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Old 19th January 2016, 07:34 PM   #1
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Default The exhibition oriental weapons "The Mortal Beauty" of private collections in Russia,

The exhibition oriental weapons "The Mortal Beauty" of private collections in Russia, in Moscow in The State Museum of Oriental Art.

I'll gradually add photos.

The exhibition catalog was published (about it kindly informs Ariel in Swap Forum)

Articles in the catalog - interesting. But I must say a few words:

About articles of catalog.
First of them "On the Military Culture in India" popular paper. It is a set of abstracts from J.Tod, R.Elgood and more. Most of us have read this already )). Of course there are a lot of clishes:
1. "Muslims were assigned to cavalry units whereas members of lower castes (pariahs) and tribal groups went to sapper units as this speciality seemed unacceptable to others - the Kshatriyas may under no circumstances "crawl on the ground", which would rob them of their status. Moreover real Kshatriyas Kshatriyas do not tread the ground at all, they only ride horses, so infantry was composed of soldiers coming from agricultural castes".
Very nice. It means that rajputs, gujarats, sinds and mahratts get to the sailors or aviators? ))
2. "These ascetic warriors ... (used weapon which) ... tipes conform to the principle of non-committing evil by means of violence. The priority is given to various types of throwing weapons and to close combat weapons that are used in defence. An indirect impact by a flying spear, a dart or a chakra was of particular importance from the philosophical point of view. Their use of such weapons might have been regarded as non-personal (spray and pray) or as self-defence. Whether someone was injured by it (caught it themselves), the degree og their injuries - all of this had everything to do to the karmic destiny og the afflicted".
Despite the fact that throughout their history, the ascetic warriors prized as shock infantry and excellent swordsmen.
3. "Naga sadhu ascetics who armed themselves with tridents... spears..."
Trident was not a weapon. Only in poems and songs. It was symbol. As a fully metal spear of naked ascetics was symbol of their akhara.
4. "Rajputs were nomads from arid plains who came to India as conquerors and settlers across Afghanistan and Sind".
It is point of view by J.Tod from 19th century. The most part of researchers claims that rajputs raised from local substrate.

Second article "Indian Arms and Armour in the Collection of the Museum of Oriental Art"
Here we have the distortion of the quote, changing its meaning to the opposite. Such little thing ))
1. "Prince Aleksey Saltykov describes an event of the kind, which took place in Lahore: The King took Mr. Clark's hand and our eyes had the view of an infinite row of tables covered with royal arms: hundred of swords, daggers, shields, mail armour and helmets .............. I would be in a great difficulty if I were allowed to get out of this pile of weapon something for yuor arsenal".
You know that collection of Saltykov now keep in Hermitage. I think that in Museum of Oriental Art should have know that "King" was Ranjit Singh ))). But the most funny - you know what is missing where the dots? "...hundred of swords, daggers, shields, mail armour and helmets; all this is very-very rich, but not soundly. Nothing to be surprised strongly. I would be in a great difficulty if I were allowed to get out of this pile of weapon something for yuor arsenal. Incidentally, there was armor with helmet and some theatrical weapons without style and taste. However, the British really marveled at the weapons probably out of sympathy for everything that is coming from Europe" ))))))))))

Third article "On the Typological Diversity in Indian Weapons".

It is enough to say about the article just to show picture from it "Warrior with a mace". Who is really interested in Indian weapon will be able to understand what I'm talking about )))))))
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Old 19th January 2016, 07:34 PM   #2
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Old 19th January 2016, 07:38 PM   #3
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Old 19th January 2016, 08:29 PM   #4
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Old 19th January 2016, 09:54 PM   #5
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Old 20th January 2016, 02:47 AM   #6
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Just a couple of comments:



First chapter:



1. The issue of Kshatriyas, lower castes, and service of ancient Rajputs, Mahrattas, Gujaratis etc in the navy and airforce. I enjoyed the joke. A very good one!

However, the author mixes two totally unrelated categories. Kshatriyas are members of a religious stratum whereas Rajputs, Gujaratis, Sindhis etc. have nothing to do with belonging to a particular caste: they are members of ethnic/national/ kingdom entities.
Contrasting Kshatriyas and, say, Rajputs is equivalent to stating that medieval European Princes wore armour, but the French, English and Italians did not. Apples and oranges, kind of....

