Astras or Divine Weapons in Hindu Mythology
India is a land full of stories. There are innumerable historical and mythological stories that contain the richness of this country. The incidents that have happened here show that India is not just a piece of land, it is a manifestation of art and culture. We all must have heard stories from our parents or grandparents. In childhood, we did not know the origin of that lore or anecdote but now you have the opportunity to go through the roots.
There are different types of stories and it is next to impossible to cover everything here. In this blog further, we will be discussing different types of Astras or Divine Weapons from Hindu Mythology. These weapons are not relevant only for wars but they also have their underlying stories. It is again impossible to cover everything over here. Nonetheless, we will try to target the major Astras and probably continue the series in the next episodes.
Narayanastra: This Astra belongs to Lord Vishnu. In Ramayana Lord Ram and in Mahabharata Ashwatthama had it. This is considered one of the most powerful Astras that showers different types of weapons (arrows, mace, Chakras etc) that kill the entire opponent. The only way to defend against Narayanastra is complete surrender. The more you try to escape, the more intense it becomes. Therefore, the best way is to surrender before it completely as Pandavas did during Mahabharat when Ashwatthama used against them.
Brahmastra: This is the most popular weapon from the ancient Hindu tradition. It was made by Brahma and in Mahabharata Karna, Arjuna, and Ashwatthama had this. This is a destructive weapon which is capable of finishing the opponent’s army within seconds. However, there are other anti-weapons too to defend it.
Teen Baan: This is one of the most accurate weapons after Shri Krishna’s Sudarshan Chakra. Teen Baan was given to Barbarik, grandson of Bhima, by Lord Shiva. As the name suggests, it is a set of three divine arrows. One arrow determines the target, the second target those who are not meant to be killed (precisely own army), and the final one finishes the game. It is said that Barbarik could have finished Mahabharata within minutes using his Astra.
Aindrastra: This weapon belongs to Indra and was given to Arjuna by him when the great archer went for the search under the guidance of Lord Krishna. It showers millions of arrows like rain from the sky and creates massive destruction.
Vidyudabhi: This is an axe which belongs to Shri Parshuram. It was given to him by his master Lord Shiva. Because of this weapon, his name was changed to Parshu-Ram as the axe is called Parshu in Hindi. It is so powerful weapon that could destruct the whole ocean.
Vajra: It is the most powerful divine weapon of Indra. It was made using the bones of Maharshi Dadhichi to kill an Asur who could not be killed by anything made of metal. Vajra creates thunder and lightning at the target. Indra used this on Hanuman Ji also when he had swallowed the Sun.
These are some major divine weapons from Hindu mythology but the list is much longer than this. Also, some stories are attached to these weapons which we will try to discuss in our upcoming blogs.