The Agni Purana

by N. Gangadharan | 1954 | 360,691 words | ISBN-10: 8120803590 | ISBN-13: 9788120803596

This page describes The mode of wielding the swords, maces etc. which is chapter 252 of the English translation of the Agni Purana, one of the eighteen major puranas dealing with all topics concerning ancient Indian culture, tradition and sciences. Containing roughly 15,000 Sanskrit metrical verses, subjects contained in the Agni-Purana include cosmology, philosophy, architecture, iconography, economics, diplomacy, pilgrimage guides, ancient geography, gemology, ayurveda, etc.

Chapter 252 - The mode of wielding the swords, maces etc.

Fire-god said:

1-4. Bhrānta, udbhrānta, āviddha, āpluta, vipluta, sṛta, saṃpāta, samudīrṇa, śyenapāta, ākula, uddhūta, avadhūta, savya, dakṣiṇa, anālakṣita, visphoṭa, karāla, indramahāsakha, vikarāla, nipāta, vibhīṣaṇa, bhayānaka, samagra (the entire), ardha (half), tṛtīyāṃśa (one-third), pāda, pādārdha, vārija, pratyālīḍha, ālīḍha, varāha and lulita are known to be the thirty-two kinds of employment of the sword and armour in a battle.

5-6. Parāvṛtta, apāvṛtta, gṛhīta, that known as laghu, ūrdhvakṣipta, adhaḥkṣipta, sandhārita, vidhārita, śyenapāta, gajāpāta and grāhagrāhya are the eleven ways of manipulating a noose.

7. Great men hold that the five ways of casting a noose are: extending in a straight line, long, broad, horizontal and whirling.

8. The uses of a disc (are): cutting, piercing, felling, whirling and severing.

9. May you know that the uses of a spear are: slapping, thrashing, cleaving, frightening, incarcerating and, the sixth, striking down.

10. O Excellent Brahmin! It has been declared that an iron club (TOMARA) (is used) in striking the eyes, the arms (and) sides (of the enemy) and should be countered with an arrow of the defendent.

11-12. O Brahmin! It has been declared that a mace (GADĀ) is used for the acts (such as) āhata, gomūtra, prabhūta, kamalāsana, ūrdhvagātra, vāmanamita, dakṣiṇanamita, āvṛtta, parāvṛtta, pādodbhūta, avapluta, haṃsamardda [haṃsamarda?] and vimarda.

13. The use of a battle-axe is said to be karāla (dreadful), avaghāta (sharp blow), daṃśa (cutting), upapluta (leaping), kṣiptahasta (that has been released from the hand), sthita (remaining in the original position) and śūnya (void).

14. O Brahmin! The use of a mudgara (mace) is for striking, cutting, pounding, causing deluge and killing.

15. The uses of a bhindipāla (sling) are for saṃśrānta, viśrānta and govisarga and sudurdhara (that is extremely unbearable). The same are the uses of a laguḍa (club).

16. O Excellent Brahmin! The uses of a mace (VAJRA) are for (striking) with the end, with the middle, turning back and commanding. The same (are the uses) of a paṭṭiśa (a kind of spear with sharp edge).

17. Taking away, cutting, killing, piercing, anointing, felling and snapping are indicated as the uses of a sword.

18. The functions of a sling are indicated to be frightening, protecting, killing and helping a big fighting column. The same are the functions of a machine also.

19-30. The methods of using the mace (GADĀ) should be known as total discharge, stimulating, throwing upwards in the posture of a boar, using the hand and the back of the hand, standing with the right knee being advanced and the left leg retracted, (holding) with one hand, (holding) by the back of the hand, (holding) with two hands, with the arms thrown round as in embracing, discharging from the hip, raising upwards, striking on the chest, striking on the forehead, bhujāvidhamana (?), raising with the hand, lifting skywards, striking at the feet, injuring the feet, pressing the body together, putting an end, total destruction of the body, striking after raising up, blowing, intermittently (striking), wielding in the left or right (hand), enabling to cross, enabling to protect, (like a) stick, fettered like the braid of hair, agitating, transversely locked up, removal, frightening speed, good looking, attacking like lion or elephant or an ass. The modes of wrestling are drawing (the enemy), drawing apart the base of the hands, the turning about of the neck, the breaking of the back, the terrible one, revolution, reversion, the manner of slaughtering animals, ajāvika (?), hitting the feet, slapping (as done with the arms), discharging from the hip, resting on the shoulder, (using) the earth as a contrivance, striking at the chest and forehead, open conquest, raised one, as a wave, moving transverse, riding an elephant, casting down, not having the face turned aside, the path of the celestials, downward path, moving haphazardly, consistent, striking with a club, casting down, tearing the earth, locking up in the knees, locking up by the arms, embracing by the body, the terrific one, backwards, together with water, shining one and enclosed with the arms. At the time of the battle, (the warriors) should be ready with the weapons, elephants and other (divisions).

31-33. Two soldiers (should be) bearing excellent goads, one of them on the neck (of the elephant) and the other on the shoulder and two archers and two (soldiers) carrying the sword on the elephant. Three cavalry men should be there (to defend) a chariot or the battle-front or the elephant man. It is said (that there should be) three archers to guard the cavalry. Armoured men should be employed for the protection of the archers. Whoever goes for a war after having worshipped the weapon with the respective sacred formula or (the sacred formula known as) the one captivating the three worlds, would conquer the enemies and would govern the earth well.

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