’O king, thus admonished by Maitreya, Duryodhana began to slap his thigh resembling the trunk of the elephant, and smilingly began to scratch the ground with his foot. And the wicked wretch spake not a word, but hung down his head. And, O monarch, beholding Duryodhana thus offer him a slight by scratching the earth silently, Maitreya became angry. And, as if commissioned by fate, Maitreya, the best of Munis, overwhelmed by wrath, set his mind upon cursing Duryodhana! And then, with eyes red in anger, Maitreya, touching water, caused the evil-minded son of Dhritarashtra, saying, ’Since, slighting me thou declinest to act according to my words, thou shalt speedily reap the fruit of this thy insolence! In the great war which shall spring out of the wrongs perpetrated by thee, the mighty Bhima shall smash that thigh of thine with a stroke of his mace!
’When the Muni had spoken so, king Dhritarashtra began to pacify the sage, in order that what he had said might not happen. But Maitreya said, ’O king, if thy son concludeth peace with the Pandavas, this curse of mine, O child, will not take effect, otherwise it must be as I have said!’
“Vaisampayana said, ’Desirous of ascertaining the might of Bhima, that foremost of kings, the father of Duryodhana, then asked Maitreya, saying, ‘How was Kirmira slain by Bhima?’
“Maitreya said, ’I shall not speak again unto thee, O king, for my words are not regarded by thy son. After I have gone away, Vidura will relate everything unto thee!’ And saying this, Maitreya went away to the place whence he had come. And Duryodhana also went out perturbed at the tidings of Kirmira’s death (at the hand of Bhima).’”
“Dhritarashtra said, ’O Kshatta, I am desirous to hear of the destruction of Kirmira! Do thou tell me how the encounter took place between the Rakshasa and Bhimasena!’
“Vidura said, ’Listen to the story of that feat of Bhimasena of super human achievements! I have often heard of it in course of my conversation with the Pandavas (while I was with them)
’O foremost of kings, defeated at dice the Pandavas departed from hence and travelling for three days and nights they at length reached those woods that go by the name of Kamyaka. O king, just after the dreadful hour of midnight when all nature is asleep, when man-eating Rakshasas of terrible deeds begin to wander, the ascetics and the cowherds and other rangers of the forest used to shun the woods of Kamyaka and fly to a distance from fear of cannibals. And, O Bharata, as the Pandavas were at this hour entering those woods a fearful Rakshasa of flaming eyes appeared before them with a lighted brand, obstructing their path. And with outstretched arms and terrible face, he stood obstructing the way on which those perpetuators of the Kuru race were proceeding. With eight teeth standing out, with eyes of coppery