The “paurANic” element of the pashchimAmnAya

In the days after the fierce battle of dvAdashAnta, after we had overthrown the kR^ityAstra that struck us, we were resting in the city of the karnATa-s. There while meditating on the aghora mantra we experienced that connection with samayA and kubjIshAna. That great bhairava, who is navAtman, appeared in the li~Nga briefly manifesting that indescribable luster of the pashchimAmnAya. Through the utter darkness we saw the path of the mantra vidyA.


The atharvavedins developed a connection with the pashchimAnAya, as a result of which they acquired certain practices related to their tantric worship as well as laukIka worship and mythography. The quest for these aspects of worship leads us to what may be termed the “paurANic” aspects of the pashchimAmnAya. While the agni-purANa has assimilated a large amount of pashchimAmnAya material it does not really preserve any of the unique and distinctive paurANic material of this tradition. The paurANic material of kubjikAmata represents a variant that is not found in any of the surviving purANa-s I have acquainted myself with. Instead the source of these materials is the kubjikAmata tantra (kulAlikAmnAya version), where they are provide as a frame material for the tantric narrative as well as 3 stotras that are used by the atharvavedins in laukIka stuti of kubjikA. Below are some paurANic tales of the tradition briefly summarized:

The tale of the origin of the pITha-s
The mountain lord himavant lived in his great realm of santAnabhuvana. The bhairava (navAtman) appeared in this realm and stood in silence for a while. The coming of kubjIshAna terrified the denizens of santAnabhuvana who appeared along with himavant to bow to him. himavant praises the bhairava with a stotra (the kubjIshAna stotraM) and asks to make himself comfortable as everything is the bhairava’s abode. He also offers that his daughter kAlikA would attend to his needs. After kAlikA spends a while with navAtman, he grants her a boon. She asks to become his wife, which the bhairava grants. Then kuleshvarI asks him the rahasyas, in reply to which bhairava reveals to her the siddhakrama, which he says is their common possession. He asks her to establish the tradition in bhAratavarsha by generating many successors. He asks kuleshvarI to go to kaumAraparvata and then the bhairava vanishes.

Struck by his disappearance and to search for her husband kuleshvarI proceeds to chandraparvata and ascends a beautiful rocky spur and absorbs to whole of existence into a li~Nga-like form called udyAna-bhairava. Now navAtman is irritated by the absorption of the universe and shouts that only chandraparvata is now left. So he goes there and praises the li~Nga, but she does not emanate. So, he praises her with the kubjikA daNDakam and she emerges from the li~Nga as samayA or kubjikA. She is surprised as to who can stand looking, saying that it is as difficult as facing a dreadful cobra. She then grants a boon to the bhairava, who asks her to keep her word to go to kaumAraparvata and generate the successors who would promulgate the pashchimAmnAya throughout bhArata-varSha. While she refuses initially, the bhairava eventually convinces her to do so.

Going to kaumAra parvata she creates a great forest with several li~Nga-s installed therein and with her toe she draws a line which becomes a great river. The she wandered in trikUTa, kiShkindha and himagahvara and founded the 4 pITha-s of oDDiyAna, jAlandhara, pUrNagiri and kAmarUpa. She then created a fifth pITha of mAta~nga (which is not on earth as per some accounts, in Himachal as per others). Then she returns to the bhairava after touring whole of bhArata-varSha. Then the bhairava asks her to promulgate the pashchimAmnAya starting from oDDiyAna in the extreme north-west of bhArata-varSha.

The kumAra tale of the pashchimAmnAya
As samayA was wandering over bhArata-varSha a drop of her sweat fell on the ground and generated the dreaded asura krau~ncha who caused much terror. The deva-s asked kAma to strike bhairava to induce him to dally with kubjikA. While he burns kAma, he does dally with his shakti and as result kumAra is born. Then the spear armed kumAra slays krau~ncha.
[Note the emphasis on krau~ncha as against tAraka or mahiSha of the usual kaumAra tradition.]

The narrative of the bhairava or the core tantra of the kubjikA tradition
The core elements of the kubjikA tradition are provided in the form of a usual tantric narrative embedded within the paurANic frame, which recedes into the background once the core issues are discussed. These include:
-The aSTavimshati krama: the 12 shloka-s, the pa~ncha ratna-s, the tadgraha and the 6-formed nyAsa.
-The key mantra of practice of the samayA vidyA is the complex mantra known as the umAmAheshvara-chakra KMT 5.1-33. The mantra itself has 3 sections. This is some ways like what the vyomavyApin mantra is for the Urdhvasrotas saiddhAntika-s.
-In attacking abhichArika practice the follower of the pashchimAmnAya uses the juShTachaNDAlI vidyA, which is one of the most effective prayogas.
-In the defensive mode he uses the rudra-kubjikA prayoga. As per the AVins associated with the kubjikA tradition rudra-kubjikA is the manifestation of pratya~NgirA.
-As we have mentioned before one of the highest sAdhana-s of the pashchimAmnAya is the prayoga of the sampUrNa-maNDala in which the great aghora aShTAkapAla is worshiped. Here every syllable of the mighty aghora mantra expresses itself.

Posted in Heathen thought

The fifty rudra-s

kalashajA had asked me the list of the rudra-s and their shakti-s associated with the smArta shabdarAshI maNDala. Each rudra is worshiped with their particular mantra during the installation of the shabdamaNDala of equilateral triangles and then the yantra is turned around and the shakti-s are invoked. Then it is placed back in the rudra configuration and worshiped as the whole shabdarAshI. The common smArta system of nomenclature goes as appended below, and is seen in two nearly congruent to the lists provided by the prapa~nchasAra and shArada-tilaka (2.29-35) tantra-s. The rudra-s are meditated as having two hands respectively with a trident and skull. Their shakti-s are mediated as having two hands bearing a red lotus and skull in each. They are both conceived as being the color of scarlet lead (Pb3O4).

The 50/51 rudra-s (and their shakti-s) of the trika system are mentioned in the mAlinI-vijaya 3.13 beginning with shrIkaNTha as a part of the mAlinI-gahvara in the na->pha configuration. The 50/51 rudra-s/shakti-s of the pashchimAmnAya (kubjikA) tantras are similar and are mentioned in the kubjikAmata tantra (24.1-57; kulAlikAmnAya version). Similar lists of the kubjikA tradition are also mentioned in the agni purANa 145 and 293. These are in relationship to the tadgraha structure of the pashchimAmnAya, which is homologous to the mAlinI-gahvara. The rudra-s in the lists of trika and pashchimAmnAya, while closely resembling the smArta list, are arranged in prayoga to suit the mAlinI order. The associated shakti-s however differ considerably vis-à-vis the smArta equivalent (the pashchimAnAya list is appended after the smArta list. As shrIkaNTha is the first rudra of these lists the nyAsa-s in these traditions which place the rudra-s on various organs are called shrIkaNThAdi nyAsa. The saiddhAntika system of 50 rudra-s is provided by the makuTAgama, charyApAda 6.14-20. This saiddhAntika list while having most of the names seen in the above systems is different in its order to correspond with the gahvara of this srotas. Kasmirian tradition records another list that appears to be associated with amR^iteshvara or tryambaka rudra of the netra-tantra—it has names that are very different and have been appended after the pashchimAMnAya list.

