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Thread: The Story of Vimanas (Ancient Flying Machines)

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    Post The Story of Vimanas (Ancient Flying Machines)

    The Story of Vimanas

    By: Dr. Srikumar V. Gopalakrishna

    In the Vedic literature of India, there are many descriptions of flying machines that are generally called vimanas. These fall into two cate- gories: (l) manmade craft that resemble airplanes and fly with the aid of birdlike wings, and (2) unstreamlined structures that fly in a mysterious manner and are generally not made by human beings. The machines in category (l) are described mainly in medieval, secular Sanskrit works dealing with architecture, automata, military siege engines, and other mechanical contrivances. Those in category (2) are described in ancient works such as the Rg Veda, the Maha-bha-rata, the Rama-yana, and the Pura-nas, and they have many features reminis- cent of UFOs. In addition, there is one book entitled Vaima-nika-sa-stra that was dictated in trance during this century and purports to be a transcription of an ancient work preserved in the akashic record. This book gives an elaborate description of vimanas of both categories.

    In this chapter, I will survey some of the available literature on vima-nas, beginning with the texts dating from late antiquity and the medieval period. The latter material is described in some detail by V. Raghavan in an article entitled "Yantras or Mechanical Contrivances in Ancient India." I will begin by discussing the Indian lore regarding machines in general and then turn to flying machines.

    Mathines in Antienl and Medieval India

    In Sanskrit, a machine is called a yantra. The word yantra is defined in the Samarangana-sutradhara of King Bhoja to be a device that "con- trols and directs, according to a plan, the motions of things that act each according to its own nature." I There are many varieties of yantras. A simple example would be the taila-yantra, a wheel that is pulled by oxen around a circular track to crush seeds and extract their oil. Other examples are military machines of the kind described in the Artha- sastra of Kautilya, written in the 3rd century B.C. These include the sarvato-bhadra, a rotating wheel that hurls stones, the sara-yantra, an arrow-throwing machine, the udghatima, a machine that demo,ishes wa,ls using iron bars, and many more.

    These machines are all quite understandable and believable, but there are other machines that seem less plausible from the point of view of modern historical thinking. Thus Raghavan mentions a device that could create a tempest to demoralize enemy ranks.2 Such a weapon is also mentioned by the third-century Roman writer Flavius Philostratus, who described sages in India who "do not fight an invader, but repel him with celestial artillery of thunder and lightning, for they are holy and saintly men."3 Philostratus said that this kind of fire or wind weapon was used to repel an invasion of India by the Egyptian Hercules, and there is an apocryphal letter in which Alexander the Great tells his tutor Aristotle that he also encountered such weapons.4

    Modern scholars tend to regard Philostratus's work as fictitious, but it does demonstrate that some people in Roman times were circu- lating stories about unusual fire or wind weapons in India. In ancient epics such as the Mahabharata, there are many references to remarkable wind weapons such as the vayavya-astra and fire weapons such as the sataghni (or "10(' killer"). In general, the weapons described in older works tend to be more powerful and remarkable than those described in more recent works. Some ascribe this to the fantastic imagination of ancient writers or their modern redactors. But it could also be explained by a progressive loss of knowledge as ancient Indian civilization became weak- ened by corruption and was repeatedly overrun by foreign invaders.

    It has been argued that guns, cannons, and other firearms were known in ancient India and that the knowledge gradually declined and passed away toward the beginning of the Christian era. This is discussed extensively in a book by Gustav Oppert.s

    Robots and Other Automotn

    Robots form another category of remarkable machines. There are many stories in secular Sanskrit literature involving a yantra-purusa, or machine-man, that can behave just like a human being. An example Mothines in Ancient ond Nledievol Indio is the story in the Buddhistic Bhaisajya-vastu, in which a painter went to the Yavana country and visited the home of a yantracarya, or teacher of mechanical engineering. There he met a machine-girl who washed his feet and seemed human, until he found that she could not speak.6

    Fantastic-sounding robots of this sort often appeared in fictional stories intended for entertainment, and thus they had the same status as the robots of modem science fiction. However, there are many descrip- tions of quite believable automata that were actually constructed and used in the palaces of wealthy kings. These include: singing and danc- ing birds, a dancing elephant, elaborate chronometers with moving ivory figures, and an astronomical instrument showing the movements of the planets.7

    The designs of these automata are similar to those of the automata that were popular in Europe in the eighteenth century. Here is a de- scription taken from the twelfth-century Samararigana-sutradha-ra:

    Male and female figures are designed for various kinds of auto- matic service. Each part of these figures is made and fitted sepa- rately, with holes and pins, so that thighs, eyes, neck, hand, wrist, forearm and fingers can act according to need. The material used is mainly wood, but a leather cover is given to complete the im- pression of a human being. The movements are managed by the system of poles, pins and strings attached to rods controlling each limb. Looking into a mirror, playing a lute and stretching out the hand to touch, give pan, sprinkle water and make obeisance are the acts done by these figures.8

    Apart from their practical applications, robots also provided a metaphor for the relationship between the soul and the body. Thus, in the Bhagavad-glta-, Krsna says,

    The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all liv,ng entities, who are seated as on a machine (yantra) made of the material energy. 9

    Raghavan, for his part, found this metaphor regrettable. He lamented that in other countries machines led to a materialistic civilization, but in India they only reinforced the idea of God and Spirit. Thus, "even writers who actually dealt with the yantras, like Somadeva and Bhoja, saw in the machine operated by an agent an appropriate analogy for the mundane body and senses presided over by the Soul, and for the wonderful mechanism of the universe, with its constituent elements and planetary systems, requiring a divine master to keep it in constant revolution." 1*


    There are many stories in medieval Indian literature about flying machines. Thus in Bana's Harsa-carita there is the story of a Yavana who manufactured an aerial machine that was used to kidnap a king. Likewise, Dandl's Avanti-sundar tells of an architect named Mandhata who used an aerial car for such casual purposes as traveling from a distance to see if his young son was hungry. His son, by the way, was said to have created mechanical men that fought a mock duel and an artificial cloud that produced heavy showers. Both of these works date from about the 7th century A.D.t1

    In the ninth to tenth centuries, Buddhasvamin wrote a version of the Brhat-kathd, a massive collection of popular stories. Buddhasvamin spoke of aerial vehicles as dkdsa-yantras, or sky-machines, and he attributed them to the YavanasÑa name often used for barbaric foreigners. It was quite common for flying machines and yantras in general to be attributed to the Yavanas in Sanskrit texts.t2

    Some scholars take the Yavanas to be the Greeks, and they attribute Indian stories of machines to a Greek origin. For example, Penzer thought that the Greek philosopher Archytas (c. 42347 B.C.) may have been the "first scientific inventor" of devices resembling the Indian yantras, and he pointed out that Archytas "constructed a kind of flying machine, consisting of a wooden figure balanced by a weight suspended from a pulley, and set in motion by hidden and enclosed air." 3

    No doubt there was much exchange of ideas in the ancient world, and today it is hard to know for sure where a given idea was invented and how highly developed it became. We do know, however, that fairly detailed ideas concerning airplanelike flying machines were known in medieval India.

    Bhoja's Samardngana-sutradhdra states that the main material of a flying machine's body is light wood, or laghu-ddru. The craft has the shape of a large bird with a wing on each side. The motive force is

    Mothines in Antient ond Medievol Indio provided by a fire-chamber with mercury placed over a flame. The power generated by the heated mercury, helped by the flapping of the - wings by a rider inside, causes the machine to fly through the air. Since the craft was equipped with an engine, we can speculate that the flap- ¥ ping of the wings was intended to control the direction of flight rather than provide the motive power.

    A heavier (alaghu) da-ru-vimdna is also described. It contains four pitchers of mercury over iron ovens. "The boiling mercury ovens pro- duce a terrific noise which is put to use in battle to scare away elephants. By strengthening the mercury chambers, the roar could be increased so that by it elephants are thrown completely out of control." 14

    There has been a great deal of speculation about just how power generated by heating mercury might be used to drive the vimdna through the air. This was discussed in an early book on UFOs by Desmond Leslie and George Leslie proposed that the heated mercury mentioned in the Samardngana-sutradhdra may have something to do with the flight of UFOs.

    I would suggest that the vimdnas described by Bhoja are much more similar to conventional airplanes than to UFOs. Thus they are made of ordinary materials like wood, they have wings, and they fly like birds. Raghavan suggested that the mercury engine was intended to be a source of mechanical power for flapping the wings as in bird flight. He supported this by noting that Roger Bacon described a flying machine in which some kind of revolving engine caused wings to flap through a mechanical linkage.S

    Ramachandra Dikshitar, however, said that according to the Sama- rdngana-sutradhdra, the vimdna "has two resplendent wings, and is pro- pelled by air." 17 This suggests that some kind of jet propulsion was used.

    However these vimdnas were actually powered, it seems likely that they relied on some conventional mechanical method that extracted energy from burning fuel and used it to produce a flow of air over wings. We can contrast this with the flight characteristics of UFOs, which don't have wings, jets, or propellers, and seem to fly in a manner that contradicts known physical principles. 1 Were the vimdnas mentioned in Samardrigana-sutradhdra ever actually built, or were they just products of imagination? I don't know. However, the elaborate descriptions of yantras found in medieval Indian texts suggest that many sophisticated machines were made in India long ago. If sophisticated mechanical technology was known in remote times, then it is quite possible that airplanes of some kind were a,so bui,t. It is interesting that the Sanskrit astronomical text entitled Surya- siddhdnta mentions a mercury engine used to provide rotary motion for a gola-yantra, a mechanical model of the planetary system.'8 This suggests that at least one kind of mercury engine was used to produce rotary power. The text also says that the design for the mercury en- gine is to be kept secret. It was standard practice in ancient India for technical knowledge to be passed down only from teacher to trusted disciple. An unfortunate consequence of this is that knowledge tended to be lost whenever oral traditions depending on teachers and disciples were broken. It is thus quite possible that many arts and sciences known in ancient times have been lost to us, practically without a trace.

    Additional Sanskrit works referring to flying machines are listed in a book by Dileep Kanjilal.9 These are: the Yukti-kalpataru by Bhoja (twelth century A.D.); the Mayamatam attributed to Maya Dfinava but probably dating to the twelth century A.D.; the Kathdsaritsdgara (tenth century A.D.); the Avaddna literature (first-third centuries A.D.); the Raghuvamsam and Abhijndna-sakuntalam of Kalidasa (first century B.C.); the Abhimdraka of Bhasa (second century B.C.); and the Jdtakas (third century B.C.). These dates are often approximate, and the material in the various works is often taken from older works and traditions.

    The Vaimaniko-Sastra

    The Vaimdnika-sdstra is a highly detailed description of vimdnas, and it is given great credence in a number of books and articles. These include the writings of Kanjilal,2* Nathan,2' and Childress.22 In particular, the Indian ufologist Kanishk Nathan wrote that the Vaimdnika-sdstra is an ancient Sanskrit text that "describes a technology that is not only far beyond the science of the times but is even way beyond the possible conceptua, scientific imagination of an ancient Indian, including concepts such as solar energy and photography." 23

    It is indeed true that this book contains many interesting ideas about aerial technology. But it is important to note that it was written in the early 20'h century by a psychic process known today as channeling.

    The story behind this is presented in the introduction to G. R. Josyer's translation of the Vaimdnika-sdstra. There it is explained that knowledge in India used to be transmitted orally, but as this tradition died out, writing on palm leaves was used. Unfortunately, palm leaf manuscripts do not last very long in the Indian climate, and large volumes of old written material have been lost due to not being regularly recopied.

