This question came to my mind when I heard/noticed about Indradhanush (hindi/Sanskrit name for Rainbow). So If Indradhanush is really Bow of Indra does it have a significance?

Scientifically Indradhanush is made by Surya and Varuna i.e. Sunlight and Rain Droplets, is it mentioned in Hindu scriptures with same scientific accuracy?

  • You should edit the title of your question so that it's just about Indra-Dhanusha and not the other weapons of Indra. May 23, 2016 at 18:20
  • 3
    I think Indra Dhanush is just a poetic way to refer to the rainbow and not an actual weapon.
    – Surya
    May 24, 2016 at 5:08
  • Indra Dhanush is a Dhanush! In fact Lord Indra used it on his fight between the asuras. The Indra Dhanush said to be only broken by these weapons(or weapons that are more powerful than them): Narayanan Astra, Pashupat Astra, Brahma Shire Astra etc. Now Yogi, please don't ask me references. Just be calm and if you badly want them for no reason, then go to Wikipedia and onto the fight between Asuras and Devas. It doesn't matter if there is no references.
    – Shyam
    Sep 13, 2016 at 11:45
  • No one rarely knows about this weapon though. I researched a lot about it and then only I found out. But I'm telling you it is a legend about how a rainbow is made. :)
    – Shyam
    Sep 13, 2016 at 11:47
  • The Gautama Dharma Sutras say that you should call it Manidhanush rather than Indradhanush: "(And in speaking of) a rainbow, manidhanus (the jewelled bow) instead of indradhanus, (Indra's bow)." sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe02/sbe0273.htm I'm not sure why. Sep 18, 2016 at 7:17

2 Answers 2


What is Indra-Dahnushya? Is Indra-Dhanushya really Bow of Indra ?

The exact answer is found In Atharva-Veda - Kanda -15 –Sukta 1 - Adhyatma Prakaran Sukta – Verse -6 The Devata of this Sukta is Vrtaya. This entire Sukta Is revering deity Vratya.

स एकव्रात्यो s भवत् स धनुरादत्त तदेवेन्द्रधनु: ||6||

Sa Eka VraTayo Bhavat Sa DhanuRaDatta TaDevendraDhanuhu

He is singularly the leader of the Vratya’s group (Vratya Samuha) , He touched the BOW , which was called Indra-Dhanushya.

You can read the English translation of the verse - Here

Here it is said that the deity Vratya took a bow , touched it . And that is why the Bow is called Indra_Dhanushya.

This Vratya description resembles to Shiva , there are word like Nila-Lohita etc. in that sukta.Which are of Lord shiva.

Conclusion - It seems from Atharva-veda that Indra -Dhanushya is bow of vedic deity Vratya.

enter image description here

  • 2
    The Hindi translation doesn't say that it became Indra dhanush because Vratya touched it. It says "He singularly is the leader of the Vratya group. The bow which was held by him, that bow is called as Indra dhanush(the bow of Indra)". There might be an instance where Shiva used the bow of Indra or Indra used the bow of Shiva. So, that was talking about that bow. Please correct the translation. Griffith's translation seems accurate. Aug 11, 2017 at 6:47
  • 1
    "Here it is said that the deity Vratya took a bow , touched it . And that is why the Bow is called Indra_Dhanushya" It doesn't say so. Check the above translation. He held the bow. That bow became famous as the Bow of Indra. Post accurate translations. What's the problem with Griffith. That translation is accurate and is matching with Hindi one too. You can use that translation. Aug 12, 2017 at 5:51

According to Karna, Vijaya dhanush used to be the bow of Indra.

Below is an excerpt from Karna Parva section 31.

My bow, called Vijaya, is the foremost of all weapons (of its kind). Desirous of doing what was agreeable (to Indra), it was made by Vishakarman (the celestial artificer) for Indra. With that bow, O king, Indra had vanquished the Daityas. At its twang the Daityas beheld the ten points to be empty. That bow, respected by all, Sakra gave to Bhrigu's son (Rama). That celestial and foremost of bows Bhrigu's son gave to me. With that bow I will contend in battle with the mighty-armed Arjuna, that foremost of victorious warriors, like Indra fighting with the assembled Daityas. That formidable bow, the gift of Rama, is superior to Gandiva. It was with that bow that the Earth was subjugated thrice seven times (by Bhrigu's son).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .