-- Aisika
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(also known as Aishika, Aishiika)

Aisika is a celestial weapon in Hindu mythology. In Sanskrit, Ishika means "consisting of stalks" or "made of reeds or canes" and refers to the way an astra is delivered. Typically an astra is invoked upon an arrow which is fired from a bow, but in dire situations where such a weapon is not available the astra can be invoked into whatever is on hand such as a piece of reed or cane, turning it into a deadly missile.

Aisika was used in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In the Aranya Kanda (Book 3), Rama was attacked by Kakasura, the son of Indra. He picked a blade of grass and turned it into a weapon that pursued Kakasura with greater ferocity the farther he ran from Rama. Only by running to Rama and begging his forgiveness was he able to avoid Aisika. The story is relayed in a later section as a flashback. In the Mahabharata, Aswatthaman used Aisika against Parikshit, the unborn son of Abhimanyu. Krishna countered the astra and saved the heir to the Pandava line.

Aisika is merely the medium of the astra, not the weapon itself. In most texts, the actual astra invoked on the grass or reed is Brahmasira, although sometimes it is Brahma Astra.

Thanks to Jijith Nadumuri Ravi from Ancient Voice.

Astra, India, Mythology, Weapon

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