Arjuna had trained himself under Drona as a great archer. Drona had given him training on each and every weapon. Not only this, sensing a sure war between Pandavas and Kauravas, Krishna sent Arjuna to Heaven to acquire all divyastras, so that he will be able to counter Bhisma, Drona and Karna in the war.

But, why was Arjuna not able to counter the snake weapon shot by Karna; which meant a sure and certain death of Arjuna, had not Krishna{as avatar of God Vishnu} put his weight to push the chariot down within earth?

  • How could Arjuna the warrior, have anticipated /foreseen a snake, coming to a battlefield? Why would any snake want to attack a nice person like Arjuna? A person, who had aligned his thinking with Sri Krishna’s, after the Chapter 1, Bhagavad Gita event,Arjuna,was a true devotee of God{Sri Krishna}.And Arjuna followed all the requirements of Dharma.Purport of the snake incident is-Sri Krishna always helps a true devotee. Sep 27, 2016 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


This was because the arrow was not an ordinary Nagastra, it was inhabited by a real snake called Ashvasena, so it could not be countered by Garudastra.

EDIT: The references for this answer are this chapter of Mahabharata and this episode of Bhakthi Thiruvizha (starts at 18.26).

  • 4
    First of all, you should cite sources; here's the relevant chapter of the Karna Parva: sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08090.htm Second of all, why does the fact that it was inhabited by a real snake mean that it could not be countered by a Garudrastra? I think Garudastras can kill real snakes. And Arjuna ultimately destroyed Ashvasena with six (presumably ordinary) arrows. But I do find it strange that it says Arjuna's crown could not be destroyed by Shiva, Varuna, Kubera, or Indra but it was destroyed by Ashvasena. Nov 4, 2015 at 17:32
  • I don't think I can cite Karunakarachariar's discourse as a source (Bhakthi Thiruvizha)?
    – Surya
    Nov 4, 2015 at 18:25
  • 1
    You absolutely can cite it as a source, as long as you specify the specific discourse, and if possible a video/audio of it. Nov 4, 2015 at 18:29
  • Just see the interesting fact. Arjuna killed the snake with six ordinary arrows. Whereas, Krishna had to push the chariot down to save Arjuna. What was so special in that Snake weapon?? Again see, Arjuna was able to kill the snake but was not able to counter while being shot by Karna. This seems funny. Nov 5, 2015 at 6:23
  • It was because at the time of shooting, not even Karna knew that Ashvasena had entered the arrow. But as soon as his purpose was over, he assumed his original form, and so Arjuna was able to shoot the appropriate astras.
    – Surya
    Nov 5, 2015 at 10:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .