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  1. Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Wahguru Ji Ki Fateh! I love books on Indian martial arts, which are quite rare. The following is a list of about a dozen Indian martial arts books I have read. Please kindly post the titles and info of any books you know of. Thanks! The Art of Gatka Fighting - Authored by K. S. Akali in 1936. More sports-like than martial arts-like. Just some soti techniques. Pentra seems incorrect. Gatka: Book 1 - Dance of the Sword - Authored by Nanak Dev Singh Khalsa. First published in the mid 1980s. Kalarippayat - Authored by Dick Luijendijk. Published in 2008. When the Body Becomes All Eyes: Paradigms, Discourses and Practices of Power in Kalarippayattu, a South Indian Martial Art - Authored by Philip Zarilli. Shiv Dhanurveda - The art of ancient Indian archery (covers stances, grips, mantras, etc). Translated by into English by Dr. B Chakravarti in 2001. Agni Purana - One of the 18 purans. Contains a dhanurveda section. Mallapurana - Manual on Indian wrestling. Read it in PDF format a little while back. I believe it was authored in the first half of the 20th century. Lathi Shiksha - Illustrated quarterstaff manual. Possibly written by and for Hindu nationalists. Brought it back in 2000 from an old bookshop in India. Judging from the illustration style and the old fragile paper, possibly from the 1940s or 50s. The Fighting Traditions And Fighting Arts Of The Traditional Sikh Warriors - The Beloved of Guru Gobind Singh Ji - The Akali Nihangs - Authored by Nidar Singh on Chatka Gatka. Shastar vidya - Short booklet authored by Baba Gian Singh. Mostly warrior advice and martial bani from Dasam Granth. Some dagger techniques towards the end. Published by Budha Dal. Shastra vidya: The Ancient Indian Martial Art of the Hindu Kshatriyas - Authored by Harjit Singh Sagoo, 2017. Illustrated and backed by textual evidence. Techniques of the bhindipala, asi, shakti, dhanush, gada, paash, etc.
  2. On the Caste Phenomenon in Armies This is not the case. The above is only a naive view of Indian caste phenomenon. You have overly simplified the reality into a sh*tty cartoon, and while the logic in that sh*tty cartoon holds up, it is a sh*tty logic that ignores the complexity of life. Unfortunately too many people make this same mistake that you are making. Too many people get caught up in this type of thinking and they make lofty theories and sometimes even alter our very history to suit their thinking. So what is really going on? Society A encourages the warrior castes to become warriors but if there are superb and willing warriors coming in from other castes, they also carve out their space, their niche in the army. Land-owners also bring in soldiers from non-warrior tribes - militia. All societies are actually a mixture of Society A and B Now saying this -> Society A encourages the warrior castes to become warriors - is a bad way of talking about what's happening because what is actually happening, is that the father gives his sword to his son and prepares him from an early age, the fathers and uncles and grandfathers all teach the boys in their family or they send the boys to other men who know their shit. Thus the boys in warrior tribes, not only have the genes for it but are also socialized early to be warriors. They also have solid mentors right from the start. So armies would be composed of the warrior tribes primarily, because the majority of good warriors come from those tribes. Warriors from other castes, who fathers were potters and carpenters, they do not have easy access to warrior mentors, teachers, and a warrior-like environment. They have easy access to the knowledge preserved by their forefathers, which is pottery or carpentry, or whatever. Survival is Guaranteed by Father At the end of the day, everyone is trying to survive. Everyone is trying to make enough to put a roof over the head and food on the table. So the sons of potters become potters because they have easy access to education in their father's field. Back then and even nowadays, it is much easier to access the fields that your parents are involved in. because they have that experience and can guide you, or know others who can mentor you in some way. So sons of potters and carpenters are not readily becoming warriors. Some are, perhaps because they are really passionate for it or cannot make a living in their own profession or are seeing more money in joining armies. So they become warriors because they