Nitiprakasika (Critical Analysis)

by S. Anusha | 2016 | 34,012 words

This page relates ‘Sarga IV: Muktayudha-nirupana (52 Verses)’ of the study on the Nitiprakasika by Vaisampayana which deals primarily with with Dhanurveda, i.e., the science of war, weapons and military strategies of ancient Indian society. It further contains details on Niti-shastra, i.e., the science of politics and state administration but most verses of the Nitiprakashika deal with the classification and description of different varieties of weapons, based on the four groups of Mukta, Amukta, Muktamukta and Mantramukta.

Sarga IV: Muktāyudha-nirūpaṇa (52 Verses)

The form, appearance, measurement, movements and special parts in some cases are presented in tabular form here.[2]

(1) Dhanu [IV. 6-27]

Weapon: Dhanu

Measurements:
[...][3]
catuṣkiṣkuprāṃśu (4 cubits ht.)

Physical Charactersistics:
Broadneck
Small Face
Slender Waist
Strong Back
Blood Colour Covered With Garland of Entrails
Long Tongue;
Licks Two Corners of Mouth Continuosly
Mouth has Terrible Tusks
Gurgling Noise

Movements:
Pratisandhāna, Ākarṣaṇa, Vikarṣaṇa, Paryākarṣa, Anukarṣa, Maṇḍalīkaraṇa, Pūraṇa, Sphāraṇa, Dhūnana, Bhrāmaṇa, Āsannapāta, Dūrapāta, Pṛṣṭhapāthana, Madhyamapātana.

Special Points:
4 types of targets: Avicālya, Sūkṣma, Sukumāra, Guru.
3 types of bows: Śārṅgika, Vaiṇava, Śastra.
5 stances: Pratyālīḍhaka, Ālīdha, Sampada,Viśāla, Maṇḍala.
Armours used: Kavaca, Śirastrāṇa, Parikara, Galapaṭṭisaṅgraha.
10 movements of archer in chariot: Pradakṣiṇa, Śaighrya, Apradakṣiṇa, Gata, Pratyāgata, Maṇḍala, Avasthiti, Miśraṇa, Sphoṭana, Vīthī.

(2) Iṣu [IV. 28-29]

Measurements:
Dvihastotsedha[4]
2 cubits ht.
Añjalimita paridhi
I añjali cir

Physical Charactersistics:
Dark
Large body

Movements:
Bhrāmaṇa, Kṣepaṇa

Weapon: Isu

(3) Bhiṇḍipāla [IV. 30-1]

Measurements:
Hastamātrotsedha[5]
1 cubit ht.
Karasammita maṇḍala
1 hand cir.

Physical Charactersistics:
Crooked body
Broad,
Bent head

Movements:
Tribhrāmaṇa, visarga

Weapon: Bhindipala

(4) Śakti [IV. 32-5]

Measurements:
Hstadvayotsedha[6]
2 cubits ht.
Bṛhatsaru
Broad as fist

Physical Charactersistics:
Sharp Tongue
Horrible Claw
Sounds Like Big Bell (Ghaṇṭhā)
Has Open Mouth Like That Of Lion
Dark-coloured
Stained by Enemy’s Blood
Covered by Garland of Entrails
Fearful

Movements:
Tolana, Bhrāmaṇa, Valgana, Nāmana, Mocana, Bhedana

(5) Drughaṇa [IV.36-7]

Measurements:
Pañcā[7]
śadaṅgulyutsedha
50 aṅgulas ln.
Muṣṭisammita maṇḍala
1 fist cir.

Physical Charactersistics:
Crooked Neck
Broad Head

Movements:
Unnāmana, Prapāta, Sphoṭana, Dāraṇa

Weapon: Drughana

(6) Tomara [IV.38-9]

Measurements:
Hasta
trayonnatāṅga
[8]
(3 cubits ln.)

Physical Charactersistics:
Red In Colour
Wooden Body
Not Crooked
Metal Head (Like Bunch of Flowers)

Movements:
Uddhāna, Vinivṛtti, Vedhana

Weapon: Tomara

(7) Nalikā [IV.40-1]

Measurements:
-

Physical Charactersistics:
Dark Coloured
Thin Limbed
Straight Body
Hollow In The Middle

Movements:
Grahaṇa, Dhmāpana, Syūta

Weapon: Nalik

(8) Laguḍa [IV.42-4]

Measurements:
Hastadvayonnata[10]
(2 cubits ht.)

Physical Charactersistics:
Small Foot;
Surrounded with Metal and is Tooth–Shaped
Bare Body
Broad Head and Shoulder

Movements:
Utthāna, Patana, Peṣaṇa, Pāthana

Weapon: Laguda

(9) Pāśa [IV.45-6]

Measurements:
Prādeṣa paridhi[11]
(1 span cir.)

Physical Charactersistics:
Triangular
Ornamented with Leaden balls
Made of metal

Movements:
Prasāraṇa, Veṣṭana, Karthana

Weapon: Pasha

(10) Cakra [IV.47-8]

Measurements:
Pradeśadvaya maṇḍala[12]
(2 spans cir.)

Physical Charactersistics:
Indigo water colour
Circular disc
Quadrangular hole in middle

Movements:
Grathana, Bhrāmaṇa, Kṣepaṇa, Parikartana, Dalana

Weapon: Cakra

(11) Dantakaṇṭaka [IV.49-50]

Measurements:
1 arm ht.[13]

Physical Charactersistics:
Frightful
Charcoal coloured
Made of metal
Straight body
Broad front
Thin tail
Good handle

Movements:
Pātana, Grathana

Weapon: Dantakantaka

(12) Bhuśuṇḍī [IV.51-2]

Measurements:
Bāhutrayotsedhi[14]
(3 arms ln.)

Physical Charactersistics:
Black cobra like colour
Broad knots in broad body
Good handle for fist
Fearful

Movements:
Yāpana, Ghūrṇana

Weapon: Bhusundi

The sub varieties; training methodology; mode of holding; handling techniques and scheme of target practice are also delineated. These shall be discussed in the next chapter.

Tattvavivṛti on verses 8-27:

Explains the various features of the bow, order of training, methods of releasing the arrows, the different targets, the fourteen movements of executing the bow, and the three types of bow.

Tattvavivṛti on verses 28-52:

The details of the other eleven weapons are given wherever necessary.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

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[2]:

The relevant verses giving out the measurement and physical appearance of each of the weapons are cited in the footnotes. The figures of weapons given in the thesis have been drawn on the basis of these paintings printed in the Sri Tattva Nidhi, Vol. I, Mysore Oriental Series, 1997.—[See Appendix I.]

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