Difference between revisions of "Brahmāstra"

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<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
 
<small>By Swami Harshananda</small>
  
[[Brahmā]]stra literally means ‘the missile of Brahmā’.
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[[Brahmā]]stra literally means ‘the missile of [[Brahmā]]’.
  
 
The art and science of warfare was highly developed in ancient era, if the accounts of war given in the Rāmāyana and the Mahā[[bhārata]] are to be believed.
 
The art and science of warfare was highly developed in ancient era, if the accounts of war given in the Rāmāyana and the Mahā[[bhārata]] are to be believed.
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# Śastras - Śastras were weapons used by directly holding them in hand. Swords belong to this category.
 
# Śastras - Śastras were weapons used by directly holding them in hand. Swords belong to this category.
  
By far, the most powerful of all the astras often mentioned in the epics and the mythological lore is the [[Brahmā]]stra. It is also called as ‘[[Brahma]]śirostra’. Śiva is said to have given it to the sage [[Agastya]]. Agastya gave it to Agniveś[[a]] who gave it to Droṇa. [[Arjuna]] got it from Droṇ[[a]].
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By far, the most powerful of all the astras often mentioned in the epics and the mythological lore is the [[Brahmā]]stra. It is also called as ‘[[Brahma]]śirostra’. [[Śiva]] is said to have given it to the sage [[Agastya]]. [[Agastya]] gave it to Agniveś[[a]] who gave it to Droṇa. [[Arjuna]] got it from Droṇ[[a]].
  
According to another version, Brahmā the creator specially made it for Devendra. The sage Agastya who got it in course of time, handed it over to Śrī Rāma.
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According to another version, [[Brahmā]] the creator specially made it for Devendra. The sage [[Agastya]] who got it in course of time, handed it over to Śrī [[Rāma]].
  
It is more likely that the Brahmāstra was not a particular missile physically existent, but a terrible power that could be invoked into any missile by the appropriate mantras. Its use was restricted to extraordinary situations and when the enemy was not an ordinary human being. Śri Rāma is reputed to have killed Rāvaṇa with this Brahmāstra.
+
It is more likely that the Brahmāstra was not a particular missile physically existent, but a terrible power that could be invoked into any missile by the appropriate mantras. Its use was restricted to extraordinary situations and when the enemy was not an ordinary human being. Śri [[Rāma]] is reputed to have killed [[Rāvaṇa]] with this Brahmāstra.
  
 
==References==
 
==References==

Latest revision as of 22:08, 15 December 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Brahmastra, BrahmAstra, Brahmaastra


Brahmāstra literally means ‘the missile of Brahmā’.

The art and science of warfare was highly developed in ancient era, if the accounts of war given in the Rāmāyana and the Mahābhārata are to be believed.

Weapons used were divided into two broad categories:

  1. Astras - Astras were missiles discharged from their sources like the bow. Arrows, discuses and spears belong to this class.
  2. Śastras - Śastras were weapons used by directly holding them in hand. Swords belong to this category.

By far, the most powerful of all the astras often mentioned in the epics and the mythological lore is the Brahmāstra. It is also called as ‘Brahmaśirostra’. Śiva is said to have given it to the sage Agastya. Agastya gave it to Agniveśa who gave it to Droṇa. Arjuna got it from Droṇa.

According to another version, Brahmā the creator specially made it for Devendra. The sage Agastya who got it in course of time, handed it over to Śrī Rāma.

It is more likely that the Brahmāstra was not a particular missile physically existent, but a terrible power that could be invoked into any missile by the appropriate mantras. Its use was restricted to extraordinary situations and when the enemy was not an ordinary human being. Śri Rāma is reputed to have killed Rāvaṇa with this Brahmāstra.

References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore