Thursday, 19 November 2015

Divine Weapons used in Ramayana and Mahabharata

1. Brahmasira (Brahma's head)- this is the most powerful divine weapon. In Mahabharata, it was used by Ashwatthama to destroy the future generation of Pandavas after they had conquered the Kauravas. Arjuna also had the knowledge of this weapon and counteracted when Ashwatthama used it. This is not used in Ramayana.

2. Brahmastra - Another mighty weapon of Lord Brahma used in both Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Arjuna, karna, Drona, Bhishma, Ashwatthama, Bhima, Satyaki, Yudhishthira, Dristidyumna had the knowledge of this weapon in Mahabharata. In Ramayana Rama, Ravana, Meghanathan (Son of Ravana), and Lakshmanan had knowledge of this weapon.

3. Narayana astra - this weapon belongs to Lord Vishnu. In Mahabharata, it was used by Ashwatthama against Pandavas when he came to know that his father Dronarcharya had been killed by them. In Ramayana it was used by Meghanathan against Lakshmana. One peculiar nature of this weapon is that the weapon's force would increase several times with the resistance offered to it. The target should not even think of counteracting the weapon. The only way to escape is the total surrender which was effectively done by Pandavas and Lakshmana to escape the wrath of this weapon.

4. Pashupata astra - This is another powerful weapon graced by Lord Shiva. In Mahabharata it was used by Arjuna against Jayadaratha and also in Inrdaloka to fight against the enemies of his father Indra.  In Ramayana it was used by Lakshmana against Meghanathan.

5. Naga Pashaa - This weapon belongs to Nagas, it is a deadly weapon capable of  binding the target in coils of thousands of venomous snakes. It was effectively used by Meghanathan in Ramayana to bind both the mighty Rama and Lakshmana. They were revived from this weapon with the help of Garuda. 

6. Naga Astra - Another powerful weapon pertaining to Nagas was used in Mahabharata by Karna against Arjuna. However, Arjuna was used from this weapon by the tact of Lord Krishna who pressed the entire chariot into the ground by a few inches to save Arjuna. Karna did not use the weapon second time since he had earlier promised his mother Kunti that he would use it once only against Arjuna.

7. Sakthi Astra - this powerful weapon belongs to Indra and it was graced to Karna in return for his magnanimous gift of giving away his mail (shield on the chest) and ear rings to Indra. However Indra had told him that it can used only once and Karna was planning to use it against Arjuna. But Karna faced a situation where he had use it against Ghatothkachan to save the army of Duryodhana from mass destruction. 

8. Agneya Astra - this weapon belonging to Agni is capable of discharging huge inexhaustible flames that cannot be quenched by normal means. Used in both Mahabharata and Ramayana by great warriors (Maharathis).

9. Varuna astra - this weapon belongs of Varuna and this would release huge volumes of water and generally used to counter the Agneya Astra.

10. Vayu Astra - this weapon pertains to Vayu and is capable of unleashing very high speed gale winds against the armies.

11.Bhargvastra - Parasurama is the lord of this weapon and it is almost equaivalent to Brahamastra in its power. It was given by Parasurama to Karna in Mahabharata. Unfortunately Karna could not invoke this weapon when he was in dire need due to a curse given by Parasurama.

12. Aindra astra - this weapon of Indra is capable of showering arrows from the sky and used by Arjuna and Bhishma frequently in Mahabharata war.

13. Mohini astra - this weapon belongs to Mohini, one of the avatars of Lord Vishnu. This is capable of creating illusion in the vicinity of usage. This was used by Meghanathan in Ramayana and by Arjuna in Mahabharata. 

14. Sudharshan Chakra - this is the most reverred weapon of Lord Vishnu, it was used in Mahabharata by Lord Krishna to kill Sisupala and also in the Kurushetra war where He hid the sun with this chakra there by creating an illusion of sun set during Jayadratha's killing.

All these divine weapons are mighty celestial beings who reside within the blessed warriors who got these weapons by their severe penance and devotion to the respective Lords of the weapon. They were invoked by the respective chants with extreme concentration and purity of mind. These weapons never fail to annihilate the targets but there were some exceptions.

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