CHAPTER – 17
In the earlier part of this report several features of on-board
systems on which the pilot should be proficient were introduced.
Yantradhikarana chapter forms the core content of ‘Vymanika
Highly technical in-flight packages described in this part of the
text comprise of nearly one half of the work. While highlighting the
basic scientific research underlying the technologies, this topic
adds substance to the belief that ancient India had a high level of
In this chapter relating to yantras, many mirrors, crystals or manis,
naalas etc., feature as components of yantras. The text deals with
details of on-board fitments, their constructional and operating
methods, preparation process of special materials and the like.
Before going into details, general points of observation are as
What are referred to as
32 secrets and 31 special on-board
packages (referred to as yantras) have no one-to-one relationship in
terms of their serial mention.
As it has been confirmed from several researchers on this work as
well as similar works of ancient science, interpretations with
reference to context plays a pivotal role in correct understanding.
Virtually it forms a gate to make entry into disguised, coded and
veiled textual contents. Once this barrier is crossed the rest seems
to be relatively simpler. This need should be appreciated. A
positive look notwithstanding, many scientists of modern school of
thought may criticize this approach as ‘attaching meanings’.
Like in other parts of the text, there have been references to
other works or principles of scientific subjects and technologies
developed. The enormity of basic science behind development to
evolve a variety of contrivances can be visualized. Quotations from
experts in each discipline of science have been cited; showing the
vast amount of knowledge that must have prevailed. It gives credence
to the depth and profoundness of ‘Yantra Sarvasva’ to an extent that
‘Vymanika Shastra’ itself looks too innocuous.
Each system package seems to be conceived with compactness
supplied with power source, using recycling process and modular in
nature. From the manner in which it is explained in the text it is
even possible that designs catered for using each system as a well
conceived and need based entity. It could even be that selection of
each on board yantra could have been based on mission role.
The locations of the
yantras prescribed in the text seem to be apt
and function related.
Many of the alloys and materials have organic and inorganic
contents. This may look strange to metallurgists of modern science.
Each process of manufacturing of metals, alloys and Naalas gives:
a) Ingredients and their proportions of mix.
b) Use of specific-to-type crucibles.
c) Specific to type furnaces and bellows.
d) Specific melting or fusing temperatures on ancient
Usage of a number of
alloys, special materials indicate that they
were definitely based on specific applications for which they were
conceived and developed. Conceptualization and visualization of
techniques must have logically prompted development of applied
The techniques that have followed concepts of application-specific
systems developed to perform specific roles or functions were
exclusively evolved for strategic and tactical roles, flight safety,
communication and navigational needs. A variety of roles include
photo reconnaissance, camouflaging, detection-avoidance, electronic
warfare role, variable geometry, Biological warfare roles, remote
sensing, evasion tactics, in air combat. In fact the applications
seem to be more for use on aircraft in full-fledged military roles
than for other purposes.
There is more than adequate substance in the concepts and
techniques to substantiate that unless aircraft existed in those
times and extensively used in various roles, development would not
have been necessary or possible.
The term ‘enemy’ has been used in a generic sense with the
interpretation that it denotes anything that can cause danger, harm
or adversity. All these have been referred to as ‘enemy’. It could
be the aircraft, ground or maritime forces of the opponents, it
could be adverse environment, climate or space conditions, and it
could be a biological weapon or any other adverse situation.
Appropriate contextual interpretations in each case hold the key in
meaningful deductions and understanding.
With these general observations we now go into discussions on the
topic ‘Yantradhikarana’ or ‘Subsidiary yantras’. Efforts have been
made to gather literature on research from other sources. The views
of the study team are dovetailed in such cases. Whenever the
discussion is exclusively from study team no reference is mentioned.
In spite of constraints of time all efforts have been made to cover
as many yantras as possible.
Before discussing various devices referred to as ‘Yantras’ in this
chapter of the work, it is interesting to ponder over prevalence of
yantras during earlier phases of Indian civilization. Dr. V. Raghavan, a former professor of Sanskrit in Madras university, has
brought out a brief treatise, published by Indian Institute of
Culture, Bangalore in 1956. In this booklet, the author has dealt
with the subject in fair detail.
Starting from origin of the work Yantras from the root word ‘Yaan’
meaning ‘to control’, his narration starts form very rudimentary
contrivances such as
Water pulley = Ghati Yantra
Oil presser = Taila Yantra
Cane presser = Ikshu yantra,
and goes on to more advanced devices such as those used for
protection of fortresses, operation of fort gates, appliances used
for bridge construction, weight lifting devices etc., His quotes
refer to specific chapters and slokas from epics Ramayana,
Mahabharata, Harivamsha, Buddist literature, Koutilyas’s Artha
Shastra. Some of the yantras even relate to acquired technology from
Persia. Valmiki Ramayana quotes use of several yantras in the
fortifications of capital cities of Ayodhya and Lanka. They included
devices to shoot arrows, stones at attacking enemy forces.
