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"Pashupata" redirects here. For Hindu sect, see Pashupata Shaivism.
Shiva gives the Pashupata to Arjuna

The Pashupatastra (IAST: Pāśupatāstra, sanskrit: पाशुपतास्त्र)[etymology?], in Hindu History, is an irresistible and most destructive personal weapon of Shiva and Kali, discharged by the mind, the eyes, words, or a bow. Never to be used against lesser enemies or by lesser warriors, the Pashupatastra is capable of destroying creation and vanquishing all beings. Pashupatastra is the weapon of PashupatiNath, the most important of all Shiva temples, located in Kathmandu, Nepal.

In the Mahabharata Arjuna obtained this weapon from Lord Shiva but did not use it because this weapon would destroy the entire world, if used against a mortal enemy. Arjun used this astra to slay Jayadaratha. Some versions of Ramayana[which?] say that it was used against Lakshmana by Meghanada. [1] It is returned without causing any harm since it can be used only to uphold Dharma. It is said that the mantra to obtain and discharge the astra is sealed by Shiva to prevent its misuse in the Kali Yuga. IT IS SAID THAT NO ONE IN THE THREE WORLDS CAN RESIST LORD SHIVA WHEN HE SHOWS HIS PROWESS.. (All the reference links are from KMG translation of original Mahabharata of Veda Vyasa)


"O Phalguna, I have been pleased with thee for thy act is without a parallel. There is no Kshatriya who is equal to thee in courage, and patience. And, O sinless one, thy strength and prowess are almost equal to mine. O mighty-armed one, I have been pleased with thee. Behold me, O bull of the Bharata race! O large-eyed one! I will grant thee eyes (to see me in my true form). Thou wert a Rishi before. Thou wilt vanquish all thy foes, even the dwellers of heaven; I will as I have been pleased with thee, grant thee an irresistible weapon. Soon shall thou be able to wield that weapon of mine."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Soifer, Deborah (1991). The Myths of Narasiṁha and Vāmana: two avatars in cosmological perspective. Albany, N.Y: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-0799-3. p.85: K.P.1.15.70