Kurochkin A.

Abstract: The article highlights the weaponry complex used by various kinds of Indian warrior-ascetics. This question was not previously studied in the published works dedicated to the culture of Indian military monks’ organization. In the article there is a description of different groups of military ascetics, their activities and the termi- nology that is used to describe them. Based on the historical sources the author highlights and describes weapons that were used by military ascetics, in particular, melee weapon. The types of ascetics’ weapons are widely demonstrated: from cudgels, maces and staffs to the full metal spears, the combat shovels and axes. The kinds of daggers used by ascetics are described in detail. There are historical descriptions of situation where some kind of ascetics’ weapons were used. The article points out the items that contrary to the common opinion were the real weapons (trident “trisula”, stand for hands “danda”) or by contrast used sometimes as real weapons (tongs “chimta”).

Keywords: ascetics, nagas, akalis, gosains, sanniyasis, staff, cudgel, mace, spear, dagger, trident, chakkar