Vymanika Shastra is a work of ancient Indian origin, an offshoot
of Vedic science.
There is enough logic and supporting mythological evidence to
indicate that the great seer Maharshi Bharadwaja authored this work.
Bodhananda’s commentary and Swami Dayananda Saraswathi’s
references to textual content of this work indicate that the subject
work featured in the earlier periods of known history.
The work manifested for the first time in manuscript form during
the end of 19th century and first two decades of 20th century. This
was through revelations of Pandit Anekal Subbaraya Shastry and
transcripted by Sri. G. Venkatachala Sharma. The last occasion any
textual material got into the transcript was not latter than 1923.
The transcript did not find recognition till the end of British
rule in India. Follow up studies started only later.
Studies on literary aspect of the work by several researchers
continue even now.
Foreign researchers did not show inclination till late seventies.
In fact they had shown disdain at the mention of the work. Post–1985
period saw tremendous spurt in their interest.
Approach to the study of works of this nature should be altogether
different. It needs faith, open mind, genuine interest, decoding
ability and interpretational skills.
Military, Aviation and weaponry:
‘Flying’, as a craft, had been perceived by Ancient Indian
Scientists. Other civilizations such as China, Greece, Egypt also
had the knowledge of aviation technology.
Concept and development of aviation technology was quite advanced.
A variety of flying machines with application-specific on-board
systems had been conceived and developed. In fact, they stretched
into full-fledged military applications more than mere mundane air
The concept of ‘pilot’ as a specialist was clear to ancient
preceptors. His role as a warrior in the sky reinforces the
visualization of a combat pilot. Focus on his stringent training
shows the right direction of thinking. Specific dietary and clothing
prescriptions further validate the scientific lines on which ancient
aviation support was based.
Natural vegetation has been harnessed fully for food processing
meant for military sector.
Besides sage Bharadwaja, other seers of name and fame in mythology
such as Goutama, Shounaka, Vashista, Agastya, Atri, Narayana,
Lallacharya and many others made in-depth contribution.
While some vimanas were role-specific, others were multipurpose
The Aviation Environment relating to support systems such as
aerodromes, runways, communication and navigational aids, air
traffic control etc., seem to be distinctly different from those of
modern days. The concept is seen to be on the lines of
self-contained flying machines capable of flying independent off
ground support aids.
Use of energy sources in the environment and on-board to achieve
defensive and offensive modes are noticeable.
Use of explosives and their detection technology is unmistakably
distinct. This indicates the existence of a full-scale technology on
Biological warfare in aerial-combat features at several places.
Evasion tactics from enemy aeroplanes, avoidance-options and
concealment from enemy-detection constituted special features of
Offensive strike devices even to the extent of causing catacyclic
effects have been discussed.
Aerial displays of flying machines, Manoeouvres, Aesthetic and
Dominating effects discussed in the text have striking resemblance
with modern flight-displays. The year 1918 AD is an interesting
benchmark. Coincidentally this year saw the exit of the First World
War and it also heralded the completion of the work Vymanika Shastra
in written form. The levels of military aviation technologies
between the contemporary technology and the textual substance of
this work show that ancient Indian science was far ahead of times.
It is revealing to compare the levels of aviation technologies
that existed at the time of completion of Vymanika Shastra and the
First World War, November 1918. Combat aeroplanes were used in
sizeable number. All the same, the maximum level of technology in
combat aviation can be gauged from the prevailing art of war
machinery. Fighter planes with piston engines and propellers flying
below 15,000 ft. having twin-gun firing capability were pressed into
operation. Speed of the aircraft was just over 150 Mph. Aircraft
with long range capability were used for photo-recci and deep
strikes. On the other side German aviation technology constituted
Bi-Plane bombers of large size, 90 ft. wing span, twin engines of
200 H.P., Bomb loads of 2000 pounds and operating range of 200 miles
constituted the front line up.
