Astras - 3 - Brahmastra

Note:- An internal mail by my colleague G, is the starting point of this series.
This could be labelled as a religious post. Readers Discretion is advised.
I enjoyed researching and writing it.
Hope you enjoy reading it...!!!


So what do we know about Brahmastra ?

I know usages of Brahmastra...

Vishwamithra on Vasishta.
Bana on Krishna and Balarama.
Indrajit on Hanuman.
Ashwathama on Arjuna and his brothers.


There are countless other uses of Brahmastra, I am ignoring most of them, including Bana's usage on Krishna due to lack of proper literature on the same.

Story 1:
Vishwamithra, the king, visits the sage Vashishta and is impressed by the feast that the sage provides. Vishwamithra wants to know the source of his magnanimity and Vashishta shows him the divine cow Nandini to be the source of the cornucopia. On seeing Nandini, Vishwamithra is aroused with envy. He tries every possible method to attain the divine cow Nandini, but fails. The king decides to use every weapon in his armoury, but all of them fail. All his soldiers and army fail miserably. Vishwamithra decides to counter Vashishta in man-to-man combat. No weapon on earth is able to even scratch Vashishta. Vishwamithra is enraged, and despite the warnings from Gods, unleases the Brahmastra. The Brahmastra instead of attacking and destroying the rishi, gets absorbed in the danda (staff) of the BrahmaRishi, thus, proving to Vishwamithra that BrahmaGyan was everything, and for the one who had attained the level of a BrahmaRishi, every weapon was penetrable. Once Vashishta had absorbed the power of the Brahmastra into himself, his whole body glowed golden. Vishwamithra was stunned by the sight he saw,and that moment, promised himself that he would better Vashishta and attain the post of Brahma Rishi.

Story 2:
When Hanuman met Sita in Ashokavan and tells her of Ram's expedition to save her, Sita gives him her choodamani, and asks him to satiate his hunger from the fruits and flowers in the Vaatika. Hanuman causes quite a stir, when he starts eating from fruits. After some sons of Raavan die in the ensuing battle, Raavan sends his son, Meghnath/Indrajit to counter Hanuman. Hanuman proves to be quite a handful for Meghnath. Finally Meghnath sends the Brahmastra to counter Hanuman. Now, Hanuman had a boon from Brahma that not even his own Brahmastra can touch him/cause him any harm, but in a 'Maanav-Yudh' these rules were to be followed. Even in a Raakshas Yudh, Hanuman wanted to keep the ethics of War. Hence he respects the astra and succumbs to it, though he knew very well, that he could break himself free of the astra anytime he wanted.

Story 3:
After the Mahabharata war, Arjuna and his brothers, together with Krishna, march towards Ashwathama's ashram to seek revenge for killing their sons, unethically, by setting fire to their camp at night. As soon as Ashwathama sees the Pandavas alive, he is enraged as he was thinking that the Pandavas had died last night. In a fit, he plucks a blade of grass, and utters the mantra for Brahmastra. Once the blade of grass got charged, it got the potency of a Brahmastra. He leashed it towards the Pandavas saying that it should kill them. Arjuna realised it and immediately shot the PashupatiAstra on Ashwathama. Both the missiles met each other mid way and calamity was on its way. On insistence by Rishis and Devas, Arjuna takes back his astra, as he had obtained it after a lot of tapas and ordeal, and was instructed with proper methods of usage. But Ashwathama was not aware of the mantras with which to retract the Brahmastra. In a fit of rage, Ashwathama, curses that the Astra destroy the progeny of Pandavas. At this point, Krishna intervenes and changes the curse so that Subhadra's son, Parikshit is alive. Following this, Ashwathama is forced to part with his Mani, embedded in this forehead, that was the reason for all his Tejas and Valor.

Wiki quote :-
Brahmastra ब्रह्‍मास्‍त्र is a weapon created by Brahma. It is sometimes known as the Brahma Astra (Astra means 'missile weapon'). It is considered the deadliest weapon. It is said that when a Brahmastra is discharged, there is neither a counter attack nor a defense that may stop it. It is believed that the Brahmastra never misses its mark and must be used with very specific intent against an individual enemy or army, as the target will face complete annihilation. It is believed to be obtained by meditating on the Creator in Vedic mythology, Lord Brahma, and used only once in a lifetime. The user would have to display immense amounts of mental concentration. Since Brahma is considered the Creator in Sanatana Dharma, it is believed that Brahmastra was created by him for the purpose of upholding Dharma and Satya, to be used by anyone who wished to destroy an enemy who would also happen to be a part of his (Brahma's) creation. The target, when hit by Brahmastra, would be utterly destroyed. The weapon also causes severe environmental damage. The land where the weapon is used becomes barren for eons and all life in and around that area ceases to exist. Women and men become infertile. There is severe decrease in rainfall and the land develops cracks like in a drought

Hey, this is the Third post in the series... :)

Comments are welcome... !!!

P.S:- Many thanks to G for his 'Ram-Ram' threads. This series on Astras is dedicated to him.
P.P.S:- I promise to do more research and provide some interesting food for thought.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 by Hari
Categories: , , , , | 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Hi , regarding post 3 , Its said that Ashmb wathama attacks Subhadhra womb with agniastra. So.....

    abhishekh.singhal@gmail.com

  2. Hi , regarding post 3 , Its said that Ashmb wathama attacks Subhadhra womb with agniastra. So.....

    abhishekh.singhal@gmail.com

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