Sergey S.Tawaststjerna tawast at ST1798.SPB.EDU
Thu Feb 3 12:08:36 UTC 2000

Dear colleagues!
In Raghuvamza (3.31) Kalidasa wrote that Rama learnt the science of
missiles with their incantations from his father (azikSatAstraM
pitureva mantravat). Mallinatha explains 'mantravat' as
'samantrakam astram AgneyAdikam'. Does it mean that there were
specific mantras for kshatriyas, or does he mean some Vedic mantras?
Were these mantras used before or during the battle? Of what kind
were these mantras (may be curse or abuse towards enemies)? Are
there any surviving texts? Monier-Williams dictionary gives
'AgneyAstra' as a tantric formula (?).
There is an interesting parallel in Russian: the battle-field is also
called as a field of swearing, a field of bad words (pole brani). In old
times these "bad words" were used only in two cases: during some
rituals for frightening demons and during battles for frightening

Thank you in advance
Sergei Tawaststjerna

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