either see money in that or some other sense of fulfillment. But we are not done yet. Now we have the recruiting process - References What is the last thing you put on your resume? References The recruiter is looking for warriors, good soldiers to fill the ranks. He is going to go with those boys who have strong references backing them up. Good reputation of their father, words from their mentors, and other veterans who know them. A boy form a warrior tribe is much likely to get recruitment in an army simply because he has more references. Other tribes are more likely to have to demonstrate their prowess. Jagirdar/Zamindar/Land-owner/Feudal System - Allowing for Non-Warrior Tribe members in Armies Back then certain men owned lots of land. And those who could not pay for it fully, could take a portion of the Zamindar's land for their own purpose, provided they would offer their services in the Zamindar's private army, ie they had to defend that land to own it. So many land-owners had their own armies known as Feudal Armies and they would have soldiers from various tribes, depending on who wants the land. These feudal armies would be called upon by the king to offer their service in a large battle. Much of the demand for land was coming from non-warrior professions. Farmers are a good example, they often need to be have a bit of warrior in them because they need to defend the land they acquire. Many warrior tribes also participated in this system, so that they could make a living off the land when there was nothing happening in terms of battles and looting. So they would live off the land and go to war when the opportunity presented itself. Many kshatriya were farming when they were "off-duty". The Non-Warriors from Warrior Tribes This is why during Guru Sahib's time, many warrior tribe members (including the panj pyarey, our Gurus and most of their Sikhs) were involved in other professions and they were not being warriors. They either did not get many good opportunities in armies, or their forefathers had been involved in other professions. There were many people from warriors tribes that became traders for various reasons. (e.g. Bhai Daya Singh ji) There were many people from warriors tribes that became farmers for various reasons. (e.g. Bhai Dharam Singhi ji) There were many people warrior tribes that became barbers for various reasons. (e.g. Bhai Sahib Singh ji) Etc Guru Gobind Singh ji (or one of his court poets depending on your belief) describes this phenomenon in Bachittar Natak of Dasam Granth. The situation was - ਦੋਹਰਾ ॥ दोहरा ॥ DOHRA ਬਿਪ੍ਰ ਕਰਤ ਭਏ ਸੂਦ੍ਰ ਬ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਛਤ੍ਰੀ ਬੈਸਨ ਕਰਮ ॥ बिप्र करत भए सूद्र ब्रिति छत्री बैसन करम ॥ The Brahmins acted like Shudras and Kshatriyas like Vaishyas. ਬੈਸ ਕਰਤ ਭਏ ਛਤ੍ਰਿ ਬ੍ਰਿਤਿ ਸੂਦ੍ਰ ਸੁ ਦਿਜ ਕੋ ਧਰਮ ॥੨॥ बैस करत भए छत्रि ब्रिति सूद्र सु दिज को धरम ॥२॥ The Vaishyas started ruling like Kshatriyas and Shudras performed the priestly duties of Brahmins.2. So he sought after all the non-warriors from warrior clans. And he emphasized his own warrior clan as well in order to inspire his non-warrior kshatriya sikhs, who were involved in other proffessions, to fight and get back to their roots. He inspired them to chant these prayers about dying in a battlefield as the only thing that matters. ਛਤ੍ਰੀ ਕੋ ਪੂਤ ਹੌ ਬਾਮਨ ਕੋ ਨਹਿ ਕੈ ਤਪੁ ਆਵਤ ਹੈ ਜੁ ਕਰੋ ॥ ਅਰੁ ਅਉਰ ਜੰਜਾਰ ਜਿਤੋ ਗ੍ਰਹਿ ਕੋ ਤੁਹਿ ਤਿਆਗ ਕਹਾ ਚਿਤ ਤਾ ਮੈ ਧਰੋ ॥ छत्री को पूत हौ बामन को नहि कै तपु आवत है जु करो ॥ अरु अउर जंजार जितो ग्रहि को तुहि तिआग कहा चित ता मै धरो ॥ I am the son of a Kshatriya and not of a Brahmin who may instruct for performing deep meditations; how can I absorb myself in the embarrassments of the world by leaving you; ਅਬ ਰੀਝ ਕੈ ਦੇਹੁ ਵਹੈ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਜੋਊ ਹਉ ਬਿਨਤੀ ਕਰ ਜੋਰ ਕਰੋ ॥ ਜਬ ਆਉ ਕੀ ਅਉਧ ਨਿਦਾਨ ਬਨੈ ਅਤਿਹੀ ਰਨ ਮੈ ਤਬ ਜੂਝ ਮਰੋ ॥੨੪੮੯॥ अब रीझ कै देहु वहै हम कउ जोऊ हउ बिनती कर जोर करो ॥ जब आउ की अउध निदान बनै अतिही रन मै तब जूझ मरो ॥२४८९॥ Whatever request I am making with my folded hands, O Lord ! kindly be graceful and bestow this boon on me that when ever my end comes, then I may die fighting in the battlefield.2489. Coming back to it - All societies are actually a mixture of Society A and B So Society A's armies are actually a combination of warrior clan soldiers and and sons of warrior forefathers but also members from other tribes based on merit and members from other tribes coming in from Feudal armies. Note - Have yet to edit it so there maybe mistakes.
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