2. Suggest careful re-reading of Elgood's book.

Chakra belonged to the class of weapons called " mukta": released freely.

Chakra was a weapon and abode of Vishnu and was divine by itself. Thus, released, it had freedom of action and choice. When a man was killed by Chakra, it was not a victory or a lucky shot of his enemy, but a will and action of Vishnu, the karma of the victim. We may ruefully shake our heads at that logic, but the Indian metaphysics differs dramatically from the Western one, and judging one by another's criteria guarantees confusion and misunderstanding.

3.The author should kindly consult " "Kauthiliya Arthasastra", transl. by R.P. Kangles ( Motilal Banasidass, Delhi, 2003. ISBN: 81-208-0040-0) Vol 2, p. 132:
Hataka, a spear-like weapon with 3 blades.

Second chapter:

The author states that E. Karlova willfully ".... distorted the quote, changing its meaning to the opposite. Such little thing ))"
I humbly disagree. Her point was to mention that local Rajas proudly showed their weapon collections to visitors and NOT to present personal opinion of Prince Saltykov on the quality of Lahore collection. Thus, a simple description of the event sufficed beautifully.

Personally, I think that Prince S. was exercising the well-known trick of suppressed envy: sour grapes. He wrote that Royal Lahore collection was ".. pile of weapons ( and).... some theatrical weapons without style and taste." At the same time, he was buying a lot of stuff at local bazaars ( same article , p.50). See also book by R. Hales, p. 374, Prince Saltykov buying weapons from a long line of suspiciously-looking denizens of the night.

Perhaps he was just a cheapie, but certainly an awfully bad sport. One does not badmouth the host who graciously invited one to his home and showed him his treasures.


Third chapter:

I am looking at the drawing and still see a mace. Sorry. Can the author elaborate why it is not?
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Old 20th January 2016, 03:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing, I really enjoyed taking in the beauty of the various pieces.
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Old 20th January 2016, 05:36 AM   #8
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Great photos, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
I am looking at the drawing and still see a mace. Sorry. Can the author elaborate why it is not?
Looks like a mace to me, depictions of maces in Indian art are hard to find.
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Old 20th January 2016, 01:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Just a couple of comments:

First chapter:

1. The issue of Kshatriyas, lower castes, and service of ancient Rajputs, Mahrattas, Gujaratis etc in the navy and airforce. I enjoyed the joke. A very good one!

However, the author mixes two totally unrelated categories. Kshatriyas are members of a religious stratum whereas Rajputs, Gujaratis, Sindhis etc. have nothing to do with belonging to a particular caste: they are members of ethnic/national/ kingdom entities.
Contrasting Kshatriyas and, say, Rajputs is equivalent to stating that medieval European Princes wore armour, but the French, English and Italians did not. Apples and oranges, kind of....

2. Suggest careful re-reading of Elgood's book.

Chakra belonged to the class of weapons called " mukta": released freely.

Chakra was a weapon and abode of Vishnu and was divine by itself. Thus, released, it had freedom of action and choice. When a man was killed by Chakra, it was not a victory or a lucky shot of his enemy, but a will and action of Vishnu, the karma of the victim. We may ruefully shake our heads at that logic, but the Indian metaphysics differs dramatically from the Western one, and judging one by another's criteria guarantees confusion and misunderstanding.

3.The author should kindly consult " "Kauthiliya Arthasastra", transl. by R.P. Kangles ( Motilal Banasidass, Delhi, 2003. ISBN: 81-208-0040-0) Vol 2, p. 132:
Hataka, a spear-like weapon with 3 blades.

Second chapter:

The author states that E. Karlova willfully ".... distorted the quote, changing its meaning to the opposite. Such little thing ))"
I humbly disagree. Her point was to mention that local Rajas proudly showed their weapon collections to visitors and NOT to present personal opinion of Prince Saltykov on the quality of Lahore collection. Thus, a simple description of the event sufficed beautifully.