Among a variety of yantras, some interesting ones are auto-driven Rathas, water jet mechanisms for fire quenching, surgical
instruments and strangely, some of the yantras seem to be for the
purpose of torturing convicts. Contrivances used for battles
included devices that hurled huge boulders at the enemy. He quotes
some researches concluding that yantras with firearms and
combustibles were widely employed in ancient Indian warfare.
‘Samarangana Sutradhara’ of Raja Bhoja is a unique work on this
subject. To quote one of them mentioned by Dr. V. Raghavan, is the
yantra ‘Parjanyaka’ a device which was used for causing artificial
Many devices of architectural engineering applications include those
developed for human pleasure, entertainment and the needs of the
royal and the rich. What seems to be most amusing note is the use
of ‘Robots’ employed for guarding security gates of palaces and
Dr. Raghavan’s discussions on yantras make very interesting reading.
To top his treatment of the subject, it is appropriate to cite the
‘merits of good yantra or ‘machine’
The merits of a good machine, Yantra-gunas, are as follows:
utilization of the elements constituting it
Fineness of appearance
Freedom from noise where noise is not part of the scheme
A loud noise when noise is intended as an end
Freedom from looseness
Freedom from stiffness
Smooth and unhampered motion
Production of the intended effects (in cases where the ware is of
the category of curios)
The securing of the rhythmic quality in motion (particularly in
Going into action when required
of the still state when not required (chiefly in cases
of the pieces for pastime)
Freedom from an uncouth appearance
Verisimilitude ( in the case of bodies intended to represent
birds, animals, etc., )
Note: The reader’s attention is brought to the comprehensive and
fine details to which machine-design aspects could be perceived and
With the above discussion on yantras brought in from Dr. V. Raghavan’s noted work, we resume discussion on more advanced and
highly technical contraptions in the work of our study.
Vishwa kriya darshana darpana:
This is a photo device coupled with telescopic arrangement to obtain
pictures from aerial reconnaissance of activities on ground.
Essentially it is the photo reconnaissance role of the Vimana being
The interpretative skills of Sri M.K. Kawadkar on the analysis of
the functioning and operative details his interpretation is attached
The description of this device is mentioned as the first
item under 31 parts of the Vimana for on-board use.
Photoreconnaissance and Air surveillance are integral parts of
air-warfare. Reproducing the function of this device from the work
we read as follows ‘------ and enables the pilot to realize the
conditions of the concerned region, and he can take appropriate
steps to ward-off danger and inflict damages on the enemy’.
Analysis of the concept indicate that as the
Vimana is engaged in
offensive and defensive roles, the pilot is provided with the
display of visual aid of the area around and take decision for
defensive action as well as to assume attack mode. Tactical and
strategic roles are thus covered. Employed possibly in
reconnaissance role, pictures taken could be screened through
photo-interpretation to decide the course of action and work out
Going through the constructional details, use of Vishwodara metal,
crystals or glass beads, special mirrors for attracting solar rays,
image reflectors, joint use of solar and electric power, mercury,
universal reflecting mirrors, lenses together with actuating
mechanisms have been discussed in the text. The end objective is to
obtain ‘true-to-life’ pictures of the ground environment.
A careful examination of the expression ‘true-to-life’ pictures
indicates that the pictures relayed to the pilot are not mere still
photographs, but a continuous relay of all activities on the ground.
Use of telescope and camera confirm this. Activities here should
mean movement of troops, their strength, formation and deployment
including their weaponry. In support of this interpretation it is
necessary to closely observe the title of this device. Kriya meaning
(activity) and not merely roopa or picture. It is logical to
interpret as a continuous relay of all that is happening on the
ground. In brief, use of cameras, telescopes, photo -chemical
processes and the mechanisms of operating them are noticed.
One of the on-board features, this device is meant to
dissipate the effects of radiation occurring in the upper regions of
the atmospheric frictions which generate dangerous forces. Severe
forces are caused by winds and ethereal waves. This could be harmful
to the structure of the Vimana. It is noticeable that this device is
a flight protection contrivance against vagaries of dangers from
atmospheric phenomenon. Constructional and functional details
mention use of krowncha metal, special glasses, mirror made of
Aadarsha glass, globular ball of Vaatapaa glass, liquefied mixture
of load-stone, crystals, mica, serpent’s slough, mercury and
crystals. The essential function is from six crystals or manis which
are placed at specified dispositions. Further description explains
that the influence of harmful forces and waves are absorbed through
these crystals gradually and converted to heat before dissipating
into the atmosphere. Rohinee Shakti and Bhadra Shakti are to be
treated in a similar manner through a different arrangement in order
to neutralize or mitigate the dangerous effects.