    This is certainly true. But Josyer went on to say that the lost texts "remain embedded in the ether of the sky, to be revealedÑlike televi- sionÑto gifted mediums of occult perception." The medium in this case was Pandit Subbaraya Sastry, a "walking lexicon gifted with occult perception," who began to dictate the Vaimdnika-sdstra to Mr. Venkatachala Sarma on August 1,1918. The complete work was taken down in 23 exercise books up to August 23, 1923. In 1923, Subbaraya Sastry also had a draftsman prepare some drawings of the vimdnas according to his instructions.24

    According to Subbaraya Sastry, the Vaimdnika-sdstra is a section of t a vast treatise by the sage Maharsi Bharadvaja entitled Yantra-sarvasva or the ncyclopedia of Machines. Maharsi Bharadvaja is an ancient .rsi mentioned in the Mahdbhdrata and other Vedic works, but I do not know of any reference indicating that he was concerned with machines. The Yantra-sarvasva is no longer extant in physical form, but it is said to be existing in the akashic record, where it was read and recited by Subbaraya

    t Sastry. As far as I am aware, there are no references to this work in existing literature. This is discussed in Kanjilal's book on vimdnas.25 - Although the Vaimdnika-sdstra could be a hoax, I have no reason 'J@ to suppose that it was not dictated by Subbaraya Sastry in the manner described by Josyer. But is the work authentic? Even if it was existing as a vibrational pattern in the ether, during the process of psychical reading and dictation it might have been distorted or adulterated by material from the unconscious mind of the medium.

    In fact, there are good reasons for thinking this might be the case. The text of the Vaimdnika-sdstra is illustrated by several of the drawings made under Subbaraya Sastry's supervision. These include cross sections of the rukma-vimdna, the tripura-vimdna, and the sakuna- vimdna These cross sections show the kind of crude mechanical and E - electrical technology that existed in the period just following World War I. There are large electromagnets, cranks, shafts, worm gears, pis- tons, heating coils, and electric motors turning propellers. The rukma-vimdna is supposedly lifted into the air by "lifting fans" that are powered by electric motors and that are very small compared with the size of the vimdna as a whole. It definitely does not look as though it could fly.

    These mechanical devices may well have been inspired by the technology of the early 20th century. But if we turn to the text of the Vaimdnika-sdstra, we encounter material of a much different nature. To illustrate this, here are ten examples taken from a list in the Vai- mdnika-sdstra of 32 secrets that a vimdna pilot should know.26 I will comment on relations between these items and common features of the UFO phenomenon.

    1. Goodha: As explained in "Vaayutatva-Prakarana," by harnessing the powers, Yaasaa, Viyaasaa, Prayaasaa in the 8'h atmospheric layer cov- ering the earth, to attract the dark content of the solar ray, and use it to hide the Vimaana from the enemy.

    2. Drishya: By collision of the electric power and wind power in the atmosphere, a glow is created, whose reflection is to be caught in the Vishwa-Kriyaa-darapana or mirror at the front of the Vimana, and by its manipulation produce a Maaya-Vimaana or camouflaged Vimana.

    3. Adrishya: According to "Shaktitantra," by means of the Vynarathya Vikarana and other powers in the heart centre of the solar mass, attract the force of the ethereal flow in the sky, and mingle it with the balaahaa-vikarana shakti in the aerial globe, producing thereby a white cover, which will make the Vimana invisible.

    Here three methods are described for hiding a vimdna from the enemy. They sound fanciful, but it is interesting to note that vimdnas described in the Purdnas and the Mahdbhdrata have the ability to become invisible. This is also a characteristic feature of UFOs, but this was certainly not well known in 1923.

    The idea that a glow is created by the collision of electrical power and the wind is interesting. UFOs are well known for glowing in the dark, and this may be due to an electrical effect that ionizes the air surround- ing the UFO. The word "shakti" (sakti) means power or energy.

    4. Paroksha: According to "Meghotpatthi-prakarana," or the science of the birth of clouds, by entering the second of the summer cloud layers, and attracting the power therein with the shaktyaakarshana darpana or force-attraction mirror in the Vimana, and applying it to the parivesha or halo of the Vimana, a paralyzing force is generated, and opposing Vimanas are paralyzed and put out of action.

    Aparoksha: According to "Shakti-tantra," by projection of the Rohi- nee beam of light, things in front of the Vimana are made visible.

    Beams of paralyzing force are often mentioned in UFO accounts, as well as beams of light. The mention of a halo around the vimdna may be significant, since UFOs are often said to be surrounded by some kind of energy field.

    6. Viroopa Karena: As stated in "Dhooma Prakarana," by producing the 32nd kind of smoke through the mechanism, and charging it with the light of the heat waves in the sky, and projecting it through the padmaka chakra tube to the bhyravee oil-smeared Vyroopya-darpana at the top of the Vimana, and whirling with 132nd type of speed, a very fierce and terrifying shape of the Vimana will emerge, caus- ing utter fright to onlookers.

    7. Roopaantara: As stated in "Tylaprakarana," by preparing griddhra- jihwaa, kumbhinee, and kaakajangha oils and anointing the distorting mirror in the Vimana with them, applying to it the l9th kind of smoke and charging with the kuntinee shakti in the Vimana, shapes like lion, tiger, rhinoceros, serpent, mountain, river will appear and amaze observers and confuse them.

    Although these descriptions seem completely wild, it is interesting that UFOs have been known to change shape in mysterious ways, and monstrous creatures have been known to emerge from landed UFOs and frighten people (see pages 331-33). Many of the items in this list of secrets have to do with creating illusions that bewilder enemies, and it seems that UFOs also create such illusions.

    8. Saarpa-Gamana: By attracting the dandavaktra and other seven forces of air, and joining with solar rays, passing it through the zig-zagging centre of the Vimana, and turning the switch, the Vimana will have a zig-zagging motion like a serpent.

    The ability of UFOs to fly in a zig-zag fashion is well known today, but it wasn't widely known in 1923.

    9. Roopaakarshana: By means of the photographic yantra in the Vimana to obtain a television view of things inside an enemy plane.

    10. Kriyaagrahana: By turning the key at the bottom of the Imana, a white cloth is made to appear. By electrifying the three acids in the north- east part of the Vimana, and subjecting them to the 7 kinds of solar rays, and passing the resultant force into the tube of the Thrisheersha mirror . . . all activities going on down below on the ground, will be projected on the screen.

    The word "television" in item (9) was employed in the English translation of Vaimdnika-sdstra tha came out in 1973. The original Sanskrit text was written in 1923 before television was developed.

    It turns out that there are many references to TV-like screens inside UFOs. For example, they show up in the following abduction cases described in this book: the Buff Ledge, Vermont, case (pages 116-22), the case of Filiberto Cardenas (pages 174-76), the case of William Herrmann (pages 173-74 and 192-97), and the Cimarron, New Mexico, case (pages 344-49). William Herrmann, in particular, said he was shown a screen on board a UFO that would produce close-up views of objects at ground level. With it he got a clear view of the astonished faces of onlookers who were watching the UFO from the ground.Z7

    All in all, the descriptions in the Vaimdnika-sdstra seem luridly fantastic. But there are many parallels between these descriptions and equally strange-sounding features of UFO accounts. I do not know if these parallels are at all significant, but it is curious that they should be there in a book written down between 1918 and 1923, before the UFO phenomenon was widely known. I also note that the technical descriptions given in the Vaimdnika-sdstra seem to be similar in quality to the technical UFO communications received by William Herrmann through automatic writing (see pages 192- 97).

    It seems clear that the illustrations in the Vaimdnika-sdstra are contaminated by twentieth century material from the medium's un- conscious mind. Yet the passages I have just quoted mainly contain non-twentieth-century material, and this is expressed in terms of Vedic words and ideas. It may be largely a product of Subbaraya Sastry's imagination as applied to his extensive Vedic knowledge, or it may be a reasonably faithful rendition of an ancient Vedic text preserved as an etheric pattern.

    The only way to find out about this is to obtain other obscure Sanskrit texts and see whether or not they confirm some of the material in the Vaimdnika-sdstra. Repeated confirmations would at least indicate that Subbaraya Sastry was presenting material from a genuine tradi- tion, and further investigations would be needed to see whether or not that tradition had a basis in actual fact. At the moment, we should remain open to various possible interpretations of the Vaimdnika-sdstra material.

    Vimonas in the Vedic Literoture

    The Bhdgavata Purdna, the Mahdbhdrata, and the Rdmdyana are three important works in the Vedic tradition of India. In Chapter 6, I pointed out that these three texts contain a great deal of interesting material involving the aerial vehides called vimdnas. They also describe different races of humanlike beings who operate these vehicles, and they discuss the social and political relationships existing in ancient times between these beings and humans of this earth.

    To some, this material is of no value because it seems fantastic and mythological. Thus the Indian ufologist Kanishk Nathan rejected the old Hindu religious texts because they attribute exaggerated feats to gods. He felt that they are simply poetry in which "a writer who is not reporting an actual event can let his imagination move in any direction it wishes to take him." Z8 He also pointed out that these texts belong to a prescientific age, and therefore, "Given the cultural, technological and scientific knowledge of that historical period, a writer can, while enjoying generality and avoiding detail, create inventions and combi- nations that do not actually exist." Z9

    One can reply that it has not been established that ancient writers were simply indulging in poetic imagination, with no regard for facts. There is a modern prejudice to the effect that anyone who has spiritual interests must be unscientific, and whatever he writes must be imagi- nary. This viewpoint makes sense as long as all observable data seem to support a mechanistic world model that excludes old religious ideas as exploded fallacies.

    But if we carefully examine the UFO phenomenon, we find exten- sive empirical observations that completely contradict our comfortable mechanistic world view. It is noteworthy that this anomalous materialÑ ranging from physically impossible flight patterns to beings that float through wallsÑfits quite naturally into the spiritually oriented cos- mologies of the old Vedic texts. It is therefore worth considering that the writers of these texts may have been presenting a sound descrip- tion of reality as they experienced it, rather than simply indulging in wild imagination.

    Generol Purpose Vimns

    The preceding chapter presented the story of Salva's vimdna, which is found in the Mahdbhdrata and the Bhdgavata Purdna. This was a large military vehicle that could carry troops and weapons, and it had been acquired by Salva from a nonhuman technological expert named Maya Danava. The Purdnas and the Mahdbhdrata also contain many accounts of smaller vimdnas, including pleasure craft that seem to be designed for a single passenger. These were generally used by Devas and Upadevas but not by human beings.

    In this section, I will give a series of examples, showing how vimdnas figure as common elements in many different stories from these texts. Each example is extracted from the midst of a larger story, and it is not feasible to present these stories fully in this book. My purpose in present- ing the examples is to show that vimdnas are frequently mentioned in the Purdnas and the Mahdbhdrata. Apparently, they were as commonplace to people of the old Vedic culture as airplanes are to us today.

    In the first account, Krsna killed a pythonlike serpent who was trying to swallow his father, King Nanda. By Krsna's arrangement, the soul of the serpent was transferred to a new body of a type possessed by the celestial beings called Vidyadharas. That soul had possessed such a celestial body before being placed in the body of the serpent, and so Krsna asked him why he had been degraded to the serpent form:

    The serpent replied: I am the well-known Vidyadhara named Sudarsana. I was very opulent and beautiful, and I used to wander freely in all directions in my airplane. Once I saw some homely sages of the lineage of Angira Muni. Proud of my beauty, I ridiculed them, and because of my sin they made me assume this lowly form.3 In this passage the Sanskrit word vimdnena is translated as "in my airplane." It seems to have been a small private vehicle.

