Sanskrit texts are filled with references to gods who fought battles in the sky using Vimanas equipped with weapons as deadly as any we can deploy in these more enlightened times. For example, there is a passage in the Ramayana which reads:
“The Puspaka car that resembles the Sun and belongs to my brother was brought by the powerful Ravan; that aerial and excellent car going everywhere at will …. that car resembling a bright cloud in the sky.”
“.. and the King [Rama] got in, and the excellent car at the command of the Raghira, rose up into the higher atmosphere.”
In the Mahabharatra, an ancient Indian poem of enormous length, we learn that an individual named Asura Maya had a Vimana measuring twelve cubits in circumference, with four strong wheels. The poem is a veritable gold mine of information relating to conflicts between gods who settled their differences apparently using weapons as lethal as the ones we are capable of deploying. Apart from ‘blazing missiles‘, the poem records the use of other deadly weapons. ‘Indra’s Dart‘ operated via a circular ‘reflector’. When switched on, it produced a ‘shaft of light’ which, when focused on any target, immediately ‘consumed it with its power’. In one particular exchange, the hero, Krishna, is pursuing his enemy, Salva, in the sky, when Salva’s Vimana, the Saubha is made invisible in some way.
Undeterred, Krishna immediately fires off a special weapon:
‘I quickly laid on an arrow, which killed by seeking out sound’.
Many other terrible weapons are described, quite matter of factly, in the Mahabharata, but the most fearsome of all is the one used against the Vrishis. The narrative records:
“Gurkha flying in his swift and powerful Vimana hurled against the three cities of the Vrishis and Andhakas a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and fire, as brilliant as ten thousands suns, rose in all its splendor. It was the unknown weapon, the Iron Thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and Andhakas.”
It is important to note, that these kinds of records are not isolated. They can be cross-correlated with similar reports in other ancient civilizations. The after-affects of this Iron Thunderbolt have an ominously recognizable ring. Apparently, those killed by it were so burnt that their corpses were unidentifiable. The survivors fared little better, as it caused their hair and nails to fall out.
Perhaps the most disturbing and challenging, information about these allegedly mythical Vimanas in the ancient records is that there are some matter-of-fact records, describing how to build one. In their way, the instructions are quite precise.
In the Sanskrit Samarangana Sutradhara, it is written:
“Strong and durable must the body of the Vimana be made, like a great flying bird of light material. Inside one must put the mercury engine with its iron heating apparatus underneath. By means of the power latent in the mercury which sets the driving whirlwind in motion, a man sitting inside may travel a great distance in the sky. The movements of the Vimana are such that it can vertically ascend, vertically descend, move slanting forwards and backwards. With the help of the machines human beings can fly in the air and heavenly beings can come down to earth.”
The Hakatha (Laws of the Babylonians) states quite unambiguously:
“The privilege of operating a flying machine is great. The knowledge of flight is among the most ancient of our inheritances. A gift from ‘those from upon high’. We received it from them as a means of saving many lives.”
More fantastic still is the information given in the ancient Chaldean work, The Sifrala, which contains over one hundred pages of technical details on building a flying machine. It contains words which translate as graphite rod, copper coils, crystal indicator, vibrating spheres, stable angles, etc.
from DeccanHerald Website
December 16, 2003
Hundred years after Orville Wright’s first flight,
K R N SWAMY remembers Shivkur Bapuji Talpade,
the Indian who flew an unmanned aircraft,
eight years before Wright.
Orville Wright demonstrated on December 17th 1903 that it was possible for a ‘manned heavier than air machine to fly’
But, in 1895, eight years earlier, the Sanskrit scholar Shivkar Bapuji Talpade had designed a basic aircraft called Marutsakthi (meaning Power of Air) based on Vedic technology and had it take off unmanned before a large audience in the Chowpathy beach of Bombay. The importance of the Wright brothers lies in the fact, that it was a manned flight for a distance of 120 feet and Orville Wright became the first man to fly. But Talpade’s unmanned aircraft flew to a height of 1500 feet before crashing down and the historian Evan Koshtka, has described Talpade as the ‘first creator of an aircraft’.
As the world observes the one hundredth anniversary of the first manned flight, it is interesting to consider the saga of India’s 19th century first aircraft inventor for his design was entirely based on the rich treasury of India’s Vedas. Shivkar Bapuji Talpade was born in 1864 in the locality of Chirabazar at Dukkarwadi in Bombay.
He was a scholar of Sanskrit and from his young age was attracted by the Vaimanika Sastra (Aeronautical Science) expounded by the great Indian sage Maharishi Bhardwaja. One western scholar of IndologyStephen-Knapp has put in simple words or rather has tried to explain what Talpade did and succeeded!
