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As seen in the answer here , Karna had Vijaya bow. Karna had obtained it from Parashurama, who in turn had obtained it from Indra.

But it seems that Rukmi (brother of Rukmini) too had Vijaya bow that belonged to Indra. Udyog Parva mentions that he was a friend of Indra and had obtained it from his preceptor Drona. Don't think it was the Kuru guru Drona as the former is mentioned somewhat differently

And Rukmi was a disciple of that lion among the Kimpurushas who was known by the name of Drona, having his abode on the mountains of Gandhamadana

It is stated

And that mighty-armed warrior had obtained also the bow named Vijaya of celestial workmanship, belonging to the great Indra, and which was equal to Gandiva in energy and to also Sarnga (held by Krishna).

And he had this bow with him when he came to offer his services to Pandavas

And Rukmi having obtained the bow called Vijaya whose twang resembled the roar of the clouds came to the Pandavas

Now Karna and Rukmi had fought when Karna had gone on his digvijay yatra in which Karna seems to have gotten the better of Rukmi

Then going to the south, Karna vanquished the mighty charioteers (of that quarter) and in Dakshinatya, the Suta's son entered into conflict with Rukmi. After having fought dreadfully, Rukmi spake to the Suta's son saying, 'O foremost of monarchs, I have been pleased with thy might and prowess. I shall not do thee wrong: I have only fulfilled the vow of a Kshatriya. Gladly will I give thee as many gold coins as thou desirest.'

But there is no mention of either of the Vijaya bows in this encounter. Besides Rukmi approaching Pandavas was after the encounter with Karna

So question is if there are other references to two Vijaya bows belonging to Indra? If there is only one bow then who was holding it and at what point in time during Mahabharata.

3 Answers 3

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Vijay bow of Rukmi was different and less powerful than that of Karna. It was an ordinary bow broken by Lord Krishna before before Kurukshetra war .

Seeing the speed of his hands, keshava became angry. Shooting a bunch of arrows, he cut down rukmi's bow.

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  • Can it be a different bow ? I don't think if such bows are broken then they get repaired. Even Lord Shiva's bow that Sri Rama lifted was a broken bow. Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 8:50
  • @Carmensandiego they can't be repaired. Even the bow broken by Lord Rama was not repaired. Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 9:46
  • Right. So my question is if Rukmi spoke of Vijaya bow when he came to Pandavas, then the bow which Sri Krishna broke must have been a different one Commented Mar 8, 2020 at 10:27
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Yes. There is desciption of rukmi having Vijaya bow in uddyoga parva :

And Rukmi was a disciple of that lion among the Kimpurushas who was known by the name of Drona, having his abode on the mountains of Gandhamadana. And he had learnt from his preceptor the whole science of weapons with its four divisions. And that mighty-armed warrior had obtained also the bow named Vijaya of celestial workmanship, belonging to the great Indra, and which was equal to Gandiva in energy and to also Sarnga (held by Krishna). There were three celestial bows owned by the denizens of heaven, viz., Gandiva owned by Varuna, the bow called Vijaya owned by Indra, and that other celestial bow of great energy said to have been owned by Vishnu. This last (Sarnga), capable of striking fear into the hearts of hostile warriors, was held by Krishna. The bow called Gandiva was obtained by Indra's son (Arjuna) from Agni on the occasion of the burning of Khandava, while the bow called Vijaya was obtained from Drona by Rukmi of great energy. Baffling the nooses of Mura and slaying by his might that Asura, and vanquishing Naraka, the son of the Earth, Hrishikesa, while recovering the begemmed ear-rings (of Aditi), with sixteen thousand girls and various kinds of jewels and gems, obtained that excellent bow called Sarnga. And Rukmi having obtained the bow called Vijaya whose twang resembled the roar of the clouds came to the Pandavas, as if inspiring the whole universe with dread. Source : KMG translation Uddyoga parva

Now here is Karnas statement regarding Vijaya bow :

In physical strength, in courage, in knowledge of (weapons), in prowess, O Bharata, in aiming, Savyasaci is never my equal. My bow, called Vijaya, is the foremost of all weapons (of its kind). Desirous of doing what was agreeable (to Indra), it was made by Vishakarman (the celestial artificer) for Indra. With that bow, O king, Indra had vanquished the Daityas. At its twang the Daityas beheld the ten points to be empty. That bow, respected by all, Sakra gave to Bhrigu's son (Rama). That celestial and foremost of bows Bhrigu's son gave to me. With that bow I will contend in battle with the mighty-armed Arjuna, that foremost of victorious warriors, like Indra fighting with the assembled Daityas. That formidable bow, the gift of Rama, is superior to Gandiva. Source : KMG translation Karna parva section 31.

Now here irony is that it is said that both Rukmi's Vijaya bow and karnas vijaya bow are that of Indra's bow. So it is difficult to suggest that these are two different bows. Or else our habitual liar karna again lied to duryodhan. Only problem with saying that there were two Vijaya bows is that both claimed it to be Indra's bow. So it is very difficult to say both are different. Here we have to conclude someone is lying. And only one person is extremely famous for lying in mahabharat and that is none other than karna. At end of the day he did lied to his guru parashurama

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Yes, Lord Indra can have 2 weapons of the same name.

