Hyderabad: Military sciences in the Vedas? Sounds strange, but it is true.
Studies by city-based Sanskrita Bharati and I-Serve, scientific research organisations on Vedas, have revealed that the Atharvana Veda is the prime source of military sciences containing references to as many as 60 varieties of weaponry, each with a specific range and purpose. The range of weapons mentioned in the Vedas is so wide that even the present-day world does not posses so many varieties of arms and ammunition.
Some of the weapons described in the Vedas can be controlled even after they are put into motion. These weapons are target specific or unspecific, short or long range and with limited or mass damage to the enemy. Most of the modern weapons like missiles have their roots in the ancient Indian texts.
"We think that Vedas are synonymous with religion. This is due to narrow mindedness of some personalities, who in the guise of propagating the immortal Vedas, have, for obvious reasons interpreted the Vedic thoughts so as to project the Vedas as preaching a particular religion. The military sciences in the Vedas are mainly to destroy evil and establish peace," says K Lalith Manohar, chairman of the State chapter of Sanskrita Bharati in his research paper.
According to him, majority of the military sciences in the Vedas are in the form of "Mantras". Besides astras, there is a mention of sastras (weaponry) in the Vedas. What is needed is to decode the mantras to find the uses of these weaponry to fight against evil and establish peace on the earth.
Atharvana Veda contains all the details of the astras and sastras. "But unfortunately, we do not have complete text of Atharvana Veda available. Atharvana Veda has got Mantra Khanda and Samhitas in the Khanda," he points out. The research is, thus, concentrated on the available texts of the Atharvana Veda, since a complete Scripture is not available.
The ancient Indian texts have references to canons and a variety of weaponry unheard of in the modern world. Some of the astras mentioned in these texts are Danda Chakram, Dharma Chakram, Kalachakram, Visnhnu Chakram, Indram, Vajram, Saivam, Soolavam, Brahmastram, Eishikam, Modaki Gada, Sikhari Gada, Kala Pasam, Sushkaasami, Sikharam, Vaayavyam, Muslam, Kaapalam, Kankanam, Aagneyam and Aardraasani.
Unlike modern weapons of mass destruction, the weapons mentioned in the Vedas are normally aimed at one particular person with limited and controlled damage. Another speciality in these weapons is that once they are used, they can be withdrawn before they hit the target. Such weapons are known as "Samhara Astrams" in the Vedic parlance. The samhara astrams are used for neutralising the astrams when it is used against a person.
Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy of I-Serve says even Brahmaastram could be subdued by the person who had propelled it.
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