6 Deadly Weapons Used in Mahabharata. Were they Today’s Nuclear Weapons?

weapons used in mahabharatha

You might have heard or answered this question in your school, “Who was the first woman to fly from India to another country in an aircraft?” You answered, “Kalpana Chawla.” But the other person laughed and said, “No, it was Mother Sita who was kidnapped by Ravana in his Pushpaka Vimana to Lanka.” And you nodded a smiling “Yes.”

The question may look comic, but lies below is the deep scientific knowledge which our ancient Indian ancestors and text possessed. For example, Mahabharata. It is stated that in the 18 days of the war, nearly 1.6 billion people laid down their lives. Is it possible? If so, what were the forces involved? Just visualize for a moment, the ancients words – Dhanush and Astra. Doesn’t it remind you of Astra (missile) and Dhanush (launchers)?


Leave alone the dates, just let us focus on the topic. As per historians, the Mahabharata was composed at 1000 BC. It contains the details of the war between Pandu’s sons (five in number) and Dhritarashtra (100 sons). Now let us look into the details of the weapons used in Mahabharata war that can be presumed to be nuclear in nature as per the recent times.

weapons used in mahabharata

Powerful Weapons Used in Mahabharata

1. Brahmastra

The weapon has been described in many Puranas. It is considered as a deadlier weapon compared to its counterparts. But, there are certain restrictions to use this Astra. Only when every resource of a warrior has been completed, for the benefit of mankind can one use this Astra. The specific target will face total destruction. As per modern technology, this Astra can be, nonetheless, compared to a nuclear weapon.

2. Brahmashirsha Astra

As per the ancient texts, the weapon is assumed to be four times the power of Brahmastra. In fact, it gets its name from Lord Brahma, the creator. It is assumed that it holds the power of Lord Brahma’s four heads at the tip. The destruction due to this weapon is similar to a hydrogen bomb or thermonuclear hydrogen bomb.



3. Narayana Astra

The weapon finds its name from Lord Vishnu. With penance, you can receive this Astra directly from the Lord. According to historic details of the nuclear weapons in Mahabharata, the Narayana Astra has the ability to fire thousands of deadly devastation missiles consistently. But yes, there is a challenge. You can use the weapon only once in a lifetime.

4. Brahmanand Astra

A weapon that can be related to Lord Brahma’s five heads. If you know the ancient Indian scriptures, the Creator lost his head when he lied to Lord Shiva. Brahmanand Astra can cause destruction to the whole universe.

5. Bhargava Astra

This weapon has the power similar to Brahmashirsha Astra. Ancient texts depict that after its use, the world will perish without even the ashes. However, it has got a good factor. For Brahmaastra and Brahmashirsha Astra, the best antidote is this weapon as it has the ability to neutralize the weapons. But when used individually for destruction, the weapon can make the ocean water boil and make mountains float in the air.


weapons used in mahabharatha
Image used only for representation

6. Pashupatastra

Did it remind you of the famous fight between Shiva and Arjuna? Yes, it is true. This situation has also been depicted in many movies. With penance, you can get this weapon from Lord Shiva. Considered one of the destructive weapons in the quivers of Lord Shiva and Adiparashakthi. The Astra is different from others as you can discharge it by eyes, mind, words or even a bow. But as per the rituals, you cannot use it against persons who are weaker than you.

There are also other Astras such as the Agneyasthra, Nagasthra, Varunasthra etc. But we have focused only on the weapons of mass destruction that were used/not used in the Mahabharata War.

weapons used in mahabharatha
Image used only for representation


Although there is another great epic, Ramayana, and it is also related to the war between Rama and Ravana, the weapons of Mahabharata demand more attention. The reason being the number of valiant warriors with valuable war skills and knowledge were many in the Mahabharata war. But both the epics concentrate on military formations and mystic weapons of mass destruction.


The loss of innumerable human lives lost as a result of Mahabharata War brings us to the topic of mass destructive weapons used in those times. Did they have an advanced science technology? And how come, this knowledge did not pass through to the present generation? Can we get the knowledge through the ancient texts? These are some of the questions that you find hard to get answers.

The recent times saw many making jokes of the ancient Indian science, but the fact is that a more advanced technology than the present day existed. How else could you visualize Sanjaya giving every minute detail of the Mahabharata war to Dhritarashtra? Now you have the television to get every second detail. And the ancient weapons of mass destruction stand as a testimony that the technology of the Mahabharata times was far more superior.

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