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The 10 most deadly weapons known to ancient Hindus

Updated on August 18, 2013

Military Legacy

The Hindu religion is the third largest religion in the world and perhaps the oldest. Originating from the subcontinent of India, this religion boasts of countless legends and myths and an equal number of Gods and Goddesses. It, however, is of particular interest, for the numerous weapons that have been mentioned in the various records.

While many think these weapons may have really existed and are proof of the presence of nuclear warfare and aliens, all we know is they make for a very interesting read. Without further ado, here are the 10 most dangerous weapons in Hindu Mythology.

Ten mind boggling ancient weapons

10. Agni Astra (Fire weapon) : The name pretty much says it all. Wielded by numerous warriors, this divine weapon was basically the ancient equivalent of a Flamethrower. Various depictions show the weapon to be in the form of an arrow that when launched emits fire from its pointy end.

While the description may be a recent product of a fertile mind, it is not difficult to see why this one makes our list.

9. Varuna Astra (Water weapon) : So what was used to counter the fire emitting arrow? Well the water emitting one of course!!

Named the Varuna Astra after the Hindu God of Water, this too was one of the most used weapons in ancient times.

However, this one was an especially dangerous weapon, since mishandling by the wielder could lead to his/her own demise and a catastrophic deluge.

8. Nagapash (Snake weapon) : As the name suggests, this weapon was used to literally entwine the enemy in a thousand venomous snakes. It was famously used against the mythical hero Rama and his brother Laxmana by Ravana’s brother, Indrajit- named so after his victory over the Head of Devas, Indra.

In fact very few warriors could lay claim to possessing this weapon and more often than not, those warriors were not fighting for the good side!!

7. Indra’s Vajra : Indra was the head of all Devas, basically the lesser gods and wielded the ‘Vajra’ or the divine Lightning Bolt, which he used occasionally to smite his enemies. The Vajra could not only cut through mortal defences but was equally capable of destroying multiple divine forces. Indra was basically the Hindu equivalent of Zeus, in more than one ways since he was also known for his womanizing ways.

Although he was defeated on numerous occasions, Indra’s Vajra remains one of the most fearsome weapons on our list.

6. Shiva’s Bow: So basically Shiva had a lot a weapons which he used for destroying things, since his role in the holy trinity was that of a destroyer. The bow measured a whopping 8.5ft in length and was passed on by Shiva to a few deserving mortal men, who more often than not were reincarnations of celestial beings.

This weapon, however, was eventually broken, by another god incarnate known as Rama, who had been given the task of stringing the bow, in order to win the hand of his lady love Sita.

5. Pashupatastra: We have now entered nuclear territory!

Pashupatiastra was one of the most deadly weapons known to ancient Hindus. Once again a weapon from the mighty arsenal of Shiva, this weapon was capable of ending all life on Earth, if the wielder chose to do so. One of the famous prerequisites for using this weapon was that it could not be used against lesser warriors and would not destroy the world, only if it was used against divine beings.

Only a few choice individuals every laid claim to this weapon, since it took years of penance to get your hands on this beauty, a prerequisite to most of the weapons that follow.

4. Shiva Trishul : Trishul literally means the Trident. Add to that the name Shiva, referring to the god of destruction and you have one of the scariest weapons known to ancient Hindus. This weapon is said to contain the three most powerful qualities of Shiva, namely Will, Knowledge and Action.

So what does this Trident actually do? Well, the all powerful weapon is said to have the power destroy all evil and ignorance in this world. No mean feat, eh?

Over the course of history, Shiva is believed to have used this weapon to kill numerous demons who could not be destroyed by lesser beings and warriors.

3. Sudarshan Chakra: The most famous weapon of the god Vishnu, one of the holy trinities of Hinduism. This serrated disc, having 108 edges, was only ever held by the god himself, or his incarnations on earth and was only used against those who committed 100 acts of cruelty, each worthy of death.

Legend has it that this weapon, along with Shiva’s trident was made out ‘Sun Dust’ by the divine craftsman Viswakarma.

2. Brahmastra: The Bramhastra, literally meaning the weapon of Brahma, who is the creator of this entire world in Hindu mythology. There was no defence against this weapon and once discharged, it could not be called back.

This weapon, in fact, could only be used once in a lifetime and was said to make land barren and prevent rainfall for up to 12 years. It was in fact the after effects of this very weapon described in ancient scriptures, that prompted many historians to suggest that perhaps nuclear warfare had existed long before we had known it to be.

This weapon was used multiple times in wars, but its effects were either contained by gods or completely mitigated.

  1. Brahmashira: The most powerful weapon on the list. Also created by Brahma, this weapon was said to be four times as powerful as the Brahmastra, thereby literally dwarfing all the other weapons mentioned here. In fact using Brahmashira would’ve brought an end to the existence of everything and would’ve damaged the entire fabric of life beyond repair.

Only two living beings had this weapon in their arsenal, one being the mighty warrior Arjun, who fought for the Pandavas in Mahabharata and the other being Ashwatthama , the son of the warrior teacher Drona.

Interestingly and perhaps luckily so, this weapon was never really used in war.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Not many people know this, but the most powerful Astra is known as the Dharma Astra. Not even the gods wield it. The effect of it is that everything will be destroyed by it in the blink of an eye and not even the Trimurti's can stand against it.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      First: The most powerful weapon was Brahmanda astra which is supposed to destroy the entire celestial universe.

      2nd: The Brahma astra and Bhramshira astra can be neutralized with Bhargava astra.

      3rd: The Trishul, sudharshan chakra etc, were not weapons of mass destruction. They were rather signature individual weapons of Gods mentioned.

      4th: One thing u missed out is that actually Indrajit(meghanad) whos was Ravans son was actually one of the most if not the most powerful warrior on earth, he is the only person to weild all the three ultimate weapons of the Trimurthy; The pashupatastra, The Vaishnavastra; The Brahmanda astra at the same time. He is also the only living being who coukd ever defeat and alomst kill Rama a vishnu avatar and twice Laxmana.

      5th I bet u know but didn't included many other weapons such as angilka astra(arjun used it to kill Karna) and many more which were supposedly more powerfull and ruthless. But still it was a nice compilation,,,,,CHEERSSSSS

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      3 years ago

      a fair list but u missed out a few points

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Brahmadanda was even more powerful than Brahmasira...

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      even karna had knowledge of bhramashirasa and he also had the knowledge of bhrahmadanda but forgot it due to the curse

    • profile image

      santosh kumar behera 

      4 years ago

      sudarsan chakra is the most power ful.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Wat about "Sathya" Astra...? which was in Karna's arsenal..?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Indrajeet was Ravana's son not brother.........

    • profile image


      4 years ago


      And Karna also had Bhramastra in their arsenal.


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