    The next story is similar. Krsna had relieved the soul of one King J Nrga from imprisonment in the body of a lizard and had awarded him a celestial body. When the time came for the king to depart, a vimdna from another world came to get him:

    Having spoken thus, Maharaja Nrga circumambulated Lord Krsna and touched his crown to the Lord's feet. Granted permission to depart, King Nrga then boarded a wonderful celestial airplane as all the people present looked on.3'

    In the next case, we see the effect of a beautiful woman on the pilot of a vimdna. Here the sage Kardama Muni is describing the beauty of his future wife, Devahuti, to her father, Svayambhuva Manu:

    I have heard that Visvavasu, the great Gandharva, his mind stu- pefied with infatuation, fell from his airplane after seeing your daughter playing with a ball on the roof of the palace, for she was indeed beautiful with her tinkling ankle bells and her eyes moving to and fro.32

    It would seem that Visvavasu's vimdna was a small single-seater. Perhaps he didn't have adequate seatbelts, and he banked too steeply while trying to see Devahuti.

    After Kardama Muni married Devahuti, he decided at a certain point to take her on a tour of the universe. To do this, he manifested an aerial mansion (called, as usual, a vimdna) that was lavishly equipped as a pleasure palace. Here the sage Maitreya relates the story of this mansion to his disciple Vidura:

    Maitreya continued: O Vidura, seeking to please his beloved wife, the sage Kardama exercised his yogic power and instantly produced an aerial mansion that could travel at his will.

    It was a wonderful structure, bedecked with all sorts of jewels, adorned with pillars of precious stones, and capable of yielding whatever one desired. It was equipped with every form of furniture and wealth, which tended to increase in the course of time....

    With the choicest rubies set in its diamond walls, it appeared as though possessed of eyes. It was furnished with wonderful canopies and greatly valuable gates of gold.

    Here and there in that palace were multitudes of live swans and pigeons, as well as artificial swans and pigeons so lifelike that the real swans rose above them again and again, thinking them live birds like themselves. Thus the palace vibrated with the sounds of these birds.

    The castle had pleasure grounds, resting chambers, bedrooms and inner and outer yards designed with an eye to comfort. All this caused astonishment to the sage himself.33

    The sage was astonished because he had not actually designed the aerial palace or imagined it in detail. In effect, what he did was men- tally put in an order for a flying palace, and he received it from a kind of universal supply system because he had earned good karmic credit through his austerities and practice of yoga. To understand what was happening here, it is necessary to consider some basic features of the Vedic conception of the universe.

    Over the years, many analogies have been used to describe the universe. Thus the Aristotelians compared the universe to a living organism, and the early mechanistic philosophers compared it to a gigantic clock. To understand the Vedic conception of the universe, the modern idea of a computer with a multilevel operating system is use- ful. On the hard disk of such a computer, there are programs that can be set into action by typing in appropriate code words. When a code word is typed, the corresponding program will executeÑif the com- puter user has a suitable status. If he does not, then to him the code word is simply a useless name.

    Typically, the user's status is indicated by the password he types when he begins to use the computer. Different users will have pass- words indicating different status levels. Above all other users is a per- son called (in the Unix operating system) the superuser, who has full control over all programs on the system. Often this person is responsi- ble for creating the total system by loading various pieces of software into the computer.

    According to the Vedic conception, the universe has a similar or- ganization. The superuser corresponds to the Supreme Being, who manifests the total universal system. Within that system there is a hierarchy of living beings having different statuses. A being at the ordinary human level has many remarkable powers, such as the power of speech, and a being at a higher level, such as Kardama Muni, can ; manifest even greater powers. When we grow up using a certain power, ' we tend to take it for granted, and when we completely lack access to a power, we tend to regard it as impossible or mythological. But all of the powersÑincluding the power to call up flying palacesÑare simply programs built into the universal system by the superuser.

    The parallel between the Vedic conception of the universe and a computer can be made more explicit by introducing the concept of a virtual reality system. It is possible to create an artificial world by computer calculation and equip human participants with sensory interfaces that give them the impression of entering into that world. For example, a participant will have small TV screens placed in front of his eyes that enable him to see from the vantage point of the virtual eyes of a virtual body within the artificial world. Likewise, he may be equipped with touch sensors that enable him to experience the feel of virtual objects held in that body's virtual hands. Sensors that pick up his muscle contractions or his nerve impulses can be used to direct the motion of the virtual body.


    Many people can simultaneously enter into a virtual world in this way, and they can interact with one another through their virtual bod- ies, even though their real bodies may be widely separated. Depending on their status, as recognized by the computer's superuser, the differ- ent virtual bodies may have different powers, and some of these pow- ers might be invoked by uttering code words, or mantras.

    An extremely powerful virtual reality system provides a metaphor for the Vedic universe of maya, or illusion, in which conscious souls falsely identify themselves with material bodies. Of course, this meta- phor should not be taken literally. The universe is not actually running on a digital computer. Rather, it is a system of interacting energies which, according to the Vedic conception, has features of intelligent design and organization reminiscent of certain manmade computer systems
    Returning to the story of Kardama Muni, we find that after having acquired his marvelous flying palace, he proceeded to travel to dif- ferent planets with his wife:

    Satisfied by his wife, he enjoyed in that aerial mansion not only on Mount Meru but in different gardens known as Vaisrambhaka, Surasana, Nandana, Puspabhadraka, and Caitrarathya, and by the Manasa-sarovara lake.

    He traveled in that way through the various planets, as the air passes uncontrolled in every direction. Coursing through the air in that great and splendid aerial mansion, which could fly at his will, he surpassed even the demigods.34

    In the Sanskrit, the Devas are referred to here as vaima-nikan, which means the "travelers in vima-nas." Thus the verse literally says that Kardama Muni's vima-na excelled the vaimanikan. The Sanskrit word for planets is loka, which can refer to other physical globes and to higher-dimensional worlds not accessible to ordinary human senses.

    The idea of calling up universal programs figures in another story that involves a vimana. It seems that there is a kind of mystical armor called Narayana-kavaca, which is called up by invoking the names of the Supreme Being. (Narayana is a name of the Supreme, and kavaca means armor.) At one time, a bra-hmana named Kausika used this armor and later gave up his physical body. Still later, the Gandharva king, Citraratha, experienced some strange interference with his vimana when he passed over the remains of Kausika's body:

    Surrounded by many beautiful women, Citraratha, the King of Gandharvaloka, was once passing in his airplane over the brah- mana's body at the spot where the brahmana had died.

    Suddenly Citraratha was forced to fall from the sky headfirst with his airplane. Struck with wonder, he was ordered by the great sages named the Valakhilyas to throw the brahmana's bones in the nearby River Sarasvat,-. He had to do this and bathe in the river before returning to his own abode.35

    An example of a vimana used for military purposes comes up in the story of Bali, a king of the Daityas. Bali's vehicle is very similar to the one obtained by Salva, and it was also built by Maya Danava. It was used in a great battle between the Daityas and the Devas:

    For that battle the most celebrated commander in chief, Maharaja Bali, son of Virocana, was seated on a wonderful airplane named

    Vim6nos in the Vedit Literoture

    Vaihayasa. O King, this beautifully decorated airplane had been manufactured by the demon Maya and was equipped with weap- ons for all types of combat. It was inconceivable and indescrib- able. Indeed, it was sometimes visible and sometimes not. Seated in this airplane under a beautiful protective umbrella and being fanned by the best of camaras, Maharaja Bali, surrounded by his captains and commanders, appeared just like the moon rising in the evening, illuminating all directions.36

    My final example of a vimana is taken from the story of the sacrifice of Daksa. It seems that Sat,-, the wife of Lord Siva, wanted to attend a sacrifice arranged by her father Daksa, but Siva did not want her to attend because of Daksa's offensive attitude toward him. Here we see Satl entreating her husband to let her go to the sacrifice after seeing her relatives traveling there in vimanas:

    O never-born, O blue-throated one, not only my relatives but also other women, dressed in nice clothes and decorated with ornaments, are going there with their husbands and friends. Just see how their flocks of white airplanes have made the entire sky very beautiful.3l

    All of the beings referred to here are Devas or Upadevas. We can see from this and the other examples that vima-nas were considered to be standard means of travel for beings in these categories.

    Wendelle Stevens mentioned a study on the origin of UFOs carried out by a think tank in Brussels called Laboratoire de Recherche A. e Kraainem This study concluded that after reaching a certain stage of technology, a civilization will leave its home planet and "live in huge 'mother-ships,' artificial worlds, of their own creation perfectly adapted to their own needs and constantly maintained and perfected by them. . . . The artificial worlds are entirely self-sufficient and depend on no other planet or physical body for support. They are maintained and cruise [in] space indefinitely." 38

    The Mahabharata also has this idea of self-sustaining flying cities that travel indefinitely in outer space. In this section and the next two, I will give several examples of this. The first is the flying city of Hiran- yapura. This was seen floating in space by Arjuna while he was travel- ing through the celestial regions after defeating the Nivatakavacas in a great battle. Arjuna was accompanied in his celestial journey by a Deva named Matali, and he asked him about the city. Matali replied:

    There once were a Daitya woman called Puloma and a great Asuri Kalaka, who observed extreme austerities for a millennium of years of the Gods. At the end of their mortifications the self- existent God gave them a boon. They chose as their boon that their progeny should suffer little, Indra of kings, and be inviolable by Gods, Raksasas and Snakes. This lovely airborne city, with the splendor of good works, piled with all precious stones and impreg- nable even to the Immortals, the bands of Yaksas and Gandharvas, and Snakes, Asuras, and RakSasas, filled with all desires and vir- tues, free from sorrow and disease, was created for the Kalakeyas by Brahma, O best of the Bharatas. The Immortals shun this celes- tial, sky-going city, O hero, which is peopled by Pauloma and Kalakeya Asuras. This great city is called Hiranyapura, the City- of-Gold.39

    Here the inhabitants of the city, the Paulomas and Kalakeyas, are identified as the descendants of two rebellious relatives of the Devas named Puloma and Kalaka. The "snakes" are a race of mystical beings, called Nagas, that can assume humanlike or serpentine form (see pages 312-16). The "self-existent god" is Brahma, who is understood to be the original progenitor of all living beings within the material universe. Since Brahma's origin is transcendental, and he has no material parents, he is said to be self-existent. The immor- tals are the Devas. They are referred to as immortal because they live for millions of our years. However, according to the Vedas, all em- bodied beings in the material universe have a finite life span and must die after some time.

    With his superior powers, Brahma arranged for the Paulomas and Kalakeyas to have a flying city that could not be successfully attacked by various powerful groups of beings within the universe, including the Devas. However, he left open a loophole for the Devas by declaring that the flying city could be successfully attacked by a human being.

