'Raktabeej': How Goddess Durga's Fight With An Asur Inspired Pathaan's Bioweapon

Parallels between 'Raktabeej' – the bioweapon that Khan detonates in 'Pathaan', and the Asur Goddess Durga killed.

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Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
Illustrations: Chetan Bhakuni

(Disclaimer: Spoilers ahead!!)

'Raktabeej' – Naam toh abb tak suna hi hoga... Yes, we are talking about the bioweapon of mass destruction at the heart of 'Pathaan', starring Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, and John Abraham.

But did you know that the name of this weapon is derived from the name and powers of an Asur Goddess Durga killed? And there are parallels between the two!

And what if we told you that 'Raktabeej' is real? Read to believe!


'Raktabeej': What Scriptures Say

According to the Hindu mythology, 'Raktabeej' (literally meaning blood seed), the Asur (demon), was an ardent follower of Lord Shiva. Impressed by his devotion, Shiva granted him a boon.

But like many blessed devotees, Raktabeej went rogue... Soon, the Asurs dethroned the Gods from heaven and started massacring humanity. Raktabeej was one among them.

So, Goddess Durga was created from the combined powers of all Gods to kill the Asurs.

During the fierce fight with Raktabeej, from every drop of his blood that fell to the ground, another emerged. And soon, Maa Durga had hundreds of Raktabeejs to fight.

Hindu scriptures say, at this point, from the rage of Durga, Goddess Kali emerged. And Durga quickly instructed Kali –

(Source: Devi Bhagavata Purana)

(Illustration: The Quint)

Every drop of his blood was then consumed by Kali, before it could fall on the ground. In the end, Durga killed Raktabeej...


'Raktabeej': What 'Pathaan' Shows

In the movie 'Pathaan', John Abraham's Jim, an Indian intelligence personnel who was awarded the 'Veer Puraskar', goes rogue.

He abducts an Indian scientist and gets him to create a virus, 'Raktabeej'. This mutated and very powerful virus, Jim claims, can spread very fast, infecting and killing hundreds in no time. Jim then sets it up on a Delhi-bound plane's AC duct, to fatally infect India's capital.

But then...

Shah Rukh Khan's Pathaan, an Indian spy and the film's protagonist, along with his accomplice – Deepika Padukone's Rubai – an ISI agent, detonates the bioweapon and kills Jim.


'Raktabeej': The Symbolism

Popular belief is that 'Raktabeej' is real... It is our evil thoughts, intension, and actions – each manifesting into another one. You let it grow, you fight it and it'll multiply. Invoke your inner Durga and uproot it from within.

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Topics:  Pathaan   Shah Rukh Khan   Durga Puja 

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