Personally, I think that Prince S. was exercising the well-known trick of suppressed envy: sour grapes. He wrote that Royal Lahore collection was ".. pile of weapons ( and).... some theatrical weapons without style and taste." At the same time, he was buying a lot of stuff at local bazaars ( same article , p.50). See also book by R. Hales, p. 374, Prince Saltykov buying weapons from a long line of suspiciously-looking denizens of the night.

Perhaps he was just a cheapie, but certainly an awfully bad sport. One does not badmouth the host who graciously invited one to his home and showed him his treasures.

Third chapter:

I am looking at the drawing and still see a mace. Sorry. Can the author elaborate why it is not?
1. I am very glad that you agreed with me (it is no sarcasm - I'm getting closer to paranoia :-) ). For an article named "Military Culture" it is the very superficial article.

2.The chakra was the weapon. Trust me, when it was thrown to the enemies no one thought about "metaphysic" and no one knew that such weapon belongs to the "mukta". And when someone threw the chakra he wanted to kill. There are descriptions of the use of chakra.

3. Again, metaphysics. In "Kauthiliya Arthasastra" was mentioned "an axe with a trident at one end or both ends" also. Can you show this weapon and the description of it use?

4. However the Saltikov's items which were collected buying them on bazaars now are in the Hermitage. Where are the theatrical European items of R.Singh now? And whose are the "sour grapes" then? )))

5. About the picture with mace it would be better to ask Mercenary. He was more interested and he studied the subject.

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Old 20th January 2016, 01:37 PM   #10
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Old 20th January 2016, 05:07 PM   #11
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1. For the record: I do NOT agree with the author. I stated from the beginning that the chapter was an introductory review designed for local Russian readers who do not know English and have to rely on Russian second, - and third- hand sources, often poorly translated. For that audience it is good.

I guess my comments about the issue of Kshatriyas vs. the Gujaratis go unchallenged :-) Good. Hopefully, the author will not repeat a similar error in the future.


2. Sorry, I cannot and do not "trust" the allegedly mind-reading author. He operates from the Western point of view that is largely inapplicable to the Hindu one.
Again, he is well advised to carefully read Elgood's book specifically addressing the issue of tight bonds between Hindu arms and ritual, and learn something new. This may change his attitude to Indian metaphysics.

3. The author should read the reference I provided and not a third-hand information from the popular-audience Nosov's book in Russian.
At the same time, he may want to look for " hastivaraka" ( same source)


4. First, the author's main line of attack against Ms. Karlova totally misses the point: he just distorted the purpose of her reference. Second, we do not know what was the objective worth and value of Royal Lahori weapons. Does the author? Perhaps, Hermitage examples paled in comparison.

Be it as it may, Prince Saltykov exhibited a totally ungentlemanly and low-class behavior. Feh.....

5. It is the author who brought the mace as an example, and it is his responsibility to defend his statement. Hiding behind other person's back is not a good policy.


In summary, this is a book for general audience and as such it fulfilled its goals admirably. It ain't no monumental treatise like the Elgood's one, but even the author of the review might have learned a lot from it.

In conclusion: I find the author's review of the articles poorly informed, poorly thought through and , - frankly, - biased. I can only wonder, - why?

I firmly stand behind my recommendation to buy this book. Jens Nordlunde is unlikely to find many revelations there :-), but for the rest of us, not deeply dedicated to the study of Indian culture and weapons, this book might be useful.

The additional bonus is the Chinese part of the book, and AFAIK there is no similar source in English.

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Old 20th January 2016, 06:54 PM   #12
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Mahratt and Ariel,
Thank you so much guys for continuing this review of these references as well as the topic in general from objective point of view. With this you both reveal the attention to detail you have observed to these very complex topics on Indian arms.
While I have studied these weapons for very many years, I confess I have never reached the depth you both have clearly reached, so I would count myself among the many who may benefit from these books.

Again, thank you both for this most useful and informative exchange!
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Old 20th January 2016, 07:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall
Mahratt and Ariel,
Thank you so much guys for continuing this review of these references as well as the topic in general from objective point of view. With this you both reveal the attention to detail you have observed to these very complex topics on Indian arms.
While I have studied these weapons for very many years, I confess I have never reached the depth you both have clearly reached, so I would count myself among the many who may benefit from these books.