1 shrIkaNTha = pUrNodarI
2 ananta = virajA
3 sUkShma = shAlmalI
4 trimUrti = lolAkShI
5 amareshvara = vArtulAkShI
6 arghIsha = dIrgaghoNa
7 bhAvabhUti (bhArabhUti) = sudIrghamukhI
8 tithi = gomukhI
9 sthAnu = dIrghajihvikA
10 hara = kuNDodarI
11 jhiNTIsha = Urdhvakeshi
12 bhautika = vikR^itamukhI
13 sadyojAta = jvAlAmukhI
14 anugraheshvara = ulkAmukhI
15 akrUra = shrImukhI
16 mahAsena = vidyAmukhI
17 krodhIsha = mahAkAlI
18 chaNDesha = saravatI
19 pa~nchAntaka = sarvasiddhi
20 shivottama = gaurI
21 ekarudra = trailokyavidyA
22 kUrma = mantrAtmashaktI
23 ekanetra = bhUtamAtA
24 chaturmukha = lambodarI
25 ajesha = drAviNI
26 sharva = nAgarI
27 someshvara = vaikharI (khecharI)
28 lA~NgalI = ma~njarI
29 dAruka = rUpiNI
30 ardhanArIshvara = vIriNI
31 umAkAnta = koTarI (kAkodarI)
32 AshADhI = pUtanA
33 danDin = bhadrakAlI
34 adri = yoginI
35 mIna = sha~NkhinI
36 meSha = garjinI
37 lohita = kAlarAtrI
38 shikhin = kubjinI (kurdanI)
39 ChagalaNda = kapardinI
40 divraNDa = mahAvajrA (vajrinI)
41 mahAkAla = jayA
42 kapAlI (valI) = sumukheshvarI
43 bhuja~Ngesha = revatI
44 pinAkI = mAdhavI
45 khaDgIsha = vAruNI
46 baka = vAyavI
47 shveta = rakShopadhArinI (rakShovidArinI)
48 bhR^igu = sahajA
49 nakulI (lakulI) = lakShmI
50 shiva = vyApinI
51 samavartaka = mAyA

pashchimAmnAya list
1 shrIkaNTha = vAgeshvarI
2 ananta = AmoTI
3 sUkShma = mAyA
4 trimUrti = guhyashakti
5 amareshvara = mohani
6 arghIsha = praj~nA
7 bhArabhUti = shAnti
8 tithishvara = shAnti
9 sthAnu = shAnti
10 hara = shAnti
11 jhiNTIsha = j~nAnI
12 bhauktin = kriyA
13 sadyadeva = gAyatrI
14 anugraheshvara = sAvitrI
15 akrUra = shukrA
16 mahAsena = ichChA
17 krodha = ka~NkaTA
18 chaNDa = kAlI
19 prachaNDa = shivA
20 shivesha = ghoraghoshA
21 ekarudra = khirvIrA
22 kUrma = chAmuNDA
23 ekAkSha = pUtanA
24 chaturmukha = jayantyA
25 ajesha = jha~NkArI
26 sharman = kurdanI
27 someshvara = kapAlinI
28 lA~NgalI = pUrNimA
29 dAruka = vinAyakI
30 ardhanArIshvara = lAmA
31 umAkAnta = nArAyaNI
32 AshADhI = tArA
33 danDin = grasanI
34 dhAtar = dahanI
35 mIna = priyadarshanA
36 meSha = nAdinI
37 lohita = pAvanI
38 shikhin = pheTkArikA
39 ChagalaNda = vajrinI
40 divraNDa = bhIShaNyA
41 mahAkAla = mahAkAlI
42 valI = vAyuvegA
43 bhuja~Ngesha = dIpanI
44 pinAkI = ChagalaNdA
45 khaDgIsha = shikhivAhinyA
46 baka = kusumA
47 shveta = lambodarA
48 bhR^igu = parAparA
49 lAkulI = ambikA
50 samavartaka = samhArI

1 amR^ita
2 amR^itapUrNa
3 amR^itAbha
4 amR^itadrava
5 amR^itaugha
6 amR^itormi
7 amR^itasyandana
8 amR^itA~Nga
9 amR^itavapu
10 amR^itaodgAra
11 amR^itAsya
12 amR^itatanu
13 amR^itasechana
14 amR^itamUrti
15 amR^iteshvara
16 sarvAmR^itadhara
17 jaya
18 vijaya
19 jayanta
20 aparAjita
21 sujaya
22 jayarudra
23 jayakIrti
24 jayAvaha
25 jaymUrti
26 jayotsAha
27 jayada
28 jayavardhana
29 bala
30 atibala
31 balabhadra
32 balaprada
33 balAvaha
34 balavAn
35 baladAtA
36 baleshvara
37 nandana
38 sarvatobhadra
39 bhadramUrti
40 shivaprada
41 sumanas
42 spR^ihaNa
43 durga
44 bhadrakAla
45 manonuga
46 kaushika
47 kAla
48 vishvesha
49 sushiva
50 kopa
The rudrAnI-s are merely feminized forms of the rudras.

