Who is the greatest warrior in Indian Epics?
Hindu Mythology is vast and we have numerous warriors with great powers to conquer their enemy. Time and again, these warriors have showed their greatness in various stories spread across various generations of Hindu mythology.
As a child, I always wondered, who could be the greatest warrior of all but could never come to any conclusion. Today with help of internet and lots of study material available to read, I decided to compare the top warriors, so as to come to some conclusion about who is the Greatest Warrior of all.
Since our major gods like Shree Ram, Lord Hanuman, Vishnu, Shree Krishna, Shiva, Sita Maa, Balrama and others are invincibles, with all due respect, I have excluded from the comparison of warriors.
Now, Let’s compare the Heroes with what they have (boons / curse, strength, weapons) and then try and guess who is the greatest?
Barbarika – He was in possession of Shiva’s Teen Baan. First one marks everything he wants to destroy, second marks everything he wants to save and then third will destroy everything marked by first. But will it work against Bhishma’s wish-long life boon or Karna’s armour. Also, by the time Barbarika shoots the third arrow, super archers like Bhishma, Arjuna or Karna might break his bow thousand times.
Sahasrabahu Kartavyavirya Arjuna – This man with thousand arms had defeated Ravana once. He was extremely strong warrior and a good king. Until he lost his mind to the powers he had and made a mistake and Lord Parashurama made him pay the price.
Bhisma – Complete archer, has boon of wish-long life, went on to stale-mate Parashurama in a duel between them. He was invincible in the battlefield. It is safe to assume that he didn’t fight to his full potential against Pandavas because of his love for them. He had created 5 arrows for Pandavas using the powers of his penance and life. The 5 arrows could have killed the Pandavas and won the war for Kauravas but Duryodhana had to unwillingly give it away to Arjuna.
Arjuna – Foremost archer in Mahabharata.He had many celestial weapons in his possession. He also had blessings of Lord Shiva and other Devas, protection of Lord Hanuman and the company and counselling of Lord Krishna. Many argue that he might have not achieved much without help of Lord Krishna. But Krishna chose Arjuna because he on the path of Dharma and was a good human who showed love, honesty & kindness.
Karna – Supremely talented, could defeat all of the Pandavas. He had the Kavach Kundal armour which protected him from almost all weapons. He possessed Vijaya Bow (Shiva’s Bow). The bearer of the Bow could not be defeated and he wielded it only once in Mahabharata – in the final battle. He lost the battle because he was on the path of Adharma. He could not be defeated hence the Gods conspired against him and he got many curses which ultimately resulted in his downfall.
Ravan – The most powerful Asura ever, possessor of immortality nectar, knowledge of black magic. This warrior was so strong that even Maryada Purushottam Ram’s army had to resort to some wicked tricks to defeat him. He is not at the number one in this list because of a loophole in the boon he received. The boon was no God or Asura could defeat him. He forgot to mention human while asking the boon hence Shree Ram the Supreme human could defeat him.
Indrajit – Son of Ravan. He is the only one who had possessed all the three ultimate celestial weapons. He was expert in black magic. He used to perform a Yagna before each battle which made him invincible. He defeated Shree Ram and Lakshamana twice!! He defeated Indra. He is the only warrior from the two epics Ramayana & Mahabharata to be classified as Atimaharathi. He was defeated by Vibhishana’s treachery.
After having compared all of them, I would give the title of the greatest warrior to Indrajit.
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