Here a study of upper atmospheric regions dealt with in Mc Grawhill
series indicate that the eddy currents in higher regions are a
potential danger to flying craft transiting through them.
Brief analysis of this yantra by
Sri M.K. Kawadkar is appended
separately along with Parivesha kriya yantra, Vistrutasya yantra,
Vyrupya darpana, Padma chakra Mukha yantra, Kuntinee shakti yantra,
Pushpini and Pinjuladarsha yantra, Nala panchaka etc., refer to
appendix - G.
Angopasamhara yantra or folding up yantra at the seventh Bindu
This yantra is basically a mechanical contraption installed for
In-flight use. It is for protection of vulnerable parts of vimanas
against intense heat. This heat is expected to develop under
seasonal conditions. As the vimana is traversing with fully extended
wings, Possibilities of exposure of some parts to this heat exists
and this should be prevented. This relates to ‘sancocha’, a special
feature provided for the pilot and features as Angopasamhara yantra.
It is essentially a protective device conceived for protection
against overheating of the vimanas component while flying with fully
extended wings. Here we also note the provision of variable geometry
construction. When over heating takes place the pilot gets the
feed-back of rising temperature. Depending on the requirements he
selects and deploys the protective cover, shielding the parts from
We note here that temperature measuring device is also
provided for relaying the data from the location to the pilot as his
cabin display. Constructional and operating details explain use of
metals Sumrileekas and Manjeera, probably in the form of
thermo-couple device. Jacks and actuators to open or close the hatch
are also mentioned. Pilot selects to operate only the required hatch
depending upon the need.
For more analysis of this yantra Sri M.K. Kawadkar’s report is
This refers to the special feature prescribed for on-board use in
battle related vimanas.
The yantra called in full, as ‘Guhagarbha Aadarsha Yantra’ is to be
located in the front bottom of the fuselage of the Vimana.
Its purpose is to detect presence of mines and explosives hidden by
the enemy forces underground and transmit their pictures for the
pilot’s display to know the location and shape of such destructive
material. The end-use is to achieve precise location and defuse them
in achieving safe passage for friendly ground forces. In this role
the Vimana performs the function of tactical support to ground
Constructional details of the yantra include use of different
geometrical-shaped special mirrors in specified arrangement.
Through a sequence of reflecting mirrors, images/ pictures are
captured and developed in-situ through chemical process. Special
reflector called chumbakamani having a property of absorbing
reflection from objects is used in the contraption. Solar rays and
electric current are made to act on an acid vessel containing the
crystal Chumbakamani. Electrified rays from the crystal are made to
impinge on a downward facing mirror and this in turn will scan the
ground underneath to take pictures of mines and explosives. The
pictures are amplified and communicated to the pilot on a specially
The main constituents of the
Fasteners made of Panchadhara loha
Wooden frame of Anjistha tree
Screen cloth coated with mirror-like gum
Details of fabricating include the following constituent parts:
Suranjeetaarsha mirror (72nd type)
Pigments for coating the screen (to obtain clear picture)
Reflector or Virinchi varnish
The appropriate location of the
yantra related to its function is
to be noted.
Clear indication of use of concealed mines and explosives in
battles of olden times. As a corollary knowledge of explosive
materials and pyrotechnic devices should have evidently prevailed in
Detection of such explosives through remote sensing gadgets had
Detection of underground objects through aerial remote sensing
hints at use of special technology in the field.
The strategy in such
detection hints at closely coordinated
tactical air support roles to the ground forces.
The system indicates that technology existed in not merely
detection of hidden explosives but also in defusing them.
Photographic and projection technique must have been in advanced
stage of technology.
The surveillance role should be useful both in strategic and
It is of interest to note that materials stated in this
have been developed by many science laboratories in the country. The
Chumbakamani (IIT, Bombay)
PanchadharaLoha, Paragranthika Drava (Birla science centre Hyderabad
Reports from these labs have been appended to this report.
Multiple applications of crystals in digital technology are
already seen in- modern times. It is no wonder if ancient scientists
had employed this technology in a much wider sense.
Thamo yantra (darkness capturing device) is dealt with in fair
English translation of Vymanika Shastra.
The device is meant to protect
vimana from poisonous fumes of
Rouhinee or Kraakachaarimani rays projected by the enemy. This is in
essence, achieved by creating a darkness around the Vimana to make
it invisible to the enemy aircraft (ground forces as well) and make
their target-sighting impossible. In this contraption Thamogarbha
loha plays a key role.