Posted in Heathen thought

He will see the real thing.

Mis-creant and we rode past the 7 betelnut trees that stood in a row on our ashva-s. Beyond it was the realm of mR^ityu, where those dragged by the dUta-s of vaivasvata were making their last journeys. Those 7 betelnut trees reminded us of the seven Sal trees that rAmachandra aikshvAkava had pierced to prove to the kapIndra that he could slay vAlin. My ashva was a slow one, while Mis-creant had a swift sapti, so she briefly waited in the yonder ground for me to catch up. We were alone in the ground by the river. On the other side of the river there were some flickering flames of antyeShTI-s. She spelt out the saMdhyopadesha:
You shall have the mAyA,
you shall have a 100 indrajAla-s,
with it you shall make 100 loka-s
with it you shall summon a 100 yakShinI-s
He shall be filled with wonder,
He shall behold the indrajAla-s,
He will think the mAyA is all real !
The kavi shall have none of the mAyA,
So how shall he survive?
He will have one mantra,
It will give him siddhi only once!
But with it he shall make real those lokas,
Those which had sprung like maNi-s
in the splendid indrajAla-s.
For him send the spell of aryaman.

Posted in Life


Many modern Hindus, especially in colloquial speech, refer to the vAhana of rudra as nandin. This is actually very erroneous. Technically nandin was always the mighty gaNa of rudra and not the vAhana, which is vR^iSha(bha). Since the vedic period rudra has a vR^iShbha vAhana (the white bull; though in some vedic representations he has a white horse). The bhUta-gaNeshvara nandin was either bull-faced or ape-faced. His ape-faced form is alluded to in the rAmAyaNa (uttara-kANDa and at least some recensions of the sundarakANDa). In the skanda-purANa (one of the early versions) nandin is termed as kapIndra-vadana. In the saurapurANa (42.20) he is termed vAnarAsya. Throughout the rudra saMhitA of the shiva mahApurANa (Venkateshwara Steam Press edition; the rudra saMhitA was the core of the proto-shiva purANa) nandin is only described as a gaNeshvara and not as a vAhana. In the ajita mahAtantra of the saiddhAntika tradition his iconography is described thus:

shailAdistu prakartvayas trinetrash cha chaturbhujaH |
jaTA-makuTa-saMyuktaH shUlAbhaya-karAnvitaH ||
vAme daNDAkShamAlAbhyAM alaMkR^ita-karas tathA |
daMShTrA-karAlavadano hari-vaktro.athava bhavet || AMT 36.349-350
shailAdi (nandin) should be made with 3 eyes and four arms, wearing a crown of dread-locks with a trident and abhaya pose (right hands). In the left hands he holds a rod and a rosary. He should have fierce face with fangs or that of lion.

In terms of real examples of iconography, the real nandin (not the bull) is depicted as:
1) A bull-faced anthropomorphic form (e.g. Madurai mInAkShI-sundareshvara temple or the earlier pallava kailAshanAtha temple)
2) An ape-faced form (e.g. pallava rock temple of Kunnattur and chera temple of Kottukal in Kerala)
3) An entirely anthropomorphic representation (e.g Darasuram airAvateshvara temple)
4) With a lion face with dread locks in Nepali shiva-parivAra sculptures. This adherence to the AMT prescription mentioned above is interesting for today the AMT tradition survives only in the south where the depictions of nandin do not follow its prescriptions.
5) The Kashmirian depictions of maheshvara where nandin appears as the fourth rear face and is typically shown as a fierce figure with a prominent beard. This is laid out in the bhUteshvara mAhAtmyam as:
sharva-nandi-mahAkAla-devI-vadana-maNDitam |
bhUteshvaraM bhUtapatiM dR^iShTvA martyo vimuchyate ||
[bhUteshvara] is depicted with faces of sharva, nandin, mahAkAla, and umA; having seen bhUteshvara, the lord of the ghosts the mortal is released.

