The shastra to use astras
Ashtavaidyan Vaidyamadham Cheriya Narayanan Namboodiri, who passed away in 2013, was very keen that the 1300 bundles of ancient manuscripts in his possession be digitised, so that knowledge about culture, history, customs, religion, environment, Ayurveda, and other sciences could be made available to future generations.
Reprographers from Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS) and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) are working on digitising these, and other manuscripts in Kerala. They have found in this invaluable collection a 63-folio (pages) palm-leaf manuscript that describes how to use all the deadly weapons like the agneyastra, varunastra, brahmastra and the nagpash, among others, in 48 mantras. All these weapons are repeatedly mentioned in the Mahabharata. This palm-leaf manuscript is believed to have been rewritten 120 years ago and is probably the only existing manuscript that sheds so much light on the sophisticated weaponry used in those times.