The secret knowledge of Dhanurveda.


The word Dhana means a bow (the comprehensive meaning suggests a bow and an arrow) and therefore the word Veda denotes the scientific source. Dhanurveda is explained as Upaveda (subversion) of Yajurveda, by which the soldiers can become proficient in warfare techniques, combat methodologies and therefore the science of weaponry. the utilization of bows and arrows is taken into account to be the superior model of combat technology in comparison to the opposite sorts of combat.

The system of coaching with a bow and an arrow commonly referred to as the Classical Indian Archery is taken into account to constitute an integral part of the Kalarippayat tradition. within the course of your time, this particular system of practice disappeared from traditional schools thanks to various known and unknown reasons.

Hendrik Wiethase, a German scholar alongside the schools of Hindustan Kalari Sangam, has put notable efforts in reviving this combat form in various ways. Forty years of serious effort resulted in forming a training methodology within the area of classical Indian archery. Besides the formation of the training methodology, there exist many treatises published during this field, too.

Under the guidance of dhanurganaka, Hendrik Wiethase, Hindustan Kalari Sangam imparts training sessions on the Classical Indian Archery (CIA) during various time periods.


Classical Indian Archery supported the Dhanurveda


The Dhanurveda is one among the four Upa-Vedas (secondary Vedas), these being Ayurveda (the knowledge of life), Dhanurveda (the knowledge of war skills, Dhanur means bow), Gandharvaveda (the knowledge of music and dance) und Stapatyaveda (the knowledge of architecture). within the ancient writings of India, again and again, the Dhanurveda is mentioned and cited.

The main difference between the Classical Indian Archery following the Dhanurveda and every one the known traditional arts of bow shooting is that the sort of bows and their different usages, arrows, targets and sthanas (postures). These manifold usages are more developed within the Dhanurveda than in other sort of archery and therefore the student is inspired not only to find out all of them but to settle on the one through which he will evolve his own personality. within the course of his learning, the scholar will discover the very aspects that correspond together with his hidden potentials and consider them. Thus the art of archery becomes the tool of the enhancement of his character. He also will be challenged by the permanent got to affect success and failure.

In today’s India, classical Indian martial arts can only be found within the Kalari-tradition in Kerala and within the Thang-tha in Manipur.

If archery today isn't necessary – neither in hunting nor in warfare – why should someone learn this ancient martial art? Why should someone spend time training these skills? Archery isn't only a physical but also a mental training. It develops social and private consciousness, self-respect, concentration and contemplation.

The archer is permanently preoccupied successfully and failure. an honest teacher won't only convey an honest technique, but also help his student to emotionally affect this specific problem. during this way the mindful student can mature and become his own attentive teacher.

The guiding principles of archery are equally valuable altogether regions of live and teach us the subsequent qualities:


The better I am prepared – the larger my success. I do not always need to hit the mark. Nobody will always hit the mark. I am the sum of different potentials and qualties and subjected to different circumstances. Wholeheartedness is the prerequisite of lasting success. My personal success is lasting, if I am willing to question myself and accept hinderances. Not only I determine the course of things. The lightness of relaxation is my true intention.

The trainee who observed a fast
and wearing only a deerskin,
will pray for the bow from his preceptor
folding his hands.
Then following the utterances of Shiva, the preceptor
should sanctify the limbs of his disciple,
putting his hands on them,
by uttering appropriate mantras
and should perform other rituals
for removing the obstacles and sins of his disciple.
Lord Sankara will be ritually imagined to have been placed upon the top-knot of the disciple’s hair at the crown, Lord Kesava will be so placed on the joint of the two arms, Brahma in the navel and Ganesa on his thighs.
Om hom sikha sthane sankaraya namah
Om hom vahvoh kesavaya namah,
Om hom nabhimadhye brahmane namah,
Om hom janghayor ganapataye namah
The master should offer bow and arrows to the student, which are fit to be used by a human being
and the arrows should be sanctified with mantras
and the teacher would pass the mantra from one arrow to the other according to the rules of Vedas.
The Matsari: If the tip of the forefinger is placed squarely on the nail of the thumb finger, then such a release is understood by the name Matsari. Such a release is employed to pierce a fine or thin target referred to as Citra.

The Arrow Belt : In shooting Dhanurvidya the arrows aren't hanging during a cooker round the In past the archers when in battle were riding during a war-chariot and carried the utmost of arrows with them. Sometimes they were guided by another warrior with a shield, to guard him, which shows the importance of an archer lately .

The weather being warm the archer wears the normal Kalari garment. Women wear a wrapped top, almost like the wrapped trousers the fabric being densely woven cotton. this type of garment allows for max freedom of movement with all Sthanas. For shooting with the proper hand, the ends of the arrows must point to the left side of the archer and to the left, if it's shot with the left . If sharp arrowheads are used, a special belt with a leather pocket inside it's wont to protect the archer. The belt has got to be worn tight and firm. Students wear a belt of cotton, which is tied three or fourfold round the hips.

A master or one who shoots with sharp arrows wears a leather belt, which is roofed with silk or cotton.

Breathing and Shooting: For breathing properly one should draw the breath, hold the nose, shut the eyes and after a short time release the breath with “OM”.
Ayurveda prescribes breathing, the Samāna, as a matter with four parts: Prāna: inhale, Udāna: uphale, Apāna: down breath, Vyāna: between the breath. Vyāna is taken into account because of the most powerful and fewer irritating moment because it is between apāna and prāna. during this moment we feel the advantage of the breathing without us willing it. The inhaling between allows for spiritual experiences to occur. So each student must be taught prānayama then breath as constantly, nourishing and powerfully because the ocean. Prānajama is meant to become a neighborhood of his live, as beautiful shooting and healthy, pure thinking. once we become conscious of our breathing we also become conscious of the facility of life and now we will proceed to the cleansing of our mind which in any case is that the basis of a wholesome way of life.

