Gandiva

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Arjuna abandoning Gandiva after the Kurukshetra war

The Gandiva (IAST: Gāṇḍīva; Sanskrit: गाण्डीव) is the bow of Arjuna, the hero of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

The bow was created by Brahma, the Creator, the supreme God in Hindu theology.) Brahma held it first for a thousand years. Afterwards, Prajapati held it for five hundred and three years. After that Indra, for five hundred and eighty years. And then Soma held it for five hundred years. And after that Varuna held it for a hundred years before handing it to Arjuna along with a Kapi/ Hanuman bannered chariot, 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. It is said that beside Lord Krishna no one except Arjuna could wield the bow in the mortal world. The bow, when twanged made the sound of thunder. Gandiva is parallel in its fame to its famous wielder. The name of Arjuna and Gandiva are spoken in a single breath.

After the war, in Svargarohanika Parva, Agni reappears before Arjuna and asks him to return Gandiva along with the quivers to Varuna. Arjuna had killed Karna,wounded Bheeshma Pitamah badly[Shar Shaiya] with the help of Gandiva.

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