Again, thank you both for this most useful and informative exchange!
Dear Jim.

Thank you for the nice words. I believe that everyone should read the book, to make up his mind about what is written in it.

I'm just expressing my opinion about what I read in the book.
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Old 20th January 2016, 07:13 PM   #14
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"1. For the record: I do NOT agree with the author. I stated from the beginning that the chapter was an introductory review designed for local Russian readers who do not know English and have to rely on Russian second, - and third- hand sources, often poorly translated. For that audience it is good.
I guess my comments about the issue of Kshatriyas vs. the Gujaratis go unchallenged :-) Good. Hopefully, the author will not repeat a similar error in the future."

It is so pity that you are not familiar with the Russian Oriental studies. It is on a par with French or English Oriental studies.
About the Kshatriyas. Of course I agree with you. It is exactly the author of the article in catalog mixed in one pile Kshatriyas with Rajputs, Jats, Dogras and Gurkhas with Coorgs.

"2. Sorry, I cannot and do not "trust" the allegedly mind-reading author. He operates from the Western point of view that is largely inapplicable to the Hindu one.
Again, he is well advised to carefully read Elgood's book specifically addressing the issue of tight bonds between Hindu arms and ritual, and learn something new. This may change his attitude to Indian metaphysics."

About the chakras. There are description of the use of chakras by ascetics in 16th. No metaphysics. They just throw it into the Portuguese who fired at them from muskets. They do not even have prayed before. And in addition to the chakras they had swords and knives.

"3. The author should read the reference I provided and not a third-hand information from the popular-audience Nosov's book in Russian.
At the same time, he may want to look for " hastivaraka" ( same source)"

No problem. On the same page ("Kauthiliya Arthasastra", transl. by R.P. Kangles ( Motilal Banasidass, Delhi, 2003. ISBN: 81-208-0040-0) Vol 2, p. 132 said about "an axe with a trident at one end or both ends". This axe and your "hastivaraka" both are real weapons or only "hastivaraka" is real?

"4. First, the author's main line of attack against Ms. Karlova totally misses the point: he just distorted the purpose of her reference. Second, we do not know what was the objective worth and value of Royal Lahori weapons. Does the author? Perhaps, Hermitage examples paled in comparison.
Be it as it may, Prince Saltykov exhibited a totally ungentlemanly and low-class behavior. Feh....."

No attacks. But it is need accuracy of citation. Prince Saltykov died 157 years ago. And it was amazing man.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksey_Saltykov

"but for the rest of us, not deeply dedicated to the study of Indian culture and weapons, this book might be useful"
You should started with this. I would not write so much then
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Old 20th January 2016, 07:20 PM   #15
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Old 20th January 2016, 07:42 PM   #16
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Just for the fun of it: what kind of Royal Swords were likely to be seen in the Lahore collection, and how would they compare to the Saltykov's bazaar ( Hermitage) acquisitions ?

Well, on P.50, Ms. Karlova cites Saltykov letter to his brother in Russia. Saltykov bought 2 metal shields, one straight-bladed sword and two daggers for a total of 750 rupees ( ~ 120 GBP, ~$21, ~15 GBP at that time. Different sources give different numbers, likely due to geographical differences, but at the most a cost of very modest middle-class living in rural England at that time). Those went to the Hermitage.

And here is a real Royal Sword, likely comparable to some examples in Lahore. A gift from Maharaja of Jaipur to Edward VII in 1902 ( about 30 years after Saltykov's trip to India). Solid gold and 2,000 carats of diamonds.

And Saltykov himself said that the Lahore weapons were " ... extremely rich...".

Yup, Saltykov was a cheapie and a "sour grapes" man :-)))
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Old 20th January 2016, 08:51 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariel
Just for the fun of it: what kind of Royal Swords were likely to be seen in the Lahore collection, and how would they compare to the Saltykov's bazaar ( Hermitage) acquisitions ?

