Vijaya (Sanskrit:विजय meaning victory) was a divine weapon or bow. Vijaya was mainly wielded by Lord Parashurama who already had terrific skill. Later Parasurama gifted the bow to one of his disciples Karna.
Story of creation
The bow Vijaya was specially made by Vishvakarma for Lord Shiva to destroy the city of Tripura built by sons of Tarakasura. Shiva destroyed Tripura by firing Pashupatastra from Vijaya. Later, Shiva gave this bow for safekeeping to Indra.
How Parshurama got Vijaya
Lord Shiva instructed Indra to give the bow to Parasurama for the task of combating the evil prevailing in the kshatriyas of the world. On 21 different occasions, when the ruling Kshatriyas (the martial caste) began oppressing their subjects and committing sin, Parasurama - armed with the Vijaya bow - hunted them to the brink of extinction, nearly ridding the world of the kshatriyas. Each time, Parasurama donated the territory won from the kshatriyas to Brahmins (the academic/teaching caste) for re-establishment of order.
How Karna got Vijaya
According to Mahabharata, Parashurama takes Karna as his student. Since Karna was a worthy student, Parashurama blessed Karna with the Vijaya along with other celestial weapons. Vijaya bow is clearly mentioned only once in Mahabharata, during the Kurukshetra war, on the 17th day, when Karna fought against Arjuna.
Features of the bow
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The Sanskrit name Vijaya means Victory. This bow is said to give sure victory to the possessor. The string of this bow cannot be broken by any kind of astra or any divine weapon. Vijaya Dhanush is described in certain puranas having a dark colour with bluish hue. Every time an arrow is released from this bow, its twang is said to have produced reverberations akin to rumbling of charged clouds, causing terrible fear on enemies and produces flashes of light, brilliant as lightning, which blinds the enemy. This bow cannot be broken by any weapons or anyone and its so heavy that normal persons cannot even lift it. Every time an arrow is aimed, the energy of the arrow is amplified by multiple times as this bow is charged with sacred mantras. No weapon can harm a warrior who has Vijaya dhanush in his hand. Certain stories mention that the state of Kerala was produced from sea when Lord Parshuram shoot a divine arrow from his divine Vijaya bow, which is not true as Parashuram's primary weapon was Axe or Parashu. He hurled the axe at ocean and thus Varuna retreated to make it dryland for living.
- "Bhagwan Parshuram, a wonderful blend of Brahmatej and Kshatratej". www.thehitavada.com. Retrieved 16 June 2020.
- Kotru, Umesh; Zutshi, Ashutosh (March 2015). Karna The Unsung Hero of the Mahabharata. Leadstart Publishing PvtLtd. pp. 1 July 2020. ISBN 978-93-5201-304-3.CS1 maint: date and year (link)
- "The Mahabharata, Book 8: Karna Parva: Section 31". www.sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 19 June 2020.