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Question 1:

  • Did Lord Rama really use the Brahmastra on Ravana to kill him?

  • If he did use it, then, Ravana's entire body should have turned to ashes. It would have even created a major natural disaster in the sky and on land as Brahmastra's power is just too great. But Ravana's body was still there. Lakshmana and the entire army was safe too and Lord Rama's chariot was not scratched a tiny bit.

Question 2:

  • If Lord Rama used the Brahmastra then Ravana would have been fully aware of it then why didn't Ravana launch his own Brahmastra to counter it?
  • Rama used brahma astra once before war with Ravana. It is against jayantha, son of indra who was in a form of crow. There were no natural disasters mentioned at that time too. This is mentioned in Sundara kanda. Where did you learn that Ravana had the knowledge of Brahmastra? It was his son Indrajeet AKA Meghnath who has knowledge of the weapon. – Sarvabhouma Dec 13 '16 at 8:48
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    friend I had no scriptures which indicates ravanas astra list but if ravana did not knew the knowledge of invoking brahmastra there must be a reason as a very knowledged person not knowing brahmastra can you tell me the reason and tell me why lord ram stopped lakshman from using it against indrajit – Sakthi Dec 13 '16 at 11:32
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    @SreeCharan I agree with shakti ravana was a great warrior and a learned man, it is highly unlikely that he didn't know about bramhastra but Shri ram's knowledge of bramhastra is not a reason to validate ravanas knowledge. – Yogi Dec 13 '16 at 15:45
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    @sakthi See this link. It will be useful when you write an answer or a question. It decreases other users interference in your posts. – Sarvabhouma Dec 13 '16 at 15:55
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    @SreeCharan I don't know much about VR but yeah if its not there then may be its the other way around and that's why I said 'highly unlikely' since even people like Ashwatthama had Knowledge of Bramhastra so its really amazing to know that a great bramhana like Ravana didn't know about Bramhastra. – Yogi Dec 13 '16 at 17:39
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Did Lord Rama really use the Brahmastra on Ravana to kill him?

Yes, he did. He used the Brahmastra given by sage Agastya. He used Brahmastra by the advice of Matali.

Then, the valiant Rama, who was reminded thus by Matali, took hold of a blazing arrow, which was given by Brahma and which in turn was given to him by the glorious sage, Agastya earlier in the battle-field and which looked like a hissing serpent.[6-108-3]

Above shloka shows that Rama used a Brahmastra against Ravana.

It would have even created a major natural disaster in the sky and on land as Brahmastra's power is just too great.

Yes, some disasters did happen when Rama aimed that Brahmastra.

While that excellent arrow was being fixed by Rama, all the beings were frightened and the earth trembled. [6-108-15]

That arrow, which was capable of causing death to the body, after taking away the life of Ravana and having been anointed with blood, penetrated the earth [6-108-19]

Lakshmana and the entire army was safe too and Lord Rama's chariot was not scratched a tiny bit.

Yes, they were safe because Rama only used it on Ravana and not others. Brahmastra is a divine astra which is invocated through mantras. It only destroys the enemy and bestows joy to the person who invokes it and the astra behaves as per the will of the person who aimed it. This was the reason Sri Rama controlled the power of the Brahmastra which was fired at Jayanta. It diluted the power to destroy an eye of Jayanta instead of his life (that was also a Brahmastra but it is Aishiika missile a grass blade missile. One needs to have the knowledge of the Aishiika missile to invoke divyastras into a grass blade. But this time against Ravana, a rod given by Brahma is used.)

That arrow bestowed joy on the monkey-leaders and destroyed the demons. It was made speedy, by tying various kinds of beautiful coloured feathers of Garuda, the king of eagles, to it. [6-108-12]

Making it sacred by a special formula as per the procedure specified in scriptures, Rama who was endowed with an extraordinary strength then fixed that arrow which was the foremost among the three worlds, capable of removing the fear of Ikshwaku dynasty, taking away the glory of the enemies and bestowing joy to one's own self on his bow.[6-108-13]

Sri Rama didn't want Lakshmana and others to be harmed so the missile obeyed the order by Rama.

But Ravana's body was still there.

Yes, Ravana's body was still there. Vibhishana performed the funeral rites to his brother after Sri Rama convinced him.