Posted in Heathen thought

shrauta ritualists 1900-2008- an approximate lower bound estimate

I have seen a bunch of estimates by Kashikar et al, Kannan and via various personal contacts. Drawing from all of them I come up with some numbers. These numbers can only be considered the rough lower bound

Tamil Nad (smArta-s and srI-vaiShNavas): 145 (found also secondarily displaced to Kashi e.g. Purushottama Dravid, a great soma ritualist)

Kerala (nambUthiris): 125

Karnataka (mainly havayaka and some tulavas): 50

Andhra (mainly vaidIki smArta-s): 160

Maharashtra (deshashtha, konkaNastha and karhADe): 100 (more than half for them live outside mahArAShTra in Kashi); Maharashtra also had the only shUdra who had performed a shrauta ritual in recent memory.

Rajasthan (brAhmaNa-s and kShatriya-s): 10 (Rajasthan is the only place were royal AhitAgni-s existed until recently. Some brAhmaNas of Rajasthani origin live in Kashi)

Himachal: 3

Gujarat: 3

UP (mishra-s and other native UP brahmins): 8

Some say that the greatest modern ritualist is the Andhra smArta: Renduchintala Venkatachala Yajulu. He performed numerous extraordinary and rare rites. Amidst the smArta-s of my ethnic group Narayanaswami Dikshitar, also udgAtar, a clansman on my maternal side was the greatest recent performer of rare and complex yAga-s.

Posted in Heathen thought, History

The pa~nchAvarNa stava

The great siddhAnta tantric aghorashiva deshika from the mid-1100s of the CE from the Tamil country composed an epitome of siddhAnta worship of the 5- headed sadAshiva and the AvaraNas of his maNDala. This is the pa~nchAvarNa stava, which resembles other siddhAnta compositions like the shiva-pUjA stava of j~nAnashaMbhu deshika of vArANasi (originally also from TN) and the paddhati termed the dhyAna-ratnAvalI by trilochanashiva, the student of aghorashiva. The smArta appaya dIkShita recommends it for nitya pUjA. A superior edition of the pa~nchAvarNa stava has been produced by the efforts of Institut Francais de Pondichery that supersedes versions printed previously in the Tamil script with the usual atrocities of tamil pronunciation. This text is in multiple classical meters – the most common of which are anuShTubh, vasanta-tilaka, upajAti and shAlini.
A summary of its contents:
1-2 shivasUrya: shiva is invoked within the solar orb. The sUryanAr kovil in Thanjavur represents shivasUrya.
3-5 8 graha-s
5 (end) tejashchaNDa. tejashchaNDa is the equivalent of the agent of rudra named chaNDeshvara in the context of saura-shaiva worship. This section represents the sUryopAsana element of the shaiva-s.
6-8 vinAyaka, sarasvatI and gajalakShmI are worshiped on the sides and the top of the entrance to the maNDala.
9-10 nandin and ga~NgA on the right door
11-12 mahAkAla and yamunA on the left door
13 the astra indicated in the mantra: OM haH astrAya phaT
14-16 brahmA as vAstupAla (South West), vinAyaka in the NW, mahAlakShmI in the N and the 7 divyaugha guru-s of the saiddhAntika stream in the NE: sadAshiva, ananta, shrIkaNTha, aMbikA, skanda, viShNu and brahmA.
17 Adarashakti in kUrma stone
18 ananta in brahma stone
19-20 dharma, j~nAna, vairAgya and aishvarya as the feet of the siMhAsana
21 mAyA and vidyA as the cushions in the siMhAsana
22 the 8-petaled lotus of the maNDala – shuddhavidyA
23-24 the 9 shaktis from vAmA to manonmani standing on the kesaras and the ovary of the maNDala.
25 the sUrya-maNDala containing brahma, the Chandra-maNDala containing viShNU, and the agni-maNDala containing rudra.
26 shakti maNDala containing Ishvara
27 The yogapITha
28-42 sadAshiva on the throne.
43-46 shakti
47-54 the pa~ncha-brahma: IshAna, tatpuruSha, aghora, vAmadeva, sadyojAta.
55-59 6 a~Nga mantras
60-66 the vidyeshvara-s ananta, sUkShma, shivottama, ekanetra, ekarudra, trimUrti, shrIkaNTha, shikaNDin
67-74 the bhUta-gaNeshvara-s and vAhana: nandin, mahAkAla, bhR^ingin, vinAyaka, vR^iSha, kumAra, umA and chaNDeshvara
75-85 the devas: indra, agni, yama, nirR^iti, varuNa, vAyu, kubera, IshAna, brahmA, viShNu
86-96 daivi astras: vajra, shakti, daNDa, khaDga, pAsha, dhvaja, gadA, trishUla, padma, chakra
96-97 shivAgni: the five-headed manifesation of the shaiva ritual fire born from vAgIshI and sadeshAna
98 bhairava (kShetrapAla) along with rudras, gaNas, mAtR^ikA-s, grahas, daitya-s and other beings.
99 saiddhAntika sva-guru
100 shambhu
101 chaNDeshvara
102 phalashruti

