Arrow Found its Target

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Prithviraj Chauhan was the last Hindu ruler of Delhi. His fame had spread far and wide. One man who had an eye on India was Muhammed of Ghor, in Afghanistan. He invaded India and reached Delhi, but his army was routed and he was taken prisoner. When he was brought before Prithviraj, he treated the invader with courtesy and freed him.

Ghori came a second time with a bigger army and was again defeated. Prithviraj admonished him and set him free. Ghori lay low for some years and later invaded India a third time. He was again defeated, but Prithviraj released him.

Some of his ministers and advisers protested and said Ghori should not have been spared. But Prithviraj said he would not kill anybody in cold blood.

When Muhammed came a fourth time, he was aware of the dissensions in Prithviraj’s court. In the battle that followed, Prithviraj was defeated and taken prisoner. Muhammed ascended the throne of Delhi as Sultan and ordered the execution of all prisoners except Prithviraj and the court poet, Chand Bardai. But Prithviraj was blinded. One day, the Sultan was listening to Chand Bardai’s poetry in which he praised Prithviraj, mentioning his ability to hit a target merely guided by the direction of the sound. He asked the poet whether he could persuade Prithviraj to exhibit his skill.

Reluctant at first, Prithviraj agreed, especially after Chand Bardai told him they could even carry out a plan to kill Ghori.

The Sultan sat on his throne, while Prithviraj stood a little away ready to shoot an arrow. Ghori had arranged for a goat to be tied far away from the throne. Prithviraj was expected to shoot at the goat when he heard its bleating. But he was all the while only listening to the Sultan giving various instructions and mentally fixing the direction of his voice.

Chand Bardai recited his poem in praise of Prithviraj which concluded by saying the Sultan was about to witness an uncanny feat. The goat bleated. The next moment an arrow left the bow, but instead of the goat, it hit the Sultan who was killed instantly.

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