Brahmastra, aka: Brahmāstra, Brahman-astra; 8 Definition(s)
Brahmastra means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
Dhanurveda (science of warfare)
Brahmāstra (ब्रह्मास्त्र) refers to a weapon created by Brahmā. It is a Sanskrit word defined in the Dhanurveda-saṃhitā, which contains a list of no less than 117 weapons. The Dhanurveda-saṃhitā is said to have been composed by the sage Vasiṣṭha, who in turn transmitted it trough a tradition of sages, which can eventually be traced to Śiva and Brahmā.Source: Wisdom Library: Dhanurveda
Dhanurveda (धनुर्वेद) refers to the “knowledge of warfare” and, as an upaveda, is associated with the Ṛgveda. It contains instructions on warfare, archery and ancient Indian martial arts, dating back to the 2nd-3rd millennium BCE.
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)
Brahmāstra (ब्रह्मास्त्र).—This is known by another name Brahmaśirāstra also. This weapon was given to Agastya by Śiva. It is mentioned in Mahābhārata, Ādi Parva, Chapter 138, Stanza 9, that Agastya gave this weapon to Agniveśa, who gave it to Droṇa and Droṇa gave it to Arjuna and instructed him about the use of it as follows:
"You should never shoot this arrow at man. If it is used against mean people the three worlds would be destroyed. It is said that this weapon has no parallel in the world. Keep this pure, and give ear to what I say. If an enemy, other than human being attacks you, this weapon may be used to kill him in battle."Source: archive.org: Puranic EncyclopaediaSource: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Katha (narrative stories)
Brahmāstra (ब्रह्मास्त्र) is the name of a weapon (astra), capable of repelling the Brahmāstra, according to the Kathāsaritsāgara, chapter 115. Accordingly, “... then Brahmā, seeing that his [Vidyuddhvaja’s] asceticism was becoming capable of upsetting the system of the world, came to him, and at his request gave him the weapons of Brahmā. He said: ‘This weapon of Brahmā [named Brahmāstra] cannot be repelled by any weapon except the weapon of Paśupati Rudra, which is unattainable by me. So, if you desire victory, you must not employ it unseasonably’. When Brahmā had said this, he went away, and that Daitya went home”.
The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Brahmāstra, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.Source: Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Brahmāstra (ब्रह्मास्त्र): A divine weapon, irresistible, one given (=created) by Lord Brahma himself.
It is sometimes known as the Brahma Astra (Astra means 'weapon'). As described in a number of the Puranas, it was considered the deadliest weapon. It was said that when the Brahmastra was discharged, there was neither a counter attack nor a defense that could stop it, except by Brahmadanda, a stick also created by Brahma. The Brahmastra never missed its mark and had to be used with very specific intent against an individual enemy or army, as the target would face complete annihilation.Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism
Languages of India and abroad
brahmāstra (ब्रह्मास्त्र).—n (S) Weapon of Brahma, an arrow, a straw, or anything charmed and endowed by the recitation over it of a mantra. Ex. narakēṃ bra0 sōḍilēṃ jāṇa || tēṃhī giḷilēṃ avalīḷā ||. 2 The curse or imprecation of a Brahman.Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
Brahmāstra (ब्रह्मास्त्र).—a missile presided over by Brahman.
Derivable forms: brahmāstram (ब्रह्मास्त्रम्).
Brahmāstra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms brahman and astra (अस्त्र).Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
(-straṃ) The Brahma'S weapon, a fabulous weapon originally from Brahma. 2. The imprecation of a Brahman. E. brahma and astra a weapon.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
Search found 13 books and stories containing Brahmastra, Brahmāstra, Brahman-astra; (plurals include: Brahmastras, Brahmāstras, astras). You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Chapter 2 - The Son of Drona Punished < [Sauptika Parva]
The Bhagavata Purana (by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
Chapter 7 - The Son of Drona Punished < [Canto I - The Creation]
Chapter 8 - Prayers by Queen Kunti and Pariksit Saved < [Canto I - The Creation]
Chapter 12 - Birth of Emperor Pariksit < [Canto I - The Creation]
Brihad Bhagavatamrita (by Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī)
Verse 2.1.28 < [Chapter 1 - Vairāgya: Renunciation]
Verse 2.1.26 < [Chapter 1 - Vairāgya: Renunciation]
Verse 1.7.117 < [Chapter 7 - Purna: The Complete Perfection]
The Padma Purana (by N.A. Deshpande)
Chapter 45 - Śrī Rāma Appears on the Battlefield < [Section 5 - Pātāla-Khaṇḍa (Section on the Nether World)]
Chapter 110 - Nahuṣa Gets Divine Weapons from Gods < [Section 2 - Bhūmi-khaṇḍa (section on the earth)]
Chapter 9 - The Creation of a New Powerful Weapon by Śiva < [Section 6 - Uttara-Khaṇḍa (Concluding Section)]
The Skanda Purana (by G. V. Tagare)
Chapter 19 - The Battle between Viṣṇu and Kālanemi < [Section 2 - Kaumārikā-khaṇḍa]
Chapter 29 - The Battle Between Suras and Tāraka < [Section 1 - Kedāra-khaṇḍa]
The Devi Bhagavata Purana (by Swami Vijñanananda)