Was Arjuna left-handed in his warrior skills?

What about other great warriors of the epics like Karna, Bhishma, Drona, Rama and Laxmana?

Will left-handedness or right-handedness ever matter in acquiring warrior skills?

3 Answers 3


Arjuna was ambidextrous. Hence his name/title "Savyasachi". He was able to use both hands with equal facility. From Virata Parva

And since both of my hands are capable of drawing the Gandiva, I am known as Savyasachin among gods and men.

Use of the dominant hand will always matter in any physical or mechanical operation. In warfare, I would imagine ambidexterity gives the warrior a wider range of motion and hence target. It also allows the warrior to switch arms when one is tired, thereby minimizing the need for breaks unlike the average warrior.

Regardless of Arjuna's prowess, Rama is the greatest warrior and wielder of the bow of all times. Krishna says so in the vibhuti yoga of the Gita. There is and can be no parallel to Rama.
BG 10.31

Of purifiers I am the wind, of the wielders of weapons I am Rāma, of fishes I am the shark, and of flowing rivers I am the Ganges.

Additionally, one can deduce that Rama was also ambidextrous because he is said to have carried quivers full of arrows on both his shoulders. See


The others you mention are all great warriors and perhaps superior to Arjuna but I do not recall mentions of their ambidexterity. The reason Arjuna prevailed even when facing warriors of Drona and Bhishma's caliber is having dharma and Krishna on his side.

  • 1
    You should cite this chapter of the Virata Parva of the Mahabharata: sacred-texts.com/hin/m04/m04044.htm "And since both of my hands are capable of drawing the Gandiva, I am known as Savyasachin among gods and men." Sep 18, 2015 at 3:14
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    @KeshavSrinivasan, edited the answer with both the sources. I think from this text only you got the notion that Arjuna was also called Krishna. It's also worth mentioning that for Drona: Had he fought with anger for half a day, he was capable for annihilating the whole army including Paandavas during the Mahabharata war. Refer here. Bhishma had defeated Vishnu's avatar Parasurama in fair fight and Bhishma himself couldn't have been defeated without deceit. Due to him causing so much destruction, even Krishna lifted weapon during Mahabharata.
    – iammilind
    Sep 18, 2015 at 5:32
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    @iammilind Yeah, it is the same chapter. By the way, Bhishma didn't defeat Parashurama in a fair fight; Parashurama decided to put his weapons down, because his ancestral spirits told him to stop acting like a Kshatriya, and that Bhishma was supposed to be killed by someone else: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/2178/36 Sep 18, 2015 at 11:56
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    @iammilind By the way, regarding Drona being able to defeat the entire Pandava army, you may be interested in this chapter from the Drona Parva, which lists other people who would have been capable of defeating the Pandava army if Krishna hadn't killed them before the war: sacred-texts.com/hin/m07/m07178.htm This includes Ekalavya, as I discuss here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/q/8028/36 Sep 18, 2015 at 11:58

I don’t understand why archery is not a part of our school curriculum. All these ridiculous answers will go away. It’s a science nothing to do with religion.

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    Jan 9, 2022 at 15:03

Arjuna was ambidextrous. He could use both of his hand to shot arrows in accurate target. Thus he was known as सव्यसाची धनञ्जयः

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