This is the third and the concluding part of the series titled- MOST POWERFUL WEAPONS OF LORD SHIVA. The last 3 weapons of Lord Shiva are as follows:
The khaṭvāṅga is quite a beautiful object, which looks kind of like a walking stick with three upward-pointing prongs. It is a long, studded club originally created as a weapon. It was adopted as a religious symbol in Indian religions such as Shaivism and Vajrayana Buddhism. This word is often pronounced ‘khatamka’by Tibetans.
The khatvāṅga was adopted by some lineages of historical tantra though it preceded such traditions. Shiva carried the khatvāṅga as a staff-weapon and are thus referred to as khatvāṅgīs. Originally, the khatvāṅga was made of bones, especially, the long bones of forearm or the leg of human beings or animals. Later, wood and metal were used. The khatvāṅga is a long club with skulls engraved on the body. A khatvāṅga represents thevajra.
The Pashupatastra is the most powerful, most destructible and the personal weapon of Lord Shiva, goddess Bhadrakali and goddess Adi Para Shakti. Pashupatastra means –“the power of the Pashupati” which in turn translates into “the power of the whole animal kingdom combined together”. This weapon can be discharged by the mind, the eyes, words or a bow. The weapon is so powerful that it can destroy all of creation if used against a lesser enemy. Whenever the Pashupatastra is summoned its head is never the same. When it is unleashed, the pashupatastra summons several monsters and a huge spirit which personifies the weapon. Capable of destroying the entire multiverse in the blink of an eye, this weapon is strictly prohibited for use against a lesser or an inferior enemy.
There is a legend showing the might of the Pashupatastra. After the death of Tarkasur, the king of the asuras his three sons did a strict penance to please Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma appeared before them and asked for a boon. The three brothers asked for 3 cities each of gold, silver and iron. Lord Brahma granted the boons and disappeared. The three cities collectively came to be known as Tripura.
For sometime the 3 brothers ruled justly. But slowly their demonic nature began to rise. The three brothers began plundering, murders and all kind of evil activities. The gods went to Lord Vishnu for help. Lord Vishnu advised them to go to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva agreed to fight the war. A chariot was made for him by Lord Vishwakarma with Lord Brahma as its driver. Lord Shiva,loaded with the Pashuptastra waited for the 3 cities to align themselves vertically above each other. The moment the three cities aligned themselves Lord Shiva fired the Pashupatastra on the gold city. The gold city fell on the silver city and both toppled on the iron city. The three cities were completely destroyed and so were the demon brothers. Peace once again returned to the earth.
Only two humans are known to have possessed the pashupatastra- Arjun in Mahabharat and Indrajeet/ Meghnadh in Ramayana. Arjun obtained the weapon before the Mahabharat war by a severe penance. Arjuna’s penance generated so much heat that it became difficult for other creatures to live on the planet thereby forcing Lord Shiva to appear before him. Lord Shiva took the form of a hunter and challenged Arjuna to a fight. Arjuna was defeated 8 times by the 8 different avatars of Lord Shiva. After getting defeated for 8 times continuously he prayed to Lord Shiva asking who was this great hunter and offered flowers to the lingam. He saw that the flowers that were put on the lingam were on Lord Shiva’s forehead. He bowed down to him in respect and Lord Shiva blessed Arjuna with the Pashupatastra. Lord Shiva lectured Arjuna on the abilities of the weapon and the judgement that he must exercise wielding it.
Teen Baan is also a weapon of Lord Shiva which was given to Barbarika, the grandson ofBhima and son of Ghatotkacha. Teen Baan is a powerful weapon which consists of only 3 arrows and is infailable. The first arrow marks all the targets that are to be destroyed in the battle. The second arrow is used to mark all the things targets the weilder wants to save. The third arrow is used to destroy all the targets which were marked by the first arrow and save those which were marked by the second one.
Barbarika was made to promise by his mother that he would join the side which would be losing in the Battle of Kurushetra. Krishna, disguised as a Brahmin challenged Barbarika to tie all the leaves of the Peepal tree under which he was standing, using his arrows. Barbarika accepts the challenge and starts meditating to release his arrow by closing his eyes. As Barbarika starts meditating, Krishna quietly plucks a leaf from the tree and hides it under his foot. When Barbarika releases his first arrow, it marks all the leaves of the tree and finally started hovering around the leg of Krishna. Krishna asks Barbarika why the arrow was hovering over his foot. Barbarika replies that there must be a leaf under his foot and the arrow was targeting his foot to mark the leaf that is hidden underneath. Barbarika advises Krishna to lift his leg , otherwise the arrow would mark the leaf by piercing Krishna's foot. Krishna then lifts his foot and the first arrow also marks the hidden leaf. The third arrow then collects all the leaves (including the hidden leaf ) and ties them together. By this Krishna concludes that the arrows are so powerful and infallible, that even if Barbarika is unaware of the whereabouts of his targets, his arrows can still navigate and trace his intended targets. Thus Krishna gets a deeper insight about Barbarika's phenomenal power.
Krishna then asks him whom he would favour in the war. Barbarika reveals that he intends to fight for the side whichever is weak. Krishna tells that whichever side he supports will end up making the other side weaker due to his power. Nobody will be able to defeat him. Hence, he will be forced switch sides to support the other side that has become weaker (due to his word to his mother). Thus, in an actual war, he will keep oscillating between two sides, thereby destroying the entire army of both sides and eventually only he would remain. Subsequently, none of the sides would become victorious and he would be the lone survivor. Hence, Krishna avoids his participation in the war by seeking his head in charity. Barbarika readily agrees and gives his head but requests Krishna that he wanted to see the war with his eyes. Therefore Krishna keeps his head alive so that he can witness the battle.
Barbarika came to be known as Khatushyamji meaning the valiant warrior who sacrificed his head for the greater good. Krishna granted him a boon that he would always be remembered as a great warrior. There is a temple dedicated to him in Rajasthan.
THE LINKS TO MY OTHER WRYTUPS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Life Lessons to Learn from Lord Shiva:
Art of Living and Significance of Lord Shiva's Attire:
Most Powerful Weapons of Lord Shiva (Part 1):
Most Powerful Weapons of Lord Shiva (Part 2):