Lathi is a martial art and is also the name given to a bamboo pole, 6-8 ft (1.8-2.8 m) long, with a metal tip at the end, which is wielded like a sword. Lathi is thought to have originated from an ancient and peaceful yogic practice in which practitioners try to release “kundalini” (coiled-up energy) through the body via circular and figure-eight movements. It later became a martial art and was initially popular in eastern and southern India.
The stick was originally used to help keep buffalo in order–in fact, a common Hindi saying goes “jiski lathi, uski bhains,” meaning, “he who wields the lathi gets to keep the buffalo.” Farmers skilled with the stick were often called to become militia and settle disputes on behalf of regional warlords and landowners. The art later evolved into a sport and duels, in which practitioners could show their prowess and possibly gain employment or enhanced status among the men of their village, were common.
Today, the term “lathials,” derived from the art form, is commonly used as a word to describe men for hire who will fight, settle scores, and restore honor among farmers who feel slighted.
It was the British, during the colonial rule of India, who introduced the lathi as a weapon to be used in crowd control and during riots. In present day India, the lathi is us as a weapon by the national police for similar purposes.
Bandesh was thought to have originated several hundred years ago, bandesh is a system of grappling, locking, choking, disarming, and forced-submission techniques, commonly used against an armed assault. It is a martial art that stresses non-lethal use of force; practitioners are encouraged to reduce the risk of injury to their attacker. While practice matches can involve hand-to-hand combat, they generally include weapons–the winner is deemed to be the practitioner who successfully disarms his opponent.
But Marma Atti
But Marma Atti follows the principle that attacking and opponent must take on a two-pronged approach. The first prong consisting of the physical side and the other prong being the mental or spiritual aspect. Practitioners first aim to erode their opponent’s will to fight by psychological means–reasoning with them and discouraging them– before striking, kicking, knifing, or clubbing them, or attacking with any other improvised weapon. Humiliation of the opponent during the fighting process is also of primary importance and it is believed that this can help effect a swift victory.
Taught and practiced widely in rural south India, but marma atti is a holistic and practical method of self defense rather than a sporting art. Practitioners are taught to maintain an impeccable character of high moral standing to cultivate inner strength and an understanding of one’s own ego. This in turn engender an attitude of avoiding aggressive individuals. But marma atti is, in essence, an evolution of natural defensive mind-and-body practices.
Nata is a martial art form in which finger movements, taken from an ancient Indian dance, are used alongside yogic movements. Although little is known about the art today, it is quite likely that it included finger- and wrist-locking maneuvers and weapons disarms based on joint locks and pain-compliance techniques.
The practitioners of ancient Indian dance possessed a good understanding of the physiological make up of the joints, in particular the arms, hands, and fingers, as these types of movements were stressed in ancient Indian dance. It is likely that the arts were included in other ancient Indian martial arts such as weapon forms and grappling sports.
In the 3rd century BCE, the author Patanjali wrote the Yoga Sutras, the ancient foundational text of yoga. These yogic elements, as well as finger movements in the nata dances, were later incorporated into various martial arts. Furthermore, there are several references in early historical Buddhist texts such as the Totus Sutra, written in the 1st century ce, which refer to Indian martial arts of boxing and, in particular, techniques of joint locking, fist strikes, grapples, and throws.
Although the subject of speculation among historians, it is possible that these elements describe the evolution of hand movements and locking techniques from the early nata dances into later martial-art forms.
Tina Turner – Lotus Sutra / Purity of Mind (2H Meditation)
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Get ‘Beyond’ Featuring Tina Turner chanting the mantra chanting ‘Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo’ here:
The meaning of the Lotus Sutra is ‘I devote my life to the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra’.
It is the royal sutra of Nichiren Buddhism in Japan (1253). Coming from India to China and then to Japan, the prayer was translated from the Sanskrit word ‘Saddharma-pundarikasutra » first into classical Chinese as ‘Miao-fa Lien-hua Ching’ and then into an ancient form of Japanese as ‘Myoho Renge Kyo’.
The word ‘Nam’ derives from the Sanskrit ‘names’ and means ‘devotion’. It is placed before the name of all deities when worshipping them.
‘Myo’ is the name given to the mystic nature of life and ‘Ho’ to its manifestation.
‘Renge’ means lotus flower. The beautiful and undefiled Lotus blooms in a muddy swamp with all the obstacles against it. It symbolizes the emergence of our Buddha nature from the everyday problems and desires of ordinary life. ‘Renge’ stands also for the simultaneity of cause and effect, because the lotus puts forth its flower and seedpod at the same time.
‘Kyo’ literally means sutra, the voice and teaching of the Buddha.
It also means sound rhythm or vibration and therefore it might be interpreted to indicate the practice of chanting. Since everything in the universe is connected through sound waves, ‘Kyo » refer to the life activity of universal phenomena and indicates that everything is a manifestation of the Mystic Law.
‘Myoho-Renge-Kyo’ is the Mystic Law of the Lotus Sutra. An explanation can help you understand, but the Sutra can only be fully appreciated through chanting it.
TINA: ‘However you must do it, to truly understand. When you say ‘Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo’ it will slowly remove all of the bad decisions you have ever made. The more you repeat the words the more you make you make your life clearer. The more you chant it the closer you get to your true nature. Your true nature is the right way of thinking and the right way of acting. The longer you go on this path, the more you avoid making wrong decisions. The Lotus Sutra helps me in my daily life. It is indeed mystical! And my life has proven this!’
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Video: Xaver Walser
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Album Producers: Erwin Bach & Beat Curti
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