Arrow of Brahma

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The Arrow of Brahma is from Hindu writings. It is also an implement in a ritual of the Theravada Buddhists.

Hindu History[edit]

In Hindu History, the god Rama (Ramachandra) faced the demon king of Sri-Lanka, Ravana. Rama shot arrows and knocked off each of Ravana's ten heads, but new ones grew immediately. The new heads doubled Ravana's strength. Finally, 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 navel which contained the elixer, 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.


The yaktovil is a lengthy, complex ritual that prevents malevolent, supernatural beings from overpowering patients. The ritual brings the patients into the protective manifold of the Buddha. The ritual is performed by Theravada Buddhists.


Yakeduras means "ones who know the art of offering". They are specialists who take control over patient diagnosis and performance of the yaktovil.


During the ritual, offering baskets for several yakas, or nature divinities, are placed on a bench. One of the baskets is devoted to Suniyam. His basket contains, among other things, a sacrificial chicken and an "arrow" of Brahma. The "arrow" in this ritual is a straight branch with one end in the shape of an arrowhead. During the ceremony, it is used to help command and control certain supernaturals. At one point in the ceremony, a person assisting will be "possessed" by the spirit of Suniyam. He will take the sacrificial chicken and stomp around the patient. The yakeduras will use the "arrow" to force his compliance in leaving the patient alone.


  • "Rama". Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  • "Agastya". Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  • Reynolds, Frank; Carbine, Jason A. The Life of Buddhism, Life of Religion- Volume 1. Berkeley University of California Press.