The Brahmastra was a weapon created by Brahma. It was considered a very destructive weapon. The Brahmastra never missed its mark. In the Mahabharata, a few Maharathis possessed the knowledge to invoke the Brahmastra. So what are the other types of weapons called Brahmashirsha astra and Brahmanda astra? Any one knows any information about theses type of weapons?

  • Brahmashirsha astra was also a deadly weapon. Its knowledge was possessed by Arjuna (fully) and Ashwatthama (partially) during Mahabharata. The later used it on an unborn child and got cursed by the lord Krishna to roam around the world until the end of Kaliyuga.
    – iammilind
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 6:20
  • @iammilind i think Arjuna and few Maharathis possessed the knowledge to invoke Brahmastra weapon only not Brahmashirsha astra or Brahmanda astra.
    – Dharma
    Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 6:50

4 Answers 4


I have read complete mahabharata translated by KM Ganguly and Rajgopalchary separately and have gone through various articles posted and updated by many persons in different web pages. I have come to a conclusion that there were only Brahmastra,Brahmashirsha Astra,and Brahmadanda. Knowledge of Bhahmastra was known to manya great warriors and gurus like Guru Parashurama,Guru Drona, Guru Kripacharya, Bhisma,Arjuna, Krisna, Satyaki,Pradumna, Annirudhha, Asswatthama,ofcourse Karna with the curse that he will forget it when he needed it the most against an equivalent opponent. However Brahmashirsha Weapon having 4 heads of Lord Brahma is more powerful and destructive than Bhahmastra probably evolution of the latter. This knowledge was imparted to Arjuna and Aswatthama through Guru Drona. Though Aswatthama was having the knowledge of invoking the weapon but not revoking one unlike Arjuna. Drona purposefully didn't want to impart the full knowledge to Aswatthama as he didn't trust him as he had on Arjuna because the person having both the knowledge can hurl the missile as many times as he wants and Drona didn't want that option to be availabe with Aswatthama. There is no mention having Bhisma, Karna, Kripa,Satyaki having or using this weapon. However the weapon Brahmadanda was given to only Brahmins eg: Vasista, Parsurama, Drona etc, which is capable of engulfing both Brahmastra and Brahmashirsha astra which was not imparted to any of the khatriya warriors.

  • You should cite sources. Commented Mar 6, 2015 at 15:25
  • 1
    That 's true my friend. For this one you need it because, some information is wrong. Anyone can have the powerful Brahmanda Astra. They just need to do penance to Lord Brahma as it can only be attained by him directly.
    – Shyam
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 4:54

brahmandastra is the most powerful weapon.it is made up of Brahma 5 heads.it is usefully to neutralize the narayanaastra or pasupathastra.karna, parushuram ,drona and bhism have this.and parushuram ram cursed karna to forget this mantra at the time when most needed.and Brahmashirsha is the second best karna arjuna bhism drona drona parushuram have this weapon

  • Not all the time sv. By the way nobody knows this, but Arjuna also possessed the Brahmanda Astra and used it on Dronacharya. Lord Krishna stopped Arjuna from doing so as it will destroy creation.
    – Shyam
    Commented Sep 18, 2016 at 4:51

All three weapon had equal power of the trinety the trimurthi all three respected each other at the last all the three manifiest as one GOD. Dint go by puranas its has very confusing topics written by some writer marking that particular god as supreme. Geeta teaches where the almighty manifiest has said that he is in every one and every one is within him. Hence when trinety weapon like bramastra is discharge it has nither any counter and in vedic days when it was discharged þe sages who had deep tapasyra bramrishis always sought some remedies to control it and save the mankind. Guru rishi vasitha was bramrishi had done deep menance hence when rishi vishwamitra discarge it rishis deep tapasya and yagna attributed in face fbramastra ie the suprame lord was protecting him.

