|Sri Valmiki Ramayana As It is - 22|
The next day morning Sage Visvamithra, being satisfied with the
behavior of Rama in fulfilling the orders of elders and performing the act
that is assigned to him, gives many weapons, especially so many divine asthras to Rama. The weaponry is categorized mainly into two types. One is
sasthra - a handheld weapon like bow and arrow, sword, and lance or mace. The other is asthra - a projectile missile invoked by reciting
particular manthras. While killing Thataka Viswamithra came to know the efficiency of Rama in using sasthras. Now he wants to do upadesa of all
divine asthras to Rama, which will be useful to protect his yajna as well as in future, while facing all the demons in Dandakaranaya.
This 27th sarga lists out those missiles (like skuds) that are given to Rama and in next chapter(28 th) an account of some counter-attack missiles (like patriots), called upasamhaara asthra-s that can be used to nullify the enemy's missiles. Viswamithra spoke to Rama with utmost love, "I am highly pleased with you Rama! Now I will give you all the divine
asthras. "I am going to pass on all these divine missiles by which scores of devathas, demons, gandharvas, uragaas, and earthlings are dominated, humbled and conquered in war. I am going to give You the highly divine discs, 1) Danda Chakra [Punisher disc] 2) Dharma Chakra [Virtue-disc], 3) kaala Chakra [Time-disc] 4) Vishnu Chakra.
Then divine asthras like 5) Indra asthra (Thunderbolt missile) 6) the best trident pertaining to Siva; 7) Brahma-sira [Brahma-crest] 8) Aishiikaasthra [Grass-Blade missile] and Oh, Rama, I am going to give You the unexcelled and highly formidable asthras called 9)Brahmasthram (which was used to kill Ravana).
Then two divine maces that are brilliant by
their radiance called, 10)Modaki [the Beater], and 11)Shikhari [the Tower of Protection ], were given.
Along with these, sage Viswamithra gave, three nooses called 12)Dharma paasa and 13)kaala-paasa and 14)Varuna paasa, [Virtue noose and Time noose, Rain god's noose] as well as an unequalled missile called 15)Varuna asthra(Rain-god's missile) to Rama. Then two projectile bolts, one called 16)sushka, [The Drier] and the other 17)aardra [The Drencher], 18)the Pinaakaasthra(which belongs to siva), 19)Narayanaasthra(belongs to Narayana) 20)Aagneyasthra(wich belongs to Firegod, and used to kill Subahu), 21)Vayavya asthra(a missile of Air-god), 22)the well-known missile sikhari [The Tower], 23)prathana [The Blower], two missiles named 24)Haya-sira [The Horse-head] and 25)Krouncha [The Wrester].
Again two Impellers, 26)one presided over by Vishnu, and 27)the other by Rudra. Then the weapons that are wielded by demons, namely 28)the deadly Pounder named Kankaalam,29)musalam,30) Kapaalam and 40)Kankanam which are used for the elimination of those demons to protect sages, Viswamithra gave to Rama. Then he is saying again, Oh! mighty armed son of the Great king, I am willing to give You a great missile named 41)Vaidyadhara, 42)sword named Nandana.
Here after we can observe the names of some chemical weapons in those days also. 43)Gandharva asthra [The Stupefier], 44)Manavasthra(which is used to throw away Maricha upto 800miles), 43)Prasvapanaasthra [The Inducer of Sleep, probably something madeup of chloroform], 44)the Prashamanaasthra [The Pacifier of enemy's anger, something like laughing gas], 45)Souraasthra, 46)Darpanaasthra, 47)soshanaasthra [the Drier],
48)santaapanaasthra [probably which will make to feel depression], 48)vilaapanaasthra [tear-inducer, tear gas], 49)an unassailable intoxicator and a dear missile of Manmadha, named Mohana [The Intoxicator,] 50)maanava [The Human missile]
Then a missile dear one to pishaaca-s, (monsters),51)namely paisachaasthra [The Monster missile],52)Thamasa asthra, 53)saumanaasthra, 54) Mausalasthra, 55)Satyasthra, 56)Mayadharasthra, 57)Tejahprabha asthra(which will squeeze the energy of the enemies), 58)the sisiraasthra (The Cooler, probably belongs to moon and makes enemies frozen), and a very deadly asthras of thvashta called sudaamanaasthra, and a dangerous missile *s*itaashu, these and the maanava missile of Manu all these were given by Sage Viswamithra to Rama in the form of Manthras. And Viswsamithra said to Rama, "Oh! Rama! these missiles are, most powerful, be cautious while using them". Then Vishvamitra transferred the powers of all those weapons to Rama by chanting the appropriate manthras (facing east), at which time the owner of each weapon came in front of Rama in their original form.
All of those highly obliging missiles in astral bodies were glad to come under the protection of Rama, spoke to him with folded palms, "we are here to obey You". Rama received them with due respect and replied please be within my heart. Then Rama was curious to know some more asthras which are called as upasamhara asthras.
What are they? Let us know.
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