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D H A N U R V E D A

The  original  martial  art

 

The Dhanurveda is the oldest Warrior Art in the world, and is the origin of all martial arts. It dates back more than 5000 years ago and is part of the vast science of the Vedas (from Brihat Sarnagadhara Paddhati), an ancient sacred texts written in Sanskrit language, cultural heritage of India and of the whole world. The founder Master of the Ksatriya Dharma Academy, Muraricaitanya dasa, let the Dhanurveda (the ancient Indian text dealing with the science of archery and Vedic martial art) be translated. After about 24 years of practicing Chinese and Japanese martial arts, Master Muraricaitanya Dasa today practices Indo-Vedic martial arts such as Gatka, Krabi Krabong, Mae Mai Muai Thai, Kalaripayattu, the Asian Archery etc.. ., all "fragments" disciplines of Dhanurveda which are the source of the most important styles of martial arts in the world. The Master is doing an important work of restoration, with the sole purpose of bringing to light the Dhanurveda, the oldest and most complete fighting system on the planet, in cooperation with the instructor Marco Gilioli.



Various systems of Fight

Of the original techniques of Dhanurveda today are remaining; the Dhanurvidya, the Archery of the Asian Warriors (India, Mongolia, China, Thailand, Japan, Hungary, Turkey, etc. ..), the Thang-Ta, the martial art of the Manipur Warriors (North India), the Gatka, the martial art of the Sikh Warriors (Punjab, North India), the Kalaripayattu, the Martial Art of the Kerala Warriors (South India), the Vajramushti, the Martial Art of the Gujarat Warriors (Western India, on the border with Pakistan), the Silambam, the martial art of Sri Lanka and Malaysia (South India), the Musti Yuddha, the old Benares (or Varanasi, North India) boxing, the Krabi Krabong, the Royal Thai Police Martial Art, the Marma-vidya, the study of vital points (Kerala).



The spread outside India

As we described in the section "Various Fight Systems", still today there are many fragments belonging to the original Dhanurveda. From their fragmentation, and fusion with indigenous combat systems of each country, the most popular fighting systems in Asia were born. The main reason for this spreading was the ancient monarchy of the Maharajas. The ancient Vedic Empire was very extensive and included, among others, Pakistan, the middle East and reached today's Cambodia. The kingdoms subjected to various emperors have been influenced by the Vedic culture and consequently the military science of that period; the Dhanurveda. The many influences that the Indo-Vedic culture has created, are undoubtly seen in different populations, eg. Greeks, as both being parts of one great cultural matrix: the Arians. Not all the schools of martial arts obviously agree with the theory of the Vedic origin, but we, with the due respect at the opinion of all, present the result of our reserch. To better understand how the martial art from India has spread first throughout Asia (Indonesia, Tibet, China, Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, Korea, etc. ..) and then the rest of the world (the Middle East, which is part of Southwest Asia, and countries like Greece, the Roman Empire and other European countries), please read the chapter on the history of the origins for further details.


 


First Division
(5000 years ago)

From Dhanurveda all the oldest fighting systems still practiced in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia arise. In the second division, they give rise to additional martial arts spread throughout the East.


Dronacharya teaches Dhanurveda at great warrior Arjuna.

 


Second Division
(From 2000 years ago until the present century)

From Dhanurvidya all of the Asian systems of Archery (eg Mongolian archery, turkish etc.), including Archery from horse arise. From Thang-Ta, Tibetan and Wudang Kung-fus are born. From Kalaripayattu the Gatka (a Shaolin Kung-fu), and the old Jujutsu or Jiu-jitsu are born (this theory about the Ju-jitsu, was carried out by researchers and scholars, it is based on the historical accounts of India and Japan, and on the similarity of technical joint locks). From Krabi Krabong, came Mae Mai Thai Muai, the Thai Box or Muay Thai and Bokator in Cambodia. From Musti Yuddha came the Mongolian wrestling, the Sandà, and the various modern boxing systems of fight in the ring. The different techniques of bare hands fighting above mentioned, when they reached Greece gave rise to Pancrazio.

