Terms

chatturangi

Chatturangi
 
By the name "chaturmaharajikas" (means 4 great kings) the Buddhists
call the gods of fire, water and earth who dwell in the North, South,
East and West, with their suites upon the horses in four different
colours. With the term chaturmaharajikas I have immediately brought
in connection the term "chaturangi" (means four kings) as one calls
in India the four-handed chess. For that chess, two names exists,
chaturanja and chaturanji. It used to be played by four players with
pieces in four colours. The white and black are the allies against
the yellow and green. In that game, even the kings could be captured
as common pieces. To me it has been clear at once that the term "four
kings" is in connection with the elements. The pieces are arranged in
the North, South, East and West, each group being coloured
differently - just the same case as with the elementary gods - with
the Kings and their suites.
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