(CHAKRA) There are many examples of symbolism and descriptions of weapons in Hinduism scriptures. Here is a list of the weapons/astras that are mentioned in various hindu texts and epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. A few of these weapons in modern day are just used for religious symbols, but some have evolved and can be connected to other similar weapons used all around the world.
In the Ramayana, Lord Rama faced Ravana where he shot arrows and knocked off each of Ravana’s ten heads, but they grew back immediately. The new heads doubled Ravana’s strength so Lord Rama fired the arrow of Brahma that had been imparted to him by Agastya, a sage and heavenly historian, while Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana were exiled in Dandaka Forest. The arrow of Brahma burst Ravana’s chest, passed through his body, and returned to Rama’s quiver. Ravana was destroyed and Rama was able to return home in victory. The arrow of Brahma that Rama shot had feathers of winds. The points were sun and flames. The shaft was Mount Meru, the hub of the universe and where Brahma lived.
A legend concerning the sword appears in the Shantiparva section of Mahabharata where a demon-like being sprang from the midst of the sacrificial fires scattering flames all around. His teeth were sharp and terrible, stomach lean and skinny and stature very tall and slim. He was of exceeding energy and power. Simultaneously, the earth started shaking, there were turmoils in the oceans, the forceful winds started howling all around, the trees started falling and being torn apart, and the meteors started blazing through the skies! Brahma declared: The ‘being’ I have conceived is Asi. It shall effect the destruction of the enemies of the gods and restore the Dharma. Upon this, the creature assumed the form of a blazing, sharp-edged sword, glowing like the flames at the end of the Kalpa.
Brahmastra & Brahmashira
It is sometimes known as the Brahma Astra. As described in a number of the Puranas, it was considered the deadliest weapon. It was said that when the Brahmastra was discharged, there was neither a counter attack nor a defense that could stop it, except by Brahmadanda, a stick also created by Brahma. It was believed to be obtained by meditating on the Creator in the Vedas, Lord Brahma; it could only be used once in a lifetime. The user would have to display immense amounts of mental concentration. According to ancient Sanskrit writings, the Brahmastra is invoked by a key phrase or invocation that is bestowed upon the user when given this weapon.
Through this invocation the user can call upon the weapon and use it via a medium against his adversary. Since Brahma is considered the Creator in Sanatana Dharma, it is believed by Hindus that Brahmastra was created by him for the purpose of upholding Dharma and Satya, to be used by anyone who wished to destroy an enemy who would also happen to be a part of his (Brahma’s) creation. The target, when hit by Brahmastra, would be utterly destroyed. Brahma had created a weapon even more powerful than the Brahmastra, called the Brahmashira. The Brahmashira was never used in war, as it had four times more power than the Brahmastra, i.e. Fourth power square, as the name suggests, since Brahma has Four Heads.
Only Arjuna and Ashwatthama possessed the knowledge to summon the Brahmashira. The Brahmastra was an elite weapon with only a handful of greatest of religious and devoted archers (ref) maheshwarananda, Swami.”the vedic system” having access to it. It could not be acquired by mere training or meditation, it could only be bestowed upon a warrior by Lord Shiva or Lord Brahma. It required great sacrifice and devotion to be granted a Brahmastra, only a few people in the Mahabharata had this weapon at their disposal.
The Sudarshana Chakra is a spinning, disk-like super weapon with 108 serrated edges used by Lord Vishnu. Its shape is of a circle with a sharp outer edge. Earliest references to the chakram come from the Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana where the Sudarshana Chakra is the weapon of the god Vishnu. The use of Sudarshana Chakra is occasionally mentioned in the Hindu texts of Rigveda, Yajurveda and Puranas, as an ultimate weapon to eliminate the enemy of law, order and preservation. Such enemies are enumerated variously as rakshasas, asura, and vikrutatma. In one such instance, as scribed in the stanzas of the Mahabharat, Lord Shri Krishna, the Avatar of Lord Vishnu, beheads Shishupala with the use of the Sudarshana Chakra, for his rapacious behaviour (committing 100 mistakes each worthy of death) at the Rajsuya yagna celebration of Emperor Yudhishthira.