Well, on P.50, Ms. Karlova cites Saltykov letter to his brother in Russia. Saltykov bought 2 metal shields, one straight-bladed sword and two daggers for a total of 750 rupees ( ~ 120 GBP, ~$21, ~15 GBP at that time. Different sources give different numbers, likely due to geographical differences, but at the most a cost of very modest middle-class living in rural England at that time). Those went to the Hermitage.

And here is a real Royal Sword, likely comparable to some examples in Lahore. A gift from Maharaja of Jaipur to Edward VII in 1902 ( about 30 years after Saltykov's trip to India). Solid gold and 2,000 carats of diamonds.

And Saltykov himself said that the Lahore weapons were " ... extremely rich...".

Yup, Saltykov was a cheapie and a "sour grapes" man :-)))
I told only about the exhibition and the catalog only. Just my opinion. I do not understand what makes you so angrily that you attack me constantly. And it is very strange to talk so unkind about man who lived 200 years ago, he can not hear you. It is madness. If you continue I afraid moderators will warn you.

Saltykov was in India half a century earlier before the Maharaja of Jaipur gave Edward VII expensive wonderful very rich sword and probably specially made for this event. Saltykov bought samples of traditional Indian weapons (this is easily seen by looking pictures of the Hermitage). The fact that you have shown - this item is perfect, but I think no one will say that this is a traditional Indian sword. Saltykov interested authentic Indian weapons. Prince Edward VII seems feel love great jewelry gems. And you inconsiderate. Prince Saltykov told about European weapons.
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Old 20th January 2016, 09:15 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=mahratt]"1.
It is so pity that you are not familiar with the Russian Oriental studies. It is on a par with French or English Oriental studies.
----------------------------
Russian historians/archeologists are unsurpassable in the field of "nomadic" and "Caucasian" studies.There are some good contributions to the Ottoman and ( less) Persian field. India was not their cup of tea. Except for occasional travellers ( Nikitin, Saltykov) they never ventured there and made no original contribution to the field. The only systematic Russian book about Indian weapons is a relatively new, semi-popular, book by Nosov, with heavy borrowing from Elgood, Pant and Rawson. Comparing Russian contributors to French and, especially, British researchers is impossible. After all, Brits controlled India de facto or de jure for... what? 300 years non stop? Built universities there, sent scientists, published books to no end, assembled collections, had public exhibitions...... Come on, let's not engage in patriotic fantasies:-)

__________________________________________________ ______________


About the Kshatriyas. Of course I agree with you. It is exactly the author of the article in catalog mixed in one pile Kshatriyas with Rajputs, Jats, Dogras and Gurkhas with Coorgs.
-----------------------------
Please, all of us can read here:-)
__________________________________________________ ______________
"2.

About the chakras. There are description of the use of chakras by ascetics in 16th. No metaphysics. They just throw it into the Portuguese who fired at them from muskets. They do not even have prayed before.
----------------------------------------
That is exactly your problem: you equate the act of "releasing" the mukta with the damage it inflicts. Try to understand their metaphysics.
__________________________________________________ _______________
"3. On the same page ("Kauthiliya Arthasastra", transl. by R.P. Kangles ( Motilal Banasidass, Delhi, 2003. ISBN: 81-208-0040-0) Vol 2, p. 132 said about "an axe with a trident at one end or both ends". This axe and your "hastivaraka" both are real weapons or only "hastivaraka" is real?
------------------------------
Where is the mention of a word "axe" in relation to hastivaraka or hataka?
Please do not assign to me any words that I did not even utter.
__________________________________________________ _________
4. Prince Saltykov died 157 years ago. And it was amazing man.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksey_Saltykov

---------------------------------------
Yes, a traveller and a dealer in Indian antiques.
And ( based on his letter to his brother) not somebody I would care to invite into my house:-)))))
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Old 20th January 2016, 09:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
I told only about the exhibition and the catalog only. Just my opinion. I do not understand what makes you so angrily that you attack me constantly. And it is very strange to talk so unkind about man who lived 200 years ago, he can not hear you. It is madness. If you continue I afraid moderators will warn you.
You guys (and i do mean BOTH of you) are getting extremely tiresome. When the hammer falls it will undoubtable fall on ALL the bickering parties who seem to find it impossible not to drag their personal issues and past petty squabbles into this forum, much to the displeasure of all the rest of us. Give it a break guys. Otherwise i am pretty sure a reckoning time is coming ALL involved.
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Old 20th January 2016, 11:22 PM   #20
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David,
I am not waging personal wars here; I am just trying to correct objective inaccuracies in the review that pertain to the historical assessment of Indian military tradition.
My arguments are not directed at the author of the review, but at the factual content of posted comments and I closely adhere to the Forum rules.

