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The Tale of the Sanskrit Text “Vaimānika Shāstra”


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Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj

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A Vimana of Indian texts (Source : ceifan.org)
A Vimana of Indian texts (Source : ceifan.org) : ceifan.org)

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In 1951, a person named G.R. Josyer founded the “International Academy of Sanskrit Research” in Mysore. In 1952, he came across the Vaimānika Shāstra manuscripts written in Sanskrit. In 1959, a Hindi translation of Vaimānika Shāstra was published.

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Title page of the English translation of Vyamanika Shastra published in 1973.
Title page of the English translation of Vyamanika Shastra published in 1973.

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In 1973, Josyer published an English translation of the text along with the Sanskrit text titled VYMAANIKA-SHAASTRA OR SCIENCE OF AERONAUTICS.

The Vaimānika Shāstra contains 3000 slokas in 8 chapters. The 1973 edition came out with illustrations drawn by T. K. Ellappa, a draughtsman at a local engineering college in Bangalore, under the direction of Pandit Subbaraya Shastry.

 RUKMA VIMANA
Rukma Vimana Profile (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom) Rukma Vimana Plan of base or pitha (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)
Rukma Vimana Plan of top and steering floors (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom) Rukma Vimana Vertical Section (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)
 SUNDARA VIMANA
Sundara Vimana Vertical Section (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom) Sundara Vimana Plan of base or pitha (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)
Sundara Vimana Floors (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom) Sundara Vimana Vertical Section - 2 (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)
 TRIPURA VIMANA
 Tripura Vimana Cross Section (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)  Electrical Power Generator - Sectional Elevation (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)
 Electrical Power Generator - Top View (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)  Tripura Vimana Perspective View and Vertical Section (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)
SHAKUNA VIMANA
 Shakuna Vimana - Perspective view (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)  Shakuna Vimana - Vertical Section at the Wing Joint (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)
 Shakuna Vimana - Vertical Section (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom) Shakuna Vimana - Horizontal Section - Lengthwise (Source - aryabharati.org) (Custom)

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The book Vymanika-Shastra gained favour among the proponents of theories about space travel by ancient Indians.

In the foreword to the 1973 edition of Vymanika-Shastra, Josyer wrote:

On 25-8-1952 the Mysore representative of the Press Trust of India, Sri N.N. Sastry, sent up the following report which was published in all the leading dailies of India, and was taken up by Reuter and other World Press News Services:

“Mr. G. R. Josyer, Director of the International Academy of Sanskrit Research in Mysore, in the course of an interview recently, showed some very ancient manuscripts which the Academy had collected. He claimed hat the manuscripts were several thousands of years old, compiled by ancient rishis. Bharadwaja, Narada and others, dealing, not with the mysticism of ancient Hindu philosophy of Atman or Brahman, but with more mundane things vital for the existence of man and progress of nations both in times of peace and war.

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“One manuscript dealt with Aeronautics, construction of various types of aircraft for civil aviation and for warfare. He showed me plans prepared according to directions contained in the manuscript on Aeronautics of three types of aircraft or Vimanas. namely, Rukma, Sundara and Shakuna Vimanas. Five hundred slokas or stanzas dealing with these go into such intricate details about choice and preparation of metals that would be suitable for various parts of vimanas of different types, constructional details, dimensions, designs and weight they could carry, and purposes they could be used for.

“Mr. Josyer showed some types of designs and drawing of a helicopter-type cargo-loading plane, specially meant for carrying combustibles and ammunition, passenger aircraft carrying 400 to 500 persons, double and treble-decked aircraft. Josyer showed some types of designs and drawing of a helicopter-type cargo-loading plane, specially meant for carrying combustibles and ammunition, passenger aircraft carrying 400 to 500 persons, double and treble-decked aircraft.
Each of these types had been fully described.

“In the section giving about preparation and choice of metals and other materials that should go into such construction of aircraft, details were specified that the aircraft, (these metals are of 16 different alloys), must be “unbreakable, which cannot be cut through, which would not catch fire, and cannot be destroyed by accidents.” Details as to how to make these vimanas in flight invisible through smoke screens are given in Vimanasastra of Maharshi Bharadwaja.

“Further description and method of manufacturing aircraft, which will enable pilots not only to spot enemy aircraft but also to hear what enemy pilots in their planes were speaking, on principles akin to radar, have all been given in elaborate detail with suitable explanatory notes. There are eight chapters in this book which deal with the construction of aircraft, which fly in the air,  go under water, or float on water.

