Brahmastra is debated to be similar in nature to Atom/Nuclear bomb. But my question is, do scriptures describe the effects of Brahmastra?
Brahmastra (Sanskrit: ब्रह्मास्त्र, Brahmāstra) was a weapon created by the creator Brahma, for the purpose of upholding Dharma and Satya (truth). When the Brahmastra was discharged, there was neither a counterattack nor a defense that could stop it, except by Brahmadanda, a stick also created by Brahma.
The two great ancient epics of India, Ramayana and Mahabharata explained about Brahmastra like below:
“It was a weapon, so powerful that it could destroy the earth in an instant A great soaring sound in smoke and flames And on its sits death…” — The Ramayana
“Dense arrows of flame, like a great shower, issued forth upon creation, encompassing the enemy… A thick gloom swiftly settled upon the Pandava hosts. All points of the compass were lost in darkness.
Fierce wind began to blow upward, showering dust and gravel. Birds croaked madly… the very elements seemed disturbed. The earth shook, scorched by the terrible violent heat of this weapon. Elephants burst into flame and ran to and fro in a frenzy… over a vast area, other animals crumpled to the ground and died. From all points of the compass the arrows of flame rained continuously and fiercely. — The Mahabharata
In Ahirbudhnya Samhita of the Pancharatra Agama volume 1 and ValmikiRamayana, both explained same Effects of Brahmastra.
1) The nature of some astra-s - missiles
There are some verses that depict the nature of these astra-s. A few of them are given under. Though we may not actually acquire a projectile power with these verses, they may at least detail what these missiles are. The source of these verses is untraceable, but they are said to be in puraaNaa-s, and Shiva informs Sage Narada, about the missiles as below:
vaantam vahni samaayuktam vyomahaalaa samanvitam | meSha dvayam danta yutam haalaahalam ataH param |
ghana aadyam vaayu puurvam ca danta yuktam athaanvitam | saram R^ikSha poaryaayam bhaantam bhR^igu mataH param ||
ambaram vaayu sa~NyuktaH ari mardanam apyutaH | pradiiptam atha avaktavyam paramam ca padam tataH |
tat ete pade prayoktavye gaayatryaa madhyamam tataH | pada trayam prayoktavyam etat brahma astram iiritam ||
"It contains air, fire and cosmic poison, two goat-like fangs, full of poison, weighty, emits air, contains mercury, fiery, sparkling, sky is filled with air, enemy-killing, greatly radiant and it is projected with three hymns, Gayatri at its centre, it is known as Brahma-astra
"Atharva Veda has proved that mantras can change weather, bring rainfall, produce heat, change thoughts in human minds around us, control animals and birds etc"
2) Ahirbudhnya Samhita of the Pancharatra Agama volume 1:
phantam vahnisamayuktam vyoma halasamanvitam | mesadvayam dantayutam halahalamatah param || 34-5 ||
ghanadyam vayupurvam ca dantayuktamathantimam | sarasam carksaparyayam bhantam bhrgumatahh param || 34-6 ||
ambaram vayusamyuktamarimardanamapyatah | pradIptamatha vaktavyam paramam ca padam tatah || 34-7 ||
tatte pade prayoktavye gayatryaA madhyamam tatahH | padatrayam prayoktavyametad brahmastramIritam || 34-8 ||
“It contains air, fire and cosmic poison, two goat-like fangs, full of poison, weighty, emits air, contains mercury, fiery, sparkling, sky is filled with air, enemy killing greatly radiant and it is projected with three hymn, Gayatri at its centre, it is known as brahmastra”