Hindu Mythology consists of the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and epics like the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. These epics are filled with battles, wars, the victory of good over evil and the triumph of truth. Therefore it is but natural that some of the deadliest weapons existed during those times. This holds good for the age of the Mahabharata too. The Mahabharata is centred around conflicts and is famous for the military formations, warfare and mostly about weapons used in Mahabharata by Kauravas and Pandavas. It is said that more than 1000 different kinds of weapons were used in Mahabharata. Read on to find out about some of the powerful weapons used in Mahabharata:
The Brahmastra was said to be one of the most destructive, powerful and irresistible of all weapons in history. It is a single projectile weapon, manifested with the single head of Lord Brahma, charged with the power of every substance in the Universe. It could be used under very specific circumstances against an individual enemy or an entire army to uphold Dharma as the target would face complete annihilation. The Brahmastra could be invoked by a key phrase or invocation that is bestowed upon the user when given this weapon. The Brahmastra could only be used as a last resort and never used in combat.
2. Teen Baan
Barbarika, the grandson of Hidimba and Bhimsen and son of Ghatotkacha, was blessed by Lord Shiva, with three infallible arrows (Teen Baan). The first arrow was used to mark all that Barbarika wanted to destroy and the third arrow, when released from the quiver would destroy all that was marked by the first arrow and return to the quiver. The second arrow could be used to mark all that Barbarika wanted to save. If the third arrow was used after the second arrow, it would destroy all that was not marked.
3. Brahmashirsha Astra
This weapon was named after Lord Brahma and was said to be four times more powerful than the Brahmastra. The weapon was said to manifest the four heads of Lord Brahma at its tip. In the era of the Mahabharata, sage Agnivesha, Drona, Arjuna and Ashwathama possessed the knowledge to invoke the weapon whereas only Arjuna knew how to invoke and retract the weapon. The Brahmashirsha Astra was used by Ashwathama on Parikshit.
4. Narayana Astra
This weapon had to be obtained from the Narayana form of Lord Vishnu and could be used only once in a lifetime. Guru Drona and his son Ashwathama were blessed with the knowledge of this weapon and was used by Ashwathama against the Pandava army after the death of Drona. The weapon was said to create showers of arrows and discs and that its power would increase with the resistance offered to it. The only defence to the missile would be to show total submission before the arrows hit. This would cause the weapon to stop and spare the target. When it was used, Ekadashas (Eleven) mudras appeared in the sky to destroy the targets.
5. Brahmadanda Astra
A defensive weapon capable of repelling any Astra ever created including the Brahmastra. It could destroy the entire universe and be used by Vashishta against Vishwamitra to baffle the Pashupatastra and Narayanastra.
6. Bhargava Astra
It was given by Parashurama (an avatar of Lord Vishnu) to Karna. It caused great destruction to the Pandavas army by the sheer quantity of weapons it released. This weapon when used releases millions of arrows and shrouded the battlefield in arrows. It was said that the weapon could be destroyed by the Universe if not retracted.
7. Pashupata Astra
The Pashupatastra was one of the most powerful among all weapons. The head of the Astra would be different every time it was summoned. When the Astra was invoked it would summon a large number of monsters and the huge spirit which personified the weapon. The weapon was considered to be indestructible and its usage was prohibited against mortals.
8. Sudarshana Chakra
The legendary discus of Lord Vishnu was given to him by Vishwakarma and consisted of a spinning disc-like weapon formed from the dust of the sun and scrapings from Lord Shiva’s trident. It is considered infallible and flew at the command of Lord Vishnu and could be stopped only by Lord Vishnu or Lord Shiva. It is said to possess tremendous occult and spiritual powers to destroy everything or protect anything. It was used by Lord Vishnu in his Krishna avatar to kill Sisupala at Yudhistira’s Rajasuya Yagna.
9. Vasavi Shakti
The weapon was the magical dart of Indra and was loaned to Karna for a one time use. Anyone could be killed against it and was saved by Karna to be used against Arjuna. However, Karna was tricked into using it against Ghatotkacha.
Vajrayudha or Vajra was one of Lord Indra’s most powerful weapons. It was prepared out of the spine of Sage Dadhichi and used to kill the demon Vritra. The target would be struck with bolts of lightning when this weapon was used.
These were some of the powerful and indestructible weapons. Let us know if you enjoyed the article in the comment section!