TRAINING OF PILOTS

“A few slokas deal with qualifications and training of pilots to man these aircraft. These ancient types of aircraft are provided with necessary cameras to take pictures of approaching enemy planes. Yet another set of slokas deals with the kind of food and clothing to be provided for pilots to keep them efficient and fit in air flying conditions.

There is an enigma in this tale of Vaimānika Shāstra.

In 1974 five young Indian scientists – Mukunda, S.M. Deshpande, H.R. Nagendra, A. Prabhu, and S.P. Govindaraju – from the departments of aeronautical engineering and mechanical engineering of the prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore conducted a detailed study of Vaimānika Shāstra. The same year they published a paper titled “A Critical Study of the Work Vyamanika Shastra,” in the journal Scientific Opinion. They gave the reasons why the Vedic airplane theory according to Vaimānika Shāstra was not viable..

The Scientists concluded that the aircrafts described in the text were “poor concoctions” and that the author showed a complete lack of understanding of aeronautics. In fact, none of the technologies documented in the Vaimānika Shāstra would allow an object to lift off from the ground except one. The study stated:

“The Rukma Vimana was the only one which made sense. It had long vertical ducts with fans on the top to suck the air from the top and send it down the ducts, generating a lift in the process.”

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Pandit Subbaraya Shastry
Pandit Subbaraya Shastry

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The young scientists debunked the claim that this text is ancient. They said it was actually written between 1900 and 1922 by Pandit Subbaraya Shastry.

According to the young scientists from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore,  Pandit Subbaraya Shastry was born in a small village in Hosur Taluk. His parents died when he was young. As a destitute, he contracted diseases and wandered from place to place.

One day he met a great saint at Kolar. The saint initiated him into spirituality. He revealed to him several Shastras, including the Vaimānika Shāstra.

After Subbaraya Shastry settled into normal life, he started uttering slokas (verses) when inspired.

Subbaraya Shastry had no formal schooling and learned to read and write only after meeting the saint, so, it is unlikely the text was his own invention.

In the early 1900s, Pandit Subbaraya Shastry dictated the text of Vaimānika Shāstra to his aide G. Venkatachalam Sharma and completed the work in 1923. The Pandit claimed that the text was psychically delivered to him by the ancient Hindu sage Bharadvaja. The Vaimānika Shāstra contains 3,000 slokas in 8 chapters.

Though some described Pandit Subbaraya Shastry as “a walking lexicon gifted with occult perception,” he was unsure of the practicality of the ideas found in the text he had dictated.

Pandit Subbaraya Shastry died in 1941. His aide Venkatachala Sharma kept the manuscripts in his custody. By 1944, the Vaimānika Shāstra manuscript appeared at Rajakiya Sanskrit Library in Baroda.

When a Dr. Talpade of Bombay tried to make models under Shastry’s  guidance, none of them flew.

Now, you be the judge.

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Why Do Some Indians in the Guise of Scientists Talk Nonsense?


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Myself 

By T.V. Antony Raj.

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There tends to be two camps in history. One that discredits the ancient world as a bunch of amoral savages beating each other over the head with sticks, and the other that thinks ancient peoples were perfect in every way, could do no wrong, and managed to achieve stages of technological development beyond our own. Both are ludicrously wrong.
— Robbie Sentry McBoddy, a friend on Facebook.

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This year the University of Mumbai hosted the 102nd Indian Science Congress 2015  from January 3 to January 7, 2015. The Focal theme was “Science & Technology for Human Development.”

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating 102nd Indian Science Congress 2015 at the Mumbai University on Jan. 3, 2014. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)
Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating 102nd Indian Science Congress 2015 at the Mumbai University on Jan. 3, 2014. (Photo: Sandeep Mahankal/IANS)

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On January 3, 2015, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, inaugurated the 102nd edition of the Indian Science Congress.

On January 4, 2015, for the first time in the history of the Indian Science Congress, a session on “Vedic Science through Sanskrit” / “Ancient Indian Sciences through Sanskrit,” was held.

