Bhīṣmadeva's father, although it was little shameful that the son is canvassing for the marriage of father, still, he could understand that, "My son is so sensible that I wanted to marry, and he has managed." So he gave him one benediction: "My dear son, you'll remain brahmacārī, I can understand. But I give you one benediction, that unless you desire to die, you will never die." Icchā-mṛtyu. "This benediction you will have. Unless you desire that 'Now I shall die,' nobody can kill you, and you'll never die." So this was the . . . therefore . . .
And because he promised so seriously that, "I shall not marry," he gave up his kingdom; therefore his name is Bhīṣma. Bhīṣma means "very serious." So this Bhīṣmadeva actually maintained the whole Pāṇḍava family. That means Pāṇḍava, the Pāṇḍava and Yudhiṣṭhira and Pāṇḍu, they are the sons of the stepmother. And because Bhīṣmadeva was elderly son, practically he maintained even Yudhiṣṭhira, here, Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Pāṇḍava. And then again, Pāṇḍu, he died; his sons, these Pāṇḍavas, Yudhiṣṭhira, they were also raised by Bhīṣmadeva. So much affection.
But when there was question of fight, so Bhīṣmadeva fought so severely that Arjuna had to be protected by Kṛṣṇa. Bhīṣmadeva, you know . . . in Mahābhārata these stories are there. Bhīṣmadeva actually had some affection. So Duryodhana thought that, "My grandfather is not fighting properly because the other side, his beloved grandsons. I am also grandson, but I am not so beloved. But the other side, Pāṇḍavas, because they are fatherless, he has more affection for them. So he is officially fighting. He is not fighting with his real vigor." He complained that.
But actually, that was the fact that, "My dear grandfather, you are not fighting with Arjuna with your full vigor. I can understand that." "Oh, I am not fighting? So what do you think?" "Now, I want that you decide to kill them all tomorrow. You can do that." "All right. I shall do that. If you are doubting about my fighting, then I shall . . ." So he made special five arrows to kill the five brothers next. So Duryodhana asked his grandfather that, "Let me keep these five arrows with me. I shall deliver you tomorrow morning. Otherwise it may be missing."
So all these things—Kṛṣṇa is Paramātmā; He knows everything. So He saw that, "There is danger tomorrow. Now Bhīṣma has decided to kill all these Pāṇḍavas." So He asked Arjuna, "Arjuna, you just go, approach Duryodhana this evening." Formerly the practice was, daytime there is fight, but in the after evening they are all friends. After evening they are friends. One can go this camp, that camp, and talk together, sit together, just like friends. There is no enemy. So Duryodhana sometimes promised Arjuna that "I want to give you some benediction. You can ask." So Arjuna said—Duryodhana was elder than Arjuna—that "I will ask you in proper time." So Kṛṣṇa reminded that, "Today . . . tonight, you go to Duryodhana and ask him to deliver those five arrows kept in secret. Otherwise, tomorrow you will be finished."
So Duryodhana went to, er, Arjuna went to Duryodhana in the camp. Duryodhana received him well: "Come on, brother. What do you want?" He thought that "We are fighting. Arjuna has come to beg the kingdom without fighting." So they were so liberal. He said, "Yes, come in. If you want the kingdom without fighting, I am prepared." But a Kṣatriya will never beg, "Give me, sir, without . . ." No. If they can own by fighting, then they will claim. This is Kṣatriya spirit.
So he said that, "No, I have not come to beg the kingdom. We shall fight, go on fighting. But I want those five arrows you have kept." Oh, immediately he delivered. Although he was very cautious that these five arrows may not be missing, but promise is promise. Immediately he delivered. So Bhīṣma understood later on that the five arrows were taken by Arjuna by trick. So still, he promised that, "Even without those five weapons, today I shall kill Arjuna. Unless Kṛṣṇa gives His special protection to Arjuna, there is no escape. Either Kṛṣṇa has to break His promise, otherwise His friend will be killed."
So Kṛṣṇa, when He joined Arjuna, He said that He would not fight: "I can help you simply by becoming your charioteer, but I cannot fight." Because the purpose was that Arjuna was to gain the fight. But if Kṛṣṇa would fight, people would say that Kṛṣṇa won the fight, not Arjuna; that he avoided fighting. It was sure. Kṛṣṇa fights or not fights, because He was on the side of Arjuna, it was sure that he would gain the battle. That is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā. Yatra yogeśvaro hariḥ (BG 18.78). Where there is Kṛṣṇa, the victory is assured.