(Vaka-vadha Parva continued)
“Vaisampayana said ’Then Vaka, huge as a mountain, thus broken (on Bhima’s knee), died, uttering frightful yells. Terrified by these sounds, the relatives of that Rakshasa came out, O king, with their attendants. Bhima, that foremost of smiters, seeing them so terrified and deprived of reason, comforted them and made them promise (to give up cannibalism), saying, ’Do not ever again kill human beings. If ye kill men, ye will have to die even as Vaka.’ Those Rakshasas hearing this speech of Bhima, said, ‘So be it,’ and gave, O king, the desired promise. From that day, O Bharata, the Rakshasas (of the region) were seen by the inhabitants of that town to be very peaceful towards mankind. Then Bhima, dragging the lifeless cannibal, placed him at one of the gates of the town and went away unobserved by any one. The kinsmen of Vaka, beholding him slain by the might of Bhima, became frightened and fled in different directions.
“Meanwhile Bhima, having slain the Rakshasa, returned to the Brahmana’s abode and related to Yudhishthira all that had happened, in detail. The next morning the inhabitants of the town in coming out saw the Rakshasa lying dead on the ground, his body covered with blood. Beholding that terrible cannibal, huge as a mountain cliff, thus mangled and lying on the ground, the hair of the spectators stood erect. Returning to Ekachakra, they soon gave the intelligence. Then, O king, the citizens by thousands accompanied by their wives, young and old, all began to come to the spot for beholding the Vaka and they were all amazed at seeing that superhuman feat. Instantly, O monarch, they began to pray to their gods. Then they began to calculate whose turn it had been the day before to carry food to the Rakshasa. And ascertaining this, they all came to that Brahmana and asked him (to satisfy their curiosity). Thus asked by them repeatedly, that bull among Brahmanas, desirous of concealing the Pandavas, said these words unto all the citizens, ’A certain high-souled Brahmana, skilled in mantras, beheld me weeping with my relatives after I had been ordered to supply the Rakshasa’s food. Asking me the cause and ascertaining the distress of the town, that first of Brahmanas gave me every assurance and with smiles said, ’I shall carry the food for that wretched Rakshasa today. Do not fear for me.’ Saying this he conveyed the food towards the forest of Vaka. This deed, so beneficial unto us all, hath very certainly been done by him.’
Then those Brahmanas and Kshatriyas (of the city), hearing this, wondered much. And the Vaisyas and the Sudras also became exceedingly glad, and they all established a festival in which the worship of Brahmanas was the principal ceremony (in remembrance of this Brahmana who had relieved them from their fears of Vaka).