The device works with revolving two faced mirrors collecting solar
rays, activation of acid in the vessel on the opposite side, of
mirrors, allowing solar ray to enter the crystal in an acid vessel.
By turning a separate wheel in the west, darkness-intensifying
mirror begin to function. By operation of a central wheel the rays
attracted by the mirror will reach the crystal and envelop it. By
operating the main wheel at high speed, darkness will envelop the
entire Vimana making it invisible.
Preparation of the all-important
Thamo garbha loha is as follows:
Black lead, Anjanika (collirium), Vajra Tunda ® In equal parts mixed
powdered® fish shaped Crucible® in crow shaped furnacre ®heated 100°
or 354° C.
Concept clearly hints at a highly advanced concealing technique on
the lines of stealth concept.
Visualization of such a need in air
defense role in an attack mode
is to be noted. It could also be a protection against similar
offensive weaponry (biological & optical) in surface to air/air to
The technique somewhat resembles the
creation of darkness (tama)
using solar rays as seen in Dhwanta pramapaka yantra (refers to a
research study on Anshubodhinee of Maharshi Bharadwaja – Dr. Dongre's research, even though it discusses spectroscopic
measurement.) In the three bands of solar radiation Tama (darkness)
being the infrared band, if used for creating this darkness around
the Vimana, the purpose of camouflaging is achieved in the same way.
It is therefore interesting to study if the concepts are
interrelated. Correlation of the two principles should be an
Solar rays used in a big way here as well and hence there is every
possibility of its direct derivation from Anshubodhinee.
It is appropriate to bifurcate, the sources of danger and their
targets here. Poison gases targeted against aircrew and dangerous
rays against both Vimana and aircrew . In either case Biological
warfare concept is evident.
To note that the type of
yantra prescribed here is one of the 132
types indicates vast ranges, basic research and development and much
For more details on the above two yantras please refer to the
analysis of Sri M.K. Kawadkar appended separately.
For the following yantras too, please refer the analysis of Sri M.K.
Kawadkar appended separately.
Pancha vataskanda nala on the western centre
Vataskanda keelaka at the bottom centre
Shakthistaana at the front and right sides
Shabdha-kendra-mukha at the left side
Vidyutdwadashaka at the north-east side
This yantra is covered in a fairly descriptive style. This device is
essentially a warning device to the pilot to get In-flight
information on the presence of birds, quadrupeds and soldiers to
facilitate taking deviation to safer routes during a mission.
Broadly speaking the device is an audio sensor working on the
principle of sensing audio waves within a range of twelve kroshas or
27 miles. Evidently its working is around the VHF range. It is
significant to note that the Shabdhakarshaka yantra mentioned here
is just one out of 32 varieties of devices developed under this
category. This hints that other such devices for similar
applications under other frequency bands from originators of sound
sources had also been conceptualized and developed. Further from the
description given the device appears to be basically a receiver-mode
It is understandable from the description that warning pickup
signals in such cases should be from sources in short distance range
(about 27 miles).
In case of warning by sensing sounds of birds it is a logical
assumption that the warning needed is against bird concentrations.
Birds do form a serious flight safety hazard as seen even today.
Visualization of this concept as a flight safety requirement is to
Even if the ‘bird’ referred to is a ’flying machine’,
warning of location of vimanas in numbers and the need for advanced
warning would still be valid.
In respect of quadrupeds and soldiers talked about the
interpretation seems to be to get a warning against cavalry and
infantry forces largely used in battles of ancient times. Locating
such concentrations through distant-sensing should enable a flying
craft to opt for safer courses of flying. Such an option would be
particularly useful for vimanas not capable of defending themselves.
Discussing the technical details, eight mechanisms constitute this
Location of the device at the shoulder of the
Vimana seems to be
very aptly conceived from the point of view of good reception.
Use of a rotary system in the device with a pivot and rotating
component to receive audio signals from all the directions adds
credibility to the concept of an Omni directional audio receiver
with hyper sensitivity.
Use of materials such as Rourava bird skin, metals specified for
this technology, special dravas such as katana drava (acid), use of
domes lined with birds skin (probably act as super sensors),
ghantara metal, covering with kwanaka glass, capturing and
processing sound inputs, amplifying them, use of rotating device for
reception from all the eight directions, transmitting the terminal
output to the pilot, all point to a well designed system developed
for a well perceived purpose.
For the purpose of operating the system to capture sound waves,
use of airflow to set in motion shabdhathene wheel has been
mentioned. This will set in motion audio sensitive ghantara metal
rod which in turn transmits to the dome lined with birds skin.
Passing through simhasya tube and dronasya vessel amplification
Further description in the text includes methods of preparation of
special metals forming the parts of the yantra