Jim McDougall expressed his full satisfaction by the content and educational value of the exchange.

As you can see, at least somebody is interested and is reading it:-)

That is what this Forum is all about.

I fail to see any transgression of the rules on my part.
With best wishes,
Ariel
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Old 21st January 2016, 12:06 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
I told only about the exhibition and the catalog only. Just my opinion. I do not understand what makes you so angrily that you attack me constantly. And it is very strange to talk so unkind about man who lived 200 years ago, he can not hear you. It is madness. If you continue I afraid moderators will warn you.
Under no circumstance do I attack you personally, and there is no anger on my part. There was not, and there will not be any personal insult or sarcasm. I just find inaccuracies and misinterpretations in your presentation of your arguments and try to correct them using direct references and objective facts. If you re-read my comments carefully, you will not find any attack or unkind word about you as a person.

Arguing about the facts is another ball of wax.

The whole idea of the Forum is to exchange objective information ( interspersed, of course, with personal but objective interpretation of the content).

As to prince Saltykov, my opinion about him plummeted down after his badmouthing his host who invited him into his house. Kind of " The food was terrible, and the portions were too small". This is not something I find acceptable.
The fact that he is dead plays no role: all historical personalities are dead by now. This had never prevented historians to express their opinions about them. Alexander the Great? Caligula? Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Sometime ago I have read withering critique of Mother Theresa, of all people.
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Old 21st January 2016, 12:24 AM   #22
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I agree with David, especially posts after Jim's feedback.

You are skating on thin ice, especially if I am getting involved!

Please be very careful........
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Old 21st January 2016, 02:14 AM   #23
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Please understand guys, I noted I AM very pleased with the informational aspects of your comments........WITHOUT any personal remarks .
You can express points of view and your own agreement or contrary perspective without personal comments.
The personal jabs are not clever, simply demeaning to the issuer.
In that, I agree that these are very tedious.

Regardless of rules, there are simple matters concerning courtesy and gracious interaction which have more to do with common sense, which should be quite familiar to everyone here.
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Old 21st January 2016, 06:02 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=ariel]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mahratt
"1.
It is so pity that you are not familiar with the Russian Oriental studies. It is on a par with French or English Oriental studies.
----------------------------
Russian historians/archeologists are unsurpassable in the field of "nomadic" and "Caucasian" studies.There are some good contributions to the Ottoman and ( less) Persian field. India was not their cup of tea. Except for occasional travellers ( Nikitin, Saltykov) they never ventured there and made no original contribution to the field. The only systematic Russian book about Indian weapons is a relatively new, semi-popular, book by Nosov, with heavy borrowing from Elgood, Pant and Rawson. Comparing Russian contributors to French and, especially, British researchers is impossible. After all, Brits controlled India de facto or de jure for... what? 300 years non stop? Built universities there, sent scientists, published books to no end, assembled collections, had public exhibitions...... Come on, let's not engage in patriotic fantasies:-)

__________________________________________________ ______________


About the Kshatriyas. Of course I agree with you. It is exactly the author of the article in catalog mixed in one pile Kshatriyas with Rajputs, Jats, Dogras and Gurkhas with Coorgs.
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Please, all of us can read here:-)
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"2.

