Vol. 6, Chapter 108, Verse 12
Book of War (yuddha kAnDa), sarga 108, SlOka 12.
The scene : war scene between the protagonist rAma and the antagonist demon king rAvaNa.
rAma used the Creator's weapon (brahma astra) against rAvANa.
This made the forest-dwelling rAmA's vAnara army happy (nandanam).
It was capable of destroying (avasAdanam) the demons.
It was made fast (vAjitam = made fast like a horse), tied with beautiful light-weight awesome feathers (cAru citrair garutmataha) and with a replica of the fast-high-flying-kite God garuDa.
Can't creator's weapon fly on its own? Does it need aero-dynamic pushers?
6-108-7 says that it was ornamented with gold. Gold is a metal with high specific gravity and it increases the weight. Not suitable to make or adorn flying objects. We have to presume that the arrow was made of bamboo only, but was coated with gold or tied with some gold bands.
The temple preachers say that even a blade of grass is sufficient to imbibe it with the power of the Creator's weapon (brahma astra), but rAma was not using such simple things.
6-108-20 says that the arrow came back after piercing through the chest of rAvaNa. Was it a boomerang?
Temple preachers have another story to tell: rAma was advised by vibhIshaNa to hit rAvaNa on his navel, because it contained the pot of immortal nectar which protected rAvaNa. We do not find this advice in vAlamki rAmAyaNa. According to vAlmiki, rAmA aimed his arrow towards rAvaNa's chest and killed him.
More about this Creator's weapon brahma astra, in the next post.