Among many significant contributions of ancient Indian scientists,
Vymanika Shastra is notably a towering work dealing with vimanas and
allied topics. Aviation as a subject, wrests its own charm over
other disciplines even today. This makes the presence of this work
even more glamorous. For a casual reader this work may appear to be
a fantasy, for a researcher on first reading, curiosity gets
kindled. Successive readings see the cream slowly surfacing
commensurate with ones ability to comprehend concepts, tolerance to
appreciate the depth of basic researches preceding the technologies
and systems of aviation science
It is the firm view of many researchers that mere knowledge of
Sanskrit or science or both synthesized plays little role in true
understanding of such works. The authors were intelligent to use
coded terms, symbolic expressions, archaic language to safeguard
knowledge falling to unauthorized sources. For right understanding
true flair and that much of extra perception to decode and interpret
with reference to context plays the decisive role. This is where
many with correct approach succeeded while others failed. This logic
remains the same be it a scientific work such as this or Indian
philosophy. Both form two sides of the same coin, the coin being
‘Knowledge’. As study of philosophy demands faith, perseverance,
genuine insight, ancient Indian science is no different
No one ventures into pronouncing a scientific work unless one has
something meaningful to convey. The author, whether he was Maharshi
Bharadwaja or Mr. X must have known this too.
The work “Vymanika shastra” is not meant for the biased scientist of
the day who prefers to believe what he want to believe.
It all started on a pleasant winter evening of 1998. During a
discourse on renowned mythological epic Mahabharata, the eminent
scholar sidestepped to make reference to the existence of vimanas in
epic era. He further elaborated to aver the existence of ancient
Indian treatise “Vymanika
Shastra” dealing with Aviation science and
Technology. He indicated that this work had been ascribed to
Maharshi Bharadwaja and conveyed to the world, in Sanskrit
narration, through Late Pandit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry in the first
decade of twentieth century. Not many in the audience had known this
before. At the end of the discourse most of them had appreciated
what they had heard, but forgot it as well. There were exceptions
too. Musing over the interesting revelations, probing started in
right earnest. The scholar delivering the lecture had nothing more
to contribute. Nevertheless, he was firm on what he had conveyed.
Perseverance led to location of the work in a primitive library and
a solitary bookstall in Bangalore. Cleaning the dust-clad copy of
the work was not a pleasant experience. A few copies had reached the
curious brains long ago, many of them being foreigners. The rest had
found their way to the condemned cellar.
Debut reading of the work conveyed mixed feeling of amazement and
skepticism. Patient successive readings generated conviction and
added interest. The eerie feeling ‘Is it a wild goose chase?
however, lingered on for a while. On gathering more information
about the work, it was discovered that we were not alone in our
pursuit. We had company. Reportedly many had studied the work. Some
liked it and others dumped it. Many others not willing to be
bystanders, went skin - deep and wrote derogatory reviews. It was
not their cup of tea. They had no clue of understanding such works.
They trailed from where others moved ahead. Their success was merely
in creating roadblocks to genuine researchers.
Scientists with true resolve carried on with incessant efforts. This
group included freelance researchers, science laboratories, and
scholars. Dedicated topics were taken up for study as specific
projects. While freelancers, with their limited resources, came out
with impressive results, science laboratories succeeded in
fabricating hardware from the treatise as per prescribed formulae.
Scholars and scientists from abroad did not lag behind. “Vymanika Shastra” is quoted by many of them for its relevance in many
scientific literatures, particularly in USA. Germans were reported
to have bought fifteen copies of the work within few days of its
release in 1973.
Just quoting the summarized findings from a report of Birla Science
Centre, Hyderabad, relating to researches on three types of alloys
developed by them as described in the textual content of this work,
“As these materials were found to be novel in their compositions and
preparations patents have been asked for them. The experimental
results in BISR laboratory established the originality and textual
description of the materials in “Vimana Shastra”. Therefore there is
a strong possibility that the large number of descriptions of other
new materials described may also yield good experimental results in
The study team found company and enough company too, inland and
foreign. What is sighted at the turn of the century appears to be
still the tip of the iceberg. There is more and much more the work
“Vymanika Shastra” has to convey, hidden in the potent future
The Project Study Team gratefully acknowledges the keen interest
evinced by The Aeronautical Society of India, Bangalore and AR & DB,
Ministry of Defense (R&D) for sanctioning the study project. We are
thankful to Dr. K. Ramchand, Director, The Centre for Airborne
Studies, Bangalore and Air Marshal P. Rajkumar, PVSM, AVSM, VM,
President AeSI Bangalore, for their valuable support.
1. Dr. T.N. Prakash, panel coordinator AR & DB.
2. Wg.Cdr. A.E. Patrawalla, Honorary Secretary, AeSI, Bangalore.
3. Sri. Bannanje Govindacharya, Eminent Scholar on Indian
4. Dr. V. Prabhanjanacharya, Professor of Sanskrit and Illustrious
scholar on Indian Philosophy.
5. Dr. P. Ramachandra Rao, Director, NML, Jamshedpur.
6. Air Cmde. P.S. Subramanian. V.M, Bangalore.
7. Dr. B.G.Siddarth, Director Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad.
8. Dr. Maheshwar Sharon, Dept. of Chemistry, IIT, Bombay.
9. Dr. V.K. Didolkar, Sri. Deepak Deshpande, Sri. M.K. Kawadkar. (Bharatiya
Boudhika Sampada) Nagpur.
10. Dr. R. Ganesh, Eminent Scholar on Indian Philosophy, Bangalore.
11. Dr. K.H. Krishna Murthy, Former Professor of Ayurvedic Medicine,
Pondichery Medical College, Bangalore.
12. GP. CAPT. M. Matheswaran VM. Indian Air Force.
13. Wg. Cdr. S.S. Yegnaswami, Bangalore
14. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., Bangalore.
15. Sri. N.G. Sheth, Bombay.
16. Oriental Research Libraries, Pune and Baroda.
17. Sri. Shraddhalu Ranade, Aurabindo Ashram, Pondichery.
18. Veda-vignana Parishat, Bangalore.
19. Sri. S. Krishna Murthy, Director, Public Relation, ISRO,
20. Sri. M. Madhu Rao, Bangalore.
21. Dr. Upendra Shenoi, Bangalore.
22. Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore.
23. Sri. K. Rajagopal, Bangalore.
24. Sri. Ahobala Shastry, Bangalore
25. Sri. P.V. Ramaprasad, Pune.
26. Mr. M. R. Narendra, Bangalore.
27. Mrs Muktha Badrishprasad, Bangalore.
28. Mrs Sudha P Rao, Bangalore.
29. Mr Satyanand. M. P., Bangalore.
30. Mr B.V. Rajesh, Bangalore.