I have written that Ancient Indians knew of Aviation and Sage Bharadwaja has written Treatise on Vaimanika Shastra, The Science of Aviation.
I have also posted an article with Diagrams as to how an Indian research scholar Mr.Talpade designed and flew a plane .
In the Science Congress,Anand J Bodas, a retired principal of a pilot training facility, who had researched in the subject presented a paper in the Meet.
There are references to Aviation in the Rig Veda.
“The ancient Hindus could navigate the air, and not only navigate it but fight battles in it like so many war-eagles, combating for the domination of the clouds. To be so perfect in aeronautics they must have known all the arts and sciences relating to the science, including the strata and currents of the atmosphere, the relative temperature, humidity, density and specific gravity of the various gases…..” ( Col. Olcott in a lecture in Allahabad in 1881.)
Refrence to Avitaion in the Vedas.
O royal skilled engineer, construct sea-boats, propelled on water by our experts, and airplanes, moving and flying upward, after the clouds that reside in the mid-region, that fly as the boats move on the sea, that fly high over and below the watery clouds. Be thou, thereby, prosperous in this world created by the Omnipresent God, and flier in both air and lightening. (Yajur Veda, 10.19)
The Rig Veda, the oldest document of the human race includes references to the following modes of transportation:
- Jalayan – a vehicle designed to operate in air and water. (Rig Veda 6.58.3)
- Kaara- Kaara- Kaara- a vehicle that operates on ground and in water. (Rig Veda 9.14.1)
- Tritala- Tritala- Tritala- a vehicle consisting of three stories. (Rig Veda 3.14.1)
- Trichakra Ratha – Trichakra Ratha – Trichakra Ratha – a three-wheeled vehicle designed to operate in the air. (Rig Veda 4.36.1)
- Vaayu Ratha- Vaayu Ratha- Vaayu Ratha- a gas or wind-powered chariot. (Rig Veda 5.41.6)
- Vidyut Ratha- Vidyut Ratha- Vidyut Ratha- a vehicle that operates on power. (Rig Veda 3.14.1).
Agastya and Bharadwaja had developed the lore of aircraft construction.
The “Agastya Samhita” gives us Agastya`s descriptions of two types of aeroplanes.
The first is a “chchatra” (umbrella or balloon) to be filled with hydrogen.
The process of extracting hydrogen from water is described in elaborate detail and the use of electricity in achieving this is clearly stated.
This was stated to be a primitive type of plane, useful only for escaping from a fort when the enemy had set fire to the jungle all around. Hence the name, “Agniyana”.
The second type of aircraft mentioned is somewhat on the lines of the parachute.
It could be opened and shut by operating chords.
This aircraft has been described as “vimanadvigunam” i.e. of a lower order than the regular aeroplane.
Agastya talks of Dry Battery, Method of Storing the Power,how to prepare the Coolants,and how to Control the thrust of the Machine.
Please read my post on Agastya and Dry Batteries.
Aeronautics or Vaimaanika Shastra is a part of Yantra Sarvasva of Bharadwaja.
This is also known as Brihadvimaana Shastra.
Vaimaanikashastra deals about aeronautics in detail.
The knowledge of aeronautics is described in Sanskrit in 100 sections, eight chapters, 500 principles and 3000 slokas.
Great sage Bharadwaja explained the construction of aircraft and way to fly it in air, on land, on water and use the same aircraft like a sub-marine.
Types of Aircrafts.
The aircraft is classified into three types- Mantrika, Tantrika and Kritaka, to suit different yugas or eras.
In kritayuga, it is said, Dharma was well established.
The people of that time had the divinity to reach any place using their Ashtasiddhis.
The aircraft used in Tretayuga are called Mantrikavimana, flown by the power of hymns (mantras).
Twenty-five varieties of aircraft including Pushpaka Vimana belong to this era.
The aircraft used in Dwaparayuga were called Tantrikavimana, flown by the power of tantras.
Fifty six varieties of aircraft including Bhairava and Nandaka belong to this era.
The aircraft used in Kaliyuga, the on-going yuga, are called Kritakavimana, flown by the power of engines.
Twenty-five varieties of aircraft including “Sundara”, “Shukana” and “Rukma” belong to this era.
Bharadwaja states that there are thirty-two secrets of the science of aeronautics.
Some are advanced designs which are beyond us now.
For instance the secret of “para shabda graaha”, i.e. a cabin for listening to conversation in another plane, has been explained by elaborately describing an electrically worked sound-receiver that did the trick.
