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Vajra-mushti (Sanskrit vajramuṣṭi वज्रमुश्टि) is a Sanskrit bahuvrihi compound translating to "one who is grasping a thunderbolt" or "one whose clenched fist is like a diamond". It is a name of Indra mentinoed in the Ramayana epic.
Terence Dukes in The Boddhisattva Warriors (2000) claims that vajramuṣṭi was also a term for an ancient Indian martial art of the kshatriya caste that was transferred to China along with the silk road transmission of Buddhism during the early centuries CE, contributing to the origins of Chinese martial arts. Dukes speculates that there was a martial art specific to early Buddhism which he terms "Bodhisattva Vajramukti" (sic). Dukes builds his theory on he term vajramuṣṭi itself, which he translates as "Thunder Fist". He claims that "Bodhisattva Vajramukti" was passed on within early Chinese Buddhist temples, as 拳法 chuan fa, whence Japanese kenpō.
- Andy James, The spiritual legacy of Shaolin temple: Buddhism, Daoism, and the energetic arts Wisdom Publications, 2004, ISBN 9780861713523, 78ff.
- Terence Dukes, The Bodhisattva Warriors: The Origin, Inner Philosophy, History and Symbolism of the Buddhist Martial Art Within India and China, Motilal Banarsidass, 2000, ISBN 9788120817234.