Posted in Heathen thought

Cooper’s book on Marathas

Randolf Cooper is one of the few white historians to reconsider the great struggle between the Maharatta-s and the Britons and investigate it more neutrally. A chance to glance at his work: “The Anglo-Maratha Campaigns and the Contest for India…” raised a few points in our mind. History’s narrative is obviously colored by the writers. After their victory over the Hindus and Moslems in the sub-continent the Britons wrote their own histories of these groups, which became the truth for the English speaking secularized Hindu elite. Historian Jadunath Sarkar’s work on Indian military history represents the putrid extreme of this acceptance of this British constructs. A few major points in their narrative were: 1) The trivialization of Hindu India. They sought to show that the concept of India was non-existent in the Hindu mind and that the idolatrous Hindus were already on the decline due to the failings of their institutions. They were already a conquered nation, being completely subjugated by the Moslem rulers culminating in the Mogols. 2) The legitimacy of British conquests. The British narrative presented a sense of direction in history — India was a land to be conquered. It was first conquered by Alexander and his Greeks (wrongly painted as role models for the Europeans), the Moslems with the Mogols being the last amongst them and the Britons finally took over India from them. The Hindu struggles against Islam were simply washed aside. Even more dramatically the recent Hindu struggle against the Britons was completely ignored or misrepresented. 3) The legitimization of Islamic historians. Despite the many battles between the Jihadists and the Britons in the sub-continent, the British and their allies saw the Moslems as long standing collaborators in their wars against many nations (from Suleyman-i-Kaanooni, to the Crimean War, to the Sikh wars, to the Cold war, to Kosovo). Not surprisingly, the British, in addition to translating Islamic histories, legitimized them as true historians of India, in contrast to the ahistorical Hindus.
Cooper notices some of these issues and points to how narratives of world history present the falsehood of a seamless transition between the Silsila-i-Timuria and the Briton as though it was a fact. However, Cooper’s work also shows some of the typical paradoxes that are rife in the products of the secular academic mindset in the gaseous new-fangled such areas as “Post-colonial”, subaltern, “post-modern” studies. At the trivial end of things this is represented by his enormous fascination for the Pakistani-sponsored term “South Asian” in place of the legitimate terms like bhArata, jambudvIpa or India. At a more subtle level, he in many places fails to grasp the distinctive socio-cultural component of the Hindu dharma that made history unfold the way it did in the sub-continent. This is because his western conditioning makes him contrast secular with Hindu, a contrast which is entirely alien to Hindu thought.
Thus we have Cooper stating: “One should not become attached to the notion of that the Maratha military forces of 1803 were ‘Hindu’ armies. A proto-national model would be more appropriate. A model based on the realization that collectively the Maratha armies of 1803 were quite secular and not dissimilar to the armed forces of modern India in being composed of military professionals from across the subcontinent. The Maratha powerbrokers of the era were interested in victory and their military effort drew men from the broadest military spectrum — one that included Hindus from every caste, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. In that respect the Maratha armies of 1803 competed directly with the British for the loyalty of soldiers needed for the projection of power within the contest for India.”
