Vashishtha is considered as the family priest of the Raghu dynasty and teacher of Lord Rama and his brothers.

This is what Wikipedia says about him

In the Ramayana, he was the family priest of the Raghu dynasty and teacher of Lord Rama and his brothers.

It seems like Vashishtha most notables work is in knowledge-work - for example, Vashistha is credited as the chief author of Mandala 7 of the Rigveda.

Since he is considered as the family priest too - his role mostly seems to be around teaching Vedic values and other subjects more related to academic education of literature and not much about war skills such as archery and other weapons.

Not sure if it was Vashishtha who taught Rama and his brothers the weapon skills.

Next, Vishvamitra - he too is mentioned as the preceptor of Rama and his brother Lakshmana. While there is a mention that Vishvamitra is the one who gives them the knowledge of the Devastras or celestial weaponry [bala and ati bala], - he came in Rama's life much later - and by that time - Rama was already well versed with his archery and other weapons skills.

In Mahabharata, There is absolutely no doubt who taught archery to Arjuna.

Do we have any such reference which clearly mentions Who taught archery to Lord Rama?

2 Answers 2


Probably Vashishta and other court-appointed acharyas.

From Valmiki Ramayan

गजस्कन्धेऽश्वपृष्ठे च रथचर्यासु सम्मतः
धनुर्वेदे च निरतः पितृशुश्रूषणे रतः

Rama is admittedly a champion of riding elephants and horses, also in tactical charioting, and he rejoices in the art of archery, and absorbed in the obedient service of his father.

The keyword is 'DhanurVeda'.

What do you think Vedas contains ?
It contains every subject that was, is, and will be taught in schools & universities.
In addition to the 4 'popular' Vedas - Rig, Yajur, Sama, Atharva - there are 4 Upavedas :

Dhanur-veda - War (what soldiers learn)
Ayur-veda - Medicine (what doctors learn)
Gandharva-veda - Music/Dance (what artists learn)
Artha-shastra - Economics (what businessmen learn)

Vashishta (a priest) defeated Vishvamitra (a king) with just his Brahma Danda - so we can be sure he knew how to fight/defend.

Even in Mahabharata - the court teacher (raja guru) was Kripacharya.
And he fought in Mahahbarat war (and stayed alive till the end, and still alive today).
He taught Pandavas and Kauravas initially, but later due to more governing responsibilities, the teaching responsibility was given to Dronacharya - a Brahmin, who learned Dhanurveda from Parashurama.

Since there is no such mention of specifically appointing a guru to the 4 sons of Dasharatha, it can be assumed the duty went to Vasishta by default. The assumption that he didn't know or teach warfare is baseless.

  • 1
    I think the very fact that DhanurVeda includes war training and that it was part of his vedic learning is perhaps pointing that Vasishta might have taught the archery to Rama Oct 27, 2020 at 16:47

I would like to add to Ram’s answer, a reference from Doha 204 of Balakanda of Sri Ramcharitamanas:

भए कुमार जबहिं सब भ्राता। दीन्ह जनेऊ गुरु पितु माता॥ गुरगृहँ गए पढ़न रघुराई। अलप काल बिद्या सब आई॥२॥

जाकी सहज स्वास श्रुति चारी। सो हरि पढ़ यह कौतुक भारी॥ बिद्या बिनय निपुन गुन सीला। खेलहिं खेल सकल नृपलीला॥३॥

(बालकाण्ड दोहा २०४, चौपाई २,३)

When all the brothers became adolescents, the guru (Vasishtha), father and mother gave them Janeu (Yajnopavitam). Rama went to his guru Vasishtha’s house to study and gained all knowledge in a short span of time. 2

That Lord Hari, who’s simple breath are the four vedas, he is studying them, this is such a divine play. Excelling in knowledge and character, he plays those sports similar to kings. 3

(Balakanda, Doha 204, chaupai 2,3)

From the above emboldened phrases, it is very clear the Vasishtha taught Sri Rama the vedas including all the knowledge required for Kshatriyas like Dhanurveda. Thus we can safely conclude that Sri Rama and his brothers were taught weapon skills by Vasishtha

  • this is a better answer because it has direct reference from a traditional scripture. Can you add the online link to the website ?
    – ram
    Oct 25, 2020 at 23:41
  • 1
    Thanks :). Honestly I picked it from my book, but here goes a site reference
    – Adiyarkku
    Oct 26, 2020 at 4:49

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