Volume 1 - Adi Parva. Chapter 136. Verse 005 to 010.
|| atha dAnApadESEna kuntI brahmaNabhojanam-
cakrE niSi mahad rAjann Ajagmus tatra yoshitah
tA vihritya yathAkAmam bhuktvA pItvA ca bhArata-
jagmur niSi grihAn Eva samanugnApya mAdhavIm
|| nishAdI pancaputrA tu tasmin bhojyE yadricchayA-
annArthinI samabhyAgAt saputrA kAlacoditA
|| sA pItvA madirAm mattA saputrA madavihvalA-
saha sarvaih sutai rAjams tasminn Eva nivESanE
||E sushvApa vigatagnAnA mritakalpA narAdhipa
|| atha pravAtE tumulE niSi suptE janE vibho-
tad upAdIpayad Bhimah SEtE yatra purocanah
tatah pratApah sumahAJ SabdaS caiva vibhAvasoh-
prAdurAsIt tadA tEna bubudhE sa janavrajah
CONTEXT and GIST
Dhritarashtra and Duryodhana sent Pandavas to the city VaraNAvata and made them to lodge in a house made of lac, clarified butter and inflammable materials. Their plan was to kill the Pandavas in a fire.
Minister Vidura, a well-wisher of Pandavas cautioned them about the impending danger and sent a miner to dig a tunnel in the house, to enable the Pandavas to escape.
Pandavas spent one year in the city in a convincing manner so that Duryodhana's employee purOcana did not suspect them that they were aware of the plan.
The appointed day having arrived, Kunti gave a party to Brahmin women. Among the women who ate and drank freely, there was a nishAdini (woman of a hunter/tribal) caste with five sons.
Before Duryodhana's employee purOcana executed his plan of igniting the house of lac, the second of the Pandavas-- bhIma set fire to the house of lac and carried his mother and brothers out to safety.
Among the dead was the nishAdI woman with her five sons who were lying their fully drunk.
(People thought that the dead woman was Kunti and the five sons were Pandavas).
This can't be by accident or coincidence. This seems to be a deliberate act of Pandavas.
Reason for this deduction: If the house does not contain the dead bodies of woman and five youth, Duryodhana and Dhritarashtra might not have believed that Pandavas were dead. D and D, would have suspected that Pandavas escaped into the wild. Kauravas would have sent armies of men to search for the escaping targets.
Obviously, Pandavas tried to create a fake evidence of their own death. Ok, that was justifiable, considering that their lives were in danger. But why should they select a lowly nishAdi woman for their act? Were nishada lives cheaper than Brahmin lives or kshatriya (fighter-caste) lives? Were Pandavas afraid that Priests would curse them, if a woman of their caste and her five sons were killed?
The general impression among Indians is that, it was Krishna who helped Pandavas, by advising Bhima to dig the tunnel. Indians believe that it was Bhima who dug the trench day and night, single-handedly. Very few Indians know that it was the miner sent by Vidura who did the digging work. In my mother tongue Telugu, we have a Telugu film by name 'Sri Krishna PAnDAvIyam' by late N.T. Rama Rao, which had a song 'mattu vadalara! (Wake up, leave the lethargy). Krishna advised Bhima in the song, to do his duty. The song is very sweet, appealing and didactic. But it is obvious that NTR changed the story. Telugu people believe that NTR made good researches on stories and scripts of his mythological films.
Interpreting or understanding mythology from what is shown in films or TV serials is risky in the sense that it does not help in exploration of truth.
How did Ramananda Sagar show this story in his TV Serial?