Weapon catalogue – Indian mythology (2)

Weapon catalogue from Indian mythology

Following on from earlier article, here various weapons used are narrated here.

Name of the weapon

Effect and usage

Associated with

Naga paasha

This weapon is a trap made of million snakes. This would bind the target in coils of living venomous snakes. In the Ramayana, it was used against Lord Rama and Lakshmana by Indrajit. Garud freed the two brothers after Hanuman intervened.

The Nagas

Naga astra

The weapon would have an un-erring aim and take on the form of a snake, proving deadly upon impact.Karna used once in Mahabharat on Arjuna, but it missed its mark. Due to a promise made to Kunti, he did not use this again.

The Nagas

Vajra astra

Target would be struck with bolts of lightning (vajra referring to Indra’s thunderbolt). Indra used this on Hanuman when he wanted to swallow Sun.


Parvata astra

Would cause a Parvata/mountain to fall on the target from the skies.  

Brahma astra

Would destroy entire hosts at once. Could also counter most other astras. Used by Indrajit on Hanuman, but due to a boon from Brahma, Hanuman escaped from this.

Brahma, the Creator

Brahmasirsha astra

Capable of killing devas. Was used by Ashwatthama on Parikshit

Brahma, the Creator

Narayana astra

Would create showers of arrows and discs. The astra’s power would increase with the resistance offered to it. This weapon had to be obtained from Vishnu directly, and could be used only once.

Vishnu, the Preserver

Amoghastra, Vasavi Shakti

Indra gave this to Karna in before the battle of mahabharat. He was ashamed by Karna’s generosity, when he has given him Kavach and Kundal in alms. Vasavi Shakti: The magical dart weapon of Indra, unfailing at executing its target. Indra granted it to Karna during the Kurukshetra war. The Mahabharata also refers to it as the Amoghastra.  


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