Manufacture of different types of instruments and putting them together to form an aircraft are also described.
Ahaaraadhikarana section deals with the food habits of a pilot.
Bibliography for Bharadwaja.
Vimana Chandrika by Narayanamuni;
Vyoma Yana Mantrah by Shaunaka;
Yantra Kalpa by Garga;
Yana Bindu by Vachaspati;
KhetaYaanaPradeepika by Chaakraayani;
Vyoma Yaanarka Prakasha by Dundi Natha.
Academy of Sanskrit Research in Melkote, near Mandya, had been commissioned by the Aeronautical Research Development Board, New Delhi, to take up a one-year study, ‘Non-conventional approach to Aeronautics’, on the basis of Vaimanika Shastra.
As a result of the research, a glass-like material which cannot be detected by radar has been developed by Prof Dongre, a research scholar of Benaras Hindu University.
A plane coated with this unique material cannot be detected using radar.
The special coating has been explained by Agastya in Agastya Samhita.
Diet for Astronauts.
Special diet and uniform made of algae for ancient pilots
It is also said that the diet of the pilots who flew the ancient planes was unique and consisted of milk of cows, buffalos and sheep.
This special diet helped them fly the aircrafts with much more ease and they could feel connected with their planes.
A special Suit made of underwater grown plants helped them operate their airplanes.
Dr. Roberto Pinotti asked the delegates to examine in detail the Hindu texts instead of dismissing all the Vimana descriptions and traditions as mere myth. “The importance of such studies and investigations could prove to be shocking for today’s man because the existence of flying devices beyond mythology can only be explained with a forgotten superior civilization on earth,” he said. Pointing out that Indian Gods and heroes fought in the skies using piloted vehicles with terrible weapons.
Dr. Pinotti said they were similar to modern jet propelled flying machines. 32 secrets: He said certain descriptions of the Vimanas seemed ‘too detailed and technical in nature to be labeled as myth.’ He cited various texts to show there were 32 secrets relating to the operation of Vimanas, some of which could be compared to modern day use of radar, solar energy and photography. Quoting from‘Vymanika Shastra’ he said the ancient flying devices of India were made from special heat absorbing metals named ‘Somaka, Soundalike and Mourthwika.’
He said the text also discussed the seven kinds of mirror and lenses installed aboard for defensive and offensive uses. The so-called ‘Pinjula Mirror’ offered a sort of ‘visual shield’ preventing the pilots from being blinded by ‘evil rays’ and the weapon ‘Marika‘ used to shoot enemy aircraft ‘does not seem too different from what we today called laser technology,’ he said.
According to the Italian expert, the ‘principles of Page 1 propulsion as far as the descriptions were concerned, might be defined as electrical and chemical but solar energy was also involved’. For instance, the ‘Tripura Vimana’ mentioned in ‘Vymanika Shastra’ was a large craft operated by ‘motive power generated by solar rays,’ Dr. Pinotti said, adding ‘its elongated form was surely much closer to that of a modern blimp.’
Sophisticated design: According to Dr. Pinotti, the huge ‘Shakuna Vimana’ described in the text ‘might be defined as a cross between a plane and a rocket of our times and its design might remind one of today’s space shuttle.’ ‘Surely, it expresses the most complex and sophisticated aeronautical design among all the other descriptions of Vimanas mentioned in the ‘Vymanika Shastra,’ he said.
He described the author of the treatise ‘Vymanika Shastra‘ as a man ‘attempting to explain an advanced technology.’ Dr. Pinotti, who has made an exhaustive study of the history of Indian astronautics, said another text, Samaraanganasutraadhaara had 230 stanzas devoted to the principles of building Vimanas and their use in peace and war. He said ancient Aryans knew the use of the element ‘fire’ as could be seen from their ‘Astra‘ weapons that included Soposamhara (flame belching missile), Prasvapna (which caused sleep) and four kinds of Agni Astras that traveled in sheets of flame and produced thunder. He said the car that was supposed to go up to Suryamandal (solar system) and the Naksatramandala (stellar system) cannot be dismissed as a myth because of the ‘technical nature’ of its description. Dr. Pinotti said depictions of space travel, total destruction by incredible weapons and the fact that Vimanas resembled modern unidentified flying objects would suggest that India had a ‘superior but forgotten civilization.’ ‘In the light of this, we think it will be better to examine the Hindu texts’ and subject the descriptive models of Vimanas to more scientific scrutiny,’ he said.
Jerry W. Decker, Ron Barker, Chuck Henderson