 


Third Division

  • From the Bokator, the modern version of Pradal Serey (also known as Khmer-boxing) was born;
  • From Tibetan Kung-fu different styles of Chinese Kung-fu (of Buddhist influence) are born;
  • From the Wudang Kung-fu various Chinese styles including some schools of Tai-chi-chuan (with Taoist influence) are born;
  • From Shaolin Kung-fu hundreds of styles throughout China including the Wing-chun are born, while in Japan Kempo and lately Karate were born;
  • From Jujutsu (Ju-Jitsu) the Iaido, the Aikijutsu and later Aikido were born;
  • In response to Muay Thai and Sandà, recently in Japan Kick-boxing, a mixed fight between Karate and Box has born.

 

 

For practical issues have been listed only the major fighting systems that derive directly from the Dhanurveda and in turn the most popular Asian styles, however, many are still the old styles and their subdivisions linked in one way or another to Dhanurveda.

 

 

 

 

The history of the origins


There are several stories about the origin of martial arts in the world, but few have something credited. Beyond the competition for the title of oldest martial art, each Eastern country has the presumption to say that the martial art originated in that place. The history, archaeological finds and the most ancient scriptures of the planet, leave no doubt and especially leave no room for imagination and presumption. Believe it or not the martial arts have been originated from God, the Supreme Personality of Godheadand he eternally exists in the spiritual world. This is not our presumption, but we offer great respect to the Holy Scriptures; we accept this conclusion on behalf of those who are animated by a spiritual consciousness, those who convey their intelligence, senses and thoughts towards the spiritual self. This would also explain in part the need of so much practice by all traditional martial arts on mysticism and spiritual aspects like meditation, breathing exercices for the development of subtle energies, concentration, control of the senses, the practice of mudras (practiced in Krabi Krabong, in rituals of Ninjitsu and other fighting systems) with a strong sense of duty to follow a moral code.
Furthermore, the respect due to the master, the chanting of mantras and in particular the sacred syllable "om", the worship of the founder of the system that a student practices and much more. These practices, are just some of the most important steps of the astanga-yoga, yoga into eight parts (Yoga: Union with the Absolute). Yoga helps one to control the senses and the mind and to unite the individual being with the Supreme Being, Sri Krishna.
By studying yoga we learn that after a long time, when we reach a very advanced practice, we can develop mystical powers called siddhis, or perfections of yoga. These yoga perfections are identical with the powers described in historical accounts of the greatest ancient warriors of Asia. We find many examples of these practices and many Vedic rituals such as incense offering, the ceremonial salute before training, the consecration of the place of training and weapons, performed by warriors like the monks at the Shaolin Temple, the Samurais, the Shinto and many others, such as the Indonesian styles.

 

Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, killed Kamsa.


Why all these practices closely related to yoga and to the culture of the Vedas? And why believing that martial arts have no connection with the Absolute Truth as extensively described in the Vedas? Despite this premise is our duty to satisfy even the curiosity of those who tend to be materialists, or simply declare themselves skeptical regarding something that can not be demonstrated by scientific evidence. We accept the opinion and respect the beliefs of all, especially when the dialog is opened in a constructive and not in a destructive way. If the individual and the culture are respected, then there can be dialogue and personal growth for all of us.
As we have already said, the history and archaeological findings have given ample evidence regarding the place of birth of the martial art in this planet. To understand how the martial art has spread throughout the world, we must first understand wherefrom it started. We can not claim to know a river if we don't know where it has its origin. So, once the source is identified, we can go up the river source and enjoy the beautiful clear water that gushes out and describe in full its course. Martial arts are the same thing. Martial arts today, spread all over the world, are like rivers that have come along way. We all know that a river has a long way to go before reaching the sea; it crosses cities and industries that discharge into its water their waste. Who would drink today the water of a river near the sea, knowing everything that it has passed through? In ancient times it was different, but now you can not trust. So, as for the martial arts, for how noble and charming they may seem, they have lost much of their luster because of their long journey, from its origins to the present day. Going to the source will help us not only to taste the original flavor, the "lost fragrance", but also to understand how they have been spread to the rest of the world.
There are many reasons regarding the exportation of the martial arts from their mother land India. We'll examine some of the most important.

Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, instructs Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra

The monarchical empire 

in the Vedic culture 

Many do not know that the monarchy was present in India thousands of years ago. It seems it had had origin from the Vedic culture. The system of dividing society into castes and to entrust the people to a monarchical state is fully described in the Holy Scriptures of India.
It seems that the king is the representative of God on earth, and that he is entrusted with the difficult task of leading the people through the delicate balance between material prosperity and spiritual consciousness.
This argument can be better understood by reading "The Ksatriya Principle". Apparently, the king, to be qualified to carry out its task, must be a great expert on kala-vidya (Martial art) and bhakti yoga (the highest form of yoga).
All the Vedic knowledge, including martial arts, was kept by the brahmanas (the priests) which in turn taught Vedic science to the society according to the quality of each individual.
The brahmanas knew the secrets of martial arts, but, however, could not practice them because of their vow of non-violence. They used to teach this knowledge to the ksatriyas, that, on the contrary, could use violence for a good cause. Just causes were defending the elderly, women, children, cows, defenseless animals, the innocent, the weak, and many other categories as mentioned in the moral code.
So the martial art was always taught to kings, princes and their armies in all the dynasties of the anchient India, because those belonging to the warrior caste of the Kshatriyas, were considered the administrators and protectors of the people. Thus the martial art has been able to spread all over the world for several causes. First of all, for the control of all the land by some emperors of India. These include the Emperor Anaranya and his descendants as Dasarath and Sri Rama, the ideal king, the glorious Prithu Maharaja, Maharaja Rishabadeva, Emperor Bharata (whichfrom the Earth took the name of "Bharata-varsa"), Emperor Pandu and its successors, as the son of Maharaja Yudhisthira and his nephew, the last great emperor, Maharaja Pariksit. All of these great empires and many others had established the Vedic culture of the Aryan race in the whole of India and in territories outside India. We find example in Thailand, and others, whose monarchical culture and religion come from India.
Thailand has preserved, up to the present day, one of our most spectacular and effective Vedic warrior arts, Krabi Krabong (from which today comes the dangerous Muay Thai), martial art practiced in the name of Sri Rama, the seventh incarnation Krishna. For thousands of years it was practiced only by the kings and the royal guard, and this is why it has remained intact up to this day. The martial art, along with the Aryan culture had spread around the world mainly because of these great empires.



Bodhidharma and the Shaolin temple

Almost all fans of the history of martial arts know that many styles practiced in Asia derived from Chinese kung-fu.
In China today there are thousands of styles of kung-fu and almost all derive from the ancient monastery of Shaolin. Famous is the phrase that describes the Shaolin monastery, as the 'cradle of martial arts'. Historians say that the founder of the martial art within the monastery was the monk Bodhidharma from India. Originally he was a ksatriya prince, being educated in the practice of kala-vidya, the martial art and bhaktiyoga, the science of devotion to God, later he took his vows as a Buddhist Monk. Abandoning the life at the court and the order of his spiritual master, he left India to preach the Buddhism in China. Once he arrived in China he spread not only the doctrine of Buddhism, but the secrets of the original Vedic martial art (it is said that he was a great expert on Kalaripayattu). This was, of course, the third and not the last reason of the spreading of the martial art outside India.

 
 

The survivor kings from the wrath 

of Parasurama

We in the West are all survivors of those  ksatriyas who escaped the ax of Parasurama.

Parasurama, the avatara warrior, raged terribly when the monarchic class degraded by abandoning the moral code and religious principles. Thus began the extermination of the entire ruling class and there was no ksatriyaable to cope the ax and bow of Parasurama. The devastation of the warrior class led many of them to flee to the west and to bring part of the Vedic culture (including the monarchy) even in those places that were not affected by the domain of the great emperors. Unfortunately, not only the martial art lost part of its original splendor, but these events marked the beginning of the decayed monarchy leading up to the unhappy kingdoms of medieval Europe that we all know well. It is due only to this that the monarchy and therefore the martial arts have had a bad reputation over the last millennia in Europe and beyond.


Last Updated (Thursday, 15 November 2018 16:31)