Breathing in, holding the breath and pushing it out while releasing the arrow is bad for shooting. A dam keeps the facility of a stream behind a wall. If this breaks, the facility leaves without control and guidance. Besides, it can cause breathing problems if we hold the breath until ‚it’ shoots, i.e. the right moment for releasing has occurred. Therefore: after having made Pranayama a part of ones life one can ditch it. The powerful stream of our breath will flow on its own account and shooting will happen effortlessly as a part of it.

Visakha sthana
is the first posture, which has got to be learned perfectly, because it contains all the important properties of shooting within the easiest posture.

The student stands together with his feet parallel about one and a half feet aside from one another. His knees aren't straight and he's stabilized perfectly. His left shoulder points to the target. He holds his bow together with his left. His arm is bent and therefore the hand which holds the bow is at the extent of his umbilicus.

Visakha sthana is the first posture, which has got to be learned perfectly, because it contains all the important properties of shooting within the easiest posture.

The student stands together with his feet parallel about one and a half feet aside from one another. His knees aren't straight and he's stabilized perfectly. His left shoulder points to the target. He holds his bow together with his left. His arm is bent and therefore the hand which holds the bow is at the extent of his umbilicus.

Nocking version for beginners:
He looks right down to his bow, takes an arrow together with his finger , pointing finger and thumb underneath the feathers and puts the nock on the proper place on the string in one smooth move, without correcting it. Then he looks at the target.>

Advanced nocking version:
He looks to the target, takes an arrow at the nock and puts the arrow on the proper place on the string in one smooth move, without correcting it.

Pulling:
The left-arm pushes the bow towards the target, while the proper arm pulls the string with the arrow thereon upwards to the cheek. This has got to be wiped out one smooth move and therefore the two hands need to reach their final position within the same moment. The bow arm isn't completely straightened but a touch bent, therefore the string if released must not touch the archer's arm. The hand doesn't squeeze the bow, but its fingers are relaxed.

The arrow-hand pulls the string on the brink of the sting of the mouth, therefore the string is the maximum amount as possible horizontal to the proper eye. The fingers don't twist the string. Before the discharge, the 2 hands need to stay completely still. The arrow doesn't move in the least.

The release:
The fingers let the string pass just relaxing. The arm isn't moving in the least and therefore the hand stays in her position. It stays there for a brief time. Moving the arm or the hand during the discharge is extremely bad for a precisely shot. This posture has got to be learned with the left and therefore the right. This posture is as easily possible with an extended arrow and with a thumb ring or the shooting tablet. Therefore we shoot with full draw, by pulling the string underneath our ear. Aiming fully draw is different to the aiming by pulling the string to the cheek and has got to be trained separately.

What can we think of being beautiful? An unspoilt spot of nature, a lake motionless sort of a mirror, anything which is faithful itself, peaceful and undisturbed. We don't see any irregularity, nothing seems false or not at its right place and time, nevertheless, every part it contains has its own purpose, function and place inside the system.

The weapons, we are training with, are capable of killing a person or an animal within seconds. we all know this and are always conscious of this. Always bearing this in mind will lead an honest student to beautiful shooting, during which every action and thought is flowing during a beautiful circle.

How can perfection in moving be reached? By training all the only parts, which cause one entirety. The posture we use is crammed with a purpose, everyone should know and demonstrate. to face erected means erected inside and out of doors . When shooting from a warrior’s posture, we'd like to feel the worrier inside us. Something the others will see and feel.

“My bow and arrows are chosen, counting on the space and therefore the target, which I shoot at. i do know the way to shoot. My bow is bent right and without effort. I take the arrows, i would like to shoot. I show humbleness towards the target and take the primary position associated with the sthana. i select the primary arrow and put it on the string, in one flow to the position from which my shooting are going to be executed, shoot when time is true and return to the primary position. This I repeat, until the last arrow is shot. I show humbleness towards the target. I fetch my arrows. All the only parts of my shooting flow in one circle without visible strain in total composure.”

We reduce our intentions to the minimum to succeed in the utmost . We only take the arrow, we only put it on the string, we only bend the bow, we only release the arrow, we only hit the target and that we only roll in the hay again and again…

Until a series of lovely shots are often done, one learns to execute faultlessly each single step without hurry or hesitance. At the top , one successful part will lead along side the others like pearls on a string, to at least one whole acting consonant , as in live the road of righteous acts results in a successful whole.

Shooting without shooting means, to weave the wisdom one will earn, after he has reached the high level of a Master into his entire being. The attributes, which cause the gorgeous shooting, will cause beautiful behavior.

One, who has the knowledge of employing a deadly weapon in perfection, isn't in got to show his abilities in impropriate situations. this is often meant when in ancient writing it's said: “When there's a highly skilled archer within the village, the lion will avoid it.”

One, who is calm and conscious of his shooting, are often so in his lifestyle , knowing the proper time will come for everything and if you're prepared, you'll earn the advantages .

One, who may be a good Master, knows when the proper time has come to assist his disciple-making his next step. He will trust the facility of the love and care he gives to him.

During the method of Dhanurvidya, we learn to wash our mind from disturbing thoughts until it's empty and there's nothing, but awareness and purification can happen. The purified mind turns from an intentional disposition to an unintentional one.

This is the white flame, the top and therefore the beginning of the circle, the Vyāna.



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