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE. You should cote sources to back your answer. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 4:41

Brahmashira astra - a destructive weapon like Brahmastra that has all four heads of brahmadeva but only difference between brahmashira astra and brahmastra is that brahmashira astra is four times more destructive than Brahmastra. The Brahmashira Astra (Brahma's head weapon), manifests with four heads of brahma at the front and is four times stronger than the normal brahmastra. Arjuna and Ashwathama famously used it on each other during Sauptika Parva.

Pritha's son Dhananjaya, O child, was acquainted with the weapon called brahmashira.

At the very sight, O tiger among men, of those two rishis possessed of splendour like that of fire, Dhananjaya quickly resolved to withdraw his celestial shaft.

Since Ashwathama was not able to retract Brahmashira astra and was not allowed to use that weapon on Pandavas anymore because Arjuna retracted his weapon, he uses that weapon on stillborn Parishit, the grandson of Arjuna in an attempt to end the Pandava lineage since all sons of Pandavas already died.

"This blade of grass (inspired into a fatal weapon) will, however, fall into the wombs of the Pandava women, for this weapon is high and mighty, and incapable of being frustrated. O regenerate one, I am unable to withdraw it, having once let it off. I will now throw this weapon into the wombs of the Pandava women. As regards thy commands in other respects, O holy one, I shall certainly obey them."


Arjuna, Drona, Ashwathama( He knew only how to invoke but not how to retract but other than him, other people know to retract it) , Bhishma, Parashurama and Agnivesha ( He bestowed brahmashira to Drona who passed it to Arjuna and Ashwathama)

Brahmanda astra is a weapon used for defense unlike Brahmashira and Brahmastra for offense. Brahmanda astra has five heads of Brahmadeva . Originally Brahmadeva had five heads but one of the head was cut off by Shiva. He did it for good. 4 head of brahma represent 4 Yugas knowledge of 4 Vedas. The 5th was ego (one extra head of Brahma) which was representing anti-tune of the Vedas in order to attract Shiv’s attention to go from vairagya to day-to-day rituals. Discussion with Narayana, he failed to understand the necessity of delaying the task to bring Shakti into Shiv’s life due to Shiv’s contribution to kickstart the universe. In due time, Shiv lost his nature (Shakti) & went Vairagya.

The act of Brahma representing his ego over the 4 vedas, forced Shiv to chop off his 5th head.


Vashishta possessed a divine cow which was able to give anything that was wished and Vashishta used to serve thousands of people because of the cow. Once, King Kaushika (Vishwamitra's name at the time) saw the cow and wished to possess her. He asked Vasistha to hand her over but Vasistha refused to do so saying she actually belongs to Devas and not him. King Kaushika became angry and attacked Vasistha with all his forces. However, he was defeated by the power of his penance and was somehow rescued by Vamdeva. He asked Vamdeva, how can Vasistha defeat all his might on his alone. Vamdeva told him this happened due to Vasistha's Brahmashakti. Kaushika then wanted to become like Vasistha. Doing penance guided by Vamdeva, King Kaushika became Vishwamitra.

After severe penance to Shiva, Vishwamitra gained celestial weapons and goes to Vashishta's ashrama and even uses Brahmastra, Brahmashirastra, Pashupatastra and other astras but Vashishta uses Brahmananda astra that consumes all weapons of Vishwamitra, including his most powerful weapons which were the most powerful weapons.

Brahmanda astra has the power to neutralize any other weapon or divyastra and can destroy the world if used against offense.

Dronacharya had Brahmanda astra andhe was invincible on 15th day of the war. This weapon is said to possess the power to destroy entire solar system or brahmand, the 14 realms according to Hindu cosmology. In some texts it is called Brahma-dhanda astra, the weapon created by Saptarishi's to counter any weapon ever created, even that of Trimurti's. The rishi of this weapon is Para Brahman. It is stated to be the most difficult astra to obtain. Capable of destroying entire universe in a blink of an eye.

Bhishma, Drona, Indrajit, Parashurama, Agnivesha, and Vashishta possessed these weapons.

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