Some people in the guise of scientists presented to the audience extraordinary claims based on ancient Hindu texts, Vedas and the Puranas such as:

  • The ancient Indians extracted 24-carat gold from cow dung,
  • Used sharp knives that could split a hair in two,
  • Used aircraft to travel between continents and between planets, etc.,

 

Anand J. Bodas, pictured in Mumbai on January 4, 2015, says Maharishi Bhardwaj -- a sage of the Vedic period (around 1500 - 500 BC) -- laid down as many as "500 guidelines" on flying in a Hindu text ©STRDEL (AFP)
Anand J. Bodas, pictured in Mumbai on January 4, 2015, says Maharishi Bhardwaj — a sage of the Vedic period (around 1500 – 500 BC) — laid down as many as “500 guidelines” on flying in a Hindu text ©STRDEL (AFP)

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Captain Anand J. Bodas, a retired pilot with a Master in Sanskrit as well as an M. Tech. Degree presented a paper on “Ancient Indian Aviation Technology.

As soon as slated to speak at the event Bodas said that the airplanes of Vedic times could fly not only from one country to another but also from one planet to another. He said:

In those days, aeroplanes were huge in size, and could move left, right, as well as backward, unlike modern planes which only fly forward.”

At the session, Bodas cited an alleged old text called Vaimānika Śāstra (वैमानिक शास्त्र,) literally, “Shastra on the topic of aircrafts” attributed to an ancient Rishi named Maharshi Bharadwaj. According to Bodas, the text compiled about 7,000 years ago, mentioned aviation technology . The text  Bodas stressed that aviation technologythat had existed in India and the flight of the Wright brothers was nothing new. He said:

“There is a reference to ancient aviation in the Rigveda,… The basic structure was about 60 by 60 feet and in some cases, over 200 feet. They were jumbo planes,… The ancient planes had 40 small engines. Today’s aviation does not know even of a flexible exhaust system. The ancient aircraft could not only move in any direction, but travel between planets. History merely notes that the Wright brothers first flew in 1904… Bharadwaj, who authored the book Vimana Samhita, had written about various types of metal alloys used to build an aeroplane. Now we have to import aeroplane alloys. The young generation should study the alloys mentioned in his book and make them here,.. (sic)”

With these scientifically unproved ludicrous utterances, Anand J. Bodas has become a laughing-stock among the scientists and the rationals. Now everyone is wondering how the organizers of the Indian Science Congress allowed such inept speakers, who do not bother to verify their claims, to make such foolish utterances on their platform and undermine the honour of the Indian scientific community.

Ram Prasad Gandhiraman, a NASA scientist, launched an online petition demanding that the talk should be canceled as it would represent pseudoscience.

In 1974 five young Indian scientists – Mukunda, S.M. Deshpande, H.R. Nagendra, A. Prabhu, and S.P. Govindaraju – from the departments of aeronautical engineering and mechanical engineering of the prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore conducted a detailed study of Vaimānika Shāstra. The same year they published a paper titled “A Critical Study of the Work Vyamanika Shastra,” in the journal Scientific Opinion. They gave the reasons why the Vedic airplane theory according to Vaimānika Shāstra was not viable.

Rukma Vimana (Source: aryabharati.org)
Rukma Vimana (Source: aryabharati.org)

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The Scientists concluded that the aircrafts described in the text were “poor concoctions” and that the author showed a complete lack of understanding of aeronautics. In fact, none of the technologies documented in the Vaimānika Shāstra would allow an object to lift off from the ground except one. The study stated:

“The Rukma Vimana was the only one which made sense. It had long vertical ducts with fans on the top to suck the air from the top and send it down the ducts, generating a lift in the process.”

.

Pandit Subbaraya Shastry
Pandit Subbaraya Shastry

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The young scientists debunked the claim that this text is ancient. They said it was actually written between 1900 and 1922 by Pandit Subbaraya Shastry. So much for Bodas’ exaggerated claim that this text was more than 7,000 years old.

According to these young scientists, Pandit Subbaraya Shastry was born in a small village in Hosur Taluk. His parents died when he was young. As a destitute, he contracted diseases and wandered from place to place. One day he met a great saint at Kolar. The saint initiated him into spirituality. He revealed to him several Shastras, including the Vaimānika Shāstra.

Pandit Subbaraya Shastry had no formal schooling and learned to read and write only after meeting the saint. So, it is unlikely the text was his own invention. He was unsure of the practicality of the ideas found in the text.

When a Dr. Talpade of Bombay tried to make models under Shastry’s  guidance, none of them flew.

.

RELATED ARTICLES