The Pandavas were accompanied by many Brahmins when they went into exile after Yudhishtra lost the game of dice for the second time. An Asura named Jatasura, who showed a keen interest in Draupadi, disguised himself as a Brahmin and remained hidden among the retinue of the Pandavas, awaiting his turn. One day, Bhima left for hunting, and Ghatotkacha and his followers, whose job it was to guard the settlement were also out on another errand. The Pandavas were relaxed and were taken aback when Jatasura launched a frontal attack. Before they could gather their wits, he had managed to tie the arms of the four Pandavas and Draupadi withal. However, Sahadeva somehow managed to free himself and called out to Bheema to help them. He then attacked the asura with his sword. Using his magic, the asura then fled, carrying the three remaining Pandavas and Draupadi, along with the weapons of the Pandavas.
Yudhishtra tried to make the asura understand the wrong he had done but Jatasura paid no heed to these admonitions. Now, the Pandavas were rather heavy to carry, and soon the asura was overtaken by Sahadeva. Before he could engage in battle with Sahadeva, Bhima appeared on the scene, armed with his trusty mace. Seeing that he was trapped, the asura then moved in closer to Bhima, trying to catch him in a wrestling hold. Bhima threw him off, and the battle began in earnest. The world shook as they threw tremendous blows at each other and uprooted the nearby trees. Bhima landed a punch to the asura’s jaw, causing him to faint. Before he could come to, Bhima lifted him up and dashed him to the ground so hard that he died on the spot. The Pandavas were very grateful to Bhima for helping them, and returned back to their abode with the weapons which the asura had tried to steal from them. But the slaying of Jatasura caused a rift between the Pandavas and the family of the asura. Later on, the kinsmen, led by the son of Jatasura, fought on the side of Duryodhana in the great battle of Kurukshetra.