Though Bhishma, respected warrior was a fierce fighter and killed a great number of soldiers in the Mahabharata war, Duryodhana, however, was unhappy.
He had noticed that Bhishma, did not intend to kill the five Pandavas brothers. Duryodhana, was well aware of Bhishma’s affection for them.
Duryodhana approached Bhishma’s tent one night.
” You are a fine combatant but I am ashamed of you. You are one of the greatest Warriors in the world, and still you have not been able to kill even one of the Pandavas. I have a feeling that you are biased,” said Duryodhana angrily.
Bhishma was hurt. With much effort he come down and replied,” the world knows that I am sincere in my duties and true to my word.”
Then he pulled out 5 arrows from his quiver, close his eyes and touched them briefly. The arrows glued with the colour of gold.
“What are these?, asked Duryodhana.
‘I have energized these 5 arrows with my strength and vitality- one for each of the Pandavas. If I use them in battle, they are sure to hit their target. There is no escape I assure you. ‘
I was pleased. But he could not trust Bhishma completely. So he looked at Bhishma and said I will keep the arrows and hand them over to you tomorrow.
Bhishma understood what Duryodhana was implying. ‘ don’t you have faith in me,? he questioned.
‘Please I would like to keep the arrows with me tonight,’ Duryodhana insisted.
Bhishma nodded and gave him the five arrows.
The news of the Golden arrows reached Krishna through guptchar, and he immediately told Arjun about them.
Arjuna got tensed. At that time Krishna asked, ” do you remember your encounter with the Gandharvs during the exile?”
Arjuna recalled the incident.
Once Duryodhana brought his friends and camped near the hut in which the Pandavas lived so he could keep an eye on them. While he was wandering in the forest during the visit, he met some gandharvas and got into a heated argument with them.
The gandharvas and Duryodhana agreed to a short combat. Within minutes, the gandharvas defeated Duryodhana. They tied him to a tree and begin making fun of him.
Yudhishthira heard about the incident and immediately asked Arjuna and Bheem to go and help Duryodhana.
Bheem refused, but Arjuna obey his elder brother and rescued Duryodhana.
Duryodhana was ashamed of his behaviour and felt that it was his duty to give Arjuna something in return for his assistance.
He said to Arjuna, ” you have freed me from the gandharvas. Tell me what you want and I will ensure that your wish is fulfilled”
“I do not want anything. I simply obeyed what my brother asked me to do”, said Arjuna.
But Duryodhana insisted on returning the favour somehow. Finally Arjuna said, ” if I need something in future I will let you know. Let’s keep this on hold. “
Now Krishna reminded Arjuna of Duryodhana’s promise. ” It is time for you to ask Duryodhana for the favour he owes you. You know what to do.”
Arjuna went to Duryodhana’s tent that same night.
After they had exchanged greetings Arjuna reminded him about the promise of returning the favour whenever Arjuna needed it.
“Well I would like those five Golden arrows that Bhishma has given you.”
Duryodhana was not expecting this. Even though he was very upset he knew that he had to keep his promise. He sighed and handed over the address to Arjuna.
Helplessly, Duryodhana watched Arjuna walk away with the precious arrows.
The next morning, when Bhishma asked Duryodhana for the arrows, he hung his head in shame and said, ‘ I am sorry. I give the arrows to Arjuna. Can you please create them again?’
“Sorry, Duryodhana, I cannot. Had they been with me, I would not have given them to the Pandavas. You have handed over victory to your enemies with your own hands.” said Bhishma.
PS: pls ignore typing or punctuation errors as i am drafting them on my mobile phone.