    Arjuna was half human, half Deva. His mother was an earthly woman, and his father was Indra, the king of the Devas. Indra had equipped Arjuna with celestial weapons just for the purpose of de- feating enemies of the Devas who had obtained protective benedic- tions from Brahma that didn't apply to humans. Thus Arjuna decided that it was part of his mission to attack Hiranyapura. Here is Arjuna's account of what happened after his initial attack:

    When the Daityas were being slaughtered they again took to their city and, employing their Danava wizardry, flew up into the sky, city and all. I stopped them with a mighty volley of arrows, and blocking their road I halted the Daityas in their course. But because of the boon given them, the Daityas easily held their celestial, divinely effulgent, airborne city, which could move about at will. Now it would go underground, then hover high in the sky, go diagonally with speed, or submerge in the ocean. I assaulted the mobile city, which resembled Amaravati, with many kinds of missiles, overlord of men. Then I subdued both city and Daityas with a mass of arrows, which were sped by divine missiles. Wounded by the iron, straight-traveling arrows I shot off, the Asura city fell broken on the earth, O king. The Asuras, struck by my lightning-fast iron shafts, milled around, O king, prompted by Time. Matali swiftly descended on earth, as in a headlong fall, on our divinely effulgent chariot.4*

    The battle between Arjuna and the Daityas began on the surface of a planet (perhaps the earth). On being strongly attacked by Arjuna, the Daityas took off in their flying city. It is noteworthy that the city could move underground and under the water, as well as through air or outer space. Many accounts describe UFOs entering and leaving bodies of water,4l and some stories associate UFOs with underground or undersea bases. For example, Betty Andreasson's story of the Phoenix apparently took place in a subterranean realm,42 and Filiberto Cardenas told of being taken to an undersea base.43

    Aeial Assembly Houses of the Devos

    According to the Maha-bharata, just as the Daityas have flying Cities such as Hiranyapura, the Devas have flying assembly houses, which are used as centers for their administrative activities. Here are some examples, beginning with the assembly hall of Indra, or Sakra, the king of the Devas. In this passage, a league is a Sanskrit yoiana, which ranges from 5 to 8 miles:

    Sakra's celestial and splendid hall, which he won with his feats, was built by himself, Kaurava, with the resplendence of fire. It is a hundred leagues wide and a hundred and fifty long, aerial, freely moving, and five leagues high. Dispelling old age, grief, and fa- tigue, free from diseases, benign, beautiful, filled with chambers and seats, lovely and embellished with celestial trees is that hall where, O Partha, the lord of the Gods sits with Saci....44

    It is standard for descriptions of vima-nas to say that they are bril- liantly glowing or fiery. We find the same feature in the following description of Yama's hall, which was built by Visvakarma, the architect of the Devas:

    This fair hall, which can move at will, is never crowdedÑVisva- karma built it after accumulating over a long time the power of austerities, and it is luminous as though on fire with its own radi- ance, Bharata. To it go ascetics of dread austerities, of good vows and truthful words, who are tranquil, renouncing, successful, pu- rified by their holy acts, all wearing effulgent bodies and spot- less robes; . . . and so go great-spirited Gandharvas and hosts of Apsaras by the hundreds.... A hundred hundred of thousands of law-abiding persons of wisdom attend in bodily form on the lord of the creatures.45

    An interesting feature of Yama's hall is that it is populated by beings of many different types. This is reminiscent of the UFO phe- nomenon, since it is often reported that several different types of be- ings will be seen on a UFO, apparently working in cooperation. In Yama's hall, in addition to Gandharvas, Apsaras, and various kinds of ascetics, there are Siddhas, those who have a yogic body, Pitas, men of evil deeds, and "those familiars of Yama who are charged with the conduction of time."

    The latter are functionaries equipped with mystic powers that en- able them to regulate the process of transmigration of souls. Yama is the Vedic lord of death, who supervises the process of transmigration. Strangely enough, even here we find a parallel with reported UFO phenomena. There are many reports indicating that some UFO enti- ties can induce people to have out-of-body experiences and then exert control over their subtle bodies (see Chapter 10). This also happens to be one of the powers of the familiars of Yama.

    Another curious point about Yama's hall is that it never becomes crowded, no matter how many different beings enter into it. This is reminiscent of the UFO abduction account of "Steven Kilburn" pre- sented by Budd Hopkins, in which a UFO seems to be much larger on the inside than on the outside.46 This suggests that within Yama's hallÑor in Kilburn's UFOÑspace is transformed in a way that goes beyond our ordinary experience (see Appendix 3).

    The testimony of Betty Andreasson includes an account in which a UFO was greatly reduced in apparent size, even though there was a human passenger within it.47 Although this seems highly implausible, there are Vedic siddhis called mahima and anima that allow an object to greatly expand or contract in size, while retaining its proportions and inter- nal structure.

    The assembly hall of Brahma provides another striking example of transformations of space that seem incomprehensible from an ordinary standpoint. In this case, the great sage Narada Muni visited Brahma's hall and found that he could not adequately describe its architectural layout:

    Thereupon the blessed and mighty lord Sun took me and went to the faultless hall of Brahma, which knows of no fatigue. It is not possible to describe it as it really is, king of the people, for from instant to instant it has another indescribable appearance. I know neither its size nor its structure, Bharata, and never before have I seen such beauty. The hall is very comfortable, king, neither too cold nor too hot; when one enters it, one no longer is hungry, thirsty, or weary. It is as though it is made up of many different shapes, all very colorful and luminous. No pillars support it. It is eternal and knows of no decay. It is self-luminous beyond the moon and the sun and the flame-crested fire; on the roof beam of heaven it blazes as though to light up the sun. In it sits the blessed lord, O king, the grandfather of the worlds who, alone, constantly creates the worlds with his divine wizardry.45

    The Aerial Monsion of Ravana

    The epic called the Ra-mayana contains an interesting account of a vima-na. The main story of the Ramayana is that long ago a country on this earth named Lanka was occupied by a race of malevolent beings called Raksasas (Lanka is thought to be the island now known as Sn Lanka, although some have questioned this.) Ravana, the king of the RakSasas, reigned in Laiika from a fortified city, and it was there that he hid Slta, the wife of Lord Rama, after kidnaping her with the aid of his powers of illusion (see pages 251-52). Ravana also possessed an aerial mansion that would fly according to his mental commands and that he used for his military exploits.

    Lord Rama engaged a being named Hanuman, who belonged to an intelligent monkeylike race, to find Slta and report back to him. Although born on earth in a primitive society, Hanuman was also the son of the wind-god Vayu, and thus he was equipped with mystic powers that were useful in this search. In the course of his search for Slta, he saw Ravana's aerial mansion, which was hovering over his capital city:

    That heroic son of the Wind-god saw in the middle of that resi- dential quarter the great aerial mansion-vehicle called Puspaka- vimana, decorated with pearls and diamonds, and featured with artistic windows made of refined gold.

    Constructed as it was by Visvakarma himself, none could gauge its power nor effect its destruction. It was built with the inten- tion that it should be superior to all sirnilar constructions. It was poised in the atmosphere without support. It had the capacity to go anywhere. It stood in the sky like a milestone in the path of the sun....

    It was the final result of the great prowess gained by austeri- ties. It could fly in any direction that one wanted. It had chambers of remarkable beauty. Everything about it was symmetrical and unique. Knowing the intentions of the master, it could go any- where at high speed unobstructed by anyone including the wind itself....

    It had towers of high artistic work. It had spires and domes like the peaks of mountains. It was immaculate like the autumnal moon. It was occupied by sky-ranging RakSasas of huge proportions with faces brightened by their shining ear-pendants. It was delightful to look at like the spring season and the bunches of flowers then in bloom. It had also for protecting it numerous ele- mentals with round and deep eyes and capable of very speedy movements .

    Hanuman, the son of the Wind-god, saw in the middle of the aerial edifice a very spacious construction. That building, half a yojana in width and one yojana in length, and having several floors, was the residence of the king of the RakSasas....

    Visvakarma constructed in the heavenly region this PuSpaka- vimana or aerial mansion-vehicle of attractive form, which could go everywhere and which augmented the desire nature of its oc- cupants. Kuvera by the power of his austerities obtained from Brahma that aerial mansion which was decorated entirely with gems, and which received the homage of the residents of all the three worlds. It was by overcoming Kuvera that Ravana, the king of the Raksasas, took possession of it.49

    Especially interesting is the reference to "elementals with round and deep eyes" whose job is to protect the vimana. These beings seemed to come with the vimana itself, while the RakSasas were mere interlopers who acquired it through the military exploits of Ravana. I also note that at eight miles per yojana, the residence of Ravana on the vimana would be four miles by eight miles in size.

    What About Flying Horses ond horiots?

    It is clear that there are extensive Vedic traditions about human- like races of beings that can fly freely throughout the universe using '' vehicles called vimanas. But one might object that there are also Vedic stories about horse-drawn chariots that fly through the sky. Surely these stories are utterly absurd, since it makes no sense to say that an animal could run through air or outer space using its legs. Because of this absurdity, some claim, we should not take anything in the Vedic litera- ture very seriously.

    . The answer to this objection is that there are indeed accounts of horse-drawn flying chariots in Vedic literatures, but these stories are not necessarily absurd. To understand them properly, it is necessary to fill in various details that will place them in context within the overall Vedic world picture. When seen in this way, both the horse-drawn chariots and the self-powered vimanas make sense. I will try to fill in the needed details by referring to a number of stories from the Maha-bharata about the Pandava hero, Arjuna. In the first story, Arjuna is traveling through space in a literal chariot drawn by horses. This description has a number of important features, includ- ing travel through space on some kind of roadway:

    And on this sunlike, divine, wonder-working chariot the wise scion of Kuru flew joyously upward. While becoming invisible to the mortals who walk on earth, he saw wondrous airborne chariots by the thousands. No sun shone there, or moon, or fire, but they shone with a light of their own acquired by their merits. Those lights that are seen as the stars look tiny like oil flames because of the distance, but they are very large. The Pandava saw them bright and beautiful, burning on their own hearths with a fire of their own. There are the perfected royal seers, the heroes cut down in war, who, having won heaven with their austerities, gather in hundreds of groups. So do thousands of Gandharvas with a glow like the sun's or the fire's, and of Guhyakas and seers and the hosts of Apsaras.

    Beholding those self-luminous worlds, Phalguna, astonished, questioned Matali in a friendly manner, and the other said to him, "Those are men of saintly deeds, ablaze on their own hearths, whom you saw there, my lord, looking like stars from earth below." Then he saw standing at the gateway the victorious white elephant, four-tusked Airavata, towering like peaked Kailasa. Driving on the roadway of the Siddhas, that most excellent Kuru Pandava shone forth as of old the great king Mandhatar. The lotus-eyed prince passed by the worlds of the kings, then looked upon Amara- vatl, the city of Indra.s*

    As I pointed out in Chapter 6 (pages 214-15), one important thing to notice about this passage is that Arjuna entered a region of stars where there was no light from the sun, the moon, or fire. This is what we would expect to find if we did travel among the stars. It is also stated that the stars are very large, but they seem small due to distance when seen from the earth, and this also agrees with modern ideas.

    In that region, Arjuna saw that the stars were self-luminous worlds, and that they were hearths of Gandharvas, Guhyakas, and others, including "men of saintly deeds" who had been promoted to heaven. The stars themselves are spoken of as aerial chariots in this passage, and this is clearly a poetic description. They are also spoken of as persons, and this refers to the predominating persons living on them.

    The next point to notice is that Arjuna was "driving on the road- way of the Siddhas," and that this roadway went past the worlds of the kings to the city of Indra. Later on, this road is spoken of as the "road of the stars" and the "path of the gods." Sl Thus it seems that Arjuna's chariot was traveling on some kind of road through outer space.

