Gada, The Mace of Vishnu

    Welcome here, stranger. Do not be afraid, although I could see why you might be. I represent spiritual, mental and physical strength, which has a tendency to be quite overwhelming at first. I am Gada, which is the Sanskrit word for mace. I am a mace who was wielded by the god Vishnu. Vishnu is a Supreme God in Hinduism. Vishnu is commonly depicted holding four items: a mace (myself), a conch shell, a lotus, and a chakra. I am usually held in Vishnu’s lower left hand. Some refer to me by the name “Kaumodaki.” This name can be quite difficult for some mortals to get used to, so, for short, I will allow you to refer to me simply by the name Gada.

Image Info: Vishnu holding the mace, lotus, conch and chakra
Web Source: Yogausa

The name Gada has a lot of history that comes along with it. Gada was the name of a mighty demon who once brought much terror upon humanity. Many legends tell about how terrible Gada was, but he had one flaw that was quite easy to take advantage of. It is said that despite how horrible Gada was, he could also be quite charitable. Gada never refused a request that was asked of him no matter how ridiculous the request might have been. My creator, Vishnu, disguised himself as a poet of sorts, also known as a Brahmin. The disguised Vishnu approached Gada and requested that Gada lend his own bones to him. Gada ripped himself apart at the seams to deliver his bones to Vishnu. Vishnu then took these bones and fashioned for himself one of the most grand maces of all time. That is how I came to be. Due to the fact that I was created from the bones of Gada the word Gada came to permanently mean mace in Sanskrit.

In case you still don’t realize just how much power I truly hold, you must look at it on a much grander scale. I was created in order to protect humanity. There is nothing that I cannot conquer. This is why I have often been compared to the element of time. Time is always moving and can never be stopped. You can never intercept or trick time. Time itself is unconquerable just like me.

I was not the only weapon that was wielded by Vishnu. As I said earlier, another item that Vishnu once held was a chakra. I believe I already overheard the Trishula describing the background of the chakra to you so I will not bore you by repeating the origin. Vishnu used a chakra as a disc that he could throw and it always came back to him, almost like a modern-day boomerang but of course much more powerful. While that is quite neat, I still think I could take that chakra in a fight any day.

So there you have my glorious origin. I can tell you can feel the power that emanates from within me. I will give you some relief though now and I will allow you to speak to Gandiva, the bow of Arjuna. That bow has nothing on me so maybe it will be a bit of a breather for you.

Author’s Note: The mace of Vishnu, while being a very powerful symbol, was very difficult to find good consistent research for. Most of the articles I had to research were over Vishnu as a whole and not specifically his mace. In most of the articles, the mace was briefly mentioned with a tiny bit of history, but it was difficult to find enough information to write an entire story from. Luckily I stumbled across the article from Religion Facts that had a little bit more information on how the mace was created and it was enough to add a lot to my story. This was one of the few stories that I could find that had details about how Vishnu actually obtained the bones of Gada. Many of the other stories just briefly mentioned that the mace was fashioned from the bones of Gada, but hardly any other details were given. The thing that I love the most about the weapons of the Indian gods is how much symbolism is involved with each one. Like the trishula, this mace has a ton of symbolism! I wanted the mace to have a personality comprised of power and overconfidence which is why I chose to include the information about the chakra weapon. I wanted the mace to almost feel threatened by the disc, but to overcompensate by saying how he could take on the weapon in a duel.