According to Knapp, the Vaimanika Shastra describes in detail, the construction of what is called, the mercury vortex engine the forerunner of the ion engines being made today by NASA. Knapp adds that additional information on the mercury engines can be found in the ancient Vedic text called Samaranga Sutradhara. This text also devotes 230 verses, to the use of these machines in peace and war. The Indologist William Clarendon, who has written down a detailed description of the mercury vortex engine in his translation of Samaranga Sutradhara quotes thus,
‘Inside the circular air frame, place the mercury-engine with its solar mercury boiler at the aircraft center. By means of the power latent in the heated mercury which sets the driving whirlwind in motion a man sitting inside may travel a great distance in a most marvellous manner. Four strong mercury containers must be built into the interior structure. When these have been heated by fire through solar or other sources the Vimana (aircraft) develops thunder-power through the mercury.
NASA (National Aeronautical and Space Administration) world’s richest/ most powerful scientific organization is trying to create an ion engine that is a device that uses a stream of high velocity electrified particles instead of a blast of hot gases like in present day modern jet engines. Surprisingly according to the bi-monthly Ancient Skies published in USA, the aircraft engines being developed for future use by NASA by some strange coincidence also uses mercury bombardment units powered by Solar cells! Interestingly, the impulse is generated in seven stages.
The mercury propellant is first vaporized fed into the thruster discharge chamber ionized converted into plasma by a combination with electrons broke down electrically and then accelerated through small openings in a screen to pass out of the engine at velocities between 1200 to 3000 kilometers per minute! But so far NASA has been able to produce an experimental basis only a one pound of thrust by its scientists a power derivation virtually useless. But 108 years ago Talpade was able to use his knowledge of Vaimanika Shastra to produce sufficient thrust to lift his aircraft 1500 feet into the air!
According to Indian scholar Acharya,
‘Vaimanika Shastra deals about aeronautics including the design of aircraft the way they can be used for transportation and other applications in detail. The knowledge of aeronautics is described in Sanskrit in 100 sections, eight chapters, 500 principles and 3000 slokas including 32 techniques to fly an aircraft. In fact, depending on the classifications of eras or Yugas in modern Kaliyuga aircraft used are called Krithakavimana flown by the power of engines by absorbing solar energies!’
It is feared that only portions of Bharadwaja’s masterpiece Vaimanika Shas-tra survive today.
The question that comes to one’s mind is, what happened to this wonderful encyclopedia of aeronautical knowledge accumulated by the Indian savants of yore, and why was it not used? But in those days, such knowledge was the preserve of sages, who would not allow it to be misused, just like the knowledge of atomic bombs is being used by terrorists today!
According to scholar Ratnakar Mahajan who wrote a brochure on Talpade.
‘Being a Sanskrit scholar interested in aeronautics, Talpade studied and consulted a number of Vedic treatises like:
- Brihad Vaimanika Shastra of Maharishi Bharadwaja
- Vimanachandrika of Acharya Narayan Muni
- Viman yantra of Maharish Shownik
- Yantra Kalp by Maharishi Garg Muni
- Viman Bindu of Acharya Vachaspati
- Vimana Gyanarka Prakashika of Maharishi Dhundiraj’
This gave him confidence that he can build an aircraft with mercury engines.
One essential factor in the creation of these Vedic aircraft was the timing of the Suns Rays or Solar energy (as being now utilized by NASA) when they were most effective to activate the mercury ions of the engine. Happily for Talpade Maharaja Sayaji Rao Gaekwad of Baroda a great supporter of the Sciences in India, was willing to help him and Talpade went ahead with his aircraft construction with mercury engines.
One day in 1895 (unfortunately the actual date is not mentioned in the Kesari newspaper of Pune which covered the event) before a curious scholarly audience headed by the famous Indian judge/ nationalist/Mahadeva Govin-da Ranade and H H Sayaji Rao Gaekwad, Talpade had the good fortune to see his un manned aircraft named as ‘Marutsakthi’ take off, fly to a height of 1500 feet and then fall down to earth.
But this success of an Indian scientist was not liked by the Imperial rulers. Warned by the British Government the Maharaja of Baroda stopped helping Talpade. It is said that the remains of the Marutsakthi were sold to ‘foreign parties’ by the relatives of Talpade in order to salvage whatever they can out of their loans to him. Talpade’s wife died at this critical juncture and he was not in a mental frame to continue with his researches. But his efforts to make known the greatness of Vedic Shastras was recognized by Indian scholars, who gave him the title of Vidya Prakash Pra-deep.
Talpade passed away in 1916 un-honored, in his own country.
As the world rightly honors the Wright Brothers for their achievements, we should think of Talpade, who utilized the ancient knowledge of Sanskrit texts, to fly an aircraft, eight years before his foreign counterparts.