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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gun Powder in Indian History Described Vividly

CHANAKYA 1800 BCE ..Described Gun Powder vividly ...

Two kinds of firearms are described in the Sukraniti, one is of small size and the other is of large size. The former is five spans long, has at the breech a perpendicular and horizontal hole, and sights at the breech and muzzle end of the tube. Powder is placed in the vent, near which is a stone, which ignites the powder by being struck. Many dispense with this flint. The breach is ell wooded and a ramrod compresses the powder and ball before the discharge. This small musket is carried by foot-soldier.


ANCIENT Fire-Arms that Used Gun Powder:

Gunpowder in ancient India

It would be interesting to examine the true nature of the Agneya-Astras. Kautalya describes Agni-Bana, and mentions three recipes - Agni-Dharana, Ksepyo-agni-yoga, and Visvasaghati. Visvasaghati was composed of 'the powder of all the metals as red as fire or the mixture of the powder of kumbhi, lead, zinc, mixed with the charcoal and with oil wax and turpentine.' From the nature of the ingredients of the different compositions it would appear that they were highly inflammable and could not be easily extinguished.

A Recent Writer Remarks Gun Powder:

'The Visvasaghati-agni-yoga was virtually a bomb which burst and the fragments of metals were scattered in all directions. The agni-bana was the fore-runner of a gun-shot.....

Sir A. M. Eliot tells us that the Arabs learnt the manufacture of gunpowder from India, and that before their Indian connection they had used arrows of naptha. It is also argued that though Persia possessed saltpetre in abundance, the original home of gunpowder was India. It is said that the Turkish word top and the Persian tupang or tufang are derived from the Sanskrit word dhupa. The dhupa of the Agni Purana means a rocket, perhaps a corruption of the Kautaliyan term natadipika. (Source: Fire-Arms in Ancient India - By Jogesh Chandra Ray I.H.Q. viii. p. 586-88).


The following stanza, which is taken from the Raja lakshminarayana-hrdaya, a part of the Atharvanarahasya, is no doubt a clear proof of the fact that the Hindus were familiar with gun powder at a very remote period:

“As the fire prepared by the combination of charcoal, sulphur, and other material depends upon the skill of its maker so also may thou, O! representative of knowledge (Lakshmi), by the application of my faith manifest thyself quickly according to my wishes.”

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