The Book of Virata details the Pandavas' 13th year in exile, when they live disguised in King Virata'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 Draupadi's rescue when King Virata's general, Kichaka, sets his sights on her. Duryodhana and the Tri*gartas decide to invade the defeated Virata's kingdom, unaware the Pandavas are hidden there. In the ensuing battles the Pandavas play a crucial role, save Virata and reveal their true identities. The book ends in celebration, with the Pandavas ready to return from exile and reclaim their kingdom. However, the battles in "Virata" foreshadow the war to come, proving it will not be easy.
Co-published by New York University Press and the JJC Foundation
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