    The Vi$nu Purana sheds some light on the actual route followed by Arjuna. It states that the Path of the Gods (deva-yana) lies to the north of the orbit of the sun (the ecliptic), north of Nagavlthl (the naksatras Asvinl, Bharanl, and Krttika), and south of the stars of the seven r$is. 52 Asvim and Bharam are constellations in Aries, north of the ecliptic, and Krttika is the adjacent constellation in Taurus known as the Pleiades. Asvim, Bharam, and Krttika belong to a group of 28 constellations called nak$atras in Sanskrit, and asterisms or lu- nar mansions in English. The seven r$is are the stars of the Big Dipper in Ursa Major. From this information, we can form a general idea of - the Path of the Gods as a roadway extending through the stars in the northern celestial hemisphere.

    Another important celestial roadway is the Path of the Pitas (or pitr-ya-na). According to the Vi$nu Purana, this roadway lies to the north of the star Agastya, and south of Ajavlthl (the three nak$atras Mula, Purvasadha, and Uttarasadha), outside of the Vaisvanara path. 53 The region of the Pitas, or Pitrloka, is said in Vedic literature to be the headquarters of Yama, the Deva who awards punishments to sinful human beings and whose aerial assembly house was described above. This region, along with the hellish planets, is said in the Bha-gavata Pura-na to lie on the southern side of the universe, to the south of Bhu-mandala, the earthly planetary system.54

    The nak$atras Mula, Purvasadha, and UttaraSadha correspond to parts of the constellations Scorpio and Sagittarius, and it is thought that Agastya is the southern-hemisphere star called Canopus. Thus from the description in the Vi$nu Pura-na we can gain an idea of the location of Pitrloka and the road leading to it in terms of familiar celestial landmarks. Such celestial roadways involve large distances, and if they go through outer space, then there is the problem of the lack of a breath- able atmosphere. What sort of horses could follow such roads? We can answer this question by recounting a Maha-bha-rata story in which Arjuna was offered a benediction by the Gandharva named Citraratha. Although Citraratha owned a vimana (see page 272), here he is concerned with horses:

    O best of men, I now wish to offer each of you five brothers a hundred horses of the type bred by the Gandharvas. The mounts of the gods and Gandharvas exude a celestial fragrance, and they move at the speed of the mind. Even when their energy is spent, they do not diminish their speed....

    These Gandharva horses change color at will and fly at the speed they desire. And simply by your desire, they will appear before you, ready to serve. Indeed, these horses will always honor your wish.Ss

    It seems that these are mystical horses that function according to laws governing subtle categories of material energy. The roadway on which they travel is presumably of a similar nature, and the fact that they can travel vast distances on this road in a short time is due to the fact that they obey the laws governing subtle energy rather than the laws gov- erning ordinary, gross matter.

    The fact that a gross human body can be carried along such a road can be understand in terms of the mystic siddhis called pra-pti and mano java discussed in Chapter 6. The basic idea is that the subtle laws include and supersede the gross laws. Gross matter obeying the famil- iar physical laws is also obeying the subtle laws. But the same subtle laws can be applied to cause gross matter to act in a way that violates the ordinary laws of physics.

    Now let us consider Arjuna's chariot. Here is a description of one chariot that he used:

    The chariot had all necessary equipment. It could not be con- quered by gods or demons, and it radiated light and reverberated with a deep rumbling sound. Its beauty captivated the minds of all who beheld it. Visvakarma, the lord of design and construction, had created it by the power of his austerities, and its form, like that of the sun, could not be precisely discerned.56

    My tentative conclusion from this material is as follows: The technology involved in the vimanas and the flying horse-drawn chari- ots is essentially the same. It depends upon mystic powers and higher- dimensional aspects of material energy that are unknown to present-day science but are commonplace to the Devas. The vimanas are essentially architectural constructions that can fly, both in three dimensions and in higher dimensions, by virtue of powers that to us seem mystical. The Gandharva horses operate on the same mystical level, and the same is true of the chariots they draw.

    If this is true, one might ask why the Devas and other related beings would bother with horse-drawn vehicles when vimanas that move by their own power are available. Judging from the Mahabharata as a whole, the answer is that these beings use horses because they like them. They make use of flying architecture when that suits their purposes, but they also have a fondness for equestrian activities. Likewise, they have powerful weapons, like the brahmastra, based on radiant energy, but they also have elaborate rules governing hand-to- hand fighting with maces. The general impression is that the Devas and Upadevas emphasize life and personal prowess over machines.

    Are there any parallels between the celestial roadways of the Devas and information revealed in UFO accounts? There is a possible parallel in stories of people walking through space along beams of light. One example of this is in the report of Sara Shaw's abduction from a cabin in Tujunga Canyon, near Los Angeles, in March of 1953 (see page 188). After being hypnotized by Dr. William McCall, Sara told the following story of how she was taken on board a UFO:

    McCall: Do you stand near the ship?

    Sara: No, I'm starting to float. I'm starting to float toward it.

    McCall: What do you mean you're starting to float toward it? Sara: Well . . . they're walking with me, but my feet aren't on the ground.

    McCall: They were on the ground when you came out of the house. How come they're not on the ground now? Sara: Well, there's a beam of light. I'm likeÑit's almost like aÑ

    McCall: Now you see a beam of light?

    Sara: I'm on the beam of light. I'm standing on it, and it's angled. It's like an escalaÑno! It's about the same angle as an escalator 7) The Story of Vimonos

    would be, except it doesn't have ridges or steps. It's just a very smooth, solid beam, and you just kinda stand on it.... McCall: What's happening with your friends? Sara: They're all around me. McCall: They're on the beam of light also?

    Sara: But they're kind ofÑnow I'm walking. All of us are walk- ing, but in addition, the beam is conveying us. The beam is moving. In addition to that, we're kind of walking on it, too. But yet, like I don't feel anything under me. For example, it doesn't feel solid as if it were ground.57

    If this story can be taken literally, it seems that the light beam not only nullified Sara's weight but also enabled her to balance herself in an upright stance and walk normally. Similar beam walking was appar- ently done by the beings in the Masse case (see page 229), who were said to "slide along bands of light."

    A second example involves swimming up a beam of light. This phenomenon was reported by William Curtis, who experienced an abduction into a UFO in September of 1974 and recalled it in December of 1987. He had been abducted from his bedroom. At the point of being returned, he recalled being asked by his captors to jump through an opening in the bottom of the UFO, through which he could see down into his room. Here is how he described this experience:

    When I fell, it felt like . . . have you ever been on a roller-coaster? That's what it felt like. It took my breath away. But I was cushioned about two feet from the roof. I could see the distortion of the shingles. And then something picked me up, straightened meThe and spun me around, and it dropped me down right through the roof! They laid me back on the bed, grabbed my arms and pulled me up....

    A white light is coming through the roof and this little being is going up this light. I heard a whirring sound, like a generator coming from above. This little being as he went up was kicking his legs real fast.... He went up into a grey UFO. It seemed as if they had pressed a button and wanted me to see this. What I sawÑthe "AFM" [Alien Flying Machine] had duct work underneath it. The light went up, the ceiling went into place and that was it.58

    Vimonos in Ihe Vedic Literoture

    In the first of these two accounts, there is an angled beam of light that a person can walk on. In the second, there is a vertical beam and a being who travels up the beam in what seems like a swimming motion. In both stories, the events, as described, seem completely bizarre from the point of view of accepted physical principles. This is especially true in the second story, where the beam of light is apparently used to trans- fer the man's body through the roof of his house. But in the case of Sara Shaw, the intruding beings entered her cabin by passing through the panes of a window (see page 237), and this is a similar phenomenon.

    The parallel between these examples and the Vedic celestial roads is that the beam seems to define a pathway through space that a person can move along by using his legs. The beings that use these pathways have powers that enable them to pass through walls, and they can carry human bodies through walls also. The Vedic celestial road is also a pathway through space that one can walk on. The horses and chariots that move on it have mystical properties, and the horses can appear and disappear at will. A human being like Arjuna can also be conveyed along such a road. The point where the analogy of celestial road to light-beam path may break down is that the celestial road is cosmic in scale and seems to be relatively permanent, whereas the light beam is small and is deployed temporarily when needed.

    It turns out, curiously enough, that the celestial pathways men- tioned in Vedic literature are beams of light of a peculiar nature. Thus the Bhagavata Pura-na gives the following description of the travels of a mystic along the Path of the Gods:

    O King, when such a mystic passes over the Milky Way by the illuminating Susumna to reach the highest planet, Brahmaloka, he goes first to Vaisvanara, the planet of the deity of fire, wherein he becomes completely cleansed of all contaminations, and there- after he still goes higher, to the circle of gisumara, to relate with Lord Hari, the Personality of Godhead.s9

    The path followed by the mystic is the deva-ya-na path, and it is referred to here as the illuminating Susumna. According to the Sanskrit dictionary, Susumna is the name of one of the principal rays of the sun. Thus the Susumna must be some kind of light beam. Clearly, however, its position in space indicates that it is not an ordinary sunbeam.

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    Post Re: The Story of Vimanas

    The "Vimanas" or Flying Machines of Ancient India

    By Mukul Sharma - The Times of India - April 8, 1999

    According to some interpretations of surviving texts, India's future it seems happened way back in its past. Take the case of the Yantra Sarvasva, said to have been written by the sage Maharshi Bhardwaj. This consists of as many as 40 sections of which one, the Vaimanika Prakarana dealing with aeronautics, has eight chapters, a hundred topics and 500 sootr.

    In it Bhardwaj describes vimaan, or aerial craft, as being of three classes: (1) those that travel from place to place; (2) those that travel from one country to another; and (3) those that travel between planets. Of special concern among these were the military planes whose functions were delineated in some very considerable detail and which read today like something clean out of science fiction. For instance they had to be:

    * impregnable, unbreakable, non-combustible and indestructible

    * capable of coming to a dead stop in the twinkling of an eye

    * invisible to enemies

    * capable of listening to the conversations and sounds in hostile planes

    * technically proficient to see and record things, persons, incidents and situations going on inside enemy planes

    * know at every stage the direction of movement of other aircraft in the vicinity

    * capable of rendering the enemy crew into a state of suspended animation, intellectual torpor or complete loss of consciousness

    * capable of destruction

    * manned by pilots and co-travelers who could adapt in accordance with the climate in which they moved

    * temperature regulated inside

    * constructed of very light and heat absorbing metals

    * provided with mechanisms that could enlarge or reduce images and enhance or diminish sounds

    Now notwithstanding the fact that such a contraption would resemble a cross between an American state-of- the-art Stealth Fighter and a flying saucer, does it mean that air and space travel was well known to ancient Indians and aeroplanes flourished in India when the rest of the world was just about learning the rudiments of agriculture? Not really [the perception of the absence of proof is no proof of the proof's absence. - Jai Maharaj], for the manufacturing processes described alongside are delightfully diffuse and deliberately vague. But it does display a breathtaking expanse of imagination which, had it ever been implemented, would have propelled us even further than Star Trek. - Mukul Sharma

    Not for commercial use. Solely to be fairly used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

    Jai Maharaj Jyotishi, Vedic Astrologer "A king, though endowed with little prowess, starting on an expedition at the proper time, in view of the good positions of the planets, achieves greatness that is eulogized in the scriptures." - Brhat Samhita,

    From "The Anti-Gravity Handbook"

    Many researchers into the UFO enigma tend to overlook a very important fact. While it assumed that most flying saucers are of alien, or perhaps Governmental Military origin, another possible origin of UFOs is ancient India and Atlantis. What we know about ancient Indian flying vehicles comes from ancient Indian sources; written texts that have come down to us through the centuries.

