Other Weapons

Other Weapons 
Varunasthara - Artificial Rain 

When I was reading about the Asthras, Varunastra came to my special attention.

Its mentioned in the Mahabharatha like this "when a warrior discharges a Varunastra which is made of such materials, whose smoke is converted into a cloud. The moment it comes in contact with air it converts the cloud to rain".

It very closely resembles our modern science of Artificial Rain, where chemicals like ammonium nitrate are used to rise and form rain clouds, then the density of the clouds are increased and finally a jet of rain-making chemicals is shot directly into the clouds.

But I think Varunasthra is much more advanced, it combines all the three process involved in one shot. Moreover I think its not a weapon of its own, but should be used as a counter weapon for Agniastra (weapon inducing fire). Because you cannot destroy people with rain. It is also quiet evident that the battlefield should be spread in miles to use such kind of weapons.

Vayavyastra - Artificial wind

This weapon creates artificial wind. Normally used to disperse clouds formed by the Varunasthara.

Sound Tracking Missiles

VANA PARVA SECTION XXII "Vasudeva continued,  I began to discharge from the Sharanga many well-looking arrows of the forms of snakes, capable of going at a great height and possessing intense energy. And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, I could not then see the car of costly metals, for it had vanished, through illusion! I was then filled with wonder! That host of Danvas then, O Bharata, of frightful visages and hair, set up a loud howl while I was waiting for it. In that fierce battle. I then, with the object of destroying them, fixed on my bow-string the weapon capable of piercing the foes if but his sound was inaudible. Upon this, their shouts ceased. But those Danavas that had sent up that shout were all slain by those shafts of mine blazing as the Sun himself, and capable of striking at the perception of sound alone.

Here Krishna on his battle with the Danavas uses missiles  that can target objects based on its sound emission.  This type of technology is used in passive sonar systems which tracks noise from marine objects.  Similarly 'Bats' by emitting multiple sonar frequencies identify and distinguish its prey.

Weapons to Make conscious and Unconscious

In the Mahabharatha battle weapons were not only used to destroy the foes but all to make them Unconscious.  Weapons like Sanmohana and Pramohana were used to make people unconscious 

VIRATA PARVA SECTION LXV Arjuna the wielder of the Gandiva who was capable of enduring all foes, evolved another irresistible weapon obtained from Indra, called Sanmohana stupefied the senses of the kuru heroes. Likewise in BHISHMA PARVA SECTION LXXVII, Drupada uses another weapon called Pramohana which was later neutralised by Drona using a weapon called Prajna.

The youthful son of Drupada, beholding those heroic sons of thine staying before him in battle and exerting themselves to their utmost being desirous of slaying them applied that fierce weapon called Pramohana........ Then those heroic warriors were deprived of their senses, their minds and strength afflicted by the Pramohana weapon.......Then Drona beheld thy sons deprived of their senses. Taking up then the weapon called Prajna, he neutralised the Pramohana weapon (that Dhrishtadyumna had shot). Then thy sons those mighty car-warriors, when their senses returned, once more proceeded to battle with Bhima and Prishata's son.

Usage of Landmines can be clearly observed in Mahabharatha. In the Vana Parva Krishna explains how the city of Dwaravati was fortified with different strategies which includes the usage of landmines to protect intruders from getting in.  

VANA PARVA SECTION XV   "Vasudeva said, 'O mighty-armed king, hearing that the son of Srutasravas (Sisupala) had been slain by me, Salwa, O best of the Bharata race, came to the city of Dwaravati!.....And all the bridges over rivers were destroyed, and boats forbidden to ply, and the trenches (around the city) were spiked with poles at the bottom.... And the land around the city for full two miles was rendered uneven, and holes and pits were dug thereon, and combustibles were secreted below the surface".