Only after 1952 researches relating to the technical content
commenced. A number of groups working on this aspect increased
appreciably after 1985. Foreign researchers have focused on topics
like mercury vapour propulsion, anti-gravity material development,
and mercury as a source of energy and multipurpose application.
Knowledge on atmosphere was advanced.
Deep knowledge of geological science relating to formation of core
metallic ores suitable for aviation application did exist.
Many materials and alloys discussed in the text were for exclusive
applications. It would be an interesting study to find out whether
modern technology offers equivalents.
Barring a couple of oblique references, physical and archeological
evidence discovered so far, there is no direct evidence to throw
light on the existence of vimanas in ancient civilizations the world
over. However science and technology discussed in this work amply
hints that vimanas did exist. Some of the features and concepts
talked about in the text do not appear mere theoretical. They could
not have got generated purely by imaginary perceptions.
Extrapolating the contents in the work over the untraced mother
work (Yantra Sarvasva – ascribed to be an encyclopedia on machines)
one has to appreciate the enormity of Knowledge-Base.
Over forty scientific texts on various disciplines including
aviation, metallurgy, atmosphere, yantras, manis feature in this
work. This qualifies the impression that broad-based scientific
research in these fields both in pure and applied sciences must have
preceded. Successful development of many materials contained in this
work at science laboratories in India vindicates the textual
From the references made to
Kriyasaara in this work, it is evident
that this treatise dealt with Dynamics of Machinery.
Taking into account successful laboratory development of many
materials as a means to validate the text, there seems to be
enormous potential both for pure and applied sciences in the areas
of physics [particularly optics], Chemistry [Organic, In Organic and
Bio], Geology, Meteorology etc., to go deep in to the precepts and
descriptions featuring in this book.
References to a variety of texts like
Loha tantra, Loha kalpa
etc., it is evident that a comprehensive knowledge on geology,
mineralogy, mining and manufacturing processes of metals and alloys
existed. The researches conducted so far have been promising and in
the right direction. However laboratory experiment conducted till
now indicate that only such material involving few ingredients in
their composition have been attempted. Other materials involving
many ingredients are yet to be taken up. Strange composition in the
recipes such as urines of animal origin, snake’s slough, eagle’s
eye-balls etc., needs deep research to establish relevance and their
role in the manufacturing process. Metals like Thrinetra Loha,
Kundodhara Loha should be of great challenge to metallurgists of the
A grey area needing immediate attention and deep study is
regarding units of measurements relating to Length, Temperature,
Force, Weight and Volumes. Their modern equivalents need to be
established for correct understanding as aid to researchers.
Some of the units are:
Weight Linka, Mushti, Kankusta and
Pala -(equal to four tolas)
Electrical current Linka
Length Krosha, Danda, Vitasti, Yojana
Temperature Kaksya Interpretational equivalence
Varies from 2.5° C to 4° C
Speed Prenkhana, Linka
Time Ghatika (24 minutes)
The drawings and diagrams of the
vimana need careful study.
Possibilities of errors having crept in due to human imagination
Laboratory developments have been undertaken by units under
Birla Science Centre and IIT Mumbai. R&D Laboratories under Ministry
of Defense are yet to react.
To explore their intrinsic scientific value,
Vymanika Shastra and
Anshubhodhini should be taken up for indepth study for the benefit
of Defense, Industrial and Commercial applications.
Efforts are required to trace and locate texts and guides in this
treatise. Yantra Sarvasva, missing parts of Anshubodhini a series of
guides on lohas, darpanas, crystals, dravas should be traced.
Contents of Metallurgical and Material Sciences of the work should
be fully explored by Basic and Applied researches through specific
project. Successful development of materials at Science Laboratories
should serve as pointers to undertake such activities. Development
of Lohas such as Thrinetra, Ghantarava, Thamogarbha, Kundodhara, may
prove unique in nature. Similarly study on crystals may open up
fresh avenues in Digital Technology. Fabrics, Glues and any other
nonmetallic substances (Organic & Inorganic) may offer fresh options
to modern technology.
