As we all know Ghatotakcha was one of the eldest Pandava and great destroyer of kaurava forces. He was one of the great Pandava follower and could have been great king after Yudhishthira himself, still why he was not saved from Karna Indra dart.
Indra’s dart could have been destroyed by Krishna Sudarshana disc or Indra’s Vajra or Pasupata or Roudrastra or Brahmshira which all Arjuna had.
Ghatotakcha had to die because he wasn’t a righteous person himself. Krishna had said that if Karna didn’t kill him, then he would have done it himself. As for countering Vasavi Shakti, one could justify the need to send a cannon fodder given what I just said, but it certainly does not justify Krishna’s fear, multiple statments claiming it would have destroyed Arjuna along with his steads, the use of illusions to ensure Karna wouldn’t fire Shakti on Arjuna before the 14th day, etc. None of these plot segments were necessary if it could have been countered.
The Vajras have been used a number of times in the Mahabharata and frankly their performance is frankly underwhelming. I recall Karna grabbed one (made by Shiva) out of the air and threw it back at Ghatodkacha. Ashwatthama also used one on Ghatodkacha and it didn’t work. I don’t recall Arjuna using Indra’s Vajra on the Nivatkavachas to be very effective either. He had to use Pasupata to kill them. The Sudershan Chakra is a weapon Krishna himself wasn’t sure could destroy Karna’s armor or stop Shakti in his self-admissions.
However, Pasupata is the weirdest case. Shiva told Arjuna that he is the only one to recieve it but then we see Karna moving around with one, Drona having one and being easily countered, Atikaya (Ravana’s son) having one, etc. If it could counter everything, then there would also be no need for Krishna to get in the way for Vaishnava astra, or Arjuna to retreat from Bhargavaastra which he himself claimed it had no counters. There’s also the case of Parshurama recieving a weapon superior to Pasupata by Shiva, so it’s fair to assume it wasn’t an all powerful weapon. I think it was Debroy who suggested it was the same as Roudra astra. Few people have argued Krishna worried that Arjuna would not use such a dangerous weapon it battle, but I disagree. He retrieved Pasupata before the Jayadratha vadh because he did not want to keep any options off the table. I’m generally of the opinion that statements about the destruction these astras are mostly hyberpole, they’re probably just like the Brahmastra (low and high order). Hyped for being nuclear weapons, but in effect only produces a rain of arrows.
Thanks for asking,
We have a very small answer for this question that Krishna and Arjuna saved the words of Lord of lords aka Indra. If Arjuna and Krishna could have countered his weapon then what was the value of Indra’s words?
There is a beautiful shloka:
असभ्दि: शपथेनोक्तं जले लिखितमक्षरम् |
सभ्दिस्तु लीलया प्राोक्तं शिलालिखितमक्षरम् ||
The oath taken by the wicked person are like the letters written on the water (temporary!). In contrast, even the informal words uttered by the saintly person are like the letters imprinted on rocks!
And that was the quality of Indra, Arjuna or Krishna.
Now, let me explain the strength of Indra’s dart aka Shakti mentioned in the Mahabharata.
Indra said “Give me the earrings and the armour from your body. O Karna! Take the shakti from me, but on one condition. When I am fighting with the daityas, this invincible shakti is released from my hand and having killed hundreds of enemies, returns again to my hand. O son of a suta! But in your hands, it will kill one powerful enemy who roars and blazes. Then, it will return to my hand.”
Karna replied, “I wish to kill only one enemy in a great battle. He roars and blazes and is the source of fear for me.”
Indra said, “You kill one roaring and powerful enemy in battle. But the one you seek to kill is protected by a great-souled one who is known as the unvanquished boar,38 Hari and the inconceivable Narayana by those who are learned in the Vedas.”
REF – BORI MB – Vana Parva – Chapter 294
Bhisma Said “What are you saying? Your intelligence has been numbed by destiny. O Karna! Do you not know that once the foremost ones have been killed, Dhritarashtra’s sons will be dead? With Krishna as his second, Dhananjaya burnt down Khandava. Hearing about that should be sufficient to restrain your soul and those of your relatives. The great-souled, illustrious and great Indra, the lord of the thirty gods, bestowed a spear on you. In battle, you will see it shattered and reduced to ashes, struck down by Keshava’s chakra. There is a radiant arrow with the mouth of a serpent.145 You have always honoured and protected it with the best of garlands. It will be struck by the arrows of Pandu’s sons. O Karna! Together with you, it will be destroyed. O Karna! Vasudeva, who killed Bana and Bhoumya,146 himself protects Kiriti. In tumultuous battles, he has killed many enemies who are your equal and superior.” REF – BORI MB – Udyoga Parva – Chapter 61
Here and there we have so many references that Indra’s dart could have been countered by any greater weapon, ie. Brahma, Roudra, Pashupata, Brahmshira, Vaisnava, Narayana, Sudarshana etc.. But, Arjuna and Krishna both had saved the words of Indra rather his own son Ghatotakcha.
पात्रे त्यागी गुणे रागी संविभागी च बन्धुषु |
शास्त्रे बोद्धा रणे योद्धा स वै ज्ञपुरूषज्ञउच्यते ||
(One who) donates to right person (for noble cause), appreciates good qualities in others, shares joys and sorrows with brothers, gathers knowledge of science and is ( an excellent ) warrior on battlefield is called the ‘Man’ Purusha aka Nara.
So, be calm and accept the fate and the way it was happened. Pandavas had tried their best to avoid the war not because they were coward. It was for the safety of species but the society was so corrupted that none of were agree to accept the peace proposal.