In the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata, Bhishma gives advice to Yudishtra and the Pandavas concerning how to be a good king and how to be good person, while he's lying on a bed of arrows after the end of the Kurukshetra war. At one point, Yudishtra's youngest brother Nakula (an accomplished swordsman) asks Bhishma about how the first sword was created. Bhishma tells the story of how long ago, the Asuras (demons) were causing mayhem throughout the world. In response, Brahma conducted a great Yagna (fire-ritual), and out of the fire of the Yagna came Asi, a being who turned into the first sword ever created. Brahma gave the sword to Shiva, who used it to defeat the Asuras in battle.

Here's how the sword was passed down after that:

The divine Rudra [Shiva], after this, gave the sword, that protector of religion, dyed with the blood of Danavas, unto Vishnu with due adorations. Vishnu gave it unto Marichi. The divine Marichi gave it unto all the great Rishis. The latter gave it to Vasava [Indra]. Vasava gave it to the Regents of the world. The Regents, O son, gave that large sword to Manu the son of Surya....

In time Manu installed his own son Kshupa in the sovereignty of all creatures, and gave him the sword for their protection. From Kshupa it was taken by Ikshvaku, and from Ikshvaku by Pururavas. From Pururavas it was taken by Ayus, and from Ayus by Nahusha. From Nahusha it was taken by Yayati, and from Yayati by Puru. From Puru it was taken by Amurtarya, From Amurtarya it descended to the royal Bhumisaya. From Bhumisaya it was taken by Dushmanta's son Bharata. From Bharata, O monarch, it was taken by the righteous Ailavila. From Ailavila it was taken by king Dhundumara. From Dhundumara it was taken by Kamvoja, and from Kamvoja it was taken by Muchukunda, From Muchukunda it was taken by Marutta, and from Marutta by Raivata. From Raivata it was taken by Yuvanaswa, and from Yuvanaswa by Raghu.

From Raghu it was taken by the valiant Harinaswa. From Harinaswa the sword was taken by Sunaka and from Sunaka by the righteous-souled Usinara. From the last it was taken by the Bhojas and the Yadavas. From the Yadus it was taken by Sivi. From Sivi it descended to Pratardana. From Pratardana it was received by Ashtaka, and from Ashtaka by Prishadaswa. From Prishadaswa it was received by Bharadwaja, and from the last by Drona. After Drona it was taken by Kripa. From Kripa that best of swords has been obtained by thee with thy brothers.

So after all that illustrious history, the divine sword Asi was finally given to the Pandavas by their teacher Kripacharya, presumably during the time of their education.

So my question is, what happened to the sword after the time of the Pandavas? First of all, is there any occasion in the Mahabharata where any of the Pandavas actually used the sword? And what did the Pandavas ultimately do with it? Did they give it to Arjuna's grandson Parikshit, who took over the kingdom after the Pandavas went to the Himalayas? Was Asi passed down through the generations of the Kuru dynasty?

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    Nice question. On a related note, something has been on my mind for a while. If we can come up with a graph-tree with search links depicting the human family tree gleamed from scriptures, that would be a very useful reference. Would be a interesting project.
    – Naveen
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 19:09
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    @Naveen Well, my answer here has a family tree of the Pandavas: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/2347/36 And here's a family tree of the lunar dynasty starting from Pururavas (whom I discuss here) and going all the way down to Krishna govinda.be/krishnavoorkinderen/afb/stamboom1.jpg And here is the family tree of Kuru: govinda.be/krishnavoorkinderen/afb/stamboom2.jpg Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 19:30
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    @Naveen Here's another comprehensive family tree: vedadev.ru/images/SB%20Family%20Tree03.jpg Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 19:36
  • You mean Nandak sword of Shriman Narayana is not the oldest sword out there?
    – Yogi
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 17:43
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    @Yogi Well yeah, the Nandaka sword is eternal. But Bhishma is speaking about how swords originated on Earth in the present Mahakalpa. Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 17:50

3 Answers 3


Still as per various available texts, Asi lastly appeared to Nakula (Son of Madravti) and then later on no information available on it. Regarding Parikshit (the son of Abhimanyu) he took over the kingdom but he left the capital Hastinapur and formed a new capital Parikshitgarh around 29 Kms (18 miles) from Hastinapur currently located in tehsil Mawana (Both Hastinapur & Parikshitgarh), Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.


Kripacharya gifted this sword to Nakula and from Nakula it went to Parikshit and from Parikshit it went to Janamejaya. From Janamejaya it went to his son Satanika. Satanika, who studied the Vedas under Yajnawalkya and military science from Kripacharya become dissatisfied with sensual enjoyments and obtained spiritual knowledge from the instructions of Saunaka and ultimately obtained salvation. The sword again went back to Kripacharya for safe keeping till the return of the rightful owner of this weapon, Dronacharya's son Ashwatthama.



Lets see if I can add up the facts as I have been tracking this subject from a long time. In recent times there are 3 main characters to whom the myths of sword are attached. 1.Alha & Udal related to whom there is a folklore and song that talks about Swords. 2.Prithviraj Chauhan who fought with these two and was saved by Guru Gorakhnath from being killed by Alha. 3.Shiva jee Maharaj who was said to be gifted with the divine sword Bhawani.

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! First of all, you should cite sources. Second of all, I'm specifically interested in the sword Asi, not other swords, unless you can find some reference that says Asi is the same as Bhawani. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 11:58
  • How can i support my answer when it itself is based on an assumption. The way our text and Documentations are manipulated and misinterpreted i am not expecting to find this answer until i get a trustworthy texttual support.
    – Suryodaya.
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 13:38

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