    There is no doubt that most of these texts are authentic; many are the well known ancient Indian Epics themselves, and there are literally hundreds of them. Most of them have not even been translated into English yet from the old Sanskrit.

    Indian Emperor Ashoka started a "Secret Society of the Nine Unknown Men"-- great Indian scientists who were supposed to catalogue the many sciences. Ashoka kept their work secret because he was afraid that the advanced science catalogued by these men, pulled from ancient Indian sources, would be used for the evil purpose of war, which Ashoka was strongly against, having been converted to Buddhism after defeating a rival army in a bloody battle. The "Nine Unknown Men" wrote a total of nine books, presumably one each. Book number was "The Secrets of Gravitation!"

    This book, known to historians, but not actually seen by them dealt chiefly with "gravity control." It is presumably still around somewhere, kept in a secret library in India, Tibet or elsewhere (perhaps even in North America somewhere). One can certainly understand Ashoka's reasoning for wanting to keep such knowledge a secret, assuming it exists.

    Ashoka was also aware of devastating wars using such advanced vehicles and other "futuristic weapons" that had destroyed the ancient Indian "Rama Empire" several thousand years before. Only a few years ago, the Chinese discovered some Sanskrit documents in Lhasa, Tibet and sent them to the University of Chandrigarh to be translated. Dr. Ruth Reyna of the university said recently that the documents contain directions for building interstellar spaceships!

    Their method of propulsion, she said, was "anti-gravitational" and was based upon a system analogous to that of "laghima," the unknown power of the ego existing in man's physiological makeup, "a centrifugal force strong enough to counteract all gravitational pull." According to Hindu Yogis, it is this "laghima" which enables a person to levitate.

    Dr. Reyna said that on board these machines, which were called "Astras" by the text, the ancient Indians could have sent a detachment of men onto any planet, according to the document, which is thought to be thousands of years old. The manuscripts were also said to reveal the secret of "antima"; "the cap of invisibility" and "garima"; "how to become as heavy as a mountain of lead."

    Naturally, Indian scientists did not take the texts very seriously, but then became more positive about the value of them when the Chinese announced that they were including certain parts of the data for study in their space program! This was one of the first instances of a government admitting to be researching anti-gravity.

    The manuscripts did not say definitely that interplanetary travel was ever made but did mention, of all things, a planned trip to the Moon, though it is not clear whether this trip was actually carried out. However, one of the great Indian epics, the Ramayana, does have a highly detailed story in it of a trip to the moon in a Vimana (or "Astra"), and in fact details a battle on the moon with an "Asvin" (or Atlantean") airship. This is but a small bit of recent evidence of anti-gravity and aerospace technology used by Indians.

    To really understand the technology, we must go much further back in time. The so-called "Rama Empire" of Northern India and Pakistan developed at least fifteen thousand years ago on the Indian sub-continent and was a nation of many large, sophisticated cities, many of which are still to be found in the deserts of Pakistan, northern, and western India. Rama existed, apparently, parallel to the Atlantean civilization in the mid-Atlantic Ocean, and was ruled by "enlightened Priest-Kings" who governed the cities.

    The seven greatest capital cities of Rama were known in classical Hindu texts as "The Seven Rishi Cities." According to ancient Indian texts, the people had flying machines which were called "Vimanas." The ancient Indian epic describes a Vimana as a double-deck, circular aircraft with portholes and a dome, much as we would imagine a flying saucer. It flew with the "speed of the wind" and gave forth a ³melodious sound." There were at least four different types of Vimanas; some saucer shaped, others like long cylinders ("cigar shaped airships"). The ancient Indian texts on Vimanas are so numerous, it would take volumes to relate what they had to say.

    The ancient Indians, who manufactured these ships themselves, wrote entire flight manuals on the control of the various types of Vimanas, many of which are still in existence, and some have even been translated into English. The Samara Sutradhara is a scientific treatise dealing with every possible angle of air travel in a Vimana. There are 230 stanzas dealing with the construction, take-off, cruising for thousand of miles, normal and forced landings, and even possible collisions with birds. In 1875, the Vaimanika Sastra, a fourth century B.C. text written by Bharadvajy the Wise, using even older texts as his source, was rediscovered in a temple in India. It dealt with the operation of Vimanas and included information on the steering, precautions for long flights, protection of the airships from storms and lightning and how to switch the drive to "solar energy" from a free energy source which sounds like "anti-gravity."

    The Vaimanika Sastra (or Vymaanika-Shaastra) has eight chapters with diagrams, describing three types of aircraft, including apparatuses that could neither catch on fire nor break. It also mentions 31 essential parts of these vehicles and 16 materials from which they are constructed, which absorb light and heat; for which reason they were considered suitable for the construction of Vimanas.

    This document has been translated into English and is available by writing the publisher: VYMAANIDASHAASTRA AERONAUTICS by Maharishi Bharadwaaja, translated into English and edited, printed and published by Mr. G. R.Josyer, Mysore, India, 1979 (sorry, no street address). Mr. Josyer is the director of the International Academy of Sanskrit Investigation, located in Mysore. There seems to be no doubt that Vimanas were powered by some sort of "anti-gravity." Vimanas took off vertically, and were capable of hovering in the sky, like a modern helicopter or dirigible. Bharadvajy the Wise refers to no less than 70 authorities and 10 experts of air travel in antiquity.

    These sources are now lost. Vimanas were kept in a Vimana Griha, a kind of hanger, and were sometimes said to be propelled by a yellowish-white liquid, and sometimes by some sort of mercury compound, though writers seem confused in this matter. It is most likely that the later writers on Vimanas, wrote as observers and from earlier texts, and were understandably confused on the principle of their propulsion. The "yellowish-white liquid" sounds suspiciously like gasoline, and perhaps Vimanas had a number of different propulsion sources, including combustion engines and even "pulse-jet" engines.

    It is interesting to note, that the Nazis developed the first practical pulse- jet engines for their V-8 rocket "buzz bombs." Hitler and the Nazi staff were exceptionally interested in ancient India and Tibet and sent expeditions to both these places yearly, starting in the 30's, in order to gather esoteric evidence that they did so, and perhaps it was from these people that the Nazis gained some of their scientific information!

    According to the Dronaparva, part of the Mahabarata, and the Ramayana, one Vimana described was shaped like a sphere and born along at great speed on a mighty wind generated by mercury. It moved like a UFO, going up, down, backwards and forwards as the pilot desired. In another Indian source, the Samar, Vimanas were "iron machines, well-knit and smooth, with a charge of mercury that shot out of the back in the form of a roaring flame." Another work called the Samaranganasutradhara describes how the vehicles were constructed. It is possible that mercury did have something to do with the propulsion, or more possibly, with the guidance system.

    Curiously, Soviet scientists have discovered what they call "age-old instruments used in navigating cosmic vehicles" in caves in Turkestan and the Gobi Desert. The "devices" are hemispherical objects of glass or porcelain, ending in a cone with a drop of mercury inside. It is evident that ancient Indians flew around in these vehicles, all over Asia, to Atlantis presumably; and even, apparently, to South America. Writing found at Mohenjodaro in Pakistan (presumed to be one of the "Seven Rishi Cities of the Rama Empire") and still undeciphered, has also been found in one other place in the world:

    Easter Island:

    Writing on Easter Island, called Rongo-Rongo writing, is also undeciphered, and is uncannily similar to the Mohenjodaro script. Was Easter Island an air base for the Rama Empire's Vimana route? (At the Mohenjo-Daro Vimana-drome, as the passenger walks down the concourse, he hears the sweet, melodic sound of the announcer over the loudspeaker, ³Rama Airways flight number seven for Bali, Easter Island, Nazca, and Atlantis is now ready for boarding. Passengers please proceed to gate number..") in Tibet, no small distance, and speaks of the "fiery chariot" thus: "Bhima flew along in his car, resplendent as the sun and loud as thunder... The flying chariot shone like a flame in the night sky of summer ... it swept by like a comet... It was as if two suns were shining. Then the chariot rose up and all the heaven brightened."

    In the Mahavira of Bhavabhuti, a Jain text of the eighth century culled from older texts and traditions, we read: "An aerial chariot, the Pushpaka, conveys many people to the capital of Ayodhya. The sky is full of stupendous flying-machines, dark as night, but picked out by lights with a yellowish glare." The Vedas, ancient Hindu poems, thought to be the oldest of all the Indian texts, describe Vimanas of various shapes and sizes: the "ahnihotra- vimana" with two engines, the ³elephant-vimana" with more engines, and other types named after the kingfisher, ibis and other animals.

    Unfortunately, Vimanas, like most scientific discoveries, were ultimately used for war. Atlanteans used their flying machines, "Vailixi," a similar type of aircraft, to literally try and subjugate the world, it would seem, if Indian texts are to be believed. The Atlanteans, known as "Asvins" in the Indian writings, were apparently even more advanced technologically than the Indians, and certainly of a more war-like temperament. Although no ancient texts on Atlantean Vailixi are known to exist, some information has come down through esoteric, "occult" sources which describe their flying machines.

    Similar, if not identical to Vimanas, Vailixi were generally "cigar shaped" and had the capability of maneuvering underwater as well as in the atmosphere or even outer space. Other vehicles, like Vimanas, were saucer shaped, and could apparently also be submerged.

    According to Eklal Kueshana, author of "The Ultimate Frontier," in an article he wrote in 1966, Vailixi were first developed in Atlantis 20,000 years ago, and the most common ones are "saucer shaped of generally trapezoidal cross-section with three hemispherical engine pods on the underside." "They use a mechanical antigravity device driven by engines developing approximately 80,000 horse power." The Ramayana, Mahabarata and other texts speak of the hideous war that took place, some ten or twelve thousand years ago between Atlantis and Rama using weapons of destruction that could not be imagined by readers until the second half of this century.

    The ancient Mahabharata, one of the sources on Vimanas, goes on to tell the awesome destructiveness of the war: "...(the weapon was) a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as the thousand suns rose in all its splendor... An iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death, which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas.... the corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. The hair and nails fell out; pottery broke without apparent cause, and the birds turned white.... after a few hours all foodstuffs were infected.... to escape from this fire, the soldiers threw themselves in streams to wash themselves and their equipment..." It would seem that the Mahabharata is describing an atomic war! References like this one are not isolated; but battles, using a fantastic array of weapons and aerial vehicles are common in all the epic Indian books. One even describes a Vimana-Vailix battle on the Moon! The above section very accurately describes what an atomic explosion would look like and the effects of the radioactivity on the population. Jumping into water is the only respite.

    When the Rishi City of Mohenjodaro was excavated by archaeologists in the last century, they found skeletons just lying in the streets, some of them holding hands, as if some great doom had suddenly overtaken them. These skeletons are among the most radioactive ever found, on a par with those found at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ancient cities whose brick and stonewalls have literally been vitrified, that is-fused together, can be found in India, Ireland, Scotland, France, Turkey and other places. There is no logical explanation for the vitrification of stone forts and cities, except from an atomic blast.

    Furthermore, at Mohenjo-Daro, a well planned city laid on a grid, with a plumbing system superior to those used in Pakistan and India today, the streets were littered with "black lumps of glass." These globs of glass were discovered to be clay pots that had melted under intense heat! With the cataclysmic sinking of Atlantis and the wiping out of Rama with atomic weapons, the world collapsed into a "stone age" of sorts, and modern history picks up a few thousand years later Yet, it would seem that not all the Vimanas and Vailixi of Rama and Atlantis were gone. Built to last for thousands of years, many of them would still be in use, as evidenced by Ashoka's "Nine Unknown Men" and the Lhasa manuscript.

