The greatest of the ancient weapons described in the Mahabharata is known as the ‘brahmastra.’ Harnessing sound vibration alone, it has the power of thousands of nuclear weapons. After the battle has ended, it is used for evil intent. The world is under threat of total destruction until Arjuna invokes another brahmastra, revoking both and saving the world from obliteration.


(Shrimad-Bhagavatam, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

na hy asyānyatamaḿ kiñcid
astraḿ pratyavakarśanam
jahy astra-teja unnaddham
astra-jño hy astra-tejasā
1.7.28  O Arjuna, only another brahmāstra can counteract this weapon. Since you are expert in the military science, subdue this weapon’s glare with the power of your own weapon.
saḿhatyānyonyam ubhayos
tejasī śara-saḿvṛte
āvṛtya rodasī khaḿ ca
vavṛdhāte ‘rka-vahnivat
1.7.30  When the rays of the two brahmāstras combined, a great circle of fire, like the disc of the sun, covered all outer space and the whole firmament of planets.
dṛṣṭvāstra-tejas tu tayos
trīl lokān pradahan mahat
dahyamānāḥ prajāḥ sarvāḥ
sāḿvartakam amaḿsata
1.7.31   All the population of the three worlds was scorched by the combined heat of the weapons. Everyone was reminded of the sāḿvartaka fire which takes place at the time of annihilation.