But ultimately he is unable to extricate himself from the reality that Hindu scaffold was defined the nationalist essence (what he calls “proto-national”) element of India. He says: “The Marathas were the last indigenous South Asian power that was militarily capable of not only halting but also rolling back the consolidation process that ultimately produced the British Raj. The Anglo-Sikh Wars (1846-46, 1848-9) and the Anglo-Afghan Wars (1839-42, 1878-80, 1919) occurred after the British had achieved a military perimeter around the majority of Hindus in India. In subcontinental terms, these later wars were comparatively localized conflicts, which would have had limited interethnic political appeal for Hindus beyond the regional strongholds of the Sikhs and Afghans.”
Thus he is forced to concede that it was this Hindu mass which was the primary rival of the Britons and that they aimed at achieving a military envelop around the Hindu core.
Nevertheless, he does confront the main problematic issue with the Western historical narrative:
“Oddly enough, when foreign military cultures seemed technologically similar to our own (i.e. Western), we had a tendency to derogatorily dismiss them as if they were shabby imitations of our cherished ‘Western way of war’.” – Parenthesis mine.
He correctly notices (albeit briefly) that: 1) That the well-developed Hindu sense of war-making had vedic origins. To elaborate on this point: Any proper student of the veda know that in these texts military power is seen as primary aspect of human existence, and it was a major concern of brahma-kShatra elite of Aryan society. While modern Hindus might miss the point it is not out of character to state that the majority of vedic composers whether brAhmaNa or kShatriya were quite intimately associated with military concerns. The vedic evidence suggests that the vishvAmitra-s, bharadvAjas, vasiShThas, and bhArgava-s, in addition to various kShatriya R^iShi-s, actually participated in battle as combatants. Given the importance of combat even in the foundational texts of the dharma it would be surprising to see Hindus as non-warlike nation. This was a false image that the Britons and the Hindu-s subverted by them came to emphasize.
2) The second point Cooper which brings out it is that the called drill and discipline in warfare was well-established amongst Hindus, and owed no western influence for its origins. The English in their narratives attributed to this to Europeans – even claiming to have inherited it from Greeks, Romans and Mesopotamians (very ironic given that the pagan Roman armies fought the barbarian German and Gaul tribes which today have spawned the nations of UK, USA, Netherlands, Germany and France). In course of making his point he describes a vIra-kal from Akluj that eloquently portrays the military order and discipline of the Hindu armies engaged in traditional war with deployments of cavalry, elephant and different kinds of infantry units (lancers, sword and shieldsmen, and archers). He also builds the case that the Hindu armies were professional systems that employed a wide range of individual across different varNa-s and in some cases even foreigners and mixed people. A point to note here is that this was also a pre-European Hindu system. A careful study of the military establishments in South India illustrates this point forcefully. The (semi-)professional soldiers in the drAviDa, karnATa and Andhra countries came from many jAtis, sometime specializing other time diversifying in the military market. In Andhra, as we have seen before, even after the kShatriya-s fell against the Islamic assault, the professional shUdra military based on the Kohlis, Reddis, Kammas and Kapus could continue the struggle and showed remarkable organizational and administrative capability.

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