    That secret societies or "Brotherhoods" of exceptional, ³enlightened" human beings would have preserved these inventions and the knowledge of science, history, etc., does not seem surprising. Many well known historical personages including Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Krishna, Zoroaster, Mahavira, Quetzalcoatl, Akhenaton, Moses, and more recent inventors and of course many other people who will probably remain anonymous, were probably members of such a secret organization.

    It is interesting to note that when Alexander the Great invaded India more than two thousand years ago, his historians chronicled that at one point they were attacked by "flying, fiery shields" that dove at his army and frightened the cavalry. These "flying saucers" did not use any atomic bombs or beam weapons on Alexander's army however, perhaps out of benevolence, and Alexander went on to conquer India. It has been suggested by many writers that these "Brotherhoods" keep some of their Vimanas and Vailixi in secret caverns in Tibet or some other place is Central Asia, and the Lop Nor Desert in western

    China is known to be the centre of a great UFO mystery. Perhaps it is here that many of the airships are still kept, in underground bases much as the Americans, British and Soviets have built around the world in the past few decades. Still, not all UFO activity can be accounted for by old Vimanas making trips to the Moon for some reason.

    Undoubtedly, some are from the Military Governments of the world, and possibly even from other planets. Of course, many UFO sightings are "swamp, gas, clouds, hoaxes, and hallucinations, while there is considerable evidence that many UFO sightings, especially "kidnappings" and the like, are the result of what is generally called "telepathic hypnosis."

    One common thread that often runs between "Alien kidnappings," "sex with aliens," and other "close encounters of a third kind" is a buzzing in the ears just before the encounter. According to many well informed people, this is a sure sign of telepathic hypnosis.

  4. #4

    Post Re: The Story of Vimanas

    The Aerial Vehicles of Ancient India

    * * * * *
    The Sanskrit Account of the War of the Gods and Asuras

    This little-known account, found in the Karna Parva of the Mahabharata, provides details of the triumph of the gods and the end of the war which are not contained in the more familiar Greek sources. According to the latter, the war between the Titans and Olympians raged on for ten years in a sort of stalemate, until Zeus "no longer restrained his soul, but straightway his mind was filled with fury and he showed forth all his might." His bolts "flew near at hand" with thunder and with lightning, while in his hands he was "rolling a holy flame." The life-giving earth "crashed as it burned, and the infinite wood cried aloud with fire." The oceans boiled and volcanoes (Cottus, Briareus and Gyes) hurled rocks by the hundreds. Once defeated, the warlike Titans are bound and imprisoned forever in Tartarus. The hint is given that "divine weapons" (given to Zeus by Kyklopes and Hekatoncheires) turned the tide against the Titans.

    The Karna Parva is much more detailed in that Sankara (herein called Mahadeva or "Great God") is given an invincible aerial vehicle, called a vimana in Sanskrit, equipt with a celestial weapon containing the "power of the universe" (nuclear energy?). Sankara ascends into the heavens in his celestial car, flying resolutely toward his enemies, the Danavas (Titans) and Daityas. Then Sankara, streaking from the skies in his radiant vimana, ends the ten year-long war by firing this god-given weapon straight at Tripura, totally destroying Triple City and sending the whole rebellious race of Asuras (including the evil tribes of Danavas and Daityas) burning to the bottom of the "Western Ocean". Here is the account (edited because it is about a dozen pages long) from the Mahabharata:


    Translated from the Sanskrit
    by Protep Chandra Roy

    Duryodhana said,--Listen, once more, O ruler of the Madras, to what I will say unto thee, about what happened, O lord, in the battle between the gods and the Asuras in the days of yore! The great Rishi Markandeya narrated it to my sire. I will now recite it without leaving out anything, O best of royal sages! Listen to that account confidingly and without mistrusting it at all. Between the gods and the Asuras, each desirous of vanquishing the other, there happened a great battle, O king, which had Takara for its evil (root). . . Those Asuras then, filled with joy at having obtained those boons and having settled it among themselves about the construction of the three cities [Tripura], selected for the purpose the great Asura Maya, the celestial artificer, knowing no fatigue or decay, and worshipped by all the Daityas and Danavas. Then Maya, of great intelligence, by the aid of his own ascetic merit, constructed the three cities . . . all in such a way as to revolve in a circle, O lord of Earth! Each of those cities measured a hundred Yojanas in breadth and a hundred in length. And they consisted of houses and mansions and lofty walls and porches. And though teeming with lordly palaces close to each other yet the streets were wide and spacious. And they were adorned with diverse mansions and gate-ways . . .

    Those three Daitya kings, soon assailing the three worlds with their energy, continued to dwell and reign, and began to say,--"Who is he called the Creator?" . . . Crowned with success by means of austere penances, those enhancers of the fears of the gods sustained, O king, no diminution [sic] in battle. Stupified then by covetousness and folly, and deprived of their senses, all of them began to shamelessly exterminate the cities and towns established all over the universe. Filled with pride . . . the wicked Danavas ceased to show any respect for anybody . . . (Karna Parva, Section XXXIII)

    Duryodhana said . . . "Slay the Danavas, O wielder of the trident! O giver of honours, let the universe, through thy grace, obtain happiness. O Lord of all the worlds, thou art the one whose shelter should be sought! We all seek thy shelter."

    The gods said,--"Gathering all forms that may be found in the three worlds and taking portions of each, we will, O Lord of the gods, construct a car [vimana] of great energy for thee" . . . the Mind became the ground upon which that car stood, and Speech the tracks upon which it was to proceed . . . With lightning and Indra's bow attached to it, that blazing car gave fierce light.

    Thus equipt, that car shone brilliantly like a blazing fire in the midst of the priests officiating at a sacrifice. Beholding that car properly equipt, the gods became filled with wonder. Seeing the energies of the entire universe united together in one place, O sire, the gods wondered, and at last represented unto that illustrious Deity that the car was ready.

    Then Mahadeva, terrifying the very gods, and making the very Earth tremble, ascended that car resolutely . . . Then that Lord of the gods proceeded surrounded by all the gods, upon that large car . . . When that boon-giving Lord, that despeller of the fears of the three worlds, thus proceeded, the entire universe, all the gods, O best of men, became exceedingly gratified . . . When the boon-giving Brahman, having ascended the car, set out for the Asuras, the Lord of the Universe, smiling the while, said,--Excellent, Excellent! Proceed, O god, to the spot where the Daityas are!

    The triple city then appeared immediately before that god of unbearable energy, that deity of fierce and indescribable form, that warrior who was desirous of the slaying the Asuras. The illustrious deity, that Lord of the universe, then, drawing that celestial bow, sped that shaft which represented the might of the whole universe, at triple city. Upon that foremost of shafts . . . being shot, loud wails of woe were heard from those cities as they began to fall . . . Burning those Asuras, he threw them down into the Western Ocean. Thus was triple city burnt and thus were the Danavas exterminated by Maheswara . . . (Karna Parva, Section XXXIV)
    * * * COMMENTS * * *

    Notice that the war occurred in "the days of yore," which indicates an immense distance in time prior to the narrative. Also that Tripura was made so as to "revolve in a circle". Plato's Metropolis was round and divided into three parts by circular canals. It is stated elsewhere that the only way Tripura can be destroyed is for a single missile to destroy all three parts at one time.

    According to the narrative, pride gained the upper hand when one military success led to another, until the Daitya kings wanted to take over the whole world. The "three worlds" (Europe, Asia and Africa) was in great fear, but the gods engineered the destruction of the evil culprits (Titans) with one "shaft" (missile?) containing the "energy of the universe".

    The deific "power" the gods invoked upon that shaft during its preparation for use is described in these confusing, although graphic, words: "Then . . . smoke . . . looking like ten thousand Suns, and shrouded by the fire of super-abundant Energy, blazed up with splendour." This sounds somewhat like a nuclear test! How could the ancient Hindu sages describe such things if they had never witnessed such an event?

    Notice also that the destroyed land sinks beneath the Western Ocean, as the Atlantic was called by several nations in those times (including Egypt). The ball of "holy flame" utilized by Zeus is not far removed from the smoke "looking like ten thousand Suns" which "blazed up in splendour" in the Sanskrit account.

    The Mahabharata also describes:

    an iron bolt . . . through which all members of the race of Vrishnis and Andhakas became consumed into ashes. Indeed, for their destruction, Canra produced a fierce iron thunderbolt that looked like a gigantic messenger of death. (Mausala Parva)

    This weapon was so feared that "in great distress of mind" the king had the bolt reduced to fine powder and thrown into the sea. Even with these precautions, peoples hair and fingernails fell out overnight, birds turned white and their legs became scarlet and blistered, even food went bad. Massive numbers of skeletons have been found by archeologists in the ancient Indus Valley city of Mohenjo-Daro which are extremely radioactive even to this day.


    Although the hero Sankara is given the name Mahadeva ("Great God") in the above accounts, another description of the demise of Triple City is given in which Cukra is named as the hero:

    Cukra, riding in that excellent vimana--which was powered by Celestial Forces, proceeded for the destruction of Triple City . . . These three parts are to be destroyed by one missile, by no other means can their destruction be effected . . . Cukra, surrounded by the Maruts, began hurling thunder upon the Triple City from all sides . . . He flings a missile which contained the Power of the Universe, at the Triple City . . . the city began to burn . . . Smoke, looking like ten thousand suns, blazed up in splendour. (Drona Parva)

    The Mahabharata (the complete English translation of which comprises twelve large volumes) contains numerous such accounts , and here is a short description of a similar event.

    Putting forth his prowess, Mahadeva hurled into the sea the paradisiacal Daitya city called Saubha protected by Salwa, and regarded as impregnable [as was Tripura] . . . these all he vanquished in battle: The Avantis [close to "Atlantis"!], the Southerners, the Mountaineers . . . In days of old, penetrating into the very sea, he vanquished in battle Varuna himself in those watery depths, surrounded by all kinds of aquatic animals. (Drona Bhisheka, Section XI)

    Notice it is again Mahadeva who hurls the "paradisiacal" Daitya city (Tripura by another name? or maybe another city of Atala) into the sea, and even pursues the sea-god Varuna into his own environs in order to vanquish him. Incidentally, Varuna is the Vedic equivalent of the god Poseidon, founder of the civilization of Atlantis in Plato's account, and the Danavas are "giants" and "Titans" according to the Standard Sanskrit dictionary.

    Another aspect of the War of the Gods and Asuras is given in which Asura Maya (the designer and architect of Tripura) himself carries out an extensive bombarment of his enemies from the heights above in his vimana while the remainder of the battle is carried out by foot soldiers on the ground. (Harivamsa, ch. 56) This by no means exhausts the Sanskrit accounts of the legendary battle. It is definitely a favored theme in ancient Sanskrit literature.

    A question has come up asking how the inhabitants of India could have been familiar with Atlantis and the problems it created for Europeans--being so far removed in distance. Others have suggested that Sri Lanka might be "Atlantis". Such an hypothesis is unnecessary.

    It must be realized that the Aryans of India were once part of the original Indo-European people who at that time were located in the Danube Valley in Central Europe. From there migrations took place in all directions where they became known as Nordic, Keltic, Roman, Greek, Mede, Persian and Indian. So during Atlantean times the Aryans who eventually committed these epics to writing were just as close to Atlantis as were the Greeks and Romans. Some of them may have had to fight the Atlanteans. At present the Indo-Europeans can be traced back for 10,000 years.

