Story from the Mahabharata: Five golden arrowsThe Mahabharata is one of the two great epics in Sanskrit. It contains over one lakh couplets. The epic contains many plots and sub-plots. We know very few of these stories. But each story teaches us a new lesson. Let us learn a lesser-known story from the Mahabharata.
As Kauravas were losing the war of Kurukshetra, Duryodhana approached Bhishma and accused him of not fighting the war to his full strength because of his affection for Pandavas. Bhishma was angry. He immediately picked up five golden arrows and chanted mantras declaring tomorrow he would kill five Pandavas with these golden arrows. Duryodhana did not have faith in his words. So, he asked Bhishma to give custody of those five golden arrows saying that he would keep them and would return these arrows next morning.
Long back before the war, Pandavas had been living in exile in a forest. Duryodhana had placed his camp on the opposite side of the pond where Pandavas had been staying. On day while Duryodhana was taking bath in that pond, the Gandharvas also came therefrom heaven. Duryodhana picked up a fight with them, but he was deafeted and captured. Arjuna somehow saved Duryodhana and set him free. Duryodhana as a Kshatriya, asked Arjuna for a boon. Arjuna replied that he would ask for the gift later when he needed it.
On that night, Lord Krishna reminded Arjuna about the boon and advised him to ask for these golden arrows from Duryodhana. Arjuna folowed this advice and Duryodhana, as a Kshatriya, was forced to hand over those golden arrows to him.
Duryodhana again went to Bhishma and requested for another five golden arrows. Bhishma laughed and replied that was not possible.
Pandavas survived to win the war of Kurukshetra later.
[Moral No. 1: Have trust on your real friends and well-wishers.; Moral No. 2: Golden opportunity comes only once.]