According to Mausala Parva: Section 8, Arjuna says to Vaishampayana rishi:

In my very sight, O Brahmana, thousands of Vrishni ladies were carried away by the Abhiras of the country of the five waters, who assailed us. Taking up my bow I found myself unequal to even string it. The might that had existed in my arms seemed to have disappeared on that occasion. O great ascetic, my weapons of diverse kinds failed to make their appearance. Soon, again, my shafts became exhausted.

In some other version of Mahabharath (I don't remember the book name), I read, when the robbers kidnapped the Vrishni ladies, Arjun was trying to use Sahastraastra or Parvataastra, but couldn't invoke the astras. And one among those robbers said to arjun - "The new Yuga has already started and no one now fears your Gandeev, its useless!" Was it true?

Also, in one of the ways that I see, everyone who had the knowledge of Astra where either dead (like Vrishakethu) in some or the other way, or never appeared again (like Lord Parshuram, still alive). Ya I know Ashwathama is also alive and many claim to see him, but I want to know why the knowledge of astras disappeared?

Is it that after Sri Krishna left his human body, Arjun lost his powers? Because Arjun and Sri Krishn were Nara and Narayana, so Nara is powerless without Narayana? (But this is not my question!)

UPDATE: My question is not about kidnapping of Sri Kirshn's wifes. My question is about Arjun losing his powers and why?

  • Arjuna lost all his powers after lord Srikrishna's departure because he represents human beings . And he is powerless without the presence of lord
    – clayd7
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


Yes, Arjuna lost his warring powers, after Krishna departed.
As discussed in this answer:

The son of Kunti, suddenly ceasing to advance along the path, turned, with his followers, towards the place where the robbers had attacked the procession. Smiling the while, that mighty-armed warrior addressed the assailants, saying, ‘You sinful wretches, forbear, if ye love your lives. Ye will rue this when I pierce your bodies with my shafts and take your lives.’ Though thus addressed by that hero, they disregarded his words, and though repeatedly dissuaded, they fell upon Arjuna. Then Arjuna endeavoured to string his large, indestructible, celestial bow with some effort. He succeeded with great difficulty in stringing it, when the battle had become furious. He then began to think of his celestial weapons but they would not come to his mind. Beholding that furious battle, the loss of the might of his arm, and the non-appearance of his celestial weapons, Arjuna became greatly ashamed.

The obvious reason was the departure of lord Krishna and the fulfilment of the Paandava's duties on earth.

Vyasa said, ... That high-souled one of expansive eyes, Krishna, having lightened the burthen of the Earth and cast off his (human) body, has attained to his own high seat. By thee also, O foremost of men, with Bhima for thy helpmate and the twins, O mighty-armed hero, has the great work of the gods been accomplished. O foremost one of Kuru’s race, I regard thee and thy brothers as crowned with success, for ye have accomplished the great purpose of your lives. The time has come for your departure from the world.

  • Thanks for the answer bro. Yes I know that one. for ye have accomplished the great purpose of your lives. The time has come for your departure from the world, I understood that! But I want to know why and how? Arjun was never cursed to lose his knowledge (like Karna). Than how? Your answer explains me the why part but not the how. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 9:15
  • @Ashish, "Why" -- The purpose of life for Arjuna & his brothers was over (like Krishna). This is already covered in Qn & answer. "How" -- Arjuna had inability to fire his weapons on robbers, who were not even great warriors. He even couldn't remember his celestial weapon art (same like Karna). There was neither any curse, nor to do with Krishna taking away his energy. When the purpose of life is over, this is a way God informs his devotee to retire. The other examples are Parashurama, Satyavati, Dhritarashtra-Gandhari-Kunti-Vidura. They all retired to woods when they found that the time is up.
    – iammilind
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 9:26
  • @milind, You're right and what ever you said about the purpose of life, I understood that even before asking the question. But still don't know why I'm not satisfied with that point. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 9:35

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