For example.:

Lord Indra fought with Lord Nandi in Daksha Yagna episode with Vajra. In Daksha Yagna sage Dadhichi was the one who cursed all the devas, etc for their sin of the Nir-Ishwara yagna.vSi, he was still alive.

Shiva Purana 2.2.2.37.:

  1. Indra fought with Nandin; the fire-god with Aśman and the powerful Kubera fought with Kūṣmāṇḍapati.

8-9. Nandin was hit hard by Indra with the thunderbolt that had a hundred spikes. Indra was hurt in the middle of his chest by Nandin with the trident.

Again, Lord Brahma told him to ask sage Dadhichi for his bone to make Vajra for killing Vrtra.

Shiva Purana 3.24.:

  1. There is a great sage Dadhīci of great penance and of full control of his sense-organs. After propitiating Śiva he secured the boon of adamantine bones formerly.

  2. You all request for his bones. He will undoubtedly give them to you. Make the thunderbolt staff therewith and kill Vṛtra without hesitation.

Let's see another example.:

Shiva Purana 3.23.:

Viṣṇu said:—

  1. My discus is here. I shall take the discus and return to my region abiding by your order with reverence.

Nandīśvara said :-

  1. On hearing the words of Viṣṇu, lord Śiva the protector of virtue in the guise of a bull, replied to Viṣṇu again.

  2. You shall go away quickly from this place. You shall not delay, O Viṣṇu, this is my behest. Let your discus stay in this world itself.

  3. I shall give you a discus more terrible than the sun at the time of dissolution and more efficacious than the words of Śiva.

  4. After saying this Śiva created another blazing discus, as lustrous as the Kāla fire, for the destruction of the wicked.

  5. He gave the discus, as lustruous as ten thousand fierce suns, to Viṣṇu, the great Ātman, the protector of the gods and the leading sages.

Another one,

Here, in Linga Purana interestingly the events if both Shiva Purana and Vishnu Purana are joined. So, 1st Lord Vishnu got Sudarshan Chakra from Vishwakarma which was made up of Sun particles than after it got blunt due to the Hard bone of sage Dadhichi he got another one from Bhagawan Shiva which was created to kill Jalandhara.

Linga Purana 1.98.:

11-15. Since they have acquired boons, they cannot be killed with any of these arrows and miraculous weapons:—such as those belonging to Viṣṇu, Brahmā, Rudra, Yama, Kubera, Soma, Nirṛti, Varuṇa, Vāyu, Agni, Varṣa, Sun, Īśāna, and other terrible missiles which make others tremble and powerless. O lotus-eyed one, all of them defy death due to their boons. O preceptor of the universe, the blazing Cakra (discus) that belongs to you, and that has originated from the solar disc has been rendered blunt by Dadhīca, son of Cyavana. Your staff and bow, your miraculous weapons have been acquired by Daityas through your grace. Formerly, a terrible and sharp-pointed discus was evolved by lord Śiva, the enemy of the Tripuras in order to kill Jalandhara. It behoves you to kill them with that weapon.

So, from the above examples we can understand that a deity can also have an upgraded version of the same weapon with the same name and functions but just better.

So, Yes, There are 2 Vijaya Bows in Mahabharata.

Bow of Rukmi.:

And Rukmi was a disciple of that lion among the Kimpurushas who was known by the name of Drona, having his abode on the mountains of Gandhamadana. And he had learnt from his preceptor the whole science of weapons with its four divisions. And that mighty-armed warrior had obtained also the bow named Vijaya of celestial workmanship, belonging to the great Indra, and which was equal to Gandiva in energy and to also Sarnga (held by Krishna).

Udyoga Parva: Section CLXI.

Bow of Karna.:

My (Karn’s) bow, called Vijaya, is the foremost of all weapons (of its kind). Desirous of doing what was agreeable (to Indra), it was made by Vishakarman (the celestial artificer) for Indra. With that bow, O king, Indra had vanquished the Daityas. At its twang the Daityas beheld the ten points to be empty. That bow, respected by all, Sakra gave to Bhrigu's son (Rama). That celestial and foremost of bows Bhrigu's son gave to me. With that bow I will contend in battle with the mighty-armed Arjuna, that foremost of victorious warriors, like Indra fighting with the assembled Daityas. That formidable bow, the gift of Rama, is superior to Gandiva. It was with that bow that the Earth was subjugated thrice seven times (by Bhrigu's son). With that bow given to me by Rama I will contend in battle with the son of Pandu. I will, O Duryodhana, gladden thee today with thy friends, by slaying in battle that hero, viz., Arjuna, that foremost of conquerors.

Karna Parva: Section 31.

Karna's words are also backed by Brahmanda Purana.:

He (Lord Shiva) gave an unaging (ever-new) unbreakable divine bow (named) Vijaya, with firm bow string, with firm bow string. He gave him (Parshurāma) a costly wonderful coat of mail that could withstand all types of weapons. (Brahmanda Purana_2,:25.41).

Again.:

He (Vratya/Shiva) is the only (Ekā) ruler of the Vratya group, The bow which was touched (held) by him was called Indradhanush. (A.V. 15.1.6).

So, from above verses it's totally clear that there were two Vijaya Bows of Lord Indra but one was better than the other. As.:

Rukmi's Vijaya Bow = Gandhiva = Sharanga.

Karna's Vijaya Bow > Gandhiva.

Therefore, Karna's Vijaya Bow > Rukmi's Vijaya Bow.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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