In this YouTube video (1988 TV series Mahabharat, Episode 31 - Escape from Lakshagraha) it is shown that a niṣāda woman and her five children are urged by Purocana, the builder of the infamous lākṣāgṛha (house of lac) in Vāraṇāvata, to spend the night inside the newly constructed house. Not sure why he invites them inside the house? Maybe he wanted to blame them for setting the house on fire?!
But from here (Ganguli's translation) it appears that those people just came there looking for food and entered the mansion on their own.
Desirous of obtaining food, there came, as though impelled by fate, to that feast, in course of her wanderings, a Nishada woman, the mother of five children, accompanied by all her sons. O king, she, and her children, intoxicated with the wine they drank, became incapable. Deprived of consciousness and more dead than alive, she with all her sons lay down in that mansion to sleep.
Then when all the inmates of the house lay down to sleep, there began to blow a violent wind in the night. Bhima then set fire to the house just where Purochana was sleeping. Then the son of Pandu set fire to the door of that house of lac. Then he set fire to the mansion in several parts all around.
- How does the latest BORI critical edition of the Mahābhārata narrate this event?
- If indeed Ganguli's above translated version is the correct narrative, are Pāṇḍavas justified in killing the innocent niṣāda family to save their own?
Also, if anyone happens to know how the recent TV series – Suryaputra Karn, 2015 (Sony) and Mahabharat, 2013 (STAR Plus) depict this scene, please leave a comment under the question or in your answer.