The Mahabharata Research
Name for Weapons?
During the Mahabharata period, every warrior had his personal weapons where were so dear to him and was always referred to with a name to allude personification to them. Some of these weapons were really so special in their making that they gave great advantage to the user. On the other hand some of them realy needed a skilled warrior to handle them effectively. Many of these named weapons became renowned due to the wars that were won with them. Listed below are some of those famed weapons and the warriors who owned them.
Bow of Sage Angiras
Raudra, Agneya, Kauverya, Yamya, Girisa
Upa Pandavas (Draupadi's Sons)
Srutasena / Srutavarma
Srutakarma / Sruthakirthi
Names of other weapons
Type of weapon
Among all the bows, the Saranga, Vijaya and Gandiva were the most renowned primarily due to the warriors who wielded them. All of these in reality are very likely to be rigid and heavy composite bows made with horn for belly, wood or metal to give stiffness to the centre and sinew for back. They are desribed to have multiple strings that could help to launch multiple arrows simultaneously as well as provide backup option in case one of the strings is cut off during a combat. The probably had great tensile strength thad allows the archer bend them more and provide enormous launch speed for the arrows which in turn enhances the shooting range and speed.
Vijaya as described in the Epic :
This bow was wielded by Karna. As per the epic, the bow was sure to give victory to the possessor. The bow is described to be created by Vishwakarma for Lord Shiva which was then given to Parshurama by Lord Shiva along with many other celestial weapons for killing the Kshatriyas. The bow was given to Karna by his teacher Parshurama. It is generally believed that the string of the bow was unbreakable and created thunderous sound and lightning, causing fear in the hearts of enemy, each time an arrow was released from it..
The celestial string of the bow could not be broken by any astra or any divine weapon. When arrows were released the twang of the bow was as loud as thunder, which caused great fear and despair on the enemy. It produced brilliant flashes like lightening that blinded the enemy. Not many warriors could withstand it’s splendour in battle. The energy of the arrows was amplified by a thousand times as the bow was charged with many sacred mantras. No weapon, not even the Pashupatastra could harm the warrior who carried Vijaya in battle.
Gandiva as described in the Epic:
This one was possessed by Arjuna. As per the epic, tis bow was forged by Lord Brahma himself. The bow is desribed to be created from an heavenly tree called Gandi. The bow was so heavy that it could be wielded by only few people. The ownership of the bow passed on to various people. It came to Arjuna from Lord Agni when he wanted to devour the Khandava forest. The bow was known to create deep rumble and produce lightnings every time it was used creating trouble for enemies. It could fire hundreds of arrows at a time and at over great distances, making it one of the most formidable bows.
The bow was a double curve bow with great proportions and tremendous weight. It had 108 strings and one of them was celestial which could not be broken or cut. Whenever an arrow was fired the strings made loud thunderous sounds that filled the enemy with dread. The bow glowed bright during battle and was difficult to look at. It had the capability to enhance the strength of an arrow by many times. A skilled archer like Arjuna when equipt with a bow like Gandiva was almost invincible.