Every time Arjuna had Jayadraratha in his eye sight, one of the six Kaurava warriors surrounding Arjuna would attack Arjuna. The trick here was fairly simple. None of the Kaurava warriors were trying to kill Arjuna. They were just trying to delay him.
And Arjuna also showed the Kaurava warriors all that he could do. He darkened the skies, hoping to confuse the warriors as Krishna plodded through the battlefield driving towards Jayadratha.
Drona, Ashwattaman, Kripa, Shalya and Karna who were around Arjuna had their job cut out for them. No matter how much close Krishna got to Jayadratha, the warriors made sure that Arjuna was distracted by the other warriors and could not fight Jayadratha.
Watching the skies as darkened by Arjuna, Krishna knew that it was time that he took matters into his own hands.
“Partha, there is something that I should tell you,” Krishna said gravely, making sure Arjuna was the only person who heard him.
Firing arrows almost by throngs, Arjuna nodded as Krishna continued, “Two things – first you must know about King Vriddhaksha.” Krishna said, steering the chariot towards Jayadratha as Kripa had just interfered with another arrow, which Arjuna had fired at Jayadratha.
“King Vriddhaksha is the father of Jayadratha. What of him, my Lord?” Arjuna asked as he had hit Karna with thirty two arrows and had pushed Karna back.
“King Vriddhaksha’s only son is Jayadratha and as soon as Jayadratha was born, a heavenly voice proclaimed that Jayadratha would be good warrior among both the solar and the lunar clans. But, the heavenly voice also proclaimed one more thing,” Krishna gave Arjuna a knowing glance as he continued. “The heavenly voice said that a great warrior would kill Jayadratha by beheading him in the battle.”
Arjuna frowned. He had just pierced Drona with fifty arrows and Vrishasena with three arrows as he realized that Krishna’s story was very important and nodded his head, arrows still flying thick from his hands.
“As soon as Vriddhaksha heard this, he was filled with remorse. Vriddhaksha loved his son so much that he could bear the destiny which was written for his son. Vriddhaksha let out a curse that any person who let his son’s head roll on the ground, would himself die the minute his son’s head fell on the ground.”
Now Arjuna was troubled as he fired nine arrows at Kripa. He realized that when he had decided to kill Jayadratha, he was courting death. And Arjuna realized that whether he succeeded or failed, he could die because of it.
“What can I do, Krishna?” Arjuna asked as Krishna veered the chariot sharply towards the right trying to reach Jayadratha, as Krishna realized that he had very little time.
“When Vriddhaksha heard his son’s destiny, he gave up his throne to his son and went to the forests to meditate for his son. In fact, right now Vriddhaksha is performing penance just near the battlefield.” Krishna finished.
Now Arjuna nodded smiling grimly, as he let his arrows fly sharper. “The second thing, my Lord?” Arjuna asked immediately.
“The Kauravas do not have to stop you my friend,” Krishna said with a sad smile. “They just have to delay you. And they are delaying you.”
Arjuna frowned as Krishna nodded. “I am a yogi and I have immense powers of my own. I intend to use it for you.” Krishna said simply.
Arjuna frowned again as Krishna gave him a cryptic smile. “Just do not believe that the sun has set. Not just yet.” Krishna said as he closed his eyes, stopping the chariot where all the warriors including Jayadratha were around Arjuna attacking him.
And then the impossible happened.
The Kaurava army watched with bated breath as the red sun set suddenly and plunged the entire battlefield in darkness. Arjuna’s had affixed his arrow straight on Jayadratha’s head when the darkness spread over them.
For a huge second Arjuna faltered. He had failed...He had....And in the surrounding the Kaurava soldiers were jeering in joy.
“The sun has set.” One of the warriors cried in joy.
“Arjuna has failed to keep his vow.” Another one screamed.
Arjuna heard the whoop of shout coming from Jayadratha and things were getting a little hazy for Arjuna and that was when Krishna’s words came to him.
And Arjuna in a flash, hit all the warriors of the Kaurava army, and in the end pulled out a fiery arrow, made specially for killing Jayadratha and in the darkness, pointed it at Jayadratha and let the arrow fly.
Vriddhaksha was in the forest meditating, and through his powers, he saw the happenings in the Kurukshetra battle. And Krishna’s Maya was powerful. Even Vriddhaksha believed that the sun had set and sighed in relief, thinking that his son was safe.
Vriddhaksha closed his eyes and Vriddhaksha meditated thanking the Gods for sparing his son's life. The sage-king was lost in his meditation and did not notice that Arjuna’s arrow had found its mark and Arjuna, the warrior of great prowess had done the impossible. Arjuna had cheated death, despite killing Vriddhaksha's son.
Because Arjuna fired the arrow such that, the arrow made off with Jayadratha’s head and flew straight and landed on the lap of Vriddhaksha, who was meditating.
Vriddhaksha opened his eyes and got up when the head in his lap rolled to the ground. Unfortunately, Vriddhaksha became the reason for his son’s head to fall on the ground and Vriddhaksha died because of his own curse.
Arjuna shouted hoarsely, as soon he killed Jayadratha. It was over. The entire day was over....
The Kaurava soldiers were confused because none of them could believe what Arjuna had just done. Arjuna had killed Jayadratha after the sun had set.
But before the Kauravas could understand, something even more terrifying happened. The sudden darkness surrounding the field had disappeared. The sun appeared in the sky like always, looking like it had just about to set.
Arjuna and Krishna both pulled out their conches and blew loudly on it.
Bhima saw what had happened and let out a loud roar, loud enough to reach Yudhishtara who was on the other side of the battlefield.
Yudhishtara smiled without meaning to as he realized that all this meant only one thing.
Arjuna had kept his vow.