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Arjuna abandoning Gandiva after the Kurukshetra war

The Gandiv (IAST: Gāṇḍīv; Sanskrit: गाण्डीव) is the bow[1] of Arjuna, the hero of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

The bow was created by Brahma, the Creator of universe, the supreme God in Hindu theology. Brahma held it first for a thousand years, then Prajapati held it for five hundred and three years, Indra, for five hundred and eighty years, and Soma for five hundred years. After that Varuna held it for a hundred years before handing it to Arjuna along with a Kapi/ Hanuman bannered chariot, and two inexhaustible quivers, as requested by Agni during the Khandava-daha Parva. The bow was decorated with hundreds of gold bosses, and had radiant ends. The bow was worshiped by Devas, Gandharvas and Danavas. Arjuna used it in Kurukshetra war and he was invincible. No ordinary person could wield the Gandiva bow. When fired, the bow made the sound of thunder. It has special qualities like being indestructible, having 100 bow strings, etc. Which always gave the wielder a heavy advantage over his opponent.

After the war, in Svargarohanika Parva, Agni reappears before Arjuna and asks him to return Gandiva along with the quivers to Varuna.


  1. ^ Bharadvaja Sarma, Vyāsa, Bharadvaja Sarma. Vyasa's Mahabharatam. Academic Publishers. p. 844. 

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