Prescribed Food varieties and Clothing should be taken as guide to
undertake further research to develop requirements of aviation at
research laboratories of defense R&D, CSIR.
In the light of our findings that conduct of researches done so
far are sporadic and disjointed. There is a need to set up an
Integrated Centre to coordinate this effort. The participation of
Defense (R&D). CSIR. ISRO, DSP, Science Foundations, is vital to
activate research under a common name. The study team is willing to
take up this task, if assigned.
A host of data related to
Ayurveda revealed in this text should be
sisted and assigned to scholars in this discipline. Our findings
indicate that most of such materials have been confirmed to be
available and identifiable even now.
A Bank of Sanskrit translators and
interpreters should be formed
to provide the backbone support to research centers.
Free flow of information on Decoded Data, Development Status,
Critical Findings should be arranged amongst such centers.
Principles of Levity, Anti gravity, Mercury Vapour Propulsion
etc., need serious study to be translated in to Technologies
AR&DB, Ministry of
Defense may respond to study team proposal of a
second phase of the project on Vymanika Shastra.
Project study on “Vymanika Shastra” is a humble attempt to update
the views on the work at the turn of the century and therefore
called “Vymanika Shastra Rediscovered”. We have taken into
consideration various views expressed by Individuals and Group
researchers, appreciative as well as adverse. We have made honest
effort to bring in reports of Literary and scientific studies,
Interpretations, Laboratory tests together with our observations on
the topics in the work. We are thankful to all those who contributed
into this effort. Their reports form appendages to our main report.
While no direct physical evidence exist today to establish that
vimanas did exist in ancient times, literary works and epics aver
that they did exist. Nevertheless, there is enough evidence to say
that technology of aviation and related sciences did exist. It is
not our claim that vimanas can be constructed from the contents of
this work. Aeronautics being a complex subject demands extensive
base work before an aeroplane is developed even in rudimentary form.
What need to be focused upon are the perceptions, precepts, concepts
and the supporting technology discussed in this text. It is possible
that interpretation of expressions may vary because of inherent
nature of Sanskrit. At least one of them has to be right. An
integrated effort among all research enthusiasts is vital in the
process of deriving tangible benefit to the technological field.
Inspired by the thrill in this study, the Study Team has drawn
Objectives for a Second Phase of study with a view to go more deeply
into technical content and integrate various researches on a common
platform. For this exercise we need the support of the organisations
interested in this kind of Research Exercise. Takers may kindly
1. Vymanika Shastra - Pronouncements of Maharshi Bhradwaja conveyed
through Sri. Anekal Subbaraya Shastry translated into English by
Sri. G.R. josyer
2. Sections of Amshu Bodhini by Maharshi Bharadwaja
3. Articles from Issues of Bharatiya Boudhika Sampada.
4. Report from Sri. N.G. Sheth, Bombay.
5. ‘Yantras in Ancient India’ by Dr. V. Raghavan, Indian Institute
of Culture 1956.
6. Sections of ‘Samarangana Sootradhara’- Translations from king
7. Prasthanatraya – by Swami Madhusoodana Saraswati.
8. Sections of Issues from Indian Journal on History of Science
published by Indian National Science Academy.
9. ‘Vimana In Ancient India’—by Professor D.K. Kanjilal.
10. Research reports on Prakasha Stambhana Bhida Loha and
Dwantapramapaka Yantra—National Metallurgical Laboratory, Jamshedpur,
11. Views from GP. CAPT. M. Matheswaran. V.M., M. Phil.
12. Report from Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad.
13. Report from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
14. Report from Dr. K.H. Krishnamurthy.
15. A news report from Deccan Herald -- an address by Italian
scientist Dr. Roberto Pinotti 1988.
16. ‘Critical review’ by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
17. “Tradition, Science and Society” by Dr. R. Balachandra Rao,
18. ‘Vimana Aircraft Of Ancient India and Atlantis’ by Mr. David