Did Lord Krishna take away Arjuna's dhanur vidya (archery abilities) before leaving the Earth (Prithvi Lok)? If yes, why from Arjuna only and why not from other Pandavas?

  • i didnt know about that but maybe thats not how it went lord krishna didnt take arjunas dhanurvidya (archery knowledge) because they went and died on the Himalayas.
    – user3432
    Jul 31, 2015 at 19:47
  • @tanvi : please read the answers below and also refer the sources mentioned in answers. They went to Himalaya after dhanurvidhya was taken from arjun :)
    – Sid M
    Aug 3, 2015 at 7:12

2 Answers 2


No it is not like that. I know we have heard stories regarding this. But as per Mahabharata, it just happened in due course of time because all of Arjuna's weapons had fulfilled their purpose. So while escorting the yadus through the forest, he could not fight the robbers.He didn't even succeed to string his bow. So later on he approaches Vyasa and tells his inability:

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.

So Veda Vyasa tells him all this happened due to time and his weapons had went away having fulfilled their purpose:

Thy weapons, having achieved success, have gone away to the place they came from. They will, again, come into thy hands when the Time for their coming approaches.

Nevertheless, because God is time Himself, we can say Krishna took away Arjuna's power. But it is not the direct opinion of the Mahabharata.

Mahabharata 16.7, 16.8


I found the answer to my question over here. Its a bit long but worth reading.

The Story goes like this:

ARJUNA having found the bodies of Krishńa and of Balráma, performed for them, and the rest of the slain, the obsequial rites. The eight queens of Krishńa, who have been named, with Rukminí at their head, embraced the body of Hari, and entered the funeral fire.

  1. Revatí also, embracing the corpse of Balráma, entered the blazing pile, which was cool to her, happy in contact with her lord. Hearing these events, Ugrasena and Anakadundubhi, with Devakí and Rohiní, committed themselves to the flames.
  2. The last ceremonies were performed for all these by Arjuna, who then made all the people leave the city, and took Vajra with him. The son of Kunti conducted the thousands of the wives of Krishńa, with Vajra, and all the people, from Dwáraká, with tenderness and care, and travelled slowly away.

The Sudharman palace and the Párijáta tree, which had been brought to earth by Krishńa, both proceeded to heaven; and on the same day that Hari departed from the earth the powerful dark-bodied Kali age descended. The ocean rose, and submerged the whole of Dwáraká, except alone the dwelling of the deity of the race of Yadu. The sea has not yet been able to wash that temple away, and there Keśava constantly abides, even in the present day. Whoever visits that holy shrine, the place where Krishńa pursued his sports, is liberated from all his sins.

Arjuna, halted the people he had brought from Dwáraká in the Panchanada country, in a rich and fertile spot; but the desires of the robbers (of the neighbourhood) were excited, when they observed so many widowed females, also such great riches, in the possession of Arjuna alone. Inflamed by their cupidity, they assembled the villainous Ábhiras, and said to them, "Here is this Arjuna, immensely rich, and having numerous women, whose husbands have been slain, passing confidently amongst us; a disgrace to all brave men. His pride is raised by the death of Bhíshma, Drońa, Jayadratha, Karńa, and others, whom he has slain: he does not know the prowess of simple villagers. Up, up; take your long thick staves: this stupid fellow despises us. Why should we not lift up our arms?" So saying, they rushed, armed with cudgels and clods of earth, upon the people, who were without their lord. Arjuna encountered them, and said to them in derision, "Retire, wretches, ignorant of what is right, unless ye are desirous of dying." But they disregarded his menaces, and seized his treasures and his women, the wives of Viswaksena.

Arjuna lost fight with barbarians:

Thereupon Arjuna began to brace his heavenly bow Gándíva, irresistible in battle; but it was in vain; for,in spite of all his efforts to tighten it, it continued flaccid: neither could he call to recollection the incantations of the superhuman weapons. Losing all patience, he launched, as best he might, his shafts upon the enemy; but those shot from Gándíva merely scratched the skin. The arrows given him by Agni to carry certain destruction now were themselves destroyed, and were fatal to Arjuna in his contest with herdsmen. He endeavoured to recall the might of Krishńa; animated by which, his numerous arrows had overthrown mighty kings; but he tried in vain, for now they were put aside by the peasants, or they flew at random, wide of their aim. His arrows being expended, he beat the banditti with the horn of his bow; but they only laughed at his blows: and the barbarians, in the sight of Arjuna, carried off all the women of the Vrishńi and Andhaka tribes, and went their way.

Arjuna then goes to Vyása and regrets the loss of his powers, Vyása consoles him, and tells him the story of Asht́ávakra's cursing the Apsarasas.

Story of Asht́ávakra's cursing the Apsarasas

In former times a Brahman, named Asht́ávakra, was pursuing his religious penances, standing in water, and meditating on the eternal spirit, for many years. In consequence of the overthrow of the Asuras, there was a great festival on the summit of Meru: on their way to which, Rambhá, Tilottamá, and hundreds and thousands of beautiful nymphs, saw the ascetic Asht́ávakra, and they praised and hymned him for his devotions. They bowed down before him, and eulogized him, as he was immersed up to his throat in water, his hair twisted in a braid. So they sang in honour of him whatever they thought would be most agreeable to that most eminent of Brahmans. Asht́ávakra at last said to them, 'I am well pleased with you, illustrious damsels; whatever you wish for, ask of me, and I will give it you, however difficult it may be of attainment.' Then all those nymphs, Rambhá, Tilottamá, and others, recorded in the Vedas, replied, 'It is enough for us that thou art pleased; what need we aught else, venerable Brahman?' But some amongst them said, 'If, exalted sir, you are indeed pleased with us, then grant us a husband, the best of men, and sovereign of the Brahmans.' 'So be it,' replied Asht́ávakra, and thereupon came up from the waters. When the nymphs beheld him coming out of the water, and saw that he was very ugly, and crooked in eight places, they could not restrain their merriment, but laughed aloud. The Muni was very angry, and cursed them, and said, 'Since you have been so impertinent as to laugh at my deformity, I denounce upon you this imprecation: through the grace I have shewn unto you, you shall obtain the first of males for your husband; but in consequence of my curse, you shall afterwards fall into the hands of thieves.' When the nymphs heard this uttered by the Muni, they endeavoured to appease him; and they so far succeeded, that he announced to them they should finally return to the sphere of the gods. It is in consequence, then, of the curse of the Muni Asht́ávakra that these females, who were at first the wives of Keśava, have now fallen into the hands of the barbarians; and there is no occasion, Arjuna, for you to regret it in the least. All this destruction has been effected by the lord of all.

Vyása then tells Arjuna, all your powers were because of Lord Krishna, he gave you that to fulfill a purpose which has been fulfilled; Now all your Astras and Shatras have returned to the almighty. Oh wise prince! do not grief for that which is lost as it is all done by his(Lord Krishna) will. After which Arjuna and his brothers place Paríkshit on the throne, and go to the forests as suggested by Vyása

  • "The ocean rose, and submerged the whole of Dwáraká, except alone the dwelling of the deity of the race of Yadu. The sea has not yet been able to wash that temple away, and there Keśava constantly abides, even in the present day". May I know if that temple and the diety still present now in dwaraka?
    – Vishu
    Jan 12, 2016 at 7:09
  • where is that temple in dwaraka?
    – Vishu
    Jan 12, 2016 at 12:56

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