Indian Mythology Mahabharat

When Vishwamitra and Vasistha used Brahmastra weapon

Brahmastra (a weapon) used by sages

Here is  another story, related to Brahmastra from Indian mythology. Two great sages fought between them. Vishwamitra, who was king Kaushika, had stayed with his army at sage Vasishtha’s ashram (hermitage).  Vasishtha fed everyone and out of curiosity, Vishwamitra asked him – “How have you managed this?”

Vasistha said that – Sabala (or Nandini) , the daughter of Kamdhenu, has provided all the food. Kaushika thought that this would be very useful for him and asked for the cow. Vasishtha politely refused him. Vishwamitra became angry and asked his army to capture the cow with force.

The cow helped Vasishtha and Vishwamitra was defeated. Seeing this, Vishwamitra started penance of Lord Shiva. Due to his severe penance, Lord Shiva granted him the knowledge of all celestial weapons.

Armed with the knowledge of these celestial weapons, Vishwamitra came back to Vasistha’s ashram and in attempt to destroy his ashram and sage Vasishtha, he uses those weapons.

Vishwamitra and Vasistha – using Brahmastra

Vasistha became angry, as his ashram has been destroyed, but able to counter all the weapons used by Vishwamitra. Vishwamitra eventually summoned the Brahmastra. Vasishtha neutralized this by Brahmadanda. Out of anger, Vasishtha wanted to use Brahmastra. But moved by the prayers of humankind, he retracted this deadly weapon.

Vishwamitra again lost everything he had, and went on to do the penance again. After doing again severe penance, he attained the status of rajarshi. Here, we see, that out of anger and revenge, a king and then a sage, lost everything, which he obtained through severe penance. This is another story related to revenges in Indian mythology.

Note: Interesting here is that both these sages were associated of seventh avatar of Vishnu Dashavatar, Lord Rama.

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Indian Mythology

Weapon Catalogue – from Indian mythology (1)

Weapon catalogue from Indian mythology

The range of weapons described in ancient texts is overwhelming. If we see closely, we will find many of the weapons from mythological stories, Mahabharat and The Ramayna, we discover that the warfare technologies were very much advanced.

Name of the weapon

Effect and usage

Associated with

Brahma Danda

It contained the spiritual powers of the 7 greatest sages (Sapta Rishis).. It contained the spiritual power of the 7 greatest sages of Hinduism – Bhrigu, Agastya, Jamadagni, Vasistha, Bharadwaja, Gautama and Kashyapa. This astra is the most powerful weapon of Lord Brahma. Drona used this on 15th day of Mahabharat war and nobody knew to counter this weapon. Pandavas had to resort to other means to counter this great warrior. Sage Vasistha given this weapon to Drona. Drona used Brahmadanda for the first time in the Mahabharat war.

Weapon of Seven Sages, The Sapta Rishis.

Aindra astra or Indra astra

Would bring about a shower of arrows from the sky.

Indra, the god of weather

Agneya astra

The weapon discharged would emit flames inextinguishable through normal means. Shishupala used this against Krishna which he had neutralized with Varun astra.

Agni, the god of fire

Varuna astra

The weapon discharged would release torrential volumes of water. This weapon is commonly mentioned as used to counter the Agneyastra.

Varuna, the god of water

Sammohana/ Pramohana astra

Would cause entire hosts/armies to collapse in a trance. Drona used on fourteenth day of Mahabharat to capture Yudhishthira, but Sahdev saved him.

Twashtar astra

Created illusion so that friends mistake each other for enemies and fight each other. Twashtar or Twashtri, is the architect employed by Indra, who later came to be known as Viswakarma and who built the celestial cities. The use of this weapon is not found. This is similar to Gandharva astra.

Twashtri, the heavenly builder

Mohini astra

Dispel any form of maya or sorcery in the vicinity.

Mohini, Visnu avatar

Surya astra

Create a dazzling light that would dispel any darkness about.

Surya, the sun god

Vayu astra

Bring about a gale capable of lifting armies off the ground.

Vayu, the god of wind


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