Nitiprakasika (Critical Analysis)

by S. Anusha | 2016 | 34,012 words

This page relates ‘Cakra (Discus)’ 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.

Cakra (Discus)

[Full title: War weapons > Śāstras > Muktāyudhas > Cakra (Discus)]

This oval or circular or elliptical weapon has a hole in the centre for holding it using the index finger.

The movements are (Nītiprakāśikā IV. 48):


(a) Grathana - holding the weapon by the index finger

(b) Bhrāmaṇa - rotating it before releasing it

(c) Kṣepaṇa - throwing

(d) Parikartana - cutting to pieces

(e) Dalana - splitting into two

The commentary does not add any special information.

Raghuvaṃśa says that this cakra is a sharp circular weapon (VII. 46ab):


Śukranīti (IV. 7. 215cd) gives the definition of cakra as:


Agnipurāṇa (252. 8) defines the movements of the weapon as:


Among the movements described by Nītiprakāśikā, the bhrāmaṇa and parikartana coincide with the movements provided by Agnipurāṇa.

Mānasollāsa (II. 1. 4. 172-4) mentions about the use of cakra in the śastravidyāvinoda where the king performs before an audience and exhibits his prowess in wielding a host of weapons. Here the manner in which the weapon is actually used is described. The king has to take the weapon in siṃhakarṇamuṣṭi slightly bend his thumb rotate it towards left and right for five to seven times and then fling it.

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