About the chakras. There are description of the use of chakras by ascetics in 16th. No metaphysics. They just throw it into the Portuguese who fired at them from muskets. They do not even have prayed before.
----------------------------------------
That is exactly your problem: you equate the act of "releasing" the mukta with the damage it inflicts. Try to understand their metaphysics.
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"3. On the same page ("Kauthiliya Arthasastra", transl. by R.P. Kangles ( Motilal Banasidass, Delhi, 2003. ISBN: 81-208-0040-0) Vol 2, p. 132 said about "an axe with a trident at one end or both ends". This axe and your "hastivaraka" both are real weapons or only "hastivaraka" is real?
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Where is the mention of a word "axe" in relation to hastivaraka or hataka?
Please do not assign to me any words that I did not even utter.
__________________________________________________ _________
4. Prince Saltykov died 157 years ago. And it was amazing man.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksey_Saltykov

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Yes, a traveller and a dealer in Indian antiques.
And ( based on his letter to his brother) not somebody I would care to invite into my house:-)))))
1. I am pleased that you think I'm a patriot. I really love the country I was born. But, in this case, we are not talking about it. There are a number of the Russian Oriental studies, which article has not yet been published in English.To study weapons it is not only reading of books about weapons or the diaries of travellers. First of all it is stadying of culture of the region.

2. About the axe. Please see picture bellow.

3. Prince Saltykov never was a dealer. You should have read about it carefully. He was a collector and patron of the arts (philanthropist). There is a difference between the patron of the arts and the dealer.

"At home he always had some eccentricities, went to the Persian or Indian costume (hence his nickname "Indian"). His apartment always looked like a Museum of curiosities and was furnished in the East. Everywhere he lived as a hermit for whole days engaged in painting, which had a big love, and "invited them to his house only a good painter, because he was not the last."

Gloucester candlestick the beginning of the XII century from the collection of A. D. Saltykov now adorns London's Victoria and albert Museum
The comments from those who knew him, Prince Saltykov "was one of the rare people gifted with a pleasant character, without the slightest pride, and charlatanism and moreover modesty" in dealing with others was always extremely soft, gentle and helpful. One of his contemporaries recalled that Saltykov was featured elegant and aristocratic appearance, in external manners he was reminiscent of Chopin; in forty years he had a youthful flexibility and features of his thin, oblong face had a melancholic good-natured expression[1].

He died on 23 March 1859 in Paris, where he lived as a hermit and invited them to his house only artists."
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Old 21st January 2016, 06:24 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ariel
As to prince Saltykov, my opinion about him plummeted down after his badmouthing his host who invited him into his house. Kind of " The food was terrible, and the portions were too small". This is not something I find acceptable.
The fact that he is dead plays no role: all historical personalities are dead by now. This had never prevented historians to express their opinions about them. Alexander the Great? Caligula? Hitler? Stalin? Mao? Sometime ago I have read withering critique of Mother Theresa, of all people.
I do not understand what this has to study the weapons? But, since you're talking about it, let's find out the situation.

Prince Saltykov, as I understand it, did not say something about what you say to the owner in person. So Saltykov did not offend his host. If you specify more accurately describes that Prince Saltykov, perhaps all will be easier to draw conclusions. I do not remember this quote, so ask your clarification.
It seems strange to compare politicians and philanthropists. But that's just my opinion ...
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Old 21st January 2016, 07:39 AM   #26
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Old 21st January 2016, 06:40 PM   #27
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"Prince Saltykov, as I understand it, did not say something about what you say to the owner in person. So Saltykov did not offend his host."

Yes, that is exactly what I meant: he did it behind his back. And this is exactly what I do not like.

But enough about that: we obviously have different criteria of " proper behavior", and since Prince S. is dead, we cannot change anything:-)

However, I have a different angle on the same story, addressing not ethical but very practical issues that may be of greater interest to the Forumites.

I am not at home now, rather far away from my library. In the evening I shall try to concoct another missive, less controversial but more interesting this time:-) OK?
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Old 21st January 2016, 09:47 PM   #28
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Life example: a friend of mine recently returned from Afghanistan and he was telling me about how was a guest of Afghans. He told me about the horror of dirt and terrible unsanitary conditions. He is constantly thought of not threatened if he dysentery. It was just his story about the journey. My friend had no desire to offend the master of the house in Kabul. He shared his impressions. My analogy is clear?

But I think enough about it? Take a look a few more photos:
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Old 22nd January 2016, 01:17 AM   #29
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Thanks for the very nice image of the vajra-mushti and bagh nakh, any idea what the two small items are in the lower right side?
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Old 22nd January 2016, 01:23 AM   #30
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Love this.
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