the
river infested with poisonous snakes and
planted with spikes.