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Arjuna’s Gandiva

- August 14, 2020


Illustration: Ritoparna Hazrah

The Pandava prince Arjuna, highly revered as the greatest archer of all time, owned the celestial bow called the Gandiva. The bow was so powerful that even the gods feared it. In the legendary battle of Kurukshetra, Arjuna destroyed a number of great warriors and gods with the Gandiva.

The bow was created by Brahma himself, decreeing at the time that this powerful bow would punish the unjust and the wicked. It was such a mighty weapon that it could be used to fight one lakh enemies at the same time!

Illustration: C.M. Vitankar

The bow passed through many hands before making its way to the Pandava prince. Brahma used the bow for a 1000 years, followed by Indra for 3585 years and then by Chandra for 500 years. Varuna then came into its possession and used it for 100 years before giving it to Arjuna!

According to Veda Vyasa’s Mahabharata, at the end of Dwarapa Yuga when the Pandavas retired, Arjun returned the bow to its previous owner, Varuna.

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