Weapons of power 

Episode 28: Meghnath learns about the different types of weapons that add to Goddess Durga’s powers

October 14, 2022 11:02 am | Updated 11:02 am IST

Meghnath travels to meet his guru Sukracharya and learn more about Goddess Shakti’s powers. There, he finds Sukracharya praying to Goddess Kali, as part of a nine day-ritual.

Sukracharya: Welcome, Meghnath. You’ve come at the right time.

Meghnath: Thank you, Guru. May I know what you are doing?

Sukracharya: I am undertaking a nine day-ritual that serves as a reminder of the power of Durga — Goddess Shakti’s incarnation. More specifically, a reminder about the power of women.

Meghnath: Can you tell me more about her?

Sukracharya: She was created to kill the asura Mahishasura who was protected by a boon that no man could kill him. She was given 10 weapons to kill the asura.

Meghnath: Why 10?

Sukracharya: The 10 weapons and hands are a symbolic reference to the 10 directions. It means that she protects innocent beings in all 10 directions.

Meghnath: But aren’t there only eight directions: east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest, north and northeast?

Sukracharya: Include the sky above and the earth below, you will have 10 directions.

Meghnath: Oh! Guru, can you tell me about those ten weapons and if they had any connection to modern science?

Sukracharya: Sure. I will tell you what I know. The first is Shiva’s trident. It could be a defence mechanism to protect Durga from electric weapons or lightning, much like a lightning arrester. It could also have served as an electromagnetic radiation generator like the Heinrich Hertz EMR Machine, which could generate and detect radio waves.

Next is Vishnu’s Sudarshana chakra. It could be something like an ‘electromagnetic boomerang’ that uses electromagnetic motors.

The third is Brahma’s Kamandala.

Meghnath: But that’s not a weapon.

Sukracharya: It’s more powerful than a weapon. It’s the energy source of most weapons.

Meghnath: How?

Sukracharya: Remember we once discussed electrolysis? (Refer to this episode)

Meghnath: Yes. It is a process by which current can be produced and stored in a device, like a battery.

Sukracharya: Exactly. The Kamandal is indeed like a battery. Moving on, the fourth weapon is Indra’s vajra that generates and strikes with the power of electricity. Its handle is made of diamond (vajra), a material that does not conduct electricity. Hence, it will protect the holder of the weapon from the high-voltage electricity generated by the weapon.

Meghnath: That sounds very powerful!

Sukracharya: There’s more. The next weapon is Vayu’s bow and a quiver of infinite arrows. In modern science, it could be equated to a rocket with a thrust, or a compressed air weapon like an air rifle. 

Next is Varuna’s conch, somewhat like the modern-day sonic cannon — a weapon that uses sound waves to attack enemies. 

The seventh is Agni’s burning spear — missiles with nuclear warheads.

Then Yama’s sword, which is similar to the hypersonic missiles that can destroy any type of defence system or cannot be stopped by any defence technology.

The penultimate one is Viswakarma’s axe which can create all sorts of objects including weapons and shields from any metal scrap. The idea is like a 3D printer used on Earth today. And the final weapon is Surya’s (sun) rays.

Meghnath: How can visible light be a weapon except for blinding the enemy?

Sukracharya: It’s not the visible light, but the invisible and harmful radiation of the sun that can be used as a weapon. Thankfully, the earth has the ozone layer that protects humans from the harmful UV and Gamma rays.

Meghnath: Oh, yes. I have learnt about it.

Sukracharya: These are the ten weapons of Durga. And Shakti too has nine different incarnations, each created for a different purpose and with different powers.

Meghnath: Wow, guru! My mind is blown. I am curious to learn more...

Sukracharya: All in good time...

The author is the founder and CEO of Vaayusastra Aerospace, an IIT-Madras incubated ed-tech startup that offers Air Science workshops for children between five and 14 years.

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