  5. #5

    Post Re: The Story of Vimanas

    Translated from the Sanskrit text of the
    Bhagavata Purana

    Having made his vow, the foolish King [Salva] proceeded to worship Lord Pasupati [Siva] as his deity . . . at the end of a year he gratified Salva, who had approached him for protection, by offering him a choice of gifts.

    Salva chose a vimana that could not be destroyed by Devas, Asuras, humans, Gandharvas, Uragas nor Rakshasas, that could travel anywhere he wished to go, and that would terrify the Varishnis.

    Lord Siva said, "So be it." On his order, Maya Danava, who conquers his enemies cities, constructed a flying vehicle made of iron named Saubha, and presented it to Salva.

    This unassailable vehicle was filled with darkness and could go anywhere. Upon obtaining it, Salva, remembering the Varishnis' enmity toward him, went to Dvaraka.

    Salva besieged the city with a large army . . . From his excellent vimana he threw down a torrent of projectiles, including stones, tree trunks, thunderbolts, snakes and hailstones. A fierce whirlwind arose and covered everything in thick dust.

    The vimana possessed by Salva was very deceptive. It was so out of the ordinary that sometimes many vimanas would appear to be in the sky, but at other times none. Sometimes the vimana was visible, sometimes invisible. And the warriors of the Yadu dynasty were totally confused about the location of this mystifying vehicle: oftimes they would see the vimana on the ground, sometimes flying in the sky, other times resting on the crest of a hill, and even floating on the water. That awesome vimana flew in the sky looking like a whirling firebrand--it was never still, even for a moment.
    * * * COMMENT * * *

    It appears from this passage, and many others in Sanskrit literature, that a deity could be persuaded to offer a gift to a mortal after some long specified period of exceptional piety toward that deity. Siva was considered "the destroyer," therefore, in some ways evil. Salva did not have any intention of using his hard won gift for beneficial purposes.

    The last sentence, containing the statement of Salva's celestial vehicle looking like a "whirling firebrand," should cause one to look twice at the so-called "wheels" of Ezekiel as described in the Old Testament. The similarities are striking. Did Ezekiel encounter ancient vimanas during his stay in Babylonia? For a complete exegetical analysis go back and click on "Ezekiel's Wheels".

  6. #6

    Post Re: The Story of Vimanas

    King Rama's Vimana
    * * * * *

    The following quotes are from the Ramayana, an epic Sanskrit poem believed to be compiled from historical records by the ancient Hindu sage Valmiki. Notice that occasionally vimanas are said to look like a "bright cloud," and sometimes emit a "melodious sound" instead of the usual thunderous roar.

    When morning dawned, Rama, taking the Celestial Car Puspaka had sent to him by Vivpishand, stood ready to depart. Self-propelled was that car. It was large and finely painted. It had two stories and many chambers with windows, and was draped with flags and banners. It gave forth a melodious sound as it coursed along its airy way.

    The Puspaka Car, that resembles the sun and belongs to my brother, was brought [to Lanka] by the powerful Ravan; that aerial and excellent car, going everywhere at will, is ready for thee. That car, resembling a bright cloud in the sky, is in the city of Lanka.

    "Do thou speedily bring the aerial car for me." Thereupon arrived the car, adorned all over with gold, having fine upper rooms, banners, and jewelled windows, and giving forth a melodious sound, having huge apartments and excellent seats.

    Beholding the car coming by force of will Rama attained to an excess of astonishment. And the king got in, and the excellent car, at the command of Raghira, rose up into the higher atmosphere. And in that car, coursing at will, Rama greatly delighted.

    After a short aerial journey in the Puspaka Car with Raghira at the helm, they land and Rama has a go at it.

    Being then commanded by Rama, that excellent car, with a huge noise, rose up in the Welkin. And looking down on all sides, Rama spoke to Sita:

    [We switch at this point to Romesh Dutt's beautiful poetic translation:]

    "Mark my love," so Rama uttered, as on flying Pushpa car,
    Borne by swans, the home-returning exiles left the field of war,

    Sailing o'er the cloudless ether Rama's Pushpa chariot came,
    And ten thousand jocund voices shouted Rama's joyous name,

    Silver swans by Rama's bidding soft descended from the air,
    And on earth the chariot lighted,--car of flowers divinely fair,--

    There is no doubt that the ancient writers spoke of the aerial vehicles in question, not in scientific terms, but in poetic ones. But it takes little effort to see through the flowery phrases and discern a more objective picture. Vimanas were an enjoyable form of transportation, as well as a rather efficient war machine. They were owned by the ruling class for two reasons. First, they were far too expensive and sophisticated for the peasants of that day. Second, it seems that most of them came from a higher order of beings who seemed to have a political interest in certain mundane affairs.

    Earlier in the Epic a war had been precipitated between the kingdom of Rama, centered in Ayodhya, India, and that of the evil Raksha known as Ravan, king of Lanka. This war was triggered by the abduction of Sita, Rama's beloved. The event is described in Romesh Dutt's translation as follows:

    Unseen dwellers of the woodland watched the dismal deed of shame,
    Marked the mighty armed Raksha lift the poor and helpless dame.

    Seat her in his car celestial yoked with asses winged with speed,
    Golden in its shape and radiance, fleet as Indra's heavenly steed!

    Then arose the car celestial o'er the hill and wooded vale,
    Like a snake in eagle's talons Sita writhed with piteous wail,

    Many battles ensued and many lives were lost before the final defeat of the demon Raksha and the rescue of Sita from Ravan's evil clutches. In one particular encounter the poet Valmiki likens the movement of Ravan's airship to the "tempest clouds" as he approaches Rama's lieutenant Lakshman "flaming like celestial fire". Ravan eventually catches Rama at a disadvantage (on foot), and this is where the god Indra intervenes, loaning Rama a powerful vimana fully equipped with weapons equal to those of Ravan. This makes for an even fight.

    "Speed, Matali," thus spake Indra, "speed thee with my heavenly car,
    Where on foot the righteous Rama meets his mounted foe in war,

    "Take this car," so said Matali, "which the helping gods provide,
    Rama, take these steeds celestial, Indra's golden chariot ride,"

    Gods and mortals watched the contest and the heroes of the war,
    Ravan speeding on his chariot, Rama on the heavenly car,

    Still the dubious battle lasted, until Rama in his ire
    Wielded Brahma's deathful weapon, flaming with celestial fire!

    Weapon which the Saint Agastya had unto the hero given,
    Winged as lightning dart of Indra, fatal as the bolt of heaven,

    Wrapped in smoke and flaming flashes, speeding from the circled bow,
    Pierced the iron heart of Ravan, lain the lifeless hero low,

    So Ravan, the villain of the epic is vanquished. And as stated above, The aerial car, which Ravan had won from the gods, is made over to Rama who flies it back to his home in Ayodhya, giving his beloved Sita, Lakshman and his other friends a birds-eye view of both Sri Lanka and India as they fly back (We're referring again to the Pushpaka Car, described at the beginning of this article).

    Whether the "gods" referred to above are members of a more advanced civilization is not really made clear. However, when such craft are being utilized by human beings, they are generally a gift or a loan from elsewhere, and not built here on earth. Similar machines (also called vimanas) that were built here by humans were somewhat inferior as to propulsion, efficiency and sophistication. For some examples of the latter, click on the article which discusses instructions and specifications in regard to ancient aeroplanes.

  7. #7

    Post Re: The Story of Vimanas

    Excerpts from "Warfare in Ancient India" by V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar
    Motilal Banarsidass, Madras, 1944
    * * * AERIAL NAVIGATION * * *

    Turning to Vedic literature, in one of the Brahmanas (Satapatha Brahmana, II, 3, 3, 15) occurs the concept of a ship that sails heavenwards. The ship is the Agnihotra of which the Ahavaniya and Garhapatya fires represent the two sides bound heavenward, and the steersman is the Agnihotrin who offers milk to the three Agnis. Again in the still earlier Rig Veda Samhita we read that the Asvins conveyed the rescued Bhujya safely by means of winged ships. The latter may refer to the aerial navigation in the earliest times. (Rig Veda, I. 117, 14 and 15)

    Three movements are usually ascribed to these machines,--ascending, cruising thousands of miles in different directions in the atmosphere and lastly descending. It is said that in an aerial car [vimana] one can mount up to the Suryamandala, 'solar region' and the Naksatra mandala (stellar region) and also travel throughout the regions above the sea and the earth. These cars are said to move so fast as to make a noise that could be heard faintly from the ground.
    * * * AERIAL BOMBARDMENT * * *

    The adoption of such tactics is also mentioned in the war between Arjuna and the Asura Nivatakavaca (Vana, ch. 172), and in that between Karna and the Raksasa (Drona, ch. 176, 50) in both of which, arrows, javelins, stones and other missiles were freely showered down from the aerial regions . . . There are numerous references both in the Vishna Purana and the Mahabharata where Krishna is said to have navigated the air on the Garuda (Markandeya Purana, ch. 20). Either the accounts are imaginary or they are a reference to an eagle-shaped machine flying in the air.

    After the great victory of Rama over Lanka, Vibhisana presented him with the Pushpaka vimana which was furnished with windows, apartments, and excellent seats. It was capable of accommodating all the vanaras beside Rama, Sita and Laksmana. Rama flew to his capital Ayodhya pointing out to Sita from above the places of encampment, the town of Kiskindha and others on the way. (Ramayana, ch. 123)

    This is an allusion to the use of flying machines as transport apart from their use in actual warfare. Again in the Vikramaurvasiya, we are told that king Pururavas rode in an aerial car to rescue Urvasi in pursuit of the Danava who was carrying her away. Similarly in the Uttararamacarita in the fight between Lava and Candrakety (Act VI) a number of celestial cars are mentioned as bearing celestial spectators.
    * * * * *
    Excerpts from "Sanskrit Civilization" by Prof. G. R. Josyer
    Coronation Press, Mysore, 1966

    Another remarkable and astounding feature of the Hindu science of war which could prove that the ancient Hindus cultivated every science to perfection was that the Hindus could fight battles in the air. It is said that the ancient Hindus "could navigate the air, and not only navigate it but fight battles in it, like so many war-eagles combating for the dominion of the clouds." To be so perfect in aeronautics, they must have known all the arts and sciences . . . the strata and currents of the atmosphere, the relative temperature, humidity, and density and the specific gravity of the various gases.

    Viman Vidya was a science which has now completely disappeared. A few years ago, facts concerning this science found in ancient records were rejected as absurd and impossible of belief. But wireless telegraphy and the recent developments in airships have prepared people to entertain the idea of the possibility of human knowledge advancing so far as to make it practicable for men to navigate the air as to navigate the sea.

    This was the Viman Vidya. The airships of the Western world give us an idea of what vimans may have been like. Fifty years ago a viman was considered an impossibility. But happily those days of Western skepticism are over, and a viman, for its practical advantages, is looked upon as an idea of scientific achievement. A European critic says: "Viman Vidya (navigation of the air) was a complete science among the ancient Hindus. They were its masters and used it for all practical purposes."

    This indicates their mastery of the arts and sciences on which the Viman Vidya is based, including a knowledge of the different stratas and the currents of the atmospheric air, the temperature and density of each, and various other minor particulars. Viman Vidya is thus clearly mentioned in the Vedas. The Yajur Veda (VI, 21) says: "O men, who are fit to do administrative work righteously, go to the seas in big, fast-moving steamers, and to the high heavens in airships built on scientific principles."

  8. #8

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