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Divine Weapons In Vedas

References to divine weapons (divya ayudha) are found in Vedas. The gods in the Vedas are envisioned as constantly engaged in combating the ungodly forces such as Vritra, Vala, Sambara, etc. While fighting against adversaries, the gods are visualized as using various weapons such as vajra (thunderbolt), pasha (noose), dhanusa (bow), asi (sword) etc. The thunderbolt is associated with Indra, the noose with Varuna, and bow and arrow with Rudra. While Indra makes of his thunderbolt against the demons, Varuna uses his trap against erring humans also; so does Rudra.

The humans, on the other hand, while praying to the gods, first wished the gods to use their weapons themselves against the former’s adversaries. Gradually, they began to think of acquiring those weapons for themselves. The seers were the first to make this desire known.

Vishwamitra and Vasishta are most notable in this regard. In the clash between the two, when Vishwamitra got defeated at the hands of Vasishta, he practiced intense austerities (tapas) for the acquisition of the divine weapons which were used by Vasishta against him. These weapons were subsequently delivered to Rama, as recounted in the Ramayana. In the Mahabharata, Arjuna got the divine weapons from Indra and used them when all earthly weapons failed.