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Agneyastra – Agni Astra Weapon - The Arrow Associated With Agni

Agneyastra is the arrow of Agni in Hinduism. Agni guards the southeast side holding Agneyastra mounted on Ram (adult sheep). The arrow is widely mentioned in the epics and puranas. All the important warriors in the Ramayana and Mahabharata possessed Agneyastra.

When Agneyastra is shot, it emits flames, which is inextinguishable through normal methods. It is used against an entire army or against individuals.

In the Ramayana, Lakshmana countered Ravana’s Agneyastra using clutch of fluid and feminine arrows.

As per Mahabharata, Agni received the Agneyastra from Bharadwaja. Drona was blessed with the arrow.

Agni astra is a fire producing missile related to cosmic natural principle of fire. It is referred to in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and in Puranas. The epics describe this weapon as an arrow that, being infused with divine power, would shower fire and cause unbeatable heat. The counter missile (astra) for this is recognized to be varuna astra (Varuna is the presiding deity of water) invoking the power of cosmic water, which will cause the fire to subside.

In Valmiki Ramayana, it is said that Rama used this missile (astra) for killing the demon Subahu while protecting the yajna (sacrifice) of Vishwamitra.

In the Mahabharata (vana parva), this was used by Arjuna against the gandharva (celestial being) Angara Varma. In the Puranas, a vivid description of gods and demons using this missile is given. 

In Tantra, the word swaha combined with some bijaksharas (secret potent syllables like ram) is used to invoke the power of this astra. The deity of this astra is said to be the God of fire.

It may be noted that the meaning of the word Agneya her refers to the natural cosmic fire principle, rather than the specific deity of fire, subservient to Indra. Puranas record that even demons could use such fire-producing missiles in war against gods and cause injury. The Rudra mantra is used to invoke the protection accorded by this missile.