While researching for my book about the Indian Air Force Himalayan Eagle - The Story of the Indian Air Force, I came across some very interesting details about the military/warrior traditions of India that seemed at odds with the general image of a country thought to be spiritual and pacifist - the Buddha and "Mahatma" Gandhi immediately spring to mind in this context.
The details were intriguing enough for me to embark upon another ambitious project - to gather together and collate the data available on this Indian warrior tradition and its resurgence in modern-day India.
This work is the presentation of certain pertinent details that are available in the open sources but told in a comprehensive, objective and readable form so that an interested reader gains a better understanding of India's little-known martial and warrior history
It is a narrative of the warrior/military traditions of India going back to its pre-Vedic roots and covers the birth of the Indian warrior caste, the Kshatriyas. How these warriors dominated among the empire builders, and how their pre-eminence was superseded by civilian rule, a change in the political scene of India that was to have ramifications from the 10th to 20th century CE.
The title chosen for this work may confuse those readers who are aware that the emperor Ashoka eschewed violence for pacificism as a Buddhist. The lions in the title refer to the four represented on the Ashoka pillars at Sarnath, each facing to the points of the compass and which are symbolic of the present-day warriors of the country, the Indian armed forces, guarding against intrusions from any point.