But Mahabharata says this differently. Sage Markandeya narrates the story of Ramayana to Yudhishtra during the exile. This occurs in the Mahabharata, Vana Parva Chapter 288

Then the descendant of Kakutstha, taking out of his quiver an excellent arrow furnished with handsome wings and golden feathers and a bright and beautiful head, fixed it on the bow with Brahmastra mantra. And beholding that excellent arrow transformed by Rama, with proper mantras into a Brahma weapon, the celestials and the Gandharvas with Indra at their head, began to rejoice. And the gods and the Danavas and the Kinnaras were led by the display of that Brahma weapon to regard the life of their Rakshasa foe almost closed. Then Rama shot that terrible weapon of unrivalled energy, destined to compass Ravana's death, and resembling the curse of a Brahmana on the point of utterance. And as soon, O Bharata, as that arrow was shot by Rama from his bow drawn to a circle, the Rakshasa king with his chariot and charioteer and horses blazed up, surrounded on all sides by a terrific fire. And beholding Ravana slain by Rama of famous achievements, the celestials, with the Gandharvas and the Charanas, rejoiced exceedingly. And deprived of universal dominion by the energy of the Brahma weapon, the five elements forsook the illustrious Ravana. And were consumed by the Brahma weapon, the physical ingredients of Ravana's body. His flesh and blood were all reduced to nothingness,--so that the ashes even could not be seen.

According to the narration of Sage Markandeya in the Mahabharata, there was no physical ingredient left of Ravana.


If Lord Rama used the Brahmastra then Ravana would have been fully aware of it then why didn't Ravana launch his own Brahmastra to counter it?

I think the answer lies in the question itself. Because we are not sure that Ravana had the Brahmastra. It is not mentioned in the Valmiki Ramyana or any other puranas that he used the Brahmastra prior to the war with Rama. We can only speculate. Even if possessed, to invoke a Brahmastra, there is a process. It would be not possible to invoke a Brahmastra if he doesn't remember the proper mantras (remember the case with Karna. At a point of time, he couldn't invoke a Brahmastra but later after recovering, he used it against Arjuna). This could be the possible reason that Ravana didn't use Brahmastra if he possessed the weapon.

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Ravan had a spear from Brahma. Ravan used Brahmastra twice on Lakshmana.And Lakshmana was only unconscious.

स तान् प्रचिच्चेद हि राक्षस इन्द्रश् | चित्त्वा च ताम्ल् लक्ष्मणम् आजघान | शरेण काल अग्नि सम प्रभेण | स्वयम्भु दत्तेन ललाट देशे || ६-५९-१०४

Whereupon, Ravana the King of Demons shattered those pointed arrows and struck Lakshmana in the forehead with a struck Lakshmana in the forehead with a shaft as bright as the Fire of Time, which had been bestowed on him by Brahma the Lord of Creation.

But Lakshmana destroyed that Brahmastra after regaining consciousness.

स लक्ष्मणो रावण सायक आर्तश् | चचाल चापम् शिथिलम् प्रगृह्य | पुनश् च सम्ज्नाम् प्रतिलभ्य कृच्च्राच् | चिच्चेद चापम् त्रिदश इन्द्र शत्रोह् || ६-५९-१०५

Struck by Ravana's arrow, Lakshmana reeled a little and was scarcely able to retain his bow. But, coming to his consciousness with difficulty, he shattered that weapon belonging to Ravana, Indra's enemy.

Then Ravan used Brahma spear on Lakshmana and made him unconscious.

स कृत्त चापह् शर ताडितश् च | स्वेद आर्द्र गात्रो रुधिर अवसिक्तह् | जग्राह शक्तिम् समुदग्र शक्तिह् | स्वयम्भु दत्ताम् युधि देव शत्रुह् || ६-५९-१०७

Ravana, the enemy of celestials, whose bow was broken, struck by the arrows, his limbs spattered with flesh, and streaming with blood, himself of formidable energy, seized in the battle a spear gifted to him by Brahma the Lord of CreationYuddha Kanda Sarga 59

The Brahmastra of Indrajit and Rama are way different. They were infallible. Brahmastra of Indrajit hurt Hanumana regardless of his boon. It was a clash on boons.

Rama Brahmastra was also infallible.

इदम् दिव्यम् महत् चापम् हेम वज्र विभूषितम् | वैष्णवम् पुरुषव्याघ्र निर्मितम् विश्वकर्मणा || ३-१२-३२ अमोघः सूर्य संकाशो ब्रह्मदत्तः शर उत्तमः |

"This sacred bow that is decorated with gold and diamonds is crafted by the divine architect Vishvakarma pertains to Vishnu, and these unwasteful arrows equalling sun in their blaze are the gift of Brahma. [3-12-32, 33a] [Aranya Kanda Sarga 12]2

Ravan used Brahma weapon (spear) on Rama and Rama destroyed it with his weapon.

If your weapon is Amogh then it is infallible. Arjuna had Pashupata and Brahmastra yet Lord Krishna protected him from Karna by confusing Karna mind with illusion. Krishna also saved him from Bhagadutta Vaisnavastra.

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