Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A weapon, constructed from wood or iron, and a proverbial index of strength, since it can be wielded only by the most powerful warriors, such as Bhīma and Duryodhana, who engage in a famous single combat with maces in the Śalyaparvan of the Mahābhārata. The mace is one of the attributes of Viṣṇu, complementing his other weapon, the cakra. This gada, symbolizing the god's universal power, is sometimes represented in a personified form (as an āyudhapuruṣa), and worshipped independently for its protective qualities, notably in the form of the goddess Kaumodakī. In an attempt to account for the name, a story in the Agni Purāṇa tells how Viśvakarman made a mace from the bones of Gada, a demon defeated by Viṣṇu, and presented it to the god.

Subjects: Hinduism.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.